Anti Ritual – Self Titled

ANTI RITUAL_Band_large

Unleashing a tsunami of spiteful ferocity and voracious defiance within its tempestuous sounds, the self-titled debut EP from Danish hardcore/metallers Anti Ritual is an inescapable provocation which leaves senses bruised and battered but seriously alive. A joint release between Indisciplinarian and Vendetta Records, the six track sonic scourge is a challenging and testing encounter but one which abrases and gets right under the skin.

Brewing up a maelstrom of passion and malevolence from a mix of hardcore and extreme metal, the Copenhagen quartet use their musical platform to rail against the political and social evils which enslave the thoughts and lives of the people. It is forcibly aggressive, emotionally tearing at the diverse structures and wrongs ravaging man but also embracing the good in humanity and promoting constructive defiance. Musically their sound is imposing addiction, scorching grooves and rhythmic hostility a rampant contagion which openly reveals the craft and strength of the songwriting and band. Self-produced by the band and mixed by Jakob Reichert Nielsen (Rising, Lack) with mastering from Brad Boatright (Nails, Sleep, From Ashes Rise), the EP is a severe and uncompromising indictment, and exhaustingly compelling.

Ideals to the Fire begins the vitriolic erosion of ears and senses, its opening temptation of drums soon raging within a storm of scathing AntiRitual_Sleeve.inddriffs and carnivorous basslines which in turn coax the rhythms to become rabid and unpredictable. It is a savage attack driven harder by the caustic growls of vocalist Marco Malcorps whilst all the while a virulent groove casts its toxicity, constantly brewing up its intensity and bait across the brief and thrilling scourge. It is a blistering and formidable incitement, one stirring things up mentally and emotionally as it sparks unbridled enthusiasm.

The potent start is driven deeper into the psyche and passions with Slave Dogmatics, the track taking a mere second to worm under the skin as sonic scars are left by guitarist Jacob Krogholt under the rain of intensive rhythms from drummer Nikolaj Borg. Again grooves scythe with rabidity across the annihilatory onslaught giving it a swing and swagger which like the lyrical narrative, sculpts an enticing almost anthemic persuasion. The track is simply irresistible, showing that barbarous examinations can be just as thrilling and epidemically contagious as any smouldering seduction, that something you are not likely to experience from Anti Ritual we can safely assume.

The following No Second Earth grips the same wave of fury as its predecessor, twisting it into its own abrasing sonic predator. Framed and speared by the corrosive rhythms and heavily rapacious bass growls of K.B. Larsen, the track takes a more deliberately paced tempest to the senses, capturing the imagination with bestial and continually lumbering riffery. It shows a variety to release and sound, even if in more subtle than openly loud ways, which is continued with The Highest Privilege, its doom breathing, blackened squall a continually changing journey of destructive rampancy and sinister predation which ebbs and flows whilst permeating the roots of instinctive passion.

The closing pair of Blame the Victim and A New Discourse on Enlightenment ensure the release leaves as nastily as it entered, the first a pestilential cyclone of sound and vitriol flailing flesh as it man handles thoughts whilst its successor brings the richest layer of crust to the release yet whilst potently employing an intimidating chug of sludge/thrash riffs. It is the most intensive and dangerous slab of aural brutality on the EP, an unrelenting and rigorously compelling torrent of passion and raw antagonistic sculpting; a quite immense conclusion to an outstanding release.

Anti Ritual band and EP are not for fair weather hardcore and extreme metal fans but for those of a masochistic and defiance driven appetite. It is a thoroughly impressive debut from a band you can sense is going to leave major landmarks across their upcoming horizons.

The Anti Ritual EP is available now from Vendetta Records and Indisciplinarian on 12” black vinyl limited to 350 copies, white vinyl limited to 150 copies, and digitally.


RingMaster 28/04/2014

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Nails – Abandon All Life


    There is nothing at all comfortable about the new sonic scourge from Californians Nails, in either listening to its primal rage or in its furnace borne construction, but the rewards and intrusive pleasure reaped from its caustic presence far easily outweighs any pain suffered. Brawling with ten tracks at just over seventeen minutes combined, Abandon All Life is a ravenously vicious express train of grind and hardcore soaked in a death metal malevolence, a record with a sonic dexterity which sculpts varied textures and sounds into a multi-levelled tsunami of violent passion and destructive attitude.

Recorded with Kurt Ballou of Converge, the Southern Lord released album follows up the acclaimed debut full length Unsilent Death with a similar intent but a further honed venom and craft from the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones, guitarist Saba, drummer Taylor Young (Crematourim), and bassist John Gianelli (Fell To Low). It gives no respite or mercy just drives its howling anger and pissed off breath with a revengeful malicious intensity and sonic blistering which sears the senses long before notes place their lethal hands on the ear. Strike a match whilst listening to the album and it would be no surprise to see the world go up in flames such the vitriolic fumes given offer by this exceptional raw release.

Opener In Exodus takes a mere scorch of sonics before chewing on the ear with rabid riffs and spiteful rhythmic provocation, all coming together to explode into a pungent ferocity of impassioned toxicity. There is no respite from its brief but corrosive maelstrom which transfers seamlessly into the following Tyrant. The second song snarls and brawls like the first but incites its storm bred climax with a rhythmic build up which is as infectious as it is the devious portal into the closing savagery. The drums cage and abuse the senses with villainous expertise whilst the bass offers a carnal presence which equally seduces and ravages. Their union is bestial adding the darkest shadows to the burning sonic rage of the guitars and the equally mordant vocal squalls of Jones.

There is an open diversity within the air expelling surface of the songs with God’s Cold Hands one of the keenest and most compelling examples. The outstanding track is as abrasive and sonically torrential as any song on the album but underlines it with a barbed groove which erodes the senses with an understated yet siren like potency. The track savages the senses in its jaw, thrashing them from side to side but then coats them in a sludge/doom prowl of sound to further excite and captivate before leading to a final toxic crescendo. The invention continues with Wide Open Wound, a predatory crawl of blackened sludge veined with exhausting punk spite and acerbic chugging metallic borne riffs. The song chews and growls with a hateful passion yet invigorates the fight and inspiration to stand defiant, as does the album as a whole across its biting tracks.

The following merciless title track with its barbaric rhythms and volcanic emotive fire, the sadistic and irresistible Pariah, and Cry Wolf all exhaust and vaporize the air around them, the latter of the three mutilating synapses with a ferociousness which can only be classed as sonic assassination. Their contagious violence hands over to the closing might of Suum Cuique, a track which incorporates all the qualities which came before into one lasting ruinous confrontation with a slight bedlamic nature to its satanic mastery.

Abandon All Life is an album which defies the expectations and anticipation set in place from the previous album to offer a violation beyond not only what Nails brought before but most of the efforts of their fellow sonic conspirators.


RingMaster 04/04/2013

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Xibalba: Hasta La Muerte

Murderous, corruptive, and aurally spiteful, the new album from Californian hardcore destructors Xibalba is a towering beast for which no hiding place is safe enough. Hasta La Muerte is mighty, a storming tornado of intensity and sonic bruising which leaves one on all fours and whimpering like a dog but with satisfaction oozing from every pore. It is not an album which gouges fissures to split open the boundaries of extreme metal but utilises its already established tools into one impressive and oppressive pleasure.

The album is the first since signing with Southern Lord and follows their 2011 respected debut Madre Mia Gracias Por Los Dias. The band name comes from Mayan mythology, a vast underground city ruled by the demon gods of death with their music and album the epitome of the black intent to cause human suffering of the rulers of “the place of fear”. Hasta La Muerte is a shifting predatory release which mills the violence of hardcore with the metal essences of death, doom and sludge for a crushing and deeply rewarding consumption on the senses. Recorded with Taylor Young from Nails, the album sears synapses and decimates senses whilst bones crumble before its intensity for possibly the most enjoyable demise brought aurally all year.

The album evaporates defences instantly with the crawling insidious beginning to opener No Serenity. With a bitter atmosphere it gathers its energies to unleash a venomous storm of tenderising riffs, vindictive rhythms, and malicious vocals. Once in its stride and evolving from a hardcore onslaught the track latches onto the ear with an acidic groove to drool over and a droning breath which envelopes every atom.  It is a powerful start equalled and elevated over the following tracks.

The likes of Soledad with its downtuned oppressive molestation of the senses and Laid To Rest, a track with slight industrial tendencies initially which evolve into a ravenous and savage malevolent festering, continue the tsunami of overpowering annihilatory intent and energies. There is no place to hide before Xibalba, if their ruinous aggression does not grab full submission their acidic grooves and distorted melodic taunts surely will.

The exceptional highs of what is an immensely consistent album, comes with the following Burn and later on, The Flood and Stoneheart. The first is a relentless flurry of vehemence and caustic breakdowns which captivates and ignites the passions with ease whilst offering another helping of coarse addiction for the senses. With a grinding groove which leaves the ear sore but braying for more, the song is a merciless barrage of barbaric riffs and beats to leave one punch drunk and grinning incessantly.

The Flood is a tribal driven hypnotic abusing disguised as an instrumental. Its onerous predatory shadow wraps tightly around its recipient as the beats with metronomic precision jab throughout and then the piece slowly crawls through a thick mire of scathing energy to salt the already existing sores for a staggering climax.  It is a sumptuous and infectious disease which slowly overwhelms whilst Stoneheart is a niggling waspish cruelty upon the ear, its winding acerbic melodies burning upon touch and rhythms instantly barbaric. With the grievous weight of the track holding one down for its elements to flail ferociously it is an intensive examination and feeding of the senses.

      Xibalba may not be setting new dimensions with Hasta La Muerte but they have easily brought one of the most thrilling and explosive releases this year. It is a dangerous rage of low slung sounds, rabid intensity, and near immoral vocals which leaves one in a pool of their own juices wasted and fully satisfied.

RingMaster 25/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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