UMA COMPILATION 2015

PICReputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It is time for the Underground Metal Alliance (UMA) compilation of some of the best underground metal bands in Italian, and once again UMA Compilation 2015 awakens ears and attention to a host of highly accomplished and thrilling encounters. With a line-up selected by fans and the UMA jury, which included members of Exilia, Sadist, Nanowar as well as managers of studios and festivals, plus other bands already part of the selected UMA roster, the album is an eclectic treat which is all the more sweeter through its availability as a free download for all.

It kicks off with Milan symphonic folk metallers Atlas Pain and their track Each Uisge, a rampant canter of rolling feisty rhythms and raw folk tenacity. It roars and bristles with magnetic persuasion lifting its potency further when allowing a Celtic influence to flirt with the aggressive heart of the excellent starter. It is a fine opening continued by Avoral, epic metallers from the same city, and the dramatic War Is Not Over. With nagging riffs, enjoyably theatrical vocals, and muscle-bound rhythms, the track is an attention grabbing bellow which even ears not quite enamoured with their seed genre can find plenty of resourceful and imaginative textures to enjoy and be involved in. In any large compilation you will always find some songs not quite fitting personal tastes but from start to finish it is fair to say that the compilation has little difficulty sparking a healthy appetite for the strengths and unique characters of all those involved.

Caelestis and Calico Jack are another example of the diversity across the release, the first a Naples duo creating provocative blends of post/progressive rock and shoegaze which immerse ears in captivating landscapes and the second pirate folk metallers from Milan who stomp over the senses and into the imagination with their busy and fiery adventures. The band’s songs are poles apart yet alongside each other, Ode Al Mare and House Of Jewelry make a highly satisfying union backed by the following punk folk metal of Evendim, their raucous temptation Whiskey On Fire an instinctive whipping up of energy and participation from those taking a swig of its rousing persuasion.

A web of nu and progressive metal cast by Pescara quintet Fake Heroes is next and quickly emerges as another keen favourite. The strong vocals in On The Hill are a mellow lure within skilfully conjured tempestuous sounds which busily twist and entice around them. Featuring Giacomo Castellano, the song is a compelling embrace of emotive and technical tempting, almost volatile at times though it is soon clear that GorganerA have that area cornered with their malevolent fusion of death and black metal. As shown by Veleno, The band embraces familiar inspirations yet though only one song, as it stalks and barbarously seduces ears there is an open variety of flavours and ideation ensuring the track stands out.

Away From My Fears from Edolo trio Hell’s Guardian is one of the songs which on first listen seem to lack the spark of others but with persistent listens begins revealing its eventful and increasingly enjoyable attributes, the vocals especially growing in stature and raw charm. It is a slow burn of persuasion, just like the following Falling Snow from avant-garde metallers Ideogram, but an increasingly impressing one. The latter’s offering from its first breath casts elegant melodies and evocative sounds in a masterful invitation, the track subsequently growing into an unpredictable and again persuasive offering as operatic and guttural growls bring their striking mix to an unrelenting maelstrom of musical enticement.

Como quartet Ignotum offer a slice of their enjoyable debut album Larvas Mortal God next, the atmospherically fiery and raucously trespassing Hecatomb Memories an intrusive and compelling insurgence of the band’s black/death enterprise. Its mighty incitement is matched by Kanseil and the excellent roar and devilment of their track Panevin, a song which leaps upon ears from its first breath inciting pleasure physical and emotional enjoyment from thereon in with its anthemic and melodic folk metal revelry.

Novara avant-garde metallers Locus Animæ is another band taking longer to get into, their startling sounds and minimalistic ambiences a pleasingly testing adventure with constant rewards ensuring their song, which also carries the band name, grows to be another welcome proposal over time. Similarly Insane Asylum from heavy rockers Mary Brain is a y less immediate tempting compared to other tracks but soon turns into a raucous highlight with its jagged riffs and predacious personality.

For personal appetite and ears, the album hits the sweet spot over the next handful of songs, starting with the excellent Mechanical God Creation and their slab of technical death metal brilliance, Shadow’s Falling. The song is a brutal beast of intensity and craft, a track making you stand up and pay attention with consummate ease. To be fair every song on the album does do that, though maybe few as commandingly as Milan quintet’s offering. It is followed by Lady Loneliness from Misteyes, the song a bewitching serenade of gothic metal led by a beauty clad caress of female vocals and keys. It gets darker and nastier over time but never loses its elegance and grace.

The outstanding rapper/masked guitarist Red Sky is next, his percussively lively and rhythmically compelling track I 7 Vizi Capitali, an undiluted temptation. The track is a quickstep of animated ideas and atmospheric shadows, a riveting jungle of stirring textures and shamanic tones kissed by the pipe seduction offered by guests Kanseil. Its enslaving persuasion makes way for Scum and their ferocious assault on the senses, Becoming Heavier. Thrash bred, punk infested, and woven with a host of metal essences, the song is a delicious and bracing onslaught, rich in craft and unbridled in fury, and quite thrilling.

Gallipoli heavy metallers Serial Vice provide a heftily flavoursome roar next with You Are Heroin, the song another inescapable anthem bellowing from within the album, whilst the blackened death metal fuelled Il Culto Della Pietra reveals its creators Veratrum to be a gripping and quickly intriguing prospect from Bergamo. Both songs are ripe with enterprise and craft, the latter of the two a broad expanse of textures within a mix of blistering hostility and alluring melodies.

The collection is brought to a close by a trio of tremendous creative outbursts, starting with Roma heavy metallers Whisperz and the rabid tempest of metal bait called Malicious Intent. Taken from their self-titled album, the track is a rugged and flirtatious lure of old school and modern metal, a rousing of attention and energy which the following Winterage takes on its own bold journey with The Harmonic Passage, a symphonic power metal recruitment of body and emotions, and yet another inescapable anthem bursting out. If there is still anyone yet to find their feet listening to the release, there is no chance of remaining uninvolved as Wolfang brings it all to a storming end with their fiery riot of Wild Forest. It is symphonic folk metal let loose to ravish air and ears with unbridled passion and energy.

It is a fine end to an invigorating and exciting release. Italian metal is blooming right now and the UMA Compilation provides all the evidence whilst shaping up to be one of the best collections of artists to thrill ears in recent times.

You can get your copy of UMA COMPILATION 2015 as a free download HERE.

http://www.undergroundmetalalliance.com/
RingMaster 24/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ignotum – Larvas Mortal God

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Linking up with the Ronin Agency not so long ago, Italian black/death metallers Ignotum recently released debut album Larvas Mortal God and from a strong first impression, it is a release which grabs the imagination to impress more and more with every listen. On the surface the album is an enjoyable and accomplished proposition but it is with time that is reveals its own unique character of sound and creative textures to stand out from the crowd. Whether it will emerge as a major favourite is to be seen but already the album is a temptation enticing us back again and again.

The Como band was formed in 2011 by guitarist Fabio Guereschi and seemingly made swift and strong impressions on the local scene, widening that awareness and support with the release of a well-received self-titled EP in 2013. Recorded and released as last year closed its eyes, Larvas Mortal God is the first major nudge on the strongest spotlights from the band, and one easy to see making Ignotum a wider known and thought of incitement in the extreme metal scene.

The release starts with Through Madness Reminiscience and instantly is a sonic tirade on the senses, riffs and rhythms a merciless torrent but with that hostility tempered by spirally and instantly alluring grooves. The raw and coarsely expressive vocal squalls of Marco Capuzzo lay aggressively on ears but with just enough variety to make them adventurous and as magnetic as the tempestuous sounds brewing around him whilst the driving and evolving guitar enterprise of Guereschi and Luca Borghesi (no longer with the band), spins a captivating web matched by the formidable rhythmic collusion of bassist Stefano Zarantonello and drummer Federico Mascetti. As mentioned about the album, the song makes an appealing first touch on ears straight away but it is with time and attention that the nuances and at times less vocal invention reveals itself for greater reaction and pleasure.

COVER   The potent start continues with Soul’s Self Mutilation. Its atmospheric synth crafted opening is a stark contrast to the roar of its predecessor but it too it soon raging with aggression and passion. The repetitive nature of grooves and rhythms entice from within the sonic intensity swirling venomously around the landscape of the track, whilst again melodies and colourful creative hooks bring a refreshing and sparkling hue to the imposing storm. It is an inventive blend fuelling all the songs upon Larvas Mortal God but apart from at times a surface familiarity flowing over the release, it never smothers the individual definition and character of tracks like the following Inhale The Void and in turn The Circles’ Kiss. The first of the two immerses the senses in a blackened trespass and though it lacks the spark of its predecessors, imagination and craft ensures it is an evocative encounter before its successor uncages its own oppressive canvas of almost portentous sound and vocal snarling. It is the physical and emotive voracity which is missing in the first of the pair but back stoking the raging fire of the second and seemingly sparking greater toxicity in the sinew swung rhythms and scorching grooves veining the song.

Mary L. equally confronts the senses with a fiercer almost corrosive persuasion, one soaked in acidic sonic endeavour and provocative melodies. The song merges hostile and seductive scenery with a fluid and captivating prowess, flowing from one to the other and back again with ears enthralled. Despite its mighty offering though it is soon over shadowed by the outstanding Abyss, You Shine. The opening tangle of melodies and grooves around a contagious rhythmic tempting is enough to spark new hunger in the appetite. Again the band twist raw aggressive dexterity and intensity with mellow and entrancing seductions, one never overpowering the other and always creating a seamless passage of fascination and thorough enjoyment.

The album’s pinnacle is followed firstly by the more rabid but controlled turbulence and emotive mania of In Skinless Dream and then the atmospherically fiery and raucously trespassing Hecatomb Memories. The second of the pair is arguably the lightest on the album with an open progressive infectiousness which almost demands to be liked. Not quite carrying a poppy texture in its make-up but certainly, despite an increasing rhythmic and vocal ferocity to its climax, there is something more easily accessible to the track than in those before. Both songs ignite ears and thoughts masterfully before the closing Clown With Crown ensures the album leaves on another unhealthy and appealing slab of aural savagery and sonic venom, which you may not be blown away by but certainly will easily develop an increasing urge to explore more of, just as the album.

Produced by Luca Briccola, Larvas Mortal God is an impressive proper introduction to Ignotum, not a release to set a fire burning but easily potent enough to put the band on the map and given time to become a constant lure for repeat attention.

Larvas Mortal God is available now via Mentalchemy Records from most online stores

http://www.ignotum.it/   https://www.facebook.com/IgnotumItaly

RingMaster 12/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Voynich Code – Ignotum

The Voynich Code - Promo 2015

If there is such a thing as controlled bedlam then Ignotum from The Voynich Code is a thrilling example. It is a maelstrom of sounds and ideas delivered with an energy and imagination which swiftly has ears, thoughts, and passions recruited to the cause. The six-track release is the debut album from the Portuguese metallers who just formed last year, an immediate attention seeking and grabbing introduction to the talent of the exciting young Lisbon hailing quintet. There is a certain familiarity to the release it is fair to say, one bringing thoughts of other exponents of the fascinating sounds the band conjures, but more so an even greater freshness and potential suggesting the band will be and is forging their own imposing identity with their fusion of deathcore and technical/progressive metal with a healthy dose of grind and groove tenacity. It is a gem of a debut and one truly mouth-watering entrance by The Voynich Code.

It took band and album mere seconds to have these ears and imagination hooked as opener Antithesis, to a brewing haunting ambience, adds almost oriental like pokes of melodic discord. It is an immediately intriguing lure to which guitars add their similarly tempting touches before it all explodes in one intensive examination of the senses. Rich dark hearted vocal roars from Nelson Rebelo soon stamp their imposing authority on the now tempestuous body of the track, though that initial melodic bait is still using its seduction to fine effect. The guitars of Vinnie Mallet and André Afonso weave a magnetic net of carnivorous riffs and sonic imagination, gnawing and romancing ears over a tantalising percussive dance from drummer Nuno Cordeiro, a revelry and enterprise matching the provocative expression of keys and melodies. Twists clasp the storm of sound and inescapable malevolence grows in the vocal squalls, but it is the fluid and masterful mix of flavours and thick essences of varied genres which truly ignite thoughts and emotions, and a rather tasty bestial throat to the bass of Miguel Pires.

The following Amunet, The Decider instantly thrusts its creative jaws on the by now raw senses. An initial tide of covetous riffs and barbarous rhythms are soon veined by a similar melodic The Voynich Code - Ignotum - covercolouring to that which lit up its predecessor, as well as new variety to the vocal attack, guttural and swinish growls adding to the resourceful textures and fascination of the track. Maybe not quite as dramatically striking as the first but matching it in invention and riveting temptation, the track keeps the intensity boiling and greed for more growing, a hunger straight away fed by the outstanding voracity and mystique of The Others. Embracing an India bred melodic adventure within a groove infested swing of predacious incitement, the song flirts and savages with equal potency and simultaneous success. It is a transfixing and invigoratingly radiant abuse of a merger; imagine Veil of Maya, Mesuggah, The Faceless, and Scar Symmetry embroiled in a tempest spiced with some Korn and you get a feel of the third treat on Ignotum.

The industrial teased gentle provocative caress of instrumental MS408 allows a breath to be swallowed before Decoding of Life dishes out its own tapestry of viciously staggered riffs, rhythmic hostility, and a seriously contagious and enthralling technical swagger. This of course is all coated in vocal rancor and melodic enterprise. Those worldly spices of sound and imagination are never far from the landscape of any show, another Motherjane like seducing adding to the blistering turbulence.

Another tremendous peak and creative emprise within Ignotum makes way for yet one more, final track Acta Sancti bringing the album to an exhilarating close. Its respectful and eventful start is soon blustering with vocal rapacity and rhythmic rabidity, a ravaging matched by corrosive riffs and raw intensity. The opening smile of melodic charm will not go away though and immerses itself loudly in the caustic soundscape, sparking body and mind within every unpredictable step.

Ignotum is an exceptional introduction to The Voynich Code, an album which even as fingers tap out these words continues to seduce and impress further. Some parts will remind of more recognisable bands, artists the five-piece will soon be standing alongside in stature as they grow from this striking start it is easy to suspect and expect, but simply it is one of the most enjoyable and exciting extreme adventures to come along in recent times.

The self-released Ignotum is available from January 30th @ http://thevoynichcode.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thevoynichcode.com/

RingMaster 29/01/2015

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