Bloodclot – Up in Arms

Pic Rick Rodney

Bringing together the highly recognised talent of certain individuals from various acclaimed bands does not always guarantee something special but in the case of Bloodclot, it feels a given such the instinctive union between its collective. The band is the coming together of Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph, former Danzig and Murphy’s Law guitarist Todd Youth, drummer Joey Castillo formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig, and Eagles of Death Metal, and Mondo Generator frontman and ex- Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri. Together they confirm that given with debut album Up in Arms, a physical and lyrical roar of hardcore defiance.

Unleashing twelve ravenous slices of punk rock with more inescapable hooks than found in Leatherface’s pantry, all fuelled by raw irritability at the state of the world today, Up in Arms is a crowd uniting battle cry. It fuses familiar essences with the fresh appetite and invention of a quartet seemingly destined to come together at some point. Everything about it is as organic as it is rabid, as challenging as it is rousing; taking no prisoners but rewarding those who it devours time and time again.

The album’s title track crashes in on the listener first, springing from an invasive sonic mist with a slavery of guitar and rhythmic predation as Joseph pokes and stirs the senses with voice and word. Castillo’s beats are rapier sharp and imposing, Oliveri’s bass carries an infectious brooding whilst Youth’s riffs and hooks ensnare across four eventful minutes.

It is an ear gripping, appetite inflaming beginning which only kicks up a gear with the following Fire, a belligerent brawl of punk ‘n’ roll instantly chaining ears with a  virulent hook as rhythms jab and incite. If the Angelic Upstarts was merged with Sick Of It All, this could be their anthem while Manic infuses an even greater physical psychosis and unforgiving attitude to the torrential gait of its predecessor in its own addictive multi-flavoured rumble.

Through the sonic call to arms scourge of Kill the Beast and the Dead Kennedys scented Prayer, new twists of sound and invention force themselves through ears, each with a virulent strain of spiky hooks and body twisting grooves, while their successor has things bouncing like a dervish. Siva / Rudra is a contagion of enterprise as cantankerous as it is exotically seductive marked, as all three, by Oliveri springing basslines as funky as they are carnal. Alongside, Youth’s riffs and grooves come as primal as they are compelling whilst Joseph squeezes every ounce of uncompromising adventure and emotional incitement out of tone and syllable.

Soldiers of the New Babylon locks metal and punk together in its prickly vent, a testy proposition woven with nagging riffs and a magnetically throbbing bassline before Kali throws all those attributes into an insatiable maelstrom of punk rock temptation, taking best track honours along the way. Barely seeing the one minute mark, the track is irresistible but swiftly rivalled by the crabby assault of Slow Kill Genocide, the catchiness moment within Up in Arms and arguably the most choleric.

Pure punk rock truculence shapes the breath-sapping antics of the following Slipping into Darkness, Oliveri spawning his most addictive moment within the album bound in the searing flames of Youth’s guitar as vocals and beats vent their animosity with Life as One backing up its triumph with its mercurial but always commandingly imposing tapestry of quarrel and imagination.

The album is closed by You’ll Be the Death of Me, a slab of rock ‘n’ roll taking big chunks out of the senses as it excites with its Lard-esque espionage. Addiction has never been more vicious and seductive within three and a half minutes, certainly in recent times, as that spawned by the outstanding finale to one of the year’s biggest treats so far.

Produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Revocation) and mixed by Kyle McAulay at NRG, Up in Arms transcends being just a great release from another so called ‘super group’, it has given hardcore a fresh new breath and snarl which we can only hope is the first of many gales from Bloodclot.

Up in Arms is out now on Metal Blade Records across most stores and @ https://bloodclot.bandcamp.com/album/up-in-arms

https://www.facebook.com/bloodclotofficial/   https://www.instagram.com/Bloodclot2016/

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

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Power Trip – Manifest Decimation

photo by Ken Penn

photo by Ken Penn

Like in those nightmares where however much you fight and try to escape you get nowhere and are stuck in front of the impending dark threat, Manifest Decimation the debut album from US metallers Power Trip is an insatiable and unrelenting predator which just keeps coming with no chance of evasion. A riff built tsunami of rapacious energy and carnivorous hunger, the album is an incessant juggernaut of force and attitude but unlike those unwanted dreams this is one consuming ravage you will want to return again and again.

Dallas-based Power Trip, create a tempest of spiteful intensity through an invigorating fusion of thrash and hardcore, their crossover maelstrom, certainly on the album, unleashed through a collection of tracks which prey and drag the senses from their perch like a pack of rabid wolves. The past five years since the release of their impressive early demo of 2008 has seen the band as hungry as their sound in gigging, with other striking releases and splits alongside.  The promo accompanying the album declared the band as ‘Channelling the old-school energy of legendary acts like Cro-Mags, Nuclear Assault and Leeway through modern thrash warfare,’ a description which tells you all you need to know about their sound though there are other references you could offer. Recorded with Arthur Rizk and Daniel Schmuck and produced, mixed, and mastered by Rizk, the Southern Lord released Manifest Decimation is eight tracks of muscular mayhem honed into a tornado of passion and aggression all thrash and hardcore/punk fans will devour greedily.

Opening with the title track, Manifest Decimation initially breeds an emerging ambience which scrubs and ignites the ear before pt-e1365797198596swooping from within its sonic midst with massive boned rhythms from drummer Chris Ulsh and equally heavily weighted slow to explode riffs from guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart stalked step by step by the intimidating bass sound of Chris Whetzel. With a demon borne spiteful cry from vocalist Riley Gale the track settles into a rabid and intense attack, energy searing the air and riffs echoing and stalking within the drum assault like cavern bone vultures. Across its destructive confrontation though there are flames combining sonic heat and melodic acid for compelling inventive shards but ultimately the implacable growl of riffs steers song and passions.

Both the following Heretic’s Fork and Conditioned To Death continue and elevate the rabid onslaught, the first with thrash intent and immovable riffs eroding the ear and beyond to again uncompromising incessancy and the second bleeding in from its predecessor through an initially steady gnaw upon its victim before firing up another furnace of thrash and hardcore voracity. In many ways to this point and through to the end the album, it is like one continuous unquenchable piece of savagery, everything flowing in their distinct ways into the next greedy bite of the listener whilst holding an umbrella of uniformal ceaseless riff driven malevolence. This means at times a little work is required to spot the unique aspects of each song but a willing effort such the might of sound and release.

As Murderer’s Row with its growl throated bass intro opens the gate for another senses plundering from riffs and rhythms, realisation dawns that the hollow trait of sound and production is to stay for every song. It provides a resonance and cavernous voice to the record which did take a while to decide upon and for personal tastes is the only thing the album maybe falls down on. To be honest there is nothing wrong with it but it does detract and remove some of the potent malnourished greed which all bestial and voracious metal needs. It does not stop this, and other tracks from nevertheless rioting until full energy is spent in submitting to their impressive demands.

The excellent Crossbreaker and Drown continue the mulish chug fest whilst final songs Power Trip, another exciting and invigorating thrash brawling, and the outstanding The Hammer of Doubt leave a legacy of need to indulge in the violence once again. The closing track, and arguably best on the album though all make a strong claim, is the most animalistic antagonistic fury on the release, its unslakable ravaging of the senses heightened to an intensity and corrosive energy which sucks air from the lungs.

Wrapped in the excellent art of Italian artist Paolo “Madman” Girardi, Manifest Decimation feeds all expectations and hopes placed before it with passion and craft making Power Trip a band set to bring an impacting mark on metal if maybe not with this release but a future one.

https://www.facebook.com/powertripTX

8/10

RingMaster 10/06/2013

 

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Acephalix: Deathless Master

What to say about Deathless Master the debut album from US death metallers Acephalix. It is singular in attack, sound, and intent, it is relatively unadventurous and it is unremarkable in changing the genre or thoughts of its followers, most of all it strikingly impressive and deeply satisfying. The album does nothing but stoke up the fires and passions that lurk in every dark recess of the heart and mind. It is a release that barely strays from its core and a blistering album uniformal in sound, quality, and enjoyment.

Out of San Francisco, Acephalix formed in 2007 with originally a crust punk surface to their death metal sounds. Taking influences such as the likes of Celtic Frost, Cro-Mags, Discharge, and Bolt Thrower to add to their ideas the band has evolved into what is bursting out from Deathless Master, a spiteful venomous old school tainted death metal band. Last year saw an upturn in attention their way with the bringing together of their two cassette demos in one limited edition CD called Interminable Night through Southern Lord. The 2,000 strong pressing sold out swiftly and brought them to the fore of underground metal. Shows in support of the release did them no harm either whilst their part in the Power of the Riff 2011 tour with the likes of Undergang, Black Breath, Winter, Noothgrush, Eyehategod, and Pentagram only increased the acclaim.

Again through Southern Lord, Deathless Master seals the full transformation of the band and their sound though there are still tones of their initial punk driven energies veining the tracks within. As heralding chords open up the album and starter Bastard Self and guitars blister the ear the sense of something powerful and vicious approaching is immediate. The track does not leave it long to bring confirmation as tumultuous riffs flatten all defences and the rhythms leave the ear quaking in the aftershock. The track is not a full on assault though, it is more premeditated and picks at the nerves with razor blade melodies and a groove to strangle all life it touches, and with the festering corruptive filth claiming to be vocals outstanding the track lays waste.

It is a staggering start from arguably one of the weaker songs on the album, if the word can be used in any context regarding a release this powerful and aggressive. Things do take a further upturn though with the following duo of the title track and Tomb Of Our Fathers. Deathless Master surges upon the senses like a rabid scourge, incessant and merciless it is a ravenous assault of thumping drums and malicious riffs. With a death knell ambience to the cleaner spoken vocals behind the full pit borne gutturals creations that lead, the track is a crushing pleasure. Tomb Of Our Fathers picks up where its predecessor left off, its raging rampage hypnotic and the caustic groove that follows in their wake vehement in intent and mesmeric effect. With an added solo which sears deep furrows within the senses it is an unstoppable joy.

Already one is aware that diversity is not the order of the day though each track offers something a little different to be numbed and violated by. Because the base and intensity of what the band does offer is so immense and gratifying it really is not an issue. Tracks like the outstanding On Wings and Raw Life just leave one a gleeful spent husk from their irrepressible consumption. The first of the two is a song staggeringly effective in simplicity of vocals and attack, its smothering fetid aural stench a contagion that reeks of malice and foul intentions. The latter is a mesmeric piece of putrefaction, its decomposing breath a smog of sonic evil. From an initial prowl and taunting air the song slowly shifts its muscular might into the expected charge that fuels each track but always it offers the tease of a respite to snatch it away with pure devilment.

Blood Of Desire, In Arms Of Nothing, and the great closer In Hunger ensure the album retains its high level from start to finish. The uniformal heart of the album means every second of the album is an incessant and very satisfying annihilation devoid of lulls. Obviously you have to have that level set at a high to make it work and Acephalix definitely achieve that. Like ordering eight slabs of quality steak for consecutive meals you know what you will get, there are no surprises, but it is a guaranteed feast of flavoursome and undeniably tasty pleasure each and every time. Deathless Master is the same, enjoy!

RingMaster 24/05/2012

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What The Night Brings Interview

Just released is one of the most explosive and destructive yet impressively creative with deep     melodies and thoughtful craft. The new EP from UK metalers What The Night Brings is an ever evolving mix of hardcore, deathcore, groove and melodic metal, each song within Bound By Apathy is an abusive treat that leaves one breathless and fully satisfied. We had the pleasure to ask the band about the release, their music and themselves in general.

Welcome and many thanks for taking time to answer our questions.

Firstly could you introduce the members of What The Night Brings?

Hi! we are:

Adrian Noone – Vocals

Pete Bright– Drums

Scott Rand– Guitar

Tom Brooks- Bass

Darren Tunaley – Guitar

How and when did What The Night Brings begin?

The Band as WTNB formed officially in early 2008, from an amalgamation of bands that used to be from around the Buckinghamshire area. The majority of that was our current guitarists Scott and Darren and our original bass player Luke. Pete joined in Oct 2008 and Adrian joined January 2010. More recently we are very happy to welcome our new bass player Tom to the fold (Feb 2012).

Do you have musical histories before the band?

Adrian and Pete both played in other bands prior to joining the band – Ade being in hardcore bands and Pete playing punk and metal bands.  Scott and Darren have played together since they both started playing Guitar. Our latest edition on bass, Tom used to guitar for another bands but switched to bass prior to joining WTNB.

What were your initial intentions sound wise when starting the band and how has that changed or evolved up to this point?

When we first started out we knew we wanted a hardcore and metal sound as well as having melodic influences, but had no real intentions on sound, just that we wanted to draw on our musical influences.  But as we have evolved, we have developed and refined our sound a bit more, and we have more of an idea of the sound we are going for. Even with the writing of the album we are still pushing for a better sound, and looking to challenge ourselves even more.

What are the influences that made the biggest impression on your music and the band?

I think bands like Parkway Drive, Sepultura, Johnny Truant, Norma Jean, and Architects all definitely had a major influence as well as bands like Crawlspace, Pantera, August Burns Red, The Chariot, Cro-Mags and Darkest Hour etc.

You have just released your excellent new EP Bound By Apathy, what can people expect within its muscular walls?

You can expect to hear some heavy songs infused with some indirect melody and touch of tech, some brutal breakdowns and Pissed off lyrics.

How does it differ to your debut release Tides in sound and songwriting?

To begin with, the line up when we wrote Tides was different, and I think we were still discovering and honing our sound, where as with Bound by Apathy, we worked really hard to develop and capture the sound we were looking for. Adrian joining the band prior to us starting to writing had a significant effect on this also. Bound by apathy is much heavier sound, the songs are constructed better and overall I think there is a much better sound.

Bound by Apathy contains a quartet of tracks that take aggression and intensity to lofty heights but still offer well crafted impressive melodic strokes and grooves, how hard is it to keep both aspects as open and distinct, something many other bands try but do not find the balance you do.

We tried especially hard on this record to aim for that sound, we all draw on different influences and it was important to maintain that throughout the writing process. We never wanted to follow the trend and we worked really hard to make a heavy collection of songs with a sense of melody that didn’t sound clichéd in the modern heavy music environment. That can be challenging.

Which part of Bound by Apathy are you most proud of?

Overall we are really happy with the outcome and each of us has parts of the record that they are proud of.  Collectively I think are all really especially proud of the construction of the songs – especially in “Front Towards Enemy”.

The EP also brings forth the intensity one imagines is a feature of your live shows, how did you achieve that to such good effect?

When began writing the EP, we knew we wanted to bring some devastating songs and originally we wrote 5 tracks for it, but dropped a track as we thought it didn’t fit in with how heavy the EP was, or that it fit in with the overall feel of the record. We were very particular about the song tracking order, as we wanted to keep the intensity throughout the EP.

How does the songwriting process work within the band?

For us, it can happen a number of ways, sometimes it can be very organic, when we want to jam out some ideas in the rehearsal room, however, for the most part it starts off with a riff idea- Darren and Scott usually get together and collate ideas and work out the riffs and bring them to the rehearsal space where as a band we start refining them down, seeing what works best etc. It’s an important aspect to the writing process that we work as a band to achieve the sound we want.

There is a defiance and aggression to your lyrics on the EP what inspires you the most that flavours your lyrics?

Adrian (vox):  I attempt to not be entirely self-obsessed when writing lyrics. I grew up listening to a lot of socially aware music and that’s pretty much embedded itself on how I think and express myself. That’s not to say I’m solely political in my lyrics, or that I don’t sing anything personal, I just tend to think there’s a lot more to be concerned/angry with than just my corner of the world.

You have shared stages with the likes of Protest The Hero, Your Demise and Lower Than Atlantis. What has been the highlight so far and what have you gained as a band from appearing alongside these more established bands?

I would say definitely playing with the bands mentioned above as highlight, absolutely incredible shows, and an honour to share the stage with them.  More recently also playing with H2O – a band that Adrian has been going to see since he was 15! You gain a lot of experience in terms of stage presence when you play with bands of that calibre and it certainly gets you fired up to keep doing what you’re doing.

Is there a different feel or buzz for you from headlining your own intimate shows to opening up and supporting in bigger arenas with these kind of bands?

There is definitely a different feel – when opening up for bands like Protest the Hero, not only are you playing to usually a much bigger crowd but also you have to work that much harder to win over the crowd as a opener band, so there is a lot more pressure. For intimate headline shows though there is more a relaxed party feel, and you know that you can go and out there and have a great time as they are there to see you.

What are your hopes or aims for the rest of 2012?

So we are currently in the middle of writing our debut album, so we will be looking to start pre-production soon with an aim to start recording towards the later part of this year. On the touring front, we are looking to head over to Europe for the first time and tour out there, before coming back and doing another UK tour. We are also starting to book up some weekenders up and down the country. We are aiming to play as much as possible this year.

With the impressive quality within Bound By Apathy and what must be great acclaim coming its way over the weeks ahead are you relishing the pressure and expectations for even more from your future releases from media and fans alike?

Absolutely! It will certainly be a challenge and we are pushing ourselves to write even better songs for the album, hopefully it will gain even bigger success than this EP.

Again a great thanks for talking with us and good luck with Bound By Apathy.

No worries, thank you.

Would you like to leave with some words for your existing and future fans?

Thank you for your continued support for the band, without you guys it wouldn’t really mean much.  Keep up the support, and expect to see a new music video very soon and then the debut album! Come party at a show with us!

And finally give us some personal sounds that have inspired you as your EP will so many others.

Check out bands like August Burns Red, Parkway Drive, Protest the Hero, Cold Hard Truth, Integrity,  Minus the bear –there are a lot of great bands out there, and some really good up and coming UK bands as well .

Read the review of Bound By Apathy @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/what-the-night-brings-bound-by-apathy/

The Ringmaster Review 18/04/2012

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