Megascavenger – As Dystopia Beckons

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With good words heard about but sounds not yet an acquaintance, we had definite intrigue in our anticipation of the new album from Swedish death metal project Megascavenger. What we found within new album As Dystopia Beckons was one mouth-watering and unpredictable kaleidoscope of ferociously imaginative, ravenously confrontational, and venomously contagious extreme metal incitement.

The third album from the Rogga Johansson created project, descends on the senses with a creative animus of discontented sound, ruinous vocals, and an industrial seeded dissonance providing something which really is out of the ordinary. As with previous albums from guitarist/bassist/vocalist Johansson with drummer Brynjar Helgetun often alongside, As Dystopia Beckons sees the guest involvement of a host of members from major bands; Hail of Bullets, Entrails, and Bolt Thrower amongst many sharing their musicians. In many ways though, the stars of the proposition are the bold songwriting and spread of virulently invasive and varied flavours which merge with a tempest of corrosive death metal.

It all begins with Rotting Domain, a predatory stalking of the senses featuring Sven Gross of Fleshcrawl. Initially the track skirts around and prowls ears, shadowing the atmospheric visage of a dystopian landscape which emerges from within the sonic coaxing. Swiftly though, the listener is the target of hungry riffs and tenacious rhythms as an imposing portentous intent is shared by gutturally spewed vocals. It is a highly magnetic affair, especially with the stabbing beats and searing grooves which lay their claim to the imagination.

An industrial intrusiveness opens up the following assault of The Machine That Turns Humans Into Slop. From the carnal tones of bass to the swinging melodic grooves and voracious trespass of the rhythmic web, the song demands and receives eager attention. David Ingram (Hail of Bullets, Echelon, ex-Benediction, ex-Bolt Thrower) adds to the erosive persistence and infectious nagging of the song before Dead City with Jocke Svensson of Entrails involved, takes over. Straight away, the track stalks the senses with a cauldron of onerous sonic intrusiveness and thrash lined riffery. It is a drama which has the imagination swiftly locked in, physical attraction quickly lured by the industrial lined rapacity in sound and emotion that consumes ears. Though it does not quite find the same heights as the first pair of songs, it leaves enjoyment at a similarly feisty level before being eclipsed by As The Last Day Has Passed.

Already there has been a varied addition of textures and spices to songs, but the fourth is far bolder and subsequently even more attention grabbing. Teddy Möller (Loch Vostok, The Experiment No.Q, The Hidden) joins the pair in the lively catchiness and rampancy of the classic/ thrash metal fuelled track, his grizzled vocals a great union with Johansson’s throat shredding prowess. Like a mix of Fear Factory and Soilwork yet not, surprise is instantly replaced by pleasure for not only the gripping sounds but the bold ideation involved.

Things only seem to get braver and more hectic from hereon in; starting with The Hell That Is This World and its early-Pitchshifter/ Entombed like seductive massacre. The track is glorious, an uncompromising anthemic assault of brutal, groove entangled rock ‘n’ roll which again is built on numerous strains of addictive noise and tempestuous textures for one unique infestation of the passions. Kam Lee (ex-Massacre, ex-Mantas, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery) adds his prowess to the song and appears again in The Harrowing Of Hell, though before it, the death ‘n’ roll of Dead Rotting And Exposed scars and corrodes the senses whilst stirring up another industrial soaked stomp followed by the even more hellacious Steel Through Flesh Extravaganza with Adrie Kloosterwaard of Sinister in the mix, which uncages a contagion soaked storm of sonic cancer on the senses. Once more the best description for the thrilling violation is grievous rock ‘n’ roll, and again unbridled satisfaction is the reward.

The Harrowing Of Hell entwines gothic and extreme metal in an encounter which hints at bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Gene Love Jezebel as much as an Asphyx or a Godflesh. From a strong start, the album is at a new level around its middle with this transfixing encounter up there as its finest moment alongside The Hell That Is This World.

Completed by the prophetic sonic instrumental smog of its title track, As Dystopia Beckons leaves the senses wasted and imagination alive with emotions in total agreement. The album easily feeds a want for something individual and refreshing whilst stirring up the instincts for a barbarously invasive time, so can only be heartily recommended.

As Dystopia Beckons is out now via Selfmadegod Records @ http://selfmadegod.com/en/shop/item/12022

https://www.facebook.com/megascavenger

Pete RingMaster 02/03/2016.

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gravehill – Death Curse

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For a pestilential onslaught of black, death, and thrash metal, moulded into one voracious tempest of raw and dirty metal it is unlikely many releases will surpass the new uncompromising ravaging of US corruptors Gravehill. The band’s third album Death Curse is a bestial examination of the senses; savaging violations soaked in causticity and stripped to their primal bones and intent. At times an anthemic contagion and in others simply a predatory gnawing of the senses, the album is an increasingly potent annihilation which evolves an initial strong showing into a truly impressive and exhausting incitement. There is no wastage of frivolous trickery or excessive showing off just concentrated undiluted primeval metal at its best.

The Californian band was formed in 2001, a trio which took little time in unleashing debut demo The Practitioners of Fell Sorcery; it was short lived triumph though as Gravehill disbanded soon after. 2006 saw the band reform, original drummer/founder Rhett “Thorgrimm” Davis linking up with vocalist Mike Abominator. A second demo Metal of Death in 2007 was followed by the EP Metal of Death/Advocation of Murder and Suicide the following year from the quintet. First full-length Rites of the Pentagram was next uncaged on Enucleation Records to strong reactions in 2009 as also its re-release in a package with a third outing from the band’s first demo via Ibex Moon Records a year later. The line-up saw a change in 2011 with guitarist Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey (Exhumed, Dekapitator, Repulsion) joining the band before second album When All Roads lead to Hell on Dark Descent Records. The next year saw another shift in personnel with both Hellfiend and fellow guitarist Rob “Bodybag Bob” Babcock leaving due to extensive touring demands with Exhumed to be replaced by CC DeKill and Hell Messiah.

With the new members slotting in with ease alongside Thorgrimm, Abominator, and bassist J.T. Corpse, Gravehill set about creating what CDBO04.pdfhas emerged as their most ferocious and destructive triumph to date. Again out through Dark Descent and featuring guest appearances from the likes of Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy as well as Kam Lee (Massacre, Death and Bone Gnawer), Death Curse is a masterful protagonist of the senses from the exceptional artwork provided by Christopher Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy)to its last lingering venomous note. Though the introductory opener Gates of Hell does not show the storm to come, its epically sinister portent of sonic certainly brings an intimidation to bear on the senses, a brewing threat soon realised with the explosive entrance of the title track, riffs and rhythms a merciless rampage whilst the coarse even rawer vocals scar air and ears. Eager in its thrash driven gait and acidic in the eruptions of sonic enterprise, the track is a magnetic encounter which maybe does not trigger an immediate hunger but with good variation to the vocals and a resistance proof groove certainly has full control of attention.

At Hell’s Command is much swifter in taking a submission from senses and passions, its yawning sonic bait from the first second irresistible and the spark to an incendiary examination of a brutal rhythmic battering and a venomous and compelling sonic intrusion. There is an insidiously commanding element to the song, and subsequently the album, which manipulates the imagination and emotions into subservience either instantly or over time as in the case of other songs, but always succeeding in its intent. The guitar toxicity of CC DeKill and Hell Messiah is especially impressive and tempting, their designs as in all aspects of the release, skilled and striking but never dosed with a wasteful indulgence.

The following Open Their Throats emerges from the fluid gothic like link between it and its predecessor to prowl around the ear with a doom bred stance. The song stalks with venom dripping from its rhythmic jaw and slavering riffs whilst the guttural intense vocals add further insatiable predation. Intensity and violence waits in the shadows before being freed from their reins for a fiery antagonism driven second half of the impressive rage, vocals and guitar craft again formidable lures within an equally compelling rhythmic enticement.

Both Fear the Reaper and Unending Lust for Evil take release and passions to another level, the virulently contagious drum and bass entrance to the first opening a doorway to thrash anthemic glory within a death seeded animosity whilst its successor digs deeper inside itself for a blacker toxin with which to infest song and listener, its constantly shifting attack and creativity a ridiculously infectious almost salacious offering. The pair of tracks marks the pinnacle of the album, though to be fair its whole range is never far from the lofty filth encrusted heights of the two as proven by the rapacious malevolence of Black Blood Rising, the blackened scourge a welcome primordial predator in modern extreme metal.

The album is at its strongest in its latter half with the final two songs continuing the intensive potency and senses gorging maliciousness of the last few offerings. Crucified is the loudest boldest anthem on the album, an irritable nagging soon recruiting full allegiance with its group vocal baiting over heavy booted rhythms and riffing. Speared by excellent sonic craft from the guitars, the song is a leader of rebellious intent igniting the pulse rate ready for the closing doomy weight and thrash swing of The Ascending Fire to exploit with its equally anthemic power. The song makes an outstanding last assault to an addictive treacherous plague, a Death Curse which violates and thrills with even voracity.

http://www.gravehill666.com

http://www.facebook.com/gravehill

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Acheron – Kult des Hasses

ACHERON band photo

     A more than decent time has passed since the last release from US blackened death metallers Acheron, album The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God; a time which also saw the band temporarily come to a stop in 2010. Now well over twenty years since unleashing the musical malevolence they have become renowned for, the band uncages their newest tempest, Kult des Hasses. Released via Listenable Records, the ten track sonic pestilence is a masterful and creatively insidious plunge into the darkest ravenous creativity of the band and possibly it’s most expressively hungry yet.

    Calling the band’s sound blackened death metal has always been missing the flavoursome toxic essences from thrash, doom, and heavy metal which lick and lethally spice their releases and Kult des Hasses is no different. The album seduces, suffocates, and consumes with riffing caught in a wide net of influences, a rhythmic provocation which leaves an array of bruising wounds, and a melodically honed sonic adventure which fuses a plethora of styles. Adventure is a good description of the release, one dragging the blackest malevolent and vitriolic depths with lyrical provocations casting the band’s distinct views over themes such as the occult, misanthropy, and sexual perversion, their extreme Satanic/Anti-religious corrosiveness never far from the surface either. We will be the first to admit that a full awareness of all their older sonic expulsions is lacking but taking Kult Des Hasses alone, Acheron has set standards which emerging bands should want to aspire to.

    Over the years band founder vocalist/bassist Vincent Crowley has played with current and former members of bands such as ACHERON-COVER-hiresMorbid Angel, Death, Iced Earth, Angel Corpse, Immolation, Dimmu Borgir, Nocturnus, Incantation, Equinox, Estuary, and Sathanas within Acheron, and the new album provides no less inspiring names alongside the trio of himself, guitarist Art Taylor, and drummer Kyle Severn. Joining the trio on the recording there is guest lead guitarist Ricktor Ravensbruck (Wolfpack 44, Electric Hellfire Club , Wolfen Society) as well as numerous vocal guesting from the likes of Kam Lee (Ex-Massacre, The Grotesquery, Bone Gnawer), Jim Lippucci (Soulless), John McEntee (Incantation/Funerus), Jill McEntee (Funerus), Zdenka Prado (Estuary),and Ash Thomas (Estuary/Faithxtractor). Mastered by Dan Swano, the album is a tide of invention and imagination, all tracks forcibly intrusive and persistently contagious in which ever guise they come in.

     Opener Daemonum Lux wastes no time making a gentle acquaintance, riffs instantly rummaging through the ears from its first second and rhythms splitting their insistence with firm and determined, if restrained swipes. Almost eight minutes of constantly evolving enticement, the song alone tells you all you need to know about the sonic sculpting and imagination available to the band in their arsenal. Themed around the infamous encounter Aleister Crowley had with the demonic entity known as Choronzon, the song leads thoughts and senses on an exhaustive spiral of undiluted voracious enterprise, twisting with every minute through virally melodic temptation and voracious contagion. It has to be said, and applies to the album itself, for such a dark and pestilential offering the swagger and catchiness of the offering is surprising and irresistible.

     From the lengthy intensive start the band through the following Satan Holds Dominion and Raptured To Divine Perversion refuses to remove its foot from the throttle of the urgency which marked the opener, instead aligned to the forceful creative fire racks it up a notch in the case of the first song and merges it with an acidic heavy metal suasion for the second. Both tracks trample through the ears with sinews bulging and a predacious appetite to provoke and challenge lyrically and musically. Their thrilling onslaughts are matched by the equally voracious Jesus Wept (Again And Again), a provocations about twisted visions of torturing Christ within nightly dreams-states. Like those before, the song riles the imagination and ignites the passions with an intensive presentation of skilled and dramatically breathing endeavour, every twist drawing emotions and thoughts deeper into its clutches.

    After the predatory Thy Father Suicide, the album hits its highest elevation through Misanthropic Race and Whores And Harlots. The first of the pair is sonic and rhythmic savagery let loose, but within a torrent of spiteful craft and ingenuity which simply manipulates and seduces the passions and imagination. Guitars weave and entwine their melodic ingenuity amongst the merciless riffery whilst the bass prowls and assaults the psyche from within the enslaving rhythmic bait, which again tempts with ridiculously easy success. Its companion is an infiltration of sexual wantonness through a barrage of energy and sound which is just as salacious and virulently addictive. Lashing the senses into willing submission and chaining emotions into an appetite which greedily devours the virulent display of unbridled guitar debauchery, the track is masterful in demand and reward.

      Asphyxiation (Hands Of God) and Concubina Do Diabo leaves no ounce of satisfaction and violation untended, both distinct in their presence but united in their prowess and efficiency in captivating the darkest corners of the listener. They make an inventive and incendiary bridge between the previous high plateau and the closing triumph of the release, the monstrously anthemic Devil’s Black Blood, the song an out and out thrash/death metal slab of rock ‘n’ roll. It is a riotous conclusion to an excellent return by Acheron. Whether Kult des Hasses is the band’s strongest effort to date we will leave for others to decide, but for death metal with the bravery and skill to be so much more, this is one magnificent offering.

www.facebook.com/pages/Acheron/128581467223407

9/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

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