KLANK: Urban Warfare

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    With a new release waiting on every click of a button each and every day, it is easy for some impressive music to slip by the attention of far too many unsuspecting ears. Urban Warfare from US metallers KLANK is one prime example, a mighty incendiary album which has yet to surface on the radar of a great many though it was unleashed last year. Consisting of fourteen slabs of irresistible industrial metal veined by magnetic electronic lures and even more seductive delicious grooves, the release stops you dead in your tracks and recruits the passions in a brawling riot of enterprise and intensive energy.

Since forming in 1995, the band has earned a rich position within the metal underground constantly breaking into wider recognition and acclaim through their immense live performances and vigorously compelling releases. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Daren KLANK Diolosa (ex-Circle Of Dust), guitarist Danny Owsley, bassist Charlie Parker, drummer Eric Wilkins, and Pat Servedio on guitar, keys, programming and production, KLANK first smacked music in the face with debut album Still Suffering via Tooth & Nail Records in 1997. It brought muscular groove metal, industrial, and dance music together with a vengeance and brought plenty of intrigued and enthused ears their way as well as strong radio play. Its successor Numb two years later elevated the band further especially with its immense and successful single Blind, and its re-issue the following year only added to the brewing rise of the band. KLANK also made plenty of compilation appearances over this period but arguably their real dawn of recognition came through the In Memory Of… EP in 2007 and the fifteen track release Numb…Reborn three years later which included guest appearances by Jim Chaffin, Larry Farkas and Mike Phillips. Urban Warfare though is the band at its finest moment yet and the album to place them in the higher echelons of grooved/industrial metal.

The best way to describe the album is a fusion of the previously mentioned musical spicery in a richer and more potent flavour.Urban Warfare Cover Imagine an aggressive offspring of Pitchshifter and Pitbull Daycare incited to further devilment by Dope and Powerman 5000 and you get wind of the tremendous energy and invention going on. Opening on the intro A Call To Arms with its infectious beckoning and full incitement the album takes no time in offering the fullest persuasion with Unamused. Its initial caress is an electronic sway which is soon ruptured by towering riffs and thumping rhythms whilst still delivering its own warm dazzle. Into its stride the track rampages with real hunger from the bass and guitar riffs to consume the senses whilst the drums of Wilkins prey on the ear like a middleweight boxer. The vocals of Diolosa are a stirring blend of clean with enough growl to intimidate which match the stance of the song, its combative gait entwined with the melodic heat of the keys.

The title track has a Toxic Grind Machine feel to its darker shadowed intensity and malice whilst still unleashing a contagious melodic inducement to bring feet and passions to energetic life. Its sturdiness and suggested violence makes a great contrast and variation to its predecessor and the following Bigger Man, though neither of these songs lacks feistiness or a burning passion to bruise. Bigger Man is a tempest of tumultuous riffs and rhythms tempered by a virally contagious chorus and the mesmeric sultry dance of the keys. Certainly one of the biggest highlights in an album which is one big pinnacle, the song is the final piece of suasion to ignite a real ardour for the release.

Songs like the squalling and impressively abrasive Alive in Me, the quarrelsome Built to Survive with its wonderful avalanche of explosive rhythms and prowling riffs within an equally intensive and raptorial atmosphere, and the excellent Stomp You Out, continue to drive the album deeper into the heart with accomplished invention and even headier passion. The third of the trio is another disputatious encounter with a thicker industrial metal oppression and heat playing like a mix of The Browning and Ghost In The Static.

As further tracks such as the less intense but greedily imposing Blow It All Away and the malevolent Disdain with its outstanding primal predatory caustic breath work on the passions, Urban Warfare stands without any notable flaws or deficencies…that is until the final pair of songs. Now to put this into context if Eraser and Something About You was on another release they would earn strong applause for their straight forward metal and raw ‘live’ state, they certainly stand as strong songs but against what has come before they feel out of place in time and situation, simply they are pale against the rest of the album.

Despite that minor niggle, Urban Warfare is outstanding, an album all metal fans should take time to immerse themselves within. KLANK stand on the edge of the widest recognition and deserve every ounce they get.

http://KlankNation.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

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Full Story At Midnight: No Rest For The Rotten

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   Reaching out from beneath the damp heavy earth of Tucson, Arizona graveyards, horror rock band Full Story At Midnight is poised to stalk every living nightmare with their debut album No Rest For The Rotten. Eight tracks of sonic evil and blood-letting menace, the album brews up a potent potion of horror rock, punk and psychobilly which is as heavy as the night and as intimidating as shadows.

The band began in 2004 as a solo project of vocalist/guitarist Elvis Aron Deadly under the name The Sacred Profane. Going through a few names the band eventually stepped forth as Full Story At Midnight with Deadly having recruited some equally creative ghouls alongside him. 2007 saw the band as The Sacred Profane appear on the Halloween Compilation from Fear The Dead Records and release the successful Alone In The Dark EP. Then and since Full Story At Midnight has appeared alongside the likes of Michale Graves, The Koffin Kats, Mercy Kill, Mommy Sez No, The Independents, Calabrese, The Returners, Wednesday 13, and Demented Are Go with a fine live reputation in tow which their well-received Drive In Horror Show EP built further upon with equally impressive responses.

Their debut album is an explosive riot of sound with a raw live feel which makes it coarse but fully engaging and organic, the passionfsamcolor and energy of their richly flavoured horror rock a coarse and incendiary gnaw on the senses. The release opens with Lawnmower Limb Thrower, its initial electric feed sizzles in the air before concussive rhythms and snarling riffs rip up the chilled ambience. It is immediately into a rampant stride with an insistent intensity covered by the excellent vocals of Deadly, his Jerry Only like tones a seductive lure against the rasping shouts and caustic squalls behind him. The song is a vibrant mix of Misfits and Blitzkid with a scowl which is pure punk.

The crawling heavy malevolence of Boogieman Like Me spreads its vindictive charms next with thumping rhythms and ravenous riffs chewing up the ear whilst the sonic persuasion of the guitar flames against the tumultuous energy. Unleashing its bruising might the early-AFI spice of the song sparks against the muscular punk fire of the song and continues the strong start to the album with ease.

A smoother melodic breath smoulders within next up Everything But A Tomorrow, the song offering warm melodies and harmonies within a heated sonic embrace framed by sturdy sinews of rhythmic fervor. It has to be said though that the production on the release is a mixed bag. On one hand it gives the great unpolished element of the album as on this song a strong platform to bring the live power of the band to the release but against that it does deny a clearer clarity which the excellent tracks deserve. Despite this tracks like Total Hate with its carnivorous riffing and seductive vocal croon and Hideous Infant with its gnawing guitar grazing and bass prowl, stand as absorbing and challenging encounters which only satisfy.

Before departing the death drenched release brings further mental violations through the rapacious Making A Monster, its startling insatiable sonic bloodlust a furnace of The Ramones. The Meteors, and Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, and the fiery Puzzle Box, a song rippling with rockabilly passion and hardcore energy. Both songs again bring diversity to the album to keep the listener fully attentive and pleasured.

Ending with a final charge of unbridled energy and eager psychobilly/horror rock in the raucous Trick Or Trick, the album completes a fully pleasing and exciting confrontation. No Rest For The Rotten is an album to re-animate any dormant rock n roll hearts and invigorate the living dead, and suggests that if you give Full Story At Midnight the studio and tools to fully bring out their undeniable invention and craft then the living best start running.

http://www.facebook.com/FullStoryAtMidnight

7/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hellspawn: The Great Red Dragon

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    Uncompromising and ravenously destructive, The Great Red Dragon from Polish death metallers Hellspawn takes no prisoners sonically or in intent. It is an album which ravages the senses with impressively accomplished craft and merciless corrosive energy to leave one exhausted and reeling under its weight of sound. It is also admittedly a release which seemingly refuses to take adventurous avenues within the genre or break down existing ideas into something truly distinct, yet from start to finish it leaves one wholly satisfied and unreserved in wanting to stand before its confrontation time and time again.

Hailing from Wieluń, Hellspawn formed in 2003 and by 2005 with a settled line-up had their first record, Demo 2005 released via Chilean label Infernal Overkil and Nihilistic Holocaust in France, the second as part of a split release. 2010 saw debut album Child of Hell released through Exploratory Drilling Productions to strong responses, reactions which have been surpassed by The Great Red Dragon upon its unleashing via Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho last year. An album apparently heavily influenced by the work of William Blake, it is a release which though having been released last year deserves to be in the awareness of all extreme metal fans. As mentioned it does not offer anything new but the release is undoubtedly a thunderous engagement with sounds derived from the likes of Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Behemoth, and Marduk and one which leaves no one bored.

The album demands attention immediately with the initial thumping rhythms of The First Banner In The Fields Of Devil and its9696_327937233949105_1666372934_n caustic guitar scraping of the ear. It soon collects all its elements for an explosive torrent of crippling rhythms from drummer Robert Kolman and tight cutting riffs from guitarists Marcin Garyga and Daniel Drosiński, whilst bassist and vocalist Mariusz Konieczny unveils the deepest shadows with his intimidating lines and heavy vocal squalls. The track evolves into a maelstrom of sonic guitar mastery and hungry intensity rhythmically and vocally, the heavy growls of Konieczny malice drenched.

The following Word Becomes Flesh continues the formidable start with its own primal violation and sonic torrent of aggression. Like the first, the song ripples with ideas which though not exactly new keep the song fresh and intriguing whilst in its overwhelming company. It has to be said even at this point that once a song departs it is not that easy to remember anything in particular about them when looking back, and that also applies to the album as a whole, but within their tumultuous battle they do not let anyone or any appetite down.

The likes of Hellspawn, Diabolic, and the title track blast the senses and thoughts with more unrelenting malevolence and undeniably skilled enterprise, the last of the three a particularly carnal ravishment which sears the flesh with its acidic grooves  and callous riffing not to mention barbaric rhythms.

It has to be said the second half of the album is its best started by Intro To The Revelation, the gate way into the most creative heart of the release. The shimmering instrumental makes way for the highest point of the album, Revelation Of The Great Red Dragon. It is a colossal compassionless scourge with viral grooves, captivating sonic imagination, and pillaging violence, and the one song which does linger and prompt memories after its despoiling of the senses, though it is equally matched by The Dice Are Cast, another herculean ravage upon the person and psyche. Both tracks show how good the band are and could be with a richer uniqueness to their presence which conversely does leave the rest of the album looking less impressive in some ways.

The album makes sure every song is at least within its companionship something which leaves scars of spite and pleasure, the final tracks The Greatest King Among Demon and An Obelisk Of The World no weak exceptions. Both drive to infiltrate further within the listener if not with invention than with sonic violence as presented by some great guitar solos and piercing fire branded notes. The Great Red Dragon is without doubt a brief, at less than thirty minutes in length, but great album, and if you are looking for a release extremely well done but prowling familiar extreme metal territories then this is one not to be missed.

http://www.facebook.com/Hellspawn.Metal

7.5/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hell United: Aura Damage

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    Formed in 1997, Polish blackened death metallers Hell United has emerged as one of the best bands within their country and region. They have not matched the heights of Behemoth, Vader, or Decapitated yet, bands who they in sound have much in common with, but have certainly earned the reputation as one of the more impressive aural creators of blasphemy and violence. Their latest album Aura Damage will not change the position of the but with its demanding sounds and violating invention concretes their place as to the fore of Polish underground extreme metal.

Initially called Eclypse, the Tarnów quartet recorded an unreleased album The Human Abstract in 1999, though two tracks emerged re-recorded in their first demo Omen the following year. 2004 saw their debut album Applause: JHVH Elohim Met released leading to an intensive schedule of live shows and line-up problems. From this the re-named Hell United emerged with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Void, bassist Bartollo, guitarist Rzulty, and drummer Dügy, and in 2007 the demo Extra-Strength Of The Obscure followed a year later by the album HornoKracy. The next two years saw the band  playing the United Death Armageddon tour, in 2008 and 2009, alongside the likes of MasseMord, Blaze Of Perdition, and Mord’A’Stigmata. A two version mini album came out in 2011, as The Third Sigil of Destruction in cassette form and as Abhorrence Majesty on vinyl whilst last year held the recording of Aura Damage after the band played shows with Ulcerate, Furia, and Intestinal. Now released via Hellthrasher Productions the album maintains the band as one which it is impossible not to spend time with.

It has to be said that the album does not ignite a furnace of passions for its undoubtedly accomplished and inventive sounds due to a398956_385472591504310_1090755155_n lack of anything startlingly new or different to other imaginative bands and releases, yet whilst in its venomous company Aura Damage leaves no room for distractions or a yearning to go elsewhere. Hell United is a skilled and provocative band in sound and invention, and one to which destructive violence and insidious violation is second nature. From the opener Red Limitations, a track which leaves the listener cowering under its towering riffs and rhythmic violence, the band piles on the oppressive intensity and corrosive malevolence. It is savage and unrelenting with a mission to snap wills and consume senses, something it does with little resistance.

The excellent Apostle Of Plague takes over the assault next, the torrential raining down of ravenous rhythms and twisted intrusive sonics alongside the grasping scowling vocals, riveting within its tempest. Throughout the bass prowls and snarls with a predatory hunger which is sensational and one of the most thrilling aspects of the whole release.

Deathlike Cold with its creeping malignancy which wraps itself around the ear with a serpentine relish offers an immediate diversity though the track soon explodes into another carnally driven ravishment of ear and beyond, whilst tracks like Let Sleeping Dogs Lie and the title track engage no thought of no restraint and savage the listener from first note to last whilst offering an evolving expanse of sonic grooves and blood spilling aural hate. Arguably the album is most adventurous and intriguing within its later tracks such as the doom gaited Hinterland and more specifically the furnace of intensity that is In Odore Sanctitatis and the closer Totality Of I, the first of the pair a rabid leap into the abyss of energy and intent lit by masterful sonic flames and the second another heavy mass of slowly ravishing doom soaked consumption.

Aura Damage is technically outstanding but one which just lacks a spark to ignite strong passion for the admittedly impressively crafted sounds and songs. Hell United is a band nevertheless which ensures its company is well worth the violence on offer.

http://www.hellunited.com

http://www.facebook.com/hellunited

6.5/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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