Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

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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

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Vile Regression – Empires

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Irish metallers Vile Regression are no strangers to acclaim, their debut release coming under eager praise but you can only feel that it was fore play for a much stronger and fevered attention once new EP Empires consumes ears. The release is a stunning onslaught of sonic voracity forged in the imagination of technical metal and ferocity of extreme metal in its broadest diversity. The band has inspired comparisons to the likes of Death, Opeth, and Gojira, and listening to Empires it is understandable but whereas at times other technically fired bands bewitch with their skills before falling into indulgences, Vile Regression sculpt real slabs of brutal invention. Their tracks are built on riffs and grooves which come with lethal hooks and melodic tempting, all aspects treated with the same love and attention as the technical alchemy at work. This is openly evident in Empires, a clutch of songs which leave ears gloating and passions bulging.

The seeds of the Dublin band began back in 2007 when brothers Barry (guitar) and Kenn Christie (bass) formed a band which went under a few names for early demos until settling as Visitor Q and releasing a debut EP to strong responses. 2010 saw the addition of drummer Robb Behan and the band name changing to Vile Regression. The Pattern Evolves EP was unveiled the following year to, as mentioned, keen critical praise, its success leading to the band landing support slots with bands such as Dyscarnate and Fleshgod Apocalypse. A line-up change saw vocalist Padraig Croke and guitarist Brian Brady joining the brothers and Behan in 2013, which was followed by a support slot with Unearth and subsequently the recording of Empires. It has been a strong rise for the band over the years but with the new release it would be hard to be surprised if the band now found itself to the fore of extreme metal such its triumph.

Ears are immediately challenged as opener Tides confronts their anticipation, thumping rhythms grabbing instant attention to which swirling sonic endeavour sparks the imagination. It is a potent lure which evolves into a fiercely front_coverrousing tempest as the swipes of Behan trigger a maelstrom of bass intimidation, raging vocals, and senses binding sonic causticity. It is a dramatic and feverish incitement which never loses its irresistible lure even under the cascading, creatively carnivorous technical exploration of the band. It is a seamless union, one as mentioned which feels united in every intent rather than elements trying to outshine others. Between the Buried and Me comes to mind during the track but only as a spice to something scintillatingly original.

The following Raze the Complexity similarly needs little time to inflame the senses, guitars dancing seductively and with agitated endeavour across ears as the grouchy growls of Croke spill hope linked animosity. It is increasingly magnetic bait which only increases its toxicity as the guitars flirt with the imagination through ingenious designs and craft. Just as masterfully contagious though are the merciless and adventurous rhythmic incitement of Behan and the corrosively riveting riffs of bass and guitar. Not one note or twist in the song comes without scintillating creative tenacity but it never dips into the realms of excess either, every alignment of savagery and technical enthralment a gripping and easily accessible drama.

The brief instrumental Dream of the Red Chamber allows a breath to be swallowed, though its melodic beauty then takes away the next before moving into the outstanding predacious storm of Thought Replication. The new track lurches with a sonic tempting which swiftly enslaves appetite and emotions. Sinew driven riffs add ravenous shadows to ever grizzled and compelling vocals, whilst the emerging creative emprise spreads elegant and mouth-watering tendrils. Not as intensively aggression as the first pair of tracks, the song bellows at and charms the senses in equal measure, their fluid union a through captivation from ear to passions.

It is hard to relay the skills at play and the even more impressive merger of that brilliance into the grooving almost bestial rapacious heart of this and other songs, that ridiculously thrilling success repeated and enhanced with The Abstract. For all the references which flirt with thought across the release, this song also imposes a veining of inhospitality which could be Ferium or Killswitch Engage bred , this again showing the broadness and depth of the band’s sound. The track continues to gnaw on and subdue the senses, its ferocity coming with a rabidity which is flirtatious and speared with staggered and jagged unpredictability and ear teasing sonic fascination.

Another mesmeric instrumental sooths next, Down to a Sunless Sea as radiant as the previous piece, before final track raises its rhythmic ire and sonic fire to sear and assault with glorious invention. The Empyrean Divide explores thoughts and soul with a rich Opeth/Death spiced, heavily shadowed breath. There is an even more menacing darkness and imposing grudge to the proposition but again it’s devouring only leads to brighter prospects echoed by lyrics and the melodic maze of invention veining and entwining the raw onslaught.

The final track is a thunderous close to an exceptional encounter, one which puts Vile Regression firmly on the frontline of progressive/technical extreme metal releases this year. Empires declares the band a new emerging leading light, a proposition the metal world has unknowingly been eagerly waiting for.

The Empires EP is available now!

http://vileregression.bandcamp.com/album/empires

www.facebook.com/vileregression

10/10

RingMaster 21/07/2014

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Dark Century – Murder Motel

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A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @ http://darkcentury.bandcamp.com/album/murder-motel

www.DarkCentury.ca

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

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Nexilva – Eschatologies

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If Eschatologies is the portent or soundtrack to mankind’s ultimate destination as a species it is hard to know whether to be engulfed in bliss or unbridled fear. The new album from UK progressive death metallers Nexilva is a maelstrom of brutal invention and exhaustive experimentation, a tsunami of sound and vindictive intensity which is as excitingly unpredictable as it is frighteningly intrusive. It is an encounter which is almost too involved and adventurous for its own good, smothering the senses with so much imaginative mayhem and creative exploration that even after a dozen or so rampages through its hellacious depths new corners and facets are still emerging. The accompanying promo suggests the release is for fans of bands such as Born of Osiris, The Faceless, and Fleshgod Apocalypse, something you cannot disagree with and certainly it will not sit easy with every metal bred heart because of its vast experimentation but if technical violence and an unrelenting examination of senses, psyche, and imagination ignites fires for you than Eschatologies is a scintillating must.

Hailing from Sunderland and formed in 2009, Nexilva released their first demo The Viral Annihilation that same year before more dramatically stirring up attention with debut album The Trials of Mankind a year later. Followed by the Defile the Flesh of Innocence EP in 2011, the releases showed a band with not only massive potential but also the ability and bravery to cross pollinate numerous extremes of metal into one threatening yet compelling fascination. Their live presence was no less potent and exhausting either, the band gaining strong recognition as they shared stages and tours with the likes of Exist Immortal, Aliases, and The Algorithm as well as their own shows and festival appearances over time. Eighteen months in the making and mixed/produced by guitarist Andy Mallaby, Eschatologies is the next mighty step for Nexilva. It is a journey through scenery draped in technical, death, progressive, and black metal to simplify the landscape; climates of the fantastic, realistic, and portentous investigating the end/rebirth of man.

Released via Ghost, Eschatologies opens the first chapter with I: Teste Humanitatem Mori, a short piece which unveils an initial dark nexilva-coverand welcoming ambience soon lit by a wonderful caress of guitar, its classical melodic touch soothing and inviting. All the while shadows are converging adding their menace to the rising vocal harmonies and warm melodies. They eventually break through with roaring caustic growls and stabbing riffs though they still court the elegance which voiced the start. It is a respectfully dramatic piece bringing clouds and uncertainty into view ready for The Misdirection of God to erupt with seemingly insidious intent. Immediately the vocals impress; the diverse ever shifting style and delivery from Gary King, very ably backed by that of bassist Ryan Banks, magnetic within the equally revolving and evolving tempest around them. The rhythms of drummer Connor Jobes rampage with crippling sinews and ferocious agitation from their every beat whilst the guitars of Simon Atkinson, Rownan Tennet, and Mallaby cast a simultaneously vitriolic and enticing web of sound around ears and thoughts. As mentioned previously there is so much accosting and intriguing senses that you cannot at first take it all in over one song let alone the album, but as traverses of and time exploring the song unveils irresistible bait like the classically honed keys with at times stand to the fore and in others flirt from a hollowed distance, the adventure just gets stronger and more spellbinding.

Both Our Progenitor and This Is Humanity, distinct in their characters and offerings are bred from the same almost bedlamic onslaught, though it is all controlled and precisely sculpted. The first of the two again concocts a lethal and enchanted storm for the beleaguered senses to immerse within, its predacious intent as rabid as it is contagious. The keys again seduce from within the uncompromising voracity and not for the last time whilst slipping easily aside the malevolent raging they provide a wonderful discord fuelled friction which just lights the imagination and pleasure further. Its successor takes a more premeditated preying of its recipient, grooves and keys seducing whilst riffs and rhythms cause havoc within the irresistible caressing. Twisting and turning not only itself but the psyche, the song adds hardcore vocals and progressive flights to its savagery, like the album making expectations redundant.

The melancholic II: Scientaia Tenebris opens up the next movement of the album to provide a respite before the venomous Necromancer seizes control whilst still employing the emotive melodies of its predecessor within its serpentine toxicity and rapacious enslaving of ears and emotions. Like all tracks, the song leaves you gasping for breath in body and thought, every turn a new extensive exploration to be taken within its whole endeavour. The Collapse immediately proves to be the same and with equal potency and success before the outstanding title track raises a new pinnacle for the release. The track spews malice and hostility from its first vocal and rhythmic touch, aligning them to punishing sonic and rhythmic frenzies. As all tracks to describe everything within would need a page per song but needless to say Eschatologies is a nonstop bordering pestilential rampage.

Cybernetic Lucidity disorientates and lacerates the senses next, its flailing rhythms and riffs a welcome distraction to the intensive suffocating invention broiling synapses from within their cage whilst after the dark and wildly simmering peace of III: СКЕЛЕТ, the band unleash the classically walled, viciously vehement Premonitions which features a guest appearance from Ricky Lee Roper. The track parades riffs and rhythms with a horde like mentality and appetite upon ears whilst its successor Invasion, lashes and chews on the wounds with sonic invention and a combined riff and rhythmic rabidity.

The album closes with first the tremendous Evil Will Prevail featuring Exist Immortal vocalist Meyrick De La Fuente, the song a ferocious blaze of spite, antagonism, and creative imagination. The track bewitches as powerfully as it annihilates, the expressive clean vocals and melody crafted passage towards its end a seduction within the masterful turmoil that lingers long into the final instrumental IV: Non Magis Adrogantiam.

Eschatologies is a thoroughly demanding and intensive proposition which only expands and broadens its hold and depths with every listen. As said there is a multitude of inventive exploits within every twist and turn which at times makes it a difficult listen in regard to taking it all in but unrelentingly thrills and invigorates as it bewilders and exhausts. It is a glorious maze of sound and invention from Nexilva, simply a ravenous fascinating aural kaleidoscope.

https://www.facebook.com/nexilva

9/10

RingMaster 08/04/2014

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Karnak – The Cult Of Death

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Uncompromising and ravenous, the new mini-album from Italian death metallers Karnak is a furious consumption of the senses but equally a deceptively rewarding one which with bravery and strong will before its ferocity provides a compelling and invigorating examination of senses and thoughts. Made up by five predatory tracks, The Cult Of Death is an annihilatory turbulence through the ear which consists of four new songs linked to a concept inspired by Aleister Crowley, as well as a cover of a Celtic Frost track.  With savage essences which put you in mind of the likes of Incantation, Pestilence, Nile, Morbid Angel, and Suffocation, the release is a potent and dramatic gnawing of the synapses marking the Monfalcone hailing quartet as a persistently formidable proposition.

Formed in 1993 by drummer Stefano Rumich, the band released numerous demos before making a strong impression away from their local area with debut album Perverted, the first release under the name Karnak. This was successfully followed by Melodies Of Sperm Composed, an album which saw the band evolve from their initial pure grind/death metal stance exploring elements of jazz, samples and more to add flavour and colour to the still destructive tempest of sound. Third album Tutti I Colori Del Buio was released in 2002 before the band went on a break provoked by line-up changes. 2009 saw their return and the signing with Casket Records with the release of fourth album Dismemberment coming the following year. A tour supporting Krisiun and Kataklysm pushed the band out further in 2011, though by now having supported the likes of Impaled Nazarene, Suffocation, Nile, Decapitated, Avulsed, Necrodeath, Pyogenesis, Destruction, Fleshgod Apocalypse and more over the years, Karnak was no longer a hidden secret. Last year the band supported Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, and Vital Remains on another European tour followed by another with Deicide. Currently working on their next album, the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Francesco Ponga, bassist/vocalist Lorenzo Orsini, guitarist/vocalist Marco Polo, and Stefano Rumich raise real anticipation and hunger for said release with The Cult Of Death, its bestial creative assault wholly persuasive.

The opening Intro just lays out a simple rhythmic beckoning but its temptation is irresistible and almost tribal as it evolves into The cover_karnak_thecultofdeathConstruction Of The Pyramid (The Demon’s Breath) who replays its offering before opening the gate to an intensive exhausting technically honed riff driven blaze which scorches the senses with the brewing animosity of the song and its breath is not far behind in carnivorous intent. With vocals roaring like the oldest colossal predator imaginable, the track lurches at the senses with insatiable energy aligned to a more restrained but unreserved sonic and rhythmic stalking. Furies of technical and acidically melodic guitar do initially wrong foot emotions after their submission to the easy to devour onslaught, but soon persuade craft and evocative hues.

It is an impressive start repeated and then surpassed by The Construction Of The Pyramid Beta (Invocation), the Meshuggah like web laid down around the passions at the start over run by the torrential thick sonic mass of intensity and suffocating ambience. Doom oppressive and sludge lumbering, the shift bleeds the air of light and oxygen but equally ignites thoughts with shards of melodic light and colour before the nightmarish soundscape with its heaviness and rabid vocals seems to claw like a swarm of patient demons at the psyche. As with the release it is not at times the easiest or most comfortable listen on first impressions but beneath the barbarous surface and many deeper levels there is a magnetic and superbly crafted well of invention and skilled temptation.

The nagging chugging which leads the song to a dissipating climax is immediately thrown aside by the sadistic entrance of The Construction Of The Pyramid Gamma, a start which is only built upon and intensified the further the track chews at the ear with the drum attack of Rumich unrelentingly and impossibly thrilling. Also unafraid to bring a potent melodic and sonic adventure to the striking narrative of the release, the track is a frequently changing and provoking treat concluding and summing up the new songs and strength of the album perfectly.

Completed by the cover of Celtic Frost song Jewel Throne, the release is an enthralling malevolent engagement. The final track is more than decent but as accomplished as it is it is not a match for the previous trio of songs. Quite simply The Cult Of Death really gets the appetite aflame for Karnak’s forthcoming album whilst making a thoroughly satisfying meal right now.

http://www.karnakdeath.com/

9/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

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Scordatura – Torment of the Weak

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Let us cut to the chase and announce that quite simply Torment of the Weak, the new album from Scottish band Scordatura, is one of if not the most impressive death metal debuts of recent times. It is a monstrous declaration of an emerging potency which already consumes and ignites the senses like a veteran destroyer of souls. It is a bestial rage of unadulterated death metal which preys on, takes up the chase against, and devours its victims in one devious swoop. The band do not stretch existing boundaries it is fair to say upon the album but instead give the genre a fresh and invigorating passion wand enterprise which leaves the deepest, hungriest satisfaction.

Consisting of vocalist Daryl Boyce, guitarists Owen McKendrick and Dave Coia, drummer Tam Moran (all founding members), and bassist Mark Scobie (joined 2011), Scordatura  have built an intense reputation around their local scene and beyond. Since forming in 2007, the Glasgow quintet has wreaked their heavy toxicity across the UK supporting the likes of Cryptopsy, Misery Index, Aborted, Beneath The Massacre, Malevolant Creation, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Condemned as well as also joining Cerebral Bore on tour in 2011 and making their own successful tours around Scotland before that. Earlier demos and the Open Skies EP as well as their live album Live in Edinburgh [Deadhaggis Deathfest] earned a building acclaim and presence for the band but Torment of the Weak should be the key to full nationwide recognition whilst taking the band to the fore of the extreme metal scene in the UK, and with the self-released album also having distribution throughout North America and Canada by Blasthead Records, maybe the world will be making their calls upon Scordatura very soon too.

Recorded in 2012 with Scott Fuller of Abysmal Dawn doing the mixing, the eight track Torment of the Weak scorches the senses coverimmediately as opener Necromantic Disposition emerges from a sampled piece of cinematic blood soaked mayhem. Their songs are themed lyrically by serial killers and gore bought with an open black humour and the first track brings it all into devastating play. Once the rolling film and final dreg of live has been taken the track explodes into a savage assault of exhausting riffs, suffocating intensity, and crippling rhythms all ridden by the excellent guttural malevolence of Boyce. There is an instantly contagious pull which is impossible to resist within the carnally bred tempest and for all the predacious riffing and cage fighter beats from Moran, groove is king and twists around the spine of passions with intrusive majesty. This addiction causing weaponry is as lethal as the corrosive aspects of the songs and gives no respite from the merciless proceedings despite its impossibly tempting claws.

The following Visceral Disembowelment is bred from the same rapacious heart and also takes a mere moment to clamp its jaws around the ear and send snarling lashes of riffs through its defenceless throat whilst the bass of Scobies prowls in the wake escorted by the continuing to impress bone splintering rhythms of Moran. The track crawls and sizes up its recipient, crowding and provoking with compelling intimidation rather than going all out to ravage all life from the body. With again irresistible grooves littering its path to seduce whilst the rest of the song chews further into the psyche it continues the impressive start with riveting ease.

Both Neurotic Aberration and the title track bring their equally dramatic and distinct rabidity to work, the first with a jackhammer provocation merged with a thick oppressive intensity and its successor through a maelstrom of blood soaked textures and primal hunger brewed into an annihilatory tsunami of violence. As throughout the album the guitars of McKendrick and Coia have a craft and guile which leaves undiluted riffing as potent as the melodic and sonic imagination and they as ruinous as the insidious riffs.

Incestual Convulsions is sheer momentous filth, a sonic irreverence in league with an inexhaustible brutality that turns those toxic grooves into pure venom within the vicious storm. It is a glorious confrontation which uses the intense platform of its excellent predecessor Back to Crack, a song which softens up every aspect of the mind, to launch its merciless grievous tirade.

Completed by the scintillating disorientating pestilence of Sutured Flesh and finally the virulently poisonous jeopardy of From Chin To Hole, the immense Torment of the Weak leaves a blissful shattered wreck in its tumultuous wake. It is a staggering introduction to Scordatura, a band bringing the essences of the likes of Suffocation and Dying Fetus into something new and thrilling. With more tours throughout the UK and Europe ahead, including a tour with Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an appearance at The Northern Darkness Festival  in December alongside bands such as At The Gates, Decapitated, Napalm Death, Graveworm, and Hour Of Penance, 2013 looks like the year Scordatura will stake a claim to sit at the top table of death metal.

https://www.facebook.com/Scordaturaofficial

9.5/10

RingMaster 30/07/2013

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