Shrike – Sieben

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The third album from German black metallers Shrike, Sieben marks a new chapter in the evolution of the band, a new turn in the seven year creative adventure to date as marked by the release’s title. A concept album providing arguably the rawest intent and musical breath from the Berlin quartet so far, Sieben is a savage and ruinous affair but equally one ripe with choice hooks and tempting grooves escorted by a mouthwatering imagination. The five track release does not expel a wholly unique proposition it is probably fair to say, but thrusts one over the senses which makes you stand up and take notice whilst marking out the potential and inventive depths which course through the band’s veins for possibly even greater future impacts.

Formed in 2006, debut album Meine Wucherung that same year ensured that the band was available to a certain attention, which last year’s successor Hinab in die vertraute Fremdheit reinforced and took to a stronger, wider spotlight. Sieben takes band and sound to new levels and you suspect similarly potent recognition. As mentioned it is not ground-breaking stuff unleashed within the powerful and aggressive confrontation but a constant and persistent persuasion which can enchant like a temptress and ravage like a wounded wild animal with intensive and skilfully crafted enterprise.

The self-released provocation preys on ears, thoughts, and emotions from its opening seconds, the first track Kreise casting an unsettling shrike_sieben_coveraural mayhem over the senses for a few seconds before exploding into an onslaught of horde like riffs and a barbarous concussive rhythmic intimidation. With the coarse vocal squalls and their scathing instigation only accentuating the raw feel of the incitement, the band vein the ruinous encounter with riveting grooves and acidic guitar swipes that increase the vitriolic colour and evocative intrigue of the black hearted storm. It is a masterful and wholly magnetic start which is backed up potently by Kadaver, its primal challenge rhythmically and vocally courted by a carnal violation of guitar and bass, the former also uncaging rabid sonic stabs and brief but irrepressibly manipulative lures within the ear smothering weave. As with the first and subsequent songs individual skills stand out from inside the destructive web, the guitars especially striking when stepping out from the oppressive tempest and in this track unveiling a mystique kissed melodic seduction which intrigues and ignites the imagination.

The title track makes its declaration upon an almost tribal bred rhythmic suasion, its initial enticement irresistible in capturing the emotions before the guitars and drums begin their maybe expected scourge of the senses but taking it to an inventive and masterfully alluring violation. Merging an antagonistic swagger and seductive melodic sways within its compellingly shifting sonic landscape, the song engages on every level; crooning the ears, coaxing the imagination, and ravishing the senses. It is a combination forging the best track on the release and making a strong statement for the increasing promise and strongly established reputation of the band.

From the blackened rage of annihilatory rock ‘n’ roll Shrike take the listener on a flight of heavily weighted slowly labouring doom spiced black metal. Von den Farben der Sehnsucht is a whispering and intrusive dirge but one from within its nightmarish realms which casts an enchanting incantation of mysterious vocals and simmering melodic rapture. It is an absorbing and imagination stretching fall into the darkest depths of the album, a suffocating plunge lit by warm and vibrant beacons to deceive and temper the demons clawing sonically the senses.

Sieben is completed by Grimassen, a track which wraps an abrasing smog of caustic riffing and concussive rhythms around the ears. It is an entrance which envelopes and oppresses but reins in its hostility a little to wait for the emerging intensive predation of the song. One of the strongest elements which makes sure Shrike is not lost within the sea of emerging bands is their ability and hunger to reinvent the direction and flavour of their tracks within their walls, the track a prime example as it easily slips into a venomous melodic embrace, broader ruinous vocal pressure, and lingering spiteful hooks. It does not quite stand up to previous songs but still brings the release to a dramatic and gripping finale.

Shrike still have some way to go to stand fully out within black metal and draw the majority of attention their way but Sieben shows they are definitely and potently on the right lines and are armed with all the attributes and imagination needed.

http://www.shrikeberlin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shrike/494739873889284?fref=ts

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/04/2014

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Invertia – Another Scheme of the Wicked

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US band Invertia and their imposing sound is tagged as industrial black metal by the accompanying press sheet to their new album Another Scheme of the Wicked. It is a label which fits suitably but only hints at the depth of the sinister textures, rapacious ingenuity, and insidious breath on offer. The band’s second release is a threatening invasive corrosion of senses and emotions, a consumption and incitement of the imagination which leaves you clutching at sanity. The album is virulently compelling, an entrapment rife with powerful hooks and intrusive manipulations which seduces and violates simultaneously whilst inviting thoughts to step through gateways of primal and man induced corruption.

Hailing from Massachusetts, Invertia is the creative union of guitarist/vocalist Dave Coppola and drummer/programmer Tim Winson. The pair first sent attention scurrying for cover with their self-titled debut album last year; the release marking out the band as a potentially incendiary proposition if without finding enough passions to awaken. Another Scheme of the Wicked not only realises that potential but takes it to darker dangerous potent levels and it is easy to assume it will be the spark to catch the radar of a much wider spotlight within extreme metal. Released via Ohm Resistance, the album consists of five new malignant journeys courted by another quintet of destructive remixes, doppelgangers of the originals if you like though which side is the most malevolent is debatable.

Invertia is said to be ‘A mirror displaying some of the darkest paradoxes and truly terrifying segments of American society’, and as soon as invertiacoverofficialopener The Sidewinding immerses the senses and thoughts in its thick body of intent with excellent samples littering the oppressive scenery, you understand its meaning. The track almost ambles in but with an intimidation and haunted feel wrapping the coaxing guitars. It borders on invitational until the first sampled vocal stab opens the lock for a charging enticement of twistingly nagging riffs entwined with a serpentine groove and understated yet punishing rhythms. The heavy rasping tones of Coppola alongside the interjections of hellish samples only accentuate the intensive danger and malice of the proposition, the emerging blackened rabidity abrasing with weight and acidic ferocity. The track is a magnetic suffocation of light and emotional escape, a drop through demonic realms with a diversely flavoured and feverishly impacting soundscape leaving thoughts resonating and senses exhausted.

Whereas the first track thrust the listener into the blackest grip within seconds, the following Cross-Eyed Christ engulfs ears in a Ministry like predation, short grooves and scourging riffs entrancing before the heavy shadows and vocal rancor takes hold. Samples again punctuate lyrical and sonic declarations whilst the guitars scythe the air with irresistible swipes, a combination with the leviathan groove which steals away the distraction of anything outside of the song. Brutal yet impossible infectious the track continues the immense start before making way for the toxic erosion Void of Community. Its climate and touch is poisonous though like its predecessor its initial incitement is pure contagion. This lure never relinquishes its hold across the encounter but is soon tempered by the caustic vocal squalls and barbarous drumming for another blistering tempest of harsh extremes and conflicting yet united textures. The album is one which needs time to blossom in the passions, each venture a greater persuasion and success as evidenced by this track, its first touch agreeable and its sixth and counting viciously bewitching.

Both Hourglass Without Sand and They’re Everywhere continue the slavery of thoughts and passions, the first as the previous song a rampaging incessantly catchy torrent of abrasing riffs, merciless and varied rhythmic confrontation, and devilish hooks. A shift in weight and gait into a lumbering tsunami of intensity and drama provides further proof of the inventive twists and imagination to the album which its successor takes further and into a truly destructive and malignant landscape. Vocal winds smother the senses like a sandstorm whilst the blackened niggle of the guitars simply grazes and scars with every vitriolic note unleashed, matched by the scourge of vocal animosity. It is an evil conclusion to the first part of the album, and an irresistibly enthralling if scary one.

The five tracks are next presented again with remixes from notable artists within the Ohm Resistance camp and more. Remixes never sit easily with us as regular readers will realise and the quintet here provides a confirmation of our doubts and equally at times a reasoning to embrace them. The Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu) take on The Sidewinding, pushing it deeply into the suffocation lying within the original. It thickens and slows the flight of the track unveiling the intensive blackness within. It works well as a companion to and inverted insight of the song but fails to come near to the grip of its founder though it does spark the imagination just as powerfully.

The End.user (The Blood Of Heroes) version of Cross-Eyed Christ tantalises and teases with all of the lures of Invertia’s version, cleaning up the industrial and metallic parts of the song but entwining them with an electro bred matching virulence. It is an invigorating success matched fully by the Submerged (Method Of Definance, The Blood Of Heroes) remix of Hourglass Without Sand which comes after the smothering jaundiced take of Void of Community by TranZi3nt. Both tracks appeal in varying degrees but the unrelenting ebm spawned Hourglass Without Sand is just breath-taking.

The release is completed by the R3TRD look at They’re Everywhere, a track bringing in samples of ‘a Pentecostal preacher vampirishly admonishing children to visit with him as he speaks in tongues’ to create a version which strikes further chills into the already fearsome throat of the song. It is a powerful end to an impressive release which by just talking the first half of its spiteful endeavour is an exhilarating and almost demoralising treat. The remixes depending on your take add more weight to the proposition but it is Invertia’s own tracks which make this an unmissable injection into extreme music.

http://www.inv3rtia.com/

For the first five tracks 9/10

As a whole 8/10

RingMaster 04/2014

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Gravehill – Death Curse

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For a pestilential onslaught of black, death, and thrash metal, moulded into one voracious tempest of raw and dirty metal it is unlikely many releases will surpass the new uncompromising ravaging of US corruptors Gravehill. The band’s third album Death Curse is a bestial examination of the senses; savaging violations soaked in causticity and stripped to their primal bones and intent. At times an anthemic contagion and in others simply a predatory gnawing of the senses, the album is an increasingly potent annihilation which evolves an initial strong showing into a truly impressive and exhausting incitement. There is no wastage of frivolous trickery or excessive showing off just concentrated undiluted primeval metal at its best.

The Californian band was formed in 2001, a trio which took little time in unleashing debut demo The Practitioners of Fell Sorcery; it was short lived triumph though as Gravehill disbanded soon after. 2006 saw the band reform, original drummer/founder Rhett “Thorgrimm” Davis linking up with vocalist Mike Abominator. A second demo Metal of Death in 2007 was followed by the EP Metal of Death/Advocation of Murder and Suicide the following year from the quintet. First full-length Rites of the Pentagram was next uncaged on Enucleation Records to strong reactions in 2009 as also its re-release in a package with a third outing from the band’s first demo via Ibex Moon Records a year later. The line-up saw a change in 2011 with guitarist Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey (Exhumed, Dekapitator, Repulsion) joining the band before second album When All Roads lead to Hell on Dark Descent Records. The next year saw another shift in personnel with both Hellfiend and fellow guitarist Rob “Bodybag Bob” Babcock leaving due to extensive touring demands with Exhumed to be replaced by CC DeKill and Hell Messiah.

With the new members slotting in with ease alongside Thorgrimm, Abominator, and bassist J.T. Corpse, Gravehill set about creating what CDBO04.pdfhas emerged as their most ferocious and destructive triumph to date. Again out through Dark Descent and featuring guest appearances from the likes of Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy as well as Kam Lee (Massacre, Death and Bone Gnawer), Death Curse is a masterful protagonist of the senses from the exceptional artwork provided by Christopher Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy)to its last lingering venomous note. Though the introductory opener Gates of Hell does not show the storm to come, its epically sinister portent of sonic certainly brings an intimidation to bear on the senses, a brewing threat soon realised with the explosive entrance of the title track, riffs and rhythms a merciless rampage whilst the coarse even rawer vocals scar air and ears. Eager in its thrash driven gait and acidic in the eruptions of sonic enterprise, the track is a magnetic encounter which maybe does not trigger an immediate hunger but with good variation to the vocals and a resistance proof groove certainly has full control of attention.

At Hell’s Command is much swifter in taking a submission from senses and passions, its yawning sonic bait from the first second irresistible and the spark to an incendiary examination of a brutal rhythmic battering and a venomous and compelling sonic intrusion. There is an insidiously commanding element to the song, and subsequently the album, which manipulates the imagination and emotions into subservience either instantly or over time as in the case of other songs, but always succeeding in its intent. The guitar toxicity of CC DeKill and Hell Messiah is especially impressive and tempting, their designs as in all aspects of the release, skilled and striking but never dosed with a wasteful indulgence.

The following Open Their Throats emerges from the fluid gothic like link between it and its predecessor to prowl around the ear with a doom bred stance. The song stalks with venom dripping from its rhythmic jaw and slavering riffs whilst the guttural intense vocals add further insatiable predation. Intensity and violence waits in the shadows before being freed from their reins for a fiery antagonism driven second half of the impressive rage, vocals and guitar craft again formidable lures within an equally compelling rhythmic enticement.

Both Fear the Reaper and Unending Lust for Evil take release and passions to another level, the virulently contagious drum and bass entrance to the first opening a doorway to thrash anthemic glory within a death seeded animosity whilst its successor digs deeper inside itself for a blacker toxin with which to infest song and listener, its constantly shifting attack and creativity a ridiculously infectious almost salacious offering. The pair of tracks marks the pinnacle of the album, though to be fair its whole range is never far from the lofty filth encrusted heights of the two as proven by the rapacious malevolence of Black Blood Rising, the blackened scourge a welcome primordial predator in modern extreme metal.

The album is at its strongest in its latter half with the final two songs continuing the intensive potency and senses gorging maliciousness of the last few offerings. Crucified is the loudest boldest anthem on the album, an irritable nagging soon recruiting full allegiance with its group vocal baiting over heavy booted rhythms and riffing. Speared by excellent sonic craft from the guitars, the song is a leader of rebellious intent igniting the pulse rate ready for the closing doomy weight and thrash swing of The Ascending Fire to exploit with its equally anthemic power. The song makes an outstanding last assault to an addictive treacherous plague, a Death Curse which violates and thrills with even voracity.

http://www.gravehill666.com

http://www.facebook.com/gravehill

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Hiidenhauta – Noitia on Minun Sukuni

 

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     As Noitia on Minun Sukuni, the debut album of Finnish black metallers Hiidenhauta menaces, toys, and seduces the imagination the overriding thought is that here we have a mouthwatering proposition with the potential to be a major force within the genre in the future. Brewing up an encounter best described as symphonic meets folk in a black metal landscape, though that only hints in many ways at the adventure sculpted, their first full-length is an unpredictable and enthralling eight track exploration of the senses. It is not without a few moments which are not as successful as others but from start to finish it captivates and stirs emotions to create one of the more refreshing and exciting blackened exploits to come along over past months.

    The band was formed in the early weeks of 2012 by vocalists Fornjotur and Riena. The pair soon enlisted keyboardist Gastjäle, bassist Ihtirieckos, and drummer Rostiof to explore and expand their inventive sound before guitarist Marras was added to complete the line-up that summer. With lyrics written in old Finnish kalevalametre and finding inspiration from nature, Baltic-Finnish mythology, anti-Christianity aspects, history, and darkness to create dramatic narratives to match the sounds, the band unveiled their first EP Surma saapuu suota myöten in the wintery beginning of 2013. Well-received it was followed a few months later by the Eikä aurinko valaise EP, again to strong responses. It drew the band to the attention of Inverse Records who now release the new record. The Satakunta sextet make a striking persuasion and presence on their to be widely released album, an initial full strike triggering what you can easily see as being a triumphant and long term journey ahead.

    The release opens with a scenic ambience but one soon soaked in a portent atmosphere and brewing intimidation. Keys bring hiidenhauta_cover_2400the first wave of drama within Tuhkasta with thick punchy rhythms in close attendance as the track expands its embrace and stretch. As soon as the carnivorous bass snarl aligned to caustic riffs stalks the senses alongside rapaciously delivered vocals squalls and the increased adrenaline of drums, the track becomes a contagious beast of a proposal. But then just as you take a tight grip ready to charge eagerly across the ravenous torrent the band rips the ground from the feet with the excellent temptress tones of Riena. The music instantly relaxes to caress her seductive voice but it is a brief respite as the track reasserts its predatory appetite and leaps voraciously at the listener once again. Acidic grooves and imagination infecting hooks incite with the richest toxicity whilst the twists and intrigue of the song simply satisfy every want of the imagination. It all makes for a stunning start and confirmation of a band on the rise.

   The following Raato opens with a gothic breath, mere seconds of House of Usher like mystery before uncaging another ravenous intent and intensity. The corrosive delivery of Fornjotur is a pungent vocal incitement for the incendiary rhythmic onslaught and tightly entwining grooves, whilst the sirenesque lures of Riena only accelerate the mesmeric danger rather than temper is suasion. Pestilential in attack and sonic predation, absorbing in breath and melodic enchantment, the song like its predecessor evolves before the ears without deviating for its almost insidious purpose, the enslaving of bodies and emotions.

    Tuo On Tuuli Nuolen Tuoja preys on the senses from its first slow sonic wrapping of guitar around the ears. It is not an open intimidation though as a reserved and potent hook teases from within the reined causticity. The track is a relatively brief instrumental which worms under the skin and across synapses setting up thoughts for the dangerous charms of Hiiden Virsi. Featuring Jonne Järvelä from Korpiklaani who provides a wonderful shamanic abrasing, the track is a simultaneously vitriolic and meditative intrusion. Almost like being lost in a self-induced altered state where all the light and dark hopes and fears flail at the senses in physical form, the track is a transfixing yet uncomfortable tempest. It gives the imagination and emotions a playground to exploit though the same can be said about the whole release to be fair.

   The classically bred keys of Gastjäle add a crystalline evocation to the bordering bedlamic Sumussa Soutava next. It is a track which bewitches and savages, once again creating a consumptive tapestry which never settles or leaves warning signs within its meandering soundscape. Though it does not stand up as impressively as the earlier songs it still leaves a rewarding bait to greedily devour, the dual vocals of bestial and beauteous depths especially thrilling. Its closing acoustic caress leads the listener into the eager ravenous jaws of Ruumisvedet, raw riffs and scowling vocals welcoming submission for its grizzly rock n roll majesty. An irresistible groove makes the first irrepressible trap, soon backed up by expressive keys and uncompromising rhythms. There is a devilish swagger and repetitive bait to the track which is wholly addictive but similarly the enchanted allurement of Riena and the melodic weaves which emerge without warning from within the brawling aggression, make a lingering temptation.

     The brilliant scourge ensures that the nine minute plus landscape of Kaartuvat is under pressure. It is a slightly overlong oppressive exposure for the senses, attention wavering at times, but it is still one which never leaves a moment redundant of enterprise and intrigue as it provides another aspect to the songwriting and stance of the band. It is followed by Sula Pohjaan Luut Levolle; an inspiring emotive piano crafted instrumental offering an epilogue if not to the album to the previous adventure.

    Hiidenhauta is a band with a powerful destiny ahead of them and using Noitia on Minun Sukuni as evidence, will be making fine and potent use of it.

https://www.facebook.com/Hiidenhauta

http://hiidenhauta.bandcamp.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Committee – Power Through Unity

 

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    Originally a doom metal proposition, The Committee has added and woven in a black metal breath and guitar enterprise to a sound which has begun drawing in attention and fascination within the metal world. The release of debut album Power Through Unity, with its chilling drone sculpted soundscapes around an equally cold tongue which licks and lashes the senses with blackened malevolence and abrasing persuasion, is sure to push the band into a stronger potent spotlight. It is not a release to ignite the most ferocious of passions but one with a menacing magnetism and certain craft which like a siren constantly calls attention back into its pestilential body.

      Formed as a one man project in the winter of 2007 by vocalist/guitarist Igor Mortis, The Committee expanded into a quartet with the addition of guitarist Aristo Crassade, bassist Marc Abre, and drummer William Auruman before unveiling the four tracked Holodomor EP to strong interest amongst the metal underground and various internet sites and magazines. Based in Belgium with its members bred from roots set in Holland, France, Ukraine, and Russia, the band has a blend and mix within its fusion of black and doom which persistently captivates upon their first album. Released via Folter Records with songs themed by ‘history, occult manipulation of the mind and fascinating past events’, Power Through Unity is like an intensive ritual, a passage of rites to the heavy dark realms the band find their inspirations. Their motto says it all, “History is written by the victors, we are the voice of the dead”.

     Opener Not Our Revolution makes a reserved entrance; an applauding ambience alongside an intriguing single guitar enticesThe Committee - Power Through Unity - Artwork thoughts with decent potency before the drums call in the full slow scourge of sound, guitars and bass prowling the ears whilst vocal squalls roar from within the oppressive breath of the song. The lowly slung voice of the track drags its heart and intent deep into the imagination whilst an almost cavernous wall of riffs aided by sadistic rhythms cages and enthrals with a ruinous and deceptively varied persuasion. The track is as imposing as a tsunami but as patient as an ice age in its consumption of senses and emotions.

   The strong start and intrusion is followed and matched by The Man of Steel, another track which is in no rush to devour but working at that aim from its first seconds with ravenous riffs and antagonistic rhythms plaguing ears. The melodic and sonic invention of the guitars merges drone and repetition within their invasively hued narratives laying a coaxing which as the drums and bass compel and intimidates with predacious efficiency. The threatening squall of sound envelops every inch of the senses and like the first track is dramatically bewitching.

    It is probably fair to say that the tempestuous surface of songs carry a too similar a temptation across the release and needs a more intensive dive into the corruptive hum at times to discover their uniqueness, but the rewards are always waiting and in a track like By My Bare Hands offered in a more easily visible and digestible meal of caustic charm and icy toxicity. The Last Goodbye also casts out more open bait and like its predecessor opens on an intimate melodic touching of the imagination before being consumed by the brute force and intensity of a hungrily howling ravenous storm. The production of the album provides a little uncertainty in the appreciation of the release though, its touch at times smothering and defusing the underlying melodies and tempering elegance which ignites a song like this and the following Katherine’s Chant, but simultaneously its glacial feel fuels the bone-chilling temptation of the release which it is hard not to find a small passion for.

   Through the insatiably pungent ruin of Katherine’s Chant and the even more rabid air of the closing title track, its appetite and mordant atmosphere the most voracious and eager on the release, Power Through Unity leaves the senses on an acerbic high and rigorously satisfied. The EP lacks enough diversity to truly ignite the passions and to be fussy that production issue does dull too much of the release’s success and sound to build a formidable stature for The Committee, but there is plenty to be drawn to often and with keen relish creating a strong and exciting first introduction certainly for us to a fiercely promising proposition.

www.thecommitteecult.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2014

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Bast – Spectres

 

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    If you have ever imagined being lost in a blizzard where every sound and danger, open and hidden, seduces and smothers the senses to their limits then try stepping into Spectres the debut album from UK sonic sculptors Bast. Every intensive note and emotion within the blackened doom bred tempest suffocates with merciless passion and intimidation yet infuses the imagination with a beauty and compelling toxicity which is just as mouth-wateringly impressive. The five track release is an epic confrontation which is not an easy companion to embrace and at times endure, as that envisaged storm, but certainly one of the most rewarding as it infests body and psyche.

    Formed in 2008, it was the coming together of vocalist/guitarist Craig Bryant, drummer Jon Lee, and bassist Gavin Thomas three years later where arguably things really began to stir up a greater attentive spotlight for Londoners Bast. Since starting initially as a duo, the band certainly made an imprint on the capitals metal scene, sharing stages with the likes of Ufomammut, A Storm of Light, and Ramesses. Across the years the trio has expanded their presence supporting and playing with other bands such as Nachtmystium, Minsk, Winterfylleth, earthtone9, Mother Corona, XII Boar and hordes more, persistently leaving a rich mark and breeding an eager anticipation for their first album.

     Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with Chris Fielding, Spectres is the first offering from new label Black Bow Records, run by 1452364_10152025214408684_29610896_nConan frontman Jon Davis, its limited to 300 vinyl release a joint unleashing with a CD/digital assault from Burning World Records. The album is a heavily consumptive provocation which swallows and chews the senses with a creative rabidity which simply intimidates under the massive weight of doom spawned atmospheres and malevolence. Just as ravenously though, the release leads the listener through inventive weaves which dazzle in elegance and seduce in majestic radiance though never truly released from the hands of rancorous oppressiveness.

    In The Beginning initially offers a respectful sonic coaxing to bring the album into view, its chilled ambience wrapping the ears before an exhaustive fire of riffs and rhythms consume the senses as the rasping caustic vocal squalls of Bryant scorches the air. As its stalks and piles on the dark drama with every second, the track winds around the imagination with a near insidious voice and corrosive intensity, stimulating thoughts with an enveloping and emotive suffering. It is a powerful opening matched by the next up Denizens, its slow flight into darker and deeper caverns of intensive emotional corruption as mesmeric as it is ruinous. Like the first, the black and doom metal seeded blend brews an erosive breath over a melodically teased sonic adventure, both soaked in a mutually cathartic and damaging tsunami of intensity.

      Impressive as the songs are, the album does not truly ignite into something uniquely distinctive and special until the title track erupts in a ferocious brawl of crippling rhythms and unrestrained riffing. The track hits with the carnivorous heavy assault of a Black Tusk, with heavily shadowed but tempting grooves to match, before diving head long into a blackened swamp of sonic rabidity and doom lit venom. It is an irresistible onslaught taken to greater potency by a deliciously barbed rhythmic temptation alongside a bass and guitar snarl which has you contemplating scurrying into the deepest burrows of safety. Spectres preys upon and swaggers with the imagination and passions, an unpredictable constantly evolving waltz of inventive toxins and destructive virulence with pestilential charms and animosity which echoes the overall presence of its namesake, the album.

     The exceptional confrontation is matched by the instrumental Psychonauts, the piece a developing imaginative scourge for the passions which from a seemingly primordial sonic soup spawns an irresistible and addictive union of contagion clad drumming and savage bass temptation. It proceeds to provide an exploratory and weighty flight through menacing expressive textures and atmospherically driven visually provoking scenery. It is another immense stimulus for mind and emotions to eagerly delve into, a demanding and controlling doorway to the band’s and our imaginations. Its twelve minute violation makes way for the equally enthralling and lengthy Outside The Circles Of Time, the closing song crafting a landscape of melodic temptation and magnetic beauty within a warm embracing ambience. The ever raw tones of Bryant, even in their more reined in delivery, add to the epidemic enticement, helping pave the way for the fiercer sonic wash of guitar and passion to lap over the senses beside another stretch of impossible to resist rhythmic bait, the song intensifying its pressure and contagion with every passing minute.

     It is a magnificent finale to an album which firmly puts Bast on the doom metal map. Spectres takes a little time to truly explode in the psyche, though it is certainly grips from its first breath, but emerges as an album destined to be one of the most impressive doom and 2014 debuts.

www.facebook.com/Bastmusic

9.5/10

Bast upcoming tour dates with Conan 2014

March 14th Nottingham, Soan Studios

March 15th Bournemouth, The Anvil

March 16th Birmingham, The Asylum 2

March 17th Glasgow, Audio

March 18th Aberdeen, Live at Downstairs

March 19th Manchester, Kraak Gallery

March 20th Cardiff, The Full Moon

March 21st Brighton, The a Prince Albert

March 22nd London at Electrowerkz

March 23rd Mousetrap, Basingstoke

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Father Murphy – Pain Is On Our Side Now

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     It is fairly safe ground to state that Father Murphy and new release Pain Is On Our Side Now is not going to be for everyone whilst plenty of those brave enough to completely immerse in its scalding sonic explorations will need therapy of some descript right after. The band has consistently transfixed ears and psyche with challenging, at times uncomfortable, provocations but their new incitement disorientates and consumes the listener in their most hellacious nightmare yet. Released via Aagoo Records/Boring Machines and coming in two single-sided 10” vinyl incitements containing two movements intended for simultaneous play, Pain Is On Our Side Now is beauteous mental and sonic bedlam, Receiving a digital promo for the release meant we could only experience the four tracks consecutively and that was startling, intimidating, and haunting enough so playing the tracks in the way intended maybe having a psychiatrist on speed dial would be a good pre-plan.

      Consisting of Freddie Murphy, Chiara Lee, and Vittorio Demarin, the Venice born Father Murphy have released a trio of albums with numerous EPs and limited releases alongside which started with a debut album crafting twisted psychedelic pop. Their sound has evolved across each subsequent release, their 2008 second full-length And He Told Us To Turn To The Sun exploring a concept of heresy and a darker predacious sound. Gaining praise on both sides of the pond from an acclaiming media and fans such as Julian Cope, Deerhoof, and Michael Gira, the trio has constantly pushed their and our imagination and shadows. Pain Is On Our Side Now follows acclaimed 2012 album Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It, and a remix album titled Father Murphy: Heretical Review which featured interpretations of tracks on its predecessor from artists such as Black Dice, Philippe Petit, Sic Alps, Indian Jewelry, Thulebasen and E.M.A. Like its predecessor, the EP was recorded and produced by Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, and with its concept of failure guiding its tortuous ingenuity, makes for a frightening but thoroughly captivating violation.

     Opening track Let The Wrong Rise With You is a hell bred snarling beast of an incitement, a sonic predator with slavering -3noise sculpted jaws and deviously deceptive intent. A slow stalking yet voraciously breathing mix of industrial like scarring and psychedelic ambient seared with melodic cinders, the piece envelops the senses and emotions, its dawning and slowly towering presence revealing the bowels of hell and the beauty of submission. A mid-way calm or rather respite is the doorway into an even stronger haunt, choral breezes soaked in discord flirting within the dank once hallowed now corrupted jowls of the song’s cinematic intent. You almost feel the band has missed its time in a way as they would have made the perfect complement and antagonist to the films of Dario Argento.

     The first song on the second disc is They Will All Fail You, which played together with the opener creates a new disturbance under the name Let Them All Fail With You. Violence is soon followed by a discordant drone and sampled female vocals/shouts/cries. It reaps the darkest nightmarish possibilities but with a restraint which threatens and plagues the imagination whilst allowing some sense of escape. That is until the demonic beats and a howling sonic slow ravishment emerges to deepen the mental mire. You can only imagine the result of the combination of songs without the physical forms to toy with but it certainly does not promise to be healthy but you suspect will be enthrallingly invigorating.

     The second pairing sees Bones Got Dry and Despite All The Grief laying upon each other for Grieving for our Bones. The first of the two is a rasping, ground dwelling pestilential sonic scraping of the senses with a heightened drama to its walls and climate. It is a chilling and cold fall into the darkest, blackest Gehenna which the second piece you can only see accentuating and deepening with its own pit spawned humming and heavy background malevolent drone.

     Pain Is On Our Side Now is a startling and insidious confrontation when taken as single tracks and you suspect must come with an intensity to leave whimpering a suitable response when combining those elements. Father Murphy is a band to devour and cower from, a proposition which can only do you harm and good, if you dare brave their invitations.

http://fathermurphy.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/fathermurphyband

9/10

RingMaster 06/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hangatyr – Elemente

 

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     Oppressive, stark, and cold hearted, Elemente the new album from German pagan black metallers Hangatyr provides a landscape to be feared and enthralled by. It is a demanding and intrusive adventure emotionally and aurally which takes the listener through intensive and intimidating climes but one which expands a melody shaped temptation and sonic allurement which is hard to stay away from. Though not the easiest of listens at times with prevalence to a surface similarity in its intensity, bravery to the chilling Nordic riffery and caustic embrace aligned to melodic acidity only results in an absorbing and evocative proposition to recommend out.

     Founded in 2006 and taking inspiration from ‘the mythology of the band members’, Hangatyr made themselves a compelling presence through firstly their 2007 self-titled demo but more so through debut album Helwege which was released in 2010 via German label Nocturnal Empire. It was well-received pushing the band into a stronger spotlight which Elemente can only intensify. The Thuringia quintet began working on their second full-length in the April of 2012, entering The Unholy Studio with producer Christo who had previously worked with the band on the first album and also provided bass on the new record when regular and since returned member Marco could not commit time to the recordings.

     Mastered by Alexander Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn, Chemical Burn Studios), the self-released Elemente consumes and takes Hangatyr_Elemente_Coverover the senses from the start, leading its victim through an unrelenting and punishing yet magnetic tempestuous exploration, one which dramatically and corrosively infests and ignites the imagination. The brief scene setting instrumental title track brings everything directly into view; the mountainous terrains with yawning beauty and overpowering vastness all openly displayed before the following Die Sprache der Zwölf intensifies on one aspect and draws the ears into its aggressive narrative. Musically the song, and subsequently the album, works on the imagination right away, sparking thoughts of a rampant flight through skin buffeting and emotion stretching terrain. With the lyrical and mythology being investigated presented in German for us less able linguists, the music is the key to the emerging canvas and it is hard not to feel thoughts and visions erupting as the track evokes with melodic expression within the torturous soundscape around their folkish beauty.

    It is an impressive start which is not quite matched by the following pair of Eisenwald and Zwischen den Ufern, though both again are skilled and eager in their impact. The first of the two nags and coaxes with an excellent unrelenting groove and rhythmic battering, both aspects further repeated and adjusted across the album but like an intensive wind with shifts in energy and tone constantly if not as varied in design. It is a positive rather than an issue within what is varied and descriptive scenery within each song but occasionally the repetition, more so rhythmically, can antagonise. Like with its successor there is a spark missing which lit up the opener and many of the subsequent tracks, the second of the pair arguably even more devoid of that essential bait, but both with the rasping serpentine vocals and creative sonic causticity bring a strong enticement to enjoy rather than endure.

     Zersetzung next brings an emotional potency to its sonic colour, the guitars casting inciting mercurial patterns soaked in elegant yet uncompromising hues whilst rhythmically the song borders abuse but still lies within the weave of pestilential enterprise to compliment rather than overpower the song’s intent. The next up excellent Grimmfrost expels even greater dramatic investigation, drums and riffs carnivorous in their rabidity whilst the sonic craft and invention of the guitars paint an emotive turmoil to spark again the already over worked imagination. The best track on the album it is a masterful contagion.

    The pair of Gelobt und gejagt and Sie vergessen nicht without quite remaining on the new plateau impress and engage thoughts with ease, the first offering a more hopeful tone to its darkened skies whilst the second courts a virulent rapaciousness which feeds on the senses and the air around its insidious presence. It is the darkest threatening track on the album though the closing Rückzug stalks the same climactic and intensive black depths of its premise and the listener’s thoughts to rival its malevolence. It is a thrilling end to a very satisfying confrontation, if one admittedly losing out to the fact that the lyrical secrecy prevents it making the fullest impact. Hangatyr has undoubtedly matured and grown as a band and through the enjoyable Elemente look set to increase their stature and success around the world.

http://www.hangatyr-metal.de

8/10

RingMaster 31/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kampfar – Djevelmakt

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    Ever had a nightmare where a pestilential like presence is suffocating everything around you, then you turn to the one solace and place of safety you can be assured of and that also feeds on you extinguishing all hope and escape?  Whether yes or no, Norwegian pagan metallers Kampfar gives the imagination a pretty strong sense of the experience with new album Djevelmakt. Oppressive and frighteningly uncompromising in presence and artistry, the eight track exploration of black and pagan bred metal is a breath-taking, soul stealing immersion into a malevolence fuelled incitement soaked in riveting ingenuity.

     2014 sees Kampfar marking its twentieth year and no stronger an impressive fall into the jaws of their filth soaked depravity from the blackest realms as explored upon Djevelmakt could you wish for. The sixth album from the band follows the acclaimed Mare of 2011, continuing the ‘third creative wave’ of the band. The years up to 2003 saw the band as a duo releasing a couple of EPs and the 1997 album Mellom Skogkledde Aaser followed two years later by Fra Underverdenen. Enlarging to a quartet Kampfar introduced a live aspect to their presence in its second cycle as well as two more well-received full-lengths in Kvass and Heimgang in 2006 and 2008 respectively. All the time the band’s sound has grown and explored darker intensive areas, each album an evolution and challenging venture which their latest album takes to yet another level and depth. Forged around the theme of condemnation, the Jonas Kjellgren recorded and Peter Tägtgren mixed Djevelmakt is an enthralling and impacting provocation which only leaves the healthiest intrigue and satisfaction breeding in senses and thoughts.

   The Indie Recordings released album opens with Mylder, a dramatic and sinister narrative of keys casting menace and magnetic Kampfar frontcover WEBtemptation into the air. It is a brief but potent coaxing into an immediately insidious brew of astringent rhythms and tempestuous riffs which consume the ears whilst driven by serpentine squalling tones from vocalist Dolk. Melodic acidity and ravenous causticity merge to create a storm which seduces and threatens before allowing the former trait to make a full invitation with great clean vocals, keys sculpted melodies, and an expressive welcoming ambience. It’s free reign is soon tempered though as scowling riffs and belligerent rhythms punctuate the continuing to lure folk radiance lighting the way. It is an immense start to the album which only gets stronger as subsequent tracks ravage the imagination.

    Both Kujon with its predacious stalking from the opening second and Blod, Eder og Galle, cement the capture of emotions aligned to an eager appetite for the release. The first swarms over the ear but with a premeditated reserve which simply accelerates its potency and venomous intent. Vocally too the track has a restraint to its ruinous persuasion which adds to the intimidation and intensity of the unremitting pestilential nagging. An undoubted impressive scourge it makes way for the second and an excellent electronically spawned intro. As with the first track that unexpected beckoning is soon under siege by a rasping intensity and concussive tsunami of energy and disturbing sonic provocation. Though not quite as commanding as the previous songs it agitates and ignites the imagination superbly with another vexatious soundscape.

     Swarm Norvegicus is another track which does not quite spark the passions as other songs, mainly because of their towering individual successes upon Djevelmakt, but with its dark stringed opening enticement and demonically honed spoken vocal delivery within a weave of acerbic sonic enterprise and a voraciously heavy and addictive bass temptation, the track can only excite and impress. Arguably with its again smouldering yet bestial like build up the track provides the most vivid evocation for thoughts to explore and delve deeply into and over time with patience it should be said that the song provides another exhausting but rewarding venture.

      The keys control and provide the strongest alluring flames to Fortapelse, just one more song in which Kampfar impressively entwine melodic and melodramatic beauty with a pit bred hostility, before the album dives to darker depths and higher plateaus through first of all De Dødes Fane. A dirty scuzz kissed riot of heavy rock riffs punctured by tank slapping rhythms provides the springboard to the expected but expectations avoiding fury of blackened rancor which simply abrades and abuses the senses. Twisting and wrapping those early aspects into its ravenous core of pestilence, the track is pure contagious devilry and invention, a sonic plague to fear and embrace greedily.

     The album comes to an equally scintillating conclusion through firstly the annihilistic stomp of Svarte Sjelers Salme and the anthemic yet destructively corrupting Our Hounds, Our Legion. Both provide a corrosive legacy to an exceptional album which devours and lights up the senses and imagination through to emotions. Twenty years is a long journey to get where Kampfar is today, a place on the evidence of Djevelmakt that lies on the frontlines of extreme metal.

www.kampfar.com

9/10

RingMaster 27/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Burial Hordes – Incendium

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    Spiritually dark and sonically ravishing, Incendium the new album from Greek black metallers Burial Hordes is a captivating tempest of threatening imagination and corruptive craft which leaves the deepest satisfaction in its venomous wake. A release which at times makes you work for your rewards but perpetually intrigues and excites with unpredictability and incendiary adventure, the album easily fulfils and satisfies the anticipation which brewed for its arrival. There are moments which slightly labour alongside other towering and scintillating offerings on the album but from its first toxic note to the very riveting last, Incendium is a recommended immersive treat.

     Since forming in 2001, Burial Hordes has earned a respected potent place within European underground metal. Two well-received and acclaimed albums in the voracious shapes of debut War Revenge and Total Annihilation in 2005, which received a re-release via Pulverised Records three years later, and its successor Devotion to Unholy Creed also in 2008 and again through Pulverised, pushed the band’s presence along with demos, subsequent splits, and further releases into greater awareness. Now the new Devo Andersson (Marduk) produced album is primed to take things to another level with a shift in sound and maturity which only puts the band under a spotlight.

    The first rapacious violation on the Hellthrasher Productions released album comes through Unleash Havoc, thumping beats and galloping riffs bringing the opener immediately into compelling view before a melodically honed sonic weave of imagination and skill paints an evocative and enticing invitation. Once secure in its mission the track explodes into a ferocious scourge of suffocating intensity and ravaging riffery driven by the malevolent guttural squalls of vocalist Cthonos. It is a predatory seduction which enthrals without making grand hook gifted gestures thanks to the persistent, almost nagging, and inventive guitar and bass craft of N.e.c.r.o and Psychaos.

    The strong start is soon cemented by Horns of Consecration, its entrance also a scourge of pestilential energy and vocal spite but with an even stronger expectations avoiding exploration to its intrusive design. Like its predecessor the song is not setting down raging flames in its corrosive tracks but again provides a tumultuous engagement of invention and enterprise which seduces and grips the fullest attention whilst raising a real appetite from thoughts and imagination. That hunger is impressively taken care of with scintillating endeavour from here on in, starting with Nailed Curse. From its first breath a groove is dangling irresistible bait from its lure whilst a rhythmic barracking only weakens and absorbs any possible resistance. A stomping provocation with the strength of a battalion and ingenuity of an alchemist, the track casts a maze of twists and detours within a riveting expanse of fierce atmospheres within an annihilistic evocation.

   Both Path of Bloodshed and Abomination keep the album foraging senses and thoughts on this new lofty plateau. The first combines melancholic and cantankerous emotiveness into a slowly pervading and consuming temptation which seduces and menaces simultaneously whilst unveiling an ever increasing and infectious weave of barbed melodies and caustic grooves. Insatiably addictive the emotional entrapment is soon exceeded by its outstanding successor, again bold adventure and virulent grooves adding potent temptation and thrilling enterprise to the niggling black hearted incessant call of the song. The best slice of deleterious mastery on the album, it sparks greater rabidity in the appetite for the song and the release itself which the emotionally intensive Scorned (Aokigahara) reaps. Near on eight minutes of scholastic teasing, injurious sonic adventure, and mouthwatering ruinous majesty the track is a gloriously evolving and investigative aural examination of theirs and our imaginations. It is epidemically contagious at times and ominously malignant in others to match the previous imperious peak on Incendium.

    Black Shrouds of Depravity and the album’s title track almost come as an anti-climax having to follow the stunning quartet of tracks before them. Both are impressive and uncompromising slabs of blackened pestiferous excellence but more straightforward and direct without the spark of adventure which elevates the previous treats. Nevertheless they complete an impressive and commandingly satisfying provocation with a centre which sparks up moments of rapture in return for their brilliance. Burial Hordes has turned into one of the new essential investigations within modern black metal and Incendium the undeniable reason why.

www.facebook.com/BurialHordesOfficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 22/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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