Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

Counting days_RingMaster Review

With their new album our first acquaintance with and taste of UK metallers Counting Days, we cannot suggest how strong the anticipation for Liberated Sounds was, but such its thrilling ferocious roar there is no doubting its successor sometime ahead will be the subject of thick and eager contemplation. The London band’s momentous debut full-length gloriously gnaws on the senses, its metalcore/hardcore fury savaging and bruising the same with equal animosity, but it is a ferocity bred with a creative virulence and open imagination that simply whips up a frenzied appetite in body and emotions.

Counting Days emerged in 2014 from a union of former members of TRC, Heights, Rough Hands, and Last Witness. The heartbeat came through the continuing song-writing partnership of guitarist Charlie Wilson and drummer Lasselle Lewis, the pair previously uniting song providers in TRC. Next former Heights vocalist Thomas Debaere was enlisted to the new project to become Counting Days, his addition followed by that of former Last Witness guitarist Bobby Daniels and subsequently Rough Hands frontman Alex Dench who was brought in on bass and additional vocals. A leap forward to now and first album Liberated Sounds, which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Architects, Bring Me the Horizon), Counting Days is poised to shake certainly the UK metal scene, but suspicions are it will not stop there, ahead or with this stirring debut.

cover_RingMaster Review     The quintet start it with Burned By Faith and an immediate vocal roar which backed by a wall of rhythms and riffs has ears bent back as in a wind tunnel whilst the senses cower. Without losing its raw intimidation and strength, the track twists into a vociferous stride driven by raging vocal roars, this in turn spawning a predacious and eager canter of musical hostility. Fearsome from the start, the rhythms of Lewis become more agitated and robust as the metalcore seeded tempest rages, they sparking jagged lines of riffs and caustic grooves within a lyrical look at the things people do in the name of religion. It is an intensive and attention grabbing launch by the album, one already showing signs of an invention which becomes increasingly pronounced in following tracks.

Die Alone is next, spinning a tasty groove from its first breath as the rapier swings of Lewis collude with the predatory tones of bass. The vocal union of Debaere and Dench abrases as it entices, the former arguably finding more vitriolic charm and hardcore potency in his delivery than in his previous band, whilst around them the track explores melancholic and stringed textures within its unrelenting rancor.

As impressive as the first two are, the album just gets bigger and more exhilarating, finding its pinnacle in the next clutch of songs starting with Beaten & Scarred. Spinning on an addiction of a groove, the track spews a creative and emotional animus that is as contagious as the anthemic vocal calls and irritable rhythms driving the torrent of catchy riffery. A punk raging and metal hostility, the song is superb; it’s swerving grooves and nagging hooks alone ensuring the maliciousness in its veins is greedily welcomed.

From one major triumph to another pair in Life & Death and the album’s title track. The first rumbles with rhythmic thunder and cantankerous guitar rabidity, both matched in fierce kind by the air scarring vocals. With a touch of Static X meets Bloodsimple to it, the song intensely and explosively bellows within a landscape of melodic enterprise and sonic imagination, the savaging fuel of the song never diluted by the more refined invention within it and that captivating imagination defiant to being overwhelmed by the storm slamming through it. The band’s latest single is the same, Liberated Sounds a merciless festival of debilitating intensity and voracity infused with deliciously gripping grooves, potent vocal variation, and a contagiousness that infests and ignites the soul with lingering ease.

Five tracks in and ears are ringing and the body breathless, whilst enjoyment is flooding thoughts and emotions and fair to say no respite from any of it, thankfully, is forthcoming as firstly Fire From The Sky uncages its heavy metal meets post hardcore antagonism . The song’s climate is a muggy and unforgiving swamp of incitement veined by the thick melodic enticing of guitar, a blend which gives further substance to the song’s look at the mental effects of war. It is a hard task matching up to the previous trio of tracks but the invasive and provocative heart of the song leaves no-one short changed before making way for the caustic embrace and inventive accosting of Days Go By and in turn the short and evocative instrumental oasis of The Vines. Its calm gives a respite whilst igniting the imagination with warm strokes of sound within a somewhat haunting ambience.

Sands Of Time descends on the senses next, again a prime groove wrapped in great irritable textures coring a blustery climate whipping up the senses before Prison Of Misery through an initial bewitching melodic drama and coaxing, turns into a bestial rampage of scathing vocals, scarring riffs, and a sonic snarl that turns every note and beat into an inescapable and greedily devoured vicious incitement. It is another major highlight, amongst many, of Liberated Sounds, rock ‘n’ roll taking no prisoners in its vehement entrapping of ears and passions.

The album is closed by the equally acrimonious, unforgiving, and enjoyable Cold Truth and finally similarly crafted and toned Reunion. The track is a fine end to the album but just a touch too samey to its predecessor, a slight issue which does crop up in slithers across the album. The final pair of songs is where it is most noticeable but with both tracks nothing less than fiery stirrings of pleasure it is a minor blemish just to try and temper our otherwise full ardour for Liberated Sounds.

All the members of Counting Days come with a good pedigree in their experiences and craft but for personal tastes they have hit a new plateau in their creativity and invention with Liberated Sounds, and yes already anticipation for its successor is brewing.

Liberated Sounds is out on October 16th via Mascot Records.

Upcoming live dates:

23rd October – Riverside, Sheffield

24th October – The Festing, Southsea

26th November – The Scene, Swansea

28th November – The Rainbow, Birmingham

29th November – Sanctuary, Basingstoke

3rd December – Packhouse, Leeds

4th December – Vic Inn, Derby

5th December – Grog & Fiddle, Cheltenham

12th December – Craufurd Arms, MiltonKeynes

http://www.countingdaysmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Countingdaysuk

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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A Breach of Silence – The Darkest Road

ABOS - 2013 promopic 1200x1200

Though the tightness of its grip fluctuates across its fourteen roars, The Darkest Road is a creative fury easy to breed a greedy appetite for. Unleashed by Australian metallers A Breach of Silence, it is a tempestuous slab of varied styles and flavours which has been labelled as “powercore”. Melding the potent flavours of metalcore through to post hardcore, heavy metal on to melodic death metal, and we are missing out many more spices, it is a compelling proposition which never gives ears and imagination time to settle or spawn expectations.

The Darkest Road follows the successful and acclaimed debut album Dead or Alive which was released a year ago. With having Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award in the Best Heavy Song category (2012) under their belt, which helped lead the band to signing with Eclipse Records, their first full-length pushed A Breach Of Silence into a new intensive and global spotlight, backed potently by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. Earlier this year the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which took inspiration from their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now The Darkest Road is upon us to stir up ears and thoughts whilst making another impressive step in the ascent of the Brisbane quintet.

Recorded with producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames), The Darkest Road as suggested ebbs and follows in the strength of its certainly unrelenting captivation, sometimes throwing a spanner in the works of getting a handle on songs and the release, but it only adds to the welcome and inventive unpredictability and constantly intriguing nature of the encounter. The album certainly starts with furious gusto and anthemic irresistibility, opener T.P.N.E shoving group shouts through ears before wiry grooves and heavy rumbling rhythms join the emerging storm. The raw and caustic vocal squalls of Rhys Flannery swiftly more in with antagonistic and skilled intent which in turn seems to light a fire in the creative swings of drummer Andrew Cotterell and the similarly vivacious motion of the grooves conjured up by Mat Cosgrove and Kerrod Dabelstein. It is a gripping and incendiary blend which is capped off by the throaty lure of bassist Blair Layt and more so by his outstanding clean vocal delivery. The song offers richly flavoursome and agitated metal of the highest order and an inescapable lure into the creative lair of A Breach of Silence, an entrance backed powerfully by the following title track.

The second song caresses ears with the impressive tones of Layt right away, evocative keys coaxing the invitation before riffs and acidic grooves erupt to trap and steal the passions all over again. As its predecessor, the track is a formidable Printencounter which is unafraid to bewitch and bewilder, seduce and rile, with a unique character seeded in the likes of All That Remains and In Flames. Its stature and temptation is matched by Vultures which strides confidently in next. Another certain anthem with its group calls and raging rhythmic confrontation, the song blazes sonically and vocally from the start, the extremes of voices a perfect union within the similarly blended canvas of predatory and melodically smouldering sounds.

Through the intensive yet warming examination of Silhouette, as the others songs upon The Darkest Road, a hope rich and potent roar against life’s obstacles, the band reveals more of their technical and imagination driven resourcefulness. A scent of Bullet For My Valentine hints throughout the evolving and inventive offering before Hang ‘em High sets its own individual fire within the release. Riffs and rhythms spew anger with their intensive and physical intent whilst Flannery almost brawls with ears through his uncompromising and pleasing vocal antagonism. It is a potent and engrossing song if without the spark of those before it, a comment which can be placed before In Reality We Trust also, though as always with the album it is mostly down to personal taste. The song storms and bleeds spite over the senses with skill and enterprise but it is mainly the vocals from both men which steal the plaudits.

From here the album does not have an identity crisis but definitely wrong-foots with persistence. Though all the tracks so far employed a diverse and varied spicing, they were bred from a fierce extreme metal canvas. The excellent Lost at Sea brings a new bloom of sound, immediately expelling a ‘folkish’ tinge to its air as well as a glorious melodic croon across its potent harmonies and sonic narrative. It is a loud whisper of something different in some ways but helps seed a new hostile and captivating breath to the album, and makes for an enthrallingly textured and majestic slice of persuasion.

   This is the End comes next and instantly spins an engaging sonic and rhythmic web around ears. It is a contagiously compelling weave, guitars and bass a simultaneously welcoming and menacing enticement over which the vocals merge hostile and catchy elements with a classic metal spiced attack. Every chord and rhythmic swipe brings a surprise and unexpected twist, the song emerging as another pinnacle and treat for the album, something Immortal is not. To be fair again it is just a personal thing but its heavy/power metal balladry complete with the genre’s trademark vocals warbles and squeals, just does not find a welcome in these ears though it is easy to hear its qualities and know it will be a favourite with classic metal fans. The song is another unique identity within the character of the album, though to call The Darkest Road schizophrenic would be going too far.

The excellent Hannibal is more from the template of earlier songs, its metalcore voracity and melodic tenacity an infectious and voracious treat which parts for the even heavier and harsher A Place I Know. The song also expels fiery melodic endeavour, again with a more classic spicing, before exploring slimmer post hardcore scenery punctuated with probably the most intensive beats and riffs on the album. It is a song which sets a fire in the belly at times but also lowers its temperature in others, but for intrigue and bold invention it is another notable moment.

Dead and Destroyed is simply brutal, a wall of angst and viciousness which still makes room for vocal croons whilst Krazy Bitch seems to pull in all the things which excites and personally frustrates in the album for a still rather pleasing encounter. The pair leaves the piano and voice sculpted ballad Time Still Remains to close the album, the song a more than decent piece of melodic metal but easy to skip by to get back to the pungent heights the album started on all over again.

The Darkest Road is a striking release, with to be honest any issues found coming from just the individual likes and dislikes we all have in our metal. It is easy to see A Breach of Silence becoming a big player in world metal if this thrilling tempest is anything to go by.

The Darkest Road is available now on Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/a-breach-of-silence-the-darkest-road-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband

RingMaster 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raven Lord: Descent To The Underworld

RavenLordBand2

    Looking at the line-up of Raven Lord it is impossible not to imagine and expect their debut album to be a rather accomplished and imaginative slab of creativity, and Descent To The Underworld certainly does not disappoint. It is a thunderous expanse of riffs fired by a furnace of melodic might and invention, an explosion of classic metal all fans of the genre will expel a full passion for.

The sextet consists of the fiery vocals of Csaba Zvekan (Killing Machine, Sardonyx, Emergency), guitarist George Karafotis (Vermillion Days, Operation X), bassist Jamie Mallender (Tony Martin Band, ex-Black Sabbath), keyboardist Alessandro Duo (Voodoo Highway), drummer Lawrence Paterson (Blaze Baley, Iron Knights), and newest member lead guitarist Joe Stump (HolyHell, Reign of Terror). Together they have ignited a sound which combines power metal and neo classical influences to their core heavy metal heart for a towering encounter which commands the ear. Released via Mausoleum Records, the Zvekan produced and Fredrik Nordström (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Nightrage, In Flames, Dream Evil and Opeth) mixed Descent To The Underworld is a continually enthralling album which offers plenty to reward anyone with a taste for melodic metal if not the genre it is settled in. It is a muscular confrontation at times which sparks as much enthusiasm as the sonic and melodic flames which sear and engross the senses throughout.

The album opens with the compelling charge of pulsating bassline, tightly grasping riffs, and warm mesmeric caresses from the keys CD ArtWork - Descent To The Underworldof The Rebel. The track is soon blazing with the expansive vocals of Zvekan who rings the emotion and sound from every note with skill and passion to match the guitar play of Stump. It is an impressive start to the release which immediately confirms expectations and more which were in place over the formidable line-up.

Through the likes of Attila the Hun with its Middle Eastern kiss from the keys and surging sonic enterprise, the mesmeric Seal Of The Cross with its symphonic gait, and the rampant hunger and energy of Promised Land, the album persistently offers variety and smouldering imagination to keep a strong intrigue and unpredictability within the umbrella of classic metal electricity. The latter of the trio is an outstanding brawl of seductive mysterious keys, ravenous riffs, and evocative solo mastery from Stump which leaves one breathless.

Further greater highlights come with the majestic yet corrosive Black Friar and the riveting Metal Knights, another song where the keys wash the senses with a golden glow of Eastern promise from within an exhausting drive of devouring riffs and caging rhythms. Both tracks show the band at its best creatively and musically with the vocals of Zvekan certainly in the latter of the two, scorching the small hairs from the surface of the ear with his sonic squalls which run the fine line between pain and bliss for great results.

Descent To The Underworld is an album fans of the likes of Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath will find a rich home within but it also has plenty to keep those of us who do not necessarily find the deepest of riches in classic metal more than satisfied. Raven Lord is a band destined to lead their chosen genre in the near future.

www.raven-lord.com

www.facebook.com/ravenlordmusic

7/10

RingMaster 20/02/2013

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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