Norse – Pest


A rabid cauldron of pestilential sonic animosity and blackened death metal voracity, Pest the new album from Australian metallers Norse, is a release to fear as much as one to lust over. The six track scourge is a glorious malevolent swamp of hungry corrosive atmospheres and fiercely ravenous textures, all with despicable violent intent. It is a release which for some will provide a landscape too harsh and intrusive but for others will be vindictive manna to spill acclaim and lust over.

Formed in 2006, Norse has had its fair share of turmoil and line-up instability but at its core band co-founder and drummer Robin “Frog” Stone (The Amenta) has been the drive pushing on the project. The Unrelenting EP came out in the band’s first year before debut album Hellstorm in 2010 caught attention and praise with its boundary pushing invention. That acclaim increased and spread with its successor All Is Mist and Fog two years later, the album triggering the band’s impressive live presence equally with the band sharing stages with the likes of Absu, Mnemic, Psycroptic, and Dark Funeral across 2012 alone. Revelling in the union of Stone with guitarist/vocalist Treelo Herrington, Norse has sculpted its greatest pinnacle yet with Pest; genres merged and disregarded by the blistering hostile beauty of the new onslaught.

From the first insidious whine of sonic temptation washing ears as opener Encoded Weakness goes to hostile work, the album has Norse_Pest_Coverattention and swiftly after appetite ablaze with eagerness. It is a viciously compelling start, the toxicity of the guitars irresistible bait as carnivorous bass intimidation and rhythmic barbs align with raw ungracious vocals and a cruel rub of riffs. Already it is impossible to pin down the sound; its heady flavoursome ravaging entwining noise and psyche metal with a blackened voracity amidst a twisted groove infuse technical experimentation. The track persists in its predatory crawl and destructive breath, persistently shifting its intriguing scenery whilst searing and seduces with blistering invention and exhaustive animosity. The sonic lashing unleashed across the track reminds of Kabul Golf Club, but it is just one aspect to an unpredictable and transfixing primal fascination.

The demonic ruin bringing the first track to an end sets up senses and thoughts perfectly for its rhythmically rampant successor Disarmed, Toothless, Weak; drums striding with a purposeful menace and revelry as guitars forge another sonic web to tempt the emotions. Though distinctly different and arguably even more brutally ingenious, the track again winds acidic waspish grooves around barbarous beats and causticity bred vocals, to which grooves and hooks provide an irresistible scarring enticement. As the first, the song is a mouthwatering and addictive protagonist, exploring and stretching the limits and invention of the listener as much as itself.

Both the heavy intensive and overwhelmingly rancorous title track and the bestial charm of Irradiator, oppress and infest the senses with merciless potency and rabidity, but again with imagination firing twists of sonic exploration and contagious enmity. The first is a ruinous prowl which brings acute sufferance and mesmeric antipathetic radiance in a suffocating magnetic wash whilst its successor thrusts the senses into the strongest grievous confrontation yet. The pair also ensure sonically and rhythmically, hand in hand with varied vocal squalls and intrusiveness, that lethal soundscapes come with a rare and irresistible virulence; a murderous web of sonic seducing and scathing beauty which enslaves ears and passions.

The release is completed by the tyrannical maelstrom of True Insignifigance and the enthrallingly burdensome Aimless, each again a lethal threat and riveting enticement of creative venom, bruising and scorching the senses as they solicit and harshly caress them. The pair brings Pest to a black hearted conclusion, providing a final thrilling violation to a scintillating, psyche despoiling triumph. Norse is a force which only the brave should contemplate and the sonically adventurous must immerse within. Wounds and scars are guaranteed as is one of the best rewarding releases this year.

Pest is available digitally now.


RingMaster 21/06/2014

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Terrorway – Blackwaters


Bakerteam Records has really gone for the jugular this month with not only the impressive carnivorous release of the new Sawthis album but also the equally predacious and scintillating Terrorway debut full-length, Blackwaters. An antagonistic assault of extreme metal with thrash and groove temptation, the album is a riveting furnace of invention and imagination. It chews and gnaws on the senses often shielding some of its undoubted ingenuity but when in the clear or given close attention that enterprise leaves the passions aflame and breathless.

Hailing from Cagliari, Terrorway formed in 2009 and immediately drew keen attention and critically acclaim with the Absolute EP the following year. Taking inspiration from the likes of Strapping Young Lad, Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah, and Pantera into their metal ‘experiment’, the band explore and stretch their intent and imagination with masterful success upon Blackwaters. The band equally earned a potent reputation for their live shows which has seen them alongside the likes of Mnemic and Paul Di Anno. Their track Her Last Breath was placed in the Kill City vol.17 compilation release and led to strong interest from numerous labels before the band signed with Bakerteam Records soon after. Recorded at Corpse Factory Studio in Cagliari across December of last year and this January, the Jacob Olsen (Hatesphere, Moonspell, Corpus Mortale, Born From Pain) mixed and mastered Blackwaters is the full blooded entrance into the wider metal world, one which you immediately feel will thrust the band into major recognition.

The album opens on a scenic peace to stand against the song title, Wretched. Whispers and movement grace the landscape with Terrorwaysuddenly quickening pace before riffs scythe through the air with repetitive sinew driven animosity and rhythms share their thunderous iron bred swipes. It is an immediate storm between the ears ridden by the caustic squalls of Valentino “Sidh” Casarotti. Twisting around and crushing the senses simultaneously it is a startling piece of ferocity if in hindsight only a taste of things to come. The guitar of Ivan Fois offers a carnivorous spread of riffing and sonic narrative which is prowled just as intimidatingly by the throaty bass stalking of Giovanni Serra. It is an imposing and gripping entrance to the album which is taken further by the following title track. More merciful in its initial cupping of the ear, the grooves and rhythms soon cage and terrorise whilst seducing with animalistic intensity. Again the vocals provide a scolding menace to help create a fearsome atmosphere punctuated by the threatening strikes of drummer Cosma Secchi. Sprawling through musical and lyrical depths soaked in shadows with Casarotti the demonic conjuror, the song suddenly submerges into an evocative melodic adventure, Fois carving an escape for the senses to bask in and feed upon before the sounds again shred their skin for a primal and savage investigation.

    In a Swamp and Keep Walking Silent continue the stretching of the passions and album going, the first a progressive serpentine toned hunt, vocals slowly entwining their animosity and venom over emotions whilst the bass of Serra stokes the ashes of terror alongside the tirade of raptorial riffing and invention. Its middle dip into another melodic breath is not as successful as on its predecessor but as one rigorous attack the song is another immense hook in the rise of the album. Its successor swarms over the senses with its waspishly tinted riffs, rhythms stabbing home their animosity with every swing of a stick and concussive percussive brawl. There is a Lamb Of God essence to the track, though taken to darker deeper depths of confrontation, whilst the melodic temper certainly at its conclusion is In Flames like and quite magnetic.

Through The Inescapable Plot, the track a devouring predation which is relentless when submerged in its intensive attack, and the suspense crafted annihilation that is Chained, the band continues to push their imagination and limits. Both of the songs are equally unafraid to delve into melodic and resourceful twists which explore their own inner narratives and the eager thoughts of the listener whilst the following Renewal pounces on the debris they leave to create an explosively enthralling expanse of psyche testing, pulse racing ingenuity. Easily the best track on the album, the slice of corrosive ruin and thrilling imagination shows how much more there is still for the band to discover within themselves.

A Cursed Race is just as potent in its exploration and unpredictable craft, the song a close runner for top honours on the album whilst the closing Ruins provides a vitriolic fascination with a pervading if at times somewhat overwhelmed ambience against the stolid rhythmic caging and tension twisting riffery. It is a staggering conclusion to the release, Blackwaters saving its most ruinous and creative blazes for the major finale. Terrorway stand on the brink of the fullest recognition with the album which from the immense closing stretch of Blackwaters you cannot help anticipating will only be cemented and elevated in the future.


RingMaster 30/09/2013

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The Devilzwork – A Dead Horse

the devilzwork pic

Australian industrial metallers The Devilzwork set senses and fears cowering last year with their album Floodlights, a carnivorous sonic pestilence which gnawed and seduced the emotions with lethal  yet compelling severity. Now the band returns with its successor A Dead Horse and another tempest of virulent devastation hell bent on consuming and reshaping the synapses.

Hailing from Australia’s Capital Region, the 2009 formed quartet of guitarist Whiskey (also in Chud), vocalist/bassist Tobias, guitarist Kvlt and drummer Postal, has built an incendiary reputation across the regions of Melbourne and the Australian Capital Territory with their impressive live shows which has seen them stare stages with the likes of Voices of Masada, MzAnnThropik, Tim “The Ripper” Owens, and Mnemic. The self-produced demo Bad Moon Rise equally sparked concentrated attention though it was the eight track release Floodlights which stretched the bands presence much further afield as certainly an online presence and temptation. Now A Dead Horse is primed to accelerate that growing awareness. You suspect such its harsh and caustic devilry that the release will send as many running for the hills as finding those unable to resist its scourge driven charms, but if unbridled spite coursing corrosion is your idea of a treat than The Devilzwork has a nasty rewarding one lying in wait.

Opening track Obey The Worm… immediately scorches the ear with a sonic piercing before riffs and rhythms conjure up a death metal 1016963_626992130646833_1762260211_nseeded malevolence. It instantly has the hairs on flesh wilting before its vicious blaze of noise rock/industrial ferocity with the great duel vocal attack driving the aurally scurrilous fire of sound to greater depths. From the first track alone you can openly see the evolution in the songwriting and intent of the band. Whereas Floodlights was one carnally bred lime pit of intensity and noise soaked irreverence its successor has a more defined purpose and invention to its claws. A strong spicery of metal and rock adds further potency and imagination to the song and as it emerges, A Dead Horse as a whole.

The outstanding Kalifornia comes up next, its confident swagger and teasing wantonness leaving a tasty flavour of horror rock to the Ministry sounding torch of sonic animosity. A twisting feverish taunting on the senses and imagination, the track despite its too soon coming departure is the first of the major highlights on the album and ultimately the best track.

The Godflesh/Marilyn Manson lilted Prick, a track with labour to its attack but captures the passions at a glance without any resistance, and the more electro venomous Big Man follow to continue the strong start of the release if without quite matching their predecessor whilst the insidious corruption that is Hardware suffocates and invigorates simultaneously to ignite the mind and emotions. Bringing an acidic blistering groove which would rest easily in a Kyuss/Queens Of The Stone Age rage, the track pushes the diversity of the album yet again. Admittedly some work is needed to unveil some of the unique rewards to be found within the songs beneath the surface severity and taking that plunge head first only rewards all the more. The previous album was debatably short on individuality between songs in hindsight but there is certainly no issue with A Dead Horse as each track reveals given close attention.

From the pernicious Corrosive, a more than decent track which is as its title suggests, and the dark intensive exploration Vast, the album reaches another pinnacle with Insect. Thumping rhythms open up a cage of virulent toxicity, a wash of sonic itching wrapping the skin whilst vocals and restrained electronics rattle the bars and another epidemically addictive groove frequents senses and passions. The track will have you scratching the brain and emotions for hours after whilst the short burst of instrumental after its departure soothes the sore need.

Enthralling expels a raucous heavy rock fury, vocally and melodically, within another breath and atmosphere of poisonous sonic mercury to again push the envelope of invention whilst Virus Installer is just a rapacious pathogen of angry and malicious noise honed into a riveting protagonist. Both leave the senses exhausted and wondering what hit them yet thoughts alive with interpretation of their magnetic intensity.

Concluded by the tender, well in comparison to what came before, Push Yourself Around and the sinister soundscape Desolate, the album leaves a hunger for much more. The first of the final pair has a scintillating toxic swing to its pestilential might whilst the closer is just an evocative passage of sound and menace which leaves the mind exploring its own black corners. Both add further absorbing ventures to A Dead Horse, an album which shows no mercy but strikes with an intelligently sculpted persuasion offering depths of melodically spawned venom. With only the shortness of some of the most enthralling violations a niggle, the album is an impressive leap forward for The Devilzwork and a must investigation for all fans of the likes of Ministry, Godflesh, Rammstein, Marilyn Mansion and those of industrial and death metal… though are they brave enough though?


RingMaster 10/09/2013

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Empyrios – Zion

Photo by Matteo Ermeti

Photo by Matteo Ermeti

Italian progressive metallers Empyrios have returned with a beast of an album in Zion, a release which has something for everyone in sound and eclectic imagination. Following their acclaimed album The Glorious Sickness of 2008, the new slab of concentrated enterprise leaves the previous promise of the band wholly realised with a furnace of accomplished invention. Melding everything from industrial to hard rock, djent to classic rock, with plenty more flavours you care to imagine to its progressive heart, Zion is a hulk of a confrontation which inspires, provokes, and thrills from start to finish.

From Rimini, the band was founded by guitar virtuoso and acclaimed producer Simone Mularoni (DGM), and was soon awash with acclaim through debut album …And The Rest Is Silence in 2007 and The Glorious Sickness a year later. The years since the last release has seen the members of the quartet heavily involved with their other projects, touring and creating music making the time to this new release long for the anticipation of their fans. Guitarist Simone Bertozzi joined the Danish metal machine Mnemic for an extensive tour of Europe and Australia whilst drummer Dario Ciccioni was playing with Oliver Hartmann’s solo project Hartmann. Mularoni himself was leading DGM through a European tour with Symphony X but all the time the members were exchanging and working on elements and ideas for the new album with finally the opportunity to enter the studio for its realisation. The Mularonin produced eleven track behemoth, with vocalist Silvio Mancini completing the quartet, has enslaved the brutal and aggressively dynamic side of the band with its enamouring compelling melodic seduction for a tempest marking the band at a new height for their creativity within a devastating presence. Names like Strapping Young Lad, Nevermore, Symphony X, Fear Factory, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Meshuggah are all thrust upon the band and release as references and the release is an amalgam of those essences distilled into something purely individual to the band.

The Scarlet Records released album emerges from a war infused ambience to immediately trample and chew on the senses with test bella zioncrippling beats and gnarly savage riffs whilst electro industrial winds warm the clinging intensity. Opener Nescience takes mere moments to succumb the ear and senses, its rampaging appetite and corrosive breath a delicious malevolence with the snarling growls of bassist Bertozzi adding extra spite. Into its stride the clean melodic tones of Mancini wraps an emotive embrace around the wounds as the guitars also add their restrained flames but the ravaging heart of the track is never quelled, erupting and consuming at a constant persistence throughout. It is a staggering start which satisfies the violent intent and melodic temptation of all hearts with skill and invention.

The following Domino initially lays a sultry wash upon the ear before the tight rhythmic bombardment and mutually offensive riffs grab their piece of the senses firmly. Like the first, into the heart of its provocation the track is a Meshuggah meets Fear Factory blaze of energy whilst the vocals of Bertozzi explore further rock and progressive textures to bring extra thrills to the insatiable passion of the song. Both Masters and Reverie continue the predatory stance as well as unveiling the heart of each songs melodic sun, the first a riveting expanse of emotive persuasion within a frame of unpredictable and air disrupting rhythms with sabre flashes of guitar alongside whilst the second has flumes of rich melodic passion coursing within the walls of merciless metallic entrapment.  Both songs without finding the key to the rapture sparked by their predecessors leave only prime satisfaction in their tow, their magnetic imagination and its skilfully carved aural narrative irresistible.

The excellent Unplugged next steps forward to leave the senses continually wrong-footed and disorientated with its psyche dance of schizo rhythms and equally deranged djent sculpted riffs, whilst around this the melodic heights of the song makes the smoothest conspirator to its vengeful riot of rapacious invention. Through the likes of the outstanding Renovation with its mesmeric call through barbed carnally bred textures, the vocals of Bertozzi quite stunning, the evocative title track, and the closing fury of Madman, the album gives no respite in its hold on the passions, though every song can be given with that welcoming trait. Admittedly the album is strongest across its first half but constantly the result to its impressive presence is hunger for more.

Zion is an excellent album and a very welcome return from a band in Empyrios which just gets better and better.


RingMaster 24/04/2013

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Corrosive elegance: An interview with Drop from Sybreed

photo by Anthony Dubois

Easily one of the most intense and immense albums to ignite the year was God is an Automaton, the fourth album from Swiss metallers Sybreed. The release unleashed everything which is good about the cyber metal magnificence of the band and took it to another insatiable and irresistible level. Heavy, shadowed, and destructive, the album was a triumph of imagination and enterprise which kept the band to the fore of world metal for us and waves of other fans as well as inspiring deserved critical acclaim. We had the opportunity of finding out more about the release and its inspirations with the sure pleasure of talking with Sybreed guitarist Thomas “Drop” Betrisey.

Hi, welcome to The Ringmaster Review and thank you for taking time to talk with us.

With your outstanding new album God is an Automaton unleashed on the world for a few weeks now how are the band feeling?

Drop: Really good! We are very happy of the result! The fans and the press are giving us a really good feedback and so far I think we’ve reached our expectations.

Not a musician myself I often wonder if there is any feeling of an anti-climax once an album is out because of the intensity and passion it takes to create and release it?

Drop: There is something really hard to describe, something between happiness and sadness, ’cause we always put all that we have into a record, and when it’s finished it’s like all the pressure is released at the same time, a kind of baby blues, I think. But there is always that awesome moment, when you have the final product in your hands and you remember the 1st demo, the 1st track you’ve recorded and all the hard work that has been done, this is really intense.

For us God is an Automaton is easily your best work to date. I don’t expect you to disagree of course haha, but where for you does it take a leap forward compared to The Pulse of Awakening or is it a small evolution?

Drop: For God is an Automaton we only focused on writing typical Sybreed songs, a blend of our 3 previous records. I think, Pulse of Awakening went a “bit too far”, God is an Automaton might be the balance between Antares and The Pulse of Awakening, a kind of late transition. But if their writing and recording were inverted, none would have been the same, so it’s a bit dangerous for me entering in this kind of explanations haha. We reproached to The Pulse of Awakening not having enough catchy songs, I mean live oriented songs, shaped for live shows, the songs were a bit harsh to reproduce on stage and we managed to correct it with God is an Automaton, and to reach this goal we had to look back and keep some feelings we had on Slave Design and maybe Antares. I think it’s not a leap forward, but just a blend of everything we did in the past.

So it is fair to say the album reaps essences from earlier albums and moves them on?

Drop: Yeah that’s exactly what I meant in my previous answer. We took our 3 previous albums, and blend all the highlights they had in order to make new songs. Actually the writing of God is an Automaton went naturally, we wrote without searching ideas during hours, it’s a feeling-oriented album.

We found the music heavier and darker than ever on the album, would you agree and was it an organic move rather than a deliberate intent brought to the writing?

Drop: Exactly! We really wanted this live touch I spoke of before, without 100% edited tracks; we really focused on having the most organic sound, played and sound-wise. We removed every barrier we could have, and just wrote with feeling. We really like heavy and dark stuff, so it came naturally.

Did you approach and record the new album with any different working and recording ideas compared to your previous albums?

Drop: Yeah, this time we really wanted to play the longest parts possible, obviously not the whole songs in one take as our music is a bit skilled haha, but we really managed to edit the less possible things, and even keeping some “mistakes” sometimes, some little noises on the mutes, or some noisy voice breathing. It gave the album something more “human”.

I believe you started work on God is an Automaton last December? How long did it take from then to the final finish and was it an intense album only period or did you have breaks for shows etc?

Drop: We demoed 3 songs in early 2011, one of them has been released as an EP called “Challenger”, then we took a one-year break in order to build my new studio. So we started writing the remaining 8 songs in September, it took approx. 3 months, we’ve seen each other in my studio almost once a week. We started recording the album in December until end-February, then we took a one-month break to headline a tour in Australia, and as soon as we went back I went in Rhys Fulber’s studio in Los Angeles for the remaining keyboards and the mixing duties.

Are you a band which creates from scratch when together or it is a case of coming up with ideas alone and fleshing them out together, and was God is an Automaton written on the whole before the concentrated studio time?

Drop: We all come with ideas, Benjamin brings a lot of choruses, he has really precise ideas of his melodies before we start building up the music around. Kevin brings some tortured drums patterns, Ales, freshly arrived wrote down few riffs for the new album. On my side, I always have a few unfinished pieces of music, sometimes a few riffs that I feel going on the same song, sometimes only a keyboard line.
For the first time, we left almost the half of the synths and programming aspect blank before I went to Los Angeles working on them with Rhys Fulber. We wanted him more involved than on our previous album, and so I asked him to add some of his magical keyboard things to the songs. I’d really like him even more involved in our next album.

photo by Anthony Dubois

The album is the first with bassist Ales Campanelli, his work on the album we described as ‘lurking and delivering bass lines which crawl into the psyche’. Did he bring a new or different dynamic to the recording compared to before?

Drop: Yeah for sure. Actually, I don’t know if it’s a good thing for me to reveal such details, but let’s go forward and let me tell you that it’s the first time a bassist record a Sybreed album. On the previous ones I was recording the bass, so both guitars and bass were really close, cause of the same hand playing each of them. This time, we had another hand recording the bass, and I think he brought even more organic feel to the overall sound. He has a style, I would not say dirty style cause it might be taken in the wrong way, but he has these ultra-groovy skills, and I think it’s really easy to hear someone else plays in this album, a real bassist.

Though it changes daily at this moment in time Into The Blackest Light is my favourite track on God is an Automaton. Is there a moment whether a track, riff, line etc which gives you a personal tingle?

Drop: Oh yeah almost every riff are my favourite during a period of time. While writing, I always say “this is the best part of the album”. Sometime I keep listening to one riff during few hours, haha. The new things are always the favourites, at least for me. A good example is “Posthuman Manifesto” the album opener, I was so bored of that song that we chose not putting it on the album. After having Rhys Fulber working on it, adding keyboards and arrangements we chose to put him at the best place, first song, and I still think it’s my favourite. A good example of how things can change quickly.

Can you tell us about the great artwork for the album?

Drop :  It’s the work of Seth Siro Anton (Septic Flesh), he has already done the artwork of our previous album The Pulse of Awakening, we were really happy about the result so we asked him to do the job again for God is an Automaton.  We started talking about it with him during a Septic Flesh show in Switzerland. He was really inspired by the album title and told us that he already had some ideas and he was looking forward to working on this one. We first sent him some rough-mixes of the new songs, without any guidelines or concept, mainly because Seth is the kind of artist which needs to be alone to fully express his art. After the mix was done, we sent him an upgraded version of the songs, and therefore he started working on the artwork. I am really happy of the result, it’s for me the best Sybreed cover art, it fits perfectly the music and lyrics, it’s stunning.

Now the album is out, Sybreed will be touring it to hell and back?

Drop: That is the main goal of every band, releasing albums to be able touring, the most we can. We made a small European tour with Mnemic and Hatesphere, it was really cool and we’ve tested some of the new songs on stage and they reach our expectations. As we speak we don’t have any confirmed touring plans, but I hope we’ll confirm something early 2013.

Will you be playing all the tracks on God is an Automatonacross your shows, a few in each or building shows around the album?

photo by Anthony Dubois

Drop: The goal is to promote the new album, but not all of them, cause we are not headliner at each show, so we have to shorten the sets, we have 4 albums now and the fans want some songs from each album. But when an album is freshly released we try to play the maximum of the new songs, our longest set for the promo of God is an Automaton was 16 songs and we played 8 new songs out of the 11 that are on the album, so it’s cool. I told you at the beginning of this interview that we focused on writing songs “to play live”, and I must admit that almost every song of God is an Automaton is my favourite to play, mainly “No Wisdom Brings Solace” for which we filmed a live video clip during Euroblast Festival 2012 with Anthony Dubois and it should be released really soon.

How long does it take after an album before ideas come and the urgent need to write again usually proves too much to resist?

Drop: Actually as soon as we finish an album, we directly start writing the new one. As we speak we already have few parts of songs and Benjamin already has the album title as well as a lot of song titles. We really love writing, and we are always writing music in our houses. On my side I compose a lot of music, not only for Sybreed, and I also make some remixes under the nickname DropRMX

Once more many thanks for chatting with us.

Any words you would like to end with?

Drop: Thanks for the interview. Check out our new album, I hope you’ll like it, and come to see our shows and party with us.

Check out the review of God is an Automaton @

The RingMaster Review 25/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright