The Atarka Interview

Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

AB: Thanks for reaching out to us, looking forward to getting into this.

Could you first introduce the band and tell us how it came to be?

I’m Adam Bayliss and I play bass, and I’m with Dan McCarthy who plays guitar.

AB: Atarka came from a desperation to write our own music. I think that we both found that in our last band the writing process wasn’t as equal or open to everyone’s ideas. So we started writing our own music on our own for Atarka.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

AB: Our sound is just a culmination of all of the things that we love in music. Melody, groove, heaviness. We like to tell stories in our music, some fictional and some are allegories from life lessons we’ve learned.

You have already touched on it  but how have those previous musical experiences for band members been embraced in or had an influence on what you do now?

AB: Between the 5 of us, we’ve all had previous musical experiences through education, bands and work. One thing I embraced for Atarka was the idea of “you get what you put in”. When you’re in bands at a younger age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything will just fall into place as long as the music is good. But that’s just not true. You need to work hard and put the effort in, you need to look at every band that surrounds you and put in 100% more effort than they are. Not in a competitive way, but more as a means of raising your own standards.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

AB: Well I think we had quite an unconventional process to writing our first album due to line up changes. Originally it was myself and Dan writing songs in his flat, using Logic as an aural notepad for ideas. We only had one goal: to write, record and release an album. We had about 15-18 ideas and fleshed them out into full songs. We also took on some lyric writing for a couple of our early tracks until Jamie (Vocals) became more involved. He took our ideas and edited them where he saw fit. When Alex (guitar) and Phil (Drums) joined, we showed them our tracks and they added new depth to the songs that we loved. So me and Dan came up with the basis, and the other guys added their personal stamps on each song we have.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

AB: ‘Sleeping Giant’ is our debut album and it’s available from March 27th. I feel there’s something for every kind of metal fan on this album. There’s melody, catchy riffs and vocal melodies, heavy breakdowns you can move your head to, and tracks to absolutely destroy someone in the pit.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

AB: I’ve been a huge fan of melodic death metal for about 15 years now, specifically the Gothenburg scene with bands like In Flames, At The Gates, Soilwork etc. But also a major influence for myself is Mastodon, the way they structure songs and use their riffs to explore the stories they tell is something I’ve always loved since I first heard ‘Crack the Skye’.

DM: The themes of ‘Sleeping Giant’ are based around different stories from our own lives and a few allegorical tales. Mental health, addiction and even history. We have one track called ‘Tollund Man’ – based around these perfectly preserved bodies found in a peat bog in Denmark. So it’s a real mixed bag if you don’t look deep into the lyrics. But they all come from desperate situations.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

AB: I know that when it came to track order for the album, Jamie (vocals) had an idea straight off the bat. So we just put that into a playlist, went away and listened to it. I don’t think there were too many changes. It’s just about what feels and sounds right for the album. But you also need to keep the audience in mind. You need to keep them captivated.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

AB: I really enjoy the song writing process, creating new music and getting excited to hear the final product. It’s a rewarding process, from inception all the way to hearing a song you created, fully mixed and mastered.

Also, nothing quite beats playing a decent show. Feeling the music alongside the audience and your band mates, when the crowd are begging for one more song from you. I don’t think anything can match that.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

AB: Well, Jamie is a natural born frontman; crowd interaction just comes naturally to the guy. I mean, all the guys in the band can put on a great show. This is something I’ve not experienced before, there’s always been at least one guy that freezes up and can’t come out of his shell. We just want to put on a great show and party with the people that come out to see us.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

AB: For me it has to be when we played KK’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton. It’s a great new venue and we got the chance to play the big stage. The crowd were phenomenal, the other bands on that night played amazing sets. It was just one of those perfect shows. And it was also surreal to see KK Downing in the audience.

Do you have live dates coming up?

DM: Nothing we can reveal just yet, but keep an ear to the ground.

What else can we expect in the near future?

DM: We’ve got three upcoming singles, accompanied by music videos in support of the upcoming album, and some stuff that we can’t quite reveal yet.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

AB: Well, other than the bands I mentioned earlier, I’d have to list bands such as Behemoth, Enslaved, Alcest, Alter Bridge, Baroness, and Anaal Nathrakh. If it’s heavy or melodic – it’s probably going to influence me one way or another.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

AB: I was raised on music from the 60s and 70s. So one of the first artists that really stuck with me was T. Rex. Marc Bolan was such an enigmatic character and quite a surreal song writer at times; something just clicked with me and inspired me to want to make music.

DM: I was raised on Zeppelin, particularly LZ IV. That was the initial catalyst in getting me into music.

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

Just to say thanks again for the chat, it was a lot of fun answering these questions, and to look out for ‘Sleeping Giant’ – available for purchase and streaming on March 27th.

 

Check Atarka out further @…

https://www.atarka.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/atarkaofficial/   https://twitter.com/Atarkaofficial

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 24/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

RingMaster Review Interviews – Death Tribe

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Hello this is Anthony Kaoteon talking to you about my new project Death Tribe as we have released the new album in 22nd of February https://deathtribeofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

It is big. It is intense. It is diverse. It is metal.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

Life, Nature and injustice

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

I wake up every day grateful that I am still breathing, and this has given me the motivation to do the best with my time as our time might come at any moment. This is why I decided to create a tribe that reminds themselves of death and how fragile humans are so that we celebrate every single breath.

How did you approach the new album in terms of writing and recording?

I wanted this record to sound diverse and enjoyable from beginning till end instead of having one static genre. This is why you can find tracks from black ’n’ roll, death metal to groove metal and they still stick together like a solid unit which makes it really interesting.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

Every now and then my favourite changes depending on the mood.

Explain the meaning behind the album title, ‘Beyond Pain and Pleasure: A Desert Experiment’.

Relative to the idea that we might die any second and when you have death on your mind at every choice you realize that there is no pain or pleasure just experiences. Hence the first part of the album title and the second part is paying homage to an event that happened in Dubai where various talents from the region got together to play music regardless of their cultural differences which was an influence for me to have multiple artists on the album.

Do you have a current video in support of its release? Describe the concept of the video.

The video concept is derived from the lyrics and how hollow and shallow life can be. I went for an animated video to best deliver the message.

Do you have any live dates lined up at present?

No.

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

‘Hollow’ and ‘Beyond Pain and Pleasure’

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

Today it would be great to open for the likes of Behemoth, Gojira and Slayer on their last tour.

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

Not that I can think of

Any closing comments?

More music, more metal, releasing KAOTEON third album with Adrian from At The Gates on drums and Linus from Obscura on bass.

Find out more about and from Death Tribe @ https://www.facebook.com/DeathTribe.Official/

Questions by Elliot Leaver

The Summoned – Sessions

“Sessions is a concept album about a man who wakes up from a coma and is sent straight into a psychiatric hospital where he begins a series of tests against his will. In the process he meets a doctor who remains with him every step of the way. During these sessions, with the guidance of the doctor, he is transported into the outer reaches of his own mind to confront the insecurities and demons that plague him.”

Resembling the premise behind the new album from ferocious US technical metallers The Summoned is the listening experience of Sessions. The nine track exploration is a kaleidoscope of sound and technical craft which barely gives a moment for a breath within its often infernal tempest taking the listener into the darkest, deepest recesses of their psyche. It is a demanding and intensive journey across story and album but ultimately one seriously rewarding one.

Formed in 2007 and drawing on the inspiration of bands such as Death, Between The Buried And Me, Decapitated, The Faceless, Behemoth, The Dillinger Escape Plan and others, the Boston, Massachusetts hailing quartet pretty soon revealed their own individual character of sound. Since then they have relentlessly pushed theirs and in turn metal’s assumed boundaries to find a strain of uniqueness really having its head in the band’s latest encounter.  After the Harvest EP in their first year, the 2011 released debut album If Only Minds Could Paint Pictures garnered a wealth of critical acclaim, its success supported and followed by the band successfully undertaking a 23-day headline tour spanning the U.S. and Canada as well as being part of 2012 Summer Slaughter Tour with Cannibal Corpse, Between The Buried and Me, The Faceless and more. From the winter of 2013, The Summoned began working on their second album, entering the studio with long-time friend Evan Sammons of Last Chance To Reason to begin the recording process. The next three years were concentrated on the creation of Sessions, time and intensive attention showing all its qualities in a release even more enthralling as well as bolder and more accomplished, technically and emotionally, than its impressive predecessor.

Within seconds, opener The Pendulum Swing has the senses twisted and imagination askew, the guitars of Shaun Murphy and Jarred Sullivan spinning a web of disorientating metal aligned to post punk discordance as bass and drums grumble and impose their psychosis. Vocalist Stephen Thompson supported by the equally rawer tones of Murphy, is a venomous scourge, words and emotions a primal yet composed assault as blurry as precise in their invasively relentless suggestiveness.  The determined, unyielding nagging is a constant across sound and album, every aspect and texture a ruthless persistence in its moment within a just as eagerly evolving unpredictable tapestry.

The track is an absorbing, thrilling start; a rabid introduction but eclipsed in ferocity by the following Faradic. As the rhythms of drummer Sam Hang ravage the senses yet still manage to be an anthemic enticement, guitars dance provocatively and psychotically on the imagination. Flavours and styles proceed to flicker with enthusiastic dexterity and boldness across the song, jazzy and progressive turns colluding with extreme and technical metal tenacity as vocals flow with a toxic essence. As in the first and next up Fractal Patterns, there is a real virulence to everything too; an infectiousness veining every fury and creative twist with the third track a debilitating but equally magnetic carousel of sound and invention. Melodies spawn from ravenous hostility, deranged trespasses from atmospheric caresses; every second a cauldron of intrigue and harsh drama.

Through the possibly even more primal and savage The Grave Mistake and the dark climate of Built of Glass there is no lessening of the resolute examination of senses and imagination; both tracks a flight of startling adventure and striking craft with the first a spiral into disturbing calm from cyclonic agitation, and back again, while the second aligns melancholy and sonic savagery within its dramatic almost cinematic theatre.

Both Vertiginous with its whirling melodies and rotating spine of far more carnal strains and the unbridled ferocity of the equally multi-flavoured Primogenial Birth keep ears and imagination gripped and consumed, the latter at times as primal as it is in other moments elegant and jazzily bewitching. Again neither leave a second free for the body to relax or expectations to try and rear their head, Recollection similarly a storm of sonic transgression and off-kilter progressive enterprise which, as all tracks, really is impossible to truly represent in word and suggestion.

Closing up with the initially melodically charming, hope embraced Satori, the album is simply one uncompromisingly compelling proposition. Shadows soon crowd and invade the listener as the final track hits its creatively hungry stride; pretty much epitomising the whole of Sessions with its capricious yet intensely woven and nurtured web.

Certainly Sessions is an imposing listen to match its presence and hard to take all in over a few let alone a single listen but rewards with every quest taken. Equally at times due to Thompson’s fine but exacting raw delivery lyrically the album shares moments lyrically which remain a mystery in the tale but are potently compensated by the clear emotion of the sounds and his presence; in saying that though a thicker use of the clean touches provided by Murphy within both Fractal Patterns and Built of Glass would make for another intriguing dynamic ahead. Nothing though defuses the potency and pleasure of sharing time with the album, or the calm to contemplate after its outstanding tempest.

Sessions is out now @ http://store.thesummoned.com/album/sessions

http://thesummoned.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesummoned    https://twitter.com/thesummoned

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Triverse Massacre – Hades

Taking the listener by the throat down the five rivers encircling its underworld, Hades is the new EP from British metallers Triverse Massacre and the hellacious outpouring of the potential first bred in their previous releases. Back in 2014, the With Bared Teeth And Truths EP suggested that the band had the wares to make a potent impact on the British metal scene; Hades is that mighty trespass but one still hinting of greater things yet to come.

Bursting from the depths of Carlisle in 2010, Triverse Massacre quickly stirred up local support and in turn within the metal underground crowd with the release of debut EP In The Jaws Of Deceit. It was a growing reputation equally fuelled by their ferocious live presence which has gone on to see the band earn strong praise and share stages since with the likes of Skindred, Raging Speedhorn, Aliases, The Sun Explodes, The Colour Line, Reign Of Fury, and Anihilated and play Bloodstock Open Air last year alongside Slayer, Behemoth, Mastodon, and Gojira. With Bared Teeth and Truths provoked more concentrated attention and awareness of the band and their ravenous fusion of death, groove, and thrash metal; an incendiary mix now truly igniting within Hades.

The release opens up with Cocytus, an instrumental of imposing grandeur and looming shadows creating the climate you would expect surrounding the domain and god of the underworld. Guitars eventually encroach on the deceitful grace of the air creating a link to waiting venomous jaws as the track flows into the predacious animosity and corrosive depths of Styx. As the guitars of James Graham and Chris Kelsall gnaw and taunt the senses with riffs and grooves, vocalist Liam Stark descends and invades with his raw and potent mix of attacks, the frontman as the sound around him openly showing a growth in snarl and dexterity since that last EP. The guitars continue to weave a web of creative deceit, lures of infectious and seductive design woven to violate while the biting beats of Mike Collins and the tenebrific lines of bassist Jason McEwan have nothing in mind except merciless trespass.

It is a mighty and increasingly gripping track still slightly outshone though by next up Acheron. With grooves swinging from its first breath and contagious irritability coating every note and raw throated expulsion, the track unleashes the most virulent strain of toxic rock ‘n’ roll. The band’s sound has fully escaped any confines of extreme metal tagging, the third track epitomising its adventure and maturity and especially its rudely addictive quality forcing full submission to its rancor.

Lethe is simply bestial; a vicious harrying of the senses. Every element of its twisted body and intent is delicious harassment, grooves swarming through ears as rhythms advance with horde like barbarity. Within the tempest though, as across all tracks, there is a melodic prowess which accentuates rather than tempers the pernicious infestation but equally spotlights the instinctive craft breeding the envenomed imagination and onslaught on offer.

The EP closes with Phelegethon, arguably the biggest intrusive nagging of the senses of them all and quite possibly our favourite though that honour is consistently shared with its two predecessors. It is a stirring end though with the guitars a viperish incursion and rhythms a bold and numbing incitement as Stark crawls and lurches over the senses and psyche with vocal glands spilling malevolence in varying shades.

With Hades, Triverse Massacre has presented itself to the main table of extreme metal but as the EP thrills you still get the sense that the band is nowhere close to depleting its creative depths. That suggests very potent horizons for the quintet and for our beleaguered ears alongside them.

The Hades EP is released May 26th @ https://triversemassacre.bandcamp.com/ or http://triversemassacre.bigcartel.com/

http://www.triversemassacre.com/    https://www.facebook.com/TriverseMassacre%20/    https://twitter.com/TriverseM

Pete RingMaster 25/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Carnivora – The Vision EP

mkramer_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Boston metallers Carnivora first caught our attention with an appearance on the excellent Bluntface Records compilation Operation: Underground. It featured a track from the band’s debut album Eternal, which after investigation turned out to equally be a stirring and attention exciting proposal. Now the band returns with the vicious exploits and temptations of The Vision EP, a ravenous and thrilling declaration of all the band’s skills and even bolder creative enmity.

Everything about The Vision is a step up from their impressive and acclaimed 2013 debut, the EP’s four tracks a cauldron of fierce imagination and volatile invention cast in maelstroms of diversely sculpted extreme metal. Groove and melodic metal enterprise colludes with death and thrash animosity in slabs of unpredictable and brutally irritable incitements, but furies ripe with captivating sonic adventure and melodic expression. Its release follows a successful couple of years which saw the band tearing up festivals such as the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, The Summer Slaughter Tour, and Rock And Shock Festival, all last year, with their merciless sound and share stages with the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Overkill, Trivium, Job For A Cowboy, Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Shadows Fall, and many more. The Vision is Carnivora now snarling viciously at broader and more intensive spotlights and a global awakening to their presence sure to be on the cards such the EP’s dramatic persuasion.

CARNIVORA_VisionCover_jpegReputation Radio/RingMaster Review     It opens with A Vision In Red, a song venomously driving through ears straight away, swiftly getting under the skin and invading into the psyche. Riffs and grooves from Cody Michaud and Mike Meehan swarm maliciously over the senses, their addictive presence and prowess addictive bait to which the raw vocal squalls of M. Scott Lentine unleash a diversely delivered and magnetic hostility. It is a gripping proposition, the barbarous swings of drummer Dan DeLucia and serpentine tones cast by the bass of Cam Hunt, an addictive spine around which the guitars blossom and expand rich acidic textures bred in sonic imagination. As unpredictable as it is fascinatingly virulent, increasing in both the further it evolves its creative landscape, the song provides a tremendous start to the release.

Its success is quickly matched by Pessimist’s Tongue, its opening suggestive ambience subsequently whipped up into a tempestuous climate of blistering and rancorous intensity. The guitars lay out a melodic invitation even in the stormy climate of the song, a beckoning impossible to resist despite rhythms hailing down on them and the senses. The vocals, singularly and as the band, soon bring another shade to the encounter, offering a cancerous trespass and rally cry for thoughts and emotions. The song is a glorious violation with underlying temptations such as an understated but seductive lure of keys, solidly backed by Razors & Rust. Arguably more restrained than its predecessors, well slightly more merciful, the track stands toe to toe with the listener raging vocally and emotionally whilst guitars again entangle their enterprise around body and imagination. It does not quite have the spark of the first two tracks but easily entices ears and thoughts into exploring its rich depths and textures to a success similar to that found by those before it.

With a thrilling end to its creative ire, the track departs for EP closer The Reek Of Defeat to provide a final bracing and abrasive ravishing. It carries an almost mischievous flirtation to its melodic design and adventurous gait yet there is little about the song which not predatory or fuelled by bad blood. Its consuming maliciousness leaves ears ringing and emotions high and enjoyably completes a thrilling onslaught of a release.

Carnivora has climbed to new plateaus with The Vision EP yet you can only feel it is just the start of new and greater creative grudges, which in turn is a thought and anticipation to savour.

The Vision EP is available from 23rd June via Manshark Entertainment @ http://carnivora.bandcamp.com/ and http://carnivora.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carnivoramass   http://www.twitter.com/carnivoramass

RingMaster 23/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

XUL – Extinction Necromance

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

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

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

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

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

RingMaster 19/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

The Dead – Deathsteps to Oblivion

cover

Unleashing their third album, Australian death metallers The Dead confront the senses with an energy sapping, senses consuming slavering beast and that is just the first track upon Deathsteps to Oblivion. The title perfectly sums up the corrosive and emotionally damaging journey the band drags the listener upon. It is an intensive examination of thoughts and emotions traversing a quintet of excruciatingly heavy and intensive soundscapes soaked in a pestilential fusion of death and sludge metal filtered through the darkest doom laded climate imaginable. It is a sound which belongs to all three styles yet is uneasy settling in any, creating its own domain of raw originality which is familiar but more so innovative. It is a harsh and demanding proposition but also one unafraid to melodically and sonically explore its imagination and providing potent evidence as to why the band is so revered in many quarters.

Formed in 2005 with a line-up which included members of Obfuscate Mass and Misery, the Brisbane band swiftly released a demo followed by the Armoured Assassin single in 2006. Following a second demo the band’s self-titled debut album was unveiled the following year, an encounter making an instant and imposing impression on the underground scene. With the Nocturnal Funeral EP subsequently under their belt, as well as increasing their live reputation with shows over the years alongside bands such as Behemoth, Obituary, Kataklysm, Psycroptic, and Ulcerate, The Dead gripped greater attention with second full-length Ritual Executions. Widely acclaimed through its independent release and a reboot through Diabolical Conquest Webzine which evolved into Transcending Obscurity and release the new ravenous exploit from the band, the album lured the broadest attention and spotlights, yet as Deathsteps to Oblivion infests the psyche you sense it was nothing compared to the response the new encounter has the potential to trigger. The line-up of vocalist Mike Yee, guitarist/bassist Adam Keleher, and drummer Chris Morse consume and immerse the listener with an aural suffocation which is as inhospitable as it is inescapably captivating, an incitement stirring up shadows and intimidations which seduce as they savage the senses.

Opener Maze of Fire immediately confronts and surrounds ears with a web of threatening sinister voices, their demonic roars the lure into a wall of debilitating heavy handed riffs and equally destructive rhythms. Within that trap though there is a melodic coaxing from the guitar which sparks the imagination as still varied and intimidating vocals prowl over thoughts with their intrusive narrative and tones. It is a fascinating entanglement to be lost in, especially with the slip into haunting melodic scenery which is as visually potent as the visceral sounds and vocals which soon share its passage in time threatening. It is a track which inspires different feelings and explorations in the imagination with every listen, something apply to all songs on the album, but a perpetually gripping and challenging persuasion.

The following Disturbing the Dead is just as carnivorous in presence and tone, arguably even more predatory as it crawls with torment laden intent over the senses. Its first half is an unrelenting scourge of doom empowered angst and intensity, a thoroughly appetising violation but from there it without losing funereal despair and malevolence, a sonic and creative enterprise is agitated to lure like a beacon in the thick sludgy tar of the song’s insatiable heart. It is an intriguing and suggestive offering which as its last note lingers in the ear, seems like another world to the one dawning on a rally of gunfire and with destructive and blackened voracity, emerges as The God Beyond. It is the rawest assault imaginable, a caustic sonic haze frequented by hate and fury, but temporary as the battle field returns to provoke a richer and clearer, but no less torturous tempest of sound and exploration. A constant test and provocation, the track is a maelstrom which is uneasy on the ear but wholly seductive upon thoughts and emotions. It is a song which it is hard to get a full handle on in sound and narrative but one inspiring a hunger to find the answers within its cavernous despair.

Terminus swerves in on a rhythmic seduction next, tribal and suggestive beats from Morse transfixing with exotic persuasion whilst bass and guitar flirt with their own sonic teasing. This is again just the doorway into the harshest shadows and challenging depths of the band’s creative rabidity, a serpentine breath accompanying the emerging vocal scarring and ruinous air of the track. Of course it is only part of the picture, melodic intrigue and clean vocal tenacity adding their twists to the sonic mystique and imagination which evolves within the black fog of sound. The track sends shivers down the spine as it seduces and gnaws on the psyche, taking best track award though the closing title track seriously challenges there. It too is a smothering tapestry of threat and invitational suggestion, extremes colluding and toying with each other within a cavern of uncompromising and ravenous aural profanation.

The five years between albums has only seen The Dead find new fears to exploit and nuances to discover in listener and their music respectively. Deathsteps to Oblivion is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, but to challenge and reward the corners of mind and soul it is maybe the most essential must investigate release of the year.

Deathsteps to Oblivion is available digitally or on limited edition CD now via Transcending Obscurity @ Transcending Obscurity https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/deathsteps-to-oblivion-death-metal-sludge

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RingMaster 19/11/2014

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