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.

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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

The Royal – Seven

Photo by: DeanX Photography

The final breath of March saw Dutch metallers The Royal release their sophomore album via Longbranch/SPV, an emotional and technical cauldron of melodic metalcore which is simply hard to ignore. The Eindhoven hailing quintet is being talked of with big expectations for their future and through their second full-length, Seven it is easy to see why.

Formed in 2012, The Royal has proceeded to breed and earn a potent reputation at home and further afield year by year. Their first year saw the release of the Origins EP with the well-received single Blind Eye coming a year later. Debut album Dreamcatchers further pushed the band into broader attention with its unveiling in 2014 whilst live the five-piece has drawn plaudits, the band going on to support the likes of Architects and Breakdown Of Sanity and play events such as Jera On Air and the Impericon Festival. Seven though just might be the wake-up call to bigger and greater opportunities; certainly its eventful and resourceful exploits deserves a moment with the metal world’s attention.

The album opens up with Thunder, a track living up to its title. Stormy clouds gather as the track settles into place, riffs respectfully but menacingly harrying the senses before wiry grooves erupt and vein its increasingly tempestuous climate. Soon the song hits its virulent stride, rhythms an imposing trespassing on the senses as the guitars snarl and weave their creative textures within the ebb and flow of the assault. All the while vocalist Semuel Pisarahu boils with emotional ire and open antipathy, a scowling hue equally striking in the web of enterprise, melodic suggestiveness, and raw aggression getting the album off to a mighty start.

Its mix of flavours is another potent aspect to the song and matched within the following Feeding Wolves. Its first touch is a melodic gentleness though soon joined by the low key but open grumble of Loet Brinkmans’ bass and the meaty jab and roll of Tom Van Ekerschot’s beats. As Pisarahu growls, the track erupts into another hellacious yet inviting tempest speared by a predacious swing and spicy grooves. As in the first song, guitarists JD Liefting and Pim Wesselink reveal themselves as comfortable seducing ears with warm melodies as they are ravaging them with bracing and abrasive hostility, their imagination and craft adding to the inventive unpredictability of the song and indeed album.

The mercurial character of the second track similarly grabs the imagination; a quality all songs have in varying degrees. Next up Wildmind is less changeable, more a persistent blaze of irritable jaundice but also flowing through creative twists and turns. Though not quite matching up to the first pair in igniting the passions, it leaves satisfaction full and appetite hungry for the proposals offered next by Creeds And The Vultures and Counterculture. The first has a mean-spirited air to its attitude and touch but one tempered by the maze of winding grooves and captivating melodies wrapping the vocal tension whilst its successor and the band’s new single rocks with relish while also creating a web of melodic enticement and vitriol lit dynamics, rhythmically and sonically. There is a toxic and intoxicating depth to its body, keys a hug of beauty, guitars a kaleidoscope of intent and endeavour as Pisarahu leads the raw vocal roar.

From the melancholy drenched atmospheric instrumental Interlude, the album’s title track has ears and imagination entwined, instantly too as its opening guitar twang flirts with instincts before they are infested by a glorious net of rapacious grooves. Another song which is rock ‘n’ roll at heart and carnivorous in persona, it crawls into the psyche; colouring its realms with fluttering melodies and animalistic textures. Middle Eastern spices only add to its majesty, the track emerging as quite simply aural captivation.

Life Breaker unleashes its ravenous sinews and creative rancor next, though again beauty is as prevalent in its physical nature as emotional discord while Thalassa is an invasive animus of sound and emotion which, without skimping on sonic light, is a darker, more vindictive enmity. Both tracks hit the spot, the former dead centre, before Draining Veins gives its melody woven volcano a friction of vocal and rhythmic tension which boils to inhospitable crescendos across its ever shifting and provocative soundscape.

The album closes with Viridian, a song epitomising the fluid ability of the band to tap into and blend contrasting emotions and textures whilst simultaneously challenging and stirring the listener. It is also a mighty collusion of sonic flirtation and predacious alienation bringing the album to an impressive end.

There are times when, on the surface, tracks share similar essences and personalities to other songs but attention and time defuses any apparent sameness. What emerges, is a creatively immense and thoroughly enjoyable proposition which, for appetites of bands like August Burns Red, While She Sleeps, and Northlane, of metalcore which wants to push itself, is a definite must check out.

Seven is out now via Longbranch/SPV. All links available @ https://theroyal.lnk.to/Seven

http://www.theroyalofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/theroyalofficial/  https://twitter.com/theroyalmetal   https://theroyalofficial.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 05/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mate’s Fate – A Home For All EP

As the French metal scene continues to impress with the quality of bands and releases coming forth in recent times, metalcore quintet Mate’s Fate join the expanding list of goodness with their debut release. The A Home For All EP is a ferocious and eventful slab of tenacious metal, five hungry slices of sound and aggression catching the imagination with a blend of fresh and familiar resourcefulness. Loaded to the brim with just as potent potential, it is an introduction already pushing the band beyond local borders towards European and broader spotlights.

Formed at the end of 2015, Lyon hailing Mate’s Fate instantly tempt attention with a reflective melody as the EP, crowd-funded with fierce success, opens up with its title track. With beats for company , that first enticement draws ears into a waiting wall of rapacious yet controlled riffs, that the plateau for an opening web of wiry grooves.  Guitarists Quentin Reberat and Yoan Larme continue to spin their respective lures and designs as vocalist Matthieu Delage roars with great and potent variety backed by other members of the band. There is no escaping a Bring Me The Horizon influence at play with the track not dropping many big surprises yet such the craft and passion involved with Mate’s Fate’s own invention, the song leaps boldly from the speakers to ignite thick pleasure and enjoyment; its melodic and calmer flames along with a want to stretch the track’s creative landscape especially pleasing.

The following Souvenirs had ears hooked from its first Korn like breath, a sonic spiral and breathless vocal bait the seed to an antagonistic stalking of the senses swiftly accelerating into a predatory tempest again mixing a great blend of varied vocal assaults and guitar spun adventure fuelled by hostility. There is a touch of now sadly expired Irish band iBurn about the track but it soon boils up its own creative and invasive character as the swinging beats of Nicolas Ammollo incite and punish alongside the equally carnivorous groan of Thibault Chemineau’s bass.

Closing on a swirl of suggestive melodic toxicity, the song is instantly followed by the opening mists of Hopeway, the crystalline glimmer remains a persistent glaze even once accompanied by an ever enjoyable span of vocals it is interrupted and inflamed by ferocious strikes of sound and intensity. There is a rawness and volatility to the song which potently tempers the melancholy and unsettled calm, eventually sparking even more tempestuous traits across the excellent encounter. The captivation of its creative enterprise is matched within the more primal but no less resourceful Undercover. Featuring additional vocals from Florent Salfati, who also mixed and mastered the EP, it’s every taut sinew, savage riff, and venomous syllable is a magnetic trespass and only equalled in strength and appeal by each citric melody and hope lined harmony that surfaces. Once more, it is probably fair to say that uniqueness is not as forceful but it matters little in, as the EP overall, a proposition as unpredictable and imaginative as it is irresistibly compelling.

Prison Of Silence brings the release to a close, its voice sharing many attributes of its predecessors like a linked story yet sharing individual twists and turns to ensure just as eager and persistent attention; every steely tendril of guitar and rapier thrust of rhythm an incitement to vocal and sonic dexterity.

It is no surprise that A Home For All is waking up the metalcore scene, for a debut it pretty much wipes the floor with anything out there right now but with the potential also in its ranks and the band’s future imagination, it is easy to suspect that we have seen and heard nothing yet.

A Home For All is available now @ https://matesfate.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/matesfate    https://twitter.com/MATESFATE

Pete RingMaster 30/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Annisokay – Devil May Care

annisokay-devil-may-care_RingMasterReview

With attention increasingly being drawn their way, German metallers Annisokay have just released third album Devil May Care, a release which rumbles and roars in ears demanding attention. The successor to their acclaimed 2015 full-length Enigmatic Smile, a release following an equally well-received debut in the shape of The Lucid Dream[er] a year earlier, Devil May Care is a rousing and tempestuous beast as at home casting ferocious confrontation as it is sharing melodic and harmonic enterprise.

Creating a sound spun from the heart of metalcore and post hardcore with just as rich rock and electronic flavours involved, the Halle/Leipzig hailing quintet has grown from a national roar to an eagerly welcomed European proposal, the success of their albums and tours across the likes of Austria, Switzerland, France, Russia, and the UK proof. Now it is Devil May Care looking at expanding the band’s presence and sound, a result the release certainly achieves with the latter if still driven by their familiar yet persistently unpredictable sound.

The album opens up with Loud, a track which initially shimmers but soon breeds a scuzzy dose of guitar before catching light with primal rhythms, romancing keys, and riffs which infest the senses. There is no escaping a Rammstein edge to the crowd roars and intensive examination but as the growls of Dave Grunewald shares the platform with the clean tones of Christoph Wieczorek, the song soon takes on its own persona and continues to tempt and ignite the senses. The rhythmic animosity of bassist Norbert Rose and drummer Nico Vaeen is as direct and uncompromising as the throat scarring shouts of Grunewald but perfectly tempered by the harmonic caresses of Wieczorek and the melodic enterprise and sonic ferocity escaping his and Philipp Kretzschmar’s guitars.

The following What’s Wrong also makes a gentle entrance which needs little time to catch aflame as keys and grooves collude  within another rhythmic/riff led onslaught. It too is a passing moment as warmer lures wash ears with matching vocals, but it too becomes a relatively fleeting passage in the revolving landscape of the swiftly infectious encounter. The mix and contrasts of vocals is not surprising these days in caustic metal but works a treat and is emulated in the imaginative textures within the ferocious intensity devouring air and listener.

Featuring Northlane vocalist Marcus Bridge, next up Smile quickly commands ears and imagination. Its initial melodic coaxing is as suggestive as the rapier like thrusts of the grouchy rhythms and harmonic union aside the lusty scowls of Grunewald which follows; their tempting sprung within a carnivorous tide of riffs and djent spiced rabidity. Twisting and turning with increasing virulence, the track is superb, a rousing and dementedly addictive affair as prone to melodic seducing as rancorous trespasses.

Through the haunting drama of D.O.M.I.N.A.N.C.E, another thrilling dichotomy of melodic temperance and punishingly inhospitable attitude in sound and intent, band and album devour as they ignite an even greedier appetite for the release while the mellower but still volatile fire of Blind Lane leaves ears more than satisfied. The second of the two does fail to live up to the creative drama and unpredictability of its predecessors but provides plenty to be wholly engaged in before Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down uncages its own maelstrom of mercurial incitement as ravenous as it is melodically tempting. Aggressive and invasive it surely is yet it also shows Annisokay songs to be as catchy as they are challenging and with the guest appearance of Christoph von Freydorf from Emil Bulls, offers another eventful and magnetic proposal.

Both Hourglass and Photographs have body and imagination firmly held, the fierce yet enchanting first with its poetic melodies and angst fuelled vocals and the second through its volcanic nature. Each again only please though the latter is another lacking the more unique essences of others around it to shine as impressively for personal tastes while after them Gold is a maze of twisted grooves and hungry riffs driven by biting rhythms but equally a beacon of harmonic and melodic elegance around an electronic heartbeat.

Concluded by the mercurial theatre and roar of The Last Planet, the initially impressing Devil May Care only grows in stature with every passing listen. You could say there is a similarity between many tracks within the release, a surface familiarity but it is countered by the fresh revelations found within its inventively layered tracks once given closer attention. The enjoyment found with it also leaves any shortcomings, of which there are few, an ever diminishing essence.

Devil May Care will be released through SPV / Longbranch as a Limited Box-Set, CD Digipak, Vinyl Version (incl. CD), and Download.

http://www.annisokay.com/    https://www.facebook.com/annisokay/

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright