Hey Colossus – Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo


    HC Front    Fusing sonic manipulation, melodic discord, and compelling noise into an inventive and startling persuasion, UK band Hey Colossus has never stood still in stretching their and our boundaries, but with new album Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo the band has created their finest hour for possibly our most rewardingly intrusive pleasure. Released via MIE, the eighth album from the London/Somerset octet has evolved their previously unrelenting and arguably sadistic sonic furnace into a sound which still offers nothing less than delicious abrasion but now takes its time to envelope, seduce, and corrode the senses.

     Whether a coincidence or the spark to the shift in intent, the band has enlisted Part Chimp guitarist/vocalist Tim Cedar into their line-up on drums, his presence igniting a new and fresh energy within the existing potency.  Opening track Hot Grave immediately sets the scene, its grazing guitar rub and shimmering sonics a rough dazzle marking the start of pulsating rhythmic enticement and rousing flames of guitar. With a heavy swagger and intensive gait to match, the track churns up the senses with a stoner groove and an exhausting repetitive slow rhythmic entrapment glazed in similarly sculpted riffing. The vocals of Tim Farthing also have a caustic sway to their presence, their individual rough aural scars a blistering inducement to the hypnotic repeating prowl of the song. The crystalline enterprise which reaps the fumes of the uncompromising heavy stance adds another incendiary breath to the encounter and induces intrigue and magnetic compulsion from thoughts and emotions.

The following Oktave Dokkter seamlessly steps into place with a carnally driven bass which recalls early Killing Joke, as does the serpentine effected vocal squalling which walks the stalking rhythmic provocation. There is also an early Birthday Party psyche enterprise to the prowling cause of the song, whilst the noir spiced shadows are teeming with seedy whispers and devious temptation. Again the repetitive mesmerism from guitar and rhythm is as infectious as it is debilitating whilst the caustic ambience pervading all is an ominous and intimidating coating to the exhausting and rigorous embrace.

The album plays like one whole journey, an overwhelming encounter split into individual and distinctly unique parts, a satanic sonic jigsaw which corrupts and thrills on every level. How To Tell Time With Jesus is the pinnacle of this, its psychedelic drizzling within a sunset of sonic heat a smouldering entrancement which ripples with acidic veins around the continuing to impress rhythmic entrapment of Cedar. As with all songs the additives open up further flourishes and imaginative flames within the ingenuity, the punk vocal squalls and dub induced shimmering distortions a glorious and scintillating pattern. The singular gaits of elements across the surface of songs often belies the depth of craft and honed thought which bloom within the hearts of the compositions but reap the reward of the invention to accentuate their own particular potency.

Leather Lake is an intense and threatening doomy scourge with darkly melodic blisters and rapacious sonics which crawls over the synapses with insidious breathe whilst the following English Flesh is a maliciously coarse attrition which overwhelms the ear with cavernous hunger and a greedy intent vocally and sonically to ignite the passions further. The heavy electro sweep guiding the song is as addictive as the compromising swing of the malevolent groove at duplicative play, and all combined makes for a systematically ravaging seduction.

After the closing Pit and Hope and its reserved ambience and psychedelia rinsed suggestive embrace, the knowledge of how impressive and powerful this album is rifles through thoughts and emotions. Though it is not exactly an easy listen throughout the album undoubtedly is a magnetising encounter which evokes and provokes the strongest reactions and passions. Hey Colossus continues to lead the way with invasive and dramatically appealing sonic alchemy in the UK with Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo probably their finest conjuration yet.



RingMaster 04/04/2013

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Nails – Abandon All Life


    There is nothing at all comfortable about the new sonic scourge from Californians Nails, in either listening to its primal rage or in its furnace borne construction, but the rewards and intrusive pleasure reaped from its caustic presence far easily outweighs any pain suffered. Brawling with ten tracks at just over seventeen minutes combined, Abandon All Life is a ravenously vicious express train of grind and hardcore soaked in a death metal malevolence, a record with a sonic dexterity which sculpts varied textures and sounds into a multi-levelled tsunami of violent passion and destructive attitude.

Recorded with Kurt Ballou of Converge, the Southern Lord released album follows up the acclaimed debut full length Unsilent Death with a similar intent but a further honed venom and craft from the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones, guitarist Saba, drummer Taylor Young (Crematourim), and bassist John Gianelli (Fell To Low). It gives no respite or mercy just drives its howling anger and pissed off breath with a revengeful malicious intensity and sonic blistering which sears the senses long before notes place their lethal hands on the ear. Strike a match whilst listening to the album and it would be no surprise to see the world go up in flames such the vitriolic fumes given offer by this exceptional raw release.

Opener In Exodus takes a mere scorch of sonics before chewing on the ear with rabid riffs and spiteful rhythmic provocation, all coming together to explode into a pungent ferocity of impassioned toxicity. There is no respite from its brief but corrosive maelstrom which transfers seamlessly into the following Tyrant. The second song snarls and brawls like the first but incites its storm bred climax with a rhythmic build up which is as infectious as it is the devious portal into the closing savagery. The drums cage and abuse the senses with villainous expertise whilst the bass offers a carnal presence which equally seduces and ravages. Their union is bestial adding the darkest shadows to the burning sonic rage of the guitars and the equally mordant vocal squalls of Jones.

There is an open diversity within the air expelling surface of the songs with God’s Cold Hands one of the keenest and most compelling examples. The outstanding track is as abrasive and sonically torrential as any song on the album but underlines it with a barbed groove which erodes the senses with an understated yet siren like potency. The track savages the senses in its jaw, thrashing them from side to side but then coats them in a sludge/doom prowl of sound to further excite and captivate before leading to a final toxic crescendo. The invention continues with Wide Open Wound, a predatory crawl of blackened sludge veined with exhausting punk spite and acerbic chugging metallic borne riffs. The song chews and growls with a hateful passion yet invigorates the fight and inspiration to stand defiant, as does the album as a whole across its biting tracks.

The following merciless title track with its barbaric rhythms and volcanic emotive fire, the sadistic and irresistible Pariah, and Cry Wolf all exhaust and vaporize the air around them, the latter of the three mutilating synapses with a ferociousness which can only be classed as sonic assassination. Their contagious violence hands over to the closing might of Suum Cuique, a track which incorporates all the qualities which came before into one lasting ruinous confrontation with a slight bedlamic nature to its satanic mastery.

Abandon All Life is an album which defies the expectations and anticipation set in place from the previous album to offer a violation beyond not only what Nails brought before but most of the efforts of their fellow sonic conspirators.



RingMaster 04/04/2013

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Serenity – War of Ages


    Austrian Symphonic Metal band Serenity go from strength to strength and with the release of their new album War of Ages have sculpted a journey of epic emotions and subtle expanses which combine for a captivating and thrilling encounter. The fourth album from the band follows the acclaimed Death & Legacy with an equal melodic might and imagination plus an invention which stirs up the senses and appetite with impressive creativity. The release draws on and explores the lives of historical figures such as Henry VIII of England, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great, casting their personalities within a riveting wind of symphonic metal veined with the pulsating and hungry fire borne of other varied metal styles, the result an exciting journey which offers plenty for all melodic metal fans.

The album features the wonderful vocal caresses of Clémentine Delauney (ex- Whyzdom); a now permanent member of the band alongside the impressive tones of Georg Neuhaser, and no apologies will be made for saying her contribution is the best thing on what is a continually enthralling and pleasing release. Also impressive about the release is the restraint placed upon the still epically sounding breath of the songs, allowing the individual imaginative use of rich vibrant flavours melodically and muscular to find a potent presence with which to strength the invention and satisfaction.

The Napalm Records released album opens with Wings Of Madness, a track that instantly seduces attention with the kiss of vocal478_SERENITY elegance of Delauney alongside wonderful guitar coaxing. As the warmth of the vocal brilliance rises, the song opens up muscular arms to explore the air with striking rhythmic sinews employed by drummer Andreas Schipflinger and bassist Fabio D’Amore plus the driving riffs from Thomas Buchberger. It is a rousing charge with keys which wrap and enhance the stomping force with a melodic wash of beauty and emotive incitement. Into its creative stride the track does not exactly offer in many ways anything remarkably new but has an invention which interprets existing essences in to something fresh and inspiring.

The heightened melodic cascades to open up the following title track ensure the senses are fully awake and glowing from the invigorating entrance of the song. It initially crawls over the ear with a teasing mischief from vocals and guitar before blooming into a flowing sea of sonic whispers and melodic mastery, again cored by a metallic spine which challenges as potently as the keys and vocals eagerly seduce. It is a song which captures limbs and emotions bringing them in league with its romping energy and gait, one which also takes a tighter grip on the passions with each welcome of its open charms.

A major highlight of the album comes with Shining Oasis, a song which soaks its compelling narrative with full Eastern promise and sultry radiance. It is a delicious weave of magnetic intensity and sonic sunlight coated in melodies which evoke imagery and emotive responses, a song which shimmers in the heat of its imaginative flames of enterprise and beauty. Its successor For Freedom’s Sake suffers a little from its immense presence, the power ballad though finely crafted lacking the fire and dramatic intensity, though it is not exactly devoid of it neither. It is a strong song though and only pales because of the rest of the quality rampant across the album.

Tracks like The Matricide and Symphony For The Quiet continue the irresistible persuasion with contagious ease, the lyrical weaves as impressive as the songwriting and its engaging realisation. The first of the two is an excellent woven attack of djent whispering aggression and giant melodic splendour which feasts on and feeds the senses as well as the heart whilst the other is a riot of classical effulgence and driven hunger which equally leaves a full satisfaction in its wake. The greatest triumph of the album though is found in the mighty joy of Legacy Of Tudors, its opening period vocal inducement the invitation into a storming aural exploit of adventure and passion. There is a familiarity to the song especially in its urgent chorus which intrigues whilst ensuring the enjoyment runs deeper, and by its end the track is a lingering best friend for the passions, and the ultimate high point of the album.

War of Ages is a symphonic album which offers much more than other like genre releases, the craft and imagination of Serenity enabling a pleasure which works on many levels. A must investigate release of all melodic metal fans.



RingMaster 04/04/2013

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