Plutonium – Born Again Misanthrope

Plutonium_RingMasterReview

Born Again Misanthrope is one of those great releases which maybe initially leaves ears and thoughts unsure but with deserved attention works its way deep into the psyche whilst proving to be one highly magnetic proposition. The nine-track engagement, with a tone and character living up to its name, is the recently released third album from Plutonium, a one man project from Sweden and an encounter which crafts and in turn captivates with a voracious theatre of raw and dramatic shadows.

Carlsson, more often known as Mr J,. is the creator of Plutonium and a sound which imaginatively merges extreme industrial and black metal, though that over simplifies the sonic adventure within certainly Born Again Misanthrope. Hailing from Karlskoga, the project emerged in 2003 with an early demo appearing the following year. Three years on and debut album One Size Fits All was unveiled with successor Devilmentertainment appearing four years on. With hindsight investigation of those releases, it is easy to assume Plutonium has drawn potent attention and support over the years, even if yet to find itself breaking into the broader spotlights beyond its homeland. Born Again Misanthrope though, might be the key; certainly it is the most imaginatively accomplished and unique proposal from Plutonium yet and given the time a sizeable magnet for ears and eager attention.

The album opens with its title track and a militarist nagging of beats which subsequently sparks a similarly toned parade of riffs. From there blackened toxic grooves spring upon ears and appetite as the dark rasping tones of Mr J. almost crawl through the enveloping muggy landscape. It is a ravenous confrontation unafraid to allow a seduction of melodic calm to join its persuasive trespass of ears and imagination. The collusion of industrial and extreme metal is a hellacious tempting with post punk and progressive twists icing on the pestilential cake. As suggested earlier, it provides a thick challenge initially, taking body and thoughts aback with its unconventional design and aggravation but over plays the song really blossoms into one dramatically compelling affair.

It is a journey and achievement which pretty much applies speaks for the album too, and second song Cortex Vortex whose intrusive invasion is at first a boldly unsettling incitement. Taking time to acclimatise to its creative animus of rabid intensity and a ravenously tantalising sonic undercurrent though, the song emerges as another captivating protagonist of the senses. Its unpredictability is as enjoyably ripe as the diverse strains of styles woven into the corrosive theatre of sound and intent; a soundscape as prone to melodic and avant-garde intrigue as it is emotive despair.

For personal tastes it is when tracks venture into that wrong-footing and seriously diverse scenery that they truly come alive and remove themselves from more recognisable black metal dilemmas. The Inverted Panopticon Experience is such an offering; though instantly taking a hold of the appetite with its death march of debilitating rhythms and corrosively wiry riffs and grooves, it is the industrial and sonic imagination that elevates its stature and lure even though its dominant incessant stalking of the senses never abates.

Casque Strength has that same nagging quality too though this time with a warmer melodic hue to its worrisome nature. Straight away it is working the senses though it holds it back somewhat as a great industrially coloured atmospheric mist descends before returning to its unbridled niggle soon after as the vocals offer venomous predation through it all. Already a virulent strain of persuasion, the track only grows in potency as an enthralling, almost indie rock bred melody and accompanying hooks perpetually vein the venture whilst sparking a bold swing to the torrent of sonic tempting.

One of the clear pinnacles of the album it is followed by the shadow rich drama of The Masque of The Green Demon. A sweltering reflective ambience envelops ears as guitars slowly spread their sultry lures whilst drawing on stoner and sludge bred qualities as the song bracingly shimmers on the senses. Vocally Mr J. never veers from his black metal inspired delivery yet it works perfectly with the heavy rock ‘n’ roll of the fiercely enjoyable track for arguably the most unique moment on the album.

The harsh cold landscape of Renuntiationem comes next; the track a wasteland of warmth and hope that spawns a dark and sombre hued drone laced with just as melancholy rich elegant melodies. It is a provocative and mesmeric flight of sound and emotion that, as many, flourishes with every listen, though time the outstanding Electric Barbwire Crown of Thorns has no need of. From its first electronic/metal seeded assault, the song has ears and appetite enthralled with a web of sonic enterprise within an industrial tirade of noise. Swiftly though, the song twists and turns through inventive detours and imagination fuelled escapades as addictive and infectious as hey comes. Along with Casque Strength and The Masque of The Green Demon, it is reason enough to check out Born Again Misanthrope and Plutonium.

The short instrumental of Alice in Plutoniumland (Two Minute Hate Part III) sparks the imagination next, playing like the haunted soundtrack to a psychedelic kid’s tale set in dystopian X-Files spawned surroundings. It is an ever giving piece for the listener to play with before Confessions Of A Suicidal Cryptologist aggressively leaps on ears and emotions with its furious smog of intensity and cancerous animosity. Fair to say though, the album closer has its own enthralling moments of boisterous catchiness and brazen rock ‘n’ roll endeavour, not forgetting atmospheric synth woven incitement.

The track provides a formidable and potent end to a thoroughly enjoyable adventure which simply becomes more impressive over time. With certain moments of majestic ingenuity backed by further creatively rousing craft, Born Again Misanthrope is a proposal that extreme and industrial metal fans especially should definitely explore.

Born Again Misanthrope is out now @ http://thetrueplutonium.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 13/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Anti-Clone – The Root Of Man

Anti-Clone_RingMasterReview

If asked at the start of the year which was the one release we were most anticipating in 2016 there would have been no pause of thought involved in saying the debut album from UK metallers Anti-Clone. They had us addictively hooked into their own distinct nu-metal bred, psyche twisting sound from the outstanding Hands Sewn Together EP, which had its highly successful national release back in 2014. Its tracks were a regular part of our podcasts too, finding the same eagerness across a horde of other shows and stations with the mainstream media soon waking up to the band’s emergence in turn. Now two years on and quickly following reputation cementing and pushing performances supporting Mushroomhead and Sanguine on certain dates of their recent UK tour, the Boston hailing quintet are poised to unleash The Root Of Man.

The question was never going to be would the album live up to expectations seeded in the last EP and the hefty fuss around the band, that just seemed to be a given in thoughts, but would their music have grown and evolved enough to make them a real contender to stir up the metal scene beyond the UK as earlier songs suggested. Well, the answer is found within the first few tracks of the eleven song incitement alone. Together they give a rousing confirmation with their creative roar, only being forcibly backed by the rest of an album which in some ways continues where the Hands Sewn Together EP left off but immediately shows a craftier and imaginatively more exhilarating, not forgetting broader, weave of styles and flavours in its boldly sculpted songs. The Root Of Man is Anti-Clone on a new mature imagination drenched plateau from songwriting to sound to presentation. There is inventive confidence and fierce adventure at every turn as the scent of inspirations from the forefathers of the nu-metal scene are again embraced, twisted, and honed into openly fresh textures within the band’s own fascinating experimentation.

art_RingMasterReviewFormed in 2011 but really finding its creative mojo once the current line-up was in place a couple or so years later, the Lincolnshire band soon sparked a hungry and swiftly growing fan base for their dramatically addictive sound which reached its first pinnacle in the Hands Sewn Together EP. Live too, the band has grown to be one of Britain’s prime incitements, sharing stages with the likes of American Head Charge, Kindred, ESO, Breed 77, Sworn Amongst, Maplerun, Evil Scarecrow, and Bloodshot Dawn amongst many along the way. Linking up with EP producer Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Trivium, Fightstar, As I Lay Dying and Slipknot) again for The Root Of Man, the quintet of brothers Drew (drums/ programming) and Peter ‘Mr Clone’ Moore (vocals), Conor (guitar) and Liam Richardson (guitar), and Mike Bradbury (bass) are seemingly poised to set their place at the head table of the UK and indeed European metal scene.

Dually looking at “the beginning of the human race, starting with Eve committing original sin which resulted in us being cast out of Eden” and symbolising the band’s beginning as a band; “These are the roots that we are planting to fully establish ourselves as our own entity, to establish ourselves as Anti-Clone“, the pledge music funded The Root of Man immediately grips ears and imagination with its title track. It is a brief but inescapable lure into the album, an as expected apocalyptically ambience clouded scene setter which is soon crawling portentously over the senses as steely bass and toxic grooves wrap the enjoyably familiar tones of Mr Clone. Its dark tempest rolls straight in to Deracinated which seamlessly draws ears into its own animus of intent and creative rapacity. Straight away an industrial toning merges with the schizophrenic nu-metal prowess which flows from the band, Society 1 meets Mudvayne like essences adding to the imposing character and trespass of the fearsome magnetism on offer. Ebbing and flowing in raw confrontation, the track bewitches ears and stirs up the appetite, setting them in an unfamiliar and disorientating yet welcoming blend of old school aired modern imagination for a seriously rousing slab of predacious incitement.

SwitchBlade growls at and brawls with the senses next, vocals from Mr Clone and the Richardson brothers almost pestilential in their psyche invading animosity as the sounds around them rise and fall with constant inhospitable adventure. Melodic calms and percussive invention are just as potent lures in the agitated imagination and landscape of the song; all colluding to savage and spellbind before A Sight For Sewn Eyes prowls ears with Fear Factory/Spineshank tinged ingenuity. As replicated across the whole of the album, every moment of the song brings greed breeding drama to the listener, Mr Clone showing his clean melodic tones are as fiercely agreeable as the rawer psychosis fuelled side of his vocal character. The song persistently twists and turns from the start before reaching a bedlamic crescendo that never truly departs once erupting as the song leaves on a groove bound web of suggestiveness.

With a constant range of peaks across its landscape as momentous and memorable as the Alps, B9 adds another with its Manson-esque textured slice of predatory heavy metal whilst Twisted Neck entangles ears in the intoxicating vines of toxic grooves which wrap a calmer melody hued serenade beneath a thickly tempestuous and predatory climate of sound and personality. Both tracks present a tapestry of styles and textures, the first also flirting with steampunk like elements where, not for the last time, Anti-Clone have a touch of the now sadly demised Shanklin Freak Show to them. Its successor flirts with a colouring which is more 6:33 meets Dog Fashion Disco though as always, it is hard to pin down a flavour such the Anti-clone ingenuity as they align spices to their own enthralling ideation.

A great punk metal hue seeps into the riveting and mercurial soundscape of Mechanical Heart, the track as welcoming as it is fearsome with sinister keys and avant-garde devilry lining another almost rabid mix of nu and industrial metal carrying at times more than a whisper of death metal to it. Compelling to the extreme, the track simply wants an apocalypse based Hellraiser movie to grace to see its majesty totally fulfilled, though fair to say there is no time to linger in thought with any song during the album as here Feed The Machine steals attention instantly with its vocally anthemic and physically bracing proposal. Repetition in word and sound within the track is a glorious igniting of instincts; that simplicity employed in another rich weave of roving grooves and a cantankerous rhythms skilfully sewn into an irresistibly unpredictable but dramatically galvanic onslaught. Like early Korn in some ways and Slipknot in others, the track still stands distinctively tall as another unique Anti-Clone ravaging of the senses and passions.

ComaSpace brings a moment of relative calm and the chance to catch breath next though unsurprisingly it too has irritability to its tone and dark imposing edge to its atmosphere. Vocally Mr Clone entices ears with a clean delivery as melodies merge acoustic and more aggravated hues into the Deftones spiced offering. Again the band has ears and appetite enthralled, though even being another impressive moment within The Root Of Man, it gets overshadowed a little by Astaroth. The band’s new upcoming single, the song is sonic slavery; the reason mosh pits and lustful reactions were bred into life. As barbarous as anything on the release and the most virulently contagious assault too, the track has everything you need to know about Anti-Clone and whether they are the tonic to your personal musical passions.

Completed by the grisly presence and voice of Sentinel, a sonic inferno of psyche burrowing riffs and grooves amidst an insatiable and concussive tempest of sound and attitude, The Root Of Man is the declaration of a new major force in UK and undoubtedly European metal. Anti-Clone is set to be one of those guiding their journeys over the following years whilst with this superb release, the band has placed themselves right there in stature alongside a great many of those who have inspired their adventure to date.

The Root Of Man is released 29th April  via PHD (Plastic Head Distribution) with more information @ http://www.anticlonehq.com

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Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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American Head Charge – Tango Umbrella

AHC_RingMasterReview

Like many others we are sure, there was a surge of excited anticipation when the new American Head Charge album was announced. It was the first since 2005 full-length The Feeding and the band disbanding two years later. Their return after six years subsequently brought the excellent Shoot EP, a release bristling with hints of a new bigger and even bolder adventure to the AHC sound. Now those clues are realised and reinforced with Tango Umbrella; a maelstrom of prime AHC moments, new imaginative adventures, and exploits seemingly inspired by some of their companions in the nu-metal/melodic metal scene first time around. The result is a riveting and galvanic tempest of sound and imagination which for the main hits the spot dead centre.

From the first breath of their first album for Napalm Records, AHC go straight for the senses and imagination with opener Let All The World Believe. Its entrance is calm and coaxing, electronic pulses and beats gathering within an increasingly sinister ambience before the doors burst open and predatory riffs and rhythms eagerly crowd and trespass ears. It is a forcibly enticing start only blossoming again as the band unleashes inventive industrial metal rabidity. The keys of Justin Fowler sizzle and incite with devilish enterprise whilst the intrusive beats of Chris Emery descend with uncompromising intent. All the while Cameron Heacock vocally prowls like an apocalyptic ringmaster; his expression and words scathing and confrontational and just as alluring as the thick mesh of sound around him. With touches of Fear Factory and Static X to it, the track is a glorious start; an anthemic death dance bursting with the dramatic sonic devilment of guitarists Karma Cheema and Ted Hallows.

Drowning Under Everything quickly follows with another industrial sculpted invitation, its initial clang soon immersed in a robust tide of riffs and grooves. The growling bass of Chad Hanks quickly steals a chunk of the attention, backed by the matching potent bait of guitars and vocal laced with a Manson-esque hue soon evolving into a richer melodic flame bred with the familiar AHC dexterity and invention. It too is a swiftly shifting and changing passage within the tantalising track, a moment soon becoming entangled with all the other textures in a muggy creative maze. Inescapably the track ignites ears and again an already awoken appetite before the more thunderous assault of Perfectionist flares up to place its virulent grip on attention too. Atmospherically suggestive and vocally provocative, the song merges grunge and nu-metal traits and flavours to infectious effect as essences of Korn, Mudvayne, and Alice In Chains spice its enthralling proposal. Epitomising the whole album though, for all spices and influences openly shown, the track is unmistakably American Head Charge through and through.

art_RingMasterReviewThe latter of those three references nudges thoughts again as the thick mesmeric and emotive embrace of Sacred takes over, the track crawling seductively over the senses as vocals, guitars, and keys charm and tantalise ears. With the bass grumbling and beats swinging in tandem, the track beguiles from its first second, before being followed and overshadowed by the quite irresistible I Will Have My Day, a fiercely rousing and relentless White Zombie incitement with again great AIC sounding harmonies and melodic caresses.

The emotion loaded A King Among Men comes next; the ballad a requiem of piano, voice, and harmonies likely inspired by the loss of previous band guitarist Bryan Ottoson in 2005 and more recently friends like Wayne Static but equally a sentiment for anyone losing someone. It is a potent piece leaving a lingering touch much like, but in whole different way, Suffer Elegantly. The call of the wild springs a charging, invasive surge of riffs and grooves driven by hellacious rhythms. There is no escaping a Ministry incited dynamic to the track or its savagely tenacious energy and sound but again AHC twist it into their own ravenous ideation and aggressive imagination. Many major favourites emerge from within Tango Umbrella, this right there on the frontline.

The twisting rapacious tone and grooves of Antidote enslaves ears and thoughts next, its flirtatious melodies and off-kilter slithers of sound rich pickings for the imagination whilst the Down like hostility which seeps from the track’s uncaging of raw intensity has the spirit as inflamed as the rest of the song has ears gripped. Increasingly more impressive and addictive with every listen, the song entices and snarls like a beast in heat much as the Trent Reznor like Prolific Catastrophe which sidles in with a devilish glint in its creative eye and a rousing fire in its sonic belly.

Completing the album is firstly the musically and lyrically antagonistic Down And Depraved, a grouchy and mercurial blaze of voice and sound, and finally the atmospherically cast When The Time Is Never Right. It is another which needed time to convince as heartily as previous tracks within Tango Umbrella but persistently has satisfaction and involvement fully engaged whilst bringing the album to a magnetic end.

It is fair to say that Tango Umbrella lives up to the promise of the band’s last EP and more. It is like a kaleidoscope of their highlights to date and inspirations picked up along the way, in turn almost like trip through the listener’s own nu/industrial metal inspired soundtrack but most of all, the album is one thoroughly thrilling, inventively fresh and varied slab of American Head Charge imagination re-establishing the sextet as one of our prize assets.

Tango Umbrella is released via Napalm Records on March 25th through most online stores.

http://www.headcharge.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHeadCharge   https://twitter.com/AHC_Official

Remaining dates on the AHC/Mushroomhead UK tour

26.03.16 UK – Bristol / The Marble Factory

27.03.16 UK – Plymouth / The Hub

29.03.16 UK – Cardiff / The Globe

30.03.16 UK – London / Electric Ballroom

31.03.16 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2

01.04.16 UK – Southampton / Engine Rooms

02.04.16 UK – Norwich / Waterfront

03.04.16 UK – Reading / Sub89

Pete RingMaster 24/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Projekt F – The Butterfly Effect

Picture taken by Chantal Levesque

Picture taken by Chantal Levesque

Since emerging in 2006, Canadian industrial outfit Projekt F has grown in sound and adventure release by release. Their music and themes have openly become darker and more imposing, now reaching a new pinnacle with latest EP, The Butterfly Effect. The seven track provocation is the band at its emotionally rawest and aggressively boldest, a fusion of industrial bred metal and rock which has all the qualities and adventure to push the band to much broader attention.

Formed by vocalist/keyboardist Jonh M. Miller upon inspirations gained from nineties bred industrial rock/metal sounds, Projekt F soon made their mark and became an eagerly followed proposition within the Montreal underground scene. Live the band has earned a potent reputation for their intensive stage presence and has added, over time, playing alongside Combichrist at Canada’s Kinetik Festival and shows with the likes of Motionless In White, Revolting Cocks, Angelspit, Nachtmar, Left Spine Down, Slaves on Dope, For Today, and Ice Nine Kills to their CV. Debut EP, 0000 was a swiftly devoured proposition with its release in 2009, surpassed in praise and success by the band’s first album Skins in 2013 and the Under The Skin EP a year later. Continuing the themes explored in those previous two releases, and looking at the torrid relationship between man and God, The Butterfly Effect is the band’s most accomplished and striking offering yet, and potentially the wake up call to global ears.

PF_TBE_Cover_RingMasterReviewThe Butterfly Effect opens with its title track, a short but evocative instrumental spawned from the dark incitement of shadows and carrying the portentous lure of anthemic rhythms. Wrapped in atmospheric chills and a haunting synth spawned ambience, the piece swiftly grips ears and imagination, accentuating it’s tempting with a subsequent veining of enticing guitar. It is a potent introduction quickly taken to new heights by Tongue which leaps from the invasive sonic mist of its predecessor. The second track descends on the senses like a tsunami, smothering and disturbing their previous relative calm with a wall of carnivorous riffs and barbarous rhythms guided by raw antipathy. As the song settles though, that intensive assault merges with mellower essences of voice and flirtatious enterprise, all the time though building up to further predacious crescendos. The track devours and excites with every twist and turn of its imagination fuelled tempest, evolving its musical and physical grudge with an invasive seduction for something akin to a volatile mix of Society 1, Korn, and Combichrist.

The dramatic and tenacious craft of drummer Fred Linx is one irresistible and galvanic element which continues to masterfully stir up emotions in Cut Your Wings; his swings and dexterity a call to arms for instincts backed by the maelstrom of predatory riffs and scything grooves cast by guitarist Simon Sayz. The track is another thunderous protagonist which stalks and infests ears and psyche with every essence at its disposal. William Hicks’ bass deceptively prowls the persistently changing trespass upon the senses; at times offering a welcoming hand into the cauldron of sound and energy, in other moments becoming a lead assassin of peace and emotional security. With Miller’s tones equally adventurous in their expression and touch, the track is a caustically virulent blaze.

Unbegun opens up in similar style, scathing vocals and scarring sonic vengefulness pressing ears as rhythms offer a more restrained though no less potent bait. In time creative agitation grabs them, breeding skittish moments as melodic twists break the early sonic voracity which in turn returns with more adventurous intent as the band leans towards a Muse like flame of melodic and harmonic resourcefulness. The overall aggression and ill will of the track is emphasized by next up 03:47:09:08:1945. A fiercely melancholic and seriously haunting acoustic led melodic ‘drone’, it is a provocative echo to the hours before the US dropped their bomb on the city of Nagasaki on the title’s date.

The full intensity and savagery of the moment is uncaged in Fatman, the track an industrial metal fuelled furnace of again raw emotion and debilitating intensity around a simple but forcibly addictive bassline. The track is a blistering incitement cast with the searing hooks and rapacious grooves which Projekt F has honed to impressive and exhilarating effect over their last releases. As vocals and synth spread ambience provide a hostile wind, the excellent intrusion ignites thought and emotion which the closing When the Angel Fell From the Sky embraces further with its sombre fall out and emotive poetry of piano and melancholic keys.

The Butterfly Effect is a fascinating and rousing encounter from a band settling into their creative skin and reaping the rewards. The EP is Projekt F on a new level with hopefully a deserving attention to match to come.

The Butterfly Effect is out now @ http://projektf.bandcamp.com/album/the-butterfly-effect

http://www.projektf.net/   https://www.facebook.com/projektf   https://twitter.com/ProjektF_Music

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Megascavenger – As Dystopia Beckons

art_RingMasterReview

With good words heard about but sounds not yet an acquaintance, we had definite intrigue in our anticipation of the new album from Swedish death metal project Megascavenger. What we found within new album As Dystopia Beckons was one mouth-watering and unpredictable kaleidoscope of ferociously imaginative, ravenously confrontational, and venomously contagious extreme metal incitement.

The third album from the Rogga Johansson created project, descends on the senses with a creative animus of discontented sound, ruinous vocals, and an industrial seeded dissonance providing something which really is out of the ordinary. As with previous albums from guitarist/bassist/vocalist Johansson with drummer Brynjar Helgetun often alongside, As Dystopia Beckons sees the guest involvement of a host of members from major bands; Hail of Bullets, Entrails, and Bolt Thrower amongst many sharing their musicians. In many ways though, the stars of the proposition are the bold songwriting and spread of virulently invasive and varied flavours which merge with a tempest of corrosive death metal.

It all begins with Rotting Domain, a predatory stalking of the senses featuring Sven Gross of Fleshcrawl. Initially the track skirts around and prowls ears, shadowing the atmospheric visage of a dystopian landscape which emerges from within the sonic coaxing. Swiftly though, the listener is the target of hungry riffs and tenacious rhythms as an imposing portentous intent is shared by gutturally spewed vocals. It is a highly magnetic affair, especially with the stabbing beats and searing grooves which lay their claim to the imagination.

An industrial intrusiveness opens up the following assault of The Machine That Turns Humans Into Slop. From the carnal tones of bass to the swinging melodic grooves and voracious trespass of the rhythmic web, the song demands and receives eager attention. David Ingram (Hail of Bullets, Echelon, ex-Benediction, ex-Bolt Thrower) adds to the erosive persistence and infectious nagging of the song before Dead City with Jocke Svensson of Entrails involved, takes over. Straight away, the track stalks the senses with a cauldron of onerous sonic intrusiveness and thrash lined riffery. It is a drama which has the imagination swiftly locked in, physical attraction quickly lured by the industrial lined rapacity in sound and emotion that consumes ears. Though it does not quite find the same heights as the first pair of songs, it leaves enjoyment at a similarly feisty level before being eclipsed by As The Last Day Has Passed.

Already there has been a varied addition of textures and spices to songs, but the fourth is far bolder and subsequently even more attention grabbing. Teddy Möller (Loch Vostok, The Experiment No.Q, The Hidden) joins the pair in the lively catchiness and rampancy of the classic/ thrash metal fuelled track, his grizzled vocals a great union with Johansson’s throat shredding prowess. Like a mix of Fear Factory and Soilwork yet not, surprise is instantly replaced by pleasure for not only the gripping sounds but the bold ideation involved.

Things only seem to get braver and more hectic from hereon in; starting with The Hell That Is This World and its early-Pitchshifter/ Entombed like seductive massacre. The track is glorious, an uncompromising anthemic assault of brutal, groove entangled rock ‘n’ roll which again is built on numerous strains of addictive noise and tempestuous textures for one unique infestation of the passions. Kam Lee (ex-Massacre, ex-Mantas, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery) adds his prowess to the song and appears again in The Harrowing Of Hell, though before it, the death ‘n’ roll of Dead Rotting And Exposed scars and corrodes the senses whilst stirring up another industrial soaked stomp followed by the even more hellacious Steel Through Flesh Extravaganza with Adrie Kloosterwaard of Sinister in the mix, which uncages a contagion soaked storm of sonic cancer on the senses. Once more the best description for the thrilling violation is grievous rock ‘n’ roll, and again unbridled satisfaction is the reward.

The Harrowing Of Hell entwines gothic and extreme metal in an encounter which hints at bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Gene Love Jezebel as much as an Asphyx or a Godflesh. From a strong start, the album is at a new level around its middle with this transfixing encounter up there as its finest moment alongside The Hell That Is This World.

Completed by the prophetic sonic instrumental smog of its title track, As Dystopia Beckons leaves the senses wasted and imagination alive with emotions in total agreement. The album easily feeds a want for something individual and refreshing whilst stirring up the instincts for a barbarously invasive time, so can only be heartily recommended.

As Dystopia Beckons is out now via Selfmadegod Records @ http://selfmadegod.com/en/shop/item/12022

https://www.facebook.com/megascavenger

Pete RingMaster 02/03/2016.

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Isolated Antagonist – Affirmation of Entropy

Isolated Antagonist - cover bluntforce_RingMaster Review

Our ears were first stirred up by Massachusetts duo Isolated Antagonist, through their offering to the excellent compilation album 27 Tons of Metal New England, which came out last year on Bluntface Records. Their song was undoubtedly a standout proposal in, to be fair, nothing but attention grabbing artists and offerings. Now the band unleashes their new album Affirmation of Entropy; a striking proposition showing that their track on the earlier release was just an impressive scratch on the surface of the band and their sound’s depth and imagination.

Isolated Antagonist is the creative union of vocalist/lyricist Glen Mitchell and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nate Exx Gradowski. Its seeds began with Mitchell in the blazing heat of Middle East deserts with his unit where at the urging of Gradowski, who began creating the musical landscape soon after back in the US, he began writing the background story to what would become the band’s debut album. Officially formed in 2014, Isolated Antagonist released their first EP, Engineered Audi Hallucinations the following year and also debut album, The Isolated and The Antagonist. Now pushed further in their new incitement on ears and imagination, the band’s sound is a provocative fusion of industrial metal and death metal with progressive/electronic suggestiveness; it further invigorated by the evocative entangling of raw and clean vocals.

Affirmation of Entropy continues the tale of the first album and its story concerning the last man on Earth, the lead up to that situation, and the battle for survival “on a planet that has turned against him so thoroughly that the dirt beneath his feet was even a danger.” A creative emprise from Mitchell’s own imagination rich Sci-Fi universe, it is further blossomed and broadened, as the band’s creativity and music, within the new encounter and fair to say that from the stunning artwork through to the clarity of note and emotion, the album grips ears and attention.

The scene is set with the muggy and intimidating ambience of Into the Dark. It casts the image of a hostile place with the lost ghosts of the past nagging from the background, yet it has a raw beauty bred in the sonic invention of Gradowski. A compelling and unsettling start, the instrumental piece seeps away for Void to engulf ears with its equally restraint yet portentous air. Swiftly though, it is a smothering trespass of sound around the potent growls of Mitchell but raw intensity that blossoms celestial keys and zealously prowling riffs and rhythms within its storm. Carrying a death metal like animus in sound and voice, the track menaces the senses but also opens up an oasis of shadowy elegance as clean vocals from Gradowski are cradled by charming melodies and ear warming keys. At times Numan-esque and in others Godflesh like, there is no escaping the dark majesty posing as a song working on body and psyche.

The following Trapped similarly merges predatory animosity and invasive atmospheric grace whilst again the already impressive craft and imagination of Gradowski’s sound is enhanced by the entwining extremes of the pair’s respective vocal styles. Again Gary Numan is a spice that springs out, but a scent which as all across the album, is transformed into something individual to Isolated Antagonist, and repeated swiftly in Receptor and its thrilling Cryptopsy meets Nine Inch Nails like antagonism. As in previous songs, destructive textures begets sonic calm, melodic and atmospheric tempting begets industrial volatility; it all to enthralling effect.

New Light Now Made is a sinister treat, its Fear Factory inspired stalking of ears coming with a Die Krupps like infection. It is a predator; a primal yet virulently catchy offering which grows in strength and persuasion minute by minute with exotic hues and tempestuous energies as exciting company before making way for The Archetype Defined. If its predecessor hunted the senses, this song instantly tears into the listener, infesting body and thoughts straight away with its fierce drama and volcanic sound. Of course, as shown by those before it, the song is a maelstrom of contrasting energies and sonic colours that is gloriously unpredictable and increasingly fascinating.

The spatial aired yet simultaneously intimately invasive Dark Nomad surrounds ears next, its magnetic presence soon outshone though by The Infernos Son and its emotionally gothic and sonically vampiric proposal. The song sucks adventures out of the imagination, its Type O Negative meets Sister of Mercy breath feeding on the dark emotions at its and the listener’s heart to leave the senses exhausted and emotions blissful.

The following Words Beyond Time just fails to match up to the ingenuity of its predecessor but with its rapacious character and persistent nagging of metal cultured riffs and rhythms, it only leaves thick pleasure in its wake before The Protagonist Denied hits another pinnacle for the album. Bordering on carnal in its first assault, seductive in its Celtic bagpiped exploits next, the track is irresistible, especially when merging both for progressive/industrial metal at its most instinctive and suggestive best.

The album’s title track is like a momentary summing up next. It is an atmospheric oasis giving thoughts the moment to recap in the arms of calm vocals and the acoustic prowess of guitar as a storm wells up in the background, a tempest which hungrily brews further within The Last Death. The song’s haunting ambience is the vessel for the poaching of the senses by carnivorous riffs and hooks as vocals trap ears and imagination in their suggestive cage. As compelling as it is though, the track only becomes stronger and more engrossing as synth breezes bring immersive melodies to wrap and entice ears.

Synth pop meets industrial insidiousness is the best way to describe Gather The Past, the track gnawing on the senses at one moment and flirting with them through a contagion of irresistible hooks and infection soaked melodies next. As mentioned earlier, there is a great unpredictability and bold uniting of extremes across the songs of Affirmation of Entropy, and arguably nowhere better than on this exceptional incitement, though the closing pair of Prototype for Babylon and Celestial gives a fair showing with almost matching success. The first is thrash/death metal meets eighties electro/industrial psychosis in a venomous but again often fiercely catchy intrusion whilst the closing song explores a soundscape echoing its title, if one also equipped with rabid rhythmic traps and vicious sonic hostility.

It is a magnificent end to what is quite simply an impressive and dramatically stimulating album from a band which feels as if it is still evolving; still realising their potential and not yet the band and sound they are surely destined to be. That is no bad thing as it means that Isolated Antagonist, already one exciting fresh presence within the industrial metal scene, will have plenty more major treats in store for us ahead.

Affirmation of Entropy is available from February 16th via Bluntface Records @ https://isolatedantagonist.bandcamp.com/album/affirmation-of-entropy or http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/isolatedantagonist   https://twitter.com/isolantagonist

Pete RingMaster 14/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Heartlay – Remedy EP

Pic by Sami Benhamou

Pic by Sami Benhamou

French band Heartlay made their introduction with the well-received debut EP Injection just over a year ago and fair to say their imaginative blend of industrial and melody rich metal sparked potent reactions and words. Now they have followed it up with an even mightier exploit in Remedy, a five-track EP continuing the band’s experimental merger of rich flavours. The band is still working towards their wholly unique sound but whilst showing a realisation of some of the potential impressing within its predecessor Remedy taps into fresh promise which forcibly suggests the Parisian quartet is an exciting prospect to watch.

Formed in 2014 by vocalist/composer Aaron Sadrin, Heartlay quickly finalised its creative strength with guitarist Johan Laë (ex-Moven.S), bassist Flo Lemonnier (ex-Kera, ex-Thanatic Eyes) and drummer Loïs Arnaldi (of Irradiance). As mentioned Injection quickly put the band on the radar of a great many luring strongly positive reactions in turn and now building upon its base and success, Heartlay is set to spark greater attention as they explore darker and more creatively demanding essences with Remedy. Adding greater raw aggression and emotional shadows this time around whilst pushing their imagination to thicker boldness, the EP shows an open evolution which has ears suitably gripped from the opening moment of the Brett Lamas-Caldas (Tower Studio: SepticFlesh, Devin Townsend) mastered EP.

COVER_RingMaster ReviewBring You Down opens things up, the song a strenuous wall of riffs and rhythms swiftly entwined in wiry sonic enterprise and vocal expression. Its intensity and power is a commanding and forceful wind but still allowing room for the melodic prowess and inventive weave of heavy rock and steely metal textures to make their persuasion. A Gravity Kills feel with a fierce fire to it graces the seriously engaging mix as vocals seduce and roar to match the journey of the music across the impressing start to Remedy. It is a potent persuasion continuing with Consequence. The scent of Nine Inch Nails hinted at in the first is a stronger flavouring to the second song, but equally there is an element of UK band MiXE1 and Deftones at play too as it reveals its own distinctive tapestry of searing sonic endeavour and electronic exploration.

As the opener gripped ears, the second intensifies the tempting with its sonically sizzling air and dramatic character; that progression continuing as The Battle initially coaxes the senses with warm keys aligned to a haunting ambience wrapping the raw industrial core of the song. Spineshank comes to thoughts early on in the increasingly volatile and compelling track as well as a generally assumed Trent Reznor inspiration, both stirring up more reasons to enjoy the abrasively tenacious and increasingly enjoyable proposition.

Through The Window adds its creative weight to the convincing roar of the EP next, its body a perpetually twisting venture of electronic and metal resourcefulness that again seems to be another little step on in imagination and potency than its predecessor, a trend across Remedy that does it no harm.

The melancholic ambience soaked Black Walls concludes the release, its predominantly instrumental body seemingly and enjoyably seeded in eighties dark wave invention with Gary Numan and The Cure passing thoughts as the track seduces with its cold romance and inspires the imagination through its haunting elegance. It is a strong end to Remedy, offering another side to the fascinating Heartlay sound.

The EP is an intriguing and tantalising next step in the emergence of the French band. There are moments where the release seems to resist going further into the unknown or wavers in its real strengths but from start to finish, whilst leaving ears thoroughly enamoured, Remedy suggests Heartlay is a band with the qualities and imagination to make a major impact.

The Remedy EP is out now @ https://heartlay.bandcamp.com/album/remedy-ep or http://heartlay.bigcartel.com/

http://www.heartlay.com/     http://twitter.com/heartlaymusic   https://www.facebook.com/heartlaymusic

Pete RingMaster 08/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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