Luxembourg Based Progressive Metal Mob Scarred Stirring things up onthePsycroptic Tour

Scarred_press_RingMaster Review

Luxembourg Based Progressive Metal Mob Scarred Added To Psycroptic Tour

Announced as main support of Australian mentalists Psycroptic’s UK tour, off the back of their stunning slot at Bloodstock Festival, Luxembourgian metallers Scarred are set with their companions to leave England aflame on the last dates of the successful rampage around the UK.

Final date son the tour are at…

Oct 08 – Star & Garter, Manchester

Oct 09 – The Shed, Leicester

Oct 10 – The Exchange, Bristol

Scarred is a Death Metal Band from Luxembourg formed in 2003. Initially they started out as a Thrash Metal Project which released an E.P. called “Inner Scars” in 2004. However, through the years and after various line-up changes, they evolved towards a heavier and more brutal sound. In 2009 their first full-length album “New Filth Order” was released. Since then, Scarred has performed alongside many great artists and on major stages such as Wacken Open Air and Metalcamp. Due to many different influences, Scarred’s precise genre is hard to define and should be discovered.

On May 10 2013, Scarred has released their new album entitled “Gaia/Medea” under the banner of Klonosphere / Season of Mist Distribution. This Opus was mixed and mastered by Jochem Jacobs (Textures) at Split Second Sound Studio and features a guest solo by Attila Vörös (Nevermore, Leander Rising).

Zebras -The City Of Sun

Zebras_RingMaster Review

If you could sum up the rage and discontent burning through the world right now it would be in the same kind of angry roar to be found in The City Of Sun, the new album from US punk metallers Zebras. The release is a brawl on the senses, a violent incitement for the emotions, and simply the best thing to come out of the band and arguably hardcore fuelled metal this year.

There is no surprise to the potency and hostility drenching the release, Zebras’ self-titled debut album of 2012 and subsequent release and songs, have all been virulent animosity equipped with the ability to stir addictive tendencies through fearsome hooks, wild rhythms, and searching grooves. The City Of Sun is exactly the same but the trio of guitarist/vocalist Vincent Presley, keyboardist Lacey Smith, and drummer Shane Hochstetler have taken and stretched everything to new benchmark setting levels.

Again like the uncontrollable bastard son of Lard and Dead Kennedys, but with its own ever increasing identity, the Zebra sound instantly burns as opener Hollow Earth brings The City Of Sun to dynamic life. An initial spicily grained groove pierced by thick rhythmic jabs grips ears and attention first, that lure within a few breaths unleashing antagonistic tension and weight as riffs and swinging beats descend with great zeal around the raw tones of Presley. An already in place appetite for the band through past successes explodes with greed as the song continues to twist and rage, the trio spinning a lethal yet contagious web of violence and doom bred turbulence.

cover_RingMaster Review   It is an invigorating and addictive start continued by The Turning Of The Bones, where again the toxic invitation of grooves binds and enslaves as Hochstetler batters and Lacey’s keys stroke the senses. The repetitious nagging quality of riffs and grooves is also easily devoured manna, an essence which enhances every track upon the album as Presley’s ire shapes and colours the confrontational energy and heart of each incitement further like in the outstanding death shuffle of My Apocalypse and the corrosive majesty of The Bell. The first of these two bounces along throwing sonic spears and bone splitting beats out whilst ingraining the imagination with a hook lined groove carrying a Biafra and Co breeding. From one peak to another as its successor seamlessly escapes from its companion with its own hypnotically debilitating rancor and seriously catchy tirade of guitar and bass enterprise. Ministry at their corrosively niggling best comes to mind as the song continues to bind and scar but again the face and character of the song is all Zebras.

Baalbek is a rather similar tempest next, its body and lures closely matched to the previous track though with admittedly equal success, but in the only ‘issue’ with The City Of Sun there is certainly a kind of surface similarity to the tracks, and between others, which less bold and determined listeners might be fooled into thinking the album lacks strong variety. As The Garden swiftly shows it is not the case even though the template for songs is a constant seed. Expelling a thrash like urgency and tenacity, the song goes for the jugular straight away, uncaging more of the prime ravenous riffs and infesting grooves Zebras are already and set to be further acclaimed for. Swarming over the listener from every angle as vocals and drums create a hellacious and addictive beating, the track has ears ringing and emotions lusty, both more than ready for the barbarous tango of Levitation where punk and metal collude in engagingly oppressive conflict.

There is no let-up in the emotional fire and physical ferocity, or indeed the pleasure as firstly Solomon shares its exhaustive ill will and synth led exoticism and then Vitrified which comes forward with a sultry climate around a predacious turbulence of word, voice, and sound. The track is a spellbinding proposal, another fresh spark for the imagination with arguably the album’s most inventive and experimental song, and nectar for the instinctive desire for twisted tapestries of noise.

Closing with the sonic blaze and rhythmic grudge of Filled With Fire, Zebras leave the body shattered, senses drained, and emotions aflame. With only a wish for the synth craft of Lacey to be a little more forward in the overall production of the fabulous turmoil, Zebras has crafted another stunning release but more so their greatest triumph yet. They are a band come of creative age and with recent times seeing the band supporting the likes of Jello Biafra, Black Flag, Negative Approach, Melt Banana, High On Fire, Goatwhore, and Die Kreuzen, The City Of Sun offers inescapable reasons as to why Zebras should be spoken of in the same kind of acclaiming breath.

The City Of Sun is out now @ digitally, on vinyl, and Ltd Ed CD.

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2015

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Mindset X – Oceans

Mindset X_RingMaster Review

Since emerging in 2006, US band Mindset X has never been slow in enticing ears with hook laden and inventively melodic songs, creating anthems which grip the body as firmly as the imagination. Equally though the past years and releases have seen the New Hampshire trio explore a more progressively seeded enterprise as their sound and songwriting has evolved and matured. It has been a perpetual time of potent songs and attention grabbing releases luring frequent acclaim, praise forcibly matched by their live presence and hunger. Now the Manchester band has set down another benchmark with new album Oceans, a fascinating, imagination fuelled concept album unveiling band’s most expansive and emotionally intimate sound yet.

The eleven track encounter is an absorbing proposition which around body manipulating escapades, immerses ears and thoughts in a soundscape of emotional turbulence and discovery wrapped in atmospheric and progressive rock suggestiveness. Each track has its own tale, its own unique narrative of sound and word, uniting for one gripping incitement. As most releases, certain moments have bigger success with personal tastes than others but at no point does Oceans lose its hold on the adventurer sharing its journey or leave a quickly triggered appetite feeling unfulfilled.

cover_RingMaster Review       Recorded with multiple Grammy Award winner Jay Frigoletto and featuring guest appearances from Paul Bielatowicz and Simon Fitzpatrick of The Carl Palmer Band and John Wesley of Porcupine Tree, Oceans opens with the brief Zero 220. The track sets the album’s scene, the charm and solitude of coastal waves lapping the senses as a gentle melody courts the air. The imagination is on alert and quickly fed with the hard rock grooves and bluesy spicing of I Imagine straight after. Typical Mindset X in that it is a swiftly engaging stroll of inventive hooks wrapped in a melodic wine that intoxicates as it colours the growing context of the song. The distinctive voice of Steven Haidaichuk is as equally expressive as his guitar enterprise whilst the swiping beats of drummer Adam Cote provide a textured grounding to match the throaty growl of Paul Davidson’s bass.

It is an accomplished and highly enjoyable full start to the album but soon outshone by the band’s new single Shockwave. Striding in on a rhythmic magnetism cast by Cote, the track soon entangles ears in spicy sonic scythes and a moody bassline, all as contagious as they are suggestive. A fresh snarl lines the tones of Haidaichuk as he proceeds to prowl the persuasive web cast by the predator like encounter. Two thirds in and an apocalyptic aftermath sizzles, providing more food for thought with the lyrical side, before things are back in a virulent swing hard to resist let alone ignore.

From one peak to another and the glorious incitement of Flatline where again bass and drums spring a highly compelling and provocative trap that thoughts grip greedily, before a gentle caress of guitar hugs emotive vocals. The hypnotic lure of the track increases as crescendos erupt and caustically sizzle on the senses, the tribalistic rhythms continuing to provoke and bewitch as the heart of the protagonist theming Oceans melancholically flows out.

An electronic ambience makes a thicker presence in Island next, the keys of Davidson shadowing the melodic and emotion drenched croon of the classic rock spiced song. Though it does not quite light the same spark inside as its predecessor, the track is a ripe bloom of resourceful invention and creative colour which only feeds ears and mind with lingering enjoyment. Being placed within the might of the previous song and The Bends which follows does it no favours though; the new track a spellbinding wash of sinister atmospherics and sonic intrigue around more personal and intimate introspection from the album’s character voiced impressively by Haidaichuk. Around him, keys and guitar create a cloud of temptation, a climate stalked by the moody lure of the bass and graced by subsequent celestial harmonies.

The infectious rock ‘n’ roll of You and Me takes over next, its easily accessible yet precisely sculpted swagger a quick and unshakeable persuasion leading to a brewing addiction whilst the initial exotically sultry ambience of War and Crime lights a fresh fire in the passions with its smouldering seduction before breeding a glorious infestation of grooves and spiky hooks for gnarly rock ‘n’ roll drawing on angst and social inspirations for its virulent tempting.

The flowing elegance and melodic prowess of Castaway is another which does not tickle personal tastes as firmly but still leaves ears full of potent temptation. For others it will undoubtedly be one of the highlights and easy to see why with its emotional charm and melodic beauty, but for us The Great Divide Part I quickly steals attention from it with its instrumental theatre whilst setting up the imagination for the triumph of The Great Divide Part II. The closing song on Oceans, it is also the most inventive and experimental, Mindset X spinning a tapestry of numerous styles and flavours into an emprise of craft and heart which just gets stronger and more delicious, not forgetting irresistible, with each and every listen. The pinnacle of a consistently thrilling album, it is also quite possibly the best any song written by the band, ingrained favourites aside, a slice of invention as emotionally provocative as it is contagious. At times it is raw rock ‘n’ roll, in other moments a cinematic adventure, and persistently a progressive lined exploration to enthral and incite.

Mindset X has had a potent and increasingly growing sound for a fair few years now but they have tapped into something deeper and fresher within their imagination with Oceans, with us the listener reaping the rewards.

Oceans is out now through most online stores with the single Shockwave available as a free download @

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

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Akarusa Yami – Heavy Climb

AY Pic 1_RingMaster Review

This year has seen a host of impressive and imaginative progressive/technical metal releases and joining the most compelling and thrilling is Heavy Climb, the debut album from Akarusa Yami. The UK band has uncaged a mouth-wateringly unpredictable and fascinating proposal with their first full-length, not only building on the potential of previous successes but setting out a whole new template of adventure and uniqueness to explore further ahead.

Heavy Climb is simultaneously raw and sonically elegant, imposingly fierce and seductively bewitching and as suggested earlier, a striking step forward from its creator’s previously acclaimed offerings. Formed in 2010 by guitarist Tom Clarke and vocalist Tom Brumpton, the Nottingham hailing Akarusa Yami quickly whipped up ears and support with their sound and live presence, and in turn debut EP Ouroboros the following year. The quintet’s singles Third Eye, Wide Open and Millennium Is My Salvation lured potent national airplay across Europe and online whilst the band began being featured in the likes of Terrorizer, Zero Tolerance, and Metal Hammer (Norway). Their generally well-received second EP Trace Element Rebirth arrived in 2013, following successes like the supporting of bands like Textures, The Ocean, and Aliases as well as appearing at the Bloodstock Festival also in 2011. It also saw the new emerging direction in the Akarusa Yami sound and songwriting and it is probably fair to say for some it was not an immediate persuasion. It was though a gripping sign of things to come, and an intriguing teaser for what is now Heavy Climb. With a line-up completed by bassist Jake Bennett, drummer Adam Jones, and guitarist Julia Goatly, Akarusa Yami have honed and experimented with their sound, stretched their ideation and craft and subsequently the imagination of the listener with Heavy Climb; the result being certainly for us one of the most enjoyable and enthralling encounters of 2015.

Heavy Climb - Front Art_RingMaster Review     The album opens with The Old Man By The Fjord where instantly rolling rhythms align with engaging melodies and a shadowy bassline. The song does not grab attention but coaxes it for the same success before riffs get steely with their snarl and the voice of Brumpton growls attitude and aggression. Now ears and thoughts are firmly awake and held, and it is here where expectations start to unravel as the band begins their relentless emprise of invention and unpredictable ingenuity. A slip into an infectious passage of glowing melodies alongside clean vocals and harmonies brings a progressive tempting which is almost Horslips like, its presence entwined with more technical predation amidst the pulsating lure of keys. It is an engrossing start to the album which just gets stronger and more endearing with every listen, as indeed does the album.

Second track At Last, Sunlight (Endlich, Sonnenlicht) makes its entrance on a warm jazzy field of enticement, though the track soon uncages its ire and aggression fuelled volatility in a tempest again infused with gothic keys, sonic suggestiveness, and clean vocals which again catch thoughts initially unaware. It does not quite live up to its predecessor or the following title track but feeds an already strong appetite before its successor bawls at and brawls with the listener with irritable rancor and magnetic resourcefulness spread by the atmospheric keys and perpetually shifting attack of the guitars. The rhythmic swings of Jones are a constantly addictive bait in the mix too though it is the perfect union of metal savagery and electronic charm which steals the show.

The imagination is taken on a moonlit flight with the instrumental Long Nights In The City next, its ambience and emotive climate moody and melodic body exotic. Keys and guitars virtually writhe around and alongside each other in the minimalistic but thickly evocative piece before A Monument Built To Carnal Desire comes forward with its own melodic calm in front of a predacious and inventively tenacious storm. As the song erupts and spills its antagonistic and technical prowess, synths tour a vibrant electronic palette, at times flirting with Nintendo-core teasing and more often flowing with progressively symphonic hues. It is an absorbing engagement, the song managing to combine bestial and beauteous extremes in one thrilling incitement, a fusion taken to fiercer depths by And The Night Will Take Us All. Rhythms are barbarous yet anthemic with the guitars a source of swirling sonic toxicity whilst Brumpton leaves no animosity core stone unturned, yet throughout the bruising assault, smart hooks and electronic enterprise add their alluring touch and magnetism. It is the virulent irregularity and schizophrenic rhythms which lure the biggest portion of the ardour bred for the track though, they and the glorious melodic majesty falling from jazzy/Latin kissed guitar strings midway.

     I Work In Formaldehyde sees the band again immerse in its electronic/industrial inspirations early on before spinning another grouchy and insatiable web of carnal riffs, lethal beats, and the ever compelling vocal roars of Brumpton. It is angry, dark, and sinister, a song to keep the imagination and passions involved past its departure as too the exceptional Les Mere Terribles, which after the noir lit electronic lead of the brief instrumental Loving Parents, wraps ears in a spiralling of djent spiked trespasses and senses binding melodic enterprise. Vocals and rhythms take no prisoners, their intrusive drive a bracing onslaught enhanced rather than tempered by the spellbinding caress of keys and warm melodies as well as the outstanding clean vocals, Brumpton showing his great prowess and diversity.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by its most fascinating offering. The Natasha Trade is a haunting drama of a life trapped in a stark, unforgiving, and destructively enslaving situation voiced by guest Joy Shannon from Beauty Marks. It is a strikingly cinematic proposal, like a theme within a dark visual incitement such as Sin City and though it does not quite fit in with what came before in many ways, the thought of it not being included feels even more wrong.

Akarusa Yami have made a huge leap on from the ground seeding encounters of their previous EPs and now with Heavy Climb announced themselves as one of progressive/technical metals brightest and thrilling protagonists.

Heavy Climb is released on October 5th via the Akarusa Yami Bandcamp profile as a name your own price download.

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2105

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Random Hand – Hit Reset

Random Hand_RingMaster Review

Hands up, who also raised an expletive or two in disappointment when British punksters Random Hand announced earlier this year they were going on an indefinite hiatus to pursue other challenges in life? Well we can tell you now that the pain is going to get simultaneously better and worse thanks to the release of one of the band’s finest roars, final album Hit Reset. Whether it is because the decision has brought a freedom to the band in some way or it simply inspired a no holds barred energy to the creation of the twelve track storm as a last offering, but Hit Reset sees Random Hand at their most diverse, explosive, and passionate best with a little something indefinably extra too.

It is thirteen years ago that the Keighley quartet leap onto the British rock scene with their energetic and dynamic fusion of punk, ska, hardcore, and metal. The time since, has seen Random Hand earn the reputation as one of the UK’s best live encounters at home and further afield, and a host of varied and generally fiercely impacting releases. Now following a final flurry of shows this past summer, it all comes to an ‘end ‘ with the PledgeMusic funded Hit Reset; a giant slice of non-stop anthems which goes with the adages, “go out on a high” and “leave them wanting more”.

Random Hand - Hit Reset_RingMaster Review     Day One is the first encounter upon Hit Reset, its opening tinnitus of percussion amidst a tangy melody tempting enough but the mere appetiser to the explosion of punk metal ferocity and riffs driven by recognisable hardcore energised vocals matched in virulent strength by their clean harmonic counterparts. The swings of drummer Sean Howe seem to have new tenacity and aggression whilst the bass of Joe Tilston could just be at its most grouchy and compelling ever. It might be that ears are interpreting things in hope’s and assumption’s desired way but as the guitar of Dan Walsh weaves a web of antagonism and infection with intense enterprise and energy, that sense of freedom is a swift wonder.

As great as the opener is, the following Death By Pitchforks eclipses it with its strolling ska swing and relentless bounce. Juicy flames of trombone from Robin Leitch shoot across the addiction whilst vocals from him and the rest of the band are again as inescapably persuasive an incitement as the sounds hugging their alluring tones. It is a track which has body, emotions, and soul in relentless involvement, much as its successor Protect & Survive with its growling fury of Bad Religion tinged punk metal and a climax to arouse an empty room, and straight after If I Save Your Back… and its adrenaline powered punk ‘n’ roll stomp. The latter song also slips into some evocative dub/ska imagination and hardcore ire to add extra spice to the bracing revelry.

After The Alarm steps up next and soon forges another pinnacle for the album, its brass seared blaze and riotous stroll instant infection whipped up to greater potency by the choppy texture of riffs and the raw Reuben like contagion flying through ears for another richly inciting chorus. The track is glorious, definite final single candidate and alone a massive reason why Random Hand are going to be sorely missed; though every track upon Hit Reset spawns that feeling, Dead No Longer with its raucous thunder and Maybe It’s A Prize through its again Reuben spiced rapacity swift confirmation.

Dragging an eager body to the floor again, Pack It Up leaps and bounds into the imagination and an already lively ardour with its ska/punk ingenuity next, it too a track to whip up old and new fans alike with its busy and eventful collusion of styles and open passion.

A Clean Slate straight after is rock ‘n’ roll plain and simple, a boisterous call to arms for thoughts and bodies but a song unafraid to suddenly whip the floor from under the listener and take them through a melodic oasis of sound and tempting before entering an even more agitated and fearsome storm. It is a seriously invigorating proposition wonderfully contrasted by the addictive ska swing and rock groove of Abide which in turn makes way for more variety in the rip-roaring alternative rock/punk ‘n’ roll of Shelter As A Verb, both tracks a quick making addiction.

Closing with the no less irresistible As Loud As You Can, a song as post-hardcore as it bluesy, as punk and ska as it is old school rock ‘n’ roll, Hit Reset is a band at the height of its game, a game now sadly being put away in mothballs for a distant or possibly no further outing. Random Hand has left us with a classic though, an album which will continue to incite and excite in their absence. What a way to go!

Hit Reset is available digitally and on CD now through Bomber Music @

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

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This Burning Age – Desolation

this-burning-age-ep3-desolation-band-photo-5th-day-records-2015_RingMaster Review

It has taken a while to get here but now inciting ears and emotions, Desolation proves the wait was more than worth it. The new EP from British electro rockers This Burning Age is the third in a four EP cycle which began last year. The three track encounter is a rousing and forcibly provocative proposition proving that whatever has happened and evolved in the time between releases, the This Burning Age songwriting and sound has potently grown through it.

The EP’s songs feel physically and emotionally fiercer than ever but equally more inventively woven from the depth of sound and flavours which have always marked the band’s sound and releases. Originally a solo project for vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Friday, the Birmingham band emerged on the live scene as a full line-up after the release of debut album A Muzzle for the Masses. Wanting to take its heart and success to live venues, Friday enlisted guitarist/keyboardist Jon Farrington-Smith, bassist Davey Bennett, and drummer Christian Jerromes (since replaced by Jack Josypenko) to the band, with the years since seeing This Burning Age play with the likes of Fearless Vampire Killers, William Control, Heights, and Hundred Reasons amongst many.

this-burning-age-ep3-desolation-5th-day-records-2015_RingMaster Review   The band’s sound fuses essences of post-punk, industrial, Synth-pop and post-rock to really simplify its tapestry, with influences arising from bands such as NIN, Interpol, Rammstein, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins. It is a fusion which potently gripped attention through the first pair of releases in the four EP project. Both Supplication and Devotion revealed an evolution in the band’s sound with a fresh thick web of textures to that within the band’s album, whilst exploring the theme of love and sex in their destructive form across their songs. That growth has continued with Desolation, its tracks inspired by a look at death and the human condition. As to the timeline of songwriting between the EPs we cannot say but there feels a new maturity to the band’s latest EP which not only seriously ignites ears but offers the potential of even bolder and deeper things ahead.

First song up on Desolation is Tatterdemalion, a quickly voracious and rousing proposal but one just as quickly slipping through an unpredictable and tempestuous landscape of intensity and creative resourcefulness. From its initial fuzzy flame of riffs, imposing rhythms stir the blood with just as potent scything grooves getting involved. The song hits a commanding stroll before relaxing into a prowling gait lit by a great steely twang of the bass. This ‘restful’ passage in turn welcomes the distinctive tones of Friday, his expression and emotion as open as ever as keys glow with simmering but bright temptation around him. Fiery expulsions of energy and heart then drive the soon to break chorus, its ferocity lingering to add richer hues to subsequent melodic and slightly restrained moments. For the main though, the track is a cauldron of inventive twists and turns, an array of styles colluding in a striking blaze which at times pokes thoughts of bands like Joy Division, in others of the likes of Pitchshifter and Smashing Pumpkins or Trent Reznor and Anti-Clone.

The outstanding start makes way for Drown In Silence, a song which leans more or certainly quicker to its industrial and electronic rock side as lively cascades of punchy rhythms and suggestive synths fall upon ears before dissipating for the emotive reflection of voice and atmospheric melodies. Calm before the storm, the track is a furnace of emotive energy and heart but again thick intense shafts which share time and the imagination with increasingly volatile and ferocious crescendos, all these keen essences uniting in an explosive and dynamic climax to another increasingly contagious persuasion.

As striking and irresistible as they are, the first two songs are slightly over shadowed by the closing Ab Aeterno (From Forever), a mesmeric introspective unveiling from Friday in voice and emotion. A crystalline twinkle of keys light a creeping mist of evocative melodies from the song’s first breath, the vocals emotionally raw as guitars and stirring beats add their weight to the unfolding intimate drama. Like a mix of Bauhaus and very early U2 embraced by the dark ethereal craft of Nine Inch Nails, the song glows with charm and shadows, eventually igniting in a searing fire of sound and suggestiveness.

It is a transfixing end to a breath-taking release from This Burning Age, the band’s finest hour without doubt though you get the feeling even now that we have seen nothing yet.

The Desolation EP is out now via 5th Day Records @

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

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Fit For An Autopsy – Absolute Hope Absolute Hell

fitforanautopsy_RingMaster Review

The time between previous album, the 2013 released Hellbound, and its new successor Absolute Hope Absolute Hell, has seen death metallers Fit For An Autopsy become not only more brutal but strikingly bolder in the adventure behind the infusion of melodic imagination and diversity shaping their ferocity. The evidence is all strikingly there in the band’s third album which is also the first with new vocalist Joe Badolato after the departure of Nate Johnson last year. Quite simply Absolute Hope Absolute Hell is a gripping tempest of sound and intensity, of passion and anger, and a new heady bench mark for the New Jersey hailing sextet.

Self-produced by guitarist Will Putney, who has also previously produced the likes of Thy Art Is Murder, Acacia Strain, and Northlane, Absolute Hope Absolute Hell opens with its title track and a melodic tempting which reflects the first part of its title perfectly. Within a few more deep breaths riffs are crawling through the air and dark grooves binding ears as the quickly impressing delivery of Badolato steers the brewing volcanic tempest. Whereas in previously releases the open barbarism fuelling the new intent would be undiluted, here the opening enticing continues to flirt from within the storm, ebbing away occasionally to return with vocal elegance as the track relentlessly grows into and evolves its furious skin and body.

FitForAnAutopsy_AHAH_RingMaster Review      It is a mighty and thrilling start carried on by the following Wither, its first touch a crunching tide of raw riffs and imposing rhythms again straddled by the excellent tones of the new frontman. Johnson was a mighty force and texture within Fit For An Autopsy but Badolato brings something just as hearty but stirringly different which simply fits the band’s evolution in sound, Saltwound straight after conformation if it was needed. Backing vocals equally seem to have found a new zeal and hue to their roars too, on the third song creating searing harmonics within the sonic smog wrapping the rhythmic trespass of the track. Though not quite living up to the pair before, such their stunning success, the track quickly unveils more melodic enterprise and atmospheric imagination as forcibly alluring as any raw ferocity unleashed across song and album.

Both the Gojira meets Oceano like Murder In The First and Storm Drains exhaust the body and ignite the senses, the first a zealous predatory stalking which bewitches with repetitive hooks and spiralling grooves whilst becoming more barbarous with every passing minute and blast of viciousness. Its successor is a viscous sonic and vocal assault but again a turbulence unafraid to spin magnetic melodic and caustic tempting through the guitars of Putney, Tim Howley, and Pat Sheridan, drummer Josean Orta alongside splintering bone with his often restrained but fierce swings; that reserve emerging with the almost post-rock like ambience which also blows through the track.

Another high is breached with Ghosts In The River, Badolato offering a Jaz Coleman like tone to his cleaner grizzled delivery whilst around him vivaciously shimmering melodies seep from guitar strings and a warm inviting atmosphere leads the listener into the volatility and perpetually animus of the song’s heart. Bassist Shane Slade sculpts bait which borders on bestial but is tempered, almost smothered at times by the mesmeric melodic imagination working away on an already by this point greedy appetite. The track is as enthralling an inventive and fluidly diverse violation as you could hope for and quickly matched by the outstanding and creatively rabid Mask Maker which takes things to even more entangled richer depths. One moment it is scarring the senses with sonic acidity and the next creating a furious anthem which again has a slight Killing Joke scent to it, not to mention that of bands like Thy Art is Murder, though as shown yet again by Hollow Shell straight after, Fit For An Autopsy have created a presence truly distinct to them showing past great efforts were still a sound in the making. Hollow Shell is almost gentle in comparison to the previous track, well for a passing moment or two as sinews become stretched, emotions turn sour, and intensity is uncapped as the track boils over with rancor but without losing any of its creative enterprise and seamless fusion of melody rich ambience and toxic savagery.

Out To Sea is a song which took time to fully persuade, its opening emotive calm and sweeping atmosphere tempered for personal tastes by the vocal delivery choice of Badolato, his rasping tones a dampener on the climate but coming into their own as the short but potent track breeds a cantankerous torrent of hostility around the persistent beauty. It is a great appetiser for the virulent bad-blood of False Positive though, this a maelstrom of creative spite and bedlamic ingenuity as blusteringly unpredictable as it is punishingly hellacious. Every second brings a new chastisement for the senses and inventive tonic for ears and imagination, the album closing on the same lofty heights as it started, a pinnacle reinforced by album closer Swing The Axe and its more controlled and tempered storm flowing with and exposing the new direction and ingenuity in the Fit For An Autopsy songwriting and sound.

To simplify things, Absolute Hope Absolute Hell is technically compelling, brutally impacting rock ‘n’ roll to give your soul to, the roar of a band’s sound coming of age with plenty more still to be explored and experienced. We have another best of year metal contender!

Absolute Hope Absolute Hell is available from October 2nd via eOne / Good Fight Music.

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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