Despite – EPic

Despite Online Promo Shot

Poke a wild beast and you get a savaging, an obvious fact which certainly also applies to Swedish metallers Despite and their new EP EPic. Band and release go for the jugular from their first breath and never relinquish their gripping rancor and highly flavoursome persuasion until the final note of rage dissipates. With a sound which draws on a diversity of styles bound in a passion which is as open as the venom in every groove and the anger driving every rhythmic and corrosive twist, EPic is exactly what it says on the tin.

Hailing from Gothenburg and formed in 1998, Despite has consistently drawn strong responses and acclaim from fans and the underground media for their releases and live presence, a clamour seemingly increasing year by year. With a sound which reminds forcibly of Mudvayne around their The End of All Things to Come album but equally the likes of Soilwork and Meshuggah infused into something individual to the band, Despite feel like they are at the point where the wider metal world is waking up to their fury, especially now thanks to the might of EPic. Through debut album In Your Despite of 2009 and its successor Clenched a year later, the quintet has honed a sound and developed a stature which demands attention but the new EP is another big step which with its initial release last November and now a focus grabbing reboot on January 19th, provides a commanding wake-up call to the rest of the unsuspecting metal world.

Opener As You Bleed looms up on ears from a distance with an immediate tangy groove, which as it reaches its destination erupts in a controlled but vibrant maelstrom of intensity and attitude equipped with even broader grooving amidst potently jabbing beats. The guitars of Timmy Leng and André Gonzales are instant inescapable bait, Meshuggah seeded riffs a jagged lure within a toxic caress of melodic enterprise. There is also a sense of intimidation and rage to the song which finds its potent exit through the heavily swung rhythms of drummer Oscar Nilsson and the bracing vocals of Peter Tuthill. His deliver is a perpetual snarl but with a clarity which allows the ire and passion of the lyrics in each individual narrative to make a formidable incitement to match the sounds. There is also variety to his attack as clean elements are allowed to stand alongside his abrasing strengths, a mix which works a treat and nestles perfectly in the blistering Despite PromoImagetempest of the craft around him.

The outstanding start is continued through Awakening, a furious ravaging of the senses from the first second but as the first, coming with a twisting turbulence of invention and intensity. More blustery and hostile than its predecessor, the song also has a sonic grooving which compels the imagination whilst a blend of melodic and destructive invention reminds of Chad Gray and co in union with Dark Tranquility. It is a hellacious temptation leaving appetite greedy and senses throbbing, and there is no respite as Unexceptional steps up next. The third song opens on another enticing snarl punctuated by nasty drums rallies aided by the increasingly potent and enthralling bass threat of Mathias Dagerhed. An explosion of animosity of course is not far away, the track subsequently spilling creative enmity and emotional bad blood with contagious and bewitching effect. It is a seducing which also appears in an Indian flavouring which veins the turmoil, a exoticness which grows and blossoms with increasing temptation as the song reaches its fiery finale and explores a strong whisper of Motherjane in the inventive turbulence.

The song is superb but swiftly matched and at times surpassed by Give Me Life. Bestial in sound and touch from the first clawing of ears, the encounter blazes a scarring trail across the senses. In that unbridled scorching though vocals unite in anthemic rebellion and grooves dance devilishly, both igniting an already breath-taking ferocity. Excellent clean vocal tempting and atmospheric melodic sighs add to the intrigue and unpredictability of the song, but are always shaded by the delicious creative animus of the song.

It leaves final song Sanctum Falls some task to leave the listener on a matching high, a challenge firmly met by its creative drama and exploration. The song is arguably the most inventive and unique provocation on the encounter, offering a Slipknot like colouring to again an expectations dismissing adventure in songwriting and sound, and though it might just miss the plateau of its companions on the EP, it leaves satisfaction full and praise eager.

For newcomers to Despite, EPic is a stirring and exciting introduction whilst those already in the know, will surely agree the EP is the band on a whole new plateau.

No strangers to line-up shuffles, Despite since the initial release of EPic has seen the departure of Dagerhed with a search of a new bassist on going and the arrival of third guitarist Zoran Panovic; just another twist in the gripping ascent of the band to eagerly explore ahead.

EPic is available from January 19th @ http://despiteofficial.bandcamp.com/album/epic-2

http://www.despiteofficial.com/

RingMaster 19/01/2015

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We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning

 

760137614821_TOX030_We-All-Die-(laughing)_Photo

     A long epic track going well into double figures time wise is never the most immediate persuasion here to be honest so it is fair to say that the debut album from We All Die (Laughing) with its single thirty three minute track was not the most instant appetiser and top of the list to cover. The fact that Thoughtscanning was released by Kaotoxin Records, a label which had a glorious year in releasing impressive inventive propositions in 2013, did encourage a dive into the proposition offered, plus the fact that the band consists of multi-talented musician and composer Déhà (C.O.A.G., Maladi) and vocalist Arno Strobl of Carnival In Coal and site favourites 6:33. It will prove to be one of the wisest decisions made this year at The RR and by anyone who immerse within what is an extraordinary experience and towering creative tempest. The album is a masterful enticement and admittedly challenging encounter but one all should bravely embrace.

    Creating a continually expanding landscape of emotionally drenched progressive dark metal, but with so much more to its 760137614821_TOX030_We-All-Die-(laughing)_Artwork_1400x1400-300imaginative adventure, Thoughtscanning is a piece of work which leaves the richest satisfaction and experience in its wake. We All Die (Laughing) first emerged as guest musicians on Eye Of Solitude’s EP The Deceit, their offering now reissued as a bonus track on the band’s recently released excellent album Canto III. Now the French-Bulgarian link-up fully unveils itself as a creative force to be reckoned with and incited by with their debut.

      A long guitar casts the first coaxing, its melodramatic voice and resonance a lone figure in a barren atmosphere but as potently evocative and imagination sparking as you could wish for. It has an essence of early-The Cure to its call which is enhanced with a wash of minimalistic melodic enticement and great earthy throaty tones from the bass. It is a deliciously magnetic entrance which is so powerful that when flames of skilfully sculpted guitar light the air a tinge of disappointment washes over emotions just for a second or two.

     From here on in the song slowly but clearly expands with its every second, the ever appealing vocals of Strobl adding another provocative aspect to the already compelling persuasion. Stretching further into its dark shadow drenched heart, the clean melodically built vocals merge with sanity bruising squalls whilst an intensity coats and increases the urgency of the sounds even when they find new avenues to slowly and elegantly investigate within the at times bordering on psychotic expulsion of emotional toxicity. It is impossible to clearly represent all that is going on and unleashed within Thoughtscanning but sure to say musically the track evolves through webs and mixtures of progressive and black metal, avant-garde and melodic death metal, doom and jazz metal with more besides, every minute a new recipe and provocation impossible to tear away from.

    As suggested earlier vocally the track also is a vibrantly shifting temptation, smooth melodic tones moving into guttural torrents with ease and in other moments creating a dark shadow through intensive deliveries which simply shape the syllables into an impacting and thought provoking narrative. Not for the first time in his career Strobl brings moments which are pure Mike Patton like to the persistently evocative adventure and in union with Déhà creates a maelstrom of seduction and venom which is as thrilling and compelling as the music surrounding their bait.

     The down side to the album?…well it is so long that it will definitely not suit all but it would be amiss not to say that there is never a moment where it is predictable and does not have senses and attention on alert for more breath-taking insurgences by the album into emotions and to be honest the track simply flies by, never feeling as long as it obviously is. Thoughtscanning is a thoroughly enthralling and impressive release which is a must investigation for all fans of anyone from Faith No More to Opeth, Periphery to Dark Tranquility, Tool to of course 6:33, in fact every metal fan as We All Die (Laughing) has something for all within their opus. With a limited-edition first pressing also containing a cover of Amy Winehouse track Back to Black, this is a must.

www.facebook.com/wealldielaughing

9.5/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deals Death – Point Zero Solution

Deals Death 2LR

Immediately attention gripping and venomously intrusive, Point Zero Solution the new album from Swedish melodic death metallers Deals Death shows it is also an insidiously creative beast when it comes to persuasion. Whilst gnawing upon and chewing up the senses, the album works deceptively away beneath the tumultuous surface tempting and seducing thoughts and emotions into a full and lingering submission. It is a riveting confrontation from a band set to explode to even greater recognition within extreme metal.

Formed in a music college by guitarist Erik Jacobson with a couple of fellow students, the band moved through line-up changes before releasing their self-financed debut Internal Demons which was met with strongly positive reviews and responses. The band moved to Gothenburg as new members joined the band before recording second album, Elite in 2010. Linking up with Spinefarm Records the album was released in March 2012 again to great reactions, the video of the track Fortified released the previous year sparking eager anticipation for the album’s release. Live the band has also earned a big reputation with shows alongside the likes of Scar Symmetry, Hypocrisy, and Dark Tranquility, tours across Sweden, Finland, Japan and the UK, as well as numerous festival appearances such as at House Of Metal, Rockstad Falun, and Sweden Rock only increasing their presence and stock.

Point Zero Solution takes the band to another level, its potent and dramatic textures an intriguing and captivating distraction for the Deals_Death-Point_Zero_Solutioncarnivorous intensity which drives forward the striking invention and malevolence. Themed by the destructive nature and progression which brings down the systems of nature and society, the album opens with its title track. Opening with a brooding and brewing soundscape rife with intimidation and drama, the song makes an impactful entrance, an apocalyptic introduction which only accelerates into a more formidable and menacing presence as rhythms and riffs start to rip down the remains of the once safe landscape. Caged and thrust forth by the excellent predacious rhythmic enticement of drummer Janne Jaloma and bassist Fredrik Ljung, the track explores its darkest streets and open thoughts of the listener, imagination sparked by the dark venomous temptation merged with smouldering and glowing guitar enterprise from Jacobson and Sebastian Myrén. Vocalist Olle Ekman is a grizzled toned lyrical conductor to it all, his malicious growls and squalls the perfect vehicle for spite and lost hope to drive.

The excellent start is followed by the impressive Facing The Echoes, a sultry dance of keys beckoning in the muscular intent and heart of the track whilst ensuring yet again appetite for the song is keenly awake. Creatively expressive within the tall walls of intensity and wrapped in melodramatic breath, the track like most on the album twists and turns within its imagination and invention, creating an unpredictable and captivating venture. The keys on the album are outstanding throughout and at times exceptional as here where it provides a contagious flame alongside the equally potent guitar narrative rich in sonic colour.

Escalation has a rapacious hunger to its attack and charge, riffs fired in a thrash kiln whilst the atmospheric sky of the song is symphonic/power metal in its suggestive descript. It is a seamless and fluid blend which has senses and limbs intensively involved whilst thoughts and emotions have an equally tempting canvas to explore their corners and limits too. Continuing the excellent start the track steps aside for two more pinnacles in firstly Flatline and the even greater Passion For Infinity. The first song is an epically honed expanse of rousing melodic craft whilst its successor again with a delicious key lead in takes the mind through a scenery of impending peril and chilling elegance, the keyboard invention stunningly effective and poignant building a union of destruction and radiance.

The likes of the caustically elegant classic metal teasing The Separation and especially the scintillating predation Paramount Authority grip tightly to the plateaus set and passion ignited whilst Dark Dream Dawn with its climactic intensity and fervency within an irresistible and brilliantly crafted blaze of melodic ingenuity climbs another to another level of excellence.

Every track on Point Zero Solution provides an enthralling and generally breath-taking furnace of blood soaked, sweat dripping quality and toil, the closing Author Of Arts providing a last ravenous fury to devour greedily. Pushing boundaries whilst still openly within existing limits, Deals Death has created an invigorating annihilatory triumph which declares the band as a real force of the future.

www.facebook.com/dealsdeath

9/10

RingMaster 12/09/2013

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Thee Orakle: Smooth Comforts False

For all of the distinct positives and equally deep negatives the internet has had on music and bands, one of the greater goods to come from it is the accessibility of artists from countries and places far removed from the media given base and our own country borders. In recent months here alone we have come across stunning bands and releases from the likes of the United Arab Emirates, Russia, South America, and the Maldives to name just four. Bands and music that would have escaped attention before the internet grew its searching claws to go beyond the media force fed likes from the UK and the US. Though Portugal is not situated in the furthest reaches of the globe it is a place where music never really escaped far beyond its walls. So praise the internet for making that possible and for bringing the likes of Thee Orakle to the attention of a great many more, something the release of their excellent new album Smooth Comforts False should turn into an even greater and eager growing mass.

Formed in 2005, Thee Orakle soon built up a fine reputation in their homeland for their well crafted music. It was not long before their sounds made further marks with radio play overseas and a request to them to be part of a compilation release. 2007 saw their debut EP Secret released, more impressive live shows (over the years sharing stages with the likes of Bal-Sagoth, W.A.K.O., Heavenwood, Sirenia, Dark Tranquility, Cynic, Amon Amarth, Orphaned Land), and an increasing attention further afield with airing on further reaching radio shows and through other media vehicles but it was their heavily acclaimed debut album Metaphortime in 2009 that was the point they found themselves a bigger notable name on an ever swelling wave of enthused focus. Now following that up with Smooth Comforts False via Ethereal Sound Works, the band has returned with an even more majestic and stunning album. Their music is an inspiring and mesmeric blend of imaginative progressive metal laced and veined with heady jazz influences, Middle Eastern essences, and symphonic metal graces as well as senses riling metal, groove and tech metal intrusions. It is a mighty unpredictable feast that excites, intrigues, and consistently keeps one enthralled.

The album from the septet of vocalists Micaela Cardoso and Pedro Silva, guitarists J. Ricardo Pinheiro and Pedro Mendes, bassist Daniel Almeida, drummer Frederico Lopes, and Luís Teixeira on keys, is a release that bursts with ingenuity and imagination but weaves it all seamlessly into a musical maze for the deepest satisfaction. Where other bands experiment, many bring a disjointed or punchy intermittent mix which works for them but openly highlights each distinct diversion within the music. Thee Orakle bring all their ideas into a smooth and organic wave of aural beauty, and whether they go from beauteous flighted melodies into djented manipulations or from blood raging aggression into mesmeric ripples of smooth light, the result is always captivating and naturally flowing.

The album opens with Faraway Embrace and immediately it has the senses standing up and grinning with anticipation. The song paces with sturdy formidable riffs and commanding rhythms whilst the guitars entice with fleeting grooves. The keys expand and wrap themselves around the ear as the gruff growls of Silva rough up the edges of song and ear. The wonderful voice of Cardoso than enters to temper and compliment her harsher vocal companion and to walk hand in hand with the warm melodies. Midway the song steps to the side to enter an expressive progressive sound to gently coax and beckon one further inside the vibrant tech metal toned returning attack.
The excellent slightly schizophrenic Psi-drama enters next. The song begins with a sinister impressive tech metal/symphonic tone with again the mix between the two vocalists ideal and impressively worked out. The song along its length ventures into varied and always engaging asides, the song a maelstrom of intensity, surprising imagination and totally addictive, the jazz noir elements and lone soulful trumpet of Ricardo Formoso a pure joy.

Each and every song is masterful, the likes of the brilliantly enterprising and ear wrenching Evil Dreams, the gothic impassioned Winter Threat with the additional Type O Negative sounding male vocals of Marco Benevento (The Foreshadowing), and the irresistible The Bridge of the River Flowing with its ear whipping niggling metallic riffs and melodic caressing amongst the demanding aggressive intent, bringing complete pleasure.

The album produced by Daniel Cardoso, who is an impressive and emerging major force in metal, ends with its best track in Rescue of Mind. The track rampages and stomps from the off earning its right to full attention with an eager immediacy. As it pounds and explores the senses it ripples with skilled direction changes, gloriously crafted innovation , and striking invention, the dazzling mid jazz  off shoot soon merging wonderfully into the muscular mass, the song the proof of a band with the ability to create aural Masters.

Smooth Comforts False is one of the most striking and impressive albums this year, it provokes and thrills equally and is the most natural fit for the heart.

RingMaster 16/04/2012

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