Voice Of Ruin – Morning Wood

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When a band’s bio starts with, “Voice of Ruin was born in 2008, driven by the common desire of five Swiss farmers who dreamt of leaving the family farm and becoming rock stars. Hungry for success and recognition, the five strapping young lads abandoned their shovels and harvesters to take on a different type of instruments, with the goal of becoming icons of sex, alcohol and rock ’n’ roll (or horny famer metal),” you cannot help offering it highly intrigued attention whilst also making inevitable assumptions. As shown by their new album Morning Wood though, the band whether by design or just by natural instinct do not realise the complete tongue in cheek encounter imagined. Certainly lyrically the songs upon the release come with a humorous swagger and intent bred from their ‘background’ but musically what you get is highly accomplished and passionate, not forgetting inventive metal. Like a mix of Lamb Of God, Sylosis, and The Black Dahlia Murder with plenty of extra additives, sound and album captures senses and imagination from start to finish. Admittedly severely original moments are as scarce as udders on a bull but it cannot stop Voice Of Ruin from providing a rigorously enjoyable onslaught.

Plucking relevant info from their farmyard history, Voice Of Ruin first made a mark with their debut EP The Crash in 2009 to be followed to greater acclaim by their self-titled album two years later. Its success led to the band breaking out into Europe with album and their live presence, countries like France, Russia, and Ukraine overwhelmed as the band’s homeland by their ‘Horny Farmer Metal’. Going onto share stages with such bands as Caliban, The Black Dahlia Murder, Entombed, Textures, Tankard, Sylosis, God Dethroned, Benighted, Dew Scented, Sybreed, Do Or Die, Breakdown Of Sanity and many more, the Nyon hailing band now uncages Morning Wood to take another step in cornering the worlds metallic dairy market.

Welcome To The Stud Farm makes an intriguing and impressive entrance to the album, guitars casting a web of sonic enterprise and voice_of_ruin_morning_woodenticement around crisp rhythms and a throaty bass lure. Its presence and energy intensifies deepens into its minute and a half as it feeds the imagination a colourful and magnetic bait leading to the following Party Hard. The second track launches itself with a roar from Randy Bull exploding within rampant rhythms, a torrent of riffs, and another immediate weave of temping scorched melodic endeavour crafted by guitarists Nils Bag and Tony Cock. It is a fiery proposition, nothing startlingly dramatic but potently gripping and skilfully unleashed.

The strong beginning continues just as pungently through both Through The Eyes Of Machete and Day Of Rage, the first delivering a coarse battering of rhythms from drummer Oli Dick and antagonistic riffery veined by acidic grooves. The track almost spirals around the senses with its excellent guitar play whilst the bass of Erwin Van Fox stalks with a dark resonance. The encounter is another elevation in the release but it is the glorious unveiling of clean vocals cast by Van Fox within a more reserved passage which steals the strongest satisfaction and shows the potency of the songwriting and invention within the band. Its successor is a natural predator; from its first gnaw of riffs and the toxic breath which covers air and the varied squalling vocals a bestial yet resourcefully sculpted scavenger. It is an unrelenting incitement which ravages senses and emotions for another pleasing assault, the twisted grooves and the simple voracious urgency of the track irresistible.

The unbridled ferocity of The Rise Of Nothing consumes ears next, its intensive pressuring from the first second led by a superb carnivorous bass stalking and vindictive rhythms whilst its core canvas is a breeding ground for heavy metal colour and virulently tempting hues painted and sent soaring by the excellent guitar work. As mentioned earlier there are few times that the sound and songs throw you a curve ball in originality but it has to be said and epitomised by this track alone, that working its alchemy under the surface of songs is a bewitching flow of dramatic invention and contagious unpredictability, it is just you have to work to see it as openly as it deserves.

Both the title track and its successor Viols Désinvoltes provide thoughts and pleasure with further captivating adventures, the first at certain moments wrapping its uncompromising aggression and serpentine hostility with absorbing flumes of clean vocals which takes the track from a strong if expectations feeding level to something of a pinnacle on the album. It is not the vocals alone which make the difference though, piercing and technically thrilling invention equally effective as it spills out from the tempest to great success as the track leads into the second of the pair. The most anthemic track on the release, and the most hostile with its industrially kissed fury, the new song is pure sonic rancor framed by equally adverse rhythms and vocals; raw metal moonshine of the most toxic potency.

   The following Cock’n Bulls and the instrumental Today Will End descend with their own inhospitable bodies next, both belligerently intrusive and appealing. The first infusing a southern twang and groove to its admittedly increasing persuasive torrents and the second emerging from a black hearted storm with deliberate winds of sonic painting and reserved but still unstoppable intensity. In many ways neither matches earlier triumphs but do reveal more of the scope and skills of the songwriting and band whilst providing further variety to the almost pestilential attack overall of the album.

The trio of the salaciously jaundiced Sex For Free, the severely bruising Big Dick, and the closing creative storm that is Dirty bring the truculent album to a senses wasting close; the first of the three with its poisonous melodies and barbarous rhythms the most contagious and exciting of the closing stretch. Morning Wood is a thoroughly enjoyable ravaging even if one which keeps well within the walls of existing designs and when it does offer undoubted invention and mouthwatering ingenuity leaves it under a thick wash of almost uniformal surface rapaciousness. It means you have to work to discover the elements which set the band apart more than imagined but those rewards are full and impressive. So forget the image and gimmicks behind the sounds if new to the band just indulge in one very healthy and mischievous slab of bovine strong metal.

Morning Wood is available digitally and on CD now via Tenacity Music.

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http://voiceofruin.bandcamp.com

8/10

RingMaster 06/05/2014

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Verdict – The Meaning Of Isolation

VERDICT_Band

A virulent scourge you will want to be ravaged by, especially if your blood boils for thrash metal, The Meaning Of Isolation from German metallers Verdict is an uncompromising slab of riveting extreme destructiveness and mouth-watering savagery. The nine track torrent of aggression and enterprise takes no prisoners and has little time in gentle persuasion, instead it simply and voraciously pillages the senses whilst rewarding with an underbelly of exhaustive yet captivating invention. The release definitely needs time and work to explore but rewards long-term with some addiction sparking technical viciousness and passionate ferociousness.

Verdict began in 1991 with a technical and melodic death metal intent and rage to its sound. Numerous line-up changes followed during subsequent years from which the band’s sound evolved and developed a deeper wealth of thrash hunger to its attack. Debut album Reflections Of Pain of 2002 brought strong attention upon the band and their emerging sound whilst the following full-lengths, Generation : Genocide of 2005 and Assassin: Nation four years later, only empowered their presence which in  turn has led to eager anticipation for the Verdict’s fourth and new album from a great many. Live the band has not left any physical or emotional stone unturned within either as they shared stages over time with the likes of Destruction, Disbelief, Illdisposed, Dew-Scented, Legion Of The Damned, Entombed, Death Angel, Gorefest, Obituary, Nile and many more. Mastered by Dan Swanö, The Meaning of Isolation thrusts the band forward to the frontline of thrash and extreme metal with a masterful display of malevolence and enterprise. The release may be just misses out on threatening best of lists this year, mainly through an arguably too similar a surface storm across many of the tracks and the lack of diversity in the vocals of Daniel “Ratte” Baptista to match the unpredictability and surprise of the music, but nevertheless The Meaning Of Isolation is a thrilling and captivating devastation which leaves the listener exhausted and deeply contented.

Leader Of The Soulless opens up the absorbing punishment with a haunting entrance; a sinister ambience brewing up a VERDICT_Coverswiftly imposing sonic menace which around an inspiring classical stringed melody, intimidates to temper the simultaneously dark seduction. It is not too long though before an artillery of crippling beats from drummer Florian Bauer corrupts the air closely skirted by melodic flames from the guitars of Marius Pack and Dave Hadarik which scorch the air whilst riffs batter its peace with carnivorous urgency. From here the barbarous persuasion is in full flight, the vocals of Baptista as vindictive and merciless as the sinews driving the sounds. It is an intensive start to the album, one unafraid to delve into dark doomier places within its persistent predation.

Manifest Of Hate and Killing Fantasies both keep the malevolence spewing from every antagonistic note and vocal squall, the first charging over the senses with a violent rabidity whilst grooves and sonic invention entwine their venomous craft around the song’s core whilst the second from a delicious dark and brooding introduction with the bass of Dave Helmstetter a pulsating evocative lure, goes on a creative rampage which bleeds intensity and wastes the welcoming senses. It does not match up to the first two tracks overall but still makes a sturdy encounter leading into the similarly impressive if not jaw dropping Layer Of Lies, a track which has a very close related aggressive and melodic cover to its predecessor and needing deeper focus to reveal its individual bait.

Lack Of Insight marks a new upturn in originality and invention within the album, the guitar twisting with bedlamic adventure to cast the first web over the ears before fusing into a resourceful and magnetic weave of intrusive and spellbinding antagonism. The track is certainly no less hellacious than previous songs but unveils a greater exploration and imagination of textures and invention which prevails through the likes of the blistering First To Fight and the creatively pungent Through The Eyes Of A Dead Man, both tracks with grooves and progressive intrigue to light fires within the imagination. The first half of The Meaning Of Isolation is an intense and formidable offering but is definitely exceeded by the second half and it’s more potent daring.

The Meaning Of Isolation returns the senses and dull peace back to its recipient but only after the barbarous Nemesis Of God, the song an exceptional beast which stalks and gnaws the listener from the inside, and its title track which provides another prowling intimidation prone to inventive sonic lashing outs and ruinous brutality, takes their pound of flesh. They complete an excellent album which from an impressive opening stretch emerges as a sadistically pleasing treat. For all thrash fans especially with those holding darker preferences in their hearts, Verdict has given the year an inventive pestilence which leaves no one disappointed or in one piece.

www.verdict.de

www.facebook.com/verdictthrashmetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dew-Scented – Icarus

In the 20-year anniversary of its formation, German thrash metal band Dew-Scented return with a new line-up and their ninth studio album Icarus. One of the established European heavyweights of the genre, the new release shows the band has lost none of its hunger or ability to create thunderous and impressive sounds.  The album does not see the band smashing through walls of originality but still easily and satisfyingly defends their position as one of the most accomplished and influential thrash bands this side of the big pond.

Following on from previous album Invocation of 2010, Dew-Scented continued their renowned work ethic with numerous European tours alongside the likes of Nile, Melechesh, Heaven Shall Burn, As I Lay Dying and Suicide Silence, Bolt Thrower and Rotting Christ, as well as their own headlining shows again all over Europe and appearances at festivals such as Hellfest, Wacken, Neurotic Deathfest, and Brutal Assault to name just a few of many. This period also saw the entire back-catalog of the band reissued as limited-edition Digipaks by Metal Mind Productions leading to further intense focus and intensive work for the band. This proved too much for some members and late 2011 saw a drastic line-up change in the band. Remaining founder vocalist Leif Jensen teamed up once again with guitarist Marvin Vriesde (Severe Torture, Blo.Torch) who had previously stepped in as a replacement live guitarist for tours in 1996, 2002 and 2005, as well as featuring as a guest on the Issue VI album. Vriesde was given the landscape to assume full songwriting duties and assemble the rest of the band which was brought with the addition of drummer Koen Herfst, bassist Joost van der Graaf (ex- Creepmime and Sinister), and after the album was recorded second guitarist Rory Hansen ( ex- Blo.Torch), all three also performing together in I Chaos. This immediate and already established tight understanding is easily apparent on Icarus, the band a thrusting and tumultuous force with a power and control only able to be brought by a unit fully integrated and as one.

From the opening full track Sworn To Obey the album makes blood vessels bulge and the pulse rate fly. It is a thumping mix of raucous vocals, destructive rhythms and riffs which whip the air and ear like leather straps, their effect continual immense slaps on the senses. The song is a persistent and forceful slab of metal with the growls of Jensen filled with vehemence as deep as ever whilst the guitar of Vriesde lights up the senses with some fine acute melodic play within the driving ear rupturing riffs of he and van der Graaf.

From that excellent start the following Thrown To The Lions with its busy grinding riffs and the outstanding Storm Within raise the game even higher. The first of the pair finds grooves and melodic enterprise to explode the already incendiary intensity the track brings whilst the second with its insistent niggle of an opening flexes heavyweight muscles to deliver a stomp of belligerent riffs and punchy rhythms. It too has a groove to lick ones lips at whilst its bruising energy leaves nothing but full satisfaction.

Only halfway in and the album is a winner but following songs like Gleaming Like Silver, the stunning Reawakening with its slowly tenderising assault, and the chugging feast which is A Final Procession let alone arguably the best song on the album The Fall Of Man, only enforce and enhance what went before for the greatest enjoyment.

To be picky at times there is a similarity across some of the songs and ideas but as it is so good anyway it is easily forgivable and not really an issue. Produced by Jörg Uken at Soundlodge Studios (God Dethroned, Suicidal Angels, Sinister) and featuring guest appearances from Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) on Reawakening and Sacrifice vocalist Rob Urbinati on Gleaming Like Silver, as well as guitarist Dennis Schneider (Retaliation, Final Breath), Icarus is an excellent return which even with the disruption the band went though shows Dew-Scented still head the fore of European thrash with skill and determination.

RingMaster 30/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


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