SSanahtes – Debut EP

livret_classique_4_pages

If we had to choose one word to describe the Debut EP from French extreme metallers SSanahtes, it would be primal. The four track release is a ravenous almost pestilential trespass of the senses which is sure to be a blissful listen for some and a desperately uncomfortable one for others. It is also a potent introduction to and starting point for the band and their rabid fusion of flavours like sludge, post metal, doom, and hardcore, and a rather enjoyable encounter too.

Based in Bordeaux and Paris, the band first emerged in 2013 and taking thick inspirations from the likes of Meshuggah, Electric Wizard, Neurosis and the New Orleans metal scene set about creating their own unique fury. It is too early to say how distinct to the band that sound will be, the EP offering plenty of healthy spices from their influences. Brave its squalls though and look into the dark depths of the songs and it is fair to say that some of the invention and sonic twists have a potential and lure to suggest SSanahtes will be a potent force ahead and is a compelling proposal right now. Taking their time with the creation of their first release, and recording it in their own bedrooms, the quintet of Fabien Loustalot (vocals, synths), Thomas Daniel (guitars, songwriting, production), Nicolas La Rosa (guitars, production), Franck Roder (bass, production), and Dylan Hyard (drums, samples) have bred a tempest which belies its humble creation and makes a striking first step for the band.

The instrumental Blue Druidess starts things off and immediately provides inviting and anthemic rhythmic bait. The drums are soon joined by the heavier grizzled growl of the bass and sonic swipes from the guitars, all aligning for a portentous air but one which holds court on real hostility. The track prefers to seduce the fear from the psyche, the keys of Loustalot a haunted and gently sinister air around the melodic intrigue cast by Daniel and La Rosa. The piece of music is fascinating and gripping, the increasingly more predatory bass presence and jabbing beats a dark intimidating shadow over the melodic and creative elegance within.

The tempest hinted at in the opener is soon consuming the senses in The Edge, though it too prowls into view with restraint. It is coated in an intensive doom breath and corrosive impact though which translates into every predacious riff and throaty bass line. The raw, throat wrenching vocal squalls of Loustalot similarly come with venomous expression and toxic intent, but all tempered by the more contagious rumbling of drums. They make a persistent tempting within the invasive tsunami of malevolence and sonic aggression, lending their infection to the unpredictable and pleasing slips into melodic calm and post rock ambiences. EP and songs do need plenty of time and effort to reveal all their nuances and underlying invention but as here reward with some sparkling ideation and provocative enterprise brought with open individual craft.

     Black Dragon allows no time for a breath, instantly expelling a blistering flame of guitar and vocal vitriol next. Riffs and another gripping bass offering provides the addictive element to the song this time, whilst the swings of Hyard simply resonate with every meeting of wood and skin. The best track on the release, it proceeds to create a contrasting sonic and melodic weave within the tempestuous and oppressive onslaught of the song’s predominant ravaging. As mentioned before, it is an exploration which at times you need to specifically focus on whilst braving the surface savaging but once it is locked in, it reveals just how much promise is in this band.

The release ends with Words, where you now know what to expect and what you will be challenged by whilst another thick swamp of erosive grooves, numbing riffery, and vocal ire bring new exploits to devour. The song arguably, other than the instrumental, is the most accessible on the EP, those tangy grooves an immediate invitation and given potent clarity until the sludge voracity and doom bred insidiousness of the song builds and spills its toxic hues over the senses and psyche in an overwhelming sea of sonic malignancy.

SSanahtes has made an impressive and fully satisfying introduction with the EP and if their inspirations match the same artists which light your tastes then the French band is well worth checking out.

The Debut EP is available now @ http://ssanahtes.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ssanahtes

RingMaster 21/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Wrathage – Discipline

Wrathage_2014

Seventeen years or so after their emergence, and three of those years in the making, the debut album from Finnish metallers Wrathage is a proposition which no matter how it initially takes you, leaves a compulsion to explore more and more of its ultimately enjoyable depths. Discipline is a striking and increasingly thrilling slab of dark extreme metal, a collusion of black and death metal predation and ferocity embracing an avant-garde and experimental nature. It is not always as successful with personal tastes as it is other times but when it hits the sweet spot, which are numerous, the album is one of the most intriguing and exciting propositions heard this year.

Wrathage began way back in 1997, formed by identical twins Scythe (bass, vocals, guitars) and D.V Grim (vocals, guitars). With only the intent of creating music which lit their own fires, the band has gone through numerous line-up changes, especially early on, whilst exploring and honing an ever evolving sound. A self-titled demo in 2000 was the first of three over the next five years whilst 2008 saw the release of the well-received Crawlspace Antipathy EP. The gap to its successor and first album has again been a long time waiting but now with Scythe and D.V Grim joined by guitarists H-beast and Viha, keyboardist Tero Nevala, and drummer Kuismahc, the Oulu band is poised to ignite highly anticipating appetites and a horde of newcomers with their enthralling offering.

Wrathage_2015_discipline_Cover     As soon as opener Dark matter engulfs ears, thoughts of Emperor and Morbid Angel come to the fore, yet equally a fresh individualism in presence and sound too. The song opens with epic sways of guitar around dramatic vocals, a mix soon immersed in a wash of equally theatrical keys and heavily jabbing beats. It is an attention grabbing start, a respectful one too as every element from guitar to keys, voice to rhythms create imposing but restrained proposals on the senses. Of course it is a thought too soon as within moments the factors collude to create a rapacious tempest of sound and intensity. The song proceeds to entwine classical and blackened enterprise with predatory ferocity, twisting and lurching through a fascinating and enticingly turbulent landscape of invention.

The following Born girt for war blends a ravaging hostility with a broader celestial atmosphere whilst also providing a more intimate stalking at times. Within its first half minute the song is already an unpredictable theatre of textures and sounds driven by the equally dramatic and enjoyable mix of vocals, which include a guest appearance by Catamenia frontman Olli “Oujee” Mustonen. The underlying persistent prowl of the song keeps everything on course before Of the great chief comes in on an opening blaze of guitar endeavour within a sinister climate. As the previous track, it does not make the same impact as the first song but every turn, every twist in its body brings further bait for ears and appetite to keenly devour, especially its rhythmic enticing.

The album truly comes to life from fourth song Walking to death; it is like Discipline has sized up personal tastes and then gone to work on instinctive wants and pleasures. The track marches in on a horde of synchronised boots, vocals swiftly leading the way with equally imposing intent. They are soon joined by a web of sonic ideation which alone ignites the imagination, whilst the broader melodic sweep of keys only enhances the addictiveness veining the song. It is a masterful enslavement which only tightens its grip with a slip into an almost carnal landscape of dark drama caged by an excellent bestial bassline. Riffs equally have an animalistic snarl to their touch, and a raw tang which reminds of Scottish band Skids. It is an inescapable anthem matched by the exceptional Unslaved, which also sees Mustonen guesting. Celestial keys caress ears first, their ethereal theatre tantalising but barely hinting at the temptation to come. A vocal lure bridges the start with the mouth-watering and grizzly bassline which follows; this the spark to an infection of hungry riffs, antagonistic rhythms, and bad blooded vocals. It is the magnetic swagger and blood thirsty character of the grooves which provide the fuse to the strongest ardour, their infection intertwined with the spiteful provocation elsewhere.

Distortion sees another guest in the shape of Khaos from Deathchain & Deathbound within its midst, and also sparks a new urge of greed for the release with its carnivorous presence and contagiously creative rancor. Once again expectations are given a cold shoulder as the track explores death and blackened scenery with thrash bred ferocity and a hellacious attitude of sound and invention. There is never time to catch a breath upon Discipline, but one is needed after the torrential hostility and intensity of the excellent encounter. A quick gulp those is all that is allowed as the insidious scavenger Reptilian crawls over the senses and into the psyche with primal and sonic animosity. It is great toxic incitement, its rhythmic and driving riffery an insatiable onslaught but above it guitars and keys are almost flirting with slow and devilish seduction.

After a vocal enticement, Sadicum is an erosive sonic tempest which alone would satisfy if lacking the spark of its predecessors, but the band is soon spearing it with shards of melodic spicing and a persistently evolving and enthralling weave of progressive fuelled keys to create another tasty assault. The song is still more of a smoulder on the passions than a roar like other tracks, but a lively simmering pot of adventure which over time brings thoughts and appetite to the boil very nicely and hankering for more.

The album concludes with firstly The crawlspace, a bordering on psychotic smog of sound and enterprise which is as suffocating as it is explosive on the senses. Some of the vocals are less successful on the ear but a mere blip in another pleasing track before the band brings it all to a close with a cover of the Morbid Angel track Dawn of the angry. It is a very decent and enjoyable offering but the meat and major joy of Discipline is in the band’s own slices of distinctive predation.

Discipline gets better and more revealing with every listen, even a handful plus of plays unveiling fresh elements and greater craft in the creative flow and sculpting of the release. As mentioned some moments create a bigger blaze in the emotions but from start to finish Wrathage has delivered one impressive encounter to revel in and to heartily recommend.

Discipline is available from March 30th via Maa Productions and at http://wrathage.bandcamp.com/album/discipline

https://www.facebook.com/wrathageband

RingMaster 30/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Mortals/Repellers – Split 7”

Mortals_Repellers_artwork

Offering the year another rather tasty split, Broken Limbs Recordings have brought together Brooklyn’s Mortals and Philadelphia’s Repellers for a four track explosion of fresh breathed metal. It is an encounter with reinforces the potent stature of one band and inflames the emerging presence of the other, both beginning what potentially can be a massive year for them in fine style.

The first offering comes from Mortals, a band formed in 2009 but with its seeds possibly growing well before then when drummer Caryn Havlik and bassist/vocalist Lesley Wolf met and played together in all-female Slayer cover band Slaywhore. At the same time Havlik and guitarist Elizabeth Cline were playing in a math-rock project. After the eventual demise of both bands, the three musicians regrouped as Mortals and by late 2010 had set about making a potent mark on the local metal scene and further afield. A tour with Mutilation Rites was the prelude to the band sharing stages with the likes of Eyehategod, The Body, False, Samothrace, Black Anvil, Toxic Holocaust, Howl and Lord Dying over the years, whilst the release of their Death Ritual EP in 2012 led the band to signing with Relapse Records and the release of their acclaimed Cursed to See the Future album last year. Ahead of a European tour with Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore, Mortals now fire up the imagination and EP with their lone but thrilling track 10 Years of Filth.

Possibly a statement on their stirring musical career to date, the song swiftly brews and smoulders with the intensive and darkly seductive blackened sludgy sound which Mortals are already Mortals_bandshotmarked for. Within as many seconds, the bass is roaming ears and psyche like an apocalypse gracing charger, striding with predatory intent as grooves and riffs combine for a nest of viperish intent. Similarly lively rhythms from the drums prowl and stroll across this already bewitching landscape, the seductive and melodically dynamic adventure one scene in a rich drama clad tapestry of dark intent and compelling intimidation. For all its predacious craft and hunger, there is an infectious charm to the track too, light and dark challenging each other whilst colluding in the creation of even more provocative hues in the tempestuous narrative. The dark side is driven by the guttural scowls and gothic animosity of the vocals whilst the guitar’s enterprise escorts lighter defiant elements which persist in their persistence until the ferociously boiling and venomous climax of the song. It is an enthralling and ruggedly enjoyable nine minutes easily confirming the impressive qualities and sound of Mortals.

Repellers bring three tracks from their creative arsenal of punk and crust infused metal, swiftly showing why there is a growing broader interest in the 2012 forming band. The two years or so since their arrival has seen the trio release The Coming Storm EP, partake in a split 7” with Georgia-based Dead Hand, and the drawing of multitudes of new fans through tours along the east coast and a constant source of impressive energetic shows. They are a growing force it seems and on the evidence of this release an exciting one.

Repellers   Descend is their first offering, a track which from a melancholic and darkly lit melodic embrace erupts in a predatory and thunderous stalking of the senses. The intensive rhythms of drummer Tony Secreto are vindictive in nature whilst the equally primal basslines of Rob Petraitis growl and leer intimidatingly within the doom drenched atmosphere of the imposing encounter. The guitar of Jon Rifenburg brings various shades of intimidation and temptation to the volatile but controlled tempest too, his enterprise equally sculpting a web of magnetic lures around the malevolently toned vocals. It is a captivating proposition which awakens intrigue and interest in the band before their second song From Jerico to Ai lays a more fascinating and thrilling invitation down. Bass hooks are aligned to acidic guitar grooves, it a mesh of enticement which continues to spear the increasingly ravenous atmosphere and character of the track. Heading only to a turbulent and hostile climax, the track is a riveting persuasion showing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s song writing and sound.

   False Solace is the same, its heavy melodic lures an initial tantalising coaxing which only seeds a subsequent hellacious hardcore bred brawl with the senses. The blackened, almost insidious tones of the vocals unleashes the dark heart of the song whilst the sonic grooves and bass predation provides infectious bait which seduces ears as the track’s lyrical and vocal trespass avail their toxicity.

The two bands make for a pleasing and exciting union with their quartet of thickly satisfying propositions, each confirming their impressive potency and potential. Both have only enhanced their reputation and relative statures whilst already sparking 2015 into being an attention grabbing year for them.

The Mortals/ Repellers Split is available through Broken Limbs Recordings and limited to 500 10″ copies (300 black and 200 red with black smoke).

https://www.facebook.com/mortalstheband   https://www.facebook.com/repellers

Mortals’ Upcoming tour dates:

April 4 – May 2 European tour w/ Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore

04.04.15 Sweden Motala @ Kulturakademin

06.04.15 Denmark Copenhagen @ Pumpehuset

07.04.15 Germany Hamburg @ Hafenklang

08.04.15 Germany Osnabrück @ Bastard Club

09.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn

10.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn

11.04.15 UK Manchester @ Sound Control

12.04.15 Ireland Dublin @ Voodoo Lounge

13.04.15 UK Glasgow @ Ivory Blacks

14.04.15 UK Birmingham @ The Oobleck

15.04.15 UK Sheffield @ Corporation

16.04.15 UK London @ Underworld

17.04.15 Belgium Brussels @ Magasin 4

18.04.15 Germany Köln @ Underground

19.04.15 France Eragny/Paris @ Covent Garden

20.04.15 France Angouleme @ La Nef

21.04.15 Spain Madrid @ Sala Lemon

22.04.15 Spain Barcelona @ Sala Razz 3

23.04.15 France Lyon @ MJC O Totem

24.04.15 Switzerland Zürich @ Dynamo / Werk 21

25.04.15 Italy Milan @ Lo Fi

26.04.15 Italy Rome @ Traffic Live

27.04.15 Austria Innsbruck @ p.m.k.

28.04.15 Germany München @ Backstage

29.04.15 Germany Leipzig @ Conne Island

30.04.15 Germany Berlin @ Magnet

01.05.15 Austria Wien @ Arena

02.05.15 Czech Rep Prague @ Exit-us

RingMaster 11/03/3015

Idol of Fear – All Sights Affixed, Ablaze

 Photo -Jamie Morton

Photo -Jamie Morton

Idol of Fear’s sound is like the black shadow or light limited passage way which manages to be simultaneously inviting and threatening whilst offering the possibility of safety or the darkest outcome. Hailing from the Barrie/Toronto area of Canada, the band creates an imposing and immersive soundscape of extreme metal which comes with a blackened heart and experimentally fuelled provocation. It is a fiercely challenging and rewarding confrontation as evidenced by the band’s debut album All Sights Affixed, Ablaze, eight individual torments which align for one grievous and pestilential seduction of ears and imagination.

Formed in 2011 with a name inspired by the quote from Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 movie Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal), “We must make an idol of our fear and that idol we shall call God”, Idol of Fear made an imposing statement with their 2013 EP Scavenger. It awoke attention but you suspect nothing to that which All Sights Affixed, Ablaze has the potential to ignite. Recorded across 11 months of “fiery personal turbulence and development, musically and otherwise”, the Tore Stjerna (Watain, Corpus Christi) mastered and Jeff Wardell mixed album is a unsettling maelstrom of fierce flavours and expressive invention, merging everything from black and death metal to progressive, occult, and avant-garde experimentation. It is not always an easy listen, and often a test of stamina and the senses, but always All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is a gripping and epic fall into the depths of the band’s raw imagination and sonic voracity.

Opener Vanquish instantly smothers ears in an intriguing and imposing web of enterprise and sound, the guitars of Dave Bach and Austin Myers an immediate blaze of caustic provocation with melodic seducing. This is soon joined by the raw vocal rage of Myers and the rhythmic intimidation unleashed by drummer Doug Belcourt and bassist Johnny. The song instantly allows no escape from its oppressive yet magnetic tenacity, grooves and melodies searing the senses as rhythms bruise and vocals scar. As eventually discovered on all tracks, there is also a fascinating drama to the lyrical and sonic side of the track, as well as a skilled investigation of distinct flavours amidst constant twists. The song also proves that this is an album which needs time to explore, often its real and undoubted treasures lying well beyond its surface storm and violation.

The following Morningstar makes a more merciful entrance but is soon immersing ears in a persistently shifting and ravenous tapestry of corrosive riffery and radiant sonic endeavour. Swiftly cover1an even greater variety of spices are at work on the imagination alongside an inventiveness which manages to assault, stalk, and seduce with sublime efficiency and temptation, the track’s scenic passage of atmospheric resonance and melodic caressing within a rhythmic enslavement quite delicious. Its fluid cold causticity and enthralling beauty makes way for the darker and harsher Circle of Vortices, a scathing and consuming piece of music inflamed by the malevolent tones of Myers. Again though there is radiance to its persuasion and invention, its soundscape harsh but haunting, cold rather than bitter. The track also slips into bewitching melodic scenery, its calm stroking of the senses a hopeful snatch of light before the song again savages emotions.

The album’s title track is a lively jungle of rhythms and fascinating inventiveness within smog of crushing intensity and smothering dark emotion. There is nevertheless a flirtatious element to the song and an unmissable swing which makes it almost joyful and mischievous, certainly in comparison to previous tracks, whilst the following It Demands brings its own addictive predation to the expansive dark of the album. It also prowls with an enticing lure, guitars scything and taunting across a heavy bassline and provocative beats with venomous yet invitational potency. The bordering on picturesque craft and colours sculpted by Bach and Myers transfix throughout but as mentioned time given reveals the full strength and depth of their and the whole band’s ingenuity.

This period of the album ignites the passions most fervently, the next up It Militates with its hunting riffery, anthemic rhythms, and captivating sonic intrusiveness adding another peak to the increasingly impressing album. The song is a real predator, one luring with sinister beauty and ravishing with coarse hunger. Its triumph is followed by the even more hellacious body and soul of It Tyrannizes, a tsunami of erosive intensity and creative barbarity with engrossing melodic tendrils and sonic rapacity across the tempestuous consumption. These are enticing hues harkening the longer calm and elegant reflection which emerge, though all is eventually swallowed by a new twist in the furnace of the narrative’s animosity.

The closing Carrion provides a blackened exploration of raw ambiences and dark forces, its crawling serpentine temptation and sonic resonance a colluding suffocation and primal seduction. It is an absorbing instrumental bringing the fascinating trespass of senses and emotions to an evocative and climactic close.

All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is a testing and demanding proposition but one with lingering and intensive rewards for body and mind. It is an album which no one should judge or rest upon over just one or two listens, but an incitement from Idol of Fear which warrants and deserves numerous dives into its unrelenting sufferance for the most compelling and unique experience.

The self-released All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is available from November 18th via http://idoloffear.bandcamp.com/album/all-sights-affixed-ablaze

http://www.idoloffear.com/

RingMaster 18/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

 

Malefice – Gravitas EP

Malefice 2014 Promo

There is always a twinge of excitement when news of a new Malefice release breaks, having been hooked on them via debut album Entities back in 2007, and so it was with the announcement of new EP Gravitas. It was an appetite and anticipation more than forcibly fed by the brutal fury of a release. The EP sees the UK metallers at their most fearsome and uncompromising best. It is a beast of an adventure and assault; hard to say the band’s best rage yet but definitely there on the frontline of their finest moments.

The successor to last year’s V EP and third album Awaken the Tides two years before it, Gravitas finds Malefice going back to the sounds which they feel ignites and is the core of the band. Vocalist Dale Butler talked about the album recently saying, “After taking some time out from the band to do our own things and focus on our own lives we came back together not feeling as we had given all we have to give to Malefice… We spent a long booze-fuelled evening talking about what we want to do and what came out of that discussion is that we want to write music we like…We are going to back to what makes us Malefice and we’re gonna write some fucking heavy music to headbang to.“ There is no doubting their success in that, the release a merciless and inventive brute force but unafraid to vein and spear it with the melodic fire and imaginative tenacity which the band has equally become renowned for in British metal.

There is no escaping the primal fury and angry weight of the EP as opener Forsaken descends on ears with predatory riffs and rhythms, both aspects converging in one intrigue soaked stalking. It is a seriously intimidating proposal with effects teasing the skirting vocals, Butler eventually escaping their restraints to snarl venomously as the song moves into a new aspect of its hunt of the psyche. From that initial harrowing prowl, the track slips into a torrential charge of spicy grooves across cantankerous riffs and murderous rhythms. It is a gripping and savage violation, the guitars of Ben Symons and Andrew Wilson pure spite and invention in their rabid riffery and designs whilst the heavy handed swings of drummer James Pearly Cook are judge, jury, and executioner in their attack on the senses. Completed with the almost carnal tones of Tom Hynes’ bass, the track is a furnace of malice and unfussy yet pungent imagination.Cover

The cauldron of vocal ire and variety from Butler and band is just as feverishly addictive as the sounds brawling around them, second track Heroes providing more of their exploits in its own unique violation. A more merciful start fuelled by fiery melodic enterprise makes a ‘gentler’ welcome though the track is soon barging through ears with nagging riffs and unforgiving rhythms. It tempers and scythes across this tempest though with an outstanding haze of superb clean vocals and just as thick sonic expression, before exploring a mesmeric calm of evocative radiance and melodic charm. It is just the eye of the storm of course, the track soon back in vicious mood and ferocity. There is a feel of Fear Factory to it in some of its parts but ultimately this is a unique and thrilling exploration all of Malefice’s own making

Within a breath Escape is bawling over and brawling with ears, providing another distinct twist to the blaze of the release. Grooves seduce from the first second, scorching the raw and turbulent landscape of the song whilst another array of differing and complimenting vocal diversity grips the imagination giving more potency and depth to the track’s narrative. Swirling and savaging within its towering rhythmic walls, the track is a glorious trespass of senses and emotions.

Gravitas comes to a close with My Design, riffs hunting down the listener with pack like mentality as grooves sear air and flesh with their pestilential temptation and resourcefulness. As it expands and immerses the listener in its lyrical sufferance, the track is a riveting and skilled provocation but lacks the creative spark which ignites the other three tracks on the EP so magnificently. Nevertheless it is an assault drenched in what Malefice is all about, creatively threatening, destructively intense, and driven by pure passion, not forgetting irresistibly thrilling.

Gravitas is a scintillating slab of barbarous majesty reinforcing Malefice as one of the UK’s and Europe’s leading inventive metallers. Earlier we suggested a debate on whether this is the band’s best moment yet; another listen as we write though suggests it just might be and if not, anticipation that the forthcoming new album from Malefice will be is hard to shake off.

The Gravitas EP is available now via Transcend Music @  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/gravitas-ep/id922130758

https://www.facebook.com/maleficeofficial

RingMaster 04/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

shot

Never have open hostility and uncompromising brutality been as elegantly seductive and radiantly fascinating as within The Wreckage of Stars, the debut album from US progressive extreme metallers Black Crown Initiate. Actually that is not quite true as the band’s previous and extraordinary Song of the Crippled Bull EP offered such imaginative daring too but within the album it has bred a new bulk and exploration which is as fearsome as it is gloriously mesmeric. Their entrance was dramatic and startling and now with The Wreckage of Stars, the Pennsylvanian quintet’s emergence is complete, placing them right there side by side with the likes of Between The Buried And Me, The Ocean, and Opeth.

Formed in 2012, the Reading hailing Black Crown Initiate was soon drawing on experiences, individual inspirations, and a vast web of styles to create what is a maelstrom of gripping ingenuity and vicious enterprise. The evidence was immediately audible with the unleashing of Song of the Crippled Bull, an introduction which was as drenched in acclaim as it was in enthralling and unique inventive personality. Its attention grabbing success led to the band securing a coveted spot on the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Goatwhore and Behemoth, as well as the sharing of stages with bands such as Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Rivers of Nihil. Earlier this year Black Crown Initiate signed with eOne and now in tandem go for the psychological jugular and lustful passions with The Wreckage of Stars.

The release opens with Great Mistake and an instantly seducing enticing of melodies. It is an inviting coaxing by the guitars which only gains weight and potency as imposing rhythms and aggressive riffs join its bait. Continuing to warmly lure within the brewing tempest, the song leads the senses into the bestial tones of vocalist James Dorton, every syllable expelled loaded with malice and guttural intensity. Still the song is a seductive persuasion though and intriguingly, it is when the superb clean vocals of guitarist Andy Thomas grasps ears that the track finds itself at its most threatening as the music flares up around him. It is a delicious and surprising outcome, alone revealing so much about the skill and songwriting personality of the band. Across its extensive landscape, the track boils, squalls, and explores mellow intent, every second and twist of the song a new surprise and magnetic contagion, especially the Eastern veining which colours its engrossing finale.

The outstanding start places the album on an early plateau which subsequent tracks either stalk as boldly or certainly flirt with in presence and invention. The following The Fractured One is one hitting similar heights, its immediate BCI_coveragitated predation of tempestuous beats from drummer Jesse Beahler and throaty tempting from the bass of Nick Shaw, an enslaving death metal spiced frame within which the guitars of Thomas and Rik Stelzpflug cast tenaciously imaginative and hostile enterprise. One of the shorter songs on the album, it is an incessant and virulently contagious torrent of barbarous and sonically scorching savagery.

A breather of sorts after the inhospitable onslaught of the previous tack comes with Malignant, its opening of classically honed guitar a caress of calm within the established storm of the album. Guitars nestle creatively up to the imagination straight away though that suggested respite is eventually smothered by the serpentine venom of Dorton’s vocals and a pestilential tsunami of corrosive rhythms and caustic riffery. Of course nothing can be assumed with a Black Crown Initiate track, something learned early on the last EP, and soon the increasingly impressive warm voice of Thomas breaks the wall of maliciousness, aligning itself eventually with a similarly engrossing and graceful weave of melodic design and expression. Though it is restless to return to savaging the senses, the track courts this peace as long and creatively as possible, ensuring the song again leaves expectations a lost cause.

Both the carnivorous ferocity of The Human Lie Manifest and the exhausting technicality of Withering Waves leave senses cowering and imagination basking in majestic aural warfare; the pair, as all songs, parading more of the craft and inventive depths of the band. The second of the two is especially scintillating as extremes of light and dark, animosity and melodic beauty come together in one spellbinding emprise, a mouth-watering adventure matched by the primal and ruinous presence of To The Eye That Leads You. This erupts with a tornado of vocal enmity, the assault at times an inaudible suffocation of intent and lyrical intimidation which in allowing a coarsely veiled clarity to emerge intimidates further. Around it though there is a swing and swagger to the sounds which is no less vicious but does provides an inescapable infectiousness. It is a vat of bad blood and the thrilling dark-side to the climactic and forcibly elegant beauty of the album’s title track. Predominantly instrumental it closes with a vocal union of all sides shown so far on the album, to provoke a new hunger in appetite and thoughts.

There is no escaping the relentless battering and sonic violation uncaged by Shapes Collapse next, the track as so many, no matter how harmful and fierce it impacts on body and senses casting an addictive and seriously enticing infection. It is a constant lure throughout the tempest but especially pungent in the glade of melodic reflection ventured by song and guitars before climbing back into the outskirts of the initial storm.

The album closes with firstly the arresting terrain of Purge, a track which entwines imaginative charm and melodic beauty with voracious and vehement fuelled hostility for a mutually unsettling and seductive examination of ears and emotions. It is succeeded by Linear, a sensational final encounter where under persistent hellacious provocation, the lighter side of the band has full and irresistible rein.

     The Wreckage of Stars is a major triumph proving that the last EP was no flash in the pan but instead just the appetiser to greater sonic alchemy and brutal expression from Black Crown Initiate. Now is the time to explore their brilliant fury, though you can only feel as with their music, there will be no escaping their presence and touch from hereon in anyway.

The Wreckage of Stars is available now via eOne Heavy / Good Fight

http://www.facebook.com/BlackCrownInitiate

RingMaster 29/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Various Artists – Operation: Underground

ImageProxy.mvc

There are nowhere enough compilations albums around these days especially when it comes to unleashing and promoting the potency of the underground scene. The seventies and eighties saw a plethora of important collections bringing impressive introductions to hordes of bands and often making a springboard for those propositions to find healthier and stronger horizons. Today it seems almost a rare treat to be presented with such an encounter, though amongst those which have emerged there have been many impressing releases. Adding to that list of triumphs and setting a template and example for others to follow is Operation: Underground, the new release out of New England independent label Bluntface Records. Consisting of 27 of the most potent attention grabbing extreme metal bands from the world’s underground, it is an outstanding slab of creative hostility and malicious introductions. The fact that it is released as a free download only adds to the might and weight of the uncompromising incitement.

Created and sculpted by label owner Otto Kinzel, himself renowned for his solo work and with his band Chemical Distance, Operation: Underground it is fair to say has no real fillers in its body, something else few releases of this size can claim. It comes with a showcase of quality and talent which demands close attention, exploring everything from black and death metal to grindcore and other varied extreme provocations. The album quite simply goes for the jugular from its opening moment and is unrelenting until the last pleasing violation of its final track.

Operation: Underground gets off to a voraciously impressive start through its opening pair of bands. Hailing from New York, brutal death metallers Abdicate make the first blunt incision with their track Burning Ascendance. Taken from the album Fragmented Atrocities, it is a furious decaying of the senses with grind seeded carnality. Clad with inescapable malice driven by gutturally spewed vocals which themselves are aligned to rampant riffs and a violently rhythmic tenacity, the song instantly chains and enslaves ears and thoughts with its hellacious intensity and scintillating causticity. Perfectly raw and loaded with exciting potential, it is an immense start soon left in the wake of the following Human Decimator. Uncaged by Massachusetts five piece Carnivora, the track from an opening sample lure wraps ears in a venomously addictive groove and angrily cantankerous rhythms. It is a staggering start swiftly pushed on by the outstanding vocals and magnetic signs of guitar and predatory bass baiting. Subsequently entwining groove and thrash in a unique explosion of flavoursome toxic metal, song and band instantly take a swing at top track honours and to be honest never relinquish their hold despite numerous challenges. From the Danvers hailing band’s excellent Eternal album, the song with its predecessor sets a high marker for the album which to be fair it never really strays too far from.

Ireland’s Legion of Wolves comes next with their death metal spawned track Kings Of Tyranny. Taken from recent release Legio Luporum XIV, the song prowls ears and imagination with a black hearted demeanour and similarly coloured sounds. There is a pestilential air and intimidation to every riff and swing of sticks as well as with increasing malice the gruff vocal squalls, but also an emerging melodic craft which transfixes as it tempers the enmity of the track. From the Irish success both US band Goreality with the rapier like corrosiveness of Skin On, Skin Off and Florida’s Echaton keep imagination and satisfaction high, if not quite matching the early songs. The first of the two creates an incessant thrash fuelled death metal rapacity which is as easy crawling over the senses as it is discharging an adrenaline lit trespass whilst its successor with Behold The Nexus offers a more technical premise compared to its barbarous predecessor. Do not expect to have things easy though as the song roars and scythes with jaundiced respect and impressive individual prowess over the senses and into the passions.

Markradonn come next with a track from Final Dying Breath EP called Internal Hate Unbounded. One of metals most individually sounding propositions, the Florida band create an experimental tapestry of death and black metal filtered through a progressive and symphonic rapacity, resulting as the song shows in a startling imagination fuelling encounter. Its ferociously compelling presence is left a little pale though by the caustic sonic irritancy of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds from Arkansas duo Critical Dismemberment. The song is an abrasing and unpolished smog of bad blooded death metal soaked in inventive rancor and appealing potential proving ears with healthy pleasure.

Maine’s Sacrichrist suffer from an unflattering production to their song No Savior to really impress though it does not fully smother a promise which suggests more than it delivers. Nevertheless the track grows in strength and persuasion over time to make the band one to keep an eye on alongside extreme heavy metal quintet Wrathsputin. The Massachusetts band unleash a gripping fury of sonic nastiness and rhythmic bullying in their song A.N.U.S. (A Nation Under Satan), to create another riveting moment in the album, especially with the potent enticement of contagious grooves and melodic spillages which litter the excellent song.

     Green Army from Bangladesh is another to have a diminished success thanks to the poorer recording quality of their song Reborn of the Blackened Phenomenon, though again to be fair it does not stop the accomplished and adventurous skills of the band shining through before The Slip from the excellent Garbage Can takes over. A two-piece from Ottawa, the Canadian band creates an irresistible savagery of slam grind which manages to seduce and scythe through the senses with equal attraction. The song is another setting the loftiest pinnacles on the album definitely not matched for personal tastes by Malcontent Manifestation from Inverticrux. Actually from its first gothic clad doom brewed musical seconds the track flirts with the imagination to reasonably strong success but vocally the New Hampshire band leaves emotions cold and unconvinced, that aspect a maelstrom of textures and styles which will either click for you or not.

Another Irish band in the tasty shape and sound of Syphor step up next, their track For What Remains, from the album of the same name, a predatory blend of thrash and death metal courting many other textures and spices in an 10625117_10202114872106082_8340698001833330811_ninfectiously gripping web of riffs and grooves hosted by great serpentine vocals. The Dublin band easily set themselves as another to explore further as does the ear grabbing Solium Fatalis who follow them. Dead Sands Of Time is a beast of a track, its tone bestial and weight trapping whilst its strenuous grooving and rhythmic animosity spins an inescapable web for thoughts to bask within. Maybe their sound is not rife with originality but certainly the band leaves a hunger for more as insistent as the imposing sounds which breeds it.

Infested Prophecy also fails to a light fire in ears and imagination with Abandon Departure, though there is plenty musically to spark a watch of the Massachusetts band once their blackened malevolence is given a willing production to aid the trio’s musical talent and adventure. Certainly as all the bands they are not lightweight in their offering to the album, the same easily said of both Canada’s Accursed Spawn and Florida’s Prophecy Z14. The first of the pair sear ears with a sonic and rhythmic violence through their song Burned Into Sterility which is as warped and psychotic as it is ridiculously captivating. If wanting some new Cryptopsy or Dying Fetus like sounds then turning to the Ottawa five would be a rewarding move whilst the following protagonists roam and hunt down the senses with a weave of technically driven death metal annihilation to matching success. With a swing and swagger to every element of its tempestuous onslaught, Torn from the Flies is a thought provoking proposal, not as dramatic in its capture as maybe it should be but providing a wholesome and mercilessly ravaging exploit all the same.

New Yorkers Gutted Alive lifts the lid off another stretch of commanding and impressive offerings with their track Force Fed Acid. Arguably the most brutal track on the album it is an addiction fuelled tempest of cruel rhythms punctuating sonic and vocal spite complete with a delicious nagging slingshot of grooves and flesh stripping riffery. The song is a masterful temptation to embrace and fear simultaneously which is matched stride by violent stride by Infection of the Masses from New York sextet Assault on the Living. It also niggles its way in to the psyche, repetitive textures and grooves only adding to the virulent bait and lure of the expansively flavoured sound. One of many bands you immediately feel will not be a secret for much longer they are swiftly emulated in might and quality by My Missing Half. Another foursome from Massachusetts, the Bostonians forge an enthralling canvas of melodic death metal in Empty Dreams which is as enticing with its sonic and melodic colour as it is through its rigorous design of sinew built antagonism. With essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me bringing hues to an otherwise fresh sound and presence, the band add another name to the busy check out list inspired by the album.

Italy’s Symbolyc provide their very palatable style of extreme incitement next, blastbeats and grooves as binding as the alluring vocal predation and melodic veining the stormy heart of 300 Demons. Their fury is as potently enticing as that of German metallers Spreading Miasm and their sonic pestilence The Harvest, a track which is unfussy aural toxicity with every enjoyable twist and violation wished for in an accomplished slab of extreme metal. It also finds an unpredictable invention which lifts a strong song into a great encounter, something not quite discovered by Texans Core of Desolation in their track The Return of Death’s Glorius Design, though it also is not blessed by the most understanding of productions which smothers the chance of greater success as certainly hinted at within the still enjoyable offering.

Operation: Underground begins its closing run with symphonic black metallers Aberration Nexus, the solo project of Chris Meyer from Victoria in Australia. The erosive and immersive embrace of The Solvent That Cleanses The Earth immediately smothers the senses in a melodic expression filtered through a thick atmosphere and sonic rabidity. It is an absorbing if uncomfortable experience pointing to a potential which will flourish ahead with the right touch and scenery for Meyer to grow within. Its strongly satisfying presence makes way for the Egyptian influenced death metal of Romanians Horus, their sound a warm melodic wash over a hostile frame, governed by deep throated vocals. Their track Revelation is an imaginative entwining of symphonic seducing and menacing landscapes which again lays seeds to a keen appetite to learn more before it in turn is followed by the similarly imagination capturing Suffer The Winter from Ohio metallers Vengeance Within. Without courting open originality, song and band cast a shadowed and intrigue rich terrain of potent melodies and jaundiced intensity which casts a widely flavoured and lingering presence to entice more investigation.

The album is closed by Terminality from Californians Dark Measure, yet another band on the release unafraid to explore a merger of styles and ideation to create a fiery and richly appetising conclusion to a tremendous doorway into some of the best emerging bands in extreme metal. Operation: Underground is a thrilling project from a label which lives the independent scene and really does support the cause.

Operation: Underground is available from Tuesday August 26th for free download @ www.bluntfacerecords.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 25/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/