Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

CZv50AmXEAAMDrM.jpg large_RingMaster Review

If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sekoria – Im Reich der Schatten

Sekoria-Promo_RingMaster Review

An invasive infestation of melodic black metal bred with symphonic adventure, Im Reich der Schatten is also a lingering persuasion which lures attention repeatedly back. The second album from German metallers Sekoria makes a potent first impression, increasing its attraction over each venture into its atmospheric trespasses whilst all the time laying seeds that draw an appetite to immerse in its ravenous landscape again; that a success in anyone’s book.

Formed in 2010, Sekoria had fans and press praising their debut of two years later, Iter Stellarum. Backed by a potent live presence seeing the band share stages with the likes of Milking The Goatmachine, Arroganz, and Vyre, the current foursome of bassist/vocalist Tobias Forneberg, guitarist/vocalist Felix Piroth, guitarist Matze Markwart, and drummer Mathias Törster have continued to expand and explore their melodically toxic and riveting symphonic black metal, the latest results bringing us the recently released Im Reich der Schatten.

It has become almost expected for dark and extreme metal release to open with portentous instrumentals epically harkening tempests of war or change, and Im Reich der Schatten is no different. It can be predictable but when it is done right with cinematic potency as in opener Einbruch der Dunkelheit, it can have ears and imagination eagerly involved. The suggestive starts leads straight into the album’s title track, a furious and rabid onslaught of swiping rhythms and harrying riffs bound in vitriolic strands of guitar and prowled by the insidious air and tone of the vocals. It is a voracious proposal quickly stirring up pleasure, especially as it imaginatively evolves into a rousing yet still rapaciously anthemic canter combining raw shadows and elegant tempting.

Sekoria_-_Im_Reich_der_Schatten_Cover_RingMaster ReviewImmediately the following Die Nachtigall shares primal intimidation with its opening menace, bass and riffs colluding in a bestial yet composed stalking as a symphony of emotion brews. As repeated across the album, it is a magnetic union of contrasts which blossoms further as keys bred ambience soaks the senses in the midst of a vocally ravishing confrontation. There is an air of hope and emotive safety too within the song’s closing and still savage passage which comes with thicker evocative hues in the guitar spun instrumental Ein neuer Weg. Its melancholy laced lure flows into the similarly tantalising Wesen der Zeit, before tumultuous intensity driven by rapier like beats and threat carrying riffs overwhelms the senses. Again though, as they get bruised and violated, the imagination is sparked by flowing melodies and atmospheric caresses whilst being further incited by throat scarring vocal squalls.

Through the immense ebbs and flows of Canticum Maris and its ear lapping and increasingly intensive waves of provocative textures and rancorous intensity and the fiercely tempestuous roar of Der Sturm, den ich rief, the album finds another fresh spark to entice and inspire thoughts with. Both offer a creative drama which fascinates and seduces as it defiles; a quality continuing through the caustic animus of Vendetta and the crushing intensity and infectious bad blood of Der Fall. Whilst each is an individual intrusion of murderous rock ‘n’ roll, they only increase in potency and effect as each listen reveals new layers to their hellacious depths.

Die vergessene Welt offers a land of dark secrets and sonic menace next before Thron aus Eis avails ears of its own forcibly alluring and corrosive temptation. The first of the two has a progressive nature to its melody infused shuffle, contagious exploits colluding with haunting symphonic drama, whilst its successor is a cold yet inviting storm abating with warm oases of melody and reflective enterprise.

Completed by the fluidly shifting but perpetually jaundiced heart and air of Ein letztes Mal, band and album leave ears and thoughts exposed and numb from its abrasive exploration, but equally contented. There seems like a running theme through the album which is hard to pin down not speaking German, but emotionally the release leaves no doubts to its creative grudge and inventively crafted examination of narrative and listener. Im Reich der Schatten announces Sekoria as a band on the rise and with the potential of even bolder imagination and variety to come.

Im Reich der Schatten is out now via Kernkraftritter Records.

http://www.sekoria.de/   https://www.facebook.com/sekoriaband

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Shotgun Justice – State Of Desolation

SJ_RingMaster Review

State Of Desolation is the debut album from German heavy metallers Shotgun Justice, a band which for the past decade has seemingly become a potent live force in their homeland. That is easy to understand given the potential to explode the songs making up their first full-length have, though it is a spark that is frustratingly unrealised across much of State Of Desolation. Nevertheless the album is an intriguing proposal which, without ever lighting that fire, keeps drawing ears back with its intriguing array of flavours and to see if so far reserved but satisfied reactions can change.

Formed in 2003 by drummer Tobias Groß and guitarist Erik Dembke, Shotgun Justice’s sound is bred in old school heavy metal but as keen to infuse spices from varied essences from thrash to hard rock into its exploits. As shown by State Of Desolation, at times it is a richly potent mix and in other moments missing the mark, certainly for personal tastes, but it is an adventure which lures intriguingly keen ears.

With vocalist Marco Kräft, bassist Tom Schubert, and guitarist Kai Brennecke alongside Groß and Dembke, Shotgun Justice start that adventure in their album with Proclamation Of War; a portentous instrumental with vocal samples setting the theme before Blood For Blood takes hold of ears with its antagonistic riffs and rhythmic swipes; them all carrying an edge of intimidation. The entrance of Kräft vocals sparks some agreeable hooks as the song relaxes its menace a touch, though bass and drums still prowl with force around the unspectacular yet inviting hard rock/metal body of the song. It is a strong start to the album elevated by some inventive twists and turns exposing their bait later into the encounter.

ShotgunJustice-StateOfDesolation-frontover_RingMaster ReviewThe following Blessed With Fire similarly has all the right ingredients to grab attention but not the last essence to leap into loftier success though with its rhythmic rumble and growling riffs, there is no inclination to pass it by before its end. A touch of ArcticFlame frequents the song and reappears in its successor Nothing Left To Fear, a predatory proposal of a song with attitude to its courting of ears and fire in its sonic belly, each additionally blessed with some deliciously spicy grooves. The track soon outshines its predecessors; its thrash meets classic metal nature an instinctive incitement for involvement before Nemesis (A Global Killer) offers its power fuelled balladry for easy consumption. Schubert’s bass is a great dark rumble in the song’s lining whilst Kräft leans on his vocal strengths to portray the emotive narrative though sadly the addition of operatic female just does not work for these ears at all.

The Scales Of Justice wraps ears in its fine suggestive sounds next, sparking ears and thoughts alike with its percussive lures and wiry guitar persuasion, though harmonies in the background lay less enjoyably on ears. It is a potent hint for the imagination though leading right into the rawer jaws of Head Full Of Bullets. Teasing with its low key but provocative entrance, the song is soon charging with thrash spawned nostrils flared as rhythms smacking its robust flank. At its centre a blues induced calm comes over the track to further engage an already keen appetite for the song, its previously urgent charge now another predatory stalking beneath an anthemic vocal call.

Things get more adventurous and unpredictable from hereon in on the album, and equally more fascinating and tempting. Firstly Forsaken steps forward with a tapestry of cosmopolitan rhythms aligned to a sultry Asian vocal lure, the bass walking around them with a brooding tone to its strings. It is a great start which continues as guitars spin their exotic web and vocals find new flavour to their delivery if also a little bit of waywardness in trying to compliment the impressing sounds around them. As the track continues to expand its theatre and thrills it takes best track honours with ease.

The heavier bones and weight of Harvest The Storm takes over to explore its own progressively natured trail of vocal diversity and tenaciously inflamed imagination. At times an aggressive torrent of provocation and in others turns an evocative melody thick calm, the song is a compelling tempest which as its predecessor, reveals a potential and boldness suggesting greater things ahead that is missing in the earlier part of the album.

Ending with its similarly impacting title track, it is fair to say that State Of Desolation is a volatile proposition in its strengths and qualities but a release which certainly across its final quartet of songs leaves a great taste in ears and enjoyment. Though over a decade as a band, Shotgun Justice still feel like a work in progress but as suggested by Forsaken alone, moving in the right direction.

State Of Desolation is out now via Kernkraftritter Records.

http://www.shotgunjustice.de/   https://www.facebook.com/shotgunjusticegermany

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Tranquillizer – Des Endes Anfang

Tranquillizer_bandfoto_RingMaster Review

Whether by design or just how personal appetite took to its rancorous yet feisty mesh of sound, fair to say Des Endes Anfang, the debut album from German metallers Tranquillizer, took its time to fully persuade. Convince it did though, from the first couple of listens unveiling an increasing magnetism that ears could only take notice of. With the discovery of more imaginative layers aligned to involved flavours and textures adding to its appeal over subsequent plays, the nine track blend of ruinous black and melodic death metal emerged a potently satisfying proposal.

Formed by vocalist/trombonist Johannes Guerken and bassist Madelaine Kühn, the Frankfurt hailing Tranquillizer endured a host of line-up shuffles as they forged a soon eagerly supported live presence leading to and from the release of debut EP Blutrot in 2011. With their first German tour following two years later, the band worked their sound and way towards the creation and recent release of first album Des Endes Anfang, an encounter seeing guitarists Aleksander Vetter and Fabian Wohlgemuth, and drummer Nico Dunemann alongside Gauerke and Kühn, drawing broader attention with its collusion of varied flavours with that core extreme tempest of sound.

Artwork by: ThornyThoughts Artwork&Tattoo

Artwork by: ThornyThoughts Artwork&Tattoo

Agonie is the first to entangle the senses and imagination; the brief instrumental brewing smog of sonic suggestiveness within a similarly sculpted portentous atmosphere. Soon rhythms are bringing an energetic coaxing to the mix, their anthemic prowess against the more caustic guitars a potent lure into the more irritable nature of Eine andere Welt. The throat stripping vocals of Guerken soon scar and infest the air, they the first strain in his varied delivery which differs in strength but always keeps ears guessing and thoughts satisfied. Around him the guitars spin a web of contrasting sonic enticing and savaging riffs, the bass of Kühn a provocative predator alongside. As in the first and repeated throughout the album, there is a contagious swagger and rock ‘n’ roll swing at the heart of the song, its success an accomplished temper to the more insidious elements in the band’s sound and tracks like the following Bestie Krieg. Unsurprisingly there is a primal air and bestial tone to the song as it climbs venomously through ears, the rhythms providing a rabid onslaught within the more deliberate stalking from guitars and vocals.

Werde Zu Staub conjures a more melodic if still antagonistic colour to its blackened rock ‘n’ roll, the guitars as much a suggestive flirtation as an intimidating fury within the fierce and catchy incitement. Even bass and drums fluidly switch between merciless menacing and magnetic guidance across the song’s volatile narrative of sound before Kapitulation grinds its nagging riffs and open bitterness into the psyche through a stormy and unrelenting challenge. The track is a tempestuous affair though that evolves in emotion and climate, never veering away from the darkest feelings and bad blooded intent but drawing on some tantalising melodies and melancholy drenched calms to enrich its emotive journey.

The insatiable onslaught of Blutrot grips and thrills next, its corrosive entrance evolving into another predacious stalking of the senses and in turn a cauldron of virulent grooves and toxic expulsions. Each element reveals its own infectiously involving swing no better epitomised than by the rich blaze of Guerken’s trombone making its first major appearance on the album and quickly elevating what is already a riveting encounter with its herald like calls.

That new element seems to spark new invention and unpredictability within the album even without the help of its presence. Welk bounds in next in a tapestry of diverse flavours and almost bedlamic ideation, whilst brewing belligerent animosity. The track, as its predecessor, swiftly stands above what came before and it is no coincidence that the album is at its pinnacle when the band gets bolder with their imagination and adventurous entangling of varied styles without defusing their devouring of ears with sonic and vocal jaundice.

Des Endes Anfang remains at its new plateau through the final pair of tracks; the carnal rabidity of Ins Licht first smothering the listener in murderous enmity. All the time though it is whipping up a contagious persuasion around the bitter range of vocal trespasses, the guitars step by magnetic step driving towards melodic escapades if still with the raw winds of corrosive virulence at their backs. Its impressive buffeting is replaced by the voracious yet less violent Seelenreiter; a tantalising whipping up of ears and imagination opening with welcoming siren like blasts of trombone before sculpting a maelstrom of swirling sonic tendrils and heftily resourceful rhythms.

It is a fine end to an album which only grows and impresses more with repeated plays. Wait twenty odd minutes after the last note of the closer and there is a more than decent secret track, but the best is already in the open, perpetually pushing Tranquillizer and their enjoyable scourge of a release to new attention.

Des Endes Anfang is out now @ https://tranquillizer.bandcamp.com/album/des-endes-anfang

https://www.facebook.com/tranquillizer.official   https://twitter.com/tranquillizerff

Pete RingMaster 26/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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