The Last Ten Seconds of Life – The Violent Sound


Having beat up on and seduced the US metal scene, Pennsylvania hailing The Last Ten Seconds of Life are abut to do the same to a global attention with new album The Violent Sound. It is a success not too hard to imagine almost expect as the release unleashes twelve brutal alternative/nu/groove metal furies that just grip and excite ears and imagination. The band’s sound has plenty more in its arsenal of flavours and temptation but a mix of Korn, Mudvayne, and Britain’s own Anti-Clone is a fair indication to the downtuned tempest the Mansfield based quartet uncage.

Formed in 2010, The Last Ten Seconds of Life has risen through the local and national US metal scene, earning a potent reputation for their fearsomely impressive live shows and releases like debut album Know Your Exits of 2011. The past year though has seen the band evolve their sound into a whole new and striking adventure with new vocalist John Robert C. coming in, his irritable grouchy growls and impressive broader versatility seemingly, on the evidence of The Violent Sound, just bred for the band’s evolution in songwriting and imagination.

Engineered by Grant McFarland and produced by Carson Slovak (August Burns Read, Texas in July), The Violent Sound is the first offering from the new line-up and pretty much goes straight for the jugular as Little Black Line opens things up. Its initial lure though is the clean tones of John Robert, enticing within brewing discord honed tempestuousness which blossoms into a predatory stroll that as good as stalks the senses. The harsh rhythmic tenacity of drummer Christian Fisher is bound to the barbarous groove and tone of Mike Menocker’s bass, both a formidable invasion of ears as the guitar of Wyatt McLaughlin creates a sonic smog of portentous temptation.

Though the song never brutalises, its intent and weight takes no prisoners, setting the listener up for the intensive examination of The Drip. That Korn-esque texture to the band’s sound swiftly seduces ears within the encounter, interrupting a primal trespass equipped with scything grooves and vocal antagonism around rhythmic animosity. The track is glorious, another aural predator further impressing in melodically bred moments of emotive resonance before Bloodlust lives up to its name in tone and emotion. It is a savage uncompromising affair but again one with twists into unpredictable and sinister passages which even if only brief draws the imagination further into the violating tempest.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe following Six Feet is just as diverse in its attack and simply imperious, its volatile climate and grievous intensity skilfully contrasted by the melodic and harmonic swoops upon ears; the two colluding in bewitching espionage before the track is back devouring all before. As much death metal seeded as any of the flavours previously suggested, the track is a carnal incitement igniting an already keen appetite with the album’s title track reinforcing its increasing hold. The Violent Sound roars with sonic spittle lying upon vocal ire as rhythms pounce with animalistic predation, a vicious stalking leading to the calmer melodic and cleaner vocal enterprise of the band which is as virulently infectious as anything escaping the crushingly relentless ferocity.

A Marilyn Mansion air accompanies the flirtatious swagger of Casanova, an irresistible track with all the grooved swerves and salacious moves of a venomous pole dancer while Bag of Bones worms into the psyche with a niggling groove prone to discord fuelled expulsions of sonic unpredictability. Around it, the track brews another fury which buffets and abuses the senses, every swipe and incursion eagerly welcomed as the track swings like a hungry hound with a creative deviousness just as eagerly abound within successor Switch, a volatile fusion of metal and heavily boned rock which either licks at the psyche like a demonic lecher or presses in on the senses like a murderous vice.

That sanguine essence is even more prevalent and zealous within next up Blind Faith but equally the band’s harmonic imagination is a rich lure, so much so that you do not know whether to bow to its seduction or run for the hills, the former ultimately the only reaction to the brilliant protagonist.

It is a success and creative endeavour matched by that within Wise Blood, The Last Ten Seconds of Life again creating a concussive, sublimely seductive siege of ears and senses, trapping the imagination with exotic grooves and spicy melodies amidst vocal dexterity before Social Suicide casts a paradox of contrasting textures which simply captivates with ridiculous ease.

With the groove entangled, sinisterly shadowed Last Words completing the ferocious proposition, The Violent Sound is destined to push The Last Ten Seconds of Life firmly into the broadest metal scene. If not, there is something seriously wrong.

The Violent Sound is released by Siege Music on October 21st.

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

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Shotgun Rodeo – The New Standard


You might suggest there are more unique proposals coming forth this year but there will be very few encounters which ignite and incite the passions as The New Standard. The six track roar from Norwegian metallers Shotgun Rodeo is as infectiously virulent as the common cold and as instinctively anthemic as any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can be.

Hailing from Trondheim, Shotgun Rodeo have been weaving riotous incidents from contagious strands of groove, thrash, and heavy metal  since 2008 which each subsequent release becoming more focused, potent, and as proven by their latest escapade irresistible. Previous EPs, Dead End Massacre (2012) and Guilty as Charged (2013) drew strong awareness of the quartet with debut album World Wide Genocide especially whipping up enthused attention. That time has seen their multi-flavoured sound become even more adventurous and diverse which The New Standard takes to a new compelling level.

From its first breath the EP sees predacious riffs and imagination enslaving grooves almost battling for attention, each earning their equal share alongside robustly eager rhythms and an overall contagiousness as opener Batshit Crazy leaps at and consumes ears. An enticing groove lined riff opens up the assault, it swiftly joined by heavy beats and broader wave of riffery amidst increasing spicy grooving. The great dirty tones of vocalist Nino Escopeta are soon there inciting involvement too as the song strolls with an aggressive almost arrogant swagger. The swinging rhythms of drummer Doomfang and bassist J.Buvarp trap attention virtually on their own, chaining an eager attention for the tapestry of grouchy riffs and sonic seduction from the strings of guitarist Don Shrediablo to further flirt with the listener within. With its chorus icing on the infectious cake, the track is the first of six which can make anyone lose all inhibitions in public view which is some feat when if like us you are someone hiding a voice which has rats fleeing towards a sinking ship.

shotgun-rodeo-the-new-standard-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start is taken up another gear with the outstanding temptings of Uncontainable. It too is a brawling stomp of cantankerous riffs and soliciting grooves lorded over by boisterous vocals while being driven by surging rhythms. Once more the band casts a chorus impossible to escape, the blend of heavy and feverish rock ‘n’ roll fuelling a kaleidoscope of spices from hard rock and classic metal to old school rock with plenty of other darker ravenous textures involved. Giving a seriously and gloriously anthemic battering to the senses, the track takes best track honours though it is persistently challenged throughout The New Standard and songs like its successor Around The Bend.

A heavier and darker proposal, the third track stalks ears while easily entangling them in more melody rich grooving, subsequently luring them into a chorus that is as raptorial as it is sublimely catchy. Shotgun Rodeo is unafraid to bring some death metal seeded shadows to their sound either, and it is that lurking hue which unites all the varying elements of the song perfectly, marked by the bestial growling of the bass in turn tempered by the broad enterprise of Shrediablo in a song which is a bit like King Hiss meeting Lamb Of God.

From one compelling moment to another as Drawing Blood From Stone takes over, it too a predatory proposition with twists into contagion loaded inciting of ears and involvement. Merging old school and modern hungry metal in one fiercely imposing captivation, the thrilling trespass of the imagination makes way for the EP’s title track. Once more grooves wrap around ears and appetite as rhythms hunt and attitude loaded vocals challenge, a combination which soon crafts its own individually surly engagement to further hook and ignite the passions.

The EP ends with the groove infected rock ‘n’ roll of Scatterbrain where the guitar spreads some southern goodness in its endeavours while rhythms provide a more fractious but no less alluring invitation. It is a rousing and exhilarating close to the EP, a slightly psychotic proposal all raw sweetness and deceitful animosity which just lights the fires all over again.

The New Standard might not be the most original thing you might come across but few bands involve familiar essences and textures in such a masterfully magnetic and seriously rousing fashion. As the release grips ears once again to say Shotgun Rodeo and The New Standard EP is a must is more than easy.

The New Standard EP is out now across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

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The Sideline Haters – Who Shaves The Barber?


The French metal scene keeps throwing up new encounters which just spark the appetite while fiercely pleasing ears; the debut EP from The Sideline Haters another thoroughly enjoyable example.

The Paris hailing death metallers were formed in 2014 by guitarist Allan “M-Slay” B. and bassist Elodie “Ch!ng” G, both former members of progressive death metallers Aenomy. Within a few weeks, the band’s line-up was complete with the addition of vocalist Florian M. (ex-ADM) and drummer Guillaume “Will” C. (ex-Hyperdump). From then until now, there is little we can tell you about the band’s time but Who Shaves The Barber?, their first EP tells all you might wish to know anyway.

cover_RingMasterReviewProduced by the band’s Allan Bravo, who also created the EP’s excellent artwork, Who Shaves The Barber? opens with The Sideline Effect, a track which quickly winds toxically sultry tendrils of guitar around ears as intimidatingly heavy rhythms prowl. It is not an over imposing or surprising first moment with the band but a setting down of the antagonistic terms the track offers before upping the ante in hostility and intensity. Once in position, raw throated vocals carry deep seated rancor in every syllable they share whilst the bass backs up that menace with its own cantankerous presence. Things become increasingly more enthralling with every passing minute, the track emerging a potent slab of death irritability and craft, making up for it’s sometimes less than surprising exploits with some mouth-watering hooks and slithers of spiky grooving.

The strong start is quickly matched and surpassed by the crawling almost pestilential demands of Tasty Cull. Straight away the song has a creative air and character wearing the scent of unpredictability, those twists coming out through the spidery enterprise of the guitar and the senses spotting suggestiveness of keys. The fact that those latter imagination sparking elements are pushed too far into the background of the tempest is a small issue, but just a minute element with a track which is as compelling as it is ravenous.

The EP closes with its title track, Who Shaves The Barber? going straight for the throat from its first breath in a hellacious tide of riffs and fearsome rhythms. That initial torrent of aggression and intensity barely wavers across the rest of the death metal bred rock ‘n’ roll of the track, its moments of taking the foot slightly off the throttle embracing a delicious weave of winy grooves and psyche piercing hooks. The track quickly steals the show, alone ensuring that The Sideline Haters is firmly placed on the radar of keen interest hereon in.

The Sideline Haters show they will be more than a passing flirtation with attention through Who Shaves The Barber?, an accomplished and increasingly imaginative proposition soaked in a potential which excites. It is going to be interesting to see how they develop and great fun on the evidence of their first trespass on the senses.

The Who Shaves The Barber? EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2016

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Khasm – Fenris


Hailing from Colmar in France, it is fair to say that French metallers Khasm have introduced themselves in fine style with debut EP, Fenris. Consisting of four tracks sculpted from the emotional rancor and creative hostilities of old school thrash and death metal, with additional caustic essences, the recently released tempest is a compelling and increasingly rousing incitement for ears and the band’s already growing reputation.

A quartet made up of vocalist Christophe, guitarist Philippe, bassist Matt, and drummer Laurent, Khasm draw on inspirations which include the likes of Feared, Hatesphere, Six Feet Under, and Hatebreed for their own uncompromising sonic trespasses. As swiftly shown by Fenris, there is rawness to their sound which fits their lyrical confrontations but equally an inescapable if punishing virulence bred in the instinctive thrash side of their creative character.

They are essences which instantly grab ears in the Jocke Skog (Feared, Clawfinger) produced EP and its title track. Opening up the release with a great throbbing bassline, the song is soon backing up its coaxing with a tide of inviting riffs and biting beats. Almost as swiftly it hits its thrash driven stride, badgering and snarling at the senses with a repetitive wave of riffs and Christophe’s vocal hostility. There are no surprises with the track but plenty to get eager teeth into and find a hungry appetite for.

FENRIS COVER_RingMasterReviewIt is the same with No More Justice, the song needing mere seconds to whet ears and the imagination with its opening bait of Clawfinger-esque riffery. That passing lure is soon lost in the predatory prowl and rhythmic stalking of the song, an intimidating invitation in its own right which in turn twists and turns into a web of sonic enterprise and galvanic hooks within the track’s open discontent.

The already impressing nature of the EP continues with Nightwatch, a track featuring the guest sonic prowess of Scar Symmetry’s Per Nilsson. It is probably the most inventive and boldly diverse track on the EP without losing the hellacious nature fuelling those around it. The song savages and seduces across its brazen sonic landscape but does miss the final spark as found its predecessors. Nevertheless, satisfaction is thick and another aspect to the Khasm sound and character welcomed before the outstanding Turmoil brings it all to a thunderous end.

The closer opens on a lone reflective vocal, which soon provides the trigger to a senses harrying pressure of rapacious riffs and irritable rhythms, they matched in tone and presence by vocal rabidity and rebel rousing. Subsequent grooves only add to the thrilling drama and assaultive tenacity of band and track. It is a final addictive roar of punk ‘n’ thrash, the pinnacle of the EP and Khasm showing they can rock ‘n’ roll with the best of them.

Fenris is a powerful and memorable base for Khasm to spring forward from with anticipation for their next step already impatient.

The Fenris EP is out now on CD and digitally @

Pete RingMaster 05/05/2016

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Scolopendra – Cycles


Showing themselves another welcome creative fury of sound and adventure from the French metal scene, Paris hailing Scolopendra release their debut album this month. Their ravenous incitement comes in the shape of Cycles, a maelstrom of varied metal flavours and hostilities creating an increasingly enthralling tempest as brutal as it is galvanic.

Formed in 2007, Scolopendra is cored by the brothers, vocalist Maxime “Pantin” L’hoir and guitarist Thomas “Lord Noué” L’hoir, and also bassist Olivier “Capitaine” Le Lin. Initially their sound was thrash and hardcore based before embracing a more black metal fuelled direction. By the time of first EP Apostasy Beyond Sanity in 2011, the band had developed a heavier more voracious blend of extreme and death metal in their sound. Those early essences still emerge in the confrontations making up Cycles with plenty of new spices included, the band’s sound in many ways having found its true character whilst hinting at the potential of even more to explore and come too.

Cycles opens with the industrial toned instrumental Dream Sequences; an aural hallucinogenic immersion for ears and imagination with haunting ambiences and portentous shadows. It transports the listener into the waiting storm of Purity and its initial thrash bred tide of hungry riffs and merciless rhythms. Quickly the track hits its infectious stride and almost as swiftly turns into a bedlamic assault of nagging hooks, irritable grooves, and bruising rhythmic predation. As the music, Maxime’s raw vocal tones grate and allure in equal measure, prowling the emerging web of sonic and melodic dexterity flanking the grouchy beast.

It is a great full start to the album compellingly backed by Awake Nightmare. A less forceful but just as intimidating proposal, the track initially entices with melodic hooks and gentle temptation before uncaging its own creative animus of intent and animosity shaped with more virulent riffs and toxic grooves. Cycles is another encounter this month which maybe is not creating something majorly new yet as this song alone proves, Scolopendra create raw and seriously enticing incitements which are bursting with fresh and distinctly imaginative character.

Spartan Killer Instinct skirts the senses next, before rushing venomously at them with thrash and death metal endeavour to the fore. As all tracks though, it soon reveals an individual web of intriguing and unpredictable creative rancor, ultimately arriving at a moment of swinging violent flirtation which has its victim gleefully enraptured before the barbarity consumes all over again. It is sweet punishment matched by that of Morbid Psychosis. From a ravenous atmospheric bridging the two songs, a glimpse into the turmoil infesting the world today, the new track bristles with hardcore ire and death metal pestilence. It is a mercurial proposition though; at times an infectious flirtation with great repetitive treads to its tempting and in other times a nasty but riveting nest of sonic discord snaking through song and ears.

SCOLOPENDRA ARTWORK _RingMasterReviewFrom one great track to another as Mental Torture takes over with its brutish nostrils flared as scything beats mercilessly lead the way. The hellacious invasion only escalates as another horde of savage riffs and belligerent rhythms join the corrosive surge of vocal discontent. Though not as open as the sounds around them, there is potent variety to the vocal trespasses across the album which cleverly tempers the general abrasiveness of their aggressive texture. Here it is irresistibly contagious despite its viciousness before the track departs for the emotional and physical jaundice of Psychic Paralysis and in turn the brief atmospheric drama and turbulence of End of Tunnels. Both entice and spark the imagination but are soon overshadowed by the two parts of Pinhole of Diffraction. Part One is a bestial corrosion of the senses, rampaging rhythms and niggling riffs courting the antipathy of the vocals. It soon shows a bold and schizophrenic imagination though which simply ignites an already keen appetite for the release. The track is an off-kilter shuffle of enterprise and barbarity emulated with fresh zeal and rigour by the similarly psychotic and creatively maniacal Part Two.

The album is concluded by firstly Psychotic Mass Murderer, a body of sound echoing thoughts the imagination comes up with from the title alone. Its magnetic swagger and Pantera-esque swing fits perfectly with the loathing fuelled heart of the track, grooves an insatiable devilment received with matching hunger while vocals are the imposing rein on the track’s virulent side. Its successor, Soul Dissolution completes the release with an ambient trespass of static and darkly emotive suggestiveness for a low key but evocative end to an increasingly gripping encounter.

Cycles leaves ears and thoughts throbbing and keen to know more about a band which is heading the right way to become a voracious devourer of global spotlights at some point in their ascent.

Cycles is released 20th May across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 05/05/2016

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Dominance – XX: The Rising Vengeance


With two already keenly praised albums under their belts, Italian death metallers Dominance are poised to release third full-length XX: The Rising Vengeance and make their biggest impact yet. Uncaging ten ravenous slices of creative animosity and enterprise; the album is an ear grabbing declaration of a band finding a new striking plateau as its sound in many ways comes of inventive age. XX: The Rising Vengeance is not a ground breaking proposal it is probably fair to say yet each track within its creative animus offers something fiercely fresh and imaginatively compelling.

Hailing from Rolo in the Province of Reggio Emilia, Dominance emerged in the early nineties swiftly making a local impact which stretched as their live presence explored the Italian metal scene and the band released debut album Ancient Splendour in 1999. It was another ten years before its successor Echoes of Human Decay was unveiled, the 2009 encounter soon drawing acclaim across the Italian and European metal press.  With a new line-up in place, Dominance are now looking to whip up an even bigger storm with XX: The Rising Vengeance, with a potent degree of success easy to envisage.

XX opens up the release, its instrumental invitation a swiftly magnetic affair as mystique hued guitars tempt and seduce the imagination. Their exotic spices are soon joined by a portentous wall of building sonic intrigue, a merger which blossoms and evolves further as the song casts a melodically suggestive portrait of emotion and imagination. The track eventually leads ears and thoughts straight into the waiting jaws of Journey to a New Life. Within its first breath, as guitars strike and beats batter, the raw throated tones of Massimiliano Marri scowl and trespass the senses; initial seconds where the song already has ears and thoughts gripped. The cosmopolitan hue of the opener also lines its successor’s melodies while rhythms prowl as grooves enjoyably wind around ears and song.

It is a mighty insurgence into ears matched by that of This Is War, another caging of the psyche by rabid riffs and acidic grooves as the swinging beats of Davide Tognoni hungrily descend on the senses. Every note has a certain animosity yet persuasive edge to it, adding to the building intensity and the brewing inventive collage of sound led by the imagination cast by guitarists Gabriel Cavazzini and Luca Alzapiedi. A predator from start to finish, the excellent confrontation is replaced by the equally challenging and pleasing Into the Fog. Once more an individual web of grooves and riffs surrounds bruising rhythms and caustic vocals, the bass of Saverio Rossi a stalking presence in the midst of it all. As in its predecessors, a great mix of attacks in the vocals also emerges to further flavour song and narrative.

art_RingMasterReviewTwisted lives up to its name next ; its body of sound and invention bordering on the deranged and incessantly vicious to whip up a new greed in an already established appetite for the album, while Dear Next Victim dances on the ear initially with flirtatious tendrils of guitar and spicy hooks. That early coaxing only intensifies as the song erupts into a more volcanic proposal though and also when it explores a less intensive adventure of groove metal ingenuity. There is a touch of Down meets Sepultura to the song in certain moments, a compelling and thrilling twist which is matched in imagination throughout by a series of bold twists and dramatically imaginative turns. The track is superb, taking best on album honours with ease.

The savaging of ears by Breathless is no less an exhilarating and galvanic offering, riffs and rhythms uniting in a hellacious assault with a riveting maze of melodic dexterity from Cavazzini involved whilst Just a Reflection is a festival of engaging enterprise  which just gets more volatile and rancorous with each passing invasive minute. Though neither quite matchup to some of the earlier triumphs, each fascinates with their eventful designs whilst exciting ears with their imagination driven prowess, certain success found in the senses badgering, ear nagging tempest of Time to Pay. Again, it feels like ears and being stalked by a hungrily bestial protagonist for a challenging and rousing incitement to become seriously involved in.

Completed by Rise Again, a more classic and heavy metal embracing ferocity, XX: The Rising Vengeance is the wake-up call to the sound and growing creative force of Dominance. It is maybe not a release to turn the European metal scene on its head but easy to expect it help make the Italians a far wider known and devoured proposition. More importantly it leaves thick pleasure in its turbulent wake, that alone more than enough to warrant checking band and album out.

XX: The Rising Vengeance will be released worldwide by Sliptrick Records 0n 8th July across all digital stores and many physical shops.

Pete RingMaster 04/05/2016

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Dominhate – Emissaries of Morning


According to their new EP’s press release, “Dominhate present the new face of death metal – contemporary without losing the ancient morbid touch, forward-thinking while paying tribute to the pillars of the genre.” It is a statement easy to debate and argue for and against whilst listening to Emissaries of Morning; what is straightforward though, is that the encounter and indeed the Italian death metaller’s sound simply stalks the senses and emotions every step of its invasive way.

The successor to their well-received debut album Towards The Light which was uncaged in 2014 via The Spew Records, Emissaries of Morning certainly pushes the band’s already established pestilential death metal encroachment to new voracious and compelling heights.  Whether its uniqueness is as strong as suggested can be discussed but there is no denying that escape from its punishing assault is futile and subsequent captivation from that same trespass is easy.

Released via the critically acclaimed Czech Republic based label, Lavadome Productions, Emissaries of Morning sonically infests ears and imagination with intro/opener Saturn Rising. It is a harshly celestial and fiercely provocative confrontation of senses wilting sound which lures the listener into the waiting predatory jaws of Awakening Confessiones. Straight away drama spills from scything riffs and beats, intensifying as the sounds breeding it create their own increasingly invasive and ravenous animus of spite. The guitars of Alex and Jesus proceed to spin a web of thickening intrigue and caustic enterprise, grooves as tantalising as the bracing tirade of riffs. Their addictive imagination is tempered yet driven by the barbarous intent of Slippy’s beats and bestial basslines from Steve in collusion with his prowling vocal growls. The track simply grips ears and appetite with moments of almost jazz noir imagination highlighting the great adventurous twists in the song’s storm.

Dominhate-EmissariesofMorning_RingMasterReviewFaith Delirius Imago continues the impressive start with its deceptively and openly primal yet skilfully woven tapestry of rancor and sonic infestation. Rhythms again swipe like the claw of a bear whilst grooves infiltrate ears and psyche like a serpentine predator, yet both show an addictive character with their contagious and swinging viciousness which alone incite and feed hungry ears becoming even greedier for the subsequent twists and turns of sound and intensity that writhe within the tempest.

Led by a greedily welcomed nagging tide of riffs, Immolation Carmen Astri binds and invades like sonic ivy, though thundering rather than creeping into the darkest places of mind and emotion whilst sharing its own in blistering and carnivorous fashion. Soon emerging as favourite track, it is a cauldron of venom and furnace of addictiveness; death metal as fresh as it is old school bred.

The EP closes with the warlike predation of Creation Quies Monumenti, another protagonist prowling and crawling through ears and thoughts like a demonic barbarian with all the craft and knowledge to entice submission rather than demand it. It is a gripping end to a release which just gets stronger and more enjoyably threatening with every listen. Sound wise, the likes of Incantation, early Morbid Angel, and Lvcifyre come to mind, and again you can debate its uniqueness but when it sounds this good and devours so enjoyably, it is easy not to care.

The Emissaries of Morning EP is released 22nd April via Lavadome Productions @

Pete RingMaster 22/04/2016

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