Agiel – Dark Pantheons


    Press Release Band Photo for Dark Pantheons (3000px by 2808px)

    Creating a bridge between the past and future, the Dark Pantheons EP from US metallers Agiel is one exciting tempestuous fury drenched in unique invention and rapacious exploration. The release uncages five scintillating onslaughts of brutal death and symphonic black metal with plenty more teasing the appetite, a quintet of songs which suggests that the band’s return is the start of a new exceptional and unique chapter in the history of the Philadelphia hailing four piece

     Formed in 1997, Agiel began with a blackened death metal sound as a conveyance for the lyrical and musical expression of occult philosophy and ritual magic. Debut release The Works of War arrived two years later, pushing the band’s already distinctive and different sound into wider attention. In 2002 the band unleashed Dark Pantheons Again Will Reign, a well-received and acclaimed release which revealed more evolution in Agiel’s creativity and sound, symphonic elements courting the established potent technical skill and merciless aggression. From persistently igniting stages and releasing the three tracked Vessatu in 2005, the band decided to rest for a while in 2007. Five years moved by before the world saw Agiel return in the December of 2012 with a new line-up consisting of one of the founding members of the band vocalist/keyboardist James Taylor, guitarist Jesse Carson (Inmania, ex-Warblade), bassist Rich Buzzell (ex-Abdicate), and drummer Kevin Kostyk (Pig Rectum, Seize the Soul). Exploring the seeds planted in earlier releases to new extensive depths and adventures, the quartet have evolved into a proposition of intriguing ingenuity and sonic expression as evidenced upon Dark Pantheons. Almost switching the attack from ravenous death metal with symphonic endeavour to an immersive and consuming tidal symphony of imagination now in equal tandem with the uncompromising intensity the band is renowned for, the EP opens up a new realm and height for Agiel. The Deepsend Records released incitement contains re-workings of songs originally frequenting Dark Pantheons Again Will Reign, re-imagined and inventively twisted into new breath-taking and exhaustive encounters.

    The title track explodes in the ears from its first second, crippling rhythms and savage riffs turning on their recipient whilst the a3558114463_2 (1)keys sculpt a rising climactic atmosphere. The impact and strength of the song from its first moment hits like a tidal wave; one equipped with a predacious hunger within a sonically bred and melodic storm. There is no time to grip any mental safety rail as the track brawls and seduces the senses with a riveting maelstrom of invention and ferocious rabidity, every second featuring a landslide of activity that it borders on being impossible for thoughts and emotions to digest. Spiteful and alluring, barbarous and seductive, the track is an exceptional concussive joy, a chaotic yet precise and voracious provocation.

    Deeds Rendered Upon the Flesh soars into view on epic orchestral tones and a rousing imaginative awakening of the air, an opening premise which is soon drenched and smothered by an insatiable attack of rhythms aligned to spiralling and splintering guitar enterprise. It like the first is a delicious chaos of musical skill and unpredictable invention leaving senses dazzled and emotions ignited. For all the anarchy and torrential havoc fuelling the onslaughts, the body and heart of the songs are never lost or disrupted which only accentuates the quality and craft of the tempests.

    Both The Awakening and Serpent Masquerade exploit the already induced weakness of body and emotions; each providing irresistible toxicity to embrace and fear. The first of the two is a majestic titan, its muscles tall and threatening over the senses as the guitars and keys stalk with intensive flames of enterprise amidst a now expected rhythmic disorder, whilst its successor avails ears of its own particular scourge of enthralling mayhem and adventurous bloodlust. The clean vocals which parade and entice with anthemic bait in the back shadows of the track are additionally magnetic, an outstanding temper and assistance to the abrasive deep squalls which primarily lead the lyrical ferociousness.

      Dark Pantheons is brought to a close by the equally disorientating and sublime Andromeda, a track which scars and tempts with equal strength and imagination as completes the exceptional release. A mention has to be made about the production of the release, the only aspect which disappoints somewhat and does the band no favours. Its presence is like a tsunami washing away and suffocating too much of the individual ingenuity whilst submersing the whole thing in a cloudy brew lacking the clarity to illuminate all that is impressively thriving within the songwriting and music. The fact that the songs persuade so powerfully is a testament to their and the band’s mastery. With additional material set for later this year and a new full length album in production for 2015, Agiel has emerged as a tour-de-force which shows their previous and very satisfying presence as just the warm up act for something very special.


RingMaster 28/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Uncompromising blood: an interview with Martin Rosendahl of Corpus Mortale

Corpus Mortale

Danish metallers Corpus Mortale has been creating aggressive and formidable death metal for the best part of two decades and through impressive albums and live performances earned strong and deep acclaim for their uncompromising yet inventive sound. The release of their new album FleshCraft though finds the band at its most creative and powerful yet. It is a colossal beast of intensity, sound, and quality which can be described as setting a new defining signpost for certainly Danish death metal if not extreme metal as a whole. We the pleasure of asking vocalist and bassist Martin Rosendahl to tell us more about the album and the world of Corpus Mortale over the past twenty years.

Hello and thank you for sparing time to talk with The RingMaster Review.

We have to start by being honest and saying our first introduction to you has come with your outstanding new album FleshCraft. It is a frustration to us it has taken so long but how do you view what seems a constant fight to be noticed, even for band like yourselves which has been around for two successful decades?

Well, first of all we’re sorry to hear that it took so long for our music to reach you. It is hard to be noticed in a scene with 10000 bands struggling to get attention. We do what we can by playing as much live shows as possible and we’ve also mailed promos to more or less every magazine, webzine and radio station. But of course there’s always new ones popping up. Also since the internet got it major breakthrough around 2000 everything has changed for good and for worse. The good part is that information is easier to reach the bad part is that it is impossible to get through to everybody. On top of that people’s web habits change constantly. A good example of this is Myspace – one year it is the shit, the year after it is completely dead. We’ve also had a crap label to release our first two albums. They did minimal promotion and actually cheated us for cash, copies and so on. Luckily they’re dead now and we’ve found the perfect partners in DeepSend Records which has a totally different and dedicated attitude.

In any case we’ve been here for so long that it seems pointless to give up. We’ve spent our lives on the music and it’s all we’re good at haha…and the struggle for recognition is only a part of it. 20 years is a long time but to us it seems like it’s been 5 and we’ve got much more to offer in the future.

Tell us about the beginnings of Corpus Mortale, your initial intention as and for the band.

In the beginning we were more like a hobby band. The first 5-6 years was just us fooling around trying to copy off our favorite bands. We really had no ambitions besides having fun. The band was split in two in 1999 and since then we have been increasingly focused on getting our music out to the masses. We tried to record an album in 1998 but we failed big time so when the band was split in half we who remained aimed for a more focused style and sound. I think we succeeded and after getting the line-up complete around 2000-2001 it took only a few years to get our first album contract.

Musically the intention has always been to play pure death metal without compromise. Never to follow any trends. It’s been kinda cool to have experienced the trends come and go. It proves our philosophy that bands who follow trends are usually very short lived and forgotten in no time. Only those who stay true to themselves and those who start the trends survive.

It’s always been important for us to advance and improve but you’ll never hear us using black metal, female vocals, or keyboards in the traditional way, pig squeals or any other crap. We have a set of boundaries within which we operate. Within those limits anything goes.

Has that original intent and idea for the band changed or evolved over the years significantly?

Not really. Only the level of dedication and the level of ambitions has changed. Musically I think we evolved a lot but as I’ve already Fleshcraft cover by Remy C.-Headsplit Designpointed out it has been done without taking any compromises and without following trends. So I guess we can answer both yes and no to the question.

As we mentioned you have just released FleshCraft which follows your previous albums Lewd Demeanor and A New Species of Deviant which were both acclaimed successes (even if we managed to miss them ha-ha). Does the excitement and emotion behind each one change from release to release with obviously their different journeys into the public eye?

The albums have been very different but still they’re all pure death metal. The vocals and the guitar sound has not been changed significantly. Also Brian and I has been writing 90% of the material on the albums so to us it’s more like one long journey or what you’ll call it. We just write music whenever the inspiration and ideas are there. When we have around 40 minutes of music it’s time to record. There has been a few years between each album. 4 years in between Lewd and Species, and 5 since Species. The reason for the rather long periods of silence is both that we need time to make songs that satisfy ourselves 100% but also because of line-up changes. It seems that every time something big is about to happen some people leaves. It’s hard to find musicians in Denmark that have both skill and ambitions to match the level of the band.

Was there any specific intent or drive behind FleshCraft and its collection of bruises other than to make the best record you could?

The idea with FleshCraft was to cut to the bone. Get rid of all the bullshit. Waste no time on long intermissions in the songs. Not throwing 6-7 themes into each song. Simply make it more focused and straight to the point. And I think we’ve succeeded in that task. I mean there’s still a lot of details in the music but the basics are actually very very simple… as intended. What’s the point of making 40 minutes of riff-o-rama if you can’t remember any of them when the record is over?

The album is the first release with the new line-up. How did the recording and writing process differ to your previous experiences?

Well each album has been recorded with a new line-up. But as mentioned Brian and I has been here through the whole process. I’ve been in the band from the start and Brian joined in 1999 after the famous break-up. So for 14 years he and I has been the core of the band. The writing process was more or less as it usually is. We write some riffs or parts and then we test it in the rehearsal. If it works we’ll work on it until it feels complete. The FleshCraft songs were written between 2008 and 2010…most of them not taking their final form until shortly before we went into the studio.

Can you give us some insight into the recording of the release, how did ideas and songs going into the studio change, if at all, by the final mastered release?

Each album has been done completely different from each other. The debut was recorded 100% in the studio. Species was recorded 100% in a home studio which we build ourselves in our old rehearsal. FleshCraft has been a mixed process with drums & mix done at one studio, the vocals at another studio and finally we recorded strings at Rasmus’ home studio.

As mentioned the songs was written over a period of 2 years. Due to reasons I won’t get into here, Rasmus and I was more or less forced to collect all the pieces in the end shortly before we went into the studio. I actually think that by doing that we got an even more focused overall result just as intended. Most of the songs were more or less complete when I brought them to the rehearsal space but Rasmus definitely played a major role in the arranging of the song. He’s a very talented musician and every time I was stuck somewhere he was fast to contribute with good ideas.

When we recorded the strings it was the same deal. We had a basic guitar that was complete then we all threw in ideas for the second rhythm guitar and the leads as well.

cmAs you said the album was recorded in stages in different studios. Did this offer up any unexpected problems as well as the positives you were looking for when deciding to go down this avenue?

After recording Species 100% by ourselves – a process that was harder and more painful than we had ever imagined we really wanted to get some of the work laid onto others shoulders so to speak.

Also we wanted to get a specific production this time as we were not really satisfied with the sound on Species. The natural choice was to use the best studio in Denmark – the Antfarm studio where lots of famous bands has recorded or mixed. Since the basic drum sounds are essential to a recording we recorded them there. The strings were gonna be re-amped anyway so we chose to record those ourselves, both to save money but also to have limitless time to record it properly. That was a bit painful and it took a long time but it paid out in the end. The vocals were recorded at Starstruck studios which are located on the top floor in the building where we have our rehearsal space. So that choice was mostly a matter of convenience but also because they have some kick-ass gear and we are good friends with the guy running it. Also it offered me to do the sessions whenever I felt in good shape. You know recording 10 songs in 2 days is not a cool thing. It’s really tough and you can’t go back a week later and redo parts that you fucked up or wanting to change. This time I recorded one or two songs per session. And with a few days in between sessions there was time and opportunity to change stuff here and there. I’m definitely gonna do it the same way on the next album that’s for sure.

When everything was laid down on the disc we went back to Antfarm and mixed it. The guy at Antfarm Jakob Olsen had made us some suggestions before we came so we were more or less settled on a sound when we went there.

Only problems we actually had was equipment making trouble. The usual stuff like we mixed the album and suddenly the bass guitar was missing from several tracks…and similar stuff. So in the end it took around 10 months from the recording of the drums until we had the final master cd, but definitely worth all the work.

How have you changed songwriting wise over the years and albums?

It has been the same process ever since the 1999 split. In the early days we weren’t focused and as long as it had a few good riffs we were happy. Haha…these days the songs need to be perfect…and diverse as well. We aim to make ’em sound like they’re all a part of a whole but still being individually strong and different from each other.

You touched on it at the beginning but it has been around five years between the last to this album, was this seemingly long time down to the personal changes or just due to writing and evolving the songs for the new release?

There’s several reasons for the long period. First of all we changed drummers just when Species was released. That took us 8 months to find a proper replacement and spirits was quite low in that period so we really didn’t get into writing new stuff until we found the replacement. As soon as he was into the material another dude left… same shit once again. That meant that most of 2008 was wasted finding new people. Then we spent 2009 touring and playing a shitload of gigs everywhere…more than 60 shows was thrown during 2009 and first half of 2010. So we didn’t really get into the songwriting until the summer of 2010. But when we finally got into it we actually worked faster than we ever did before.

You revisited and re-recorded the track Seize the Moment of Murder on Fleshcraft. Was this due to external demand from people who wanted missed out on its original limited release or something you wanted to do to maybe evolve or ‘improve’ the song anyway?

You’re mentioning all the reasons why we rerecorded Seize…first of all there was a demand from fans since not all has record players and the 7” where it originally was features was only pressed in 500 copies and of course it’s sold out a long time ago. Second reason was that the EP recording actually was a test recording to test if our home studio was good enough to do the Species album. Actually Species was the last song we wrote for Species but we voted about which song should be on the EP and we ended up with Species. In my opinion the song should have been saved for FleshCraft from the start. But I guess I got my will when we rerecorded it.

Since it was a test recording it has quite a few flaws, the original version, so I insisted that we rerecorded it for the FleshCraft album. Also it is a kick ass live song that will most likely be a part of our live set forever so I thought a proper recording was in its place.

Your sound is obviously cored in death metal but the album certainly has loud whispers of other essences and inspirations. It suggestsC M you listen to and maybe get inspired  from a wealth of varied genres and bands. Is this the case?

First off all I have to say that I consider this question as a huge compliment. We’ve all had pasts in all kinds of different genres. Corpus is Rasmus first experience with death metal. I have been playing genres ranging from rock/ pop to grindcore, black metal, thrash, heavy metal…hell, I’ve even been in a punk band… so we’re not going for the typical sound. We like a dry guitar like many thrash bands use. We like that you can actually feel the bass guitar…We like drums that sound like drums and not just trigger-clicks. The drums on FleshCraft are 95% real…only in a few parts we needed to use a sound replacer. But that was only because of the sound level needed a boost. It is replaced with the sound of the kick drums themselves. No cheating here…

In private we all listen to all kinds of music. Not only metal. Actually I like something from most genres besides reggae which I really hate…haha…and I know the other guys have similar diverse tastes. Life would be fucking boring if you only stick to one genre. It’s like eating the same dish for supper every day.

Like with your previous releases FleshCraft is themed with songs inspired by serial killers, their deeds, and the whole premise atmosphere around them. Do you automatically go and seed your lyrics from this premise or also look at other unrelated inspirations for possibilities?

The method of writing lyrics since the debut album has been unchanged. From early childhood my mother told me stories about people like Ed Gein and Bundy…she’s a huge horror/ murder freak and has a large collection of movies of books on the subject. So when I got older I got more and more into it myself, especially the serial killer stuff. Maybe because it is real…it’s not the fantasy of some author. This shit has really happened and is still happening.

In the early days of the band we explored several subject like the usual gore stuff, Satanism and even a few socially oriented lyrics has been used as well as personal stuff. But in 1999 and forth I thought that since we got more focused in the musical style we also needed a more focused direction lyrically. So I started buying a lot of books on serial killers and wrote lyrics based on those books. Actually I get one sometimes to songs out of a book depending on how much substance it has got. So all the lyrics are not fantasy they’re all true. And risking to be accused of stealing I must admit that sometimes I take a line directly from the books. To be honest both the titles of the first two albums are taken directly from books I’ve read. In my opinion it is ok since it makes it more real. I really not into the Cannibal Corpse style of lyrics where it’s all chopped up bodies and so on. It’s boring and you know it’s just words those guys are writing down on paper. It never happened. It’s just words you know…

But with 3 albums with only killer lyrics we actually talked about trying to explore new subjects…but that is only an idea so far. We’ll see what happens when I get down to actually writing them.

The album has been released as you said through Deepsend Records. What was it about the label which convinced you they were the best vehicle for the album?

When we were about to start shopping the album we simply made an A and a B list of labels with which we’d like to sign; the A list being kind of unrealistic. All the major labels that you know could pull of a good job and make some fuss about the band. Of course we got no offers from any from the A list…Haha. The B list was labels which we knew were honest and hardworking and DeepSend was on top of that list. We got 5 offers from other B list labels before DeepSend wrote us and without negotiations they simply surpassed the other offers with no exceptions. This is actually the best record deal I personally has been involved in at so far I have nothing but good things to say about DSR. The manager is a very dedicated guy and you can really feel that he believes in us and wants to help us push the band as far as we can get. He earned our trust in no time and we consider him the 5th member in the band. And I can assure that FleshCraft will not be the only collaboration between CM & DSR.

cm logoAs we said Corpus Mortale has seen metal and the music world across two decades and the challenges and struggles for a band have grown to massive proportions over that time. How have you found things yourselves, what have you had to change to contend with things, and how to do keep your enthusiasm and strength in what is really a full time fight for bands now?

Well, things have changed over the years but we find our strength and the encouragement to keep on struggling in the joy of playing music. As long as we feel good doing it nothing is gonna stop us. Most bands don’t even last half the time that we’ve been around. It’s like if they don’t “break through” with the first album they just give up…even more give up because they can’t find labels to release their stuff. Also seeing all those bands giving up all the time is giving us strength to go on. Stopping when you finally have gotten somewhere would be stupid…besides, personally I made up my mind 15 years ago that I would dedicate my life to playing music no matter the level of success.

What does Corpus Mortale have planned for 2013?

First of all we’re playing a load of shows in Denmark to warm up. The plan is then to go on the road in Europe in the second half of 2013 and hopefully we can also get some tours in North and South America this time around.

Will we in the UK have the pleasure of feeling your devastating live performances soon?

We just played our first UK show in London in December. And we’re definitely planning to return in 2013. We have a few contacts and the plan is to set up 5-7 shows covering the biggest cities in England, Scotland and maybe even Northern Ireland.

Once more thank you for sharing your time.

You’re welcome, any time… and we thank YOU for giving us exposure and for giving us some space to talk about our shit.

Any last words or thoughts to end with?

Hmmm… I just hope that people are gonna check us out. We don’t expect everyone to love us or anything but we might be a band playing the style of death metal many people are looking for in this world of 280 bpm style of DM with pig squeals and inhale vocals all over the place. We do it the old school way without being old school in the real sense of the word… death metal forever!

And finally, your top five of serial killers?

My fave has to be Ted Bundy he was the first of “A New Species of Deviant” and still one of the nastiest there has been killer, rapist, necrophile, paedophile, voyeur – you name it…

Henry Lee Lucas and his partner Ottis Tool for being some of the most elusive ever and maybe at the top considering body counts.

Albert Fish for just being so utterly psychotic…just reading the stuff he did to himself is pretty disgusting…

Richard Ramirez mainly because he was a heavy metal dude – satanic and everything… and his story is quite interesting as well, a series of unfortunate events and excessive drug abuse eventually led him to terrorize a small part of LA. I actually have a friend whose neighbour has lost a family member to the Nightstalker.

There are so many interesting ones so I can’t limit it to five… other top faves worth mentioning are people like Gary Ridgway (Green River Killer), Dahmer, Gein, Sutcliffe (Yorkshire Ripper), Gacy, Dennis Nilsen and so on..

Read the review of Fleshcraft @

The RingMaster Review 13/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Corpus Mortale – FleshCraft


    FleshCraft the new album from Danish death metallers Corpus Mortale is quite simply a monster, a colossal beast of intensity, sound, and quality, and a release which could be a new defining signpost in Danish death metal if not extreme metal as a whole. The album clenches the listener firmly in its jaw throughout, each track a ravenous chewing and crushing of the senses which drains energy and lungs of fight and leaves the deepest rewards in the sonic charnel house installed. The band has built a fine and acclaimed reputation over the years but without doubt FleshCraft is easily their finest moment.

Formed in 1993 it was ten years later with the release of their debut album With Lewd Demeanor,  supported by a 20 date European tour with fellow Danes Konkhra and Illnath, that a wider appreciation of the aggressive sounds of the band began growing to build on the already strong local following Corpus Mortale had drawn. Second album A New Species of Deviant elevated their strong underground stature further with its release in 200, powerfully followed up the following year by a successful European tour alongside Nile, Grave, Krisiun and Ulcerate. With line-up changes across the years the trio of vocalist/bassist Martin Rosendahl, guitarists Carlos Garcia Robles and Brian Eriksen wrote and recorded their third album across 2011. The Copenhagen based threesome evolved their sound into the destructive pleasure found on FleshCraft in this period taking to a mix of studios to record the album which was mastered and produced by sound engineer Jacob Olsen. Released via Deepsend Records, the towering creation leaves the listener a breathless and exhausted victim in the wake of its inventive devastation, but a grinning invigorated and thrilled victim.

The album brews its introduction through wastelands of sound and chilled atmosphere as opener Weakest Of The Weak emerges from its coarse ambience. In full view the track unleashes a tirade of barbaric rhythms and inciting guitar caresses before taking the cap off their energy and exploding into a furious storm of destructive intensity and accomplished aural violence. The ever immense and impressive vocals of Rosendahl spreads malice dripping guttural violation from within the fluctuating brooding and annihilatory surges of the , it is a direct and corrosive attack, low on complications but as skilled and focused in writing and delivery as you can imagine. Like a leering predator overseeing its prey before turning it to blood soaked devastation the track is an intensive force and outstanding start to the album.

The following carnivorous storms The Unwashed Horde and A Murderous Creed elevate and accelerate the pleasure and inspiring presence of the album further, the first a hungry canker of impressive drums and scarring guitar sonics speared by tumultuous riffs and verbal malevolence and its successor a brutal tsunami of rabid intensity and inhumane masterful sounds. Both tracks rip bigger fissures in the wounds left gaping by the first track with the second of the pair especially savage and compelling. The bass on A Murderous Creed is exceptional, a sadistic entity on its own venomous mission within the cancerous unforgiving breath of the song and thoroughly irresistible alongside the equally contagious insidious waspish sonic grooving.

Truthfully there is not a weakness on the album, the likes of the excellently truculent Scorn of the Earth and the brilliant Love Lies Bleeding equally irresistible aggressors to what come before and after them. The latter of the two opens with a rapidly emerging feast of organic bass growling and cagey rhythms which is sheer primal manna before twisting into a voracious unrelenting wall of intense creativity and nastiness. It is the best track from the album if it is possible to choose any over another and one powerful reasons out of ten as to why the album already is looking good for best of year heights.

If things were not impressive enough the album sets free further mountainous surges of defined and perfectly sculpted brutality in the unreserved gaits of the expressive Enthralled and the uncompromising rankle Tempt Not the Knife, just two more highlights in a release of nothing but pinnacles. Closing on a reworking of Seize the Moment of Murder, a track which was only previously available on a limited 7-inch vinyl, FleshCraft is a stunning and sensational start to the year for death and extreme metal. Corpus Mortale is a band you should and need to know about and their new album the perfect malefaction to begin the submission.

RingMaster 10/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deus Otiosus: Godless

With the world wide release of their debut album Murderer last year, Danish death metallers Deus Otiosus left one of the biggest impressions and most rewarding confrontations of 2011, their old school inspired yet strikingly inventive sounds firing up the passions whilst marking the band as one of the most refreshing and promising emerging forces within extreme metal. The quintet from Copenhagen now returns with second album Godless, a release which actually puts its impressive predecessor in the shade whilst revealing the band as an even mightier and creative proposition. The new album is a colossal beast of imagination and aggressive engagement, a record bulging with incendiary sonics and melodic enterprise alongside thunderous riffs and debilitating grooves.

Started by vocalist Anders Bo Rasmussen and guitarist Henrik Engkjær in 2005, Deus Otiosus grabbed positive attention with their 2007 demo Death Lives Again and a split release with Hideous Invasion two years later, but it was with the release of Murderer in South America in 2010 and especially its world release via FDA Rekotz the next year, that the band ignited an intense positivity and acclaim towards their uncompromising aural attack. Godless takes everything to a new level, the songwriting, imaginative enterprise, and the intrusive thrilling sounds. Out through Deepsend Records, the album unleashes eight brutal tracks which numb and invigorate which equal success. Themed by the premise of the world devoid of gods or presences to guide the human race thus leaving it ‘to fend for itself like feral children’, the album is a crashing expanse of old school death metal skewered with veins of thrash and black metal and loud melodic whispers.

As soon as the opener Snakes of the Low thunders in with merciless rhythms, driving riffs, and an acute twisting groove, there is an immediate sense of the growth from previous releases, the immense start that strong and impactful. The guitars of Henrik Engkjær and Peter Engkjær rage with a furnace of sonic manipulations and bone crushing intensity whilst bassist Jesper Holst roams with a rabid hunger to his lines. The staggering onslaught leaves one breathless with the drums of new drummer Jesper Olsen leading the assault with unbridled energy and stunning craft. The result is a contagion which swamps the senses and ignites the passions whilst with the inciting heavy guttural tones of Rasmussen leaves thoughts open to the darkest shadows.

Off to a towering start the album steps up another level with the excellent In Harm’s Way. Starting with a catchy tease of drums the track strolls with an incessant breath of anthemic unity and pulsating resonating energy. Riffs and rhythms hold a constant urgent charge whilst the vocals snarl at the ear with a malevolent hunger whilst the sonic scorching lights up the song with caustic flames of invention. It is an insatiable riot setting up a strong and pleasing contrast to its successor, the doom clad prowling beast New Dawn.  Oppressive with an intensity which looms over the senses without quite devouring them, the track crowds the ear with its weighty presence to allow its restrained but ever shifting twists of ideas to open a stream of great satisfaction.

Throughout Godless is unrelenting in offering irresistible invention and fiery imagination, further tracks such as the astringent and ravenous Pest Grave as well as Cast From Heaven with its burning abrasive consumption of the synapses and the openly infectious Face The Enemy leaving awe struck ardour and unbridled enthusiasm in their wake. The latter of the three is a maelstrom of multi-faceted sounds and invention which flow and tease as if borne from the same original seed of inspiration.

Closing on the delicious irreverent waltz of Death Dance, an apocalyptic beauty in sound and atmosphere, the album is just outstanding and a release which easily rivals the best extreme genre releases this year. If bands like Obituary, Autopsy, Entombed, and Sepultura raise your temperature, than Deus Otiosus and Godless will break you out in an eager sweat.

RingMaster 19/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deadly Remains – Severing Humanity

Brutal and destructive with a technical violation as corruptive as its intensity, Severing Humanity is an impressive debut album from US death metal band Deadly Remains. It is an album which leaves one crumbling under its assault and at times hypnotised by its invention and intelligent enterprise for full satisfaction and to set an even greater promise for the band ahead.

Formed in 2006, the Santa Rosa quartet first drew a concentrated attention with their 2008 demo Moral Crusade. This gave them a platform to build a strong fan base through gigs around California. The following year saw the release of Before The Nothing and a marked progression in the skill and sound of the band. From that point the next few years offered the band shared stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Flesh Consumed, Sepsism, Colonize the Rotting, Septycal Gorge, Cerebral Incubation, Condemned, Embryonic Devourment, Putrid Pile, Arkaik, Pathology, Inherit Disease and Vulvectomy as well as a show supporting Pathology at the famous Whisky A Go Go. The band spent 2011 working on and recording Severing Humanity which is released through Deepsend Records and seem destined to explode into a much wider recognition with this aggressive and striking introduction to the world.

The foursome of vocalist and guitarist Ian Andrew, guitarist Josh Kerston, bassist Chris Dericco, and James Royston on drums, are a band going by Severing Humanity, which has no place for mercy in their vocabulary. The album from first note to the vicious last ruptures ear drums and violates the senses with a deep glee which soaks every sound. The album is oppressive at times, almost a punishment too far but brought with an accomplishment which is unmissable and invention which is compulsive. Admittedly a lot of the uniqueness and intelligent play is lying beneath the raging wall of noise which crushes all in its path but for the effort needed to reveal all the quality on offer the rewards are greater.

The album opens up its rage with Apocalyptic Birth and immediately floors the senses through the crisp and mighty rhythms of Royston and the incendiary guitar play of Andrew and Kerston. The riffs rip air and flesh asunder whilst the sonic flashes flay the ear with no regard for respect. The track bombards and bruises consistently leaving no time to blink let alone breathe and squeezes tighter and tighter with the onrushing consumption of intricate play and violence. Every aspect of the track is immense but the bass work of Dericco is stunning. As ultimately proven through all tracks the musician is a future legend in the making, his lines and sounds a constant snarling beast which gnaws and chews on the senses with intensity and technical aggression which leaves one smarting and drooling in pleasure.

From the tremendous start things only get better, the following Cosmic Necrosis is a track almost indescribable in its intensity and malicious ingenuity. From the opening bass rummage through the ear into the dehabilitating riffs and rhythms the track is like watching decomposition on fast forward. The sounds and intensity falls from the atmosphere like flesh from bone to pool in a torrent of raging malevolence. The searing guitar play which attacks after the onslaught has left its toll is a scarring pleasure to further open up the sores and all combined together makes a corruptive pleasure to immerse and drown within.

Lyrically who knows what is going on, the vocals of Andrew as ferocious as the sounds and just as rabid so no word finds clarity but it is their texture which is important and that is a valuable companion to the cyclonic force around them. Further songs like Instincts Of Flesh, Psalm Of Impurity, and the excellent closing title track,  continue the sheer turbulence around and within the listener, but every song on the release is powerfully satisfying and leaves one with great expectations for further efforts from the band.

There is a similarity across some of the album on the surface which only real focus disperses but it is not a major issue as that sound is so strong. Deadly Remains and Severing Humanity will delight fans of the likes of Gorguts, Disgorge and Suffocation but all death metal lovers will find plenty to feed upon and be excited by with the album.

RingMaster 06/08/2012

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Offending: Age of Perversion

Taking its heart and breath from the US seeded strain of early death metal, French band Offending has brought a fresh if not new air to the genre with their second full length release Age of Perversion. It is an album which wears its influences like battalion colours and engages and assaults the senses like a merciless determined force. It does not venture too far into new pastures or ignite the fiercest fires with its sounds but the album is far more intriguing and absorbing than most, its skilled play and perpetually contagious imagination ensuring a full and satisfying experience each and every time.

The Bordeaux based quintet of vocalist Jesus The Butcher, a man with a tar like bestial delivery, the striking and inventive guitarists GP and Cyriex, and a rhythm section to incite the deepest primitive instincts in bassist Yoni and V.R. on drums, send the ear and senses reeling with a sound recalling the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Vile, Hate Eternal. Up to this point the band has grabbed a mounting attention through their 2005 demo as well as stage sharing with the likes of Killers, Genital Grinder, Necropsy, and Prophecy. They further accelerated that interest with 2007 mini CD The Destruction of The Human Spirit which marked the debut to the band of Butcher and Yoni, and their greatly received debut album Human Concept of 2010 through Deepsend Records who have also released the new album. Age of Perversion has found the band deepening their obvious creative skill and thought whilst emerging as a release which is brutally intrusive and infectiously manipulative, and sure to increase the acclaim.

The album opens with Infested By His Burden. The track offers an initial sinister and ominous crawl to its energy with the guitars almost teasing the ear whilst the rhythms behind have an insistent but yet to be demanding intensity. It cannot hold back for long though and soon the song is eagerly feasting upon the ear with incisive and divisive guitar craft and drum intimidation. As the track evolves it changes in to an even more combative militant gait, the previous insistence becoming a domineering violence. Though by its end one finds it easier to remember particular elements than the song as a whole it is still one of the more gratifying tracks whilst in its abusive company.

A triplet of consecutive highlights next follows, a trio of exceptional tracks which leave the others on the release in their wake. Firstly there is Within This World, a track with a hunger to twist and manipulate the senses like a military trained wizard, their consumptive intensity consistent and devastatingly exact whilst completely mesmeric. The blend of technical persuasion and bludgeoning malevolent is impressive and entirely insatiable in its desire and ones welcoming. This rampaging melodically armed annihilation leads into the equally ravenous Modern Enslavement. It is like its predecessor a track which blinds one with its dazzling guitar invention and scorched melodic beckoning to the overwhelming destructive purpose of the storming intensity around it. Though not quite as contagious as the previous song it is equally outstanding and thrilling.

The third of the strongest peaks on the album comes in the shape of best track of all, Dominion XXI. The song captures a pure infection with its melodically bleeding riffs and hypnotic rhythms, using the combination as a lure for the senses in the face of another full strength bone splitting strike. There is an anthemic pull for the emotions from the song, its urgent inciteful energy and drive sparking eruptions of instinctive dormant malignance.

These three tracks are worth an investigation of Age of Perversion alone but are ably supported by the likes of the venomous Religion Depravity, the corrupting title track, and the synapse rioting Hopeless Submission, all making for an album which is a very worthy use of any ones time.

Age of Perversion as mentioned is maybe not the most original release and apart from the truly outstanding threesome of quality arguably lacks further immense artillery to constantly enflame the heart. It is though one of the more pleasing and enterprising albums from the genre and easily a companion to share multiple times with and that is what it is all about surely.

RingMaster 18/06/2012 Registered & Protected

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