Gutlocker – Cry Havoc!

It is a release which has no qualms in punishing the senses and venomously attacking the psyche with its irritable and grievous intent; an encounter seemingly hell bent on leaving charred remains behind in its vicious sonic wake but it is hard to return that enmity when every twisted trespass and grievous throe inflicted leaves you hungry for more. The perpetrator of that creative animosity is the Cry Havoc! EP from UK sludge punks Gutlocker, a quartet of visceral noise and groove breeders which you may fear liking but find no other option available.

Born and bred in darkest Woking, Gutlocker emerged in 2012 inspired by the likes of Pantera, Mastodon, and Lamb of God and have since gone on to share stages with the likes of Trepalium, Evil Scarecrow, and Raging Speedhorn among others and made a reputation enhancing appearance at Download. We will be honest, Cry Havoc! is our long overdue introduction to the quartet of vocalist Craig McBrearty, guitarist Peter Tucker, bassist Ben Rollinson, and drummer Dean Walker but possibly the perfect moment to be infested by their sonic animus.

The release opens up with Bitter Memory and immediately devours the senses with predacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and the vocal individuality of McBrearty. His rancorous tones twist and squirm by the syllable, a trespass as magnetic as the tempest of sludge metal bred sound around him. Grooves invade and beats rupture as the track parades its grudge carrying enterprise, a raw irritation spawn incitement which crawls deeper under the skin by the minute with its multi-flavoured sonic antipathy.

The great start evolves into the equally violent and compelling No Burden, a matching cauldron of hellacious noise and emotions cast in its own individual likeness. As in the first, there is a great hardcore insurgency lurking in the lining of the track’s prowl and adding to both the songs’ continued blossoming listen by listen.  Unpredictability similarly adds to their prowess in music and voice if not to the same heights of our favourite track within Cry Havoc!

Stuck is simply superb, a web of creative deception and ingenuity never going where it suggests or expectations assume. Straight away it is weaving with cunning devilry and with vendetta in its veins, swaying away like a Pantera coaxed cobra as McBrearty spills his bad blooded venom. Captivating in seconds, addictive soon after, the track just outdoes itself minute by minute as guitars and bass collude in predacious imagination, its pinnacle coming as a bass and drum swagger ignites a manipulative noise rock discordance as fully catchy as it is unexpected.

As great as the other three are, the track steals the show but not before being worried by closing encounter, Welcome to Fucktown. As those before, it stalks and crawls over the senses sharing rancorous breaths and malignant invention matched in kind by the vocals. There is tension in every note and second, malice too especially oozing from McBrearty’s throat and heart, it all going to make the final song one fearsome but captivating incursion.

Uniqueness is still a relatively rare find within modern music but Gutlocker have a good handle on it already and are on the path to making it a key weapon.

Cry Havoc! is available now through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cry Havoc: New Life EP

Some band names just invite intrigue and eagerness to learn more. Such is the case with British metal band Cry Havoc, their name inspiring thoughts and impressions which one only hoped their sounds could live up to. Their debut release the New Life EP easily matched and exceeded those wishes, its muscular presence standing tall with music to fire up deep enthusiasm and satisfaction.

A band still in it informative years, Cry Havoc has been exploding stages with high octane live shows which has seen performances alongside the likes of Malefice, Revoker, The Defiled, Voodoo Six, Jettblack, Romeo Must Die, The Dirty Youth, and Guns 2 Roses as well as their own gigs and festival appearances such as Hammerfest III in 2011. They were also invited to contribute to the Ozzy Osbourne tribute CD No More Tears alongside artists such as Vince Neil from Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, and Kiss. Things were definitely on a rapid rise as the band entered Nott-In-Pill studio in the closing weeks of last year to record New Life alongside producer Martyn “Ginge” Ford and Matthew Bond, who have previously worked with the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Slipknot, Trivium, Skindred, The Dirty Youth and Revoker. With its release this September one can only assume a full and eager hunger for the band and their furious blend of thrash and hard/classic rock, or as they call it thrash n roll, will follow.

Losing Everything is the first rampage through the ear, a ferocious and hungry fury of crippling artillery driven rhythms and ravenous riffs. The song is an immediate thrust of pleasure and power to ignite all the demands of a great metal song, the passion and energy as resourceful and striking as the outstanding guitar imagination alongside openly impressive vocals. It would be wrong to say the song, and EP as a whole has anything new to say or bring to the mosh pit but undoubtedly it sparks all the fires one could wish from a release of immense quality. The track has a Mudvayne flavour to its sound to add another spice and depth to its crushing presence and by its end the result is an explosive and outstanding start to the EP.

The following Ignition starts mesmerising the senses within seconds with a tightly woven groove and again unrelenting rhythms. Into its stride the song is a charged and thrilling ride, the riffs squeezing the ear tightly so that groove and the flaming guitar solos which strike can singe its flesh. Like the opener it is an infectious and highly memorable rampant slab of metal, originality compromised for a stirring and magnetic Metallica/Slayer/American Death Charge like mix.

The malevolent Alone swamps the ear next with further thrash and metal barracking to devour greedily. Thumping drums bludgeon the senses whilst the guitars continue their skilful and inventive pursuit of the heart, whether a riff or melodic enterprise there is only imaginative and greatly crafted play.

The release closes with the title track and of course again it is a uncompromising assault of thrash n roll, a raw and abrasive sound which leaves one wanting more by its final note. The song shifts its pace from top gear aggression to melodic ‘catch a breather’ asides at times but all is seamless and sculpted to leave a lingering burn of satisfaction behind.

The New Life EP is not the most unique in sound but one of the most enjoyable and riotous thrash driven releases sure to pass your way. Cry Havoc is a band with a big horizon ahead of them and sooner rather than later one suspects.

RingMaster 18/09/2012

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Three Hour Ceasefire: Cry Havoc

Inspired by death and thrash metal from the late eighties and early nineties, Irish metalers Three Hour Ceasefire have fused those sounds into an impressive powerful entity of their own as proven with their debut EP Cry Havoc. The release does not venture into the creation of new and rigorous realms to play within but instead has revitalised and stretched existing and influential essences with their own invention into a thoroughly compelling and exciting outcome.

Formed in 2008, the quartet from Limerick has emerged through line-up changes to become one of the more formidable and promising bands in the Irish metal scene. They have been compared to a mix of Sepultura and Entombed, something which is as accurate a description as any, though there is a distinctive breath permeating the sound which sets the band apart. Arguably the band do not stand aside of others as widely as one feels they are destined to as they evolve further, but within the at times familiar feel there is a fresh and pulsating heart of invention emerging.

As the six tracks within Cry Havoc rampage upon the senses there is a strength and defiance to the sound and intensity which reflects and comes from, as their bio states, seeing and being directly affected by the decline of the industrial and building trade across not only Ireland but their hometown. The release, through Savour Your Scene Records, is definitely a confrontational and provocative slice of fury and one which enflames the senses from first track to last.

The EP is opened by the spiralling spite of Time Of The Empty Throne, a song which soaks the ear with malevolence like an insatiable tempest. Its energy is a slow invading storm which corrupts each and every pore whilst being speared by sharp guitar play and riotous riffs. Its heart is unrelenting, an insistent burrowing sonic presence providing a malicious canvas for the guttural expulsions and destructive rhythms. More than a mere intro it effectively does draw one into the eye of the storm, the following excellence of Behold, Rejoice.

The track is a rolling thunder of inciteful riffs and barracking rhythms enclosed in a heavy oppressive intensity. The song twists within its umbrella weight to keep the senses unsettled but deeply occupied whilst the melodic grind and shadowed flourishes capture the imagination unerringly.

As the next track Trial Of Wounds continues the eager and irresistible blackened contamination the one and only criticism towards the release is taking shape. The track itself is another shifting animal of unpredictable ideas and striking imagination, a song which does not quite leave one open mouthed with originality but ignites every spark within for a satisfied raging fire. As it departs after another mere two minutes that one thing which inspires a moan is wild, the tracks are so damn short. Normally not something which bothers but the pleasure given by the songs makes it a real disappointment when their final notes scarper so soon.

When Prophecy Fails is a song which does stay much longer within the ear but actually does not have the same deep infection as found in the other songs, though the length has no bearing. It is a strong and combative track with vision and expertise rife within its heavy walls, the guitars alternately a melodic stroke and caustic rub whilst again vocally the ear is given an abrasive dose of raw throat expulsions, but it does not manage to trigger anything more than good appreciation.

The remaining tracks Trench Knife and Fall Under Foot return to the high grade quality, the first and best track on the Cry Havoc, a festering bruise full of aural colour and sonic addiction. The thrash air of the band is present in every song but is unleashed for a full throated rage across this and the closer. The track bleeds into Fall Under Foot to allow no time to take a breath before the final rampage of creative violence and annihilatory abuse wages invention upon the ear. It is a masterful and thrilling end to an equally impressive debut and sets Three Hour Ceasefire up as one of the bands to watch very closely.

Though one cannot say Cry Havoc is the best debut to emerge this year it certainly is one of the most promising and pleasing, and gives evidence that Three Hour Ceasefire has the armoury to become a very important band for metal.

RingMaster 27/08/2012

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