Affliction Gate – Dying Alone

AG_RingMaster Review

Three and a half years after unleashing the Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions EP, French death metallers Affliction Gate return with their most evil and gripping offering yet in the ruinous shape of Dying Alone. The four-track EP is a brutal and ravenous affair, but equally a compelling and at times contagious violation of old school death metal expanded with Affliction Gate imagination. The band is as vicious and uncompromising as ever but to that expected proposition adding a new exploration of bold textures, insidious emotion, and raw sonic trespasses.

Formed in 2006 with inspirations from the likes of Unleashed, Massacre, Bolt Thrower, and Asphyx sparking their ideas, Affliction Gate began proving themselves a formidable and potent force in the French metal underground with their first EP Severance (Dead to This World) in 2008 and more potently debut album Aeon of Nox (From Darkness Comes Liberation) a year later. Its release saw the band share their live presence across and beyond France into countries such as Germany, Spain, Holland, and Belgium, whilst the list of bands sharing stages with the quintet have come to include Pentacle, Mercyless, Svart Crown, Loudblast, Benighted and many more. Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions was an acclaimed proposition upon it’s uncaging in 2012 but already is being eclipsed by the response to Dying Alone.

artwork_RingMaster Review   Negative Lucidity leaps at the senses from its first breath; the opener a torrent of barbarous rhythms and toxic riffery twisted into a nagging groove that instantly has ears and appetite alert. The raw, bestial tones of vocalist Herostratos quickly lead the track’s animus of sound and intent, his intrusive delivery backed by the throaty threat of bass and entwined in the sonic trespass of guitar. Melancholy clings to the sonic suggestiveness expelled whilst despair clouds the air of the heavily satisfying incitement, those essences and hues just as rich and expressive in the following pestilential assault of Devising Our Own Chains. As its predecessor, the encounter is a challenging yet openly catchy violation bounding into the psyche on boisterously intrusive rhythms as guitars spin an acidic and virulent tapestry of rancorous bewitchment.

The EP’s title track comes next, flirting with the senses as it crawls closer and closer with cancerous intent. Led by the cantankerous tone of bass, the song subsequently grows into more volatile and eager infectiousness but still keeping its murderous breath and nature to the fore as its energy ebbs and flows in a consumption of the senses. Again a host of flavours collude within the song, more classic hues adding to the death bred malignancy.

The EP concludes with the misanthropic Manicheism Inertia, bad blood and rabid sound fuelling the contemptuous body and soul of the aural ravishing. The first two tracks within Dying Alone steal the show in many ways yet, as the song before, Manicheism Inertia has a nasty grandeur and incessant rabidity to its design which simply hits the spot.

Enjoyable on first listens and only growing to bigger success over time, Dying Alone is evidence that Affliction Gate is one of old school death metal’s emerging triumphs. Their new EP sees the band hit new heights, or should that be low corrosive depths, to get extreme metal off to a seriously strong start in 2016.

The Dying Alone EP is out now via Transcending Obscurity @ https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/dying-alone-death-metal

http://www.facebook.com/afflictiongate

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Blackhour – Sins Remain

Blackhour_RingMaster Review

A few days in and the new year gets its first metal treat courtesy of Pakistan hailing Blackhour. The Islamabad quintet unleashes their second album on January 5th through Transcending Obscurity Distribution, and a mighty slab of inventive and skilful heavy metal it has proven to be. Sins Remain offers five rich and imagination fuelled tracks which explore far beyond that heavy metal tag, and such its thick and pleasing impact you wonder how Blackhour has so far escaped the fullest global acclaim.

Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Guns and Roses, and Alice in Chains, Blackhour has certainly teased local and wider found appetites with their music and debut album Age of War which was released in 2011. Fair to say though, that most of us will probably have missed the presence of Blackhour until now but things surely are about to change with Sins Remain.

Straight away the band’s metal bred rock ‘n’ roll shows its adventure and variety with opener Losing Life. An instantly engaging caress of provocative guitar opens things up, the bass of Salman Afzal just as swiftly vocal with its suggestiveness. The tremendous coaxing eventually erupts into a fiery roar of sound with sonic tendrils of guitar veining a tempestuous yet controlled climate of sound and intensity. There is a touch of Disturbed to the track whilst the rhythms of drummer Daim Mehmood almost bully the senses as the bass prowls and growls within their potent web. With vocalist Tayyab Rehman also quickly impressive, the track paints a great provocative and persistently evolving proposal for ears and imagination.

BlackhourArtwork_RingMaster Review     The outstanding start continues with Wind of Change. From the off heavy metal essences steer the persuasion, the guitars of Hashim Mehmood and Mubbashir Sheikh Mashoo flirting with eighties hues to infectious effect. Their hooks and grooves because of it hold a familiarity which only adds to the forceful virulence of the encounter, whilst rhythmically the song nurtures an anthemic rock ‘n roll canter becoming increasingly wrapped in melody rich sonic enterprise. The song is irresistible and more potent with every listen, a quality applying to the whole of Sins Remain to be fair and certainly the following Life Brings Death, Love Brings Misery. The third track is an epic temptation, its nine minutes blossomed on Metallica like seeds but equally casting textures sprung from seventies heavy rock and thrash laced heavy metal. Imagine Reign of Fury and Stone Temple Pilots meets Iron Maiden and you come somewhere near the compelling encounter.

Battle Cry opens with an instantly addictive guitar hook next, one welcoming more militant and aggressive elements to join its tenacious stirring of ears and appetite soon after. It is maybe the least unique offering on the album but the fiercely boisterous song simply whips up a storm of attitude and creative prowess easy to greedily devour and want more of. The individual skills of the band are, here alone, there for all to see and praise but their unity and the powerful songwriting casting their invention is where the album truly wins out, as proven a final time by the album’s title track.

Bringing Sins Remain to a glorious conclusion, the track is a kaleidoscope of imagination, moving through acoustic elegance into Celtic spiced adventure and Eastern majesty across its length landscape. Fascinating and irresistible, the track is a thrilling end to an increasingly impressive album. With moments which stir thoughts of bands from Arch/Matheos and Horslips to Motherjane, the closer is theatre for the ears, a melodic seduction for the imagination, and alone one reason to check out the album.

Blackhour is ready to breach the broadest spotlights with Sins Remain, an album which could also be the key to opening the door to the great metal adventure going on in their homeland and surrounding regions just a little wider for the world.

Sins Remain is out now via Transcending Obscurity Distribution @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/sins-remain-heavy-metal

https://www.facebook.com/blackhourofficial/    http://www.blackhourofficial.com

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

A Time To Hope – Full of Doubts

ATTH_RingMaster Review

    A Time To Hope is a French post hardcore band loaded with thick potential going by debut EP Full of Doubts, an encounter wearing familiar genre colours but equally offering a fresh creative confrontation that warrants attention. It is a sonically roaring introduction to their potent sound, a strong and tasty first glimpse of the Montpellier quintet and a strong base for them to leap on from.

Since forming towards the rear of 2014, A Time To Hope has earned praise and a healthy reputation through a live presence which has seen them play with bands such as POLAR, Light Your Anchors, and Zephyr 21 amongst many. Their first music video for the song Sweet T has also lured good attention which is now being increasingly courted by the Full of Doubts EP.

ATTH_ARTWORK_RingMaster Review   Influences to the band are said to include the likes of Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, Architects, and Slaves; many you can sense across the EP starting with RosaRosa. A lone guitar teases initially as skittish beats surround its distant tempting, that bait soon full in ears as its enterprise swiftly expands. Vocalist Franck.D quickly makes a strong impression with his emotively varied tones whilst the guitars of Vincent.P and Anthony.C dance with sonic suggestiveness on the imagination. It is a highly pleasing start which only strengthens as band and song weave recognisable post hardcore textures into their own adventure.

The following Sweet T picks up the pace and invention next, the song from its initial web of guitar an agitated yet welcoming proposition on a more aggressive skeleton of beats from Guillaume.B. Diversity of voice again works well within the heated maelstrom of sound, it all grounded by the great earthy tone of Shango.W’s bass amidst the spidery resourcefulness of guitar. It is easy to see why it made a strong impact with its video release, the enjoyably busy and at times sonically muggy track growing in drama and persuasion with each passing minute before making way for the instrumental suggestiveness of VII. Melancholically draped in the sense of loneliness, it also warms ears and imagination with its poetic charm and melodic heat, setting up the listener for the similarly toned Lemon Cupcake. It too has a sorrowful air to its melodic caress, though it soon bursts into a tempestuous climate of raw emotion and sound. Alluringly more volatile and antagonistic over time, the track is a mighty trespass on the senses and treat for the ears with a steel and metallic snarl that is less forceful elsewhere on the EP.

Ending with the emotional volatility and sonic ferocity of Catfish, a bracing track featuring Robin Renard, Full of Doubts provides a powerful and highly enjoyable first incitement from A Time To Hope. Major originality is still to come with the band’s sound but already the promise is there in the way they sculpt and unleash their ideas meaning we can only look forward to their next offering with eagerness.

The Full of Doubts EP is out now and available via https://atimetohope.bandcamp.com/releases or http://atimetohope.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/atimetohope

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/