Scarnival – The Art Of Suffering


Scarnival_RingMaster Review

2012 saw the unveiling of German metallers Scarnival’s acclaimed self-titled debut EP, now three years on the Hannover quintet unleash their first album to realise some of the rich potential already shown to be fuelling their sound and confirm a growing reputation as one compelling protagonists of explosive metal. The Art Of Suffering is a brutal and sonically incendiary encounter, a fierce incitement wearing influences of bands like At The Gates, In Flames, and Soilwork like proud badges. It does ebb and flow in major and less impacting successes, its grip fluctuating across its irritable body, but from start to finish, it is one groove infested slab of savaging to enjoyably get the teeth into.

Scarnival was formed in 2009 by guitarists Christian Kähler (ex-Schierling) and Henna Deutsch (also Tredstone), bassist Gerrit Mohrmann (Cripper and ex-Schierling), and drummer Max Dietzmann (Tredstone and ex-Schierling) alongside vocalist Niklas Reimann. With Daniel Siebert (Inquiring Blood, ex-Steak for Breakfast) subsequently taking over the vocal persuasion three years later, the band made their first broad mark with their self-titled EP. It and the modern melodic death metal flowing through its veins swiftly grabbed fan and media attention with high praise quickly following. Live the band has also earned a potent reputation for their ferocious presence, shows with the likes of Arch Enemy, Debauchery, Rage, Tankard and Vader amongst many, helping brew an increasing spotlight upon the band. Now it is the turn of The Art Of Suffering to awaken fresh ears and appetites, and though proof that its creators are still exploring and getting to grip with finding open uniqueness, it is a definite wake-up call to the hellacious roar of Scarnival.

Scarnival - The Art O_RingMaster Review     The Art Of Suffering opens up with its title track. Portentous whispers fill ears first, quickly followed by an evocative caress of guitar. Those first few seconds are a potent prelude to the fury of sound poised to abruptly explode upon the senses, riffs scowling as harsh rhythms drive the confrontation and vocals. Already the song shows great and impressive diversity across the unbridled ravaging, the guitars also revealing their own variety of flavour and enterprise as a maelstrom of hostile and seductive tendencies quickly brew into one wholly magnetic incitement of corrosive metal, heavy rock, and addiction luring grooving.

The superb start continues through God Given, a track starting on a discord soaked splash of sound and almost as instantly turning into a primal predator. With no one else credited as additional vocalist, presumably every guttural growl, venomous squall, and grouchily clean tempting impressively comes from Siebert’s own raw throat across the album, and fair to say, as on the second track, he is as relentlessly gripping as the melodic imagination around him is emotively expressive. The song continues to merge a blend of varied metal into its appealing landscape before making way for the more brutish but no less infectious bellow of The Easy Solution. The energy of the track is again insatiable, as too the outstanding mix of vocals and jagged endeavour spilling from every guitar chord and spiteful beat. It is the nagging groove which takes most attention though, its catchy essence a rich lure in the tempest.

Hindsight steps forward next to offer a mellower, though still intimidating, proposal. Quickly it shows itself unable to ignite the same hungry reactions as its predecessors, familiarity and simply that so often indefinable spark which sets tracks ablaze missing from its otherwise strong body. It leaves ears and thoughts contented though, with Losing Identity stirring them up a little more through its barbarously grooved nagging and rhythmic punch bound in sonic rapacity. Musically it is enticing but vocally is where it wins, a hardcore essence encroaching some of the excellent diversity spilling from throat(s), though it too is left a touch pale by Watch Me. Featuring Soilwork vocalist Björn Strid, the track is heartily primal and sonically inflamed, its initial roar easily carrying ears and emotions into the clutches of its hostile stride. That alone hits the spot, but it is when the song twists into harmonic and vocally clean scenery around dancing hooks and spicy chords that it magnificently blossoms in to its greatest inimitable persuasion.

Both The Hunt and Rewind keep a freshly stirred appetite lively. The first succeeds through a fusion of insidious vocal toxicity and predacious grooves caged by skittish beats and invasive intensity, whilst its successor being part bestial and part flirtatious, stalks the senses with its inventive animus of sonic zeal and ravenous riffery. As all tracks varied hues entwine, slithers of thrash and death, black and melodic metal colluding here in a tapestry as destructive as it is enlivening. The pair thoroughly satisfies, a success shared by the classic metal infused Pathetic, though it has a more expectations feeding presence to leave it enjoyably pleasing if without causing any particular stir.

Eternal Salvation has the album back in top gear as soon as an intoxicating groove winds around ears in its first seconds, the masterful bait seeming to dictate the growing swing and contagious tempting of the excellent track. Many of the album’s songs do share certain melodies or elements of design, without any ill-effect on its potency, but this one stands bold as one of the most original and thrillingly unpredictable storms on the release. It borders mayhem at times, its fluidity pushing limits but everything just unites perfectly for one rancor soaked violation where even the sudden slip into melodic beauty only accentuates its might.

The Art Of Suffering comes to a close through firstly the gripping and barbaric drama of One Morning Left, another peak which is as emotionally cancerous as it is viciously unrelenting, and lastly Lies with its ruinous heart and tempestuously resourceful soundscape of scarring sound and ideation. The pair leaves the album on a lofty high, the latter emerging as the most courageously inventive and thus thrilling song on the release.

The Art Of Suffering is another striking step in the emergence of Scarnival, a release which impresses though also one it is easy to predict will be blown away by the band itself at some point ahead as they grow and mature further It is though a perpetually enjoyable and captivating savaging which only leaves a taste for band and more, a result not to be sniffed at for sure.

The Art Of Suffering is released via Kernkraftritter Records on August 7th through most online stores.

Ringmaster 04/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cerebellion – Regeneration

Promo_Orange-Sky_RingMaster Review

It has been five years since US metallers Cerebellion gripped our attention with their excellent debut album Inalienable; a stretch of time which has not felt as long through many of the album’s tracks and subsequent 2013 single A Better Version, never being too far from our listening for pleasure playlists. Fair to say though and like for so many, there was healthy excitement when being sent their new EP Regeneration. It has proven to be an encounter rekindling an already rich appetite for the Californian quartet, and their compelling sound which has through the new offering shown itself to have grown and matured without losing the distinctive Cerebellion breath.

Formed in 2009, the Long Beach hailing foursome of vocalist Joe Arnold, guitarist John Arnold, bassist Marc Battung, and drummer Jimmy Schultz quickly earned a strong reputation for their inventive fusion of metal and heavy rock, a blend again fuelling the impressive Regeneration. It is an incitement which, as we suggested, has further blossomed, the songs within the EP more diverse within their provocative walls and embracing a sharper and fuller design of textures and flavours. The band has not lost or defused their aggressive snarl either, though it has been honed into a more skilfully provocative and rousing essence which only helps the band’s new release powerfully spark ears and imagination.

All Came to Light starts things off, an initially sultry and melancholic melody slipping from the strings of the guitar. Its potent coaxing is soon joined by a rawer but no less evocative lure of bass and darker guitar shadows, harmonies soon after also adding to the intrigue and emerging drama. With rhythms warming up until things are stirring nicely, they and every corner of song and band explode into a roar of heavy beats and rugged riffs around the dusty tones of Joe Arnold. As existing fans would expect, a spicy groove is soon in the midst of the engaging tempest too, the song a rigorous charge unafraid to slip into gentle melodic caresses with matching vocal persuasion. With a touch of Metallica to it alongside whispers of Alice in Chains, the song ebbs and flows in intensity, bellows and croons in aggression and attitude uniting to draw only a hungry attention for it and the whole release.

ReGen_Front_Cover_Final_RingMaster Review     The following Cold similarly makes a gentle entrance, though this time there is a definite intimidating shadow behind the emerging sound and vocal tempting. Soon the track is into a muscular but reflective stroll, rhythms a dark texture against the lighter but no less sorrow laced enterprise of guitar and voice. Across it the rolling and imaginative beats of Schultz are pure magnetism, their anthemic lures matched by the throaty emotion cast by Battung’s bass and the gnawing riffs of John Arnold, the latter also casting some delicious acidic enticing within his solo and imagination. Arguably the track lacks the richer originality of others, at times providing something for expectations but every time thoughts like that do arise it is fair to say that something twists and turns in the songwriting and song to argue the point.

The variety within the release continues more strongly with both Savior and Nothing Left. The first of the two explores a heavier rock spiced canvas upon which the guitar spins a melodic and groove metal seeded web. As the voice of Joe spreads the narrative with emotive expression and energy, there is an air of bands like In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold to the track, but only spices honed into something, certainly taking longer to persuade than its predecessors, but brewing up an individual and long-term captivation. Its successor is similar in that it slowly burns into the passions and also leaves one of the deepest enjoyments. The song opens with a mesmeric kiss of Spanish guitar, their flamenco spawned melodies like kisses on the senses and a tonic for the imagination. The song is an acoustic seduction, its beauty tempering and complementing the melancholy oozing from every syllable and harmony, not forgetting the bewitching strings which emerge later in the song. Eventually though, the drama has to explode and the thrilling encounter erupts into a rousing intensive finale though with one last acoustic stroke for its last touch.

Cerebellion are back in voracious swing with Thin Ice next, the track from its first breath almost predatory with its scythes of sound and beats, all colluding to forge a prowling enticing and subsequently an adrenaline driven, thrash bred onslaught. Of course the band is never one to settle into one wind of persuasion and they seamlessly and skilfully infuse melodic and calmer swerves into that the at times almost rabid intensity. The track is as anthemic as it is creatively riveting, a song which alone tells you all you need to know about band and sound, and definitely the perfect gateway for new fans into Cerebellion.

Regeneration ends with Forsaken, a fascinating and creatively tempestuous encounter again revealing everything impressive about the band and music. From individual prowess to group imagination, songwriting maturity to lyrical and melodic incitement, song and release only and increasingly impress.

The hefty time between releases has only seen Cerebellion grow into a masterful metal/rock proposition, but you know whilst listening to Regeneration, you still get the feeling there is plenty more untapped inside the band’s creativity. Hopefully we will discover that a little more swiftly ahead.

The Regeneration EP is available now through most online stores and digitally and on CD @

RingMaster 18/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Straight Line Stitch – Transparency

Photo credit- Benjamin and Beverly Ross

Photo credit- Benjamin and Beverly Ross

Whether Straight Line Stitch is a band you ultimately take to or not, there is no escaping the fact that their sound demands attention. Their evolving mix of metal and rock is a dramatic and inventive proposition which explodes with fresh and rigorous tenacity in the band’s new EP Transparency. Consisting of six tracks which can uncompromisingly snarl and masterfully seduce, creatively savage and forcibly charm across their individual bodies, the EP is a rousing and fiercely enjoyable encounter from a band which never compromises their sound and invention but still manages to shape it into one easily devoured adventure.

Released via Pavement Entertainment, Transparency sees the Knoxville, TN trio reinforcing their core fusion of metal and hard rock with new transfixing twists and detours whilst retaining its recognisable and potent substance. The threesome of vocalist Alexis Brown, bassist Darren McClelland, and guitarist Jason White have not sculpted a major departure to the impressive offerings within their previous acclaimed album The Fight of Our Lives of 2011, yet the tapestry of ravenous and melodic invention is loaded with greater predacious and captivating temptation than ever before. It might just be a handful of songs but the EP suggests Straight Line Stitch have tapped into a new vat of inspiration and resourcefulness which can only further unfold ahead.

SLSCOV_RingMaster Review     Transparency opens with Out of the Shadows, a brief instrumental intro which entices well enough with its evocative air and elegance but fair to say the release properly gets going once Dark Matter suddenly roars from within the parting kiss of its predecessor. Brown’s aggressive raw tones rage first, swiftly joined by hungry riffs and rhythms bound in a tight vine of alluring grooving. In a matter of a few additional moments, Brown unveils the other side to her vocal prowess, her melodic persuasion casting new colour to the sonic tempting fermenting within the song and providing another step in the ever impressive and seamless diversity in her delivery. A carousel of predatory hostility and alluring pop rock around a carnivorous spine, the song itself is a persistently captivating engagement which is quickly matched by Out of Body.

The third track opens with warm enticing, guitar melodies caressing ears as the gentle tones of Brown flirt with the senses. As bass and drums harden their character, a stronger growl begins lining the song though it relaxes when keys spark harmony rich calmer passages within the song. Like a mix of In Flames and Lacuna Coil yet with an intimacy which gives the encounter its own distinction, the song heftily pleases before making way for Face of God, a track with volatile shadows to its depths and virulent contagion to its anthemic tempting. It is a stirring mix of textures with riffs and bass almost bestial in their intimidation and rancorous sound whilst vocals and melodies cast blazing rays of evocative beauty. Things continue to shift and twist in the body of the outstanding encounter, the EP’s best moment a kaleidoscope of unpredictable and easily digestible enterprise.

Wilderness is a savage provocation from its first breath, riffs and rhythms preying on ears with antagonistic imagination and fury which is soon matched by guitars and vocals and their own aggressive ingenuity. The fierce theatre subsequently slips into oases of melodic beauty, sparking new potent bait for appetite and imagination to feed from even though the blistering track’s dark side is never far from the surface. It is a template taken to its own imposing success by Human Bondage, though the closing song does lack the spark of uniqueness found in its predecessor. Nevertheless it is a maelstrom of rabid almost carnal riffs, grouchy basslines, and almost fell vocal ire entwined with warm and soaring radiance spread sonically and through the dynamic tones of Brown.

The song is a thick pleasure bringing another thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling incitement from Straight Line Stitch to a pleasing end. The new adventures within Transparency may not make it the best offering from the band to date, though it is right up there in many ways, but they suggest something major might just be in the pipeline and brewing very nicely for the band’s next album or proposal.

Transparency is available from June 30th via Pavement Entertainment.

RingMaster 30/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Immension Online Press Shot

Steel City metallers ‘Immension’ continue their climb with the brand new video single for ‘In Vain’ which is taken from their debut album of the same name and out in stores now.

Watch ‘In Vain’ right here –

By pulling from a host of sources, but namely the layered webbing of ‘In Flames’ and the accessibility of ‘Trivium’ and ‘Arch Enemy’, Immension have carefully crafted a sound that cunningly blends the fundamentals of contemporary and metal; the end result is absolutely exhilarating.

Immension were originally formed in 2008 in Sheffield by founding members Jake Kearsley and Tim Dolan. Drummer Jonni Sowter entered the fray in 2011, and the aspiring riff beasts soon set to work on honing their sound. It wasn’t long before the Steel City crew hit the road and toured throughout the whole of the UK. The band then went on to record and self-release two EPs. Both records sparked extensive praise and support from Kerrang!, Rock Sound, Total Rock Radio, Terrorizer and Powerplay Magazine, all helping to catapult the band to a national level.

Immension’s debut album, ‘In Vain’, has just been nationally released and it sets a clear marker, drawing a definitive line in the sand for the trio. The riff slingers now lift the album’s namesake as a new video single and are set to charge forward. The single is an energetic assault on the senses that will undoubtedly pull you in, while highlighting the band’s maturity and careful texturing through perfectly woven guitar work and thoughtful arrangements. The Yorkshire metallers are here and are poised to reach new heights.


All Tomorrows – Sol Agnates

All Tomorrows_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With the release of their second album Sol Agnates, Chilean metallers All Tomorrows are hoping it will be the doorway into establishing them within a European if not global metal spotlight. Listening to the encounter it is easy to suspect it is a desire destined to find success at some point as their impressive release and sounds assaults more ears and appetites. It is not a startling proposition, the band’s sound as familiar as it is promisingly fresh, but the album is a certainly stirring and increasingly magnetic incitement hitting the sweet spot of ears and emotions with persistent regularity.

All Tomorrows began in 2010, emerging from Santiago with the inspirations of bands like Gojira and Meshuggah in their creative blood and vision. 2011 saw the release of debut album Opilion, an acclaimed release at home and further afield. It helped push the band to broader attention, a recognition reinforced and increased by a live presence which has seen All Tomorrows share stages with bands such as Children of Bodom, Voivod, Megadeth, and At The Gates over the subsequent years. Their sound is tagged as progressive metal, if an extreme strain of the style, but as Sol Agnates reveals there is equally a death metal voracity and nature to their music which adds to the drama and intensity of songs. It also suggest that this is a band which gives equal concentration to every aspect of sound and to creating a release, the album an imposing proposal of clarity which allows every note, syllable, and rhythm to individually resonate and linger whilst uniting for a riveting predatory provocation.

All Tomorrows - Sol Agnates_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     It all begins with the album’s title track, a song which takes a mere second to unveil a web of sonic intrigue and temptation through the guitars of Pepe Lastarria and Ramón Pasternak backed by rigorously intimidating rhythms. Choppy riffs and beats stalk and badger the senses whilst the fiercely, raw vocal delivery of Lastarria is as abrasive as it is magnetic. You can openly hear the Meshuggah influence but equally as the outstanding opener vents its hostile creativity, there is a sense of Mudvayne and In Flames to the striking confrontation. The sonic enterprise of the guitars persistently flare up with sizzling endeavour across the song whilst the bestial tones of Oscar Arenas’ bass are as compelling as the wild but skilled swings of drummer Pablo Martinez are punishing.

The album could not have got off to a better start and keeps the raw power and impressiveness going through both Undying Seasons and Eidien. The second track equally rampages into view on a torrent of inhospitable rhythms and ravenous riffs, all seriously inviting whilst bound in acidic grooving and pierced with spiky hooks. Again unexpected whispers emerge as the track expands its turbulence, Slipknot and Tool reminded of as much as those earlier mentioned Gojira and Meshuggah spices. The trespass of the senses continues to twist and rage, erupt and seduce across its length before making way for its similarly hectic and tenaciously flavoursome successor. Slightly less hostile at its start, grievous riffs and rhythmic barbs holding some restraint as vocals rasp with predatory intent over ears, the track sculpts its own individual maelstrom of persuasion equipped with rich grooves blossoming in another bed of contagious imagination.

A devouring stalking of ears by Fiver’s Visions keeps enjoyment high and thoughts impressed even if the track lacks a certain spark of its predecessors, whilst next up Downpour spills an animus of stabbing beats and fiercely scything riffs across a barbarous landscape. Loaded with antagonistic vocals and a sinister sonic narrative, the track is arguably the first to really begin exploring the rich progressive depths of the band’s imagination. Previous songs hinted at rather than fully employed that provocative side of the band’s songwriting, and even this track does not dig too deep whilst thrilling ears, but Burnt by Call of the Bleak after definitely makes a bolder leap as it lights up the senses. Also fuelled by a relatively uncompromising aggression, the track’s guitars entwine imaginative textures with evocative invention whilst even the rhythms rein in their rabidity as song and band create a certainly intensively tempestuous but equally absorbing kaleidoscopic adventure.

Immanence draws on the more truculent side of the band’s sound for its physically predacious proposal but the guitars ensure they flirt with a melodic tempting between moments of sheer carnivorous majesty. It is a blistering challenge and treat, a bruising entrapment of the passions leaving the listener embracing the melodic opening of Ophidian Vibrations like a comfort blanket. The song allows that security to be assumed before uncaging its own nefarious enterprise and creative nature, riffs and rhythms fuelled by destructive hunger but perfectly tempered by the band’s venture into melodic flames of sound and progressive imagination.

Sol Agnates is concluded by the epic turmoil of Union, vocals and musical expression angst soaked as rapacious rhythms roam alongside a sinful bass tone. It is a bewitching roar of volcanic emotions and turbulent sounds aligning for a powerful and lingering conclusion to the riveting release.

It is impossible to imagine that All Tomorrows will be a South American ‘secret’ for much longer once Sol Agnates gets to work on new ears and attention. As ever of course, a hefty slice of fortune will be needed but if not with this album there can be no stopping the band breaking into the strongest recognition if they carry on creating treats like this as their music evolves.

Sol Agnates is available from May 19th via most online stores.

RingMaster 19/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @

Carnal Agony – Preludes & Nocturnes


Preludes & Nocturnes is an album which manages to impress, excite, and disappoint in one go, though admittedly the latter is a mere fraction of the enjoyment had from the Carnal Agony release. There are just times though where it feels like it missed the opportunity to make an even greater impact on ears and subsequently the metal scene, evaded the chance to pungently push this highly accomplished band towards the brighter spotlights which admittedly it still might awaken.

Hailing from Umeå in Sweden, Carnal Agony began in 2011 and swiftly began luring attention for their diversely flavoured style of metal around lyrical themes inspired by the classic literature from the likes of HP Lovecraft, John Milton, and Edgar Allan Poe. Musically the band, on the evidence of their latest album, weaves in everything from heavy and classic to power and melodic metal to a thrash seeded sound, revealing inspirations from artists such as Iron Maiden, earlier Metallica, In Flames, Mercyful Fate, and Testament along the way. Early demos sparked interest whilst the band’s live presence has brought them attention and acclaim, especially through a tour with Six Feet Under last year. Carnal Agony has been called the latest sensation in the Scandinavian metal scene, a big claim not majorly contradicted by their debut album.

Produced by Ronny Milianowicz (ex-Sinergy, Dionysus, and Saint Deamon) and featuring former Helloween/Masterplan drummer Uli Kusch (also Gamma Ray, Holy Moses), the album gets off to a rousing start through War Prayer. Straight away heavy duty riffs and matching rhythms stand toe to toe with ears, setting down a sturdy thrash bred stride. Unpredictability shows itself to be a ripe essence within Preludes & Nocturnes and within just a few moments the first song has expectations wrong footed by slipping into a calmer melodic passage. This enticing invention is quickly surrounded by brewing essences of epic metal and stronger drama clad textures which in turn lead into another muscular onslaught. The gruff raw vocals of David Johagen join the mix now, his rugged, raw tones admittedly taking a little time to acclimatise to against the flowing tide of sound but an increasingly strong ingredient through subsequent listens of the release. Folkish elements tease alongside classic and power metal elements, already the band’s sound defying any precise tagging. The song continues to stampede and potently relax across its engaging length, a tasty appetite raising start to the encounter provided.

carnalagony-cover   The opening vocal lure of next up The Frozen Throne is excellent, mass clean vocals like a band of brothers crooning air and ears and an element not used enough as the voices are spot on. A guttural roar from Johagen brings the air born invitation down to earth, his warlike call the spark for a web of sonic enterprise from guitarists Mathias Wallin and Pär-Olof Persson, buffeted by the thumping skills of Kusch. Hooks and melodies colour the chest thumping proposition too as again a clutch of different flavours align impressively in the track which by its end you will surely be raising a fist and vocal chords with.

Rebel’s Lament is a less forceful proposition next, though still a muscular persuasion. Inventive endeavour from the guitars bound the rally of beats and riffs whilst the dark tones of bass from Roger Andersson add rich shadows which nicely temper the skilled craft flaming from the fingers of Wallin and Persson, especially in a bewitching solo. The track though does not match up to its predecessors but still has ears engrossed and satisfaction bubbling as does the next up Rebellion. A power ballad of sorts, Johagen reveals more of his slightly cleaner and stronger qualities, and if I am being honest it is when he lets those free that he and songs find a new quality. To be fair, it is personal taste more than anything but nudged by the fact that when he does ‘sing’ he often ignites already gripping songs further. The track grows in weight, intensity, and anthemic energy so that by its close you feel like you are astride a stallion going into battle.

As good as those two songs are Carnal Agony overshadows immediately after. It is a beast of a song, a stalking intimidation of stabbing riffs and scarring beats from its first breath and a carnivorous charge of sound and energy from there on. But that is only part of the confrontation, the guitars sparking within the core rampage with slithers and spears of sonic imagination and melodic toxicity, it all ridden by the commanding ‘follow me into battle’ tones of Johagen. The track is outstanding but too damn short at barely over two minutes.

Next up is the heavy/classic metal spiced Night of the Werewolf, a track with gothic overtones. This is one of those moments where personally an opportunity was lost, the earlier mentioned clean vocals feeling like they would have been a better fit whilst musically apart from a fiercely enticing bassline, the band feels like they kept a check on the imagination which had already lit up earlier songs.

Fire Walk with Me has ears and emotions feeling feisty again next, its fluid travel through a landscape of stormy energy and reflective melodies fascinating whilst once more guitars and bass reveals striking exploits bursting with magnetism and individual skill. Backed by voice and drum swipes, the track leaves a breathless listener in its wake, ready for Sleep Waker to please with its spicy heavy metal enterprise and Crystal Lake to turn into a head nodding enthusiast with its contagious and sinister imagination. The first of the two is another which, like the album, is a blend of full captivation and less successful elements or choices, but does get stronger and more enthralling with every listen. Its successor is a glorious stomp of horror bred devilry, everything from hooks to grooves, riffs to rhythms, an emotion inflaming festival of aggression and temptation.

The opening grisly bassline of Secrets Within the Shrine next sets the tone and scene of the triumph to come. Its thick bait is swiftly joined and enhanced by prowling riffs and venom swing grooves whilst beats are more predatory than vicious at this point. There is no escaping a Metallica whiff to the song but equally a scent of Misfits and the grouchy air of Mastodon helps bring alluring flavour of the song, whilst the constantly evolving ingenuity of the guitars takes it all to another level.

The track is excellent leaving Together We’re Lost the task with closing up the album, which it does in potent style. Familiar yet fresh, the track is an infectious and highly enjoyable end and another song which finds Johagen running the range of his delivery and yes he needs to ‘sing’ more because that is where he excels.

Definitely Preludes & Nocturnes is a release to take time with because it just grows with every recruitment of its bold and flavoursome adventure. Bottom-line is that it is a strong and enjoyable introduction to Carnal Agony who carry the promise of even greater exploits ahead.

Preludes & Nocturnes is available now via Sliptrick Records @

RingMaster 09/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @


Left For Red – All Things Known And Buried

Left For Red Promo Shot

It is fair to say that previous EPs from UK metallers Left For Red, as well as an acclaimed live presence, bred keen anticipation for the band’s debut album in a great many. Now the moment for the band to unleash their first full-length has arrived in the roaring shape of All Things Known And Buried, and a rather tasty and increasingly captivating slab of aural voracity it has proven to be. It is not an album to send the metal world reeling but for a potential fuelled, ear chewing protagonist it leaves a very healthy appetite and rich satisfaction in its wake.

Formed in 2010, Left For Red took little time in raising attention and support locally and further afield with their Black Sabbath/ Judas Priest inspired assault of modern ferocious metal. Live the Stourbridge quintet has drawn potent praise, their aggressively potent performances seeing the band play with the likes of Chimaira, Crowbar, Beholder, Revoker, Evil Scarecrow, Sacred Mother Tongue, and Breed 77 across the years. It was a success matched by the release of first EP Vol 001 – Empty Shell and even more by its 2013 successor Vol 002 – Mercy Flight, an offering luring eager praise from Kerrang!, Big Cheese, and Rock Sound amongst many. It is now easy to expect the same reactions and more with the release of All Things Known And Buried. The album suggests there is plenty more yet to come from the band as their sound and imagination evolves further, much more than the album at times offers but there is no escaping that it grips ears and gives pleasure from start to finish and inspires wave of excitement for the band’s future exploits.

Left For Red - Cover Art   From the brief album intro of Master Call, band and release launch at ears with current single Master Of The Game, a song already sparking plaudits and eager attention from fans and media alike. For personal tastes it is one of the less potent songs upon the album but with vocal roars, crisp beats, and feisty riffs aligned to an infectious weave of enterprise, the encounter awakens ears and attention with accomplished ease. The guitar play of Aaron Foy and Phil Smith slip from impressive to irresistible across the sonic bellow of the song whilst vocalist LC Decoy just demands and receives attention with his great mix of old school screams and ferocious snarls entangled in melodic expression.

Things step up a notch straight away with Crooked Path, Dan Carter opening the song up with a deliciously belligerent and predatory bass line courted by a just as gripping shuffle driven by the sticks of drummer Rob Hadley. It is a superb opening, becoming more flavoursome with guitar lures and tastier again with the emerging of one instinctively addictive groove. Vocals soon blow a dramatic wind into the tempestuous landscape of the song too, again a varied blend from Decoy and band uniting to great effect. With that enslaving groove ringing in the ears, third song Reborn takes over with a blues flaming around another dark and almost carnivorous bass tone. Like Judas Priest meets Tool, the song grows into a melodic blaze, more old school than modern metal but dealing a deck of intriguing ideas and skilled endeavour. It does not quite match up to its predecessor though nor to the riveting adventure of Echoes Of Strangers which comes next. A song which took a while to convince but increasingly fascinated and thrilled over each listen, as the album to be honest, it is a constantly moving and twisting weave of styles and metal ferociousness. At times there is a scent of bands like God Forbid and In Flames to the song, in other moments a more Down meets Lamb of God spicing seeps out, all adding to the growing weight and strength of the track on ears and thoughts.

The second half of All Things Known And Buried truly hits another level and ignites personal tastes more powerfully; it all starting with the grove fest of Shatter. From a resonating distortion kissed bass welcome, the song develops a contagious swagger and melodic invention which has the imagination hooked from the first swinging step. Riffs and rhythms provide the anthemic bait whilst grooves and vocals sculpt the core of the infection being expelled, but all is outshone by the searing fire of guitar creating its solo.

Ascension has feet and neck muscles gripped next; this another song with a virulent tenacious stroll to its body and a ravenous bestial bassline to its arsenal. These strengths are matched by the melodic might and vocal prowess also going to make this as its predecessor, a pinnacle of the album. The song has everything impressive about Left For Red in its body and character, as well as more of the promise lining the album of bigger and bolder things to come.

The elegant beauty of piano led instrumental Dystopia Rising superbly seduces ears and imagination before the almost rabid presence of Utopia prowls and rages against the senses. Hostility and bracing sonic ferocity combine to create a web of fascinating and again thrilling confrontation, the uncompromising yet temperate force of the song keeping the latter half of the album impressively roaring.

Closing with the excellent Solace In Memories, a warm and intensive melodic croon across more volatile scenery of sound, All Things Known and Buried is a stirring offering from Left For Red, and a more impressive one with every encounter. From a more than decent start and a growing strength as each song comes forward, the album hits a potent plateau around halfway and never looks back. It is not one to claim as a game changer for the British metal scene or maybe even the band itself right now, but it does show them to be heading towards making that kind of breakthrough, and deserves an intensive look at by all metal fans.

All Things Known And Buried is available through Burning Halo Records from April 27th

LEFT FOR RED LIVE: 15th May – Mosh Against Cancer Festival – The Lomax, Liverpool; 16th May – Lower George Inn, Gloucester; 30th May – Midlands Metal Crusade – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton; 20th June – Hard ‘N’ Hevy Fest – The Dollhouse, Abertillery.

RingMaster 27/04/2015

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