Acid Reign – The Age of Entitlement

Formed in 1985, British thrashers Acid Reign went on to shares stages and tour with the likes of Nuclear Assault, Dark Angel, Exodus, Flotsam & Jetsam, Death Angel, and Candlemass as well as release mini album Moshkinstein in 1988 and subsequently full-length The Fear and Obnoxious. A final show at the London Marquee saw the band come to an end; that was until 24 years later when Acid Reign returned with a rebooted line-up. Now they have a new album ready to ignite the UK thrash scene, an incendiary device leaving most other offerings this year exposed to its rousing wake.

Like a great many we never had the pleasure of experiencing the band first time around but look set to devour its exploits this time around if The Age of Entitlement is just the beginning of things to come. Led by original vocalist Howard H Smith, Acid Reign thrust a fresh voracious breath upon the metal landscape through their new encounter. Instinctively, thrash metal and its protagonists share a core flavouring as seed to their individual exploits and Acid Reign are no different but they have embroiled it in a host of other rapacious flavours and imagination bred adventures which makes it easy to be greedy for more.

With a line-up completed by bassist Pete Dee, guitarists Paul Chanter and Cooky, and drummer Marc Jackson, Acid Reign quickly gripped attention with the drama of album opener T.A.O.E., a track pushing the senses with its war tempered wall of riffs bound in barbed acidic guitar wiring. With drums banging their own confrontational trespass and melodic flames further igniting its pure temptation, the inspiring instrumental leads to the ravenous jaws of The New Low. Immediately, the second track surges through ears, rhythms a punishing incitement as guitars and bass uncage their own ferocious catchiness. Wired hooks vein the tempest as Smith’s equally manipulative tones further inspire participation in a feral roar which had us quickly and fully locked in.

NewAgeNarcissist equally made brief work of recruiting neck muscles and fiercely flung limbs, Smith’s fierce tones and lyrics riding the insistence with similar dexterity. The swarm of grooves across the song devoured as they sparked the appetite, rhythms just as uncompromisingly fertile before the track unleashes a chorus only the deaf could ignore. Every moment within the ravening song though is pure virulence and creative prowess, qualities just as rampant within next up My Peace Of Hell, a track galloping through ears with nostrils flared and breath aflame. A punk ferocity adds to the theatre of persuasion as too the web of enterprise cast by the ever agile guitars with another galvanic chorus a viral topping to it all.

As mentioned there is plenty that is familiar to the thrash instincts of the band and its songs yet each merges them into a slab of individual confrontation and endeavour as shown yet again by both Blood Makes Noise and Sense Of Independence. The first springs a persistently infectious trespass of groove metal infused, punk dusted, rock ‘n’ roll; essences of bands like Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves adding to the song’s gloriously insatiable holler while its successor growls with a barbarous grin as more extreme textures infest thrash rapacity. Even so melodic intimation and felicity bare the evocative heart of the song within one tempestuous climate of sound.

The hungrily swung antagonism and contagious face-off of Hardship and the demonic consumption of Within The Woods as ravenous as the Evil Dead themselves simply escalated the grip and impressive presence of the album, the latter eight minutes plus of creative adventure and pleasure nagging sonic acumen while Ripped Apart with carnal intent ravaged and devoured senses defenceless to its almost arrogant catchiness.

The album departs with United Hates, a predacious thrash scourge erupting from a scene of melodic beauty to remorselessly consume and ignite the senses. A deviously crafted yet primal assault of viral thrash brutality, it brings The Age of Entitlement to a close as exhilarating as its beginnings and indeed whole body.

It feels like British thrash is sowing the seeds to another heyday with the strength of releases this year alone, something surely even more certain if others can aspire to the bullish magnificence of Acid Reign and The Age of Entitlement.

The Age of Entitlement is out now via Dissonance Productions; available @

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Potential Threat SF – Civilization Under Threat


When rampaging in league with the hungry sounds upon Civilization Under Threat, the new album from Bay Area thrash metallers Potential Threat SF, quite simply everything is right with the world within its primal attitude and passionate aggression. It is a ten track tempest of old school thrash which is ridiculously contagious and an incendiary confrontation that ignites the purest passions with its adventurous but set in the seeds of the genre thrilling provocation. We are not witnessing new realms or depths for thrash created by the release but undoubtedly riding prime Bay Area aggravation at its best.

Formed in 1986, Potential Threat SF has ripped up stages with the likes of Testament, Slayer, CroMags, Nuclear Assault, Death Angel and many more over the years, always leaving audiences basking in the high octane sounds and deeply satisfying passion of the band. Arguably they have never earned the strongest recognition but with Civilization Under Threat they are surely set to be pounced upon by a new expanse of eager awareness and acclaim. The Old School Metal Records released album is unapologetic in its original thrash potency brought to bear through exhausting riffs and powerful enterprise from a two prong guitar attack, heavy bludgeoning rhythms, and coarsely sculpted impressive vocals. Engineered and mastered by Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Testament, Heathen), the album is metal at its demanding yet unfussy best, a torrent of pleasure with essences of the likes of Metallica, Exodus, Vio-lence and at times Suicidal Tendencies whispering loudly within the captivating assaults.

Through the warning sirens and ‘battle’ preparations of the intro intrigue is open and soon sent into a fire of sonic tempting and PTalbumCOVERv2rhythmic badgering. First full track Destroy and Dominate slowly unveils its muscles and intensity through melodic guitar flames and cagey rhythmic beckoning from drums and bass. It is an appealing lure but soon reaching deeper into the passions as the elements all raise their urgency and provocation into a raging torrent of thrash mastery. There is a sense you already know the track, especially in its thumping choruses and greedy riffing, but that only goes to make the anthemic temptation even more potent and successful. It is an excellent start leaving the senses punch drunk, soon backed up by the next equally scintillating trio of incitement.

The Threat of Things to Come stomps over the already emerging bruising with heavy handed drums and acidic sonic teasing before tirades of thrash rapaciousness are soon allowed freedom. Like the first it is another predatory charge with the vocals of Mike Noble outstanding over the adventurous and accomplished guitars of himself and Daniel Sheridan, whilst the torrential plundering sinews of drummer Kenny Noble continue to leave a black and blue hue to the senses and the bass of Damien Sisson chews and intimidates with primal hunger. Also as its predecessor and continuing throughout the whole album, the song is unafraid to twist and divert its stance and direction through impacting and contagious unpredictability. There may be no new ground being carved up but there is nothing predictable or expectation feeding about any element of Civilization Under Threat.

Both Stick to Your Guns and In for the Kill sneer and carve their lasting imprint on the passions, the first through a dazzling web of sonic mystique and great group backing vocals alongside Noble, which is the first loud hint at that earlier Suicidal Tendencies reference, as well as a ravenous appetite from the riffing, and its successor from offering a darker voracious snarl to its attack, vocals, and again riffs which attack with pack like intensity. They complete what is a rousing and exhilarating first half of the album and alone make the release a must have for all thrash fans.

In many ways the following Edge of Insanity and Beneath the Surface is the band at its most exploratory and imaginative on the release without lessening its insatiable and unrelenting attack. The first of the pair pounds and romps through the ear with unbridled enthusiasm and aggressive persistence then adding to the temptation with sonic blazes from the guitar midway through whilst opening the door to melodic emotive evocations which flirt with thoughts. It is a surprising and pleasing aside leaving the listener in contemplation before a return to the psyche gnawing. The second of the pair lays down a weave of invention and thoughtful diversity as well, the mesh of thrash and melodic rock sure captivation and fulfilment.

With both the mesmeric sonic lancing that is Behold the End and the ferocious Written in Blood adding their voracious intentions, and the closing Rise of the Apocalypse providing a fury clad storm of debilitating rhythmic destruction and ravenous riffing for a final call to arms for the passions,  Civilization Under Threat is a dramatically satisfying triumph. It is thrash metal at its very best and invigorating and Potential Threat SF one of its very best antagonists.


RingMaster 19/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Power Trip – Manifest Decimation

photo by Ken Penn

photo by Ken Penn

Like in those nightmares where however much you fight and try to escape you get nowhere and are stuck in front of the impending dark threat, Manifest Decimation the debut album from US metallers Power Trip is an insatiable and unrelenting predator which just keeps coming with no chance of evasion. A riff built tsunami of rapacious energy and carnivorous hunger, the album is an incessant juggernaut of force and attitude but unlike those unwanted dreams this is one consuming ravage you will want to return again and again.

Dallas-based Power Trip, create a tempest of spiteful intensity through an invigorating fusion of thrash and hardcore, their crossover maelstrom, certainly on the album, unleashed through a collection of tracks which prey and drag the senses from their perch like a pack of rabid wolves. The past five years since the release of their impressive early demo of 2008 has seen the band as hungry as their sound in gigging, with other striking releases and splits alongside.  The promo accompanying the album declared the band as ‘Channelling the old-school energy of legendary acts like Cro-Mags, Nuclear Assault and Leeway through modern thrash warfare,’ a description which tells you all you need to know about their sound though there are other references you could offer. Recorded with Arthur Rizk and Daniel Schmuck and produced, mixed, and mastered by Rizk, the Southern Lord released Manifest Decimation is eight tracks of muscular mayhem honed into a tornado of passion and aggression all thrash and hardcore/punk fans will devour greedily.

Opening with the title track, Manifest Decimation initially breeds an emerging ambience which scrubs and ignites the ear before pt-e1365797198596swooping from within its sonic midst with massive boned rhythms from drummer Chris Ulsh and equally heavily weighted slow to explode riffs from guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart stalked step by step by the intimidating bass sound of Chris Whetzel. With a demon borne spiteful cry from vocalist Riley Gale the track settles into a rabid and intense attack, energy searing the air and riffs echoing and stalking within the drum assault like cavern bone vultures. Across its destructive confrontation though there are flames combining sonic heat and melodic acid for compelling inventive shards but ultimately the implacable growl of riffs steers song and passions.

Both the following Heretic’s Fork and Conditioned To Death continue and elevate the rabid onslaught, the first with thrash intent and immovable riffs eroding the ear and beyond to again uncompromising incessancy and the second bleeding in from its predecessor through an initially steady gnaw upon its victim before firing up another furnace of thrash and hardcore voracity. In many ways to this point and through to the end the album, it is like one continuous unquenchable piece of savagery, everything flowing in their distinct ways into the next greedy bite of the listener whilst holding an umbrella of uniformal ceaseless riff driven malevolence. This means at times a little work is required to spot the unique aspects of each song but a willing effort such the might of sound and release.

As Murderer’s Row with its growl throated bass intro opens the gate for another senses plundering from riffs and rhythms, realisation dawns that the hollow trait of sound and production is to stay for every song. It provides a resonance and cavernous voice to the record which did take a while to decide upon and for personal tastes is the only thing the album maybe falls down on. To be honest there is nothing wrong with it but it does detract and remove some of the potent malnourished greed which all bestial and voracious metal needs. It does not stop this, and other tracks from nevertheless rioting until full energy is spent in submitting to their impressive demands.

The excellent Crossbreaker and Drown continue the mulish chug fest whilst final songs Power Trip, another exciting and invigorating thrash brawling, and the outstanding The Hammer of Doubt leave a legacy of need to indulge in the violence once again. The closing track, and arguably best on the album though all make a strong claim, is the most animalistic antagonistic fury on the release, its unslakable ravaging of the senses heightened to an intensity and corrosive energy which sucks air from the lungs.

Wrapped in the excellent art of Italian artist Paolo “Madman” Girardi, Manifest Decimation feeds all expectations and hopes placed before it with passion and craft making Power Trip a band set to bring an impacting mark on metal if maybe not with this release but a future one.


RingMaster 10/06/2013


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Nunfuckritual – In Bondage To The Serpent

The reaction listening to In Bondage To The Serpent, the debut album from Nunfuckritual, is like the hypnotic appeal of road kill or some blood soaked devastation. A mesmeric grip takes hold as one looks and searches deep into the dark and mayhem, at times feeling uncomfortable and not sure if the experience is pleasurable within the dirge of sound and intent but still unable to turn away. As curiosity of dark things is undeniable the incessant creeping black metal filth from the album, is impossible to resist, it’s thick aural blood consuming the flesh. Whatever one’s individual response to In Bondage To The Serpent the resulting impression is marked and deep, just like the monstrous black depths of the black intense soundscapes within the album itself.

Nunfuckritual is the malignant creation of four men already with a renowned pedigree, the quartet of Teloch (Nidingr, Mayhem), Espen T. Hangård (Altaar), Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault, Brutal Truth) and Andreas Jonsson (Tyrant) coming together to conjure up six tracks containing some of the darkest and malevolent expressive intrusions heard this year. The seeds of the band began in 2006 when guitarist Teloch and vocalist Hangård began writing together, the band fully formed three years later with the addition of bassist Lilker and Jonsson on drums. In Bondage To The Serpent is their recorded debut via French label Debemur Morti Productions and whether one takes to their blasphemous extreme black metal and unrelenting oppression they will not be able to forget or ignore the virulent energy that overwhelms the ear.  

The music and tracks within In Bondage To The Serpent follow a similar make up, slow dirges and senses filling down tones that without ever leaping into explosive devastation still immerse the ear and emotions in a harsh threatening and disturbing soundscape. From the  deathly drone of opener ‘Theotokos’ through to the closing title track the intent is single minded, the music on the whole single paced, and the release a constant black wash of intense and draining sounds. It is not easily accessible at times and though varied the songs and their parts drawn out, fitting the mood and emotive feel of the tracks and content. Often one feels the tracks that come in at around 7 to 8 minutes each, over stay their welcome making continued focus hard but on reflection a shortening or omission of parts would certainly diminish considerably the power and purpose of each piece.

Each song is carefully and tightly constructed and though the oppressive atmosphere and intensity disguises the varied elements, as well as the way the band extract every essence from their ideas before eventually bringing in more, with a closer attention the distinct diversity is there. The crumbling feel of  ‘Christokos’ with its nightmarish sense of collapse of emotion, being and life, and the despair soaked haunting tone of ‘Cursed Virgin, Pregnant Whore’ being the most impressive examples on the album.

Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen’ sees the guest vocals of Attila Csihar (Mayhem) and Ravn (1349) to raise extra intrigue but it is still the rasping menace of Hangård that gives the most effective and depth to the song. The track is like the whole release, hypnotically engaging verging on mesmeric though not always with an obvious reason why. The music and delivery is beyond fault as is the songwriting at the core but it tests the attention span and the listener’s energy to retain a focus the song deserves because of length and its incessant black dirge intent.

     In Bondage To The Serpent compared to most similar veined albums this year is a stronger and more consistent release and Nunfuckritual a band that engineers good anticipation for more from them ahead. It just falls short of being marked as a must have release, though it should be looked at, with its continuous thick drone veil preventing the impressive elements from shining through. Hard work and focus gives way to their discovery but how many ears want listening to music to seem like labour?

RingMaster 23/11/2011 Registered & Protected


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