Running Death – DressAge

The new album from German thrashers Running Death is one of those encounters you just cannot help going back to and with increasing zeal. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Megadeth, Testament, and Annihilator, traits audible within DressAge but their sound has much more in its armoury ranging from eighties heavy metal and rock to similar era speed metal.  It all comes in varying degrees within a certain thrash bred stomp and all colluding in one virulently infectious and catchy slab of muscular rock ‘n’ roll.

The band’s debut album of 2015, Overdrive, ensured the Bavarian are no strangers to eager praise or a host to new waves of fans and things can only escalate with the release of DressAge.  The album wears a grin on its creative face from its first breath and carries a mischief which gives its tracks a real feel of aggressive fun. It opens up with Courageous Minds, a track swiftly involving the listener in its lively gait and nature as rhythms thump and dance upon the senses whilst the guitars of Daniel Baar and vocalist Simon Bihlmayer spin a web of enticement. It is not long before the track is rigorously strolling through ears, the beats of Jakob Weikmann swiping as the voice of Bihlmayer growls in a quickly engaging affair which if not quite gripping the imagination as firmly as subsequent tracks certainly gets things off to a rather pleasing start.

Dressage is next, surrounding ears with an almost predatory web of textures cored by the throaty bait of Andrej Ramich’s bass. The anthemically driving rhythms of Weikmann quickly have the instincts to stomp hooked, the song taking mere moments more to eclipse its predecessor and really get the album rocking. Baar’s melodic enterprise is technically and sonically impressive and never diluting the natural roar and flow of the thrash fuelled encounter before a gasp of time brings the matching strengths and incitement of Delusive Silence upon an appetite already beginning to get a touch greedy for what is on offer.  Fusing a great mix of melodic warmth and metal irritability, the track only blossoms its weave of adventure and varied sounds keeping expectations wrong-footed and the imagination hooked.

Next up Heroes Of The Hour wraps ears in a wiry weave of melody and creative snares before revealing a more predator side through jabbing beats and antagonistic bass. They are in turn aligned to swinging grooves, a revelry soon infesting the aggressive and infectious tendencies of the song as another highlight is crafted before Duty Of Beauty bounces upon ears with a catchiness which borders on poppy. Those eighties influences spice all tracks and certainly impregnate the boisterous rock ‘n’ roll of the fifth song which also has a touch of Danish rockers Grumpynators to it.

Through the bulging contagion and biceps of the Motorhead scented Numbers and the motorbilly fuelled Beneath The Surface, fresh heights are continued and pushed, both outstanding tracks as compelling in tone and character as they are in individual craft while Anthem of Madness has neck muscles working and the body romping with its voracious instrumental theatre.

The album closes with the pair of Safety Second and Refuse To Kill, the first a fiery ballad which haunts and snarls in equal measure as guitars conjure a tapestry of evocative suggestion around just as strong vocal expression. It is a song which simmers upon the passions compared to other tracks but rapidly grows to be just as persuasive with each rerun of building body of energy and adventure. Its successor has a darker edge to its air, a song close to stalking ears as it fills them with rapacious rock ‘n’ roll cored by the most crotchety slice of thrash metal upon the album.

Cloaked in the fine work of Mexican graphic artist Joel Sánchez Rosales, DressAge is a proposition which merges something familiar with something forcibly fresh, the outcome a record which inspires only enjoyment and an eager energy to get involved. We will not say it will be a regular album of the year nomination but it will be one metal roar we will be keenly joined in love for.

DressAge is out May 26th via Punishment 18 Records and @ https://runningdeath.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/runningdeath    https://twitter.com/runningdeath1

Pete RingMaster 25/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fallen Angels – World In Decay

Fallen Angels Band Photo 1_RingMaster Review - Left2Right Steve-Brad-Erik-Carl-Matt - cropped

Creating a compelling maelstrom of energy and familiarity, US thrashers Fallen Angels back up their acclaimed second album Engines of Oppression, with another tempest of aggression and craft in the masterful shape of World In Decay. The Seattle based quintet once more openly weave the inspiration of genre masters and originators such as early Metallica, Testament, Slayer, and Megadeth into their equally classic metal hued sound, and again the band uncages a proposition which only excites ears and appetite. It is fair to say that in many ways you know what you are going to get with a Fallen Angles encounter, but not in what shape or gripping design it comes in. The same applies to World In Decay, an album with few major surprises but a torrent of things to drool over.

With their 80’s thrash and 70/80’s heavy metal influenced sound, Fallen Angels has increasingly and persistently lured strong attention, establishing themselves with fans and media as a proposition ripe with contagious and aggression driven adventure. Equally the band is a dab hand at entangling it all with a modern take on melodic and imagination sculpted textures, as first shown through 2008 debut album Rise From Ashes and even more so in Engines of Oppression three years later. World In Decay is more of the same but also equipped with an even fresher breath of craft and maturity equating to Fallen Angel’s finest moment yet.

Produced by Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors), World In Decay erupts into life with The Hammer’s Blow and an instant onslaught of spicy guitar and rampant riffs from Erik Hanson and Matt Be Rot. They coax from amidst intensive rhythms led by the swings of drummer Steve Spitzbart, the track an uncompromising lure before brewing into a more welcoming creative blaze of flying grooves and hooks over the magnetically growling bass of Carl Larsson and around the vocal roar of Bradzilla which quickly emerges as the ringmaster to the rampage in furious motion. Thoughts of Exodus and Annihilator spring up from the growing tapestry of fierce enterprise engulfing ears, whilst the melody toned side of the song dabbles with folkish/Celtic flirtation at times, the whole thing ensuring the album gets off to a stirring start.

Album Cover - Fallen Angels - World In Decay_RingMaster Review   The first single from the album, Nightmare comes next, its darker and more predatory character swiftly igniting the imagination whilst discord lined sonic enticement has ears seduced before it all momentarily halts for riffs and rhythms to collude and unleash a ravenous charge. That Metallica whiff is a rosy hue within the raw and incendiary landscape of the song, but as everywhere it gets honed into something maybe enjoyably familiar but leaves expectations scrambling for success. The song potently backs up the might of its predecessor before Forsaken Existence kicks things up another gear with its inventive and melodically emotive presence. From the opening breath, the track is a maze of twists and provocative craft before settling into a leaner surge of bruising enticement, though it in turn is soon wrapped in more sparkling invention and sonic colour which go on to entwine for the remaining length of the fascinating offering. The track is irresistible, at its heights when exploring a diversity of styles and pure contagion when just bullying air and ears.

Leading the Blind is another proposal prowling the listener from its first touch, riffs and rhythms as good as stalking the senses as an intoxicating seducing from Hanson spreads tantalising beauty around the bestial heart of the song. As in the last, it simply grows in weight, creative strength, and addictive resourcefulness with every passing chord and rhythmic swipe. The vocals alone enthral and within the gripping drama of sound, it all results in one of the pinnacles of World In Decay, through a triumph superbly supported by Fire At Eden’s Gate. Whereas the last song was beast like, its successor is a caress of classical hued melodies and mesmeric string craft from the guitarists, only the firm rhythms providing any hint of the dark intent of the song within its impressive entrance. They soon get their way though and spark an uncompromising confrontation led by the great grouchy tones of the bass and the ever ready to grapple delivery of Bradzilla. The track never uncages its fullest fury or violence though which only adds to its commanding air, but once in full stride, it never allows an easy or unrewarding time to brew either.

The weighty stance and sound of Into The Abyss keeps things burning brightly though it lacks the same spark as the songs before it. Its body is almost subdued in energy at times in comparison, saving it for the sizzling crescendos which do escape across its evocative length. The individual skills and united craft of the band again only impress though so that the song is only ever pleasing, a quality also applying to The Hour of the Time, another which does not impact as firmly as others, certainly initially but only grows into ears and in stature through every excursion through its web of flavours and tenacious execution.

The album ends on a lofty high with Mortis Ex Machina, the song a rousing anthem from its opening roar and with a volatile nature casts a thoroughly bewitching instrumental landscape punctured by recurring and ferocious vocal incitement aligned to skilfully rabid rhythms and riff driven fury. Talking of instrumentals, the album actually finishes on a mesmeric untitled offering which like an epilogue to what came before leaves ears and thoughts enraptured and eager to experience the release all over again.

World In Decay brings the best of familiarity and fresh endeavour together like an old friend carrying a whole new persona, whilst Fallen Angels as reinforced themselves with the album as a band not yet able to turn the trash/metal scene on its head, but one easy to get a bit greedy over.

World In Decay is available from August 4th via Cyberdyne Records.

http://fallenangelsthrashband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fallen-Angels-Thrash-Band/336737539688752

RingMaster 03/08/2015

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

 

Titans Eve – Chasing The Devil

Titans Finals print-1_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Photo Credit : Shimon Karmel

Not only reinforcing an already potent reputation, Chasing The Devil from Canadian metallers Titans Eve pushes their presence and sound powerfully forward whilst sharing the open declaration of this is who we are, this is what we have for you, enjoy! Fusing a broad flavouring of metal with a thrash bred heart, sure enough it is a hard to resist offer but also a proposition which ignites the imagination and emotions to giving modern metal a very good name.

Hailing from Vancouver, Titan’s Eve emerged in 2008 having been formed by lead vocalist/guitarist Brian Gamblin and his guitarist/vocalist brother Kyle; drummer Casey Ory joining them straight away and bassist Jesse Hord subsequently completing the line-up. Taking their time honing their sound and lighting up a local fan base, the quartet really began waking up the Canadian metal scene around 2009/2010 with a tour across Western Canada followed by debut album The Divine Equal. Extremely well-received and acclaimed, the release also led the band to recognition further afield and a two month tour across North America in 2011. Their strong emergence continued the following year, starting with supporting Korn and the creation and release of second album Life Apocalypse, which in turn was followed by playing with Anvil, touring with Kill Devil Hill, and supporting Arch Enemy on their European Khaos tour. The album followed its predecessor in luring strong praise and attention upon Titans Eve, something Chasing The Devil now will definitely replicate and most likely take to new levels. Recorded with producer and engineer Eric Mosher, and mastered by Jeff Waters of Annihilator, Chasing The Devil takes the expected aggressive and uncompromising sound of the band and ignites it with arguably their most melodic and creative spicing yet…the result one gripping and thoroughly enjoyable tempest.

Titans Eve-Chasing The Devil_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Opener We Defy drives in from a distance first, healthily brewing riffs closing in before upon arrival triggering punchy rhythms and a highly flavoursome guitar enterprise. Once united it all settles into a muscular stride driven by crisply landed beats and a dark hearted bassline, the guitars spinning a web of thrash riffery bound in melodic and groove metal imagination. It is a pungent blend with the final potent ingredient being the snarling delivery of Brian’s vocals, his tones more sandy than gravelly but a great texture and attack for this and all songs. The album starter continues to grow and expand in invention and sound as its proceeds, never relinquishing its core anthemic contagion and blatant aggressiveness but filling ears with potent persuasion.

The immense start is continued by War Path. The second track is similar in style initially but soon unloading uncompromising beats and a surge of hungry torrential riffs, though they both pale against the excellent predatory bassline which really begins stalking ears after an early blaze of band vocals. There are essences of bands like Exodus and Testament to the song, as in many, but equally a weave of nu, groove, and heavy metal which only helps turn the encounter into one of the pinnacles of the album. The song is a benchmark for the release emulated with regularity starting with the following No Kingdom. A melodic caress draws in ears and appetite first before things get intensive and antagonistic, the drums unleashing a barrage of thunderous bait as the guitars drive ferociously and seduce melodically through another persistently shifting design. It is a fascinating proposition though it never goes far enough in its hostile voracity or sonic ingenuity for personal tastes, something which could be said of the whole album. It is as if the band is trying too hard to balance the opposites instead of giving them their reins, but nevertheless the song just hits the sweet spot as its successor.

Another Day is the most bestial song on the album yet, vocals and its sonic nature a barbarous confronting of the senses in turn coloured by the raw and bracing alignment of caustic riffing and imposing rhythms. A fiery solo sows seeds for further melodic endeavour as well as the tenacious, almost punk metal like surge of incitement which flares up. It is a song ensuring ears and appetite only get greedier for sound and album, a hunger equally inspired by the title track and in turn The Grind. The song Chasing The Devil brews a rich old school character from its tantalising and evocative melodic opening, the track weaving a tapestry of classic and heavy metal strands into a canvas of darker bred and fuelled flavouring. Thoughts of Judas Priest meets Machine Head are prompted as the track continues to ignite ears and imagination, through its more modern enterprise hints of Mudvayne too. They are all alluring hues colluding for another peak of the release instantly equalled by the second of the pair which from the initial carnivorous tone of bass, is simply a primal tempting sparking lustful attention. With its prowling voracious persuasion of sound, the song easily lives up to its name, its riffs a ravenous persistence on the senses and the swings of Ory an unrelenting intimidation. There is no lack of addictive grooves and sonic colour either, each lining the incitement with irresistible hooks as the encounter steals the whole show.

The album is completed by firstly the bewitching instrumental Stranded, where harsh cold and melancholic emotions are lit and conjured by a seduction of acoustic expression, melodic reflection, and stringed beauty. Dark shadows and keys crafted elegance only add to the mesmeric narrative before The Endless Light steps forward to bring the album to a fine close. The track is a maelstrom of sounds and skilled resourcefulness as raw and magnetic metal collude in a thrash powered and diversely cultured storm of dark hearted and captivating fury.

Chasing The Devil is a treat of a proposal, further evidence of the exciting craft and might of Titans Eve with only the suggestion that it was not as bold as it could or at times suggested it might have been a passing thought. It certainly provides a seriously enjoyable adventure for metal in 2015 and that in our book is a big success all should take a punt on.

Chasing The Devil is available from June 12th @ https://titanseve.bandcamp.com/album/chasing-the-devil-2

http://www.titanseve.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Titans-Eve/53568260495?fref=ts

RingMaster 12/06/2015

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

Dark Century – Murder Motel

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A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @ http://darkcentury.bandcamp.com/album/murder-motel

www.DarkCentury.ca

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Brain Dead – Menace From The Sickness

BrainDead-Band

Rupturing the air with an exhausting fury of old school bred thrash, Italian metallers Brain Dead uncages second album Menace From The Sickness to escort the senses into a more than decent if arguably expectations filling aggressive escapade. Inspired by eighties Bay Area thrash metal, their name coming in homage to Exodus, band and sound incinerate the ears in a rage of intensively predacious riffing and uncompromising sonic rabidity. Invention and originality is subtle at best but across the eleven track charge it is hard not to be swept up in the passion and adrenaline of the band.

Hailing from Ivrea, a small town near Turin, the quintet formed in 2000 and from the release of their first demo, Rage of Thrash in the September of 2001 were soon making an impression beyond a local fanbase. Two years later second demo Double Face made an even bigger impression soon built upon as the band played the biggest Italian metal festival Gods Of Metal after winning a national competition, the band earning the chance to share a stage with Slayer, Testament, Carcass and many more. Debut album The Deep Of Vortex was unleashed in 2008 with Brain Dead flourishing at an array of festivals such as Hellbrigade Fest, Zone Fest, and Metal Thrashing Mad Fest from then on. The new album released via Punishment 18 Records as its predecessor, sees a line-up of band founding members vocalist Felix Liuni, guitarist Daniele Vitello, and drummer Daniel Giovanetto, alongside guitarist Davide Ricca who joined last year and bassist Alberto Rossetti who stepped into the band earlier this year, sculpting an album with the armoury to take the band to another level of awareness. Menace From The Sickness will not thrust the band to the frontline of thrash metal but should at the very least make their name a recognisable enjoyment.

The Fallout starts things off, the intro a dawning warzone providing an apocalyptic explosion which is becoming a regular BD_Coverbeckoning in metal it seems, before being thrust aside by the outstanding Land Of Cunning. Riffs and rhythms are assaulting the ears from its first seconds whilst a stringent groove twists the senses around its bony fingers. A persistent repetitive lure marks the track deliciously whilst the vocals of Liuni make a compelling varied persuasion with a snarl and twang to his delivery that only draws in further an already emerging appetite to match the strength of the charging sounds around him. There is little which is unsurprising or new to the attack but it matters little as the track niggles and erodes defences with skill and venomous intent. As anthemic as a stripper leading karaoke night, it is a mighty start with only its quite hefty length being a slight complaint, something which does grows to more of annoyance across other song as some feel unnecessarily stretched.

The following Eye Of The Cyclone continues the impressive start, intensive energy and imposing weight accompanying the surge of rhythmic rapaciousness and carnivorous riffing. Brain Dead was inspired originally by bands such as Exodus, Annihilator, Testament, and Slayer, bands you would expect and imagine from the ferocious and skilled storms of the first two tracks and from that maybe unsurprisingly the second song again offers nothing which is ground breaking but instead supplies a predation which is fully contagious. Throughout guitars weave an impressive and incendiary blaze of adventure within the tempest to add variety and resourceful suasion whilst the drums and bass have neck and limbs on a rhythmic string from start to finish leaving them exhausted and content.

A great bass enticement opens up Another Way, its menace and seduction soon wrapped in an equally thrilling thick wash of guitar enterprise and rhythmic caging. From the magnetic opening the song settles into a more restrained yet virulently aggressive infectiousness sculpted with great craft and beefy hunger. Though the song never manages to recreate the strength of its striking start it again it makes a full enslavement of the imagination and passions before handing over to Evil Dead. From this point on the album loses the potency it holds to this moment, tracks though still voracious and skilfully crafted beginning to merge into each other without an intensive focus. There is a slight punk breath to this again over long track which catches some attention whilst the gripping drum attack of Giovanetto marks the next up Razor’s Edge before the more than decent melodic instrumental The Mission makes way for Pay For A Better Life to be able to rummage through the ears with another skilfully crafted predatory fire but with creative flames which avoid scorching the emotions.

Though they do not inspire the same heights of enjoyment as the early songs on the album, which is a disappointment which cannot be ignored, every track upon Menace From The Sickness as shown by the title track, as well as the final raucous pair of Final Truth and Total Despair, are sizeable slabs of vigorous lusty squalls of thrash metal to find satisfaction in. Brain Dead have plenty of promise if seemingly not wanting to carve new depths for the genre and their album definitely makes a pleasing confrontation if without igniting any fire, well after the first trio of impressive songs, but in the end you are thinking there is much more to come which was missed upon this album whilst admittedly still fully enjoying its rampage.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brain-Dead/45127691823

7/10

RingMaster 02/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Izegrim – Congress of the Insane

2013 HR © Tim Tronckoe

2013 HR © Tim Tronckoe

Following up their successful album Code of Consequences of 2011, Dutch extreme metallers Izegrim return with another antagonistic slab of sonic causticity in the tempestuous shape of Congress of the Insane. Consisting of eleven venomously cultured violations of thrash bred death metal, the fourth album from the band rages and spews malignant torrents of sound which conspire to ignite the imagination through its collection of well-crafted and impressively accomplished assaults. It is not a ravaging to forge new scars within either of its seed genres or any crossover field, the album devoid of any distinctly standout tracks which linger and continue to seduce with unique toxins, but the release still unleashes a fury of songs which satisfies the hunger for strong intelligently sculpted and passionately delivered intrusive enterprise.

Congress of the Insane is the second release from the band through Listenable Records and confirms the rising potency and stature of the foursome, a strong plateau built through previous releases and live performances which has seen the band alongside the likes of Kreator, Annihilator, Onslaught and many more. Looking at the concept of “evil in the deceiving human nature”, the album ensures thoughts are provoked and emotions lit through the lyrical and aural provocation which starts with the excellent artwork and moves through every aspect of the release. In its company Congress of the Insane makes a noteworthy companion, just one which manages to miss leaving long term persuasion away from its side.

The album crowds the ears from the very first seconds of opener Relic of the Past, cantankerous rhythms and intimidating riffs cover_lsetting down their canvas to turn on an intensity and power which sprawls rigorously over the body of the track. Led by the excellent guttural vocals of Marloes Voskuil, her immense delivery soaked in vehemence and aural pestilence, Izegrim twists and turns the song with shifts in rhythmic attack and meandering sinewy grooves around a thrash cored spine which in its presence fires up the senses and appetite, the strong start then emulated in strength and quality by the following Decline and Fall. With an open rabidity to every aspect of the track around a gait which lurches and prowls through the ear, the song is an invigorated almost anthemic incitement which leaves attention greedy though it, like quite a few upon the album, fades out for its finale, something which never pleases for personal tastes.

Both Celebratory Gunfire and Endless Strife continue the good work in enticing the listener into the album’s black hearted narrative, though neither matches the success of their predecessors. The pair share a carnivorous breath but flavours the charge with impressive fiery guitar work from Jeroen Van Heuvelen and Bart Van Ginkel which engages senses and thoughts firmly whilst the rhythmic tempest of drummer Ivo alongside the bassist predation of Voskuil and her ever intensively gripping vocals cage and enslave the imagination for the two guitarists to cast their sonic invention.

The ear battering Deterioration from Perfection with its intensive thrash savagery amidst death metal brutality and the exhaustive Unchallenged Dominance add their skilful corruptive suasion to the bruising encounter to fine effect but soon pale against the excellent Modern Day Freak, one song which does remain in thoughts and memory after the release takes its leave. From a carnivalesque intro with a sideshow barker making the invitation for the pursuing mayhem under a vibrant blaze of brass temptation, the track erupts into its muscular stride and rampages with a thumping rhythmic inducement and insidious malevolence to guitars and vocals which cannot fail to impress and recruit the passions. It is the best track on the album and one which lifts the lid off of the deep potential within the band, something all tracks effectively hint at to be fair.

The likes of The Legion with its imagination stalking intent and presence, the fierce Carousel of Death, and the outstanding Manifest of a Megalomaniac which features Sabina Classen of Holy Moses alongside Voskuil in a wonderfully vicious and intoxicating union, ensure the album closes with powerful strength and in riveting style whilst the final track Carnival of Deception scripts an evocative landscape of aggressive brutality and compulsion honed through a fire of sonic imagination. It is an apocalyptic pinnacle and climax to a destructive album which in its company only satisfies. Congress Of The Insane maybe a missed opportunity in its failure to create entrenched aspects which makes it a potent provocateur at any moment in time but as the last song alone roams around and incites the emotions, you know Izegrim has provided a rather pleasing and exciting incitation.

www.izegrim.nl

7.5/10

RingMaster 07/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Toranaga: Righteous Retribution

Toranaga Online Promo Shot

Twenty three years after their debut album, UK thrashers Toranaga have returned from a long absence with a new album and what a thunderous storm of a release it is. Many bands return after a long time away and struggle to find that essence which lit up their initial presence or to write tracks which have the same intensity and potency which marked them in the first place. There is no fear with this Yorkshire quintet as Righteous Retribution goes straight for the jugular chewing up the listener with slabs of muscular threat as aggressive and lethal as anything the band has carved before.

Formed in 1988 by bassist Andy Burton, vocalist Mark Duffy, drummer Steve Todd, and guitarist Andy Mitchell, Toranaga made an immediate impression with their debut album Bastard Ballads, the Peaceville Records released provocateur earning strong responses and leading to the band extensively gigging across the UK. It also drew in strong radio play with the likes of Tommy Vance on the BBC Rock Show and sparked an invitation to open up for Manowar on their UK tour. Snapped up soon after by Chrysalis Records, the band released second album God’s Gift in the spring of 1990 which was covered in even greater acclaim.  Tours and shows with the likes of Sabbat, Venom, Saxon, Metal Church, Uriah Heep and Annihilator followed as the stature of the band rose, though sadly their record label was one which did not offer the support the band needed to progress and develop which led to their departure from it the following year. From here internal conflict made its presence known within Toranaga and not long after the band called it a day.

Then in 2010 though Burton got in touch with Todd and Duffy about writing new songs together as Toranaga. With positive feedback theToranaga Cover Artwork trio came together and set about searching for a guitarist to replace Mitchell who had emigrated to Australia in 2006. With a line-up completed by Shane Haigh and John Rodgers the band set forth into a studio to record Righteous Retribution with Mik Crone. Eighteen months in creation, Righteous Retribution makes up for those absent years of the band with an instant forearm smash between the eyes with the first full storm after the opening introduction Portam AD Infernum. As it ravages the senses it is as if the band has never been away but equally sets them up as a new and still refreshing weapon for thrash/heavy metal. The self-released tempest moves through the evocative introduction seemingly eager to unleash its sinews which within seconds of the following Traitors Gate it does and in rapacious style. Riffs are helping themselves to submission with their voracious and heavy provocation whilst the rhythms of Todd punch and jab like a heavyweight moving swiftly with rapid rabidity. Duffy maybe surprisingly, soon shows he has not lost any of his strength and animosity, his vocal attack welcoming and grizzled, infectious and gnarly. The track has a definite Metallica/Exodus like breath which arguably was expected but equally the track stomps across the passions with a hunger and contagion which is pure Toranaga.

The outstanding start is instantly backed up by the scintillating Cynical Eyes, the song another savage but anthemic lure which commands feet, voice, and emotions. Jagged riffs and the perpetually predacious basslines frame the snarling vocal squalls whilst a carnivorous emerging waspish groove wraps teasingly around the rhythmic veining. Thrash at its most compulsive and vengeful, the track is a massive highlight of not only the album but the year, certainly in its chosen breed of genre. Both songs are so potent and dynamic that it leaves the remaining songs almost too much to emulate but boy do they do their very best.

Both The Ultimate Act Of Betrayal and I Must Destroy reap the rewards of a rigorous hunger spawned by their predecessors, the first springing from a slow and evocative intro to launch a tirade of twisted riffs and exhausting rhythms ridden by the continuing to impress vocals of Duffy and band, whilst the second grows from a crawling start into a stalking of the ear with predatory riffs guided by an incendiary groove sculpting a trap for the passions which is sprung by excellent breaks and sonic stabs as well as the scorching guitar enterprise. The pair reinforces the epic start with craft and guile, whilst the following Return Of The Gods with its almost stoner like tease and acidic grooves lays down another rung on the climb to ardour being built by the album.

As well as unleashing riveting heart capturing sounds Toranaga ensure diversity and imagination is present in strength too, The Beginning Of The End igniting yet another blaze of invention and variety with a groove metal hue to its classic metal suggestiveness as it wraps melodic and expressive weaves of hot guitar intrigue around the again crisply commanding rhythms and vocals. Adrenaline rushes through the veins of Prove Me Wrong like boiling blood next, its life force thrusting the song into a high octane fuelled temptation with rich heavy metal antagonism whilst the seductive Judas Priest whispering Something Evil and the primal almost bestial Battle Cry with excellent guttural growls adding their black menace to the barbarous confrontation, only cement the large spread of sound and ideas upon the album.

Finished by the magnetic Rise From The Flames and the outstanding I Play God with its persistent grinding probing and deliberately intensive intimidation, Righteous Retribution is a masterful and thoroughly thrilling encounter. Easily one of our favourite releases this year, Toranaga show that they have not only returned as strong as before but have found something extra to give current bands  a real run for their money.

http://www.facebook.com/ToranagaUK

http://www.toranagauk.com/

9/10

RingMaster 31/08/2013

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