Acrania – Fearless

Acrania Color Publicity #1_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

You would imagine it hard to be thrown off kilter and truly surprised within the broad landscape of metal nowadays, even in the avant-garde and experimental realms which blossom and scintillate from the unique creative minds of bands like Trepalium, 6:33, Pryapisme, and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen to name a few. One band which has and continues to through new album Fearless is Mexican death metallers Acrania. The release is a psychotic fusion of extreme metal and lyrical confrontation with virulent Latin rhythms, celebratory melodic revelry, and schizophrenic imagination. You could call it death jazz or funk core to make up tags, we call it one of the most exhilarating encounters you will hear this year.

Mexico City based Acrania began in 2006, taking their time to unite and hone their blend of Latin Jazz and Metal before releasing their first encounter, the In Peaceful Chaos EP the following year. Three years later debut album Unbreakable Fury was unleashed, its well-received presence supported by the band playing a mini tour in Germany with the support of The Wacken Foundation. Its 2012 successor stirred up even more attention and acclaim, An Uncertain Collision named Best Album Of The Year in the Kalani Metal Awards. From there Acrania has extensively toured around Mexico and Europe sharing stages with bands such as Diablo Swing Orchestra, Death To All, Exodus, The Agonist, The Faceless, Legion Of The Damned, and Havok along the way. Now Fearless has all the qualities to thrust the quartet into the broadest keenest spotlight, and the presence to inspire listeners to salsa and bomba whilst head banging like a dervish.

Fearless explodes from its first breath through People of the Blaze, the opener a tidal wave of rigorous rhythms aligned to a hypnotic groove. Its air is instantly and furiously busy as a sonic aggression surrounds it all whilst percussion get rowdy and the vocals of rhythms guitarist Luis F. Oropeza growl and squall over the concussive web of sound. Predictability is as absent in the band’s sound and song as dullness, a quick step into a temptation of throaty bass and spicy jazz seducing from Alberto Morales G. and César A. Gallegos respectively, a trigger for hips and feet to heavily flirt with the floor. At the same time a trespass of bruising rhythms and metal bred antagonism becomes the spark to testing neck muscles. It is a fascinating and bewitching incitement which never settles in one form or moment for more than a clutch of body moves before twisting in on itself all over again for a breath-taking maelstrom of addictive flavours and incendiary intent.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The excellent start continues through Poverty Is in the Soul, the beats of drummer J.C. Chavez S. a swift protagonist rifling through ears and stirring up an eager appetite. Its lively start slips into a reflective few seconds before challenging and inviting the listener through a slim but intimidating lead into the relentless fierce shuffle of its body. The sturdiest rhythms throw themselves around like a mosh pit whilst the more traditional percussive tempting just lights ears with exotic persuasion. The scythes of melodic and sonic enterprise from lead guitarist Gallegos equally spark the imagination, especially when they evolve into acidic strands of incitement alongside the same musician’s sax exploits.

Undoubtedly Fearless is a proposition needing numerous plays to explore all of its involved and finely entwined textures and corners, but equally it is an immediately impacting adventure sparking ears and energies as proven again by I Was Never Dead. The track is a bracing and hostile fury, though as much as it is fearsome it is irresistibly tempting as rhythms and sax stir up a hornets nest of lustful responses reinforced by another lively bass line and the spiralling invention of the guitars. The great rabid tones of Oropeza are the least adventurous aspect, his delivery pretty much the same raw assault on every track and for personal tastes and to be fussy lack the desired diversity to match the sounds, though to be honest it has no negative impact on songs at all. The malicious jazz of the song makes way for the funkier caustic escapade of Blinded by Power, it as expected a constant evolution slipping through ravenously aggressive, sublimely beauteous, and melodically charming climes in creating its progressive tango. It is a glorious adventure, a roller coaster of turbulence and melodic radiance before the punkish festivity of Overflow rouses ears and appetite into another seriously wanton greed, after which a respite for the body comes through the brief and evocative instrumental En el Puerto. Its quaint and nostalgic air slips into Hypocritical Conflict, an instant thick embrace of discord and raw intensity which brews and grows into a hellacious swamp of sound and agitation, though in turn that spins into a transfixing blaze of jagged jangly riffs and bass bait. Everything gets fiery and intense again before…well the changes and turns are numerous and a treat for all to find out in another major pinnacle of the album.

Man’s Search for Meaning starts with a hypnotic cacophony of percussive beats and a roaming dark bass line aligned to the potent narrative and tones of Oropeza. From there the song’s every second heads towards another seamlessly aligned and mixed collective of sounds, styles, and ingenuous ideation. As the album, the track is ripe with Latin tradition and flavours bound in a death metal breeding and malevolence, though it has to be said at no time within Fearless is there ever a moment when the suffering and oppression lyrically portrayed is matched by a similarly destructive musical assault.

Fearless is completed by Point of Collision, a final riveting tapestry of deranged imagination and experimentation which just grips ears and pleasure like a mix of System Of A Down meets Cynic meets Pryapisme. It is a final treat to an outstanding release, a triumph for those prepared to be challenged, at times bewildered, and ultimately thrilled. Acrania should definitely be a recognised world-wide presence after this.

The self-released Fearless is out now @ https://acraniaofficial.bandcamp.com/album/fearless

http://www.acrania.net/   https://www.facebook.com/acraniaofficial

RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Axegressor – Last

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Thrash metal with the hostility and ravenous jaws of a rabid horde is the bestial sound which roars away in the hands and skills of Finnish metallers Axegressor, epitomised and taken to its strongest level to date on new album Last. The nine-track fury is an exhausting and thrilling onslaught of passion and thrash rabidity, maybe an encounter so well seeded in its inspirations to lack a strong vein of originality but holding an invention and craft to its contagious ferocity which easily make the band stand apart from the rest and pushes them towards the frontline of the genre.

Formed in 2006, the Turku quartet of vocalist Johnny Nuclear Winter, guitarist Seba Forma, bassist/backing vocalist Aki Paulamäki, and drummer Atte Mäkelä took influences from authentic thrash metal into their own ideas, impacted upon by bands and sounds they had been listening to since their teens. Alongside that flavouring, experiences from ten to fifteen years playing in various metal bands adds to a mix which is impressively accomplished and exciting as evidenced by the new album. Over the early years the band grew a potent and increasingly growing fanbase and reputation in their homeland, helped by shows supporting the likes of Dark Tranquillity, Legion of the Damned, Onslaught, Soilwork, and Municipal Waste. At festivals too the band has only done themselves good whilst previous albums, debut Command and its successor Next in 2007 and 2011 respectively, after first EP Axecution a year into its life, confirmed and accentuated the impact of the emerging Axegressor. The Listenable Records released Last is the band’s greatest moment so far and the expected trigger for the band to much bigger things.

From the opening Freedom Illusion, band and album has attention and thoughts engrossed and eager to explore the voracious cover_lenticements ahead. Heavily striding riffs and sinew swung rhythms engulf ears first within which for the first and definitely not the last time the great savage predatory sound of the bass thrills and bewitches. It is a formidable and commanding start, nothing flash or explosive but everything that is compelling and anthemic for appetite and passions. Once the vicious rasping vocals leap from the shadows a switch is flicked and energy and tenacity is lit up as the track charges with teeth bared and aimed for the jugular of the senses. It is a seamless and captivating move, accompanying group shouts and the sonic invention of the guitars irresistible. The song continues to mix up its gait, at times swamping the body like a swarm of insidious hornets in sonic flight and at other moments prowling around with a bear like intent weighing up its next move.

Lead Justice rips at flesh next, in top gear from the first second scything through air and bone with its rhythms and searing flesh with guitar rapaciousness. As the first, the track is an incessant persuasion badgering and impressing for an early submission with its tremendously gripping bait. A certain drama also walks the edge of the narrative, primarily sculpted by the exciting bass sound and the vocal causticity, the result with all combined a continuation of the striking presence of the album and ignition of an even keener hunger in the listener, a greed soon satisfied by the blistering Mind Castration. Riffs and rhythms as expected, shape the fury of the song from the first moments, carving out their temptation from within the sonic flume marking the first surge of the track. Once more there is an insatiable thirst to the elements of the song which simply nags from start to finish with repetitious and contagious efficiency, a suasion upon which vocals and melodic enterprise wrap their toxic exploits. It is a riveting adventure, a constant aggressor clad in sonic finery and creative distinction from those around, as all songs on the album to be fair.

Things are kept ticking over very nicely by Merciless Reality Check, a track which is nastier and more intensive than those before but lacks some of the spark. Nevertheless it is a pleasing and exciting incitement before the furnace of spite that is 15 unleashes its venom on the senses. Rhythms and riffs collude in a maelstrom of antagonistic and malicious endeavour from the off before aligning into another single minded but unique rampage. Malicious and hypnotic, and wholly infectious, the track is an invention clad predator which surges and twists throughout its tempestuous presence, a roaring proposition and soundscape for which battlefields and nightmares were invented.

Intensive examination is the order of the day once Social Pressure unleashes its punk infused tsunami of incitement and beleaguering enterprise. The track tunnels deep within ears and skin, hooks and grooves as pestilential in their epidemic contagion as they are malevolently seductive. Axegressor have mastered the art of creating repetition fuelled beauty with no finer an example than this monster of a track soon matched in its own unique character by A Fistful Of Ignorance. Delivered in a more predacious crawl than the outright onslaught of the previous track, it massages the senses with heavy handed riffs and that carnivorous bass persuasion to impressive effect before inserting its own transfixing and determined urgency.

The closing pair of Command To Last and Determinator ensure brakes are untouched in their tumultuous and varied deliveries, the first a constantly belligerent gallop with moments of unbridled aggression and the last an uncompromising heavy metal stomp around a thrash cored ferocity which may not match earlier successes but leaves the album in a thrillingly healthy state.

Last is an exhilarating encounter and though as mentioned it arguably uses well wore seeds, there has been few bands producing a sound anywhere near this good and uncaging releases as enjoyable within thrash metal over recent months and longer. A must check out release for all thrash and punk metal fans.

Last is available via Listenable Records in Europe now and in North America on June 24th.

http://www.axegressor.net

9/10

RingMaster 10/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Legion Of The Damned – Ravenous Plague

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Bitch-slapping the senses with every thrash driven note they can muster, Dutch metallers Legion Of The Damned unleash another torrential assault of their uncompromising unashamed thrash metal brawling. Careering through the ears with rampages of aggressive virulence since 2005, and the thirteen years before that as Occult, Legion Of The Damned offers no pretences of being anything other than what they are, a ravenous unfussy fury of thrash antagonism. With five studio albums under their belt plus another quintet in their earlier guise, the Limburg hailing quartet uncages a contagious voracity in the new shape of Ravenous Plague, an album which admittedly holds little surprises but feeds the hunger for all out thrash aggression with ease.

     Legion Of The Damned is one of those bands where you can heartily debate whether they bring anything new to the genre with each release or are simply reliving previous glories in a new aural twisting of confrontation but it is hard to deny that, as shown by Ravenous Plague, they more times than not serve up a rapacious treat which ignites the senses and fires up the passions. The foursome of vocalist Maurice Swinkels, drummer Erik Fleuren, guitarist Twan van Geel, and bassist Harold Gielen charge at the ears and chew their flesh from the very start once the exciting introduction The Apocalyptic Surge gets things under way. The epically brewed incitement was composed by Jo Blankenburg who has written music for films in the Harry Potter and X-Men franchise, and though it follows an almost predictable route still raises the emotions and drives blood rigorously through the veins in anticipation of what is to come. Howling for Armageddon is the first encounter to follow, its muscles rippling with almost spiteful energy as adrenaline fuelled rhythms are viciously wielded. With the great scowling delivery of Swinkels sprawling venom and anthemic enticement from every syllable it is a rousing recruitment of ears and passions, uncorrupted thrash primed to fill every untainted genre want.

     Both the exhausting rampage of Black Baron and the magnetic Mountain Wolves Under a Crescent Moon thrillingly npr505_LOTD_RGBcontinue the bruising start, the first an unrelenting scourge of sinewed boned rhythms and rapacious riffing entwined with short but infectious grooves and skilful sonic seepages from the guitars. Its successor gallops from first note to last with a breath sucking energy and persistent riffing which is familiar but again sculpted to please the greediest appetites whilst the anthemic lure of the track is epidemic like in its potency just as the fiery solo which scorches the song’s climax.

      Ravenous Abominations raises the game in predatory rabidity, riffs and drums tearing through the ears with pack like hunger whilst grooves and vocals entice and intimidate respectively. Like its predecessors it is an addictive intrusion continuing the thoroughly enjoyable and pulse racing start to the release and little changes when Doom Priest and the excellent Summon All Hate parade their savage persuasions. The first of the pair from a doomy malevolent start with spoken scene setting vocals and slowly weaving sonic and melodic invention, rides the emotions with a blackened swagger. It is an absorbing slice of smouldering satanic emprise, a more slowly burning encounter than the previous tracks but no less effective and corruptive whilst its successor is a wonderfully nagging sonic irritant which coaxes and drags a primal satisfaction from the listener for its inflexible temptation. Though suspicions are rife quite early the track confirms the repetitious use of riffs and grooves across the album, not always exactly the same but closely related and truthfully it hardly raises an eyebrow as the album pleases the ears.

    From here on in Ravenous Plague fails to match the previous heights though it is fair to say that it and the caustically crafted Morbid Death and the dramatically grooved Bury Me in a Nameless Grave leave satisfaction full whilst Armalite Assassin nastily stomps with nostrils flaring and endeavour rioting to provide another chug fest of unyielding gratification. The only thing bringing the tracks down a little is that there is little openly different to that already served up by the release.

    Closing on the mulish Strike of the Apocalypse, a song again lacking new elements to stand away out from came before but still arrogantly thrusting forward a tide of corrosive riffs, bone splintering rhythms, and acidic grooves to devour selfishly, the Napalm Records released Ravenous Plague is a thumping aural carnivore of thrash metal. Ok it is not inventing or reinventing a great deal but it and Legion of the Damned have unleashed a thrilling tempest of unapologetic attitude and accomplished thrash pleasure; it is a treat which gets the genre’s year off to a fine start.

http://www.legionofthedamned.net/

https://www.facebook.com/LOTDOfficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 09/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Verdict – The Meaning Of Isolation

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A virulent scourge you will want to be ravaged by, especially if your blood boils for thrash metal, The Meaning Of Isolation from German metallers Verdict is an uncompromising slab of riveting extreme destructiveness and mouth-watering savagery. The nine track torrent of aggression and enterprise takes no prisoners and has little time in gentle persuasion, instead it simply and voraciously pillages the senses whilst rewarding with an underbelly of exhaustive yet captivating invention. The release definitely needs time and work to explore but rewards long-term with some addiction sparking technical viciousness and passionate ferociousness.

Verdict began in 1991 with a technical and melodic death metal intent and rage to its sound. Numerous line-up changes followed during subsequent years from which the band’s sound evolved and developed a deeper wealth of thrash hunger to its attack. Debut album Reflections Of Pain of 2002 brought strong attention upon the band and their emerging sound whilst the following full-lengths, Generation : Genocide of 2005 and Assassin: Nation four years later, only empowered their presence which in  turn has led to eager anticipation for the Verdict’s fourth and new album from a great many. Live the band has not left any physical or emotional stone unturned within either as they shared stages over time with the likes of Destruction, Disbelief, Illdisposed, Dew-Scented, Legion Of The Damned, Entombed, Death Angel, Gorefest, Obituary, Nile and many more. Mastered by Dan Swanö, The Meaning of Isolation thrusts the band forward to the frontline of thrash and extreme metal with a masterful display of malevolence and enterprise. The release may be just misses out on threatening best of lists this year, mainly through an arguably too similar a surface storm across many of the tracks and the lack of diversity in the vocals of Daniel “Ratte” Baptista to match the unpredictability and surprise of the music, but nevertheless The Meaning Of Isolation is a thrilling and captivating devastation which leaves the listener exhausted and deeply contented.

Leader Of The Soulless opens up the absorbing punishment with a haunting entrance; a sinister ambience brewing up a VERDICT_Coverswiftly imposing sonic menace which around an inspiring classical stringed melody, intimidates to temper the simultaneously dark seduction. It is not too long though before an artillery of crippling beats from drummer Florian Bauer corrupts the air closely skirted by melodic flames from the guitars of Marius Pack and Dave Hadarik which scorch the air whilst riffs batter its peace with carnivorous urgency. From here the barbarous persuasion is in full flight, the vocals of Baptista as vindictive and merciless as the sinews driving the sounds. It is an intensive start to the album, one unafraid to delve into dark doomier places within its persistent predation.

Manifest Of Hate and Killing Fantasies both keep the malevolence spewing from every antagonistic note and vocal squall, the first charging over the senses with a violent rabidity whilst grooves and sonic invention entwine their venomous craft around the song’s core whilst the second from a delicious dark and brooding introduction with the bass of Dave Helmstetter a pulsating evocative lure, goes on a creative rampage which bleeds intensity and wastes the welcoming senses. It does not match up to the first two tracks overall but still makes a sturdy encounter leading into the similarly impressive if not jaw dropping Layer Of Lies, a track which has a very close related aggressive and melodic cover to its predecessor and needing deeper focus to reveal its individual bait.

Lack Of Insight marks a new upturn in originality and invention within the album, the guitar twisting with bedlamic adventure to cast the first web over the ears before fusing into a resourceful and magnetic weave of intrusive and spellbinding antagonism. The track is certainly no less hellacious than previous songs but unveils a greater exploration and imagination of textures and invention which prevails through the likes of the blistering First To Fight and the creatively pungent Through The Eyes Of A Dead Man, both tracks with grooves and progressive intrigue to light fires within the imagination. The first half of The Meaning Of Isolation is an intense and formidable offering but is definitely exceeded by the second half and it’s more potent daring.

The Meaning Of Isolation returns the senses and dull peace back to its recipient but only after the barbarous Nemesis Of God, the song an exceptional beast which stalks and gnaws the listener from the inside, and its title track which provides another prowling intimidation prone to inventive sonic lashing outs and ruinous brutality, takes their pound of flesh. They complete an excellent album which from an impressive opening stretch emerges as a sadistically pleasing treat. For all thrash fans especially with those holding darker preferences in their hearts, Verdict has given the year an inventive pestilence which leaves no one disappointed or in one piece.

www.verdict.de

www.facebook.com/verdictthrashmetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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