Battlesword – Banners Of Destruction

As the band look forward to a potent 2018, appearances at the MetalDays Open Air Festival and Metal Inferno in Paderborn as support for Grave and Holy Moses already confirmed and in the midst of writing a new album, we look back at second full-length, Banners Of Destruction from German outfit Battlesword. Having missed it upon its release a fair while back and urged by the keen encouragement of our friend Markus Eck at Metal Message, we thought checking out what the fuss was about would be a smart move. This it proved to be, the release an imaginative and intense tempest of melodic death metal making a long overdue introduction for us to the Lower Rhine hailing quintet.

Formed in 1999, Battlesword has earned a rich reputation for their live presence and sound within the German metal scene, their 2003 debut album Failing in Triumph making a powerful statement in presence and sound. The years have seen the outfit earn plaudits sharing stages with the likes of Moonsorrow, Thyrfing, Suidakra, Warpath, Debauchery and many more alongside playing events like the Indoor Festival Battle of Otzenhausen and Slovenian festival MetalDays Open Air. It is also fair to say that Battlesword is a band which gives the time and effort needed to each step they make, a trait easily heard in their second album with its skilfully nurtured dynamics and enterprising textures. It is a sound which maybe evades true uniqueness, Amon Amarth easily coming to mind at times, but has its own character amidst enterprising adventure.

Banners Of Destruction is an album which simply grows in impressiveness and dexterity over time, each listen revealing fresh layers and dynamics maybe veiled upon initial visits. The same can be said for our ears about the tones of vocalist Axel Müller, his ursine delivery raw and centred on one attack to unsettle and scar ears yet with each listen his presence persuades that the album would not be as potent without his organic growl or indeed the specific craft of his companions.

The release opens with Spirit to the Flesh and an invasive yet enticing assault of heavy rhythms entangled in spidery tendrils of guitar. It is a strong invitation which soon breaks into an infectious saunter with a barbarous edge especially once Müller growls from its midst. The guitars of Christian Schmitz and Béla continue to encase the senses with predacious riffs and melodically lined grooves, the rolling beats of Andreas Klingen rousing and the grumble of Ben Bays’ bass taunting.

As the opener grabs attention, The Unnamed Magic similarly is a robust lure with its suggestive drama and portentous air around individual craft. It does not have the spark of its predecessor or seemingly the boldness but backs it up purposefully before the album’s title track winds rapacious grooves around the senses as rhythms pounce with matching character. The guitars continue to weave a melodic web as a great repetitious tinge lines their grooves, each adding to a suggestive tapestry of sound. Swiftly and firmly it eclipses the previous pair but itself is outshone by the prowling and imaginative presence of Grave New World. Müller’s almost corrosive style is a potent temper to the melodic spicing cast by the guitars, their union an effective conflict adding to the depth of song and sound.

The Silence of Victory continues the trend, one of the album’s very best moments an atmospheric instrumental which dances with the imagination as melodies seduce over a dark heartbeat while Tongues of Hatred brings carnivorous breath to the album’s experience with its intimidating air and touch. It is a trespass hungrily driven by the tenacious exploits of drums and bass but magnetically tempered by the spider’s web of animated melodies and venom lined but beckoning grooves. The track takes best song honours but soon equalled by successor Circle of Witches, a hip swinging, bone rattling stroll as flirtatious as it is predatory. Together they create the pinnacle of Banners of Destruction, a height prolonged if not quite to the same loftiness by the melodically mazy Bloodlust Symphony. It too is simultaneously a threat and enticement, Battlesword proving again they are adept at aligning contrasts.

Through the excellent Left for the Vultures where not for the first time on the album classic metal hues keenly lure ears and appetite and the tenaciously infectious and invasive There Will Be Blood, band and album hold attention with a firm hand, each of the two and especially the latter springing their own adventurous but enjoyably fierce and quarrelsome enterprise, aspects just as prevalent within the infernal temptation of Where Demons Awake, its charms woven by the ever alluring craft of the guitars.

Closed by the intensive examination sent across the senses by Enemy Divine and its hellish beauty, Banners of Destruction leaves pleasure rife. It maybe does not realise all of the bold adventure and individualism it persistently hints at but grabs the imagination from start to finish and nurtures a real anticipation for its successor.

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

TankrusT – The Fast Of Solace

TankrusT_RingMaster Review

There is no compromising when it comes to attitude and intent within French metallers TankrusT, certainly creatively going by their new album The Fast Of Solace. The debut full-length from the Parisian bred quintet, it is a barbarous and dynamically textured onslaught of ears and senses, but one unafraid to weave a web of diversity and adventure within its merciless ferocity. It is also an encounter which impresses first time around but reveals its strongest assets over subsequent plays to grow into an even more stirring and heftily satisfying proposition. Whether The Fast Of Solace has enough uniqueness to set the metal world ablaze time will tell but certainly it is going to savage it until attention is strongly given the way of the band.

Formed towards the end of 2006 initially under the name Eleusis, TankrusT has drawn on its members varied backgrounds in varied extreme metal and hardcore for its sound, merging those essences with a death and thrash seeded roar of their own. As shown by The Fast Of Solace, it is a debilitating tempest with a wealth of invention and enterprise within its depths. Live the band has earned a potent name for themselves, the sharing of stages with bands such as M:Pire of Evil, Septicfelsh, and Debauchery adding to their own shows over the years, a success backed in 2013 by the release of the four-track Beyond Thresholds EP. It whipped up certain attention in their homeland and online but nothing to that expected to be ignited by The Fast Of Solace.

DMZ is the first mighty trespass from the album, the track looming in on a sonic swirl only gaining more impact and hostility as it nears and explodes into a volatile bellow of heavily swiping rhythms, rabid riffs, and a great mix of vocal confrontation driven by the ravenous tones of KooTôh. Spidery grooves are a just as swift enticement within the turbulence, the invention of lead and rhythm guitarists Garth and Will respectively, creating an increasingly magnetic web to get hooked up in.

couv-FoS-HD_RingMaster Review   It is a pungent and increasingly gripping start to the album matched in kind and hostility by Draw the Line. Instantly rugged with bruising rhythms from drummer Schuff leading the forage into the senses, the hardcore aspects in the band’s breeding come to the fore, vocals and a raw punk virulence entwining and festering within the death metal blossomed raging to magnetic effect. The track is superb, eclipsing the great opener with its own tirade of violent variety and fierce imagination before Apollo Is Dead throws it’s cantankerously abrasing animus into the persuasion ring. Vocally KooTôh, with presumable backing across the band, fluidly spreads vocal diversity as blackened as it is death bred or hardcore seeded, a blend matched by the groove veined metal enmity in its varied shades.

Autonomy steps forward with purpose and rancor next, intrusive beats and a rally of riffs its frontline before the great carnal tones of Jule’s bass offers a toxic flirtation and lead into a swinish vocal infesting of song and senses. That sparks a filth coated rock ‘n’ roll stroll with barbarous twists and cancerous turns to its resourceful persuasion but as expected by now, voice and sound always comes with evolving turbulence and invention, many familiar essences woven into a tempest as fresh to the ear as it is dramatically hostile.

Both Improvisation 28, with its raw bitterness and again expectations defeating landscape of invasive but seriously contagious ideation, and the creatively mercurial Dead Pools keep ears and appetite greedy whilst Barbarians is a feud on the senses. Unrelenting in its barbarity and similarly full on in imagination, the track is a weave of contrasting and adventurous textures and enterprise. Each only leave a want for more; something the hellacious Grow Some Balls can immediately satisfy with its hardcore honed stalking and violating of ears, adding another distinct twist to the character of the album at the same time.

Through the similarly honed and bad blooded rock ‘n’ roll of 10:22 and the enticingly uncomfortable yet enthralling soundscape of Cleaver, TankrusT ensures The Fast Of Solace departs as potently as its ferocious animosity was launched, and in the closing song with maybe the most imaginative incursion on the listener within the release.

It is fair to say that at times there is a surface familiarity and intensity which smothers the individuality of moments and tracks but the rewards for time spent digging deeper and close attention given are irresistible. The Fast Of Solace continues to impress and thrill with every listen suggesting at the same time that TankrusT has the qualities and imagination to make an even bigger impact ahead.

The Fast Of Solace is out now.

Pete RingMaster 17/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Scarnival – The Art Of Suffering


Scarnival_RingMaster Review

2012 saw the unveiling of German metallers Scarnival’s acclaimed self-titled debut EP, now three years on the Hannover quintet unleash their first album to realise some of the rich potential already shown to be fuelling their sound and confirm a growing reputation as one compelling protagonists of explosive metal. The Art Of Suffering is a brutal and sonically incendiary encounter, a fierce incitement wearing influences of bands like At The Gates, In Flames, and Soilwork like proud badges. It does ebb and flow in major and less impacting successes, its grip fluctuating across its irritable body, but from start to finish, it is one groove infested slab of savaging to enjoyably get the teeth into.

Scarnival was formed in 2009 by guitarists Christian Kähler (ex-Schierling) and Henna Deutsch (also Tredstone), bassist Gerrit Mohrmann (Cripper and ex-Schierling), and drummer Max Dietzmann (Tredstone and ex-Schierling) alongside vocalist Niklas Reimann. With Daniel Siebert (Inquiring Blood, ex-Steak for Breakfast) subsequently taking over the vocal persuasion three years later, the band made their first broad mark with their self-titled EP. It and the modern melodic death metal flowing through its veins swiftly grabbed fan and media attention with high praise quickly following. Live the band has also earned a potent reputation for their ferocious presence, shows with the likes of Arch Enemy, Debauchery, Rage, Tankard and Vader amongst many, helping brew an increasing spotlight upon the band. Now it is the turn of The Art Of Suffering to awaken fresh ears and appetites, and though proof that its creators are still exploring and getting to grip with finding open uniqueness, it is a definite wake-up call to the hellacious roar of Scarnival.

Scarnival - The Art O_RingMaster Review     The Art Of Suffering opens up with its title track. Portentous whispers fill ears first, quickly followed by an evocative caress of guitar. Those first few seconds are a potent prelude to the fury of sound poised to abruptly explode upon the senses, riffs scowling as harsh rhythms drive the confrontation and vocals. Already the song shows great and impressive diversity across the unbridled ravaging, the guitars also revealing their own variety of flavour and enterprise as a maelstrom of hostile and seductive tendencies quickly brew into one wholly magnetic incitement of corrosive metal, heavy rock, and addiction luring grooving.

The superb start continues through God Given, a track starting on a discord soaked splash of sound and almost as instantly turning into a primal predator. With no one else credited as additional vocalist, presumably every guttural growl, venomous squall, and grouchily clean tempting impressively comes from Siebert’s own raw throat across the album, and fair to say, as on the second track, he is as relentlessly gripping as the melodic imagination around him is emotively expressive. The song continues to merge a blend of varied metal into its appealing landscape before making way for the more brutish but no less infectious bellow of The Easy Solution. The energy of the track is again insatiable, as too the outstanding mix of vocals and jagged endeavour spilling from every guitar chord and spiteful beat. It is the nagging groove which takes most attention though, its catchy essence a rich lure in the tempest.

Hindsight steps forward next to offer a mellower, though still intimidating, proposal. Quickly it shows itself unable to ignite the same hungry reactions as its predecessors, familiarity and simply that so often indefinable spark which sets tracks ablaze missing from its otherwise strong body. It leaves ears and thoughts contented though, with Losing Identity stirring them up a little more through its barbarously grooved nagging and rhythmic punch bound in sonic rapacity. Musically it is enticing but vocally is where it wins, a hardcore essence encroaching some of the excellent diversity spilling from throat(s), though it too is left a touch pale by Watch Me. Featuring Soilwork vocalist Björn Strid, the track is heartily primal and sonically inflamed, its initial roar easily carrying ears and emotions into the clutches of its hostile stride. That alone hits the spot, but it is when the song twists into harmonic and vocally clean scenery around dancing hooks and spicy chords that it magnificently blossoms in to its greatest inimitable persuasion.

Both The Hunt and Rewind keep a freshly stirred appetite lively. The first succeeds through a fusion of insidious vocal toxicity and predacious grooves caged by skittish beats and invasive intensity, whilst its successor being part bestial and part flirtatious, stalks the senses with its inventive animus of sonic zeal and ravenous riffery. As all tracks varied hues entwine, slithers of thrash and death, black and melodic metal colluding here in a tapestry as destructive as it is enlivening. The pair thoroughly satisfies, a success shared by the classic metal infused Pathetic, though it has a more expectations feeding presence to leave it enjoyably pleasing if without causing any particular stir.

Eternal Salvation has the album back in top gear as soon as an intoxicating groove winds around ears in its first seconds, the masterful bait seeming to dictate the growing swing and contagious tempting of the excellent track. Many of the album’s songs do share certain melodies or elements of design, without any ill-effect on its potency, but this one stands bold as one of the most original and thrillingly unpredictable storms on the release. It borders mayhem at times, its fluidity pushing limits but everything just unites perfectly for one rancor soaked violation where even the sudden slip into melodic beauty only accentuates its might.

The Art Of Suffering comes to a close through firstly the gripping and barbaric drama of One Morning Left, another peak which is as emotionally cancerous as it is viciously unrelenting, and lastly Lies with its ruinous heart and tempestuously resourceful soundscape of scarring sound and ideation. The pair leaves the album on a lofty high, the latter emerging as the most courageously inventive and thus thrilling song on the release.

The Art Of Suffering is another striking step in the emergence of Scarnival, a release which impresses though also one it is easy to predict will be blown away by the band itself at some point ahead as they grow and mature further It is though a perpetually enjoyable and captivating savaging which only leaves a taste for band and more, a result not to be sniffed at for sure.

The Art Of Suffering is released via Kernkraftritter Records on August 7th through most online stores.

Ringmaster 04/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Loudrage – Uglier Than Thou


2014 is already getting off to a thumping musical year with numerous impressive releases across numerous genres even though barely into its second week and you can add another gem to the growing list in the towering shape of the Uglier Than Thou EP from Romanian death metallers Loudrage. Five tracks of groove infested malevolence which takes the ears and imagination on a rampant dance of incendiary and devilish contagion whilst gnawing away at the insides. It is voraciously compelling protagonist for senses and emotions and easily one of the most scintillating tempestuous assaults daring to molest the psyche in recent months.

     Formed in 2005 and bringing influences from the likes of Six Feet Under, Debauchery, Sepultura, Obituary, Grave, Bolt Thrower, and Deicide into their horror bred malevolence, the Ludus hailing, Transylvania based Loudrage are no strangers to attention and acclaim being named as Best Romanian Death Metal Newcomer in their second year and playing with the likes of Sepultura, Vital Remains, Godphobia, and Rictus Grin in their first couple of years as well as sharing a split DVD with the last of the four in 2007. The following year saw the release of the Rage Unleashed – Tale of a Murderer EP which followed a self-released demo two years earlier. Shows with bands such as Grave, Belphegor, Nile, Opera Ix, Lividity, Furnaze, Nuclear, and Amethyst to name just a few filled the following years as well as the release of the Pungent Roots demo in 2011. Last year saw the quartet of Molester (vocals), Bestial (guitar), Vomital (bass), and Canibal (drums) enter the studio to record their new release and though wide recognition outside of their home territories still escapes them, given luck and attention it is hard to imagine Uglier Than Thou not providing the hefty key to open up new doors in recognition.

   It is fair to say that as soon as opening track Doomed thrusts its muscular intensive frame upon the ear and an instant predacious groove calls from within the tsunami of sound the band has their irresistible hooks in deep. Riffs gnaw away at the senses with torrential persistence whilst the drums clobber the ears with sturdy endeavour and enthusiastic violence. The predominantly death metal track is an unrelenting nagging driven by the guttural squalls of Molester. It is a potent irrepressible mix, arguably not breaking new ground but is virulently contagious especially as little splinters of grooves entwine the tempest from time to time. It is an impressive start to the encounter with greater assaults to come it soon emerges.

     As Long As I Live soon has things instantly aflame as it stomps into view wielding an addiction fuelling groove which wraps around the ears like a salacious temptress. The stroll and swagger of the song is virulent in the extreme, a wonderful carnivorous bass sound constantly chewing upon the infectious lures laid by the guitars alongside corrosive vocals which get better and more impressive as the EP progresses. With the lyrics parading the nastiest dangerous romance and often slight but always open twists and turns to the invention and gait of the song almost taunting, it is a masterful insidious seduction. Again you can argue that Loudrage are revitalising previously sculpted sonic animosity and venom rather than spawning their own but truthfully who cares when it sounds so good.

    Both Fear Me and Suffo-Kate stalk voraciously the new found plateau of the release, the first a thoroughly ravenous intrusion on the senses. Riffs crawl and antagonise the air whilst rhythms show rigid restraint to frame the savagery though still managing to have moments to add their bone splintering spite too. Again the bass feeds the primal beast inside, its stringed jaws a rapacious aggressor alongside the toxic scrub of riffs. Its successor is no less pestilential and more ferocious in its energy and groove lit rabidity. There is also a crunch to the tone of the song, a metallic intensity which infests and resonates in bone and the imagination, whilst the melodic poison raging through the veins and grooves of the track sear and almost asphyxiate the senses. The pair are again pinnacles which linger and drive a real hunger to hear more from the band now and in the future.

     The EP closes with the groove fest of Intruders; from vocals to riffs, rhythms to those wonderfully infernal grooves the song savages with death metal sculpted hips swaying like a whirling dervish. It is an infection which should be quarantined, though only if we are locked inside with its uncompromising, ferocious devilry. It is a blistering conclusion to an impressively hellacious release. There is nothing to fault the EP over apart from debatably it holding a strong familiarity in some ways to established invention, but as mentioned before it is a minor thought before a major triumph and the moment when Loudrage will be a name eagerly thrust around the metal world.

Go grab Uglier Than Thou as a buy now name your price release at now!


RingMaster 10/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cold Rush: Disclosing The Vicious Seeds

With an album imminent German industrial metalers Cold Rush have made a mightily firm case for great anticipation and impatience for the forthcoming release with their new maxi single Disclosing The Vicious Seeds. Varied, stirring, and infectious the two track single shows the returning band has evolved their sound into a harder and more addictive proposition which invites, entraps, and exhilarates the ear and beyond for a deep satisfaction.

Disclosing The Vicious Seeds is a fore taste for the new album AmoKKoma, the follow-up to debut The Illness of 2009. The years have seen Cold Rush sharing stages with the likes of Megadeth, Last Instance, Mono Inc., Debauchery, Equlibrium, and Suidakra across Germany and the band riling up Europe with a tour alongside Kreator, their sounds finding an easy fit to metal, rock, and industrial hearts. The two years since their first album has seen the sound of the Munich band as previously mentioned, expand into a more eagerly catchy and powerful beast, maybe inspired by the addition of new vocalist Matthias Kupka (Suidakra and Emergency Gate), who brings a fiercer and darker crunch to the vocals and energy. Their sound is grounded in the industrial bands from the nineties, addictive and challenging with a steely intent to provoke and melodically corrupt, the new single the first result.

Opening song Daily Crime (Second Edition) opens on sparkling synth melodies spotting the ear and an intrusive grind behind a sampled vocal. Intriguing from the off it soon breaks out into a wave of smothering density and metal forcefulness tempered with warm and compulsive melodies. The vocals of Kupka are harsh and intimidating backed up by sounds from guitarists K.L. and Wutzl that are incisive, and rhythms from bassist Ramirez and drummer Flo which steal away the breath with their dark command. The spreading electro synths sweep through and over every sense with the song overall a piece which carries an ominous atmospheric darkness.

Second song White Z is a fuller rock/metal track bringing a mix of the likes of Rammstein in league with Scum Of The Earth. The track stomps across the senses with a might and intensity that raises pulse rates and draws air punching fists. The bass of Ramirez growls and prowls the song wonderfully adding spite to an already formidable energy and attack from the guitars and the muscular vocals of Kupka.  The new aggressive yet contagious element to their sound has brought something new out of the band that is impressive, their craft at bringing their electro and melodic skills into a seamless meld with the harder intensity very rewarding for the ear.

Disclosing The Vicious Seeds is an excellent forerunner to the new full length release currently being completed by Cold Rush and if there is one complaint it is that this single has now made the wait for their album  even more impatient.

RingMaster 17/03/2012 Registered & Protected



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