Quantum Leap – No Reason

Creating a tantalising yet portentous fusion of post punk and garage rock, Swedish trio Quantum Leap make their major entrance with a debut album which through its dark climes and apocalyptic tones makes for one hungrily infectious and enthralling proposition. No Reason, in the words of its introduction, “invites you to a heavy and dark feast celebrating the very last setting of the sun”, a beckoning as arousing as it is threatening.

Hailing from Uppsala, Quantum Leap consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Björn Norberg, bassist Andreas Hennius, and drummer Mats Gustavsson. With a diversity of musical backgrounds taking in thrash, death and black metal, electronica and pop, the three came together in 2014. A demo was released in 2016 after the band linked up with producer Tomas Skogsberg of legendary Sunlight Studios (Entomed, Refused, Backyard Babies, Dismember). That led to a contract with Swedish label Viskningar och Vrål (Whisperings and Growls), who now release the fiercely magnetic No Reason, the release again seeing the trio working with Skogsberg and featuring guest musicians in Lea Martinelle (saxophone), Rosa Kristalova (cello), Mattis Fredriksson (accordion), Daniel Söderberg (on modular synthesizer), and Janet Simmonds (backing vocals).

It opens up with That’s The Reason, a swiftly compelling trespass of post punk bringing an initial menace of sound before rumbling through ears on a rhythmically driven stroll wrapped in sonic dissonance. Norberg’s vocals, as strong and magnetic as the web of sounds around them, are soon accentuating the lure. It is a dark, suffocating, and invasively heavy confrontation but inescapably contagious with echoes of eighties bands such as Joy Division, Play Dead, and Leitmotiv to its rasping winds.

It is an outstanding start which swiftly aroused a keen appetite for things to come; one soon reinforced by the following In Between Worlds. It too springs from a raw sonic misting into a virulent attack, its swing eating at instincts and psyche with viral tenacity whilst spreading another exploration of stark, ravenous times. There is more of a noise infested rock ‘n’ roll attack to its post punk, bass and drums a rapacious incitement upon which guitars and keys spread a toxic glaze while escalating the infectious and fractious catchiness of the song.

With an even darker climate Blind comes next, the track a calmer but equally emotionally and atmospherically invasive proposal. It offers a more art/alternative rock spicing with not for the last time within the album a Bowie-esque hue which only adds to its persuasion before Yeah sees the band embrace a metal lined garage rock flavouring with matching success. The diversity within the band’s sound is in full swing at this point, each song revealing a new shade and flavouring to keep things unpredictable and intriguing. Trust quickly backs this variety up with its seventies psych toned dark rock. Though all uniquely different, the quintet of tracks so far all slip perfectly alongside each other, the alluring overall Quantum Leap voice uniting their eclectic characters.

The Fiction In The Daily Life bounds in with a mix of garage punk and heavy rock straight after; the excellent track swiftly stirring up attention and pleasure while Sea repeats that tempting straight after with its again Bowie reminding saunter. There is a definite Heroes like feel to the track which maybe does not lead it to impress as some of its companions within the album but only richly pleases within its fuzzy climate.

Through the bruising and hungrily rousing rock ‘n’ roll of All I Ever Wanted and the Bauhaus meets Wire like gothic/post punk air of I Don’t Know attention and enjoyment only escalated, both tracks unsettling magnetism while Dreaming taps a poppier gait to its darky lit romancing to equally attract. A bit like a blend of Modern English and Modern Eon with once more that hint of Bowie, the song entices from start to finish.

The album concludes with firstly the groove wired heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Mayday and lastly the senses consuming, imagination sparking sonic tides of Like A Memory From A Long Time Ago. With a melodic Skids like current ebbing and flowing in its infectiously sinister but thickly alluring ominous waters, it is a last entrapment for the suggestively impending apocalypse and another sepulchral proposal which is quite irresistible.

Quantum Leap have uncaged a debut which simply demands attention of the band and their dark foreboding layered sound…so stop reading and go explore.

No Reason is out now through Viskningar och vrål.

https://www.facebook.com/quantumleap2/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raw blood and ceremonies: talking Antropomorphia with Ferry Damen.

antropomorphia_photo03

The presence of Dutch death metallers AntropomorphiA comes in two parts, a successful period between 1990 and 1999 and second starting in 2009 when the band came back to life after a decade hiatus. Its return has led to acclaim and feverish appetites for the band’s uncompromising and imposingly bracing inventive sound. Just recently AntropomorphiA unleashed new album Rites ov Perversion, a wickedly accomplished and compelling slab of extreme savagery putting a potent spark back into death metal. Eager to learn more about the band, we had the pleasure to grab time with vocalist/guitarist Ferry Damen, exploring the birth and first era of the band, the new album, and connections between certain songs and their author…

Hi Ferry and thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

It is fair to say that the recent release of your new album Rites ov Perversion has drawn even more attention and awareness of AntropomorphiA than ever before; certainly it has been the release opening us up to your dark violently imposing world. How has reactions been for the release and have you felt an increased spotlight from it?

The overall reactions are very positive, from both media and fans. We certainly notice there is a lot more attention drawn towards the band since the release, which is again a positive thing for us!

It is the successor to the well-received Evangelivm Nekromantia of 2012, how and where do you see an evolution in sound between the two?

I think it’s becoming more comfortable within your own sound and songwriting. With Evangelivm Nekromantia we wanted to present an album that after such a long break was a good representation of where we stood musically and could define us. Evangelivm Nekromantia became more groove-based and atmospheric than all our previous work but still harboured those characteristics that defined us. That sound became the spine on which I wanted to grow this new entity. I wanted to refine that sound and draw from a big diverse palette while staying true to some old Death Metal traditions without becoming a copy of the genre. I think what the main difference in sound is the progression, which is an inevitable thing as an artist and I think

Before we look at the new album more closely can we briefly ask about the beginnings of AntropomorphiA way back in the mists of time, well 1990 to be specific. Was there a particular intent and inspiration to the band back then?

We started of inspired by the early Black Metal bands such as Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, but when I heard Scream Bloody Gore and Seven Churches the intent became to play raw and uncompromising Death Metal. We were inspired by all the upcoming DM bands that surrounded us, from Entomed, Grave, Asphyx, Death to Bolt Thrower, but not in the sense that we wanted to sound like them.

Has that force behind the band’s creation continued or evolved over time?

I would say it has evolved. When we started out our musical skills weren’t at the level they are now so our early work is more primitive. We evolved as artist and the hunger within this band has grown together with this progression.

Looking back, a relatively successful period for the band led to a decade hiatus, was there a prime reason for the dormancy of the band? antropomorphia_photo02

We were at a point where Death Metal had become a repetition and was bleeding out, we weren’t able to book any shows. We parted ways with our original guitar player, who was a very good friend, so that left its mark and our other musical projects got more interest from the outside world. Time became also an issue due to those projects. So we decided to put the band on hiatus.

…And the spark bringing AntropomorphiA back to life in 2009?

When we put the band on hiatus I never stopped writing for the band. So from time to time I would sit and record some of these songs together with Marco (Drums) at his studio. Months would pass and then Marc (Bass) would record his parts, Marco would mix the tracks and we would put some of them online on our MySpace page back then. Every time we’d record or made music together, we’d sometimes rent a rehearsal studio just to play some AntropomorphiA tunes; that spark started a small fire and when time became less of an issue we decided to really feed those flames.

Did you look at the band and the music brewing up inside her differently this second time around or was it simply picking up where the band left off?

The music we wrote within those years of our hiatus showed some progression in our style but when we started writing it was difficult to get back in our skin so to speak. We’ve recorded a whole album worth of material, which had elements of what was brewing inside AntropomorhpiA but it was until after those recordings that the fire started to really blaze.

What specifically consumed the band member’s experiences and careers in that intervening period?

Marco (Drums) and Marc (Bass) where part of a band called Flesh Made Sin and I got involved managing a major act here in the Netherlands.

Back to Rites ov Perversion, would you agree is probably your most vicious yet adventurous album yet?

Antropomorphia-RitesOvPerversionFor sure, I think with every listen you’ll hear it offers a more dangerous sonic ride. A sinister, brutal, violent and emotional ride, layered in a more multidimensional sound.

We also sensed looking back at previous releases that there is an element in its sound that is seeded back in the early music of the band. Is that something you hear and was this deliberate or simply an organic emergence?

These things emerge on a natural way; I think it comes from my style and approach of writing and playing this type of music.

Evangelivm Nekromantia found itself under scrutiny and dislike of the German authorities, leading to its banning I believe. Are you expecting similar attention and reactions with Antropomorphia in certain quarters?

I didn’t get completely banned, it’s an 18 or older type of thing if you want to buy the album. I think they will certainly have a closer look at this album since we became part of their list but we didn’t really think about it or take it into account writing this album. I’ll guess we’ll see how they react to certain things to come (our video for Nekrovaginal Secretions might rub them the wrong way) but until now we haven’t heard from them.

The last album had a continuing theme to its songs, but Rites ov Perversion feels like the songs, apart from a few are more individual and standalone in their narrative. What are some of the concepts and explorations running through the release?

The album is filled with the same thematic occult/gore, mostly consisting of a sinister, diabolic, misanthropic and sexual nature. Crowned in Smoldering Ash is an exception as this song addresses the depressions that have plagued me throughout my life. Inanimatus Absqui Anima is written by a good friend of ours Twan van Geel (Legion of the Damned, Soulburn) which is about the Greek mythological goddess Kore (Persephone) who gets raped by Hades. As a reference to our world where everything will end up getting raped in some sort of form, dies and will end up empty and rotten.

How long was the album in the making and how did the writing process work for its songs and in general with the band?

I started writing on and off from the second half of 2013. It’s a very intense and complicated process at times, so I’ll give you the short version; I write all the music and Marco is responsible for the arrangements. There are times also we co-write/arrange songs.

Jos van den Brand is a new addition to the band between albums, how did that change the dynamics and process of writing and recording Rites ov Perversion to say the previous album?

It didn’t, our writing process has been the same for several years.

Your songs appear to take inspiration from classical and literature bred themes as well as more modern issues. There also seems an intimacy to some of the lyrics, is there a stronger personal element to tracks than maybe initially perceived by us outsiders?

This is the first time I get this question, which means someone is paying attention ha-ha. I’d say it’s certainly the case on Rites ov Perversion, I mentioned the song Crowned in Smoldering Ash, this is the most personal song I’ve ever written but there are more tracks even on the previous album that hold something personal. Although Crowned… is the most outspoken, even though I think if I didn’t mention this, it would not be perceived as that.

Rites ov Perversion also includes a cover of Death’s Open Casket, why that particular song from their arsenal of songs?antropomorphia_photo01

Although we are an admirer of the whole Leprosy album, Open Casket is that one song that jumps out for each of us. When we started playing it in the rehearsal room it immediately felt like a perfect fit, since Death was one of the most important DM bands for us we said why not put it on the album.

You mentioned it earlier, the video for Nekrovaginal Secretions from the album; can you give us some hint and background to that?

Well the video is based on the lyrics of the song. We’ve had our second and last day of shooting last weekend and it will be an ode to lesbian necrophilia, and perverted masochistic sexual behaviour. We’re still in the editing process so I can’t say more about it than this.

What will the rest of 2014 going into the New Year have in store for and from AntropomorphiA?

Our bookings agency is focusing on club and festival shows. So we will be able to cast our Rites ov Perversion all over Europe.

Once again a big thanks to talking with us, any final thoughts you would like to share?

Thank you for the time! Check out the album.

‘Behold the Sway ov Death’

F

 

Ring our review of Rites ov Perversion @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion/

Rites ov Perversion is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion-cd/art_288907/

http://antropomorphia-official.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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