Sapiency – Tomorrow

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Having already been released on CD this past march, Tomorrow the latest album from German metallers Sapiency gets a deserved digital release and distribution through Eclipse Records this month, and thankful we should all be as it is a rather flavoursome and contagious little gem which may have escaped attention otherwise. Not exactly stretching boundaries but having that little indefinable something which sets it apart from the crowd, the eleven track storm of accomplished and passion soaked invention leaves hunger for more and fat satisfaction mutually potent responses to its voracious enterprise and energy.

Hailing from Frankfurt and formed in 2008, Sapiency was soon drawing attention locally and further afield. Their acclaimed debut album Fate’s End in 2010 was just the start of a growing stature and reputation, their own tours as well as support slots to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, W.A.S.P., Dead By April, Tito & Tarantula, Deathstars, Vader, Engel, Onkel Tom (Angelripper), Power Quest, Pathfinder, and many more earning the band greater recognition as has successful performances at festivals such as 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2012 and Metalfest Open Air 2012. It is hard not to develop an eager appetite for the sextet’s sound as shown by second album Tomorrow, and with a wider network for it to spring from you suspect that Sapiency is on a rapid ascendency.

The band is tagged as melodic death metal yet that is only a fraction of the picture, or sound with the band employing a wealth of sapiency_tomorrow_cover_72dpi_rgb_900pixinspirations across the metal spectrum so that within the new album they can bring essences of In Flames or Lamb Of God to bear and at other times Bloodsimple or Livarkahil. It makes for a strikingly resourceful and thrilling encounter which from the opener Prayer For The Pain captures the imagination. From its first breath the track careers through the ear with riffs and grooves carving out their insistent presence whilst the bone splintering rhythms of drummer Kai Voss-Fels cage the tempest raging within their framework. It is a mouth-watering confrontation which never relinquishes its grip on the awoken passions right through to its final strike. The outstanding dual vocal attack of the cleaner grouchy delivery of Lars Bittner and the bestial scowls of Krsto Balic is a forceful magnetism across the whole album and strapped to the carnivorous craft of guitarists René Ritzmann and Holger Wenck, as well as the predacious bass prowl of Sebastian Fix, makes for an exhausting, riveting introduction.

Hungry Again keeps the rapacious intent and rabidity at full throttle whilst interspersing it with a seductive coaxing from the keys and a classic metal orientated temptation from the melodic casting of the guitars. The merger of bordering vindictive riffs and virulent groove metal lures to the expansive melodic adventure is impressively crafted and wholly infectious, leaving ears and emotions basking in demanding and rewarding metal at its best. Arguably there is little strikingly new on show but equally Sapiency present it in a unique and compelling way that it is as fresh and invigorating as you could wish and sets the band apart from most.

Through the likes of Free Within with its electronic tantalising seemingly fuelling an even greater aggressive fervour from band and sound as Avenged Sevenfold like sonic sculpting spears the air, and the enslaving mix of melodic enticing and strenuously robust intensity of the title track, Tomorrow continues to seize the imagination and feisty passions whilst tracks such as the crushing Weight Of The World and the slower smouldering Fight On explore deeper appealing avenues and creative corners within the songwriting and its invention.

To be honest there is not a weak moment upon the album, each track a formidable and impacting persuasion and though occasionally a surface similarity rears its attractive head it is a fleeting wrap soon punctuated and lost with keener focus. Further peaks on Tomorrow are provided by firstly the industrialised irresistible might of Turn The Tide, guitars and vocals once again weaving a rapaciously stalking narrative which is pure addiction, and by the towering presence of Torn Apart. The track is another ferocious antagonist but one just as content to let a melodic acidity and harmonic temper vein its furore.

Completed by the absorbing Dying Illusions, a final raging skilled and esurient assault, Tomorrow is a richly satisfying and exciting confrontation which does not carve out new ventures to contemplate but employs existing invention in its own unique and wholly exhilarating way. Sapiency is a band we are destined to hear much more of ahead and undoubtedly enjoy at even greater heights as the promise also burning brightly across the album suggests.

www.facebook.com/sapiency

8/10

RingMaster 26/11/2013

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Goresoerd – Asülum

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A bruising and at times nastily vicious encounter, Asülum the new album from Estonian metallers Goresoerd is one of those addictions you just cannot shake off or want to be without. Consisting of twelve tracks which lyrically you can only guess what is going on, due to the band presenting their inventive furies in their own language, and musically ignite the fullest passions, the album is a predatory rampage of genre crossing and manipulating imagination. It raises a hunger for the band ahead and retrospectively which so far cannot get enough of their inventive violence.

Formed in 2004 by ‘two guys playing and experimenting with grindcore’, Goresoerd has evolved into a force of mouth-watering enterprise which around a death metal seeded core recruits styles and essences into something distinctive and incredibly captivating. The band’s third album and the successor to the acclaimed Tüdruk ja Surm of 2010, Asülum thrusts the Tallinn hailing Goresoerd to the frontline of European extreme and eclectic metal.

It thrusts itself forcibly upon the senses with opener Depressiivmeedia, a vocal cry the starter for a rapacious heavyweight Goresoerd_1600x1600pxbarracking of the ears by abrasive riffs, the thumping rhythms of Ken Takmazjan, and the caustic vocal grazing of Eero Soomere backed by the equally gnarled tones of guitarist Stig Lindeberg. It is an immediately gripping confrontation, a seemingly djent inspired savagery aligned to a sonic exploration which entangles the imagination as firmly as the antagonistic intensity and storming energy. At times the song snatches a resemblance to Stam1na whilst a heavy metal element crowds in with the tempestuous enterprise at play to show the diversity to come across Asülum.

Masin is next up to tantalise and chew thoughts and emotions, another death/heavy metal maelstrom working its persuasion as the song twists and turns with venomous but enthralling invention. The guitars of Lindeberg and Rasmus Tauk provide an expanse of creative and annihilatory temptation whilst the bass of Otto simply stalks every note offered, all helping to sculpt a tempest which has a healthy if distant similarity to the likes of Livarkahil. Its impressive fury is matched by the punkish ferocity of Poomine and the incendiary classic metal taunting of Kuningas-Direktor, both aggressive hardcore fuelled tracks unveiling further variety and invention of sound which riles up the imagination and appetite into a greedier hunger for the release.

The breath-taking attacks of both Soerd and Kloonitud Jumal provide two of the biggest pinnacles of the album, the first a voracious slab of metal which incites the imagination with a continually evolving and intimidating blaze of styles and almost bedlam spawned rabidity whilst its successor from a restrained yet hungry stroll of groove metal brews a sonic and intensive tirade of inventive but malevolent emprise which simply enthrals and breeds greater passion for the uncompromising intrusion, especially the nagging waspish groove which stirs within the latter end of the treat.

The thrash powered Uppunud Loomade Varjupaik again reminds of Stam1na, the melodically and infectious grooves and hooks cast from similar wells as the Finns whilst the raging Kurjajuur is a thrilling merger of hardcore and death vengeance under a delicious spattering of groove and nu metal, just to name some of the influences setting up this explosion of imagination as the biggest peak of Asülum. It is a thunderous exhilarating furnace of ingenuity which leaves the following likes of Surnud Siber and Põrguekspress a hard task to follow. Of course they both do so with unbridled exploratory craft and inventive intensity, though neither can grip the same plateau as the previous track or many before it. The synths of Meelis Tauk on the tracks bring their strongest allurement to the album yet to make an evocative presence behind the striking guitar craft and though it is fair to say the rhythmic and guitar borne elements as well as the ever impressive and predacious vocals take centre stage more often than not across the album, Tauk and the turntable and sampling skills of Rene Jõhve provide a seduction which adds depth and richness to the ferocity.

Asülum closes with its outstanding title track and the excellent atmospherically woven carnivorous Raibe Lenda, the pair providing two more stunning inventive provocations to complete one exceptional and invigorating creative incitement. Goresoerd should be a world-wide known name and presence and with Asülum easily capable of being the weapon to open that door, hopes and expectations might get that wish very soon.

http://www.goresoerd.com/

9/10

RingMaster 14/11/2013

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Dead End Finland – Season Of Withering

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Parading an enterprising expanse of melodic metal with an undeniably infectious essence of pop to its body, Season Of Withering the new album from Finnish metallers Dead End Finland is a deceptively addictive slice of work. Equally ripe with symphonic and carnivorous traits, the release makes an appealing and satisfying encounter but all the time works away at breeding an addiction which lingers and makes both band and album a very easy to return to proposition. The ten track release could not be classed as ground-breaking and at times offers songs which arguably should be bigger than they are, but all the time its charm and craft makes a rich persuasion which convinces and holds attention throughout.

The Helsinki band follows up their self-released debut album Stain of Disgrace, with a release which takes the power and qualities of its predecessor into a more vibrant, rounded, and certainly rapacious confrontation.  The Inverse Records released Season Of Withering engages the ears with a sound which is like a blend of Dommin and The Kovenant with a spillage of Livarkahil and Die En Grey to it. It is an intriguing and constantly provocative challenge which awakens a very healthy appetite for its dramatic textures and soaring melodic voice even if at occasional moments it borders on sappy.

The release opens with the title track, a blaze of industrial coaxed metal explored by keys which soar through the air whilst beneath riffs def_seasonofwithering_coverand rhythms cage the senses in a predacious and spiteful caustic temptation. The vocals of Mikko Virtanen equally offer a raw scowling delivery at first but as the intensity and melodic flames of the track grow and consume, their presence takes on a more harmonic and generously rewarding suasion which accelerates along with the sounds into an infectious lure which especially grips during the chorus. Dramatic and potently alluring, the track is a powerful introduction which may not forge new avenues but triggers a keen hunger for what is on offer with Season Of Withering.

The following An Unfair Order opens similarly to its predecessor, Jarno Hänninen’s keys making an initial pleasing beckoning before a clean vocal delivery opens up the narrative. With snatches of intensity and vocal growling adding their shadows, the song is a melodic canvas of evocative craft and accomplished enterprise which makes a convincing palate of sound and endeavour to work with, if falling below the heights of the excellent opener. Its successor Paranoia launches its attempt to emulate the early pinnacle with a snarling near on malicious start which is soon sharing space with further magnetic melodic suasion. It also fails to reach its target but with impressive vocals and a savage bass tone prowling its flank, the track is certainly another contagious hook for the album.

Zero Hour creates a web of industrial and death coated metal which is soon wrapped in an excellent melodic and pop caress, the warmer element making a keen and tempering companion to the exhaustive corrosive heart of the track. With the drums of Miska Rajasuo framing the intense mix with commanding skill and the bass/guitar invention of Santtu Rosén sculpting expressive textures beneath the vast tapestry of synth imagination, another pinnacle of the album is crafted and enjoyed. Season Of Withering is a release which definitely needs numerous entries to explore its depths and nuances, and this song is a prime example as below the at times overbearing presence of the keys there is a wealth of imagination and thrilling adventure being played out by Rosén.

Through the likes of the antagonistically consuming Hypocrite Declaim and the intensive Silent Passage with its tempestuous rhythmic assault and fiery sonic ravaging, Dead End Finland continue to recruit attention and emotional engagement with ease whilst Sinister Dream unloads an aggressive  and voracious rage of metallic fury which has the appetite licking its lips. As in all songs, the merger of savagery and melodic elegance is impressively crafted and brought to bear on the imagination, the track ensuring that it’s and the album’s company is thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed.

The album closes with firstly the excellent Shape Of The Mind, its opening orchestral seeded welcome a sultry beckon into the jaws of the track, its aural lips in a constant snarl and waiting to pounce even when the deep melodic hues and the melancholic piano led haunting ambience has centre stage. It is followed by Dreamlike Silence, a final expansive and chilling yet poetic fire of imaginative and thought provoking emotive excellence. It is an impressive closure to a release which makes a stirring job at igniting an enthusiasm and hunger for its tantalising sounds. Season Of Withering does not bring anything truly new to the table but undoubtedly leaves a lasting and predominantly satisfying impression which is well worth exploring.

www.deadendfinland.com

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7/10

RingMaster 24/10/2013

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Damned Spring Fragrantia – Divergences

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There are many adjectives you can place upon Divergences, the debut album from Italian metallers Damned Spring Fragrantia, but the most accurate one is without doubt, savage. The album is primal predator, relentless, creatively skilled in the hunt and kill, and completely fearless in the lengths it will go to devour and annihilate. The ten track album is a brutal exponent of progressive metalcore/technical violence and irresistibly compelling, even as it corrupts every atom and synapse with carnivorous ingenuity.

Formed in 2006, the Parma quintet initially was a metalcore/deathcore confrontation. Line-ups changes helped shape and guide the band to the sound they were looking for and destructively lays awaiting within the album. With an invigorating technical animosity and progressive imagination to the still ravaging metalcore intent their sound is a monstrous capture of the imagination and now unleashed to consume on the world via Basick Records, Divergences takes what was started on the previous self-titled EP of 2010 on to another level. If you wanted to know what standing in the way of a tornado was like than slap this album on at the highest decibel, the only difference between the pair of viciously twisting maelstroms is that there is no merciful eye of the storm within the album.

As you can probably guess listening to Divergences is not exactly an easy or pain free experience but the damage and discomfort bred by the inventive sounds and deeply malevolent corrosion is simply delicious. For many listening to tracks singularly might be more to their liking but daring to endure the whole release in one full consumption with the songs rolling without a breath into the next brings the biggest and devastatingly impacting rewards.

Damned Spring Fragrantia, and with a name like that you have to ask if the band are hay fever sufferers as that would explain their DSF_Divergences_Covermassive musical irritability, go straight for the throat with brief opener Still Alive. Once fully unleashed it unloads towering rhythms and rapacious riffing upon the ear, their eight stringed guitars gnawing away with full voracity and drums cascading down like lead weights, it all prowled by the guttural squalling of vocalist Nicolò Carrara. It is short but impressively potent easily igniting an appetite before making way for the following A Common Tragedy. The opening melodic acid scrub is ok but soon left in the shadow of the tsunami of sonic vengeance from the guitars of Andrea Tinelli and Enrico Picari to follow, their flesh ripping riffs and searing melodic acid as intriguing and skilful as it is voracious and intrusive. Alone this impresses but with the rabidity of the rhythms from drummer Nicolò Ballabeni and the bass of Luca Marchi adding their distinctive and insatiable imagination to the continually twisted and scorching enterprise the song just ignites the fullest passion, and fears.

As the brilliant and lethally addictive The Obsidian Fate, a track with a hornet persistence and sonic sting to its venomous carvings, the excellent oppression that is D.M.Z, and the synapse condemning Pariah, featuring Charlie Holmes the vocalist of Heart In Hand, lay out their inventive and insidious presences and all with devil bred imagination and grooves to steal souls, the album just persistently rises to higher levels of impressive ingenious sonic spitefulness. Admittedly the surface of songs come in a similar hostility which can see tracks merge into one and pass by without notice if given simple mild attention, but add extra intent to your focus then the creativity and craft beneath the sonic squall is open and quite scintillating, it just demands extra work to fully discover.

The likes of Lost Shores, the rancour driven sonic toxin that is Drowned in Cyan, and the ravaging title track continue to bruise and sear the senses welcomingly whilst The Refusal Effect brings another immense highlight with its contagious melodic deception teasing whilst riffs and rhythms chew up and spit out thoughts and emotions with a technical vitriol and discord fuelled intensity. Imagine Meshuggah, Despised Icon, and the recently demised Livarkahil conspiring to leave your body devoid of hope and life and you get a sense of what Damned Spring Fragrantia staggeringly conjure.

With one final staggering inventive vendetta uncaged to close up the assault as the thrilling enmity that is Heritage, Damned Spring Fragrantia has unleashed not only one of the most exhausting and best debuts of the year so far but one of the best albums full stop. Divergences is plain nasty and strikingly intoxicating with its sonic and virulently malicious fumes.

https://www.facebook.com/damnedspringfragrantia

9/10

RingMaster 24/06/2013

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Supuration – Cube 3

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Despite forming in 1989, French band Supuration has only made its first introduction to the Ringmaster Review with new album Cube 3, the third of a trilogy of albums which began with the first instalment in 1993 and the second coming a decade later. It is an enthralling and magnetic release which even without being able to raise comparisons with its predecessors stands as an intriguing and intensely pleasing encounter.

Hailing from Valenciennes, the trio of Ludovic Loez (keyboards, bass, guitars, vocals), Fabrice Loez (sampler, guitars), and Thierry Berger (drums), has released numerous records alongside the trio of albums, not only as Supuration but also with their more progressive incarnation S.U.P. (Spherical Unit Provided). First album in the trilogy Cube as mentioned made its entrance two decades ago with the second Incubation following in 2003, both to strong acclaim, something the band is prone to receiving across their aural guises. More often than not tagged as progressive death metal, Supuration with the new album alone shows that the label is quite limiting to what is explored and ignited within their diverse and unique imagination. Released via Listenable Records, Cube 3 engages the brutality and black depths of death metal with the soaring expanses of progressive metal undoubtedly, but equally blossoms essences of post punk, groove metal, and avant-garde discord driven invention to their fullest potency within continually twisting and slightly twisted sonic alchemy.

Opening track Syngery Awakes grabs the ear like a bear, its muscular paws a predatory encounter with deep sinewy grooves covercarving the senses before unleashing scything sonic lashes around the growling vocal malevolence of Loez. The track proceeds to gnaw and brutalise whilst equally seducing with melodic veins of instinctive and tempting elegance musically and equally through clean vocal harmonies alongside malicious squalls for an explosive and enthralling confrontation. The track is like a blend of Sybreed, Livarkahil, and Opeth with whispers of a Karnivool or 6:33 making their quiet yet pungent contribution at times.

The following Introversion takes the mere thumping beats of Berger and taunting guitar provocation to strike a further intensity in focus and brewing passion for what is on offer, the song a stalk of rugged riffs and punchy rhythms speared with infectious guitar flames and persistent grooves which feel familiar yet unrecognisable.  The clean vocals again add an extra scintillating texture to the tempest around them whilst the warmth of the melodic breeze wrapping the sturdier gait of the track, is a wonderful mystery to the rising intensity at the heart of the track.

The Disenthrall and Consumate both intrude upon the senses with startling invention and all-consuming mastery to only increase the now rampant ardour for the release. By the time the pair have ravaged and laid down their irresistible temptation, the album has secured a long-term persuasion no matter what is to come in the latter part of Cube 3. The first of the two is a brief but potent sonic frenzy with raging riffs and equally virulent rhythms which is as much part industrial as it is death or progressive metal, with the air of early Killing Joke and Fear Factory at mischievous play even if not a loud shout sound wise. The second stands over the listener like a hulking leviathan of ravenous riffs and intensity , the drums caging and cutting off any escape so the vocals can scowl and chant over the carcass of the exhausted senses. It is another outstanding violation of thoughts and synapses with the richest of rewards to exhilarate with.

The second half of the album is equally as impacting and aggressively spellbinding with both The Incongruents and The Delegation exploiting the now opened up rapture for the release with riveting imaginative endeavours, the second of the two a carnally invading provocation which is as diverse as it is unreasonably catchy. Though both songs slip slightly below the heights of earlier songs they still excel with tantalising breath before passing over to the excellent Data Dance, the song just one more electrifying pinnacle. Unpredictable and emphatically ingenious with a creative entrapment of epidemic proportions, the song leaves the listener wanting for nothing and bloated on primal intensity and glorious imagination.

With the closing duo of The Flight and The Climax doing no less than bringing a final collective triumph to the album, Code 3 is a stunning slab of progressive death metal or brutally hungry progressive metal, whichever way you look at it, the album is immense and the trigger to go explore the band past and present much deeper.

http://www.facebook.com/sup.supuration

9/10

RingMaster 11/04/2013

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Livarkahil: Wrath Of God

Following on from their staggering in all aspects of the word album Signs Of Decay of last year, French death metallers Livarkahil have returned with an even greater and devastating treat. Wrath Of God is a five track brutal monstrosity of excellence which has been unleashed as a free streaming/free download EP. Not only do the Parisian death metal leviathans rage an unstoppable sonic war upon the senses and body they do it for nothing, a selfless act of pure sadism.

Since forming in 2007, Livarkahil has unrelentingly whipped an ever increasing devoted following into a full frenzy through their outstanding releases, each one finding the band evolving into greater and more impressive spheres. Wrath Of God is no different and though arguably it is not an improvement on the previous colossal album it is not decline either but triumphantly explores new ideas from the band. The biggest difference is the vocals of HK. On the EP he has taken his previously gutturally pushed corruptions into an even more blackened arena and it works wonderfully. Though not as varied as we are used to the new approach brings a different thrilling blistering for the ear and one can only hope he combines this new flavouring with his more standard abuses in the future.

As to be expected the band leaves nothing on the table musically, in invention or force. The songs within Wrath Of God are as towering and violently unstoppable as the greatest tsunami. If there is a more clinical yet annihilatory band around it is hard to bring them to thought as the EP lays waste to the senses. As with previous releases  the core of the sound on the EP is death metal but there is again much more surging within the consumption, the band ripping up and re-animating in their own cause varied and distinct metal and industrial flavours. This makes for a persistently tumultuous storm of rampaging noise and invigorating invention. There is never a respite to grab a breath but with every note and second igniting emotions and synapses once dormant, it is extremely rewarding and welcome.

The restrained but sonically brewing intro of The Eternal Sun immediately grasps attention, its acidic melodic lure mesmeric before the militant rhythms emerging behind. The track soon erupts in a battalion of steeled jabs from drummer Skvm and challenging riffs thrust forward by guitarists Träume and Sonaer whilst bassist Simurgh prowls with devouring psychotic lines. Heavyweight muscles are flexed and incendiary melodic incursions lit as the track expands into a crushing and spiteful assault. It is an immense opener with its seven minutes plus of inspiring and cyclonic energy leaving one deeply satisfied.

From there the band raise the temperature and quality even more with the brilliant Through Hatred And Devotion. Making the previous track seem almost docile the song obliterates nerve endings and senses with a rabid ferocity. With jackhammer intensity through the merciless artillery of Skvm and denting bedlamic riffs, the song is a writhing creative black force towering over its recipient with venom and imaginative malicious intent.

The following Deny Your God is no less vindictive with a twisting barbed groove slashing the ear from within the ferocious invention and play. Like an anger fuelled bear, the track curses and stalks with an unbridled predatory taunting, its heart and voice snarling with a malevolence borne of the darkest pit.

     Devotion picks through the debris left behind with equal spite but brings a melodic glow to its tempestuous eagerness. Though arguably the least addictive of the tracks it has a siren breath to it with an insistently intriguing imagination and dark harmony underlining the surface black energy. This leads to an eventual contagion and pushes the song forward as one of the best on what is a stunning release.

Closing with the hypnotic ingenuity of the title track, another deeply intrusive and full gratifying explosion of craft and idea brewed in a vat of aggressive and oppressive creativity, Wrath Of God is easily one of the best things to appear this year. and Featuring guest appearances from Julien (Benighted), Henrik (As You Drown) , Mkm (Antaeus, Aosoth), BST (Aosoth, The Order Of Apollyon) and INRVI (Aosoth, VI), it is as mentioned released as a free download (link below)so there really is no excuse available to not go and feel the brilliance of Livarkahil.

www.livarkahil.com

RingMaster 15/06/2012

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THROUGH HATRED AND DEVOTION

 

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Stalwart – Manifest of Refusal

Sometimes music and metal in particular does not make sense. Take a band like Russian death metallers Stalwart. They have just released their stunning new album Manifest of Refusal, their fifth full length release and one of such creative might and devastating power it is easily one of the most impressive releases of the year. But have you heard of them? Certainly this is our first introduction to them. From those that do know of them, and it is a mere handful it seems, the band has been producing striking music throughout their formation in 1999 but still they are an unknown joy. Maybe it is a prejudice to and assumption of the music from their homeland but it is staggering that they still are invisible to most. Hopefully with the simply outstanding Manifest of Refusal that will shortly change.

Stalwart is labelled as predominently death metal but there is so much more to their sound. Death metal is just a bulky flavour matched in mass and strength by a mix of technical and groove metal with large veins of industrial and progressive metal. Imagine a mutated offspring of Behemoth, Morbid Angel, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, and Livarkahil and you get an idea of the diverse and mighty sounds the band lay waste to the ear with. They produce extreme metal with imagination and the darkest thought for a resulting glorious consumption of mind, body and soul.

Released through PRC Music, Manifest of Refusal searches out and fills every sense, thought and emotion. From the opening chimes of the opening leviathan The Karma Circle and its heralding of what is about to emerge the track seizes full attention with force and drama. Crushing riffs, skull wrecking rhythms, and an intensity to topple continents soon overrun the ear to devastating effect. The song proceeds to pick upon and blister the senses with raging torrents of aggressive energy whilst slipping into partial lulls to wipe the wound clean before ripping it open once more. The guitars of  Leonid and Antuan weave in and out with stirring riffs and cutting melodies like fighter pilots picking their spot to for fullest impact and intrusion whilst the drums of Alex are as hypnotic as they are vicious, his skill and intensity beyond impressive.

From the opener alone the vocals leave one surprised and eager, the delivery of Oleg Sobolevsky ably backed by bassist Demian, are as varied and imaginative as the music. He veers from growls to clean through a gamut of variations to ensure the unpredictability is in every aspect of the album. The following Downgrade Evolution easily confirms this fine display, the track another compulsive corruption of the ear.

As the songs rip chunks off the senses one by one there is nothing but the deepest pleasure and satisfaction. The songs surge up and leave their own deeply furrowed individual mark one by one to make the release an unrelenting assault and persistent muscular invention. Tracks like Rise Of The Ninth Wave with excellent bass play from Demian, the intimidating spectacular Corrosion with its slightly chaotic ingenuity and startling detours, and the brilliant disruptive mesmeric title track, leave one grasping onto anything for security and support against the stunning aural cataclysm.

Great as the whole album is Idol Of The Time easily grabs best track acclaim, the song a riot of punishing rhythms and vengeful riffs. With vocals as coarse and malicious as the sounds the track obliterates every synapse and emotion daring to step in its way. It is the growling bass of Demian which steals the fullest praise though as he stalks and underpins the song with the frightening might of a bear with its temperament and attitude in tow.

Manifest of Refusal is easily a contender for album of the year not only in Russia but worldwide, it and Stalwart just need people to finally take notice is all.

RingMaster 24/05/2012

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