Slain – Before The Inferno


slain pic

There is no re-writing the text book of death metal with Before The Inferno, the album certainly re-working but treading down existing violations, but it has to be admitted that the debut album from Polish band Slain is a thoroughly enjoyable and potently contagious provocation. Consisting of eight monstrously aggressive and openly accomplished violations, the release grips from its opening track through to its intrusive last. There is admittedly a certain mix of success within the release but never a moment where band and album leaves satisfaction wanting and pleasure lacking.

The creators of this impacting release were formed in 2005, though the band’s seeds in many ways harken back to the nineties when band founder and guitarist Paul was in Cryptic Stench. Some of Slain’s songs originated from that time with the band reworking and rearranging them to fill the full blooded onslaught of their ferocity. Initially Slain went through a few personnel changes whilst the band continued to earn a strong reputation and fan base with their live performances. A stable line-up emerged though before the album was recorded; Paul joined by second guitarist George, bassist Lucas, drummer Wojtass, and vocalist Marcin. Recorded in 2012, Before The Inferno found its release with The End Of Time Records at the tail of 2013. Since its release, Slain has seen the departure of George and Marcin, the pair being replaced by Hannibal and Balrog respectively. The turn of the year the band has begun working on new songs for their second full-length whilst this, their debut continues to make an impression and mark the radar of a persistently widening attention.

The Bełchatów quintet comes at the ears through a sinister ambience, demonic shadows, and intrusive breath conspiring to infest senses Slain-BeforeTheInfernoand imagination. The niggling start to Confession of the Blind Messiah erupts into a torrent of predatory riffs and punching rhythms whilst vocally vitriol and ravenous intent clad every word. It is a magnetic entrance, the track enslaving with its concentrated confrontation before unleashing a further increase of aggression and malevolence. Speared by skilled sonic flames and a persistently shifting antagonistic stance, the riveting track makes for a mighty start to the album, essences of Behemoth and Decapitated offering their presence.

The following Wings of War strides murderously into view next, clad in a tsunami of destructive rhythms, flailing riffs, and an underlying groove which is two-toned in voice and lethal in effect. Well into its purpose, the grooves mutate into an infectious lacing of the senses whilst the vocals similarly squirm maliciously between textures, the combination rigidly enslaving an already rampant appetite for the release. It is a ferocious onslaught but ripe with contagion and addictive toxins, especially the impressive sonic blaze of guitar which colours the track with its piercing solo. As suggested at the start there is not a great slap of true originality to the encounter but thrills and neck muscle manipulation show no restraint in their persuasions.

There is a thrash sculpted fire to the sound and album, its rabid hunger again insatiably driving the force of Malleus Maleficarum and War Is Coming. The first is a feisty stalking of the senses with an angry spine of bad tempered rhythms within an acidic veining of skilfully crafted sonic incitement. Its successor takes the rapaciousness of the other track to greater immensity, its carnivorous rabidity spurring on prowling rhythms and a pestilence of riffery. The track is voracious savagery but again infuses a swagger and swing to its barbarity which infests the passions. When a song straddles the imagination and treats it to a rodeo of feverish energy and vivacity it is hard to resist even when the wounds left bleed profusely.

Fucking Gods continues the violent and irrepressible suasion of the release, its brutal rampage unrelenting yet pronounced in its precise baiting whilst the following Deadly Midget presents a more restrained attrition but one no less hungry in its predation and manipulative toxicity; grooves and riffs sharing the imposing canvas for their fevered taming and consumption of the senses. There is a touch of Sepultura to the poise and intensive intensity of the track whilst its ravenous incessancy and melodic adventure slips easily under the skin and into the memory.

The album is completed by the raging turmoil of Thorn and the imposing enterprise of Omen, both tracks a tasty horde of vindictive rhythms and scourging riffs spiced by sonic invention, though neither quite match the heights of the earlier songs. Nevertheless the pair brings a great album to a stirring close to leave satisfaction full and emotions eager for more. Before The Inferno may not carve out new inventive avenues for death metal but when it provides a hellacious ruin as exciting and stimulating as it does it is hard to raise a care. Slain has ensured that anticipation for their sophomore album is already gearing up.

Before The Inferno is available via The End of Time Records now!


RingMaster 22/04/2014

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Reverted – Sputter the Worms

Reverted Hi-Res Pic

Though you come out of it feeling there is plenty left for its creators to discover and find to develop a wholly unique voice, it is hard not to be impressed and eagerly captivated by Sputter the Worms the debut album from UK band Reverted. With the release of the band’s new single Die My Saint, taken from the album, a look at the full-length seemed in order. Consisting of thirteen tracks which roar at ears with a ferocious multi-flavoured brew of sound and aggression, the release is a fiery brawl merging thrash, hard rock, and varied essences of metal. The album rampages with imagination and voracity, crawling rigorously over the senses and passions with raw adventure. There is much within it which is arguably familiar but plenty which is vigorously individual as the album riots with thrilling effect.

Reverted began in 2010 and it is fair to say they have made a more than attention grabbing impression. They have backed up the promise showed by live performances with Sputter the Worms, a release which pulls feet and emotions into active submission early on and refuses to let them relax until it has finished its creative charge. The title track thrusts its muscular weight and body through ears first, though its entrance is relatively reserved with thick riffs and pumped beats making a less than forceful coaxing. It is a magnetic start all the same which increases its bait with a great whining acidic flame of guitar which triggers a hungry rampancy in the gait of the track. The bass of Luis L Valle and guitar of Daniel Ruiz stomp with a prowling menace and rasping riffery respectively with the song in full stride whilst the drums of Ozzy Preciado thump with intimidating skill. It is a richly engaging proposition completed by the excellent vocal tones of Tony Vega, his gruff but clean tones ably backed by those of Preciado. Like a mix of Metallica and Fuckshovel, thrash and punk pleasing additives to the heavyweight rocking going on, the song is a masterful opening persuasion.

The potent start is soon backed up by the similarly impressive Magledonia (Harvest of Sin), another brew brought on a thrash bred Sputter The Worms Artworkappetite. The track swaggers and ripples with antagonistic confidence and sonic bait, guitars and drums enslaving attention so the bass can stalk the senses as vocals sprawl with their menacing narrative. With a vein of classic and hard rock virulence to its encounter, the song romps with a straightforward but appetite sparking success before making way for Don´t Try to Steal Me from the Inside. Valle instantly steals early control of thoughts and song with his throaty lines before the rhythms of Preciado explode in highly agitated invention and the track crowds the ears with a predatory intensity. Groove and thrash metal collide perfectly within the song but also scorching flames of melodic and alternative rock add their spice to the exciting mix, with the vocals as the sound unafraid to vary and play with their delivery.

Both the outstanding Dispose of Heartaches and the new single Die My Saint ignite imagination and pleasure further, the first bursting with a devilish intent forging punk and thrash into a psyche rock and nu-metal mesh. The track exhausts and exhilarates the passions, stealing early best song honours though it is soon rivalled by its successor, an urgent aggressor with absorbing twists of sonic endeavour amidst another richly packed flavoursome design. Psyche and nu-metal colours the sinew driven encounter whilst the rhythmic frame is an unrelenting insistence with anthemic persuasion. The pair provides the first major pinnacle of the album, probably the highest peak though plenty of tracks like the following Pulse stand tall alongside their might. A growl erupts in the vocals and sound of the song, intensity driving forward with bestial rabidity to match the barbarous rhythms and the ever predacious bass provocation. There is a grunge flame to the cleaner stretches of the song though proving again the diverse ground and textures the band explores across the album. Admittedly there are familiar sounds at work too, that Metallica feel never far away, but Reverted mix and come up with an overall sound which holds its own in freshness.

The acidic entrance of Tolerance makes a dramatic lure before a mix of progressive rock and groove metal merges to enthral thoughts, the track littering its pleasing bulk with punchy energy, rising crescendos, and abrasive expulsions. It is another potent enticement which as its predecessors welcomingly lingers. It also in many ways closes the most immediate part of the album with the following Stained Soul andonwards, the album places its most adventurous and involved songs though it certainly does not relinquish its grip on appetite and passions. Stained Soul holds a slower gait than previous tracks but with intensity still high fills the vacancy with a focused melodic rock craft, though that is still courted by the rapacious intent the band revels in which ensures the song is no less a threat and aggressor than others.

The gentle caress of Insanity takes longer to persuade than most but with its emotive strings, warm melodic rock centre, and passionate grumble the track easily secures a greedy appreciation whilst the more power ballad like Forsaken with a definite Hetfield and co feel pleases firmly without lighting fires, the same which can be said about Stairs of Guilt. Neither song grips as tightly as others but shows the expansive power of the band in sound and songwriting which certainly excites.

   Sputter the Worms closes with firstly Time, a track which glides through a weave of styles and. As the previous two it fails to spark a full ardour but furthers the impressive skills and imaginative adventure of the band which are to enthuse over and anticipate creating greater triumphs ahead. Final song Bummer is a muscle driven slab of heavy rock with metal roots, a very easy to devour and enjoy straightforward protagonist.

Reverted is a band on a sure and striking rise in presence and creativity, with the potential to be something very special. They have a drama to their songs and an invention which defuses the recognisable elements also carried; the result one thoroughly thrilling ride.

The self-released Sputter the Worms is available now!


RingMaster 17/04/2014

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Gravehill – Death Curse


For a pestilential onslaught of black, death, and thrash metal, moulded into one voracious tempest of raw and dirty metal it is unlikely many releases will surpass the new uncompromising ravaging of US corruptors Gravehill. The band’s third album Death Curse is a bestial examination of the senses; savaging violations soaked in causticity and stripped to their primal bones and intent. At times an anthemic contagion and in others simply a predatory gnawing of the senses, the album is an increasingly potent annihilation which evolves an initial strong showing into a truly impressive and exhausting incitement. There is no wastage of frivolous trickery or excessive showing off just concentrated undiluted primeval metal at its best.

The Californian band was formed in 2001, a trio which took little time in unleashing debut demo The Practitioners of Fell Sorcery; it was short lived triumph though as Gravehill disbanded soon after. 2006 saw the band reform, original drummer/founder Rhett “Thorgrimm” Davis linking up with vocalist Mike Abominator. A second demo Metal of Death in 2007 was followed by the EP Metal of Death/Advocation of Murder and Suicide the following year from the quintet. First full-length Rites of the Pentagram was next uncaged on Enucleation Records to strong reactions in 2009 as also its re-release in a package with a third outing from the band’s first demo via Ibex Moon Records a year later. The line-up saw a change in 2011 with guitarist Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey (Exhumed, Dekapitator, Repulsion) joining the band before second album When All Roads lead to Hell on Dark Descent Records. The next year saw another shift in personnel with both Hellfiend and fellow guitarist Rob “Bodybag Bob” Babcock leaving due to extensive touring demands with Exhumed to be replaced by CC DeKill and Hell Messiah.

With the new members slotting in with ease alongside Thorgrimm, Abominator, and bassist J.T. Corpse, Gravehill set about creating what CDBO04.pdfhas emerged as their most ferocious and destructive triumph to date. Again out through Dark Descent and featuring guest appearances from the likes of Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy as well as Kam Lee (Massacre, Death and Bone Gnawer), Death Curse is a masterful protagonist of the senses from the exceptional artwork provided by Christopher Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy)to its last lingering venomous note. Though the introductory opener Gates of Hell does not show the storm to come, its epically sinister portent of sonic certainly brings an intimidation to bear on the senses, a brewing threat soon realised with the explosive entrance of the title track, riffs and rhythms a merciless rampage whilst the coarse even rawer vocals scar air and ears. Eager in its thrash driven gait and acidic in the eruptions of sonic enterprise, the track is a magnetic encounter which maybe does not trigger an immediate hunger but with good variation to the vocals and a resistance proof groove certainly has full control of attention.

At Hell’s Command is much swifter in taking a submission from senses and passions, its yawning sonic bait from the first second irresistible and the spark to an incendiary examination of a brutal rhythmic battering and a venomous and compelling sonic intrusion. There is an insidiously commanding element to the song, and subsequently the album, which manipulates the imagination and emotions into subservience either instantly or over time as in the case of other songs, but always succeeding in its intent. The guitar toxicity of CC DeKill and Hell Messiah is especially impressive and tempting, their designs as in all aspects of the release, skilled and striking but never dosed with a wasteful indulgence.

The following Open Their Throats emerges from the fluid gothic like link between it and its predecessor to prowl around the ear with a doom bred stance. The song stalks with venom dripping from its rhythmic jaw and slavering riffs whilst the guttural intense vocals add further insatiable predation. Intensity and violence waits in the shadows before being freed from their reins for a fiery antagonism driven second half of the impressive rage, vocals and guitar craft again formidable lures within an equally compelling rhythmic enticement.

Both Fear the Reaper and Unending Lust for Evil take release and passions to another level, the virulently contagious drum and bass entrance to the first opening a doorway to thrash anthemic glory within a death seeded animosity whilst its successor digs deeper inside itself for a blacker toxin with which to infest song and listener, its constantly shifting attack and creativity a ridiculously infectious almost salacious offering. The pair of tracks marks the pinnacle of the album, though to be fair its whole range is never far from the lofty filth encrusted heights of the two as proven by the rapacious malevolence of Black Blood Rising, the blackened scourge a welcome primordial predator in modern extreme metal.

The album is at its strongest in its latter half with the final two songs continuing the intensive potency and senses gorging maliciousness of the last few offerings. Crucified is the loudest boldest anthem on the album, an irritable nagging soon recruiting full allegiance with its group vocal baiting over heavy booted rhythms and riffing. Speared by excellent sonic craft from the guitars, the song is a leader of rebellious intent igniting the pulse rate ready for the closing doomy weight and thrash swing of The Ascending Fire to exploit with its equally anthemic power. The song makes an outstanding last assault to an addictive treacherous plague, a Death Curse which violates and thrills with even voracity.


RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Spewtilator – Goathrower


    If a scourge of any descript, be it human, natural, or emotional, ever needed a band to soundtrack its devastation than US death thrashers Spewtilator would be the perfect candidates to provide it. Their sound is as pestilential and vicious as any plague and just as virulently addictive, the evidence no more forcibly shown than on new EP Goathrower. Released on Valentines Day, the five track sonic spillage of malevolence and brutality takes no prisoners, a brew of thrash and death metal cast in a grindcore grip fuelling its rampage whilst leaving lingering scars and a depth of satisfaction and enjoyment which on the surface you would not imagine possible. It is a challenge not all will embrace to be honest, a spiteful fury most will cower from but for others the EP is a reason to spit blood every morning.

   Formed in 2007, the Atlanta trio has scarred plenty of psyches since their opening attack in the Thrash N Splash demo of 2009. The two EPs Get Conjured and the acclaimed Inhale Awaits of 2010 and 2012 respectively, marked the band out for attention from a rising blood lusting fanbase whilst a split with Death Of Kings called Total East Coast Devastation and another with Coffin Dust on Ancient Rites of Getting Conjured, the two released either side of their last EP, only reinforced their specific and unique sonic savagery in the larger scheme of death/thrash metal and grindcore. Goathrower is the band at its most vicious, furious, and compelling, an onslaught which leaves senses bruised and satisfaction heavily indulging in the peculiar toxicity of Spewtilator.

    The title track assaults first; a raw and abrasive intensity aligned to an equally caustic sound smothers the ears whilst a thrash Spewtilator_LoRezstride of riffs charges head on into a brewing cloud of death metal malevolence. It is a stirring and almost anthemic mix of provocation which grows in antagonism and strength as guitars throw spears of sonic endeavour and a varied vocal delivery bruises the senses. The production of the EP is as coarse and punishing as the songs to accentuate their vicious and squalling sonic bluster. The opener is a riling and rousing start which is soon matched by the following Cherokee Curse, the track another scathing fury of sound and emotion. Holding an even greater hardcore vitriol to vocals and its punk thrash core, the track is unafraid to test the listener and stretch its remit, a classic metal surge vocally and musically spewing from within a tempestuously blackened maelstrom of intent.

     Both songs provide bait hard to resist even if it comes in an uncomfortable and uncompromising tempest. That satisfying confrontation is soon matched by Cave of Hatred, though at only twenty seven seconds long it does not have time to improve or damage anything if we are truthful. Nevertheless the storm is a corrosive intimidation which leaves just that little more pleasure in its brief wake, something Afterworld Inebriation provides in greater depth and scale next. The best track on the EP, it has a swagger and groove beneath what is another tirade of venomous vocals and sonic devastation driven by a rhythmic voracity. It is masterful siege of grindcore and death thrash hostility moulded into a contagious strength sapping grudge.

     Fifty odd seconds of hardcore and thrash spawned virulence in the pestilent shape of Let’s Get Drugs concludes the Boris Records released Goathrower, another raging proposition which will ignite or disturb your emotions  depending how Spewtilator take you. If their kind of venom is to your taste than definitely the new release is them at their finest malicious yet and well worth taking a beating from.


RingMaster 14/02/2014

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Izegrim – Congress of the Insane

2013 HR © Tim Tronckoe

2013 HR © Tim Tronckoe

Following up their successful album Code of Consequences of 2011, Dutch extreme metallers Izegrim return with another antagonistic slab of sonic causticity in the tempestuous shape of Congress of the Insane. Consisting of eleven venomously cultured violations of thrash bred death metal, the fourth album from the band rages and spews malignant torrents of sound which conspire to ignite the imagination through its collection of well-crafted and impressively accomplished assaults. It is not a ravaging to forge new scars within either of its seed genres or any crossover field, the album devoid of any distinctly standout tracks which linger and continue to seduce with unique toxins, but the release still unleashes a fury of songs which satisfies the hunger for strong intelligently sculpted and passionately delivered intrusive enterprise.

Congress of the Insane is the second release from the band through Listenable Records and confirms the rising potency and stature of the foursome, a strong plateau built through previous releases and live performances which has seen the band alongside the likes of Kreator, Annihilator, Onslaught and many more. Looking at the concept of “evil in the deceiving human nature”, the album ensures thoughts are provoked and emotions lit through the lyrical and aural provocation which starts with the excellent artwork and moves through every aspect of the release. In its company Congress of the Insane makes a noteworthy companion, just one which manages to miss leaving long term persuasion away from its side.

The album crowds the ears from the very first seconds of opener Relic of the Past, cantankerous rhythms and intimidating riffs cover_lsetting down their canvas to turn on an intensity and power which sprawls rigorously over the body of the track. Led by the excellent guttural vocals of Marloes Voskuil, her immense delivery soaked in vehemence and aural pestilence, Izegrim twists and turns the song with shifts in rhythmic attack and meandering sinewy grooves around a thrash cored spine which in its presence fires up the senses and appetite, the strong start then emulated in strength and quality by the following Decline and Fall. With an open rabidity to every aspect of the track around a gait which lurches and prowls through the ear, the song is an invigorated almost anthemic incitement which leaves attention greedy though it, like quite a few upon the album, fades out for its finale, something which never pleases for personal tastes.

Both Celebratory Gunfire and Endless Strife continue the good work in enticing the listener into the album’s black hearted narrative, though neither matches the success of their predecessors. The pair share a carnivorous breath but flavours the charge with impressive fiery guitar work from Jeroen Van Heuvelen and Bart Van Ginkel which engages senses and thoughts firmly whilst the rhythmic tempest of drummer Ivo alongside the bassist predation of Voskuil and her ever intensively gripping vocals cage and enslave the imagination for the two guitarists to cast their sonic invention.

The ear battering Deterioration from Perfection with its intensive thrash savagery amidst death metal brutality and the exhaustive Unchallenged Dominance add their skilful corruptive suasion to the bruising encounter to fine effect but soon pale against the excellent Modern Day Freak, one song which does remain in thoughts and memory after the release takes its leave. From a carnivalesque intro with a sideshow barker making the invitation for the pursuing mayhem under a vibrant blaze of brass temptation, the track erupts into its muscular stride and rampages with a thumping rhythmic inducement and insidious malevolence to guitars and vocals which cannot fail to impress and recruit the passions. It is the best track on the album and one which lifts the lid off of the deep potential within the band, something all tracks effectively hint at to be fair.

The likes of The Legion with its imagination stalking intent and presence, the fierce Carousel of Death, and the outstanding Manifest of a Megalomaniac which features Sabina Classen of Holy Moses alongside Voskuil in a wonderfully vicious and intoxicating union, ensure the album closes with powerful strength and in riveting style whilst the final track Carnival of Deception scripts an evocative landscape of aggressive brutality and compulsion honed through a fire of sonic imagination. It is an apocalyptic pinnacle and climax to a destructive album which in its company only satisfies. Congress Of The Insane maybe a missed opportunity in its failure to create entrenched aspects which makes it a potent provocateur at any moment in time but as the last song alone roams around and incites the emotions, you know Izegrim has provided a rather pleasing and exciting incitation.


RingMaster 07/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Pete Flesh Deathtrip – Mortui Vivos Docent

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Mortui Vivos Docent is not an album which set the passions into certain fervour but there is something about its crawling insidious touch and lingering fetid presence which leaves a need to share its venom on a constant basis. The new intrusion from The Pete Flesh Deathtrip, the album teases, taunts, and violates the senses but equally beneath its abhorrent breath there is a contagion of imagination and passion which is hard to deny. It needs time to make its persuasion, numerous plays we suggest, but the reward and enjoyment is there to devour even if the release probably will not make an impression on the year’s top choices.

Mortui Vivos Docent is the fourth release from the solo project of Pete Flesh (ex- Deceiver, Thrown, Maze of Torment), the previous three coming under the name Flesh. Using session musicians, notably here Micke Broberg for some of the vocals and Andreas Jonsson (Tyrant, The Black, Vinertand) for drums, the new album stalks cavernous halls of death metal with additional provocation of black and at times thrash metal. It is a heavy bruising and at times disorientating assault but one which is unafraid to challenge and venture into discord clashing ventures. Released via Pulverised Records and recorded, mixed, and mastered by Peter Bjärgö (Tyrant, Crypt Of Kerberos), who also provided all keyboard and piano on the release, at Studio Beast in Sweden, Mortui Vivos Docent is an album which takes you on the darkest fearful journey. One you will take to or not but one which has to be ventured.

Opener Fallen Bliss goes straight for the throat of the senses; prowling riffs and tightly reined grooves crowd and chase the ear Mortui Vivos Docent Coverwhilst the vocals of Flesh snarl and chew on his prey with strong and expressive spite. It is an immediate hook which only grips tighter the further into the track you are sucked, rhythms rampaging with the guile and might of a battalion of Roman guards and the guitar scoring air and recipient with fine sonic branding and insatiable enterprise. Whether there is anything new going on is debatable but undoubtedly the craft and aural bait offered is impossible to resist.

The following fire of The Eternal Dawn is a varied and adventurous escapade through rhythmic enticement and melodic shadows, its gait reserved yet forceful and presence heavy but seductive. The vocals break some of the almost sirenesque attraction once their serpentine clutches dig into thoughts but the song continues to burn as  sonic ash drifts over the brewing intensity and roaming intrigue. The groove is a great niggling addiction which only goes to lure the emotions deeper into the now fully fledged tempest of sound and provocation as the song continues the strong start, impressively passing the leash to the thrash charged furnace of aural rabidity, Crave the Fire. Bringing more variety to the album, the track has a predatory intent which demands and receives every ounce of attention, and though it does not quite ignite the rich responses as its predecessor it is a bestial swarm of animosity that leaves lasting satisfaction.

The excellent haunting nursery room ambience opening up The Suicide End immediately marks the track as a must submerge within encounter. Doing so will leave you open to inner demons incited by the chilling textures and pit spawned malevolence lurking within every note and imaginative turn of the song, but it is worth the intrusion of the psyche.  Like the album it is a track which needs plenty of attention to truly discover and immerse within but another which drapes pervading fear over thoughts and emotions for a thrilling experience.

The intensively vexatious Burning Darkness and the blackened Ravens Reborn continue to hold attention firmly whilst the ravenous God of the Crawling Whore takes its pound of flesh from the senses with a brutality and sonic web that is inescapable. The trio do fall below the previous high standards, not by much certainly with the last of the trio, but arguably the element of surprise and originality within the album is lost at this point, though all only leave a wealth of satisfaction that is impossible to dismiss. Bleed which features additional vocals from Cecilia Bjärgö (Arcana) does stand out as a pinnacle on the release, its gothic temptation and absorbing presence evocative and thrilling.

Closing with the more than decent thrash sculpted Recycle My Death, the dark themed lyrically and aurally Mortui Vivos Docent makes for a compelling provocateur. It is irrepressible in its hunger and captivating in its imagination, making for a striking confrontation. Maybe not the release to thrust The Pete Flesh Deathtrip firmly on the death/extreme metal map it is one which will raise awareness for sure.


RingMaster 25/07/2013

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Beyond Description – An Elegy For Depletion


    Beyond Description is a band from Japan which has been going since around 1988, though we will admit to their new album An Elegy For Depletion being the first time they have come onto the radar of The RR. Originally a pure hardcore punk band,  the quartet over the years has evolved their sound into that of a hungry thrashcore/crossover metal assault which on the evidence of their new release is well worth strong attention.

The follow-up to Proof Of The Truth of 2011, An Elegy For Depletion offers up eleven rapacious thrash/punk tracks which have the urgency of a bullet Train and the belligerent attitude of a discontented society. It is not a release offering anything particularly new to be honest but for high octane attitude soaked rock ‘n’ roll this is an album to be digested as often as possible. Released via Italian label Punishment 18 Records, it presents brawls that fans of the likes of Biohazard, Municipal Waste, and Cancer Bats will devour eagerly as well as spark investigation in for their previous albums and EPs.

As soon as opener Absurd slaps its muscular rhythms and frame around the ear you know the ride you are in for musically and BeyondDescriptionCoverenergetically, and it is a mere breath in before riffs and drums proceed to rampage mercilessly upon the senses. The vocals of Hideyuki Okahara come with a raw Hetfield like grazing to add further immediate entrapment for the passions and through it is relatively brief attack, with ease the rhythmic might of drummer  Hiroshi Yoshioka and the bass lures of Yusuke Adachi stand out  alongside the vocals, all seizing moments to cage and provoke beyond the basic fury of the song.

Both Fossilize and Potential keep the fervent rage and storm going, their ravaging riffs and rhythmic debilitation a torrential incitement leading to potential whiplash and greater hunger, the first of the pair with the ever darkening predatory nature of the bass and riffs and its successor through a barbaric expanse of bitch-slaps masquerading as drumming.  Three songs in and the album is already making the strongest persuasion though as Bridge takes over you do sense an overall similarity certainly across the surface assaults which detracts a little from the strong enterprise and variety parading within tracks. With a potent acidic groove making a brief lure within the rampant stance of the song, Bridge marks a run of tracks which stand out more than most on the release starting with    Arbitrage which smothers the air with a blanket of carnivorous intensity and the following Provocation which does exactly what it says on the tin, prowling basslines and barbaric rhythms coring riff blazes from the continually impressive Yasunari Honda and punk vocals, all challenging and barracking the senses for a mighty intrusion. It is a splendid mesh of thrash rabidity and punk spite honed into a fevered furnace of metallic aggression.

The likes of the voracious Shut, even with its odd midpoint drum interlude, and the rhythmic tsunami Purpose keep things burning invitingly in the ear, though to be honest every track leaves a full satisfaction behind. It all makes for an album which sets the passions in motion, though maybe not to the fullest heat the release should have, and as Drip makes its final vociferous argument before the closing instrument Depletion, there is an eager intent to find out and hear more of the band, past and future bred. As stated you will not find anything new or previously un-mined in the genre but with that replaced by a passion and enterprise which makes the songs stir up limbs and energy, An Elegy For Depletion and Beyond Description are not to be dismissed or passed over.


RingMaster 24/06/2013

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Shadow of Myself – Self Titled EP

Shadow of Myself pic

As their debut self-titled EP shows, North Carolina rock band Shadow of Myself straddles a vast plain of rock/metal music to offer an appeal which can easily seduce the passions of melodic and hard rock fans through to southern and classic rock ones, not forgetting Bay Area type thrash hearts too. The three track release is a fiery and enterprising slice of pleasure making a near irresistible invitation to check out the band’s first album scheduled for later in the year.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Metallica, and Pantera, the Charlotte quintet has earned an impressive reputation for their sounds, with extensive national radio play, and live shows which has had them grace stages alongside a diverse expanse of national bands from Three Days Grace through to L.A Guns. With a newly revamped line-up, Shadow of Myself is poised to make 2013 the launch pad to greater recognition and success with firstly this EP and then the following album.

Produced by Jamie King, renowned for working with artists such as Between the Buried and Me, Devin Townsend, Protest the Hero, SOM_front_panel1 The Human Abstract, and KillWhitneyDead, the release sets about the ears with melodic fire through opener Supraliminal. Thumping rhythms from drummer Dustin Foley cage the senses with intense potency before the guitars of Brian Baker and John Conway shape the track further with sonic endeavour and enterprise. It is an immediately welcoming and impacting song which leaves a wealth of satisfaction in its wake as vocalist Travis Keziah brings his excellent emotive tones to bear on the narrative with diversity and great caustic squalls within his cleaner expressive delivery. Though not a song to ignite burning fires in the passions, it more than makes a rich invitation into the sound and creative songwriting of the band which the following pair of songs exploits to its deepest compelling depths.

The following Until the End makes a strong if not dramatic entrance with once more the guitar carving a sonic web to wrap within, but once the tsunami of primal ridiculously contagious beats from Foley overwhelm and ignite the senses the track explodes into a ravenous feast of thrash lined rapacious intensity and mutually hungry invention. Riffs gnaw the ear whilst the bass of Brian Riley adds delicious intimidation, or rather extra menace to what is now a pleasing brawl of a confrontation fuelled by a fine melodic persuasion. More aggressive and impacting than its predecessor, the track is an outstanding storm of inventive, evocative passion, and stylish songwriting, the best song on the EP.

The closing Your Addiction is bred from the same thrilling template as the second song but delivers it through a blaze of thrash lilted rapaciousness with a clear Metallica like growl and melodic lure to its body. Its incisive groove is an enthralling flame around the again excellent vocals and fine rhythmic seduction, and on top of the virulence infectious call of the song even in its less urgent gait, makes for another outstanding track and temptress to the impending full-length release.

It is probably fair to say that Shadow of Myself is not breaking down boundaries or offering anything new in originality but when they use existing varied essences in such a refreshing and intriguing way there is only full satisfaction and hunger for more sparked into life. Roll on the album is all that is left to say.


RingMaster 19/06/2013


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Death By Ki unleash new video‏

Death By Ki Online Promo Shot

UK riff-slingers ‘Death By Ki’ have just unleashed their enticing debut EP ‘The Right Of Might’ and new video ‘Control (In A World Of Free Will).

Bursting out of Bridgwater, Somerset, Death By Ki bond together a formidable sound, lifting from the rampant power of Slayer and Lamb Of God and the old school riffery of Metallica. The South West road warriors, comprised of Josh Ayerst (Guitars and lead vocals), Chris Chamberlain (Guitars and backing vocals), Will Robins (Bass and backing vocals), and Nick Cope (Drums), pack together a heady blend of pummelling hooks laced with Slayer-esque vocals, set with layered riffage, and complemented by sturdy bass and rock solid beats.
The band’s new video for ‘Control (In A World Of Free Will)’, which was filmed in the crypt beneath St. Paul’s Church in Bristol, can be seen here .
Hit up the band for show updates at

Birth AD – I Blame You

    band photo 2

    Rampaging and snarling with a potency and aggressive attack which recalls the richest essences of the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Municipal Waste, and S.O.D., US antagonisers Birth AD and their debut album I Blame You, is one riot to be in on at the earliest opportunity. Fusing hardcore, thrash, and the angry heart of punk, band and release unleash ferocity of attitude and sound which simply riles and ignites the senses in a welcome storm of destructive might. Part nostalgic, recalling the eighties pinnacle of their seeded inspirations, but forged with fresh 21st century spite, the trio from Austin, Texas is an exhausting and fully invigorating confrontation and their album an equally thrilling adversary.

Formed in 2008, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Jeff Tandy, guitarist/backing vocals Brian Morrison, and drummer/backing vocals Mark Perry, took no time in becoming a bludgeoning and potent force across their home state, firing up a loyal and ever growing fan base. The following year saw an eleven-date tour of Japan as the band’s inaugural live outing as well as debut EP Stillbirth of a Nation, the release making an indelible mark on not only the local scene but further afield, which the new Alex Perialas produced album will only brand into the skin of punk and metal even deeper. Released via Unspeakable Axe Records, an offshoot of Dark Descent Records, I Blame You is a honed and instinctive furnace of passion and anger carved into mutually malicious and senses searing sound.

The eighteen track explosion gives no respite from start to finish, the flesh charring intensity of opener Mission Statement with cover artits uncomplicated and forceful declaration starting the furnace of virulent sonic and emotive antagonism which holds its potency and strength right through to the equally barbed and lethally aggressive closer Blow Up The Embassy. In between there is no let-up but within the tempest of corrosive and barbarous fire there is as much diversity and violating enterprise as you could wish from a crossover thrash cluster bomb of violent energy and intent.

In nothing but highlights, maybe something of a surprise in an album of such a large number of tracks, the biggest peaks will focus the review but those not mentioned are only just behind personal preferences and as worthy as any other on the outstanding release. The brawling Failed State seizes the ear with a hurricane of vocal dispute with a repetitive barracking of the senses but it is the niggling grinding groove which steals the event, its insidious presence driving the force and brutality of the rhythms like a sadistic snake charmer. The track is the start of an especially impressive part of the album with its immediate successors Bring Back The Draft and This Scene Sucks also raising the fiercest fires within. The first of the pair consumes with a ravenous appetite and sonic hunger with samples of battlefields adding their energy to the controlling rhythms and scarring riffs, whilst the second taunts with a throaty bestial bass sound before expanding into a predatory and urgent assault with the vocals, singular and en masse, carving their own venomous and anthemic hooks into the irresistible presence.

Tracks like No, Man with its Dead Kennedys like hooked contagion and the title track continue the exhaustive but impossibly addictive lure of the release, the latter of the two barracking the ear vocally whilst a tight thrash lashing smarts but excites, probably more than is legally allowed, around them whilst the excellent Kill Everybody is as savage and uncompromising as the title suggests, the chorus especially a vicious assault to spark the strongest ardour.

Tracks like Wrong Again, No Jobs (Don’t Work), and Cause Problems, though failing to quite ignite the passions as those above, still leave nothing but a full on greed for more and the deepest satisfaction, something which honestly applies to every track on the release. Ok I Blame You is not breaking down new barriers for thrash, punk, or metal, but that is not the point of its existence, the band and album using existing armoury but tuning it with their own precise tools into a striking force which stands aside from most of the other similarly gaited aggressors. A mention for the excellent Parasites Die must be made, the song the emerging favourite here with its prowling groove and teasing stance coring an aural dogfight between sound and ear, of course there is only one winner.

If the likes of the bands mentioned at the top of the review are for you then open your arms for one exceptional collision with Birth A.D.

RingMaster 8.5/10

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