Insentient – Remnants EP


The meaning of the name of Los Angeles based blackened death metallers Insentient means ‘devoid of sensation or consciousness; inanimate,’ something you certainly cannot apply to their debut EP Remnants. The six song release is a dramatic and exhausting piece of emotive enterprise and evocative intrusiveness, a heavy shadowed expanse of exploitive and scintillating provocation exploring and inspiring the psyche of its recipients with relish and skilled venom. The release and band has earned comparisons in many ways to the likes of Death, Hypocrisy, and Dissection, something which is hard to argue over but with essences of neo-classical and thrash to their imaginative ideas and craft the band stands apart from the crowd with a unique and expressive presence.

The band was formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Leslie Medina with the line-up of Medina, guitarist Kimberly Orellana, bassist William Palacios-Toledo, and drummer James Coppolino in place from the early part of last year. With a stable line-up in place the band has begun to make a stronger impressive mark which Remnants will only send deeper into the heart of melodic extreme metal.

Wrapped in the excellent artwork of UK artist Thomas Bates, who has graced releases from the likes of Bleed From Within, The REMNANTSSoulless, Siege of Amida Records, Federation, and Promethee, Remnants instantly seduces the ear with the opening of Winters End, crystalline kisses falling around a melodic temptation from the guitars courted by a bass lure. As the temperature rises and melodic blazes spark off mutual fires of intensity, the song evolves into a ravenous torrent of rapacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and voracious vocals from Medina, her guttural squalls and esurient rabid passion startling and impressively malevolent. The track evolves across a charge of sonic invention and melodic imagination which as potently captivates as the intensity devours making an immense and riveting start to the EP.

     Decrepit Minds taunts the senses next with its initial welcome sonic irritant erupting into a rampant snarl of malicious riffing and mutually violent rhythms, a black metal grace wrapped over a death metal maliciousness is once more ridden by the insidious vocals. The emerging thrash rabidity to the riffs infuses another rush of pleasure and satisfaction whilst once more exposing the diverse intent and creativity of the band.

Through both Seethe and its successor As I Wither, the experience raises its game yet again, the first a slowly prowling menace sizing up its victim with bass and guitar as enthralling as they are menacing before taking an unrelenting chew out of the senses with an avalanche of bass drum animosity and controlled vocal savagery, whilst the second is quite simply a furnace of devious imagination and deviant sonic temptation all honed into a gorging depredation.

If the listener was not already convinced the release seals the recruitment of the passions with the closing pair of Death Toll Rising and finally the title track. The penultimate track is a pit borne snarl with hunger and spite to match, again the vocals of Medina a savage contagion alongside the inventive voice and charm of the guitars that bewitches within the at times bestial rage and furiousness of drums and riffs, not forgetting the wonderfully hostile and seemingly rancor soaked basslines. The title track provides a final thrash sculpted maelstrom of passion and intensive debilitation, blisteringly completing a thoroughly engrossing and impressive debut.

Insentient and the Remnants EP make you work at times to discover its wealth of creative ingenuity, its corrosive surface overwhelming what lies beneath but the effort to explore is rewarded with even greater imagination and pleasure. This is a band we will be hearing a lot more of and with even greater successes one suspects.


RingMaster 19/06/2013

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Shadow of Myself – Self Titled EP

Shadow of Myself pic

As their debut self-titled EP shows, North Carolina rock band Shadow of Myself straddles a vast plain of rock/metal music to offer an appeal which can easily seduce the passions of melodic and hard rock fans through to southern and classic rock ones, not forgetting Bay Area type thrash hearts too. The three track release is a fiery and enterprising slice of pleasure making a near irresistible invitation to check out the band’s first album scheduled for later in the year.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Metallica, and Pantera, the Charlotte quintet has earned an impressive reputation for their sounds, with extensive national radio play, and live shows which has had them grace stages alongside a diverse expanse of national bands from Three Days Grace through to L.A Guns. With a newly revamped line-up, Shadow of Myself is poised to make 2013 the launch pad to greater recognition and success with firstly this EP and then the following album.

Produced by Jamie King, renowned for working with artists such as Between the Buried and Me, Devin Townsend, Protest the Hero, SOM_front_panel1 The Human Abstract, and KillWhitneyDead, the release sets about the ears with melodic fire through opener Supraliminal. Thumping rhythms from drummer Dustin Foley cage the senses with intense potency before the guitars of Brian Baker and John Conway shape the track further with sonic endeavour and enterprise. It is an immediately welcoming and impacting song which leaves a wealth of satisfaction in its wake as vocalist Travis Keziah brings his excellent emotive tones to bear on the narrative with diversity and great caustic squalls within his cleaner expressive delivery. Though not a song to ignite burning fires in the passions, it more than makes a rich invitation into the sound and creative songwriting of the band which the following pair of songs exploits to its deepest compelling depths.

The following Until the End makes a strong if not dramatic entrance with once more the guitar carving a sonic web to wrap within, but once the tsunami of primal ridiculously contagious beats from Foley overwhelm and ignite the senses the track explodes into a ravenous feast of thrash lined rapacious intensity and mutually hungry invention. Riffs gnaw the ear whilst the bass of Brian Riley adds delicious intimidation, or rather extra menace to what is now a pleasing brawl of a confrontation fuelled by a fine melodic persuasion. More aggressive and impacting than its predecessor, the track is an outstanding storm of inventive, evocative passion, and stylish songwriting, the best song on the EP.

The closing Your Addiction is bred from the same thrilling template as the second song but delivers it through a blaze of thrash lilted rapaciousness with a clear Metallica like growl and melodic lure to its body. Its incisive groove is an enthralling flame around the again excellent vocals and fine rhythmic seduction, and on top of the virulence infectious call of the song even in its less urgent gait, makes for another outstanding track and temptress to the impending full-length release.

It is probably fair to say that Shadow of Myself is not breaking down boundaries or offering anything new in originality but when they use existing varied essences in such a refreshing and intriguing way there is only full satisfaction and hunger for more sparked into life. Roll on the album is all that is left to say.


RingMaster 19/06/2013


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Harlot – Saviour


If you are looking for something a little fresh and promisingly explosive to your metalcore than allow us to suggest checking out the debut single from UK band Harlot. Infusing their sound with a captivating melodic weave, band and song is a richly satisfying and exciting slice of intensity. Equally as thrilling, as the song rifles the ear and senses with invention and enterprise, is that you can only feel that the band is still at the beginning of exploring its creative depths and that the quartet from Newcastle is only going to get better and more impressive in time.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist James Mclackland, guitarist Adam Lathan, bassist/vocals Daniel Johnson, and drummer Cameron Brown, Harlot has earned a strong and passionate following since forming in 2007 through their relentless and continually impressive live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Flood Of Red, Obsessive Compulsive, Tiger Please, Kobra and The Lotus, Voodoo Johnson, and Fury UK. With inspirations bred from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, Pantera, Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Protest the Hero and more in their invention,  Harlot make their the first wide declaration with Saviour, taken from their forthcoming debut EP Wolves, that they are a true emerging force in UK metalcore.

A barrage of drums opens the ear for the following eager guitar to lay down an initial fire before all combine with great intensity forSaviour Covera hunger bred rampage through the ear, this time driven by the caustic squalls of vocalist Mclackland. Into its stride now the track has a familiar groove and gait to its presence but it is a deceit as soon the great vocals, singular and group, lay down a compelling narrative across the constantly looking to evolve sounds. It is a stirring mix of melodic passion and voracious aggression, skilfully sculpted and merged in an inventive and persuasion sonic tirade. Jagged riffs and sonic lances have their moment to recruit further passion midway into the song before a drifting atmospheric and emotive breeze allows a welcome breath to be swallowed and evocative thoughts to breed, but soon band and song returns to an intensive blaze of enterprise and riveting fury.

Unpredictable, fiery, and potently imagined, Saviours is an outstanding introduction to Harlot sparking a certain hunger for the Wolves EP, due out later this summer. For a new breath to metalcore this is a band well worth taking stock of.


RingMaster 19/06/2013

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Potential Threat SF – Civilization Under Threat


When rampaging in league with the hungry sounds upon Civilization Under Threat, the new album from Bay Area thrash metallers Potential Threat SF, quite simply everything is right with the world within its primal attitude and passionate aggression. It is a ten track tempest of old school thrash which is ridiculously contagious and an incendiary confrontation that ignites the purest passions with its adventurous but set in the seeds of the genre thrilling provocation. We are not witnessing new realms or depths for thrash created by the release but undoubtedly riding prime Bay Area aggravation at its best.

Formed in 1986, Potential Threat SF has ripped up stages with the likes of Testament, Slayer, CroMags, Nuclear Assault, Death Angel and many more over the years, always leaving audiences basking in the high octane sounds and deeply satisfying passion of the band. Arguably they have never earned the strongest recognition but with Civilization Under Threat they are surely set to be pounced upon by a new expanse of eager awareness and acclaim. The Old School Metal Records released album is unapologetic in its original thrash potency brought to bear through exhausting riffs and powerful enterprise from a two prong guitar attack, heavy bludgeoning rhythms, and coarsely sculpted impressive vocals. Engineered and mastered by Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Testament, Heathen), the album is metal at its demanding yet unfussy best, a torrent of pleasure with essences of the likes of Metallica, Exodus, Vio-lence and at times Suicidal Tendencies whispering loudly within the captivating assaults.

Through the warning sirens and ‘battle’ preparations of the intro intrigue is open and soon sent into a fire of sonic tempting and PTalbumCOVERv2rhythmic badgering. First full track Destroy and Dominate slowly unveils its muscles and intensity through melodic guitar flames and cagey rhythmic beckoning from drums and bass. It is an appealing lure but soon reaching deeper into the passions as the elements all raise their urgency and provocation into a raging torrent of thrash mastery. There is a sense you already know the track, especially in its thumping choruses and greedy riffing, but that only goes to make the anthemic temptation even more potent and successful. It is an excellent start leaving the senses punch drunk, soon backed up by the next equally scintillating trio of incitement.

The Threat of Things to Come stomps over the already emerging bruising with heavy handed drums and acidic sonic teasing before tirades of thrash rapaciousness are soon allowed freedom. Like the first it is another predatory charge with the vocals of Mike Noble outstanding over the adventurous and accomplished guitars of himself and Daniel Sheridan, whilst the torrential plundering sinews of drummer Kenny Noble continue to leave a black and blue hue to the senses and the bass of Damien Sisson chews and intimidates with primal hunger. Also as its predecessor and continuing throughout the whole album, the song is unafraid to twist and divert its stance and direction through impacting and contagious unpredictability. There may be no new ground being carved up but there is nothing predictable or expectation feeding about any element of Civilization Under Threat.

Both Stick to Your Guns and In for the Kill sneer and carve their lasting imprint on the passions, the first through a dazzling web of sonic mystique and great group backing vocals alongside Noble, which is the first loud hint at that earlier Suicidal Tendencies reference, as well as a ravenous appetite from the riffing, and its successor from offering a darker voracious snarl to its attack, vocals, and again riffs which attack with pack like intensity. They complete what is a rousing and exhilarating first half of the album and alone make the release a must have for all thrash fans.

In many ways the following Edge of Insanity and Beneath the Surface is the band at its most exploratory and imaginative on the release without lessening its insatiable and unrelenting attack. The first of the pair pounds and romps through the ear with unbridled enthusiasm and aggressive persistence then adding to the temptation with sonic blazes from the guitar midway through whilst opening the door to melodic emotive evocations which flirt with thoughts. It is a surprising and pleasing aside leaving the listener in contemplation before a return to the psyche gnawing. The second of the pair lays down a weave of invention and thoughtful diversity as well, the mesh of thrash and melodic rock sure captivation and fulfilment.

With both the mesmeric sonic lancing that is Behold the End and the ferocious Written in Blood adding their voracious intentions, and the closing Rise of the Apocalypse providing a fury clad storm of debilitating rhythmic destruction and ravenous riffing for a final call to arms for the passions,  Civilization Under Threat is a dramatically satisfying triumph. It is thrash metal at its very best and invigorating and Potential Threat SF one of its very best antagonists.


RingMaster 19/06/2013

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