Australasia – Vertebra

Australasia - Vertebra - Cover

Lifting the listener’s thoughts and imagination into an expansive and emotional almost visual flight through an ever evolving soundscape broken up into smaller evocative sceneries, Vertebra the new album from Italian band Australasia is one of those absorbing emprises you just cannot pull away. Ten tracks of predominantly instrumental merging of post rock, shoegaze, classic electronica, and enthralling ambience, the release is a masterful and compelling adventure. There is though much more substance than that description suggests, flavours and styles bred elsewhere seamlessly employed in the melodic web cast, and when vocals are rarely used they are more another texture to the creative narrative than any lyrical storytelling. The album as skilful and magnetic as it is equally suggests this is a project still in evolution with greater glories waiting on its horizon, something which just adds to the pleasure bred by Australasia.

The band is the creation of multi-instrumentalist Gian Spalluto who has linked up with Mina Carlucci and Giuseppe Argentiero of fellow Italian band Vostok. Touched by influences which include the likes of Red Sparowes, At the Gates, Joy Division, This Will Destroy You, Angelo Badalamenti, Mogwai, Pelican, Ennio Morricone, Cult of Luna and more, the band provides emotive landscapes and mesmeric incites which never restrain themselves musically or imaginatively to any singular intent or limiting frame. Australasia’s debut release, the Sin4tr4 EP of 2012, opened up the gateway to the band and its invention which the Immortal Frost Productions released Vertebra continues with striking strides into the awakening imagination and aural world of the band.

The journey opens with Aorta and a guitar cast melody which as the album progresses is a regular protagonist if in varying guises and intent. It is a mellow coaxing of a start to the song which gathers intensity in its breath as it opens up its creatively sinewed arms and melodic armoury. Hitting full stride early there is a tempestuous union of post rock provocation and metallic sculpting which flows and moves towards a stretch of sonic beauty and evocative reserve. Impressive rhythms and drums steer the enterprising exploration superbly and the guitar play is quite riveting across the body of the song. In its final thirty seconds or so the track unveils a union of male and female vocal harmonies which provides a last wash of warmth and elegance to the impressively crafted flight.

The following Vostok immediately offers a vintage electronica sound to thoughts though it is soon smothered by a strong cloud of sonic shadows and blackened emotion. The song undulates thrillingly as it progresses, big mountainous rhythms and textures mingled fluidly with tender elegance and those returning electronic caresses before dissipating for a lone acoustic guitar to wave the dark climes away. It is a track which seems to pass so quickly in time and though almost four minutes in length its successor Zero is soon feeding the senses and providing another heady structure of melodic imagination and rhythmic incitement. Not for the first or last time, the music reminds a little of The Cure around the time of the Seventeen Seconds /Faith albums, a shadowed energy coating the air of the song but speared by a melodic beauty which only raises the spirit and light.

Next up Aura roams through a more electro pop /shoegaze realm with eighties synth pop flavouring, though yet again there are intimidating resonances and dark clad tempting which tempers the radiance enough to add wonderful doubt and menace to the calm. The track also sees the captivating voice of Carlucci swarm siren like over the senses. Lyrically the track is uncluttered with effective repetition whilst gentle soaring harmonies make the prime successful persuasion. Like all the tracks, the song seems simple but holds a real deception as everything is so precisely and imaginatively woven together. The closing vocal scat does not quite work for personal tastes but it does not deflect from the smouldering piece of enjoyment.

Both the melodically flamed but intensively blackened Antenna, one of two tracks on the album taken from the earlier EP, and the excellent towering bulgingly muscular Volume continue the impressive height and stature of the album whilst the title track provides a pleasing short Spring respite with expressive tones and soft weaves, even if it feels a little like an anti-climax from the immense and lofty force and heights carved previously.

The second track from Sin4tr4 steps forward next. Apnea provides a reflective blend of imposing density and melancholic beauty wrapped in another bewitching vocal wash from Carlucci and an electro courting which pokes light through the cloudier ambience. It is a delicious embrace which makes way for the bordering on corrosive presence of Deficit. Scuzzy and thickly bonded to the ears, the track thrillingly riles up the senses but then before they can accept the intimidation the piece twists in on itself to lay a beauteous glaze of melodic endeavour on the incitement. It is a short but scintillating piece of composing and realisation waking up the appetite even further for the closing seven minute plus epic of Cinema. Arguably the track is a shade too long but it is a mere quibble when it makes such a compelling temptation across its emotionally clad presence.

Vertebra is a spellbinding release though to temper that slightly maybe it does not ignite a fire in the belly of the passions as often as it arguably could or should have, though again to put that into context, it is fair and easy to say that Australasia has created an adventure which is impossible to resist or stay away from. The band has the potential to create their own legacy you feel as their album permeates through thoughts and emotions, Vertebra a very striking start.

www.australasiamusic.com

www.facebook.com/australasiamusic

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Alexanred – Non-Stop Non-Stop

alexanred pic

Just in case in the Christmas rush you missed the release of the debut single from Alexanred, we thought we would give you a nudge to one contagiously addictive track. Non-Stop Non-Stop is pure industrial virulence, a pulsating infection soaked song which pounds the senses with anthemic temptation and captures the imagination with arguably not ground-breaking but fresh and magnetic irreverence. It is not a release which will have your thoughts and emotions stretched and lost in contemplation but unashamedly a song which skilfully and mischievously goes straight for the primal and rhythmic beast inside with a bait of tub thumping rhythms and coarse electronic wantonness.

Formed last year Alexanred is the creation of Aleksi Susi, guitarist/synth player of Finnish industrial metallers 2 Wolves. Listing influences which include the likes of Rammstein, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, Cradle Of Filth, Paradise Lost, Septic Flesh, Rob Zombie, Prodigy, Autopsy, Nile and more, some which you could almost guess from the single, Alexanred makes an undeniably impressive entrance with the Inverse Records released Non-Stop Non-Stop. It is never wise to make a full judgement of a band upon one song, every artist more often than not having one acceptable gem inside them whoever they are, but it is hard not to anticipate and suggest richly promising and thrilling things to come from the project ahead.

Still from 'Non-Stop Non-Stop' video

Still from ‘Non-Stop Non-Stop’ video

The opening seconds of the song alone incite full attention; they maybe clad in a simple rhythmic lure and a restrictive pulsing electro rub but there is immediate intrigue and temptation which takes hold. Barely another moment passes before the track is in full muscular stride, synths stomping with devilry dripping from every note as vocals taunt from the surrounding shadows. Once Susi makes his full vocal appearance the sounds show a restraint to allow his almost whispered provocation to wash smoothly yet sinisterly over the senses. Soon though, the song is thrusting out its imposing chest within a riveting rhythmic caging, exploding into an anthem of sound and epidemic vocal incitement to confirm the seduction of thoughts and emotions.  As mentioned the track is not really setting new boundaries but with a raw threat and empowering intent to its vocal and rhythmic barracking, and a virulent toxicity to its electronic suasion the single is pure irresistible temptation.

Like the bastard inventive son of a union between Rammstein and Rob Zombie, Non-Stop Non-Stop is the perfect appetiser to band and their horizons, something it is hard to wait for with patience.

http://www.facebook.com/AlexanredFinland

10/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

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Avelion – Liquid Breathing

AVELION photo+logo

The tail-end of 2013 as well as festive fun saw the return of Italian metallers Avelion with their second EP, Liquid Breathing. Equipped with a new line-up and sound to that which bred their self-released 2011 debut Cold Embrace, the band returns to the fray with a release which raises questions, spawns a few doubts, but at the end of its persuasion offers plenty to get the imagination going and appetite for Avelion’s for their impending future keen.

Merging essences from melodic and alternative metal, progressive and electronic metal, to metalcore and industrial metal, and Avelion - Liquid Breathing cover artworkthat is just scratching the surface of the three tracks making up Liquid Breathing, Avelion create a sound and adventure which certainly grips attention and at times has the imagination all fired up. The tracks are undoubtedly impressively crafted even if a tempestuous mix which does not always flow or work as successfully as maybe they could. There is so much going on in songs that it is sometimes hard to grip on to particular aspects or moments and thoughts suggests stripping it back would help the tracks to make an even stronger impact, but then that daring to experiment and stretch things is one of many strong elements which makes the band an intriguing and exciting proposition. You feel though as the quintet of vocalist William Verderi, guitarist Gianmarco Soldi, bassist Mark Reggiani, drummer Damiano Gualtieri, and Oreste Giacomini on keys progress and hone their sound further it will all evolve into something which will intensely satisfy.

Liquid Breath starts things off, the track almost Numanesque in its entrance as a dark industrial/gothic breath is spawned by vocals and keys. The song is soon twisting before the ear though as djent bred riffs splinter the air and a rhythmic enticement rigorously leaps over the senses. The vocals of Verderi are a blend of reserved growling tones and clean melodies which works well predominantly, though at times across the EP a sturdier grizzled delivery was crying out to emerge in his tones even if Soldi provided some solid backing scowls of his own. As the track progresses it employs classically seeded keys, electro urgency, and eventually great welcome hellish vocal groans though they are short lived sadly. The encounter continues to leap and turn with ideas to great effect, the song emerging easily the strongest on the release clad in a thick creative promise of where the band is going.

The following Ain’t No Down makes its arrival with haunting monotone spawned keys almost mischievously teasing the senses before launching sinews and intent through an electronic swagger which could grace any Enter Shikari offering. It is an outstanding start with a potency which is almost lost when the song opens up, though those evocative keys continue to probe and coax within the brewing maelstrom. As its predecessor the track moves through flavours and ideas as if they were pick-a-mix but ultimately makes it work through the more intensive aggressive aspects. The rock pop moments are not as successful for personal tastes, slowing down the power and charge of the song and preventing its full expected explosion but equally the poppy chorus is as anthemic and addictive as you would wish so admittedly those questions and doubts raised are continually countered in some respect. When the track is firing on all imaginative cylinders though it really is an imposing treat but just let-down by the mellower restrained moments but nevertheless it still leaves you wanting to hear more.

The EP is closed by Mechanical Faces, a busy track which aligns melodic rock and industrial metal initially before infusing some hard rock revelry and excellent discord devilry. Though not as impressive as the opener the track feels more complete and in control than certainly the second track, that earlier suggested slight restraint on the want to throw multiples spices and threads of imagination at the song a successful option.

When Avelion is intensively going for the jugular they undeniably are at the top of their emerging game, gripping thoughts and emotions much more tightly and invitingly. It maybe is because the difference between the aggression and melodic tempering shown by the band is so pronounced that the tracks ebb and flow too much at times but as Liquid Breath alone shows when the band gets it right they are a force with the potential to raise real passions, though you would not want them to lose that desire to push their inventive limits either, the element which makes even the less successful songs satisfyingly digestible and heavy in promise.

https://www.facebook.com/AvelionMusic.Official/

7.5/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Invidious – In Death

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As December drew 2013 to a close it saw the CD release of the In Death EP from Swedish death metallers Invidious, a release which had already worked its spiteful caustic charms on a great many with a digital appearance in 2011 via Imperium Productions. The four track slab of sonic brutality and unrestrained malevolence is a merciless cruel confrontation but one which deceptively infests the imagination to offer solace within the corrupting vicious storms. Raw and punishing the release and its sound is ripe for the death metal purists but equally ventures with plenty for more varied extreme metal tastes to find an appetite for and though it is not exactly a release to ignite the genre and new fans to feverish proportions, In Death is definitely a venomous encounter which warrants full attention.

Emerging in 2007 from the fallout of Katalysator founded two years earlier, the band changing its name to all extend and purposes, Invidious consists of vocalist Pelle Ahmann (Katalysator and ex-Katalysator), guitarists Hampe Death ( Degial / Unpure / Malign (live) and ex- Katalysator/Watain (live)/Degial Of Embos) and Andreas Meisingseth (ex-Katalysator / Graveless / Vindicate), bassist Gottfrid Ahmann ( In Solitude / Repugnant  and ex- Katalysator, ex-Immaculate/Obscene Infinity), and drummer J. K. (Ensnared and ex-Gravehammer). Through their first EP as Invidious the band rampages across the senses, the Sepulchral Voice Records released CD at times a muggy consumption which literally mugs the ears and senses but there is that something about In Death which makes you simply want and welcome the violation time and time again.

The release opens with a distant setting and sound which creates a menacing ambience aided by sonic squalls across its scenery. As Coversoon as the vocal squalls of Pelle Ahmann sends the introduction into the shadows Black Blood and band erupt in a torrential scourge of exhaustive riffing, bone splintering rhythms, and a melodically honed sonic tempting which niggles and seduces as potently as the emerging  infectious groove. Into its full height the track stomps and prowls with predacious mastery whilst switching with adrenaline lit charges which easily enlist a growing taste for the track. The bass of Gottfrid Ahmann is a constant threat and treat throughout the song, its dangerous rabidity adding extra menace to the already rapacious brute of an encounter.

The following Dead Salvation Spawn accosts the ears with spirals of sonic abrasion; flumes of venom which enjoyably reappear across the length of the track within the thunderous and malicious maelstrom savaging the senses. Again bass and guitars recruit a hunger for their intensive presence and sculpting, whilst drums and vocals bludgeon the listener with a nastiness and confidence which you can only eagerly indulge in. Like the opener the song twists and lurches into magnetic endeavour though as across the whole EP it often takes focused ears thrust deep into its toxic chasm to reveal all the impressive turns in place.

Throne of Death is a tsunami of acidic hostility which without quite finding the same appeal as its predecessors still corrodes the air with inciting bitterness musically and lyrically whilst some of the guitar invention and classically bred melodies are virulently enthralling. Its climax is slightly messy and dare one say slightly indulgent before the final thrilling scurrilous assault from the track, but it still leaves you breathless and hungry for more which the closing Visions provides with unbridled severity, if pleasingly speared by kinder grooves and melodic imagination which explore and stretch the track to greater heights.

Hopefully the CD release of In Death implies new material from the Uppsala quintet is on its way, something the EP certainly raises a hunger for. Invidious may not have created a classic with their EP, though each deep fall into its mordancy does make you rethink that a little, but you sense they have that triumph in them and if not plenty more releases like In Death will not be unappreciated.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Invidious/182505538468462

8/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

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