Mass Infection – For I Am Genocide

Mass Infection - For I Am Genocide band photo

A smothering which denies a breath to be stolen and light to pierce its intensive tsunami of voracious intent, For I Am Genocide from Greek death metallers Mass Infection is an immediate treat which just gets better and stronger the more time given to its infestation of ears and imagination. On first encounter the immediately impressive and compelling release is a brutal persuasion which does not leap out as something particularly unique in the grand scheme of extreme metal but as with all releases a concentrated focus needs to be given to which in this case the rewards are rich and full. That is not to say that For I Am Genocide stands alone in the torrent of equally rapacious bands and releases but it definitely has an individualism to its character and striking creativity which is contagiously refreshing.

Released via Comatose Music, Mass Infection’s third album pushes the Livadia quartet into a richer and more intensive spotlight to that already earned by their previous releases. Formed in 2003 the band has been a constant attraction for their technically resourceful and barbarous sound, taking influences from band such as Deeds of Flesh, Hate Eternal, and Severe Torture into their own exploration. Their sound is a brutal engagement and as their previous albums alone have shown the band is able to strip senses and emotions bare with barbaric efficiency. Both Atonement for Iniquity and The Age of Recreation left a formidable mark for the band in presence and sound which made anticipation towards For I Am Genocide more than eager, and it is with this impressive release where it is easy to feel the band’s time to step into the higher echelons of metal is nigh.

There is no initial coaxing or gentle persuasion from the album, opening track Praised By All the Entities charging the ramparts of the Mass Infection - For I Am Genocide 5x5 300dpisenses with flailing riffs and ravenous rhythms heading the onslaught. Their voracious appetite is an immediate unveiling but shaped by a precision and intent which puts accuracy before barbarity. The equally antagonistic guttural vocal squalls rigorously enhance the venomous suasion, their scowling touch strong if not dramatically gripping but adding another coarse texture to join the violating sonic prowess and intrusiveness of the band. It is a masterful magnetic start to the album setting appetite and imagination alight with hunger.

The pestilential rapaciousness of The Scourge of Living Forms is next to aggressively embrace the ears, the track a maelstrom of craft and malevolence which is as exhaustive as it is primordially infectious. The mouthwatering grooves as in most songs do the true enslaving so the vicious rhythmic enterprise and vocals causticity can cast their insidious web. It results in a threat and corruption which buckles knees and destroys emotions but leaves full satisfaction and committed temptation in its wake, an evocation covering the whole of the album as shown by the similarly corrosive Hierarchy of the Highest Abomination. The song is a plague of insatiable riffery and rhythmic disorientation speared by acidic strikes of sonic lures which entwines toxic bait around the ears. Again it is a captivating abuse though the track does reveal the issues, though minor, which prevent the album being thought of as a classic. Not for the last time there is a repetitious element across songs, here incestuously bred grooves from its predecessor making admittedly appealing but openly obvious calls. Such their potency and of other examples like it, this does not deflect from the might of the album but does help that inability to stand aside from the crowd, as does the surface similarity of violence which enslaves the senses making that intensive investigation essential to discover the deep rooted ingenuity.

     Beholding the Throne suffocates the body next, its darker throat of sound and breath a predatory consumption matched by bile driven heavy vocals whilst its successor Unearthly Legion continues the hellacious blight of merciless rhythmic cruelty and horde like attack of riffs and grooves. It also infuses a veining of sonic pathogenic like tempting which ignites further fierce flames in the passions. Both tracks leave body sapped and imagination, not to forget appetite greedy, a lustful want easily sufficed by firstly the asphyxiating malicious web of intensity sculpted by Maelstrom of Endless Suffering and then the hateful depths of Beyond Perpetuation, a track which ensnares, tenderises, and devours the senses before taking them on a hellacious descent into the darkest pit of the album within a soundtrack of crippling rhythmic skill and sonic malefaction.

Nihilism Reigns is a glorious sonic scourge of melodic intent envenomed by addictive toxic seduction which leads the listener blissfully into the closing transgression of the body by The Genocide Revealed, a last drowning within carnivorous intensity and grooved spitefulness sculpted by the band’s expert individual skills honed into one irresistibly hostile trespass. It is a superb end to an even more immense release. Mass Infection with For I Am Genocide has not set new benchmarks for death metal but without doubt provided one of the highlights of extreme and creative enmity for the year so far.


RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Gravehill – Death Curse


For a pestilential onslaught of black, death, and thrash metal, moulded into one voracious tempest of raw and dirty metal it is unlikely many releases will surpass the new uncompromising ravaging of US corruptors Gravehill. The band’s third album Death Curse is a bestial examination of the senses; savaging violations soaked in causticity and stripped to their primal bones and intent. At times an anthemic contagion and in others simply a predatory gnawing of the senses, the album is an increasingly potent annihilation which evolves an initial strong showing into a truly impressive and exhausting incitement. There is no wastage of frivolous trickery or excessive showing off just concentrated undiluted primeval metal at its best.

The Californian band was formed in 2001, a trio which took little time in unleashing debut demo The Practitioners of Fell Sorcery; it was short lived triumph though as Gravehill disbanded soon after. 2006 saw the band reform, original drummer/founder Rhett “Thorgrimm” Davis linking up with vocalist Mike Abominator. A second demo Metal of Death in 2007 was followed by the EP Metal of Death/Advocation of Murder and Suicide the following year from the quintet. First full-length Rites of the Pentagram was next uncaged on Enucleation Records to strong reactions in 2009 as also its re-release in a package with a third outing from the band’s first demo via Ibex Moon Records a year later. The line-up saw a change in 2011 with guitarist Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey (Exhumed, Dekapitator, Repulsion) joining the band before second album When All Roads lead to Hell on Dark Descent Records. The next year saw another shift in personnel with both Hellfiend and fellow guitarist Rob “Bodybag Bob” Babcock leaving due to extensive touring demands with Exhumed to be replaced by CC DeKill and Hell Messiah.

With the new members slotting in with ease alongside Thorgrimm, Abominator, and bassist J.T. Corpse, Gravehill set about creating what CDBO04.pdfhas emerged as their most ferocious and destructive triumph to date. Again out through Dark Descent and featuring guest appearances from the likes of Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy as well as Kam Lee (Massacre, Death and Bone Gnawer), Death Curse is a masterful protagonist of the senses from the exceptional artwork provided by Christopher Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy)to its last lingering venomous note. Though the introductory opener Gates of Hell does not show the storm to come, its epically sinister portent of sonic certainly brings an intimidation to bear on the senses, a brewing threat soon realised with the explosive entrance of the title track, riffs and rhythms a merciless rampage whilst the coarse even rawer vocals scar air and ears. Eager in its thrash driven gait and acidic in the eruptions of sonic enterprise, the track is a magnetic encounter which maybe does not trigger an immediate hunger but with good variation to the vocals and a resistance proof groove certainly has full control of attention.

At Hell’s Command is much swifter in taking a submission from senses and passions, its yawning sonic bait from the first second irresistible and the spark to an incendiary examination of a brutal rhythmic battering and a venomous and compelling sonic intrusion. There is an insidiously commanding element to the song, and subsequently the album, which manipulates the imagination and emotions into subservience either instantly or over time as in the case of other songs, but always succeeding in its intent. The guitar toxicity of CC DeKill and Hell Messiah is especially impressive and tempting, their designs as in all aspects of the release, skilled and striking but never dosed with a wasteful indulgence.

The following Open Their Throats emerges from the fluid gothic like link between it and its predecessor to prowl around the ear with a doom bred stance. The song stalks with venom dripping from its rhythmic jaw and slavering riffs whilst the guttural intense vocals add further insatiable predation. Intensity and violence waits in the shadows before being freed from their reins for a fiery antagonism driven second half of the impressive rage, vocals and guitar craft again formidable lures within an equally compelling rhythmic enticement.

Both Fear the Reaper and Unending Lust for Evil take release and passions to another level, the virulently contagious drum and bass entrance to the first opening a doorway to thrash anthemic glory within a death seeded animosity whilst its successor digs deeper inside itself for a blacker toxin with which to infest song and listener, its constantly shifting attack and creativity a ridiculously infectious almost salacious offering. The pair of tracks marks the pinnacle of the album, though to be fair its whole range is never far from the lofty filth encrusted heights of the two as proven by the rapacious malevolence of Black Blood Rising, the blackened scourge a welcome primordial predator in modern extreme metal.

The album is at its strongest in its latter half with the final two songs continuing the intensive potency and senses gorging maliciousness of the last few offerings. Crucified is the loudest boldest anthem on the album, an irritable nagging soon recruiting full allegiance with its group vocal baiting over heavy booted rhythms and riffing. Speared by excellent sonic craft from the guitars, the song is a leader of rebellious intent igniting the pulse rate ready for the closing doomy weight and thrash swing of The Ascending Fire to exploit with its equally anthemic power. The song makes an outstanding last assault to an addictive treacherous plague, a Death Curse which violates and thrills with even voracity.


RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Pilgrim II: Void Worship


Pilgrim by Harry Gould Harvey

The second chapter in their aural adventure embracing wizards and warriors in a doom metal landscape, Pilgrim – II: Void Worship is a transfixing album of heavyweight persuasion and similar intensive sounds. The eight track highly anticipated continuation of the narrative and exploration bred in predecessor Misery Wizard, follows up the impressive entrance of US metallers Pilgrim with another potently formidable and richly impressive incitement of senses and imagination. Whether tales of magical lands and exploits of sword and sorcery ignite a hunger or like us just provides another lyrical colour to enjoy and move swiftly on from, there is no denying the hypnotic and darkly seductive persuasion of the band’s new album. Whether tempting with all the lures of a bewitched temptress or droning with a meditative persistence, Void Worship is a magnet hard to pull away from.

The band’s debut album rose up in 2012 to fan and critical acclaim, and alongside their exhausting live performances thrust Pilgrim under an intensive spotlight which bred the agitated eagerness for the band’s sophomore release. Between albums the Rhode Island band saw itself from a trio reduced to a duo last year, the departure of original bassist Count Elric the Soothsayer unable to defuse the creativity and drive of the remaining pair of drummer Krolg, Slayer of Man and guitarist/vocalist The Wizard who also took over bass duties for the new album. Released via Metal Blade Records, Void Worship is distinctly heavier with a harsher attitude to its intensity than its predecessor but equally stretches and investigates a richer melodic and sonic endeavour across its colourful lyrical and musical narratives, all within hypnotic shadow clad sceneries.

The opening Intro is an immediately engaging and mischievous beckoning, the instrumental clad in a villainous character which is Pilgrim - Void Worshipcartoonish almost bordering pantomime but works perfectly within the dark hues of the piece. It’s coaxing flows straight into the instantly immense Master’s Chamber, riffs building walls of intensity within seconds and as quickly pierced by a probing and slightly concussive rhythmic enticement. Embracing its predecessor’s charisma into its lumbering gait and infectious intrigue the track prowls with a nefarious air and grace which is easy to instantly give submission to. The vocals of The Wizard are clean and similarly alluring, bringing a guiding light to the story and intimidating dark tones around him. It is a captivating ten minute entrance by the album, a potent experience which the release pushes deeper into thoughts and welcoming emotions with its next track.

The Paladin is soon swinging muscular hips to mesmeric guitar bred toxicity whilst the drums herd and cage the passions with a deliciously menacing revelry matched in stronger weight by hungry riffs. Veined by addiction crafting grooves and again strong vocal presentation, the track is prime Pilgrim; unfussy and direct but with plenty for varied keen ears, voracious imaginations, and passionate appetites to feast upon. The mouthwatering romp makes way for Arcane Sanctum, an instrumental crafted by singular guitar elegance within a melancholic ambience at first which slowly infuses oppressive sinews and broader stringed swipes across its emerging body. It is a track where the imagination is invited to cast and reveal its own twist of the album’s journey, beauty and menace in tandem for a skilfully imposing incitement.

A rawer caustic environment springs from the first breath of In the Presence of Evil, its rare air and abrasing touch dragging a rhythmic provocation across the senses to threaten and persuade like a predator of veteran prowess and knowledge in capturing its prey, which the song does with ease. Its thunderous steps come with a rhythmic swagger and sonic invention courted by searing flames as it engulfs the beleaguered and hungrily accepting imagination once more to push on the adventure.

The title track steps up next still immersing the listener in the cavernous dark reaches of the realm. A dirge bred oppression wraps ears with an almost funereal stance which is held at bay by the returning vocals whilst the weighty riffery and rhythmic bones of the track pin down the senses with a leviathan like intensity, stalking with every clawing stroke and punishing beat. It is an inescapable intrusion but one lifted by again vocals and the melodic acidity which permeates just as potently and expressively. The extensive encounter increases its suffocation the deeper into its soul you go entrapping all within its grasp for the following Dwarven March to unleash its similarly dramatic and laboured gait upon. There is a lighter glaze to the tone of the song’s sonic voice, the brief instrumental colouring the shadows before the closing encounter clouds the skies once again.

     Away from Here twists thoughts and emotions around its similarly evolving premise and doom drenched soundscape, ensuring the listener is given one final lingering testing to bask and lose oneself in. It powerfully concludes a tremendously sculpted and presented spellbinding of senses and emotions. It is an unrelenting merciless encounter but one which is not afraid to expose its melodic and seductive side within a ravenous and tempestuous intensity. Pilgrim is shaping a raw and undiluted aspect to modern doom metal with plenty to appeal to the widest hungriest appetites.


RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Russian Heavy Metal band Hame-leoN release new song


Russian Heavy Metal band Hame-leoN have announced the release of their new track – “Novii Rasvet” (New Dawn).

The Hame-leoN band first appeared in Kursk, Russia, in 2005. Their high-level performance, potent musical qulaities, and attention grabbing songs soon made the band stand out amongst the range of then-new and upcoming young bands.

Hame-leoN is a 100% concert band with a powerful, energetic presentation and exceptional charisma. As a result of Hame-leoN’s activity, a small debut demo, 5 singles and an LP “Taste This Soul” have seen the light of day.

New single “Novii Rasvet” is ready to set a wider mark on the European metal scene with its release.