Cold Snap – World War 3

CLDS - 2015 Promo Pic - 600x400

It roars, it bellows, and it rages with all the spite found in a pit of venomous snakes, but most of all World War 3 provides a seriously mouth-watering treat to open up 2015’s metal offerings in blistering style. The explosive confrontation of Croatian band Cold Snap, the album is an imagination sparking tempest of groove metal infused with a very healthy dose of nu-metal and various other spicy strains of extreme provocations. It comes with slithers of familiar and recognisable moments and sounds which only add to the drama and pleasure found in its maelstrom of inventive and adventurous enterprise. If you are looking for your first bold purchase of 2015, then World War 3 is a major contender which will not disappoint.

Coming out of Varazdin, Cold Snap formed in 2003 and was quickly into their stride with increasingly impressing live shows which subsequently saw them play with the likes of Disturbed, Suicide Silence, Pro-Pain, Dead By April, Ektomorf and Unearth as well as playing festivals such as Metal Camp, Metal Fest, and Wacken Open Air. There has also been well-received releases increasingly pushing the band’s presence into broader attention, debut EP Mea Culpa of 3005 the forerunner of their albums Empty Promises and Perfection of 2008 and 2010 respectively. Following the departure of guitarist Vlado Soldatek last October, the foursome of vocalist Jan Kerekes, guitarist Leo Friscic, bassist Zoran Ernoic, and drummer Denis Roskaric has driven on with the release of the Tue Madsen produced World War 3 through Eclipse Records. It is an attention grabber from start to finish with the weaponry and ingenuity to awaken the attention and passions of metal fans around the world.

From the first breath of Straight to Hell, song and band are rampaging through ears and brewing up a keen appetite for what is on offer. Rhythms barge and riffs snarl over the senses, only stepping back slightly as the impressive vocals of Kerekes vent with narrative and eventful ferocity. Guitars and drums are soon back to throwing their muscles around though as the song flirts with essences of Mudvayne and Slipknot embroiled with those of American Head Charge. It is a formidable and addictively flavoursome mix given originality by the unpredictable invention and enterprise of Cold Snap. Raging and accusing as it opens up the album’s premise of looking at the ‘end of days’ we live in through every form of our lives, the song is a tremendous start swiftly emulated by the psyche revelry of Carnival. Exploring a (Hed) PE like fusion of groove and punk rap, the song smoulders with intimidating character, expelling furies of waspish grooves and sonic predation. It is a stunning encounter, stalking ears and thoughts with compelling craft and threatening intensity under the rhythmic slavery of Ernoic and Roskaric.

Friscic’s guitar is equally imposing and sonically inflammatory but even more skilled and adventurous within the following Rise Again and its Disturbed meets One Minute Silence stampede CLDS - 9038 cover - 1500of sound and enterprise. As in most songs, every passage and indeed moment comes with a subsequent twist in the flow and imagination of the incitement, here a sultry and tangy croon of guitar the respite in the tempestuous majesty of the aural protest.

The brief and warped rabidity of Unleash Me comes next to intrigue and excite as it leads the listener into the destructive heart of Monster, the unveiling of the danger portentously suggested in the first of the pair. The second track sways and challenges like a heady mix of Skindred, Devildriver, and Limp Bizkit, filtering their strengths into another uniquely gripping and seriously contagious storm of aggression and sound. Every second and aspect of the song ravages and seduces ears; stirring up even greedier appetite for the album, though that is something which applies to every track it is fair to say.

The much calmer atmosphere and thick provocative depths of Dead Guardian continues the diverse nature of the album, its sublime dark caress a gentle coaxing which increases in intensity and anger as the song proceeds to release its controlled but bile loaded roar. It relaxes again but only to start the compelling process all over again. With Kerekes increasingly impressive and extending the variety and adventure of his vocals, the track is a brew of enthralling emotions and antagonism leaving ears and thoughts engrossed and easy prey for the sensational brawl of Doomsday. Opening in a similar vein to how the previous song crooned the senses, it is soon a boiling vat of emotional hostility and raging sounds but psychotic enough to fluidly drop into deranged calm before a great bedlamic mix of various caustic styles. Another major highlight of the album it is matched by the might of Silent Killer, but only after the bewitching cyber haunting of instrumental Freedom has its moment to prey on the psyche and challenge the imagination. Silent Killer opens with riveting guitar bait before launching a Mudvayne seeded challenge vocally and sonically which in turn courts a rhythmic threat and anthemic tenacity spiced with Korn colouring. Again it has to be stated that for all the comparisons what emerges is something fresh, adventurous, and virulently infectious.

The final trio of songs all add to the increasingly impressive stature of the album, Court is Corrupted stepping up first with its venomously pungent bluster and creative rabidity. It is a growling provocateur, intent on enslaving the listener with bruising and vicious craft, something it definitely has no problem succeeding with. Chameleon seizes its chance next to rage across senses already softened elsewhere on the album. Juggling rhythms and rancorous vocals under a mesmeric sonic climate, it is soon throwing off its shackles to stomp belligerently and contagiously whilst establishing another pinnacle in the mountainous range of songs.

The closing My Emptiness unveils a final new twist in the album, its Palms whispered peace the calm before the storm of Machine Head hostility tempered by melodic metal tenacity. The song continues to shift and evolve across its eight minutes leaving ears blissful and thoughts captivated.

Wrapped in just as impressive artwork, World War 3 is a real treat from a band looking ready to stand boldly and confidently in the biggest spotlight of global metal.

World War 3 is available now via Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/brands/Cold-Snap.html

http://www.cold-snap.com/

RingMaster 13/01/2015

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Clear The Auditorium – The Final Broadcast EP

Clear The Auditorium - Online Promo Shot

Released in May this year to strongly positive responses, The Final Broadcast EP from Welsh electronicore band Clear The Auditorium gets a national reboot November 17th and such its gripping presence a new wave of acclaim and recognition is a certainty. It is not a release which startles with originality yet presents a striking and rigorous confrontation which is as compelling as it is invigorating. The band’s second EP, The Final Broadcast is an attention grabbing statement of intent from a band with the potential to light major fires ahead.

Hailing from Pontypridd and formed in 2011, Clear The Auditorium entwines electronic and rock essences in a voracious merger spawned from the inspiration of bands such as Enter Shikari and Linkin Park. Last year saw the release of their debut EP 2021, a concept release following a young soldier in the midst of the third World War. Its thematic enterprise brought references to bands such as My Chemical Romance which continue to apply in The Final Broadcast, its drama centred on a post-war wasteland and rebellion against a tyrannical superpower formed in the wake of first EPs scenario. It is a lyrically enthralling encounter, though it is the music where the creative theatre is most successful. The Todd Campbell produced EP leaves appetite and its hunger greedy and satisfaction full to bursting whilst anticipation for their next endeavour is already brewing up some impatience.

The release opens with Prologue, an introduction surrounding a news alert with heavy shadows and tempting electronics before the band pushes forward with the start of the apocalyptic narrative. The electro provocation unleashed by Dafydd Richards instantly raise intrigue and sinister incitement which is simultaneously tempered and accelerated by his outstanding vocals, the vocalist strong and bullish in his raw squalls but even more impressive with his clean tones. Musically the song too seduces and threatens on its way to its successor If We Burn, a song similarly bred from the same climate of the first track. The song is a blaze of a provocation, one aflame with electronic devilry aligned to muscular rhythmic intimidation cast by drummer Caleb Priday-Jeremiah and bassist Conor Evans and courted by the predacious intent and enterprise of guitarist Matthew Bennett-Jones. The song shows where those earlier mentioned comparisons are seeded but even more it holds a strong similarity to bands like Jensen and Dead By April whilst their at times raw aggression suggests The Browning. The track is a beast of an incitement which flares up and sizzles like a battlefield.PromoImage.jpg

The following Vacant Streets is a less forceful encounter, certainly at its start but is soon imposing with rabid beats and fiercely simmering electronic vivacity. Across its equally rugged and welcoming terrain, vocals roar and spit malevolent intent whilst within the embrace of the sizzling flight of melodies, Richards croons with warm and thrilling clean tones. As all tracks, as well as being part of the overall story, there is individual drama to the song inspiring intimate reflections and connections alongside the stark landscape of the central theme. As its predecessor, an exhausting and thrilling offering it leads into Intermission, a fascinating short piece which is hard to read, but with the turning of a radio dial connecting the two tracks it feels like it represents a moment of light and lost enjoyment found by souls locked in the cold reality and broken world they hide within.

It is followed by the extraordinary We Are The Danger, easily our favourite track on the release and the band at its most adventurous and imposing best. Ignited by a dance of Morse code which is the spark to a rebellious uprising in sound and defiance, the track rages with scythes of beats and riffs, all matched by the acidic rants of electro pulses. It instantly gets body and emotions fired up ready for the heroic emprise of grooves and rampant riffing which follows. Everything about the song is anthemic from the hoarse and warm vocals, through the aggressively agitated rhythms, to the hellacious devilry driving guitars bass and mass vocal shouts. An uprising and creative brawl, the track is one of the most rousing and exhilarating songs this year reminding of now demised UK band Always The Quiet Ones.

Ozymandius comes next with gentle and elegant sonic mystique within a psychedelically kissed atmosphere. Swiftly catching the imagination with a seeming tour of lost wonders and hopes, it explosively evolves and broadens its inventive weight and passion as it strives for a new horizon of sonic light. The track is a powerful slab of evocative textures and expression potently holding its own against the masterful triumph of the previous track.

The EP is brought to a close by the slow burning and persuading Epilogue, an ultimately engrossing song which from bare voice and keys erupts into a pungently brewing tempest of emotion and climactic rhythms aligned to burning melodies. It is a fine end to an excellent adventure of sound and story. Already there are seeds of uniqueness to the character of Clear The Auditorium’s sound but there is still a fair way to go to be truly individual but with offerings like this, a release which just impresses more with every listen, we can happily wait.

The Final Broadcast EP is available now @ http://cleartheauditorium.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ClearTheAuditorium

RingMaster 17/11/2014

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Sapiency – Tomorrow

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Having already been released on CD this past march, Tomorrow the latest album from German metallers Sapiency gets a deserved digital release and distribution through Eclipse Records this month, and thankful we should all be as it is a rather flavoursome and contagious little gem which may have escaped attention otherwise. Not exactly stretching boundaries but having that little indefinable something which sets it apart from the crowd, the eleven track storm of accomplished and passion soaked invention leaves hunger for more and fat satisfaction mutually potent responses to its voracious enterprise and energy.

Hailing from Frankfurt and formed in 2008, Sapiency was soon drawing attention locally and further afield. Their acclaimed debut album Fate’s End in 2010 was just the start of a growing stature and reputation, their own tours as well as support slots to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, W.A.S.P., Dead By April, Tito & Tarantula, Deathstars, Vader, Engel, Onkel Tom (Angelripper), Power Quest, Pathfinder, and many more earning the band greater recognition as has successful performances at festivals such as 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2012 and Metalfest Open Air 2012. It is hard not to develop an eager appetite for the sextet’s sound as shown by second album Tomorrow, and with a wider network for it to spring from you suspect that Sapiency is on a rapid ascendency.

The band is tagged as melodic death metal yet that is only a fraction of the picture, or sound with the band employing a wealth of sapiency_tomorrow_cover_72dpi_rgb_900pixinspirations across the metal spectrum so that within the new album they can bring essences of In Flames or Lamb Of God to bear and at other times Bloodsimple or Livarkahil. It makes for a strikingly resourceful and thrilling encounter which from the opener Prayer For The Pain captures the imagination. From its first breath the track careers through the ear with riffs and grooves carving out their insistent presence whilst the bone splintering rhythms of drummer Kai Voss-Fels cage the tempest raging within their framework. It is a mouth-watering confrontation which never relinquishes its grip on the awoken passions right through to its final strike. The outstanding dual vocal attack of the cleaner grouchy delivery of Lars Bittner and the bestial scowls of Krsto Balic is a forceful magnetism across the whole album and strapped to the carnivorous craft of guitarists René Ritzmann and Holger Wenck, as well as the predacious bass prowl of Sebastian Fix, makes for an exhausting, riveting introduction.

Hungry Again keeps the rapacious intent and rabidity at full throttle whilst interspersing it with a seductive coaxing from the keys and a classic metal orientated temptation from the melodic casting of the guitars. The merger of bordering vindictive riffs and virulent groove metal lures to the expansive melodic adventure is impressively crafted and wholly infectious, leaving ears and emotions basking in demanding and rewarding metal at its best. Arguably there is little strikingly new on show but equally Sapiency present it in a unique and compelling way that it is as fresh and invigorating as you could wish and sets the band apart from most.

Through the likes of Free Within with its electronic tantalising seemingly fuelling an even greater aggressive fervour from band and sound as Avenged Sevenfold like sonic sculpting spears the air, and the enslaving mix of melodic enticing and strenuously robust intensity of the title track, Tomorrow continues to seize the imagination and feisty passions whilst tracks such as the crushing Weight Of The World and the slower smouldering Fight On explore deeper appealing avenues and creative corners within the songwriting and its invention.

To be honest there is not a weak moment upon the album, each track a formidable and impacting persuasion and though occasionally a surface similarity rears its attractive head it is a fleeting wrap soon punctuated and lost with keener focus. Further peaks on Tomorrow are provided by firstly the industrialised irresistible might of Turn The Tide, guitars and vocals once again weaving a rapaciously stalking narrative which is pure addiction, and by the towering presence of Torn Apart. The track is another ferocious antagonist but one just as content to let a melodic acidity and harmonic temper vein its furore.

Completed by the absorbing Dying Illusions, a final raging skilled and esurient assault, Tomorrow is a richly satisfying and exciting confrontation which does not carve out new ventures to contemplate but employs existing invention in its own unique and wholly exhilarating way. Sapiency is a band we are destined to hear much more of ahead and undoubtedly enjoy at even greater heights as the promise also burning brightly across the album suggests.

www.facebook.com/sapiency

8/10

RingMaster 26/11/2013

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The City Divided – The Endless Moment EP

Released August 6th, The Endless Moment EP from UK pop metalers (yep the term made us shudder too) The City Divided is a rather impressive little creature which arguably sets greater promise for the band ahead than marks them as a major force right now. The reason for this is that though the four track release is startling at times and always intriguingly compulsive it also raises a few questions. Where it works which is in many places, it is an exciting and striking piece of work but there are moments where one is not sure where the band is going or their intent musically, and once or twice one asks if even the band are sure.

It should be noted at this point that we thoroughly enjoyed The Endless Moment despite what one hesitates to call ‘flaws’ raising uncertainty at times. The promo sheet for the release states the band with the EP ‘served up a resourceful slice of modern rock stirring the sounds of such bands as Busted, Dead By April, Iron Maiden, and Enter Shikari into the melting pot.’ A combination to inspire the listener or make them hide behind the sofa and it is this eclectic mix which leaves the biggest question mark over the band, their music encapsulating those and more in flavour to leave one unsure of what is in the thoughts of the band. For the main it does work and at times magnificently, it is just that the ‘confused’ blend at times makes one feel this could have been a classic with more control and a more puritanical hand on their ideas.

Since forming in 200, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Alex Choo, guitarist Ash Maxwell, bassist James Langbridge, and drummer Alfie Powell, have built a strong and firmly growing following though their live shows which has seen them share stages with bands like We Are The Ocean, My Passion, Never Means Maybe, Heights, Fell Silent and The Eyes Of A Traitor. Their single Blue recorded with Dan Lancaster (Proceed) drew good acclaim something which The Endless Moment again recorded with Lancaster is sure to accelerate. It is an EP which crosses sub genres to offer something for many brought with a musicianship and accomplishment which is undeniable.

The release opens with Can’t Stop Their Laughing, a track which instantly sets the band apart. Off of an emotive piano caress and the great voice of Choo the song flexes its muscles with rippling riffs, firm rhythms and a shadowing glow of keys. It does not take long to notice the quality of the guitar work with the bass of Langbridge adding a depth with his instinctive presence within the craft of Choo and Maxwell. With stirring metal elements and scorching guitar strikes coming in behind the dual and varied clean vocals the track ups its intensity and adds dirty growls to the mix. This unfortunately does not work and as following songs show it is a mistake which threatens to derail the fine work already created. Thankfully here it is a brief and the beauty of the song spreads its wings as it progresses to make for a heated and very pleasing beginning.

Next up Higher Ground electrifies the atmosphere with sharp melodic guitar play and a brewing energy. It does not take long before the flat growls come in and one is again deflated. The clean and smooth vocals with Choo backed by Maxwell and Powell are outstanding whilst the scowling shouts work a treat throughout the whole release but the hardcore delivery is a mistake, a move which hopefully they review. The song has a classic metal feel which reminds of bands like Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold at times and is a boisterous riot combined with further strong passionate melodic enterprise. Though one hates to use the word pop it is bordering that field too but with a steel and bruising intent to keep it valid.

Though not as impressive as the opener the song is more than decent and matched by Watching The World Burn. The song has a more electro breath and is a restful piece of songwriting brought with a craft and air which is easy to immerse within. Again it does not light raging fires but shows the diversity and skill of the band perfectly and works well with its more singular direction. Its intelligent invention leads into the best track Waiting At The Gates, a bruising melodic metalcore beast. Once more the extreme vocals fall at the first hurdle but the rest of the track is a mighty and explosive piece of metal, the technical prowess and merciless aggression veined with strong melodic touches immense. Taste hopes the band explore this more in their future as the band have a real feel for the combination of extremes proven with this song.

The Endless Moment is a definite marker for a band more than likely to light up UK metal ahead whilst giving strong satisfaction in the here and now, even if it also leaves one with many thoughts.

www.thecitydivided.com

RingMaster 02/08/2012

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Silent Descent: Mind Games

The debut album Duplicity from trance metal band Silent Descent had fans and media alike enthusing and drowning it in critical acclaim to set the band as one of the rising forces in UK metal. Now they return with their follow-up album Mind Games and it is fair to say the septet from Dartford has set the bar even higher. The album bristles with intense energy whilst pulsating through dazzling and mesmeric sounds that envelope and sends the senses into welcome spasms of rapture. It is immense and continued evidence of the gripping further promise of the band.

Silent Descent formed in 2006 and set about forging their love of Scandinavian melodic death metal with trance elements to create a unique and compelling sound. They soon established themselves as an impressive new force with Duplicity two years later alongside being declared ‘Top Unsigned Band’ by KERRANG! Radio.  Since then they raised their stock with stunning live shows whilst sharing stages with the likes of Skindred and Alestorm as well as earning strong acclaim from their appearances at the Bloodstock Festival 2008 and the Download Festivals of 2009 and 2010.

Mind Games is a powerful release that feasts upon the senses with deliberate intent to consume and agitate, its blend of  heart thumping aggressive intensity and bewitching yet intrusive electronic manipulations and soundscapes a full and greedy experience that one cannot resist diving deeply within. From the opening synth led instrumental Overture there is an instant siren pull, the brain mesmerised by the expansive sounds though aware that soon a violation is going to crash the peace. Psychotic Euphoric is that intrusion, an intensive examination of the ear as it burns the flesh through thunderous rhythms and scorched guitars from Tom Callahan and Jaco Oxley. As a balm the flowing warm synths of Paul Hurrell caress the damage as do the clean vocals alongside Tom Watling who just as impressively punctures the ear drum with his bile encrusted growls.  The blend is perfect between the glittering trance sounds and melodic metal directness. The band brings Pendulum into an In Flames mix and then twists it upside down into their openly unique concoction.

The title track raises the temperature further. Its groove playing the emotions like a conjuror whilst the drums of Jerry Sadowski cane the ear skilfully and with perfect control. The dark immense riffs fuse a compelling union with the escalating work of Hurrell and Kipster with his DJ/Samples invention, but it is the heavy handed malicious tones that make the track as powerful and irresistible as it is.

Bricks is the first track where bassist Jimmy Huang is more distinct, his menacing prowling riffs bringing a depth and sinister essence behind the flowing smooth melodic majesty of the vocals and keys whilst the black metal scrawling vocals of Watling again is instinctively and eagerly challenging. Four tracks in and there is a certainty brewing  that the album is going to continue to deliver to its every end the high quality and consistency so far. The excellent imaginative Coke Stars and probably the most inventive song on the album, the emotive and explorative electro expanse of Devoid, plus the provocative immense Sober Thoughts soon provide the evidence,  holding  on to and improving the great heights and invention already reached.

Mixed by Pontus Hjelm (Dead By April) and on some tracks by hard dance DJ Technikal, plus featuring vocals from Sarah Jezebel Deva, Mind Games is a deeply enjoyable and impressive album. To be fair at times the distinction between songs is not as defined as one would have hoped, there being a similarity that invades the creativity but as the songs are of such quality it is just been picky to be honest. The craft and thought in the music as well as the realisation is stunning.  Silent Descent certainly lead the way in UK trance metal, the album pushing its boundaries with possibly only The Browning and their brutal merciless take on the genre being a step ahead across the globe right now. Go grab Mind Games you need its infiltrating splendour in your lives

RingMaster 17/04/2012

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