Deserted Fear – Kingdom of Worms

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An unrelenting storm of death metal embracing the genre’s varied grounding seeds and a more modern creative voracity, the second album from German metallers Deserted Fear is an uncompromising and brutal onslaught. Kingdom Of Worms is also a release which manages to feed expectations and throw curveballs at them simultaneously. It is a storming onslaught, never taking time out to rest on its ferocious laurels and give the listener any real respite from its hostility. A game changer or unique challenge for death metal the album is not, but as an attention grabbing confrontation and another big step in the rise of the band, Kingdom Of Worms is a rigorous success.

Hailing from Eisenberg, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Manuel Glatter, guitarist/bassist Fabian Hildebrandt, and drummer Simon Mengs was soon drawing local attention from the emergence of Deserted Fear in 2008. It was debut album My Empire in 2012, following an earlier demo, which suddenly triggered keener and broader spotlight upon the band. Soon the European metal scene was taking eager notice of them, even more so as they subsequently made acclaimed appearances at festivals such as Summer Breeze, Party San Open Air, and Extremefest. Now Deserted Fear has unleashed the next instalment of their emergence, and it is easy to suspect that the Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) mastered release will stir up another torrent of potent praise and concentration on the band.

The climactic, epically toned Intro opening up the album is nothing new in extreme metal nowadays but it has to be said that even though you almost expect this kind of beginning to an album, it cannot defuse the portentous and potent lure of the piece before it leads straight into the mighty rhythmic paws and sonic ravishing of Forging Delusions. It is an instant brute of a song with nostrils of imposing intensity flaring and sinew sculpted addictive grooves inescapably binding the imagination and passions. It is hard to get enough of the fiery proposition the song offers initially, and even as its relative restraint slips to open up a maelstrom of hostile rabidity, there is still that increasingly compelling groove driven bait insatiably seducing. With a heavyweight thrust of thrash ferocity aiding the all-consuming attack, the track is a storming start to the album.

The title track comes next and it too is swiftly consuming ears and appetite in tightly gripping grooves as the feet and arms of Mengs uncage hellacious energy and skills. As its predecessor, it too is unrelenting in its savagery and tenacious DF_Kingdom of worms_COVER_blackback_wwwenterprise, its touch raw and caustic yet equally coaxing and contagious as guitars weave a melodic tapestry. The scintillating song is a cauldron of craft from each of the band individually and in a united animosity of sound and rhythmic barbarism, whilst vocally Glatter growls with a depth and ferociousness that you feel for the lining of throat and gut.

The pair of Call Me Your God and Wrath On Your Wound, unveil their own spiteful landscapes of sonic and rhythmic enmity next, the first an intensive avalanche of bitter riffs and destructive beats scarred by the increasingly corrosive tones of Glatter, whilst the second is a fully fledged rage with malice dripping from teeth clenched vocals and spiralling grooving which line the bruising thrust of the transfixing song. Again Menghs proves himself to be an attention grabbing beater of skins whilst both Glatter and Hildebrandt spin a creative web which is as intrusive as it is enthralling.

The melodic breath and elegance of Torn By Hatred comes next, a short instrumental which does provide the one moment of mercy and warm colouring in the album, before The Agony pillages the senses with its blistering stride of riffs and sonic endeavour. It is a bestial proposition in voice and breath, but with the vocals finding their own animalistic growl and grooves another heavy dose of toxic infectiousness, it is an encounter which is happy to rearm established genre ideation with the band’s own flaming resourcefulness. Its intensive suasion is followed by the lean swagger and predacious stalking of With Might And Main. The track almost saunters as it batters and impedes on the senses, providing another delicious and almost anthemic provocation to engage in.

The slower entrance of Shattering The Soil makes for a different slant to the release though it is soon submerged in another unbridled fury of sound and intent before Mortal Reign parades its rhythmic and caustic rancor with vicious relish and skilled endeavour. Neither track lives up to what came before though each definitely only adds to the pleasure reaped from the album. The pair seems to be revisiting some of the success of earlier tracks in some ways and confirm that there is a surface similarity across some songs which defuses some of the strength of Kingdom of Worms. It is not an issue when the album is given proper and deeper attention, the diversity between songs soon discovered, and such the quality of the songs it is ultimately not as problematic as it might have been anyway.

The release is brought to a close by Last Of A Fading Kind, another engrossing and richly pleasing incitement but as the two previous tracks, it does not quite live up to certainly the stunning first half of the album. It is still impossible to dismiss and escape its masterful textures and tempting though as it brings a potent conclusion to Kingdom of Worms though.

Deserted Fear epitomises all that is compelling about death metal whilst infusing it with their own emerging brand of startling invention. New album Kingdom of Worms is not going to change the face of extreme metal but it does give it another intensively flavoursome savaging to devour.

Kingdom of Worms is available via FDA Rekotz from October 24th and at http://www.desertedfear.de/index.php/shop

http://www.desertedfear.de

RingMaster 24/10/2014

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World addressing furies: an interview with Jost Kleinert of Lay Down Rotten

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For fifteen or so years German death metallers Lay Down Rotten have not only persistently unleashed formidable barbarous provocations to inspire and corrupt the senses but with each pushed their and the genres limits and fears into heavier and darker tempestuous depths. Their recently released new album Deathspell Catharsis is no exception, the release a brutal and inventive fury marking the band’s first release with new label Apostasy Records. Keen to find out more about we had the pleasure to talk with vocalist Jost Kleinert about the history of the band, their impressive new album, keeping the intensity of passion after so many years on the frontline and much more…

Hi Jost and welcome to the site, many thanks for taking time to allow us to look at your new album.

Just before that though can you give readers new to the band a quick background and history to Lay Down Rotten?

We are a Death Metal Band from Germany and we are proud of having our 15th band anniversary this year. We released 7 albums so far. Our current release is called Deathspell Catharsis and combines all features we are known for on one hell of an album. We love the melodies of 90s Swedish Death Metal and the impact of Old School Death Metal. This is what we stand for.

You just mentioned new album Deathspell Catharsis, a beast of an encounter. What are the feelings and hopes for it in its early days since being uncaged?

First of all we hope that the audience likes it as we always give our best with every release. So far we got great reviews, our release concerts were a blast and the feedback is just awesome: fans and critics praise this album. We want to play as much as possible to promote Deathspell Catharsis. We play a tour with the legendary Massacre from May 6th to 10th in Germany in cities such as Dresden and Hamburg. Then we are confirmed for festivals. Please check out our official website www.laydownrotten.com and our Facebook page. Press the like button and be a part of the growing Rotten Army!

It is the successor to the excellent Mask Of Malice, an album which was for us a barbaric and aggressive ‘shot in the arm’ for ldrdeath metal but arguably lacked that unique spark of adventure. Deathspell Catharsis has that adventure and more within it’s again senses obliterating malevolence and invention. How do you see the differences between the two albums?

Mask Of Malice is a very dark album…Brutal and honest. It still represents an episode in our band history that was very important and I don’t want to miss this experience. Mask Of Malice includes for example one of our favourite tracks Hades Resurrected which we shot a video for and love to play live. Deathspell Catharsis is more open and outgoing. The aggression is on the surface. We do not hold back on this album. This is the essence of all our releases so far and we wrote songs that reflect our status as a band and our personal view on this genre. We love what we do and feel inspired by every aspect of this scene.

Widening the gap, how would you say your sound has evolved since the early days and releases of the band, fifteen years ago?

We have become more experienced and we are proud of our standing, stamina and history. We as a band know exactly what we do and we are still hungry for new challenges. We don’t need external aid to achieve our goals. As far as the sound is concerned we have developed our own style and approach.

Numerous bands enjoy a similarly lengthy career but seemingly lose their snarl and bite over time, something Lay Down Rotten has avoided. What keeps that aggression and predatory hunger alive in the band and its songwriting?

 We are still curious and want more…More albums, more concerts, just more of everything. And we are still pissed off. Pissed off by the zeitgeist and the state the world is in. Moreover we are very dedicated and love to be a part of the Death Metal universe. I am still a fan of bands like Akercocke, Woods Of Ypress, Morbid Angel, and Edge Of Sanity. Nothing has changed. I have not changed. I still feel the adrenaline and I am still looking forward to playing live and being on the road.

What have been your biggest inspirations and do they still provides seeds of thought or has that changed over time?

Life itself, experiences we went through, episodes in our band history and of course books we have read, movies or other bands that gave us some inspiration.

cdarc016_ldr_dc_300dpiHow long was Deathspell Catharsis the making and did you approach it any differently to your previous full-lengths?

It took us three weeks to record the album and two months of writing the album. We developed a certain routine over the years. So we enjoyed the making of this record very much. We again entered the Desert Inn Studios to let T-Low produce this album. He is such a great guy and producer. We trust him and he knows us as he produced six of our albums. That was a walk in the park. It is very rewarding to work with people that have been supporting Lay Down Rotten for many years.

Not being a musician I assume every record brings something new to learn for an artist, what new things did you learn and find out during the making of Deathspell Catharsis which you can employ ahead?

Dedication and humility. Every album should be a new attempt to give your unique best. Second best is never good enough. Mediocre bullshit won’t do it for us. We challenge ourselves with every album to explore new ground without losing our profile. This is what makes it hard on the one hand but very exciting on the other hand. In the end every band has one purpose: to entertain. We entertain by being in honest in our passion for Death Metal.

How did you approach the studio time with the album and are songs pretty much finished when going into the recording process?

We are prepared. Time is money and to keep up a good work ethic it is important to be focused and ready when going to the studio. All the songs were finished and well-rehearsed.

As you mentioned you recorded Deathspell Catharsis with producer Thilo Krieger again, he is like an unofficial member of the band? What is it in him that reads your needs so well?

He knows the band very well. He knows how to create a suitable sound outfit and is experienced. Thilo is very disciplined and focused on the outcome of the studio work.  Sometimes it is hard for a band while recording. You stand too close in front of the mirror so that you cannot see anything. This is where a good producer comes in and puts things in the right perspective. We cannot thank him enough… Always a pleasure working with him.

We can pick out particular moments which get our juices especially flowing: the march of commanding hungry rhythms and riffs in The Fever, the malevolent dark bass prowl in Schädelberg, and the whole stalking presence of Among The Ruins Of A Once Glorious Temple, just three examples in an album which leaves the senses breathless. Is there a particular moment which gives you a certain tingle too?

Of course, for me every song has some kind of magic itself. For example the beginning of Cassandra’s Haunting gives me chills every time we perform this song. Then there are the lyrics for Schädelberg that just burst out of me in a hellish anguish on stage. We just poured our all into every song. So that may last forever. Every time we perform one of the songs memories come alive.

Tell us about the outstanding artwork for Deathspell Catharsis, how strong was the band’s input in this?

The artwork was done by Toshihiro Egawa who also did the artwork for our previous album. He and our guitarist Nils worked out the concept and completed the artwork together. This artwork combines scenes of the songs and shows the essence of Deathspell Catharsis. We are pretty pleased with the result and the great feedback from the fans who seem to like it very much.

The album is your first with Apostasy Records, how does this new home for Lay Down Rotten differ to previous ones like Metal ldr2Blade?

It just felt natural to join forces with Apostasy records. Always go with the flow…Sounds cheesy but it is as simple as that. Apostasy Records are very professional and put a lot of effort in promoting the album and supporting the band. We are very happy with their work.

Are you a band which looks back at previous releases with a critical eye to learn from or one where once an album is out and promoted to its limits looks primarily ahead confining older records to history?

Never look back. You live and learn. I cannot change the past but I can fight for a better tomorrow. We always had great support and are very grateful for that. We are looking forward to experiencing all that may come with the promotion of Deathspell Catharsis. With every album we learn something different. We do not have great expectations. That makes it easier for us to go on as we lay our focus on great live shows rather than dwelling in the past, regrets and just bullshit. And after this album a new album will come. So there is always something to look forward to.

How has metal intimately changed for the band and its experiences over the last fifteen years?

Trends will come and go. Authentic music and musicians will always stay. That is all I can say. And there is nothing wrong with that.

What does Lay Down Rotten have in store for the coming weeks and year as a whole?

The aforementioned tour with Massacre is one of the highlights we look forward to. Then we will play festival gigs as many as possible and we just released a fantastic video for the song The Fever. Check out our YouTube channel and get smashed.

Thank you again Jost for chatting with us. A last thought to leave the readers with?

Support your local Death Metal scene and go to club gigs. There are many great newcomers out there. Please check them out and give independent music a chance. Check out our homepage for all the important news and our previous releases.

www.laydownrotten.com

Read the review of Deathspell Catharsis @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/lay-down-rotten-deathspell-catharsis/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 03/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dew-Scented – Icarus

In the 20-year anniversary of its formation, German thrash metal band Dew-Scented return with a new line-up and their ninth studio album Icarus. One of the established European heavyweights of the genre, the new release shows the band has lost none of its hunger or ability to create thunderous and impressive sounds.  The album does not see the band smashing through walls of originality but still easily and satisfyingly defends their position as one of the most accomplished and influential thrash bands this side of the big pond.

Following on from previous album Invocation of 2010, Dew-Scented continued their renowned work ethic with numerous European tours alongside the likes of Nile, Melechesh, Heaven Shall Burn, As I Lay Dying and Suicide Silence, Bolt Thrower and Rotting Christ, as well as their own headlining shows again all over Europe and appearances at festivals such as Hellfest, Wacken, Neurotic Deathfest, and Brutal Assault to name just a few of many. This period also saw the entire back-catalog of the band reissued as limited-edition Digipaks by Metal Mind Productions leading to further intense focus and intensive work for the band. This proved too much for some members and late 2011 saw a drastic line-up change in the band. Remaining founder vocalist Leif Jensen teamed up once again with guitarist Marvin Vriesde (Severe Torture, Blo.Torch) who had previously stepped in as a replacement live guitarist for tours in 1996, 2002 and 2005, as well as featuring as a guest on the Issue VI album. Vriesde was given the landscape to assume full songwriting duties and assemble the rest of the band which was brought with the addition of drummer Koen Herfst, bassist Joost van der Graaf (ex- Creepmime and Sinister), and after the album was recorded second guitarist Rory Hansen ( ex- Blo.Torch), all three also performing together in I Chaos. This immediate and already established tight understanding is easily apparent on Icarus, the band a thrusting and tumultuous force with a power and control only able to be brought by a unit fully integrated and as one.

From the opening full track Sworn To Obey the album makes blood vessels bulge and the pulse rate fly. It is a thumping mix of raucous vocals, destructive rhythms and riffs which whip the air and ear like leather straps, their effect continual immense slaps on the senses. The song is a persistent and forceful slab of metal with the growls of Jensen filled with vehemence as deep as ever whilst the guitar of Vriesde lights up the senses with some fine acute melodic play within the driving ear rupturing riffs of he and van der Graaf.

From that excellent start the following Thrown To The Lions with its busy grinding riffs and the outstanding Storm Within raise the game even higher. The first of the pair finds grooves and melodic enterprise to explode the already incendiary intensity the track brings whilst the second with its insistent niggle of an opening flexes heavyweight muscles to deliver a stomp of belligerent riffs and punchy rhythms. It too has a groove to lick ones lips at whilst its bruising energy leaves nothing but full satisfaction.

Only halfway in and the album is a winner but following songs like Gleaming Like Silver, the stunning Reawakening with its slowly tenderising assault, and the chugging feast which is A Final Procession let alone arguably the best song on the album The Fall Of Man, only enforce and enhance what went before for the greatest enjoyment.

To be picky at times there is a similarity across some of the songs and ideas but as it is so good anyway it is easily forgivable and not really an issue. Produced by Jörg Uken at Soundlodge Studios (God Dethroned, Suicidal Angels, Sinister) and featuring guest appearances from Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) on Reawakening and Sacrifice vocalist Rob Urbinati on Gleaming Like Silver, as well as guitarist Dennis Schneider (Retaliation, Final Breath), Icarus is an excellent return which even with the disruption the band went though shows Dew-Scented still head the fore of European thrash with skill and determination.

RingMaster 30/07/2012

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