Exes For Eyes – Of Strength And Sorrow

Since the release of their previous album in 2014, Canadian metallers Exes For Eyes have been on a hiatus of sorts but now they have returned with a new collection of tracks which not only enhance their established reputation but push it to a loftier height. Of Strength And Sorrow is a fury of bold adventure and eager enterprise, a release also relishing a greater diversity and imagination in the band’s sound whilst making for one striking encounter.

Ontario hailing, Exes For Eyes was borne from the musical vision and creativity of Dave Sheldon (ex. Man With Target, Annihilator) and the lyrical conception of vocalist Big James (Stab.Twist.Pull, Endast, Authors). Previous well-received releases proved an enticing cauldron of multi-flavoured metal endeavour with a progressive bent but the time between the previous Tongues Like Figure Eights and Of Strength And Sorrow has seen it grow, mature, and immerse in greater imagination without losing almost feral instincts.

Their new album opens with the outstanding Build, Work, Dream, Create; a track which if standing alone in major temptation would have brought the full-length strong praise. One of our favourite moments of the year so far, the song immediately launches itself with an irresistible groove within a barbarous but effortlessly contagious surge. It is eager enticement which continues to tempt and manipulate as vocals expel their intent and prowess with raw emotive discontent. The track is superb, groove and death metal essences colluding in its tempestuous roar, every second a cauldron of virulent enterprise and ferocity.

It is a thrilling start which Memories That Last follows and backs with its own inferno of rapacious sound and ear grabbing imagination. More uncompromising by the minute the track provided a quickly testing and swiftly rewarding proposal as imagination fuelled its every invasive throe before the song drifted away and the predatory presence of The Metal forcibly prowled. It was an initial stalking which subsequently erupted into a ruthless trespass, its stroll continuing to menace and bully as the band’s imagination flourished and shaped one enthralling assault marked with individual prowess.

Nothing Ever Satisfies in contrast provides a calm but just as enticing invitation, at least initially as the guitar’s melodic coaxing soon becomes a cyclone of resolute sound and voice around another irresistible collusion of grooves and hooks. A rival for the opener, the track continued to enthral and arouse as its turbulence fed off the mercurial volatility in its heart and roar; submission to its creative appropriation willing and inevitable.

Featuring Trey Xavier of In Virtue, The Fire Inside My Head entangled ears in another spiral of wiry grooves and rhythmic motivation straight after. It is an opening which intensifies by the breath, vocals adding to the attention grabbing pestering before the sonic wind drops and the bass brings its funk instincts to bear. That is just the invitation to a new progressive sigh of imagination laced with a slight Hed(PE) hue and another alluring aspect to the fascinating encounter. With keys providing perpetual intimation throughout, the song’s tempest ignites again; the cycle repeating with richer temptation.

Through the fierce yet melodically elegant Set It All On Fire and The Savage Self with its savagely contagious trespass, album and band only accentuated their expectation squashing prowess; both songs relishing the progressive bent in the songwriting and imagination of Exes For Eyes. It is also fair to say that both songs as most around them flourish with closer and continued attention, new textures and layers of enterprise emerging from within their masterfully sculpted furores, next up I Miss My Friends (Too Many Of Them Are Dead) reaffirming that quality as its solemn and melancholic beginnings inspire a melodic pyre of dexterity and guile within a voracious if mercurial landscape of uncompromising encroachment.

The likes of Hold On with its two chaptered proposal, the first as respectful and catchy as the other is invasive and confrontational, and the resourcefully animated True Self Reckoning ensure the album’s grip remained tight, their successor, Love, with Pepe Poliquin of BornBroken guesting matching their strengths with its own contemptuous strike, one which at times is melodically seductive and progressively illuminated.

Of Strength And Sorrow concludes with firstly Get The Fuck Out Of My Head which as keys haunt from its first sigh while rhythms simply enticed, both continuing to enthral as emerging drama and dark deeds rise, emerged another excellent track within the album. Methuselah follows one stirring moment with its own rousing presentation of invention and imagination, in many ways summing up the variety and adventure of the band’s sound in its own capricious multi-flavoured and dramatic body.

Though Of Strength and Sorrow had us hooked from the start it is right to say that the depth, layers, and expanse of its qualities and persuasion was only greater tapped with subsequent ventures into its increasingly and imposingly impressive body. Quite simply, Exes For Eyes are back and creatively deadlier than ever.

Of Strength and Sorrow is out now and available @ https://www.exesforeyes.com/

Pete RingMaster 20/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Abstract Rapture – Hollow Motion

Formed in 2001, Luxembourg hailing metallers Abstract Rapture especially drew praise with the release of their album Earthcrush. Now seven years after its successful release and “significant” line-up changes the band have its successor primed to re-stir attention and such the craft and enterprise within Hollow Motion it is easy to see the quintet courting the biggest spotlights and plaudits.

Woven in a tapestry of metal bred flavours courting everything from groove and nu to death and thrash metal, the band’s sound and new album is a cauldron of adventure and imagination embracing the familiar and unique. Hollow Motion is a dark melancholic proposition yet a beast with a discontent fuelled fire in its belly and attitude nurtured tension in its breath.

The album opens with A Promise from the Ghouls and immediately lured ears with its rhythmic invitation, the teasing collusion of infectious beats with a dark earthy bass grumble devious. Swiftly the predacious edge of the guitar joins the threat, it all soon sparking into a rapacious stroll further accentuated by the potent tones of Dritt. The swinging grooves and continually intimidating edge of the track made for a compelling and infectious proposal unafraid to twist and turn with further imagination and creative trespassing sparked by the melodic and sonic prowess of guitarists Alex and Nol. It is an ear and appetite grabbing start to the album which continues through next up The Cancer in Your Soul.

The second track is instantly a more predatory proposal, almost stalking the senses even as melodic and grungier hues spring forward from within its ill-intent. Individual craft joins united endeavour as the song blossoms with each adventurous move, it maybe not as strikingly manipulative as its predecessor but just as imaginatively captivating before Endless Chapter grips ears with its own wily exploits. Again the swings of Spit incite as they bite, nagging grooves entangling his tenacious strikes as vocals incite. Across the album there is an essence of Mudvayne meets Disturbed meets Machine Head and no more so than within this gripping offering.

Blood-Red Revolt brought even stronger enticement and incitement to body and pleasure, the track a definite favourite, writhing as it fingers the imagination with its boisterously manipulative and widely flavoursome antics before, following the brief chillingly haunting and increasingly threatening lead of …and Winter Comes, the predacious Inner Plague prowls and teasing the senses with its own venomous but darkly seductive threat. As ever the tenebrific yet tempting growl of Maks’ bass fuels the alluring menacing; constantly keeping the listener on their toes alongside the drums even as melodic flames and enterprise blazes away.

From one outstanding moment to another as Venom Skies descends on the senses with intrusively skittish beats to the fore before its sonic spiral springs another web of riveting and toxic conspiracy built on craft and imagination. The swing of the track is inescapable, its resourceful weave innovative even as familiar hues add to its appealing canvas.

Through the simply invigorating deeds of The Fear Industry and the calmer but similarly enticing Hollow Soul, ears were only firmly held; both tracks and especially the first of the pair offering snares of sound and touch which left us simply greedy for more before Ego Non Te Absolvo (A Drunken Conclusion) brought the album to a destructively intimate and provocative close.

It is a fascinating, tormented end to an album which is almost intense in its dark tone whilst bordering the kaleidoscopic in a sound which still embraces a particular hue that is individual to Abstract Rapture. Hollow Motion will be an introduction to a great many even being the band’s third full-length, one announcing  Abstract Rapture to all as being one striking and thrilling proposition.

Hollow Motion is out now, distributed by Black N ‘Purple Records, across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/abstractrapture/

Pete RingMaster 18/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mnemocide – Debris

Debris is the title of the new EP from Swiss death metallers Mnemocide and also what will be left of the senses after facing their seriously appetising debut release. Four instinctively and invasively ravenous tracks skilfully woven through deliberate enterprise, the EP is a striking introduction to a band already suggesting very big things could be ahead for and from them.

From Basel, Mnemocide began in 2017 but emerged into the open earlier this year after honing their death metal bred adventurous sound. Joining producer Christoph Brandes in Iguana Studios near Freiburg, Germany, the quintet recorded Debris a few months back, a debut which quite simply makes us what to hear so much more.

EP opener, Only Shades, comes into view on cold winds, a portentous pulsation accompanying its emergence before guitars entangle the growing intimation. It all veers into a groove driven stalking of the senses, a powerful and sinister stroll loaded with restrained but invasive rhythms and potent throat raw vocals. Those grooves continue to lure keen attention within the similarly inviting if threatening consumption of sound where melodic enterprise and tempestuous intimation only adds to the track’s imposingly stirring presence, the EP off to a highly persuasive and stirring start.

The following Pawns swiftly manipulates the imagination with its initial samples, accentuating its persuasive lure with the subsequent tide of advancing riffs and heftily swung rhythms. Stride by creative stride, the track is persuasive warfare, every note a magnetic statement of intent as barbarous as it is captivating. If its predecessor impressed, the second song had us lustily hooked, success pretty much matched by next up Collapse, another track which got further under the skin carnivorous riff by barbarous rhythm. As suggested, the classic heart of death metal beats within the Mnemocide sound but again this is a song which embraces its seeds with imaginative adventure and violently flirtatious catchiness.

The same template breeds EP closer Soul Collector, a track chipping away at defences from its first breath as beats lustily land on and riffs gnaw away at the senses with almost viral contagion. Even darker, ravenous hues gather as the track prowls, all accentuating its grooved temptation and mercurial veering towards inhospitable countenance.

It is a fine end to a release which has become more stirring and irresistible by the listen. There are also big hints of a brewing uniqueness within the EP which only adds to an anticipation of what is to follow from a band ready demanding eager attention.

The Debris EP is about now; available@ https://mnemocide.bandcamp.com/releases

https://mnemocide.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Mnemocide/

Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Arkdown – The Calling

Having already teased acclaim and attention with their debut EP a couple of years back, UK metallers Arkdown give them a real shove with its successor, The Calling. Unleashing five uncompromising, seriously predacious cuts of metalcore seeded hostility as stylish as they are rabid the new EP is the declaration of a band ready to take on all comers.

Cast in the steel of their hometown Sheffield hailing Arkdown has been on a steady ascent through the British metal ranks since emerging in 2015. The well received EP, Path, lit up the underground metal scene with its 2016 release whilst live the band’s reputation has only risen as alongside their own shows they have shared stages with the likes of Fit for an Autopsy, Oceans Ate Alaska, Martyr Defiled, Kingdom of Giants, A Night in Texas, and Shields. The Calling is their next bold and impressive step and challenge to the higher echelons of the British metal frontline and further afield.

Though metalcore based, the Arkdown sound is a rich union of flavours, death and melodic metal colluding with rapacious grooves and merciless aggression across that instinctive bed. It makes for tracks which even as they directly assault equally fester in the imagination all twisting and turning with imaginative adventure as quickly shown by EP opener, Wake Up. The initial calm of its intro is soon squashed under the following weight of riffs and rhythms from which vocalist Kyle Dawson enticingly scowls and the guitars of Mike Dyson and Mike Walker spin senses ensnaring webs of antipathy wired with fine melodic thread. Swiftly a diversity of sound and vocal attack mingle in the outstanding trespass leaving ears ringing and pleasure greedily rising.

The following It Calls Me instantly wraps the listener in spirals of contagiously intrusive grooving, the swinging beats of Alex Roberts taking skilled pot shots as again the throat raw variety coated assault of Dawson erupt in animosity and magnetism. With the eager yet brooding basslines of Ed Morley as potent as the invasive enterprise of the guitars, the track grabs best track honours as it further ignited the passions before Mirrors embraces the senses in its own infectious guitar wiring as winds of discontent and dark reflection ravage. As its predecessors, the track is a captivating roar of craft and enterprise built on an array of individual agility and as those before, another mighty reason to devour the Arkdown sound.

The closing pair of Five Years and Falling brings the EP to a rousing close. The first is a sonic wrath within a cauldron of melodic intensity, uncaging grooves and sonic rancor with an intrusive yet deft hand whilst its successor while being the calmest moment within The Calling, indeed a haunting seduction of imagination, it is also a tempest of conflict and venomous ideation as mercurial and volatile as it is tantalising.

Giving five tracks which increasingly fascinate as they corrode the senses, The Calling is a striking and increasingly irresistible encounter from a band surely poised to stir up real fuss with their dynamic, dramatic and deviously compelling sound.

The Calling is out Friday 2nd November.

 https://www.facebook.com/ArkdownOfficial/   https://www.instagram.com/arkdown.official/   https://twitter.com/ArkdownOfficial

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Project Silence – Infinity

It has not proved too hard for us at The RR to be hooked on the creative animus of Finnish industrialists Project Silence these past years ever since the release of their debut album 424 in 2012. Even as their electro-metal based sound has evolved and embraced a host of extreme and raw metal textures across subsequent encounters, each encounter has accentuated our fascination come addiction with their music. It is fair to say that the blackened death hued adventure of the band’s last album, Slave To The Machine, did not quite hit the personal spot but still had more than a few moments of irresistible and striking adventure. Now two years on, the Kuopio quintet has returned with a seven track scourge in the shape of Infinity; a release which quite simply is their finest moment.

Infinity sees the Kuopio hailing quintet of Delacroix (vocals, programming, keyboards), S (guitar), J (guitar), Silve R (drums), and Sturmpanzerjäger (bass) in many ways returning to the industrial breeding of their roots whilst still exploring the variation of flavours involved in the creative weave of its predecessor. From its first breath there is a sense of fresh maturity and boldness to the sound, the initial trespass of opener We Will Rise a contagion loaded tide of muscular riffs. It is a fierce yet infectious nagging with a touch of Fear Factory to it which ebbs and flows as the guttural growl of Delacroix entices. As heavy as it is portentously dark, an insurgent sound tempered by the melodic tease of keys, the sonic incitement just stirred ears and imagination; a result only escalated across its successors.

The equally outstanding From Beyond follows, its initial lure new wave-esque amidst swift gothic hued intimation before its black hearted dance emerges. Even then it is a prowling venture of threat and magnetic suggestion; technical death metal dexterity merging with industrial rapacity to increasingly fascinate as its electro instincts escape sonic darklands before the tantalising drama and ungodly seduction of No More envelops and devours the senses. Soaked in malevolence, the track subsequently swings from its sinful crawl into a just as nefarious canter, Crowley-esque hues lining the increasingly transfixing and ravenous encounter.

Forgotten shares its own diabolical instincts and adventure next, its gait and character as volatile as it is sonically and melodically imaginative; again a weave of flavours mingled and worked with compelling enterprise while Pulse swings and stomps straight after with tenacious endeavour and a mercurial breath seeming not sure whether it wants to dance with or ravish its victim; for the main simultaneously doing both.

The final pair of Anthropophagite and Day Of Reckoning brings Infinity to a mighty close; the first is just superb as it feasts on the flesh and senses of the listener whilst nagging increasing attention and lust with its repetitious riffs and grooves. As keys spread their melodic toxins and vocals their taunting malevolence, the track simply escalates its lures before leaving its successor to infest body and spirit with its Rammstein spiced death soaked craft and immorality. As all tracks, it offers an invasive but captivating web of styles and flavours within its industrial metal nurtured adventure leaving the listener bouncing in deed and thought.

In many ways Project Silence has taken the strongest and most adventurous ingredients from their previous releases to breed the rousing exploits of Infinity but there are just as plenty fresh and new elements which keep the band as one of the most exciting proposals within industrial and indeed extreme metal.

Infinity is out now via Sliptrick Records across most stores and available @ https://projectsilence.bandcamp.com/album/infinity

http://www.projectsilence.info/   https://www.facebook.com/projectsilenceband/   https://sliptrickrecords.com/project-silence/

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Draghkar – The Endless Howling Abyss

Already keeping 2018 busy with a pair of split releases with Desekryptor and Ossuarium respectively, US death metallers Draghkar are poised  to unleash their own four track infestation in the highly enjoyable shape of The Endless Howling Abyss.

Formed in 2016 by guitarist/vocalist BW (Grave Spirit/Gravesmasher), the band had gone through a few line-up changes before the first of those aforementioned splits was uncaged; bassist Daniel Kelley and drummer ES now completing the line-up. With a sound said to be inspired by Abhorrence and Amorphis and also increasingly embracing the likes of Molested, Mercyful Fate, and others as intimated within The Endless Howling Abyss, Draghkar has nurtured a potent mix of flavours and enterprise across their releases which certainly flourishes within the latest.

Traversing the Abyss rises from its bed with portentous strikes of sound, dramatic suggestion coating every surge of guitar and swing of rhythms until it settles into a controlled but portentous prowl. Every wave of riffs though brings a slight elevation in energy before it gathers for an intensive assault loaded with the throat gravel of BW. Grooves and melodic entangling escape the growing tempest, each with a lively swing that swiftly got under the skin. It is dark and ravenous, corruption at the creative heart but so very catchy and infectious too.

The excellent start continues with Swallowed by the Dark; a track not as mercurial in the attack of its animosity as in its predecessor but as rabidly venomous. It too shares grooves as viral as they are toxic, the guitar almost dancing on the rhythmic canter of the doom soaked bass splintered by senses splitting beats. It might be death metal bred but the track is prime rock ‘n’ roll, just in the most corrosive form of its incitement.

Next up Eternal Disintegration (Of The Body And Of The Mind) chains ears with one rich hook from its first breath, it a coaxing into a visceral canter but remaining to potently flavour the track’s subsequent emergence into a carnivorous predator. There is a bedlamic volatility in its depths which ignites even more invasive turbulence at times but never enough to extinguish the viral lure of its grooved invasion.

As if the release stored up all its malice and dissonance for its finale, Fading into Emptiness is an unsavoury consumption of the senses full of and leaving scars and fissures but again sweetening the malevolence with a great nagging of grooved temptation.

It is a fine end to a release which announces Draghkar as a definite to watch proposition within the death metal scene. Those previously mentioned splits made the suggestion, The Endless Howling Abyss insists on keeping them close.

The Endless Howling Abyss is released July 27th on CD through Craneo Negro Records (500 copies) and on cassette via Nameless Grave Records (75 copies). Both also available as well as digitally @ https://draghkar.bandcamp.com/album/the-endless-howling-abyss

 https://www.facebook.com/DraghkarBand/

 Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Naberus – Hollow

Around seven years after emerging upon the Australian Metal scene, Naberus released their debut album, The Lost Reveries. It was a well-received offering earning critical praise and confirming the Melbourne outfit’s potent presence within their national metal landscape. Now the quintet has unleashed its successor in the shape of the ravenously resourceful and compelling Hollow and it is fair to say the band has hit a whole new level.

The Lost Reveries was the band’s sound at the time at a pinnacle, one which was heavily influenced by melodic death and thrash metal, a mix honed over previous tracks and EPs since day one. Whilst Hollow also revels in those hues it reveals an embracing of a far broader template including essences of groove, nu, and technical metal. Everything about the new album is a growth from its predecessor, one which maybe will be a step too far for some original fans but will surely recruit a whole new tide of fresh appetites. At fourteen tracks it is a bulky proposal for sure which flirts with overstaying its time but one which pretty much constantly holds its strength and lure throughout before leaving with a bang.

Mixed by Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Architects, A Breach of Silence) and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (Architects, Periphery, Devin Townsend), Hollow launches at the listener with the outstanding Slaves. Immediately the guitars of Dan Ralph and Dante Thompson entangle ears with their sonic wires as the vocal snarl of James Ash harries ears. Djent spices infest the intensive blaze as other flavours collude in its rapacious web around the scything beats of Chris Sheppard and the predatory growl of Jordan Mitchell’s bass. Familiarity and individuality merge in its intensive roar, they all going to make a savagely raucous yet skilfully woven captivation.

The following Space To Breathe is just as swiftly imposing but inviting, taking a less invasive stance initially as its elements settle before uniting in its own ferocious trespass. Ash’s vocals again impress with their not vast but strong diversity within the emerging rich tapestry of sound. There are essences of bands like Spineshank and Static X to the track at times but equally it lusts after death and extreme metal textures with the same fervour and invention before the superb Split In Two uncages its own similarly but individually woven tempest. Harsh and melodic strains in both vocals and music make an easy union as the imagination in songwriting incites their drama, the track continuing the explosive success of the first pair ensuring that Hollow is already a riveting proposal.

Both Shadows and Webs nag the senses whilst seducing attention; the first a sonic harassment as adventurous as it is predatory with its successor, deceitfully calm at its start, a subsequent cauldron of fiercely simmering intensity with scalding eruptions and a persistently bubbling enterprise. True uniqueness could be said to be less potent within the two yet everything about them and all songs is as fresh and inventive as you could wish, the album’s title track further evidence. Its enmity is a harsh fury from the start, searing trespass and rhythmic lashing entangled in the sonic imagination of the guitars and the collage of vocal incitement. It makes for a dramatic and dynamic assault which just hits the spot like a sledge hammer.

Through the likes of the belligerently tenacious I Disappear, the corrosive reflection of The End and Seas Of Red with its almost feral tides and melodic fire, the album continues to delve into malice, aggression, and different degrees of variety in their individual characters. It is fair to say that the latter two of the three did not ignite the same energy of passion and acclaim as those previously within Hollow yet all easily enticed and pleasured before The Maze had ears lost to its creative course. Living up to its name, the thrilling song is a tangle of grooves and melodic vines within a formidable confrontation, each tunnelling through song and psyche alike.

My Favorite Memory similarly springs a spiralling union of endeavour within its dark catacomb but its mercurial exploration of emotion and sound quickly develops its own individual presence while Fading with far more savage jaws challenges and erupts upon the senses with enterprise and inventive dexterity, every member of the band creating a simultaneous threat and temptation within the track.

The album is closed up by firstly The Burrow and finally The Depths, both tracks leaving thick enticements in their wake for a swift return with the closing incitement within Hollow a labyrinth of irrepressible grooves and sonic wires through a lusty trespass of vocal and rhythmic animation. The track is another major moment within the release possibly its greatest following so many lofty peaks.

As a whole Hollow is a refreshing and rousing offering from a band deserving thick attention hereon in. Yes with so many tracks it might be a stretch in one go; a couple of times songs almost merging into each other in certain ways but each is an imagination and pleasure sparking assault in their own right and proving Naberus one exciting proposition.

Hollow is out now through Eclipse Records.

https://www.facebook.com/naberusband   https://twitter.com/NaberusOfficial

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright