Exes For Eyes – Of Strength And Sorrow

Since the release of their previous album in 2014, Canadian metallers Exes For Eyes have been on a hiatus of sorts but now they have returned with a new collection of tracks which not only enhance their established reputation but push it to a loftier height. Of Strength And Sorrow is a fury of bold adventure and eager enterprise, a release also relishing a greater diversity and imagination in the band’s sound whilst making for one striking encounter.

Ontario hailing, Exes For Eyes was borne from the musical vision and creativity of Dave Sheldon (ex. Man With Target, Annihilator) and the lyrical conception of vocalist Big James (Stab.Twist.Pull, Endast, Authors). Previous well-received releases proved an enticing cauldron of multi-flavoured metal endeavour with a progressive bent but the time between the previous Tongues Like Figure Eights and Of Strength And Sorrow has seen it grow, mature, and immerse in greater imagination without losing almost feral instincts.

Their new album opens with the outstanding Build, Work, Dream, Create; a track which if standing alone in major temptation would have brought the full-length strong praise. One of our favourite moments of the year so far, the song immediately launches itself with an irresistible groove within a barbarous but effortlessly contagious surge. It is eager enticement which continues to tempt and manipulate as vocals expel their intent and prowess with raw emotive discontent. The track is superb, groove and death metal essences colluding in its tempestuous roar, every second a cauldron of virulent enterprise and ferocity.

It is a thrilling start which Memories That Last follows and backs with its own inferno of rapacious sound and ear grabbing imagination. More uncompromising by the minute the track provided a quickly testing and swiftly rewarding proposal as imagination fuelled its every invasive throe before the song drifted away and the predatory presence of The Metal forcibly prowled. It was an initial stalking which subsequently erupted into a ruthless trespass, its stroll continuing to menace and bully as the band’s imagination flourished and shaped one enthralling assault marked with individual prowess.

Nothing Ever Satisfies in contrast provides a calm but just as enticing invitation, at least initially as the guitar’s melodic coaxing soon becomes a cyclone of resolute sound and voice around another irresistible collusion of grooves and hooks. A rival for the opener, the track continued to enthral and arouse as its turbulence fed off the mercurial volatility in its heart and roar; submission to its creative appropriation willing and inevitable.

Featuring Trey Xavier of In Virtue, The Fire Inside My Head entangled ears in another spiral of wiry grooves and rhythmic motivation straight after. It is an opening which intensifies by the breath, vocals adding to the attention grabbing pestering before the sonic wind drops and the bass brings its funk instincts to bear. That is just the invitation to a new progressive sigh of imagination laced with a slight Hed(PE) hue and another alluring aspect to the fascinating encounter. With keys providing perpetual intimation throughout, the song’s tempest ignites again; the cycle repeating with richer temptation.

Through the fierce yet melodically elegant Set It All On Fire and The Savage Self with its savagely contagious trespass, album and band only accentuated their expectation squashing prowess; both songs relishing the progressive bent in the songwriting and imagination of Exes For Eyes. It is also fair to say that both songs as most around them flourish with closer and continued attention, new textures and layers of enterprise emerging from within their masterfully sculpted furores, next up I Miss My Friends (Too Many Of Them Are Dead) reaffirming that quality as its solemn and melancholic beginnings inspire a melodic pyre of dexterity and guile within a voracious if mercurial landscape of uncompromising encroachment.

The likes of Hold On with its two chaptered proposal, the first as respectful and catchy as the other is invasive and confrontational, and the resourcefully animated True Self Reckoning ensure the album’s grip remained tight, their successor, Love, with Pepe Poliquin of BornBroken guesting matching their strengths with its own contemptuous strike, one which at times is melodically seductive and progressively illuminated.

Of Strength And Sorrow concludes with firstly Get The Fuck Out Of My Head which as keys haunt from its first sigh while rhythms simply enticed, both continuing to enthral as emerging drama and dark deeds rise, emerged another excellent track within the album. Methuselah follows one stirring moment with its own rousing presentation of invention and imagination, in many ways summing up the variety and adventure of the band’s sound in its own capricious multi-flavoured and dramatic body.

Though Of Strength and Sorrow had us hooked from the start it is right to say that the depth, layers, and expanse of its qualities and persuasion was only greater tapped with subsequent ventures into its increasingly and imposingly impressive body. Quite simply, Exes For Eyes are back and creatively deadlier than ever.

Of Strength and Sorrow is out now and available @ https://www.exesforeyes.com/

Pete RingMaster 20/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

[Evertrapped] – Under The Deep

Photo - credit - Luc Delorme

Photo – credit – Luc Delorme

As much as the melodic enterprise and accomplished brutality of Under The Deep breeds major satisfaction it is the rabid gnawing of the senses from start to finish of each and every song which sealed the deal for ears and thorough enjoyment of the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers [Evertrapped]. It was the ebbing and flowing but persistent underbelly of the album which caught the imagination and appetite most securely, it in turn allowing the craft and invention of the band to create their absorbing narratives over and around it. The result is a release which might not turn the metal year on its head but definitely gives it another highly pleasurable and flavoursome kick.

The Montreal-based [Evertrapped] first emerged in 2007, its name intentionally written with enclosed brackets “to signify the trappings of modern life for all of us and how people, despite their best attempts to break out of the mould are still affixed to a simple controlled existence and futility.” Consisting of guitarists Frederick Dupuis (ex-Daggerfalls) and Vincent Benoit, drummer Eric Lemire (ex-Apocalypsys, ex-Ice Castle), bassist John Yates (ex-AraPacis), and vocalist James Brookes (ex-Ammonia, ex-One Final Moment, Continuum), [Evertrapped] has earned a formidable reputation for their live presence which over time has seen them share stages with bands such as Kittie, Deicide, Cryptopsy, The Catalyst, The Agonist, Slaves On Dope, Dark Century, BornBroken and numerous more.

Album Cover - Evertrapped - Under The Deep_RingMaster Review     2010 saw the release of debut album Tales From The Supermax, with its successor The Anomaly unleashed two years later. Now the band has uncaged the primal yet precisely sculpted ferocity of Under The Deep on the senses, its exploration that “of the deepest reaches of human madness. Not clinical madness, but simply the darkest regions of the soul and the blackest part of the human heart from a mind found to be socially functional, but is really way too far gone. And thus it seeks to explore what is underneath the deepest depth, hence no matter how deep you descend there’s always another layer that can be torn away.” As suggested earlier, physically and sonically it shows no mercy or restraint but lines and veins its hostility with a nest of writhing grooves and atmospherically wrapped melodies that not so much temper the tempest but give it fascinating substance and drama.

From the dark ambient intro of […], the album explodes with Arise From The Ashes, its violent roar set up by the climatic voice and bedlamic finale of its predecessor and quickly ravaging the senses with antagonistic nostrils flared and predatory recriminations spewing from the guttural ire of Brookes. With that great unrelenting nagging at the heart of its storm, the track explores a web of sonic endeavour cast by the guitars and marshalled by the barbarous incitement of bass and drums. It is an enjoyably formidable start matched by the even more vocally rapacious and musically carnivorous Underneath The Deep. Like the raw soundtrack to a vicious version of the movie Falling Down, provocation sparking a game changing reaction, the song twists and swirls like a malicious dervish as again trails of melodic vapours and sonic imagination add to the creative tapestry holding its own to captivate ears and imagination in the throes of the fury.

From one highlight of the album to another as Palace Of Injustice in similar vein but with its own character, bullies and entices in equal measure. The band has been compared to the likes of Arch Enemy, Unearth, Whitechapel, Soilwork, and The Black Dahlia Murder, and it is easy to hear why across this magnetic offering alone, suggestions again backed by the blistering lyrical and physical causticity of Hypnotized By Hatred. A song themed by the scenario of relentlessly being told one is worthless until it becomes belief; it is a torrent of intensity and rhythmic pressure which seems to return after each evocative melodic turn with even greater animosity and violent craft.

Fair to say each track, and the album, has much more in their depths than seemingly shown at face level, a wealth of textures and resourceful individual and united invention which needs time to find the light. The rewards in turn are plenty as proven by the excellent Blood Of The Fallen. One of the more immediate thick persuasions and thus another pinnacle of Under The Deep, it too still reveals over listens skilful nuances and contrasting hues to its corrosive bellow to become only more compelling over time.

Both Lethal District with its virulent swing within a dystopian savagery and the middle finger defiance of Burning Through Vengeance keep ears and appetite full and fiercely content whilst Reaper ignites an eventfully searing blaze of attitude, emotion, and sonic temptation boiled up into a torrential onslaught of whipping beats and carnal riffs. Entwining it all though is more of the tantalising craft of Dupuis and Benoit, their weave of suggestive melodic toxicity and erosive endeavour framed perfectly by the ruggedly rousing bass lure of Yates and the scything swings of Lemire.

The album concludes with Embrace The End, a final tsunami of spite with a no punches pulled reflection driven superbly by the continually impressive diversity and emotion of Brookes’ vocal delivery. The song is an enthralling and exhausting close to an album which just seems to blossom further with every dive into its heart. You, like we suspect many, may have yet to focus your attention on [Evertrapped], but it is a missing out easily remedied by a long look at Under The Deep.

Under The Deep is out now digitally via Hellstorm Recordz and @ https://evertrapped.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-deep

http://www.evertrapped.com     https://www.facebook.com/evertrapped

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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