Code – Augur Nox

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When entering into the riveting realm of Augur Nox the new album form UK metallers Code, be prepared to give it a copious amount of time and attention for the reaping of its breath-taking imagination rifling and passion igniting rewards. Though not a hard listen, the release is structured with such rich and extensive textures aligned to a presentation which is as exhausting as it is incendiary for thoughts and emotions that it takes numerous bold endeavours to fully understand and explore its intensive majesty. Both band and album show that a carnivorous intent and confrontation can be as seductive as an intensive melodic coaxing, an essence Code also employ ingeniously within each tempestuous persuasion upon the release.

The successor to their acclaimed 2009 album Resplendent Grotesque, the band’s third full-length release is the first with the new line-up of guitarists Aort and Andras, bassist Syhr, drummer LORDt, and vocalist Wacian who replaced the departing Kvohst (Hexvessel) last year. Formed in 2001 by Aort and Kvohst to create their own aspect of black metal, the band soon drew attention with the Neurotransmission demo of the following year and more so with debut album Nouveau Gloaming in 2005 and the previously mentioned Resplendent Grotesque. With a sound which strides across multiple genres defying all labelling, Code has taken it all to another level with the exceptional Augur Nox. There is a more progressive rock infiltration to the ever black shadowed emotional and physical exploration as well as an intensity bred which though from the same provocative well as before leaves no emotion and atom of air lacking intrusive intimidation.

The Agonia Records released Augur Nox opens with a relatively straight black metal causticity and coaxing as Black CODE AUGUR NOX COVERRumination emerges from a rhythmic invitation. The harsh vocals of Wacian scowl from within a cage of rhythmic military antagonism, rabidity drenched riffs, and an acidic enticement from the guitars; the band revelling in its rapacious provocation before spreading through a magnetic progressive tempest. The front man brings even greater commanding presence once clean tones and expressive textures stalk his delivery, whilst around him the guitars sculpt a riveting web of sonic enterprise and evocative temptation within a just as compelling rhythmic cage.  The predatory bass sound conjured by  Syhr is another delicious toxicity within the fire, the song evolving into a masterful and magnificent incitement for imagination and emotions with a unique presence which can be best described as Dødheimsgard meets KingBathmat.

The atmospheric black metal/avant-garde/ progressive alchemy continues with the same potency through the following Becoming Host and its stunning successor Ecdysis. The first has an element of Killing Joke to its senses stretching and cantankerous body, again clean vocals an immense persuasion and compliment to the ever shifting prowl of the devouring sounds. Heavy groove metal teasing spirals throughout the absorbing violation to temper yet encourage the ever present predation which acts as a provocateur across the song, whilst a more alternative metal coaxing only accentuates the near bestial hunger of the energy and narrative. The second of the pair takes that predatory intensity and intent to greater irresistible levels, the merger of sonic pestilence and rhythmic barbarism to a progressive experimentation a virulent and uncompromising but exhilarating creative squall. There is so much going on within tracks that we can only give a loud whisper of the invention and exhausting imagination at work within Augur Nox, a turbulent ingenuity at large which cannot be appreciated and truly unearthed through a mere singular or limited number of flights through its cyclonic creative landscape, though even one traverse certainly awakens the listener to something special.

     Glimlight Tourist is the next stunning peak on the merciless flight of innovative adventure, an air of Enslaved and Ihsahn washing the mouth-watering confrontational blaze. Clean vocals again make the strongest suasion whilst the guitars sculpt a senses entwining melody prompted covetous aggressive snarl which forges an unbridled addiction in the passions. Individual in its own menacing yet seducing mix of savagery and melodic beauty, Garden Chancery equally stokes that rampant hunger for the release and invention, the track an esurient consumption of the imagination through sonic manipulation, groove driving infectiousness, and blackened spite.

The likes of The Lazarus Chord where the bass again is an insidious and delicious pestilence behind the melodramatic and emotionally investigative journey, and The Shrike Screw which croons at and tantalises the ears with a seductive malevolence and inventive expanse, only entrance and challenge the listener further whilst the towering Trace of God breeds a new greed with its rich bordering on abusive passion and drama.

The closing pair of Harmonies in Cloud and White Triptych, admittedly without quite reaching the heights already forged but still creating their own slice of compelling excellence, complete what is an exceptional release. Never less than impacting and strikingly provocative, Code has unleashed their strongest and finest challenge yet with Augur Nox, an album which has more rewards that a store club card if the listener is willing to tread its flaming course, something we whole heartedly recommend.

https://www.facebook.com/codeblackmetal

9.5/10

RingMaster 27/11/2013

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Aborym – Dirty

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Listening to Dirty, the new album from Italian industrial metallers Aborym, takes thoughts back to the early days of the genre when Ministry and Godflesh corrosively chewed senses and KMFDM had a true snarl to their sound. It was the time when the genre was at its purest, as generally any style is at its seeding time, and when there was a malevolence and creative spite which arguably has since dispersed over the past decade in the industrial arena. Formed in 1992 the band has continued and explored their origins, combining the essences of the genre from back then with blackened venom and extreme metal savagery. Aborym have set high standards across the years which have inspired and shaped the intent of a wealth of bands and it is with confidence that you can assume Dirty will continue that influence.

Released through Agonia Records, the sixth album from the ignites fires in the passions but as easily quells them at times too, it is an experience of mixed ideas and results but one which is thoroughly captivating and deeply intriguing from start to finish. Like their sound overall, the album unleashes a predatory expanse of what they call “hard-industrial-electro extreme metal”, an unpredictable confrontation which is lingering and at times irresistible. The trio of Fabban (vocals, bass, programming, synth), Paolo Pieri (guitars, keyboards, programming), and Bard Eithun “Faust” (drums), whose past and current invention is found in bands such as Emperor, Hour Of Penance, Mongo Ninja, and Blood Tsunami, take thoughts and senses on an intense and caustically carved journey through black hearted emotive depths and synapse challenging intrusions.

Opening track Irreversible Crisis has a tantalising beckoning to recruit thoughts from the start, its blend of sizzling metallic pulsesAborym_dirty_cover300dpi_rgb within a scrappy blistered ambience evoking instant thoughts before the ravaging blackened charge of sonic malevolence consumes the ear. It is a viciously driven persuasion with the vocals of Fabban squalling with serpentine intensity upon the rhythmic bombardment and quarrelsome riffing. It is not long though before the industrial veins move in to shift the emphasis and creative temptation, the vocals seizing a Marilyn Manson like enticement whilst the song itself moves from a black metal like scourge through to an electro industrial wantonness. Imagine Behemoth meets Ministry and Treponen Pal before engaging with Wiseblood and The Amenta and you get an idea of this outstanding track and start.

The following Across the Universe wraps its electro arms tightly around the ear initially before slowly stretching its metal sinews and resonating breath into another intensive provocation. Clean vocals set the narrative up with potent clarity whilst the melodic teasing of the song inspires thoughts before being drenched in a squall of blackened toxin. Though not as immediate in its persuasion as its predecessor, the song is a riveting sonic travelogue through rapacious and magnetic scenery which reveals and persuades more with each subsequent course.

Next up the title track is a filth clad tsunami of nastiness, its erosive breath working silently behind the violent hunger and insidious exploits created by the venomous maelstrom elsewhere. It is the brink of the abyss, its industrially sculpted ferocity a virulently contagious assault with an intensity and energy which is hellacious at best and primal destruction at its most rabid.

Both the scintillating Bleedthrough, a track which infuses a storm of blackened carnivalesque like sounds, diverse essences, and exhausting emotive warfare, and the nightmare that is Raped by Daddy, continue to keep the album on the highest plateau. The second of the two  breeds its deepest agonies  through a magnetic mesh of extreme and electro metal, rhythms chewing on bone whilst the sonic acid scars beside a seductive electronic coaxing. Once at the heart of its distress there is a bottomless pit of emotive torment impacting on every sense, thought, and emotion, making for an experience which is lingering and explosive.

From this point on things do not find the same potency and draw as the first half of the album, though songs like I Don’t Know, even with its dodgy clean vocals at one point, The Factory of Death and closing song The Day the Sun Stopped Shining never find less than full involvement from the mind and attention from the ear for their still inventive and expressive enterprise. Amongst them one more pinnacle does shine through. Helter Skelter Youth is a schizophrenic fire of industrial, avant-garde, and electro devilment, an insatiable fury upon the listener with a thrilling body of epidemically infectious invention.

Though not holding on to its full triumph across all its length Dirty is an outstanding album which feeds the appetite for the origins of industrial metal whilst refusing to neglect the experimentation and intensive adventure of the now. Also released with a second CD available only on digipack, double gatefold LP featuring covers of tracks by Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails, two completely re-arranged and re-recorded tracks older songs and one new track, the album is a must investigate release as a bare minimum for all fans of the genre.

www.facebook.com/aborymofficial

8/10

RingMaster 29/05/2013

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The Moth Gatherer – A Bright Celestial Light

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    A Bright Celestial Light is one of those releases which dares you to offer a description of or to place a tag on its creative tempest then laughs in your face as only a colossal lists of adjectives and genre references could just about do it justice. A perpetually evolving debut from Swedish experimentalists The Moth Gatherer, which takes on a new and refreshing aspect which each and every re-engagement with its stunning presence, the album is a quite incredible and ever twisting imaginative fire which inspires and consumes the passion let alone thoughts for a thrilling, often openly aggressive, and mesmeric experience.

Consisting of Alex Stjernfeldt and Victor Wegeborn, the band employs a maelstrom of flavours to its unique inventiveness, from metal and caustic rock, sludge and doom, to progressive and ambient and much, much more. The band and new album leaves the term unpredictable a slowly reacting, missing the target call on their persistently surprising and shifting ingenuity. Across its quintet of towering tracks the band never over complicates anything, progressive it surely is but with a uncluttered invention and understanding to the whirling imagination at work, it incites and lures in the listener without leaving them bewildered or shell shocked by the continually moving imagination. To share a comment Stjernfeldt made about the album, he said “We just want our music to be an emotional explosion“. Something the pair succeeds in doing with startling effect and craft. He went on to say “A lot of the songs is about death, missing people you loved who have passed away and losing hope in mankind. We want the music to make you feel like you can move mountains with it. I wish for that when people hear our music, they start to dream away.” Again to agree with him the band evokes thoughts and emotions with ease and to immerse within its descriptive depths an easy and irresistible lure.

Released through Agonia Records, the Karl Daniel Liden mastered album which also has a guest appearance from Member 001 of ARCD111The Konsortium, begins its persuasion with The Water That We All Come To Need. The song slowly emerges from a gentle ambience and brewing atmosphere with singular guitar strokes and a dawning rich breath soon joined by inviting beats. It is a part primal wholly organic start which works on and with the inner rhythms of the listener to pull them into the exploding caustic ravage soon to follow. The vocals graze with scathing aggression upon a scene setting feel before the track quicksteps through a sonic blaze of shifting tempos and incendiary intensity veined with sharp acidic melodies and cutting barbed aural hooks. To describe the whole expanse of the song, or any other, would need a full individual review but leaving plenty to creep up and leap upon your senses let us just say the track winds around the senses and passions with riveting and dazzling enterprise. Its darkness is never far from the melodic light, always pressing and intimidating its temptation, whilst the bright sonic entrapment which permeates the different stretches of the soundscape is a constant temper to the at times brutal shadows.

     The following Intervention has a hardened rawer touch to its squalling tones whilst the vocals bring an urgent, maybe needy caress to the fire. Again shifts into melodic elegance across evocative and richly suggestive smouldering escapes are emotionally charged and aurally descriptive yet seamless in their emergence from and as persuasive leads into harsher corrosive and equally compelling sonic and predatory structures. The exceptional piece makes way for the highlight of the album, the brilliant A Road Of Gravel And Skulls, a track which rumbles along and crumbles defences with its cascade of punkish attitude, electro brilliance, ravaging extreme metal and hardcore abrasions plus so much more. The song is a demanding and richly rewarding excuse to visit thoughts and emotions, to let them find their own unique questions and visions, but most of all it is a creatively inspiring and passion sparking fury of invention and innovative imagination.

With The Womb, The Woe, The Woman and its hooked, grooved, and wonderfully melancholic beauty, not forgetting the exceptional snarl of the bass to add further provocation and the closing A Falling Deity, a song which is a free fall of intensive emotive suggestion and impacting scarring yet refreshing ambience, the album engrains itself further into the heart and thoughts. We have not done the album justice with our words, not sure anyone could, but with only the exhausting length of some tracks as a contrived niggle just to be mischievous, A Bright Celestial Light is a stunning release which certainly fans of the likes of Neurosis, Pelican, Breach, and Cult of Luna will greedily devour whilst it has plenty for all adventurous metal and rock hearts. The Moth Gatherer is going to be a major force ark our words.

http://www.themothgatherer.com

9/10

RingMaster 18/04/2013

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Aosoth – IV: Arrow In Heart

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An invidious black consumption to ravage and douse any well -lit emotional template and hope fuelled presence, IV: Arrow In Heart the new album from French metallers Aosoth is a threatening and deeply rewarding violation. Viciously intimidating and at times almost too much of a challenge to listen to, the caustic and vengeful nineties death metal cored sounds of the band leave no sense, emotion, or synapse free of brutal provocation, and a thoroughly pleasing and rewarding experience it is.

The band was formed in 2002 as a side project of black metal grinders Antaeus, which took on stronger purpose when the main band stepped back from performing live. Through their  previous three albums the band has earned an immense recognition and acclaim for their invasive sounds and within the previous year has played selected shows with the likes of Watain, Shining, Ondskapt, Nehëmah, Farsot, Enthroned, Hell Militia, Blacklodge, Heretic, and more, their fourth album now stepping forth via Agonia Records to lay waste to senses and emotive bodies. It is a darker more virulent malevolence from Aosoth which the band itself commented on with “We’ve spent such a huge amount of time on defining a darker identity, yet open to a wider range of influences. Those tracks still haunt us, as delivering them was a painful and excruciating experience, and left some of us even physically wounded… which gives that album even more of a spiritual value, as it involved a form of sacrifice. This fourth full-length release is without a doubt a great step forward for us in term of music writing, and sound.” Listening to its hateful beauty it is ready to receive the same sacrifice from the listener, something which is deserved and more than generous in return.

An Arrow in Heart erodes the senses from its first insidious note, the track alone raising the threshold of endurance and passion. Aosoth_IV_artwork copyIt is a visceral encounter, though that applies across the whole release, which twists the senses into a wasted defenceless recipient of the decayed breath and light extinguishing punishment. The sonic veining is a groove to ignite ardour and sear flesh whilst the roaming soon ravaging black course of the song, is a torrent of aural spite and crafted violent invention.

Through the following One With The Prince With A Thousand Enemies and Temple of Knowledge, the band increase the desolation overwhelming the emotions with an intrusive air whilst mutually igniting greater ardour and addictive appetite for their contagious rabid grooves and acid coated melodic maliciousness. The first of the pair shifts and exposes every weakness in the psyche and emotions through continually twisting intensity and gait whilst the second finds a further furnace of intense ferocity and invention to crave and obliterate the senses with. Each song on the album, is rife with riveting imagination and equally mesmeric enterprise but Aosoth make you work and suffer for it with only numerous journeys through its mordant intent the only way to devour it all.

    Under The Nails and Fingertips continues the testing nasty transgressions with again the guitars and bass painting a plaintive narrative to extinguish any lingering corner of light or peace whilst the two parts of Broken Dialogue offer an individual confrontation which is cinematic in their make-up and carnally greedy in their creativity. The first part sets a debris strewn emotive collapse whilst the second is a toxic corruption, the droning and exhausting severity placed upon the ear permanently scarring.

     Ritual Marks Of Penitence closes off the album with its finest moment, the again drone driven sounds and chaining rhythms demanding subservience whilst they feed and suck senses and passions dry yet leave them desperate for much more of the insurgent beauty and magnetic invention. With a production as throughout the album, which allows the skilled craft of the members to stake their claim on the listener within the ferocious intensity, song and album is a masterful piece of mental and physical cruelty and very deeply satisfying.

Whether you can actually truly enjoy an album like IV: Arrow In Heart is debatable but the desire to frequently allow its blistering hellacious touch upon the body is undoubted.

http://www.aosoth.fr/

https://www.facebook.com/aosoth

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/04/2013

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Tombstone Highway: Ruralizer

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    Ruralizer is one of those unexpected gems which come out of nowhere awareness wise, to thrill and invigorate the emotions and ear. Unleashed by Italian band Tombstone Highway, the album is an immensely satisfying encounter of stoner rock, blues, and southern rock all soaked in the sinews of doom metal. Refreshing in its imaginative use of existing formulas within the above genres all captivatingly transformed into something distinct to the band, the Agonia Records released album leaves an insatiable appetite for much more from and strong passion for Tombstone Highway.

The band comprises of duo H.M Outlaw (vocals, guitars, banjo) and Emilio Sobacchi (drums), and has its beginnings back in 1999 with the pair inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, traditional Root Blues, and Bluegrass emerging as Leaf Season Death. Employing the heavy shadows of low-tuned guitars and bass to their ideas, the band failed to take off through the lack finding additional members to create their invention. The duo moved into other bands soon after but then 2006 saw them join up again and begin writing new material, with bassist Mike B. of Viscera brought in to the line-up.  Debut EP Padus River Graveyard Blues followed the next year and received strong responses to its limited release. Another hiatus for the band followed with Mike B. leaving but in 2011 the Piacenza pair united again to write and record their first album, the mighty creation Ruralizer.

The album combines the heaviness of a Corrosion of Conformity and Down to the southern fires of Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top TH_coverbefore immerses them in the heavy metal power of Black Sabbath. It is an inspirational result which is soaked in the rural and folklore essences of its homeland to further ignite the flames of all its other fires of sound. Outlaw and Sobacchi also brought in additional musicians in the shape of Mario Percudani (HungryHeart), one of the very best rock guitarists in Italy, guitarist Razor SK (Forgotten Tomb), and Paolo Apollo Negri whose Hammond keys bring another flavoursome persuasion to the album.

Opening track Old Blood is a sensational invitation to the album, the weighty lure of the riffs and basslines veined by irresistible banjo teases to immediate intrigue and please. The track strolls through the ear with purpose and a sure hunger which with ease demands eager attention whilst leaving a depth of pleasure which is immeasurable. The guitars carved a place in the passions with skill and enterprise whilst the rhythms without unleashing their full venom cage it all with craft and intensity.

From the startling beginning the album piles on the thrills with firstly Acid Overlord, a track with grooves as addictively sour and sharp as you could wish within its snarling insatiable presence, the sweltering Graveyard Blues which has whispers of Soundgarden within its Orange Goblin coated furnace, and the outstanding Hellfire Rodeo. The last of the trio is a virulently infectious romp with riffs and sonic taunting causing an epidemic of ardour within the emotions. As in all songs vocally Outlaw has a dust coated growl which ignites the whisky fumes of the music into another hot wind of satisfying enterprise, the union of all aspects within the band and songwriting forging something new and inspiring within a familiar context.

The title track employs that irrepressible banjo sound again within more searing sonic mastery, its swagger and muscular gait an imposing yet deeply stimulating instigator to feet and passions. Up to this point every track ignites the fullest hunger for their contents and the same can be said for Bite The Dust (and bleed) and At The Bitter End though both despite their quality and energy fail to quite match up to what came before. The two songs do not quite find that something to step forward into their own unique spotlight but nevertheless cannot be offered any real negatives.

Completed by a strong and inviting cover of the Mountain track Mississippi Queen and the excellent closing inventive maul of the ear Hangman’s Friend, Tombstone Highway has brought the world an album which is rock at its most rousing and bracing. If references mentioned above work for you than Old Bones is a real awaiting treat.

https://www.facebook.com/Tombstone.Highway

9/10

RingMaster 15/03/2013

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Beissert: Darkness: Devil: Death

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    Darkness: Devil: Death is an album where during its rampage through the ear inspires a varied mix of thoughts, at times some confused and uncertain, but by its end one thing is distinctly apparent, it is overall quite simply a thoroughly  enjoyable confrontation. The fourth release from German metallers Beissert, the album is a persistent tempest of groove, heavy, and thrash metal, which continually captures the imagination even during moments when its ideas fail to spark the same enthused responses bred elsewhere within its muscular onslaught.

Formed in 2005, the quintet from Dresden has forged a strong reputation, their self-released demo a call to arms [for failed ones] the same year, the first encounter with their formidable sound. The 2007 album …nothin’ left to luv! brought a wealth of flavours and styles into its aggressive breath whilst, like the new album, the Agonia Records released thePusher two years after, unleashed a darker and more intense breath to its forceful destructive invention. Darkness: Devil: Death in many ways is the blossom of the seeds sown in the previous two albums, its heart and venom the blackest yet but brought through a wealth of creative spicery and diversity within metal and rock. It also has that insidious tendency of brewing up its attraction in the shadows to suddenly hit thoughts during numerous visits that actually the album is one enthralling and deliciously tasty treat.

A constant storm of sound and intensity, the release opens with Thy Chthonic Cathedral, a track which brews up a darkened untitledatmosphere of impending shadows and energy before letting loose a riot of ear grasping riffs and bone snapping rhythms. Immediately grasping attention from its lazy stance the song begins to work its sonic alchemy on the senses with a tight serpentine groove with licking sonic flames surging around it and the impressive vocals of Bssrt. Coarse, clean, squalling, his delivery alongside impressive backing elsewhere ignores boundaries and definition to ravage like the varied sounds but all is rich in skill and stunning creativity. It is an impressive and pulse racing start easily matched by the following title track. DarknessDevilDeath is a bruising course of thrash and hardcore speared by scintillating spikes of classic and melodic extreme metal with vocals again rich in variety to inspire further impressed passion. At times the rhythms threatened to fall into chaotic disorder but the band hold a tight enough rein to let their randomness intrigue and leave the listener lost in thought and satisfaction.

Through tracks like Age Ov Darkness where the vocals are as manic as they are contagious, the fiery Zorn Der Geister, and My Path Shall Be Your Wrath, Beissert continue to expand their invention and intense ferocity with a soaking of changing essences, the latter of the three splitting the classic core of the song with nu-metal and charred ravenous grooves. Though the trio do not find the depths of enticement and triumph as do the opening pair, they still leave the listener greedily focused and ready to taste more, the latter of the three epitomising the album as a whole in that the more time spent in its company the stronger and lasting the persuasion.

Perm Trias steps forward as another invigorating highlight, the abrasive scowls of Bssrt and flesh searing grooves an irresistible temptation soon surpassed by the expanding intense grind of the song and the clean vocals, though at times they do push the limit pass personal pleasure point. One of the less dramatic and aggressive tracks it nevertheless hits the target with ingenuity and simple insatiable rock n roll.

Through the following I Am The Lore and Do What Thou Wilt the album drops into a bit of a lull though both songs have plenty to offer, the first especially with a White Noise era Anthrax like presence but against next up DXXXV they are warm up acts to its towering presence. The track gnaws the senses from its first rabid note, riffs chewing flesh and rhythms dissecting cartilage. There is a death metal malevolence seeping from the heart of the savagery whilst the guitars sculpt a melodic lattice of flames with sonic expertise to temper the primal devastation at work. The best track on the album it carves its place in the passions with malice and inventive vivacity.

Ending with the again Anthrax whispering De Profundis Clamavi with its spidery sonics and Die Diamantenen Tore Der Hoelle (Polaris), a track offering a stoner seeded invitation, Darkness: Devil: Death is an album impossible to ignore once bitten by its rapacious claws. It ebbs and flows at times in regard to lighting fires but at all times Beissert twist the screw of imagination and adventure resulting in a release which emerges as richly pleasing.

https://www.facebook.com/beissert.dwtw

www.deathworship.com

8/10

RingMaster 14/03/2013

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Kongh: Sole Creation

Kongh 2012

Swedish band Kongh undeniably has a strength and intensity as formidable as their name suggests and through their new album Sole Creation, offers forty five minutes of energy sapping, senses elating, and passion igniting creativity which is just breath-taking. Consisting of four tracks, the third full length release from the band consumes every corner of the psyche with an adventurous and hungry expanse of sludge and doom metal brought with a fiery loud whisper of progressive rock. It is an immense beast which gives some of the most melodically rewarding sounds heard in a long time whilst hungrily gnawing on the bones and synapses of the listener with heavy consuming intent.

The seeds for Kongh began in 2004 when David Johansson (guitar, bass and vocals) and Tomas Salonen (drums) met and began making heavy music together incorporating influences from their different musical backgrounds flavours from blues to grindcore. Two years later saw their first demo appeared, a four track brute of weighty sludge and loud riffing might which unexpectantly within two weeks sparked floods of strong reviews and independent label interest. By that fall the band had signed with Stockholm’s Trust No One Recordings (Isis, Khanate, Switchblade, Breach) and began work of their first album Counting Heartbeats which appeared in July of 2007. Again acclaim soaked the band backed by impressive live shows which included supporting Neurosis and Cult Of Luna. By the end of the next year following a limited split LP with Ocean Chief and a split 7” with Witch-Lord, the band and their epic musical atmospheric ‘hostilities’ were to the fore of awareness within European metal. Second album Shadows Of The Shapeless came out in 2009 and its evolved and aggressively intrusive sounds whipped up another storm of attention and acclaim from fans and media alike. It also received a full US release, the first time for the band as they received their most positive and enamoured reviews yet.

Kongh had reached a height to see them lie alongside the major doom/sludge metal names, with shows and performances with bandsARCD108 such as Weedeater, Ufomammut and YOB sealing their stature as they concentrated playing live and touring over the next two years. As the new Agonia Records released album shows this was a mere step in their rise as the further plateau reached and explored musically by Sole Creation, is their finest and most irresistible moment yet. It and the band is as confronting and abrasive as ever but with an expansive breath which reaches out further in imagination, sound, and impact. The four songs making up the album are individual slabs of dynamic sonic potency, rich melodic incursions, and senses challenging aggressive poetry.

The title track opens up the vat of dramatic excellence upon inciting rolling rhythms and a sonic wash with an acidic touch upon the ear. Soon into its sizzling gait the track unleashes teasing melodic hooks, grinding riffs, and a marked elevation in the intimidation of the rhythms. Once the growling spite of Johansson lies its rasping malevolence on flesh the song is grooving with a wonderful irritability soon tempered by the wonderful clean vocal harmonies which join the fray and insidious yet magnetic melodic caresses from the guitars. It is a sensational encounter which holds the passions tight within only the first four minutes of its ten plus. The track shifts its muscles into a varied venture of ideas and styles within the overall aggressive stance with imperious ease and craft to spark whispers of Mastodon, Kyuss, and Baroness, though Kongh capture a sound distinctly theirs at all times.

Second song Tamed Brute treats the already sore senses to a new decisive wash of sonic mastery to announce its entry before resting on an atmospheric peace though still with a disturbed air to its presence. It is not long before the track is a maelstrom of energy and passion soaked intensity which oppresses and smothers leaving one smouldering under its infectious annihilatory heat. The cleaner vocals are again especially striking though just one of a weave of sensational aspects on song and album.

     The Portals and Skymning complete the release, the first an emotion grasping physical endurance test with the deepest pleasure and enterprise the reward for its devastating and magnetic confrontation. An inferno as dense as it is incendiary the track is aural alchemy, the band turning riotous violence into a mesmeric contagious aural brilliance. The second of the two is equally guilty of the wizardry though it offers a less intensive pugnacity to its far reaching dark beauty, but again a level of musicianship in performance and songwriting which is just masterful.

Featuring a guest appearance from John Doe from Craft, the Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna) mastered album is as flawless as is possible and in turn just sensational, a release which will inspire for a long time to come. Kongh now stand as massive as their cinematic namesake.

http://www.kongh.net/

9/10

RingMaster 05/2/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright