Chronos – Pallid Reflection

chronos-pic duncan everton

chronos-pic duncan everton

Coming from the combined areas of Bath and Bristol, UK metallers Chronos recently released their debut album Pallid Reflection. It is a seriously intriguing encounter unleashing an imaginative blend of death and progressive metal with plenty more flavours, many inspired by influences such as Metallica, Trivium, Opeth, Iron Maiden, and In Flames, embroiled in its imposing and resourceful challenge.

Formed in 2014, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist James Rideout, guitarist Joshua Boniface, bassist Tom Chapman, and drummer Jack Camp swiftly made a potent impact on their local and the south of England metal scene. First EP Hour Atonement was released in 2015 to eager reactions, whilst live the band soon found itself playing with the likes of Biohazard and Abhorrent Decimation. Pallid Reflection is the next step in the band’s emergence within the national metal landscape, an encounter which will certainly put their name on the map.

Produced and mixed by Ben Turner and mastered by Joe Caithness, the album opens up with Blood River and a sonic strand of guitar luring ears into the waiting predacious jaws of the track. In no time sturdy rhythms and hungry riffs collude before the quickly impressing skills of the band’s guitarists weave a captivating web of melodic enterprise. It is a feature which lights up the album throughout, as too the contrasts of clean and guttural vocals which give further colour and temptation to the song, especially the former. Though uniqueness is less open there is a great unpredictability to the track which just grips and impresses.

It is a strong and increasingly potent start to the release soon outshone by the following Sea Of Guilt, a hungry tempest of nagging grooves and rapier like rhythms in between passages of stalking riffs bound in restrained energy as clean vocals paint the creative canvas of the song. Again moments of unexpected imagination thrill, helping turn a great song into something even more striking and enjoyable, all offered with instinctively flowing coherency.

art_RingMasterReviewThe epic Thuribles Veil Part 1 is next, ten minutes of carnivorous riffs and grooves courted by just as predacious rhythms as throat raw vocals merge with harmonic beauty and melodic suggestiveness. The track is a cauldron of perpetual intensity, mercurial aggression, and compelling imagination, a playground for ears and thoughts even without the direction of lyric and voice. To be honest, that pretty much sums up the whole of Pallid Reflection and though familiar elements still emerge it would be fair to say they  are treated with an invention and flair which defuses familiarity.

Through the snarling ravenously nagging exploits of Lobotomised and the glorious melodically haunting Shiver, the album continues its trend of each track building on its predecessor and impressing just that little bit more while Awake displaces the elegance of the last track with a bestial swamp of waspish grooves and irritable riffs around more of the predatory rhythms which Chapman and Camp so effortlessly engineer. Arguably the least adventurous track of the album it still leaves the appetite greedy and ensures praise is easily given before Emerald Soul cradles the senses in its melodic arms, they additionally caressed by Rideout’s clean delivery and accompanying harmonies. There is a feel of KingBathmat to the outstanding track, its progressive nature given a clear climate to entrance within.

Crossover is a brutally feral encounter but again one prone to melodic radiance within its primal trespass, superbly crafted switches within a perpetually volatile atmosphere and grievous sonic intent shared with an ability and invention that constantly rises throughout Pallid Reflection and the calmer but no less sonically carnal of the song’s resourceful successor Shadow Of The Sun.

The album is concluded by almost twelve minutes of creative drama and volcanic ferocity courtesy of Thuribles Veil Part 2, a stormy incitement equipped with fiery melodies and scorching grooves around pungent contrasts musically and vocally. It is a fine rousing end to a release which reveals and offers more to greedily devour with every listen. Pallid Reflection is a mighty first step by Chronos and one of the best debuts heard this year with the potential and suggestion in its imagination of bigger and bolder things to come.

Pallid Reflection is out now though https://chronos1.bandcamp.com/releases or http://chronosofficial.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ChronosOfficial   https://twitter.com/OfficialChronos

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Magoa – Imperial

magoa-photo_RingMasterReview

If nothing else, these past couple of years have revealed that the French metal scene is at a striking high if maybe still not truly recognised outside of its national borders. That might be on the verge of changing if it continues to persist in producing bands and releases like Magoa and their new album Imperial. An outfit established within the French metal underground, the Paris hailing band has unleashed a proposition which just demands the richest attention.

Imperial sees the band’s tapping into and unleashing a brutality and a grouchily uncompromising attitude not as vocal in their music to date; a coincidence that the band kept everything about its creation in house? It is emotionally and physically raw yet woven with an imagination which makes its grievous groove infested sound stand out from the crowd. Imperial is a cauldron of varied strains of the fiercest metal genres honed into a virulence which infests ears, appetite, and psyche alike.

The successor to their well-received second album Topsy Turvydom of 2013, Imperial swiftly hints at something having stirred within the Magoa heart and creativity which eclipses all before with each passing minute let alone song. It opens up with its title track, a rousing call to arms which drifts in on a sonic mist broken up by warlike strikes. A melancholic melody slips into the brewing climate, vocalist Cyd Chassagne close behind sharing his dirt encrusted snarls as that lone melodic lure begins to flame with greater intensity within a growing tempestuous air. As grooves begin winding around bruising rhythms, the track rises to real anthemic heights, its roar of a chorus as defiant as it is provocative and contrasted superbly by the beauty of keys and mellower caresses of emotion.

It is a potent start which is soon over shadowed by the snarling brutality of Resistance, grievous riffs and senses shuddering rhythms to the fore. The track is superb, an angry beast of a proposal but one unafraid to show melodic elegance and sonic grace like oases within its vicious onslaught. As its predecessor, the song is a spirit raising anthem which arouses body and emotions before Sailors swings in with its own host of irritable beats and riffs, they soon evolving into one ridiculously infectious and addictive incitement. A great blend of vocal ire is matched by the array of textures within the track’s fiery sound, guitarists Vince and Drayton spinning an imagination snaring web of intrigue and suggestiveness, the bass and drummer  Martin’s lethal swipes antagonistic weight to be feared and embraced.

pochette_RingMasterReviewThere is something familiar about the encounter but an indefinable essence which just spices things up here and within tracks like the following heavyweight swing fest of Kill Us. It descends upon the senses with raw aggression and intent, taking them on a groove spun, melody enriched ride of fearsome yet anthemic savagery which just sparks the instincts.

Through the haunting melancholy of Merge, a less imposing affair but just as emotionally intense as cleaner vocals and resonating rhythms court piano nurtured melody and electronic atmospherics, and the brief and equally impacting Remember and its reminder of conflict’s casualties and protagonists, Imperial strikes another stirring chord with both setting up emotions for the thumping roar of Faith. Like a reassuring beacon within the more murderous aspects of the album, it is pure contagious revelry with its own truculent presence.

The calmer nature of Afterglow follows uncaging a nu/groove metal trespass which bellows with warrior strength and countenance but equally engages in less bruising exploits which further entangles the imagination. Sonic and melodic invention is as prevalent as another great mix of vocal confrontation, all topped off by deliciously scything strings.

Physical barbarism and emotive reflection unite within Endlessly next, the track a mix of bloodlust and warmer enticement, emotionally and musically, with the former holding the reins throughout, while Pray for Us is an emotion driven sonic clamour which whilst maybe lacking the spark of other tracks before it, leaves ears enjoyable ringing and appetite hungry for more which the bewitching Untouchable delivers with its low key but atmospherically thick and emotionally commanding serenade. Cyd’s clean vocals glide over the senses, the gentle haunt of keys and guitar fingering the imagination as the song resonates in thoughts as darker clouds loom on the back of heavier lumbering rhythms.

The album ends with the ruthlessly addictive and mercilessly anthemic The First Day, a track which will either have you cowering or raising a fist in defiant unity while summing up everything impressive and compelling about album and the new character of Magoa’s songwriting, invention, and inescapable sound.

If Imperial came from a Lamb Of God, Slipknot, or In Flames people would be raving about it; hopefully they still will just with the name Magoa upon their lips.

Imperial is out now across most online stores and @ http://magoamusic.com/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/Magoaband/   http://magoamusic.com/   https://twitter.com/magoamusic

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

This Dying Hour – Resting Where No Shadows Fall

this-dying-hour-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

In many ways you could say that Resting Where No Shadows Fall, the eagerly anticipated debut album from British metallers This Dying Hour has been ten years in the making. Formed at the beginning of 2006 and swiftly impressing with their debut EP, the High Wycombe outfit has endured a decade littered with setbacks “that were just too great to overcome; everything from death and marriage to money came between the band and its members.” Now they are back and with a release which feels like it carries all the emotions and frustrations felt over that time; an album which ignites ears and imaginations with invention and passion.

That first year of the band produced the Longest Memory From The Shortest Life EP, a well-received and often praised introduction. It was accompanied by tours throughout the UK and Europe as well as shows with the likes of Young Guns, Sylosis, Bury Tomorrow, Malefice, and Exit Ten. The years since, as mentioned, brought This Dying Hour to a standstill until this year when vocalist Dave Pickup and guitarist Ash Whitelock decided to spark the band into life again with the help of “rotating members to fill the void.” Now they have made the wait for the next instalment of This Dying Hour adventure a forgotten moment as Resting Where No Shadows Fall seriously impresses ears and thoughts.

The album opens with its brief title track, an atmospheric instrumental which draws the imagination, leading it into the waiting jaws of War Drums. The second track instantly makes its point with scything riffs and beats, their imposing swipes aligned to a nagging raw melody before things all comes together in a predacious stalking of the senses. The snarling tones of Pickup are soaked in raw emotion and ire, a potency matched by Whitelock’s irritable guitar and the rhythmic antagonism of the track. It not may be the most unique proposal, references to the likes of Lamb Of God and Killswitch Engage valid, yet the song has a freshness which roars in ears and only blossoms further as a cleaner touch invades the vocal incitement.

The impressive start continues as Asleep springs its wiry grooves and vocal hostility next. Swiftly the song shows its distinct and individual character to be a diversity of intensity and energy, all soaked in venom as it seizes attention and a growing appetite for the release. Clean vocals and great dirty harmonies bring stronger drama and quality, as too the enterprising craft of Whitelock as the song bellows and challenges in equal enjoyable measure.

this-dying-hour-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewPath Of Unknown opens with a melodic atmosphere similar to the opening intro, sunken vocals courting the initial lure before the song opens up into a striking and thrilling encounter. The mellower tones of Pickup predominantly stir the song this time around, luring with the listener alongside spicy melodies into one ridiculously infectious chorus and subsequently a great passage of calm reflection with a touch of Palms to it. One of the biggest highlights among many, the outstanding proposal is followed by the far more hostile climate and sound of Time To Die, though it too is unafraid to cast warm melodies and catchy clean vocals. A rival for best track to match its predecessor, the song completes a first half of Resting Where No Shadows Fall which simply blows most other emerging melodic/groove metallers away.

There is little loosening of attention and pleasure either as first the darker sinister realm of Underworld encloses and encroaches on the senses. Certainly the track is a touch hit and miss, moments which stir the blood and others which lie a touch flat on thoughts but arguably it is the most inventive proposition on the album as it ensnares the imagination while Alive is as accomplished as anything within Resting Where No Shadows Fall at blending the calmer and fiercer emotional and physical exploits of band and songwriting. Though both are lacking the spark of earlier songs, each leaves a real want for more which Priapism feeds with its melody rich charm and fiery temperament.

The album closes on the same kind of explosive sound and impact as it started, Room 108 a volatile and often corrosive encounter with sparkling moments of vocal invention and melodic imagination seemingly inspired by a mix of System Of A Down, Deftones, and In Flames.

It is a great end to an excellent first album from a band making up for lost time in passion and invention. With the potential of bigger and bolder to come, it is very easy to push Resting Where No Shadows Fall as something all should make an acquaintance with.

Resting Where No Shadows Fall is out in stores from Friday 30th September.

https://www.facebook.com/thisdyinghouruk/

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Immension – Love Never Dies

Immension - 'Love Never Dies' Single Cover_RingMaster Review

Earlier this year British metallers Immension released their highly anticipated and impressively enjoyable debut album In Vain. It was an encounter wearing the Sheffield band’s influences openly on its sleeve whilst tempting ears with their own specific craft in songwriting and sound. One of the many highlights within the stirringly enjoyable embrace of familiarity and fresh imagination was the track Love Never Dies, a song now having its moment alone in the spotlight as Immension’s new single. It certainly stood out through its dramatic originality and emotive intensity amongst all the other successful persuasions within the album and fair to say it has lost none of its power as it tries to ignite another wealth of attention the way of the band.

Immension Promo Shot_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2008 by Jake Kearsley (vocals, guitar, bass and piano) and Tim Dolan (lead guitar), Immension have blossomed into a band persistently grabbing attention and praise. Straight away their sound seemed to draw on inspirations ranging from Bullet For My Valentine and Metallica to In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold, a mix stirring up a quickly growing fan base live and through a self-titled EP and subsequently its successor The Enemy Within. 2011 saw the addition of drummer Jonni Sowter to the band’s ranks, a final piece of the puzzle found in many ways leading to the creation and acclaimed release of In Vain a few months back. 2015 has definitely been a strong year for Immension and is set to end on a high for them through Love Never Dies.

An initial and distant sigh of keys leads ears to the emotively charged piano of Kearsley, his fingers painting a melancholic picture as a similarly toned reflection escapes with his impressive voice. It is an alluring start becoming more potent as portentous shadows quickly cloud the song’s atmosphere; that springing punchy rhythms and a throaty lure of bass in tandem to contrast and accentuate the melodic and harmonic beauty also shared. From within that creative merger, a fiery climate brews too, veins of sonic enterprise and emotive drama wrapping the Metallica scented ballad as it arouses and seduces the senses simultaneously.

The song is a blaze of emotional angst and mesmeric beauty within a just as gripping tempestuousness. Certainly its character and body has a strong familiarity to it but not as potent as the creative theatre and anthemic prowess unique to Immension. For newcomers Love Never Dies is the perfect doorway into the band’s impressive qualities and rich potential, for fans it just confirms why they have taken the band to their breast.

Love Never Dies, with a great video as company, is released 11th December.

https://www.facebook.com/immension  https://twitter.com/immension   http://immension.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 10/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

The Five Hundred – Winters

TFH_RingMaster Review

Every now and then, without any debate, lustful pleasure is ignited by a release; by a band exploding on the sweet spot of ears and instincts with something which just seems to know what the passions like. Such an encounter for us is Winters, the debut EP from UK metallers The Five Hundred. It is hard to say what particularly incites such enthused reactions and appetite, the release weaving its fierce tempting with a host of familiar flavours and styles, but every one of its four incendiary tracks is hellacious manna to the ear and imagination; something we suspect to not be alone in feeling.

The Five Hundred emerged in 2014, a Nottingham quintet previously known as DAOR. In no time their fusion of brutal and melodic metal was whipping up ears and thick attention, every strain of extreme metal and numerous other styles seemingly entangled into a compelling maelstrom of enterprise and confrontation which now fuels Winters and already an acclaimed live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Architects, and TesseracT. Recorded with Justin Hill (Sikth, Heart of a Coward), Winters is the band’s first fearsome roar at national spotlights, and if our ears are anything to go by, heading to rich success in awakening that broader focus.

Winters EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review    The press release suggests that the band switching to 8 string guitars has been a new spark to their sound and invention; whether it has or not, all that matters is that Winters is a full-on tempest of persuasion from first breath to last. The EP starts with its title track and straight away is grumbling in ears through the predatory bass of Andy Crawford, it a grouchy provocateur within a surge of wiry guitar. The hefty swings of drummer Liam Perez show no light in their nature either with each beat a shuddering impact as guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty weave more compelling bait for vocalist John Eley to spring from with great diversity. Just as musically the release ticks all the boxes so does the attack of the frontman, his fluid mix of clean, punkish, and outright raw hostility equally accomplished and perfectly measured in the split of all his strains of potency.

Death and heavy metal collude with metalcore and post hardcore ferocity though that is a simplifying of the hues creating the first and each track within Winters, as Come Closer swiftly proves. The lead track with a great video in tow, it emerges from a misty sonic atmosphere with military rhythms and emotive vocals, they still more in the background until a ravenous stomp of belligerent rhythms and caustic riffs is triggered. It in turn breeds a sonic blaze which is not so much mellow as less vicious than the surrounding and perpetually prowling ferocity soaking the walls of the incitement. Again at times as punk as it is metal and a constant exploit of seriously enticing elements amidst slithers of unpredictable ingenuity, the track is a ravenous treat but outshone within seconds.

The barbarous majesty of the first two tracks carries on in the outstanding Shutter to the Light, its immediate swagger as seductive as it is venomously violent. Like an anthem for the derailment of all that is hopeful, the track bellows at and trespasses the senses and imagination with enthralling enterprise, yet within its despoiling character harmonies and melodies are unleashed to wrong-foot and seize the passions even tighter. Everything about the track whips up a greedy appetite and pleasure; from the irresistible prime hook to the increasingly formidable vocals and the raging invention culturing the creatively rabid storm.

The EP is closed by The Cannibal Hordes, it also a quite thrilling and blistering arousal of ears and satisfaction. Melodically acoustic in its first caress, defiantly cantankerous from the second onwards, the track spits hostile intent and roars melodic understanding; vocally and musically entwining both with a skilled volatility that ensures expectations never gets proven. As suggested earlier, many elements and flavours are recognisable, bands like Fear Factory, Lamb of God, In Flames, and Hatebreed coming to mind, yet no song utters anything other than something unique to The Five Hundred.

The Winters EP is a crushing and scintillating introduction to The Five Hundred, band you should expect to hear a lot more of in sound and acclaim ahead, if only from our enraptured lips.

The Winters EP is out now digitally and on CD via https://thefivehundred.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wearethefivehundred   https://twitter.com/thefivehundred

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

Counting days_RingMaster Review

With their new album our first acquaintance with and taste of UK metallers Counting Days, we cannot suggest how strong the anticipation for Liberated Sounds was, but such its thrilling ferocious roar there is no doubting its successor sometime ahead will be the subject of thick and eager contemplation. The London band’s momentous debut full-length gloriously gnaws on the senses, its metalcore/hardcore fury savaging and bruising the same with equal animosity, but it is a ferocity bred with a creative virulence and open imagination that simply whips up a frenzied appetite in body and emotions.

Counting Days emerged in 2014 from a union of former members of TRC, Heights, Rough Hands, and Last Witness. The heartbeat came through the continuing song-writing partnership of guitarist Charlie Wilson and drummer Lasselle Lewis, the pair previously uniting song providers in TRC. Next former Heights vocalist Thomas Debaere was enlisted to the new project to become Counting Days, his addition followed by that of former Last Witness guitarist Bobby Daniels and subsequently Rough Hands frontman Alex Dench who was brought in on bass and additional vocals. A leap forward to now and first album Liberated Sounds, which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Architects, Bring Me the Horizon), Counting Days is poised to shake certainly the UK metal scene, but suspicions are it will not stop there, ahead or with this stirring debut.

cover_RingMaster Review     The quintet start it with Burned By Faith and an immediate vocal roar which backed by a wall of rhythms and riffs has ears bent back as in a wind tunnel whilst the senses cower. Without losing its raw intimidation and strength, the track twists into a vociferous stride driven by raging vocal roars, this in turn spawning a predacious and eager canter of musical hostility. Fearsome from the start, the rhythms of Lewis become more agitated and robust as the metalcore seeded tempest rages, they sparking jagged lines of riffs and caustic grooves within a lyrical look at the things people do in the name of religion. It is an intensive and attention grabbing launch by the album, one already showing signs of an invention which becomes increasingly pronounced in following tracks.

Die Alone is next, spinning a tasty groove from its first breath as the rapier swings of Lewis collude with the predatory tones of bass. The vocal union of Debaere and Dench abrases as it entices, the former arguably finding more vitriolic charm and hardcore potency in his delivery than in his previous band, whilst around them the track explores melancholic and stringed textures within its unrelenting rancor.

As impressive as the first two are, the album just gets bigger and more exhilarating, finding its pinnacle in the next clutch of songs starting with Beaten & Scarred. Spinning on an addiction of a groove, the track spews a creative and emotional animus that is as contagious as the anthemic vocal calls and irritable rhythms driving the torrent of catchy riffery. A punk raging and metal hostility, the song is superb; it’s swerving grooves and nagging hooks alone ensuring the maliciousness in its veins is greedily welcomed.

From one major triumph to another pair in Life & Death and the album’s title track. The first rumbles with rhythmic thunder and cantankerous guitar rabidity, both matched in fierce kind by the air scarring vocals. With a touch of Static X meets Bloodsimple to it, the song intensely and explosively bellows within a landscape of melodic enterprise and sonic imagination, the savaging fuel of the song never diluted by the more refined invention within it and that captivating imagination defiant to being overwhelmed by the storm slamming through it. The band’s latest single is the same, Liberated Sounds a merciless festival of debilitating intensity and voracity infused with deliciously gripping grooves, potent vocal variation, and a contagiousness that infests and ignites the soul with lingering ease.

Five tracks in and ears are ringing and the body breathless, whilst enjoyment is flooding thoughts and emotions and fair to say no respite from any of it, thankfully, is forthcoming as firstly Fire From The Sky uncages its heavy metal meets post hardcore antagonism . The song’s climate is a muggy and unforgiving swamp of incitement veined by the thick melodic enticing of guitar, a blend which gives further substance to the song’s look at the mental effects of war. It is a hard task matching up to the previous trio of tracks but the invasive and provocative heart of the song leaves no-one short changed before making way for the caustic embrace and inventive accosting of Days Go By and in turn the short and evocative instrumental oasis of The Vines. Its calm gives a respite whilst igniting the imagination with warm strokes of sound within a somewhat haunting ambience.

Sands Of Time descends on the senses next, again a prime groove wrapped in great irritable textures coring a blustery climate whipping up the senses before Prison Of Misery through an initial bewitching melodic drama and coaxing, turns into a bestial rampage of scathing vocals, scarring riffs, and a sonic snarl that turns every note and beat into an inescapable and greedily devoured vicious incitement. It is another major highlight, amongst many, of Liberated Sounds, rock ‘n’ roll taking no prisoners in its vehement entrapping of ears and passions.

The album is closed by the equally acrimonious, unforgiving, and enjoyable Cold Truth and finally similarly crafted and toned Reunion. The track is a fine end to the album but just a touch too samey to its predecessor, a slight issue which does crop up in slithers across the album. The final pair of songs is where it is most noticeable but with both tracks nothing less than fiery stirrings of pleasure it is a minor blemish just to try and temper our otherwise full ardour for Liberated Sounds.

All the members of Counting Days come with a good pedigree in their experiences and craft but for personal tastes they have hit a new plateau in their creativity and invention with Liberated Sounds, and yes already anticipation for its successor is brewing.

Liberated Sounds is out on October 16th via Mascot Records.

Upcoming live dates:

23rd October – Riverside, Sheffield

24th October – The Festing, Southsea

26th November – The Scene, Swansea

28th November – The Rainbow, Birmingham

29th November – Sanctuary, Basingstoke

3rd December – Packhouse, Leeds

4th December – Vic Inn, Derby

5th December – Grog & Fiddle, Cheltenham

12th December – Craufurd Arms, MiltonKeynes

http://www.countingdaysmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Countingdaysuk

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

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.

https://www.facebook.com/scarnival        http://www.scarnival.de/

Ringmaster 04/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright