Whisper of Death – Noise of Obstinacy

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Noise of Obstinacy is an album which if you are in the mind to, you can pick at for its lack of real originality and at times over reliance of certain sounds and textures within its ten ravenous offerings, but at the end of the day the debut album from French metallers Whisper of Death is still one unrelenting buzz saw of enjoyment. Neck muscles and flagging energies are the testament to that. Accomplished and rigorously captivating with a seemingly Cannibal Corpse and Cryptopsy inspired death metal voracity with flavoursome extras, band and album leave ears and appetite gratefully satisfied and often excited.

Whisper Of Death hails from Ablis, a small village south of Yvelines and were soon drawing potent local attention after forming with their live presence which has seen them support the likes of Manimal, Leng Tch’e, Pitbulls in the Nursery, Black Bomb A, the Spirit of the Clan, and Betraying the Martyrs. The quintet released first demo Desossage in 2008, an introduction well-received by the band’s fans and underground. Its unleashing though was followed by a low key period for the band which saw a line-up change and one of its guitarist involved in a serious accident when he was hit by a car. It was unsurprisingly a slow time for the band but as soon as they were able to return to full strength, Whisper of Death released second demo Epilepsy in 2012, followed by the resumption of the band’s live attack. Last year was predominantly given to the creating and recording of Noise of Obstinacy at Studio Dark Wizard with François Ugarte (Pitbulls in the Nursery). Mixed and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Nile, Mastodon), the album was uncaged towards the end of 2014, pushing Whisper of Death instantly towards a new attentive recognition.

     Cadaveric Discharge sets the ravaging off, emerging from a swarm of flies to grip ears and imagination with its artillery of lethal beats amidst a squall of savage guitars. It is a vicious Whisper Of Death - Artworkentrance but equally a magnetic one with a contagious swing lining emerging grooves and ferocious riffing. The vocals equally grab attention, a dual assault bringing variety to the malevolent delivery of venom soaked words and growls. With all songs sung in French and being linguistically challenged, lyrical adventures are unknown but there is no mistaking the rancor behind them. Turning more bestial with every second, the track is a formidable and pleasing start to the album backed right away by Cemetery Market.

Almost mischievously toying with ears with a quirky sonic flirtation, the second track needs little prompting to throw off the masquerade and show its malicious intent; ragged riffs and hostile rhythms colluding in one precisely honed provocation which is unafraid at times to uncage its darkest animosity and in other moments turn on expectations with striking and slightly warped invention. Across the album there are definitely certain twists and moments of ingenuity which break songs away from feeding assumptions and showing recognisable influences, maybe not enough to be honest, but as here when it occurs even in brief temptations, it turns songs and album into a very potent and potential fuelled proposition,

Both Desossage and Organ Bath pleasingly stir up air and senses, the first a blaze of raw antagonism with shot gun cocks and virulent scourges of tangy grooving making tasty additives to the infectious turbulence around them. The second has a slower gait, virtually lumbering along with low slung grooves and barbarous rhythms. There is still a ferocious intensity and energy to the encounter of course, just with a more pestilential intent rather than rabid instinct. Each hits the mark of enjoyment if not making startling impacts; something the following OBF has far more success with through its avalanche of rhythmic brutality and sonic toxicity. The track is a glorious truculence of sound and attitude, every swing of drum sticks leading to deranged bait whilst venomous grooves provide a sonic straight jacket twisting the psyche with their enterprise. With no lesser a devilish persuasion from the raw vocals and dark hearted bass rabidity, the track is the most adventurous and strikingly unpredictable on the album, and further reason to suspect Whisper of Death will emerge from the crowd if not now some point in the future with this kind of adventure.

Happy Burial whips up a blistering senses flailing storm next, not quite emulating the endeavour of the previous track but creating a bedlamic tempest to easily devour and enthuse about before Surgical Strike unloads its rhythmic torpedoes and sonic rapacity. Once again the track feeds the wants and matches levels already breached by the album but just does not go far enough to forge something truly remarkable. Nevertheless with a great agitation and psychotic mania to the changing assaults of the drums as the bass again finds the most salaciously dark lines to seduce with, the track has attention and pleasure tightly grasped.

Torture for Dummies bounces around like a serial killer waiting its moment to strike, a certain glee and excitement driving hooks and riffs as well as the catchy stride it initially offers. Of course this all plays out within a harsh landscape of sonic cruelty and toxic emotion which is just as bracing as the creative turmoil within it and helps turns Cannibalism Airlines into a visceral theatre of torrential spite and violently wanton rhythms. The track is another major highlight of the album, guitars and bass a flurry of intimidation and fury in their own right.

Battlefield brings the exhausting brutality to an end but not before creating its own peak in the album with a battering of flesh scarring beats, intrusively lingering grooves, and noxious vocals. It is the lighter caustic flirtations of imagination and psyche twisted endeavour which ignite the song predominantly though and ensures the album ends on a real high.

Noise of Obstinacy is as its title declares, a release doing its own things with zeal and defiance. It is not trying to reshape the walls and originality of death and extreme metal but increasingly it thrills and leaves emotions blissful, and I know which I prefer.

Noise of Obstinacy is available now digitally and on CD @ http://whisperod.bandcamp.com/

http://www.whisperofdeath.com/

RingMaster 28/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Beyond the Dust – Khepri

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Beyond the Dust is a French progressive metal band which has a very potent future on the evidence of debut album Khepri. It is not a release which puts the band up alongside the weightier and more robustly adventurous protagonists of their genre, but one which suggests with the ripe potential coursing through their songs, that the Paris quartet could find that success some when within their evolution.

The band made a potent introduction to themselves with their six-track New Dawn EP in 2011, a release which led the band to shows with the likes of Periphery, Sybreed, Protest The Hero, Monuments, and Becoming The Archetype. The song Reality Deformed opened up a new gaze of attention with its unveiling at the beginning of 2012; the song which featured ex-Aliases singer Jay Berast already showing hints of the new maturity in songwriting and sound which is ripe within Khepri. The band signed with Dooweet Records last year for the release of their first full-length, it a 57 min concept album which has been compared to “references like Dream Theater’s Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory mixed with Meshuggah’s Catch 33 and Periphery’s albums.” That might be a grand suggestion for Khepri but certainly Beyond the Dust has grown in creative strength and imagination between releases and this certainly lights up the album.

A mature male voice sets the scene as first track Rise waits in the shadows to reveal its presence. It is a dramatic scene being cast under a stormy sky, one soon joined by the melodic charm of guitars and a darker foreboding bass tone. Similarly the ambience of the track becomes thicker in dramatic hue, providing an intriguing premise that Meshuggah bred enterprise agitates and ignites. The instrumental is a captivating opening to the album, alone sparking the imagination and anticipation of what is to follow.

Clarity is the next offering, its own elegant start a potent coaxing before being immersed in a vibrant but cloudier weave of riffs and rhythmic incitement. It is not a particularly stormy encounter though and is soon mixing in peaceful melodies and certain emotional calms, but still prone to eruptions of raw vocals squalls alongside the predominant clean delivery, as well as fierce intensive roars of sonic voracity. The track continues to seduce and blaze away in ears, the band persistently impressing in craft and ideation but, and something which applies to most of the album, not finding that final spark to push the band beyond familiar territories.

After the Light is a valiant attempt though, a voracious predator from the start but guided by the excellent clean tones of the vocalist and almost as swiftly twisting into unexpected and khepricompelling detours. The song is quite gripping, luring in close attention as you wait to see where it goes next, and it does not disappoint with its imagination whilst still managing to stay within the original framework of the song’s tempest. There are moments where it veers towards the precipice of too much but always turns away and explores new just as sonically theatrical and engrossing ventures. A proposal to take your time exploring, much as Khepri itself to be fair, it emerges as a peak of the release which grows even more impressive over time.

A smoother embrace comes with Relief, melodies and harmonies as resourceful as the guitar escapades and vocal variety. There is a small sense of flamboyancy through the solo which will appeal to some and maybe less to others but it is the lack of the bold almost warped ingenuity of its predecessor which prevents the song lighting emotions as potently. As a rapacious melodic rock track though there is little to ignore and refuse, much as with Last Breath, though the song is much more volatile emotionally and aggressive creatively. The further into its short but eventful body it travels, the greater the creative temptation discovered where again a more twisted invention is allowed to flirt with the listener even if in short doses.

Both Zero and Silence and Sorrow have the imagination heavily invested and ears fully attentive, the first a tenaciously expressive and inflammatory instrumental coaxing thoughts and emotions into the savage jaws of its successor. The most carnivorous track on the album, riffs and rhythms a barbarous incitement, the song proceeds to explore a sonic tapestry of bedlamic enterprise and melodic ingenuity. Funk, jazz, and math rock all seem to have a part of its breeding whilst the ever impressing vocals in their harmonic styling only add to the magnetism of the tempestuous encounter. As After The Light, the track stands as a pinnacle of Khepri, the moments where something new is truly breached.

The three parts of The Edge of Earth and Sea complete the album, each a part of an epic twenty plus minute narrative also standing well individually if taken that way. Part 1: The Tears Of Departures is a mellow and evocative embrace, though as expected it has a fiercer energy to its air and a darker nature to its shadows. They subsequently boil over into a brawling hardcore-esque vocal expulsion over jagged riffs and tingling melodies, the evolving vocals and warm guitar expression ensuring though that there is plenty of adventure in the growing maelstrom, a stormy scene which slips into again the more restrained and charmed opening to Part 2: The Fear Of The Journey This in turn rumbles with storm like emotion and intent across its colourful and technically extravagant soundscape. The mid way collapse into hellish domains, where the safety of the narrative’s protagonist is lost, suddenly ignites the track to new heights matched by the voracious stalking of the senses from riffs and rhythms. There is a new inescapable drama to the scene which you wish was there sooner and longer as Part 3: The Bliss Of The Gathering comes in. With its rugged terrain and hungry hostility aligned to harmonic reassurance, the bliss of its title seems to come at a price thematically, but with a new pleasing adventure offered to the listener.

It is potent end to a fine first album from Beyond The Dust, not one to rave endlessly about but easily a release to recommend progressive metal fans take a good look at. Khepri is a seriously solid and enjoyable proposition, not pushing the band above the crowd but with songs like Silence and Sorrow and After The Light showing flair and promise which definitely excites, it hints that their time in a singular light will surely come.

Khepri is available via Dooweet Records now @ http://dooweet.bandcamp.com/album/khepri

https://www.facebook.com/beyondthedust   http://www.beyond-the-dust.com/

RingMaster 28/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Squidhead – Prohibition

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Great Instrumental music is the playground for the imagination and emotions, a suggestive toy for the senses and thoughts to sculpt their own adventures to, and that is exactly the success that Prohibition from Belgian band Squidhead achieves. Its five tracks cast a captivating web of technical vivacity and sonic expression which has the listener physically and mentally involved with little fuss and accomplished ease, and though you can openly pick out the influences to artist and music it only adds to the intrigue of the encounter.

Squidhead is the solo project of Pierre “Pish” Minet, a guitarist providing all the additional bass, electronics, and drum programming turning Prohibition into a rigorously and increasingly addictive proposition. There is little we can tell you about the man behind the project, the Squidhead bio on the website dummy text, but seemingly the EP is Minet’s debut release whilst inspirations come from the likes of Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Steve Vai, Morbid Angel, Fear Factory and many more. The music within the release is sculpted with 8 string guitars and forges modern death metal riffs and melodic licks, a description which does not quite do the whole adventure of the encounter justice.

For us any metal instrumental proposal comes with the fear of over indulgence and excessive showing off by the aural sculptor, hopes that there is not the creative fiddling which goes nowhere as it shows what a ‘clever boy’ the artist is. Though Minet is not slow in coming forward with his technical prowess and in the face shredding, it never really defuses the fluency of the songs, slipping into their narratives as any other aspect. Nor does it disturb the theatre sparked in the imagination, so our personal wants in instrumental explorations are provided for whilst those with a hankering for a fiddle or two will also be more than satisfied.

Opener Riding The Octopus dangles a sonic lure before ears right away; a tempting swiftly reinforced by aggressive riffs and agitated rhythms. It is an immediate heavyweight proposal Prohibition coverwhich relaxes a little for the magnetic fret work of Minet, though it still retains a seriously predacious air. All the while though there is a dramatic intimidation which constantly prowls the track, even as mystique kissed melodies and acidic grooves show their spicy proposals, a skilled blending of extremes within a track which already has thoughts lost in a realm of fantasy figures and occultist bred minatory escapades.

The following Edge Of Consciousness is bred from the same dark shadows as its predecessor, riffs snarling and menacing as rhythms descend with hostile tenacity. Across both songs you can hear those Meshuggah/ Devin Townsend like essences whilst Minet veins and lights the portentous canvas of the track with sizzling sonic flames which as inventive and impressive as they are, never stay too long in one design to feed expectations or temper the unpredictability flavouring the tracks.

The strong start to the EP is taken to stronger persuasion by the outstanding title track. A sinister devilry comes with the opening dark throated bass coaxing and percussive shuffle, expanding as bestial riffs align to the flamboyant tones of guitar. It is the swing behind the song though which steals the passions, a contagious swagger which spines the whole piece of music. From this all the other enthralling additives hang and dance, whilst imagination wise both track and thoughts collude in a dark seduction full of salacious temptresses and demonic flirtation; well that is what emerged in our fantasy and that is another beauty of the release, each track inspires visually potent exotic emprises.

The EP’s best track makes way for the more ethereal atmosphere of Coded Dreams, the song exploring a post rock/progressive landscape regaled with melodic blooms and sonic elegance. The rhythmic side of the track is an unsettling and threatening provocateur but remains in the shadows as the brief but mesmeric track warms ears and air.

Prohibition closes with The Ritual, a devilish fusion of rabid riffs and unrelenting beats within a maelstrom of guitar enterprise and at times espionage as with relish it twists and turns to take ears and imagination on a spiral of fascination and danger. It is an impressive end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. The EP could be said to be offering little new but when ears and pleasure are only wanting more it is a quibble to easily dismiss.

The world of Squidhead is a mysterious adventure and sound-tracked by a rather enjoyable debut. Anticipation for its successor starts here.

Prohibition is available now digitally and on CD @ http://thesquidhead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/squidheadproject         http://www.squidhead.be

RingMaster 28/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/