The Nika Riots – Set Fire

Having found the Norwegian hardcore scene a rather fruitful place to excite personal tastes, there was a definite twinge of eager anticipation when we found ourselves receiving he debut EP from Oslo outfit The Nika Riots, especially upon seeing it features members from bands such as Man the Machetes, Torch, and IEatHeartAttacks. The prospect of hearing something flavoursome to really get the teeth into was quickly confirmed by Set Fire and only reinforced across its six ferocious tracks.

Consisting of Christopher Iversen (Man The Machetes), Jørgen Berg (Torch), Kristen Fjeldstad, Morten Vikanes, and Noppers Myren (IEatHeartAttacks), The Nika Riots fuse their hardcore with voracious metal essences while drawing on the inspirations of bands such as Every Time I Die, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Rise Against for its still individual character. It is a mix which grooves like a Bokassa, snarls like a Shevils, and has the irritable melodic punk fuelled fury of Bad Religion aligned to the unpredictable dexterity of Every Time I Die and all delivered with a defiant antagonism living up to the historical unrest behind their name. Those metal bred essences add yet another aspect to their sound, a hungry trespass which accentuates every other thread in its fractious web.

As soon as the rousing rhythmic invitation of Anti-Social Social Club was launched within a raw sonic breath attention was grabbed, the initial handful of seconds of the opener a welcoming intrusion which swiftly becomes a tirade of addictive grooves, thumping beats, and vocal argument. The track proceeds to swing along with intrusive hardcore tenacity, inciting ears and spirit at every turn with the imagination hooked by its melodic punk hues. Metal textures equally give it a diverse nature and potency as the song gets Set Fire off to a heady start.

A chest beating roar of defiance, it is pretty much matched by the following Knock ‘em Dead. Straight away it is sharing solicitous hooks, a touch of Billy talent in their spicing before its punk canter brings a great bend of throat scarring and melodically sandy vocals. As in its predecessor, attitude fuels every note and syllable, the melodies even carrying a slight toxic edge to their temptation but it all combining for another fiercely infectious affair before allowing the excellent Kill This Chaos emerges from its last sonic sigh on a rhythmic roll. This leads to another contagious intrusion equipped with hungrily anthemic rhythms, vocal irritancy, and caustic riffs. It is pure magnetism, especially when the incitement of drums and throb of bass only accompanies raw throated appeals, guitars accentuating the bait on their return with strains of heavy metal in their attack.

A melancholic melodic caress opens up Hanged Drawn & Quartered but all time becoming dirtier and unsettled before breaking into punk thrusting rock ‘n roll though that too is only another shade to the song as melodic metal essences take their moment to captivate. It epitomises the fluid resourcefulness of the band’s sound, a quality as open if not to the same prevalence within next up Skeleton Crew. Opening with an Avenged Sevenfold scented beckoning, the song soon rattles the cages with its hardcore guile and fury lined acuteness aligned to punk rock virulence.

All Hail the Queen completes the attack, its body breeding its own fusion of sound and enterprise. As the previous track, it did not quite light the fires as dramatically as those before them but with vines of grooves wrapping round the ears and a rich bluster of energy wearing the senses, it simply left pleasure and appetite hungry for more.

Set Fire is a striking introduction to The Nika Riots hinting at even bigger and bolder exploits ahead whilst stirring the passion and instincts for uncompromising punk rock; Norwegian hardcore continues to impress and excite.

Set Fire is released January 19th through Negative Vibe Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thenikariots/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

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Shevils – Lost In Tartarus

Photo - Kamilla Kvamme

Anticipation for the new album from Norwegian hardcore band Shevils has been eager even bordering on rabid for us, especially after the temptation and hinting of impending glory which came with the already released singles from it, We Walk On Shattered Glass and Black Eyes. The songs showed perfectly why the band has bred a fervour clad following for their distinctive and adventurous sound and why Lost In Tartarus could be the trigger to the widest deserved recognition for the Oslo quartet. The ten track fury of invention and passion is a monster of a release, a brutal yet ingeniously sculpted confrontation which equals the heights suggested by the singles and surpasses the promise set by previous releases. The band has an adventure and exploration to their sound which not only sets them apart from most hardcore bands but puts them on the frontline of the genre, the evidence being rife and rampant within Lost In Tartarus.

Shevils first made a richly promising and attention luring entrance with their debut album The Year Of The Fly of 2011, the release coming a year after the band’s formation. It made a strong impression, receiving enthusiastic responses and acclaim, as did the following single Is This To be (Our Lives)? the same year. The foursome of vocalist Anders Voldrønning, guitarists Andreas Myrvold and Christoffer Gaarder, and drummer Anders Emil Rønning (expanding to a sextet live), continued to build their stature and sound through live performances, which has seen them to date play with the likes of Man The Machetes, Social Suicide, Overthrow, Barren Womb and many more, and the excellent Necropolis EP of 2012, that release receiving its uncaging in Indonesia early this year to incredible acclaim and greedy attention. As mentioned the two singles released in 2013 has triggered a hungry appetite for the band’s second album in a great many, all rewarded and more by the sonic riotous alchemy of Lost In Tartarus.

Opener Is This Where We Are At?, as maybe expected barges through the ear from its first breath, riffs and rhythms striking 1424384_730606523620529_1143928494_nhard whilst squalling vocals from Voldrønning and band bring a causticity which Shevils is so good at making distinct to themselves. The band brings multiple flavours and ideas to their songs, styles which flirt and run amok within the hardcore heart of their songs, and the first easily shows how effective and inventive it is. Grooves and hooks conspire to seduce whilst the energy of the band bruises with unrestrained intensity as an unleashed melodic acidity colours the fury. It is an invigorating and incendiary mix which with a want, maybe need within the band to experiment is irresistible.

Black Eyes is a trap quickly sprung by the passions, its rhythmic swagger and challenge an addictive enslavement  and the frame for the antagonistic vocals to launch their tirade upon. The guitars equally lure with virulent scythes of sonic temptation from the off which ignite into a burning fire as the throaty bass prowl and ferocious energy of the band explodes in hot crescendos of attack. The track is an intrusive and unbridled contagion, creating a stunning maelstrom of adventure best described as Coilguns, Kunz, Man The Machetes on a rampage with a lighter punkish feel of Baddies. That description applies to numerous exploits within the album but all tracks are pure Shevils in their potency and ultimate sound.

The heavy bass stroll provided by Marcus Forsgren brings Timelines purposely and pleasingly into focus  next, another rich enticement laid as the band combines to stomp and lurch around the ears with another epidemically riveting punk brawl. Offering a persistent stalking, the song ripples with attitude and antagonistic intent musically and vocally whilst the constant growl to the guitar riffs bring a primal intimidation which only reinforces the confident prowl.

Both Sorely Fucking Provoked and These Walls Are Coming Down exploit lustful passions for the album further, the first a rapacious tempest of rhythmic combativeness and sonic pestilence honed into a tantalising yet menacing aggressor, group shouts and energy driving it forcibly home whilst its companion led by a crawling bass examination expands into a ridiculously captivating fascination of spellbinding melodically touched grooves and scathing sonic imagination.

We Walk On Shattered Glass soars to the highest pinnacles of the album next, the song still as scintillating as its first appearance as a single a few months back. Intensive rhythms barrack and massage the ears first, a bass growl their delicious companion to be soon joined by the sonic web of noise from the guitars and the ever impressive vocals. Incredibly hungry in its reserved yet ravaging voraciousness and unstoppably infectious in its maelstrom of ingenuity, the track is a titanic persuasion, easily one of the songs of the year and soon rivalled by State Of Regret. Once again bass and drums ignite the senses and passions to set up the frame for a canvas of vocal scowling and skilfully grooved sonic teasing to play out their intentions, the result another quite hypnotic creative frenzy.

The relatively straight forward hardcore attack of Blizzard Beach, which reminds a little of Irish band Gacys Threads, adds another brief but powerful element to the album whilst the excellent perpetually evolving Destroy All Villains and the closing storm of Young And Restless impressively concludes a quite exhilarating slab of breath-taking invention and adventure. Shevils offers hardcore something new and different and in Lost In Tartarus, an album which just sounds and gets better with each listen, one of the genre’s pinnacles of the year, of hardcore, punk, and extreme rock of any description to be honest.

http://shevils.com/

10/10

RingMaster 08/11/2013

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Shevils – Black Eyes

Photo by Kristoffer Skjæringrud Photography

Photo by Kristoffer Skjæringrud Photography

On the back of their last single alone We Walk On Shattered Glass, Norwegian noise rockers Shevils ignited a strong anticipation and hunger for their forthcoming new album. Now just to seal the deal the Oslo quartet unleash the second single from the November released album Lost In Tartarus, a song which shows that the band has been holding back on us as it turns that hunger into a lustful impatience. Black Eyes is sheer sonically crafted devilry with a rhythmic trap to match in seduction and mischievous enslavement. If you thought its predecessor was the best thing the band had conjured, than you have heard and felt nothing yet.

Consisting of vocalist Anders Voldrønning, guitarists Andreas Myrvold and Christoffer Gaarder, and drummer Anders Emil Rønning, the band expanding to a sextet live with the addition of Kristofer Staxrud (bass) and Marcus Forsgren (guitar, synth, bass), Shevils has built up and earned a strong and evolving reputation for their fusion of hardcore, noise rock, and more flavours touched by a psyche mischief. They first made a good declaration after forming in the October of 2010, with debut album The Year Of The Fly the following year and subsequently the single Is This To be (Our Lives)? 2011 also saw the release of the Necropolis EP, which had another outing in Indonesia this year to again great acclaim and fervour. Each release showed the moving creativity and body of the band’s sound which came to a head with the exceptional We Walk On Shattered Glass, or so we thought. Black Eyes shows it was just the start to another thrilling and riveting twist in the invention of Shevils which only accelerates the almost rabid appetite for the impending full length release.

Recorded, mixed, and produced by Forsgren at Engfelt Forsgren Studio in Oslo, Black Eyes immediately confronts the ear with sharp single_option3teasing riffs punctured by instantly addictive beats, their crafty hypnotic persuasion the lead into a submissive slavery soon secured by the short tempest of sonic fire and punk brawling which proceeds to switch and interchange with that ridiculously virulent staggered temptation. The vocals of Voldrønning squall and demand attention as effortlessly and enjoyably as across previous songs whilst musically the track matches his demanding stance, guitars and drums creating a psychotic tango of compelling invention prowled by the gloriously predatory basslines. With a swagger and diablerie to its intrusively enthralling gait, the song offers a riot which is as much Baddies/We Are The Physics like in its stomp as Coilguns and Man The Machetes in its corrosively epidemic persistence.

Black Eyes is a brilliant exploit and teaser leading up to Lost In Tartarus, the pinnacle of the band’s alchemy so far, though I doubt this will be the last time that claim is made.

www.shevils.com

10/10

RingMaster 20/09/2013

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Shevils: We Walk On Shattered Glass

shevils

    From Norway, Shevils is a band which from a spine of hardcore draws in riotous fires of many other aspects of noise to create something wholly unique and irrepressibly tempting. Released today (March 8th) We Walk On Shattered Glass is the new deviously addictive single from the band, a forceful enterprising marker of a band destined to leave genre and extreme noise reeling.

Hailing from Oslo, the quintet of vocalist Anders Voldrønning, guitarists Andreas Myrvold and Christoffer Gaarder, bassist Arnbjørn Marklund, and drummer Anders Emil Rønning, create a brawling sound borne from the most seductive essences of hard rock, noise, punk, and metal. Formed in late October 2010, the band has continually marked their creative territory with attitude soaked incendiary invention unleashed through their 2011 debut album The Year Of The Fly, the single Is This To be (Our Lives)? and the Necropolis EP, both released last year, not forgetting their acclaimed live performances. We Walk On Shattered Glass is the first single taken from their forthcoming album and on the evidence of its inciting energy and imaginative persuasion, their full length release could be one of the biggest highlights of the year.13053_601747383173111_1309564036_n

The single opens with massive beats massaging the ear with power and eagerness, their resonating touch accompanied by gravelly bass grinds to make first contact immediately infectious and hungry. As the excellent abrasive vocal squalls of Voldrønning lay their caustic tones and lyrical coaxing into the now stormy mix the track is captivatingly afire with intensity and controlled aggression. Into its corrosive stride elements of the likes of Killing Joke, Coilguns, and fellow Norwegians Man The Machetes make loud whispers from within the song but Shevils has created an encounter which stands impressively alone from all in sound and contagion.

Throughout its continually shifting stance the track scorches the air with exhausting sonic rubs, melodic acid teases, and thumping anthemic rhythms drafted into a soundscape of intrigue, bruising rock n roll, and breath taking metal ravaging. It ignites instant addiction so that to hear the song just once in every encounter is imaginable and the anticipation for their new album by its end emerges as a deep rooted impatient itch which will only be alleviated upon its arrival.

Shevils will undoubtedly make major inventive contributions to extreme music in the future just like they have with We Walk On Shattered Glass, a release which others will find very hard to rival over the coming months.

www.shevils.com

9/10

RingMaster 08/03/2013

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Man The Machetes: Idiokrati

Man the Machetes

    A stormy affair which leaves the senses rubbed raw but glowing with pleasure, Idiokrati the debut album from Norwegian hardcore rockers Man The Machetes, is an undeniably formidable and captivating onslaught. Fusing varied essences from rock and metal into their abrasive hardcore confrontation, the Bergen/Oslo based quintet has unleashed an album which is challenging and takes some intensive focus to discover all of its masterful elements but rewards richly for the effort.  The album squalls with sounds drawn from the same caustic wells as a Cancer Bats or Ghost Of A Thousand but throughout sends shards and veins of melodic rock and punk which captures the breath of a Billy Talent or Red Tape. It emerges as a distinct and original sound which sets the band apart from most, and though they brew a similarity of sound and attack across much of the release it has plenty of variation to captivate fully throughout too.

Released through Indie Recordings, Idiokrati is the accumulation of two years of hard work and a likely trigger to widespread recognition beyond their homeland. The band has risen from playing small Norwegian venues to lighting up festivals such as Pstereo and Hove as well as supporting the likes of Gallows and Kvelertak. The five friends who began playing music they loved in an old German bunker, have been on a forceful rise to date with the band travelling to Toronto In August 2012 to work on this their debut with producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, Comeback Kid). The album which emerged after four weeks of intensive work is a stirring and impacting bruising which ripples with infectious lures and irresistible melodic teasing. It is an uncompromising abrasion but one which employs skilfully crafted and engaged melodic flames.

From the moment opener Sluk Det Rått barges through the ear with a welcoming groove to the sinewy rhythms and riffs offered MTM-IDIOKRATI-COVER-1400x1400there is an immediate compelling draw to the release. The song is a grazing instigator through the barbed beats of drummer Per Christian Holm and the coarse vocals of Christopher Iversen but tempers their harsh rasping with magnetic melodic flares from the guitar and an imaginative sonic teasing which borders on sirenesque. Leading straight into second track Sjelsvrengt, the song is an impressive start equalled and continued by its successor. Again the melodic sonic magnetism is to the fore in the second track with the guitars of Morten D. Carlsson and Erlend N. Sætren irresistible in their invention and the bass of Erik A. Larsen a beast of muscular yet wanton contagious dance. The scorching presence of the song is less instantaneous than what came before but provokes an emotive response which is just as powerful.

Idiokrati continually does nothing less than impress, the likes of Mageplask with its mesmeric groove, the punk coated Slagen, and the intensive tempest Maktesløse encounters which ignite and energise the passions and primal instincts. The release has a fluid gait with many tracks evolving into the next seamlessly and with sonic skill though it too offers the only real downside to the release, a returning similarity across parts of the album. It is not a major negative but does defuse some of the invention underneath the surface scathing and occasionally make songs merge into one which an arguably over needed focus is required to differentiate.

Other than that the album is a tremendous debut and when tracks like the deliciously intimidating Deltidsidiot with its ‘celtic’ toned groove and the senses sizzling Hjemkomst lay their exhausting presence across the ear the release is exceptional. Man the Machetes offers strong emotions of much more to come too which really inspires Idiokrati to provoke immense anticipation for the band and their releases in the future. If you want something different then check out this impressively promising brawl of a band.

http://www.manthemachetes.com/

RingMaster 23/01/2013

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