All At Sea – Systemized

It is fair to say that All At Sea are pissed off; driven by a rage and fury which makes no compromises for the injustices and crimes of modern society. It is an anger which escalates in their new EP and a sound which uses the fuel to create one seriously rousing and thrilling incitement. Fusing the raw and instinctive essences of hardcore and groove metal, the UK outfit roar and trespass with the combined irritability of a bear and the lithe prowess of a predatory pole dancer, a union ensuring that Systemized is much more than a mere attention grabbing proposition.

From England’s North East, All At Sea first hit out from quickly incited local success with the release of debut EP Divided in 2015. It was a potent nudge of national awareness which did not quite find the strength of success its visceral bellow warranted. It is hard to see Systemized not finding richer success devouring its presence, its voracious nature commanding and antagonistic voice a demanding trespass easy to embrace.

Opener Wake Work Repeat offers a few seconds of controlled coaxing before unleashing its emotional and physical blaze. In no time riffs and rhythms unite to badger the senses as vocalist Jack Tyreman brawls with a variety of snarling growls supported as potently by the just as irritable tones of Ross Adam Blackmore whose guitar alongside that of Scott Marks conjures tides of bracing and abrasing riffs. Like a furious mix of Rage Against The Machine and Converge, nu-metal and punk rock involved in the band’s instinctive fusion of animosity, the track breeds an infectious virulence as invasive as its sonic and vocal ire. Grooves continue to entwine and incite the listener, the rapier swings of drummer Tom Cox bone splintering as Josh Walker’s basslines crawl across the damage.

It is a thrilling creative ferocity more than matched within next up Consume. From its first breath grooves bait and trap the imagination and hips, the bruising of further predatory rhythms and the malice of vocal antipathy soon arising as the scent of a Bloodsimple joins  punk irritability as much CIV as it is High On Fire like. Stalking the senses with more ursine dexterity and rigour, the track is viral vindictiveness but itself slightly eclipsed by its successor in the shape of the new All At Sea single Gimme The Mic. Initially there is a similar holler and shape to its attack to the previous track but an essence soon woven into and consumed by the song’s own groove laden, spite fuelled stomp. There is a bluesy taint to that grooving which simmers rather than flames within the sonic fire and rhythmic battering but adds another great hue to the uncompromisingly intrusive and anthemic battle front of the encounter.

That bluesy toning is even richer within the grooved lattice of Life Value, the guitars spinning a deceptive web of invitation as their sonic dexterity sears and rhythms raid the senses. With the blend of vocals and their delivery as magnetically choleric as ever, the track is primal rock ‘n’ roll to lose inhibitions with; exhaustion and aroused argument ensured before Business Of Faith offers its own kind of raptorial rhythms and sonic bad blood. Vocals challenge and incite as riffs plunder and grooves share venomous yet captivating intoxication. Like a grizzly with the lustfully flirtatious moves of a feline, the track is a sly and artfully seductive vendetta of enmity bringing one gripping exhilarating encounter to a masterful conclusion.

The song is not as feral as others within Systemized but adds a just as fiercely enjoyable and blistering moment in its barbarously inventive and intensively charged tempest. If Systemized does not put All At Sea firmly on the biggest metal maps, attention succumbing to its unbridled storm, something will be seriously amiss.

Systemized is out now @ https://allatseauk.bandcamp.com/album/sytemised

https://www.facebook.com/AASNEUK/

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Church of Misery – And Then There Were None

COM-promo_RingMasterReview

As much as anticipation, there was plenty of extra intrigue involved leading to the release of And Then There Were None, the new album from Church of Misery. The sixth full-length from the Japan bred band, it is also the first since bassist and mastermind Tatsu Mikami was forced to assemble a new line-up a year after the unleashing of the 2013 album, Thy Kingdom Scum. It was an obstacle which has seemingly made little difference to the band as in And Then There Were None they have come up with one ferociously compelling provocation.

Another reason for that intrigue was that Mikami has linked up with musicians outside of his homeland for the first time; enlisting Blood Farmers guitarist Dave Szulkin, Earthride drummer Eric Little (ex-Internal Void) and Repulsion frontman (and former Cathedral bassist) Scott Carlson on vocals. It is easy to assume this was a challenge in itself in the creation of the album due to distances between members and indeed the bassist when talking about the album admitted, “It was a challenge because there was not much time to make this record—only two weeks,” going on to add, “One week for rehearsals and then one week to record all materials.” With Carlson providing vocals for an album for the first time in almost 30 years, it seems like it was a project pushing each member to their creative edge; an essence which has gone so me way to giving an extra spark and bite to the “blood-soaked trip through homicidal hell.”

Fuelled by the tales and bloody mayhem of killers both infamous and obscure, And Then There Were None opens up with The Hell Benders. Emerging from a viscerally sanguineous opening, funk spiced melodies quickly seduce the imagination as nagging rhythms rap the senses. It is a mellow and tantalising entrance which is soon spilling suggestively sultry grooves and incisive beats as Carlson’s growling delivery mixes it with the sweltering climate of doom/sludge bred heavy rock ‘n’ roll. The intoxicating invention of the guitars is invasive yet at times provides a mesmeric lure for a perpetually captivating frame to the barbarous lyrics with the bass of Mikami bridging the two with its heavily alluring tone and rapacious shadowing of voice and sonic enterprise.

COM-and_then_there_were_FRONT_RingMasterReviewThe gripping start is reinforced by the almost carnal resourcefulness and snarling nature of Make Them Die Slowly. Riffs immediately provide a tasty intrusion, seeming to relish their antagonistic presence within a web of sinister yet seductive grooves. With vocals across the band stalking the imagination too, the track reveals a punk infused attitude to its Crowbar meets High on Fire meets Earthride like trespass.

Doctor Death prowls ears and imagination next, inspiration coming from British killer Harold Shipman. As thoughts are reminded and provoked, guitars again spread a lattice of juicily enticing grooves aligned to forceful rhythms as Carlson shares the insidious deeds. Enthralling and increasingly irresistible, the sonically humid track makes way for the funkier revelry of River Demon, where bass and drums go on a rampage of addictive and incendiary rhythms. A slab of volatile and bruising groove bound devilment which enslaves appetite and energies from start to finish, the track is a vampiric treat leaving the body and senses exhausted with its blues soaked punk ‘n’ roll.

Through the muggier sonic climate of Confessions Of An Embittered Soul and southern soaked Suicide Journey, the album reveals more varied hues to colour its melodically toxic and addictive body. The first of the two has the imagination wound around its creeping grooves, they in turn winding around the senses as Carlson shares the song’s hellacious contents. In contrast, its brief successor is a warmer if sinister wash of mellow sound and intensity but a match in igniting the imagination and pushing it to explore its own interpretative adventure.

Bringing the album to a close is Murderfreak Blues, a song which crushes the senses yet within a breath or two becomes a stalking, seducing, and ravishing provocation of their weaknesses as, unsurprisingly, psyche twisting grooves and demanding rhythms leave, through murderous traits, their own lingering and welcome marks.

It is a mighty end to an album which grows with every listen, managing to seem even more antagonistic each time as it impresses in sound and craft. And Then There Were None is a blood encrusted groove fest and very easy to recommend.

And Then There Were None is out now via Rise Above Records @ http://www.riseaboverecords.com/shop/

http://www.churchofmisery.net/   https://www.facebook.com/churchofmiserydoom/

Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Witch – Shoulders Of Giants EP

KingWitch_RingMaster Review

It looks like there is new sorcery in town and it comes in the shape of King Witch and their rich and thickly captivating sound. An Edinburgh quartet which only formed last year, they have provided one tasty introduction to themselves with debut EP Shoulders Of Giants, a three track roar of seventies heavy metal and classic rock with a more than flavoursome lining of stoner/doom lit rock ‘n’ roll to its body. Since emerging, the band has lured comparisons to the varied likes of Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Mastodon, and High On Fire, to which we would suggest Mount Salem and Blood Ceremony in varying degrees, but whoever is offered as a clue King Witch and their EP provide one exciting prospect and success respectively.

Consisting of vocalist Laura Donnelly and guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, both formerly of Firebrand Super Rock, alongside bassist Simon Anger and drummer Tam Dickson, King Witch has taken little time to awaken keen appetites and support for their fiery music. It is no surprise with Shoulders Of Giants, aside a well-received single, as their opening bait for ears. It has a creatively accomplished body and thick imagination which only sparks the thought that if things are this good at the start what a thrilling horizon is surely before us with them.

KingWitch-EP-Front_RingMaster Review   The powder keg of sonic fire and heavy brew of classic intoxication opens with its title track, Shoulders of Giants an initial shimmer with instant intensity and drama that only grabs attention and imagination. Gilchrist is soon spinning a web of melodic intrigue as the swiftly impressive voice of Donnelly blossoms in sound and narrative. Straight away she is a focal point but through the strength of the flavours and craft surrounding her soon the song as a whole is in command again, the rhythms springing a mix of anthemic intimidation over which the guitar casts a tonic of grooves which at times finds a Skids like tang. The track is a mighty start to the EP, full of striking textures and enterprise that alone needs numerous plays to fully explore with increasing rewards.

Full Moon King comes next, immediately seducing with its warm melodies and exotic air. The heat is raised in no time as grooves and bass resonance collude in tenacious revelry within the crisply landing frame of Dickson’s beats. The temperature and roar of the song is equally lit by the soaring tones of Donnelly but tempered skilfully by the melodic calms and elegant breezes which drift across the track’s enticing landscape between its skilfully stretched out dynamic crescendos. As much as the opener had attention eager, its successor has the appetite drooling before departing for the final track to make its claim on the passions.

As the others, the epic adventure of Lucid needs little time to entangle ears and emotional involvement in its heavy romance and sultry seduction. Vocals and spicy swathes of guitar simply caress the passions as the climate warms and boils with every passing second. Donnelly again shows her striking prowess with every syllable and musically the band theirs across very pluck of a string and swing of a stick. The finale is breath-taking, a hex all on its own bringing a thrilling release to a mighty conclusion.

There is no doubt you will be hearing a lot more of and about King Witch over coming months and with increasing acclaim and ardour if the Shoulders Of Giants EP is a sign of things to come.

Shoulders Of Giants EP is out now @ https://kingwitchband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/kingwitch   http://www.kingwitch.com

Pete RingMaster 07/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hag – Fear Of Man

HAG_OCT_2015_RingMaster Review

Sucking ears, senses, and emotions into its tar thick tempest, Fear Of Man is an incitement hard not to get a little lustful over. The nine track primal roar of punk fuelled, noise lit sludge ‘n’ roll is the return of London based Hag, a trio which first gripped attention with their self-titled debut EP back in 2010. The past five years have seen the band on the backburner in regard to attention but things are ready to boil over as their striking first album begins crawling over the metal/heavy rock scene.

The trio of Ian Baigent (vocals/guitar), Robin Freeman (bass), and Tamas Kiss (drums), united again with Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar at South London’s Dropout Studios to record Fear Of Man. The result is a dirty and sonically corrosive slab of instinctive rock ‘n’ roll with persistently salacious riffs, nastily bred rhythms, and cantankerously snarled vocals. Getting its subsequent release via the newly formed DNAWOT Records, the album is insatiable virulence; a gut twisting, psyche bending contagion which leaves ears and appetite very greedy.

art_RingMaster Review     The album’s title track starts the thrilling violation, its lumbering body prowling the senses initially as guitar and bass spread intrusive riffs backed by the hefty swipes of Kiss. Almost deceptively the song is soon enveloping the listener, vocals fusing melody and aggression as they lead the swarm of gnarly sound and invasive shadows. Even more invasive as the album proceeds, Fear of Man is like a cauldron seeded in Melvins, High On Fire, Pigs, and The Great Sabatini but becoming more distinct in character and individuality with every raw trespass offered.

As potent as the opener is, it is soon eclipsed by the outstanding Kingdom O. The track instantly showers ears in a barrage of addictive riffs and barracking beats entwined with catchy enterprise and a juicy sonic hook that seems to linger even as the rawer treats within the song have their say. It is gripping and addictive tempting that just gets more busy and tenacious with every thumping rhythm and punkish expulsion within the winy stoner-esque climate.

Rainbow Dust has body and soul snagged by its first wall of noise and enslaved with the swift web of sonic imagination which nets ears and the dark corners of song and voice soon after whilst Trauma Yauma provides a bedlamic provocation bulging with feverish sonic rabidity and knee buckling rhythms. Both tracks twist and turn within their core intents, the second especially riveting as the bass grumbles with craft and imaginative expression whilst prowling the ravenous tempest of guitar and confrontational vocal. The track is a major highlight amongst many and quickly matched by the anthemic nagging of Low. Like The Fat Dukes Of Fuck meets Sofy Major, the heavy rocker swings along with creative muscles to the fore but all the time it brews grooves which get right under the skin.

Up against the previous pair, Metal Detector Man struggles to escape their shadows yet still it unwinds a tapestry of binding grooves and a bracing collusion of riffs and rhythms that is easy to be eagerly entangled in with a want for more. To be fair, the track simply grows in the ear and over time stands as impressive as most before, and after it like the sonically dirty and predatory White Lion and after that the acidic rumble that is Beaten At Your Own Game. The first of the two is an intrusive infection of heavyweight, fire bred rock ‘n’ roll taking chunks out of the senses whilst laying deep rooting hooks into the passions like a Cenobite whilst its successor creates its own slightly cleaner but no less rapacious blaze of volatile sound and intensity lined with melodic imagination.

The album finishes with Wrong Bar, a final tsunami of brooding energy woven into winding sonic tendrils and crawling discontent shaped as rolling rhythms and anthemic persuasion. It is a masterful and invigorating end to a release which persistently leaves the inspiration to challenge the world in its wake.

Hag may have taken their time to back up their earlier EP but are back fiercer, bolder, and more relentlessly impressive in all aspects with Fear Of Man.

Fear Of Man is available from January 8th via DNAWOT Records @ https://hag-noise.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-man

https://www.facebook.com/HAG.LONDON   http://hagband.com/

Pete RingMaster 07/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Adrenechrome – Tales From Adrenechrome

Pic Credit Dave Saunders_

Pic Credit Dave Saunders_

Just like a blurring of reality and fantasy, the sound of Canadian metallers Adrenechrome is a muggy fusion of styles and flavours, and just like a drug addled climate, it provides an adventure which devours and permeates every pore of the senses and emotions. Taking their name from the a fictional drug in the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Adrenechrome cast a kaleidoscope of rigorous and virulent tempting as creatively progressive as it is thunderously rock ‘n’ roll, as predatory thrash bred as it is spatially grooved, and as imaginatively ravenous as it is simply seductive. The evidence is all there within new album Tales From Adrenechrome, a seven track encounter which from its classic comic like cover, created by Clownbaby and Tim Kehoe, through to its final suggestive note, is a compelling exploration of self experiences, fantasy, sci-fi, and classic literature.

Hailing from Ontario, Adrenechrome began in 2010, formed by veterans of the music scene with bands such as Gaswitch, Shimmy Rabbits, and The Doug Trucker Band in their histories. Debut EP Hideous Appetites emerged in 2012, inspirations from artists such as Pantera, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Mastodon, High on Fire, and Children of Bodom colouring a sound which soon lured strong support and attention to the release and equally the band’s adrenaline driven live presence which over the years has included playing with Corrosion of Conformity, Green Jelly, Ninjaspy, and Manahan. It is a reaction and success sure to be matched and overshadowed by Tales From Adrenechrome as it spreads its creative rabidity from hereon; with it the band ready to breach and incite richer and broader spotlights.

Album Cover - Adrenechrome - Tales From Adrenechrome _RingMaster Review   The album opens with A Familiar Face, an immediate tempting of bold rhythms and melodically spun sonic enterprise woven into a warm instrumentally led tapestry. The track swiftly captivates as its hooks and grooves seduce as the bass swings and drums badger, a union which only captures ears and imagination with vocal harmonies adding just one more flavoursome texture to the album’s initial temptation.

Things quickly get rugged and heavy as Lockstep storms in next; its thrash breeding is full rabid evidence as vocalist Chris Friesen rides his own riffs and the raw flames of fellow guitarist Tim Kehoe. As becomes the norm, the track is soon evolving within ears. The fury of more extreme metal hues collude with heavy Mastodon resembling grooves and a Torche likened web of flavours as the licking of thrash seeded and groove metal honed flames continues. It is riveting stuff, the body and emotions involved in the devilment as easily as pleasure and an appetite for more, which the song continues to offer with its persistently twisting proposal and Black Brubeck continues with its superb jazz lit imagination and progressively sculpted inventive waltz. As avant-garde as something from a Trepalium or a Pryapisme, and as heftily compelling rock ‘n’ roll as a predacious roar from an Anthrax or High on Fire, the song is irresistible; a fascination with mischief in its heart and fiery passion in its soul.

As all tracks, God Sized Shadow is nurtured with the same fire of intent and character, it even more rapaciously dirty and intrusive than its predecessor but with, greater degrees, the same kind of cosmic air and aggressive volatility, the blackened shades of the latter especially potent. Bewitching and intrusive, with the excellent dark grouchiness of Mike Van Dyk’s bass and the lethally swung beats of drummer Matt Copeland gripping, the track is a primal yet worldly blaze with the rawness of a Triggerman and dark seduction of a Faith No More.

The Heart and The Feather instantly incites ears and thoughts as clean vocals impress within a hug of spidery grooves and sonic expression, Friesen becoming even more compelling as he mixes up his delivery with dirtier tones and rasping expression. Musically the song matches him, again that bedlamic quality a perpetual enticement of unpredictability and highly persuasive surprises woven in to a mix of fierce and richly spiced metal and heavy rock styles. Hips are soon swinging and imagination entangled in the proposition, a success just as easily inspired by Hideous Appetites, a manic appearing and skilfully conjured smog of ferocious enterprise and dynamic devilment; a ravenous beast of a song with melodic and antagonistic weaponry.

Completed by the cauldron of warmth and hostility that is The Lead Elephant, a track which majestically merges melodic tempting, sonic trespasses, and cantankerous metal ‘n’ roll within its tenacious and often enjoyably bruising tempest, Tales From Adrenechrome is a thrilling beast. There is no moment where emotions and appetite are not inflamed and pleasure thicker than the grooves it unleashes.

Grabbing a dose of Adrenechrome is a no brainer as far as we are concerned, Tales From Adrenechrome the release declaring a new band to challenge if not quite now certainly ahead those ‘giants’ mentioned.

Tales From Adrenechrome is out now @ https://adrenechrome.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-adrenechrome and through most online stores.

http://adrenechrome.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Adrenechrome   https://twitter.com/adrenechrome

Pete RingMaster 28/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN8_RingMaster Review

There are some releases where it is difficult to imagine anyone not being gripped by their proposals and such a triumph is the new self-titled album from US metallers Curse of the North. It is a beast of instinctive and addictive virulence that blends the ripest essences of heavy and classic metal with the muscular invention of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which seems to hone in on personal tastes, taps into the psyche to discover its deepest pleasures and then unleashes them across eight rigorously rousing encounters. Quite simply it is one of the most invigorating albums this year to set ears and passions alight.

Born in Seattle, Curse of the North currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Christiaan Morris, former 3 Inches of Blood member Nick Cates on bass, and Burke Thomas of McKagan’s Loaded and Vendetta Red on drums. Formed in 2010, the band has toured and shared stages with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Eyehategod, Destruction, Death Angel, Lord Dying, Valient Thorr, Kadavar, The Shrine, and Gypsyhawk whilst 2011 saw the release of their Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch) produced first EP Revelations. A few line-up shuffles have also been part of the band’s growth which now unleashes Curse of the North: I. Produced by Morris and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust), with mastering undertaken by Ed Brooke, the album leaps on the listener from its first moment, the opening and every subsequent breath a roar of thick temptation.

Sleep While You Can is the first slab of persuasion, its start alone pure magnetism as Thomas creates a web of rhythmic arousal to set things in motion. Flames of guitar cross the compelling drum bait as the vocals of Morris spring their own enticing, a Glenn Danzig flavouring lining his tones and equally the shadows within the emerging tenacious metal canter of the track. Classic metal hues dance on ears too as a modern fusion of riffs and hook laded enterprise courts the imagination, the result being one terrific groove veined stomp.

COTN cover_RingMaster Review   It is a mighty start taken another level by Wheel of Swords, another track with an irresistible start to its creative alchemy. A great nagging from riffs as rhythms tumble vivaciously coaxes ears first, their lure replicated in varying tones as sterner grooves and muscular predation swiftly looms up with the again potent vocals of Morris at their helm. Like Black Tusk meets Baroness with a spicing of Sabbath and Clutch to it, the song has energy and pleasure in its hands with quick ease, handing over an exhausted and rapturous body to the following Into The Trees and its mellow climate around melodic prowess. Keys emotively caress as the guitars strokes the senses with elegant suggestiveness to match the melancholic voice of Morris. The first half of the song is wrapped in this mesmeric beauty, its second a rugged landscape of again incendiary rhythms amidst tangy classic metal/rock endeavour and striking vocals.

As good as everything is to this point, the best song on the album in The Tower eclipses it. Building up its intensity and hunger through early scythes of sound, the track quickly releases its handbrake and charges through ears like Therapy? on steroids. Its torrent of riffs and ravenous hooks storms the barricades like a transatlantic cousin to anything on Troublegum from the Northern Ireland trio, its contagiousness and vocal furor similar whilst creating its own uniquely irresistible tempest. The song is breath-taking, seemingly knowing where the personal sweet spot is and hitting it relentlessly, even when slipping into a dark theatre of sinister gothic intrigue.

Thomas is rhythmically imperious on the track, as everywhere to be fair, continuing his enslaving web of craft in The Electric Wall and especially the outstanding Blessed Burning. Morris and Cates are an equal incendiary match though as the first of the two tracks sees the band creating a High on Fire/Kyuss like mountain of creative tenacity and heavy rock ‘n’ roll seduction whilst its successor, from another hypnotic rampant rhythmic trap, strolls across Queens Of The Stone Age/ Mastodon toned terrain of sonic and vocal passion. The references given across all songs are mere colours in something distinctly Curse of the North, especially emphasized when as here the guitars spin a bluesy imagination as an intimate atmosphere soaks the song.

Oceans Rise lowers the intensity if not the emotive temperature next, well certainly for its opening moments as soon it too is a cauldron of thickly jabbing beats and sonic ferocity. Along its riveting length, the assaults and aggression ebbs and flows to fluid and powerful effect, the song an undulating roller coaster of a confrontation which, as the album, just gets richer and more imposingly enjoyable over time.

The album comes to an end through the sultry blues/surf rock seducing of Faceless Killers, a sonic and melodic bewitchment which too only blossoms to greater heights with every partaking of its sweltering, increasingly volcanic landscape. It is a stunning end to simply one of the major treats of 2015; a leviathan of rock ‘n’ roll to get seriously lustful over.

Curse of the North: I is out October 23rd via Static Tension Recordings.

https://www.facebook.com/curseofthenorth    http://www.curseofthenorth.com

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Zebras -The City Of Sun

Zebras_RingMaster Review

If you could sum up the rage and discontent burning through the world right now it would be in the same kind of angry roar to be found in The City Of Sun, the new album from US punk metallers Zebras. The release is a brawl on the senses, a violent incitement for the emotions, and simply the best thing to come out of the band and arguably hardcore fuelled metal this year.

There is no surprise to the potency and hostility drenching the release, Zebras’ self-titled debut album of 2012 and subsequent release and songs, have all been virulent animosity equipped with the ability to stir addictive tendencies through fearsome hooks, wild rhythms, and searching grooves. The City Of Sun is exactly the same but the trio of guitarist/vocalist Vincent Presley, keyboardist Lacey Smith, and drummer Shane Hochstetler have taken and stretched everything to new benchmark setting levels.

Again like the uncontrollable bastard son of Lard and Dead Kennedys, but with its own ever increasing identity, the Zebra sound instantly burns as opener Hollow Earth brings The City Of Sun to dynamic life. An initial spicily grained groove pierced by thick rhythmic jabs grips ears and attention first, that lure within a few breaths unleashing antagonistic tension and weight as riffs and swinging beats descend with great zeal around the raw tones of Presley. An already in place appetite for the band through past successes explodes with greed as the song continues to twist and rage, the trio spinning a lethal yet contagious web of violence and doom bred turbulence.

cover_RingMaster Review   It is an invigorating and addictive start continued by The Turning Of The Bones, where again the toxic invitation of grooves binds and enslaves as Hochstetler batters and Lacey’s keys stroke the senses. The repetitious nagging quality of riffs and grooves is also easily devoured manna, an essence which enhances every track upon the album as Presley’s ire shapes and colours the confrontational energy and heart of each incitement further like in the outstanding death shuffle of My Apocalypse and the corrosive majesty of The Bell. The first of these two bounces along throwing sonic spears and bone splitting beats out whilst ingraining the imagination with a hook lined groove carrying a Biafra and Co breeding. From one peak to another as its successor seamlessly escapes from its companion with its own hypnotically debilitating rancor and seriously catchy tirade of guitar and bass enterprise. Ministry at their corrosively niggling best comes to mind as the song continues to bind and scar but again the face and character of the song is all Zebras.

Baalbek is a rather similar tempest next, its body and lures closely matched to the previous track though with admittedly equal success, but in the only ‘issue’ with The City Of Sun there is certainly a kind of surface similarity to the tracks, and between others, which less bold and determined listeners might be fooled into thinking the album lacks strong variety. As The Garden swiftly shows it is not the case even though the template for songs is a constant seed. Expelling a thrash like urgency and tenacity, the song goes for the jugular straight away, uncaging more of the prime ravenous riffs and infesting grooves Zebras are already and set to be further acclaimed for. Swarming over the listener from every angle as vocals and drums create a hellacious and addictive beating, the track has ears ringing and emotions lusty, both more than ready for the barbarous tango of Levitation where punk and metal collude in engagingly oppressive conflict.

There is no let-up in the emotional fire and physical ferocity, or indeed the pleasure as firstly Solomon shares its exhaustive ill will and synth led exoticism and then Vitrified which comes forward with a sultry climate around a predacious turbulence of word, voice, and sound. The track is a spellbinding proposal, another fresh spark for the imagination with arguably the album’s most inventive and experimental song, and nectar for the instinctive desire for twisted tapestries of noise.

Closing with the sonic blaze and rhythmic grudge of Filled With Fire, Zebras leave the body shattered, senses drained, and emotions aflame. With only a wish for the synth craft of Lacey to be a little more forward in the overall production of the fabulous turmoil, Zebras has crafted another stunning release but more so their greatest triumph yet. They are a band come of creative age and with recent times seeing the band supporting the likes of Jello Biafra, Black Flag, Negative Approach, Melt Banana, High On Fire, Goatwhore, and Die Kreuzen, The City Of Sun offers inescapable reasons as to why Zebras should be spoken of in the same kind of acclaiming breath.

The City Of Sun is out now @ http://zebras.bandcamp.com/ digitally, on vinyl, and Ltd Ed CD.

https://www.facebook.com/zebraswisconsin

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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