XUL – Extinction Necromance

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Extinction Necromance is a release which wholly captivates whilst hitting the listener with a tsunami of malevolent sound and intent. Consisting of four tracks covering thirty minutes, the EP is a barbarous affair which at times defuses or certainly overshadows the invention and diverse textures within its depths through a continual tirade of vocal and emotional hostility. There is no hiding place from the encounter either, except the off button, but its creators Canadian metallers XUL, ensure that is never an option with their craft and fascinating enterprise.

XUL hails from Vernon, British Columbia and cast a merciless trespass of blackened death metal upon the senses. Influences to their intent include the likes of Behemoth, Dissection, Immortal, Emperor, and Watain, strong flavours noticeable in the band’s sound but without leaping miles away from such inspirations XUL has woven the spices into a sonic narrative built on the sole character of their imagination. Formed in 2008, the quintet released debut album Malignance four years later, a well-received encounter stirring up Canadian extreme metal especially across the Western side of the scene country, a recognition reinforced forcibly by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Obscura, Exhumed, Vreid, Kampfar, Woods of Ypres, Macabre, Withered, Cephalic Carnage, Archspire, and 3 Inches of Blood. New EP Extinction Necromance sees the band explore their darkest depths and most malevolent emotions, filtering all into intensive examinations of ears and psyche.

It begins with Frozen, We Drown, an immediate consumption of the senses through prowling riffs and grooves punctuated by lurking rhythms. There is also an underlying swing to the opening baiting of ears, a trait which is regular bait whether in a gentle melodic persuasion, a rugged rampage, or an unbridled savaging. There is also thrash bred virulence at the start which with the rabid sonic intensity subsequently evolves into a melodically scenic landscape of constantly developing climates and unpredictable intent. The track continues to shift and switch its attack and sound, merging murderous sonic and rhythmic affairs with almost seductive hugs of calm and evocative suggestiveness. XUL’s sound, as each song upon the EP, is not suitable for a lightweight consumption. It is with continual examination that the busy terrains and almost insidious nature of the aural tapestries unravel for increasingly dramatic and impressive proposals. That is not to say it is not a potent first introduction made, just a matter of almost too much to digest and get a handle on initially.

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

It does ensure every listen is a slightly different and fresh adventure too, epitomised by the following Orbit of Nemesis. It rises from the release with a heralding fanfare of horns and celestial harmonies, the epic air suggested in the orchestral hints of its predecessor in full regalia here. Like a majestic bird soaring into an expansive and thickly coloured atmosphere the track sparks the imagination but like the same being swallowed by the jaws of a violent storm, the expressive opening of the track is devoured by a bestial sonic explosion. The band surges over the senses from within that assault; volleys of violent beats from Lowell Winters the spearhead of a hellacious onslaught brought by the bass predation of Marlow Deiter and rabid guitar causticity from Wallace Huffman and Bill Ferguson. With the raw primal tones of vocalist Levi Meyers leaving their own inhospitable residues in ears too, it is a gripping fury taken to greater heights by the toxic but sonically invigorating grooves and shards of melodic imagination spilled by the fingers of Huffman.

As the first track, though maybe not as openly tangible, there is an evolving aspect to the raging and another swing to its vicious stroll, an ingredient which marks each song in varying ways and degrees as shown by third song Chaos Requiem. Rolling in on a ‘gentler’ gait and intent than its excellent predecessor, the song is soon sledgehammering the senses as guitars weave a tempting lure of melodic intrigue and expression. The turmoil is exhausting, ensuring that the brief respites when they emerge feel like oases in the merciless storm. It is increasingly gripping and an intensive incitement which as mentioned needs time to fully explore but more than rewards the effort.

Final track Summon the Swarm coaxes with the calm of water and a reflective melody before unleashing sonic and rhythmic carnage, but a tempest openly and precisely sculpted by each element of the band. It also delivers a thick anthemic lure alongside its punishing tirade of sound and voice, the track at times as intoxicating as it is corrosive as it frees a maelstrom of emotion and musical drama, especially in the closing ravishing of ears.

The more time Extinction Necromance is given the more it impresses, an undeniable success which marks XUL out as a band to watch closely as they surely start luring in a more global attention, starting right here. It might not quite be the best blackened death metal protagonist you will meet this year but it will be the one of those enticing the most repeats plays.

Extinction Necromance is available from May 19th @ https://xulmetal.bandcamp.com/album/extinction-necromance

http://xulofficial.ca/   https://www.facebook.com/Xulband

RingMaster 19/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King of Asgard – Karg

King of Asgard 2014

With their new album our introduction to King of Asgard, expectations of Karg were bred from the influence and suggestion of others. The band’s third album follows the widely acclaimed debut Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and the similarly well-received …to North two years later. The former especially is mentioned in lustful voices so hopes and anticipation for the bands new full-length was keenly high. What emerged is a release which initially did not completely convince. Certainly the band’s raw blackened death metal impressed in weight, craft, and malevolence yet it lay relatively dormant in the passions. As with all releases though the first couple of ventures were mere suggestions and subsequent listens began revealing a much broader and inventive proposition. It would be wrong to say that the album has managed to light a fire in our imagination and passions yet but it has become one tenaciously compelling protagonist over time. How it sits against the previous King of Asgard albums we will have to let others say for now but Karg is definitely an album worth a decent perusal.

The Swedish band was formed in 2008 by vocalist/guitarist Karl Beckman alongside drummer Karsten Larsson, the pair having played together in Viking metallers Mithotyn. Drawing on Norse heritage lyrically, the band released the demo Prince of Märings in 2009 before being joined that same year by bassist Jonas Albrektsson, once of Thy Primordial. The demo drew strong attention from labels and by the December of the same year King of Asgard has signed with Metal Blade Records. Fi’mbulvintr caused a big stir in the metal scene with its release the following year. Recorded with Andy LaRocque, as both the subsequent albums, it strongly thrust the band onto the folk/extreme metal map. Second guitarist Lars Tängmark was then recruited as the band hit the live side of things across 2010/11 before the band settled down to work on and create sophomore album …to North.

The dark and harshly lit soundscape of Karg is the next confrontation for ears and emotions from the band, its title meaning barren in English which is a perfect description of the stark atmosphere it carries, and to be honest of that first initial persuasion. As with all things closer inspection reveals creative nooks and crannies though; the unpredictable elements which breathe and tempt below the surface, and it is undeniable that Karg has a wealth of those lures.

The distant portentous storm of what feels like a brewing battle front makes way for the wonderfully nagging riffery of The Runes of Hel, the guitars calling invitingly from within the still rumbling scenery. Swiftly rampant rhythms are King of Asgard - Kargin league with the inciting guitars, as are soon after the gravelly growls of Beckman. There is virulence to the eventual charge of the track which has attention and appetite recruited keenly, more so as it expands its creative and lyrical narrative. Persistently guided by that niggle of a toxic groove which set it in motion, the track continues to enthral and impress with its at times subtle twists and caustic melodies within the overall intimidation of the song, making for an open attraction to greedily devour.

It is a mighty start which has hopes licking their lips for what is to follow. The Trickster comes next, striding in on imposing riffs to which shards of sonic enticement blazes. It is a magnetic entrance, especially with the group vocal calls, but despite prowling energetically loses its impetus. The grooving lures and crisp rhythms make a forcible draw whilst riffs and vocals roar pleasingly but the track feeds more than defies expectations, missing the inventive colouring of its predecessor. There are engaging twists within it to keep interest and satisfaction high though and make it an encounter you want to explore more, just like its successor Highland Rebellion. Aggression and antagonism is high from its first breath, the call to arms rhythmically and in atmosphere a potent coaxing within and around the menacing textures and attitude of the track. Again though, it lacks the spark to ignite the passions which disappoints, even if ears and imagination are admittedly quite content.

Remnant of the Past marks a shift in the strength of the album, the track returning its appeal to the levels of the first track with adventure and raw enterprise. Its coarse wind of riffs and punchy rhythms makes an intriguing beckoning but it is when the storm drops and the bass takes centre stage with its sinister tone as Beckman’s equally noir lilted vocals snarl out the lyrical bait, that there is a new potency to track and release. The song continues to stalk ears with roaming riffs and concussive rhythms but reined in by that threatening air. The song persistently surprises to incite a new hunger for the release, its winding melodic tempting and group vocals adding extra taste to the richly appetising proposition. It is soon left in the shade of the outstanding Omma though. From an elegant piano crafted caress the track builds a brooding dusty squall of sonic and rhythmic intimidation. It is not hostile but certainly warlike which is accentuated by the great vocal drone which comes in, its primal chant like a meditative tribal coming together in preparation for battle. That intensity erupts with warring rhythms and vocal causticity but bound again by delicious melodic straps of enterprise and emotively atmospheric textures. Ultimately barbarous in its intent there is also a seduction to the song which leaves thoughts and passions basking.

Both The Heritage Throne and Huldran keep things at a heightened level, the first especially contagious in its creative suasion. The track strolls in with rhythmic muscles poised and confident swaggering riffs. The bass finds a gutsier growl too which only adds to the captivating and bruising rapacity of the song. It is another track unafraid to explore different avenues, arguably too few of the songs doing so upon Karg. With slow moves into clean harmonies over melodic respites and equally restrained crawls of heavy weight predation veined by majestic sonic hues, the song is an enthralling offering. Its successor is pure vitriol in sound and presence, a furious rabidity but veined by irresistible grooves and intrigue clad ideation. Many of the songs on the album are slow burners in persuasion, this more than most but it evolves into one of the most eagerly digested incitements over time.

The album is concluded by firstly Rising, a brutally imposing and exciting encounter which also takes time to permeate thoughts and feelings but does so with a tenacity and tempest of sound and imagination which leads to a stealing of full praise, and lastly a brilliant cover of Bathory’s Total Destruction. I know this will upset a great many but with its punk/thrash fuel and urgency, and outright inhospitable infectiousness, the track takes the original to another level and along with Omma is the pinnacle of the album.

Karg has still not lit a fire in the belly but with each and every listen just grows and brings a stronger persuading and is easy to whole heartedly recommend.

Karg is available via Metal Blade Records now @ http://www.metalblade.com/kingofasgard/

http://www.kingofasgard.com/

8/10

RingMaster 23/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Norse – Pest

Norse_Band

A rabid cauldron of pestilential sonic animosity and blackened death metal voracity, Pest the new album from Australian metallers Norse, is a release to fear as much as one to lust over. The six track scourge is a glorious malevolent swamp of hungry corrosive atmospheres and fiercely ravenous textures, all with despicable violent intent. It is a release which for some will provide a landscape too harsh and intrusive but for others will be vindictive manna to spill acclaim and lust over.

Formed in 2006, Norse has had its fair share of turmoil and line-up instability but at its core band co-founder and drummer Robin “Frog” Stone (The Amenta) has been the drive pushing on the project. The Unrelenting EP came out in the band’s first year before debut album Hellstorm in 2010 caught attention and praise with its boundary pushing invention. That acclaim increased and spread with its successor All Is Mist and Fog two years later, the album triggering the band’s impressive live presence equally with the band sharing stages with the likes of Absu, Mnemic, Psycroptic, and Dark Funeral across 2012 alone. Revelling in the union of Stone with guitarist/vocalist Treelo Herrington, Norse has sculpted its greatest pinnacle yet with Pest; genres merged and disregarded by the blistering hostile beauty of the new onslaught.

From the first insidious whine of sonic temptation washing ears as opener Encoded Weakness goes to hostile work, the album has Norse_Pest_Coverattention and swiftly after appetite ablaze with eagerness. It is a viciously compelling start, the toxicity of the guitars irresistible bait as carnivorous bass intimidation and rhythmic barbs align with raw ungracious vocals and a cruel rub of riffs. Already it is impossible to pin down the sound; its heady flavoursome ravaging entwining noise and psyche metal with a blackened voracity amidst a twisted groove infuse technical experimentation. The track persists in its predatory crawl and destructive breath, persistently shifting its intriguing scenery whilst searing and seduces with blistering invention and exhaustive animosity. The sonic lashing unleashed across the track reminds of Kabul Golf Club, but it is just one aspect to an unpredictable and transfixing primal fascination.

The demonic ruin bringing the first track to an end sets up senses and thoughts perfectly for its rhythmically rampant successor Disarmed, Toothless, Weak; drums striding with a purposeful menace and revelry as guitars forge another sonic web to tempt the emotions. Though distinctly different and arguably even more brutally ingenious, the track again winds acidic waspish grooves around barbarous beats and causticity bred vocals, to which grooves and hooks provide an irresistible scarring enticement. As the first, the song is a mouthwatering and addictive protagonist, exploring and stretching the limits and invention of the listener as much as itself.

Both the heavy intensive and overwhelmingly rancorous title track and the bestial charm of Irradiator, oppress and infest the senses with merciless potency and rabidity, but again with imagination firing twists of sonic exploration and contagious enmity. The first is a ruinous prowl which brings acute sufferance and mesmeric antipathetic radiance in a suffocating magnetic wash whilst its successor thrusts the senses into the strongest grievous confrontation yet. The pair also ensure sonically and rhythmically, hand in hand with varied vocal squalls and intrusiveness, that lethal soundscapes come with a rare and irresistible virulence; a murderous web of sonic seducing and scathing beauty which enslaves ears and passions.

The release is completed by the tyrannical maelstrom of True Insignifigance and the enthrallingly burdensome Aimless, each again a lethal threat and riveting enticement of creative venom, bruising and scorching the senses as they solicit and harshly caress them. The pair brings Pest to a black hearted conclusion, providing a final thrilling violation to a scintillating, psyche despoiling triumph. Norse is a force which only the brave should contemplate and the sonically adventurous must immerse within. Wounds and scars are guaranteed as is one of the best rewarding releases this year.

Pest is available digitally now.

https://www.facebook.com/norse.official

9/10

RingMaster 21/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fiends At Feast /Tragic Death – Purgatory Rites Split

frontcover

Purgatory Rites is a split release bringing together the distinctly different but similarly cast brew of blackened death metal of US metallers Fiends At Feast and Tragic Death. It is not a union or release for the faint hearted, its chilling textures and rapacious appetite permeating and imposing on senses and psyche with uncompromising ferocity. For all the vicious rabidity though there is also a rich vein of melodic expression and resourceful temperance to the Horror Pain Gore Death Productionsencounter which makes both sides of the proposition compelling provocateurs and something different from the norm which subsequently makes the release itself a formidable and riveting proposition.

Providing four pestilential tempests upon the release is Santa Cruz quintet Fiends At Feast, a band formed in 2008 by guitarists Sammer and David. Within weeks the line-up expanded with vocalist Loki and bassist Nathan Nunes, before after going through a couple of drummers, Marloc was added to the band in 2009. Debut EP Shadows Of Extinction two years later made an attention striking mark before first album Towards the Baphomet’s Throne of 2012 placed a keener spotlight upon the band. Merging sweat and blood with a tumultuous blend of black and death metal, Fiends At Feast take little time on the split to reinforce their reputation and stir up the imagination.

A spoken declaration opens up the vault to a torrent of destructive rhythms and scourging riffs all under the guttural malevolence of the gutturally rasping vocals. Four Winds of Destruction is a corrosive encounter straight away but one with bewitching melodic enterprise within the predation of the guitars which ensures predictability is scarcer than a comforting caress. Production wise it is a little hit and miss, the guitars surprisingly submerged within the welcome prowess and stalking of the bass and the demanding endeavour of the drums. It is not a major issue but does defuse some of their sharpness as they stand behind instead of alongside the vocal lead.

Through Immortal Gates is a similarly layered and malicious incitement though the alignment of each aspect is better in the overall assault of the track. Ravenous in its heart and rivetingly imaginative in its tenacity and adventurous landscape, the song makes for a gripping black hearted emprise, grooves and rhythms especially warrior like in pride and creative rabidity. It is a mouthwatering examination for thoughts and emotions to explore, an intimidating yet seductive playground for their running with the song’s narrative, something which is especially easy with the following instrumental Spectral Passageway. Soaked in emotive ambience and the stark breath of haunted pastures, the piece is a well for the imagination to paint with, the satanic breath of its companions keeping to the shadows as it casts beauty and poetic reflection. It also allows a breath to be swallowed before the serpentine and increasingly ferocious hunger of Into the Darkness envelops and immerses the listener in its noxious climate. Though not as impressive as certainly the previous pair of tracks it again reveals the potential of Fiends at Feast and their increasingly agreeable enslaving of the senses to complete a strong offering from a band easy to suggest to fans of the likes of Dissection, Immolation, and Watain.

     Tragic Death is a trio from Madison, Wisconsin which like its companion here shows little mercy in its consuming of ears and beyond with destructive mix of back and death extremes with a thrash bred voracity. Self-penned as Apocalyptic Metal, the band’s sound has earned the 2009 formed band, a potent reputation through their debut album Apocalyptic Metal of 2012 and live performances. Purgatory Rites finds the band at its most inventively creative yet, opening track Suffer the Salvation alone visually descriptive through its melodic conjuring and aurally incendiary with passion chaining grooves and sonic mesmerism. Compared to Fiends At Feast there is a deeper atmospheric essence permeating their similarly predatory and malevolent presence and whereas the Californian four piece goes for the jugular before asking questions more often than not, Tragic Death take a murderous scenic route which is soaked in provocative imagery and emotive elegance within a venomous landscape.

Their remaining tracks, Withering Youth and The Dissolution of the Clay Children continue the impressive showing of the band, helping them steal the show from their equally impressive counterparts. The first of the two flirts and savages simultaneously, the guitars of Steven M. blistering and seductive within the tempestuous journey whilst his vocal rasps, as the rhythmic challenge of drummer Cody S. and bassist Joe D., leave sore yet blissful residues which linger and intensify the weight and lure of the song. Its successor is an epic fall through merciless and brutal scenic malignancy but again with twists of melodic and atmospheric colour which enthrals from within the tortuous air and oppression, a crafting as within all songs with elements of bands such as Rotting Christ, Enslaved, and Deathspell Omega to its bait.

   The track brings the release to a powerful and dramatic end, and though not as gripping as the other pair of tracks from Tragic Death it reaffirms them as a band to keep a close attentive eye upon, just as to be fair Fiends At Feast achieve with their contributions also. The Purgatory Rites Split is a worthy investigation for blackened death metal fans and extreme metal adventurers everywhere and another potent step in the emergence of both bands.

Purgatory Rites Split is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @ hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/purgatory-rites-split-cd

https://www.facebook.com/FiendsAtFeastBand

https://www.facebook.com/218tragicdeath

8/10

RingMaster 17/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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.

http://www.morgueorgy.co.uk/

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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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