The Dead – Deathsteps to Oblivion

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Unleashing their third album, Australian death metallers The Dead confront the senses with an energy sapping, senses consuming slavering beast and that is just the first track upon Deathsteps to Oblivion. The title perfectly sums up the corrosive and emotionally damaging journey the band drags the listener upon. It is an intensive examination of thoughts and emotions traversing a quintet of excruciatingly heavy and intensive soundscapes soaked in a pestilential fusion of death and sludge metal filtered through the darkest doom laded climate imaginable. It is a sound which belongs to all three styles yet is uneasy settling in any, creating its own domain of raw originality which is familiar but more so innovative. It is a harsh and demanding proposition but also one unafraid to melodically and sonically explore its imagination and providing potent evidence as to why the band is so revered in many quarters.

Formed in 2005 with a line-up which included members of Obfuscate Mass and Misery, the Brisbane band swiftly released a demo followed by the Armoured Assassin single in 2006. Following a second demo the band’s self-titled debut album was unveiled the following year, an encounter making an instant and imposing impression on the underground scene. With the Nocturnal Funeral EP subsequently under their belt, as well as increasing their live reputation with shows over the years alongside bands such as Behemoth, Obituary, Kataklysm, Psycroptic, and Ulcerate, The Dead gripped greater attention with second full-length Ritual Executions. Widely acclaimed through its independent release and a reboot through Diabolical Conquest Webzine which evolved into Transcending Obscurity and release the new ravenous exploit from the band, the album lured the broadest attention and spotlights, yet as Deathsteps to Oblivion infests the psyche you sense it was nothing compared to the response the new encounter has the potential to trigger. The line-up of vocalist Mike Yee, guitarist/bassist Adam Keleher, and drummer Chris Morse consume and immerse the listener with an aural suffocation which is as inhospitable as it is inescapably captivating, an incitement stirring up shadows and intimidations which seduce as they savage the senses.

Opener Maze of Fire immediately confronts and surrounds ears with a web of threatening sinister voices, their demonic roars the lure into a wall of debilitating heavy handed riffs and equally destructive rhythms. Within that trap though there is a melodic coaxing from the guitar which sparks the imagination as still varied and intimidating vocals prowl over thoughts with their intrusive narrative and tones. It is a fascinating entanglement to be lost in, especially with the slip into haunting melodic scenery which is as visually potent as the visceral sounds and vocals which soon share its passage in time threatening. It is a track which inspires different feelings and explorations in the imagination with every listen, something apply to all songs on the album, but a perpetually gripping and challenging persuasion.

The following Disturbing the Dead is just as carnivorous in presence and tone, arguably even more predatory as it crawls with torment laden intent over the senses. Its first half is an unrelenting scourge of doom empowered angst and intensity, a thoroughly appetising violation but from there it without losing funereal despair and malevolence, a sonic and creative enterprise is agitated to lure like a beacon in the thick sludgy tar of the song’s insatiable heart. It is an intriguing and suggestive offering which as its last note lingers in the ear, seems like another world to the one dawning on a rally of gunfire and with destructive and blackened voracity, emerges as The God Beyond. It is the rawest assault imaginable, a caustic sonic haze frequented by hate and fury, but temporary as the battle field returns to provoke a richer and clearer, but no less torturous tempest of sound and exploration. A constant test and provocation, the track is a maelstrom which is uneasy on the ear but wholly seductive upon thoughts and emotions. It is a song which it is hard to get a full handle on in sound and narrative but one inspiring a hunger to find the answers within its cavernous despair.

Terminus swerves in on a rhythmic seduction next, tribal and suggestive beats from Morse transfixing with exotic persuasion whilst bass and guitar flirt with their own sonic teasing. This is again just the doorway into the harshest shadows and challenging depths of the band’s creative rabidity, a serpentine breath accompanying the emerging vocal scarring and ruinous air of the track. Of course it is only part of the picture, melodic intrigue and clean vocal tenacity adding their twists to the sonic mystique and imagination which evolves within the black fog of sound. The track sends shivers down the spine as it seduces and gnaws on the psyche, taking best track award though the closing title track seriously challenges there. It too is a smothering tapestry of threat and invitational suggestion, extremes colluding and toying with each other within a cavern of uncompromising and ravenous aural profanation.

The five years between albums has only seen The Dead find new fears to exploit and nuances to discover in listener and their music respectively. Deathsteps to Oblivion is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, but to challenge and reward the corners of mind and soul it is maybe the most essential must investigate release of the year.

Deathsteps to Oblivion is available digitally or on limited edition CD now via Transcending Obscurity @ Transcending Obscurity https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/deathsteps-to-oblivion-death-metal-sludge

https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelivingdead

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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Laika – Somnia

Laika Press Photo

Though it ebbs and flows in the strength of its persuasion at times, there is no escaping that Somnia, the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers Laika is one compelling and thrilling encounter. It may not seemingly be bursting with open originality, the old school breeding of their style driving the creative tempests making up the album, but there is a specific drama and adventurous enterprise belonging to the band flowing through each fresh and seriously captivating persuasion that begs different. It is occasionally not as startling in places as it is elsewhere and maybe should be overall, but Somnia is certainly an impressive and lingering encounter ensuring that the name Laika will not just known for being that of the name of the Russian dog who became one of the first animals to travel to space.

Formed in 2009 with the name inspired by that hound, the then sextet soon drew strong local underground attention with the release of their full-length demo Crafting The Cataclysm the following year, and a live presence which has seen them play with the likes of All Shall Perish, Kataklysm, Necronomicon, Skeletonwitch, Abysmal Dawn, Septic Flesh, and Unleash the Archers over the past few years. The release of the Somnia EP in 2011 was subsequently followed by the band taking two years out to create and work on their debut album. Produced by the Winnipeg quintet, mixed and mastered by Ryan Forsyth, Somnia provides a striking and imaginative new assault for the band, one seeking and easy to see finding a more intensively crowing spotlight.

The release opens with Restless Mind, a brief instrumental which initially strokes the imagination with evocative piano drama against a ticking clock before expanding with a wash of similarly coloured keys and elegant harmonies. It is a laika 1-front cover- smallgentle and intriguing, if not startling, start which leads into the instantly imposing Escalation of Terror. It is a gripping entrance with riffs and rhythms offering hungry energy and intent straight away. Ears and appetite are ignited further as the bait intensifies with a muscular torrent of feverish grooves and vocal causticity crossing the intensive presence of the song. The keys of Steve Tedham bring rich and expressive hues to the great tempestuous intent of the track, their warm beauty a transfixing contrast to the raw scowls of vocalist Jordan Dorge and rhythmic provocation set by drummer Blair Garraway. It is a riveting blend which only grabs greater potency and suasion as ridiculously flavoursome and contagious grooves cast by guitarist Ian Garraway are matched by those throatily laid by the bass of Mike Mason.

It is a sensational incitement to body and emotions, a creative roller coaster which never dips below the exceptional on its way to setting up a hungry anticipation for the rest of the album. The title track is the first to feed that greed, its first touch rugged in riffs and beats but seductive in keys sculpted melodies. That evolves into a more expansive and less hostile landscape, though there is still a busy imposing air to the encounter. Guitars proceed to cast a sonic weave of enterprise and melodic tenacity across the still sinew driven terrain whilst the bass at times almost ventures into a post punk repetition and invention which, along with spicy grooves and vocal savagery, brings fresh character and intrigue to the enthralling track.

Both Fidelity and Caligae A Galea keep the creative and satisfaction levels high, the first stalking ears with a predatory attitude and gait but one fired in sonic invention and seductively inhospitable toxicity. As its predecessor, the track ripples with eclectic textures and imagination soaked ideation, defying expectations and binding eager attention from start to finish. It’s almost exhausting revelry and bold tapestry of sound is swiftly matched by the second of the pair. Opening on a heroic groove, its lure potent caped crusader like coaxing, the song growls and prowls with infectious charm and intimidation. There is a menace to it which Tedham’s craft can only wrap not defuse and Dorge’s grizzled tones easily accentuate. The song is soon providing an addictive canvas of sound which maybe is death metal based but just as pungently entwines a mass of flavoursome tendrils from the likes of noise and psyche rock to post punk and progressive metal. It is a stunning protagonist for ears and incessant lust for the passions.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by the enchanting instrumental Dream of Nothing, a magnetic and reflective slice of melodic beauty. Dark bass emotions lie easily with the sultry charm of keys whilst rhythmically the song walks with a firm and steady but restrained hand. There are also raw guitar crafted flames which intensify the expressive atmosphere and climate of the song, everything uniting for an immersive emprise of sound and imagination. The track also brings respite for the senses though they are soon under demanding pressure as the punk fired assault of The Immortal takes over. For all its ferocity and abrasing presence, it is another song unafraid to spring a web of melodic and expressive beauty in its successful trapping of ears and attention, and though in many ways it takes longer to persuade than elsewhere, it emerges as a simultaneously bitter and warm buffeting to devour with greed.

The final two tracks upon Somnia might not quite match up to their earlier companions, but each leaves no second or note unattended by the listener’s fullest attention. First up Predictions (Tide Bearer) rages and bristles with a merciless graze of sonic bad blood and vocal malevolence, a hostility which wears down the senses with its bruising but still flirts with the occasional melodic seducing. The tracks unrelenting pressure is followed by the exceptional majesty of final track Invaders, a song which sums up the album with its eclectic stock of sounds and spellbinding ideas within a virulent and concussive antipathy. The song is another intoxicating proposition leaving the listener basking in unique temptation and ready to share the glory of album and band.

Somnia just gets stronger and more impressive over time, shown by the fact that listening to it again whilst writing this, there are more reasons to argue against the earlier thought that the album is not as startling throughout as in particular certain moments. That gap closes with each venture, proving this is an album wanting more time than most to really reveal all of its consistent thick rewards and that Laika is a band with the potential to sit beside the ranks of Insomnium, Dark Tranquillity, and Amon Amarth.

Somnia is available now via Filth Regime Records and @ http://laikawpg.bandcamp.com/album/somnia

https://www.facebook.com/LaikaOfficial

RingMaster 23/10/2014

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Heboïdophrenie – Origin Of Madness

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It may not be healthy and it most probably will end up in physical damage of some sort or another but being ravaged by French metallers Heboïdophrenie is one of our new favourite pastimes thanks to their debut album Origin Of Madness. A mercilessly brutal and carnivorous onslaught of death metal which has been equally bred from the seeds of thrash metal whilst employing certain deathcore voracity, the release like the band’s sound, is an exhaustingly uncompromising and almost theatrically creative savagery which sets senses and imagination afire. Whether the band is carving out sonic atrocities which are as original as they could be can be argued but it is certainly one of the most demandingly satisfying and enjoyable extreme metal releases in recent years.

Erupting from out of Bordeaux in 2010, with influences from the likes of Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Ingested, The Black Dahlia Murder, Meshuggah, Cerebral Bore, Whitechapel, Carnifex, and Kataklysm raging in their own depraved invention, Heboïdophrenie were soon ignited local stages and gaining a potent reputation with their live shows, a presence pushed into a new spotlight home and further afield by Origin Of Madness.

From an Intro of hell bound human suffering, the album explodes into life with the track Heboïdophrenie. Instantly that thrash breeding shows its potency in the predatory striding of the riffs and rhythmic intensity. It is not an assault a0960544968_2with overwhelms but definitely sets the senses and imagination on edge ready for the coarse guttural growls of the vocals. They are as bestial as the sounds and unafraid to twist their delivery with varied guises. It has to be admitted we have a soft spot for porcine squeals within metal and they do not come any finer and more riveting than those offered by the song and album. The song continues to examine and test ears and senses, rewarding them with strenuous slab of extreme provocation before making way for the outstanding Feast Of Death. Irresistible grooves bind ears from its first second, intensifying with every second as their virulently nagging toxins work on the senses and passions. The track snarls and grinds vocally and sonically with irresistible hostility and merciless rhythmic provocation but it is that deliciously nagging of grooves which seduces and enslaves the passions.

Both Decay and The Butcher keep that ferocious tempting going, the first another stalking incitement which sizes up the listener whilst preying on their senses and psyche. As all songs though, it is not happy settling for one form of attack, expelling urgent bursts of destructive intent and dirty energy within its slower ear crowding incitement. The second of the two is an even more intensively intrusive stalker, its heavy footed gait coming with a rhythmic swagger and jagged riffery which belies its predacious intent. Returning swinish vocal squalls interrupt and enhance the intimidation whilst again the song agreeably shuffles the charge of its violation.

Rotten drives forward with its own predominately thrash seeded fury, merging it with heavy tempestuous stabs of riffs and beats throughout. A mouth-watering surge of sonic invention spears the track too, it’s solo moment a seductive lance in the pestilence of the track whilst the vocals continue to impress in their strength and varied persuasion. It is a masterful malefaction straight away matched by the unrelenting demands of Bonnet M. The drums mix up a stride of pack like military inspired strength with a brawl of dervish bred swipes to provide an insatiable and infectious spine to the inhospitable emprise. Across this guitars weave blistering sonic netting which sears and entices dramatically. Every song on the album is a bane to expectations but this is to the fore of thrilling unpredictability.

Heavy metal grooves bring their potent expression to the warlike character of Death To All, adding contagious colour to the voracious malevolence and intensity of the track. It is another skilled and irrepressible blend which flirts with the imagination whilst devouring the senses, as emulated in the anthemic Morbid Satyriasis. Old school metal spawned grooves also frequent the scintillating and gloriously barbarous track. Vocals and riffs chew the senses whilst hooks and grooves spill malice soaked seduction with every note. It is a brilliant hunting of the psyche, the listener the quarry to its creative and jaundiced vendetta.

The album closes firstly with Cadaver, a final impressive trespass where vocals worm virulently under the skin and adversarial rhythms conduct the sonic tempest of rage and flesh scorching enterprise. It is another contagion which never relinquishes its tight grip, and a last reminder of how infectious extreme metal can be in the right inventive hands and creative attitude. It is followed by the expressive instrumental Outro, an evocative close to an exhilarating encounter.

   Origin Of Madness is a provocation which turns existing essences and inventiveness into something belonging solely to Heboïdophrenie, and is mercilessly exciting not forgetting powerfully compelling.

Origin of Madness is available now @ http://heboidophrenie.bandcamp.com/album/origin-of-madness

http://heboidophrenie.wix.com/heboidophrenie

9/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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Unbeing – Raptus EP

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Following on from their seemingly universally acclaimed debut album, Canadian progressive metallers Unbeing have released the exceptional Raptus EP, a rich and compelling journey for the imagination and emotions. As technically captivating and enthralling as it is evocatively absorbing and invigorating, the four track release whisks the listener across an expansive landscape of sound and adventure but one also soaked with an intimacy which provocatively caresses thoughts and feelings. It is a compelling and exhilarating proposition, easily one of the most pungently inspiring instrumental releases in quite a while.

Formed in 2006, Unbeing began as a three piece. Line-up changes ensued whilst two demos in 2008 and the following year respectively, drew strong and enthused reactions. The Montreal band then won Metal Académie 2, a two month competition judged by the likes of Kataklysm. The next step in the evolution of the band, seemingly inspired by the judges’ comments of that competition, saw the band dispense with vocals and concentrate on their already striking instrumental explorations. Over the past eight or so years the band has continued to evolve and impress live, sharing stages with bands such as Neuraxis, The Red Chord, Walls Of Jericho, Martyr, Katatonia, Incision, Anonymus, Beyond Creation, and Scale The Summit along the way. 2011 was the year of their self-titled debut album, with the band at this point grown to a quintet. It received acclaim from fans and media alike, its re-release two years later as a re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl edition equally devoured by the metal community. Now it is the time of the Raptus EP to spark the passions, something its twenty minute flight across a Montreal Metro themed incitement is sure to repeat time and time again as it draws minds and hearts into its imaginative aural poetry.

Unbeing opens up EP and imagination with Rapture which from the first wind of metal on rail coaxes with an evocative melodic enticement which wraps elegantly and creatively around ears and thoughts. Rhythms shuffle erratically Raptus artbut purposefully over the senses as guitars and keys cast a fine web of intrigue and awakening urgency. It is a dawning, an inventively expressive entrance into a busy and continually but gently escalating fever of activity and emotionally rich dramatic hues. The outstanding track flows into the next carriage of the evolving adventure, the following Batterie Faible bringing a more settled and sultry air to the emerging scenery. There is a jazzy breeze and breath to the caress of the song, again the guitar of Sherif El-Maghraby and the seducing keys of Martin Labelle washing over ears with a contagiously picturesque and melodically fuelled sonic design. Entwining peaceful climes and tenacious rapacity, the song intermittently seduces and agitates the emerged vision in thoughts, bursts of aggressive intent swarming across less intensive moments. It is all irresistibly framed and veined by the shadowed emotional hunger of Jean-Philippe Bédard’s drums and the increasingly provocative swing and flirtatious grooves of bass from Alexandre D’Amour, their drama alone potent fuel for the quite exceptional and embracing, physically and mentally, piece of adventure.

Over the two songs thoughts of the likes of Tesseract and Pelican come forward but also in different ways others like The Ocean and indie instrumental band Human Pyramids, particular elements, textures, and melodic paintings pulling loose but definite comparisons. The next up Tetris Rufus sparks similar thoughts but again another fluid shift in the journey sees the listener taken into darker more metallic structuring within a melodically incendiary climate. There is a volatile edge to the piece too, guitars striking at ears with jagged riffs whilst rhythms pounce upon and bustle their way across the senses. That rugged swirl of intent and intensity though is tempered and held in the thick emotive heated hug of resourceful keys, their touch and suasion a constantly changing mesh of warm feelings and anger defusing vivacity.

Final track 2nd Cup flows elegantly out of another underground sourced sample between songs. It swirl and dances with seductive melodies for an immersive mesmeric embrace to which more mercurial flames of heavier incitement and energy smoulder with urgent intensity across the incoming sunset of sound around another ebbing of adventure. El-Maghraby exploits the frenetic climax of the experience deliciously, his fingers manipulating the final throes of the journey and crescendo of emotion before the eventual peace of the destinations end clangs and leaves its disappearing mark. As all tracks it is a sublime piece of composing and realisation to which the band add their individual and united insatiably scintillating descriptions.

Raptus is the perfect instrumental adventure, one which never gets fussy or over-elaborate, but also never misses the opportunity to aurally and emotionally explore every nook and cranny of its ideation and premise as well as the imagination of the listener. The Raptus EP is an essential investigation which if you are quick Unbeing has made available for free download until the end of July at their own website. What still here?

The Raptus EP is available now via BLK COQ Music and at http://www.unbeingmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/UnbeingMusic

10/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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Endless Chaos – Rejected Atrocity EP

 

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    Unveiling their introduction through a three track ravishment which simple devours the senses, Canadian metallers Endless Chaos have announced themselves upon the world in impressive style. Forging an inventively refreshing blend of blackened thrash with death metal, the Winnipeg based quintet take little time raising a greedy appetite for their incendiary sound through the Rejected Atrocity EP. Simultaneously the promise drenched fury also ignites a major anticipation for further things to come from the intensive band, expectations of even greater triumphs a hard to resist thought taking the premise of the outstanding debut from the band.

     With a presence and sound which embraces chaos and enterprise in equal depths, Endless Chaos has forged a formidable reputation through their live performances which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skeletonwitch, 3 Inches of Blood, Wretched, Aborted, Toxic Holocaust, and Kataklysm to great success and acclaim. The next step on their emerging domination of local and further afield metal scenes comes with their first EP, a released inspired by classic horror movie Re-Animator, a film which is definitely akin to the unbridled lust of their creativity. The self-released, Ryan Forsyth produced, Rejected Atrocity is a teaser and taster of things to come from the band, in the words of Jordan Dorge, the EP will “give you the best taste of what’s to come of Endless Chaos,” the vocalist going on to say “When we were writing these songs, we really took in everything we love about death, thrash and black metal and incorporated it into Endless Chaos.”

    The title track violates the senses first, rampaging riffs and pummelling rhythms an instant assault. Within the torrent of sonic abuse the guitars of Mike Menza and Mike Toews also unleash a twisting irresistible clutch of grooves and hooks to immediately seduce the imagination, their potent bait a bewitching and similarly lethal distraction from the carnivorous rhythms uncaged by drummer James Burton and bassist Jeff Humarang. It is a breath-taking and riveting web of intrigue and devastation from the opening second, the thrash driven ferocity speared and veined by the some of the richest compelling craft and imagination heard in a long time from a thrash/death tempest. The vocals of Dorge parade a vitriolic squall as intimidating as the sounds and invention at work, his slight variation in delivery enough to leave satisfaction ripe and song enhanced as well as listener blissful.

     The scintillating start is soon matched by the following Sacrificial Ritual, it a bestial consumption cored by serpentine vocal malevolence, unpredictable spite, and a maze of ingenious adventure sculpted by the continuing to impress technical craft and vindictive imagination of the band. Like its predecessor, the song is unafraid to launch into unexpected and bold detours whilst the guitars again carve a sonic sculpture which scars and invigorates the senses. The bass of Humarang brings an even throatier predation to the cyclone of malice whilst Burton simply splinters bone and synapse with a continued display of skill and aggression.

   The closing Condemned to the Pit drives at the jugular with its thrash bred energy and sinews crushing all before whilst rhythmically the track batters and concusses with hungry rabidity. As with all the songs, the onslaught is only half of the picture. The track reaches its mid-point and seemingly takes a step back to survey the damage, rhythms still plundering and provoking but sonically the song relaxes somewhat. It is a mere moment in time though as the feverish ferocity is soon letting its death/thrash rage and expertise off the reins to bring the unquenchable storm to a staggering close.

The Rejected Atrocity EP is just exceptional, a must have impressive and towering debut to inject real excitement into the world of metal. It sparks, without reserve, the belief that Endless Chaos will be not only a prolifically important joy ahead but one which will help take thrash, death, and metal itself into new mouthwatering realms.

https://www.facebook.com/endlesschaoss

http://endlesschaos1.bandcamp.com/album/rejected-atrocity

10/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

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Hell’s Domain – Self Titled

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Giving the body and senses no time to grab a breath from its first brawling note through to its riotous last, the debut self-titled album from Danish thrashers Hell’s Domain is a storming blaze of thrilling aggression and voracious energy. Without pushing down the walls of the genre, the album is one of the freshest and invigorating thrash releases to come along certainly this year and a marker for other bands to aspire to if they want to permanently enslave the passions.

Formed by bassist Lars Knudsen and guitarist Bjørn Bihlet in 2007 with an intent to conjure up some contagious Bay Area-inspired metal, the band was soon drawing on the combined experiences of being in bands such as Crionic, Hatesphere, Pixie Killers, Artillery, Grope, Koldborn, and Exmortem from the mid-eighties and over three hundred shows with a line-up completed by drummer Anders Gyldenøhr, vocalist Alex Clausen, and guitarist Andreas Schubert in 201,. Produced by Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Sick of it All, Kataklysm, etc.) and released via Punishment 18 Records, the band’s first full introduction to the world is armed with all the weaponry and virulence to thrust them into the widest recognition of devouring passions possible. With a sound sure to re-ignite the hunger bands like Testament, Exodus, and Slayer bred over the years, Hell’s Domain is a force destined to re-vitalise their genre.

Days in Hell opens up the fury, riffs searing the flesh of the ear whilst belligerent rhythms rap hungrily upon the smarting doorways to Hell'sDomainCoverthe senses. It is an immediately incendiary confrontation elevated by the excellent vocals of Clausen and the escaping grooves which taunt before wrapping tightly around the still torrential flow of antagonistic riffery. There is a swarm like incessancy to the attack which only accentuates the song’s temptation and merciless persuasion, but also an intent which is equally sure and precise in its picking and seizing of targets.

The following The Needle and the Vein and In The Trenches continue the immense start, the first caging the listener in a web of drum stabs and hearty riffs before flaring up with scythes of melodic flames which have a near on psychobilly lilt to their punk bred strikes. The song ravages with pack like intensity and ferocity from every second and note whilst drawing a tempering seduction from its melodies and sonic enterprise to defuse the suffering. The mighty encounter is soon matched by its successor, the song initially a more restrained and deliberate enticement with a hard rock beckoning soaking the vocal’s entrance before casting a greater thrall through an Anthrax like adrenaline led predation.

Even at this point you sense something special is brewing up potent toxicity, a hope and assumption confirmed by the likes of the slower persuading yet ultimately passion seizing Order #227, the sonic sand blaster The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down, and especially by the exceptional Crawling in the Shadows. The second of the three is a blistering tempest sculpted by ever impressing destructive rhythms and scathing consuming riffing ridden by magnetically alluring and powerful vocals. The song epitomises the album, it not exactly stretching boundaries but creating a presence and attack which is compelling, virulent, and lanced with individual sonic devilry. The last of the trio opens with a smouldering weave off melodic caresses upon the ear and imagination, its ambience building up to a climactic expulsion which holds off until the colour hued narrative of the guitars have crafted the landscape for the sinew clad adventure to forage. The track once in full stride stalks the listener with its predatory yet welcoming charm, showing again the diversity and inventive thought within the thrash cored tornado of an album.

There is not one sign of weakness or a dip in the staggering strength and lure of the release, songs such as the mighty Dead Civilization, a bruising assault loaded with greedy rabidity, and the corrosively riveting and deliciously wanton As Good As Dead only accelerating the deepening call of a set in rapture whilst the exhilarating primal force of A Good Day to Die leads the pulse rate and heart into dangerous territories, whispers of Suicidal Tendencies only raising the toxicity of the song’s bait.

Completed by a cover of the Crionic track Sneaking Disease, Hell’s Domain has unleashed undoubtedly one of, if not the very best thrash record of the year and a contender for the most enjoyable metal album full stop. Now this is how to spend those coming autumn months, locked in the maelstrom that is Hell’s Domain.

http://hellsdomain.dk/

10/10

RingMaster 24/09/2013

 

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Karnak – The Cult Of Death

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Uncompromising and ravenous, the new mini-album from Italian death metallers Karnak is a furious consumption of the senses but equally a deceptively rewarding one which with bravery and strong will before its ferocity provides a compelling and invigorating examination of senses and thoughts. Made up by five predatory tracks, The Cult Of Death is an annihilatory turbulence through the ear which consists of four new songs linked to a concept inspired by Aleister Crowley, as well as a cover of a Celtic Frost track.  With savage essences which put you in mind of the likes of Incantation, Pestilence, Nile, Morbid Angel, and Suffocation, the release is a potent and dramatic gnawing of the synapses marking the Monfalcone hailing quartet as a persistently formidable proposition.

Formed in 1993 by drummer Stefano Rumich, the band released numerous demos before making a strong impression away from their local area with debut album Perverted, the first release under the name Karnak. This was successfully followed by Melodies Of Sperm Composed, an album which saw the band evolve from their initial pure grind/death metal stance exploring elements of jazz, samples and more to add flavour and colour to the still destructive tempest of sound. Third album Tutti I Colori Del Buio was released in 2002 before the band went on a break provoked by line-up changes. 2009 saw their return and the signing with Casket Records with the release of fourth album Dismemberment coming the following year. A tour supporting Krisiun and Kataklysm pushed the band out further in 2011, though by now having supported the likes of Impaled Nazarene, Suffocation, Nile, Decapitated, Avulsed, Necrodeath, Pyogenesis, Destruction, Fleshgod Apocalypse and more over the years, Karnak was no longer a hidden secret. Last year the band supported Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, and Vital Remains on another European tour followed by another with Deicide. Currently working on their next album, the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Francesco Ponga, bassist/vocalist Lorenzo Orsini, guitarist/vocalist Marco Polo, and Stefano Rumich raise real anticipation and hunger for said release with The Cult Of Death, its bestial creative assault wholly persuasive.

The opening Intro just lays out a simple rhythmic beckoning but its temptation is irresistible and almost tribal as it evolves into The cover_karnak_thecultofdeathConstruction Of The Pyramid (The Demon’s Breath) who replays its offering before opening the gate to an intensive exhausting technically honed riff driven blaze which scorches the senses with the brewing animosity of the song and its breath is not far behind in carnivorous intent. With vocals roaring like the oldest colossal predator imaginable, the track lurches at the senses with insatiable energy aligned to a more restrained but unreserved sonic and rhythmic stalking. Furies of technical and acidically melodic guitar do initially wrong foot emotions after their submission to the easy to devour onslaught, but soon persuade craft and evocative hues.

It is an impressive start repeated and then surpassed by The Construction Of The Pyramid Beta (Invocation), the Meshuggah like web laid down around the passions at the start over run by the torrential thick sonic mass of intensity and suffocating ambience. Doom oppressive and sludge lumbering, the shift bleeds the air of light and oxygen but equally ignites thoughts with shards of melodic light and colour before the nightmarish soundscape with its heaviness and rabid vocals seems to claw like a swarm of patient demons at the psyche. As with the release it is not at times the easiest or most comfortable listen on first impressions but beneath the barbarous surface and many deeper levels there is a magnetic and superbly crafted well of invention and skilled temptation.

The nagging chugging which leads the song to a dissipating climax is immediately thrown aside by the sadistic entrance of The Construction Of The Pyramid Gamma, a start which is only built upon and intensified the further the track chews at the ear with the drum attack of Rumich unrelentingly and impossibly thrilling. Also unafraid to bring a potent melodic and sonic adventure to the striking narrative of the release, the track is a frequently changing and provoking treat concluding and summing up the new songs and strength of the album perfectly.

Completed by the cover of Celtic Frost song Jewel Throne, the release is an enthralling malevolent engagement. The final track is more than decent but as accomplished as it is it is not a match for the previous trio of songs. Quite simply The Cult Of Death really gets the appetite aflame for Karnak’s forthcoming album whilst making a thoroughly satisfying meal right now.

http://www.karnakdeath.com/

9/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

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