Caustic Method – The Virus

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     The Virus is a scourge to the senses as potent and inescapable as the equivalent physical protagonist is to the flesh, but a fierce ravishing easy to develop a rabid appetite for. The album is the new incitement from US metallers Caustic Method, a fury of raw and contagious animosity that stirs up the blood and puts a fire in the belly. Though the band has been devouring audiences and fans since 2003, the new release is, like for so many, our introduction to the Syracuse roar, and no finer a way to get infected can you imagine.

Caustic Method has earned a rich reputation for their sound and live performances since forming, sharing stages with everyone from Hatebreed to Cypress Hill, American Head Charge to Otep, Hed P.E. to Korn and hordes more from all diversities of metal and voracious rock ‘n’ roll. Last year The Virus EP sparked thick attention and feisty anticipation for the band’s new album, its success a step towards the band signing with Pavement Entertainment for its successor’s release.

The album launches itself on ears and senses with an instant wall of sound and the vocal roar, the song’s title Virus, the first word expelled by the throat of Matt Caustic. Right there the infection has taken hold; that initial concussive touch the opening toxin in a tide of predatory rhythms and hellacious riffs driven by a sandstorm of a vocal delivery. The track is never an out and out savaging though, Darin Scott’s grooves and hooks given space to wind their temptation around the imagination, backed similarly by the dark throaty tones of Eric Maliszewski’s bass. The Caustic Method sound brings up thoughts of bands like Hatebreed, Bloodsimple, and Mushroomhead across song and release but ultimately there is a freshness and originality which offers a distinct proposal from the NY quartet.

The opener is also the band’s current single with an outstanding video to match its presence and an explosive start to The Virus quickly reinforced by the following Left to Die Alone. This too is a blaster to the senses set on the highest setting, riffs and beats stalking the listener as vocals rummage in the psyche with Caustic’s ever gravelly persuasion. The rhythmic jabs of drummer Angel Rivera are a deceptive lure, initially seemingly merciful whilst still resonating on bone before the man’s stick swings get more creatively agitated and venomous. The song even with a slightly mellower embrace midway continues to hunt down the passions before making way for the similarly ravenous tempting of The Lone Star Tragedy. The song is a more straight forward but enjoyable offering at first, holding back its imagination until it is well entrenched in ears. Clean vocals and spicy grooves soon break free, though are soon swamped by the hostility that set things off and the track ends as it began, snarling relentlessly.

CAUSTICMETHOD COV_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review  Integrity Fail continues the bruising next, but with a bluesy melodic seducing which spices up its hooks. Aligned to a less intensive energy and atmosphere, it ensures the track is a juggernaut with the hand brake on in attack but a heavyweight persuasion that prowls and lingers as more variety is shown within The Virus, and in turn S.D.V. straight after. The track unleashes its dirtiest heavy rock ‘n’ roll traits to collude with a metal ferocity, a mix of vocal delivery as enticing as the blend of flavours stirred into the tempest of sound.

Through the groove infested Six Feet and the rhythmically compelling Which Way the River Runs, the contagion grips even tighter. The first is a storm of again vocal diversity and tenacious guitar bait, a feverish turbulence of attitude and creative energy which is something akin to Drowning Pool meets Blunt Force Trauma, and another pinnacle of the album. The second of the two avails ears of its fearsome potency through an opening assault of beats from Rivera which sparks a torrential virulence of hungry riffs and cantankerous grooves, the bestial bass of Maliszewski offering the most magnetic one of all. Both tracks kick the album back to the impressive levels it began on, though to be fair the previous couple of songs or so were hardly lightweight in arousing pleasure and emotions either.

Fool Me Once finds yet another gear in the toxicity of the release, it’s addictively malicious and insatiable onslaught an evolving ravaging as able to stroll invitingly with spite in its eyes as it is in uncaging a tirade of raw intensity. It is another landmark in the album, a mix of Static X and Agnostic Front which is not emulated but strongly backed by the melody rich, blues grooved rocker Bottle of Scotch. At times there is a little surface similarity across the album which certainly does it no harm at all such the enterprise and invention within, but it is great to have something additionally unique from the first breath, and the penultimate track is nicely that.

The album injects its last dose of pathogen through Anti Hero, a final slab of metal and emotional vehemence to set ears and thoughts ablaze with a spiralling of inflamed grooves, caustic riffs, and a bass seducing which borders on the carnal. It is a tremendous end to an excellent release and though Caustic Method is not going to turn the metal world on its head with The Virus, they will and certainly are earning a new and broader enamoured spotlight on their presence as the album’s qualities live up to their biological namesake.

The Virus is available now via Pavement Entertainment @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/caustic-method-the-virus-pre-order/

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RingMaster 04/06/2015

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In Search of Sun – The World is Yours

In search of sun band pic 2

In 2012 UK rockers Driven released the outstanding A Breakdown Of Character EP, an introduction which lit ears with a combined skilled invention and explosive potential leading to declarations of major success for the band ahead. Then they fell quiet and off the map, or so we thought here at The RR. In fact what happened was the band took on the name of In Search of Sun, an event and realisation lost as wave upon wave of propositions elsewhere persistently continued to grab attention. So it was a surprise and thrill to receive The World is Yours from Emma at Pluggin’ Baby, the new single from the London hailing In Search of Sun, and find ourselves accosted by a familiar but seriously fresh and impressive presence. Taken from the band’s 2014 album with the same name as the single, something else we annoyingly missed, The World is Yours is a blaze of contagious and tempestuous strains of metal and rock feeding the appetite and inciting the passions as the quintet get to work on their new songs and release.

The beginnings of the band were cast in a fiercer, uncompromising seeding of sound but even then the music never lacking insistent grooving and open diversity. In no time Driven/ In Search of Sun was an attention grabbing proposition live, the sharing of stages with the likes of Evil Scarecrow, Knuckledust, Absolva, Mortad, Painted Smiles, IKILLYA, Skreamer, Second Rate Angels, Stormbringer, Sacred Mother Tongue, Cypher 16, Cambion, The More I See and many more on their CV to date. September of last year saw the release of The World is Yours through Raging Demon Entertainment, a seriously well-received encounter now spawning its title track as the band’s new single.

In Search of Sun band pic 1   Produced by Phil Kinman (Deadly Circus Fire/Tank/Paul Di’Anno) and mastered by Harry Hess (Cancer Bats), the single quickly grips attention with its opening flame of sound. Guitars stroke ears as a lovely dark bass tone resonates amidst the more percussive rhythms. The first few seconds gives no hint to the direction of the song though, its opening bait suggesting anything from a raging riot of sound, to a ska kissed saunter, or indeed a rock pop escapade. Once a spicy groove emerges all bets are on a fiery proposal of rock ‘n’ roll, anticipation confirmed as the excellent sandy vocals of Adam Leader step forward. He is instantly recognisable for these ears as too the flavoursome craft of guitarists Rory Kay and David Mena Ferrer who are soon spinning a web of enterprise and sonic imagination. The rigorous rhythms of drummer Sean Gorman and pulsating bass lures of Faz Couri provide another irresistible enticing of contagious bait, thoughts of that first EP there but in the background as everything align to impressive and roar like the devilish offspring of a union between Bloodsimple, P.O.D., and Nonpoint.

Hooks and grooves spring from every direction as the track continues to create an irresistible anthemic tempting on ears and emotions, and it is easy to suggest the band has realised all the promise from that first encounter way back whilst opening the lid to a vat of even more exciting potential. In Search of Sun rigorously impressed back in 2012 and three years later, well they have lit a new major fire with The World is Yours.

New single The World is Yours is out now on iTunes and the album available via http://www.insearchofsun.bigcartel.com/

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RingMaster 02/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Shitkill – The New Breed EP

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The bigger the expanse of sounds and bands we all hear, the more we go looking for that something extra to get excited about. It might not be a big twist which sparks a fire in personal tastes, but something which certainly ignites the imagination and shows that there is still varying degrees of originality within modern music. American metallers Shitkill is a band which with new EP, The New Breed, has plenty of those little differences and definitely teases a burst of enthused attention to ears and thoughts. Hailing out of New York, the quartet cast a sound which draws on a diverse flavouring of sounds; they more often than not seemingly are tagged as groove metal but as the EP shows it is just one shade of many creative colours ripe in their music.

Formed in 2009, Shitkill has continually nurtured a potent reputation for their live presence and sound, not only locally but into broader attention. Their stage impact has been one reason, the band increasingly strengthening their stock as they played with bands like Twelve Foot Ninja, the Cro-Mags, Eyehategod, and D.R.I., but also through their releases. 2010 saw the Asylum EP released but it is fair to say that their self-titled album a year later made the first real mark. Its well-received success was followed by two live albums in 2012 and 2014 respectively, but The New Breed EP is where it is easy to imagine the band soon luring a more global attention.

The EPs title track is first to persuade ears, and does so with swift success thanks to the opening rhythmic dance cast by drummer Damien Moffitt. It is inescapable bait aided by the sonic glances playing around the beats and taken to new heights by the deliciously carnivorous tones of Karina Rykman’s bass. It is animalistic in voice, every flick of a string bringing a predatory edge which simply grips an already awoken appetite. Things only get more compelling as the opening grooves and riffs cast by guitarists Danny Chpatchev and Josh Musto add to the tantalising proposition. The track swings and leaps round with devilment in its heart and creativity, but also an ever increasing unpredictability and imagination. The vocals of Musto scowl and rage, a a0653763495_2gravelly delivery somewhere in the ball park of Phil Anselmo. The song itself can be best described as a mix of System Of A Down, Bloodsimple and indeed Pantera, yet there is plenty more hinting and teasing within the provocation, and showing stronger glimpses as the release proceeds.

It is a potent and highly enticing start, but in some ways just the appetiser as things get more inventive and flavoursome. The next up Vultures instantly brings a new tempest of intrigue and aggressive flavouring, its hardcore essences a buffeting ire against metallic grooving and tangy melodic enterprise. From its initial stomp, the song slips into a compelling noise rock infused stomp, riffs and hooks shuffling with rhythms in a psychopathic yet fluid tango before returning to the stormy onslaught it began with.

Death Giver pushes the adventure of the EP to further riveting heights straight after, the track making a tenaciously imposing entrance with a torrent of riffs pierced by powerfully swung beats. Bass and subsequently vocals only add to the dark drama and intimidation though it is only the lead to greater irresistible temptation. A rugged proposal at first it suddenly throws off its severe manner and goes on an escapade of creative mania. There might be better ways to describe the sudden burst of ingenuity but with deranged grooves and hooks which feel bedlam bred, there is a delicious insanity to the track. The grooving reminds of The Cardiacs whilst around them the roars of vocals and rhythmic predation is as much punk as it is metal. The track is quite brilliant and those insidious grooves, a lingering serpentine infestation.

An even greater punk ferocity fuels Faceless, the song from its first breath a raging brawl unafraid to bring addictive hooks and spicy grooves into its hostile armoury. Though it cannot quite match the brilliance of its predecessor, the turbulent treat has pleasure full and hunger for more, greedier by the second. Punk metal at its best, the song makes way for the closing excellence of Underworld. It is another almost bestial in presence and tone, riffs and rhythms prowling the listener with persistent hostility whilst adding distractions like sudden agitated beats and vocal causticity. Those demonic grooves make their return again, nestling seductively into the different but no less enthralling landscape of the song. Embracing the metal side of the band’s sound with potent whispers of more classical breeding, the encounter has body and emotions engrossed and complicit in its dark deeds, especially through the closing stretch of heavy footed and superbly lumbering beats from Moffitt courted by the cavernous basslines of Rykman and the equally uncompromising enticements of the guitars.

It is a scintillating end to an impressive and thoroughly thrilling release. Probably like a great many, The New Breed is our introduction to Shitkill, another succumbing to their not majorly original sound but certainly a strikingly inventive and most of all fiercely enjoyable one.

The New Breed EP is available now digitally @ https://shitkill.bandcamp.com/

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RingMaster 03/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Stoneghost – Faceless Ghost

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As Faceless Ghost, the new single from UK metallers Stoneghost furiously and creatively bellows in the ears, there is no escaping offering a hearty thank goodness. The reason being that the song and album it comes from, was written at a moment it is fair to say which was pointing to the demise of the band. This had come about because, in the words of vocalist Jason Smith; “I was having a kid and I couldn’t cope with it, I didn’t think I would be able to carry on with the band too, I wasn’t in a good place.” Deciding to go out with a bang and show the world the most potent essence and fury of what was Stoneghost, the South East London quartet created debut album New Age of Old Ways. Thankfully the band’s sound and new offerings found their way to the attention of the Mascot Label Group (Black Label Society, Volbeat, Gojira, Joe Bonamassa), and here we now are with the album scheduled for release in April, its lead single poised to stir up the European metal scene, and Stoneghost seemingly back on compelling course.

The Bromley band began in 2007 and swiftly made a potent impression on the London live scene. Forging a ferocious blaze of rock ‘n’ roll bred from varying strains of metal and a hardcore voracity, the foursome of Cris Finniss (drums), Jamie Nash (bass), Andrew Matthews (guitar), and Smith continued to grip attention and increasingly so across the UK, making highly successful appearances at Bloodstock in 2009 and 2010 with equally impressive performances at the Wacken Open Air festival and Metal Hammer’s Hammerfest IV in their wake over the next couple of years. It was 2013 when the band’s frontman had his ‘crisis’ and turmoil reached the band. Fighting through it though to subsequently record New Age of Old Ways with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Evile, Dimmu Borgir, Sikth, New Model Army), Stoneghost is now ready to take their place at the forth of British metal and again we can only give thanks.

As the majority of songs gracing the album, Faceless Ghost was bred in that troubled time for band and Smith, the singer talking about the song recently saying, “It’s about my daughter, she was on the way, I was feeling apprehensive and scared about the responsibility and seeing a therapist at the time, I was having some really low points, but because I had a daughter on the way it gave me the reason to sort myself out.” There is a definite personal angst and passion behind the song which echoes that moment, an intimacy to its tempest which rages as potently as the ravenous sounds.

The song opens with a dazzling weave of guitar enterprise, a spicy melodic colour which captivates from around just as swiftly established and equally compelling rhythmic predation. Things only intensify and grip tighter as Smith’s punkish roar spills emotion across the thrash toned canvas. Grooves and hooks add different and fascinating flavours and textures to the song next, the proposition already transcending various metal subgenres whilst brawling with its own aggressive individuality.

Matthews’s superb sonic and melodic designs continue to ignite the imagination as does the lyrical force of the song, whilst bass and drums are predators within the magnetically spiced triumph. Across track there are glimpses of bands like Pantera, Bloodsimple, and Overkill, but only whispers in a sound which leaps out like a beast and incites body and emotions with tempestuous majesty.

Roll on New Age of Old Ways

Faceless Ghost is available from March 2nd and New Age of Old Ways on April 27th via Mascot

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RingMaster 02/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Them County Bastardz – Sick Daze

TCB Press Photo

Sick Daze is an album which reminds us that just maybe we all can slip into the mistake of taking our metal and heavy rock too seriously and that dirty rock ‘n’ roll which is just out to have brawling fun, is as potent and enjoyable as any technically and inventively driven proposition. That is not to say that the new album from Canadian stompers Them County Bastardz is lacking skill and open enterprise, but the seven track romp is all about the heavy riot and thumping devilment of old school metal crossed with voracious country bred rock ‘n’ roll.

Hailing out of Leamington in Ontario, Them County Bastardz rouses up the energies and emotions with a sound taking the southern ferocity of a Pantera and Black Label Society and the grooved predation and attitude of a Bloodsimple and Crowbar, and adding it to the roars of a Hellyeah and Volbeat. It is a brew which does not hold many surprises but relentlessly hits the sweet spot if those kinds of flavours ignite the appetite. It is a head-banger’s heaven with all the spicy grooves and toxic attitude you could wish in a mercilessly bruising and contagious encounter. Sick Daze will probably not top many best of lists come December but in favourites line-ups expect the album to be a persistent regular.

Things are instantly careering into riotous behaviour as opening Drive By spins its sonic wheels and unleashes its unbridled energy in a wall of thumping beats from drummer Jim Kay and the grouchy riffery of guitarists Brien Alexander and Mike Rennie. The song hits its intimidating stride within seconds, the dusty tones of vocalist Andrew Watson stirring up air and mischief as bassist Tyler Wickham adds darker predation to the anthemic belligerence. Neck muscles and voice are just as swiftly enlisted as the track continues to raise controlled but insatiable hell, sirens swarming in the background as band and song begin the album’s mayhem.TCB Cover - Sick Daze

The great start is straight away eclipsed by the excellent In The Country. Opening with police despatch checking out the identity of the band which leads to a panicked alert, the track simultaneously builds up its rhythmic and sonic defiance, an impending attitude led by the thick vocals of Watson who in turn is backed the band’s equally infectious calls. Its full gait and assault still has a somewhat restrained aggression but is merciless in its stalking of ears and inciting of pleasure, especially with things like cow bell mischief adding to spicy blazes of guitar to further ignite the addictively cantankerous persuasion of the song.

Buzz Kill keeps body and emotions locked and loaded on the album’s weighty temptation; the aggressor providing a rowdy but again controlled stroll with abrasing riffs and vocal attitude speared by a groove which is as virulent as it is predatory. Littered with the scorching scythes of Alexander’s guitar, the track is another formidable antagonist upon Sick Daze but matched and surpassed by the bestial treat Metal For Mark which follows after the skit intro of It’s Not Metal which lies between the two tracks. Volatile and viciously captivating, the ravenous Metal For Mark slips into its fury the raw infectiousness of Rob Zombie with the corrosive essences of Prong. Each spicing up the bootleg brewed rock ‘n’ roll snarling from the Canadian rednecks southern ‘breeding’, with extra irresistible tang.

The best track on the album leaves the closing pair of The Bastard and Rise Up some height to match and truthfully they miss its plateau but with a melodically catchy and anthemic magnetism to the first of the two and the final song offering a grizzly growl of southern rock, satisfaction and enjoyment are overflowing in response to their brawly hell-raising.

Sick Daze is rugged rock/metal which relishes a musical and physical quarrel, and only has the appetite to kick up a storm and lead the listener into salacious devilry. Ok it might not be setting down new adventures as such but there is a time to be reminded what rock ‘n’ roll is all about, and this year’s comes with Them County Bastardz.

Sick Daze is available now via Smokehouse Records digitally and on CD @ http://themcountybastardz.bandcamp.com/releases

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RingMaster 26/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Blind Race – Come And Get It EP

Photo Credit: Joanna Glezakos of Vegenza Forografiad

Photo Credit: Joanna Glezakos of Vegenza Forografiad

Listening to the Come And Get It EP from Canadian intensive rockers Blind Race, is like being run down by a fully loaded juggernaut with its throttle fully open and subsequently being caught on its axle and dragged for the ultimate ride. Five tracks which predominantly stomp like a bear in heat, the release is a muscular confrontation using the listener as its plaything and rewarding with some of the most voracious and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll heard in a long time. The band’s third release, Come And Get It sums up their intent and the EP’s unbridled invitation into their compelling sonic devilry, and though it may not be bulging with startling originality it is hard to remember a fusion of rock and metal more enjoyable and anthemic this year.

Blind Race roared from the starting gate in 2007, emerging from the union of two brothers and their best friend two years earlier getting together for some freestyle jams and demo recordings. Taking inspirations from “their love of fast cars and the intrigue of driving them blind, as well as modern-day racial issues and the idea that we are all the same”, the band unleashed their debut album Seeing Red in 2008. It and their live presences earned strong responses with the band in 2010 being nominated at Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best Metal Act and two years later for Best Live Metal Act. 2012 also saw the release of the Lost EP, the band continuing to evolve their diverse sound and again drawing acclaim and attention, something easy to see the Mike Langford (Evans Blue, Parabelle, Charlie Hope, Jeff Martin (Tea Party), Crash Karma, Art Of Dying) produced Come And Get It surpassing.

There is no easy lead into the release, it immediately hitting top gear with opener Hypocrite. Punchy drums lure a blaze of predatory riffs which in turn re-sparks the swipes of Stelio Kentros into casting an even more pungent provocation. It is a gripping entrance swiftly becoming a rampage with nostrils flared and a heavily imposing swagger. The guitar of Costas Kentros continues spraying its predatory designs, matched by the throaty prowling of Mike Ferraro’s bass, whilst the excellent vocal lure of Tommy Geraldes completes the full anthemic narrative and expression of the song. There are also vibrant melodic keys from Joannie Cotton colouring the encounter but such the weight and pulsating intensity elsewhere, they are brief glimpses within the tempest. Swinging with the temptation of Volbeat and the bestial force of a Bloodsimple, the track is primal rock ‘n’ roll at its best and quite irresistible.Come And Get It Album Cover 2014

The EP’s title track comes next and is soon taking all the attention, again ferocious riffery and flaming grooves raging around the rhythmic armoury of Stelio as Geraldes fiercely roars and confronts with accomplished and addictive potency. There is a great abrasing edge and snarl to all aspects of the song, like a Pantera meets Five Finger Death Punch antagonism which only adds to the inescapable bait of the encounter. As its predecessor Come And Get It is an unrelenting insatiable growl which leaves appetite hungry and ears greedy for more, which the next up Hopeless is only happy to provide. The third song is a different kind of beast though, one basking and bred in the grunge and melodic rock fuelled side of the band’s songwriting and sound with a loud whisper of Godsmack throughout. Minimal caresses of guitar and jabbing beats are lorded over by the again excellent vocals, resulting in a less demanding but just as compelling incitement to the previous track. The keys of Cotton are given the room and air to bring their rich hues to the smouldering canvas of the song too whilst the guitars erupt with explosive skill and tenacity across the reserved yet melodically and passionately inflamed proposition.

The following Truth Or Dare emerges from a radiant lure of keys to which the guitar of Costas adds its own dazzling resourcefulness. It is a magnetic entrance which is soon bulging with sinew driven beats and riffs which in turn lead into a melodic haze of vocal expression and sonic beauty. The song is in no time a contagious lure which erupts with tenacious craft and urgency, subsequently entwining both textures for a riveting and enslaving enticement. Once more the band inventively merges varied rock and metal spices for a fiery slab of heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll, and another incendiary stomp.

Come And Get It is concluded by the brief acoustic rock offering Gone. With a southern rock lacing to its fully pleasing vocal and guitar led croon, the song thrills and disappoints, the latter because it is far too short and over just as you get the hang of its body and start to join on. Actually thinking about it with voices like those punishing the office that is a good thing but the adage of ‘leaving them wanting more’ is far too cruel in this case.

Like for many, this was our introduction to Blind Race who easily inspire the expectation that we will be hearing much more them when their virulent bait posing as sound begins infesting the world. As mentioned the Come And Get It EP is not breaking new grounds but for sheer rock ‘n’ roll pleasure there are few better around right now.

The self –released Come And Get It EP is available from November 18th @ http://blindrace.bandcamp.com/album/come-and-get-it

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RingMaster 18/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Arcania – Dreams Are Dead

Arcania pic

It is hard to know how much of a secret or renowned French band Arcania is in their homeland but outside their borders it is probably fair to say that the quartet is still an undiscovered treat. But that could and should be about to change with the release of their striking second album Dreams Are Dead. A stirring and thrilling brew of multi-flavoured thrash with just as rich essences of progressive metal aligned to darker extreme tendencies, the twelve track creative riot has the potential and weaponry to thrust the band into a far brighter and wider focus. It is a proposition which offers enjoyable familiarity but also inspiring and refreshing invention to make it stand out from the crowd. It is an album which though not flawless also gets more addictive and anthemic with each and every encounter giving evidence to Arcania being one of the really exciting emerging propositions.

The band began in 1999, formed by vocalist/guitarist Cyril Peglion, bassist Guillaume Rossard, and drummer Gabriel Georgelin. A couple of demos followed as the band grew in presence but it was dealt a devastating blow with the tragic death of Georgelin. The trio regrouped and decided to carry on, their debut self-titled EP being released in 2004 to great responses. Numerous line-up changes occurred over the years before in 2008 guitarist Nicolas Alberny joined the band which was followed by the recording and release of first album Sweet Angel Dust a year later. Again the release was well-received and led to the band sharing stages with the likes of Gorod, Kronos, Trepalium, Ultra Vomit, Black Bomb, and Born From Pain as well as playing festivals such as Hellfest 2012, ), Motocultor, Hell’Oween Fest, and Les Metallurgicalles. The departure in 2012 of Alberny to join Gorod saw the entry of Niko Beleg into the band, the line-up which entered the studio last year to record Dreams Are Dead.

The album’s Intro is as so many other bands seem to open up their albums with, an orchestrated epically rising portentous piece of music and very appetising; a start which despite its lack of originality brings a twinge of excitement and anticipation to an already awoken appetite. Its chilling haunted close is instantly swamped by the fiery start of Watch us dying, guitars and rhythms launching themselves at ears with urgent voracity. The track immediately has attention enslaved and senses under-siege before settling into a more ordered sonic and rhythmic tirade driven by the excellent vocals of Peglion, his great tones almost sand like in texture and invasiveness. The energy and attack of the encounter never relents in force and hunger yet embraces inventive guitar enterprise and a great almost schizophrenic design from the drums of Olivier. Arguably there is nothing new on offer but boy is the track gripping as it sets up the listener for the brilliance of next up Rise and never fall and the album as a whole.

The third track also has no intentions on making a gentle coaxing, every element of the band and sound cascading down upon the senses Arcania-Dreams-Are-Dead1-e1398358060555like an avalanche. Virulently seductive grooves wind from within the invigorating tempest alongside wiry hooks and shorter lures from the guitars. It is a rigorously magnetic enticement beneath an exacting tsunami of rhythms which as the vocals unveil their narrative, ignites the imagination like a mix of Slayer and Bloodsimple. Peglion mixes up his delivery throughout though saving the best of his lures for the roaring chorus which is led into by a great guttural expelling of malevolence. Musically the track matches his delivery in crescendos and potency but adds compelling flames of sonic invention and more of those deviously addictive grooves. It is a glorious track and no surprise that it is the one leading most into band and album right now through its video.

The following Face in the Mirror has a darker breath and face to its initial provocation but one which is tempered by restrained but certainly predatory riffs and melodic intrigue. The chorus as with its predecessor’s, provides an anthemic contagion whilst the twisting landscape of the track enthrals and sparks thoughts as a new wave of hunger hits passions already lit by the album. Its reinforcing of the strengths of band and album already impressively paraded is matched by Dreams are dead, whose arguably stronger progressive intent and adventure brings further rich hues to the release. Though not always given as much clarity as in this track, the technical aspect of the sound across the album is as riveting as all the other inciting colours and here forges an almost mesmeric temptation within the storm of the forcibly evocative song.

Another pinnacle is sculpted with next up Inside the crowd, a blistering suasion which from its fiery and earthy start suddenly whips out impossibly infectious and addictive strains of guitar forged toxins. They are honed into delicious short grooves courted by climactic riffs which in turn are aligned to ridiculously catchy and anthemic vocals from Peglion and the band. The track continues to pull out twists and turns across its scintillating creative body, each move unpredictable but seamlessly masterful and soaked in contagion whether marching with almost military precision over the senses or unveiling an atmospheric elegance and emotive expression. There are moments the track brings thoughts of October File to mind but it is a wholly unique track which takes best song honours

The breath-taking instrumental Dreams end all days floats in next to show another impressive element to the band and its songwriting. Nearing eleven minutes the piece is a mouthwatering adventure giving the imagination and emotions a wealth of melodic colours to paint their own evocative canvases with, to which the guitars add their poetically skilful and inspiring hints. For personal tastes the song is too long for where it is upon the album as before its finale you are locked in an urge to investigate the next track. It would have made a sensational closer for the album but with another instrumental waiting there, it is where it is.

Both Suffering for an answer and Scar in our mind keep things burning brightly for Dreams Are Dead though neither matches what comes before them. The first of the two carries a slight Testament feel to its more melodic classic metal air, within which vocals and the whole design of the track from rampaging rhythms and throaty bass enticing to the constantly developing weave of guitar emprise captivates. It lacks the same unpredictable element though which pushed earlier songs into something startling but despite its really annoying fade-out the song is a richly pleasing encounter. Its successor rides a thunderous tirade of beats before the guitars unleash ear smothering flames of caustically melodic rapacity, a proposition which again deeply satisfies without lighting fires.

The closing Days ends all dreams is a sultry smouldering finale to the release, again impressive in its craft and expression but easily second best to Dreams end all days. Personally putting it aside for another release, though it makes a good book end to the intro, and closing with the first instrumental would have been more successful. Nevertheless it makes no difference to the success and immense pleasure unleashed by Dreams Are Dead, the album a powerful wake-up call to the world to the presence and might of Arcania.

Dreams are dead is available via Great Dane Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ARCANIA/214904209725

8.5/10

RingMaster 23/05/2014

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