Deference / Vanity – Condemned To Repeat EP

The Condemned To Repeat EP brings together two of the UK’s most promising, indeed already exciting metal prospects and across rousing ear gripping tracks shows why both are creating a real buzz.

The release sees South London metallers Deference and Southampton outfit Vanity provide two tracks each of their increasingly individual sounds. It is an encounter springing from the idea of a prospective collaboration between both bands which Deference members, vocalist Rob Lea and vocalist/guitarist Matt Dennison, offered forward late 2017. Vanity guitarist Luke Jervis explains, “We decided against creating a hybrid band between the two but wanted to focus more on the initial project of creating music as a collective.” The four tracks do see the vocalists of each band sharing vocal duties in each other’s offerings though to add to the open adventure of the release.

Deference provides the first pair of songs, starting things off with Sins. The band has seen their melodic metal constantly lure a host of new fans particularly from sharing stages with the likes of Bless The Fall, Miss May I, Fit For A King, Currents, Rolo Tomassi and Napoleon in recent times. Their first track initially coaxes ears with a suggestive melody, a calm but potent lure soon joined by the carnivorous textures of Dennison and Jonathan Prince’s guitars. Rhythms are less eager but resonate with every growl of Shaun Kirtland’s bass and the swinging attack of drummer Mike Hill, until it all boils over in a rousing roar. Even then there is a certain control to the eruption, a creative prowess which perfectly aligns to the growing vocal spread of enterprise. Drama soaks every note unveiled as too rich imagination, the track giving hints as to why the band has been compared to the likes of Architects and Northlane.

Their second track is just as compelling, Burial a voracious slab of discontent and creative fury strapped with hungry grooves and rapier thrusting rhythms. It is a sonic wrath tempered by an atmospheric sigh and turbulence interrupting melodic flames, a song never settling or allowing the listener to before its tempestuous roar and like its companion hits the spot right on but the second unleashes an especially inventive spleen impossible to resist.

It is the same with the two incitements from Vanity, a band which has already excited our appetites as many others through the Perspective//Dread and Perspective//Empathy EPs a couple of years or so back. They too have made their mark on the European live scene, playing with bands such as We Came As Romans, Chelsea Grin, Thy Art Is Murder, Black Tongue and I Killed The Prom Queen. Humane is first up from the quintet, emerging from an atmospheric mist with a rich wiring of grooves and a hellacious web of vocal ire. Swiftly the song expands its sonic lures and suggestive atmosphere, unpredictability joining volatility in the breath and heart of the increasingly enthralling trespass as all the while it preys on ears with growing dexterity, stalking the senses to share fear and pleasure.

Disillusioned is equally predatory as it completes the line-up, the track crawling over the listener with carnal intent whilst equally providing a magnetic blend of vocal adventure and melodic intimation. Again, the invasion never follows expectations, every second and breath bringing fresh challenge borne of real imagination to arouse and captivate.

Condemned To Repeat is an outstanding incursion from two bands which so far are only growing more striking and thrilling by the release and declaring UK metal is in exciting hands.

The Condemned To Repeat EP is available now.

Pete RingMaster 30/04/2019

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Arizona – The Hunter, The Gatherer


As The Hunter, The Gatherer EP from UK post hardcore antagonists Arizona roars over and blisters the senses; it is hard not to be excited by the raw and potent potential raging through the band’s impressive debut. It swiftly suggests the prospects and future of the band is more than worth paying close attention to. The four track release brawls and seduces with tempestuous charm and skill, and though it does not make a startling alternative to the best of the genre, there are ear catching twists and an impressive inventiveness at the heart of songs putting the Essex quintet firmly on the radar.

Since forming in 2011, Arizona has been increasingly drawing interest and attention. Their early singles found good coverage with the likes of BC Introducing in Essex, whilst the band has consistently impressed and garnered praise live as they shared stages with the likes of Fathoms, Napoleon, and I Killed The Prom Queen. Now their debut release is unleashed to wake up stronger national awareness, and it is hard to see The Hunter, The Gatherer falling short on its aims. Recorded with Empress AD’s Alex Loring, the EP is according to the band just the beginning of a major assault and creative outpouring from Arizona, vocalist Jacob Scroggs-Parris saying on the eve of the new release, “the next year is hopefully going to be a busy one for us.”, continuing with “We are well into writing our full length debut, and I don’t think we will stop until that has been torn apart and meticulously analysed from every angle.

Opener Black Hart instantly launches at ears and senses with a formidable wall of bruising rhythms and voracious riffery. Within the imposing tempest though, a brooding bass tone alongside flavoursome spicy grooves twist and flirt EP ART FINAL pngwith the imagination. It is a thick and immediately enticing proposition which only accentuates its lure with the impressive vocal squalls of Scroggs-Parris, backed by the band. The track is a predator, an encounter which stalks and abrases with controlled energy and fearsome intensity yet is unafraid to spin a web of creative tenacity through the guitars of Brad Laurence and Benjamin Wyckes to fully intrigue and engage the imagination.

The outstanding start is followed by the similarly dramatic and corrosive form of The Hunted. Driven by the antagonistic beats of drummer George Southernwood and venomously throated tones of Jordan Swan’s bass, the track holds a similar structure and hostility to its predecessor but infuses it with a tantalising melodic elegance and a great display of vocal variety, nothing major but an expression drenched delivery which flows as aggressively and voraciously as the sounds around it. It is a thunderous and at times truly vicious provocation, and a skilled and gripping continuation of the release’s imposing entrance.

The Gathering comes next, merging tantalising melodic coaxing with a tempestuous storm of intensity and raw aggression. It is a threatening and demanding incitement on the senses, yet with acidic charm veining the melodies entwining the intimidation it is a bewitching if uncomfortable proposition. Though as it proceeds, the song lacks the spark of those before it, it flourishes with again great variety to the hostile toning of vocals and sonic imagination to the track’s impassioned landscape.

Closing with Preacher, another stalking of rhythmic and creative voracity, the EP leaves a heavily satisfied appetite and pleasure in its wake. The final track strides with a volatile air and ferocity, riffs and breakdowns as menacing and delicious, and temperament as adversarial as it gets on the EP for a striking and gripping finale to a fine encounter.

Though The Hunter, The Gatherer ultimately is not stretching boundaries for post hardcore, there is plenty within it which begs to differ and suggest that it is only a matter of time, if they realise their potential, before Arizona do make that truly dramatic statement. Right now with a rather excellent debut, they show themselves to be one of the biggest exciting bands to come forth this year.

The Hunter, The Gatherer EP is self-released 7:00 PM BST on October 20th as free download exclusively @

RingMaster 20/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Beyond Betrayal: Money Can’t Save You Now EP

Barbaric and venomously twisting the new Money Can’t Save You Now EP from UK melodic metalcore band Beyond Betrayal is a stirring and impressive brute which leaves one bulging with satisfaction and anticipating even greater things ahead. There have been plenty of emerging metalcore bands over recent months, many offering a melodic element, but the quintet from Barrow in Furness easily stand at the fore. Arguably the band has still to define and unleash their own uniquely distinctive breath but they already sound apart from and head most of the new bands which makes the future for them and us very exciting.

Formed in 2009, the band has worked hard to shape and evolve their heavy inciteful sound through live shows, relentless practice and their well received self titled debut EP a year later. 2011 saw the band with a line-up change and arguably a new focus and strength to their sound, the metalcore heart energised with elements of death and progressive metal brought with a sure and keen touch. To this there is a sharp melodic enterprise which wraps around the intensity with intelligence whilst the grooves which rear up at times are borne from the wanton side of infectious. Released August 27th, Money Can’t Save You Now is the thrilling evidence of the depth and power which has emerged within the music of Beyond Betrayal, the release a mighty step on their accelerated ascent. As mentioned one feels their sound is still in progress towards its full identity but still leaves one deeply impressed whilst setting a level for others to aim for.

The Shane Frisby (Bury Your Dead, The Ghost Inside) mastered release opens up with the November, a track which goes for the jugular with aggression and fine craft. Within moments riffs are stripping and scarring flesh with expert sonic artistry whilst the vocals of Vinnie Dickinson seize ears to take them through a storm of guttural spite and sprawling serpentine malice. Driven by a sadistically manipulative groove the track is a maelstrom of energies and rhythms which only ignites the fullest fires. The guitars of Tom Fisher and Scott Shields are perpetually shifting the presence of the song, assaulting the senses with tight vindictive riffs or taunting them with insatiable and golden melodies. The song is an outstanding start elevated into something extra special by the seamless and unexpected progressive aside. Dropping into a tingling caustic whisper the track gives one time to step back and take it all in before surging back with intent and power for a towering climax.

With a distant drum n bass kiss to herald its presence the following Scott’s Got A Time Machine (He Told Me Tomorrow) crawls all over the senses and licking its lips over the onslaught and violation to be delivered. As with the opener the beats of drummer Jake Newton are crippling at the very least whilst bassist Arron Twinney drools rhythms like a ravenous not to be denied predator. As the track expands its grip and flexes muscles it whips up niggling persistent grooves to swarm around the corrupting tempest of undulating riffs and consistently shifting dynamics. The track is outstanding and asks for many returns to take in all on offer, though that can be applied to most of the five songs.

The following Tear Me Apart has a progressive soundscape and offers an air of Bullet For My Valentine to its sound whilst its successor What Lies Inside strikes with a violent purpose and incendiary melodic imagination. The second of the pair scampers all over the senses with intricate craft and disorientating intensity to again leave one unprepared and satisfied at the multi directional turns of the track. Neither song quite lives up to the first two tracks but still leave a deep and welcome mark in their wake, their sounds a sure pleasure for an fans of bands like I Killed The Prom Queen or Bring Me The Horizon.

The EP ends with the best song, the title track. It is a rampaging hungry bruising of energies which rages like an inferno at times and bewitches with dribbling melodic teases in other moments. It is a tremendous song which unveils the full expressive and inventive scope of the songwriting and accomplished skill of the band whilst triggering the imagination of what the band should and will create as they grow. The Money Can’t Save You Now EP is one of the best metalcore releases to be let loose this year and marks Beyond Betrayal as a band to stretch and take the genre into new and expansive places.

RingMaster 22/08/2012

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