Scordatura – Torment of the Weak

Promo Picture

Let us cut to the chase and announce that quite simply Torment of the Weak, the new album from Scottish band Scordatura, is one of if not the most impressive death metal debuts of recent times. It is a monstrous declaration of an emerging potency which already consumes and ignites the senses like a veteran destroyer of souls. It is a bestial rage of unadulterated death metal which preys on, takes up the chase against, and devours its victims in one devious swoop. The band do not stretch existing boundaries it is fair to say upon the album but instead give the genre a fresh and invigorating passion wand enterprise which leaves the deepest, hungriest satisfaction.

Consisting of vocalist Daryl Boyce, guitarists Owen McKendrick and Dave Coia, drummer Tam Moran (all founding members), and bassist Mark Scobie (joined 2011), Scordatura  have built an intense reputation around their local scene and beyond. Since forming in 2007, the Glasgow quintet has wreaked their heavy toxicity across the UK supporting the likes of Cryptopsy, Misery Index, Aborted, Beneath The Massacre, Malevolant Creation, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Condemned as well as also joining Cerebral Bore on tour in 2011 and making their own successful tours around Scotland before that. Earlier demos and the Open Skies EP as well as their live album Live in Edinburgh [Deadhaggis Deathfest] earned a building acclaim and presence for the band but Torment of the Weak should be the key to full nationwide recognition whilst taking the band to the fore of the extreme metal scene in the UK, and with the self-released album also having distribution throughout North America and Canada by Blasthead Records, maybe the world will be making their calls upon Scordatura very soon too.

Recorded in 2012 with Scott Fuller of Abysmal Dawn doing the mixing, the eight track Torment of the Weak scorches the senses coverimmediately as opener Necromantic Disposition emerges from a sampled piece of cinematic blood soaked mayhem. Their songs are themed lyrically by serial killers and gore bought with an open black humour and the first track brings it all into devastating play. Once the rolling film and final dreg of live has been taken the track explodes into a savage assault of exhausting riffs, suffocating intensity, and crippling rhythms all ridden by the excellent guttural malevolence of Boyce. There is an instantly contagious pull which is impossible to resist within the carnally bred tempest and for all the predacious riffing and cage fighter beats from Moran, groove is king and twists around the spine of passions with intrusive majesty. This addiction causing weaponry is as lethal as the corrosive aspects of the songs and gives no respite from the merciless proceedings despite its impossibly tempting claws.

The following Visceral Disembowelment is bred from the same rapacious heart and also takes a mere moment to clamp its jaws around the ear and send snarling lashes of riffs through its defenceless throat whilst the bass of Scobies prowls in the wake escorted by the continuing to impress bone splintering rhythms of Moran. The track crawls and sizes up its recipient, crowding and provoking with compelling intimidation rather than going all out to ravage all life from the body. With again irresistible grooves littering its path to seduce whilst the rest of the song chews further into the psyche it continues the impressive start with riveting ease.

Both Neurotic Aberration and the title track bring their equally dramatic and distinct rabidity to work, the first with a jackhammer provocation merged with a thick oppressive intensity and its successor through a maelstrom of blood soaked textures and primal hunger brewed into an annihilatory tsunami of violence. As throughout the album the guitars of McKendrick and Coia have a craft and guile which leaves undiluted riffing as potent as the melodic and sonic imagination and they as ruinous as the insidious riffs.

Incestual Convulsions is sheer momentous filth, a sonic irreverence in league with an inexhaustible brutality that turns those toxic grooves into pure venom within the vicious storm. It is a glorious confrontation which uses the intense platform of its excellent predecessor Back to Crack, a song which softens up every aspect of the mind, to launch its merciless grievous tirade.

Completed by the scintillating disorientating pestilence of Sutured Flesh and finally the virulently poisonous jeopardy of From Chin To Hole, the immense Torment of the Weak leaves a blissful shattered wreck in its tumultuous wake. It is a staggering introduction to Scordatura, a band bringing the essences of the likes of Suffocation and Dying Fetus into something new and thrilling. With more tours throughout the UK and Europe ahead, including a tour with Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an appearance at The Northern Darkness Festival  in December alongside bands such as At The Gates, Decapitated, Napalm Death, Graveworm, and Hour Of Penance, 2013 looks like the year Scordatura will stake a claim to sit at the top table of death metal.


RingMaster 30/07/2013

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Sidious – Ascension to the Throne ov Self


Consisting of four bestial violations of the senses shaped with purposeful and creative craft leading to total enthrallment, Ascension to the Throne ov Self is a striking and wholly satisfying debut from UK band Sidious. Consisting of members of Eye Of Solitude, the London based band has risen from the demise of Seed Of Detest to emerge as one of the more inventive and captivating confrontations of blackened death metal and this, their first release one scintillating and bruising slab of impressive ravaging.

Consisting of vocalist Tom “Void” Allen, guitarists Steffan Gough and Mark Antoniades, bassist Chris Davies, and Fahim Ahmed on drums, Sidious use its member’s experience to strong effect, their fusion of extreme metals from symphonic to black, death to deathcore an accomplished and inventive ferocity upon the ear and senses. Released via Kaotoxin Records and produced by Russ Russell (Dimmu Borgir, Lock Up, Napalm Death), Ascension to the Throne ov Self is a furnace which leaves exhaustion and pleasure in its tidal strong wake and instantly marks the band with a formidable introduction.

From a brewing ambience with an air of epic like proportions opener Insurmountable emerges upon a symphonic call heralding 760137002222_TOX022_Sidious_Artwork_600x600-300an impending sense of grandeur, that epic voice growing louder by the second. Bone shuddering rhythms next step forward alongside intensive riffs and beckoning shielded vocals to open up the sinews of the track, their spreading arms bringing savage riffing and the caustic squalling venom of vocalist Allen forward to accost and sear the ear. Throughout the malevolence the keys strike a balance with their beauty, a warm seductive temper to the raptorial hunger crawling all over the rest of the sounds which across the shuffling gait and evolving premise of the song  continually makes the warmest persuasion to contrast but stand akin of the corrosive elements bred elsewhere.

     Sentient Race takes over where the destructive climax of its predecessor left off, riffs and drums colliding with the ear whilst the bass prowls and lurches over the wounds with the grinning rabidity of a ravenous beast. A torrent of intense unbridled energy and spiteful aggression careers over the senses with only the keys offering any form of respite from the imaginative and impassioned annihilation. The symphonic call of the song is never far from a sirenesque temptation but hardly gets a clean shot at the passions, rapture being seized by the tempestuous fury at work and then elevated by the expressive keys.

The opening beguiling atmosphere of next up Nihilistic Regeneration unveils a vision full of emotion and brewing elegance even with the venomous erosive vocals and intimidating rhythms beginning their fiery build. The visual narrative cannot hold back the heavy shadows for long though as the band explodes into another inferno of inventive maliciousness and imaginative sonic sculpting disguised as violence. It is an enthralling track, the continual twist of attack and the reflective melodic keys designed embrace a beguiling lure of ingenuity veining and pushing the vociferous oppressive intensity further into the soul and heart.

As the title track casts out its own individual creative decimation, fragmented air turned into sonic shards of blistering and far reaching animosity whilst the keys and melodies dance upon the wounds within the turbulent maelstrom of black hearted excellence, it is fair to say Ascension to the Throne ov Self secures any lingering doubts and turning them into the final seal of ignited passion for its insidious and engrossing might. As beautiful as it is nasty, and as emotive as it is ruinous, the release instantly places Sidious to the fore of extreme metal and raises expectations and anticipation for their next release to testing levels for the band, though one doubts they will do anything less but exceed them as they look destined to be one of the bands shaping the next era of UK metal.


RingMaster 08/05/2013

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Machine Rox – Activate Your Anger

Machine Rox

© Alex Cooke Photography

After struggling to catch a breath after the riotous, energetic and overwhelmingly exhausting Activate Your Anger EP from UK industrial/electro band Machine Rox, you can only sit back with a satiated hungry appetite and contemplate basking immediately again in the feast of satisfying sounds. Like that favourite meal you may constantly choose in a restaurant, the release is a familiar and arguably unadventurous encounter for the palate, but one which brings the deepest and fullest senses ravaging pleasure.

Machine Rox began in 2007 as the solo project of Richard Kaltenhauser (aka Richard K), a member of industrial bands Meat Machine and Global Noise Attack (who supported the likes of Rammstein, Napalm Death, and Covenant). His ideas and sounds blended the potent essences of electro, industrial, and ebm with a corrosive metallic guitar bred attack for as subsequent releases show an impacting and incendiary brawl of a magnetic encounter. The arrival of Aga in 2010 on backing vocals and keyboards brought the project into a band stance with two years later joining Aga and Richard (electronics, vocals, guitars), drummer Nuj Farrow and guitarist Valerian Oproiu added their presence for the live aspect of the band. Since then Machine Rox has supported bands such as Leaetherstrip, V2A, and Deviant UK, and played numerous successful and acclaimed shows and festivals. Activate Your Anger follows a quartet of well received EPs which has increased their stature rapidly but with the new Static Distortion Label EP and its increased aggression, intensity, and contagious energy, expectations are of this being a trigger point to even greater awareness.

The London based band immediately coats the ear in a static cursed electro rub instantly joined by heavy caustic riffs, predatory 175430660-1beats, and burning sonics as opener Move Your Body (Until You Die) winds up its lethal dance. A thumping pulse driven rampage with devilment and rhythmic belligerence in tow is an easy persuasion especially with the dual vocals of Richard and Aga offering a devil and angel seduction. Whether from the acidic melodic venom of the guitar or the bewitching wantonness of the electro spotlights and their spearing shafts of warmth, the track is an unrelenting tempest which incites a full engagement and compliance to its irresistible call.

The following Night Riots is not just content to follow in the wake of its compelling predecessor without making its own contagious declaration on the ear which it does by initially provoking and caging the senses in commanding and synapse resonating throaty beats. Hitting the primal target which leads again to capitulation before the forceful and greedy energy as well as the infectious temptation beckoning and grinning from every note and corner of the track, the band without quite matching the potency of the first track holds the passions in its grasp and takes them on an invigorating irresistible ride.

Next Nothing steps up to offer a snarl to the release which reminds of Ghost In The Static, its bruising and scuzzy sound and intensive sinews the most imposing and threatening part of the EP. It like all the songs has hooks which deep root themselves in the listener for the most potent contagion though up against the following Where You Are still looks like a novice in that department. Taking centre stage with an instantaneous swagger and impossibly catchy lure, the new song is an intoxicating hypnotist with sparking crystalline seduction and an authoritative cogent rhythmic web which enslaves the senses and passions. Virulently infectious with a presence which is like Dead Or Alive meets Hanzel und Gretyl with Marilyn Manson and Angelspit in close attention, the track is electro manna for which there is no defence.

Bringing the release to an equally riveting and explosive conclusion is firstly Time To Survive, the track bringing back a thicker muscular wall of sound to further tease and exploit the now brewed ardour towards it with insidiously entrancing sonic enticement and ravenous heavy duty rapaciousness, and finally a remixed version of Next Nothing. Though Activate Your Anger does not offer anything dramatically new, it and Machine Rox unleash a tempestuous energy exploding experience which few recently have rivalled.


RingMaster 28/04/2013

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Overoth: Kingdom Of Shadows

Overoth Promo

Originally self-released in 2010, Northern Ireland band Overoth has unleashed their debut album Kingdom Of Shadows a second time through Hostile Media, and for those like us who missed it the first time it is a definite blessing. The album is a beast of a release, a carnal seducer of the senses and passions driven by a death metal as eager to groove as it is hungry to corrupt and savagely devour. With a brand new album in the works, the re-release of Kingdom Of Shadows is the perfect time to introduce yourselves to an impressive emerging aural predator.

Hailing form Belfast, Overoth was formed in 2005 by a quartet of friends with ‘a raw passion for no frills death metal’. An early demo release and their impressive live performances brought plenty of attention upon the band which was easily exceeded by the release of the Death Personified EP in 2007. Recorded in the spring of that year, the band was soon approached by Rundown Records, who eventually released the EP in the November. Its appearance was supported by a tour of Ireland and the UK, which included a gig supporting Massacre & Extreme Noise Terror. The next couple of years saw the band relentlessly gigging, with the sharing of stages with the likes of Obituary, Cerebral Bore, Origin, and Onslaught, tours around Ireland and Europe alongside bands such as Shadows Far, Godhate, and Volturyon, as well as festival appearance like Day of Darkness alongside bands alike Unleashed and Watain, the Irelands Low End Festival with artists such as Napalm Death and Primordial, and the Cork Winterfest sharing the bill with Grand Magus, Mael Morda, Hail Of Bullets and more. It was a hectic and fruitful time with the band in 2009 also recording Kingdom Of Shadows with its release coming early the following year. Since its first release, the band has continued to impress with shows and appearances alongside more bands such as Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Bolt Thrower, Sinister, Fleshrot, Rotting Christ, Sodom, Rex Shachath and many more. The band has built a formidable reputation with their sound and intensity, a force which now can be felt and greedily consumed by the re-appearance of their excellent album.

Tolling bells and a brewing distressed ambience opens up the title track to start things off, the impending voice of the song soon Overoth - Kingdom Of Shadowsthrust aside by ravaging riffs, sadistic rhythms, and a deceptively addictive groove to vein the heavy intensity. The vocals exhaust the air with their caustic breath and intrusive tones bringing a full malevolence to the already overpowering and contagious sounds. Having already secured a strong persuasion with its destructive presence the track hands over to the equally vindictive I Am One, I Am All. With riffs gnawing the ear with potent malice from the off, the song prowls and seduces with bulging rhythms from the drums and a resonating snarl from bass whilst further riffing chews with a presence which is as primal as it is addictive. Continuing the immense start the song, like the release, is arguably not stretching barriers but undoubtedly it casts a creative presence which impacts with accomplished craft and invention alongside an imaginative violence posing as temptation.

The consistent quality and lure of the release is continued with ease through the uncompromising Summon The Cursed where not for the first time the bass steals the passions with its dramatically bestial voice, and further elevated further with the outstanding The Serpent Of Old. The song stalks the ear with antagonistic rhythms and riffs which are equally attitude driven, whilst the vocals combine a malicious intent and an infectious swagger which compliments devilishly the ebbing and flowing intensity of the music. With a furnace of a climax which climbs all over the senses like a ravenous plague to pull apart and captivate its victim, the track is a pinnacle of the release.

It has to be said there is a surface similarity across many tracks which defuses their potency as individuals without deliberate focus into their hearts but not enough for the release to lose its impact at any point. It to be fair, points to the fact that the band is still emerging its distinct presence and that makes their forth coming second album a very exciting prospect. The likes of Led To The Slaughter and the Pathway To Demise with its insatiable repetitive groove and niggling sonic persistence enflame the senses further whilst Obsidian Blade stands like a leviathan of venom with overbearing energy and matching intensity for a fire of death driven metal. With Upon The Altar also leaving strong passion for its great melodic keys which enchant as potently as the sirenesque whispers within Obsidian Blade, Kingdom Of Shadows is an excellent release dripping immense potential whilst leaving rich pleasure in its wake. Roll on album two.


RingMaster 29/03/2013


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Kruna: Last Century


    Last Century, the debut album from Italian extreme metallers Kruna may not be offering anything distinctly new but it is one hell of a towering confrontation with torrents of anger, passion, and intensive sounds to please any metal driven heart. The release unleashes a compelling fusion of viciously addictive rhythms, frighteningly carnivorous riffs, and scorching melodic fires for a result which is constantly compulsive listening and more often than not quite irresistible.

Having sparked strong attention with their 2007 demo Fragments Of Memories, the quintet from Vajont spent the past few years expanding and honing their songwriting and creative skills whilst consistently igniting live stages. Now they are set to enflames passions with their Riccardo Pasini (Ephel Duath, Slowmotion Apocalypse, Extrema) produced first full length confrontation. Their previous release is said to fuse their early influences such as Sepultura, Slayer, and Black Sabbath with the newer sounds of Black Dahlia Murder, Soilwork and Hatesphere at the time. That description still stands in regard to the album but the Bakerteam Records released Last Century shows the band has stretched and expanded their ferocity and invention even further  to at times also offer loud whispers of bands such as Whitechapel, Napalm Death, and As I Lay Dying.

Opener Man God’s Temple immediately takes chunks out of the senses with ravenous riffs, crippling rhythms, and a fiery groove BT 021 Coverwhich twists around the ear whilst searing its flesh. As the caustic vocal squalls of Daniele De Piero bring their abrasion to bear upon the listener, the thrilling rhythms of drummer Aaron Sabadin cage and quell all resistance whilst the guitars of Irvin Sabadin and Enrico Clarin prey and torment with acutely crafted grooves and venomous sonic riffery. It is a wholly impressive first encounter with the bass of Riccardo Padoan bringing its own individual menace to the raging onslaught with malice and enterprise.

From the corrosive start the album continues its immense stance with Bloody Centuries and the excellent Confessor. The first gnaws and consumes with a furnace of intensity and abusive rhythmic violence speared by again finely tuned acidic grooves and breath-taking energy whilst the latter is a tsunami of rhythmic violence and exhausting intense malevolence. It is also highly contagious with an intermittent groove lashing the ear and an insatiable hornet like insistence and sonic spirals igniting the strongest passions before its stunning presence. Complete with eager melodically gaited guitar persuasion the track is easily the best on the album and impossibly infectious.

Phoenix comes next and features a guest appearance by Alberto Zannier of Italian melodic death metal band Slowmotion Apocalypse. Again it is an excellent fury with equally striking musicianship and melodic blistering to its tumultuous presence. After the brilliance of its predecessor it certainly has a battle on its hands to compete but nearly grabs the same heights and passion to compete with Confessor.

Songs like Death Without War, Back In Time, and the closing pair of Death By War and Armor impress but also underwhelm a little as arguably they of all the tracks, fail to deliver anything unheard before. They are still fully imposing and enthralling riots though and will continue to find an eager welcome for their feisty and merciless passion and sounds. Before those final songs though extra fires are ignited firstly with Ten Lies, its crushing energy and ruthless rhythms leaving feelings in bliss whilst a bass resonance complete with a throaty quarrel is possibly the finest moment on the album, Padoan finding a satanic menace and voice with his four stringed beast which is just stunning. Mob and Not For Me also leave a tortuous and deeply satisfying ardour in their wake to complete what is an arousing and impressive release.

     Last Century may not have anything particularly new to bring to the storm on the surface but with things bubbling below and an insatiable intensity as well as skilled enterprise; the album shows Kruna to be a band extreme metal is destined to have a lot of time and greed for.


RingMaster 26/03/2013


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Nolentia: May the Hand that Holds the Match that will Set this World on Fire be Blessed Above All


    Is it possible to enjoy an album like May the Hand that Holds the Match that will Set this World on Fire be Blessed Above All when it is such an abrasive and destructive endurance to suffer? Quite simply yes though it took time to make its final persuasion though it might just be it wore down the defences and forced a submission. Either way by its completion the new album from French agiteurs Nolentia leaves one infernally violated but rewardingly spent.

Released through Kaotoxin Records, May the Hand… is a furnace of seventeen unbridled grindcore annihilations. Fusing a mix of grind, hardcore, doom, crust, and sonic blistering, Nolentia rip the senses into whining victims whilst simultaneously burning synapses with a venomous acid which eats away until only mental sushi is left.  As you can imagine the band which formed in 2007, is not an encounter which holds back on unleashing pain and a merciless form of intensity which permanently brands, but at times it is also a tempest with the most compelling and bewitching of grooves and imagination submerged within the full on abuse. From their first demo Sell Your Soul to Grind’n’Roll! of 2008, the band found themselves sharing stages with the likes of The Arson Project, Benighted, Dagoba, Disgorge, Imply In All, Inhume, Knut, Sylvester Staline, Textures, and more. The following year brought their debut album …One Loud Noise and It’s Gone, a release which put them on the horizon of a great many with its unpredictable squalling sounds. During the next years the Toulouse trio successfully left Brutal Grind Assault 2011 buckling under their storm with bands such as General Surgery, Maruta, and Wormrot, playing alongside bands like Atara, Exhumed, Magrudergrind, Mass Grave and Rotten Sound, and late last year the signing with Kaotoxin.

Their second album is an intense and dark monster which either invades and consumes with the predatory instinct of an exhausting 760137001720_TOX017_Nolentia_artwork_1400x1400_300malevolent swamp or just chews up and spits out the listener in a violent brawl of sonic outrage, often combining the two as with opener The Boiling Frog Principle a track which prowls with a malice which explodes into sheer nasty turbulence. As throughout the album, the bass in first song is a deliciously intimidating and bruising spoke in the wheel of sanity, its insidious breath as corrosive and threatening as the sonic discord fervour which slashes with sabre like accuracy on the ear elsewhere.

Songs like A Lament for the Road Kill and Xie Xie continue the pleasing unrelenting heavy ache in sound and effect with a varied yet uniformal sonic profanation, though they do not spark any lasting addiction to be honest. That is soon offered by the soon to revel highlights of the album starting with Too Far Gone, a song which actually recedes in its aggressive stance to unleash hypnotic rhythms and a strangely seductive melodic wooing within the persistent heavy grazing. The album as it progresses gets better and more appealing, its mid waypoint where the convincing is won in the favour of the release, brought on by tracks like the mighty caustic barracking of Wright. The song is a magnetic assault with twists in attack, pace, and invention to leave one equally intrigued and compelled as they are left smarting under its demanding assault.

Throughout the bass is a thrilling aggressor and in The Ticking of the Clock, a brutal hunger upon the ear which drives the destruction of the song deeper than ever. The dual vocals rip through flesh across every song on the album, their two levels of extremes a perfect ravishment against the equally devouring sounds and here they find their nastiest pinnacle. Gasoline and All About, the best track on the release, leave their own distinct sonic rape on the senses with the latter stealing top honours through its stalking gait and teasing sonic flamed groove which spears the thunderous ruptures which explode within the delicious inflexible grind.

May the Hand… is certainly not an album for everyone, as quite simply it is a release which either hurts or pleasures; for those who truly connect with its grindcore might though it satisfyingly does both. If the likes of Pig Destroyer, Brutal Truth, and Napalm Death hit a chord than Nolentia definitely needs an investigation, they convinced us…eventually.


RingMaster 04/02/2013

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Lost In Alaska: Time Of Solution EP

A sonic canker as contaminating as it is toweringly impressive, the Time Of Solution EP from Russian deathcore band Lost In Alaska is a magnificent and rewarding assault on the senses. It devours and consumes with enterprise and skilled invention to leave one gasping for breath but basking in the intrusive experience.

Formed in 2008, Lost In Alaska consists of five musicians who ‘took up one of the heaviest directions in music to express what they actually feel – that was the pain of disappointment and pain of salvation.’ They immediately set about creating music which would demand and earn strong attention and responses, their debut EP Words Full Of Ice of 2009 a well received piece of brutality from fans and fellow local bands alike. Similarly their debut album of last year Zodiac lifted their stock to build on their enhanced and elevated reputation across the years from their immense shows and performances alongside the likes of Norma Jean, Caliban, Napalm Death, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Sonic Syndicate, and Tasters Choice. Recently the band signed a management deal with GlobMetal Promotions and whilst listening to Time Of Solution you can only feel this is the time of and big step into the widest recognition, certainly the key to its lock. Consisting of three colossal tracks of power and invention, the release out via Headxplode Records, is a devastating and rewarding slab of nasty, vindictive, and satisfying intensity.

     The Inevitable Changes is the first to bruise the ears and beyond, its incendiary energy and abrasive guitar flames instantly mesmeric and eager to continue their charm from within the soon to envelop and blister thunderous rhythms and annihilatory riffs. The emerging groove is irresistible and still whispers in the ear when it makes way for the offensive beats and sonic intrusions. Though a full abrasion and dripping malice, the song shares a great melodic solo which is as cutting as the forceful weight of the assault surrounding it is oppressive, the song greedy to engage and intimidate. Ivan Nikolaev growls and scowls with anger and spite, his vocals dripping bile from each syllable to match and drive further the aggression and vindictive nature of the track.

It is a taunting and barbarous beginning easily supported by the title track. It is another insatiable absorption of light and safety, the carnivorous bass and vicious rhythms gnawing and resonating bone whilst the guitars of Maxim Zadorin and Vladislav Suharev scar and set flame to the senses with their sonic fires and imaginative unpredictable ingenuity. Like the release as a whole, the song twists and turns without warning but ensures the onslaught never loses its impact or might. Like the first it is unrelenting and leaves thoughts and senses mere husks beneath its violent tempest.

The closing Pursuit Of Happiness is no different, its effect and immense strength a continuation of previous songs though its body is distinct in its structure and gait with a breath as inventively depraved and wonderfully corrupt as before. The pulsating air of the song burns like acid within the molten fire of energy and aggression to bring further variety and imagination to the release. As across the EP the drums of Antony Poddyachiy show no mercy or lack of invention whilst bassist Alex Kurochkin is a hungry beast snarling and biting from within the collision of hateful intensity and unbridled aggression.

The Time Of Solution EP is an outstanding release showing that Lost In Alaska is one of the more accomplished and impressive deathcore bands around, there time is nigh.

RingMaster 15/10/2012

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Interview with Rui Alexandre of Terror Empire

A few weeks ago saw the release of a thrash driven album which brought a fresh breath and vibrant intensity to the genre. The impressive concussive treat came from Portuguese metalers Terror Empire, a band which feels on the verge of breaking beyond its homeland where already they have built a powerful fan base. Their debut album Face The Terror is an aggressive and riveting release which marks the band as one who has all the armoury to become one of the future powerhouses of trash metal. Grabbing the opportunity to learn more we had the pleasure and treat to talk with guitarist Rui Alexandre about the band and album.

Hi and welcome to The RR

Thanks, my friend. It’s an honour to be featured at your website!

Could you start by introducing the band line-up and telling us how Terror Empire all began? I believe half of the band were already playing together in another group which disbanded?

Yeah, you’re right. Me, Ricardo and Puga used to play in Against, while Sérgio and Gonçalo played in zag.a.lot. After a couple of gigs together, and when the two bands died, we started to talk about creating a supergroup of unknown musicians! Hahaha…

What was the initial focus and intention of Terror Empire?

We all love thrash, among other types of metal. We wanted to create something thrashy, yet brutal at the same time. We’re not interested in melodic stuff, as of now; we just want to create extreme music while delivering a message to the world. This world is fucked, we’re destroying the planet, and nobody seems to care or to be brave enough to confront those who brought us to this point.

The band name feels like it is a reflection of the world and its mind at the time, and since to be honest. Is that the case?

Bingo! Like I said before, we feel like there’s a hidden hand behind some of the most brutal events in the western world, like the WTC, London and Madrid attacks. There was a need for an excuse to attack the Eastern countries (who were being co-operant at the time, mind you). It makes us sick that a country would inflict a false flag attack for economic purposes. Yet, it had been done before (*cof* Pearl Harbour *cof*), so it might have been done again. It would make perfect sense… it’s just not fair.

You are tagged as a thrash metal band though your sound has much more to it, how would you describe it to newcomers to the band?

We play classic thrash with a modern flavour to it. The vocals are way more aggressive (think Max Cavalera-style), and then there’s groove, breakdowns and odd-time signature tempos here and there. Still, we’re a thrash band… to the bone. The riffs and the drums are fast and extreme… Give us a try!

You have just released your excellent debut album Face The Terror. What were your expectations or hopes on the eve of its release?

Thanks for the compliment! Well, remember when you were in school, and you’d leave the classroom after an important test, without knowing if it would turn out OK or not? It’s the same feeling, kinda. We knew we had the chops and the production necessary; we just didn’t know if people would like it or even pay attention to it. Metal has always been a tricky style to play or to be liked – the audience is really picky (I’m picky myself, so I know how to make or break a band that is shown to me… haha). With this in mind, we focused on creating an album that WE would be proud of, in the first place. I believe this kind of artistic honesty really paid off. People are really enjoying it, and the reviews have been stellar.

The album contains six impressive tracks which certainly leave a strong mark. Are they tracks written over the previous three years or very new for the album?

Some of the riffs are more than ten years old! Dirty Bomb, for example, is a really old song that I wrote ten years ago. It used to be very slow, in the vein of “Death Church”, from Machine Head. Weird, I know. The Brave, on the other hand, was written a year before we recorded FTT. It was a mix of the two situations.

How has your music evolved over your existence to date?

Personally, I would rather write a good song, overall, than a crappy one with lots of sterile technique all around. I’ve always focused my effort in trying to write the best song possible. Still, to be honest, I don’t see myself writing a song without a complicated riff in it. I blame the young Dave Mustaine for this! Haha. In terms of the band, per se, we’ve become faster and more ferocious in the last year… as we became tighter, as a band, we created room for improvement in terms of technique. So, to answer your question, we have definitely evolved as a band – in terms of technique, musicianship and as five human beings trying to play as a sole machine. It’s been great!

One of the best adjectives for the album is ferocious. How hard or easy is it to keep that fire raging whilst expanding the songs with your inventiveness and infectious yet abrasive grooves?

Wow, thanks! Well, this might be our first album, but we’ve been listening to metal for years and years… Not trying to bring the “true” card to the table; just saying that we “know” a riff or a section is going to work or not. This might be the key to what you refer to in your question. We focused on being really fast and really aggressive; the rest came as extra dynamics to add variety to the sound, as a whole. Is it easy? When you love what you’re doing, everything is easy, even the struggle to get it right!

As you look at it from the other side what is your proudest part of the album, the moment you feel a tingle inside? Haha

Definitely, man. Personally, I get goosebumps when I listen to my solo after the radio voice in “Dirty Bomb”, and when I listen to “Last Fire”. That song is like a nuclear attack, it’s a friggin’ sucker punch… I love it!

You have self released the album, a decision I get the feeling which was yours and not just because there was no other options?

Releasing the album on our own allowed us to do it our way, from the production, to the artwork, to the promotion, etc. Taking into consideration that we didn’t know how the album would turn out, at least we did it our way, pleasing us in the first place. I know it might sound like I think I know it all, but it’s not the case – if you put yourself on our position, you’d probably do the same. Besides, we were nobodies (still are) – it’d be impossible to get a label to help us release “Face The Terror”! We sent some e-mails, baiting the labels with our work, and nobody cared. Now, I have all those people in my little black book… ha!

Am I right in thinking the album is available as a free download from your website? If so why and do you think that is the best introduction to fans for new and ‘unknown’ bands?

Let’s face it, only true fans buy CD’s (and some only buy the digital version). We needed fans in the first place, so we had no choice. We really needed to get our work out there and spread our project to the world. We still sell a physical version, though. Check our website for more info… *cha-ching*!

Tell us about the great artwork for the album.

An old colleague of mine did it. Her name is Márcia Gaudêncio, and she’s a kickass graphic designer, crafter and overall artist. We told her the concept, and she pulled it with flying colors. The concept is basically someone facing a situation of terror, in which the pupils dilate in sheer fright. I had this idea when I read somewhere that Michael Angelo’s “David” doesn’t have tiny balls – he’s scared shitless because he’s facing Goliath from below. My balls would decrease in size, too… hahaha. Ok, so the part of the human reaction is explained; if you take a look at the eye color, you can notice that it’s a green eye. It’s the bloody eye from the Illuminati symbol – it’s the “rulers of our world” who are scared to death when the uprising comes. And it will come, alright…

Reading your individual bios on your website I think it is safe to say there is a definite Sepultura love from you all, Chaos AD being the first brought album of most of you. What other influences have inspired not only the band but individually?

I’m a huge fan of PanterA, Megadeth, Metallica, Death, among many others (and so is the rest of the band). Our drummer loves Between the Buried and Me, Trivium and The Black Dahlia Murder. The vocalist gets off on Napalm Death. I could go on… bottom line is: we fucking love metal. If it’s good, we’ll like it!

Metal in Portugal right now seems more powerful than ever and gaining good recognition far beyond its borders is that how it feels from the inside?

Good for us that people like you notice it! Yeah, as bands grow out of borders, the rest of us feel like there isn’t anything impossible. Our good brothers Switchtense just toured with the mighty Sepultura, for example! Still, most of the rewards only come after lots and lots of hard work. Nothing comes easy in this life.

What is next for and from Terror Empire?

We’re currently on our “Face The Tour”, which focuses mainly in playing in Portugal, for now. We should do this for the next months, then we’ll start writing new material… and the cycle starts yet again. We just hope to get bigger and bigger; until we become a band everybody knows and enjoys listening to. We wanna play everywhere and, who knows? discover the world.

Many thanks for taking time to talk with us, would you like to leave any last words?

Justin Bieber RULES! Haters gonna hate! Hahaha, just kidding. Thanks for the support. If you, the reader, still haven’t listened to our sound, check our website  and get your fix! You can download the album for free, or order the physical edition. Tell your friends about us. Like us on! Be good to your mom, etc! Cheers, enjoy life.

Read The Face The Terror review @

The RingMaster Review 05/09/2012

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Deadly Remains – Severing Humanity

Brutal and destructive with a technical violation as corruptive as its intensity, Severing Humanity is an impressive debut album from US death metal band Deadly Remains. It is an album which leaves one crumbling under its assault and at times hypnotised by its invention and intelligent enterprise for full satisfaction and to set an even greater promise for the band ahead.

Formed in 2006, the Santa Rosa quartet first drew a concentrated attention with their 2008 demo Moral Crusade. This gave them a platform to build a strong fan base through gigs around California. The following year saw the release of Before The Nothing and a marked progression in the skill and sound of the band. From that point the next few years offered the band shared stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Flesh Consumed, Sepsism, Colonize the Rotting, Septycal Gorge, Cerebral Incubation, Condemned, Embryonic Devourment, Putrid Pile, Arkaik, Pathology, Inherit Disease and Vulvectomy as well as a show supporting Pathology at the famous Whisky A Go Go. The band spent 2011 working on and recording Severing Humanity which is released through Deepsend Records and seem destined to explode into a much wider recognition with this aggressive and striking introduction to the world.

The foursome of vocalist and guitarist Ian Andrew, guitarist Josh Kerston, bassist Chris Dericco, and James Royston on drums, are a band going by Severing Humanity, which has no place for mercy in their vocabulary. The album from first note to the vicious last ruptures ear drums and violates the senses with a deep glee which soaks every sound. The album is oppressive at times, almost a punishment too far but brought with an accomplishment which is unmissable and invention which is compulsive. Admittedly a lot of the uniqueness and intelligent play is lying beneath the raging wall of noise which crushes all in its path but for the effort needed to reveal all the quality on offer the rewards are greater.

The album opens up its rage with Apocalyptic Birth and immediately floors the senses through the crisp and mighty rhythms of Royston and the incendiary guitar play of Andrew and Kerston. The riffs rip air and flesh asunder whilst the sonic flashes flay the ear with no regard for respect. The track bombards and bruises consistently leaving no time to blink let alone breathe and squeezes tighter and tighter with the onrushing consumption of intricate play and violence. Every aspect of the track is immense but the bass work of Dericco is stunning. As ultimately proven through all tracks the musician is a future legend in the making, his lines and sounds a constant snarling beast which gnaws and chews on the senses with intensity and technical aggression which leaves one smarting and drooling in pleasure.

From the tremendous start things only get better, the following Cosmic Necrosis is a track almost indescribable in its intensity and malicious ingenuity. From the opening bass rummage through the ear into the dehabilitating riffs and rhythms the track is like watching decomposition on fast forward. The sounds and intensity falls from the atmosphere like flesh from bone to pool in a torrent of raging malevolence. The searing guitar play which attacks after the onslaught has left its toll is a scarring pleasure to further open up the sores and all combined together makes a corruptive pleasure to immerse and drown within.

Lyrically who knows what is going on, the vocals of Andrew as ferocious as the sounds and just as rabid so no word finds clarity but it is their texture which is important and that is a valuable companion to the cyclonic force around them. Further songs like Instincts Of Flesh, Psalm Of Impurity, and the excellent closing title track,  continue the sheer turbulence around and within the listener, but every song on the release is powerfully satisfying and leaves one with great expectations for further efforts from the band.

There is a similarity across some of the album on the surface which only real focus disperses but it is not a major issue as that sound is so strong. Deadly Remains and Severing Humanity will delight fans of the likes of Gorguts, Disgorge and Suffocation but all death metal lovers will find plenty to feed upon and be excited by with the album.

RingMaster 06/08/2012

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Karybdis: From The Depths

Striking and commanding the senses like the mighty swinging claws of a bear the debut album from UK metallers Karybdis is an openly impressive and powerful destructive pleasure. Still remarkably unknown despite being formed late 2009 and with a sound which leaves one grasping for support whilst gasping for more, things surely are set to change with the release of From The Depths. It is a crushing slab of invention and creativity brought with a skill and accomplishment of the highest order. Previous releases, the single Condemned To Extinction and the War For Land EP marked the London quintet as a band to watch and they have not left any disappointment with From The Depths.

Karybdis bring a storm of extreme metal across the album as powerful and rich as the Greek mythology which inspired their name, a sea creature from Homer’s Odyssey the exact source for their title. Each song is a blistering aural violation of death and groove metal punctured and energised with challenging hardcore influences. Within the constant assault though there is a consistent brew of imaginative invention even if at times it needs an extra concentrated look beneath the bruising consumptive surface.

The album opens immediately with the best track on the album though it is challenged for the honour persistently throughout the release. Minotaur is outstanding to understate things, from its dark atmospheric introduction of soulful and melancholic breath upon waves of the sea and solitude the track is a mesmeric storm waiting to be unleashed. As its air becomes more tempestuous with coarse growls and raised intensity there is a sense of a collision impending for the senses, something the song eagerly deals with stunning efficiency. Once in full rampage the ear is accosted with a groove as teasing and wanton as it is infectiously irresistible. Accompanied by bulging riffs and combative rhythms to buckle all knees the track leaves one breathless as it consumes to exploit and ultimately violate every corner of the senses, all the time that persistent devilish groove picking away at the wounds with the delight.

From the first song alone one is strongly impressed by the merciless rhythms of drummer Mitch McGugan alongside the demanding riffs and enterprise of bassist Jay Gladwin. The dual guitar attack of Pierre Dujardin and Harsha Dasari spring from this immense framework to bring their own creative sadism, their invention manipulating the ear with riffs which leave cartilage alongside bone crumbling and a melodic scorching to flay the senses into a submissive frenzy. Vocalist Rich O’Donnell, the newest member of the band, brings from his depths energy and intense malevolence which only accentuates the assault and delivers the lyrics as brutally and intrusively as you could wish. The following title track immediately enforces all that came before it whilst bringing a distinctly different approach. The grooves are here but more restrained whilst the incendiary guitar sonics and melodic explorations are to the fore. Though not as contagious as the first it is no less a fully satisfying brute.

The likes of the venomous Without Wings, the perpetual assassination of synapses that is Medusa closely followed by the equally damaging rage of Maelstrom, all extract the deepest satisfaction and pleasure from within. It is the duo though of Worth It and I Say alongside the opener which compound the existing thought that Karybdis are sure to make a major impact in the future of UK metal. The first of the pair is an excellent savage crusade of riffs and malicious energy against the senses with a tendency to unleash the cruellest undefined grooves which taunt throughout. The track has all the predatory instincts of a pack of wolves and the ravenous appetite too. The latter song starts as relentlessly and greedily as the first but evolves into a feast of winding insatiable grooves and a wonderfully surprising prog jazz like aside within the rampant aggressive intent. Both songs are as immense as the opener and gratifyingly varied to each other, whilst together the trio easily epitomise the album as a whole.

Produced by Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir), From The Depths is a stunning debut and the bringer of real promise for not only the band but UK extreme metal. If one was being over fussy, maybe there is still some originality to be found to truly set them apart from others but it is hard to recall a recent extreme release as enjoyable as this and that is what it is all about.

RingMaster 29/06/2012

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