SSanahtes – Debut EP

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If we had to choose one word to describe the Debut EP from French extreme metallers SSanahtes, it would be primal. The four track release is a ravenous almost pestilential trespass of the senses which is sure to be a blissful listen for some and a desperately uncomfortable one for others. It is also a potent introduction to and starting point for the band and their rabid fusion of flavours like sludge, post metal, doom, and hardcore, and a rather enjoyable encounter too.

Based in Bordeaux and Paris, the band first emerged in 2013 and taking thick inspirations from the likes of Meshuggah, Electric Wizard, Neurosis and the New Orleans metal scene set about creating their own unique fury. It is too early to say how distinct to the band that sound will be, the EP offering plenty of healthy spices from their influences. Brave its squalls though and look into the dark depths of the songs and it is fair to say that some of the invention and sonic twists have a potential and lure to suggest SSanahtes will be a potent force ahead and is a compelling proposal right now. Taking their time with the creation of their first release, and recording it in their own bedrooms, the quintet of Fabien Loustalot (vocals, synths), Thomas Daniel (guitars, songwriting, production), Nicolas La Rosa (guitars, production), Franck Roder (bass, production), and Dylan Hyard (drums, samples) have bred a tempest which belies its humble creation and makes a striking first step for the band.

The instrumental Blue Druidess starts things off and immediately provides inviting and anthemic rhythmic bait. The drums are soon joined by the heavier grizzled growl of the bass and sonic swipes from the guitars, all aligning for a portentous air but one which holds court on real hostility. The track prefers to seduce the fear from the psyche, the keys of Loustalot a haunted and gently sinister air around the melodic intrigue cast by Daniel and La Rosa. The piece of music is fascinating and gripping, the increasingly more predatory bass presence and jabbing beats a dark intimidating shadow over the melodic and creative elegance within.

The tempest hinted at in the opener is soon consuming the senses in The Edge, though it too prowls into view with restraint. It is coated in an intensive doom breath and corrosive impact though which translates into every predacious riff and throaty bass line. The raw, throat wrenching vocal squalls of Loustalot similarly come with venomous expression and toxic intent, but all tempered by the more contagious rumbling of drums. They make a persistent tempting within the invasive tsunami of malevolence and sonic aggression, lending their infection to the unpredictable and pleasing slips into melodic calm and post rock ambiences. EP and songs do need plenty of time and effort to reveal all their nuances and underlying invention but as here reward with some sparkling ideation and provocative enterprise brought with open individual craft.

     Black Dragon allows no time for a breath, instantly expelling a blistering flame of guitar and vocal vitriol next. Riffs and another gripping bass offering provides the addictive element to the song this time, whilst the swings of Hyard simply resonate with every meeting of wood and skin. The best track on the release, it proceeds to create a contrasting sonic and melodic weave within the tempestuous and oppressive onslaught of the song’s predominant ravaging. As mentioned before, it is an exploration which at times you need to specifically focus on whilst braving the surface savaging but once it is locked in, it reveals just how much promise is in this band.

The release ends with Words, where you now know what to expect and what you will be challenged by whilst another thick swamp of erosive grooves, numbing riffery, and vocal ire bring new exploits to devour. The song arguably, other than the instrumental, is the most accessible on the EP, those tangy grooves an immediate invitation and given potent clarity until the sludge voracity and doom bred insidiousness of the song builds and spills its toxic hues over the senses and psyche in an overwhelming sea of sonic malignancy.

SSanahtes has made an impressive and fully satisfying introduction with the EP and if their inspirations match the same artists which light your tastes then the French band is well worth checking out.

The Debut EP is available now @ http://ssanahtes.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ssanahtes

RingMaster 21/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Possessor – Stay Dead

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Like so many we were ravished and bewitched by Electric Hell, the debut album from UK metallers Possessor which was unleashed last year. It was a tremendous persuasion of sound and enterprise reinforced by a retrospective listen of their first EP Wings of Fire, which came out just a few months before that impressive full-length. They have a sound which is raw and voracious yet unafraid to embrace a melodic and sonic toxicity come seduction which is as fierce and flavoursome as the hostile and sinister landscapes it infiltrates. Now band and music has drawn a new lustful submission with new EP Stay Dead, a release realising all the qualities of its predecessors in new and raucously adventurous exploits.

Hailing from London and formed late 2013, the trio breed their insidious temptation masquerading as sound through merging occult metal with sludge and thrash bred hues and tenacity. It is a fusion emerging with a sense of familiarity yet providing distinctly new and incendiary provocations and temptations. They are like a mix of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Kylesa and Therapy?, a hellacious assault on the senses and demonic seducing of the psyche.

cover     The EP opens on a real high of a track and the release never does anything but look down from lofty heights again. Lucifer Stay Dead opens on a rumble of motorbike before descending on the senses swiftly after with a tsunami of riffs from guitarist Graham Bywater and bassist Marc Brereton. With swinging beats just as feverishly hostile and immediate aligned to a sonic enterprise from Bywater sparking early lusty reactions, the track prowls and snarls with bestial irreverence. The song is simply predatory, everything about it soaked in real hunger and antagonistic ferocity. There is no letting up of its intensity either, those ravenous riffs seemingly gaining in strength and appetite across the track whilst rhythms simply grow bigger balls of attitude within a flaming melodic web.

It is an exceptional start matched by Night of Venom straight after, a track which launches itself on the senses with an even heavier and intensive assault. Of course it also comes with that instinctive seduction, an exciting sonic spicing which tempers the viciousness. Brereton’s bass delivers its dirtiest, rabid tones ever though, whilst the contagion of riffs and grooves coring the encounter, like in its predecessor, has a repetitive niggling which simply evolves into an irresistible addiction. This is where that Therapy? essence comes in for us, the song reaping the nature of the same type of persuasion which lit up the N. Ireland trio’s early work.

With it definitely being too short, fair to say you cannot get enough of its primal tempting, the track makes way for Cobwebs, a smiling slice of pop rock. Nah don’t be silly, the song is another portentous stalking of the senses, though to be honest it does have a more respectful swagger to its energy and character too. Of course this is bound in menacing and dark hearted bass growling and just as grizzly riffery, whilst the drums almost call out for mercy such the psychical and gripping sledging they get. It many ways the track is like the darkest Hammer Films of the seventies, its demonic presence and nature wrapped in alluring colourful designs set to entrap before the horror begins.

The EP closes with Lights Out / Crypt of the Sorcerer, the darkest, chilling, and most toxic offering on the release, arguably from Possessor ever. Its classic psych charm is a deceit within a cavernous smothering of devil seeded ensorcellment, the appetiser before a devouring of senses and emotions within a swamp of thrash sculpted riffs and occultist violation. It is sonic smog of seventies and current classic metal twisted and wrung out until breeding its own scorching and intoxicating sludge thick blasphemy. The track is quite simply a thrilling end to another stunning release from Possessor, even with its infernal fade out.

Possessor last year set a plateau with Electric Hell for themselves and the current British occult metal scene, but has now left it behind as a past marker in their emergence with Stay Dead. Maybe only the brave will dare immerse in the world of Possessor but with rewards plentiful and lingering within their aural necromancy, truly no metal /heavy rock fan should fear giving them a go.

The Stay Dead EP is available now via http://possessor.bandcamp.com/album/stay-dead-ep

https://www.facebook.com/possessorband

RingMaster 02/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

7stbaby – Horses

7stbaby - Horses Single Cover

Following up their impressive and acclaimed album Control, British rockers 7stbaby are poised to unleash their new single Horses. A track as voraciously aggressive as it is melodically seductive, Horses easily reinforces the presence and already in place anticipation of major success for the band ahead.

Formed in the autumn of 2013 by Kyle MacKenzie (vocals, guitar) and Ben Martin (vocals, bass) but an idea already long in place but held in check due to the work and success of their other band Static Plan, 7stbaby swiftly gripped attention and praise through the diversely flavoured Control. Merging the richest and rawest essences of stoner and heavy rock with grunge and progressive metal spicery, the Guildford pair along with drummer Greg Webber, also of Static Plan, set a high startling plateau for the project with their album. Taken from Control, the new single confirms and pushes further that impressive start, its mesmeric and muscular tenacity a cauldron of sonic invention and unbridled passion.

Released on Got Wrong Records as the album, Horses immediately fills ears with punchy beats and almost grizzled melodic grooves over scarring riffs. It is an intensive start given further weight by the vocal growls and increasingly gripping twang of the guitar’s grooving. As mellower tones move in to welcome the fiery chorus, there is a definite Life of Agony groove and emotion to the song which only adds to its flavoursome adventure and blossoming fascination. A slip into a more progressively honed stoner twist loses some of the song’s snarl but adds greater intrigue before the track erupts back into its compelling antagonism and captivating melodic enticement.

Horses is an outstanding provocation for ears and imagination as well as a potent doorway into the similarly terrific and impressive body of the band’s album. Think Queens of The Stone Age meets Deftones and the aforementioned Life of Agony after being filtered through a heavy vat of Electric Wizard and XII Boar and you get a sense of 7stbaby. British heavy rock is at one of its most exciting periods right now and this band simply adds more substance to that claim.

Horses is released on September 26th via Got Wrong Records with an accompanying video.

https://www.facebook.com/7stbaby

Read our interview with Kyle from 7stbaby @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/melodic-fire-and-raw-passion-an-interview-with-kyle-mackenzie-of-7stbaby/

RingMaster 23/09/2014

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Doomster Reich – The League For Mental Distillation

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The League For Mental Distillation is a warts and all proposition which offers a compelling and unpredictable collision of seventies heavy metal with psychedelic and doom bred metal. The debut album from Polish metallers Doomster Reich, it is raw, passionate, and unafraid to show its flaws alongside the band’s dramatic enterprise. Equally it unveils an organic freedom to its invention, more than once suggesting that the Łódź quartet strapped themselves into their instruments, plugged in, and unleashed whatever was in their heart at the time rather than having a predetermined journey for a track. It is an encounter which ebbs and flows in its success it is fair to say, but one leaving ears and imagination riveted and happy to learn and hear more.

Doomster Reich was formed to the rear of 2011, with the foursome of guitarists Voytek and Markiz, drummer/vocalist Rasz, and bassist Radek settling down to write and record the songs making up The League For Mental Distillation the following year. Its recent release via The End Of Time Records gives the album a broader landscape to persuade, and whilst it may cause raised eyebrows at times, the album is a captivating and skilled blaze of heavy psychedelic doom which becomes more convincing with every listen.

Ears are wide awake and anticipation lit as soon as the opening strains of John Woe sets the album in potent motion. The guitars wind around the senses with a fiery and magnetic touch matched by the throaty tones of the bass and even heavier swipes of beats. It is a transfixing start teasing like a mix of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard. The striking and also unpredictable vocals add another enthralling element to the mix, the tones and notes of Rasz at times wayward in delivery yet never harming the dramatic adventure around him, mostly adding to that theatre even in his less convincing vocal moments. The song itself continues to stalk and sway seductively before ears, guitars expelling flames of ingenuity and absorbing melodies as rhythms add rich shadows and intimidating weight to its proposal.

The following I Ate Some Desert Diamonds flirts with an expressive blues seeding in its introduction before stretching muscles for a lumbering gait, within which dramatic urges break free to ignite feistier passages of energy and vocal cddoomster_reichexpression. Also equipped with a thoroughly contagious web of hooks and acidic grooves, the track takes all the strong essences of the first to another engrossing level; strong vocals painting guitar sculpted walls of sonic intrigue against a heavy rhythmic canvas colourfully. It is a richly satisfying and evocative creative emprise swiftly matched by the maelstrom that is Comfort of Conscious Demise. Driven by an early thrash seeded charge, the track releases atmospheric smog of sonic oppression before opening up trails of urgent riffery and infectious grooving within the suffocating air. It is a glorious rampage, as savage as it is bewitching, and the best track on the album.

     Pornosopher’s Dream emerges under sultry skies coloured by sonic turbulence but it is a tempest restrained in its voracity and tempered by smouldering flames of coarse melodies and provocative sonic hues. With portentous spoken vocals and the bass pushing heavy shadows into the radiance, the track is as fascinating and gripping as the last with again thrash bred riffery aligning itself to the heavy metal ferocity hanging around the senses scorching designs of the guitars. Its lingering success is followed by the potent if less successful presence of I’ll Shoot You Down, a more sinew driven slab of sonic aggression. Vocals again vary in success but only add to the unique character of the song. The track proceeds to bine ears in excellent guitar play amidst strong rhythmic bait but does lack the spark and ingenuity of previous songs to certainly please but not make an imposing impression.

Closing track In Storms epitomises the album across its thirteen plus minutes. At times it leaves senses basking in scintillating craft and individual enterprise and at other times flirts too much with predictability and expectations feeding ideas, which stand out more because of the shining invention of other parts. Nevertheless despite it’s over long presence, another slight issue, the track is a rich end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. Certainly at times The League For Mental Distillation makes some wrong moves but it is easily compensated by the attention grabbing skills and inventive sounds within the release. It is not the most impressive release you will hear this year but an enjoyable one announcing Doomster Reich as a band more than worthy of close attention.

The League For Mental Distillation is available now via The End of Time Records.

https://www.facebook.com/doomsterreich

8/10

RingMaster 12/09/2014

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Witch Charmer – The Great Depression

Witch Charmer

Raucously majestic and seductively intimidating, UK band Witch Charmer prove that not only was their previous acclaimed EP not a flash in the pan but that it was only the teaser to greater things with debut album The Great Depression. Five tracks which roar and hazily smoulder from a gripping fusion of doom, stoner, and heavy metal, the album is a riveting and scintillating incitement which musically stands out from the crowd but vocally sculpts a corner of its own to transfix from. Led by the magnetic vocal talent of Kate McKeown and assisted rather than backed by the grippingly individual tones of the band, it is an unpredictable and intriguing mix which only accentuates the raw and elegant extremes of the compelling sounds around them. This style of music is quite rich and thick in quality bands right now but the Sunderland quintet easily push themselves to the forefront of the masses with their exhilarating release.

Formed in 2012, the band consists of drummer/vocalist Dave McQuillan, guitarists/vocalists Len Lennox and Adam Clarke, and bassist Richard Maher alongside McKeown. Debut EP Euphoric Curse of last year drew in eager attention and acclaim with its stirring and intensive mesh of weighty rhythms and tantalising grooves aligned to pungent riffs and their compelling vocal mix. It proved irresistible to a great many but was just the base from which the Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) mixed and mastered The Great Depression has grown to greater heights for a heady captivation.

Themed around a “dark satirical view of this world gone mad”, album and band take little time in enslaving ears and imagination with opener Suffer. From its first breath it is spilling an enthralling groove which is soon surrounded by imposing rhythms and a sonic intensity which in turn sparks that initial lure to expel a greater flame to its potency. Just as swiftly the dramatic and impressive voice of McKeown joins the evolving narrative of the track, hot melodic designs alongside flirtatious grooves wrapping her rich tones. A brawling call from one of the band brings another thick texture to the song, his raw vocal squall the extreme opposite to the charm of McKeown but an impressing companion which seems to ignite another bout of virulent urgency and aggression in the sounds. Sharing the lead of the track for a fair portion, the two vocalists grab the attention but not enough to detract from the addictive enticement of the grooves and the sonic enterprise raging around them.

It is a mighty start but soon shown a clean pair of heels by the thrilling presence of The Cull. A more predatory gait is revealed by the track, its slow doom bred crawl an oppressive yet welcoming shadow through which McKeown’s voice WITCH CHARMER - COVERshines like a beacon. It is the vocal alliance which grips ears most of all though, certainly initially, the bruising growl heard in the first song returning with other allies bringing a punkish squall and a clean presentation to dual and flirt with the superb presence of the front lady. The track shows it is not just about that though, that like the release it stands out just as potently through its grooves and scorched atmospheres to create a riveting maelstrom of beauty and intimidation. Like a mix of Jess & the Ancient Ones and Electric Wizard with Triggerman, the track is a blistering provocation soaked in a smouldering blues haze and ferocious heavy psychedelic metal.

Both A Watching Of Wolves and …To Death (I’ll Drink) keep the temperature and might of the album ablaze and the passions aflame, the first arriving on a hypnotic stride of thumping rhythms within a humid tapestry of sonic invention. It takes little time to clad those lingering lures in a thick swamp of dark grooves and rapacious intensity which in turn is veined by melodic mystique enticing and infectious virulence. It is a merger of darkness and light, of brooding emotions and joyful revelry which is seamlessly entwined to create an incendiary incitement for thoughts and passions. Its successor is scintillating; the bass with a delicious bestial twang to its tone leading ears and thoughts into a haze of sonic expression and addictive rhythmic baiting. The song proceeds to lap the senses in waves of energy and seductive enticing, its potency never wavering in success and strength as grooves, riffs, and vocals weave and tease like an adulterous temptress with only eyes for its victim. The rhythmic imagination of McQuillan is inescapable as he frames and veins the track with unpredictable and engrossing bait matched by the delicious vocals.

The best track on the album it is soon rivalled by the closing Stare Into The Sun, a slow enticement which is even more of a salacious temptation than its predecessor in moves and grooves at times but ultimately is a persistently changing and evolving groove fest across a landscape of burning melodies and caustic riffs under a rhythmic thunder. It is a stunning end to a sensational release, though the album does have one final brief treat in hidden acoustic track Architects of our own Existence.

The Great Depression has everything fans of the likes of Black Sabbath and Goatsnake through to Electric Wizard and Blood Ceremony would devour in a second but also much more to bring a fresh air to doom and stoner flavoured heavy metal. Witch Charmer is a major force in the making and their album the first slab of irrepressible evidence.

The Great Depression is available from September 1st on Argonauta Records and at http://witchcharmer.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/witchcharmerband

9/10

RingMaster 01/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues!

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It is fair to say that Finnish doom metallers Cardinals Folly is a band you are going to take to or not. Certainly there is a middle ground too where intrigue keeps attention and thoughts embraced in interest and indecision over the band though listening to new album Our Cult Continues!, it seems to demand adoration or avoidance with little in between. Cardinals Folly is not a band to just soundtrack an hour of simple listening pleasure is soon obvious as the band’s second album challenges the senses.

Released via Shadow Kingdom Records, Our Cult Continues! is a dark trespass of ears and thoughts with a generally crawling pestilential persuasion which at times ignites the imagination as forcibly as it violates the senses. It can be a riveting intrusion with imposing heavy riffs and deeply permeating rapacious grooving but also a lingering threat which loses its potency through the length of songs, a seeming aversion to spread its creative wings, and the daunting challenge of the vocals where notes are often dishevelled and squeezed of flavour. As mentioned it is not going to be for all but it must also be said that it left a compulsion to investigate the release again and again and is definitely likely to lure the appetite of those with a passion for bands like Reverend Bizarre and Electric Wizard. For sure it needs time to make its persuasion a full argument, with still no guarantees of success, but if band and album clicks with wants it has the potency to make for a unique test and enjoyment.

Formed in 2004 as The Coven and called Cardinals Folly since 2007, the Helsinki based trio of vocalist/bassist Mikko Kääriäinen, guitarist Juho Kilpelä, and drummer Sebastian Lindberg soon made an impression with their first pair of EPs, 2008’s Heretic’s Hangover and Orthodox Faces the following year. Two years on the band signed with Shadow Kingdom and unleashed debut album Such Power is Dangerous!, again to strong responses which the new release is sure to emulate with those holding a taste for the band’s distinct takes on doom metal.

Opening with the evocative and cinematic Chant of Shadows, the album makes an imagination poking entrance. It is not a hugely dramatic start, but an introduction to the dark realms and sinister devilry of the band which holds enough a2356633421_2coaxing for fans and newcomers to take the plunge into the hellish depths of Our Cult Continues! As its satanic call drifts away the following Morbid Glory steps forward and soon presses ears with acidic grooves and hollow but pushy rhythms. There is an immediate shallowness to the production which takes time to acclimatise to but is not as big a leap to embrace as the vocal tones of Kääriäinen. With a voice which flirts with melodies whilst infusing a monotone lilt equipped with tonal alienation, the bassist croons and serenades throughout the track and album with varying success. It is another aspect to get used to and will of all the things about Cardinals Folly, probably be the biggest test for many, but to be honest it is also something to gradually warm to and embrace in the singers potent moments and hold reservations over in their less momentous turns. The song itself lurches and lumbers with ravenous intensity and labour intensive predation to seduce ears and rile the senses.

The Black Baroness makes a greater impression than its more than decent predecessor with a carnivorous throat to the bass and sonic enterprise from the guitar. There is a punk air to the acidic strokes of Kilpelä, riffs an abrasing antagonism and the meandering chords bleeding whispers of Spizzenergi and The Pack. With a healthier contagion to its bait, it crawls potently through body and mind before passing over to the oppressive rapacity of the title track. A thick web of riffs and blunted rhythms, the track is appealing smog of sound and intent, a sonic cloud veined with an engaging raw groove and a moment of bewitching clarity. Vocally too the song is persuasive, Kääriäinen better in an aural crowd than providing a driving lead in many ways.

The virulent surging of Sighisoaran comes next, the song a torrential abrasion held on a slight rein as it rampages and an even shorter lead in its slow consumptive twist of primal voracity. As most tracks it is a proposition which takes time to explore and come to terms with in many ways but ultimately provides an uncompromising assault enhanced by the great guttural snarl of the bass and a keen repetitious incitement. Like the majority of songs it is also border line on whether outstaying its welcome length wise, though when things begin to labour the band does throw in a timely twist to pull back any negativity a little.

The pair of Walvater Unveiled and The Lover´s Crypt smothers the listener in a sonic causticity and vocal starkness to again challenge and solidly persuade. The first is a lumbering expanse of venomous riffs and demanding rhythms which from an underwhelming opening evolves with scorched grooves and another potently gripping bass temptation to enthral. Its successor brings a more classic heavy metal breath in its melodic toxins and healthy doom swagger on its way to sculpting one of the bigger highlights of the album. The song also invites a richer invention and imagination from the band which in turns flirts with the listener to greater effect as it creates another reason to give Our Cult Continues! time before deciding its fate.

Last track Fallout Ritualist provides, despite its far too long a presence, a highly convincing conclusion to the album, its Sabbath-esque swagger of riffs and incendiary grooves along with the previous track crafting the best part of the album with ease.

Even after numerous visits Our Cult Continues! still leaves us undecided; its raw production defuses as much as it enhances and with a vagueness of imagination at times, the album seems to be an adventure of missed opportunities. Yet it also makes for a compelling proposition to keep considering. Cardinals Folly is one for the individual and to be honest the only way to know if they are for you is to allow them a chance to challenge and convince.

Our Cult Continues! is available via Shadow Kingdom Records now @ http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/our-cult-continues

https://www.facebook.com/cardinalsfolly

7/10

RingMaster 20/08/2014

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Monolith – Dystopia

MONOLITH2 Photo by Fabian Sauer

It is very easy to have mixed feelings about Dystopia, the debut album from German doom rockers Monolith. On one hand it is so close to Black Sabbath in its sounding, with even vocalist/bassist Ralf Brummerloh offering a clone like Ozzy delivery as he unveils the individual narratives, that you struggle to pick out too much which makes a distinct and unique impact. Against that though, the release and songs are so magnetic and superbly presented that it is hard not to be compelled to indulge in its seventies seeded and sounding flight time and time again. It is an encounter which is sure to divide opinions but you suspect will persuade more than it disappoints.

Based in Bremen and formed in 2010, Monolith creates an atmospheric and sultry old school doom rock atmosphere which wears its heart and origins on every note and syllable expelled by the trio of guitarist Ron Osenbrück and drummer/backing vocalist Andre Dittmann alongside Brummerloh. Inspirations it is easy to assume include the likes of Electric Wizard and Pentagram but it is that Sabbath well where the heart and breath of the band’s first offering seems to be spawned from overall. With lumbering intensity and imposing predatory rhythms aligned to tightly binding grooves and searing psychedelic temptation, the predominantly live recorded Dystopia is a thick oppressive charm to easily enjoy, if probably not to be inspired by.

The album immediately engulfs ears with deep pulsating riffs, gripping rhythms, and a growling almost carnivorous bass sound, the latter persistently pleasing bait across the whole of the release. Won’t Come Down is an immediate Cover Artwork by Rocket & Winkand sizeable tempting to start things off, not a particularly dramatic offering against subsequent tracks but a clear hint of what is in store. The song strolls with a heavy yet eager gait, grooves and caustic sonic flames holding a creative grin as they smart against the senses and imagination. The vocals of Brummerloh as mentioned also show their influence boldly, whether by choice or coincidence, but still make an enjoyable colour in the sultry scenery of the song and its swagger fuelled, contagious chorus.

The strong start is matched and pushed a tad further by the following Cosmic Fairy. From a delicious throaty bass coaxing and a swiftly joining blaze of seventies washed acidic guitar, the track holds a steady and even stride framed by similarly gaited rhythms. Though the song does not have the infectious lure of its predecessor, it burns and sizzles with striking designs of sonic venture from Osenbrück to certainly grip attention and awaken a keen appetite for the unfurling proposition.

The next up Hole roughly caresses ears with an initial hot scrub of fuzz filtered guitar and a dark bass tone with an almost demonic tremolo resonance to its malevolence. Smouldering in breath and citric in flavour, the track winds around thoughts and emotions with potent melodic and hazy hues, easily recruiting intrigue and enjoyment. Again though there is no escaping the comparison to the Birmingham legends which dilutes any chance of passions raging before its undeniable skilled and appetising incitement, something applying across the whole of Dystopia to be honest.

The dark uncompromising title track slowly wraps its heated climate around senses next, it’s slowly imposing doom sourced evocation a thick engaging swamp of ebbing and flowing enticement which pleases without sparking real fire in the belly. Its successor Acid Rain employs similar intrusive textures amidst entwining spirals of sonic tempting and a great incendiary flame of funk infused adventure, to explore a successful but barely lingering path.

The album concludes with two highly satisfying encounters, firstly the infectious hip swinging Sleepless Eye. With its transfixing addictive lures and expressively charismatic melodic web of invention, it is the best track on the album; a richly enterprising treat of a song which is unafraid to glide through energetic festivity to suffocating doom crafted shadows, every twist lit by scorching guitar play. The closing Rainbow provides an epic journey of seismic intensity and rhythms within virulent psychedelic smog of imposing weight and heavy metal structures. It is a predator of a track, stalking and preying on the psyche whilst unleashing a contagion packed net of rapacious endeavour. Monolith saved the best encounters to the rear of the album, a closing packed with potential and more originality than shown before but still within well-trodden avenues.

There is no getting away from the core recognisable sound of Dystopia and its inspiration but even with that Monolith provides a strongly enjoyable and easy to return to release which has to be classed as a success.

Dystopia is available now via Finalgate Records @ http://finalgaterecords.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Monolith.doomrock

7.5/10

RingMaster 09/07/2014

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