Xerosun – This Dark Rage

Photography by Olga Kuzmenko

Time for another catch up moment, this time with the This Dark Rage EP from Irish melodic death metallers Xerosun released a handful of months back. It is fair to say that since we covered and enjoyed the band’s debut album Absence of Light way back in 2011, they and their sound have quite simply evolved into completely new attention grabbing beasts, changes and evolution leading to their latest impressive  proposition more than deserving of a belated look.

With a just as hungry progressive bent to their ravenous sound, the Dublin quintet has persistently drawn greater praise and support in recent times. Building on previous successes like that first album and sharing stages with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Soulfly, Xerath, and In This Moment, the past two years have been exceptionally busy for Xerosun. Two headline UK tours have been accompanied by performances at festivals such as Mammothfest and Siege of Limerick, times capped off by the release of EP/mini album This Dark Rage and the Olga Kuzmenko created video for its title track, both themed around the Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour, a subject set to be further explored in the band’s new album set for later this year.

This Dark Rage opens with that title track, vocalist Martyna Halas-Yeates’ raw throated scowls courted by the predatory prowl of guitars and rhythms; it all soaked in venom and spite. As riffs continue to gnaw and beats stab, the primal instincts of the track suddenly flip into a groove driven canter, Halas-Yeates’ tones becoming a siren of beauty before the beast returns in voice and song again. The rapier like jabs of drummer Damian Dziennik hold even more spite while David Kuchar’s bass is savage in tone and flirtatious in swing matching the now established web of hostility and grooving. It is a compelling blend and result, the guitars of Fiachra Kelly and Gareth Jeffs rich in craft and enterprise while Halas-Yeates captivates in her dual persona. She is angel and demon and though her melodic prowess feels more natural, her vocal causticity only convinces within the adventurous tapestry around her, wicked grooves deviously colouring the unfolding lyrical drama.

Anatomy of a Lie follows the great start, even overshadowing it as it creates its own groove sculpted temptation, one again bred from ruinous fractions of intent and a blossoming of magnetic melodies and harmonic flames again led by Halas-Yeates’ kind side. It is a song which has grown and evolved since its first outing within a great video back in 2013 and another sign of the band’s hunger to grow and draw every ounce of their imagination to the fore. As all tracks, it is a fusion of flavours beyond the description we first gave you, a controlled but bold maelstrom of antipathy and warmth lighting the senses much as the tempest within next up I Spared Hundreds succeeds in. With electronic essences almost taunting ears from its shadows, the song is a carnal provocation with a relatively latent but openly glimpsed peace. Harmonies and keys temper the cancerous instincts surrounding them, while imagination is an increasingly riveting trait in the song as innocence and insanity mingle in the corners of its psychosis.

The release is brought to a close by firstly The Mother of Morality, a corrosive web of sound with Middle Eastern veining radiated in suggestive melodies and vocal elegance. At times it is like a mix of The Agonist and Motherjane, in other moments more Scar Symmetry and Arch Enemy nurtured, and quite beguiling. As the EP, the track just grows with every listen, the enjoyment of its first appraisal becoming more lustful and impressed with every venture into its passionately lit caverns.

Repent, Rewind, Reset brings it all to an end, its seven minutes plus a spiral into emotional and mental turbulence matched by a soundscape of volatile and schizophrenic sound. Though for whatever reason the track does not grab as powerfully as its predecessors, it makes for a fine and fascinating conclusion to a release which only impresses more and more. Xerosun is a band on the ascent with a potential driven, imagination powered sound to match.

This Dark Rage is available on CD and download @ https://xerosun.bandcamp.com/

http://www.xerosun.com/    https://www.facebook.com/xerosun   https://twitter.com/xerosun

Pete RingMaster 31/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blackhour – Sins Remain

Blackhour_RingMaster Review

A few days in and the new year gets its first metal treat courtesy of Pakistan hailing Blackhour. The Islamabad quintet unleashes their second album on January 5th through Transcending Obscurity Distribution, and a mighty slab of inventive and skilful heavy metal it has proven to be. Sins Remain offers five rich and imagination fuelled tracks which explore far beyond that heavy metal tag, and such its thick and pleasing impact you wonder how Blackhour has so far escaped the fullest global acclaim.

Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Guns and Roses, and Alice in Chains, Blackhour has certainly teased local and wider found appetites with their music and debut album Age of War which was released in 2011. Fair to say though, that most of us will probably have missed the presence of Blackhour until now but things surely are about to change with Sins Remain.

Straight away the band’s metal bred rock ‘n’ roll shows its adventure and variety with opener Losing Life. An instantly engaging caress of provocative guitar opens things up, the bass of Salman Afzal just as swiftly vocal with its suggestiveness. The tremendous coaxing eventually erupts into a fiery roar of sound with sonic tendrils of guitar veining a tempestuous yet controlled climate of sound and intensity. There is a touch of Disturbed to the track whilst the rhythms of drummer Daim Mehmood almost bully the senses as the bass prowls and growls within their potent web. With vocalist Tayyab Rehman also quickly impressive, the track paints a great provocative and persistently evolving proposal for ears and imagination.

BlackhourArtwork_RingMaster Review     The outstanding start continues with Wind of Change. From the off heavy metal essences steer the persuasion, the guitars of Hashim Mehmood and Mubbashir Sheikh Mashoo flirting with eighties hues to infectious effect. Their hooks and grooves because of it hold a familiarity which only adds to the forceful virulence of the encounter, whilst rhythmically the song nurtures an anthemic rock ‘n roll canter becoming increasingly wrapped in melody rich sonic enterprise. The song is irresistible and more potent with every listen, a quality applying to the whole of Sins Remain to be fair and certainly the following Life Brings Death, Love Brings Misery. The third track is an epic temptation, its nine minutes blossomed on Metallica like seeds but equally casting textures sprung from seventies heavy rock and thrash laced heavy metal. Imagine Reign of Fury and Stone Temple Pilots meets Iron Maiden and you come somewhere near the compelling encounter.

Battle Cry opens with an instantly addictive guitar hook next, one welcoming more militant and aggressive elements to join its tenacious stirring of ears and appetite soon after. It is maybe the least unique offering on the album but the fiercely boisterous song simply whips up a storm of attitude and creative prowess easy to greedily devour and want more of. The individual skills of the band are, here alone, there for all to see and praise but their unity and the powerful songwriting casting their invention is where the album truly wins out, as proven a final time by the album’s title track.

Bringing Sins Remain to a glorious conclusion, the track is a kaleidoscope of imagination, moving through acoustic elegance into Celtic spiced adventure and Eastern majesty across its length landscape. Fascinating and irresistible, the track is a thrilling end to an increasingly impressive album. With moments which stir thoughts of bands from Arch/Matheos and Horslips to Motherjane, the closer is theatre for the ears, a melodic seduction for the imagination, and alone one reason to check out the album.

Blackhour is ready to breach the broadest spotlights with Sins Remain, an album which could also be the key to opening the door to the great metal adventure going on in their homeland and surrounding regions just a little wider for the world.

Sins Remain is out now via Transcending Obscurity Distribution @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/sins-remain-heavy-metal

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Pete RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Despite – EPic

Despite Online Promo Shot

Poke a wild beast and you get a savaging, an obvious fact which certainly also applies to Swedish metallers Despite and their new EP EPic. Band and release go for the jugular from their first breath and never relinquish their gripping rancor and highly flavoursome persuasion until the final note of rage dissipates. With a sound which draws on a diversity of styles bound in a passion which is as open as the venom in every groove and the anger driving every rhythmic and corrosive twist, EPic is exactly what it says on the tin.

Hailing from Gothenburg and formed in 1998, Despite has consistently drawn strong responses and acclaim from fans and the underground media for their releases and live presence, a clamour seemingly increasing year by year. With a sound which reminds forcibly of Mudvayne around their The End of All Things to Come album but equally the likes of Soilwork and Meshuggah infused into something individual to the band, Despite feel like they are at the point where the wider metal world is waking up to their fury, especially now thanks to the might of EPic. Through debut album In Your Despite of 2009 and its successor Clenched a year later, the quintet has honed a sound and developed a stature which demands attention but the new EP is another big step which with its initial release last November and now a focus grabbing reboot on January 19th, provides a commanding wake-up call to the rest of the unsuspecting metal world.

Opener As You Bleed looms up on ears from a distance with an immediate tangy groove, which as it reaches its destination erupts in a controlled but vibrant maelstrom of intensity and attitude equipped with even broader grooving amidst potently jabbing beats. The guitars of Timmy Leng and André Gonzales are instant inescapable bait, Meshuggah seeded riffs a jagged lure within a toxic caress of melodic enterprise. There is also a sense of intimidation and rage to the song which finds its potent exit through the heavily swung rhythms of drummer Oscar Nilsson and the bracing vocals of Peter Tuthill. His deliver is a perpetual snarl but with a clarity which allows the ire and passion of the lyrics in each individual narrative to make a formidable incitement to match the sounds. There is also variety to his attack as clean elements are allowed to stand alongside his abrasing strengths, a mix which works a treat and nestles perfectly in the blistering Despite PromoImagetempest of the craft around him.

The outstanding start is continued through Awakening, a furious ravaging of the senses from the first second but as the first, coming with a twisting turbulence of invention and intensity. More blustery and hostile than its predecessor, the song also has a sonic grooving which compels the imagination whilst a blend of melodic and destructive invention reminds of Chad Gray and co in union with Dark Tranquility. It is a hellacious temptation leaving appetite greedy and senses throbbing, and there is no respite as Unexceptional steps up next. The third song opens on another enticing snarl punctuated by nasty drums rallies aided by the increasingly potent and enthralling bass threat of Mathias Dagerhed. An explosion of animosity of course is not far away, the track subsequently spilling creative enmity and emotional bad blood with contagious and bewitching effect. It is a seducing which also appears in an Indian flavouring which veins the turmoil, a exoticness which grows and blossoms with increasing temptation as the song reaches its fiery finale and explores a strong whisper of Motherjane in the inventive turbulence.

The song is superb but swiftly matched and at times surpassed by Give Me Life. Bestial in sound and touch from the first clawing of ears, the encounter blazes a scarring trail across the senses. In that unbridled scorching though vocals unite in anthemic rebellion and grooves dance devilishly, both igniting an already breath-taking ferocity. Excellent clean vocal tempting and atmospheric melodic sighs add to the intrigue and unpredictability of the song, but are always shaded by the delicious creative animus of the song.

It leaves final song Sanctum Falls some task to leave the listener on a matching high, a challenge firmly met by its creative drama and exploration. The song is arguably the most inventive and unique provocation on the encounter, offering a Slipknot like colouring to again an expectations dismissing adventure in songwriting and sound, and though it might just miss the plateau of its companions on the EP, it leaves satisfaction full and praise eager.

For newcomers to Despite, EPic is a stirring and exciting introduction whilst those already in the know, will surely agree the EP is the band on a whole new plateau.

No strangers to line-up shuffles, Despite since the initial release of EPic has seen the departure of Dagerhed with a search of a new bassist on going and the arrival of third guitarist Zoran Panovic; just another twist in the gripping ascent of the band to eagerly explore ahead.

EPic is available from January 19th @ http://despiteofficial.bandcamp.com/album/epic-2

http://www.despiteofficial.com/

RingMaster 19/01/2015

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Thy Fallen Kingdom – Fear The Hunter

Band Photo

Wearing its old school inspirations proudly on its sleeve, Singapore thrashers Thy Fallen Kingdom unleash debut album Fear The Hunter, an encounter swift to fire up ears and neck muscles. The nine track aggressor is not a proposition to change the shape of thrash metal or bring it anything particularly new but for passion and thoroughly enjoyable enterprise, it is an album to eagerly embrace repeatedly. The band lists major influences as bands such as Exodus, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Destruction, King Diamond, and Mercyful Fate, no real surprise as you listen to their raw and highly flavoursome encounter, but to be honest this familiarity only adds to the lure of their sound and makes Fear The Hunter like an old friend in the ear and a seriously irresistible stomp for the body.

Formed in 2005, Thy Fallen Kingdom has uncaged a trio of releases leading up to the new album. From the five-track All That Is Left EP in 2009, the quintet has aroused local attention and passions as well as creating interest in the metal underground generally. The following UnDemocratic Society a year later and Army Of One EP in 2012, only added to their emerging presence ensuring there was plenty of anticipation for the band’s first full-length. After numerous line-up changes, the more settled line-up of original member and rhythm guitarist Akhbar, lead guitarist Christian, bassist Bryan, drummer Aip, and vocalist Aidil (though since the album’s recording he has left the band to be replaced by Rajuna), has crafted the band’s finest moment to date, an album to ignite body and appetite with ease.

Adrenaline and energy spurts voraciously from the speakers from the first seconds of the second track, never relenting until the album’s final offering, but it is the short alluring instrumental Mental Oppression starting things off. An evocative melody drifts from the strings of a guitar, its elegant expression and caress a potent coaxing but courted by a sinister sonic squall which offers shadows and portentous suggestiveness, a threat soon realised in Army Of 1. The song lays down a rub of nagging bait before rampaging with nostrils flared and rhythms slapping ears with their mighty swings. In full stride the track is a thunderous provocateur loaded with torrents of abrasing riffs and great tangy grooves, all punctuated by heavy fisted beats. Vocalist Aidil stands in the midst of the incitement, his delivery scowling with serpentine hostility for a great caustic hue to the tempestuous yet melodically fuelled sounds around him. The song as a whole only increases its lure as the blend of every element beds in the senses as grooves drip with temptation.

My Murderous Childhood keeps the great start to the album in full swing, charging and pounding through ears with broad sinews and acidic invention. Vocal variety across the band adds to Thy-Fallen-Kingdom-Fear-the-Hunter-e1415715183881the contagion of the track but it is the virulent riffing alongside spicy grooves and hooks which turns recognisable seeds into a masterfully magnetic proposition. The track leaves appetite and ears that little hungrier, an increasing greed the title track is only too please to satisfy. From a sonic drama a delicious throaty bassline steps forward, skirted by a rhythmic shuffle of beats. It is a bait impossible to resist, even more so when a tangy solo sears its addictive web. In full flight, the song does not quite live up to its opening or predecessor but still lays down an anthemic and contagious provocation to devour, especially with the addition of a bluesy colouring and subsequently furious animosity.

The anthems keep coming thick and fast, the next up Imperious Regime a vocal roar over a contagious sonic turbulence whilst its successor Psychosis provides an inescapable addiction. The first of the pair teases with a Suicidal Tendencies like predation, especially in the vocals, to provide an exhausting and rigorously thrilling incitement, though it is swiftly left in the shade by its successor. From its opening swagger and grouchy bassline, the track is in full control of attention and emotions. A Pantera-like swing to grooves is pure infectiousness which persistently lingers even as the song spills the rawest corrosive essences for a cantankerous canter of sound and attitude. That is enough to make it a formidable encounter but with a slip into a pasture of radiant melodies and harmonies with an air of Motherjane to them, the track has its sights on best on album honours.

The salaciously grooved Operation B.E.A.S.T. has its say on that straight after though, its rugged terrain a barbarous temptation bound in infection soaked grooves and vocal persuasion. The result is another epidemic of tenacious thrash enterprise which with plenty of creative hues and craft from the guitars and potent invention throughout sculpts its own peak in proceedings. That success is matched by the outstanding Unchallenged, another relentless assault with additional punkish textures to the surge of voice and riffs. There is no getting away from the fact that Thy Fallen Kingdom enclose themselves in their open inspirations without seemingly trying to break into bold originality, but here and across the whole of Fear The Hunter, it does not prevent the album from being one of the most pleasing and fun genre releases this year.

Closing with Possessors Of Absolute Power, one more creative cage of vicious rhythms and inventively spicy grooves roared on by torrential riffery, Fear The Hunter is thrash metal at its most furiously compelling. It may be bred on a diet of classic influences which the band is unafraid to share in their sound, but it is a familiarity which Thy Fallen Kingdom uses in their own attention grabbing way for a proposal all thrash fans should take up.

The self-released Fear The Hunter is available now.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thy-Fallen-Kingdom/108260834542?fref=ts

RingMaster 09/12/2014

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Hardcore Anal Hydrogen – The Talas of Satan

Hardcore Anal Hydrogen

Sometimes a release just stops you in your tracks, presses an irresistibly inviting hand into yours, and pulls the psyche into an undiscovered experience which ignites every pore, thought, and emotion. Such is the case with the unpredictable, thoroughly compelling, and insatiably gripping new Hardcore Anal Hydrogen album, The Talas of Satan. Though their third album it is the first to cross the always eccentricity inspired greedy appetite of the site, which is quite irritating realising we had missed out on the previous sure to be thought provoking creativity of the French quartet. Their new album is quite glorious, an exploration where predictability and assumptions do not even get a sniff of realism in its exhausting inventive tapestry of sound and imagination. It is an unforgettable adventure everyone should experience at least one in their lives if only to show that originality and bold invention is not a dying trait of modern music.

Hardcore Anal Hydrogen was formed in 2009 with the meeting of Martyn Clement (guitar/backing vocals) and Sacha Valony (vocals/keys/flute). A duo in the studio expanding to a quartet with the addition of bassist Jonathan Marole and drummer Damien Salis on stage, the band has released two albums before the new revelation, Fork You and Division Zero in 2009 and 2011 respectively. The band’s sound is a fusion of metal and ethnic music, brewed into rabidly diverse and fascinating ventures in turn soaked in experimentation and imagination. Released via Apathia Records, The Talas of Satan is an eclectic dance of modern and traditional spices thrust through a maelstrom of structural instability and physical might aligned to disorganised invention sculpted with the purest skill and instinct.

Every track on the album is a unique character in presence and sound, making a general description or comparison for the album impossible. logoThat is a wonderful essence which constantly exploits and ignites the imagination from the opening track Dhamar. Hand drums, possible tablas open up the track, the eastern lure instantly captivating as the thick blaze of metal spawned riffs and pungent rhythmic caging join in soon after. Still merging both ethnic and aggressive counterparts, the track steers ears into a groove and psyche metal escapade which constantly relaxes to flirt with that initial Indian folk tempting. The vocals scratch and scowl as an additional texture to the opening piece, provoking thoughts of Korn whilst musically elements suggest Motherjane and Pryapisme, the last a constant and most accurate relation to Hardcore Anal Hydrogen.

The mouthwatering start is swiftly reinforced by the outstanding Ramahd, a ravenous squall of sonic and hardcore hostility with plenty of sonic and electronic toxicity which again sends the passions into a hectic scramble for more. There is a definite Mad capsule Markets feel to the rawest psychotic aspects of the track whilst the guest scratching skills of DJ Mattéo produces a spice you can find anywhere from Limp Bizkit to The Kennedy Soundtrack for another potent flavour to the virulent contagion. It is a bordering on pestilential treat with rhythms which resonate in their uniquely specific tone, a breath-taking enticement taken further by Release The Crackhead. The track prowls and prances with a posing gait which dances mischievously around the ears, coaxing closer attention for the subsequent unleashing of blackened vocal spite and dramatic intensity. With more shadows and colours to its imposing endeavour than on a dysfunctional TV, the track courts every emotion from passion to fear, seduction to madness .

The following Pentamère is a celestially borne instrumental with twinkling sonics and bubbling expression within its expansive flight. It is a piece of music which at first was not a certain success for ears but once it stretched its warm arms into an oriental sunset with tribal chants and charmed vocals, submission was rapidly given and retained by the following Kalakaka. The storm unleashes a punk metal ferocity, its persistently twisting sonic grooves entwining the senses as the vocals rage with tempestuous expression, again the previously mention Japanese band coming to mind. The track scores and rages against ears and emotions, taking stabs with rhythmic spite and antagonistic riffery whilst vocals torment thoughts and its victim within the climax. It is another song which unveils a new facet and side to the album, as does quite brilliantly Rupack. It isa track which stomps and dances with the imagination through fevered keys and menacing rhythms. Side steps into jazzy avant-garde revelry makes a delicious fuse to the already smiling appetite helping it develop a greater predatory hunger. Imagine a mix of Pryapisme, Cardiacs, Kontrust, and Mucho Tapioca and you get a whiff of the mania superbly offered.

Next up COI rages with chucky riffs and brutal rhythms for another addictive metallic onslaught; guitars scything air and senses with vicious intent whilst bedlamic vocals find a new vitriol to their grazing tones. Once more though there is a wealth of additives which ensure song and experience is one of a kind, just like the very short sonic disorientation which KRR offers, the track psyche/hardcore at its noisy inventive best.

The seemingly distressed passion of 한오백년 probesthoughts next, driven by the equally intense guest vocals of Doowah before Coq au vin strolls in with a big naughty grin on its face and an electro/Nintendo devilry which masterfully teases around the coarse punk vocals and ravenous riffs. It is no surprise at this point to hear the song unlock a bedlam of ideas and psychotic imagination converted to equally deranged sounds, continuing the strengths of the album so far. The song is a beautiful meshuga sparking a rapturous and maybe equally cracked ardour for it.

The album ends just as powerfully compelling as it started, Chautal a rigorous mix of ethnic and metallic genius which flows as if family whilst offering extremes in beauty and character. It is impossible not to immerse in and be seduced by the track and all of its imagination, drama and epic intent making for a sensational finale. The Talas of Satan is quite brilliant and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen a rare proposition which creates something that is truly new and inspirational, not forgetting unbridled fun.

https://apathiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-talas-of-satan

https://www.facebook.com/hardcoreanalhydrogen

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10/10

Ringmaster 01/04/2014

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Chaos – Violent Redemption

chaos

    Steamrollering the senses with a tsunami of ravenous riffery and adrenaline charged predation, Indian thrashers Chaos reinforce the fact that the band’s homeland metal scene is one of the most exciting adventures to be explored with debut album Violent Redemption. Eleven tracks of insatiable high octane thrash metal brought with hungry craft and contagious energy, the Trivandrum, Kerala hailing quintet ignite the ears and passions with a blaze of old school/Bay Area thrash ferocity. Whether there is much new going on with their first full-length can be debated but for full-on impressive and exhilarating metal, band and release are simply scintillating incitement.

    Rampaging around India for around a decade without finding that opening to wider recognition beyond their home borders, Chaos has earned a strong reputation and following in their underground scene. Their first demo EP in 2009, also called Violent Redemption marked the band out as an intensive force but with their album you feel, with that bit of luck and fortune all bands need, a widespread awareness is poised to envelop their thrilling confrontation. The double award winning band cast their sound with a thick influence from the likes of Slayer, Kreator, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motherjane, Anthrax, and Testament in its voracious hunger and intensity. You can hear much of those flavours throughout the album which raises the lack of originality question to proceedings but used as a broad and inventive swipe in their enterprise, Chaos turns the familiarity into an addiction forging weapon in their creative armoury.

     The opening atmospheric intro Ungodly Hour is a haunting and sinister embrace giving little away to newcomers of what is to coverbe unleashed. The wait to find out is minimal though as barely a minute later Torn thrusts its muscular presence through the ears, riffs gnawing waspishly on the senses whilst rhythms punch and jab with precision and controlled rabidity. It is an immediately tempting assault, one soon energised further by the excellent vocals and melodic sonic endeavour searing the walls of the rapacious provocation. Neck muscles do not take long to start aching from the intensive response to the song’s virulent lures whilst emotions are enflamed by the anthemic call and unbridled contagion of the track.

    The immense start is instantly backed up by both Game and War Crime, the first a snarling beast of a track with explosive rhythmic jaws clamping down hard on the senses for the riffs and sonic adventure which breaks out to savage and score the imagination respectively. Three hungry minutes of prime energised thrash stalking, the song is a mouthwatering tsunami of intent and intensity matched by the equally raucous and infectiously fuelled second of the two. The almost whining essence to the grooves and riffs licks the passions into a feverish appetite whilst rhythmically and vocally the band just incites further greed for more of the same. As with most songs the solo design is striking and unpredictable whilst at times testing the limits of its place in the larger scheme of the track. Chaos though has the intelligence and ingenuity to merge it all into a narrative which rips attention and affirmation from the emotions its way each and every time.

     Saint pounds and stalks the ears with a low swinging swagger littered with irrepressible grooves and uncompromising beats. The group calls behind the again excellent delivery of vocalist JK soak the track in another almost call-to-arms temptation whilst the bass groan is a wonderful dark menace within a weave of melodic flames and sonic invention. As across all songs though it is the thrash sculpted stomping which steals an unreserved submission to what is on offer, a potent bait replicated throughout Violent Redemption in individual incendiary guises such as that of Heaven’s Gate, a song which steals the passions with an enthralling blend of Anthrax like revelry and Rob Zombie bred devilry with more than a whisper of Motherjane to the melodic craft and elegance which has its say too.

     Blacklash and Merchant of Death keep the dosage of high quality and intensively persuasive thrash enterprise hectically consuming the senses, the first with a breath-taking Metallica meets Down vivacity and the second through a creative maelstrom which seduces and gnaws the ears simultaneously whilst twisting in some of the most imaginative ideas and exploits on the album. Both leave that early hunger slavering whilst the esuriently riffing Self Deliverance and the outstanding and blistering imaginative storm of Cyanide Salvation send it and passions into a new lustful satisfaction.

    Completed by its title track, a furious unbridled juggernaut of thrash antagonism, Violent Redemption is an unashamed and exhaustive furnace of old school thrash. Putting aside the very slight issue of not offering anything truly new, Chaos has unleashed an album which does everything right and to the most virulently contagious levels. It is up there with the best genre releases over the past twelve months or so but we would suggest leads the way in providing the strongest pleasure and thrills. It is exceptional stuff with go check it and Chaos out our parting recommendation.

https://www.facebook.com/chaosindia

10/10

RingMaster 04/02/2014

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Orion – On the Banks of Rubicon

 

orion pic

    It is fair to say that India is a potent metal scene still relatively untapped by the rest of the world. It is a shame and a little surprising as the amount of bands which thrill and impress there is a constant hint, especially in regard to extreme metal, of just how strong the scene is. Progressive death metallers Orion provide another enthralling formidable nudge with their EP On the Banks of Rubicon. Four tracks of riveting and persistently unpredictable invention, the release is a burning beacon of skill and imagination which should not be ignored.

     Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Vigneshkumar Venkatraman (also of Albatross), guitarist Ashwin Kulkarni, bassist Anshuman Bhattacharya, and drummer Pritesh Prabhune, the quartet from Mumbai was formed in 2008 and released their first demo Reverie Hours two years later. Taking inspirations from the likes of Death, Opeth, Necrophagist, Gojira, Periphery, and Protest The Hero into their blend of progressive and death metal with plenty of further essences to captivate the imagination, the band makes a compelling persuasion with On the Banks of Rubicon. Strikingly merging melodic and carnivorous intents into a landscape of provocation which startles and seduces from start to finish, the EP is a masterful exploration which sculpts a formidable declaration for not only the band but Indian metal as a whole.

     Opening track Oh Sweet Ebullition immediately seizes ears and attention with thumping rhythms and sonic craft, the guitars coverwrapping sonic tendrils around the senses whilst expanding a melodic enterprise through reserved but open grooves and instantly persuasive riffing. It is a magnetic entrance which lures thoughts and emotions into the heart of the melodic and groove metal mix brought with predatory energy and breath. A sudden dip into melodic elegance opens the door for a torrent of rapacious provocation, riffs and the heavy growls of Venkatraman spawning rabidity in the track as it goes straight for the jugular. It is an intensive evocation which commands the senses before without warning diving into a progressive and melodic stretch of beauty and mesmeric seduction. This is subsequently entwined within the sinew driven death bred aggression of before to ignite an even greedier hunger for the song. Only half way in and the encounter has taken the breath away with its power and invention, something which never relents up to the final second of the six minute plus tempting. Nothing on the song is repeated beyond the passage seeding any particular moment and along with the excellent vocal fusion of guttural vitriol and clean melodic deliveries impressively helps drive the song straight into the passions. Like a union of Motherjane, Bhayanak Maut, and Opeth but with much more uniqueness, it is a rigorously incendiary and thrilling start to the release.

    Devoured Existence enters next on a blaze of skilful sonic colouring which again ignites the imagination straight away, priming it for the harsh creative jaws of the track which scar and provoke. A thrash kissed surge to the riffing is tempered by the death metal spawned vocal delivery and surrounding imposing shadows but this itself is only subservient to the again outstanding guitar invention and menacing basslines which control it all. Predictability is once more completely absent in the creative maelstrom, classic metal spirals of sonic ingenuity descending to defeat expectations whilst the song niggles with almost pestilential efficiency enslaving the emotions as fully as its predecessor and the following triumph Astral. Almost eight minutes of simultaneously rampaging, crawling, and seducing adventure, twisting melodic and doom metal with a blackened wind over a progressive death metal, the third song is a scintillating encounter. Once more Motherjane comparisons spring to mind at times and certainly at the beginning, as does those to UAE band Absolace but it is only a small flavour in an ever evolving and shifting soundscape which entrances and violates with equal success and grandeur. The best track on the release it reveals and screams out all of the impressive elements and skills of Orion in songwriting and presentation. One of the best extreme metal tracks heard in a long time it can be the doorway to the widest recognition with a slice of luck.

     The EP closes with the most direct death metal track My Dying Prayer, but again there is plenty of invention unleashed to bewitch and wrong foot the ears for the richest satisfaction, everything from vocals to guitar mastery, bass snarling to rhythmic manipulation impressively addictive.  On the Banks of Rubicon is an exceptional encounter all should take a big chunk of time out to investigate. It will impress and thrill whilst maybe opening the gateway to an undiscovered world of invention driven metal in the band’s homeland. Be brave and go for it we say.

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10/10

RingMaster 15/01/2014

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