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

Hampered – Asylum

Formed in 2013, French metallers Hampered have just uncaged their debut album and one attention grabbing beast it is. Maybe not the most unique in sound Asylum more than makes up for any familiarity with creative imagination and suggestive drama, attributes blossoming into one richly alluring and enjoyable proposal.

The Toulon quintet consists of vocalist Germinal “Germi” Leullier, guitarists Romain Sanchez and Guillaume Frendo, bassist Fares “Fafa” Petit, and drummer Stephane “Stef” Kokot, though upon Asylum Satanus is listed as swinging the rhythmic sticks. Nurtured in metalcore, their sound embraces an array of other flavours and metal bred textures in its roar and a first full length which takes a firm hold from its first breath.

Asylum is inspired by movies such as One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Shutter Island and relating a complex tale of a disillusioned hero finding himself plunged into the den of a psychiatric hospital, looking at “the grip of man by man, the mind on the body, for the conscience of our own freedom” where “the only “barriers” are the choices we make that make us believe we don’t have any

Opening with its French language spoken, scene setting Intro, the album soon has ears and appetite aroused as the following I’m Alive teases both with its opening initial sonic lure; rich bait soon spawning a rousing incitement of richly enticing grooves and rhythmic predation. Germi is soon in its midst with his similarly potent growls, captivation brewing by the second. The track mellows a touch as a great blend of his and Frendo’s calmer backing vocals collude but still retains its threatening character in sound and tone. Every hook and groove intensified the power and addictiveness of the track, each rhythmic swipe and grumble increasing its sonic paranoia superbly.

The excellent start only continues as The Project follows, its electronically hued entrance easily stirring keen attention before opening up into a rapacious almost carnivorous prowl. Metalcore meets groove metal as things intensify, many more strains of sound adding to the menace and imagination seizing trespass. Something akin to a fusion of Poison The Well, As I Lay Dying and Devildriver, the track gnaws and increasingly pleasures the senses, a success only escalating as the funkier throes of In My Jail tease and invade next. A beguiling web of styles and flavours, the track alone reveals the bold invention at the heart of Hampered and the expansive hunger in their sound which does not always get the chance to blossom as it might across the release. Here it is in full bloom, plaintive vocals and hungry sounds uniting in a ravenous assault of irritable yet severely infectious and predatory enterprise.

Stop That follows with a raw and cantankerous proposal but one just as adept at embracing melodic and harmonic twists as it questions and challenges while successor Conspiracy Theory launches a similarly choleric confrontation infused with citric melodic veins and driven by rhythmic rock ‘n’ roll. Both tracks hit the spot, the second especially sparking tenacious responses as the album continued to impress.

Through the bullish defiance of Each Other, where grooves just infest the psyche, and the raw emotional blaze of Avenge Your Memory, Hampered continue to explore their invention. Neither song quite matched the potency of those before them yet each created a tapestry of lyrical and musical drama which firmly held attention and richly satisfied before Blast (Bridge Refrain) entangled some tinges of heavy metal and strains of Avenged Sevenfold-esque catchiness into its lively swing. Again personal tastes were not quite as ignited as by the albums earlier tracks but were thickly involved in satisfaction from start to finish and especially in its great bedlamic finale.

Asylum concludes with The End, a track featuring Maxime Keller, vocalist with fellow countrymen Smash Hit Combo and Boars. The track is superb, a jungle of metal bred punk infused antagonism with tantalising melodic scenery bringing the album to a mighty close matching its tremendous start.

Asylum is a proposition which will inflame the passions of many and lure the attention of hordes more as it announces Hampered as another very promising and already rather striking proposition on the metal landscape.

Asylum is out now @ http://hampered.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hampered.official/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

AdvenA – Realität

While the band set about writing their second album, a look at the debut full length from German metallers AdvenA does not go amiss, especially if like us you missed it upon its release a while back. Offering eleven slabs of progressive death metal with a craft and imagination unafraid to add other styles and flavours, Realität is a potent introduction to the Bad Griesbach in Bavaria hailing quintet. It is not overtly unique but has certain moments of real invention which made it stand out and an inescapable potential which made anticipation of its successor almost inevitable.

Formed in 2012 by Chris Kolias and Florian Havemann, the band’s initial instincts and sound was metalcore based but has evolved to embrace the progressive and more intensively weighted extreme metal textures as evidenced by Realität. With a line-up of vocalist Daniel Esterbauer, bassist Florian Gumpoldsberger, and drummer Dennis Stirner alongside guitarists Dominik Jagenteufel and Kolias, AdvenA nudged strong attention with the release of their first album, and is still doing so as we can attest to.

The album opens with its title track, wintery winds bringing in the scenic lures and stormy breath of Realität which soon entices the melodic coaxing of keys before fiercer more imposing textures descend with Esterbauer throat gravelled tones leading the way. In no time, the progressive imagination of the band is steering the roar, guitars weaving a tempting web as rhythms entice and pounce. It is a fascinating beginning which is as seductive as it is barbarous, unpredictability lending a weighty lure to the track’s  often familiar but boldly fresh textures,

The following Herztod immediately aligns melodic intrigue and suggestion with irritable intensity, guitars casting a magnetic drape around the bestial toned vocals as the song rises to its creative feet. Lyrically song and release has a conceptual theme but with each track sung in the band’s home language we cannot share their individual focus, yet it matters little as the sounds paint a potent enough tale as this and the following Lass es regnen! prove with their individual adventures. Whereas the first has a smouldering soundscape for the main, its successor has a far more volatile climate but one boiling with thrash nurtured intent around clean vocals, presumably provided by Jagenteufel, as well as Esterbauer’s enjoyably abrasive snarls.

Best track honours are seized by Splitter next, the rhythmic entrapment of Gumpoldsberger and Stirner inescapable from its opening strains and only intensified by the rolling attacks and belligerent grumble of drums and bass thereon in. Spice loaded grooves and a general rock ‘n’ roll swing only add to the track’s might with only the clean vocals for some reason and for once not quite connecting. Nevertheless it is a storming encounter which alone could have sparked an appetite for the band’s sound but is more than backed by the likes of Aurora and Phoenix. The first is an atmospheric tempting with alluringly portentous shadows around a rhythmic resonance, a union beguiling ears and imagination before its dark side rises up in invasive riffs and sonic trespass. That also brings a melodic and electronic enterprise which suggestive mystique setting up the adventurous rock ‘n’ roll of the second with the added attraction of female vocals and melody encased endeavours.

Am siebten Tag unleashes a blistering charge next, thrash and death instincts driving its cantankerous rock ‘n’ roll to mark another highlight within Realität before FFA matches its hellacious dexterity with its own senses withering, appetite stoking assault. Heavy metal tendrils vine the imposing roar, enticingly uniting with atmospheric winds and progressive intricacies; a stylish weave then emulated in its own individual way by Der Wille, electronic imagination lining and occasionally nurturing new twists in its design.

The album closes up with the two instrumentals in firstly the thought rousing, body firing rock ‘n’ roll of Alles was glänzt and lastly the melody rich and suggestive Wasser zu Wein. It too is a contender for best song, keys and guitars casting a beguiling tapestry of intimation and beauty with an underbelly of darker intent and volatility. Both tracks hit the spot whilst highlighting the music and creative prowess of AdvenA and though we might have questioned the success of having two instrumentals closing things up it works a treat.

Realität made a potent ear pleasing proposition from the first listen but it is an album which grows and impresses further by the listen. Ahead of its successor, it makes a timely gateway into the AdvenA sound for newcomers and a highly enjoyable reminder of their strengths and potential for all.

Realität is available now @ https://advena1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.advenaband.de/     https://www.facebook.com/officialadvena/   https://www.twitter.com/AdvenaBand

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fathoms – Counter Culture

Since the release of their first EP, Transitions back in 2012, the Fathoms sound has evolved as its line-up has equally changed and been revitalised. What has not changed is their ability to grab ears and attention and stir fresh new appetites for their inventive sound. New album Counter Culture is testament to that, its nine tracks a blazing roar and creative aggravation which captivates and gets the blood rushing through aggression pulsing veins.

The UK outfit soon sparked keen local attention with their melodic hardcore sound upon emerging in 2010 and quickly found themselves touring the UK and sharing stages with the likes of Legend, Set Your Goals, Polar, Dividing The Silence, Final Crisis, and Napoleon. Acclaim did not exactly hang around either especially once Transitions assaulted ears with their reputation taking another spurt with its successor Cold Youth in 2013. Both were bold and viciously imposing with a growing potential which blossomed within their Artery Recordings released debut album Lives Lived two years later. Hitting the USA, China, South Korea and Japan among regular jaunts across Britain and Europe, the Brighton hailing quintet has become a potent element in the UK hardcore scene.

Hindsight suggests the hints and clues were already there, certainly within the last album, but Fathoms’ sound has embraced greater metalcore traits over the past couple of years, the band straddling both styles with their punk metal furnace, and as Counter Culture reveals there is plenty more to that blend also. It opens up with Hate Preach, making a composed introduction as vocalist Max Campbell hits ears with his rap before the guitars of James Munn and Sam Rigden cast a persistent tide of abrasive riffs. It is a great start which only continues as the song merges nu and rap metal exploits with hardcore antagonism framed by the biting beats of drummer Lui Sarabia.

The potent starts quickly has ears keenly attentive, recent single Counter Culture stirring their appetites further with its metal bred imagination and punk infused quarrel. Melodic twists and clean vocal union with the rawer snarling tones of Campbell brings richer intrigue and captivation, the bass of Steve Cogden prowling it all with a brooding menace as the song grows an increasingly compelling web of flavours and imagination.

Latest video single B.E.L.I.E.V.E quickly follows; its body a heavier, dirtier, and more tempestuous proposal but just as content and skilled in contrasting its dark hues with melodic flames and harmonic enterprise. For personal tastes, it does not quite catch the imagination as its predecessor or other tracks within the album yet there is no denying its lures, especially its inescapably magnetic melodic.

Counter Culture is an album which seems to get bigger and bolder song by song, definitely each subsequent song made a greater thrilling impression on our appetites; the process continued at this point by the surly metal nurtured, ill-natured Fated. Its nu and rap metal dexterity gets right under the skin but equally its synth rock and punk spicing teases more impressed reactions before I’ve Been Trying To Leave exposes the band’s similarly adept progressive inclinations within its cantankerous character and imposing touch. It also has catchiness in its lighter side which is pop kissed but never more than a warm wash upon the instinctive ruggedness and spiky imagination of the band’s sound.

The calmer waters of Slip Away provides a new beguiling turn within the release, its presence like a more belligerent Silent Descent but with passages of pure melodic beauty around more volatile instincts and endeavour. It is just one more captivating moment within the album but soon eclipsed by the outstanding assault of The Spaces In Between. A trap of nu-metal design, the song twists and turns with dervish like mania and pugnacious attitude, the guitars dancing venomously on ears as the bass and vocals growl. In the midst of that inventive confrontation though, a spring of melodic and harmonic adventure flows, again Fathoms showing the new adventure in their sound and freshness in their imagination.

Next up No Compromise is an even moodier proposal; to be honest a truculent trespass of a song but one coloured with atmospheric grace as melodic suggestion weaves its bait for ears and imagination to embrace. With every passing second and unpredictable idea, the song grows in strength and impressiveness; pleasure joining the ascent until it departs to allow You Ain’t On What We On to bring things to a close.

The final track is a surge of punk dispute; an eye to eye combat which has the body bouncing and spirit raising its middle finger to the world. It is a fine end to an encounter which grows with every listen. Fathoms have maybe still to realise all that early potential but instead they have explored a whole new sphere of ideas and as Counter Culture proves, they are on a journey still easy to anticipate and enjoy.

Counter Culture is released December 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/fathomsuk/    https://www.instagram.com/fathomsuk/    https://twitter.com/fathomsuk

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2017

Kill The Unicorn – Prism

The final few words on the press release for Prism, the debut album from Swiss metallers Kill The Unicorn declares that they “are a band to get excited about!” Greedily listening to the eleven track web of sound and intrigue yet one more time to continue concentrated attention it really is impossible to disagree.

Launching from a bed of metalcore ferocity, the album is a kaleidoscope of trespass and suggestion embracing everything from hardcore to groove metal and progressive to post metal whilst fusing an array of funky and jazzy bred psychosis with some classic 8-bit sound mischief. The result is a release which devours and seduces with violence and unpredictability like a deranged dervish; one which is a little unhinged, slightly uncontrolled, and persistently sending ears and imagination to lustful places.

Hailing from Lucerne, Kill The Unicorn emerged in 2014 and took little time in stirring up attention through their live presence which has subsequently seen them share stages with the likes of Promethee, Ghost Iris, Vola, Science of Sleep, Walking Dead on Broadway, Voice of Ruin and many more. 2015 saw the release of a three track demo, an encounter laying the seeds and hints of things to come; the joys and intrigues to be now heard and explored within Prism.

Recorded with producer Aljoscha Sieg (Nasty, Eskimo Callboy, Vitja), Prism hits the ground running with opener Motoko Kusanagi. As the guitar joins an initial 8-bit fingering, a tempest gathers behind, swiftly unleashing its voracious force as rhythms fly and riffs bite. Vocalist Pipo Thalmann is quickly there in the midst growling as a delicious hook and similarly tasty grooves entwine the aggression before the already intensive beats of drummer Matteo Leuthold raise their rabidity and pummel the senses. Already a fusion of metal is at fevered play, expectations are taken to the cleaners by the subsequent twists and turns though the band has still yet to dip into their boldest enterprise hindsight revels. The track is pure bait with the guitars of Ziggy Lebon and Raphael Zumstein as predatory as they are creative conjurors.

The vocal dexterity already suggested within the opener is pushed again within its proper successor, Ode To Spot. Unleashed after the Sinclair-esque loading of Dreams In 56k, riffs and rhythms sink their claws and teeth into eager flesh, the track savaging and gnawing the listener before suddenly turning on its head with a funk/progressive shuffle. Thalmann mixes his throat scuffed squalls with clean vocal and similarly off-kilter expression to match the sounds twisting around him; all the time the bass of Marc Sommerhalder grumbling with bestial discord though eventually even it has to join the swing before a death nurtured storm descends. Like Horse The Band in league with Pryapisme and Cryptopsy, the track consumes the senses before Wormhole To Gliese 556c voraciously infests the psyche with extreme metal hunger and corrosive adventure. Though it never truly deviates from its rapacious remit, the track is just as gripping as its predecessor and unafraid to follow where its instincts wander.

F.U.C.K.U.P. equally has a carnal heart but is soon wrapping its core in System Of A Down like mania and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen similar eccentricity, continually twisting and turning sound, imagination, and the listener alike. There is an early Korn like air to the carnivorous moments before primal outbreak too; adding to a tapestry of unpredictability which hits the spot relentlessly before the progressive beauty and stroll of Me And My Velociraptor invades the imagination with its compelling instrumental. Rousingly and hauntingly infectious, the piece has the body and pleasure bouncing ready for the invasive tone and touch of Conquistador and its tide of punk and metal hostility again impressively steered by the guitars and the vocal prowess of Thalmann. Tightening its grip by the second, the track flings the senses around like a rag doll yet seduces them with nuances and bold turns within its inhospitable consumption.

Through the punishing depths of Catacombs with its maze of sinister deviations and the senses stalking blackened incursion of Ausgefuchst, the album simply reinforces its dexterous invention and uncompromising extreme metal voracity though both tracks have to give way to the even more contentious siege of the senses uncaged by Rendesvouz with Cleopatra. Malevolence drips from every note and syllable here yet equally the band’s untethered imagination soaks every trespassing breath if without revealing the hungry boldness of earlier tracks.

The album ends with Pitch Black VR, a rancorous, skilfully woven and delivered savaging compounding the animosity and inventive craft of Prism with might and boisterousness not forgetting imaginative zeal. It is an unforgiving, mouth-watering conclusion to an album which certainly lit our fires and as that press release suggested it might, our excitement.

Prism is out now and available @ https://killtheunicorn.bandcamp.com/album/prism

http://www.killtheunicorn.com/    https://www.facebook.com/killtheunicornband/

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vanity – Perspective // Empathy

If there is one thing to describe Perspective // Empathy from British metallers Vanity, it is that it is riveting. There are plenty more striking attributes to the five track metalcore tempest, craft and imagination among them, but it offers a fascination which upon personal tastes few similar genre propositions have come close to.

Formed in 2012 and formerly known as Vanity Draws Blood, Vanity has climbed up the UK metal scene with increasing brutality and invention accompanied by an equally ascending amount of acclaim which began simmering with their debut EP, I Witness, released in 2014. From its success, the London sextet began working on a series of works under the title of Perspective. The first in Perspective // Dread appeared to rich praise last year, the single Anxiety which featured CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder leading the way. It is easy to expect that Perspective // Empathy is destined to make an even bigger impact; its body alone establishing Vanity as one of Britain’s most promising and imaginative confrontations.

The EP opens up with the atmospheric enticing of Empathy, the instrumental piece a haunting yet inviting lure with drama and portentous suggestion in its air and elegance in its character before slipping into the waiting jaws of Tranquil. Featuring the warm tones of Lilly Macieira, the track explodes on ears, guitars winding venomously around them as rhythms pounce to spear the senses. To the aggression though, there is an instinctive catchiness which fuels grooves and the overall surge of the song, an infectiousness which even infests the uncompromising assault of raw throated, emotionally open vocals. Alongside an inventive unpredictability and imagination festers and boils over, the subsequent duel vocal attack of varying discontent and subsequent melodic temptation lying at the heart of the track’s captivating evolution. Add Macieira’s almost angelic presence and it is a song which enthrals.

Sorrow swiftly follows, it too emerging from a suggestive harmonic calm with ferocious intent and wind but equally with that wealth of undisguised enterprise and imagination. Stabbing beats and bone shaking riffs devour as melodies and vocal dexterity blossom, every second a fresh adventure but united in the flowing and certainly uncompromising yet inviting storm. As all tracks, with every listen a new depth and side to elements within the song emerge and though it is fair to say that just on the initial engagement the EP and its contents stir the appetite real fascination grows with every submission to the fire.

Again Macieira features on the EP’s fourth track, opening Extrovert with her harmonic caress as melodies cradle her presence. In time the mellow temptation becomes the bed for emotive and physical turbulence where vocals and guitars are almost in conflict within their intensive unity, a fight which ignites the ire and creative dexterity skilfully consuming ears. Clean vocals in turn rise from within that fire, just part of the imaginative depth and adventure persuading ears and pleasure.

Final track Affinity is more of the same but individual in its tapestry of sound and imagination, contrasts and extremes coming together in a kaleidoscope of sound and emotion just gripping attention. It is a magnetic close to an encounter which dares you to look away even for a second and miss something memorable, a challenge impossible to take on.

We would say Perspective // Empathy needs time to truly blossom in ears though as mentioned earlier it undoubtedly pleasures from its first breath; in return though the rewards increase and impress. The final line of the press release for the EP suggests that the sextet of Kerrie Alexander, Ryan Stevens, Elliot Plummer, Charles Jones, and Luke Jervis is one “of the most exciting and original bands at the vanguard of the UK scene.” There is nothing within the new EP to suggest otherwise.

Perspective // Empathy is available now on iTunes.

http://www.vanitydrawsblood.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/VANITYUK/

Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bear – ///

As the list of essential 2017 releases already looks like it has the potential of being a substantial one establishing itself at the head is the third album from Belgian metallers Bear. Primarily tagged as math/technical metal, the Antwerp based quartet swiftly show within their new intrusive roar that their sound is a kaleidoscope of imposing flavours. Within the release hefty strains of everything from progressive and heavy metal to nu-metal , hardcore, and metalcore accost the imagination It is a ravenous web aligned to more voracious grooves than found within most lifetimes of similar genre participants and one hellacious treat of a trespass for ears, senses, and pleasure.

Formed in 2010, Bear awoke attention with their self-released 5 track EP Abstractions; its initial success continued through a digital release with Conspiracy Records and a full re-release via Let It Burn Records who followed that up by uncaging debut album Doradus in 2011. At the same time, the band was invading the UK with their raw sound, touring there with While She Sleeps while headlining their local festivals while the year after the album’s release they went on to support the likes of Periphery and entice major plaudits with appearances at  festivals such as Euroblast and Groezrock. Signing with Basick Records in 2013 brought second album Noumenon into greater acclaim whilst live a trio of UK tours with The Colour Line, Black Dogs and Carcer City and further festival triumphs only helped to firmly establish the outfit within the European metal scene.

The biggest spotlight is now sure to be tempted with the release of ///, from its claw slashed title to its ursine assault of sound, the album is an inescapable beast of character, aggression, and invention mauling the listener from its first breath with opener Blackpool. Its first gasp brings a senses eroding surge of guitar and Maarten Albrechts’ furious vocals, a colossal onslaught weighted further by the lethal swings of drummer Serch Carriere and the grievous tone of Dries Verhaert’s bass. As the corrosive tide continues scything riffs and squalling grooves escape the already impressing exploits of guitarist Leander Tsjakalov, his creative weave in turn sparking greater variety in the vocal roar of Albrechts and band. Like a blend of Meshuggah, Slipknot, and Society 1, the song bullies and seduces, opening up more unpredictable twists and compelling exploits with every passing wave of imagination.

The tremendous start continues with Hounds, its primal and rhythmically dynamic entrance enough alone to grip ears, the subsequent net of grooves and technical espionage as well as continuing vocal variety an ever tightening vice of creative temptation. With lighter but just as dirty heavy rock hues adding to the raw infectiousness, the track snarls and ferociously dances with the senses; bruising and teasing them before the band’s latest single Masks emerges from its own dusty smog with a Rob Zombie-esque stomp soon sharing invasive grooves amidst a dissonant cauldron of technical and off-kilter ingenuity. Whereas its predecessors pretty much tore at the senses, Masks taunts and flirts, if with instinctive rapacity and ruthless persistence. Every second is a tempest of intrigue and adventure, each moment a ravishment of ears leaving sheer greed for more in its wake.

It is a hunger swiftly fed and further provoked by Childbreaker, the song initially a blaze of intensity with waspish grooves buzzing around brawly rhythms but soon exploding into an invasive tempest of attitude and barbarous sound though still a storm bound in a virulent infectiousness as devious as the ferocity around it. Predatory in every aspect, the track devours with every breath, a quality no less forceful within next up Knives Are Easy and its maelstrom of technical and instinctively quarrelsome enterprise. The combined creative voracity of Tsjakalov and Verhaert is seemingly encouraged by the irritable jabs of Carriere and Albrechts’ grizzly tones and just as intrusive when the charge turns into a prowling examination of the listener. It is a stalking which cannot sustain its lust for long, the song ending on the same assertive thrust it began with.

The Oath entangles the senses in its own agitated and kinetic almost gladiatorial frenzy next, harmonies and melodic seduction enticing from within the cyclonic ambush and having their own moment of inescapable persuasion like a warm oasis at the eye of an increasingly psychotic storm. With every element combined, it is a fearsome bewitchment with the animalistic growl of bass irresistible, delicious bait continuing as 7 strolls into view carrying a maze of meandering anxious grooves and sonic psychosis. Becoming more brutal and intense with each passing moment, it equally breeds a captivation of harmonic and melodic seduction, the union of extremes as catchy as it is wanton. The song is a helter-skelter of invention and craft, fiercely glorious leaving exhausted ears in bliss and easy prey for the slow menacing prowl of instrumental Klank before Raw has them consumed in another eddy of feverish craft and unbridled discord abound with swirling contrasts and volatile textures all woven into one mouth-watering dispute.

The album is completed by the just as argumentative and creatively pugnacious Construct.Constrict and finally the physically and emotionally subversive Adjust.Adapt. As distinct in nature and body as they are united in bristling attitude and laying a sanguinary touch upon the senses, the pair stretch and open up new realms in the Bear sound; the closing song especially charming in its harmonious siren-esque heart within another truculent body.

There is simply no weak spot within ///, not even a moment when the album slips a foot let alone falls from of very early established pedestal. Quite simply the album and indeed Bear for newcomers is a must!!

/// is out now through Basick Records across most online stores.

http://www.bearpropaganda.com/band/   https://www.facebook.com/bearpropaganda    https://twitter.com/bearpropaganda

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright