Scaling reasoning: talking Abiotic and Casuistry with John Matos


abiotic2_RingMaster Review

   Gripping eras and attention with its first touch, it is fair to say that Casuistry, the new album from progressive death metallers Abiotic, has grown into one fiercely fascinating and increasingly compelling proposition. The Miami quintet’s debut album Symbiosis three years back marked the band out as ones to seriously watch but it only hinted at the evolution and corruptive majesty now enthralling from within its successor. Casuistry had us hooked at go, only tightening its grip over every listen, so with big thanks to guitarist John Matos we had to delve deeper into the album; the less than settled times leading to its birth and the whole creative adventure involved.

Hello John and many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

It has been a short while since your new album Casuistry was unleashed, a release which has come after an ‘eventful ‘time for the band in personnel changes alone. Has its release come with a flush of relief as well as excitement in some ways?

An album release is always full of excitement and nerves. On this one, we had to overcome some particularly difficult hurdles, but it’s made us stronger than ever before. Stoked to finally be able to show Casuistry to the world!

As a listener it is clear the impact both Brent (Phillips) and Travis (Bartosek) have made on not only the album but your sound too. Where did their contribution to Casuistry begin? Were songs already written before their arrival or were they heavily involved in that area too?

The music for Casuistry was just about done being written and in skeleton form when both Brent and Travis joined. Brent had some great ideas and really brought some power and creativity behind the kit. Travis had complete freedom on both lyrics and phrasing. Really blew us away with how catchy his phrasing was and how comfortable he looked. First time together in the studio and it felt like he’d been with us since the beginning.

How did you meet the pair and what inspired the (right) choice to bring them into the line-up?

We met Brent and at a show in south Florida where his band opened up for us. When that transition period began, he was my first choice in finding someone who’d be up to par with playing these tunes, but also with a lot of potential and drive. Brent was an easy decision for us and finding a good drummer is always hard, so we were very lucky! Travis came highly recommended from a friend in the Bay Area death metal scene in California. He auditioned, along with some others, and we decided his sound, tonality, and phrasing was what the new sound needed.

abiotic cover_RingMaster ReviewI am assuming the album took a fair amount of time to get from writing to release, from the disruptions alone. What is the time period to its creation?

We started working on new songs right before our run with The Faceless in 2013, so it had been a little over two years in the works. The disruptions actually worked out in our favor, because we had more time to make the songs the best they could be. We were able to give each song the time it deserved and I’m really glad it ended up that way.

Where would you say the changes in members have affected the album most, in the positive and the negative where you had to reassess ideas and intentions maybe?

Musically, we’ve always been on the same page as far as what our intentions were. We’d been talking about what we were wanting to do with the next record even during the Symbiosis album cycle. I feel like the member changes brought out even more so what we were trying to accomplish. We were able to explain our goals and find those key parts to the puzzle that wanted to accomplish the same things. The negative aspects were merely in the momentum. Because we were in a transitional period, we took a couple of steps back to make some necessary steps forward.

Our first taste of your sound was with debut album Symbiosis, which blew us away. In hindsight though, as we mentioned in our review it is now for us overshadowed by the maturity and sheer creative strength of Casuistry. Where do you see the differences and the strongest leaps between the two?

Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed Symbiosis. Strongest differences were definitely in the song writing. We really tried to focus on putting what gets fans enjoying Abiotic into catchy songs that aren’t overly technical or sounding forced. We also took the approach of this album being pummelling from beginning to end…No filler tracks or anything half assed. Every song has a focus and a goal on its own and in its place on the record as a whole.

Did you approach the new album, apart from the enforced issues, any differently to its predecessor in writing and in the studio?

We did it very differently than the first one, actually. On this one we were able to record pre-production for all the songs and really get a listeners point of view before going into the studio and finalizing. Our first album was written completely in a warehouse and we just practiced for hours. The new approach gave us a different perspective and allowed us to hone in our sound.

The album was recorded with producer Jamie King, a name which needs no introduction. What inspired the link-up and was there anything specifically you discovered in your sound and ideas through his input which brought something unexpected to the album?

We always had Jamie’s name in the mix when it came to recording. He’s recorded some of our favorite records and has a great relationship with Metal Blade. The opportunity presented itself and I could not be more satisfied with the product. Jamie really killed it! Jamie let us be us in the studio and creatively, kind of dick around. We were extremely prepared going in, so we had time to explore and Jamie created the exact kind of vibe and environment we needed to do that.

Any ideas inspired which you are looking to explore further in the next release?abiotic photo Vince Edwards_RingMaster Review

We definitely want to explore some more progressive elements on the next one. We’re already working on some new stuff and it’s going in a cool direction already!

Two tracks on the album also feature guests in vocalist John Gallagher of Dying Fetus (Cast Into the Depths) and guitarist Paul Waggoner from Between the Buried and Me (Absence of Purity). What sparked their potent contributions to Casuistry?

We toured with Dying Fetus in 2013 and kept in touch. Those dudes are amazing and absolutely legendary. I still jam Fetus every day and having John on was an absolute honor. Jamie actually reached out to Paul for us in regards to the guest solo and I could not be more honored to get to play such an awesome solo live. Paul absolutely rips it on Absence of Purity and we’re very grateful for his contribution as well!

We obviously have our favourite moments on the album, is there any particular song or moment in a track which gives you that extra tingle of satisfaction?

I feel like the ending of Absence of Purity is the embodiment of everything we’ve had to go through as a band. Every obstacle we’ve overcome and all the uphill battles to come. I get that purely from the music and it gets me every time. Even on stage. I hope that other people get that same vibe.

You have blasted the album out live since May; did you expose the whole album to the stage in one go or choose particular tracks?

We’ll choose particular tracks for this one, but we’ll be playing about 5 or so new ones, so nearly half the album. It’s going to be a fun one, for sure!

When writing and creating tracks some bands have the live setting in mind to, how songs will translate to studio and gigs, and others of course worry about that after. How about with you guys?

Though we would not sacrifice creativity for it, we definitely keep the live setting in mind. We’re all fans first and really want to make sure everything translates well in the setting where we have everything to prove. We always want to keep our live show on par with what you hear on record.

What comes next for Abiotic after the tour?

Our goal is to stay as busy as we can during this cycle and see as many faces in as many cities as we can!

Once more thank you for chatting with us, any last thoughts you would like to add?

We can’t thank you all enough for the support and hope to see you at a show soon! Thank you for keeping metal alive!

Read our review of Casuistry @

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/08/2015

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Feared – Synder


Six albums in with the release of Synder and Swedish metallers Feared have uncaged a fury and voracity which not only confirms the band as one of the relatively unsung greats but has the listener smiling broadly as their soul is desecrated. Feared’s new album is a rousing, destructive beast of a proposition. It is an encounter which is not exactly menacing new boundaries within a thrash/death metal landscape but taking its already established template to dark and creatively ravenous depths which are as fresh as they are rabid. The band’s name describes exactly how their music should be contemplated with the ‘sins’ of Synder greedily devoured.

The story of Feared goes back to 2007, the project the creation of guitarist and producer Ola Englund (ex-Six Feet Under). Despite a potent start and a first demo in 2008, the band disbanded until two years later when things stirred again. Englund and vocalist Mario Ramos (Demonoid) released a self-titled debut album which swiftly earned support and acclaim from fans and media alike, a success built on the following year through second album Rejects. The 2011 encounter lit further focus upon the band which once more escalated as Furor Incarnatus in 2013 came out, though in turn a greater hungry appetite outside the band and striking creative energy within came with fifth album Vinter. The album followed a period which saw Englund also become the new guitarist of The Haunted and the addition of drummer Kevin Talley (Suffocation, ex-Dying Fetus, ex-Black Dahlia Murder) and ex-Clawfinger bassist Jocke Skog to Feared. The release revealed a new intensity and inventive tempest within the band’s songwriting and sound, a gateway to darker ferocious climates which has now been driven on and overshadowed by Synder. Produced by Englund and Skog it is the finest Feared assault yet, from the striking artwork of Sylvain Razorimages wrapping its hellacious roar to the furiously flavoured and diversely coloured adventure, it is an intensive examination and explosive incitement for ears and imagination.

feared_synder_cover  The album’s title track opens things up, the brief instrumental an initial melodic caress of guitar courted by an ominous air which brews and expands as the track comes to rigorous life with thick rhythms and evocative sonic endeavour. It is not a startling start but a potent atmosphere setter, warming up ears and thoughts for the immediate ferocity of Your Demise. Riffs fling their spite at ears with rage and virulent animosity, their thrash breeding an instant gripping lure enhanced by the spicy grooving and thick throat shredding vocals of Ramos. Framing and igniting it all further, the growling grouchiness of Skog’s bass and the precise rabidity of Talley’s beats drive an anthemic urgency and contagion within the track, it all colluding for a breath-taking and thrilling full start to the album.

The impressive and riveting tempting continues in Of Iron And Ashes, the song equally uncompromising and carnivorous but quickly adding floating melodic clouds of keys to its turbulent canvas. Their presence and touch is minimal in the otherwise violent climate but cast an intrigue and unpredictability which eventually is realised in a calm, melodic eye of the storm moment. The volcanic heart and nature of the song is soon ravishing ears though as squirming grooves and tenacious riffery leads ears through a rhythmic jungle into the resourceful venomous grasp of Caligula. Again this song shows as those before it, that there is plenty involved in the thrash/death sound of Feared, here a groove/alternative metal weaving adding to an inventive theatre for a potent Bloodsimple like essence.

My Grief, My Sorrow follows suit in its own individual way, its heavier prowl and imposing intensity a predatory insistence on the senses. It’s stalking takes on even greater malevolence as rhythms make venomous jabs and stabs though the acidic grooving is a constant temper reining in the fury enough to allow mouth-watering melodies and sonic imagination to have their say. As its predecessor, the song takes the imagination on an enthralling ride whilst bruising and battering the body, a respite found straight after though in the classical elegance of the melancholic Dygder, another short and descriptive instrumental.

It leads thoughts and emotions in to the waiting ravenous jaws of By Silent Screaming, an immediately caustic and bracing tsunami of vitriolic energy and creative tenacity. Though never quite matching up to those around it, hail their torrents of riffs and beats, the song is the most exploratory on the album with changeable scenery of melodic endeavour and an almost psychotic air to its rhythmic and unpredictable imagination. It is a fascinating encounter revealing more about the intent of the band’s latest creative explorations with every listen.

The invigorating Wolf At The End Of The World has ears back in a bracing barrage of sonic and rhythmic raging next before My Own Redemption plunders even heavier, darker exploits. From the gut spilling tones of Ramos to the spidery grooves of Englund, the track bewitches as it chews up the senses. It is another stalking incitement but one with the raw heart of a predator and the inventive emprise of a troubadour, the vocals alone a union of bestial pestilence and melodic crooning. One excellent song is replaced by another as Dying Day explodes in ears with incendiary effect, grooves and hooks whipping up the imagination and vicious rhythms taking care of the body as Ramos spills rancor with every syllable.

War Feeding War keeps appetite and emotions inflamed next with its corrosive lures and fearsome persuasion whilst The Narcissist, with a disturbed and vehement web of sound and hostility, is an instantly enjoyable onslaught with plenty that escapes first attention but goes towards increasingly richer return listens. Both tracks involve the whole of the listener, though a point to offer for the whole of Synder to be fair in varying degrees. Some songs, like the first of these two, are more unbridled physical enticements whilst the latter, as also the closing Godless Devotion, provide dramatically deeper and longer to explore proposals.

All tracks though combine to provide the listener with a blistering protagonist to get excited about in Synder and confirm Feared as one of those bands many may have heard about but really should now be making the effort to dive deeply into.

Synder is available now via most online stores and @

RingMaster 28/05/2015

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Castrator – No Victim

photo by Jorge Riaño

photo by Jorge Riaño

It is fair to say that the focus of plenty of the carnage and brutality cast by extreme metal songs protagonists are women; ‘weak’ dispensable victims to suffer and be abused as a theme. But now they have a voice and a just as lethal instigator to lead an uprising in the shape of death metallers Castrator, a band turning the tables and dishing out their own unrelenting revenge and creative ruin. The band consists of five pissed-off ladies, but each is also a skilled musician creating a voracious sound and in the shape of the No Victim EP, a debut release to match.

NYC based Castrator is made up of an international and prolific musicians hailing from Colombia, Florida, Mexico, Massachusetts, and Norway. Identities and background are scarce to be honest but the line-up of the band is vocalist M.S., lead guitarist/vocalist P. Serrano, rhythm guitarist M.D. Åkesson, bassist Robin Mazen, and drummer C. Perez. Their sound is sheer death metal ravishment which has led to references to Cannibal Corpse, Cerebral Bore, Dying Fetus, Incantation, Obituary and the likes coming their way. They expel an emasculating extreme brutality which certainly on No Victim rages lyrically, sonically, and emotionally on the listener like a primal tsunami.

frontcover     The first intensive examination comes with Honor Killing, a fury of ravenous riffs and excruciating rhythms from its first breath. There is no escaping its ferocious and rabid onslaught, or the melodic enterprise which subsequently veins the tirade of viciousness. The song also has a core swing to its tempest which is as contagious as the predatory riffery driving the incitement, whilst vocally the venomous deliveries have an intensity and uncompromising expression which instils even greater hostility in every syllable spilled. It is fair to say that the band is not worrying the outskirts of originality with the song but it barely matters in the thrilling abusing of ears and igniting of pleasure.

The following Brood has an even heavier destructive breath to its raging, every riff seeming more rabid and rhythm malevolent than the one before, a potency matched by the guttural vocal confrontations. Featuring a guest solo from Immolation guitarist Robert Vigna, the track grows in stature and dark devilry with every minute of every listen, bass imagination and guitar grooves especially flavoursome with their toxic endeavours.

The Emasculator opens on a sample from the film Hostel 2, male destruction the fuse to an unbridled and corrosive sonic devastation of the senses. Hooks and grooves again add inviting spices to the wall of rabid maliciousness but it is an avalanche of sound and rancor unafraid to twist and turn with unpredictable ideation and at times doom bred enmity. It is an outstanding track quickly matched by the EPs title track, itself a cancerous trespass of sound entangled in wiry grooves and blistering sonic spite aligned to a rhythmic tirade and discordance. As its predecessor, the track is a web of at times understated imagination, little turns and sparks of invention swallowed by the onrush of sonic and rhythmic violence but bold enough to still reveal their qualities.

The final two songs offer the strongest uniqueness upon the EP, and all leave appetite and bruised senses hungry for more. ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ the saying goes, and now armed with the craft and attitude of Castrator, the worm has turned within extreme metal with exciting results.

The No Victim EP is available on CD now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @ and digitally @

RingMaster 06/05/2015

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Abiotic – Casuistry



As much as it is swiftly fascinating, Casuistry from US progressive death metallers Abiotic is a challenging proposition, testing in its ferociously busy landscape with a technical prowess to match, and at times approaching overwhelming ears with that same creative tirade so ears and imagination cannot settle and appreciate what is going in the moment. For all its formidable elements though, the second album from the Miami quintet is one striking and compelling proposal which just gets more impressive and enjoyable with every listen.

Emerging in 2010, Abiotic quickly made their mark on ears with debut EP A Universal Plague the following year, a release laying down a template of ravenous riffs, blistering solos, and technical breakdowns. Grabbing the attention of Metal Blade Records, the band subsequently signed with the label and unleashed debut album Symbiosis in 2012, a proposition pushing sound and skills, as well as invention, on in leaps and bounds. In hindsight though it too was a mere step towards the immense adventure in sound and craft now flooding Casuistry. The band’s voracious live presence has similarly lured acclaim and glowing support across the years, shows with the likes of Dying Fetus and Exhumed reinforcing their growing stature. Last year saw Abiotic link up with producer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, Wretched, and The Contortionist) as they set about creating their follow-up album, and a change in line-up which saw new vocalist Travis Bartosek and drummer Brent Phillips join the band, a change which has really added to the impact of the new album and the continuing evolution of Abiotic sound.

Abiotic-Casuistry     Casuistry has growth in every aspect from its striking predecessor, a new maturity and exploration fuelling songwriting to sound, lyrical endeavour to technical resourcefulness. This also applies to the rigorous challenge on the senses and psyche of the listener which will be too much for some, but the rewards as evidenced straight away in opener Believe the Unseen, border on intoxicating at times. From its first breath, the song offers a bestial roar on ears, the throat ripping bellow of Bartosek alone a fierce and gripping incitement matched by hellacious riffs and rhythms. It is a brief savagery though as mere seconds later spiralling melodic enterprise flows from the guitars of Johnathan Matos and Matt Mendez, entangling the predacious bassline of Alex Vazquez and the rugged beats of Phillips in their midst. Within thirty seconds the song is a creative tempest, an unpredictable maelstrom which allows thoughts a glimpse on getting a handle of things before stirring its body and threat up all over again. Thoughts of Trepalium hint away across the track but also as everything turns in on itself and dives into new ideation, the likes of The Faceless and The Contortionist spring up.

It is a stunning start, a disorientating one occasionally even in the briefness of the song, but as mentioned earlier and applying to the whole album, with each listen becomes more coherent in thoughts and thrilling in ears. The same of course applies to the following Reanimated Destruction, which makes a much more merciful entrance, the guitars casting an atmospheric sonic mist as the bass flirts with jazz seeds for its instantly intriguing and exotic tempting. The two almost duelling vocal deliveries work a treat again; guttural and serpentine tones twin insidiousness within the technical and intensity driven raging.

One of the things which definitely add to the songs is the snappiness of their length, no track passing the five minute mark and most falling a lot shorter. This certainly intensifies the bustling character of the tracks inventively and physically, Abiotic wasting no second on repetitive thoughts but it also ensures the testing tracks never come close to be laborious propositions. Cast into the Depths epitomises this next; the song a melodic wine of a sound dripping over ears and soon spreading a weave of sonic imagination as rhythmic hostility intimidates the senses. Phillips is as brutal as he is contagious with his swings and beats whilst the song itself is a cauldron of fiercely bubbling and changing sonic and vocal enmity. Featuring John Gallagher of Dying Fetus, the encounter is a blissfully exhausting endeavour, a description fitting Casuistry perfectly also.

Violent Scriptures is a torrential onslaught of malevolence and craft again, Phillips a beast and Matos with Mendez, mesmeric with their melodies and sonic espionage on the psyche. Vocally too the band has hit another level with Bartosek which has spread to the rest of the album’s throat offered exploits, an aspect ravaging the listener mercilessly in Nightmares of Your Conception next. Grooves once more simply ooze from the sonic animus being uncaged, whilst rhythmically the track is the most vicious yet. The song does not quite match up to its predecessor though, that industrious tsunami proving almost too taxing if still enjoyable at times.

Through the ‘funky’ but rabid The Absence of Purity, which features guest Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me, and Falling into Obscurity, band and album seduce with full steam again. The first is especially virulent with its toxic grooves and sparkling melodic flirtation, swiftly becoming a big favourite whilst its successor arrives drenched in a menacing theatre, noir bred hues colouring its opening torrent of riffs and grooves, proceeding to add rich hues throughout the wiry entanglement of sound and skills. Both tracks leave the imagination and ears ringing and enslaved before Molecular Rematerialization nags and worries their defences with its own flurry of concussive rhythms and citric grooves, all bred in the darkest most venomous corners of the band’s invention.

Casuistry is brought to a close by the transfixing and punishing Drain. Deface. Abolish., a final tempest to be seduced and violated by in equal measure. It is a fine end to a great album which only gets stronger and more enthralling with time. Abiotic make you work to explore and unravel their deeply entrenched and wonderfully turbulent imagination, but make the effort, brave their unrelenting creative hunger, and you might just find one of your favourite albums of the year.

Casuistry is out now on Metal Blade Records via

RingMaster 23/04/2105

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Photos by Vince Edwards


Bloodscribe – Prologue To The Apocalypse


Formed in 2004, US death metallers Bloodscribe have taken their time getting around to unleashing an album, presumably due to circumstances rather than intent, but a decade after emerging they uncage Prologue To The Apocalypse. It is a ten track ravaging running for less than thirty minutes of senses blistering ferocity. Released through Los Angeles’ Gore House Records, the tempest brings death, grind, and slam essences into one accomplished and solid violation, and though ultimately it strongly impresses without igniting any massive excitement, the album puts Bloodscribe firmly on the radar.

Hailing from Boyle Heights, the quintet draw on inspirations from the likes of Dying Fetus, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Origin, Devourment, and Terror for their sound but as their debut assault shows, their sound also holds plenty of invention to not exactly set them apart from the pack but certainly make Bloodscribe a visible proposition live and on record within the local and broader scene.

The album’s 40 second title track starts Prologue To The Apocalypse off, providing a tempting incitement of ravenous riffs and equally imposing rhythms. It is a good entrance but not around long enough to be or offer much more before Pantheon Of Lies invades ears and personal space. Spicy inviting grooves make the first potent impression amongst another raw flurry of sound. Their presence is subsequently an intermittent offering as the voracious heart and muscular riffs, with similarly intensive beats, take over and prowl agreeably over the senses. With the occasional outburst of warlike hostility, the unsurprising but highly enjoyable track ensures the album leaves a swift good impression.

It is a strong imprint continued through Enslaved By Deceptions and Burning Bridges. The first is a predator, every caustic riff and heavily swung beat a natural threat and each grouchy growl of the bass and gutturally swinish vocal roar, viciously engaging. Again it is hard to declare anything new going on but plenty to get teeth and appetite into for a satisfying experience, matched by its successor. The fourth track is a more volatile confrontation, stalking and going for the jugular with alternating intent whilst ‘creaking’ with its flavoursome hooks and tempting via lumbering grooves.

Demons is a deliberate predacious stroll, with a great thick throated bassline for company and acidic sonic stabs of guitar for flirtation. It has little trouble enlisting full attention, rewarding bloodscribewith a more unpredictable character compared to other onslaughts within the album, though it is soon overshadowed by the excellent Annihilation. If other songs can be called predatory, the song is sheer bestial insidiousness. Riffs and rhythms cage and bully from the off even though they come bound in corrosive yet contagious grooves. As all the tracks there is a swing and underlying infectiousness, but here it is given full rein to seduce; just a shame the song is so short at barely over a minute. The juices start flowing and it dumps them and departs, though the next up Kingdoms Fall is not shy at bringing a catchy inhospitable climate and savage maliciousness to bear on ears, even if it lacks the compelling virulence of its predecessor.

Both the sinister fuelled Shadows and the sonically rabid Castrating Humanity trespass ears and psyche with proficient and pleasing rancor, the first breeding a noir lit atmosphere around its insatiable and captivating brutality. The second of the duo similarly entangles the imagination in black hearted scenery of suspicion and demonic oppression, bass and drums especially picturesque in their rapacious endeavour around the ever composed yet rabid vocals.

Completed by the resonating presence of In Ruins, another lingering assassination of hope and light with additional creative cruelty, Prologue To The Apocalypse is an increasingly enjoyable and impressing proposition. As mentioned it has enough to make Bloodscribe a prospect worth paying continued attention to, even if right now they and album do not manage to quite light a blaze of excitement. It is impossible not to recommend its investigation though.

Prologue To The Apocalypse is available now digitally @ and on CD via Gore House Productions @

RingMaster 12/02/2015

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Display of Decay – Outbreak of Infection

BW - promo

From its outstanding cover art to its heaviest predatory note, Outbreak of Infection the new EP from Canadian death metallers Display of Decay, is one richly appetising and satisfying proposition. Unleashing five tracks which crawl and lumber over the senses with tenacious and skilled purpose, the release pushes the Edmonton based quartet another few strides towards the brightest spotlight. Maybe it does not hold any major surprises but without doubt the EP makes for a fresh and rigorously protagonist which is thoroughly compelling.

Formed in 2007, the band took little time in grabbing local attention with their old school bred death metal which, as shown on the new release, is unafraid to add doses of thrash and doom seeded ferociousness to the mix. First EP Blood Borne in 2010 brought the band to an instant attention which their band’s self-titled debut album two years later stretched even further, aided by their live presence which has seen Display of Decay infest western Canada with their sound whilst sharing stages with the likes of The Faceless, Origin, and Beyond Creation amongst many. Self-released as its three predecessors but their first international release, Outbreak of Infection has the potency to take the quartet to greater and wider attention, something hard not to see happening.

Display of Decay has recently expanded to a four piece with the addition of rhythm guitarist Jeremy Puffer, but Outbreak of Infection sees the combined talent and might of guitarist/vocalist Sean Watson, bassist/vocalist Tyler Display of Decay - coverGoudreau, and drummer Avery Desmarais uncage its creative pestilence on the senses. Opening track Born Of Rot immediately imposes itself on ears and imagination, riffs savage in touch and raw in voice. The steady rapacious start is soon striding with a thrash urgency and hunger as the heavy guttural tones of Goudreau growl into action. The song’s irresistible entrance loses none of its potency and voracity as the song expands with sonic tendrils amongst bestial bass lines and thumping rhythms. The band cites the likes of Pantera, Deicide, Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, and Bolt Thrower as influences and as the song tangles intimidating prowls and fury led surges essences of those hints come out in the flavour of the track, and EP overall.

The excellent start is continued by the following Manchurian Candidate, its reserved but open swing of riffs and short grooves infectious bait for ears to greedily latch on to. With a bestial charm, the song stalks the senses whilst flirting with strands of sonic enterprise which may not seduce as forcibly as the unrelenting heavy hunt of riffs and rhythms but certainly sparks a healthy intrigue and enjoyment through the craft and colour of Watson’s guitar. The song flows seamlessly into Praise The Gore, Goudreau and Desmarais setting up an imposing cage of rhythmic enticement to which Watson adds blistering sonic hues. Once again the band is adept at merging a furious charge and reserved gait with a flick of a chord, ensuring that predictability is never allowed to breed. As the last song, it does not quite rival the heights of the first track, but both ignite thoughts and emotions with a resourceful and inventive voracity which raises the pleasure found in the EP to another level.

The title track sears air and ears with a lashing of captivating grooves and a barrage of hostile rhythms all prowled over by Goudreau’s barbarous vocals. There is inescapable virulence to its enticement and energy which enslaves attention and emotions given extra potency by the dark intent and throaty twang of the bass as well as the inventive flames of the guitar. The song is incessant in its imposing presence and magnetic invention, and quite merciless in its hold of the passions.

Outbreak of Infection is brought to a fine close by a cover of the Kiss track Black Diamond, the song given a blackened make-over with death metal predation. It is a captivating version providing a pleasing finale to an excellent encounter. Display of Decay may have been Canadian metal’s pride and joy before but with the release of Outbreak of Infection maybe the rest of the world will now be making claims to the band’ time and attention.

The Outbreak of Infection EP is available now @


RingMaster 27/08/2014

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Dark Century – Murder Motel


A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @


RingMaster 19/04/2014

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