Uncanny – Self Titled EP

Pic Marius Ringen

Pic Marius Ringen

As much as technical prowess does impress, personal tastes dictates that if an instrumental proposition is going to really fire up the passions, it has to have inescapable imagination inspiring drama to its presence whether that be cinematic or emotional. It is a quality which is in abundance within the self-titled debut EP from Norwegian trio Uncanny and why the release has barely left our speakers these past couple of days since first immersing in its fascinating and dark creative adventure.

The Oslo based Uncanny consists of Andreas Oltedal, Rikard Sjånes Pedersen, and Torkil Rødvand; a threesome drawing on the inspirations of artists ranging from Meshuggah, Benea Reach, and Shining to Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses, Aiming for Enrike, and Igor Stravinskij for their own multi-textured exploits. Their first EP is an introduction to all to the band and if it is a sign of things to come, the first step in drawing perpetually eager and persistent attention their way.

The release opens with klown, a darkly flavoured web of sound swiftly sparking ears and imagination into life. The initial steps of the track are heavy and predacious, a Korn-esque hue soon wrapped in acidic melodies before things suddenly settle into a gentle yet slightly sinister calm. Skittish rhythms equally have an off-kilter edge to them as they court the melancholic melody playing in ears before the track erupts into another rousing trespass of the senses. Light and dark, mellow and raw textures continue to clash and entwine across the track as thoughts explore the two sides of their take on the title and the figure it provokes. It’s scary and welcoming sides battle in thoughts, the former winning the battle as the track twists and turns with increasing metal and raw rock ‘n’ roll voracity. Of course the theme and inspiration to the song, to any of the tracks, is not always going to match that conjured by the listener, every song allowing and encouraging the imagination to make their own interpretation of their aural suggestiveness.

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

The great start is quickly eclipsed by the outstanding maze of sound and styles making up electric black. Starting with an ears rapping roll of beats, the track spins a web of steely and winy grooves, two hues fuelling their irrepressible and addictive toxicity. The guitars move like animated vines across song and the senses, spicing up the imagination with their dark flirtation as the rhythms grouchily grumble below. As in the first, a more passive weave of sound emerges with a mystique toned air and melodic reflection though little time passes before the volatility of the moment brews tempestuous traits which lead back to the galvanic and rabid maelstrom with waspish grooves and nagging riffs to the fore.

The following u will fail envelops ears in a haunting caress initially, floating harmonic almost gossamer like vocals more a texture than a narrative in the brewing theatre of sound and temptation. Across its body, the early post punk like elements continue to inspire and excite as the song involves melodic and progressive rock enterprise into its cinematic tapestry. Often prowling and persistently imposing whilst stimulating ears and thoughts, the song is at times like a cold war romancing for the imagination in other moments a dystopian bred oppressor and all the time increasingly irresistible.

Fair to say it and its predecessor steal the show upon the Uncanny EP, yet the first song and the EP closing rat8 only add to the impressive nature and creativity of the release. The last song initially lays a solemn melodic mist which is soon alive with tendrils of guitar spawned rock ‘n’ roll before a black hearted descent of dark metal invades all. That too is a momentary incitement though as a post and progressive rock brewed climate washes over the senses whilst rhythms reveal great irritability and feverish tenacity to their character which in turn inspires something similar from guitars and bass.  This too is just another emotively expressive moment in an ever evolving soundscape of a track where ears joyfully feel like they are in a creative rat run. It constantly leads and twists around on the listener, providing riveting rewards at every turn whilst never relenting in its busy and voraciously delicious manipulation.

There may be not too much background  available to Uncanny yet but their music and EP has everything you need to know about their potential and their already impressive qualities which invite the imagination to go on their own thrilling adventures.

The Uncanny EP is out now on iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/uncannysounds

Pete RingMaster 07/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Kahless Clone – An Endless Loop

vitophoto

Atmospherically and emotionally shadowed, An Endless Loop is an immersive and magnetically evocative slice of post rock/dark metal which lures ears and imagination into a soundscape of intimidating possibilities and melancholic beauty. The four-track EP from The Kahless Clone is a mesmeric exploration for thoughts, a sonically cathartic and emotionally imposing journey casting fascinating and lingering shadows on the senses.

The debut release from the Chicago hailing instrumental band, it is a transfixing proposition which simmers tenaciously rather than sparks a blaze in ears and psyche, yet infests and submerges the listener in a constant tide of mood driven ambiences igniting the keenest appetite. The Kahless Clone itself is the brainchild of Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, who created the band as a portal for his instrumental songs. He enlisted the help of bassist Andy Bunk, keyboardist Ben Johnson, drummer Garry Naples, and Zach Libbe on electronics, programming etc. for the recording of An Endless Loop. Recorded with and mixed/mastered by Chris Wisco at Belle City Sound in Racine, WI, the EP takes the listener to emotion drenched worlds of encroaching shadows and sombre beauty, providing impacting flights through seductively oppressive soundscapes starting with opener Leave This Place With Me.

The first track slowly emerges from the lapping caresses of a dark cloaked tide, the sea a calming yet portentous coaxing aided by similarly imposing breaths of keys and adjoining piano. Soon after, the piece cradles ears in melodic hands, guitars adding to the elegant beauty as electronic rhythms are courted by a ravenously and primordially snarling bassline and texture. Intensity ebbs and flows across the absorbing landscape of the track, taking the emotion and energy of the guitars and rhythms with it and as much as ears and emotions are fed, the imagination is equalled fuelled for its own dark passages of exploration by the sounds and atmospheric smog.

   I Can Feel Them, but I Can’t Remember Them relaxes air and thoughts again next, its morose yet warm entrance a bewitching collusion between a stark post punk bassline and the ever 10471599_846588275397987_8113942985732759572_nemerging and evolving melodic invention of guitar and keys. The bass of Bunk is persistently compelling bait and a reality check within the ethereal embrace elsewhere. It all eventually ignites in an incendiary and fiery eruption of caustic riffs and flaming sonic enterprise, though still sublimely submerged in the overwhelming celestial swamp of sound, before settling back down for an intimate and wistful close to match the song’s entrance.

The final pair of tracks continue the masterful persuasion and adventure expressed by the EP so far, Everything You See is Gone providing a more heavily rhythmic growl and menace to the forlorn atmosphere around them. It is as if guitars and keys have a pent up angst, ripening and festering inside, unable to break the gripping web of beats and bass predation which itself increases in enmity and temptation. There has to be an outlet though, and that dark emotion finally erupts in a tempestuous fire of mournful sonic endeavour and rampant rhythmic agitation. It is a glorious and epic confrontation, the best track on the release involving and enthralling the listener body and soul.

The closing A Somber Reflection, well its label describes it perfectly though not the creative drama and melodic, almost jazz like invention which seduces from within. It is a masterful end to a superb introduction to The Kahless Clone; a band that greed is already hankering for more from. An Endless Loop is also a release which unveils new depths and secrets with every listen, new essences emerging from within its invasive climates bringing fresh adventures with every partaking of its evocative terrains. For fans of progressive/post rock and instrumental dark beauty, this is a must.

An Endless Loop is available now on CD and as a name your price download @ https://thekahlessclone.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheKahlessClone

RingMaster 18/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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0 X í S T – One Eon

0XiST

0XiST

Ever had those nightmares which feel so alive that they are virtually stalking thoughts and sanity? If so then you will recognise those same menacing traits in One Eon, the new album from Finnish metallers 0 X í S T. Exploring even richer, more dangerous territory than on their acclaimed debut full-length Nil, the Riihimäki hailing quartet has turned their already oppressive dark metal into a new inescapable predator. Every one of the new album’s six tracks preys on the listener’s fears, escorting them into the darkest corners of mind and soul but with the resourceful craft and startling imagination which the band is already renowned for.

Formed in 2008, 0 X í S T (pronounced zero exist) was soon setting about creating intense and dramatic sounds inspired by essences to be found in bands such as Triptykon, Celtic Frost, Ajattara, and Deinonychus, the first broad invitation to which came with first EP Unveiling the Shadow World via Ostra Records in 2010. The release was followed by the band’s venture in the live arena, quickly taking in successful shows across southern Finland and Estonia. An extremely limited edition CDr two track demo followed as the band began working on Nil, its teasing the appetiser and taster to the subsequent seven track album. Again out through Ostra Records, the band’s first full-length was the spark to a much stronger spotlight upon the band, as was the wealth of live shows which followed taking in furthers countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and Poland.

Recorded last year and now self-released on Death Shrine Offerings, One Eon is the next gripping step in world metal of 0 X í S T’s slowly invasive and absorbing dark metal. It is a proposition which in many ways continues where its predecessor left off but goes far deeper and further into the creative and malevolent depths of the band. The evidence is immediate with opener In the Hood of the Clan of Tombs. Its opening embrace of sonic tempting instantly has a welcoming yet toxic tone to its lure, the guitars of Jani Koskela and Juhani Jokisalo swiftly sharing an intimidating leer in their melodic coaxing. As expected it is a slow enclosing of ears and senses, given weightier substance and menace by the slow lumbering riff of bassist Sameli Köykkä matched by the restrained but intensely premeditated swings of drummer Mikael Ahlstén. The song is a crawling intrusion with vocals to match, but bound in increasingly seductive and unpredictable sonic grooves and creative taunting giving an invigorating nature to its insidious character.One Eon cover RGB

The excellent track continues to twist and flex its animosity with compelling and inventive enterprise, seducing and ravaging the senses before making way for Enshrine which is straight away emulating the success and inhospitality of its predecessor through its own ravenous embrace. Without lumbering into a doom bred gait, the track is unhurried in its overwhelming of ears, almost finding a swagger to its creeping intent and aural consumption along the way, especially when slipping into a bewitching melodic passage with a great mix of blackened and heavy throated vocals. Soon back into its darkest cavernous depths though, the track bruises, seduces, and suffocates the senses and imagination for another thrilling trespass of the listener.

Neither the following Conclusion nor Instincts of a Serpent can find the same heights of the first pair of songs, though both explore riveting new creative journeys to devour heartily. Cleaner vocals are brought into both alongside the raw caustic growls, working well enough but soaked in a little too much theatre maybe for personal tastes. It is a minor personal niggle though as, like in the first of the songs, a delicious melodic endeavour from guitars tempers its ferocious and rabid nature to enthral and inspire thoughts. It’s successor has an almost leech like touch, wrapping its treacherous tendrils of sound and narrative firmly to the psyche whilst leaving body and emotions captivated and fearful of the song’s increasingly blackening touch.

     Leaving no Prospect for a New Dawn takes best track honours next, the bestial roar and creative causticity of its proposal an unrelenting stalking. To its determined rancorous intent though a sonic and melodic charm binds the fears and wounds bred, as in most tracks providing a balm to the overwhelming and intoxicating animus fuelling the encounter. The track is engrossing leaving closing song No Life to Bother a challenge to match up against, which it does with its own smog of lumbering rhythms and towering shadows veined by a contrasting merger of sonic predation and melodic seducing. Enticingly tempestuous with its own sobering and villainous cavern of antipathy, the song brings a fine album to an impressive end.

Having an increasingly deeper rooted soft spot for Nil, it is in some ways hard for One Eon to match up to the first 0 X í S T album for us. Openly though, there is an exciting new exploration to the band’s sound which brought with their open technical skills and intensive imagination, ensures it is going to be one of the most fascinating and satisfying propositions you will hear this year.

Since the recording of One Eon, original bassist Ossi Leino, who played on Nil, has returned to 0 X í S T after the departure of Köykkä.

One Eon is available digitally and on CD from February 4th @ http://0xist.bandcamp.com/album/one-eon

http://www.zeroexist.net

RingMaster 04/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

 

Armageddon – Captivity and Devourment

Photo by John Fell

Photo by John Fell

 

Over a decade since their last foray into ears and imagination, Sweden/American metallers Armageddon return with new album Captivity and Devourment, their most compelling and fascinating work to date. As to its strength against the band’s previous albums, that will be down to the individual and their appetite for the different stages of the continually evolving and exploratory invention of the band, but it is a creativity imposing and magnetic proposition which even when its persuasion ebbs a touch simply enthrals and when in complete tantalising majesty is a sonic masterpiece.

Formed in 1997 as a studio project by then Arch Enemy guitarist Christopher Amott, the Halmstad hailing project swiftly grip attention and fevered support with the release of cult album Crossing the Rubicon that same year. A sci-fi themed concept album, its lure and success was followed by the potent presences of Embrace the Mystery and Three of 2000 and 2003 respectively. Each release saw new line-ups in their individual persuasions and a shift from the bands initial melodic death metal explorations into power metal coloured landscapes. With another new line-up alongside Amott and a fresh creative emprise across technical and heavy melodic metal pastures, the now New York City based band and their album turn on ears and imagination to Armageddon once again with a bewitching tempest of emotion and sonic intrigue.

The album’s title track explodes in ears first, grooves and riffs an instantly virulent savaging as a hellacious rhythmic assault keeps pace with the track’s ferocious yet infectious start. The guitars ofarm Amott and Joey Concepcion swiftly cast a web of melodic and technical temptation as the raw caustic tones of vocalist Matt Hallquist abrase with varied and potent hostility. It is an impressive and gripping start to Captivity & Devourment, the dark hearted basslines of Sara Claudius and the unrelenting and creative swings of drummer Márton Veress adding antagonistic depths and appealing shadows to the dominant lure of grooves and the sonic ingenuity. Technically in craft and invention, song and band fascinate and seduce; the theatre of the song, as in most tracks, providing inescapable persuasion alone.

The great start is backed up if not quite matched by Locked In next, the portentous emergence of the encounter the appetiser to scenery of blackened malevolence courtesy of the vocals within a sonic tapestry of melodies and emotive colour. Carrying a classic heavy metal air at times, the track flirts and entices with every wash of melodies and bait of restrained rhythms with only the again caustic and this time not so adventurous squalls of Hallquist a tempering factor. It is enough though to accentuate the missing spark in the song compared to its predecessor, and the indefinable but prevalent essence which ignites the following Rendition. The third track, as the first, is a colossal beast in ears and attention within its first breath. The vocals are back on diverse form and riffs a rampant predation as they unite with the just as brutal rhythmic provocation. It is a formidable and addictive intimidation which finds a new plateau with the burst of impressive clean vocals from Amott and his subsequent tendrils of breath-taking sonic invention. The song is magnificent, everything about it as engrossing and seductive as it is venomously inhospitable, every flaming groove, unpredictable twist, and barbed hook a theatre of ingenuity and passion sculpting a canvas for body and emotions to greedily immerse in.

Its epic persuasion though casts a shadow which neither Fugitive Dust nor Conquer can evade next, though each provides plenty to keep an already potent appetite for the release satisfied. The first of the two rumbles with a great throaty bass threat from Claudius as guitars again burn air and sear the senses. Again though the vocals of Hallquist reveal little enterprise, certainly in comparison to the previous song, and dampened the seventies psych rock and progressive climate of the encounter. Its successor challenges and assaults with another breed of toxically enchanting and malicious intent where this time vocals find that enjoyable and inventive extra as they help enhance the internal conflict of the track where rage and melodic seduction entwine like creative lovers. The relatively short but exciting track makes way for the masterful drama of Thanatron. A gorgeous opening of acoustic guitar beauty swiftly has ears and emotions enthralled, and still tightly gripped as riffs and rhythms emerge from within its light to prowl and stalk the psyche. Equipped with seriously addictive grooves and scythes of melodic tempting, the song simultaneously bullies as it spellbinds, another incitement where every predacious shadow and melodic coaxing comes with thick virulence.

One triumph leads into the instrumental beauty of another, Background Radiation a warm yet haunting caress casting its own sublime provocative spell before making way for the scintillating and epically weighted grandeur of The Watcher. Brutal rhythms and riff driven scourges assault the senses with rapacious tenacity but have to submit to the welcome return of the clean vocal flames which erupt within the tempestuous soundscape. It is another mouth-watering tsunami of invention and craft which seems to grow broader and more impressive with every listen, just like next up Equalizer with its cantankerous threat of sinew sculpting rhythms and melodic exploration. Dipping into a mix of progressive and heavy metal, power and folk seeded enterprise, the track also captivates without restraint even though the viciousness it offers is held down by the warmth elsewhere in comparison to the absorbing turmoil of the last track.

Completed by Giants, though the CD version of the album has bonus track Stone Worker included, Captivity and Devourment is an invigorating confrontation and temptation. The last song is another missing that final intangible ingredient which turns great songs into insatiable treats within the album, but it is still a fine end to a release that can only be heartily recommended. As we said previously, you can expect differing views and tastes when comparing the might of the album against Armageddon’s previous offerings, such their open uniqueness to each other, but for us it has to be seriously considered as maybe their finest moment.

Captivity and Devourment is available from January 26th via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/fr/143_armageddon

https://www.facebook.com/armageddonbandofficial

RingMaster 26/01/2015

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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