The9thCell: Galga de Zebra Ilesa


 Galga de Zebra Ilesa the new album from Portuguese band The9thCell, is a bit of a hard one to get a real handle on but very easy to enjoy, its eclectic sounds and intent not always as persuasive as it might be but thoroughly engaging and rippling with quality and impressive heavy weight sounds. As is evident on previous releases of the band, Galga de Zebra Ilesa offers a diverse and expansive array of sounds and invention which though at times one is left wondering if it really fits together there is only enjoyment and favourable inspired thoughts left behind.

    The9thCell is the solo project of David Pais, and the new album his seventh full length release. His earlier years saw him join forces with bassist Ricardo Mestre to form electronic/industrial band Wishful Thinking whilst composing his own individual ideas and pieces which would go on to be part of his solo project. 2004 saw him join up with other musicians in alternative metal band Ashes before the beginnings of his solo project came about the following year, the project initially being called Mig before changing to The9thCell. Alongside his project across its time to date Pais has also collaborated and played with a few bands such as NoTribe and written music and soundtracks for cinematic short movies

      Galga de Zebra Ilesa released through Infektion Records follows the well received Point Blank Range which came in three individual Acts throughout 2010. The new album is a collection of songs and music which as mentioned do not necessarily have a common bond apart from their author but are evidence of the wide creative base and musical imagination of Pais.

First track Adão e Erva immediately has the ear hooked with its opening mesmeric beginning, the atmospheric and slowly brewing mellow start a weave of shimmering melodies and emotive ambience. There is a firm prodding though through firm riffs which line the native tongue vocal delivery before it explodes into a storm of excellent metallic rock n roll. With an electronic whisper in the background the track is a rampaging mix of Bloodsimple and Tool which lights the passions at every turn. Arguably its ten minutes is over stretching things slightly in hindsight but in its company the journey is impactful and invigorating.

The following Cavaleão is true to its opening vocal declaration and unleashes a feast of metal and classic rock excellence. It thumps with unbridled eagerness and high octane energy. Featuring Cláudio Brandão, the song punctures the ear with ferocious riffs and hungry basslines whilst vocally it is an anthemic riot of aggression and continues the impressive start to the release.

At this point the album suddenly throws one off balanced with songs which are unexpected sound wise and fully diverse. Morning Glory is a hard rock track with keen funk tendencies reminding of bands like Extreme whilst the challenging Liberdagem (Este Meu Poço de Romantismo Furioso) spans from melodic metal through to blackened symphonic breath. Both tracks are impressively crafted and presented and engage the senses more deeply with each passage through their invention. Gentlemania has a blues vein to its steely raw presence again furthering the variation. The track does not find any real connection to be honest especially with its spoken vocals, in English as many of the tracks, but to be fair it is one of the few occasions that happens.

Along with the second track the highlights of the album comes with Wounded Pt 2, a track which enters with a crystalline electronic wash before evolving into a muscle rippling tower of inciteful surges and scorched sonic manipulation, and the excellent Jacktiv(h)ate, a tempest of death and classic metal violence which sounds like a mix of Sepultura, and Soundgarden with flashes of Judas Priest.

Closing with the sunset of instrumental Keep Your Heart At Bay, an impressive cinematic soundscape, Galga de Zebra Ilesa is a strong and captivating release which will please most rock and melodic metal hearts, and at times even those with more extreme preferences.

RingMaster 17/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Scar For Life: 3 Minute Silence

3 Minute Silence, the new album from Portuguese metalers Scar For Life, is not arguably an album to top your best of the year list but is one which is more likely to be revisited more often than many others this year. It is a vibrant and imaginative blend of melodic rock forged with heavier extremes to stretch and push the sound and invention of the band. It has a creative craft which captivates throughout and intelligence to its sound and composition which one can only be impressed and satisfied by.

Formed in 2008 by guitarist Alexandre Santos (Redstains), the band has built up a good and strong reputation over the past years as it evolved its sound and went through member changes. 3 Minute Silence is the third album from Scar For Life and the first with the new line-up of Leonel Silva (vocals), João Colaço (ex-More Than A Thousand) (drums), Nelson Raposo (piano) alongside Santos (rhythm and lead guitars/bass). The release also sees Sergio Faria offering the lead guitars on Before The Storm and Brave Enough as well as some featured guests. Released through Infektion Records the new album is called ‘their most ambitious work to date exploring a heavier and more melodic side of Scar For Life’. To be honest with the album being our introduction to the band we can only trust the words in relation to previous releases but 3 Minute Silence certainly is a collection of songs which are powerful, superbly crafted, and unlikely to make just light weight impressions on their listeners.

The album opens with easily its best track though all are decent rivals in their distinctive ways. Last Crow is a thumping introduction to the release, its towering combative rhythms and gnarly bass lines irresistible almost verging on brutal. As the guitars whip up a heated frenzy the vocals of Silva snarl and spit with aggression before exploding into an outstanding melodic rock delivery subsequently entwining both as the track progresses magnificently. The song is a riot of bruising riffs and sharp melodic invention fused with high octane energy and emotive sonic grandeur from the guitars and clean vocals. With its hungry near metalcore/death metal gait the song is outstanding, a thrilling and riveting explosion of raw intensity and inventive adventure. Unfortunately this is the only time the album really fuses the furthest reaches of the extremes involved and for personal tastes one cannot help thinking that if the whole release had been approached from the same direction this would surely be an album of the year contender here.

To be fair though the rest of the release is nothing less than impressive just in a different way, the songs eclectic and individual which one can never find a resistance to. The following Metabolic and White Shades for example both excite and please with their more conservative though no less inventive base. The first is an infectious storm of powerful riffs and rhythms speared by fine melodic craft and an excellent electronic caress upon the ear before the explosive climax. Its successor offers a slower emotive atmosphere to make its introduction, its expressive warmth and charm though still brought with an incendiary bruising breath and captivating melodic elegance.

As mentioned the album features some guests, the first coming on Burn It All with the additional vocals of Finnish vocalist Kari Vähäkuopus (Catamenia). It is another towering track of metal and melodic rock fused into an enterprising and impressive union. It does not venture near the depths and harsh assault of the first song but still offers a thumping mix of power and fine melodic skill. The other guest appearances come from violinist Anne Vitorino d’Almeida on the Celtic toned One More Day and the strongly emotive Old Man, whilst keyboardist Ged Ryland (ex-Ten) lights up the song Brave Enough. This song returns to the more harsh and aggressive presence which opened up the album and again elevates the band onto another plateau from their already heady heights. It is a brawling maelstrom of intensity and energy brought with sheer melodic dazzling beauty which only just falls short of the tasty assault which opened the album.

Scar For Life is a band one can only see getting better and better which ever direction their future explores. We hope it is one with even more attitude and bite though the melodic might they possess, as shown by 3 Minute Silence, must never be diminished. One of the strongest albums this year without doubt.

RingMaster 09/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Darkside Of Innocence: Xenogenesis

As the album dawns on dramatic brief intro Lux there is an immediate feeling that something striking is going to emerge within Xenogenesis the latest release from Portuguese progressive black metallers Darkside Of Innocence. Striking and perpetually intriguing it is intrusive and at times a formidable challenge but with strong rewards and an unexpected mesmeric appeal. Xenogenesis is an album that will find many casualties in its wake but will inspire many with its imagination and skilled maelstrom of ideas and sounds.

Formed in 2005 the description within their bio states that “Darkside of Innocence can be known as a solemn voyage through the universal consciousness; an introspection that reaches the higher levels of reasoning. It is enlightenment that bestows hence, the self with some awareness regarding its own core – it’s the path eternal of one, seeking to express its inner essence within art.” They bring an intense and to us lesser intellects a confusing path with their ideology, something their music matches. It also adds a depth and adventure to their creativity as it inspires individual thoughts and interpretations through their provocative sounds. Their debut album Infernum Liberus EST was released in 2010 following a previous demo Bloody Mistress which was an internet stream only in 2007. Now down to a one man project in the shape of Pedro Remiz, Darkside Of Innocence moved on to signing with Infektion Records for the release of Xenogenesis earlier this year.

After the intro Airian collapses upon the ear with a familiar black metal vehemence and invasive swarm of intensity. The vocals of Remiz scraping flesh with his rasping delivery as the melodies of the guitar brand and scorch the ear. Midway the song veers into chaotic and perpetually unpredictable avenues with female vocals soaring within the blackened spiralling energy and the track absorbing sounds and ideas from afar to twist them into a vindictive and provocative blistering of the senses. It is harsh and hard to break free from but within the attack there are some quite unique and striking elements unleashed.

It is from the following Dulcifer Tragoedia that unpredictability becomes the life force of the album and wonderfully enterprising it is even if almost impossible to keep up with and at times endure. Many bands venture into avant garde metal to widely diverse results but few are as deeply impactful as here, the track rupturing synapses and swiping away any safety net you might have in place. Challenging and emotively exhilarating it is a glorious flurry of unconnected yet suitably akin sounds and ideas.

If the previous track was a flurry of sound Nox Omega offers a dehabilitating bedlam of creativity, from its haunting nasally sax sounds to the streaming flood of venomous spite it splinters and thrashes feelings impressively and is the best track on the album. Multiple plays do not lessen the surprises and unexpected storm of musical contortions, just thrust them forth with more impact and malice, something applying to the whole album.

The excellent female vocals return in Eros to add a symphonic metal breath though the song cannot be labelled as such. It is hard to describe exactly the genre Darkside Of Innocence and Xenogenesis most represent such the striking sounds and craft and very good to see too. The more straightforward metallic thrust of Thanatos adds another turn with its direct and less complicated journey though it still crafts a disturbed atmosphere and corruptive intensity.

Completed by the equally absorbing and testing Ego and closing disturbed ambient instrumental piece D’eus , the album leaves one struggling to gain a firm footing but having enjoyed the startling experience even if the ear and senses claim different. Xenogenesis is an impressive album which will appeal to far fewer than it deserves but all should at least give it a try. With a new single in the works from Darkside Of Innocence it will be interesting to see now with a single mind behind the project how things develop but more of the same would not be unwelcome.

RingMaster 10/05/2012 Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Venial Sin: Sphere Of Morality

Since forming in 2008 Portuguese band Venial Sin has slowly emerged as one of the more interesting and inventive metal bands, their fusion of black/death metal with progressive rock an intriguing and stirring mix. Their new EP Sphere Of Morality marks their arrival as a real force and a band suggesting even great things ahead. The release is a compulsive and at times mesmeric melodic gem brought forth upon an intense and aggressive heavy atmosphere. It makes one work and immerse within its weighty mass to find all of its elegance and creativity but is accessible from the first introduction too, ensuring one wants to delve deeper.

Since its beginning Venial Sin has refined and brought richness to their sound, from the uncomplicated and basic first four track demo World Reset to this their new EP. Their sound has evolved and found a defined breath and pulse of its own which sets them apart from most other melodic death and black metal bands. In the EP the melodic aspects of their sound is to the fore and in many ways leads each song but never to the expense of the darkened intensity and formidable power the band demand attention with. Elements of groove metal and grind frequent the corridors of Sphere Of Morality too adding to the flavoursome and unpredictable music.

Autumn 2011 saw a line-up change with founder members Pedro Matos (guitar/vocals/ synths) and Helder Guedes (drums) bring joined by Renato Sousa (vocals), Rafael Pinto (guitar), and Gustavo Gonçalves (bass). The EP itself though was first started on by the band at the beginning of the same year with Venial Sin recording the release between January and June in the Blind & Lost Studios in Stª Marta de Penaguião, and mixed and mastered by Guilhermino Martins. The result is a collection of six songs that take one down darkened avenues of thought and invention whilst lighting the way with flames of melodies and beacons of inspired creativity.

Opening track A New Rose not so much assaults the senses but pulls them to immediate attention with stirring synths and eagerly pacing riffs. It swarms around the ear whilst softening it up with intimidating rhythms and aggressively driven guitars. The vocals of Sousa growl with a guttural depth that matches the predatory bass and heavier riffs to give a fine attack but it is when the band step into a openly melodic atmosphere and defined craft that the song lights up, especially with the caressing synths and excellent clean vocals of Sousa taking over. The band than merge these elements wonderfully keeping the senses enthused and mesmerised with intelligent enterprise, ingenuity, and craft. The song marks the territory the rest of the release frequents in their individual guises, a thoroughly impressive adventure.

The following Prepared For Battle and Novembers Fall are equally as mighty and pleasing, the first bringing a direct venomous black metal attack to blister emotions with a caustic intensity as scorched as the harsh vocals and the second enveloping the ear and beyond with a searching melodic invention from its start. Novembers Fall brings both sides of the band into a truly outstanding union, the striking almost cruel sounds and intent eager companions to the evocative and emotive progressive imagination that spreads through every pore of the song.

The stunning Real End is one of the two biggest highlights of the release, a provocative progressive piece of songwriting which inspires individual thoughts and images. Predominately a melodic electric caress the track still does not refuse the intense and imposing side of the band, lacing the music with a muscular energy. The equally immense and hypnotic Vanishing Into… leaves one breathless and fully drawn into the grand atmospheres pervading it and the whole release. With grooves which wind around the ear with a teasing grasp and middle eastern inspired melodies that sway and mesmerise with the allure of a siren, it is a glorious piece of invention.

The inventive and again deeply rewarding closing title track completes what is an outstanding EP. Sphere Of Morality is for most the first introduction to Venial Sin but will not be the last we hear or enjoy from the band. Released through Infektion Records it is one of the more impressive progressive blackened metal releases in a long time and as is the band a must investigation for all.

RingMaster 08/05/2012 Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.