Ferium – Reflections

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Parading a roaring muscular sound built from numerous metallic essences around a death metal spine, Israeli metallers Ferium more than lives up to the brewing buzz around them with debut album Reflections. Twelve slabs of creative brutality and imaginatively skilled endeavour, the release is a formidable and striking big step into the wider metal world, one which hits hard and impressively initially but only truly reveals its depths and strengths and those of the band across numerous exploits with its intrusive presence. The quintet delves into the rich wells of groove, technical, general extreme metal and more to enhance their core viciousness and persuasion, a fusion as proven by their first full-length which is something not exactly unique but definitely seizing attention and a hungry appetite as it starts setting its own path now and for the future.

Ferium was formed in 2006 taking initial inspirations of Pantera and Lamb Of God into their intent though that expanded over the years with influences from the likes of Textures, Gojira, and Death adding to the fuel driving their invention. Equally growing up in Haifa and the situation in their country has added depth to the lyrical and musical side of their emergence. The band does not directly or openly explore any aspect of the conflict and climate they grew within and felt personally but it is scenery which has brought a raw and uncompromising breath to their sound and presence. Their first release, The New Law EP in 2009 took the band into a strong spotlight at home and further afield, helping to lead Ferium to appearances at big home events such as Summer Carnage and Hallejujahas well as those abroad like Wacken 2009. Last year saw a more intensive time for the band, tours supporting The Agonist, Threat Signal, Mors Principium Est, and Dawn Heist around Europe and the UK following a show opening for Gojira in Israel. The end of 2013 was marked by the band signing a deal with Transcend Music and the worldwide distribution for the 2012 recorded Reflections, a release you sense could open up a highly receptive hunger for their presence.

Opening track By The Book lays an initial abrasive guitar coaxing upon the ears, a sonic wind brewing alongside it before being punctured Reflections Coverby the heavy probing rhythms of drummer Ron Amar. It is an intriguing start, one offering various options of where the song and album might go without revealing anything too soon. It is not long though before the drums increase their pressure, the bass of Yoni Biton closes in with dark intensive shadows, and the guitars of Elram Boxer and Guy Goldenberg sculpt a weave of tight grooves and searing riffs to transfix thoughts and emotions. With the harsh yet welcoming vocal abrasion of Tiran Ezra unleashing the first narrative, the track wakes up eager attention early, leading it into a magnetic fascination which in turn ignites the imagination. The thrilling song does not really explode at any point but is a constant blaze of invention and technical prowess which is stretched to more dramatic adventures across the album, in fact right away with DownHill From Nothing.

The second song entwines the ears in an infection fuelled groove from its first breath, the guitars seducing with full potency as bass and drums badger the senses into another swift submission. Again the vocals graze and roar with an unbridled causticity but only to accentuate the virulent lure of the song. The bass of Biton prowls and growls with understated but open ingenuity throughout the tempestuous offering yet it is the work of Boxer and Goldenberg which more often than not steals the focus upon the song, the melodies and emotive designs from their strings richly colouring song and imagination. Like the first it has an inescapable contagion to its enterprise and especially its grooved bait, and like its successor draws a greedy appetite for its invention.

Both The Very Existence and Mirror exploit an already eager attention with their individual persuasions, the first creating a weave of djent seeded technical manipulation with an almost thrash spawned antagonistic fury of death metal with metalcore bred essences. It is heavier and more intense than its predecessors without dismissing any of the melodically nurtured sonic exploration which marked their success. With a strong evocative ambience also washing the canvas of the song it is a thought provoking and longer to convince encounter, as is its successor though both refuse to relinquish the grip already seized by the release. The second of these two squall over and ravage the senses with again a stronger rabidity; vocally and rhythmically the track an abusive suasion whilst sonically it sears air and flesh, the combination another offering to feed the hunger inside.

The entrance of Side Effects is exceptional, an intimidating but irresistible gentle tempting from the guitars and the perfect lure into the spiteful aggression to follow. Its gait is almost stalking the ears whilst the outstanding bass hook and acidic guitar toxicity steals the passions below an unreserved rhythmic provocation. Its masterful adventure is replaced by the instrumental The Black Eyes, a piece ripe with classical keys elegance and scuzz surfaced energy. It is music which builds its size and intensity across its skilful narrative, inviting the imagination to cast its own tale though it is less successful with the passions especially with the bestial Lust Fool bursting in right away. It is a bear of a song, muscles holding sway within the black density and throat of the onslaught whilst the guitars lash and rhythms pummel the senses around the ever malicious vocals. It is a drama fuelled, adrenaline driven monstrosity of an encounter and thoroughly scintillating.

After the similarly predacious Caustic Value, an intrusion which easily feeds wants without lighting fires, the album takes another upturn with the brilliant Change Of Winds soon matched by Business On Demand. The first of the two romps with and dancing over ears and senses with grooves and jagged riffery from its first second, the track gnawing, jarring, and disorientating senses magnificently whilst Ezra riles syllables and tones for an equally malevolently textured assault, his variety in delivery a constant pleasure. The track twists and lurches wonderfully, all the time depleting energy and scything slices from the synapses until an exhausted pleasure lies in its wake, one soon re-energised by its successor. An open and familiar groove leads the way under the persistent cosh of rhythms and barracking riffs, the temptation recruiting full allegiance for the subsequent savagery vocally and musically which envelops the still dominant groove cast toxins.  Both tracks provide the pinnacle of the album and the band’s songwriting in brutality and epidemic seduction.

The album is concluded by Blood and its title track, the pair insatiable trespasses bringing an outstanding release to a mighty end, the first of the two an insidiously nasty demonic capture of ears and beyond whilst the last song simply churns up and suffocates emotions with mouthwatering invention and crippling intensity respectively. Wrapped in excellent artwork from Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Sodom, Atheist), Reflections is extreme metal of the highest order and shows Ferium as having the potential of forging truly major horizons ahead whilst giving a rather breath-taking treat for the now.

http://www.feriumband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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Canaya – Sealed Within The Walls

canaya pic

    Like being caught between the eyes with a sledgehammer and then brought back to consciousness with a voraciously brutal seduction, the Sealed Within The Walls EP from British metallers Canaya is a real beast of a proposition. It is a merciless and compelling slab of ferocious confrontation infused with a riveting and absorbing wealth of inspiring riffs and potent grooves, a towering heavy weighted triumph from one of the UK’s most impressive if still ‘undiscovered’ metal bands.

     Featuring ex-members of Tangaroa, Executive Distraction Tasks, Hot Prophecy and Nerve Engine, Canaya was formed in 2010 and soon drew acclaim and eager attention with debut EP Alignment Of Dying Planets that same year. Live the Leeds quartet of vocalist Simon Wright, guitarist/vocalist Owen Wilson, bassist/vocalist Chris Wilson, and drummer Andy Richards have also wasted audiences, performances amongst a great many including Damnation Festival, Brew Records, Big Spaceship, Brainwash, and British Wildlife and with bands such as Narrows, Keelhaul, Knut, Coliseum, Humanfly, Melt Banana, Hawk Eyes, Brontide, and Lavotchkin, all increasing and reinforcing the powerful emergence of the band. The video of the single Dios Muerto found heavy viewing and support on YouTube, leading to the attention of Ginger from The Wildhearts who invited Wright to provide guest vocals on his album Mutation. The Hyde & Seek released Sealed Within The Walls is the next thunderous incitement from Canaya and possibly the trigger to the widest recognition, it is hard to imagine any other outcome.

     Opening track Levitating Casket, the new single from the release, instantly storms the ears and senses with a concentrated 1797464_581774275248163_604048507_nand intensive barrage of punches from the drums and broad sonic swipes of guitar. Each has a fearsome weight and intent in their power which the bass only empowers with its imposing predacious intensity. It is a striking start which spreads into a sonic causticity with animosity drenched vocal squalls from Wright supported by the two Wilsons. Continually twisting its attack with grooves and hooks flailing the senses amidst the infernal rampage of riffs and energy, the track is a tempestuous and mouthwatering onslaught, and as contagious as it is disturbingly venomous, the song soon has attention and imagination sealed within its corrosive embrace, both eager to fall deeper into the roaring invention and malevolence.

     The unpredictability and imagination of the first song is replicated by next up Award Winning Bastard, a distinct character with more sonic voracity than its predecessor but equally as captivating and incendiary upon the senses. You almost feel synapses and emotions withering within the tracks scorching sonic persuasion and rhythmic pummelling, but with another irresistible distraction from the band’s adventure and ingenuity only instinctive hunger prevails under the avalanche of sound. For something so vicious and brutal it is hard to believe the contagion of the songs is so virulent but it is and just as impressively repeated in the following Monarch Of Sin. Standing tall and muscular from its first seconds of rhythmic provocation and corruptive riffery, the song takes a less forceful approach in comparison to previous tracks but is just as dramatic in its enticement. A smouldering melodically fuelled acidic casting is aligned to a cleaner vocal delivery, the union almost Killing Joke like at times, and sandwiched between a heavily weighted predatory stalking brought by the bruising intensity and ravenous metal ferocity. The song is a savage and ruinous yet bewitching encounter, a temptation elevated by the Converge like fury of group vocals at the song’s finale; it and track a glorious tempest.

    Committed rages next and features John Sutcliffe from Humanfly within its scintillating exploits. From the first rapacious swagger and torrent of guitar invention the track secures greedy attention which it’s subsequent rampant riffing and transfixing rhythmic antagonism, not forgetting brawling vocal combination. The song swings and lurches from one explosive and thrilling point to another, infection and toxic animosity unrelentingly igniting it’s too brief but outstanding presence. The best track on the release, amongst only major triumphs, the song gives a big test for the closing Audio Porn to live up to. Raw and abrasive within an evocative melodic crafted enterprise, the song easily rises to the challenge providing release and listener with another individually startling expanse of inventive vehemence and exhausting adventure. It is a mighty intrusive end to a severe and masterful incitement for ears and passions. Influences for the band are cited as bands such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, Pantera, Mastodon, and Gojira , a list you suspect the name Canaya will eventually be added to as an inspiration for others. They and Sealed Within The Walls are right now collisions you simply need to stand in front of to bend and bask within.

www.facebook.com/canayauk

www.canaya.bandcamp.com

9/10

Ringmaster 15/02/2014

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Orion – On the Banks of Rubicon

 

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    It is fair to say that India is a potent metal scene still relatively untapped by the rest of the world. It is a shame and a little surprising as the amount of bands which thrill and impress there is a constant hint, especially in regard to extreme metal, of just how strong the scene is. Progressive death metallers Orion provide another enthralling formidable nudge with their EP On the Banks of Rubicon. Four tracks of riveting and persistently unpredictable invention, the release is a burning beacon of skill and imagination which should not be ignored.

     Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Vigneshkumar Venkatraman (also of Albatross), guitarist Ashwin Kulkarni, bassist Anshuman Bhattacharya, and drummer Pritesh Prabhune, the quartet from Mumbai was formed in 2008 and released their first demo Reverie Hours two years later. Taking inspirations from the likes of Death, Opeth, Necrophagist, Gojira, Periphery, and Protest The Hero into their blend of progressive and death metal with plenty of further essences to captivate the imagination, the band makes a compelling persuasion with On the Banks of Rubicon. Strikingly merging melodic and carnivorous intents into a landscape of provocation which startles and seduces from start to finish, the EP is a masterful exploration which sculpts a formidable declaration for not only the band but Indian metal as a whole.

     Opening track Oh Sweet Ebullition immediately seizes ears and attention with thumping rhythms and sonic craft, the guitars coverwrapping sonic tendrils around the senses whilst expanding a melodic enterprise through reserved but open grooves and instantly persuasive riffing. It is a magnetic entrance which lures thoughts and emotions into the heart of the melodic and groove metal mix brought with predatory energy and breath. A sudden dip into melodic elegance opens the door for a torrent of rapacious provocation, riffs and the heavy growls of Venkatraman spawning rabidity in the track as it goes straight for the jugular. It is an intensive evocation which commands the senses before without warning diving into a progressive and melodic stretch of beauty and mesmeric seduction. This is subsequently entwined within the sinew driven death bred aggression of before to ignite an even greedier hunger for the song. Only half way in and the encounter has taken the breath away with its power and invention, something which never relents up to the final second of the six minute plus tempting. Nothing on the song is repeated beyond the passage seeding any particular moment and along with the excellent vocal fusion of guttural vitriol and clean melodic deliveries impressively helps drive the song straight into the passions. Like a union of Motherjane, Bhayanak Maut, and Opeth but with much more uniqueness, it is a rigorously incendiary and thrilling start to the release.

    Devoured Existence enters next on a blaze of skilful sonic colouring which again ignites the imagination straight away, priming it for the harsh creative jaws of the track which scar and provoke. A thrash kissed surge to the riffing is tempered by the death metal spawned vocal delivery and surrounding imposing shadows but this itself is only subservient to the again outstanding guitar invention and menacing basslines which control it all. Predictability is once more completely absent in the creative maelstrom, classic metal spirals of sonic ingenuity descending to defeat expectations whilst the song niggles with almost pestilential efficiency enslaving the emotions as fully as its predecessor and the following triumph Astral. Almost eight minutes of simultaneously rampaging, crawling, and seducing adventure, twisting melodic and doom metal with a blackened wind over a progressive death metal, the third song is a scintillating encounter. Once more Motherjane comparisons spring to mind at times and certainly at the beginning, as does those to UAE band Absolace but it is only a small flavour in an ever evolving and shifting soundscape which entrances and violates with equal success and grandeur. The best track on the release it reveals and screams out all of the impressive elements and skills of Orion in songwriting and presentation. One of the best extreme metal tracks heard in a long time it can be the doorway to the widest recognition with a slice of luck.

     The EP closes with the most direct death metal track My Dying Prayer, but again there is plenty of invention unleashed to bewitch and wrong foot the ears for the richest satisfaction, everything from vocals to guitar mastery, bass snarling to rhythmic manipulation impressively addictive.  On the Banks of Rubicon is an exceptional encounter all should take a big chunk of time out to investigate. It will impress and thrill whilst maybe opening the gateway to an undiscovered world of invention driven metal in the band’s homeland. Be brave and go for it we say.

https://www.facebook.com/orionmumbaimetal

http://www.transcendingobscurity.com/

10/10

RingMaster 15/01/2014

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Toumaï – Sapiens Demens

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Creating what they term psyche-fonk metal, French band Toumaï is one of those encounters which send tingles down the spine as it teases and ignites the imagination. Unleashing a majestic psyche twisting bedlam in the tasty shape of debut album Sapiens Demens, the quintet from the south of France bewitch and tantalise with each psychotic note and every maniacal rhythm. Their album is a tempest of ideas and cracked invention presenting an adventure like no other and a pleasure which only turns lustful over time.

What little we can tell you about Toumaï is that the band formed in 2006 and consists of vocalist Antoine Flaven Hude, guitarist Julien Mahoudeau, bassist Christophe Applanat, drummer Clement Mahoudeau, and Célia  on keys and trumpet. That is about it, apart from the fact that their first album is irresistible and uncontrollably insatiable with imagination, mischief, and inventive hunger. The five-piece bring influences from the likes of Psykup, Infectious Groove, Primus, Gojira, Mr. Bungle, Primus Band, Rage Against The Machine, Tool, and Red Hot Chili Peppers into their fusion of funk, rock, and metal, but it is only one shade of the whole picture; the release a musical canvas which only the ears can truly represent not our simple words, though we will give it a go of course.

The opening track is Little Psycho, a title so apt for song and album. From an initial percussive tease the drums lay down a riveting frame around which the bass roams and leans on the senses with a menacing glee whilst the keys dance with energy and mischievousness over the ears as vocals explore their narrative with quality and equally enterprising rascality. The swagger of the song is a delicious bait alone within its ever changing gait and presence of the song whilst bursts of aggression make the perfect suitor to the elegant beauty which coats the keys and their melodic caresses. There is a similarity to fellow Frenchmen Mucho Tapioca at times as the song climbs and soars through its persistently shifting glory but also of System Of A Down in its latter moments and Faith No More across its stirring flanks.

The impressive start is immediately left in the wake of next up Madness in Mind, the best track on the album with ease. Vocal croons wrap the ears right away as the guitar and keys stroke attention to its fullest height, before the song settles into a ska kissed, reggae bred stroll within metallic walls which get their turn to intimidatingly press upon and please the senses. With its funk hips swaying leading to the raucous chorus, the track is like King Prawn meets Korn though when it slips into a beauteous wash of ever engaging keys and vocal harmonies punctuated by another striking bass line and rhythmic probing, the band takes the listener down a more alternative rock avenue. This is only halfway in though and the track only accelerates to greater potency and persuasion once it lifts its knees to romp into an infection soaked waltz of enterprise fusing the loco folk/pop of Mano Negra with the contagious unhinged temptation of Kontrust before thrusting it all through a Skindred bred causticity. It is crazy and completely enthralling, not forgetting simply sensational.

The following Petit Punk en Ut#m is no slouch in tripping the switch to the strongest satisfaction either, its more noise seeded rock and disorientating psyche funk tempting another feast of unpredictability and hunger breeding invention. Scavenging the senses for the weakest spot, the song flares over the opportunity with punk belligerence and metal sculpted antagonism as it works towards its climax, not before having seduced with dazzles of psychotic indie melody seeded teasing. Another highlight, the song is backed in strength by the less crazed Anachron, a track which admittedly does not quite reach those earlier set heights but still magnetises attention and appetite with its funk stepping vibrancy and contagious melodic smile.

Both Bankster and Wiki Puppies keep the listener on their toes physically and mentally, the first and extensive expanse of craft and imagination which lays down a pulsating quickstep of reggae spawned pop. This is then wrung through voracious cantankerous crescendos at certain moments which burst from the song’s wonderfully exhausting enticement which builds towards a dramatically powerful and aurally traumatic brilliant closing declaration. Its successor pounces and leaps over the imagination as if its notes and ideas are crossing hot coals. It is a tempestuous mix of jazz, rock, psyche, and avant-garde devilry placed in a maelstrom which seamlessly forges an addiction spawning triumph from it all, rhythmically, melodically, and vocally.

The two parts of the title track almost come as a shock, the first especially subdued and restrained in its cinematic atmosphere and noir clad shadows and spoken vocals in comparison to the rest of the album, though the second part is soon climbing up the walls with scorching grooves and twisting melodic flames igniting the air around the again excellent vocal presentation. A relatively, and we say that with tongue slightly in cheek, straight forward heavy rock infused slice of metal with those continually entrancing keys of Celia enticing the emotions, the track is a deeply pleasing venture setting up the appetite for the closing mastery of  Prey of Birds.

The final song enjoyably plagues the ears with a kaleidoscope of sounds and challenging invention shuffled to an inch of its cohesive life, but as on all tracks it casts a proposition which is fully coherent and wholly. Sapiens Demens is a thrilling testament to endeavour and outside the box thinking but crafted with a knowledge nestling within Toumaï of how far to go and where to link everything for an innovative and breath-taking whirlpool of sound. Another to add to the must have list.

http://www.toumai-music.net/

10/10

RingMaster 07/01/2014

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Pteroglyph – The Great Unseen EP

Pteroglyph Online Promo picture

The excellent Found EP of last year made a striking introduction and formidable base for UK metal project Pteroglyph to stretch its evolution of invention and power from, which it surely has with The Great Unseen EP. The new release is a riveting expanse of technical art, fervour fuelled imagination, and finely crafted textures which go from chewing upon to seducing the senses within the time a breath takes to release its hunger, and back again continually. It is a masterful giant soundscape, a three part emotive adventure merged into one long rewarding excursion through shadows and blazing light wrapped in an evocative potency.

Pteroglyph is the one man project of multi-instrumentalist Jimmy MacGregor, once of one of the UK’s finest bands Mishkin. Setting out on his own to explore his unique musical premises and sculpt multi-layered technical structures within a torrent of sonic incitement, MacGregor chiselled a debut in the Found EP which was as emotionally colourful as it was metallically confrontational. Pulling acclaim from the underground media and offering a track to a cover mounted Metal Hammer CD, the release set up strong anticipation for future compositions from the man, an appetite fully satisfied by The Great Unseen.

Part One of The Great Unseen instantly unleashes a concentration of stabbing riffs with swarming sonic persistence as its companion, thePteroglyph Cover Artwork immediately riveting introduction soon joined by the hoarse growls of MacGregor and an acidic melodic wash. An intensive brew of rapier like jagged guitar spite and perpetually shifting vocal and enterprising invention, the track brings a suspicious and intimidating landscape to engage the listener whilst setting it ablaze with the excellent skill and progressively layered cutting sonic narrative. The promo accompanying the release suggests the EP is for fans of the likes of Devin Townsend, Sylosis, and Gojira, an impossible to argue with statement which can be stretched to include The First, Tesseract, and similarly inspired artists on evidence of this stretch of creativity alone.

The second part merges from an evocative mist to bring a singular guitar coaxing against the brewing storm with vocal harmonies flanking its suasion. Soon though the track has sinews and teeth coveting and assaulting the ear with pure rapaciousness whilst the vocal croon of MacGregor glides through the attack at times breaking into a rabid delivery to match the carnivorous side of the piece as melodic and atmospheric layers weave a concurrent evocative and resourceful flame to shape further tantalising depths within the track.

With the third part of the EP a tender and gentle plain of melodic and emotionally charged reflective imagination, The Great Unseen leaves thoughts and feelings soaring as high as the skies the final part ventures with its warm and evocative charms, though the outstanding heavy tones of the bass provides a dark anchor ensuring the piece of music never loses its shadowed footing as it brings an impressive release to a potent close.

Released through Red Tower Records The Great Unseen is a formidable step forward for Pteroglyph yet still suggesting there are more layers and depths to explore, which is one very exciting proposition.

https://www.facebook.com/Pteroglyph

http://www.pteroglyph.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/08/2013

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Dichotomy – Paradigms

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Turning the air into a whirling dervish of sonic antagonism and invigorating confrontation, Paradigms the debut album from Irish technical death metallers Dichotomy, is an introduction not to be taken lightly. The eight track tempest of skill and aggression instantly sets the Dublin quintet as one of the most formidable emerging predators within European metal. Veined by acidic melodic enterprise which leaves breath a rare commodity and superbly crafted intrusive riffing offering intensive but welcome scars the album is a scintillating piece of creative corrosion that marks the band as a dramatically promising and already accomplished force.

Formed in 2010 by guitarists Rats and Andy Kealy with the idea to merge the technicality of death metal with the groove and defined essences of other genres whilst feeding off the inspirations of bands such as Death, Necrophagist, Gojira, and Opeth, the band was soon making a strong impression in the Irish underground scene. With vocalist Kev O’Connor and drummer Dave Fay alongside the pair, Dichotomy was an immediate attraction and with a line-up soon completed by bassist Neil Coburn the five-piece was earning an intense reputation for their live performances and scintillating sound.  Recording their first release in the summer of 2012 at the esteemed Westland Studios in Dublin, Dichotomy is set to extend their success over the widest arena with the unleashing of their self-released beast of a record. As brutal and seductive as you could wish Paradigms is set to enslave the passions of legions of new followers one suspects, certainly leave them basking in its annihilatory wake.

The album opens with the brief instrumental Empyrean, the tender guitar led piece giving no hint of what is to follow in sound or Dichotomy Album Coverintensity. It is a nicely composed welcome but to be honest underwhelming, certainly in hindsight once The Sentient Oppressed opens its jaws of aural fascination and technical manipulation to sucks senses and thoughts into its heavy consuming heart. From the first seconds riffs are scrubbing the surface of the ear whilst mini grooves tease within the brewing wounds. Compounded by the hard fisted rhythms of Fay it is a startling trap eagerly devoured and explored by emotions. Into its textured depths with the vocals of O’Connor scowling with a squalling maelstrom of malevolence, the guitars of Rat and Kealy parade incisive flames of melodic venom and sonic toxicity to ignite further satisfaction whilst the Bass of Coburn prowls and adds greater shadow to the contagious blaze, though there are moments here and through the album where he sinks within the thick assault to be a presence rather than a strong flavour though admittedly making up for it when he is coaxed with clarity.

It is a staggering full start which as the album evolves its temptation only gets better. Both All-Seeing Eye and Polarity have emotions grinning broadly, the first expelling a torrent of vocal causticness over a deliciously niggling sonic guitar persuasion and the unbridled and exhaustive rhythmic barrage of Fay. Like its predecessor it is an immediate titanic lure before which defences crumble and hunger takes on predacious heights to match the intensity and creative greed of the song. The song mixes up a fluid unrelenting attack with mighty swipes at the senses brought by concrete riffs and steely beats crossed by the sabre like technical invention and flames of the guitars. It is a thunderous pinnacle swiftly matched by its successor. The song is a more deviously considered encounter, a rapacious pack like approach from the songwriting and sounds challenging the ear and beyond in comparison to the tsunami savagery of the previous track but not lacking in the artillery to flatten walls and doubts before letting the bewitching guitar play and imagination to scorch the debris.

Vocally O‘Connor deviates very little from his core delivery but where others may push limits and patience, here it works as another bestial string to the creative bow and ruinous sonic resourcefulness, the voracious No Catharsis the next destructive proof. Once more the guitar work is a tantalising almost bewildering furnace of pleasure and open ingenuity caged by the most vicious and explosive rhythmic avalanche of venomous skill and rapacity. Mere words cannot truly relay the potency and power of the song, or release come to that, but it powerfully confirms the earlier suggestion that the release just gets zealously better and more impressive, this song taking top honours on the album closely badgered by the likes of the primal Covenant of the Foresworn and the evocative instrumental Alea Iacta Est, a piece that unites beauty and a sonic beast for an enthralling and imagination lighting narrative.

The senses burning malefactor Of Strife Of Discord completes an exceptional and intoxication debut from Dichotomy. As savage as it is aesthetically wondrous, Paradigms simply declares its creators as one of the most exciting new antagonists to widely hit European metal this year.

www.facebook.com/dichotomyireland

9/10

RingMaster 14/08/2013

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Pteroglyph unveil new video!‏

Pteroglyph Online Promo picture
PTEROGLYPH release new video for The Great Unseen in preparation for a
rousing new EP set to be unleashed this summer. 
Pteroglyph is the collective musical and artistic workings of UK maestro ‘Jimmy MacGregor’. Ex Mishkin member Jimmy MacGregor has poured from all of his vast touring and studio experience to hand-craft a record that has multi-layered technical structures, rampant fretwork and colossal power—all from one talented individual!
After cutting his teeth for over eight years playing with a series of well respected bands, Jimmy decided to strike out on his own, taking it upon himself to build the foundations of a new project that would become ‘Pteroglyph’. Under the guise of Pteroglyph, Jimmy has already released his debut EP ‘Found’, which garnered widespread underground support, including having a track from the record selected for the covermount CD of Metal Hammer (January 2013). The EP has helped to rapidly increase Pteroglyph’ s national profile and fan-base.
Pteroglyph now step up with a brand new record entitled ‘The Great Unseen’.  The new EP boasts an impressive array of styles and swings from Devin Townsend-esque soundscapes to the ferocious beatings of Sylosis and Gojira. Encompassing three merged tracks over fifteen minutes, the record rips open the envelope, pushing fresh boundaries and illustrating Jimmy Mac’s extensive creative talent and craft for producing cutting edge and exhilarating progressive metal.
Check out the new video for The Great Unseen @  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iC_vaUIrCw
* Pteroglyph’s new EP ‘The Great Unseen’ is unleashed on Monday 26th August
through Red Tower Records and is available through all national outlets and stores.*
 

The Lumberjack Feedback – Hand of Glory

The Lumberjack Feedback 2013 - © Mathieu Drouet

Dramatic and compelling, the Hand of Glory EP from French instrumental metallers The Lumberjack Feedback is a masterful journey through cavernous shadows and depths, a tension packed encounter of doom and sludge metal. Consisting of two tracks lasting seventeen minutes between them, the EP is a stunning debut from the Lille based quintet, a provocative apocalyptic soundscape exploring its own darkness and that of the listener.

Consisting of the twin dual attacks of guitarists Simon Herbaut and Arnaud Silvert plus drummers Nicolas Tarridec and Christopher Poirier, with bassist Sebastien Tarridec adding his terrific presence into the mix, The Lumberjack Feedback has earned strong praise for their live performances which has seen them alongside bands such as Crowbar, Gojira, Kylesa, The Oxbow, Wolf Eyes, Spacemen 3, Grey Daturas, Acid King, and Hangman’s Chair. It will be their first release though which will undoubtedly set them as a potent fixture in the acclaim and vision of the widest audience such the power and creative might of the Kaotoxin Records released and Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Cathedral, EyeHateGod, Cattle Decapitation) produced EP.

Opening track A Whisper to the Thunder takes mere seconds to entice the ear with a guitar beckoning soon joined by that 760137002529_TOX025_The-Lumberjack-Feedback_Artwork_600x600-72hypnotic twin drum assault, their craft and temptation measured yet instantly enslaving. There is an energy and hunger to the beginning of the song which makes for a contagious sludge drenched call, riffs carving out a virulent persuasion whilst rhythms and bass define their own enthralling menace to combine for a primal seduction wrapped in a fluid evolution of imaginative and evocative melodic and sonic narrative. Thoughts of bands such as Neurosis and Sunn O))) come to mind but as the piece moves through a piercing sonic tunnel into a heavily weighted and rapaciously intensive dark doom landscape the sound takes on something distinctly unique to the band and visually provocative. The skies have a villainous hue over the track at this point as it lumbers purposefully with a predatory stalking and proceeds to claim any thoughts of escape as it climaxes with a simple but intrusive and lingering sonic breath.

It is an immense start soon matched and evolved further by second track The Dreamcatcher.  Again riveting rhythms from the drums make an earlier invitation which is instinctively impossible to resist, their sinews pacing along the developing wash of guitar brewed sonic mist and the continually thrilling bass provocation. As with its predecessor there is not theatrical invention or awe inspiring technical wizardry going on but the atmospheres and imagery spawning textures as well as melodic emotional painting being created by every skilful and clear but connecting aspect given clarity by each member is scintillating and impossibly powerful. The mesmeric stroll of the first third of the song comes to a point where the brewing climate entices an unleashing of intensive sonic flames and mutually fierce rhythms before flexing even further muscle in an even paced and exhausting investigation of its deepest corners and those of the listener too. The climatic conclusion to the piece towers over the senses, first marked by a flurry of striking punches before closing on one last enriching fire of intensity and sound, and leaves thoughts and passions suddenly alone within their own stark dark world.

Hand of Glory is an outstanding debut and release, but one which in some ways even at its length does not offer enough to really get the teeth into. This is because you only feel you are getting part of a much larger and incredible story or journey. Whether these are teasers to a full length time will tell but as impressive as it is the hunger and expectations on an album will be excited and demanding. The EP is a daunting adventure which inspires without ever using demanding intimidation and as such makes itself a must investigate introduction to a band we will be hearing much more of and one suspects fawning over in the future.

http://www.thelumberjackfeedback.com/

9/10

RingMaster 04/07/2013

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PTEROGLYPH unveil ‘The Great Unseen’, out 26th August‏

 
Pteroglyph Online Promo picture
ROUSING NEW EP FROM PTEROGLYPH SET LOOSE THIS SUMMER!
Pteroglyph is the collective musical and artistic workings of UK maestro ‘Jimmy MacGregor’. Ex Mishkin member MacGregor has poured from all of his vast touring and studio experience to hand-craft a record that has multi-layered technical structures, rampant fretwork and colossal power—all from one talented individual!
After cutting his teeth for over eight years playing with a series of well respected bands, Jimmy decided to strike out on his own, taking it upon himself to build the foundations of a new project that would become Pteroglyph. Under the guise of Pteroglyph, Jimmy has already released his debut EP ‘Found’, which garnered widespread underground support, including having a track from the record selected for the cover mount CD of Metal Hammer (January 2013). The EP has helped to rapidly increase Pteroglyph’ s national profile and fan-base.
Pteroglyph now step up with a brand new record entitled ‘The Great Unseen’.  The new EP boasts an impressive array of styles and swings from Devin Townsend-esque soundscapes to the ferocious beatings of Sylosis and Gojira. Encompassing three merged tracks over fifteen minutes, the record rips open the envelope, pushing fresh boundaries and illustrating Jimmy Mac’s extensive creative talent and craft for producing cutting edge and exhilarating progressive metal.
Pteroglyph Cover Artwork
* Pteroglyph’s new EP ‘The Great Unseen’ is unleashed on Monday 26th August through Red Tower Records and is available through all national outlets and stores.*
 
TRACKLISTING: 1. The Great Unseen (Part 1-3)
BAND MEMBERS: Jimmy MacGregor – Vocals/Guitars/Programming/Production
FOR FANS OF: Devin Townsend, Sylosis, Gojira

 

Chosen – Resolution

Chosen - Final Band Photos January 2013 - Band Photo 2 GRAYSCALE

    Resolution is one of this year’s most generous gifts to extreme and experimental metal, such the quality and stature of the debut album from Irish metallers Chosen. The release is sensational, a primal predator of scintillating imagination and exhaustingly pleasing invention. Having missed out on their earlier EPs, this is an introduction to the site which has left us open mouthed in awe and drooling in passion at the immense violation of extreme excellence.

Cast as for fans of the likes of Nevermore, Gojira, Cynic, and Death, the album shows the band pulls far beyond limitations with their sound and surely anyone with an adventure for stylish and senses stretching hunger in their music will find a feast with Resolution. Formed in 2005 by Paul Shields (vocals/guitars) and David McCann (drums/percussion) as teenagers, Chosen crafted a strong fanbase for their uniquely sculpted and intrusive sound with the metal community in their homeland. Releasing a number of independent and well-received demos as well as acclaimed live shows around Ireland, the band then went through a number of line-ups changes. In 2008 the founding pair relocated to Vancouver for a successful year which included a Canada-wide tour, as well as playing a unique tribute gig to the late Chuck Schuldiner, before returning home in 2009 to record their debut album. On their return the band was reduced to just the pair as members quit which led to the project taking an undefined hiatus.

Shields and McCann eventually came together to move forward by pushing on with the recording of the album and entered the Chosen Resolution Cover Art High Resstudio with producer Alwyn Walker to lay down the frame for the release whilst also looking for other musicians to bring in. Though successful on both counts the band was reduced to just the pair again, so the decision was made to complete the album just by themselves with Walker, Shields taking over vocal and bass duties too. From that journey what has emerged is an album which explores and ignites the senses and imagination for a furnace of blistering and uncompromising invention, a release which is like a sonic puppeteer leading thoughts and passions on a collision of riveting ingenuity, technical mastery, and unbridled confrontation.

The release opens on a jungle of rhythms from McCann, their lure irresistible as the guitar of Shields offers a veil of mystique to the start of Engines Of Belief. It is mere breaths lengths of time before the track ravages the ear with tumultuous rhythms and equally demanding riffs whilst further guitar manipulation skirts the senses and twists their thoughts with increasingly devilish designs. The harsh guttural squalls ride the intensity with gusto and venom whilst the clean vocals support their weight with magnetism as potent as the invention now rife within the fury of a track. It is a staggering start which claws at and gnaws upon the synapses with unexpected brilliance, a colossal fire of enterprise brought through greedy brutality.

Could the release from such a start prevent an antic-climax steeping forward next was the first thought but Defective Prospection and The Narcissism Epidemic both took no time in making the wonderment  moot such their oppressive and inventive confrontations. Certainly the first of the pair does not find the same plateau of brilliance as its predecessor but still delivers an expanse of provocative investigation whilst the second song from its delicious acoustic lined welcome and emotive ambience steps into a maelstrom of ferocious inventive charges and a scintillating merger of melodic beauty and carnal savagery. It is a brilliant track rivalling the starter and again sending creative shock waves across thoughts and sparking thick ardour for it and the album.

The outstanding Diminishment with its mesmeric melodic peace veined by raptorial rhythmic persistence and bestial admonishment of the senses exchanging and entwining their pure hearts, and the equally thrilling Instinct with its Meshuggah spiced rugged textures and rhythmic spite, both sear new heights upon passions and the release whilst Asch’s Paradigm is a song which initially inspires a bedlam bred sinister air before evolving into a tempest of corrosive beauty and seductive severity. The second of the three is a psyche twisted progressive intrigue with imagination to its cryptic fascination and a destructive onslaught vocally and musically unleashed whilst Asch’s Paradigm is a malevolent tight wrap of blood boiling intensity persuaded to share its time with melodic elegance and wanton temptation.

The closing pair of Metaphysical Contradiction and The Departure Lounge seals the branding deal upon the heart with in the case of the first a conflict of balance disrupting sonic dissidence and the closer through an irresistible initial death metal ravishing with djent punctuation moving on to open up arms of melodic acidity and warmth. As it began and admittedly continued through every moment, Resolution ends on the loftiest pinnacles. The album is pure ingenuity and raging inventive passion to inspire the same potency in the reactions and emotions of the listener. Chosen is a tsunami waiting to happen for European metal and their album not only one of the very best this year but of the past decade, and there is no reason to miss out either as the self-released album is available as a Name your own Price download and also in a Deluxe Special Edition or a Collector’s Edition CD.

www.chosenmetal.bandcamp.com

www.chosen.ie

10/10

RingMaster 23/04/2013

 

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