Black Oil – Resist To Exist

Black Oil_RingMaster Review

I think we can all agree it is seriously hard to be truly original in the music scene now and just as difficult to be noticeably unique against the hordes of other bands tempting time and attention. A few though do instinctively stand out through sound or presence to stand many steps from the masses, and one such proposal is US based groove metallers Black Oil. Their sound is a furious maelstrom of various strands of metal, Latin and worldly invention, and a defiant passion which binds it all for one, as shown by their new album, blistering and rousing confrontation. Resist To Exist is a riot in the imagination, a tempest in the ears, and an anthemic incitement just leaving the body alive.

Calling LA home, Black Oil originally emerged from Brazil with a sound crafted and honed with a unique blend of cultures and years of experiences gained by founder Addasi Addasi, whose travels have taken in the life and flavours of over thirty countries. Since forming the band has earned a big reputation and following through a previous pair of acclaimed albums, including the predecessor to their new encounter, the Logan Mader (Machinehead, Soulfly, DevilDriver, Gojira, FFDP) produced the Not Under My Name, as well as a live presence which has seen them play with the likes Megadeth, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Soulfly, Otep, Cavalera Conspiracy, Arch Enemy, Anthrax, Cattle Decapitation and many more. Their renowned metal-samba sound and hard hitting politically charged lyrics has made Black Oil a hungrily devoured proposition already, and now with Resist To Exist it is easy to expect even greater reactions and spotlights on the band, the album simply one of the most exhilarating incitements of the year.

cover_RingMaster Review     Produced by Cristian Machado of Ill Nino, with many other contributions, Resist To Exist sees the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Addasi, vocalist Mike Black, bassist /vocalist Drew Petropoulos, and drummer Michael Gomez joined by a host of guest contributions including Fear Factory/Archaea’s Raymond Herrera and ex-Static X/Soulfly and now Fear Factory bassist Tony Campos amongst them. This and the unbridled imagination and ideation soaking songs all goes to create incendiary tapestries of sound and energy which from the opening track makes Resist To Exist one feverish conquest of body and emotions.

It all starts with Rise Up, a song with its intent in its title and success in a character which just will not accept anything less than full involvement from the listener. From its first breath, riffs and rhythms are a cauldron of enticing intensity, a tenacious prelude to swiftly joining and just as quickly virulent grooves. Aligned to the guttural roar of Black, the track is in full violent swing in seconds, its rhythmic hips casting a commanding swagger as guitars and bass cast an inescapable web of searing grooving and infectious riffery. Like Five Finger Death Punch meeting Powerman 5000, but so much more, the track is an incendiary device of invigorating and exhausting metal contagion, raw alchemy to get the blood and energy rushing through anyone’s veins.

The ferocious start continues with the just as explosive Justified where malevolently swung beats and a carnivorous bass tone add their great grouchiness to a wind storm of sonic hostility, and that is just the initial impact on the senses. Soon Middle Eastern hints stir within a spicy expulsion of guitar before the track puts its head back down for another hellacious and rabid stomp. As much death and industrial like as it is a grooved fury, the encounter continues to ignite and incite ears and thoughts before passing the senses over to Callate. The third track, which features Campos on bass and vocals, is a predator of emotional bedlam and creative unpredictability, its sound as diverse and ravenous as the vocals fuelling its inner corrosive rage, and as irresistible.

Exoskeleton savages ears with its vocal and rhythmic hostility next, whilst simultaneously seducing the imagination with a tangy web of melodic grooving and feistily flavoured enterprise. The result is something which roars like a blend of Fear Factory and Devildriver yet equally only has its own distinct animus of sound and intent. It is a flesh searing bellow leaving the body shell shocked and ready to be taken on a fiery ride by the following Combustion. From its initial fierce caress of sound, Latin bred percussion and melodic hues are enriching the song’s rhythmic and sonic tempting, elements of bands like (Hed) PE and Bang Data joining the muscular rebellion and expelling even greater influence as the track springs its bruising anthemic shuffle. Joined by guest Silverio Pessoa on vocals, Black is the ringleader of one addiction forging, body igniting tempest. The guitars alone create an enslaving persuasion with their relentless and evocatively creative twists whilst the percussive aspect of the song aided by Mario Pallais, is simply a puppeteer on the listener.

One brilliant encounter makes way for another in the insatiable shape of Revolution. Featuring and driven by the ravenous rhythmic swings of Herrera, the track is a bestial onslaught but one littered with infectious grooves and sonic devilment. The track is psychotic, never allowing the listener to make assumptions on its direction and with more guests involved, evolving character. The same can be said about Stand Against Everything which comes straight after, the song akin to the last and taking certain aspects of its persuasion into its own persistently evolving and fiery samba.

Resist To Exist closes with Paper Slave, a final aggressive and venomously inflamed uprising of creative hostility and impassioned defiance. It comes shaped with cantankerous riffs, merciless rhythms, and mesmeric invention, bone breaking hostility merging with worldly and emotive resourcefulness. Stuck Mojo and Ill Nino come to mind as it ravages air and ears but again the song in reality is something else again, and though maybe not matching earlier heights, it leaves the listener only wanting more upon departure.

Black Oil brings something different and relentlessly exciting to the metal table with Resist To Exist. Some tracks soar above others in creative adventure and sheer compelling power but all leave a greedy hunger and thick pleasure behind them. Who can want much more than that?

Resist To Exist is available now via Sliptrick Records through most digital stores.

RingMaster 22/07/2015

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Jarboe and Helen Money – Self Titled


It is almost frightening how spellbinding the collaboration between Jarboe and Helen Money is on their self-titled album, how immersed into its dark inviting depths and ravenously siren-esque shadows ears, imagination, and simply reality becomes. The release is quite extraordinary, embroiling the listener in a soundscape of harmonic drones and sonic distortion but equally a sinister beauty and psyche engulfing adventure. It should probably be no surprise the impact of the album. When you place the evocative invention, craft, and voice of Swans co-founder and former vocalist Jarboe alongside the creative dark majesty of visionary cellist Helen Money (aka Alison Chesley), something startling was bound to happen, though an understatement in the case of their album.

Neither lady is a stranger to the skills and adventure of collaborating, Jarboe having worked on over 63 projects with the likes of Philip Anselmo, Neurosis, Jim Thirlwell, Merzbow, Bill Laswell, A Perfect Circle, Colin Marston, Cobalt, Cattle Decapitation, Justin K. Broadrick, Jesu…and the list goes on, alongside her 36 solo albums, whilst Helen Money has linked up with artists such as Mono, Anthrax, Russian Circles, Joe Lally and Shellac over time. They are experiences and bold adventures which have added to their own subsequent imaginative creativity, something their album reeks of.

The delicious tones of Money’s cello is the first caress as album opener For My Father embraces ears, its melancholic voice provocatively coaxing senses and thoughts under a just as darkly lit ambience. The heavy emotional air parts just a slither for the instantly magnetic presence of Jarboe, her radiant tones instantly poetic like against the shadows and the crinkling texture of her keys. The track continues its increasingly broadening embrace as both ladies unveil further shafts of melodic light and doom lined expression through their respective skills. The song is simply mesmeric, a golden sunrise of enterprise and melodic temptation but equally a breeding of dark clouds and imposing drama. As expansive a minimalistic proposition you are ever likely to be lost within, certainly outside of the album, there is an immediate immersion into the heart of the release, external light not to be seen and felt again until the album decides.

The following My Enemy My Friend is similarly a swift fascination of noir wrapped radiance; the alluring string plucking of Money tensing the spring for the flight of intensive sonic and emotional exploration. Within seconds the instrumental is resonating through body and thoughts, the lyrical and social nudging of the first track seemingly spreading into the intimidating but seductive breath of its successor. Keys and cello create a labyrinth of haunting and ominous suggestiveness, an incitement the imagination tenaciously casts scenes with whilst emotions bow before the weight of the track’s rousing portentousness. It is meditative and unsettling, and quite riveting, a success matched by the outstanding Hello Mr. Blue.

The almost carnivorous opening of what feels like bestial bass is glorious, something to sell your soul for. Whether it is bass or a brilliant merging of keys and cello which is also possible as repeat listens twist and turn with indecision, it is an enslaving start which only escalates into a kaleidoscope of, well creative alchemy to be honest. The floating harmonies of Jarboe seduce with celestial beauty whilst Money’s cello flirts with darkly centred eyes, every note having a knowing smile to their heavy persuasion. As Jarboe unveils the warmly delivered narrative, the track in contrast becomes a brewing maelstrom of agitation and aggravation, egged on by the contagious rhythmic dance of the piece. Every track already has breached new plateaus and taken the listener into inventively denser and increasingly threatening exploits, and this continues that exhilarating success as its marches towards its controlled but vocally bedlamic closure.

Wired is pretty much what it says on the tin, its presence a fibrous mesh of sounds and sonic intrigue presenting an intensive and feverish climate for ears and a sea of opportunities for the imagination to interpret and develop further, whether through its voracious incitement or the more of a harmonic smoulder it also harbours. There is little time for those thought bred adventures to take long term root though before the intimacy of Truth inspires with its own reflective beauty. Keys and sublimely drifting harmonies soaked in an air of loneliness kiss ears first before Jarboe opens up her vocal heart in a theatre of those continuing initial croons and just as emotive guitar stabs.

It is hard with words to present the drama and emotive intensity which comes with every bewitching track and the pair’s creative ingenuity which unrelentingly and deeply works away once breaching ears, but easy to enthuse over the ever evolving experiences which re-invent themselves in sound and visceral adventure with every listen. The closing Every Confidence is a perfect example. We can only hint at the tempestuous nature and climate which seeds from and descends on the senses and psyche after an initial gentle mesmeric croon of sound, but rigorously recommend its rapacious hunger to stretch not only the listener and their emotions, but the creative emprise bred by the artists pushing their instrumental and vocal limits.

It is a challenge and success which applies to the whole of the album. It is an astonishing encounter, a scourge of everything bland and predictable in modern music which goes beyond being something merely to listen to. You feel and almost taste the dynamic and intensive atmospheres of the tracks, you breath the drama and emotional intensity of the sounds and their inspiration, and ultimately it is a journey provided by Jarboe and Helen Money which you take and will never be the same again after.

Jarboe and Helen Money’s album is available now via Aurora Borealis as a black vinyl LP, on CD and digitally.

RingMaster 04/03/2015

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Sawthis – Youniverse


Tagged as modern thrashers and sounding like the exhilarating offspring of Static X meets Bloodsimple, Italian band Sawthis unleash one of the year’s highlights in the corrosive riveting storm of Youniverse. An unrelenting and breath-taking tempest of sonic intensity and exhausting predation, the eleven track release simply leaves the senses and passions raging for its predation.  Not arguably ground-breaking but thoroughly refreshing and explosively incendiary, this is one album that all thrash fans should add to their personal playlists.

Formed in 2000, the Teramo hailing quintet bred their sound on the inspirations of the likes of Soilwork, Machine Head, Slipknot, Metallica, Testament, and Pantera. Debut album Fusion emerged in 2003 receiving very positive responses from media and fans. This was followed by an extensive time of shows which saw the band alongside the likes of Destruction, Anathema, Sybreed, Impaled Nazarene, Extrema, Sadist, Necrodeath, and Assassin. Their live performances consistently added to the stature of and acclaim upon the band; further appearances with Lacuna Coil, Entombed, Shaman, and Konkhr to name a few only cementing their reputation. Second album Egod appeared in 2009 via Scarlet Records, again to strong reception and followed by more intensive gigs and tours, this time with bands such as The Haunted, Primal Fear, Bulldozer, Cattle Decapitation, God Dethroned, and Sepultura last year. Released through Bakerteam Records, Youniverse is the next step to world awareness and domination, its aim you suspect destined to success.

A conceptual album focused on the theme of multiple personality disorder, Youniverse immediately tests thoughts and synapses with SAWTHIS_YOUNIVERSE_COPERTINA HDThe Logical Color. Rhythms splinter bone from the opening second with deep drilling riffs a muscular companion. It is an attention gripping entrance which only explodes to greater heights as the two protagonists extend their rabidity to further heights and the vocals of Alessandro Falà scorch the air with his vocal squalling, every syllable intense and malevolently sculpted but forcibly engaging like the sounds around him. Ensuring escape is futile the song relaxes into a tantalising embrace, the guitars of Adriano Quaranta and Janos Murri gnawing the senses whilst offering new mystique to the blistering encounter whilst the vocals also offer a more respectful and mellow if still an intimidating and commanding lilt. The track is a scintillating introduction, varied and adventurous but deliciously predatory from start to finish.

The following fury of The Waking Up is equally rapacious and magnetic, the beats of Michele Melchiorre building an irrepressible trap whilst his vocals slip perfectly and potently alongside those of Falà, their at times dual attack an exceptional driving force for the riveting inventive sounds. The bass of Gaetano Ettorre also creates a sinew clad prowl which menaces and tempts like a stalking beast within the torrent of intensity and energy surrounding its intent. It is another towering song continuing the immense start and soon matched by both The Voice Falls On Me and The Disturbed. The first has an insidious breath and air certainly around the vocals but tempers it with a melodic fire reminding of In Flames whilst its successor which features Rob Cavestany from Death Angel, simultaneously sears and smoulders within the ear whilst weaving melodic and vocal temptation that leaves the passions alight and guitar enterprise which spawns burning tendrils of sonic enterprise to seduce without mercy.

Through all the tracks the album deepens its hook within the emotions breeding a hunger which dares Youniverse to fail their need. No such realisation is forthcoming as the likes of The Indelible, a track which swings seamlessly from carnivorous intensity to seductive melodic flaming, The Impure Soul with its creeping twisting sonic vines of excellence within a ferocious yet carefully trained consumption, and The Spotlight only increase the dramatic strength and torrential imaginative lure of the release. The last of the three finds an extra growl and rawer presence to its caustic provocation, though melodic and harmonic exploration is only a deep breath away and soon merging into the turmoil with enchanting toxicity.

Before departing the album ensures the listener is left a wasted blissful wreck through the corrosively contagious tempest that is The Mad and the hellacious beauty of The Switch, both tracks stretching the passions and boundaries of the album further. Earlier we said that there was debatably nothing unique about Youniverse which was true except that as tracks like this and the closer, The Walking exploit the rapture seeded, it is hard to remember many others stalking the same routes as Sawthis. The final song is no slouch in whipping up the senses and satisfaction either, its rampaging stomp another blaze of sonic venom and melodic adventure wrapped in creative savagery.

Produced by Paolo Ojetti (Infernal Poetry) with the band, Youniverse is a massive war of pleasure and enthrallment, a release which takes Sawthis to the upper echelons of new metal, and without doubt another album to add to the growing pool of serious contenders for album of the year.


RingMaster 30/09/2013

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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.


RingMaster 04/07/2013

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Ulvedharr – Swords of Midgard


Constantly snarling at the ear, the debut album from Italian metallers Ulvedharr leaves a wealth of satisfaction in its wake as powerful and invigorated as the thrash/death metal fusion which inspires it. Charged with the blood of Vikings surging through its muscular insatiable veins, Swords of Midgard is an uncompromising and raw slab of brute force which ignites the rampage in all of us. Certainly the nine track release is not breaking into new battlefields of invention but it lays waste to those established with contagious confrontation ripe with captivating aggression.

Founded in February 2011, the Clusone band was initially intended as a solo project by vocalist/guitarist Ark Nattlig Ulv, but as songs were written he pulled in other musicians to bring them to life, Ulvedharr ultimately being completed by lead guitarist Fredreyk, bassist Klod, and drummer Mike Bald in line-up. Their first EP Viking Tid followed as well as a European tour with Blood Red Throne and Cattle Decapitation the next year, with the quartet expanding their growing recognition at home and further afield. The signing up with Moonlight Records for their impressive and antagonistic debut album has given them a platform build from which they have seized hungrily.

The album’s intro sets the scene, its sinews flexing as crisp bone splintering rhythms, a carnivorous bass growl, and prowling riffs badger the ear until tender and prime for the taking by the following Lindisfarne. The track instantly segregates the senses from safety with intensive riffing, exhausting energy, and a barrage of drum forged abuse which is skilled and hungry. Into its rapacious stride the band opens its muscular intent wide for the corrosive tones of Ark to scowl and bend the will of the listener with a brutal but compelling vocal delivery; imagined Viking facial hair and vindictive malice enclosing every brutalised and captivating syllable. The impressive start instantly brings thought s of bands such as Entombed, Blood Red Throne, Obituary, and UK’s Saqqara, its rampaging perfectly crafted assault as irresistible as it is knee buckling.

The following Odin Father Never Die and War is in the Eyes of Berserker continue the immense start with equalling ferocity and appeal, the first thrusting riff sculpted grooves in to the heart of the already fully brewed urgent appetite for the release whilst savaging the ear with further addiction drawing rhythmic abuse from Bald. His framing alongside the bass and guitar manipulation of primal bred notes and chords combines for a test which is uncomplicated but wholly effective. The second of the pair slips a delicious almost stoner seeded groove into the initial invitation, the chugging riffs stalking its presence before thrusting it aside for another tremendous thrash forged impressive slaughter. The unbridled attack now at large is not without mercy though and midway into the song it steps aside for a glorious sonic fire of melodic seduction from Fredreyk to recruit the last ounce of submission from the passions. As mentioned already there is nothing new on the loose here or across the album but as it feeds the ear for the umpteenth time whilst writing this piece, it is hard to offer any similarly gaited release as one which is as rewarding or exciting as Swords of Midgard.

Onward To Valhalla stands as the next pinnacle upon the release, arguably its finest moment, the anthemic lure of the chorus and its mass demanding harmonies a thrilling crescendo to a constantly building intensity carved by the persistent riffs, gravel expelling vocals, and as is the norm a rhythmic attack which leaves bruising with every bitch slap and barbed percussive swipe.

There is for personal tastes a slight lull to the might and stance of the album across both Beowulf & Grendel (Part I) and Ymir Song, and though neither track lacks quality or skilled persuasion, they do not light the fires inside as dramatically as their predecessors. The first of the pair features a guest appearance from Lorenzo Marchesi (Folkestone) and is riddled with infectious grooves and melodic beckoning within the skeleton of steel forged rhythms and greedy riffing whilst the second brings a more melodic tenderness to its still eye to eye metal encounter and compelling drive, with the glorious vocals of Lisy Stefanoni (Evenoire) bringing a rich potency to the climax of the song alongside the folk metal march and the scarring scowls of Ark. As stated both tracks are strong and more than decent but sandwiched between what came before and their successor the excellent The Raven’s Flag, they lack a dramatic punch.

The Raven’s Flag gnaws on the bones of the listener, its anthem enriched breath and provocative confrontation joined by a blistering drum testing and a rabid fury of persistent riffing. The band equally seduce with the melodic and sonic fascination which veins the barbarous encounter whilst its closing run through to the finale of the album is wonderfully barbaric tenderising the listener for the sneering riff fest of Harald Harfagri, a track leaving a final uproar with its outstanding group vocals, with those of Ark singularly at their most diverse and impressive, and an unrelenting chewing of the senses.

Swords of Midgard may not bring new realms to conquer but is one familiar battle which could not be more enjoyable and rewarding.


RingMaster 11/05/2013


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Sexcrement: Sloppy Seconds

The groove veined slab of debauchery in the shape of Sloppy Seconds from death metal band Sexcrement has to be one of the most addictive and irresistible slabs of extreme metal this year. With lustful saliva dripping from every syllable and wanton sexual tension coating every eager riff and intimidating rhythm the album takes filth fuelled infestation to another level. Within its welcoming blackened seedy walls depravity and penetrative sexy grooves alongside commanding and thunderous rock n roll aggression make insatiable bed fellows. Their union a salacious feast for the senses and an album which leaves nothing but a drooling enthused need to be molested by it again and again.

Released via Comatose Music the album is the second from the Boston, Massachusetts band following up Genitales From The Porno Potty from 2007. Though placed as death metal the 2005 formed band offers much more, their sound brought with a sure technical essence and those delicious unforgettable grooves. With influences of the likes of Broken Hope, Gorguts, Scattered Remnants and Skinless, the band took no time in making their mark with the Whiskey Tits demo and the sharing of stages with the likes of Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Dehumanized, Anal Blast, Goatwhore, Mutilated, and plenty more. Their debut album saw Sexcrement as one of the leaders of offensive and raunchy metal and the recipient of unbridled acclaim. Sloppy Seconds returns with the same mindset, the same disgusting debauchery, but with even more contagious grooves and not to be denied energy.

The opening Heard It Through The Rape Vine takes a firm grip from the off with a persistently tightening destructive groove like a sonic lasso around the ear. The guitar of Evan Duplessis whether thrusting riffs with direct accuracy or twisting the senses with his precise melodic manipulations is unerring whilst bassist Blue Spinazola and drummer Devon Hunt prowl and assault respectively with bestial intensity. The spiteful wretched delivery of vocalist Adam Mason finishes off the perversity with extra brutal fingering to make a song and subsequent album which one easily opens ears, heart, and legs for.

The following Chemical Handcuffs dives deeper and even more effectively with outstanding bass work from Spinazola throbbing with vengeance throughout the deviancy accosting the senses. In some ways the band reminds of the Dead Kennedys with their riffs, and grooves, not in sound but the way once they have infiltrated they are there for life in memory and heart and applies across the whole album.

The outstanding and arguably best track Well Hungover with its insistent hornet powered groove, the equal swarming infestation Heels Up, and the irrepressible psychotic Trucker Bombed, all ignite deeper and more lustful devouring from the ear. The third of these is a barely controlled slice of mayhem bringing threatening behaviour, sounds, and excitement of the most dubious borne for the fullest pleasure. The track commands full attention throughout and with a video accompanying it starring Scream Queen Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Silent Night Deadly Night); the song is destined for classic status.

With obvious humour powering every idea, note, and song premise the great thing about Sexcrement is they never teeter on the edge of joke or novelty band. Their tracks are excellently structured and offer music of the highest order. It is not demanding but nor is it throwaway in any degree. Sloppy Seconds is completed by further impressive tracks in Assisted Living Lapdance, Obestiality, and Ride Johnny Ride, all songs which though they do not quite live up to what came before still leave nothing but chuckling satisfaction. The album is outstanding and one to leave you crushed, shell shocked, and mischievously grinning from ear to ear.

RingMaster 03/06/2012 Registered & Protected

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Interview with Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation

May saw the new album from Californian death grinders Cattle Decapitation unleashed upon the world. Monolith of Inhumanity as expected from the band is a towering assault of dehabilitating extreme sounds and flesh searing bone snapping brutality. With added irresistible melodic insertions, groove fuelled hooks and veins of multiple infectious lures, the release saw the band at their very confrontational best. The RingMaster Review had the pleasure to find out more about band, album and things by talking to vocalist Travis Ryan.

Hi and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

You are just about to release /have just released your excellent new album Monolith of Inhumanity. Is there an extra buzz inside for this one or is it always the same excitement for each release?

We are very happy with it and are excited that the reviews are so positive. Nobody wants to release something and have it bashed to shit and that could have easily been done here. We really took some chances musically and vocally, even lyrically… the things I thought people would hate, people dig. The things I thought people would think were just kinda “fucked up” lyrically seem to have completely gone over people’s heads. So it could be much, much worse and I’m surprised it’s not. People love to bash what we do based on the fact that a couple of us are vegetarians alone, so I’m surprised at the reaction the album has gotten so far. The reviews have been amazingly positive. The buzz for this one was pretty unprecedented for us because the last one was so well received I think people were just waiting to see what we would do next which is always nice.

We have to admit apart from previous album The Harvest Floor, we are not too aware of your earlier releases, yet! There was a feeling though that Monolith of Inhumanity might be your finest hour to date. I know it is hard to be objective about it for you but do you feel so too?

Yes, I see what people mean. I’m kinda taken aback by the fact everyone thinks it is so far ahead of our past records and I don’t see it as being THAT much of a difference, but yeah it is a better record and all. Just pretty weird how people are freaking so much about this one. I get it, but then again I kinda don’t. I don’t care… it is just good to see people talking so positively about something we’ve done I guess. Especially in this day and age where genres are shit out every day and kids are on to the next thing week to week. Hollow.

What is it you have discovered or evolved and brought forth that is different to your previous album?

Well, we have a new bass player and mindset going into it and I think that helped some. Personally, I did a lot of new things that people seem to be into and that’s good because it could have gone the other way which was what I expected but didn’t care to take into consideration because we make the music we want to hear. If people like it, cool. If not, oh well.

The band has never been known for being unadventurous and it is fair to say always pushing yourselves each album. How does that happen, is it a natural thing or you pick aspects and ideas to distinctly pursue each time?

Well, I think it might have a little to do with the fact that we’ve always worked at such an intense pace. Both musically and in the act of making music. We only have like 5 or 6 months usually to write a record and this last time we had a year to do it but we also have day jobs that we have to attend to and that makes it near impossible to get anything done within any kind of time frame. We don’t live with mommy and daddy, we actually pay TONS of bills and we squeezed the writing in when we could. I think writing wise we do pick aspects we’d like to explore. Such as heaviness, blackened buzzsaw parts, quirky spastic parts, etc. Making ‘em flow is the challenge.

What was the inspiration and trigger that brought the dare one say more catchy elements into the songs within Monolith of Inhumanity?

Just wanting to try something new. Wanting to write actual songs instead of a bunch of blurbs and blips and nonsensical technical prowess. Well, we did that too but we made it into actual songs this time, haha. That and looking around at what other bands are doing and saying to ourselves “OK, let’s NOT try that…

Monolith of Inhumanity is your seventh album, how do you keep the recording process fresh and exciting each time or do the songs and creative ideas do that automatically?

They do it automatically but we also treat everything very professionally. Like, we actually treat it as if there is some money to be made off it but there’s not… haha… basically, we do our best to deliver something people want to hear but its gotta be ok with us first as that is what’s most important. I don’t write the music so I’m going strictly off what I can tell is happening from the very few times I end up in the practice room. I don’t practice I only come in when they got a new song ready for me or before shows/tours. That’s my key to staying on top of shit as a singer. Don’t go to practice. Preserve the voice. 😉 WILL NOT work for everyone.

How long in the making was the album?

1 year roughly. But it was more like 5 months because of how little we got together to practice/write. Between jobs and playing one off gigs to pay for band bills every month, its a miracle we got the fucker done. We wanted to do 6 months writing, 6 months playing the shit and tightening it up but nothing ever works out as planned, I swear. Nope, we busted ass all the way up to the zero hour. I actually for the first time went into the studio without a songs worth of lyrics even written! I had to write it in the studio, it became the song “Your Disposal”.

Was there any casualties song wise or ideas wise whilst recording it or did you have everything pretty tight in your minds before going into the studio?

There were some things that were shot down. You’ll see me bitching about it on the vocal studio report. I had a few ideas of grandeur that Otero wasn’t into and there were a couple where I had to say “tough shit we’re keeping it” much to his disagreement but we kept it. Next time there will be more Dave, I’m warning you!

The album has a concept which kind of follows on from The Harvest Floor. Could you tell us about it and its inspiration?

Well… not really conceptually. Aurally and feel-wise, definitely… but not too much conceptually. THF is honestly about complete worldwide genocide and I guess you could say the same about MOI but on MOI it will have been our own doing rather than by the hand of someone else who is simply fed up with humanity. The last record was just MEAN and this one was more like “ha, told you so, dumbasses”. It came to me after much deliberation on what the concept was gonna be, what the cover and title were gonna be. It finally just dawned on me and from experience I can tell you that’s how the best stuff happens. You can’t force greatness, it must happen. If it doesn’t happen naturally, it most likely wasn’t meant to be. It takes a little away from 2001: A Space Odyssey and fast forwards thousands of years to a future where we have done ourselves in through our own technology and its by product

The world, its current state and downhill direction makes a very big and important impact on not only your songs but yourself personally?

I think about it every day. I get very nervous, anxious even thinking about it. Knowing that there are millions of tons of garbage and plastic in the middle of the pacific and that’s just one blip on the screen. Its pathetic. We’re pathetic and have zero foresight as a society and civilization. The fact we put a man on the moon doesn’t change the fact we’re still very, VERY stupid as a whole.

Lyrically your songs are as aggressive and challenging as your sounds…so not much chance of any love songs from you?

There’s a love song on the new record! I actually made a point to make one to prove it can be done and nobody would even know… its called Gristle Licker. Its about people’s love for flesh. I never thought I’d make a love song but then again I never publicly said “I’ll never use the word love in a song” and then go and do it time and time again on really, REALLY shitty records. Take that Metallica you fucking posers.

Monolith of Inhumanity is the first to feature bassist Derek Engemann, and I think wow sums up his playing on the album. What has he brought to the band that was missing or certainly different to before?

Haha… I think its funny people are so stoked on the bass playing on this one. Sure, he’s a great bassist but I think the main reason people are commenting so much about it is because you can actually HEAR the bass for the first time. I think it was just a combination of playing style and most importantly tone which is why bass always got lost in the mix. Take that away and all of a sudden you can hear it and people are commenting on it. I thought that was pretty funny. He’s a great bass player and a super fast learner.

How does the songwriting process work within the band and has it altered with Derek on board now?

We all have equal parts except I don’t write any music really and they don’t do any of the lyrics or vocals. I did write one/two riffs on Kingdom of Tyrants… that’s kind of Derek and I’s song. But that was a first and that was it. Derek has just as much input as the rest of the guys for the most part.

The track you mentioned earlier Your Disposal was the track that floored us most of all, immense stuff. It has everything on the album in one mesmeric and barbaric place haha. Please give us some background to it and its birth.

That’s the one that I went into the studio without any lyrics for! They wrote some of those parts with the melodic high vocals in mind and was the last song written on the album. That’s the thing… the last songs are always the best because by that time you’re in writing mode full boar. The first songs we wrote I could have done without honestly, but ended up finding their own little place on the record and people seem to dig them. Your Disposal is one of my personal faves and same with the rest of the guys. We almost did that as the video track or one of the tracks to be released first but we wanted to do the epic minifilm for the video and then didn’t want to blow our melodic wad with releasing both those songs so we opted for the other two Lifestalker and A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat as they showcased the album’s overall sound without delving too much into any one feeling be it more melodic or brutally heavy.

Is there a part of the album, track, riff, melody, idea et which gives you the deepest glow personally?

The chorus to Your Disposal and the middle part of Kingdom of Tyrants. I also really like The Monolith.

Could you tell us about the excellent album art work?

It shows the end result of the de-evolution of man. Man turning back into monkey due to his own lack of foresight and action against pollution, consumption and environmental unawareness. The monolith stands proud over a landscape of trash and by products of consumerism. The monolith also stands as a metaphor for technology, as seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Now the album is out it is into live shows to take it into the world?

Yep! We’ve already been to Europe this year and just did the US and will be doing the US and Europe again starting in July and will be also hitting up some new territories that we’ve never been to before! Looking to get into South America, Australia, Japan, etc. More international touring this time than US touring. We’ve beat the US to death. Time to slow down on that and start doing quality over quantity.

You are only a couple of years off your two decades of being a band. You have seen and done so much in that time. How have things changed in that time for the band attitude wise towards and how you create your music?

It’s done a 180. I used to be so into things and making them work and now I just let it happen because it requires less footwork by ourselves now. The internet has changed things drastically. We used the internet to get signed to a big label and get our shit out there; I’m just so surprised at how things have changed with it. Things are constantly changing with the net and its a hard thing to stay on top of! We’re much more jaded now than we were. We see how everything works; we know how far we can take this. Gone are the days of “who knows what will happen” and thinking something grand is around the corner. If anything, I think that hopeful mindset is a good way to stifle creativity.

Good luck with the album not that you will need it, and thank you for sparing time to talk with us.

Would you like to end with any thoughts?

Hopefully see you all soon! We’ll be doing more international touring this time and hopefully it will take us to some places we’ve never been before. Its always cool showing up to a new country and a kid knows your whole story. Crazy.

And lastly will there be Cattle Decapitation Cabbage Patch Dolls as well as cards 😉

Nope! Mainly because we didn’t do Cabbage Patch Doll cards and there’s never been such a thing to my knowledge. Of course, I know that you’re confusing Garbage Pail Kids with Cabbage Patch kids but I still gotta give you shit…. 😉

Read the review of  Monolith of Inhumanity

The RingMaster Review 01/06/2012 Registered & Protected

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Cattle Decapitation: Monolith of Inhumanity

Without having a full and firm knowledge of the career and previous output of Californian death grinders Cattle Decapitation, there is still a feeling that it is not too far from the mark to claim their new album Monolith of Inhumanity is up there as possibly the best thing they have unleashed upon. The album is immense, a towering brutality that takes all that the band is known for to a deeper and harsher level whilst stretching themselves and the genre with an incisive invention and inspired originality. With previous album the excellent The Harvest Floor as the main reference to compare the new album with, there is a further defined intention and realisation on the new album to bring not only the aggression and combative directness but also themselves and their music as a whole into new and imaginative avenues.

Cattle Decapitation have not veered sharply away from the intense and dehabilitating extreme sounds they have been known for and cultured since their beginning in 1995, in fact they have turned that aspect up to flesh searing and bone snapping heights. Into this though they have brought irresistible melodic insertions, groove fuelled hooks and lures, diverse vocals, and multiple infectious invitations unlike anything the band has created before. These are used subtly and sparingly but when used they bring something special to the visceral decimation going on all around. Monolith of Inhumanity is outstanding and makes being punished by its limitless violence a pleasure.

Released via Metal Blade Records on May 8th Monolith of Inhumanity sees the first appearance of bassist Derek Engemann in songwriting and recording. Joining vocalist Travis Ryan, guitarist Josh Elmore, and David McGraw on drums and alongside producer Dave Otero (Allegaeon, Cephalic Carnage), together they have spawn an album which lives and breathes to annihilate the senses as it brings through its concept of where humanity will end up if it continues its current course. From the moment the opening track The Carbon Stampede swarms around and bears its heavy vindictive weight upon the ear you know Cattle Decapitation have not lost their might and viciousness but have increased it with relish. The track rages like a furnace as the riffs splinter the sinews holding the ear in place whilst twisting the senses into a defenceless molten obedience. It is a devastating start still only suggests the greater things to come.

The darkly grinning bass of Engemann in the following Dead Set In Suicide alongside devastating rhythms from McGraw send bestial claws straight into the soul but it is the impressively varied and contrasting guttural gratings of Ryan with presumably his own high higher pitched demonic chorus which whips the song to be an immediate highlight. With riffs puncturing the body like offspring from a semi-automatic and melodic guitar play as sharp as cheese wire the track is enormous.

The album though just gets better and better, from the consuming vehemence of A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat with more brilliant diverse vocals and …well, just about everything, through the spiteful deeply intrusive Gristle Licker with a groove that opens up in the latter stages as demanding and additive as heard anywhere, to Lifestalker a track which almost breaks out initially into a wanton grooved swing attack until its bestial heart reasserts itself, the quality simply rises and rises.

The best is saved to last though with the trio of tracks Do Not Resuscitate, Your Disposal, and the closing Kingdom Of Tyrants. The first of the three turns the senses into a splatter board for the debris from its uncompromising intrusions of blistering riffs, acidic invention, and ravenous vocals. As shown everywhere the production allows each member to express their individual agenda and malice to bring a fuller and open but no less titanic assault from Cattle Decapitation. Your Disposal is the best song on the album, bringing all the best elements on the album into one rampaging maelstrom of intensity, violation, and ingenuity. It is like being in the middle of a charnel pit as your skin and bone are flayed by the sounds.

Kingdom of Tyrants is equally impressive and unpredictably imaginative, the perfect creative and destructive end to an outstanding album. With essences of the likes of Carcass, Dimmu Borgir, and Cannibal Corpse spicing up their own distinct death, grind, and what is at times melodic black metal, Cattle Decapitation have let loose one of the best extreme metal albums in a long time. Monolith of Inhumanity will leave you on your knees and devoid of feeling but most of all it will leave you fully satisfied.

RingMaster 03/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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