The Bendal Interlude – Reign of the Unblinking Eye

bendalInterlude_RingMasterReview

Attempting to build on the reputation and acclaim earned through their previous clutch of EPs, British metallers The Bendal Interlude unleash their debut album; a cauldron of sludge, stoner, and blues with psych and thrash metal to sear and ignite the senses. The release is a beast of a proposition; an attention grabber reinforcing and pushing the already firm stature of the Liverpool quartet but maybe one not quite seeing the band going far enough with the new bold elements of flavour and imagination to steer them away from similarly designed offerings over recent times. Nevertheless Reign of the Unblinking Eye is a fiercely enticing and enjoyably rousing slab of predacious riffs, salacious grooves, and thumping rhythmic aggression.

Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Melvins, Crowbar, and Cathedral, The Bendal Interlude have increasingly drawn fans and attention through a quartet of releases, starting with an early Demo followed by the Foal Recordings EP in 2010, a Self-Titled EP the following year, and the Odourama EP in 2013, as well as a ferocious live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Sunn O))), Earth, Orange Goblin, COC, Church of Misery, Red Fang and more. They have also made highly successful appearances at festivals like Hammerfest, Sonisphere, and Desertfest to persistently lure keen spotlights to their emergence.

For Reign of the Unblinking Eye, The Bendal Interlude took a new tact in its creation; guitarist Stu Taylor explaining recently, “We took a shift in direction when writing for the album Reign of The Unblinking Eye. The songs are much more elaborate and have a lot more going on sound-wise than previous releases. We played with time signatures, guitar harmonies, key changes, even laying down a 10-part resonator guitar part. It is by far the heaviest but also most dynamic thing we’ve written to date.” His words are quickly backed up by the album and a collection of songs which in contrast to the “abstract collection of ideas and imagery based around loose themes” which coloured previous releases, lyrically carry a more “autobiographical approach”.

art_RingMasterReviewBuckfast For Breakfast opens the album, an easily relatable repetitive vocal sample the spark to a wall of cantankerous riffs and rapier like rhythms. It is a senses trespassing confrontation, swiftly bound and veined by wiry grooves with richly engaging toxicity to their wandering sonic hands. The raw vocal squalling of Nat Gavin adds to the intrusive hostility tempering the melodic flirtation and the instinctive swing to the track’s stalking gait. It is an ear gripping start firmly backed by the blues intoxication and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Losing Things. With Gavin’s caustic delivery, tracks are inevitably going to challenge with attitude loaded animosity yet as proven here, The Bendal Interlude merge it skilfully with a melodic/stoner prowess and addictive sonic contagion which gives every assault a captivating and inviting personality.

Next up is The Unblinking Eye and its initial electronically atmospheric suggestiveness which the track evolves into its own individual stomp of classic/groove metal fuelled ferociousness. It recruits body and imagination with consummate ease, the virulence of the grooves and infectious swing and lead hook of the track swiftly installing it as a major highlight within the album. The Bendal Interlude are rocking like a beast on heat in song and album, sparking similar reactions in the instincts and spirit of the listener.

Efram’s Hands provides a brooding groove entangled landscape of ravenous shadows and barbarous energy straight after whilst Pint of Bodies grumbles and rumbles with sonic and rhythmic rabidity whilst infusing a scent of enterprise not too removed from glam rock. Subsequently descending on the senses with a Down meets Cathedral like animosity before shifting again into an evocative melodic calm, it and its predecessor both whip up more greed for the album’s trespass before Creeks Gigantic prowls in with a thunderous rhythmic swagger led by the bass groove of Tommy Lloyd quickly matched by the resourceful craft and adventure of Taylors’ invention on guitar strings. Given further incendiary bite by the spiky beats of Dave Archer, the track is an imposingly catchy and intrusive weave of contrasting and dynamic textures finding kinship in the tracks’ vocal irritability and tempestuous air.

Anthemic and tenaciously delivered rhythms again lead an addictive and predictably groove infested persuasion as Triumph of Fortitudo steps in with bruising intensity and Cancer Bats like punk lined antagonism before stepping aside for the more merciful but equally commanding rock ‘n roll of The Block. Drama fuels every crawling riff and the doom coated breath which soaks a track layered with acidic grooving and vocal rancor. Maybe not as striking on personal tastes as other tracks within Reign of the Unblinking Eye, it still leaves satisfaction full; success sought and easily found by the closing emotional and creative animus of R.I.P.  An at times corrosive venture through varied styles and flavours within a core heavy rock storm, the song is a fascinating and increasingly impressing end to a similarly impacting release.

As suggested earlier, The Bendal Interlude could have dared to push their imagination even further but every play of Reign of the Unblinking Eye certainly reveals new twists within the all-consuming invasion of sound. Time and attention only benefits an appreciation of an instantly pleasing album which has the psyche and passions enslaved by crucial grooves in no time; a success no one can avoid or dismiss.

Reign of the Unblinking Eye is out now via Black Bow Records @ http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/the-bendal-interlude-the-reign-of-the-unblinking-eye

https://www.facebook.com/THEBENDALINTERLUDE   http://thebendalinterlude.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 01/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Church of Misery – And Then There Were None

COM-promo_RingMasterReview

As much as anticipation, there was plenty of extra intrigue involved leading to the release of And Then There Were None, the new album from Church of Misery. The sixth full-length from the Japan bred band, it is also the first since bassist and mastermind Tatsu Mikami was forced to assemble a new line-up a year after the unleashing of the 2013 album, Thy Kingdom Scum. It was an obstacle which has seemingly made little difference to the band as in And Then There Were None they have come up with one ferociously compelling provocation.

Another reason for that intrigue was that Mikami has linked up with musicians outside of his homeland for the first time; enlisting Blood Farmers guitarist Dave Szulkin, Earthride drummer Eric Little (ex-Internal Void) and Repulsion frontman (and former Cathedral bassist) Scott Carlson on vocals. It is easy to assume this was a challenge in itself in the creation of the album due to distances between members and indeed the bassist when talking about the album admitted, “It was a challenge because there was not much time to make this record—only two weeks,” going on to add, “One week for rehearsals and then one week to record all materials.” With Carlson providing vocals for an album for the first time in almost 30 years, it seems like it was a project pushing each member to their creative edge; an essence which has gone so me way to giving an extra spark and bite to the “blood-soaked trip through homicidal hell.”

Fuelled by the tales and bloody mayhem of killers both infamous and obscure, And Then There Were None opens up with The Hell Benders. Emerging from a viscerally sanguineous opening, funk spiced melodies quickly seduce the imagination as nagging rhythms rap the senses. It is a mellow and tantalising entrance which is soon spilling suggestively sultry grooves and incisive beats as Carlson’s growling delivery mixes it with the sweltering climate of doom/sludge bred heavy rock ‘n’ roll. The intoxicating invention of the guitars is invasive yet at times provides a mesmeric lure for a perpetually captivating frame to the barbarous lyrics with the bass of Mikami bridging the two with its heavily alluring tone and rapacious shadowing of voice and sonic enterprise.

COM-and_then_there_were_FRONT_RingMasterReviewThe gripping start is reinforced by the almost carnal resourcefulness and snarling nature of Make Them Die Slowly. Riffs immediately provide a tasty intrusion, seeming to relish their antagonistic presence within a web of sinister yet seductive grooves. With vocals across the band stalking the imagination too, the track reveals a punk infused attitude to its Crowbar meets High on Fire meets Earthride like trespass.

Doctor Death prowls ears and imagination next, inspiration coming from British killer Harold Shipman. As thoughts are reminded and provoked, guitars again spread a lattice of juicily enticing grooves aligned to forceful rhythms as Carlson shares the insidious deeds. Enthralling and increasingly irresistible, the sonically humid track makes way for the funkier revelry of River Demon, where bass and drums go on a rampage of addictive and incendiary rhythms. A slab of volatile and bruising groove bound devilment which enslaves appetite and energies from start to finish, the track is a vampiric treat leaving the body and senses exhausted with its blues soaked punk ‘n’ roll.

Through the muggier sonic climate of Confessions Of An Embittered Soul and southern soaked Suicide Journey, the album reveals more varied hues to colour its melodically toxic and addictive body. The first of the two has the imagination wound around its creeping grooves, they in turn winding around the senses as Carlson shares the song’s hellacious contents. In contrast, its brief successor is a warmer if sinister wash of mellow sound and intensity but a match in igniting the imagination and pushing it to explore its own interpretative adventure.

Bringing the album to a close is Murderfreak Blues, a song which crushes the senses yet within a breath or two becomes a stalking, seducing, and ravishing provocation of their weaknesses as, unsurprisingly, psyche twisting grooves and demanding rhythms leave, through murderous traits, their own lingering and welcome marks.

It is a mighty end to an album which grows with every listen, managing to seem even more antagonistic each time as it impresses in sound and craft. And Then There Were None is a blood encrusted groove fest and very easy to recommend.

And Then There Were None is out now via Rise Above Records @ http://www.riseaboverecords.com/shop/

http://www.churchofmisery.net/   https://www.facebook.com/churchofmiserydoom/

Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016

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Deep Desolation – Rites Of Blasphemy

DD

Casting a captivating web of sludge and doom drenched black metal ripe with fiery psychedelic grooves Polish metallers Deep Desolation make a very convincing argument for turning to the dark side with latest album Rites Of Blasphemy. The release is a venomous yet irrepressibly magnetic soundscape to a blasphemous occult driven world, an encounter which as the greatest evils has an irresistibility which says all is well as it infests with ruinous intent. It is not always a kind listen though and carries a few niggles which stops it making and even greater impact but from start to finish, Rites Of Blasphemy makes for a compelling and potential soaked enjoyment.

Hailing from Łódź, Deep Desolation was formed in 2009 and within a year creating their debut album. Released via Quid Est Veritas Productions/The End Of Time Records in the February of 2011, Subliminal Visions made for a formidable introduction to the band and its sound. A line-up change followed before the band provided two tracks for the split release Chapel of Fear with fellow countrymen Primal and Iugulatus that same year. From there the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Meriath, guitarist/vocalist Markiz, bassist Piorun, and drummer Wilku, set about working on their second album, a release which steals attention from the outset, never relinquishing its grip until the last note of its demonic fascination.

Rites Of Blasphemy opens with the epic persuasion of Between the Tits of a Witch. From a sinister landscape of disturbing DD coverwhispers within an intimidation ambience, thick predatory riffs and ravenous rhythms seize senses and thoughts as rasping venom fuelled vocals slowly squall over their brewing toxicity. It is an instantly striking and appealing mix which flirts wantonly as it worms around and into the psyche. Acidically sculpted grooves add to the captivating bait, their touch and enticement fiery as they sear air and ears with inventive design. Within the caustic beauty and at times seductive enterprise, there is a threatening underbelly of rabid shadows and merciless malevolence working away led by the raw vocal spite. All combined, the track makes an excellent beginning to the album, a constant trigger for the imagination to erupt from but it does push the limits of its stay at almost ten minutes in length with no major deviations in its concentrated languid prowl.

The following Searching for Yesterday emerges from a potent heavy metal coaxing into a darker rapacious but no less gripping provocation. Riffs and rhythms all carry a heavier intensive weight and throat to their attack and sound, as does the malice seeping vocals, though this is tempered by the spiteful grooves and great individual endeavour of the guitarists. The track has a bestial breathe to its body which is accentuated by the distressing landscape of the instrumental Intermezzo. The piece is a demonic insight into the stomach of hell, a maelstrom of lost souls and suffering sounds which is quite mesmeric and provocative before it leads to the doorway into Blasphemous Rite. Rich transfixing grooves entwine around ears as riffs, aligned to thumping and agreeably challenging rhythms, heavily consume the senses. The song as the album prowls and preys on senses and emotions, a creative predator happy to skirt around and intimidate its victim with riveting lures of sonic adventure and intrusive melodic toxins. Like many of the tracks and again fair to say the release itself, the encounter does not ignite and burn as ferociously as you hope and expect but that cannot prevent it making a sizeable impression and deeply satisfying proposition.

The expansive length and weight of Mroczny Hymn comes next and though it also outstays its effective suasion at over eleven minutes, the track does not fail in taking thoughts and emotions on an intrusive and in many ways a cinematically expressive journey which excites the imagination. The guitar craft is especially inciting and impressive within the tempestuous soundscape, as is the rhythmic stalking, but it cannot prevent the track losing its richest hold on attention more than once across the length of time it engages the ear.

Cuius Regio / Eius Religio offers an almost insidious tone and menace through vocals and the venom infused grooves and hooks which wind around the raw caustic rage of riffs and the just as exacting rhythms. The song’s thrilling slightly pestilential call is swiftly backed up by I Became Your God, a track from the start encroaching on ears with great abrasing ravenous riffs which are soon in league with devious grooves. The track moves through evolving gaits and changing strengths of rabidity as it hunts down emotions for just one more commanding pleasure.

The album closes with the exhaustive weight and predatory oppressiveness of Necromouth, a final track impressing whilst confirming the craft and might of the band’s songwriting and invention. With essences of bands such as Cathedral, Pentagram, and Carpathian Forest to their sound, Deep Desolation is a band fans of sludge, doom, and extreme metal should definitely be checking out.

Rites Of Blasphemy is available via Darkzone Productions now!

https://www.facebook.com/deepdesolation

8/10

RingMaster 06/06/2014

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King Goat – Self Titled EP

     King Goat Online Promo Picture

     King Goat is an intimidating provocation, heavy in intent and in weight, and as evidenced by their new self-titled EP, mightily compelling. Consisting of three immensely imposing tracks stretched by tempestuous riffs and impossibly alluring grooves, the release pushes King Goat into a new intensive spotlight. Its riveting weave of stoner and doom metal with psychedelic and progressive flames is a raw and thorough captivation of ears and imagination, a proposition sure to arouse a wealth of new allegiances.

Hailing from Brighton, King Goat emerged at the start of 2012 and was soon stirring up attention locally. Their debut EP, Atom was released early 2013 to good responses but soon followed by a change of frontmen. Once back into its stride the quintet began working on their second release and unleashing again their powerful live performances across London and the South coast to stronger responses whilst garnering an ever increasing legion of fans. The new EP is the next potent step in the rise of a band which you sense has the potential to eventually impact intensively on European psychedelically fuelled doom metal.

The EP starts with an epic track in length and presence. The Final Decline is a towering and thoroughly absorbing journey for senses and King Goat Cover Artworkimagination which breeds from an opening suggestive ambience. It is a stark and chilled atmosphere which initially caresses ears, a portentous breath in climate with a lone emotive guitar coaxing which stands engagingly within the cold wind and barren landscape unfolding around it. The song slowly emerges with dark weighty tones of the bass and resonating beats prowling the senses matched by the equally shadowed vocal calls. It is an intensive proposition but lit by enthralling guitar design which without being flashy or dramatically startling simply seduces the imagination with its eastern temptation and repetitive virulence. The song gradually increases into a stroll, all the time brewing and accelerating its rapacious energy and rhythmic enticement until from a moment of catching breath it erupts into a primal swagger with equally bestial growls before an excellent melodic roar of vocals soar across the incendiary scenic maelstrom now smothering the senses. It is an exhaustive and alluring encounter which only enhances its bewitching grip with every taking of its dramatic journey.

The following Cult Obscene is swifter in its emergence but like its predecessor is bred by a provocative and imagination sparking scenery soaked in a sinister ambience. It is not long though before hypnotic rhythms enslave attention, soon sharing that entrapment with scorching melodic flames of adventure from the guitars and again a bass tone which simply resounds within ears and the narrative of the track. The track shows a mix of Cathedral and Ten Foot Wizard to its enveloping shadows and blazing melody defined drama whilst the caging sinews and rabidity of the rhythms has a certain Mastodon predation to their intent. As its predecessor, the song simply consumes the body, feet and senses wrapped up in the riff driven stomp of the track and imagination through to passions enslaved by the sonic invention of guitars and grooves.

Already the release has a hungry appetite alive and greedy for itself which is only driven to stronger urgency by final track Melian’s Trance. The closer is inescapable, every aspect of its sculpting working like an epidemic on the listener. It is a blazing tempest of adventure and metallic devilry employed by dark ravenous emotions and deeply rooted shadows lying in the heart of the songwriting and unrelenting imaginative sounds of the band. With riffs, rhythms, and grooves an overwhelming horde of insatiable predators submission is inevitable, the song a thunderous end to an equally massive release.

With Sabbath essences permeating the whole EP as rigorously as those already mentioned, King Goat has announced themselves to the whole country with a metallic bellow which is hard to ignore or resist.

The self-released King Goat EP is available from Monday 28th April @ http://kinggoat.bandcamp.com/

www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/04/2014

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Asomvel – Knuckle Duster

Option 1

Roaring at and bruising up the senses with a riot of belligerence and unkempt rock ‘n’ roll, Knuckle Duster the new album from UK band Asomvel is an uncompromising and thrilling storm of prime beef heavy metal. With a more than healthy throbbing vein of punk rock and Motorhead like bruising rock to it also, the album is a pungent blaze of sound and attitude which continues the impacting and sparking presence of the band since their first days and provides the year with a release which has no want to create new pastures for metal but is more than ready to churn up and reseed existing fields.

The band was formed in 1993 by guitarist Lenny Robinson and bassist/vocalist Jay-Jay Winter, with a line-up completed by ex-Cathedral/Acid Reign drummer Mark Wharton. The position behind the beats changed on numerous occasions in the earlier years before The Blood Eye demo was released in 2002. Establishing a strong reputation for their sound and live performances Asomvel released the To Hell with All the Rest Demo in 2005 and the Full Moon Dog EP two years later to strong responses and acclaim. It was debut album Kamikaze of 2009 which really set the metal underground and media on alert with its raucous presence and set a rigorous platform for the band ahead. Within a year though tragedy struck when Winter was killed in a road accident which understandably devastated the band. Determined to continue with the spirit and presence of Winter still part of the band, Robinson took time to find a musician to not only match what the frontman brought and intended for the band, but to continue his attitude. It was with the finding and addition of ex-Deathwing bassist/vocalist Conan that the band came back to full life, Asomvel soon after headlining their own inaugural Full Moon Dog Festival in Bradford in 2011 in honour of Winter; the event also seeing the stage thriving with the likes of Carcass, Anvil, and Orange Goblin. Following the Stare at Death & Spit EP of the same year and the split release Vol. 1 of last year, the band with drummer Jason Hope surge back with the Bad Omen Records released Knuckle Duster and it is a fluid continuation of the last album and sound.

Produced by James Atkinson (frontman of Leeds rockers Gentleman’s Pistols), Knuckle Duster flies at the ear with opener Dead Set on Asomvel Knuckle Duster cover loLivin’, drums and bass making an instant rapacious charge around and through the ears whilst the guitar scorches their surface with sonic causticity. The vocals of Conan snarl and growl with a throaty rasp which you could easily mistake for Winter without prior knowledge, to again cement that feeling of the band around the time of Kamikaze though there is also an air of the now in the venom and inciting breath of the track, and subsequently album. With a raw edge suggesting the release was recorded live in the studio and an unpolished touch which only ignites the instinctive appetite for dirty rock ‘n’ roll, the track makes a strong and magnetic  start to the album, its groove one which only eager submission is the order of the moment.

The following Cash Whore and Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing immediately take the impressive start and shift it up another adrenaline fuelled gear, the first of the two a carnivorous persuasion which grinds its way to the passions whilst tearing up the scenery with a blaze of hungry riffing and rhythmic barracking whilst its chorus is simply a primal torrent of pleasure giving dirt throwing excellence. The melodic flames of the guitar also send shards of addiction causing pleasure through to the heart to help sculpt one of the early pinnacles of the album. Its successor stands side by side with its swagger of blues bait and intensively contagious punk ‘n’ roll teases. There is a southern lilt to the hooks which only light greater attraction whilst the punk rock scythes of guitar and anthemic vocals add to a combination which leaves senses and passions with a great greedy hunger for more.

Both Thrash Talker and Waster settle down the climb of the release though each provides a provocation which continues the compelling draw of the album and the uncluttered, organic fire bred fury of sound. The pair again leaves appetite fully satisfied though its greed is ready to devour the insatiable thrashing surge of Shoot Ya Down and the groove carved Wrecking Ball with a grin on its voracious lips, a lust the songs feed but incite further. Like their predecessors the two encounters leave ears full of cutting riffs, commanding vocals, and a bass grizzle which especially on the second of the pair is as predacious as any offering this year.

From the outstanding title track, a song which glares at the listener eye to eye and challenges it to resist its irrepressible temptation, the album unleashes a closing ravaging of the senses with firstly the savage Final Hour. The track is a ferocious yet melodically grooved blaze of ridiculously infectious combative posturing which is backed up within a gulp of breath by the sizzling intimidation that is Strangehold, the drums of Hope a hypnotic conjuror and instigator of instinctive compliance so the riffs and vocals can cut and graze their punkish vitriol into the psyche.

     Hangman’s Rope closes up the album with a searing heavy metal finale though it is the one song which noticeably pales against the rest of the tempests upon Knuckle Duster. It is still a satisfying and easy to return to growl finishing off a powerhouse of honest to the ground rock ‘n’ roll which maybe is not offering anything new but provides a potently exciting bruising and thrilling confrontation. Asomvel are still one of the true joys of UK’s metal underground just now you sense they may get a much wider recognition.

http://www.asomvel.com/

8/10

RingMaster 07/10/2013

 

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The Lumberjack Feedback – Hand of Glory

The Lumberjack Feedback 2013 - © Mathieu Drouet

Dramatic and compelling, the Hand of Glory EP from French instrumental metallers The Lumberjack Feedback is a masterful journey through cavernous shadows and depths, a tension packed encounter of doom and sludge metal. Consisting of two tracks lasting seventeen minutes between them, the EP is a stunning debut from the Lille based quintet, a provocative apocalyptic soundscape exploring its own darkness and that of the listener.

Consisting of the twin dual attacks of guitarists Simon Herbaut and Arnaud Silvert plus drummers Nicolas Tarridec and Christopher Poirier, with bassist Sebastien Tarridec adding his terrific presence into the mix, The Lumberjack Feedback has earned strong praise for their live performances which has seen them alongside bands such as Crowbar, Gojira, Kylesa, The Oxbow, Wolf Eyes, Spacemen 3, Grey Daturas, Acid King, and Hangman’s Chair. It will be their first release though which will undoubtedly set them as a potent fixture in the acclaim and vision of the widest audience such the power and creative might of the Kaotoxin Records released and Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Cathedral, EyeHateGod, Cattle Decapitation) produced EP.

Opening track A Whisper to the Thunder takes mere seconds to entice the ear with a guitar beckoning soon joined by that 760137002529_TOX025_The-Lumberjack-Feedback_Artwork_600x600-72hypnotic twin drum assault, their craft and temptation measured yet instantly enslaving. There is an energy and hunger to the beginning of the song which makes for a contagious sludge drenched call, riffs carving out a virulent persuasion whilst rhythms and bass define their own enthralling menace to combine for a primal seduction wrapped in a fluid evolution of imaginative and evocative melodic and sonic narrative. Thoughts of bands such as Neurosis and Sunn O))) come to mind but as the piece moves through a piercing sonic tunnel into a heavily weighted and rapaciously intensive dark doom landscape the sound takes on something distinctly unique to the band and visually provocative. The skies have a villainous hue over the track at this point as it lumbers purposefully with a predatory stalking and proceeds to claim any thoughts of escape as it climaxes with a simple but intrusive and lingering sonic breath.

It is an immense start soon matched and evolved further by second track The Dreamcatcher.  Again riveting rhythms from the drums make an earlier invitation which is instinctively impossible to resist, their sinews pacing along the developing wash of guitar brewed sonic mist and the continually thrilling bass provocation. As with its predecessor there is not theatrical invention or awe inspiring technical wizardry going on but the atmospheres and imagery spawning textures as well as melodic emotional painting being created by every skilful and clear but connecting aspect given clarity by each member is scintillating and impossibly powerful. The mesmeric stroll of the first third of the song comes to a point where the brewing climate entices an unleashing of intensive sonic flames and mutually fierce rhythms before flexing even further muscle in an even paced and exhausting investigation of its deepest corners and those of the listener too. The climatic conclusion to the piece towers over the senses, first marked by a flurry of striking punches before closing on one last enriching fire of intensity and sound, and leaves thoughts and passions suddenly alone within their own stark dark world.

Hand of Glory is an outstanding debut and release, but one which in some ways even at its length does not offer enough to really get the teeth into. This is because you only feel you are getting part of a much larger and incredible story or journey. Whether these are teasers to a full length time will tell but as impressive as it is the hunger and expectations on an album will be excited and demanding. The EP is a daunting adventure which inspires without ever using demanding intimidation and as such makes itself a must investigate introduction to a band we will be hearing much more of and one suspects fawning over in the future.

http://www.thelumberjackfeedback.com/

9/10

RingMaster 04/07/2013

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Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods

AMON AMARTH by JOHN McMURTRIE

Continuing their ever impressive and powerful stance within melodic death metal, Amon Amarth unleash ninth album Deceiver of the Gods, a thunderous expanse of aggressive energy, dynamic enterprise, and melodic flames. Bursting with the prime essences and sounds the band has become legendary for, the release also sees the Swedish quintet pushing those elements into newer intensive imagination and adventure. It is being hailed as the band’s finest moment, something which can be debated long into the night considering the might of some of their previous releases but it is certainly an album that leaves a potent satisfaction and pleasure in its wake. The downside to the album is that despite all its strengths it is fair to say that there are few tracks or moments which linger in thoughts and memory when away from its undoubtedly impressive presence. It is hard to say why this is so when it is an openly thrilling companion when facing its immense stature eye to eye and certainly in its muscular embrace it is a richly enjoyable confrontation and that is in many ways all that matters.

The Metal Blade Records released album has been recorded with legendary producer Andy Sneap (Cathedral, Arch Enemy, Cradle Of Filth) and comes with a definite live feel which the band was seemingly looking for, vocalist Johan Hegg saying “We wanted more of a live feeling to the recording and we felt that Andy’s style of producing could definitely help us with that. At the same time, knowing the records he worked on previously we felt he could probably help develop our sound so it became a little bit more angry and dangerous, without that polished sheen of our recent records.” It is a fiery encounter with an abrasive edge to its ravenous  exploits, a rampant raw and explosive persuasion of classic and melodic death spun enterprise around an expected narrative seeded in Norse mythology.

The title track opens up the release with warm winds of sonic and melodic tempting, its initial embrace soon squashed under Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Godsrolling sinews from drummer Fredrik Andersson and a tirade of ravenous riffs. The rhythmic intimidation gallops into deeper provocation as the vocals of Hegg, as impressive as ever, squall and add caustic animosity to the now charging sounds. Into its heart the melodic craft of guitarists Johan Söderberg and  Olavi Mikkonen sculpt a colour emblazoned temptation before handing over to another rabid burst of urgent and predatory intensity. It is an impressive start which awakens sure appetite for the album ahead, a hunger duly satisfied in varying degrees by all tracks.

The following As Loke Falls is an open contagion of rapacious riffing and equally inciting rhythms, a track employing intense and harsh manipulation of the senses through near brutal energy and skilful melodic shaping of the song’s voice, whilst both Father of the Wolf and Shape Shifter step up to tease the passions with recognisable yet evocative invention. The first is a primal collision on the senses, its ruinous impact persistent and invitingly savage with the bass of Ted Lundström a beckoning lure, whilst the second, one of the biggest highlights on the album, is a bestial tempest of charging riffs, sonic teasing, and rhythmic goading. With vocals equally predatory and delivered with a great diversity to its pack like menace, the track bends the will of the listener into full compliance for its imagination and instinctive inducement.

The biggest and one moment which does not disappear with the trailing whispers of sound of each song, is the outstanding Blood Eagle. A melodic barbarian, the song is a coarse and savage storm which ignites the strongest emotions and primitive urges, riffs and rhythms colossal purveyors of vengeful and ingenious barbarity whilst once again the melodic imagination intrudes and fingers the very heart of the passions.

Through the likes of We Shall Destroy and Hel, which features former Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin, the release only feeds the needs of the best melodic death metal and Amon Amarth albums with adventure and innovational thought whilst the closing Warriors of the North brings an immense epic conclusion to Deceiver of the Gods. There are so many great things to say about the excellent album and its individual songs when in its company but the fact that even after listening to it multiple times that it is very hard to recall its contents without sneaking another listen stops it from being a classic and a pinnacle of in the band’s creativity. Despite this for melodic death metal, Deceiver of the Gods is an album worth every second of your time.

http://www.amonamarth.com

8/10

RingMaster Review

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