Dalla Nebbia – Felix Culpa

cover_RingMaster Review

An album impossible to fully digest on the first listen, second, and indeed even a few more, Felix Culpa still quickly emerges as one richly fascinating and perpetually tempting proposition. The creation of US based Dalla Nebbia; it is a compelling assault of extreme metal and imagination. The band’s sound is loosely tagged as atmospheric black metal but as Felix Culpa soon reveals, it openly embraces provocative strains of progressive rock and doom metal to present something testing and uniquely enthralling.

Dalla Nebbia first emerged in 2010 as a duo, and now is a quartet with three members living in N Carolina, Minnesota, and Washington, and a fourth with Brazil as a home. Inspirations include music and invention produced by bands such as Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Limbonic Art, and Arcturus, the foursome taking these into their own extensive and epic weaves of emotional and sonic drama. The successor to debut album The Cusp of the Void, it the bringing together of the band’s first demo and self-released EP Thy Pale Form, the ten track Felix Culpa sees the band breaching new depths and levels of imagination and craft. Its premise is a dive into the human psyche, in the words of the band, “a journey through decay and regret, death and suicide, and thorny despair at the hands of an angry god” and its voice a challenge to find a wealth of corruptive pleasure in.

Featuring Norwegian violinist Sareeta (Borknagar, Solefald, Asmegin) across most songs on the album and guest guitarist Aort (Code, Indesinence) on a couple of tracks, Felix Culpa opens with the brief instrumental Memento Mori; the synth and guitar craft of Yixja a swift and entrancing immersion for ears and thoughts. Warm yet feeling more like the lull before the storm even with the magnetic lures of violin, the piece leads the listener straight into the tempest of Until the Rain Subsides, though that too initially has a restraint and gothic invitation that only entices. The raw vocal squalls of Zduhać add to the thick atmosphere and brewing imposing air of the song even with both being tempered by the captivating harmonies that rise within the melancholic beauty of Sareeta’s strings. Ravenous and seductive in equal measure, blackened voracity and progressive calm colluding in a controlled band unpredictable maelstrom, the song makes an impressive full welcome into Felix Culpa.

The more rabid Abandoned Unto Sky takes over next, the brutal drumming of Alkurion a quick violation forging a punishing union with raw unrelenting riffs. In time though, as the bass of Tiphareth spills its own animus on proceedings, song and band infect the storm with melodic and emotive enterprise whilst managing to simultaneously intensify the ruinous nature of the track. Every moment has something within something else, layers within layers, textures revealing their own personal breakdown of essences as the song evolves and twists on its rancorous spine. Growing more riveting and thrilling in its second half, the song epitomises the album as a whole, each minute a bounty of imaginative turns and detours seamlessly woven into fierce tapestries that with every listen unveil new treasures.

Both Lament of Aokigahara and The Banner of Defiance keep ears and emotions aflame, the first from a portentous coaxing venturing into a dank incantation like crawl through smothering intensity and ambience with volatile invention and beauty respectively. Guitars entwine with keys, synths with the melodic incitement of the violin, and rhythms in tender and barbarous skill framing the tempestuous charm and adventure of the track. Its successor is similarly honed but far more physically challenging with its vindictive rhythms and riffs, not forgetting breath. Of course things shift and evolve, the song also slipping into spellbinding moments of vocal and sonic radiance, these at times stemming the tide of hostility like momentary oases in a challenging journey whilst providing their own fresh exploration of the lyrical and emotional exploration. As in its predecessor, it is thoroughly engrossing though occasionally heavy going trying to explore all on offer but with time the songs just get bigger and more impressive as they eventually share their extensive realms.

Not Within the Stone blows a creative wind washed in post and progressive rock daring around a black metal scowl. This gripping fusion smothers a doom seeded gait but by now expectantly also embraces bold flames of contagious hooks, virulent grooves, and inhospitable intensity into the creative melting pot to heavily pleasing effect. Once more ears and thoughts are bullied and rubbed raw whilst kept firmly engrossed in the uncompromising collusion of contrasts that also emerge in the outstanding Felix Culpa (Theodicy Corrupted), a smooth seducing ingrained in a ferociously ravishing volcano of sound and enmity.

The shorter instrumental trespass of Das Gelächter Gottes is a cold dystopian respite next, luring the imagination towards the opening melancholic serenade of Paradise in Flames. A fire of emotional and sonic unrest, the track restrains from erupting into the inferno expected, seven of its nine evocative minutes having passed to inspire and incite before things spew vocal and physical lava, though that again comes with the spellbinding touch of the violin and Dalla Nebbia’s creative bravery to leave only a want for more.

A final instrumental caress closes the album, The Silent Transition a melody driven kiss on the senses wrapped in ever potent shadows and shaped by the open individual prowess of Dalla Nebbia. It is a fine conclusion to a release words barely scratch the surface of. Felix Culpa will not be for all, at times being a real test for many including some black and extreme metal fans, though only in a good way. Fair to say though for all wanting something bold and original which pushes their boundaries as much as the music they have a passion for, a release that works their bodies and thoughts for a constant unveiling of new rewards with each plunge into its depths, then Felix Culpa and Dalla Nebbia is very worthy of a visit.

Felix Culpa is out now via Razed Soul Productions @ http://dallanebbia.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dallanebbiamusic

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The RingMaster Review’s Metal/Rock Best of 2013

In a year of breath-taking rapaciousness and passions igniting sonic aggressiveness from the extensive depths of metal and rock in all its various rabid disguises, it is not easy to select the best albums to have eagerly  and skilfully savaged the senses. Nevertheless The RingMaster Review has applied intensive thought and time consuming deliberation over the tempest of thrilling releases it has covered in 2013 and chosen it’s Best of the Year based on the most potent lustful submission and overwhelming contagious toxicity bred by the intrusive treats covered on the site over the past twelve months.

1. Bovine -The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire 255275_477420662275813_1151896898_n

Brawling, squalling, and impossibly contagious, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is an album which charms and harms the senses for easily one of the most thrilling and exciting albums this year….

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/bovine-the-sun-never-sets-on-the-british-empire/

coverhigh2. Sofy Major – Idolize

…has defiantly emerged as one of the most frighteningly impressive albums of the year so far. The release is a beast of a record, an album which can only be declared as carnivorous, in sound and intent…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/sofy-major-idolize/

3. Cult Of Luna – Vertikalcol-vertikal-jpg

…a colossal journey and an intense emotional narrative which transports the listener into a place of stark beauty and oppressive grandeur whilst wrapping its recipients in the dystopian canvas upon which the immense and riveting structures of the album are built…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/cult-of-luna-vertikal/

packshot-1500x15004. Bear – Noumenon

…sonic alchemy which leaves exhaustion and lust bred satisfaction raging rewards…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/bear-noumenon/

5. Shevils – Lost In Tartarus1424384_730606523620529_1143928494_n

The ten track fury of invention and passion is a monster of a release, a brutal yet ingeniously sculpted confrontation…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/shevils-lost-in-tartarus/

475_russkaja6. Russkaja – Energia!

Sounding like the bastard offspring of the Austrian Strauss Brothers with a bent for insatiable adrenaline fuelled folk metal and exhausting jazz…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/russkaja-energia/

7. Lord Dying – Summon the Faithlesssummonthefaithless

…tsunami of rapacious riffing, deliberately antagonistic rhythms, and sonic ferocity wrapped in melodic fire…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/lord-dying-summon-the-faithless/

cover-0018. Arceye – At First Light

…devours with imagination, craft, and a devastating predacious invention that takes the listener on one of the most enthralling dangerous aural journeys lying in wait this year…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/arceye-at-first-light/

9. Coilguns – Commuters02_front_cover_web

…pushes the boundaries of band and extreme music beyond their limits with skill and startling imagination…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/coilguns-commuters/

overcoming-the-monster-album-cover10. KingBathmat – Overcoming The Monster

…a compelling flight of melodic fire, rhythmic provocation, and sonic beauty all wrapped in an ingenuity of craft and thought which leaves the listener quite breathless…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/kingbathmat-overcoming-the-monster/

11. lo! – Monstrorum Historialo_mh_cover_square

…imagination of the band a greater open malevolence which leaves only undiluted sore pleasure and invigorated intrusive satisfaction in its caustic wash…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/lo-monstrorum-historia/

hellsdomaincover12. Hell’s Domain – Self Titled

…one of the freshest and invigorating thrash releases to come along certainly this year and a marker for other bands to aspire to if they want to permanently enslave the passions…

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/hells-domain-self-titled/

13. Abysse – En(D)Gravea2430544694_2

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/abysse-endgrave/

…an extensive exploration of bold adventurous lands and emotions; ventures fraught with warriors and bravery, shadows and danger but all brought forth with a potent sinew driven narrative that leaves no emotive intensive stone unturned and inventive imagination untapped…

Following closely in the wake of the above are also highly recommended…

The Ocean – Pelagial

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/the-ocean-pelagial/

In Vain – Ænigma

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/in-vain-aenigma/

Code – Augur Nox

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/code-augur-nox/

Circles – Infinitas

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/circles-infinitas/

The RingMaster Review 28/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Code – Augur Nox

Code1

When entering into the riveting realm of Augur Nox the new album form UK metallers Code, be prepared to give it a copious amount of time and attention for the reaping of its breath-taking imagination rifling and passion igniting rewards. Though not a hard listen, the release is structured with such rich and extensive textures aligned to a presentation which is as exhausting as it is incendiary for thoughts and emotions that it takes numerous bold endeavours to fully understand and explore its intensive majesty. Both band and album show that a carnivorous intent and confrontation can be as seductive as an intensive melodic coaxing, an essence Code also employ ingeniously within each tempestuous persuasion upon the release.

The successor to their acclaimed 2009 album Resplendent Grotesque, the band’s third full-length release is the first with the new line-up of guitarists Aort and Andras, bassist Syhr, drummer LORDt, and vocalist Wacian who replaced the departing Kvohst (Hexvessel) last year. Formed in 2001 by Aort and Kvohst to create their own aspect of black metal, the band soon drew attention with the Neurotransmission demo of the following year and more so with debut album Nouveau Gloaming in 2005 and the previously mentioned Resplendent Grotesque. With a sound which strides across multiple genres defying all labelling, Code has taken it all to another level with the exceptional Augur Nox. There is a more progressive rock infiltration to the ever black shadowed emotional and physical exploration as well as an intensity bred which though from the same provocative well as before leaves no emotion and atom of air lacking intrusive intimidation.

The Agonia Records released Augur Nox opens with a relatively straight black metal causticity and coaxing as Black CODE AUGUR NOX COVERRumination emerges from a rhythmic invitation. The harsh vocals of Wacian scowl from within a cage of rhythmic military antagonism, rabidity drenched riffs, and an acidic enticement from the guitars; the band revelling in its rapacious provocation before spreading through a magnetic progressive tempest. The front man brings even greater commanding presence once clean tones and expressive textures stalk his delivery, whilst around him the guitars sculpt a riveting web of sonic enterprise and evocative temptation within a just as compelling rhythmic cage.  The predatory bass sound conjured by  Syhr is another delicious toxicity within the fire, the song evolving into a masterful and magnificent incitement for imagination and emotions with a unique presence which can be best described as Dødheimsgard meets KingBathmat.

The atmospheric black metal/avant-garde/ progressive alchemy continues with the same potency through the following Becoming Host and its stunning successor Ecdysis. The first has an element of Killing Joke to its senses stretching and cantankerous body, again clean vocals an immense persuasion and compliment to the ever shifting prowl of the devouring sounds. Heavy groove metal teasing spirals throughout the absorbing violation to temper yet encourage the ever present predation which acts as a provocateur across the song, whilst a more alternative metal coaxing only accentuates the near bestial hunger of the energy and narrative. The second of the pair takes that predatory intensity and intent to greater irresistible levels, the merger of sonic pestilence and rhythmic barbarism to a progressive experimentation a virulent and uncompromising but exhilarating creative squall. There is so much going on within tracks that we can only give a loud whisper of the invention and exhausting imagination at work within Augur Nox, a turbulent ingenuity at large which cannot be appreciated and truly unearthed through a mere singular or limited number of flights through its cyclonic creative landscape, though even one traverse certainly awakens the listener to something special.

     Glimlight Tourist is the next stunning peak on the merciless flight of innovative adventure, an air of Enslaved and Ihsahn washing the mouth-watering confrontational blaze. Clean vocals again make the strongest suasion whilst the guitars sculpt a senses entwining melody prompted covetous aggressive snarl which forges an unbridled addiction in the passions. Individual in its own menacing yet seducing mix of savagery and melodic beauty, Garden Chancery equally stokes that rampant hunger for the release and invention, the track an esurient consumption of the imagination through sonic manipulation, groove driving infectiousness, and blackened spite.

The likes of The Lazarus Chord where the bass again is an insidious and delicious pestilence behind the melodramatic and emotionally investigative journey, and The Shrike Screw which croons at and tantalises the ears with a seductive malevolence and inventive expanse, only entrance and challenge the listener further whilst the towering Trace of God breeds a new greed with its rich bordering on abusive passion and drama.

The closing pair of Harmonies in Cloud and White Triptych, admittedly without quite reaching the heights already forged but still creating their own slice of compelling excellence, complete what is an exceptional release. Never less than impacting and strikingly provocative, Code has unleashed their strongest and finest challenge yet with Augur Nox, an album which has more rewards that a store club card if the listener is willing to tread its flaming course, something we whole heartedly recommend.

https://www.facebook.com/codeblackmetal

9.5/10

RingMaster 27/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Beastmilk – Use Your Deluge EP

As the four songs making up the Use Your Deluge EP from Finnish post punk band Beastmilk  consume  and  permeate every pore it is impossible not to be taken back to the time when their sound first was seeded and spread its icy fingers and stark shadows. Comparisons placed upon the band include the likes of early Misfits, Dead Kennedys, and Danzig but as the far too brief a release took over the ear the trip back to the sounds of bands like Joy Division and even more so Leitmotiv and Crispy Ambulance was unmissable. Whether mere coincidence or actual flavours that influenced the quartet the EP ignited distinct passions assumed lost to time, feelings resurrected with freshness of the now. Simply Use Your Deluge is outstanding.

Beastmilk was formed in 2010 by British vocalist/songwriter Mathew McNerney, better known as Kvohst. Already renowned from his work with and in bands such as Code, Void, and Dødheimsgard, he pulled in friends guitarist Goatspeed, bassist Paile, and Arino on drums for the band. According to their press release they were to bring forth music that was a mixture of various acts like The Cure, Misfits, and Dead Kennedys. This they have achieved though there are many more and maybe more prominent flavours that stands out in their sound.

Released through Svart Records and following on from acclaimed self released two song demo White Stains on Black Tape, the band and the EP unleash their self proclaimed apocalyptic post punk upon the world with a deeply intrusive and satisfying contagion. The release swamps the ear and senses with an unrelenting intensity, a shadowed energetic breath and doom coloured melodic mesmerism. From the first compulsive consuming note to the last Use Your Deluge leaves one breathless and blackened, the need to immerse even longer in the thick smog of aural mass an addiction.

The EP opens with Void Mother, the track instantly swamping the ear with a dirty atmosphere and scuzzed guitars. As the dust settles the hypnotic bass and leading rhythms seize control of the ear allowing the guitar to roughen up the senses whilst the vocals of Kvohst sway and draw attention like a cobra, smooth and magnetic but full of power and intent. The track is very Danzig like with splashes of Play Dead and drips of Type O Negative added for taste. Aggressive and attentive the track is a stunning opener soon to be eclipsed by the following glorious track.

Children of the Atom Bomb picks up the already elevated reins of the release like a possessed entity. It rampages with a sure and controlled pace whilst delving into every pore with its consumption of black melodies and exhausting atmosphere. Reminding deeply of Leitmotive and their Caress + Curse EP, the track and its successor are overwhelmingly infectious. There is simplicity in the construct of lyrics and music that makes it so easy to be part of and impossible to resist being so. Repetition when used right and with thought is irresistible, a word that perfectly covers the Use Your Deluge EP as a whole.

The equally brilliant Forever Animal stalks and paces incessantly, another song that denies escape from its devouring rhythms and cold sirenesque pull. The bass conjures up riffs which are definitely as inspirational as those the Dead Kennedys excelled in and the comparison is understandable.

The mountainous closing Red Majesty is a prowling less eager track though no less impressive. When it raises its temperature it rages like a fire to then sit back and assess the damage with melodic glee and acidic smirking hooks. It is a venomous track and the one where you feel its aggressive energy blistering every vein the most. The droned resonance of the vocals of Kvohst is immense throughout the release and especially here bring a stunning companion and contrast to the coarse and caustic sounds around him.

Use Your Deluge is a classic with the fact it is only a foursome of great songs running barely fourteen minutes the negative. The need for and exasperation at not having more is overwhelming by the end, something hopefully that will be remedied in the near future. Released as a 7” vinyl only Beastmilk has given a true must have release, arguably the first of the year and sure to be just the first of many from them.

www.facebook.com/Beastmilk

RingMaster 22/05/2012

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