Acheron – Kult des Hasses

ACHERON band photo

     A more than decent time has passed since the last release from US blackened death metallers Acheron, album The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God; a time which also saw the band temporarily come to a stop in 2010. Now well over twenty years since unleashing the musical malevolence they have become renowned for, the band uncages their newest tempest, Kult des Hasses. Released via Listenable Records, the ten track sonic pestilence is a masterful and creatively insidious plunge into the darkest ravenous creativity of the band and possibly it’s most expressively hungry yet.

    Calling the band’s sound blackened death metal has always been missing the flavoursome toxic essences from thrash, doom, and heavy metal which lick and lethally spice their releases and Kult des Hasses is no different. The album seduces, suffocates, and consumes with riffing caught in a wide net of influences, a rhythmic provocation which leaves an array of bruising wounds, and a melodically honed sonic adventure which fuses a plethora of styles. Adventure is a good description of the release, one dragging the blackest malevolent and vitriolic depths with lyrical provocations casting the band’s distinct views over themes such as the occult, misanthropy, and sexual perversion, their extreme Satanic/Anti-religious corrosiveness never far from the surface either. We will be the first to admit that a full awareness of all their older sonic expulsions is lacking but taking Kult Des Hasses alone, Acheron has set standards which emerging bands should want to aspire to.

    Over the years band founder vocalist/bassist Vincent Crowley has played with current and former members of bands such as ACHERON-COVER-hiresMorbid Angel, Death, Iced Earth, Angel Corpse, Immolation, Dimmu Borgir, Nocturnus, Incantation, Equinox, Estuary, and Sathanas within Acheron, and the new album provides no less inspiring names alongside the trio of himself, guitarist Art Taylor, and drummer Kyle Severn. Joining the trio on the recording there is guest lead guitarist Ricktor Ravensbruck (Wolfpack 44, Electric Hellfire Club , Wolfen Society) as well as numerous vocal guesting from the likes of Kam Lee (Ex-Massacre, The Grotesquery, Bone Gnawer), Jim Lippucci (Soulless), John McEntee (Incantation/Funerus), Jill McEntee (Funerus), Zdenka Prado (Estuary),and Ash Thomas (Estuary/Faithxtractor). Mastered by Dan Swano, the album is a tide of invention and imagination, all tracks forcibly intrusive and persistently contagious in which ever guise they come in.

     Opener Daemonum Lux wastes no time making a gentle acquaintance, riffs instantly rummaging through the ears from its first second and rhythms splitting their insistence with firm and determined, if restrained swipes. Almost eight minutes of constantly evolving enticement, the song alone tells you all you need to know about the sonic sculpting and imagination available to the band in their arsenal. Themed around the infamous encounter Aleister Crowley had with the demonic entity known as Choronzon, the song leads thoughts and senses on an exhaustive spiral of undiluted voracious enterprise, twisting with every minute through virally melodic temptation and voracious contagion. It has to be said, and applies to the album itself, for such a dark and pestilential offering the swagger and catchiness of the offering is surprising and irresistible.

     From the lengthy intensive start the band through the following Satan Holds Dominion and Raptured To Divine Perversion refuses to remove its foot from the throttle of the urgency which marked the opener, instead aligned to the forceful creative fire racks it up a notch in the case of the first song and merges it with an acidic heavy metal suasion for the second. Both tracks trample through the ears with sinews bulging and a predacious appetite to provoke and challenge lyrically and musically. Their thrilling onslaughts are matched by the equally voracious Jesus Wept (Again And Again), a provocations about twisted visions of torturing Christ within nightly dreams-states. Like those before, the song riles the imagination and ignites the passions with an intensive presentation of skilled and dramatically breathing endeavour, every twist drawing emotions and thoughts deeper into its clutches.

    After the predatory Thy Father Suicide, the album hits its highest elevation through Misanthropic Race and Whores And Harlots. The first of the pair is sonic and rhythmic savagery let loose, but within a torrent of spiteful craft and ingenuity which simply manipulates and seduces the passions and imagination. Guitars weave and entwine their melodic ingenuity amongst the merciless riffery whilst the bass prowls and assaults the psyche from within the enslaving rhythmic bait, which again tempts with ridiculously easy success. Its companion is an infiltration of sexual wantonness through a barrage of energy and sound which is just as salacious and virulently addictive. Lashing the senses into willing submission and chaining emotions into an appetite which greedily devours the virulent display of unbridled guitar debauchery, the track is masterful in demand and reward.

      Asphyxiation (Hands Of God) and Concubina Do Diabo leaves no ounce of satisfaction and violation untended, both distinct in their presence but united in their prowess and efficiency in captivating the darkest corners of the listener. They make an inventive and incendiary bridge between the previous high plateau and the closing triumph of the release, the monstrously anthemic Devil’s Black Blood, the song an out and out thrash/death metal slab of rock ‘n’ roll. It is a riotous conclusion to an excellent return by Acheron. Whether Kult des Hasses is the band’s strongest effort to date we will leave for others to decide, but for death metal with the bravery and skill to be so much more, this is one magnificent offering.

www.facebook.com/pages/Acheron/128581467223407

9/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

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Morgue Orgy – The Last Man On Earth

    We play in a bandThe Last Man On Earth is one of those malevolent pestilences which rather than run and hide from its toxic virulence you just have to dive head first into the exhaustingly inventive depths of melodic blackened death metal. The debut album from UK metallers Morgue Orgy, it is a toxic torrent of maliciousness fuelled by a rabid expanse of intensively magnetic flavours and styles from within a brutally predatory imagination. It is mischievously psychotic, rampantly schizophrenic, and masterfully vicious and one of the most tempting rages of extreme sonic violations to come from the British Isles in quite a long while.

     Exploding from the darkness in 2008, the sextet from Birmingham has emerged as a tour-de-force at combining a diversity of sound and ingenuity into a melodic death metal proposition as shown by the album which bewitches and savages with equal intensity. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder, Abigail Williams, and Cradle Of Filth whilst sculpting their own unique acclaimed presence, the band has earned a fine and imposing reputation on stage. That encounter has taken Morgue Orgy to a slot at Bloodstock Open Air in 2010 as well as stages appearances alongside the likes of Anaal Nathrakh, Evile, The Rotted and many more. Debut EP, The River & I only enhanced their emergence as did its successor the Murders Most Foul EP which featured guest vocals from Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh. A release just as ripe with riveting and grand neoclassical keyboard seduction and crippling technically sculpted grinds as it is with blackened venom and melodic death corrosion, The Last Man On Earth is the declaration of a band at its imaginative height and fullest merciless malevolence, and you still feel that there is so much more to come from the band ahead.

     Across the album not a moment is wasted, ideas and twists spearing every minute if not second of every song with an adventure TheLastManOnEarthCoveryou can suggest is barely alive in melodic death metal elsewhere. As soon as the opener They Came From Outer Space hits the ear senses and imagination are swiped into action by band and sound. Lively classically bred keys embrace the ears at first whilst a warning buzzer makes a call of impending menace. It is an instant coaxing which suggests numerous possible paths ahead which the album may take without revealing which initially. The gothic breath of the entrance is the predominate lure but one which offers an Adams Family meets Cradle Of Filth like tease before the track  reveals itself fully. That is does with thunder rich rhythms and rampaging riffs stalked by a female spoken narrative. Again it is mere hinting until the song settles into a delicious stomp of tantalising sonic revelry and urgent intensity which in turn soon evolves into a melodramatic gothic waltz. Barely two minutes in and a canvas of multiple textures and hues have been laid to intrigue and disorientate. This is the way of the song, and album from start to finish, and one reason why both are thoroughly riveting. Halfway in and the vocals of Gray, backed by those of keyboardist Carter, savage air and emotions with an expected but again varied and eventful poisonous attack. It is a mighty introduction to the album soon backed up and at times surpassed ahead.

     Both 4 Days and Phantasms of March rampage vehemently across the sense’s landscape, the first a fury of guitar enterprise from Prok and Pence which sears and soars with artistic rabidity and primal savagery whilst the keys pulsate and swoop around the aggressive tempest with melodic rapture and temptation. Like the first and album as a whole, the track is a voracious flow of imagination and hostility which you cannot take all in on one or two listens but rewards intensively for all the extensive time spent in its caustic wrap. The second of the two is a slower bestial incitement at first but cannot not hold back the rapacious energy boiling up within and soon unleashes a rabid assault with guitars creating grooves which finger the passions and a rhythmic barracking from the lethally crisp beats of drummer Tom and the predatory throaty tones of Uncle Holloway’s bass which is instinctively addictive.

     The Last of the Summer’s Wine steps forward next soon diminishing thoughts of old men in childlike escapades with a horde of ferocious riffs and rhythmic bitch slaps which are subsequently aligned with melodic suggestiveness from the keys alongside crazed grooves and a guitar solo which only ignites greater submission for the impressive storm. To be honest it is impossible to describe every dramatic turn and rich bait provided by each song as with this one such the constant imagination and ingenuity of the release but we can reassure that it is something at times bewildering and always scintillating.

     The likes of Barnum & 399 and Castle Freak continue the strong encounter with the same flocking of ideas and intensive rhythmic barbarism, if without quite matching those early pinnacles, whilst splitting their storms is the excellent ruinous swagger of the pestilential 70 Dead pt 2: The Scarecrow of Medan. The track caustically engages and impresses whilst the piano and keys designed instrumental Waiting for the End is a glorious grandiose neoclassical aural painting to take a breath over and allow imagination and thoughts to reflect before the album’s finest moment viciously thrusts its jaws around the jugular.

    The Last Man On Earth (Diary of George) simultaneously is cultured and barbaric, vocals and rhythms merciless predators upon the senses whilst the guitars and keys cast a mesmeric if vitriolic haze over the damage. With a brilliant discord kissed sax wailing over and taunting the carcass of your sanity, the song is a blackened fury with a melodic harpy on its shoulder but one constantly twisting and evolving as it moves towards an expulsion of a riled almost hardcore brawl of vocal scowls and shouts over a punk spurred ferociousness. It is a stunning track and almost leaves the remaining songs an impossible task to follow but IT LURKS BENEATH!!! and Paradise irrepressibly and cantankerously in the case of the first make light work of the challenge.

   Closing on the enjoyable and impressively presented but less commanding In the Smoke of the Green Ghost, though that is again down to the quality elsewhere, The Last Man On Earth is an exceptional album.  There is little to raise up against it, though you suspect some will find it just too intensive and unrelenting in its inventive maelstrom. Released as a free digital free on Christmas Day and getting its official retail release on 13th January, Morgue Orgy may just have delivered the best melodic death metal release of the coming year. It is a tall order to follow for sure for them and the genre.

www.morgueorgy.com

10/10

RingMaster 13/01/2014

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Aetherium Mors – Entrails Of The Soul

Entrails CD Front

Having impressed with their debut album of last year, UK blackened death metallers Aetherium Mors confirm it was just a platform for greater things with the release of the Entrails Of The Soul EP. Consisting of four dramatic and viciously sculpted expanses of intensive and creative confrontation, the new release takes the richest essences and promise of its predecessor, Drenched In Victorious Blood, and evolves them into an even more captivating and exploratory maelstrom of adventure. The EP is not a release to instantly unveil all of its imaginative depths and corners either but an intensive and welcome violation which makes a constantly stronger declaration on top of its initial persuasion over numerous encounters.  The band provides a textured and evocative extreme metal encounter which lingers and feasts upon the imagination, a companionship for the senses which is never comfortable and respectful but certainly immensely enthralling.

Formed in 2004 by multi-instrumentalist Dan Couch and vocalist / lyricist Kane Nelson, Aetherium Mors became a studio project for the pair despite the intent for it to have a full band line-up, the lack of musicians able to realise and deliver the complexities being created driving that direction for the project. Creating songs inspired by the sounds of bands such as Death, Carcass, At The Gates, and Dissection, the duo were also busy with other projects which saw Aetherium Mors going on hiatus, Couch heavily involved as guitarist with Plymouth based progressive rock/metal bands Wishlist and Daggers Drawn, and as drummer with black thrash band Holodomor, whilst Nelson was the frontman for sludge/death band WarCrab. As these commitments and bands came to an end, the pair resurrected Aetherium Mors and set about writing and re-recording early demos for debut album Drenched In Victorious Blood. Its release last year ended an eight year wait and pushed the band to the fore of British underground extreme metal, a position Entrails Of The Soul could very well take to greater levels of recognition.

The EP opens with its title track, a song which makes a seductive first contact through an evocative coaxing from the guitar within a rapidly brewing caustic ambience. Welcoming and intimidating, the air of the song has senses and thoughts on full alert, unsure of which way the confrontation will turn but eager to stand before the emerging tempest and find out. It is not long before riffs scorch the atmosphere whilst the destructive invention of the drums harries and menaces the ears. The vocals of Nelson equally show no restraint, his insidious malevolent tones squalling with a slavering rabidity as they deliver every spite drenched syllable of the viscerally soaked narrative. It makes for a compelling storm, a tsunami of inventive maliciousness raging ferociously whilst almost hidden below is a ridiculously addictive groove, the great production just giving enough of a glimpse for it to tease and excite the healthy appetite already in place for the EP. The production on the release a critical part of the success of Entrails Of The Soul, its approach different to maybe what one expects from an extreme metal offering but with an ability to bring clarity to the underlying contagious grooves and tempting deceptive hooks whilst boiling up the intensity to almost suffocating degrees it is as impressive as the sounds. Unleashing a waspish vitriolic groove towards its closure which is quite irresistible, the track is an immense start and already has pushed the boundaries set on the previous album on to new dimensions.

The following Ritual To Evince The Subsurface Of Purity opens with another melodic temptation but soon has a torrential blaze of exceptional merciless rhythmic onslaught and sonic adventure raging, the band again accomplished at brutalising and seducing simultaneously with elements which for many would not work together. It is an absorbing thought pressing song which makes for another peak in the passage of the release, a height soon matched by the outstanding Divine Order Without God, grooves and rabid drumming barely taking a breath before unloading their delicious nasty abuse. The track is a hostile environment for senses and emotions, a rancor clad sonic landscape which ignites even greater hunger for the band’s unbridled inventive vitriol. Within that harsh climate the guitar play of Couch is fully magnetic whilst Nelson sucks the air from the lungs of hope and calm with a toxic bitchery which intensifies the poison of the song.

The closing Souls Diseased By Faith takes the EP to another high, it’s exhausting consumption of the senses a fascinating creative beauty and the beast, animalistic almost feral intensity and confrontation driving the aggressive suasion whilst an almost classical bred beauty breeds a melodic and sonic imagination which virulently engages the passions. It is a tremendous finale, the pinnacle of the EP and a lasting confirmation of the new heights Aetherium Mors has attained. British extreme metal is in strong imaginative hands if this duo continues on this impressive path.

www.aetheriummors.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 13/11/2013

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Impiety – The Impious Crusade

Impiety-Group-1

Hailing from Singapore, the blackened death leviathan that is Impiety has been consuming and antagonising senses and passions since 1990, grabbing plenty of acclaim for their unleashed mayhem over an avalanche of albums and singles. This month sees their debut release on Hells Headbangers Records, The Impious Crusade EP, a viciously twisted slice of extreme metal offering proof of that the trio has lost none of the guile and sonic toxicity which marked such albums as Paramount Evil, Dominator, and from last year Ravage & Conquer. The new five track release continues in similarly confrontational creativity but with a certain shift in its presentation, arguably offering no real surprises yet exhausting senses and thoughts with a virulent death metal scourge that keeps the band as a distinct proposition amongst most.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist Shyaithan, guitarist Nizam Aziz, and drummer Dizazter (the band becoming a quartet live with the addition of bassist Guh Lu), Impiety continue to use influences from the likes of Bathory, Sarcofago, Possessed, Morbid Angel, and Venom seemingly in their imagination, though as mentioned they have branded their own signature deep within the genre. A band who have successfully headlined tours and supported others across Europe, Asia, N. America, and many more areas of the world, they have marked the deal with their new label by a release which takes the listener on a demonic ride through hell’s deepest violations sound tracked by sounds which twist and turn on the senses with the primal and skilled predatory instinct of a bestial horde. It is not the most insidious and nasty encounter, or overall one which leaves the passions raging uncontrollably but it is an onslaught that sparks the appetite into impatience for the next full length from the band.

Opener Arrival of the Assassins is a brief track which is more than an intro but still only a swift fist through the heart, its sonic lancing ofalbumart[1]the ear lethal and direct whilst the cage of rhythmic disturbance leaves knees buckled. It sets up the release perfectly every aspect of the band afire and ready to assassinate peace within its recipient, whilst the track itself is an excellent portent of things to come and in many ways the best thing on the release despite its short stay.

The following Commanding Death & Destroy is an instant savage torrent of vitriolic spite and sonic mastery from guitarist Aziz, his fingers conjuring riffs and aural narratives not only here but across the EP that leave you whimpering and greedily immersed in individual caustic scenarios. Ably assisted by the rhythmic provocation of Dizazter and the scathing raw squalls of Shyaithan, the song is a tempest of almost schizophrenic rage and imagination, a storm of quizzing crippling intensity and inventive ferocity.

As next up Accelerate the Annihilation equally tears into senses and thoughts, the slight air of missing originality is evident yet not an issue within the almost suffocating presence of band and sound. The track stomps and prowls with primal rabidity through the ear, switching its attack to leave the listener nowhere to escape to, not that in the face of such a contagious and invigorating brutal ravishment you would seek such refuge. Again the guitar carves out a landscape of impacting persuasion whilst bass and drums enslave with the rapacity of a pack of hunger driven wolves.

The title track scorches air and senses with a sonic wash that is as malevolent as it is addictive whilst the rest of the song is a battering ram of unpredictable savagery created by a technical violence that is almost virulent in its appeal. As with all the tracks, it allows no second for the listener to settle, its disorientating expanse of scything aural discord and bedlam a tornado of adventure and malice.

A cover of the Sorcery track Lucifer’s Legions completes the release, the track a more than decent high octane thrash toned brawl. It concludes a great release and appetiser for what is to come from Impiety. It is a grower too and even whilst writing this piece and listening to The Impious Crusade EP simultaneously a few more times it increases its stature within thoughts and distinction. A release all death metallers should get their hands on.

www.mightyimpiety.com

8/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

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Insentient – Remnants EP

INSENTIENT-

The meaning of the name of Los Angeles based blackened death metallers Insentient means ‘devoid of sensation or consciousness; inanimate,’ something you certainly cannot apply to their debut EP Remnants. The six song release is a dramatic and exhausting piece of emotive enterprise and evocative intrusiveness, a heavy shadowed expanse of exploitive and scintillating provocation exploring and inspiring the psyche of its recipients with relish and skilled venom. The release and band has earned comparisons in many ways to the likes of Death, Hypocrisy, and Dissection, something which is hard to argue over but with essences of neo-classical and thrash to their imaginative ideas and craft the band stands apart from the crowd with a unique and expressive presence.

The band was formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Leslie Medina with the line-up of Medina, guitarist Kimberly Orellana, bassist William Palacios-Toledo, and drummer James Coppolino in place from the early part of last year. With a stable line-up in place the band has begun to make a stronger impressive mark which Remnants will only send deeper into the heart of melodic extreme metal.

Wrapped in the excellent artwork of UK artist Thomas Bates, who has graced releases from the likes of Bleed From Within, The REMNANTSSoulless, Siege of Amida Records, Federation, and Promethee, Remnants instantly seduces the ear with the opening of Winters End, crystalline kisses falling around a melodic temptation from the guitars courted by a bass lure. As the temperature rises and melodic blazes spark off mutual fires of intensity, the song evolves into a ravenous torrent of rapacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and voracious vocals from Medina, her guttural squalls and esurient rabid passion startling and impressively malevolent. The track evolves across a charge of sonic invention and melodic imagination which as potently captivates as the intensity devours making an immense and riveting start to the EP.

     Decrepit Minds taunts the senses next with its initial welcome sonic irritant erupting into a rampant snarl of malicious riffing and mutually violent rhythms, a black metal grace wrapped over a death metal maliciousness is once more ridden by the insidious vocals. The emerging thrash rabidity to the riffs infuses another rush of pleasure and satisfaction whilst once more exposing the diverse intent and creativity of the band.

Through both Seethe and its successor As I Wither, the experience raises its game yet again, the first a slowly prowling menace sizing up its victim with bass and guitar as enthralling as they are menacing before taking an unrelenting chew out of the senses with an avalanche of bass drum animosity and controlled vocal savagery, whilst the second is quite simply a furnace of devious imagination and deviant sonic temptation all honed into a gorging depredation.

If the listener was not already convinced the release seals the recruitment of the passions with the closing pair of Death Toll Rising and finally the title track. The penultimate track is a pit borne snarl with hunger and spite to match, again the vocals of Medina a savage contagion alongside the inventive voice and charm of the guitars that bewitches within the at times bestial rage and furiousness of drums and riffs, not forgetting the wonderfully hostile and seemingly rancor soaked basslines. The title track provides a final thrash sculpted maelstrom of passion and intensive debilitation, blisteringly completing a thoroughly engrossing and impressive debut.

Insentient and the Remnants EP make you work at times to discover its wealth of creative ingenuity, its corrosive surface overwhelming what lies beneath but the effort to explore is rewarded with even greater imagination and pleasure. This is a band we will be hearing a lot more of and with even greater successes one suspects.

https://www.facebook.com/insentientofficial

9/10

RingMaster 19/06/2013

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Hell United: Aura Damage

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    Formed in 1997, Polish blackened death metallers Hell United has emerged as one of the best bands within their country and region. They have not matched the heights of Behemoth, Vader, or Decapitated yet, bands who they in sound have much in common with, but have certainly earned the reputation as one of the more impressive aural creators of blasphemy and violence. Their latest album Aura Damage will not change the position of the but with its demanding sounds and violating invention concretes their place as to the fore of Polish underground extreme metal.

Initially called Eclypse, the Tarnów quartet recorded an unreleased album The Human Abstract in 1999, though two tracks emerged re-recorded in their first demo Omen the following year. 2004 saw their debut album Applause: JHVH Elohim Met released leading to an intensive schedule of live shows and line-up problems. From this the re-named Hell United emerged with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Void, bassist Bartollo, guitarist Rzulty, and drummer Dügy, and in 2007 the demo Extra-Strength Of The Obscure followed a year later by the album HornoKracy. The next two years saw the band  playing the United Death Armageddon tour, in 2008 and 2009, alongside the likes of MasseMord, Blaze Of Perdition, and Mord’A’Stigmata. A two version mini album came out in 2011, as The Third Sigil of Destruction in cassette form and as Abhorrence Majesty on vinyl whilst last year held the recording of Aura Damage after the band played shows with Ulcerate, Furia, and Intestinal. Now released via Hellthrasher Productions the album maintains the band as one which it is impossible not to spend time with.

It has to be said that the album does not ignite a furnace of passions for its undoubtedly accomplished and inventive sounds due to a398956_385472591504310_1090755155_n lack of anything startlingly new or different to other imaginative bands and releases, yet whilst in its venomous company Aura Damage leaves no room for distractions or a yearning to go elsewhere. Hell United is a skilled and provocative band in sound and invention, and one to which destructive violence and insidious violation is second nature. From the opener Red Limitations, a track which leaves the listener cowering under its towering riffs and rhythmic violence, the band piles on the oppressive intensity and corrosive malevolence. It is savage and unrelenting with a mission to snap wills and consume senses, something it does with little resistance.

The excellent Apostle Of Plague takes over the assault next, the torrential raining down of ravenous rhythms and twisted intrusive sonics alongside the grasping scowling vocals, riveting within its tempest. Throughout the bass prowls and snarls with a predatory hunger which is sensational and one of the most thrilling aspects of the whole release.

Deathlike Cold with its creeping malignancy which wraps itself around the ear with a serpentine relish offers an immediate diversity though the track soon explodes into another carnally driven ravishment of ear and beyond, whilst tracks like Let Sleeping Dogs Lie and the title track engage no thought of no restraint and savage the listener from first note to last whilst offering an evolving expanse of sonic grooves and blood spilling aural hate. Arguably the album is most adventurous and intriguing within its later tracks such as the doom gaited Hinterland and more specifically the furnace of intensity that is In Odore Sanctitatis and the closer Totality Of I, the first of the pair a rabid leap into the abyss of energy and intent lit by masterful sonic flames and the second another heavy mass of slowly ravishing doom soaked consumption.

Aura Damage is technically outstanding but one which just lacks a spark to ignite strong passion for the admittedly impressively crafted sounds and songs. Hell United is a band nevertheless which ensures its company is well worth the violence on offer.

http://www.hellunited.com

http://www.facebook.com/hellunited

6.5/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

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Hate: Solarflesh

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    Since forming in 1990, Polish metallers Hate has built and earned a strong name for their unbridled death metal brutality and over the latter years for a more evolved and defined blackened death voice with a diversity of inspirations to their still wholly destructive creativity. They have released acclaimed albums which have brought themselves and Polish death metal to world attention and stood amongst the established powers with impressive ease. Now they stand before the world with their eighth album Solarflesh, a release which sees the quartet at its most powerful and inventive yet.

Hate is a band which has grown into the world through their continually growing towering sound and live shows and tours alongside the likes of Hypocrisy, Scar Symmetry, Carpathian Forest, and Decapitated and through festival appearances at those such as Metalcamp, Neurotic Death Fest, Brutal Assault, and Screamfest. Released via Napalm Records, Solarflesh is another unstoppable force from the band which stretches the evolution in their sound on further from their previous well received album Erebos of 2010. It simultaneously explores, invigorates, and violates the senses with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist ATF Sinner, guitarist Destroyer, bassist Mortifer, and Hexen on drums unleashing possibly their finest moment to date. It is an album which still has moments where it arguably does not go far enough in its original ideas to completely enthral and capture the passions but never offers a moment where Hate have sole control of a willing attention and eager want to hear more.

The album appears through a distant sonic mist in the thrilling emerging shape of Watchful Eye of Doom. Part full length intro 464 Hateand part haunting atmospheric instrumental with a wonderful female vocal quall of intimidation and seduction, the track is a darkly charismatic invitation and quite compelling. It sets a high dramatic bar for the album to walk which it does successfully for the main across its corrosive length starting with the fiery Eternal Might. The song is a blaze of sonic elegance and carnivorous riffing caged within well-structured barbed rhythms. The vocals of Sinner from within the brewing tempest is a rabid squall upon the ear, his caustic growls a perfect counter to the melodic coaxing ripe within the forceful intensity. Within his brawl though there is clarity which allows the lyrical content to exact its purpose too, something maybe other genre bands should note. For its main the track is a tightly crafted tease without unleashing any addiction evoking elements but solves that with an excellent imaginative sonic trade in the latter breath of the song to make it memorable if not a lingering pleasure after its departure.

The first major highlight of the album steps up next with the ravenous Alchemy of Blood. The track wraps its insidious charms around the ear whilst forcing a delicious venom soaked groove through the tightly seized opening. Flames of razor blade sharp melodic shards erupt from the thick intensity and rampant rhythmic assault yet there is a control and purposeful intent which leaves one hypnotised, especially when further hornet stinging poisonous grooves persist and rupture the senses. Being over critical the song like on other occasions taunts, in that it does not go far enough with its addiction provoking moments of serpentine devilry, but still leaves one glowing with the prospect.

Through the likes of Festival of Slaves with its stunning opening of tribal and epic loud whispers leading into a torrential outpouring of caustic intensity, and the equally compelling title track the album continues to draw one willingly and deeply into its black fuelled heart. The second track is a sizzling encounter which unveils an irresistible Middle Eastern tantalizing to its striking guitar enterprise and sonic furnace of passion. From vocals to rhythms the track gnaws on the senses whilst the technical mastery and melodic invention ignites the passions for a full riveting experience.

Closing on another high with Mesmerized, a song which brands itself on thoughts and flesh with an engrossing malevolence sonically and from haunting enchanting female wails, Solarflesh is a release extreme metal fans should focus in on. It dissatisfies slightly in that it does not push its truly inventive moments to their limits but throughout is an album which brings a freshness and power to the world of Hate and death metal.

http://hate-metal.com

7/10

RingMaster 01/02/2013

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King of Asgard – …to North

Following up their acclaimed debut album Fi’mbulvintr, Swedish metalers King of Asgard return with an even more impressive and irresistible release in …to North. Once more bringing a potent blend of pagan/folk metal steeped in Norse mythology and blackened melodic death metal, the band treat the ear to sounds which at worst leave one truly satisfied and at its height fired up with hot blood surging through the veins.

The great thing about King of Asgard and …to North is that the sounds are more controlled in comparison to other similar cored bands, the music letting its craft and imagination shine and infect the senses rather than relying on flamboyant and exaggerated chest beating charges to capture the imagination. Not that the release is lacking that aspect, at times it is a musical call to arms for the passions and delivers some delicious melodic hooks to trigger a fuller contagion but it is for want of a better word restrained and a element of the great songwriting rather than the focal point.

Formed in 2008 by vocalist and guitarist Karl Beckman, the band soon expanded with the addition of drummer Karsten Larsson who had played with Beckman in the Viking metalers Mithotyn. The following year saw the recording and release of seven track demo Prince of Märings which was well received and the addition of ex-Thy Primordial bassist Jonas Albrektsson in November. The twilight weeks of 2009 also saw the band sign with Metal Blade Records who were as so many impressed by the demo. Fi’mbulvintr was recorded and released in 2010, its thirteen striking songs recorded with Andy LaRocque who returned to work with the band on …to North. The trio as they prepared for taking the album live to the world by bringing in guitarist Lars Tängmark to expand to a quartet, pulled in a growing and eager acclaim for the album and first video of the opening song Einhärjar with Rickard Moneus from the production company 1897. The beginning of this year saw the band complete the songwriting for their second album and what a mighty result they have come up with.

From a heralding intro the album ignites with the outstanding The Nine Worlds Burn, a song which paces through the ear with strength and confidence before unleashing a storm of caustically scouring vocals and thumping riffs. It plunges the senses over cliffs of towering rhythms and heartily driven energy to concoct an infectious and heart pumping intensity. The song immediately shows the album is continuing where its predecessor left off but with an evolved invention and intent. The song has the body breathless by midway but then throws in a glorious curveball with the stunning vocals of Heléne Blad, her beautiful tones sending wings of fiery elegance across the atmosphere to which the music bows with a tender understanding. Ending on the feisty attack once more it is a great start to the album and lays down the perfect foundation for songs like the following The Dispossessed to unleash their wealth of invention upon, the track a thunderous beast to back up the impressive start.

The next song Gap of Ginnungs features another guest with guitarist Jimmy Hedlund (Falconer, Supreme Majesty) adding a couple of incendiary solos. The track is a part dirge part chant joy which lays a satisfactory plateau in the album soon elevated from by Band To Reunite and the excellent Nordvegr. The first is a brewing cluster of melodic enterprise and ear rippling rhythms which has one surrendering to its class within seconds. Offering another incisive and addictive groove within the intense and growling energy, the track charges up the senses fully in preparation for further songs like Nordvegr, a controlled and bruising stomp which intrigues as much as it lights up the ear.

Plague-ridden Rebirth, a black beast of a song with its dark festering melodies and the warm positive breath of Harvest (The End), ensures a heightened climax whilst the closing instrumental title track is an evocative piece of bristling aggression and melodic wonder. They complete what is a powerful and rewarding release which steps away from similar styled bands with its craft and intelligent composition. Maybe more blood boiling charges would have been nice but really it brings no real complaints before its door and shows King of Asgard as one of the more thoughtful and keen bands out there.

Ringmaster 31/07/2012

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Nexhymn: Black Horizon

 

Carrying a definite feel that here is a band that could make a deep mark on metal in the future the debut EP from US blackened death metallers Nexhymn offers up six venomous slices of brutality to leave one satisfied and interested in hearing much more. Without taking the genre into parts unknown Black Horizon lays down a firm statement of a band on the rise with accomplished skill and invention and definite promise for the future.

From Colorado the band began in 2010, rising out from the ashes of Throcult. With a name derived from the combining of Latin word Nex and the word Hymn, their definitions of death, violent nature, slaughter, and simple song of praise respectively suit the music the band creates rather well. Their music is one that you cannot easily turn away from; its slight groove and grind elements adding an additive pull to the harsh and consumptive overall bulk of each track. As mentioned the release does not offer anything openly original but it compensates with fine craft and compulsive sounds.

Fronted by vocalist Holly Wedel, her delivery as impressively bestial and intrusive as heard anywhere, Nexhymn bring a passion and heart to their music which is evident. From the unavoidable intensity of Wedel, to the towering rhythms of Pete Gonzales who drives each song with a varied and strong control, the prowling bass riffs of Tyler Cantrell, and the striking guitar play of Rudy Hernandez and Ivan Alcala, the band is a tight and demanding presence in the ear which feeds off the senses like a permeating blackened fog. The music invades, expands into, and seeks every empty corner of the body to leave a sure vacuum once the release lays down its final note.

As the first track Decaying Monument strikes up its sounds of war one almost feels that is what they are being dragged into. The track is violent and destructive, it might not be the most brutal song heard to be honest but it is as intrusive and effective as most. Immediately one is aware of the skills of Gonzales, he is a major asset that leads and compliments the strong ability and play of the rest of the band. He holds it all tight and driven whilst the others can expand and flourish which they do more as the EP progresses and one feels in the time ahead as the sound evolves so will their individual presences.

     Undetermined Supplication and Repacious Temptest continue the very pleasing start, the first with a persistent groove lined eagerness whilst the second simply lurches across the emotions with a punishing and deliberate vindictive malice. Added to the opener there is a thinking that this is good stuff and very well brought forth but show us something more, the real Nexhymn. Which they do impressively with the best songs on Black Horizon in the shape of the title track and Exquisite Plague.

Black Horizon, the song, shifts intermittently from rampage to stomping to a predatory stroll through its length and is as intense, imaginative, and infectious as you could wish. The guitars whip the senses up into an eager recipient of the rampant pummelling beats and corruptive riffs whilst treating them to reserved but clear melodic invention. The following Exquisite Plague is equally ravenous as it grinds deep within its host. Again like its predecessor it strides with a confidence and pit borne intent to bring submission before its feet and accomplishes it to give thought of what a quite remarkable band Nexhymn have the prospect to become.

Closing on the brief instrumental Death Emotion the EP is a very satisfying release which shows in Nexhymn a band that has yet to evolve its own distinct sound but is well on the way which the just mentioned duo of songs give strong evidence for. Black Horizon deserves an investigation and Nexhymn a close attention as they grow into what one suspects will be a formidable and striking band.

www.facebook.com/pages/Nexhymn/114334125249755

RingMaster 03/25/2012

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Interview with Adar and Omut from Shturm

Though still really an undiscovered area outside of its borders the metal scene in Russia has a wealth of diverse and exiting bands that are slowly coming to light. One of the best comes in the powerful and impressive shape of blackened death metallers Shturm. They have just released their new album Karmaruna, an album that rages and rampages with a defined craft and refined thought. Having strongly enjoyed the album and intrigued to find out more about the band we had the pleasure of having twin guitarists/vocalists Adar and Omut from the band tell us more about Shturm and their album.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, many thanks for talking to us.

Would you first introduce the band and its members?

Adar & Omut: Hi! Thank you for your questions! Now “Shturm” is 3 persons: Adar (vocals, guitar), Omut (guitar, clean vocal) and Petreno (drums)

When and how did the band first start?

Adar: The group “Shturm” has appeared early in 2003. I and Sinner (bass, vocal) had organized it. At that time we were playing “war black metal” which can be heard on demo “Shape Of Chaos”. A year later the debut album “Fresh Christian Meat” had been recorded. It wasn’t only a black metal album, there was much more death metal. In 2009 label FONO Ltd. released our second album “Kalahia”. It was a blackened death work. Our image was reflecting the influence of black metal.

What were the influences that led you to getting into making music and those that inspire you now?

Adar: First we were influenced by such groups as Marduk, Immortal, Hipocrisy. Later we couldn’t avoid the influence of such monsters as Nile and Behemoth. Now the influence of these bands is very low. Listening to our album “Karmaruna” everyone can notice there the influence of different groups. So it’s difficult to say exactly who has influenced us during its creation.

Your music has evolved deeply between your demo Shape of Chaos and debut album Fresh Christian Meat in 2004 and your excellent new album Karmaruna. How would you describe the change and maturity that has emerged?

Adar: Really, I don’t know how to answer this question. As the years roll by everything turns out of itself. The childish maximalism concerning the views about life, music and fashion disappears. The music horizons broaden and you want to compose more interesting, distinctive music. Hereby “Karmaruna” appeared. The symbiosis of styles and views about life. We couldn’t allow us to make such a bold album before but now the time has come to break musical ranks and to experiment.

You started out as a brutal black metal based band really originally as you said earlier, what was the thought behind the band at the time?

Adar: That’s right. At that time we were 17 and we were only interested in protest against society, religion (especially Christianity), foundations, all these fops listening sugary pop music. We were like a bundle of nerves, drinking a lot, haggling. All this was reflected in our music – fast, raw, aggressive. It was a true black metal concerning all: views about life, texts, behaviour, attitude to people. We hated those who differed from us and we thought we were the strongest. We even had a song “Overpeople” which speaks for itself.

It seems that when you Omut, joined the band and struck up a strong understanding and combination with Adar that things really began for the band and the new defined shape and direction to your sound. Is that how it was?

Omut: After my appearance in the band much has changed as compared with previous course of things. But changes weren’t revolutionary. I and Adar, we were developing in the direction which was interesting for us, we were creating “Shturm” and we continue to do it. I think changes were gradual and logical.

So the change as much simply a natural evolution of the music as it was down to this reassessing of things then?

Omut: We always try to generate some unexpected, unpredictable decisions within the scope of our musical and lyrical ideas. That’s why the development of the band and of all that connected with it can be considered as planned (because all is often carefully planned) and spontaneous (because musical ideas for a new material are a great surprise even for us).

As mentioned Shturm started out as a black metal band and has evolved through death metal to an even more brutal form though without losing your skilled intricacies and creativity. Have you found you have lost a few fans from the evolution though obviously gained a great many more?

Adar: Oh, yes! Having broken through the ranks of death-black metal we have been subjected to criticism by our old fans. We were reproached for being pop and fashion oriented. But we don’t anger as it’s not true and we prove at our concerts that we are metal group as before but now we are not interested in playing only within the frames of several styles.

What was the metal scene like in Russia over the first few years and did it help or hinder your progress?

Omut: Metal scene of extreme genres in Russia has always been not impressive especially during the times of the formation of our group. It can be explained by the legacy of ban on this music made in The Soviet Union. While all the world was developing in the sphere of heavy music we had a sever ban on it in our motherland. At the early 2000 extreme metal scene represented an embryo under the influence of impressive bands from foreign countries. All this had a great influence on the lack of colouring and originality of Russian heavy metal. All the same we still loved such groups as Drama and Ragor. Russian heavy metal always makes us glad – Aria, Black Coffee, Master, Legion. We love this music and surely it has influenced on us.

It seems now that music from your homeland and surrounding countries is finding a wider market and attention, is that the case?

Omut: Of course, today there are more interesting Russian bands of different styles within the ranks of metal. Some of them are famous and needed abroad and it makes us glad.

You have had a few line-up changes over the years, how does that affect a band when it happens?

Adar: Line-up changes are always disagreeable. It turned out so that people have never left “Shturm” voluntary. We must dismiss them because of their futile approach to the work or we couldn’t simply find the common language. New people bring changes which are almost always good. I hope “Shturm” will have a stable, solid membership ready to compose for life and to do all for the band development.

You have just released your excellent new album Karmaruna as we mentioned, and your most creative release to date. What are you most proud of about it?

Omut: Maybe it’s a subjective judgment but we are proud of many traits and features of “Karmaruna”. The material was composed in unrepresentative atmosphere – we were discussing the finished riffs, ideas and drafts together and we were making the arrangements. That has had an influence on that the album turned out varied concerning style ranks. We are satisfied with both music and texts which gained our own specificity.

Tell us about the album title.

Omut: This is a symbiosis of two words that we wanted to call our next two albums after “Kalagia” – “Karma” and “Runa”. With the lapse of time we decided not to be in a hurry to release the double album and we created the material for “Karmaruna”. Karma is the law of cause and effect in which Buddhists trust. Runa in our interpretation is a sign, display. So, “Karmaruna” is this is how the fate or the karma of a being shows up in the world. In the form of rune signs can be recognized in trees, rain, love, war. According to the law of Karma the seeds of our past actions germinate in our current life and form it. So, as we understand it “Karmaruna” is the life, all around.

What does it offer that those still unaware of your music will find hard to resist?

Omut: I think people with different musical tastes in metal will be able to find something interesting for them in our album. So, the fans of heavy metal can enjoy melodics, the connoisseurs of black and death will like energy and speed. The sappiness of solos and the richness of drum parts make our music resemble to progressive metal. So, “Karmaruna” can be a very interesting for metalheads with different preferences. I’m too modest, aren’t I? ;)

How long has Karmaruna been in the making?

Adar: It took about half a year to compose the material for “Karmaruna”. It took much time to try different arrangements, riffs and words but it’s worth the effort.

 Did the album come out exactly how you imagined it before going into the studio or did it change during the recording process to surprise you?

Adar: Coming at the studio we had a strict plan of actions, almost all the arrangements were recorded on demo that’s why we needed only to record it with better sound quality. So, there were few changes during the recording and all passed as we had planned it. But experimented recording the vocal and it turned out quite different from our plans.

How does the songwriting happen within the band?

Omut: The songs for “Kalagin” were composed discretely by Adar and me. After that they were united in album playlist with few changes. It was a different thing with “Karmaruna” the material was composed by Adar and me but it weren’t finished songs. Raw material was sifted through and saturated with unexpected arrangements by me, Petreno and Adar. Drums and arrangements (and some riffs) of Petreno who took a very active part in composition enriched a lot the sounding of the album.

Your songs and lyrics are often related to and refer too, quoting from your bio, “…the atmosphere of ethnic music, the heritage of Maya and the nations of Oceania, bearing the wisdom and grandeur of the old ones…” Can you elaborate on this?

Omut: This characteristic can be applied partially only to the material of “Kalagia”. The texts for this album represents our interpretations of legends, traditions and mystic cults of “Buddhist” Tibet. On the text side “Karmaruna” became more wide – most of songs speak not about something far and mystic (as before) but about something vital and close to each person. The base is our modest reasoning on the basis of the Buddhist philosophy. Besides the album reveals the themes of patriotism, our private feelings about everyday life.

 What is it about the subject and themes that connect with you the most?

Omut: All about what we sing excite us to a considerable degree. The past of our nation, our private feelings, reasoning about happiness and suffering based on the covenant of Buddhist teachers. All this is important and impressive for us.

You have a reputation for powerful and memorable live shows I am told, this is always a special event you like to bring to your fans?

Omut: We try to push ourselves to the limit giving concerts. This is our way to express live our feelings and ideas born during our albums work. We try to make our show energetic and emotional. We had a different image before. Now we are disposed to the individuality and hope to surprise more those who give us much attention at out concerts.

Have you gigs lined-up to promote the album?

Adar: Yes, we plan concerts to promote “Karmaruna”. For the present it will be the concerts in Russia and CIS, but we hope to travel farther.

What is next for Shturm?

Adar: I think the future will be more interesting for us and for those who appreciate our previous work. Until we live “Shturm” lives. There will be new songs, concerts, clips. I hope we’ll visit England with concerts. Of course it’s not easy but it’s worth doing! We plan the release of a new clip for one of the songs of “Karmaruna”, the recording of EP which will contain one new song and some interesting compositions known by metalheads and connoisseurs of early “Shturm”. And of course the new album which creation has already begun.

Thank you for taking time to talk with us, very much appreciated.

Would you like to end with some words for your ever growing army of fans?

Adar & Omut: Thank you for your questions and your interest in “Shturm”! We wish every success and prosperity to your portal! We express our gratitude to those who like our music – thank you for being with us! Those who only begin to familiarize themselves with our music – welcome to our world, symbiosis of black, death, thrash, heavy and something else…I’ll be damned if I know!:)))

Follow “Shturm”, everything is just beginning. The most interesting is ahead!

Stay heavy!

Read the review of Karmaruna @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/shturm-karmaruna/

The RingMaster Review 02/05/2012

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