Mefisto – 2.0.1.6

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Formed in 1984 under the name Torment, Swedish metallers Mefisto is noted along with Obscurity, as being the first Swedish extreme bands to surge through the opening made by Bathory. It was a band which quickly drew a loyal local following, with the 1986 release of a pair of demos in Megalomania and The Puzzle finding keen reactions in the metal underground, which over time has grown to the band earning cult status. Within a year of their release though, they had succumbed to the pressure of finding no real support and called it a day. Now thirty years on from those early releases, the band unleashes debut album 2.0.1.6, a thrilling and fresh proposal which suggests that Mefisto had maybe been ahead of their time first time around.

In 2014 Mefisto was reformed by band originals, guitarist/vocalist Omar Ahmed and drummer Robban Granath, the pair joined by bassist Morgan Myhrberg last year. Their return was marked by The Megalomania Puzzle, a compilation bringing the early demos together in one rousing invitation released via, as the new album, Vic Records. Mastered by Dan Swano (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath), 2.0.1.6 now gives the metal world something which has been eagerly anticipated for, in many ways decades, the first Mefisto full-length.

A gentle melodic caress brings album and opener Deathrace into view, though it is just a poetic coaxing into a subsequent sinister siren-esque mesh of fiery grooves and jabbing rhythms. That as quickly becomes a tempest of thrash kilned riffs and rapier like beats as vocals crowd ears with growling antagonism. Now in full flight, the track entwines a web of metal styles with craft and invention, the grouchily wiry bass alone captivating bait to get off on.

The strong start is merely an appetiser in many ways, the following Void swiftly a more thunderous and imposing protagonist for ears and appetite. With muscles on full show, the track swings with inescapable virulence; intimidating and enticing with spite and tenacity before throwing a delicious curve ball by slipping into a melody rich passage of progressive and classic metal enterprise. Across its length, the band continues to revolve between extremes of texture and the compelling mix of aggressive and calm invention; individual craft and united imagination blossoming with every thrilling twist and turn.

The barbarous Act Dead has the job of following the first pinnacle of the album, its bracing hostility and sonic endeavour making great success of keeping enlivened ears and emotions on a firm high. Sturdy and confrontational, the track provokes and invites with unruly resourcefulness but controlled ferocity, showing why in its earlier guise in the band’s career, it was a potent incitement.

Heads in the Sand twists and turns in another web of varied metallic provocation next. Thrash and death metal is twisted into the lining of melodic tendrils and searing grooves, they offering a catchiness which itself is aligned to a more progressive exploration. A slower persuasion than the immediacy of earlier tracks, it still blossoms by the minute into another highly pleasing adventure that only lingers in the psyche.

The almost theatrical drama of Frost of Inferno involves ears and thoughts straight after, its raw and brutish canvas the landscape for a kaleidoscope of melodic expression and enterprise shared by the open skills and creative devilry of Ahmed. It is a song which enjoyably has one foot in the past and the now, whilst successor Hate Consumes Me with the same flirtatious drama to its body and narrative, is a cauldron of modern rock ‘n’ roll. Predatory in its calm and incendiary in its sonic boldness whilst being primal in energy, the track fuses death and heavy metal with essences of broader heavy rock, resulting in another major highlight.

A touch of classical guitar stirs The Puzzle into tempestuous life, which in turn breeds a constantly evolving stalking and ravaging of the senses which is very easy to get greedy over. Compelling as it invades and seduces with rousing persistence, it is eclipsed by the album’s closing title track. It too has a predatory air and nature to its melodic tempting and progressively nurtured adventure with the vocals emulating their character as Ahmed’s string craft bewitches.

It is a superb end to a thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly impressive debut album. It seems strange saying that Mefisto has a rich future ahead of them after thirty years or so since their first steps, but 2.0.1.6 suggests this is just the beginning of bigger and bolder things.

2.0.1.6 is out now via Vic Records through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 23/02/2016

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Tales of the Tomb – Volume One: Morpras

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Dripping blood and viciousness from every note and syllable, the debut EP from Canadian death metallers Tales of the Tomb is the breeder of nightmares and lustful appetites. Volume One: Morpras is a three track execution of the senses, a demonic trespass of the soul inspired by real life equivalents and an encounter which might not be about to turn the extreme metal scene on its head but definitely gives it a nasty assault of murder metal to get excited over.

Hailing from Edmonton and emerging in 2013, Tales of The Tomb draw on the inspiration of horror comics that glorified hideous crimes and creatures, the seed for the band name Tales of The Tomb too, and equally true life episodes of murder, supernatural horror, and real-life terror. These are seeds strikingly blossomed within Volume One: Morpras, in lyric, tone, and sonic brutality. Mixed and mastered by Dan Swano (ex-Bloodbath, Unisound), its goes for the jugular and senses like the protagonists featuring in its concept, an unrelenting trespass continuing across a trio of blood-lusting tracks.

Morpras - EP_RingMaster Review     It opens with Snowtown, a violation inspired by real-life crime of small-town Australia. Within a couple of breaths, riffs are venomously flooding ears as rhythms beat down on the senses like a machete. The raw throated tones of vocalist Connor Adams, potently backed by just as grisly other tones, infest the psyche as potently as the sounds and their enterprise which is arguably less antagonistic initially then the vocal squalls on offer. Swinging rhythms and nasty grooves only add to the gripping adventure too, guitarists Corey Skerlak and Tre Thomas casting a bait ridden web as the bass of Bryn Herbert grumbles alongside the rapier beats of John Thomson. It is an impressive start blossoming in strength and imagination the further into its two and a half minutes ventured, clean vocals alone one of the great additives to the mayhem.

The Pig Farmer steps in next, another slim sonic coaxing the spark to a hellacious confrontation which this time, colours true events of a prolific Canadian serial killer. In no time it is grinding its way into body and psyche, torrents of nagging riffs, spicily intrusive grooves, and vocal pestilence igniting ears and appetite as the band ravishes the listener from every direction with incendiary craft and gripping virulence of sound. It is as corrosive as it is irresistible, a rabid animus fuelled by more of the fiercely pleasing vocal mix and a savage predatory intent.

With a touch of fellow countrymen Dark Century to its fury, as too in varying degrees of bands like Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse, the track as the EP is an evocation for a greed for more, a hunger fed by the closing Doctor Death. As the serial killer inspirations behind it, the song preys on ears, taking its time to instil its toxicity but working away with compelling almost cancerous sonic intent from the off. Grooves entwine and work their way under the skin like toxic vines, whilst the body of the song strolls with a deceitful calm as much hued in more classic metal essences as it is in death metal voracity.

The first two tracks whip up a rabidity which takes no prisoners, straight in and swing type attacks, whilst the third is a lingering poison which takes its time to build to its aim but with the same riveting result on ears and pleasure. Volume One: Morpras EP is a stirring introduction to Tales of The Tomb but also frustrating that it is a mere three tempests. Hopefully more bloodletting with follow soon but for now this EP is being hungrily devoured.

The Volume One: Morpras EP is available from November 27th digitally and on CD @ https://talesofthetomb.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

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Arbitrator – Indoctrination of Sacrilege

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If you speak to the right people there are always good, often great things said about any new and emerging band. The confirmation is always only in the music of course and just as often as words are proven, anticipation is left in unintended deceit. Arbitrator since the release of The Consummate Ascendancy EP in 2011 has been a band often talked up and recommended from certainly Canadian and North American sources. Their debut album Indoctrination of Sacrilege is our introduction to the quartet and all promise and suggestions of their growing might have been convincingly proven.

Indoctrination of Sacrilege is a beast of a release, an intensively atmospherically soaked death metal bred proposition which from making an impressive first impression grows into one striking and fascinating theatre of imagination. Fusing in textures and essences from electro and industrial climates to progressive and ambient flavouring, the six track release engulfs and stirs ears and thoughts with skilled and increasingly rewarding adventure. The band itself is the brainchild of Robert Kuklaand, its emergence starting in 2010 and announced by the release of The Consummate Ascendancy the following year. It was an acclaimed proposal from the band but just a tester in many ways for the exploratory might of Indoctrination of Sacrilege. With a line-up of Myles Malloy (lead guitar), Connor ORT Linning (programming), and Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-Devin Townsend Project, ex-Aborted) alongside Kuklaand (rhythm guitar, bass, vocals), Arbitrator put themselves forward now as one of the more intriguing and exciting progressive death metal prospects. They also still feel like they are still only just scratching the first few layers of their potential despite the weight and success of their album, a potential and prospect of even greater things ahead quite exciting.

The Sacha Laskow (ex-Divinity, Every Hour Kills) produced and Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy) mastered album, swiftly has the imagination engaged as the entrance of opener They Will Worship This Fire of Agony comes through scenery of portentous bells and death feasting flies as church seeded chants seemingly offering final guidance as a dark pestilential cloud looms nearer and nearer. That sonic threat is realised a muscular wall of riffs and punchy rhythms veined by enchanting keys. It is an immediately incendiary and compelling persuasion enhanced by the guttural growls of Kuklaand and spicy persistent grooves. Samples are soon briefly mingling with the cavernous presence and intimidation of the song too but it is the infectious hooks and melodic winery which most captivates against the evolving and enlarging drama of the keys. It is an imposing and enthralling encounter, and as the album subsequently shows itself to be, a pleasingly unpredictable one.

The potent start to the album is solidly continued by Stillborn Bastard of The Nazarene, it straight away binding the appetite with intensive riffs and rhythmic swings whilst thoughts are provoked by its atmospheric colouring. Kuklaand again impresses as he binds words and syllables with a gripping impassioned tenacity which provides additional potent focal points amidst many on release and track. Samples and keys again paint additional inciting scenes in the ferocious and threatening landscape of the song, though it is the superb melodic enterprise of Malloy which steals more of the glory.

Through each song the album just gets better and creatively bigger, the next up For That Which May Appease Lions unleashing black hearted rock ‘n’ roll in a hellacious offering of grooved and addictive contagion aligned to corrosive and oppressive malevolence. The track transfixes from its first moments, the predatory nature and sound of the bass a delicious stalking within the maelstrom of rancor whilst clean vocals add a different shade of temptation to the voracious soundscape. Keys and guitar endeavour similarly vein the tempest with their own unique and engrossing narratives, everything seamlessly flowing and combining together to enslave ears and imagination. Unpredictability is rife across the track, and reveals more twists and subtle ideation with every listen, an exciting trait just as potent in Serpent of The Styx. The song’s electronic opening is a melodic drift of keys and radiant melodies yet it all comes with a solemn and melancholic charm courted by a slowly brewing dark side. An eruption of that heavy menace is eventually unleashed yet the song still continues to radiate melodic expression within a web of carnivorous grooves and enjoyably volatile rhythms. There is also a cinematic ambience to the track, its ‘warmer’ and calmer moments apocalyptic in suggestion as the track’s muscular and rabid side trespasses and challenges the senses. As its predecessor, the track is a mouth-watering incitement which just gets more addictive and anthemic with every passing minute, hook, and barbarous swing from Verbeuren.

       Profaned and Perfected whilst not quite matching the heights of the previous two tracks, has its own persuasive agenda of spiny grooves and spiky beats to contemplate, and an anthemic swing to drool profusely over. It is an out and out death metal ravishment but also one unafraid to explore warmer climes through the often spellbinding invention of the industrial spiced keys and climactic guitar. The song is still a bruising and commanding predator keeping body and emotions invigorated and fearful before the ‘epilogue’ like instrumental adventure of The Burning Sands of His Kingdom brings the album to a fine close. The electronically driven piece draws a cold and stark wasteland yet equally suggests hope with its melodically epic and intimately expressive tones within rugged scenery.

Over a handful of listens in and there is still more revelations coming forward within songs as Indoctrination of Sacrilege continues to reward, that in itself a strong reason with the diversity of sound and invention to check the album out. Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Colin Marks (Exodus, Scar Symmetry, Jeff Loomis), the release has been suggested for fans of Bloodbath, Dismember, and The Project Hate but also it is easy to suggest that those with a taste for bands such as Opeth, Mercyful Fate, and Escapethecult could do far worse than taking a plunge into Arbitrator and their first album.

Indoctrination of Sacrilege is available from February 13th @ http://arbitratorofficial.bandcamp.com/album/indoctrination-of-sacrilege

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RingMaster 12/02/2015

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Deserted Fear – Kingdom of Worms

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An unrelenting storm of death metal embracing the genre’s varied grounding seeds and a more modern creative voracity, the second album from German metallers Deserted Fear is an uncompromising and brutal onslaught. Kingdom Of Worms is also a release which manages to feed expectations and throw curveballs at them simultaneously. It is a storming onslaught, never taking time out to rest on its ferocious laurels and give the listener any real respite from its hostility. A game changer or unique challenge for death metal the album is not, but as an attention grabbing confrontation and another big step in the rise of the band, Kingdom Of Worms is a rigorous success.

Hailing from Eisenberg, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Manuel Glatter, guitarist/bassist Fabian Hildebrandt, and drummer Simon Mengs was soon drawing local attention from the emergence of Deserted Fear in 2008. It was debut album My Empire in 2012, following an earlier demo, which suddenly triggered keener and broader spotlight upon the band. Soon the European metal scene was taking eager notice of them, even more so as they subsequently made acclaimed appearances at festivals such as Summer Breeze, Party San Open Air, and Extremefest. Now Deserted Fear has unleashed the next instalment of their emergence, and it is easy to suspect that the Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) mastered release will stir up another torrent of potent praise and concentration on the band.

The climactic, epically toned Intro opening up the album is nothing new in extreme metal nowadays but it has to be said that even though you almost expect this kind of beginning to an album, it cannot defuse the portentous and potent lure of the piece before it leads straight into the mighty rhythmic paws and sonic ravishing of Forging Delusions. It is an instant brute of a song with nostrils of imposing intensity flaring and sinew sculpted addictive grooves inescapably binding the imagination and passions. It is hard to get enough of the fiery proposition the song offers initially, and even as its relative restraint slips to open up a maelstrom of hostile rabidity, there is still that increasingly compelling groove driven bait insatiably seducing. With a heavyweight thrust of thrash ferocity aiding the all-consuming attack, the track is a storming start to the album.

The title track comes next and it too is swiftly consuming ears and appetite in tightly gripping grooves as the feet and arms of Mengs uncage hellacious energy and skills. As its predecessor, it too is unrelenting in its savagery and tenacious DF_Kingdom of worms_COVER_blackback_wwwenterprise, its touch raw and caustic yet equally coaxing and contagious as guitars weave a melodic tapestry. The scintillating song is a cauldron of craft from each of the band individually and in a united animosity of sound and rhythmic barbarism, whilst vocally Glatter growls with a depth and ferociousness that you feel for the lining of throat and gut.

The pair of Call Me Your God and Wrath On Your Wound, unveil their own spiteful landscapes of sonic and rhythmic enmity next, the first an intensive avalanche of bitter riffs and destructive beats scarred by the increasingly corrosive tones of Glatter, whilst the second is a fully fledged rage with malice dripping from teeth clenched vocals and spiralling grooving which line the bruising thrust of the transfixing song. Again Menghs proves himself to be an attention grabbing beater of skins whilst both Glatter and Hildebrandt spin a creative web which is as intrusive as it is enthralling.

The melodic breath and elegance of Torn By Hatred comes next, a short instrumental which does provide the one moment of mercy and warm colouring in the album, before The Agony pillages the senses with its blistering stride of riffs and sonic endeavour. It is a bestial proposition in voice and breath, but with the vocals finding their own animalistic growl and grooves another heavy dose of toxic infectiousness, it is an encounter which is happy to rearm established genre ideation with the band’s own flaming resourcefulness. Its intensive suasion is followed by the lean swagger and predacious stalking of With Might And Main. The track almost saunters as it batters and impedes on the senses, providing another delicious and almost anthemic provocation to engage in.

The slower entrance of Shattering The Soil makes for a different slant to the release though it is soon submerged in another unbridled fury of sound and intent before Mortal Reign parades its rhythmic and caustic rancor with vicious relish and skilled endeavour. Neither track lives up to what came before though each definitely only adds to the pleasure reaped from the album. The pair seems to be revisiting some of the success of earlier tracks in some ways and confirm that there is a surface similarity across some songs which defuses some of the strength of Kingdom of Worms. It is not an issue when the album is given proper and deeper attention, the diversity between songs soon discovered, and such the quality of the songs it is ultimately not as problematic as it might have been anyway.

The release is brought to a close by Last Of A Fading Kind, another engrossing and richly pleasing incitement but as the two previous tracks, it does not quite live up to certainly the stunning first half of the album. It is still impossible to dismiss and escape its masterful textures and tempting though as it brings a potent conclusion to Kingdom of Worms though.

Deserted Fear epitomises all that is compelling about death metal whilst infusing it with their own emerging brand of startling invention. New album Kingdom of Worms is not going to change the face of extreme metal but it does give it another intensively flavoursome savaging to devour.

Kingdom of Worms is available via FDA Rekotz from October 24th and at http://www.desertedfear.de/index.php/shop

http://www.desertedfear.de

RingMaster 24/10/2014

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Vestal Claret – The Cult of Vestal Claret

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Brewing up a dark and increasingly compelling mix of heavy and doom metal with occult metal bred toxins, US death rock/metal project Vestal Claret unleash their first release since recently signing with Cruz del Sur Music. The Cult of Vestal Claret is a deviously addictive encounter which revisits older songs alongside new and leaves the imagination blissfully corrupted and appetite alive for the band’s subsequent conjurations.

The album brings recorded tracks from the band’s split with Ungod in 2012, a reworking epic encounter which made up the band’s split with The Kissing Flies in the same year, and four new songs including a Black Sabbath cover. It is a mixed bag but one which leaves appetite hungry and pleasure invigorated as the release casts its intensive and imposing weighty design over the senses. Released as a nine track CD or a six song vinyl, each offering one encounter exclusive to itself, The Cult of Vestal Claret is a potent entrance into the dark spawning of the band for newcomers and a pleasingly rewarding addition to the passions of existing fans.

Vestal Claret is the creation of vocalist Philip Swanson (Hour Of 13/Seamount) who met Simon Tuozzoli (bass, guitar, organ, vocals) CRUZ66_COVER_300DPI_RGBwhen recording his occult heavy metal ideas at the studio the latter ran; linking up the duo emerged as Vestal Claret. A couple of demos in 2007 led to a split with Atlantean Kodex the same year which itself was followed by a couple of EPs, Worship and Lost Loved Ones in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Debut album Bloodbath two years later drew stronger and eager attention the way of the band with its CD release last year raising extra appetite for this, Vestal Claret’s first offering since signing with their new label. As ever theming their songs with the dark side of the human psyche employing references to Occultism, Satanism and other uncompromising imagery, you would understandably suspect that The Cult of Vestal Claret coming with a multitude of old already released songs would have a disappointing edge to it but it is fair to say that the pair, with Michael Petrucci providing the drum work, infuse plenty of refreshing aspects to the songs to make them it a sizeable reward.

Looking at the CD version, the album opens with the immediately captivating Never Say No. Its initial touch is a drizzling melodic haze veined by distant whispers but is soon smothered by a rigorously coaxing wave of sinewed riffs, crisp rhythms, and enticing sonic endeavour. Into its feisty stride the vocals of Swanson bring appealing expression to the emerging narrative, the restrained chorus with both artists united in voice, especially potent anthemic bait. The track is a nagging proposition across the bulk of its magnetic body with irresistible grooves and flares of melodic enterprise infesting ears and thoughts for a thoroughly contagious start to the album. One of the new songs on the album it alone reveals the potential and maturing invention of the band ensuring future horizons are as keenly anticipated as this release was.

The following Three and Three Are Six is a touch of an anti-climax, though the great throaty bass tones and seductively gifted hooks soon have emotions on board with the infectiousness of the track. The song continues to swagger and stomp purposefully with its metallic lures and muscular intent but the dramatic spark which lit its predecessor is a more dormant fuse within the cloudier presence of the track. All the same it is an excellently crafted and catchy blaze of intensive metal endeavour leaving a hunger for more, which the title track next tries to offer. The Cult of the Vestal has a raw and darker essence to its rapacious prowling of the senses, lyrically and musically reaping malevolence for its invasive premise. Again there is a niggling repetition to the focus of the track which only increases its temptation though it is the heavily breathing intensity which awakes the imagination with its provocative smothering most forcibly.

The exclusive song to the CD comes next and steals the honours within the release. Great Goat God is a thrilling incitement with a reined in rampancy which threatens to slip its chain throughout and a bewitching venomous coating to grooves and deeply scything hooks which insidiously worm under the skin. From the excellent vocals to the stalking riffs skirted by antagonistic beats, the track seduces and enslaves the passions; its blues soaked imagination flirting with the inventive sculpting of the guitar whilst adding to the insatiable and impossible to refuse toxicity of the song. It is the pinnacle of the album and almost alone the reason to grab the album.

Both The Demon and the Deceiver and Piece of Meat which were originally on the previously mentioned EP with Ungod, keep ears and appetite contented though neither can step up to the same plateau as the previous track. The dramatic air and emotive shadows in the first of the two makes for a mouthwatering proposition which leads the imagination into exploring its depths to the excellent acoustic accompaniment of the guitars within a threatening squall of ambience. The track is a real grower and really benefits from the fresh brushing up for the album whilst the second of the pair rampages with addictive jagged grooves and fiery sonics as it spreads a heavy metal fuelled smog over ears. Again it is a song which takes time to fully grip but with the great incessant groove which cores its flare it was never really in doubt, especially with the distant but alluring keys adding extra tempting.

The sixteen minute plus Black Priest is masterful and epic journey through the skills, songwriting, and creative vision of the band. The track is an intensive journey in itself, a perpetual evolution through dramatic sceneries amidst sonically coloured landscapes with psychedelically kissed melodies and stirring intensive hues hinting at intimidation and danger. The track is simply enthralling, if a little too long so that intrigue for the following songs before their time shows its face at times, and just adds more depth to the promises of richer things ahead.

The closing pair of Who Are You, that Black Sabbath track and new song The Stranger are decent enough but to be honest after the last epic encounter and the other impressive moments of the release are a bit of a damp if enjoyable squib. That may be a touch harsh but certainly they lack the wares to light up the room and emotions as shown on other tracks though still give the album a skilfully presented and appealing conclusion.

The Cult of Vestal Claret is a very solid and at times scintillating encounter which can only drew a new hungry crowd into the arms of the band’s potent sound.

The Cult of Vestal Claret is available via Cruz del Sur Music now!

Vinyl album listing

Never Say No Again

Three and Three Are Six

The Cult of the Vestal

The Stranger

So Mote it Be

Black Priest

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8/10

RingMaster 07/05/2014

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Spiritual Holocaust – Kingdom Of Cadavers

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    Kingdom of Cadavers is one of those releases which takes time to make its fullest persuasion though not from being a slow burner of a tempter but as one which needs extra attention to absorb the most potent elements of its persuasion. The four track EP from Finnish death metallers Spiritual Holocaust once given the opportunity and time to work its sadistic charms though emerges as a strikingly promising and satisfying confrontation. It does not come with the intent to create new boundaries for the genre but sculpts a web of intrigue and raw destructive potency through its death driven slabs of intensity which captivates the imagination and transforms initial appreciation into a more impacting response.

Hailing from Raahe and formed in the latter part of 2010 out of the ashes of death/thrash metal band Point Blank, Spiritual Holocaust soon built a strong local fanbase which was strengthen by the release of demo CD Salute the Death last December. The end of the year also saw the new line-up of band founders vocalist Tomi Vähäkangas, guitarists Janne Satokangas and Jaakko Ulanto, bassist Marko Launen, and newest member Ville Yypäanaho in place and contemplating on their debut EP Kingdom Of Cadavers. Released by Grindhouse Music the new release unleashes a consumption of old school death metal which without being distinctly different to the sound and flavours bred by inspirations such as Morbid Angel, Bloodbath, Grave, and Cannibal Corpse, stands aside of the majority of other genre origin fuelled bands. Add in thoughts of the likes of Bolt Thrower and Suffocation to spice up the mix and you get a good idea of where Spiritual Holocaust come from and are going with their own individual design carving out the narrative.

The EP stirs from within a sampled bloodbath of torment, guitars and bass awakening their venomous intimidation to emerge as a cover_spiritualholocaust_kingdomofcadavers_1000x1000pestilence of sonic toxicity and rhythmic stalking. Once into full malevolent flow Forgotten Horror crowds the ear and forces its venomous temptation upon the senses with accomplished rabidity and intensive might. It is not startling or structurally spellbinding but with a rawness which corrodes with every note and a serpentine breath that is magnetically suffocating, the track makes a compelling introduction; especially when it parades a ridiculously contagious acidic groove, a temptation which niggles and scores the senses until it is a lingering ingrained toxin.

The title track is like an aural plague from its first insidious note, its tsunami of attractive poison and melodically fouled intensity a smothering cloak of dark destruction around a skeleton of rhythmic bone which equally takes no prisoners. Once more irresistible grooves make their plea from within the thick swamp of malicious virulence though it is a greater intensive blanket compared to the first song. A lumbering brutality with a predacious spite to its gait, the track takes the strong opener of the EP up another level and enriches the already spawned open promise of band and sound.

From the apocalyptic landscapes of the previous pair Born of Hatred seems a more personal or certainly is centred on the more personal side of human nature, its sounds as reflectively provocative and internally baleful as the lyrical growling. There is no softening of the destructive essence and hate seeded air of the encounter though, it’s testing and twisted engagement no less a torrential animosity than the other trio of tenebrous tempests as shown by the closing Death is Alive. Gnawing upon and devouring every last gasp of the senses and spark of imagination, the track takes them on a ruinous tirade of sonic and rhythmic annihilation which in turn ignites the same entombed aspects of the listener. With riffs and grooves veining the assault and bass as ever providing the strongest predatory provocateur whilst the vocals in league with the sounds scowl and turn air into a vitriolic Cimmerian expanse, the song brings an equally sepulchral release to an enjoyable close.

As mentioned Kingdom of Cadavers is not grinding out or exploring new ventures but is pure old school death metal which leaves the senses and appetite fully satisfied. Spiritual Holocaust is a band, on the evidence of their first EP, at the beginning of what looks like being an eventful and fulfilling blood drenched journey.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spiritual-Holocaust/159862980694493

8/10

RingMaster 08/10/2013

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Skineater: Dermal Harvest

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    Rife with sabre sharp sonics and a carnal malevolence transferred through destructively precise riffing and viciously antagonistic rhythms, Dermal Harvest the debut album from Swedish death metallers Skineater, is an impressive and savage pleasure which leaves pure satisfaction and pleasure in its annihilatory wake. Arguably the album is not venturing into new realms but with its aggressively sculpted malice and charnel house of blood drenched intensity and bone splintering violence it does not need to be to ignite the passions.

Skineater was formed in 2008 by guitarist Håkan Stuvemark (ex – Wombbath, In Thy Dreams, and Vicious) upon leaving as bass player in GrandExit. Moving back to his main instrument he recruited drummer Jeramie Kling, drummer in The Absence, Infernaeon , and Ninety Minute, with the pair recording two songs the following year. It was not until 2011 though that the project found impetus with Stefan Westerberg  (ex- Carnal Forge, In Thy Dreams, World Below, and Steel Attack) taking up the bassist position in the band. Soon after signing with Pulverised Records with whom the album is released, the band expanded further with the addition of guitarist Kari Kainulainen (ex – Mourning Sign and Amaran), vocalist Jörgen Ström (The Mary Major), and replacing Kling, drummer Matte Modin (Raised Fist, ex – Dark Funeral, Defleshed, and Sportlov). Recorded at various locations with mixing and mastering at Studio Underground (Carnal Forge, Steel Attack, Fleshcrawl, Necrodeath) in Sweden, Dermal Harvest is an irresistible result of a group of veteran musicians unleashing a fresh and voracious passion and sound which has maybe been festering within over the years, such its organic and instinctive animosity musically and lyrically.

     He Was Murdered makes the first rapier like incision into the senses though its finesse only follows a bludgeoning entrance from Dermal Harvest Coverriffs and rhythms  with vocals squalls casting acid on the ear like venom filled cluster bombs. With a slight aside in energy for the guitars to seep their own tightly weaved sonic  malevolence, the track forges a violent intrusion with blistering guitar play and crippling drums assaults menacingly accompanied by the delicious malefaction of the bass. It is a snarling brawling encounter which exhausts the energies whilst leaving one simultaneously enthused and ignited by primal intent.

The following Dismantling and Your Life Is Mine continue the ravaging assault on the person mentally and physically, both tracks raw and unrelenting in their abrasive animosity and unforgiving ferociousness. Like the opener they also entwine moments of sheer melodic beauty which are as unpredictable and rewarding as they are unexpected and warmly welcomed as some respite within the towering destruction surrounding them. The guitar play and invention of Stuvemark and Kainulainen is exceptional and their imaginative quieter melodic addresses sit perfectly within the tempests without any seam or drop in fluidity present.

In hindsight though immensely impressive and pleasing in their company, the first trio of songs are mere appetisers which certainly leave the listener enlivened but not as fulfilled as tracks like Made Of Godsick manage to achieve such their triumph. It is at this point that the album fully fires up its heart and furnace to wreak the strongest havoc and pleasure upon the person. The song is a riveting construct of quarrelsome fervour and burning invention which sows the deepest pleasures within. It is a mordant storm musically and in intensity equalled by the excellent and sonically rabid Through The Empire and then exceeded by the sensational Stab. This track strips, grinds, and seduces the senses and emotions throughout, its passage insistent, unrelenting, and sizzling with melodic flames, scorching imagination, and predatory hunger. The best track on the album it sums up the wonderful grotesque that is Skineater perfectly.

The rapacious, and perversely addictive Drifting is another major player of the passions, its greed and hunger musically and violently pure hellacious manna for the heart. Again it shows just how masterful and skilful the band is as individuals but also as a unit and combining the melodic side of the genre to outright volcanic metal fury.

Dermal Harvest is an exceptional release which leaves one smouldering contently under its aggression and quality, and also possibly whimpering. Yes it is not breaking new ground but it is using the essences of the genre in a way not many others can contemplate let alone employ. If the likes of Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Bloodbath, and Hypocrisy exploit your passions, than Skineater is a band for you.

http://www.skineater.se

www.facebook.com/Skineater666

8/10

RingMaster 21/02/2013

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