Absence Of Heroes: Self Titled


Photo By Bennett Robinson

Released as this and last year exchanged their muscular musical presences was an EP which is as rich in enterprise and passion as it is in stirring promise from a band one can only feel we will be hearing much more of in the future. Based in Southern California, Absence Of Heroes is a rock band which places a steely and compelling grip on thoughts and attention with a release that bruises and enchants in equal measure.

Consisting of John Williams, Diego Rivera, Justin Ferguson, and Bobby Dylans, the band reaps influences from the likes of Bane, Chevelle, Pantera, Tool, Deftones, Slipknot, Terror, Godsmack, Incubus, and Alice In Chains to fire up its own imaginative encounters to intrigue and fire up the listener. The band and their engagingly crafted songs are as eager to rip flesh through sharp incisive riffs and snap bone with big punchy rhythms as they are to offer a seduction of mesmeric melodic teasing to sooth the welcomed forceful assault. There is also an attitude to the songs lyrically and emotively which makes you take notice just as much as the accomplished sounds laying the dramatic canvas for their bed.

The Moreno Valley band within moments of the fiery atmosphere of Raymond secure a rigid focus on their release, its thick textures and expressive vocals wrapped around rampaging beats and a wonderfully snarling bass provocation, immediately magnetic. A mix of alternative metal and a harsher metallic brashness the track is a fully engaging tempest of sound with moments of respite and melodic elegance within the perpetual heavyweight ambience.

The song alone sparks up plenty of lingering interest but placed alongside the other quartet of tracks combines for an immense proposition feeding the needs now and sure deep promise for the coming horizons. AOH opens with a guitar caress which is tender and welcoming and more than able to hold its warm lure as the grouchier voice of the bass and brewing energy of the song enthral form within the stance of the track. There is a lush breath to the song once into its stride which offers whispers of Placebo, Chevelle, and Tool to the potent wash of heart and expression coated emotive sounds.

The tracks Children and Tom Selik (has an awesome mustache) continue the excellent and thrilling companionship of the release, the first built from the same mould of the previous song but with its own distinct character and imagination whilst the second is a stirring incitement of thumping rhythms and rapacious riffs around a drifting breeze of mellow yet charged vocals with a hard to ignore attitude. It is an irresistible agitator of the passions and best track on the EP with its flames of guitar melodic sharpness and infectious recruitment of emotions and thoughts adding extra pleasure.

Final song on the EP is Accident Prone, another track which is adventurous and proof that the band is  unafraid of pushing the limits of their songwriting and imagination within an appealing and easy to confront sound and delivery. Consistently the bass fires up rapture for its menacing snarls but throughout the band and songs every aspect is pure persuasion through their cogent enterprise and skill.

Absence Of Heroes is a group of musicians who through their excellent release leave no room for doubts when imagining their destined success, They should be a band lying easily on the lips of recommendations as rapidly growing mass of fervour driven fans head their way .



Ringmaster 06/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Sonic Reign: Monument in Black


    Though wrung through with not predictable but arguably sounds which you would almost expect from any accomplished black metal release, Monument in Black from German metallers Sonic Reign still has a swagger and presence about it which makes it stand out for a sure and richly pleasing encounter. It is an album which from start to finish firmly holds the attention with sounds that at times do feel familiar but laced with a tasty helping of imagination and energetic invention which is hard to dismiss. The term black n roll has been bandied around recently and it is a tag which fits this album perfectly.

Released on Apostasy Records, Monument in Black follows Raw Dark Pure of 2006, an album which gained further success upon its re-release via Metal Blade Records the following year. The album had enough to mark the band as a strong emerging force but now with the release of the new album though still without doubt a very decent album pales against the strides the band has taken with their new release. Consisting of Ben Borucki (vocals, guitars) and Sebastian Schneider (drums), the Trier and Mellrichstadt based duo has created a full blooded intensive confrontation which triggers a strong satisfaction. It is again like its predecessor seemingly heavily influenced by Satyricon, not a bad thing obviously, but it does cloud their own distinct voice for the only real niggle you can place upon the band and album, their own unique breath and presence still to step fully forward though there are of numerous signs on the release that it is coming.

It has to be said though that opening track Abhorrence Vs. Scum was all it took for the album to make the fullest persuasion thatcdarc009_sonicreign_mib_300dpi it was to be a lingering and quite magnetic pleasure, the immediate sizzling groove and thumping rhythms an instant contagion from which escape was futile. The track rampages as its muscles flay the ear and riffs alongside a sonic lashing welcomingly run riot over the senses. The vocals are as abrasive as the dark hooks are irresistible and though they never really change in delivery and expression throughout song and album, they bring a fine caustic wash of malice within the generally compelling and intriguing sounds.

From the outstanding start heavier malevolent shadows crowd in with the following Clouds Above The Desert and its successor The Whisperer In The Dark. The first again carves out an incisive addictive groove to vein the consuming ravenous intensity and malice of the track, its raging and insatiable sonic greed devouring the ear with a near desperate predatory hunger. The second of the two is equally spiteful and rapacious and also gleefully teases with an addiction forming wanton groove which flicks all the right switches for exhilaration. As said there is plenty which is familiar but it is hard to deny the band their persuasion when it sounds as enthralling and delicious as it does very often on the album.

Through the likes of the excellent title track and the intense furnace of sound and energy that is A Doctrine Unreachable, a song with a riff which you could almost accuse of being Metallica spawn, the album continues to please and leave one willing to devour more. The guitar invention and style of Borucki throughout is an emotive conspirator with the passions and equally often a hard task master on the ear with his synapse slicing flair and skill igniting the tracks constantly. The consistent and inventive assault and combative aggression from Schneider too leaves one laying down strong affirmation for his open skills throughout with arguably his finest moment on the album coming in the annihilatory corruption and anthemic call of the outstanding Daily Nightmare Injected, one of the biggest highlights of the album.

Completed by another satisfying fury in Soul Flagellation, Sonic Reign has produced an album which is easy to whole heartedly recommend with just the real absence of something unique to the band the only proviso. It is hard to imagine black and extreme metal fans not finding plenty to relish within Monument in Black though and all should certainly make its acquaintance at some point.



RingMaster 06/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Anger As Art: Hubris Inc


    Snarling and rampaging like an agitated and pissed off grizzly bear, Hubris Inc the new album from thrash metallers Anger As Art, is one carnivorous confrontation which has no qualms in turning the senses into a bruised and masticated victim subsequently crushed in hungry speed metal pleasure.  Released on Old School Metal Records, the fourth album from the Californian band is a fourteen strong furnace of shotgun powered slabs of thrash metal soaked in the original heart of the genre and driven by an intimidation and muscle drawn from the metallic viciousness of today. As expected it is a torrent of anger and often sheer spite conjured into aural flames which leave the ear wholly infatuated.

Formed in 2004 by vocalist/guitarist Steve Gaines (Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Bitch, Dreams of Damnation, Pagan War Machine), Anger Of Art has stood as a formidable encounter from their very first days, their self-titled and  Callous and Furor albums of 2006 and especially their last Disfigure in 2009, earning deserved acclaim for their merciless aggression and stirring enterprise. Hubris Inc though finds the band at their finest yet as Gaines, drummer Rob Alaniz (Abbatoir, Bitch), guitarist/vocalist Daniel Oliverio (Bitch, Abattoir), and bassist Henry De La Cruz (Maniacal Genocide), ransack the senses with accomplished invention and irresistible aggression.

The title track emerges with a coarse sonic wrap which with inciting rhythms stirs up the ear and beyond whilst a melodic flame hubriscoverscorches the air above them intriguingly. It is a fiery intro to the carnage to follow, a brief welcome which without any lasting burning makes a good avenue into the insatiable energy and malevolence of Time Devours Life. Riffs tumble and weigh forcibly upon the ear with exploitive greed whilst rhythms cascade around them with malice to form a flesh scarring encounter. As is a permanent compelling feature of the album, the bass of De La Cruz is a ravenous predator which fully ignites the passions, a gnarly beast chewing and menacing the senses with a steely merciless appetite, the following Gods of Hate the perfect example. Best song on the album, the track is a devastating onslaught of riveting riffing, annihilatory rhythms, and full blooded vocals cored by that delicious almost rabid bass sound. The song leaves the listener breathless and fully captured by its anthemic and voracious presence.

It arguable whether the album is offering much which has not already been investigated over the years within thrash and extreme metal in general, but it is hard to deny that Anger As Art have involved it into a rapacious storm all of their very own which leaves plenty of recent thrash bands and releases sounding lacklustre in comparison. Tracks such as the incendiary Speed Kills which features the excellent skills of Mark Caro from Abbatoir on lead guitar and with the other members also having featured in that band stands as the last new ‘Abbatoir song’, the tempestuous and wonderfully chaotic This is why I Hate, and The Evil you Create which has Steve Nelson from Evil Dead guesting on backing vocals, inflame and feed the passions only thrash metal can spark up perfectly, a claim the whole album can be attributed with fully.

Alongside Gods of Hate equalling pinnacles on the release come with the tremendous Pearls before the Swine, a raging torrent of crippling rhythms and sonic magnetism soaked in a brutal vehemence from riffs, bass growls and bone snapping beats from Alaniz, and the outstanding Head of the Snake. The second of the two meshes a fire of classic metal and trash into a potent and devouring sonic inferno which consumes and torches the ear and beyond with relish and infectious invention.

Also featuring amongst what are all impressive skilled assertions, the album offers up Rage and Retribution, a riot featuring the additional talents of vocalist Betsy Bitch, Jim Durkin of Dark Angel on lead guitar, and Timothy Gaines from Stryper on bass. With closer Never Forgive Never Forget, they make a forceful and highly satisfying climax to an album in Hubris Inc which is sure pleasure from start to finish. If you want true undiluted thrash metal than Anger As Art are your men.



RingMaster 06/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright