In Vain – Currents

Just a handful of weeks short of five years back, Norwegian metallers In Vain released the ear gripping Ænigma. It was a release which brought and honed all the potential and impressive attributes of its two predecessors to one seriously striking head. That triumphant encounter has now been swept away in the creative eddy of the band’s fourth album Currents, a proposal which lustily roars In Vain as being one of metal’s finest and most exciting propositions.

Since emerging in 2003, In Vain has grown within and persistently ascended the European metal scene with their adventurously imaginative progressive extreme metal. Their 2007 debut album, The Latter Rain, swiftly stirred keen attention and critical praise, and a reputation for craft and sound which the more variable Mantra nevertheless only reinforced.  The Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Katatonia, Devin Townsend, Kreator) produced Ænigma simply sparked the imagination as it built upon and pushed the traits of those before. It all pales though before the majesty of Currents, a release which surprises at every twist and enthrals at every turn. Intricately woven yet as organic as the passion which drives it, Ænigma not only takes the In Vain sound to a whole new level, it brings progressive metal a fresh landscape shaping breath.

Seeing Bogren united with the band once again, Currents contemplates “the colossal shifts and changes of our time” looking at the currents behind major events and changes across the modern world from “Migration of people across continents and borders, cultures merging and the dramatic shifts in lifestyle from one generation to the next.” It also features guest appearances from the likes of drummer Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Borknagar), vocalist and former band member Kristian Wikstøl (From Strength to Strength), and vocalist Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium) among various more.

Currents opens with Seekers of the Truth and immediately entwines ears in steely vines of guitar as beats bite. Andreas Frigstad’s raw throated vocals soon prowl the engaging lure, rhythms and melodies colluding in a web of threat and intrigue around him with the song’s climate imposingly bracing but equally infectious  as the guitars of Johnar Håland and Kjetil Domaas Petersen almost dance on the ear. The progressive nature of the band’s sound subsequently infuses the track’s aggressive intent, varied strains of extreme metal merging with melodic enterprise for a captivating trespass.

Even so it’s potent and ear grabbing entrance into the album is soon eclipsed by next up Soul Adventurer. Within its first breath as keys rise, grooves are writhing around the imagination, their earnest exploits matched by the superb clean vocals of keyboardist Sindre Nedland. It is instantly compelling, increasingly so as the song gets right under the skin with resourceful harmonies and rolling rhythms only adding to the richness as the guitars spin a web of creative temptation. It is the superb vocal blend across the band though which brings it all together for easily one of the best tracks ever spawned by the imagination of In Vain.

That is a height though regularly equalled from hereon in staring with Blood We Shed, the track a wall of predacious intent and tone led by Frigstad’s vocal threat. Riffs and grooves soon collude in their own menacing enterprise, the bass of Alexander Bøe a thick grumbling incitement but from within their dark nature a ripple of melodic suggestion becomes a heated, harmonic serenade. There is plenty more going on too as keys and voices take the stage before falling under the incoming rumble of those earlier imposing textures, an array of imaginative moments which seem to reveal more with every listen.

Currents comes in two editions, the Special Edition offering two additional tracks with And Quiet Flows the Scheldt the first. Like a developing landscape, the song grows by the second as vocals and guitars shape an atmospheric flight through suggestive sonic scenery. The track does not have the snap of its predecessor but infuses a drama which draws the imagination right into its heart, vocals again as stirring as the music with the flames of sax a captivating heat in its evocative climate.

The funkier tapestry of Origin and the inviting mystery of En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II) bring their own enthralling reflections to ears and thoughts next, the first a robust yet considerate confrontation masterfully blending contrasts in power, aggression, and tone not forgetting flavours. This is an ability In Vain have never been lacking but as so many other things it has breached a new pinnacle within Currents as the second of the two confirms. Sung in the band’s native tongue, the song is glorious. In no time melodies vein a portentous air, dark and light wrapping round each other as a kaleidoscope of vocal and atmospheric intimation entices from within the magnetically tempestuous vortex.

Ghost Path is the second song found only on the larger edition of the album, the track sharing its own mysterious shadow haunted realm. The imagination is taking on a stroll through an underworld of fear, despair, and increasing creative ill-intent which comes to a head in a rhythmically driven, rapaciously fuelled predation of sound and intensity. The song is pure creative theatre, and reason alone to go grab the bigger version of the album as you really do not want to miss out.

The album concludes with firstly the similarly enthralling infestation of As the Black Horde Storms. Its blackened assault has a folkish tinge to its melodic undercurrent, death bred traits soon as prevalent as the track consumes the senses and begins spinning another web of striking imagination and sound where, as throughout the release, every moment brings surprise and invention to absorb and impress. Its successor, Standing on the Ground of Mammoths, smothers ears with its dark air and slightly corrosive texture whilst again gripping attention with is aural enticement and vocal dexterity. More a song with its creative tenacity and enterprise understated compared with other tracks within Currents; every dive into it brings them closer to the surface though its slip in a thoughtful melodic seduction mid-way is a beguiling caress from the first moment.

It provides an end to an album which simply excites from start to finish. Setting a new marker for not only the band but extreme progressive metal, In Vain has become one of the most fascinating and enjoyable propositions within world metal.

Currents is available now through Indie Recordings digitally and as a normal and special edition on CD and Vinyl.

http://www.invain.org/    https://www.facebook.com/InVainOfficial/    https://twitter.com/invainofficial

Pete RingMaster 04/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chronic Xorn – For These Sins Who Must Die

As the metal year comes to a close, Indian outfit Chronic Xorn give it one final ravenous tempest of sound and craft in the shape of their new album For These Sins Who Must Die. 2017 has been a rather eventful affair with some majorly striking encounters along its way but has saved one of its finest moments until its last few breaths for a release which should thrust the Kolkata hailing quintet towards major awareness and attention.

Formed in 2007, Chronic Xorn has nurtured and become a portent presence within their national metal scene, previous releases in debut EP Death.Destruction.Sermon of 2010 and first album From Mercy two years later reinforcing the raw power and craft of their death metal/ deathcore blend and pushing their emerging stature. The time is ripe for the band to stir up broader recognition and it is hard to suggest or expect For These Sins Who Must Die will not to be the incendiary spark. Dedicated to the band’s deceased close friend Abhishek Bhattacharya who penned all the album’s lyrics, the band’s self-released proposition looks at the oppressed in life; vocalist Saptadip Chakrabarty explaining more with “History reveals that in every religion, community and caste, there has always been a major race of common people, those who suffer and rot under the reign of a corrupted helm. Unwillingly their blood spills as the ever deceitful leader smiles away to glory. This album speaks about all those commoners, who are helplessly handcuffed by societal pressure. Their voices choke under the smoke of fraudulence.”

The scene is set through the album’s intro, Doctrine Of Hate a beguiling melodic lure with thick shadows to its beauty and portentous clouds to its atmosphere. As ears, the imagination is drawn and consumed by its creative and suggestive drama, the track growing resourcefully into the album’s title track. For These Sins Who Must Die instantly grips the appetite, its nagging senses winding grooves and rapacious rhythms  instinctive incitement as the venomously toned vocal squalls of Chakrabarty, backed as potently by those of guitarist Suvam Moitra, crawl through the tempest. The guitars of Moitra and Biswarup Bardhan continue to manipulate the song’s evolving landscape with inventive dexterity, the song almost kaleidoscopic in its adventure and nature.

It is a tremendous start to the album which is only continued by the following Necropolis Iii. The crisp rhythmic bait of drummer Dipayan Chakraborty draws the listener into the waiting fire of sound and vocals, the bass of Soumyadeep Das providing a gnarly growl to the blaze as grooves twang and groan as melodies sear and entice. There are certainly familiar elements flaming away within the song and indeed album but all seared with a character and tone belonging to Chronic Xorn to add to the ingredients already individual to them.

Next up Justice By The Act Of Violence is a savage fury careering through ears with nostrils flared but just as adept at shifting through the gears and surrounding the senses in memorable enterprise. Saptadip Chakrabarty again simply magnetises with the similarly tempting cauldron of sound and imagination getting under the skin like a relentless itch. It is a one of the major qualities of Chronic Xorn’s music, a niggly attribute which you cannot avoid or ignore, nor want to, which constant scratching through listens only makes things more compelling.

Vox Populi is unsurprisingly no different, its traits and features an appetite harrying trespass within a bullish roar led by Saptadip Chakrabarty’s raw throat and emotion. Grooves cast a web of deceit, as invasive as they are deliciously seductive and more than backed by the rapier swings of Dipayan Chakraborty and Das’ deep bass trespasses. Moments of melodic calm and elegance only add to the temptation; eventful breakdowns and rapacious twists creating an imposing clamour as severely ferocious as it is inescapably captivating.

The track’s final sonic sigh is the trigger for the hellacious onslaught of closing track, The Last Stand. Tension seeps from every note and syllable spawned within four minutes of predacious intent, the band’s imagination with riffs, grooves, and rhythms stalking and hunting down the senses within a theatre of melodic endeavour. As individual and united flair scorches ears, band and song simply bully the body and ignite the imagination, encouraging a lust for much more by the album’s close.

As for us, For These Sins Who Must Die is likely to be an introduction to Chronic Xorn for a great and increasing many and hopefully the real awakening to one rather impressive proposition within the metal world.

For These Sins Who Must Die is available now @ https://chronicxorn.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/chronicxorn/    https://www.instagram.com/chronicxorn/

Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shadowpath – Rumours of a Coming Dawn

Released earlier this year with a more recent and wider reboot, Rumours of a Coming Dawn is the debut album from Swizz metallers Shadowpath. It is also one of those encounters which certainly makes a strong impression first time around but grows in potency and pleasure as subsequent ventures into its depths reveals the true imagination and craft at its heart.

Originally called Wishpond, Shadowpath weave a multi-flavoured sound drawn from the attributes of power and symphonic to progressive and death metal, taking in inspirations ranging from Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, Everon, J.S. Bach, Katatonia, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Tesseract, Dream Theater, and Nightwish amongst many others. The band’s personnel  has changed a fair bit over time but by 2015, the line-up of vocalist Gisselle Rousseau, keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Philipp Bohny, guitarist Stefano Riario, bassist Amos Zürcher, and drummer Samuel Baumann came together and proceeded to work on this first album across the following year.

Each of the eight tracks within Rumours of a Coming Dawn are individual slices of creative theatre in an overall play, many epic productions and all woven and cast upon the listener with an instinctive passion and imagination. Each also provides a web of layers and textures which unveils new twists and fresh aspects with every listen, a major reason why it grows in impressiveness over attentive time.

The opening introduction of Prelude to Agony is the most straight forward proposal of all within the album, its invitation an atmospheric overture to things to come. Its stormy entrance brings with it the elegant melancholy of the piano and as swiftly the vocal prowess of Rousseau. Her harmonic cries then spark the more portentous air of storm and track with rhythms imposing yet restrained and melodies funereal even in their liveliness as flames of guitar descend. It is an imagination stirring start soon spawning the tempestuous throes of Chaos Equation. Instantly guitars and keys collude in a magnetic tapestry, the grumble of the bass and senses clipping beats lining the heated union with darker almost predacious hues. Rousseau’s symphonic nurtured delivery is a glassy reflection of word and emotion and superbly contrasted by Bohny’s earthy growls; it all uniting for a captivating tempest as potent in its electronic invention as in its extreme metal bred trespass.

The following Seed of Hope makes a calmer entrance, Rousseau and piano aligning their melodic suggestiveness before a rise of dark drama erupts, settling down again to begin repeating the dramatic cycle. As its predecessor, the track has many familiar aspects to it and plenty of unique features which combine for a compelling and increasingly striking proposal. The individual craft of the band is inescapable; Bohny and Riario especially grabbing attention within the song though as it evolves everyone makes a rich impact.

Every track is an adventure never settling into one direction, perpetually unpredictable and as a result fascinating though none more so than the album’s best moment, The Impossible Chain. It easily outshines those around it, instantly stirring the passions with its outstanding start. The dark noir stroll of the bass within the dancing threat of drums is simply delicious, manna to personal tastes and things only escalate in pleasure as keys spread their suggestive wash and guitars spring their devilish almost salacious tempting. Once Bohny’s raw throated tones open with demonic intimidation, the track has an unshakeable grip. Then mellower twists and harmonic beauty comes with skittish rhythms, the climate change as beguiling as the aggressive trespasses are thrilling, as too is Rousseau varying her more expected symphonic metal delivery with more organic and grounded exploits, an excellent move hopefully she will explore further ahead as it equally stands out over the next pair of songs. A scenic break midway in the song is just a tempting breath before it returns to even more adventurous and surprising endeavours, setting a major pinnacle within the release by its conclusion.

Next up Another Inquisitor makes a thick attempt at rivalling its majesty, the song an intricately designed maze of electronic, melodic, and fierce metal dexterity with folk seeded progressiveness. Rousseau again pushes her range and adventure to fine effect whilst musically the song never gives a moment to settle in one flavour or style, again to rich success before Deny me opens like a relaxed bloom into a fiery display of sonic colour and creative magnetism. Though it does not quite match up to the previous two, the song simply enthrals from start to finish.

The album concludes through firstly For a Final Ultimatum, a cauldron of contrasting often battling textures and inescapably infectious enterprise, and finally Beta, a mercurial serenade of self-reflection and melancholic fire which ebbs and flows in volatility as it charms ears and imagination. It is a thunderous finale to the album, even in its calm flights having an instinctive power which lends to its vice like hold on attention.

Shadowpath create music which manages to be chilling and haunting as simultaneously it is warm and inviting, threatening and ravaging. The evidence is all there within Rumours of a Coming Dawn, a release which may not be perfect but has all the seeds to evoke real enjoyment and the anticipation of major things ahead.

Rumours of a Coming Dawn is available now through the band’s Facebook page and website.

http://www.shadowpath.ch    https://www.facebook.com/shadowpath.band    https://twitter.com/shadowpath_band    http://www.instagram.com/shadowpath_band

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calligram – Askesis

UK set Calligram has a sound which somehow manages to be as seductive as it is debilitating, though even that kinder temptation is fiercely invasive and senses crushing, and comes to a tumultuous and compelling head within the band’s new album, Askesis. Its title means “the procedure of demonstrating self-control and determination of action and purpose”; acts which in sound, emotion, and animosity are skilfully embraced and menacingly twisted across six transfixing punishing tracks.

The successor to their well-received Alan Douches (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Darkest Hour) mastered debut, Demimonde of last year, London based Calligram have taken its bleak and often distressing atmospheres and textures to new inventive lands and heights within Askesis. Across its blackened hardcore bred inescapably immersive soundscapes, it teases and taunts, caresses and violates; emotionally and physically devouring the senses, suffocating them as it rips shreds off their suffering hides. Yet it is a joy to fall before, the grooves and infectiously venomous hooks and twists it conjures a masterful salve to the toxic malignancy unleashed.

Opener Della Mancanza instantly invades and sears the flesh of ears with the pestilential tones of vocalist Matteo Rizzardo to the fore swiftly followed by a tide of sonic animosity veined by grooves which just inflame attention and appetite. It is a rabid tempest of punk, black, and death metal; a mercurial but inhospitable scourge which just hits the spot even as it expands its atmospheric grasp and virulent hostility. The guitars of Bruno Polotto and Tim Desbos are a persistent enticement and malefaction, both extremes colluding in the song’s animus where the rhythms of bassist Smittens and drummer Ardo Cotones are similarly anthemic and destructive. Whether in  a rabid charge or its moments of ruinous calm, the track is unstoppably compelling, an irresistible incursion on body and imagination led by Rizzardo’s individual assault, his rancor leaving ears bleeding and scarred just as you imagine his throat is under his friction wearing delivery.

For personal tastes, the release never quite hits that stunning peak again yet savages the sweet spot time and time again starting with Sinking Into Existence. From its first breath, the track is a torrent of sonic violation and vocal torment within black metal smog but again the guitars weave some beguiling melodic toxins and lures to entwine eager ears. There is a predatory side to the track too, a calmer but no less threatening trespass which lifts the song to new captivation and richer emotive depths before Scourge envelops the senses with its own considered but rabid grudge. Again Calligram merge raw essences and viciousness with melodic enterprise and beauty, everything tainted in varying degrees but equally fascinating as it heads towards a passage of murderous rock ‘n’ roll and haunting sonic corrosion, and out again; Rizzardo magnetically guiding the creative pestilence.

The brief dark elegance of Murderess lures the listener into the waiting clutches of Entwined, itself a slim provocation on body and imagination but one spawned from the coupling of cancerous discontent and melodic suggestiveness. Both pieces are connected by emotion and craft, drawing the listener deeper into the album’s heavy anguished fuelled heart and the irresistible embrace of closing track Lament. A tapestry of styles and flavours all soiled and violated by the unique touch of Calligram, the song is an adventure which ebbs and flows, twists and turns; the listener’s thoughts and emotions making a similar journey within its beguiling asphyxiation of their senses.

It is an end as potent and outstanding as the beginning, and with the middle something pretty special too, Askesis is a must for fans of extreme metal, raw hardcore and simply punishing excellence to check out.

Askesis is out now through Basick Records; available @ http://music.basickrecords.com/album/askesis

https://www.facebook.com/calligrammusic/    https://twitter.com/CalligramMusic

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Something visceral this way comes: entering the wicked clutches of Skitarg

Like hell’s harlequins with dark intent entangled in pestilential rage and humour, Swedish extreme metallers SKITARG is an encounter which violates the senses at every turn and pleasures an appetite for “heavy, violent and evil metal” just as eagerly. The evidence is open in a live presence which devours the its audiences and four acclaim garnering albums; the fourth in Los Pulkerz released earlier this year. We grabbed the chance to brave the band’s blackened death bred clown metal trespass with vocalist Barnet, exploring its origins, that new album, and the Swedish language….

Hi, can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and how you all came together?

Sure, the band started waaaaaay back in 2005 when me (Barnet, which means “The Kid”) and the other singer Necrofilip (which means…er…”Necrophilip”) were checking out some porn on his balcony, as one is want to do. We were talking about starting a new band – we had been playing in a band called HEAD for the last six years but ended that band – and we wanted the name to sound super pissed off. And so it came to be, this year of the unlord 2005, that we named the band SKITARG (which literally translates to “shit angry”, but more idiomatically aptly translates to “pissed off”.  It also translates to “free sexuality”, “social security” and “Volvo”, but then again EVERY word in Swedish means that too.).

Have you been involved in any other bands before? If so how has that impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe style or direction?

You bet, I have been in about 15-20 bands and Necrofilip about the same. The other band members (who seem to change every now and then) also play in a lot of bands.

Playing with Necrofilip in HEAD was a great learning curve since we´d come to rehearsals with a new song and that song could have a musical element that we hadn´t known yet up to that point. It could be things like playing parallel thirds to a melody, or playing triplets over straight eights or stuff like that…So we´ve definitely grown up musically together.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer and do they still continue to steer the ship?

Yes, to sound pissed off. I think this might have been covered thus far.

You can only stay pissed off for so long before you need to have a laugh, and since me and Necrofilip love laughing more than we have the energy to be angry, the band soon started introducing comedic elements. I wouldn´t say we´re comedians but we definitely have a dark sense of humour and kind of need that perspective to get by in everyday life.

Since its first days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We started out pretty raw and still have that in us today, but rather than just beating the shit out of the drums and guitars, we put a little bit more finesse into it these days.

The first album was pretty direct and simple, the second album had way more harmonies and layers, the third was more melodic in the riff structure and the fourth album is a sort of return to the original simple sound with sprinkles of off-beat songs. One song sounds like Tom Waits, another like orcs raping The Prodigy and a third one is an excerpt of the tapes that Necrofilip recorded on his small tape recorder when he was nine years old. We really don´t have any kind of regard of what we put on our albums to be honest.

Has any evolving in sound and ideas been more organic movement or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

No, we´re pretty aware of what we want to do with our songs. Of course most songs start out with an inspired idea but from that we usually have a pretty clear vision of what needs to be added.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

As you say, there´s too many, but I can tell you what bands we are NOT inspired by: Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse. We sound nothing like them! (Ok, I´ll admit we kind of look like them, but hey, doesn´t every band?)

Is there a general process to the songwriting within the band?

Yes. We start out with some cabbage, add some salt, dance under the moonlight of a disco ball, choke each other until we laugh and then send the master to pressing.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Mostly it´s everyday stuff that pisses us off, like people walking too slow in front of us, dealing with jealousy, seeing animals and babies in peoples Facebook feeds and stuff like that.

Would you give us some background to your latest release, Los Pulkerz?

Our fourth album is a return to the original sound…actually, it´s just songs from when we started the band. We had been playing for 10 years when we started listening to the really old stuff that didn´t make it on to the first album. Some of the songs would probably work on a new release as long as we updated the sound and some of the riffs. I think we managed pretty well and even added some things that we haven´t had on our albums so far, like the song Sverige Facking Fosterland.

How about an insight into some of its themes and the premise behind it?

The premise is basically that the first 10 songs are songs that didn´t make it to the three first albums. The rest of the 15 songs are random tracks we recorded on our own as stand-alone songs or as in Rosmarie och Idioten where we get to hear an authentic conversation between 6-year old Necrofilip and a 5-year old girl called Rosmarie that he knew when he was little. His mom recorded the conversation on his tape recorder from another phone in the house and we found the tape years later (for all you kids: back in the day, people used to have land-line phones. That means that you could have several phones connected by lines to a socket in the wall in your house and if you picked up one of them during a phone call, you could listen in on the conversation between the person making the call from outside and the person taking the call in the house. Sneaky 😉

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Since we never hire a studio guy or rent a studio we´re creating up until the very end. We do everything on our own, so there´s never a cut-off on adding new stuff.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Oh yes. We´re dressed as black metal clowns and use dildos as our main stage prop. I think that´s a selling point as good as any.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

We´ve done very well during these last 12 years in Sweden so I think we could do just as well abroad, if not better. Swedes are a pretty socially inept bunch and we (Swedes) don´t usually like to get too close to each other. So, since we manage to attract plenty of people to see us live in Sweden, we would probably do even better internationally. I mean, heck, if Rammstein made it with German lyrics, why can´t we with Swedish lyrics?

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive?

We are very much a band that owes our thanks to Facebook…it´s been imperative for us to reach our audience so the Internet has been great like that. It has, however, sucked all the money out of the business, so there are fewer venues in Sweden and fewer companies that want to risk financial backing for their band. We didn´t want to wait around for the record labels to get their money-grubbing heads out of their asses so we just went ahead and started recording, financing and promoting our albums on our own.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

There is no afterlife. Life is meaningless. Entropy will win, and your mom and dad probably had anal at one point. Sleep tight!

https://www.facebook.com/skitarg/    http://skitarg.tictail.com/

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gutslit – Amputheatre

As a great many, our passion for brutal ravenous metal was given a real treat with the debut Gutslit album Skewered in the Sewer back in 2013. It was a raw and insatiable introduction to the India hailing outfit instantly stirring up global attention. We can declare now though that it was just the prelude to something bigger, bolder, and even more barbarous now savaging the senses in the shape its successor Amputheatre. Embracing the uncompromising rabidity of grind into their already distinct death metal nurtured sound, Amputheatre not only reinforces Gutslit’s presence in world metal but puts it on a whole new plateau.

From the moment the album’s title track sets the darkening scene and blood strewn atmosphere intrigue is hooked and attention grasped, than ruptured by the invasive surge of Brazen Bull. Sizing things up initially, it charges head first through ears, the incessant riffs and swinging grooves of Prateek Rajagopal leading the way closely followed by the scything attack of drummer Aaron Pinto. New member in vocalist Kaushal LS (Godless) impressively roars from the midst of the tempest, his diverse attack as riveting and stirring as the predatory sounds around him. With the heavy invasive groove of Gurdip Singh Narang’s bass completing the irresistible animus, the album swiftly hits the sweet spot as it instantly reveals a thicker and bolder adventure in the Gutslit trespass.

The following From One Ear To Another is equally as uncompromising and compelling, its ravenous assault a web of grooved invention and merciless antipathy again headed by Kaushal’s outstanding onslaught. That new found imagination in the band’s sound is swiftly exposed in its individuality as the song flips from its brutality into a surging rock ‘n’ roll charge and then a technically mesmeric tango, the cycle repeating without in any second ever losing its instinctive animosity. The track is immense almost reason enough to check out Amputheatre and soon backed in might by the belligerently savage Necktie Party. It too surges through a clutch of unpredictable and inventive twists which are maybe not as bold as in its predecessor, though its melodic detour is fascinating, but just as captivating and thrilling as the song preys on the senses.

Album artwork – Eliran Kantor

Blood Eagle is a carnivorous infestation, grooves and rhythms as toxic as they are seductive and ridden by the viral antics of vocal predation. Rajagopal’s melodic enterprise wraps this unrestrained and violently catchy malevolence, his strings equally adept at conjuring extremes and skilfully matched by the malicious yet vibrant antics of Narang’s bass. It is a tapestry which simply lights up appetite and imagination, success just as easily and mightily nurtured by the incessant quarrel of Brodequin and the ruthless animus cast by Maraschino Eyeballs. Both tracks are as bloodthirsty as they are openly infectious; their webs of wiry grooves and murderous rhythms bound in often acidic but perpetually beguiling enterprise.

Arguably the most truculent offering within Amputheatre is provided by Scaphism, a sadistic immersion of the senses but again one as ridiculously catchy as it is brutally cruel before the album is brought to a close by Death Hammer. Instantly you can sense the band are going to push their instincts and imagination further; something about its entrance and building confrontation which suggests the venturous almost schizophrenic tapestry of idea and sound eventually realised. Soaked in Gutslit’s renowned and expected brutality and accomplished craft, the closing trespass enthrals and excites whilst creating another seriously striking moment within the release.

Amputheatre is superb, a real standout treat in a year of potent ravenous metal encounters from a band deserving as much attention as possible.

Amputheatre is out now through Transcending Obscurity India and available @ https://gutslitindia.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gutslit/

Pete RingMaster 24/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Wrecking Company – Everything and Nothing

Released less than a thick handful of weeks back, Everything and Nothing is one of year’s most voracious metal releases and in turn one of its most appetising. The new creative enmity from US outfit American Wrecking Company, the album is a ferocious tempest of sound bred across a broad spectrum of metal and expelled in a caustic roar individual to its creators. Everything from groove and death to nu and punk metal, with plenty more besides, is sucked up into the maelstrom and woven into one antagonistic furnace so easy to devour.

Since emerging in 2006, the Tacoma, Washington outfit has grown into a potent force and live presence across the West side of the US, sharing stages with bands such as Hatebreed, Fear Factory, Motorgrater, Act of Defiance, and Mushroomhead to great acclaim. Now they are ready to stir up broader attention with Everything and Nothing and it is hard to see the Pavement Entertainment supported release failing.

It launches at the listener with its title track, opening with an atmospheric coaxing as portentous as it is deceptive. The relative calm is stalked by apocalyptic threat, a danger from within which niggly riffs spring. Instantly, they carry an infectious lure; bait swiftly emulated in the sonic vines which wrap them before the track surges cantankerously across the senses. Vocalist TJ Cornelius stands across it all, his ire fuelled growls defiant as the guitars of Randy Bebich and Ben Reynard spin a trespass of sonic spite and nagging riffs around them, the latter persistence also matched by the groaning lines of Jeff Bloomfield’s bass. Still that catchy temptation infests song and ears in the ferociousness, teasing and tempting as the swings of drummer Dylan Hickey bite.

It is a great start more than matched by the groove netted From Grace, a slab of extreme virulent metal which gnaws on the senses and stirs the imagination. Like a mix of Cryptopsy and American Head Charge, the song grumbles and rumbles, every second a crotchety insurgent commanding attention as it savages the body to contagious effect though it is soon eclipsed in presence and harrying by the following I Won’t Listen. The guitars alone ensure irresistibility is bred for their grooves and sonic doggedness, their raw persuasion more than matched by the barbarous yet similarly enterprising rhythms as Cornelius raucously hollers to equal success.  There is no escaping a bit of Slipknot and Fear Factory spicing within the charge but mere flavours in its infernal and seriously compelling assault.

Health for Wealth churns up the senses next with its own web of waspish grooves, surly dynamics, and choleric attitude; American Wrecking Company lacing it with a belligerence caked but open melodic dexterity which just lights up appetite and imagination while its successor, The Burning lives up to its name in touch and atmosphere. It feels like a sonic witch hunt, every note and syllable a combative infestation of psyche preying on ears and the world but entwined with a flirtation of grooves and enterprise which keeps the track on a constant evolution within its fractious pyre.

As Purge swings and taunts with its thick groove metal predation and Enemy soils the senses with its crabby enticements and instincts, band continues to stretch the album’s landscape of sound. Each song is maybe a nudge into new adventures rather than a big leap but one by one they openly reveal the expanse of the American Wrecking Company sound within the constant emotional and physical storm. Beautiful Lie is no different though it does not quite have the inventive attributes of other songs around it. Nevertheless its carnal breath and sonic tenacity leaves a want for little before Mad by Design arguably courts the widest collusion of styles and imagination within the album for its mercurial and persistently captivating feud.

The release is finished off by Day of Shame, a song which springs from a great melodic coaxing with middle-eastern promise into a rip tide of rapacious grooves splintered by scything beats. The throaty tension of the bass is icing on the toxic cake and a final track to confirm American Wrecking Company as one potent and exciting force.

Everything and Nothing is a beast of a proposition which ticks all the boxes and more yet you still feel there is so much more to come from the band such the potential equally loud within the creative ferocity. Happy days!

Everything and Nothing is out now on iTunes and other stores through Pavement Entertainment.

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

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2017

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