Deserted Fear – Kingdom of Worms

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An unrelenting storm of death metal embracing the genre’s varied grounding seeds and a more modern creative voracity, the second album from German metallers Deserted Fear is an uncompromising and brutal onslaught. Kingdom Of Worms is also a release which manages to feed expectations and throw curveballs at them simultaneously. It is a storming onslaught, never taking time out to rest on its ferocious laurels and give the listener any real respite from its hostility. A game changer or unique challenge for death metal the album is not, but as an attention grabbing confrontation and another big step in the rise of the band, Kingdom Of Worms is a rigorous success.

Hailing from Eisenberg, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Manuel Glatter, guitarist/bassist Fabian Hildebrandt, and drummer Simon Mengs was soon drawing local attention from the emergence of Deserted Fear in 2008. It was debut album My Empire in 2012, following an earlier demo, which suddenly triggered keener and broader spotlight upon the band. Soon the European metal scene was taking eager notice of them, even more so as they subsequently made acclaimed appearances at festivals such as Summer Breeze, Party San Open Air, and Extremefest. Now Deserted Fear has unleashed the next instalment of their emergence, and it is easy to suspect that the Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) mastered release will stir up another torrent of potent praise and concentration on the band.

The climactic, epically toned Intro opening up the album is nothing new in extreme metal nowadays but it has to be said that even though you almost expect this kind of beginning to an album, it cannot defuse the portentous and potent lure of the piece before it leads straight into the mighty rhythmic paws and sonic ravishing of Forging Delusions. It is an instant brute of a song with nostrils of imposing intensity flaring and sinew sculpted addictive grooves inescapably binding the imagination and passions. It is hard to get enough of the fiery proposition the song offers initially, and even as its relative restraint slips to open up a maelstrom of hostile rabidity, there is still that increasingly compelling groove driven bait insatiably seducing. With a heavyweight thrust of thrash ferocity aiding the all-consuming attack, the track is a storming start to the album.

The title track comes next and it too is swiftly consuming ears and appetite in tightly gripping grooves as the feet and arms of Mengs uncage hellacious energy and skills. As its predecessor, it too is unrelenting in its savagery and tenacious DF_Kingdom of worms_COVER_blackback_wwwenterprise, its touch raw and caustic yet equally coaxing and contagious as guitars weave a melodic tapestry. The scintillating song is a cauldron of craft from each of the band individually and in a united animosity of sound and rhythmic barbarism, whilst vocally Glatter growls with a depth and ferociousness that you feel for the lining of throat and gut.

The pair of Call Me Your God and Wrath On Your Wound, unveil their own spiteful landscapes of sonic and rhythmic enmity next, the first an intensive avalanche of bitter riffs and destructive beats scarred by the increasingly corrosive tones of Glatter, whilst the second is a fully fledged rage with malice dripping from teeth clenched vocals and spiralling grooving which line the bruising thrust of the transfixing song. Again Menghs proves himself to be an attention grabbing beater of skins whilst both Glatter and Hildebrandt spin a creative web which is as intrusive as it is enthralling.

The melodic breath and elegance of Torn By Hatred comes next, a short instrumental which does provide the one moment of mercy and warm colouring in the album, before The Agony pillages the senses with its blistering stride of riffs and sonic endeavour. It is a bestial proposition in voice and breath, but with the vocals finding their own animalistic growl and grooves another heavy dose of toxic infectiousness, it is an encounter which is happy to rearm established genre ideation with the band’s own flaming resourcefulness. Its intensive suasion is followed by the lean swagger and predacious stalking of With Might And Main. The track almost saunters as it batters and impedes on the senses, providing another delicious and almost anthemic provocation to engage in.

The slower entrance of Shattering The Soil makes for a different slant to the release though it is soon submerged in another unbridled fury of sound and intent before Mortal Reign parades its rhythmic and caustic rancor with vicious relish and skilled endeavour. Neither track lives up to what came before though each definitely only adds to the pleasure reaped from the album. The pair seems to be revisiting some of the success of earlier tracks in some ways and confirm that there is a surface similarity across some songs which defuses some of the strength of Kingdom of Worms. It is not an issue when the album is given proper and deeper attention, the diversity between songs soon discovered, and such the quality of the songs it is ultimately not as problematic as it might have been anyway.

The release is brought to a close by Last Of A Fading Kind, another engrossing and richly pleasing incitement but as the two previous tracks, it does not quite live up to certainly the stunning first half of the album. It is still impossible to dismiss and escape its masterful textures and tempting though as it brings a potent conclusion to Kingdom of Worms though.

Deserted Fear epitomises all that is compelling about death metal whilst infusing it with their own emerging brand of startling invention. New album Kingdom of Worms is not going to change the face of extreme metal but it does give it another intensively flavoursome savaging to devour.

Kingdom of Worms is available via FDA Rekotz from October 24th and at http://www.desertedfear.de/index.php/shop

http://www.desertedfear.de

RingMaster 24/10/2014

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Arcturon – Expect Us

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Released to mark their ten year anniversary, the Expect Us EP from Swiss melodic death metallers Arcturon, makes a tasty and intriguing proposition marking the beginning of a new decade for the band and twist to their enticing sound. Seemingly more adventurous than ever and certainly more bold in the use of additional flavours and styles, it is maybe not a release to blow anyone away yet its lure makes a compelling invitation to keep revisiting the encounter, a potency which should not be underestimated. More successful in some moments than others, but never leaving dissatisfaction lording over proceedings, the EP is a fascinating and ultimately highly enjoyable adventure.

It was around ten years ago that two fourteen year olds, guitarist Florian Moritz and drummer Samuel Fischer, gave creative birth to Arcturon. Honing their sound over time, the band’s first release, the Breaking Walls Demo in 2007, sparked increasing attention for their presence leading to support spots alongside the likes of Six Feet Under, Nile, Finntroll and Belphegor. Three years later came the extremely well-received debut album The Eight Thorns Conflict, with its acclaimed successor An Old Storm Brewing savaging ears in 2013. Sandwiching a successful Europe tour with Rotting Christ and Omnium Gatherum, both releases put the band into a more intensive spotlight which Expect Us does nothing to defuse. Released through Supreme Chaos Records, the Johan Örnborg (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Amon Amarth) produced EP offers a new diversity and imagination than arguably previous Arcturon encounters. It might be more intriguing than rigorously successful in its imagination, but Expect Us unveils a rather potent and captivating suggestion of where the Basel quartet’s sound is evolving to.

The release opens with My Treasure, an instantly gripping and fiery proposition which from a lone rub of guitar, explodes into a turbulent stroll of abrasing riffs and punchy rhythms cored by a tight intrusive groove. Within seconds Arcturon - Expect Us - Artworkimagination and appetite is alight, greedy for the intimidating expansion of the song. The raw hoarse vocals of Aljosha Gasser venomously abrase the senses as a small respite to the tempest unfolds, but it is a reining in soon spearing by bulging beats from Fischer and a dangling web of temptation cast by Moritz, whilst the bass of Sam Fischer (yes two members with the same name) provides a shadowed prowl to the song’s continually twisting landscape. Sonic enterprise and melodic flames also scorch the multi-flavoured interpretation of melodic death metal pouring from the band’s creativity, the incendiary persuasion of the track playing like a mix of Bloodsimple, Dominanz, and Scar Symmetry.

The outstanding start is backed up by the EP’s title track. Raging from its first breath, keys and guitars swarm the senses with toxic melodies as rhythms and riffs sculpt imposing scenery to wall in the magnetic endeavour. As its predecessor, the song grows and expands into a threat of malevolent expression and sonic radiance though it lacks the biting wind and energy of the opener. Instead it breeds an emotive atmosphere which tempers and evocatively colours the robust furnace of intent and sound beneath it, the song captivating and impressing if not igniting the same strength of passions as the first.

A Restless Soul swiftly asserts its compelling hold on ears and thoughts next, an opening melodic caress and embrace of clean vocals unexpected and pleasing freshness, though it is soon turned by a spiteful and malicious intensity, Gasser reaching to his guts to roar with caustic antagonism. Surprises and unpredictability stay to the fore though as the clean vocal delivery entwines with the harsh tones whilst a carnival-esque like drama and sinister seduction flirts with and infiltrates the brewing tempest of the song. It is a tantalising treat of a track, a bruising and tender merger of creative hues which maybe does not go as far into the unknown and explore bold imagination as it could, but definitely leaves anticipation for the band’s exploits ahead excited.

The release is closed by Rowan, another resourceful and radiantly provocative entrance which needs little nudging to turn to its shadows and predacious side. The vocals stalk as keys mesmerise, but it is the rugged terrain of raw riffs and thumping beats which bind the emotions, though their presence again is never clear cut as haunting melodies and sonic expression veins their hostility. A song which at times is glorious and in others a more unsure persuasion, it still provides further food for thought and interest for the band’s new exploration in sound to make a potent close to Expect Us.

Already used to praise and keen attention, Arcturon with their EP as potent evidence, appear to be moving towards a fascinating new chapter in their sound which Expect Us suggests is going to be something very worthy of close attention.

The Expect Us EP is available via Supreme Chaos Records from 24th October.

www.arcturon.ch

RingMaster 24/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Slug Comparison – Self Titled

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Though latecomers to the fascinating and melodic imagination of Canadian rock band Fen, coming in with the release of their fifth album Of Losing Interest two years ago, the band has been a regular contributor to our weekly soundtrack since. So it was with intrigue and keen appetite that we dived into the self-titled album from Slug Comparison. The band is the solo project of Fen vocalist/guitarist Doug Harrison, and the album a two year in the making embrace of melodic and emotive beauty. It is a release which further explores the majestic and inventive soundscapes which mark out his day job as one of the more compelling propositions around today, but equally ventures into new avenues of enterprise and creative intimacy. As Fen’s last album, it is a grower which from an initial impressive persuasion evolves into something which simply engulfs the imagination and emotions, though dare we say with even stronger, riveting potency. It is a stunning proposition and one of the major moments of the year.

The Vancouver musician has called on the likes of Mike Young from The Devin Townsend Band and Randall Stoll from Congenital Fixation to provide bass and drums respectively to tracks within the Mike Southworth produced album. Ultimately though it is a solo release blossomed from the ingenuity and craft of Harrison, and takes little time to enthral ears and thoughts. Opener Bringer of Doom instantly sparks attention as a guitar chips away at ears to intriguingly bring the song into view, a brewing ambience of emotive keys soon moving in with the instantly potent voice of Harrison. The song emerges and grows with every second and breath passed, bass and guitars adding shadowed and melodic colour to the thickening atmosphere of keys. There are no avoiding thoughts of Fen but also there are essences of Poets Of The Fall and Johnny Wore Black making suggestions as the track caresses and immerses the imagination, its reflective elegance over rugged scenery only increasing the magnetic presence of the song.

It is an impacting start swiftly matched by You’ve Seen Me, a track which from the off smoulders and resonates with radiant charm and resourcefulness, though it is the bewitching spread of variety to Harrison’s vocals which steals the Front Coverhonours. The song sways and soars with passion and sultry temptation, as well as a seemingly personal emotion which only accentuates its charm and autumn like warmth, before the hotter climes of Summer ’99 take over. Again there is an intimate air to the song which brings richer provocative hues to the melodic flames which ignite its already inventive canvas. Unpredictable yet controlled in its invention, the track simmers and boils from start to finish, switching and merging both heats for an increasingly tenacious encounter.

It has been a gripping and thrilling passage of songs to this point but everything kicks up a gear from hereon in. Short of Hell is next and as soon as the first pulsating beat of skin and electro resonance permeates bone and psyche, there is no escaping its extraordinary lure. Harrison is soon offering his darker tones to the bait, his voice as ever excelling in the clarity given. The track soon relaxes into a restrained stroll yet still there is a sinister and dark element to its presence which in turn incites the return of that opening temptation. As if it is exploring inner demons, the song pours out angst and menace throughout its sensational drama, setting a major pinnacle of the album which is right away emulated by the just as haunted and incendiary Evil Walks. The heaviest track on the release, and one again with an appetite to infest the senses with resonating intimidation, it expands its narrative and presence through contagious vocal and sonic hooks whilst the darker side of its temperament increases its snarl and imposing persistence. The track is glorious keeping the release at the highest peak, though it is too short for personal tastes for as soon as the teeth are really into its might it moves over for Long Live the Night.

     Featuring Tatyana Dobrowolski from Tatter’s and Ravens, the eight minute song is a folk bred anti-war flight of emotion and provocative textures, lyrically and melodically. It is a mesmeric piece which incites and transfixes with raw expression, Harrison’s songwriting explored with melodic poetry and sonic luminance for a song which you can argue would make far more impacting persuasion than any propaganda. Managing to make every second of its long length a vital and vivacious ingredient to its potent narrative, the song’s dramatic beauty is echoed In the Dark with Divinity. The song soothes the senses with its warm crystalline light and flirts with thoughts through elevated strikes of passion and rhythmic tempting, to again leave a lingering glow.

The final two songs on the album stretch the emotional and creative depths of the album again. Something to Bear veined by a classical guitar enticing, is a melodic croon with sinew carrying rhythms and throaty bass shadows all wrapped in a reflection of again mesmeric keys. With Harrison embracing the senses and thoughts through every aspect of the song, it is a scintillating provocative waltz. The final song Common Room also gently cradles ears and imagination, its elegant melodies and personal reflection a last enchanting kiss.

It was easy to expect big things from Slug Comparison, band and album because of Fen but even those hopes were left weak by the brilliance of Harrison’s solo album.

Slug Comparison is available now on iTunes, CDBaby, and at https://slugcomparison.bandcamp.com/

Doug Harrison is donating half of all proceeds raised by the Slug Comparison album to War Child (www.warchild.org)

http://www.slugcomparison.com

RingMaster 24/10/2014

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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