TheDevilzWork: Floodlights

A release to crush skulls and overload synapses, Floodlights the latest album from Australian industrial rock band TheDevilzWork leaves nothing but wreckage in its wake. The album is an eight track corruption which violates and blisters every sense and emotion, an insidious aural decay using sonic manipulation as a weapon and evocative breath.

Formed in 2008 the band was soon firing up crowds across the regions of Melbourne and Australian Capital Territory, as well as releasing a self produced 11-track demo Bad Moon Rise. Shows supporting the likes of Voices of Masada and MzAnnThropik increased the awareness and following for the band, which with the release of Floodlights and some deserved fortune should see greater acceleration in its growth.

The album is a devastating tempest of industrial terrorism brought with malicious strains of diverse agitations from metal and death metal to harsh EBM and cyber crust. The result is as venomous and dangerous as the band name suggests and just as diabolical.

The opening Monochrome immediately seduces and obliterates the ear, its crunching march a delicious intrusion and the melodic whips of sound it unleashes an acidic wash of pleasure. Sounding like a fusion of Sepultura, Young Gods, Suicide Commando, and Skinny Puppy distilled through a sonic wind tunnel, the track ruptures the air with pure abrasive intensity. It is as hypnotic as it is caustic and leaves the senses pulsating and smarting in raw pleasure. The vocals of Tobias and Nailhead crawl and scrape the edges of its recipients as keenly and deeply as the sounds, making for a fully impactful and addictive pleasure.

The following Bulldozer continues the assault with equal heavy malice, its grasping grip twisting and pulling the senses in every direction whilst its overall presence rubs its serpentine sonic salt into the already opened wounds from its predecessor. The vocals rasp and strip the air of any safety whilst the sounds and beats consume with rabid intensity and spite.

The album continues to show no mercy on its victims but does pull back on the oppressive assault with Machine Says No, though it is only for its opening breath. Into its full rampage the track is like a fetid brewing storm devouring every pore, its energy a burning touch to leave further scars of delight. The album like the track is a raging fire of noise and demonic passion which gives equal pain and greedy content.

Through the likes of the sonic bleed that is The Pit and the corrosive instrumental Gibbet, the release explores and unleashes further devastating soundscapes of misery, malcontent and gratification. With acidulous grooves and even stronger ruinous energies the album is not an easy listen at times and one which many will fall before by the time the release is only getting into its stride, but it is so rewarding if one survives its immoral spoils.

With the early Killing Joke/Ministry like Scab and the treacherous melodic seduction of Hive continuing the staggering heights of the opening pair of tracks, the album ignites only deep satisfaction. Every track on Floodlights is staggering and though some steal the highest platforms of acclaim, as a whole the album is a white hot scorching grazing to revel in, and a sonic storm which shows TheDevilzWork as a band where no sound or emotion is off limits to deconstruct and twist to their own sadistic intent.

RingMaster 03/09/2012

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Dark Desolation: Blasphemous Pestilence

An EP full of promise from a band building a strong creative and inventive base for their sound, Blasphemous Pestilence from Indian black metalers Dark Desolation is a release well deserving of attention. A raw and festering presence upon the senses, the five track release easily shows why the band since its formation in 2010 has grabbed strong responses and focus.

The quintet from Bangalore has brewed their own style of extreme black metal with inspirations it is fair to say from the likes of Darkness, Misanthropy, and Dark Funeral. Since starting the band has gigged strongly only leaving great impressions behind them and been featured on a multitude of compilations and across varied media. Now with their debut EP released via Salute Records, their dark and consuming songs of misanthropy, blasphemy and Satanism are set for a much wider violation.

The opening song to the EP Dark Desolation, is a misleading and disappointing start. It is a straight bruising assault with little variation or enterprise to its length. It lacks anything to set it apart from other bands and black metal songs, though it is brought with accomplishment and passion. It also hides the real depth and invention of the band which is easily heard from there on in on the release. Its production is sub standard to the following tracks too and only its brief presence works in its favour.

From this uninspired start it is like another world opens up. The following Catechetical Somniloquence is an imaginative and riveting beast of a track. Its abrasive guitar start alongside venomous scalding vocals instantly grips the ear as the rhythms begin to abuse and bruise the senses. As the track continues to scour the air the band involve explosive guitar play and serpentine insistent grooves which twist and entwine around the spine of the track like sonic snakes, their melodic invention lashing out from within the blackened sprawl of intensity.

It is an excellent turn of events further elevated by Futile Dogma, the song which arguably started it all by being their first demo track. The song prowls and stalks the ear like a ravenous predator, the vocals of Maggot as nasty as they are intense whilst the drums splinter cartilage and riffs enforce whiplash upon their victims. Insanely grooved at times without losing any of its malevolence, the track is immense and along with the two tracks either side of it, indicates a flourishing destiny for the band which their promise has to live up to. The song is the blueprint to their future success one feels, the template to base their future imagination and invention upon.

The release ends with a mixed success  of Insectuous Catacombs and Secrets Of The Black Arts. The first is another to mark alongside the two triumphant songs before it, another piece of violence and poison brought with craft and thought. Though not as stunning as its predecessor the track writhes and spits at the senses with strong ideas and better realisation. The second is a cover of a Dark Funeral song and really does nothing for the band as though well presented up against their own excellent material it is nothing special.

With Blasphemous Pestilence the band have set in motion deep intrigue and anticipation for what they will bring in the future. Dark Desolation is a band to watch out for in the future and to enjoy right now.

RingMaster 03/09/2012

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Nuclear Death Terror: Chaos Reigns

The collecting together of previously only vinyl available releases from death/crust metal band Nuclear Death Terror in the shape of Chaos Reigns is a mighty and enjoyable album all fans of the genre should investigate. Without igniting new areas and avenues, the album is the history to date of a band which has its own little distinct corner away from most. Powerful and inventive the tracks within the album leave nothing but satisfaction in their heavily churned up dust and thanks to Southern Lord get a deserved wider viewing.

Originally from Copenhagen, the Danish metalers first drew attention with their 2005 demo and following self titled album a year later. A line-up change ensued at this point to be followed by the well received releases of the Ceaseless Desolation and Total Annihilation 7” EPs of 2007 and 2009 respectively, both making up two thirds of the tracks on Chaos Reigns. 2010 saw a relocation to Melbourne with strong touring around the country as well as in Japan and SE Asia the year after. 2012 has already seen the release of the Blood Fire Chaos Death EP, its five new songs now completing the track list upon Chaos Reigns.

The album sets its listing out in reverse order with the songs from Blood Fire Chaos Death opening the release. This has a dual effect in that it makes the quality of the album diminish slightly as it goes but conversely highlights the quality of the music across the years as that fall is quite minimal considering the years and production levels the releases come from. The quartet of songs from their last EP steal the show to be fair, their presence a hardcore punk energy brought with a heavy intense death/crust breath. The opening Crisis immediately brings the senses into a riotous and sprawling soundscape of crippling rhythms and abrasive riffs. It is a contagious assault which ignites the senses with its latter enterprise and manipulative sonic fingerings, arguably the most appealing thing across all the songs and what sets the band apart from others. At times it can be quite subtle, maybe not a word expected to be used with an intensity like Nuclear Death Terror offer, as on the destructive Collapse and the fiery sonic Descent.  It certainly adds something extra though to spark the imagination within what can be without care a too similar consumption.

Along with the opener the biggest highlights come in Abyss again from the recent EP and the track Total Annihilation from the EP of the same name. The first is an infectious stomp through the ear, the growling bile spewing vocals riding an infectious and persistent grinding groove within the towering fury of energy and riffs. It has vehemence to its heart though which envelopes the ear with the slower twists and doomy heavy caresses. The second of the pair is a storming break neck thrash speared onslaught, unrelenting and hungry the track is a rabid corruptive brute which again twists its pace and intensity skilfully.

The likes of Devolve To Submission and World Enslaved hit the spot perfectly though all tracks leave nothing but good reactions and thoughts in their wake, even the more than decent if unadventurous cover of the Celtic Frost song Morbid Tales which closes the album. To be honest it is the latest four songs which steal top honours but in many ways that is how it should be, a band evolving and improving.

Will Chaos Reigns be in your best of year choices, most likely not but as a record of a great band to date, it and Nuclear Death Terror are a more than pleasing half hour spent, and often.

Ringmaster 03/09/2012

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Oiltanker: The Shadow of Greed LP/Crusades 7”

As brutal as an acid bath and as incendiary George Galloway at a Women Against Rape meeting, the re-release of The Shadow of Greed from d-beat punk band Oiltanker is an abrasion of unavoidable pleasure and senses stripping intrusion. With the Crusades 7” by its side and both originally vinyl only releases, the package is now released through Southern Lord as a limited CD, the first ever in that format from the band.   It is not for the faint hearted, its assault caustic in the extreme and unforgiving but it is also proof that the genre they violate is alive and well.

The release does not offer anything new in the direction of the genre admittedly but certainly makes for an important entrant and treat for those who missed its previous presence. It is raw and merciless, a thirty minute sonic enema for the senses and ears across sixteen songs to leave one grasping for support whilst fully satisfied. With a production to match and enhance the venomous and destructive breath of the songs, the release is a sonic bloodbath to endure and embrace.

The Hartford, Connecticut quartet riles up the senses immediately with opener Last Words and are unrelenting until the closing festering onslaught of Plague. The first song opens with a regular punk intro before exploding into a hardcore confrontation and numbing d-beat scrambling. The vocals are rasping and scraping whilst the lyrics border on indecipherable but brought with a force which tells all. The track sets the tone for the whole album and instantly warns you that if you are looking for finesse or intricate invention than move on, quickly.

The likes of Coma with its swamping intensity and fiery sonic flare up and the excellent Who’s In Control, raise the initial heat and bar which the album subsequently wavers around but never drops far below throughout.  The latter of the pair is a combative flesh stripper brought with skill and addiction seeding grooves. It is impossible not to talk of every song in regards of its strength and intense violation but beneath the squalling tempest there is some hypnotic enterprise going on to keep things fresh.

Throughout the drums and rhythms grab the attention more often than not from other elements of the songs due to the production and their impressive craft but it does not detract from the tracks, which at times is remarkable such their stature within songs. Further major highlights come with the likes of Suffer, Consume And Grow, and Ruins, though it is fair to say not one track is anything less than very satisfying. The first of the trio is a brawling face hugger bruising with every note whilst the middle one of the trio is an immediate mental sonic fisting from its opening which one never truly recovers from or wants to.

The sonic piercing to open tracks is a frequent infectious poison on latter songs with the striking Gutted and previously mentioned Ruins leaving their deep rooted scars impressively. Like a throbbing toothache they linger and overwhelm with insidious breath but only leave pleasure in their wake.

Any hardcore/d-beat fans not yet having had the pleasure of being abused by Oiltanker than this is a release not to miss, but as said it is limited so no time to linger and make a decision, just get it.

RingMaster 03/09/2012

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