Elizabeth – Insomnia

Artwork Elizabeth

Parading a deliciously vicious ferocity veined with deceptively compelling enterprise, Insomnia from Swiss hardcore antagonists Elizabeth is a spiteful and sonically destructive fury of an encounter. It leaves senses numb and emotions violated with four tracks of intensity sculpted truculence veined by hooks and lures which are insidious in their deceptive potency, their toxicity as rich and inescapable as the tempest consuming the ears. The EP is an irresistible bruising from a band that recently released the Deluxe Edition of Where Vultures Land containing all of their previous body of work, and with this new slab of provocation there is a striking suggestion of even greater hardcore punk pestilence and invention is crowding on the band’s horizon.

The Geneva based trio of vocalist Javier Varela, guitarist Charly Boson, and drummer Matthieu Baumann brings the Throatruiner Records released storm to bear on the ear firstly with the exhausting oppressive climate of Ravens. From its opening second a sonic brew gains bulk before exploding with carnivorous intent alongside a heavy rhythmic barrage into a savage cloud of intensity. From within the voracious onslaught a virulently toxic groove also lays down its temptation which in turns encourages riffs and sonic adventure to stretch their remit. Rhythms and vocals still bleed the air of all peace and mercy though as the track delivers two minutes of stunning sonic and insatiable rabid enterprise and danger, which is also the title of the second track on the album.

Danger unleashes its full animosity and energy within the shortest moments, riffs and sonic storming through a corrosive blaze upon the ear with Varela adding his rasping causticity venomously in the background. The all out charge of the track does tempers its gait and onslaught as the barbarity nears its conclusion though the aggression and maliciousness makes no attempt to restrain its thrilling enticement, but for the main the song is a haranguing bluster to ignite further hunger for band and release.

There is a more predatory essence to Created Enemies, the track almost prowling the senses though its eagerness to sink its sonic jaws in is open and soon let of the leash. Riffs and rhythms entrap and enslave with ease but where its predecessor’s rampage unrelentingly, the song evolves its presence with a passage where the ever scorched tones of Varela and the rhythmic probing of Baumann are allowed access to clear air before being pulled into another union with rapacious riffs and suffocating intensity.

A tasty bass snarl of riffs opens up the closing Cemetery Feeling, its throaty barbarous tones soon assisted by a fire of equally ravenous riffs courted by a thumping cage of rhythmic intrusion and sonic manipulation. With another nocuous groove spearing the grievous siege, the track is a dynamic conclusion to a just as fearsome blitz of a release.

If Insomnia is the portent of things to come from Elizabeth then we are all in for a treat, a nasty callous one but a treat all the same whilst this is a must have release for all aural masochists.

http://ezbth.bandcamp.com/

http://ezbth.com/

9/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

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Toughskins – Keep The Faith

Toughskins

Unleashing another contagion of oi punk with antagonistic intent and virulent enterprise, US rockers Toughskins and their new EP continues the impressive presence of the band since its return three years ago. Keep The Faith unleashes four provocations which ignite and excite the passions, belligerence and aggression raging through their veins like a predatory epidemic as the LA quartet continues to bring their vicious snarl to punk rock.

Established in 1993, Toughskins uncaged their album Raised In Anger in 1995, the highly regarded classic receiving a re-release three years later. The band soon earned and built a strong reputation for their uncompromising songs and live performances but split around 1996/97. One half of the original line-up made a short lived return releasing a split 7” with Broken Heroes on Headache Records before Toughskins lengthy ‘hiatus’ was ended in 2010 when Danny Oi! who was not in the first attempt, brought the band back to life, he moving from bass to fronting the returning force. 2012 saw the band provide a track for the Cashing In On Christmas compilation on Black Hole Records followed by the acclaimed Anger Management EP on Randale Records. The band has continued to make their mark since their return with shows alongside the likes of Rancid, Transplants, Old Firm Casuals, Harrington Saints, Bonecrusher, Cromags, Menace and more, and with guitarist David Perez (Ten Hole Bootboys, C.I, Street Value), bassist Anthony Oi! (Society’s Victims, Ten Hole Bootboys, C.I, The Hardknocks, Fed Up, KBS, Ratas Rabiosas), and drummer Loucifer (Bovver Wonderland, The Choice, Generators) alongside the remaining founder member Danny, Toughskins uncage the excellent Keep The Faith EP through Rebel Sound Music in the US and Randale in Europe, a release pushing the band further to the fore of oi and punk in general.

Too Young to Care sets things off, its initial coaxing simple coarse riffing alongside a great adventurous bassline with a REB1011 frontdeliciously inviting tone. With crisp beats also framing the entrance the track takes little time in composing itself before expelling a fire of sonic attitude and scowling vocals from Danny, ably backed by group shouts and aggressive harmonies. The bass enterprise continues to impress throughout the song, its rapacious yet welcoming lures a delicious tempting within the squalling assault. The track is an inventive but direct and purposeful provocation which leaves thoughts and energy agitated and passions satisfied.

The following title track opens with a cheeky swagger to its mini blazes of riffs, a sense of The Vox Dolomites coating thoughts before a more Menace like rampage springs free to nag and chew the ears. Once again the bass stands out, as across the EP as a whole, but equally the guitar casts infectious inventive bait whilst the rhythms play with concussive devilry to drive the song and release with eager rabidity. Adding the great anthemic causticity of Danny’s vocals and you have a song which gets the pulse racing and passions burning, which is exactly what the next up Black and Blue also achieves with ease.

The third track bruises the air in predacious style, vocals and riffs chewing on senses and thoughts respectively whilst the drums slap anything in their path as the bass continues to lend the release a swagger and keen adventure to match the appetite of the intensity and instinctive hostile defiance soaking every note and syllable. It is another forceful treat soon surpassed by closing track Crack Some Skulls, the riot inciting emotions from its first irascible grazing. With enticing rock exploits from the guitar and a rolling rumble sculpted by drums and bass, the finale is a furious incendiary anthem which you just cannot resist or miss adding voice and limbs to.

    Keep The Faith is an outstanding mental and emotional goading from a band which is in its heyday, or you suspect leading up to it.

www.facebook.com/theToughskins

9/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

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Verdict – The Meaning Of Isolation

VERDICT_Band

A virulent scourge you will want to be ravaged by, especially if your blood boils for thrash metal, The Meaning Of Isolation from German metallers Verdict is an uncompromising slab of riveting extreme destructiveness and mouth-watering savagery. The nine track torrent of aggression and enterprise takes no prisoners and has little time in gentle persuasion, instead it simply and voraciously pillages the senses whilst rewarding with an underbelly of exhaustive yet captivating invention. The release definitely needs time and work to explore but rewards long-term with some addiction sparking technical viciousness and passionate ferociousness.

Verdict began in 1991 with a technical and melodic death metal intent and rage to its sound. Numerous line-up changes followed during subsequent years from which the band’s sound evolved and developed a deeper wealth of thrash hunger to its attack. Debut album Reflections Of Pain of 2002 brought strong attention upon the band and their emerging sound whilst the following full-lengths, Generation : Genocide of 2005 and Assassin: Nation four years later, only empowered their presence which in  turn has led to eager anticipation for the Verdict’s fourth and new album from a great many. Live the band has not left any physical or emotional stone unturned within either as they shared stages over time with the likes of Destruction, Disbelief, Illdisposed, Dew-Scented, Legion Of The Damned, Entombed, Death Angel, Gorefest, Obituary, Nile and many more. Mastered by Dan Swanö, The Meaning of Isolation thrusts the band forward to the frontline of thrash and extreme metal with a masterful display of malevolence and enterprise. The release may be just misses out on threatening best of lists this year, mainly through an arguably too similar a surface storm across many of the tracks and the lack of diversity in the vocals of Daniel “Ratte” Baptista to match the unpredictability and surprise of the music, but nevertheless The Meaning Of Isolation is a thrilling and captivating devastation which leaves the listener exhausted and deeply contented.

Leader Of The Soulless opens up the absorbing punishment with a haunting entrance; a sinister ambience brewing up a VERDICT_Coverswiftly imposing sonic menace which around an inspiring classical stringed melody, intimidates to temper the simultaneously dark seduction. It is not too long though before an artillery of crippling beats from drummer Florian Bauer corrupts the air closely skirted by melodic flames from the guitars of Marius Pack and Dave Hadarik which scorch the air whilst riffs batter its peace with carnivorous urgency. From here the barbarous persuasion is in full flight, the vocals of Baptista as vindictive and merciless as the sinews driving the sounds. It is an intensive start to the album, one unafraid to delve into dark doomier places within its persistent predation.

Manifest Of Hate and Killing Fantasies both keep the malevolence spewing from every antagonistic note and vocal squall, the first charging over the senses with a violent rabidity whilst grooves and sonic invention entwine their venomous craft around the song’s core whilst the second from a delicious dark and brooding introduction with the bass of Dave Helmstetter a pulsating evocative lure, goes on a creative rampage which bleeds intensity and wastes the welcoming senses. It does not match up to the first two tracks overall but still makes a sturdy encounter leading into the similarly impressive if not jaw dropping Layer Of Lies, a track which has a very close related aggressive and melodic cover to its predecessor and needing deeper focus to reveal its individual bait.

Lack Of Insight marks a new upturn in originality and invention within the album, the guitar twisting with bedlamic adventure to cast the first web over the ears before fusing into a resourceful and magnetic weave of intrusive and spellbinding antagonism. The track is certainly no less hellacious than previous songs but unveils a greater exploration and imagination of textures and invention which prevails through the likes of the blistering First To Fight and the creatively pungent Through The Eyes Of A Dead Man, both tracks with grooves and progressive intrigue to light fires within the imagination. The first half of The Meaning Of Isolation is an intense and formidable offering but is definitely exceeded by the second half and it’s more potent daring.

The Meaning Of Isolation returns the senses and dull peace back to its recipient but only after the barbarous Nemesis Of God, the song an exceptional beast which stalks and gnaws the listener from the inside, and its title track which provides another prowling intimidation prone to inventive sonic lashing outs and ruinous brutality, takes their pound of flesh. They complete an excellent album which from an impressive opening stretch emerges as a sadistically pleasing treat. For all thrash fans especially with those holding darker preferences in their hearts, Verdict has given the year an inventive pestilence which leaves no one disappointed or in one piece.

www.verdict.de

www.facebook.com/verdictthrashmetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

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77 – Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll

    77pic

    Band name and album title does not hint at but immediately tells you exactly what you are getting into once you climb on board with the new stomp from Spanish rockers 77. Their album Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll is bred, sculpted, and delivered in seventies hard rock revelry but one which offers a fresh take on the nostalgia pushing adventure whilst wearing its inspirational heart on its muscular sleeves. The ten track release is not the fuse to heated blazes in the passions but it certainly romps along with confidence and accomplished mischief to make an encounter which lingering friendship with is a given.

Formed by brothers Armand (vocals and guitar) and LG Valeta (lead guitar), 77 has earned a fine and eagerly offered reputation for their easy to access sounds. With Dolphin (drums) and Raw (bass) completing the line-up, the band release their third album on the back of the acclaimed High Decibels. The new album continues the passion driven creatively instinctive bruisings the band has come renowned for whilst slipping in some new spicery and exploration, though ultimately the Listenable Records released offering feeds expectations rather than avoids them. It is not an album to leave you opened mouthed in awe and surprise but definitely it teases and takes ears on a feisty fun ride, which is always welcomed.

     Produced by Fred Estby and Nicke Andersson, Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll lets rip with its title track, the song instantly loadingnoname up on the ear with honest unfussy rock riffs and a tempting if familiar hook. The vocals of Armand ‘croon’ in   a pleasing if expected style whilst the group clad anthemic chorus soon has the voice joining the already engaged feet in the simple yet infectious opener. It is a song you know before you have heard it but still makes for a satisfying introduction which sets down the template for the upcoming party.

Both the following Don’t You Scream and Down and Dirty continue the eager start, the first with a taunting groove and additional blues kissed teasing from LG around another irresistibly contagious chorus whilst the second gets down on the liquor soaked blues floor and slowly, in comparison to its predecessors, singes the senses with continually to impress guitar enterprise, though each expulsion of its invention seems to be over before it and the listener has time to draw breath.  The pair hit the spot without dodging assumptions of what is coming but such the craft and passion in their veins it is hard not to enlist in their persuasion.

Highway Rebel passes by next without igniting any real flicker of energy in the passions for an admittedly strongly designed if uneventful presence before handing ears over to the album’s pinnacle. Jazz It Up is a delicious stroll, a track from its first note courting a swagger which has song and band swinging their wares with a wantonness that is pure addiction. The insatiable grooves have hips in their naughty hands throughout whilst the melodic blues toxicity conjured by LG is icing on a very tasty resourceful cake.

The swamp air of Stay Away From Water makes an excellent start to its arrival, a deltas blues essence washing over the ear which leads to a slight disappointment when the song clears its climate to present another clean rock ’n’ roll offering. Into its stride though the track proves itself to be another contagious, tempered charge through happy to accept ears whilst its successors You Bore Me and Take Me or Leave Me create their own equally appealing blues filtered temptations, the first of the two featuring LG on lead vocals. Neither provides anything truly new to get the imagination around but both enslave a healthy appetite and depth of passion for their smouldering suasion. They might not, like the album, have emotions raging but they definitely have strong appreciation swerving with eagerness to the grooves and enterprise offered.

Virtually Good and 16 Year-Old King complete the album, the pair the weakest songs on show yet still able to engage a more than happy to return appetite from thoughts and feelings. Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll gives exactly what it says on the tin and a sound rich for the attention of fans of bands such as AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and Status Quo. 77 is a rock ‘n’ roll band and that is the tall and short of it, an intent which only gives satisfaction.

http://www.77rocks.com/

7/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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