Mallory – 2

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Mallory leaves the man she just married and hits the road, alone, without knowing her life’s about to change dramatically… Across the USA and as far as the Mexican border, starts her initiatory journey where love gets mixed with violence and death. That’s how Mallory learns the tragic cost of freedom… Just as turning forty-seven, she meets four French musicians in a shady bar in Paris: Phil the singer, Mat the bassist, Jé the guitarist and Twist the drummer. As they make friends with each other, they decide to write a musical biography recounting her life…

Hailing from France, Mallory is a blues rock fuelled band which this week unleashes their second album 2. To be honest there is little background we can share about the Parisian band and only by its title assume the release is the band’s second full-length, but what is easy to reveal is that their new encounter is an increasingly gripping and invigorating proposition. The passage above is the premise of the release, the tale of “A girl on the road with a gun in her hand and music in her ears…” The narrative behind and within tracks definitely make for a vivid and cinematic spark for the imagination which the fully flavoured blues and melodic rock invention of the band soundtracks and colours just as potently. It was a slow persuasion initially, though an instantly enjoyable one but over time it is fair to say that 2 provides one richly satisfying and increasingly impressive proposition, maybe not one that lingers long after departure but in its company only pleases without reservation.

Opener Awake emerges from a stormy atmosphere around words from the tale’s protagonists, an intro soon bound in spicily enticing grooves and punchy beats. The song is swiftly strolling with a shadowed rock ‘n’ roll air around a rhythmic swagger, the track bringing hints of Dommin to bear on thoughts as it ignites a hungry appetite for the release. The guitars continue to cast a web of riveting grooves and sonic enterprise whilst bass and drums prowl with skilled temptation alongside the great gravelly vocals. The track is the perfect incitement to start things off; a magnetic lure to grip attention which the following Big Nails twists tighter with its own muscular stomp. Rawer in breath and passion, the track is bred from similar seeds to its predecessor but with gnarly riffs and basslines colluding with the heavy swings from Twist for a caustic tempest, the song is soon sculpting its own individual infestation of ears. The guitar of is a constant tangy baiting alongside the throbbing tones of Mat’s bass, the pair forging an imposing and fiery union matched by the just as feverish vocals of Phil.

The darker presence of Ready steps up next, its first stroking of the imagination somewhere between Volbeat and Misfits in sound but with a subsequent seventies heavy rock flame to its enterprise and a raw blues toning to its ravenous Covercaress, again becomes its own smouldering fire of craft and sonic expression. Its psychedelic air is only a lure for the imagination and senses to devour the song’s suggestiveness, setting up the listener for the even more incendiary success of Bad Monkeys. The breath of The Doors in its predecessor is a clearer spice to the opening of the third track, vocals and guitar uniting for a sultry stroking of thoughts which in turn sparks a slowly broadening melodic intrigue and rhythmic drama in the track. As the previous song, neither quite equals the might and riotous tempting of the first pair but both easily and swiftly leaves ears and appetite greedy for more

The short melodically fuelled instrumental Somewhere, the piece like ray of warmth within a climactic atmosphere, leads into the pulsating swing of Summer Rain. Rhythms are straight away swaying with devilry and seductive funk seeded vivacity whilst around them guitars and vocals shimmer with evocatively gentle resonance. They are soon breaking into their own feisty and fiery suasion of bracing riffs and sonic grooving though, to match the constant lively prowl of the beats and another pulsating bassline. A definite familiarity walks the song, as all tracks in many ways, but it is from an indefinable source which only adds to the increasing appeal of song and release.

The sizzling blues fired enterprise of the guitars is a constant spark in songs, a tempting as inescapable as the anthemic rhythms and bass coaxing, not forgetting the impressive vocals, and virulent bait in the striking presence of Heavy which comes next. Vocal roars, devilish bass seduction, and incendiary flames of sonic acidity combine to make a fascinating weave of musical adventure and drama, the song embracing ears and imagination with something which is best described as Pearl Jam meets The Birthday Party with Down for good company.

The album is completed by firstly the rugged terrain of Runnin’, rhythms again as anthemic as they are skilfully unpredictable whilst sonic enterprise is arguably at its most riveting and searing yet on the release. Once more there is a sense of recognising what you are hearing but it only inflames the success and potency of the irresistible song, especially against the dramatic texture of vocals. Its triumph is followed by the acoustic elegance and emotion of Something, a more than ok melodic blues hug on ears bringing it all to a charming end.

   2 though making a strong first impression, is an album which grows and thrills more potently over time musically and lyrically. Its potential suggests that Mallory is a name we might be hearing much more of and through acclaim coated breaths.

2 is available now @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/home/175_mallory-2.html

http://www.malloryband.net/

RingMaster 24/11/2014 and

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Overpower – Greatness Within

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Casting a groove infested thrash bred temptation of modern metal Greatness Within makes a potent and intriguing introduction to Croatian metallers Overpower. The band’s debut album does not offer ground-breaking rages or startlingly unique tempests but grips attention with accomplished and enterprising twists on a fusion of sound which instinctively sparks a keen appetite for its recipe. It is a roaring and bruising onslaught of rapacious riffs with matching antagonistic rhythms all bound in a web of grooves and melodic acidity which easily ignites the imagination. Primarily it is an entrance which casts Overpower as a formidable protagonist of flavoursome hostile metal.

The band began in 2006, formed by guitarist Daniel Badanjak, bassist David Vukusic, and drummer Frane Velcic. Playing mainly covers from the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Judas Priest, the band searched for their own direction with original songs over the next couple of years. A few frontmen were tried whilst Velcic left the band, his departure seeing the joining of drummer Hrvoje Dizdar. After the leaving of another vocalist, the band contacted Velcic to come in as frontman for a gig they were playing. Such its success he decided to remain in the band as vocalist before the Zagreb quartet set about recording Greatness Within. With an open vein of inspiration from the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Slayer, and Down to the band and sound, the album boils up a skilled and magnetic storm of voracious metal which may not startle but definitely excites

As soon as the opening steely dark throated tones of bass opens up Paid Trip to Nightmare, attention and swiftly after appetite are caught and ready to embrace the opening song. A heavy swipe of guitar brings drama to the sinister air before casting a captivating web of slightly portentous but enthralling colour to the breath of the song. The kick into a thrash fuelled charge is quick and seamless, the track suddenly a savage rage of destructive rhythms and hungry riffs ridden by the raw and rasping growls of Velcic. Exhaustive and thunderously impacting, the track is an explosive start; a searing solo and anthemic tenacity all adding to the compelling bait.

The following Final Laughter makes a purposeful if reined start, riffs and rhythms again hitting hard with an even paced intent whilst the excellent bass suasion of Vukusic is grizzled in bestial voice and presence. More expectations feeding than its predecessor, the imposing brute of an encounter still draws an eager hunger with its muscular rhythmic punches, stalking riffs, and the excellent coarse tones of the frontman. It keeps the album on a richly satisfying course before being put in the shadows by the outstanding Conqueror. Instantly wrapping ears in a melodic enticement, the track has thoughts engrossed, especially when stretching its sinews with predacious riffs and again controlled yet intimidating rhythms. It is a commanding persuasion which steals greater glories with its step into a groove spiced melody inflamed passage of resourceful design led by the excellent switch into clean vocals. It is a masterful and riveting turn which works perfectly with the entwining voracity of sound and intent around it; the song easily the best thing on the release.

Both Life in a Lie and the title track give it a run for its money though, the first emerging from a haunting atmosphere with a Pantera like swagger to its stroll and savage tone to the bass. Soon aided by bewitching grooves and the continuing to impress vocals, the song lurches like a predator of carnal persuasion across thoughts and imagination, setting a danger bred canvas lit by searing flames of guitar enterprise. As most songs there is a familiarity to its body and heart but nothing to defuse its impact and absorbing call. In a different guise its successor is much the same, brewing up a less than strikingly new proposition but gripping attention with resourceful and imposingly attentive sounds to which the return of clean vocals alongside the dirtier delivery only increases the pleasure.

The grievous bass sound of Roulette again ignites a swift licking of lips to which the furious torrent of crippling rhythms and riff sculpted severity thrust forward by the raucous spit of dual vocals brings a wider grin. The track is a thoroughly agreeable rampage across ears and emotions. Anthemic and hard hitting, as all the songs, the onslaught of predation leaves passions full but ready for much more which Monster soon provides in uncompromising style. With a gentle guitar and vocal croon the song transfixes senses and imagination, its opening tale the fuse to exploratory thoughts which are given another dose of incitement by the heavy crawling bestial weight and intensity straight after. It comes with a net of sonic intrigue and vindictive rabidity, courtesy of the bass, a weave ridiculously gripping and deliciously infecting.

The song is a mighty end to an impressive release though there is the Outro to actually bring the album to a close but it is a decent but nothing piece of music which just sits showing its creative muscles. Greatness Within is a powerful debut which without drenching itself in originality marks out Overpower as a potential clad strikingly enjoyable prospect, with already the skills and sound to make large and potent statements.

Greatness Within is available now via Geenger Records and @ http://overpowerzg.bandcamp.com/album/greatness-within

https://www.facebook.com/overpowerband/

8.5/10

RingMaster 09/07/2014

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Raw colours and unsettling hues: an interview with Jérémie Ruiz of Drawers

drawers bassist

Jérémie Ruiz

The new self-titled album from French band Drawers is an encounter dripping testosterone riff and rhythm, a dirt encrusted slab of sludge rock voracity which overwhelms the senses with a metal bred intensity and ferociousness. The band’s second album, it is a raw attention gripping adrenaline fuelled encounter with irresistibly barbed hooks and lingering grooves to feverishly hunger for. We did not need to be asked twice to take up the opportunity to find out more about the band and album with bassist Jérémie Ruiz, with whom we talk band history, sound evolution, live prospects and more…

Hello Jérémie and thanks for joining us at The Ringmaster Review

First up please tell us about the beginnings of Drawers and its members backgrounds.

Drawers started in a garage in 2006 with Olivier (drums) and Alex (guitars) and I (Jérémie / bass). Each of us already had a band and our goal was to play slow, loud and low-tuning metal. We were friends since college and we wanted to play together for a long time. It was supposed to be a side project for us, nothing serious, just playing together and write some heavy riffs.

Then our first singer and Laurent (guitar) joined the band and we started to play live and think about recording an EP.

What was the core thought and intention in the initial direction and presence of the band?

The idea to write spontaneous and heavy music is the main direction since the beginning but the band has grown and some parameters have changed. Drawers is now our main music project and we have to take some things more seriously. We rehearse more than before as we planned to tour and to write some new stuff, beside taking care of merchandizing or searching for a van to tour…

You have just released your excellent and dramatic self-titled second album, how has early receptions been?

Reviews are very good so far. We were very curious about how it would be reviewed because many things have changed since the previous record. We are now very satisfied and we hope this album will help us to tour a lot.

As mentioned it is self-titled and comes with a seeming shift in your sound or its intent, is this so and is the title suggesting the start of a newdrawers chapter for the band or are we reading too much into it?

I think this is more and evolution than a shift. I imagine it can be brutal from the outside and obviously many things have changed since our last recording (on the split with Hangman’s chair, the track Tears never come alone). But our influences did not change that much. We just tried to find a different colour and to use different side of these influences. We have not started to write new songs yet but I think the next ones will be more like Drawers than All Is One. Some elements will always be here, like guitar sound, some drums patterns or Niko’s voice but the next album could be totally different again. We’ll see…

Your first release, the This is Oil EP came out in 2008 to strong responses which were certainly increased with your debut album you just mentioned, All is One three years later. How do you see those releases in relation to what the new album unleashes?

In fact, when we started Drawers, the band was a side project and it was a really good way to play the music we like in a totally brain-free way : we played what we liked and we didn’t think about how it was good or not. That’s why the EP is a big melting-pot of a lot of different kinds of metal. And a lot of friends of us came to make a vocal featuring, despite there being only four tracks! Things became more serious after this EP and a few shows; then we started to write All Is One which is a lot more coherent as an album. After that, I think we can say that our new album Drawers is the result of the same will. We try to do one thing as good as we can, a compact album, right to the point, short and fast!

Right there in the inside of your creativity how do you see your sound has actually changed over the past five years?

Well, seriously our sound didn’t change at all. We use exactly the same gear as our beginning, and we didn’t add or remove a single thing of that! This sound is part of Drawers, we build the band on it so it would be strange to change it now.

Drawers the album, has a power and almost predatory breath which roars at the listener as if there in the room with its physical form. How did you achieve this intensity, was it just down to recording the album live in the studio?

We wrote some short songs, within a short and compact album. Recording live was the logical choice to make to keep this rough and tense atmosphere. This way we kept all the groove and anger from guitars and drum (only guitars and drum were recorded live). Then bass was recorded separately to have a clean, loud shape among all the instruments.

What inspired the shift to this ‘attack’ for the recording process?

We worked with Luc Ferré on the split’s recording (2012) and we wanted him on the new record. We like his way of working but we wanted to try something new especially on the drum. We were after something much more groovy and colored. So Luc asked our friend Amaury Sauvé if he wanted to participate as a “drum recording specialist”. We had known him for his live recording and we were seduced by this process. We are fully satisfied of this method and I think our next studio session will be live.

Is there a specific theme or connection between the songs upon the album and what inspires the lyrical aspect of the band predominantly?a2694686389_2

Lyric topics are very different from a song to another, no obvious links between tracks, except us and our experiences. Niko’s life remains the main inspiration for the lyrics.

We tried to make All Is One a kind of a concept album. Tracks were related to each other and a whole story was told along the lyrics.

Here, there is no such thing. We wanted this album to look like us, we wanted something simple and efficient. The lyrics are about our lives, about what we wanted to say.

How does the writing process work within the band?

We usually write songs together, live, during rehearsals. Sometimes someone comes with an idea or a riff and we build a song from this idea together, adding instruments, one at the time. Then we add the voice and modify the structure if needed. It is pretty simple but it can take weeks for us to write a single song.

For us the new album brings a distinctive presence and sound to you the band whereas previous releases maybe showed your influences more, is that how you see it now you can look back at the finished results?

Yes definitely, we tried to do something more personal. We know that our previous album is showing our influences, at least the ones of the time, and this is something we really wanted to fix. I don’t know if it worked for the new one, but for us it’s a lot more original than before… Only time will tell us if we’re right. Or maybe the next album!

What have been your biggest inspirations as a band and personally?

When we started we tried to make a kind of metal that almost no band in Europe played, even today. A kind of fat sludge southern metal like Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Down. In France there was a sludge band in Paris called Es La Guerilla, and it was the first band we tried to sound like. This band was and remains the only Sludge band in Europe… Well in France there is a lot more Stoner-like music, but not so much dirty fat Sludge…In fact there is nothing at all. Anyway, that’s why we wanted to play this music : nobody plays it here. Besides this, we listen to a lot of different music: old black metal, synth-kraut music, death metal, post-hardcore, almost everything in fact.

It is hard to settle on a favourite track upon the album, it changing with every listen, but Detour always leaves a major persuasion. Can you tell us about the track and its breeding?

We wrote this one in the middle of our writing process, I think it crystallized all we wanted to put in a song : heavy riffing, a bit of blast beat for the aggressiveness, a lot of low chords, and a catchy chorus. Rock music.

Is there anything in particular on the album, a song or just a moment, which gives you a bigger tingle of pleasure?

Mourning has something special for me. All the songs are about some important part of our lives but this one corresponds to a sad moment of Niko’s.  Recording this one was a tough moment for him and I got goose bumps every time I listen to it.

drawers2You are renowned for your live performances, the energy unleashed, and simply your hunger to play shows; we can assume 2014 will be a non-stop torrent of gigs in support of the album and beyond?

We wish it would be a non-stop torrent of gigs, but unfortunately it is not that simple to tour a lot yet. Our goal is to play a lot, especially outside France and we are still looking for contacts and gigs.

We will start with a French tour for the album’s release, then we will play in a few festivals and we may be touring again around September/October.

Any specific plans or prospective shows you can reveal here?

We start a tour in France tomorrow (3/16) for a few gigs, one in Paris with Corrosion Of Conformity. After that we’re going to play with Crowbar in Toulouse! We’re very excited about those gigs! We play as much as we can, and we’re always looking for shows.

Thanks again for sharing your time with us.

Thanks a lot to you Ringmaster!

Any thought you would like to leave us to consider?

Louder is better.

Read the review of Drawers @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/drawers-self-titled/

http://www.facebook.com/drawerskvlt

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 28/03/2014

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Chaos – Violent Redemption

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    Steamrollering the senses with a tsunami of ravenous riffery and adrenaline charged predation, Indian thrashers Chaos reinforce the fact that the band’s homeland metal scene is one of the most exciting adventures to be explored with debut album Violent Redemption. Eleven tracks of insatiable high octane thrash metal brought with hungry craft and contagious energy, the Trivandrum, Kerala hailing quintet ignite the ears and passions with a blaze of old school/Bay Area thrash ferocity. Whether there is much new going on with their first full-length can be debated but for full-on impressive and exhilarating metal, band and release are simply scintillating incitement.

    Rampaging around India for around a decade without finding that opening to wider recognition beyond their home borders, Chaos has earned a strong reputation and following in their underground scene. Their first demo EP in 2009, also called Violent Redemption marked the band out as an intensive force but with their album you feel, with that bit of luck and fortune all bands need, a widespread awareness is poised to envelop their thrilling confrontation. The double award winning band cast their sound with a thick influence from the likes of Slayer, Kreator, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motherjane, Anthrax, and Testament in its voracious hunger and intensity. You can hear much of those flavours throughout the album which raises the lack of originality question to proceedings but used as a broad and inventive swipe in their enterprise, Chaos turns the familiarity into an addiction forging weapon in their creative armoury.

     The opening atmospheric intro Ungodly Hour is a haunting and sinister embrace giving little away to newcomers of what is to coverbe unleashed. The wait to find out is minimal though as barely a minute later Torn thrusts its muscular presence through the ears, riffs gnawing waspishly on the senses whilst rhythms punch and jab with precision and controlled rabidity. It is an immediately tempting assault, one soon energised further by the excellent vocals and melodic sonic endeavour searing the walls of the rapacious provocation. Neck muscles do not take long to start aching from the intensive response to the song’s virulent lures whilst emotions are enflamed by the anthemic call and unbridled contagion of the track.

    The immense start is instantly backed up by both Game and War Crime, the first a snarling beast of a track with explosive rhythmic jaws clamping down hard on the senses for the riffs and sonic adventure which breaks out to savage and score the imagination respectively. Three hungry minutes of prime energised thrash stalking, the song is a mouthwatering tsunami of intent and intensity matched by the equally raucous and infectiously fuelled second of the two. The almost whining essence to the grooves and riffs licks the passions into a feverish appetite whilst rhythmically and vocally the band just incites further greed for more of the same. As with most songs the solo design is striking and unpredictable whilst at times testing the limits of its place in the larger scheme of the track. Chaos though has the intelligence and ingenuity to merge it all into a narrative which rips attention and affirmation from the emotions its way each and every time.

     Saint pounds and stalks the ears with a low swinging swagger littered with irrepressible grooves and uncompromising beats. The group calls behind the again excellent delivery of vocalist JK soak the track in another almost call-to-arms temptation whilst the bass groan is a wonderful dark menace within a weave of melodic flames and sonic invention. As across all songs though it is the thrash sculpted stomping which steals an unreserved submission to what is on offer, a potent bait replicated throughout Violent Redemption in individual incendiary guises such as that of Heaven’s Gate, a song which steals the passions with an enthralling blend of Anthrax like revelry and Rob Zombie bred devilry with more than a whisper of Motherjane to the melodic craft and elegance which has its say too.

     Blacklash and Merchant of Death keep the dosage of high quality and intensively persuasive thrash enterprise hectically consuming the senses, the first with a breath-taking Metallica meets Down vivacity and the second through a creative maelstrom which seduces and gnaws the ears simultaneously whilst twisting in some of the most imaginative ideas and exploits on the album. Both leave that early hunger slavering whilst the esuriently riffing Self Deliverance and the outstanding and blistering imaginative storm of Cyanide Salvation send it and passions into a new lustful satisfaction.

    Completed by its title track, a furious unbridled juggernaut of thrash antagonism, Violent Redemption is an unashamed and exhaustive furnace of old school thrash. Putting aside the very slight issue of not offering anything truly new, Chaos has unleashed an album which does everything right and to the most virulently contagious levels. It is up there with the best genre releases over the past twelve months or so but we would suggest leads the way in providing the strongest pleasure and thrills. It is exceptional stuff with go check it and Chaos out our parting recommendation.

https://www.facebook.com/chaosindia

10/10

RingMaster 04/02/2014

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All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature

apmd

All you need to know about Nothing Violates This Nature, the second album from Massachusetts-based All Pigs Must Die Nasty to warrant full investigation is that it is simply NASTY!! Corrosively nasty in intent, sonically nasty in sound, and undiluted nasty in passion, and a towering tempest of spiteful destructive hardcore. Building from their impressive and violent debut God is War of 2011, the band featuring members of The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, and Bloodhorse have come back together to create one of the most formidable and standards heightening furies of anger sculpted antagonism. It is a potently crippling beast of senses igniting noise which stands shoulder to shoulder to anything their day jobs and other recognised genre bands have created.

The Southern Lord release sees All Pigs Must Die joining up again with Kurt Ballou (Converge) at Godcity to record their follow-up album, a union which completes a stronger and more complete, dare one say confident, step on from its impressive predecessor. An album which does not give you room to breathe let alone escape its toxic glory, Nothing Violates This Nature confirms the stature and blistering force that is All Pigs Must Die, a band which admittedly as good as had written that in fire with their live performances alongside the likes of Integrity, Enabler, Ringworm, Black Breath, Eyehategod, Repulsion, Down, Sleep, Exodus, Church Of Misery and more.

As opener Chaos Arise stomps and storms through the ear with riffs and rhythms a combined ferocity there is an immediate sense of anCover_RGB_CD_300dpi-copy-e1369761381912 elevated and accelerated spite to sound and band, the vocals of Kevin Baker spoiling for a fight over the deliciously tight contagious grooves and abrasive riffs of guitarist Adam Wentworth and the air juggling disruptive might of the drums of Ben Koller. With the bass of Matt Woods snarling and crawling through it all with venom as thick as its bestial notes, the metallic punk castigator is a staggering start which immediately places the band on another level easily backed up by the following brilliant Silencer. Like being caught in an avalanche with sirenesque grooves diverting fear into full on obsessive rapture, the track in less than two minutes turns thoughts and emotions in on themselves trying to escape the savagery cast. At its departure the overriding thought from both songs is just how pissed off Baker and the band itself is.

Both Primitive Fear and Bloodlines chew and rip asunder the psyche, the first a torrential sonic squall of vocal vitriol and magnetic sound, the music a riveting mix of contagious grooves and hooks veining acid bred noise whilst its successor is a predacious and brooding stalking which exposes the senses and emotions to a magnetic alluring sonic spiralling alongside acrid intent. Both songs are magnificent, imaginative and intrusive with especially the second unveiling a weave of seductive melodic mystique which takes the release into new adventure. Hardcore has never sounded so good.

Of Suffering brings another twist in the intensive ride, its lumbering scourge a sonic acidity brewing within the doom laden sludge thick oppression. Baker barracks the barricades with merciless intent and animosity whilst musically the track wears and erodes defences with its enthralling and heavy weighted intensity.

The returning carnage laying brutality which opened up the album sends Holy Plague and Aqim Siege straight for the throat, their jaws obdurate instigators. Riffs and rhythms dominate but allow a space where Wentworth expels some sizzling melodic blazes in the first of the pair whilst the following barbarous confrontation of the other song is one minute of vicious beauty.

    Sacred Nothing is nothing less than glorious punishment whilst Faith Eater surveys the damage before adding its own creative ruthlessness. It is hard to imagine anything topping what has already been unleashed but the closing Articles Of Human Weakness masterfully attempts to correct assumptions with a multi-flavoured furnace of punk murderousness taken through a rancorous expanse of rhythmic rabidity and sonic vehemence. It is a staggering conclusion to a stunning release, one that gives a fresh hellacious breath to the hardcore scene.

https://www.facebook.com/apmdband

9/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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Clashing sinews and sonic deities: an interview with Gregg Higgins of Venomous Maximus

Photo by Mark C. Austin

Photo by Mark C. Austin

 Rock/metal, however you wish to describe the enthralling leviathan of invading shadows and seriously addictive melodic alchemy that is the music of Venomous Maximus it is a confrontation which leaves you gasping and hungry for more. The recent worldwide re-release of their debut album Beg Upon The Light has slammed the quartet right in the midst of the most rapacious yet sonically rewarding bands today. Towering riffs and equally mountainous rhythms crowd maelstroms of irresistible grooves and an intensity which staggers within the impressive release backing up the almost fearsome reputation of their live performances. Given the welcome opportunity to quiz and dig deeper into the band with vocalist/guitarist Gregg Higgins, we soon realised this is much more than a band for the man and his colleagues.

Hi Gregg welcome to the RingMaster Review and many thanks for taking time to talk to us.

First of we will ask for the benefit of those yet to be fully acquainted with Venomous Maximus can you give us some background to the beginnings of the band and its members?

I am an artist and a tattooer. Our drummer Bongo builds motorcycles. Trevi is a math mathematician and a hot sauce master and Christian makes everything happen. I moved to Houston 6 years ago and had been planning for 4 or 5 years on starting the band. I was just waiting on the perfect time and the right people. Then everything fell into place…the end.

Was there an immediate connection musically and in thought about how the band would progress between you?

Yes of course. We weren’t getting anyone involved if they had to be taught anything. I think that’s important when putting together a band. Not just finding members that can just play the music. They have to understand the master plan.

Some bands have a ‘leader’, a founder who is the prime force behind the direction or creative input is that the same with Venomous Maximus or is it a more democratic process within the band?

It’s like being on a submarine. It’s a tight ship with not a lot of space to move around. Everyone has a role and job in the band and doesn’t have to be told what to do. I am the main creative force but it’s just a bunch of ideas. Everyone puts in their input but they are the ones that actually make it happen.

You are seemingly tagged as anything from an occult rock band to a doom or heavy rock. I am not sure any of those truly describe your intense flavoursome rock’ n’ roll, how would you describe your massive sounds?

The whole name game that is involved with underground music is getting pretty silly now days. None of it really matters it should be just for fun and a way to describe and communicate what bands sound like to friends. Our goal was if we play a metal show we are the rock band. If we play a rock show we are the metal band. A chameleon if you will.

I have to ask the about the seeds to the great band name, which alone raises images personally of an insidious dark unknown with

gladiatorial strength and purpose.

You have given the best description of the name. When I hear it that’s what I think of… A titan or god from the ancient world. It basically comes from a tattoo design from the 60s and 70s of a solider that has been away from home a little too long.

Lyrically your songs also approach and investigate the unknown and unspoken shadows. Is this an interest which goes beyond just writing songs?

Yes of course. All of the material comes from experiences or situations I have found myself in over the years. I am not signing about graphic novels or movies or religions. This shit is real man!

Your excellent originally self –released debut album Beg Upon The Light has just been given a re-release through Napalm Records, did they come to you with the offer or were you searching for a wider outlet for the release?

We have always had the attitude whatever happens… happens and Napalm was very interested immediately. Some other labels hit us up but we didn’t wanna get lost in the mix so we decided to go with our gut.

So they were not alone in showing interest over past months or so?

Yea I guess I don’t know what your idea of interested is. We can be pretty picky and choosy about dealings with our band. But most of the buzz has started again in the last couple months. The material on the record is getting old to us and time for some new tunes.

942460_10151622495054738_934875440_nBeg Upon The Light was very well received on its first unleashing, were you more confident with this world wide release or in some way more nervous than before?

Truthfully this band began with a spark and I have always known that we would grow into a flame. It’s kinda like when you meet a woman. Something is a little bit different about it…things just seems to work and flow naturally even when problems arise they seem to take care of themselves, almost guided if you will. When things seem to naturally work in life you shouldn’t question them. ..that’s arrogance to me.

The album follows your first EP The Mission of 2011, and though you are still young in terms of the time the band has been in existence how do you feel your music and songwriting has developed between releases and also what you are presumably coming up with as either new material or ideas now?

Yea I feel the material has grown light years. We spent a good two years just me and the drummer working on a set to finally scratch it when the band actually started playing. We spent damn near the 1st two years playing every week, there has been more time spent on stage than in a practice room now. When your material is written in a practice room compared to being written on the road and in a fully functioning band you really see what you’re made of. Right now we are in the process of writing the next record. I truly feel that it is a true interpretation of what we have wanted to sound like. Much more mature song writing with more of a classic approach to rock n roll than just metal or doom or fucking yea. Hopefully there will be a group of people that don’t like it because it’s not our old material… hahahaha…but they can live in the past and do nothing

How does the song writing process work within the band and are songs as good as completed before entering a studio or do you prefer evolving ideas within that environment more?

Its 3 parts me in my bedroom. Then brought to the practice room and then worked out for the stage. Once the kinks are worked out for performing the song, then the studio. All of the salt and pepper is put on in the studio through intense examination and then its dead to me.

Are you quite strict with yourselves over ideas and things that do or do not work when writing? Do you have a mound of elements discarded or shelved for another opportunity?

We treat the band as if it was a being. As if it’s a ghost. He has his own personality and own opinions and knows what he likes and if he wants to change or stay the same we have to respect his decision. We are just here for his voice to come through. He does half the work we do the other half, so not all the decisions are up to us.

Is it riffs or melodies which generally come first for songs, or do are more often triggered from the lyrical side of your invention?

Actually goes back and forth. A lot of times its lyrics and thoughts that really drive me to write a song, or it could be as simple as me jamming Fleetwood mac and going to the guys with we have to write a song like this our way. Which is normally slightly faster with a little bit of chuggy and a blues lick laid on top. If you got a sharp year you could relate every one of our songs to The Cure, Madonna, David Bowie, all the everyday music that elitist underground’s lie about how much they love. We don’t give a shit about any of that. One of my favorite bands is Enya and she ain’t even a band. hahahaha

Beg Upon The Light is an inventive and intensive ravishing which does not really allow any breaths to be taken within its leviathan like confrontation of towering riffs and equally mountainous rhythms as well as enthralling of invading shadows and seriously addictive melodic alchemy, well how we see and feel it anyway. Is it a deliberate intent to have the listener use every part of body, senses, and emotions within its encounter or just something which naturally evolves?

I believe that all artists that have suffered and given their lives up so that they could interpret their experiences to art hope that other people will pick up on what you’re putting down. What you’re explaining is pure projection. It’s the same as someone is lying to you. You can sense they are full of shit, but when people are truly disturbed and upset to their core you can literally feel. Their emotions are so strong and being amplified so much that they literately travel from your body to yours…that’s one of the 12 super powers humans are naturally born with. It’s a shame that people in this modern technology world of information don’t even know the 12 special powers that only human beings possess…or I could be lying about all this. All that really matters is what rings true to you.

You hail from Houston, how would you say the city and surroundings have impacted on you as musicians and band either positively or negatively, if at all?

Houston is my home and I have many friends here but Texas is where I am from. Houston itself is a hell hole of grime and multi cultures. It’s like the New York of the south. One thing that it has provided for us is all the many flavors of culture. So it’s helped us be a little more diverse and not seem like hippie grass eaters from Austin or Pantera rednecks from Dallas. We love all the cities here we just love to talk shit too. It’s a Texas thing. Fun loving shit talking.

Is it a supportive metal scene there for new and emerging bands?vm

Texas can be the easiest and the roughest crowd anywhere you go. People don’t care about the bullshit politics of what kind of band you are. All the crowd wants is for you to play your hardest and get off stage and have a beer and talk to them like a real person. Everybody in Texas thinks about themselves as a rock star on or off stage. So the crowd doesn’t give a shit who you think you are. They wanna drink a beer with you.

You have a great reputation for your live performances and have played with the likes of High on Fire, Down, Guns and Roses, Mastodon, Pentagram, Eyehategod, Fu Manchu, Torche, Black Tusk, Bison BC, the list goes on. Apart from great experience and recognition, what has playing with bands of this calibre brought to your own headlining shows now and in the future, again in a good or negative way?

From day one the bar has been set super high. More than 1/2 of the bands we have played with the members have been playing longer than I have been alive. The intimidation and self-consciousness got to a point of almost conquering me but I am not really one to fail. I will bite my own leg off to get out of a trap. So we had to really bear down and focus and stay out of the bar to figure out if we were gonna do this it’s gotta be all or nothing. But it was just a trial period. When things are forced to live up to a certain expectation after a while that’s just the level it becomes and then you get bored and you take it up a notch and up a notch and up a notch. It’s truly up to you if you ever want to stop progressing because the second you do. You can clearly hear it.

I sense you guys love the live side of the band intensely, more than the time and creative process involved in writing and recording new songs?

Our band is more than a band to us. It’s more like a cult. It’s taken over all of our lives and the wives of the band, but in a good way. It’s became something that brings us all together as people for birthdays, weddings, movie nights and just straight up weekend partying. Not everyone in the world still has the family they had when they were children but everyone needs a family whether they are blood or not. A band or anytime humans group together creativity and happiness should arise. so to answer your question yes this is way more than a band.

What has Venomous Maximus in store for the rest of the year and are we able to talk about a successor to Beg Upon The Light yet?

For the rest of year we are working on writing and recording the new record which will have videos, new line of merch, and a short film. We have a few shows sprinkled in the next couple months but we have worn ourselves thin so right now we are juggling our personal lives, writing and recording and planning most of next year.

Once again a big thanks for sparing time for us, anything you would like to say to the readers?

I wanna thank all the people that have taken their time to take a second glance at something and follow their gut when they feel that there’s a deeper meaning in things. If you ask the question is it going to happen to me that means it is and that’s the truth.

And finally what have been the five most potent inspirations on you musically or personally?

Music I would have to say Beethoven, Pink Floyd The Wall from 5th grade, The Crow and the Doors from 6th grade and for films that helped me get a visual for music. The lists can go on and on. I am the kinda of guy that’s good with lists. For some reason music from people who are sad or disturbed has always just made me happy. It’s the people who relish in superficial joys that make me angry and Kenneth Anger is the shit. Read books so you don’t have to wait

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus

Read the Beg Upon The Light review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/venomous-maximus-beg-upon-the-light/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 26/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Venomous Maximus: Beg Upon The Light

VM Composite - Large

Released in North America last year, Beg Upon The Light the debut album of Texan Dark Occult Metal band Venomous Maximus gets its worldwide unleashing via Napalm Records, and a powerful deep mark it is sure to make. Ten tracks of towering riffs and equally mountainous rhythms alongside a web of potent irresistible grooves and an intensity which sweeps you off your feet, the album is an enthralling leviathan of invading shadows and seriously addictive melodic alchemy wrapped in a classic metal inspired embrace. It and the band stand as a major stoner/doom clad player, their presence sure to be an inspiration to many.

The album follows their EP, The Mission of 2011, a release which set thoughts and appetite in strong motion with its promising start for a band which formed in 2010 and has since risen to be one of the most successful and important metal bands from Houston in recent years. Equally live the quartet has earned an enormous reputation  as they have lit up stages alongside the likes of High on Fire, Down, Guns and Roses, Mastodon, Pentagram, Eyehategod, Fu Manchu, Torche, Black Tusk, Bison BC and many more. Now thrust into the faces of the full expanse of the globe Beg Upon The Light will take little time in persuading, one suspects, that it is one of those classic moments which defines a band and their presence in the ears of the world.

The ominous emotive keys opening up Funeral Queen instantly engage the imagination, the brewing darkly exotic atmosphere a 485 Venomous Maximusspark to devil spawned thoughts and challenging sonic caresses. As it closes the distant but distinct vocals of Gregg Higgins add their corruptive presence though his tones truly stand eye to eye with the listener at the beginning of the next up Path of Doom. His part spoken resonating tones provides here and across every song a glorious unique narrative which invites irresistibly the listener into the heart of the dark realms explored. From its opening crescendo of energy and potent sound the song prowls the senses with scorching flames from the guitars of Higgins and Christian Larson licking at the ear whilst Trevi Biles brings further menace with his bass lures. The track continues to roar and growl through to its thick and provocative conclusion, the band providing a sonic fire to eat at and ignite the senses.

From the immense start things only reach to another depth and plateau with firstly Give Up the Witch and then Father Time, the first of the pair a fresher version of a song from their first EP. Stroking the ear with sinew driven riffs and firm rhythms from drummer Bongo from its opening breath, the track is a primal contagion which incites the imagination and toys with the passions through spires of sonic wind and tumbling cascades of addiction causing rhythms whilst vocally again Higgins pulls us through an invocation of devilish mystique. It is a slice of compelling excellence soon matched by its atmospheric successor. With keys crafting the intriguing ambience a lone guitar colours thoughts with its emotive description whilst Higgins again paints the scene in his unique style. It is only a brief song but quite delicious as its sets up the climate for what is to follow.

Complete with bulbous beats and stalking rhythms the outstanding Dream Again (Hellenbach) is next to inflame the passions, its thick stoner fragrance a sizzling temptation within the uncompromising intensity and power of the track. Another major highlight of the release with grooves and sonic colours wrapping greedily around the listener, the song encapsulates every rich aspect of the individuals within Venomous Maximus, their absorbing songwriting and its invigorating burning realisation, and the union of everything into what surely is a major breakthrough into the echelons of metal for the band.

All through the exhausting Moonchild, the predacious Battle for the Cross, and the dramatic and antagonistic triumph that is Venomous Maximus, the album reinforces its riveting authority over the passions with inventive ease whilst Mother Milk is simply another emotionally conjured delight with strings providing a mesmeric melancholic cradling of the ear whilst quaint keys paint their equally suggestive hues. Quite stunning it is a masterful fascination leading into the final blaze of inventive ravishing, Hell’s Heroes, a lasting confrontation which sears and chews on the senses with rapacious riffs and rhythms veined by sonic radiance and vocal intimidation. Complete with more ridiculously contagious grooves it is a mighty end to a magnificent album.

Though lyrically you can question some of the ‘comic book’ like tales and the band does not break into many new arenas of invention with Beg Upon The Light, you will not have heard it before in the individual and thickly persuasive style as brought by Venomous Maximus. The album is an insatiable treat and one setting the band as a true force in world metal.

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus

9/10

RingMaster 07/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Hiss: Snakeskin

King Hiss

With nostrils flaring and muscles flexing to their limits Snakeskin, the debut album from Belgium rockers King Hiss, is a mountainous terrain of thunderous rhythms, voracious riffs, and exhausting energy.  It is  a powerhouse of a release which draws the potent essences of melodic metal, hard rock, and stoner rock, not forgetting at times a caustic breath of hardcore, into a confrontation which leaves the senses ignited and passions soaring. Consisting of seven tracks feeding off  inspirations from the likes of Red Fang, Black Tusk, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, and Clutch, Snakeskin is a powerhouse of an album, one injecting new blood and predatory strength into rock music.

As soon as it emerges from a sonic mist and finds its feet, the opening title track launches into a tirade of contagious riffing and a4123523464_2rhythmic barracking, a tight beckoning groove winding the passions around its call within moments of its appearance. The vocals of Jan Coudron begin their impressive narrative next, his voice having an excellent grizzled tone and a melodic power which sends every syllable to its target with purpose and appeal. It is an instantly enthralling encounter rising to greater temptation with the ridiculously catchy chorus and further seductive grooves amidst a tempest of rhythmic provocation from drummer Jason Bernard and bassist Dominiek Hoet. Such its immense presence there is a slight suspicion the rest of the alum will struggle to match its heights but its successor soon dispels any doubts.

    Into The Mountains opens with a carnivorous bass groan and rolling drums, their jabbing persistence hypnotic and persuasive alongside the predatory lines of Hoet. It is another irresistible start taken to greater heights when guitarist Josh Fury unleashes sizzling melodic flames and air carving craft. It is an absorbing blaze soon taking on an intensity and raw almost muggy encroachment which sears flesh and soars across the senses raining down sonic adventure alongside further vocals persuasion. The track easily matches the opener and though across the chorus there is something familiar, though impossible to pin down, it is another refreshing and impacting treat, especially the blues lined solo leading to a riotous climax.

Both D&F and Endorphine swagger and stroll through the ear to equally impressive effect, the southern rock whispers in the sound heated and sinewy, especially in the towering hard rock embrace of the first of this pair whilst the second reveals sturdier textures and dramatic fires within its Mastodon meets Kyuss like invention. Again grooves dangle pure irresistible temptation from their lures whilst vocally the group harmonies find an emotive heart not lacking in previous songs but given a clearer canvas to lay out their rich feelings here. Though both tracks just miss grabbing the plateau set by their predecessors they still capture the imagination and compel the passions to greedily accept them.

    Rollergirl though is not happy to accept second best and from her opening crescendos of fire bred sonics and tsunami tall rhythms rampages with high octane energy and virulently compelling infection loaded riffs and hungry drum enticement, the bass groaning with primal rabidity whilst acidic melodic fascination from the guitar scorches ear and beyond with skill and imagination. It is another bruising triumph which colours the passions until full but still lustfully wanting more.

The final pair of tracks ensures there is not one ounce of dissatisfaction or unfulfilled appetite, The Greater Good an ear burning, senses tearing juggernaut of hard rock and classic metal spicery wrapped in the passionate muscle bound vitality that is King Hiss whilst the closing Word Made Flesh, from its opening bass devouring of the ear, is a scintillating rapacious consumption from a delicious and insatiable rhythmic ravaging and sonic scalding. Like Crowbar meets The Sword it is an epic and towering conclusion to a staggering album.

Whether Snakeskin offers anything new can be debated but you know when something sounds this good and raises passions and energy to such heights, who really cares. King Hiss is a force of the future, hell they have already made a deep branding am mark with this, one of the albums of the year.

http://www.king-hiss.com/

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

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The Goddamn Electric – Snake Bite

The Goddamn Electric pic

Whether rioting in the ear or slowly burning off the hairs on wilting flesh with smouldering intensity, Snake Bite the debut album from UK rock band The Goddamn Electric, is a thrilling and strikingly crafted release. It takes just one listen to the ten tracks to know that British rock is in safe accomplished hands with bands like the Manchester quartet, their mix of contagious and powerful riffs with equally potent rhythms and a whiskey soaked gravelly vocal delivery winding up the passions until they break out in mutual hunger and energy

Formed in 2010 and taking their name from a Pantera song, The Goddamn Electric combine influences from the likes of GnR, Life of Agony, Pantera, Metallica, Down, AC/DC, Biffy Clyro, Motorhead, Clutch, Red Fang, Orange Goblin, and many more into their own tempered sound. The rich inspirations certainly go to make an album which is not breaking down barriers of uniqueness but in exchange Snake Bite offers up an experience and craft which numerous other similarly sound clad bands would sell their grandmothers for. It is a snarling and passionate multi-flavoured rampage which inspires nothing less than deep satisfaction and enthusiastic involvement.

As soon as the first fiery riffs of opener Loyal To The Sinner open up their arms the weight of the album is apparent especially 34__400x320_image_12once the drums unleash their muscle and the bass begins its constant growl.  With vocals spilling passionate bear like quarrel from every syllable to add further texture and expression to the encounter, and the guitars sending shards of sonic craft and temptation across the southern infused sounds, the contagion of the start is irresistible and sets up a real appetite for what is to follow.

Morning Injection bounces around the ear with a blues temperament and energetic hunger to continue the strong start if not quite to the level of its predecessor whilst the next up Scarecrow and Jealous Contradiction take things to a new pasture of pleasure. The first takes the passions on a rampage of deviously addictive riffs and insatiable energy though it also makes pit stops from its charge into emotive and melodically swept breathers that keep things in check and intriguing. It is a virulently compelling piece of stoner and classic rock fusion that tempts limbs and voice into its anthemic persuasion rewarding with a blistering solo that sends a heat haze around the ear. It makes a challenge for its successor to live up to but that it does with a glorious southern twang to its slowly dawning melodic swagger. Like looking into a fire it dances before the senses and thoughts, inviting emotions and ideas to play with its whispering suggestions before sending explosive flames of sonic grandeur into the roof of its exceptional triumph. One of the pinnacles on what is a constantly impressive release it is a mighty signpost to the album.

The carnivorous bass temptation of Something More sets off another furnace of exhausting enterprise before passing over to another plateau of excellence in Revive And Survive. With a punk drive to its metallic voracity, the track expands its horizons with a blaze of instinct igniting rock ‘ n’ roll, it unleashing shards of sonic flames and anthemic group vocal recruitment whilst never losing its spine of rapacious energy, though the whole song is one to call to the passions.

The blues enriched title track smoulders and twists with traditional flavouring and breath; again it is hard to say there is anything new working on the ear but its lure and expression is riveting so there is never, like for the album, an issue when it provides such an invigorating time. Both Too Dirty and Holding Me send further wholly engaging and enterprising treats straight down the ear to the passions, the first with a sleaze rock mischief to its hard rock honesty and the other through a hazy atmosphere over a mouth drying desert walking adventure which explodes with shafts of blazing sun and fire across its enthralling narrative. It is a stunning finale to an outstanding album.

Well there is one more track on the album, San Francisco, but made up of part silence than instrumental which in length is barely over the minute mark combined, it seems a little…well pointless…though that was only until learning it is an outro/teaser to the opening track on the next album. Snake Bite is an excellent release, an album which places The Goddamn Electric alongside the likes of Godsized and Trucker Diablo, as the drivers of British rock.

http://www.thegde.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/06/2013

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Desert Storm – Horizontal Life

desertstorm.jpg2

If like The RR you thought the debut album Forked Tongue from UK heavy blues metallers Desert Storm was the dogs meat and two veg than their new album is going to excite places you never knew existed. Whereas the previous album from the Oxford quintet also boasted an avalanche of heavily boned riffs and sludge thick blues grooves not forgetting equally demanding rhythms, Horizontal Life expands it all to hungrier heights whilst drenching the results in a fire of passion and striking invention. The band has grown so impressively between albums, the new release holding a maturity and enterprise which makes its excellent predecessor look almost lightweight in comparison.

Formed in 2007, Desert Storm took little time in finding a greedy appetite locally for their formidably pressing sounds going on to breed a similar and larger following and hunger across the UK through their impressive live performances and festival appearances. They have also shared stages with the likes of Orange Goblin, Taint, Weedeater, Zoroaster, CKY, Winnebago Deal, Firebird, and Black Spiders across the years to ever increasing acclaim and swiftly growing fanbase. Forked Tongue added its impressive weight to their sturdy rise but with the sheer quality and brute force temptation of Horizontal Life you can only assume the widest recognition is waiting to embrace the thunderous quintet.

Released via Blindsight Records, the album opens with the charismatic and contagious Word to the Wise Man, a track which desertstormtakes off from where last album left off, its care free swagger and magnetic lure of inciting thick riffs and crisp rhythms instantly addictive. The vocals of Matt Ryan are as grisly and throaty as ever whilst the bass of Chris Benoist brings its own primal breath to stalk the ear within the fires of sonic excellence from guitarists Chris White and Ryan Cole. The blues fuelled lining equally excites the senses whilst the potent call of the guitar within the song is a French kiss for the ear.

Both Shadow of an Eagle and Astral Planes leap upon the passions with stirring craft and exciting melodic flames, the first off of a impacting spike of drums from Elliot Cole which sets up the strolling blaze of searching riffs and sonic temptation all again with a hooked persuasion which ignites energy and captivation. It is a scintillating romp with a familiar air to its curvature of infectious sounds and rich grooves as well as compelling enticement from its thoughtfully sculpted variation to gait and direction. Again the vocals of Ryan bring a rich whiskey breath to the encounter whilst the guitar solo sears the senses gleefully. The second of the pair again holds the ace card of being new yet a returning friend to the passions in many ways and like the previous songs commands hungry affection and commitment to its tremendous provocation.

The following No Slave to Master increases the heaviness and rapacious sound, its Orange Goblin/ Down like stance an air sucking beast coated in shadows and venom musically and vocally which has the need to devour the listener without offering the easier to digest swing and grooves of other tracks. Instead it unveils a light sucking intensity which is just as fascinating and magnetic, as does its successor Mr Strongbatch, a track equipped with carnivorous riffs and punchy rhythms. Its inviting groove does ignite a heat and barbed welcome which is impossible to be ignored and again has a confidence to its stroll which borders of aural cockiness which is irrepressible.

Both Enslaved in the Icy Tundra and Lunar Domes unleash corrosive riffs and an intensity which plenty of metal bands can only dream of, with the energy and vocal spite to match, whilst the second of the two from a bass driven aside, creates a passion exploiting mesmeric and abrasively smothering ending which is outstanding. It also marks the point where there is a shift in the album, Desert Storm exploring more of their progressive/psychedelic side than ever before. Firstly Titan steps forward within a sludge toned swamp of sound which shifts into a cavernous beckoning of noise Ryan growls the narrative with even stronger shadows in tow. The riffs still dictate the course of the song whilst a slow burning groove makes its declaration but once things slip away into a haunting evocative ambience, a wonderful exploration of band, imagination, and sonic beauty is unveiled. It is a startling and enthralling joy with a muscular finish to cement its impressive contribution to the now in place rapture for the album.

The release does not stop there as the serpentine treat of Shenzhen next twists and writhes all over thoughts, emotions, and the senses with reptilian chills, sonic ferocity, and wolverine rabidity before handing over to the best track on the album in Gaia. The song is pure sonic alchemy, a pungent soak of southern heat, eastern shimmering, western harmonies, and tribal instinctiveness. It is glorious, a masterpiece of aurally expressive songwriting and exhilarating imagination, and the undeniable proof of just how far and expansive Desert Storm can push themselves  if they so wish.

Closing with a return to the uncompromising energies and trunk thick riffing in the Mastodon spiced Hofmann and the mercilessly contagious Scorpion to ensure further exalted satisfaction, Horizontal Life is a major triumph not only for the band but UK melodic metal/rock. It is explosive and impossibly impressive with Desert Storm putting a great many established signed bands to shame, long may they continue. A must have release.

http://desertstormband.com/

10/10

RingMaster 23/04/2013

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