Exorcism – I Am God

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Considering the people involved in heavy metallers Exorcism, it is no real surprise that debut album I Am God is an impressive blaze of highly skilled and riveting adventure. It is a fiery encounter with a collection of tracks which for the main bring the imagination and emotions intensive satisfaction whilst taking them on incendiary explorations. The only uncertainty is why band and album are being classed as doom/heavy metal as though there are melancholic themes, slow and dark inciting shadows, and weighty emotional textures at work within the release, its sound is dramatically heavy melodic metal.

Exorcism was formed in 2006 by Csaba Zvekan of Raven Lord and Zvekan with many of the tracks on the album written in that period by the vocalist. Originally set to be part of his solo album, the songs were set aside as the always busy Zvekan explored and emerged with other projects across the years. Resurrecting the tracks last year after his management company Rock’N Growl and Zyx Records/ GoldenCore Records took an interest in the songs, Zvekan has filled out Exorcism with the addition of guitarist Joe Stump (Raven Lord, Holy Hell, Reign Of Terror), bassist Lucio Manca (Raven Lord, Solid Vision), and drummer Garry King (Joe Lynn Turner, Jeff Beck, Achillea). It is a mighty line-up bringing their experiences rigorously to bear on the album.

The album needs mere seconds to impose its stature and potential on attention and senses, opener End Of Days stretching over the ExorcismIAmGodCoverlistener with stern rhythms and wiry melodic teasing whilst riffs and bass offer bestial textures to their sound which grips the imagination as much as the sonic enterprise. It is a potent and intriguing start increasing its suasion with the ever impressive vocals of Zvekan. As the track expands its narrative and shadows it is probably fair to say that you can concede the doom reference though it is more a spicy flavour than an imposing presence within the heavy metal consumption. In many ways the album is like the song, making strong and captivating first impressions but evolving into long term compelling triumph over time.

The guitar craft of Stump veins and flares within the track, repeating the act time and time again as proven by the following title track, its dark canvas a provocative wrap stalked by bass and rhythms and subsequently ignited by Stump’s prowess alongside the ever rich vocal flames of Zvekan. The track is a weightier proposition than the first, its gait a lumbering instigation but with the gritty vocals aligned to melodically driven keys and guitars, there is more of a thick stoner/grunge feel to the scenery. It is a powerfully satisfying track though not as potent as the previous track and the brilliant Voodoo Jesus which steps up next.

The song is a bewitching mix of rich styles, enslaving textures, and enthralling invention, easily the best track on the album. From its first second, grooves and sonic lures squirm through ears on the way to slipping right under the skin, their intent skirted by crisp rhythms and the again carnivorously toned bass. The bait and toxicity that Manca brews with his string plucking is pure addiction across the album, a definite highlight and here making an irresistible allurement. The track rumbles and twists like a demonic temptress; a metallic medusa with rippling riffs and sonic snakes mesmerising the imagination whilst that persistent warped groove and imposing hypnotic rhythms chain the passions tightly. It is a glorious slab of melodic metal with the sinews of a bear and poise of a robust gazelle, coloured by mouthwatering malevolence and demonic seduction.

The pair of Last Rock N Roll and Master Of Evil are given a hard task following such a triumph but both make a formidable attempt, the first with blustery sonic weaves clad in a pleasing acidity as rhythms and riffs ravage the air around them and the second with transfixing flirtation and muscular enticements. A shimmering glaze soaks ears first before the bass once again steals focus with its rapacious almost portentous appearance. Both aspects continue to coax potently as scarring riffs and the expressive tones of Zvekan explore the corners of the song. The unpredictable turns and avenues taken by the track greedily hold appetite and thoughts gripped but it is the bursts of ingenious invention which spear the song and the anthemic lure of the Zvekan which lights the fuse for a lustful devouring of the passions. It is another scintillating pinnacle upon the loftily peaked release taking the listener on an incredible journey through dark innovative climates.

In some ways the album never finds the same plateau again but certainly never leaves satisfaction and enjoyment looking for their next meals, though the song Exorcism admittedly does not stir up much more than approval when it steps up next. It is nicely crafted vocally and musically though but too deep into classic heavy metal for personal tastes. Things lift again with the blues kindled furnace of Higher as it roars and stomps eagerly, again a grunge essence joining the blazing melodic metal fuelled charge, before Stay In Hell merges a cinematically seeded wash of sinister yet elegant keys with enveloping emotive melodies and scorching sonic enterprise for an absorbing flight through climactic skies and a sultrily flamed emotional landscape.

The album comes to a close with firstly the vigorously smouldering and intensively heated Fade The Day before the old school metal surge that is Zero G brings a thrilling finale. Striding with heavy rabid Sabbath-esque rhythms and riffs the track simply cages the passions, inflaming their ardour with sonic exploits from Stump which send tingles down the spine and an imaginative adventure which reaffirms the aggressively inventive and exploratory realms the album continually offers. It is a breath-taking close to a raucously exciting release, though there are moments when you feel the band do not go far or often enough into the vat of ingenuity which sculpted the major moments of the album such as Voodoo Jesus. Nevertheless I Am God is a real treat and the marker which suggests Exorcism could be Csaba Zvekan’s most important project yet.

I Am God is available via GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music now!

http://www.exorcism13.com

9/10

RingMaster 25/04/2014

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Kill Ritual – The Eyes Of Medusa

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Having been thrilled and impressed by their debut album The Serpentine Ritual in 2012 and more than intrigued by the single Harder Than Stone earlier than this year, anticipation was high for the sophomore full-length from US metallers Kill Ritual. Though it probably took longer than its predecessor to fully convince, needing a more intensive attention and time discovering all of its twists and compelling turns, The Eyes Of Medusa easily feeds expectations and hopes with its inventive and diverse flavouring. The album is one which continues the band’s skilled fusion of thrash and heavy metal with a wealth of fiery additives as shown by their debut but pushes a wider imaginative adventure upon this potent canvas. There are moments where success ebbs and flows a little within the release but it is an unrelenting captivation which even in its less potent moments is never far away from igniting the imagination and a very healthy appetite.

Kill Ritual was formed in 2010 by Imagika guitarist Steve Rice and drummer Wayne DeVecchi, who continued their union to explore and push on the music they were already working on before the demise of the band. The line-up was soon completed by the addition of former Eldritch guitarist Roberto Proietti, former Dark Angel bassist Danyael Williams, and vocalist Josh Gibson. Released through Scarlet Records, the band’s brew of progressive and classic essences with a thrash driven core caught immediate attention through The Serpentine Ritual, a release which was unpredictable and compelling from start to finish. Unleashed by now a quartet of drummer Gee Anzalone (Brain Damage) alongside, Rice, Gibson, and Williams, The Eyes Of Medusa is much the same; whether an acceleration of its predecessor’s triumph is still in debate but certainly it is a release which stands by its side in quality, surprises, and enjoyment.

Mastering by Rice and Andy LaRocque (King Diamond, Hammerfall, InFlames), and produced by Rice, the GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music kill_ritual_The_Eyes_Of_Medusareleased album steals the passions instantly through its opening title track, the entrance of the song through a wonderfully nagging lure of jagged repetitious riffs immediate magnetism especially with the subsequent fall of heavy rhythms and dark throated bass strikes. The additional emerging web of melodic temptation only steals a richer intrigue before the proposition unleashes a charge of thrash bred voracity. The track surges with sinews flailing air and intent ravaging senses whilst vocally Gibson parades a strong and varied display which matches the equally eventful and resourceful narrative of the song. It is an impressive invitation into the album, guitars a fluid colour of imagination and craft across a canvas of hungry rhythms and riffing which highlights further the eloquence, raw power, and striking invention of the offering.

The following Hair Trigger struggles to match the stunning start though it still leaves a satisfaction which keeps attention and appetite fully locked into the release’s grip. A classic/power metal spine thrusts the track urgently through the ear, its thrash intent similarly loud and enveloping but the spark of ingenuity which veined the first is less vocal thus feeding expectations more. Despite that with another great vocal diversity to his presence Gibson alongside the guitar of Rice light the senses and emotions to please with a more than accomplished slab of muscle bound rock ‘n’ roll. Its successor Never Get Me is much the same, a very decent and engaging slice of metallic persuasion presented with the expected craft and enterprise of Kill Ritual but lacking that essence of originality and ingenuity which ignited the album’s start and much more of its body to come.

Ride Into The Night is prime heavy metal and like the previous pair satisfies but fails to light any fire in the belly of itself and the passions before The Eyes Of Medusa launches into a greater inventive turn to return to its earlier glory. Weight Of The World slams headfirst into ears with a storm of thumping rhythms, snarling riffs, and an intensive breath. Grooves entwine their infectious tempting around a reawakened hunger, lacing the ears with addictive bait matched in success by the again impressive range of vocal styles, the spoken dark tones irresistible, and a sonic enticement which sends sparks across air and senses. Virulently contagious the track has the pulse rate racing ready for the equally rapacious Writing On The Wall, a track which stands tall with vivacious rhythms framing sonic flames and rich melodic hues. It is a thoroughly captivating rampancy which throws an enthralling curve ball as the song flirts with gothic shadows and progressive textures whilst exploring its roaring imagination.

The seeming power ballad premise of Just Another Sin reinforces the wide songwriting skills of the band with its emerging predatory sound and carnivorous energy before My Little Sister provides the album with another pinnacle. A tempest of raw and dirty rock ‘n’ roll fed with an antagonistic metallic rabidity, the track stomps and seduces with old school breath and thrash voracity tempered and enhanced by melodic metal temptation. Veined by inescapable hooks and a barbed rhythmic slavery, it is a masterful capture showing the band as capable of rock pop as unbridled thrash consumption.

The album ends with another couple of triumphs to make it a must investigation of 2014, the first Unleashed employing the mix of darkly spoken vocals and scorched clean delivery again to great effect and persuasion within a similarly convincing antagonism of hard rock and heavy metal filtered by the aggressive skill which makes Kill Ritual a constantly rewarding protagonist. As the album, the guitar skill and enterprise of Rice seduces as does the impressive vocal variety and strength whilst rhythmically Anzalone and Williams makes an irrepressible cage. Final song Agenda 21 is our favourite, its sinister presence and continually changing character of sound scintillating. From a mix of Anthrax and ArcticFlame, the track turns into a bestial demon before another twist sees a funked up blaze with essences of Suicidal Tendencies to it, at times a more Infectious Grooves infestation thrilling. It is a glorious stomp with grinning mischief and insatiable ingenuity running riot across its creative and riveting body.

    The Eyes Of Medusa is another tremendous exploit from Kill Ritual which warrants close attention to its plentiful bounty as it provides a sizeable treat.

http://www.facebook.com/KillRitual

http://www.killritual.com

8/1o

RingMaster 04/04/2014

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