Various Artists – Operation: Underground

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There are nowhere enough compilations albums around these days especially when it comes to unleashing and promoting the potency of the underground scene. The seventies and eighties saw a plethora of important collections bringing impressive introductions to hordes of bands and often making a springboard for those propositions to find healthier and stronger horizons. Today it seems almost a rare treat to be presented with such an encounter, though amongst those which have emerged there have been many impressing releases. Adding to that list of triumphs and setting a template and example for others to follow is Operation: Underground, the new release out of New England independent label Bluntface Records. Consisting of 27 of the most potent attention grabbing extreme metal bands from the world’s underground, it is an outstanding slab of creative hostility and malicious introductions. The fact that it is released as a free download only adds to the might and weight of the uncompromising incitement.

Created and sculpted by label owner Otto Kinzel, himself renowned for his solo work and with his band Chemical Distance, Operation: Underground it is fair to say has no real fillers in its body, something else few releases of this size can claim. It comes with a showcase of quality and talent which demands close attention, exploring everything from black and death metal to grindcore and other varied extreme provocations. The album quite simply goes for the jugular from its opening moment and is unrelenting until the last pleasing violation of its final track.

Operation: Underground gets off to a voraciously impressive start through its opening pair of bands. Hailing from New York, brutal death metallers Abdicate make the first blunt incision with their track Burning Ascendance. Taken from the album Fragmented Atrocities, it is a furious decaying of the senses with grind seeded carnality. Clad with inescapable malice driven by gutturally spewed vocals which themselves are aligned to rampant riffs and a violently rhythmic tenacity, the song instantly chains and enslaves ears and thoughts with its hellacious intensity and scintillating causticity. Perfectly raw and loaded with exciting potential, it is an immense start soon left in the wake of the following Human Decimator. Uncaged by Massachusetts five piece Carnivora, the track from an opening sample lure wraps ears in a venomously addictive groove and angrily cantankerous rhythms. It is a staggering start swiftly pushed on by the outstanding vocals and magnetic signs of guitar and predatory bass baiting. Subsequently entwining groove and thrash in a unique explosion of flavoursome toxic metal, song and band instantly take a swing at top track honours and to be honest never relinquish their hold despite numerous challenges. From the Danvers hailing band’s excellent Eternal album, the song with its predecessor sets a high marker for the album which to be fair it never really strays too far from.

Ireland’s Legion of Wolves comes next with their death metal spawned track Kings Of Tyranny. Taken from recent release Legio Luporum XIV, the song prowls ears and imagination with a black hearted demeanour and similarly coloured sounds. There is a pestilential air and intimidation to every riff and swing of sticks as well as with increasing malice the gruff vocal squalls, but also an emerging melodic craft which transfixes as it tempers the enmity of the track. From the Irish success both US band Goreality with the rapier like corrosiveness of Skin On, Skin Off and Florida’s Echaton keep imagination and satisfaction high, if not quite matching the early songs. The first of the two creates an incessant thrash fuelled death metal rapacity which is as easy crawling over the senses as it is discharging an adrenaline lit trespass whilst its successor with Behold The Nexus offers a more technical premise compared to its barbarous predecessor. Do not expect to have things easy though as the song roars and scythes with jaundiced respect and impressive individual prowess over the senses and into the passions.

Markradonn come next with a track from Final Dying Breath EP called Internal Hate Unbounded. One of metals most individually sounding propositions, the Florida band create an experimental tapestry of death and black metal filtered through a progressive and symphonic rapacity, resulting as the song shows in a startling imagination fuelling encounter. Its ferociously compelling presence is left a little pale though by the caustic sonic irritancy of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds from Arkansas duo Critical Dismemberment. The song is an abrasing and unpolished smog of bad blooded death metal soaked in inventive rancor and appealing potential proving ears with healthy pleasure.

Maine’s Sacrichrist suffer from an unflattering production to their song No Savior to really impress though it does not fully smother a promise which suggests more than it delivers. Nevertheless the track grows in strength and persuasion over time to make the band one to keep an eye on alongside extreme heavy metal quintet Wrathsputin. The Massachusetts band unleash a gripping fury of sonic nastiness and rhythmic bullying in their song A.N.U.S. (A Nation Under Satan), to create another riveting moment in the album, especially with the potent enticement of contagious grooves and melodic spillages which litter the excellent song.

     Green Army from Bangladesh is another to have a diminished success thanks to the poorer recording quality of their song Reborn of the Blackened Phenomenon, though again to be fair it does not stop the accomplished and adventurous skills of the band shining through before The Slip from the excellent Garbage Can takes over. A two-piece from Ottawa, the Canadian band creates an irresistible savagery of slam grind which manages to seduce and scythe through the senses with equal attraction. The song is another setting the loftiest pinnacles on the album definitely not matched for personal tastes by Malcontent Manifestation from Inverticrux. Actually from its first gothic clad doom brewed musical seconds the track flirts with the imagination to reasonably strong success but vocally the New Hampshire band leaves emotions cold and unconvinced, that aspect a maelstrom of textures and styles which will either click for you or not.

Another Irish band in the tasty shape and sound of Syphor step up next, their track For What Remains, from the album of the same name, a predatory blend of thrash and death metal courting many other textures and spices in an 10625117_10202114872106082_8340698001833330811_ninfectiously gripping web of riffs and grooves hosted by great serpentine vocals. The Dublin band easily set themselves as another to explore further as does the ear grabbing Solium Fatalis who follow them. Dead Sands Of Time is a beast of a track, its tone bestial and weight trapping whilst its strenuous grooving and rhythmic animosity spins an inescapable web for thoughts to bask within. Maybe their sound is not rife with originality but certainly the band leaves a hunger for more as insistent as the imposing sounds which breeds it.

Infested Prophecy also fails to a light fire in ears and imagination with Abandon Departure, though there is plenty musically to spark a watch of the Massachusetts band once their blackened malevolence is given a willing production to aid the trio’s musical talent and adventure. Certainly as all the bands they are not lightweight in their offering to the album, the same easily said of both Canada’s Accursed Spawn and Florida’s Prophecy Z14. The first of the pair sear ears with a sonic and rhythmic violence through their song Burned Into Sterility which is as warped and psychotic as it is ridiculously captivating. If wanting some new Cryptopsy or Dying Fetus like sounds then turning to the Ottawa five would be a rewarding move whilst the following protagonists roam and hunt down the senses with a weave of technically driven death metal annihilation to matching success. With a swing and swagger to every element of its tempestuous onslaught, Torn from the Flies is a thought provoking proposal, not as dramatic in its capture as maybe it should be but providing a wholesome and mercilessly ravaging exploit all the same.

New Yorkers Gutted Alive lifts the lid off another stretch of commanding and impressive offerings with their track Force Fed Acid. Arguably the most brutal track on the album it is an addiction fuelled tempest of cruel rhythms punctuating sonic and vocal spite complete with a delicious nagging slingshot of grooves and flesh stripping riffery. The song is a masterful temptation to embrace and fear simultaneously which is matched stride by violent stride by Infection of the Masses from New York sextet Assault on the Living. It also niggles its way in to the psyche, repetitive textures and grooves only adding to the virulent bait and lure of the expansively flavoured sound. One of many bands you immediately feel will not be a secret for much longer they are swiftly emulated in might and quality by My Missing Half. Another foursome from Massachusetts, the Bostonians forge an enthralling canvas of melodic death metal in Empty Dreams which is as enticing with its sonic and melodic colour as it is through its rigorous design of sinew built antagonism. With essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me bringing hues to an otherwise fresh sound and presence, the band add another name to the busy check out list inspired by the album.

Italy’s Symbolyc provide their very palatable style of extreme incitement next, blastbeats and grooves as binding as the alluring vocal predation and melodic veining the stormy heart of 300 Demons. Their fury is as potently enticing as that of German metallers Spreading Miasm and their sonic pestilence The Harvest, a track which is unfussy aural toxicity with every enjoyable twist and violation wished for in an accomplished slab of extreme metal. It also finds an unpredictable invention which lifts a strong song into a great encounter, something not quite discovered by Texans Core of Desolation in their track The Return of Death’s Glorius Design, though it also is not blessed by the most understanding of productions which smothers the chance of greater success as certainly hinted at within the still enjoyable offering.

Operation: Underground begins its closing run with symphonic black metallers Aberration Nexus, the solo project of Chris Meyer from Victoria in Australia. The erosive and immersive embrace of The Solvent That Cleanses The Earth immediately smothers the senses in a melodic expression filtered through a thick atmosphere and sonic rabidity. It is an absorbing if uncomfortable experience pointing to a potential which will flourish ahead with the right touch and scenery for Meyer to grow within. Its strongly satisfying presence makes way for the Egyptian influenced death metal of Romanians Horus, their sound a warm melodic wash over a hostile frame, governed by deep throated vocals. Their track Revelation is an imaginative entwining of symphonic seducing and menacing landscapes which again lays seeds to a keen appetite to learn more before it in turn is followed by the similarly imagination capturing Suffer The Winter from Ohio metallers Vengeance Within. Without courting open originality, song and band cast a shadowed and intrigue rich terrain of potent melodies and jaundiced intensity which casts a widely flavoured and lingering presence to entice more investigation.

The album is closed by Terminality from Californians Dark Measure, yet another band on the release unafraid to explore a merger of styles and ideation to create a fiery and richly appetising conclusion to a tremendous doorway into some of the best emerging bands in extreme metal. Operation: Underground is a thrilling project from a label which lives the independent scene and really does support the cause.

Operation: Underground is available from Tuesday August 26th for free download @ www.bluntfacerecords.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 25/08/2014

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Of warriors and hungry shadows: an interview with Jonas Albrektsson of King of Asgard

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Since its start in 2008, Swedish metal band King of Asgard has grown in presence and ingenuity with an accompanying potency of acclaim brewing alongside their impressive endeavours. Previous albums Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and …to North two years later, bred an impressed and continually strengthening recognition but new album Karg is where the band’s expressively flavoursome blend of blackened metal with folk instincts looks like drawing the widest canvas of ears and appetites. With a broad invention and sound which at times needs a focused attentiveness to discover all its unique qualities, the album easily pushes the band into a new spotlight. We had the pleasure to explore the roots and depths of King of Asgard, as well as the new proposition from the band with bassist Jonas Albrektsson who kindly spared time for us to talk about….

Hello Jonas and many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hi Pete, and thanks for supporting us. Cheers

Before we delve into new album Karg, can we ask about the beginnings of the band, its foundation and the intent behind its first steps?

King of Asgard was formed by Karl Beckman, joined by Karsten Larsson in short time as a continuation of their predecessor band Mithotyn, a band which both Karl and Karsten were in. The longing of getting back to the roots and close to where it all (Mithotyn) ended got King of Asgard started, preferably in a new shape and with a new approach. As time went and the band evolved, King of Asgard became a sole creation standing proud on its own foundation which probably also became more evident when I joined in on bass and as a creative force. Later on Lars Tängmark came into picture as well to fill in and strengthen the line-up. So King of Asgard has reminiscence of what once was but has taken its own turns and led to something of its own yet with the past still, for obvious reasons, present. That’s in short how it all got started and from there on our three albums guide the way. Also check our biography presented at the Metal Blade web page for further digging.

Norse mythology is an open inspiration to your music and lyrics, was this a determined aspect from day one with the band and what inspired your interest in it personally as well as creatively?

Yes it pretty much was as such. As said above this was at first thought a continuation of Karl and Karsten’s musical past which was derived from Norse mythology concepts, the Viking heritage and the overall ancestral past. So I would say the main concept for inspiration was a determined choice but we’ve loosened up during the years and are not that forced to stay within those frames, though our name suggests that at first glimpse of course. So this was the case, at least that’s how it was in the beginning but times change and so did our music and lyrical approach. Karg for example to some extent deals with what previous albums have done, Norse mythology, the sagas and the age it reflect, but not close to what was on the debut for example. On this one we went much closer to our own immediate historical presence and also totally out of subject and I think this will be more realised in the future to come. The actual interest and inspiration I think we just got natural through our upbringing so it’s there just to grab and pick it up. It’s a great treasure and indeed a great source of inspiration for what we do and create.

Was the emergence of King Of Asgard in 2008 a swift realisation from an idea or was it something which had been brewing in thoughts of Karl for a while even whilst in other projects? king-of-asgard_photo01

King of Asgard has long before realisation been present in Karl’s thoughts and he has always wanted to pick something like this up but for several reasons never been able to do so until 2008. We’re close friends, me and him, so I know before King of Asgard he’s been talking about it several times and I’m glad he finally got his shit together and made reality out of his longing. It wasn’t that serious to begin with but after the demo was recorded I know he really was focused and eager. This was also the period when he first started nagging on me to join which took some time but I’m glad I finally did. So, Karl really ‘brewed’ on this constellation for a long time, probably since the day Mithotyn shut their business down. To sum it up I would say King of Asgard was formed way before in Karl’s mind and is a project stained with devotion and heart.

How do you see the band now against those early days not only in sound and presence but in its direction and intent?

I think we just keep on working from where we left off of our past creations and further on into our own development without really looking back. What happens is probably that it turns more and more into our own style as we write what we personally gets satisfied doing, creating our own sound. This album took quite a while before we felt where to turn from whence things just automatically took shape. The sound and material on Karg is much more stripped down and riff based which makes a somewhat new approach for being King of Asgard but I really feel this is where we feel most safe and personally satisfied. We kind of step back and rely on power combined with epic moments. The development between all three albums and the time duration has been very natural and when thinking of it one can actually hear what’s going on and the direction is somewhat clear. We’ve accomplished much and conquered some and reached our own identity but more needs to be adjusted. What’s important is not to get stagnant and still feel we have a direction and intent for doing King of Asgard and I feel we still do.

We are mentioning your just released third album Karg, how has its realisation differed from its predecessors Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and …To North two years later?

I guess the thing is we’ve found a good and safe way of working which feels really pleasant. We’re these days very confident on what we do and do our thing from the heart, not trying to please others expectations, though we of course appreciate it if people like what we do ha-ha. Karl and I put the material together of which he writes the most, we structure and record pre-productions and so forth so there’s really a lot of thought behind all our stuff but still there can come spontaneous ideas in the studio for example. So we’re much more focused and structured in the writing process these days than in say pre the debut album but I guess such is also natural and grows within a band as time goes. So speaking of Karg it all went very smooth at least when we got inspired and the creative force got started. We know how to deal with things these days and are fully prepared before entering the studio and such so that the recording also will be as focused and held on maximum grade. We always want to improve and do our very best even if it many times faces hard struggle.

What about its inspirations and its growth in sound compared to the earlier albums for you?

Guess much of this already been discussed more or less but I think what is most evident is that it is more true to ourselves. We obviously never tried to be the most progressive nor innovative act, not at all but rather looked back and paid tribute to our own heroes and influential sources. We create music we ourselves appreciate listening to which I believe has grown more into our sound and at the same time built our foundation. I think on Karg we reached the point where we are most personal in sound and that sound being King of Asgard with full force and with identity. We don’t think that much or plan on the direction we want to turn, we rather follow our own intuitions and the result is what comes out of it but run with a thorough and careful hand.

KingOfAsgard-KargThe album title Karg is the Swedish for barren; did the name come after its making as a reflection of the songs within the release or was it the seed from which ideas and the atmosphere of the album grew?

It started off in all sorts of directions but once the first say two songs were close to finish we knew where we were heading with the material for this album. By this time we also came up with the album title, Karg, which by its mere significance has formed and influenced the atmosphere through the whole process, musically, lyrically as well as when considering art and pictures etc. We wanted it to sound bare, sterile and infertile combined with what one usually associates King of Asgard with…the absence of bliss. So it was probably both ways, we went with the flow as it started in the beginning of the writing process as well as we were determined of a certain goal. It was mostly a seed which grew into Karg, an interesting way to work actually.

It is arguably a more challenging and raw proposition than its predecessors in many ways, is that something you see and deliberately worked for or it arose more organically?

I think it came intentionally with the approach we strived for and the atmospheres we wanted to build. Our previous albums have been much more accessible in terms of melodies and song structure. This time around it’s still there but takes quite a few more spins to get the grip and comprehend the material. It was not a sole purpose to come to but rather just went that way and it’s more a reflection of us as persons. Karg is a more mature and honest album than the other two and a proof we’ve somewhat reached an identity of our own. It’s both ways of what you aim for here, we wanted it to sound a specific way and thus we deliberately worked in such direction as well as having it come our way naturally, allowing it to happen.

Do you see this as a breath to your music which will continue certainly into the next release(s) or are you a band which allows each batch of songs to find their own character within your ideas and musical exploration?

I think it will continue as well as develop. We don’t plan much but rather follow our instincts though within the frames of King of Asgard of course. It’s always hard to predict the future but for how I feel the work for Karg went, we will most likely still follow this newly discovered path. I don’t think we did such a radical change though but as said before, we’re in the phase where we’ve found ourselves musically and conceptually and really enjoy what we do as well as what we achieve and generate.

Lyrically do you go looking for tales and myths to brew your ideas from or is it things leap out and demand attention more often than not.

It’s all different depending on occasion. But mainly I would say I come across a subject or whatever I want to illustrate and from there start digging in detail to obtain as much facts or information on it as possible. Further I recollect, pen it down and assemble, try to structure and make it rhythmic, on and of back and forth. But, on the other hand, the lyrics that Lars writes is rather the opposite I think, he just spews it out and what comes around goes around ‘til of course it has to somewhere connect to our conceptual worth. Also some things come easier as for this album where many songs are based on and around our own immediate surroundings. So in a way we’re then using our ancestral path as inspiration as well as we give it our reverence; we’ve heard the tales and seen the sites since early childhood so it comes natural for us to use to bring out to others.

How do you feel your songs relate to the modern world and its conflicts etc., and is that something the band bears in mind when writing lyrics or do you just concentrate on the landscape emerging across tracks and releases from their seed idea primarily?

We’re all about looking backwards, ha-ha, we concentrate and reflect upon myths and sagas and our own historical presence…our heritage and ancestral path. Sure there are once in a while some that relate to modern times which could be religious mockery or things that could be related to in modern society and the struggles in daily life. We don’t really have any plan on what and how things such as this are going to be like on the albums as the songs stand alone. We neither have frames we have to stay inside and that’s pretty clear when checking the variety out on the songs for Karg which is more wide spread than ever before. I think it’s good to leave it open and still be able to reflect upon other things than just Viking era or Norse mythology…this of course being a big part of us but not solely. For conflicts, political and what not, these are subjects I don’t see or think we’ll ever dig into as that’s not really our thing or something we’d like to bring into the concept of King of Asgard.

Did you approach the recording of Karg this time around compared to previous releases?

It more or less has been in the same way. We got much studio experience even before King of Asgard and know what needs to be taken care of to be able to get the stuff on tape in the most effective way. As we’ve now also worked with Andy and Sonic Train Studios for the third time we know how to be prepared and what to expect. Entering with Karg I guess the working process was pretty much the same as the predecessors but in a way more confident and even more prepared one. We know what we need to work more on and know how to face obstacles which we’ve learned on the two previous sessions. So things work the same just way more professional and effective and also we now feel safe and experiment more on the sound.

Does the band like to take finished songs into the recording process or like to give them room in that scenery to expand and develop further?

More or less everything is finished in detail before we get into the studio; even pre-productions of the songs are recorded. But sure we have them open for new ideas and interpretations which often come up when you are in the studio recording. The last song was finished just a few weeks before entering Sonic Train Studios but nothing’s set until it’s on the master and delivered. We constantly change things during the writing process going back and forth. Same goes for the recording, things that pop up like background choir, guitars in different harmonies and stuff like that are carefully taken care of. This is also much do to the fact we got limited studio time and thus we need everything done and planned to be able to reach our goal. It’s of course a pity and somewhat frustrating not being able to finalize all ideas and try new ones in the studio but that’s how it is when finances run the whip.

How does the songwriting generally play out within the band?king-of-asgard_photo02

Karl and I are responsible for the songwriting. We work close together on all ideas and put everything together from the first until the last stage. He writes the most and the main parts and I bring in the details and structure everything, along with him of course. It works really well as we know each other very well and complete each other with our slightly different background and musical directions. All in all it turns into King of Asgard. From there on we bring it to the rehearsal place and further adjustments are being made along with the other guys. It’s always under construction and nothing’s set until the day of recording but I would say the songs are close to album structure before we enter the studio with both music and the words put upon it.

You mentioned earlier that the album was recorded with Andy LaRocque at Sonic Train Studios, as your previous albums. Obviously you guys get on well with him and he understands something which brings your sounds alive as imagined?

I guess he does. It’s a steady relationship we’ve built up and it’s a comfortable and a somewhat safe choice to enter Sonic Train as we’ve got limited recording time in the studio. We have returned to Andy because it is very, as said, comfortable and great to work both with him as person, engineer and co-producer in his studio and also this time we also got to work with his co-worker Olof Berggren. We have built a strong partnership where both parties are pleased and work very effectively together. We are both driven to constantly take King of Asgard a step further and with Andy as co-producer it gives us a lot and we push ourselves constantly to the ultimate. It has never been said though that it is the only studio for King of Asgard. It’s just the way it has turned out and the future will show where the next turn will take us. Andy is an awesome dude who has the right tools for us as a band to use and thus to accomplish what we want to achieve. Our visits get more relaxed and at the same time more professional and more effective. We enjoy working with Andy, as does he with King of Asgard…a great combination and basic foundation for an even greater production where he makes realization of our visions.

Playing Devil’s Advocate and talking generally do you feel that possibly working with the same person in the same place runs the risk of familiarity and too safe a feel for a release? Not, we hasten to say, that this applies to Karg ha-ha.

Sure this could easily happen but we have considered it well before going on another round as we’ve returned to work with same studio, cover artist and photographer. For us it was rather strengthening us as we know somewhat where we end up and what we have to face as our frames are limited and thus we have to work hard to get the best result out of it and not run into mistakes. But for sure it’s a risk one takes and we know it is and up until now we’ve conquered it and also discussed this topic so we’ll see what will happen next on this matter. It’s a risky business, ha-ha.

What comes next for King of Asgard?

Unfortunately there are no tours nor festivals planned at this moment; not the best time of the year to release a new album. Anyway, right now we’re putting all our focus on the release of the album which was just around the past corner, a lot of promotion to be done and still coming in. We’ll hopefully get our shit together and do some shows in the short distance and so forth. Most likely we’ll also starting to write some new material as soon as we feel the time’s right and I know Karl’s already begun.

Once again thanks you for sharing your time and words with us; any last thoughts you would like to end with?

Our pleasure, thanks for the support! Keep checking in on our channels, make sure to pick up Karg which now is unleashed upon thee in all possible formats!

Horns up you all followers of the King and first and foremost, Pete and the Ringmaster Review. Cheers!

 

Read the review of Karg @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/king-of-asgard-karg/

http://www.kingofasgard.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/08/2014

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Deconstructing Sequence – Access Code

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Immersing the imagination in a journey which is at times as bewildering and exhausting as it is evocatively enlightening, Access Code, the new EP from UK metallers Deconstructing Sequence is a spellbinding challenge of an adventure. Comprising of two tracks which weave strains and toxins of everything from black and extreme to progressive and avant-garde metal, the release is a startling and breath-taking creative emprise. Easily accessible yet imposingly challenging, intricately woven yet consuming ears in a maelstrom of intensive rapacity, Access Code is a masterly confrontation which sets the Taunton based trio as one of, if not, the most exciting prospect in the UK metal scene.

The beginnings of Deconstructing Sequence came from the demise of black/death metal band Northwail, who had relative success with the albums Enigma and Cold Season in 2008 and 2011 respectively. From the ashes of that band, members Morph (guitar, vocals, sequencing and synthesis) and Tiberius (lead guitar, bass, vocals) decided to continue exploring progressive and avant-garde regions of extreme music with a new project, that being Deconstructing Sequence. Taking inspiration from the likes of Emperor, Nile, Arcturus, Dødheimsgard, and God is an Astronaut, the pair has proceeded to sculpt a uniqueness of sound which they describe as Extreme Progressive Art. Next the band enlisted drummer J. Nerexo, also of Shadows Land, and forged debut EP, Year One with their combined ingenuity and imagination which Access Code now pushes further whilst threatening to thrust the band to the fore of European metal. It is a proposition which brings an innovative and invigorating presence to numerous genres and a creative alchemy to ears.

The release opens with A Habitable World is Found, a track which according to the band “is a space-opera metaphor for search of a place on this world, a path that leads to completion of one’s self. It’s also a statement of our musical ds coverway, an opening act of chapter two of the odyssey.” Riffs make the first rigorous persuasion from within the track, their almost bitter textures startling and incendiary. Around them a sonic brew of invention warms its hands before descending on ears and imagination whilst those imposing riffs and a rhythmic battering led by equally caustic vocal growls intimidatingly spawn their specific furnace of attractive yet destructive bait. The twin vocal assault in its relentlessly varied delivery from the band founders is as gripping and unpredictable as the now in full flight tempest of sound and ideation. To be honest the track is as difficult to portray in words as it is unpredictable in sound and enterprise, additives of post punk and post rock endeavour just a few of the flames adding to the continuously intriguing and bewitching soundscape. As proven by the track alone, handful of listens still barely scratches the surface of the song’s depths and unrelenting ingenuity, ensuring each dive into its ravenous structures and agitated imagination of sound and skilled musicianship is a freshly rewarding experience.

Second track We Have The Access Code, is an immediate scrub of sonic acidity and rhythmic hostility which again is as seducing in its presence as it is venomously uncompromising. As its predecessor, the track is a merciless turbulence of sound and creative rabidity but whereas the first has a fluid and seamless evolution even in its most agitated and ferocious moments, the second song brings a bedlamic and discord fuelled frenzy which clashes and sparks against the senses and itself for another ridiculously compelling and scintillating proposition. Also employing a haunted and stark post punk essence within its melancholic shadows as well as electro spiced causticity, the song is equally unafraid to entwine a torrent of flavours and insatiably rabid creativity around its bordering on maniacal walls and charm.

Access Code is invention at its most damaging, arousing, and brilliantly animated best, extreme metal with a new intent and breath which sets Deconstructing Sequence not only apart from the rest but as a template for others to find inspiration in.

The self-released Access Code EP is available now @ http://dsprogart.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeconstructingSequence

10/10

RingMaster 12/08/2014

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God Destruction – Novus Ordo Seclorum

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Having preyed upon and traumatised the world with their richly acclaimed and exceptional debut album Illuminatus two years ago, Mexican provocateurs God Destruction return with its successor Novus Ordo Seclorum. It has been a battle to bring the release to bear upon the senses, the demise of their previous label an imposing obstacle, but finally the insidious collection of dark and intensive anthems for the soul and psyche has been unleashed to the continue the impressive emergence of the band. Darker, intently more venomous, and arguably even more viciously intimidating than its predecessor, the album infests the trio’s industrial and harsh EBM sound with a black metal rapacity which infects and enflames the senses and imagination voraciously. It is another uncompromisingly thrilling and hostile proposition which without surpassing the previous release sits potently alongside its stature.

Consisting of Imperor, Charles Black, and Muteitor, the 2009 formed band as expected explores the most primal and vindictive sounds within the new release’s satanic themed tracks. The album exudes a constant pressure and gripping irritant on the senses, each song crowding the listener with ravenous and at times concussive waves of sound and ideation which exhaust as they spark ears and imagination into willing submission. It is a mighty and riveting encounter but one which suffers from a meandering and at times potency defusing mix from Mario Carrasco (SIN DNA). There are certain tracks where clarity is smothered in a distorted touch which corrupts the quality of the song within though the strength of the songs always wins through.

The Juggernaut Music Group release opens with New World Order and immediately has ears wrapped in a predatory sonic provocation veined by a sample of Middle Eastern suggestiveness. The track instantly surveys the climate of the world with its initial seconds, beats a menacing incitement to the vocal suasion flirting with thoughts. Eventually the track explodes into a tsunami of electronic enticement bred in inhospitable breath, where it shows itself to suffer from the awkward mix, though maybe the warped sound and touch is intentional. Nevertheless the track continues to swarm around the senses, its melodic and sonic appetite entangled for a scorched and acidic enterprise. It is not a startling start to the album but one rigidly gripping attention and appetite which I’m Your God and especially Bellum capitalise on. The first of the pair also takes a mere second to intrigue and grab the imagination, its initial heavy emotive keys a classical lure into the waiting arms of abrasing electro caustic and punishing beats. The song proceeds to leer at and climb over emotions with its demonic intent and the equally serpentine vocals, exposing them to its treacherously seductive heart before making way for the album’s best moment. Bellum is a bordering on sadistic provocateur from the first intensive scrub of riffs and electronic scowling. Antagonistic rhythms join the corrosive mix swiftly after as the track blossoms into a twisted tempest of deranged electronics, warped guitar endeavour, and again that irrepressible erosive vocal presence which marks out the band as pleasingly as its sound. The track is scintillating, a traumatic blend of metal and industrial antipathy soaked in epic drama and climactic atmospheres.

The dangerous air and sonic swing of Disintegrator comes next, its lures as infectious and crystalline as they are caustic before making way for a cover of the Marilyn Manson track Angel With The Scabbed Wings. The encounter coveris another crawl through the psyche, the band employing the prime essences of the track’s creator and twisting them into an impervious fiendish temptation which impresses far more than expected. It is a richly appetising baiting which is matched by the following Prominent Darkness. The slow predation which marked the previous track is again the formidable gait and intent of the song, its thick toxicity an oppressive weave of electronic sultriness and emotive storming spiked with industrial unpredictability and melodic crooning.   Through the despotic Destroyer with its patchwork of bad blooded invention of sound and climactic provocation, and the similarly structured Satan’s Storm, the album persists in its riveting exploration and diabolical persuasion. The latter is toxic bait for the dance floor which works as easily on feet as it does emotions, though it is soon lost in the shadow of the excellent Revolution. The track drives an industrial demanding through ears with its first gasp of sonic breath, keys and guitars rippling with primal rabidity as the vocals spill an officious rancor with every syllable. It is an exhilarating assault which only elevates it’s tempting with disorientating shards and splinters of ear bending and unpredictable ingenuity. The track is sensational and stands beside Bellum as a pinnacle.

Touched By Lvcifer rises from a minimalistic coaxing into a roaring ferocity of sound and emotional spite to sear body and soul before the demonstrative Doomsday parades its own distinct ravaging with magnetic shafts of melodic and scarring electronic beguiling. Both leave hunger greedier whilst Regresus Diaboli provides a lingering manipulation of senses and emotions with its transfixing and fascinating tide of searing sonic elegance and rhythmic grudging, all as ever lorded over by the Luciferian vocals.

Completed by the C-Lekktor Remix of Touched By Lvcifer, as well as the Esquizofrenia Viral and Satanized By Alien Vampires remixes of Regresus Diaboli, the album is another inescapable and increasingly impressive violation from God Destruction. It does have that issue with its mix but again the band has cast songs which simply corrupt and ignite for the fullest invigorating pleasure, Novus Ordo Seclorum returning the band to the frontline of corruptive ingenuity once again.

Novus Ordo Seclorum is available now via Juggernaut Music Group @ http://music.juggernautservices.com/album/novus-ordo-seclorum

https://www.facebook.com/GodDestruction666

8/10

RingMaster 08/08/2014]

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Conjuro Nuclear – Self Titled

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It has to be said that the band name alone sparked intrigue and anticipation in thoughts but once the first strains of sonic conspiracy from Conjuro Nuclear’s self-titled album wrapped its charms around ears and senses, that interest soon bred a hunger. The predominantly instrumental release is a blistering and caustically charming fusion of post punk and black metal which manages to simultaneously sound strikingly unique yet recognisable in its creative drama. It is a masterfully compelling proposition which maybe does not consistently enough set a blaze in the passions but certainly owns the imagination from start to finish for a just as potent success.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Barcelona, Conjuro Nuclear is the solo project of Emesis. Originally a duo, the project released Luna llena y radiación (Full moon and radiation) last year to strong responses. Now Emesis alone, the band has unleashed its sophomore encounter, a release easy to suspect and expect to have the potency to push Conjuro Nuclear into the spotlight of a much wider attention. Consisting of eleven tracks which are like individual episodes in a united series of events yet not necessarily within a continuous soundscape, the album is a riveting and bewitching antagonist for senses and thoughts.

The title track is the first adventure to embrace the listener and immediately its dark noir breath is an irresistible lure for ears and imagination. Keys and beats link to build a shady atmosphere which the sonic suggestiveness of the guitar lights up with acidic coaxing. The track takes little time in building scenery of danger and unpredictable drama, its creative invention and sounds the rich colour to its eventful canvas. The track has the dark tones of an intrusive mystery and the exotic hues of a sci-fi emprise, and easily lures thought and emotions to its expressive and inescapable bosom. Production, as it is across the whole album, has a muggy/ sultry come oppressive feel which only adds to the intensive weight and texture of the sounds, which in turn thickens the thoroughly absorbing incitement.

The following Oscura lisergia is of similar breeding, a repetitive lone groove stealing the passions as a tempest brews and squalls around its infectious bait. Initially thoughts of eighties bands like Crispy Ambulance and Leitmotiv come to the fore, the prime sonic hook reminiscent of that era but the track is soon flushing a black metal causticity across the senses which smothers but does not extinguish that ever virulent enticement. It is a brilliant slice of hostile beauty which like its predecessor sets the album on the highest plateau immediately. Its lofty success is then matched by the elegant beauty of Atomización. Keys float across and call emotions from its first spatial breath, courting their instincts with a haunted but crystalline grace which again urges the imagination to cast its own designs.

The next up Divinorum is borne of a more malicious intent, its blackened storm of sonic abrasing and severe ambience a searing black metal animosity. Through it though, a spine of sonic tempting casts a contagious line, its sharp twang and citric flavour carrying reminiscent of a The Jesus and Mary Chain like lure. Raw insidiously spawned vocals make their most forceful appearance on the album too though they are submerged within the corrosive wash of the song to lack real clarity. The track broils ears with its ravenous presence and erosive breath, leaving them smarting intensively, though the psych rock/darkwave tenacity of Intoxicación brings an initial soothing before unveiling its own irrepressible and infectious toxicity of sound and energy. Though neither track matches the heights of the first few songs, each leaves an exhausted pleasure and appetite in their wake which the gripping Visiones tóxicas exploits further through its darkly lit melodies and even more damaging sonic rabidity. From the somewhat clearer atmospheres of the first few songs, the album definitely takes a blacker and voraciously shadowed turn across this stretch of tracks; severe corrosive storms the core violation though they always come littered with hooks and post punk grooves which flirt continuously.

     Coros radiactivos crafts a respite to the tempestuous flow of the album at this point, its crystal honed melodies and reflectively colourful keys simply tantalising. Its magnetic beauty is taken and laid into a more fiery rock embracing setting in Bosque de cráneos, the combination a constantly expanding and growing crescendo of passion and vigorous intensity. Elements of Sisters Of Mercy and The Mission seep into the persistently bubbling mixture, spicing up an increasingly darkening and imposing landscape of sound and imagination. It is a thrilling encounter but soon left short by the outstanding punk driven abrasion of Desechos tóxicos. Binding hardcore and old school punk inhospitality with black metal rancor and sonic venom, the track simply ignites ears and passions, especially when not for the first time on the album, a surf rock enticing shows its seduction.

The album is completed by the melodic poetry of Ecos de la noche, keys and emotional hues again painting a piece of music which immerses senses and emotions with beauty and invention, and lastly the nocturnal maliciousness of Sólo para locos. Using lyrics from The Steppenwolf, the track is a deathly black metal driven scavenging of senses and feelings, which again crawls over the psyche with a sonic toxin of post metal which has the raw causticity of sound and emotion of a band like Artery.

Conjuro Nuclear has created a release which is ridiculously compelling and scintillating. Certainly there are moments where tracks without an intensive attention merge into each other’s arms and the rhythmic side of the album does not impose anywhere as much as you would like and expect, but they cannot stop it being one riveting proposition. Conjuro Nuclear is a project to only get excited about.

Conjuro Nuclear is available as a name your price download @ http://conjuronuclear.bandcamp.com/album/conjuro-nuclear-2014

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Conjuro-Nuclear/145499728948249?fref=ts

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/08/20134

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Bjarm – Imminence

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Listening to Imminence, the debut album from Russian symphonic death/black metallers Bjarm, is like standing in the middle of two separate but merging dramatic climates. Walking the line between beauty and savagery, both extremes embracing each other for a tumultuous ravenous tempest, imagination and emotions are buffeted and stripped raw yet simultaneously seduced and exposed to gloriously epic and invigorating ambiences. The release is an enthralling and intimidating journey, a treacherous and at times disorientating conflict but dramatically compulsive and rewarding.

The Severodvinsk band was formed in the early months of 2009, taking its name from a territory mentioned in Norse legends and tales. The following year saw their demo Defect released, live shows, and subsequently as the next year fell changes in personnel before the band settled down to work on their first album. Self-produced, the Pavel Korotaev mixed and Tony Lindgren (Paradise Lost, Kreator) mastered album was recorded last year and has emerged as a striking and potent introduction to the impressive band.

The scene and atmosphere is imposingly set by opener Approaching of the Close, an instrumental with the charmed harmonies of angels and portentous intimidation of war. It is an epically rising portrait of the time and land Bjarm-Imminence Cover Arttheming the release, every scenic exposure caressed by orchestral beauty and dark shadows within predacious climates. Though it does not come with many surprises in its cinematic grandeur, the track grips attention ready for the opening clutches of Knowledge of Doom. Riffs rub invitingly on ears first whilst the symphonic lure of keys swirl with melodic intrigue, both swiftly joined by pungent rhythmic strikes and the throaty rapaciousness of the bass. The track expands its magnetic narrative musically with increasing washes of keys and threatening intensity whilst lyrically hoarse guttural vocals unveil the blackened premise. With siren-esque harmonies gliding overhead the track embraces and violates in equal measure for a formidable and increasingly impacting suasion. The twists do not slow, captivating female vocals laying elegant melodic hands on ears whilst intensity and provocation laps at the senses with sea like relentlessness.

It is an impressive track matched by the heavyweight presence of Ominous Dreams. Rumbles of doomy beats and brewing antagonistic air smothers ears first before keys and guitars cast a web of ill-boding enterprise. It is a strong entrance but the song really gathers pace and riveting invention with a contagiously predatory groove which emerges and the following raw rabidity which fuels a twist in vocals and the sonic toxicity expelled. The mix is insatiable in its voracious intent and merciless attraction, permeating every pore and thought as does the evolving symphonic radiance and melodically rich hues which crowd in later dripping expressive beauty. The track bewitches across its traumatic and thoroughly rewarding landscape before making way for the equally menacing and fascinating enticement of The Nine Worlds. As across the whole release, the listener is thrust into the heart of brutal intent and transfixing melodic romance, the track a battlefield for tenebrous depths and intent with golden hope and enchantment accentuated by again stunning female tones.

Fire Lord’s Torment comes next to make a strong and imagination sparking incitement but despite its skilfully crafted invention and powerfully sculpted textures fails to invite the same strength of passion and hunger for its accomplished offering as other songs, the same slip found by the instrumental title track straight after. Both tracks leave ears and thoughts alive and keen to explore more but fail to leave a lingering and deep rooted impression in their company or after, something the mouth-watering Oracle does not have a problem with. From a deliciously captivating acoustic and melodic coaxing with rising breezes of keys courted by sinew built rhythms, the song sways and immerses senses and emotions in a superbly evocative and spellbinding serenade of sound. Admittedly the caustic vocal scowls which are at odds to the seducing take time to accept but as the song continues to cast its binding spell on the emotions they become a strong texture to the siren song.

Both Secret of the Immortals and The Highest Hall keep the by now greedier appetite for the encounter well fed, the first a provocateur with thrashing swipes of riffs and rhythms aligned to a concentrated charge of intensity. It is a rolling adventure striking out from the poetically smothering melodic breath of keys which also soak the start, an emprise given greater infectious toxins by the great female vocals; something not used enough on the album, as well as unpredictable stabs and scythes of guitar imagination. The second of the two is as primal and brutal as it is rigorously compelling and masterfully incendiary, thanks again to melodies and a female croon. It is a bestial predator at times and a comforting mother’s breast in others, a torment suffocating and strangling hope tempered by the peace and security of instinctive beauty.

Imminence is closed by Tree on the Bones, a threatening and skilled fury to consume the senses but lacking that fuse to full lustful reactions, even though it creates arguably the most intricate and emotion involving proposition on the album. Bjarm has created a striking and at times startling entrance into the world of metal, with only the fact that many tracks are swiftly gone from memory and thoughts once leaving the ears. Nevertheless it is a potential loaded and thrilling incitement to suggest the Russians have a rather healthy future.

Imminence is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/ru/album/imminence/id889323814

http://www.facebook.com/bjarmofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Flesh Born – Han EP

FleshBornPromo1

Eight tracks across eleven minutes of raw, senses blistering causticity, the Han EP from US band Flesh Born is a fury to ignite the imagination and test the emotions. It is a raging hostility which merges the voraciousness of crust and grind with the malevolence of black metal for a distinct and unique proposition which offers a challenge of uncompromising antagonism and merciless sonic abrasing. It is not going to be for everyone, especially with its equally strong essence of screamo, but beneath its fiercely grazing surface there is a range of hooks and twisted grooves which easily trap the more adventurous hearted.

Formerly known as Elesh Norn, the Texas quartet’s new release follows their impressive spilt with fellow Texans, the blacked punk duo Cara Neir. Released on Midwest label Skeletal Lightning and with the band’s debut EP All The Pain I Built Up strapped to its B-side as a bonus, Han is primed to thrust the Denton band into a stronger attentive spotlight. As mentioned EP and sound is a raw incitement; from lyrics to vocals, passion to production an unpolished quarrel which demands attention. In some ways its production with its thick coarse touch actually defuses some of the impact of the fire blazing within the tracks but it also accentuates the adversarial presence to leave indecisive but ultimately satisfied thoughts on that aspect of the release.

Han opens with the gentle caress of Unforgivable, well a polite coaxing for a clutch of seconds anyway before riffs and rhythms explode han coverin a frenzied animosity driven by the similarly unbridled ferociousness of Miles DeBruin’s vocals. It is an immediately debilitating onslaught but one veined by highly tempting sonic hooks from the guitar of Parker Lawson. Little jabs and strands of melodic discord tease the senses to give the minute plus suasion of the song an infectious lure within the tumultuous swamp of jaundiced energy conjured by drummer Daniel Mitchell and the throaty bass spite of Donovan Ford. It is a strong and magnetic start instantly swamped by the thick intensive and malicious energy aligned to predatory passion of Destroy the World of Men. A wall of sonic argument to buckle knees, it is punctuated with tenacious heavy swipes from Mitchell which again add that something extra and distinct to set the track apart from its companions and other genre crossing protagonists.

The stringent force of Lament sears ears and senses next with forty seconds of primal antisocial bitterness before the melancholic acrimonious prowl of Gloom infest thoughts and emotions. With a sludge air to its pestilential intent and cavernous resonance, the track is a labour intensive proposition and an intimidating long term engagement which though presenting a longer confrontation than most on the release at over two minutes flies by with its corruptive tsunami of sound and intensity.

The Fever of Feeling launches a thunderous stride of riled rhythms and desperately rapacious riffs under the scorching squalls of DeBruin, its furnace a bestial but addictive bait to devour greedily before being succeeded by the acerbic and senses battering weight of Empty. Less gripping than others but as potent in consuming thoughts with its provocative intent and scarring raw sonic scalding, the track is a satisfying rub soon surpassed by the thirty second crippling assault of The Body System. It is an intriguing almost mesmeric flow of sonic lava veined with distorted melodic invention which just re-ignites the passions.

Final track The Other Side of Despair is a virulent contagion of abrasing riffs and predatory slow rhythms around a delicious flesh burning groove and brawling chords. It is a bewitching acidic maelstrom presented in a calm but no less furiously passionate way than elsewhere. It also steals best song honours with ease and leaves the listener with an even greedier appetite for Flesh Born.

Han is a riveting and thoroughly satisfying encounter showing its creators as a band with the potential and craft to rise to major heights at some point ahead. Right now though, Flesh born has given us a release which takes its toll on the emotions but rewards with a highly enjoyable outrage.

The Han EP is available on 12” vinyl via Skeletal Lightning now @ http://www.skeletallightning.net/products/526535-flesh-born-han-12

https://www.facebook.com/fleshborn

8/10

RingMaster 24/06/2014

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