Hacktivist – EP+

© Tim Tronckoe

© Tim Tronckoe

If you missed out on their impressive self-titled debut EP released almost a year ago to the day, UK metallers Hacktivist give you another chance to grab and explore its triumphant thrills with its re-release via Wake To Reality. Containing an additional four bonus tracks to the five which ripped attention forcibly in their direction, the Buckinghamshire reassert the promise and scintillating invention forged in their long sold out first CD and deleted digital format. Re-mastering the original songs whilst recruiting their latest single and unreleased tracks into the EP’s line-up, Hacktivist reminds fans of their dynamic presence and future whilst surely recruiting a new legion of fans to their exhilarating blend of metal, djent, grime, and hip hop.

Formed in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist/producer Timfy James (ex- Heart of a Coward) and rapper J Hurley, Hacktivist took little time in gripping the intrigue and imagination of fans with the release of Cold Shoulders in the January of the following year via YouTube, its entrance gaining over 100,000 views in its first week. From there the band continued their striking emergence by igniting stages at home and in Europe with their exhausting performances, shows which has seen them alongside Enter Shikari and appearing on the Warped Tour Europe and Warped Tour UK. The first appearance of the EP took the band up another stride into acclaim and recognition in 2012 whilst new single Elevate earlier this year as well as a full UK tour supporting Enter Shikari ignited another wealth of attentive passion from media, radio, and fans alike. Appearances at the likes of Download, Reading /Leeds, T in the Park, Rock Am Ring, and Sonisphere France this year has equally pushed the stature of Hacktivist to new levels which the re-release of EP+ can only feed and accelerate.

The EP opens with the provocative call of New Age, its opening potent breath brewed into a thick and evocative atmosphere of H_sleeve_visual_2013sound and intent veined with stalking rhythms and the immediate irresistible lure of the vocal tempting of Hurley and Ben Marvin, James also lurking with and adding his tones across the release. A staggered rhythmic fury from drummer Rich Hawking proceeds to assassinate the air and provoke the senses as it fuels the absorbing verging on debilitating djent craft of James skirted by the predatory antagonism conjured by the bass of Josh Gurner. Barely two minutes in length the track sets up the EP and introduction to the band perfectly, the riveting assault sparking an immediate appetite soon wrapped in hunger as the song’s successor uncages its might.

     Unlike Us equally takes little time in persuading a total submission to its creative narrative, its initial restrained yet busy tempestuous mix of riffs and spicy grooves punctuated by a rhythmic web and the excellent throaty bass lines of Gurner. The track snarls and seduces in equal measure, the dark rabid elements of the track aligned to a sonic elegance and temptation which toys with thoughts and emotions. Merging radiant melodic ambience and lures with a rapacious aggressiveness, the track has the intensive growl of The Browning, the vocal infectiousness of Hadouken, and the belligerent confrontation of early Senser. It is a striking and wholly captivating adventure thrusting the release up another level of quality and persuasion.

Both Blades and Hacktivist continue the immense coaxing and presence of the release, both tracks magnetic and imaginative. The first retains the crippling prowling gait of its predecessor but layers a glorious sweeping clean vocal across its sinewy shoulders before providing the bands distinctive and pleasing hip hop inspired vocal confrontation. The song ebbs and flows in its challenging ingenuity, always ensuring unpredictability and enthralling adventure is leading its predation and skilled invention firing up the listeners greed for more. Its successor twists and turns from its first seconds, lurching powerfully through the ears with the same almost violent enterprise sculpted by guitars, bass, and drums. Rigorously anthemic in a deceptive way and potently tempting through its sonic tantalising and melodic richness the song washes the senses in a breath-taking passage of ingenuity and imaginative exploration, and taking this song as an example it is easy to offer bands as references for certain moments and twists delivered but there is no-one which creates and presents sounds close to those of Hacktivist.

    Cold Shoulders brings another slice of diversity to the EP, its atmospheric dawning through colour rich keys an ever presence evocative coaxing whether alone or whilst underlying the severe and animalistic intensity coating the crippling rhythms and bestial riffing. There is also an element of rapcore to the song, an added spice bringing a Hollywood Undead essence to certainly the vocals, and though the song is arguably the weakest on the EP you can easily see why it lured in a fever soaked fanbase for Hacktivist. The following Elevate makes a play for the best track on the release whilst showing the evolving exploration and strength of the band’s songwriting. Its muscular frame is a cage for excellent expressive invention which itself spawns transfixing melodic and sonic bait around the ever impressive vocals and the stringent crescendos of aggressive combat.  Showing the genre pushing and crossing depths of the songwriting there is also a punk/hardcore breath within the creative maelstrom which pricks thoughts of band like Lazy Habits and the Janice Graham Band and adds extra temptation.

The release is completed by the more than Shikari Sound System Remix of Elevate, though the original easy steals its glory, the Ndread Mud Remix of Unlike Us, and a great live version of Blades, the track easily showing why the band has a formidable live reputation and why all should go see them given the chance.

The re-release of EP+ easily confirms that Hacktivist is one of Europe’s most exciting and dramatically promising metal bands, a force which brings a burning spark of originality and excitement to an array of styles. The band has given all a second chance to experience the beginning of their certain ascent, an opportunity not to be missed this time.

http://www.hacktivist.uk.com/

10/10

RingMaster 13/11/2013

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Aetherium Mors – Entrails Of The Soul

Entrails CD Front

Having impressed with their debut album of last year, UK blackened death metallers Aetherium Mors confirm it was just a platform for greater things with the release of the Entrails Of The Soul EP. Consisting of four dramatic and viciously sculpted expanses of intensive and creative confrontation, the new release takes the richest essences and promise of its predecessor, Drenched In Victorious Blood, and evolves them into an even more captivating and exploratory maelstrom of adventure. The EP is not a release to instantly unveil all of its imaginative depths and corners either but an intensive and welcome violation which makes a constantly stronger declaration on top of its initial persuasion over numerous encounters.  The band provides a textured and evocative extreme metal encounter which lingers and feasts upon the imagination, a companionship for the senses which is never comfortable and respectful but certainly immensely enthralling.

Formed in 2004 by multi-instrumentalist Dan Couch and vocalist / lyricist Kane Nelson, Aetherium Mors became a studio project for the pair despite the intent for it to have a full band line-up, the lack of musicians able to realise and deliver the complexities being created driving that direction for the project. Creating songs inspired by the sounds of bands such as Death, Carcass, At The Gates, and Dissection, the duo were also busy with other projects which saw Aetherium Mors going on hiatus, Couch heavily involved as guitarist with Plymouth based progressive rock/metal bands Wishlist and Daggers Drawn, and as drummer with black thrash band Holodomor, whilst Nelson was the frontman for sludge/death band WarCrab. As these commitments and bands came to an end, the pair resurrected Aetherium Mors and set about writing and re-recording early demos for debut album Drenched In Victorious Blood. Its release last year ended an eight year wait and pushed the band to the fore of British underground extreme metal, a position Entrails Of The Soul could very well take to greater levels of recognition.

The EP opens with its title track, a song which makes a seductive first contact through an evocative coaxing from the guitar within a rapidly brewing caustic ambience. Welcoming and intimidating, the air of the song has senses and thoughts on full alert, unsure of which way the confrontation will turn but eager to stand before the emerging tempest and find out. It is not long before riffs scorch the atmosphere whilst the destructive invention of the drums harries and menaces the ears. The vocals of Nelson equally show no restraint, his insidious malevolent tones squalling with a slavering rabidity as they deliver every spite drenched syllable of the viscerally soaked narrative. It makes for a compelling storm, a tsunami of inventive maliciousness raging ferociously whilst almost hidden below is a ridiculously addictive groove, the great production just giving enough of a glimpse for it to tease and excite the healthy appetite already in place for the EP. The production on the release a critical part of the success of Entrails Of The Soul, its approach different to maybe what one expects from an extreme metal offering but with an ability to bring clarity to the underlying contagious grooves and tempting deceptive hooks whilst boiling up the intensity to almost suffocating degrees it is as impressive as the sounds. Unleashing a waspish vitriolic groove towards its closure which is quite irresistible, the track is an immense start and already has pushed the boundaries set on the previous album on to new dimensions.

The following Ritual To Evince The Subsurface Of Purity opens with another melodic temptation but soon has a torrential blaze of exceptional merciless rhythmic onslaught and sonic adventure raging, the band again accomplished at brutalising and seducing simultaneously with elements which for many would not work together. It is an absorbing thought pressing song which makes for another peak in the passage of the release, a height soon matched by the outstanding Divine Order Without God, grooves and rabid drumming barely taking a breath before unloading their delicious nasty abuse. The track is a hostile environment for senses and emotions, a rancor clad sonic landscape which ignites even greater hunger for the band’s unbridled inventive vitriol. Within that harsh climate the guitar play of Couch is fully magnetic whilst Nelson sucks the air from the lungs of hope and calm with a toxic bitchery which intensifies the poison of the song.

The closing Souls Diseased By Faith takes the EP to another high, it’s exhausting consumption of the senses a fascinating creative beauty and the beast, animalistic almost feral intensity and confrontation driving the aggressive suasion whilst an almost classical bred beauty breeds a melodic and sonic imagination which virulently engages the passions. It is a tremendous finale, the pinnacle of the EP and a lasting confirmation of the new heights Aetherium Mors has attained. British extreme metal is in strong imaginative hands if this duo continues on this impressive path.

www.aetheriummors.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 13/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Weekend Nachos – Still

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Unleashing another blaze of their particular form of hardcore seeded fury, Weekend Nachos continue their accomplished antagonistic brawling with senses and emotions through new album Still. As expected from the band, their release is rife with anger, a record driven by an intimidating confrontational spite but also one with moments of inspired invention which lights up a thoroughly satisfying encounter. Still is an enterprising slice of viciousness, not maybe the band’s finest moment but one which leaves enjoyment and rich provocation the order of the day.

The Chicago quartet of Aaron Ross, John Hoffman, Varg Campos, and Brian Laude have never relented in their annihilatory venomous assaults from early EPs and split releases through debut album Punish and Destroy, and every unleashing up to 2011 album Worthless and beyond. The Relapse Records released Still as stated is an equally intensive and ferocious incitement, one which leaves the listener breath-less and contented even if not blown away.

A sonic call opens up first track Sickened No More, its piercing lure the entry point to a squalling rage of vocals and corrosive riffing exploding into an all-out intensive riot. The track is forty three seconds of violent sonic mayhem, group vocals scowling from the song’s ‘terraces’ whilst bass and drums provide a raptorial maliciousness which buckles knees and withers defences by look alone. To be honest the song is too short, there barely being time to full offload the fullest passionate submission before it passes its belligerent baton onto No Idols and No Heroes. Addictive rhythms start things off here and fuel the following combative passage of uncompromising energy and rancor, the core of the track another vindictive assault of nasty hardcore vitality but one hinting at certainly from the guitar, a sense of exploration not always making its voice heard across the release.

Both next S.C.A.B. and Satan Sucker ravage the senses and thought mercilessly, the first with a primal sonic pestilence which switches between unrestrained ferocity and a sludgy prowl across its brief storm and its successor through the thrash kissed savagery it expels in sound, vocal, and lyrical irreverence. It is a masterful slab of brutality, the first major pinnacle of the album and a predation which consumes the senses and sparks the passions to their strongest reaction yet. Its sonic wind outlasts the hellacious maelstrom to lead fluidly into next up Late Night Walks, the track another straight-forward, eye balling tsunami of hostility. Like a few of the songs it provides what you want but also expect from a Weekend Nachos’ track which is not a bad thing but does provide the only ‘issue’ with the album, not enough surprises and adventure from their skilful but expectations feeding recognisable assault.

One of the long tracks on the release at over three minutes, Watch You Suffer is a rapacious stalking of the ears which does provoke an enterprise and invention lacking in the previous song; its besieging moments submerged into a crawling heavily weighted smothering of intensity and dramatic, intimidating sound. It is another big highlight of Still which at twice the length of most songs, provides a though provoking and emotions twisting bewitchment.

The likes of Wolves with its ferine ferocity and the blistering You’re Not Punk continue the fearsome ravaging, both thrillingly and virulently destructive whilst the unpredictable Ignore with a wonderful carnal throaty sound to the bass and the unsurprising yet grudgingly magnetic Yes Way both corrupt eagerly as they work away at existing wounds with an energetic rabidity and preying intent. All the songs contribute attention gripping presences to ensure that ears and emotions continued to be enslaved and engrossed in the ‘fun’, something the album at no point lets slip.

The barbaric Broken Mirror ejects its magnificent animosity next before letting the title track bring Still to a close with arguably the most intensive part of the release. It is a final tortuous rage of craft and energy bringing a compelling and pleasing abuse to a formidable end. The release is nothing short of what you would expect from Weekend Nachos, in quality, voraciousness, and sound. This means it maybe is not the band at its most potent to date but certainly Still short changes nobody on strong and uncompromising hardcore bruising and lyrical antagonism.  It is simply a release for fans to devour and newcomers to be noisily intrigued by.

https://www.facebook.com/weekendxnachos

8/10

RingMaster 13/11/2013

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