Head On – Ubik

photo by Aggeliki Mourtzouchou

Cold and calculating yet atmospherically immersive and at times invitingly suffocating, the debut album from Greek outfit Head On is a sonic trespass of the senses which simply commands attention. It is an invasive confusion of noise skilfully and deliberately woven to entangle and distract, disturb and invade; one which ignited the imagination at virtually every turn.

Head On are a quartet from Athens which creates a post punk bred sound infested with the raw snarls of grunge and heavy expansive climates of post rock. In fact it is a sound which embraces the causticity and dark depths of many flavours for its physical and emotional dissonance. Ubik is the band’s first album; an introduction quite easy to see taking the band’s presence far beyond their local borders.

Produced by the band with Iraklis Vlachakis, Ubik swiftly takes hold of close attention with opener Entropy. The instrumental is a rousing invitation into the release immediately revealing the aural palette the band creates from; its drifting waves of post rock nurtured sound lapping a post punk hued landscape. In no time the imagination was keenly involved and even more so as the track slips into the nagging prowess of next up Σήψη (Decay). Riffs and dark grooves collude in its similar swells of sound, casting hooks for ears and appetite to be ensnared by as vocals prowl the murky intimation for something akin to a blend of Joy Division and Leitmotiv and quite addictive by its close.

Lexicon follows with its own arsenal of compelling textures and trespasses. As vocals again almost stalk proceedings, the bass uncages a delicious dark nagging on ears around which guitars spin a rapacious web of grooved bait. It is highly magnetic and even more so when the track twists into grunge lined punk rock, the captivation only more tempting in its second cycle before Dylarama springs its own punk infused challenge on ears and an already greedy appetite. The track is a lime pit of varied rock ‘n’ roll; scorching and eating away at the senses with its sonic tides and attitude, a PiL like glaze liquor in its tart toxicity.

The stark soundscape of Imipolex G is next, a track with a hint of Alien Sex Fiend to its dissonance and Sex Gang Children to its emotive character. Harsh and corrosive yet with a melancholic elegance which boldly simmers up at certain moments, the song grips ears with ease if not quite to the intensity of successor Life Seems Johnny Rotten. It’s Bauhaus seeded groove and spirals of guitar swiftly enthral, the subsequent vocal drone and melody infested post punk stroll elevating the song’s thick magnetism. A kaleidoscope of sounds and hues, the song is glorious expanding its lure as its tight senses encroaching tunnels of noise erupt into expansive sonic scenery.

Across the great irritant that is No Harm, a track which niggles and nags the senses into easy submission, and the rich rock ‘n’ roll of Broom of the System the album just accentuates its potency and variety in sound. Both embrace a mix of flavours with the second especially making a bold side step from post punk instincts with its heavy and classic rock spiced escapade though it still retains the steely repetitious instincts of that core genre in its depths.

Closing out the album is Scum Manifesto, a sonic scalding which boils from imposing calm into an acrimonious flood of noise and intent. It entices until it is ready to unleash its venom, which it does like pouring boiling oil on the senses. It is masterful end to an album which increasingly impressed play by play.

If not with Ubik, though the album has everything needed to lure rich praise, Head On is facing the prospect of real attention within the European rock scene. How their sound will evolve is intriguing and already keenly anticipated here but more of the striking same next time around will do very nicely too.

Ubik is available now digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://headongreece.bandcamp.com/album/ubik

Upcoming UK tour dates.

Jun 28 The Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Jun 29 New Cross Inn, New Cross

Jun 30 The Pipeline, Brighton

Jul 01 The Old England, Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/Head0n/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hellbent & Hammered – Death Rattle

Hellbent & Hammered Online Promo Shot

With far more deep rooted grooves than a wet weather race tyre and the torque to seriously send body and senses spinning, Death Rattle from UK metallers Hellbent & Hammered is a wake-up call for ears and attention to the band’s evolution and presence. Formed in 2004, the London quartet has certainly been through the usual obstacle bands come up against as almost perpetual loses and gains in the line-up create a turbulence to defeat most bands. Stability in that area has been found over the last three years or so and as the band’s outstanding and ferocious new EP reveals, Hellbent & Hammered has only relished in and flourished from that calm.

The band wears their inspirations on the sleeves of very note and viciously swinging groove it is fair to say but twists it into a rich flavour that appetites can only become greedy for. The accompanying press release cites Down, Lamb of God, and Clutch as a trio of references merging to fire up the band’s sound, and it really does sum up the potency and force of Death Rattle if not all the fury and raw enterprise fuelling each track on the encounter.

Since forming Hellbent & Hammered has been an acclaimed force on the live scene, blistering stages alongside the likes of Feed The Rhino, Godsmack, ANVIL, Godsized, Thunderhorse, Head-On, and Sons of Merrick along the way. Their groove metal has been an increasingly potent lure across the south of the UK from the start, but with the current line-up completed in 2011 when guitarist Junior Gouch linked up with vocalist Ryan Le Roux, bassist Dr. Jon Casey, and drummer Simon Bullock, the band has in a way shed a skin to their sound in creating an uncompromising and bordering on toxic strain of groove metal as evidenced powerfully by Death Rattle.

The EP’s title track opens up the seductive hostility, riffs and rhythms creating an imposing wall from its first breath before the first flirtatious groove entwines ears and appetite. There is Hellbent&H coverswagger not only to the increasingly tempting grooving but every mighty swing of Bullock, bassline of Casey, and the grizzled delivery of Le Roux. It is Pantera-esque in so many ways but with a blues toxin and the superb bait of Gouch’s inventive lures and craft, the song provides an invigorating freshness. The first predatory anthem of Death Rattle, the track stalks and overwhelms the passions with ease.

The gripping start is swiftly matched by Hung, Drawn & Quartered; the track showing a more merciful welcome for ears, if only by a hairs-breath, before turning out a relentless rapacious stride of abrasing riffs, crippling beats, and psyche searing grooves. As its predecessor, the song is inescapable in its anthemic tempting and the sonic binding of the imagination, whilst the searing solo of Gouch adds further toxic manna alongside a deliciously throaty stalking bassline which just lights the passions.

The gnarly yet beckoning tones of Le Roux hit the sweet spot too, and in third song All Consuming, which from another irresistible bass bred bait, launches a virulent and corrosive smog of torrential riffery and rhythmic slaughter, he unleashes a delivery of impressive grazing power and fury. The track itself is the most inventive on the release moving from a strong and appealing start into a fascinating cauldron of aggressive adventure and sonic spite.

The EP closes with Built That Way, a powerhouse of rhythmic muscle and sinew sculpted riffs roared over by Le Roux and the blazing enterprise of Gouch. It is an impassioned furnace of grooved causticity amidst a hurricane like energy, with plenty of inventive designs and melodic venom to ignite the imagination all over again.

The track is a tremendous end to a thoroughly thrilling release. There is a familiarity and originality to Death Rattle which aligns for the perfect recipe of grooved mayhem in undoubtedly one of our favourite propositions of the year. Hellbent & Hammered has found the spice to greater things going by their new incitement and the potential to sculpt plenty of major things ahead. A thunderous way to round off a great year of releases sent to us by Garry of SaN Pr, and we thank him for all his help and support, Death Rattle is a must for all groove and seriously anthemic metal fans

The Death Rattle EP is released on Monday 15th December through all digital stores.

http://www.hellbentandhammered.com/

RingMaster 11/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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HELLBENT & HAMMERED SERVE UP STUNNING NEW EP !

Hellbent & Hammered Online Promo Shot

After a prolonged battle with personnel changes, UK groove metallers Hellbent & Hammered’ nationally release their ‘Death Rattle’ EP on Monday 15th December through all stores.

With whiplash riffs, a Lamb Of God and Down honed groove and riot starting vocals from frontman Ryan Le Roux, you’ll want to be in Hellbent & Hammered’s gang. Established in 2004, Hellbent & Hammered have garnered a reputation as one of the South’s premier groove metal bands. However, the fiery foursome also possess a strong bluesy vigour that tips its hat to Clutch. Whatever category Hellbent & Hammered fall under, the scuzzy Londoners will without doubt grab your attention.

Throughout the band’s ten year history, Hellbent & Hammered have persevered through walk-outs, line-up changes and several unreleased EPs before finally re-inventing themselves with their forthcoming new EP “Death Rattle”. This record is their second with guitarist, Junior, who joined in 2011 after founding member Julien sought fairer climates somewhere in the South Pacific. Besides Le Roux and Junior, Dr. Jon Casey and Simon Bullock handle the band’s burly rhythm section, with Bullock hitting the tubs and Dr Jon supplying the bass.

Already known for their face-fracturing live performances, the band have ripped apart a series of UK venues, playing alongside everyone from Feed The Rhino, Godsmack, Canadian metallers ANVIL, through to Godsized, Thunderhorse (Raging Speedhorn & Viking Skull), Head-On, Sons of Merrick and StoneGhost (Snakebite).

The riff beasts’ forthcoming four track EP “Death Rattle” is released this December, and it’s a pedal to the metal, full throttle collection of power metal anthems. The EP’s name sake ‘Death Rattle’ melts your ear drums straight from the get-go with its blistering riffage handed to you by newcomer Junior Gouch, who’s aided and abated by Simon Bullock’s driving beats. The irrepressible ‘Hung, Drawn & Quartered’ just does not let up; imagine Pantera having a knife fight with Mastodon—its sheer brutality. While ‘All Consuming’ flaunts the bottom end groove of Bassist Dr Jon Casey to stunning effect and ‘Built That Way’ brings down the curtain on the record, there’ll be no doubt that your senses have been well and truly battered into oblivion. Hellbent & Hammered do what they say and say what they do. So come on in and join the party….

Hellbent & Hammered release ‘Death Rattle’ on Monday 15th December through all major online distribution platforms

Hellbent&H cover

http://hellbentandhammered.com/
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