Nebelhorn – Urgewalt

Urgewalt is the third album from Nebelhorn but for us the first time we have come across the one man project from Germany. This may be the situation for a great many, fans and bands alike, as it gets harder for independent projects to encroach upon broader attention though in this case but such the accomplished and potent exploits of the release, Nebelhorn may have broken those restraints.

Nebelhorn is the creation of multi-instrumentalist Wieland; an idea emerging in 2002. Fusing black and Viking metal in sound and atmosphere, he has subsequently released two albums in Gen Helwegs Grund (2005) and Fiordland Sagas (2007) since making his debut with the Utgard EP in2004. Released on his own Skoll Records, every seed and touch of Urgewalt is Wieland alone and a striking piece of writing, imagination, and sonic adventure it proved to be.

The opening instrumental welcome of the excellent Auf Bifrösts Rücken rises up with drama and suggestion, its orchestral walls cinematic in their intimation as rhythms build solid foundations to the epic feel of the surroundings. Yet there is a melodic intimacy which equally tempts the imagination before the album’s title track with the same kind of majesty emerges. Swiftly dark tides and imposing rumblings surge as the track erupts into a rousing incitement of threat and seduction. Wieland’s vocals, raw and melodic, alone spark keen attention, their lure matched by the tidal currents and drama of the sounds. Singing in his home language the tale of the song and its companions evaded recognition but there was no escaping the Nordic and dramatic clues to the mercurial and ever darkening escapade.

As the first, the track was rich captivation with its tempestuous nature sparking the dark storm of next up Ägirs Zorn. Prowling the senses from its first breath, the track is a warlike trespass, barbarian-esque in its threat with dirtier hues in its touch though they are tempered by the siren like sighs of keys. If not quite matching the potency of its predecessors, the song is relentlessly compelling as too the predatory assault of Wilde Jagd. Its initial battlefield hunts down ears and imagination, following it up with a ravenous onslaught of sound and sonic animosity. As with all tracks though, there is a grace which courts the despoiling, keys at its heart.

Wieland’s instrumental prowess is an open attraction throughout the album especially through the inventive antics of the guitar and his imagination a rich draw as emphasized by the following Muspellheim. An invasion of sound and dark emotions, the track is simultaneously tempting and distressing, keys haunting its bedlam as vocals steer the rapacious insurgency.

A calmer air embraces Auf neue Lande, it’s exploring of new land and hope breeding melodic endeavour in the wake of the previous track’s ruinous intent. It was another which took longer to spark the appetite compared to those before yet with its melodic touch and emotive canvas, the song only firmly enticed while Funkenflug similarly gripped attention without inflaming the same intensity of reaction. Yet it too cast a wealth of craft and adventure so easy to be caught up in.

The closing Freyhall is another instrumental magnet for ears and imagination; both devouring its touch and suggestion as various flavours collude with its blackened Viking breath.  A final quest for enjoyment and thoughts to feed upon, it is a fine close to an impressive release which enticed and pleasured straight away and only further blossomed with time. There are no guarantees of success and recognition, even awareness, in an overcrowded musical market place but if there is one release you might place a bet on finding that success, Urgewalt is it.

Urgewalt is available now.

https://www.facebook.com/Nebelhorn.Vikingmetal/

Pete RingMaster 19/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Owl – Orion Fenix

There are places and experiences you fear engaging in but still feel compelled to immerse in; dark and imposing yet inescapably seductive propositions which lure and ensnare despite their ravenous shadows.  Orion Fenix is one of those propositions or rather one which takes you and your imagination into such a shadow thick emotionally dark landscape so beguiling the only real option is to lose yourself in its tenebrific majesty.

Orion Fenix is the new EP from Owl, the solo project of Valborg guitarist/vocalist Christian Kolf. A single track, 22 minutes in length, the song is the creation of instinct and emotion, a piece which Kolf said in regard to its birth, ”There was no big thinking behind it, I just wrote it and that’s it. Let my feelings go.” It is an organic affair with flows over and envelops the senses like a tempest bearing lover; engaging and inflaming the imagination with every new twist and turn. Its epic length is like a slowly revolving kaleidoscope, bringing new emotive scenery and shades of light and shadow in an exploration which never truly repeats any of its fascinating moments or bewitching trespasses.

Emerging from sonic mists with a throaty resonance, immediately there is an alluring invitation from Orion Fenix but one with a portentous edge to its smouldering beauty. Graceful yet with a threat in its tone, the track rises until its tempestuousness sparks a heavy doomy gait. Its corrosive suggestiveness though is instantly tempered by the harmonic tones of Kolf, his voice similarly pure enticement and menace laced melancholy.

That early mellow air is in time a burning pyre of emotional and physical dissonance but just one passage in the journey as ill-boding lines a new relative calm from which melodic charm blossoms within the bleak climate; it in turn evolving into a desolate yet magnetic consumption.

And so the song continues, every minute a fresh suggestion, each turn a harbinger of new instinctive exploration either reassuring or unsettling; usually simultaneously both and always enthralling.

Quite simply Orion Fenix is stunning; invasively glorious and hauntingly torturous. It is also a riveting appetiser for Owl’s forthcoming full-length album Nights In Distortion; an experience which now just cannot come soon enough.

Orion Fenix is available now via Zeitgeister Music.

https://www.facebook.com/owlmetal

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chasing Sanity – Anathema

Chasing Sanity is the new solo project from Erik Martin, formerly of Erik Dismembered and one half of Skin Drone; a new creative adventure born from the ashes of the first of those two when Martin decided to “start over and rebrand” himself and his music having felt “uninspired to write anything under the Erik D moniker”. In many ways, Chasing Sanity is closer in style to his work with Otto Kinzel as Skin Drone but as swiftly revealed within debut album Anathema, creating its own unique and fascinating world of imagination and sound.

Though you might primarily tag Anathema as Avant Industrial Metal, it is equally a kaleidoscope of atmospheric and cinematic textures drawn from the darkest corners and depths of the imagination. Every track is a challenge and canvas for the imagination to conjure upon and a place where intimate horrors collude with broader nightmares. Themed by “anxious depression and anger” bred in Martin’s own experienced emotional turmoil, the album opens with You Fiend. Primarily an instrumental release, the first track features the vocal prowess of Nate Exx Gradowski from Isolated Antagonist, AutomatoN, and Quo. Straight away the raw snarl of guitar stalks the senses, inserting their toxic magnetism as Gradowski adds his multi-textured presence within a similarly diverse lure of synths. Every second of the song leads to a fresh turn and unpredictable twist, Gradowski’s switches between harsh and clean vocals matched very second of the way by invasive yet captivating sound.

In many ways, the opener is a straight forward proposal to embrace compared to its successors where the imagination is as active as ears.  Cursed is next up, gliding in on the infectious throb of bass as an increasing web of sound and noise insert their suggestive glimpses into the track’s brewing landscape. Drama fuels every second, metal nurtured riffs and trespasses gripping bait but persistently interrupted by haunting atmospherics and sombre shadows to catch ears and thoughts off guard time and time again. As with all pieces, interpretation will be unique to the individual but unavoidable as the track provokes and inspires before Depths Of Euphoria immerses ears in its own disarming quiet suggestiveness. Even more cinematic than its predecessor, the song is like a flight through night clad scenery with sinister shadows and dark traps waiting to spring.

The industrial intimidation of Haunted Walls quickly has thoughts and emotions involved next; danger and innocence entangling within its guitar veined gothic body. It is a dark place though with the invasive intent of a Hostel found cell, every step within its fascination wrought with tension and ill-intent before Dismembered Thoughts brings some light to the release with its infectious waltz. Yet it too is a tenebrous dance with treachery and menacing asides, keeping ears and thoughts again wary and busy throughout its passage through to the steely net of sonic intimation cast by Orange Bottle. A blend of textures and styles unite for its metal nurtured shuffle, the track prowling the senses as it commandingly ignites physical and mental involvement.

Pills, Pain And An Autopsy creates its own travelogue through the dark tunnels and layers of psyche and suggestion where caliginous beauty and thought infesting angst breed their own unique connection. The track continues to grow and blossom, never escaping its haunting shadows but nurturing a myriad of melodic hues and evocative textures within its atmospheric immersion.

The final pair of tracks upon the EP sees Martin linking up with firstly Rockwater Pictures for Red Death and its percussive and inhuman infestation of the psyche and lastly with Chris Bollinger of Kill Point Protocol and Varicella in Salem, 1666. The final track only needs Vincent Price’s distinctive growl to be the complete cinematic nightmare, one offering extreme and industrial metal surges seemingly glimpsed through a damaged canvas slashed by the claws of the horned one. As the album, it needs numerous plays to settle on a final interpretation, if you ever can, with thick enjoyment flowing through every attempt.

There is no doubt that Anathema is a challenge, one only venturing within its dark realms will reveal whether you  will embrace or flee from it,  but as is the theme with Erik Martin’s work, it is a testing which leaves you mentally and physically alive and indeed welcomingly exhausted. Chasing Sanity pretty much sums up the sound and experience of Anathema, something we all do in varying ways through life.

Anathema is out now across most stores and @ https://chasingsanity.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chasingsanityband

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

0 X í S T – One Eon

0XiST

0XiST

Ever had those nightmares which feel so alive that they are virtually stalking thoughts and sanity? If so then you will recognise those same menacing traits in One Eon, the new album from Finnish metallers 0 X í S T. Exploring even richer, more dangerous territory than on their acclaimed debut full-length Nil, the Riihimäki hailing quartet has turned their already oppressive dark metal into a new inescapable predator. Every one of the new album’s six tracks preys on the listener’s fears, escorting them into the darkest corners of mind and soul but with the resourceful craft and startling imagination which the band is already renowned for.

Formed in 2008, 0 X í S T (pronounced zero exist) was soon setting about creating intense and dramatic sounds inspired by essences to be found in bands such as Triptykon, Celtic Frost, Ajattara, and Deinonychus, the first broad invitation to which came with first EP Unveiling the Shadow World via Ostra Records in 2010. The release was followed by the band’s venture in the live arena, quickly taking in successful shows across southern Finland and Estonia. An extremely limited edition CDr two track demo followed as the band began working on Nil, its teasing the appetiser and taster to the subsequent seven track album. Again out through Ostra Records, the band’s first full-length was the spark to a much stronger spotlight upon the band, as was the wealth of live shows which followed taking in furthers countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and Poland.

Recorded last year and now self-released on Death Shrine Offerings, One Eon is the next gripping step in world metal of 0 X í S T’s slowly invasive and absorbing dark metal. It is a proposition which in many ways continues where its predecessor left off but goes far deeper and further into the creative and malevolent depths of the band. The evidence is immediate with opener In the Hood of the Clan of Tombs. Its opening embrace of sonic tempting instantly has a welcoming yet toxic tone to its lure, the guitars of Jani Koskela and Juhani Jokisalo swiftly sharing an intimidating leer in their melodic coaxing. As expected it is a slow enclosing of ears and senses, given weightier substance and menace by the slow lumbering riff of bassist Sameli Köykkä matched by the restrained but intensely premeditated swings of drummer Mikael Ahlstén. The song is a crawling intrusion with vocals to match, but bound in increasingly seductive and unpredictable sonic grooves and creative taunting giving an invigorating nature to its insidious character.One Eon cover RGB

The excellent track continues to twist and flex its animosity with compelling and inventive enterprise, seducing and ravaging the senses before making way for Enshrine which is straight away emulating the success and inhospitality of its predecessor through its own ravenous embrace. Without lumbering into a doom bred gait, the track is unhurried in its overwhelming of ears, almost finding a swagger to its creeping intent and aural consumption along the way, especially when slipping into a bewitching melodic passage with a great mix of blackened and heavy throated vocals. Soon back into its darkest cavernous depths though, the track bruises, seduces, and suffocates the senses and imagination for another thrilling trespass of the listener.

Neither the following Conclusion nor Instincts of a Serpent can find the same heights of the first pair of songs, though both explore riveting new creative journeys to devour heartily. Cleaner vocals are brought into both alongside the raw caustic growls, working well enough but soaked in a little too much theatre maybe for personal tastes. It is a minor personal niggle though as, like in the first of the songs, a delicious melodic endeavour from guitars tempers its ferocious and rabid nature to enthral and inspire thoughts. It’s successor has an almost leech like touch, wrapping its treacherous tendrils of sound and narrative firmly to the psyche whilst leaving body and emotions captivated and fearful of the song’s increasingly blackening touch.

     Leaving no Prospect for a New Dawn takes best track honours next, the bestial roar and creative causticity of its proposal an unrelenting stalking. To its determined rancorous intent though a sonic and melodic charm binds the fears and wounds bred, as in most tracks providing a balm to the overwhelming and intoxicating animus fuelling the encounter. The track is engrossing leaving closing song No Life to Bother a challenge to match up against, which it does with its own smog of lumbering rhythms and towering shadows veined by a contrasting merger of sonic predation and melodic seducing. Enticingly tempestuous with its own sobering and villainous cavern of antipathy, the song brings a fine album to an impressive end.

Having an increasingly deeper rooted soft spot for Nil, it is in some ways hard for One Eon to match up to the first 0 X í S T album for us. Openly though, there is an exciting new exploration to the band’s sound which brought with their open technical skills and intensive imagination, ensures it is going to be one of the most fascinating and satisfying propositions you will hear this year.

Since the recording of One Eon, original bassist Ossi Leino, who played on Nil, has returned to 0 X í S T after the departure of Köykkä.

One Eon is available digitally and on CD from February 4th @ http://0xist.bandcamp.com/album/one-eon

http://www.zeroexist.net

RingMaster 04/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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