Isolated Antagonist – Affirmation of Entropy

Isolated Antagonist - cover bluntforce_RingMaster Review

Our ears were first stirred up by Massachusetts duo Isolated Antagonist, through their offering to the excellent compilation album 27 Tons of Metal New England, which came out last year on Bluntface Records. Their song was undoubtedly a standout proposal in, to be fair, nothing but attention grabbing artists and offerings. Now the band unleashes their new album Affirmation of Entropy; a striking proposition showing that their track on the earlier release was just an impressive scratch on the surface of the band and their sound’s depth and imagination.

Isolated Antagonist is the creative union of vocalist/lyricist Glen Mitchell and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nate Exx Gradowski. Its seeds began with Mitchell in the blazing heat of Middle East deserts with his unit where at the urging of Gradowski, who began creating the musical landscape soon after back in the US, he began writing the background story to what would become the band’s debut album. Officially formed in 2014, Isolated Antagonist released their first EP, Engineered Audi Hallucinations the following year and also debut album, The Isolated and The Antagonist. Now pushed further in their new incitement on ears and imagination, the band’s sound is a provocative fusion of industrial metal and death metal with progressive/electronic suggestiveness; it further invigorated by the evocative entangling of raw and clean vocals.

Affirmation of Entropy continues the tale of the first album and its story concerning the last man on Earth, the lead up to that situation, and the battle for survival “on a planet that has turned against him so thoroughly that the dirt beneath his feet was even a danger.” A creative emprise from Mitchell’s own imagination rich Sci-Fi universe, it is further blossomed and broadened, as the band’s creativity and music, within the new encounter and fair to say that from the stunning artwork through to the clarity of note and emotion, the album grips ears and attention.

The scene is set with the muggy and intimidating ambience of Into the Dark. It casts the image of a hostile place with the lost ghosts of the past nagging from the background, yet it has a raw beauty bred in the sonic invention of Gradowski. A compelling and unsettling start, the instrumental piece seeps away for Void to engulf ears with its equally restraint yet portentous air. Swiftly though, it is a smothering trespass of sound around the potent growls of Mitchell but raw intensity that blossoms celestial keys and zealously prowling riffs and rhythms within its storm. Carrying a death metal like animus in sound and voice, the track menaces the senses but also opens up an oasis of shadowy elegance as clean vocals from Gradowski are cradled by charming melodies and ear warming keys. At times Numan-esque and in others Godflesh like, there is no escaping the dark majesty posing as a song working on body and psyche.

The following Trapped similarly merges predatory animosity and invasive atmospheric grace whilst again the already impressive craft and imagination of Gradowski’s sound is enhanced by the entwining extremes of the pair’s respective vocal styles. Again Gary Numan is a spice that springs out, but a scent which as all across the album, is transformed into something individual to Isolated Antagonist, and repeated swiftly in Receptor and its thrilling Cryptopsy meets Nine Inch Nails like antagonism. As in previous songs, destructive textures begets sonic calm, melodic and atmospheric tempting begets industrial volatility; it all to enthralling effect.

New Light Now Made is a sinister treat, its Fear Factory inspired stalking of ears coming with a Die Krupps like infection. It is a predator; a primal yet virulently catchy offering which grows in strength and persuasion minute by minute with exotic hues and tempestuous energies as exciting company before making way for The Archetype Defined. If its predecessor hunted the senses, this song instantly tears into the listener, infesting body and thoughts straight away with its fierce drama and volcanic sound. Of course, as shown by those before it, the song is a maelstrom of contrasting energies and sonic colours that is gloriously unpredictable and increasingly fascinating.

The spatial aired yet simultaneously intimately invasive Dark Nomad surrounds ears next, its magnetic presence soon outshone though by The Infernos Son and its emotionally gothic and sonically vampiric proposal. The song sucks adventures out of the imagination, its Type O Negative meets Sister of Mercy breath feeding on the dark emotions at its and the listener’s heart to leave the senses exhausted and emotions blissful.

The following Words Beyond Time just fails to match up to the ingenuity of its predecessor but with its rapacious character and persistent nagging of metal cultured riffs and rhythms, it only leaves thick pleasure in its wake before The Protagonist Denied hits another pinnacle for the album. Bordering on carnal in its first assault, seductive in its Celtic bagpiped exploits next, the track is irresistible, especially when merging both for progressive/industrial metal at its most instinctive and suggestive best.

The album’s title track is like a momentary summing up next. It is an atmospheric oasis giving thoughts the moment to recap in the arms of calm vocals and the acoustic prowess of guitar as a storm wells up in the background, a tempest which hungrily brews further within The Last Death. The song’s haunting ambience is the vessel for the poaching of the senses by carnivorous riffs and hooks as vocals trap ears and imagination in their suggestive cage. As compelling as it is though, the track only becomes stronger and more engrossing as synth breezes bring immersive melodies to wrap and entice ears.

Synth pop meets industrial insidiousness is the best way to describe Gather The Past, the track gnawing on the senses at one moment and flirting with them through a contagion of irresistible hooks and infection soaked melodies next. As mentioned earlier, there is a great unpredictability and bold uniting of extremes across the songs of Affirmation of Entropy, and arguably nowhere better than on this exceptional incitement, though the closing pair of Prototype for Babylon and Celestial gives a fair showing with almost matching success. The first is thrash/death metal meets eighties electro/industrial psychosis in a venomous but again often fiercely catchy intrusion whilst the closing song explores a soundscape echoing its title, if one also equipped with rabid rhythmic traps and vicious sonic hostility.

It is a magnificent end to what is quite simply an impressive and dramatically stimulating album from a band which feels as if it is still evolving; still realising their potential and not yet the band and sound they are surely destined to be. That is no bad thing as it means that Isolated Antagonist, already one exciting fresh presence within the industrial metal scene, will have plenty more major treats in store for us ahead.

Affirmation of Entropy is available from February 16th via Bluntface Records @ https://isolatedantagonist.bandcamp.com/album/affirmation-of-entropy or http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

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Pete RingMaster 14/02/2016

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Markradonn – The Serpentine Deception

Markradonn Serpentine Deception EP cover_RingMaster Review

Whether calling the Markradonn sound experimental death metal, brass death metal, progressive death metal or any other variation of its invention you wish to describe it as, and all potently applicable terms, the broad brush is that it is one truly unique proposition igniting ears and the imagination. Real and bold originality is a relatively scarce commodity in the music world let alone metal scene right now it seems but the Florida hailing Markradonn is one of those creative protagonists wearing uniqueness as openly as craft and invention. The band’s acclaimed 2013 debut EP Final Dying Breath revealed the rich potential and fiercely imaginative songwriting/composing fuelling the conspicuous sound of the band and now its successor The Serpentine Deception takes it all to another striking and mouth-watering level.

Markradonn is a death/extreme metal band, that is their heart but with its live brass section and similarly bold timpani temptation to simplify the rich flavours and textures woven into their music, they create an emotively dramatic and creatively dynamic proposal unlike anything else out there. As suggested, The Serpentine Deception finds the band exploring their most imaginative work yet. The EP’s tracks reveal more intricacy in their design and sound, a fiercer roar in their bracing confrontation, and thicker intensity in their atmospheric lures, a new evolution in an already fluid sound making a thick impact straight away.

Initiation Through Torment opens up The Serpentine Deception; a cinematic/vocal sample coaxing ears and attention as a portentous whisper skirts the background. In a matter of a few more breaths, the stirring resonance of rhythms and warm swipes of brass unite as a similarly potent predation is uncaged by guitars and the dark rasping tones of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Haniel Adhar. The blend instantly swamps ears in drama and intrigue, their contrasts colluding in an inviting yet ravenous consumption of the senses. It is a stirring and compelling incitement, the light and almost celebratory blaze of brass, as well as the timpani led rhythmic swing, merging with the dark predatory blackened death honed textures cast through guitar, bass, and voice. There is a feeling of coming of age in the tone of the track too, its protagonist journeying through the song’s title with celebration and tempestuousness around them.

Already hooked, body and imagination is swiftly and fully engaged again as the rhythmic entrance of NIN.GISH.ZI.DA God Of The Tree Of Life draws the listener into a jazzy web sculpted in the embrace of a primal and deviously tempestuous sound. The tapestry crafted is fascinating, a seamlessly and inspired fusion of conflicting elements which leave thoughts as bewildered as they are bewitched and ears eagerly trapped within the hellacious waltz.

The EP’s title track is equally spellbinding; the instrumental a shamanic visitation upon body and emotions as tribal rhythms and the raw tonal call of a didgeridoo magnetically involve the listener in atmospheric adventure. There is a great essence of shadow hued distortion to the track too which shows its ingenuity in brief but masterful glimpses. As meditative as it is evocatively invasive, the outstanding track makes way for The Veil Of Negative Existence Part 1- Ain, Nothingness; an instinctively infectious trespass with its own individual bedlam of resourcefulness and dramatic virulence. There is a touch of Trepalium to the track, a vague scent in the cosmopolitan yet melodically intimate weave conjured by Markradonn, which in turn is walled in by a blackened causticity soaked in rancorous imagination and veined by Adhar’s enticingly cancerous tones. The track is a labyrinth of simultaneous seductive and venom, an invigorating intrusion leaving bodies swinging and appetite inflamed.

Closing instrumental Stillness, Silence Of The Primal Mind is a gentler tantalising of the senses, a sonic travelogue of emotive scenery in an aural landscape painted by melodic guitar and melancholic brass. An immersive flight to which thoughts are given the freedom to cast their own poetic narrative, it brings the release to an enthralling end, well until pressing that play button again which is the instinctive next move.

Working towards the release of their debut album Ceremonial Abnegation Part 1: Excoriation Of The Flesh, Markradonn is one of the true fresh breaths in metal, from its underground to its broadest landscape. As for The Serpentine Deception, that is simply a must investigation for all with the heart for real and rewarding adventure.

The Serpentine Deception EP is available in association with Bluntface Records from December 15th through the band’s GoFundMe page where news of the album and details of a DVD, which will have a collection of performances, a full show with multiple camera angles, and clips from production videos and practices can also be found.

Recording Line-up for The Serpentine Deception:

Haniel Adhar: All Guitars; Vocals

Tim Carter: Drums and Percussion

Jonathan Gabriel Katz: Timani and Concert Percussion; Drums

Richard Blankenship: Principle Trombone and Brass

Dennis Bottaro: 6 string bass, Didgeridoo , Hand Percussion, Guitar

Drew Prichard: Cimbasso; Tuba

Robin Sisk: Tuba

Danny Rowland: Tuba; Euphonium

Austin Kinard: Trumpet and Brass

Gavin Pritchard: Hand Percussion

Nicholas Weaver: Fretless bass, French Horn, and Trumpet (Live)

Beka West: Euphonium, Trombone (Live)

Allen C Raia: Rhythm Guitar (Live)

Jesse Hudson: Vocals and Trombone (Live)

https://www.facebook.com/Markradonn  https://twitter.com/Markradonn

Pete RingMaster 15/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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27 Tons of Metal New England – Various

cover_RingMaster Review

And Bluntface Records do it again, thrusting the underground scene at the senses courtesy of another essential compilation of some of the most striking and potential drenched bands around. This time the US label is exploring the underground metal scene from New England, which on the evidence of 27 Tons of Metal New England, is simply writhing with great ravenous bands and sounds. The release is as diverse in styles as it is voracious in creativity and though with the amount of bands and metal subgenres involved personal tastes will obviously find a greater hunger for some over others, it is fair to say that the album from start to finish is a compelling treat with no weak spots, and all the more tastier for being completely free.

The encounter opens with Carnivora and a track taken from their outstanding EP, The Vision. Pessimist’s Tongue is the Danvers quintet at their full blistering best and weaving suggestive ambiences into subsequent tapestries of rabid vocals and rancorous intensity. Yet despite its almost cancerous intent and creative breath, there is anthemic energy and a web of searing adventure from the guitars involved, which in turn sparks addictively imaginative exploits from the band across the song’s corrosive landscape.

It is a scintillating start to the release pushed on by Alterius and their uncompromising melodic death metal trespass on the senses, A Citadel’s Demise. The song comes from the band’s latest EP Voyager, and merges classical overtones into its fluid brutal and seductive tempting. Like being serenaded whilst the beast tears your throat out, the track stalks ears and psyche setting in motion a keen appetite to know more, a success matched by Revere quartet Travel Amygdala and their aggressively smouldering Died by a Bullet. Entangling its inventive metal bred sound with progressive and grunge seeded imagination, the song aggressively crawls over the senses enticing and intimidating, especially as it builds in energy and tempestuous air. There is also a potent sludge feel to part of its character too, the thick prowls between forceful strides of creative and vocal drama carrying the strongest whiff, with ultimately everything uniting for one riveting proposition.

Bostonian black metal trio Ashen Wings comes next, the band’s raw and carnivorous sound a bracing magnetic scourge delivered to ears from Cancerous Bones. As insidious and ruinous as you can imagine, it also spawns a swing to its gait which only adds to the addictive proposal on offer before making way for the just as destructively virulent Scourge of the Hierophant from Sorrowseed. A blend of blackened death metal with a healthy vein of classic and melodic tenacity, the increasingly thrilling track smothers ears and appetite with pestilential persuasion whilst provoking the want to offer vocalist Lilith Astaroth some soothing for her surely shredded vocal chords.

band-contacts-page-127 Tons of Metal New England      Walk the Earth (No Longer) from sludge/doomers Conclave steps up next, the nine minute intrusion an accomplished and enthralling predation cast with rugged heavy riffs and heavily swiping rhythms, all lorded over by just as unpolished and alluring vocals. From their Breaking Ground EP, the song is as effective descending on ears in top gear or in crowding their walls with a lumbering and weighty provocation within a long but never less than thickly engaging incitement.

The same kind of hold is seized by Beneath The Burial next and their track In Memory, its fusion of hardcore ferocity and metal spawned sonic invention a fury of searing grooves, vocal animosity, and subsequently predatory imagination. As the album itself, there is a wealth of flavours emerging across the track musically and vocally, which only adds to the slow but fiercely burning persuasion of the song to inspire a want for more as it makes way for Skin Drone and God Complex. One of the few bands these ears had already come across and previously devoured, the duo of Bluntface Records founder Otto Kinzel and Erik Martin of Erik Dismembered and Critical Dismemberment unleash one of those examinations which you never know whether to fear or whole heartedly embrace, the latter always the chosen reaction of course. Like a sonic scavenger, the track vocally and musically spills its creative industrial/metal animus on to the senses within an evocative ambience which then inspires a melancholic exploration of emotive and creative expression. The song is a cauldron of inventive sound and emotional intensity, a rich picking for those with an avant-garde side to their preferred examinations.

The scorching designs and temperament of Dirty Birdy from metalcore furnace Don’t Cross the Streams is next; band and track a scarring addictiveness which without springing major surprises has ears and heavy enjoyment sealed from the first clutch of seconds. Their triumph is quickly backed by Stoughton power/progressive metallers Forevers Fallen Grace and Clarion of Regret, another song which needed warming to before its potent expanse of craft and enterprise became an inescapable hook, and after them Makavrah with the excellent Awakening The Ancients. The Peterborough hailing doomsters have a sound which is dangerously mesmeric, a senses meddling sonic bewitchment which as shown by its twelve minutes of evolving soundscape, is hex like in its ingeniously dramatic and creative exploration. With echoes of Show Of Bedlam to it, the track is one delicious incessant crawl.

The industrial endeavour of Isolated Antagonist more than lives up to its offering’s title next, Infection a contagious causticity of sound and emotion with vocals to match as it worms under the skin and into the psyche with lingering rewards, whilst the following Composted bring a carnal presence and hostility into the equation with their track OB/GYN O.G. The band’s death metal onslaught has the voracity of thrash and swagger of groove metal to it, and as hungry hues only help to create an immense and irresistible corruption.

Both Charlestown sextet Untombed and Mike Kerr Band keep the riveting roar of the album going, the first with their groove and antagonism loaded death metal antipathy, Criminal Inception. Savage and violently catchy, the track is another which is maybe not gripped by original exploits but is one spilling a fresh venom which leaves a great many of fellow emerging genre bands in the shade whilst its successor is the title track from its creators recently released new album The Truth of the Lion and features Texan vocalist Adrienne Cowan and Jim Oliveira in its classic/melodic metal lure.

Power groove metal is on the agenda next through Before the Judge and their track Bobby D. With a highly agreeable nag of riffs and grooves lining its erosive blaze, the song stirs the blood band-contacts-page-2_RingMaster Reviewwhilst pouring more diversity into the compilation, variety further expanded by The Aberration and their track Bologna Skins are the Next Big Thing. The band consists of Travis O’Connell (guitar) and Jim Cole (drums), an instrumental duo creating, on the evidence of their contribution, compelling proposals of snarling progressive metal loaded with uncompromising attitude.

Melodic death metal quartet My Missing Half scars air and ears next with The Lives I’ve Ruined, a song with essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and At the Gates to it whilst finding its own magnetically inventive nature. The track leaves emotions and senses breathless but hungry for more as so many on the release, including Seeds of Negligence and their maelstrom of varied and inhospitable metal posing as The Reaper. The song is a bruising and vicious temptation of death, groove, thrash, and progressive strains of extreme metal, an incendiary incitement sparking a lust for further confrontation.

Dover trio Cactus Hag drags the listener back into a rich immersion of sludge and doom invasiveness with Grand Lodge of the Mirage, the track an insidious erosion snuffing out light and hope whilst sparking just as strong enjoyment. Its smothering rancor is contrasted by the brighter and superbly volatile adventure of G.O.G. from Side Effects May Include, the song another entwining a mass of different styles into its individual tempest of heavy rock and creatively rabid metal, and another only leaving the urge to go explore in their wake. Which is something which also applies to Pelham’s Epicenter and the thrash fuelled insurgency of See Through. With strands of alternative and groove metal to its robust and tenacious exploits, the track is as anthemic as it is strikingly inventive, and amongst admittedly many, an instinctive favourite.

band-contacts-page-3_RingMaster Review     Fog Wizard get body and passions inflamed again with Fear the Kraken, a rapacious prowling built like Sabbath meets Motorhead with the attitude of Stuck Mojo and the combined snarl of Slayer and Black Flag. One slab of real pleasure is replaced by another and the abrasive kaleidoscope of sound unveiled by Sonic Pulse through Defenders of the Good Time. A brawling festival of power and thrash metal with a flurry of heavy and classic metal hues for greater captivation, the track is a ferocious blaze equipped with drama, familiarity, and inescapable bait.

The heavy weight slab of talent is brought to an impressive end by a trio of bands to also keep a close eye on, starting with the bestial sound of extreme metallers Graveborn. Their mercilessly hellacious and skilled Leviathan is sheer sonic and rhythmic savagery with just as brutishly varied vocals, and another big enticement before heavy/thrash metal Verscythe prove their classic seeds in the richly magnetic Land of Shells.

Completed finally by Vacant Eyes and the melody sculpted funereal death/doom exploration that is The Dim Light of Introversion, a track thick in atmosphere and haunting trespasses for a darkly compelling seducing, 27 Tons of Metal New England is an intensive journey through the depths and expanses of New England’s underground metal scene. It is one of the most extensive and rewarding compilations in a long time which from start to finish, enthrals and assaults, entices and transgresses. If any metal fan does not come away from the encounter with at least a handful of new lusts we would be amazed. So no dawdling, go and get one of the biggest and best free treats of the year,

27 Tons of Metal New England is available for free download @ http://bluntfacerecords.com/27-tons-of-metal-new-england

RingMaster 06/07/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Carnivora – The Vision EP

mkramer_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Boston metallers Carnivora first caught our attention with an appearance on the excellent Bluntface Records compilation Operation: Underground. It featured a track from the band’s debut album Eternal, which after investigation turned out to equally be a stirring and attention exciting proposal. Now the band returns with the vicious exploits and temptations of The Vision EP, a ravenous and thrilling declaration of all the band’s skills and even bolder creative enmity.

Everything about The Vision is a step up from their impressive and acclaimed 2013 debut, the EP’s four tracks a cauldron of fierce imagination and volatile invention cast in maelstroms of diversely sculpted extreme metal. Groove and melodic metal enterprise colludes with death and thrash animosity in slabs of unpredictable and brutally irritable incitements, but furies ripe with captivating sonic adventure and melodic expression. Its release follows a successful couple of years which saw the band tearing up festivals such as the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, The Summer Slaughter Tour, and Rock And Shock Festival, all last year, with their merciless sound and share stages with the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Overkill, Trivium, Job For A Cowboy, Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Shadows Fall, and many more. The Vision is Carnivora now snarling viciously at broader and more intensive spotlights and a global awakening to their presence sure to be on the cards such the EP’s dramatic persuasion.

CARNIVORA_VisionCover_jpegReputation Radio/RingMaster Review     It opens with A Vision In Red, a song venomously driving through ears straight away, swiftly getting under the skin and invading into the psyche. Riffs and grooves from Cody Michaud and Mike Meehan swarm maliciously over the senses, their addictive presence and prowess addictive bait to which the raw vocal squalls of M. Scott Lentine unleash a diversely delivered and magnetic hostility. It is a gripping proposition, the barbarous swings of drummer Dan DeLucia and serpentine tones cast by the bass of Cam Hunt, an addictive spine around which the guitars blossom and expand rich acidic textures bred in sonic imagination. As unpredictable as it is fascinatingly virulent, increasing in both the further it evolves its creative landscape, the song provides a tremendous start to the release.

Its success is quickly matched by Pessimist’s Tongue, its opening suggestive ambience subsequently whipped up into a tempestuous climate of blistering and rancorous intensity. The guitars lay out a melodic invitation even in the stormy climate of the song, a beckoning impossible to resist despite rhythms hailing down on them and the senses. The vocals, singularly and as the band, soon bring another shade to the encounter, offering a cancerous trespass and rally cry for thoughts and emotions. The song is a glorious violation with underlying temptations such as an understated but seductive lure of keys, solidly backed by Razors & Rust. Arguably more restrained than its predecessors, well slightly more merciful, the track stands toe to toe with the listener raging vocally and emotionally whilst guitars again entangle their enterprise around body and imagination. It does not quite have the spark of the first two tracks but easily entices ears and thoughts into exploring its rich depths and textures to a success similar to that found by those before it.

With a thrilling end to its creative ire, the track departs for EP closer The Reek Of Defeat to provide a final bracing and abrasive ravishing. It carries an almost mischievous flirtation to its melodic design and adventurous gait yet there is little about the song which not predatory or fuelled by bad blood. Its consuming maliciousness leaves ears ringing and emotions high and enjoyably completes a thrilling onslaught of a release.

Carnivora has climbed to new plateaus with The Vision EP yet you can only feel it is just the start of new and greater creative grudges, which in turn is a thought and anticipation to savour.

The Vision EP is available from 23rd June via Manshark Entertainment @ http://carnivora.bandcamp.com/ and http://carnivora.bigcartel.com/

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RingMaster 23/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Erik Dismembered – Darkness Within EP

 

artwork by Robert Mallinson,

artwork made by Robert Mallinson,

 

As much as music should entertain and excite, it should also challenge. Whether it is physically or emotionally, the most thrilling and impacting encounters have been those which leave lingering imprints on thoughts and feelings whilst taking the listener to places they probably do not want to go. One such incitement is the Darkness Within EP from Erik Dismembered, an exploration of inner demons and external provocations breeding the merciless depths of its title. It is also a masterful weave of sound and imagination, a testing some will embrace, others fearfully flee, but all will be left locked in thought and self-awareness.

Erik Dismembered is the solo project of Arizona musician Erik Martin, better known to date as part of death metal duo Critical Dismemberment and the extreme-metal/industrial pairing of Skin Drone. His own project is a unique exploration compared to those bands though there is the same hunger to push and challenge not only the listener but his own creative limits. Erik Dismembered pulls on a vast array of flavours and textures, some familiar as in his other bands, but predominantly they are unexpected essences and styles woven one startling creative experiment.

Lyrically and emotionally each track within Darkness Within plays like stark slithers of insight into a bigger darker picture; themes such as addiction, love, hate, anxiety, and depression combining to create not exactly psychotic but certainly turbulent protagonist(s) explored by the release. How personal to Erik the premise and experiences within tracks are only he can tell but there is an intimacy which is shared by creator and recipient that hits hard, openly, and truthfully.

The EP opens with A Deal with the Devil, a track also featuring Critical Dismemberment band mate Chase Fincher. A guttural roar opens things up, swiftly accompanied by a gentle electro beckoning. The returning raw vocals keeps that initial edge and intimidation blazing as guitars add their sonic tempting to an increasingly tempestuous ambience. Industrial and metal essences entangle within the growing magnetic landscape whilst electronic flirtation bubbles vivaciously across their dark web. There is an agitation to it all also, the lighter and shadowed elements showing an emotional unease which especially coats the lyrical persuasion and erupts forcibly in the outstanding Anxiety.

A melodic electronic shimmer make the initial coaxing, it’s haunted breath the invitation to incessant beats and the whispered anxiousness of Martin to engage the imagination. Scything strokes of guitar aligned to heavier vocal tones erupt soon after, pungent beats adding more sinew to their potency before keys burst into a blaze of harsh electro/industrial tempting with a feel of God Destruction and Bestias De Asalto to it. As Martin shuffles thoughts and options in the lyrical incitement, the earlier dark calm returns before again it all build to an unstoppable emotional crescendo and raw physical expulsion. The feeling of entrapment within feelings and external/internal pressure is superbly exposed by the song, almost leaving the listener also struggling to breathe through solicitude in its wake.

Diamond Eyes floats in next, acoustic guitar accompanying a vocal caress to mesmerise ears before evocative strings and piano seduce with their orchestral elegance. The vocal romance has its own shadows; an undefined dark hue which lies enthrallingly within the poetic charm of the song, keeping thoughts intrigued and busy before the EP’s title track takes over and immediately lays down a colder, starker scenario. Black depths expel their fears in voice and sound, grasping at shards of piano spawned light, clinging to it with hope but swallowed by the festering shadows clawing at psyche and emotions. There is no escaping the power and intensity of words and tone, and again you wonder if only those with intimate experience can achieve this potency in their music.

Most tracks stop with abruptness, their space instantly taken over by its successor and where that feeling of songs being glimpses, parts of a larger almost unstable picture emerges. Darkness Within is an example its sudden end quickly the unrelated start of Desecration of a Corpse, itself a caustic roar of industrial and corrosive magnetism. Melodies float as sonic ferocity sizzles and tempestuous vocals spread raw angst across a discordant electronic shuffle. It is transfixing, a mesmeric and uncomfortable consumption of ears and thoughts in sound and words which only leaves a fierce appetite for more.

The EP closes with the haunting Weary Hearts, a tender emotional kiss on the senses which in some ways is the most disturbing song on the release such its immersive strength and ghostly reflections. It makes for a riveting end to an outstanding encounter, a release which takes on an exploration which is unafraid to bare its darkest corners and soiled emotions, but are you brave enough to join it is the question?

The Darkness Within EP is available now as a free download @ http://bluntfacerecords.com/erik-dismembered-music

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RingMaster 06/05/2015

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Critical Dismemberment – Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP

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Embracing the senses in a maelstrom of sonic and brutal exploration, listening to the new release from US extreme metallers Critical Dismemberment is as uncomfortable as it is invigorating, and quite compelling. The Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP is raw and gripping, caustically and creatively riveting, and a stirring gateway into one intriguing and imposingly inventive death metal band stalking the underground scene.

Hailing from Arkansas, Critical Dismemberment consists of Erik Martin and Chase Fincher. Forming the project over the internet, the pair was soon brewing up a distinct sound merging death and black metal with symphonic and electronic invention. The outcome as evidenced on their new encounter, is a proposition which is as cruel as it is magnetic, an uncompromising hostility veined by electro and melodic intrigue driven by refreshing unpredictability.

     Feel My Wrath And Tremble opens with the swift invitation of The Coming, guitars an easy enticing lure to snare attention before a thick and smothering intensity forcibly descends over the senses. This in turn breeds a heavy predation in beats and riffs. Yet still it seduces as it leads into the initial melodic coaxing of the title track. It too in no time opens up a vat hostile intent under an abrasing atmosphere. Vocals are pestilential and riffs voracious whilst beats pierce the tempestuous persuasion with purposeful spite; it all consuming ears and imagination with ravenous and destructive animosity.

It is an uncompromising examination yet has a contagious core which nothing can defuse, as shown again in the excellent incitement of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds. From its first breath vocals spread serpentine animosity and coarse malevolence whilst grooves entwine and gnaw on the senses with addictive enterprise and spicy temptation. It is a ferocious challenge which swiftly enslaves ears and imagination as it punishes the senses, an assault which breeds a greedy appetite for more with its keen creative adventure and merciless hostility.

The Damnation of Elizabeth weaves a tantalising mesh of electro agitation with hoarse vocals next whilst a symphonically seeded melodic orchestration flirts with the imagination. It is just the prelude to a tempest of heavy electro swipes and blackened grooving though, they in turn slapped by rhythmic intimidation and pungent jabs of primal riffery and Nintendo-core fascination.

The release is concluded by firstly Room 911, it emerging from the same almost bedlamic charm its predecessor left in before escorting caustic riffs and scaring vocals squalls in siege of the senses. The track is a smog of sonic abrasion and vocal venom, yet its invasive and quarrelsome cloud of animosity again belies the enticing melodic underbelly and symphonic tempting which works tirelessly away.

Final track Nightmares End, lives up to its title though there is no closure to the sinister and voracious black and death metal corruption within the track. As all the songs, it is a gripping patchwork of sounds and flavours converging into one persuasive death metal violation. Rhythms often unveil a post punk punctuation whilst keys and melodies spring from a Disney does Zombieland type landscape, though there is nothing safe and comical about the outstanding sufferance cast by the track. It is an excellent end to a fine assault from Critical Dismemberment.

Feel My Wrath And Tremble is from the bottomless corruptive pit of extreme metal’s underground, evidence of the enthralling creativity and raw talent lying in wait to prey upon ears and emotions. This might not be one of the kindest propositions to challenge your senses this year but certainly it is one of the more enterprising and exciting.

The Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP is available via Bluntface Records from October 31st @ http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/CriticalDismemberment

RingMaster 30/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Various Artists – Operation: Underground

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There are nowhere enough compilations albums around these days especially when it comes to unleashing and promoting the potency of the underground scene. The seventies and eighties saw a plethora of important collections bringing impressive introductions to hordes of bands and often making a springboard for those propositions to find healthier and stronger horizons. Today it seems almost a rare treat to be presented with such an encounter, though amongst those which have emerged there have been many impressing releases. Adding to that list of triumphs and setting a template and example for others to follow is Operation: Underground, the new release out of New England independent label Bluntface Records. Consisting of 27 of the most potent attention grabbing extreme metal bands from the world’s underground, it is an outstanding slab of creative hostility and malicious introductions. The fact that it is released as a free download only adds to the might and weight of the uncompromising incitement.

Created and sculpted by label owner Otto Kinzel, himself renowned for his solo work and with his band Chemical Distance, Operation: Underground it is fair to say has no real fillers in its body, something else few releases of this size can claim. It comes with a showcase of quality and talent which demands close attention, exploring everything from black and death metal to grindcore and other varied extreme provocations. The album quite simply goes for the jugular from its opening moment and is unrelenting until the last pleasing violation of its final track.

Operation: Underground gets off to a voraciously impressive start through its opening pair of bands. Hailing from New York, brutal death metallers Abdicate make the first blunt incision with their track Burning Ascendance. Taken from the album Fragmented Atrocities, it is a furious decaying of the senses with grind seeded carnality. Clad with inescapable malice driven by gutturally spewed vocals which themselves are aligned to rampant riffs and a violently rhythmic tenacity, the song instantly chains and enslaves ears and thoughts with its hellacious intensity and scintillating causticity. Perfectly raw and loaded with exciting potential, it is an immense start soon left in the wake of the following Human Decimator. Uncaged by Massachusetts five piece Carnivora, the track from an opening sample lure wraps ears in a venomously addictive groove and angrily cantankerous rhythms. It is a staggering start swiftly pushed on by the outstanding vocals and magnetic signs of guitar and predatory bass baiting. Subsequently entwining groove and thrash in a unique explosion of flavoursome toxic metal, song and band instantly take a swing at top track honours and to be honest never relinquish their hold despite numerous challenges. From the Danvers hailing band’s excellent Eternal album, the song with its predecessor sets a high marker for the album which to be fair it never really strays too far from.

Ireland’s Legion of Wolves comes next with their death metal spawned track Kings Of Tyranny. Taken from recent release Legio Luporum XIV, the song prowls ears and imagination with a black hearted demeanour and similarly coloured sounds. There is a pestilential air and intimidation to every riff and swing of sticks as well as with increasing malice the gruff vocal squalls, but also an emerging melodic craft which transfixes as it tempers the enmity of the track. From the Irish success both US band Goreality with the rapier like corrosiveness of Skin On, Skin Off and Florida’s Echaton keep imagination and satisfaction high, if not quite matching the early songs. The first of the two creates an incessant thrash fuelled death metal rapacity which is as easy crawling over the senses as it is discharging an adrenaline lit trespass whilst its successor with Behold The Nexus offers a more technical premise compared to its barbarous predecessor. Do not expect to have things easy though as the song roars and scythes with jaundiced respect and impressive individual prowess over the senses and into the passions.

Markradonn come next with a track from Final Dying Breath EP called Internal Hate Unbounded. One of metals most individually sounding propositions, the Florida band create an experimental tapestry of death and black metal filtered through a progressive and symphonic rapacity, resulting as the song shows in a startling imagination fuelling encounter. Its ferociously compelling presence is left a little pale though by the caustic sonic irritancy of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds from Arkansas duo Critical Dismemberment. The song is an abrasing and unpolished smog of bad blooded death metal soaked in inventive rancor and appealing potential proving ears with healthy pleasure.

Maine’s Sacrichrist suffer from an unflattering production to their song No Savior to really impress though it does not fully smother a promise which suggests more than it delivers. Nevertheless the track grows in strength and persuasion over time to make the band one to keep an eye on alongside extreme heavy metal quintet Wrathsputin. The Massachusetts band unleash a gripping fury of sonic nastiness and rhythmic bullying in their song A.N.U.S. (A Nation Under Satan), to create another riveting moment in the album, especially with the potent enticement of contagious grooves and melodic spillages which litter the excellent song.

     Green Army from Bangladesh is another to have a diminished success thanks to the poorer recording quality of their song Reborn of the Blackened Phenomenon, though again to be fair it does not stop the accomplished and adventurous skills of the band shining through before The Slip from the excellent Garbage Can takes over. A two-piece from Ottawa, the Canadian band creates an irresistible savagery of slam grind which manages to seduce and scythe through the senses with equal attraction. The song is another setting the loftiest pinnacles on the album definitely not matched for personal tastes by Malcontent Manifestation from Inverticrux. Actually from its first gothic clad doom brewed musical seconds the track flirts with the imagination to reasonably strong success but vocally the New Hampshire band leaves emotions cold and unconvinced, that aspect a maelstrom of textures and styles which will either click for you or not.

Another Irish band in the tasty shape and sound of Syphor step up next, their track For What Remains, from the album of the same name, a predatory blend of thrash and death metal courting many other textures and spices in an 10625117_10202114872106082_8340698001833330811_ninfectiously gripping web of riffs and grooves hosted by great serpentine vocals. The Dublin band easily set themselves as another to explore further as does the ear grabbing Solium Fatalis who follow them. Dead Sands Of Time is a beast of a track, its tone bestial and weight trapping whilst its strenuous grooving and rhythmic animosity spins an inescapable web for thoughts to bask within. Maybe their sound is not rife with originality but certainly the band leaves a hunger for more as insistent as the imposing sounds which breeds it.

Infested Prophecy also fails to a light fire in ears and imagination with Abandon Departure, though there is plenty musically to spark a watch of the Massachusetts band once their blackened malevolence is given a willing production to aid the trio’s musical talent and adventure. Certainly as all the bands they are not lightweight in their offering to the album, the same easily said of both Canada’s Accursed Spawn and Florida’s Prophecy Z14. The first of the pair sear ears with a sonic and rhythmic violence through their song Burned Into Sterility which is as warped and psychotic as it is ridiculously captivating. If wanting some new Cryptopsy or Dying Fetus like sounds then turning to the Ottawa five would be a rewarding move whilst the following protagonists roam and hunt down the senses with a weave of technically driven death metal annihilation to matching success. With a swing and swagger to every element of its tempestuous onslaught, Torn from the Flies is a thought provoking proposal, not as dramatic in its capture as maybe it should be but providing a wholesome and mercilessly ravaging exploit all the same.

New Yorkers Gutted Alive lifts the lid off another stretch of commanding and impressive offerings with their track Force Fed Acid. Arguably the most brutal track on the album it is an addiction fuelled tempest of cruel rhythms punctuating sonic and vocal spite complete with a delicious nagging slingshot of grooves and flesh stripping riffery. The song is a masterful temptation to embrace and fear simultaneously which is matched stride by violent stride by Infection of the Masses from New York sextet Assault on the Living. It also niggles its way in to the psyche, repetitive textures and grooves only adding to the virulent bait and lure of the expansively flavoured sound. One of many bands you immediately feel will not be a secret for much longer they are swiftly emulated in might and quality by My Missing Half. Another foursome from Massachusetts, the Bostonians forge an enthralling canvas of melodic death metal in Empty Dreams which is as enticing with its sonic and melodic colour as it is through its rigorous design of sinew built antagonism. With essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me bringing hues to an otherwise fresh sound and presence, the band add another name to the busy check out list inspired by the album.

Italy’s Symbolyc provide their very palatable style of extreme incitement next, blastbeats and grooves as binding as the alluring vocal predation and melodic veining the stormy heart of 300 Demons. Their fury is as potently enticing as that of German metallers Spreading Miasm and their sonic pestilence The Harvest, a track which is unfussy aural toxicity with every enjoyable twist and violation wished for in an accomplished slab of extreme metal. It also finds an unpredictable invention which lifts a strong song into a great encounter, something not quite discovered by Texans Core of Desolation in their track The Return of Death’s Glorius Design, though it also is not blessed by the most understanding of productions which smothers the chance of greater success as certainly hinted at within the still enjoyable offering.

Operation: Underground begins its closing run with symphonic black metallers Aberration Nexus, the solo project of Chris Meyer from Victoria in Australia. The erosive and immersive embrace of The Solvent That Cleanses The Earth immediately smothers the senses in a melodic expression filtered through a thick atmosphere and sonic rabidity. It is an absorbing if uncomfortable experience pointing to a potential which will flourish ahead with the right touch and scenery for Meyer to grow within. Its strongly satisfying presence makes way for the Egyptian influenced death metal of Romanians Horus, their sound a warm melodic wash over a hostile frame, governed by deep throated vocals. Their track Revelation is an imaginative entwining of symphonic seducing and menacing landscapes which again lays seeds to a keen appetite to learn more before it in turn is followed by the similarly imagination capturing Suffer The Winter from Ohio metallers Vengeance Within. Without courting open originality, song and band cast a shadowed and intrigue rich terrain of potent melodies and jaundiced intensity which casts a widely flavoured and lingering presence to entice more investigation.

The album is closed by Terminality from Californians Dark Measure, yet another band on the release unafraid to explore a merger of styles and ideation to create a fiery and richly appetising conclusion to a tremendous doorway into some of the best emerging bands in extreme metal. Operation: Underground is a thrilling project from a label which lives the independent scene and really does support the cause.

Operation: Underground is available from Tuesday August 26th for free download @ www.bluntfacerecords.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 25/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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