Hells – Paradise EP

Hells_RingMasterReview

Corrosion is generally a gradual often unstoppable process but in the hands of US fury Hells, it is the swiftest undermining of the senses and emotions. Their attrition comes courtesy of their savage hardcore blend, a voracious sound making the band’s new debut EP, Paradise, one of the most punishing and thrilling things to hit the year so far. At the opposite end of the spectrum to the impression of its title, the six track release is aural and emotional dissonance fuelled by voracious anger and sonic spite. It is also a virulently addictive and rousing assault which asphyxiates and intoxicates the senses from start to finish.

Formed around two years ago, the Philadelphia hailing quartet of vocalist Larry Ragone, guitarist Brad Wallace, bassist Scott Signorino, and drummer Steve DiCicco, former members of bands such as Orchid, Transistor Transistor, Brain Dead, Wolves, Sore Saints, Psychic Teens, and Heathen Reign, soon earned the reputation of being one hellacious live experience. November of 2014 saw the release of a three track demo, a well-received platform for what now violates and thrills ears through Paradise.

The EP opens with its title track, Paradise an immediate wall of sonic and vocal abuse driven by vicious beats and an instinctively swinging groove. It has to be said that for all the punishing and creative antipathy conjured throughout the EP, it also has some of the most addictive and lively grooves and hooks heard in a long while. The outstanding track continues to ravage and incite as the rhythms become more imposing and tenacious with Ragone’s throat spilled scowls even more belligerent as they hang on twisted and venomous tendrils of guitar.

Paradise_RingMasterReview1-800-Shitfit shows itself just as intensive and irritable as it unleashes its emotive and creative animus next. A slab of barbarous punk ‘n’ roll, it grumbles and thrashes across two minutes of aural antipathy with the guitars as angry as the vocals and their roared words, while the bass is as anthemically pissed off as the scything trespass of DiCicco’s beats. Its savaging quickly makes way for that of Weather Report, which from its first breath again leaves nothing in the locker as it lashes into the listener. Grooves flirt and lacerate the senses as rhythms threateningly impose, Ragone’s raw squalls spilling irritancy with every ire drenched syllable; a combination which again simply ignites ears and an eager appetite for the threat.

As gripping and invigorating as things have been to date, the EP hits another plateau of tempting with firstly Tribute. The track is a cauldron of emotional and sonic animosity bound in the most salaciously catchy acidic grooving aligned to predatory riffs with matching rhythms.  It nags and badgers with a venomous glint in its creative eye, living up to its threat yet creating a maelstrom which is littered with the most addictive bait.

It is no different with Bad Apple, the track creating its own individual breakdown of the senses with a fluid blend of intensively assaultive and scavenging tempos around an equally unpredictable rhythmic gait stalking the listener from beginning to end. There is no escaping the hate of the song, or a wish to, though it is soon overshadowed by the brilliant EP closing enmity of Night Creeps. From its initial drone nagging of the senses, the track is rancorous alchemy, a bad-blooded proposal to brew thick lust for. Within that initial sonic niggle, DiCicco’s sticks rise to create a rousing shuffle before settling a touch as short grooves and melodic toxicity joins Ragone at his least hostile on the EP, though there is no mistaking the bitterness lining his prowling delivery. The song is hypnotic, a stylish yet bestial challenge which grinds down the defences while creating webs of contagious enterprise. At the time, it is also brewing a boldly simmering in intensity and jaundice, that growing into a fiercer rabid beast by its close.

The track is a brilliant end to a seriously arousing encounter from a band placing themselves aside certainly the likes of Pigs, Sofy Major, and Brutal Truth in one foul swoop. A must for all hardcore/noise abuse fans.

The Paradise EP is out now via Seeing Red Records @ https://hells-band.bandcamp.com/album/paradise or https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/paradise-ep

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Pete RingMaster 17/05/2016

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Return from the Grave – Gates of Nowhere

Return From The Grave - Band

Seeded and drenched in the thick atmospheres of seventies metal aligned to the oppressive textures and persistence of doom metal and blistering stoner designs, Gates of Nowhere the new album from Italian metallers Return from the Grave is a wide wake-up call to a band with rich potential and exhausting intensity. Its seven tracks consume and suffocate the senses relentlessly yet bring them and the imagination alive with compelling resourceful enterprise. It is a proposition which ebbs and flows a little in holding the tightest grip on attention but never lets it wander or enjoyment of its often spellbinding and predacious incitement falter.

Hailing out of Venezia, the quartet of vocalist Semenz, guitarist Sparta, bassist Kilo, and drummer Jack came together in 2011 and soon unveiled their self-titled debut EP. It was followed the following year by first album The Rebirth from the Last Breath, its heavy tsunami like provocations earning comparisons to bands such as Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin, and Orchid in the acclaim. Casting themes bred from ‘Horror stories and the hidden meanings of Life and Death’ within Gates of Nowhere, the debut release for the band on Argonauta Records, Return From The Grave are entering through a doorway to a wider recognition with its release. A one way trip you feel such the richness and depth not forgetting rigorous seduction oozing from within the Richard Whittaker (Saint Vitus, The Who, Black Sabbath and Rolling Stones) mastered release.

The first thing hitting senses and appreciative thoughts is the production. As thick and cavernous as the sounds it surrounds, it brings the Return From The Grave - Coverlistener into the dark origins of the ingredients the band infuses into their propositions. It gives, as evidenced superbly in the ravenous Intro which starts the journey off, a sinister foreboding air and seemingly analogue breath to the release, a portentous oppressiveness which really suits the music and intensive energy of the tracks. The opening piece is dark and ravenous, a dangerous swamp of sound and intimidatingly emotive textures which seduces as it infests the psyche. It has a heavy poetry to its funereal stance which captivates thoughts as it leads the listener into the last strikes of its storm and subsequently the following Words In Words. The start of the second track is deceptive, its welcoming strands of sonic coaxing almost jovial after the sufferance before. It is bait which persists as rugged rhythms and swipes of guitar and bass enter the narrative but eventually swamped as the vocals blaze away within a now burning cauldron of energy and sound. There is still a swagger and melodic temptation which steals attention from the weighty substance around them though but in turn it loses out to the excellent resonance effected vocals. Ultimately all combined it is a storming stomp of a song, a dramatically magnetic slab of voracious metal.

Center Of The Will opens up next with a bewitching crawl of gnarly bass and teasing percussion before being joined by the entwining tendrils of guitar, its lure acidic and searing as it crosses the senses. Finding a potent stride with rhythmic muscles swiping through every beat, the track becomes a furnace of melodic rabidity and sonic tenacity which flares and seduces with incendiary potency from within the lumbering yet keen gait of the song. Twists and turns bring intrigue to the generally singular course of the incitement, adding along with the scorched vocals, rich distractions to the compelling burdensome weight of the encounter. Leaning into its finale the track explodes into a rabid charge of riffs and rhythms, a thrash like urgency and hunger taking over the driving seat for an exceptional climax.

The intensive intimidation of The Rage Of Rays steps in next to push the listener into an even deeper wash of seventies nurtured metal, again a Sabbath like predation and enticement leading the way, though that bait is never far from the surface of any song within the album. The impressively sculpted and layered beast smoulders and burns with an even tempered intensity and appeal compared to the previous tracks but it lacks the indefinable something which left its predecessors so persuasive and gripping. It is still an appetising meal for the ears but soon forgotten as the rolling menacing rhythms of Uncovered Fate burst into life. The drums hypnotise senses and imagination instantly before sharing time with another excellent animalistic snarl from the bass and cutting scythes of guitar. Snatches of melodic seducing and glazes of sultry suasion almost dance within the devilish portrait unfurling within the imagination whilst the vocals, which were not as effective on the last song, are back on form here as they join the creative maze spun by the guitars within the expanding rapacious enthralling adventure.

The release closes with firstly the mesmeric River In The Sky, a fascinating flight which reveals more about the band in many ways than the other songs, its sirenesque use of atmospheres and ambient beauty within dramatic aural structures sheer captivation, and lastly Inside Human’s Soul. The final song is an alternative version of a track which appeared on the band’s debut album, a more of a straightforward charge within more predictable walls which reveals the growth between the band’s two albums.

Gates of Nowhere is an engrossing encounter from a band evolving potently and it is easy to feel has a big future on the larger stoner/doom metal stage waiting.

Gates of Nowhere is available via Argonauta Records and @ http://returnfromthegrave.bandcamp.com/album/gates-of-nowhere now!

https://www.facebook.com/returnfromthegrave

8/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

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