Mefisto – 2.0.1.6

Mefisto - 2. 0. 1. 6 cover_RingMaster Review

Formed in 1984 under the name Torment, Swedish metallers Mefisto is noted along with Obscurity, as being the first Swedish extreme bands to surge through the opening made by Bathory. It was a band which quickly drew a loyal local following, with the 1986 release of a pair of demos in Megalomania and The Puzzle finding keen reactions in the metal underground, which over time has grown to the band earning cult status. Within a year of their release though, they had succumbed to the pressure of finding no real support and called it a day. Now thirty years on from those early releases, the band unleashes debut album 2.0.1.6, a thrilling and fresh proposal which suggests that Mefisto had maybe been ahead of their time first time around.

In 2014 Mefisto was reformed by band originals, guitarist/vocalist Omar Ahmed and drummer Robban Granath, the pair joined by bassist Morgan Myhrberg last year. Their return was marked by The Megalomania Puzzle, a compilation bringing the early demos together in one rousing invitation released via, as the new album, Vic Records. Mastered by Dan Swano (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath), 2.0.1.6 now gives the metal world something which has been eagerly anticipated for, in many ways decades, the first Mefisto full-length.

A gentle melodic caress brings album and opener Deathrace into view, though it is just a poetic coaxing into a subsequent sinister siren-esque mesh of fiery grooves and jabbing rhythms. That as quickly becomes a tempest of thrash kilned riffs and rapier like beats as vocals crowd ears with growling antagonism. Now in full flight, the track entwines a web of metal styles with craft and invention, the grouchily wiry bass alone captivating bait to get off on.

The strong start is merely an appetiser in many ways, the following Void swiftly a more thunderous and imposing protagonist for ears and appetite. With muscles on full show, the track swings with inescapable virulence; intimidating and enticing with spite and tenacity before throwing a delicious curve ball by slipping into a melody rich passage of progressive and classic metal enterprise. Across its length, the band continues to revolve between extremes of texture and the compelling mix of aggressive and calm invention; individual craft and united imagination blossoming with every thrilling twist and turn.

The barbarous Act Dead has the job of following the first pinnacle of the album, its bracing hostility and sonic endeavour making great success of keeping enlivened ears and emotions on a firm high. Sturdy and confrontational, the track provokes and invites with unruly resourcefulness but controlled ferocity, showing why in its earlier guise in the band’s career, it was a potent incitement.

Heads in the Sand twists and turns in another web of varied metallic provocation next. Thrash and death metal is twisted into the lining of melodic tendrils and searing grooves, they offering a catchiness which itself is aligned to a more progressive exploration. A slower persuasion than the immediacy of earlier tracks, it still blossoms by the minute into another highly pleasing adventure that only lingers in the psyche.

The almost theatrical drama of Frost of Inferno involves ears and thoughts straight after, its raw and brutish canvas the landscape for a kaleidoscope of melodic expression and enterprise shared by the open skills and creative devilry of Ahmed. It is a song which enjoyably has one foot in the past and the now, whilst successor Hate Consumes Me with the same flirtatious drama to its body and narrative, is a cauldron of modern rock ‘n’ roll. Predatory in its calm and incendiary in its sonic boldness whilst being primal in energy, the track fuses death and heavy metal with essences of broader heavy rock, resulting in another major highlight.

A touch of classical guitar stirs The Puzzle into tempestuous life, which in turn breeds a constantly evolving stalking and ravaging of the senses which is very easy to get greedy over. Compelling as it invades and seduces with rousing persistence, it is eclipsed by the album’s closing title track. It too has a predatory air and nature to its melodic tempting and progressively nurtured adventure with the vocals emulating their character as Ahmed’s string craft bewitches.

It is a superb end to a thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly impressive debut album. It seems strange saying that Mefisto has a rich future ahead of them after thirty years or so since their first steps, but 2.0.1.6 suggests this is just the beginning of bigger and bolder things.

2.0.1.6 is out now via Vic Records through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Mefisto-234630006720804

Pete RingMaster 23/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rusty Pacemaker – Ruins

Rusty Hessell_RingMaster Review

The first listen of Ruins, the new album from Austrian project Rusty Pacemaker, definitely caught ears and thoughts by surprise but laid the seeds to an increasing understanding and appetite for the artist and release’s particular uniqueness. It has grown with time into a compelling and fascinating proposition, one with aspects which still challenge slightly the success of the release, but an encounter which never lacks the ability to intrigue and thickly satisfy.

The band is the solo project of the Lanzenkirchen hailing Rusty Hessel, a musician who began making his own music in 2003. Heavily influenced by Quorthon of Bathory, Rusty enlisted drummer Franz Löchinger to play on his first album Blackness and White Light which was released in the October of 2010 on his own Solanum Records, a union which is repeated on the new album. Within a few months of its release, Rusty was writing new tracks for its successor and with preproduction finished in 2012, the Markus Stock mixed and mastered Ruins began emerging; its recording completed last year and release coming a few short weeks back. It is an encounter which commands attention and sparks the imagination, and even with a ‘flaw ‘or two, only leaves a contented appetite and certain captivation in its wake.

Rusty Pacemaker Ruins_RingMaster Review   Ruin’s title track is the first engagement on ears and thoughts, opening with a tantalising melodic caress of guitar. It is melancholic yet vibrant and already from that stroking of strings, a gothic air kisses the senses. That whisper only increases as sounds and invention develop, and indeed once the striking vocals of Rusty join the tempting. His delivery is as distinctive and individual as the sounds cradling his monotone stance but also more of a challenge as they conflict organically and purposefully with the dark beauty of the music. At times across the album his voice simply flows with the tide of the emotion and tone of the music but in others, as here, wrong-foot and test song and listener alike. It has to be said though when working well or even not quite agreeing with personal tastes, his vocal presence, as the album’s, is a riveting texture and incitement. The song itself continues to evolve and explore fresh strains of gothic and dark metal, its atmosphere stark and intimately provocative simultaneously.

The following Made Of Lies is a more rugged and furious blaze of metal, rhythms and riffs a swiftly enticing confrontation breeding even greater endeavour and persuasion as it embraces sonic and vocal enterprise. Though predominantly a metal and heavy rock seeded offering, the track reveals a great eighties and nineties gothic/post punk nature to its shifting character, bands like Leitmotiv and Type O Negative coming to mind. The rousing encounter departs to be replaced by the opening lapping waves of Ocean of Life, a song growing into an evocative and poetically harmonious croon within dark and predacious shadows. It also features the siren-esque vocal charm of Lady K, her alluring presence perfect company to the more dour but resonance wrapped tones of Rusty. Musically as in the previous songs, the Austrian creates an enthralling landscape of ideas and flavours skilfully woven into passages which only lure the firmest attention.

The steely air and textures of The Game come next, its imposing death seeded tones the lead into an infectious shuffle within a fiery web of classic and melodic metal. The song feistily simmers in intensity and attitude, often unveiling a raw snarl to disrupt and complement the more restrained but piercing sonic tenacity entangling ears. Vocals ebb and flow in potency and note, but their element of discord so often only aligns to a similarly striking flirtation in sound.

Both Night Angel and Candlemass push the album to another level, the first a sorrowful piano and melodic seducing which perfectly suits the slow and plain dynamic style of Rusty’s vocals whilst again welcoming the bewitching voice of Lady K. Her appearance so lights air and song that it is easy to wish she was a more regularly hue to the album, it being no coincidence that many of the pinnacles within Ruins involve her presence. The folkish hue and serene elegance of the song’s sound is as mesmeric, potency emulated in its successor for different reasons. The excellent track is a haunting and imposing proposal, its darkly clouded sky and doomy breath invading cavernous like depths whilst colluding with sinister shadows. Yet half way in, a bright light expels XTC like revelry, a wispy charm sparking a fresh turn and endeavour to the tempestuous landscape of the song.

The swift acoustic enticing of Forever reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Ruins in its one minute plus before Matter Over Mind unveils its own creative bellow of imagination and inventive sound. Again thoughts are nudged by bands of the past, March Violets and Fields of the Nephilim whispering in ears as the song takes the listener on its own diverse and absorbing journey, but equally, as across the whole of the album, there is plenty more original ideation and sound going on.

Knowing is another where Rusty’s voice takes attention away from the gentle stroll of music, yet there is no thought of tearing away from his almost mischievous presence, which is good as the song is soon breeding muscle and drama with hungry snarling riffs and quaint melodies. Fair to say it is a song taking time to persuade, winning out by the time Pillow of Silence comes forward to complete the album. It also opens with a mellower air but is persistently brewing up a raw volatile climate which never actually explodes to consume song and senses but ensures even in its closing kiss of beauty, the track has a dark and menacing edge to it.

It is probably fair to say that Ruins will split opinions, mainly when it comes to the vocals. Acclimatising to their peculiar ‘oddity’ is worth the attention though as many songs use them as bold textures to the undoubtedly skilled atmospheres and sounds woven into the album. It is a magnetic and charismatic release making another potent step in the emergence of Rusty Pacemaker. Just one request to the man though, please use Lady K more, and if we dare suggest as the lead as there feels a potential show stopper with her tones leading Rusty’s striking songwriting and sounds.

Ruins is out now via Solanum Records

https://www.facebook.com/rustypacemaker   http://www.rustypacemaker.com/

Ringmaster 21/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Iron riffs and heavy passions: Introducing Wölfrider Interview

Wölfrider

Hailing from Wrocław, Polish heavy metal band Wölfrider drew outside attention to match that at home with the release earlier this year of their self-titled debut EP via Goetic Records. Packed with four tracks which charge ears with tsunami like strength and sonic voracity, the release was a sign post to the broader emergence of the band. Grabbing the chance to find out more about the band we had the pleasure to chat with vocalist Rafał ‘Rambo’ Gębicki and drummer Bartek Dolewski.

Hi guys and thank you for talking with us.

Can you tell us about the beginnings of the band?

Rambo: The core of the band came out from previous project called Clairvoyant. Guys wanted to play something new under new name. This was the beginning of 2012 when I joined them. After a month of rehearsals we played the first show. A few months later with ready material we entered the studio to record our Wölfrider EP. Everything has happened in leaps and bounds.

You sculpt your songs with an energy and passion which recalls traditional heavy metal at its purest. What are the major inspirations to band and its members?

Rambo: Most of our influences come from Western Europe, Heavy Metal Gods like Running Wild, Grave Digger, Accept, Judas Priest, but you can hear also some of the ‘epic’ ones – Bathory, Manilla Road. Each of us draws from other sources, for example, it may be Iron Maiden, Exodus, Iced Earth and even Death.

What are the backgrounds and experiences Wölfrider members brings to the band?

Bartek: We’ve got quite big experience during our activity as Clairvoyant…lots of gigs, developing songwriting, improving process of managing a band, and so on. As we progress we started the new band with a blank card so to speak yet locked and loaded. Rambo comes from Deversor and he had lots of work to do, because his singing style and technique had to be changed to the new material. Since only vocalist changed we all knew each other very well and there were no surprises – just going further in music.

There is a great metal scene in Poland it seems from the outside but hard to find that wider recognition for bands there. How have you found it?

Bartek: Well you have to remember that most of metal musicians in Poland have normal regular jobs and it’s hard to focus on your job, paying attention to your musicianship, and any promotional actions at once. So you have to have really organised way of doing your things. The second important factor is of course money. And currency exchange. If someone wants to be recognised outside his/hers country most probably has to pay for publishers – in Euro, USD or GBP. That could be very expensive due to rate of exchange and that money could be spent on something else for band, like a good audio equipment to practice better etc.

Tell us about your debut EP which recently came out via Goetic Records.Wölfrider2

Rambo: Okay, so long story short. We recorded, mixed and mastered our EP in DIY style. Later on some kind of distribution was needed and we mailed to couple of indie record labels (major ones didn’t give a fuck about us). Goetic Records from Canada owned and ruled with pride by awesome guy – Kosta Bayss – he helped us with promotion and digital distribution. I guess we are the only one non-black metal band over there but it’s not a big deal for us – it’s more like an underground family. Back in the day – yeah, a couple of months ago, fucking ancient times – Goetic Records had nothing to do with releasing physical CDs due to some limitations. Now Kosta can sell his bands like a boss over the Internet on classic CD packs, you have to check it out.

Though all track stand out Hearts of Iron steals its extra share of the glory for us. Give us some background to the song.

Rambo: Our music mastermind – Kamil – is a huge fan of strategy PC games so guess where the name comes from. You can Google it. This one particular song was written by him, we just got music sheet, changed almost nothing at all – somehow it started to have its drive and vibe. Most of our stuff is done after many trials and errors on rehearsal room. Not this one. Maybe we shoot jackpot with Hearts of Iron.

Does the EP sum up your sound or are there already new surprises waiting to be unleashed in your next release?

Rambo: EP is just an introduction to Wölfrider’s realm. In the next album we’ll include a couple of licks for fans, not exactly new material – you can hear it already at gigs. First of all – we got our sound tuned way lower than typical Heavy Metal band…mostly due to Deceiver Of The Gods by Amon Amarth. So that’s quite unique for our type of music – tuning in B-Standard is common among extreme metal bands. On the other hand my singing style has changed – it’s much more modulated. Some ideas have to be re-visited and full album release needs more brainstorming but don’t worry, it’s gonna be shitting thunders and blasting metal – pure heavy as Polish vodka. You know, we are trying to be as honest in our music as possible. We have nothing to lose anyway.

What is the live scene like for you and metal in general in Poland?

Bartek: I think it’s about the other countries. There are really few people from seriously pro bands signed to major record labels that are making living from the metal music. Average, casual guys like us have to be as much accountants as musicians to make everything works. About metal scene in Poland? I may be wrong and controversial but I think that extreme metal bands and thrash metal guys have way more attention. Lots of independent indie record labels are interested in death/black metal bands and looks like there are more shows for that kind of metal. And thrash metal has its own renaissance – but it’s just mine opinion based on my observations. Hopefully most of metal heads aren’t strictly bounded to one kind of metal and you can see Cannibal Corpse fans at some classic heavy metal gig.

There is roar and power to the EP which suggests the songs live are real wall shakers. On stage is where the real magic happens for the band?

Wölfrider3Bartek: First of all thank you for really cool opinion about our music. It’s always pleasure to have that kind of description about the EP, this is what we intended you and other fans to feel.

We try to do our best on stage and work on our presence as much as on technical and musician skills. We play for quite a time and definitely can hear and feel band mates playing, correct something messed up – you know – and just have great time showing people that we love to play metal and have fun on stage. We work really hard to not just be another boring band with bunch of dudes that’s stay the entire show in one spot and not even look at the audience. Metal used to be – and still is – about aggression and playing loud. Most of all about raw energy, this is the root, the foundation of rock ’n’ roll music. If there is no Ultimate Power Armageddon on stage (in positive way) then you’re doing it wrong, son.

What is coming up for Wölfrider in 2015 and from you for fans?

Rambo: We plan to play as many shows as possible. Your band cannot be real and serious without gigging for real fans – world is not limited to Internet. We have booked a couple of events related to “tribute to Bathory” since we are huge Quorthon fans. More details should be soon. That’s about performing live. We would love to present just a little sneak-peak of our upcoming full album by releasing a single – maybe along with video clip. That would be a real killin’ teaser that will show just a little the way that we’re heading with our music.

Once again thanks for the interview, anything you would like to add?

Bartek: Yeah, whoring for views, subscriptions and likes on social media websites. Check us out on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolfrider.band

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/wolfriderofficial

Bandcamp: https://wolfriderband.bandcamp.com/

Goetic Records: http://www.goeticrecords.com/

I want to add that we know that there are bunch of our fans outside Poland, even outside Europe. For those people and many others we have an idea to live stream our gigs on YouTube or other platform – so please, wait for news!

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raw blood and ceremonies: talking Antropomorphia with Ferry Damen.

antropomorphia_photo03

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?antropomorphia_photo01

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

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Strength through adversity: Interview with Zach Simmons of Goatwhore

   Goatwhore 06

Goatwhore is one of those propositions which triggers extra sparks of enthusiasm and anticipation when you hear of a new unleashing from the New Orleans based band, and their new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless was certainly no different. Following the gripping and exhilarating Blood For The Master, it had much to live up to but rose to the task with ease to provide another brutal and uncompromising, as well as rigorously thrilling provocation. Not needing to be asked twice, we grabbed the chance to find out more about band and album through drummer Zack Simmons, proceeding to discuss the origins of and challenges before the band over the years as well as looking at the recording of and inspiration for their latest triumph…

Hi Zack and thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Before launching ourselves at new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless, can you give newcomers to Goatwhore some history to the band and its birth?

The band started around 1996 after Sammy’s other band, Acid Bath dissolved. It was out of a necessity to keep playing music for him and to take a darker direction than his previous band. I joined about ten years ago and our current bassist has been with us for five years, so this has been the most consistent line-up for the band.

Was there a specific intent behind the band and its sound at the start and has that continued today or evolved into something different?

The band started out with a heavily Celtic Frost, Bathory influenced sound and has sort of evolved to become its own animal. Those influences are definitely still intact but we’ve grown over time to allow some of our other influences to shine through as well. A lot of the stuff we grew up on, like Motorhead and Judas Priest has definitely made its way into our sound.

It is fair to say that the years have brought plenty of obstacles from the maybe accepted like line-up changes to the unexpected such as paranormal activity and natural disasters to bear on members and the band as a whole. Without this kind of trauma to incite the band’s emotions do you think Goatwhore and its sound would have been a different kind of beast?

I think all of those things have a big part in making the band what it is. We are sort of a product of our environment and experiences and even though we’ve had our fair share of negative occurrences, we’ve always seemed to come out the other end stronger.

All bands need perseverance and commitment to the cause but Goatwhore has needed more than most over the years would you say?

I would say so. We’ve been through a lot, man. Ben was involved in a van accident on tour which left him with two broken legs and not knowing if he’d be able to walk again. Also, hurricane Katrina was a major setback for the band. The Goatwhore coveralbum title kind of says it all. All these things that happen just make us want to push harder and keep going instead of being defeated. It makes for some very aggressive music.

As we mentioned you have just unleashed new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless, what was the feeling over it compared to previous albums for you as it was unveiled to the world?

Every album is very special to me because it is kind of a snapshot in time and holds a lot of memories and emotions. I think this is a very special album for the band and it’s just the next step in the evolution of Goatwhore. With every record you try to step things up a notch on every level. I definitely think we achieved that with this one.

How do you see the difference in sound and presence between Constricting Rage of the Merciless and previous albums Blood For The Master and Carving Out The Eyes Of God?

The main difference in the sound of this record and our past records stems from the fact that we tracked to two inch tape instead of digitally. It was a more time consuming process but the end result was well worth it. I think you can hear more of a vibe in this album and a punchier, warmer sound overall. Erik Rutan really outdid himself on this one.

You just mentioned that the new album was tracked to two-inch tape, what was the inspiration and idea behind this and how did this impact on your approach and style?

We thought it’d be a great way to try and capture our live sound on a record. Some bands want the really modern digital sound but that approach doesn’t really work for us. We want that classic, thick, heavy sound and recording to tape really brought that out. Recording to tape really requires you to be on top of your game and very prepared since there is much less opportunity for studio trickery. It’s a much more honest approach to recording and it worked very well for this band.

Where do you see the album pushes the Goatwhore sound and invention most potently?

I’d say there is a bit more anger and venom on this album than some of the more recent ones. It’s got a bit more variation as well. A song like Cold Earth… is an example of something we’ve never really done before. Little variations like that allow the album to breathe a little more and offer more of a ride for the listener.

Did you bring anything else majorly different way in songwriting and recording to the album this time around?

It was pretty much business as usual. I’d say we were more into the idea of trying new things and a little less apprehensive of changing things up a bit. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and see what happens. It’s a good way to stretch your boundaries as a musician.

Goatwhore photo01How does the songwriting process work within the band more often than not?

It all starts with getting into the practice room and firing up the amps. We’ll sift through the riff library and throw ideas around until something clicks. We also do a lot of work on our own since we live in different places. We’ll email ideas and song structures back and forth to get a head start on things for the next time we get together.

Other than being bred from the writers and band’s hearts how personal are your songs at their core?

I’m sure every song means something to different to each of us but each song is very personal to me. It’s an outlet of creativity and aggression that we all put a lot of heart into.

As you said earlier gain you linked up with Erik Rutan in the studio; was that always going to be the only choice of who to helm the recording or did you ever contemplate a new direction at any point here or on previous releases?

We never really thought of working with anyone else. We have very much the same vision in how this band needs to sound and how to make that happen. We work very well together and improve upon things with each record.

Eric is in many ways like an unofficial member of Goatwhore?

Totally! He really is the fifth member of the band.

We felt whereas Blood For The Master exploded like a beast in season that Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is more of a predatory proposition, one which prowls and sizes up the listener before going for their throats. Is that something you can see between the two?

I totally agree with that. This album has more of a bloodthirsty, murderous vibe to it. It’s a bit more chaotic and violent.

Every release to some degree opens a doorway to a new train of thought for bands about their sound and ideation ahead. Has there been anything about Constricting Rage Of The Merciless which has sparked certain ideas or intent for the next engagement?

It’s never something we plan or think about ahead of time. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there but I’m sure it’ll happen very organically and naturally like it always has. We are focused on touring now and spreading these new songs to any and every place with a stage and a power outlet.

Is there a particular aspect or moment within the album which gives you the biggest personal tingle of satisfaction? Goatwhore 03

To me, every song on the record gives a lot of gratification but one that really sticks out is Cold Earth…. After being bludgeoned with the first five songs, I think it’s the perfect song to set the tone for the second half of the album. It’s a pretty unique song for us.

What is next in store for and from Goatwhore?

We’ve got another two weeks on the Summer Slaughter tour with Morbid Angel in the US. After that we’ll be doing dates with Samhain in the US then heading to Europe with Dying Fetus in November.

Once again thanks so much for chatting with us. Any last words you have for us all?

No problem. Thank you! I hope to see you all at a show in the near future!

facebook.com/thegoat666

Read the review for Constricting Rage Of The Merciless @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/goatwhore-constricting-rage-of-the-merciless/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

King of Asgard – Karg

King of Asgard 2014

With their new album our introduction to King of Asgard, expectations of Karg were bred from the influence and suggestion of others. The band’s third album follows the widely acclaimed debut Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and the similarly well-received …to North two years later. The former especially is mentioned in lustful voices so hopes and anticipation for the bands new full-length was keenly high. What emerged is a release which initially did not completely convince. Certainly the band’s raw blackened death metal impressed in weight, craft, and malevolence yet it lay relatively dormant in the passions. As with all releases though the first couple of ventures were mere suggestions and subsequent listens began revealing a much broader and inventive proposition. It would be wrong to say that the album has managed to light a fire in our imagination and passions yet but it has become one tenaciously compelling protagonist over time. How it sits against the previous King of Asgard albums we will have to let others say for now but Karg is definitely an album worth a decent perusal.

The Swedish band was formed in 2008 by vocalist/guitarist Karl Beckman alongside drummer Karsten Larsson, the pair having played together in Viking metallers Mithotyn. Drawing on Norse heritage lyrically, the band released the demo Prince of Märings in 2009 before being joined that same year by bassist Jonas Albrektsson, once of Thy Primordial. The demo drew strong attention from labels and by the December of the same year King of Asgard has signed with Metal Blade Records. Fi’mbulvintr caused a big stir in the metal scene with its release the following year. Recorded with Andy LaRocque, as both the subsequent albums, it strongly thrust the band onto the folk/extreme metal map. Second guitarist Lars Tängmark was then recruited as the band hit the live side of things across 2010/11 before the band settled down to work on and create sophomore album …to North.

The dark and harshly lit soundscape of Karg is the next confrontation for ears and emotions from the band, its title meaning barren in English which is a perfect description of the stark atmosphere it carries, and to be honest of that first initial persuasion. As with all things closer inspection reveals creative nooks and crannies though; the unpredictable elements which breathe and tempt below the surface, and it is undeniable that Karg has a wealth of those lures.

The distant portentous storm of what feels like a brewing battle front makes way for the wonderfully nagging riffery of The Runes of Hel, the guitars calling invitingly from within the still rumbling scenery. Swiftly rampant rhythms are King of Asgard - Kargin league with the inciting guitars, as are soon after the gravelly growls of Beckman. There is virulence to the eventual charge of the track which has attention and appetite recruited keenly, more so as it expands its creative and lyrical narrative. Persistently guided by that niggle of a toxic groove which set it in motion, the track continues to enthral and impress with its at times subtle twists and caustic melodies within the overall intimidation of the song, making for an open attraction to greedily devour.

It is a mighty start which has hopes licking their lips for what is to follow. The Trickster comes next, striding in on imposing riffs to which shards of sonic enticement blazes. It is a magnetic entrance, especially with the group vocal calls, but despite prowling energetically loses its impetus. The grooving lures and crisp rhythms make a forcible draw whilst riffs and vocals roar pleasingly but the track feeds more than defies expectations, missing the inventive colouring of its predecessor. There are engaging twists within it to keep interest and satisfaction high though and make it an encounter you want to explore more, just like its successor Highland Rebellion. Aggression and antagonism is high from its first breath, the call to arms rhythmically and in atmosphere a potent coaxing within and around the menacing textures and attitude of the track. Again though, it lacks the spark to ignite the passions which disappoints, even if ears and imagination are admittedly quite content.

Remnant of the Past marks a shift in the strength of the album, the track returning its appeal to the levels of the first track with adventure and raw enterprise. Its coarse wind of riffs and punchy rhythms makes an intriguing beckoning but it is when the storm drops and the bass takes centre stage with its sinister tone as Beckman’s equally noir lilted vocals snarl out the lyrical bait, that there is a new potency to track and release. The song continues to stalk ears with roaming riffs and concussive rhythms but reined in by that threatening air. The song persistently surprises to incite a new hunger for the release, its winding melodic tempting and group vocals adding extra taste to the richly appetising proposition. It is soon left in the shade of the outstanding Omma though. From an elegant piano crafted caress the track builds a brooding dusty squall of sonic and rhythmic intimidation. It is not hostile but certainly warlike which is accentuated by the great vocal drone which comes in, its primal chant like a meditative tribal coming together in preparation for battle. That intensity erupts with warring rhythms and vocal causticity but bound again by delicious melodic straps of enterprise and emotively atmospheric textures. Ultimately barbarous in its intent there is also a seduction to the song which leaves thoughts and passions basking.

Both The Heritage Throne and Huldran keep things at a heightened level, the first especially contagious in its creative suasion. The track strolls in with rhythmic muscles poised and confident swaggering riffs. The bass finds a gutsier growl too which only adds to the captivating and bruising rapacity of the song. It is another track unafraid to explore different avenues, arguably too few of the songs doing so upon Karg. With slow moves into clean harmonies over melodic respites and equally restrained crawls of heavy weight predation veined by majestic sonic hues, the song is an enthralling offering. Its successor is pure vitriol in sound and presence, a furious rabidity but veined by irresistible grooves and intrigue clad ideation. Many of the songs on the album are slow burners in persuasion, this more than most but it evolves into one of the most eagerly digested incitements over time.

The album is concluded by firstly Rising, a brutally imposing and exciting encounter which also takes time to permeate thoughts and feelings but does so with a tenacity and tempest of sound and imagination which leads to a stealing of full praise, and lastly a brilliant cover of Bathory’s Total Destruction. I know this will upset a great many but with its punk/thrash fuel and urgency, and outright inhospitable infectiousness, the track takes the original to another level and along with Omma is the pinnacle of the album.

Karg has still not lit a fire in the belly but with each and every listen just grows and brings a stronger persuading and is easy to whole heartedly recommend.

Karg is available via Metal Blade Records now @ http://www.metalblade.com/kingofasgard/

http://www.kingofasgard.com/

8/10

RingMaster 23/07/2014

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Architect Of Seth – The Persistence Of Scars

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The Persistence Of Scars is an album which leaves you bruised and disorientated, mentally exhausted and at times bewildered, but mostly the debut album from French Progressive death metallers Architect Of Seth, leaves you transfixed and aggressively keen for its unrelenting unpredictability and technical magnetism. It is a demanding release which definitely needs a concentrated time to unravel its creative maelstrom, something which arguably is never wholly achieved even after a tide of visits, but it is a ‘chore’ always welcome and rewarding.

Architect Of Seth was forged in 2006 as a solo project by guitarist/vocalist Paul Rousseaux who released a pair of demos, Eldorado that same year and Pax-Labor in 2007. Subsequently guitarist Yohann Kochel linked up with the Caen project, expanding a sound and depth which takes inspirations from the likes of Death, Theory in Practice, Coroner, Pestilence, Nocturnus, Bathory, Emperor, Martyr, and Necrophagist into its technical and ravenous invention. The Persistence Of Scars is the pair’s debut album, a creative tempest exploring themes of hate, science, religion, and nature within a ferocious furnace of imagination and hostility which whether venomously cascading or rabidly savaging the senses unleashes a spellbinding intrigue. The album is often mentally corrosive and physically punishing, rarely an easy listen but always offering a lure which locks in the imagination and appetite.

The Persistence Of Scars opens up with LFDY and its gentle stroking of evocative melodies. It sets a peaceful and warm scene, the guitars casting colourful bait and coaxing skies before a lumbering rhythmic intimidation and darker shadows to all facets, cloud over the landscape. It is a portentous breath now igniting the imagination, the foreplay to a thrash driven onslaught of rapaciously intensive riffs, animosity clad rhythms, and the hoarse scowls of Rousseaux. It is a relatively straight forward assault, though already teasing as sonic and unpredictable designs begin to unveil their tenacity. Now settled into its tempestuous purpose, the guitars of the two protagonists twist and cast a maze of persistently testing enterprise through the song. It is the beginnings of a spiralling technically striking ingenuity which at times makes perfect sense and in others just loses thoughts and understanding, which is where repeat plays is essential with an album like this. There is cohesiveness and fluidity to it all though which never falters in its hold of an increasingly hungry appetite for what is developing and never derails the malevolent toxicity and ravenous brutality at the song’s core.

The first track is alone an exhaustive tsunami of predacious imagination, so with six more similarly sculpted propositions to come, a legacy of hard work is inevitable starting with Engender of Confusion. Riffs and grooves are immediate and as intensive as the rhythms alongside them, each worming under and pounding the skin respectively as the caustic spite of Rousseaux scars the air around them. With crystalline shards of keys flirting with ears within the by now merciless torrent of vicious charm and debilitating ideation, whilst orchestral tempting plays with emotions, the track sears flesh and thoughts as it seduces both ears and mind with insatiable inventive rabidity. Arguably easier on the psyche because of its relatively brief length compared to the first, the song also finds a greater clarity to its no less bedlamic ingenuity before making way for Transhumance Astrale. The third track takes little time in firing up the primal instincts with a torrent of thrash/metal suasion before warping it all with breath-taking skills and perplexing yet deliciously gripping, psyche violating creative intercourse. The track, as all, is a storm of technical mastery and constantly evolving revelations to again captivate and fluster, but most of all ruggedly enthral.

By this point already the album is wearing down the senses it has to be said, though not the hunger for more. As mentioned, in many ways it is not certainly physically an easy listen which is compounded as both Embrace of Anguish and Hybrid Consuming Flesh unleash their fiercely creative and intertwining inventory. The first of the pair brings some respite though with a mesmeric classically honed piano enticement to seduce ears and inflames thoughts initially. It is a bewitching piece which eventually drifts away for the impending storm. Thunderous rhythmic clouds and sonic strikes blow across the senses before a malevolent haunting and intensive juggernaut of provocative sound suffocates light and peace. Its instrumentation and aural narrative is mouth-watering, a tight capture of the passions which does lose some of its grip with the entering rage of vocals and manic invention with constantly unsettles in its turns and expulsions. At times the track is irresistible and in other moments pushes its boundaries beyond organic accessibility, yet still it entrances and steals the imagination for a pleasing if unsure success. Its successor is a more bestial provocation with a flank ferociously rippling with again unsettling ideas and creative incitement. It also offers a great emotive persuasion of keys at times, a beacon within the corrosive belly of the savage beast.

The album concludes with firstly the outstanding Tears Empty of Sadness, a track which finds a more balanced blend of extreme metal vindictiveness and technical exploration which is why it takes best track honours. Everything works perfectly, the invention of the band still flaming intensively but finding a more understanding fit with the toxic brutality of the song. Every song on The Persistence Of Scars impresses it is fair to say but this one shows the potential of the band most intensively as they further grow into and hone their undoubted skills and ingenuity. The song’s success is supported enjoyably by Teacher of Nocturna, another track to align the maniacal technical beauty and gut instinct severity of the band for a grievously strong and testing, but smoother to understand and relish creative onslaught.

The Persistence Of Scars is a great and demanding encounter which leaves a satisfied wake whilst suggesting that Architect Of Seth has the potential to create a classic ahead. This album is not it but holds all the pieces and keys to the potential sculpting of one.

The Persistence of Scars is available as a 7 track CD via Great Dane Records @ http://www.greatdanerecs.com/ or a 3 song download @ http://architectofseth.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ArchitectOfSeth

8/10

RingMaster 17/07/2014

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