Shadowpath – Rumours of a Coming Dawn

Released earlier this year with a more recent and wider reboot, Rumours of a Coming Dawn is the debut album from Swizz metallers Shadowpath. It is also one of those encounters which certainly makes a strong impression first time around but grows in potency and pleasure as subsequent ventures into its depths reveals the true imagination and craft at its heart.

Originally called Wishpond, Shadowpath weave a multi-flavoured sound drawn from the attributes of power and symphonic to progressive and death metal, taking in inspirations ranging from Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, Everon, J.S. Bach, Katatonia, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Tesseract, Dream Theater, and Nightwish amongst many others. The band’s personnel  has changed a fair bit over time but by 2015, the line-up of vocalist Gisselle Rousseau, keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Philipp Bohny, guitarist Stefano Riario, bassist Amos Zürcher, and drummer Samuel Baumann came together and proceeded to work on this first album across the following year.

Each of the eight tracks within Rumours of a Coming Dawn are individual slices of creative theatre in an overall play, many epic productions and all woven and cast upon the listener with an instinctive passion and imagination. Each also provides a web of layers and textures which unveils new twists and fresh aspects with every listen, a major reason why it grows in impressiveness over attentive time.

The opening introduction of Prelude to Agony is the most straight forward proposal of all within the album, its invitation an atmospheric overture to things to come. Its stormy entrance brings with it the elegant melancholy of the piano and as swiftly the vocal prowess of Rousseau. Her harmonic cries then spark the more portentous air of storm and track with rhythms imposing yet restrained and melodies funereal even in their liveliness as flames of guitar descend. It is an imagination stirring start soon spawning the tempestuous throes of Chaos Equation. Instantly guitars and keys collude in a magnetic tapestry, the grumble of the bass and senses clipping beats lining the heated union with darker almost predacious hues. Rousseau’s symphonic nurtured delivery is a glassy reflection of word and emotion and superbly contrasted by Bohny’s earthy growls; it all uniting for a captivating tempest as potent in its electronic invention as in its extreme metal bred trespass.

The following Seed of Hope makes a calmer entrance, Rousseau and piano aligning their melodic suggestiveness before a rise of dark drama erupts, settling down again to begin repeating the dramatic cycle. As its predecessor, the track has many familiar aspects to it and plenty of unique features which combine for a compelling and increasingly striking proposal. The individual craft of the band is inescapable; Bohny and Riario especially grabbing attention within the song though as it evolves everyone makes a rich impact.

Every track is an adventure never settling into one direction, perpetually unpredictable and as a result fascinating though none more so than the album’s best moment, The Impossible Chain. It easily outshines those around it, instantly stirring the passions with its outstanding start. The dark noir stroll of the bass within the dancing threat of drums is simply delicious, manna to personal tastes and things only escalate in pleasure as keys spread their suggestive wash and guitars spring their devilish almost salacious tempting. Once Bohny’s raw throated tones open with demonic intimidation, the track has an unshakeable grip. Then mellower twists and harmonic beauty comes with skittish rhythms, the climate change as beguiling as the aggressive trespasses are thrilling, as too is Rousseau varying her more expected symphonic metal delivery with more organic and grounded exploits, an excellent move hopefully she will explore further ahead as it equally stands out over the next pair of songs. A scenic break midway in the song is just a tempting breath before it returns to even more adventurous and surprising endeavours, setting a major pinnacle within the release by its conclusion.

Next up Another Inquisitor makes a thick attempt at rivalling its majesty, the song an intricately designed maze of electronic, melodic, and fierce metal dexterity with folk seeded progressiveness. Rousseau again pushes her range and adventure to fine effect whilst musically the song never gives a moment to settle in one flavour or style, again to rich success before Deny me opens like a relaxed bloom into a fiery display of sonic colour and creative magnetism. Though it does not quite match up to the previous two, the song simply enthrals from start to finish.

The album concludes through firstly For a Final Ultimatum, a cauldron of contrasting often battling textures and inescapably infectious enterprise, and finally Beta, a mercurial serenade of self-reflection and melancholic fire which ebbs and flows in volatility as it charms ears and imagination. It is a thunderous finale to the album, even in its calm flights having an instinctive power which lends to its vice like hold on attention.

Shadowpath create music which manages to be chilling and haunting as simultaneously it is warm and inviting, threatening and ravaging. The evidence is all there within Rumours of a Coming Dawn, a release which may not be perfect but has all the seeds to evoke real enjoyment and the anticipation of major things ahead.

Rumours of a Coming Dawn is available now through the band’s Facebook page and website.

http://www.shadowpath.ch    https://www.facebook.com/shadowpath.band    https://twitter.com/shadowpath_band    http://www.instagram.com/shadowpath_band

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slug Comparison – IIa

photo by Peter Wiholm

As the world and age wears down the ability to be truly surprised and equally finding many things to be   especially excited by, there is one thing which does get the juices flowing and that is something new from Slug Comparison. That kind of anticipation springs from being enthralled by its first single Bringer of Doom and subsequently hooked on a following self-titled debut album back in 2014 and has now been seriously rewarded with new EP IIa.

For those yet to discover the glory of Slug Comparison, it is the solo project of Doug Harrison, the vocalist/guitarist of the similarly tempting Canadian progressive rock outfit Fen, they not to be confused with the British black metallers of the same name. Harrison’s sound has already proved to be is an instinctively bold and imaginative embracing of various rock bred styles and textures while involving ears and thoughts with an intimacy which maybe can only emerge within a solo endeavour. It has been a quiet time on the Slug Comparison front recently with Harrison being afflicted by tendinitis last year which brought his work on new tracks to a temporary halt; being unable to play and compose as is his process on the guitar. He is back now though and returns with the first in a series of EPs, a trio of songs produced by Doug Fury with Harrison which simply ignites the senses and imagination like never before.

Drawing on the craft of Fen guitarist Sam Levin, bassist Mike Young from The Devin Townsend Band, and Randall Stoll of Congenital Fixation to bring his new tracks to life, the latter pair having helped out previously on that first album, Harrison instantly captivates attention with opener Let Some Light. The lure of acoustic guitar hungrily caresses ears initially, it’s tempting soon joined and enhanced by Harrison’s distinctive and ever compelling vocals and the darker hues of bass and beats. Melodies ignite across the infectious canter of the song, opening like suggestive blooms as voice shares emotion and reflection with harmonic and earnest dexterity. Heavier rock strains add to the evolving landscape of the song, essences of blues and classic rock colouring more progressive and folkish essences though it all joins and emerges as something with its own character and style. The track is simply delicious, infectious and emotive while involving body and thought with sublime ease and craft; escalating all attributes with its unpredictability.

The opener also reveals a new organic catchiness in Harrison’s music without defusing the imagination and established individuality of sound exposed within his debut album. That infectiousness is even more virulent in the following Exactly What to Do. If its predecessor is irresistible, the second track is alchemy for the spirit, the track instantly grabbing hips and instincts with its swinging gait and a rock ‘n’ roll hunger soon joined by an addiction inciting chorus. Spicy grooves and grungy rapacity adds to the contagious theatre of the song, every catchy twist and seductive turn a spark to involvement and lusty pleasure. At times there are hints at the likes of Porcupine Tree, Voyager, and Katatonia within the adventure but again no more than scents in its own rich roar.

Becoming completes the EP, a gentle stroll of a song with Harrison and acoustic guitar again an engaging hug welcoming ears into the intimacy and heart of the song. A smouldering persuasion compared to the forceful exploits of the first two tracks, it still needs little time to unite with thoughts and appetite as ears get lost in its melodic wiring and descriptive beauty.

Even with an instinctive connection with the sounds of Slug Comparison because of those earlier temptations, IIa still left a surprise spawned open mouth behind on its first listen and a greed for much more thereon in. Doug Harrison has hit yet another plateau with his own writing and music and indeed for us eclipsed anything from Fen to date too; time the world caught on we say.

The IIa EP is out now and available @ https://slugcomparison.bandcamp.com/album/iia as a name your own price download.

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

Pete RingMaster 13/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mefisto – 2.0.1.6

Mefisto - 2. 0. 1. 6 cover_RingMaster Review

Formed in 1984 under the name Torment, Swedish metallers Mefisto is noted along with Obscurity, as being the first Swedish extreme bands to surge through the opening made by Bathory. It was a band which quickly drew a loyal local following, with the 1986 release of a pair of demos in Megalomania and The Puzzle finding keen reactions in the metal underground, which over time has grown to the band earning cult status. Within a year of their release though, they had succumbed to the pressure of finding no real support and called it a day. Now thirty years on from those early releases, the band unleashes debut album 2.0.1.6, a thrilling and fresh proposal which suggests that Mefisto had maybe been ahead of their time first time around.

In 2014 Mefisto was reformed by band originals, guitarist/vocalist Omar Ahmed and drummer Robban Granath, the pair joined by bassist Morgan Myhrberg last year. Their return was marked by The Megalomania Puzzle, a compilation bringing the early demos together in one rousing invitation released via, as the new album, Vic Records. Mastered by Dan Swano (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath), 2.0.1.6 now gives the metal world something which has been eagerly anticipated for, in many ways decades, the first Mefisto full-length.

A gentle melodic caress brings album and opener Deathrace into view, though it is just a poetic coaxing into a subsequent sinister siren-esque mesh of fiery grooves and jabbing rhythms. That as quickly becomes a tempest of thrash kilned riffs and rapier like beats as vocals crowd ears with growling antagonism. Now in full flight, the track entwines a web of metal styles with craft and invention, the grouchily wiry bass alone captivating bait to get off on.

The strong start is merely an appetiser in many ways, the following Void swiftly a more thunderous and imposing protagonist for ears and appetite. With muscles on full show, the track swings with inescapable virulence; intimidating and enticing with spite and tenacity before throwing a delicious curve ball by slipping into a melody rich passage of progressive and classic metal enterprise. Across its length, the band continues to revolve between extremes of texture and the compelling mix of aggressive and calm invention; individual craft and united imagination blossoming with every thrilling twist and turn.

The barbarous Act Dead has the job of following the first pinnacle of the album, its bracing hostility and sonic endeavour making great success of keeping enlivened ears and emotions on a firm high. Sturdy and confrontational, the track provokes and invites with unruly resourcefulness but controlled ferocity, showing why in its earlier guise in the band’s career, it was a potent incitement.

Heads in the Sand twists and turns in another web of varied metallic provocation next. Thrash and death metal is twisted into the lining of melodic tendrils and searing grooves, they offering a catchiness which itself is aligned to a more progressive exploration. A slower persuasion than the immediacy of earlier tracks, it still blossoms by the minute into another highly pleasing adventure that only lingers in the psyche.

The almost theatrical drama of Frost of Inferno involves ears and thoughts straight after, its raw and brutish canvas the landscape for a kaleidoscope of melodic expression and enterprise shared by the open skills and creative devilry of Ahmed. It is a song which enjoyably has one foot in the past and the now, whilst successor Hate Consumes Me with the same flirtatious drama to its body and narrative, is a cauldron of modern rock ‘n’ roll. Predatory in its calm and incendiary in its sonic boldness whilst being primal in energy, the track fuses death and heavy metal with essences of broader heavy rock, resulting in another major highlight.

A touch of classical guitar stirs The Puzzle into tempestuous life, which in turn breeds a constantly evolving stalking and ravaging of the senses which is very easy to get greedy over. Compelling as it invades and seduces with rousing persistence, it is eclipsed by the album’s closing title track. It too has a predatory air and nature to its melodic tempting and progressively nurtured adventure with the vocals emulating their character as Ahmed’s string craft bewitches.

It is a superb end to a thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly impressive debut album. It seems strange saying that Mefisto has a rich future ahead of them after thirty years or so since their first steps, but 2.0.1.6 suggests this is just the beginning of bigger and bolder things.

2.0.1.6 is out now via Vic Records through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Mefisto-234630006720804

Pete RingMaster 23/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Arbitrator – Indoctrination of Sacrilege

ARB_COVER

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

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Nemost – As The Ocean Burns

Nemost

As The Ocean Burns is one of those self-released propositions which could easily be missed in the never ending torrent of offerings but deserves the strongest of attention such its impressive and riveting contents. A rich and intensely striking blend of varied ideas and flavours upon a canvas of progressive death metal, the latest album from French band Nemost is a thought provoking and imagination igniting proposition which shows the Paris quintet to be one of France’s most exciting potential loaded prospects.

Formed in 2005, Nemost are not exactly newcomers but still a relative secret outside their homeland metal scene, though As The Ocean Burns will surely have a say about that. A self-titled demo in 2008 was well-received by fans and critics with debut album The Shadow’s Trail two years later drawing greater attention and reactions for its striking sounds. Four years on with the band’s songwriting and invention evolving as potently as their skills and sound, As the Ocean Burns is a new plateau for the band and a compelling addition to the ranks of melodic and progressive death metal. It is a release which grips from its first breath, leading the listener through cavernous scenery of sonic and rhythmic intrusiveness and intimate climates of melodic and atmospheric radiance.

Pressure Nation is the first encounter and straight away embraces ears in a melodic weave of guitar temptation and heavily jabbing beats from drummer Thybo Saz’Rain. It is a warm coaxing yet holds an intimidation which is soon ing the band) realised in a tempest of sonic causticity and bellowing intensity, the vocals of Arnold Petit roaring from within an imposing cloud of aggressive grooves and riffs from guitarists Johan Nat (since left with Pierre-Jean Catez joinuand Samuel Eymonym. It is a muggy climate which immerses the track but still allows clarity to the gripping drama and individual inventiveness of the band. The rampaging skilled urgency of Saz’Rain is impressive baiting for the senses alongside the magnetic and heavy tones of the bassist of Thomas Krajewski but it is the enthralling guitar craft and invention which steals the biggest chunk of the limelight in the exceptional track.

The stunning start is followed by the similarly hostile and engrossing Beasts and Bullies. Grooves worm into the psyche within seconds as rhythms hurl mighty and unpredictable swipes down on ears for a threatening yet addictive nemost-as-the-ocean-burnsentrance. It would be a debilitating start but for the outstanding mix of guttural scowls and outstanding clean vocals which entwine for a glorious and aggression tempering enterprise alongside the sizzling guitar play which emerges to ignite the imagination. Already two songs in it is hard to remember too many melodic death metal encounters this good and inventive, nor as virulently contagious as the first pair of tracks are.

Diversity is as much a key to the success of As The Ocean Burns and proven by the cinematic start and ambience of Respawned. Haunting crystalline keys tease ears first, followed by an expanding electronic charm and revelry. It is just the doorway into the delicious and relentless nagging of corrosive riffs and predatory rhythms, though it retains the melodic enticement of the song’s start throughout. A new dark throat emerges in the bass whilst the vocal harmonies seem to be fuller and more provocative than ever over the maelstrom of addictive ingenuity and adventure beneath them. There is a total lack of predictability to the album and songs, every time as here, you think you have handle on its intent and direction it twists or evolves its gait, direction or simply sound to bewitch and enthral.

Both the fascinating The Aimless Endeavour with its merger of Breed 77 like Latin melodies with insidiously dark malevolence, and the smouldering antagonism of Fight turn the temperature and persuasion up on the passions, the first a heat wave of sonic enterprise and aurally incendiary ideation. Its successor has a closer intimacy and more restrained purpose to its tempest yet it still immerses the ears in an almost oppressive texture of energy, as well as a cinematic menacing from its hooks which latch onto equally gripping melodies and the smooth vocal temptation of Petit. The track would make the perfect soundtrack to the darkest adult only Bond escapade and is another massive highlight on an album offering nothing but so far.

There is an inhospitable tone to Lifeless Heat, the song feeling like it wants to violate the listener even though it too comes with a sublime sonic inventiveness from the guitars. It does not live up to its predecessors in many ways but keeps the emotions enjoyable warm for the erosive might of Sandstorm. The track is a tempest of a track, a bear like ferocity unleashed by drums and riffs in league with a venomous beauty which soaks the ever impressing vocals and toxic lure of grooves. It’s incessant almost waspish irritancy and charm lights up ears and emotions perfectly before making way for the initial gentle and ultimately scarring brilliance of The Pale Observer. The track is ultimately a blaze of malicious invention and smouldering seduction, a battling tempest in the ears which evolves its fury into another fire of stunning technical and thoughtful enterprise blessed with gripping drama.

A kind of respite for the senses comes with Hourglass, though thoughts and emotions are kept busy by the entrancing sway of elegant melodies and emotive hues within a rugged sonic wind, before the fierce splendour and rabid invention of Year of the Libra and subsequently the bordering on demonic Atomnium treat and excite. The tracks bring yet further unique character to the album, each a dramatic exploration in sound and lyrical intrigue wonderfully impossible to pin down with real comparisons, though we suggest any fans of bands such as In Flames, Opeth, Katatonia, Lamb of God, Beneath The Buried And Me, Anathema, The Contortionist and the likes will especially get a kick out of the glory that is As the Ocean Burns.

The title track brings the release to a close, a song which is probably the lightest in intensity on the album but also one of the most spellbinding with its weaving of light and dark, seductive and violent textures into a fluid and beguiling landscape of originality. As the Ocean Burns is a gem all should take time to search out and investigate, a triumph which should not be allowed to slip through the net.

As the Ocean Burns is available now @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/cd/151_nemost-as-the-ocean-burns.html

http://www.nemost.com

RingMaster 18/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Pigeon Lake – Tales of a Madman

  Linn Wold Design


Linn Wold Design

A couple of months back Norwegian band Pigeon Lake unleashed the single Confrontation as a teaser and awakening to their debut album Tales of a Madman. It was a track which held all the already impressing essences and invention of the band as shown on their first release, the I: Mindrape EP, but hinted at a new individuality of sound and even greater emotional and textural explorations. The track was riveting as it thrilled ears and imagination but now showing as just an appetiser for the might and creative weight of the new album. Tales of a Madman is a beast of an encounter, a stirring and invigorating incitement which shows that Pigeon Lake has come of age and is ready to embrace the strongest intensive spotlight.

Formed in 2011 and hailing from Oslo, Pigeon Lake consists of vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt, lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen, bassist Anders Børresen, and drummer Andreas Prestby. The quartet has from day one created a web of intrigue and attention grabbing sound from merging a melodic and imposing blend of rock with a predatory metal confrontation. The result is a proposition which demands senses and thoughts pay attention before taking them on an enthralling and breath-taking, at times uncompromising, creative journey. The I: Mindrape EP of 2012 brought the band’s first rich mark on the psyche and passions; its success not the trigger to wide spread recognition but certainly an awakening of an awareness of the band which the new album we suspect will ignite.

Whereas the EP had irrepressible songs built on swinging grooves which could be referenced to the likes of Pantera and Volbeat in many ways, Tales of a Madman sees the band diving into the darkest corners and depths of emotions and imagination. Shadows smother the senses across the release, emotions soaking thoughts with strains of despair, fear, and predominantly melancholic evocation, yet rather than breed a depressed atmosphere which only devours the listener, the band sculpt and vein songs with an incendiary and sometimes deranged bait of hooks, grooves, and rhythmic contagion. It is a compelling and ingenious mixture which compliments its theme with intensive dramas and aggressive twists.

The album opens with the instrumental Event Horizon, a melodically elegant and captivating piece of composing which instantly draws in the imagination. Around the magnetic coaxing a dark ambience busies itself, offering a lure which is as inescapable and ominous as its title suggests. With rhythms adding their heavier enticement aided by a growing intensity of the guitars, a foreboding joins the flight of the track as it heads into the impending narrative of Epiphany. The second song also casts a caress of sonic temptation initially, though this time there is an instant edge to its charm which is soon aligned to firm beats and abrasing riffs. Antagonistic grooves break out quickly after, their lure courted by more pungent rhythms from Prestby and a throaty malevolent tone from the bass of Børresen. It is a swiftly gripping proposition which takes another lift with the distinct vocal expression of Schackt. As with the sounds the band crafts, there is an adventure and uniqueness to the voice of the man which is unafraid to test its limits whilst bringing open diversity to his delivery as it reveals every ounce of the passion and pain within the heart of lyrics and songs. The track itself writhes and twists creatively across its body with an almost maniacal intent, every swing of rhythms and lacing of sonic persuasion intimidatingly restless but rigorously seductive. It is a stunning step into the thick imposing realm of the release which is instantly matched by the current single.

Confrontation strides in on a voracious rhythmic enterprise which is ridden firmly by the fine vocals of Schackt. An anthemic baiting is right away in command of ears and emotions which the guitars colour and expand with their resourceful and ever shifting tempestuous invention. Angst fuelled harmonies bring their rich hues to the emerging maelstrom of emotion and agitated sound too, anger and despondency entangled with a romantic rage vocally to match the turbulent and thoroughly absorbing storm of sound around them. As impressive as their first release was, this song alone reveals in a short breath just how much the band has grown in their songwriting, creative maturity, and simply ravenous invention.

The smouldering emotive landscape of Doubt comes next, its scenery a melodic wash of shimmering passion and turmoil which erupts with soaring flames of vocal melancholia and sonic causticity. It is a glorious provocation for thoughts and feelings, essences of Katatonia and Tool spicing up the uniqueness of sound and imagination. The song is impossibly mesmeric and immersive but equally menacing through its tar like sludge bred intensity, a union of extremes which you wonder whether many bands could unite as sensationally and potently as Pigeon Lake.

Both Vengeance and Discrepency take their weighty share of the passions with distinctly different investigations, the first from a seducing if also imposing entrance, sending ears down a passage of forcefully jabbing rhythms and snarling riffery courted by raw vocals. It is a song which reeks of danger and destructive intent. The album is into the core of the mental disintegration of its protagonist you feel at this point, every melodic hug accompanied by a bestial savagery and every exotic twist of invention aligned to a malevolent stalking. It is impossible to pick out a pinnacle on the album but the exceptional track is certainly the most vocal re-emerging incitement in thoughts and memory with an unhinged air to every flirtatious and inhospitable turn it takes. Its successor also employs that height of unpredictability and emotive differences throughout its energetically driven swagger and corrosive touch. With a hostile edge to riffs and entrancing magnetism to its melodic beauty, the song is sheer emotional turmoil brought to sonic life and quite brilliant.

The album is completed by the two parts of Absolution. Pt 1. is a sultry escape through a calmer emotional climate but still ripe with blazes of sonic and vocal passion which are in no mood to create a smooth ride for senses and thoughts whilst Pt 2. feels not like a conclusion to the torment of the central character, but a clearer horizon even if one still littered with struggles and conflicts as painted by the roar of guitars and an intensive rhythmic intrigue to the impacting heat of the song.

Rather than a journey for the ‘Madman, the album feels like episodes from an on-going agony and leaves the imagination just as hungrily aflame as the passions. It is an exceptional release which has all the qualities and inventive beauty to push Pigeon Lake deservedly to the frontline of progressive rock and melodic metal. Tales Of A Madman is a release with a sound merging numerous styles and appetites for a mouth-watering presence, one without any reservations which is an album of the year contender.

Tales Of A Madman is self-released on August 15th @ https://pigeonlake.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic

10/10

Upcoming Pigeon Lake Gigs:

15.08 – Gamla, Oslo – Release party

22.08 – Inside, Bergen

23.08 – Fru Lundgreen, Trondheim

30.08 – Union Scene, Drammen

06.09 – Downbeat, Hønefoss

03.10 – Sebs Hotel, Hamar

RingMaster 10/08/2014

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