Noise-A-Tron – Vast Arcane

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There is a video going around and hitting news stations over strange unearthly noises invading ears and psyche from around the globe. Is it terrestrial bred, alien spawned, or the earth groaning? No one knows but I would suggest the cause just might originate from the practise rooms of US duo Noise-A-Tron, because their new instrumental EP Vast Arcane is a doom spawned confrontation casting similarly portentous and haunting roars of sonic disturbance and apocalyptic seduction. It is also seriously compelling, an irresistible experiment of drone fuelled noise rock which magnificently challenges and ignites everything from ears to imagination.

Noise-A-Tron consists of drummer Jason Bledsoe and his wife Lea on synths and bass. The seeds of the band began with Florida band Bullhead in which Indiana bred Jason played. They released two EPs and in 2000 recruited Michigan born Lea Rudko into the line-up. Previously she had played in experimental noise project Terror Organ, a two piece with Angel Corpse singer/bassist Pete Helmkamp. Early 2002 saw the demise of those bands and the beginning of The Human Echo which went on to release a couple of well-received albums and undertake several tours. In 2005 Jason and Lea married and four years later the end of the band was the springboard for the rising of Noise-A-Tron. The pair released a well-received self-titled EP in 2010, its impacting presence and invention continuing through Vast Arcane in the same heavy imposing way but exploring even darker ravenous realms of sound and emotional menace through an invasive sonic bleeding of noise. It is a ravaging trespass of the senses and emotions but at times equally as anthemic and seductively potent in its enterprise and temptation.

The release opens with Intro, the track as its title suggests setting up the oppressive and suffocating atmosphere of the release but featuring as an individual proposal in its own formidable right too. Keys spin a haunting ambience from its first breath, an emerging spatial atmosphere punctuated by heftily swung beats from Jason. The imagination is swiftly alive with ideas and adventures sparked by the piece, thick sonic bellows and slow laboured roars alone enough bait to dark cinematic flights of fancy.

Vast Arcane cover   Following track Six, all songs consecutively numbered, has a lighter air, well in relation to its predecessor, but one again permeating the senses with creeping shadows of sound and intent. The 8-string bass flirtation from Lea is as transfixing as her skills on keys, a fascinating tangle of textures mixed live whilst mesmerising ears and air with startling invention. The track as the album is contagiously meditative, every sonic yawn and piercing intrusion as hypnotic as it is fearsome, and often equipped with infectious virulence. Even in its caustic and harshly aired finale there is a gripping essence which simply enthrals. Like a sub note to the stark narrative of the track, the brief inescapable lure of Six Point Five takes over next, bass and drums a riotous anthem of epidemic agitation and addictive enterprise. It is a festival compared to the dark climate of the previous sounds but still only offering a menacing tone and enticement at its heart.

Seven slips back into a lumbering gait and intensive examination of noise and listener, though its gaping sonic voice and physical consumption wraps around another lively incitement of rhythms. There is vastness to the piece of sound, though courted by the more intimate touches of drums, an exploration of depths which from the EP artwork hint is celestial but can just as easily be a flight into the unknown depths of earth and sea, or the darkest inescapable nightmares of the mind.

The erosive invasive beauty of the track continues into the epic closer Eight, near on fourteen minutes of rhythmic provocation immersed in a bracing sonic swamp thick in noise and intensity but breath-taking in its ever evolving scenery. As in all tracks, the textures crafted and spun out to startling impact are beautifully layered, each element given a clarity which defies the overall sweltering climate of the increasingly dark and imposing but always seriously giving soundscape.

The quite brilliant Vast Arcane and indeed Noise-A-Tron themselves are not going to be for everyone, the intensity and raw essence of their sound a challenge too far for many, but if any mix of bands like Morkobot, Dope Body, Godflesh, or Sunn O))) sounds like a great appetiser then the Seattle pair have an extraordinary treat in store for you.

Vast Arcane is available now via Bleeding Light Records digitally @ http://bleedinglightrecords.bigcartel.com/product/noise-a-tron-vast-arcane-download and on limited to 250 black vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Noise-A-Tron/164982910181009     https://twitter.com/noiseatron

RingMaster 29/04/2015

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Acheron – Kult des Hasses

ACHERON band photo

     A more than decent time has passed since the last release from US blackened death metallers Acheron, album The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God; a time which also saw the band temporarily come to a stop in 2010. Now well over twenty years since unleashing the musical malevolence they have become renowned for, the band uncages their newest tempest, Kult des Hasses. Released via Listenable Records, the ten track sonic pestilence is a masterful and creatively insidious plunge into the darkest ravenous creativity of the band and possibly it’s most expressively hungry yet.

    Calling the band’s sound blackened death metal has always been missing the flavoursome toxic essences from thrash, doom, and heavy metal which lick and lethally spice their releases and Kult des Hasses is no different. The album seduces, suffocates, and consumes with riffing caught in a wide net of influences, a rhythmic provocation which leaves an array of bruising wounds, and a melodically honed sonic adventure which fuses a plethora of styles. Adventure is a good description of the release, one dragging the blackest malevolent and vitriolic depths with lyrical provocations casting the band’s distinct views over themes such as the occult, misanthropy, and sexual perversion, their extreme Satanic/Anti-religious corrosiveness never far from the surface either. We will be the first to admit that a full awareness of all their older sonic expulsions is lacking but taking Kult Des Hasses alone, Acheron has set standards which emerging bands should want to aspire to.

    Over the years band founder vocalist/bassist Vincent Crowley has played with current and former members of bands such as ACHERON-COVER-hiresMorbid Angel, Death, Iced Earth, Angel Corpse, Immolation, Dimmu Borgir, Nocturnus, Incantation, Equinox, Estuary, and Sathanas within Acheron, and the new album provides no less inspiring names alongside the trio of himself, guitarist Art Taylor, and drummer Kyle Severn. Joining the trio on the recording there is guest lead guitarist Ricktor Ravensbruck (Wolfpack 44, Electric Hellfire Club , Wolfen Society) as well as numerous vocal guesting from the likes of Kam Lee (Ex-Massacre, The Grotesquery, Bone Gnawer), Jim Lippucci (Soulless), John McEntee (Incantation/Funerus), Jill McEntee (Funerus), Zdenka Prado (Estuary),and Ash Thomas (Estuary/Faithxtractor). Mastered by Dan Swano, the album is a tide of invention and imagination, all tracks forcibly intrusive and persistently contagious in which ever guise they come in.

     Opener Daemonum Lux wastes no time making a gentle acquaintance, riffs instantly rummaging through the ears from its first second and rhythms splitting their insistence with firm and determined, if restrained swipes. Almost eight minutes of constantly evolving enticement, the song alone tells you all you need to know about the sonic sculpting and imagination available to the band in their arsenal. Themed around the infamous encounter Aleister Crowley had with the demonic entity known as Choronzon, the song leads thoughts and senses on an exhaustive spiral of undiluted voracious enterprise, twisting with every minute through virally melodic temptation and voracious contagion. It has to be said, and applies to the album itself, for such a dark and pestilential offering the swagger and catchiness of the offering is surprising and irresistible.

     From the lengthy intensive start the band through the following Satan Holds Dominion and Raptured To Divine Perversion refuses to remove its foot from the throttle of the urgency which marked the opener, instead aligned to the forceful creative fire racks it up a notch in the case of the first song and merges it with an acidic heavy metal suasion for the second. Both tracks trample through the ears with sinews bulging and a predacious appetite to provoke and challenge lyrically and musically. Their thrilling onslaughts are matched by the equally voracious Jesus Wept (Again And Again), a provocations about twisted visions of torturing Christ within nightly dreams-states. Like those before, the song riles the imagination and ignites the passions with an intensive presentation of skilled and dramatically breathing endeavour, every twist drawing emotions and thoughts deeper into its clutches.

    After the predatory Thy Father Suicide, the album hits its highest elevation through Misanthropic Race and Whores And Harlots. The first of the pair is sonic and rhythmic savagery let loose, but within a torrent of spiteful craft and ingenuity which simply manipulates and seduces the passions and imagination. Guitars weave and entwine their melodic ingenuity amongst the merciless riffery whilst the bass prowls and assaults the psyche from within the enslaving rhythmic bait, which again tempts with ridiculously easy success. Its companion is an infiltration of sexual wantonness through a barrage of energy and sound which is just as salacious and virulently addictive. Lashing the senses into willing submission and chaining emotions into an appetite which greedily devours the virulent display of unbridled guitar debauchery, the track is masterful in demand and reward.

      Asphyxiation (Hands Of God) and Concubina Do Diabo leaves no ounce of satisfaction and violation untended, both distinct in their presence but united in their prowess and efficiency in captivating the darkest corners of the listener. They make an inventive and incendiary bridge between the previous high plateau and the closing triumph of the release, the monstrously anthemic Devil’s Black Blood, the song an out and out thrash/death metal slab of rock ‘n’ roll. It is a riotous conclusion to an excellent return by Acheron. Whether Kult des Hasses is the band’s strongest effort to date we will leave for others to decide, but for death metal with the bravery and skill to be so much more, this is one magnificent offering.

www.facebook.com/pages/Acheron/128581467223407

9/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

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