Promethium – Origins

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Two years ago UK rockers Promethium impressed with their debut album Welcome to The Institution declaring themselves as a band rife with promise and enterprise. Their mix of heavy and classic metal, despite its strong and gripping entrance, also seemed to be saying ‘you have seen nothing yet’ as it left a certain hunger in its creative wake. Now awaiting its moment to burst into the world on September 30th, Origins with ease backs up that apparent statement with a collection of tracks which scream from the rooftops just how much Promethium and their sound has matured and evolved between albums.

Formed from the remains of Skin Crawl, Bodies, Desolate and Natual Thing around six years or so ago the Lancaster band first opened up a wave of attention with their first EP Tribute to the Fallen of 2009. Followed by the successful and well received Welcome To The Institution the feeling that the band was about to erupt upon the higher levels of UK metal was maybe a little premature at that time. Met with acclaim and support things still seem to have moved on slowly for the band in regard to recognition though certainly tours with the likes of Furyon and Beholder as well as their own shows, did their stature no harm at all. Listening to the rich textured sounds and riotous energy and appetite of Origins only supports the notion that we all jumped the gun on their ascent but now could be the time it all kicks off for vocalist Gary McGahon, guitarists Daniel Lovett-Horn and Rossi, bassist Barry Mills, and drummer Dominic Clayton.

Whereas the previous album was a multi-flavoured mix of metal, for Origins the quintet has gone back to the roots of the band and promethiumcentred the core of their sound in prime heavy melodic metal, though it is as full of aural colour and sonic spice as ever. This definition of their direction we would suggest goes much towards the bigger deeper sound making the songs immersive and captivating, that and the obvious evolution in maturity and musical skills. From the opening track Won’t Break Me the leap in sound and composition openly hits, the track immediately wrapping the ear in sonic flames from the guitar and a bass and rhythmic inducement which stands bold and tall in craft and presence. The vocals of McGahon have also found a richer voice and delivery to match the sounds, and as the contagious opener rampages it all makes for an intensive lure for thoughts and hunger. There is a familiarity to the song which teases but as from day one with Promethium, band and music refuses to be compared to anyone else such the unique flavour of their music.

From the impressive beginning the album unleashes two more fierce encounters in the form of the confrontational Gunslinger and the antagonistic beast The Art of Hurting. The first of the pair, and the track which has been publicly teasing people up to release date, brings a great mix of vocal styles and intensive riffing veined by a cage of rhythmic prowess but it is the searing charm and flames of the guitars which steal the show before passing on to its equally rapacious successor. Holding its rabidity in check certainly compared to the previous songs, the track prowls the senses sucking air from the lungs with its oppressive and menacing nature. It is a brute of a treat which continues the vigorously strong start of the album provoking more thoughts that the band’s time has come.

Bringing a less intensive but no less striking offering, Counterfeit with sonic spires of melodic potency and riveting craft leads the listener into further fresh avenues whilst Rain with its power ballad like passion pushes the envelope of the songwriting and its realisation on the album yet again. The song is a real slow burner with its first engagement drawing strong acclaim and over subsequent listens drawing real ardour.

The riff sculpted almost Sabbath like The Hunted reeks old school metal in the best of ways though the vocals lack the bite and potency on earlier songs, especially the less successful mix of harsh and cleaner hues. It is still a richly satisfying ride which is matched by the slow melodic drawl of Plagued by Evil, another song which reminds of something else but will not give up the source, probably because there is none. The songs make for a less impacting but undoubted magnetic middle to the album which is given another adrenaline boost with Revolver, a song which conjures up a predacious animosity and within its storm an anthemic persuasion to capture the imagination.

Completed by the excellent Believer, a track which has more twists and turns to its inventive sound and melodic furnace than a dog chasing its tail and an invention which leaves each listen a little more rewarding and revealing, and the closing mesmeric instrumental title track, The Sky Rocket Records released Origins is a mighty release and step in the dawning of Promethium as one of UK’s most thrilling metal bands. Strangely it still suggests there is more to come from and hone within the band which is as dramatically exciting as the album itself.

Origins is released on October 7th


RingMaster 28/08/2013

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Distortion Of Events – Permeate


Opening up ear, senses, and thoughts to a chilling dystopian landscape which invades the physical and mental depths of sanity, Permeate the new album from Distortion Of Events is a startling and provocative release which is as impossibly addictive as it is disturbingly intimidating. There are no safe corners to hide or find warmth and security within as the nine track excursion into stark yet compelling realms captures the imagination but with stirring and invigorating rewards along the way it is a danger well worth welcoming.

Distortion Of Events is the solo project of Michael Lubert, a composer/musician from Patton, Pennsylvania which though it had existed in experimental and theoretical forms long before, made its introduction with the four-song demo Inclusium in 2010. A solid base for the inventive experiments and innovations to come the release was followed a year later by debut album Congeners on Lubert’s own platform label, Zodarion Records. A mix of industrial and techno shadows the release drew good attention with essences of Sleep Chamber, Clock DVA, Front 242, and The Klinik cast as comparisons to its creative offering. The album offered up the track Deadface which with ‘a rather severe facelift’ for a digital-only remix single became a firm favourite with fans and local radio. The pair of successful releases made way for Eventuality in the May of last year, the six track EP venturing into even darker waters and depths of those first investigated on Congeners. This was then followed by a reinvented and re-recorded digital-single Blain County, Idaho (Circa 1974), a track originally found on the Inclusium demo and the In Six Dimensions/Nonexistence and The Widow singles. With Permeate our debut dip into the world of Distortion Of Events we cannot not comment on what came before but on the evidence presented by the outstanding new release it is hard to imagine previous encounters were anything less than dramatically provocative and incitingly potent.

Permeate opens with Shivering, a track with a title as apt as you can imagine as the song invites tingles down the spine at its apocalyptic a3703055088_2seeming embrace. Cored by a steel industrial beat wrapped in refrigerated weaves of electro intrigue and grim melodic narratives, the track escorts thoughts into an uncompromising and evocative realm of menace and cyber haunting. The often fleeting and persistent twists of sound and additives border on bedlamic yet are precise and carefully layered to reap the fullest emotion. It makes for a riveting and intensive start which is an powerful invitation into the album that refuses to take no for an answer.

The title track steps up next to reward entry with an underlying groove and swagger which ignites thoughts of early, but not very early Ministry whilst the devilish appetite of the track especially after its threatening lull, returns with a renewed predation which points to current bands like The Devilzwork though a taste of Young Gods is also louder than a whisper.

The insidiously addictive Ghrelin soon has limbs and adrenaline working overtime, its corrosive mix of rhythmic badgering and acidic melodic twisting a virulent infection around the malevolent tones of Lubert. Again there is an underbelly to the song which comes from a groove of pure contagion bred from an invention which makes it more than just a tool to seduce and a perfect vibrant if blistering hue to the vocal narrative. It is a riveting continuation of what is a rising stature and potency within the album, the further you let it damage synapse, thoughts, and soul the better it gets and impresses. Both the next up Discursion and Innermost push the album to greater heights though split by Sometimes Wounded which makes demands which some will flee from you feel.

The first of the trio is dancefloor toxicity, well if you need a soundtrack to a zombie attack on a packed sea of twisting bodies. With jagged rhythms and a taunting unrelenting heartbeat driven by deliciously serpentine vocals amid splatters of sonic and melodic blood, the track is pure contagion of epidemic proportions, its industrialised stomp the voice to destructive lures from which there is no return. Its successor is a flight, or maybe fall, into the darkest cavernous and perilous shadows, their black embrace cold and confining whilst triggering the imagination and emotions to drift or be chased into best avoided avenues. It is not an easily accessible encounter, which is saying something as no track on Permeate is sculpted to welcome, but one which paints a tomb which is as oppressive as it is descriptive. The third of the three in comparison is a vibrant waltz, one speared by an artillery of spiteful rhythms, acidic melodies, and devious chimes which lay down a beckoning persuasion into another caustic rapacious treat.

As each track explores the laid out world or is it your fearful mind, either is applicable, the tracks and invention display a blend of impacting horrors, cosmic menace, and deep rooted mysticism which especially seems to take its place to the fore with the hypnotic Saw Tawm. A mesmeric wash of primal mystique and tribal instinct driven by an overpowering rhythmic slavery to ensure full submission to its glorious tower of temptation and richly coaxing vocal intonations, the track is the pinnacle of the album, the song you would share blood with.

The opening electro pressing of Numinous expands into a more regular type of song, celestially bred melodies swaying in the sky of the track like torchlight within an industrial air raid of forbidding sonic austerity to spawn another intriguing and imagination sparking venture whilst Mantra is simply a hellish closure not only to the album but sanity. It completes a thrilling album which is not always an easy listen and for some will mean running for the hills to escape its honest provocation and mordant textures. For us though Permeate is pungent industrial manna and one of the most exhilaratingly demanding albums of the year.


RingMaster 28/08/2013


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Athanator – The Perfect Enemy / Architect of Disaster

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Though Athanator was a name often on the wind surrounding our ears the RR had never taken the plunge and investigated the band further despite their mention always coming in positive and strong declarations. Thanks to an email from Alberto Arias of their Columbian label LIXO Sonido & Discos the chance to remedy that fell into our laps as two of their albums The Perfect Enemy and Architect of Disaster were sent our way for covering. Neither is new, from 2006 and 2009 respectively, but such their quality and compelling persuasion another of our intermittent retrospective reviews was definitely the order of the day.

Hailing from Medellin, Colombia, Athanator formed in 1989 and was soon one of the biggest draws on the country’s metal underground scene. Demo recordings began building an emerging stature for the band with the usual line-up shuffles many bands go through adding spice to the progress of the band. 2000 saw the band release debut album Rise the Death which not only cemented the band’s place in the passions of the underground but sparked wider world awareness for their contagious melody fuelled thrash metal. A place on Raise The Slaughter- A Tribute to Slayer in 2002 only brought greater recognition upon the quartet leading the band to selling out numerous shows and supporting German thrashers Destruction, whilst second album Earth of Blood, a release bursting with old school thrash might, pushed the band further into the sight of the world before the two albums concentrated on here sealed the deal and set  the band one of the best emerging metal bands not only from South America but the genre itself.

The Perfect Enemy instantly warns the ear with the first track’s war zone introduction. Thoughts On The Battlefield then erupts into viewathanator and into a charge of thumping rhythms and explosive riffs; its eager and hungry assault gnawing the ear to spark an immediate appetite for release and sound. As the hoarse vocals of Jaime Ocampo graze the senses from within the fiery and greedy exploits of his and Eder Zapata’s guitar enterprise, the track brings the prime essences of Slayer and Anthrax into a keen and potent mix. It is maybe not the most staggering start but is the perfect appetiser for the likes of the rapacious Fill Your Heart With Fury and the predatory Unsocial God to build upon. The first of the pair employs essential grooves into its adrenaline driven riff attack with the vocals finding an even more impressive position at the heart of the climactic song. The bass of Kike Ramirez enjoyably grumbles and prowls gloriously throughout song and album whilst the drums of Juan Carlos Sanchez, which for personal tastes are given a weak tinny production, cages it all with flare and skilled eagerness.

The third song on the album is a trigger to greater things on the release, its imaginative welcome and twists bringing a varied slant to sound and release. There is a Metallica like whisper through its emerging shadows and riveting sonic premise whilst Cavalera Conspiracy intimidation teases across the restrained but potent provocation. This new level is matched by the creative riots of Purified and the scintillating Gallery Of Dreams whilst Smile Of The Death with riffs and rhythms flying from its core like missiles steals top honours on the album with its mix of Static X and Megadeth seeded invention. After a more than decent start The Perfect Enemy evolves into one fine thrash/metal album finishing with another triumph in the mighty shape of Hatred In Shater.

architect     Its successor Architect of Disaster again opens with a scene setting breath, this time an industrialised haunting atmosphere generating menace and fear. It leads into first song Morbid Fear with evocative hues which seamlessly evolve into confrontational jaws of the opener. Instantly there feels a darker more predacious energy and breath to the album than its predecessor which soaks the song with formidable intensity. Like on the previous album the opening song is a very solid and welcoming encounter which awakens the senses for following songs to exploit better, though it should be noted the guitar play and spicy latter hooks offered are pure addiction.

The following tempest of The Army Of Death raises the temperature and intimidation higher whilst the likes of Scarred For Life and Method To The Madness whip up deeper passion for their destructive temptations. The first of the two songs grinds away at the emotions and body with grinding grooves and rabid riffs whilst the drums of Repe Mejia, the only change in the line-up to the last album, punch and slap the ear as a mighty hunger for the album breaks loose, soon to be satisfied by the blistering storm of the second of the pair. As it taunts and drags the passions into its anthemic fire thoughts of Testament and Kreator are no strangers but as before it is fair to say the song and sound is distinctly Athanator’s.

There is an open maturity and adventure pinning this album to the wall of glory, a thrilling build on the previous impressive endeavours. Tracks like the viciously tantalising Into The Shadows and the even more malicious Void bring the album to another powerful and intensive climax which the throaty bass lure and lethal swing of No Room For Error and the brilliant closing The Path Of Anarchy endorse passionately. Best track on the album with vocals, riffs, and rhythms enslaving the passions in a defined brawl of creative ferocity, it leaves body and mind declaring Athanator as eternally welcome violators.

Both the Jose Uribe produced albums are tremendous and if like us you have been slow to catch on to the might of Athanator they are the essential gateway to their impressive presence. Though The Perfect Enemy probably has the greater individual moments in its body Architect of Disaster, which comes with an equally exciting live DVD, is the stronger and more accomplished of the two, but truthfully both leave even current thrash releases floundering in their wake.

The Perfect Enemy 8.5/10

Architect of Disaster 9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2013

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