Unbowed – Dogma

Unbowed_RingMaster Review

Two years ago Canadian metallers Unbowed grabbed thick attention and praise with debut album Collapse The World. It was a raw and ravenous slab of black metal atmospherics fused with death metal corrosion; blackened death metal with melodic tendencies that was unafraid to push it and its creator’s boundaries. It was also rich in open potential which has now been nurtured to striking effect for new EP Dogma. Offering four atmospherically primal and raw yet creatively elegant tracks, the release sees the Ontario duo breach a new plateau of songwriting and sound whilst opening fresh potential suggesting even bigger triumphs to come.

Formed in 2011 as a studio project by multi-instrumentalist Alex Snape and vocalist Ioan Tetlow, Unbowed proceeded to release a self-titled demo EP, the aforementioned Collapse The World, and bring together a live line-up which has played a host of shows and shared stages with the likes of Battlecross, Einherjer, The Contortionist, and Erimha throughout Ontario. Their bracingly invasive and imaginatively provocative sound has seen the band’s reputation grow within the underground spreading outwards and you suspect things are set to erupt with greater strength again as Dogma infests ears.

Unbowed Dogma - Final Cover Art_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with The Bleeding Throne; an enveloping of the senses and imagination from its first breath marked with a herald of melodies and atmospheric keys. It is a welcoming if portentous prelude to a rampant cascade of rabid riffs and matching rhythms within a wave of intensity as catchy as the thrash like canter that emerges from it. The craft and sound of Snape quickly impresses and works away on appreciative ears whilst the raw throated vocal squalls of Tetlow add a just as effective drama and predatory temper to the tapestry of provocative sounds around him. Thoughts of warriors, deceptions, and bloody turbulence are easy casting for the imagination as the song expands its sonic narrative, but equally there is an exotic beauty and expressive majesty to the song which grips the listener. It all further enhanced by the tendrils of varied metal and livelier variety in the vocals with blossom throughout.

It is a gripping and fascinating start which continues in the even more confrontational Besieged; though it too spins a web of guitar enterprise and rhythmic tenacity as infectiously alluring as it is barbarously intimidating. With sweeping melodies and expressive keys, you can visual the setting for the song’s drama and narrative. Broad and expansive, harsh yet beauteous landscapes are visualised, providing the canvas for the resourceful and enthralling imagination of the two musicians. As the first, the song bewitches as its trespasses, leaving a hunger for more which the closing pair of The Fall and Echoes of Cernunnos heftily satisfy. The first merges consuming textures and destructive virulence with flowing ambiences around epically poetic melodies whilst its successor provides an animus of ill-intent and immersive sufferance brewed with sonic rabidity. Both take unexpected and dramatically contrasting turns, the first especially enthralling with its melancholic and tainted reflections. The final song is more concentrated in its core attack but around its invasive spine, Snape creates a realm of celestial grandeur and earthbound intimacy coloured by the great vocal abrasion of Tetlow.

Dogma is superb, a release which only reveals more depths and corners with every listen. It leaves the band’s potent last album pale in comparison and equally many a black and death metal emprise heard in recent times.

Dogma is available from February 12th @ http://unbowedofficial.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fall – The Insatiable Weakness

Fall_RingMaster Review

Busier than a swarm of flies on a carcass but far more thrilling and rewarding, The Insatiable Weakness is a seriously explosive and dramatic introduction to Texan band Fall. The album is a cauldron of styles and flavours within a progressive/melodic death metal landscape which never gives ears and the imagination a moments rest whilst creating a gripping incitement as creatively tempestuous as it is coherently fascinating.

Taking inspirations from Scandinavian metal and bands such as Opeth, At the Gates, and Soilwork to their sound, the Portland based quartet emerged as 2010 took its early breaths. It was not too long before they were a notable presence on the live scene, going on to share stages with bands such as Helstar, Periphery, The Human Abstract, The Contortionist, Textures, Fallujah, and Aegaeon as their presence and reputation grew. A self-titled EP was released in 2012, an encounter featuring guest vocals from Soilworks’s Bjorn Strid which soon awakened not only more of the US to the band’s emerging potency and force but ears and attention further afield too. Now the band’s self-released debut album is set to stir up plenty more with its inescapable adventure and invasive imagination.

Consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Jessie Santos, guitarist Daniel Benavides, and bassist David Gutierrez alongside, for the album, the ever irrepressible rhythmic craft of Soilworks’ drummer Dirk Verbeuren, Fall swiftly encase ears in a cloud of sonic and rhythmic incitement as opener From Ashes rises threateningly to spawn a maelstrom of cutting riffs and intensive rhythms. In its air harmonies also break out with an atmospheric tempting, both getting their moment to descend poetically on the senses within the storm with Santos revealing pleasing variety and strength to his vocal delivery, raw and clean. Given potent hint of what is to come, the song continues to evolve its forceful and evocative tapestry with strands of progressive invention and rousing enterprise, all amidst intrusive turbulence led by Verbeuren’s renowned prowess.

Cover artwork by Niklas Sundin

Cover artwork by Niklas Sundin

Not of the Sky continues the attention catching start; the vocals again one focal point in a cascade of many, with their slight discord, whether intentionally or not, adding greater character to the emerging bedlamic and creative tirade of the song. Furiously unpredictable and fluidly aligned, melodic enticing and colliding flavours breaks through as each twist grips ears, softening and working them up into an eager appetite for the also tempestuously toned and adventurously woven Ever Hollow. Bellowing and tempting, the track is a magnetic fury veined by seductive magnetism, extreme and progressive metal uniting in something intimidatingly hellacious, sonically psychotic, and at times rousingly catchy.

Through both Harvester and Cinis, band and album continue to infest and corrupt the senses, though the former is just as potent in its infectious glaze of pop metal. Featuring guest vocals of Jessie Frye, it is another bundle of contrasts and clever contradictions creating a track which mesmerises as strongly as it bruises. Arguably it is the most accessible offering on the album but is as inventive and volatile as any of the more challenging and invigorating proposals within The Insatiable Weakness. Its successor is a much more voracious proposition, as swiftly shown by Strands of Night vocalist Asa Dubberly, who guests on the tempest, and the carnivorous tone of the bass which builds on the darker menacing tone it offered the previous song. Around them, and the bracing roar of Santos in its different strains, guitars stir up a nest of sonic vipers and melodic resourcefulness, the track painting a turbulent and tenaciously diverse canvas of raw and alluring flavours.

Ears and appetite are only drawn in tighter as the celestial hued and aggressively bracing Desolation and the predatory thrash seeded, death fuelled torrent of provocation posing as Soul Ignition thickly satisfies whilst …to dust lights ignites another fuse to lustful reactions with its unbridled ferocity and cantankerous attitude lined with infection soaked exploits. Providing one more major highlight amongst only heftily persuasive successes, its rich tempting is emulated in kind by the uniquely different Empty where, arguably for the first time, keys stretch their ever present atmospheric and ambience casting prowess into being a leading protagonist.

The album closes up with firstly Gods of Ruin and its landslide of unforgiving rhythms within an exhaustive infestation of expansive metal voracity and finally You were but a Shade, it an invasive and virulent episode of unpredictability, absorbing imagination, and explosive individual craft from all concerned. A seduction that tears strips off the senses, the song is an immense end to a similarly impressing release.

Only a weighty amount of listens does The Insatiable Weakness true justice, but every venture reveals new striking layers, previously undiscovered twists, and a bigger hunger for more as reward. As a name, Fall does not make a particular impact but rest assured from their first moments, sound and album more than make up for it.

The Insatiable Weakness is out now @ http://fall1.bandcamp.com/album/the-insatiable-weakness

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Pete RingMaster 28/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tranquillizer – Des Endes Anfang

Tranquillizer_bandfoto_RingMaster Review

Whether by design or just how personal appetite took to its rancorous yet feisty mesh of sound, fair to say Des Endes Anfang, the debut album from German metallers Tranquillizer, took its time to fully persuade. Convince it did though, from the first couple of listens unveiling an increasing magnetism that ears could only take notice of. With the discovery of more imaginative layers aligned to involved flavours and textures adding to its appeal over subsequent plays, the nine track blend of ruinous black and melodic death metal emerged a potently satisfying proposal.

Formed by vocalist/trombonist Johannes Guerken and bassist Madelaine Kühn, the Frankfurt hailing Tranquillizer endured a host of line-up shuffles as they forged a soon eagerly supported live presence leading to and from the release of debut EP Blutrot in 2011. With their first German tour following two years later, the band worked their sound and way towards the creation and recent release of first album Des Endes Anfang, an encounter seeing guitarists Aleksander Vetter and Fabian Wohlgemuth, and drummer Nico Dunemann alongside Gauerke and Kühn, drawing broader attention with its collusion of varied flavours with that core extreme tempest of sound.

Artwork by: ThornyThoughts Artwork&Tattoo

Artwork by: ThornyThoughts Artwork&Tattoo

Agonie is the first to entangle the senses and imagination; the brief instrumental brewing smog of sonic suggestiveness within a similarly sculpted portentous atmosphere. Soon rhythms are bringing an energetic coaxing to the mix, their anthemic prowess against the more caustic guitars a potent lure into the more irritable nature of Eine andere Welt. The throat stripping vocals of Guerken soon scar and infest the air, they the first strain in his varied delivery which differs in strength but always keeps ears guessing and thoughts satisfied. Around him the guitars spin a web of contrasting sonic enticing and savaging riffs, the bass of Kühn a provocative predator alongside. As in the first and repeated throughout the album, there is a contagious swagger and rock ‘n’ roll swing at the heart of the song, its success an accomplished temper to the more insidious elements in the band’s sound and tracks like the following Bestie Krieg. Unsurprisingly there is a primal air and bestial tone to the song as it climbs venomously through ears, the rhythms providing a rabid onslaught within the more deliberate stalking from guitars and vocals.

Werde Zu Staub conjures a more melodic if still antagonistic colour to its blackened rock ‘n’ roll, the guitars as much a suggestive flirtation as an intimidating fury within the fierce and catchy incitement. Even bass and drums fluidly switch between merciless menacing and magnetic guidance across the song’s volatile narrative of sound before Kapitulation grinds its nagging riffs and open bitterness into the psyche through a stormy and unrelenting challenge. The track is a tempestuous affair though that evolves in emotion and climate, never veering away from the darkest feelings and bad blooded intent but drawing on some tantalising melodies and melancholy drenched calms to enrich its emotive journey.

The insatiable onslaught of Blutrot grips and thrills next, its corrosive entrance evolving into another predacious stalking of the senses and in turn a cauldron of virulent grooves and toxic expulsions. Each element reveals its own infectiously involving swing no better epitomised than by the rich blaze of Guerken’s trombone making its first major appearance on the album and quickly elevating what is already a riveting encounter with its herald like calls.

That new element seems to spark new invention and unpredictability within the album even without the help of its presence. Welk bounds in next in a tapestry of diverse flavours and almost bedlamic ideation, whilst brewing belligerent animosity. The track, as its predecessor, swiftly stands above what came before and it is no coincidence that the album is at its pinnacle when the band gets bolder with their imagination and adventurous entangling of varied styles without defusing their devouring of ears with sonic and vocal jaundice.

Des Endes Anfang remains at its new plateau through the final pair of tracks; the carnal rabidity of Ins Licht first smothering the listener in murderous enmity. All the time though it is whipping up a contagious persuasion around the bitter range of vocal trespasses, the guitars step by magnetic step driving towards melodic escapades if still with the raw winds of corrosive virulence at their backs. Its impressive buffeting is replaced by the voracious yet less violent Seelenreiter; a tantalising whipping up of ears and imagination opening with welcoming siren like blasts of trombone before sculpting a maelstrom of swirling sonic tendrils and heftily resourceful rhythms.

It is a fine end to an album which only grows and impresses more with repeated plays. Wait twenty odd minutes after the last note of the closer and there is a more than decent secret track, but the best is already in the open, perpetually pushing Tranquillizer and their enjoyable scourge of a release to new attention.

Des Endes Anfang is out now @ https://tranquillizer.bandcamp.com/album/des-endes-anfang

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Pete RingMaster 26/01/2016

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[Evertrapped] – Under The Deep

Photo - credit - Luc Delorme

Photo – credit – Luc Delorme

As much as the melodic enterprise and accomplished brutality of Under The Deep breeds major satisfaction it is the rabid gnawing of the senses from start to finish of each and every song which sealed the deal for ears and thorough enjoyment of the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers [Evertrapped]. It was the ebbing and flowing but persistent underbelly of the album which caught the imagination and appetite most securely, it in turn allowing the craft and invention of the band to create their absorbing narratives over and around it. The result is a release which might not turn the metal year on its head but definitely gives it another highly pleasurable and flavoursome kick.

The Montreal-based [Evertrapped] first emerged in 2007, its name intentionally written with enclosed brackets “to signify the trappings of modern life for all of us and how people, despite their best attempts to break out of the mould are still affixed to a simple controlled existence and futility.” Consisting of guitarists Frederick Dupuis (ex-Daggerfalls) and Vincent Benoit, drummer Eric Lemire (ex-Apocalypsys, ex-Ice Castle), bassist John Yates (ex-AraPacis), and vocalist James Brookes (ex-Ammonia, ex-One Final Moment, Continuum), [Evertrapped] has earned a formidable reputation for their live presence which over time has seen them share stages with bands such as Kittie, Deicide, Cryptopsy, The Catalyst, The Agonist, Slaves On Dope, Dark Century, BornBroken and numerous more.

Album Cover - Evertrapped - Under The Deep_RingMaster Review     2010 saw the release of debut album Tales From The Supermax, with its successor The Anomaly unleashed two years later. Now the band has uncaged the primal yet precisely sculpted ferocity of Under The Deep on the senses, its exploration that “of the deepest reaches of human madness. Not clinical madness, but simply the darkest regions of the soul and the blackest part of the human heart from a mind found to be socially functional, but is really way too far gone. And thus it seeks to explore what is underneath the deepest depth, hence no matter how deep you descend there’s always another layer that can be torn away.” As suggested earlier, physically and sonically it shows no mercy or restraint but lines and veins its hostility with a nest of writhing grooves and atmospherically wrapped melodies that not so much temper the tempest but give it fascinating substance and drama.

From the dark ambient intro of […], the album explodes with Arise From The Ashes, its violent roar set up by the climatic voice and bedlamic finale of its predecessor and quickly ravaging the senses with antagonistic nostrils flared and predatory recriminations spewing from the guttural ire of Brookes. With that great unrelenting nagging at the heart of its storm, the track explores a web of sonic endeavour cast by the guitars and marshalled by the barbarous incitement of bass and drums. It is an enjoyably formidable start matched by the even more vocally rapacious and musically carnivorous Underneath The Deep. Like the raw soundtrack to a vicious version of the movie Falling Down, provocation sparking a game changing reaction, the song twists and swirls like a malicious dervish as again trails of melodic vapours and sonic imagination add to the creative tapestry holding its own to captivate ears and imagination in the throes of the fury.

From one highlight of the album to another as Palace Of Injustice in similar vein but with its own character, bullies and entices in equal measure. The band has been compared to the likes of Arch Enemy, Unearth, Whitechapel, Soilwork, and The Black Dahlia Murder, and it is easy to hear why across this magnetic offering alone, suggestions again backed by the blistering lyrical and physical causticity of Hypnotized By Hatred. A song themed by the scenario of relentlessly being told one is worthless until it becomes belief; it is a torrent of intensity and rhythmic pressure which seems to return after each evocative melodic turn with even greater animosity and violent craft.

Fair to say each track, and the album, has much more in their depths than seemingly shown at face level, a wealth of textures and resourceful individual and united invention which needs time to find the light. The rewards in turn are plenty as proven by the excellent Blood Of The Fallen. One of the more immediate thick persuasions and thus another pinnacle of Under The Deep, it too still reveals over listens skilful nuances and contrasting hues to its corrosive bellow to become only more compelling over time.

Both Lethal District with its virulent swing within a dystopian savagery and the middle finger defiance of Burning Through Vengeance keep ears and appetite full and fiercely content whilst Reaper ignites an eventfully searing blaze of attitude, emotion, and sonic temptation boiled up into a torrential onslaught of whipping beats and carnal riffs. Entwining it all though is more of the tantalising craft of Dupuis and Benoit, their weave of suggestive melodic toxicity and erosive endeavour framed perfectly by the ruggedly rousing bass lure of Yates and the scything swings of Lemire.

The album concludes with Embrace The End, a final tsunami of spite with a no punches pulled reflection driven superbly by the continually impressive diversity and emotion of Brookes’ vocal delivery. The song is an enthralling and exhausting close to an album which just seems to blossom further with every dive into its heart. You, like we suspect many, may have yet to focus your attention on [Evertrapped], but it is a missing out easily remedied by a long look at Under The Deep.

Under The Deep is out now digitally via Hellstorm Recordz and @ https://evertrapped.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-deep

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Pete RingMaster 20/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Either Way – Behind The Light

either way_RingMaster Review

Hailing from Compiegne in France, Either Way is a melodic death metal proposition which makes a rather appetising introduction to itself with Behind The Light. The band is the solo adventure of Ludovic Ciszewski, a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist who after playing in an array of bands, including Scythians, Osm’oz, Dead N Crazy and currently Monolyth, decided to start his own project to undertake dark melodic explorations inspired by the likes of Before The Dawn and Dark Tranquillity. Behind The Light is the debut release from Ciszewski, with just solo guitar contributions from Mich alongside his own sole endeavours recorded in his home studio.

The album opens with Across the Light, and a beacon of crystalline keys and floating harmonies which just reflects on the imagination like the sun on water. Subsequently dark tones of bass and slow but strong beats join the brewing shadows spread by the guitar, the emerging atmosphere only growing until its brief body evolves into the following Redemption. Swiftly sonic and rhythmic drama is striding purposefully through ears, an early gothic climate initially smothered but reappearing in equal tempting as the raw vocal tones of Ciszewski come forward. Personal tastes took time to come to terms with his certainly accomplished but distinctive and generally samey delivery, a wish for more variation the main lingering request as when he does expand his vocal presence within the album, it brings a new light to songs. Nevertheless it is a raw texture which does work well with the aggressive nature of the song and against the melodic radiance lining the enjoyable start to Behind The Light.

cover_RingMaster Review     Phoenix comes next, it too opening with a classical caress of keys before being joined by more robust and rugged lures spawned by riffs and punchy beats. Though not intimidating, there is immediately a dark air to the song which breeds a rousing and commanding canter lit by the still bewitching keys and the aggressive nature of the guitars and voice. Progressive enterprise mingles with death bred malevolence perfectly, the track like a dangerous but alluring flame just getting more intensive and compelling with every passing minute before making way for the similarly enticing Always Look To The Star and in turn the darkly reflective Evil In Me. The first of the two is a rousing fusion of symphonic and melodic expression with a predatory turbulence guided by the caustic tones of Ciszewski. The track borders on spellbinding, the guitars a riveting persuasion merging numerous styles and ideation and the keys just emotive beauty on the senses. Its successor from a melodically hued and vigorous entrance slips into darker depths of emotion amidst a threatening atmosphere, Ciszewski ‘s voice early on pushes its diversity a little for the first time and to great effect, though it is the guitars which steal the plaudits within the provocative and intensive embrace of ears.

The opening bass welcome is the first irresistible temptation in the outstanding Red Eyes, a track which has a touch of Type O Negative to its emotive outpouring and roaming shadows. Once more keys and guitars entwine for a sonic narrative to spark the imagination and excite ears whilst the rhythms create a commanding skeleton as ripe with contagion as the fiery sounds around them. The best track upon Behind The Light it carries a catchy swagger but loses none of the inciting theatre and dark creative flesh which colours all songs on the album.

The jagged riff built scenery of Faces leads into an equally riveting and highly imaginative landscape of melodic intimacy and at times bruising ferociousness, though this time it is magnetically tempered by the warmer and colourful exploits of keys and for once clean vocals. Generally the impassioned energy and aggressive urgency of tracks overshadows the melancholic beauty to great effect but this time it is the other way round, and followed by a more equal union within the relatively lighter body and funkiness of Trouble In My Mind. There is a noir bred intrigue and sinister resonance to the melodic sky of the song, a haunting beauty which coats its hearty stroll whilst after it, Scarecrow takes its dark edge into stronger ravenous depths for an encounter which takes time to come alive in thoughts but impresses more with every listen.

The release is completed by Black Soul, its first touch a mesmeric piano bred hug full of emotion and elegance. It is accompanied a little further in by a physical narrative of footsteps on crunchy stone before blossoming into another theatre of craft and invention with returning clean vocals as appealing as the ever evocative keys and guitar imagination, not forgetting spirit arousing rhythms.

Creatively and musically, Behind The Light is thorough pleasure, a release continually revealing more with every play, and it is only to our ear’s loss that the vocals do not hit the same spot, something which will not apply to most enjoying our recommendation to treat yourself with the first Either Way album.

Behind The Light is available now from online stores.

Pete RingMaster 17/09/2015

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A.C.O.D – II The Maelstrom

ACOD_RingMaster Review

There is no doubting that the new album from French melodic death metallers A.C.O.D lives up to its name, II The Maelstrom a fierce and uncompromising tempest of sound and emotion which could be the soundtrack and reflection of the turmoil in the world right now. The thirteen track encounter sears ears, withers the senses, and grips the imagination with its fusion of creative twists and varied flavours, and though a punishing conflict from start to finish it makes for one compelling incitement.

Formed mid-2006, A.C.O.D has increasingly gripped attention with a sound seemingly bred on thrash and blackened seeds alongside its prime death metal heart. It has been an evolving proposition over time, and one luring increasing acclaim and spotlights the way of the band. Debut album Point Zero was released in 2009 with its successor First Earth Poison two years later. Both were well received though the five-track EP Another Path in 2013 has been their strongest bait on ears and appetites for their sonic fury; that is until now. Produced by Shawter of Dagoba and mastered by former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader, II The Maelstrom is A.C.O.D’s most creatively hungry and impressive offering yet and from its first moments the Marseille quintet takes no prisoners.

acod cover_RingMaster Review   Straight away Another path swarms ears with ravenous riffs and imposing beats to instantly destabilise the senses. It is a hellacious yet controlled start which offers a carnivorous bestial bassline and sound to drool over which continues even as intensity and energy is kicked up a gear or two soon after. This marks the entrance of the raw throated vocals which in turn sparks a further thrash infused onslaught, but one which dips in and out of melodically honed lapses in ferocity. They are mere breaths in the again best described as swarm of riffs and rhythms, the guitars additionally creating an alluring web of sonic persuasion across it all.

It is a great start matched by the slightly less rabid Way of death, a track again bulging with highly tempting grooves around irritable riffs and rhythms. As it proceeds the track gets more volatile but equally inventive as spicy melodies escape guitar strings and vocals spill ire coated but more patient aggression. As in the first song there is a thickness in air and sound which means a kind of acclimatisation is needed but it comes quickly whilst laying lures to draw ears back again and again to explore more. This applies to the whole album as evidenced again by the following pair of Abuse me and Ghost memories. The first of the two is a predator, a beast gnawing on ears and spreading rancorous enmity but like those before, fuelled by a virulence which just grips with consummate ease thoughts and an already brewing hunger for the release. Guitars flirt with sonic enterprise whilst the bass chews on the senses in tandem with the scything swing of sticks on drum skin, the blend a merciless treat which continues in its successor. Featuring Soilwork’s Björn ‘Speed’ Strid, the track looms over the listener with a wall of barbarous rhythms and again a tide of nagging riffs which only evolve into something just as destructive and magnetic as a vocal blend entices whilst melodies wind through the sonic turmoil. It is a glorious assault and provocation of the imagination, especially as haunting winds and industrial tinged elements make full use of calmer moments.

From one major highlight to another as the vicious smog of Words of War descend on the senses, its composed savagery anthemically riveting and physically intimidating for a bracing and once more evolving assault. It is that fluid and unpredictable ability to twist around and explore contrasting if still lethal adventure in songs which turns II The Maelstrom from a good album into a thoroughly thrilling proposal. Both Black wings and the excellent Rise confirm that, their individual impassioned uproars further defined by the intricate craft and ideation veining each, though in the former of the two the rousing and corrosive breath of the track wins out whilst Rise is another which just steals the passions, its torrential grudge bound in impressive imagination whilst keeping its savage jaws in undeterred motion.

Cold is another peak, its melancholically stringed, melodic opening bewitching but subsequently swallowed in the belly of the sonic beast and another thumping anthem of bad–blooded barbarism. That animosity is on the first gasp of the following Death breath too alongside an enticing of acidic grooves and waspishly nagging riffs whilst Unleash the fools which sees Shawter also guesting, finds its strongest bait in the clean vocals and the hostile invention which seems to especially bloom around them. It is arguably the weakest song on the album yet leaves you wanting more and subsequently basking in a folkish/melodic metal sculpted oasis midway which just lights up ears.

II The Maelstrom is concluded by the trio of firstly Fallen, another strong song not quite having the same potency of those before, the classically hued and thrash fuelled Crimson, and finally the album’s title track which like an apocalyptic bear bellows and smothers ears in a swamp of raw passion shaped by toxic grooves, crushing rhythms, and scarring vocals. It also provides a melodic refuge within its storm which leads the listener out of the release with a warm and elegant peace.

It is hard to say that II The Maelstrom is something majorly new for the death metal scene yet it continually provides something fresh and inventive to the ear within its more recognisable turmoil. The result is one richly pleasing and satisfying encounter, and as suggested earlier, the finest aural ravishment from A.C.O.D yet.

II The Maelstrom is released September 15th

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2105

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Dienamic – Afterlife

Promo Picture Dienamic_RingMaster Review

Norwegian metallers Dienamic offered themselves up as a seriously promising proposition with their debut album Surfing the Apocalypse. Now confirmation has arrived in the rousing shape of Afterlife, an attention grabbing confrontation which still suggests there is more to come from Dienamic and still to be discovered by the band within their creative depths, yet provides one compelling and very often incendiary incitement to leave nothing less than full satisfaction in its wake. The band is still establishing itself in many ways, yet to really step from the crowd, but with Afterlife as evidence is destined to be part of the staple diet of a great horde of metal fans now and ahead.

Formed in 2009 or 10, depending where you look, the Tromsø hailing Dienamic quickly unleashed their thrash fuelled, death lined raw metal via a self-titled EP the same year. That in turn sparked the band’s renowned live assaults and hunger which over the years have seen them tour the likes of Japan, Central and Eastern Europe, and of course their homeland. 2012 saw the release of Surfing the Apocalypse, a swiftly devoured and acclaimed proposal marking the band out as one of the new promise flooded protagonists in the world metal scene. Backed by that live presence, which only helped increase the stature and reputation of the band across 2013 and since, Dienamic has given confirmation of their blossoming sound and impact through Afterlife. With guitarist Eivind Kjær Killie, bassist Kenneth Iversen Muotkajærvi, and drummer Sebastian Jacobsson joining band founders in vocalist Gustav Harry Lindquist and guitarist Stein-Odin Johannessen, a line-up coming together late 2014, and the signing with Italian label Worm Hole Death too, Dienamic is ready to stir up some spotlights and appetites with their new album; something it is already beginning to do with its release a few short weeks back.

cover_RingMaster Review     The Reaping starts Afterlife off, a squeal of riffs the perfect appetiser to the barrage of feisty rhythms and nagging riffs which follow. It is a quickly riveting start which continues to worry and entangle ears in acidic sonic temptation. The grouchy growl of Lindquist is quickly in place to add to the intimidation and lure of the song, his input the trigger for a broadening weave of winy grooves and an addictive torrent of addictive riffs and rhythms. Like a mix of Pantera and Bloodsimple, the song is a masterful and persistently enjoyable start to the album instantly awakening full involvement of ears and appetite which Innocent Gun makes full use of straight after. The second track has a similar basic landscape but in different hues and shades of attitude, musically and vocally. Soon striding with a belligerence to its infectious bait of swinging beats and spicy grooves, the song reveals a whole new character to that of its predecessor whilst being the extension of its creative devilry.

Essences of bands like Testament and Exodus creep into the opening parade of enterprise within the excellent Revolution for Nothing, strains which get repeated throughout in between masterful roars of voice and emotions wrapped in infection soaked, melodic rich exploits. Good unpredictability also enriches the track, not bringing major moments to wrong-foot ears but enough to ensure every twist, each turn in the aggressive flight, is fresh and distinctly inventive, a quality highlighted again within the more primal Where God Feeds. Riffs are carnivorous from its first breath whilst the bass prowls the song with a predatory air as drums sticks swing some shuddering beats. Once more thoughts of bands like Pantera are lured out in the course of the ravaging grooving, as also of others such as Stam1na and Gojira for varying reasons.

The pair of Dance with the Devil and You Still Walk leaves the body breathless and a little greedier for more, the first through its thrash fury bound in anthemic ferocity and rapacious enterprise and the second, if not with quite the same impact, with an evocative storm of more prowling endeavour and skilled craft from each of the band. This is a song which grows and enthrals even more over time whereas others make a more instant impression, like the hellacious and riveting tempest of Generation Reboot. An infestation of rhythmic animosity and grooved seducing that bellows and buffets the senses with raw energy and rabid enterprise, it is easily one of the major highlights of the album.

One of but not THE one, that title falls upon Overthrown and its ordered bedlam of wicked beats, grievous riffery, and emotional intimidation speared by tendrils of sonic imagination. Again it is not easy to say the track is wholly original but all familiarity embraced is twisted into a tapestry of physical discontent and bordering on barbarous seduction as it stirs the passions. Amongst many impressive tracks it is the standout antagonist and more evidence of the quality within and still brewing inside Dienamic.

The album’s title track is breeding similar pleasures next, its fierce opening outpouring evolving into an oasis of melodic metal warmth before erupting into an even more venomous and intoxicating stalking of ears and air. The track is danger and bewitchment rolled into one before the melodic shimmer of The End completes the album. It is a melo-death seeded offering which as elegant and melodically entrancing as it is has a raging fire in its emotional belly, a furnace of angst and intensity which oozes from every pore of the album’s potent finale.

Dienamic are not close to touching their pinnacle yet but in Afterlife show they has all the armoury to become a highly notable presence in world metal and, as here, offer some highly satisfying and very often imposingly thrilling adventures along the way.

Afterlife is available now via Worm Hole Death.

Pete Ringmaster 02/09/2015

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