Convictors – Envoys Of Extinction

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It may have taken a hefty handful of months short of three decades for German death metallers Convictors to unleash their first album but boy has it been worth the wait. To be fair there has not been a constant presence from the band in the metal scene over that time, twenty one of those years coming between its break-up in 1987 and their subsequent reunion. In many ways this is now a new band to contemplate for most with releases like Envoys Of Extinction for all to greedily devour. Without maybe springing any startling surprises, the album is a rigorously fresh and persistently vital proposition marking out its creators as another bringing old school death metal into a voraciously modern landscape.

Inspired by bands like Possessed and Slayer, Convictors was formed by four friends back in 1986. It was a short lived presence spawning just The Last Judgement demo that first year before through musical differences the band broke up. Reuniting under a wave of new interest in 2008, the Lörrach hailing quartet released the five-track Abdication Of Humanity EP a year later. Well-received, its success was followed in 2010 by the formation of the band’s current line-up with bassist Samuel Maier and drummer Daniel Zuflucht coming in to link up with founder members of guitarist Lasse and vocalist Fabian Frey. Starting work on Envoys Of Extinction in 2011, with a taster in the song Epitome Of Decay coming that same year, the band recently unleashed their beast of a first album and as mentioned a formidable treat it has turned out to be.

From its first breath Envoys Of Extinction is rattling cages and igniting the senses, the opening virulence of Preparedness 101 a raucously spicy tease of guitar swiftly punctuated by Convictors - Envoys Of Extinction - Artworkthunderous beats and a bestial bassline. In no time at all the track is rampaging with controlled but hungry strides into the imagination, riffs and grooves colluding to tempt appetite and rhythms combining to batter the senses. It is a resourcefully tantalising persuasion fuelling the track, as contagious as it is intimidating with the guttural roars of Frey magnetic within the similarly alluring creative web cast by Lasse.

The tremendous start is emulated by Epitome Of Decay, an even more predatory and threatening imposition on the senses but again with an infectious craft and endeavour to reward the listener’s bravery. It has a heavy doom bred air which smothers song and ears but it is a smog which still allows melodies to tempt and grooves to seduce without hindrance, a blend just as striking and pleasing in Angel Of Impurity. The third song in many ways plays with a broader landscape of sound and imagination, something which is explored further in the latter part of the album. The guitar alone is brimming with a diversity of ideas and tones flirting perfectly with the great throaty snarl of the bass. The opening stretch of the song is simply glorious, a highlight alone but only the appetiser to the raging pestilential hostility of the outstanding encounter which prowls rather than ravages its victims, but stalks them throughout whilst dangling sonic lures and barbarous temptations.

Things only increase in potency and adventure from here on in, the visceral opening to Let Malevolence Arise leading to a blistering corrosive aural savagery with dark and ravenous cinematic qualities whilst its successor Festering Infestation Strikes is a more single minded old school death scourge which still leaves no rapacious groove and rhythmic spite unearthed, and is prone to some great swinish vocal colouring.

Both tracks light the passions but it is with the closing stretch that the album finds another depth of excitement in the passions, starting with the excellent Proclivity. It is a maelstrom of spicy sonic invention, a controlled but voracious epidemic of addictive grooving and deep rooted hooks to incite a lustful response. Its might is straight away matched by the incendiary canter of Diabolical Female where every syllable comes with a dose of primal coaxing and note with a drenching of salacious hunger. It is a delicious stomp of a track, death metal in its most infectious and welcoming form.

Fragments brings the album to a fine close, though there is a hidden surprise in its shadows later on. The song is a tempestuous furnace of haunting melodies courting a corruptive fury, the latter blustering itself around riveting bass baiting and another crippling assault of Zuflucht’s skills. Maybe not quite matching its predecessors, it still leaves emotions brimming and ears basking, not forgetting ringing as silence engulfs the senses at its potent end.

Convictors has finally got to the point its members were obviously aiming for all those years ago, and such the impressive nature and presence of Envoys Of Extinction, surely it is just the beginning for the band.

Envoys Of Extinction is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/envoys-of-extinction/id930003515

http://www.convictors.de/

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Whitenoise – The Herd

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Sounding like a brawl waiting to happen The Herd, the latest EP from Israeli band Whitenoise, is a riot of rock ‘n’ roll which has no need of charm and measured persuasion to ignite the passions. Though not ground-breaking stuff, the three tracks making up the encounter rage and stomp with all the voracity and attitude you would wish from a bruising confrontation. It barges through ears, accosts the senses, and intimidates the imagination for a thoroughly agreeable and satisfying rampage.

Formed in 2004, the Tel-Aviv hailing Whitenoise was formed by four childhood friends whose parents were all immigrants from Soviet Russia and migrated to Israel in the early nineties. 2011 saw the release of their band’s debut EP New Breed, a year also finding the quartet co-headlining the Rock-Line festival in the city of Perm, Russia after Whitenoise won a 300 band contest. Backing their success up the following year by playing with Caliban on their 2012 Russia/Ukraine tour, the band set about recording The Herd in 2013 with its release coming towards the rear of last year. With lyrical inspiration coming from personal life experiences and exploring emotions such as anger, pain, depression, love and dreams, the release and its songs are abrasing and confrontational with a hunger and energy which is as magnetic as the sounds within.

Opener 4 AM is instantly coaxing with punchy beats and enticing riffs bound with slithers of what will emerge to be potent hooks. It is soon striding purposefully as vocals and guitars rage and coverflame respectively within the broadening rhythmic frame of the track. It maybe has a familiar and unsurprising canvas but over it the band creates a fiery and incendiary web of ideas and enterprise. It certainly comes with an air of something already known, but there is little predictable or unrewarding to what is a excitingly rowdy and inciting slab of dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

Second song Between The Lanes suffers a little by being sandwiched between two outstanding storms, the final song Near Life Experience as impressive as the first, but still rampages with a tenacity and anger which leaves ears and appetite wanting more. Spewing animosity and fury with every harsh riff, spill of vocal spite, and lingering groove, the track is a formidable and pleasing protagonist, though with the certainly skilled but uneasily lying melodic detour that the song takes it loses its grip. The solo is undeniably superbly sculpted and presented but for personal tastes feels out of place in this particular song, defusing its potency as a killer track.

The closing Near Life Experience has no such problem. The best track on the release it is a predatory prowling from its first breath as riffs and rhythms harass ears with pack like aggression and tenacity before finding a heavier and darker gait and shade to their character. That again is a mere moment in the passage of the song, the band subsequently swinging with a new anthemic and virulent tempting before repeating the whole carnal offering again. Locking death and groove metal with wonderfully unwholesome heavy rock, the track is a riveting and blistering stalking of the listener and easily the best moment on the impressive EP.

Whitenoise still feels like a band growing their sound but with tracks like those igniting The Herd; expect to hear of and from them in increasingly impressive terms from hereon in.

The Herd EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-herd-single/id919819109

http://whitenoise1.com

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Second To Sun – Three Fairy Tales EP / Spirit Of Kusoto

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When a band lists someone like the brilliant French experimental / avant-garde metallers Pryapisme as an influence we have to sit up and be seriously intrigued, and so it was with Russian band Second To Sun and their recent Three Fairy Tales EP and following singles. The trio did not disappoint either, unleashing their own distinct and furiously flavoursome instrumental alchemy across enthralling tracks thrilling and igniting the senses. Describing themselves as playing “modern and hardcore music with the elements of black metal and ethnic Finno-Ugric music”, it only gives a hint of their impressively diverse and seamlessly sculpted tapestry of sound. Arguably it is not as psyche stretching as the music of their French inspirations, but every song has a creative drama and refreshing unpredictability, not forgetting striking craft, which has ears and imagination in bliss.

Second To Sun began in 2012, created by guitarist Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen and drummer Artem Vishnyakov. First EP The God’s Favourite Whore was the band’s first declaration but followed soon after by the departure of Vishnyakov. Though initially working alone, Klimov-Lehtinen eventually brought bassist Anton Danilevsky and drummer Theodor Borowski into the band with the trio unveiling debut album Based On A True Story in 2013. Last year saw the release of Three Fairy Tales and subsequently two singles ending with Spirit Of Kusoto last December, all awakening an increasingly broader spotlight on the exhilarating sound of the band beyond Russian borders.

Three Fairy Tales opens with the outstanding theatre of The Trapper, a track swiftly building a tall sonic narrative of blackened intrigue and melodic toxicity. With rhythms swiping with Album artfully flexed muscles, the track is an imposing and gripping protagonist from its first breath but soon showing its penchant for slipping into unexpected and fluidly evolved detours. For the main though the song is a predatory confrontation, sparking with the creative fury of a Meshuggah and the raw toxins of a Dodheimsgard. As it evolves and expands its temptation, a kaleidoscope of imaginative adventure and creative drama enters the resourceful tempest; keys spurting out bedlamic expression and guitars a virulent sonic seduction which leaves ears and emotions basking in the dark adventure. The track provides music you can imagine fitting twenty first century interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen tales and darker gothic persuasions.

     The electronica seeded Merämaa comes next with bubbly synth lit vivacity to its intimidating yet bewitching shadows. Stabbing bass and guitar bait is a staggered lure within the almost folkish revelry of the piece whilst intrusive rhythms align and twist their tempting to it all with almost St Vitus dance like voracity. The song flows and erupts with inescapable contagion, providing a festival of sound and intensity which is as threatening as it is invigorating.

Closing track Barmaley lies somewhere between the previous two, its heavier antagonistic rhythms and uncompromising intensity colluding with feverishly coloured and melodically fuelled tenacity. As the first pair of songs, it is an invitation to senses and imagination to run with their own provocative tales and exploits, providing all the raw and thrilling material for dark tales and cinematic exploits to be conjured. There is a feel of Obsidian Kingdom to the track in some ways too ensuring the song makes for another irresistible emprise to greedily devour.

a2375341812_2 Released just before Christmas, the bands new single Spirit Of Kusoto unveils another mesmeric and corrosive side to Second To Sun’s sound and imagination. It is soaker in a harsher and less forgiving texture and presence than those songs on the EP but still infuses a veining of sonic radiance and melodic devilry to temper and ignite the savagery elsewhere. At times almost punkish in its hardcore causticity, the track feverishly worms under the skin and scores the psyche with consummate ease.

We have not mentioned the excellent track Narčat, a single coming between the two above releases, but it also, as Second To Sun itself, is a definite recommendation…actually make that a must for all avant-garde and adventurous metal fans.

The Three FairyTales and Spirit Of Kusoto are available @ http://secondtosun.bandcamp.com/

http://www.secondtosun.net/

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Robes Of State – [Double A-Side]

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Announced as their new and final offering, the double A-sided single The Bay/Directions is a potent farewell from, if this is to be the end, of British alternative rock band Robes Of State. Linking two vibrant and emotionally fuelled songs, the single provides a striking statement of what has been missed by those new to the band and will be missed ahead by their fans. Neither are songs to turn the UK music scene on its head but both have a craft and passion to songwriting and sound which leaves many others looking a touch bland in comparison.

Formed in 2006 and hailing from Colwyn Bay, Robes Of State consists of vocalist Hev Roberts, guitarist Jezza Bruce, bassist Dave Huds and drummer Perry Batty. Listing influences as the likes of Blink 182, Alexisonfire, Taking Back Sunday, ‘A’, and Feeder, the band’s sound is an atmospheric weave of provocative melodies and immersive intensity as perfectly illustrated by the latest release. From the first infectious hook of The Bay, song and band has ears and attention gripped. With heavy beats and anthemic vocals soon adding their bait, the track is swiftly a raucous yet controlled proposal which only increases its lure as riffs abrase and rhythms stomp with almost angry attitude. Vocally too there is an adventure and energy which challenges and coaxes whilst the song itself whilst lacking the spark to the anarchy it hints at, revels in the restraint and almost teases with its suggestiveness and the increasingly tempting hooks it possesses.

Directions is a gentler caress on ears but no less infused with emotion and evocative textures. The song glides across the senses with moments of increased energy interspersing its warm but melancholic embrace. Those expulsions of intensity bring a climactic presence to the song, giving it an almost emotionally stormy and intriguing character, like an aurally portentous yet unrealised tempestuous sea. It is a song to explore over time, every listen revealing another depth and shade to its heart.

The single also comes with a free bonus track in View Of the City, a song worth the price on its own. A vivacious stomp of sonic enterprise and progressively tinged imagination, it flirts and croons with drama and almost mischievous invention. It is a voracious treat of a song throwing out another reason why the band will be missed if this is to be the end.

It is never too late to discover a great band and the new single from Robes Of State certainly proves that they are just that.

The Robes Of State single is available now via Take Point Records @ http://takepointrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/robesofstate

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Forever Still – Scars EP

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Having made a striking entrance and impression with debut EP Breaking Free in 2013, Danish rock band Forever Still were one of the eagerly talked of emerging bands with their imaginative and powerful blend of emotive melodies and anthemic muscle. It was a release still luring in new appetites and passions for its gothic and melodic metal infused sounds across the following year, including awakening our attention on the Copenhagen quartet. Now the band has not only reinforced that rich introduction but pushed their presence and creativity to another level with its successor the Scars EP. Released in the final excited throes of 2014, the three track release is a proposition to stir the blood and inflame the senses with songs as soaked in diversity as they are creative drama. It is an encounter which seduces through the siren-esque vocals of Maja Schønning aligned to evocative melodies, and roars with nostrils flared through raging riffs and formidable rhythms. That alone makes for a potent canvas upon which the band spins aural colour and imagination drenched enterprise; quite simply it is a treat of a proposition.

Formed in 2010 by Schønning and Mikkel Haastrup (bass, guitar, keys), Forever Still has seemingly shown little hardship in enticing keen hearts and acclaim from those it has lured in through their previous release and songs as well as their impressive live shows. Playing events like Denmark’s Nordic Noise Festival and M’era Luna Festiva and the unleashing of the Flemming Rasmussen produced Breaking Free has helped push the band into a broader and hungrier spotlight, but ahead of the band’s first album this year, it is easy to feel that Scars is the opening signpost in the road to major things.

That thought is instantly sparked by the EP’s title track which opens things up. Scars is a beast of a song, a sinew driven seduction which is as unpredictable and anthemic as it is bewitchingly coverradiant. As one who always hankers for some kind of snarl in songs, the track is an immediate incitement to the passions. From the first tangy groove and pungent swipe of rhythms, the song stirs up the senses as Haastrup and guitarist Dennis Post cast a spicy coaxing littered by heavy swipes from drummer Jens Berglid. Things relax slightly as the ever alluring tones of Schønning open up the narrative but are soon back growling forcibly as the depth and quality of the lady’s voice adds its own intensity and bellow to the tempest. The song continues to croon and confront with inescapable virulence, every note and syllable coming with its own dramatic and flavoursome adventure. It is a relatively swift encounter, ending far too soon if you ask us, which leaves emotions high and pleasure exhausted.

The following Once Upon A Nightmare explores a mellower though no less imposing landscape. Whereas its predecessor was as metal as it is heavy rock, the second song explores more forgiving scenery with electronic expression and tempestuous melodies thick and provocative alongside the enthralling vocals of Schønning. Lying somewhere between Evanescence and Lacuna Coil, it is a fire of passion and creativity. Guitars and keys spin a riveting tapestry around the vocals whilst Berglid is at times a predator with his aggressive jabs. Admittedly taking longer to tempt than the opener, the song is soon igniting the same rapture with its distinctly different persuasion.

The closing Miss Madness brings a classical charm to its power ballad seeded, the band showing yet another twist to their sound and invention. It is not a song which finds the same heights as the first two for personal tastes, but with emotion binding vocals and intimately immersive sounds it only leaves appetite for the band and its rich varied sounds greedier.

Anticipation for the debut Forever Still album is building into a thick buzz thanks to the band’s two EPs, but you get the feeling even as Scars reveals even greater depth and broadness to their sound that we have seen nothing yet.

The Scars EP is available as a name your price download now @ http://foreverstill.bandcamp.com/album/scars-ep-name-your-price

www.foreverstill.dk

RingMaster 06/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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