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

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Coursing struggles: an interview with Mike Haggerty of Krebs

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    Industrial/ebm is about to feel a new fresh breath of imaginative and caustic creativity with the debut release from Philadelphia band Krebs. The Cellophane EP is a potent and evocative treat with a metal apocalyptic breath riding the captivating industrial and electro snarls. The solo project of Mike Haggerty, Krebs is set to make an instant mark with its first release via Bluntface Records so we took the opportunity to find out more about the release, band, and Mike himself.

Hi Mike and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, thanks for taking time to talk with us.

First thing we have to ask you is to tell us about Mike Haggerty, as well as your background and musical history before Krebs.

Thanks for having me! Well I’d say I’m just an average guy who loves music, videogames and junk food. Music is really my passion, it relates to everything I do. Genres like punk and metal really captured my attention at an early age and got me into making music myself. I was in a band before Krebs with a few friends, we played grunge inspired hard rock. Then I discovered industrial/electronic music and that all brought me to where I am now.

Was there a specific intent when creating the project Krebs?

My intent was really just to try my best to make something fresh and hopefully capture the attention of old school and modern industrial fans alike and maybe even draw some new fans into the genre.

What are the inspirations which have most impacted on your ideas and sound?

To start, I always loved Front Line Assembly and the unique sound they have, so they are a big influence on my sound. Skinny Puppy’s ability to experiment and still sound like themselves is another thing that had an impact on me. Videogames and books also influence my ideas and song writing strangely enough. I love apocalyptic themes as well as futuristic themes that are explored, and if the two are brought together then I’m in heaven!

You are about to release your debut EP Cellophane, a release which captures the imagination with its varied and inventive mix of flavours. You can only assume your personal tastes incorporate a wide expanse of genres and styles.

I always try to find ways to make each song really stand out on its own and separate itself from the others. I always say that each Krebs song is its own animal and I do my best to give them all their own identity, if that makes sense.

Tell us about the EP, its creation and the songs within.krebs-cover-600 (1)

The EP was formed simply because I happened to have five songs that I considered finished and at that point Otto (Kinzel) mastered them for me. They were the product of several weeks’ worth of writing and recording. The songs themselves are mostly the product of what emotions I had at the time I wrote them. Other times I would have ideas that I thought were interesting, so I literally started writing thoughts down in my notebook and lyrics formed out of that. It’s basically poetry set to music. The album art was the last piece of the EP that was needed. My friend Jake Skalish created it at my request and I think it came out very well.

Everything comes from your ideas and craft on the release, but did you bring anyone else in for any aspect of the release or is it truly the complete solo release?

For this release I wrote and recorded everything myself, so it is a complete solo release; I did get insight from my friends Chris Pasquarelli and Chris Bollinger from Varicella. They really encouraged me and continue to help me get Krebs out there and I can’t thank them enough.

How do you write your songs and expand your ideas musically?

I usually have a melody or a rhythm in my head that I record right away, and then I figure out the structure. That’s when I create an atmosphere and layer more sounds. I compare it to starting with framework for a house, then gradually adding on to it, then decorating it and adding the finishing touches. Lyrically, as I’ve said, it’s usually the result of a strong emotion that I feel at the time or anything that I’ve read about that catches my attention.

Musically, I try to incorporate various sounds and instrumentation to expand the sound further. Things may sound strange upon the first listen, but strange is what I do!

Listening to the EP there is the sense that songs have an organic and continual growth to them. Do your songs evolve right up to the final mastering?

My songs do tend to go through multiple changes; it feels like my work is never done. The songs have all undergone change from the time I made the first synth line to right before I had them mastered. It varies between how drastically they change. I like to layer sounds and create hidden parts that people can catch. I also hope to invoke introspection in the listeners with each song.

Is there a theme or intent behind the songs on Cellophane and their lyrical paintings?

A theme that carries through most of Cellophane is the idea that people are always suppressed and restricted in some way or another, be it by government or by their own conscience. The themes oscillate between external and internal struggles and the goal of songs with internal struggles is to make something that people can relate to. It’s almost like letting the listener get to know who I am as a person.

As mentioned the EP is your debut release, is there any part, moment , or aspect of it which gives you the strongest thrill or tingle?

What really excites me is the fact that my songs will be out there and open to a broader audience, maybe not huge but it is something I always wanted. Just having an official release is something I always dreamed about and the fact that it’s actually happening gives me a euphoric feeling, it’s crazy!

krebs-2And any elements you wish you could have explored further or since have developed the appetite to investigate in future songs?

There are aspects of ambient music I hope to delve into for future releases. I also hope to bring in more elements of punk, like the speed and raw feelings associated with it. I feel it will be a very interesting mix.

Cellophane is released through Bluntface Records. How has linking up with Otto Kinzel and his label helped the realisation of the EP apart from the obvious of course.

Otto really helped this take off. He helped me realize that there is nothing wrong with self-promotion and that really helps gain confidence (and fans haha). As a side note I also started to realize that people have a different view of a band or artist when they see that they are on a label. Sadly, it’s almost like a lot of people have a bias towards bands on labels.

You have Chris Mattioni join you for live shows, how did you meet and is there a chance the band could expand further for your live performances in the future?

Chris and I have been buds for a few years. He expressed interest in doing vocals with me a while ago and he eventually decided to come on stage with me and do backup.  I do hope to get more friends to contribute to live shows in the future, a drummer hopefully *cough* Ryan Skalish *cough*.

How about in the studio ahead?

I have songs in the works already for a full length album. This one will be a concept album inspired by a certain game, but I won’t reveal anything else. I’d like to keep it a surprise. ;)

You are also releasing Peace Injection as the single from Cellophane. Can you tell us about the track and the single package it will come in?

Peace Injection is a song that was sparked by my thoughts on America. The fact that our country feels the need to intervene in affairs in the name of “Peace” and “democracy” is something that has bothered me and this song is a response to that. The single contains the original version from the EP and three remixes, by Virus Cycle, Otto Kinzel, and Varicella. They are all talented guys and it was really awesome to hear their takes on my song. It’s also free and is available for download now.

What is next for Krebs once the EP is out there?

Krebs will hopefully get to perform some live shows in the near future and work on the concept album for a not too distant release date! Stay tuned.

Once more thank you for chatting with us, anything you would like to add?

First, thank you so much for having me and for the review. I’d just like to thank Otto for arranging everything as well. It was a pleasure and I hope to talk to you again soon!

Cellophane is A FREE download available in the Bluntface Records online store at midnight, June 29th!

www.bluntfacerecords.com

Read the review of Cellophane @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/krebs-cellophane/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 31/05/2013

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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Krebs – Cellophane

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    Krebs is a new electronic/ebm project to recently emerge and on the evidence of its debut EP Cellophane, will be one we will be hearing a lot more of across future horizons. Just signed to excellent independent label Bluntface Records, the Philadelphia, PA band mark their next step with a release which is potent and evocative, and though in some ways it manages to miss providing the sting which listening to its five tracks you sense is within its heart, there is nothing but unadulterated and exciting promise left in its wake.

Started in 2012, Krebs is the creation of Mike Haggerty, the vehicle for his merger of ebm synth sounds of the 80’s and 90’s with industrial and electro snarls. There is also a metal apocalyptic breath to the shadows which permeate the sounds for a resulting cross genre adventure. Influences come from the likes of Front Line Assembly and KMFDM with further whispers of others such as Skinny Puppy, Combichrist, and Virus Cycle all making suggestions within the imagination capturing invention. Honing the sound through a full range of industrial exploration Haggerty, since joined by Chris Mattioni on backing vocals for live shows, has sculpted and unleashed a debut which seduces and excites with a freshness and enterprise that suggests 2013 will see Krebs making an immediate impact.

The June 29th released Cellophane stares directly at the ear with opening track Humanity Drained, its sinister toned Krebs-cover-600atmosphere and brewing rhythmic dust hazing the skies before a dark melodic hook prowls and intimidates with a compelling voice. It is a suggestive and provocative lure which mesmerises to leave senses open for the following industrial metal cast of energy to pervade and thrill. As the vocals of Haggerty enter with the shadowed narrative the track takes a step back, his tones given space and assistance to bring a rich expressive dark caress to bear upon the ear. At this point the track reminds only of Fad Gadget, the vocals with a Frank Tovey gait and the sound heavy in suggestive ambience but with an electro temptation which is never far from lighting passions. The coarser presence of the air surrounding the chorus presses into further adventure whilst the song itself twists and turns across varied industrial pastures for a captivating encounter.

The great start is followed by Chisel (Guitar Mix), a track which expels a venomous rabidity to its electro wash and intensive energy. It is an oppressive light smothering test but equally creates its own acidic radiance with addiction making melodic taunting and electro venture. Like the first, the track does not settle into a straight forward passage but shifts and turns in on itself to ensure intrigue and eager attention. It does not quite match the opener for contagion and strength but still leaves the strongest satisfaction in its wake and hunger for more.

The song also is one with fails to deliver the bite it suggests is waiting to break out, something which can be applied to the whole release. Across its excellent invention the wish it would go for the jugular especially with its more industrial metal escapades, is a strong feeling which is never quite satisfied, though as the only aspect lacking within Cellophane it does not defuse the enjoyment and quality skilfully played out.

     The Corner opens with a Visage like beckoning, that eighties pull wonderfully potent again especially as once the vocals join the stance and the sound spreads its arms further thoughts of Fad Gadget again make their irresistible persuasion. The track is an emotive slow stroll across weaves of shadows and through a kaleidoscope of electro imagination, its enveloping tone and impacting textures hugging thoughts and emotions tightly with a hint of menace though without an element of danger. The track makes way for the first single from the release, Peace Injection. With bold and heightened rhythms and hot electro stomping, the track is a full contrast to its predecessor with a swagger and hungry enterprise which enflames the air. At times it looks like the song will unleash its predatory hounds but restraint wins the day and from start to finish the excellent temptation eagerly taunts and teases with impressive craft.

Closing song Rings is a pleasing riot from combined shafts of harsh ebm, rapacious ambiences, industrial malevolence, and rhythmic intensity. It is forceful and highly infectious, a song like the album which enrols varied flavours and spices into a gripping and fascinating confrontation. At its conclusion the proof that Cellophane is an excellent debut is open evidence, proof that only sparks a greedy appetite to hear more from Krebs. Accompanied by the first single Peace Injection, which itself comes in a full package containing remixes alongside the song from new label mates Virus Cycle, Otto Kinzel, and Varicella, and released as a free download, Cellophane is the arrival of one of the more inspiring and exciting bands within industrial. Are you ready for the shadowed temptation of Krebs is the only question left to be asked.

www.bluntfacerecords.com

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/fr_krebspeaceinjectionsingle.cfm

8.5

RingMaster 27/05/2013

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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Expanding the Extreme: an interview with Giannis K of Dark Vision

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For over fifteen years Greek extreme metallers Dark Vision has earned themselves a strong reputation in the metal underground for their expansive death metal sounds. The recent release of their Ingrowth EP shows the band is stronger and more inventive than ever, their melodic death metal sound soaked in blackened overtones and stirring essences of classic metal and rock n roll a compelling encounter which stands out for band and extreme metal. Seizing the offer to find out more about band, its history, and the new release we set about drummer Giannis K with plenty of questions…

Hello Giannis and welcome to the site.

Firstly for those yet to discover your sounds please introduce the band and the entity that is Dark Vision.

Hello! First of all we would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak through your magazine. Dark Vision exists since 1996, we started playing atmospheric/heavy/black metal continuing these days into a straight forward death/black metal. Our influences lately covering many genres such as death/black metal, rock, classic heavy and all these under a rock’n’roll attitude…  If someone really needs to put a table about our genre, we can say that band’s like Satyricon, Behemoth, Black Sabbath, Voivod, etc. defined our nowadays style.

The band began in 1996, longevity many bands can only dream of. What has kept you inspired and passionate as a band?

The reason that this band started many years ago, was our love in this specific style and also for its subgenre. This made us to continue until now.  The magic moment when you creating a song or you are on stage, keeping you vigilance.  Another very important reason is that as a band we are not playing as professionals but at the same time we are trying to act as much a professional do.  In simple words, when a band is playing for the money there is a certain point that the musician will consider most of the time firstly the profit… In our case as we said because we are not playing for living we have the privilege to play whatever we want in our way.

How has your music and intent as a band evolved over the past 16 or so years?

We have definitely evolved all these years.  Apart of the several line-up changes we grow up as personalities, this made us think with more mature in every way from creating music to acting live. With the current line up the band continues the last years a specific way which evolving us.

Dark Vision is a band which has like so many survived numerous line-up changes, how has that impacted on the band generally and do you think and feel  certainly for Dark Vision, that this inevitable process actually benefits bands creatively for the main?

Following all these years we can say for sure that all these line-up changes firstly made us stronger and secondly helped the band to evolve as it is today. Of course this doesn’t mean that if a band having a standard line-up for years will not evolve, but in our case helped a lot. The only think that we can say was against us in every chance, is the time and the preparation until the band became ready to act again.

You have just released your excellent  Ingrowth EP through Bluntface Records though it had its first release as a vinyl exclusive last 113375year for your fifteen year anniversary. How has it been received so far and has this new unleashing from the independent US label brought a deserved energy and awareness to the EP?

Thanks for your good words! Bluntface Records definitely played a very important role in this release. From the very beginning we realized that with Otto from Bluntface Records we can work very smoothly and creatively together. We choose to release “Ingrowth” in vinyl. A part of the 15 years anniversary, it was a dream since the beginning of the band. We strongly believe that vinyl is more complete and at the same time nostalgic than the nowadays cd. The press worldwide hugged this release since the very beginning and we received very flattering words, we are thanking all of you for your support up to now.

How would you say the new release has evolved from and offers predominantly different to previous album Bestial Remedy?

We worked different this time. From creating the songs to the recording process everything was different. We worked at the recording sessions with more live feeling, which means that we didn’t use this time metronome, but we played all together in order to be closer to this live feeling.

Definitely! “Bestial Remedy” was the begging of a new era for the band and after all these years we can assure you that “Ingrowth” is a big step beyond for us, not only on the composing side but as an experience in the recording sessions.  This time with “Ingrowth” we focused more in the emotional, although our technical skills became better with results on this album.  The songs are approaching better death/black forms and all this under a “rock’n’roll” attitude.

There is a great melodic groove and breath to Ingrowth and its blackened death metal stance. Has this aspect naturally emerged or was something you wanted to intentionally explore?

Most of the things that we are doing are coming out naturally … after “Bestial Remedy” it was natural to continue and evolve this style under our way.

How are songs written within the band and what is more often than not the initial spark to an idea and song?

Composition process usually can be with 2 ways, sometimes our guitar player Mark is writing the song and presenting to the rest of the band in our rehearsals, and another way is to start in the studio working all together on an idea.

What are the strongest influences upon your writing musically and lyrically?

Many influences from daily matters up to religion (from a historical point of view), other times songs can describe personal situations or even our darkest thoughts…

Did you have set ideas and vision for songs before recording the EP in the studio or did they change and grow their own different character whilst bringing Ingrowth to life?

Most of the ideas in “Ingrowth” album were conceived in the preproduction. When the recording process started, we preferred to stay more close to technical matters (microphones set up, Amplifiers, etc), of course, in general if any last minute ideas arise and are worthwhile we are willing to try it.

IMG_4029Ingrowth investigates, as your previous releases, the deepest and richest of shadows, is there an underlying theme to the EP?

We were just felt free to do things without second thought. The result is what you are now hearing and we are proud for that.

Is there a particular moment on Ingrowth which leaves the proudest feeling inside and alternatively is there something on the release which you are now inspired to explore further in future songs?

Yes, definitely the rock n roll element affected us regarding our music and emotionally at the same time.

On a recent episode of The Bone Orchard podcast I featured your track Garden of Nuclear Mushrooms. Can you give some back ground to the track?

Thank you for this! Garden … is a song that refers to the Apocalypse from our point of view …

Across the years you have shared stages with the likes of Mayhem, Satyricon, Sodom, Rotting Christ, and Septic Flesh to name a small few, what have been the biggest moment live and any artists you would sell a kidney to play with? ;)

Hahahaha! … Nice question ….. ! Hmm… probably for a special worldwide tour with Satyricon, Rotting Christ, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth…!

There have been quite a few very impressive metal and rock bands bursting out of Greece in the past couple of years. Is the scene there as vibrant and impressive as it seems from the outside?

Yes! Over the last years lot of bands are doing a good job holding high the Greek flag of our metal scene…

What is next on the agenda for Dark Vision?

Next thing will be a live concert in Athens at 6th of April with other local bands…. Also writing news song at the same time…IMG_4263

Thanks for taking time to talk with us any final thoughts you wish to share?

Thank you! Check our new album “Ingrowth”

Lastly which are the artists to have made the biggest impact on you as musicians?

Daily we hear a lot of things … we are always trying to expand our music  influences … of course musicians such as Frost from Satyricon, Inferno from Behemoth, Ihsahn from Emperor, Jon Nodtveidt, John Gallagher, we admire them and their influences guiding us , also lately Kvelertak from Norway is one of the bands that made something fresh in the scene …

The RingMaster Review 08/03/2013

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Dark corners and caustic intent: an interview with Varicella

IMG_0013

A maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella has brought an uncompromising destructive start to the year. Released through the impressive emerging underground label Bluntface Records, We Belong Dead was a predator of old school eighties style industrial which experimented with and pushed brawling sonic boundaries. Taking the opportunity to find out more about the project through founder Chris Bollinger and guitarist Chris Pasquarelli, we looked at the release, the origins of the band and horror movies…

Welcome to The RingMaster Review and thanks for talking with us.

Varicella – Thank you! And thanks for giving us the chance to talk with you! We appreciate the opportunity.

For the uninitiated, tell us about Varicella, its beginnings, and the inspiration for the project.

Chris Bollinger – Well this is going to be a “really” long story, and I will try to shorten it as best I can, LOL. Varicella is at the moment, a two person industrial/metal/electronic dance music/experimental band. And when I say at the moment, I mean, that we did have a bassist who also did some synth work. He was responsible for a decent amount of what the band sounds like now. But sadly, we had to let him go from the band, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. We do hope to add a live bassist and drummer at some point, but it is hard finding the right people who fit and so forth.

As for the beginnings of the band, well as it states in our BIO on Facebook or Reverbnation, I started the project back in 2008. I’ve always wanted to do an industrial type of band, even when I was in high school back in 2000/2001. I just never found anyone that was on the same page as me or liked what I liked. But anyway, I started this in 2008 and did a few things wrote a few songs, some are on our We Belong Dead EP actually. We just updated them. Then I had to put it on hold because of to many people coming and going. I mean, I think I went through 4 or 5 guitarists until I found Chris Pasquarelli. I posted several ads online and for about 2 years, I never got an answer or I did but their style didn’t fit my style, or they wanted to do the more aggrotech / terror EBM style of industrial and I don’t want to do that. So it was a super long time between people. And during that our old bassist answered one of my ads. We talked and began to work together over the internet with a site called Soundcloud. At the time he was working a job that was 3rd shift overnight and I work a standard 9 to 5 type of job. So our schedules were completely opposite. But I’m determined to do this so things got done! LOL. Then as I mentioned above I found Chris Pasquarelli, through Facebook no less, LOL. We both were clicking like on each other’s posts or comments, and then somehow he saw I did music and said we should jam. I was really impressed with him. That was last April and he’s been in the band ever since that first jam. Yes, he’s that good!

As for the inspiration, I’d have to say just my love of the old 80’s and early 90s industrial, bands such as Ministry, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, and Frontline Assembly. And then on top of that I love White Zombie and Nine Inch Nails, and thrash metal type of bands like Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Pantera and other hard rock or punk bands like Alice in Chains, Danzig, Tool, Filter, Misfits and The Ramones. So, I just wanted to do something that was in the vein of those bands/artists but not a direct rip off. I wanted to make heavy dance music. Songs that have a heavy dance beat that’ll make the girls shake their asses to it, but at the same time it has a thrash metal guitar part or groove to the guitars that’ll make the dudes head bang to it. Hopefully that makes sense to anyone out there. LOL.

What was it about music which you felt was missing and leaving you cold as a listener as well as a musician, when starting Varicella?

Chris B. – Pretty much as I said above, everyone was making the all synth based aggrotech / terror EBM type of industrial, and I didn’t want to do that. I have nothing against it and I like most of it. I listen to Combichrist, Psyclon Nine, Imperative Reaction, Wumpscut and other various bands that have that sound. It’s just not the type of music that I wanted to do personally. And I think that made it harder to find a guitarist too, because that style is really popular right now. The style we do is not popular. Which does make things harder but at the same time, we can transcend a few genres of music and play with different types of bands. Which I find pretty cool! LOL.

Chris Pasquarelli – When I joined Varicella last April I liked the music, but I wanted to make it heavier and more edgy. Most of the songs had basic plug-in computer guitars which the typical computer programs use and I liked it but I didn’t like how noticeable it was that it was not recorded by real guitars as opposed to computer guitars. Within the last 9 months I’ve been in the band I can say that I am really happy with the overall sound our music has with my added guitar and bass tracks.

Was this music in general or more the industrial/electro genre you did not find a connection with?IMG_0014

Chris B. – I’d say yes, mostly in the industrial/electronic genre, but I’ve been a little bored with the rock and metal genre too. Not much is catching my attention in the rock and metal genre. There are a few “really” good bands in the all of those genres, but you have to weed through thousands of copies or clone bands to find the 4 or 5 good ones. It’s tough.

How do you feel about the scene and music now we stand in 2013?

Chris B. – Pretty much the same. Some things have gotten better. Like, it’s easier to spot the better bands versus what I call the “bedroom” bands. These are people that just sit in their homes, make and release music, but never play a live show. Ever! There were a massive amount of them back in 2007 to 2009. Maybe even before that. I’m not 100% sure. But now, it’s about 99% easier to weed through and see those types of bands. And I’m not knocking those people. Some make very good music. I probably own some, LOL. But it’s just not what I want to do. I want to actually see the fans and talk to them and so forth, not sit in my bedroom and stare at a computer monitor.

What are the biggest influences which inspires your sound?

Chris B. – Ministry, mostly the early stuff, Twitch, The Land of Rape and Honey, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69. Those 4 albums blew my mind and still amaze me. I can’t believe Al and Paul did what they did at that time. It’s amazing! KMFDM, almost anything they do is great! Same goes for Skinny Puppy. Got to love Ohgr too! And then White Zombie, La Sex and Astro Creep are two great albums that shaped my teenage years!

Chris P. –  Behemoth, Deicide, At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle Of Filth, Children Of Bodom, Burzum, Darkthrone, Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cryptopsy, Anorexia Nervosa, Nine Inch Nails, Orgy, Deadsy, Psyclon Nine, Dimmu Borgir, Marilyn Manson, Static x, Old Mans Child, SOAD and many more!  As far as my sound goes I’m influenced by many bands, I just try to make the heaviest guitar and bass lines too fit our songs.

The early days were unsettled for the band I believe, through line-up problems? Was this the reason for Varicella going on hiatus or actually at the time was it the end of the band? 

Chris B. – They were. And I think I quit about 4 or 5 times. Gave up and stopped all together type of quitting. I was just really frustrated, and things were going nowhere. As I said, it was about 2 years before I found Chris Pasquarelli on guitar

Varicella reformed/re-emerged in 2011, what was the spark that made that the time to bring the project back to active life?

Chris B. – Skinny Puppy. Skinny Puppy came out with a new album called “HanDover” back in late 2011. Also Ohgr released another one of his solo albums early in 2011, called “undeveloped”. And I just said, fuck it, these are super good, I need to get my shit together, and get this project going! Especially “HanDover”! It’s over a year later and that album is still constantly on my iPod.

Chris P. – I was still in high school when I joined and I was in several other projects at the time when I joined Varicella. I’ve been serious about music for most of my life And I felt frustrated with a lot of the people I jammed with at the time because no one else was as into the band thing as I was until I joined Varicella, so I was really excited to be a part of a band which was serious about their music.

 Back to influences/inspirations, which predominantly spark and shape your songs and lyrics, the areas which ignite your ideas?

Chris B. – Movies, mostly horror and sci-fi movies. TV shows, comics and/or graphic novels. You wouldn’t think it, but Doctor Who is another spark that started two songs lyric wise. And one song music and lyrics, called “The Sound of Four”. And then there are some ideas that come from real life experiences. Like the song “Obsessed with flesh”.  The lyrics in that song can be applied to anything where a person feels they are being used and/or abused. But the major theme of that song comes from a person I wanted to date, but she didn’t want a steady boyfriend or a relationship. So we were just friends with benefits. After a few months of that she all the sudden stops talking to me. I can’t get a hold of her. She doesn’t want to hang out let alone do other stuff. Then a few weeks go by, and I find out she’s in a relationship and that’s why she just dropped me. I was fairly pissed off, and felt a little used. Same goes for the song “All Hail”, that’s sort of my views on brutal honesty with a little jab a religion. I’m a brutally honest person and a straight shooter. I just think we all spend too much time putting up a front or wearing a mask for certain people. It’s ridiculous.

Chris P. – As far as our music goes guitar and bass wise, I kind of do a Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Static X guitar and bass meets extreme metal vibe. For example in our song Mind Fucked I wrote a melodic guitar rhythm that a stripper could dance to, and metal heads could throw down too and fuck each other up in the mosh pits too as well. This has been a huge influence in writing for me, and I’m not exaggerating at all. Every time I right new material For Varicella I always keep Strippers and mosh pits in mind.

TrayCard_OutsideYou have just released your We Belong Dead EP via Bluntface Records; does this contain all new tracks or material with seeds and feet from the earlier presence of the band as well?

Chris B. – A little bit of both actually. The songs Obsessed with Flesh, All Hail were written back around 2008. Of course they were updated to match the other songs that were new, specifically the song Obsessed with Flesh. There’s this sort of machine type sound going on with the guitars. That’s from the way Chris Pasquarelli plays the song. He bends the strings a certain way at a certain time to get that specific sound. That’s all him! So if we had a different guitarist that didn’t play it that way, it wouldn’t sound that way.

How long did the EP take to create and how far did it or songs evolve from the initial ideas?

Chris B. – It didn’t take too long actually. Most of the blue print was laid out in 2008. We just updated some things here and there as I said. We started working on these songs in late 2011 and finished in the fall of 2012. Obsessed and All Hail didn’t change much. Chris Pasquarelli just added his own style to them. The Sound of Four came together very quickly! Music and the lyrics. I think it was done in only a few months. We Belong Dead went through a few changes. LOL. The original idea came from our old bassist Tim. I just sort of took the synth sound, and remixed it adding in other elements. I went through about 4 versions of that song until we hit on a verse / chorus / verse pattern. But it didn’t become what it is now until Chris Pasquarelli joined, and added the guitar riff that grooves over top the synth part in the verses.

There is a cinematic feels to your tracks on We Belong Dead, a visual ambience beyond the lovely corruption of sound and breath. Obviously it has seeds in the influences to songs you mentioned earlier but has it been a natural result of your personal interests or something you have crafted intentionally?

Chris B. – Thank you very much. I would say this is not intentional, at least on a conscious level. I mean, I try to create songs that have multiple meanings on multiple levels to them. This is why I like to add in certain Movie or TV show samples. They help me to tell the story of the song better. Or they reference things in my lyrics.

What are your hopes for the EP in relation to opening up future opportunities for the band and is there a particular moment or track on the release which is Varicella at its purest, where its heart is most open?

Chris B. – Well first and foremost this EP is a stepping stone to our full length release that’ll be out something later this year, probably fall or winter of 2013. We also hope this EP will help us get any attention to tour or play more shows. We’d love to do a tour! Even if it is just a small 2 or 4 week local tour. Of course a bigger 2 month or more tour would be great too!

Varicella at its purest? Not sure. Obsessed with flesh is pretty personal. As I mention above, that one involves a bad relationship with a girl. The Sound of Four is about feeling like you don’t exist in this world, so maybe those two songs. They might not sound like it, but most of my lyrics are real and from the heart.

Chris P. – I’m hoping this EP will open more doors for Varicella by getting us more fans and shows etc. I agree with Chris I think Obsessed with flesh is pretty out there in terms of being us at our purest.

How did you and Bluntface link up and what have been the benefits already from their support and presence?

Chris B. – Johnny from Virus Cycle had an open call for bands on his compilation last summer. From there, I saw that Otto was doing another compilation through the Bluntface site. Otto remembered our song and dug our sound, and a few months ago he sent me an email. He said the label was expanding, and asked if we wanted to join up with him. It seemed like a really good offer that we didn’t want to pass up. So we agreed.

There have been a huge amount of benefits! We’ve had internet radio air play. The review of our EP from you guys, and a few other interviews, and we did a “live” on air interview on 13SRadio.com. We also have another one that we’re doing at the end of this month. Everything Otto said he would do for us, he’s doing! So we’re extremely happy.

How are you managing to promote the EP and are there live shows happening or planned?

Chris B. – We’ve been promoting it on the various social media networks, Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, and a few other sites. We’ve been playing shows since last October when we opened for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Left Spine Down, and Panzer Division. Left Spine Down said we were loud and they liked our cover of Ministry’s Burning Inside. Since then, we’ve had a show every month, except for December, we played two that month. We’re taking February off to write and record some songs for the full length album. And we’re playing a show on March 23rd in Philadelphia at Motel Hell. Details are on our Facebook page

There are plenty of opinions from artists within industrial and its plethora of varied corners which say there is a current curse of IMG_0023_1backbiting and disrespect within the genre between musicians and those involved, how have you found the situation personally?

Chris B. – There are a few bands and people, not exclusively in the industrial/electronic music genre, that have been disrespectful to us. It does bother me at times, because it’s usually from bands/artists that think they’re bigger than they are, but they’re not. They have this ego trip and they act like you’re beneath them. It’s sad actually. And we try to not be like that. If you’re cool with me, then I’m cool with you, simple as that. But that’s just how it is, and it’s the same with the movie business. Everyone’s two faced. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local band or a huge touring band. You will run into a few that are like that.

Is there anything, band or releases, which have captured your imaginations recently and added extra flavour to your thoughts and ideas for your next compositions?

Chris B. – Wow, good question. Not too many “newer” bands. There are some bands that have been around for a little bit that are releasing newer albums. Dawn of Ashes, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Alice in Chains, Megadeth and Filter. I’m a pretty big Filter fan. Their last album “The Trouble with Angels” was really great! Still listening to that. Testament just released a very good album. Frontline Assembly and Tweaker also just put out newer albums. Even though FLA is more of a soundtrack, it’s still very good. Been listening to the “Tron Legacy” score by Daft Punk off and on for a few weeks. All of those keep my imagination going. Especially the “Tron Legacy” score. That CD just amazes me! It’s really good!

What is next creatively for Varicella?

Chris B. – We are currently working on our full length album. It will be all the songs from the EP plus about 5 or 7 more originals and maybe 2 or 3 remix songs.

Many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Chris B. – Thank you for giving us this opportunity. We appreciate it very much! Last thoughts…just check us out on Facebook or Reverbnation. Go to the Bluntface Records site and check out all the great bands there! If you haven’t already, please download our “We Belong Dead” EP. And thanks to everyone who’s helped and supported us along the way!

Finally, you said horror movies are big elements in your personal loves, so give us three films which are engrained in your passions to the extent you know lines off by heart.

Chris B. – 1) The Evil Dead films and Army of Darkness. Classics in my book and Army of Darkness just has so many great quotable line! 2) Almost all of the John Carpenter films, even the movies that are not horror movies. The Thing, Halloween, Prince of Darkness, Escape from NY, Big Trouble in Little China, In the Mouth of Madness, and Christine are some of my favourites of his. 3) Hellraiser 1 and 2. Those movies together feel like one really long awesome movie.

Chris P. – I’m right on board with Chris Bollinger’s horror movie tastes especially with the Hellraiser and Evil Dead Series. Some of my favourite horror movie quotes are Evil Dead 2’s “groovy” right after Bruce Campbell put a chainsaw where his possessed hand used to be, The priest’s quote “I kick ass for the lord” right before he fights zombies in the grave yard with his bare hands in Dead Alive and Lastly Chop tops “Oww my plate! My brain is burning nom flashback NOM FLASHBACK!!!!!!” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Read the review of We Belong Dead EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/varicella-we-belong-dead/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varicella/310239362321042?fref=ts

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

The RingMaster Review 26/02/2013

RingMaster 26/02/2013

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Dark Vision: Ingrowth

Dark Visions

Greek extreme metallers Dark Vision has built a strong reputation in their homeland without truly finding a wider recognition worldwide since forming in 1996. Their new EP Ingrowth will not immediately put that right but with its impressive sounds could be the spark to start that deserved reward for the band. Released through Bluntface Records, it is a strong and compelling release built on a base of melodic death metal with blackened overtones which draws essences of classic metal and rock n roll into its stirring mix. It is not going to take you into a new unexplored venture musically but does easily satisfy any and every need required from a slab of devastation.

Starting off with a heavy/black metal sound the band released a series of demos in their first three years to strong reception. As their sound evolved their debut album came in 2000, though Full Moon Shines received its official release in 2002 through NMC Records. With line-up changes Dark Vision returned to full might in 2006 with the quartet’s self-financed Bestial Remedy EP unleashed two years later. With their live shows also drawing strong acclaim with the sharing of stages with the likes of Mayhem, Satyricon, Sodom, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh and more coming across the years, the band has set themselves as a respected presence in the Greek underground metal scene. Ingrowth shows they are ready for wider acclaim and since its vinyl release last year has drawn a good response something the digital release now should one feels accelerate.

The atmospheric instrumental Thy Flesh Thy Bones opens up the encounter, its brief but dramatic presence and startling breath 113375immediately leaving one on tenterhooks for what is to follow. King of Emptiness at first stops thoughts in their tracks as it is not of the same breath of its ‘introduction’, a different type of beast which is slightly unexpected with this release our first encounter with the band. The song soon has control of ear and senses with its stalking riffs, tight melodic weaves, and growling insidious vocals though.  It prowls and stalks with a venomous heart and intense energy throughout whilst sending spikes of sonic craft and acidic melodic spears through the ear with appealing ease. It is a strong and compelling track which satisfies without lighting up the passions fully, something its successor soon remedies.

Pain Redirected fuses classic metal grooves with punk coated aggression whilst again the vocals squall with abrasive intent and pleasing malevolence. The drums cage the senses impressively so the guitars can score them with skilled violence and intrusive rewards whilst the bass though arguably not as openly obvious as one would wish, stomps over the ear with the hunger of a ravenous beast. It is a great and contagious track which confirms already that Dark Vision is a band to be known about.

The EP gets better the further you go into its muscular depths with Garden of Nuclear Mushrooms a pinnacle. The technical prowess of the band is an ever present throughout the release but here squeals and captivates within the brawling intensity magnificently, the discordant scything a delicious piercing within the ravenous consumption of the song. It is intelligently varied in sound and pace along is sinewy length to bring a thoroughly pleasing and compelling engagement.

The EP closes with firstly the thunderous assault of Amongst Dead Butterflies and lastly the title track. The first of the pair has a snarling hunger which transforms its destructive rhythms and merciless riffing into an overwhelming intensity speared by sharp melodic enterprise whilst the closer is a scarring tempest of incessant sonic niggling and corrupting black hearted energies. Both tracks are wholly infectious and an immense end to a great release.

Dark Visions is not a band to bring you something openly new but one which creates invigorating extreme music better than plenty of other artists. Ingrowth is a recommendation you should not ignore.

http://www.darkvision.info

RingMaster 07/01/2013

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