Ethmebb – La Quête du Saint Grind

ethmebbok_RingMasterReview

The band’s Facebook profile tags their sound as epicleptic power death / progressive metal; a description which pretty much does sum up the anarchic fun of the Ethmebb if still leaving their imagination short changed. Their music is crazed, it is drunk on almost schizophrenic adventure, and at times it certainly leaves the imagination intoxicated but as shown by new album La Quête du Saint Grind, it is also a myriad of flavours, skilfully sculpted, and downright fun.

Apart from emerging in 2012, apparently from “the still-smouldering ashes of Grindcore band Ethmeb”, there is little more we can tell you about the Paris hailing quartet but then again their debut album does all the talking. Wrapped in the fine artwork of Nicolas Dubuisson, the release swiftly makes a potent impression, first track Tathor, l’Echalote de ses Morts soon feeding and adding to the intrigue already sparked by its cover.

Opening up a tale of a mighty warrior and his adventures as he tries to get back his Grind stolen from him “so he can get laid again”, the starter is an atmospherically suggestive, melody caressed instrumental. It is ‘similar’ to many imagination stroking starts that metal and progressive releases seem to hold but a vibrantly pleasing one, its more straight forward body a deception to the mania to follow.

ethmebb-album-artwork_RingMasterReviewrvbThat creative ‘insanity’ is uncaged through Lost my Grind. Riffs rifle the senses immediately, their enjoyable invasion soon joined by the dawning of melodies and floating harmonies as wiry grooves entangle the progressively nurtured blossoming of the track. A tenacious blend of power and death metal with that progressive nature envelops ears though it is only part of the picture as symphonic elements merge with grouchily aggressive and subsequently blackened essences, not forgetting various other unpredictable twists of fun. The vocals of guitarist Rémi Molette are a guttural trespass enjoyably tempering and complimenting the melodic quest of his and Victor Tunidjah’s guitars, their sonic web radiant and evocative within the epic nature of the song.

It is an excellent start soon eclipsed by next up Orlango Blum. From caressing harmonies it surges through ears with cantankerous riffs and majestically flourishing keys. The bass of François Santenoff throbs provocatively in the midst of the enticing tempest as the rapier like swings of drummer Damien Baissile pierce the folkish lined melodic death canvas. There is a touch of Trepalium to the song, 6:33 too, but quickly it stretches its already riveting tapestry of sound and imagination into something irresistibly unique and compelling. Melody soaked passages are oases in the storm yet every imposing second is a conjuring of raw aggression, creative ferocity, and seductively bedlamic enterprise.

The warrior’s quest continues through GPS: Gobelin Par Satellite and A la recherche de la découverte de la quête pour trouver le Saint Grind, the first a thrilling mix of the raw folk ‘n’ roll of Ensiferum and the creative psychosis of Carnival in Coal involved with plenty of other strains of imagination while getting involved with a great array of clean and dirtier vocals. Its successor is just as eclectic, from an acoustic stroll weaving a colourful intrusion of extreme and melodic endeavour all bound in an unhinged devilry.

It is fair to say that the Ethmebb sound is not going to connect with those only hankering for straightforward metal but for an appetite for creative boldness bordering on the meshuga; it is manna for the ears as proven yet again by next up Pirates of the Caribou. Concussive in its touch, promiscuous in its flavours, the folk/power metal fusion roars with drama and prowls with venomous intent, guitars spinning another inventive web as vocals anthemically unite and melodies swagger with boozy spicing. Its ebb and flows in intensity are just as masterful and alluring, as too its aggressive invention and multifarious nature.

Bruce Lee mena l’Amour brings the release to a close, the track probably the most loco of the lot though smouldering in persuasion initially before growing into its inventive skin with every passing minute to heartily convince. With a growing theatre of sound it is a fine end, though listen out for the Pryapisme like hidden track, to a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive debut album from Ethmebb and the beginning here to a greedy appetite for their insanity kissed world.

La Quête du Saint Grind is out now and available through https://ethmebb.bandcamp.com/album/la-qu-te-du-saint-grind

https://www.facebook.com/ethmebb

Pete RingMaster 01/02/2017

 

Wolfhorde – Towards The Gate Of North

Wolfhorde_-_Promopic_RingMaster Review

Like a warrior bold in its conflicts and proud of its beauty loaded landscape, the debut album from Finnish folk metallers Wolfhorde is an attention grabbing and imagination sparking confrontation. Towards The Gate Of North is a weave of melodic elegance and impassioned folk bred charm aligned to contrasting Viking roars and dark trespasses in word and sound. Fair to say band and album stride the familiar inspirations of Nordic and Viking mythology but twisted into adventures and creative lures which are forcibly fresh and individual to Wolfhorde.

Hailing from Keuruu, Wolfhorde formed around the year 2000 as a quartet and after a couple of demos or so, began majorly sparking intrigue and broader fan support with the EPs Deathknot and Nyvinland in 2010 and 2012 respectively. It is fair to say that the band’s first album has been a bit of a highly anticipated offering for a great many, and the trio of guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Werihukka, drummer/vocalist Hukkapätkä, and bassist Nuoskajalka are about to put themselves on the metal map with their voracious release.

Themed from “sad and gruesome stories about the end of the world in the Viking heritage and mythology”, Towards The Gates of North begins its journey from “the beginning of the end on to the beginning of a new world” with the instrumental Vegvísir. From its first touch, warm acoustic caresses collude with pulsating beats in a seductive call; traditional and melodically poetic essences emerging to paint a portrait of a vast beauty soaked landscape coloured with warm and cold climates with matching emotions. It is an inviting yet shadow kissed introduction to the album’s emprise potently awakening appetite and imagination ready for the more tempestuous Fimbulvetr. Swiftly it is rhythmically bolder and firmer, Hukkapätkä and Nuoskajalka unveiling an anthemic yet intimidating web around which the keys and guitars of Werihukka share their suggestiveness. Things darken again as Hukkapätkä’s bearish throat scarring vocals add their uncompromising impact yet melodies and a shamanic tempting radiate and evolve in response as the track immerses ears in a transfixing incitement.

Wolfhorde_-_Towards_The_Gates_of_North_RingMaster ReviewThe creative and evocative drama of the first pair continues through Taivaankappaleiden Kato next, the track arguably a more expected folk metal charge with TÝR and Ensiferum like textures adding rugged hues to again alluring melodic and traditional qualities which from start to finish help give the album a rousingly celebratory yet unpredictable and enjoyable deceitful character. It is a great quality which, even in more familiar sounding songs like this, offers something individual to Wolfhorde, as proven again by the outstanding Death Long-Due and its mix of clanging iron like textures and mischievously appealing melodies sculpted from another great blend of traditional and electric enterprise.

Through the theatrical pomp and boisterous roar of The Retribution and the dark invasive charm of Unyielding, the album has hips and imagination enslaved. The first is a rousing revelry swiftly inciting feisty bodies and energy to get fully involved whilst its successor provides a melancholy aired saunter through dark scenery with prowling shadows linked to turns of galvanic revelling in turn bonded to ferocious provocation. The song in many ways epitomises the album, its twists and turns defying expectations whilst sculpting an adventure keeping ears and thoughts on their eager toes.

Boundless Agony is no exception, the raw delivery of Hukkapätkä’s vocals the strongest contrast to the swinging merriment of melodies and devilish hooks as feistier urgency and antagonistic elements bond with the band roar and the increasingly volatile nature of the exotically hued song in general. Another major highlight within Towards The Gate Of North, it catches the breath before the kicky exploits of the superb Lycomania run wild with rhythmic rabidity and sonic devilment. As all tracks within the album, it is a fiery contagion of sound and creative tempting, and as all only rewards repeated listens with its gripping invention and innovative contrasting of textures and flavours.

The finest moment of the album also confirms the potency of each member singularly and together, the trio then revealing their richest exploration in the creative trail of closing epic The Gates of North. The nine minute stroll is a full adventure on its own; a provocative and dramatic narrative of sound and tone that twists the imagination with its progressively tinged flight.

With maybe just a small want for more diversity in the vocals to suit personal taste, Towards The Gate Of North leaves ears enriched and pleasure full. It is a striking offering sure to push Wolfhorde into the broadest gaze of folk metal and indeed the metal scene generally; and seriously easy to recommend.

Towards The Gate Of North is out now via Inverse Records.

http://www.wolfhorde.com   https://www.facebook.com/WolfhordeBandOfficial/   https://twitter.com/wolfhordeband

Pete RingMaster 25/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Frost Giant: When Myth and History Merged into Mystery

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Though it has been out a few months digitally and now physically, When Myth and History Merged into Mystery the debut EP from Pennsylvanian rock band Frost Giant has only just surged to our attention and thank goodness it has as to miss something this good would have been a travesty. Forging a sound from a merger of Viking metal and nineties hardcore, yes you read that right, the release is simply sensational. It is wholly unique and works on every level for an encounter which is engaging and thrilling. It just ignites the heart and recruits the senses into a full and energetic compliance to its imaginative and insatiable storm.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Matti Frost in late 2005, Frost Giant has been a solo and at times a full band project merging European folk metal with melodic hardcore and So-Cal infused punk rock.  It is a stunning sound which can be best described as Tyr and Korpiklaani in a drinking contest riot with Biohazard and Agnostic Front whilst the melodic cheers of Billy Talent and Lagwagon egg them on. It is an exciting and stirring mix which offers great diversity and originality and the EP which basks in it, easily one of the best releases this year.

Released through Blasphemour Records, the release finds Frost joined by guitarists Jonathan Smith and Scott Breustedt, bassist Jason Esbensen, and Rich Berends on drums, and consists of five slabs of muscular delight which take no time in lighting up the ear and beyond. First to barge through to the senses is My Life for Yours, a thumping weight of stretching sinews, barracking rhythms, and heated melodic grandeur. It is an instant lure for the passions, its classic rock groove veining intense energy and a predatory urgency hungry for a kill. The vocals are a contagious mix of clean and growling might with the often joint tones of Frost and Smith anthemic and harmonically glorious. The unrelenting charge of the song drops midway to bring an expansive wrap of intense and tempestuous atmosphere scorched with an epic guitar solo fire. Ending in the same drinking song style as it started and recalling the cold wastelands and warrior honour, the track is a titanic start to the release and equalled continually.

A Common Son opens with outstanding vocal harmonies before sending weaves of sonic invention and gentle melodic coaxing through the ear. It is a trick though, a wicked aural sleight of hand as soon the band explodes from another teasing melodic stroke into a brawling confrontation of hardcore vocals and surging flesh lashing power metal type riffs. That is not the end of it though as Frost Giant insert masterful and inciting melodic vocals and sirenesque sonic charms across the raging sky of the song. Not as infectious as the first it is still an impossible to resist bruising which leaves one breathless and wanting so much more.

The magnetic stirring rhythms of Heathen’s Lament are just one seductive lure of the song, its rampant and inventive presence a magnet for heart and mind. The consistent quality of the guitars with their barbed melodicism and mischievous manipulations hold the passions tight whilst being buffeted by raucous basslines and beats, the combination an irresistible taunt. Imagine Bad Religion and Ensiferum linking up and you get a whisper of the genius going on within song and EP.

The release is completed by the punk rock tempest Not While I Draw Breath and a cover of the Adele song Someone Like You. The first of the pair again is an insatiable pleasure which flays the senses whilst swamping them with rich rewards. It is like being serenaded whilst being dragged into the bedlam of a ravenous maelstrom, the harmonies and melodic enterprise soothing and offering safety against the scurrilous intensity and rampant hungry sounds. The closing track did bring a slight groan when reading the track list, a moan which turned into awe within mere seconds. The band turn the song into a skate punk treat with fiery muscles and snarling energies pulling essences from the likes of Danzig and especially Volbeat into the mix. It is an excellent end to a staggering release, simple as.

If you want something new and innovative out of your folk metal or melodic hardcore than Frost Giant and the When Myth and History Merged into Mystery EP is a must investigation which will leave you drooling at the mouth. This is one release no one should miss.

https://www.facebook.com/frostgiantkills

RingMaster 18/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Heidevolk: Batavi

With strong chest beating and red hot blood rushing through its veins the new album from Dutch folk metalers Heidevolk is a stirring and thoroughly pleasing release. With a firmer aggression and intensity then on previous releases, Batavi the fourth album from the band is an expressive force which excites and deeply satisfies. Even with the limitation for many in the fact the band sing in their home tongue the energetic intent and craft within the emotive sound and voice immerses one into the turbulence and theme that fuels the release easily.

Batavi transports the listener to a time of violent unrest as Germanic tribes waged war against the Roman Empire along the banks of the Rhine for domination of Northwest Europe. Alliances, intrigue, and betrayal were rife as the Batavians, the protagonists of the new album from Heidevolk, found themselves stuck in the middle of the conflict. Through their own brand of traditional pagan metal the Dutch band bring forth the struggle and fight of the time and people to great effect with songs that are as catchy as they are striking, and as proud as they are forceful.

Formed in 2002 in Arnhem, the band did not take long to draw acclaim and a strong following through their mesmeric intense live shows and releases. From their debut album of 2005 De strijdlust is geboren, coming after the demo Het Gelders Volkslied the year before; through to albums Walhalla Wacht and Uit oude grond of 2008 and 2010 respectively, Heidevolk with their defined sound of thundering riffs, folk veined melodies, mountainous rhythms and triumphant clean vocals explore their chosen genre to pulse racing effect. With Batavi they have stiffened up their sound and flexed broader muscles to create an album which leaves one breathless and fired up whilst basking in an instinctive sweeping dark grace.

As the towering rhythms and tense riffs of opener Een nieuw begin march through the ear alongside the enthused harmonies of dual vocalists Joris den Boghtdrincker and Mark Splintervuyscht, there is instant recognition that here is a galvanising and inciting experience waiting to flourish upon the senses. The drums of Joost den Vellenknotscher lead the way with a formidable hand whilst the bass of Rowan Roodbaert and guitars from Reamon Bomenbreker lead the battle cry. The sound reminds one of heavy metal Finnish band Stam1na more than of other folk/pagan metal bands showing that Heidevolk openly stand apart from similar genre bands.

De toekomst lonkt raises the intensity further, the song rampaging forth with a determination and willingness to engage forcibly whilst still surging with vocals that spill strength, confidence and pride. Musically Heidevolk are as accomplished and impressive as they are incessant and irrepressible but it is the vocals that set the band further apart from the likes of Tyr, Ensiferum and other pagan metal bands, they are simply soaring and glorious whilst retaining the power and might the music needs. The song sets the heart up to stand tall and confront whilst the following likes of Het verbond met Rome and Wapenbroeders only go to reinforce the inspired quickening of breath and eagerness ignited within.

Songs like Als de dood weer naar ons lacht, the thrash/folk bliss of Einde der zege, and the wonderful melancholic acoustic instrumental Veleda, show the diversity and versatility of band and album, a release that offers a varied feast on each and every slice of folk metal presented. Musically Heidevolk do not push boundaries as far as they certainly could but with sounds as easily consumable and uplifting in spirit as those on Batavi it is not a real complaint, and with such bass and baritone vocal might ripping through each song the deficiency is barely noticeable.

Batavi is stunning and an album that can only bring good things to the ear and music, Heidevolk use adrenaline and uncomplicated mastery to enflame the senses and show pagan or folk metal has no need for tricks or frivolities to be a genre with true heart and quality.

RingMaster 02/023/2012

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