XUL – Extinction Necromance

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Extinction Necromance is a release which wholly captivates whilst hitting the listener with a tsunami of malevolent sound and intent. Consisting of four tracks covering thirty minutes, the EP is a barbarous affair which at times defuses or certainly overshadows the invention and diverse textures within its depths through a continual tirade of vocal and emotional hostility. There is no hiding place from the encounter either, except the off button, but its creators Canadian metallers XUL, ensure that is never an option with their craft and fascinating enterprise.

XUL hails from Vernon, British Columbia and cast a merciless trespass of blackened death metal upon the senses. Influences to their intent include the likes of Behemoth, Dissection, Immortal, Emperor, and Watain, strong flavours noticeable in the band’s sound but without leaping miles away from such inspirations XUL has woven the spices into a sonic narrative built on the sole character of their imagination. Formed in 2008, the quintet released debut album Malignance four years later, a well-received encounter stirring up Canadian extreme metal especially across the Western side of the scene country, a recognition reinforced forcibly by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Obscura, Exhumed, Vreid, Kampfar, Woods of Ypres, Macabre, Withered, Cephalic Carnage, Archspire, and 3 Inches of Blood. New EP Extinction Necromance sees the band explore their darkest depths and most malevolent emotions, filtering all into intensive examinations of ears and psyche.

It begins with Frozen, We Drown, an immediate consumption of the senses through prowling riffs and grooves punctuated by lurking rhythms. There is also an underlying swing to the opening baiting of ears, a trait which is regular bait whether in a gentle melodic persuasion, a rugged rampage, or an unbridled savaging. There is also thrash bred virulence at the start which with the rabid sonic intensity subsequently evolves into a melodically scenic landscape of constantly developing climates and unpredictable intent. The track continues to shift and switch its attack and sound, merging murderous sonic and rhythmic affairs with almost seductive hugs of calm and evocative suggestiveness. XUL’s sound, as each song upon the EP, is not suitable for a lightweight consumption. It is with continual examination that the busy terrains and almost insidious nature of the aural tapestries unravel for increasingly dramatic and impressive proposals. That is not to say it is not a potent first introduction made, just a matter of almost too much to digest and get a handle on initially.

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

It does ensure every listen is a slightly different and fresh adventure too, epitomised by the following Orbit of Nemesis. It rises from the release with a heralding fanfare of horns and celestial harmonies, the epic air suggested in the orchestral hints of its predecessor in full regalia here. Like a majestic bird soaring into an expansive and thickly coloured atmosphere the track sparks the imagination but like the same being swallowed by the jaws of a violent storm, the expressive opening of the track is devoured by a bestial sonic explosion. The band surges over the senses from within that assault; volleys of violent beats from Lowell Winters the spearhead of a hellacious onslaught brought by the bass predation of Marlow Deiter and rabid guitar causticity from Wallace Huffman and Bill Ferguson. With the raw primal tones of vocalist Levi Meyers leaving their own inhospitable residues in ears too, it is a gripping fury taken to greater heights by the toxic but sonically invigorating grooves and shards of melodic imagination spilled by the fingers of Huffman.

As the first track, though maybe not as openly tangible, there is an evolving aspect to the raging and another swing to its vicious stroll, an ingredient which marks each song in varying ways and degrees as shown by third song Chaos Requiem. Rolling in on a ‘gentler’ gait and intent than its excellent predecessor, the song is soon sledgehammering the senses as guitars weave a tempting lure of melodic intrigue and expression. The turmoil is exhausting, ensuring that the brief respites when they emerge feel like oases in the merciless storm. It is increasingly gripping and an intensive incitement which as mentioned needs time to fully explore but more than rewards the effort.

Final track Summon the Swarm coaxes with the calm of water and a reflective melody before unleashing sonic and rhythmic carnage, but a tempest openly and precisely sculpted by each element of the band. It also delivers a thick anthemic lure alongside its punishing tirade of sound and voice, the track at times as intoxicating as it is corrosive as it frees a maelstrom of emotion and musical drama, especially in the closing ravishing of ears.

The more time Extinction Necromance is given the more it impresses, an undeniable success which marks XUL out as a band to watch closely as they surely start luring in a more global attention, starting right here. It might not quite be the best blackened death metal protagonist you will meet this year but it will be the one of those enticing the most repeats plays.

Extinction Necromance is available from May 19th @ https://xulmetal.bandcamp.com/album/extinction-necromance

http://xulofficial.ca/   https://www.facebook.com/Xulband

RingMaster 19/05/2015

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

 

Seven Year Storm – Aion I EP

Sean Lang press photo

With most instrumental releases, especially in metal, there is so often a bias to the instrumentation of its creator or the composer of the pieces. This can work or not depending on personal appetites for the leading element, so it was with extra intrigue that the Aion I EP from progressive metal band Seven Year Storm was allowed to take ears in its creative hands. The band is the solo project of Canadian Sean Lang, a Vancouver-based freelance drummer / instructor who until now has been contented to keep his music compositions restrained just to song writing. Thanks to pressure/support from friends, Lang was finally persuaded and encouraged to record and release his music and a fascinating treat it is turning out to be.

The first thing to thrill and please is that there is no leaning to a particular instrument with Lang’s compositions; yes songs are potently rhythm driven but in tandem with just as dramatically skilled and voraciously creative elements across guitar and bass. This could have been a top heavy and certainly an unbalanced proposition in the hands of some but upon Aion I, every imagination coloured and skilfully sculpted landscape is a thoughtful and inventive equilibrium. Solely written and produced by Lang, the EP sees him link up with guitarist Dean Lamb(Archspire), whose fingers are surely possessed by the devil at times, and bassist Brent MacKenzie, the provider of the dark emotions and shadows which also superbly balance and temper the fiery side of the release.

Morphogenesis opens up the EP, keys an immediate warm lure tenderly coaxing attention whilst also brewing up a sonically misty atmosphere. It is not long before a turbulent climate hits the scene though, snapping rhythms aligning to snarling riffs snarl and subsequently a melodic blaze cast by Lamb. There is a swift visual suggestiveness to the music too, a cinematic incitement which only grows as keys and guitar entwined inventively around the precise yet unpredictable patterns of Lang. Essences of classic rock, jazz, and technical vivacity spice up the progressive emprise, the track as the beats growing into a wonderfully fascinating and perpetually evolving creative theatre.Seven Year Storm - Cover small

The dramatic and invigorating opener is followed by the classically seeded Dyatlov, the track bringing a more intimate narrative to its canvas whilst still expanding into another broad movie of sound and evocative enterprise. Tenacious flames collude with calm passages of melodic elegance and stirring almost sinister ascents of drama, as the music again explores new avenues of imagination and inventive twists. As its predecessor and those to follow, the track does not really end sounding as it began, but like a child is still the same heart just with growth evolving its character.

A celestial charm embraces Virtue next, the song a mesmeric soar across a summery climate within which Lang prowls and directs the adventure like a conductor with his exhausting and exhilarating swings whilst MacKenzie adds a throaty growl to the djent like jaggedness of riffs. Into its rich and slightly tempestuous stride, a haunting calm and melodic beauty suddenly descends, a gothic breath spiced by the noir lit vaudeville of keys a gripping twist backed by Lamb’s increasing transfixing invention. The unpredictable treat is a union of light and dark, much as its successor Nazca Lines. The following piece is an emotionally agitated but as now expected fluid exploration through heavier and darker investigations entangled with bewitching flames of light.

     Blue Car Syndrome brings the EP to an impressive close, again all three musicians spinning an explosive and fiercely imaginative web of sound and ideation. As all tracks, it is as separate an individual as it is a part of one massive sonic travelogue of melodic and dramatic realms, emotionally and physically. It is fair to say that our words do not do justice to the skills of the band, the ravenous theatre of the songwriting, and the sheer strength and diversity of the sounds within Aion I. The first of two EPs planned this year, the final thought is to thank those supporting Lang and hope they continue to inspire him to release further triumphs like this.

The Aion I EP is available now digitally and on CD @ http://sevenyearstorm.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sevenyearstorm   http://www.seanlang.com/

RingMaster 26/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tribune – Tales

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Rich in diversity and imaginative enterprise, Tales the new album from Canadian metallers Tribune is an encounter which acts like a magnet for the passions and a vibrant instigator of thoughts. Merging extreme and melodic metal into a fiery compulsion which is never less than contagious and more often than not potently riveting, the Vancouver quintet in their third album have created an encounter to eagerly prey upon and devour greedily. It is not one equipped to set the metal world on fire but in keeping it simmering and thoroughly engaging it is an undeniable success.

The seeds of the band began in 2004 with guitarist Terry Anderson and drummer Jason Brown deciding to form a band together. Already friends the pair soon recruited bassist Jess Garner into their heavy metal based project as well as vocalist Bryan Baker, the quartet emerging as Blacklist. The departure before the end of the year of Garner saw Ryan O’Shea brought into the line-up whilst 2005 saw the band firstly rename themselves as Tribune and release debut album Home Sweet Hell. Guitarist Shawn Culley expanded the band’s line-up soon after as Tribune continued to write and hone their sound. The Rotting Core EP emerged in 2009 showing the continuing evolution of the band’s sound with second album Elder Lore / The Dark Arts drawing good acclaim and eager responses last year. With a fine reputation earned for their live performances which have seen Tribune alongside the likes of 3 Inches of Blood, Titans Eve, Archspire, Unleash and many more, Tales looks set to lift the profile and stature of the five piece to greater strength and awareness  as well as leaving plenty of appetites fulfilled if not bloated.

A nine chapter concept album taking inspiration from the works of some of the world’s most renowned authors, including H.P. Lovecraft,T00963_Digipak_FrontCover H.G. Wells and Homer, the Corpse Corrosion Music released Tales opens with its instantly impressive title track. The movement of paper and pages makes an initial impression before the track erupts into an adrenaline honed blaze of firm rhythms, stirring riffs, and great vocals. Predominantly clean with bursts of aggressive scowls, the vocals of Baker draw thoughts of Volbeat singer/guitarist Michael Poulsen whilst musically the resourceful mix of death and melodic metal strides around him with a confident and contagious swagger. The song does not burn new avenues of metal but certainly ignites an enthusiastic appetite for the superbly crafted sonic adventure and vocal persuasion on offer. Rife with addictive hooks and melodic flames which singe the imagination the song is a formidable lure into the release, a vibrant enticement which also inspires flickers of Dommin meets Lamb Of God in thoughts.

Both Insectoid and The Butterfly Effect provide further intensive persuasion for ears and thoughts even if neither manages to reach the same pinnacle as their predecessor. The first unleashes a savage assault from the off, rhythms and riffs an unbridled predation but equally the gateway into infectious melodic climes which emerge within and wrap around the persistently voracious intensity and carnally rapacious sounds. Its successor with the bass of O’Shea simultaneously enthralling whilst enjoyably almost at odds with the rest of the song, is a less destructive venture but does not short change on senses barracking riffs and bone splitting rhythms. There is also a familiarity to the songs which does them no harm as it is an undefined source and makes them easily accessible if lacking the wow factor.

From Funeral to Funeral coats the ear in intrigue and mesmeric sonic craft from the start, the guitars placing an incendiary narrative upon the crisp rhythmic canvas while its premise is explored and elevated by the again impressive vocals paraded across the imaginative tempest. It makes for an attention holding storm which intensifies through the following Horror, another lofty highlight of the album. A melodramatic piano sculpted ambience teases the imagination first before the song charges through a ravaging expanse of insatiable vengeful invention. Every aspect of it is unpredictable and rigorously enterprising, the explosive endeavour seemingly pulling elements of the likes of Disturbed, The Black Dahlia Murder, Clutch and more into its scintillating proposition.

The fiery King of Ithaca, where that earlier Volbeat reference also reaches the music, and the sadistically stalking and heavily bestial Vengeance both keep the engagement secure and intensive, whilst Red Crescent is a serpentine temptation which as in all songs fuses its nastiest darkest elements with its most acidically enflamed to create an absorbing attraction and subsequent slavery of the passions. Leaving That Bleakest Shore to finish things off with another major highlight of inventive exploration, Tribune has forged one exciting and deeply satisfying album. Tales will not take you down unknown paths or into dangerous unchartered corners of melodic death metal but undoubtedly provides a torrent of impacting and pleasing exploits which fulfils from start to finish and leaves you wanting more.

www.TribuneMetal.com

8/10

RingMaster 29/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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