Prowler – From The Shadows

Prowler_RingMaster Review

Not to be confused with seemingly a handful of metal bands with a matching name, the Prowler unleashing new album From The Shadows, hail from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and create a rousing onslaught of horror fuelled heavy/thrash metal. Theirs is a sound which is maybe low on major surprises and high on familiarity, one unafraid to wear its inspirations on its blood soaked sleeve, but equally it only provides a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable escapade that hits the undemanding sweet spot time and time again.

Prowler began in 2010, releasing a quartet of EP’s which they subsequently brought together with an additional new track for their debut album After You in 2013. The band’s inspirations seem to stem from early Metallica and Anthrax, taking From The Shadows as an example, and indeed eighties thrash in general, essences twisted into sonic echoes and offshoots from horror movies of the same era. 2013 also saw the release of The New Blood EP, a well-received attention grabber in many ways sowing the accomplished and ravenous seeds for the Roger Lian (Slayer, Overkill, Pantera, Damageplan) mastered From The Shadows. As suggested the band’s new album does not particularly reshape the landscape or scenery of thrash metal but it does join a handful of genre releases this year which simply leave ears and appetite highly satisfied whilst uncaging anthemic fun easily luring limbs, neck muscles, and voice to get fully involved.

The album opens with R.O.T.L.D and the first of the individual film samples bookending each track within the album; here a slither of Return Of the Living Dead triggering a swiftly contagious rhythmic stroll. A riff and groove sculpted swing soon adds to the dynamic theatre and persuasion of the song, whilst vocally with a whiff of Wednesday 13 to his delivery, guitarist Patrick Best opens up the cinematic narrative. It is a raw and magnetic concoction with a horror punk scent brewing up its enmity within a thrash spawned prowl, and a rousing start to the album.

cover_RingMaster Review     The excellent track makes way for Out Of The Fog, riffs and beats encasing the opening sample just as the theme of the lyrics impose within the cinematic source. Keys soon add spicy colouring to the antagonistic prowl of sound whilst the bass of Shawn Bruce and beats of drummer Jak Sumwalt cast their own sinister and rampant cage. It is a predatory mix with plenty of enjoyable and generally unpredictable twists, and knowing the films seeding each track, as here, only adds to the theatre of it all.

I Am Wolf quickly hunts down the senses and psyche next; the throaty primal tone of the bass and the rapier like beats alone inciting ears and imagination whilst vocally Best is a protagonist with barker like appeal around the continuing samples which puncture the passage of the track. As the first pair of songs, the track is undiluted full-blooded thrash metal, easy to offer comparisons too but hard to dismiss as a pale imitation of anything.

The commanding and stirring beats of Sumwalt make an inspiring impact across the whole of the album, and at the start of the following The Thing Not Seen, simply stalking ears with a tribal come demonic stance and canter. Like the bass tempting offered continually by Bruce, which is just as potent across From The Shadows, there is a primal feel and air to the rhythmic provocation, one emulated in their own raw and spiteful fashion by vocals and searing guitar enterprise of Best.

Prowler next offer a cover of The Ramones track, Pet Sematary, the song given a heavy metal make-over fuelled by another thrash cast tempest of energy and sound. It is a more than decent and pleasing version but lacks something compared to the band’s own songs, which maybe is how it should be with any cover song, always being eclipsed by a band’s own invention as shown immediately by Return To The Lot. Another entwining rabid rapacity and a more stalker like gait to its primeval hell, the Salems Lot inspired ravishing captures ears and imagination with visceral ease, again not splintering into new domains but healthily feeding any wants from a thrash/horror punk fusion.

Death On Wheels carries a similar attack and growl to its predecessor and wears arguably the strongest Metallica/Anthrax sound of any song within the album, and through those aspects does not quite match what has already lit up From The Shadows. There is no denying though that it has ears and pleasure in full swing before leaving Creature Of The Black and its atmospheric entrance to work another enthralling tempting. Eventually the song grows into a muscular and savagely predacious offering with carnivorous rhythms and caustic grooves, and a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable album.

From The Shadows certainly offers little new but it certainly provides a festival of eighties aural and visual devilry with an attitude and snarl as nasty as the creatures central to each and every song. As mentioned earlier, it is enormous fun and that definitely works when looking for something to simply get the blood rushing through veins and emotions primed to take on the world.

From The Shadows is available digitally and on CD now via Slaney Records and @ http://prowlerhorror.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-shadows

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RingMaster 21/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cerebellion – Regeneration

Promo_Orange-Sky_RingMaster Review

It has been five years since US metallers Cerebellion gripped our attention with their excellent debut album Inalienable; a stretch of time which has not felt as long through many of the album’s tracks and subsequent 2013 single A Better Version, never being too far from our listening for pleasure playlists. Fair to say though and like for so many, there was healthy excitement when being sent their new EP Regeneration. It has proven to be an encounter rekindling an already rich appetite for the Californian quartet, and their compelling sound which has through the new offering shown itself to have grown and matured without losing the distinctive Cerebellion breath.

Formed in 2009, the Long Beach hailing foursome of vocalist Joe Arnold, guitarist John Arnold, bassist Marc Battung, and drummer Jimmy Schultz quickly earned a strong reputation for their inventive fusion of metal and heavy rock, a blend again fuelling the impressive Regeneration. It is an incitement which, as we suggested, has further blossomed, the songs within the EP more diverse within their provocative walls and embracing a sharper and fuller design of textures and flavours. The band has not lost or defused their aggressive snarl either, though it has been honed into a more skilfully provocative and rousing essence which only helps the band’s new release powerfully spark ears and imagination.

All Came to Light starts things off, an initially sultry and melancholic melody slipping from the strings of the guitar. Its potent coaxing is soon joined by a rawer but no less evocative lure of bass and darker guitar shadows, harmonies soon after also adding to the intrigue and emerging drama. With rhythms warming up until things are stirring nicely, they and every corner of song and band explode into a roar of heavy beats and rugged riffs around the dusty tones of Joe Arnold. As existing fans would expect, a spicy groove is soon in the midst of the engaging tempest too, the song a rigorous charge unafraid to slip into gentle melodic caresses with matching vocal persuasion. With a touch of Metallica to it alongside whispers of Alice in Chains, the song ebbs and flows in intensity, bellows and croons in aggression and attitude uniting to draw only a hungry attention for it and the whole release.

ReGen_Front_Cover_Final_RingMaster Review     The following Cold similarly makes a gentle entrance, though this time there is a definite intimidating shadow behind the emerging sound and vocal tempting. Soon the track is into a muscular but reflective stroll, rhythms a dark texture against the lighter but no less sorrow laced enterprise of guitar and voice. Across it the rolling and imaginative beats of Schultz are pure magnetism, their anthemic lures matched by the throaty emotion cast by Battung’s bass and the gnawing riffs of John Arnold, the latter also casting some delicious acidic enticing within his solo and imagination. Arguably the track lacks the richer originality of others, at times providing something for expectations but every time thoughts like that do arise it is fair to say that something twists and turns in the songwriting and song to argue the point.

The variety within the release continues more strongly with both Savior and Nothing Left. The first of the two explores a heavier rock spiced canvas upon which the guitar spins a melodic and groove metal seeded web. As the voice of Joe spreads the narrative with emotive expression and energy, there is an air of bands like In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold to the track, but only spices honed into something, certainly taking longer to persuade than its predecessors, but brewing up an individual and long-term captivation. Its successor is similar in that it slowly burns into the passions and also leaves one of the deepest enjoyments. The song opens with a mesmeric kiss of Spanish guitar, their flamenco spawned melodies like kisses on the senses and a tonic for the imagination. The song is an acoustic seduction, its beauty tempering and complementing the melancholy oozing from every syllable and harmony, not forgetting the bewitching strings which emerge later in the song. Eventually though, the drama has to explode and the thrilling encounter erupts into a rousing intensive finale though with one last acoustic stroke for its last touch.

Cerebellion are back in voracious swing with Thin Ice next, the track from its first breath almost predatory with its scythes of sound and beats, all colluding to forge a prowling enticing and subsequently an adrenaline driven, thrash bred onslaught. Of course the band is never one to settle into one wind of persuasion and they seamlessly and skilfully infuse melodic and calmer swerves into that the at times almost rabid intensity. The track is as anthemic as it is creatively riveting, a song which alone tells you all you need to know about band and sound, and definitely the perfect gateway for new fans into Cerebellion.

Regeneration ends with Forsaken, a fascinating and creatively tempestuous encounter again revealing everything impressive about the band and music. From individual prowess to group imagination, songwriting maturity to lyrical and melodic incitement, song and release only and increasingly impress.

The hefty time between releases has only seen Cerebellion grow into a masterful metal/rock proposition, but you know whilst listening to Regeneration, you still get the feeling there is plenty more untapped inside the band’s creativity. Hopefully we will discover that a little more swiftly ahead.

The Regeneration EP is available now through most online stores and digitally and on CD @ https://cerebellion.bandcamp.com/album/regeneration

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RingMaster 18/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Animosity Kills – Manipulative

Animosity Kills Gen pub photo_RingMaster Review

The name is Animosity Kills and if the Norwegian band can realise the open potential rifling through their debut EP Manipulative, it could be a moniker you will become very aware of. The four track rumble of metal wears its influences firmly on its sleeve, inspirations from the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament clear and familiar attributes, but that does not stop the introduction to the Askøy quintet being charged with fresh and tenaciously modern enterprise. It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter making a potent nudge on ears and awareness.

Animosity Kills began in the October of 2013 and consists of rhythm guitarists Stephan Høgtun and Rupert Notøy Rødland alongside lead guitarist Mats Bruland, as well as vocalist/bassist Erik Lindelid and drummer Sindre Høgtun Gjelsvik. There is little more we can reveal about them except that on good authority they are one mighty beast live, a suggestion easy to go with going by the energy and intensity of the songs within Manipulative.

Animosity Kills Manipulative Album Cover_RingMaster Review   The EP opens up with Thermic Vision which is immediately badgering ears with a horde of rugged riffs and a wonderful carnivorously dark tone from Lindelid’s bass. With the crisp swipes of Høgtun Gjelsvik’s sticks on skin adding to the already volatile mix, the track is soon into a predatory stride bred from thrash seeds. Swiftly a busyness to the sound and songwriting of the band grabs ears, the creative web as clear as the spices sparking their sound, Pantera and Metallica the obvious references to the imposing and compelling opener. The track continues to prowl and roam over the senses, never exploding as it hints it might and thoughts hoped it would but still providing a captivating and combative persuasion sparking a keen appetite for what is on offer and yet to come.

To come is first of all Lord Of Darkness, it also tall and muscular with fiery guitars and thumping rhythms ridden by the strong vocals of Lindelid. As its predecessor, the song also keeps things turning and twisting with creative regularity, the trio of guitars creating a weave of individual and united resourcefulness which just licks at ears as the rhythmic side of the band tempers their adventure with a bordering on bestial contrast and threat. It is an accomplished and richly satisfying proposal but quickly outshone by the following Ballistic. Even with its firm tempting of riffs lined with slim hooks there is a new air of variety, and so it continues as the song expands into an enthralling stomp of rich contagion equipped with a virulent swagger. There is a touch of Volbeat and Grumpynators to it, the same kind of swinging infectiousness they are known for fuelling the addictive power of the chorus and the rousing riffs leading into it especially. With blistering melodic craft and endeavour pouring from Bruland’s guitar across the similarly gripping adventure sprung by Høgtun and Høgtun Gjelsvik, the track is a show stopper, or should that be inciter.

Manipulate concludes with its title track, a song riding thrash cultured torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms, including another hypnotic bass snarl, and twisting them into a blaze of instinctive heavy/classic metal. It has the old school air you might imagine but the fire of the track flames with touches of alternative and groove metal as well as simply a bruising and healthy dose of raw rock ‘n’ roll.

It is a fine end to an impressive first taste of Animosity Kills, a band with the promise and tools, not forgetting invention, to forge their own distinct and rich place in the metal scene sometime ahead.

The Manipulative EP is out now @ http://animositykills.bandcamp.com/releases

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RingMaster 17/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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I.C.O.N – The Blacklist

I.C.O.N_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Six years on from their well-received and acclaimed debut album, UK’s I.C.O.N make another noticeable and even more potent imprint on the British metal scene with its successor The Blacklist. It is a brute of an encounter yet jammed with stirring melodies and sonic enterprise to temper and complement its muscular aggression. The album is not one to seriously tear up the metal/heavy rock landscape but in giving it an invigorating stirring, The Blacklist does a massive job.

From the release of their first album New Born Lie in 2009, I.C.O.N has continued to reinforce their potent reputation and increase a loyal fan base through a live presence taking in stage sharing with the likes of Breed 77, Blaze Bayley, Warrior Soul, Diamond Head, Furyon, Zico Chain, Witchfynde, and Voodoo Six amongst many others. Numerous festival appearances have only enhanced their growing stature too, with the release of The Blacklist now carrying the broadest potential to awaken major spotlights. Produced by Pete Troughton, the album is a tapestry of hostile exploits and melodic temptation cast in an array of individual proposals. Some tracks outshine others but from its first atmospheric breath to its final roar, the release provides one rugged, raw, and rousing enjoyment.

The album opens with A Room In Hell, a short instrumental gently and evocatively luring the listener into the heart and turbulence of The Blacklist. Guitars cast an enticing web of expression and craft whilst rhythms rumble like an encroaching storm, their shadows colluding with sonic persuasion in a potent intro to the release and the sinew stretched swagger of Feeding The Negative. Instantly riffs from guitar and bass are a gripping coaxing matched by the increasingly aggressive and agitated assault of beats. The growling tone of Reece Bevan’s bass additionally provides a great accompaniment to the equally gravelly vocals of Mark Sagar and a predatory contrast to the acidic and scorching endeavour of Scott Knowles’s guitar. In full stride and attitude, ground-breaking the song is not but like the album, in prime and inventive metal spawned rock ‘n’ roll, the track is a storming incitement and pleasure.

i-c-o-n-the-blacklist-1400_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The following Grindin’ Wheel, though appearing less confrontational, is a matching beast of provocation. As the keen swipes of Larry Paterson’s drum sticks hit skin and senses, a spicy groove is cast by Knowles, its revelry sparking a similar swing to riffs and subsequent rhythms whilst band vocal calls add an anthemic tempting to around increasingly imposing and impressing tones of Sagar. The song does its big part in the continuing strong and gripping start to The Blacklist and is instantly backed by the thrash seeded I’m The Venom, a song with a hint of bands like Metallica and Testament but flinging those flavours around like a baker with dough to create its own recipe of melodic/heavy rock infused antagonism. There is that familiarity though but it only makes things spicier around the uniqueness fuelling the incendiary solo which breaks free and the bracing vocal/rhythm collusion shaping all tracks.

Both Welcome To My War, with its deliciously barbarous bass insurgence and uncompromising drums swings, and Speak To Your God keep ears and appetite fully fed. The first of the two is just breath-taking at its start, an inescapable consuming of the senses and imagination which then loses its fullest potency once it settles into a more reserved and restrained prowl. The song still impresses and ignites full satisfaction to be fair but such its glorious opening, it feels a little like a missed opportunity unlike its successor which brawls and rages from its first breath. With a hint of a southern twang to its air, the track reveals its whole weight and weaponry straight away, simply increasing its richness with nagging riffs, riveting grooves, and a fiery solo, not forgetting virulent rhythms.

The slower, more controlled Devil’s Blacklist walks through ears with emotional expression and descriptive sonic hues, and though it maybe lacks the spark of its predecessors, it hangs a creative arm around attention to keep it fully involved before Wrong Way Back turns in a heavy and forceful stomp equipped with raw contagion spun by the skilled exploits of each member of the band. There is no avoiding the technical and accomplished craft from I.C.O.N, and how individually and united its members know how to write and deliver a fully rounded and attention grabbing storm of an encounter, no better proof coming than with Man of the North. From a cold and lonely canvas the instrumental builds an evocative landscape of solitude and beauty, its range of minimalistic textures to full blown tempestuous endeavour and ideation a relentless suggestiveness for the imagination.

The outstanding rampage of Deconverted descends on ears and air next, another thickly persuasive bass lead stirring up body and emotions for the song to bruise and ignite further, though it is another which maybe does not realise the potential hinted at throughout. It is still an excellent encounter though leaving the closing and tenacious sonic might of Drowning In Their Screams to bring this thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating album to a close.

For honest and uncluttered, as well as seriously accomplished heavy metal, it will be hard to find anything much better than The Blacklist this year we suggest. It is not flawless and as mentioned it does not fulfil all the promise hinted at, but you can only feel that there is a major classic lurking inside I.C.O.N as they evolve and grown further whilst this release persistently shows itself to be one powerful and seriously tasty encounter all metallers should take time to devour.

The Blacklist is available now via Metalbox Recordings digitally and on CD @ http://www.iconukonline.com/webshop

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RingMaster 16/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Immension – In Vain

Immension Press Shot

Continuing where their previous EP left off whilst showing greater rigorous invention and accomplished songwriting, British metallers Immension release debut album In Vain to reaffirm the potential of their already potent emergence. It is not an encounter destined to leave ears awe struck but certainly it is an album merging familiarity and fresh imagination in one persistently enjoyable proposition.

The Sheffield bred Immension was formed in 2008 by Jake Kearsley (vocals, guitar, bass and piano) and Tim Dolan (lead guitar), and soon began earning local attention with a sound seemingly Bullet For My Valentine inspired, certainly on the evidence of their self-titled first EP. Its successor The Enemy Within increased the band’s ever growing fan base whilst sparking a more national awareness too, its arrival also revealing a more Metallica influenced creativity and air was blossoming in the band’s sound and again part fuels Immension’s first and increasingly pleasing full-length. With drummer Jonni Sowter, who joined the band back in 2011, the trio are set to awaken the strongest and broadest spotlight yet with In Vain, with expected success.

Carrying a presence which is like nineties era Metallica meets Trivium, In Vain opens up with its title track and an enticing of guitar which in turn leads to a robust and skilfully tangled weave of melodic endeavour and rhythmic incitement. The vocals led by Kearsley, similarly have a tenacious and full presence, and like the music carry a Hetfield and co ring to them in varying ways. Rigorous in some moments, more energetically composed in others, the track grabs ears and attention with ease with Sowter a commanding and resourceful presence within the web of enterprise cast by Dolan’s guitar.

Immension Album Cover Art   The rich start to the album continues with The Fantasy, Sowtor’s heavy swings again instantly incendiary bait as riffs and grooves unleash a fiery magnetism against the dark swing riffs of bass. As the rest of the album, there are plenty of recognisable aspects to the song, of others and the band’s previous releases, but equally a new adventure is explored too via more provocative sonic textures and Middle Eastern spices. It is a climatic and richly satisfying encounter, its mix of deliberate prowling and ruggedly enthusiastic charges a contagious persuasion reinforced by the creative imagination and ever impressing vocals within all sides of the band.

All That Remains follows with a mellower and more restrained if still fiery character, vocals and guitar caressing ears as rhythms provide a sturdier framing. Impassioned energy flows through the heart and narrative of the song though, ensuring its more placid nature is always on the edge of emotional eruption before it makes way for the skilfully crafted and dynamic Lost & Forgotten. Neither track can match the persuasion of the first two on the album, and both also begin to reveal a surface similarity in certain areas between tracks within In Vain, but each has ears and appetite enthused for more with their also present elements of individuality, and again duly offered by In The Dead Of Winter and Shadow Of Yourself. The first of these two opens with an ominous yet regal ambience around dramatic beats before being further infused with wiry melodic hues of guitar. There is a rampancy to it which is just as highly persuasive as the ever evident technical and thoughtful potency going into songs. It is one of the loftier peaks of the album, a height its successor tries to emulate with its familiar inventive route clad in thoroughly engaging sound and creativity.

For maybe the first openly dramatic time a major twist of originality comes with the piano led and vocally harmonic Love Never Dies. Its opening charm and beauty is mesmeric but aligned to portentous shadows through the heavy tones of bass and firmly jabbing beats, it all gripping the imagination as much as ears. Continuing to evolve and expand its character and creative colour, the song becomes a blaze of melodic and emotional angst, sublimely capturing pleasure and thoughts before the just as excellent The Enemy Within uncages its barbarous and exhilarating turbulence. The track is never as aggressive and volatile as it might be due to the excellent smooth tones of Kearsley, but it thrills a treat with an enticing which is inviting and barbed simultaneously. The two tracks provide further pinnacles to the album before closing track The Father You Will Never Be offers a final imposing croon and emotional ferocity restrained by melodic temptation.

The song is a fine end to a consistently and increasingly enjoyable release. Immension are still a distance away from finding a truly unique sound but In Vain shows that in craft and sound they have taken big and impressive steps. This is not an encounter to be surprised by or find brand new terrains through but as a proposition to simply spend forty five minutes or so enjoying potent melodic metal, it is a success many other bands will envy.

In Vain is available from June 15th through all stores.

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RingMaster 15/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Islasorna – E.D.E.N

Islasorna Online Promo_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Band and sound might be tagged as progressive metal, but the best description for both elements and the creative and technical fury of Scottish band Islasorna, is psychotic. The Edinburgh quintet’s debut EP E.D.E.N is a tempest of bedlamic ideation, a deranged onslaught of inventive noise which could be declared a sonic psychosis and should be acclaimed as one intoxicating slab of thrilling turmoil.

Formed at the beginning of 2014, Islasorna create the most unpredictable maelstrom of sound. It is indeed bred in from a progressive seeding, but from second to second comes infused with a diverse array of flavours and psyche twisting imagination. Inspirations for the band are drawn from the likes of The Devil Wears Prada, Northlane, Whitechapel, Sikth, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals as Leaders, and Metallica, varied spices adding to a striking proposition in sound matched by a live presence which has increasingly earned acclaim and attention as the band shared stages with bands such as Bleed From Within, Carcer City, Demoraliser, Martyr Defiled, and Continents over the past year or so. E.D.E.N is a fierce nudge on broader awareness and recognition, and though for some it might be a creative turbulence too far such the intensive nature of the EP, Islasorna will surely be a name on a much wider roar from hereon in.

The EP opens with Obliteration and a melodic twang of guitar which alone soaks the air in a sultry yet slightly portentous suggestiveness. It is a hint quickly realised by the forceful beats of Michael Devlin and the vocal roar of Justin Dilworth. At first their presence only brings a small element of imposing urgency with it, a slither of increased intensity but also a stronger and darker apocalyptic hue which toys with and ignites the imagination. At the song’s climax a voice skirts the senses and provokes thoughts, menacingly flirting from the shadows before the following Achluophobia emerges to bring its words to thicker destructive reality.

Islasorna cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster ReviewThe second track instantly expels a djent spawned predation around a blaze of vocal scowling and sonic intimidation from the guitars of Dean Watson and Jamie McArthur. As the first track, it is more a prowling ravenous predator than a vicious onslaught yet the pathological agitation its title suggests is fuel to the attention gripping enterprise and imagination cast by the band. Simultaneously the track is savage and seductive, extremes entwining and in revolt against each other as the listener is dragged through a landscape of metalcore and grindcore to name two of the open essences sculpted in a progressive and experimental voracity.

Judas in comparison is a calmer incitement on ears and senses, and opens with a thoroughly engaging melodic caress of guitar courted by the darker lures of Mark Brunton’s bass. It is a fascinating start, the equally mellow tones of Dilworth adding to the tantalising proposal. The feeling that something is brewing is never far from the surface though and by midway the brief but potent offering has uncaged a caustic climate of sound and emotion though it is still with restraint as the band reveals more of their diversity in songwriting, sound, and individual prowess. Its magnetic bellow makes way for the harsher but no less inventive Choices. The song continues the melodic and dazzling progressive elements of its predecessor but cages them in a jagged confrontation of riffs and barbarous rhythms, both Devlin and Brunton as carnivorous in their attack as the guitars are melodically riveting. Arguably the encounter fits into the more expected template of progressive metal and the inspirations to the band mentioned earlier, yet it is a perpetual provider of unique twists and senses spearing sonic flirtation again setting the band apart from the crowd.

Creative mania returns in full lung bursting vocal and noise driven devilry next with 4-2-8, the track full warfare on the senses as Dilworth reveals his broadest vocal derangement yet and musically the band twists like a sonic and rhythmic dervish. The track is outstanding, not necessarily better than any other upon E.D.E.N but staking a favourite claim with increasing success over every listen. Its rigorous and rugged turbulence is instantly contrasted by the EP’s closing title track where once more Islasorna pull back the shades on another side of their imagination. An initial breeze of melodic beauty kisses ears and thoughts first, keys colouring a shadowed ambience with elegant charm before evolving into an electro rock seducing around militant rhythms and a union of harsh and harmonic vocals. Post hardcore, scream, post rock, they are all amongst the spices within the encounter, whispering hues within the enthralling finale going towards further proof of the band’s originality.

As outstanding as it is, E.D.E.N still feels like it is only the first big step of the band, one loaded with such promise that it suggests it is merely going to be the springboard for bigger, bolder exploits ahead. This only adds to the excitement of the emergence of potentially a new force in European metal.

The E.D.E.N EP is available from June 1st through all stores.

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RingMaster 01/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

Carnal Agony – Preludes & Nocturnes

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Preludes & Nocturnes is an album which manages to impress, excite, and disappoint in one go, though admittedly the latter is a mere fraction of the enjoyment had from the Carnal Agony release. There are just times though where it feels like it missed the opportunity to make an even greater impact on ears and subsequently the metal scene, evaded the chance to pungently push this highly accomplished band towards the brighter spotlights which admittedly it still might awaken.

Hailing from Umeå in Sweden, Carnal Agony began in 2011 and swiftly began luring attention for their diversely flavoured style of metal around lyrical themes inspired by the classic literature from the likes of HP Lovecraft, John Milton, and Edgar Allan Poe. Musically the band, on the evidence of their latest album, weaves in everything from heavy and classic to power and melodic metal to a thrash seeded sound, revealing inspirations from artists such as Iron Maiden, earlier Metallica, In Flames, Mercyful Fate, and Testament along the way. Early demos sparked interest whilst the band’s live presence has brought them attention and acclaim, especially through a tour with Six Feet Under last year. Carnal Agony has been called the latest sensation in the Scandinavian metal scene, a big claim not majorly contradicted by their debut album.

Produced by Ronny Milianowicz (ex-Sinergy, Dionysus, and Saint Deamon) and featuring former Helloween/Masterplan drummer Uli Kusch (also Gamma Ray, Holy Moses), the album gets off to a rousing start through War Prayer. Straight away heavy duty riffs and matching rhythms stand toe to toe with ears, setting down a sturdy thrash bred stride. Unpredictability shows itself to be a ripe essence within Preludes & Nocturnes and within just a few moments the first song has expectations wrong footed by slipping into a calmer melodic passage. This enticing invention is quickly surrounded by brewing essences of epic metal and stronger drama clad textures which in turn lead into another muscular onslaught. The gruff raw vocals of David Johagen join the mix now, his rugged, raw tones admittedly taking a little time to acclimatise to against the flowing tide of sound but an increasingly strong ingredient through subsequent listens of the release. Folkish elements tease alongside classic and power metal elements, already the band’s sound defying any precise tagging. The song continues to stampede and potently relax across its engaging length, a tasty appetite raising start to the encounter provided.

carnalagony-cover   The opening vocal lure of next up The Frozen Throne is excellent, mass clean vocals like a band of brothers crooning air and ears and an element not used enough as the voices are spot on. A guttural roar from Johagen brings the air born invitation down to earth, his warlike call the spark for a web of sonic enterprise from guitarists Mathias Wallin and Pär-Olof Persson, buffeted by the thumping skills of Kusch. Hooks and melodies colour the chest thumping proposition too as again a clutch of different flavours align impressively in the track which by its end you will surely be raising a fist and vocal chords with.

Rebel’s Lament is a less forceful proposition next, though still a muscular persuasion. Inventive endeavour from the guitars bound the rally of beats and riffs whilst the dark tones of bass from Roger Andersson add rich shadows which nicely temper the skilled craft flaming from the fingers of Wallin and Persson, especially in a bewitching solo. The track though does not match up to its predecessors but still has ears engrossed and satisfaction bubbling as does the next up Rebellion. A power ballad of sorts, Johagen reveals more of his slightly cleaner and stronger qualities, and if I am being honest it is when he lets those free that he and songs find a new quality. To be fair, it is personal taste more than anything but nudged by the fact that when he does ‘sing’ he often ignites already gripping songs further. The track grows in weight, intensity, and anthemic energy so that by its close you feel like you are astride a stallion going into battle.

As good as those two songs are Carnal Agony overshadows immediately after. It is a beast of a song, a stalking intimidation of stabbing riffs and scarring beats from its first breath and a carnivorous charge of sound and energy from there on. But that is only part of the confrontation, the guitars sparking within the core rampage with slithers and spears of sonic imagination and melodic toxicity, it all ridden by the commanding ‘follow me into battle’ tones of Johagen. The track is outstanding but too damn short at barely over two minutes.

Next up is the heavy/classic metal spiced Night of the Werewolf, a track with gothic overtones. This is one of those moments where personally an opportunity was lost, the earlier mentioned clean vocals feeling like they would have been a better fit whilst musically apart from a fiercely enticing bassline, the band feels like they kept a check on the imagination which had already lit up earlier songs.

Fire Walk with Me has ears and emotions feeling feisty again next, its fluid travel through a landscape of stormy energy and reflective melodies fascinating whilst once more guitars and bass reveals striking exploits bursting with magnetism and individual skill. Backed by voice and drum swipes, the track leaves a breathless listener in its wake, ready for Sleep Waker to please with its spicy heavy metal enterprise and Crystal Lake to turn into a head nodding enthusiast with its contagious and sinister imagination. The first of the two is another which, like the album, is a blend of full captivation and less successful elements or choices, but does get stronger and more enthralling with every listen. Its successor is a glorious stomp of horror bred devilry, everything from hooks to grooves, riffs to rhythms, an emotion inflaming festival of aggression and temptation.

The opening grisly bassline of Secrets Within the Shrine next sets the tone and scene of the triumph to come. Its thick bait is swiftly joined and enhanced by prowling riffs and venom swing grooves whilst beats are more predatory than vicious at this point. There is no escaping a Metallica whiff to the song but equally a scent of Misfits and the grouchy air of Mastodon helps bring alluring flavour of the song, whilst the constantly evolving ingenuity of the guitars takes it all to another level.

The track is excellent leaving Together We’re Lost the task with closing up the album, which it does in potent style. Familiar yet fresh, the track is an infectious and highly enjoyable end and another song which finds Johagen running the range of his delivery and yes he needs to ‘sing’ more because that is where he excels.

Definitely Preludes & Nocturnes is a release to take time with because it just grows with every recruitment of its bold and flavoursome adventure. Bottom-line is that it is a strong and enjoyable introduction to Carnal Agony who carry the promise of even greater exploits ahead.

Preludes & Nocturnes is available now via Sliptrick Records @ http://www.carnalagony.com/?audio=preludes-nocturnes

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RingMaster 09/05/2015

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