Dalla Nebbia – Felix Culpa

cover_RingMaster Review

An album impossible to fully digest on the first listen, second, and indeed even a few more, Felix Culpa still quickly emerges as one richly fascinating and perpetually tempting proposition. The creation of US based Dalla Nebbia; it is a compelling assault of extreme metal and imagination. The band’s sound is loosely tagged as atmospheric black metal but as Felix Culpa soon reveals, it openly embraces provocative strains of progressive rock and doom metal to present something testing and uniquely enthralling.

Dalla Nebbia first emerged in 2010 as a duo, and now is a quartet with three members living in N Carolina, Minnesota, and Washington, and a fourth with Brazil as a home. Inspirations include music and invention produced by bands such as Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Limbonic Art, and Arcturus, the foursome taking these into their own extensive and epic weaves of emotional and sonic drama. The successor to debut album The Cusp of the Void, it the bringing together of the band’s first demo and self-released EP Thy Pale Form, the ten track Felix Culpa sees the band breaching new depths and levels of imagination and craft. Its premise is a dive into the human psyche, in the words of the band, “a journey through decay and regret, death and suicide, and thorny despair at the hands of an angry god” and its voice a challenge to find a wealth of corruptive pleasure in.

Featuring Norwegian violinist Sareeta (Borknagar, Solefald, Asmegin) across most songs on the album and guest guitarist Aort (Code, Indesinence) on a couple of tracks, Felix Culpa opens with the brief instrumental Memento Mori; the synth and guitar craft of Yixja a swift and entrancing immersion for ears and thoughts. Warm yet feeling more like the lull before the storm even with the magnetic lures of violin, the piece leads the listener straight into the tempest of Until the Rain Subsides, though that too initially has a restraint and gothic invitation that only entices. The raw vocal squalls of Zduhać add to the thick atmosphere and brewing imposing air of the song even with both being tempered by the captivating harmonies that rise within the melancholic beauty of Sareeta’s strings. Ravenous and seductive in equal measure, blackened voracity and progressive calm colluding in a controlled band unpredictable maelstrom, the song makes an impressive full welcome into Felix Culpa.

The more rabid Abandoned Unto Sky takes over next, the brutal drumming of Alkurion a quick violation forging a punishing union with raw unrelenting riffs. In time though, as the bass of Tiphareth spills its own animus on proceedings, song and band infect the storm with melodic and emotive enterprise whilst managing to simultaneously intensify the ruinous nature of the track. Every moment has something within something else, layers within layers, textures revealing their own personal breakdown of essences as the song evolves and twists on its rancorous spine. Growing more riveting and thrilling in its second half, the song epitomises the album as a whole, each minute a bounty of imaginative turns and detours seamlessly woven into fierce tapestries that with every listen unveil new treasures.

Both Lament of Aokigahara and The Banner of Defiance keep ears and emotions aflame, the first from a portentous coaxing venturing into a dank incantation like crawl through smothering intensity and ambience with volatile invention and beauty respectively. Guitars entwine with keys, synths with the melodic incitement of the violin, and rhythms in tender and barbarous skill framing the tempestuous charm and adventure of the track. Its successor is similarly honed but far more physically challenging with its vindictive rhythms and riffs, not forgetting breath. Of course things shift and evolve, the song also slipping into spellbinding moments of vocal and sonic radiance, these at times stemming the tide of hostility like momentary oases in a challenging journey whilst providing their own fresh exploration of the lyrical and emotional exploration. As in its predecessor, it is thoroughly engrossing though occasionally heavy going trying to explore all on offer but with time the songs just get bigger and more impressive as they eventually share their extensive realms.

Not Within the Stone blows a creative wind washed in post and progressive rock daring around a black metal scowl. This gripping fusion smothers a doom seeded gait but by now expectantly also embraces bold flames of contagious hooks, virulent grooves, and inhospitable intensity into the creative melting pot to heavily pleasing effect. Once more ears and thoughts are bullied and rubbed raw whilst kept firmly engrossed in the uncompromising collusion of contrasts that also emerge in the outstanding Felix Culpa (Theodicy Corrupted), a smooth seducing ingrained in a ferociously ravishing volcano of sound and enmity.

The shorter instrumental trespass of Das Gelächter Gottes is a cold dystopian respite next, luring the imagination towards the opening melancholic serenade of Paradise in Flames. A fire of emotional and sonic unrest, the track restrains from erupting into the inferno expected, seven of its nine evocative minutes having passed to inspire and incite before things spew vocal and physical lava, though that again comes with the spellbinding touch of the violin and Dalla Nebbia’s creative bravery to leave only a want for more.

A final instrumental caress closes the album, The Silent Transition a melody driven kiss on the senses wrapped in ever potent shadows and shaped by the open individual prowess of Dalla Nebbia. It is a fine conclusion to a release words barely scratch the surface of. Felix Culpa will not be for all, at times being a real test for many including some black and extreme metal fans, though only in a good way. Fair to say though for all wanting something bold and original which pushes their boundaries as much as the music they have a passion for, a release that works their bodies and thoughts for a constant unveiling of new rewards with each plunge into its depths, then Felix Culpa and Dalla Nebbia is very worthy of a visit.

Felix Culpa is out now via Razed Soul Productions @ http://dallanebbia.bandcamp.com/


Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

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Deep Desolation – Possession

possession cover_RingMaster Review

Living up to its name in so many ways, Possession is an occultist waltz with the devil, black metal fuelled rock ‘n’ roll which just gets more compelling and adventurous track by track. The latest album from Polish metallers Deep Desolation, the release offers five tracks which devours ears and in turn imagination as black and doom metal gets entangled in psychedelic and progressive enterprise, all around blasphemous and challenging intent.

Deep Desolation hails from Łódź, emerging in 2009 with their debut album Subliminal Visions coming at the beginning of 2011. That same year saw the band unite with Primal and Iugulatus for the split release Chapel Of Fear with a year later second album Rites of Blasphemy was unleashed. Well-received it showed the growth and evolution running through the band’s sound which continues and blossoms in Possession. At times the new release is not an easy listen, making no compromises for the senses with its barbarous rancor and intensity, but from start to finish, and as suggested with stronger persuasion song by song, it is one seriously fascinating and enjoyable encounter.

The quartet of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Meriat, lead guitarist Markiz, bassist Piorun, and drummer Wilku begin their insidious incantation of pestilential temptation with Bestial Mind. Opening on an almost shamanic rhythmic invitation, the track is soon a brewing tempest of sonic agitation and thickly landing beats with guitars and bass entangling in tempestuous manner and creativity as they await crawling vocals squalls. The song continues to prowl with a doom rich breath, before unlocking a canter of spicy groves and melodic hooks which soon have ears and the imagination enthralled. Never unleashing its full venomous urgency, the track continues to stroll and prowl, malevolence an oozing hue across atmosphere and voice with a leaning towards progressively honed groove metal an additional magnetic texture.

Each listen reveals a little more going on within the quickly enticing animus of sound and intent, potency echoed throughout the album and certainly in the rabid depths and intrusive endeavours within Place Of The Darkest Thoughts. No reins shackle the energy and intensity of this track, its instinct to rock ‘n’ roll feeding the cancerous intent, creative adventure, and pure ferocity within it. In time bass and guitars spill a cascade of hook loaded bait as sonic and rhythmic savagery prevails around them whilst an almost schizophrenic passage of off kilter classic metal enterprise wrong foots and thrills simultaneously.

Both Demonic Elation and The Wizard Of Overdose keep ears enthralled, thoughts intrigued, and pleasure full. The first is an intensive dark trespass of sound and heart which truly comes to life when the psychedelic imagination of the band starts to wrap and infuse its black metal canvas. Before then it is a solid encounter but once the mystical imagination invades, it becomes another impressive beast before making way for its successor and its similarly persuasive tempest ignited by melodic and psych rock invention. The core groove is pure addictiveness and as confirmed by the final song on the album, Deep Desolation is at its most striking and unique when bringing their psychedelic and often deranged imagination into the mix, something hopefully they will explore and exploit much more ahead because we will then get more triumphs like Divine Dance.

The closing track is epic; eighteen minutes plus of heavy rock ‘n’ roll blackened and twisted for a glorious escapade of extreme metal irreverence. It is easily the best track on Possession, the realisation of all the band’s attributes in craft and sound in one extensive doom leaden, sludge thick, creatively carnal rampage of fierce and compelling metal and such a success because this time it is a groove and melody rich endeavour being given a black metal and doom infusion rather than the other way round.

As mentioned Possession gets bigger and better with each passing track, its finale the major treat which alone suggests that if Deep Desolation continue down this route they have the potential to intrude on the broadest metal spotlights.

Possession is out now via Old Temple / The End Of Time Records.


Pete RingMaster 07/10/2015

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She Must Burn – Self Titled EP

SHEMUSTBURN_RingMaster Review

It is a ferociously voracious cauldron of intent, a ravenous tempest of corrosive intensity and imagination, and one of the most riveting and exciting debuts to be uncaged this year.

The release is the self-titled debut EP comes from UK metallers She Must Burn, a London sextet creating a bit of a forceful stir and it is easy to hear why with this raging encounter. Theirs is a furnace of sound and flavours woven into a metalcore seeded canvas infused with further ripe essences of symphonic and black metal with rich gothic overtones. It is a searing maelstrom laying siege to the senses which just as quickly impresses as the songwriting and craft behind it. From rabidly varied vocals to debilitating blast beats, right through to symphonic beauty, the band’s music is a vicious yet poetic kaleidoscope of contrasts and textures cast into fascinating and thrilling soundscapes fuelled by intimate malevolence. It is a startling encounter as proven by a release which just gets bigger and stronger as subsequent listens lure ears deeper into unpredictable and gripping layers of invention.

She Must Burn emerged in 2014, brought to life by guitarist/producer Terry Clarke to realise his musical vision. With a line-up completed by vocalist Joseph Louis Sinclair, keyboardist/vocalist Aimy Miller, guitarist James Threadwell, bassist Kyle Bird, and drummer Rhys Andrew Cooper, She Must Burn have already made a thick impact on the British metal scene live. Now it is the turn of broader stretches of national ears to feel their potency ahead of UK tours supporting Cradle of Filth this October and Heart Of A Coward across November with their first EP.

SMB - Cover Final_RingMaster Review     The encounter opens with the brief but technically and evocatively potent Ascension, its celestial melodies and ambience shadowed by a portentousness which erupts as the track evolves into the fearsome and equally enticing Possessed. From its first breath, guitars create a web of virulent hostility and enthralling enterprise upon which rhythms descend with bestial ferocity. Add the great raw and scarring vocal assault of Sinclair and hell has opened its doors, yet this is masterfully tempered and entwined with the flowing radiance of the keys and the equally alluring siren-esque voice of Miller. Across the song’s body dark and light, destruction and beauty unite, not in conflict but in a blackened and symphonic drama which has the imagination as enslaved as ears and appetite.

As shown again by the following The Misery, the She Must Burn sound is a creative and physical bedlam but one with ingenuity and control which makes everything seamless and complimentary in their collusion. In the hands of another it would most likely unravel into an incoherent stream of ideas but as the third track engulfs and trespasses in ears, there is nothing random and uncontrolled about the sonic adventures cast by She Must Burn. Predatory and seductive, the third song writhes and violently twists under the drive of the increasingly varied and impressive delivery of Sinclair but within the entrapping call of synths and their expressive dark elegance. The song constantly evolves though, never allowing thoughts to settle and expectations to get a glimpse as its infectiously busy and creative turbulence offers more rewards and layers with every trip into its maliciousness.

Into Light opens with a classic but again unique symphonic/gothic croon from the keys and voice of Miller, its warm caress prowled by brooding shadows which increase in intimidating agitation as the short song continues to shape the imagination with its melodic flame. That ruinous furnace finally erupts in Wish to Exist, its metalcore animus in full voice at the beginning but again merged into a subsequent compelling tapestry that snarls and tears at the senses whilst embracing ears in the most majestic of melody rich and emotive reflections.

The album is invigoratingly completed by the equally rabid and bewitching Eclipse, where dark and insidious rancor frees its vicious animus in perfect company with entrancing elegance and immersive beauty. It is at this point on the first listen, and only proven time and time again, that the success of the She Must Burn sound is realised to lie not so much in the corruptive or beauteous extremes, as skilful and important as they are, but how the heart of the song in rhythms and riffs for example, serve both the bases they blossom upon simultaneously and equally. It is a perfect fusion the band has honed which they then colour and shape to their imagination’s content.

After yet another fevered listen of their EP it is very easy to claim that She Must Burn are going to make a big impact on the metal scene.

The She Must Burn EP is out now via Ghost Music.

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

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Human Bodies/Leather Chalice – Split

HB cover art_RingMaster Review

In a union to scar the psyche and corrupt the senses, Broken Limbs Recordings have unleashed a 7” vinyl split release between New England hailing Human Bodies and Leather Chalice, a hellacious proposal of pure black metal malevolence and rancorous hardcore viciousness. These are two bands building a potent name for themselves and they do their reputation no harm wit this intensively rabid encounter. The four-track EP is painfully corrosive and fuelled by creative hate, but if that is your recipe to bliss, then this is an encounter demanding keen attention.

Human Bodies_RingMaster Review     The first two tracks come from the Boston foursome of guitarists/vocalists Terzakis and Gabe, bassist Jason, and drummer Dan, collectively known as Human Bodies. The band began in the October of 2013 as a studio project, developing over time into a fuller line-up and live presence to go with the well-received No Life cassette EP of last year. Just off of a successful full US tour, Human Bodies entangle ears in a rhythmic web as their first offering on the split, Only the Sigh feistily prowls into view. Energy and intensity continue to rise as a bestial bassline colludes with sonic hostility where guitars are ravenous and vocals raw intrusive squalls. It is an uncompromising attack yet has a swing and swagger to it which welcomes body and attention as much as its sonic trespass tries to defile them. It is lethal contagion and an outstanding start to the release which runs straight into a similarly alluring violation in the caustic shape of Malice Prepense. Repetitious beats and riffs again entice and spark a healthy appetite whilst a doomy cancerous breath smothers the listener to simultaneously temper the virulence but increase the potency of the whole malicious incitement.

Leather Chalice is the solo blackened punk project of Jann from Ramlord, who brings inspirations from Venom, Discharge, and “depression and Leather Chalice_RingMaster Reviewtotal defeat of the human spirit by modernism” into his ruinous tempests of blackened punk loathing. Good Intentions (Coming Home I) is his first offering, an abrasion of erosive and raw cancerous morbidity which is as fearsome as it is sonically compelling, whilst Last Gifts of Worship (Coming Home II) takes all the enmity of the previous song and twists it into an even harsher and surprisingly catchy enticing. Of course that infectiousness lies beneath a tsunami of ill-will and rancorous intent which to swim through is as painful as it is rewarding.

Only The Sigh might have emerged as just the favourite track here but between them Human Bodies and Leather Chalice uncage four dangerous and highly enjoyable onslaughts which fans of black metal, hardcore, and violent post punk should take a deep breath and dive deeply into.

The Human Bodies/Leather Chalice Split is available now on Ltd Ed 7” vinyl via Broken Limbs Recordings in co-operation with Prison Tatt Records.

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2015

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Barús – Self Titled EP

Barus_Cover__RingMaster Review

Let us introduce you to Barús, a death metal band from Grenoble in France. There is little more we can offer you about the band except from quoting their bio. “Barús evokes a weight, a burden. Through music, it reveals an introspective state of mind: A grain of sand lost in the vastness…A questioning of all things…Death.” What we can say is that their self-titled debut album is one potential swamped and seriously compelling proposition you should take a look at.

Sometimes you get an inner twinge of something special in the making when being introduced to a band or release and that certainly applies to Barús. Through four rigorously challenging and thickly satisfying tracks, band and release provide a journey through the darkest, hellish climates and depths. They are burdensome, uncompromising songs which are as fearsome as they are imaginative. Tracks which all the time lyrically and musically question thoughts, instincts, and the senses. The band has been labelled as progressive death metal and though you can sense why with the invention fuelling unique songs primarily Barús’ sound is a malevolent cauldron of death voracity with black malice and doom oppressiveness.

The release opens with Tarot and a chaotic tempest of intensity and energy driven ravenous sound. Everything is in rabid turmoil, only settling down a touch with the addition of the grievous tones of the vocals. In time as searing grooves entwine fierce riffs and rhythms, an order as such comes over the track whilst still flirting with a bedlamic soundscape of ideas and textures. Contrastingly the vocals grow more psychotic, emotionally tarred roars bellowing and stalking the senses as the guitars spin a jagged djent seeded violation and seduction through ears. The track is breath-taking, an energy sapping, body staggering onslaught and quite irresistible.

The following Disillusions is equally as tempestuous at heart and in presence but with a more restrained character initially, though that line is blurred with every predatory torrent of riffs and scything swing of rhythms. The listener soon finds itself in an aural coven, one lorded over by savage guitar enterprise and vocal malevolence, but also a landscape which perpetually wrong-foots and fascinates. A mellow embrace midway comes with great clean vocals but it is merely a demonic deceit, the track soon casting a spell of sonic voracity and emotional malefaction. Emulating the first track, it is an exhilarating trespass on the senses and psyche; the two alone making Barús a seriously potent proposition for extreme metallers to check out.

Chalice is simply a stalking of the listener and a continuation of the raw sorcery brewing in its predecessor. Spoken commands and chants swiftly evolve into a ruinous transgression, the music from an initial almost anthemic enticing exploding into a cancerous animus of noise and intent. Again though the band fluidly and impressively disorientates and spellbinds through the merger of extremes and contrasts, the collusion of vitriolic and melodic beauty. This is where those progressive tags are suggested, though Barús offer it in the most barbarous form possible.

The EP closes with Cherub; a doom laded crawl of an incitement which as you may suspect grows and blossoms into a viscerally sonic profanation of sound and air. Though not quite matching the previous three tracks in impact, the track just absorbs attention as it devours the soul to provide a final raw treat to fear and greedily embrace.

Barús have made a mouth-watering entrance upon the extreme metal landscape with their first EP, and if this is the sign of things to come, even without the natural evolution and maturity that assumedly will follow becoming involved, the French band is going to be a major favourite with a great many.

The Barús EP is available now as a name your price download at the band’s Bandcamp profile.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

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Sibiir – Swallow & Trap Them

sibiir_web_RingMaster Review

Sibiir is a quintet of experienced musicians from Sigh & Explode, Jack Dalton, Do You Love Melena? and Call:Vega who decided to unite in 2014 to get together and craft some heavy and intense tunes that would reflect their mutual love for the heavier and darker side of music.” It is safe to say on the evidence of their two track debut Swallow & Trap Them, intent has been brewed, explored, and rabidly achieved. A fusion of hardcore ferocity and spite, atmospheric black metal trespass, and murky post metal despondence, the band’s sound and release swarms the senses with carnivorous intent and suffocating malevolence. Yet in its depths there is an instinctive contagion which flirts from within the raw tempest, a compelling lure which just pulls you further into the savagery.

sibiir_cover_RingMaster Review    Swallow & Trap Them is one of those proposals which will alienate as forcibly as it enslaves, not easy to imagine the encounter leaving too many in the middle ground undecided on their take on the fury. That intensity just adds something to a release though, an imposing take it or leave it air virtually demanding a reaction of some sort and certainly the two tracks from the Oslo band enforces that question.

The title track comes first, bestial rhythms and just as feral riffs descending on ears in horde like fashion. Already there is hostility which has the senses withering, even more rapidly once the throat shredding tones of Jimmy Nymoen sear air and song. That initial torrent of barbarous bruising continues throughout but to it guitarists Tobias Gausemel Backe and Steffen Grønneberg spin sinuous sonic enterprise and intrusiveness speared by the predatory call of Kent Nordli’s bass and the quite simply lethal swings of drummer Eivind Kjølstad. It is a maelstrom of energy and rancorous emotion but one unafraid to seed infectious hooks and addictive textures that ebb and flow across the volatile and continually evolving canvas of emotional and physical punishment.

You cannot say that second song These Rats We Deny is a lighter affair but from its first breath it has virulence to its character and smog of noise which just grips from the first second and never releases its hold even as the track throws itself through tortuous scenery and malevolent climates. Bands like Nerv and NVRVD come to mind during the fierce incitement, though it is hard to think of many fuelling their corrosive turbulence with the insidious addiction forging seducing that both tracks carry but These Rats We Deny especially exploits. Finally embalming ears and appetite with the juices of allegiance through a glorious chorus of anthemic band roars, the track and release leaves a big grin on the face and spark for lust in the passions.

You might suspect that Sibiir touched the sweet spot in personal tastes for us and will definitely do so for a great plague of others. These are the first two songs written and recorded by the band and let us hope not the last conjured by the get together of talent, for Swallow & Trap Them is nothing short of violently majestic.

Swallow & Trap Them is available from September 4th via Disiplin Media.

Pete Ringmaster 04/09/2015

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