Terror Empire – Face The Terror


There is always a hint of excitement when another Portuguese band is sent through for a possible review, metal from the country definitely on a real high right now. Terror Empire is another to be introduced to us and yet again another to leave only great impressions and satisfaction in their wake. Face The Terror the debut album from Terror Empire is a mighty concussive joy of thrash metal brought with invention and harsh melodic enterprise. It is a riveting release for ear and senses, a perpetually evolving storm of sound and ideas which leaves one breathless and eager for much more.

The band was formed in 2009 by Ricardo Martins (vocals), Rui Alexandre (guitar), and Rui Puga (bass) after the demise of their previous band August. They soon added drummer Gonçalo Marques and guitarist Sérgio Alves to the ranks and began working on writing songs. Shared stages with the likes of Pitch Black, Switchtense, Seven Stitches, Angriff, and R.D.B. to name a few has brought a strong and ever growing following their way, their trash metal drenched in the inspiring additives of groove and varied metal flavourings, tightly catching hold. The album is an impressive show of the multifaceted thrash assault the band produce, its sounds unpredictable and absorbingly inventive.

Dirty Bomb opens up proceedings with an initially slow burning entrance which soon gathers pace until it is consuming the ear with riotous riffs and crushing rhythms. Once in full flow the track barracks constantly with grooved melodics and an unstoppable hunger to ignite the senses. It is insatiable as it ruptures the air with startling diversions to the song and sonic explosions from the guitars, all firing within the storming thrash intensity. There is nothing predictable about the song and ultimately the album. Admittedly it nor the album open vastly new areas for the genre but it is fair to say it is hard to think of any recent thrash release as imaginative and refreshing as Face The Terror.

The following Elements, with its swarming grooves and excellent caustic vocals from Martin heightened by the intermittent group shouts, is outstanding. The track is as rampant as a dog in heat and just as relentless, it’s pummelling intensity and ferocious delivery is irresistible and impressively creative. Again Terror Empire go places most other trash bands cannot even imagine let alone emulate and it makes for a continually enterprising and inspiring involvement.

There is only one time things do not quite work out as well on the album and that is with Redemptive Punishment. The song is a treat and again striving to offer something distinct in sound and intent but at times its chaotic maelstrom of ideas and aggression loses the potency and sharpness of the other tracks. It is a minor niggle as it still outshines many songs elsewhere but against the quality of the other five tracks here it falls slightly short.

The release is soon firing on all cylinders again with the stunning barrage of The Brave. Like standing in a wind tunnel of sand the track is as intently abrasive as it is deliberate in pulling the ear through its squall of blistering thrash and metal. Venom and violence is in full flow whilst the creativity as ever is undeniable in what is a further highlight on a continually impressive release.

Submission By Fear and last song Last Fire not only complete the album  but turn the heat up even higher with their incendiary display of ferocious grooves and explosive melodic intrusive play, especially in the first of the pair. Both leave one gasping at the yet to be realised promise of the band and the already highly accomplished control and sound they bring right now.

As the impossibly infectious grooves of the closer ring around the ear one can only be impressed and eager to hear much more from the band which undoubtedly we will as they surely become one of the future powerhouses of worldwide trash metal. For now though we suggest going over to http://www.terrorempire.net/ and grabbing this excellent album for free.

RingMaster 07/08/2012

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Black Hole of Calcutta – Self Titled

As dark and dangerous as the band name, the self titled album from Black Hole of Calcutta is a festering sore of noise and intensity which leaves one gasping for breath but fully satisfied.  It is a destructive storm upon the senses, an aural corruption brought with expertise and a torrent of spite.

The album is the second with the same name to be released by the band and precedes a discography cd of past splits and EPs which is also available now. From Portland/Seattle, Black Hole of Calcutta create a disruptive tempest of punk, hardcore, and grindcore with more than a healthy spattering of crust and black metal to name a mere  two of its additives. They are not good for the health and openly destructive but as shown by the release also the creators of outstanding and essential pleasures. The album is incessant and merciless, a rampage which often leaves no time to appreciate the creativity spawning beneath the abrasive surface, but under the squall there is skilful inventive from a band as tight and vicious as you could wish.

Starting with the immense Myth Of Progress, the release is aural violence to either run from or welcome with open arms, the first option leads to safety the latter to rewards which far out way the hospital bills. The opener actually is arguably the least destructive track and part of an inviting sludge metal top and tailing to the song itself and the release as a whole. Once into its stride the track attacks every synapse with venom dripping vocal screams and shouts upon crippling rhythms. The guitar work is impressive bringing a groove to drool over and riffs which are manipulative in the extreme. The track is over five minutes of striking play and invention brought with unrivalled ferocity.

It is from this point where if you blink you miss, the following eleven songs ranging from the barely passing of two minutes down to the length of taking a deep breath, which one has to often under the fierce assault. Tracks using mere splinters of time have always brought enthused passion here, their brief yet punchy presence often far more effective and powerful than the laboured lengths of some songs, it is definitely the case here.

The following Age Of Extinction scrapes away flesh to instigate a blistered attack which leaves only debris in its wake whilst the punk cored Truth Is Never Told with hypnotic rhythms beneath rousing guitars and the predatory Total Collapse with its excellent instant switches in pace and weight, leave one shell shocked but fully gratified. Within their songs the band offer so much that initially it is hard to take it all in and within such short stays it is again impressive how diverse, unpredictable, and persistently inventive the songs are.

Further highlights come with the diseased grind of Cirrhosis, the tumultuous Nightmares, and the brutal  Arm The Hopeless, a track which in forty seconds is a compulsive car crash for the senses. The closing Vultures stakes a claim for best track with its filthy rock variance in collision with punk aggression. It is nasty and full of vehemence but totally contagious especially with that closing sludge feel.

All the tracks are of equally strong quality and creativity on the album and mark Black Hole of Calcutta as a band destined to grab the attention they deserve at some point. The band might blast the senses to pulp and corrupt the ear with blistering speed and unbridled aggression but they do it with an invention which is g rare in extreme noise. Find out for yourselves by grabbing a name your price copy of this album at their page @ bhoc.bandcamp.com  , it could be one of the best things you do this year.

RingMaster 07/08/2012

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The First – Take It Back

Loud, energetic, and wholly infectious the new single from UK melodic rock band The First is an ear grabbing treat which further concretes the band as one of the most vibrant and thrilling to have emerged in the past few years. Take It Back brings a feisty ride of high octane energy, jaw shaking heavy riffs and melodic enterprise to light any heart.  Fusing rock n roll with punk rock and slithers of post hardcore the track is a stirring riot of contagious hooks and hard rock power moulded into an explosion of pulse racing pleasure.

The Cambridgeshire quintet ignited great critical acclaim with their 2010 debut album Swimming With Sharks, a release which easily set The First as a band primed to become a major part of British rock. Their energetic live shows too only went to bring a growth in the stock and reputation of the band with shared stages with the likes of Deaf Havana, Gallows, Architects, Bring Me The Horizon Mallory Knox and Lower Than Atlantis and their impressive appearance at Hevy festival last year only leaving eager and swelled attention in their wake.

Released August 13th through Another., the single shows the band has moved to higher levels as it evolves further into a distinctly refreshing and powerful force. The track sees the band return heavier and more energetic whilst their melodic imagination is tightly crafted into a sharper impressive weave. From the first note the song slams into the ear with towering riffs and face slapping rhythms. The instant groove pulls the senses right up to stare the song in the face as the excellent vocals and their harmonies heat up the air alongside the emerging heart igniting melodic invention from the guitars. The chorus is sheer contagion which recruits passions and voices from its recipients with ease. To be honest the whole song is an infection which cannot be denied or dismissed and as it rampages it explores incendiary melodic rock flavours and hardcore aggression vocally to great effect. It is a multi coloured palette the band work from in sound and intensity and they with Take It Back have created a masterpiece which fires up an impatient anticipation for more.

British melodic rock is in safe hands with the tightest and most powerful grip coming from The First.


RingMaster 07/08/2012

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Lizzie Nightingale – Tiny Teardrops

Lizzie Nightingale is a singer songwriter hailing from Glasgow who is beginning to stir up some real attention and enthusiasm to her inventive and delightful sounds. Her new EP Tiny Teardrops, is set to bring her to wider attention as it offers up something ripe with unexpected delights and joyful enterprise. It is a weave of harmonies and melodic grace brought with an air and ambience which ruffles the air around the sure elegance of the songwriting and its realisation. It is a surprising treat to be honest, one’s assumptions challenged and shown a uniqueness and imagination to be admired.

With her informative years soaked in the sounds of artists like Eurythmics, Kate Bush, David Bowie, and a healthy dose of Motown through her singer/performer Mother, Lizzie Nightingale released a collection of demo tracks which drew strong support from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and Galaxy FM and went on to sell thousands in the UK and Japan. Recently she has been working alongside Gary Powell of The Libertines. Tiny Teardrops sees her stepping out once more into a solo spotlight with her evolved and distinct sound.

The EP opens with the mesmeric Alone, its instant presence an ear spotting cloak of crystal melodies followed by warm orchestral arms. The song skips with an emotive heart which captivates throughout, the voice of Nightingale lighting the atmosphere with its classy tones and the strings behind her igniting deeper pleasures. There is a simplicity to the song within its expansive presence with further endears to make a track which leaves one tingling in delight.

The following Footsteps is a concentrated ballad, its expression and emotion dripping from every note and syllable. Vocally Nightingale has a wavering to her sound which flutters with power but also brings an extra emotive breath to an already touching song. The track shows clearly the lyrical and songwriting skill of the artist and her ability to light up the senses whilst evoking strong thoughts and affection.

The title track again has an uncomplicated essence which tantalises and at times hypnotises whilst its sweeping charm is undeniably infectious. As it progresses the song becomes even more addictive its reserved energy streaking into enthused breaths of melodic hooks and unbridled beauty. Best song on the release it fully shows the talent of Nightingale.

Sparkle and Lights both caress the ear with a sure and gentle touch brought with eruptions of increased energy and heart borne passion. Again as in all songs Nightingale employs unpredictable sounds and unique asides to explore the heart of the compositions to fire up stronger affection for her music. It is imaginative and skilfully brought together to make a release in Tiny Teardrops which startles and gratifies in equal measure.

Completed by a remix of Alone by Matty ‘Parka’ Thomson and Sparkle by Team Tartan, Tiny Teardrops is an impressive and pleasing EP to mark Lizzie Nightingale as an artist destined for great things. Check out the EP @ http://lizzienightingale.bandcamp.com/album/tiny-teardrops and enjoy.

RingMaster 07/08/2012

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John Taglieri – Lucky #9

Lucky #9 is unsurprisingly the ninth release from singer / songwriter John Taglieri, an artist who has forged a good name in AOR, Americana and country tinged rock. Over this side of the pond arguably he is yet to make that break through to emulate his recognition but with Lucky #9 one feels it is only a matter of time.

The six track release is a varied and expertly crafted collection of songs written alone and with co-writers in Nashville and New Jersey. The tracks are heartfelt and passionately brought forth to ensure one is never left unattached at any point. Co-Produced by Lee J. Turner (Darius Rucker, Jewel, Leann Rimes, Bo Bice), the album is an expressive piece of melodic rock which those  with more appreciation for the genre will fully wrap themselves up in.

Starting with a feistier melodic rock stance brought by Losing Me, the release immediately grabs an eager attention. The song is infectious without being addictive but still ignites strong pleasure to its strikes of resourceful guitar play and fiery melodic enterprise. It also offers a bass which gives nothing but delicious invention throughout here and through the album, and all combined makes for a song which is an easy and pleasing companion to the ear, by far the best track on the release.

The following I Never Knew takes an easier gait into its heart with further strong riffs and melodic craft. There is a strong Bon Jovi essence , something which is present across much of the release and leaves from personal taste a less rewarding taste though one can only recommend and praise the songwriting and skilful artistry behind this and all the songs.

Without You continues on from its predecessor with fine accomplished play whilst  Dying Alive and Make Me Believe court melodies and show expressive songwriting which is superior to many other similarly flavoured releases elsewhere. Again the songs are finely crafted and brought with a sure charm and emotive power which is impossible not to be marked by and even though the overall sound is not the treat our ears respond to generally, the tracks still left one on a slight high.

The closing Not Gonna Be My Life does not quite find the heights of the previous tracks but is still a more than decent piece of country drizzled soft rock. It finishes off a strong and creative release which admittedly will find a better reception and home elsewhere but it is clear to see the impressive and cultured skill of artist and songwriting. If melodic soft rock is your feast then make a straight line to Lucky #9 from John Taglieri, you will only find full pleasure.


RingMaster 07/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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