Fathoms – Cold Youth EP

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Last year UK hardcore metallers Fathoms introduced themselves with the Transitions EP, a six track free download release which left you thinking that the Brighton quintet had a towering future in UK metal. Their acclaimed release’s successor is now upon us and the Cold Youth EP not only confirms and furthers that suspicion but makes the previous confrontation seem almost deceptive in its promise. The new four track fury is breath-taking, an incinerator of senses and thoughts which launches a torrential and imaginative tirade of invention and ferocity to leave the most potent of rapture in its blistering wake.

Formed late 2010, Fathoms took little time in finding a fervour led fanbase for their aggressively intensive sounds and acclaim for their live performances which has seen them share stages with the likes of A Hero A Fake, Polar, Dividing The Silence, Legend, Set Your Goals, Deez Nutz, and Napoleon as well as tours across the UK, Europe, and the US all equally as successful. The Transitions EP took what their fans knew to a wider audience and strong acclaim within media coverage but with Cold Youth you only feel it was a gentle start as the release in its immense presence surely is a trigger to major things.

Opener Pride of Lions springs from a sample of a speech on teaching children in a sonic haze to inflict the cruellest rhythmic badgering ColdYouthand predatory riffing within an instantly unpredictable and riveting corruptive temptation, the guitars of James Munn and Dan Goddard sculpting and conjuring a web of insidious provocation and startling imagination. It is impossibly captivating, the drums of Lui Sarabia insatiably inventive and impacting whilst bassist Tom Axtell is like a heavyweight raptor as he skirts it all with his carnivorous intent. It is a staggering start, a ridiculously addictive torrent of abuse which is ridden by the equally aggressive and corrosive vocals and vicious scowls of Max Campbell. His attack is uncompromising but also diverse like the sound which ensures something different and apart from not only other similarly clad bands but their previous release.

The following XIV soon notches the intensity and craft up a level, a contagious lure fuelling the chorus and primal swagger of the track whilst the guitars again twist song and manipulate air into a destructive narrative which senses and imagination can only devour with greed. To be overly critical there are elements which are well used and trodden in recent years but employed in a blazing creative fire as here it is hardly an issue. It is fair to say if breakdowns do not feed your appetite song and release might struggle to fully persuade but there is still a wealth of invention to seduce that same hunger whilst for those with a passion for such invention the track is a furnace of manna.

Third song Old Bones opens on a progressive caress if with a soak of menace, and soon stretches its evocative breath into a flesh flailing, bone splintering expanse of crippling rhythmic danger and sonic intrusion. It is a glorious slab of aural turmoil, perfectly crafted and impossible to resist. The vocals solo and as a band, are a fury which is virulently infectious and bewitching whilst musically there is debris flying mentally and emotionally before the thrilling corrosive escapade.

The closing Home/Less is just as ridiculously addictive and inventive, waspish grooves uniting with raptorial rhythms and the intensive riff brutality. The technical craft and inventive thought of the song and whole release, again is transfixing and makes multiple listens to Cold Youth essential to explore and suffer all of its glories, though it only takes one engagement to breed lust.

Fathoms have gone far beyond what was expected after the Transitions EP or maybe just got there quicker. The bottom-line though is that the Ghost Music released Cold Youth is a staggering slice of sadistic mastery which makes the future of the band even more exciting and you can imagine ground-breaking.

https://www.facebook.com/fathomsuk

10/10

RingMaster 02/10/2013

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Amberline – The Art Of Reinvention EP

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Proving that the potency and success of their debut EP two years ago was not a flash in the pan, UK pop punks Amberline return with its appealing successor. The Art Of Reinvention carries on where its predecessor left off, with a fresh voice and vibrant enterprise. It does not exactly show a deep evolution, defying its title, but undeniably band and release skirt their boundaries as the band remains one of the most promising British power pop encounters.

Hailing from Guildford, the quintet formed in 2009 and was soon garnering a potent fan base and praise for their energetic thrilling live performances. Debut EP Soundtrack Of Your Life of 2011 sculpted a strong mark for the band within thoughts and British pop punk and laid out an impressive base from which the band went on to support the likes of Attack! Attack!, Kids Can’t Fly, Lost Boys, We Start Partys, and many more to further acclaim whilst their own shows saw them sell out Camden Barfly and light up festivals such as Defest, Step Up Festival and 100% Bitchfest. Now The Art Of Reinvention EP is unveiled and you can only suspect it will continue the rise of the band. It is not a confrontation which takes the genre on a new course or finds Amberline tearing down walls of uniqueness but there is undoubtedly a craft and presence to the release which sets them apart from most similarly spiced bands.

The thumping stride and heart of I’m A Grower, Not A Show-Er opens up the EP, rhythms rolling out their sinews and guitars bringing TAOR Front Coversonic caresses to ears and air. With the vocals of Mark Steggall, ably backed by those of bassist Jack Morris at times, unveiling their narrative the song relaxes into an eager and firm companion, riffs keen to make an impression on the passions with fine invention whilst the rhythmic potency of song and band cage in the senses with a predacious intensity and hunger. The closing group calls are too predictable to truly work but they do not take away from a strong and pleasing start to the encounter.

The following Years Gone By without reaching the same heights still continues the rich bait of the sounds and release, the drums of Rich Hemley commanding and veering the lip of brawling whilst Morris skirts their antagonism with his own rapacious energy and bass temptation. The stalking nature of the combination makes for a captivating call from the song overall which is soon matched by the more than decent The Lost And Hopeless. The guitars of Nick Blair and Rob Rees carve out a dramatic and enticing presence for the track, their mix of melodic and almost primal invention an enthralling and carnivorous provocation which seamlessly fuses musical extremes and intensities for another pleasing call upon the ears.

Things are truly ignited though as When All Else Fails stomps into view and the passions. The guitars conjure up an opening lure when is almost Generation X like in its hook and retains a strong voice as the rhythms again storm the barricades with a heavy towering impressive presence. Into its slightly bruising stride the track lurches and charges with craft and passion which leaves the previous couple of songs slightly pale in hindsight. A fiery pressing of thoughts and senses, the track is itself surpassed by the excellent Here Comes The Colonel, easily the best track on the EP. Once again the rhythmic skill of Hemley lead the way into the heart whilst the riffs show no restraint in making military strikes against the ear before the song expands into a melodic and sonic emotive battlefield. The vocals and harmonies flare up perfectly against the sturdy hungry stalking from the song to only deepen the enticement, so much so that when in league with the imaginative intent and sound of the song it emerges an anthemic triumph.

Closing song Fingers Crossed ensures that The Art Of Reinvention EP ends on a high, the track an appetising burst of adrenaline and melodic thought which without challenging for top honours on the release leaves a healthy appetite for the band and a return to the EP. Amberline still do not stand truly apart from the rest and occasionally there is a spark missing from songs to ignite the emotions into a fire of passion, but leaving a want and hunger for more of the same it does not do much wrong it has to be said, and for fans of the likes of New Found Glory, Blink 182, and Four Year Strong it will be a flavoursome morsel indeed.

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8/10

RingMaster 02/10/2013

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Superfecta – Self Titled EP

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Last year demo single She’s a Star attached itself to the ear with a richness of promise even if in a raw state. There was a craft and passion to it which made Superfecta a proposition to make note of. Now the band unleash their self-titled debut EP with the same song revisited making a stronger persuasion alongside a trio of just as impressive tracks, and the promise already embedded intensified and even more potent.

The London based quartet of vocalist Andy Urwin, guitarist Danun Todd, bassist Max D Pinto, and Bolivian drummer Junior, formed in the summer of 2011 spending the first year writing and honing their sound whilst impressing with their live performances. With a sound which is hard rock and grunge cored as well as melodically coloured, the band entered the studio earlier this year to record the EP, and a rather tasty larger introduction it has emerged to be.

The release opens with the new beefier and intensive version of She’s a Star, the song emerging from a tantalising and mysterious sonic Superfecta - Superfecta - The EP - Artworkhaze before the guitars twist away to create a thrilling clearing of sinewy riffs, firmly crisp rhythms, and the drawing vocals of Urwin. Immediately there is an air of Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden to the song, the smouldering heat of the sounds bewitching around the richly hued guitar suasion and throaty bass temptation. There is a familiarity to the song which the whole EP comes under it emerges, but a lure which though soaked in recognition only fires up the appetite further. Wholly infectious the track impressively reveals a band with strong craft and imagination to their songwriting and music, even if one still finding their truly unique sound and presence.

The following Paradox is as equally compelling, the guitar of Todd drawing an enticing beckoning which the rest of the band feed from and accelerate until the track is striding confidently and engagingly through the ear. There is a classic rock lilt to the riffs stretching the variety of the release whilst the chorus is another magnetic call on voice and passions. Like its predecessor there is a catchiness which only recruits full and eager attention whilst feet stroll keenly alongside the rhythmic stomp, it all resulting in another very easy to enjoy and succumb to offering.

Inside caresses the ear with a gentle elegant narrative, acoustic guitar kissing the senses at the start as the drums and bass respectfully pace its croon. Vocals too are reserved but powerful especially in the small crescendos of intensity and passion which climb from the simmering heart of the song. There is a whisper of Alice In Chains and Seether to the track which adds extra evocative spice and though it fails to find the same heights of the previous pair, the song is again undeniable evidence of a rather promising and skilful band.

Final song Pendulum kicks up the gears to charge with a rock ‘n’ roll predation, hard and classic rock whispers fuelling its feisty enterprise and ravenous breath. The choppy riffs and melodic colour flowing from the muscular energy only feed the emerged hunger whilst the sonic flames licking at its sides from time to time bring greedy rapture to the boisterous revelry.

Whether the song or EP is offering anything new or unique is debatable but with the accomplished presentation and passionate  delivery not forgetting thrilling enterprise, the EP is a refreshing and deeply satisfying encounter which has anticipation for the future on full alert.

www.facebook.com/Superfectarocks

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/10/2013

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Human Improvement Process – Deafening Dissonant Millennium

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A musical carnivore with no respect and mercy for the senses, Deafening Dissonant Millennium the debut album from Italian death metallers Human Improvement Process, easily reveals why the brewing hype surrounding its creators. The eleven track predator is a striking and unrelenting assault of technical death metal with the fury of hardcore and a wash of melodic metal to its antagonism. It is at times a breath-taking confrontation and always a riveting expanse of sonic intrusiveness which debatably is not re-inventing anything but certainly merging existing imaginative armoury into a fresh and potent corruption.

Hailing from Modena, the quintet formed in 2010 soon creating a string following locally. Their first EP S.T.A.R.S. of 2011 was well-received in the Italian underground scene and made a good impression in a year where the band toured Ukraine and Russia with Italian band Dufresne. From there Human Improvement Process recorded the second EP In Cristalline Worlds Beyond which was supported by a couple of videos that drew more than 70’000 views on YouTube. Signing with Memorial Records earlier this year, the band now set loose their beast of an album, a brutal pleasure you can only imagine taking the band to a much wider recognition.

Deafening Dissonant Millennium opens with the atmospheric haunting of Jenova, the brief instrumental introduction a cavernous lurea2521107223_2 with a yawning ambience. Its sinister call intensifies as it evolves into the hellacious title track, a lethal storm of crippling rhythms and predacious riffs twisted into greater malevolence by the technically sculpted guitar invention of Fabio Carretti and Francesco Pini within the disorienting drum assault of Alessandro Lugari. The harsh unbridled passion and scowling venom of the vocals prey on the wounds caused by the sound, Stefano Sebastio an unrelenting scourge of varied spite spearing the continuing to move and evolve sounds. It is an explosive start which slightly loses its potency nearing its climax of melodic seduction but only because of the immense suasion it brought itself in with.

The following Erase increases the threat and strength of the album right away, the ravenous guitar riffs and enterprise finding greater maliciousness whilst the bass of Marcello Tavernari provides a primal provocation which leaves you cowering and wanting more. The hardcore aspect of the band’s invention rages from the chorus and through the accompanying vocal scowling but surrounding it the death metal pestilence is concussive and riveting in creativity, skill, and contagion. Making an early play for best track on the album it is soon challenged by Empty Eyes and even more so by Our Last Pieces Of Sanity. The first of the pair parades an industrial causticness within the brewing extreme breath and intent of the track. It is an intriguing lure which deepens with the equally fascinating vocal suggestiveness, a hint of something unpredictable though ultimately for the main, the song sticks to its ferocity in that department until the excellent clean harmony drenched flames provided by Tavernari. An imposing treat its successor sears an even mightier intensive and compelling storm upon the senses with no remorse and unrestrained voracity, the guitars chipping away and then gnawing upon ears and imagination before soothing wounds with some excellent sonic colour and skill.

As mentioned there is enough familiarity and similarity to elements of tracks to not feel like the tempest is an unknown malefaction but as the likes of Artificial Savior and Architecture Of a Dying Sun, split by the absorbing melody bred guitar painted instrumental Materioscura, unfurl their toxicity and invention it is a undoubted refreshing fascination that is devouring body and soul.

The final trio of tracks deliver their own unique inciting fires, The Process beginning the closing fearsome and ruinous avalanche of hostility though it also teases the wounds with an evocative melodic metal enticement surrounding an excellent clean vocal wash and classic rock sinew built charm from within the tempestuous ferocity. It is an impressively designed journey which is equalled by the ravaging might of Ethereal, the track a severe challenging coating of sonic acidity over the ever furious and exciting rhythmic violence.

The Deepest Oblivion brings the defilement to a close with one last treacherous expanse of lethal passion and invention. Experimental and superbly sculpted Deafening Dissonant Millennium continually feeds to the full the hunger it triggers from its opening presence if not to the same max the appetite for complete uniqueness. Nevertheless Human Improvement Process has placed themselves to the front row of adventurous extreme metal as well as one suspects, into a wider world recognition.

https://www.facebook.com/HumanImprovementProcess

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/10/2013

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High Hopes – Self Revival

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Building on from their acclaimed self-titled debut EP of last year, UK melodic metalcore band High Hopes unveil their first album, a release which leaves a wealth of promise and thrilling potency within the band the overriding impression. Released via Italian label This Is Core Records as was their EP, the eleven track slab of incendiary and provocative metal leaves a lingering satisfaction and suspicion that the band is destined to many exciting horizons such their intensely passionate and thunderous sound. Self Revival startles and surprises at times and in other moments feeds expectations and avoiding uniqueness, but for the lasting impression it is a vibrant and adventurous encounter which explains the buzz around the band.

Formed in August of 2012, the quintet of vocalist Nick Brooks, guitarists Nathan Pryor and Krishan Pujara, bassist Shaun Flanagan, and drummer Daryl Pryor took little time in finding themselves sharing stages with the likes of Your Demise, Palm Reader, Giants, and Oh Sleeper and making an inroad into Europe with their live performances. Their EP only accelerated the reputation of the Reading band; their powerful sound bred from the inspirations of The Ghost Inside, Parkway Drive, and Killswitch Engage upon their own invention, accelerating a rapidly rising fanbase around them. Entering the studio this past April with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Evile, Sikth, Wildhearts), High Hopes has created a savage assault of a release, one as rife with hardcore animosity as it is metalcore destruction but an album that blends in a melodic weave and contagious enterprise which sparks an eager appetite.

It takes merely the first breath of opening track Seize The Chance to unleash the full intensity and effect of band and release. The guitars High Hopes artworkare soon shaping a sonic colouring to the rhythmic frame and intensity brought by the cracking swipes of Pryor and darkly shaped menacing prowls of Flanagan. It is an intimidating yet inviting lure into the song, the melodic venture bait for the imagination and the aggressive core a temper to thoughts intending to immerse in a light hued world, not that it is possible anyway when Brooks is unrelentingly squalling with his gruff animosity at the ear. With a generally singular style of delivery admittedly given good variety by group roars at times, his presence which from the start suits and pleases the songs is one that over the tracks does lose its strength of appeal due to the lack of diversity. It is a knack and ability which the likes of frontmen from bands such as Gacys Threads and Lantern For A Gale achieve even if not with open visibility, and one hopefully Brooks will acquire over time as his presence certainly enhances songs.

Through the likes of the intensive Seeking Truth with its gripping musical and emotional rabidity, the riveting 1953, and Strength To Strength, the album continues to enslave attention and appetite, the middle of the three especially exhilarating and a pinnacle of the release. It initially makes its acquaintance with a presence closely linked to its predecessor Renew Reform, but is soon carving out new walls and heights for Self Revival with twists and turns that leave the senses and thoughts invigorated and hungry for more.

Further major highlights on the album emerge with firstly the staggering climactic assault of The Balance, a song which for its first half is a formidable opponent until it whips out voracious swipes of rhythms and guitar venom to take it up many levels, and the blistering Endurance, another tempest of malevolence and creative entrapment which is impossible to resist, especially the scarring riffs and technically honed sonic lashing of excellence. The other songs on the album are all pleasing threats and captivating violations but lacking the spark or distinctive presence to make them stand out on the album. As the rampaging Days Fade To Grey closes up the brawl though, you sense that individuality as a band is not that far away, the song a scintillating slice of instinctive passion and enthralling imagination and easily the best track on the album with the biggest well of promise to spark confidence in the future of High Hopes.

    Self Revival leaves as mentioned thoughts and assumptions soaked in positivity over the band even if it maybe does not quite live up to the strengths of its peaks enough times across what are all enjoyable slices of metalcore adventure. For a debut full-length though it makes for a potent base for the band to launch from and you suspect that High Hopes surely will.

http://ihavehighhopes.com/

7/10

RingMaster 02/10/2013

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