Display of Decay – Outbreak of Infection

BW - promo

From its outstanding cover art to its heaviest predatory note, Outbreak of Infection the new EP from Canadian death metallers Display of Decay, is one richly appetising and satisfying proposition. Unleashing five tracks which crawl and lumber over the senses with tenacious and skilled purpose, the release pushes the Edmonton based quartet another few strides towards the brightest spotlight. Maybe it does not hold any major surprises but without doubt the EP makes for a fresh and rigorously protagonist which is thoroughly compelling.

Formed in 2007, the band took little time in grabbing local attention with their old school bred death metal which, as shown on the new release, is unafraid to add doses of thrash and doom seeded ferociousness to the mix. First EP Blood Borne in 2010 brought the band to an instant attention which their band’s self-titled debut album two years later stretched even further, aided by their live presence which has seen Display of Decay infest western Canada with their sound whilst sharing stages with the likes of The Faceless, Origin, and Beyond Creation amongst many. Self-released as its three predecessors but their first international release, Outbreak of Infection has the potency to take the quartet to greater and wider attention, something hard not to see happening.

Display of Decay has recently expanded to a four piece with the addition of rhythm guitarist Jeremy Puffer, but Outbreak of Infection sees the combined talent and might of guitarist/vocalist Sean Watson, bassist/vocalist Tyler Display of Decay - coverGoudreau, and drummer Avery Desmarais uncage its creative pestilence on the senses. Opening track Born Of Rot immediately imposes itself on ears and imagination, riffs savage in touch and raw in voice. The steady rapacious start is soon striding with a thrash urgency and hunger as the heavy guttural tones of Goudreau growl into action. The song’s irresistible entrance loses none of its potency and voracity as the song expands with sonic tendrils amongst bestial bass lines and thumping rhythms. The band cites the likes of Pantera, Deicide, Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, and Bolt Thrower as influences and as the song tangles intimidating prowls and fury led surges essences of those hints come out in the flavour of the track, and EP overall.

The excellent start is continued by the following Manchurian Candidate, its reserved but open swing of riffs and short grooves infectious bait for ears to greedily latch on to. With a bestial charm, the song stalks the senses whilst flirting with strands of sonic enterprise which may not seduce as forcibly as the unrelenting heavy hunt of riffs and rhythms but certainly sparks a healthy intrigue and enjoyment through the craft and colour of Watson’s guitar. The song flows seamlessly into Praise The Gore, Goudreau and Desmarais setting up an imposing cage of rhythmic enticement to which Watson adds blistering sonic hues. Once again the band is adept at merging a furious charge and reserved gait with a flick of a chord, ensuring that predictability is never allowed to breed. As the last song, it does not quite rival the heights of the first track, but both ignite thoughts and emotions with a resourceful and inventive voracity which raises the pleasure found in the EP to another level.

The title track sears air and ears with a lashing of captivating grooves and a barrage of hostile rhythms all prowled over by Goudreau’s barbarous vocals. There is inescapable virulence to its enticement and energy which enslaves attention and emotions given extra potency by the dark intent and throaty twang of the bass as well as the inventive flames of the guitar. The song is incessant in its imposing presence and magnetic invention, and quite merciless in its hold of the passions.

Outbreak of Infection is brought to a fine close by a cover of the Kiss track Black Diamond, the song given a blackened make-over with death metal predation. It is a captivating version providing a pleasing finale to an excellent encounter. Display of Decay may have been Canadian metal’s pride and joy before but with the release of Outbreak of Infection maybe the rest of the world will now be making claims to the band’ time and attention.

The Outbreak of Infection EP is available now @ http://displayofdecay.bandcamp.com/

http://www.displayofdecay.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

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Unbeing – Raptus EP

Unbeing - Raptus promo photo

Following on from their seemingly universally acclaimed debut album, Canadian progressive metallers Unbeing have released the exceptional Raptus EP, a rich and compelling journey for the imagination and emotions. As technically captivating and enthralling as it is evocatively absorbing and invigorating, the four track release whisks the listener across an expansive landscape of sound and adventure but one also soaked with an intimacy which provocatively caresses thoughts and feelings. It is a compelling and exhilarating proposition, easily one of the most pungently inspiring instrumental releases in quite a while.

Formed in 2006, Unbeing began as a three piece. Line-up changes ensued whilst two demos in 2008 and the following year respectively, drew strong and enthused reactions. The Montreal band then won Metal Académie 2, a two month competition judged by the likes of Kataklysm. The next step in the evolution of the band, seemingly inspired by the judges’ comments of that competition, saw the band dispense with vocals and concentrate on their already striking instrumental explorations. Over the past eight or so years the band has continued to evolve and impress live, sharing stages with bands such as Neuraxis, The Red Chord, Walls Of Jericho, Martyr, Katatonia, Incision, Anonymus, Beyond Creation, and Scale The Summit along the way. 2011 was the year of their self-titled debut album, with the band at this point grown to a quintet. It received acclaim from fans and media alike, its re-release two years later as a re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl edition equally devoured by the metal community. Now it is the time of the Raptus EP to spark the passions, something its twenty minute flight across a Montreal Metro themed incitement is sure to repeat time and time again as it draws minds and hearts into its imaginative aural poetry.

Unbeing opens up EP and imagination with Rapture which from the first wind of metal on rail coaxes with an evocative melodic enticement which wraps elegantly and creatively around ears and thoughts. Rhythms shuffle erratically Raptus artbut purposefully over the senses as guitars and keys cast a fine web of intrigue and awakening urgency. It is a dawning, an inventively expressive entrance into a busy and continually but gently escalating fever of activity and emotionally rich dramatic hues. The outstanding track flows into the next carriage of the evolving adventure, the following Batterie Faible bringing a more settled and sultry air to the emerging scenery. There is a jazzy breeze and breath to the caress of the song, again the guitar of Sherif El-Maghraby and the seducing keys of Martin Labelle washing over ears with a contagiously picturesque and melodically fuelled sonic design. Entwining peaceful climes and tenacious rapacity, the song intermittently seduces and agitates the emerged vision in thoughts, bursts of aggressive intent swarming across less intensive moments. It is all irresistibly framed and veined by the shadowed emotional hunger of Jean-Philippe Bédard’s drums and the increasingly provocative swing and flirtatious grooves of bass from Alexandre D’Amour, their drama alone potent fuel for the quite exceptional and embracing, physically and mentally, piece of adventure.

Over the two songs thoughts of the likes of Tesseract and Pelican come forward but also in different ways others like The Ocean and indie instrumental band Human Pyramids, particular elements, textures, and melodic paintings pulling loose but definite comparisons. The next up Tetris Rufus sparks similar thoughts but again another fluid shift in the journey sees the listener taken into darker more metallic structuring within a melodically incendiary climate. There is a volatile edge to the piece too, guitars striking at ears with jagged riffs whilst rhythms pounce upon and bustle their way across the senses. That rugged swirl of intent and intensity though is tempered and held in the thick emotive heated hug of resourceful keys, their touch and suasion a constantly changing mesh of warm feelings and anger defusing vivacity.

Final track 2nd Cup flows elegantly out of another underground sourced sample between songs. It swirl and dances with seductive melodies for an immersive mesmeric embrace to which more mercurial flames of heavier incitement and energy smoulder with urgent intensity across the incoming sunset of sound around another ebbing of adventure. El-Maghraby exploits the frenetic climax of the experience deliciously, his fingers manipulating the final throes of the journey and crescendo of emotion before the eventual peace of the destinations end clangs and leaves its disappearing mark. As all tracks it is a sublime piece of composing and realisation to which the band add their individual and united insatiably scintillating descriptions.

Raptus is the perfect instrumental adventure, one which never gets fussy or over-elaborate, but also never misses the opportunity to aurally and emotionally explore every nook and cranny of its ideation and premise as well as the imagination of the listener. The Raptus EP is an essential investigation which if you are quick Unbeing has made available for free download until the end of July at their own website. What still here?

The Raptus EP is available now via BLK COQ Music and at http://www.unbeingmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/UnbeingMusic

10/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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Hollow – Mordrake

Hollow - Press Photo

There are some debut albums which impress, some which raise a depth of excitement sparking a long term connection, and then there are some like Mordrake from Canadian death metallers Hollow which simply have you shouting feverishly from the rooftops. The release is an extraordinary maelstrom of startling invention, mouthwatering imagination, and enslaving hostility which simply blows thoughts and passions away. There has been talk of great things about the Montreal quartet from their live performances and previous release, the six track EP Cynoptic Eschaton, but it is fair to say we were not expecting something so devastatingly brilliant for our first introduction to the band.

Formed in 2009, Hollow has earned a fine reputation and potent presence across Québec and Ontario moving across their homeland through their live incitements which has seen them excel alongside the likes of Voïvod, Suffocation, Sword, Jungle Rot, Iwrestledabearonce, Blackguard, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Marduk, 1349, Tyr, Orphaned Land, and many many more. Cynoptic Eschaton drew further strong acclaim and attention with its release in 2010 which Mordrake is sure to emulate in much greater strength and expansion. Bringing new character to some of the tracks on the previous EP and plenty more new breath-taking encounters within its twelve song body, the Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope) produced, with Dan Lauzon (Entropy) and the band, album was recorded with an uncluttered ‘analogue’ like approach which brings a raw and honest dimension to the proposition allowing music and individual craft to paint a stunning fiercely textured adventure.

Opener Lament Configuration emerges upon a sonic prowl which is almost lumbering in its gait and thoroughly engrossing in its Album Cover - Hollow - Mordrake 2014 - smallsearching sonic exploration over the senses, the fingers and strings of guitarist Cadaver already capturing firm attention. Pungent rhythms add to the portentous tension brewing within the dramatic coaxing whilst orchestral melodies and harmonies soak the oppressive atmosphere lying thickly over the evolving scenery. Eventually the band step from the initial evocative smog with a surging stride of riffs and concussive beats from Blaac which vocalist Mott roars over with every muscle of his malevolence. It is an impossibly contagious charge which is just as compelling in its imaginative twists and enticements, not forgetting individual skills, as in its turbulent catchiness. The track is the thrilling declaration of things to come, a tempest of bewitching ingenuity and lethal aggression within a blackened pestilential beauty of sound and creative intent.

It is a staggering start which both Cryptic Howling and A New Life explosively reinforce. The first is a voracious torrent of rhythmic rabidity matched by an unbridled hunger in riffs and outstanding vocals, Mott gloriously unpredictable in his venomously corrosive varied delivery. Within the scourging onslaught, bassist Snow finds an even more intensive bestial voice from his strings to add to the hellacious web, a tone which is as at home sculpting a carnal texture to the vitriolic attack as it crafting deliciously haunting lures to the enthralling melodic hues which seduce robustly later in the track. The track is a severe examination of senses and psyche with more riveting rewards in its single body than most death metal bred albums offer across their full lengths, a treat repeated by its predecessor. Entwining ears in a climbing vine of sonic imagination which is soon under a tsunami of pungent antagonistic intensity and ravenous enterprise, the track adds to its surprises with contagious grooves which lead to a heavy metal endeavour beneath a symphonically seeded elegance. This is all around a heart which is predatory in the extreme and soaked in a simply irresistible rapacious appetite.

It should be noted that whatever description tracks are given here they only hint at the whole picture, so much going on and being sculpted that it is impossible to truly represent their brilliance and impossible to take all in on just a few encounters ensuring the album is a constantly giving proposition with every assault. The next up rampage of Landscape is instant proof, its ferocious vehemence in sound, vocals, and imagination a senses eroding, thought provoking ruin which wrongs foot with majestically flighted harmonies of keys casting seducing melodies. As ever it is just a twist in the soundscape of the song’s blisteringly shaped and exposed narrative, the track a purposeful sublimely designed meander that chains mind and soul from start to finish, whilst lorded over by the just as impressive vocal diversity of Mott, more of which coming later.

The pair of Iscariot and Sunriser throws senses and imagination into further exacting furies, both again intensive weaves of addictive hooks and toxic grooves upon exhaustingly adventurous and demanding canvases. As with every track on Mordrake, each is a distinct individual with the first finding a poetical grace in the keys within a uncompromising plague of voracity whilst Mott brings a brief but just as impressive clean twist to his vocals amidst another range of guttural and poisonously squalling growls. It is a glorious track which is followed by the just as staggering triumph of Sunriser, clean vocals given another outing whilst standing in a storm of demonic toxins from the raw throat of the frontman. The bass of Snow is also a real highlight in the foreboding drenched climatic air of the song, though to be fair to all the encounter is a scintillating blur of inventive animosity and imaginative pestilence for which all deserve the outmost credit.

     The emotively driven Vlad comes next, a track we assume inspired by a former band member from the band’s first days who passed away unexpectantly. With keys and violins an insatiable seduction, the song is another which rabidly suffocates as it inflames senses and emotions before making way for the provocative epidemic of sound and fascination that is Anomie, a track bringing orchestral flumes into an entanglement with heavy metal wantonness; keys, bass, and guitars conspirators in a savagely hued, magnetically cultured creative virus.

Generally in an album so incredibly gripping and awe striking there are going to be lulls or weaker moments but honestly Mordrake holds no such inventive languor, the following innovatory alchemy of both the chilled Snow where those cleaner tones of Mott are given extra time and the hypnotic maze of Birth, rhythmically and sonically as spellbinding as anything on the release. The same applies to closing tracks Hate and Death, two final incendiary expanses of fertile minds and musical ingenuity.

Mordrake is simply remarkable, one of the most promethean debuts in a long time and certainly within death metal this year, though Hollow have a sound and presence which you cannot confine to a single genre or singular mind-set. A brilliant album from a brilliant band, what more do you need to know?

The self-released Mordrake is available via http://hollowcanada.bandcamp.com/album/mordrake

http://hollowofficial.com/

10/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fleshdoll – Feeding The Pigs

Fleshdoll pic

If you like your death metal voraciously brutal and old school bred but with the balls to twist that template to its own devious ends, oh also with a tongue firmly in someone’s cheek at times, then Feeding The Pigs from French metallers Fleshdoll is one recommendation to definitely check up on. The third album from the Toulouse quintet is not a proposition sculpting something new or scarcely trodden before but for uncompromising yet mischievously adventurous extreme hostility, it is a thoroughly contagious and satisfyingly exhausting protagonist.

Formed in 2001, it was the band’s debut album [w.o.a.r.g] five years later which really awoke the French underground metal scene to the arising presence and force of Fleshdoll. Released via French label Thundering Records/Manitou Music, the album was well- received and lauded as the band spent their energies playing show after show on the way sharing stages with the likes of Svart Crown, END, Blockheads, and Zubrowska. In 2006 Fleshdoll became the first death metal band to play in Casablanca, bringing their raw spice to the Moroccan scene treading in the line set already by Kreator and Moonspell. The following year second album Animal Factory is uncaged and again the band is garnered in acclaim and attention as they take it on the road, playing with bands such as Malevolent Creation and Loudblast. A line-up change stepped up next before Fleshdoll stepped into the studio with Gorod drummer Samuel Santiago to record Feeding The Pigs. Its triumph has thrust the band into another soaking of eager plaudits and focus, a new spotlight enhanced already this year as they went on tour across France with Loudblast and Benighted, Europe with Resurrection and Cremation, and before that Japan with Vomitory, Beyond Creation, and Defeated Sanity.

The album launches at the listener with its title track, an instantly vicious and ridiculously compelling maelstrom of annihilatory rhythms, Fleshdoll coverguitar violations, and vocal predation. Into that delicious hellish mix sharp and short acid spewing grooves infest the psyche to further spawn eager rapture. It is an immediate enslavement as the rhythms settle into a controlled prowl whilst still making the most intensive demands and threats alongside a devilish swagger which drives the vocals and guitar enterprise. It is an extraordinary track, one as suggested in regard to the album, not necessarily breaking boundaries but certainly caging the essence of the genre in a virulently infectious and explosively incendiary design.

The opener is such a stunning song that certainly for a while the album struggles to match up to its strengths and toxicity though right away both Collateral Murder and A Feast For The Rats give very worthy shots. The first of the two virtually stalks down senses and imagination, its bestial provocation sizing up and crawling all over the ears and emotions whilst rhythms juggle skilfully with their bait whilst the guitars in league with the bass swarm over the listener in horde like fashion but with enough sonic endeavour and creative invention to cast a constantly intriguing premise. Its successor sits back on the tail of urgency initially before twisting its gait and body through persistently changing and unpredictable turns of direction and pace. It also is loaded with impressive craft from guitars and brutality from Santiago but like its predecessor lacks the explosive spark of the first song as well as the vaunt and open smile. Nevertheless the pair healthily feed an already greedy want from the album bred by the title track as too does the following song, The Wolf.

The album’s fourth song lives up to whatever the imagination can conjure for the song name, its vocal roars and the unrelenting jaws of the riffs worrying and tearing at the senses whilst the heavy paws of the bass and crippling swipes of the drums only compound the mouthwatering attack. Spiteful grooves latch onto the charge of the song soon after before its body switches between prowls and all out assaults again and again ensuring expectations have nothing to latch on to and full attention is taken on a feisty captivating ride. The track gets closer to bridging the gap between the starting pinnacle and the rest of the album especially with its fiery hues of the guitar and solos.

Dead Monochrome is a demonic pestilential fury which sears and consumes from its first malevolent breath, a dark venomous scourge complete with deceitful melodic tempting and addiction sculpting grooves which offer respite knowing the rest of the ruinous intent of the protagonist will suffocate any hope. From this point in many ways the album goes through a slight evolution starting with the sinister breathing instrumental The Hollow Men. It is not a big twist in the premise of the release more a stronger investigation of the melodic and adventurous hints shown in A Feast For The Rats but it does bring a slight movement from animalistic intensity to inventive exploration. The Shadow Of A Man right away certainly shows no signs of diminishing its carnivorous appetite, riffs and rhythms uniting for a tunnel of grievous chastisement, but that is subsequently joined by a flood of melodically seeded flumes. As its mass continues to fill ears, the song brings in a rhythmic enticement which in turn moves into an oppressive swamp within which acid running veins expel sonic tempting.

The pair of Ecstatic Random Carnage and King Of Patusan more dramatically bring something distinctly new to the tortuous fun, the first wrapping its savage and imposing weight around the senses before unveiling a weave of furnace bred melodies and psychotic patterns around the gutturally spawned vocals. Imagination is lit right away but given a greater thrill as the song sweeps into a heavyweight passage of invention which is jazzy in its colour and funky in its energy before returning to a keen ravaging of ears and beyond. The second is technical/progressive flavoured metal imagination within a severe and tempestuous domain and again as the previous song easily seduces thoughts, both songs stepping forward to not equal but definitely rival the first peak in the album.

Completed by the excellent North Sentinel Island, an absorbing encounter which can be onerous at one moment and within a single lung’s expulsion seduce with entrancing ambience and beauty, Feeding The Pigs is a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable intrusion. Certainly Fleshdoll can be compared in varying degrees to the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, and Kreator as a reason to check out their album but it shows that the French band is working on forging their own unique path and it is coming along very nicely.

Feeding The Pigs is available via Great Dane Records now!

http://www.fleshdollband.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 23/05/2014

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