Nemaind – Eclipsi EP

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There is not a great deal we can tell you about Spanish melodic death metallers Nemaind though the most important bit of information you need anyway is that their debut EP, Eclipsi, is one heavily flavoursome and magnetically alluring incitement. Its three tracks do not break down boundaries or re-invent existing landscapes within the death metal scene, but it undoubtedly provides one potential fuelled, richly enjoyable sonic tempest to eagerly immerse within.

Formed early 2014, Nemaind hails from Barcelona inspired by bands such as Moonspell, Opeth, Death, Gojira, Insomnium, Caladan Brood, Sylosis, Emperor, and Amon Amarth. Created by vocalist/bassist Ferran C, previously of thrashers Rotten, the band’s line-up was soon enriched by guitarists David C and Gerard B, subsequently followed by drummer Martí F. Recorded in February this year, Eclipsi gives the first introduction to a broader expanse of ears of Nemaind, in turn offering a strong persuasion of their craft and potential.

Eclipsi opens with its title track and instantly has attention and appetite wide awake with a swarm of waspish riffery and fierce rhythmic intimidation. It is a masterfully magnetic start which continues to tempt and work on the psyche as the track breaks into and begins exploring a malevolent landscape of portentous grooves and sonic rapacity. The vocals are varied causticity, their diversity never merging major differences between tones and delivery but enough to ensure more fresh textures in the tempest of sound and the increasing adventure emerging within the outstanding and increasingly impressive encounter. The guitars especially spin an evolving web of intrigue and imagination within the volatile atmosphere and confrontation of the song, adding captivating hues and ideation in the face of barbarous intent.

The following Pareidoniria is similarly sculpted within its own individual character and ravenous air, addiction loaded riffs stalking with unrelenting persistence alongside rapier beats and a throaty bass groove. Musically the track conjures a soundscape Gojira like in rousing dexterity and technical imagination, Insomnium seeded in hostile and ravishing emotional trespassing whilst its melodic ferocity is Corbeaux like. It does not quite match up to its predecessor’s heights yet only leaves a want for more and helps build the intent to keep the band on the personal radar.

The EP is brought to an end with Les últimes llums de tardor, another predatory protagonist this time emerging from a primal sonic mist bristling with thickly flavoursome flavours and ear pleasing enterprise. Initially there is an almost eighties like gothic spicing colluding with broadening winds of sonic and extreme metal drama rippling with creative expression and highly provocative aural colour. It is the least physically corrosive of the three songs, though still showing no emotional mercy, weaving a fascinating design of warm and barren scenery which is always emotively lively and boldly adventurous as it scars the senses.

As the final song’s cold climate dissipates, Nemaind leaves only richly positive thoughts and full pleasure behind. As suggested, it is not the most original release yet every listen brings something fresh and individual against other encounters you may come across with a similar canvas of sound. We suggest taking note of the name and enjoying their debut with the promise of increasingly impressive explorations with the band another lingering aftermath.

The Eclipsi EP is available digitally now on Nemaind’s bandcamp profile.

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Countless Skies – Solace

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Following their acclaimed self –titled debut EP of 2014, UK melodic death metallers Countless Skies unveil their new single and an even more potent adventure of sound and songwriting. The track invades ears and psyche with its bold enterprise whilst immersing the senses in a tempest of dark emotion and melodically hued but rapacious atmospheres. Every minute of its handful, makes a compelling proposal and even if personal tastes do not quite get seduced by every aspect of the song, Solace openly delivers on the potential of the band’s last offering whilst uncapping even more anticipation firing promise.

Solace_cover_RingMaster Review   Though Countless Skies exploded on the British music scene last year with their EP, the band goes back to its first guise as Hatespire which began in 2009. Formed by long-time friends Ross King and James Pratt, the pair created a three-track demo of intense and ravenously dark music infused by Scandinavian inspirations, the beginnings to what we have now. Skipping forward to last year, Countless Skies as mentioned poked real attention with their four-track EP, which in turn opened fresh opportunities on the live scene for the band across the UK. They won the Bedfordshire ‘Metal to the Masses’ competition and earned a slot on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2015 in its wake too whilst ahead of their first album scheduled for early 2016, the quartet of vocalist/bassist Phil Romeo and drummer Nathan Robshaw alongside vocalist/guitarist King and guitarist Pratt, uncage Solace and a teaser for their album which certainly gets the job done.

The song opens on an acoustic caress which swiftly has ears and thoughts involved, especially as the elegance of keys joins in with a subsequent heavier and darker wash of imposing tempting. Musically the song continues to seduce with melodic radiance within increasingly volatile air whilst raw, growling vocals add contrasting malevolence and causticity. For whatever reason, the coarse lure of vocals found a less successful reception with the appetite compared to the epically aired and feverishly inventive nature of the sounds but the clean roars midway into the encounter certainly hit the spot upon their emergence. As ever personal tastes get involved in all things whilst allowing sight of what will appeal to numerous others, and all aspects of voice and hostile throat expulsions will certainly find welcome reactions with a great many more for sure.

The fascinating sounds continue to flow and explode through ears, the song varying its scenery and design with constant frequency and ease as guitars and keys bewitch in a just as pungent dramatic union within an uncompromising rhythmic cage. Bands like Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium are suggestions as Solace provides escape for and trespass on body and emotions whilst laying sizeable bait to band and impending album for fans and newcomers alike. Their last EP raised a stir but expect bigger eruptions as Solace grips ears.

The self-released Solace is out now!

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scarnival – The Art Of Suffering

 

Scarnival_RingMaster Review

2012 saw the unveiling of German metallers Scarnival’s acclaimed self-titled debut EP, now three years on the Hannover quintet unleash their first album to realise some of the rich potential already shown to be fuelling their sound and confirm a growing reputation as one compelling protagonists of explosive metal. The Art Of Suffering is a brutal and sonically incendiary encounter, a fierce incitement wearing influences of bands like At The Gates, In Flames, and Soilwork like proud badges. It does ebb and flow in major and less impacting successes, its grip fluctuating across its irritable body, but from start to finish, it is one groove infested slab of savaging to enjoyably get the teeth into.

Scarnival was formed in 2009 by guitarists Christian Kähler (ex-Schierling) and Henna Deutsch (also Tredstone), bassist Gerrit Mohrmann (Cripper and ex-Schierling), and drummer Max Dietzmann (Tredstone and ex-Schierling) alongside vocalist Niklas Reimann. With Daniel Siebert (Inquiring Blood, ex-Steak for Breakfast) subsequently taking over the vocal persuasion three years later, the band made their first broad mark with their self-titled EP. It and the modern melodic death metal flowing through its veins swiftly grabbed fan and media attention with high praise quickly following. Live the band has also earned a potent reputation for their ferocious presence, shows with the likes of Arch Enemy, Debauchery, Rage, Tankard and Vader amongst many, helping brew an increasing spotlight upon the band. Now it is the turn of The Art Of Suffering to awaken fresh ears and appetites, and though proof that its creators are still exploring and getting to grip with finding open uniqueness, it is a definite wake-up call to the hellacious roar of Scarnival.

Scarnival - The Art O_RingMaster Review     The Art Of Suffering opens up with its title track. Portentous whispers fill ears first, quickly followed by an evocative caress of guitar. Those first few seconds are a potent prelude to the fury of sound poised to abruptly explode upon the senses, riffs scowling as harsh rhythms drive the confrontation and vocals. Already the song shows great and impressive diversity across the unbridled ravaging, the guitars also revealing their own variety of flavour and enterprise as a maelstrom of hostile and seductive tendencies quickly brew into one wholly magnetic incitement of corrosive metal, heavy rock, and addiction luring grooving.

The superb start continues through God Given, a track starting on a discord soaked splash of sound and almost as instantly turning into a primal predator. With no one else credited as additional vocalist, presumably every guttural growl, venomous squall, and grouchily clean tempting impressively comes from Siebert’s own raw throat across the album, and fair to say, as on the second track, he is as relentlessly gripping as the melodic imagination around him is emotively expressive. The song continues to merge a blend of varied metal into its appealing landscape before making way for the more brutish but no less infectious bellow of The Easy Solution. The energy of the track is again insatiable, as too the outstanding mix of vocals and jagged endeavour spilling from every guitar chord and spiteful beat. It is the nagging groove which takes most attention though, its catchy essence a rich lure in the tempest.

Hindsight steps forward next to offer a mellower, though still intimidating, proposal. Quickly it shows itself unable to ignite the same hungry reactions as its predecessors, familiarity and simply that so often indefinable spark which sets tracks ablaze missing from its otherwise strong body. It leaves ears and thoughts contented though, with Losing Identity stirring them up a little more through its barbarously grooved nagging and rhythmic punch bound in sonic rapacity. Musically it is enticing but vocally is where it wins, a hardcore essence encroaching some of the excellent diversity spilling from throat(s), though it too is left a touch pale by Watch Me. Featuring Soilwork vocalist Björn Strid, the track is heartily primal and sonically inflamed, its initial roar easily carrying ears and emotions into the clutches of its hostile stride. That alone hits the spot, but it is when the song twists into harmonic and vocally clean scenery around dancing hooks and spicy chords that it magnificently blossoms in to its greatest inimitable persuasion.

Both The Hunt and Rewind keep a freshly stirred appetite lively. The first succeeds through a fusion of insidious vocal toxicity and predacious grooves caged by skittish beats and invasive intensity, whilst its successor being part bestial and part flirtatious, stalks the senses with its inventive animus of sonic zeal and ravenous riffery. As all tracks varied hues entwine, slithers of thrash and death, black and melodic metal colluding here in a tapestry as destructive as it is enlivening. The pair thoroughly satisfies, a success shared by the classic metal infused Pathetic, though it has a more expectations feeding presence to leave it enjoyably pleasing if without causing any particular stir.

Eternal Salvation has the album back in top gear as soon as an intoxicating groove winds around ears in its first seconds, the masterful bait seeming to dictate the growing swing and contagious tempting of the excellent track. Many of the album’s songs do share certain melodies or elements of design, without any ill-effect on its potency, but this one stands bold as one of the most original and thrillingly unpredictable storms on the release. It borders mayhem at times, its fluidity pushing limits but everything just unites perfectly for one rancor soaked violation where even the sudden slip into melodic beauty only accentuates its might.

The Art Of Suffering comes to a close through firstly the gripping and barbaric drama of One Morning Left, another peak which is as emotionally cancerous as it is viciously unrelenting, and lastly Lies with its ruinous heart and tempestuously resourceful soundscape of scarring sound and ideation. The pair leaves the album on a lofty high, the latter emerging as the most courageously inventive and thus thrilling song on the release.

The Art Of Suffering is another striking step in the emergence of Scarnival, a release which impresses though also one it is easy to predict will be blown away by the band itself at some point ahead as they grow and mature further It is though a perpetually enjoyable and captivating savaging which only leaves a taste for band and more, a result not to be sniffed at for sure.

The Art Of Suffering is released via Kernkraftritter Records on August 7th through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/scarnival        http://www.scarnival.de/

Ringmaster 04/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stormcast – Frame of Mind

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Whenever dark clouds crowd in on thoughts and emotions there is always a place for an understanding soundtrack, something Cyprus-based atmospheric black metallers Stormcast offer with their impressive debut album, Frame of Mind. The release is a tempest of oppressive intenisty and emotionally ravenous shadows but brought on an epic wave of melodic and atmospheric invention. An increasingly compelling fusion of black and symphonic metal with additional flames of melodic death and gothic expression, the release is a startling and intensive introduction to the Nicosia quintet.

Formed in 2007, Stormcast take their lyrical and atmospheric inspirations from the personal struggles of man and society’s ills. A couple of promos in 2009 and 2012 respectively, opened up a certain amount of attention but it is with the Pitch Black Records Frame of Mind that it is easy to suspect Stormcast will stepping into the widest gaze. The band’s live presence which has seen them play the likes of the MetalDays Festival and share stages with bands such as Rotting Christ, Sabaton, Stratovarius, and Nightstalker, sparked real anticipation for Stormcast’s debut full-length and from being a relative secret expect the band’s name, because of the new release, to be on the broadest expanse of lips as it infests ears and psyche.

The Executioner opens up the physical and mental examination, emerging from a spatial ambience with vocal drones, scything drama clad riffs, and orchestral grandeur. It is a portentous dawning soon realised by the crushing heavy booted feet of rhythms and a ravenous sonic enterprise from the guitars and keys. The song soon settles in to a smaller and more intensive pressure of hungry riffs and combative beats, both carrying the vocal animus of Mike Angastiniotis. His voice is a venomous squall, clinging to ears with every rasping syllable whilst around him the song ebbs and flows with intimate hostility and expansive melodic temptation. It is an instant attention grabber of a track, an inescapable provocateur with nostrils flared and creative wiles in full flow. The golden blaze of horns which lord over the song’s finale make a striking contrast to the pestilential vocals and savage riffery, a moment and conflicting union which in many ways really epitomises the whole of the album.

The potent start is swiftly matched by the dark depths and majesty of Wishful Bliss, its opening elegance soon a predatory stalking of the senses but still wearing a mesmeric cloak of keys from Cover_pbr033Mark McDonald and sonic intrigue from the guitar of George Masouras backed by that of Angastiniotis as his vocals spill further malevolence into the mix. Elements of the track, as across the album, bring thoughts of bands like Dark Tranquillity and The Pete Flesh Deathtrip but only as spice to something distinct to Stormcast, something again shown by New World Order. The track backs up the might of the first two songs with consummate and uncompromising ease. Keys and guitar offer an immediate inviting drama, before passing the fire to a torrent of niggling riffs and intensive swipes from drummer Andrew Laghos, both courted by a prowling and magnetic bassline from Andreas Spyrou and the return of the roaring horns. Whereas the previous track was a maelstrom of dark emotions and riveting enterprise, keys and guitars weaving radiant melodic colour across a brutal rhythmic and riff painted canvas, the third track strides a brighter terrain of still imposing incitement and intensity. Hooks and grooves light up its landscape with enthralling imagination and expressive hues, whilst the bass of Spyrou makes for a carnivorous accomplice to the raw throated narrative of Angastiniotis.

There is also a background hint of clean vocals to the song which are given greater rein in Of Flesh and Stone, an evocative track looking at soldiers at war and families left behind. From a sample of a wife talking, a captivating croon brings the song into potent view. Presumably it is again Angastiniotis singing and it has to be said he is a gripping element with his clean tones swiftly sparking a wish that the band employed this side of his skills even more across the album. He is soon spraying his regular caustic tones though, spite and rage impregnating the turbulent but beauteous tapestry of the epic encounter.

The pair of Withdrawn and In Entropy stirs up air and emotions next with their own individual designs and torment. The first is cored by another addictive bassline around which riffs and beats create a smaller but predacious confrontation, the track almost punkish in its hooks and spiteful riffing. It eventually drifts into a melodic pasture which simply bewitches even as first Angastiniotis and subsequently crippling rhythms add their dark offerings to the outstanding aggressor. Its successor is a radiant wind of sonic and melodic adventure contradicted by the bullish tenacity and contagious strength of rhythms and riffs. Light and dark in a riveting conflict for the listener to immediately immerse in, the song as its predecessor sets another plateau for the increasingly thrilling album.

An opening tangy lure from the guitar sets Immune off in fine and exciting style, that initial tempting continuing to coax ears and imagination as around it the song‘s atmosphere darkens and its climate becomes more imposing. The track never goes into the brutal rage it hints at though, keys providing a poetic elegance as the guitars flame with sonic adventure and the song with a creative revelry. Only Angastiniotis’ scarring tones resist the light, his words a great blackened toxin to the engaging landscape before final track Dysthymia takes over to bring Frame Of Mind to a satisfying close. It again reveals the depth and invention in the songwriting and sound of Stormcast, a blend of smoggy rabidity, unpredictable mouth-watering twists, and emotive melodic endeavour gripping ears and imagination for a potent finale.

It did not take Frame Of Mind long to impress but it is with further plays that its true weight of creativity and grandeur shows itself. With only a wish for a little more diversity in delivery from Angastiniotis a minor thought, Stormcast has pushed themselves towards the strongest spotlight with the album, a must investigation for all extreme melodic metal fans.

Frame of Mind is available via Pitch Black Records now @ http://store.pitchblackrecords.com/STORMCAST-Frame-of-Mind.html#.VIgbA3vzDox

http://www.stormcastband.com/

RingMaster 10/12/2014

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Warmblood – God Of Zombies

WarmbloodBand

There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.

Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.

Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.

Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor WarmbloodCoverbut still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.

The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.

Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.

Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.

Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.

God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records

https://www.facebook.com/warmbloodband

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Arcturon – Expect Us

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Released to mark their ten year anniversary, the Expect Us EP from Swiss melodic death metallers Arcturon, makes a tasty and intriguing proposition marking the beginning of a new decade for the band and twist to their enticing sound. Seemingly more adventurous than ever and certainly more bold in the use of additional flavours and styles, it is maybe not a release to blow anyone away yet its lure makes a compelling invitation to keep revisiting the encounter, a potency which should not be underestimated. More successful in some moments than others, but never leaving dissatisfaction lording over proceedings, the EP is a fascinating and ultimately highly enjoyable adventure.

It was around ten years ago that two fourteen year olds, guitarist Florian Moritz and drummer Samuel Fischer, gave creative birth to Arcturon. Honing their sound over time, the band’s first release, the Breaking Walls Demo in 2007, sparked increasing attention for their presence leading to support spots alongside the likes of Six Feet Under, Nile, Finntroll and Belphegor. Three years later came the extremely well-received debut album The Eight Thorns Conflict, with its acclaimed successor An Old Storm Brewing savaging ears in 2013. Sandwiching a successful Europe tour with Rotting Christ and Omnium Gatherum, both releases put the band into a more intensive spotlight which Expect Us does nothing to defuse. Released through Supreme Chaos Records, the Johan Örnborg (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Amon Amarth) produced EP offers a new diversity and imagination than arguably previous Arcturon encounters. It might be more intriguing than rigorously successful in its imagination, but Expect Us unveils a rather potent and captivating suggestion of where the Basel quartet’s sound is evolving to.

The release opens with My Treasure, an instantly gripping and fiery proposition which from a lone rub of guitar, explodes into a turbulent stroll of abrasing riffs and punchy rhythms cored by a tight intrusive groove. Within seconds Arcturon - Expect Us - Artworkimagination and appetite is alight, greedy for the intimidating expansion of the song. The raw hoarse vocals of Aljosha Gasser venomously abrase the senses as a small respite to the tempest unfolds, but it is a reining in soon spearing by bulging beats from Fischer and a dangling web of temptation cast by Moritz, whilst the bass of Sam Fischer (yes two members with the same name) provides a shadowed prowl to the song’s continually twisting landscape. Sonic enterprise and melodic flames also scorch the multi-flavoured interpretation of melodic death metal pouring from the band’s creativity, the incendiary persuasion of the track playing like a mix of Bloodsimple, Dominanz, and Scar Symmetry.

The outstanding start is backed up by the EP’s title track. Raging from its first breath, keys and guitars swarm the senses with toxic melodies as rhythms and riffs sculpt imposing scenery to wall in the magnetic endeavour. As its predecessor, the song grows and expands into a threat of malevolent expression and sonic radiance though it lacks the biting wind and energy of the opener. Instead it breeds an emotive atmosphere which tempers and evocatively colours the robust furnace of intent and sound beneath it, the song captivating and impressing if not igniting the same strength of passions as the first.

A Restless Soul swiftly asserts its compelling hold on ears and thoughts next, an opening melodic caress and embrace of clean vocals unexpected and pleasing freshness, though it is soon turned by a spiteful and malicious intensity, Gasser reaching to his guts to roar with caustic antagonism. Surprises and unpredictability stay to the fore though as the clean vocal delivery entwines with the harsh tones whilst a carnival-esque like drama and sinister seduction flirts with and infiltrates the brewing tempest of the song. It is a tantalising treat of a track, a bruising and tender merger of creative hues which maybe does not go as far into the unknown and explore bold imagination as it could, but definitely leaves anticipation for the band’s exploits ahead excited.

The release is closed by Rowan, another resourceful and radiantly provocative entrance which needs little nudging to turn to its shadows and predacious side. The vocals stalk as keys mesmerise, but it is the rugged terrain of raw riffs and thumping beats which bind the emotions, though their presence again is never clear cut as haunting melodies and sonic expression veins their hostility. A song which at times is glorious and in others a more unsure persuasion, it still provides further food for thought and interest for the band’s new exploration in sound to make a potent close to Expect Us.

Already used to praise and keen attention, Arcturon with their EP as potent evidence, appear to be moving towards a fascinating new chapter in their sound which Expect Us suggests is going to be something very worthy of close attention.

The Expect Us EP is available via Supreme Chaos Records from 24th October.

www.arcturon.ch

RingMaster 24/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Laika – Somnia

Laika Press Photo

Though it ebbs and flows in the strength of its persuasion at times, there is no escaping that Somnia, the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers Laika is one compelling and thrilling encounter. It may not seemingly be bursting with open originality, the old school breeding of their style driving the creative tempests making up the album, but there is a specific drama and adventurous enterprise belonging to the band flowing through each fresh and seriously captivating persuasion that begs different. It is occasionally not as startling in places as it is elsewhere and maybe should be overall, but Somnia is certainly an impressive and lingering encounter ensuring that the name Laika will not just known for being that of the name of the Russian dog who became one of the first animals to travel to space.

Formed in 2009 with the name inspired by that hound, the then sextet soon drew strong local underground attention with the release of their full-length demo Crafting The Cataclysm the following year, and a live presence which has seen them play with the likes of All Shall Perish, Kataklysm, Necronomicon, Skeletonwitch, Abysmal Dawn, Septic Flesh, and Unleash the Archers over the past few years. The release of the Somnia EP in 2011 was subsequently followed by the band taking two years out to create and work on their debut album. Produced by the Winnipeg quintet, mixed and mastered by Ryan Forsyth, Somnia provides a striking and imaginative new assault for the band, one seeking and easy to see finding a more intensively crowing spotlight.

The release opens with Restless Mind, a brief instrumental which initially strokes the imagination with evocative piano drama against a ticking clock before expanding with a wash of similarly coloured keys and elegant harmonies. It is a laika 1-front cover- smallgentle and intriguing, if not startling, start which leads into the instantly imposing Escalation of Terror. It is a gripping entrance with riffs and rhythms offering hungry energy and intent straight away. Ears and appetite are ignited further as the bait intensifies with a muscular torrent of feverish grooves and vocal causticity crossing the intensive presence of the song. The keys of Steve Tedham bring rich and expressive hues to the great tempestuous intent of the track, their warm beauty a transfixing contrast to the raw scowls of vocalist Jordan Dorge and rhythmic provocation set by drummer Blair Garraway. It is a riveting blend which only grabs greater potency and suasion as ridiculously flavoursome and contagious grooves cast by guitarist Ian Garraway are matched by those throatily laid by the bass of Mike Mason.

It is a sensational incitement to body and emotions, a creative roller coaster which never dips below the exceptional on its way to setting up a hungry anticipation for the rest of the album. The title track is the first to feed that greed, its first touch rugged in riffs and beats but seductive in keys sculpted melodies. That evolves into a more expansive and less hostile landscape, though there is still a busy imposing air to the encounter. Guitars proceed to cast a sonic weave of enterprise and melodic tenacity across the still sinew driven terrain whilst the bass at times almost ventures into a post punk repetition and invention which, along with spicy grooves and vocal savagery, brings fresh character and intrigue to the enthralling track.

Both Fidelity and Caligae A Galea keep the creative and satisfaction levels high, the first stalking ears with a predatory attitude and gait but one fired in sonic invention and seductively inhospitable toxicity. As its predecessor, the track ripples with eclectic textures and imagination soaked ideation, defying expectations and binding eager attention from start to finish. It’s almost exhausting revelry and bold tapestry of sound is swiftly matched by the second of the pair. Opening on a heroic groove, its lure potent caped crusader like coaxing, the song growls and prowls with infectious charm and intimidation. There is a menace to it which Tedham’s craft can only wrap not defuse and Dorge’s grizzled tones easily accentuate. The song is soon providing an addictive canvas of sound which maybe is death metal based but just as pungently entwines a mass of flavoursome tendrils from the likes of noise and psyche rock to post punk and progressive metal. It is a stunning protagonist for ears and incessant lust for the passions.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by the enchanting instrumental Dream of Nothing, a magnetic and reflective slice of melodic beauty. Dark bass emotions lie easily with the sultry charm of keys whilst rhythmically the song walks with a firm and steady but restrained hand. There are also raw guitar crafted flames which intensify the expressive atmosphere and climate of the song, everything uniting for an immersive emprise of sound and imagination. The track also brings respite for the senses though they are soon under demanding pressure as the punk fired assault of The Immortal takes over. For all its ferocity and abrasing presence, it is another song unafraid to spring a web of melodic and expressive beauty in its successful trapping of ears and attention, and though in many ways it takes longer to persuade than elsewhere, it emerges as a simultaneously bitter and warm buffeting to devour with greed.

The final two tracks upon Somnia might not quite match up to their earlier companions, but each leaves no second or note unattended by the listener’s fullest attention. First up Predictions (Tide Bearer) rages and bristles with a merciless graze of sonic bad blood and vocal malevolence, a hostility which wears down the senses with its bruising but still flirts with the occasional melodic seducing. The tracks unrelenting pressure is followed by the exceptional majesty of final track Invaders, a song which sums up the album with its eclectic stock of sounds and spellbinding ideas within a virulent and concussive antipathy. The song is another intoxicating proposition leaving the listener basking in unique temptation and ready to share the glory of album and band.

Somnia just gets stronger and more impressive over time, shown by the fact that listening to it again whilst writing this, there are more reasons to argue against the earlier thought that the album is not as startling throughout as in particular certain moments. That gap closes with each venture, proving this is an album wanting more time than most to really reveal all of its consistent thick rewards and that Laika is a band with the potential to sit beside the ranks of Insomnium, Dark Tranquillity, and Amon Amarth.

Somnia is available now via Filth Regime Records and @ http://laikawpg.bandcamp.com/album/somnia

https://www.facebook.com/LaikaOfficial

RingMaster 23/10/2014

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