Power Trip – Manifest Decimation

photo by Ken Penn

photo by Ken Penn

Like in those nightmares where however much you fight and try to escape you get nowhere and are stuck in front of the impending dark threat, Manifest Decimation the debut album from US metallers Power Trip is an insatiable and unrelenting predator which just keeps coming with no chance of evasion. A riff built tsunami of rapacious energy and carnivorous hunger, the album is an incessant juggernaut of force and attitude but unlike those unwanted dreams this is one consuming ravage you will want to return again and again.

Dallas-based Power Trip, create a tempest of spiteful intensity through an invigorating fusion of thrash and hardcore, their crossover maelstrom, certainly on the album, unleashed through a collection of tracks which prey and drag the senses from their perch like a pack of rabid wolves. The past five years since the release of their impressive early demo of 2008 has seen the band as hungry as their sound in gigging, with other striking releases and splits alongside.  The promo accompanying the album declared the band as ‘Channelling the old-school energy of legendary acts like Cro-Mags, Nuclear Assault and Leeway through modern thrash warfare,’ a description which tells you all you need to know about their sound though there are other references you could offer. Recorded with Arthur Rizk and Daniel Schmuck and produced, mixed, and mastered by Rizk, the Southern Lord released Manifest Decimation is eight tracks of muscular mayhem honed into a tornado of passion and aggression all thrash and hardcore/punk fans will devour greedily.

Opening with the title track, Manifest Decimation initially breeds an emerging ambience which scrubs and ignites the ear before pt-e1365797198596swooping from within its sonic midst with massive boned rhythms from drummer Chris Ulsh and equally heavily weighted slow to explode riffs from guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart stalked step by step by the intimidating bass sound of Chris Whetzel. With a demon borne spiteful cry from vocalist Riley Gale the track settles into a rabid and intense attack, energy searing the air and riffs echoing and stalking within the drum assault like cavern bone vultures. Across its destructive confrontation though there are flames combining sonic heat and melodic acid for compelling inventive shards but ultimately the implacable growl of riffs steers song and passions.

Both the following Heretic’s Fork and Conditioned To Death continue and elevate the rabid onslaught, the first with thrash intent and immovable riffs eroding the ear and beyond to again uncompromising incessancy and the second bleeding in from its predecessor through an initially steady gnaw upon its victim before firing up another furnace of thrash and hardcore voracity. In many ways to this point and through to the end the album, it is like one continuous unquenchable piece of savagery, everything flowing in their distinct ways into the next greedy bite of the listener whilst holding an umbrella of uniformal ceaseless riff driven malevolence. This means at times a little work is required to spot the unique aspects of each song but a willing effort such the might of sound and release.

As Murderer’s Row with its growl throated bass intro opens the gate for another senses plundering from riffs and rhythms, realisation dawns that the hollow trait of sound and production is to stay for every song. It provides a resonance and cavernous voice to the record which did take a while to decide upon and for personal tastes is the only thing the album maybe falls down on. To be honest there is nothing wrong with it but it does detract and remove some of the potent malnourished greed which all bestial and voracious metal needs. It does not stop this, and other tracks from nevertheless rioting until full energy is spent in submitting to their impressive demands.

The excellent Crossbreaker and Drown continue the mulish chug fest whilst final songs Power Trip, another exciting and invigorating thrash brawling, and the outstanding The Hammer of Doubt leave a legacy of need to indulge in the violence once again. The closing track, and arguably best on the album though all make a strong claim, is the most animalistic antagonistic fury on the release, its unslakable ravaging of the senses heightened to an intensity and corrosive energy which sucks air from the lungs.

Wrapped in the excellent art of Italian artist Paolo “Madman” Girardi, Manifest Decimation feeds all expectations and hopes placed before it with passion and craft making Power Trip a band set to bring an impacting mark on metal if maybe not with this release but a future one.

https://www.facebook.com/powertripTX

8/10

RingMaster 10/06/2013

 

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Reaper In Sicily – Islands

Reaper In Sicily Online Promo Shot

Listening to the debut album from Reaper In Sicily who cannot help wondering and going as far to suggest that the band has all the ability and creative strength to become Britain’s alternative to Billy Talent. Apart from strong whispers of the Canadians in sound across a lot of Islands, the quintet also has the same skill and invention in landing a mighty punch with their sound whilst seducing with melodic imagination and inciting the passions with anthemic crafted vocals and hooks. The ten track album is excellent, exceeding the promise earlier single Horizons suggested and setting the Aberdare band as one of the most exciting and promising emerging rock bands.

Reaper in Sicily began in 2009 and with a sound which has been compared to the likes of The Blackout and Rise Against and a potent and lively live show, soon became the winners of the unsigned live act in Kerrang! Magazine. Their debut single We Are The Show garnered strong responses and widespread play on TV and radio across the UK but then in 2010 guitarist Matthew Jenkins diagnosed with leukaemia taking the band on hiatus until he was able to return, which thankfully he did later the same year. Two EPs swiftly followed to continue the rise of the band as well as successful appearances at both the Reading and Leeds festivals and supporting and playing alongside the likes of Kids In Glass Houses, The Subways, Max Raptor, Attack! Attack!, Mallory Knox, Hawthorne Heights, Fightstar, The Xcerts, Straight Lines, I Spy Strangers, Evarosa, Hildamay and many more. Islands was recorded in the closing weeks of 2012 with Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses) and as mentioned the release of Horizons set up a urgent anticipation for its debut though even that hunger we would suggest did not expect such an impressive encounter.

The Prisoner sets things ablaze with dawning caresses of guitar before shrugging off any restraint to open up sinews and melodic Reaper In Sicily Album Cover Artworkpersuasion framed and veined by the firm hand of drummer Damon Miles’ beats and the rumbling tones of the bass of Mike Evans. With energy flowing freely and attention fully captured the guitars of Jenkins and Jonny Chappell carve a distinct and captivating character to the song whilst the excellent expressive tones of vocalist Rhys Bernardo drive the ride with slight squalls within his enticing delivery. The song is an immediate draw which without lighting the same depth of fire as following songs, sets the listener up to eagerly embrace what is to come.

The following 50 raises the bar again with muscular riffs and strongly beckoning grooves casting their temptation over senses and passions. The tight craft and melodic enterprise reminds of bands such as The Blackout and even Avenged Sevenfold whilst the punk snarl edges things with hardcore confrontation. Once it makes way for Down But Not Out it finds itself outplayed whilst the album continues to get better and better. The third song builds on the base of its predecessor to expel even stronger scowling venom and caustic winds within ridiculously infectious enterprise and sounds. Into its stride the track takes its recipient on a riotous dance with moments of bruising attitude and exhausting passion which again cements and accelerates the growing presence and promise.

The single Horizon still impresses as it did on its unveiling, thumping rhythms alongside the thick tones of the bass wrapped in fiery guitar washes thrilling whilst Bernardo lights another emotive heat to engage and entice things further, whilst the likes of Old Dogs and the title track romp and emotively stroll respectively to weave continuing creative textures and calls before thought and heart. It has to be said that there is a similarity to the surface sound of many of the songs but with the invention beneath and accomplished polish of its shine it is not an issue and will evolve out ahead as the band mature.

The tail of the album is its most impressive as Islands continues to get even stronger song by song. Sunnydale Sucks encloses the ear with addict forming riffs and a varied bluster of vocals, coarse and melodic, which enslave the imagination whilst the guitars bound it all in sonic teasing to set richer flames in their fire. Then Boys Will Be Boys comes in to steal top honours with its furnace of passionate vocals, virulent melodic contagion, and energetic imagination, every second a bouncing and incendiary companion uniting for a fervour crafted triumph.  Those Billy Talent references are at their most inviting at this point of the album with both The Catalina Wine Mixer and the closing Chuck Norris Got A Chainsaw making their thrilling interpretations. Both songs leave a breathless appetite rife which immediately snatches at the play button to enjoy the outstanding album all over again at their completion.

Islands should and will be a trigger to an unbridled new sea of attention and acclaim for Reaper In Sicily and it will be all deserved we can assure you. Check out the album and remove any doubts the very best way.

www.facebook.com/reaperinsicily

8.5/10

RingMaster 10/06/2013

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Minimum – Smash Routine

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Taken from their earlier four track EP, Smash Routine is the first single and for many introduction to UK band Minimum. The song is a fiery and engaging mix of alternative rock and electro with bulging rampaging riffs flying alongside flames of electronica seeded melodic heat which easily captures the imagination and raises the appetite to find out and hear more from the band, especially the earlier release which spawns the track.

Consisting of Jak Stephens (vocals/guitar/electronics), Andy Cheadle (bass/vocals), and Philip Broadhead (drums), the Birmingham band formed in 2010 with its members already friends for a few years after meeting in college. Bringing varied individual inspirations such as the likes of Deftones, Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys and many more, the trio has earned an impressive reputation for their live performances, events which are consistently labelled as manic. Their EP released at the end of last year certainly sparked interest if still being missed by a great many but you cannot avoid the feeling that once Smash Routine clashes with and ignites the ears of the country their ‘secrecy’ will soon be lost.

A sparkling shower of electro dazzle falls from the skies of the song to welcome in the listener before the guitars trail their classy a1716504157_2flames across the expanse and warm vocals backed by small but inviting harmonies wrap their temptation around the ear. It is a pleasing and irresistible start soon cemented and strengthened by the darker tone brought to the guitar and prowling shadow lurking bass lure. The vocals of Stephens equally unleash a depth of snarl which catches and wakes the senses from the initial mesmeric glaze to mark an evolved muscular confrontation seamlessly emerging. With the bass of Cheadle groaning with resonating enticement and the riffs making way for a scorching ambience whilst the rhythms of Broadhead add additional punch to their mighty swipes, it is an impressive and unexpected aside which soon sweeps and guides the listener back into the riotous and magnetic arms of the chorus and the infectious melodic weaves.

Like a mix of Mind Museum, Muse, and My Preserver, Smash Routine is an excellent single which makes Minimum easily stand out within UK electro rock. It is hard not to imagine the band moving on to stake a strong stance and reputation across the future especially if their forthcoming ideas and invention takes seed from the sounds and structure built by Smash Routine.

http://weareminimum.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Minimumonline

8/10

RingMaster 10/06/2013

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

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