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

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

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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 @

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2015

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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 @

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

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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.

Ringmaster 04/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SSanahtes – Debut EP


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 @

RingMaster 21/04/2015

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Wrathage – Discipline


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

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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Mortals/Repellers – Split 7”


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).

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