Kastasyde – Gnosis

Kastasyde Promo Photo 2015 BW_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

If there has been another album this year as startlingly diverse and adventurous within its confines, providing a truly coherent passage from start to finish than Gnosis, it has so far been hiding away. The new creative incitement from Chicago metallers Kastasyde, the release is a fascination on first listen, a captivation after more eager plays, and an eventual obsession over time. Some offerings hit you straight between the eyes and others make a smouldering proposal leading to the same success. Gnosis is both persuasions at the same time and a release destined for best of year nominations.

Formed in 2001, Kastasyde has released a couple of demos, a pair of well-received albums, and a similarly successful EP. Their ever evolving sound has also lured in comparisons to the diverse likes of Mastodon, Acid Bath, Napalm Death, and Machine Head, suggestions sure to expand as Gnosis continually unveils its inventive persuasion and colossal depths. Inviting a guest guitar solo from Black Dahlia Murder guitarist Ryan Knight as well as lap steel guitar contributions by Justin Spring within the album, the quintet of vocalist Jarrett Roberts, guitarists Eric Kornfeind and Jerome Marshall, bassist Dustin Roberts, and drummer Garry Naples (Novembers Doom) take little time to rile up and bewitch the imagination with their highly anticipated album, quickly giving progressive extreme metal and metal in general, a new protagonist to get excited over.

Gnosis opens with Natural State and instantly has attention enthused as a thumping of beats match the roaming exploits of guitar and bass. It is a tenacious and fiercely inviting start luring the listener into a subsequent inferno of vocal hostility, ferocious rhythms, and hungry intensity. Death metal, hardcore, and groove metal unite in the maelstrom of ideation already badgering ears and lighting thoughts, the gripping onslaught providing an increasingly more expansive landscape of sound with each passing twist and moment. As the track spins through essences of noise and progressive rock as well as a blackened malevolence, things continue to enthral and excite. It is an impressive and seriously busy opening to the album but one which never piles on the invention and thickness of its creative tapestry so that things are smothered or missed, or indeed under appreciative. In saying that though, as song and album prove over time, each listen only reveals new and fresh nuances which only increase the pull of its presence.

Kastasyde Gnosis Album Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The following Buried in the Sky continues in the same vein but with a distinctly individual character. Jarrett Roberts’ vocals once more squall with expression and magnetic persuasion as the guitars of Kornfeind and Marshall simultaneously scorch and dance over the senses. Their union alone ensures a hungry appetite but with the throbbing bass adventure offered by Dustin Roberts a prowling enticing alongside the rapier swings of Naples, greed becomes involves, especially once the song slips into a flowing passage of melodic rock deeded imagination. It is calm in the storm and more, a Stone Sour-esque crooning laying out an evocative tempting to get fully involved with before the drums raise their energies and enterprise to lead song and ears into a ruggedly tempestuous roar.

The album’s epic title track is next, ten minutes which alone provides an intensive exploration of sound and emotion as extremes and contrasts again collaborate in a mouth-watering landscape of craft and ingenuity. A gamut of provocative atmospheres and flavours are woven into the turbulent flight, the suggestion that there is something for everyone in a song never a truer claim.

The melodic beauty of In the Spiral with its sultry ambience and crooning vocal incitement comes next, the song a seductive ballad as powerful in its creative voice and feeling as the blazing fury of Blackheart which follows. As its predecessor, the song is outstanding, a hellacious rage of rock ‘n’ roll sculpted with the richest armoury of fierce metal textures. It too, and as now expected is equally a web of uniquely different and seamlessly aligned flavours and ideation; ears and imagination once more being constantly challenged and rewarded.

Never At Peace is the next gloriously inventive brawl on Gnosis, a fusion of hardcore and metal which twists and rampages like a dervish but equally creates a melodic and contagious roar which is as predatory as it is warmly bracing. With its brilliance and adversarial invention just outshining the peaks already making up the album, the track takes best of honours before being almost matched by the mesmeric radiance of Empyrean. Opening guitar enterprise and its subsequent endeavour has a Steely Dan feel to it whilst the sultry and mystique lined melodies and imagination which veins another powerful song, seduce like a mix of Motherjane, In Flames, and KingBathmat.

Both tracks are breath-taking in their unique ways leaving the closing Tiamat a formidable task to ensure the album ends on a similar high. Bedlam is not quite the right word for the might and tempest of the thrilling finale, but best describes the whirlpool of adventure, ingenuity, and sounds colliding and colluding fluidly in the inimical emprise. In many ways the song sums up everything about the album and indeed the creative intent of Kastasyde, and yes it leaves Gnosis in as impressive a state and stature as it started and indeed further climbed to.

Kastasyde was a new introduction to us with Gnosis but leave with the words best of year challenger and major breakthrough release on the lips.

The self-released Gnosis is available now @ http://kastasyde.bandcamp.com/album/gnosis

http://www.facebook.com/kastasyde

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Strength through adversity: Interview with Zach Simmons of Goatwhore

   Goatwhore 06

Goatwhore is one of those propositions which triggers extra sparks of enthusiasm and anticipation when you hear of a new unleashing from the New Orleans based band, and their new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless was certainly no different. Following the gripping and exhilarating Blood For The Master, it had much to live up to but rose to the task with ease to provide another brutal and uncompromising, as well as rigorously thrilling provocation. Not needing to be asked twice, we grabbed the chance to find out more about band and album through drummer Zack Simmons, proceeding to discuss the origins of and challenges before the band over the years as well as looking at the recording of and inspiration for their latest triumph…

Hi Zack and thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Before launching ourselves at new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless, can you give newcomers to Goatwhore some history to the band and its birth?

The band started around 1996 after Sammy’s other band, Acid Bath dissolved. It was out of a necessity to keep playing music for him and to take a darker direction than his previous band. I joined about ten years ago and our current bassist has been with us for five years, so this has been the most consistent line-up for the band.

Was there a specific intent behind the band and its sound at the start and has that continued today or evolved into something different?

The band started out with a heavily Celtic Frost, Bathory influenced sound and has sort of evolved to become its own animal. Those influences are definitely still intact but we’ve grown over time to allow some of our other influences to shine through as well. A lot of the stuff we grew up on, like Motorhead and Judas Priest has definitely made its way into our sound.

It is fair to say that the years have brought plenty of obstacles from the maybe accepted like line-up changes to the unexpected such as paranormal activity and natural disasters to bear on members and the band as a whole. Without this kind of trauma to incite the band’s emotions do you think Goatwhore and its sound would have been a different kind of beast?

I think all of those things have a big part in making the band what it is. We are sort of a product of our environment and experiences and even though we’ve had our fair share of negative occurrences, we’ve always seemed to come out the other end stronger.

All bands need perseverance and commitment to the cause but Goatwhore has needed more than most over the years would you say?

I would say so. We’ve been through a lot, man. Ben was involved in a van accident on tour which left him with two broken legs and not knowing if he’d be able to walk again. Also, hurricane Katrina was a major setback for the band. The Goatwhore coveralbum title kind of says it all. All these things that happen just make us want to push harder and keep going instead of being defeated. It makes for some very aggressive music.

As we mentioned you have just unleashed new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless, what was the feeling over it compared to previous albums for you as it was unveiled to the world?

Every album is very special to me because it is kind of a snapshot in time and holds a lot of memories and emotions. I think this is a very special album for the band and it’s just the next step in the evolution of Goatwhore. With every record you try to step things up a notch on every level. I definitely think we achieved that with this one.

How do you see the difference in sound and presence between Constricting Rage of the Merciless and previous albums Blood For The Master and Carving Out The Eyes Of God?

The main difference in the sound of this record and our past records stems from the fact that we tracked to two inch tape instead of digitally. It was a more time consuming process but the end result was well worth it. I think you can hear more of a vibe in this album and a punchier, warmer sound overall. Erik Rutan really outdid himself on this one.

You just mentioned that the new album was tracked to two-inch tape, what was the inspiration and idea behind this and how did this impact on your approach and style?

We thought it’d be a great way to try and capture our live sound on a record. Some bands want the really modern digital sound but that approach doesn’t really work for us. We want that classic, thick, heavy sound and recording to tape really brought that out. Recording to tape really requires you to be on top of your game and very prepared since there is much less opportunity for studio trickery. It’s a much more honest approach to recording and it worked very well for this band.

Where do you see the album pushes the Goatwhore sound and invention most potently?

I’d say there is a bit more anger and venom on this album than some of the more recent ones. It’s got a bit more variation as well. A song like Cold Earth… is an example of something we’ve never really done before. Little variations like that allow the album to breathe a little more and offer more of a ride for the listener.

Did you bring anything else majorly different way in songwriting and recording to the album this time around?

It was pretty much business as usual. I’d say we were more into the idea of trying new things and a little less apprehensive of changing things up a bit. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and see what happens. It’s a good way to stretch your boundaries as a musician.

How does the songwriting process work within the band more often than not?

It all starts with getting into the practice room and firing up the amps. We’ll sift through the riff library and throw ideas around until something clicks. We also do a lot of work on our own since we live in different places. We’ll email ideas and song structures back and forth to get a head start on things for the next time we get together.

Other than being bred from the writers and band’s hearts how personal are your songs at their core?

I’m sure every song means something to different to each of us but each song is very personal to me. It’s an outlet of creativity and aggression that we all put a lot of heart into.

As you said earlier gain you linked up with Erik Rutan in the studio; was that always going to be the only choice of who to helm the recording or did you ever contemplate a new direction at any point here or on previous releases?

We never really thought of working with anyone else. We have very much the same vision in how this band needs to sound and how to make that happen. We work very well together and improve upon things with each record.

Eric is in many ways like an unofficial member of Goatwhore?

Totally! He really is the fifth member of the band.

We felt whereas Blood For The Master exploded like a beast in season that Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is more of a predatory proposition, one which prowls and sizes up the listener before going for their throats. Is that something you can see between the two?

I totally agree with that. This album has more of a bloodthirsty, murderous vibe to it. It’s a bit more chaotic and violent.

Every release to some degree opens a doorway to a new train of thought for bands about their sound and ideation ahead. Has there been anything about Constricting Rage Of The Merciless which has sparked certain ideas or intent for the next engagement?

It’s never something we plan or think about ahead of time. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there but I’m sure it’ll happen very organically and naturally like it always has. We are focused on touring now and spreading these new songs to any and every place with a stage and a power outlet.

Is there a particular aspect or moment within the album which gives you the biggest personal tingle of satisfaction? Goatwhore 03

To me, every song on the record gives a lot of gratification but one that really sticks out is Cold Earth…. After being bludgeoned with the first five songs, I think it’s the perfect song to set the tone for the second half of the album. It’s a pretty unique song for us.

What is next in store for and from Goatwhore?

We’ve got another two weeks on the Summer Slaughter tour with Morbid Angel in the US. After that we’ll be doing dates with Samhain in the US then heading to Europe with Dying Fetus in November.

Once again thanks so much for chatting with us. Any last words you have for us all?

No problem. Thank you! I hope to see you all at a show in the near future!

facebook.com/thegoat666

Read the review for Constricting Rage Of The Merciless @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/goatwhore-constricting-rage-of-the-merciless/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Goatwhore – Blood For The Master

It really is impossible to imagine a metal fan that will not be swept up and carried away by the impressive and powerful onslaught that is Blood For The Master , the new album from Goatwhore. The release is a brute, an insistent merciless tsunami of sound that will not be denied. Ok the album may not be strong on originality, certainly from the band’s existing catalogue, but very few bands can create intense and creative sounds as essential as Goatwhore nor deliver them as wonderfully.  Though not particularly a fan of the band nor having any negative thoughts about them, they are unquestionably respected and recognised for their presence and influence on metal since their arrival in 1997, given birth by the guitarist Sammy Duet (ex Acid Bath/Crowbar ).  Credit where credit is due and they have earned plenty across their years so far, Blood For The Master rocks like a dog after a bitch on heat. It is relentless, insatiable and will have its way.

Since forming and through various line-ups New Orleans based Goatwhore has laid down a deep mark on metal, their fused blackened death come thrash metal devastating and constantly pulling in formidable acclaim and continually increasing loyal fans. From the demo Serenades To The Tides Of Blood in 1998, through debut album Eclipse Of Ages Into Black in 2000 onto 2003 follow up Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun, the band drew unwavering positive responses, each release showing more of the band and their varied ideas and evolution. All powerful and brutal but brought forth with a progressively evolving sound.

The band has held misfortune by the hand more than once over the years too, the near fatal van crash that left vocalist Louis B. Falgoust II temporarily paralyzed and the band unsure of its future and the escape from the catastrophic floods of Hurricane Katrina just two examples. This has seemed to add more iron and intensity to the band’s sound as subsequent albums A Haunting Curse(2006) and Carving Out The Eyes Of God (2009) showed. New album Blood For The Master is made from the same brute force and stylish creativity and if sound wise is not a major departure from its predecessor has an even more defined authority and depth to it.

Opening up the charge and turbulent engagement of the senses ‘Collapse In Eternal Worth’ is a violent and incessant attack, with  uncompromising rhythms and riffs violating every inch of the ear and beyond.  The guitars of Duet twists nerves around their spiky fingers stretching and turning them throughout whilst Falgoust scowls and unleashes his coarse spite vocals to great effect. An impressive start soon swiped away by the even more masterful ‘When Steel and Bone Meet’. It is an unstoppable trash powered sonic train hammering on the ear, drummer Zack Simmons and bassist James Harvey fuelling the drive with eager vindictive rhythms.

This is just the start as the next duo of tracks ‘Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word’ and ‘In Deathless Tradition’ hold dominion.  The first swings with a scorched groove that mesmerises as the intensity is raised even higher behind. The track is confident and arrogant in its knowledge it has you hooked and deliciously glorious because of it. Ferocious and a maul upon the senses it is the biggest highlight on the album. The second of the two is in some ways even more intense, its heart blacker and malevolent and carries another irresistible groove veined by corrosive melodic manipulations. Each track upon the album feels like a living entity, each with a distinct unstoppable corrupting mission and directive.

Tracks carry on stimulating and provoking, each laden with an artillery of venomous riffs and barbed melodic intrusions. The likes of ‘Judgement of the Bleeding Crown’, ‘An End to Nothing’, and ‘Death to the Architects of Heaven’ impressively adding to a fulfilling and satisfying menu to feast upon. This is metal as it should be, furious, hostile, and  overwhelmingly heavy. Blood For The Master is a pleasure, it may not be ground breaking but very few releases match the enjoyment it and Goatwhore give.

Blood For The Master will be released in Europe Feb 10th, UK Feb 13th, and  North America on Feb14th

RingMaster 07/02/2012

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