Verni – Barricade

There is nothing better than a song which has you swinging from the rafters hollering and roaring. When you get ten in one ridiculously rousing collection it borders on bliss and that is exactly what the debut album from Verni uncages. The first offering from the solo project of Overkill founder and bass player DD Verni, Barricade is one unbridled raucous anthem sprung from individual hurricanes of rock ‘n’ roll incitement and easily one of the most pleasurable offerings of the year.

An ever prolific songwriter, Verni as a project arose from a growing collection of songs which did not fit either Overkill or DD’s side outfit The Bronx Casket Co. To add extra spicing to the mix, he proceeded to approach a host of musicians to guest on them resulting in the album featuring a plethora of guitarists including Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy), Angus Clark (Trans Siberian Orchestra), Jeff Waters (Annihilator), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Mike Romeo (Symphony X), Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Steve Leonard (Almost Queen) and Andre “Virus” Karkos (Dope) as well as former Overkill drummer Ron Lipnicki. Putting all those lures aside, Barricade is a cauldron of temptation in its own right whether it swings with rock tenacity, trespasses with metal nurtured ferocity or snarls with punk driven belligerence.

Immediately opener Fire Up opens its sonic jaws, attention was not just lured but gripped as grooves drive a rapacious onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll.  A tease of Verni’s thrash instincts unite with hard rock vivacity, riffs and rhythms colluding to create their own thick lure alongside the creative web of the guitars. DD’s vocals are a matching draw, it all stirring up quick involvement from body, voice, and neck muscles. No breath is spared as the song charges through ears spilling lust poking hooks and grooves as gang shouts holler and individual flare across the track ignites.

The following Miracle Drug is equally as virulent in its catchiness and energetic hard rock cast dynamics if taking things down a gear gait wise. But a single gear it is as the track still flies from the speakers with zeal and enterprise before Off My Leash has the body bouncing with its contagiously predacious animation. Punk and grunge infest its metal lined rock bred swagger, another collusion of flavours which seeds something truly fresh and viral. Unexpected twists only add to its relentless and unbridled tempting.

Like a wound up dervish, (We are) The Broken Ones strikes next with guitars scything across earthy rhythms as vocals inspire eager participation while Lost In The Underground embroils classic rock exploits in punk ‘n’ roll contagion to romp and stomp with the listener. Both tracks not only hit the spot but shatter it to incite a lustful union.

Through the darker thrash spun drama of The Party of No and the southern gothic drama of Night of the Swamp King the album only tightens its grip. The first has a definite Anthrax meets Dope feel to it while the second is atmospheric intimation and sonic theatre soaked in stoner intoxication; their successor, We Were Young, adding to the album’s blossoming variety with its classic rock balladry. The latter is a track we would not normally take to but courtesy of the devilish prowess of DD Verni we were firmly hooked.

The album closes up with firstly of Slow My Ride,​ a fervent entanglement of alternative metal and hard rock, and in turn the classic metal meets anthemic rock outing of Heaven Calling. It is probably fair to say neither lit the fires within as those before them but each escalated the undiluted enjoyment of Barricade, a pleasure which has only grown by the listen.

​We are sure we will not be alone in hoping DD Verni continues to write tracks which do not fit his main projects because as much as those projects fully satisfy another Verni encounter is already the subject of hungry anticipation.

Barricade is out now via Mighty Music on CD, digitally and on Ltd white vinyl.

http://www.ddverni.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ddverni/

 Pete RingMaster 17/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Arbitrator – Indoctrination of Sacrilege

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If you speak to the right people there are always good, often great things said about any new and emerging band. The confirmation is always only in the music of course and just as often as words are proven, anticipation is left in unintended deceit. Arbitrator since the release of The Consummate Ascendancy EP in 2011 has been a band often talked up and recommended from certainly Canadian and North American sources. Their debut album Indoctrination of Sacrilege is our introduction to the quartet and all promise and suggestions of their growing might have been convincingly proven.

Indoctrination of Sacrilege is a beast of a release, an intensively atmospherically soaked death metal bred proposition which from making an impressive first impression grows into one striking and fascinating theatre of imagination. Fusing in textures and essences from electro and industrial climates to progressive and ambient flavouring, the six track release engulfs and stirs ears and thoughts with skilled and increasingly rewarding adventure. The band itself is the brainchild of Robert Kuklaand, its emergence starting in 2010 and announced by the release of The Consummate Ascendancy the following year. It was an acclaimed proposal from the band but just a tester in many ways for the exploratory might of Indoctrination of Sacrilege. With a line-up of Myles Malloy (lead guitar), Connor ORT Linning (programming), and Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-Devin Townsend Project, ex-Aborted) alongside Kuklaand (rhythm guitar, bass, vocals), Arbitrator put themselves forward now as one of the more intriguing and exciting progressive death metal prospects. They also still feel like they are still only just scratching the first few layers of their potential despite the weight and success of their album, a potential and prospect of even greater things ahead quite exciting.

The Sacha Laskow (ex-Divinity, Every Hour Kills) produced and Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy) mastered album, swiftly has the imagination engaged as the entrance of opener They Will Worship This Fire of Agony comes through scenery of portentous bells and death feasting flies as church seeded chants seemingly offering final guidance as a dark pestilential cloud looms nearer and nearer. That sonic threat is realised a muscular wall of riffs and punchy rhythms veined by enchanting keys. It is an immediately incendiary and compelling persuasion enhanced by the guttural growls of Kuklaand and spicy persistent grooves. Samples are soon briefly mingling with the cavernous presence and intimidation of the song too but it is the infectious hooks and melodic winery which most captivates against the evolving and enlarging drama of the keys. It is an imposing and enthralling encounter, and as the album subsequently shows itself to be, a pleasingly unpredictable one.

The potent start to the album is solidly continued by Stillborn Bastard of The Nazarene, it straight away binding the appetite with intensive riffs and rhythmic swings whilst thoughts are provoked by its atmospheric colouring. Kuklaand again impresses as he binds words and syllables with a gripping impassioned tenacity which provides additional potent focal points amidst many on release and track. Samples and keys again paint additional inciting scenes in the ferocious and threatening landscape of the song, though it is the superb melodic enterprise of Malloy which steals more of the glory.

Through each song the album just gets better and creatively bigger, the next up For That Which May Appease Lions unleashing black hearted rock ‘n’ roll in a hellacious offering of grooved and addictive contagion aligned to corrosive and oppressive malevolence. The track transfixes from its first moments, the predatory nature and sound of the bass a delicious stalking within the maelstrom of rancor whilst clean vocals add a different shade of temptation to the voracious soundscape. Keys and guitar endeavour similarly vein the tempest with their own unique and engrossing narratives, everything seamlessly flowing and combining together to enslave ears and imagination. Unpredictability is rife across the track, and reveals more twists and subtle ideation with every listen, an exciting trait just as potent in Serpent of The Styx. The song’s electronic opening is a melodic drift of keys and radiant melodies yet it all comes with a solemn and melancholic charm courted by a slowly brewing dark side. An eruption of that heavy menace is eventually unleashed yet the song still continues to radiate melodic expression within a web of carnivorous grooves and enjoyably volatile rhythms. There is also a cinematic ambience to the track, its ‘warmer’ and calmer moments apocalyptic in suggestion as the track’s muscular and rabid side trespasses and challenges the senses. As its predecessor, the track is a mouth-watering incitement which just gets more addictive and anthemic with every passing minute, hook, and barbarous swing from Verbeuren.

       Profaned and Perfected whilst not quite matching the heights of the previous two tracks, has its own persuasive agenda of spiny grooves and spiky beats to contemplate, and an anthemic swing to drool profusely over. It is an out and out death metal ravishment but also one unafraid to explore warmer climes through the often spellbinding invention of the industrial spiced keys and climactic guitar. The song is still a bruising and commanding predator keeping body and emotions invigorated and fearful before the ‘epilogue’ like instrumental adventure of The Burning Sands of His Kingdom brings the album to a fine close. The electronically driven piece draws a cold and stark wasteland yet equally suggests hope with its melodically epic and intimately expressive tones within rugged scenery.

Over a handful of listens in and there is still more revelations coming forward within songs as Indoctrination of Sacrilege continues to reward, that in itself a strong reason with the diversity of sound and invention to check the album out. Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Colin Marks (Exodus, Scar Symmetry, Jeff Loomis), the release has been suggested for fans of Bloodbath, Dismember, and The Project Hate but also it is easy to suggest that those with a taste for bands such as Opeth, Mercyful Fate, and Escapethecult could do far worse than taking a plunge into Arbitrator and their first album.

Indoctrination of Sacrilege is available from February 13th @ http://arbitratorofficial.bandcamp.com/album/indoctrination-of-sacrilege

https://www.facebook.com/Arbitratorband

RingMaster 12/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

Sweet dances and psychotic episodes: an interview with Fede of Destrage

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Difficult to describe but very easy to enthuse vociferously over,  Are You Kidding Me? No. the new album from Italian metallers Destrage is easily one of the most thrilling and innovative albums to come along not only this year so far but over a long time. It is a fever of invention and imagination which confronts and seduces the senses through a maze flavours, styles, and experimentation. It is sonic and noise anarchy at its best, a psyche teasing triumph which declares its creators as the exhilarating maelstrom of adventure metal and music is always crying out for. To find out more about band and release we had the pleasure to explore the depths of Destrage with drummer Federico Paulovich, venturing into the creation of the album, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, tomato juice, audience sex and plenty more…

Hi Fede and thank you for talking with us.

Before we look at your new album would you tell us about the beginning of Destrage?

The current line-up has been consistent since 2007 and after their first demo, Self Id Generator, Destrage signed a deal with Howling Bull Records, Japan, and released their first full length, Urban Being, which also saw a worldwide release by Coroner Records in 2009.The second full length The King Is Fat’n’Old was released in 2010 by Coroner Records and Howling Bull, supported by European and Japanese tours and international festivals such as Heineken Jammin’ Festival, Euroblast and Mair1 Festival, The Bad Side Festival, MetalItalia Festival, MAV Festival and more. The eclectic festival run afforded Destrage the opportunity to share the stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All, Freak Kitchen, Monuments, Jeff Loomis, Penny Wise, After the Burial, Puddle of Mudd, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Caliban, Every Time I Die, Lordi, Moonspell and many more. In 2012, we wrote and recorded our third album. The result, the band’s most focused and dynamic effort yet, Are You Kidding Me? No. led to a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records.

What was the spark and intent of the band at the beginning and does that still drive the band just as potently today?

We simply LOVE to spend time together, playing together, laughing and making jokes or just hanging. If “millions $$$” are not involved in a musical project (like in our case) every member needs to enjoy every single moment of the “band life”, form the sound check to the time spent on the van. It’s about alchemy in my opinion.

Of course conflicts, like in every relationship, are part of the game. But that was intent at the beginning and nothing is changed at the moment 🙂

How would you say the band has evolved over the years musically and emotionally?

We believe that our evolution as musicians and composers fully reflects our personal growth in real life. You gotta experience something before you can say something; that’s the main reason why we are always evolving, and we’ll always be. So, expect something really different from the albums to come… About how we changed through the three albums, there are a couple reasons that can explain the process. At the time we were composing and recording Urban Being, there was a big change of line up, and all the songs were composed mostly by Matteo; only with The King Is Fat’n’Old we started working all together on the songs, so the main difference from Urban Being is the result that came out from a combined work. We had the same approach in composing Are You Kidding Me? No., but a few years passed, so we were more close-knit as a team, and above all, our music influences had really changed in the meanwhile, as well as we grew up as persons.

Italy seems to have a rather rich and expansive metal scene, how have you found it on the inside and has it becomes easier for a

 Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography


Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography

band from your country to break into a wider audience over recent years?

In Italy, being in a metal band is definitely not easy. Italian scene, especially on rock and metal music, can’t be compared to the German, UK, Scandinavian or American ones. Our scene is based on pop-folk authors. We have to face a pop and hip hop mainstream market which dominates our local music market, and you have to fight a lot to find, not only a good label deal or an honest booking agent, but also a decent place to play. I have to say that Destrage always met great guys on the road, who contributed to support local bands and this was a great luck for us. Nowadays for the first time we can see a metal scene growing in our country and that’s incredible.

You have just released your third album as you mentioned, the quite brilliant, and I am not just saying that because we are talking, Are You Kidding Me? No. Because of the album we described the band as ‘a ten-legged groove machine with just as many schizophrenic characters posing as songs within its latest temptation.’ The album must be your proudest moment to date recording wise, even over the achievement of making your very first release?

I think this album is what makes us really proud at the moment. The first Urban Being wasn’t even a team work, the whole band wasn’t even there. As much as it can be uplifting to see your first record see the light, we believe it’s much more precious to wait a few years and deliver something that really reflects what you are.

If Urban Being was modern metal with a touch of Destrage, The King was Destrage with some modern metal dressing, Kidding is finally the essence of Destrage.

Your sound as clearly shown on the release employs a maelstrom of styles and flavours crossing fields of genres. How would you describe it in context to Are You Kidding Me? No. for newcomers to the band?

We destroy, create, transform, sublimate. We worship enthusiasm and venerate the shake that it gives.

I think Destrage sound’s is spontaneously various and weird. It’s like we learned how to speak the “metal” language as kids, and then growing up we opened our ears to the world and learned so much more, and the process is still going.

Everything that inspires us, from movies to fine art to haute cuisine to love and sex, can be easily translated into hard music as it is our native language.

This said if you take a look to our Spotify profiles you’ll be surprised. Or disgusted ahahah…

I’d love to tell these newcomers: we’d love you to take what the album is actually giving, with a clear and naive point of view, not expecting this record to be something that is going in the direction you already have in your mind. We are not saying the album is a unique piece of music that doesn’t resemble anything else you’ve heard before, no, but it definitely has its degree of originality.

It comes to my mind a story: the first time i tried tomato juice I almost puked, since it is a fruit juice and I was expecting a fruit juice-like taste. My brain was ready to enjoy a semi-definite, predictable experience and was already projecting it in my mind as the glass got to my lips. By the time the liquid touched my tongue I was disappointed, disgusted. The contrast with what I imagined was just bad.

Now tomato juice is my favorite.

Let’s not expect cats to bark.

Simply listen, enjoy or not.

1978605_10153840599710104_1863836033_nThe songs on the album are almost exhausting in their imagination and ever evolving inventive anarchy, they border schizophrenic at times haha. They sound like a puzzle to excitingly decipher and it is easy to assume they are constructed in a similar way so how do you approach the writing and creation of your songs?

Ahahah you’re right. It’s a giant puzzle made by post-it! We love to use them to keep always in mind the structure of every song, and be able to get an overview on the whole album structure as well.

A Destrage song can start from a riff, a melody, or a drum pattern coming out from any member. Then we work on it all together…in the name of post-it !

!We just try to make music that makes us happy and that is fun for others. If this means diverse people will come to our shows then be it! Can’t ask for more. We believe a band is like a person. No human being is always angry, happy or introspective all the time and a project of five different people should naturally deliver many feelings and states of mind at once.

!Also it is easier to swallow a bitter pill if before and after you eat a spoonful of sugar, that’s why complex parts are inscribed in a creamy song with melody and apparently simple rhythm. It is then choice of the listener to enjoy the surface or dig to the nerdy core, it is our business to make both levels as enjoyable as possible.

We don’t want people to come to our gigs and take notes, we want them to come and jump.

Do songs organically grow from those initial seeds or is there a stronger element of deliberate sculpting in their creation from you?

It really depends on the song, but usually what we try to do is to start from an idea or concept that has its own soul and then decorate it with our craftsmanship, instead of putting together many different elements, that most of the times wouldn’t match very well. It is way easier to write very complex stuff for the sake of being technical, so we try to make it enjoyable by anybody. Once I’ve been told by a wise person that we should put sex in every single thing we do, so we put a lot of effort in doing so because we believe that having sex with your audience is way better than masturbating on your own. So even if our technique may result impressive sometimes, we think that music must come before sport in any case.

Did you approach the recording of the album in any different way to your previous releases?

I think every time is different because we change, we evolve as persons and musicians. It’s really a big mixture of feelings, emotions and thoughts. For AYKM?N. after a long period of composition and pre-production, everybody was really focused and motivated to give his best. Somebody was excited, but still worried about some parts here and there, because we didn’t have that much time to rehearse every song properly, so the trickiest parts were kind of scary. Obviously everybody wanted to have fun as well, so jokes and funny moments happened all the time; that’s the way we like doing things together. Every time we enter the studio we realize how much we love making records, and how stressful it is at the same time. Everyone wants the record to be “perfect”, so sometimes somebody loses his mind or goes crazy. Fortunately we have five very different personalities, and we know each other very well, so everything usually sorts out very quickly.

Tell us about the recording of Are You Kidding Me? No. Did the songs evolve further in that environment and did you learn anything this time to take into your next adventure?

The recordings were a bit messy, definitely a non-linear path. Even in the final phase of the production we were having new ideas and insights. Probably hiking in nature, getting lost in an unknown city, visit art galleries, alternate your perception are good ways to get inspired in the beginning of the process and recording is the best way to get inspired in the end of it. Even in its half dark, closed, silent spaces the studio itself is a huge source of inspiration. You are there, but you are not what matters. The album is all and you disappear.

Many of the songs made it to the record the way they were written, other didn’t and we kept changing them until the very end.

We made a documentary of the whole recording process, it will be published soon.

As the album teased, seduced, and thrilled us we laid numerous comparisons at its feet; moments in the eclectic alchemy which Destrage 1reminded us of bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, American Head Charge, Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Faith No More Kontrust and French bands Mucho Tapioca and Toumai, even at one brief point Ugly Kid Joe. It shows the diversity and expanse of your sound. Are there any specific inspirations which have really influenced you if not for the band as a musician?

All those that you mentioned played a crucial role in our inspirational feast, but not more than Michel Gondry, Quay Brothers or Paolo Barnard did. And they don’t release albums.! !

Are You Kidding Me? No. sees a guest appearance by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns’N’Roses on its title track, How did that union come about?

We all are Ron’s big fans. When we finished the track Are You Kidding Me? No. we felt something was missing in the end. In fact, a Bumblefoot solo was missing. Since we had no connection with him, Mat emailed Mattias “Ia” Eklundh, who played on Jade’s Place (in our previous record The King Is Fat’N’Old) and became our friend (he’s such a cool guy!). He asked him for an address, a number, some contact to get in touch with Ron. Mattias as usual answered very politely, but didn’t give Mat what he wanted (he’s a very respectful person). So Mat was left with no choice other than going on Bumblefoot’s website and write to the general mail address. And surprize, Ron answered immediately telling us the song was super good and he’d do the collaboration. He told Mat he was touring with GnR in that period, so we should wait for a month or so. We thought it was his way to refuse. Instead he actually wrote back when the tour was over, asking what we wanted exactly, and we answered “we want you to do whatever you want for 32 bars”.

Few funny private messages followed and we got our perfect solo in 3 days. Smooth. The song seemed to be made for him, as he also said later in an interview. So, good experiment, and when we got to meet the guy in person we liked him even more. Ron is rad.

That track is also the most, can we say creatively and thrillingly psychotic on the album, probably our favourite song though it is hard to choose just one. Can you give us some insight into its creation?

Are You Kidding Me? No. is one of our favourite tracks too, for two main reasons: its origin and its content. The song was born randomly, as Mat sang what became the trumpet melody while going around on his red Vespa.

So, in the beginning we only expanded what comes after the trumpet, all that gipsy-sounding part. We wanted to make it a bonus track and leave it as it was. Then with no reason or precise plan, we wrote all the rest around it, putting no limits and setting no borders, following the lyric concept “Everybody does all kind of shit, I’m sorry that I’m sorry, I had to do this”.

The content came along in exceptional short time, and surprisingly our mindless creation gave birth to some of the most cerebral and psychotic parts of the whole album. !

As you said earlier the album is also your first with Metal Blade Records. How has the link up impacted on the album so far?

Being signed with such a great label is a dream come true for us! Definitely it’s giving us way bigger exposure, and much more people are listening to the new album because of this. But on the artistic point of view it didn’t have any impact, simply because we could sign the deal with MB because we already had the new album finished and ready to go.

Destrage is a band never slow in hitting the road and stages, the same again for 2014 I can assume? Any details you can reveal?

Absolutely yes! Everything is “work in progress”, our goal is to play these songs live, touring as much as we can, bringing our music everywhere…we’ll see what happens! 🙂

We can’t wait to be on the road again!

Once more thank you for sharing time to chat with us. Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for your attention! Our new album Are you Kidding Me? No. will be release on March 3 in Europe through Metal Blade Records. More music and videos will be released soon, so stay tuned though our official pages http://www.facebook.com/destrage, http://www.youtube.com/destrage andwww.twitter.com/destrage!

Thank you so much for this interview guys! 🙂

Read the review of Are you Kidding Me? No. @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/03/2014

Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No.

 

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     Destrage is a force which confronts and seduces the imagination with such an exhaustive vivacity of sound and adventure that it becomes a proposition which has you simultaneously confused, bewildered, and thrillingly basking in a maelstrom of sonic alchemy. Hailing from Italy, the band has forged an impressive and unforgettable once bitten presence which is ascending into more fevered attention release by release, but it is the release of new album Are You Kidding Me? No. which feels like the trigger into worldwide recognition and ardour with its Metal Blade Records release. With more flavours, styles, and imagination than a carnival in Rio, the release turns a band which was still waiting to explode around the globe into an exhilarating infection of the psyche and passions with that target in its sights. With words like unpredictable and intriguing the weakest descriptions of the inventive anarchy teasing and ravishing the senses, Destrage is a ten-legged groove machine with just as many schizophrenic characters posing as songs within its latest temptation.

     Formed in 2005, the Milan quintet has been on a charge of persuading and recruiting hearts at home and further afield since their first days, the current line-up in place since 2007 especially stoking those the fires. From their first demo Self Id Generator, Destrage has continued to evolve into a aurally spectacular provocation, the albums Urban Being of 2009 and The King Is Fat’n’Old the following year potent bait greedily devoured by more and more willing souls, though you suspect it will be nothing compared to the awakening sparked by Are You Kidding Me? No. Live too the band has left wasted bodies and hungry bodies in their wake, the undertaking of tours across Europe, Japan, and numerous festivals and shows where they have shared spaces with the likes of Every Time I Die, Parkway Drive, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All, Freak Kitchen, Monuments, Jeff Loomis, Penny Wise, After the Burial, Puddle of Mudd, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Caliban, Lordi, Moonspell and many more, increasing their stock. The new album though feels and sounds like their time to lead the pack has now come and it is not a moment too soon.

     You may be wondering what the band sound like, which we will endeavour to reveal song by song, but suffice to say it is Coverwonderfully something quite impossible to label. Opener Destroy Create Transform Sublimate tells you all you need to know about Destrage and whether to unreservedly embrace or stand scratching your head over their voracious experimentation and invention. The track opens with a spiral of sonic enterprise courted by aggressive riffs and combative rhythms, the mix alluring and intimidating in equal measure. It is not long before the song is throwing off any restraint to stomp with entwining essences of groove and funk veining a still voracious assault of technical and carnivorous metal. The impressive vocals of Paolo Colavolpe are just as eager to tempt and savage as the music with a delivery as wide as the range of sounds around him. The song aggressively dances like a fusion of Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, American Head Charge, and French band Mucho Tapioca, but even with its gait it switches and shuffles its suasion without notice or care.

   With a climactic finale which simply thrills and enthrals, dub and techno added to the spice cupboard of the song, the towering opener is swiftly matched in quality and psyche twisting grandeur by Purania. From a charged entrance of rapacious riffing and similarly hungry rhythms, the song settles into a melodic bordering mellow stroll which lasts just the length of the impatience the band has to light the touch paper to another maze of eclectic sonic fascination. Imagine a hybrid of Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, 6:33, and System Of A Down and you get a glimpse of the beauty and schizophrenic glory of the song, a triumph within which the guitars of Matteo Di Gioia and Ralph Salati craft a narrative and web which bewitches and challenges, their hypnotic mix of creative frenzy and skilful acidic elegance spellbinding within the predatory frame built by bassist Gabriel Pignata and drummer Federico Paulovich.

    My Green Neighbour rifles ears next, its first breath a frantic tsunami of beats and riffs courting a bedlamic mind-set. Forcing its agitated psyche and attack into a smoother flowing blaze of heavy and melodic metal, the song takes little effort in replicating the temptation of its predecessors, merging varied flames of sound and persistently captivating detours into a brawling riot of invention and insatiable metal manipulation. The stunning tempest then has to step aside for the more primal bordering bestial presence of Hosts, Rifles & Coke, its heavy throated savagery magnetic and even more tantalising when it shares time with a contagion of melodic prowess and mouth-wateringly catchy choruses, all seared by a scotching solo to top things off.

    Both the discordant and masterful mayhem of G.O.D. and the smoother voiced mesmeric Where the Things Have No Colour unveil new scenic aspects of the Destrage’s songwriting and imagination; the first a riot of Faith No More meets Ugly Kid Joe voraciousness aligned to a mind tripping sensibility and the second a progressively honed melodic venture through rapturous harmonies and exotic melodies within an irresistible toxin of craft and infectiousness. Arguably the track is the band at its most restrained artistically but certainly no less potent and imaginative as well as exciting.

     Waterpark Bachelorette has the band squalling and rioting over the senses, grooves and lethal rhythms a blistering endeavour matched by the predacious expulsions of vocals and sound which litter the rampant torrent of rock ‘n’ roll. Guitar doodling veins the song for only the most satisfying results whilst the addictive anthemic call of vocals and hooks make a lingering bait which seeps into the breather of melodic caresses and sonic entanglement. Its excellence is soon equalled by firstly the dramatically textured Before, After and All Around and the almost hysterical invention of – (Obedience), the track verging on maniacal with its avant-garde/melodic metal ants nest of busy yet ordered chaos.

    To prove that the song is still not the deranged imagination of the band exhausted the closing title track takes all honours on the Are You Kidding Me? No. Featuring a guest appearance by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns’N’Roses), the track is an inventive meshuga but one which knows exactly what it is doing. Fusing experimentation, jazz, funk, and pure dementia into its unrelenting crazed waltz, the track is a triumph of insanity which disorientates and seduces with perfect touch and irreverence. Ending on a sensational emotive stomp of gypsy punk with swing desires and reminding very much of Kontrust and another French band Toumai, the track is a magnificent concluding revelry to a quite brilliant and monumental release.  Quite simply Destrage has provided your probable album of the year.

www.facebook.com/destrage

10/10

Ringmaster 06/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Colosso – Abrasive Peace

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    Colosso in name and colossus in sound, the one man project is an immense and staggering confrontation of inventive and adventurous death metal as evidenced by debut album Abrasive Peace. Veined with flames of dramatic and varied genres inspired sounds and dynamism which leaves exhaustion as one of its potent legacies, the release is a thrilling and hungry destructive treat which marks this Portuguese band as a formidable contender, if not now undoubtedly in the future, in the ring graced by established death metal giants.

The Oporto based project is the solo invention of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Max Tomé which he began in 2011 with the initial idea to write a death metal album where many other influences and soundscapes would fit in, something successfully achieved it has to be said with the album. In the March of that year Tomé invited Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve, Devin Townsend, Jeff Loomis) to play drums for the album which he agreed, the album itself going on to be mixed and mastered by Paulo Lopes. Originally a limited self-released encounter physically and as a download last year, the album has been picked up for another deserved wider venture into the world by Canadian underground label Mulligore Production. Also available with Peaceful Abrasiveness, an instrumental version of the release, the album is a stunning and invigorating bruising upon the senses with the fullest of rewards and satisfaction in tow.

The diverse flavour and enterprise of the album comes with the influence of, in Tomé’s words “Musically, this album is the sum of four of my favourite bands: Hate Eternal, Decapitated, Meshuggah and Devin Townsend” and “Lyrically, Abrasive Peace focuses on several themes, such as the butterfly effect, the search for perfection, or the inner need to disconnect from everything and just forget about the world.” The depths and textures of both aspects are as captivating as the sonic and brutal onslaught of intensity which swamps the ear and beyond into full and willing capitulation. It is a monstrous ravaging from start to finish but loaded with moments of almost tenderness and understanding restraint which seduces the passions further, though ultimately the predator instinct of the release and songs always has its sadistic way.

The starting electro caress of opener  Anthem To Chaos initially raise eyebrows but once joined by a tirade of rhythmic brilliance and rapacious riffing it becomes with the melodic call of the guitar sparking the atmosphere, a warm and intriguing temptation. The vocals of Tomé are savage and uncompromising yet like the corrosive breath of the attack elsewhere has a lure to its violence which falls into perfect place and persuasion alongside the ever evolving soundscape of the track. The unbridled snarl of his bass again captivates individually whilst combining with all elements for an unrelenting expanse of creative and absorbing aural animosity and evocative imagination.

Like across the whole release, the first song leads straight into the following might of Demolish To Rebuild, a furnace of a track raging with vocals and rhythmic malevolence wrapping in a wonderfully acidic and melodic narrative. From the initial fire the track is a deliciously seductive aural tale of skilfully crafted beauty and provocative ambience which transports the listener to a place of safety though with its own teasing shadows before a final blaze of aggressive vehemence ravages all.

Through the intensive and grievous Pattern Of Disconnection and The Epiphany, the single from the album, the release chews on the already set in wounds with fascination and enterprise, the first with a certain bestial intent but reined with a toxic groove which niggles yet ignites the purest ardour whilst the second of the two tracks unleashes a blistering technical havoc which Meshuggah would greedily accept as their own and a sonic lancing from the guitar which spreads and cages the senses like a steel web.

Track by track the album continues to hold the passions tightly in its invention and craft, In Turmoil and Thou Shall Never Be Benevolent feverishly gnawing at the senses and emotions with their own unique carnivorous appetites whilst Headless Endures uncages a rhythmic and murderous frenzy which leaves molten psyche bubbling with contentment.

The closing Unplugged From The World explores and exploits thoughts and emotions for a final triumphant tempest of imaginative evocation and severe inventive agitation. It is the perfect summing up for the album with the drumming of Verbeuren constantly jaw dropping and exciting whilst Tomé unveils a wealth of thought, craft, and originality in his songwriting and musicianship that you cannot help suspecting he and Colosso will go on to truly major things. Abrasive Peace is an album which takes time to reveal all its glories, making every encounter fresh and adventurous, but equally breeds a sure appetite from the first moment it venomously licks the ear, and simply is a must check out album.

www.colossometal.com

9/10

RingMaster 06/06/2013

 

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7 Horns 7 Eyes: Throes of Absolution

The release of a three track digital EP in the shape of Convalescence last year from Seattle melodic/progressive death metalers 7 Horns 7 Eyes inspired much anticipation for their debut album Throes of Absolution. The trio of songs on the release showed the band had evolved in sound and might into a formidable and thoughtful band in craft, songwriting, and the bringing of those into an aural reality. The long awaited album more than confirms this and fulfils all the enthused eagerness that the EP spawned. Impressive, powerful, and imaginatively constructed it is a mighty and thrilling release, its open and undeniable glories far outweighing any negatives of which there are very few.

Formed in 2006 the band first drew attention with their self released debut EP from fans, media, and other musicians equally, especially from now ex-Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis who makes a guest appearance on Throes of Absolution. The sounds on the album are a long way from the early music from the band, their ability and skills let alone ideas having evolved and matured in the subsequent years. The recording of the album did not run smoothly though with a change in frontman meaning all the album vocals had to be re-recorded by new singer JJ “Shiv” Polachek. Finally though the album is unleashed via Basick Records and it more than builds on and expands the promise and hopes instigated by the earlier release.

     Throes of Absolution is not the easiest of albums to get to grips with, it is a demanding beast with depths that require and deserve full focus and time to explore and be consumed by. There is never a moment where the release goes for the instant and easy connection, the band only intent on making music that has an atmosphere and breath of its own. The album is almost like an immense groan, the release of dark and ominous emotions in the shape of intense and weighty riffs, threatening yet controlled rhythms, and melodies that burn as they light up the senses. The release feels alive in itself not merely from the skilled musicianship of the band and the energy they give to it. It is because of this the album is a challenge that confronts all before it and is all the more impressive for it. Some may have to take it in bits or stages but the rewards for the endeavour are immense.

From the opening beckoning almost peaceful beginning of Divine Amnesty the album wraps itself around the ear before bursting from within with thunderous rhythms, a predatory bass, and guitars that weave sonic colours and passions upon the senses. As the track flexes and reveals its muscular strengths the band brings emotive melodic imagination and manipulations to alternately sooth and further scorch the bruising caused by the intense sounds that surround them. Vocalist Polachek and his delivery are bestial; a black hearted growling creature all on their own that add to the dramatic and deepness of the song.

Each track that follows is wonderfully varied but within the same structure shown on the first, the brutality going hand in hand with the marked and intrusive yet mesmeric melodic invention and presence. Phumis: The Falsehood of Affliction alongside the likes of The Hill Difficulty and Delusions with its perfect mix of warm light and invasive dark, all turn listening into an experience involving passions, thought, and a deliberate submission before the invading extensive sounds. Throughout the band shows their obvious and controlled ability, the guitars of Aaron Smith and Sean Alf making each note and riff an exploration and satisfying experience for the listener whilst the bass of Brandon Smith prowls with a menace and bulky pulse alongside. The drums of Ryan Wood are excellent throughout too, the guy knowing exactly when to pummel and smash through the ear and when to bring vibrant restraint. The production of guitarist Smith has to be commended highly too; he allows each component of the band to have a clarity and depth without interfering with the overall intensity and organic flow of the songs.

Many of the track almost lumber across the senses but as a personal preference it is when the band raise the tempo and energy that they find even greater heights. Cycle of Self first shows this with its eager rampage, feisty riffs and merciless initial march whilst the guitars throw cascades of melodic expression down amongst the debris. The song does slow its stride as it progresses to evolve into a different but still impressive track. Vindicator is the best song on the album and again a raised energy within it takes it above the other fine tracks. The intrusive riffs and sonically sharp guitar creativity its offers is a seamless blend of opposing diversity from the flowing melodic elegance and crushing heavy dark aggression. Mesmeric and at times hypnotic the track is dangerous and irresistible.      

     Throes of Absolution is one of the best albums out so far this year and for those who want more than simply being crushed and barracked without any depth it is a must investigation. It is not perfect with the excellent vocals of Polachek lacking a distinct variation, whether the song is a long crawl or an intense rummage through the senses he stays within his own strong but similar delivery. The only other comment that can be made is that not everyone will or want to take on the challenge of delving deeper to find the rewarding treasures beneath the surface assault but it is doubtful the band really care about that and why should they as7 Horns 7 Eyes has created a great and impressive album for us to revel in it.

Ringmaster 20/04/2012

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Stephan Forte: The Shadows Compendium

© Perrine Perez Fuentes.

To be honest The RR is not one to offer up time for indulgence and music that ultimately is just showing off no matter the skill and undoubted talent on show.  No matter the ability and sound guitar led instrument rock generally seems to end up long winded and over played to levels that has lost our focus long before. Now that is our preference and possible lost but that is how the land and personal taste lies. Just sometimes though to reinforce the ethic of still checking things out before assuming there is a release that steps away from past history to offer something different and intriguing. Such is the case with The Shadows Compendium from French guitar maestro Stéphan Forté. The album still steps into areas that push our limits but it is impossible to deny the stunning and impressive sounds and creativity within its vibrant walls.

Stéphan Forté first drew attention his way with his first instrumental demo Visions of 1997, the neoclassical-oriented sounds soon bringing him to the notice of the guitar community. The following year saw him opening for Yngwie Malmsteen and more sponsors, endorsements and industry attention accumulating. 2001 saw the first Adagio album, a band of musicians he recruited to help realise his compositions. Sanctus Ignis drew further acclaim in his homeland and further afield as did the following darker and orchestral/ choral powered Underworld of 2003. After a further two albums Dominate and Archangels In Black and well received concerts and tours, Forté decided to stretch and push his own musical limits which has become the solo project The Shadows Compendium. Three years in the making the album is an intense, diverse and deep exploration that is musically astonishing.

Forté takes influences ranging from Bartok to Meshuggah, twisting his play and sounds in ways and into shapes no lesser mortal can imagine let alone produce. It really is hard to state how powerful and uniquely distinct the music and ability within the compositions are; only the ear can give true representation. From the opening title track and its dark atmospheric intro the album never ventures into predictable even if at times the expected rears its lengthy head. With tower high riffs and melodies that scorch the ear Forté mesmerises with his string play and caresses with wonderful piano expertise. The piece buzzes around the ear at times constantly insistent and eager before making way for truly inspired work from the composer. An array of guests feature on the album with Jeff Loomis of Nevermore aiding here though for these ears which parts he or the others add elude against the mastery of Forté, and these are talented guys.

The aggressive intense metal fuelled elements connect the deepest with these tastes but there is no doubting there is plenty for rock fans of all preferences on The Shadows Compendium. Tracks like the senses twisting De Praestigiis Daemonu with guest Mattias IA Eklundh of Freak Kitchen and the provocative probing of Duat with Glen Drover of Megadeth leave the ear and beyond happy but exhausted. These are power driven though never are the intricacies and elaborate melodies and ideas left to the side. Spiritual Bliss and Prophecies Of Loki XXI dazzle with a lighter but no less staggering manipulation and control of notes, harmonies and any other musical aspect you can imagine from Forté.

The Shadows Compendium is immense and any musician and especially guitarists will have wet dreams over the album. Personal taste stops it being an album to return to often, at times parts are still overblown and overlong, and dare one say even Forté treads the fine line of indulgence. Then again should it not be that way, the man is a genius whom very few can touch, and it would be crazy to keep such flair and ability restrained. If you want to hear an artist make his guitar squeal and sing with a technique and skill that any woman would pay to feel then Stéphan Forté is your first destination.

RingMaster 21/02/2012

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