Call To Arms – Invictus EP

Call To Arms_RingMaster Review

If the members of Call To Arms are as young as photos of them suggest, then it is hard not to be gripped by intrigue and excitement as to how good this band could become given the impressiveness of debut EP Invictus. Made up of five voracious and inventive metal tempests, the release hits the listeners straight between the eyes with its raw hostility cast into imaginative and confrontational anthemic persuasion.

The band began in 2013, formed by vocalist Dean Donnelly alongside original bassist Jordan Conway. Quickly the line-up was completed by guitarists Daniel Tyrell and Niall Ennis, lead and rhythm respectively, and drummer Ben Deane. Concentrating on honing their sound for the first few months, it is fair to say that the Ballymun hailing Call To Arms quickly whipped keen vocal attention and support. Making their live debut at The Academy, Dublin as part of The Blastbeat: Battle of the Bands, the band has gone on to share stages with the likes of Avatar, Fozzy, and Chelsea Grin and personnel wise seen Alex Caffrey replace Conway and recently after the recording and release of Invictus, Deane leave the band.

Produced by Joe Cleere, Invictus as suggested earlier, is an imposing and striking entrance by the band, needing very little time to make a potent impression as opener Our Salvation gets to work on ears and appetite. Featuring guest vocals from Sam Gorman of Enshrined, the track builds a thumping invitation with rhythms and spicy grooves, its lure heavy metal bred but keeping in its creative pocket for now, the subsequent rage fuelling its presence. Soon hitting a thick stride though, vocals spill antagonism and combat in their raw tone and delivery, matched in kind by the bass as the guitars spin an infectious web of hooks and abrasing riffery. It is like a mix of Biohazard and Killswitch Engage in many ways, yet has a freshness which especially hits as band and song twist in unpredictable and gripping enterprise. As it evolves and expands its imagination, a psychotic influence hits the song’s compelling bassline and vocals, their moment to stalk the psyche only leading to another ferocious assault posing as the climax.

Cover_RingMaster Review     Bullet With Your Name steps up next bullying ears with vocals and ravenous sounds though yet again there is an infectious spine and adventure to the track which has you welcoming its vicious assault. As in its predecessor and songs to come, there is as much a punk/hardcore richness to the tempest as a thrash/metal breeding, though it is the latter spawning another magnetic persuasion of emerging imaginative twists and endeavour. The individual skills and resourcefulness of the band is also in open evidence as well as an eagerness to push ideas and textures with elements of discord and unpredictability.

The release continues to impress and reveal new aspect within the band’s songwriting and sound as Imprisoned Darkness unleashes its fury next. Opening with a mesh of acidic grooves which in turn spark a delicious hook which can only be described as Dead Kennedys like, the song rallies attention and emotions. Those initial lures continue to grip within a sonic and vocal abrasion unafraid to colour its animus with elements of classic metal and metalcore like hues. It is inescapable persuasion though soon outshone by the upstanding Mirrors, its opening military in rhythmic tempting and militant in attitude. Once more metal and hardcore unite in one hellacious and infectiously alluring examination veined by skilled and flavoursome grooves amidst rich sonic exploits. The track takes top honours within Invictus and if you want a teaser before braving the Call To Arms onslaught, it tells you all you need to know about band, sound, and their stirring potential.

The EP is closed by The Core, a final uncompromising anthem you just know will have venues throbbing with bodies and attitude. Thrash and punk bred, the track is an intense and incendiary end to a tremendous first look at and feel of the Call To Arms sound and presence. Invictus is pleasingly raw and shows the band still finding its unique feet but there is no doubting that we have one rather promising and exciting protagonist in our midst which can only get big, bolder, and more fearsome.

The Invictus EP is available now @ http://calltoarmsirl.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/CallToArmsIRL/   https://twitter.com/CallToArmsIRL

RingMaster 03/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

Silent Divide – Master Of Disguise EP

SD Promo Photo_RingMaster Review

Let us introduce you to Silent Divide, a UK quintet who has just released one stonking beast of a debut unleashing some of the best heavy, voracious rock ‘n roll heard in an introduction in a long time. It is a highly anticipated proposition from a band having already ignited their local scene and now with a national submission to their roaring sounds in their sights, and it is hard to imagine the Master Of Disguise EP failing to achieve that success.

Essex bred Silent Divide, since forming in 2014, have gigged nationwide igniting crowds at venues such as O2 Academy Islington, Barfly, and The Waterfront Norwich along the way. Even before the EP’s release, the band had been approached to have its sounds played on numerous radio stations across England, Europe, and America; that enthusiasm adding to the eagerness of the band’s fans in wanting to devour the now revealed seriously impressive collection of songs.

Silent Divide’s sound is a fiery mix of metal, heavy rock, and plenty more; every song within Master Of Disguise bringing its own individual character and flavour to the diverse yet flowing landscape of the EP. There is also a snarl and dynamism to their music which can savage and seduce or roar and caress simultaneously, and it all begins with Pieces That Bleed. The track is an attention grabbing, adrenaline igniting slab of punk metal which along with a sonic trespass opens with the gnarly barracuda bass tempting of Jonny Darko. His strings growl with bestial seduction, gripping ears and imagination as the guitars of Joe Wright and Anthony Berry score the air as they uncage their own predacious set of riffs and grooves. In full swing, the song has ears and appetite truly alive, especially once it settles into a stalking stroll of a gait around the quickly impressing tones of Marianne Harrington. Things are soon tenaciously grouchy and lively again though, the song like a mix of US band Mongrel and Britain’s dragSTER with Harrington’s superb delivery reminding of the former’s front lady Jessica Sierra.

SD EP Cover 2_RingMaster Review   It is a rousing and exhilarating start backed as forcibly and enjoyably by the EP’s title track next, followed after by the thoroughly pleasing Silhouette. The release swiftly reveals a broader canvas to its adventure, guitars casting a spicy stoner-esque toning to the steadily brewing and eventually erupting grooves. With the dramatic and skilled swipes of drummer Luke McCormick guiding and puncturing its body, the song sculpts a web of antagonistic rhythms and creative contagion, every hook, twist, and vocal incitement unpredictable and inventively virulent. Again it is a track as much punk and metal as it is intensive rock ‘n’ roll, and again quite irresistible before it makes way for its successor. The third song stalks the senses with riffs and beats before slipping into not so much mellower essences but more expansive scenery of warm melodic rock and emotional resourcefulness.

As we suggested earlier, each song is an individual in sound and ideation, proven again by Crimson Crier. A southern drawl lines the opening coaxing of acoustic guitar, a sultry twang which is emulated in the country-esque/folkish delivery of Harrington. The tantalising balladry ebbs and flows in intensity as emotional and musical crescendos blaze away within the reflective and seductive croon of the song. Fair to say the track was not as immediate on these ears as others around it but has grown to be one of the major highlights with its Heart like hues and simply mesmeric presence.

The EP ends as it began, with a thunderous incitement bringing body and emotions a feverish offering to get involved with. Broken Name is more alternative metal than its predecessors, more proof to the depth of the band’s songwriting, but again has a raw and aggressive edge which is metal bred and driven by punk attitude. Arguably the most anthemic song on the release, it leaves EP and listener on a major high.

You may have heard good things about Silent Divide previously or they may be new to you, but all the rich things said have been proven and more by Master Of Disguise, one of the most thrilling and potential thick proposals this year.

The Master Of Disguise EP is out now digitally and on CD @ https://silentdivide.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/silentdivide.uk  https://twitter.com/silentdivide

RingMaster 03/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

Watertank – Destination Unknown

SLF019 - hi-res cover_RingMaster Review

After ten years of existence, French rockers Watertank released debut album Sleepwalk in 2013 to heavy and deserved acclaim. Like for so many, it took our ears and appetites to hungry heights; in the words of our review the release was “an instigator of the purest temptation.” Now the band unleashes its successor Destination Unknown and lures even lustier responses with its irresistible concoction of sludge, stoner, and various other compelling styles. Taking the essential essences with made the first album so potent; Destination Unknown emerges as a fuller, more gripping proposal of sound and invention which in turn shows that its predecessor was just the appetiser to greater Watertank alchemy.

The Nantes band began in 2013, swiftly forging a strong fan base and reputation for their sound and stage presence with increasing success over the years. A couple of well-received EPs earned strong attention and praise before the release of Sleepwalk, whilst on stage the band proceeded to play with the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Baroness, Capricorns, Lair Of The Minotaur, and The Ocean amongst a great many. The band’s first album certainly sparked new spotlights upon Watertank though not to the level now expected to be aroused by Destination Unknown.

The album opens with Automatic Reset and straight away transfixes ears with its opening mist of guitar; the sonic shimmer quickly followed by a bulging blast of heavy riffs and rhythms. With them a groove also joins the tempting, its lure relaxing as the song settles into its stroll and welcomes the dusty tones of vocalist Thomas Boutet before returning with even spicier toning to its sultry tendril. Just as quickly a contagious air floods the encounter, a persuasion which never loses its potency as the song shuffles up its gait and intensity across the rest of the magnetic offering. The guitars of Rémy Bellin and Bojan Anicic continue to wrap ears and song in resourceful and gripping enterprise, greater colour added to the excellent start to the album all the time.

Straight away it and the following Fever reveal a more rounded and deeper depth to the band’s music, a less raw and caustic sound which still retains the growl and intensive weighty hues which fuelled the previous release. The second song is a far more aggressive offering than the first, punkish in its attitude and energy with wiry hooks to match. The bass of Maxime Coste is a grumbling potency whilst drummer Jocelyn Liorzou lashes skin and senses with adventurous and antagonistic scythes. It is a glorious riot bringing a mix of Torche, eighties band Skyscraper, and a touch of Motorgrator to entice before making way for the gentler smouldering charm of Contrails. It is still a heavyweight proposal though which seems to grow and loom over the senses with every passing second. Once more hooks and grooves grace a dynamic web of imagination and primal temptation, the latter at times as intimidating as the swings of Liorzou and the predatory riffs.

The song closes with similar reflection soaked calm to how it started, drifting away so the heavy resonance of Coste’s bass can lure attention ready for an intensive crawl of riffs and grooves. DCVR is another swift inescapable persuasion equipped with a sonic tang and commanding stature, not forgetting an addictive swagger even with it is on the prowl. It is also another track showing the greater expanse and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound, and their ability to perfectly entangle rugged terrains with highly provocative ambiences of sound and emotion.

   The bubbling electronic start to Last/Lost Hope instantly catches expectations unawares and by surprise, though they are barely given a nibble to feast on within Destination Unknown anyway. Its enslaving coaxing soon evolves into a thrilling and lively shuffle of sonic and melodic festivity guided by the ever appealing tones of Boutet. At times elements of post punk and new wave, as well as noise rock, seem to add their spice to the infectious tapestry of the rock popper, a strong catchiness emulated again in the dirtier but just as contagious Surrender. As much as you can find hints in varying degrees of bands such as Torche and Queens Of The Stone Age to the song, there is an older hue to the outstanding stomp, elements across its kinetic two minutes recalling eighties and nineties seeded ingenuity.

Doomed Drifters explores the darkest shadows and corners of the band’s sound but again tempers it with a sonic and melodic resourcefulness which energetically and brightly smoulders as it masterfully fuse contrasts and flavours. Seducing with greater and more experimental suggestiveness for an emotionally provocative and atmospheric climax, the song leaves ears enthralled and primed for the bewitchment of the similarly expansive landscape of Scheme. Growing bigger and bolder with every passing harmonious whisper and melodic enticement, the song dances and flirts with ears and imagination, recalling a strong if coincidental feel of Comsat Angels to its exceptional and thrilling adventure.

The album ends with its just and adventurous title track, Destination Unknown a thick provocative embrace which evolves and then revolves through a soundscape of sonic and emotional intensity. It is a fine finish to an exhilarating proposition. Watertank certainly thrilled with their first album but leave it looking a touch pale against the creative vivacity and explosive drama of Destination Unknown, one of the most exciting encounters this year so far.

Destination Unknown is out now via Solar Flare Records @ http://shop.solarflarerds.com/categories/pre-orders and http://music.solarflarerds.com/album/destination-unknown

https://www.facebook.com/wtrtnk

Ringmaster 30/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

 

 

Straight Line Stitch – Transparency

Photo credit- Benjamin and Beverly Ross

Photo credit- Benjamin and Beverly Ross

Whether Straight Line Stitch is a band you ultimately take to or not, there is no escaping the fact that their sound demands attention. Their evolving mix of metal and rock is a dramatic and inventive proposition which explodes with fresh and rigorous tenacity in the band’s new EP Transparency. Consisting of six tracks which can uncompromisingly snarl and masterfully seduce, creatively savage and forcibly charm across their individual bodies, the EP is a rousing and fiercely enjoyable encounter from a band which never compromises their sound and invention but still manages to shape it into one easily devoured adventure.

Released via Pavement Entertainment, Transparency sees the Knoxville, TN trio reinforcing their core fusion of metal and hard rock with new transfixing twists and detours whilst retaining its recognisable and potent substance. The threesome of vocalist Alexis Brown, bassist Darren McClelland, and guitarist Jason White have not sculpted a major departure to the impressive offerings within their previous acclaimed album The Fight of Our Lives of 2011, yet the tapestry of ravenous and melodic invention is loaded with greater predacious and captivating temptation than ever before. It might just be a handful of songs but the EP suggests Straight Line Stitch have tapped into a new vat of inspiration and resourcefulness which can only further unfold ahead.

SLSCOV_RingMaster Review     Transparency opens with Out of the Shadows, a brief instrumental intro which entices well enough with its evocative air and elegance but fair to say the release properly gets going once Dark Matter suddenly roars from within the parting kiss of its predecessor. Brown’s aggressive raw tones rage first, swiftly joined by hungry riffs and rhythms bound in a tight vine of alluring grooving. In a matter of a few additional moments, Brown unveils the other side to her vocal prowess, her melodic persuasion casting new colour to the sonic tempting fermenting within the song and providing another step in the ever impressive and seamless diversity in her delivery. A carousel of predatory hostility and alluring pop rock around a carnivorous spine, the song itself is a persistently captivating engagement which is quickly matched by Out of Body.

The third track opens with warm enticing, guitar melodies caressing ears as the gentle tones of Brown flirt with the senses. As bass and drums harden their character, a stronger growl begins lining the song though it relaxes when keys spark harmony rich calmer passages within the song. Like a mix of In Flames and Lacuna Coil yet with an intimacy which gives the encounter its own distinction, the song heftily pleases before making way for Face of God, a track with volatile shadows to its depths and virulent contagion to its anthemic tempting. It is a stirring mix of textures with riffs and bass almost bestial in their intimidation and rancorous sound whilst vocals and melodies cast blazing rays of evocative beauty. Things continue to shift and twist in the body of the outstanding encounter, the EP’s best moment a kaleidoscope of unpredictable and easily digestible enterprise.

Wilderness is a savage provocation from its first breath, riffs and rhythms preying on ears with antagonistic imagination and fury which is soon matched by guitars and vocals and their own aggressive ingenuity. The fierce theatre subsequently slips into oases of melodic beauty, sparking new potent bait for appetite and imagination to feed from even though the blistering track’s dark side is never far from the surface. It is a template taken to its own imposing success by Human Bondage, though the closing song does lack the spark of uniqueness found in its predecessor. Nevertheless it is a maelstrom of rabid almost carnal riffs, grouchy basslines, and almost fell vocal ire entwined with warm and soaring radiance spread sonically and through the dynamic tones of Brown.

The song is a thick pleasure bringing another thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling incitement from Straight Line Stitch to a pleasing end. The new adventures within Transparency may not make it the best offering from the band to date, though it is right up there in many ways, but they suggest something major might just be in the pipeline and brewing very nicely for the band’s next album or proposal.

Transparency is available from June 30th via Pavement Entertainment.

https://www.facebook.com/straightlinestitch

RingMaster 30/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

STUNNING NEW VIDEO SINGLE FROM IMMENSION RELEASED

Immension Online Press Shot

Steel City metallers ‘Immension’ continue their climb with the brand new video single for ‘In Vain’ which is taken from their debut album of the same name and out in stores now.

Watch ‘In Vain’ right here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9poeYC-qeXY

By pulling from a host of sources, but namely the layered webbing of ‘In Flames’ and the accessibility of ‘Trivium’ and ‘Arch Enemy’, Immension have carefully crafted a sound that cunningly blends the fundamentals of contemporary and metal; the end result is absolutely exhilarating.

Immension were originally formed in 2008 in Sheffield by founding members Jake Kearsley and Tim Dolan. Drummer Jonni Sowter entered the fray in 2011, and the aspiring riff beasts soon set to work on honing their sound. It wasn’t long before the Steel City crew hit the road and toured throughout the whole of the UK. The band then went on to record and self-release two EPs. Both records sparked extensive praise and support from Kerrang!, Rock Sound, Total Rock Radio, Terrorizer and Powerplay Magazine, all helping to catapult the band to a national level.

Immension’s debut album, ‘In Vain’, has just been nationally released and it sets a clear marker, drawing a definitive line in the sand for the trio. The riff slingers now lift the album’s namesake as a new video single and are set to charge forward. The single is an energetic assault on the senses that will undoubtedly pull you in, while highlighting the band’s maturity and careful texturing through perfectly woven guitar work and thoughtful arrangements. The Yorkshire metallers are here and are poised to reach new heights.

– IMMENSION’S VIDEO FOR ‘IN VAIN’–

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9poeYC-qeXY

https://www.facebook.com/immension https://twitter.com/immension

The Ghost Next Door – Self Titled

TheGhostNext Doorband_RingMaster Review

Sometimes a band name can alone ignite potent intrigue, spark an instinctive interest. Fair to say The Ghost Next Door easily did that but where so often others fail, the Californian quartet backed it up with a just as intriguing and fascinating album, a self-titled debut ripe in invention, unpredictability, and dramatic textures. The release is a tantalising weave of diverse styles and bold imagination honed into something as contagiously addictive as it is rousingly anthemic. Description of The Ghost Next Door sound is destined to vary from listener to listener and all will be no doubt right in varying degrees but one thing expectations can assume is most will be waxing lyrical about the outstanding proposition.

The Ghost Next Door name is inspired by the supposed haunted house that founder and vocalist/guitarist Gary Wendt (ex-Skinlab, Sacrilege B.C.) found himself living next to and its sound forged from a desire to “marry the dark melancholy of 80’s and 90’s alternative with the aggression and drive of Bay Area metal.” Linking up with bassist Seanan Gridley and drummer Sean Haeberman, the band after forming played around California for a few years but unable to really find their niche disbanded. Continuing to work on recordings already underway though, Wendt with the help of people like Steve Green (Skrew/Skinlab) recorded and mixed The Ghost Next Door debut album, following it with a reforming of the band. Gridley reunited with Wendt whilst the line-up was completed by Sacramento guitarist Aaron Asghari and drummer Paula Sisson from Remagen in Germany. Since its return the band has hit the live scene with hunger again, playing with the likes of DRI, SpiralArms, Dr. Know, and Comes with the Fall amongst many. Released via Mausoleum Records, their first album is now let loose and if you needed proof that rock and metal could be boldly adventurous, intelligently inventive, and make an instinctive partner in lust, this is it.

It all begins with Forever My Demon, an electronic mist slowly emerging with suggestive tones and subsequently spawning bulging rhythmic bait and evocative melodic tempting. Already there is an anthemic core luring attention, bait enhanced by atmospheric keys and eventually a potent wash of caustic guitar. As Wendt releases his vocal persuasion too, there is a mix of metal and rock enveloping ears and imagination with thoughts of Stone Temple Pilots and nineties heavy rockers Skyscraper swiftly coming to mind. It soon evolves again though, a grunge and fiery groove driven colouring joining the already established textures, they in turn slipping into a progressive/ heavy metal twist. It would take a page long review to cover the full thrilling adventure of this song alone to be honest, it’s busy but fluid and bold enterprise further emulated in every unique track upon the album, but fair to say all perpetually leave ears enamoured and appetite greedily hungry.

TheGhostNextDoorRingMaster Review     Proof comes in Crickets straight after, its heavy and eagerly prowling riffs instantly encasing ears as rhythms keenly jab throughout. As swiftly guitars spill wiry hooks at will, their barbs gripping ears as vocals and melodic hues begin thickening the enticement. As in the opener, every moment of the song comes with creative drama and unexpected turns of ideation, ensuring that though it does not quite rival the success of its predecessor, it is a riveting enjoyment, though soon outshone by the invigorating All Fall Down. There is a familiar air to the song, though for no obvious reasons, but this only adds to the swift seducing of ears through tangy melodies, spicy grooves, and more antagonistic beats and vocals. A heavier growl is soon pushing the track but again it is all relative to the moment in the song, progressive and hard rock essences as much an open input as melodic and groove metal in its absorbing weave.

Ten Steps Back backs up this new plateau breached by the album straight away, it and the following triumph of Dead Things. The first of this pair entangles ears in tendrils of guitar and accusation fuelled vocals, their restraint but strong tempting enhanced further with outbursts of harsher, more hardcore like punk expulsions of emotion and sound. With stabbing scythes of sonic ingenuity bridging this cycle and a subsequent harmonic flirtation teasing with a pause midway, the song is a kaleidoscope of imagination with its second half as distinct and seamlessly crafted as the first. Even listening to it constantly, every partaking of this song and indeed album brings fresh rewards, its successor another prime example. More ruggedly direct than the last song in many ways, its roars and strolls rigorously with hearty beats against just as sinewy riffs, their intensity urged by the great mix of vocals and bound in a rich sonic web of sparkling endeavour.

Bully lives up to its title, springing from a deliciously tangy dance of guitar hooks into a predatory stalking with the bass especially vocal in intimidating intent. Eventually it rises into a full bruising and mouth-watering incitement with those initial lures still working spicily away to ensnare, the following mellow melodies within resonating rhythms bringing the seduction. The track completes a quartet forming the pinnacle of the release though it is not the end of the inescapable persuasion and creative alchemy of the release.

The beginning of next up Eleven O’Clock Blues is almost theatrical, vocals and rhythms entering with a swinging gait against the more aggressive surge of riffs. Everything is soon entwined in a revolving fury and melodic embrace, the former aspect the thickest texture breeding an array of metal based ingenuity and flavours. To try and simplify the glorious body of the song, try to imagine a mix of Machine Head, Killswitch Engage, Alice In Chains, System Of A Down, Tool…actually don’t it probably will still be wide of the mark as already we say do yourself a favour and simply go explore the album and bask.

In hindsight this song is another of the album’s greatest successes, and another increasingly thrilling proposition with every listen just like the far gentler but no less magnetic Fragile. The song is a feisty croon which is as seductive in its mellower moments as it is in its impassioned blazes, and without managing to reach that lofty perch set, leaves only fresh greed and pleasure in its wake before album closer Famous Last Words similarly cradles and bellows over the senses with irresistible charm and inflamed passion. With a rich strain of thrash and classic rock in its ferocious belly, if not the stronger unpredictability of other proposals, the track is a powerful end to a stunning album.

If like us the band name sparked a flicker of attention do follow it up, and if it does not still launch yourself at The Ghost Next Door, a band and release which truly has something for everyone but in an exhilarating tapestry like no other.

The Ghost Next Door is out now on CD and digitally via Mausoleum Records @ http://www.music-avenue.net/mausoleum/detail.php?id=251158

http://www.theghostnextdoor.net/    https://www.facebook.com/theghostnextdoor

RingMaster 16/062015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

UMA COMPILATION 2015

PICReputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It is time for the Underground Metal Alliance (UMA) compilation of some of the best underground metal bands in Italian, and once again UMA Compilation 2015 awakens ears and attention to a host of highly accomplished and thrilling encounters. With a line-up selected by fans and the UMA jury, which included members of Exilia, Sadist, Nanowar as well as managers of studios and festivals, plus other bands already part of the selected UMA roster, the album is an eclectic treat which is all the more sweeter through its availability as a free download for all.

It kicks off with Milan symphonic folk metallers Atlas Pain and their track Each Uisge, a rampant canter of rolling feisty rhythms and raw folk tenacity. It roars and bristles with magnetic persuasion lifting its potency further when allowing a Celtic influence to flirt with the aggressive heart of the excellent starter. It is a fine opening continued by Avoral, epic metallers from the same city, and the dramatic War Is Not Over. With nagging riffs, enjoyably theatrical vocals, and muscle-bound rhythms, the track is an attention grabbing bellow which even ears not quite enamoured with their seed genre can find plenty of resourceful and imaginative textures to enjoy and be involved in. In any large compilation you will always find some songs not quite fitting personal tastes but from start to finish it is fair to say that the compilation has little difficulty sparking a healthy appetite for the strengths and unique characters of all those involved.

Caelestis and Calico Jack are another example of the diversity across the release, the first a Naples duo creating provocative blends of post/progressive rock and shoegaze which immerse ears in captivating landscapes and the second pirate folk metallers from Milan who stomp over the senses and into the imagination with their busy and fiery adventures. The band’s songs are poles apart yet alongside each other, Ode Al Mare and House Of Jewelry make a highly satisfying union backed by the following punk folk metal of Evendim, their raucous temptation Whiskey On Fire an instinctive whipping up of energy and participation from those taking a swig of its rousing persuasion.

A web of nu and progressive metal cast by Pescara quintet Fake Heroes is next and quickly emerges as another keen favourite. The strong vocals in On The Hill are a mellow lure within skilfully conjured tempestuous sounds which busily twist and entice around them. Featuring Giacomo Castellano, the song is a compelling embrace of emotive and technical tempting, almost volatile at times though it is soon clear that GorganerA have that area cornered with their malevolent fusion of death and black metal. As shown by Veleno, The band embraces familiar inspirations yet though only one song, as it stalks and barbarously seduces ears there is an open variety of flavours and ideation ensuring the track stands out.

Away From My Fears from Edolo trio Hell’s Guardian is one of the songs which on first listen seem to lack the spark of others but with persistent listens begins revealing its eventful and increasingly enjoyable attributes, the vocals especially growing in stature and raw charm. It is a slow burn of persuasion, just like the following Falling Snow from avant-garde metallers Ideogram, but an increasingly impressing one. The latter’s offering from its first breath casts elegant melodies and evocative sounds in a masterful invitation, the track subsequently growing into an unpredictable and again persuasive offering as operatic and guttural growls bring their striking mix to an unrelenting maelstrom of musical enticement.

Como quartet Ignotum offer a slice of their enjoyable debut album Larvas Mortal God next, the atmospherically fiery and raucously trespassing Hecatomb Memories an intrusive and compelling insurgence of the band’s black/death enterprise. Its mighty incitement is matched by Kanseil and the excellent roar and devilment of their track Panevin, a song which leaps upon ears from its first breath inciting pleasure physical and emotional enjoyment from thereon in with its anthemic and melodic folk metal revelry.

Novara avant-garde metallers Locus Animæ is another band taking longer to get into, their startling sounds and minimalistic ambiences a pleasingly testing adventure with constant rewards ensuring their song, which also carries the band name, grows to be another welcome proposal over time. Similarly Insane Asylum from heavy rockers Mary Brain is a y less immediate tempting compared to other tracks but soon turns into a raucous highlight with its jagged riffs and predacious personality.

For personal appetite and ears, the album hits the sweet spot over the next handful of songs, starting with the excellent Mechanical God Creation and their slab of technical death metal brilliance, Shadow’s Falling. The song is a brutal beast of intensity and craft, a track making you stand up and pay attention with consummate ease. To be fair every song on the album does do that, though maybe few as commandingly as Milan quintet’s offering. It is followed by Lady Loneliness from Misteyes, the song a bewitching serenade of gothic metal led by a beauty clad caress of female vocals and keys. It gets darker and nastier over time but never loses its elegance and grace.

The outstanding rapper/masked guitarist Red Sky is next, his percussively lively and rhythmically compelling track I 7 Vizi Capitali, an undiluted temptation. The track is a quickstep of animated ideas and atmospheric shadows, a riveting jungle of stirring textures and shamanic tones kissed by the pipe seduction offered by guests Kanseil. Its enslaving persuasion makes way for Scum and their ferocious assault on the senses, Becoming Heavier. Thrash bred, punk infested, and woven with a host of metal essences, the song is a delicious and bracing onslaught, rich in craft and unbridled in fury, and quite thrilling.

Gallipoli heavy metallers Serial Vice provide a heftily flavoursome roar next with You Are Heroin, the song another inescapable anthem bellowing from within the album, whilst the blackened death metal fuelled Il Culto Della Pietra reveals its creators Veratrum to be a gripping and quickly intriguing prospect from Bergamo. Both songs are ripe with enterprise and craft, the latter of the two a broad expanse of textures within a mix of blistering hostility and alluring melodies.

The collection is brought to a close by a trio of tremendous creative outbursts, starting with Roma heavy metallers Whisperz and the rabid tempest of metal bait called Malicious Intent. Taken from their self-titled album, the track is a rugged and flirtatious lure of old school and modern metal, a rousing of attention and energy which the following Winterage takes on its own bold journey with The Harmonic Passage, a symphonic power metal recruitment of body and emotions, and yet another inescapable anthem bursting out. If there is still anyone yet to find their feet listening to the release, there is no chance of remaining uninvolved as Wolfang brings it all to a storming end with their fiery riot of Wild Forest. It is symphonic folk metal let loose to ravish air and ears with unbridled passion and energy.

It is a fine end to an invigorating and exciting release. Italian metal is blooming right now and the UMA Compilation provides all the evidence whilst shaping up to be one of the best collections of artists to thrill ears in recent times.

You can get your copy of UMA COMPILATION 2015 as a free download HERE.

http://www.undergroundmetalalliance.com/
RingMaster 24/06/2015

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