Arcturon – Expect Us

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Released to mark their ten year anniversary, the Expect Us EP from Swiss melodic death metallers Arcturon, makes a tasty and intriguing proposition marking the beginning of a new decade for the band and twist to their enticing sound. Seemingly more adventurous than ever and certainly more bold in the use of additional flavours and styles, it is maybe not a release to blow anyone away yet its lure makes a compelling invitation to keep revisiting the encounter, a potency which should not be underestimated. More successful in some moments than others, but never leaving dissatisfaction lording over proceedings, the EP is a fascinating and ultimately highly enjoyable adventure.

It was around ten years ago that two fourteen year olds, guitarist Florian Moritz and drummer Samuel Fischer, gave creative birth to Arcturon. Honing their sound over time, the band’s first release, the Breaking Walls Demo in 2007, sparked increasing attention for their presence leading to support spots alongside the likes of Six Feet Under, Nile, Finntroll and Belphegor. Three years later came the extremely well-received debut album The Eight Thorns Conflict, with its acclaimed successor An Old Storm Brewing savaging ears in 2013. Sandwiching a successful Europe tour with Rotting Christ and Omnium Gatherum, both releases put the band into a more intensive spotlight which Expect Us does nothing to defuse. Released through Supreme Chaos Records, the Johan Örnborg (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Amon Amarth) produced EP offers a new diversity and imagination than arguably previous Arcturon encounters. It might be more intriguing than rigorously successful in its imagination, but Expect Us unveils a rather potent and captivating suggestion of where the Basel quartet’s sound is evolving to.

The release opens with My Treasure, an instantly gripping and fiery proposition which from a lone rub of guitar, explodes into a turbulent stroll of abrasing riffs and punchy rhythms cored by a tight intrusive groove. Within seconds Arcturon - Expect Us - Artworkimagination and appetite is alight, greedy for the intimidating expansion of the song. The raw hoarse vocals of Aljosha Gasser venomously abrase the senses as a small respite to the tempest unfolds, but it is a reining in soon spearing by bulging beats from Fischer and a dangling web of temptation cast by Moritz, whilst the bass of Sam Fischer (yes two members with the same name) provides a shadowed prowl to the song’s continually twisting landscape. Sonic enterprise and melodic flames also scorch the multi-flavoured interpretation of melodic death metal pouring from the band’s creativity, the incendiary persuasion of the track playing like a mix of Bloodsimple, Dominanz, and Scar Symmetry.

The outstanding start is backed up by the EP’s title track. Raging from its first breath, keys and guitars swarm the senses with toxic melodies as rhythms and riffs sculpt imposing scenery to wall in the magnetic endeavour. As its predecessor, the song grows and expands into a threat of malevolent expression and sonic radiance though it lacks the biting wind and energy of the opener. Instead it breeds an emotive atmosphere which tempers and evocatively colours the robust furnace of intent and sound beneath it, the song captivating and impressing if not igniting the same strength of passions as the first.

A Restless Soul swiftly asserts its compelling hold on ears and thoughts next, an opening melodic caress and embrace of clean vocals unexpected and pleasing freshness, though it is soon turned by a spiteful and malicious intensity, Gasser reaching to his guts to roar with caustic antagonism. Surprises and unpredictability stay to the fore though as the clean vocal delivery entwines with the harsh tones whilst a carnival-esque like drama and sinister seduction flirts with and infiltrates the brewing tempest of the song. It is a tantalising treat of a track, a bruising and tender merger of creative hues which maybe does not go as far into the unknown and explore bold imagination as it could, but definitely leaves anticipation for the band’s exploits ahead excited.

The release is closed by Rowan, another resourceful and radiantly provocative entrance which needs little nudging to turn to its shadows and predacious side. The vocals stalk as keys mesmerise, but it is the rugged terrain of raw riffs and thumping beats which bind the emotions, though their presence again is never clear cut as haunting melodies and sonic expression veins their hostility. A song which at times is glorious and in others a more unsure persuasion, it still provides further food for thought and interest for the band’s new exploration in sound to make a potent close to Expect Us.

Already used to praise and keen attention, Arcturon with their EP as potent evidence, appear to be moving towards a fascinating new chapter in their sound which Expect Us suggests is going to be something very worthy of close attention.

The Expect Us EP is available via Supreme Chaos Records from 24th October.

www.arcturon.ch

RingMaster 24/10/2014

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Loudrage – Uglier Than Thou

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2014 is already getting off to a thumping musical year with numerous impressive releases across numerous genres even though barely into its second week and you can add another gem to the growing list in the towering shape of the Uglier Than Thou EP from Romanian death metallers Loudrage. Five tracks of groove infested malevolence which takes the ears and imagination on a rampant dance of incendiary and devilish contagion whilst gnawing away at the insides. It is voraciously compelling protagonist for senses and emotions and easily one of the most scintillating tempestuous assaults daring to molest the psyche in recent months.

     Formed in 2005 and bringing influences from the likes of Six Feet Under, Debauchery, Sepultura, Obituary, Grave, Bolt Thrower, and Deicide into their horror bred malevolence, the Ludus hailing, Transylvania based Loudrage are no strangers to attention and acclaim being named as Best Romanian Death Metal Newcomer in their second year and playing with the likes of Sepultura, Vital Remains, Godphobia, and Rictus Grin in their first couple of years as well as sharing a split DVD with the last of the four in 2007. The following year saw the release of the Rage Unleashed – Tale of a Murderer EP which followed a self-released demo two years earlier. Shows with bands such as Grave, Belphegor, Nile, Opera Ix, Lividity, Furnaze, Nuclear, and Amethyst to name just a few filled the following years as well as the release of the Pungent Roots demo in 2011. Last year saw the quartet of Molester (vocals), Bestial (guitar), Vomital (bass), and Canibal (drums) enter the studio to record their new release and though wide recognition outside of their home territories still escapes them, given luck and attention it is hard to imagine Uglier Than Thou not providing the hefty key to open up new doors in recognition.

   It is fair to say that as soon as opening track Doomed thrusts its muscular intensive frame upon the ear and an instant predacious groove calls from within the tsunami of sound the band has their irresistible hooks in deep. Riffs gnaw away at the senses with torrential persistence whilst the drums clobber the ears with sturdy endeavour and enthusiastic violence. The predominantly death metal track is an unrelenting nagging driven by the guttural squalls of Molester. It is a potent irrepressible mix, arguably not breaking new ground but is virulently contagious especially as little splinters of grooves entwine the tempest from time to time. It is an impressive start to the encounter with greater assaults to come it soon emerges.

     As Long As I Live soon has things instantly aflame as it stomps into view wielding an addiction fuelling groove which wraps around the ears like a salacious temptress. The stroll and swagger of the song is virulent in the extreme, a wonderful carnivorous bass sound constantly chewing upon the infectious lures laid by the guitars alongside corrosive vocals which get better and more impressive as the EP progresses. With the lyrics parading the nastiest dangerous romance and often slight but always open twists and turns to the invention and gait of the song almost taunting, it is a masterful insidious seduction. Again you can argue that Loudrage are revitalising previously sculpted sonic animosity and venom rather than spawning their own but truthfully who cares when it sounds so good.

    Both Fear Me and Suffo-Kate stalk voraciously the new found plateau of the release, the first a thoroughly ravenous intrusion on the senses. Riffs crawl and antagonise the air whilst rhythms show rigid restraint to frame the savagery though still managing to have moments to add their bone splintering spite too. Again the bass feeds the primal beast inside, its stringed jaws a rapacious aggressor alongside the toxic scrub of riffs. Its successor is no less pestilential and more ferocious in its energy and groove lit rabidity. There is also a crunch to the tone of the song, a metallic intensity which infests and resonates in bone and the imagination, whilst the melodic poison raging through the veins and grooves of the track sear and almost asphyxiate the senses. The pair are again pinnacles which linger and drive a real hunger to hear more from the band now and in the future.

     The EP closes with the groove fest of Intruders; from vocals to riffs, rhythms to those wonderfully infernal grooves the song savages with death metal sculpted hips swaying like a whirling dervish. It is an infection which should be quarantined, though only if we are locked inside with its uncompromising, ferocious devilry. It is a blistering conclusion to an impressively hellacious release. There is nothing to fault the EP over apart from debatably it holding a strong familiarity in some ways to established invention, but as mentioned before it is a minor thought before a major triumph and the moment when Loudrage will be a name eagerly thrust around the metal world.

Go grab Uglier Than Thou as a buy now name your price release at http://loudrage.bandcamp.com/album/uglier-than-thou now!

https://www.facebook.com/loudrageband

9.5/10

RingMaster 10/01/2014

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Lacerated And Carbonized – The Core of Disruption

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Claiming that The Core of Disruption, the latest album from Brazilian brutal death metallers Lacerated And Carbonized, is offering anything openly new and ground breaking might be a hard sell but for uncompromising, refreshing, and imaginatively passionate thrilling metal it is an easy persuasion, especially when the release rampages so contagiously and skilfully through the ear. Receiving its re-release through Mulligore Production in North America and worldwide on line, it is a masterful and exhilarating rampage of ravenous and captivating aural hostility, and one album all metalheads should make an  engagement with.

Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, the quartet of vocalist Jonathan Cruz, guitarist Caio Mendonça, bassist Paulo Doc, and drummer Victor Mendonça formed in 2006. Their debut album Homicidal Rapture received strong reception and critical acclaim at home upon release in 2011 whilst opening up attention much further afield. The band followed up its success with a successful South-American tour which took in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, and many festival appearances in Brazil which led the band to share stages with the likes of Sepultura, Mayhem, Belphegor and Immolation. 2012 was an even more impressive and major year for Lacerated And Carbonized, an extensive European tour alongside Vile and numerous festivals again propelling the band name in the awareness of the world. With the added attraction of guest appearances of Felipe Chehuan and Max Moraes from Confronto, Eregion of Unearthly, and Guilherme Sevens out of Painside, helping to light up the release, The Core of Disruption is the key to greater things on both sides of the big pond and elsewhere such its might and metallic prowess.

The album explodes from the blocks with L.A.C., a track that bombards the ear with crippling rhythms and discourteous riffs ridden by 166788_497922280243830_2081622728_nthe guttural malevolence of Cruz. It is a ferocious introduction to the album, the guitar of Caio as abrasive and confrontational as it is melodically tempting whilst the storming assault of Doc and especially Victor irrepressible and brutal. A towering provocation to not only awaken the senses but badger them into submission it is eagerly followed by Third World Slavery; another avalanche of drum abuse and vicious riffing that bruises, wounds, and ignites the passions. As emerges in most songs there is an underlying groove and array of sinew clad hooks that simply dig deep into the appetite whilst Victor just commands and drives each song with one of the best drum displays to be heard this year. Assisted by the equally impressive guitar skill and invention of Caio it makes for a riveting experience and pleasure.

The predacious Awake The Thirst with its exhausting rabidity to energy and intent continues the excellent start whilst its successor O Ódio e o Caos raises the temperature with a more purposeful yet no less rapacious weave of sonic narrative and melodic enterprise accompanied by a wider range of great and welcome vocal delivery. Totally immersed in their intensive tempest of malevolence and accomplished craft, the band rises to a new stature with the outstanding Unnatural Aggression, a carnivorous fury of again destructive rhythmic sculpting and passion dripping vocal animosity speared by delicious guitar design, and the smouldering beauty of The Candelária Massacre, a song merging melodic elegance and native mystique with voracious intensity and as now expected electric drumming.

Through the barbarous BloodDawn, another major highlight of the album with its twisting and impatiently hungry imagination, and the bordering on schizophrenic Call For Blood things just get stronger and epidemically addictive, band and record exploring new discovered heights whilst Final Enclosure confirms the elevation with another brawl of uncivil but dexterous artistry.

The stunning and beautiful brief instrumental Corrupt Foundations leads into closing song System Torn Apart, a final tsunami of annihilatory rhythms, sonic blazes, and infernal riffing led to the psyche by the fine ruinous vocals of Cruz. It is a terrific end to an immense slab of esurient metal, and for many one suspects the start of an incorruptible friendship. A big step in their ascent you can only see Lacerated and Carbonized moving on to rise to major player contender in the future.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lacerated-And-Carbonized/169403519762376

9/10

RingMaster 13/08/2013

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Kill With Hate – Voices Of Obliteration

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From making an immediately contagious introduction at its start to ending up as one of the most enjoyably violating brutal romps to come along this year to date, Voices Of Obliteration the debut album from Hungarian death metallers Kill With Hate is an album all extreme metal fans should make an acquaintance with. From its mighty start the album is a constant treat with extra fires of quality emerging throughout and though it is questionable as to how much originality the Budapest quintet has forged into their release there is no denying it’s invigorating and thrilling impact.

Formed in December 2007, the band took no time in becoming a potent presence in the metal underground scene of their homeland. Sharing stages with bands such as Onslaught and Moonsorrow, Kill With Hate released their first EP in 2010. Evolution of the Beast was well received from fans and media and helped lead the band into playing with the likes of Job For A Cowboy, As I Lay Dying, and Belphegor. Some line-up changes followed as well as the chance to support The Black Dahlia Murder in 2011, followed by shows with Origin, Psycroptic, Leng Tch’e, and Cannibal Corpse over the next year. 2012 also saw the band record Voices of Obliteration and at the beginning of this, they signed with PRC Music for its CD release.

After the ok intro Revelation (It’s Just Murder), only really notable for its didgeridoo and male cloister union, the album kicks kwh_lowoff its corrosive tempest with Submersion. The track falls upon the ear with riffs and intensive rhythms crowding and abusing their recipients. Taking a brief breath for the grooves and intensity to stake its claim the song explodes again into a tirade of bone snapping drums punches from Bence Turcsák and deliciously insistent riffs and grooved temptation from guitarists Ákos Olt and Márton Hartvig. All the while the bass of Patrik Pornói prowls with predatory malevolence to further intimidate whilst the guttural scowls of Krisztián Gyémánt reap caustic treachery with the lyrical intent to exhaust the emotions further. With a latter flame of sonic melodic teasing which is enjoyable if short on impact, the track is a very satisfying murderous confrontation with destruction on its mind.

The short roll of crisp drum raps aligned to a deep bass groan opens the way for another furnace of violence from The Beast Within. The track is an outstanding carnivorous fury with  death and black metal styled vocals unleashing their dual malice upon a driving energy of riffs and vengeful rhythms. Unrelenting and merciless, the carnage of the torrential hellacious drumming and equally demanding and imposing riffs taking its toll on body and psyche, it simply leaves a wasted carcass grinning from ear to ear in its wake. At this point the album has made a strong persuasion and ignited greedy passions which the following Servant of God, Epistle of Fire, and Pray for War confidently and competently continue. Fair to say the trio of songs do not live up to their predecessors or others to follow but all leave a depth of pleasure and accomplished temptation which for many other releases would be their highlights.

A new heightened barrage of vindictive enterprise breaks free within Doubt to return the experience to the levels forged at the beginning and take them beyond. A ravenous sacking of the ear coursing with the now expected ferocity from the band and their imagination, the song wrongs foot by going against type with a scintillating twist of melodic guitar and similarly gaited bass lines  which offer a rock voice within the cavernous aural vehemence around and above them. It is a surprising and exhilarating thrust of invention within ultimately a tsunami like blitzkrieg. Imprisoned then takes over to offer an individual and equalling marauding storm of invasive spite. Mixing up vocal styles again as well as rippling with sonic intrigue and mastery from the guitars, the riff and rhythm incursion chains and enslaves with blistering efficiency. It is a maelstrom of energy, sounds, and black hearted passion honed into a tumultuous and inescapable nasty pleasure.

Completed by Speeches of the Defendant and a decent cover of Internal, a song of old Hungarian death metal band Extreme Deformity, Voices Of Obliteration is an excellent album from which it is hard to find anything not to hungrily like. Originality is debatably scarce maybe but the great sounds and violently aggressive encounter given, more than makes up for it. With this album, Kill With Hate is poised to find awareness well beyond their home borders one suspects.

http://www.killwithhate.com

http://facebook.com/killwithhateband

8/10

RingMaster 17/04/2013

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Vreid: Welcome Farewell

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    Following up their immense 2011 album V, Norwegian melodic black metallers Vreid have in Welcome Farewell unleashed another impressive and enthralling encounter. Whether it is the equal of its stunning predecessor is debatable but certainly the new nine track journey of enterprise and invention is a masterful confrontation of the imagination and thoughts as well as the instigator of another wash of passion for the ingenuity of the quartet.

Across their impressive albums the band has shown that tagging them as merely melodic black metal is short changing their invention as the band weave a web of sounds which court varied flames of rock and metal across numerous decades. Often referred to as Black & Roll their sound once more upon Welcome Farewell explores and re-invents a varied spicery to create songs which are consistently compelling and perpetually thrilling. Since forming in 2004 out of the demise of Windir, the band has been a blur of releases and touring, Vreid having performed over 300 shows in 22 different countries across 3 continents, lit up numerous festivals, played alongside the likes of Enslaved, Pestilence, Marduk, Unleashed, Eluvetie, Belphegor, Einherjer, Paradise Lost, and Kampfar, and released acclaimed albums in the shape of Kraft (2004), Pitch Black Brigade (2006), I Krig (2007), Milorg (2009), and of course their tour de force V.

Released via Indie Recordings and produced by bassist Hváll (Jarle Kvåle), Welcome Farewell brings the senses into its arms with01framside the opening melodic mists of first track The Ramble. It is a gentle beckoning which before long opens up its muscles with rumbling rhythms, a seductive groove and sultry sonics weaved into a hungry rampant surging gait. The bass of Hváll growls with hungry saliva dripping from its carnivorous tones whilst the beats of Steingrim (Jørn Holen) jab, punch, and roll over the ear with merciless intent. Carved into compelling shape by the exceptional craft brought to bear by guitarists Strom (Stian Bakketeig) and Sture (Sture Dingsøyr) whose vocals grasp and rasp over the senses with serpentine malevolence to temper and compliment the heated melodic wash, the track commands attention and rewards with a mix of uncomplicated and finely crafted sounds.

From next up Way Of The Serpent with its rampaging breath and slight folk metal whispers, the album lights up thoughts and emotions with a perpetual cascades of flavours and invention. The following Devil’s Hand opens its claws with an energising punk rock abrasion ridden by venomous vocals before merging thrash and rock n roll into its blackened touch whilst the title track offers a classic metal and prog embrace within the intensive ravaging which breathes within the track. It is a continuing and enthralling blend of seamlessly entwined spicery which sets each song apart from each other and Vreid distinct within black metal.

The magnificent Sights of Old takes the album to one of its loftiest pinnacle, a song which challenges and rewards with fiery invention. From a slow stroking of melodic licks the track explodes into a furnace of vicious insatiable rhythms and a spiteful twisted groove which seduces and spears the senses with sabre accuracy. Across its corrosive journey the song evolves and shifts its character to ignite intrigue and unrivalled focus upon the tempting twisted wash of predatory and mesmeric splendour. It is a song you cannot predict one note of and continually keeps the listener off guard and absorbed with the dawning shifting landscape.

The virulent Black Waves also ignites the deepest richest rapture with its goth/blackened swagger and riveting aural shadows armed with lethal barbed hooks and melodic mischief. From drums to bass, guitars to vocals, the song entices and recruits the passions with a lure as catchy and as destructive as you could wish for.

Offering a final almighty slab of muscular grandeur in the best moment on the album, the brilliant At The Brook, Welcome Farewell is simply sensational. This outstanding song is another which breeds an addiction in the listener with its predatory stance and voracious groove amidst an all devouring and insatiable acidic progressive glaze. It with ease leads you right back to the start of the album as after its esurient rewards resistance to the band is impossible.

If there is to be a better black metal release this year than Welcome Farewell it will be something quite spectacular as Vreid yet again has set the benchmark impossibly high.

https://www.facebook.com/vreidofficial?fref=ts

http://www.vreid.no/

9/10

RingMaster 25/02/2013

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