Khaidian – Penumbra

The release of the debut album from UK metallers Khaidian has been long time coming, seemingly expected and all geared up to be unleashed in 2016. But as ears and the passions are finally being infested, those patient many will feel it has been more than worth the wait and can assume they will soon be joined by tides of new hungrily impressed and lustful hearts. Penumbra is quite simply superb; a cauldron of imagination and intensity wrapped in a rainbow of melodic enterprise amidst a tempest of technical and multi-flavoured dexterity.

Listening to Penumbra, there is no surprise at the rising reputation and stature of the London based outfit; both recently given boost by a trio of lead tracks to the album. Weaving a web of rich intrigue and thick persuasion bred from a fusion of progressive and technical metal, the band’s sound is just as inventive and tempting with its alignment to eager strains of electronic cunning. It is something akin to a fusion of the voracious flavours and touch of Gojira, Sikth and The Browning with the ravenous/melodic adventuring of Tricore/An Entire Legion; even so Khaidian pull it all to a proposition which is as unapologetically unique as it is greedily captivating as Penumbra forcibly proves.

Founded in 2010 by guitarist/programmer John Tyrell (ex-Interlock), Khaidian found its first few years as much a difficult journey to find the right mix and line-up of people as an adventure in nurturing and breeding their vision and sound. In fact, the perfect mix of personnel only really appeared once drummer Paul Fowler (ex Dragnerve) was enlisted to join Tyrell, vocalist Andy Hutton (ex-Stoopi/Dragnerve), and bassist Joseph Perumal (Mortad/ex-Almamorta). It was Fowlers departure leading up to the original release date of Penumbra which he plays upon which played a big part in its delay it seems but the band has since found the equally striking and agile percussionist in Kris Perrin (Gravil, ex-One Fell Down, Faux Fighters), he completing the current line-up last year.

Now with everything firmly in place Penumbra has been unveiled and we for one can only suggest it is the first leap in a massive and surely certain ascent for the band into the broadest spotlights. The album opens with Pearls Before Swine and immediately had ears pricked and appetite keenly intrigued as sonic and electronic enticement colluded with already stirring rhythmic lures. Just as swiftly the equally potent and enticing vocals of Hutton step forward; his clean, calm yet emotive tones an alluring bridge between the band’s sides of physical trespass and suggestive melody, their indeed their technical hunger and electronic intimation. The track continues to stomp and dance with the senses, a mix of the familiar and boldly fresh creating a whole new vehicle for ears and imagination to ride with.

The striking start is only reinforced by the band’s outstanding new video/single Dominion. Its entrance is even more rapacious but almost instantly wears a portentous calm before its predacious instincts unite with inventive and somatic catchiness. Pure persuasion with increasing enslavement of the senses, the track embraces further hues resembling those cast by Voyager and Fear Factory as it twists and turns with relish but never breaking its fluidity or charm carrying rapacity.

The following Trigger The Landslide glides in on electronic shadows around a slim but copious melodic insinuation; all the while its air brewing an intensity and threat which turns into a senses harrying stroll. Still the menace is part anger, part seduction; the song never choosing sides even as its body and imagination boils across another devilish landscape of thought, emotion, and craft. As with all tracks some kind of participation is inevitable with the increasingly blossoming and thrilling encounter, a manipulation just as potent within next up Thrive and in turn Sense Of The Spherical. A Korn-esque scent pervades the first of the outstanding two, its carnivorous breath colluding with the skittish flirtation and bite of rhythms and the tantalising yet voracious almost rabid lures of guitars. Hutton again is a matching magnet in its midst as the track creatively and vocally writhes while its successor similarly draws dark and esurient strains of sound and intent with melodic and flirtatious enterprise to tempt, seduce, and infest ears and imagination in tandem with the body.

The album concludes with the pair of Evasion and Dramatic Professions Of Martyrdom, the band getting under the skin with relish in the first where again whiffs of Korn meets Fear Factory share its own inescapable  individuality, and through the second’s musical irritability, melodic and electronic espionage, and simply unique prowess. Both tracks enslaved as heartily and strenuously as those before, the bounce of bodies enough to suggest eager submission, the following lust unbridled confirmation.

No release is going to win over all but with its thick mix of flavours including at times spices of grunge, alternative metal and more alongside sheer invention, Penumbra is one which is going to conquer far more than most and with ease we suggest. Though in theory three years late it is one of the freshest most thrilling things heard here in a long time and Khaidian one of the most exciting propositions.

Penumbra is out now through Armalyte Industries; available @ https://armalyte.bandcamp.com/album/khaidian-penumbra

http://www.khaidian.com/   https://www.facebook.com/khaidianmusic/   https://twitter.com/khaidian

Pete RingMaster 30/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

GraVil – No More Forgiveness

Four years on from the release of their repeatedly acclaimed and imposingly impressive debut album Thoughts Of A Rising Sun, British metallers GraVil return with its successor No More Forgiveness. Not that the band has been away, becoming an increasingly potent force with a live presence alone which demands new attention each and every time. The years between though has seen the London based outfit breed real maturity in their songwriting and sound as well as an anger fuelled aggression which takes no prisoners as it ignites the senses. There was next to nothing about that first full-length which left you feeling that the band could have majorly improved upon yet it has been blown out of the water by the creative might and raw intensity of No More Forgiveness.

Written and recorded over a 15 period, No More Forgiveness saw the band take a whole new approach to its creation compared to its predecessor. The majority of writing was done online and by telephone, the band employing cloud and home studio technology whist attacking the lyrical side in one intensive week. Talking about the new album vocalist/lyricist Grant Stacey said, “There is a massive sub-context of loss within the new album, with 2016 notably being a brutal year; however No More Forgiveness pulls in a lot of strength from negativity that all too often engulfs our society and ways of life. It’s time to make a stand and do what’s right… and this is us, doing things right.” It is a power and emotional turbulence which is immense within the release, the fuel to its uncompromising ire and intensity within a voraciously charged and crafted encounter leaving the listener exhausted and invigorated.

Produced by Dan Alba (Voices, Sarah Jezebel Deva), No More Forgiveness opens up with Detonate; a track instantly devouring ears with rapacious riffs and fierce rhythms. A quick breath taken after the first surge is followed by a senses enveloping tide of sonic trespass led by guitarists Tony Dando and Charlie Webster. Stacey is soon snarling in the midst of it all, drummer Perrin leaving mighty indents with his swings as the bass of Sparx matches the irritable tone of the vocals. Bound in imagination stoking grooves and an unpredictable array of hooks and twists, the track is a mightily stirring opening to the album setting down the benchmark No More Forgiveness rarely misses thereon in.

Following the introspective examination of the first, Are We Alive scours the feelings of losing control; defiance soaking its roar as a web of enterprise is spun by the guitars. Jagged grooves and spiky beats collude with the brooding tone of the bass, Dando’s melodic flames scorching their invasive union with suggestive intensity before the outstanding I Am The Blood spills its venomous contagion. As in all tracks, despite the open hostility there is an instinctively infectious air and endeavour which has the body rocking as hard as thoughts are evoked and provoked by its imposing words and emotions. Group vocals only add to its rousing presence and energy, the track a beast of an uprising in heart and inspiration.

Plagues, Thieves And Murderers is a predator of a song, slipping in on a sonic mist before prowling with discontent through ears with the antagonism of the bass and biting intent of the drums to the fore. Even when settled, the song stalks the senses with Stacey masterfully scowling as riffs add toxic animosity to the increasingly compelling trespass of the senses and emotions. It is hard to pick a favourite proposal amongst all ten but the disappointment loaded contemplation of the music scene comes swiftly to mind each time the question arises as too its successor Locate The Traitor. Like a warrior, the song stands bold and tall, bellowing in voice and energy as grooves swarm and flirt with the imagination while rhythms harry the senses. It too has the body rocking with zealous endeavour, the track prime GraVil in a whole new ball game in design and release.

Next up Choke In Silence is an unforgiving tide of aural intensity and emotive gall sharing adventure with a wealth of multi-flavoured textures and alluring melodic spices, the song as sultry and beguiling as it is barbarous, while Fractured, Divided is bewitchment full-stop. Featuring the striking vocal beauty and elegance of Metaprism’s Theresa Smith, the song blends Celtic/folkish spices with metal bad blood. It is drenched in raw emotion stemming from Stacey’s opening up the feelings he felt at the loss of his baby a few years back, the track sparking a thickly evocative and physical connection with thoughts and emotions even without initially knowing its background. On top, that union of contrasting vocals is simply irresistible as the track provides another peak in the lofty heights of the album.

New single Decommissioned steps forward next, the track initially hiding its musical vendetta behind melody nurtured smog before unleashing its rancorous tone and intensity like a fusion of Slipknot and Raging Speedhorn. Bred from the vitriol found in betrayal, there is no escaping the bitterness or galvanic potency of the track; its arousal of thoughts and attitude all have faced an unbridled stoking of pleasure which Forever Is A Prison keeps burning with its nagging riffs and biting beats alongside friction spilling vocals and melodic toxicity. Though at times the track does not quite match the heights of other songs within No More Forgiveness, it is the height of their prowess rather than its lacking which decides as again Dando exhilarates with his adventure and the band as a whole leaves a memorable invasion and heavy pleasure in its wake.

The release is closed up by One Eyed King which in only its first bundle of creative seconds has ears and appetite enthralled and even more intensively gripped as grooves sear and hooks pierce within a fiercely enjoyable barbarity of rhythmic vindictiveness and vocal conflict. It is an immense and thrilling not forgetting formidable end to an album which thrusts GraVil to the fore of the current metal scene. It was easy to think that after that mighty first album, GraVil had found a peak hard to massively improve upon; how wrong that thought was with No More Forgiveness leaving it and most other current releases engulfed in its wake.

No More Forgiveness is out now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/gravil/

Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

GraViL – Thoughts Of A Rising Sun

Gravil1

Having already raised a certain appetite for their immense and imaginative sound through previous EPs and the single Enemy Within, UK metallers GraViL have raised the bar for themselves and arguably extreme/melodic metal with the release of their strikingly impressive debut album Thoughts Of A Rising Sun. The self-released brute of enterprise and invention ignites if not a new realm for intense and evocative metal it certainly pushes and sculpts new corners and roads within the existing boundaries.

Having already found awareness through the pages of Kerrang, Terrorizer and Rock Sound, and potent radio play, the London quintet have risen to yet another plateau with Thoughts Of A Rising Sun. Recorded in the closing weeks of last year with acclaimed producer Dan Abela (Gallows, Bleed From Within, Voices, Silent Descent), the album infuses the widest range of metal flavours and essences to their melodic deathcore spine, emerging as unpredictable and as diverse a ravishing of the senses as you could wish for.

The first couple of tracks alone leave no doubt that the album is an immense and startling proposition, as well as suggesting that 3there is still plenty of depths for the band to explore ahead, a frightening and threatening thought to get excited about. Structurally Unsound steps forward on a lone melodic breeze, the bright inviting beckoning a devious lure as it leads the ear into the immediately exploding maelstrom of sound and intensity. The track roars with venom and cavernous strength before gnawing and chewing viciously upon the senses with rabid riffs, crisp rhythms and scowling vocal squalls from Grant Stacey. As the knees buckle under the extreme assault, the band breaks into a breath-taking melodic aside with clean vocal harmonies to lap up with greed. The progressive toned tease is a mere breath in the control regaining fury but then reappears again with the guitars of Tony Dando and Andy Slade parading a skilled and expressive fire of sonic and melodic enslavement for the passions. Throughout the drums of Conor Harkness cage and punish the senses without diminishing the potency of the seduction also at play whilst the bass of Nathan Lamb prowls within its own shadows to add further depth, even if its presence is a little lost in the production and needing concentrated focus to fully feel its compelling breath.

The following Enemy Within, the first single form the album, opens with a rain of electro rock and industrial enticement as its stretches its sinews to their fullest limits, their final positioning the canvas for a technical ear plundering carved from heavy sabre like persistent strokes and a brewing carnivorous intensity. As its exposes more of its inciting landscape there is a merger of sounds which plays like a storm of The Browning, In Flames, and Meshuggah yet stands alone from all three and any other reference you care to throw at it.

The stunning start to the album is easily continued through the offensive savagery of Beyond Reprieve, a track which even with its bestial hunger is not short of irresistible grooves, addictive riffs, and blistering caustic vocals to capture the imagination. Again the sonic intrigue and invention of the guitars is magnetic and the bass finding better clarity in the mix a rapacious intimidation alongside the outstanding stick abuse of Harkness.

The next up treat, The Wanderer unveils an exhausting soundscape of rabid energy and malevolence all matched and tempered by the thrilling vocal harmonies backing up the richly pleasing harsh lead vocals. As upon every song the fusion and thought of the contrasting aspects is inspired and outstandingly realised, their mutual qualities and temptations given full rein to flow and make the most dramatic persuasions whilst working perfectly alongside every other stirring intense facet.

From Something Worth Chasing with its great key led intro, through the violently emotive title track and the barbarous song The Struggle, to the enthralling Bottle Of Shadows with is constantly shifting battle lines, Thoughts Of A Rising Sun charges up the passions and pulse rate with intensive creativity and explosive imagination. Though arguably the first part of the album outshines the latter, the last of the songs just mentioned easily makes a scintillating and demanding claim for best song.

With the epic and excellent riff driving March Of The Titans closing up the album, it is impossible not to drool over GraViL and their future. On the evidence of Thoughts Of A Rising Sun expect a real classic from the band in the future whilst right now they have given up a possible contender for best of 2013.

http://www.gravilmetal.com.

9/10

RingMaster 02/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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