V For Violence – The Book of V

VFORVIOLENCE-band_RingMaster Review

Finnish metallers V For Violence first made an attention nudging statement with up their debut album The Cult Of V in 2009, now after a fair time in the making they unleash its successor The Book of V. Vocalist Jarkko Lähderanta said of the band’s new offering, ”The Book Of V took years to get its shape and sound. We wanted to take the next step in songwriting and paid more attention on details.” It is an intent finding success as the eleven tracks contagion frisks ears and sparks the imagination, and though it easily lures references to other protagonists in the industrial/alternative metal scene and styles around it, the album is simply one rousing and thoroughly enjoyable ferocious stomp.

Formed in 2007 by Lähderanta, drummer Miikki Kunttu, and guitarist Janne Salo, V For Violence was soon luring ears with their first demo in 2008. Its track/video Boy Called Fucker was a swift spark in the band being eagerly devoured by fans and media too, helping lead to their signing with Osasto-A Records soon after for the release of the 2-track single Constant Of Death in the summer of 2009. It was a strong teaser to their impending debut album The Cult Of V released in the November of that same year. The full-length was a well-received proposal pushing the band towards stronger spotlights backed by a live presence which by this point had already seen V For Violence support Hardcore Superstar and in turn going on to the sharing of stages with the likes of Die So Fluid, Cold Cold Ground, Amorphis, Hypocrisy, Underoath, and Architects at shows and festivals. Now with bassist Jani Rahkonen and guitarist Riku Vuorio alongside Lähderanta, Salo, and Kunttu, V For Violence have the long awaited The Book of V poised and ready to stir up the metal scene.

And that it pretty much does even if its originality is locked in the arms of open familiarity to a few heavyweights. Like a fusion of Fear Factory and Marilyn Manson in league with Dope and Powerman 5000, the album and opening track, The Halted Saint explode on the senses with anthemic ferocity. For some you suspect that recognisable air might not work as well as for others, but V For Violence bring their own raw and aggressive twist on things too ensuring that each track has something fresh and extra to say and certainly grip a demanding appetite and imagination by. The band’s new single clouds ears with thick industrial smog but swiftly sends sinewy tendrils of guitar and scything rhythms through it as the climate begins to clear on a corrosive and quickly addictive stalking. Those previously mentioned references straight away work on thoughts as too Society 1 in regard to the caustic and impassioned, bordering on sexual, intensity driving the encounter. Grooves and hooks just spark whilst the strong vocals of Lähderanta roar with expression and incitement for an outstanding start to the album’s fury.

V-For-Violence-TheBookOfV-cover__RingMaster Review     The potent beginning continues with the predatory prowl of The Downfall Pt. I: To Feel Alive. Initially it smoulders within imposing walls with mellow melodies and vocal coaxing but is soon building a volatile atmosphere and intimidating lining of textures, though still dipping into its elegant reflective heart throughout. Once more Manson is an obvious comparison to a song which at times has you drooling and in other moments simply fascinated by its adventurous nature and spicing.

Never Enough uncages the darkest bestial bass riffs and salacious grooves next, splintering them with vocal bellows and psyche gripping hooks to get very greedy over whilst Like It Like That and I Need You spew inescapable virulence in their individual characters. As most songs, choruses conjured are like infection dosed traps, impossible not to be fully involved in whilst around them creative snarls and in the latter of this trio, sinisterly dramatic nuances toy with the imagination. It is fair to say that a few songs share a closely seeded template but many, as here, create from that something strikingly inventive and captivating.

Band and album continues to hit the spot as tracks like the carnivorous A Place To Fill with its electronic festivity and guitar led twists, and the wonderful sonic groan and intimate melodies of God On Trial just ignite the senses. The second of these two is another major pinnacle in the album, every minute a cauldron of emotion and flirtatiously venomous enterprise equipped with unpredictability before it has to make way for Sodomedia which rivals it with its own hellacious and irritable industrial grooving. Once more limbs and thick involvement in the tempest is unavoidable, the breath taken too in the exhausting pleasure consuming the senses

The following Not A Word with its more hard rock seeded swagger lacks the spark and triggers of its predecessors yet again has a keenly persuasive impact on ears and satisfaction whilst What The Fuck! throws its attitude out with zeal, rhythmic and vocal relish fuelling the Five Finger Death Punch/ American Head Charge spiced confrontation.

The Book of V closes with the sweltering croon of The Downfall Pt. II: Amourageddon, its initial acoustic and emotive smoulder again as in Part 1, rising to dense intensity and melancholic ire whilst this time embracing classical and symphonic hues alongside an evocative industrial climate. A relative slow burner compared to other tracks within the album, it constantly evolves and reveals new treats to bring the release to a fine conclusion.

Fair to say we greedily devoured The Book of V and continue to, each track a tasty slice of invigorating fire and hostility. If any of those previously mentioned comparisons do not work for you than possibly V For Violence will struggle to persuade too but for the rest, this is one easy to recommend incitement.

The Book of V is available now via Inverse Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Winter Storm – Within The Frozen Design

 

WS3

    Listening to the potent and promise soaked Within The Frozen Design, you easily get the feeling that UK symphonic metallers Winter Storm are poised to move up into a more intensive limelight. Whether this, their second album is the spring board time will tell but it is hard not to expect on a near horizon to see the band making a big contribution at the fore of the genre. The twelve track release has issues which make you query if their time is quite yet but simultaneously provides an absorbing and skilful melodic embrace which only raises and stretches a keen appetite for the band and its expressive sound.

     From the West Midlands, the quintet has earned a strong reputation and loyal following with their dark melodic metal, a sound honed through gothic shadows and symphonic atmospheres. Formed in 2008, Winter Storm were soon gripping attention live, supporting the likes of Alestorm, Sirenia, Theatres Des Vampires, To Mera, and Sarah Jezebel Deva early on before going on to share stages with the likes of Delain, Die So Fluid, The Birthday Massacre, ReVamp, The Lotus and many more. Debut album Serenity In Darkness of 2010 drew critical acclaim its way as have numerous festival appearances over recent years to cement and increase the band’s stature within British melodic metal. Now the strongly anticipated self-released Within The Frozen Design brings 2014 into a sharp focus for the band and its fans, an album if not setting raging fires undoubtedly reaffirms the creative strength and impressive potential of Winter Storm.

     As the album title, and band name come to that, suggests the tracks frequent a chilled and icily haunting realm but one clad in WS-coverbeauty and a melodic artistry which only warms. From the opening scene and drama setting intro Cold Creation, the album is soon caging ears in a rhythmic probing and brooding intensity as Wasted Feelings opens its arms. Its initial riffs seem predatory with an attitude to match the punchy rhythms barracking the senses. Equally though there is a breeze of synth colour floating over and through the aggressive touch of the track, its melodic soothing eventually tempering the snarl of the song ready for the impressive tones of vocalist Hannah Fieldhouse. Her voice is rich and tempting but with a restraint which sets her pleasingly apart from many other female fronted genre bands. The track provides an unpredictable expanse of sound and twists which without being startling in their impact only seduce the fullest attention on and satisfaction with its feisty yet elegant narrative.

     The following Shadow Weaver like its predecessor makes a forceful and rapacious entrance; riffs and rhythms a cage of antagonistic intent wrapped in more keys sculpted temptation. Dark with a gothic ambience, the song again guided by great vocals flirts with and triggers the imagination as it ventures through a rugged landscape of heavy riffs and sonic enterprise. Pretty much like the album the song is a slowly persuasive encounter but one which proves its strength and quality through deliberate attention. The same can be said of the next up Symmetric Flow, a captivating wind of melodic vocals and endeavour within a sturdy and uncompromising heavy metal frame. Again the offering is not as instant to convince as you would maybe expect or like but unveils plenty to enthuse about upon closer attention. That is one of the ‘problems’ of the album, tracks do not leap out and grip preferring a slower seduction but this comes with a need to fully extend a concentrated focus on the album to reap it’s definitely existing  rewards. It is hard to be critical though even if listeners need patience when immersing in the album.

    Afraid To Speak steps up next, gently wrapping a sultry breeze of melodic enchantment around thoughts if again without sparking any major reaction; that power is left to its successor Beneath The Mystery. The track also springs from a reserved start to open up sinew driven riffing and heavily striking rhythms within the keys designed eighties sounding gothic weave which feels seeded in the likes of Sisters Of Mercy and Play Dead by. It is a fiery encounter yet one which does not erupt or stretch its attributes as far as you expect or would like, again an accusation you can make on Within The Frozen Design as a whole.

   After the brief but decent enough instrumental Broken World, the album undulates a little but keeps the listener enthused starting with the impressive Universal Design, a track offering another accomplished and magnetic web of gothic and symphonic metal with a bite and almost antagonistic breath. It provides sizeable bait for the senses to devour eagerly before the enjoyable if underwhelming Gatekeeper shows its class. It is sandwiched between the previous track and the equally thrilling Dark Awakening, the song a heavy footed shadowed drenched beast with radiant beauty casting ripe melodic tantalising. As elsewhere the guitar craft and imagination is an irresistible lure whilst the epic tone of the track is aggressively bewitching.

     Completed by the overlong but appealing instrumental Waves Of Misery and the final slice of gothic allurement of The Frozen Siren, the album is a pleasing and enticing encounter. The cloudy production at times does the release no favours, cloaking some of the piercing strengths of instruments and voice but Winter Storm and Within The Frozen Design emerge from it with strength and quality. As mentioned earlier the album does not ignite a fire in the passions but definitely provides company which only invites the fullest satisfaction.

www.winter-storm.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 22/01/2014

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