Hellish Outcast – Stay of Execution

Photo by Fotograf Jarle Hovda Moe

Photo by Fotograf Jarle Hovda Moe

Simultaneously a tsunami of organic hostility and premeditated intimately defined brutality, Stay of Execution from Norwegian metallers Hellish Outcast is quite simply one of the finds of the year. Not that the Bergen quartet are real newcomers, the band has been tearing up the local underground scene since 2001 and making a potent announcement of intent with debut album Your God Will Bleed two years ago. Their new album though is a whole new murder-pit of creative antagonism and majesty from the band, a rhythmically crippling and sonically ravishing destruction and seduction of the senses. Described as thrash/death metal, their sound is so much more than that limiting tag, the album inescapable evidence of a vicious and scintillating tapestry of varied flavours and styles picked apart and used as weaponry in one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed by guitarist Martin Legreid, bassist Mads Mowinckel (Breed), and drummer Mads Lilletvedt (Solstorm, ex-Byfrost), Hellish Outcast as mentioned was swiftly an attention grabbing and growing force in the Norwegian underground scene. 2006 saw the release of the demo Release You from Their Soil, and two years later came the unleashing of the Raping – Killing – Murder EP which drew keen and favourable attention on a wider scale. The addition of vocalist Thebon (ex-Keep Of Kalessin) in 2010 helped trigger a new twist and attitude in their already visceral sound, a spark ensuring Your God Will Bleed was well-received by a more potent spotlight . Stay of Execution takes it all to another level though, the expanse and maturity in sound and songwriting as marked as the greater insatiable brutality accompanying it. It is an album which tears senses and psyche asunder whilst serenading them with addiction binding grooves and melodic toxicity. Stay of Execution is exhilarating, rigorously compelling, and a release impossible to get your fill of.

It is fair to say that as soon as an avalanche of riffs and rhythms cascades down on the senses through opener Partition of Lust, the album takes a tight hold of ears and attention. It is an instinctively anthemic lure, the creative artillery of beats from Lilletvedt rigorously enticing bait within which riffs cast their own raw tempting. It is an onslaught which never waivers in its demands and punishing intensity, only increasing its savagery as the malevolent vocal squalls of Thebon explode in the maelstrom of spite. Though there is a repetitive core to the track, it just as grippingly unleashes strong variation in voice and grooving to provide the most hostile and irrepressibly addictive start to the release.

Things only accelerate in persuasion and ingenuity as the following punkish brawl of I Can No Longer See the Sun erupts. The song’s subsequent barbarous body is swiftly drawing on groove and nu-metal tendencies as it dips into the 10653627_10152640278209718_9183828471053285056_ndeath bred corners of muscular animosity. It is a bewitching pillaging of the emotions, at times crooning with melodic and harmonious beauty and in other moments stripping the senses bare with vicious and merciless invention. Its deceptive and thrilling mastery is soon emulated by the lethal breath and inhospitable landscape of Heresiarch, the track a stalking predator but again unafraid to sooth the wounds it’s rhythmic and sonic claws dig with a weave of warm melodies and spellbinding clean vocals. The song is ravenous in its fierce imagination and seductive through the grizzled radiance similarly expelled.

The corrosive rancor of the thrash fuelled Hunter Supreme comes next, its title perfect naming of the exhaustive sound within the predacious enmity masquerading as a song, before a new pinnacle is forged with Gods of Fear. This track is as primal as it is innovative, the opening crawl of riffs and bass intimidation bestial at best and tar thick malevolence at its deepest. It is soon engulfed in another thrash driven tirade of death and groove metal blood lust yet manages to hold a rein on its venom to more taunt the imagination and emotions. Scorched with a blistering solo, the track is a monstrous rancor and virulently infectious.

Leave offers its own outstanding violation next, its entrance a mellower coaxing than anything provided before on the album but also as portentous and menacing as those same companions. With a slow groan of a delivery from Thebon exposing the song’s narrative as at times vocal harmonies magnetically colour the background, there is a Faith No More essence to the brooding incitement, a similarly distinct inventiveness as the track seduces with clean vocals and grizzled snarls musically and lyrically. It is a transfixing treat setting up the listener for the impossibly contagious presence of Machines. With a robust swing to its stride and sonic tenacity to its enthralling enterprise, the track is loaded with a creative rabidity which is pure fascination. A round that is a ferocity which is honed into something controlled but forcibly hungry. The mid-point slip into a stark and dystopian like metallic soundscape does not quite work with personal tastes, mainly for the length it consumes before allowing the severity of the blistering storm to return, but it cannot derail another track from impressively igniting body and passions.

The album’s irresistible title track makes for a distinct and intriguing antagonist next, its winding grooves like sonic ivy entwining the imagination and lingering in grip, before both Morbid Attraction and Torment unveil their destructive and thrilling characters. The first is a nostrils flaring, fist pounding hellacious assault; riffs and rhythms scything and swiping respectively upon the senses with barbaric and deliciously infectious urgency whilst its successor almost glares at the listener with its initial imposing stance before casting a canvas which is as predatory in tone and effect as it is sizzling in unpredictability and melodic imagination. Both tracks, as the whole album throughout, share searing and unique displays of sonic invention from the guitars aligned to exciting vocal variation and an enslaving rhythmic animus. It is a starling blend, which in whatever individual form the combination comes, never loses the band’s almost inimitable touch.

The album comes to an end through the instrumental beauty of The Wait, an acoustic led piece of music which is expressive in melodies and spellbinding in elegance. It finally gives time for breath to be taken within Stay of Execution, though in some ways the senses feel it might have been more useful earlier. The track makes a provocative close to a devastating and mercilessly thrilling release whilst at the same time revealing yet more of the qualities and thoughtful adventure within the band.

Whether Stay of Execution is forging new scenery for extreme metal is a debate which can be argued either side way. It does provide without any doubt though one of the most exciting and refreshing releases this year, pushing Hellish Outcast to the frontline of brutal pleasure.

Stay of Execution is available via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/en/81_hellish-outcast

https://www.facebook.com/HELLISHOUTCAST

RingMaster 22/10/2014

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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Zapruder – Fall in Line

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It may be titled Fall in Line, but the debut album from French band Zapruder does everything but that with its rigorously unpredictable and exhaustingly diverse sound. The release is made up by a collection of tracks which are as distinctly different from each other as they are united in brewing up intensely compelling and experimentally fiery landscapes. It is devilish and seductive, mischievous and aggressive; a release which confuses and ignites the imagination across its explosive length but ultimately leaves ears hungry and emotions basking in a unique challenge.

Hailing from Poitiers, Zapruder swiftly set about creating new propositions from fusing the likes of mathcore, noise, and post-rock amongst numerous ingredients. First release, the Straight From The Horse’s Mouth EP, was unveiled in 2012 and made a potent mark in drawing attention towards the quintet. Recorded with and mixed by Amaury Sauvé, the mastering done by Sylvain Biguet (Birds In Row, Trepalium), this well-received EP brought forth a creative template which has been pushed and explored to enthralling lengths by Fall in Line. Live the band has similarly risen in stature and acclaim, sharing stages with the likes of Kruger, Celeste, Cowards, As We Draw, June Paik, Offending, and Betraying The Martyrs. Now the also Sauvé recorded and mixed new album, with mastering this time taken on by Rob Gonnella and Nick Zampiello, is ready to draw the hungriest spotlight upon the band, one it is hard to see them missing out on such the creative alchemy within Fall in Line.

Out through both Apathia Records and Hipsterminator Records, the band instantly awakes ears and attention with the raw and corrosive opening to We Are Orphans. The first track is an immediate squall of sonic causticity and rhythmic predation, the guitars of Etienne Arrivé and Quentin Cacault roaring and chugging for a magnetic lure before the scathing vocal tones of Isaac Ruder erupt with searing antagonism. It is a harsh and gripping mix, especially with the throaty bass bait of François Arrivé aligning to the rhythmic antagonism of drummer Romain Fiakaifonou. The track at this point is hardcore and noise fuelled but already igniting intrigue with its emerging startling twists and warped grooving. Well into its assault, the song’s body is a delicious tangle of spices and ideation, every aspect unafraid to venture into unexpected explorations though the blunt force and raw energy of the song never waivers. Teasing melodies and blistering scythes of guitar only increase the potency of the turbulent maze as the song moves through a slightly more placid and reflective passage before closing out in a scorching finale.

The following Cyclops is bred from the same raucous template initially, guitars and vocals a scarring tempest punctured by just as hostile and disorientating rhythms. The track like its predecessor has a definite essence of Coilguns and Fall in LineKunz to their ferocious touch, but also as warped infestations of noise and melodic toxicity worm under the skin of the song and the listeners psyche, hints of bands such as Destrage and Kabul Golf Club play with thoughts. Persistently dark and imposing, the song begins reeking of delicious evocative sax and clarinet wails through guest Clément Beuvon, whilst coarse melodies add to the emerging colour and expansive depths of the thrilling track. It is a glorious examination of the senses and thoughts, one soon surpassed by the brilliant Modern Idiot. Another kind of beast entirely, the song buzzes around ears straight away with a jazzy sonic blistering and rhythmic juggling before exposing its venomous intent and malevolent contagiousness. Grooves swell and spin within the intensive tempest, breaking free to sculpt an almost deranged revelry of charm and mischief within the still lingering oppressiveness of the song. Post rock, groove metal, jazz funk, and psychotic mathcore are all in the staggering brilliance of the encounter, each seamlessly flirting and twisting around each other for a major pinnacle to the release.

Moloch explores another fiercely intensive landscape, its scenery brutal and emotionally stark but moving towards and evolving into a just as forcibly compelling and potently evocative beauty. The thick texture and atmosphere of the song never relinquishes it’s also smothering agility, thoughts and emotions inescapably wrapped by the almost dystopian touch of the track’s climate. As all the songs on the album no matter their brutality or charm, there is an infectiousness which is captivating and commanding, as shown by the riveting and sultry instrumental Delusion Junction and the cryptic ingenuity of Doppelgänger. The first is a jazz kissed smouldering of elegance and searing beauty whilst its successor is a hellacious stomp of inhospitable and addiction sparking genius. Grooves swing with salacious appetites whilst pungent rhythms stomp with irreverent urgency, The vocals are also unbridled in their ravenous intent, but it is the manic flames of sax which holds the key to making an outstanding song into a classic one. With the discord lilted ingenuity which marked out Essential Logic sounds in the eighties, the sax of Beuvon flirts and swaggers with a ridiculously captivating groove all of its own, in turn seemingly to spark an increased playful and dramatic vaunt in all elements of the track.

From that stirring peak the album turns to another right away, the heroic stroll of Monkey On My Back explosively igniting ears before erupting into a bedlamic storm of rebellious rhythms and psychotic guitar revelry, all grazed by the scarring intensity of the vocals. The song is a furnace of contagion and disorientating enterprise, but again one not content to risk the listener getting an understanding and expectation of things in motion as it falls into a black pit of sonic anguish and rhythmic stalking. As the album, the track needs plenty of time and attention to reveal all its depths but rewards with another major twist to the release.

The radiance of the melodic croon that is Loquèle is just as wrong-footing as the bedlam within the songs before it, its unexpected and untainted beauty a relatively smooth emotive flight within a shadow coated ambience. With equally clean and unclouded vocals from this time Cacault, the track feeds an already thoroughly greedy appetite for the album, as does the closing Je Ferai De Ma Peau Une Terre Où Creuser. A blazing final hoarse roar, musically and vocally, the track is a post hardcore/post metal journey through raw and climactic emotions and sonic terrains. It as the previous track cannot match the heights and might of the songs before them, but each show a passion and majesty to their impacting enticement that only means the album ends as impressively as it started.

Zapruder tests and make demands right across Fall In Line which means they will not be for everyone, but for all with a taste for experimental and intrusively inventive explorations, they are a proposition which should be hastily sought out.

Fall In Line is available now via Apathia Records / Hipsterminator Records @ http://www.apathiarecords.com/en/albums/fall-in-line-by-zapruder/ or http://zaprudertheband.bandcamp.com/album/fall-in-line

www.facebook.com/zaprudertheband

RingMaster 22/10/2014

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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Look Alive – Translucent

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It may not set the pulse racing with outright originality, but there is definitely something fresh and captivating to the familiar and warm presence of Translucent, the new EP from US rockers Look Alive, which cannot be avoided. The successor to their acclaimed debut album Mistakes & Milestones of last year, the new release reveals a definite maturity and more expressive intimacy has worked its way into the band’s songwriting. Arguably the four songs making up the release have a little less of the immediacy which littered the album, but loaded with an undeniable infectiousness to their more involved enterprise, it shows that the band is moving in a potent and enjoyable direction with their colourful mix of alternative rock and pop punk.

Released on Autumn + Colour Records, the EP opens with the magnetic energy and raw passion of Putting The “I” In Isolation. The song instantly grasps ears in a roar of riffs and expressive melodies intensified by an even more urgent torrent of rhythms. It is an imagination awakening start enhanced by the strong vocals of Jacob and the subsequent invention which guitars and bass potently flirt with. The song through to its end proceeds to explore slower more emotionally charged passages alongside the energetic stride of its evocative stroll, never wasting a moment on lazy energy or uneventful endeavour. It does not set a fire burning with its certain prowess and adventure, but the track certainly sparks an appetite for the release and real satisfaction with its presence.Look_Alive-Translucent-2014

Underrated moves in with a slower and mellower breath next, though the rhythms of drummer Patrick are as agitated and inventive as ever to provide an unpredictable frame which the guitars of George and Cody wrap in melodic radiance and magnetic temptation. Though its predecessor was more of a forceful proposition, the second song has a richer anthemic and dramatic air to its presence as it takes best song honours on the release. Its success is almost matched by Regrets Taste A Lot Like Hard Liquor, a song which goes for an again slightly more reserved cantor and punchy rhythmic enticing than those before it but crafts a masterful canvas for emotional hues and creative tenacity to colour. As all the tracks there is something familiar at work yet it is a refreshing and invigorating essence which only helps songs breed a strong and eager appetite for their offerings.

The same applies to The Bad Conversationalist, the final song on the EP. Right away there is something recognisable to the track but when it expels its emotive angst and tenacious enterprise there is predominantly a new and highly pleasing incitement for ears and thoughts. The bass of Jace though arguably less prominent with its lines compared to say the last track, brings a great depth of shadow to the fiery song, it just one of many elements reinforcing the growing strength of the band’s sound and songwriting.

Translucent is a strong and pleasing encounter, proving that though Look Alive’s sound may lack that uniqueness to push them far away from other similar propositions right now, with enjoyable offerings like this there will be no disinterest in waiting for that breakthrough.

The Translucent EP is available now via Autumn + Colour Records @ http://www.autumnandcolour.com/apparel/?c=look-alive#_=_

http://www.lookaliveatl.com

RingMaster 22/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/