Voice Of Ruin – Morning Wood

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When a band’s bio starts with, “Voice of Ruin was born in 2008, driven by the common desire of five Swiss farmers who dreamt of leaving the family farm and becoming rock stars. Hungry for success and recognition, the five strapping young lads abandoned their shovels and harvesters to take on a different type of instruments, with the goal of becoming icons of sex, alcohol and rock ’n’ roll (or horny famer metal),” you cannot help offering it highly intrigued attention whilst also making inevitable assumptions. As shown by their new album Morning Wood though, the band whether by design or just by natural instinct do not realise the complete tongue in cheek encounter imagined. Certainly lyrically the songs upon the release come with a humorous swagger and intent bred from their ‘background’ but musically what you get is highly accomplished and passionate, not forgetting inventive metal. Like a mix of Lamb Of God, Sylosis, and The Black Dahlia Murder with plenty of extra additives, sound and album captures senses and imagination from start to finish. Admittedly severely original moments are as scarce as udders on a bull but it cannot stop Voice Of Ruin from providing a rigorously enjoyable onslaught.

Plucking relevant info from their farmyard history, Voice Of Ruin first made a mark with their debut EP The Crash in 2009 to be followed to greater acclaim by their self-titled album two years later. Its success led to the band breaking out into Europe with album and their live presence, countries like France, Russia, and Ukraine overwhelmed as the band’s homeland by their ‘Horny Farmer Metal’. Going onto share stages with such bands as Caliban, The Black Dahlia Murder, Entombed, Textures, Tankard, Sylosis, God Dethroned, Benighted, Dew Scented, Sybreed, Do Or Die, Breakdown Of Sanity and many more, the Nyon hailing band now uncages Morning Wood to take another step in cornering the worlds metallic dairy market.

Welcome To The Stud Farm makes an intriguing and impressive entrance to the album, guitars casting a web of sonic enterprise and voice_of_ruin_morning_woodenticement around crisp rhythms and a throaty bass lure. Its presence and energy intensifies deepens into its minute and a half as it feeds the imagination a colourful and magnetic bait leading to the following Party Hard. The second track launches itself with a roar from Randy Bull exploding within rampant rhythms, a torrent of riffs, and another immediate weave of temping scorched melodic endeavour crafted by guitarists Nils Bag and Tony Cock. It is a fiery proposition, nothing startlingly dramatic but potently gripping and skilfully unleashed.

The strong beginning continues just as pungently through both Through The Eyes Of Machete and Day Of Rage, the first delivering a coarse battering of rhythms from drummer Oli Dick and antagonistic riffery veined by acidic grooves. The track almost spirals around the senses with its excellent guitar play whilst the bass of Erwin Van Fox stalks with a dark resonance. The encounter is another elevation in the release but it is the glorious unveiling of clean vocals cast by Van Fox within a more reserved passage which steals the strongest satisfaction and shows the potency of the songwriting and invention within the band. Its successor is a natural predator; from its first gnaw of riffs and the toxic breath which covers air and the varied squalling vocals a bestial yet resourcefully sculpted scavenger. It is an unrelenting incitement which ravages senses and emotions for another pleasing assault, the twisted grooves and the simple voracious urgency of the track irresistible.

The unbridled ferocity of The Rise Of Nothing consumes ears next, its intensive pressuring from the first second led by a superb carnivorous bass stalking and vindictive rhythms whilst its core canvas is a breeding ground for heavy metal colour and virulently tempting hues painted and sent soaring by the excellent guitar work. As mentioned earlier there are few times that the sound and songs throw you a curve ball in originality but it has to be said and epitomised by this track alone, that working its alchemy under the surface of songs is a bewitching flow of dramatic invention and contagious unpredictability, it is just you have to work to see it as openly as it deserves.

Both the title track and its successor Viols Désinvoltes provide thoughts and pleasure with further captivating adventures, the first at certain moments wrapping its uncompromising aggression and serpentine hostility with absorbing flumes of clean vocals which takes the track from a strong if expectations feeding level to something of a pinnacle on the album. It is not the vocals alone which make the difference though, piercing and technically thrilling invention equally effective as it spills out from the tempest to great success as the track leads into the second of the pair. The most anthemic track on the release, and the most hostile with its industrially kissed fury, the new song is pure sonic rancor framed by equally adverse rhythms and vocals; raw metal moonshine of the most toxic potency.

   The following Cock’n Bulls and the instrumental Today Will End descend with their own inhospitable bodies next, both belligerently intrusive and appealing. The first infusing a southern twang and groove to its admittedly increasing persuasive torrents and the second emerging from a black hearted storm with deliberate winds of sonic painting and reserved but still unstoppable intensity. In many ways neither matches earlier triumphs but do reveal more of the scope and skills of the songwriting and band whilst providing further variety to the almost pestilential attack overall of the album.

The trio of the salaciously jaundiced Sex For Free, the severely bruising Big Dick, and the closing creative storm that is Dirty bring the truculent album to a senses wasting close; the first of the three with its poisonous melodies and barbarous rhythms the most contagious and exciting of the closing stretch. Morning Wood is a thoroughly enjoyable ravaging even if one which keeps well within the walls of existing designs and when it does offer undoubted invention and mouthwatering ingenuity leaves it under a thick wash of almost uniformal surface rapaciousness. It means you have to work to discover the elements which set the band apart more than imagined but those rewards are full and impressive. So forget the image and gimmicks behind the sounds if new to the band just indulge in one very healthy and mischievous slab of bovine strong metal.

Morning Wood is available digitally and on CD now via Tenacity Music.

https://www.facebook.com/voiceofruin

http://voiceofruin.bandcamp.com

8/10

RingMaster 06/05/2014

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Sawthis – Youniverse

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Tagged as modern thrashers and sounding like the exhilarating offspring of Static X meets Bloodsimple, Italian band Sawthis unleash one of the year’s highlights in the corrosive riveting storm of Youniverse. An unrelenting and breath-taking tempest of sonic intensity and exhausting predation, the eleven track release simply leaves the senses and passions raging for its predation.  Not arguably ground-breaking but thoroughly refreshing and explosively incendiary, this is one album that all thrash fans should add to their personal playlists.

Formed in 2000, the Teramo hailing quintet bred their sound on the inspirations of the likes of Soilwork, Machine Head, Slipknot, Metallica, Testament, and Pantera. Debut album Fusion emerged in 2003 receiving very positive responses from media and fans. This was followed by an extensive time of shows which saw the band alongside the likes of Destruction, Anathema, Sybreed, Impaled Nazarene, Extrema, Sadist, Necrodeath, and Assassin. Their live performances consistently added to the stature of and acclaim upon the band; further appearances with Lacuna Coil, Entombed, Shaman, and Konkhr to name a few only cementing their reputation. Second album Egod appeared in 2009 via Scarlet Records, again to strong reception and followed by more intensive gigs and tours, this time with bands such as The Haunted, Primal Fear, Bulldozer, Cattle Decapitation, God Dethroned, and Sepultura last year. Released through Bakerteam Records, Youniverse is the next step to world awareness and domination, its aim you suspect destined to success.

A conceptual album focused on the theme of multiple personality disorder, Youniverse immediately tests thoughts and synapses with SAWTHIS_YOUNIVERSE_COPERTINA HDThe Logical Color. Rhythms splinter bone from the opening second with deep drilling riffs a muscular companion. It is an attention gripping entrance which only explodes to greater heights as the two protagonists extend their rabidity to further heights and the vocals of Alessandro Falà scorch the air with his vocal squalling, every syllable intense and malevolently sculpted but forcibly engaging like the sounds around him. Ensuring escape is futile the song relaxes into a tantalising embrace, the guitars of Adriano Quaranta and Janos Murri gnawing the senses whilst offering new mystique to the blistering encounter whilst the vocals also offer a more respectful and mellow if still an intimidating and commanding lilt. The track is a scintillating introduction, varied and adventurous but deliciously predatory from start to finish.

The following fury of The Waking Up is equally rapacious and magnetic, the beats of Michele Melchiorre building an irrepressible trap whilst his vocals slip perfectly and potently alongside those of Falà, their at times dual attack an exceptional driving force for the riveting inventive sounds. The bass of Gaetano Ettorre also creates a sinew clad prowl which menaces and tempts like a stalking beast within the torrent of intensity and energy surrounding its intent. It is another towering song continuing the immense start and soon matched by both The Voice Falls On Me and The Disturbed. The first has an insidious breath and air certainly around the vocals but tempers it with a melodic fire reminding of In Flames whilst its successor which features Rob Cavestany from Death Angel, simultaneously sears and smoulders within the ear whilst weaving melodic and vocal temptation that leaves the passions alight and guitar enterprise which spawns burning tendrils of sonic enterprise to seduce without mercy.

Through all the tracks the album deepens its hook within the emotions breeding a hunger which dares Youniverse to fail their need. No such realisation is forthcoming as the likes of The Indelible, a track which swings seamlessly from carnivorous intensity to seductive melodic flaming, The Impure Soul with its creeping twisting sonic vines of excellence within a ferocious yet carefully trained consumption, and The Spotlight only increase the dramatic strength and torrential imaginative lure of the release. The last of the three finds an extra growl and rawer presence to its caustic provocation, though melodic and harmonic exploration is only a deep breath away and soon merging into the turmoil with enchanting toxicity.

Before departing the album ensures the listener is left a wasted blissful wreck through the corrosively contagious tempest that is The Mad and the hellacious beauty of The Switch, both tracks stretching the passions and boundaries of the album further. Earlier we said that there was debatably nothing unique about Youniverse which was true except that as tracks like this and the closer, The Walking exploit the rapture seeded, it is hard to remember many others stalking the same routes as Sawthis. The final song is no slouch in whipping up the senses and satisfaction either, its rampaging stomp another blaze of sonic venom and melodic adventure wrapped in creative savagery.

Produced by Paolo Ojetti (Infernal Poetry) with the band, Youniverse is a massive war of pleasure and enthrallment, a release which takes Sawthis to the upper echelons of new metal, and without doubt another album to add to the growing pool of serious contenders for album of the year.

www.sawthis.it

9.5/10

RingMaster 30/09/2013

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Darkall Slaves – Abysses of Seclusion

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There has been a fair bit of anticipation for the debut album from French death metallers Darkall Slaves ever since their demo of 2008 but you can only imagine that hunger will take on a new intense greed as the single Abysses of Seclusion begins to ravage the world. The two track release is a brutal and exhausting piece of savagery brought with a craft and intensity which verges on suffocation but ultimately ignites the passions, well if extreme metal though that term short changes the creative barbarity unleashed, is your poison. If not it is a release to let fear dictate that you stay away.

Formed in 2005, the band despite plenty of line-up changes across the years have steadily and constantly drawn and earned strong responses and attention, through their previously mentioned self-released EP and live performances which has seen them play numerous festivals such as Germany’s Death Feast, Belgium’s Mass Deathstruction, Holland’s Neurotic Deathfest (official after-party) and Houten Deathfest, as well as share stages with the likes of Defeated Sanity, Gorgasm, God Dethroned, Hate, Lividity, Sinister, and Vital Remains. Recently the band, as well as undergoing another change of personal which features members past and present of Unsu, Amputated Repugnance and Visceral Carnage and the quintet now driven by two vocalists, signed with Kaotoxin Records. Working intensely on their debut album the band then recorded a preproduction demo which so impressed the label that they decided to release it as a single, and as the tracks churn over and devour the senses it is easy to see why.

Opening with an intro which would grace any psychotically spawned tale the first track proper, Mindless Damnation, spews out 760137002321_TOX023_Darkall-Slaves_Artwork_600x600-72gutturally drenched vocal squalls and rabid riffs whilst the drums lance and parade the ears on their rhythmic spikes. It is a tsunami of energy and venomous intensity yet there is a clarity and union of individual voices from guitar, bass and drums which is mesmeric in its beauty and monstrous in its menace and destructive hunger. Lyrically, well who knows, the vocals a maelstrom of intestinal ruptures and porcine squeals, and thoroughly compelling alongside the insatiable predatory sounds.

The title track as expected is equally uncompromising and vocally grasping. As with its companion the track is sadistic and threatening to the senses and emotions, its primal lurching through the ear the prelude to a bordering on cruel seduction bred by bloodlust seeded riffing and inhumane rhythmic confrontation. Yet there is always a vicious groove whether slight or fully open which acts as a potent temptation to ensure capitulation.

The Tsun Tsun Productions produced Abysses of Seclusion is a masterful piece of skilled violence disguised as death metal and one suspects the trigger for a ravenous greed towards the forthcoming full length from the band.

www.facebook.com/darkallslaves

8.5/10

RingMaster 04/06/2013

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