Unbeing – Raptus EP

Unbeing - Raptus promo photo

Following on from their seemingly universally acclaimed debut album, Canadian progressive metallers Unbeing have released the exceptional Raptus EP, a rich and compelling journey for the imagination and emotions. As technically captivating and enthralling as it is evocatively absorbing and invigorating, the four track release whisks the listener across an expansive landscape of sound and adventure but one also soaked with an intimacy which provocatively caresses thoughts and feelings. It is a compelling and exhilarating proposition, easily one of the most pungently inspiring instrumental releases in quite a while.

Formed in 2006, Unbeing began as a three piece. Line-up changes ensued whilst two demos in 2008 and the following year respectively, drew strong and enthused reactions. The Montreal band then won Metal Académie 2, a two month competition judged by the likes of Kataklysm. The next step in the evolution of the band, seemingly inspired by the judges’ comments of that competition, saw the band dispense with vocals and concentrate on their already striking instrumental explorations. Over the past eight or so years the band has continued to evolve and impress live, sharing stages with bands such as Neuraxis, The Red Chord, Walls Of Jericho, Martyr, Katatonia, Incision, Anonymus, Beyond Creation, and Scale The Summit along the way. 2011 was the year of their self-titled debut album, with the band at this point grown to a quintet. It received acclaim from fans and media alike, its re-release two years later as a re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl edition equally devoured by the metal community. Now it is the time of the Raptus EP to spark the passions, something its twenty minute flight across a Montreal Metro themed incitement is sure to repeat time and time again as it draws minds and hearts into its imaginative aural poetry.

Unbeing opens up EP and imagination with Rapture which from the first wind of metal on rail coaxes with an evocative melodic enticement which wraps elegantly and creatively around ears and thoughts. Rhythms shuffle erratically Raptus artbut purposefully over the senses as guitars and keys cast a fine web of intrigue and awakening urgency. It is a dawning, an inventively expressive entrance into a busy and continually but gently escalating fever of activity and emotionally rich dramatic hues. The outstanding track flows into the next carriage of the evolving adventure, the following Batterie Faible bringing a more settled and sultry air to the emerging scenery. There is a jazzy breeze and breath to the caress of the song, again the guitar of Sherif El-Maghraby and the seducing keys of Martin Labelle washing over ears with a contagiously picturesque and melodically fuelled sonic design. Entwining peaceful climes and tenacious rapacity, the song intermittently seduces and agitates the emerged vision in thoughts, bursts of aggressive intent swarming across less intensive moments. It is all irresistibly framed and veined by the shadowed emotional hunger of Jean-Philippe Bédard’s drums and the increasingly provocative swing and flirtatious grooves of bass from Alexandre D’Amour, their drama alone potent fuel for the quite exceptional and embracing, physically and mentally, piece of adventure.

Over the two songs thoughts of the likes of Tesseract and Pelican come forward but also in different ways others like The Ocean and indie instrumental band Human Pyramids, particular elements, textures, and melodic paintings pulling loose but definite comparisons. The next up Tetris Rufus sparks similar thoughts but again another fluid shift in the journey sees the listener taken into darker more metallic structuring within a melodically incendiary climate. There is a volatile edge to the piece too, guitars striking at ears with jagged riffs whilst rhythms pounce upon and bustle their way across the senses. That rugged swirl of intent and intensity though is tempered and held in the thick emotive heated hug of resourceful keys, their touch and suasion a constantly changing mesh of warm feelings and anger defusing vivacity.

Final track 2nd Cup flows elegantly out of another underground sourced sample between songs. It swirl and dances with seductive melodies for an immersive mesmeric embrace to which more mercurial flames of heavier incitement and energy smoulder with urgent intensity across the incoming sunset of sound around another ebbing of adventure. El-Maghraby exploits the frenetic climax of the experience deliciously, his fingers manipulating the final throes of the journey and crescendo of emotion before the eventual peace of the destinations end clangs and leaves its disappearing mark. As all tracks it is a sublime piece of composing and realisation to which the band add their individual and united insatiably scintillating descriptions.

Raptus is the perfect instrumental adventure, one which never gets fussy or over-elaborate, but also never misses the opportunity to aurally and emotionally explore every nook and cranny of its ideation and premise as well as the imagination of the listener. The Raptus EP is an essential investigation which if you are quick Unbeing has made available for free download until the end of July at their own website. What still here?

The Raptus EP is available now via BLK COQ Music and at http://www.unbeingmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/UnbeingMusic

10/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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Besieged – Victims Beyond All Help

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Originally a self-release limited to 300 copies in 2010, Victims Beyond All Help the debut album from Canadian thrashers Besieged is getting its worldwide unleashing via Unspeakable Axe Records, the new sub-label of Dark Descent Records. After allowing the seven track tsunami of rapacious riffs and flavoursome aggression to rampage relentlessly over the senses it has to be said about time too. The album is a terrific release, a hungry ravaging of the ear which leaves you exhausted but fully immersed in satisfaction. With a more than open tint of death metal to its rapacious creative appetite, the album is prime thrash metal with plenty of further added  spicery and though it maybe does not leave as many lingering memories as you would wish, it is a towering fury of merciless and richly rewarding provocation.

Hailing from Winnipeg, Besieged first released the Visions of Pain demo in 2004 to good responses with the first appearance of Victims Beyond All Help equally commanding. Across the years the thrashers built a strong and fevered fan base in their home town and beyond, especially sourcing eager passions with their stage performances which has seen them share stages with the likes of Death Angel, Dayglo Abortions, Razor, Dying Fetus, Toxic Holocaust, Inepsy, Anonymus, Hellacaust and many more. Wrapped in its original old school artwork painted by the legendary Ed Repk, the re-issued album is set to deservedly take the band to ears far beyond their continent and even saying so amidst the suggestions elsewhere that the band is no longer with us, hopefully it will be a trigger to more and greater things from the band.

From its first breath opener Internal Suffering flies for the throat, drums crippling and caging any thoughts of evasive manoeuvres whilst riffs flail the ear in a torrent of finely crafted sonic lashings. As the vocals offer their own intensive provocation the track is a bruising insatiable predator which without veering from its prime directive employs enough psychotic grooves and sonically honed temptation to secure the strongest attention. This is not the breaking down of barriers or moving into new realms for thrash or metal but simply the enslaving of greedy expectations with refreshing and undiluted passion bred aggression.

Both the following Death and Buried Alive continue in the same ferocious vein, though each with a little concentration has their individual intent and volatile characters. The first is a raw tempest of caustic energy and provocation, a track which is unrefined vocally and melodically charged at its guitar crafted heart and a blistering adrenaline fuelled corrosive scrubbing of the senses. Its successor takes a less demanding stance…well for the first mass of seconds before again flipping into an intensive stomp though arguably for the first time on the album there is a more deliberate inventive twist and switching of intriguing aspects, as well as a punk breath to its drama clad hooks mid-way.

The formidable start is just as impressively continued by The End, even if it is initially not quite as striking or unpredictable as other songs though it does evolve into something stronger with numerous confrontations. It continues the pressurising of the senses with ease and marks the beginning of the strongest part of the album. The title track as you would expect is no slouch in predacious riffing and excellent rhythmic irritation but to this it infuses an adventurous and skilfully developed melodic and imaginative enterprise. There is a familiarity to the alluring grooves and melody soaked additives but nothing you can define or label, and it all adds to the adventure of the enthralling song.

From the infectiously virulent Trapped Inside with its addictive grooves and hardcore vocal expulsions along its raucous course, the album offers up its pinnacle with the closing Black. At its core the track savages with prime thrash venom and animosity but around this mighty assault the band seduces with a persistently shifting maelstrom of epidemically inducing riff devilry, melodic flames which soar over the constantly at work intensity, and a sonic nagging with its just irresistible. The best song by far on Victims Beyond All Help amongst nothing but very good tracks, it is a potent antagonist to want and hope to hear more from this incredibly promising band. Whether we will time will tell but if it is to be their solo moment of glory it will leave a deep mark with their name on it.

https://www.facebook.com/Besiegedthrash

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

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