Huron – The Dead Stay Dead

Photo by Leigh Drinkwater Photography

Photo by Leigh Drinkwater Photography

It will not be the first time that UK metallers Huron will have majorly stirred up acclaim and attention with a release but their stunning new album, The Dead Stay Dead is surely going to ensure that the band is regarded as one of the big boys from hereon in. As mentioned, previous encounters have all drawn strong support and praise from media and fans alike but their new and easily finest proposal to date is a band reshaping and igniting not only their own creative landscape but the metal scene around them.

Formed towards the end of 2007, Plymouth hailing Huron has worked through many line-ups changes which seem to have only help spark new potency and power in their fusion of progressive, thrash, and melodic metal and the increasingly impressive releases it fuelled. Debut album Cheyne Stoking lured strong praise and focus with its release in 2009, the band’s live reputation only being enhanced as they toured the UK in support. Its successor Mary Celeste whipped up an even feistier storm of acclaim across fans and media in 2011, its success matched a year later by the War Party EP. Performances at the likes of Download, Bulldog Bash, and Bloodstock followed whilst a British tour with Skindred was just one more live triumph to add to shows with bands such as One Machine, Onslaught, Evile, Alestorm, Ill Niño, and Viking Skull over the years. As the outstanding The Dead Stay Dead lights an expected touch paper to the strongest spotlights upon the band yet, this year looks set to emulate and surpass the successful twelve months the band had in 2015 and show Huron to be the new big roar in modern metal.

Mixed and mastered by Justin Hill (SikTh) and produced by guitarist Rimmy Sinclair, The Dead Stay Dead opens with The Ark Of Deucalion. A provocative sonic mist first wraps ears before intensive riffery from Sinclair and Chris Smith descends venomously on the senses driven by the barbarous beats of drummer David Parsons and the predatory throaty lures of Rohan James’ bass. It is a swiftly compelling and anthemic incitement built on the contagion of thrash but quickly showing the hefty weave of textures and styles now in the Huron sound as it evolves under the antagonistic roar of vocalist Sean Palmer, who has since left the band with James taking over the vocal spot. Darkly celestial harmonies only add to the drama within the blazing cauldron of craft and intensity, at times the track almost like a merger of Slayer, Devin Townsend, and now demised UK band Mishkin.

Huron Cover artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe striking start is soon eclipsed by the album’s title track, The Dead Stay Dead a predator quickly stalking ears and imagination with its scything rhythms and sizzling tendrils of sonic spice. Vocals assault and ripen the appetite as the song matches their bait with aggressive kind but it is when the track slips into something more melodically comfortable with clean vocals to match, that a great song opens its full temptation. It is irresistible, an ugly duckling evolving into blooming beauty and back with Jekyll And Hyde frequency for the thickest contagion.

Santa Muerte slips in next with a sinister climate and grievous intent in its rhythms and riffs. As in its predecessors, tortuously swinging grooves bind ears and an already greedy appetite whilst the raw vocal tones collude with the open animosity in the thrash bred and increasingly dynamic ferocity devouring the senses. Exhaustion and joy is the by-product of the blistering encounter, ears basking in the melodic enterprise searing their flesh and the rapacious imagination seducing their depths before both Pyschosis and Murder Hole unleash their venomous rancor and creative rabidity. The first of the two is a thunderous onslaught with a death thrash tendency to its equally tenacious weave of infection loaded flavours and ideation. Infused further by the burning prowess of guitars and solo it makes for one glorious collision between song and lust emulated again in its successor, a song which wraps itself in more recognisable thrash spices a la Metallica and proceeds to twist and re-weave those flavours into something far more primal and inventive with another dose of excellent clean vocal adding to the great diversity.

Managing to be brutish and seductive, the mouth-watering Despina feverishly rampages on ears like a cultured barbarian next whilst Bastard King emerges from atmospheric shadows to infest body and psyche with its sonic trespasses and rhythmic predation like a vampiric temptress taking the imagination on a ride through the darkest fearsome scenery. Both again are individual in their nature and bodies but united in igniting the passion with their invasive and imposingly addictive adventures through they are slightly outshone by the merciless virulence of The Spirit Of Hate & Vengeance. Like Black Dahlia Murder meets System Of A Down with Bloodsimple in close attention, to try and give a hint to its insatiable tempest, the track is manna to the metal feeding passions and for personal tastes the king amongst only great warriors on the album.

With the militant natured Bokanovsky’s Process and the flaming progressive subtlety of Solace, band and album continue to beat and thrill; the cunning twists and resourceful stalking of the senses by the first contrasted by the melodically poetic and cantankerously intrusive might of the second. Again each song has its own creative agenda and voice to keep the rich variety to the album flowing before Fresh & Thorns brings The Dead Stay Dead to a fearsomely rugged and invigoratingly rousing close. There is a hint of Mudvayne to the violent wantonness and canny maze of biting textures of the track, yet as everywhere any hints offered to songs in reference to others are slim hues in something uniquely Huron.

It has been a fair while between albums but the time has seen Huron escalate their craft, imagination, and fiercely flavoured confrontation of sound. The Dead Stay Dead is the proof from a band ready and undoubtedly equipped to take on the world.

The self-released The Dead Stay Dead is available from February 12th through all platforms and outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/Huronofficial   https://twitter.com/huron_uk

Pete RingMaster 11/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Reign Of Fury – Death Be Thy Shepherd

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Plenty about the Reign Of Fury sound hits the sweet spot of familiarity yet everything about the band’s music is rigorously fresh and inventively captivating. Theirs is a dramatic roar which draws on the finest essences of thrash and heavy metal from across the decades, involving them all in new tenaciously melodic adventures. It is also a honing of flavours woven into a collection of songs making up a release easily providing the year with one of its essential listens. The fiery and thrilling Death Be Thy Shepherd is a devilish rampage of old school and modern invention, a proposition from the British metallers unafraid to simply offer rock ‘n’ roll in its most potent and insatiably contagious form.

You could say that there is little ground-breaking about the West Midlands hailing quintet’s sound and album but equally you can only admit that nothing about them feeds expectations or leaves the imagination looking for new inspirations. It should not be a major surprise such the impact and quality of Death Be Thy Shepherd. Its acclaimed predecessor World Detonation in 2012, sparked eager attention towards the band worldwide, and it is fair to say that since forming in 2006, Reign Of Fury has increasingly gripped ears and appetites with a sound seeded on eighties thrash and metal inspirations, flavours which fuel the band’s personal passions. Highly successful performances at the likes of Bloodstock around the release of their first full-length, and their own shows and a 40 date tour in 2013 only helped accelerate their emergence into broader awareness and stature. That year also saw the band organise and host every show of the Headbangers Balls UK tour, and again the following year when the band played with 100 bands, Onslaught, Lawnmower Deth, Xentrix, and Hatebreed, over 22 dates. Both provided one of the most potent events of their year in the metal scene, raising awareness for testicular cancer and funds for Teenage Cancer Trust in tandem with great show. Now the band has uncaged Death Be Thy Shepherd and instantly thrust themselves to the frontline of world metal with its quite breath-taking avalanche of instinctive and passionate rock ‘n’ roll.

The opening chord and lure of first track Faustian Mastery instantly has ears intrigued; appetite soon following as the guitars of Ed Westlake and Jon Priestley conjure a web of raw but inviting riffs alongside a melodic invitation. The song embraces the listener with temptress like wiles, coaxing and luring them into a waiting tempest of ravenous rhythms from drummer Magic Dave and bassist Paul Bielby aligned to fierce flames and causticity cast by the guitars. Straight away the song brings the climate of eighties/nineties thrash/metal into its compelling landscape, flirtations of Metallica and Megadeth colouring the intensive stride and swagger of the track. Driven by the ever alluring tones of vocalist Bison Steed, backed eagerly by the band’s shouts, the track stomps like an old friend with new face and character in tow.COVER_ART

Over nine minutes long but feeling like a mere handful due to its fascinating invention, individual craft, and volcanic energy, the opener is soon matched in strength and virulence by the following Harbinger of Decay. If the first was a swift persuasion, its successor has ears and passions aflame almost within a brief swing of its rhythms and a lone blaze of sonic enticement. Its slow crawl of an entrance is the brief prelude to a thunderous charge of addiction forging riffs and grooves matched by just as gripping vocals. Like John Bush era Anthrax colluding with Trucker Diablo whilst Mastodon add their infection, the track is a glorious onslaught of hungry and inventive metal binding ears in spicy solos, rabid riffs, and psyche seducing grooves. Rhythmically and vocally too, it is an instinctive persuasion, almost primal in its temptation and straight after emulated by the just as immense Hypnotise The Masses. Riffs are bestial and sonic enterprise sultrily warm, their extremes combining across a frame work of predacious rhythms which captivate and compel the listener to join the anthem.

Through the merger of melodic seducing and corrosively rampant riffing that is Gates of Sanity and the Hetfield and co like power balladry of All is Lost, band and album only grip thoughts and appetite tighter. Though neither track can quite match the impact and creative plateaus of the first trio of songs, each leaves satisfaction full and attention enthralled whilst The Love of a Dying God is an unstoppable hunt of and march upon the senses. Volatile in texture and imagination, the song is a hellacious storm as ridiculously contagious as it is grievously imposing. It is fair to say that Reign Of Fury is not going to be the most brutal and violent proposition you will come across this year but as proven by the song, there are times where they go for the jugular with all creative guns blazing and on an attitude fuelled by hostility.

The outstanding offering seems to be the spark to the band finding even greater animosity, certainly in its rhythmic confrontation and aggressive riffery. The next up Sorrow Made Flesh is barbarous in that department but salaciously anthemic in vocal and sonic invention. Once more the backing shouts of the band add extra bait to the bellow of the song’s call, whilst musically its grouchy, often senses stalking animosity, combines superbly with the melodic and invitational enterprise offered.

The album closes with its title track, a ten minute leap into a tapestry of bewitching guitar skills, rhythmic agitation, and vocal captivation, and that only covers half of the song’s epic landscape of imaginative, skill sculpted endeavour. Arguably the most adventurous song on the release, and certainly its most varied, the track is spellbinding and raucously riotous in equal and entwining measure.

Death Be Thy Shepherd is simply intoxicating, thrash and heavy metal in its original pungent form, not worried about shaping new templates but twisting existing ingredients into gripping and ferociously new incitements. This in turn makes the band’s familiarity in sound also a brand new protagonist for ears and pleasure. Simply put, Reign Of Fury is pure rock ‘n’ roll and quite irresistible.

Death Be Thy Shepherd is available now via http://reignoffury.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.reignoffury.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/reignoffury

RingMaster 19/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Axegressor – Last

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Thrash metal with the hostility and ravenous jaws of a rabid horde is the bestial sound which roars away in the hands and skills of Finnish metallers Axegressor, epitomised and taken to its strongest level to date on new album Last. The nine-track fury is an exhausting and thrilling onslaught of passion and thrash rabidity, maybe an encounter so well seeded in its inspirations to lack a strong vein of originality but holding an invention and craft to its contagious ferocity which easily make the band stand apart from the rest and pushes them towards the frontline of the genre.

Formed in 2006, the Turku quartet of vocalist Johnny Nuclear Winter, guitarist Seba Forma, bassist/backing vocalist Aki Paulamäki, and drummer Atte Mäkelä took influences from authentic thrash metal into their own ideas, impacted upon by bands and sounds they had been listening to since their teens. Alongside that flavouring, experiences from ten to fifteen years playing in various metal bands adds to a mix which is impressively accomplished and exciting as evidenced by the new album. Over the early years the band grew a potent and increasingly growing fanbase and reputation in their homeland, helped by shows supporting the likes of Dark Tranquillity, Legion of the Damned, Onslaught, Soilwork, and Municipal Waste. At festivals too the band has only done themselves good whilst previous albums, debut Command and its successor Next in 2007 and 2011 respectively, after first EP Axecution a year into its life, confirmed and accentuated the impact of the emerging Axegressor. The Listenable Records released Last is the band’s greatest moment so far and the expected trigger for the band to much bigger things.

From the opening Freedom Illusion, band and album has attention and thoughts engrossed and eager to explore the voracious cover_lenticements ahead. Heavily striding riffs and sinew swung rhythms engulf ears first within which for the first and definitely not the last time the great savage predatory sound of the bass thrills and bewitches. It is a formidable and commanding start, nothing flash or explosive but everything that is compelling and anthemic for appetite and passions. Once the vicious rasping vocals leap from the shadows a switch is flicked and energy and tenacity is lit up as the track charges with teeth bared and aimed for the jugular of the senses. It is a seamless and captivating move, accompanying group shouts and the sonic invention of the guitars irresistible. The song continues to mix up its gait, at times swamping the body like a swarm of insidious hornets in sonic flight and at other moments prowling around with a bear like intent weighing up its next move.

Lead Justice rips at flesh next, in top gear from the first second scything through air and bone with its rhythms and searing flesh with guitar rapaciousness. As the first, the track is an incessant persuasion badgering and impressing for an early submission with its tremendously gripping bait. A certain drama also walks the edge of the narrative, primarily sculpted by the exciting bass sound and the vocal causticity, the result with all combined a continuation of the striking presence of the album and ignition of an even keener hunger in the listener, a greed soon satisfied by the blistering Mind Castration. Riffs and rhythms as expected, shape the fury of the song from the first moments, carving out their temptation from within the sonic flume marking the first surge of the track. Once more there is an insatiable thirst to the elements of the song which simply nags from start to finish with repetitious and contagious efficiency, a suasion upon which vocals and melodic enterprise wrap their toxic exploits. It is a riveting adventure, a constant aggressor clad in sonic finery and creative distinction from those around, as all songs on the album to be fair.

Things are kept ticking over very nicely by Merciless Reality Check, a track which is nastier and more intensive than those before but lacks some of the spark. Nevertheless it is a pleasing and exciting incitement before the furnace of spite that is 15 unleashes its venom on the senses. Rhythms and riffs collude in a maelstrom of antagonistic and malicious endeavour from the off before aligning into another single minded but unique rampage. Malicious and hypnotic, and wholly infectious, the track is an invention clad predator which surges and twists throughout its tempestuous presence, a roaring proposition and soundscape for which battlefields and nightmares were invented.

Intensive examination is the order of the day once Social Pressure unleashes its punk infused tsunami of incitement and beleaguering enterprise. The track tunnels deep within ears and skin, hooks and grooves as pestilential in their epidemic contagion as they are malevolently seductive. Axegressor have mastered the art of creating repetition fuelled beauty with no finer an example than this monster of a track soon matched in its own unique character by A Fistful Of Ignorance. Delivered in a more predacious crawl than the outright onslaught of the previous track, it massages the senses with heavy handed riffs and that carnivorous bass persuasion to impressive effect before inserting its own transfixing and determined urgency.

The closing pair of Command To Last and Determinator ensure brakes are untouched in their tumultuous and varied deliveries, the first a constantly belligerent gallop with moments of unbridled aggression and the last an uncompromising heavy metal stomp around a thrash cored ferocity which may not match earlier successes but leaves the album in a thrillingly healthy state.

Last is an exhilarating encounter and though as mentioned it arguably uses well wore seeds, there has been few bands producing a sound anywhere near this good and uncaging releases as enjoyable within thrash metal over recent months and longer. A must check out release for all thrash and punk metal fans.

Last is available via Listenable Records in Europe now and in North America on June 24th.

http://www.axegressor.net

9/10

RingMaster 10/06/2014

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Akb’al – …Of Darkness and Light

Akbal Online promo shot

    …Of Darkness and Light is one of those encounters which makes a striking initial impression but over time and subsequent journeys unveils and expands into a constantly rewarding and riveting adventure. The creation of Welsh progressive metallers Akb’al, the seven track album soon shows it is much more than that tag suggests, the band exploring and employing resources across a multitude of styles to produce one thoroughly absorbing and provocative experience. The release is not without minor issues, and they are minor but with craft and hunger to seduce and savage across its formidable presence, the band’s debut is an impressive adventure to grow from.

     The seeds of the band began back in 2006 with Michael Young-Temple (vocals, bass, tablas, djembe, didgeridoo and the kaossilator!) who coming to the end of travelling around the world began fusing his experiences and world percussion instrumentation into a more stoner/prog rock and metal bred songwriting. Linking up with Thoby Davis (vocals, guitar, violins) and Rob Miles (guitar, backing vocals, synths), the trio began evolving and expanding Young-Temple’s early ideas. The band was eventually completed with drummer Michael Hourihan, also of Onslaught, and from 2010 set about building a live presence. The Cardiff quartet took little time in making a mark locally and with shows alongside bands such as Ten Cent Toy, Thorun, Chaos Trigger, and Fell on Black Days was soon an established and eagerly followed proposition around their region. Next came a venture into the studio to set about working on…Of Darkness and Light; the result a tempest of imagination and invention and one of the more exciting and compelling entrances so far this year.

     The band bring influences from the likes of Tool, The Doors, and Porcupine Tree through to Kyuss, NIN, Alice in Chains, and Akbal Cover ArtworkCoheed And Cambria into their sound though again certainly they are spices heard but only a slight flavour of what …Of Darkness and Light feeds the senses within. The title track opens up an imaginative and intimidating flight, the track a venture through the dark side of the release’s theme, an exploration of the darkness and light in human reality and state of the mind. Opening female torment within a cloud of pestilential breath coaxes in a shadow drenched bass and guitar incitement, the former heavy and respectfully imposing and the latter a melodic tender heat wrapped in spoken whispers. It is an intriguing and imagination probing invitation which flows into an aggressive and tempestuous oppression of noise and intensity. Merging mellower caresses with menacing sonic rapaciousness the song weaves and entrances the senses with a blend of progressive, nu, and psyche metal for a potent and riveting start.

     The Ride takes over with the same fluidity and mix of dark and light evocations, voracious and magnetic textures easily lying in each other’s arms as the song develops a melodic metal temptation. Again nothing settles into a singular persuasion or attack, bursts of primal agitation vocally and rhythmically punctuating the transfixing melodic wash of the song and great clean vocals. Sonically the track equally ebbs and flows with intimidation and temptation, both fuel to the open invention and craft consuming the ears.

    From the very strong start the album switches up another creative and impacting gear with Totally Recalled and the following Equilibrium.  A muscular rock essence which at times flirts with a Metallica like tempting guides the heavyweight stoner persuasion of the first song, an exhaustive metallic predation united with an infection clad groove just as irresistible and virulent in its ignition of the passions. As with many of the tracks there is a slight familiarity to certain moments but never anything to deter thoughts and emotions from falling greedily into the scintillating feast of sound and enterprise on offer. The track’s successor and new video single from the band is pure magnetism, simply nine minutes of smouldering wanton seduction from its opening melodic notes. Thumping rhythms and a bass snarl is soon stalking the senses whilst another strong and impressive swarm of clean vocal harmonies soak the ears with the equally pleasing lyrical narrative. The song is an unbridled addiction, unveiling a mouthwatering range of grooves and hooks within a flowing evocative soundscape which never relinquishes its hold and immense stature across its epic expanse. Like a mix of KingBathmat and Tricore with a healthy touch of Mishkin to its ingenuity at times, the song is a masterful triumph and the obvious doorway into Akb’al.

     Restless And Waiting is bred from the same bloom of ideas and inventive sculpting as it predecessor but returning the ears to the scavenging causticity of coarse vocals and sonic predation within the melody rich adventure. The song provides a subtler though no less captivating addictiveness with its squalling charms. It imposingly completes a trio of major peaks in the range of lofty highs with the sultry suasion of Pacha Mama stepping up next to take its share of the imagination. A gentler and progressively crafted soar through melody enriched and expression cast sky, the song is a mesmeric and evocative exploration bringing diversity and further acclaim upon the release.

    …Of Darkness and Light closes on the extensive instrumental Light, a lingering invention driven travelogue of emotional reflection and expressive scenery taking in twelve minutes of tantalising continent travelling endeavour. Admittedly like a couple of songs it is a little too long to keep attention as enraptured as it deserves but as mentioned earlier the issue is a minor quibble against the pleasure and enthrallment surrounding the senses. It completes an outstanding encounter from a band in Akb’al, who you can be sure we will hear much more of and in even greater circumstances ahead.

http://www.akbalband.com/

www.facebook.com/Akbalband

9/10

RingMaster 10/02/2014

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Fallen Fate – Into The Black

 

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    With enough issues at times to temper an overall enthused appetite for its intensive brew of death and thrash metal, Into The Black the new album from UK metallers Fallen Fate is a striking encounter reaffirming and stretching the already formidable emergence of the band. Hailing from the North East, the quartet sculpts a sound which merges a diverse array of metal bred influences into one squalling furnace of intensity and sonic imagination. Soaked in this attention grabbing mix, the band’s second full-length release forges a provocation which given deep attention provides a mouthwatering design and narrative but with that comes limiting aspects which suggest that Fallen Fate is still a project in evolution but one with a very potent future.

    Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Lee Skinner, guitarist Piers Donno-Fuller, bassist Peter Hodgson, and drummer John Wright, Fallen Fate formed in 2005 and was soon honing a sound and presence which brought strong responses critically and from fans to their debut EP Revengance three years later. Soon their live presence enhanced their reputation with the band playing the pre-show of the prestigious Download Festival in 2010 to be followed a year later by a return to the Festival to play an invite only event on the 3rd Stage, Fallen Fate becoming the first unsigned band to play Donington 2 years in a row. Their first album The Virus Has Spread was released in 2011, again to critical acclaim, and soon followed by a UK tour in its support with Onslaught and Gama Bomb. Two more British tours came the next year as well as a taking to the stage at Bloodstock and the first Beermageddon Festival before the four-piece settled down to write their sophomore album.

    The highly anticipated and again self-released Into The Black is a concept album providing a horror movie themed tale which vocalist Skinners reveals is about a girl called Vespa, going on to say “She [Vespa] chose a life without faith and over time became possessed by a demon. The demon slowly took over her body and ultimately led her to kill herself and her family. The drive behind the concept is to empower the listener to decide whether she was possessed by the Devil, as she has no saviour in her life, or if she was possessed by God, punishing her for her lack of faith.” It is a dark and tortuous decline with a creative weave of sounds creating a provocative soundscape and drama to the dark events unfolding within the narrative. A marked move on in craft and maturity from their first album, Fallen Fate creates in Into The Black, an absorbing evocative canvas of textures and emotions to wrap the inner story and keep the imagination fired up and hungry.

     The Rise opens up the album, a brief emotive scene setter with haunting voices and melodic enticement gently surfacing within IntoTheBlack-AlbumCovera building rapacious intensity. It brings the danger and dark tones soon to drench its successor, to a head just before Blackened Within explodes with an insidious breath and predacious intent, energy and sonic endeavour not far behind in malevolence and attractiveness. Immediately thoughts of Lamb Of God come to mind as the exciting guitar craft and rhythmic bombardment make a compelling persuasion whilst keys add potent evocative hues to the rampaging drama and the serpentine squalling vocals of Skinner scar and scavenge the senses.

   It is a powerful entry into the black tale soon backed up admirably by the voraciously gaited Until The Final Hour and the transfixing title track. The first of the pair has a pestilential feel to its persistence and savage riffing but a savagery held in check by magnetic and resourceful melodic enterprise and sonic temptation. Its successor is a twisted annihilistic dance of intrigue and imagination which never sits still in rhythmic antagonism and melodic acidity. Like the previous pair it is a thoroughly pleasing and riveting track but also with the other two, beginning to reveal some of the ‘flaws’ of the album. Vocally Skinner again provides a causticity which matches the lyrical demons but his good delivery never deviates from what is overall a one dimensional assault which despite valiant backing vocals elsewhere impressing and helping add some tempering, over whelms the senses and at times appreciation as the release progresses. Equally there is a resemblance between many tracks which sees them flow into each other if not given careful attention. Musically the band certainly never fails the passions but that surface similarity does defuse the creative strength raging within songs in certain moments.

     The imaginative Possession does provide plenty to break up that seeming lack of individualism if not to quite fire up the passions, though the following I Welcome The Dead and Rituals soon sort that out. With heavy handed rhythmic artillery punishing the ears from the off and soon entwined in a sonic weave of scorching medic tempting, the first of the two takes little time to launch a demanding and insatiable attack whilst continuing to vein it with  bewitching sonic imagination and melodic incitement. Its successor opens with a demonic visitation within an emotive embrace before expanding a melodramatic grandeur around an enraged emerging scourge of intensity and technical rabidity. It is a ravenous confrontation with a persistent groove and hypnotic rhythmic bait.

    The excellent Last Rites offers its own bordering on vicious technicality and imagination with again great backing vocals which are not heard enough on the album, before from its intro The Demise, final track Vespa provides a closing exhausting and lingering finale come epilogue to the encounter. It is a powerful conclusion to a fine album though one you also feel is a missed opportunity in some ways considering how magnificent the release is at its heights but fails to sustain it. Nevertheless Into The Black is easy to recommend to all melodic and extreme metal enthusiasts as an enthralling promise soaked release from a band in Fallen Fate which has the potential to be a sizeable creative force ahead.

http://www.fallenfate.co.uk/

8/10

RingMaster 28/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The new AKB’AL album,’…Of Darkness and Light’, uncaged on 10th February

Akbal Online promo shot
PROGRESSIVE NOISE CHIEFS AKBAL RELEASE EXCITING ALBUM!
With an extensive cluster of intriguing influences spanning from Tool, The Doors and Porcupine tree, to Kyuss, NIN, Alice in Chains and Coheed And Cambria, Akb’al have served up a genuinely exhilarating piece of progressive rock that tips its hat to experimental metal in passing. Akb’al release “…Of Darkness And Light…” on Monday 10th February 2014 through all national outlets.
Akb’al began as a concept back in 2006 when Michael Young-Temple (Vocals, Bass, Tablas, Djembe, Didgeridoo and the Kaossilator!) was coming to the end of a long spell travelling around the world. Initially, his songwriting focussed on the key elements of stoner/prog rock and metal; however due to his experiences from his extensive exploration, he soon introduced world percussion instrumentation into the equation. Michael took these songs to his musical contemporaries, Thoby Davis (Vocals, Guitar, Violins) and Rob Miles (Guitar, Backing Vocals, Synths), and together the trio further sculptured and elaborated on Michael’s early ideas. The band soon recruited long-time friend and current Onslaught tub-thumper Michael Hourihan to play drums, who added extra power and depth to the band’s already established sound.
After further tweaking their sound Akb’al hit the stage in 2010, and since then, the wide-reaching four-piece have extensively played throughout Wales, racking up shows with Ten Cent Toy, Thorun, Chaos Trigger and Fell on Black Days along the way. After firmly establishing themselves regionally, the band headed into the studio to work on their debut album “…Of Darkness and Light…”. The quartet came out of the studio armed with a killer album. Packing seven stunning cuts, the record showcases experimental ambient texturing and engaging soundscapes underpinned by cutting hard rock and thoughtful metal undertones, all bonded together to take you on a progressive journey that will truly inspire and ignite. The album is set loose this February; look for the new video single ‘Equilibrium’ out soon. Also, head on over to the band’s Facebook page for show updates.
– AKB’AL RELEASE ‘OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT’ ON MONDAY 10th FEBRUARY 2014 –
Akbal Cover Artwork

Izegrim – Congress of the Insane

2013 HR © Tim Tronckoe

2013 HR © Tim Tronckoe

Following up their successful album Code of Consequences of 2011, Dutch extreme metallers Izegrim return with another antagonistic slab of sonic causticity in the tempestuous shape of Congress of the Insane. Consisting of eleven venomously cultured violations of thrash bred death metal, the fourth album from the band rages and spews malignant torrents of sound which conspire to ignite the imagination through its collection of well-crafted and impressively accomplished assaults. It is not a ravaging to forge new scars within either of its seed genres or any crossover field, the album devoid of any distinctly standout tracks which linger and continue to seduce with unique toxins, but the release still unleashes a fury of songs which satisfies the hunger for strong intelligently sculpted and passionately delivered intrusive enterprise.

Congress of the Insane is the second release from the band through Listenable Records and confirms the rising potency and stature of the foursome, a strong plateau built through previous releases and live performances which has seen the band alongside the likes of Kreator, Annihilator, Onslaught and many more. Looking at the concept of “evil in the deceiving human nature”, the album ensures thoughts are provoked and emotions lit through the lyrical and aural provocation which starts with the excellent artwork and moves through every aspect of the release. In its company Congress of the Insane makes a noteworthy companion, just one which manages to miss leaving long term persuasion away from its side.

The album crowds the ears from the very first seconds of opener Relic of the Past, cantankerous rhythms and intimidating riffs cover_lsetting down their canvas to turn on an intensity and power which sprawls rigorously over the body of the track. Led by the excellent guttural vocals of Marloes Voskuil, her immense delivery soaked in vehemence and aural pestilence, Izegrim twists and turns the song with shifts in rhythmic attack and meandering sinewy grooves around a thrash cored spine which in its presence fires up the senses and appetite, the strong start then emulated in strength and quality by the following Decline and Fall. With an open rabidity to every aspect of the track around a gait which lurches and prowls through the ear, the song is an invigorated almost anthemic incitement which leaves attention greedy though it, like quite a few upon the album, fades out for its finale, something which never pleases for personal tastes.

Both Celebratory Gunfire and Endless Strife continue the good work in enticing the listener into the album’s black hearted narrative, though neither matches the success of their predecessors. The pair share a carnivorous breath but flavours the charge with impressive fiery guitar work from Jeroen Van Heuvelen and Bart Van Ginkel which engages senses and thoughts firmly whilst the rhythmic tempest of drummer Ivo alongside the bassist predation of Voskuil and her ever intensively gripping vocals cage and enslave the imagination for the two guitarists to cast their sonic invention.

The ear battering Deterioration from Perfection with its intensive thrash savagery amidst death metal brutality and the exhaustive Unchallenged Dominance add their skilful corruptive suasion to the bruising encounter to fine effect but soon pale against the excellent Modern Day Freak, one song which does remain in thoughts and memory after the release takes its leave. From a carnivalesque intro with a sideshow barker making the invitation for the pursuing mayhem under a vibrant blaze of brass temptation, the track erupts into its muscular stride and rampages with a thumping rhythmic inducement and insidious malevolence to guitars and vocals which cannot fail to impress and recruit the passions. It is the best track on the album and one which lifts the lid off of the deep potential within the band, something all tracks effectively hint at to be fair.

The likes of The Legion with its imagination stalking intent and presence, the fierce Carousel of Death, and the outstanding Manifest of a Megalomaniac which features Sabina Classen of Holy Moses alongside Voskuil in a wonderfully vicious and intoxicating union, ensure the album closes with powerful strength and in riveting style whilst the final track Carnival of Deception scripts an evocative landscape of aggressive brutality and compulsion honed through a fire of sonic imagination. It is an apocalyptic pinnacle and climax to a destructive album which in its company only satisfies. Congress Of The Insane maybe a missed opportunity in its failure to create entrenched aspects which makes it a potent provocateur at any moment in time but as the last song alone roams around and incites the emotions, you know Izegrim has provided a rather pleasing and exciting incitation.

www.izegrim.nl

7.5/10

RingMaster 07/11/2013

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