Fleshworld/Gazers/Viscera/// – Split CD

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This October seems like it is the month of split releases, many compelling link-ups sharing some striking sounds and bands. Unquiet Records are releasing one of the more notable encounters in the shape of a split release between Polish hardcore bred post metallers Fleshworld, French blackened post-hardcorers Gazers, and Italian psychedelic metallers Viscera///. It is a gripping collection of songs which come from different angles of sonic consumption but unite in a mutual heavy and depressive examination of senses and imagination. It is an enthralling proposition, a release which can devour ears and emotions in a nihilistic landscape of intensity and sound but also treat them to contagious and just as toxic refreshing enterprise.

The first three tracks are provided by Kraków quintet Fleshworld, a band drawing on inspirations from the likes of Opeth, Neurosis, Cult Of Luna, and Deathspell Omega in their sound. They have already awoken attention through previous 6-track release Like we’re all equal, also released on Unquiet, and here get the split off to an imposing and potent start. Their first track Krąg grips ears with a sonic lancing before bulky rhythms twist over the senses. It is a tasty start added to by the melodic groove wrapping around the initial bait of the song. With a vocal sample adding to the emerging shadowed drama, the track flirts and intimidates with equal success, the guitars of Mateusz Szczurek and Kuba Leszko sculpting a captivating design within the increasingly darker and oppressive rhythmic provocation bred by drummer Szymon Łuczyński and bassist Łukasz Klamiński. The song continues to threaten and seduce, as the raw vocal squalls of Tytus Kalicki rage and spill venom across the bewitching consumption of ears and emotions. Acidic melodies and barbarous hooks are never far from the surface of the growing tempest though, it all making for a scintillating start to the release.

   The band’s other pair of songs never quite match up to the first such it’s might, but Pętla with its heavy resonating bass lure and similarly magnetic rhythmic enticement certainly comes close. It is a captivating entrance which spreads a blackened and caustic breath across its spine through evocative melodies from the guitar and a raw hostility to the vocals respectively. It emerges as a brooding and increasingly chilling erosive wash which leaves thoughts lost in a barren corrosive soundscape and emotions exposed to a stark sonic climate. Its successor Rezygnacja, which features guest vocals from Alex Stjernfeldt and Victor Wegeborn from The Moth Gatherer, is similarly drenched in uncompromising and oppressive textures within a destructive atmosphere, but again shape its scenery with an impressive and attention gripping display from drums and bass. The rawest uncomfortable track of the three, it reveals more of the immersive depths and skilled composing of Fleshworld and their ability to lock the listener willingly into a scarring embrace.

Hailing from Paris, the 2012 formed quintet of Gazers has also earned a potent reputation through their self-titled EP of last year and live shows where they have graced stages alongside the likes of The Rodeo Idiot Engine, Cowards, Loma Prieta, Code Orange Kids, and Twitching Tongues. There first contribution to the split comes in the intrigue drenched Rash, a track taking its time to seize the senses. From a cold and raw ambience also infused with sampled vocals, though a distant whisper here, the song erupts in a blaze of hardcore, crust surfaced animosity. Spiky hooks and cruel grooves emerge as vocals roar with malcontent, a greater anger and maliciousness coating each step of the song’s evolution. It is a potent track which makes for a keen but uneasy listen before the stronger weight and adventure of The Decline takes over. Firm beats and rugged scythes of guitar are met by a deranged flame of riffs, everything at odds but fitting masterfully to ensnare ears and appetite. Further in a mellower but no less stark and intimately imposing passage plays with the imagination too, it adding to the great unpredictability of song and the band’s engrossing enterprise.

     The following Epilogue is the same, a song never allowing thoughts and emotions rest as it roams and permeates the senses with a revolving rage of gripping rhythms, sonic abrasing, and vocal ferocity. The best of Gazers’ trio of offerings, the track is a maelstrom of creative spite and imaginative turbulence worrying and igniting the senses for an intensive and flavoursome examination.

The final two songs on the release comes from Viscera///, a band employing essences and experiences in styles like post hardcore, space rock, ambient, and drone, gained by members past and present of bands such as Morkobot, Blanca Division, Malasangre, The Drop Machine, Mount Piezein Circle, Edema, Wicked Minds, The Vendetta, and Self Human Combustion. With two albums, many splits, and tours all across Europe under their belt, the trio now turn their attention to the split and unleash their gripping mix of metal and psyche rock. Versus swiftly tightens its steely grip on ears with rigid beats and acerbic grooves, they a spring board for subsequent waves of rolling rhythms, ravenous blackened pestilence, and in turn voracious tsunamis of sound and malevolence. It is a hellacious mix but one where very turn is complete with sparking twists of invention and sonic radiance.

Its successor Nobody’s Diary, a cover of the Yazoo track, ignites ears and imagination with even more triumphant ingenuity next. The track instantly storms the psyche with virulent and scathing riffery as sonic blooms break out around its tempest, but it is the unexpected display of clean vocals which tips the balance and inspires a delicious multi-flavoured landscape of warped and imaginative endeavour to steal the passions. With its sound aligned to a thick sludgy furnace of hostility, the song is an outstanding end to a rather impressive and thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

Personal tastes dictates which songs stand above others but every track and each of the three bands, make a compelling and richly satisfying persuasion impossible to resist.

The Split release is available now via Unquiet Records @ www.unquietrecords.com/product/fleshworldgazersviscera-3-way-split/

https://www.facebook.com/fleshworld

https://www.facebook.com/Gazersband

https://www.facebook.com/viscera3stripes/

RingMaster 16/10/2104

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Planning For Burial/Liar In Wait – Split 7”

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Bringing together two bands which have already stolen strong attention and praise for their previous releases, the new split 7” from Broken Limbs Records makes a compelling introduction for newcomers to both Planning For Burial and Liar In Wait whilst showing existing fans a glimpse, certainly in the case of the second project, of a new mature landscape of sound. It is an absorbing and immersive experience being offered, two tracks which distinctly differ but unite in their ability to seduce and envelop ears, as well as the imagination, with subtle and bolder invention.

The first track Mischief Night is provided by Planning For Burial, the solo project of Pennsylvania based musician Thom Wasluck. The song is his first outing since the release of the acclaimed album Desideratum earlier this year. It IMG_7856(2)opens with a sonic flame which swiftly immerses into a radiant but oppressive drone. It is a persistence of noise though wrapped and embraced by flowing synth crafted melodies, their evocative breath and nature a warm caress over the caustic spine of the song. Guitars add their raw beauty and unpolished elegance almost as quickly, everything combining for a haunting and ethereal flight through morose and imposing shadows. It is a thick and challenging intensity which emerges from the bewitching cacophony of sound, but one tempered just enough by the slow laboured vocals of Wasluck, melancholia dipping off every syllable within his expressive monotonous delivery. It is an emotion lighting cloud of riveting dark beauty and dramatic shadows lying pleasingly like a mix of Joy Division and Nine Inch Nails within a cold shoegaze soundscape.

   The second song Paper Houses is a lighter and warmer proposition but just as rich in firm textures and infectious magnetism. Liar In Wait began in 2012 as a side project of vocalist Adam Clemans of Wolvhammer and bassist Jim Adolphson from Mourner. It was not long before the band grew to a quartet with the addition of guitarist Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Nachtmystium) and drummer Peter Clarke (Iron Thrones), and recorded debut EP Translations of the Lost which was released last year on Profound Lore. Employing inspirations from the likes of Asylum Party, Joy Division, The Cure, and Fields of the Nephilim, release and sound was well-received and has already raised keen anticipation for the band’s first full-length scheduled for next year.

liw promo     Paper Houses makes a potent and exciting teaser for the release, immediately seducing ears with an intrigue loaded bassline which swiftly suggests Ian Curtis and co. The irresistible bait is then crossed by shards of sonic eruptions before it all slips into a lively but reserved stroll with the bass still leading the seduction beneath the melodic tones of Clemans. There is a shoegaze glazing which mesmerises with House of Love like radiance but equally a dark tonal elegance which embraces essences of Gene Love Jezebel, early Cure, and The Danse Society in its emotive flight across the enthralling song. It is a spellbinding track having no difficulty in awakening real anticipation for Liar In Wait’s first album.

We have been blessed with a strong and impressive array of split releases over past months and this is another to add to that list.

 The Planning For Burial/Liar In Wait Split is available now digitally and on vinyl (300 black and 200 on orange vinyl) @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.com/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/planningforburial

https://www.facebook.com/liarinwait

RingMaster 15/10/2014

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Volunteer – Goner

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It might not be the most startling thing to assault your ears this year, or stalk a new vein of originality within the varied sphere of noise rock but Goner, the new 10” release from Milwaukee trio Volunteer is a thoroughly appetising and magnetic beast of a release. Consisting of four tracks which are heavier than, and delivered with the suffocating intensity of a landslide, the band’s new EP is a richly satisfying and enjoyable onslaught. No it does not leave you jaw-slacked in awe but offers plenty to spark a hungry attention towards its sculptors.

Formed in 2013, Volunteer consists of guitarist/vocalist Francisco Ramirez, bassist Martin Defatte, and drummer Mark Sheppard, formers members of bands such as Traitors and Gasoline Fight, Stock Options, and Forstella Ford. Within weeks the threesome had recorded their debut release, a self-titled 6-song EP via Chicago’s Underground Communique Records which drew potent interest and responses upon its release last October. Now the band has prepared the ground for a more focused spotlight with Goner, an accomplished and imposingly pleasing proposition which hits ears hard and holds attention tight.

Released in collaboration with Chicago label Forge Again Records and the band’s own Triple Eye Industries, Goner immediately assaults the senses with the weighty presence of Nein. From its first breath riffs offered by the baritone guitar of Ramirez snarl and awaken a greedy appetite whilst the bass of Defatte soon offers its own grizzled enticement. Punctured by the similarly heavy swings of drummer Sheppard and permeated by the grouchy gruff vocals of the guitarist, the song consumes ears with a voracious and blistering energy. Grooves are submerged in the background more than the track’s vibrant foreground, but still make a potent lure in the overall tar thick persuasion of the song. As mentioned of the Volunteer-Goner_cover1200x1200whole EP, the song does not leap out or set new templates for heavy rock but certainly provides an inescapable contagion.

The same can be said of its successor Free-er Bird, a track which emerges from a sonic call to uncage a lumbering senses smothering gait which crawls venomously over the senses. Rhythms cast a slightly more urgent bait within the sonic consumption whilst the deep throaty tone of Ramirez guitar again seduces an already in place hunger, as bred by the likes of Karn8 and Morass of Molasses, for such propositions. Though there is another infectious edge and enticement to the track it is a solid and formidable wall of noisy enterprise lacking the spark of its predecessor and definitely the remaining pair of songs on Goner.

The first of the final two songs is the release’s title track, an instantly gripping and far more adventurous sonic incitement from the band. Grooves and riffs swiftly lay a web of unpredictable and tenacious enterprise, punctuated by the constantly dramatic and hostile bait of rhythms. The song swings with an antagonistic and compelling creative ferocity, scarring and flirting with ears at every turn and through each twist of ideation. You still would not announce its proposal as anything majorly new but it is impossible not to grant its declaration of being virulently addictive and severely enjoyable, whilst setting a lofty peak for the EP.

Goner is brought to a close by I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both, an impressive cover of the Jawbreaker track. Lurching with a rhythmic predation and a similarly inflamed ravaging of caustic riffs, the track infests the imagination and emotions through scuzzed up effect loaded vocals, venom dripping grooves, and an irresistible baiting from the bass. It is a toxic treat which brings a fine release to intensely pleasing end.

Goner is a healthy consumption of noise and skilled resourcefulness which fans of band such as Melvins, Unsane, and Jesus Lizard will lick their lips over. It might not be a template maker or soaked in overwhelming originality but it provides a deeply enjoyable and flavoursome encounter to get greedy over and another potential fuelled powerful step in the emergence of Volunteer.

Goner is available via Forge Again Records/Triple Eye Industries digitally and on Ltd 10” vinyl (100 on black and 200 on translucent red vinyl with black swirls) now @ http://wearevolunteer.bandcamp.com/

http://wearevolunteer.com

RingMaster 15/10/2014

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Subservience – Upheaval

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Equipped with a noticeably heavier presence and voracity in vocals and sound, metallers Subservience unleash their new EP Upheaval to not only reinforce the band’s reputation as being one of the most exciting extreme metal bands emerging in the UK, but push them towards the fore of British metal in general. Consisting of four savage and unrelenting onslaughts loaded with the insatiable grooving the band is renowned for, the release is a virulent tsunami of brutality and contagious predation. It hits and swings with greater ferocity and energy than a wrecking ball yet assaults ears and passions with an inescapable anthemic and easily accessible binding. It is a glorious rampage which you can maybe argue about its originality but cannot dismiss the skilled and vicious infestation it unleashes on the passions.

Hailing from Brighton and formed in 2010, Subservience has only constantly increased their presence and garnering of fans and support since releasing the Blueprint To Chaos demo in their first year. A well-received split with Sa-da-KO followed in 2011 before the EPs Dystopia and Ripped In Half of 2012 and 2013 respectively, caught a wider imagination and spotlight. Both were furious and intensive slabs of metal but in hindsight just a teaser for the might and fury uncaged by Upheaval. The first with new vocalist Dan Lofthouse, who alone has added a more potent almost bestial essence to the music through his uncompromising and accomplished tones, the EP bares a creatively forceful intensity in sound and craft which surpasses the band’s previous successes and puts up the band’s death metal bred, groove infested malicious emprise as a true attention grabber.

The release opens with its title track and coming from a distant sonic lure is swiftly colliding with the senses, the destructive and merciless riffery of Ryan Jardine and Martin Shouler carnivorous protagonists within the scything swipes of drummer Tom Newland. It is a callous assault but one unafraid to offer small respite with a melodic regrouping before unleashing its full venom again, though it continues to allow very quick breathes to be snatched within its pestilential savagery. It is an outstanding start, Lofthouse an irresistible and intimidating provocateur to sound and ears whilst the brooding but no less vicious bass riffs of Scott Bishop, bring further menacing colour to the corrosive portrait offered. As Subservience Upheaval Artworkthe release, the song is all about the grooves and hostility from its riffery and rhythms but there is no missing and refusing the twists of potent invention spawning all aspects and the infectious bait seducing imagination and passions.

Second track Inhuman Savagery has no shyness in consuming and brutalising ears from the off either, though grooves are quicker to ingrain their toxicity and the overall initial intensity of the song is slightly reined in compared to its predecessor. It is a tempestuous beast of a song, its sonic predation and merciless rhythmic inhospitality more enterprising and reserved in character but still colliding with body and senses like a mountain collapsing under the weight of its malevolence and antagonistic intent.

Slither comes next, stalking the listener’s senses and psyche from its first touch but winding a melodic enticement around its predacious coaxing. Of course it is not long before the song is gnawing and oppressing the senses with its caustic grooves and inflexible intensity but this is tempered by the slight but effective melodic lures which escape across the song. Though overall it lacks the spark of the tracks around it, the torrent of repressive riffs and rhythms which core the song predominantly ignite thoughts and passions, especially with the matching ear grinding guttural tones of Lofthouse on top, and the track another insatiable and irresistible incitement.

The EP is brought to a close by Divine Malevolence, vocals and thumping beats a colossal roar and bruising from its first second and the subsequent furnace of flaming acidic grooves and anthemic barbarity severe addiction. The track is a leviathan of searing grooves through a tar thick climate of cruel rhythms and scarring riffing, all driven and lorded over by the excellent almost tyrannical vocal presence of Lofthouse. It is a brute of a proposition which ensures a scintillating end to a thrilling release.

Subservience has pushed their potent sound in an impressive direction between releases and as suggested is now poised to step into the front line of British extreme metal. They have still a short way to go to forge a truly unique sound but with releases like this it is fun waiting.

The self-released Upheaval EP is available now.

http://www.subservience.co.uk/

RingMaster 15/10/2014

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Sloths – Twenty Years

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Voracious, sludgy, uncompromising, and corrosive, all adjectives befitting the sound of US band Sloths and certainly their new EP Twenty Years. They present a thick slab of noise and intensity but also to their diversely flavoured assault and suffocation of the senses, the band explores raw melodic beauty within is just as startling in its emotive scenery. As evidenced by their new release they offer a punishingly heavy and exhausting creative offensive which at times challenges enjoyment, yet persistently it seduces with a predacious elegance to forge the most welcome physical and mental violation. It is a release which may not become your favourite release of this year but one which will spark a long term hunger for more.

Coming out of Portland, Oregon, the 2010 formed Sloths swiftly bred a sound which is as much post hardcore as it is sludge, as much noise rock and hardcore as it is any flavour you can imagine. Their sound is cauldron of noise and intensity aligned to intrusive invention, a recipe which has soaked a demo and a couple of EPs since forming, with Knives of last year a trigger to stronger attention upon the band. Now they unleash Twenty Years and it is easy to expect an even more potent response and reception to the EP’s severe ferocity. Recorded with Fester at Haywire Studios and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Baptists, Sleep, Oathbreaker, Tragedy), Twenty Years uncages a trio of songs connected musically and thematically in a demanding and intimidating exploration looking at “what it means to die young, a theme influenced by the recent death of a friend and the perspective gained by seeing the aftermath of such a tragedy.” The release is immersive smog of energy and sound, a suffocation of shadows and dark emotions veined with a melodic and impassioned light which ensures the release ignites imagination and emotions as powerfully as it does ears.

The EP opens with Elegy, an immediate blaze of aggression and abrasion driven by thunderous rolling rhythms from drummer Nate Sonenfeld and a sonic cacophony cast by guitarist Kyle Bates. It is a fierce examination of the senses TwentyYearsCoverdriven by viciously raw vocals but tempered by the equally dark and imposing, but more composed assault of Alec van Staveren’s bass. The initial impact relaxes as acidic melodies begin exploring the tempest, their unpolished radiance a glimmer of respite within the still boiling climate of emotional turmoil. With grooves adding their heavy spice and imposing hooks a barbarous lure, the track is a dramatic and powerful start to the release.

The song flows into the following Void and it’s less forceful but no less intensive landscape. It is a caustic reflection musically and lyrically, sculpted by evocative melodies and those still thick set and energetic rhythms. The track is initially glazed in a reserved and ruggedly pensive climate but builds up its passion and anger to expel a range of carnivorous riffs and crippling rhythms, all the time working towards a hellacious crescendo and finale. All the time though melodies offer brief escapes and tempering to the fury uncaged and urged on by the voracity of the vocals.

Passing brings the release and emotional turbulence to a close, its initial almost blackened rage expelling torrents of angst and antagonism. The individual skills and energies of the band members converge on the senses with sonic and malicious flames throughout for a destructive satisfaction, yet there is an evolving breath and presence to the song which sees it eventually leaving on a more peaceful acceptance and grace.

Twenty Years is not an easy listen but it is a compelling and emotionally invigorating one which leaves ears and emotions more fulfilled and energised by its close whilst suggesting Sloths is a band due very close attention.

The Twenty Years EP is available through The Ghost is Clear Records, Don’t Live Like Me Records, and Illuminasity Records digitally now @ http://sloths.bandcamp.com/album/twenty-years with a Ltd Ed clear vinyl out from October 2014 and a cassette version via Death Culture Tapes soon after.

https://www.facebook.com/slothsportland

RingMaster 15/10/2014

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