The silent roar of darkness; talking Evocation with Skin Drone

SD_RingMasterReview

Within the metal underground, it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album from US band Skin Drone has been increasingly eager in many quarters. The web based project is the creative union of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erik Martin of Critical Dismemberment and multi-instrumentalist/producer Otto Kinzel from Chemical Distance and the founder of Bluntface Records. Next month sees the release of debut album Evocation; a proposition offering emotionally and lyrically dark tales as raw and caustic as they are seductive and elegantly evocative. The album pulls the listener into ravenous experimental landscapes of imposing shadows and emotional turmoil shaped by a fusion of extreme, industrial, and avant-garde metal with provocative ambiences, to simplify it all. It is powerful and invigorating, and the source of a hunger to dig deeper into its heart. So with big thanks to Erik and Otto, that is what we have done as we explore the world of Skin Drone…

Hi Guys and thank you for sharing your time with us.

Can you first tell us how you both met?

Erik: We met through Operation: Underground [a compilation album on Blutface Records]. Critical Dismemberment was on that release and Otto mixed/mastered the song for us. From there, we became good friends throughout the months and when Otto approached me about Skin Drone, there was no way to say no.

Otto: After Operation: Underground, which my label Bluntface Records released, I started working with Critical Dismemberment much more and they eventually joined the label. So by that point I had already been talking with both Erik and Chase Fincher (who did all the mixing & mastering on Evocation) for some time. I was always impressed by both of them and we all became really good friends. Erik and I have a lot in common so I think we naturally connected on a musical and personal level. When I asked Erik if he’d be able to help me out with vocals on some songs he jumped at the chance. That first song was what ended up becoming Witching Hour, and Erik hit a home run with it! I was so blown away by what he wrote and performed that I knew we had to pursue this more. Long story short, here we are. And it’s funny because even though Chase isn’t a “member” per say of Skin Drone, he played a huge role in the final product because he’s the one that brought the tracks to life when he mixed the album.

As you have already touched on, you are both heavily involved in other projects, solo and with others, and Otto you with running Bluntface Records too; so when did the seeds to the actual project of Skin Drone first arise?

Otto

Otto

Otto: I had been trying to get a variation of Skin Drone off the ground for probably a year or so prior to hooking up with Erik. And I had basically no luck whatsoever. So when I started working with Critical Dismemberment, and subsequently got to know Erik and Chase better I knew that there was special talent there. As I mentioned, Witching Hour was the first song we collaborated on together. I had a rough demo with just guitar and drums recorded when I sent it to Erik to try his hand at it. I never had a serious vocalist attached to this project and the whole thing was basically dormant in my efforts to get it off the ground. Erik came back with a very impressive performance and lyrics, and I was blown away. I specifically remember thinking “damn, if we can make this work, even with 1,000 miles between us, we might be onto something really special”. And the momentum kept building with each song afterwards as both of us got more comfortable working & writing with each other. The chemistry was very natural; I don’t remember ever really having to “force” anything in the creative process.

What was the initial spark and indeed the moment where you knew it was going to work?

Erik: For me it was hearing the final mix of Witching Hour when we first started. It just felt right and when we really started to venture out into the experimental with Shepherd Of The Damned, we ran with it and embraced the sound we were crafting, that for me cemented that we were a force to be reckoned with.

Otto: Shepherd of the Damned was the first song we did where there were multiple changes in the timing, and in the overall feeling of the song. The levels of dynamics in that were tricky to start but once we had the final version, I think we both knew we had stepped our game up a notch.

Did you set out with a particular intent and direction for Skin Drone or let things organically arise?

Otto: Everything that happened was organic. Sure, we tried to push in a particular direction. At first I think we just wanted to pursue the technical death metal type of sound. But funny enough, the more we “tried” to push for one specific style, the more things spun out of control and took on a life of their own. It was fairly early on that we realized that we needed to just “run with it” so to speak, and however the songs came out is how they came out. It’s hard to explain because so much of it was done by “feel”; but everything was organic.

As you mentioned you live hundreds of miles apart and more. So I am assuming a physical coming together for the project is near to impossible, so how does the writing and creating process work between you online?

Erik: Usually it starts off with a demo that we toss back and forth a few times until we have something that we feel out did what we accomplished with the last song. Some take longer than others but for the most part it is no different than writing in the same room; the only difference being that when we are communicating our ideas to each other, we have to be very clear as to what we are trying to achieve sonically. There is always the potential if we are having an off day that it could derail the entire song, but we always catch ourselves before that happens.

Is this a time consuming process in the creation of songs and do you work on them one at a time or work away on numerous tracks at the same time?

Otto: I’d say no more or less of a time consuming process that what a “regular” band goes through. Some songs naturally take longer than others to complete but as a whole we work at a very efficient pace. That’s because both Erik and I each do a lot of work on our own time to develop our parts and work thing out, before presenting them to the other person. And yes we’ll typically have a few songs continuously in the works. For me it helps because if I’m stuck on a certain song or just not having any luck then I can go work on something else, and still make progress without holding the whole project up.

Erik_RingMasterReview

Erik

You have just released your striking and enjoyably often disturbing debut album, Evocation. How long has it been in the making?

Erik: If memory serves me correctly, we wrote the first song in autumn of 2014 and finished the last one in the beginning of summer in 2015. It was then gone back over and mixed/mastered in the winter of 2015. We have the luxury of being able to take our time and not have to a label or pay for studio time, I feel like that lack of pressure really shows in the music.

Is it a project which has had to grow around other commitments or were you able to create it in a period of no other musical distractions?

Erik: For me, I had just finished my parts on the Critical D debut, so for 99% of this, I was musically not distracted.

Otto: I had no distractions musically. I always try to make sure I can give 100% focus and energy to the material when I’m in writing /recording mode.

Can you give some idea to its themes?

Erik: The themes are mostly centred in occultism, rituals, witchcraft, paganism and even some calling out thieves in organized religion. There are also certain personal elements hidden in plain sight, but we leave those to the listener to decide what is fiction and what is real life. It adds a level of mysticism that we build upon musically.

I was going to ask about that; as much as it trespasses the senses and psyche, there are just as evocative moments of melancholic beauty and intimate psychosis to songs. So to push for more insight, how much of their inspiration and exploration comes from the emotionally personal side and experiences of you two, lyrically and musically?

Erik: Lyrically during the writing process I was in a very dark place. Dealing with vices and very confused on what life even meant; that included the people in it. You could liken it to just doing what I had to do in order to keep breathing. All that translated to some of the darkest and angriest lyrics I had ever written. The best example of this is Salvation. That song is about a spirit that drives his killer insane and ultimately kills him and makes it all look like a ritualistic suicide. If you really pay attention to the lyrics, you start to see a very personal story of being consumed by something and the only way out is death it seems.  There are examples of this spread out through the entire album; it is all just up to everyone’s individual interpretation of the lyrics.

For us Evocation is the darkest most invasive nightmare, yet equally at times, a shadowed but understanding emotional affair between listener and song. How much was this deliberately sculpted and again how much an organic evolution?

Otto: From my perspective, watching how Erik was so methodical; in his approach to writing the lyrics and developing the themes, I would say it was deliberate. He did a wonderful job orchestrating how it all went together, like an architect. For the music and the basic song structures, all of that was organic and natural. But when it came time to add the lyrics and really focus in on shifting the songs into their “final” state, Erik was the guy commanding the ship. I know how personal and painful a lot of these lyrics are to him and I’m so impressed with his commitment to the art.

There is also a real cinematically ambient feel to some parts. This is a style in your composing which you might explore more, or already may have?

Erik: The cinematic effects (I hope) remain a staple of our sound. Already in writing some rough ideas for record two, those ambient parts will go along with the heavy parts and we will throw in some curveballs when it comes to the time changes and the melancholic parts of the music. I think we are hungrier to really explore the depths of what we can do sonically and evolve as a band.

Skin Drone - Evocation _RingMasterReviewAs we mentioned earlier, you both have other projects which between them I can say have given some of our favourite releases in recent times. When you get an idea for one, is there now an element of stepping back and looking to see if it might fit better with say Skin Drone or vice versa?

Erik: 100% of what I write in my solo project is open for us to try and make a Skin Drone song. You just never know when you put something together that you think will not work actually turns into something that makes the record. Sometimes stepping back from the craziness for a day or two can yield some badass results.

Otto: I had some random riffs and drum patterns kicking around here and there, that for one reason or another just never got used. It was fun to go back and rediscover some of that stuff. I record tons of music, almost every day. So I have a huge catalogue of material that runs the gamut from metal and industrial to dark ambient and more instrumental/score type of compositions. Most of this I just do to capture an idea so almost everything is unfinished and in a “demo” type of state. But I like being able to capture an idea and then have it saved, so someday later on if I find a place for it I can go back and see if it works.

There is no escaping the raw and bold kaleidoscope of styles within Evocation either. What are the artists or flavours which have most inspired your own inventions would you say?

Erik: For me it was a lot of Deconstruction era Devin Townsend Project. Another I was reminded just recently was the Declaration album from Bleeding Through; most notably the song Sister Charlatan. The heaviness along with orchestral parts was really my first taste of the two blended together and since then has always been something I’ve wanted to incorporate into music. Lastly, Landon Tewers who uses a lot of ambience and really dark imagery with his lyrics was a huge influence. He was my introduction onto whispering vocals and I absolutely loved it.

Otto: Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Mike Patton and almost all of his various bands, Ministry, KMFDM, Obscura, Gorguts, Nirvana, Kyuss…those are a just a few. If you give me long enough I can come up with a ton of stuff haha.

What comes next for Skin Drone and yourselves individually?

Erik: For Skin Drone, it’s riding the album cycle until there is no more gas in the tank and then some. After that we probably take a short break and get back into writing the next record with our foot mashed on the gas. With Critical D on hiatus, Skin Drone is my one and only focus.

Otto: Like Erik said, we’re going to promote the hell out of Evocation until there is literally nothing left to promote. We’re prepared to work as hard as we’ve ever had to work in our lives to get the music out there and make sure people hear it.

After that? I think we’ll take a short rest so we can recharge our creative batteries and then jump right back into writing the next album. We already have some rough ideas kicking around for themes.

Once again many thanks for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?

Otto: Evocation drops June 14. Please pre-order your copy at http://skindrone.bandcamp.com/releases!

Check out our review of Evocation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/skin-drone-evocation/

https://www.facebook.com/skindrone   https://twitter.com/SkinDrone   http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Carnation – Cemetery of the Insane

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Old school in breeding but stoked by a creative voracity which roars with modern hostility, Cemetery of the Insane, the debut EP from Belgian death metallers Carnation is an introduction all fans of extreme metal will want a slice of. Consisting of six tracks which savage the senses and ignite the imagination, the release has every essential death metal essence in compelling abundance, but twisting them into its own not dramatically original but certainly refreshingly inventive designs. The result is a bestial onslaught to fearfully embrace and greedily devour.

With a name seemingly inspired by The Carnation Massacre, a mass murder occurring on December 24th 2007 near Carnation, Washington, the Heist-op-den-Berg band was formed in 2013 by guitarist Jonathan Verstrepen (Incinerate). Swiftly bringing in bassist Yarne Heylen (Decross), guitarist Bert Vervoort (ex-Decross), vocalist Simon Duson (Prematory), and drummer Morbid (The Reckoning), Carnation set about their intent of bringing old school death to the Belgian metal landscape. Embracing both Swedish and US influences, as merged impressively on Cemetery of the Insane, the band has stepped forward on its back as one new and exciting proposition in not only the Belgian but European extreme metal scene.

The release opens in the dank cellars of Explosive Cadavers, flesh and bone being quietly but openly devoured before the song, with cinematic might, reveals its portentous drama. Once the scene is set, guitars snarl and descend on the senses with instantly contagious and addictive riffery, bait matched potently by the grizzled might of the bass and the sonic grooving holding ears. The track swings along but has greater intimidation and hostility waiting in its air, a threat which frees its restraints for a nastier twist in the nature of the song before entwining both for the rest of the encounter. It is a scintillating start, the excellent vocals of Duson as guttural and insidious as you would wish yet with a quality allowing clarity to the narrative, whilst the venomous rhythms of Morbid take no prisoners whilst casting their anthemic baiting. Similarly the sonic enterprise of the guitars is as invitational as it is corrosive, everything aligning for one virulent insidious persuasion.

The EPs title track is swiftly at the jugular next, Cemetery Of The Insane rampaging with hostile fervour yet also instilling a predatory prowl within its tempestuous walls. The song stalks carnationand seduces the senses with the strong mix of vocals and guitars continuing to impress with just as instinctively barbarous invention. Further lust is dragged from song and appetite by the throaty bass growl and already by this point it is hard not to be enslaved by song and release, especially once the tendrils of sonic colour and the increasingly insatiable torrent of sharp grooves and bruising riffs add their persuasive weight to the temptation.

Both Rituals Of Flesh and Delusions Of Power keep the impressive intensive provocation soaked in venomous and gripping animosity, the first of the two managing to be nastier than those before in touch and sound yet just as imposingly infectious and inventively magnetic. The track almost dances with its rhythmic rabidity and destructive tendencies, revelling in its bloodlust and sonic nagging whilst sculpting a pinnacle for the release. Its successor without quite matching its toxic majesty has its own blistering sonic tapestry of raw riffs, spiky grooves, and bass predation to share, resulting in another seriously enthralling and incendiary ravaging to thoroughly enjoy.

The Great Deceiver closes things off; it’s more restrained and sonically colourful entrance the scenery to oppressing shadows and subsequently, a torrent of abrasing riffs and searing melodic endeavour. As the excellent final foraging of ears and psyche shows, though tracks may not surprise with knee buckling effect there is a great unpredictable trait to them which keeps the listener intrigued and unsure of what is on the encounter’s near horizon.

Definitely a must for all with a taste for the likes of Entombed, Dismember, Gorguts, Autopsy, and Entrails amongst many, Cemetery Of The Insane should be heading all must check out lists.

Cemetery Of The Insane will be available through Final Gate Records digitally and on CD/vinyl from February 6th via https://finalgaterecords.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/CarnationBE

RingMaster 05/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Near Death Condition – Evolving Towards Extinction

NDC

Sure to give extreme metal a big nudge to their existence and intimidating quality, Swiss death metallers Near Death Condition have unleashed their third full-length Evolving Towards Extinction, a towering and brutal assault on the senses. Thrusting eleven tracks of uncompromising and ravenous ferocity through the ears, the release also holds a rich vein of inventive imagination beneath the tsunami of vicious endeavour and intent. At times it is understated or needs extra attention to really explore, but it constantly makes each track an individual incitement of increasing rewards, all combining for an impressive stature to the album. It has to be said that the release does not consistently light a rigorous blaze in personal passions or excite as intensely in places as others, but there is no denying that attention and appetite are thrillingly fed.

Hailing from Valais, Near Death Condition emerged in 2001 with inspirations from bands such as Morbid Angel, Deicide, Deathspell Omega, Death, and Gorguts driving their immediately imposing sound. Since forming the band has lit up stages alongside the likes of Origin, Hour Of Penance, Darkane, Texture and numerous others whilst releasing a pair of full-lengths. Demo release Delusional Perception of Reality was uncaged in 2005 to good underground attention. Its success went towards the band eventually signing with Unique Leader Records with The Disembodied – In Spiritual Spheres released in 2011 to potent acclaim and responses from fans and press across the globe. March of this year saw Evolving Towards Extinction uncaged to again strong reactions and with its threatening gait, testing hostility, and creative tempest it is easy to see why.

The quartet of vocalists/guitarists Patrick and Stéphane, bassist Simon, and drummer Guido give a brief twinge of sinister drama before going straight for the throat with some of the most rabid riffs and destructive rhythms sure to be heard this year. The entrance of Words of Wisdom literally bowls the senses over, savaging their very being with increasing toxic sonic violation and rhythmic barbarism as riffs gnaw their surface and heavy guttural vocal expulsions roar malevolently. It is a hellacious introduction, one which never relents in its intensity even as the guitars begin unwinding equally venomous grooves and an underling swagger. Subsequently melodic acidity and shifting gaits join the tempest to engage the imagination as impressive guitar enterprise burns the surface of the by now predacious crawl. The track continues to twist and spit animosity with every note, beat, and syllable as it persistently evolves for a staggering first assault of the release.

The following Between the Dying and the Dead is no less vitriolic and hostile but takes little time in colouring its grievous landscape with swipes of celestial yet demonic harmonies and ravenous inventive bait. The guitars NDC coverpersistently carve rich grooves and ingenious hooks into the body of the song whilst bass and drums sculpt a bestial baiting. It is a glorious ferocity soaked in rabid dread but unafraid to spare room for a fire bred solo and additional imaginative detours. The track is at its strongest and most potent when it is going for the jugular but all the unpredictability and at times unsure turns, definitely keep the imagination engrossed. Its stirring presence is emulated by the barbaric Intelligent Design, another slaughter of the senses which is prone to flirtations of sonic and fiery melodic scorching as well as intriguing almost wrong footing exploits. Not as gripping as the first pair the track still leaves a hunger in place which is further healthily fed.

Pandemic of Ignorance stalks ears from its first breath, its shoulders heavy laden with hate over a spine of rhythmic bile wrapped in vehemence spawned grooves. It is a pestilential predator, its slow crawl sheer intimidation until eventually breaking free of its reins for a throat tearing onslaught, ears and senses overwhelmed by a storm of merciless aural and lyrical rancor. It is a compelling violation which sets emotions up for the outstanding Praise the Lord of Negation. It also is a song which flies for the jugular, this time with a swarm of sonic pestilence and rhythmic cruelty; that alone baits and traps a new greed within the passions but it is the insatiable maniacal fury to its psychotic repetitious seducing which hits the sweet spot.

The leviathan weighted crawl of The Anatomy of Disgust wrapped in similarly laboured but magnetic grooves comes next, its sultry flames of guitar across bloodlust driven rhythms and destructive riffery highly satisfying but lacking the spark of certainly its predecessor. The animalistic Anagamin finds its own incendiary fuse to invigorated responses, its pestilence coated prowl inspiring an animosity clad weave of invention which pushes the song enticingly into the grinning imagination. In many ways the album ebbs and flows, to be fair not in quality and individual skills but in degrees of success with personal tastes. As the following rapaciously consuming title track and the carnivorous Vertigo prove there is never a track where Near Death Condition does not bewitch and threaten with their inventive sanguinity, or impress.

Evolving Towards Extinction closes with the deliciously nagging Communing with Emptiness, a track swarming with serpentine grooves and riffs around the ever impressive artillery of disorientating drum voracity and dual vocal abrasions, and finally Nostalgia for Chaos. The final song is a beast in nature and stature as well as gait, but as the previous song endowed with some scintillating and feverishly enjoyable guitar enterprise. The ferocious incitement brings the album to a formidable and rapturously thrilling conclusion leaving the listener breathless but wholly satisfied. It is an album which also gets better and more potent over time, still undulating with some of its moments but with a baseline of rich satisfaction, a strong recommendation of Near Death Condition and album to all extreme metal fans is a no brainer.

Evolving Towards Extinction is available now on Unique Leader Records @ http://www.indiemerch.com/uniqueleader/band/near-death-condition

http://www.neardeathcondition.ch/

8.5/10

RingMaster 17/07/2014

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Lesch-Nyhan – Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome

LN

The first album since their return, Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome makes a ravenous and richly satisfying confrontation from US death metallers Lesch-Nyhan. The successor to the band’s 1991 demo Indistinguished Remains, the seven track savagery is a rewardingly imposing and thrillingly incessant beast of a proposition, a bestial encounter recalling the seeds and original toxicity of the Philadelphia quartet whilst equally holding an unhealthy dose of modern intrigue and fresh faced twists. It is not an album to blow extreme metal away but certainly a ravaging to make Lesch-Nyhan’s comeback a highly joyous and thrilling one.

Formed in 1989 by vocalist Gary Hadden with brothers, Mark (drums) and Anthony Delacandro (guitar), Lesch-Nyhan was soon completed by bassist Greg Oreski and guitarist Mike Carr. Quickly getting to play live shows with the likes of Suffacation, Incantation, Crucifier, and Ripping Corpse, the band released their demo in 1991 from which the band was invited to play a showcase in front of numerous label representatives. What followed though was the demise of the band; a slow falling apart which new members could not bring any halt to with the band stopping in 1994. Fast forward to 2012 and a discussion between Hadden and guitarist Rob Vanderveer (a member of the last line-up of the band), about reigniting things, to “Put our stamp on this shit”. A year later saw Lesch-Nyhan reform with a re-issue of Indistinguished Remains on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, just as the new album. With guitarist Jack Carmichael, bassist Chris Miller, and drummer Mark Stainthorpe alongside Hadden, Lesch-Nyhan has produced a riveting scourge of sound and intent with Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, a furious hostility sure to excite those with an appetite of bands such as Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Gorguts, Immolation, and Napalm Death.

Recorded live in the studio helping to bring the raw brute creative force of Lesch-Nyhan to life, the album opens with World Destruction, a track as expected from its title with all the hostility and rancor to bring all before it to its frontcoverknees. It also comes with a passions binding groove which from its first breath grinds and worms deeply into the psyche as rhythms cascade voraciously down on the senses. Complete with the barbarous rancor of Hadden’s throat and the nagging contempt of the bass, it is an irresistible blast of insidious feuding which ignites appetite and passions just as forcibly as the album itself.

Its stunning start is not quite matched by the following Septic Hole and Flock Of The Misfortunate, though it is more to do with its might than their failings. The first of the two again is offering a scathing infection soaked groove around with rhythms bring a barbaric unpredictability and guitars a sonic smog of contagious endeavour. Vocally Hadden lurches syllable after syllable across the senses, his delivery breeding a pestilential persuasion which is as sinister and merciless as the predacious sounds scarring his way. It is another masterful proposition if without bringing too many surprises, similarly as its successor. The album’s third track prowls with purposeful weight and predation, every riff and rhythmic provocation concentrated in its oppressive incitement which an emerging fiery but respectful groove cannot defuse. With the vocals at their most demonically intimidating and caustic, the track sends primal shivers down the spite but fails to find the same spark to ignite the passions as the opener and subsequent tracks hold.

Bathed In Phlegm returns the senses to a tempestuous torrent of frenetic riffs and rhythms bred from the darkest despair. It is a storm which has a rein on its hunger though, switching intensities of gait and ferocity for a filth clad waltz of insurgent sounds and rabid animosity which ebbs and flows in its voracity and ultimately success. To be fair though it is a proposal which ears and emotions welcome with open submissive arms, but one again only stirring up the passions rather than igniting them. The following Regurgitation Through Decapitation has little problem in seizing imagination and those passions, such its corrosive beauty and invention. Marking the moment where the album reveals it’s most potent and addictive nature, the song thunders against ears with a wall of barbaric rhythms and an intensively fused swarm of riffs. It is tsunami of spite and malignancy turned into a sonic vendetta in turn driven by a great dual squall of vocal spite from Hadden feverishly backed by Miller. The song stomps and rages with little regard for the health of its recipients, bass and drums crafting a frame of tortuous entrapment which any dungeon would be proud of whilst the guitars and vocals lay waste with an emotion violation of hellacious enterprise.

The glorious rhythmic coaxing which brings the title track into view is one of those instinctive baits there is no resistance to, an insatiable coaxing which only increases its toxic potency when aligned to the serpentine bred vocal cancer brought by Hadden. It is not long before the enthralling leviathan tones of the bass stalk air and guitars spread their caustic waves, the emerging blend of ferocious rapaciousness only reaching deeper into the psyche and greedy hunger inspired by the album. Roving with pack like relentlessness, the track is a predator of sound and bestial appetite, its grinding incitement and gutturally shared narrative an evil suasion to unrelentingly and sublimely excite the whole body.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is brought to a powerful close by Internal War And Hate, a final purge of hope and security brought with an increasingly dangerous consumption of single minded grooves and scarring riffs within a network of bass rabidity and rhythmic enmity. It is an outstanding end to a thrilling encounter, not one as we said to turn extreme metal on its head but a release to easily place Lesch-Nyhan back in the heart and intensive spotlight of death metal.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @ http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/lesch-nyhan-syndrome

https://www.facebook.com/LeschNyhanMetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

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Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues

pic Caroline Harrison

pic Caroline Harrison

If an unstoppable pestilence sets its sights on our souls let us hope it comes in the same manner as The Mother Of Virtues, wrapped in corrosive beauty and seductive ugliness. The new album from US progressive death metallers Pyrrhon is a destructively bedlamic onslaught of deathly malevolence, tortuous psychedelia, psyche searing experimentation, and irrepressibly addictive.  It is not an easily accessible or comfortable experience, arguably the most painfully contagious and intrusively crippling of the past year but deep in such creative adventure and vicious intrigue that if it connects it is equally one of the most rewarding pestilential offerings too.

Brooklyn hailing Pyrrhon was formed in 2008 apparently after a chance meeting on a subway platform. Since that moment the quartet of vocalist Doug Moore, guitarist Dylan DiLella, bassist Erik Malave, and drummer Alex Cohen has been twisting and challenging sounds and senses. The band’s 2010 debut EP Fever Kingdoms was the first of their releases to receive wide and strong plaudits, the acclaim increasing when their first full-length album, An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master, was released a year later via Selfmadegod Records. Intensifying their sounds and invention over the next couple years, Pyrrhon set about creating their new sonic torment The Mother Of Virtues. Tracked and mixed by Ryan Jones (Today is the Day, Mutilation Rites, Wetnurse) and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice), repeating his work on the band’s previous releases, the Relapse Records released album consumes and suffocates the senses and reality with a rigorously diverse maelstrom of extreme metal, a torment to awaken nightmares and ignite impassioned slavery to its toxicity.

From its first breath the album is savaging and twisting ears and imagination inside out, opening track The Oracle of Nassau cursing with 12 Jacket (Gatefold - Two Pocket) [GD30OB2-N]sonic rabidity and an annihilatory ravishment. Rhythms and riffs converge in a torrential tsunami of spite and eager decay, strangling senses as guitars and vocals unleash their scourge upon the wounds. The track spews enterprise and vitriol with every searing note and poisonous syllable, creating the perfect threat and welcome into the belly of the beast.

The following White Flag opens on probing beats soon joined by a stalking bass riff. Instant intimidation within a cavernous ambience engulfs the imagination, its scenery caustically painted and expanded by the initial graze of guitar which soon evolves into a bestial predation. The track prowls with a doom bred lilt and noise sculpted breath, constantly lashing ears with acidic ventures and ferocious intensity. It is a thoroughly compelling and merciless proposition, a black hearted contagion of jazz spawned rhythmic bombardment courted by animalistic riffs and synapse stripping ingenuity from the guitars, all governed by the guttural spewing of Moore.  It is primal and quite bewitching, especially the stretch of melodic elegance which whispers for a brief moment at the eye of the storm.

Sleeper Agent accelerates the hunger of the rabid appetite in place by its appearance, the delirious mania of guitars and rhythms frisking then violating everything from ears inwards. Searching deep, as with all tracks, there is an order and sensibility to the unleashed viscerally driven plague, but you sure have to dig deep and with determined energy to unveil the additionally potent intent. The track is outstanding, preying on the disorientation and suffering already expelled previously with relish, as does next up Balkanized. The first single from the album firstly lays down a few seconds of cyber coaxing which is then thrust aside by a roving throaty bassline and an anarchic squall of flesh scything guitars and groaning vocals. More violent than its predecessor but employing a similarly ‘lighter’ weave of erosive invention, the track lurches and leans heavily on the senses with sounds which combine like a pack of voracious predators.

Both Eternity in a Breath and Implant Fever spiral deeper into the depths of mind and emotions, the first an invasive merger of serpentine ambiences and rapacious rhythmic enticement which casts its own growing vindictive spoils over the listener the further into its dark festering depths you go. Its successor is not as dirty as the previous song but certainly is not a light of hope and hope either, the encounter lyrically and musically a warning and warring menace. The pair turns the cerebral battleground darker with their own individual hues of inventiveness and voracity whilst Invisible Injury churns up their landscapes with its own specific institutional mayhem.

The album is completed by the exhaustive brilliance of The Parasite in Winter, a track which is lighter on the touch but heavier in the animosity with a sonic design that is mouth-wateringly infectious and barbarically controlling, and the closing epically severe soundscape of the title track. Over ten minutes of noise dementia and rancorous exploration which is all quite ingenious and thrilling, the track alone tells you all you need to know about the brilliance and nastiness of Pyrrhon.

The Mother Of Virtues will undoubtedly only be for a certain psyche or should that be masochist but if band and release find favour in your artistic aberrations and according to the press release if you have a taste for the likes of Gorguts, Ulcerate, Cryptopsy, Portal, and Deathspell Omega, then you just might be listening to an album of the year front runner.

https://www.facebook.com/pyrrhonband

http://pyrrhonband.bandcamp.com/album/the-mother-of-virtues

9/10

RingMaster 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Hybreed Chaos – Dying Dogma

     hybreed

    Dying Dogma is far from being an easy listen or is the kind of company which rewards a casual attitude attention wise, towards its fury but for violent, uncompromising technically bred progressive death metal it is a confrontation which once struck down by, is a scar which deeply lingers whilst inciting strong reactions. The album comes from Canadian metallers Hybreed Chaos, a band featuring ex-Paroxysm drummer Franck Camus and current Cryptopsy session bassist Olivier Pinard. It is a release which has little time on seduction, its every breath and action a vicious rage of sonic imagination and brutal enterprise, and provides little comfort in its touch or exploits, just savage intensity and intentions aligned to a craft and endeavour which ignites the imagination.

The PRC Music released Dying Dogma moves through its brief intro, Birth of Chaos, into the instantly ferocious and debilitating A Machine for Pigs. From its start the vocals and guitars need little persuasion in scoring and threatening the senses, the guttural squalls a vindictive causticity with equal poison in the twisting and intriguing guitar exploration. Around this the rhythmic framework has an intimidation and eagerness which can snap at any moment, whilst grooves and hooks add their unique insidious temptation throughout the tempestuous fury to lure in the emotions to greater depths, their poise and fascination waking further an appetite for the challenge ahead.

Dismembered Purity crawls through the ear and all over the senses, its doomy presence a canvas for the crippling inventive rhythmic battering and the corrosive riffing to add their ruinous nature to. There is arguably not the fluidity to the song of its predecessor, some of the certainly enthralling elements lying uneasy within the soiling intent, but equally the jagged mix of ideas, though making the encounter less persuasive at first, creates a carnal torment which grows into a strong convincing of the imagination across numerous violations.

The following Emperor also takes a relatively slow consumptive meandering of the senses and psyche, its smouldering toxicity expressing a transfixing furnace of inventive manipulation and technical maliciousness which tests and provokes the listener into eager if distressed attention. Its successor Defiled Servitude is much the same, it’s even more bedlamic ingenuity and torrent of ideas a gripping yet nasty compromise for the passions and imagination. Repetition, a tempting drone, and sonic psychosis all litter the experiment on the psyche whilst its riffery and rhythmic frame enslave a now greedy appetite for the assault of the album.

Dying Dogma is completed by Charogne and Silent Agony, both two more mountainous and monstrous sonically esurient savages built on technical invention and warped imagination. The first of the pair offers the album’s most contagious and almost addictively straight forward moment yet, though it still explores a depth of ideation which is just spellbinding. The closing song matches this to leave the album at its strongest point, the track a devil bred slab of creative vehemence that works on every aspect of the senses and emotions. A release for those with a taste for the likes of Gorguts, Cryptopsy, Immolation, and Devourment, Dying Dogma is an album which makes you work and work hard before revealing its full might but makes it all worthwhile in the long run. If an easy metal driven life is for you than Hybreed Chaos certainly is not.

https://www.facebook.com/HybreedChaos

8/10

RingMaster 29/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Gorelust: Reign Of Lunacy

gorelust

Eighteen years after its release, Reign of Lunacy the one and only album so far from Canadian death metallers Gorelust, gets its reissue through PRC Music whose owner also incidentally gave the album its first appearance. With a proposed new release planned for late 2013, the re-release from one of the most impressive bands of the Quebec death metal scene will be a welcome treat for all fans of the genre, especially those leaning towards the sounds of Suffocation, Mortuary, and Monstrosity.

Regarded as one of the best live bands of their time, the young Quebec band disbanded within the year of the release of Reign Of Lunacy in 1995. The release itself was limited to 1000 units when released by New World Symphony Records and has since changed hands at amounts leading up to $100 a time as well as getting bootlegged by Cryptic Soul Productions in Italy. The true re-release will thrill a legion of death metal fans wanting to own a copy of an album which should be regarded as a classic, and with the recent announcement of the return of the original line-up to finally make a follow-up album next year, you can only expect an eager devouring of Reign Of Lunacy this time around.

The album has been dedicated to Steeve Hurdle of Gorguts who sadly passed away earlier this year and who alongside band mate Luc Lemay at the time, contributed backing vocals to Reign Of Lunacy. The album is a raw and brutal exercise for the senses, a merciless assault of technical and uncompromising death metal brought by the combined might of vocalist Jean Beaulieu, guitarist Martin Fournier, bassist Pascal Chevrier, and Francis Marmen on drums.

From the staggering first track right through to the closing violation Infant Devourment, the album is an insidious capture of the imagination and passions, an extreme metal corruption which you eagerly welcome. The release sounds just as fresh as it did back in the day which is impressive with the spoiling of digital technology since. The track Gorelust opens things up and has the senses drooling with its towering vicious rhythms driving that delicious raptorial bass of Chevrier and the scorching imagination and flesh searing sonics of the guitar from Fournier, their union irresistible as they twist and damage the synapses. The vocals of Beaulieu are unreservedly intimidating and stand as one of the most formidable when placed in the company of other great malicious vocalists which graced the genre then and since.

As tracks like the spiteful Abhorence Beyond Repugnance and rabid Sclerosed Brain Eater infest, the album declares itself as still a measure new bands should become acquainted with when looking for an inventive yet debilitating presence. It is impossible not to feel a little saddened that the band never managed to remain intact, the sounds and might which may have come our way, but with the proposed Gorelust release of next year excitement reigns over the past.

For any genre fan yet to be touched by Gorelust, being churned up and molested by the nasty malevolence provided by the title track and Indigestible Human Remains, let alone the cell invading venom of Anthropophagist, is going to not only be an well overdue surprise but a primal devastating treat which will shape their tastes and preferences. Reign of Lunacy is one of the true death metal classics and a must have for all genre and extreme metal fans. It is the time to become acquainted or reintroduced to one of the greats well in time for what will be their highly anticipated return.

https://www.facebook.com/gorelustband

Ring Master 03/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright