Cranely Gardens – House of Decay

Allowing no hiding place, House of Decay is a tempest of psychotic noise and vicious dexterity; quite simply one of the best things to escape the extreme metal scene this year. The EP is the venomous creation of US band Cranely Gardens, an outfit which plunders the diverse landscape of metal to forge its own distinct and striking tempest now raging within one impressive encounter.

Formed in 2008, New Jersey hailing Cranely Gardens soon began weaving and honing the diversely flavoured sound which was to make debut EP Locust Valley a well-received encounter in 2015. The band has continued to nurture their individual sound and creative character, House of Decay a new plateau darker and more tempestuous yet finely crafted and a declaration that the band is ready to take on the biggest attention.

Once the sample built Muswell Hill sets the tone and atmosphere, History of a Drowning Boy seizes ears and imagination with its multi-textured tempest. It is a maelstrom of sound bred from a fusion of death and thrash metal, its imagination growing to create a cauldron of everything from nu and groove to blackened heavy metal in a forceful trespass which infests ears and psyche. Like a blend of French outfit Trepalium and UK’s Anti-Clone to give it some kind of identity, the track savages and seduces with every passing second whilst embracing an unpredictability which is not constant but brings rich surprises and twists when it breaks.

The excellent trespass features guest Will Ramos from A Wake in Providence, its successor Seven Faces sees For the Fallen Dreams vocalist Chad Ruhlig guesting. The track instantly submerges the listener in an invasive cloud of predatory noise, from the midst of which winding grooves and rampant rhythms driven by the vicious swings of Victor Figueroa break. His beats are pure venom in every touch, the bass of Alex Niszczak a predacious companion whilst the guitars of Randy Mac and Joe Fedele cast a sonic tempest built on technical and instinctive dexterity which is pure toxicity. The threat loaded throat of vocalist Chaz Macklin centres it all with an almost carnal prowess, his intensive examination just as compelling within next up Savages which has Dan Watson of Enterprise Earth and Sims Cashion additionally on board. On the surface, the song seems less adventurous than its predecessors though its grooves swiftly wind persuasively around ears but time and intent reveals the devious web at its core luring increased attention as a swarming of sonic temptation offers delicious bait.

Still it does not quite match up to those before or the following threat of Rapture where Narrow Vision frontman Josh Frazier adds his rapacious tones to the animosity unloaded by Macklin. Venturing into a more nu meets melodic metal terrain without defusing the same raw antipathy and corrosive fury of its companions, the track punishingly takes the passions.

Carry the Earth steps up next, the rhythmic ingenuity of Figueroa leading the way and not for the first or last time running with rock ‘n’ roll instincts before guitars and bass spread their cathartic animosity. The melodic hook feels a relatively familiar tempting across the EP but this certainly does not damage its impact either across the whole or in a track which scorches the senses and runs with the imagination like an unhinged predator.

The Challenger brings things to a close, its body also coaxed in by Figueroa’s tenacious invention; the subsequent highly resourceful sonic disturbance cored by a malignant cyclone driven by creative rancor. In saying that, its melancholic melodies are emotional sighs which add further drama and adventure to the concussive but gracefully primal finale. It is a volcanic close to an EP which just impresses more and more listen by listen. It is not the perfect offering but the potential sealing any cracks ensures it makes for a truly powerful and lingering incitement.

House of Decay is out now @ https://cranelygardens1.bandcamp.com/album/house-of-decay

http://www.cranelygardens.com/    https://www.facebook.com/CranelyGardens/    https://twitter.com/cranelygardens

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skeyes – Empty Mirrors

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Like with post-hardcore, for any emerging band to stand out in metalcore, even in its more progressive state, is a bit of a tall order. US band Skeyes is another coming up against that challenge but with debut EP Empty Mirrors, the band certainly makes a potent introduction and offers plenty of potential that they can rise up from the pack. The four track offering is a very likeable slice of metal voracity with a melodic invention which wakes up the imagination. Whether it has enough to push the band above the crowd time will tell but right now the release sparks the feeling that the Pennsylvanian band can ascend to that spotlight pushing height at some point.

Skeyes was formed in 2013 by Jesse Cease and Tyler Williams, and originally was intended as a studio project. Their first year saw many changes in line-up which led to the becoming a fully functioning band with vocalist Dale Brosious and guitarist Ryan Macaluso alongside guitarist/vocalist Cease. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Erra, Mureau, Northlane, and For the Fallen Dreams, Skeyes have now arrived at the point of unleashing their presence on a broader landscape. Featuring guest vocals from Garret Rapp of The Color Morale and Jesse Cash of Erra, and released on Imminence Records to whom the band signed last October, Empty Mirrors is a more than solid and pleasing base for the band spring forth from.

Ethereal sets the ball rolling and instantly is a flame of clean vocals amidst a web of sonic enterprise, a coaxing punctuated by thumping rhythms which shows restraint in their attack but not their weight. With Garret Rapp bringing his strong guest tones to the song, it is soon a turbulent storm of an encounter, the caustic roars of Brosious an increasingly enjoyable squall against the warmer colours and harmonies of the song. The guitars also grab attention swiftly, tendrils of sonic imagination aligning with ragged riffs equipped with a djent seeded agitation. It is a strong song which satisfies with ease especially through the ever growing voracity of the rhythms, but elevates its stature with an excellent twist of melodic calm coloured by excellent vocals of Rapp.IR030

The following Myriad also needs a breath before unleashing its maelstrom of imagination and sonic tenacity. In some ways it is a less imposing and intrusive track yet still stirs up an intimidation and creative agitation which keeps expectations at bay. Even so there are plenty of recognisable things about the song, as the EP, but it would be amiss to not say it comes over as fresh and with a hungry passion as it roughs up and seduces the listener’s ears and thoughts. Strangely another thing in its favour and success is the briefness of its presence, at under three minutes the track is a dazzling quick jab to the senses with certainly as the old adage says, ‘leaves them wanting more’, just as the similarly swift offering of the EP’s title track which steps up next.

With Jesse Cash involved, Empty Mirrors is virtually a bedlamic swirl of venomous raw growls and melodic suggestiveness within a cage of aggressive riffery and belligerent rhythms. Holding magnetic calm at moments and unbridled energetic hostility in others, the song seduces with dramatic keys and impressive clean blazes of vocal expression. Easily the best thing on the release, the inventive bellow is as fascinating as it is exhausting and with more songs like this, Skeyes will definitely rise to join the cream of melodic metalcore.

The closing Ars Amatoria revels in the mellower side of the band’s sound and songwriting, initially at least anyway. The voice of we assume Cease shows its strongest and most impressive moments on the EP as the song brews up a tempest of sound and angst round him. It does not take long for Brosious to unleash his thick venom too as guitars paint a reflective sonic picture in the rabid frame of rhythms and riffs. The song is also brief, though this time it feels like an unfinished proposition once it departs, as if there was more to say but instead just walks away.

Empty Mirrors as suggested is a strong way to open up their entrance into the ears of the world. It is not going to shake the tree but certainly will do enough to ensure Skeyes and what comes next is given stronger attention, and if the band can really build on songs like the EPs title track, with equally potent rewards in return.

The Empty Mirrors EP is available now via Imminence Records @ http://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/empty-mirrors

https://www.facebook.com/skeyesband

RingMaster 26/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Giants: These Are The Days

British punks Giants have just raised the intensity of their already ascending rise to the fore of UK rock music with their new mini album These Are The Days. Raw and abrasive yet melodically smouldering and as expected fully anthemic, the release is a thumping explosion of melodic, skate and hardcore punk which elevates an already impressed view of the band.

The Essex quintet still approaching two years into its life, first grabbed wider attention with their debut self released EP, as well as their storming sets alongside the likes of The Bled, This Distance, The Ghost Inside, This is Hell, For The Fallen Dreams, More Than Life, Azriel, and Haste The Day, each show and step creating a honed sound and an irresistible energised experience for a growing following. The new release is set to accelerate the rate of their ascent to what one can only see is national recognition.

These Are The Days opens on the thumping clash of sound and energy which is Did It Mean So Much To You, the track a fiery riot of muscular riffs, coarse vocals and scarring melodies. It is a hungry and forceful assault brought with craft and unbridled passion, the guitars leaving a smoking trail whilst the bass is simply a deliciously heavy dark predator throughout. It is a mighty start to the release and already shows a deeper strength and maturity to the sound of Giants which the following songs all endorse.

The following song When It Comes Down To It is a continuation of the aggression, its raw breath a scraping rub upon the ear smartly soothed by heated harmonies from excellent clean vocals amongst caustic shouts and sharp incendiary melodies. The track bristles and swaggers throughout before launching into one of the best finales in a song for a long time, its united shouts and driving thrust irresistible.

The tempest of attitude which is Snakes with its snarling bass intro next leaves one breathless and sets things up powerfully for the first of two tracks which are easily the best on the release. Won’t Be Told is an immediate anthem for voice and heart with group chants and metallic intrusive riffs riling up the senses. The following melodic vocals amongst further squalls of spite and knee buckling rhythms  as the song moves forward, are sparking and rabid making for a storm of total pleasure. Violent and merciless it lights up the air with fine craft and imagination.

Another Day, Another Year (Wasted) is similar in structure to its predecessor and alongside it steals the honours on this impressive release. Once more the bass is a real highlight, its tones a bestial and immense presence within another metal driven slab of punk rock. The band fusing multi genres with great skill without losing their core drive of sound.

With the brief instrumental Bottled Up leading in to the tempestuous closer Boneless, the EP is an energising and fully pleasing release which deserves every good word and acclaim it is destined to receive. These Are The Days shows that British punk rock is back at a forceful high with Giants right to the fore.

https://www.facebook.com/giantsuk

RingMaster 16/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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As Silence Breaks: The Architecture of Truth

The Architecture Of Truth, the second album from Australian metalers As Silence Breaks is a formidable and feisty beast of a release, an album with the surest intent to incite a riot within the senses with explosive yet carefully composed imagination. The album arguably does not offer anything strikingly new or ground breaking but uses and transforms the best of what already has emerged within melodic and extreme metal in a way not many others have imagined to date. This makes for a refreshing and absorbing release of muscle and destructive beauty.

The Sydney quintet of vocalist Sam Rilatt, guitarists Dan O’Brien and Ben Irwin, bassist Kiel Stanger, and Reece Kirby on drums, have become one of the emerging forces in Australian metal since forming over six years ago. Acclaimed and respected live with the band sharing stages with the likes of Darkest Hour, Carnifex, For The Fallen Dreams, Whitechapel, Periphery, TesseracT, Sybreed and The Red Shore, they have garnered a similar response with previous releases since signing with independent label New Justice Records in 2010. The new album can only accelerate their standing in world metal with its challenging and thrilling mix of metalcore, thrash, heavy metal, and melodic death metal. It is a thunder storm in the brain, intimidating, oppressive, and within the tempest elegantly stunning.

The release fries synapses from the off with Litany Of Fear. Its first breath is a solo guitar strumming a welcome with a brewing presence in the distance. Soon the track reaches its full height with an enveloping intense atmosphere giving way to a surging confrontation of picky guitars and rampant rhythms, bass and drums staking their claim on the senses as the guitars mesmerise with air scorching melodic invention. The vocals of Rilatt sear flesh with their coarse tone ably baked by an as abrasive assistance from Irwin. It all combines for an impressive opening fully and easily backed up by the following tracks.

Decimate continues the charge with more crushing riffs and demanding intensity to follow in a similar vein to its predecessor leaving the first full signs of variety to Freedom. The album is a nicely diverse animal and this song instantly ignites the appetite with its greedy tight grooves and electrifying melodic flames. Vocally clean additions expand the chorus and make a good contrast to the growling menace which is relatively standard through all songs.  Less intensive and aggressive than the first pair it incites a purer addictive connection and shows the band as skilled and inventive as they are uncompromising.

Across its length the album has a high consistency with certain peaks coming with songs such as Purpose, Transcendence, and The Warning. These three are the heart of the album and the tracks which spark the strongest fires within. The first is a hungry insatiable brute of a song, its sinews continually shifting and offering unpredicted enterprise. At times it is a raging torrent in the ear and at others a caressing hulk of intense yet understanding power. Woven together the song is a towering inferno of violent invention and stakes a claim for best on album though that is snatched away by Transcendence.

The track bruises just as deeply as it mesmerises, its venom and violence corrupting every pore whilst lighting them with the keenest melodic pleasure. As it reaches its climax it adds some excellent hardcore anthemic touches to complete a riot of undeniable malevolence and satisfaction. The last of the trio The Warning simply rampages with unbridled destructive energy for the fullest pleasure. Within its demanding and merciless assault the band conjures melodies and grooves of excellence especially with some classic metal seeded guitar work, but the main attraction is in the pulsating hunger of the intensity.

From this point the album takes a slight dip but it is more to do with how great the songs leading up to the likes of Fire Borne Chaos and Redeemer are as these later tracks still have plenty to give and enjoy in sound and composition. The Architecture of Truth is a great album for anyone with a liking of As I Lay Dying, In Flames, and Unearth. It might not have enough to make As Silence Breaks yet distinct enough to stand apart from those bands but easily offers plenty to rival them.

https://www.facebook.com/assilencebreaks

RingMaster 13/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Corroosion: Dirt Awareness

Like the effect of sand in a wind tunnel notched up to the maximum, the new album from Italian deathcore band Corroosion is as abrasive and lethal as their name gives hint to. It is a nasty and destructive piece of work, a sonic blistering without mercy or respect. It is also corruptively magnificent. Dirt Awareness is not the easiest of listens or probably not the most appealing for some at times but stare it right in the eyes and it is becomes one of the more rewarding albums to assault the senses this year and has the makings of an insatiable addiction.

From Turin, Corroosion emerged from the ashes of Hekatomb in 2005. Consisting of vocalist AnD, guitarists Sentenza and Lino, bassist Marco, and Dave on drums, the band made their first mark with their 2008 demo Maze Of Human Deprivation. Relentless gigging followed as well as the six track EP Two Steps Before The Vein, the band all the time creating attention grabbing strokes with their storm of extreme metal leading them to sharing stages with bands such as The Acacia Strain, Deicide, Neaera, Annotations of an Autopsy, Knights of the Abyss, and Slowmotion Apocalypse. Mid 2009 and the band signed with Rising Records and set to work on their debut album Punish The Mind with producer Alan Douches (Killswitch Engage, Emmure, Carnifex, The Acacia Strain, Cannibal Corpse),which was released the following year. 2011 saw the band destroy stages alongside the likes of The Ghost Inside, Bleed From Within, Suffokate, Trigger The Bloodshed, For The Fallen Dreams, before working on their second album. Produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Job For a Cowboy, Bring Me The Horizon, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames) and released again on Rising on July 23rd, the album is a titanic treat of invention, imagination and outright violence.

The album creeps up on the ear with the opening to Awareness as echoes of war emerge from the sinister whispers to be replaced by the intrusive windings of guitar grooves and flesh grating vocals. At full stretch the track badgers the senses with crisp punchy rhythms and bruising riffs through an attack which seems tempered, as if the band is simply teasing and taunting its victims. The intensity though is oppressive throughout and heightened in the climaxing storm of scowled group vocals, rigid beats, and manipulative guitars, and the song itself the intimidating beginning and appetizer for the annihilation ahead.

The crushing and quite brilliant track The Loser Slave flies for the jugular within seconds of its appearance, air flaying riffs and grinding grooves to open up the deepest sores laying siege upon the senses. The song evolves into a raging stomp of sounds and bestial borne vocals with a ravenous hunger not to be denied. It is pure malevolence brought with the surest ferocity but dive beyond the surface and there is a continual evolution of invention and sound going on which makes every rampage a new offering. It is this which has the band standing out over other similar bands and makes Dirt Awareness far more than a great album.

More impressive brutality comes in the form of the greedily consuming and relentlessly raging Crimes Of Fathers Times with its dehabilitating diversity of riffs and rhythms skewered with a cruelly niggling groove and the stunning Polarity, both further scarring on the ear and scrambling of synapses with sharp twisting manipulations. The second of the two is a maelstrom of hellacious energy and sounds which use their notes like kinder to spark an inferno of fury and creative excellence to bring one to their knees.

The release is simply one continual high quality and imaginative brute with just the intensity and the caustic covering uniformal. The songs twist and turn within their skins, tempo disruptions, unexpected breakdowns, and perfect unpredictability raging in the eye of every storm such as in further triumphs like Collective Humiliation, Falena, and Repulsion, though every track deserves a mention such the depth of excellence.

The suspicion is Corroosion is still an unknown most have yet to discover but with Dirt Awareness the days of that secret is numbered with the band surely on the verge of deserved major attention.

https://www.facebook.com/corroosion

RingMaster 11/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Silent Screams-When It Rains

The new album When It Rains from Coventry band Silent Screams marks not only an impressive debut for the UK metalcore band but the initial release from Ghost Music, the new label founded by Ghostfest creator Toyan St Hilaire, who made the band his first signing. Immediately impressed by the band’s album St Hilaire threw himself into unleashing it on the world; commenting about the release he said “As soon as I heard the new SILENT SCREAMS record, I just knew it was gold – I just knew I had to do something with it… ‘When It Rains’ made such an impact on me that I’ve decided to finally put my money where my mouth is; hence GHOST MUSIC was born! I’m super excited to be working with this band and their record!”  Upon hearing When It Rains it is easy to understand his enthusiasm as the album is a power house of intent and creation. For a debut it is immense and though it may not be flawless it carries an edge and purpose as well as thoroughly stunning sounds that many if not most releases lack.

The band already have impressed during their rise up the UK metal ranks, tours and shared stages with the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, Your Demise, For The Fallen Dreams, and Emmure around not only the UK but Europe and Australia, bringing constant upward surge in their following and anticipation for their debut release. When It Rains produced by renowned producer/engineer Joey Sturgis (Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Miss May I), does not disappoint at all only pleases.  

To some extent When It Rains takes a little work when first diving into its feast of sound, there is not an immediate connection. Well not strictly true as musically it does light up the senses and offers intrigue and thrills at every twist and turn in its varied soundscape of hardcore, progressive and melodic metalcore. Where it struggled to make an impact initially was vocally though repeated listens, which all releases deserve for a true assessment, found the blend much easier to come to terms with. It is hard to work out if it is the production or James Ryan’s natural delivery but his growls and shouts at times lack definition and are too unrefined to make them easy at first to take in. To be fair it does not help when alongside him bassist Tom Craig provides clean vocals that are glorious and give a wonderful scope to the songs. Personally the hope more use will be made of his voice in the future to bring a greater even mix between them both brings eager anticipation.

That is the only issue there is with an excellent debut form the band. Musically they are tight and unafraid to infuse varied directions and ideas which provide a constant interest and invitation within their release. Opening track ‘Assume The Worst’ strikes with full aggression and intent providing a mighty wave of fierce drumming from the explosive Adam Mallabone and cutting guitars sounds and bludgeoning riffs from Sam Varney and Ozzi Osman. The first half of the track paces itself with a firm steadiness holding back its diverse moment when with a growling riff and resonating bass from Craig it starts exploring and expanding its limits, the vocals from the bassist soaring out over the gruffness of Ryan.

The consistency across the album is perfect, not one track dipping below the high level set with the opener. Songs like ‘Desperation’ with its commanding teasing groove, the strongly emotive ‘Til There’s Nothing Left’, and the album’s best track ‘Sinking’ all raise the bar with sounds and performance lined with fierce assertiveness and incisive delivery. The latter of the three unveils its kaleidoscope of inspired songwriting, intricate play, and diversity wonderfully, engaging forcibly as it permeates the senses. It is the strongest example of what the whole album achieves and which is bringing menacing and brutal sounds together with stirring harmonies and delicious melodies that enthuse as equally as the forthright and irrepressible riffs.

When It Rains is an immense debut and gives strong excitement for future releases from Silent Screams, and if they find sort out the vocals a little more the band will tower over most rivals.

RingMaster 25/10/2011

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