Tactical Module – Into Exile

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Having been seduced by previous album World Through My Sight from UK industrial band Tactical Module, there was a definite anticipation and expectation upon its successor Into Exile. The new release’s predecessor was a slow burner of a persuasion but one which made the securest potent convert of the passions for its aggressive symphony of electro enterprise, punk attitude, and industrial intensity. Into Exile is no different except that it makes a more immediate impact and its core ingredients and invention comes with a greater intensive snarl and uncompromising confrontation. It is an enthralling and challenging release which has reaped the impressive seeds of earlier releases and sounds to hungrily explore their sonic blossoming with greater craft and imagination.

Hailing from Poole, Tactical Module is the solo project of Michael Davis, a musician who since creating the band to unleash his creative imagination within has earned and garnered strong constantly deepening praise and acclaim through his releases. Using inspirations from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode in his invention, Davis after numerous EPs and remixes made his first strong wide mark with the Dead Zone EP of 2012. The release triggered greater awareness and appetite for his sounds which were soon feasting greedily upon the single Where Angels Rise and earlier this year the impressive expanse of World Through My Sight and the Resurrection EP. Receiving its first CD release with Into Exile, Tactical Module has sculpted an album which is more diverse and adventurous than the previous releases, and they were no slouches in experimentation, and an encounter which employs decades of industrial/electronic whispers into one invigorating magnetic incitement.

Released via Juggernaut Media, Into Exile takes little time in bringing attention and imagination to bear on opener Awaken, its emergence through a sizzling sonic haze chilling yet thoroughly tempting. Brewing up a greater menace to its climate, the song has complete control of thoughts and senses, especially when the predacious guitar tone unveils its metal spawned restrained yet voracious causticity, matched by the confronting vocals of Davis. A definite Gary Numan spice glazes the invention whilst organic beats cage the fired up passions further, herding them into the fierce electro embrace. It is an excellent gripping start not quite matched by the following title track. The song is certainly alluring; its ebm breath stalked by a great electro twang which spears the evocative ambience but there is a spark missing compared to the first which debatably might be down to the track evading the metal bred antagonism. Nevertheless it is a pleasing continuation of the strong start and evidence of the variety of ideas and sound upon the release.

Outer City Limits soon picks up the earlier baton of strength with its instrumentally stalking flight of coarse textures and electro beauty, both combining for a voracious journey through dramatic and suggestive climes. From providing the imagination with a sinew clad impacting plaything, Into Exile then reveals more of its emotive heart with Breathless. The song is a fizzing electro plaintive with angst drawn vocals cursing agony over the acidic sounds. Like the second song it takes a firm hand on ear and thoughts without challenging other tracks on the album for the passions but all the time deceptively it is working away and though face to face impact is less startling it is a moment which returns at will even away from the release.

Both Cypher 2.0 and Downpour urge limbs and emotions to take part in their electro waltz, the first with a pulsating veining of jabbing rhythms. A real plus for the song and album is the use of live drums which brings an organic pulse and frame to the album setting it apart from most others instantly, and with the crystalline fire spawned electronic pulses and stabs from around the ever satisfying and shifting vocal delivery here an irresistible instigator. Its companion is a rhythmic raptor, beats prowling and stomping with ever switching rabidity whilst the electronic teases and kisses come with their own sense of menace and salaciousness. There is a punk essence too which is a mere hint, as on other songs, but there waiting and probing vocally and musically alongside a Pitchshifter like primal suasion. The thrilling duo are backed up by the more than decent Hellfire, a cantankerous fire which merges moments of slightly underwhelming electronic bait with addictively thrilling aggressive almost corrosive metal and guitar voracity. That punk element is back here, a Spizzenergi nag pleasing thoughts whilst, and not for the first time, the electro calls bring Fad Gadget into the mind, and in even greater potency upon Unbreakable. With a post punk/metal esurience and attitude to its presence, the song is another pinnacle upon what ultimately is one exciting and inventive release.

    Into Exile comes in digital and CD format, both with unique remixes. The former format finds the Back to Hell, Back to Reality Mix of the title track by D.E.P, which gives the track the flame arguably missing in the original, the Destructed mix of Downpour by Detuned Destruction, and Corroded Master’s Harlot Mix of Breathless, both inventive takes without matching the originals. The CD offers the G-Mix look at the title track which certainly takes it into a new adventure, the Knife Fight remix of Breathless, and another by Defeat, with both formats seeing the Ruinizer Remix of Awaken, the track becoming a nastier predation and antagonist to the album version.

     Into Exile is an exciting and richly rewarding provocateur, a release showing the ever evolving and increasing strength of Davis’ songwriting and its striking realisation through Tactical Module.

https://www.facebook.com/TacticalModule

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/10/2013

 

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Type V Blood – Beastkiller

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As virulently contagious and destructively merciless as you could wish for, Beastkiller the new album from Russian industrial metallers Type V Blood is a confrontation which ignites and accelerates the heart of the dancefloor before turning it into an apocalyptic wasteland of sonically drenched carnage and delicious rhythmic mayhem. The release is an insatiable thumping on the heart of industrial seeded imagination, its power thrusting a fresh pulse and life into a greedy expectant genre. At times unique and in other moments wearing well used electronic armour, the album is a feast which is impossible to resist, a provocateur that leaves a breathless and rapturous satisfaction in its feisty wake.

Formed in 1999, the Konigsberg duo of Star (vocals) and Smith (guitar, programming, backing vocals) merged a core of industrial metal with black and death essences whilst infusing that with a flush of varied electronic incitement. Their sound took little time in awakening local support and ardour whilst debut album Dead Generation 77 successfully built upon the strong responses from earlier tracks and demos. Second album V.E.G.A. World Top 8 followed in 2004 but soon after the band came to an end, or as it turns out with its return four years later a hiatus of sorts. A trio of albums in Astra (2009), Warld (2011), and Penta (2012) followed as the band came back in strength and began evolving their intent and sound across the releases. The new, like its predecessor, Artificial Sun released Beastkiller sees the band moving away from the electronic core of previous records to explore and bring to the fore their metal flavoured roots. The result is an album which churns up and gnaws on the senses whilst leading the passions and imagination on a strength sapping dance of cantankerous electro animosity and seduction.

The deceptive opening teases of Eber Zzombie starts things off gently, cascades of electronic kisses sprinkling across the ear. It is a deceit as behind them lays in wait the carnivorous jaws of the guitars and a rhythmic lashing, all with a patience and predaciousness which is as intimidating as it is compelling. A mellow shift tempers the attack midway and even in its brief presence it almost throws things off balance but once the predatory instinct and intent is back the track again resumes its impressive introduction. After falling beneath the potent assault of the whole album the song in hindsight is a strong start but soon left in the shade of the rest of the release.

Rock The Dancefloor does exactly what it says on the tin though the title does not reveal the infectious brutality of rhythms used nor the hunger dripping from every enterprising note and thrust of sound. The track merges infectious melodic taunts and electro hooks into its swamp like thick atmosphere and overwhelming intensity which leads to the senses not knowing which way to turn but loving the hunt as explorer and prey. Its glory is soon lost in the haze as Shocksong marches militantly into view, its big heavy rhythmic boots stomping submission from the senses alone whilst the snarling vocal squalls and mutually venomous guitar riffs bring already awakened passions to their feet. Bestial at heart, the track pounds its beat across imagination and thoughts on the way to fully seducing the heart.

Both From The Heart To The Sun and Resistance tear off their chunk of the emotions next, the first with a voracious snarl to guitar and assault which is like being ravaged by 300 Spartans with sonic spears and industrially honed malevolence. Like its predecessor it stomps and prowls rather than going for the jugular but with the sapping aggrotech energy and intensive invention the result is the same, full submission. Its successor arguably has a lighter touch though it feels just as smothering and commanding whilst standing in front of its extremely busy and greedy presence. Like a maniacal puppeteer the track has limbs and passions indefensible before what is electro metal alchemy.

There is no let up from the album as first Awake storms the barricades with a tide of electro temptation split by blackened vitriol provided by shadow clasped sounds and serpentine vocals. Once again Type V Blood fuse extremes, light and dark forged into an epidemic of irresistibility which chews on the ear whilst stroking it into orgasmic bliss. Veined by catchy guitar hooks and melodic bait the song like so many on the release is the master of body and heart. Its triumph is thrust aside instantly by the rapacious Zero Tolerance, another song which twists and deceives throughout, its opening carnally wanting sonic narrative diving into a jazz funk swagger and enterprise with ease and then back again to continue the ravenous feasting upon the senses.

The diversity of the album continues in the brilliant wanton waltz of Sexyberia, a song with sultry flames and lascivious melodies which wrap tantalisingly around the listener as a blackened folk metal tasting romp runs up and down the temptation with eager rabidity and magnetic repetition. Like the album which leaves its strongest suasion to the second half of its bulk, the track is scintillating and breath stealing, open proof of the ever increasing strength of the release soon backed up by the final two songs. Right To Anger is a crunching weighty expanse of metal spawned corrosion whilst the outstanding closer New Nuclear World is electro punk at its most adversarial and inhospitable, a brilliant finale to a glorious tsunami of industrial metal and electro provocation.

Certain to please fans of the likes of Combichrist, KMFDM, Pitchshifter, Fear Factory, and Godflesh whilst simultaneously offering something unlike them all, Type V Blood and Beastkiller give industrial metal and music an addictive shot to the balls.

https://www.facebook.com/TypeVBlood

10/10

RingMaster 03/10/2013

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Obsessive Compulsive – Seculo Seculorum

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There has been a good buzz about Seculo Seculorum, the second album from UK punksters Obsessive Compulsive, since its release a couple of months ago but now having allowed its thrilling exploits to tease and excite our senses the record far outweighs the plenty of good responses draped upon it so far. It is an outstanding release, a collection of songs that stand toe to toe with the ears intimidating and coaxing them and all beyond into its riotous and provocative charge. Rife with feisty riffs, probing rhythms, and more hooks than to be found in an angling store, as well as the excellent spitefully seductive tones of vocalist Kelii, the album is an irrepressible temptation declaring the rock and punk fused presence of the band as one of the most exciting in the UK.

The Manchester quartet first drew attention with a couple of EPs but fired up a stronger awareness with debut album Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams in 2010. Released on their own Vociferous Records and produced by Russ Russell (The Wildhearts/Evile/Napalm Death), the album triggered strong and eager responses as well as a wealth of underground media acclaim. Renowned for their live performances, which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Goldblade, GBH, Anthrax, The Damned Things, KMFDM, Wolfsbane, and The Japanese Voyeurs as well as igniting festivals such as Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, and Download Festival, Obsessive Compulsive are now poised to raise their stature to a much loftier level with the James Loughrey (Skindred/Bjork/Page & Plant) recorded Seculo Seculorum (meaning ‘forever and ever’).

As immediately evident on the album, Obsessive Compulsive reaps the finest essences of punk, alternative rock, and a multi-flavoured OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArock rawness which combines to create a confrontation which leaves you breathless and gripped by a hunger for more. Imagine The Distillers and The Duel tied down and milked for their antagonistic charms whilst Karn8 stands astride adding their wantonness and you get a sniff of what the album offers. There is also a melodic fire and bite which harkens back to the late seventies with both The Photos and Penetration coming to mind at times. The moment opener Sick Sick Sick bursts into a blaze of hypnotic riffs laced with a contagious groove and commanding rhythms, there is a cage around the passions sparking them into life especially as Kelii brawls into the ear with sexy intimidation. There is a sense of US rockers Mongrel about the song too when it flares up in pissed off crescendos around its virulent infectious call. It is a scintillating start that lingers around for a long time inside though it is soon matched by the brilliant Regurgitate.

The second song on the album initiates the strongest lure just by the instant firm stroking of guitar and vocals, the combination a temptation which seems to know there is no escaping its toxicity. Into its stride once again the suasion is immense and impossible to resist, the roguish roam of the riffs framed by crisp beats seemingly seeded in old school punk rock whilst Kelii provides a Pauline Murray like snarl and melodic craft to her delivery. It is another instant pinnacle which alongside its predecessor puts the rest of the album under pressure.

Both the inventively unpredictable Stamp Your Own Path and the smouldering Jardim Gramacho put up massively satisfying efforts to grip the same heights whilst Nail In My Coffin stands shoulder to shoulder with the openers with its scything riffs and barracking rhythms egged on by the continuing to impress vocals. The track engages full thrusters in the energetic chorus to rampage as melodic flames hang on to its wind, though they are later allowed to settle and bewitch the listener with skilled and inventive narratives either side of the storm. The track again shows the variety in sound and imagination already on the album, the diversity brought with invention and an array of ingenious barbs which are never too much or allowed to get too complicated.

Float idles up next with bass and deep toned guitar edging the sultry tones of Kelii as the track unveils a slightly chilling and menacing beauty to its expansive breath, keys bringing an enveloping atmosphere which almost haunts the ear whilst shards of hot guitar coals light the skies. Drawing up its sinews and malevolent passion the song builds into a rapacious fire before settling down again into the initial smoulder. It is another slice of brilliance helping to propel the album into classic areas, the evidence of that status cemented further by the twin glories of Soul Sucker and Things Clean And Unclean, the first very much a Karn8 type inducement with elements of Hole and Hitchcock Blonde to it and its successor a gritty slice of dirty punk with L7 whispers to its stunning suasion, the steely bass bait a greedy temptress. It should be noted though for all the references mentioned the Obsessive Compulsive sound is still as distinct as you would hope.

After the metallically honed triumph Fight Or Flight the album unleashes its finest moment in the punk fury of No Logo. The track is pure venom and belligerence, a blistering X-Ray Spex like piece of contentious savagery which squalls and scowls with no mercy shown or considered. It is a bruising fight which accentuates the beauty of closing song Swallow The Sound all the more, the song a compelling rock ballad with a melodic heat that frames the vocals perfectly.

Obsessive Compulsive is a band which leaves only the richest appetite and urgency for their creativity in play, and Seculo Seculorum an album which seriously threatens the best UK rock album claims for the year. A must listen release.

http://www.obsessivecompulsiveband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 23/08/2013

 

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Biomechanimal – Renegade 2.0

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The creative project of Matt L. Simpson, Biomechanimal and its debut EP Renegade 2.0, is a seriously dangerous infection for feet and passions. Consisting of five tracks which steal away contact with the ground from the feet to send them into an eager dance of urgency whilst simultaneously igniting thoughts and emotions through sonic passion and lyrical narrative, the EP is a potent confirmation of all the strong responses and impressions flying around the band since its conception.

A classically trained musician, Simpson not wishing to become one of and lost in the crowd turned to creating his own distinctive style of industrial rapaciousness, merging strains of hard dance, hardcore, and EBM into his incendiary ideas and conjurations. Taking inspirations from the likes of The Prodigy, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Uberbyte, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cruxshadows, Dope Stars Inc., Eisenfunk, Grendel,  Menschdefekt and many more into his insatiable musical hunger, Simpson immediately drew attention and acclaim to his emerging creations. Live too with Danny Panic and Liam Peel alongside, Biomechanimal has drawn successful appearances at festivals this year to further enhance the growing stature of the band, whilst at its appearance at Resistanz the band almost sold out of its debut EP less than a week after release, down purely from a couple of promo tracks.

As the title track emerges from a building pulse, a melodic tease rising alongside the breath of the track, intrigue is instantly engaged andBiomec-R2cover fed by the thumping rhythmic persuasion and bass heavy throb of the song’s core. With the confronting rasping vocals of Simpson adding their serpentine call to the now contagious electro boogie, shadows merge with sizzling radiance wrapping a near riotous hug around the ear and senses. There is a metallic taste to the track which suggests influences also step from the world of metal though ultimately the track is a riveting industrial stomp of electronic flames and melodic temptation.

The following Broken Wings also steps out from within a distant and pending ambience but once in full control of its recipient there is an unveiling of a darker sturdier presence and intent, the bone shaking beats and persistent sonic rub an unmoveable niggle and provocation laying out a compelling canvas for the caustic vocals and acidic melodic weaves to explore and design their calls upon. There is a feel of Pittersplatter and Project Rotten feel to the insidious air bred and the reserved but anthemic bait offered but it only help brings a fresh and unique raw invention to the fore which sets band and release apart.

    The Stars Are Wrong is undoubtedly the best track on the EP, a full on electro waltz to worry the dance floor into a fevered passion littered with cascades of virulently addictive grooves, toxic hooks, and a primal bass led stalking that only elevates the ridiculously easy and merciless predacious suasion. Within the hands of the song it is like being trapped in a sinew clad cage, predatory shadows nipping and clawing at the psyche whilst their beauteous counterparts divert attention from the deepening thrilling wounds. It is a scintillating song and alongside its companions only increases greed towards the project.

Completed by two remixes of the title track, the first by Italian cyberpunk duo Wormz whose take on the song leads it into slower and darker climates whilst opening an almost folk metal like vein alongside the towering rhythmic skeleton being exposed, and the Trashed by Telemark remix an encounter which rips greater metal essences out of the original version to bring a new face and antagonism to the song. They both enjoyably conclude a great debut which easily places Biomechanimal on the UK industrial map with a muscular swipe. This is only the beginning of big and exciting things one suspects as the Renegade 2.0 takes the ear on another rampant venture.

https://www.facebook.com/BiomechanimalMain

8/10

RingMaster 14/08/2013

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Digicore – More Than Just An Ape

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UK industrial music in its varying shades and exploits has been a strong force for a long time if still arguably untapped by the media to send it deservedly deeper into the psyche of the world. Right now though there seems to be a pinnacle for the genre, a greater expanse of quality brewing within a wealth of releases over the past year parading talent and sounds that are irresistible. More Than Just An Ape, the new album from Digicore, is another adding its strength and invention to the growing plateau. It is an album which continues the band’s investigation of rock and industrial merged into a distinct confrontation veined with metal, electro, and punk , as well as one delving deeper into the modern world and its reliance on its god, technology, and its persuasion and effect on the human condition now and ahead. It is a brooding collection of songs, ones that inspire and challenge thought and emotion whilst equally inciting instinctive responses through sounds which are like an insatiable call to arms.

Formed in 2005 and consisting of Danny Carnage (vocals, guitars, programming), Matt Bastard (bass), and Cell (drums), the band spent two years crafting and creating More Than Just An Ape, the release stretching and taking the sound of the York band into new yet seamlessly evolved places and invention from previous album Without Freedom of 2011. Again released on Armalyte Industries, the eleven track album forges a sound and presence best described as Nine Inch Nails meets latter Pitchshifter with essences of Ghost In The Static, Gruntruck, and KMFDM placed in the mix. It is just a guide to a sound which at times feels familiar but with no evidence to why within its individual temptation. Fusing a wealth of other flavours into the compelling sonic narratives of the songs, More Than Just An Ape is one of those releases which deviously creep up on you simultaneously to offering an instant addictive persuasion, one which lingers long in the memory and psyche after its departure.

The opening In To Ruin emerges from a peaceful scene, church bells with an edge of discord drifting ambience slowly surrounded by an Digigorillaominous electro breath. An air of melancholy lays its touch into the brew especially with the introduction of the excellent vocals of Carnage, his tones clean, expressive, and throughout the album with a confrontational snarl. His appearance also sparks a more accelerated intensity bringing its intimidating presence though the track always has its rein gripped between its emotive sinews. It is an excellent starter and beckoning for the following You’re Not Like Me to unleash its thumping heart. Big boned beats frame the start before taking a step back for the caustic but restrained electro caresses to begin their impending scarring against the again strong vocals. Eventually the guitars sculpt their venomous presence whilst rhythms set a cage of menace and impact around the at times aggressive shift of the song. The song continues the impressive start set in motion whilst offering another of its potent aspects.

Both Disconnected and The Great Devourer provoke and expel vigorously imposing shadows, the first a carnivorous sonic expression that sucks air from lungs and hope from thoughts whilst its successor is a metallic predator where guitars and vocals which raised their growl and bite in the previous song now launch an intensive forceful stand against the ear, electro climbs offering underlying temptation to the almost Fear Factory like conspiracy. Both stand tall upon a release of nothing but peaks whilst next up I Will Not Be Afraid wraps warm melodic charm in coarse sonic washes with the vocals similarly composed to create another compelling danger.

     Hell On Earth is the best track on the release, a song which lays a dubstep/ebm dance canvas upon the ear for the sinew clad rhythmic juggling and corrosive metallic urgency to dance and rampage all over. Once more the band continually twist and evolve the gait and call of the song, creating a disorientating yet easily accessible intrigue and incitement to devour with rabid greed. It borders on bedlam and chaos but is superbly crafted and controlled to be one of the most forceful and anthemic riots heard this year.

Both the ferociously hearted Not One Of Us with its belligerent driving rhythms and the scintillating aurally toxic Don’t Belong Here leave pleasure and appetite full whilst Flesh is Weakness makes its challenge for best of honours with its emotionally charged and increasingly agitated presence. A climbing rage and sonic stimulus to mind and feelings, the song explores its and the listeners corners physically and emotionally, its challenging terms and riveting enticement just delicious.

Ending with the hellacious dance floor manipulator I Hate What I Have Become, which initially tears up the ease to which limbs can add their contribution evolving into another dramatic contemplation that wraps forcibly but enthrallingly around the body, and the brief epilogue of the title track, More Than Just An Ape is an outstanding album, one which leaves you short of breath and long in satisfaction. Offering an assessable first meeting but becoming much stronger and compelling when ridden over numerous courses, Digicore has reinforced not only their striking presence but that of industrial exploration within the UK. They stand side by side with the very best whilst holding their own distinct portion of the field. A must hear album.

http://www.digicoremusic.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

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Aborym – Dirty

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Listening to Dirty, the new album from Italian industrial metallers Aborym, takes thoughts back to the early days of the genre when Ministry and Godflesh corrosively chewed senses and KMFDM had a true snarl to their sound. It was the time when the genre was at its purest, as generally any style is at its seeding time, and when there was a malevolence and creative spite which arguably has since dispersed over the past decade in the industrial arena. Formed in 1992 the band has continued and explored their origins, combining the essences of the genre from back then with blackened venom and extreme metal savagery. Aborym have set high standards across the years which have inspired and shaped the intent of a wealth of bands and it is with confidence that you can assume Dirty will continue that influence.

Released through Agonia Records, the sixth album from the ignites fires in the passions but as easily quells them at times too, it is an experience of mixed ideas and results but one which is thoroughly captivating and deeply intriguing from start to finish. Like their sound overall, the album unleashes a predatory expanse of what they call “hard-industrial-electro extreme metal”, an unpredictable confrontation which is lingering and at times irresistible. The trio of Fabban (vocals, bass, programming, synth), Paolo Pieri (guitars, keyboards, programming), and Bard Eithun “Faust” (drums), whose past and current invention is found in bands such as Emperor, Hour Of Penance, Mongo Ninja, and Blood Tsunami, take thoughts and senses on an intense and caustically carved journey through black hearted emotive depths and synapse challenging intrusions.

Opening track Irreversible Crisis has a tantalising beckoning to recruit thoughts from the start, its blend of sizzling metallic pulsesAborym_dirty_cover300dpi_rgb within a scrappy blistered ambience evoking instant thoughts before the ravaging blackened charge of sonic malevolence consumes the ear. It is a viciously driven persuasion with the vocals of Fabban squalling with serpentine intensity upon the rhythmic bombardment and quarrelsome riffing. It is not long though before the industrial veins move in to shift the emphasis and creative temptation, the vocals seizing a Marilyn Manson like enticement whilst the song itself moves from a black metal like scourge through to an electro industrial wantonness. Imagine Behemoth meets Ministry and Treponen Pal before engaging with Wiseblood and The Amenta and you get an idea of this outstanding track and start.

The following Across the Universe wraps its electro arms tightly around the ear initially before slowly stretching its metal sinews and resonating breath into another intensive provocation. Clean vocals set the narrative up with potent clarity whilst the melodic teasing of the song inspires thoughts before being drenched in a squall of blackened toxin. Though not as immediate in its persuasion as its predecessor, the song is a riveting sonic travelogue through rapacious and magnetic scenery which reveals and persuades more with each subsequent course.

Next up the title track is a filth clad tsunami of nastiness, its erosive breath working silently behind the violent hunger and insidious exploits created by the venomous maelstrom elsewhere. It is the brink of the abyss, its industrially sculpted ferocity a virulently contagious assault with an intensity and energy which is hellacious at best and primal destruction at its most rabid.

Both the scintillating Bleedthrough, a track which infuses a storm of blackened carnivalesque like sounds, diverse essences, and exhausting emotive warfare, and the nightmare that is Raped by Daddy, continue to keep the album on the highest plateau. The second of the two  breeds its deepest agonies  through a magnetic mesh of extreme and electro metal, rhythms chewing on bone whilst the sonic acid scars beside a seductive electronic coaxing. Once at the heart of its distress there is a bottomless pit of emotive torment impacting on every sense, thought, and emotion, making for an experience which is lingering and explosive.

From this point on things do not find the same potency and draw as the first half of the album, though songs like I Don’t Know, even with its dodgy clean vocals at one point, The Factory of Death and closing song The Day the Sun Stopped Shining never find less than full involvement from the mind and attention from the ear for their still inventive and expressive enterprise. Amongst them one more pinnacle does shine through. Helter Skelter Youth is a schizophrenic fire of industrial, avant-garde, and electro devilment, an insatiable fury upon the listener with a thrilling body of epidemically infectious invention.

Though not holding on to its full triumph across all its length Dirty is an outstanding album which feeds the appetite for the origins of industrial metal whilst refusing to neglect the experimentation and intensive adventure of the now. Also released with a second CD available only on digipack, double gatefold LP featuring covers of tracks by Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails, two completely re-arranged and re-recorded tracks older songs and one new track, the album is a must investigate release as a bare minimum for all fans of the genre.

www.facebook.com/aborymofficial

8/10

RingMaster 29/05/2013

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Tactical Module: World Through My Sight

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    Tactical Module is a band which holds no fears in challenging and imposing its confrontation upon the listener musically and the world lyrically, but rewards its sonic intrusion with an aggressive symphony of electro enterprise, punk attitude, and industrial intensity. New album World Through My Sight is a brawl of ideas and sounds which with magnetic and compelling abrasion leaves no doubt that there is a formidable force dawning within UK dark electro/ rock.

Founded in the summer of 2010, Tactical Module is the solo project of Poole college student Michael Davis, the venture seeded by his need to find a vehicle and freedom for his creative imagination. Fusing industrial metal, EBM, digital hardcore and harsh electro, Davis has built a steadily growing reputation with his uncompromising and startling sounds. Using influences such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode to name a few, to sculpt his invention Davis has released numerous EPs and remixes as well as being involved with some impressive collaborations each marking his territory of provocative sounds. It was with the 2012 release of the Dead Zone EP though, which featured the intimidating vocals of Osmar Diaz from Mexican industrial act Acrophilic Project that a new fire of attention turned his way and strong anticipation brewed for this release. The latter part of the year also saw Davis sign with US dark electro/industrial label Engraved Ritual and release the track Where Angels Rise from his impending album, a song which lit up the ears and appetite of new and old fans alike.

The brief awakening of sound in opener The Lining of Sights is really an intro to the feast of sound and intent ahead but in its brief presence is the irresistible first step into album and its startling title track. An immediate resonating probe upon the senses, the track opens up its stance with great punk rap vocals from Davis heading a controlled charge of intimidating rhythms and intensive sonic rubs. Melodic warmth is grown and employed in the following infectious chorus and the ever present caressing ambience, though even that has a threat which is not to be ignored. At times the track reminds of a mesh of Killing Joke around the time of their Turn To Red EP and also Conformist with a certain punk simplicity at its heart.

The strong opening is continued through Where Angels Rise, the song a blistered acidic kiss upon the senses with scarring vocals and treacherous whispers as well as an equally caustic caress to the predatory pulse and hunger of the stark melodic breath. The song is pop at its darkest and most malicious, a seductive scourge with the darkest siren shadows matched in blackness by Dead Zone featuring the insidious rabid tones of Acrophilic Project. The track is a nasty devour of the emotions, its bestial ravage coated in bewitching sonics and melodic lime which mesmerises whilst corroding the senses.

After the stunning instrumental Skyline, its soundscape an irresistible merger of flaming melodics and ravenous guitar conjured energy combined to forge an encounter which seduces and gnaws away at the listener with impressive craft and invention, the album gradually evolves into a harsher and darker proposition. As Erase the Defect soon shows, the warmth which penetrated the earlier intrusive confrontations begins its slow dissipation song by song, this track an excellent defiance with unreserved aggression. Melodically the tracks still offer a balance and melodic whisper but it is a colder and less giving embrace which changes and enhances the album further.

Fragility is a low point on the release due to the clean vocals Davis brings to its compelling sounds and striking stature. Initially the song with its Spizz Energi reminding sonic tease and soon joining predatory bass sounds, hits the passions with unerring accuracy but once Davis sings it is all lost. As the song goes on to show he can growl, snarl and rap with impressive style and strength but sing sadly not, the song title ironically apt unless that is inspiring the display, and for personal tastes it ruins a deeply promising track. It is a passing issue though as further songs like the incendiary and evocative Cypher and the invidious Zeroed whip the fervour back to its earlier heights.

The album also includes remixes of album tracks from the likes of Project Rotten and Nahtaivel, with the two by Cease2Xist and Enfermo 666 especially dramatically impressive. World Through My Sight is an excellent album which arguably is not one of the more immediately engaging releases but certainly one of the most rewarding within its genre.

https://www.facebook.com/TacticalModule

8/10

RingMaster 06/03/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dark corners and caustic intent: an interview with Varicella

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A maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella has brought an uncompromising destructive start to the year. Released through the impressive emerging underground label Bluntface Records, We Belong Dead was a predator of old school eighties style industrial which experimented with and pushed brawling sonic boundaries. Taking the opportunity to find out more about the project through founder Chris Bollinger and guitarist Chris Pasquarelli, we looked at the release, the origins of the band and horror movies…

Welcome to The RingMaster Review and thanks for talking with us.

Varicella – Thank you! And thanks for giving us the chance to talk with you! We appreciate the opportunity.

For the uninitiated, tell us about Varicella, its beginnings, and the inspiration for the project.

Chris Bollinger – Well this is going to be a “really” long story, and I will try to shorten it as best I can, LOL. Varicella is at the moment, a two person industrial/metal/electronic dance music/experimental band. And when I say at the moment, I mean, that we did have a bassist who also did some synth work. He was responsible for a decent amount of what the band sounds like now. But sadly, we had to let him go from the band, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. We do hope to add a live bassist and drummer at some point, but it is hard finding the right people who fit and so forth.

As for the beginnings of the band, well as it states in our BIO on Facebook or Reverbnation, I started the project back in 2008. I’ve always wanted to do an industrial type of band, even when I was in high school back in 2000/2001. I just never found anyone that was on the same page as me or liked what I liked. But anyway, I started this in 2008 and did a few things wrote a few songs, some are on our We Belong Dead EP actually. We just updated them. Then I had to put it on hold because of to many people coming and going. I mean, I think I went through 4 or 5 guitarists until I found Chris Pasquarelli. I posted several ads online and for about 2 years, I never got an answer or I did but their style didn’t fit my style, or they wanted to do the more aggrotech / terror EBM style of industrial and I don’t want to do that. So it was a super long time between people. And during that our old bassist answered one of my ads. We talked and began to work together over the internet with a site called Soundcloud. At the time he was working a job that was 3rd shift overnight and I work a standard 9 to 5 type of job. So our schedules were completely opposite. But I’m determined to do this so things got done! LOL. Then as I mentioned above I found Chris Pasquarelli, through Facebook no less, LOL. We both were clicking like on each other’s posts or comments, and then somehow he saw I did music and said we should jam. I was really impressed with him. That was last April and he’s been in the band ever since that first jam. Yes, he’s that good!

As for the inspiration, I’d have to say just my love of the old 80’s and early 90s industrial, bands such as Ministry, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, and Frontline Assembly. And then on top of that I love White Zombie and Nine Inch Nails, and thrash metal type of bands like Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Pantera and other hard rock or punk bands like Alice in Chains, Danzig, Tool, Filter, Misfits and The Ramones. So, I just wanted to do something that was in the vein of those bands/artists but not a direct rip off. I wanted to make heavy dance music. Songs that have a heavy dance beat that’ll make the girls shake their asses to it, but at the same time it has a thrash metal guitar part or groove to the guitars that’ll make the dudes head bang to it. Hopefully that makes sense to anyone out there. LOL.

What was it about music which you felt was missing and leaving you cold as a listener as well as a musician, when starting Varicella?

Chris B. – Pretty much as I said above, everyone was making the all synth based aggrotech / terror EBM type of industrial, and I didn’t want to do that. I have nothing against it and I like most of it. I listen to Combichrist, Psyclon Nine, Imperative Reaction, Wumpscut and other various bands that have that sound. It’s just not the type of music that I wanted to do personally. And I think that made it harder to find a guitarist too, because that style is really popular right now. The style we do is not popular. Which does make things harder but at the same time, we can transcend a few genres of music and play with different types of bands. Which I find pretty cool! LOL.

Chris Pasquarelli – When I joined Varicella last April I liked the music, but I wanted to make it heavier and more edgy. Most of the songs had basic plug-in computer guitars which the typical computer programs use and I liked it but I didn’t like how noticeable it was that it was not recorded by real guitars as opposed to computer guitars. Within the last 9 months I’ve been in the band I can say that I am really happy with the overall sound our music has with my added guitar and bass tracks.

Was this music in general or more the industrial/electro genre you did not find a connection with?IMG_0014

Chris B. – I’d say yes, mostly in the industrial/electronic genre, but I’ve been a little bored with the rock and metal genre too. Not much is catching my attention in the rock and metal genre. There are a few “really” good bands in the all of those genres, but you have to weed through thousands of copies or clone bands to find the 4 or 5 good ones. It’s tough.

How do you feel about the scene and music now we stand in 2013?

Chris B. – Pretty much the same. Some things have gotten better. Like, it’s easier to spot the better bands versus what I call the “bedroom” bands. These are people that just sit in their homes, make and release music, but never play a live show. Ever! There were a massive amount of them back in 2007 to 2009. Maybe even before that. I’m not 100% sure. But now, it’s about 99% easier to weed through and see those types of bands. And I’m not knocking those people. Some make very good music. I probably own some, LOL. But it’s just not what I want to do. I want to actually see the fans and talk to them and so forth, not sit in my bedroom and stare at a computer monitor.

What are the biggest influences which inspires your sound?

Chris B. – Ministry, mostly the early stuff, Twitch, The Land of Rape and Honey, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69. Those 4 albums blew my mind and still amaze me. I can’t believe Al and Paul did what they did at that time. It’s amazing! KMFDM, almost anything they do is great! Same goes for Skinny Puppy. Got to love Ohgr too! And then White Zombie, La Sex and Astro Creep are two great albums that shaped my teenage years!

Chris P. -  Behemoth, Deicide, At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle Of Filth, Children Of Bodom, Burzum, Darkthrone, Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cryptopsy, Anorexia Nervosa, Nine Inch Nails, Orgy, Deadsy, Psyclon Nine, Dimmu Borgir, Marilyn Manson, Static x, Old Mans Child, SOAD and many more!  As far as my sound goes I’m influenced by many bands, I just try to make the heaviest guitar and bass lines too fit our songs.

The early days were unsettled for the band I believe, through line-up problems? Was this the reason for Varicella going on hiatus or actually at the time was it the end of the band? 

Chris B. – They were. And I think I quit about 4 or 5 times. Gave up and stopped all together type of quitting. I was just really frustrated, and things were going nowhere. As I said, it was about 2 years before I found Chris Pasquarelli on guitar

Varicella reformed/re-emerged in 2011, what was the spark that made that the time to bring the project back to active life?

Chris B. – Skinny Puppy. Skinny Puppy came out with a new album called “HanDover” back in late 2011. Also Ohgr released another one of his solo albums early in 2011, called “undeveloped”. And I just said, fuck it, these are super good, I need to get my shit together, and get this project going! Especially “HanDover”! It’s over a year later and that album is still constantly on my iPod.

Chris P. – I was still in high school when I joined and I was in several other projects at the time when I joined Varicella. I’ve been serious about music for most of my life And I felt frustrated with a lot of the people I jammed with at the time because no one else was as into the band thing as I was until I joined Varicella, so I was really excited to be a part of a band which was serious about their music.

 Back to influences/inspirations, which predominantly spark and shape your songs and lyrics, the areas which ignite your ideas?

Chris B. – Movies, mostly horror and sci-fi movies. TV shows, comics and/or graphic novels. You wouldn’t think it, but Doctor Who is another spark that started two songs lyric wise. And one song music and lyrics, called “The Sound of Four”. And then there are some ideas that come from real life experiences. Like the song “Obsessed with flesh”.  The lyrics in that song can be applied to anything where a person feels they are being used and/or abused. But the major theme of that song comes from a person I wanted to date, but she didn’t want a steady boyfriend or a relationship. So we were just friends with benefits. After a few months of that she all the sudden stops talking to me. I can’t get a hold of her. She doesn’t want to hang out let alone do other stuff. Then a few weeks go by, and I find out she’s in a relationship and that’s why she just dropped me. I was fairly pissed off, and felt a little used. Same goes for the song “All Hail”, that’s sort of my views on brutal honesty with a little jab a religion. I’m a brutally honest person and a straight shooter. I just think we all spend too much time putting up a front or wearing a mask for certain people. It’s ridiculous.

Chris P. – As far as our music goes guitar and bass wise, I kind of do a Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Static X guitar and bass meets extreme metal vibe. For example in our song Mind Fucked I wrote a melodic guitar rhythm that a stripper could dance to, and metal heads could throw down too and fuck each other up in the mosh pits too as well. This has been a huge influence in writing for me, and I’m not exaggerating at all. Every time I right new material For Varicella I always keep Strippers and mosh pits in mind.

TrayCard_OutsideYou have just released your We Belong Dead EP via Bluntface Records; does this contain all new tracks or material with seeds and feet from the earlier presence of the band as well?

Chris B. – A little bit of both actually. The songs Obsessed with Flesh, All Hail were written back around 2008. Of course they were updated to match the other songs that were new, specifically the song Obsessed with Flesh. There’s this sort of machine type sound going on with the guitars. That’s from the way Chris Pasquarelli plays the song. He bends the strings a certain way at a certain time to get that specific sound. That’s all him! So if we had a different guitarist that didn’t play it that way, it wouldn’t sound that way.

How long did the EP take to create and how far did it or songs evolve from the initial ideas?

Chris B. – It didn’t take too long actually. Most of the blue print was laid out in 2008. We just updated some things here and there as I said. We started working on these songs in late 2011 and finished in the fall of 2012. Obsessed and All Hail didn’t change much. Chris Pasquarelli just added his own style to them. The Sound of Four came together very quickly! Music and the lyrics. I think it was done in only a few months. We Belong Dead went through a few changes. LOL. The original idea came from our old bassist Tim. I just sort of took the synth sound, and remixed it adding in other elements. I went through about 4 versions of that song until we hit on a verse / chorus / verse pattern. But it didn’t become what it is now until Chris Pasquarelli joined, and added the guitar riff that grooves over top the synth part in the verses.

There is a cinematic feels to your tracks on We Belong Dead, a visual ambience beyond the lovely corruption of sound and breath. Obviously it has seeds in the influences to songs you mentioned earlier but has it been a natural result of your personal interests or something you have crafted intentionally?

Chris B. – Thank you very much. I would say this is not intentional, at least on a conscious level. I mean, I try to create songs that have multiple meanings on multiple levels to them. This is why I like to add in certain Movie or TV show samples. They help me to tell the story of the song better. Or they reference things in my lyrics.

What are your hopes for the EP in relation to opening up future opportunities for the band and is there a particular moment or track on the release which is Varicella at its purest, where its heart is most open?

Chris B. – Well first and foremost this EP is a stepping stone to our full length release that’ll be out something later this year, probably fall or winter of 2013. We also hope this EP will help us get any attention to tour or play more shows. We’d love to do a tour! Even if it is just a small 2 or 4 week local tour. Of course a bigger 2 month or more tour would be great too!

Varicella at its purest? Not sure. Obsessed with flesh is pretty personal. As I mention above, that one involves a bad relationship with a girl. The Sound of Four is about feeling like you don’t exist in this world, so maybe those two songs. They might not sound like it, but most of my lyrics are real and from the heart.

Chris P. – I’m hoping this EP will open more doors for Varicella by getting us more fans and shows etc. I agree with Chris I think Obsessed with flesh is pretty out there in terms of being us at our purest.

How did you and Bluntface link up and what have been the benefits already from their support and presence?

Chris B. – Johnny from Virus Cycle had an open call for bands on his compilation last summer. From there, I saw that Otto was doing another compilation through the Bluntface site. Otto remembered our song and dug our sound, and a few months ago he sent me an email. He said the label was expanding, and asked if we wanted to join up with him. It seemed like a really good offer that we didn’t want to pass up. So we agreed.

There have been a huge amount of benefits! We’ve had internet radio air play. The review of our EP from you guys, and a few other interviews, and we did a “live” on air interview on 13SRadio.com. We also have another one that we’re doing at the end of this month. Everything Otto said he would do for us, he’s doing! So we’re extremely happy.

How are you managing to promote the EP and are there live shows happening or planned?

Chris B. – We’ve been promoting it on the various social media networks, Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, and a few other sites. We’ve been playing shows since last October when we opened for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Left Spine Down, and Panzer Division. Left Spine Down said we were loud and they liked our cover of Ministry’s Burning Inside. Since then, we’ve had a show every month, except for December, we played two that month. We’re taking February off to write and record some songs for the full length album. And we’re playing a show on March 23rd in Philadelphia at Motel Hell. Details are on our Facebook page

There are plenty of opinions from artists within industrial and its plethora of varied corners which say there is a current curse of IMG_0023_1backbiting and disrespect within the genre between musicians and those involved, how have you found the situation personally?

Chris B. – There are a few bands and people, not exclusively in the industrial/electronic music genre, that have been disrespectful to us. It does bother me at times, because it’s usually from bands/artists that think they’re bigger than they are, but they’re not. They have this ego trip and they act like you’re beneath them. It’s sad actually. And we try to not be like that. If you’re cool with me, then I’m cool with you, simple as that. But that’s just how it is, and it’s the same with the movie business. Everyone’s two faced. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local band or a huge touring band. You will run into a few that are like that.

Is there anything, band or releases, which have captured your imaginations recently and added extra flavour to your thoughts and ideas for your next compositions?

Chris B. – Wow, good question. Not too many “newer” bands. There are some bands that have been around for a little bit that are releasing newer albums. Dawn of Ashes, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Alice in Chains, Megadeth and Filter. I’m a pretty big Filter fan. Their last album “The Trouble with Angels” was really great! Still listening to that. Testament just released a very good album. Frontline Assembly and Tweaker also just put out newer albums. Even though FLA is more of a soundtrack, it’s still very good. Been listening to the “Tron Legacy” score by Daft Punk off and on for a few weeks. All of those keep my imagination going. Especially the “Tron Legacy” score. That CD just amazes me! It’s really good!

What is next creatively for Varicella?

Chris B. – We are currently working on our full length album. It will be all the songs from the EP plus about 5 or 7 more originals and maybe 2 or 3 remix songs.

Many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Chris B. – Thank you for giving us this opportunity. We appreciate it very much! Last thoughts…just check us out on Facebook or Reverbnation. Go to the Bluntface Records site and check out all the great bands there! If you haven’t already, please download our “We Belong Dead” EP. And thanks to everyone who’s helped and supported us along the way!

Finally, you said horror movies are big elements in your personal loves, so give us three films which are engrained in your passions to the extent you know lines off by heart.

Chris B. – 1) The Evil Dead films and Army of Darkness. Classics in my book and Army of Darkness just has so many great quotable line! 2) Almost all of the John Carpenter films, even the movies that are not horror movies. The Thing, Halloween, Prince of Darkness, Escape from NY, Big Trouble in Little China, In the Mouth of Madness, and Christine are some of my favourites of his. 3) Hellraiser 1 and 2. Those movies together feel like one really long awesome movie.

Chris P. – I’m right on board with Chris Bollinger’s horror movie tastes especially with the Hellraiser and Evil Dead Series. Some of my favourite horror movie quotes are Evil Dead 2’s “groovy” right after Bruce Campbell put a chainsaw where his possessed hand used to be, The priest’s quote “I kick ass for the lord” right before he fights zombies in the grave yard with his bare hands in Dead Alive and Lastly Chop tops “Oww my plate! My brain is burning nom flashback NOM FLASHBACK!!!!!!” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Read the review of We Belong Dead EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/varicella-we-belong-dead/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varicella/310239362321042?fref=ts

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

The RingMaster Review 26/02/2013

RingMaster 26/02/2013

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Varicella: We Belong Dead

Varicella

Like being sucked into a maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, We Belong Dead the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella is an uncompromising destructive predator with a primal appetite to match its insidious aggression. It is a release which arguably takes longer than other genre releases to persuade its compelling case but emerges from focused attention as a deeply satisfying and thought inciting confrontation.

Formed in 2008 aiming to explore the roots of old school 80’s style industrial having been uninspired by the popular music and the local all synth / EBM based industrial scene at the time, Varicella due to suffering an instability in line-ups eventually took a break from being an active unit. Founder Chris Bollinger (vocals/programming) began working on songs and music for the project again in 2011 and linked up with Chris Pasquarelli (guitar) early last year, the duo taking influence from the likes of Ministry, KMFDM, and Skinny Puppy in creating metallic guitar driven industrial sonic brawls. Their first release explores distinct dark corners whilst intruding on the senses with malevolence and caustic intent; it is not always an easy listen and at times pushes its limits the wrong way but is always a compulsive and inventive listen and emotive encounter.

Released via Bluntface Records on January 26th, the EP invades the ear and consumes the senses first with Where Does Evil 113594Live, the opener a stalking presence of venomous energy and satanic bestial breath. It soaks the synapses with cold inciting aural fingers whilst its resonating heartbeat chills behind the samples and within the corrosive grip of the track. It is a lingering hypnotic piece which sets the album up perfectly, a dangerous and intimidating journey well into its malicious task.

The title track invades next with a pulsating stance and devilish mischief to its initial engagement. The vocals of Bollinger scrape the flesh as intensely as the sounds, a coarse devouring rub reminding of label mates Virus Cycle at times. It is a tsunami of energy which lumbers over its recipient with a mass of sonic depth and raptorial hunger whilst offering enough to grab limbs and heart into a darkened dance.

The excellent All Hail and The Sound Of Four unleash their thunderous growls next, the first an enveloping senses eating festering with hybrid essences of Nine Inch Nails and the second a rampaging encounter with again a primal gait to its rhythms and at times a White Zombie like infection. It is a track you can see any fallen angel using as their soundtrack and deathly dance and its expanse disturbingly mesmeric. The raw nasty vocals offers an extreme to the acidic melodic craft of the song and is destined to make the song difficult for some though with enough rewards from the well sculpted sounds and menace to be rewarding for all.

     Obsessed with FleshFuck Slave is a metallic tirade of sonic abuse and intense bruising, the guitars a scouring abrasion alongside the riveting rhythms and beats. It is the least successful track on the EP but has enough to make its vulgar presence welcome and intriguing. The same can be said of the closing song too, though Burning Inside is a furnace of continual sonic flames which incites greater attraction. Musically both songs are as impressive as elsewhere but the vocal delivery is suffering from a lack of variety at this point for personal tastes. It is not bad just the continual unpolished grate of Bollinger across the whole release arguably goes too far in making a contrast and provocation to the heated and often mesmeric yet challenging sounds.

We Belong Dead is a strong release which fans of original industrial music will find plenty of appreciation for as well as those with a need for experimentation in their genre based sounds. For a first release Varicella has set in motion anticipation for and promises of greater things in the future whilst leaving a very contented satisfaction in the now.

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varicella/310239362321042?fref=ts

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Otto Kinzel Interview

Back in 2010 through the Reputation Radio Show we were introduced to the striking and intriguing band Chemical Distance, their song Red Queen’s Race becoming a firm favourite. Otto Kinzel, creator of the band, emerged through the few communications we engaged in as a gentleman and enthused musician we had to take notice of. The following year though we simply lost touch with what he and the band was up to but  recently he came back into our view with his remix for the latest Virus Cycle album. This was just the reminder we needed to catch up and find out more about his solo work as well as past and upcoming projects plus learn more about his own record label. So with pleasure we bombarded Otto with questions and this is what we found out.

Hi Otto, many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

No problem Pete, thank you for giving me the opportunity!

Firstly tell us a little about yourself and back ground outside of music.

I was born in Nyack, NY but lived all over the Eastern US as a kid. My parents divorced when I was really young so my sister and I would get shuttled back and forth from wherever my dad and Mom were living, respectively, so New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware…but I ultimately grew up in Vermont, so I consider myself a Vermonter.

Was your childhood lived with music always around?

Not at first. Neither of my parents was very musically inclined. But once we (my dad, sister and I) moved to Vermont, we were then living close to my uncle Bob (my dad’s brother). He plays guitar, has been in bands, toured, recorded, the whole 9 yards. I had been interested in playing guitar since I was very young, so when I turned 12 my dad bought me a Gibson Les Paul knock-off and a tiny 15 watt Peavey amp. My uncle gave me some lessons to get me started. I think the very first song I learned was Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door. My uncle Bob is really the one who got me started and helped me on my way.

When did you realise your were destined to and simply had to make music?

As soon as I heard distortion coming through that tin amp for the first time. That’s when I knew I was onto something magical.

Who were your biggest influences/favourite bands and artists growing up?

As a kid my only outlet for music was my older sister’s cassette tapes. All my music was “hand me down” stuff so I had Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and some of the other big artists of the time. I think I also had the We Are The World soundtrack, hahaha, but once I got a little older I discovered Metal. It blew me away. Again once we moved to Vermont a lot of things opened up to me. Not only did my uncle get me started playing guitar, but I also got exposed to a wide new world of heavy music. My cousin Ethan, whose 4 years older than me, listened to Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth…all sorts of Thrash Metal at the time. His bedroom was covered in posters from these bands. I remember vividly staring at pictures of Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” and being mesmerized by the artwork and detail. So it wasn’t long after that I went out and started buying albums from these bands. I was always looking for the next heavy ass band, so after starting with Metallica and Maiden, I got into some Death Metal, Industrial-metal (including KMFDM and Ministry, who are still two of my all-time favourite bands) and the like.

You have been a member of and played in numerous bands over the past decade. Thinking of pre-Chemical Distance was this just as a musician or were you already in the production side of music then too?

I got started in the production side of music my senior year of high school, 1997 I think. It was more out of desperation than anything. At that time high quality studios in Vermont were slim, and the ones that did exist were insanely expensive. I bought a Tascam 8-track recorder, a book on home recording techniques, and that was that. A LOT of trial and error, and a LOT of very bad recordings, ha-ha. But I learned and learned, and down the road was able to get some formal training, which helped a lot.

Were the bands in that period of your life ones you started or existing ones you joined?

Almost all of them were ones I started. I tried joining a couple here and there but it never felt right. I always felt like a guy who was just a third wheel. I want to be responsible for building something on the ground level.

We first came across you with your band Chemical Distance and the excellent The Pain & The Progress album. I am right in believing originally the project and album was intended as a solo thing for you?

Yes that is correct. I wanted to do a studio project and just have a ton of different musicians collaborate on each song. Kind of toss everyone’s influences into a blender and see how it comes out. Michael Hauply-Pierce ended up doing vocals on most of the album; although Greg Boedecker did vocals on a couple of songs and Keith Chisholm did vocals on No “Real” Friends.  Bob Dwyer played guitar and added synth to a couple of songs as well and Marc Brennan added live drums and some extra guitar to a few songs.

What was the trigger for evolving things into a fully contributing band?

I ended up doing a series of shows to promote the album, when it was still in pre-release. It felt very strange having Michael (Hauptly-Pierce- vocals) and Matt (Connarton- bass) on stage with me, playing their asses’ off, all for my “solo” project. We were all on stage sweating and working hard together. Everything was really clicking as far as the chemistry between the three of us. It just evolved and no longer felt “right” calling it Otto Kinzel. The project had morphed into a proper band.

Is the band still an active thing amongst the wealth of other projects you are involved with?

We released a 7 song EP in 2011 called This Program Is Not Responding. We didn’t do nearly the amount of touring and promotion that we did for The Pain & The Progress, so it got a bit lost unfortunately. But it’s available on the Bluntface website at http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/fr_chemicaldistancethisprogramisnotresponding.cfm

And we just released a brand new Chemical Distance song called Caritas on a String, which is available as a free download on the GET TURNED ON: Music from the Underground compilation album.

In the different bands you have played guitar, sung, synths as well as created the programming, produced and more. Which aspect gives you the most satisfaction and do you think need this variety to your work to keep fresh and imaginative?

I think playing guitar and writing really heavy riffs gives me the most satisfaction as a musician. But really they all complement each other. Sometimes I’ll have some writer’s block when it comes to guitar, so I can work on programming beats. And then while listening to what I programmed Voila! A riff pops into my head, same with synths. Everything fuels the creative process and helps to keep my writing and performance moving forward.

When you write songs is there a certain intent you try to bring forth with your music or does it evolve all on its own?

It’s really all over the place, there is no formula or procedure I go thru. Sometimes I start with a riff; other times I program drums first and then put guitars to it and mess with the structure; and other times it starts with a vocal harmony.

What about on the production side, is there a certain thought or feel you try to create certainly with your own music?

I really enjoy layering the music with very deep levels of sound. I want to have a full spectrum of frequencies and lots of panning within the stereo space. I really like “headphone” albums that mess with your senses.

Tell us about your solo album of last year We Are All Doomed: The Zodiac Killer.

I wanted to a “real” solo album, where I did all the production, wrote all the songs and played all the instruments (for the most part). I had some down time and always had this idea in my head but never had the time or focus t really flesh it out.

The inspiration is obvious to everyone right away from the title but what actually made you want to turn the infamous time into a theme for an album?

I’ve always been fascinated with the Zodiac killer. The fact he’s never been caught (and the case is still unsolved) makes it even more fascinating. I was obsessed with it for a while in the early 2000’s. I did a lot of investigating on my own and a ton of research. I wanted to album to be 100% historically accurate and really represent the timeline of events and how the murders were committed.

Your music is something which challenges as much as it rewards, this is an important aspect to your creativity?

Absolutely! I think that’s something that any musician who is worth anything strives for.

You have recently linked up with Johnny Virum and Virus Cycle which came from doing a remix of one of their tracks on the album Return To Zombieland?

Yes. The remix went really well and we “jived” right away, as far as chemistry in the studio goes.

You are working with them on their new album, is this just as producer or are you part of the band too now?

I’m producing the new Virus Cycle album, Zombiechrist, and playing bass in the studio for Johnny (Virum, Virus Cycle’s frontman and driving force).

There is also a collaborative project KINZEL v VIRUM coming soon?

Yes, this is much more of a true collaboration. Musically it’s going to be more of an Industrial-Metal album, like Ministry or Psyclon Nine. Basically I’m playing guitar and doing the drum programming, and Johnny is doing the vocals and providing audio clips.  I expect this album to be released in late 2012, around winter time.

What is it about Virus Cycle and their form of industrial metal which excites you? This is a new sound for you to explore?

It’s a couple of things. First off, I love the whole zombie aspect and the various themes of apocalypse that are integrated into the lyrics. I like music that has a concept, a message. We are kindred spirits in that regard. Second I love Johnny’s work ethic. He bust his ass at what he does, he works very, very hard, which is something I have great respect for. And third, he’s a really cool guy.

You also alongside all your projects and work created and run Bluntface Records. Tell us why when constantly busy you still spread into that time consuming area of music.

The label has been around for several years now, almost 10! I started it for many of the same reasons I started doing my own production work: out of necessity. I had worked with some other label’s in the past and always felt like they never cared about what I was doing nearly as much as I did. So I said “fuck it” and decided to take my fate in my own hands. I needed a platform to release my own stuff, so it made sense.

The label has released diverse artists and sounds, what is it you look for in music which makes you consider releasing and working with it and what do you offer them which many other labels fail in?

I can’t speak about other labels because I really don’t pay attention to them to be honest. I am way too busy with my own life and music to be bothered. But for me, I love music that is “left-of-centre”, something that wouldn’t normally get played on radio; something that is really different. I want to hear artists who are not afraid to take chances and stick their necks out. Even if that particular concept doesn’t work, as long as they’re willing to try and push the envelope towards something unique, then that’s something I want to hear. There’s too much of the regular, everyday bullshit that we’ve heard a thousand times, especially in hard rock.  If you have satellite radio just turn on the Octane channel and you can hear a hundred bands all following the same song writing formula with the same style of guitar tone, the same style of drum production, and all the signers have the same “I can sing clean but also dirty” screams. It’s like there’s a factory just churning out these bands on an assembly line.

I also think that by staying small and focusing only on a hand full of artists, we can give them a lot more attention with their promotional campaigns. And it allows us to be very selective in whom we work with. We are under no financial obligation to sign whatever fad is popular.

What are the latest and upcoming releases on the label to watch out for?

Virus Cycle’s Zombiechrist, which will be out in the late fall; KINZEL v VIRUM which will be out in the winter, and currently Bradox64, which is an Electronic/Glitch/Break core/Bizarre album from NH Electronic musician Braden McFarland. That album is out now, buy it at http://bradox64.bandcamp.com/

Other than the Virus Cycle album what is next for Otto Kinzel?

Just plugging away in the studio ha-ha. I have a couple of things up my sleeve for later this year J

Is there any room for more solo work in the near future?

That’s one of the “things” I was referring to. I’m doing research on a specific subject right now, and have already started working on some pre-production.

Again thanks for chatting with us.

Would you like to leave with any last words or thoughts?

Thank you for having me, I really appreciate you giving me a chance to talk to your publication. As for last words? How about “You got cookie for me?”

The Ringmaster Review 07/07/2012

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