The Kandidate – Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death

2012 has not had to wait long to welcome a definite album of the year contender in the muscular shape of the brutally intense Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death from Danish metalers The Kandidate. The release attacks and blasts every sinew whilst whipping away the safety net to leave senses precariously balanced and open to the merciless aggression and rampaging violent sounds blasting their every fibre. Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death is immense and the sternest challenge to everyone else to try and match let alone beat the quality bursting out from its eleven thunderous tracks.

The Kandidate began in 2009 though the band existed under the guise of The Downward Candidate before it from 2005. Band founders guitarist Allan Tvedebrink and bassist KB Larsen had to deal with unsettled line-ups and uncertainty about the bands direction in the previous incarnation but with the joining of vocalist Jacob Bredahl in 2009 the band found itself and with a new focus came a new beginning and name change. The following year saw the band’s debut album Until We Are Outnumbered, come out to much acclaim followed by tours with the likes of  Entombed, Trap Them, Volbeat, and Rotten Sound, where between shows the band worked on and wrote new songs, often trying them out in the live sets for assessment. The year was also highlighted for the band by their return to the legendary Roskilde Festival in the summer of 2010 to great triumph and success.

The following year The Kandidate began working on the follow-up Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death and in addition welcomed new drummer Niels Peter, his impressive power and ability adding a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Produced by vocalist Bredahl, who enlisted Tue Madsen to produce his own vocals, the resulting album to be unleashed January 27th via Napalm Records is a tumultuous glorious fury of punk thrash metal. Fuelled by tightly crushing riffs, irresistible hooks and distorted melodies the confrontational Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death intrudes and lingers on every facet of the senses, its dark lyrical theme inspired by the imminent prospect of death as striking and impactful as the sounds.

Breaking out with the brief blackness of ‘Death’ the album churns up the ear and passions right through to its last nasty note. ‘Beyond the Mind, Sleep You´ll Find’ truly gets the release started. Its scorching riffs and staggering bassline punched through by deeply impressive stick work from Peter immediately leaving one breathless. The sound is raw and coarse brought by the band wanting to bring their live sound to the recording, throwing aside many modern recording techniques to successfully achieve their aim and the album is wonderfully fluid and powerful from it.

There is not one weak moment on the album in strength or quality but certain tracks inflame the passions more than others. ‘One and Alone’ throws up the spite for a life oppressed and dead inside whilst seemingly offering up a fight at the same time, Bredahl’s emotive and impassioned gruff delivery gives real punch to the track. This is matched by the merciless intrusion of ‘Total War’ with caustic riffs that scar the ear as an incisive groove plays the senses like another instrument. Things get even more intrusive and captivating with the punk blistered ‘Modvind’, the frenzied thrash assault of ‘Standing on the Cliffs of Madness’, and the quarrelsome energy of ‘ Fucked in the Search for Life’ recalling older days of punk belligerent attitude , all eager to rile up and incite the senses.

The album leaves the best to last with ‘The Knives Spit’. Catchy and partially anthemic the track bullishly thrusts through the ear with defiant vocals, riffs and rhythms whipping up a fevered rampage within, the perfect ending to a stunning and amazing album. The Kandidate has set  the highest bench mark for all bands with Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death. Not many will come close.

RingMaster 11/01/2012

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Promise Me Tomorrow – Through It All

UK pop punk/rock band Promise Me Tomorrow have steadily made a growing impression on the British rock scene with their eager and well formed melody veined songs and  hard work attitude. January 23rd sees the release of their mini-album Through It All and their next step to bigger and more expansive things. Complete with boundless energy and vibrant songs the release offers up Promise Me Tomorrow as the next band top challenge to the leading pop rock bands currently gracing the UK and already ahead of a great many others.

From Kent and formed early 2010 the band has already made great strides with their clean cut up-beat sounds tinged with essences of punk capturing some national airplay and sharing stages with the likes of Army of Freshmen, Pegasus Bridge, Francesqa, Paige, Summerlin and Jody has a Hitlist, and The Morning Of. The same year saw the band release their debut EP This Picture, A Memory but it was 2011 and the single ‘You Haven’t Seen The Best Of Me’ with its video that saw the band made a deeper mark and draw firmer attention, something the new release will reinforce and enhance.

Through It All is a strong solidly rounded album though it is not until halfway it really ignites. Throughout it offers well crafted melodies with infectious hooks and fluid harmonies that cruise around the ear with keen exuberance. Opening with the instant accessibility of ‘More Than You Know’ the band shows themselves to lie somewhere between the likes of You Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses and Jimmy Eats World though they do not quite find the irresistible elements of the latter’s best songs yet. The group harmonies here and throughout are a strong feature to thoroughly compliment the impressively composed and crafted melodies. The guitars weave strong patterns to ensure attention to their creative strolls whilst the rhythms and basslines steer tracks firmly without demanding total compliance allowing the songs to flow with ease. Vocalist Craig Lawrence has a good control and with only a wish for tracks to occasionally add roughened up vocals and growls the delivery brings a willing bond to the sounds.

The previously mentioned single is included and it is obvious as to why it opened up more and more to the band’s music with it’s willing to please hunger and excited urgency. Along with the opener these tracks seem to be the lead ones to bring people into the release but as fine as they are it is the likes of ‘For All The Wrong Reasons’ and ‘All Or Nothing’ that raise the levels a notable notch. The first starts on a light opening that brings queries about whether it is going to have anything special about it to enthral. The group harmonies around the chorus soon dispel doubts and the track swells with lingering melodies. The second of the two attaches to the ear with a punk fused greediness and intensity. It never dips into real aggression but shows the band can be enthused in attitude as well as any pop punk band and is the highlight of the release plus the provocation to want more harshness added vocally to some tracks.

It is fair to say Promise Me Tomorrow are still searching for their distinctly own sound but with the songs mentioned added to by the strong creative showings of ‘Go Get ‘Em Kid’ and ‘Knockbacks & Heart Attacks’ they are well on their way and already a satisfying addition to any eager energetic melody seeking playlist.

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RingMaster 11/01/2012

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