Megascavenger – As Dystopia Beckons

art_RingMasterReview

With good words heard about but sounds not yet an acquaintance, we had definite intrigue in our anticipation of the new album from Swedish death metal project Megascavenger. What we found within new album As Dystopia Beckons was one mouth-watering and unpredictable kaleidoscope of ferociously imaginative, ravenously confrontational, and venomously contagious extreme metal incitement.

The third album from the Rogga Johansson created project, descends on the senses with a creative animus of discontented sound, ruinous vocals, and an industrial seeded dissonance providing something which really is out of the ordinary. As with previous albums from guitarist/bassist/vocalist Johansson with drummer Brynjar Helgetun often alongside, As Dystopia Beckons sees the guest involvement of a host of members from major bands; Hail of Bullets, Entrails, and Bolt Thrower amongst many sharing their musicians. In many ways though, the stars of the proposition are the bold songwriting and spread of virulently invasive and varied flavours which merge with a tempest of corrosive death metal.

It all begins with Rotting Domain, a predatory stalking of the senses featuring Sven Gross of Fleshcrawl. Initially the track skirts around and prowls ears, shadowing the atmospheric visage of a dystopian landscape which emerges from within the sonic coaxing. Swiftly though, the listener is the target of hungry riffs and tenacious rhythms as an imposing portentous intent is shared by gutturally spewed vocals. It is a highly magnetic affair, especially with the stabbing beats and searing grooves which lay their claim to the imagination.

An industrial intrusiveness opens up the following assault of The Machine That Turns Humans Into Slop. From the carnal tones of bass to the swinging melodic grooves and voracious trespass of the rhythmic web, the song demands and receives eager attention. David Ingram (Hail of Bullets, Echelon, ex-Benediction, ex-Bolt Thrower) adds to the erosive persistence and infectious nagging of the song before Dead City with Jocke Svensson of Entrails involved, takes over. Straight away, the track stalks the senses with a cauldron of onerous sonic intrusiveness and thrash lined riffery. It is a drama which has the imagination swiftly locked in, physical attraction quickly lured by the industrial lined rapacity in sound and emotion that consumes ears. Though it does not quite find the same heights as the first pair of songs, it leaves enjoyment at a similarly feisty level before being eclipsed by As The Last Day Has Passed.

Already there has been a varied addition of textures and spices to songs, but the fourth is far bolder and subsequently even more attention grabbing. Teddy Möller (Loch Vostok, The Experiment No.Q, The Hidden) joins the pair in the lively catchiness and rampancy of the classic/ thrash metal fuelled track, his grizzled vocals a great union with Johansson’s throat shredding prowess. Like a mix of Fear Factory and Soilwork yet not, surprise is instantly replaced by pleasure for not only the gripping sounds but the bold ideation involved.

Things only seem to get braver and more hectic from hereon in; starting with The Hell That Is This World and its early-Pitchshifter/ Entombed like seductive massacre. The track is glorious, an uncompromising anthemic assault of brutal, groove entangled rock ‘n’ roll which again is built on numerous strains of addictive noise and tempestuous textures for one unique infestation of the passions. Kam Lee (ex-Massacre, ex-Mantas, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery) adds his prowess to the song and appears again in The Harrowing Of Hell, though before it, the death ‘n’ roll of Dead Rotting And Exposed scars and corrodes the senses whilst stirring up another industrial soaked stomp followed by the even more hellacious Steel Through Flesh Extravaganza with Adrie Kloosterwaard of Sinister in the mix, which uncages a contagion soaked storm of sonic cancer on the senses. Once more the best description for the thrilling violation is grievous rock ‘n’ roll, and again unbridled satisfaction is the reward.

The Harrowing Of Hell entwines gothic and extreme metal in an encounter which hints at bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Gene Love Jezebel as much as an Asphyx or a Godflesh. From a strong start, the album is at a new level around its middle with this transfixing encounter up there as its finest moment alongside The Hell That Is This World.

Completed by the prophetic sonic instrumental smog of its title track, As Dystopia Beckons leaves the senses wasted and imagination alive with emotions in total agreement. The album easily feeds a want for something individual and refreshing whilst stirring up the instincts for a barbarously invasive time, so can only be heartily recommended.

As Dystopia Beckons is out now via Selfmadegod Records @ http://selfmadegod.com/en/shop/item/12022

https://www.facebook.com/megascavenger

Pete RingMaster 02/03/2016.

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Affliction Gate – Dying Alone

AG_RingMaster Review

Three and a half years after unleashing the Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions EP, French death metallers Affliction Gate return with their most evil and gripping offering yet in the ruinous shape of Dying Alone. The four-track EP is a brutal and ravenous affair, but equally a compelling and at times contagious violation of old school death metal expanded with Affliction Gate imagination. The band is as vicious and uncompromising as ever but to that expected proposition adding a new exploration of bold textures, insidious emotion, and raw sonic trespasses.

Formed in 2006 with inspirations from the likes of Unleashed, Massacre, Bolt Thrower, and Asphyx sparking their ideas, Affliction Gate began proving themselves a formidable and potent force in the French metal underground with their first EP Severance (Dead to This World) in 2008 and more potently debut album Aeon of Nox (From Darkness Comes Liberation) a year later. Its release saw the band share their live presence across and beyond France into countries such as Germany, Spain, Holland, and Belgium, whilst the list of bands sharing stages with the quintet have come to include Pentacle, Mercyless, Svart Crown, Loudblast, Benighted and many more. Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions was an acclaimed proposition upon it’s uncaging in 2012 but already is being eclipsed by the response to Dying Alone.

artwork_RingMaster Review   Negative Lucidity leaps at the senses from its first breath; the opener a torrent of barbarous rhythms and toxic riffery twisted into a nagging groove that instantly has ears and appetite alert. The raw, bestial tones of vocalist Herostratos quickly lead the track’s animus of sound and intent, his intrusive delivery backed by the throaty threat of bass and entwined in the sonic trespass of guitar. Melancholy clings to the sonic suggestiveness expelled whilst despair clouds the air of the heavily satisfying incitement, those essences and hues just as rich and expressive in the following pestilential assault of Devising Our Own Chains. As its predecessor, the encounter is a challenging yet openly catchy violation bounding into the psyche on boisterously intrusive rhythms as guitars spin an acidic and virulent tapestry of rancorous bewitchment.

The EP’s title track comes next, flirting with the senses as it crawls closer and closer with cancerous intent. Led by the cantankerous tone of bass, the song subsequently grows into more volatile and eager infectiousness but still keeping its murderous breath and nature to the fore as its energy ebbs and flows in a consumption of the senses. Again a host of flavours collude within the song, more classic hues adding to the death bred malignancy.

The EP concludes with the misanthropic Manicheism Inertia, bad blood and rabid sound fuelling the contemptuous body and soul of the aural ravishing. The first two tracks within Dying Alone steal the show in many ways yet, as the song before, Manicheism Inertia has a nasty grandeur and incessant rabidity to its design which simply hits the spot.

Enjoyable on first listens and only growing to bigger success over time, Dying Alone is evidence that Affliction Gate is one of old school death metal’s emerging triumphs. Their new EP sees the band hit new heights, or should that be low corrosive depths, to get extreme metal off to a seriously strong start in 2016.

The Dying Alone EP is out now via Transcending Obscurity @ https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/dying-alone-death-metal

http://www.facebook.com/afflictiongate

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Shadowspawn – Ashes Of Sorrow

Photo- Bo Toftegaard

Maybe it is no surprise the striking and accomplished presence that Ashes Of Sorrow from Danish metallers Shadowspawn makes given the intensive experience of the band’s members, but that cannot only explain the impressively riveting and ferocious exploits of the encounter. Consisting of six tracks which twist and roar with a technical and creative enterprise as persuasive and impacting as the raw aggression and malevolent charm which soaks the imposing tempest, the Horror Pain Gore Death Productions released Ashes Of Sorrow is a debut swiftly earmarking Shadowspawn as one exciting and seriously compelling proposition.

As mentioned the histories of Shadowspawn’s line-up are drenched in experience in the underground metal scene, the band emerging from the union of ex-members of Cinerator and Gods Secret Army late 2012. Aligning all the creative and hostile traits of old school death and thrash metal with a technical expertise and imagination unafraid to taunt melodies and grooves, the quartet swiftly goes for the jugular and psyche with their sound and new album. The accompanying press releases suggests Ashes Of Sorrow is a must for fans of bands such as Asphyx, Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Death, Disincarnate, Entombed, Gorefest, Grave, Napalm Death, Obituary, Sinister, Unleashed, and Vader, a healthy list indeed but quite simply Shadowspawn will appeal to all with a bent for technical hostility and extreme metal bred voracity.

Opener Mind Shut Down instantly smothers ears in an infectious weave of acidic grooves pierced by a similarly impressing bassline, all punctuated further by the vicious demands of the drums. It is a fierce entrance but equally a compelling and inviting one which darkens as soon as the strong guttural vocals savage syllables and senses simultaneously. As the music, vocally the song shows adventure, a cleaner abrasion of voice adding fresh drama and expression to the just as pleasingly volatile and inventive sounds. Unrelenting in its thick snarl and predatory imagination, the track sets the release off in scintillating style, a level as good as matched by Life Is The Way You Die. Its initial coaxing shows a drama and intrigue which alone draws ears and thoughts deep into its impending malice soaked presence. Drums provide a gripping bait from the off too whilst guitars add abrasive toxicity whilst also venturing into a sonic temptation which is as caustic as it is melodically colourful. It does not ultimately have the same irresistible spark as its predecessor but everything about the song bleeds thoughtful provocation and incendiary frontcoverpersuasion as it reinforces the early stature of the release.

Hellavation stalks the listener next; it’s prowling riffs and matching rhythmic predation a controlled but deep rooting trespass into senses and emotions. Vocally another new passage of ideation and strength is forged whilst grooves and riffs collude to create an inescapable infection, given extra spice and majesty by the captivating flight of celestial aiming melodies. The mix of thrash and death metal is a sultry almost torrid but seductive blend on another pinnacle within Ashes Of Sorrow, a peak challenged and surpassed by both Slaves In Delusion and Sins Of The Deceiver. The first of the pair opens with a gut expelled growl and never loosens its intensive examination of the senses thereon in, even with the soothing melodic enterprise and gripping enthralling invention which clads numerous unpredictable turns in the outstanding incitement. The vocals especially impress and excite; another array of deliveries and textures shown to compliment the grind of beats and riffs aligned to tangy grooves and again a progressive, almost spatial endeavour. The second of the two has the imagination hooked from its opening swing of strings and orchestral ambience, the seducing embrace never far away even as the track unleashes its aggressive and rapacious rabidity in sound and character. Shamanic spices and symphonic whispers only add to the whole theatre of the track, a proposal leaving appetite and emotions basking.

The album’s title track brings it to a mightily potent close, a seemingly barren landscape at the start soon the canvas for an epic festival of destructive rhythms, vociferously corrosive vocals, and an epidemic of invigorating and bracing grooves. It all blossoms within a climate of melodic and raw emotional turmoil, creating a tremendous conclusion to an increasingly impressive and persuasive album.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shadowspawn alone, Ashes Of Sorrow stirs up a major appetite and attention for itself and subsequently its creators, a hunger you can only see, on the evidence of this stunning debut, being fed with greater exploits ahead.

Ashes Of Sorrow is available now digitally and on CD via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @

http://www.shadowspawn.dk/

RingMaster 04/02/2015

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Warmblood – God Of Zombies

WarmbloodBand

There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.

Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.

Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.

Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor WarmbloodCoverbut still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.

The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.

Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.

Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.

Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.

God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records

https://www.facebook.com/warmbloodband

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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

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Raw blood and ceremonies: talking Antropomorphia with Ferry Damen.

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The presence of Dutch death metallers AntropomorphiA comes in two parts, a successful period between 1990 and 1999 and second starting in 2009 when the band came back to life after a decade hiatus. Its return has led to acclaim and feverish appetites for the band’s uncompromising and imposingly bracing inventive sound. Just recently AntropomorphiA unleashed new album Rites ov Perversion, a wickedly accomplished and compelling slab of extreme savagery putting a potent spark back into death metal. Eager to learn more about the band, we had the pleasure to grab time with vocalist/guitarist Ferry Damen, exploring the birth and first era of the band, the new album, and connections between certain songs and their author…

Hi Ferry and thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

It is fair to say that the recent release of your new album Rites ov Perversion has drawn even more attention and awareness of AntropomorphiA than ever before; certainly it has been the release opening us up to your dark violently imposing world. How has reactions been for the release and have you felt an increased spotlight from it?

The overall reactions are very positive, from both media and fans. We certainly notice there is a lot more attention drawn towards the band since the release, which is again a positive thing for us!

It is the successor to the well-received Evangelivm Nekromantia of 2012, how and where do you see an evolution in sound between the two?

I think it’s becoming more comfortable within your own sound and songwriting. With Evangelivm Nekromantia we wanted to present an album that after such a long break was a good representation of where we stood musically and could define us. Evangelivm Nekromantia became more groove-based and atmospheric than all our previous work but still harboured those characteristics that defined us. That sound became the spine on which I wanted to grow this new entity. I wanted to refine that sound and draw from a big diverse palette while staying true to some old Death Metal traditions without becoming a copy of the genre. I think what the main difference in sound is the progression, which is an inevitable thing as an artist and I think

Before we look at the new album more closely can we briefly ask about the beginnings of AntropomorphiA way back in the mists of time, well 1990 to be specific. Was there a particular intent and inspiration to the band back then?

We started of inspired by the early Black Metal bands such as Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, but when I heard Scream Bloody Gore and Seven Churches the intent became to play raw and uncompromising Death Metal. We were inspired by all the upcoming DM bands that surrounded us, from Entomed, Grave, Asphyx, Death to Bolt Thrower, but not in the sense that we wanted to sound like them.

Has that force behind the band’s creation continued or evolved over time?

I would say it has evolved. When we started out our musical skills weren’t at the level they are now so our early work is more primitive. We evolved as artist and the hunger within this band has grown together with this progression.

Looking back, a relatively successful period for the band led to a decade hiatus, was there a prime reason for the dormancy of the band? antropomorphia_photo02

We were at a point where Death Metal had become a repetition and was bleeding out, we weren’t able to book any shows. We parted ways with our original guitar player, who was a very good friend, so that left its mark and our other musical projects got more interest from the outside world. Time became also an issue due to those projects. So we decided to put the band on hiatus.

…And the spark bringing AntropomorphiA back to life in 2009?

When we put the band on hiatus I never stopped writing for the band. So from time to time I would sit and record some of these songs together with Marco (Drums) at his studio. Months would pass and then Marc (Bass) would record his parts, Marco would mix the tracks and we would put some of them online on our MySpace page back then. Every time we’d record or made music together, we’d sometimes rent a rehearsal studio just to play some AntropomorphiA tunes; that spark started a small fire and when time became less of an issue we decided to really feed those flames.

Did you look at the band and the music brewing up inside her differently this second time around or was it simply picking up where the band left off?

The music we wrote within those years of our hiatus showed some progression in our style but when we started writing it was difficult to get back in our skin so to speak. We’ve recorded a whole album worth of material, which had elements of what was brewing inside AntropomorhpiA but it was until after those recordings that the fire started to really blaze.

What specifically consumed the band member’s experiences and careers in that intervening period?

Marco (Drums) and Marc (Bass) where part of a band called Flesh Made Sin and I got involved managing a major act here in the Netherlands.

Back to Rites ov Perversion, would you agree is probably your most vicious yet adventurous album yet?

Antropomorphia-RitesOvPerversionFor sure, I think with every listen you’ll hear it offers a more dangerous sonic ride. A sinister, brutal, violent and emotional ride, layered in a more multidimensional sound.

We also sensed looking back at previous releases that there is an element in its sound that is seeded back in the early music of the band. Is that something you hear and was this deliberate or simply an organic emergence?

These things emerge on a natural way; I think it comes from my style and approach of writing and playing this type of music.

Evangelivm Nekromantia found itself under scrutiny and dislike of the German authorities, leading to its banning I believe. Are you expecting similar attention and reactions with Antropomorphia in certain quarters?

I didn’t get completely banned, it’s an 18 or older type of thing if you want to buy the album. I think they will certainly have a closer look at this album since we became part of their list but we didn’t really think about it or take it into account writing this album. I’ll guess we’ll see how they react to certain things to come (our video for Nekrovaginal Secretions might rub them the wrong way) but until now we haven’t heard from them.

The last album had a continuing theme to its songs, but Rites ov Perversion feels like the songs, apart from a few are more individual and standalone in their narrative. What are some of the concepts and explorations running through the release?

The album is filled with the same thematic occult/gore, mostly consisting of a sinister, diabolic, misanthropic and sexual nature. Crowned in Smoldering Ash is an exception as this song addresses the depressions that have plagued me throughout my life. Inanimatus Absqui Anima is written by a good friend of ours Twan van Geel (Legion of the Damned, Soulburn) which is about the Greek mythological goddess Kore (Persephone) who gets raped by Hades. As a reference to our world where everything will end up getting raped in some sort of form, dies and will end up empty and rotten.

How long was the album in the making and how did the writing process work for its songs and in general with the band?

I started writing on and off from the second half of 2013. It’s a very intense and complicated process at times, so I’ll give you the short version; I write all the music and Marco is responsible for the arrangements. There are times also we co-write/arrange songs.

Jos van den Brand is a new addition to the band between albums, how did that change the dynamics and process of writing and recording Rites ov Perversion to say the previous album?

It didn’t, our writing process has been the same for several years.

Your songs appear to take inspiration from classical and literature bred themes as well as more modern issues. There also seems an intimacy to some of the lyrics, is there a stronger personal element to tracks than maybe initially perceived by us outsiders?

This is the first time I get this question, which means someone is paying attention ha-ha. I’d say it’s certainly the case on Rites ov Perversion, I mentioned the song Crowned in Smoldering Ash, this is the most personal song I’ve ever written but there are more tracks even on the previous album that hold something personal. Although Crowned… is the most outspoken, even though I think if I didn’t mention this, it would not be perceived as that.

Rites ov Perversion also includes a cover of Death’s Open Casket, why that particular song from their arsenal of songs?

Although we are an admirer of the whole Leprosy album, Open Casket is that one song that jumps out for each of us. When we started playing it in the rehearsal room it immediately felt like a perfect fit, since Death was one of the most important DM bands for us we said why not put it on the album.

You mentioned it earlier, the video for Nekrovaginal Secretions from the album; can you give us some hint and background to that?

Well the video is based on the lyrics of the song. We’ve had our second and last day of shooting last weekend and it will be an ode to lesbian necrophilia, and perverted masochistic sexual behaviour. We’re still in the editing process so I can’t say more about it than this.

What will the rest of 2014 going into the New Year have in store for and from AntropomorphiA?

Our bookings agency is focusing on club and festival shows. So we will be able to cast our Rites ov Perversion all over Europe.

Once again a big thanks to talking with us, any final thoughts you would like to share?

Thank you for the time! Check out the album.

‘Behold the Sway ov Death’

F

 

Ring our review of Rites ov Perversion @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion/

Rites ov Perversion is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion-cd/art_288907/

http://antropomorphia-official.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

Vomitile – Mastering the Art of Killing

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Consisting of ten tracks which brutally roar whilst unleashing relentlessly nagging grooves aligned to insatiable riffing and a rhythmic assault which the word barbarous was drawn up for, Mastering the Art of Killing from Cyprus-based death metallers Vomitile, is a violent fury impossible to get enough of. It is not the most ground-breaking of offerings or an album to leave the extreme metal world awe struck, but for an accomplished and creatively skilled hostility there cannot be many more enjoyable, passions igniting death metal releases this year. Each song manages to feed and surprise expectations without the wish to over furnish their riff and groove driven slices of primal malevolence, and this inventive simplicity alongside the united skills of the band definitely helps go to make the release a must investigation for genre fans.

Formed in the early parts of 2007, Vomitile made their potent mark locally before reaching further afield with the 7-track EP Rotting Life in 2010 and even more so debut album Igniting Chaos three years later. Live too the quartet has earned a potent reputation and gone on to share stages with bands such as Sodom and Obituary, but it is with Mastering the Art of Killing that it is easy to feel and expect the band to break into the widest more attentive spotlights. Mastered by Andy Classen (Asphyx, Destruction, Rotting Christ) at Stage One studios in Germany, the new full-length fury is prime death metal turned over and stoked with creative passion and tenacious intensity for an inescapable and addictively inhospitable triumph.

Launching from a vocal squall, opener Morbid Holocaust instantly consumes ears and senses in a barrage of vicious swings from drummer Hugo Olivos and equally lethal riffs from guitarists Panos Larkou and George Yildizian. Just as swiftly addiction forging grooves spew their toxicity as vocalist Khatch Yildizian unleashes a caustic roar which as the album constantly shows manages to be bestial and uncompromising but with certain clarity for lyrical narratives to be digested and enjoyed. The track continues to savage and rampage with sinews to the fore, the bass of the vocalist just as vocal in its predatory enticement. It is an outstanding entrance and first offering, the track a torrent of contagious enterprise and as it proceeds, imagination igniting sonic endeavour shaped as melodies and solos.

It is also just a taster of things to come as the following pair of Project Mayhem and Forthcoming Apocalyptic War continue the riveting baiting of ears and emotions, both squeezing out further malice and venom from every aspect of PBR031_cover_1their confrontation. The first of the two combines a demeanour which stalks the ear and an all-out slaughter of the senses, alternating both as again rhythms become a relentless provocateur and riffs a feverish single minded yet inventive spite. Add bordering on corrosive grooves and raw vocal squalls and you have a second thrilling assault emulated straight away by the second of the two songs. This is built from a similar template to the last track but adds its own intrigue soaked twists of pace and sonic ideation. It does not quite match up to those before it, such their quality, but the following Born to Kill certainly has no problem setting another pinnacle with its swaggering riffery and scything grooves across at times a just as catchy rhythmic devilry. The song is still a destructive slab of sonic malignancy but it just makes you feel like dancing as it violates the soul.

The intensive grind of Forced Mutilation is the next to excite, its senses gnawing riffery a potent temper to more swaying revelry cast by drums and grooves, their lure masterfully courted by a just as gripping and imposing stroll of bass. With enthralling guitar skill and enterprise another beacon within the excellent tempest, it paves the way for ears and psyche to be ravaged by the thrashy excellence of Nekropound, the track a tsunami of bone splitting rhythms and rabid riffery which is just as at ease and potent when slipping into a predatory crawl over the senses. It is another shuffling up its attacks whilst embracing a melodic beauty which is as feverishly captivating as the grooves squirreling away at ears.

Across the heavy and intensive prowl of Slaughterhead, a song which surprises little but please lots, and the hellacious glory of Stabbed, Shot, and Bludgeoned, Vomitile still have attention and satisfaction firmly gripped, and in the case of the second of the pair with its tightest hold yet. The track is a virulently infectious and erosive piece of work and quite scintillating. You still would not say there is a wealth of originality going on but Vomitile turn the weapons they have and use into a primal and inescapable seduction to which we certainly have no defence.

Bringing the album to a close is firstly the heavy handed and footed brute Immense Catastrophe, a tempestuous joy all on its own and lastly the ferociously destructive and barbarously seductive Commencing Assault, a final invigorating anthem of bad blood and vile temptation. The pair brings the album to a mighty close leaving ears ringing and emotions torn asunder.

Mastering the Art of Killing is an exhaustive treat of a incitement which even though there is a kind of formula attack and structure to many songs, turns it in a minor issue such the contagious enterprise and unbridled intensity fuelling each encounter. Is the album offering much new to get your teeth into…not really but it cannot not stop Mastering the Art of Killing from being one of the best and favourite death metal intrusions in 2014.

Mastering the Art of Killing is available from October 3rd via Pitch Black Records @ http://store.pitchblackrecords.com/VOMITILE-Mastering-the-Art-of-Killing.html#.VC6ozRaDwvQ

http://www.vomitile.com/

RingMaster 03/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Vorum: Poisoned Void

VorumPic

   Released via Dark Descent Records and Woodcut Records, Poisoned Void is the long awaited debut full length album from Finnish death metallers Vorum. In 2009 the quartet unleashed what has been called as one of the best underground death metal of recent times with Grim Death Awaits, so anticipation for this first album was keen to say the least for a great many and it is hard to imagine they will be disappointed with its merciless intent.

Formed in 2006, Vorum has earned a notable place within Finnish death metal and the genre as a whole mainly through that first EP and also a split release with Vasaeleth entitled Profane Limbs of Ruinous Death in 2010. Whether Poisoned Void has built on or actually managed to equal that first triumph is debatable but the new album certainly is a striking and ravenous confrontation which does the reputation of the band no harm at all and will surely lead to a wider recognition. It is a dangerously aggressive and unrelenting violation which uses existing tools of the band and genre in an accomplished and pleasingly violent way. From first track to last the album is a dynamic and thunderous brute of a release which swamps the senses with dense hungry intensity and destructive riffs whilst offering an enterprise which grabs the attention. The album misses out on igniting a real fire for its impassioned insidious consumption but still leaves one satisfied and willing to be violated often again.

Impetuous Fires opens up the carnage with exhausting rhythms and debilitating riffs all presented with a merciless pace and Vorum_Cover_Netenergy. Vocalist Jonatan Johansson spills venom with every rasping syllable whilst his and Matti Jalava’s guitars grind and sear flesh away from the ear with nasty irresistible riffs and sonic grooves. The rhythmic onslaught from drummer Mikko Josefsson is numbing whilst bassist John Finne bruises with every predatory note; it is an impressive start to the release which leaves no one wondering why the band has earned the acclaim they have.

The following Death’s Stains and Rabid Blood continue the impressive work, the first with an initial grooved sonic twisting which evolves into a storm of exhausting massive riffs and an intensity which smothers with thick relish whilst the second gnaws and chews on the senses with a malevolence which gives the devil himself a bad name. Though both are distinctly different they have the same effect of bringing their recipients to their knees and begging for more whilst whimpering under the barbaric annihilation. Arguably especially in the second, the glorious melodic twists of sonic flames do not feel at ease within the tempest and the tracks are more secure and insatiable when left to devour the listener. It is a minor niggle but one which does leave the album wanting against its predecessor.

Thriving Darkness is a stalking piece of persistent malice with a delicious groove to match, its presence an intimidating disease eroding away the senses and igniting a replacing consuming rapture. Like the album the track is a real slow burner which emerges as certainly favourite track if not the best on the release. It passes its evil baton onto the sonic demon Evil Seed, a song which burns and disfigures synapses like a sonic acid. It is pure sin, an injurious wash of malicious invention and intent. Like its predecessor the track takes time to make its carnal persuasion but succeeds with relative ease, though again the heated melodic spears of craft do not necessarily settle as easily upon thoughts as they would wish.

In Obscurity Revealed and Dance of Heresy offer further pleasing crippling ravishment whilst the closing title track is a final deep scarring to leave one blissful yet sore. From vocals to the heart driven sounds, track and album are certainly impressive if falling short of the very high standards Vorum had already put in place. It is with ease  though a cut above a great many of the other emerging underground death metal releases to appear over the past twelve months or so, and a must investigate for genre fans and those of the likes of Autopsy, Asphyx, Incantation and Convulse.

www.vorumdeath.com

RingMaster 26/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hooded Menace: Effigies Of Evil

With one of the heaviest presences to consume the senses this year, Effigies Of Evil from Finnish death metalers Hooded Menace is a plundering exhaustive chasm of never ending intensity and weighty ravenous breath. The release overwhelms and suffocates whilst treating its victims to some quite fine melodic touches which should sound out of place but have a seamless and engaging fit. Engaging, not really a word to slip easily from the lips in regard to Effigies of Evil but at times that is what it is; the rest of its slowly rippling muscular presence though is just corrosive oppression.

Formed in 2007 by guitarist, bassist, vocalist Lasse (Phlegethon , Vacant Coffin), the band is heavily influenced by the old school entity of death metal with the likes of early Cathedral, Asphyx, Black Sabbath, and Candlemass strong flavours in their doom /death devouring pit spawn filth. Lyrically songs are driven by cult horror films and ideas, especially the classic 70’s Spanish horror series the Blind Dead and the rotting, eyeless Templar Knights who slowly stalk their prey. This makes for music and tracks which are cinematic in their story telling and corruptive in their breath. Effigies Of Evil the third album from the band and first for Relapse Records is no different, destructive and laborious energy wise; it sucks upon the senses whilst leaving nothing but satisfaction behind.

The album is one which needs plenty of attention to unveil all the acute melodic flames within the always crushing intense blanket of sound and though it may be too uncompromising for some the release is still undeniably an unforgettable and impossible to ignore violation. The opening track Vortex Macabre sums up the release and band alone. It is an epic ten minute prowl through the senses and emotions which initially makes its introduction through an atmospheric beginning. With cold winds suggesting a harsher landscape a lone desolate guitar expels its melancholic heart into the air. Eventually the track raises its head to start its crawl through the ear with acidic guitars and prowling rhythms, the song choosing its moments to quicken its heart and pace as it subsequently leaps deeper with immediately captivating melodic strokes and caustic caresses. All the while though the guttural bestial growls of Lasse spill venom into every note and admittedly indecipherable word thus ensuring the intimidation and brutal nature of the beast is always to the fore. Lurching into its latter half the song falls over the edge into an abyss of tar like energy and  scorched manipulation of the ear, its mass seeing off the addictive hook which had threatened to light up the song just before. With climax in sight the track does merge both aspects again and though arguably the song is overlong, it is a darkly mesmeric companion into the death soaked world of Hooded Menace.

The following title track continues along the same fetid journey with equal success and effect but it is with the next in line where the album ignites real passion. The vampire themed In The Dead We Dwell is a masterful example of inescapable malevolence, deathly intent, and the wanton attraction of pure evil. With a sickened groove veining the twisted charm of the track and the rhythms and guitars as satanic as the unhealthy atmosphere seeping from every second of the song, there is a sirenesque pull which ignites the heart and hunger more than elsewhere on the album. The blend of the as ever abrasive and light defeating vocals and incendiary sonic invention is a perfect and heady match making the song irresistible and lingering.

The likes of Crumbling Insanity with its heart breaking melodic groove within unforgiving black shadows, the magnetic smothering touch of Summoned Into Euphoric Madness, and the excellent Evoken Vulgarity all continue to strike with impactful effect through their fine elements. The latter of the three especially captures the imagination with its unexpected closing strains of goth metal which brought spices of The Mission to bear.

Effigies Of Evil is a fine album which maybe did not ignite enough consistently burning fires but those it did spark up raged with great pleasure. Hooded Menace is well on course to being a prominent player in death metal, their new album the next impressive step.

RingMaster 11/09/2011

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Altar of Pain: Severe Scourge

Severe Scourge is the latest EP from Portuguese death metalers Altar of Pain, a release which drives its festering consumption with a technical skill to match the destructive passion. It is also another example of the quality of bands and music bursting out from the country, every way you turn there is a not only another band waiting to be announced but one with a craft and invention to step out from the masses. Altar of Pain is no different and though Severe Scourge feels like an above average demo it is a mighty and impressive release which only fuels further promise from the band ahead.

From Madeira, the quartet of Elder Abreu (vocals), Guilherme Abreu (guitar, keyboards), Zé Rodrigues (guitar), and Marcelo Rodrigues (bass guitar, synth-fx), formed in 2010 with the intention of making heavy brutal death metal based music. Inspired by bands like Vader, Death, Morbid Angel, Asphyx, and Cannibal Corpse, the band first drew wider attention with their debut album The Ritual Has Begun of last year. Severe Scourge continues their fine progress with a storm of expansive and imaginative ideas fuelled by a blackened and skilled intent. There is nothing healthy about the sounds of Altar of Pain but nor is there anything dismissible, each song a stirring and concussive enjoyment which is so easy to return to again and again.

The EP is a release with only one real issue to contend with, the drums. They appear and sound as if they are all computerised. Though the band overall just get away with it, there are times it is a niggling itch which diminishes the quality elsewhere. The sound does not really integrate into the organic playing of the band and makes for an irritant which can distract too much at times. The thought though is that if the band find a strong and skilled drummer there will be no stopping them.

Opened by the senses crippling Death By Exsanguination, the release takes no time in igniting the fullest attention. Triumphant Pantera like riffs slash the air whilst a groove dripping in infection, twists around the ear with fangs sunk deep. The song is a breathtaking expulsion of energy, the band unrelenting in their bruising and exciting of the senses. The guitars scythe fiery patterns with their razor sharp play whilst the bass stomps and prowls around with a rabid menace for a combination which is impossible not to fall eagerly before. With the varied guttural growls of Abreu flinging words like plague ridden carcasses on top, it is a storm only pleasure can spawn from.

From the impressive opener Fatal Disease and The Fleshless Goddess offer their own unique corruption as the band explore and unleash further inventive play, the guitars especially in the first scorching the atmosphere with explosive solo work and scarring riffs. The pair keeps things boiling but it is with the latter part of the release where greater highlights lay in wait.

Infected is a corrosive beast which sears the synapses with crushing intensity and acidic guitar enterprise. Arguably less infectious as other songs, its deep rooted groove is merciless in its lure whilst the vocals and energy is a dehabilitating oppression allowing no place to hide.  Again the band shows their songwriting is expansive and unafraid to explore which brings freshness to each and every song.

Top track award goes to Scriptorium, a song which is aural addiction. From an almost lumbering start it explodes into a raging rampage of battering corruptive riffs and incendiary melodic hooks, both leaving whiplash and adoration in their wake. With vehemence oozing from every syllable of the vocals and piercing sonic lashing accompanying the melodic contagion, the track is nothing but immense. Stick a live drummer in there and we are talking probable classic.

With only the earlier mentioned issue to throw at its hide, the Severe Scourge EP is an impressive slab of melodic death metal which genre fans will relish. It is surely only a matter of time before Altar of Pain is given the opportunity to unleash themselves in a full studio with all its armoury, when it happens watch them bring a real explosion to the corruption.

http://altarofpain.bandcamp.com

RingMaster 14/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ominous Crucifix -The Spell of Damnation

Emerging from the still relatively undiscovered wealth of strong metal bands within Mexico for most, Ominous Crucifix are set to release their debut full length album The Spell of Damnation. Offering up invasive slabs of crushing spiteful death metal the album crawls and festers within the senses to give full satisfaction with a bountiful clutch of arresting black melodies, intrusive riffs, and ear intimidating grooves.

Formed in 2007 Ominous Crucifix have steadily created and moulded their black rancid sound starting with their first release, demo Decadent Religious Archetype in 2008. The following year saw a split release On This Land Evil Dwells and their EP Relics of a Dead Faith. Since then until now the band has been relatively quiet. Released via FDA Rekotz, a label coming up with quite a few striking gems lately, The Spell of Damnation is a statement of a band on the rise and of a group of musicians more than competent in bringing forth death metal that is steeped in old school intent and sound without resorting to simply resurrecting previous flavours from influences.

     The Spell of Damnation is harsh and malicious with a raw production which though complimenting the intent throws up negatives. One senses this approach is deliberate from the band bring out and intensity the decayed and festering malevolence within the songs, an occult lined abhorrence of religion that veins the music. The album throws up essences of the likes of Obituary, Vallenfyre, and Asphyx but the resulting creation is certainly something distinct to Ominous Crucifix.

The album starts on an impressive opening in ‘Third Day Resurrection’, an initially synth led emotive piece punctuated with shouts of ‘I think God is Dead…’ There is an ominous bell like resonance giving warning before the track unveils itself with mesmeric heavy riffs and teasing guitars. A relentless grind slices with stabs of urgent intrusive guitar consuming the ear from the fingers of Crucifier and Lord Dweller whilst vocalist Rubens the Mercurial Herald spews gut based grizzled growls from the deepest pit. Guitars dominate the track once it is in full flow making the bass of Omega Tyrant hard to pick out though that is soon remedied in following track ‘Putrid Purity’. His growling meaty predatory basslines crawl and stalk as guitars rampage through the ear. Bringing forward a dirty protrusive grind the track is a constant battering without venturing into abusive aggression. The drums and vocals carry a hollow resonance to them throughout the album which again is suggested as deliberate but only really works with Reuben’s delivery, adding a dark menace and haunting atmosphere. For the drums it is more a distraction and is less agreeable, the beats from The Executioner feeling disengaged from the main body of the songs.

Though the whole release is a solid agreeable brute three consecutive tracks in addition to the opener stand out and show the ability and promise of Ominous Crucifix. ‘Defiling the Altars of an Absent God’ starts with a film sample of a woman being forced to cite The Lord’s Prayer whilst being flogged. Disturbing especially when she slips into silence as the manic flogging continues it leads in an equally dark and wicked track with grooves and riffs that consume eagerly. Again the drums feel separate but the song has more than enough depth and technical creativity on show to draw attention away. ‘Secular Omens of Doom’ takes over with even more intensity and creativity. There is a stronger diversity within the song than on anywhere else, the guitars impressively exploring their realm within the heavy blanket of aggressive intensity. Without breaking into solos and indulgence the track is refreshing and a contrast to the more direct straight forward death metal tracks.

Church of Death’ though only a brief almost interlude type track is the other highlight. Haunting with a dark siren voice sinisterly beckoning amongst the crushing riffs and sounds of warfare it conjures visions instantly adding to what is a fine album. Despite its shortfalls The Spell of Damnation is a strongly satisfying album and certainly should be checked out by all death metal fans

RingMaster 10/01/2011

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