No Way – Sing Praises

Pic  Tony Stanley

Pic Tony Stanley

From sound and presence to voracity and appeal, there is nothing lightweight about the debut release From US band No Way. The four-track Sing Praises EP is a brute of an introduction to the Brooklyn quartet, a compelling and enslaving tempest of noise and invention fusing thick essences of noise and punk rock with those of sludge and heavy melodic rock. Some bands seem to instinctively tune in to the listener’s wants and primal needs, and it is fair to say that No Way certainly fed and intensively satisfied ours.

No Way was formed in 2012, swiftly making their mark on the New York punk scene. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Helmet and Unsane, the band were soon sculpting their own distinct presence and sound, unafraid to infuse varied styles and raw spices into the mix of sound mentioned earlier. Their live reputation has also grown from those early potent days with the foursome sharing stages with bands such as Whores., Fight Amp, Black Tusk, Inter Arma, American Sharks, Cancer Bats, Naam and White Hills. That attention will only be broadened and strengthened by the release of Sing Praises, the Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Pelican, Shrinebuilder) recorded and Carl Saff (Young Widows, Helms Alee, OFF!, Kowloon Walled City, Big Business) mastered proposition an imposing slab of prime sonic and rhythmic beef flavoured with an imagination and a creative intrigue to get the taste buds singing.

The release looms up on ears with opener The Cutting and within a breath is walling them in with bulging riffs and debilitating rhythms. It is an imposing start but only the teaser to greater things as warped sonic scythes from guitars coveradd to the brewing mayhem. Vocalist Chuck Berrett is as a formidable a presence as the song itself, his raw and growling tones an instant lure complimenting and inciting further the rugged turbulence around him. At its heart there is the inventiveness of a Melvins to the song and the caustic beauty of a Cancer Bats whilst the core swagger to grooves is Coal Chamber bred, their swing reminding of the song Sway. It is a merciless seduction gnawing and flirting with thoughts and emotions, an immediate pinnacle matched straight away by Shake the Meat.

The second track makes a less intensive but just as gripping entrance, the guitar of Jordan Melkin coaxing ears and imagination with potent hooks as ripe and pungent beats from drummer Chris Enriquez provide an intimidating cage. Further enhanced and coloured by the throaty bass bait of Dave Maffei alongside the varied and fierce vocals, the track is an unpredictable and insatiable predator threatening and teasing with impassioned aggression and shadow bred, bordering on deranged enterprise. The riveting blaze is followed by the exceptional prowl and creative stalking of War Dance. It is a hypnotic proposition, a lone riff accompanied by this time more restrained tones from Berrett the initial drama; bait subsequently joined by merciless slaps from Enriquez and eventually stoner-esque hues within explosive roars. The song hunts the senses and psyche from start to finish, even its intermittent immersive and invasive sonic squalls a menace which increases the theatre induced by the engrossing single minded slim stalking either side of them

The track is scintillating and leaves the appetite greedier than ever so thankfully closing track Pastures / Abuelas is more than able to feed the hunger. Over eight minutes of imaginative tension, it is a rigorously captivating pursuit of the senses loading with vicious bass growls, savage riffs, and a sprawling thick sonic smog, all punctuated with a rhythmic resourcefulness which leaves ears bruised and emotions raw. There is also a psychedelic smearing to the atmosphere and inventive colour of the track but it is the hellacious and brutal ingenuity of the track, as well as the stoner bred grooves further into its adventure, which lingers longest and the deepest in the psyche. Dark and ravenous with greater menace in its restraint than a full-out assault could achieve, the track is a delicious immersion and challenge as well as another open side to No Way’s sound.

Sing Praises is an exceptional debut from a band with all the potential to be a potent and inspiring force ahead on the evidence of this stunning entrance. No Way seem to know what ears and instincts want in heavy, brutal, and incendiary exploratory sounds, and of course this is only the beginning….

The Sing Praises EP is available now digitally and on cassette @

RingMaster 07/11/2014

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Inter Arma: Sky Burial


    Sky Burial is an album which already people are shouting from the rooftops about and once consumed by its impacting perfect storm of creativity and exhausting mass it is hard to resist joining them in a fire of ardour. The album is immense, a genre stirring offering from a band in Inter Arma who will define and engineer new inspiring avenues ahead just as they have with this sensational release.

Formed in 2006, the quintet from Richmond, VA merges the thickest richest essence of doom, sludge, psychedelia and grind as well as inciting black metal and progressive flames to create their own unique and formidable sound and place in metal. Their debut album Sundown in 2010 rightly put the metal and critics on eager alert but with Sky Burial, which follows their acclaimed Destroyer EP of last year, Inter Arma has ingrained an indelible mark upon metal and set new plateaus and bench marks for others to aspire to. The album is like a tsunami, hurricane, and tornado of aggression and invention rolled in to one infernal and riveting tempest, and the fact that despite its staggering presence it still has moments which do not quite light internal fires so you feel and know there is still so much more to come from the band. This realisation is frightening and deeply exciting when immersed within the massive triumph that is Sky Burial.

Released on Relapse Records, the album immediately lays a sonic scourge upon the senses with The Survival Fires, the guitar riffsskyburial_900 thick, musky, and striking against the insatiable drum rolls of T.J. Childers. The track envelops and rolls around the ear with acidic venom and a pervading malevolent breath driven by the insidious earth borne squalls of Mike Paparo, his delivery a scathing abuse and graze upon emotions. The repetitive grooved hook which pervades the song enchants and niggles with a tortuous tease which with its insidiously persistent ignites eager acceptance and defiant antipathy. The persuasion is merciless though and submission to the erosive imagination and tar thick power of song and band is a given, the guitars of Steven Russell and Trey Dalton brewing a perpetual mix of invention and that repetition which magnetises the senses towards them whilst the bass of Joe Kerkes has a delicious hunger which drools over every oppressive note.

The following piece The Long Road Home comes in two movements, the first Iron Gate a simmering and shimmering blaze of reflective acoustic guitar and sonic spirals of sound lighting the sky of the track whilst an emotive resonance brews from the rest of the band to surround the expressive heart of the track. It eventually escalates into a brief blistering intrusion before settling down as the second part opens up its again restrained and isolated passion through coaxing guitars, shuffling beats, and biting ambient winds. The track is a reflection inspiring piece which unleashes more energy and emotion the further across its soundscape it goes, its gait and energy rising to compliment the almost pictorial and reminiscent touch it offers. Everything though leads to a maelstrom driven climax of blackened malignance with sonic scarring and savage rhythms to match the exhausting serpentine vocal abrasion. The two pieces combined are an enthralling confrontation as unique to the opener and tracks to follow but united in its overwhelming strength and emotive foreboding.

Destroyer is pure corrosion in aural form, every second from its invidious vortex of grooved toxin and lumbering predatory rhythms through to the enveloping raw vocal hatred and unrelenting light suppressing persistence, a thoroughly compelling and deeply welcomed transgressor to senses and emotions. Into the latter part of its mission of intent the band shifts and twists the track with captivating inventive additions in sound and energy but never loosens its cruel consumptive embrace.

At this point the album has already convinced the passions of their destination but with the simply stunning ‘sblood leaves them orgasmic in lust. The song is a classic, one of the most thrilling tracks heard anywhere in a long time. The drums and rhythms of Childers are sensational, a torrent of vicious enterprise and rabid savagery matched by the carnivorous bass and ravenous riffs. The track for its whole gnaws and gnaws upon the senses, with the moment where bass and drum are left alone to unleash their own ruinous ravaging instructive and destructive to all primal instincts. The track is a blistering chaos which with ease sucks the listener into its innovative and towering mass, a declaration which applies to the whole of the exhilarating and awe igniting album.

Through the remaining furnace of imagination and aggressive energy in the tracks Westward and its dramatic ferocity, the instrumental Love Absolute, and the epic imposing closing title track, Sky Burial is a phenomenal release which will impact on fans, bands, and the various genres they embrace ahead. If the likes of Neurosis, Melvins, Darkthrone, Kylesa, and Rwake pave your passions than Inter Arma have something to stretch your heart further.


RingMaster 19/03/2013

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