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

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

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

https://www.facebook.com/STONEGHOSTROCKS

RingMaster 02/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

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

http://www.themcountybastardz.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ThemCountyBastardz

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

http://www.blindrace.net/online/

RingMaster 18/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Arcania – Dreams Are Dead

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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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Yugal – Enter The Madness

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Though the dark intrusive provocation unleashed by French metallers Yugal upon their new EP Enter The Madness may not be carving out a dramatically original bedlam, its raw and uncompromising attitude and skilled enterprise makes it an encounter which rigorously infests the imagination and passions. The five track tempest of sound and aggression is an easily accessible and demandingly intensive affair. It holds no major surprises but rewards attendance with a predatory fusion of thrash, death, and groove metal which captivates imagination and appetite alike with its riveting raw sound and invention.

Hailing from Vannes in Brittany, Yugal formed in 2010 with their first demo From Pain to Pleasure emerging the following year. It was the striking six track EP Illusion of Time in 2013 which drew a certain concentrated attention upon the quintet but it is easy to predict that Enter The Madness will be the most potent trigger in thrusting the band into a greater deserved spotlight. Infused with supposedly oriental spices, though we suggest they are more Middle Eastern seeded, the new EP reveals a band which has impressively matured in songwriting and sound whilst retaining the passion and superbly sculpted hostility which marked its predecessor. Arguably the release lacks the unique character to set itself apart from the busy crowd but you can easily feel the potential of that realisation lying in wait within the extremely pleasing proposition.

The release opens with an instant lure of Spanish bred guitar as Mindless Fool edges into view. It is an enchanting entrance which a3390718700_2immediately has thoughts grouping around its emotive texture. The gentle coaxing is soon submerged in a tempestuous roar of thumping rhythms and intensive riffing, a furious but deliberately shaped storm which tenderises the senses ready for the irresistible grooves which begin veining through the thick fury. Those Eastern kissed grooves come with a mischievous swagger, a relish which also permeates the coarse rapacious vocals at times, both sauntering through ears with a confident contagion and magnetic toxicity. The track is a scintillating incitement, setting the release off on a major pinnacle which truthfully is worried but never matched again.

The following Free Jail though gives it a more than valid go, its opening bluster of causticity through again rampant rhythms and coarsely grazing riffs a formidable invitation into mystique clad grooves and refreshing hooks. Group vocals behind the lead provocation also add to the fullness of sound and narrative as the song evolves into something comparable in many ways to Bloodsimple meets Sepultura with extra fuel from Cryptopsy. The guitars weave an enthralling suggestiveness upon the compelling canvas built by the brutal rhythms and predatory basslines, whilst vocally the band reaches deep into its malevolence and anger to bruise the senses just as voraciously though they equally come with an intrigue and swing which makes addictive bait. It is an absorbing antagonist soon matched by the title track, its entrance upon a barbarous flurry of rhythmic intent another viciously catchy beckoning. That infectiousness continues across the whole track as the guitars once again cast woven grooves and melodic acidity into the annihilatory riffery prowling thoughts alongside the dark hearted bass. The song proceeds to ravage and seduce with increasing success and strength, building to a fiery finale which leaves ears ringing and appetite greedy.

Psychotic wraps the ears initially in a reserved sonic ambience though one with a portentous air to its touch; a menacing feeling which soon intensifies with the entrance of intimidating guitar hues and eventually a ravenous assault of drums within similarly rapacious but inviting sonic twists and colour. Though the music does not match its title initially, there is a brewing bedlam behind the driving drums and scarring riffing which without ever truly exploding ensures the track is a constant skittish and evocative antagonist for the psyche. Vocals and guitars again impress with their unpredictable and fluent shifts in attack and designs respectively, whilst the wall of sinews built by drums and the at times bestial tones of the excellent bass work, create an inescapable cage you only want to be confined within.

Another scarring crescendo sees the track make way for the closing Fearless Pride, its appearance also coming upon an intimidating sonic mist which is subsequently speared and stretched by the citric sonic craft and adventure of the guitars. Arguably the most corrosive and raw track on the release, its body a more ‘messy’ and undefined ferocity which only adds to the enjoyment, the song bruises like a wounded bear yet captures the imagination like a gladiatorial warrior. It makes for an intensive and highly satisfying conclusion to the release even without matching earlier successes. With a great and skilled evocative instrumental hidden in its shadows, Enter the Madness feeds ears and passions with a highly accomplished and exciting incitement where to be honest only a major lack of originality is its only issue. You feel listening to the EP that Yugal is still in evolution in sound and distinctiveness but that it is only a matter of time and we for one cannot wait.

The self-released Enter The Madness is available now @ http://yugal.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/Yugalofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 9/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kayser – Read Your Enemy

 

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    With a sound as cantankerous as it is compelling, Swedish metallers Kayser unleash their third album, Read Your Enemy, an encounter primed to ignite the imagination and emotions. Sculpting a tempest of modern metal with a thrash/heavy metal breeding, the band reaffirms their presence in a land of generally more blackened and deathly exploits. Released via Listenable Records, the album is a thoroughly riveting blaze of rapacious energy and invention which simultaneously sounds familiar and new as it stirs up the passions.

   Kayser was formed in 2004 by vocalist Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand (ex-Spiritual Beggars, ex-The Mushroom River Band), guitarist Mattias Svensson (also The Defaced), drummer Bob Ruben (ex The Mushroom River Band), and guitarist Fredrik Finnander, and were soon grabbing attention with their raucous live performances and equally muscular sound. Their second year saw debut album Kaiserhof followed in 2006 by The Good Citizen EP and second album Frame The World…Hang It On The Wall, all well-received and bringing greater attention upon the band in a time which also saw a change in personnel. With a line-up of guitarist Jokke Pettersson (ex-Poseidon) and bassist Emil “Ewil” Sandin alongside Sjöstrand, Svensson, and Ruben, the Helsingborg quintet has continued to build and expand their reputation and sound, shows with the likes of Volbeat, Blinded Collony and Ektomorph across countries such as Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Czech Republic increasing the intensity of the spotlight growing upon them. Read your Enemy is the next formidable venture in their strong ascent, a proposition which cements the band as one exciting provocateur of intensive metal.

    The album takes little time in seizing control of ears and attention, the entrance of opener Bark and Bow an enticing single KayserCoverguitar beckoning soon immersed in a brewing ominous atmosphere. Whilst it is taking hold riffs are revving up their engines to strike from within the embrace in tandem with firm rhythms. Now into its forceful yet restrained stride the track is soon graced by the great grizzled clean tones of Sjöstrand, his delivery expressive and intimidating to complement the similar attentive sounds. This eager charge is insatiable until wonderfully tempered by a breath taking melodic moment wrapped in acidic flames before reasserting its full fire again to mesh with the distinct skill of the guitars. There are many comparisons laid alongside the band but as this and subsequent tracks toy with the imagination thoughts of Bloodsimple are the strongest.

   The excellent start is soon surpassed by the brilliant Bring Out the Clown, an insatiable rampage of thrash and heavy metal with a plethora of groove metal temptation. With rhythms taking chunks out of the senses whilst again Pettersson and Svensson savage and seduce with every note expelled, the encounter ignites body and soul with its contagious toxicity, a virulence shared by the following I’ll Deny You. Again its presence is a towering pressure and presence which baits its weight with infectious grooves, bold hooks, and submission stealing rhythms, all under the leadership of the continuing to impress narrative of Sjöstrand. Unafraid to twist its body with a feminine wantonness, the track easily sets a new plateau for the album from its already lofty heights.

    Dreams Bent Clockwise steps up next, immediately chewing the ear with its hungry riffs and crisp rhythms. A core groove soon has its claw into the psyche and passions, the band using its drilling to wrap melodic endeavour and fiery sonic spite around the imagination and though the track is unable to match its predecessor, it still leaves an awakened appetite for the album hungrier. The mid-way slip into a tender melodic passage does cause eye brows to rise; it is a surprising and accomplished move as well as very enjoyable but the transition does not quite work to leave uncertainties which the song admittedly overcomes with ease.

     The tile track thrusts the album back to its highest peak straight after, its predacious rabidity in riffs and rhythms matched by the vocal assault and the emerging carnivorous throatiness of the guitars and their ravenous presence. The diversity within songs and the eagerness of the band to raise a middle finger to predictability ignites the imagination as well as the songs themselves, this track one prime example as it excels and bloats satisfaction with every scything chord and fascinating idea. It is an enthralling trait which Almost Home employs next to the full too, the blend of melodic flames and bestial intimidation a senses and thought engulfing tempestuous adventure.

      It is unfair to say that Read Your Enemy is an album of two halves but certainly from here on in the release fails to live up to what came before though much is down to the quality of the earlier songs and not the lack of invention and craft in the latter stages, as shown by Where I Belong and He Knows Your Secrets. The first of the pair seduces and plagues the ears alternatively with skilled suasion and animosity but lacks the spark to really turn on the passions whilst its successor lays down appealing grooves and heavy duty aggressive riffery but again is unable to spark the same greedy desires.

    Nevertheless the album continues to feed and hold a keen attentiveness as the likes of the combative Forever in Doubts and the similarly feisty Carve the Stone expel their particular contentious. Using these two as an example, the uniqueness which marks out the earlier songs seems missing whilst the tracks have a relatively similar presence, certainly on the surface layers of their presence. The final two captivating tracks, Roll the Dice and The Fake Rose, are much the same but as all still provide a stormy treat which suffices the hunger, the skill of the band individually and united mouthwatering. To put the difference into context, every part of the album leaves most other recent releases from heavy metal cored bands pale in comparison, just some songs more potently than others.

     Wrapped in fine artwork from Timo Wuerz, Read Your Enemy is a transfixing adventure feeding any wants and though arguably it could have been even better, maybe a modern classic, it is close enough to thrust Kayser to the frontline of modern metal with a traditional heart.

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8.5/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

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