Psychogod: Alone


Infusing and manipulating the best essences of multiple genres, Alone the debut album from Romanian metallers Psychogod, is a strikingly mighty and formidable introduction to a band which you can only assume will become a widely acclaimed name in the future going by this impressive release. Aggressive and accomplished, the eight track album combines the sinews and invention of groove, black, and industrial metal with the abrasive muscle of hardcore and thrash to create a riveting and contagious slab of prime destruction. The fact that you get the sense the band is still evolving their sound into a truly distinct rage makes the release even more staggering and thrilling.

The band was formed in 2009 by guitarist Dank and vocalist Cristina and has since lit up stages alongside bands such as Furnaze, Infected Rain, Code Red, Deadeye Dick, Deliver The God, Vepres, and many more. With their sound evolving to bring a deep mix of styles and flavours into a rapidly impressing result the band garnered plenty of acclaim from media and fans alike and found itself playing the main stage of OST FEST 2012 with Overkill, Exodus, Dimmu Borgir and Motley Crue in 2012, before working on and unleashing their first recorded introduction to the world.

The album thunders through the ear immediately with the rampaging malevolence of Godphobia. It is a pace building avalanche of01 Front carnivorous riffs, senses exploiting rhythms, and rabid pestilence driven growls from Cristina. From predatory prowls to rampant surges of merciless intensity the track shifts and teases wonderfully leaving one breathless and excited throughout the song and for what is to follow. The immense delivery of Christine is outstanding, her voice and attack bringing the best elements of an Otep Shamaya and Krysta Cameron (Iwrestledabearonce) and more. She is sensational on the album matching and driving the equally important sounds to darker corners and deeper ravenous exploits.

From the mighty beginning the album brings its erosive qualities to bear with Against the War. From the pummelling rhythms of drummer Andrei and exhausting basslines of Dragos to the grinding riffs and melodic taunting of guitarists Dank and Mausy, the track captivates and bleeds enterprise all over the ear and beyond. It is a pleasing mix of resourceful emotive weaves and unchained intensity which maybe does not reach the heights of the opener but leaves a deeply appetising taste to devour again and again.

The pinnacles of the album are pushed again and again throughout its length, the excellent Rise just one of many massive highlights in one lofty experience. With energy churning riffs and a viciously growling bass to match the expanse of vocal insidiousness, the track is a devastating squall of noise and intensity to greedily bask within. Cristina offers serpentine squeals to lick the ear with infectious seductive treachery within the pleasingly challenging and contagious sounds, and under its assault only rich pleasure is borne.

Through the title track and the following Blind the band offers something different and intriguing again, the first a winding spire of punchy rhythms and twisted sadistic grooves whilst the second is a brutal and rapacious contention for the ear. Arguably less captivating than other tracks both songs are a fury of imagination and bruising invention which leaves only acclaim on the lips. They also continue to show the good variety within the constant brawl of sound to make each track new and enthralling.

The heavy metal fired We Are Not makes for a fiery companion with its battling breath and pressing intensity to again bring yet another spice to the release whilst the final pair of songs, Inferior and Gunshot, completes an exceptional album with more striking quality and power, the last track especially a corrosive and violent treat.

Alone is an excellent inventive fury which will thrill and intoxicate any extreme metal fan. It shows in Psychogod a band on a steep rise with imagination and power to match, which hopefully the world will soon catch on to starting here.

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Southern Badass: Born In Mud

Arno Bechet

     Hailing from Perpignan in France, Southern Badass is a band which in Born In Mud has released an album as intriguing as it is pleasing. With a core of southern/stoner rock and other added spices such as doom and heavy metal, the release is an imaginative and engaging album, it is not always as successful as it could be but is continually brewing up pleasure and positivity to its enterprising encounters.

The project of multi-instrumentalist Arno Bechet, Southern Badass brings essences of artists such as Kyuss, Down, and Corrosion Of Conformity into a healthy and inspiring brew with flavourings from others like Metallica and Black Sabbath. It is a mix which gives the album a good variety across its length as well as making individual songs unpredictable and captivating for the most.

From the instrumental At The Gates the album takes a grip on the thoughts with Wrath Temptation, a pulsating piece of sizzlingImpression stoner rock with a heavyweight presence through the excellent bass work and snapping rhythms. The guitar is a fiery creature throughout which adds extra spice to a captured imagination. As with the album as a whole, arguably there is not a lot of open originality on show but with the enjoyment given for the main it is hard to really care. The vocals of Bechet have a near perfect American drawl which belies the mother tongue of the man and just add to the authentic heated breath of the track.

From the very strong start the album shuffles things up through the dirty blues tinged furnace of Call Of New Orleans and the cruising gait of Nowhere Man. The first of the pair sparks with tight melodic flames and a raw acidic energy and continues the impressive start whilst the second is simply a rock n roll party for the road which gets the job done without firing up any extra passion its way.  Both songs, as the album too, are slow burners, tracks which reveal their persuasion over several plays rather than in one union with the ear. It is a release which needs focused attention but rewards the time given.

Further highlights come with The Witch and its grumbling bone shaking basslines, Back To Where I Want, another song where the bass growls to offer a deeper textured snarl, and Voodoo Girl. The first pair of songs are feisty riots of southern grit and towering stoner touching sludge might to agitate and provoke the senses and emotions into a strongly receptive stance whilst the latter is a smoky southern croon to soundtrack a whisky drinking session and seductive wanton encounter. All three songs leave an appetite to keep a keen eye on the project in the future whilst making many returns to the release in the now.

Closing with the outstanding pulsating instrumental Sons Of The Sun, the album is one all stoner fans should take a look at. It is not perfect, the production at times offering a cloudy surface upon a sound from a genre which already is thick with intensity, whilst there are a couple of songs and other moments where the ideas feel either forced or given too much rope. Overall though Born In Mud is a highly enjoyable release which just needs time to state its case.

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Vision: Ingrowth

Dark Visions

Greek extreme metallers Dark Vision has built a strong reputation in their homeland without truly finding a wider recognition worldwide since forming in 1996. Their new EP Ingrowth will not immediately put that right but with its impressive sounds could be the spark to start that deserved reward for the band. Released through Bluntface Records, it is a strong and compelling release built on a base of melodic death metal with blackened overtones which draws essences of classic metal and rock n roll into its stirring mix. It is not going to take you into a new unexplored venture musically but does easily satisfy any and every need required from a slab of devastation.

Starting off with a heavy/black metal sound the band released a series of demos in their first three years to strong reception. As their sound evolved their debut album came in 2000, though Full Moon Shines received its official release in 2002 through NMC Records. With line-up changes Dark Vision returned to full might in 2006 with the quartet’s self-financed Bestial Remedy EP unleashed two years later. With their live shows also drawing strong acclaim with the sharing of stages with the likes of Mayhem, Satyricon, Sodom, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh and more coming across the years, the band has set themselves as a respected presence in the Greek underground metal scene. Ingrowth shows they are ready for wider acclaim and since its vinyl release last year has drawn a good response something the digital release now should one feels accelerate.

The atmospheric instrumental Thy Flesh Thy Bones opens up the encounter, its brief but dramatic presence and startling breath 113375immediately leaving one on tenterhooks for what is to follow. King of Emptiness at first stops thoughts in their tracks as it is not of the same breath of its ‘introduction’, a different type of beast which is slightly unexpected with this release our first encounter with the band. The song soon has control of ear and senses with its stalking riffs, tight melodic weaves, and growling insidious vocals though.  It prowls and stalks with a venomous heart and intense energy throughout whilst sending spikes of sonic craft and acidic melodic spears through the ear with appealing ease. It is a strong and compelling track which satisfies without lighting up the passions fully, something its successor soon remedies.

Pain Redirected fuses classic metal grooves with punk coated aggression whilst again the vocals squall with abrasive intent and pleasing malevolence. The drums cage the senses impressively so the guitars can score them with skilled violence and intrusive rewards whilst the bass though arguably not as openly obvious as one would wish, stomps over the ear with the hunger of a ravenous beast. It is a great and contagious track which confirms already that Dark Vision is a band to be known about.

The EP gets better the further you go into its muscular depths with Garden of Nuclear Mushrooms a pinnacle. The technical prowess of the band is an ever present throughout the release but here squeals and captivates within the brawling intensity magnificently, the discordant scything a delicious piercing within the ravenous consumption of the song. It is intelligently varied in sound and pace along is sinewy length to bring a thoroughly pleasing and compelling engagement.

The EP closes with firstly the thunderous assault of Amongst Dead Butterflies and lastly the title track. The first of the pair has a snarling hunger which transforms its destructive rhythms and merciless riffing into an overwhelming intensity speared by sharp melodic enterprise whilst the closer is a scarring tempest of incessant sonic niggling and corrupting black hearted energies. Both tracks are wholly infectious and an immense end to a great release.

Dark Visions is not a band to bring you something openly new but one which creates invigorating extreme music better than plenty of other artists. Ingrowth is a recommendation you should not ignore.

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Varicella: We Belong Dead


Like being sucked into a maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, We Belong Dead the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella is an uncompromising destructive predator with a primal appetite to match its insidious aggression. It is a release which arguably takes longer than other genre releases to persuade its compelling case but emerges from focused attention as a deeply satisfying and thought inciting confrontation.

Formed in 2008 aiming to explore the roots of old school 80’s style industrial having been uninspired by the popular music and the local all synth / EBM based industrial scene at the time, Varicella due to suffering an instability in line-ups eventually took a break from being an active unit. Founder Chris Bollinger (vocals/programming) began working on songs and music for the project again in 2011 and linked up with Chris Pasquarelli (guitar) early last year, the duo taking influence from the likes of Ministry, KMFDM, and Skinny Puppy in creating metallic guitar driven industrial sonic brawls. Their first release explores distinct dark corners whilst intruding on the senses with malevolence and caustic intent; it is not always an easy listen and at times pushes its limits the wrong way but is always a compulsive and inventive listen and emotive encounter.

Released via Bluntface Records on January 26th, the EP invades the ear and consumes the senses first with Where Does Evil 113594Live, the opener a stalking presence of venomous energy and satanic bestial breath. It soaks the synapses with cold inciting aural fingers whilst its resonating heartbeat chills behind the samples and within the corrosive grip of the track. It is a lingering hypnotic piece which sets the album up perfectly, a dangerous and intimidating journey well into its malicious task.

The title track invades next with a pulsating stance and devilish mischief to its initial engagement. The vocals of Bollinger scrape the flesh as intensely as the sounds, a coarse devouring rub reminding of label mates Virus Cycle at times. It is a tsunami of energy which lumbers over its recipient with a mass of sonic depth and raptorial hunger whilst offering enough to grab limbs and heart into a darkened dance.

The excellent All Hail and The Sound Of Four unleash their thunderous growls next, the first an enveloping senses eating festering with hybrid essences of Nine Inch Nails and the second a rampaging encounter with again a primal gait to its rhythms and at times a White Zombie like infection. It is a track you can see any fallen angel using as their soundtrack and deathly dance and its expanse disturbingly mesmeric. The raw nasty vocals offers an extreme to the acidic melodic craft of the song and is destined to make the song difficult for some though with enough rewards from the well sculpted sounds and menace to be rewarding for all.

     Obsessed with FleshFuck Slave is a metallic tirade of sonic abuse and intense bruising, the guitars a scouring abrasion alongside the riveting rhythms and beats. It is the least successful track on the EP but has enough to make its vulgar presence welcome and intriguing. The same can be said of the closing song too, though Burning Inside is a furnace of continual sonic flames which incites greater attraction. Musically both songs are as impressive as elsewhere but the vocal delivery is suffering from a lack of variety at this point for personal tastes. It is not bad just the continual unpolished grate of Bollinger across the whole release arguably goes too far in making a contrast and provocation to the heated and often mesmeric yet challenging sounds.

We Belong Dead is a strong release which fans of original industrial music will find plenty of appreciation for as well as those with a need for experimentation in their genre based sounds. For a first release Varicella has set in motion anticipation for and promises of greater things in the future whilst leaving a very contented satisfaction in the now.

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright