Final Trigger: Skrap Metal Vol II

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Imagine the attitude of Hed (PE) merged with the funk devilry of Infectious Grooves and the rap metal aggression of Motown Rage fused into the swagger of The Union Underground, then those essences instilled into a vat of punk rage. What emerges from the toxic fumes of that volatile alchemy is an unpredictable and riotously contagious force, or to give it a name, Final Trigger. Formed in 2006 and hailing from Toronto, the band maybe is not a name yet instantly recognisable but with the release of the excellent Skrap Metal Vol II you can only suspect wider recognition is just around the corner.

The new release follows Skrap Metal of 2009, both coming through Boonsdale Records. The debut received strong acclaim with its single Start A Moshpit gaining particular attention across Canada and the US. Following years has seen the band play alongside the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, Marilyn Manson, Dillinger Escape Plan, Protest The Hero, Baptized In Blood, Hail The Villain, Threat Signal, Slaves On Dope, Agent Orange, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Boondox and many more,  as well as them supporting Mushroomhead on a tour across the States. Now with the release of the David Bottrill (Tool/Mudvayne/Stone Sour/Godsmack) mixed Skrap Metal Volume II, the quartet of J-Roc (vocals/guitar), Fazio (bass/vocals), JJ Tartaglia (drums), and Profit G (DJ/vocals/keys) may just be looking at a new world hunger for their distinct and insatiable musical devilry.

The seven track release attaches itself to the senses firstly through the single Face It. Guitars entwine their fiery sonic tendrils Skrap Metal Vol II Album Cover 1600x1600around the ear initially, tempting the passions to take a look before the tumbling heavy muscled rhythms make their play for the affections. In reality as the sounds rubs eagerly over the senses and the vocals begin their tempting squalls it is the whole combination which provides the irresistible hook, the barbs of which become impossible to refuse once the grooves twist and writhe insidiously and the vocals and sound take on a Suicidal Tendencies like punk beckoning. With a deep bark to the chorus and Five Finger Death Punch like rabidity to the riffs adding to the persistently shifting stance, the song is a dynamic and explosive introduction and platform for the album to spring from, which it does in varying degrees.

Through The Darkness and Knock Somebody Out follow up with their own distinct personalities, the first a metal forged encounter which sonically claws at the ear whilst the range of vocals, growling and rapping take their bite at the senses with equal belligerence. It is a relatively straightforward track which without the continual and wealthy mix of flavours employed in its predecessor pales in comparison if still a song which energises the appetite. Its successor similarly sticks to the muscular metallic intent of the band but digs deeper to expel some tight flavoursome grooves and find an intensive confrontation which would feel at home in any American Head Charge or Static X fury.

Things leap back to the opening heights with next up Just A Freak, a track which stomps through the ear with the delicious salacious devilment of Hed (PE) and the charged schizophrenic energy of early Mudvayne. Prowling and leaping around with a thrilling mix of hip hop, metal, and tantalising anthemic urgency, the song is a virulently contagious call to primal needs and energy expelling participation, which like the first track leaves the listener breathless and hungry for much more, especially for the dramatic and potent drums and scurrying weave of incendiary riffs.

Time I’ve Wasted opens with an evocative melodic persuasion which is almost Breed 77 like before fusing in samples and dub lilted invention before the brewing storm. Into its stride the tempest is again unpredictable, an undulating intensity and energy in league with a constantly evolving vocal display. Eventually though the senses flattening might of the track wins through even though the rampant and fluid mix is still allowed to shape the direction of the excellent track. It is a song which dangerously veers towards the edge of chaos and disaster but the band managed to ride the rougher less impressive moments to create another convincing treat.

The Kottonmouth Kings sounding Everyday with its mesmeric mystique and the predatory T.H.C. impressively complete the release, both outstanding and diverse offerings with the second especially throwing the senses and passions around with the rapaciousness of a hurricane. Skrap Metal Vol II is a great release which installs Final Trigger as one of our regular playlist newcomers, something the band will achieve with a great many we suspect.

www.Facebook.com/FinalTriggerMusic

8.75/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

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Besieged – Victims Beyond All Help

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Originally a self-release limited to 300 copies in 2010, Victims Beyond All Help the debut album from Canadian thrashers Besieged is getting its worldwide unleashing via Unspeakable Axe Records, the new sub-label of Dark Descent Records. After allowing the seven track tsunami of rapacious riffs and flavoursome aggression to rampage relentlessly over the senses it has to be said about time too. The album is a terrific release, a hungry ravaging of the ear which leaves you exhausted but fully immersed in satisfaction. With a more than open tint of death metal to its rapacious creative appetite, the album is prime thrash metal with plenty of further added  spicery and though it maybe does not leave as many lingering memories as you would wish, it is a towering fury of merciless and richly rewarding provocation.

Hailing from Winnipeg, Besieged first released the Visions of Pain demo in 2004 to good responses with the first appearance of Victims Beyond All Help equally commanding. Across the years the thrashers built a strong and fevered fan base in their home town and beyond, especially sourcing eager passions with their stage performances which has seen them share stages with the likes of Death Angel, Dayglo Abortions, Razor, Dying Fetus, Toxic Holocaust, Inepsy, Anonymus, Hellacaust and many more. Wrapped in its original old school artwork painted by the legendary Ed Repk, the re-issued album is set to deservedly take the band to ears far beyond their continent and even saying so amidst the suggestions elsewhere that the band is no longer with us, hopefully it will be a trigger to more and greater things from the band.

From its first breath opener Internal Suffering flies for the throat, drums crippling and caging any thoughts of evasive manoeuvres whilst riffs flail the ear in a torrent of finely crafted sonic lashings. As the vocals offer their own intensive provocation the track is a bruising insatiable predator which without veering from its prime directive employs enough psychotic grooves and sonically honed temptation to secure the strongest attention. This is not the breaking down of barriers or moving into new realms for thrash or metal but simply the enslaving of greedy expectations with refreshing and undiluted passion bred aggression.

Both the following Death and Buried Alive continue in the same ferocious vein, though each with a little concentration has their individual intent and volatile characters. The first is a raw tempest of caustic energy and provocation, a track which is unrefined vocally and melodically charged at its guitar crafted heart and a blistering adrenaline fuelled corrosive scrubbing of the senses. Its successor takes a less demanding stance…well for the first mass of seconds before again flipping into an intensive stomp though arguably for the first time on the album there is a more deliberate inventive twist and switching of intriguing aspects, as well as a punk breath to its drama clad hooks mid-way.

The formidable start is just as impressively continued by The End, even if it is initially not quite as striking or unpredictable as other songs though it does evolve into something stronger with numerous confrontations. It continues the pressurising of the senses with ease and marks the beginning of the strongest part of the album. The title track as you would expect is no slouch in predacious riffing and excellent rhythmic irritation but to this it infuses an adventurous and skilfully developed melodic and imaginative enterprise. There is a familiarity to the alluring grooves and melody soaked additives but nothing you can define or label, and it all adds to the adventure of the enthralling song.

From the infectiously virulent Trapped Inside with its addictive grooves and hardcore vocal expulsions along its raucous course, the album offers up its pinnacle with the closing Black. At its core the track savages with prime thrash venom and animosity but around this mighty assault the band seduces with a persistently shifting maelstrom of epidemically inducing riff devilry, melodic flames which soar over the constantly at work intensity, and a sonic nagging with its just irresistible. The best song by far on Victims Beyond All Help amongst nothing but very good tracks, it is a potent antagonist to want and hope to hear more from this incredibly promising band. Whether we will time will tell but if it is to be their solo moment of glory it will leave a deep mark with their name on it.

https://www.facebook.com/Besiegedthrash

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

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Sannhet – Known Flood

     sannhet     Known Flood is an extensive and challenging journey through desolate landscapes, pervading shadows, and far reaching sonic climates, but most of all it is an album which ensnares thoughts and passions with some of the most descriptive ambiences and sounds brought to metal. The album is the masterful work of Brooklyn band Sannhet, a trio who infuse the widest array of sounds from black, sludge, and doom to groove and post metal. They have created a flight of impacting and inspiring imagination through nine startling and enthralling instrumentals, pieces which captivate everything from senses and thoughts through to the heart. One would suggest the band with their debut is only starting out on their creative discovery and still have a depth of promise to explore, which makes the release all the more impressive and a future truly exciting for them and us.

Consisting of Christopher Todd (drums and samples), John Refano (guitar and loopers), and AJ Annunziata (bass), Sannhet first released Known Flood on vinyl through US Sacrament earlier in the year and now it receives its worldwide CD unveiling with ConSouling Sounds and it is hard not to expect the album to make a deep impact. Already the recipients of strong acclaim for their live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Black Cobra, The Atlas Moth, Hull, Enabler, Yakuza, and Altar of Plagues, the trio looks set to take things to another mighty level once the Colin Marston (Krallice, Behold… The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia) recorded release works its magnetic and inventive alchemy on the globe.

    Absecon Isle opens up the dramatic adventure, the track immediately charging through to the imagination with urgent hungry sannhet[1]rhythms and scorching melodic acidity as the rugged land of the invading soundscape opens up its bleak yet wondrous arms. Powerful and captivating the song eventually slows enough for the listener to take in the sights within the exhausting soundscape and for visions to shape their own mystery and the picturesque intimidation around them. It is a riveting start soon built upon to deeper pleasure by the following Safe Passage, its bulging rhythmic invitation a towering beckon to start off another breath stealing venture. As the drums continue to cage and disorientate, the guitars create a sonic mist which invades every pore and thought whilst the lingering yet drifting ambience is a stark evocation with sinister overtones especially as vocal samples whisper in the shadows. There are a few vocals additives across the album but all are textures and further facets to the narrative rather than any beacon to cling on to and add further richness to the invention.

The second track moves discreetly behind chilling chanting into its successor Invisible Wounds which in turn darkens the skies and brings in imposing intense clouds and rays of sonic beauty within the rapacious rhythmic confrontation from drums and bass. The track offers up harsh and intrusive breath but at the same time mesmerises with a melodic colour which paints a refuge within the demanding scenery exposing its claws.

As the songs Endless Walls, Moral, and Slow Ruin, the first a tempest of bedlamic emotion and intensity with a wall of rhythmic hypnotism, lay down their individual raw vistas the listener is pulled deeper into the expressive and at times spiteful depths of the unforgiving but rewarding world being unveiled. Whether it is one massive unpredictable realm or a journey through separate majestic heavy and unrelated terrains is up to the individual to interpret but as the last two of these three songs show as they take the senses into their own coarse grasps, it is an easy and fluid transition from song to song which is borne of craft and imagination from three openly outstanding composers and musicians.

The tremendous Haunches which again blends a rhythmic seduction that is irresistible with a sonic flailing wrapped in melodic insidiousness, pulls the passions up to another lofty height. The track, featuring guest squalling and ravenous vocal sounds from David Castillo from Primitive Weapons, is merciless as it softens up the senses further before making way to the biggest highlight of the album Still Breathing. From its dark but restrained doomy beginning the song evolves into a gallop of again inciting delicious rhythmic compulsion within a sonic wash of emotive provocation from the guitars. It is a gentler and more vibrantly hued atmosphere which envelopes the ear but no less hungry and voracious than any other of the more caustically paraded track.

With Flatlands providing a final lingering corrosive embrace, it is an outstanding end to a richly impressive release. A venture inspiring new hopes and fears with each traverse of its invention, Known Flood is the declaration of a new emerging force, and one which will set benchmarks ahead you only suspect.

https://www.facebook.com/sannhet

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

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The Capsules – Northern Lights & Southern Skies

The Capsules

If you are looking for a soundtrack for those sultry summer nights where you lay on the grass staring up at the stars contemplating then Northern Lights & Southern Skies from US electro pop band The Capsules is a more than suitable applicant for the position. It is not an album to ignite any hungry fires in the passions but as an emotive colour for your thoughts and feelings at that moment in time it certainly provides a satisfying backdrop.

Hailing from Kansas originally, now Dallas based, The Capsules emerged out of the band Shallow formed by Julie and Jason Shields, the pair a couple in high school who went on to marry and unite musically. Drummer Kevin Trevino was brought in for the new incarnation of their musical creativity and the trio soon drew strong attention and acclaim through their sounds, recordings, and shows, including fans such as SpongeBob SquarePants creator Steven Hillenburg who asked them to write a song for the show. Northern Lights & Southern Skies comes after three previously successful and well received albums, and shows alongside the likes of The Flaming Lips, Garbage, Mercury Rev, and Low. It sees a different emphasis rather than direction to their music with the band moving away more from guitar sculpted songs to electronic and keys bred persuasions. At times the album is mesmeric company, with the distinct vocals of Julie a warm and eager embrace on the ear, but also it can drift over the senses without any lingering impact, though those moments still wrap a pleasing warm evocative arm around the reflective shoulder.

Opening track Across The Sky instantly brings an eager but restrained stroll of electro pop energy and warm atmospherics 579064_10151282738766346_27646499_naround the ear, the whispering almost stark air of the song a background to the throaty bass enticement and electronic shimmering around the vocals of Julie. Suggested here and reinforced across the album, there is a bewitching lure to her voice which seduces like a mix of Alison Statton (Young Marble Giants/Weekend) and Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), and musically at times the release also offers glimpses of their bands. It is an enchanting sound which glides through the songs with a sultry narrative to unite with thoughts and emotions whilst musically, especially on this first song, the band envelope her potent delivery with equally persuasive sounds.

     From The Start steps forward next with the bass of Jason a singular lure alongside the voice of Julie before things open up slightly. As heated guitar sculpting lights the smouldering croon of the song and electro snatches tease the gentile ambience it is a pleasing sway of invention which is soon left in its place by the fiery Our Apocalypse. This track sizzles with electro electricity whilst rhythmic provocation is firm if not forceful, but once more the vocals weave their charms around the evocative suggestiveness to offer sirenesque bait from within the song. As with all it is not a song which lays the deepest hooks into the passions but still easily commands attention and full keen focus whilst in its vibrant company.

Through the likes of the cantering With Signs Repeating with its fluidity in creating graceful melodic flames around rhythmic protests, the excellent and tantalising Time Will Only Tell with again the bass and drums framing the melodic temptation with understanding and punchy appetite reminiscent of The Cure, and the post punk tasting Test Drive The Other Side, the album continues to engage the emotions with a sure and confident temptation, the last two of the three highlights of the release.

Where It All Begins is another excellent venture through sky bound exploration, melodic and vocal harmonies an angelic kiss across the irresistibility of the contagious swing and swagger of what is the best song on Northern Lights & Southern Skies. It leaves the senses and passions ignited for arguably the only real time, though consistently the album does leave nothing but energised reactions and pleasure in its wake, the engaging All At Once a definite creator of strong responses to confirm that claim.

Closing on the emotive sophistication of Magnetic Fields, the album provides a more than enriching experience which is easy to return to and pass on to others. The Capsules have not produced a release to leave you burning with fevered desire but for those warm teasing steamy evenings it makes for a very rewarding encounter.

http://www.thecapsules.com/

8/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

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