Harlott – Origin

2

Thrash for us is one of those genres where originality is not always the key to the strongest excitement and satisfaction, certainly it is an added bonus but seemingly more of a rarity these days it. Australian band Harlott does not exactly buck that trend but with a certain twenty first century adventure and imagination to their 80’s Bay Area influenced ferocity, they definitely bring something feistily refreshing to the table. To be honest even if they were lacking that extra ingredient, such the voracious sound and contagious excellence of their debut album Origin long term fandom to their scintillating presence would be a given. It is an adrenaline driven blaze of metal bred rock ‘n’ roll, an exhausting and breath-taking rapaciousness which clads old school seeded fury with modern day enterprise for a distinctly exhilarating and feverishly rewarding riot.

Hailing from Melbourne, Harlott has built a strong presence and reputation within the city’s metal scene, their sound, energy, and live presence urging a strong and fevered fan base. Two EPs, Virus and None in 2011 and 2012 respectively, added to their emerging stature but it was the release of debut album Origin in the November of last year which brought the band to a wider attention, into a spotlight which caught the ears of Italian label Punishment 18 Records who subsequently approached the band. The result was Harlott signing with one of Europe’s most exciting thrash and metal labels and the release of their album this week across Europe and North America.

Origin takes no more than a few seconds to ignite ears and an appetite for the band’s sound with its title track, guitar bait drawing attention HarlottCoverinto the waiting predatory clutches of drummer Dan Van Twest and the ravenous riffery of Andrew Hudson and Ryan Butler. With the bass of Tom Richards adding another throat of intimidation to the mix, the track shrugs off any tethers and begins a stirring rampage across the passions with an intensive rhythmic battering and almost carnal riffing. The vocals of Hudson are just as eager as the sounds, riding their charge with clean but growling tones backed just as impressively by those of Richards. The song stomps and lurches from one memorable post to another, nothing spectacularly ground breaking or unique to the history of the genre but with a more explosively contagious and irresistibly anthemic stance than any thrash release has arguably presented in a long while.

It is impossible not to think of the likes of Testament, Exodus, and even Slayer as the opener and following Effortless Struggle alone light up thoughts but only as references as Harlott taken those seeds and grown something decidedly of their own making. The second song on the album drives with an even harder and uncompromising intensity strapped to an equally ferocious energy; rhythms and riffs gnawing ears and senses whilst the meaner predatory flavour of the vocals incites intimidation and badgering accusations. The track is a torrent of skilled aggression and merciless provocation, a demanding treat speared as its predecessor by some impressive solo guitar sculpting, a design the following Ballistic breeds its irrepressible hostility from also. Similar on structure and tone to the previous track, it manages to slip pass assumptions with a side step of melodic flames and a virulently contagious rabidity in energy and passion.

To be honest such the immense start if the rest of Origin had been a disaster, waxing lyrical about the band was still on the cards but there was little chance of that happening as proven by Heretic and Export Life, the first a ridiculously addictive furnace of rhythmic bewitchment from Van Twest skirted by scorching flames of sonic tempting and destructive riffery and the second a more measured but no less insatiable confrontation. As with many of the tracks there is an almost hardcore/punk causticity to the song, slightly in the vocals and definitely in the sheer maliciousness which breaks through more than occasionally. Both tracks are blessed and spiked by mouthwatering guitar invention and colouring, the album presenting some of the best dramatic but reined in solos heard in recent times.

Hierophobia makes an emotive entrance through a lone melody crafting guitar, breaking the more formula starts to encounters so far, though it is soon urged on its way by another avalanche of esuriently imposing riffing and menacing rhythms. The track is soon surging with break neck speed and impossibly catchy grooves whilst vocally Hudson and Richards hit their finest moment singularly and combined, though they never disappoint anywhere. The song closes as it began bringing a moment to breath before Kill and Infernal Massacre rampage with their turbos and skilful animosity in top gear. As the pair uncages their individual might and magnificence neck muscles are beginning to show signs of wear but even after numerous plays, Origin is not a proposition to take a break from or stop before its conclusion. So with teeth bared, much like the attack of Van Twest, the outstanding Regression is allowed its pound of flesh. Masterful rhythmic bait is laid first before the guitars hold a tempered check to their still hungrily pressing touch. The song twists with a classic metal lilt to some of its suasion though never veering from the compelling confines of the thrash intent. Arguably the most diverse and inventive song on the album, the encounter offers more proof of those aspects of Harlott which sets them apart more than enough from most others.

A powerfully assertive tempest of thrash turbulence with vocal and melodic intensity hits next under the title of Virus, the exceptional track flinging itself from the linking sonic spike between it and its predecessor across already tender synapses with acrid sonic toxins and barbarous argumentation. It is another onslaught which steals its fair share of the passions, as does the just as truculently dynamic Ultra Violence and the closing Not Long for This World, one final vigorous anthem of crusading thrash metal. It brings to an end without doubt one of the most rigorously enjoyable and exhausting albums of the last twelve to eighteen months. Yes Origins is not forging new avenues for trash metal to explore but Harlott gives the scene an explosive new shot in the arm and that is more than enough for us.

http://www.harlott.com.au/

http://harlottmetal.bandcamp.com/album/origin

9.5/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

Direwolves – Aegri Somnia

direwolves

The hardcore scene has already impressed in 2014 with a ferocious flurry of rigorously intruding and thrilling furies, hardcore based or driven releases from the likes of Havenside, Ringworm, and Axecatcher to name just three leading the way. Stepping right in front of them or certainly alongside, are a pair of Throatruiner Records releases, one from Plebian Grandstand which you can read about elsewhere on the site and maybe the mightiest triumph of the lot Aegri Somnia from French band Direwolves. Their eleven track rage is a masterful persuasion of uncompromising riffs and rhythms fuelled by irresistible melodic tartness and inescapable hooks. Fusing metallic sinews and punk attitude to their sonic and vocal squalls, the debut album from the Lorient quintet is a standout treat for genre and year so far, an onslaught which if not on people’s best of lists will certainly be in their favourites of the year.

Direwolves formed in 2011 and were soon making a mark locally and within the French underground scene, their potent two track demo release Demo MMXI in their first year left in the shade by their first EP, the eagerly received and praised Me From Myself, to Banish the following year. Aegri Somnia is their next major step as a band and you suspect one into a wider intensive spotlight. The release takes over where the previous EP left off in many ways, taking its base as a launch pad for a more intensive and inventive venture whilst drawing greater blackened essences and harsher aspects of punk and crust into the hardcore brew. On its first scarring Aegri Somnia easily impresses and captures the imagination but as all great releases the more you share and open up the senses to its causticity the stronger and explosively persuasive it becomes.

Introspection starts things off, it a brief sonically hatched instrumental which casts an acidic landscape around the ears whilst giving far direwolves covermore than a hint of what is to come as rhythms manhandle the senses with fearsome creative power and the bass parades a carnivorous sound and intent. It is a striking and incendiary start, easily enslaving attention and anticipation as the guitars wash the air with melodic venom before it all explodes into the raging fire of Insights. Riffs and rhythms tear chunks from the psyche right away whilst the vocals abrase with every tortured syllable and angst driven word. It is an even briefer assault than its predecessor, one minute of hellacious contempt and sonic temptation with hooks to match and all very tasty.

The following storm of The Blindness That Keeps You Warm pushes the album’s entrance up another notch in contagious persuasion, flying at the ears with rhythms throwing muscular spite and riffs adding their animosity to the intense pressure whilst infectious hooks and grooves pierce and wind their way respectively into the tempest. It is a merciless yet seductive scourge of enterprise which evolves into Holy Treason with just as much invention and irrepressible fire driving forth the exhilarating turmoil. As with all songs though it is not just about passion and ferocity with the band laying out addictive designs and melodic toxins which help make the already eager taste for the encounter greedy and satisfaction unreservedly intense.

The bass snarl finds an even greater predation to its voice in the next up Echoed In Vain whilst the drums develop a controlled frenzy which only impresses further. Though the track maybe does not make the strongest initial scoring on ears and thoughts with melody brewed acid in its body and far reaching hooks, it is a forcibly engaging violation matched and exceeded by the excellent Sighs And Whisper. As pleasingly expected by this point in the album, guitars sculpt a web of sonic scorching and imaginative melodic entanglement around a merciless and brutally rapacious rhythmic drive. Equally though there is adventure unique to each track and here the song bullies its way into a moment of post hardcore, almost progressive insight, to keep predictability and assumptions at bay and wrong footed.

Aegri Somnia continues to impress as the adrenaline soaked and at times impossibly magnetic The Liar’s Choice and the voracious Face The Facts unleash their primal and instinctive belligerence vocally and unrelenting defiance musically on ears and beyond, whilst Light It Up from an outstanding rhythmic coaxing within a sonic wail intensively paints a finger pointing indictment at society. All three add a different aspect to the album, individual outrages and creative provocations to ignite thoughts and emotions.

The final pair of tracks, Keep It Clear and Endless Tragedies, are arguably the band’s most expansive and intrusive engagements, both thick in weight and passion relinquishing the use of skilfully crafted hooks and grooves for exhaustive almost doom clad atmospheres and melodically spawned explorations. They make for a formidable conclusion for a thoroughly impressive and exciting beast of a release. There is very little to offer as a temper to the fully hatched appreciation and ardour for the intimidation offered, though of course if hardcore is not an instinctive flavour that appeals from the off the songs could occasionally blend into each other through only a surface attention such their swift strikes and mutually intensive passion. The bottom-line though is that Aegri Somnia is a tremendous proposition and Direwolves a band set for major things.

https://www.facebook.com/wearedirewolves

http://direwolves.bandcamp.com/album/aegri-somnia

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

Daggers – It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues

daggers

Hardcore right now seems to be one of the most adventurously explored genres, certainly going by the evidence gathered and unleashed by Throatruiner Records this month alone, with It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues by Daggers arguably the biggest slab of unquestionable proof. The new album from the Belgian quartet is a brute of an unleashing, twelve tracks of distinct inventiveness from a band which has never been slow on pushing their limits anyway. Whereas their previous array of releases have been an indignant fusion of crust and hardcore, Daggers upon their new fury pushes the walls down between hardcore and extreme metal noise for a wholly unique brew of rapaciously imaginative rock ‘n’ roll to them and scene. It is a raw maelstrom of inciting imagination and voracious intensity which provokes and violates senses through to thoughts, a ferociously uncompromising adventure which though it needs time to state its persuasion, is an irresistibly compelling bruising.

Hailing from Liège, the foursome of Yannick Tönnes, Gregory Mertz, Thierry Tönnes, and Thomas Fagny has left a trail of satisfaction and exhausted emotions with a clutch of imposing releases, starting with their 2008 self-titled EP through to second album Euphoria in 2011. Across their five years Daggers has always been a provocation which has earned an appetite here if not a raging fire towards them, each release making a lingering and potent scar in the hardcore scene but It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues is another matter entirely, in presence and impact. The album is a real journey through cavernous sceneries and ruthlessly stark atmospheres but constantly poised to thrust its instinctive punk breeding and metallic causticity down the throats of emotions.

Recorded live by Ben Phillips at the Lightship studio and mastered by Magnus Lindberg from Cult of Luna, the album opens on a reflective accordion croon as Apex slowly unveils its emotive invitation. It is a sinister if restrained enveloping which hints but gives no real clue to the impending and sudden explosion of vocal antagonism within an intensive and hefty weight of snarling riffs and cantankerous rhythms. The track instantly switches character at the expulsion, prowling purposely and intimidatingly across the senses as the guitars entwine a spiral of sonic acidity around things and the bass adds an extra rapacious menace courted  by an inventive texture of lead and backing vocals, again their attack controlled but intrusive. Now that its heart is fully open, the song offers a true portent of the album’s intent and qualities, though not quite the maze of imagination and experimentation also to come.

The song’s closing riff is a bridge into the following Woolgatherer, the coarse link soon replicated with deeper hunger by bass and a Artworkgrittier guitar tone. The track is an instant snarl of vicious rock ‘n’ roll employing numerous textures from rock and metal in its pungent incitement; an infectious repetitive groove aligned to a harsh roar of vocals which even in the briefness of the track steals keen attention and incites a greedy appetite for more which is soon offered by the similarly corrosive yet contagiously welcoming brawl of Blues. Also too short for these greed infused desires, the slice of combative causticity is an imposing wall of melancholic indictment and almost warring accusations lyrically and musically, which only intensifies the impressive start and persuasion of the album.

Both Asunder and Beacon push thoughts and passions into stronger enjoyment, the first a feisty confrontation of punk abrasion and metallic ferociousness which skilfully wrong foots not long into the roar with a delicious sonic detour employing seductive if acidic melodies and an irresistible twang to its breath before heading back into a riotous engagement with addiction sparking grooves and stomping attitudes, the bass wonderfully bestial once again. Its successor is a minute touching purge of the senses, uncluttered with twists and ideas taking it from its core intent but still infusing subtle hooks and lures which entice and linger within and after its offering. Again the swiftness of the assault is possibly thirty seconds or more too short but when so memorable and incisive you have to think that Daggers have got it right.

Wanderlust encircles the ears next, grizzled vocals taking their animosity out on air and senses whilst a sonic weave and anger ebbs and flows with inventive enterprise around the provocation. Arguably it is at this point where the album really starts to unveil its new rich pattern of experimentation and adventure, though earlier songs all bring a new character and potency from the band. In its forceful embrace, the song’s narrative takes the listener into sultry climates and melodic pastures, all shadowed and coated by unpredictable intrigue and evocative mystique, an emotive climate explored further by the instrumental Labyrinth, a piece which brings beauty under the sinister scrutiny of shadows and dark temptations.

The pair of Evermore and Dormant unveil the dangers, threat, and bewitchment of these new landscapes, the first an exhaustive charge which magnetically and urgently entices before slipping into a slower and equally incendiary intensive smothering of invasive rabidity which than alternates with a lasting contagion, and the second a stalking heavy legged predator which threatens and tempts the imagination. As all songs there is an agitation which will have its say and here with the most stringent pressure yet.

It’s Not Jazz It’s Blues saves its most thrilling experiments until the end starting with Sovereign, a track with a coarse and almost rustic glaze to its riffs and vocals as well as a hypnotic bordering droning repetition of sonic toxicity. There is a Killing Joke feel to the song as it feverishly works away tempting its victim, the unrelenting venom irrepressible even when the excellent twist of vocal delivery and haunting ambience leaves its compelling colour on the brilliant ingenuity of thought and sculpting. That brilliance continues into Cultist, its hive of waspish toxins an instant burrowing under the skin and across the psyche before relaxing into another persistent nagging which is impossible to resist or not find a new ardour for. Again a haunting, eerie atmosphere embraces the imagination whilst the track presents its venomous and mouthwatering bait with inventive bedlam and vicious veracity.

The release closes with Citadel, a dirty bleak stew of rare sonic abrasion and naked emotion which is punk in its purest form. The track impressively completes a blistering treat of a release. It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues is without doubt the best thing to strike from the minds and hands of Daggers, maybe not quite the classic you feel is alive inside them but certainly an inspirational new instigation for the genre and noise. It also suggest that if the band pursues the realms ventured within the final three or four songs on the album, that imitable pinnacle is nigh.

https://www.facebook.com/daggersband

http://daggersband.bandcamp.com/album/its-not-jazz-its-blues

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

 

 

Patrons – Self Titled

promo3

With passion and angst dripping from every syllable and note, the self-titled EP from UK alternative punks Patrons is the first encounter from a band it is easy to suspect we will all be hearing plenty more of in the future. The three track release is not one which barges in and demands your acclaim or sparks an eagerness to shout from the rooftops about its merits, but slowly and potently from a certainly attention grabbing first bluster across the ears it emerges as a highly evocative and willing persuasion. Good things have been said about the band and it is easy to see why with their first introduction via I Hate It Records.

Hailing from Plymouth, Patrons was formed in 2013 with a sound which was soon being wrapped in references to bands such as This Will Destroy You, Thrice, Reuben, and La Dispute. Their live shows have also recruited high praise, another aspect to them which will be taken further afield with the band’s plan to tour across the UK and mainland Europe later this year in support of the EP. Recorded with producer James Bragg at Middle Farm Studios in Devon, the EP is a cauldron of emotion and intensity which not only thrusts the heart and power of their sound forward but more than hints on how incendiary you imagine their stage presence to be.

As soon as Rituals strokes the ear with guitar and subsequently bass tempting there is an instantly brewing feeling of drama as well as a coverscanbuilding recognition that the band knows how to craft and present narratives which grip and incite intimately as well as on a broader scale. The vocals of guitarist Danny Brooks bring a richly expressive and angst kissed presence to the song and lyrical presentation, a strong texture which seems to spark a greater hunger and urgency to the guitar designs of himself and Mark Hoynes whilst the rhythmic provocation of James Corby courted by the velvety tones of Olly Reed’s bass bring thick and equally compelling shadows to the invasively appealing colour of the track. It is a striking persuasion which d rides the senses with unreserved emotion whilst tantalising the imagination with continually evolving ideas and adventure. It is not a song which wholly steals the memory but rather offers small unforgettable treats which you hang onto and put together for a longer reflection. It is an unusual aspect but one which works very well.

Movements is a less impacting compared to Rituals, but no less forceful in tone and emotional weight. As the track croons and pleads its purposeful suasion you can see where certainly small comparisons to Reuben have emerged even if Patrons has some way to go to match the stature of one of our favourite bands. As the rhythmic design bullies the ears whilst the intensive emotional pressure of the song does a similar thing to the senses, the track comes alive to emulate the whole EP in making a stronger lingering convincing the more you immerse in its heartbreak and vocal desperation.

From a minor weak first few seconds where the first glance of vocals seems to lack the strength of the guitar around them and the inevitable outpouring of Brooks soon after, third song Little Victories is soon wrapping its endeavour and melodic seduction around the senses courted by fine harmonic heat from Brooks, all from within the tempestuous weight and fire of caustic guitar enterprise and rhythmic incitement. The song is a magnetic piece of songwriting, the best track on the release and a strong indicator to the prowess and thoughtful inventive craft of the band in creating and delivering their impacting excursions.

The band’s first release does not put a match to the passions but undoubtedly has them smouldering enthusiastically for them and their evolving potential. As we said at the top, expect Patrons to be a proposition that is a regular contributor to the buzz around the music world.

http://www.wearepatrons.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/wearepatrons

8/10

RingMaster 31/03/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com