Abiotic: Symbiosis

There is no doubt that Symbiosis, the debut album from Florida technical death metallers Abiotic, is an album which will split opinion. For those it fires the passions up within there will be an immediate reassessing of best of year lists whilst those for whom it sparks the opposite reactions there will be a just as immediate consignment to the best forgotten bin. Obviously taking a listen is the only way to decide with any band but especially with one as explosive and impressively destructive as Abiotic, but to deny them the opportunity to plead their mesmeric and malicious case would be a big mistake.

Symbiosis is glorious, an overwhelming and disorientating onslaught of skilled musicianship, breath taking intensity, and knee buckling imaginative exploits. Each song is an insidious web of enterprise and technically blinding invention, a dehabilitating fury which leaves one struck down and sprawling on the floor of a sonic abattoir. There are many bands which rip up the rule book and forge their own maelstrom of death metal malice and multi flavoured additives but very few come to mind as accomplished and simply as impressively in control of their inferno driven bedlam as Abiotic.

Formed in 2010, the Miami quintet of vocalist Ray Jimenez, guitarists Johnathan Matos and Matt Mendez, bassist Alex Vazquez, and Andres Hurtado on drums, took no time in garnering strong attention and responses through their blistering live performances and the release of two singles and the seven track EP, A Universal Plague. This soon led them to the attention of Metal Blade Records who release Symbiosis. The album is a sonic confrontation which makes the term highly abrasive seem like a gentle oil massage, but within the unbridled storm the band unleash some deliciously mesmeric and melodic elegance, though always twisted into their own excruciatingly imaginative and sensational design. It is not an easy listen but with no reservation can be acclaimed one of the most rewarding.

From the words of the band, “Lyrically, this record embraces several sociological, anthropological, and philosophical perspectives. We’re interested in themes that will enable us to explore patterns and paradigms of culture, religion, and society, among other aspects”. To be honestthat we will have to assume until the written lyrics are seen as vocally it was impossible for these well punished ears to find clarity to the deliveries, though the dual attack was immensely pleasing and invigorating. Each song is a perpetual duel within the crushing sounds between a guttural swine driven onslaught and venomous serpentine squalls, both standing upright against each other and in a unified malevolence.

From the opening building atmospheres of Metamorphilia, the opening track has all focus in its direction. It is only a brief intro and despite not being anything particularly staggering still manages to ensure that the senses are primed for the attack of the excellent Vermosapien. A rabid creation of grazing sonics, crippling rhythms, and lashing riffs, the track sears the ear as it skewers the brain with brutal incendiary expertise and invention. The guitars transform notes into spears of vicious pleasure whilst the bass of Vazquez just hypnotises with its expressive manipulations and ingenious heart. Everything on Symbiosis is of the highest skill and enjoyment but Vazquez arguably steals the overall show.

As the likes of A Universal Plague, To Burgeon and Languish, and the stunning Hegira rampage and redesign the synapses, the seductive sonic treachery is in full control, the corruption unstoppable but lustfully welcomed by the heart. Only midway through the album you are feeling like you have been mugged by a colossal aural kaleidoscope and the only thought is to ask for plenty more which the following Conquest of Gliese, The Singe, and The Graze of Locusts to name just three of the mighty violations, are only too happy to satisfy.

Symbiosis is wonderfully varied which just a surface engagement maybe disguises a little but with bravery and endeavour to crawl beneath the devastating conflagration, the striking invention and diversity is openly apparent and rewarding. If the thought of a sizing up between The Faceless and The Black Dahlia Murder is appealing then Abiotic is the band to investigate. One can only see great things ahead for this titanic band.


RingMaster 23/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Overthrow: Adjust to Darkness

Fusing an abrasive mesh of punk and metal, Norwegian band Overthrow unleash their impressive debut album Adjust to Darkness, a release which sparks plenty of positive and enthused reactions to its uncompromising and accomplished sounds. It is an album which feels heavily inspired by fellow countrymen Kvelertak but attempts to stir its own distinct journey. Whether it is successful in that is arguable but certainly it does not fail in providing a pleasing and satisfying storm of aggression and passion. There is a thrash driven aspect to the sound alongside the hardcore punk breath which opens up an invention to ensure it is an album which steps aside and to the fore of most other similarly fuelled releases.

Overthrow formed in 2007 and built a strong and keen fan base over the subsequent years. Last year they released a pair of demos in Octoskulls and Sleeplessness Awaits with both receiving impressive responses in not only their homeland but also internationally. Renowned for their adrenaline fired live performances the band have shared stages with the likes of In Flames, Clutch, Kvelertak, Cancer Bats and Valient Thorr as well as opening the main stage for Lamb of God at the Hove festival, all to great acclaim. Released through Indie Recordings, Adjust To Darkness is the next step in what one can only see as a certain wider recognition, its Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Purified in Blood, Botch, Isis) mixed sounds an easy and riotous engagement impossible to ignore.

The title track opens up the release and immediately tells you all you need to know about Overthrow, an energetic uncompromising rock n roll band with precise intent and matching skills. The track barges through the ear with muscles pulsing and sharp incisive guitar work to leave one short of breath and energised emotionally and physically. The following Come Thunder rises to and surpasses the great start with its feisty and punishing energies whilst its successor Let Them Fall simple ignites all the passions. The first of this pair twists into unexpected well crafted asides at times to lift the song further in strength whilst the second is a outstanding rock n roll riot. Thumping rhythms, flesh scorching guitar lashes, and caustic vocals rampage as eagerly and powerfully as the energy driving the track to leave one wholly enamoured and empowered.

Adjust to Darkness is an album which never takes a backward step and even if some tracks are stronger and more successful than others there is never a moment of peace or neglect of satisfaction and enjoyment. Tracks like Phantom Hearts, Woolgatherer, and Relapse snap shut like man traps around the senses with their different but equally effective razor sharp attacks. The first chews up the ear with coarse and destructive riffs and beats from bassist Tor Arne Håland and drummer Espen Kvaløy whilst the second is just a forceful bruising from the guitars of Erlend Færevåg and Ole Gaard, whose vocals are as scathing and aggressive as the hungry sounds. The latter ensnares the appetite with a more classic metal form of thrash n roll to confirm the variety within the creativity of the band effectively shown by this trio of songs alone.

Within the three the best track on the album lies in wait, ready to pounce and devour the senses. Sleeplessness Awaits is a bestial confrontation speared by anthemic group vocal charges and rhythms which cage the heart with ease. It is a towering piece of invention and inspiration to spark a near ardour like enthusiasm to it and the album overall.

Overthrow has with the release of Adjust to Darkness shown why there is a strong buzz around the band, a garnering of positivity which will accelerate as the release places its rampant touch across the globe. If bands such as Kvelertak, Cancer Bats, Municipal Waste, and Converge have you keen than this quartet is a must investigation.


RingMaster 23/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pig Destroyer: Book Burner

It has to be said that over the opening songs of Book Burner, the new grindcore corrosion from Pig Destroyer there was a slight wonder of what all the fuss was about in regard to this their forth full length release. It was not because the tracks were weak or poor, to the contrary they were as devastating and acerbic as any previous assault from the band but they just did not spark anything extra to appease the built up expectations from what had been shouted out before hearing the release. Pig Destroyer is of course a band one should never make assumptions with, even when they are directly in the ear and it was not long before the Virginian quartet had donkey punched those thoughts and fully unleashed one undeniable classic.

On a relatively quiet year for the genre, Book Burner has ignited grind and extreme metal with a fury of brutal and greedy malevolence wrapped in corrosive riffs and air extinguishing grooves. The album is arguably their best to date and easily rivals previous confrontation Phantom Limb with its possibly more concise yet equally destructive wares. Released through Relapse Records, the album thrusts nineteen tracks through the ear in thirty minutes of unbridled and uncompromising intensity fuelled by adrenaline soaked energy and uncomplicated inventive craft. It takes no prisoners and shows no mercy but what else would you expect from Pig Destroyer.

Opener Sis spits in the ear with crushing riffs and scything sonics to give an experience like being backed into a corner by a lustful bear and just as uncomfortable. The following tracks The American’s Head and The Underground Man do not hold back on the rabid intent and staggering assault either, both continuing the colossal start though as mentioned none truly spark any extended passions to what one would expect to dish out towards the band. This is not a bad thing but just made one question others unreserved praise.

Once Eve stepped forward though, things fell into place, the track itself an insatiable and intense toxic eruption of twisted meanders and senses exploiting menace. There is no respite from its intrusive sonic leers and in its mere minute plus canker, as is the usual from the band, it holds more substance and disturbed heart than most bands muster in a whole release. The maniacal grind of the melodic inflammation that is The Diplomat opens up the already forming sores with infectious ease whilst its successors, All Seeing Eye and Valleys Of The Geysers both bear mutated visions and sand blasted emotions to salt the wounds. The vocals of JR Hayes as always provide a ‘cerebral viciousness’ to match the sounds, his face to face scathing directness and provocative razor blade dissension a battering dispute which overwhelms all resistance, whilst guitarist Scott Hull and new drummer Adam Jarvis oppress and erode every atom and emotion with their merciless ferocity and creative irreverence.

Further towering highlights with Book Burner come with the brilliant Baltimore Strangler, The Bug, and the final piece of devastation to close the album, Permanent Funeral. All tracks leave one drooling in their own smouldering juices but this trio for personal tastes steer the album to further greatness. The first of the trio is a furnace of hate and intimidation cored by a delicious tight groove to beckon and seduce the senses before their demise whilst the second from its opening sample and mesmeric ambient whispers conjured with great skill by Blake Harrison, just severely stomps with unmitigated malice all over the senses, the dual vocal acidic grazing painful and fiery yet as deeply compulsive as the entwining grit laded groove. No pain no gain the saying goes and Pig Destroyer takes it to its openly fulfilling extremes.

The final song on the album is the perfect finale to complete the sanity grasping experience with relish, the persistent niggling hornet groove and bone splintering beats of Permanent Funeral as irresistible as they are deeply scarring, which sums up the album as a whole. Book Burner is easily the mighty and commanding release being declared worldwide, no arguments here, and Pig Destroyer still the band to forge grind and extreme metal a new and irrepressible presence each and every time they choose.


RingMaster 23/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright