Guardian – Revolution

Guardan Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

There is a fresh tempest about to savage the British metal scene; a bracing consumption of the senses going by the name of Revolution. It is the title of the debut album from Guardian, a Northumberland quartet which had already shown its creative intent with their earlier Tyrants EP. A long time in the making, the new twelve fury encounter is a ferocious blend of varied metal provocations driven by themes “centring on the balance of life and nature, and an emphasis on the unsustainable damage that humans are inflicting on our planet”, and a wake-up call to national attention for the great invasive roar of Guardian.

The band made their first impact with the aforementioned Tyrants EP mid-2014, inspirations from the likes of Pantera, Machine Head, Whitechapel, and Parkway Drive adding to the varied metal bred textures making up the release’s sound and even more so now, Revolution. Well-received by fans and media alike, the EP was supported by Guardian going on a month long European tour followed by a just as busy series of shows around the UK. Thoughts then turned to the band’s first album, Guardian taking their time to write and create the beast before us and proving suggestions that they are one of Britain’s exciting new breed of extreme incitement.

The short introductory climate of Resolution starts things off, its sombre yet elegant melodies the lining to an emerging portentous air as the instrumental leads ears and imagination into the volatile and combative landscape of the album’s title track. Instantly Revolution is an intimidating threat of wiry grooves and biting riffs against barbarous rhythms, the raw antagonism driven by the throat grazing vocal scowling of Matthew Hall and lit by grooved spicing from guitarist Zac Yates. It is a magnetic challenging of ears and emotions; one sculpted with open enterprise and unpredictable imagination within a ravishing cauldron bred from essences to be found in many flavours from death and thrash metal to hardcore and metalcore.

Guardian Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewApart from the fade-out, the track is an immense beginning backed as forcibly by the mazy dynamics and brutal tirades of Politics. Ears are instantly pushed back by its intensity as the predacious nature of the song brews, building until erupting in a hellacious outpouring loaded with the violent rhythms of drummer Joshua Stephen matched in vitriol by the bestial tones of Cory Young’s bass. Yates again veins the storm with toxic but virulent grooves and hooks, their potency successfully riding the crushing breakdowns, as here, breaching the whole of the album.

Innovate devours the senses next, its instant cantankerous character the spark to the song’s savagery in sound and vocal animosity. Inhospitable but again rabidly catchy, the blistering track inflames the appetite for voracious trespasses before the rapaciously energetic prowl of Capitalism matches its triumph. Rock ‘n’ roll to beat up on the world to; the song is an incendiary slab of heavy-duty metal vehemence leaving body and emotions with a want to take on the world.

Through the fearsome heavy metal seeded enmity of Deliverance and the outstanding hardcore toned Catharsis, band and album keep an already hungry appetite greedier, both tracks a sonic web of inventive twists and murderous inclinations before Propaganda provides a rousing if corrosive weave of winding groove honed tendrils to inflame the cancerous tapestry of sound. In some ways the three together provide the pinnacle of the album, each leading and seeming to inspire the following to new creative antipathies before the ‘mellower’ landscape of Hope hugs the senses. Its touch sears the sense from the off and of course it too unveils barbarous sounds and imagination over time, but from start to finish it enthrals with a ‘lighter’ atmosphere and infectiousness absent elsewhere within Revolution.

Nomadic leads the listener through a meandering landscape coated in raw melodic and electric sonic endeavour next, its rhythms building another bad blooded dispute as Hall’s vocals infest the psyche as supporting band roars incite the instincts. It is a crushingly invigorating proposition setting up body and emotions for the back breaking intensity of Ambivalence and finally the ravenous sonic dexterity and rhythmic rabidity of Restoration. The pair creates an intrusively dramatic and explosively volatile finale to Revolution, at the same time giving glimpse of even richer veins of exploration within the Guardian sound.

Revolution is a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyably exhausting release from a band easy to see making strong waves ahead. It is an encounter which might not live up to its name in regard to stirring up the metal scene, moments of surface similarity between some tracks and a familiar feeling to others noticeable if no issue, but for relentless seriously accomplished and stylish metal fury, Revolution is set to wake up thick attention.

Revolution will be available from 22nd January through all stores and platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/GuardianUKNEMC

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Markradonn – The Serpentine Deception

Markradonn Serpentine Deception EP cover_RingMaster Review

Whether calling the Markradonn sound experimental death metal, brass death metal, progressive death metal or any other variation of its invention you wish to describe it as, and all potently applicable terms, the broad brush is that it is one truly unique proposition igniting ears and the imagination. Real and bold originality is a relatively scarce commodity in the music world let alone metal scene right now it seems but the Florida hailing Markradonn is one of those creative protagonists wearing uniqueness as openly as craft and invention. The band’s acclaimed 2013 debut EP Final Dying Breath revealed the rich potential and fiercely imaginative songwriting/composing fuelling the conspicuous sound of the band and now its successor The Serpentine Deception takes it all to another striking and mouth-watering level.

Markradonn is a death/extreme metal band, that is their heart but with its live brass section and similarly bold timpani temptation to simplify the rich flavours and textures woven into their music, they create an emotively dramatic and creatively dynamic proposal unlike anything else out there. As suggested, The Serpentine Deception finds the band exploring their most imaginative work yet. The EP’s tracks reveal more intricacy in their design and sound, a fiercer roar in their bracing confrontation, and thicker intensity in their atmospheric lures, a new evolution in an already fluid sound making a thick impact straight away.

Initiation Through Torment opens up The Serpentine Deception; a cinematic/vocal sample coaxing ears and attention as a portentous whisper skirts the background. In a matter of a few more breaths, the stirring resonance of rhythms and warm swipes of brass unite as a similarly potent predation is uncaged by guitars and the dark rasping tones of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Haniel Adhar. The blend instantly swamps ears in drama and intrigue, their contrasts colluding in an inviting yet ravenous consumption of the senses. It is a stirring and compelling incitement, the light and almost celebratory blaze of brass, as well as the timpani led rhythmic swing, merging with the dark predatory blackened death honed textures cast through guitar, bass, and voice. There is a feeling of coming of age in the tone of the track too, its protagonist journeying through the song’s title with celebration and tempestuousness around them.

Already hooked, body and imagination is swiftly and fully engaged again as the rhythmic entrance of NIN.GISH.ZI.DA God Of The Tree Of Life draws the listener into a jazzy web sculpted in the embrace of a primal and deviously tempestuous sound. The tapestry crafted is fascinating, a seamlessly and inspired fusion of conflicting elements which leave thoughts as bewildered as they are bewitched and ears eagerly trapped within the hellacious waltz.

The EP’s title track is equally spellbinding; the instrumental a shamanic visitation upon body and emotions as tribal rhythms and the raw tonal call of a didgeridoo magnetically involve the listener in atmospheric adventure. There is a great essence of shadow hued distortion to the track too which shows its ingenuity in brief but masterful glimpses. As meditative as it is evocatively invasive, the outstanding track makes way for The Veil Of Negative Existence Part 1- Ain, Nothingness; an instinctively infectious trespass with its own individual bedlam of resourcefulness and dramatic virulence. There is a touch of Trepalium to the track, a vague scent in the cosmopolitan yet melodically intimate weave conjured by Markradonn, which in turn is walled in by a blackened causticity soaked in rancorous imagination and veined by Adhar’s enticingly cancerous tones. The track is a labyrinth of simultaneous seductive and venom, an invigorating intrusion leaving bodies swinging and appetite inflamed.

Closing instrumental Stillness, Silence Of The Primal Mind is a gentler tantalising of the senses, a sonic travelogue of emotive scenery in an aural landscape painted by melodic guitar and melancholic brass. An immersive flight to which thoughts are given the freedom to cast their own poetic narrative, it brings the release to an enthralling end, well until pressing that play button again which is the instinctive next move.

Working towards the release of their debut album Ceremonial Abnegation Part 1: Excoriation Of The Flesh, Markradonn is one of the true fresh breaths in metal, from its underground to its broadest landscape. As for The Serpentine Deception, that is simply a must investigation for all with the heart for real and rewarding adventure.

The Serpentine Deception EP is available in association with Bluntface Records from December 15th through the band’s GoFundMe page where news of the album and details of a DVD, which will have a collection of performances, a full show with multiple camera angles, and clips from production videos and practices can also be found.

Recording Line-up for The Serpentine Deception:

Haniel Adhar: All Guitars; Vocals

Tim Carter: Drums and Percussion

Jonathan Gabriel Katz: Timani and Concert Percussion; Drums

Richard Blankenship: Principle Trombone and Brass

Dennis Bottaro: 6 string bass, Didgeridoo , Hand Percussion, Guitar

Drew Prichard: Cimbasso; Tuba

Robin Sisk: Tuba

Danny Rowland: Tuba; Euphonium

Austin Kinard: Trumpet and Brass

Gavin Pritchard: Hand Percussion

Nicholas Weaver: Fretless bass, French Horn, and Trumpet (Live)

Beka West: Euphonium, Trombone (Live)

Allen C Raia: Rhythm Guitar (Live)

Jesse Hudson: Vocals and Trombone (Live)

https://www.facebook.com/Markradonn  https://twitter.com/Markradonn

Pete RingMaster 15/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Idols Of Apathy – Life Lessons

Idols Of Apathy Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Truly standing out in the vast horde of metal bands with a hellacious bully of a sound seems to get harder and harder with every passing year and diversely brutal release. Originality is a premium numerous touch upon, often impressively, and few rarely blossom to something which really does stand alone and become the inspirer rather than the inspired. British extreme /tech metallers Idols Of Apathy fall into the former with their sound, but equally strongly impress with their five track tempest of fury and raw ingenuity, the Life Lessons EP. The release is a volatile and skilfully invasive proposition which never leaves a moment dulled by a lack of imagination and passion, qualities woven in with recognisable hues to suggest that influences breed as much of the band’s invention as their own explorations. At the same time though, the highly enjoyable Life Lessons leaves ears and appetite fiercely attentive as a rich fuel of potential hints of even bigger and individually bolder things ahead as Idols Of Apathy evolve.

Idols Of Apathy Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   Bursting from the Essex landscape in 2013, Idols Of Apathy were soon stirring up a potent local fan base, spreading further afield once they swiftly released debut single Deceiver. Its success was backed by first EP Unheard Words, which was recorded by Dan Keer. Picking up strong national and media recognition, it was the spark to the band sharing stages, to continuing acclaim, alongside the likes of Climates, Canvas, Lock & Key, Shields, Sworn In, Continents, Create to Inspire, Carcer City, and Falling With Style amongst many more. It is easy to see similar and bigger responses to the release and persuasion of Life Lessons coming up, and though it might not roar from that plateau of major originality it powerfully gives the already strong reputation of the band a new shot in the arm.

The release opens with Bipolar, a song inspired by vocalist Jack Dervish’s own condition and living up to its title in sound and character from its first evocative breath. In no time the inviting coaxing is an anger driven and heart spawned tearing of the senses, with a sound seemingly drawing on the savage intensity and hues of a Slipknot, Devil Driver, or As I Lay Dying. The lethal swings of drummer Stuart Roche resonate like masonry through ears and bone whilst the raw vocal invasion of Dervish, backed as strongly by guitarist Dean Chignell especially with his eventful clean tones, abrase and entice simultaneously. It is the web of invasive grooves and technical imagination from Chignell and fellow guitarists Tom Johnston and Joe Gregory that majorly helps turn a very decent track become a striking offering, their entwining enterprise helping the EP get off to an immense and impressive start.

The great creative irritability and hostile dynamics of the first song continues in the following Addiction, its trespass an insatiable incursion into the senses but bolder in its embrace of provocative ambiences and ‘mellower’ textures led again by clean vocals. The song itself jerks around at times like it has creative Saint Vitus Dance, twisting and lurching from idea to carnivorous intent with seamless and eventful prowess. The bass of Elliott Black is a predator in the mix, his lines and lures bestial, and though not always as open in the mix as in the first song are always there tempering or inciting the calmer and fiercer moments.

Once A Cheat / Always comes next, smothering ears in an atmospheric angst around similarly driven vocals before spilling its own animus of sound and emotion. The scything strokes of one guitar collude with a net of off-kilter sonic from another as the track blossoms a turbulence which merges moments of rich catchiness with winds of blustery causticity; the technical craft and ideation of the band from all angles ensuring predictability is an unused issue.

The scent of Whitechapel meets Revocation of the track merges with the rancorous intensity of the following Backstabber too, lining the melodic expression lighting up a track which maybe does not make the same initial impact as earlier propositions within Life Lessons but comes into its thrilling own over time and listens. It is an increasingly virulent tapestry of crippling rhythms and spiky guitar intrusiveness bursting with resourceful vitality and physical tenacity from across the board before leaving Lessons Learnt to bring the EP to an imposing like-minded and pleasing close. As well as essences which savage as old friends, there is an element of similarity between songs in certain areas but always saved from dominating things by the turbulent adventure the band builds each track upon. Whereas its predecessor’s assault was sonic and lyrical venom, the final track feels like it is an understanding incitement, melodic and harmonic essences a hug around the shoulder giving a reassurance echoing the words shared, though it still snarls and bites like a rabid beast too.

Idols Of Apathy is a band destined to more and greater attention, a suggestion hard to resist making on the evidence of the excellent Life Lessons, and if they can find that real element of originality too, the real potential of big things ahead.

The Life Lessons EP is available from December 4th.

https://www.facebook.com/IdolsOfApathy   https://twitter.com/idolsofapathy

Pete RingMaster 04/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Five Hundred – Winters

TFH_RingMaster Review

Every now and then, without any debate, lustful pleasure is ignited by a release; by a band exploding on the sweet spot of ears and instincts with something which just seems to know what the passions like. Such an encounter for us is Winters, the debut EP from UK metallers The Five Hundred. It is hard to say what particularly incites such enthused reactions and appetite, the release weaving its fierce tempting with a host of familiar flavours and styles, but every one of its four incendiary tracks is hellacious manna to the ear and imagination; something we suspect to not be alone in feeling.

The Five Hundred emerged in 2014, a Nottingham quintet previously known as DAOR. In no time their fusion of brutal and melodic metal was whipping up ears and thick attention, every strain of extreme metal and numerous other styles seemingly entangled into a compelling maelstrom of enterprise and confrontation which now fuels Winters and already an acclaimed live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Architects, and TesseracT. Recorded with Justin Hill (Sikth, Heart of a Coward), Winters is the band’s first fearsome roar at national spotlights, and if our ears are anything to go by, heading to rich success in awakening that broader focus.

Winters EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review    The press release suggests that the band switching to 8 string guitars has been a new spark to their sound and invention; whether it has or not, all that matters is that Winters is a full-on tempest of persuasion from first breath to last. The EP starts with its title track and straight away is grumbling in ears through the predatory bass of Andy Crawford, it a grouchy provocateur within a surge of wiry guitar. The hefty swings of drummer Liam Perez show no light in their nature either with each beat a shuddering impact as guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty weave more compelling bait for vocalist John Eley to spring from with great diversity. Just as musically the release ticks all the boxes so does the attack of the frontman, his fluid mix of clean, punkish, and outright raw hostility equally accomplished and perfectly measured in the split of all his strains of potency.

Death and heavy metal collude with metalcore and post hardcore ferocity though that is a simplifying of the hues creating the first and each track within Winters, as Come Closer swiftly proves. The lead track with a great video in tow, it emerges from a misty sonic atmosphere with military rhythms and emotive vocals, they still more in the background until a ravenous stomp of belligerent rhythms and caustic riffs is triggered. It in turn breeds a sonic blaze which is not so much mellow as less vicious than the surrounding and perpetually prowling ferocity soaking the walls of the incitement. Again at times as punk as it is metal and a constant exploit of seriously enticing elements amidst slithers of unpredictable ingenuity, the track is a ravenous treat but outshone within seconds.

The barbarous majesty of the first two tracks carries on in the outstanding Shutter to the Light, its immediate swagger as seductive as it is venomously violent. Like an anthem for the derailment of all that is hopeful, the track bellows at and trespasses the senses and imagination with enthralling enterprise, yet within its despoiling character harmonies and melodies are unleashed to wrong-foot and seize the passions even tighter. Everything about the track whips up a greedy appetite and pleasure; from the irresistible prime hook to the increasingly formidable vocals and the raging invention culturing the creatively rabid storm.

The EP is closed by The Cannibal Hordes, it also a quite thrilling and blistering arousal of ears and satisfaction. Melodically acoustic in its first caress, defiantly cantankerous from the second onwards, the track spits hostile intent and roars melodic understanding; vocally and musically entwining both with a skilled volatility that ensures expectations never gets proven. As suggested earlier, many elements and flavours are recognisable, bands like Fear Factory, Lamb of God, In Flames, and Hatebreed coming to mind, yet no song utters anything other than something unique to The Five Hundred.

The Winters EP is a crushing and scintillating introduction to The Five Hundred, band you should expect to hear a lot more of in sound and acclaim ahead, if only from our enraptured lips.

The Winters EP is out now digitally and on CD via https://thefivehundred.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wearethefivehundred   https://twitter.com/thefivehundred

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Zillah – Serpentine Halo

Zillah - Band shot_RingMaster Review

The scars of uncompromising sonic hostility and a ferociously emotional war may be the legacy of listening to Serpentine Halo but there is no denying that the new album from Scottish metallers Zillah is one compelling and invigorating fury. Savaging and thrilling ears and appetite cross eight ire fuelled tempests of rabid progressive metal, the long awaited release quickly and forcibly shows that across the nine years since its predecessor, Zillah have only got harsher, fiercer, and more inventively explosive.

The Edinburgh band have earned a potent and acclaimed reputation for their sound and indeed releases. The Halo Diablo EP of 2001 set things off with a second EP in the shape of The Thoughts that Lead, and indeed first album Morta in Crucem a year later, offering potent suggestions of a potential loaded band on the rise. Arguably though it was from the two EPs When Rock Goes Wrong and Standing Next to Normal of 2003 and 2005 respectively, that attention truly turned the band’s way, a praise lit focus which devoured second album Substitute For A Catastrophe in 2006. Its quality and impact confirmed Zillah as one of the major forces in Scotland’s extreme metal scene, its success and acclaim sure to be easily eclipsed by the mighty Serpentine Halo. It is fair to say the band through its new dirty corrosive roar now stands as one of Europe’s most exciting and thrilling proposals. The band are certainly no newcomers but with Serpentine Halo there is something fresh which takes Zillah up to stand with the ‘big boys’.

Serpentine Halo - Front_RingMaster Review     The album opens with Therefore I Am and a maelstrom of intensity and sound. The guitars of Rob Coverdale, Tim Rasmussen, and Roddy Anderson explode with sonic tendrils which collide and wind around each other like a volcanic mosh pit, their chaos reinforced by the bedlamic swings of drummer Matt Holland and Coverdale’s additional ravenous craft on the bass. It is a breath-taking, senses debilitating assault, yet within it already the intricate and technical prowess of the band is fingering the imagination and psyche, a fusion ensuring a scintillating opening to the release which just gets more exacting and irresistible with each passing minute of its lethal, energy sapping enterprise.

The rawness and corrosive hue of the music is as powerful and gripping as the melodic and skilfully woven textures, swift evidence coming with second track Something Done Cannot be Undone and again in its successor Made Flesh And Bone, actually right across the whole album. The first of the pair enters on a predatory waltz of gritty rhythms and steely grooves, its flavouring as much post punk as it is progressive antagonism. Winding around the senses like an insidious temptress, the track continues to weave a hellacious web but again one with strands of addictive enterprise and imaginative resourcefulness as the coarse and equally enticing bellows of Anderson’s throat, as in the first song, incites sound and listener. Made Flesh And Bone is similarly as engrossing and even more predatory in tone and nature, as well as more rhythmically barbarous. Tagged as progressive metal, the third song alone shows that the Zillah sound is a mesh of diverse extreme metal just as keen to reap the essences of noise and hardcore spicery.

Another riveting rhythmic shuffle brings the intoxicating animus of Karras to bear on ears, its body an increasingly volatile and fascinating protagonist with each passing torrent of hungry riffs, rapier like beats, and virulent grooves bound in spellbinding sonic ingenuity. The track is primal temptation, a volcanic pyre of imagination matched by Not All Of Me Shall Die and its tsunami of emotive and creative dissonance. Once more no breath is allowed to be seized, no respite given yet the song as fearsomely intensive as it is, still unveils a sublime tempering to the punishment through its melodic evocation of kindred calm and reflection. That gentler resourcefulness continues in Man Son Of Swine which flows seamlessly out of its predecessor. The track is a cauldron of aural colour and jaundiced emotion which gradually becomes more ferocious and ruinous before coming off the boil for a melody sculpted oasis lit by the piano craft of Simon Coverdale and backing harmonies from Layna Marshall. In time of course the turbulence is in full blaze again to complete another thrilling trespass on the senses by Zillah.

The provocative, initially sample lined One Thousand Stones Thrown grips satisfaction and thoughts next, its ever broadening landscape a perpetual evolution of sound and anger as impressively unpredictable as it is deviously and naggingly infectious, not forgetting inventive. Its erosive alchemy makes way for the closing threat and rapacious drama of He Who Knows All where additional vocals come courtesy of Mike Pilat. The darkest, heaviest incursion on body and soul on the album, the song stalks and crawls over the psyche, brimming and intermittently exploding with mordant sound and burning energy throughout. It is a fascinating end to a glorious creative violation, Zillah giving the metal year and scene a major proposal to contemplate and fearfully bask in.

Serpentine Halo is out now digitally and on CD via Sea Of Corruption Records @ https://zillah.bandcamp.com/album/serpentine-halo

https://www.facebook.com/zillahnoise   https://twitter.com/zillahnoise

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dalla Nebbia – Felix Culpa

cover_RingMaster Review

An album impossible to fully digest on the first listen, second, and indeed even a few more, Felix Culpa still quickly emerges as one richly fascinating and perpetually tempting proposition. The creation of US based Dalla Nebbia; it is a compelling assault of extreme metal and imagination. The band’s sound is loosely tagged as atmospheric black metal but as Felix Culpa soon reveals, it openly embraces provocative strains of progressive rock and doom metal to present something testing and uniquely enthralling.

Dalla Nebbia first emerged in 2010 as a duo, and now is a quartet with three members living in N Carolina, Minnesota, and Washington, and a fourth with Brazil as a home. Inspirations include music and invention produced by bands such as Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Limbonic Art, and Arcturus, the foursome taking these into their own extensive and epic weaves of emotional and sonic drama. The successor to debut album The Cusp of the Void, it the bringing together of the band’s first demo and self-released EP Thy Pale Form, the ten track Felix Culpa sees the band breaching new depths and levels of imagination and craft. Its premise is a dive into the human psyche, in the words of the band, “a journey through decay and regret, death and suicide, and thorny despair at the hands of an angry god” and its voice a challenge to find a wealth of corruptive pleasure in.

Featuring Norwegian violinist Sareeta (Borknagar, Solefald, Asmegin) across most songs on the album and guest guitarist Aort (Code, Indesinence) on a couple of tracks, Felix Culpa opens with the brief instrumental Memento Mori; the synth and guitar craft of Yixja a swift and entrancing immersion for ears and thoughts. Warm yet feeling more like the lull before the storm even with the magnetic lures of violin, the piece leads the listener straight into the tempest of Until the Rain Subsides, though that too initially has a restraint and gothic invitation that only entices. The raw vocal squalls of Zduhać add to the thick atmosphere and brewing imposing air of the song even with both being tempered by the captivating harmonies that rise within the melancholic beauty of Sareeta’s strings. Ravenous and seductive in equal measure, blackened voracity and progressive calm colluding in a controlled band unpredictable maelstrom, the song makes an impressive full welcome into Felix Culpa.

The more rabid Abandoned Unto Sky takes over next, the brutal drumming of Alkurion a quick violation forging a punishing union with raw unrelenting riffs. In time though, as the bass of Tiphareth spills its own animus on proceedings, song and band infect the storm with melodic and emotive enterprise whilst managing to simultaneously intensify the ruinous nature of the track. Every moment has something within something else, layers within layers, textures revealing their own personal breakdown of essences as the song evolves and twists on its rancorous spine. Growing more riveting and thrilling in its second half, the song epitomises the album as a whole, each minute a bounty of imaginative turns and detours seamlessly woven into fierce tapestries that with every listen unveil new treasures.

Both Lament of Aokigahara and The Banner of Defiance keep ears and emotions aflame, the first from a portentous coaxing venturing into a dank incantation like crawl through smothering intensity and ambience with volatile invention and beauty respectively. Guitars entwine with keys, synths with the melodic incitement of the violin, and rhythms in tender and barbarous skill framing the tempestuous charm and adventure of the track. Its successor is similarly honed but far more physically challenging with its vindictive rhythms and riffs, not forgetting breath. Of course things shift and evolve, the song also slipping into spellbinding moments of vocal and sonic radiance, these at times stemming the tide of hostility like momentary oases in a challenging journey whilst providing their own fresh exploration of the lyrical and emotional exploration. As in its predecessor, it is thoroughly engrossing though occasionally heavy going trying to explore all on offer but with time the songs just get bigger and more impressive as they eventually share their extensive realms.

Not Within the Stone blows a creative wind washed in post and progressive rock daring around a black metal scowl. This gripping fusion smothers a doom seeded gait but by now expectantly also embraces bold flames of contagious hooks, virulent grooves, and inhospitable intensity into the creative melting pot to heavily pleasing effect. Once more ears and thoughts are bullied and rubbed raw whilst kept firmly engrossed in the uncompromising collusion of contrasts that also emerge in the outstanding Felix Culpa (Theodicy Corrupted), a smooth seducing ingrained in a ferociously ravishing volcano of sound and enmity.

The shorter instrumental trespass of Das Gelächter Gottes is a cold dystopian respite next, luring the imagination towards the opening melancholic serenade of Paradise in Flames. A fire of emotional and sonic unrest, the track restrains from erupting into the inferno expected, seven of its nine evocative minutes having passed to inspire and incite before things spew vocal and physical lava, though that again comes with the spellbinding touch of the violin and Dalla Nebbia’s creative bravery to leave only a want for more.

A final instrumental caress closes the album, The Silent Transition a melody driven kiss on the senses wrapped in ever potent shadows and shaped by the open individual prowess of Dalla Nebbia. It is a fine conclusion to a release words barely scratch the surface of. Felix Culpa will not be for all, at times being a real test for many including some black and extreme metal fans, though only in a good way. Fair to say though for all wanting something bold and original which pushes their boundaries as much as the music they have a passion for, a release that works their bodies and thoughts for a constant unveiling of new rewards with each plunge into its depths, then Felix Culpa and Dalla Nebbia is very worthy of a visit.

Felix Culpa is out now via Razed Soul Productions @ http://dallanebbia.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dallanebbiamusic

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Scarnival – The Art Of Suffering

 

Scarnival_RingMaster Review

2012 saw the unveiling of German metallers Scarnival’s acclaimed self-titled debut EP, now three years on the Hannover quintet unleash their first album to realise some of the rich potential already shown to be fuelling their sound and confirm a growing reputation as one compelling protagonists of explosive metal. The Art Of Suffering is a brutal and sonically incendiary encounter, a fierce incitement wearing influences of bands like At The Gates, In Flames, and Soilwork like proud badges. It does ebb and flow in major and less impacting successes, its grip fluctuating across its irritable body, but from start to finish, it is one groove infested slab of savaging to enjoyably get the teeth into.

Scarnival was formed in 2009 by guitarists Christian Kähler (ex-Schierling) and Henna Deutsch (also Tredstone), bassist Gerrit Mohrmann (Cripper and ex-Schierling), and drummer Max Dietzmann (Tredstone and ex-Schierling) alongside vocalist Niklas Reimann. With Daniel Siebert (Inquiring Blood, ex-Steak for Breakfast) subsequently taking over the vocal persuasion three years later, the band made their first broad mark with their self-titled EP. It and the modern melodic death metal flowing through its veins swiftly grabbed fan and media attention with high praise quickly following. Live the band has also earned a potent reputation for their ferocious presence, shows with the likes of Arch Enemy, Debauchery, Rage, Tankard and Vader amongst many, helping brew an increasing spotlight upon the band. Now it is the turn of The Art Of Suffering to awaken fresh ears and appetites, and though proof that its creators are still exploring and getting to grip with finding open uniqueness, it is a definite wake-up call to the hellacious roar of Scarnival.

Scarnival - The Art O_RingMaster Review     The Art Of Suffering opens up with its title track. Portentous whispers fill ears first, quickly followed by an evocative caress of guitar. Those first few seconds are a potent prelude to the fury of sound poised to abruptly explode upon the senses, riffs scowling as harsh rhythms drive the confrontation and vocals. Already the song shows great and impressive diversity across the unbridled ravaging, the guitars also revealing their own variety of flavour and enterprise as a maelstrom of hostile and seductive tendencies quickly brew into one wholly magnetic incitement of corrosive metal, heavy rock, and addiction luring grooving.

The superb start continues through God Given, a track starting on a discord soaked splash of sound and almost as instantly turning into a primal predator. With no one else credited as additional vocalist, presumably every guttural growl, venomous squall, and grouchily clean tempting impressively comes from Siebert’s own raw throat across the album, and fair to say, as on the second track, he is as relentlessly gripping as the melodic imagination around him is emotively expressive. The song continues to merge a blend of varied metal into its appealing landscape before making way for the more brutish but no less infectious bellow of The Easy Solution. The energy of the track is again insatiable, as too the outstanding mix of vocals and jagged endeavour spilling from every guitar chord and spiteful beat. It is the nagging groove which takes most attention though, its catchy essence a rich lure in the tempest.

Hindsight steps forward next to offer a mellower, though still intimidating, proposal. Quickly it shows itself unable to ignite the same hungry reactions as its predecessors, familiarity and simply that so often indefinable spark which sets tracks ablaze missing from its otherwise strong body. It leaves ears and thoughts contented though, with Losing Identity stirring them up a little more through its barbarously grooved nagging and rhythmic punch bound in sonic rapacity. Musically it is enticing but vocally is where it wins, a hardcore essence encroaching some of the excellent diversity spilling from throat(s), though it too is left a touch pale by Watch Me. Featuring Soilwork vocalist Björn Strid, the track is heartily primal and sonically inflamed, its initial roar easily carrying ears and emotions into the clutches of its hostile stride. That alone hits the spot, but it is when the song twists into harmonic and vocally clean scenery around dancing hooks and spicy chords that it magnificently blossoms in to its greatest inimitable persuasion.

Both The Hunt and Rewind keep a freshly stirred appetite lively. The first succeeds through a fusion of insidious vocal toxicity and predacious grooves caged by skittish beats and invasive intensity, whilst its successor being part bestial and part flirtatious, stalks the senses with its inventive animus of sonic zeal and ravenous riffery. As all tracks varied hues entwine, slithers of thrash and death, black and melodic metal colluding here in a tapestry as destructive as it is enlivening. The pair thoroughly satisfies, a success shared by the classic metal infused Pathetic, though it has a more expectations feeding presence to leave it enjoyably pleasing if without causing any particular stir.

Eternal Salvation has the album back in top gear as soon as an intoxicating groove winds around ears in its first seconds, the masterful bait seeming to dictate the growing swing and contagious tempting of the excellent track. Many of the album’s songs do share certain melodies or elements of design, without any ill-effect on its potency, but this one stands bold as one of the most original and thrillingly unpredictable storms on the release. It borders mayhem at times, its fluidity pushing limits but everything just unites perfectly for one rancor soaked violation where even the sudden slip into melodic beauty only accentuates its might.

The Art Of Suffering comes to a close through firstly the gripping and barbaric drama of One Morning Left, another peak which is as emotionally cancerous as it is viciously unrelenting, and lastly Lies with its ruinous heart and tempestuously resourceful soundscape of scarring sound and ideation. The pair leaves the album on a lofty high, the latter emerging as the most courageously inventive and thus thrilling song on the release.

The Art Of Suffering is another striking step in the emergence of Scarnival, a release which impresses though also one it is easy to predict will be blown away by the band itself at some point ahead as they grow and mature further It is though a perpetually enjoyable and captivating savaging which only leaves a taste for band and more, a result not to be sniffed at for sure.

The Art Of Suffering is released via Kernkraftritter Records on August 7th through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/scarnival        http://www.scarnival.de/

Ringmaster 04/08/2015

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