In Vain – Currents

Just a handful of weeks short of five years back, Norwegian metallers In Vain released the ear gripping Ænigma. It was a release which brought and honed all the potential and impressive attributes of its two predecessors to one seriously striking head. That triumphant encounter has now been swept away in the creative eddy of the band’s fourth album Currents, a proposal which lustily roars In Vain as being one of metal’s finest and most exciting propositions.

Since emerging in 2003, In Vain has grown within and persistently ascended the European metal scene with their adventurously imaginative progressive extreme metal. Their 2007 debut album, The Latter Rain, swiftly stirred keen attention and critical praise, and a reputation for craft and sound which the more variable Mantra nevertheless only reinforced.  The Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Katatonia, Devin Townsend, Kreator) produced Ænigma simply sparked the imagination as it built upon and pushed the traits of those before. It all pales though before the majesty of Currents, a release which surprises at every twist and enthrals at every turn. Intricately woven yet as organic as the passion which drives it, Ænigma not only takes the In Vain sound to a whole new level, it brings progressive metal a fresh landscape shaping breath.

Seeing Bogren united with the band once again, Currents contemplates “the colossal shifts and changes of our time” looking at the currents behind major events and changes across the modern world from “Migration of people across continents and borders, cultures merging and the dramatic shifts in lifestyle from one generation to the next.” It also features guest appearances from the likes of drummer Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Borknagar), vocalist and former band member Kristian Wikstøl (From Strength to Strength), and vocalist Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium) among various more.

Currents opens with Seekers of the Truth and immediately entwines ears in steely vines of guitar as beats bite. Andreas Frigstad’s raw throated vocals soon prowl the engaging lure, rhythms and melodies colluding in a web of threat and intrigue around him with the song’s climate imposingly bracing but equally infectious  as the guitars of Johnar Håland and Kjetil Domaas Petersen almost dance on the ear. The progressive nature of the band’s sound subsequently infuses the track’s aggressive intent, varied strains of extreme metal merging with melodic enterprise for a captivating trespass.

Even so it’s potent and ear grabbing entrance into the album is soon eclipsed by next up Soul Adventurer. Within its first breath as keys rise, grooves are writhing around the imagination, their earnest exploits matched by the superb clean vocals of keyboardist Sindre Nedland. It is instantly compelling, increasingly so as the song gets right under the skin with resourceful harmonies and rolling rhythms only adding to the richness as the guitars spin a web of creative temptation. It is the superb vocal blend across the band though which brings it all together for easily one of the best tracks ever spawned by the imagination of In Vain.

That is a height though regularly equalled from hereon in staring with Blood We Shed, the track a wall of predacious intent and tone led by Frigstad’s vocal threat. Riffs and grooves soon collude in their own menacing enterprise, the bass of Alexander Bøe a thick grumbling incitement but from within their dark nature a ripple of melodic suggestion becomes a heated, harmonic serenade. There is plenty more going on too as keys and voices take the stage before falling under the incoming rumble of those earlier imposing textures, an array of imaginative moments which seem to reveal more with every listen.

Currents comes in two editions, the Special Edition offering two additional tracks with And Quiet Flows the Scheldt the first. Like a developing landscape, the song grows by the second as vocals and guitars shape an atmospheric flight through suggestive sonic scenery. The track does not have the snap of its predecessor but infuses a drama which draws the imagination right into its heart, vocals again as stirring as the music with the flames of sax a captivating heat in its evocative climate.

The funkier tapestry of Origin and the inviting mystery of En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II) bring their own enthralling reflections to ears and thoughts next, the first a robust yet considerate confrontation masterfully blending contrasts in power, aggression, and tone not forgetting flavours. This is an ability In Vain have never been lacking but as so many other things it has breached a new pinnacle within Currents as the second of the two confirms. Sung in the band’s native tongue, the song is glorious. In no time melodies vein a portentous air, dark and light wrapping round each other as a kaleidoscope of vocal and atmospheric intimation entices from within the magnetically tempestuous vortex.

Ghost Path is the second song found only on the larger edition of the album, the track sharing its own mysterious shadow haunted realm. The imagination is taking on a stroll through an underworld of fear, despair, and increasing creative ill-intent which comes to a head in a rhythmically driven, rapaciously fuelled predation of sound and intensity. The song is pure creative theatre, and reason alone to go grab the bigger version of the album as you really do not want to miss out.

The album concludes with firstly the similarly enthralling infestation of As the Black Horde Storms. Its blackened assault has a folkish tinge to its melodic undercurrent, death bred traits soon as prevalent as the track consumes the senses and begins spinning another web of striking imagination and sound where, as throughout the release, every moment brings surprise and invention to absorb and impress. Its successor, Standing on the Ground of Mammoths, smothers ears with its dark air and slightly corrosive texture whilst again gripping attention with is aural enticement and vocal dexterity. More a song with its creative tenacity and enterprise understated compared with other tracks within Currents; every dive into it brings them closer to the surface though its slip in a thoughtful melodic seduction mid-way is a beguiling caress from the first moment.

It provides an end to an album which simply excites from start to finish. Setting a new marker for not only the band but extreme progressive metal, In Vain has become one of the most fascinating and enjoyable propositions within world metal.

Currents is available now through Indie Recordings digitally and as a normal and special edition on CD and Vinyl.

http://www.invain.org/    https://www.facebook.com/InVainOfficial/    https://twitter.com/invainofficial

Pete RingMaster 04/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unheard Before The Wake – Humanity Burning

UnheardBeforeTheWake_RingMasterReview

It is fair to say that Humanity Burning took its time to fully convince, for its ideas and elements to fall into place within ears and understanding, but when it did, the new EP from UK melodic death metallers Unheard Before The Wake showed why the band is beginning to be strongly noticed within the British metal underground. Unleashing five intrusive tracks which devour the senses while intriguing the imagination, the band’s sophomore EP emerges as an attention grabbing trespass.

Formed at the end of 2013, the Sutton hailing Unheard Before The Wake has increasingly lured fans and keen interest through the release of their self-titled debut EP on 2014 and more so a live presence which has seen the quintet share stages with the likes of Xerath, Meat Train, and A Vulgar Picture. Their sound is a tempest of extreme flavours unafraid to entangle black and classic hues into its death and melodic metal bred invention. Humanity Burning is the band’s new national assault on ears, a release which maybe does not always fit perfectly with personal tastes but certainly left them with an appetite for more.

The EP opens with its title track and a nagging of riffs, their whiney hue like raw nectar swiftly grabbing keen attention further enhanced by the barbarous torrent of beats and the great gnarly tone of the bass. As its predatory nature continues to ignite the appetite, the track rumbles and grumbles like an awakened beast, subsequently stretching into its prowling gait and animosity as the heavy throaty growls of vocalist Chris Rossiter enter the scene. At this point the guitars of Dylan-Thomas Chinchen and Ryan Adams expand their own tapestry of enterprise and sonic flavouring, the song blossoming into an unpredictable and increasingly rousing proposition. On the initial listen, it almost seems to have too much going on in its rabid assault but with time each twist and turn skilfully flows and in turn impresses. The personal taste thing does kick in as cleaner vocals make their appearance, an addition which just does not work for these ears, though the only time something grates against rather than benefits the song.

Unheard Before The Wake Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewLurker steps up next, again with an opening which demands attention. This time the invitation is a threatening collusion of sound and texture, almost asylum like in its tone and vocal cries. Framing the drama, drummer Jasper Brownlow and bassist Adam McGuinness again place wonderfully grouchy bait which only finds greater impact as a thrash bred surge of riffs and energy erupts. As its predecessor, the song also flows through intensive and slower predacious moments to keep expectations on their toes, especially the almost theatrical passage of the lyrical protagonist’s introspection which comes forward.

It is clear Unheard Before The Wake know how to compose a song to make an immediate impact, The Pluto God also stirring up ears in seconds with its fierce waltz of grooves within an intimidating rhythmic shuffle. In no time from that great start, the song is stalking the senses and psyche with the excellent heavy throated growling of Rossiter a potent lure in the corrosive storm. The twist of classic metal seeded vocals derail the track a touch again for these ears though it is soon back to its former glory with raw guttural vocals leading to a weave of tantalising craft and flavours.

The EP’s best track, Right To Die, comes next; it a maelstrom of intrusive rhythms and riffs bound in roaming grooves and melodic toxicity which swiftly inflames air and ears. Clean vocals do make another appearance but in spoken form to great effect, providing another texture in the resourceful blaze of sound and imagination.

Completed by an instrumental reprise of its title track, Humanity Burning is a release which takes its time but makes a thoroughly enjoyable persuasion of the potential and readymade qualities of Unheard Before The Wake. Their sound still feels like it is in evolution which only adds to their promise. The press release suggests Humanity Burning is something fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, Carcass, Dimmu Borgir, and Cannibal Corpse might take a shine to; something easy to agree with. As for the clean vocals, we suggest the band really does not need them with everything else boiling up rather nicely.

The Humanity Burning EP is released April 29th @ https://unheardbeforethewake.bandcamp.com/ and most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 28/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raging Speedhorn Enter Studio With Russ Russell

RSH5_RingMaster Review

Corby Bruisers Raging Speedhorn Begin Recording Their First Album In Nine Years

Following on from a hectic two years of touring and festival appearances, Sludge overlords Raging Speedhorn entered a studio in Kettering with acclaimed producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, The Wildhearts) on January 18th to begin work on their latest album; their first record with original vocalist Frank Regan since “How The Great Have Fallen” in 2005, and the first with their new line up.

Drummer Gordon Morison gave some insight on the upcoming record saying…“We’re hitting the recording studio this Monday coming, and we can’t fucking wait! It’s been a long time coming. We’re going to be recording the new record at Parlour studios with the mighty Russ Russell. We can guarantee that fans of classic Speedhorn will love the new album!

The new album, which is as yet untitled, is set to be released later this year.

Raging Speedhorn formed in 1998 and went on to release four records, the most successful being their second release “We Will Be Dead Tomorrow”, recorded by Billy Graziadei & Danny Schuler of Biohazard fame. The band achieved chart success with ‘The Gush’ in 2001, toured continuously with acts like Slipknot, Ill Nino, Rammstein and Will Haven, and performed at countless festivals across the globe, including main stage at the inaugural Download Festival in 2004. They split in 2008 following the release of their last record “Before The Sea Was Built” and a subsequent tour of Japan.

 

Sassy Kraimspri – Cock Fight

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Bringing the band’s trilogy of Cock Fight EPs in one riotous slab of essential rock ‘n’ roll, multinational rockers Sassy Kraimspri have unleashed a must have punk ‘n’ rock album of 2015 for all those yet to lay their destined to be lustful paws on the band’s previous releases. Consisting of musicians hailing from Norway, America, and Australia, the Stavanger hailing quartet have a sound to turn a party into a riot and a riot into unbridled debauchery, as evidenced in full explosive might by Cock Fight.

Sassy Kraimspri now consists of vocalist/guitarist Ida Collett Belle, guitarist Richard Belle, bassist Linda Pedersen, and Etienne on drums, the band itself emerging in 2006 with a sound which is part heavy rock, part punk, part rock pop, and all merciless seduction on body and soul. 2008 saw the release of debut album Dirty White Lies, the band just a duo back then of Ida Collett and drummer Tash Adams, who found success in Australian band SheRex. Three years later The Pussy Magnet EP was uncaged from the foursome, a well-received encounter recorded, as the Cock Fight EPs with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, The Wildhearts, Dimmu Borgir). Alongside these and the subsequent releases now making up the album, the band’s live presence has only grown and drawn continual acclaim, Sassy Kraimspri sharing stages with the likes of Skambankt, Melissa Auf der Maur, Casiokids, and Djerv along the way whilst playing in countries such as Canada, Norway, Australia, China, Germany, and the UK. The Cock Fight EPs awoke a new blaze of support and recognition in 2014, but together as Riot they forge one inescapable persuasion breeding full pleasure and in turn anticipation for the band’s sophomore album they are currently working on.

Looking at the songs in the order of the promo sent over (the actual order may differ on the release), the energies are ignited straight away with opener When It Rains, It Pours. Instantly gripping beats set ears and appetite off, their bait swiftly reinforced and matched by a heavily throated bassline. They alone set the tone for the enjoyment to be found across the release, but are a mere teaser for the rest of the track, and its subsequent companions, as guitars and vocals engage in magnetic enterprise and invigorating incitement. The song is a contagious affair, relatively restrained compared to some but an unrelenting weave of grooves and hooks that takes a firm hold of ears and appetite before making way for the outstanding Like a Drug. A spicy bass groove sets the lustful fun in motion, its gravelly twang the spark to a rhythmic swagger and similarly striding riffs. Like a blend of L7 and Breeders with the virulence of Spinnerette and punkish unpredictability of The Raincoats included, band and track bounce through ears like a sonic epidemic, infecting senses and psyche with its ferocious devilry.

COCK FIGHT coverReputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Current single Riot brings its riveting brawl forth next, again grooves and hooks an almost salacious flirtation as fiercely enticing beats and a grizzly bassline set down a primal lure. As its predecessor, the track has its claws in body and vocal chords quickly, it’s anthemic drive and roar a puppeteer under the influence of Ida Collett’s bellowing voice. The exceptional incitement is followed by the punk rock tenacity of Bad Disease, a track expelling antagonistic beauty like a mix of Bikini Kill and The Donnas with a little touch of The Slits to it. Submission is immediate and long term as it is with the punchier and more predatory Clay Pigeons. Again it is an offering with a virulent swing as it heads towards a delicious crescendo posing as a chorus where an excellent mix of raw vocals burst from across the band.

Addiction is a full flooding by this point of the release and only intensifies as the song Cock Fight snarls and launches its predacious provocation on ears. With harmonically seductive vocals glancing off its muscular stroll, the track roams ears and emotions with a hard rock adventure to its tempestuously hued landscape. It does feel like it is ready to swing aggressive rhythmic punches and sonic causticity at the drop of a note or syllable but stays in check for another prowling infection, which also best describes the spicier lure of its successor Dig It. A bluesy tinge adds to the drama and resourceful adventure of the song, and though it does not quite match up to the plateau of those before it, a meaty bassline and rumbling rhythms beneath that ever enthralling vocal temptation, ensures it is another unmissable stomp.

Say What is pure rock ‘n’ roll manna, sonic endeavour from the guitars winding around ears as a sultry air hugs smouldering vocals to seduce senses and passions. The song is aural eroticism; a reason to immerse in Sassy Kraimspri all on its own, though that is something you can lay at the romping feet of most encounters within Cock Fight.

There is one last blaze of rebellious revelry on the release, a storming cover of Great Balls Of Fire which lives up to its name in heat and energy whilst taking the punk of Jerry lee Lewis to a new and modern ferocity. It is simply a great end to an outstanding rock ‘n’ roll uproar. If you have the previous EPs making up Cock Fight, you will have to wait a little longer for a new thrill whilst enjoying the encounters you already have but for newcomers to Sassy Kraimspri  or part owners of their last trio of offerings, this is all your birthdays for the next decade in one exhausting and thrilling rampage.

Cock Fight is available from June 1st via Lady Luck Records digitally, on CD, and on vinyl.

http://www.sassykraimspri.com/   https://www.facebook.com/SassyKraimspri

RingMaster 01/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Stoneghost – Faceless Ghost

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As Faceless Ghost, the new single from UK metallers Stoneghost furiously and creatively bellows in the ears, there is no escaping offering a hearty thank goodness. The reason being that the song and album it comes from, was written at a moment it is fair to say which was pointing to the demise of the band. This had come about because, in the words of vocalist Jason Smith; “I was having a kid and I couldn’t cope with it, I didn’t think I would be able to carry on with the band too, I wasn’t in a good place.” Deciding to go out with a bang and show the world the most potent essence and fury of what was Stoneghost, the South East London quartet created debut album New Age of Old Ways. Thankfully the band’s sound and new offerings found their way to the attention of the Mascot Label Group (Black Label Society, Volbeat, Gojira, Joe Bonamassa), and here we now are with the album scheduled for release in April, its lead single poised to stir up the European metal scene, and Stoneghost seemingly back on compelling course.

The Bromley band began in 2007 and swiftly made a potent impression on the London live scene. Forging a ferocious blaze of rock ‘n’ roll bred from varying strains of metal and a hardcore voracity, the foursome of Cris Finniss (drums), Jamie Nash (bass), Andrew Matthews (guitar), and Smith continued to grip attention and increasingly so across the UK, making highly successful appearances at Bloodstock in 2009 and 2010 with equally impressive performances at the Wacken Open Air festival and Metal Hammer’s Hammerfest IV in their wake over the next couple of years. It was 2013 when the band’s frontman had his ‘crisis’ and turmoil reached the band. Fighting through it though to subsequently record New Age of Old Ways with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Evile, Dimmu Borgir, Sikth, New Model Army), Stoneghost is now ready to take their place at the forth of British metal and again we can only give thanks.

As the majority of songs gracing the album, Faceless Ghost was bred in that troubled time for band and Smith, the singer talking about the song recently saying, “It’s about my daughter, she was on the way, I was feeling apprehensive and scared about the responsibility and seeing a therapist at the time, I was having some really low points, but because I had a daughter on the way it gave me the reason to sort myself out.” There is a definite personal angst and passion behind the song which echoes that moment, an intimacy to its tempest which rages as potently as the ravenous sounds.

The song opens with a dazzling weave of guitar enterprise, a spicy melodic colour which captivates from around just as swiftly established and equally compelling rhythmic predation. Things only intensify and grip tighter as Smith’s punkish roar spills emotion across the thrash toned canvas. Grooves and hooks add different and fascinating flavours and textures to the song next, the proposition already transcending various metal subgenres whilst brawling with its own aggressive individuality.

Matthews’s superb sonic and melodic designs continue to ignite the imagination as does the lyrical force of the song, whilst bass and drums are predators within the magnetically spiced triumph. Across track there are glimpses of bands like Pantera, Bloodsimple, and Overkill, but only whispers in a sound which leaps out like a beast and incites body and emotions with tempestuous majesty.

Roll on New Age of Old Ways

Faceless Ghost is available from March 2nd and New Age of Old Ways on April 27th via Mascot

https://www.facebook.com/STONEGHOSTROCKS

RingMaster 02/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Shattered Skies – The World We Used To Know

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With their acclaimed first EP having escaped our radar when it came out around three years ago, The World We Used To Know is our introduction to Ireland  bred progressive metallers Shattered Skies, and have we been missing out. The band’s debut album is an enthralling and thrilling creative emprise which avoids all the self-indulgences and over blown excesses the genre can at times coax out of a band. Instead it creates an epic drama of passion and invention with a technical adventure and skill to match, leaving jaws dropped in awe and passions lustfully inflamed.

Formed in the earlier moments of 2011, the now London based band swiftly gripped attention and critical praise with the Reanimation EP that same year. The time between releases has been filled with a host of reputation growing shows alongside the likes of Machine Head, Dimmu Borgir, Alice Cooper, TesseracT, Scar Symmetry, SikTh, Animals as Leaders, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Algorithm, After the Burial and many more, as well as performances at festivals such as Holland’s ProgPower and Bloodstock in the UK, two appearances at Britain’s Techfest and a trio of visits to Euroblast in Germany. The World We Used To Know will be the biggest lure to the world from the band yet and like for us, it is hard to imagine many genre fans and beyond resisting the fiery imagination and seriously accomplished sounds tempting from within the album’s fascinating walls.

As aflame with inescapable hooks and grooves as it is with breath-taking exploration, the release opens with the short and emotive temptation of Collapse Of Man. A provocative caress of Albumcoverpiano, the instrumental piece draws ears and thoughts into the release with a sense of drama which simply explodes in the following The End And The Rebirth. The band’s new single too, the song dances on the senses with a vibrant electro smile before ruggedly spicy grooves and matching crunchy riffs join the vivacious tempest. Instantly enticing whispers of TesseracT and Circles, the track casts its own uniqueness as it expands and glows with enterprise and invention. The striking melodic vocals of Sean Murphy are an instant treat, his ability and expression as dynamic as the sounds and ideation around him. It makes for a scintillating kaleidoscope of adventure spun on the skills of guitarist/keyboardist Ian Rockett and the simultaneously savage and addictive rhythms of drummer Ross McMahon and bassist Jim Hughes, quite simply it is a stunning start.

Things only explode with greater potency and ingenuity when 15 Minutes takes over, vocals and melodies again a sure seduction against the slightly carnivorous breath of the djent inspired guitar predation and rhythmic stalking. As mentioned before, each track has an inventive and sonic theatre to its songwriting and sound, one which over the first song and especially this has a feel of early My Chemical Romance to it. The track is sensational, a cantankerous croon of an incitement within a whirlpool of unpredictable and fluidly flowing experimentation.

Both the gripping enticement of Haunted and the inflamed serenade of Elegance And Grace keep album and ears burning brightly. The first is an angst fuelled weave of acidic grooves and stabbing riffs aligned to ever mesmeric vocals and harmonies. Its rhythms equally impose their strengths with ease, intimidating rather than coaxing the same plaudits in thoughts and emotions. Its successor is a smouldering romance of charm loaded keys and impassioned vocal expression in comparison. The song simmers and boils across a climactic canvas of riveting Muse meets Dioramic like endeavour, and as the last song engrossing ears and imagination with increasing strength and drama.

The guitars are back snarling and abrasing the pleasures in the following Show’s Over, though as discovered in all always Shattered Skies songs, they only provide one moment in evolving landscapes. Their bait and Meshuggah like growl is never far from the frontline of the song though, just in a constant and seamless flux of fresh sound and inventiveness. The track is an inescapable contagion, so much so that it is hard to think of many progressive metal bands which can rock body and passions with such catchiness to their enormous technical prowess as Shattered Skies.

As The Sea Divides is a tempestuous turbulence of sound next, its blustery guitar bred climate and inhospitable rhythmic trap the scenery for siren-esque keys and the soaring tones of Murphy to poetically and magnificently colour. A little longer to draw similar lustful responses as other songs, it grows to new heights with every listen, though it still misses the top step found by the last song and the outstanding Flipside which follows. Almost bestial in its prowling gait and sonic tempting, the track manages to be savage and impossibly infectious with a melodic bloom of voice and sound to put any crooner and pop band to shame. The song is quite delicious, a must be second single to our minds and another irrepressible reason why Shattered Skies will take the progressive metal world by storm, well this and ten other great reasons on The World We Used To Know.

     The pair of Aesthetics and Saviours seduce senses and emotions next, the first exploring the scent of bands like Tool and The HAARP Machine in a magnetic tapestry of emotion soaked expression and soaring harmonics. Unafraid to have a raw edge too, the song is also ridiculously catchy, something emulated by the darker squalling presence of the second of the two. An antagonistic cage of riffs and drums from the first second, it scowls and teases with scarring tenacity whilst within the raw frame keys and the stunning vocals of Murphy roar and soar.

The track is exceptional but so is the closing eleven minutes plus of the title track which brings The World We Used To Know to a mighty close. An epic journey and creative escapade in its own right, the song seems to draw on all the hearts of its predecessors as it draws a mouth-watering and bewitching soundscape all of its own. Everything about it is sensational and its lengthy presence seemingly over in a flash thanks to its wonderfully busy maze of startling craft and volcanic enterprise.

2015 has already in its brief time seen some quite invigorating encounters, the new 6:33 and Cold Snap albums coming to mind, and on that frontline of excellence Shattered Skies sits looking rather sensational with The World We Used To Know.

The self-released The World We Used To Know is available now @ http://shatteredskies.bigcartel.com/product/the-world-we-used-to-know and digitally @ http://shatteredskies.bandcamp.com/

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RingMaster 15/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sidious – Revealed in Profane Splendour

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The first infestation of pestilential temptation came with Ascension to the Throne Ov Self and now the ruinous seduction returns to devour the soul as Revealed in Profane Splendour.

No, this is not a portentous warning of biblical design but the next inescapable savaging cast by UK blackened death metallers Sidious. Following their acclaimed and attention gripping debut EP, the London quartet now unleash their first album and it is fair to say that everything potent and impressive about its predecessor has been bred, dragged, and sculpted to another irresistible level.

Ascension to the Throne Ov Self was a disarming introduction to Sidious upon its release in 2013 but in hindsight just an appetiser of broader and more intensive invention and imagination to come from the band as swiftly evidenced by Revealed in Profane Splendour. Between releases the band which features members of Eye Of Solitude, has had movement in its line-up with the departure of vocalist Tom “Void” Allen and the coming in of Krhudd, the man behind solo project COLOSUS. With guitarist Isfeth adding lead vocals to his role in the band, Sidious has found further depths and exploration to their songwriting and rigorously imposing sound, their album not only another striking offering from the band but one to assert with greater potency and authority their leading role in the future of British extreme metal. Released on Kaotoxin Records, Revealed In Profane Splendour is an insatiable temptress which from its enslaving first moments takes ears and imagination through an epic emprise of almost carnal and certainly uncompromising raw beauty.

Recorded with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir), Revealed In Profane Splendour emerges through a haunting sonic groan as opener Sacrilegious Majesty sets things in motion. Within a breath pungent anthemic drums are casting their irresistible bait upon ears and imagination, riffs just as hungrily skirting their potent lead. Portentous melodies amidst a sinister air joins the expanding landscape but it is still those provocative beats which provide the richest coaxing before a maelstrom of intensity and malevolence erupts in sound and vocals. It is a ravenous consumption of the senses within which grooves and hooks flirt with the listener without always breaking free from the oppressive strength of the track. It is the drama of the song which ignites thoughts and emotions as much as anything though, every rhythmic swipe and sonic tempting adding to an epic excursion into dark realms and a fateful emprise. Ending as it’s began; the track is a riveting and thrilling entrance into the album and an immediate declaration of the new creative strength and ingenuity within the band.

The following Inexorable Revelation is less startling in its opening but still a forceful impact as riffs and rhythms career through ears with hellacious urgency as keys alongside sonic enterprise tantalise with menacing suggestiveness in Sidious-Revealed-In-Profane-Splendour-coverthe background of the thick violation. It is a torrential outpouring of malicious and imaginative provocation which deeper into its heart you go, the more toxic elegance and emotive grandeur is shared. Exhaustive in touch and intensive ideation, the track bridges the serpentine animosity of black metal with the corrosive predation of death bred fury for another welcome and scarring persuasion before the album’s title track spreads its blistering venomous charm. As the last track it is a tempest of fierce creative twists drenched in insatiable energy sculpted and provocatively honed into a climatic and vehemence soaked inventive soundscape.

There is no mercy given by any song, each a psyche devouring, emotions despoiling rage as proven with the next up Annihilation Ov Abhorrent Credence and its successor Obscenity Ov Old. Each though colours their rugged canvas with an evolving cauldron of melodic ingenuity and intuitive invention which may need close attention but rewards with a fiercely busy and oppressively seductive blaze of invigorating enterprise. The first of this pair a case in point, its cloistral entrance the doorway in to a ravenous insurgence in theme and sound upon religious templates and the listeners senses. Simultaneously stalking and rampaging through mind and body respectively, the track is a scintillating marauder chewing upon ears and emotions with virulent and destructive rabidity. Its glory is emulated by the second of the two, a similar yet distinctly separate beginning the unveiling of a bestial and ravenous violation complete with torrential spite and as in the last track, bewitching clean vocals which escape the carnage for exciting deviation.

A cold ambience brings Infernal Reign to light, its chilling landscape swiftly scored by inhumane vocals and a brewing sonic causticity. There is little time for frost bite to set in before rabid rhythms bludgeon the senses and venom spilling grooves begin squirming under the skin of song and passions. It is an increasingly transfixing fascination of sound and emotion which is as debilitating in its calmer moments as it is in full cruel flow, the fine mix of vocal styles a driving force in that success.

Revealed In Profane Splendour is brought to a close by O Paragon, Bringer Ov Light, a dare one say mellower track, certainly initially which is soon merging floating celestial harmonies with predatory beats and hungry riffery. It is a song which at times seems like a recap of other tracks essences but once it brings out its own warped rhythmic antagonism and sonic majesty, the track turns into a searing and spellbinding intrusion.

It is a mighty conclusion to an increasingly imposing and impressing release. Revealed In Profane Splendour is a startling step on from the band’s first EP, employing all of its assets in viciously richer and deeper cavernous dark hymns. Sidious is on a demonic march with sounds to breed fear in even the devil.

Revealed in Profane Splendour is available now via Kaotoxin Records on CD @ http://www.kaotoxin.com/shop/cd/sidious-cd-pack/ and digitally @ http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/revealed-in-profane-splendour

https://www.facebook.com/sidiousofficial

RingMaster 05/11/2014

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Sassy Kraimspri – Cock Fight 2

SassyKraimspri3

For dirty and sexy rock ‘n’ roll with little care for anything more flamboyant than virulent flirtation, Cock Fight 2 the new EP from Sassy Kraimspri, is a rigorous mischievous pleasure. Consisting of three tracks brewing up brawling storms of voracious rock with the antagonism of punk and salaciousness of grunge kissed garage rock, the release is a dirty contagious stomp reaffirming the impressive emergence of the Norwegian based band.

With the merged nationalities and skills of members from Norway, Australia, and the US, Sassy Kraimspri has been on a constant and attention grabbing rise since forming in 2006. They have played across the globe, impressing audiences from America, Canada, and Australia to China, Norway, and the UK to name some of the places hit, and earlier this year released the first in a trilogy of Cock Fight EPs. Cock Fight 1 roused ears and appetite for the band but now the second in the series thrusts the hunger bred for their presence into a new greed. It provides a blaze of hard hitting devilry which simply ignites the imagination and passions, making little more demand than you enjoy its adrenaline and invention brand of bruising revelry.

Recorded as its predecessor with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, The Wildhearts, Dimmu Borgir), Cock Fight 2 immediately lays down irrepressible and irresistible bait with the opening bestial bassline of Like a Drug provided by Cock Fight 2Lovely Linda Lustsalot. It is a primal lure soon joined by similarly addictive riffs and hooks from the guitars of Dick Deviant and Sassy Kraimspri, whose vocals blaze upon the ear the moment they touch. Driven by the resourceful and inciting rhythms of Etienne the Frenchman, the track swaggers with a defiant and saucy gait which itself enslaves attention. There is an instant indefinable familiarity to the song too, creating an old friend in new explosive clothes stance to make a recognisable yet fresh impact accentuated by the ridiculously anthemic chorus with its swinging hips and seductive lures. As the accompanying press release suggests there is a definite PJ Harvey edge to the vocals of Sassy whilst musically elements of L7 and Valentiine revel in the dusty hard rock and infectious punk exploits combined. The song is a riveting and extraordinarily thrilling encounter which puts the pressure of the other two tracks alongside it.

To be honest neither can match up to the first but each offers their own exciting and sweltering slabs of rock vivacity. Riot comes next taking a more deliberately even paced entrance punctuated by stabs of riffs and thumping rhythms stalked by again a deliciously sinister bass sound. The song prowls around ears as its settles into its intensive charm, melodies pouting and heavily stomping rhythms uniting for an incendiary persuasion led by the impressive fire of vocals. Bursting with rapacious expulsions of energy and coarse guitar adrenaline, the encounter ebbs and flows with a volcanic climate and ferocious enterprise, never leaving senses and appetite devoid of a tasty endeavour.

The closing Say What comes closest to matching the opening triumph with its outstanding adventure. Its first second brings a winding spiral of grooves and temptress bred vocals, each seducing with magnetic wantonness. The song continues to swerve with stirring melodic enticement and mesmeric vocal tempting, predatory riffs and rhythms urging full submission to which harmonies and those inescapable melodies bring mouth-watering rewards. It is a sultry and memory haunting end to a completely thrilling encounter.

As shown powerfully by Cock Fight 2, Sassy Kraimspri knows how to create and uncage rock ‘n’ roll to steal the heart and invigorate the soul, roll on EP 3 we say.

Cock Fight 2 is available via Lady Luck Records now.

http://www.sassykraimspri.com

9/10

RingMaster 0707/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Refusals and raptures against the arms of destruction: an interview with LXIV of Woland

 

by Liisa Ketonen

by Liisa Ketonen

Consisting of intensive and rich evocative explorations, Hyperion the debut album from Finnish post black metallers Woland has emerged as one of the most thickly captivating and provocatively enthralling releases in recent months. It is a release which has to be heard and felt to understand its potency, not one easily explained by mere words and descriptions. Grateful for the opportunity to learn more about one of the best albums so far this year and its creators, we loaded up the questions for guitarist LXIV who talked with us about the history of the band, the journey in making Hyperion, the relevance of Nietzscheism to Woland’s lyrical premises and much more…

Hi LXIV and welcome to The Ringmaster Review and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Before we talk about your recently released debut album Hyperion, could you give us some background to the band and its members?

The band was formed in late 2009 while W’s other project, Cavus, was touring with Mayhem. W was having a bit of a ‘fallout’ with the extremely crude and disgusting side of black metal that is Cavus. I was their sound tech on the tour, and after few pints of wine it was agreed that together we’d do something completely different.

The road to this point was extremely long, not only considering the album but also the line-up…Good, reliable and skilled musicians with a flexible calendar are hard to come by. Especially when you have to be able to sit with them in extremely confined areas for extremely long times without wanting shove your thumbs trough their eyes.

Fortunately it seems now, that we’ve managed to gather a group that fills at least the most of these needs.

Was there a deliberate intent with the band at the start in regard to sound and direction then?

From the start it was clear that we were going to make something unheard, unseen and provocative. Through music, it crystalized in the making of the Conquer all & Live Forever promo. That was the foundation on which we started to build the album.

There is seemingly a core black metal heart to your sound but equally there is an expanse and diversity to it which potently takes Woland in other imaginative areas. How do you see your sound from the inside?

The diversity of the sound isn’t really a thought out process per se. Our musical ambitions and tastes are unconfined. It’s only natural that our music comes out that way also. Our core lies in black metal. From there we can expand, abridge and disturb as we see fit. I haven’t really wasted my time thinking what do we sound like. We do what we do; we sound what we sound like. It’s more about emitting emotion, I really couldn’t care less about genre specifications and are we ‘this’, ‘that’ or ‘that behind the that’.

Some of this rich diversity must be deliberately crafted though but how much is it the organic evolution of your ideas?

The parts, ideas, lyrics, artwork etc. really came through by themselves. We weren’t really going through the process of writing looking to stir some shit up…that’s just a good bonus. But sure, we didn’t just whip something up. This album cost both me and W a few nervous break downs. The diversity and the maturity of the music is not there because we just happen to be talented. There is very little on the album that wasn’t thought out, pondered and reasoned back and forth for many times.

I’m not an artist, I’m a craftsman.

Out of curiosity what inspired the band name? 

by Liisa Ketonen

by Liisa Ketonen

The name originates from the Soviet satire ‘Master and Margarita’.  When we were pondering a name for the band, we found that the somewhat surreal and cheerful depiction of Satan and his mishaps represented extremely well what we were trying to accomplish through our music.

Plus our original drummer has a very peculiar resemblance to the cat Behemoth.

In the literature accompanying Hyperion, it states that Woland ‘gazes to the future with a Nietzschean vision and welcome it with opened arms.’ Could you expand on that for us?

The term ‘Nietzschean’ may be somewhat disconcerting. His thoughts merely resembled somewhat what we we’re trying to accomplish with our music. Personally I’d prefer a term like ‘promethean’ or ‘luciferian’.

I feel people have grasped the whole ‘nietzschean’ thing way too sternly. It’s not a ‘thing’ of Woland, it’s not a gimmick; it’s not what separates us from the herd. It’s simply a good phrase to describe our stance in music, lyrics and the whole scene surrounding them.

Black metal is known for misanthropy, destruction, hate, darkness, coldness etc. You know the basic stuff every mentally 15 year old finds fascinating. We wanted to flip the coin around. Freedom, empowerment, apotheosis…I’d rather create something meaningful than waste my time destroying something meaningless.

Is there something in particular which predominantly inspires your lyrical themes and premises?

In these types of questions, I’ve mentioned the aforementioned apotheosis. I believe the main themes of the album rely on fulfilment, whether they be spiritual, erotic or philosophical by their nature.

The influence of some of the modern world’s most prominent philosophers and writers as stated in the promo piece is open to see in the lyrics but how would you say that stimulus impacts on the actual music?

Speaking strictly about music, I haven’t considered it when writing. But naturally the themes we carry in our lyrics and the passion towards aforementioned writers and mythology, echoes in our music.

I believe it can be sensed in a grand scheme of things through the album. We strive for greatness, bigness, impact and awe. There is lots of well thought mechanics, arches, lines and themes, whether they be musical or lyrical.

To answer your question, the way I see it, we treasure the same type on refinement of creation, as do and did the great minds we build our band’s foundation on.

As we said earlier you have just released Hyperion, your debut album. I believe it was planned to appear near the end of last year, what brought about the delay?

Actually, it was supposed to be finished much earlier. There were tons of delays, problems and inconveniences that plagued the making process. Not to mention that we were getting pretty obsessive about the whole project…And at same time we were ready to pull the plug numerous times. It was an extremely difficult project from start to finish.

cover wolandAs you mentioned you released the double single, Conquer All /Live Forever in 2011, both now appearing on the album. Did you rework them for Hyperion and how would you say even in the relatively short time has your sound and style progressed from those first songs?

The songs were re-recorded and some parts were getting a bit of a make-over. It took three years from Conquer All & Live Forever to get to the release of Hyperion. I wouldn’t necessarily call that a short time, especially considering a difference between a promo and a debut album.

But you can clearly see that it all was there already in CA&LF what Hyperion is about. It was only a matter of making it bigger and better in all fronts.

Listening to Hyperion, you can sense that the band deliberates and works on every aspect to intensive levels, working it all to flow and combine seamlessly. That draws the imagination to wonder, was the album a long journey in its actual creation?

As I mentioned earlier, yes, it was an extremely long and tedious journey. During halts we grew impatient and anxious to finish the album. Getting back to work, we realized that some parts would have to be reworked…Ad infinitum. You see how this could get quite difficult especially when you have two extremely pedant people without limitations considering time?

Sometimes we felt that we had made some major breakthrough that would finally cut all the knots open for the rest of the album…the next day I’d call W and inform him that it’s all crap and I’m going to delete it all from the face of the earth.

Yes, it was a long journey.

Was this primarily more down to getting things perfect or were external obstacles as much a part of its lengthy birth?

Both. All of us were going through some major changes during the making of this album and we’ve had our share of difficulties with securing a strong line-up for Woland.

But I’d be lying if I said that it was all because of external problems…I recorded the guitars twice, spent an eternity working on the arrangements, trying different aspects, W spent over a year working on the lyrics and vocal lines. I mixed the album almost thrice, if I recall correctly…

It was a sum of many things but in the end, I think it was just that we were insanely fixated on the album. Fortunately, when the labels started to show some serious interest towards us, we were forced to finish the album. Otherwise we might still be in the studio working on it.

Have some songs dramatically changed from their first guises over the time it took to complete?

Art of Ascensions started as considerably slower and pale…W’s notion that it sounded like “coked up AC/DC” made me work a little more on the arrangement.

Elevated Existence was originally a 16-minute mammoth. After W made me see, that it truly was shit for the most part and I was only stroking my artistic cock, I scraped the whole thing and started fresh. The ending is the only thing that survived to the album as it is.

It is fair to say that every song upon Hyperion captured our imagination but None especially lit a fire in the passions, a track we by Liisa Ketonen 3called a true artistic predator. Can you tell us about the song, background, its emergence, and recording etc.?

To this far, it’s been the most controversial track on the whole album. People seem to hate it or love it…Which naturally pleases me.

The track was written under an extreme aftershock of and absinthe filled evening. So maybe that’s where the magic lives. I believe W was also having a bit of a meltdown during working on the song and he was stuck for weeks with the lyrics and vocal arrangements.

Considering recording, there really isn’t anything extremely different about the album…But during the writing and mixing process, I was, contrary to many songs on the album, striving for disturbing soundscapes so that might be a part of the difference.

Lesson learned; Drink more absinthe and try to fuck people up more often.

Is there a particular track or moment on the album which for you brings an extra tingle of pride or satisfaction?

I find that the title line of the aforementioned None came out rather well. The ending of the album also deserves a notion.

How does the writing process work within the band?

For the most part I take care of the music while W handles the vocals, lyrics and artwork…but naturally we give ideas to one another and beat the shit out of each other considering criticism.

Tell us about the ‘breather’ on the album Honey in the Lion and Risto Tiihonen, who performed it,  and in a thoroughly intensive and dramatic album from start to finish, why was it placed exactly where it was on the album, between Extacy and Rapture and Live Forever?

That melody is actually over a decade old and hence the oldest song on the album.

Earlier in the making of the album, we had discarded a song or two from the final selection. We just didn’t feel that they had the necessary quality to them. Unfortunately for us, they were also faster paced songs, which kinda tied our hands considering the song structure of the album. When we didn’t want to introduce weaker songs to the album just for the sake of variety nor did we want to rework songs which were already on their way to be finished, the idea of a ‘breather’ rose.

I didn’t want to take the easy road and make just make a bunch of ambient noise, which seems to be the trend in metal. Nor did I want to place the breather in the middle of the album as a divider for it is not that. It doesn’t divide the album into two sections it simply is a little islet in between the two vast oceans, that doesn’t mean that it bears no meaning nor significance. To me, it’s one of the most germane tracks on the whole album.

As for Risto, we go way back and he is a close personal friend of mine. He’d already performed the piano solo on Live Forever, so the choice was easy when I knew what type of a song Honey in the Lion was to be.

You also have some guest vocalists on the album; Geir Bratland (Dimmu Borgir), Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns (Finntroll), and Janica Lönn (Black Sun Aeon). How did their contributions come about and was it always the idea to invite additional vocalists?

We didn’t plan the guest appearances from the start but from the very beginning we were open to the concept of using guest talents. But the striving force was always a need for something specific. We’d run into a situation where we noticed the need or want for something different. Then it was merely a matter of finding the right person for the job. Fortunately for us, we are very blessed with talented acquaintances.

 Woland by Storm Photography / Janica Lönn


Woland by Storm Photography / Janica Lönn

For us Hyperion is a uniquely outstanding encounter, a release which sets a high benchmark for you to follow…Are you nervous yet?

Not at all. The binding force of Woland’s music is our freedom from constraints and the will to strive forward. Our next album will come when it’s ready and it will sound as it’s intended to sound like.

Hyperion sounds as it sounds because we have no interest in mimicking the ways of others. I have even less interest in mimicking my own works.

What comes next from Woland and can you give us an idea what you have in store for 2014 as a whole?

We have some festivals on the table as well as some potential shows with some major acts but nothing I can comment on the moment. Our performance at Blastfest, Bergen last week opened us some options from which you’ll be hearing shortly.

All in all, at the moment it looks like it’s gonna be a great year.

Once again big thanks for talking with us.

Have you any last thoughts you would like to leave us pondering?

Thank you for having us.

“Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib, Gesang, der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang”

www.wolandmusic.com

Read the review of Hyperion @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/woland-hyperion/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 09/03/2014

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Acheron – Kult des Hasses

ACHERON band photo

     A more than decent time has passed since the last release from US blackened death metallers Acheron, album The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God; a time which also saw the band temporarily come to a stop in 2010. Now well over twenty years since unleashing the musical malevolence they have become renowned for, the band uncages their newest tempest, Kult des Hasses. Released via Listenable Records, the ten track sonic pestilence is a masterful and creatively insidious plunge into the darkest ravenous creativity of the band and possibly it’s most expressively hungry yet.

    Calling the band’s sound blackened death metal has always been missing the flavoursome toxic essences from thrash, doom, and heavy metal which lick and lethally spice their releases and Kult des Hasses is no different. The album seduces, suffocates, and consumes with riffing caught in a wide net of influences, a rhythmic provocation which leaves an array of bruising wounds, and a melodically honed sonic adventure which fuses a plethora of styles. Adventure is a good description of the release, one dragging the blackest malevolent and vitriolic depths with lyrical provocations casting the band’s distinct views over themes such as the occult, misanthropy, and sexual perversion, their extreme Satanic/Anti-religious corrosiveness never far from the surface either. We will be the first to admit that a full awareness of all their older sonic expulsions is lacking but taking Kult Des Hasses alone, Acheron has set standards which emerging bands should want to aspire to.

    Over the years band founder vocalist/bassist Vincent Crowley has played with current and former members of bands such as ACHERON-COVER-hiresMorbid Angel, Death, Iced Earth, Angel Corpse, Immolation, Dimmu Borgir, Nocturnus, Incantation, Equinox, Estuary, and Sathanas within Acheron, and the new album provides no less inspiring names alongside the trio of himself, guitarist Art Taylor, and drummer Kyle Severn. Joining the trio on the recording there is guest lead guitarist Ricktor Ravensbruck (Wolfpack 44, Electric Hellfire Club , Wolfen Society) as well as numerous vocal guesting from the likes of Kam Lee (Ex-Massacre, The Grotesquery, Bone Gnawer), Jim Lippucci (Soulless), John McEntee (Incantation/Funerus), Jill McEntee (Funerus), Zdenka Prado (Estuary),and Ash Thomas (Estuary/Faithxtractor). Mastered by Dan Swano, the album is a tide of invention and imagination, all tracks forcibly intrusive and persistently contagious in which ever guise they come in.

     Opener Daemonum Lux wastes no time making a gentle acquaintance, riffs instantly rummaging through the ears from its first second and rhythms splitting their insistence with firm and determined, if restrained swipes. Almost eight minutes of constantly evolving enticement, the song alone tells you all you need to know about the sonic sculpting and imagination available to the band in their arsenal. Themed around the infamous encounter Aleister Crowley had with the demonic entity known as Choronzon, the song leads thoughts and senses on an exhaustive spiral of undiluted voracious enterprise, twisting with every minute through virally melodic temptation and voracious contagion. It has to be said, and applies to the album itself, for such a dark and pestilential offering the swagger and catchiness of the offering is surprising and irresistible.

     From the lengthy intensive start the band through the following Satan Holds Dominion and Raptured To Divine Perversion refuses to remove its foot from the throttle of the urgency which marked the opener, instead aligned to the forceful creative fire racks it up a notch in the case of the first song and merges it with an acidic heavy metal suasion for the second. Both tracks trample through the ears with sinews bulging and a predacious appetite to provoke and challenge lyrically and musically. Their thrilling onslaughts are matched by the equally voracious Jesus Wept (Again And Again), a provocations about twisted visions of torturing Christ within nightly dreams-states. Like those before, the song riles the imagination and ignites the passions with an intensive presentation of skilled and dramatically breathing endeavour, every twist drawing emotions and thoughts deeper into its clutches.

    After the predatory Thy Father Suicide, the album hits its highest elevation through Misanthropic Race and Whores And Harlots. The first of the pair is sonic and rhythmic savagery let loose, but within a torrent of spiteful craft and ingenuity which simply manipulates and seduces the passions and imagination. Guitars weave and entwine their melodic ingenuity amongst the merciless riffery whilst the bass prowls and assaults the psyche from within the enslaving rhythmic bait, which again tempts with ridiculously easy success. Its companion is an infiltration of sexual wantonness through a barrage of energy and sound which is just as salacious and virulently addictive. Lashing the senses into willing submission and chaining emotions into an appetite which greedily devours the virulent display of unbridled guitar debauchery, the track is masterful in demand and reward.

      Asphyxiation (Hands Of God) and Concubina Do Diabo leaves no ounce of satisfaction and violation untended, both distinct in their presence but united in their prowess and efficiency in captivating the darkest corners of the listener. They make an inventive and incendiary bridge between the previous high plateau and the closing triumph of the release, the monstrously anthemic Devil’s Black Blood, the song an out and out thrash/death metal slab of rock ‘n’ roll. It is a riotous conclusion to an excellent return by Acheron. Whether Kult des Hasses is the band’s strongest effort to date we will leave for others to decide, but for death metal with the bravery and skill to be so much more, this is one magnificent offering.

www.facebook.com/pages/Acheron/128581467223407

9/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

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