Owl Company – Iris

Courting the richest essences of metal and heavy rock for a roar which resonates like an invigorating air clearing storm, Brazilian rockers Owl Company have just released their new album. A thirteen track anthemic holler, Iris has an eye on the intimate and worldly explored through sounds which are equally as broad as they are inwardly nurtured; it all resulting in a record which simply thrilled and impressed at every turn.

From São Paulo, the foundations for Owl Company began when vocalist Enrico Minelli and guitarist Felipe Ruiz began writing together, the pair soon bringing in drummer Thiago Biasoli. 2017 saw the release of debut album, Horizon, and the recruitment of guitarist Bruno Solera and bassist Fabio Yamamoto. A flame of attention upon the band was soon burning bright, Owl Company touring the US, and only intensified by the release of their single Pieces which led to them signing with Eclipse Records earlier this year. Now the band is poised to strike internationally with the release of the Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More) mixed and Paul Logus (Stone Sour, Pop Evil) mastered Iris.

It opens up with the breath-taking One Last Time. Instantly the great bearish growl of Minelli is melodically snarling in the hug of voracious riffs and tenacious rhythms. A break in its trespass brings spicy grooves and a magnetic swagger bred in a collusion of melodic metal and heavy hard rock. As each song proves, there is an array of flavours entangled in the band’s rousing sound, each spicing united in open craft and hearty endeavour.

It is a thumping start to the album more than backed by the following Boogie Man, the track unleashing its groove from the first second and never relinquishing its lusty grip thereon in. From the earthy grumble of the bass to the voracious enterprise of the guitars, the song is a masterfully animated incitement; Minelli’s tones the ringleader to its anthemic prowess as it grabbed best track honours.

Next up, Rise brings a calmer proposition but one just as earnest in its heart and captivating in its layered dynamics building small crescendos which erupt in emotive intensity. As with all tracks, there is drama in every note and syllable which compels attention, its successor, Antagonist, just one echo in that respect. The band’s new single, it initially badgers and harries the senses before twisting into a flirtatious trespass full of unpredictability turns and stirring imagination. In a clutch of seconds it can stalk and prey on ears and within another few hug its victim with melodic caresses as it proves itself another major peak within the album.

The previous and lead single from Iris is the next,  Shattered Dreams igniting ears and appetite with its own tapestry of styles and textures in an inviting web bordering battlefield of enterprise while Dawn of Days in turn provides a mellower but still fiery offering with Minelli imperial, in a Rasputin way, within the enthralling wiry net of grooves and melody cast by Ruiz and Solera. The big swinging beats of Biasoli as ever provide an imposingly arousing incitement as Yamamoto’s bass springs a sweet spot hitting groove to complete the track’s manipulative persuasion.

Through the big boned, contagious southern rock lined enticement of Broken Paradigm and the predacious emotionally strained lures of Disconnected, the album’s hand only tightens on praise and enjoyment while Forbidden Ground stirs another eddy of full pleasure with its deviously grooved, Clutch-esque bellow. All three hit the spot with the third another pinnacle in an encounter proving an addictive encounter.

The Other Side soon shows that Owl Company are just as adept at emotion woven balladry, the song a tantalising croon with a great mercurial character to its volatile landscape; one especially blossoming on the craft of bass and voice.  Maybe not as immediately striking as those before it, the track only grows by the listen rising to be another big moment within Iris.

The final trio of Shades, with its enlivening dynamics, the intimately reflecting Doors, and the impassioned Angel bring the release to a powerful and stirring close, the final track especially bewitching. Each adds a new shade to the creative palette of Iris and all as rousing in their singularly individual ways as the earlier vociferous anthems.

Among a host of truly impressive and more importantly thrilling encounters to escape 2018, Iris ranks with the very best and Owl Company will soon have to deal with being under the biggest spotlights. Something you can only see them grabbing with eager hands.

Iris is out now through Eclipse Records across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 16/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deville – Pigs with Gods

With their fifth album Swedish outfit Deville has bred their heaviest, most intensive offering yet but without diminishing any of the instinctive grooving which has already earned the band a potent reputation amidst ever growing acclaim across its predecessors. The result, an encounter which demands attention whilst taking the band’s rousing sound to a whole new level.

Hailing from Malmö, the quartet was formed in 2004 casting a stoner bred sound initially which has gradually evolved over time. Certainly with the band’s last album, Make it belong to us, Deville moved towards a more metal meets heavy rock nurtured exploration which now Pigs with Gods has taken by the throat by clearly embracing their new metal inspired inclinations. The band prior to release admitted that “When we first started writing music for a new album it became evident to all of us that we were quite tired of the traditional doom/stoner genre…It soon became clear that more Metal was what we all wanted! Thus the album was given a very metal feeling…” That deliberate move though has come with an organic evolution, nothing about the tracks within Pigs with Gods feeling forced or manufactured.

The foursome of Andreas Bengtsson, Martin Fässberg, Andreas Wulkan, and Martin Nobel immediately reveal their muscular prowess with the opening throes of Lost Grounds, the album’s first track rubbing the senses with a sonic abrasion before erupting in a thunderous stroll driven by big scything rhythms. Just as powerful and magnetic, a vocal roar accentuates the captivation with the raw edge of riffs and scuzzy grooves only adding to the thick and infectious tempest of sound as a Torche like hue adds to the richness of the song.

The album’s title track follows, striding in on a rhythmic march with sonic nostrils flared and vocal potency to the fore as flaming grooves light the invasive trespass of sound. Scything beats continue to harry and bruise as grooves share their melodic liquor though wiry veins, it all adding up to a rousing roar sprung from all quarters before Gold Sealed Tomb uncages its own particular creative squall as melodically enthralling as it is virulently imposing. As with those around it, the song grows and twists without feeding expectations, unpredictability as rampant as the gale of enterprise at its heart.

For us the album’s best track is next, Cut It Loose an insatiable temptation of grooves and swinging rhythms loaded with viral contagion and rapacious endeavour. Like all songs it nags at ears whilst feeding them a cyclone of grooved enticement as heavy rock and groove metal meet in a bold collusion, a mixture just as ripe within the just as striking Lightbringer straight after. Less forceful than its predecessors, the track still makes for a towering encounter as its thick air smoulders and sonic cinders burn on the senses around melodic calms which simply seduce before track finds its tempestuousness once more.

Through the almost grungy tones and seriously catchy dynamics of the excellent Hell in the Water and the verging on barbarous but again openly infectious exploits of Wrecked, the album only strengthened its grip on ears and appetite while Acid Meadows provides a relative melodic calm in the storm moment which equally added to the compelling stature of Pigs with Gods. Though it is fair to say that each of their songs has a united sound which is pretty much specific to Deville, the trio of tracks alone show it comes with a strong palette of flavouring and imagination.

Dead Goon also has a less intrusive nature with its blues rock kissed sultriness, the track an instrumental intimation easy for ears to feast upon and the imagination to conjure from before Came For Nothing flexes its creative biceps and the following Medicated on a Concrete Road weaves a tapestry of melodic and fibrous dexterity. Both tracks build their temptations on opulent grooves and boldly spirited but precisely swung rhythms, exploring fresh ideas and imagination from their energetic cores.

Closing track In Reverse emerges from the orchestral close of its predecessor, its sonic radiance luring intrigue into the harmonic caress of vocals. It is a haunting shimmer which eventually breaks into a prowling cyclone of sound and ferocity as snappy as it is invasive before subsequently leaving on that sonic scintillation which brought it into view.

It is a riveting end to an album which increases its impressiveness by the play, declaring itself Deville’s finest moment yet with real ease.

Pigs with Gods is out now digitally and on CD and Ltd Ed vinyl via Fuzzorama Records @ https://eu.fuzzoramastore.com/en/cd-s/deville-pigs-with-gods-cd.html

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Pete RingMaster 15/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Enemy Of The Enemy – Vultures

Five years after luring attention with their debut album, Hellequin, French groove metallers Enemy Of The Enemy have returned with the first piece in a three part EP project “illustrating three separate universes. Each universe has its own aesthetic and influences, which represent three different faces of the same group. This triptych represents three symbolic birds: the Warrior Vulture, the Deadly Raven and the Reborn Phoenix.”

Containing four snarling confrontations, Vultures is first reflecting a universe themed around war, exploring the darkness that is human madness, rage, absurd stupidity and the grotesque. It is also a raw battlefield of sound embracing a host of styles and flavours to a groove cored trespass and a proposition which enthrals as it aggressively challenges.

The Paris hailing quartet strike first with This Is War, an opener which makes a low key but ear coaxing entrance before its muscle and creative armoury rears up. As the guitar of Nicolas “BnV” Benedetti send out grooved spirals the rhythmic antagonism of drummer Cesar “ZarC” Boishus and bassist Fabien “BouFa” Grunzweig prowls. It is a threat which swiftly unveils the scope of the band’s flavoursome sound, a web of styles and infectious intrusions aligning to Adrian “Kal” Cavalier’s throat raw attack. Quickly a magnetic affair, the track only increases its hold on attention as tribal roars and melodic enterprise collude with primal instincts.

Epitomising the entanglement of styles making up the band’s sound, the track is followed by the even more predatory and feral Unit 731. From voice to groove, rhythms to breath, the track is a carnivorous stalking come invasion of the senses but with moments of relative calm where clean vocals, slim guitar, and prowling rhythms intimate and threaten, twists which fester in the imagination of the listener and the creative maze they accentuate.

The final pair of Renegade and Clock You are for us the most potent moments of the release. The first crawls over the senses intruding with every riff and flesh scything beat subsequently casting a trespass of fascinating twists and turns employing a range of hardcore, rap, and dark metal. Its successor provides its own tapestry of flavours which unite and erupt in tempests of ravenous metal and emotional animosity.

As a whole Vultures is a highly enjoyable assailing but its second half simply declares Enemy Of The Enemy as one exciting proposition demanding attention.

Vultures is out now.

http://enemyoftheenemy.com/   https://www.facebook.com/enemyoftheenemy   https://twitter.com/EnemyOfTheE

Pete RingMaster 19/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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

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