Lord Lav – Lord Of The Dead

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If the uprising of lifeless flesh ever does come to pass instead of looking towards a Rick Grimes or Ash Williams, Britain has the answer in the shape of Lord Lav. To be honest he may not save your life but on the evidence of debut album Lord Of The Dead, he will send you to your demise smiling with content.

Lord Lav is British rapper, producer, and DJ Martin Lavender and Lord Of The Dead a concept rap album about life in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. With a tongue firmly in its cheek, the release is a fun and mischievous adventure, but also a fluid merger of cinematic sounds and electronic colours with the rapping and lyrical uniqueness of Lavender, a mix littered with numerous skits which only add to the revelry. The self-released Lord Of The Dead may not be the best rap album you are likely to hear and yes it is no War of the Worlds, but the Night of the Living Dead meets Shaun of the Dead like encounter is definitely going to be one of the most enjoyable and accomplished propositions to play with your ears and imagination.

Hailing from Southampton Lavender combines his passion for hip hop and zombies for his first album, creating a hungry decay filled landscape of tantalising drama which equally reflects aspects of modern life, in the words of Lavender “In a nutshell, it is about living amongst the ‘brain dead’ people of society and trying not to ‘catch’ the same attitudes to life. It’s about always pursuing your dreams whatever they are, despite the loneliness and dangers that come with doing so.

The opening Dead Rising sets the scene, the tale’s two protagonists, Lord Lav and Gaz, discussing the weirdness going on outside their four walls as a sinister ambience wraps the intrusion of the dead. The skit leads into first proper song They’re Taking Over where the atmosphere of the first piece instantly builds in tension and intimidation as the dead flood the scenery whilst the rapping potency of Lavender narrates and paints with an effect glazed delivery their expanding lust. With haunting theremin lures swarming around words and imagination as keys and violin cast their own distressed hues, the song swiftly has thoughts fully involved in its drama, a deadly theatre which flows into the following Vacate the Doom. Its shimmering sounds seduce and caress the raps falling from Lavender’s lips, keys a musty yet elegant oppression immersing senses and emotions as moments of visceral savagery intersperse the sonic picture.

The Door Won’t Shut sees the two friends start to make their escape one with a knife, the other a rolling pin. Yes smiles are never far from the face as Lord of the Dead continues, the piece emerging as Kill the Brain and the stressful fleeing of the pair. The track is an agitated jumble of aural emotions, Lavender punchy with his spits and expression whilst the music ebbs and flows in its pressure as a persistent and imposing ambience with an almost Hammer Films like hue to its incitement clouds the scene.

Another skit takes the listener into the brilliance of the almost vaudeville like The Mystery of Death. With a ridiculously catchy chorus flirting with ears and the pulsating and heavy also funky sounds around it, the track offers a delicious dramatic emprise with a mischief and lyrical prowess to match. Imagine Insane Clown Posse sings Ian Dury or vice versa and you have the album’s greatest moment. The next proper song Local Zombie Offy sees Lord Lav alone in an off licence quenching his thirst and reflecting on his needs and wants as dark throated pulses and sultrily smouldering sounds flicker and dance around his internal discussion. Vocals are just as bouncy in delivery as the reverb caressed atmosphere and intrigue surrounding his drift into unconsciousness, his awakening coming in the outstanding Way Through the Trees. The gorgeous velvety dark tones of maybe an upright bass or cello provide the first enticing in the imposing passage of the song whilst keys add an ethereal air to the further provocative reflection of Lord Lav. What emerges is a physical and mental jazz noir flight clad in immersive shadows and dark thoughts providing further shade and diversity to the album.

The dreamy mesmeric presence of the song is contrasted by the quintessential British air of the album’s title track, Lord of the Dead strolling with bold gait and aural nostalgia as Lord Lav becomes the lord of the manor with zombies his staff. The ever appealing and unfussy tones of Lavender contrasts perfectly with the sepia coloured and constantly shifting adventure of the music where twenties and thirties sounds collude with jazz and theatrical devilry within another imposingly throbbing bait of beats. Its surreal fantasy makes way for the melancholic When Loneliness Attacks where emotions overwhelm the Lord as beat box and keys embrace the verging on monotone delivery of Lavender’s rap. His slips into song within the fiery and bracing flames of sax add to the fascination whilst again lyrically Lavender has ears enthralled and thoughts broadening the text.

     Wake Up and Break Free! is reality coming back to consume Lord Lav, the skit introducing Set Me Free, the characters ascent to a better place in a sonic haze combined with the theme of breaking free from life’s daily easy to consume monotony. It is a potent close to the album if without offering a final wanted snap to the adventure, but it is an epilogue to the apocalyptic journey leaving an already greedy appetite sufficed and emotions keen for more. They get that with bonus track Wake The Dead, a scuzz driven eruption of sound featuring guitarist Jude from Southampton band Hybrid 6.0 who provides raw riffs and licks to the vocal provocation of Lavender.

Lord of the Dead is one of those encounters which will either light a flame in your imagination or not, but one which certainly has hordes of great snarling reasons for rap and hip hop fans to give it a go. It definitely thrilled us with its persistently enjoyable and creative escapade and is an eager recommendation for anyone with a penchant for zombies, descriptive lyrical invention, and simply devilish fun.

Lord of the Dead is available now @ http://lordlav.com/topspin-store/lord-lavs-store/

http://lordlav.com/

RingMaster 04/12/2014

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Morbid Slaughter – Wicca

MORBID SLAUGHTER BAND

On the evidence of their new 7” vinyl release, there is something definitely compelling about being examined by the exacting thrash fuelled black metal malevolence of Peruvian metallers Morbid Slaughter. They have a sound which is vociferously raw and rigorously invasive and taking the two tracks within new release Wicca as an introduction, magnetically riveting.

Formed in 2009, Morbid Slaughter explores themes of horror, witchcraft, and murder in their encounters, earning a potent reputation in South American metal and apparently in Atlanta. The Lima quartet of vocalist/guitarist AER, bassist TERRA, guitarist IGNIS, and drummer AQVA unleashed their first demo release, Ensayo in 2010 followed two years later by the Torment in the Crypt Demo and last year The Summoning of the Graveyard Ghouls Demo. 2014 has seen already the …Rancid Death Awaits 2014… album released, a compilation of the previous two EPs on Putrid Cult but it is the new Boris Records released Wicca which excites as the band has their first release to be offered to the world.

The title track starts things off and within a breath has ears up against an eager and vibrant scrub of riffs. Crisp punchy rhythms add to the MS_Wicca_7inch_cover_artbrawl which is already squaring up to the senses, their union with the bass a relentless rapacious antagonism. It is unfussy thrash metal roaring in the ears but one seeping blackened malevolence especially in atmosphere and through the serpentine vocal rasps. It is not a perfect proposition, the vocals of AER across both songs simultaneously agreeable yet a little off-putting but to all extent and purposes do convince after numerous forays into the pit of the release, though personal taste still has a little reservation. Also the production is not the best, suffocating the spark of the songs in many ways stopping them from flaring as you feel they should, but to be fair the first song is a festering storm of metal sculpted rock ‘n’ roll which recruits a hungry appetite for its highly satisfying incitement.

The insidious contagion and malicious intent of Wicca is followed by The Nightly Breath of God, another track which reaches from the dank blood sodden earth with a thrash spawned pestilential voice and heart. Riffs and grooves coax the passions with further impressive bait whilst rhythms splinter bone and air with swinging spite as the psyche grasping vocals crawl over thoughts and emotions with toxic syllables and raging rabidity. It is a great track which as its predecessor, survives the obstacle of the production to impress and inflame a real appetite for the band and its sound.

Morbid Slaughter is a thrilling and enthralling encounter, the perfect protagonists and soundtrack providers for a truly vicious adult version of Tales From the Crypt or Night of The living Dead in our view, and a sonic plague easy to recommend extreme metallers and fans of bands such as Sabbat, Carpathian Forest, and Sarcofago allowing to venomously finger their attention.

Wicca is available via Boris Records @ http://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wicca-7

https://www.facebook.com/MorbidSlaughterOfficial

8/10

RingMaster 31/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Virus Cycle: Return to Zombieland

Return to Zombieland from Boston electro/industrial metallers Virus Cycle revisits their acclaimed debut album Alice In Zombieland with a collection of striking and impressive remixes of tracks from some of the vibrant talent around the world, each re-inventing the dark creations with their own distinct vision. It is a startling tomb of re-invention, a parallel destructive world with an equally consuming menace to its source.

The music of Virus Cycle, consisting of Johnny Virum  (Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Synth, Programming), Damaris (Vocals), and Veronika (Artwork, Social Media), is a disturbed and addictive combination of horror borne lyrics, resonating beats, and guitar grinds which scythe through and ignite the senses from within an intrusive and haunting electronic consumption. It is a Resident Evil/Doom like soundscape spawn from the carcass of Night Of The Living Dead and 28 Days Later or as the band bio states ‘a post-apocalyptic future of death and decay, ruled by the flesh-eating undead’., the film the band name was inspired by. It is this heart which provides the core ignition for Return to Zombieland.  Released February of last year Alice in Zombieland was an inspiring ‘Post-Apocalyptic Industrial Zombie Tech’ corruption of the senses Return to Zombieland is its mutant bastard sibling and equally as hungry and rewarding.

Return to Zombieland opens with two new and original songs from the band in Bring You Down (Forever) and City Of The Dead. The first seeps through the ear with an atmospheric whisper behind a film sample before disturbed predatory riffs surge in and out. Intensity increases as the monster stirs, the excellent near lifeless vocals permeating every note and syllable with a decayed breath brought on a pulsating wave of agitated beats, hypnotic bass, and scathing riffs. The track is outstanding and infectious, the instigator of much impatient anticipation for the new album the band are working on. City Of The Dead too leaves nothing but an over enthused eagerness for the future work. The track is a crawling venomous violation, its heart tar black and intent malevolent. With warning calls throughout the festering aural decay enveloping the senses ensures there is no escape from its immoral smothering, the song immense and provocative

From here on in re-mixes light up the ears in varying degrees though it has to be said there is a high consistency which leaves many other similar styled releases to shame. First entrant is The Last Man On Earth (Blutaenasche Mix). The original track by Virus Cycle is an invasive sprawl of decayed energy, a slow moving fully intrusive assault whereas the remix sparks fires of melodic energy sparking far more hope and life than its source. Preference looks to the original but the reworking is more than satisfying and brings a different face to the track which is what one asks.

The album contains three remixes of Alice In Zombieland and as many versions of White Zombie. For the first song the Droid Sector Decay Mix is the stand out one though the trio all bring distinct essences of the original to the fore. This version offers the thought of a dawning realisation of the darkness behind the subterfuge of light. None of the three captures the fearful and menacing tone of the original but this is the closest as it twists its own unique shadow. The thumping original transgression of life White Zombie is a track as infectious as it is pure evil and something the remixes capture in varying degrees. The mix by Traumatize creates a more atmospheric overlook of the brewing dark within the track creating safe warmth to barrier in the rot whilst the version by UK band Ghost In The Static gets inside the distorted energy with writhing mesmeric electro fuelled eagerness. The best is from Otto Kinzel, an artist we know from Chemical Distance amongst other projects, and who has since become a studio member of Virus Cycle. His track chews up the senses with a blistered melodic sonic fingering and a rampant primitive energy. He rivals the original the closest and again inspires a keenness to hear his future work with the band.

Other tracks include remixes of Never Again, Cemetery Hill, and Rest In Peace, the three pleasing to a descending level respectively but all intriguing enjoyable efforts. The pair of tracks from Lykquydyzer easily emerged as our favourites, the brilliant versions of The Underworld and Horror Hotel an aural contagion and the strongest infection, especially the first of the pair which dare one say actually outshines the original. With an insistent and insatiable storm to their energy both tracks leave one breathless and eager for more.

To truly get the most from Return to Zombieland you need to listen to Alice in Zombieland too which is not an effort too far and will easily be one of the more rewarding things you do as you investigate the impressive creative worlds of both albums. The pair of releases are available free from the official Virus Cycle website http://www.viruscycle.com/  so no excuses not going and being corrupted.

RingMaster 16/06/2012

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