Draghkar – The Endless Howling Abyss

Already keeping 2018 busy with a pair of split releases with Desekryptor and Ossuarium respectively, US death metallers Draghkar are poised  to unleash their own four track infestation in the highly enjoyable shape of The Endless Howling Abyss.

Formed in 2016 by guitarist/vocalist BW (Grave Spirit/Gravesmasher), the band had gone through a few line-up changes before the first of those aforementioned splits was uncaged; bassist Daniel Kelley and drummer ES now completing the line-up. With a sound said to be inspired by Abhorrence and Amorphis and also increasingly embracing the likes of Molested, Mercyful Fate, and others as intimated within The Endless Howling Abyss, Draghkar has nurtured a potent mix of flavours and enterprise across their releases which certainly flourishes within the latest.

Traversing the Abyss rises from its bed with portentous strikes of sound, dramatic suggestion coating every surge of guitar and swing of rhythms until it settles into a controlled but portentous prowl. Every wave of riffs though brings a slight elevation in energy before it gathers for an intensive assault loaded with the throat gravel of BW. Grooves and melodic entangling escape the growing tempest, each with a lively swing that swiftly got under the skin. It is dark and ravenous, corruption at the creative heart but so very catchy and infectious too.

The excellent start continues with Swallowed by the Dark; a track not as mercurial in the attack of its animosity as in its predecessor but as rabidly venomous. It too shares grooves as viral as they are toxic, the guitar almost dancing on the rhythmic canter of the doom soaked bass splintered by senses splitting beats. It might be death metal bred but the track is prime rock ‘n’ roll, just in the most corrosive form of its incitement.

Next up Eternal Disintegration (Of The Body And Of The Mind) chains ears with one rich hook from its first breath, it a coaxing into a visceral canter but remaining to potently flavour the track’s subsequent emergence into a carnivorous predator. There is a bedlamic volatility in its depths which ignites even more invasive turbulence at times but never enough to extinguish the viral lure of its grooved invasion.

As if the release stored up all its malice and dissonance for its finale, Fading into Emptiness is an unsavoury consumption of the senses full of and leaving scars and fissures but again sweetening the malevolence with a great nagging of grooved temptation.

It is a fine end to a release which announces Draghkar as a definite to watch proposition within the death metal scene. Those previously mentioned splits made the suggestion, The Endless Howling Abyss insists on keeping them close.

The Endless Howling Abyss is released July 27th on CD through Craneo Negro Records (500 copies) and on cassette via Nameless Grave Records (75 copies). Both also available as well as digitally @ https://draghkar.bandcamp.com/album/the-endless-howling-abyss

 https://www.facebook.com/DraghkarBand/

 Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MACHINÆ – Clockwork

machinae-clockworks-promo_RingMaster Review

A breath or two over a year since first emerging upon the Finnish metal scene, MACHINÆ make a broader and richer introduction to their melodic metal exploits with debut album Clockwork. Given its global release via Concorde Music Company barely two weeks after a successful unveiling in the quintet’s homeland, the album is a fascinating and captivating encounter making a persuasion that builds and then lingers rather than providing an immediately explosive one. From start to finish though, Clockwork tantalises and entices with its imaginative weave of potently varied flavours within a metal bred rock ‘n’ roll landscape.

Formed by guitarist/keyboardist Eriksson and drummer Romppanen, MACHINÆ took their first step as a full band on Halloween 2014, swiftly getting into the creation of their first album thereafter. Potent teasers in the shape of singles/videos Never Coming Back and Frozen Ground earlier this year ignited great anticipation for Clockwork and now here, fair to say it delivers a highly enjoyable and imaginatively accomplished incitement. Covering themes ranging from “death, independence, and an overall tone of overcoming hardships”, the self-financed and self-produced album is merges aggressive and seductive contrasts within an often tempestuous canvas. As if bred on the melodic/progressive prowess of Amorphis, the epic and industrial intensity of Rammstein, and the emotive resourcefulness of Poets Of The Fall, the album persistently entangles ears and imagination in its creative drama to leave satisfaction full.

machinae-clockwork_RingMaster ReviewDestroy And Rebuild starts things off, raw riffs and rhythms colluding with theatre laced enterprise spread quickly by the keys and guitars of Eriksson and Karenko. Enveloping ears with thick tempting from the start, the song’s energy relaxes a touch as the clean tones of Piipponen step forward, though beside him the carnivorous tone of Kauppinen’s bass ensures dark intimidation is still a prowling feature. Throaty growls add to the mix too as the swinging swipes of drummer Romppanen drive and shape the great volatility at the heart of the song. It is a great proposal epitomises things to come; the track not sending the senses and passions spinning but perpetually working away on them to emerge a long term and increasingly persuasive proposition.

The gripping Never Coming Back comes next; keys straight away hugging ears with lively yet shadow hued melodies as the vocals paint an evocative portrait of paranoia and the tragic outcome it leads to. As throughout the release, the song carries a familiarity which adds spice to the highly agreeable mix whilst its raw and bracing textures wake and hold attention as potently as the enterprise colouring their confrontation.

Barely a breath is allowed between tracks, This Will Be The Day emerging from the final release of sonic air out of its predecessor, instantly casting a folkishly melodic and engaging coaxing evolving into brewing angst and the intensity of the song. Its light might darken in the process but the track also unveils eager infectiousness and a similar welcoming glow from the keys which tempers that Poets Of The Fall like melancholy.

Across the quartet of songs so far, the album shows distinct diversity within its imagination, and continues to spread those wings through the brooding gothic croon of Casualties and the haunting air of Frozen Ground. The first of the two embraces symphonic and grouchily predacious elements whilst its successor blossoms a provocative electronic expression aligned with a gnarly touch and at times intent.

From a warm reflective smoulder to a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar simplifies but gives a glimpse of the heart of Into light whilst Falling One By One weaves a tenaciously sculpted tapestry of sultry keys and hungry riffery around the enjoyable variety in vocal delivery and imagination colouring the song’s contagious body. It is an enticement and virulence echoed within Forever, where, not for the first time within Clockwork, there are certainly parts closely similar to others in the other songs but skilfully nurtured to positive effect in the emerging individualism of again an inescapably enjoyable encounter.

MACHINÆ continue to please and intrigue with their craft and imaginative songwriting as Almost Human Doll and Don’t Get Used To This provide eventful and unpredictable exploits, the latter especially riveting and anthemically incendiary before making way for the magnetic Blank Canvas which brings the album to a musically and melodically evocative close, with a contrasting snarl or two included.

Clockwork is not an album which left ears and thoughts awe struck, though thorough enjoyment was an easy conquest, but each song and moment offered something adventurous and sparked an appetite to explore the band more now and across future releases.

Clockwork is out now via Concorde Music Company.

http://machinaeband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/machinaeband   https://twitter.com/machinaeband

Pete RingMaster 08/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

V For Violence – The Book of V

VFORVIOLENCE-band_RingMaster Review

Finnish metallers V For Violence first made an attention nudging statement with up their debut album The Cult Of V in 2009, now after a fair time in the making they unleash its successor The Book of V. Vocalist Jarkko Lähderanta said of the band’s new offering, ”The Book Of V took years to get its shape and sound. We wanted to take the next step in songwriting and paid more attention on details.” It is an intent finding success as the eleven tracks contagion frisks ears and sparks the imagination, and though it easily lures references to other protagonists in the industrial/alternative metal scene and styles around it, the album is simply one rousing and thoroughly enjoyable ferocious stomp.

Formed in 2007 by Lähderanta, drummer Miikki Kunttu, and guitarist Janne Salo, V For Violence was soon luring ears with their first demo in 2008. Its track/video Boy Called Fucker was a swift spark in the band being eagerly devoured by fans and media too, helping lead to their signing with Osasto-A Records soon after for the release of the 2-track single Constant Of Death in the summer of 2009. It was a strong teaser to their impending debut album The Cult Of V released in the November of that same year. The full-length was a well-received proposal pushing the band towards stronger spotlights backed by a live presence which by this point had already seen V For Violence support Hardcore Superstar and in turn going on to the sharing of stages with the likes of Die So Fluid, Cold Cold Ground, Amorphis, Hypocrisy, Underoath, and Architects at shows and festivals. Now with bassist Jani Rahkonen and guitarist Riku Vuorio alongside Lähderanta, Salo, and Kunttu, V For Violence have the long awaited The Book of V poised and ready to stir up the metal scene.

And that it pretty much does even if its originality is locked in the arms of open familiarity to a few heavyweights. Like a fusion of Fear Factory and Marilyn Manson in league with Dope and Powerman 5000, the album and opening track, The Halted Saint explode on the senses with anthemic ferocity. For some you suspect that recognisable air might not work as well as for others, but V For Violence bring their own raw and aggressive twist on things too ensuring that each track has something fresh and extra to say and certainly grip a demanding appetite and imagination by. The band’s new single clouds ears with thick industrial smog but swiftly sends sinewy tendrils of guitar and scything rhythms through it as the climate begins to clear on a corrosive and quickly addictive stalking. Those previously mentioned references straight away work on thoughts as too Society 1 in regard to the caustic and impassioned, bordering on sexual, intensity driving the encounter. Grooves and hooks just spark whilst the strong vocals of Lähderanta roar with expression and incitement for an outstanding start to the album’s fury.

V-For-Violence-TheBookOfV-cover__RingMaster Review     The potent beginning continues with the predatory prowl of The Downfall Pt. I: To Feel Alive. Initially it smoulders within imposing walls with mellow melodies and vocal coaxing but is soon building a volatile atmosphere and intimidating lining of textures, though still dipping into its elegant reflective heart throughout. Once more Manson is an obvious comparison to a song which at times has you drooling and in other moments simply fascinated by its adventurous nature and spicing.

Never Enough uncages the darkest bestial bass riffs and salacious grooves next, splintering them with vocal bellows and psyche gripping hooks to get very greedy over whilst Like It Like That and I Need You spew inescapable virulence in their individual characters. As most songs, choruses conjured are like infection dosed traps, impossible not to be fully involved in whilst around them creative snarls and in the latter of this trio, sinisterly dramatic nuances toy with the imagination. It is fair to say that a few songs share a closely seeded template but many, as here, create from that something strikingly inventive and captivating.

Band and album continues to hit the spot as tracks like the carnivorous A Place To Fill with its electronic festivity and guitar led twists, and the wonderful sonic groan and intimate melodies of God On Trial just ignite the senses. The second of these two is another major pinnacle in the album, every minute a cauldron of emotion and flirtatiously venomous enterprise equipped with unpredictability before it has to make way for Sodomedia which rivals it with its own hellacious and irritable industrial grooving. Once more limbs and thick involvement in the tempest is unavoidable, the breath taken too in the exhausting pleasure consuming the senses

The following Not A Word with its more hard rock seeded swagger lacks the spark and triggers of its predecessors yet again has a keenly persuasive impact on ears and satisfaction whilst What The Fuck! throws its attitude out with zeal, rhythmic and vocal relish fuelling the Five Finger Death Punch/ American Head Charge spiced confrontation.

The Book of V closes with the sweltering croon of The Downfall Pt. II: Amourageddon, its initial acoustic and emotive smoulder again as in Part 1, rising to dense intensity and melancholic ire whilst this time embracing classical and symphonic hues alongside an evocative industrial climate. A relative slow burner compared to other tracks within the album, it constantly evolves and reveals new treats to bring the release to a fine conclusion.

Fair to say we greedily devoured The Book of V and continue to, each track a tasty slice of invigorating fire and hostility. If any of those previously mentioned comparisons do not work for you than possibly V For Violence will struggle to persuade too but for the rest, this is one easy to recommend incitement.

The Book of V is available now via Inverse Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Krampus: Survival of the Fittest

2011 was the year Italian folk metalers Krampus announced their presence with two impressive and promising EPs, this year they have set themselves at the fore of the genre with their debut album Survival of the Fittest. Eight strong, the band has built on their early promise with a release which is refreshing and vibrant whilst being unafraid to be adventurous and eclectic without pushing itself outside the set walls of folk metal. It is a powerful and thoughtful album which growls like a bear at times and in others serenades like a burning sunset for a varied and absorbing adventure.

As mentioned the 2009 formed band first drew attention with the release of their debut EP Shadows of Our Times in March of last year. Alongside their shows it drew a strong view in their direction, but it was with the following Kronos’ Heritage EP that summer that the band really ignited the imagination and acclaim for their creative invention. With major festival appearances also under their belt this looks like the moment things truly accelerate for Krampus.

The album follows on from the earlier releases with the octet expanding and exploring their aggressive and melodic sound. The use of traditional instruments like flutes, whistles, violins, and the Irish Bouzouki is mesmeric whilst the driving powerful riffs and combative intensity enflames the appetite giving extra thrust to the forceful themes of humanity and social issues within the modern world. The opening Arise (The Day Of Reckoning) brings a gentle and shimmering intro to proceedings which builds with a fanfare of energy to annouce the first full track Beast Within. It starts off with a raucous eagerness and electro rampancy before lighting the sesnses with its folk weaponry. The vocals of frontman Filippo are grizzled and venomous, offering a riled spite across the near brutal assault. The melodic invention though tempers things to make for a bruising and compelling feast for the ear which is unsettling yet full of heated infection.

The following Unspoken continues the elevated energies whilst sending one onto the wrong foot initially with impressive but unexpected clean vocals from Filippo. This adds a surprising and different aspect to the sound and continues the Krampus skill of standing aside of most other bands without diminishing their core intent. Once the vocal mix of harsh and smooth settle within the ear it is an appealing and thrilling addition across the album.

Tracks like Rebirth with its Celtic breath and the frenetic Aftermath grab the senses for a full and enthused feast of melodic invention within a powerful intrusion. To be honest the songs and their structures are not experimental or remarkably different from othe bands, the likes of Korpiklaani and Amorphis to name two similarly armed, but there is something different and engaging to Krampus which is almost indefineable but certainly enchants and stirs the spirit more. The guitars rage with every atom they can muster whilst the keys consume and stimulate the senses with an irresistible and heated embrace. Combined with the insatiable rhythms and magnetic violin, whistles, and flutes etc, it only ignites the strongest fires.

The highlight of the album comes with The Dance Of Lies, a track which flirts wantonly with the ear whilst bullying the senses with spiteful bass lines and badgering rhythms. The heart of the song is melodic though and offers a feast of cute and inspired colourful flourishing sounds which only leave warmth and addition in their wake.

With furthersongs like Shadows Of Our Time and Tears Of Stone continuing to bring the fullest pleasure, the album is a dynamic slab of folk metal brought with imagination and invention. Krampus still feel like a band evolving which only inspires an even greater anticipation ahead for what the Italians will unleash, but right now Survival of the Fittest is a release bringing the beginning  of another dimension to folk metal.

http://www.krampusfolk.com/

RingMaster 27/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Abhorrence: Completely Vulgar

A thorough treat for death metal fans this month comes in the form of the album Completely Vulgar from Finnish band Abhorrence. Acclaimed as the true pioneers and masters of Finnish Death Metal the album sees their only releases together with live tracks and on the 2 record vinyl version of the release a rare rehearsal demo, Macabre Masquerade. It is an album which not only marks the seeds of a scene but still has a place and potency amongst the genre today, sounding surprisingly fresh and definitely with an influence still to share.

Abhorrence began in early 1989 and in its brief existence released the demo Vulgar Necrolatry, and a self titled EP, both as mentioned the heart of Completely Vulgar. Initially playing under a few names before settling on Abhorrence, the band shared stages with the likes of Xysma and Funebre and played across Finland building a reputation to stay with them long after the band split in 1990. Guitarist Tomi Koivusaari went on to play in Amorphis who themselves recorded and have often played live the Abhorrence track Vulgar Necrolatry. Though almost a fleeting moment in the history of death metal the line-up of Koivusaari , fellow guitarist Kalle Mattsson, bassist Jussi Ahlroth, drummer Kimmo Heikkinen, and vocalist Jukka Kolehmainen, laid a big piece of foundation for what was to come with their striking and powerful sounds, something this release more than provides evidence of.

Release by Svart Records it is impossible not to be overwhelmed by the tracks on Completely Vulgar, their power and inventiveness mountainous whilst the heavy and oppressive feel of the production only adding to the consuming atmosphere and intensity created. Opening with intro The Cult, the album brings forth the tracks of the EP first and immediately has the senses reeling. From the destructive sounds of Pestilential Mists with its almost tortuous melodies and abrasive grumbling bass plus a groove leaving deep scars across the ear, through the mighty pair of monstrous beasts in Holy Laws of Pain and Caught in a Vortex one is exploited and exhilarated by the creativity before them. These last two tracks really epitomize what the band was all about and even now match anything current bands have to offer. The ear piercing corruption of Disintegration of Flesh finishes off the opening violation of the senses, stepping aside for the tracks that made up the demo.

Vulgar Necrolatry, Pleasures of Putrid Flesh, and Devourer of Souls all only go to confirm the importance and influence of the band. With an even more suffocating production than on the EP the tracks seek out and consume every corner of the senses and thought with strength and impressive skill, the mugginess of the sounds adding to the oppressive violation.

The live tracks on the release are from a 30-minute live show from Turku, Finland in 1990 and easily with their raw unpolished sound pull you right into the atmosphere of the time.  The same can be said of the again openly raw cuts of the five-track rehearsal demo Macabre Masquerade which appears on the vinyl version of Completely Vulgar only. With a mini-gatefold cover and a booklet crammed full of memorabilia, lyrics and liner notes from all band members accompanying the CD whilst the limited vinyl version has an even more massive booklet and a gatefold jacket, Completely Vulgar is a real and honest treat.

If Abhorrence escaped your attention originally then now is the chance to hear and feel the beginning of a sub genre. With an atmosphere and musical prowess as heavy and aggressively consumptive as you dare ever wish for Completely Vulgar is a must investigation for all death metal fans.

RingMaster 29/05/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.