Chasing Dragons – Faction:Prologue

CD_RingMasterReview

Almost two years on from their forcibly impressive Checkmate EP, UK alt-metal quartet Chasing Dragons unleash its equally striking and rousing successor, the Faction:Prologue EP. The three track roar is a teaser to a forthcoming album from the Yorkshire hailing band and an incendiary confirmation that their contagious sound is one of the really fresh and dramatic proposals within the British metal scene.

Formed in 2011, the Leeds bred outfit has earned a powerful reputation for their dynamic live shows which over the years has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skindred, Pendulum, InMe, Death Angel, Betraying The Martyrs, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attack!Attack!, Skarlett Riot, and The Dead Lay Waiting among many. Early releases in the Take Flight For A Firefight EP of 2012 and the single Hindsight’s A Bitch the following year, marked the band out for attention though it is probably fair to say that Checkmate sparked the biggest acclaim loaded reactions until now. Faction:Prologue in many ways carries on where its predecessor left off with rhythmically imposing and melodically fiery proposals but equally the new trio of songs reveal a fresh richness in tone and intensity aligned to tenacious attention grabbing craft and emotive energy.

Faction-Prologue-Album-Art_RingMasterReviewwork-WebResFrom opener Devil In Her Eyes, band and release firmly seize ears and a swiftly nurtured appetite for their enjoyably imposing temptations. Straight away, the first track casts a web of melodic enterprise and bullish rhythms with matching riffs upon the senses. It is a forceful entrance as intimidating as it is inviting, especially once the recognisable and ever potent vocals of Tank spring into action. Her presence adds further drama and harmonic tempting to an already fiery mix driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Kate and bassist Murf. The track continues to infect ears and imagination with its swinging gait and sonic hooks; seemingly drawing on inspirations from bands such as Halestorm and Avenged Sevenfold but in its great unpredictable twists and creative turns sparking thoughts of bands like Spinnerette  and Flyleaf also, a foursome which probably most often comes close to giving a clue to the Chasing Dragons sound and individuality.

The outstanding start is matched in compelling kind by The Mutiny. As in the first, guitarist Mitch spins a spidery web of melodic imagination and intrigue which enticingly wraps the more volatile character of the rhythms and the rich flame of Tank’s commanding presence and voice. With backing vocals and siren-esque harmonies colluding with the raw snarl of the track and its lead vocal attack, the song beguiles as it sets ears and instincts alight with grouchy riffs and anthemic prowess, ultimately taking favourite song honours in the process.

Whitehorse closes off the EP, unveiling another side to the band’s maturing sound and of course the upcoming album. An electronic coaxing brings the track into view, its lure quickly joined by the hearty tones of Tank and subsequently a predacious prowl of stabbing riffs, antagonistic hooks, and rhythmic irritability. Harmonies and melodies soon temper the intimidation of the assault but without defusing the intrusive intent fuelling every note and beat.

Another tapestry of inventive endeavour and virulently catchy aggression, the song is a fine end to an excellent ‘return’ by Chasing Dragons to ears and speakers. There is no escaping that the band has got creatively bigger, bolder, and even more captivating; so roll on that album…

The Faction:Prologue EP is released March 29th @ http://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/

http://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/musicchasingdragons/   https://twitter.com/xChasingDragons

Pete RingMaster 29/03/3016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN8_RingMaster Review

There are some releases where it is difficult to imagine anyone not being gripped by their proposals and such a triumph is the new self-titled album from US metallers Curse of the North. It is a beast of instinctive and addictive virulence that blends the ripest essences of heavy and classic metal with the muscular invention of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which seems to hone in on personal tastes, taps into the psyche to discover its deepest pleasures and then unleashes them across eight rigorously rousing encounters. Quite simply it is one of the most invigorating albums this year to set ears and passions alight.

Born in Seattle, Curse of the North currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Christiaan Morris, former 3 Inches of Blood member Nick Cates on bass, and Burke Thomas of McKagan’s Loaded and Vendetta Red on drums. Formed in 2010, the band has toured and shared stages with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Eyehategod, Destruction, Death Angel, Lord Dying, Valient Thorr, Kadavar, The Shrine, and Gypsyhawk whilst 2011 saw the release of their Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch) produced first EP Revelations. A few line-up shuffles have also been part of the band’s growth which now unleashes Curse of the North: I. Produced by Morris and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust), with mastering undertaken by Ed Brooke, the album leaps on the listener from its first moment, the opening and every subsequent breath a roar of thick temptation.

Sleep While You Can is the first slab of persuasion, its start alone pure magnetism as Thomas creates a web of rhythmic arousal to set things in motion. Flames of guitar cross the compelling drum bait as the vocals of Morris spring their own enticing, a Glenn Danzig flavouring lining his tones and equally the shadows within the emerging tenacious metal canter of the track. Classic metal hues dance on ears too as a modern fusion of riffs and hook laded enterprise courts the imagination, the result being one terrific groove veined stomp.

COTN cover_RingMaster Review   It is a mighty start taken another level by Wheel of Swords, another track with an irresistible start to its creative alchemy. A great nagging from riffs as rhythms tumble vivaciously coaxes ears first, their lure replicated in varying tones as sterner grooves and muscular predation swiftly looms up with the again potent vocals of Morris at their helm. Like Black Tusk meets Baroness with a spicing of Sabbath and Clutch to it, the song has energy and pleasure in its hands with quick ease, handing over an exhausted and rapturous body to the following Into The Trees and its mellow climate around melodic prowess. Keys emotively caress as the guitars strokes the senses with elegant suggestiveness to match the melancholic voice of Morris. The first half of the song is wrapped in this mesmeric beauty, its second a rugged landscape of again incendiary rhythms amidst tangy classic metal/rock endeavour and striking vocals.

As good as everything is to this point, the best song on the album in The Tower eclipses it. Building up its intensity and hunger through early scythes of sound, the track quickly releases its handbrake and charges through ears like Therapy? on steroids. Its torrent of riffs and ravenous hooks storms the barricades like a transatlantic cousin to anything on Troublegum from the Northern Ireland trio, its contagiousness and vocal furor similar whilst creating its own uniquely irresistible tempest. The song is breath-taking, seemingly knowing where the personal sweet spot is and hitting it relentlessly, even when slipping into a dark theatre of sinister gothic intrigue.

Thomas is rhythmically imperious on the track, as everywhere to be fair, continuing his enslaving web of craft in The Electric Wall and especially the outstanding Blessed Burning. Morris and Cates are an equal incendiary match though as the first of the two tracks sees the band creating a High on Fire/Kyuss like mountain of creative tenacity and heavy rock ‘n’ roll seduction whilst its successor, from another hypnotic rampant rhythmic trap, strolls across Queens Of The Stone Age/ Mastodon toned terrain of sonic and vocal passion. The references given across all songs are mere colours in something distinctly Curse of the North, especially emphasized when as here the guitars spin a bluesy imagination as an intimate atmosphere soaks the song.

Oceans Rise lowers the intensity if not the emotive temperature next, well certainly for its opening moments as soon it too is a cauldron of thickly jabbing beats and sonic ferocity. Along its riveting length, the assaults and aggression ebbs and flows to fluid and powerful effect, the song an undulating roller coaster of a confrontation which, as the album, just gets richer and more imposingly enjoyable over time.

The album comes to an end through the sultry blues/surf rock seducing of Faceless Killers, a sonic and melodic bewitchment which too only blossoms to greater heights with every partaking of its sweltering, increasingly volcanic landscape. It is a stunning end to simply one of the major treats of 2015; a leviathan of rock ‘n’ roll to get seriously lustful over.

Curse of the North: I is out October 23rd via Static Tension Recordings.

https://www.facebook.com/curseofthenorth    http://www.curseofthenorth.com

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fallen Angels – World In Decay

Fallen Angels Band Photo 1_RingMaster Review - Left2Right Steve-Brad-Erik-Carl-Matt - cropped

Creating a compelling maelstrom of energy and familiarity, US thrashers Fallen Angels back up their acclaimed second album Engines of Oppression, with another tempest of aggression and craft in the masterful shape of World In Decay. The Seattle based quintet once more openly weave the inspiration of genre masters and originators such as early Metallica, Testament, Slayer, and Megadeth into their equally classic metal hued sound, and again the band uncages a proposition which only excites ears and appetite. It is fair to say that in many ways you know what you are going to get with a Fallen Angles encounter, but not in what shape or gripping design it comes in. The same applies to World In Decay, an album with few major surprises but a torrent of things to drool over.

With their 80’s thrash and 70/80’s heavy metal influenced sound, Fallen Angels has increasingly and persistently lured strong attention, establishing themselves with fans and media as a proposition ripe with contagious and aggression driven adventure. Equally the band is a dab hand at entangling it all with a modern take on melodic and imagination sculpted textures, as first shown through 2008 debut album Rise From Ashes and even more so in Engines of Oppression three years later. World In Decay is more of the same but also equipped with an even fresher breath of craft and maturity equating to Fallen Angel’s finest moment yet.

Produced by Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors), World In Decay erupts into life with The Hammer’s Blow and an instant onslaught of spicy guitar and rampant riffs from Erik Hanson and Matt Be Rot. They coax from amidst intensive rhythms led by the swings of drummer Steve Spitzbart, the track an uncompromising lure before brewing into a more welcoming creative blaze of flying grooves and hooks over the magnetically growling bass of Carl Larsson and around the vocal roar of Bradzilla which quickly emerges as the ringmaster to the rampage in furious motion. Thoughts of Exodus and Annihilator spring up from the growing tapestry of fierce enterprise engulfing ears, whilst the melody toned side of the song dabbles with folkish/Celtic flirtation at times, the whole thing ensuring the album gets off to a stirring start.

Album Cover - Fallen Angels - World In Decay_RingMaster Review   The first single from the album, Nightmare comes next, its darker and more predatory character swiftly igniting the imagination whilst discord lined sonic enticement has ears seduced before it all momentarily halts for riffs and rhythms to collude and unleash a ravenous charge. That Metallica whiff is a rosy hue within the raw and incendiary landscape of the song, but as everywhere it gets honed into something maybe enjoyably familiar but leaves expectations scrambling for success. The song potently backs up the might of its predecessor before Forsaken Existence kicks things up another gear with its inventive and melodically emotive presence. From the opening breath, the track is a maze of twists and provocative craft before settling into a leaner surge of bruising enticement, though it in turn is soon wrapped in more sparkling invention and sonic colour which go on to entwine for the remaining length of the fascinating offering. The track is irresistible, at its heights when exploring a diversity of styles and pure contagion when just bullying air and ears.

Leading the Blind is another proposal prowling the listener from its first touch, riffs and rhythms as good as stalking the senses as an intoxicating seducing from Hanson spreads tantalising beauty around the bestial heart of the song. As in the last, it simply grows in weight, creative strength, and addictive resourcefulness with every passing chord and rhythmic swipe. The vocals alone enthral and within the gripping drama of sound, it all results in one of the pinnacles of World In Decay, through a triumph superbly supported by Fire At Eden’s Gate. Whereas the last song was beast like, its successor is a caress of classical hued melodies and mesmeric string craft from the guitarists, only the firm rhythms providing any hint of the dark intent of the song within its impressive entrance. They soon get their way though and spark an uncompromising confrontation led by the great grouchy tones of the bass and the ever ready to grapple delivery of Bradzilla. The track never uncages its fullest fury or violence though which only adds to its commanding air, but once in full stride, it never allows an easy or unrewarding time to brew either.

The weighty stance and sound of Into The Abyss keeps things burning brightly though it lacks the same spark as the songs before it. Its body is almost subdued in energy at times in comparison, saving it for the sizzling crescendos which do escape across its evocative length. The individual skills and united craft of the band again only impress though so that the song is only ever pleasing, a quality also applying to The Hour of the Time, another which does not impact as firmly as others, certainly initially but only grows into ears and in stature through every excursion through its web of flavours and tenacious execution.

The album ends on a lofty high with Mortis Ex Machina, the song a rousing anthem from its opening roar and with a volatile nature casts a thoroughly bewitching instrumental landscape punctured by recurring and ferocious vocal incitement aligned to skilfully rabid rhythms and riff driven fury. Talking of instrumentals, the album actually finishes on a mesmeric untitled offering which like an epilogue to what came before leaves ears and thoughts enraptured and eager to experience the release all over again.

World In Decay brings the best of familiarity and fresh endeavour together like an old friend carrying a whole new persona, whilst Fallen Angels as reinforced themselves with the album as a band not yet able to turn the trash/metal scene on its head, but one easy to get a bit greedy over.

World In Decay is available from August 4th via Cyberdyne Records.

http://fallenangelsthrashband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fallen-Angels-Thrash-Band/336737539688752

RingMaster 03/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Sonick Plague – Self Titled

SP6_RingMaster Review

You have to be grateful to Sonick Plague and Pavement Music for bringing us not only a blast from the band’s past but giving it a fresh breath and energy, though it is easy to suspect a straight release of their 1988 debut album would have been a treat too for those us missing it first time around. The West Virginian thrashers though have re-recorded and re-energized that rampage, originally titled What’s the Purpose, and uncaged it as a self-titled offering and attention filler whilst the band works on new material. It is old school thrash dosed up with punk and classic metal ferocity, and yes the band’s sound has been emulated, reworked, and twisted many times over the years since Sonick Plague unleashed their album, but still the songs just stir up ears and appetite.

Formed in 1984, the band’s first ‘memorable’ line-up of Ken Cuccaro (drums) and Tim Meehan (guitars), alongside Tony Teodoro (guitars) and Sean Donnelly (bass, vocals) came a few years later, the four behind the band’s 1988 debut album. Though it swiftly gained hordes of new fans and attention, not long after it’s unveiling, Meehan left the band to be subsequently replaced by guitarist Chuck Crilly. From there Sonick Plague undertook their own self-supported tour and shared stages with the likes of Death Angel, Voivod, Gwar, Pantera, Ludichrist, Crumbsuckers and many more. The intensity of that tour and surrounding shows saw the band’s stability shaken, and after a few unsuccessful line-up changes the band parted. It was apparently the sad passing of Teodoro in 2012 that sparked Cuccaro, Donnelly, and Crilly to begin talking musical things again, and with the addition of Matt Dupre, Sonick Plague reformed and set about re-recording their first offering.

album-cover-_RingMaster Review     Recorded at the legendary Carriage House Studios, the album quickly gets down to business with Street Wars. An alluring melodic entrance gives no indication of the sonic rioting to come but it does wake up ears and imagination nicely. Increasing its muscle and drama with every passing chord, riff, and spiky beat, the track eventually hits full steam, the vocals of Donnelly ripe with attitude and aggression. We are as many, not able to bring a comparison to the first version of the album but it is hard to imagine his delivery being any more potent first time around. Musically, with age and maturity involved, you can assume the release also has a richer and thicker body, and certainly the opener rumbles and grumbles as if old school thrash was a fresh proposition.

The great starts continues with My Gun, the throaty bass of Donnelly a great coaxing alongside the virulence of driving riffs and concussive swings cast by Dupre, Crilly, and Cuccaro respectively. Settling with an attack somewhere between a lively prowl and an all-out charge, the track bites and snarls whilst a solo lights the air. Of course we have heard this all before in many ways, but from those coming after and being inspired by Sonick Plague and the bands around them in the eighties, and a great many of them definitely labour to make the same highly satisfying assaults as the reworked but undiluted proposals offer on this release.

Both AA and I Don’t Want to Relax churn up air and the senses, the first with a rabid nagging of riffs and crisp beats led by the grouchy tones of Donnelly, and its successor through its military and Celtic teased imagination. The second of the two is pure anthem, enslaving from its opening contagious moments to and across a ravenous landscape of psychotic grooves and quarrelsome riffing speared by rhythms as hellacious as they are viciously precise. The track is thrash bred but simply rock ‘n’ roll in its most irresistible form, and easily our favourite, and probably the best track on the album, despite many challengers. Its punkish character also adds to the anarchic glory before making way for the crushing yet infectiously tempting turbulence of View of Death and straight after the middle finger growl of One Swift Kick. Each keeps body and appetite greedy, the first with its predatory and unrelenting gnawing at the senses and the second courtesy of a deliciously bestial bass sound and another scourge of heavy niggling riffs and contagion spilling grooves; the mesmeric melodic oasis deep into its tempest is pretty juicy too. The track stands aside I Don’t Want to Relax as the pinnacles of the album, each the perfect invitation to newcomers to Sonick Plague past and present.

The pair of Misc Bullshit, with its classic metal hued enterprise within another savaging embrace, and finally NRG brings the album to a great close. The last track simply brawls with the listener vocally and musically, leaving no attitude coated stone unturned in its tenacious and uncompromising carnage, and both songs again showing plenty of accomplished and inventive touches not always fuelled by hostility.

As mentioned we cannot say how much the songs have changed during their re-recording etc. but there is no denying the unfussy but skilled craft and technical ability set loose. This is certainly an album in many ways you already know thanks to those who have followed over the years employing the sounds Sonick Plague and their like inspired originally. It is going to be interesting how the band’s new songs shape up, but easy to suspect they will also offer a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

Sonick Plague is available now digitally via Pavement Music and on CD @ https://squareup.com/market/sonickplague/sonick-plague-cd

https://www.facebook.com/sonickplague   http://www.sonickplague.com/

RingMaster 28/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

Guilty As Charged – Leap of Faith

BAND guilty as charged

On the evidence of their debut album Leap of Faith, Belgian metallers Guilty As Charged create a brew of thrash fuelled heavy metal which without stretching originality too far provides a rather tasty and invigorating proposition. The band’s new album is a fiery and creatively gripping encounter which surges and rampages with all the right moves to ignite ears and passions as its ferocious enterprise works away on the imagination. A game changer it is not but for riotous pleasure and honest satisfaction not many albums have surpassed Leap of Faith so far this year.

Formed in 2008, Guilty As Charged soon made a good impression with their live shows and the following year through the demo Boxed In. That was followed by the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Pro-Pain, UDO, and Stormrider as well as festival appearances at events such as the Alcatraz Metal Festival in 2011 with Helloween and Death Angel, and Masters @ Rock 2012 with Soulfly & Channel Zero. Recorded last year, Leap of Faith is poised to push the foursome of vocalist/ rhythm guitar Jan De Vuyssere, lead guitarist Dempsey Derous, bassist Hannes De Caluwe, and drummer Matthew Vandenberghe into a wider and more intensive spotlight, one certainly deserved by the storming presence and exciting escapades within the release.

Opening track Preach to the Masses instantly seizes ears and attention with its swipe of melodic coaxing which is soon over run with thumping rhythms alongside keen and feisty riffs. It is an easy bait to find an appetite for, one growing Albumcover Leap Of Faithinto a magnetic stroll of roving beats and a senses entwining sonic enticement. The raw and grizzled vocal roar of De Vuyssere only accentuates the impressive and incendiary start, sparking off an even richer strain of guitar endeavour to snake across the song’s climate. In full muscular flight, the track badgers and intimidates with resourceful enterprise and a great rapacious groove which flirts perfectly with the throaty basslines and the melodic scorching of heavy metal incitement. It is a riveting entrance by the album, not one to leave jaws slack in awe but one to fire up body and emotions for a greedy anticipation for the subsequent tracks.

Those expectations are soon fed a tasty morsel with Last Chance, a track which does not quite match the opening plateau but still sets its own thrilling level with predatory riffs and similarly gaited rhythms and vocals. There is an underlying hostility to the song but it is tempered by the blaze of melodic enticement and skilled sonic suggestiveness. The vocals like the music mix up their textures and attacks to add their own depth and intrigue to the rampant confrontation. Its triumph is soon rivalled by the outstanding title track which from its funky lead in expels waves of sonic intrigue to which the ever impressing vocals add their expressive narrative. The dark hearted tones of the bass and ridges of riffs only add to the rigorously contagious encounter whilst Derous lays a web of ingenious bait which is as insatiable as it is addictive. There is also a punk edge to the track which offers hints of Suicidal Tendencies and Biohazard to the flavoursome and impressing mix.

Both the Metallica like I’ll Never and the enthralling Lonewolf bring diversity and potency to the release, the first prowling and gnawing on ears with sinister expression and predatory invention which sparks the imagination into new adventures. Its successor again has that fierce attitude and breath with an air of the likes of Megadeth and Testament to it yet with its exploratory sonic designs equally provides something individual to the band. Both tracks incite the listener to join their potently anthemic calls before the melodic caress of Elysium wraps its elegance around ears. With rising sultry flames of guitar and emotive hues, the instrumental makes for an evocative engagement before making way for the bruising presence of Lack Of Control. With a caustic scent to its rapacious intensity and attitude, the track boils and bellows with passion and antagonistic purpose whilst veining its roar with acidic shards of sonic invention and colour which as much as the song intimidates equally seduces.

The album is closed by Down, maybe the least eventful and striking track on the release but a song bringing Leap Of Faith to a mighty close with its Pantera-esque swinging groove and simply ravenous intensity. As suggested Guilty As Charged do not change the face of heavy and thrash metal with their first album but certainly they have given it a thrilling and explosively enterprising new proposition and who cannot be up for that?

The self-released Leap of Faith is available now.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guilty-As-Charged/73401643876

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Chasing Dragons – Checkmate

Chasing Dragons pic

Brewing a striking fusion of fiery hard rock and ravenous melodic metal, UK ’s Chasing Dragon is one of those emerging propositions which you can only see going in one direction. Taking new EP Checkmate as evidence, the quartet from Leeds is on a potent ascent pushing an already strong reputation into a new spotlight. Consisting of six tracks which are as rigorously captivating as they are creatively potent, the new release is a striking marker on the progress of the band. It is probably fair to say that they are still finding their unique sound and voice, the EP bred well within heavy rock and metal boundaries with plenty of familiar assets to its successful persuasion but you can only feel the band is well on the way to finding that distinction and thus further recognition.

Formed in 2011, Chasing Dragons has built a formidable live presence which has seen them share stages with bands such as Pendulum, InMe, Death Angel, The Sweet, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attack!Attack!, The Headstart, Skarlett Riot, and The Dead Lay Waiting whilst lighting up the likes of Rock and Bike Festival, Highway To Hell, Leeds Fringe Fest, as well as many of the LGBT Prides around the UK. Checkmate follows the band’s debut EP Take Flight For A Firefight of 2012 and the single Hindsight’s A Bitch of last year. Their first EP made a striking and immense impression here which sparked a big anticipation of and expectation for Chasing Dragon from there on in. Whether Checkmate pushes the band forward as much as maybe hoped is still under debate but undoubtedly it reinforces the quality and potential of the band with ease, to reassert belief that the quartet can become a major force in British rock/metal.

Checkmate opens with Prelude, an atmospheric portentous piece of melodic drama and vocal whispers. It is an evocative piece which makes a stronger incitement when ravenous and coarsely sinewed riffs shape its closing narrative before making way for Throw Down Your King. The guitar of Mitch Sadler fires up its sonic bait first, entwining acidic twine around ears before being joined by the eager punches of drummer Kate Bullock and the bass snarl of Ant Varenne. Guided by the excellent vocals of Laurie ‘Tank’ Carnan, her tones simultaneously seductive, antagonistic, and powerfully potent, the track strides purposefully into the imagination with familiar attributes to a fresh roar. It is a song very easy to join in with, catchy and inviting, but also unafraid to slip into something melodically comfortable and evocatively persuasive to temper the charge. There is also a folk metal like twist midway to the riffs before they cast a carnivorous temperament to their predation which in turn slips back into the vociferous hard rock adventure which started the excellent incitement off. It is a great track feeding assumptions but equally unleashing unpredictable imagination.

The following That’s Not Love opens with a fire of hard rock colour from the guitars which makes way for a thumping rhythmic frame around the bluesy growl of Tank’s delivery. It is an irresistible enticement which loses some of its potency once the song opens up into a fluid melody washed stroll. It is not that the full appeal of the band is lacking anything, just that the aligned beats and outstanding vocals is so good, as proven again when it steals the main stage again in the passage of the song. Across the song’s body riffs chip away at the senses and rhythms bring an anthemic lure to match that of the guitar enterprise whilst vocally the song is firing on all cylinders, but it is the inventive twists and turns within the track which steals the show and passions.

   For The Sake Of Murder brings a smokey blues texture to its initial blaze of guitar before again voracious riffs and rhythms stab from within the melodic gaze of the song. Backed by strong vocals from Mitch, Tank tempts ears with a resourceful delivery whilst around her the track teases and tempts with a sultry air and climate to its inventive scenery. As in all tracks, hooks grip deeply whilst grooves and melodies entice like a wanton temptress yet it is all with a respectful touch within a magnetic creative rabidity.

Next up The Last Defence catches thoughts off guard when it opens with an evocative classically spawned piano coaxing over which Tank vocally soars effortlessly and enthrallingly. With a lesser singer the beginning possibly would not work but Tank owns thoughts and emotions at this point to make a decent entrance stunning. Keys add extra hues to the emerging landscape which is coloured richly by the guitars and rhythms. Gaining weight and energy all the time, the song evolves into a powerful and anthemic croon which is simply compelling and breath-taking.

The EP ends on Broken Jaws, a riotous rocker of a track which has nothing surprising about it but everything virulently contagious and mightily enticing to create a highly satisfying stomp. It is the least adventurous and impressive track on the release but also one of the most magnetic and infectiously enjoyable which ensures the band leave on another high, parting with another reminder of their irrepressible strength and appeal.

Checkmate is an exciting and impressive offering which keeps Chasing Dragons on course for a richly rewarding career, for them and us so a recommendation to check them out could not be fuller.

The self-released Checkmate is available digitally and physically at www.musicchasingdragons.bigcartel.com now!

https://www.facebook.com/musicchasingdragons

Check out Chasing Dragons upcoming live dates below:

Saturday 14th June – Salutation, Nottingham

Saturday 21st June – The Riverside, Selby

Thursday 26th June – The Corporation, Sheffield

Friday 27th June – The Pot and Kettle, Rhyl

Wednesday 2nd August – The Shed, Leicester

Friday 22nd August – The Club That Rocks, Consett

Friday 19th September – The Underworld, London

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

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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Verdict – The Meaning Of Isolation

VERDICT_Band

A virulent scourge you will want to be ravaged by, especially if your blood boils for thrash metal, The Meaning Of Isolation from German metallers Verdict is an uncompromising slab of riveting extreme destructiveness and mouth-watering savagery. The nine track torrent of aggression and enterprise takes no prisoners and has little time in gentle persuasion, instead it simply and voraciously pillages the senses whilst rewarding with an underbelly of exhaustive yet captivating invention. The release definitely needs time and work to explore but rewards long-term with some addiction sparking technical viciousness and passionate ferociousness.

Verdict began in 1991 with a technical and melodic death metal intent and rage to its sound. Numerous line-up changes followed during subsequent years from which the band’s sound evolved and developed a deeper wealth of thrash hunger to its attack. Debut album Reflections Of Pain of 2002 brought strong attention upon the band and their emerging sound whilst the following full-lengths, Generation : Genocide of 2005 and Assassin: Nation four years later, only empowered their presence which in  turn has led to eager anticipation for the Verdict’s fourth and new album from a great many. Live the band has not left any physical or emotional stone unturned within either as they shared stages over time with the likes of Destruction, Disbelief, Illdisposed, Dew-Scented, Legion Of The Damned, Entombed, Death Angel, Gorefest, Obituary, Nile and many more. Mastered by Dan Swanö, The Meaning of Isolation thrusts the band forward to the frontline of thrash and extreme metal with a masterful display of malevolence and enterprise. The release may be just misses out on threatening best of lists this year, mainly through an arguably too similar a surface storm across many of the tracks and the lack of diversity in the vocals of Daniel “Ratte” Baptista to match the unpredictability and surprise of the music, but nevertheless The Meaning Of Isolation is a thrilling and captivating devastation which leaves the listener exhausted and deeply contented.

Leader Of The Soulless opens up the absorbing punishment with a haunting entrance; a sinister ambience brewing up a VERDICT_Coverswiftly imposing sonic menace which around an inspiring classical stringed melody, intimidates to temper the simultaneously dark seduction. It is not too long though before an artillery of crippling beats from drummer Florian Bauer corrupts the air closely skirted by melodic flames from the guitars of Marius Pack and Dave Hadarik which scorch the air whilst riffs batter its peace with carnivorous urgency. From here the barbarous persuasion is in full flight, the vocals of Baptista as vindictive and merciless as the sinews driving the sounds. It is an intensive start to the album, one unafraid to delve into dark doomier places within its persistent predation.

Manifest Of Hate and Killing Fantasies both keep the malevolence spewing from every antagonistic note and vocal squall, the first charging over the senses with a violent rabidity whilst grooves and sonic invention entwine their venomous craft around the song’s core whilst the second from a delicious dark and brooding introduction with the bass of Dave Helmstetter a pulsating evocative lure, goes on a creative rampage which bleeds intensity and wastes the welcoming senses. It does not match up to the first two tracks overall but still makes a sturdy encounter leading into the similarly impressive if not jaw dropping Layer Of Lies, a track which has a very close related aggressive and melodic cover to its predecessor and needing deeper focus to reveal its individual bait.

Lack Of Insight marks a new upturn in originality and invention within the album, the guitar twisting with bedlamic adventure to cast the first web over the ears before fusing into a resourceful and magnetic weave of intrusive and spellbinding antagonism. The track is certainly no less hellacious than previous songs but unveils a greater exploration and imagination of textures and invention which prevails through the likes of the blistering First To Fight and the creatively pungent Through The Eyes Of A Dead Man, both tracks with grooves and progressive intrigue to light fires within the imagination. The first half of The Meaning Of Isolation is an intense and formidable offering but is definitely exceeded by the second half and it’s more potent daring.

The Meaning Of Isolation returns the senses and dull peace back to its recipient but only after the barbarous Nemesis Of God, the song an exceptional beast which stalks and gnaws the listener from the inside, and its title track which provides another prowling intimidation prone to inventive sonic lashing outs and ruinous brutality, takes their pound of flesh. They complete an excellent album which from an impressive opening stretch emerges as a sadistically pleasing treat. For all thrash fans especially with those holding darker preferences in their hearts, Verdict has given the year an inventive pestilence which leaves no one disappointed or in one piece.

www.verdict.de

www.facebook.com/verdictthrashmetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

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