Twinkle and The Sluts: Self Titled EP


    Having had the pleasure of reviewing their previous Sluttier Than Thou EP and playing well received tracks on the radio shows, it was no surprise that there was a tingle of excitement when UK punk rockers Twinkle and The Sluts recently released its self-titled successor. As the first EP, the release is a DIY treat of enterprise and attitude from the band which like the sounds inside, takes emotions back to the refreshing early days of punk.  Consisting of five stomping tracks the new release is blessed by and suffers from the same essences as their previous record and is equally as pleasing and rewarding.

Musically the band have not exactly moved forward but then with a sound which is aural contagion whilst chewing on the senses it is hardly worth mentioning. Production  like with the first EP does throw up issues from their DIY stance, making some moments feel bare and starkly raw when a little polish is needed but again back in the late seventies when this was the norm as bands broke free, we loved it. Again the collection of songs shouts out the potential of the band ahead whilst bringing a greatly satisfying riot in the now to engage in. Twinkle and The Sluts are one of the more impressive emerging rock bands in the UK, their blend of sounds which treat like a mix of X-Ray Spex, Penetration, Distillers, L7,and Juliette and The Licks, bringing them up to the side of the likes of The Bambi Killers and The Duel.

The release opens with the snappy beats and snarling bass of Renegade, its prowling predatory glancing speared by the feisty sonic381338_508381209191309_1661638130_n gazes of guitarist Alex and antagonistic vocals of Twinkle. The song never explodes into an expected fury but switches the addictive teasing with fuller bruising crescendos leading to and around the chorus. The beats of Curlz are hypnotic as they frame and drive the song whilst bassist Ash probes and snaps at the ear with simple but rich basslines, it all combining for a tasty opening to the EP. We would be lying if we denied feeling a little short changed by the production, expecting and wanting the song to bitch slap the senses at some point but being as over demanding as ever, the song still delivers big time to our satisfaction.

Drag Me To Hell follows and sets itself up as one of the best moments on the release. It is a dirty little gem of a track with a knowing swagger and Ramones like innocence which grabs the ear from its first grooved second to its last middle finger fuelled note. It is probably one of those songs which will find a different reception with different people, its repetition and corrosive cymbal smashes not for everyone but with its infectious breath and effect teased vocals makes for a compelling and pleasing encounter.

Things drop to a slow stalking with Sleaze, its rock gait and well thought out layers of instrumentation quite irresistible. Like the other songs it shows off the imagination in the songwriting and individual skills nicely giving evidence that the band has more in their locker than just punk and uncomplicated rock n roll. The track nicely sets one up to a song which was the highlight of the last EP and receives a reworking this time around. Narcissism is an exceptional song, a track which ticks all the boxes and sends limbs and passions into full frenzy. It has to be said though that the new version does not match the original which is surprising and disappointing, though it still stands as an impressive and addictive joy. It is hard to say what is missing, but there is certainly a lack of the bite and intensity which came with the Sluttier Than Thou original.

The release is completed by the excellent Russian Roulette, a song which has a Siouxsie and the Banshees meets Hole feel about it. It shuffles up pace and intensity for a thrilling incursion upon the ear with expertise and with its smart hooks and skilled melodic enticements takes top honours of the release.

The Twinkle and The Sluts EP is a great piece of combat to stand toe to toe with, of course the band wins but it is great fun succumbing to their uncompromising mischief. Hopefully someone somewhere will let them loose in a full studio without trying to quell their instinctive punk independence and attitude, then watch out.

RingMaster 30/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eryn Non Dae. : Meliora


    Meliora is the new album from French experimental metallers Eryn Non Dae. and is a tsunami of a release, a record which swamps without respite the senses with colossal waves of remarkable imagination and aggressive fury. Already the recipients of strong acclaim for previous album Hydra Lernaia, the Toulouse based quintet have raised not only their own bar with its successor but that of dark progressive and extreme metal as a whole. The previous album did not get the rewards it deserved but with the impressive evolution of their sound upon Meliora, one can only hope and suspect that the M&O Music released album will have no such issues.

Since forming in 2001,Eryn Non Dae. has created sounds which for a lack of a better description, find an alliance within avant-garde metal, not that they can truly be placed anywhere. It is a band which creates soundscapes of rich bleeding shadows and dark thirsty ambiences alongside unique progressive ingenuity in sound and thought as well as ferocious debilitating intensities and rhythms. They do not offer journeys which are easy or immediately accessible but without doubt make the rewards triumphant and wholly fulfilling. The band has built up a massive reputation for their craft and invention through stunning live shows alongside the likes of Gojira, Pelican, Jenx, The Ocean, Black Bomb A, Sleepers, Trigger the Bloodshed, and across multiple festival performances, as well as releases which began in 2005 with The Never-Ending Whirl Of Confusion EP. The EP was released under the name END and received great critical acclaim. With the signing to Metal Blade Records for their debut album Hydra Lernaïa in 2009, the band changed the name to Eryn Non Dae. to avoid confusion with other artists. Again the release was strongly received, the complexities of songwriting and craft as well as the impacting atmospheres garnering ever increasing positivity. As with the previous releases, Meliora was recorded with producer Mobo and simply leaves those earlier great creations in its wake.

The seven track release leaves no aspect of the mind and senses untouched, the seemingly never ending opening to first track eryn_non_dae-cover_webChrysalis alone a scorched sonic heralding of destructive ambience which intimidates and ignites the tentative of openness. Once at full expanse, the track is a bruising storm of intensive sonic manipulation from guitarists Franck Quintin and Yann Servanin, caged by the tremendous skills and aggression of drummer Julien Rufié. The song ripples with thought and ingenuity, perpetually rearranging and reinventing its textures and stark atmospheres to accentuate and deepen their power and intrigue whether through melodic and reserved devices or outright fury. The vocals of Mathieu B. Nogues are as impressive of the sounds, his ease at sharing corrosive growls or whispered suggestions as immense and dramatic as the towering sounds surrounding him.

Also impressive and important is the clarity to each member the production offers whilst holding tight the intense power and presence they have as a unit. For many releases this can be an issue where their aural torrents outweighs the individual elements but not upon Meliora where bassist Mickaël André, who anywhere else might have been lost in the sonic furnace, is able to bring great depth to the tracks whilst showing the inventive skills and ideas he offers.

The following tracks The Great Downfall and Scarlet Rising transports the listener to adjacent and different emotive post-apocalyptic engagements, the first dawning on a similar premise to the first song before unleashing a doom soaked thick wrap of colossal energy and towering guitar venom. The track crawls through a varied landscape to continually intrigue and infect the senses whilst its successor is a greedier rabid sonic rage. It too though is an uncompromising and twisting proposition which nothing can be taken granted over, the song like all an unpredictable glory which flows seamlessly and effortlessly despite the obvious and unrelentingly shifting technical prowess in songwriting and play at work.

Best track on the album is Ignitus, though closely rivalled by all. It is a devastating outpouring of insidious energies and spiteful creativity, a raging aural thirst which saps the breath whilst fuelling the passions with incredible imagination and enterprise. Muto and Black Obsidian Pyre stand close by its side, both a deluge of innovation and heart borne rancor bringing the mightiest of pleasure in their individually diverse ways.

Closing with the outstanding Hidden Lotus, another inspiring and astonishing encounter, Meliora is outstanding to its very core and a release impossible to compare to others. Certainly fans of bands such as Meshuggah, The Faceless, Between The Buried And Me, and The Afterimage will devour the album but extreme metal as a whole should note that in Eryn Non Dae. it has a band which will continually stretch the wide genre to impressive heights.

RingMaster 30/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Gorath: The Chronicles of Khiliasmos


All good things have to come to an end, the course of even the greatest glories finding finality and so it is with Belgian post black metallers Gorath as they depart leaving in place their sixth and final album The Chronicles of Khiliasmos. The band over the years has made a major impressive and acclaimed mark on the genre with their progressive blackened experimental explorations and the new release is no different. It arguably is not the final massive adventure one might have expected for a farewell, an explosive and dramatic statement, but as a fully enveloping funereal outpouring the album impacts firmly on thought and imagination to be ultimately rewarding.

Formed as a one man project back in the nineties by Filip Dupont, the band found a real presence with their released demos in 2003 which led to the release of debut album Elite in 2005 with Black Owl Records. The following year saw The Fourth Era appear through Descent Productions, the cosmological themed release finding strong acclaim for its Mayan based concept. It was at that point that the band became a quartet and ventured out live to over the subsequent years, share stages with the likes of Foscor, Watain, Graven, Darkspace,  Mayhem, Dark Funeral, Shining, Dark Fortress, Nazxul, Gallhammer, Primordial to name a few. Misotheism came next in 2008 to again impressive responses which grew stronger still when MXCII was released two years later. The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos follows last year’s Apokálypsis – Unveiling The Age That is not to Come and finds Dupont alongside guitarist Bart Put, bassist Raf Meukens, and drummer Bart Vanderheyden, bringing band and overall concept to a conclusion timed with the prophesised end…

The ConSouling Sounds released album is made up of three chapters, a trio of doom soaked tracks which complete a legacy which wykrojnik  (3)will impact black metal for time to come. Khiliasmos I begins with a dawning stir of guitar and seemingly random sonic pulses, the track taking its time to extend to its full height. It is a teasing presence at first toying with expectations that are waiting for the track to unleash something, Soon the scowling growls of Dupont enter to rile up the air though still the track resists offering mere fluctuations of energy within its prowling doom lit engagement, the song remaining relatively subdued and content to provoke and evoke reactions through intelligently inciting craft and imagination. It is the little incursions which invite the imagination to play within the track, the distant vocal sirenesque harmonies and insidious tones of Dupont within the exhausting repetition of riffs and intensity, distracting whilst igniting further responses to fine effect. The track possibly out stays its welcome before its ten minutes finishes with the senses, though the last couple do evolve into an acidic melodic stance which fires up the intrigue.

Khiliasmos II is a hungrier and more aggressive encounter, vocals and sounds bringing a surer thicker intensity and malice to their gait. The emerging groove brings an infectious lure to the song which within its first moments already has a stronger grip than its predecessor. The barbs of the track in hooks, grooves, and vocal additions, ensures a welcome compliance to its demands with the drums of Vanderheyden and guitar invention of Dupont and Put a magnetic pleasure. The track is easily the best on the album making a thrilling bridge between the opening and closing blankets of doom driven atmosphere. It at times makes for an uncomfortable listen as one immerses within with relish, but at the same time contrasts the vast and in comparison underwhelming pieces surrounding it perfectly.

Closing the album, Khiliasmos III is a massive soundscape of sonic clouds and vocal storms again brought with a labouring but compelling presence. At twenty minutes long, the track like the first maybe pushes its limits but does make every second of its encounter an impacting yet magnetic weight on the ear. There are small offerings of melodic respite for some alleviation from the incessant and oppressive blackened heart of the release but like the opener has its own emotive and imaginative aspects which makes it never less than provocative and like the album as a whole ultimately rewarding.

The Chronicles of Khiliasmos is a strong and satisfying release though it falls short of certainly the previous two albums from the band. It is still a worthy farewell from a band which has pushed black metal to strong levels over the years and will ensure whatever the members do next there will be an eager audience waiting.

RingMaster 30/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bingo: Ett grindslagsmål I 2 delar


    Offering 23 abrasions in just over 25 minutes, Ett grindslagsmål I 2 delar is a ferocious grindcore assault which is not for the faint hearted. Unleashing the rawest and most chaotic mass of sonic bruises the album is a debilitating collection of tracks from Swedish grindsters Bingo brought together in one lethal release. It is a festering expanse of spiteful venom, merciless aggression, and insidious invention. It does not play nice, or fair, but for fans of the genre the album is an eagerly awaited and rewarding intrusion.

Bingo is/was a band formed in 2004 consisting of bassist Ivan Hermansson (now in raw punkers Lars Adaktusson), vocalists Anders Nordberg (now with crust band Eskatologia and also Lars Adaktusson) and Gerda Berglund (now ‘screaming’ for Misantropic), drummer Anders Inga (now in hardcore band Kidnapped), and guitarist Johan Larson (now in hardcore act Spela Snabbare). The band entered the studio in 2006 for what was intended to be their debut album Mer grind än din morsa (More grind then your mother). Shortly after recording the tracks Hermansson left and was replaced by Petter Karlsson (now guitarist with Lars Adaktusson). 2008 saw the band recording the follow-up release with legendary underground producer Erik Lindbergh, and it is both recordings which get their proper release as the double grind album Ett grindslagsmål i 2 delar from Discouraged Records. The tracks have been remastered to gain a consistency across the expanse of the album but without removing the raw harshness which makes them stand out and be so effective.

The release is a caustic onslaught with extra crust tendencies which takes no prisoners sonically or lyrically, the tracks dealing with bingo-album1400x1400the likes of politics, social issues, and the greedy consumer led society man has become, or simply as the promo states it is ’the soundtrack to your job resignation, your defence speech for a meat free lifestyle, or why not a “fast” tutorial to political activism.’ The vocals are a constant squall of energy and spite which thrust forth the predominantly real life story based songs and though sung in Swedish the emotion and anger is undisguised, even if the actual content is unavailable for us of limited language skills. As mentioned the album is for true genre enthusiasts but also offers plenty one suggests, to grab the attention of extreme noise fans everywhere.

The tracks at first engagement offer a similarity across the album, the surface sound cored by a constantly sapping attack but bravery rewards and determined venture into the release in time and effort reveals a wealth of variety and invention, you just have to work for it and swim against the sonic tide. The twin male and female vocals is the first notable thing about the band, the pleasing vocal attack an excellent distinct proposition which arguably can be best described as a violent union of Iwrestledabearonce and The Agonist. Behind them the sounds are a caustic maelstrom of violence occasionally speared by destructive grooves and shards of discord caked melodies. It is a compulsive combination which many will fear and just as many will revel in.

Highlights on an album which is maybe surprisingly high on consistency for so many crippling brief furies, arrive first with the twistedly grooved En Dor Cirkus Dar Folk. The song is immediately addictive as the serpentine groove entrances the ear whilst rhythms, riffs, and vocals unleash their barbarous intent. The longer it stays around, barely a minute actually and shorter than it took to write this particular paragraph, the more searing and nasty it becomes to result in a very satisfying encounter.

The punk riot of Jag Ville Hångla Men Började Slåss steps to the fore next soon followed by the best two tracks on the release in Gröna Vågen är wiped and Valkommen. The first of the pair is a stream of intensity built to waste the senses but beneath the fire there is a persistent drone like groove which wins the day as it climaxes the song accompanied by a sampled vocal piece. It is intriguing and openly different to what came before and what follows. The second is an infectious again punk driven track which reminds of bands like the Buzzcocks, its melodic hook irresistible, though at barely a few seconds long it could not go wrong.

Further peaks come with the sensational slight folk/progressively tainted Ålidhem, the contagious metal hooked For Istället Musik – Organisering with a great bass performance, the rampaging Grind Mot Reindfelt, and closing track Cancersvulst Kan Du Va Själv. Overall though the album is a great tempest of unbridled noise and passion which will be a pleasing treat for grindcore and extreme metal fans though maybe not quite as appealing for others.

RingMaster 30/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright