Zapruder – Fall in Line

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It may be titled Fall in Line, but the debut album from French band Zapruder does everything but that with its rigorously unpredictable and exhaustingly diverse sound. The release is made up by a collection of tracks which are as distinctly different from each other as they are united in brewing up intensely compelling and experimentally fiery landscapes. It is devilish and seductive, mischievous and aggressive; a release which confuses and ignites the imagination across its explosive length but ultimately leaves ears hungry and emotions basking in a unique challenge.

Hailing from Poitiers, Zapruder swiftly set about creating new propositions from fusing the likes of mathcore, noise, and post-rock amongst numerous ingredients. First release, the Straight From The Horse’s Mouth EP, was unveiled in 2012 and made a potent mark in drawing attention towards the quintet. Recorded with and mixed by Amaury Sauvé, the mastering done by Sylvain Biguet (Birds In Row, Trepalium), this well-received EP brought forth a creative template which has been pushed and explored to enthralling lengths by Fall in Line. Live the band has similarly risen in stature and acclaim, sharing stages with the likes of Kruger, Celeste, Cowards, As We Draw, June Paik, Offending, and Betraying The Martyrs. Now the also Sauvé recorded and mixed new album, with mastering this time taken on by Rob Gonnella and Nick Zampiello, is ready to draw the hungriest spotlight upon the band, one it is hard to see them missing out on such the creative alchemy within Fall in Line.

Out through both Apathia Records and Hipsterminator Records, the band instantly awakes ears and attention with the raw and corrosive opening to We Are Orphans. The first track is an immediate squall of sonic causticity and rhythmic predation, the guitars of Etienne Arrivé and Quentin Cacault roaring and chugging for a magnetic lure before the scathing vocal tones of Isaac Ruder erupt with searing antagonism. It is a harsh and gripping mix, especially with the throaty bass bait of François Arrivé aligning to the rhythmic antagonism of drummer Romain Fiakaifonou. The track at this point is hardcore and noise fuelled but already igniting intrigue with its emerging startling twists and warped grooving. Well into its assault, the song’s body is a delicious tangle of spices and ideation, every aspect unafraid to venture into unexpected explorations though the blunt force and raw energy of the song never waivers. Teasing melodies and blistering scythes of guitar only increase the potency of the turbulent maze as the song moves through a slightly more placid and reflective passage before closing out in a scorching finale.

The following Cyclops is bred from the same raucous template initially, guitars and vocals a scarring tempest punctured by just as hostile and disorientating rhythms. The track like its predecessor has a definite essence of Coilguns and Fall in LineKunz to their ferocious touch, but also as warped infestations of noise and melodic toxicity worm under the skin of the song and the listeners psyche, hints of bands such as Destrage and Kabul Golf Club play with thoughts. Persistently dark and imposing, the song begins reeking of delicious evocative sax and clarinet wails through guest Clément Beuvon, whilst coarse melodies add to the emerging colour and expansive depths of the thrilling track. It is a glorious examination of the senses and thoughts, one soon surpassed by the brilliant Modern Idiot. Another kind of beast entirely, the song buzzes around ears straight away with a jazzy sonic blistering and rhythmic juggling before exposing its venomous intent and malevolent contagiousness. Grooves swell and spin within the intensive tempest, breaking free to sculpt an almost deranged revelry of charm and mischief within the still lingering oppressiveness of the song. Post rock, groove metal, jazz funk, and psychotic mathcore are all in the staggering brilliance of the encounter, each seamlessly flirting and twisting around each other for a major pinnacle to the release.

Moloch explores another fiercely intensive landscape, its scenery brutal and emotionally stark but moving towards and evolving into a just as forcibly compelling and potently evocative beauty. The thick texture and atmosphere of the song never relinquishes it’s also smothering agility, thoughts and emotions inescapably wrapped by the almost dystopian touch of the track’s climate. As all the songs on the album no matter their brutality or charm, there is an infectiousness which is captivating and commanding, as shown by the riveting and sultry instrumental Delusion Junction and the cryptic ingenuity of Doppelgänger. The first is a jazz kissed smouldering of elegance and searing beauty whilst its successor is a hellacious stomp of inhospitable and addiction sparking genius. Grooves swing with salacious appetites whilst pungent rhythms stomp with irreverent urgency, The vocals are also unbridled in their ravenous intent, but it is the manic flames of sax which holds the key to making an outstanding song into a classic one. With the discord lilted ingenuity which marked out Essential Logic sounds in the eighties, the sax of Beuvon flirts and swaggers with a ridiculously captivating groove all of its own, in turn seemingly to spark an increased playful and dramatic vaunt in all elements of the track.

From that stirring peak the album turns to another right away, the heroic stroll of Monkey On My Back explosively igniting ears before erupting into a bedlamic storm of rebellious rhythms and psychotic guitar revelry, all grazed by the scarring intensity of the vocals. The song is a furnace of contagion and disorientating enterprise, but again one not content to risk the listener getting an understanding and expectation of things in motion as it falls into a black pit of sonic anguish and rhythmic stalking. As the album, the track needs plenty of time and attention to reveal all its depths but rewards with another major twist to the release.

The radiance of the melodic croon that is Loquèle is just as wrong-footing as the bedlam within the songs before it, its unexpected and untainted beauty a relatively smooth emotive flight within a shadow coated ambience. With equally clean and unclouded vocals from this time Cacault, the track feeds an already thoroughly greedy appetite for the album, as does the closing Je Ferai De Ma Peau Une Terre Où Creuser. A blazing final hoarse roar, musically and vocally, the track is a post hardcore/post metal journey through raw and climactic emotions and sonic terrains. It as the previous track cannot match the heights and might of the songs before them, but each show a passion and majesty to their impacting enticement that only means the album ends as impressively as it started.

Zapruder tests and make demands right across Fall In Line which means they will not be for everyone, but for all with a taste for experimental and intrusively inventive explorations, they are a proposition which should be hastily sought out.

Fall In Line is available now via Apathia Records / Hipsterminator Records @ http://www.apathiarecords.com/en/albums/fall-in-line-by-zapruder/ or http://zaprudertheband.bandcamp.com/album/fall-in-line

www.facebook.com/zaprudertheband

RingMaster 22/10/2014

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Kruger – Adam And Steve

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There is probably a masochistic side to us all that get off on being swallowed up by a vicious wall of blisteringly hostile and sonically destructive noise but also the ability to see and appreciate the beauty in such tsunamis of unbridled animosity. It can be a seductive corrosion at times and none more so than that found on Adam And Steve, the new merciless album from Swiss noise sculptors Kruger. The eight track inferno of sound and antagonistic invention is a glorious exploration of abrasion, causticity, and sonic savagery but equally a purveyor of some of the most toxic hooks and inescapable contagion bred by venomous imagination. Every note and syllable comes with malice and each twist with ingenious captivation, resulting in an encounter confirming the band as one of the most thrilling alchemists of noise.

Formed in 2001, the Lausanne quintet has been on a steady and impressing ascent since debut album Built For Speed unleashed its ruinous charm upon the senses a year later. 2004 saw second full-length Cattle Truck draw greater attention towards the band, including that of Listenable Records who signed the band and have released their assaults on the senses ever since, starting with the Kurt Ballou mixed Redemption Through Looseness of 2007.Its success and acclaim was matched by the band spreading across Europe with shows and tours, but it was last album For Death, Glory and The End of The World three years later which thrust Kruger into a global spotlight, something Adam And Steve will only intensify. Last year saw the two-track EP 333 tease and spark eager anticipation of things to come but in many ways it only hinted at the triumphs destined to devour the senses and psyche courtesy of the new release.

Complete with a new guitarist and the success of a tour with Gojira last year behind them, the band instantly goes for the jugular upon the Magnus Lindberg of Cult of Luna mixed storm. Rampaging heavy booted riffs and boulders of rhythmic violence descend on ears from the first breath of opener Bottoms Up, the track an immediate onslaught but almost as swiftly employing enticing vocal harmonies behind the caustic squalls of Renaud right away sparking an even keener appetite for the abuse. The raw throated tone of Blaise’s bass snarls and preys on ears with predatory intent whilst the guitars of Margo and Raul sear and swarm across song and senses with deliberate irritancy. It is a deliciously bracing and compelling assault, the vocals across the band continuing to seduce whilst acidic melodies and grooves worm under the skin for a lingering tempting.KRUGER-A&S_cover_sm

The stunning start is rivalled by the following Discotheque, its entrance on a building rhythmic wave instant anthemic bait enslaving thoughts and passions straight away before the band unleashes a barbarous cauldron of merciless beatings and synapse flailing sonic design. Creating a reined in yet uncompromising brawl of essences potent in the flavouring of a Converge and Unsane and aligned to the creative ferocity of a Coilguns, who the band are sharing dates with as the album is released, the song is a tempestuous fury. Unafraid to explore more progressive and post metal scenery within its cavernous depths, it soars and brutalises its soundscape before making way for the infectious tenacity of the album’s title track. Grooves and sonic lancing almost swagger with their vicious hues and ideation whilst vocally and rhythmically the track exchanges another unpredictable and addictive web of spite and craft for a black and blue bruising of the listener’s senses.

Both tracks, and especially the second, set a new hunger for the raucous seduction working within Adam and Steve, something the pair of Charger and Mountain Man toy with and ultimately reinforce. The first of the two prowls ears and thoughts with seeming relish, its roar a severe yet magnetic intrigue drenched predation soaked in infectious imagination and intensive examinations from drums and guitars especially. Within its fury though there is a charm and sonic elegance which escape their binding to cast a masterful calm and resourceful beauty midway in, like the eye of a storm settling fears until the track explodes once again into its hellacious but inviting tempest. Its successor as all tracks almost swings from the fearsome skills and invention of drummer Raph, his wild but perfectly and precisely conjured attacks the irresistible core for which here, grooves and riffs can shape enthralling designs whilst vocals croon and bawl with equal strength and appeal. It is a numbing and invigorating fury, its voracity as unbridled as its invention and raw passion.

For personal tastes the pinnacle of the album comes with the next two tracks, the album reaching new plateaus with firstly The Wild Brunch, a track as melodic and harmonious as it is acutely ravenous and brutal. Across the album hardcore, heavy rock, metal, and more all add rich hues to the hurricane of noise and on this majestic emprise, the weighty thunderous riffs and tonal bruising you would imagine of a Mastodon or Gojira stake their claim to the passions. It is a devastating and engrossing treat but soon surpassed by the brilliance of the heavily unpredictable Herbivores. Easily one of the best songs heard this year, it at times soothes and riles in the same breath as vocals and guitars fuel the passion and incendiary imagination of the riveting track. In others it simply bewitches through bestial rhythmic slaps and grizzled bass suasion, all the time exploring a simultaneously destructive rabidity and insatiably seducing invention.

The album is brought to an end by Farewell, an expansive exploration of sound, emotional landscapes, and the listener physically and mentally. The instrumental is a journey all in itself and the fitting masterful finale to a thrilling encounter. Adam & Steve uses noise as if it is on its own personal vendetta against the senses but also as a commanding colour in the maelstrom of textures and imaginative hues which permeates its raging exploration. Kruger has created an engrossing and irresistible conflict with an album which plays like an aural judge and executioner, and seductress.

Adam & Steve is available now digitally and on CD via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/en/5725-kruger-adam-and-steve-ltd-digipack-with-slipcase-t-shirt-bundle-pre-order.html and on partially black, partially sin-red vinyl through Pelagic records @ http://pelagic-records.com/vinyl/

http://www.kruger.ch

RingMaster 14/10/2014

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Rainwill – Zer0ed By Pr0gress

Rainwill

Bringing an absorbing and accomplished tapestry of melodic death metal to bear on the imagination, Zer0ed By Pr0gress the new album from Russian band Rainwill provides a wealth of satisfaction which matches an eager creative adventure. Though not ground-breaking as such the eleven track release is ripe with an invention and exploration which sets it apart from similarly sculpted releases. Evocative and unafraid to push ideas, the band and album make for a deeply appetising triumph to treat the ears and more.

Rainwill began in the October of 2000, formed by vocalist Sergey “Sclep” Grebenkov, guitarist Alexander Krylov, and Alexey Gunenko to explore their desire to create melodic-death metal. The first few years saw the band build a sturdy presence through their live performances and appearances at festivals, the band sharing stages with the likes of Rossomahaar, Kruger, Necropsy, Little Dead Bertha, Skyfall, and Non Immemor Mei. 2003 saw their debut demo Will Of Rain appear to be followed five years later by a three track promo. Debut album Canvas escaped Rainwill’s imagination in 2009 to eager responses as was a tour across the Ukraine with Ambivalence. From 2011 the band worked on creating Zer0ed By Pr0gress over the next couple of years, and with a line-up of guitarist Kirill “Dr. Horror” Mashkov, bassist Dmitry Ponomarenko, and drummer Dmitry “Kain” Grinenkov alongside Grebenkov and Krylov, the Fono Ltd released album is poised to wake up a wider enthusiastic attention for the band.

The Voronezh based quintet immediately stretch and ignite the senses with the album’s title track, guitars expelling spirals of 1420514_729467937081305_618408450_nsonic heat and acidic persuasion whilst rhythms rampage with the hunger of the devil through the ear, their touch punchy and commanding. Intimidating vocal growls frequent the battlements of the song built by menacing riffery and rhythmic predation but aligned to this tempest  is a melodic endeavour which coaxes out greater adventure as it reveals its persuasive hand through impressive harmonies and keys to continually tempt with the twisting sonic sculpting by the guitars. It is a very strong starter, not strikingly setting new borders for the genre but a full captivation which is immediately surpassed by its successor.

Pleasure from Amusement instantly launches its carnivorous jaw lined with senses tearing riffs and a rhythmic breath of rapacious intent. Bestial with a great djent seeded stutter to its riffery, the track soon expands its melodic arms with excellent clean vocals persistently switching with impressive heavy growling; musically melodies and enticing grooves similarly sharing temptation with the track’s predatory instinct. A scintillating testing seduction of the senses making the first pinnacle of the release it is soon matched by the alluring Value of Life, the song taking the mixture of its predecessor to richer appealing heights, and the electro induced Slipstream. The second of the two has an industrial essence to its presence, a feel of Fear Factory pervading the savage intensity and creative dark rabidity which marks the band’s sound and invention.  It sculpts another peak on the album and confirms the strong appetite already in place for the album.

From the delicious evocative melodic instrumental Starving the album seems to stretch its creative legs even further, the likes of Hatred Rises with a vibrant progressive appetite fused into another raptorial heart and the powerful One Word with its soaring vocals and destructive intent, firing up greater bouts of pleasure and enterprise. As mentioned there is plenty which is familiar or certainly has been trodden by the genre over the years but it is fair to say that Rainwill takes it into a new and exhaustingly enthralling domain.

Every track on the album uncages a voracious provocation and a craving for creative adventure, Self-Deception Progress a prime example of the addictive proposition with its scorching melodic embrace within a ravenous bordering brutal storm. Completed by the spellbinding key spawned, melody soaked emotive caress of Model2 and the final intensive examination of the psyche Last Man Who Saw The Day, the album is a magnificent release which earns greater reactions and acclaim over each traverse of its magnetic glory.

Rainwill must surely become a more recognisable name and presence in the wake of Zeroed by Progress, the album an unreserved recommendation for genre fans and especially fans of bands like Soilwork, At the Gates, and Sonic Syndicate.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainwill/258431803801

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/12/2013

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Abysse – En(D)Grave

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Three years in the making, En(D)Grave the debut album from French instrumental metallers Abysse openly reveals all the passion, fire, and determination which went into its creation. The seven track release is an extensive exploration of bold adventurous lands and emotions; ventures fraught with warriors and bravery, shadows and danger but all brought forth with a potent sinew driven narrative that leaves no emotive intensive stone unturned and inventive imagination untapped.

Formed in 2004, the quartet from Cholet, Maine-et-Loire of bassist Jérémy Cas, drummer Sebastien Pineau, and guitarists Vincent Barbaud and Geoffrey Veron, unveiled their first demo Eight Hours Before Dawn two years later. Followed by the De Profondeur en Immersion EP of 2007 the band was already igniting thoughts and passions towards their experimental progressive metal composing and its accomplished realisation but it was the Le Vide est Forme EP the following year which really put a match under acclaim for their inventive offerings, a fuse which has been replaced by an explosive trigger with En(d)Grave. The previous release was also the key to seeing Abysse touring France and further afield, the band sharing stages with the likes of Kruger, Rosetta, Hacride, Impure Wihelmina, and Klone whilst also lighting up stages at festivals such as Hellfest and Motocultor. The new album has all the strength and invention to send the band into further passions and lands as the band brings world metal a real taste of French ingenuity.

From a sonic brewing ambience Eagle Of Haast makes a gentle Eastern breath toned entrance to start off the album, strong punchy rhythms making a welcoming frame to the already inviting melodic allure. With muscles flexing and the initial sonic mist turning into an evocative storm the track leads the imagination on an adventurous and darkened flight through intimidating shadows with barbarous atmospheres and incendiary colour rich melodic flames. It is a track which offers thoughts of bravery and savagery simultaneously but as a union rather than a battle or of destructive intent. Certainly with the rhythmic craft and intensity there is no doubting the menace and rapaciousness of the narrative yet with superb imagination and sculpted evocation of the guitars it is a journey of rewards and passion rather than unbridled danger.

The following Ten Thousand Changes discovers a voracious passion and energy to its charge through the ear but again it is a landscape of emotive persuasion which ebbs and flows in the energy and force of its attack whilst burning up thoughts and vision with its poetically charged sonic painting. The song suggests intensive climactic occurrences in large crescendos whilst allowing breathers and recovery through mellow yet no less intense melodic coaxing. It is a stirring track which though not as instance for the emotions as the first emerges just as impressive and pleasing for the rampant appetite already inspired by the release.

Mastodon as you would expect from its title is not lacking muscles and weight or an intensity to smother and consume the ear and beyond. It is a ravenous treat, the bass as vociferously throaty and snarling as anywhere on the album whilst riffs drill and grind away at the senses as sonic flames light up the oppressive and addictively contagious body of the track. At times there is a Metallica groove teasing and peering through the heady atmosphere whilst other moments you are reminded of the song’s namesakes but from start to finish the confrontation is an immense and formidably commanding joy.

Through Forest Monument and Sharp & Chrome, Abysse continue to impress and ignite the passions, the first of the pair a classic metal seeded fire with spirals of melodic and sonic craft searing its walls. It takes its time in investigating and painting the surrounding textures and hidden corners of the landscape parading their beauty and perils with again rhythmic incitement and deliciously descriptive guitar ferocity in league with melodic cunning and craft. Its successor is just as strong a persuasive image instigator, the white hot flames of the guitar’s imagination and skill a prickly rapture breeding provocateur skirted by the ever imposing and lead taking rhythmic hunger and predation of bass and drums. A tempestuous piece the track is a furnace of passionate intensity, and just as magnetic, fierce, and beautiful.

The Blue Wave Recordings released album is completed by the air sucking Golden Life, a track which smoulders and seduces, scalds and combusts into irrepressible beauty and broiling expansive heights, and the corrosively candescent Light For Wheke. The closer alone provides an exhausting wholly rewarding traverse of climactic and illustrious climes and within the might that is En(D)Grave, provides the final glorious invigorating flight through a union of darkness and light, a union constantly on the edge. Abysse has provided without doubt one of the most scintillating and emotionally rewarding not just instrumental but metal album of the year.

http://abysse.bandcamp.com/album/en-d-grave

https://www.facebook.com/abyssegroupe

10/10

RingMaster 04/10/2013

 

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Abraham – The Serpent, The Prophet & The Whore

Bringing probably the most caustic and violent experience you are likely to be exposed to this year, the second album from Swiss metalers Abraham is malevolent beauty. Abrasive, corrosive, and at times verging on physically unbearable for sure, but at the same time it is destructively beautiful and one of the best senses stripping pleasures to be unleashed and willingly endured in a long while.

The Serpent, The Prophet & The Whore leaves one numb yet smouldering on the inside from the sheer might and force, let alone craft, at work within the violation. The band is tagged as post-hardcore/post-metal but as their second album shows there is much more at play. At times there is a sludge/doom smothering to entrap the listener, the thick oppressive weight of tracks a trap to sink into whilst the snarling and demanding rhythms donkey punch the senses and the flaming melodic sonic invention sears right through to the marrow, its acid presence fusing and extinguishing synapses. It is pure bliss with Abraham now one of the giants of extreme sounds as evidenced by the release.

From Lausanne, the band began working on short circuiting its victims from 2007. Hard work and the honing of their weaponry led to the eventual release of their debut album An Eye on the Universe in 2011, through Pelagic Records (who also release the new album), the label of Ocean guitarist Robin Staps. Critically acclaimed the band soon had Europe on its knees playing alongside bands such as Red Fang, Intronaut, Khoma, EF, Celan, Birds In Row, Mumakil, and Kruger. The Prophet, The Serpent and The Whore, an album inspired by a novel by J.G. Rawls, is the staggering successor and. The release is a tempest of emotions; despair, anger, hopelessness to merely scratch the surface, seeping from the eight songs and the lyrics freely adapted from  the story of an unnamed man falling from the sky to crawl through the lowest spheres of the world. Themes of falling from grace, primal fear, physical pain, loneliness and mystical visions stalk the release, Abraham exploring and bringing them forward to make a vivid presence and touch. Musically the sounds are as tortured and destructive as the lyrical content and intent, the combination upon this Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna) mixed album, creating stark, bleak, and sonically pungent soundscapes.

First track Start With A Heartbeat immediately rips the air apart with astringent sonics and merciless beats. It is a slow salt rub upon the senses which elevates its energy to twist and crawl deep within the psyche. The vocals of Olivier Hähnel expel venom of varied shades watched over by the predator growl from the bass of Valentin Jallut. As the guitars of Jacques Viredaz and Mathieu Jallut blister flesh whilst simultaneously manipulating notes, their tight hold wringing every essence and passion from them, the song creates an abusive rapture which can only be welcomed hungrily.

Man The Serpent and The Great Dismemberment suck the light from the soul, their far reaching dark emotions and malicious sounds leaving the deepest scars and equal pleasure. The rhythms of drummer David Haldimann alone resonate through bone and when contributing to the cartilage shearing sonics and melodic thrashing elsewhere makes for the sweetest abuse. Both songs fire the imagination with their constricting breaths and scathing presences, the second of the two a cacophonous scalding which blisters the atmosphere let alone the senses. At times there is a Killing Joke flavour breaking through, predominantly in the vocals with Hähnel having a Jaz Coleman scowl, with this, the leaden bleed of This Is Not A Dead Man, Yet and the closer Dawn having the richest whisper.

The outstanding New King, Dark Prophet and the epic corruption that is Carcasses leave one grasping for a steadying surface whilst gasping for breath under their dehabilitating tempests. As mentioned the release is a challenge to thought and body but there are moments where one is taken to their limits. All the time though the musicianship and wonderful inventive craft is a raging burn to relish and draw rapture from.

The Serpent, The Prophet & The Whore is pure mordant majesty, a brutal beast which rewards time and time again giving new emerging treats with every confrontation. Abraham has taken their already impressive presence and creativity to further stunning inventive and violent heights for one of the albums of the year.

https://www.facebook.com/abrahamtheband

RingMaster 28/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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