Raptor King – Dinocracy


     Raptor King is a French band which going by their backstory, and tale within their new release, consists of Raptor V, a dino king from the cretaceous era which ended up in 2015 via a temporal gate, becoming trapped in the western suburbs of Paris within Boulogne-Billancourt. Determined to conquer this new world, he enlists two acolytes in guitarist Nightsmoke and drummer Don Coco. Removing the story from the facts we are left with little more to say on Raptor King except, and the most important thing to add, that they create one forcibly stirring and compelling sludge metal roar with plenty more to its voracious and thrilling incitement. There are raw expulsions from hardcore to thrash, heavy rock to well any kind of predatory sound you wish to think of involved in the hellacious Raptor King confrontation too and as proven by debut EP Dinocracy, it sets ears and emotions ablaze.

The band’s music is a bruising and rousing mix of familiarity and fresh creative emprise, all rolled into a sonic animus which chews on the senses whilst treating the passions to metal seeded punk ‘n’ roll anthems easy to get swiftly and fully involved with. The proof is right there with the EP’s opening track Da Fuck Where I Just Lend, and only becomes a stronger convincing and ferocious evidence with each passing encounter. The first track instantly entangles ears in a web of sonic enticement with a warped nature, the guitar wrapping the senses in spidery grooves as skittish as the rhythms around them. Raptor V just as swiftly reveals his thick range of delivery styles, his core tone gruff and ravenous but adept at taking it to rawer extremes or in spreading some unpolished but melodic enticing too. Across the song and indeed release, thoughts grab hints of the bands ranging from Motorhead to Face Down, White Zombie to King Hiss, Black Tusk to Pigs and more, but perpetually the tempest emerges as its own distinctive beast.

FRONT COVER RAPTOR KING DINOCRACY_RingMaster Review   The excellent start is straight away eclipsed by The Campaign, the track crawling over the listener from its breath, carrying an intimidation soon realised in vocals and the thumping roll of beats too. They are in turn aligned to a predacious intent in the bass and guitars, all continuing to stalk until building to a rabid onslaught led by again a great vocal variety acting as one. Track and band are unrelenting in their infesting and bullying of the senses, creating a virulent energy and infectiousness within a barbarous badgering of sound that simply stirs one’s own energy and appetite. There is a definite Killing Joke feel to the song also but again a colour in the rabid tapestry spawned by the band.

Jugular steps up next, launching from a sonic lancing of the senses with a rugged swagger and great entanglement of swinging beats and carnivorous bass predation. Once more that Jaz Coleman and co scent makes a potent and gripping additive in the mix of classic metal tenacity, heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll adventure, and the blackened invasiveness which courts some of the vocals and shadows of the outstanding encounter. Many of those flavours emerge again in the abrasive hostility of Acolytes (Nightsmoke – Don Coco), traits woven perfectly into the ridiculously captivating and enslaving primal stomp. Again you can argue that many aspects of the track are recognisable textures and temptations but with grooves a salacious web as both Nightsmoke and Coco weave a trap of addiction stoking rhythms and Raptor V’s at times reptilian vocals as magnetic as his growling prowess, the track as the EP, provides easily one of most enjoyable and invigorating riots this year.

Dinocracy is brought to a close by In Your Face, a storm of heavy metal and heftily imposing rock ‘n’ roll built on a frame of bone shuddering beats and grumpy antagonism. It is the least impacting song on the EP but due to the carnal and imaginative brilliance of its companions more than anything it might lack. Fair to say with another great blend of vocals, cutting rhythms, and instinctively enslaving grooves, all wrapped in the constant unpredictability that Raptor King work with, the song only excites, impresses, and grows more controlling over time.

A smile is never far from the face across Dinocracy, the lyrical fun as ripe as the invention and resourcefulness of their mighty sound. As suggested it might not be your choice of original release of 2015 but as the most thrilling and creatively anthemic it is in with a mighty shout.

The Dinocracy EP is available now via http://raptorking.bigcartel.com/product/dinocracy-ep

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Pete RingMaster 14/12/2015

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Firelord – Hammer Of Chaos

Georgette Pavanati Photography.

Georgette Pavanati Photography.

     Firelord seems like a name more than recognisable but truth is the band’s new EP Hammer Of Chaos is for us our first encounter with the Italian trio, and a long overdue meeting it is too. Fusing stoner-esque hues in rousing metal and heavy rock aggression, or as the band tags it, Doom ‘n’ Roll; the five track inferno of rock ‘n‘ roll is one of those propositions which energises body and emotions with ease.

The Turin hailing trio emerged in 2007 from the ashes of doom metal project named Saint Judas, which was also founded by Firelord vocalist/guitarist Mario E. Bussini. Initially a quartet with the addition of Beppe Tozza, Daniele Biffaro, and Giulio Buscaglione, the band drew on inspirations from the likes of Black Sabbath, Count Raven, Gates of Slumber, Earthride, and Saint Vitus as they developed their own sound. Line-up changes came with the subsequent years before some stability brought the release of the band’s debut EP, The Burning. Another shuffle happened before their well-received first album Among The Snakes was uncaged in 2013 whilst current line-up of bassist Alessandro Ferrari alongside Bussini and drummer Buscaglione, was in place earlier this year and is the creative force behind the thickly enjoyable Hammer Of Chaos.

Coverartwork by Randy Ramdhani _RingMaster Review

artwork by Randy Ramdhani

The EP opens up with A Good Way to Die, instantly smothering ears in a tirade of riffs as Ramones like as they are heavy rock bred. Against them the beats of Buscaglione resonate with every swing as Bussini brings his sandy roar to the mix alongside the punk scented prowling of Ferrari’s bass; all essences weaving their raw prowess into a blend of ravenous southern toned stoner and sludge thick rock ‘n’ roll. It is gripping stuff, not necessarily boundary worrying but with addictive grooves and fire spewing hooks, the song feeds all wants and needs from a slab of heavy rock.

The following Dancing on Your Grave is the same, originality maybe one of the more slimmer aspects but with fierce ear entwining grooves, hungry riffery, and rhythms that border on bestial, the song stomps along with irresistible attitude and an incendiary presence easily and swiftly recruiting full attention and involvement. At times the song, as the EP, has a feel of French rockers Face Down to it as well as some of those influences earlier mentioned, but all are spices adding to the highly agreeable devilry confronting and pleasing ears.

Devil’s Wonderland comes next with its own bruising intensity and tenacious tempest of forceful riffs and rampant rhythms amidst a trespass of dirty grooves. It is only possible to get involved with and hungrier for the band’s sound especially once confronted by the EP’s title track and its apocalyptic suggestiveness which leads to a gloriously hellacious maelstrom of intoxicating temptation in sound and ideation. Buscaglione crafts a persistently shifting torrent of rhythms, their stampede or more deliberate stalking each unpredictable involvements for ears and as anthemic as anything within the tremendous incitement. They are certainly matched by the searing flames of guitar and cantankerous bait of the bass too whilst vocally Bussini is an alluring wind of expression and matching incitement.

The track is an outstanding and increasingly inventive and galvanic encounter which would be a mighty end to any release, though Hammer of Chaos, song and EP allows that task to fall to a great cover of the SloBurn track Pilot of the Dune, Firelord turning it dirtier and punkish with resourceful zeal and strongly engaging enterprise.

For personal tastes, the name Firelord does not particularly entice but as we found the band’s music certainly leaves nothing on the table of persuasion as it takes ears and emotions on a thoroughly pungent and thrilling rock ‘n’ roll escapade.

Hammer Of Chaos is out now on CD through Sliptrick Records and digitally at https://firelordoom.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 28/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Face Down – The Long Lost Future


Building on their well-received first EP The Runaway of 2010, French band Face Down return with a raging blaze of a release in debut album The Long Lost Future. Consisting of eleven tracks which consume the ear like a tornado and buffet the senses in a torrential downpour of thrash riffery and stoner/southern rock heat, the album is a pulse racing riot of contagious enterprise and breath-taking energy not forgetting accomplished invention. Not quite a ground breaking release but certainly offering something fresh and exhilarating to thrash, band and album is a ridiculously magnetic storm for which hunger and passion comes easy.

The Parisian quintet , complete with a new vocalist takes the essences and qualities of their previous release into a greater fire of passion and adventurous invention, each track upon The Long Lost Future superbly sculpted and unleashed with flare and thoroughly addictive energy. It does not take long for the band to corner and persuade ears and thoughts through opener Lone Ranger, the track an immediate fall of thumping rhythms and powerful riffs which settles before stalking and parading around the senses crisp commanding drum suasion and potent riffing which leaves the air heated and emotions alert. The vocals provide a scratchy gruffness which only enhances the presence of the song, especially when it ventures into an aside of bass led melodic restraint and temptation. The song is a strong introduction but only the appetiser for greater things to come which starts with the next up My Last Tequila.

As previously the band launch themselves at the ear with eagerness, a carnivorous tone to the bass a devilish coaxing whilst the fire bred riffs and sonic scythes do their devilry on the passions. The song as ultimately the whole of The Long Lost Future comes over like a bleeding union of Bloodsimple and I-Def-I with a healthy dose of Crowbar and Hell Yeah juice added to the mix. There is a familiarity to release and song which reaps those seeds for greater attraction whilst equally the band unveils their own distinctive charms and invention to leave them standing apart from most.

Horse Power makes a compelling entrance, its southern breath around the acoustic and guitar elegance quite irresistible. The seduction offered soon leads the listener into a towering weight wall of heavy metal excellence, sonic mastery veining the almost tsunami like energy and rhythmic provocation. With the vocals continuing to impress as richly as the instrumentation, the song leaves lips being licked and emotions stoked harder. Its chugging climax lays down even stronger bait to excite the appetite once again for the following Smokecoat. Complete with opening sonic teases, punchy rhythms, and the required cowbells, the song is soon into a stride of prickly riffery and grumbling bass stalking. As its predecessor the track inspires easy submission to its tempting and melodic flames, and though it is more of a slow burner compared to earlier tracks the song eventually takes the same grip of the passions as anywhere else on the album, its passion and fire in the belly impossible to refuse.

There is an interlude of sorts next, well more an allowance of breaths being taken. Under the Sun is an absorbing evocative instrumental of southern sultriness within a medium paced caress watched over by a brooding shadows wrapped ambience. It is a glorious piece and fits perfectly within the album even if of a different kin to its thrash and adrenaline fired companions, especially Kiss of Death. The track is a raging storming stomp of thrash rapaciousness, guitars and rhythms as well as vocals all surging through the ear with instinctive exciting rabidity and mouthwatering raucousness.

Both Only Human and N°1 Must Die swagger across senses and imagination with eager attitude and in the case of the first a towering almost intimidating mountain range of rhythmic demanding and lyrical/vocal causticity. It is a glorious brawl which like all the songs is unafraid to quickstep expectations, the song twisting and turning its body into numerous imaginative detours and through epidemically magnetic ideas. Its successor is more of the same in structure and individual in voice, riffs and rhythms finding a barbarous intent matched by the intensive vocals which offer fury and vitriol without losing the great clarity which allows the whole song and words to breathe.

Blow Away the Dust brings another flavour to the album, its expressive melodic colour and sonic hues creating a scenic narrative whilst still taking the lock off of some of the most hellacious intensive and thoroughly pleasing torrents of sound and energy on the album. With the excellent Poker Time providing a final full hand of southern spawned thrash and almighty passion it is just left for the short instrumental of Evil Blues to bring a close to one deeply satisfying and thrilling encounter. Whether The Long Lost Future is rewriting the future or direction of thrash is debatable but it and Face Down certainly gives it a new vein of impressive adventure.




RingMaster 04/10/2013

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