Monstre – Self Titled LP


Monstre @ Fête de la musique 2012

    With more flavours than a Cornish ice cream parlour and twists than a snow boarder on an Olympic half pipe, the debut album from French rock band Monstre is a startling and scintillating beast of a release. The self-titled ten track encounter challenges and treats the senses from the first second, a constantly evolving mix of metal and rock in numerous guises all colluding to infest the imagination and passions. With a suggested depth of potential that is still to be fully untapped by the band as their album thoroughly captivates and thrills from start to finish, Monstre is one of the most exciting propositions to tantalise the ears in recent years.

     The creation of Toulouse duo King Pilo (vocals/guitar/bass) and Seb (drums/backing vocals); the album was recorded in November of 2013 at the Meskine Records Studio with its release at the start of this year. List your favourite metal and rock styles and most likely Monstre will be employing their essences in the multi-faceted and voraciously inventive release. More unpredictable than an orgy in the dark and just as rabidly enterprising, the album works on the primal and creative wants of all with a rhythmic alchemy which leaves you exhausted and drooling alongside a sonic kaleidoscope of ingenuity which simply dazzles and enthrals.

    The album opens with Obey, the jaws of bass an instant intimidation on thoughts as the guitar lays a slow glaze of causticity coverover the senses. With vocal harmonies grazing air as expressively as the stalking sounds, the track subsequently expels a sludge toned weight and intensity on its recipient. Whilst circling and probing emotions with its lumbering and incisive predation, the track’s lyrical incitement as across most songs is a minimal but equally imposing and effective lure helping create a towering entrance for the release.

    The following Green Fish not only builds on its predecessor’s presence but thrusts the album to new heights with its fusion of noise and psyche rock aligned to menacing alternative metal. As in the first the bass has an irresistible savagery which immediately sets the passions beaming, but it is just part of the wonderfully toxic bait building a web of virulence. There is an early Killing Joke potency to the song but also slithers of invention which suggest bands like Melvins and Faith No More has added spice to the band’s artistically informative years. The track is a glorious slice of intrigue and adventure for the imagination, a tantalising and chilled enticement soon matched by the instrumental Mother. Revisiting a sludgy textured prowl with that metallic snarl of the bass and equally ravenous riffery amidst a sonic voracity, the track is an epidemic of rhythmic seduction and inventive endeavour.

    Both Prick and Less taunt and light up the ears, the first coating everything from rhythms and riffs to vocals and sonic weaves in a rapacious breath. The guitars scythe and sculpt a riveting maze of provocative ideas and textures whilst the bass scowls and leans heavily on the senses as the drums pummel their tender flesh. It is an absorbing and incendiary mix offering a Gang Of Four compulsion and Fugazi liking attitude and combativeness. Its successor provides eight minutes of cantering sonic hostility and rampant incessant rhythmic incitement, the track’s first half an instrumental taking of the imagination and its latter stretch providing a great vocal enticement and grunge bred expression to the relentlessly anthemic charge of rhythms. Both songs are formidably imposing and irrepressibly magnetic upon thoughts and emotions continuing the impressive stance of the album.

     Drunk blends a grunge and stoner persuasion into its hungry design, a Nirvana kiss smooching in some of the song’s punkier moments whilst the following What U Say takes that same punk essence and immerses it in a more hard rock brawl with again a Gang of Four post punk tempting. Without strolling along the same plateaus as set by previous songs, both tracks providing a healthy feeding for a greedy appetite before Song One thrusts its muscular and sonic grunge/rock swagger through the ear for another contagious trap for the passions.

    The album is brought to a close by firstly the niggling pressure and charm of Nothing, a track with a provoking adventure and inventive voracity which reminds of Wire at their most transfixing, and lastly by the persistently shifting Welcome, a song which between a top and tailing Middle Eastern seduction which is very similar to that of The Cure’s Killing An Arab, immerses the ears in every essence of sound it can conjure for a fluid and inspiring soundscape of incisive metal and heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll. The pair of tracks impressively concludes a tremendous album and introduction to Monstre, a band with all the imagination and flare to rise into the strongest spotlight. The anticipation of that is full and sure whilst pleasure now is fat and bloated on the excellence of Monstre.


RingMaster 19/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Old-timers – Spiritus Sanctus


    Following up their impressive and enjoyable debut 2012 album Soli Deo Gloria, South African punks The Old-timers release new EP Spiritus Sanctus, a proposition which continues where the last left off with another clutch of inventive and passionate hardcore punk encounters. As their previous release the trio fill most of the tracks on the EP with praise to God and his son, challenging wrongs and thoughts with their narratives. Lyrically there is no subtlety and reserve in the presentation as previously shown on the album but equally there is the same wealth of tasty punk endeavour to satisfy those not so interested in the lyrical contemplations, making the EP an adventurous slab of prime punk for all to enjoy.

     Consisting of Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson, Port Elizabeth guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, and Californian drummer Matt Lagusis, The Old-timers seeds begin in 2011 with the meeting of Dave whilst on holiday with Don in his home town. Strong friendship led to a creative union of the two with technology providing the link over the vast distances between them and subsequently Matt (False Idle) who joined the band after the release of their first demo. That release, Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We! brought the band to the attention of Christian Punk label Thumper Punk Records who released the well-received full-length Soli Deo Gloria and now unleash the band’s new encounter in tandem with Veritas Vinyl.

    Opener Mammon relatively gently scraps with the ears through an opening stroking of riffs and spoken vocals, both setting up The_Old-timers_-_Spiritus_Sanctus_coverattention and appetite for the passionate rabidity to come. As the track provokes and rallies up thoughts with its intensive yet controlled assault there feels a greater intensity and voraciousness to the sound and delivery. It is not a metallic rapaciousness which hits the imagination and senses but certainly the suggested more thrash bred hardcore feel to this and other songs, as suggested to us previously by Don, makes itself pleasingly known.

    From the more than very decent start On My Knees Again deepens the tone of the sounds with a heavier darker  snarl to bass and guitar whilst the drums and vocals score the senses in fine if unsurprising style. The track still builds bait and a potent coaxing across its angry stretch which only feeds the hunger for good punk rock with its enterprise and satisfying craft. Its strong place though is soon put in the shade by the excellent and fun Goonies Never Say Die!, a riotous slab of anthemic punk with restrained but infectious hooks and potent rhythmic temptation all irresistibly luring the passions within a canvas which is less than a minute long. From its deep appeal things continue with equal success through Joe #1, a song which has essences of Shelter and the Subhumans to its stirring and evocative charge. Again hooks entrench themselves irresistibly in the imagination whilst riffs and rhythms crowd the ears with excitable and rampant enterprise as a good variation of vocals suggests the lyrical intent of the song. It is an excellent and energetically captivating encounter taking best song honours on Spiritus Sanctus.

     Love Alone Is Strength returns to a face to face eyeballing hardcore attack, vocals scowling out every note as riffs and drums barrack the ears. It maybe would be an over ripe provocation even in its again very enjoyable short presence, a minute once more barely pushed, but veined by a teasing acidic treat of a hook and that ever eager voracious energy the band craft another highlight of the EP. It’s potency is matched and surpassed by Carpe Vitae Part II, a storming blaze of old school punk  with a taste of seventies bands Crisis and Crass to it as well as that repeating flavour of Shelter though to a lesser extent than before. Both songs show an invention and evolution in the sound and songwriting which is certainly subtler in other songs but makes a promising turn in the growing of the band.

  The closing Axios provides a final feisty gallop of hardcore punk with its healthy arsenal of contagious hooks and irresistible energy for a song very easy to devour and with relish. The song is raw and accessible providing something for all punk needs as does Spiritus Sanctus as a whole. The release pushes on from the band’s excellent album, not in big strides but definitely with distinctive confident steps which makes The Old-timers a meeting all punk fans should eagerly consider.


RingMaster 19/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Duskburn – Atum


     Soaked in atmospheres which consume and devour the senses as dramatic and intimidating textures sculpt and build intensive provocations, Atum the latest EP from Croatian metallers Duskburn, is certainly a formidable and testing incitement which is as uncompromising in its expression is it is in its intensity. Creating a presence which is entrenched somewhere between sludge and doom metal but sonically concentrated on the creation of ambient evocations which spawn the thickest smothering atmospheres; the three track release is a towering and richly immersive challenge. It is not always an easy listen and at times forces things too far but throughout the release provides an enthralling proposition which you cannot escape immersing in.

    Formed in 2006, the Zagreb quartet initially started out as a death metal band but over time merged sludge and doom elements into emerging atmospheric compositions. The band’s last three EPs, their self-titled one of 2010, Marrow the same year, and Left For The Wolves in 2012 showed Duskburn experimenting with their sound even more. They began merging layers and wraps of discord bred harmonies with rhythmic dissonance within oppressive soundscapes, cacophonous scenes of sound and emotion emerging as strikingly evident upon Atum. It is a musical and lyrical narrative which can swing from being threatening to showing a caustic seduction within a swing of chords or the laying down of atmosphere sculpted tones. The new EP as mentioned is at times undeniably an uncomfortable listen but unafraid to stretch its intent and aggressively captivating one.

    Running the theme of ‘cataclysmic omens and the purge of humanity’ through its body, Atum opens with Between the duskburn_atum_cover_500Swarm, a nine minute course through danger and emotional destruction brewed from an opening sonic drone bred embrace. It is an immediately intimidating coaxing speared by a restrained but potent rhythmic enticement as intensity increasingly builds. Once the rhythms of drummer Mario Komin break into a rolling and unrelenting beckoning to match the equally nagging sonic call of guitar, a greater menacing yet contagious capture of the imagination is at virulent work. It is an absorbing temptation pushed further into the passions by the bestial bass tones provided by Dominik Partić aligned to the exceptional guitar craft of Edin Karabašić and Neven Polšak. It is fair to say it is quite irresistible bait on offer evolving into a spitefully cantankerous and bruising intrusion on the senses as the track slows down its previously elevated gait into a doom drenched lumber. Something dissipates at this moment, the spark and toxicity which drew the passions absent as the song suffocates and encroaches deeper into the psyche. Given time and returns, the track makes a stronger statement upon the imagination but each time swamped by the dark abrasive cloud of that moment the yearning of that potent earlier rhythmic bait is never quelled, only consistently highlighted especially when Komin re-engages the virulent enticement in the closing passage of the song.

     Nevertheless the powerful track is a persistently evolving encounter which persuades and convinces with every visit to its intensive atmospheric journey, which applies just as easily to the following title track, the song providing greater evidence and rewards for mind and emotions over time. In many ways the song is much like the first, its melodic and expressive caresses alongside dramatic shadows splintered by a ferocious and voracious expulsion of blackened passion wrapped in suffocating intensely compacted atmospheres, the rapaciousness driven by incendiary flames of sonic invention. Thoughts of Neurosis, Godlesh, and Swans have already been sparked by its predecessor and continue in the second song, though for not so obvious reasons why so do less firm comparisons to Young Gods, something about the melodically crafted ambiences in scarred enterprise bringing aural images of the Swiss band.

   The closing Seamless follows the same path as the other two tracks, individual in face and presence but sculpted from the same intensive sonic cloth. The drum work of Komin again stands out as does the almost vitriolic haze of guitar invention but it is very easy to inadvertently merge this and the previous track into one similarly sounding expanse without close attention. The song still provides a demanding yet pleasingly imaginative closure to a fine release; one which takes its toll on the senses and emotions at times but generally rewards them with an inspiring presence even if one which maybe does not reach its full potential you feel.

    Released as a 6-panel digipak through Cimmerian Shade Recordings, Atum is a release well worth feeling your flesh and psyche being emotionally torched by and another step to major things from the band you suspect.


RingMaster 19/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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