Hostile Array – Self Titled

With a sound delivering a punch as rich and inescapable as that of the heart and lyrical confrontation it surrounds, the self-titled debut album from US post hardcore outfit Hostile Array s one striking and impressive introduction. That forceful, indeed imposing attack though comes in layers of enterprise and imagination which equally enticed and ignited an always searching appetite for fresh, exciting, and individual.

Emerging in the initial weeks of 2017, Maryland hailing Hostile Array have already hinted at the potential of the album and gave a rich taster of their sound through a couple of singles. Their music is tagged as post hardcore but has real depth and adventure to its character embracing an array of metal and punk spices alongside inspirations cited as including Underoath, Norma Jean, Silent Planet, and Architects. Consisting of Brendan Frey, Garrison Frey, Hector Fernandez, Fredy Menjivar, and Andrew Markle, the band also has a ferocious lyrical intent and touch, songs getting their claws into political and social issues, corruptions, and ill-doings.

The album opens up with the outstanding Herd Instinct, the track one of those first couple of singles luring keen attention. Sonic intrusion and rhythmic baiting opens its tempting, a great grumbling bass soon in tandem with fury fuelled throat rasping vocals. Quickly though there is imaginative hints licking at ears, blossoming with melodic enticement and wicked hooks as the roar continues to harass air and social mentality. It is a cauldron which continues to evolve, metal bred textures coursing hardcore irritability; invention escalated by the potent landscape of clean and raw vocal dexterity.

Bastardized follows with its own ferocious incursion, snarling and blistering the senses from its first breath before sharing a more nu-metal natured breath with a touch of bands like Spineshank to it. Snapping and jabbing at ears, the track springs toxic contagion and intense discontent within an atmospheric melody stranded weave; seducing whilst preying on the listener before Wiretap uncages its own ferocious animus with instinctive catchiness and melodic suggestion at its core. There is a whiff of Deftones meets Architects to its growing body but to be honest as all hints offered to tracks, the Hostile Array sound absorbs and turns all in its own individuality.

Next up Devoid brawls and hollers within atmospheric smog next, it’s calm but portentous climate an emotive glaze to an inner volatile frustration while Migrant Myth is a net of metallic wiring around a blaze of unbridled displeasure. Both tracks invigorate their already resourceful landscapes with tenaciously adventurous twists and turns spun from unpredictable and contrasting textures. The second of the two is immense, too short but a thrilling trespass of persuasive enterprise igniting the passions for the following sonic and melodic fire of Newspeak; a track quickly burying itself in ears with emotional intensity and melodies as descriptive as the words they colour.

New single Warmonger is next, looming up from a distance with the animosity and skilled dexterity its title suggests. The throaty grumble of the bass and the composed bone splitting swings of beats incite the sonic flames and vocal voracity which climbs their irritability; they in turn like accelerant sparking melodic shimmers into senses broiling, emotionally burning flames.

Viciousness and tempting contagion shape up Calloused, it as body inspiring infectious as it is vocally and lyrically scathing with a tapestry of flavours and invention to accentuate both aspects. The song flows straight into the waiting jaws and feuding tendrils of Bluebird, it an equally accomplished and magnetic patchwork of ire led emotions and flavours woven into one fluid and riveting trespass.

Final track Disillusioned is a pyre of punk and metal malcontent and emotional grievance within a skilled bedlam of imagination and ferocity. It is a powerful striking last attack in a charge of nothing but; a truly memorable departure demanding a swift return to the album to face, endure, and thrill at its creative challenge and vendetta on world ills. There have not been too many post hardcore bred releases which have truly fired us up in the past couple of years but Hostile Array have not only provided such a treat but one which deserves to be considered as the best of the lot.

The Hostile Array album is released June 1st, available @ https://hostilearray.bandcamp.com/album/hostile-array

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

Pete RingMaster 29/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eryn Non Dae. – Abandon Of The Self

Can it really be approaching six years since French metallers Eryn Non Dae. left us and so many others drooling over their last album Meliora. It was a release which continues to lure and led us at the time to boldly suggest that extreme and progressive metal had a band which would “continually stretch the wide genres to impressive heights.” At last they have released its successor in the invasive shape of Abandon Of The Self; an encounter which more than justifies our claim.

Since the release of Meliora, unsurprisingly there have been a fair few bands and releases which have offered similar striking propositions. Many have pushed the boundaries of genres which are never slow in exploring new trespasses and adventures anyway.  Abandon Of The Self now steps forward to join that collection of inspiring encounters, and we dare to say from the very frontline of the triumphant wave.

Formed in 2001, as The End, the Toulouse hailing quintet released their debut album, Hydra Lernaïa, through Metal Blade in 2009. It was a spark to attention and an already well brewed reputation the band had nurtured through their live presence and earlier EP. Meliora brought a whole new plateau of sound and imagination with its unveiling in 2012 which Abandon Of The Self has now escalated with its atmospheric drama and sonic invention.

Once again Eryn Non Dae. linked up with Mobo for the recording, mixing and mastering of Abandon Of The Self and swiftly gripped attention and the imagination with opener Astral. It looms in from a distance, static distortion shimmering in its air as a rhythmic shuffle soon infests ears and incites even keener attention. The raw throated scowl of vocalist Mathieu Nogues erupts against the track’s swing, the guitars of Franck Quintin and Yann Servanin gathering their wiry lures to subsequently wind around the pulsating surge of the growing trespass. Calm, clean vocals rise within the brewing tempest, conflicting atmospheres colluding rather than battling around the intrigue and voracity of the song. The rolling beats of Julien Rufié unite with the rhythmic grumble of Mickaël André’s bass to magnetically entice but it is the layers of contrasting textures and the immersive breath of the track which really pulls the listener in.

The compelling start to the album is thickened by the menace lined flirtation of Stellar. Nogues vocally walks through atmospheric intimation; his tones and expression becoming more intense as guitars weave a captivating almost feral aurora of sound as again rhythms court the predacious climate with their manipulative swing. It is a truly magnetic soundscape for ears to embrace and the imagination to explore, the band’s own lyrical and physical suggestion equally sparking fresh ventures in thoughts even as the senses increasingly cower before the brewing celestial storm.

Omni similarly sees Nogues with an initially controlled and provocative presence within a kaleidoscope of melodic and sonic wiring around the ever infectious craft of André and Rufié. Though inescapably invasive and disturbing, the ambient winds cast by Quintin and Servanin are tantalising, hinting and probing the psyche whilst allowing the volatility in the song’s heart and atmosphere to increasingly infest their mercurial weave. As with all songs and the album, every listen unveils new melancholic aspects, rapacious shadows, and dark depths to feast upon but equally a radiance which only draws you back time and time again.

The following Eclipse has a bubbling urgency to its predatory rock ‘n’ roll which arouses the senses just as potently as the atmospheric ferocity and seduction which entangles via the guitars. Every corner of the song and band unleash a compelling statement of emotion and enticement, again lust and fear hand in hand as submission to its evocative inferno was swift and inescapable before the epic flight of Halo invades and consumes, driven by further outstanding rhythmic engineering of song and the senses it manipulates. Getting lost in its soundscape was easy, immersing in its angst and emotional turbulence similarly certain, every moment of its ten minutes plus a refreshing intrusion of body and psyche.

The album closes with firstly Fragment, a pulsating inferno of intensity and untethered dissonance from voice to melodic toxicity and rhythmic incitement, and finally through the apocalyptic realm of Abyss. As with all tracks, the pair escort, no drag the listener through soundscapes which never settle and never allow predictability or an absence of adventure confront ears, the latter especially monstrous yet majestic as ire and fury merge with monolithic beauty and ravenous passion.

Though Abandon Of The Self made an immediate rich and irresistible impact, it was with time that is really gripped and thrilled as those dark corners and skilled layers were further exposed. The band describes their album as “a trip into the depths of the soul”, its press release, “a beast of a release!” We can only endorse both and suggest Eryn Non Dae. have not only sprung their finest moment yet but one of the year’s essential listens.

Abandon Of The Self is out now via Debemur Morti Productions; available @ https://erynnondae.bandcamp.com/ or https://erynnondae.bandcamp.com/album/abandon-of-the-self

https://www.erynnondae.com/    http://www.facebook.com/ERYNNONDAEofficial/

Pete RingMaster 21/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hail the Hatter – Discovering Light

Being suckers for anything with a hint of insanity, lunacy, and mayhem we had a certain appetite to check out the debut EP from Trinidad outfit Hail the Hatter when offered the opportunity all because of its great suggestive cover. The Mad Hatter image on its cover sparked that eagerness and once inside we can certainly say the release more than satisfied on all three aspects. More so it revealed a band with a dab hand at creating infectious hard rock ‘n’ roll with a penchant for metal bred revelry.

Hail The Hatter was formed by guitarist Dax Cartar and vocalist Jonathan Boos, the pair swiftly enlisting drummer Nicholai Assam on drums, and Devin Harry Paul on bass. As the band began thinking about recording a clutch of songs they had written, personal reasons meant the bassist had to leave the outfit but was soon replaced by Aaron Lowchewtung. Produced by Maarten Manmohan and Nicholas Marsan, Discovering Light introduces the band’s fun infested sound to the world through six tracks, a sextet of varying but constant captivation lying in wait behind the opening doom laden introduction of The Coming of the Hatter.

From that dark threat and its storm coaxed shadows, the rapacious Bone Grin strolls, bass and beats lining the way as Cartar’s guitar teases and subsequently flames across the song’s swiftly installed swagger. Boos is soon in the mix with his vocal mischief and roar, hooks and grooves following as hard rock meets raw rock ‘n’ roll in the seriously catchy opener. Classic and glam rock traits add to the web of sound while metal nurtured invention brings devious aggression and predacious virulence to the mix; it all making for an easy to devour first stomp with Hail the Hatter.

It’s almost bedlamic prowess is followed by the devilish exploits of God Bless The Beast, the track like a punk infested fusion of Mötley Crüe and Converge. It needed little time to tempt and persuade, scythes of guitar and swinging rhythmic trespasses instantly igniting the senses even before Boos and Cartar uncage their creative appetites. The track is swiftly matched in success and enterprise by the groove woven A.O.A.U. Straight away its Caribbean toned rhythms had the imagination hooked, those subsequent spice flushed grooves adding to its inescapable lure. As with other tracks, the song’s sound is maybe not particularly unique but as its imagination, every twist and turn of sound brings a freshness which demanded keen attention.

The sinister psychosis of White Walls is accompanied by a prowling sound, its psychotic air and voice contagious rock ‘n’ roll as rich and loco as you could wish. Throughout its unhinged antics, riffs inflame rhythms swing, and grooves incite, vocal unity an anthemic icing to its predacious lunacy before Akasha releases its own shadow brewed shuffle and mystique coated melodic dance n the imagination. Middle Eastern hues hint and intimate throughout even as the flirtatious calm of the song erupts into just as addictive tempests. Everything is skilfully woven and passionately delivered with Lowchewtung uncaging one glorious dirt encrusted snarl of a bassline to cap the inescapable temptation.

Song by song the EP just gets bigger, bolder, and more impressive; continuing the trend with its final and best moment, its title track. From the opening dark groan of cello, Discovering Light just enthrals; its continuing stroll thick in suggestion and beauty as guitar and bass join its evolving drama. Equally a hint of mental instability flickers in its dance before the track unveils its full rapacious and increasingly frenzied rock ‘n’ roll. The track is immense, the show stopper even within a handful of similarly striking encounters.

Though Discovering Light had ears and attention in its hands pretty swiftly, it is with subsequent ventures into its creative dementia that its truly got under the skin, so much so that it has barely allowed anything else to grab a place on the just for pleasure turntable in our offices. The EP is not perfect if such a thing exists but gives rich pleasure from start to finish, never a bad thing in our book, and ripples with the potential of greater dark deeds ahead with Hail The Hatter.

Discovering Light is available now @ https://www.hailthehatter.com/media-get-album and for a limited time as a free download.

https://www.hailthehatter.com/      https://www.facebook.com/hailthehatter

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Desert Storm – Sentinels

Can it really be around four years since British groove monsters Desert Storm unleashed their critically-acclaimed Omniscient? It is undoubtedly true that time flies when you are having fun, the release still stirring our attention amongst the horde of new encounters submitted to us. Now the band has uncaged its successor in the bold shape of Sentinels; a dark tempest of a proposal which confirms the Oxford based sludgers as one of metal’s most compelling propositions.

Desert Storm has never been slow in pushing evolution in their sound but Sentinels marks their biggest step yet without losing the band’s trademark ear pleasing individual sound and character. Being ravenously heavy is one of their accomplished traits yet the new album manages to be a leviathan in that hue, almost oppressive at times in tandem with their darkest most tempestuousness creativity yet. Equally though, their imagination is at its most liveliest to date conjuring melodic intimation and mercurial adventures with magnetic prowess. It is fair to say that Sentinels did not quite bowl us over as immediately as the likes of predecessors Horizontal Life and Omniscient but there was no escaping its relentless persuasion and eventual captivation or the feeling that it is a compelling new step in the evolution and journey to even greater adventures with the band ahead.

The album immediately exposes its ferocity and the senses as opener Journey’s End roars into life, the distinctive snarling tones of vocalist Matt Ryan driving the skilful discord as riffs and rhythms gnaw away. Concussive yet carrying purposeful restraint, the song eventfully calms as a tantalising groove spirals through its breath, it leading ears into a waiting tempest of emotion and sound sculpted by the intimation cast by guitarists Chris White and Ryan Cole. Already there is something new and fresh about the band’s music, a sense of new adventure and exploration creating a web of contrasting textures and intensities shaping a song that made a potent first impression and only blossomed thereon in, much as the album over time.

The following Too Far Gone is swiftly into its sonic trespass, guitars again a searing intrusion and rousing incitement alongside the lumbering but tenacious beats of Elliot Cole and the dark hearted drawl of Chris Benoist’s bassline. A track tackling excessive binge drinking; a ”paradox of hard liquor being both the cause and the remedy of the sickness” according to Ryan partly inspired by the tragic tales of Bon Scott and John Bonham, it prowls and infests ears with a predatory but addictive quality taking the listener through alcoholism into death. As dark and menacing as it is, there is a certain catchiness which infests before The Brawl unleashes a tide of magnetic grooves and rapacious rhythms in the acclaimed Desert Storm manner. Emulating the title, Ryan entangles ears with his familiar ursine tones, guitars teasing with melodic fingering within the sonic winds. Its blues lining only adds to the temptation on offer, the song more expected Desert Storm rock ‘n’ roll but again with a keen fresh breath to its holler.

The melodic beckoning bringing Kingdom Of Horns into view is pure magnetism, its beauty bright yet melancholic and soon blessed with the harmonics of clean vocals as sonic winds contemplate their involvement. It is arguably the best moment within Sentinels, certainly a favourite passage which eventually breeds a raw and burly stroll still draped in melodic elegance and imagination. The song is superb, captivation at every turn and if a clue of things to come maybe the moment in hindsight the Desert Storm sound came of age which tells you it’s magnificence after all the goodness since the band emerged back in 2007.

There is a familiar classic metal lining to next up Gearhead and similarly that Desert Storm character which never takes much to tempt, the song jabbing and imposing its enjoyable personality before Drifter binds the listener in spicily searing grooves and rhythmic tenacity to incite and inspire physical and vocal participation. It too is prime Desert Storm so easy to devour for fans and heavy rockers alike as too successor The Extrovert, a bruising but magnetically grouchy stomp of riff and grooves with a matching aggressive rhythmic swagger and vocal drama. Cole simply controls the body from start to finish, his rousing beats commanding song and listener with devious prowess as the track gets under the skin.

The colder atmospherics and dark corners of Convulsion immerse and seduce next; the track looming up from its stark beginnings with an oppressive lumber and tenebrific air. That heavy suffocation though is the breeding ground for an eruption of pure metal virulence, grooves and hooks worming under the skin before new waves of heavy predation flow over the lusty enterprise. It never quite extinguishes their zeal though, instead embracing their spirit before Cole leads another highly persuasive surge of rhythmic and sonic boisterousness which teases and taunts from there on as another particular highlight of Sentinels is laid down.

The album concludes with firstly the melodic croon of Capsized, another song which almost deceitfully intoxicates, seducing almost straight away if not obviously until away from the album. Its melancholic calms have a volatility which erupt further on, settling down as the process repeats with increasing magnetism in just one more highly powerful and magnetic moment. It is left for the as good as three minutes of Outro (Thought Police) to complete the album, its stoner scented grooves and sludge thick examination providing a rich and provocative finale but one which feels like it is leaving unfinished business to take up and explore ahead.

As suggested, though Sentinels made for a highly enjoyable listen it did not make the same kind of immediate striking impression as its predecessors. It made up for it though with its thought provoking enterprise and an imagination driven creative tapestry, becoming more captivating by the listen as well as hinting that there is even bigger exciting times to come with Desert Storm.

Sentinels is available now through APF Records @ https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/ and http://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/

http://www.desertstormband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk    https://twitter.com/desertstormuk

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

VNDTA – Pale Glow

The moments of being truly bowled over by a release or ‘new’ band, introduction wise, seem to be far and few between right now but leave us on our backs with jaw wide open with exhilarated awe is just what British metallers VNDTA did with their debut EP, Pale Glow. With a sound which manages to caress and seduce whilst ripping out and feasting on the senses, the Hertfordshire quartet have just announced themselves as a real big deal.

Though formed in 2015, it was 2017 which saw the band really worry attention and acclaim as they shared stages with the likes of Aghast, Vanity, King Leviathan, and Confessions of a Traitor as well as a host of their own headlining shows. To be honest, Pale Glow is actually our introduction to the band and there could be no better a way to meet them and form a lustful union between music and ears.

Like a fusion of the raw aggression and spiteful trespasses of Iwrestledabearonce and Otep with the virulent catchiness of No Doubt and The Cardigans, the VNDTA (pronounced as vendetta) sound swiftly reveals itself within their latest encounter to be as unique to the band as you would wish. Tagged as alternative metal it embraces a host of other metal and punk flavours in its cauldron of intimation and intimidation. The recording of Pale Glow came within a turbulent time, vocalist Megan Targett admitting that “Recording the EP was probably the most difficult week of my life. We were broke, spent weeks living in my car; I ended an abusive relationship and lost a family member. But it didn’t stop me. We used the pain to fuel raw passion into the vocals and the music.” That passion is clear to hear as the EP’s tracks devour and arouse second by second.

From the moment the EP’s title track looms right up from its distant entrance attention was not only hooked but chained to what was to follow. Wiry tendrils of guitar wrap around ears immediately, senses slapping beats alongside and once the first track hits its voracious stride and the vocals of Targett unleash their incitement, the deal between lust and the devil’s music roaring from the speakers was done. Swiftly the singer impresses with a throat abrasing attack and venomous delivery but it is when she breaks into a glorious clean delivery that realisation at her talent is inescapable. Before then guitarists Callan Hughes and Jay Bacon gnaw at and chew on the senses, twisting and turning with grooves as their hooks pierce with imagination as the swinging rhythms of drummer Willem Mason-Geraghty infest body and spirit just as potently. The track is immense and no better way to succumb to the first abusive seduction of VNDTA.

Well we say that but the highlights just flood ears thereon in, the following Excuses a feral yet skilfully honed temptation as contagiously infectious as it is violently manipulative. Targett croons first this time, harmonically enticing as the band spin their creative web. There is of course a constant growl in the throat of singer and song, one subsequently erupting with carnal designs though still with melodic veining and atmospheric suggestion for inventive company. Involvement in voice and attitude is unavoidable as too with next up Swine, a tempest of contrasts and intensity amidst the drama of the imagination. Another as wickedly catchy as it is uncompromisingly gladiatorial, the song is another which just stirs body and spirit.

The visceral and physically twisted enterprise of Martyr is a sonic virus, getting under the skin and into the psyche within a few insidious breaths from where it burns and seduces with toxicity and beauty, again pretty much simultaneously as the sounds abound the senses with antipathy and infectiousness as Targett again simply exhilarates. The suggestive calm which bridges it and successor Rare Breed is magnetic yet soon in the past as the following creative escapade erupts. Again a tapestry of flavours and intrusion descends on ears and once more pleasure is swift and continuous. From voice to sound, melody to rhythm the song is a mercurial adventure rewarding at every twist and tempting at every turn imagination, unpredictability fuelling every moment.

Emotion and passion equally soak every breath and note, the final pair of Leeches and Virus blossoming with both. The first is carnivorous from the off, music and voice an intrusive animus but instantly as catchy as the lighter harmonics which intersperse the tempest of technical, extreme, and grooved endeavour with a fine line in progressive intuition. The track is yet one more immense moment within Pale Glow, a predator of the finest incitement pretty much matched by Virus. Straight away it gets under the skin though maybe no more than its other striking companions, but by the twist and turn it digs deeper and becomes more toxic and intoxicating but similarly graceful as it revolves its attack.

The excellent encounter completes the outstanding release, a nationwide introduction surely leading to bigger, broader, and richer things much as their sound blossoms across its length. Once in a while a band really excites, at the time and for things ahead. VNDTA has us drooling and we can only say go see why.

Pale Glow is out now, available @ http://vndtashop.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/VNDTA/    https://twitter.com/VNDTA_OFFICIAL

Pete RingMaster 17/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Godstone – Monument Of One

First impressions are not always the most accurate barometer to people and indeed bands but they can give a strong intimation when you are on to a good thing; a suggestion the debut EP from UK metallers Godstone strongly makes. Offering five tracks fuelled by a sound which is not maybe overly unique, the band’s music lying somewhere amongst the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, and Stone Sour, Monument Of One hits the spot with individual enterprise and a rousing breath.

From the south west of England, Godstone linked up with John Cornfield to record their first EP and from its first moments, Monument Of One makes for one magnetic proposition with its tapestries of ear entwining grooves, imagination stoking melodies, and spirit rousing muscle.

Over the Line starts things off, the song immediately setting the scene for the release with its rapacious air, imposing touch, and create weave; a delicious groove bursting with zeal from the initial coaxing upon a swinging gait. Guitarists John Kenward and Alex Goodrich quickly have attention keen as the punchy beats of Matt Davy hungrily collude with the dark grumble of Matthew Pascoe’s bass. Once the strong tones of vocalist James McDonald rise to add further lures, nicely backed by the melodic throat of Kenward, the song is in control of ears and body whilst providing a familiar yet certainly fresh slice of metal incitement.

The following Tear It All Apart offers its own striking invitation, again a guitar making the creative beckoning before the band unites in an infectious rumble as imposing as it is magnetic. With wiry grooves and a compelling conspiracy of hooks and twists, the song soon has ears firmly locked in feeding on its cosmopolitan melodies and aggressive dynamics. As suggested earlier, there is something familiar about this and other songs yet it has a character and style to its roar which sets the band apart from most.

A gentle almost melancholic caress brings next up The Way You Are into view, McDonald soon joining the inference of guitar and sombre twang of bass. The track’s eruption into a fiery trespass is fluid and resourceful though the song still retains a leash on its aggressiveness which only enhances its temptation. Potent first time around and even more compelling by the listen, much as the EP itself, the song adds another firm hand on ears and pleasure before Breathe crafts another rich moment within the release with its grunge/groove metal natured roar. Predacious yet seductive as its body and sound reveals a mercurial nature the song makes a strong play for best track.

Swiftly showing its candidacy too is final song Full Circle, it also a composed yet raucous holler of metal and heavy rock woven with grooved enterprise and melodic dexterity. It provides a strong and indeed fine end to a release announcing Godstone a band attention is bound to be good friends with. Uniqueness may still be in the brewing stage in the band’s sound but the potential is there and with encounters like Monument Of One the wait should be rather enjoyable.

Monument Of One is out now across all digital platforms and @ https://godstone.bandcamp.com/album/monument-of-one

https://www.facebook.com/godstoneofficial/    https://twitter.com/godstone_uk

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Basement Critters – Hurt Me With The Truth

Currently working on their debut album, Belgian metallers Basement Critters recently signed a worldwide distribution deal with Wormholedeath for their first official EP, Hurt Me With The Truth. It has given their highly praised offering, originally released in 2016, a broader voice, an invitation to a host of new ears and a sure to be fresh wealth of anticipation for that first full-length.

Thrash metal bred but coming with a richer variety of flavours, the Basement Critters’ sound is a mix of crossover adventure and thrash ferocity emerging as a beast akin to a fusion of Stuck Mojo and Testament. It is familiar yet pleasingly individual and unafraid to embrace any spicing which takes the West-Vlaanderen hailing band’s imagination. It makes for a rousing roar as evidenced within Hurt Me With The Truth, an encounter deserving of a fuller landscape to tempt.

 The EP opens up with Brain Bleach and instantly prowls the listener with predacious riffs and rhythms. Guitarists Sven Caes and Glenn Labie wind their bait and emerging grooves around ears as drummer Frederik Vanwijmelbeke pounds with controlled but voracious intent. In the midst of the sizing up vocalist Thomas Marijsse brings a raw agitation which in turn is courted by the heavy grumble of Frederik Declercq’s bass. The song continues to stalk and tenderise the senses, going up a gear or two but never going for the jugular. Instead it springs a virulent groove which had the body bouncing as a swift appetite for the band’s sound erupted. That cycle repeats with greater tenacity and intensity, the track making for a tremendous start with a vocal self-diagnosis adding to its instinctive contagion.

The following Storm similarly circles its target, guitars driving its intentions before inciting a voracious assault. Again the band twists and turns in its attack, urgency varying with unpredictable adventure as the song’s ferociousness ever deviates. The vocals of Marijsse epitomise that adventure, fluidly moving through a variation of dexterity in tandem with the sounds before Nature Strikes Back raids the senses with a more expected thrash offense but one lined with irresistible hooks and anthemic tendencies. The track is superb, a galvanic incitement mixing up the old and new with fresh boisterousness and craft. Declercq’s bass unleashes a delicious rabid growl throughout the EP, though sometimes seems a touch hidden by the exploits around him, and is in full rumbling voice here as it prowls the blaze of the guitars.

Hurt Me With The Truth concludes with the pair of Book and 39:16. The first saunters through ears with an almost doom laden gait, vocals reflecting their emotional tone and defiance within the song’s own thick voracity and predatory nature while its successor is thrash savagery and heavy metal flirtation rolled up in a multi-flavoured nagging of ears and spirit. It also slips into tantalising calm as the progressive instincts of the guitars conjure, rhythms rumbling alongside before sparking a further anthemic arousal.

It is a fine end to a release which we are so glad has been given a new chance to introduce the thrash adventure of Basement Critters. Like those things in the dark corners of the lowest depths, the band’s sound lurks and prowls, often teasing before lashing out with a delicious feral bite.

The Hurt Me With The Truth EP is out on all digital stores via Wormholedeath / The Orchard.

https://www.basementcritters.be/    https://www.facebook.com/BasementCritters/

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright