Downpour – Self Titled

It has been waiting for its chance to explode on the metal scene for three years and now uncaged, the debut album from US outfit Downpour, is not going to let a little matter of a lengthy delay stop it making a very potent impact. Groove rich, rhythmically merciless, and built on individual craft which commands attention, the self-titled release is a declaration of creative power and intent.

Boston based, Downpour began as a project with no particular expectations and possibly aims except the simple desire to create music; indeed they were “instrumental jam nights among the members [which] offered a respite from real life – things like 9 to 5s, crumbling relationships, bills, and beyond. Their sessions were akin to therapy sessions and the music became increasingly heavy.” As things progressed drummer Derek Kerswill (Unearth) contacted Brian Fair former band mate in and vocalist for Shadows Fall. With its line-up completed by guitarist Matt LeBreton and bassist Pete Gelles, and itself a proposition which could not be denied, Downpour recorded this debut full-length in 2015. The quartet though decided to sit on it until the time was right and everything was in place for the album to be unveiled which thankfully is now.

Musically the album embraces a tapestry of metal bred flavours. Senses brutal groove metal could possibly be said to be at its heart yet in any given moment it can spring forth with progressive imagination or extreme metal predation. It swiftly proves an unpredictable and fluidly evolving encounter indeed which quite simply is metal at its most instinctive and style embracing best emerging with a voice openly individual to its creators.

The Serpent’s Tongue opens up the album, predatory riffs and Kerswill’s rapier swing to the fore but equally strands of citric endeavour entangle the trespass which in turn is accentuated by the familiar and ever magnetic tones of Fair and an increasingly antagonism in that rhythmic antipathy. Savage yet firmly galvanic, the track is superb; hues of bands like Pantera adding to an almost spiteful character but a grudge which invites deeper and greedier investigation as individual flair and prowess inspires a united enterprise.

It is an imagination though which is only broadened across the following Truth In Suffering, a song which immediately weaves a melodically crafted but volatility lined landscape of shadow cloaked intimation and portentousness. Physical and suggestive extremes collide and collude within its captivating body, vocals too aligning raw and melodic dexterity in an encounter which lyrically and emotionally reveals an intimacy to its roar.

Though you could apply certain names as reference to the pleasures with the album by these two tracks and successor Astral Projection there is no denying the distinct personality and endeavours of the Downpour sound and release. The third track has a relatively calmer and warmer presence than its predecessors but again there is an inherent volatility and tempestuousness which keeps expectations guessing and ears fascinated; that and the ever compelling imagination of songwriting and craft that breeds them.

Through the likes of darkly lit and siren-esque Still Waiting and the irritable enmity that is Without The Fear, the album simply continues beguiling and ravaging the senses. The first is pure seduction with Eastern hues to its adventure soaked landscape built upon rolling rhythms and intrigue casting guitar manipulation. It is superb, easily our favourite track within the album where virtually every note brings fresh mystery and adventure with that essence of danger and invasive reprisals, though neither are realised but always lurking. The second rises from its own inviting lure into a wiry entanglement of grooves, riffs, and voracity fuelled rhythms but a mercurial proposition tempered by the melodic toxins and harmonic caresses which rise up. Though eclipsed by the track before, it feels like the former’s dark side in many ways and was just as greedily devoured before Beautiful Nothing had the appetite licking its lips once more through its rancorous virulence and imagination embroiling exploits.

Mountain completes the release, another track which just stole ears and passions with ease. From the vocal prowess of Fair, the album surely one of his finest moments ever, through the rhythmic manipulation and suggestion of Gelles and Kerswill to the sonic weaving of LeBreton, the song, echoing the whole encounter, enthralled and aroused.

Anticipation for Downfall’s debut has been long and keen across media and fans alike and it is easy to expect all to feel the wait has been more than worthwhile, the album basically another of the year’s major highlights.

The Downpour album is out now via Noize in the Attic Records through all major digital platforms and @ https://downpourmetal.bandcamp.com/album/downpour

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Pete RingMaster 22/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

URNE – The Mountain Of Gold

From the ashes of one great thing rises another; certainly it looks that way listening to the new EP from UK metallers URNE. The Mountain Of Gold is the debut release from a band featuring ex- Hang The Bastard members in vocalist/bassist Joe Nally and guitarist Angus Neyra. From the demise of their previous acclaimed outfit, the pair formed URNE, pulling in the rhythmic prowess of drummer Rich Wiltshire to join them. Distinctly different in sound but with the same level of craft and imagination which made their previous band so potent, URNE across four fierce yet melodically magnetic tracks suggest they have the wares to be just as rich a proposition.

Produced by Architects and Sylosis guitarist Josh Middleton, The Mountain Of Gold allows new single Dust Atlas to kick things off. As the first beats of Wiltshire firmly rap the senses, a slow drawling groove emerges to entangle ears. Its sludgy air is soon courted by a livelier rhythmic taunting which in turn drives the subsequent heavy/groove metal trespass of the already compelling encounter. Neyra’s guitar dances on the imagination whilst carrying a more imposing threat in its breath, a trespass which in turn festers in the opening throes of Nally’s vocals. As the song, he soon shows diversity as mellower and harmonic hues emerge in his tones, a move bringing an even greater blend of flavours and increasing invention.

It is a thickly impressive start with a touch of bands such as Mastodon, Exodus, and The Sword to it though hues in something far more individual to URNE; a trait just as potent within the following creative drama of The Lady And The Devil. Essences of doom and occult metal join the more classic swing of the track as it gets its instinctive groove going alongside the enticing clean tones of Nally, the dark brooding in his bassline a great tempering to the fiery air of again a track which masterfully and imaginatively evolves.

The EP’s title track as good as stalks ears next with its rapacious riffs and rhythmic grumble speared by a groove which instantly inspires the body’s movements. There is punk-esque irritability to things at first, one dismissed by melodic and harmonic radiance but only to the wings to return as the enthralling cycle repeats. Neyra shares his prowess with as much dexterity as the song has in captivating ears and attention; a potency all three share with their individual and united enterprise.

The March Towards The Sun concludes the release, the song featuring Middleton within its tenacious and untimed but deviously designed rock ‘n’ roll. The track is breath raw and antagonistic but equally precisely sculpted and seductive as another mercurial landscape of varying and animated metal consumes ears.

The Mountain Of Gold is a striking and more importantly rousing introduction to URNE yet you cannot help thinking from its power and potential we have heard nothing yet which is soon clear as being just as exciting.

The Mountain Of Gold is out now available across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/urneband/   https://twitter.com/urneband

Pete RingMaster 15/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Naberus – Hollow

Around seven years after emerging upon the Australian Metal scene, Naberus released their debut album, The Lost Reveries. It was a well-received offering earning critical praise and confirming the Melbourne outfit’s potent presence within their national metal landscape. Now the quintet has unleashed its successor in the shape of the ravenously resourceful and compelling Hollow and it is fair to say the band has hit a whole new level.

The Lost Reveries was the band’s sound at the time at a pinnacle, one which was heavily influenced by melodic death and thrash metal, a mix honed over previous tracks and EPs since day one. Whilst Hollow also revels in those hues it reveals an embracing of a far broader template including essences of groove, nu, and technical metal. Everything about the new album is a growth from its predecessor, one which maybe will be a step too far for some original fans but will surely recruit a whole new tide of fresh appetites. At fourteen tracks it is a bulky proposal for sure which flirts with overstaying its time but one which pretty much constantly holds its strength and lure throughout before leaving with a bang.

Mixed by Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Architects, A Breach of Silence) and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (Architects, Periphery, Devin Townsend), Hollow launches at the listener with the outstanding Slaves. Immediately the guitars of Dan Ralph and Dante Thompson entangle ears with their sonic wires as the vocal snarl of James Ash harries ears. Djent spices infest the intensive blaze as other flavours collude in its rapacious web around the scything beats of Chris Sheppard and the predatory growl of Jordan Mitchell’s bass. Familiarity and individuality merge in its intensive roar, they all going to make a savagely raucous yet skilfully woven captivation.

The following Space To Breathe is just as swiftly imposing but inviting, taking a less invasive stance initially as its elements settle before uniting in its own ferocious trespass. Ash’s vocals again impress with their not vast but strong diversity within the emerging rich tapestry of sound. There are essences of bands like Spineshank and Static X to the track at times but equally it lusts after death and extreme metal textures with the same fervour and invention before the superb Split In Two uncages its own similarly but individually woven tempest. Harsh and melodic strains in both vocals and music make an easy union as the imagination in songwriting incites their drama, the track continuing the explosive success of the first pair ensuring that Hollow is already a riveting proposal.

Both Shadows and Webs nag the senses whilst seducing attention; the first a sonic harassment as adventurous as it is predatory with its successor, deceitfully calm at its start, a subsequent cauldron of fiercely simmering intensity with scalding eruptions and a persistently bubbling enterprise. True uniqueness could be said to be less potent within the two yet everything about them and all songs is as fresh and inventive as you could wish, the album’s title track further evidence. Its enmity is a harsh fury from the start, searing trespass and rhythmic lashing entangled in the sonic imagination of the guitars and the collage of vocal incitement. It makes for a dramatic and dynamic assault which just hits the spot like a sledge hammer.

Through the likes of the belligerently tenacious I Disappear, the corrosive reflection of The End and Seas Of Red with its almost feral tides and melodic fire, the album continues to delve into malice, aggression, and different degrees of variety in their individual characters. It is fair to say that the latter two of the three did not ignite the same energy of passion and acclaim as those previously within Hollow yet all easily enticed and pleasured before The Maze had ears lost to its creative course. Living up to its name, the thrilling song is a tangle of grooves and melodic vines within a formidable confrontation, each tunnelling through song and psyche alike.

My Favorite Memory similarly springs a spiralling union of endeavour within its dark catacomb but its mercurial exploration of emotion and sound quickly develops its own individual presence while Fading with far more savage jaws challenges and erupts upon the senses with enterprise and inventive dexterity, every member of the band creating a simultaneous threat and temptation within the track.

The album is closed up by firstly The Burrow and finally The Depths, both tracks leaving thick enticements in their wake for a swift return with the closing incitement within Hollow a labyrinth of irrepressible grooves and sonic wires through a lusty trespass of vocal and rhythmic animation. The track is another major moment within the release possibly its greatest following so many lofty peaks.

As a whole Hollow is a refreshing and rousing offering from a band deserving thick attention hereon in. Yes with so many tracks it might be a stretch in one go; a couple of times songs almost merging into each other in certain ways but each is an imagination and pleasure sparking assault in their own right and proving Naberus one exciting proposition.

Hollow is out now through Eclipse Records.

https://www.facebook.com/naberusband   https://twitter.com/NaberusOfficial

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deathflux – Execrated

With its members previously part of death metal outfit Cacodaemonic and one of our favourites in progressive metallers Akarusa Yami, there was certain anticipation in hearing the debut album from British metallers Deathflux and Execrated certainly rewards that intrigue and excitement. It is a raw and uncompromising trespass upon ears and senses quipped with rich enterprise the imagination quickly took to.

Formed in 2016 by Nottingham guitarist Tom Clarke, who as mentioned enlisted band mates from his former propositions, Deathflux creates a sound which cannot be precisely pinned down. Led by a rousing and enjoyable senses abusing dual vocal attack, the sextet entangle everything from death and heavy to technical and groove metal with plenty more flavouring involved. Their first year saw the Bludgeon, Consume, Transcend EP uncaged, the band’s second bringing the current line-up together with vocalist Adam Jones joining the raucous bellows of Patrick MacDonald. Now Deathflux is ready for full and hungry attention which it is very easy to expect to be crowding them through Execrated.

It is a release which from opener Forsaken which manages to grab ears and captivate as it trespasses the senses while hinting we are just in on the beginnings of even bigger and bolder things ahead. Maybe that means there is an open potential not quite realised within the album yet it just adds excitement for the future to that gained though the bracing assault of the release. The first track immediately infests the listener as the twin fury of the vocals joins the predacious lure of the guitars and instantly threatening touch of the rhythms.  Soon as it hits its imposing stride, the song winds its creatively malicious tendrils around ears, animosity matched in the individual and united antipathy of the vocalists. Often lurching along between its fevered intrusions as imagination fuels twists and turns, the track lays potent seeds for things to come.

The following Consume finds an even more predatory lilt to its voice and presence, extreme and melodic metal converging on ears and each other as again vocals challenge as they align their discontent. Dissonance soaks every note, syllable, and word; its dystopian coating breeding a conspiracy of enterprise and imagination within the track and subsequent album as proven by next up Devolution. Similarly woven yet individual in its character and rapacious attack, the song springs nu metal hues into its infestation of styles and the web of rancor woven from them. It too jabs and snaps as well as careers across the senses, the guitars alone weaving magnetic intrigue and adventure including a delicious groove as rhythms blossom in their predatory dynamics.

Toxin initially dances in ears with catchy intent, it’s pent up animosity and frustrations waiting to be subsequently unleashed through the riveting exploits of vocals and the persistently unpredictable landscape of the song. As much as all its predecessors hit the spot, the track truly grabbed our attention and appetite, that intimation of even richer and bolder layers to the band’s creativity a nagging pleasure.

Easily our favourite track, it is more than backed up by Bludgeon which simply lives up to its title as it accosts the listener but an assault built with an imagination and diversity of touch which at one point seems to embrace inspirations of a Slipknot or Mudvayne in other moments the likes of Fear Factory and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Next up Transcend is even more bullish and irritable, deathcore traits seeping venomously into its grooved trap set by the guitars, Clarke relishing the dynamics as he casts melodic dexterity into the thrilling mix before Exile brings the album to a vicious conclusion. It epitomises every aspect of the band’s sound; from their ferocious energy and nature to the creative touch and technical flair each member brings to the war.

Though first impression were potent, Execrated really flourishes over subsequent plays as each track reveals more of their individuality and invention which might have escaped notice first time around. Expect to be assaulted and richly pleasured by Deathflux’s first album and anticipate being addicted as its potential ignites in the future.

Execrated is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deathflux/   https://twitter.com/deathfluxband

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Godstone – Monument Of One

First impressions are not always the most accurate barometer to people and indeed bands but they can give a strong intimation when you are on to a good thing; a suggestion the debut EP from UK metallers Godstone strongly makes. Offering five tracks fuelled by a sound which is not maybe overly unique, the band’s music lying somewhere amongst the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, and Stone Sour, Monument Of One hits the spot with individual enterprise and a rousing breath.

From the south west of England, Godstone linked up with John Cornfield to record their first EP and from its first moments, Monument Of One makes for one magnetic proposition with its tapestries of ear entwining grooves, imagination stoking melodies, and spirit rousing muscle.

Over the Line starts things off, the song immediately setting the scene for the release with its rapacious air, imposing touch, and create weave; a delicious groove bursting with zeal from the initial coaxing upon a swinging gait. Guitarists John Kenward and Alex Goodrich quickly have attention keen as the punchy beats of Matt Davy hungrily collude with the dark grumble of Matthew Pascoe’s bass. Once the strong tones of vocalist James McDonald rise to add further lures, nicely backed by the melodic throat of Kenward, the song is in control of ears and body whilst providing a familiar yet certainly fresh slice of metal incitement.

The following Tear It All Apart offers its own striking invitation, again a guitar making the creative beckoning before the band unites in an infectious rumble as imposing as it is magnetic. With wiry grooves and a compelling conspiracy of hooks and twists, the song soon has ears firmly locked in feeding on its cosmopolitan melodies and aggressive dynamics. As suggested earlier, there is something familiar about this and other songs yet it has a character and style to its roar which sets the band apart from most.

A gentle almost melancholic caress brings next up The Way You Are into view, McDonald soon joining the inference of guitar and sombre twang of bass. The track’s eruption into a fiery trespass is fluid and resourceful though the song still retains a leash on its aggressiveness which only enhances its temptation. Potent first time around and even more compelling by the listen, much as the EP itself, the song adds another firm hand on ears and pleasure before Breathe crafts another rich moment within the release with its grunge/groove metal natured roar. Predacious yet seductive as its body and sound reveals a mercurial nature the song makes a strong play for best track.

Swiftly showing its candidacy too is final song Full Circle, it also a composed yet raucous holler of metal and heavy rock woven with grooved enterprise and melodic dexterity. It provides a strong and indeed fine end to a release announcing Godstone a band attention is bound to be good friends with. Uniqueness may still be in the brewing stage in the band’s sound but the potential is there and with encounters like Monument Of One the wait should be rather enjoyable.

Monument Of One is out now across all digital platforms and @ https://godstone.bandcamp.com/album/monument-of-one

https://www.facebook.com/godstoneofficial/    https://twitter.com/godstone_uk

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nale – Death, Skulls, Satan

Driven by infection loaded scowls, hungrily rousing sounds, and rock ‘n’ roll roars, Death, Skulls, Satan is one of those encounters you not only want but need to set the day swinging. The second album from Swedish outfit Nale, it is a rowdily explosive, physically manipulative stomp echoing by all accounts the band’s renowned live energy and prowess.

Formed in 2007, Stockholm hailing Nale released their self-titled debut EP that first year with its successor, From Shit to Salvation uncaged two years later. Critical acclaim met the band’s first album in 2012, Ghost Road Blues recorded with producer Lawrence Mackrory (F.K.Ü, Darkane). The Zombieland EP since has only pushed their growing reputation as too a potent live presence which has seen the band playing the likes of the Getaway Rock Festival, Sabaton Open Air Festival, and Wacken Open Air as well as headlining their own tour in India. Death, Skulls, Satan is Nale’s fusion of rock and metal in full holler and at a whole new level of adventure and persuasion, one of those encounters you just cannot tuck away and move away from.

Slither kicks things off, immediately gnawing and inflaming the senses with its instinctive swing and prowl. Voracious rock and grooved metal unite, riffs harrying and rhythms biting as the track rips through ears. There is a great Static X essence to the Pantera meets King Hiss like song, more so from the vocal contagion of Mathias Blom and a flavouring which pursues the appetite across the multi-hued release. The track continued to writhe and trespass, quickly getting under the skin and thereon worming itself deeper by the second.

The excellent start is forcibly backed by the raw and concussive antics of Filth, the track a predacious confrontation crawling across the senses with ill-intent in its devilry. A touch of Devildriver lines the beast, the song almost leering and drooling over the listener with its nagging riffs and salacious grooves; guitarist Tomas Åkvik laying down sonic pheromones. Its primal temptation moves over for the blues lilted, stoner dusted Dead Man’s Song. As its predecessors, it is a web of grooved and rhythmic tenacity merging the familiar with wholly fresh imagination and invention. It did feel the least original proposition within the album yet it certainly emerged as one of the most captivating.

The album’s title track is contagion, feral rock ‘n’ roll as irritable as it is virulent with Blom a rascal ringleader to the inescapable rhythmic swing of drummer Anders Ljung and the snarling mischievous bassline of Johan Risberg. With Åkvik similarly whipping up spirit and imagination, the track is superb leaving the body breathless and spirit elevated ready for the heavy weighted arousal cast by Exit. Ljung pounds the senses like there is no tomorrow but with purpose and craft whilst Risberg’s bass growls with carnivorous intent. Riffs in turn match its antipathy as Blom crawls over the damage caused; the united proposition another fiercely catchy intrusion with a tinge of Powerman 5000.

Blues and muscle strung hard rock colour the following No Escape, it another adrenaline driven, inventively woven escapade while for fifty odd seconds Drive power drills into the senses with punk discontent and grooved metal toxicity. It is a glorious assault just far too short though its lack of length is more than compensated by the ear entangling, groove twisting seduction of The Black. Dark and sinister, the track writhes over the listener fingering every weak spot until submission like a flirtatious grim reaper.

Hell’s Wrath has the body back bouncing within seconds after, rhythms and grooves alone enough to spark eager participation with Smasher after leading the imagination into dark contemplation. The first just barrels through ears with its voracious rock ‘n’ roll whilst the second takes a more considered attack weaving an array of flavours into its tapestry of temptation.

Final track Pigs mixes both assaults, flying at the senses at times and stalking ears in between but all the time teasing and inflaming an appetite for bruising rock ‘n’ roll. It is a fiery conclusion to an album which ok maybe lacks true uniqueness at times but excites ears and ignites the spirit from start to finish.

Death, Skulls, Satan is out now via Black Lodge.

http://www.naleband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/naleofficial/   https://twitter.com/naleofficial/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hampered – Asylum

Formed in 2013, French metallers Hampered have just uncaged their debut album and one attention grabbing beast it is. Maybe not the most unique in sound Asylum more than makes up for any familiarity with creative imagination and suggestive drama, attributes blossoming into one richly alluring and enjoyable proposal.

The Toulon quintet consists of vocalist Germinal “Germi” Leullier, guitarists Romain Sanchez and Guillaume Frendo, bassist Fares “Fafa” Petit, and drummer Stephane “Stef” Kokot, though upon Asylum Satanus is listed as swinging the rhythmic sticks. Nurtured in metalcore, their sound embraces an array of other flavours and metal bred textures in its roar and a first full length which takes a firm hold from its first breath.

Asylum is inspired by movies such as One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Shutter Island and relating a complex tale of a disillusioned hero finding himself plunged into the den of a psychiatric hospital, looking at “the grip of man by man, the mind on the body, for the conscience of our own freedom” where “the only “barriers” are the choices we make that make us believe we don’t have any

Opening with its French language spoken, scene setting Intro, the album soon has ears and appetite aroused as the following I’m Alive teases both with its opening initial sonic lure; rich bait soon spawning a rousing incitement of richly enticing grooves and rhythmic predation. Germi is soon in its midst with his similarly potent growls, captivation brewing by the second. The track mellows a touch as a great blend of his and Frendo’s calmer backing vocals collude but still retains its threatening character in sound and tone. Every hook and groove intensified the power and addictiveness of the track, each rhythmic swipe and grumble increasing its sonic paranoia superbly.

The excellent start only continues as The Project follows, its electronically hued entrance easily stirring keen attention before opening up into a rapacious almost carnivorous prowl. Metalcore meets groove metal as things intensify, many more strains of sound adding to the menace and imagination seizing trespass. Something akin to a fusion of Poison The Well, As I Lay Dying and Devildriver, the track gnaws and increasingly pleasures the senses, a success only escalating as the funkier throes of In My Jail tease and invade next. A beguiling web of styles and flavours, the track alone reveals the bold invention at the heart of Hampered and the expansive hunger in their sound which does not always get the chance to blossom as it might across the release. Here it is in full bloom, plaintive vocals and hungry sounds uniting in a ravenous assault of irritable yet severely infectious and predatory enterprise.

Stop That follows with a raw and cantankerous proposal but one just as adept at embracing melodic and harmonic twists as it questions and challenges while successor Conspiracy Theory launches a similarly choleric confrontation infused with citric melodic veins and driven by rhythmic rock ‘n’ roll. Both tracks hit the spot, the second especially sparking tenacious responses as the album continued to impress.

Through the bullish defiance of Each Other, where grooves just infest the psyche, and the raw emotional blaze of Avenge Your Memory, Hampered continue to explore their invention. Neither song quite matched the potency of those before them yet each created a tapestry of lyrical and musical drama which firmly held attention and richly satisfied before Blast (Bridge Refrain) entangled some tinges of heavy metal and strains of Avenged Sevenfold-esque catchiness into its lively swing. Again personal tastes were not quite as ignited as by the albums earlier tracks but were thickly involved in satisfaction from start to finish and especially in its great bedlamic finale.

Asylum concludes with The End, a track featuring Maxime Keller, vocalist with fellow countrymen Smash Hit Combo and Boars. The track is superb, a jungle of metal bred punk infused antagonism with tantalising melodic scenery bringing the album to a mighty close matching its tremendous start.

Asylum is a proposition which will inflame the passions of many and lure the attention of hordes more as it announces Hampered as another very promising and already rather striking proposition on the metal landscape.

Asylum is out now @ http://hampered.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hampered.official/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright