Vantablack Warship – Abrasive Pulmonic Speak

Photo by Wayne William Archibald

Unapologetically harsh and uncompromising, arousingly irritable and voracious, Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is the debut album from Canadian fury Vantablack Warship; it is also one seriously addictive assault with as much swing and contagion as sonic violence.

Vantablack Warship is the coming together of various members from some of Montreal’s best bands including one of our favourites, Buffalo Theory Mtl.  2016 saw the release of a self-titled EP, a slab of hardcore fuelled extreme metal taking no prisoners and announcing a formidable new trespass to brave. Abrasive Pulmonic Speak builds on its potential and then wipes the floor with its sibling, the album eight chunks of barbarous punk ‘n’ metal virulent in sound and viciousness throughout, sludge thick and stiflingly suffocating when it leans back on its urgency but not its ferocity. With the rapacious tones of vocalist Yannick (Pil) Pilon (Arseniq33 / Buffalo Theory MTL) standing dead centre of the rhythmic barrage unleashed by bassist Kurt Clifford (Foreshadow) and drummer Pierre Pitre (Arseniq33 / Foreshadow) surrounded by a sonic tempest cast by guitarists Pat Gordon ( Ghoulunatics / Les Ekorchés / Leprocy / Buffalo Theory Mtl) and Thierry Hivon (Brutal Chérie / Sarkasm), Vantablack Warship go straight for the throat from the start with Abrasive Pulmonic Speak leaving the senses reeling and body rocking.

The album leaps upon ears with Another Dead Rockstar, the opener swiftly a severely infectious incursion with Pilon blasting the listener from its first to last breath. Thrash nurtured riffs and senses puncturing beats surround his raw and honest appraisal, lustfully swinging grooves soon adding to the already salacious temptation. Carrying a Society One meets Converge like scent the track is dirty, hateful punk ‘n’ roll at its best and an incursion which gets under the skin like a viral puppeteer.

The following Black Tongue Bertha is a carnal invasion of sound and enmity, riffs and rhythms crawling sharing pure animosity yet from their malevolence a glorious addiction spewing groove springs. Ebbing and flowing in its urgency of attack with increasing contagion, the song breeds additional flourishes of acidic melody and body rousing incitement but never relaxing in its antipathy, in fact accentuating it as it passes its victims over to the waiting chokehold of Blood on the Mat. A “graphic account of women in the UFC”, which can be transferred to the vileness of domestic violence, the track is another barbarous anthem pulling no punches or finding a relaxing its foot on the pedal of its persistently punishing attack. It is superb, an irresistible rile to attitude and spirit; the album after three tracks already drawing fevered praise.

Kill the Kid keeps things as forcibly stirring if maybe not quite offering the individualism of its predecessors though its subsequent predacious crawl from its incendiary start brings the thickest hues yet of the sludge/doom textures in the band’s sound. Equally it rocks and batters the senses like a cyclone, as too, and even more so next up Ruderalis. Grooves, riffs, and hooks escape every angle of band and sound, even the beats of Pitre getting the body bouncing as guitars weave their infernally invasive temptations. Again Pilon’s vocal squalls bring the ill intent each track constantly embraces, his rancor soaked syllables and bad blooded breath as compelling as anything aligning his intrusion.

The album’s title track bullies and stalks ears immediately after, but Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is equally loaded with manipulative grooves and tenaciously persuasive rhythms, the gnarly barbed throat of the bass just manna to these ears. It shuffles and swings like a bare knuckled fighter, again no reserve given to its physical and emotional trespass while The Blackhole, a song about ‘Raider Nation football fans’ takes a more considered though no less corrosive energy to its lead heavy gait; both tracks hitting the spot in their differing ways.

The album concludes with the thunderous tempest of Crisis, a tenebrific slow lumber churning the senses with vitriolic malevolence with just enough instinctive catchiness to have neck muscles keenly worked. More of a slow burner than those before, it makes a fine end to the release with grooves which just seduce heavy rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

Abrasive Pulmonic Speak leaves the senses reeling, lungs gasping, and pleasure spilling over as the wounds build. What could be better?

Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is released January 26th; available @

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Foreshadow: The Stranger End Of Death

The Stranger End Of Death EP from Foreshadow is initially not a release that bowls you over though it more than satisfies the craving for good metal sounds but by the time one is enjoying its length a second and third time it has become an infectious little creature with hooks gripping deeply.  The EP does not leap through the ear with obvious hooks and easy delights but it is one that unerringly delivers the goods and leaves one thoroughly fulfilled each and every time it powers through the ear.

Foreshadow are a Florida band that has invigorated the metal scene of its home town Tampa and throughout the state beyond. Formed in 2008 the quartet of Daniel McConaghy (vocalist), Aaron Robinson (guitarist), Richard Hudson (drummer), and Perry Bassin (bassist), have shared stages with Dying Fetus and many more as well as beginning to emerge as regulars at festivals in the state. Their sound with its influences from the likes of Slayer, Metallica, Mudvayne, and Pantera is a strong and unpredictable mix which consistently on the evidence of their new EP, intrigues and keeps one enthralled. The band obviously does not bow down to convention and expectation musically and that can only be a powerful tool as they evolve and grow into their already impressive sound.

Recorded with Producer Tony Gamalo, The Stranger End Of Death the second EP from Foreshadow has a darker and more black/death metal based sound than the previously mentioned influences taken from their bio would suggest. Though elements of those bands are there especially Slayer there is a definite feel of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Lamb Of God and also classic heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath. It makes for songs that take the ear by force and with caustic intent but skilfully thrills them at the same time. The release does not break into new avenues or wide realms of originality it has to be said but instead brings music that leaves one captivated and songs that still rampage through the head long after they have left the building.

This is especially the case with the opener The Meaning Of Life. The song muscles in with rampant riffs and intimidating rhythms, the guitars offering abrasive grooves and melodies whilst the drums cage the senses within a flurry of strong and demanding rhythms. With a fine prowling bass from Bassin veining the track and the vocals of McConaghy dripping venom from his scorched bestial growls the whole combination is irresistible, a contagion that returns time and time again. The song midway through its oppressive blend of aggressive intensity and simplistic but openly catchy grooves steps to the side into a restrained progressive setting which with its emotive feel and strong guitar work elevates the song to another level in combination with the returned blackened insurgency.

The eight track release including three live cuts continues to menace and taunt the senses with tight vicious riffs and defences breaking energy, not that one ever truly wishes to resist the sounds that are turning feelings and emotions numb. The likes of the excellent War Without End, a merciless march through the body with ear piercing melodies and acidic creativity alongside the muscle-bound power, and the malicious black humoured and stunning The Stranger Within with its dehabilitating ravenous death crawl expose the listener to metal to high quality and deeply satisfying metal. The latter of the two is the best track on the release though the other mentioned tracks and the remaining unbridled threatening Art Of Hate and the morbid interpretation of Romeo and Juliet by the band in Death By Medicine hardly flounder in its wake.

As mentioned The Stranger End of Death does not instantly connect but it goes one better by infecting with a wicked and insatiable stealth which leads to a much more fulfilling reward. The EP is not without flaws though only of the minor and personal taste type like maybe a bit more variety from the still excellent vocals of McConaghy and the bass of Bassin being brought out more from behind the guitars and drums in the mix.  Overall though The EP is an excellent way to introduce you to the band but also a very fine addition to metal in general that leads to strong anticipation for more from Foreshadow.

RingMaster 19/04/2012 Registered & Protected

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