Devildriver – Trust No One

pic by ben hoffmann

pic by ben hoffmann

There is no mistaking Trust No One as a Devildriver incitement. From the recognisable throat scarring vocals squalls of Dez Fafara to the anthemic rhythmic antagonism of bassist Diego Ibarra and drummer Austin D’Amond, through the grooved and sonically caustic imagination of guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann to the pure carnivorous roar of the groove metaller’s sound, the Californian’s seventh album is familiar Devildriver animosity. Yet there is something different to the beast; its body slimmer, almost stripped back to the core elements of the band’s sound whilst its contagion of venomous grooves has become even more creatively vocal and more virulently compelling. Whether Trust No One in this state is the band’s best proposal to date is under debate but it is fair to say that the album might just be the most physically and emotionally enjoyable encounter with Devildriver yet.

Linking up with producer Mark Lewis again at the Audio Hammer Studios, Devildriver show their intent from the first seconds of opener Testimony Of Truth, the want to savage the senses with hellacious rock ‘n’ roll. An inviting groove winds around the initial hefty jabs of D’Amond first with already the climate of the song a fiery challenge which only imposes further as the song evolves and Fafara’s raw tones further fire up the spirit of the song. It is prime Devildriver incitement but already devilish designs of melody and grooving is gripping the imagination, bringing individual character to each twist and turn here and in due course, to each subsequent proposal within Trust No One.

The thick and potent start is quickly surpassed by the barbarous exploits of Bad Deeds. The torrential assault of the invasive beats and the ear accosting rapping nature of the vocals aligns perfectly with a sultry melodic weave spun by the guitars within their own corrosive tide of predacious riffs. It is gripping stuff, irresistible hostility fuelled by a drama and imagination individual to that of the band’s previous outings. The track’s impressive success is soon matched by that of the even more grievous My Night Sky, though its own animus of emotion and intensity is tempered by the equally potent magnetism colouring the web of sonic invention and suggestiveness.

Devildriver_CMYK_RingMasterReviewThree tracks in and already the senses are numbing and energies breathless such the force and creative weight of the tempests. No respite is given though as This Deception, from a waspish coaxing round melancholic keys, tears into the listener with nostrils flared over a rabid rhythmically jagged ire spewing jaw and in turn, Above It All crawls all over the senses and into the psyche with what can be best described as a swarming surge of ravenous belligerence and aural irritability. Both tracks are not short on their own array of expectations defusing and imagination sparking essences either, the first through seductively flirtatious grooves and the latter with exotically hued strings and melodies which entice and bewitch even within the raging storm of the outstanding ravishment.

Daybreak spins some bluesy grooves into its maelstrom next, they colluding with addictively heavier cousins as riffs and vocals unite for some savaging with the backing of infectiously mercurial rhythms. Spreitzer and Tiemann simply shine throughout Trust No One, here especially as they conjure a landscape as unpredictable and fascinating as it is blistering, while in the album’s title track, they help shape a tempest as sonically elegant as it is uncomfortably threatening.

Arguably the nastiest and most uncomfortable track on the release is Feeling Ungodly, though it too is unafraid to spring some of the catchiest grooves and hooks across the whole of Trust No One while devouring the senses in body and emotion. Again, it is hard not to be swept up by the spiteful air and invasively infectious nature of the excellent track before Retribution grows from a melodically alluring proposal into one which nags and growls like a rabid dog infested with the inescapable irritancy of niggly grooves and the biting incessancy of beats and riffs. It is an irresistible incursion followed with equal ferocity and compelling adventure by For What Its Worth and an adversarial and merciless sonic malefaction which might not quite live up to many of its predecessors but leaves only a craving for more.

As we said at the start, whether Trust No One is Devildriver’s final hour we cannot say yet, even after a dozen listens, but it is hard to remember many encounters with them bringing as much raw enjoyment and the same kind of urge to go straight back into the turbulence as their new album.

Trust No One is out now via Napalm Records on CD @ http://devildrivertrustnoone.com/  and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/trust-no-one/id1091651702?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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

Pete Ringmaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Threatpoint – Careful What You Wish For

Threatpoint3

An album you may have missed but certainly need to know about is Careful What You Wish For, the second album from US groove predators Threatpoint. It is a fury of an encounter infusing varying flavours of metal and heavy rock into a snake pit of grooved hostility, and though there are thick strands of recognisable influences and essences, band and album incite nothing less than greed and thick enjoyment with its brand new proposition.

Hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Threatpoint emerged in 2012 and quickly drew potent attention and praise for their voracious live presence and a similarly hungry sound which further stirred up the local and US metal scene through debut album Dead to Rise the following year. It has been an increasing success now creating new waves further afield through Careful What You Wish For, an album over a year in the making and equipped with a torrent of irrepressible grooves, deeply rooting hooks, and a creative antagonism which just gets the blood surging.

The blistering tempest of sound and attitude begins with The Age Of Godlessness, its opening coaxing a provocative atmospheric scene of raw winds and solemn church bells. It is a portrait of ominous dark shadows and scenery from which the track subsequently bursts with ravenous riffs and heftily examining rhythms. The onslaught is torrential and instantly virulent, the raw and ferocious vocals of Chris James the perfect provocateur within a tsunami of aggression and caustic grooving. There is a feel of bands like Devildriver and Cavalera Conspiracy to it as the band mixes styles into a bracing tempest veined by melodic and sonic enterprise.

threatpoint album  It is an explosive and gripping start matched by the following Vultures Of Prey, an even more predatory and sinister corruption of the senses. Though the song has less of the physical and creative rabidity of the first, it is a just as rigorous and intimidating stalking of ears and emotions with a Static X like breath creeping in with vocals and riffs from the simultaneously enticing and savage guitars of Alex Olivetti and Mike White. Two songs in and fair to say Threatpoint would have to seriously go awry to lose the hungry appetite and inflamed satisfaction already ignited by the opening pair of rages. Though some tracks understandably impress more than others, the quintet continues to enslave with craft and diversity as the ferocious Divide & Conquer takes over. The great raspy tones of James prey on ears as the rhythmic hostility of drummer CJ Krukowski and the increasingly bestial qualities of Eric Ross’ bass lay down addictive bait within a flood of salacious grooves. A spicy solo adds further heavy metal magnetism to the torrent of sound and persuasion before it all departs for the sonic devilry of Mockingbird.

The fourth song is bred from a swirling of melodic enticing which seizes precise moments to magnetically flirt with ears from within another tsunami of impassioned intensity and creative voracity, vocally and musically. Once more strikingly different flavours are woven into its ravishment with its substantial melodic and heavy metal colouring employed further in an equally pleasing but darker terrain through Blessings and Curses where they court a black and death metal seeded trespass on the listener.

Collapse almost toys with ears initially, a bedlamic soaking of essences the first fierce hug before song and bands expel a flood of ravenous emotions amidst a brawling collusion of tangy grooves, dogged riffs, and rapier like swings from Krukowski. It is a beast of an encounter, an irresistible ravaging unafraid, as all songs, to mix up its attack and presence to leave expectations redundant and the imagination feeding on more familiar but openly fresh confrontation. It is a brutal highlight springing to another in the hellacious stalking of the senses that is Stronger Than Death. It is yet another offering where vicious hostility and sonic adventure collide in an invigorating raging. As the music is a maelstrom of flavours and styles within each of the album’s cyclones, so are the vocals of James and the band as a broad diversity and delivery shares the singer’s similarly uncompromising and hard hitting lyrics.

The thrash and death spawned Mark My Words has the pulse and emotions racing next, the imagination seduced by a great progressive melodic twist around two thirds in, whilst Devil You Know and Tree Of Sorrow are both rancorous hurricanes eroding the senses but rewarding with more creative infusions and twists of sub genres within metal and rock. Though all songs provide strong individual characters and presence there is a unity in sound and invention which ensures all are audibly Threatpoint, even with the strong feel of a Killswitch Engage or Hatesphere across these particular offerings.

The album’s title track unleashes its carnivorous might and potency next. Sharing its merciless grudge in an irresistible multi-flavoured cyclone of grooves, scarring antipathy, and sonic devilry, the track ignites another wave of greed and satisfaction but finds itself shadowed slightly by the even greater animus and punk infused raw beauty of Secrets. From the deliciously nasty bassline cast by Ross in its first breath, the outstanding song is an insidious and unstoppable seduction with every element and second of its presence sheer carnal temptation.

It all comes to a close with firstly the masterful and sinister menacing of Hatebox, where James finds a Dez Fafara like grievance to his tones, and lastly the compelling When Karma Comes. The final song emerges with an acoustic melodic beauty which simply transfixes as the background sneakily brews up a sonic grievance which eventually erupts in hostile weather embraced in a bad blooded climate.

Given the luck and attention that Careful What You Wish For deserves, it is easy to see Threatpoint making their presence a global one if not now certainly on a near horizon. Their new proposal is not a game changer for the metal scene but gives it a new protagonist to get excited over and that is almost as good.

Careful What You Wish For is out now from most online stores.

http://www.threatpointofficial.com https://www.facebook.com/threatpoint

RingMaster 09/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cancrena: Hidden Depravity

Cancrena

    Recent months have seen numerous impressive thrash metal assaults unleashed to which Italian metallers Cancrena have added another formidable release with their thunderous predator Hidden Depravity. Whilst the album uses well mined sounds and ventures it turns them into one of the most powerful, destructive, and downright thrilling records to ravage the passions. The album is a brute of an encounter and thoroughly irresistible.

From Bari, Cancrena formed in 2000 reaping essences from influences such as Pantera, Testament, and Sepultura. Loaded with heavy merciless riffs and an even hungrier energy the band became a recognised force on the local live scene spreading outwards across southern Italy through further gigs and festivals. From a two track self-titled demo in 2003 and the self-produced seven track Fears demo of 2005, which included that first duo of songs, Cancrena grew their reputation further to inspire mounting acclaim through their shows and the new EP. Another demo Underneath emerged the following year leading to a signing with Vision Metal Records in 2008 who gave the demo distribution in the US and UK. Shows with the likes of Obituary, Extrema, Pino Scotto (ex-Vanadium), Finntroll, Vomitory, Malevolent Creations, Paw Power and many more followed over the next three years before the band ventured in the studio last year to record Hidden Depravity, a powerhouse of southern thrash metal.

Released through Logic(il)Logic Records, Hidden Depravity takes no prisoners as immediately evident by the beginning of Cover Hidden Depravity - lightopener Serpent Skin. Emerging from within senses gnawing carnal mists, the song steps forward through a bassline with the most compelling snarl and a torrent of tight destructive rhythms and ravenous riffs linked by a groove which scythes through the ear like a sonic sabre.  Soon the vocals of Francesco Morgese unleash passionate scowls with skill and enterprise to match the already riveting guitar play of Francis Farinola. Well into its stride the song is openly soaked in the aggressive malice of Pantera and driven by an insatiable rich creative craft comparable to a Sepultura or Metallica. It is an explosive start to the album which never lets up through to the end.

The following tempest of hungry energy and senses corroding intensity brought by The Pessimist is equally contagious and demanding. At times there is a Dez Fafara venom and growl to the vocals which lay a deeper abrasion upon the listener whilst musically the track fuses annihilatory intent and smouldering melodic flames together for a full on torrent of voracious invention. Nearing its end the song stops as if over then returns with a furnace of a climax which leaves one breathless and delirious.

The bass of Fab Chiarazzo is a perpetual hypnotic joy across the whole album, his deeply rapacious lines as devastating as they are dangerously seductive whilst the rhythms of drummer Ruggiero Ricco feel like a torrent of unpredictable donkey punches upon the senses. Through the tremendous assaults of songs like Pervert Priest, Dark Torment, and Backdraft, the pair unleash a heavy persuasion and brutality which alone leaves the passions aflame but once lock ‘n’ loaded into primal shotguns of songs alongside the burning craft and rich potency of the guitars and vocals, a willing submission is only a matter of crossing the ’i’s and dotting the ‘t’s.

The further in the release one is thrust the more the intensity and pleasure escalates, tracks such as Black Underground with its twisting vehement structure and crushing union of rhythmic ruination and rabidly greedy riffs, the Bloodsimple toned ravaging Ancient Strength, and the staggering title track, all finely honed storms of savagery and sonic mastery. The last of these three is a mighty metallic wrath which consumes and devours the senses with rich rage and violent authority but as across the album, the band tempering it slightly with a wonderful skilful and imaginative melodic warm.

From first note to last the release is a snarling ravager though it unexpectedly and beautifully gives respite nearing its end through the magnetic instrumental To Nerve Oneself, the piece showing the band as able to create colourful melodic pictures as skilfully and easily as they can grievously decimate. Of course it is only a moment of relief as the band end the album with another staggering riot of murderous rampage in the intensive Under The Law. With sonic fires flaming with melodic brilliance within the ferocity it is a mighty end to an outstanding album. Many will suggest there is nothing new going on upon Hidden Depravity and arguably they are right but when it sounds this sensational who cares. Cancrena makes thrash metal which matters and far better than most.

www.facebook/cancrena

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright