Trepalium – Damballa’s Voodoo Doll

IMG_7770 HD NB

They can try to call it groove metal, progressive metal maybe, or even avant-garde death metal, but quite simply the Damballa’s Voodoo Doll EP is swing metal in all its fresh faced glory. The six track dance of voracious metal rabidity and ridiculously virulent contagion is the new hex cast by French metallers Trepalium, a band no strangers to unleashing some of the most blistering and imagination stretching extreme metal over the past decade. French metal is in the midst of an innovative heyday right now, with seemingly every corner offering a new proposition to devour. It is also producing some of the most startlingly inventive proposals, unique experimental /avant-garde offerings from the likes of 6:33 and Carnival in Coal through to Pryapsime, Hardcore Anal Hydrogen, and Toumaï. One of the most rabid and nastily inventive of them all is Trepalium and their death metal bred sonic pestilence.

The band across four albums has persistently pushed their and metal’s boundaries with a raw hunger to infest viciousness with a seductive multi-flavoured originality, an intent bearing the most compelling fruit on Damballa’s Voodoo Doll. Cloaked in the allure of arcane mysticism and bursting with the tenacity and energy of vintage New Orleans jazz and swing, the EP is a nonstop stomp through fiercely grasping shadows and insidious black-hearted temptations, commanding feet and emotions like a maniacal puppeteer.

Voodoo Moonshine sets the sorcery in motion, a violent barroom the scene for big imposing and alluring beats to tone up ears and appetite ready for the salacious flames of brass and the throaty vocal malevolence of Cédric ‘KK’ Punda. His tones, as the music comes with a swagger, a demonic confidence which even in short grunts has intimidation and temptation dripping from every sound. The guitars of Harun Demiraslan and Nicolas Amossé are soon spinning a web of grooves and swing induced revelry, every flirtation and melodic toxin embraced in the rhythmic contagion of bassist Ludovic Chauveau and drummer Sylvain Bouvier. Embraced in the seductive heat of a full complement of brass and caressing keys, the track is a festival of sound and creative devilment, like a brawling romance between Gojira and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies with Destrage and Mucho Tapioca in close attention to give some hint of its infectious alchemy.

Talking of the first of those bands, Gojira’s Joseph Duplantier appears on the following title track, another taking a mere breath to enthral with its swinging 30’s big bandUpdatedArtwork like entrance clad in a just as immediately imposing and ferocious but catchy aggression. As in its predecessor, grooves bind and vein the track like vines, creeping deep into the passions and psyche as keys conjure their own individual demons. Imagination and emotions are just as swiftly inflamed by the villainous tapestry of sound, every unpredictable note and twist as well as boozy growl, an epidemic of incitement, though it is soon over run by the dark majesty of Possessed by the Nightlife. Twenties seeded keys paint the landscape before beats and riffs prowl and lurch up on the senses, their danger and menace as inescapable as the anthemic bait provided by the increasingly punchy rhythms. The song is brutal and uncompromising. from the pestilential tone of the bass to the barbarous predation of the guitars a merciless threat but again pure viral addiction leaving feet exhausted and thoughts ignited.

     Guédé Juice provides its own enslaving irreverence next, rhythmic swings and acidic grooves the frame to dirty jazz colours and a feverishly sultry climate of enterprise and creative rapacity. By the end of the song exhaustion and bliss are in overload and the spell keeps being casted as Fire on Skin broodily appears. Offering an opening impression or certainly the spark to thoughts of Creole like prohibition and dark magic in an embrace of the Dirty Thirties, the track is a muggy affair initially before the fetid mists part and the band bursts through with a metal driven rampage. Still employing eruptions of jazz endeavour, the track roars and bellows with extreme metal hostility and melodic rock enterprise, though it is a devious savaging as again there is a swing to much of its intensity and a venom which simply seduces body and soul.

The closing Blowjob on the Rocks spills its own dangerous persuasion to being the release to a mighty conclusion. There is a shadow and underlying animosity to the track, a seeming secret which flirts with ears and imagination throughout as the fully stocked brass persuasion spreads a weave of tangy intrigue and noir lit drama. It is a dark theatre only enhanced by the spicy nature and invention of the guitars, the trapping weight of the rhythms, and the treacherous elegance of the keys.

Damballa’s Voodoo Doll is dangerous; it is bad for the health of the body with its ridiculously infectious tempting and lethal for the psyche with its serpentine seduction and mystique. Ultimately though, the EP is one of the most exhilarating and lustful things likely to be heard this year, the next, or whilst the sun still warms our souls.

Damballa’s Voodoo Doll is available now via Klonosphere @

RingMaster 10/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from


Pryapisme – Futurologie EP

Photo 2

Whether you imagine Futurologie as the soundtrack to a deranged fairy tale, the evolving musical carousel to a spatial set ballet, or the accompaniment to the light and dark caresses of life, and it changes with every listen, French avant-garde metallers Pryapisme have ears and imagination eagerly doing somersaults once again. The band itself describes their new EP as a single 23 minute track about space, cats and house rent. Divided into eleven sections which the band suggests is for clarity, the piece is quite simply aural theatre to be bewitched by and run away into one’s own adventures with.

With the added bonus of a complete classical re-orchestration of the track, the Futurologie EP presents more of the insatiably diverse yet never demanding or disjointed aural imagination which made previous album Hyperblast Super Collider one of the essential adventures of 2013. The new release is as fans of the band would suspect a whole new and distinctly individual proposition to the previous encounter, its track Petit traité de futurologie sur l’Homo cretinus trampolinis (et son annexe sur les nageoires caudales), a perpetual evolution and exploration to which a myriad of interpretations and visions, as well as the band’s own drama, can be experienced. As mentioned the piece is split into parts with 1 instantly gripping thoughts as its cascade of beauty yielding keys embraces ears with mesmeric charm. There is a brewing drama behind it though which through an anger fuelled conversation courted by a nintendocore mischief, erupts in a thumping stride of feisty rhythms and ravenous riffs. A mere twist in the tale of course, this in turn slips into a sonic dance of synth bred revelry with sinews stretching from beats, guitars, and energy alike.

It is a compelling start which only gives an appetiser of things to come through the remaining spellbinding flight; cartoonish devilment and oriental infused country melodic twangs just one whiff Artworkwithin the psyche invigorating journey. The whole track moves with riveting fluidity and temptation, imposing itself on the imagination with samurai like nobility occasionally whilst in other moments slipping through noir lit jazz and vaudevillian avenues of enterprise. All the time though it is stirring up ears and thoughts, tempting them into as suggested earlier, constantly shifting exploits and escapades which only breed the fullest passion and bloated enjoyment for the scintillating proposition.

The Clermont-Ferrand quartet of Ban Bardiaux (programming), Nils Cheville (guitar), Antony Miranda (moog, bass), and composer Aymeric Thomas (drums, percussion, keys, Bb and bass clarinet, electronics, programming) constantly cast and recast their web of sonic fascination and aural emprise, at times tantalising the listener with a metallic confrontation of electro and progressive rock experiments, in others flirting with a chiptune spiced classical drama, like a hyperactive Peter and the Wolf revelling in a LSD overload. Equally the piece of music can enchant with a gentle seductive touch or reach into the other extreme and unleash a voracious tempest of electronicore ferocity and blackened post rock predation; though all becomes just individual pieces in an engrossing and mentally inflammatory glitch infused rapacious soundscape.

It is impossible to describe and give a fair impression of the alchemy fuelling and raging within Futurologie, but fair to say that those already blessed by knowing and basking in the wonderful musical oddity that is Pryapisme, will wet themselves in ardour whilst those yet to be infected have been given the most virulent and thrilling doorway into one of the truly unique propositions in music. Oh they and their composition sounds rather sensational orchestrated too just so you know.

The Futurologie EP is available from February 9th via Apathia Records @

RingMaster 09/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from


Queen Elephantine – Scarab


Photo by Erin Dynamic.

Photo by Erin Dynamic.

    Intensively provocative and demandingly challenging Scarab the new album from Queen Elephantine is a release which it is not too wide of the mark to say will not be for everyone. Consisting of four experimental and expansive landscapes of doom clad laments immersing the senses in darkness bred funereal breaths and captivations, the album is a testing evocation to avoid or embrace, with little in between one suspects. Meditative yet disturbing, seductive yet exacting, engaging yet overwhelming, the album is an uncompromising intrusive dirge but also persistently compelling.

     Scarab is the fourth album from Queen Elephantine, a project formed in Hong Kong in 2006 and now residing in Providence, Rhode Island. With several splits also under their belts including releases with Sons of Otis and Elder, the Indrayudh Shome led band has earned a strong reputation with their impacting explorations to which Scarab adds another epically cast uncompromisingly delivered landscape. With bassist Mat Becker, drummers Ian Sims and Nathanael Totushek, tanpura player Srinivas Reddy, and slide guitarist Brett Zweiman alongside Shome and his guitar skills, the band steer the listener into bleak psychedelic threnodies which never allow a breath to be taken in hope or made without an intense melancholic soak.

     Opener Veil coaxes the ears with a rhythmic and percussive persuasion initially, an intriguing tempting with slight tanpura a1459832747_2caresses and sonic whispers watching on. Once the bass and throaty guitar enters though a shadow clouds over the tempting to chill and inspire the imagination with stronger potency. Taunts of repetition begin laying down their riveting seeds from this point but through a weave which slowly shifts and evolves as the first of the long winding tracks emerges fully. The song like the album has to be taken and assessed over numerous traverses of its heavy presence, it inducing a stronger persuasion and convincing with each taken endeavour. The droning breath of the track which takes over until the equally dragging vocals steal their moment nag and entice, but equally provide an irritant to fear or crowd in with mentally and emotionally. Though the shortest track on the album at a mere eight minutes it makes the listener work for its rewards, or that may be endure for some, but nevertheless it offers plenty for most to feed eagerly upon.

   The following Crone as good as emerges from the trailing wash of its predecessor, bass and again dark toned guitar making the first bait of the song. It is a demand on ears and patience at times especially in the first four minute stretch of the eighteen minute submergence into the darkest corners of the soul and emotional depths but a constant lure on thoughts as they unveil their interpretation and feelings on the slow resonating probing. Vocals with a mutually effective monotony to the sounds clasping them add a warmer hue to the narrative if without sparking any change and intent from the labour intensive persuasion being woven around the psyche. There is no respite to the emotional turmoil and restrained but merciless evocative droning, and the track certainly outstays personal limits with its length and full on provocation though within that blanket of sonic murmuring and discord kissed humming little twists and additives spark attention and appetite for the perpetually engaging enthrallment.

     The bass sound conjured across the album is a strong tempting alongside the guitar imagination and within the final pair of tracks Snake and Clear Light of the Unborn both make no exceptions in their entangling of the emotions. The first of the two casts ten minutes of minimalistic and progressive searching of those prevailing contemplations of the abyss. Admittedly a surface look provides a similar canvas to the songs around it and it is only, as with all the tracks, an intensive dive into the swallowing tenebrous climate that individual nuances and provocations truly unveil themselves. The song is the hardest most unforgiving listen on the release and often difficult to remain in the grasp of but still provides plenty to be stimulated and gripped by. Its successor from a mesh of chants around a spitting heat leads into an invasive swamp of textures and sounds similar to those which marked the previous track but also stirs up new caustic winds and sonic rubs as it develops its thirteen minute incitement.

     Stronger in its first half and a constant depressive questioning, the Heart & Crossbone Records (CD)/Cosmic Eye Records (LP) released Scarab is undoubtedly for a certain appetite but before that kind of hunger is a formidable and impressive progressive doom exploit igniting a wealth of emotions and instincts. Queen Elephantine does not make it easy but they never leave you short on satisfaction and adventure.


RingMaster 15/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

Markradonn – Final Dying Breath EP


Offering something distinctly different and threateningly confrontational, US metallers Markradonn make their introduction with the riveting Final Dying Breath EP. It is a release which challenges thoughts and ears whilst leading them on a fury of creative invention and experimentation. It is not a journey which allows an easy passage but it is one with the strongest rewards for the effort and intensive examination given.

Hailing from Florida, Markradonn take influences from death and black metal alongside progressive and symphonic metal into their self-termed ‘Experimental Atmospheric Metal Musical Expression’. It is a striking and gripping endeavour which on initial terms raises as many questions as it answers but emerges over time as a thoroughly absorbing and aggressively demanding experience which leaves a hunger for more. That raging appetite will soon be fed by the band’s debut album Ceremonial Abnegation Part 1: Ad Ex Carne Excoriation (Excoriation of the Flesh), it the first part in a series of concept albums that will include 4 parts in all, a 25 song concept epic about a man who has completely renounced his life and all of his beliefs in a ceremony that results in the end of his life, and the entire process of his soul/essence returning to the place of the first creation. Before its early 2014 though we have the vigorous appetiser the Final Dying Breath EP to preview things and set up the seeds of anticipation for the emerging project.

Recorded between the last waking hours of last year and the awakening of this, The Bluntface Records released Final Dying Breath opens with its title track and is soon washing the ears in ominous atmospheres and consuming rhythmically framed ambiences. The vocals of Haniel Adhar Markradonn squall with serpentine venom and toxicity across the expanse of the track whilst his guitar craft backed by Allen C Raia sear and burn with melodic intensive flames which singe air and ear. It is the rhythmic evocation though which commands the passions, the orchestral percussion of Jon Gabriel Katz a rising theatre for the drama and the creative slaps of drummer Tim Carter an evocative scourge of the narrative to drive the track deep into the imagination. It is a gripping start if one which frustrates as does the EP as a whole in its production. It may be just the promo sent over but the production is very muddy which certainly adds to the consumptive oppressive depths of the theme perfectly but defuses all the nuances and individual scripting which you know is sculpting the impressive effect and success of the song.

The following Internal Hate Unbounded heralds in the senses with a colourful fanfare within a stalking embrace which intensifies its predation as drums and bass carve their temptations in the underbelly of the caustic symphonic flight. The pestilent heart of the track soon prowls its cause around the ferocious bestial premise whilst the music opens up all its darkest corners and magnetic lures for a tempest of avant-garde vitriolic adventure. As nasty as its predecessor, may be more so, but with a more open welcome before its ruin, the track again leaves the mind and emotions enslaved in a turbulent and needy peril, unsure of where to run but wanting more.

No Redemption, No Forgiveness is a cavernous enticement, a climactic instrumental which parades a soundscape of desperate emotions, lost hope, and emotional turmoil. With brass flames coursing through its evocative halls from Chris King, trombonist Jesse Hudson, Matt Farrington, Nick Weaver,  and Reebeka West, the piece is a thoroughly potent instigator to imagination and emotional exercising, each run of its landscape building to stronger hued thoughts and interpretations.

The EP’s finest moment comes with the final two tracks, Frenzied Winter Sorrow and Cathartic Spiritual Purgation. The first of the two smothers the ears in another delicious drum persuasion, the orchestral percussion joining its lure to cast more drama over intrigue before the track explodes into a torrential fury with the brass at times soothing its passage without lessening its malevolent angst. There is a folk metal revelry lurking within the bedlam too which only adds to the enticement but again with a more understanding production the track really could have risen to imperious heights, though the excellent guitar play and solo as well as the rhythmic cage leaves only strong satisfaction behind. The closing track actually emerges as the favourite, the song another rhythmic jungle with an infection clad appeal but one aligned to an aboriginal calling through the didgeridoo of Dennis Bottaro. Shards of guitar scar and wrap around the maze of rhythms whilst a synth-guitar colours between the rhythmic punctuation but it is the drums and percussion which steal the passions and inspire the imagination.

Final Dying Breath is a promising and adventurous burst into view by Markradonn with only the production an issue, though arguably a big one, but as the EP was produced by Haniel Adhar Markradonn maybe it is supposed to be this way. Fingers crossed not and the album sees a more rewarding touch to the undoubtedly outstanding ideas and sounds, we for one cannot wait.


RingMaster 11/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

KingBathmat – Overcoming The Monster

KingBathmat Publicity Photo 3

The fact that Overcoming The Monster, the new album from UK progressive rockers KingBathmat, is their seventh full length release but the first time they have come to our attention really drives home the fact that we, and I suggest all of us are only scratching the surface of music and the depth of good bands, no matter how much we think we are in control and knowledgeable of what is out there. Better late than never certainly applies to this outstanding release as well as relief that they finally have ventured upon our radar, though again a mystery as to why a band this good has remained in the shadows for so long especially as going by those in the know, Overcoming The Monster is an album in a strong line of impressive releases from the Hastings quartet.

KingBathmat musically is a band wonderfully impossible to pin down. Hailed as a progressive rock band they equally employ all essences from psychedelic and alternative rock through to electronic, grunge, experimental metal and more into their unique creativity. Formed by songwriter /vocalist/guitarist John Bassett the band has unleashed a sextet of albums from debut Son of a Nun in 2003 through to the acclaimed Truth Button which came out at the start of the year. With David Georgiou (keyboards), Lee Sulsh (bass), and Bernie Smirnoff (drums) completing the line-up, KingBathmat creates a tempest of invention and imaginative adventure which is impossible to resist or escape once within its riveting clutches. Overcoming The Monster is a compelling flight of melodic fire, rhythmic provocation, and sonic beauty all wrapped in an ingenuity of craft and thought which leaves the listener quite breathless. With tracks which investigate the theme ‘of psychological obstacles (monsters of the mind) that are manufactured in our thoughts, both internally through our insecurities, externally by the outside influence of others and collectively through the mass media which uses fear as a tool to manipulate our perceptions’, the Stereohead Records album evokes and ventures into personal reflection igniting emotional dialogue with its potent premise and presence whilst all the time teasing and soaking the senses in music which is simply enthralling.

Opening track Sentinel makes a muscular entrance, riffs and rhythms claiming their piece of the senses whilst a brewing sonic Overcoming The Monster Album Covermist wraps deviously around their capture. It is an immediately gripping start which once in command from its dramatic stance, relaxes into an emotive plea of keys and the vocals which paint the thought cradling narrative. The tenderly toned weave continues to expand its call with growing keys and group harmonies whilst the bass adds shadows that menace as they lurk within and stalk the melodic blaze of sound and feeling. As the song ventures further from its strong start across an equally intense if slightly underwhelming course there is a brooding sense of something impending. This becomes a solid gripping breath as, and not for the only time on the album, the track evolves into a potent and aurally dexterous mesh of ingenuity and contagion. Just beyond midway of the near nine minute track it unleashes the bass to roam with a new raptorial hunger framed by the equally greedy rhythms of Smirnoff whilst the vocals of Bassett ride their refreshing caging with expressive might. As riffs add their ‘savagery’ for the next evolution of the song, it climbs all over the senses as sonic ropes of invention tether it securely to the passions.

Though it took a while to fully persuade the song makes an impressive start to the release which is soon surpassed by firstly Parasomnia. The haunting opening child’s toy box like charm is a breath of innocence against the disturbing ambience enveloping the senses behind it, the tones of Bassett shaping the narrative with a continuing magnetic pull. Into its full presence the shadows dissipate as melodic hues paint their caresses from guitar and keys onto the imagination. Combining flames of heavy rock, metallic angst, and melodic washes, the song captivates from start to finish with its unpredictable grandeur, thoughts of Mars Volta, ELO, King Crimson, and most definitely Horslips spawning from the shifting spicery within the scintillating song. For all its triumph it is soon eclipsed by the stunning title track, easily the best song on the towering album. The niggling sonic coaxing which introduces the song is a continual temptation throughout whilst around it the band ebb and flow in crystalline invention, infectious melodies, and multi-flavoured invention. There is a familiarity to the track which is deceiving but certainly as it unwinds its striking persuasion and mystique the likes of Muse, Comsat Angels, and Soundgarden as well as Porcupine Tree and Floyd spring to mind.

Both the layered Superfluous, with its tantalising wealth of textures and jazz bred soaring heat, and the smouldering Reality Mining lead the listener into new teasing excursions of epidemically alluring emotional and aural exploits whilst the closing Kubrick Moon reaches into absorbing space for another original baptism of progressive and psychedelic musical chemistry. The trio of songs make for a towering conclusion to one of the very best progressive releases this year, one though completely unique in voice we suggests stands easily by the side of the new releases from The Ocean and Between The Buried And Me…it is that good.


RingMaster 22/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from