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

The Top Twenty Metal/Rock releases which most excited The RingMaster Review in 2014

In a year of some seriously and gloriously anthemic, not forgetting creatively inspiring releases The RingMaster Review picks out twenty metal and heavy rock releases covered by the site which gave us that extra tingle of excitement in 2014.

 

EYE_CoverArt_Kallisti

01. Empty Yard Experiment – Kallisti

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/empty-yard-experiment-kallisti/

02. Escapethecult – All You want To

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/escape-the-cult-all-you-need-to/

03. The House Of Capricorn – Morning Star Rise

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/the-house-of-capricorn-morning-star-rise/

04. Hollow – Mordrake

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/hollow-mordrake/

05. Voyager – V

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/voyager-v/

06. Nexilva – Eschatologies

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/nexilva-eschatologies/

Arcade Messiah Album Cover

07. Arcade Messiah – Arcade Messiah

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/arcade-messiah-self-titled/

08. We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/we-all-die-laughing-thoughtscanning/

09. Goatcraft – The Blasphemer

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/goatcraft-the-blasphemer/

10. Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

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11. Void of Kings – Stand Against The Storm

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/void-of-kings-stand-against-the-storm/

12. No Sin Evades His Gaze – Age of Sedation

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/no-sin-evades-his-gaze-age-of-sedation/

13. Dioramic – Supra

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/dioramic-supra/

pigeon lake

14. Pigeon Lake – Tales of a Madman

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/pigeon-lake-tales-of-a-madman/

15. Imbroglio – The Struggle in Pursuit

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/imbroglio-the-struggle-in-pursuit/

16. ICOSA – The Skies are Ours

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/icosa-the-skies-are-ours-ep/

17. Mars Red Sky – Stranded In Arcadia

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/mars-red-sky-stranded-in-arcadia/

18. Anti Clone – Hands Sewn Together

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/anti-clone-hands-sewn-together/

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2

19. Johnny Wore Black – Walking Under water Parts 1 & 2

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater/

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

20. The Body Politic – Egressor

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/the-body-politic-egressor/

Hollow – Mordrake

Hollow - Press Photo

There are some debut albums which impress, some which raise a depth of excitement sparking a long term connection, and then there are some like Mordrake from Canadian death metallers Hollow which simply have you shouting feverishly from the rooftops. The release is an extraordinary maelstrom of startling invention, mouthwatering imagination, and enslaving hostility which simply blows thoughts and passions away. There has been talk of great things about the Montreal quartet from their live performances and previous release, the six track EP Cynoptic Eschaton, but it is fair to say we were not expecting something so devastatingly brilliant for our first introduction to the band.

Formed in 2009, Hollow has earned a fine reputation and potent presence across Québec and Ontario moving across their homeland through their live incitements which has seen them excel alongside the likes of Voïvod, Suffocation, Sword, Jungle Rot, Iwrestledabearonce, Blackguard, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Marduk, 1349, Tyr, Orphaned Land, and many many more. Cynoptic Eschaton drew further strong acclaim and attention with its release in 2010 which Mordrake is sure to emulate in much greater strength and expansion. Bringing new character to some of the tracks on the previous EP and plenty more new breath-taking encounters within its twelve song body, the Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope) produced, with Dan Lauzon (Entropy) and the band, album was recorded with an uncluttered ‘analogue’ like approach which brings a raw and honest dimension to the proposition allowing music and individual craft to paint a stunning fiercely textured adventure.

Opener Lament Configuration emerges upon a sonic prowl which is almost lumbering in its gait and thoroughly engrossing in its Album Cover - Hollow - Mordrake 2014 - smallsearching sonic exploration over the senses, the fingers and strings of guitarist Cadaver already capturing firm attention. Pungent rhythms add to the portentous tension brewing within the dramatic coaxing whilst orchestral melodies and harmonies soak the oppressive atmosphere lying thickly over the evolving scenery. Eventually the band step from the initial evocative smog with a surging stride of riffs and concussive beats from Blaac which vocalist Mott roars over with every muscle of his malevolence. It is an impossibly contagious charge which is just as compelling in its imaginative twists and enticements, not forgetting individual skills, as in its turbulent catchiness. The track is the thrilling declaration of things to come, a tempest of bewitching ingenuity and lethal aggression within a blackened pestilential beauty of sound and creative intent.

It is a staggering start which both Cryptic Howling and A New Life explosively reinforce. The first is a voracious torrent of rhythmic rabidity matched by an unbridled hunger in riffs and outstanding vocals, Mott gloriously unpredictable in his venomously corrosive varied delivery. Within the scourging onslaught, bassist Snow finds an even more intensive bestial voice from his strings to add to the hellacious web, a tone which is as at home sculpting a carnal texture to the vitriolic attack as it crafting deliciously haunting lures to the enthralling melodic hues which seduce robustly later in the track. The track is a severe examination of senses and psyche with more riveting rewards in its single body than most death metal bred albums offer across their full lengths, a treat repeated by its predecessor. Entwining ears in a climbing vine of sonic imagination which is soon under a tsunami of pungent antagonistic intensity and ravenous enterprise, the track adds to its surprises with contagious grooves which lead to a heavy metal endeavour beneath a symphonically seeded elegance. This is all around a heart which is predatory in the extreme and soaked in a simply irresistible rapacious appetite.

It should be noted that whatever description tracks are given here they only hint at the whole picture, so much going on and being sculpted that it is impossible to truly represent their brilliance and impossible to take all in on just a few encounters ensuring the album is a constantly giving proposition with every assault. The next up rampage of Landscape is instant proof, its ferocious vehemence in sound, vocals, and imagination a senses eroding, thought provoking ruin which wrongs foot with majestically flighted harmonies of keys casting seducing melodies. As ever it is just a twist in the soundscape of the song’s blisteringly shaped and exposed narrative, the track a purposeful sublimely designed meander that chains mind and soul from start to finish, whilst lorded over by the just as impressive vocal diversity of Mott, more of which coming later.

The pair of Iscariot and Sunriser throws senses and imagination into further exacting furies, both again intensive weaves of addictive hooks and toxic grooves upon exhaustingly adventurous and demanding canvases. As with every track on Mordrake, each is a distinct individual with the first finding a poetical grace in the keys within a uncompromising plague of voracity whilst Mott brings a brief but just as impressive clean twist to his vocals amidst another range of guttural and poisonously squalling growls. It is a glorious track which is followed by the just as staggering triumph of Sunriser, clean vocals given another outing whilst standing in a storm of demonic toxins from the raw throat of the frontman. The bass of Snow is also a real highlight in the foreboding drenched climatic air of the song, though to be fair to all the encounter is a scintillating blur of inventive animosity and imaginative pestilence for which all deserve the outmost credit.

     The emotively driven Vlad comes next, a track we assume inspired by a former band member from the band’s first days who passed away unexpectantly. With keys and violins an insatiable seduction, the song is another which rabidly suffocates as it inflames senses and emotions before making way for the provocative epidemic of sound and fascination that is Anomie, a track bringing orchestral flumes into an entanglement with heavy metal wantonness; keys, bass, and guitars conspirators in a savagely hued, magnetically cultured creative virus.

Generally in an album so incredibly gripping and awe striking there are going to be lulls or weaker moments but honestly Mordrake holds no such inventive languor, the following innovatory alchemy of both the chilled Snow where those cleaner tones of Mott are given extra time and the hypnotic maze of Birth, rhythmically and sonically as spellbinding as anything on the release. The same applies to closing tracks Hate and Death, two final incendiary expanses of fertile minds and musical ingenuity.

Mordrake is simply remarkable, one of the most promethean debuts in a long time and certainly within death metal this year, though Hollow have a sound and presence which you cannot confine to a single genre or singular mind-set. A brilliant album from a brilliant band, what more do you need to know?

The self-released Mordrake is available via http://hollowcanada.bandcamp.com/album/mordrake

http://hollowofficial.com/

10/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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