Sidious – Revealed in Profane Splendour

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The first infestation of pestilential temptation came with Ascension to the Throne Ov Self and now the ruinous seduction returns to devour the soul as Revealed in Profane Splendour.

No, this is not a portentous warning of biblical design but the next inescapable savaging cast by UK blackened death metallers Sidious. Following their acclaimed and attention gripping debut EP, the London quartet now unleash their first album and it is fair to say that everything potent and impressive about its predecessor has been bred, dragged, and sculpted to another irresistible level.

Ascension to the Throne Ov Self was a disarming introduction to Sidious upon its release in 2013 but in hindsight just an appetiser of broader and more intensive invention and imagination to come from the band as swiftly evidenced by Revealed in Profane Splendour. Between releases the band which features members of Eye Of Solitude, has had movement in its line-up with the departure of vocalist Tom “Void” Allen and the coming in of Krhudd, the man behind solo project COLOSUS. With guitarist Isfeth adding lead vocals to his role in the band, Sidious has found further depths and exploration to their songwriting and rigorously imposing sound, their album not only another striking offering from the band but one to assert with greater potency and authority their leading role in the future of British extreme metal. Released on Kaotoxin Records, Revealed In Profane Splendour is an insatiable temptress which from its enslaving first moments takes ears and imagination through an epic emprise of almost carnal and certainly uncompromising raw beauty.

Recorded with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir), Revealed In Profane Splendour emerges through a haunting sonic groan as opener Sacrilegious Majesty sets things in motion. Within a breath pungent anthemic drums are casting their irresistible bait upon ears and imagination, riffs just as hungrily skirting their potent lead. Portentous melodies amidst a sinister air joins the expanding landscape but it is still those provocative beats which provide the richest coaxing before a maelstrom of intensity and malevolence erupts in sound and vocals. It is a ravenous consumption of the senses within which grooves and hooks flirt with the listener without always breaking free from the oppressive strength of the track. It is the drama of the song which ignites thoughts and emotions as much as anything though, every rhythmic swipe and sonic tempting adding to an epic excursion into dark realms and a fateful emprise. Ending as it’s began; the track is a riveting and thrilling entrance into the album and an immediate declaration of the new creative strength and ingenuity within the band.

The following Inexorable Revelation is less startling in its opening but still a forceful impact as riffs and rhythms career through ears with hellacious urgency as keys alongside sonic enterprise tantalise with menacing suggestiveness in Sidious-Revealed-In-Profane-Splendour-coverthe background of the thick violation. It is a torrential outpouring of malicious and imaginative provocation which deeper into its heart you go, the more toxic elegance and emotive grandeur is shared. Exhaustive in touch and intensive ideation, the track bridges the serpentine animosity of black metal with the corrosive predation of death bred fury for another welcome and scarring persuasion before the album’s title track spreads its blistering venomous charm. As the last track it is a tempest of fierce creative twists drenched in insatiable energy sculpted and provocatively honed into a climatic and vehemence soaked inventive soundscape.

There is no mercy given by any song, each a psyche devouring, emotions despoiling rage as proven with the next up Annihilation Ov Abhorrent Credence and its successor Obscenity Ov Old. Each though colours their rugged canvas with an evolving cauldron of melodic ingenuity and intuitive invention which may need close attention but rewards with a fiercely busy and oppressively seductive blaze of invigorating enterprise. The first of this pair a case in point, its cloistral entrance the doorway in to a ravenous insurgence in theme and sound upon religious templates and the listeners senses. Simultaneously stalking and rampaging through mind and body respectively, the track is a scintillating marauder chewing upon ears and emotions with virulent and destructive rabidity. Its glory is emulated by the second of the two, a similar yet distinctly separate beginning the unveiling of a bestial and ravenous violation complete with torrential spite and as in the last track, bewitching clean vocals which escape the carnage for exciting deviation.

A cold ambience brings Infernal Reign to light, its chilling landscape swiftly scored by inhumane vocals and a brewing sonic causticity. There is little time for frost bite to set in before rabid rhythms bludgeon the senses and venom spilling grooves begin squirming under the skin of song and passions. It is an increasingly transfixing fascination of sound and emotion which is as debilitating in its calmer moments as it is in full cruel flow, the fine mix of vocal styles a driving force in that success.

Revealed In Profane Splendour is brought to a close by O Paragon, Bringer Ov Light, a dare one say mellower track, certainly initially which is soon merging floating celestial harmonies with predatory beats and hungry riffery. It is a song which at times seems like a recap of other tracks essences but once it brings out its own warped rhythmic antagonism and sonic majesty, the track turns into a searing and spellbinding intrusion.

It is a mighty conclusion to an increasingly imposing and impressing release. Revealed In Profane Splendour is a startling step on from the band’s first EP, employing all of its assets in viciously richer and deeper cavernous dark hymns. Sidious is on a demonic march with sounds to breed fear in even the devil.

Revealed in Profane Splendour is available now via Kaotoxin Records on CD @ http://www.kaotoxin.com/shop/cd/sidious-cd-pack/ and digitally @ http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/revealed-in-profane-splendour

https://www.facebook.com/sidiousofficial

RingMaster 05/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fleshworld/Gazers/Viscera/// – Split CD

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This October seems like it is the month of split releases, many compelling link-ups sharing some striking sounds and bands. Unquiet Records are releasing one of the more notable encounters in the shape of a split release between Polish hardcore bred post metallers Fleshworld, French blackened post-hardcorers Gazers, and Italian psychedelic metallers Viscera///. It is a gripping collection of songs which come from different angles of sonic consumption but unite in a mutual heavy and depressive examination of senses and imagination. It is an enthralling proposition, a release which can devour ears and emotions in a nihilistic landscape of intensity and sound but also treat them to contagious and just as toxic refreshing enterprise.

The first three tracks are provided by Kraków quintet Fleshworld, a band drawing on inspirations from the likes of Opeth, Neurosis, Cult Of Luna, and Deathspell Omega in their sound. They have already awoken attention through previous 6-track release Like we’re all equal, also released on Unquiet, and here get the split off to an imposing and potent start. Their first track Krąg grips ears with a sonic lancing before bulky rhythms twist over the senses. It is a tasty start added to by the melodic groove wrapping around the initial bait of the song. With a vocal sample adding to the emerging shadowed drama, the track flirts and intimidates with equal success, the guitars of Mateusz Szczurek and Kuba Leszko sculpting a captivating design within the increasingly darker and oppressive rhythmic provocation bred by drummer Szymon Łuczyński and bassist Łukasz Klamiński. The song continues to threaten and seduce, as the raw vocal squalls of Tytus Kalicki rage and spill venom across the bewitching consumption of ears and emotions. Acidic melodies and barbarous hooks are never far from the surface of the growing tempest though, it all making for a scintillating start to the release.

   The band’s other pair of songs never quite match up to the first such it’s might, but Pętla with its heavy resonating bass lure and similarly magnetic rhythmic enticement certainly comes close. It is a captivating entrance which spreads a blackened and caustic breath across its spine through evocative melodies from the guitar and a raw hostility to the vocals respectively. It emerges as a brooding and increasingly chilling erosive wash which leaves thoughts lost in a barren corrosive soundscape and emotions exposed to a stark sonic climate. Its successor Rezygnacja, which features guest vocals from Alex Stjernfeldt and Victor Wegeborn from The Moth Gatherer, is similarly drenched in uncompromising and oppressive textures within a destructive atmosphere, but again shape its scenery with an impressive and attention gripping display from drums and bass. The rawest uncomfortable track of the three, it reveals more of the immersive depths and skilled composing of Fleshworld and their ability to lock the listener willingly into a scarring embrace.

Hailing from Paris, the 2012 formed quintet of Gazers has also earned a potent reputation through their self-titled EP of last year and live shows where they have graced stages alongside the likes of The Rodeo Idiot Engine, Cowards, Loma Prieta, Code Orange Kids, and Twitching Tongues. There first contribution to the split comes in the intrigue drenched Rash, a track taking its time to seize the senses. From a cold and raw ambience also infused with sampled vocals, though a distant whisper here, the song erupts in a blaze of hardcore, crust surfaced animosity. Spiky hooks and cruel grooves emerge as vocals roar with malcontent, a greater anger and maliciousness coating each step of the song’s evolution. It is a potent track which makes for a keen but uneasy listen before the stronger weight and adventure of The Decline takes over. Firm beats and rugged scythes of guitar are met by a deranged flame of riffs, everything at odds but fitting masterfully to ensnare ears and appetite. Further in a mellower but no less stark and intimately imposing passage plays with the imagination too, it adding to the great unpredictability of song and the band’s engrossing enterprise.

     The following Epilogue is the same, a song never allowing thoughts and emotions rest as it roams and permeates the senses with a revolving rage of gripping rhythms, sonic abrasing, and vocal ferocity. The best of Gazers’ trio of offerings, the track is a maelstrom of creative spite and imaginative turbulence worrying and igniting the senses for an intensive and flavoursome examination.

The final two songs on the release comes from Viscera///, a band employing essences and experiences in styles like post hardcore, space rock, ambient, and drone, gained by members past and present of bands such as Morkobot, Blanca Division, Malasangre, The Drop Machine, Mount Piezein Circle, Edema, Wicked Minds, The Vendetta, and Self Human Combustion. With two albums, many splits, and tours all across Europe under their belt, the trio now turn their attention to the split and unleash their gripping mix of metal and psyche rock. Versus swiftly tightens its steely grip on ears with rigid beats and acerbic grooves, they a spring board for subsequent waves of rolling rhythms, ravenous blackened pestilence, and in turn voracious tsunamis of sound and malevolence. It is a hellacious mix but one where very turn is complete with sparking twists of invention and sonic radiance.

Its successor Nobody’s Diary, a cover of the Yazoo track, ignites ears and imagination with even more triumphant ingenuity next. The track instantly storms the psyche with virulent and scathing riffery as sonic blooms break out around its tempest, but it is the unexpected display of clean vocals which tips the balance and inspires a delicious multi-flavoured landscape of warped and imaginative endeavour to steal the passions. With its sound aligned to a thick sludgy furnace of hostility, the song is an outstanding end to a rather impressive and thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

Personal tastes dictates which songs stand above others but every track and each of the three bands, make a compelling and richly satisfying persuasion impossible to resist.

The Split release is available now via Unquiet Records @ www.unquietrecords.com/product/fleshworldgazersviscera-3-way-split/

https://www.facebook.com/fleshworld

https://www.facebook.com/Gazersband

https://www.facebook.com/viscera3stripes/

RingMaster 16/10/2104

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Planning For Burial/Liar In Wait – Split 7”

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Bringing together two bands which have already stolen strong attention and praise for their previous releases, the new split 7” from Broken Limbs Records makes a compelling introduction for newcomers to both Planning For Burial and Liar In Wait whilst showing existing fans a glimpse, certainly in the case of the second project, of a new mature landscape of sound. It is an absorbing and immersive experience being offered, two tracks which distinctly differ but unite in their ability to seduce and envelop ears, as well as the imagination, with subtle and bolder invention.

The first track Mischief Night is provided by Planning For Burial, the solo project of Pennsylvania based musician Thom Wasluck. The song is his first outing since the release of the acclaimed album Desideratum earlier this year. It IMG_7856(2)opens with a sonic flame which swiftly immerses into a radiant but oppressive drone. It is a persistence of noise though wrapped and embraced by flowing synth crafted melodies, their evocative breath and nature a warm caress over the caustic spine of the song. Guitars add their raw beauty and unpolished elegance almost as quickly, everything combining for a haunting and ethereal flight through morose and imposing shadows. It is a thick and challenging intensity which emerges from the bewitching cacophony of sound, but one tempered just enough by the slow laboured vocals of Wasluck, melancholia dipping off every syllable within his expressive monotonous delivery. It is an emotion lighting cloud of riveting dark beauty and dramatic shadows lying pleasingly like a mix of Joy Division and Nine Inch Nails within a cold shoegaze soundscape.

   The second song Paper Houses is a lighter and warmer proposition but just as rich in firm textures and infectious magnetism. Liar In Wait began in 2012 as a side project of vocalist Adam Clemans of Wolvhammer and bassist Jim Adolphson from Mourner. It was not long before the band grew to a quartet with the addition of guitarist Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Nachtmystium) and drummer Peter Clarke (Iron Thrones), and recorded debut EP Translations of the Lost which was released last year on Profound Lore. Employing inspirations from the likes of Asylum Party, Joy Division, The Cure, and Fields of the Nephilim, release and sound was well-received and has already raised keen anticipation for the band’s first full-length scheduled for next year.

liw promo     Paper Houses makes a potent and exciting teaser for the release, immediately seducing ears with an intrigue loaded bassline which swiftly suggests Ian Curtis and co. The irresistible bait is then crossed by shards of sonic eruptions before it all slips into a lively but reserved stroll with the bass still leading the seduction beneath the melodic tones of Clemans. There is a shoegaze glazing which mesmerises with House of Love like radiance but equally a dark tonal elegance which embraces essences of Gene Love Jezebel, early Cure, and The Danse Society in its emotive flight across the enthralling song. It is a spellbinding track having no difficulty in awakening real anticipation for Liar In Wait’s first album.

We have been blessed with a strong and impressive array of split releases over past months and this is another to add to that list.

 The Planning For Burial/Liar In Wait Split is available now digitally and on vinyl (300 black and 200 on orange vinyl) @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.com/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/planningforburial

https://www.facebook.com/liarinwait

RingMaster 15/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Stone – Nekroza

The Stone - Nekroza - Artwork

Probably the best way to describe Nekroza, the new album from Serbian black metallers The Stone is pestilential beauty. It is a release which infest and corrupts the senses and psyche yet seduces with some of the most irresistible grooves and sonic enterprise likely to be heard this or any year. It is a riveting and thrilling encounter unafraid to bind the listener in virulent contagion whilst smothering them in toxic shadows and scarring malevolence. It also has a devilish swagger which spills venom with every swing and a radiant invention which is as predatory as it is bewitching, it all adding up to one rigorously compelling and exciting violation.

Hailing out of Belgrade, The Stone emerged in 1996 as Stone To Flesh and proceeded to release two demos, Serbian Woods and Killed by the Sun, which caught the ears and attention of the metal underground, especially when united for a re-release as Unveiled Evil in 1999. The following year saw debut album Some Wounds Bleed Forever unleashed and the subsequent change of name to simply The Stone. Continuing to make an increasingly noticeable mark through their live performances and following releases, the band really drew an international spotlight with fourth album Magla in 2006, their first for German label Folter Records. It was a trigger to tours and greater attention upon the band globally, acclaim and even stronger success coming with the albums Umro and Golet in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Now their seventh album Nekroza comes to push the band even further to the fore of world black metal whilst providing one of the best genre stirring incitements of 2014.

From the intrigue soaked intro of opener Kamenolom, there is an immediate drama and portentous breath to Nekroza which only expands and entices across song and album from thereon in. The first track’s start is epic and provocative, the readying of battle armour and antagonistic intent before a torrent of onrushing rhythms and raw riffs converge on the senses. It is a potent flood of sonic endeavour lorded over by the dirty caustic scowls of vocalist Nefas. Emerging grooves proceed to vein the wall of corrosive energy cast by guitarists Kozeljnik and Demonetras, their lure subdued yet gripping against the robust and creative rampage of beats from L.G. and bass predation from Usud. It is a hellacious proposition binding attention and appetite with ease before the following Kosmar begins an insatiable enslavement of the passions, its rhythmic hips and grooved flirtation seducing from the opening second. That bait leads into another sonic battlefield, an avalanche of malicious craft and hostile intensity combining before parting its waves for the returning enticement which started the song to infest ears and passions once again. As with all songs there is never a moment to rest and reflect; the intimidating pressure of sound and vocal maliciousness unrelenting though frequently penetrated by a stunning blaze of melodic invention and skill from the guitars to transfix the imagination.

Both Crno Zrno and Dani Crni flood ears and thoughts with their individual temptations, the first ravaging the senses with rapacious riffs and virulent grooves, the latter aspect simmering tenaciously without to provide a constant delicious nagging of ears. The song is like a maze, every turn a wall of rhythmic animosity and a blaze of sonic toxicity, all skilfully and venomously sculpted for a scintillating encounter whilst the second of the two is a darker vicious foraging of the senses but again equipped with masterful sonic bait and a volatile rhythmic battering. Nefas’ vocals are soaked in bile and enmity, his strong abrasing scowls an equal trigger and temper to the maelstrom of invention around him. Parading the narratives in his own native tongue does lead to the only very slight niggle, in that those of us of limited language skills cannot explore the lyrical side of the album, something normally not a problem but you feel you are really missing out with Nekroza.

     Lov na Vestice next explores the darkest depths of the album which were opened within the previous song but despite cloaking ears in another enthralling and intensive examination pierced by a glorious scorching melody bound solo, lacks some of the spark of its predecessors. Nevertheless it makes for a demanding and rewarding challenge before making way for Sunovrat, another resourcefully commanding and unpredictable onslaught but again one not quite flicking the switches as potently as other songs on Nekroza. The album’s compelling title track has no such issues. From its first swipe of ravenous riffs courted by a grouchy bassline, the track is a spellbinding and savage rush upon and for the senses. There is certain elegance to the melodic structure of the track and brutality to its intensive underbelly driven by the uncompromising rhythms of L.G. and the similarly merciless corrosiveness of the vocals. It is an engrossing proposition which drifts purposefully into an even heavier and darker landscape, not quite funereal in tone but definitely venturing into a doomy climate which is explored to weightier effect with Mrak. Imposing and pouring menace with every resonating note and grizzled syllable, the track stalks and crawls over the senses and imagination for a slower but eventually inescapable persuasion.

The album is completed by the outstanding Pesimizam, another groove fest spraying the most addictive sonic rancor and vocal bitterness to be found on the release, and lastly Predgroblje. The closer is awash with a grooved and melodic tempting which swerves and lures like an exotic temptress within an exhaustive and ravenous smog of sonic erosion. It is a masterful end to a thoroughly exciting and impressing album. The Stone might still be a secret to some of the metal world but Nekroza suggests that it will be not for much longer.

Nekroza is available from October 1st on Folter Records @ http://www.folter666shop.de/product_info.php?info=p6_the-stone–serbia—-nekroza–digicd.html&XTCsid=578ocl6tcjrd4j5j3fuan1t836

http://www.thestonehorde.com

RingMaster 01/10/2014

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Ordoxe – Beyond Mankind

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If you ever wondered whether there can be real beauty to an extreme metal release then checking out the new album from Canadian black metallers Ordoxe will easily answer your thoughts. Beyond Mankind brings a tempting charm to its ravenous pestilential violation, a raw creative elegance to its exhausting and erosive corruption of senses which ignites the imagination. Also within its ruinous intent is buried a magnetic seduction which at times is given full rein to craft some of the most mesmeric and sonically delicious adventures inside the oppressive nature of the beast. The album is a demanding listen at times but a dramatically rewarding one resulting in one of the more thrilling and potent black metal releases this year.

Ordoxe was formed initially as a solo project in 1989 by guitarist/singer Jean-François Jalbert of pioneer Canadian black metal band Slaotvean. Due to the band’s growing popularity and demands on his time, Ordoxe was swiftly on the backburner. 2006 saw Jalbert bring the project back to life and recorded the album Sorrick Ked followed a year later by its successor Magnum Opus. Well-received in the metal underground, the albums drew eager attention but Slaotvean once again began taking most of his time and energy so Ordoxe was back in the shadows again, waiting. The demise of his main band in 2011 allowed Jalbert to make Ordoxe his prime objective, reinforcing it presence by enlisting guitarist Samuel Landry, bassist JD Bergeron, and drummer Steve De Cotret with the intent of taking the band on to a live landscape too. The Trois-Rivieres, Quebec based quartet band released the again keenly received fury of third album Nihil last year and now push their presence and creativity to new heights and depths with Beyond Mankind.

Released via Hymnes d’Antan, the album opens with the severely ferocious Obsessions. It is a rage of abrasing riffs and rhythmic hostility from its first breath, an instantly compelling onslaught aided by an emerging nagging of grooves Ordoxe -Beyond Mankind - CD Coverand a raw vocal causticity which entice and lay waste to the senses respectively. Jalbert spills venom and malevolence with every squalling syllable to temper and corrosively engage the increasingly contagious enterprise of guitars, especially their virulent charge of riffs and engrossing grooves. As soon realised with the opener, every track is an adventure and a seamless slip into melodic beauty within a gentle landscape soon wrong foots and excites, as does its subsequent evolution into a winding flame of sonic intrigue and raw expression in turn leading to a final dramatic storm. It is a transfixing start to the album which flows straight into the fascinating provocation of À travers ses yeux. There is a vicious turbulence to the track once it breaks from its initial imagination catching bait, a relentless rabidity in intensity and waspish riffery which seduces ravenously. The track is exhaustingly demanding and feverishly rewarding, the guitars riveting in their creative narrative and sonic investigations.

Both Exiled Archangels and Tel un arbre keep thoughts and passions inflamed, the first a purposefully striding enmity of sonic causticity and barbarous rhythms brewed into another addictive and malevolent rampage of extreme beauty and emotional antipathy. The second is a slower pestilential encroachment of senses and emotions, it’s more reserved but no less corruptive breath a weave of enthralling melodies and imagination sparking sonic designs lorded over by the demonic tones of Jalbert. Longer in making its persuasion but no less impacting and impressing, the track reveals more of the immersive depths to the songwriting and sound of Ordoxe.

Comes Forth the Night offers a familiarity from the off, its opening sonic groove closely related to the previous song yet individual in its casting and effect. Though not as gripping as earlier songs on the album, it still binds ears and thoughts in an inescapable netting of senses devouring predation and skilled temptation before passing the album over to the outstanding From Chaos Are Born the Stars. There is an almost rockabilly twang to the opening clash of chords and a spicy sultriness to the songs breath which twists and expands into an inventive emprise of sonic innovation and mesmeric viciousness. Their source maybe black metal but with this track alone Ordoxe shows they create rock ‘n’ roll at its most brutal and creatively addictive.

We are Vermin is of similar breeding, pure rock ‘n’ roll cloaked in its own unique extreme metal ferocity and ideation. Uncompromising and virulently compelling with a mouth-watering progressive bewitching to its extraordinary soundscape, the song is an exceptional protagonist for ears and emotions, and another excuse to wax lyrical about the album and band.

The album is brought to a powerful close by the insatiably ravenous Orion Nebula, every element fusing for a voraciously aggressive yet seductively imaginative tide of irresistible suasion, and finally the blistering and fearsome Samsara which sums up with its spiralling dynamics and ingenious hostility, the might of Ordoxe perfectly.

As suggested at the start Beyond Mankind is one of the most impressive black metal releases this year and just gets stronger with every excursion of its venomous majesty.

Beyond Mankind is available now @ http://ordoxe.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-mankind

https://www.facebook.com/Ordoxe

9/10

RingMaster 31/08/2014

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Fornicus – Storming Heaven

Fornicus Promo Photo

If the hordes of the hell lay siege to the pearly gates above you can be sure US black metallers Fornicus will be to the fore sound-tracking the whole apocalyptic event with their incendiary debut album Storming Heaven. The self-released onslaught is a vicious torrent of sonic and pestilential animosity bound in compelling craft and inventive hostility. It is also a collection of individual triumphs combining to create one mouth-watering and blasphemous assault giving not only American but world black metal a refreshing shot in the arm.

It is fair to say that Storming Heaven is not a template to undiscovered realms within its genre but Fornicus has sculpted it with a tenacity and ingenuity that cannot avoid being some sort of inspiration to fans and bands alike. Hailing from America’s Bible belt, the Kentucky quartet emerged in 2013 and took little time in creating thrilling violations with a ferocious blend of black and thrash metal veined with a healthy staining of death metal insidiousness. Their first year was spent creating and honing their sound and songs before Scott (guitar/vocals), Chris (bass), David (drums), and subsequently Kelly (lead guitar), settled down to recording Storming Heaven in Scott’s own studio. Themed and driven by “a bold statement chastising Christ and his blind sheep for their “righteous” ways with the ultimate goal of destroying God’s Kingdom”, their album is a sonic pyre of discontent, malevolence, and hellacious enterprise which either sets the passions blaze or has them smouldering greedily, but never leaves then less than thoroughly satisfied.

The album opens with an intro called The Pledge, cinematic vocal samples and threatening atmospheres merging to intimidate and spark the imagination before We Are Sin launches a toxic web of whipping beats and caustic riffery. It is Fornicus Storming Heaven Artworkintensive and appealing bait which is enhanced by husky vocals squalls spraying venom with every syllable. The track soon strides with greater infectious enticement, riffs roving with relentless resourcefulness employing similarly addictive acidic grooves whilst vocally the varied voices of hell seem to have their gripping say. It is a masterful declaration of sound and intent brewing up a hungry appetite and intrigue for the devil inspired irreverence to come.

The following Pallium Mali intensifies the merciless infectiousness spawned in its predecessor, luring in the passions with a thrash seeded rampancy of riffs aligned to an addiction forging groove. There is an overall swagger to the blaze of persuasion too which is as open in the rhythms and guitar as in the caustic delivery of Scott. The track is an irresistible and mighty anthem of intent and uncompromising antagonism, but also casts a net of melodic endeavour and creative flames through the guitars which leave thoughts and passions greedier. It is the first major pinnacle of the album giving King of Egoists plenty to live up to. It makes a powerful fist of the challenge by coating its individual swing of beats and riffs with a hostile festering of abrasive maliciousness and corrosive rabidity. The track scars and entices with simultaneous and equal success, raging as it purposefully meanders with magnetic enterprise through its riveting and exciting tempest, only as its predecessor, the closing fade out a little annoying.

Both Into Obscurity and Thirst for God enthral and please with impressive effect, the first a maelstrom of spite and demonic demanding seared by a sonic and vocal enmity. It is an even more intensively imposing track than previous songs, a raw storm veined with inviting temptation whilst its successor is a doom leaden prowl preying on ears and emotions with erosive weight and ravenous ferocity. Neither song has quite the potency to inflame the heart as earlier tracks but both provide another depth and rigorous shade to the album which only adds to its strength and appeal.

An impressive cover of Sepultura’s Antichrist which comes next, the song painted in a black hearted tone and a bracing voracity which challenges the original. Its excellence is soon forgotten though as the brilliant title track sets out on its scintillating violation. From an opening avalanche of vindictive rhythms and a blazing sonic squall, the song hits the senses in a furnace of harsh causticity which in turn evolves into a ridiculously contagious, groove amidst a just as gripping charge of riffs. It is another track which intermittently goes for the jugular or slowly preys on ears and psyche, it’s stalking and rampage a fluid and constantly interchangeable treat.

The album is concluded by The Beckoning, the gates of hell and the band’s inventive hostility swung open for a final furnace of exhaustive and insatiable destructive antipathy. It is a mighty close to a tremendous release, one as suggested earlier with all the quality and bad blood to push Fornicus into a potent spotlight. Storming Heaven is an encounter for fans of bands like Marduk, Goatwhore, and Emperor but also the early settling of the band into its own distinctive corner, and well worth everyone’s investigation.

Storming Heaven is available digitally and on CD @ http://fornicus.bandcamp.com/album/storming-heaven-2 now

www.facebook.com/fornicus666

9/10

RingMaster 17/08/2014

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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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