Abstracter – Wound Empire

abstracter_band_pic_1

Thrusting the listener into a doomed physical and emotional landscape, a stark yet compelling void, US doomers Abstracter enchant and suffocate with the impressive Wound Empire. Four tracks to immerse within gleefully whilst expanding into the darkest corners of the psyche, the forty minute long album is a tantalising and fearsome journey though the rawest of climates over uncompromising wastelands.

Wound Empire is the successor to debut album Tomb of Feathers; a new encounter which those in the know suggest finds the Oakland band taking their already acclaimed sound to further reaching intensive heights. Breeding their own bordering on hallucinatory soundscapes within Wound Empire from inspirations which range from essences of Godfesh, Swans, and Neurosis to His Hero is Gone, Blut Aus Nord, Dystopia, and Darkthrone, Abstracter recorded their release with Greg “The Wizard of Doom” Wilkinson (Brainoil, Iron Lung, High On Fire, Noothgrush, OM, Atriarch) last year. Continuing their “fascination with concepts of human decline, cultural and industrial ruin, and complete social collapse,” the band swiftly engulfs and incites from the release’s first breath.

Lightless opens on a sonic breeze, broadening its haunted cold presence through raw caresses of guitar and a resonating heavy bass tone. As the whole of the album’s proposal, the track is a slow expansion of sound but every note and heavy lure offers a potent piece in an emerging picture. Once in full caustically scenic view, riffs gnaw and beckon with corrosive breath and infectious nature whilst the bass turns carnivorous in sound and predation as it prowls the track’s primordial terrain. Oppressively heavy and crushingly merciless, the doom drenched offering surprisingly has a potent swagger and contagiousness to its unsettling presence, a catchiness to enthral and grip ears and body as imagination and emotions are buffeted and ignited by the sonic enterprise.

There is no respite from the cavernous depths and cold of the climate evolved in its predecessor as Open Veins follows; the blackened sludge reaped tar of sound and coarse emotions a FINAL_ABSTRACTER_jacketmelancholic poison seeping over flesh and thought whilst crust caked vocals roar and slowly squally within the invasive doom. Slim but toxic grooves only add to the allure and detached nature of the track, their minimalistic but rich tempting a vine to grip as the rest of the sounds and vocals groan with the breath of hell.

The transfixing presence of Cruciform comes next and by this point the realisation that Wound Empire should definitely be taken as one fluid dose rather than individual apocalyptic descents into glacial prisons is evident. It is fair to say that the track holds none of the almost welcoming traits of its predecessors but still has some form of catchiness to its flight into the heart of the soulless; its sounds binding as they erode air and senses with caustic persistence.

Wound Empire is concluded by Glowing Wounds, a calmer slightly celestial tempting which still remains encased in an immense doom sculpted embrace. The track is as meditative as it is sonically fierce, a lingering flight across radiant hopes but accompanied by an insidious hold of unrelenting blackened malevolence. A masterful end to a seriously riveting encounter, song and album will not be an easy fit for all, but offers a thought and emotion provoking arousal each can take something from. In the dark times and world which encroaches on us all, it is releases like this and its groan of hell rather than most tirades of words which brings the cold reality home.

Wound Empire is released in the US and Europe on February 10th 2015 digitally via Sentient Ruin Laboratories @ http://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/wound-empire, on cassette through Sentient Ruin Laboratories and An Out Recordings, on CD by COF Records, and in vinyl version by Fragile Branch Recordings in the US and Vendetta Records, 7Degrees Records, and Shove Records across Europe.

http://abstracterband.com/

RingMaster 10/02/2015

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

 

Unforgiving the black and raw: an interview with Thorns of Kult

Thorns Pictures by Blazing Visions

Pictures by Blazing Visions

It has been six years in the coming but the return of Italian black metallers Kult with their second album Unleashed From Dismal Light has equally regained and reinforced the band’s presence and reputation as one of the rawest essential old school black metal provocateurs and ignited another fervour of passion from fans and those new to the band. With a new vocalist on board, the Como quartet has uncaged a force of sonic causticity, vitriol, and rapacious malevolence which provides the healthiest depths of satisfaction in its victims. To learn more about Kult, their new album, the long time between releases and much more we had the pleasure to talk with drummer Thorns.

Hello and thanks for talking with us at the Ringmaster ReviewCould you start by telling us about the beginnings of Kult and the origins of its members?

Kult was born in 2002 with the only purpose of playing old school Black-Metal. The band released one demo tape, 2 albums and a split EP with The Stone so far. The band had some line-up problems during the years and also some problems with personal life that forced the member to stop activities for almost 3 years in the recent past. But actually I have to say we’re finally back to stay. The actual line up is composed by:  Kacele (guitars), D.White (bass), Tumulash (vocals) and me Thorns (drums).

You mentioned that purpose which came with the band has that intent changed or evolved over time?

Nope. Nothing has changed from the beginning actually. When the band was created the guys wanted to play old school and as you can listen on the new album after more than 10 year of existence, nothing has changed, and of course I can assure nothing will change in the future as well.

Your sound is bred in raw old school black metal as you say, what have been the influences over time which has seeded inspirations?

Well, as you can imagine we’ve grew up listening to raw music so our influences are actually from that. I’m the older guy of the band so I can speak from myself telling that Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth or early Immortal were my solid basis of my youth…but well I can also speak for the guys saying they loved hell bands like Armagedda, Craft or Gorgoroth as well…and we can definitely say we can hear that from our music!

kult_unleashedfromdismallight_cover (1)You have just released your strongly anticipated second album Unleashed From Dismal Light, how has it been received from those waiting appetites?

I have to say that I never expected such a great “welcome back!” As I told before, the band had to stop for 3 long years and you know…a lot of people usually forget what it was so I truly believed a lot of people forgot about us…but I have to say I was wrong. A lot of people wrote us back saying they were happy to see we were still alive and kicking with a new album out. This was awesome for us…these kinds of things give you more energy and determination to go ahead stronger than before.

It has between six years between Unleashed From Dismal Light and debut album Winds Of War; you touched on it earlier but can you elaborate on the reasons for the long stretch of time?

Life sucks man…some of us got into some troubles with jobs, other personal issues about family…and also consider we’re not living so close (me and the other guys around 400km) so it is not easy all the time to get the right mood and be strong enough to “survive”. Sometimes you just need a break because it is too much. This is what basically happened within the band…but as you can see after all those problems were solved, the band rises back from the ashes with renewed energy and strength.

We suggested the album was not concerned in breaking down boundaries for black metal but concentrating on giving it a new and fresher toxicity and sonic pestilence to get excited about; a fair comment?

Not sure to understand exactly what you mean…but by my side I can surely tell that this new album is more powerful and direct than the first one…but if you listen carefully the music is also slower than the early composition. We actually focused on the songs, not asking ourselves what people would expect from us after a so long break. We could release a killer high speed album to get people some fresh meat to grind but we preferred going ahead completely true with ourselves, following our hearts. Mostly of the new songs are mid tempos or slow and the mood is more heavy and “pestilential” I would say. This is pure bone-breaking music, no bullshit! There are many bands out there playing fast…we’re not in the same race; we’re not looking for some medals! We’re not interested in competitions!! Do you want to get sick? Do you want to get mad? Do you want to get pain in the neck? “Unleashed From Dismal Light” might be what you’re looking for. Give it a try.

How has the creation and recording of Unleashed From Dismal Light compared to its predecessor and how would you say your sound and songwriting has evolved between the pair?

Well, to tell you the truth this album, except for some lyrics, is 3 years old. I mean we already composed it back in 2010 when we had the break. Everything was ready to be recorded shortly after but well, you already know the story. So basically I can say there is not much difference between the 2 albums except for the fact that on the second one it’s me on drums, and on the first one they had another drummer. Technically I can say the new one is more tight and powerful but musically I feel not much difference. Probably we could start noticing some years passed on new compositions but I can tell nothing about it right now.

What is the writing process with Kult?

Probably nothing exciting: the guitar player show the other guys some riffs and all of the band starts working on it. Average band modus operandi.

kult pictures by Luneth Vinönen

pictures by Luneth Vinönen

We already knew, knowing before his vocals style, that the album would have sounded completely different so we gave him the complete freedom to express himself the way he liked the most. We are friends since a long time ago so when we asked him to join the band we already had some kind of common vision of how the album should have sounded. We also downtuned the guitars/bass to give it the general mood. To be honest everything went better than expected ’cause I had an idea about the final result that Tumulash completely burned to the ground ‘cause he sung in a completely different and new way I didn’t expect from him. So yeah, today I’m more and more confident about the decision to take him on board.

Please give us some insight into the recording of the album and its raw unforgiving sound, was it as it hints at done as a live recording to achieve the rich merciless sound?

We didn’t want to record the new album in a proper studio this time…we wanted a raw approach that only someone who knows what we’re talking about can give it. So we recorded it in our rehearsal room (Beastcave Studios) with the precious help of a friend of mine that is a talented black-metal musician and sound engineer. We used our equipment and all the things we usually have in the dark room, so even if all instruments have been recorded separately like in a normal professional studio, the general mood sounds like a live recording. It is exactly what we wanted.

Lyrically the songs feel like a statement and attack on the toxicity in the world and us as people but also at times seem to carry a personal breath or essence of the writer, how much of the album is that close to the personal thoughts and experiences of the band?

Some songs come from the previous singer and have just been revisited and adapted by Tumulash, others have been written by Tumulash himself and they speak about some personal things I really don’t like to talk about. Some lines are quite clean to understand, some are more cryptic. Each listener can find his own way to decode them.

It is hard for any band to grab a spotlight when releasing an album, even a band like Kult with a strong and acclaimed pedigree from previously releases; how have you found it with Unleashed From Dismal Light especially within black metal circles?

Our previous label, French Debemur Morti Productions, did an amazing job some years ago spreading the Kult name all around and selling/trading a lot of copies as well…so well, when we recorded the new album we just sent some promos around and Folter Records was the fastest one which gave us a good offer. Actually we knew the label and the guy behind it for a long time so we quickly agreed to work together. It is always easier when you know the guys personally and there is some kind of mutual respect for each other work.

KULT_BandfotoCan we expect a full on presence from Kult from now on live and from the studio, no six years before the next release? 😉

I hope not of course! ha ha! Kult are back to stay but you know, life is full of traps and misfortune behind every corner. The only sure thing, except Death, is that we have a lot of live shows booked for the next year including some interesting festivals as well, so no time to slow down even for a bit!

Talking of those live shows is there anything planned tour wise to promote Unleashed From Dismal Light?

We discussed many times with Folter Records about a possible tour for Kult but we need to check all the details each time. It is not easy ‘cause we all have a regular job but we’ll see what we can do. For sure we’ll play as much as we can and are talking about single shows or festival appearances.

Once again many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you wish to share?

Thanks for the space. Give “Unleashed From Dismal Light” a listen.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KULT/166348940061985

Read the Unleashed From Dismal Light review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/kult-unleashed-from-dismal-light/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Dissension – Of Time And Chronic Disease

Dissension Press Photo

If you are ever undecided which genre to grace your day with then veering over to the debut album from Canadian metallers Dissension could very well solve your indecision. Combining a core of thrash, black, and power metal with numerous other flavoursome essences from multiple metal bred aspects into a coherent and fluid rapacious adventure, the band is a striking proposition with a debut album in the shape of the thrilling storm Of Time And Chronic Disease which simply exhilarates and captivates. Certainly the release needs time to lay out its ultimately irresistible persuasion and imaginative narrative but the effort is rewarded with a thoroughly invigorating and scintillating fury of inventive rabidity and deeply satisfying enterprise.

Formed in 2007 as Set to Kill with a different sound to what evolved and rampages through the ear on their first album, the Montreal quintet of vocalist guitarist Nathan Afilalo, guitarist Matteo Conti, keyboardist Andrew Proppe, drummer Anthony Pulcini, and bassist Oli Aveline (since left to be replaced by Giancarlo Cininni), took little time waking up appetites and attention locally and beyond. Shows with the likes of Tyr, Threat Signal, and Cryptopsy and an appearance on the prestigious Heavy MTL stage in 2011 all enhanced and accelerated their brewing stature but you can only suspect that Of Time And Chronic Disease will lead Dissension to a loftier height of awareness and recognition worldwide such its impressive encounter.

Produced by Kevin Jardine of Uplift Productions, (Slaves on Dope, What Comes To Life, One) and mastered by Ryan Morey (Arcade Fire, Album Cover - Dissension - Of Time And Chronic DiseasePriestess, Half Moon Run), the album immediately tells you what it is all about with opener Thralls To The Crucified. The track opens with a sturdy thrash inspired regimented attack of riffs and rhythms, their restrained but firm stance opening up the senses for the evocative keys which lay a suggestive wash over the growing hunger. Opening into a scenic melodic and sonic landscape crafted by the excellent invention of guitars and keys, the vocals of Afilalo caustically growls and squalls over the enticing venture adding to the intimidation stalking the track through the bass of Aveline and the predatory beats of Pulcini. Never seemingly staying in one gait and certainly one style for longer than is needed to get the sonic point across, the track is a riveting expanse of ingenuity subsequently echoed across the whole album.

The following Graceless Death is a venomous charge of blackened metal with symphonic winds smouldering in the background whilst their frequent louder whispers make a fuller seduction from time to time. With an intensive twisted groove and a flight of predacious riffing the song steals the breath, soothes the violation, and steals it once again across its inventively startling length. As becomes apparent in all the songs, it is impossible to take everything in the first, second, arguably even the third and fourth listen but that just makes each confrontation a giving and ever evolving pleasure.

The likes of Blacksteel with its less demanding heavy metal breath, though the track soon menaces and threatens with muscular intensity and ravenous creativity, the magnetic merger of light and dark suasion Set To Kill, and the finely crafted Legacy continue the enthralling start. The last of the three opens with an elegant melodic descript before unleashing flames of technically expressive and compelling shadow drenched emprise, the track another which seamlessly bringing light and dark, melodies and savage intrusion into an absorbing and continually evolving provocative triumph.

Immense and enthralling from the start Of Time And Chronic Disease reaches another plateau with its title track, the first single from the album. From a potent and rich atmospheric soundscape impressively carved by riffs, drums, and bass, and coloured by as now expected precise and imaginative melodic hues from keys and guitars, the track slowly unveils its sinister serpentine like bestial intent, the vocals a dangerous portent against the excellent discord tainted piano. The track like the imagination is soon at the mercy of the malevolence at the heart of the song though once more the track is a thrilling scenic passage through the darkest corners alongside the brightest sonic torches.

Dissention and Apotheosis bring the album to a stimulating intensive close, both like all before exploring the darkest depths of human nature and its accompanying shadows. As mentioned the layers and creative depths of the songs and album are only really discovered over numerous engagements thus making it impossible to truly portray all that the album contains in written word but that the rewards are rich and plenty is all you really need to know. Of Time And Chronic Disease is an outstanding debut and declaration of an emerging force in Dissension which you sense could be inspiring many future bands as the likes of Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone, Sepultura, Kalmah, Nile, and Amon Amarth inspired them.

https://www.facebook.com/DissensionMTL

9/10

RingMaster 11/09//2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Inter Arma: Sky Burial

DSC_0275

    Sky Burial is an album which already people are shouting from the rooftops about and once consumed by its impacting perfect storm of creativity and exhausting mass it is hard to resist joining them in a fire of ardour. The album is immense, a genre stirring offering from a band in Inter Arma who will define and engineer new inspiring avenues ahead just as they have with this sensational release.

Formed in 2006, the quintet from Richmond, VA merges the thickest richest essence of doom, sludge, psychedelia and grind as well as inciting black metal and progressive flames to create their own unique and formidable sound and place in metal. Their debut album Sundown in 2010 rightly put the metal and critics on eager alert but with Sky Burial, which follows their acclaimed Destroyer EP of last year, Inter Arma has ingrained an indelible mark upon metal and set new plateaus and bench marks for others to aspire to. The album is like a tsunami, hurricane, and tornado of aggression and invention rolled in to one infernal and riveting tempest, and the fact that despite its staggering presence it still has moments which do not quite light internal fires so you feel and know there is still so much more to come from the band. This realisation is frightening and deeply exciting when immersed within the massive triumph that is Sky Burial.

Released on Relapse Records, the album immediately lays a sonic scourge upon the senses with The Survival Fires, the guitar riffsskyburial_900 thick, musky, and striking against the insatiable drum rolls of T.J. Childers. The track envelops and rolls around the ear with acidic venom and a pervading malevolent breath driven by the insidious earth borne squalls of Mike Paparo, his delivery a scathing abuse and graze upon emotions. The repetitive grooved hook which pervades the song enchants and niggles with a tortuous tease which with its insidiously persistent ignites eager acceptance and defiant antipathy. The persuasion is merciless though and submission to the erosive imagination and tar thick power of song and band is a given, the guitars of Steven Russell and Trey Dalton brewing a perpetual mix of invention and that repetition which magnetises the senses towards them whilst the bass of Joe Kerkes has a delicious hunger which drools over every oppressive note.

The following piece The Long Road Home comes in two movements, the first Iron Gate a simmering and shimmering blaze of reflective acoustic guitar and sonic spirals of sound lighting the sky of the track whilst an emotive resonance brews from the rest of the band to surround the expressive heart of the track. It eventually escalates into a brief blistering intrusion before settling down as the second part opens up its again restrained and isolated passion through coaxing guitars, shuffling beats, and biting ambient winds. The track is a reflection inspiring piece which unleashes more energy and emotion the further across its soundscape it goes, its gait and energy rising to compliment the almost pictorial and reminiscent touch it offers. Everything though leads to a maelstrom driven climax of blackened malignance with sonic scarring and savage rhythms to match the exhausting serpentine vocal abrasion. The two pieces combined are an enthralling confrontation as unique to the opener and tracks to follow but united in its overwhelming strength and emotive foreboding.

Destroyer is pure corrosion in aural form, every second from its invidious vortex of grooved toxin and lumbering predatory rhythms through to the enveloping raw vocal hatred and unrelenting light suppressing persistence, a thoroughly compelling and deeply welcomed transgressor to senses and emotions. Into the latter part of its mission of intent the band shifts and twists the track with captivating inventive additions in sound and energy but never loosens its cruel consumptive embrace.

At this point the album has already convinced the passions of their destination but with the simply stunning ‘sblood leaves them orgasmic in lust. The song is a classic, one of the most thrilling tracks heard anywhere in a long time. The drums and rhythms of Childers are sensational, a torrent of vicious enterprise and rabid savagery matched by the carnivorous bass and ravenous riffs. The track for its whole gnaws and gnaws upon the senses, with the moment where bass and drum are left alone to unleash their own ruinous ravaging instructive and destructive to all primal instincts. The track is a blistering chaos which with ease sucks the listener into its innovative and towering mass, a declaration which applies to the whole of the exhilarating and awe igniting album.

Through the remaining furnace of imagination and aggressive energy in the tracks Westward and its dramatic ferocity, the instrumental Love Absolute, and the epic imposing closing title track, Sky Burial is a phenomenal release which will impact on fans, bands, and the various genres they embrace ahead. If the likes of Neurosis, Melvins, Darkthrone, Kylesa, and Rwake pave your passions than Inter Arma have something to stretch your heart further.

https://www.facebook.com/INTERARMA

9/10

RingMaster 19/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

www.audioburger.com