Galvano: Two Titans

Whether naming your debut album Two Titans when you are a duo announcing yourselves with your first release is just asking for trouble or a mark of confidence can be debated until the riffs fall quiet, but in the case of Swedish sludge metallers Galvano, it is pretty apt. Their album is a heavyweight behemoth of towering riffs and rich thick progressive might, a release which grabs you by the throat and feeds the juiciest choice slabs of sonic meat down the throat, and makes the title of their album look quite accurate.

Released on Devouter Records as a limited to 500 coloured vinyl double LP and download, Two Titans is an intense and formidable proposition which rewards fully whilst at times leaning towards numbing the senses. The Göteborg pair of guitarists and vocalist Mattias Nööjd and drummer Fredrik Käll unleash with the eight powerful and memorable tracks, an experience and soundscape which plays on the nerves and ignites the senses. The songs badger and bruise whilst simultaneously flaring up with tight fiery grooves and sonically grafted melodies which tease and please for the fullest satisfaction.

Opener Abysmal is a weighty onslaught of prowling rhythms and twisting enveloping grooves, a track which bewitches as it tramples over the senses with intense passion and giant energy. The vocals of Nööjd scowl with a guttural gait, his squalled growls spewing the heart of the track with formidable passion. Talking about the album the singer had said, “All these songs are personal, all the way throughout the record. They are about personal matters and demons. It’s about finding the darkest corners, the dark lord within and to show up for battle. Portrayed as two titans in constant battle: Good/Evil, Darkness/Light and so on. And sometimes wanting to embrace either side. It’s about knowing when your mind is pulling tricks and being able to stop it. It’s also celebrating our musical force as a duo.” The evidence of his words in the first song alone is open and easily backed up.

From the strong opener the album gets better and better. The following Bleeding Lamb crawls through an avalanche of tumbling rhythms and scarring riffs, its oppressive atmosphere sucking air from the lungs. Despite moments where the song verges on seemingly appearing to tip towards losing control, it is a crushing assault with a smart variation in pace and intensity to leave things perpetually intriguing. The likes of Destroyer with its lumbering doom expanse and the excellent emotive instrumental Hyperion continue to offer a diverse and compulsive turn of affairs, the first simply a mass of intensity and the second a magnetic and irresistible piece of restraint and brewing enterprise.

It can be argued that Two Titans does not offer anything outwardly new and it would be hard to disagree but with the likes of the storm of abrasion that is Ethereal Sword and Punisher with its gnawing and uncompromising intensity let alone creative incitement, the album is perpetually enthralling and heartily invigorating. It is a release which explores and stretches existing doom and sludge metal sonic palates without demanding anything beyond the limits of the genre. It makes for an energising and accomplished force of power and enjoyment, the least any album should offer.

Galvano is a band whose sound belies its compliment of two and leaves a bulging satisfaction with their impressive muscular sound and debut release.

RingMaster 08/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bestias De Asalto: Homenaje A La Violencia

Just when we had decided on our favourite industrial/electro album of the year, along comes Mexican duo Bestias De Asalto with their swarthy devilish melodies and insatiable corrosive intensity to throw every thought in the air and fry them on the way down. Their album Homenaje A La Violencia is immense, a staggering and at times terrifying venture into adrenaline driven confrontation and explosive sonic imagination. It is an album which drives at the psyche from the very start and with unrelenting energetic determination leaves only breathless exaltation remaining after its departure.

From Huajuapan de leon Oaxaca, Bestias De Asalto has created an album of ten high intensity fusions of hungry  industrial metal, electro dazzling, and unbridled venomous aggression, the result a tempest of pleasure from a storm which is as abrasive and disturbing as it is sirenesque and mesmeric. Completed by four remixes from SIN D.N.A., Larva, Angels of Suicide, and X-FUSION, on top of the original tracks, the album leaves one staggering under its presence and enterprise, ears and body resonating in aftershock whilst senses as well as thoughts are left as smouldering fully appeased wreckages.

The album begins with Matalos a Todos, a track which opens with sparkling melodies and spoken samples. It is a gentle entrance which even as the song expands shows restraint. As the serpentine vocals start to permeate the sonic elegance of the track, its intensity slowly rising, a raw and blistered breath lays heavy whispers behind the tight sonic manipulations. Instantly infectious the track sets the stall for what is to come without truly revealing the scorched and titanic magnitude to be unleashed. It is an absorbing romp which teases with its aggression, warming up and hypnotising the defences so the following Secuestro can really do its worst.

The track is staggering, a corrosive fury which saws at the senses and fuses synapses. Venom soaks every corrupted vocal expulsion and sonically rabid intrusive note as the track winds itself vigorously and roughly around its recipient. The track as most on the release, is immense, the devastating and uncompromising soundscape laid out a stunning piece of composing and structuring. The textures which gnaw away as greedily and aggressively as the actually sounds are precisely and inventively spawned, and all combined deliver a toxic experience which is compulsive and irresistible.

The heightened contagion developed over the first pair of songs is now viral and soaking the continuing excellence. The thumping almost punk tones of Mente Enferma stalk and ensnare the passions with its rampant merciless energies and insidious shadows musically and vocally, whilst Violador just sends everything into melt down. The track bitch slaps the senses with snapping snarling energy and sonic violence whilst simultaneously hypnotising them with seductive and sultry melodic wantonness. It is one of the finest examples of blending dark and light, violent hate and tender melodic charm, both though with only the intention of total domination.

Every track on the album is a masterful entrapment for the heart, each burning towers of ingenuity and malevolent imagination which blitz and command until total service is nurtured and firmly in place. Some tracks rise to reach and expand the pinnacles of those already mentioned. There is the torrent of invidious sadistic dark which is Arsenal, its melodic dissidence and primal sonic erosion devastating and addictive, whilst the song Bestias De Asalto, is an incessant and brutal delicious torment which only leads to delirium. Like being rubbed down vigorously by a sonic piece of sandpaper, the track leaves one raw and smarting and as its last note leaves with its intent deeply entrenched in the psyche, the sensation of having been violated and loving every second is the only feeling left in play.

The likes of Que Reine El Terror and the dramatic Hacia La Guerra, a brief and towering instrumental which is the link between the aforementioned track and M-60 are further heightened pleasures whilst the latter of the three is just nasty. Arguably the most violent on the album, it is a ceaseless rampage which stomps over and tears down any remaining barriers within. A sonic jack boot through the ear and a mass rally of malevolence and sonic spite it is a brilliant finale to the album.

As mentioned the release actually finishes with a quartet of remixes. All are strong and satisfying especially the X-FUSION take on M-60 but side by side against the actual sensational versions have no chance of leaving lasting impressions. Released through Engraved Ritual, Homenaje A La Violencia is a titanic release, an album which not only is one of the most impressive and rewarding albums of 2012 but over recent years.

RingMaster 08/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fathoms: Transitions EP

Like a predator which toys with its prey before consuming it with a rabid intensity, the Transitions EP from UK melodic hardcore band Fathoms, is a hungry and vindictive release. Consisting of six perpetually twisting tracks which leave one breathless and subservient to their sinewy threat, the EP is a startling introduction to the Brighton quintet. Initially almost too intimidating, the release emerges as one of the most compulsive and promising slabs of extreme metal this year from an emerging band which is honest and formidable.

Formed in late 2010, Fathoms has earned a strong following and equally forceful praise through its thunderous and inventive sounds as well as a stage presence which is intense and impressive, the band a hard working beast which has toured across the UK and shared stages with the likes of Legend, Set Your Goals, Polar, Dividing The Silence, Final Crisis, and Napoleon. In a year of many accomplished as well as adventurous debut appearances across the expanse of extreme metal, this sonic force of nature stands out. Fathoms have an imagination and sound which at first just bludgeons the senses into compliance like many others, but once sucked into its depths shows a craft and inventive drive which intrigues and thrills. The songs they unleash ooze sweat and blood, their breath raw and intent set on devastation, but beneath there is an enthralling and unmistakable enterprise from songwriting through to its realisation as a primal and inciting storm.

The release opens with chilled and ominous atmospheric whispers ending with the cocking of a gun which heralds All Roads Lead To Here. The track immediately assaults the ear with scything heavy riffs and blistering sonics before unleashing an immersive weave of manipulative technical skill and the abrasive growling venom of vocalist Max Campbell. Merging djent teasing with striking melodic burns and corrosive energy, the song spears along a shadowed and thunderous journey. Exposure to its biting unforgiving intent is thrilling and air sapping with equal effect.

It is a mighty start soon built upon by the following juggernaut, Lessons. The riffs and sonic strikes from guitarists James Munn and Dan Goddard are openly vicious and at times just hypnotic whilst drummer Lui Sarabia is as lethal and merciless as a pack of desperate wolves. Raging with like its predecessor, power and intense craft, the song is an imaginative and contagious fusion of styles and genres brought through a weave of invention unique to Fathoms. The guttural expulsions of Campbell chew on the carcass left by the furnace of sound and intensity of the music for a confrontation which is harsh and overwhelming but just as deeply irresistible and rewarding.

Wayland Avenue and November, December, both sear thoughts and flesh through unpredictable and intelligent asides alongside intoxicating titan like weaves within the intrusive surface bruising. The magnetic and malicious fullblooded outrage brought through both thrusts one within a maelstrom of deliciously inventive malevolence and ingenuity. Arguably Transition does not sit in a solitary place of magnificence as there other bands creating a similar concoction of ideas and sounds and to great effect, but as this pair alone shows, there are not many which are as fresh and impossibly enthralling.

The release is completed by Middle Ground which features Chad Ruhlig from Legend and the excellent Greater Good, the first single off the release complete with its own explosive video. The first of the pair is a ferocious engagement which leaves the senses ringing from its brutal turmoil whilst the second is a viral infection through sonic barbarism and quite sensational. Bassist Tom Axtell gives each track a rich heavy texture to fire up further passion but on this track he is at his most immense alongside the spiral of insidious guitars and rhythms.

Transitions is an outstanding start to what surely will be a towering future and presence in UK metal from Fathoms. Completely free from their official website, this is a violation you simply cannot refuse. If the likes of Parkway Drive, Misery Signals, Architects, and Miss May I hit the spot, Fathoms will obliterate it.

RingMaster 08/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright