Myopic Destiny: The Harsh Cold Reality

As the debut album from Maltese melodic death metal band Myopic Destiny introduced itself, first thoughts are tinged with doubts but upon emerging from the last dramatic note of the final track, those uncertainties evolved into strong respect and pleasure. Though not a perfect album in any way, then is there such a thing, The Harsh Cold Reality is a captivating and intriguing release which is fresh and original and always saves itself when things are not quite on course.

Myopic Destiny were formed mid 2009 by drummer Ehren Fenech and guitarist Daniel Aquilina after leaving their previous project. They soon added bassist Clyde Farrugia and guitarist Daniel Sammut to the line-up before completing the unit with vocalist Marc Tanti early in 2010. Spending the following months writing and honing material, the band played their first gig in February of the following year to good responses from a sizeable crowd. Impressively their second show was as the opener for the Xtreme Metal Assault 2011 Festival that August to be followed two weeks later by the sharing of a stage with Insurgence. Further festival performances followed as the band ended the year on a high.

From entering the studio in January to record The Harsh Cold Reality, the band has created a release which straddles many genres though it is still a core death metal/metalcore driven beast. With elements of groove, thrash, and classic metal infused through its heart, the album is a surprising and unpredictable treat which is perpetually enterprising and satisfying.

As mentioned the initial making of acquaintances with the album was not particularly inspiring and even after multiple meets the opening title track still does not hit the spot. It is a well presented track but feels like a series of sounds and ideas latched together rather than organically evolved, though it has to be said eventually it becomes quite contagious with its tight melodic groove and challenging grumpily riffed breath. The spoken narrative of Tanti though always escapes pinning down and though a decent start the song does not trigger any extended excitement.

The album seems to reach its heights in steps, the following Solitary Confinement with its bulging beats and muscular riffage building upon the opener but still a little way off the subsequent glories ahead. There is a punk attack from the vocals to spear the forceful sounds enjoyably but it is with next song Voice From The Abyss that things really boil up. A thrash toned assault with a slight Testament feel to it, the track finds a swagger and grooved swing to its presence which lights up the senses. The track has multiple energies and sounds within its body which thrill at every unexpected and welcomed turn. To be honest the album starts here and does not look back from here on in.

The excellent Tyrannical Downfall follows the blackened Inherent Delusions, and again has one fully connected with its rampaging attack and full on intensity. It is veined by great melodic invention which though one thinks it should not fit does, even if at times it is a little borderline, and adds to the wonderful discordant an bedlam which makes the song unique. The musicianship of the band is impressive throughout the album and here the guitars leave scorched air in their wake whilst the bass which is immense throughout The Harsh Cold Reality, carries a pissed off snarl.

Best track on the album is easily The Wolf, a song to produce whiplash and sprained muscles yet the bringer of some fine addict forming melodic grooves and a serpentine black metal breath to scar the ear. The song chops and surges throughout to again enjoyably leave expectations at the door.

The likes of the ear lashing I Will Rise, the barbed Your God, and the excellent closing predator that is A View Upon The End, ensure the album leaves only good reactions behind. It has moments where an understanding of things is lost or things evade personal preferences. At times the band seem to try too many things to end up unbalancing a track or odd songs feel undecided whether to be a bone crushing rage or an intricate progressive danger but to be honest a band which tries unique ideas is always preferable to one without adventure in their heart.

Myopic Destiny has stepped into the world with an album which makes many similar styled releases sound ordinary and marks the band as one of the more promising death metal newcomers and ones to watch.

RingMaster 04/09/2012

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Insurgence: Under Open Skies

As highly appreciated and wonderful as it is to have bands and releases sent to The RingMaster Review from bands, labels, PR companies and the likes there is something satisfyingly different and special when by chance you come across a band often by pure luck, which ignites the heart into an enflamed satisfaction and pleasure. Such is the case with hardcore/metal band Insurgence. By pure luck a random and fortunately seen post by someone led us to the new album Under Open Skies from the Maltese band and what an impressive beast of a release it is.

Info about the band is scarce to absent online but to be honest it is all about the music and that is quality in its fullest glory. The Marsa based band consists of vocalist Cliff Falzon, guitarists Daniel Buhagiar and Gustaf Karl Cauchi, drummer Jolen Galea, and bassist /backing vocalist James Spiteri. Together they have brewed up an album in Under Open Skies which is unpredictable, persistently enterprising and continually magnetic. Superbly crafted and written the release is an ever evolving twisting mix of extreme and melodic metal unleashed through nine striking aggressive tracks. Individually the songs are as imaginatively diverse and perpetually writhing as the album, making for a release which offers something new each and every listen, its depth and expanse extensive and inventive beneath the sprawling intense consumption.

Under Open Skies opens with the brief Foreword an emerging fusion of sound which only suggests at the ingenuity ahead, its tangled web of noise and atmospheres an attention grabbing lead into the tumultuous Adam’s Eden. This track is monstrous in size and intensity. Riffs beat up on the ear building into a wall of blackened threats and barracking energy whilst the rhythms smash the senses with merciless jabs and lethal uppercuts. As the song progresses and the vocals of Falzon spew every shade of bile and venom out with the lyrics the guitars reach scorched heights to splice the senses with crystalline veined razor sharp melodic intrusions. With snatches of djent tendencies and splatters of death metal villainy, the song is immense and still a mere hint of what is to come.

The following Exchanges begins on distressed melodic play surging through eager riffs and gut borne vocals. Once in its stride electronic sonic spots light up the intensity and further reveal the thoughtful creative songwriting behind the songs. Openly infectious whilst being as menacing and belligerent as you could wish the song scrapes and caresses the ear with stirring craft and invention.

The outstanding Forked Tongue lifts things to an even greater plateau next with the featured aid of Robin Adams (Red Seas Fire). The track is staggering though that word can be used freely throughout the album. With a great steely groove which winds tighter and tighter around the ear and a perfect mix of spiteful and clean vocal harmonies the song is truly outstanding. From obliterating and numbing the senses to leaving them soaring headlong into the sun, Forked Tongue is a masterful ever shifting and revealing contagion of imagination and pure creative skill.

Great heights are scaled and left as the norm with further stunning slices of ingenuity in the likes of Bystanders with its startling electronic manipulations and destructive addictive grind, The Rise And Fall Of Nothing with its vicious piercing grooved riffs and concussive rhythms, and the caustic Where The Fault Lies, each track on the album leaving one utterly breathless whilst offering no respite except the mere seconds in between them.

With the atmospheric and emotive harsh beauty of instrumental Minor Transmission exploring and fingering every thought and feeling whilst the mountainous closer Obsidian Black rips apart an already devastated husk of a listener with barbaric drumming and crushing venomous riffs alongside lethal melodic enterprise, Under Open Skies is easily one of the finest extreme metal albums to appear in recent months, of any type of metal to be honest. Produced by Spiteri, with the vocals produced by Robin Adams, Insurgence has released one of the essential albums of the year and as it is a free download from their official website there is no excuse for not being infested by their amazing sounds.

RingMaster 14/06/2012 Registered & Protected

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