Elephantis: State of Mind

elephantis

State of Mind the debut EP from UK melodic hardcore band Elephantis is one of those releases which whether you find rapture within it or not it cannot be ignored or simply dismissed. It is a titanic explosion of fervour, expression, and searing melodic enterprise delivered with a brutality and near malice which leaves you shell shocked. The initial encounter left an uncertainty hovering over the six track expanse of the release, unsure just how good or different the EP was to a wave of emerging bands and releases in 2012 from the same genre well. After a deserved prolonged exposure State of Mind emerges as one impressive and even more promising reward for the senses, it is not an easy listen but certainly one of the most enthralling and intriguing.

Hailing from Guildford, the quintet of vocalist Angus Roberton, guitarists Connor Jackson and George Marriott, bassist Joe Oliver, and drummer Olly Harvey, has on the evidence of the EP honed their sound into a squalling and dramatic breath of emotive passion. It is a large sound with a sonic malevolence which strips the senses of security whilst leaving them satisfied and looking forward to much more future. Their influences as stated in their bio include the likes of Misery Signals, Counterparts, and It Prevails and to that you can add spices of the likes of Cancer Bats, Rise Against, and By Any Means to a sinewy mix which leaves you breathless and submerged in an emotional roller coaster of a ride.

      Eastern Skies starts things off with a furnace in its belly and rhythms which leave you trembling. It is a caustic rain of sound and1550607879-1 aggression which leaves the ear raw and smarting. The vocals of Roberton carry nothing less than unbridled heart to match the abrasive intensity and sonic assault. His tones leave finesse outside to add further vicious depth to the track. Within the tempest the guitars leave elegant patterns upon the unruly bruising canvas which counters and contradicts the violence inspiringly whilst making a compelling companion for thoughts. It has to be said that neither this song nor the majority of the others are lingering memories after their departures, though small moments do persist from within each storm, but in their presence make for deeply pleasing encounters.

The following Leo is a dynamic onslaught with its tremendous raptorial breath and shadowed stained heavy rampages; the additional vocals of Odessa vocalist Richard Lardner and the evolving invention to the structure of the track capturing the imagination completely to make the track one of the bigger highlights on the release. As with next up Stronghold, the musicianship on offer is impressive, each member stretching the songs without losing the shape and intent. The second of the two is a track which does not inspire the same reactions and acclaiming thoughts as its predecessors but is still a strong and gratifying moment in ones aural life.

After the good instrumental Ante Meridian another pinnacle is hit with Pale Shades, a track which pushes itself and the songwriting to the limit whilst being controlled and imaginative. Again towering rhythms cage a storm of melodic and inventive endeavour which sits easily alongside the perpetual vocal malevolence and consuming intensity. It is a ravaging tsunami of emotion which rewards as equally as it erodes the strength of the listener, and one very appetizing intrusion.

Ending with the unrelenting anger of the title track, State Of Mind is a strongly promising introduction to a band with one feels has much more invention and uniqueness within their emerging skilled hands. For a debut one can only be impressed and inspired to watch the band closely with a brewing anticipation that Elephantis could be a major force in the near future. As a name your price release the recommendation is check out the band as soon as…

http://elephantis.bandcamp.com/

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RingMaster 31/12/2012

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Embrace The Tide: Distances

An album which needs possibly more attention than most to fully discover and appreciate its qualities, Distances from UK melodic hardcore/metalcore band Embrace The Tide is one formidable and forceful release. With eleven songs ready to bitch slap the senses with a force created from brutality and inventive melodic elegance, the album is a demanding and testing release with deep rewards for perseverance.

Initial impressions and thoughts were of an album which was strong yet relatively generic. Through many confrontations with its destructive energy what emerged was a release which was rife with imagination and intelligent craft to set the band apart from the norm in metalcore. It is probably fair to say the band do not noticeably push boundaries but at the same time they instigate a promise and sure thought that there is something special brewing within them just waiting to take UK metal world by storm.

Formed in 2009, the quintet from Milton Keynes has built a strong and ever growing fan base and reputation for their sound and explosive live shows which have seen them rub shoulders with the likes of Sylosis, Exit Ten, Odessa, Heart of a Coward, It Prevails, Tesseract, and Bury Tomorrow. The self released album Distances is the next step in the band taking their honed and skilfully powerful sound across the country and beyond, and it is hard to imagine anything than acceleration of their stock from its unleashing.

Heartless is a smack between the eyes to start things off, its brewing menace littered with confrontational sounds before erupting into a rage of vocals and riff anger with a droning melodic whisper pervading all. It is brief and unremarkable yet wholly effective as the lead into The Deep End, a song which offers all you need to know about the band. Riffs and intensity storm within the ear with little respect for mercy but are soon tempered by outstanding melodic enterprise from the guitars of Freddie Goli and Elliot Prudence whilst atmospheric synth sounds swell and sweep within any air not yet consumed by the assault. The song is at times almost painful such the ferocity of the attack and immense power generated by the band, but the melodic class and flair keeps one within boundaries of safety. As the album also ultimately emerges to be, it is a song which takes time to fully immerse in but it is well worth the struggle.

Another Time, Another Place takes things to new heights and stakes its claim as best track. From its first breath the song splits atoms and synapses with sonic twisting and ravenous energy. The guitars corrupt the senses with artillery like precision whilst the rhythms of Ollie Bennett alongside bassist Andrew Hickman, have a vindictive belligerence to their imposing presence. As the beats whip the ear to numbness a contemptuous groove teases and taunts alongside the great melodic beckoning and vocal power. Chris Weaver again like the album took time to get on terms with. His clean vocals are instantly exceptional, with a delivery and range which stands out over most vocalists to have emerged in the past couple of years but his guttural shouts offer such a contrast it is wrong footing and initially off putting to be honest. Again though with plenty of interaction between band and ear it all slips into place and becomes a non issue, the extremes overall working well, though preference would still like his smoother  style to reign.

I, The Dreamer offers further diversity with an atmosphere heating symphonic caressing from behind the disrupting energy. Again there is a fully impressive spectrum of vocals from Weaver, one is only more and more impressed song by song by him, and the band as whole it must be added. The emotive class and expanse of the song is open and spreads through to the likes of A Case Of Wait And See and the thrilling (Un)Forgiven just as impressively. Further highlights come with Reflections which features Richard Lardner from Odessa and the brilliant A Path to Follow. Both punch and churn up the guts with unstoppable intensity and malevolence but wrap their passionate and warm arms around the senses with such melodic craft and imagination it is an honour to be assaulted.

     Distance is an impressive and striking release which just needs a little more work than expected before it shares its riches. Embrace The Tide stand at the foot of the ladder to mass recognition, this album the first mighty step onto the first rung.

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RingMaster 15/08/2012

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Despite Exile: Re-Evolve

As one stands before the mighty destructive storm that is Re-Evolve, the new three track release from Italian metallers Despite Exile one can only be impressed and left swollen in their inferno of sound. The release is a tumultuous mass of bone shattering and merciless power, each riff and rhythm an iron jab and every melody a scything flash of intrusive creativity, and though it may be slightly lacking on originality it more than defuses that with a skill and passion which welcomingly overwhelms and deeply pleasures.

Re-Evolve follows debut album Scarlet Reverie and marks a sure progress in the Despite Exile sound and songwriting. Arguably more melodic, definitely more technical and certainly more aggressive the release shows a maturity and tighter control in its nothing less than blood racing sounds and unbridled promise for things ahead. The quartet from Udine of vocalist Jei Durisotti, guitarists Sanchez Santini and Carlo Ferraro, bassist Giovanni Minozzi, and Sasha Veselinovic on drums has already won over their homeland with their prog/technical metal/deathcore blend as well as leaving it wasted with their live shows which has seen them share stages with the likes of Heart In Hand, It Prevails, Hopes Die Last, and Ready Set Fall. Their debut only went to garner further recognition and acclaim but Re-Evolve feels like being the trigger to wider acknowledgement and interest. There is a persistent flood of strong and impressive bands, something which will never dry up but few leave such a dent and lingering assault upon the senses as Despite Exile whilst making it truly pleasurable.

The EP opens with the immediately psyche stretching Oscillate. It eagerly winds up the pressure and intensity with a firmly gripping intrusive groove whilst the rhythms leave one punch drunk.  It is not all out war the track preferring to build the intensity through deliberate precise riffs and scouring melodic slices of steel. The vocals of Durisotti crawl through and rage against the ear dripping venom with his every breath to match the intrusive effect from the puncturing riffs and twisting melodic guitar invention. Though not the fiercest fire on the EP you can still feel flesh withering from the sonic heat of the track and one cannot ask for or expect a better opening to a release.

Perfection Neutralized ignites a raging inferno next with its blistering energy and numbing intensity. With impressive breakdowns and melodies to scorch every cell the song has a slight schizophrenic nature. It is agitated, openly venomous, whilst assuming nothing but submission before its might. With melodies like blades through the ear and imaginative rhythms offering no sign of respite the track is a monstrous glory; even the emotive progressive element cannot defuse its snarl and ravenous heart.

Despite Exile end Re-Evolve with the excellent Mechanical and allow their softer side to emerge. Well one says softer but as ever each and every note, thought, and second is a brutal annihilation of the senses; it is just here the band bring an extra melodic grin to their intent. Ever evolving within its skin the track ventures into and awakens places untouched by others. It is nasty, vindictive and purse excellence, a song to leave women and children cowering and men on their knees. It is a beast of ingenuity and compulsive sounds which leaves one damning the band for there being only three tracks on the release.

With more than a spice of Meshuggah, Whitechapel, and Veil Of Maya to its blood Re-Evolve is a storm of fury which brings the most gratifying satisfaction. Despite Exile might have been a mere unheard whisper before in the ears of many but surely they will soon be the loudest and most welcome scream.

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RingMaster 29/05/2012

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Burn The Sunset – Home

With the force of a wind tunnel cranked up to the top, Home from Scottish metalcore band Burn The Sunset is a punishing assault on ear, senses and self security. The debut album from the Stirling based metalers saps the energy and breath from its listener whilst leaving the shattered shell a smiling wreck from its infernal intensity. It is not an easy listen and many will run for cover the instant it places its sonic claws into their psyche but stand tall in the face of its tumultuous aggressive sounds and the reward is deep and satisfying.

Formed in 2008, Burn The Sunset has steadily and effectively worked towards its brutal sound and this debut release. The years leading up to Home has seen the quintet crafting their musical thoughts and sound through countless impressive live shows including shared stages with and tours alongside the likes of Never Cry Wolf, Your Demise, While She Sleeps, Bleed From Within, and It Prevails, and concentrated songwriting, the band garnering strong respect and acclaim along the way. The album is proof that the time taken honing and finding their sound has been well worth the wait. To be honest Home suggests there is still much more to come from the band and that they still have not found that really defining element that will make them stand heads above the rest but they are well on the way and the promise this release offers is frightening and very exciting for future releases and years.

Opening pulsating instrumental ‘Home Pt 1’ proves to be reasonably subdued against the rest of the release, its striking and intrusive riffs a mere hint to the devastation to be unleashed upon the ear. The track leads straight into the excellent ‘Moving On’ and the awakening of the beast that is Home. The track rifles the listener with treacherous riffs and incisive melodic guitars from  Jonathon Almond and Duncan Fyfe that sear rather than groom the ear. It hits hard but still the band is not at full intense capacity, the song bullying rather than crushing its victim. The vocals of Andy Bruce are caustic, his venomous growls dragged from a swamp of bile, and a perfect fit to the blistering sound.

Lonely and Defeated’ throws full force upon the listener, obliterating with destructive riffs, rhythms that numb, and pissy basslines from Jack Sullivan. From here on in the intensity is all consuming and impervious to resistance. ‘The Changing Times’ pummels the senses with towering riffs and power which never diminishes even through the smooth and distinct pace changes. From a rampant animal to a lumbering brute and back the track is relentless and demanding. As throughout the release Home gives no time for a gulp of air between tracks as ‘Insincere’ slams into view belligerent and full of animosity. Its winding groove twists and teases the senses until they are ready to snap whilst scorched guitar play taunts behind. The gang shouts are a good contrast to the harsh delivery of Bruce and maybe if a criticism there were not enough.

The album’s best track is ‘Memories’ and by a long way, it is a classic. It is hard to define what it has different or what sets it apart from the other fine songs but it simply ripples with extra exited energy and enterprising creativity. Without losing any of the urgency and intensity found elsewhere the song ignites and pleases the ear and beyond with a tremendous rhythm attack from Callum Bain, who it has to be said is outstanding throughout Home, essential riffs that trigger the primal inside, and a siren mesmeric groove that attaches itself like a leech giving rather than drawing pleasure.

Home is not without minor faults, mainly in the fact that despite his fine display and aggressive delivery Bruce’s vocals are a touch one dimensional and often veils the variation going on musically. Not a major criticism but a slight diversity would make on feels great songs even better and it is no coincidence that when the collective shouts and chants come in the songs find another dimension.  Despite that Burn The Sunset has announce their arrival with a ferocious and blistering release that will give deep satisfaction for those with an extreme metal/metal core bent.

RingMaster 26/01/2012

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