Khaidian – Penumbra

The release of the debut album from UK metallers Khaidian has been long time coming, seemingly expected and all geared up to be unleashed in 2016. But as ears and the passions are finally being infested, those patient many will feel it has been more than worth the wait and can assume they will soon be joined by tides of new hungrily impressed and lustful hearts. Penumbra is quite simply superb; a cauldron of imagination and intensity wrapped in a rainbow of melodic enterprise amidst a tempest of technical and multi-flavoured dexterity.

Listening to Penumbra, there is no surprise at the rising reputation and stature of the London based outfit; both recently given boost by a trio of lead tracks to the album. Weaving a web of rich intrigue and thick persuasion bred from a fusion of progressive and technical metal, the band’s sound is just as inventive and tempting with its alignment to eager strains of electronic cunning. It is something akin to a fusion of the voracious flavours and touch of Gojira, Sikth and The Browning with the ravenous/melodic adventuring of Tricore/An Entire Legion; even so Khaidian pull it all to a proposition which is as unapologetically unique as it is greedily captivating as Penumbra forcibly proves.

Founded in 2010 by guitarist/programmer John Tyrell (ex-Interlock), Khaidian found its first few years as much a difficult journey to find the right mix and line-up of people as an adventure in nurturing and breeding their vision and sound. In fact, the perfect mix of personnel only really appeared once drummer Paul Fowler (ex Dragnerve) was enlisted to join Tyrell, vocalist Andy Hutton (ex-Stoopi/Dragnerve), and bassist Joseph Perumal (Mortad/ex-Almamorta). It was Fowlers departure leading up to the original release date of Penumbra which he plays upon which played a big part in its delay it seems but the band has since found the equally striking and agile percussionist in Kris Perrin (Gravil, ex-One Fell Down, Faux Fighters), he completing the current line-up last year.

Now with everything firmly in place Penumbra has been unveiled and we for one can only suggest it is the first leap in a massive and surely certain ascent for the band into the broadest spotlights. The album opens with Pearls Before Swine and immediately had ears pricked and appetite keenly intrigued as sonic and electronic enticement colluded with already stirring rhythmic lures. Just as swiftly the equally potent and enticing vocals of Hutton step forward; his clean, calm yet emotive tones an alluring bridge between the band’s sides of physical trespass and suggestive melody, their indeed their technical hunger and electronic intimation. The track continues to stomp and dance with the senses, a mix of the familiar and boldly fresh creating a whole new vehicle for ears and imagination to ride with.

The striking start is only reinforced by the band’s outstanding new video/single Dominion. Its entrance is even more rapacious but almost instantly wears a portentous calm before its predacious instincts unite with inventive and somatic catchiness. Pure persuasion with increasing enslavement of the senses, the track embraces further hues resembling those cast by Voyager and Fear Factory as it twists and turns with relish but never breaking its fluidity or charm carrying rapacity.

The following Trigger The Landslide glides in on electronic shadows around a slim but copious melodic insinuation; all the while its air brewing an intensity and threat which turns into a senses harrying stroll. Still the menace is part anger, part seduction; the song never choosing sides even as its body and imagination boils across another devilish landscape of thought, emotion, and craft. As with all tracks some kind of participation is inevitable with the increasingly blossoming and thrilling encounter, a manipulation just as potent within next up Thrive and in turn Sense Of The Spherical. A Korn-esque scent pervades the first of the outstanding two, its carnivorous breath colluding with the skittish flirtation and bite of rhythms and the tantalising yet voracious almost rabid lures of guitars. Hutton again is a matching magnet in its midst as the track creatively and vocally writhes while its successor similarly draws dark and esurient strains of sound and intent with melodic and flirtatious enterprise to tempt, seduce, and infest ears and imagination in tandem with the body.

The album concludes with the pair of Evasion and Dramatic Professions Of Martyrdom, the band getting under the skin with relish in the first where again whiffs of Korn meets Fear Factory share its own inescapable  individuality, and through the second’s musical irritability, melodic and electronic espionage, and simply unique prowess. Both tracks enslaved as heartily and strenuously as those before, the bounce of bodies enough to suggest eager submission, the following lust unbridled confirmation.

No release is going to win over all but with its thick mix of flavours including at times spices of grunge, alternative metal and more alongside sheer invention, Penumbra is one which is going to conquer far more than most and with ease we suggest. Though in theory three years late it is one of the freshest most thrilling things heard here in a long time and Khaidian one of the most exciting propositions.

Penumbra is out now through Armalyte Industries; available @ https://armalyte.bandcamp.com/album/khaidian-penumbra

http://www.khaidian.com/   https://www.facebook.com/khaidianmusic/   https://twitter.com/khaidian

Pete RingMaster 30/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Avelion – Liquid Breathing

AVELION photo+logo

The tail-end of 2013 as well as festive fun saw the return of Italian metallers Avelion with their second EP, Liquid Breathing. Equipped with a new line-up and sound to that which bred their self-released 2011 debut Cold Embrace, the band returns to the fray with a release which raises questions, spawns a few doubts, but at the end of its persuasion offers plenty to get the imagination going and appetite for Avelion’s for their impending future keen.

Merging essences from melodic and alternative metal, progressive and electronic metal, to metalcore and industrial metal, and Avelion - Liquid Breathing cover artworkthat is just scratching the surface of the three tracks making up Liquid Breathing, Avelion create a sound and adventure which certainly grips attention and at times has the imagination all fired up. The tracks are undoubtedly impressively crafted even if a tempestuous mix which does not always flow or work as successfully as maybe they could. There is so much going on in songs that it is sometimes hard to grip on to particular aspects or moments and thoughts suggests stripping it back would help the tracks to make an even stronger impact, but then that daring to experiment and stretch things is one of many strong elements which makes the band an intriguing and exciting proposition. You feel though as the quintet of vocalist William Verderi, guitarist Gianmarco Soldi, bassist Mark Reggiani, drummer Damiano Gualtieri, and Oreste Giacomini on keys progress and hone their sound further it will all evolve into something which will intensely satisfy.

Liquid Breath starts things off, the track almost Numanesque in its entrance as a dark industrial/gothic breath is spawned by vocals and keys. The song is soon twisting before the ear though as djent bred riffs splinter the air and a rhythmic enticement rigorously leaps over the senses. The vocals of Verderi are a blend of reserved growling tones and clean melodies which works well predominantly, though at times across the EP a sturdier grizzled delivery was crying out to emerge in his tones even if Soldi provided some solid backing scowls of his own. As the track progresses it employs classically seeded keys, electro urgency, and eventually great welcome hellish vocal groans though they are short lived sadly. The encounter continues to leap and turn with ideas to great effect, the song emerging easily the strongest on the release clad in a thick creative promise of where the band is going.

The following Ain’t No Down makes its arrival with haunting monotone spawned keys almost mischievously teasing the senses before launching sinews and intent through an electronic swagger which could grace any Enter Shikari offering. It is an outstanding start with a potency which is almost lost when the song opens up, though those evocative keys continue to probe and coax within the brewing maelstrom. As its predecessor the track moves through flavours and ideas as if they were pick-a-mix but ultimately makes it work through the more intensive aggressive aspects. The rock pop moments are not as successful for personal tastes, slowing down the power and charge of the song and preventing its full expected explosion but equally the poppy chorus is as anthemic and addictive as you would wish so admittedly those questions and doubts raised are continually countered in some respect. When the track is firing on all imaginative cylinders though it really is an imposing treat but just let-down by the mellower restrained moments but nevertheless it still leaves you wanting to hear more.

The EP is closed by Mechanical Faces, a busy track which aligns melodic rock and industrial metal initially before infusing some hard rock revelry and excellent discord devilry. Though not as impressive as the opener the track feels more complete and in control than certainly the second track, that earlier suggested slight restraint on the want to throw multiples spices and threads of imagination at the song a successful option.

When Avelion is intensively going for the jugular they undeniably are at the top of their emerging game, gripping thoughts and emotions much more tightly and invitingly. It maybe is because the difference between the aggression and melodic tempering shown by the band is so pronounced that the tracks ebb and flow too much at times but as Liquid Breath alone shows when the band gets it right they are a force with the potential to raise real passions, though you would not want them to lose that desire to push their inventive limits either, the element which makes even the less successful songs satisfyingly digestible and heavy in promise.

https://www.facebook.com/AvelionMusic.Official/

7.5/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Semitt Falls: Monkey See, Monkey Do Doo

An album which exiles predictability and narrow directions, Monkey See, Monkey Do Doo the debut album from UK band Semitt Falls, is a mightily impressive and intriguing gem. Ever twisting and evolving the release makes expectations redundant and guessing what is ahead pointless such is diverse and potent invention. For those who need to label bands and tag their sound Semitt Falls will be a nightmare, they are a band which makes music which hits their own sweet spot however it is inspired and ends up sounding. This is proven by the album, a collection of songs which follow no pattern or set course but are linked through immense quality soaked in the deepest contagion. If you need an initial description of the band, their bio says ambient/meta/drum and bass, but as the songs show that merely scratches the surface.

The Manchester band formed earlier this year, when following the demise of post-hardcore outfit Halt Under Heavy Fire, Paul Kendrick (guitar, vocals and programming) from the band linked up with ex-Fortune Favours Nothing member Danny Houghton (drums). The pair brought in another previous member of Halt Under Heavy Fire in Jay Kane (vocals and synths) alongside ex- Son of Shinobi Craig Gilroy (vocals and bass). Combined the quartet has created an album which not only marks the band as one of the brightest and inventive in British rock music right now but one bursting even greater things ahead.

The album descends upon the senses with the stirring and riotous opener The Warrior. Muscular and stormy it is a feisty dazzle which ignites the passions and energies most releases leave untouched. The drums of Houghton bring one to their knees with power and tight control whilst the keys explore and immerse one in a scorched and blistering weave of melodic majesty. With the muscle of Silent Descent and the acidic tones of Enter Shikari to it, the song is a tremendous and attention grabbing start.

Still trying to catch a breath after the initial introduction the next song whips it away again before it can be consumed whilst offering the first example of the perpetual diversity which wonderfully fuels the sound of the band. Late For Drum And Bass Reasons is the best track on the album by far which considering the quality elsewhere is a mark of how good it is. The band ruptures drum and bass sounds whilst filling the fissures with incisive melodic rock and ragga tinged beats. Twisting and winding around the ear like a sonic python the track leaves one lost in a sizzling groove of manipulative imagination amidst a corruptive maze of wickedness. Illegally addictive the song leaves the atmosphere sizzling and senses smouldering with its electronic force and corrupting power. Think Pendulum, Hadouken, and Shrikes in an unbridled mosh with Skindred and Collisions and you get a whiff of the goodness inciting every pore.

The melodic De.Fi.Ant with its heated melodic ambience confronts the ear next It is a track which is again pleasingly muscular at times yet enchantingly peaceful in others, a seamless blend skilfully created and brought throughout the track. The lead vocals of Kane as with the previous tracks show a range and ability to play with multiple deliveries which is outstanding and like the music keeps things on a consistently shifting edge. Though over three minutes long the song feels so brief, a sign of the perpetual enjoyment it offers.

Tracks like We Hid The Sun with its more post hardcore tones and Displacement, a song of mesmeric beauty wrapped in raw shadows, continue to leave one full of admiration, surprise, and satisfaction. Normally with a band which brings so many distinctly different sounds and ideas you thing a group unsure of their direction and intent. This never occurs with Semitt Fall, everything so instinctively right and perfectly fitting you know it is a band simply conjuring music which fires up their unique creative inferno with skill and incisive invention.

Ending with the pulsating The Loneliest Spaceman, a song which has a rock air reminding of a Thrice or Hundred Reasons wrapped up in surging electro energies, the album is one of the most startling and enterprising releases in a long time. It is a towering beginning giving Semitt Falls a lot to live up to in the future though it is hard to imagine they are not up to it.

http://www.semittfalls.com/

RingMaster 21/08/2012

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Pat The Human: Eternal Jamnation

Dallas quartet Pat the Human play energycore, which basically means they just bruise and beat up on the senses with the deepest glee and unbridled aggression. Whether it is an officially recognised genre who knows as there seems to be a new one breaking out with every other release these days and it really does not matter anyway, no labelling does. What is important is the knowing that Pat The Human is one mightily powerful and impossible to escape from, once their intense and creative sounds take a hold, storm of expertly created noise.

The band has just released their new EP Eternal Jamnation and it has to be said it is a release which is hard to ignore. Following on from their single From Pariah, Up of last year and the 2008 album Bruteforce, the new release is an extreme assault on the senses. Brewing a compulsive mix of metalcore, hardcore, and electro metal though that still leaves elements unspoken, the band leaves no musical stone unturned or unexplored to create a challenging but rewarding experience.

The EP opens with arguably the best track Saiga The Bull, a piece of muscle which persistently punches you in the face from its opening notes right through to its departure. With destructive riffs slicing the air like a thousand samurai swords and rhythms re-enacting the Dambusters it is an extreme assault from the start. The vocals are as venomous and caustic as the melodic scything which emerges throughout the track aiding and reinforcing the unrelenting pressure. The song then adds something unexpected to the continuing assault in the shape of excellent clean melodic vocals and sound. What is great is it arrives without depletion or change in the continual assault at all just comes in alongside. It is like an onlooker deciding he wants a piece of the action too, an interloper from the crowd putting a less forceful boot in alongside the original bullying instigator. The song is outstanding and a feast for all extreme metal fans.

The following America (Re)Evolution continues in the same vein but with an electro/trance metal pervading atmosphere behind the brawling storm beneath it. The track is arguably less forceful with a fuller melodic vein rupturing within the song though it is no less intrusive and impactful than the first.

The title track has an even more leak of melodic invention to its hulking body and the band  brings a continuing varied breath to their release. With all their songs it is still a rugged treatment of the senses but with a more defined and open core. To be fussy the production could have been better as it feels a little muggy sound and atmosphere wise but it is a small complaint on a track which is very addictive and maybe sneaks top honours after all. The guitar work is excellent as are the drums but the bass steals the spot with its intimidating predatory tones and presence. The gang vocals are excellent and all in all it is a song which could make the breakthrough for the band.

The closing pair of Young & Dangerous and 2K Situations do not skimp on the violent contact and intrusive intent, their insistent demands energy sapping and ear demanding but again with great reward. The first of the two is chaotic but that just adds to the crushing effect as does the inspiring guitar play which only intensifies the bruising the rest of the song delivers. The second song is probably the less remarkable on the release though it still finds the band outshining a great many other bands of similar intent.

If extreme metal with the aggression and intensity of a hundred tornados and the melodic sonic scorch of an exploding sun is your idea of fun then Pat the Human is a must check out band for you and with Eternal Jamnation being available for free from their bandcamp profile the only regret you will have is from not going to get your free destruction.

http://patthehuman.bandcamp.com/

RingMaster 19/06/2012

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Mask Of Virtue: In This World

Electro metal from the UK seems to be on an ascending high right now with continually bands and releases emerging to light up the senses with intensity and quality. The likes of Silent Descent and Ourfamous Dead have blazed a trail through the ear in recent weeks to great effect and now adding their own might and fine creativity is Mask Of Virtue and their debut album In This World. Released May 21st through Rising Records, it is a pulsating and mesmeric slice of melodic post-hardcore metal and electronica, an album leaving scorch marks as it envelopes with impressive sure invention and blistering energy.

Formed in 2009 the Rotherham band has been the epitome of hard work with persistent gigging the length and breadth of the UK and refining their thoughtful and impressively textured sound. Conquering the local scene and further afield was inevitable with this ethic and their great sound but now with the release of the album things look set to explode into greater realms. Recorded last year as the final month began closing its eye, In This World is a vibrant and captivating release that bristles with muscular intensity as equally as it infects with triumphant melodies and caressing electro seductions. It stirs up the pulse rate and emotions through persuasion rather than intimidation but still packs a distinctly formidable punch.

As the opening brief and striking introduction to the album of Antagonistic Nations leads straight into the following The Bridges Will Burn the sense of something special ahead is unleashed, energy and expectations rising dramatically as the song opens up its firm and welcoming arms. The track accosts the ear with a tempered but eager stomp whilst wrapping tightly around it with swarming electronic warmth. The song offers unpredictable twists and turns and quite impressive vocals from Joe Rosser who also provides the electronic invention. His vocals are supported more than ably by those of guitarist Dan, and either with stylish clean or predatory growls the pair provides the band and songs with a pair of impressive voices.

From a strong start the band raise the tempo and heat with the excellent Blood For Free. The song swaggers with an aggressive but controlled attitude, its infectious enveloping sounds rubbing the senses into an excited and agitated state yet perpetually captivated by the keen outstanding vocals and vast melodies. The track drives with a sure intensity thanks to the drums of Ash and growling basslines of Tom, both bringing a spine of might and steel to the songs. With the guitars of Dan and Seb battering with caustic and powerful riffs the song is the best on the album though closely challenged throughout the release.

Through Your Eyes is one to make a claim for top honours, a tightly and imaginatively crafted song to leave one breathless from its unpredictable avenues and strikes. When Mask Of Virtue steer their sounds with a force and intensity they hit the mark accurately and effectively but they are no slouches with the skill and quality of their mellower and melodic persuasion of emotions either. Songs like Drowned In Tears and the outstanding Cure The Pain, a song which from its piano enchanted start whispers and soothes with an atmospheric presence and even when its soul takes on a more energised heart remains a stirring emotive rapture. It is another song that fights for best track showing the general high standard and craft of the album and band in many guises.

To be slightly critical of the album there is a similarity across its length at times which means if the focus drifts a little you can easily find yourself a couple of songs along from where you think you are but as the sounds and songwriting is strong and very satisfying it is not a major problem, just an invitation to hit replay. From a personal preference maybe more of the more aggressive intensity would give the band an even more distinct tone though they stand apart from most rivals easily and when songs like the wonderful It’s Here To Stay with its staggering melodic grace and yes another contender for that top spot, are so good it is impossible to be dissatisfied at any point.

In This World is an album which not only holds its head up high with great power and invention but pitches Mask Of Virtue into being a band that is on the verge of great things. Even though the album does not quite ignite the biggest fires within consistently it always sparks up compulsive enthusiasm and eager anticipation for much more from the quintet.

RingMaster 14/05/2012

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