Promethium – Faces Of War

There is nothing better than hearing, release by release, the growth of a band in craft and sound especially when their potential is realised step by step whilst offering plenty more promise to be anticipated. Such has been the case with British metallers Promethium, a band who has openly blossomed record by record and now breaches a whole new plateau with Faces Of War.

Creating a sound merging old school with modern rapacious flavours, Lancaster hailing Promethium formed in 2007. Inspirations to the quintet included the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera, essences still colouring a sound today which is as individual to its creators as you would wish. Quickly releasing their first EP, The Revenge, it was in 2009 and with debut album, Welcome to the Institution, that the band grabbed our, as so many others, attention. It was a raw yet accomplished introduction rich with that earlier mentioned potential brought to some fruition in its successor Origins four years later. As it built upon its predecessor’s strengths, so Faces Of War builds upon the second album but with a far more dramatic impact in songwriting to imagination to craft.

A concept album with each song offering a different perspective to war, the album launches at the senses with opener Enemies of Fate. A portentous sonic tone lures a march of riffs and rhythms into view with grooved armoury in its midst as vocalist Steve Graham swiftly joins the attack. It is a composed assault though, the band almost sizing up the listener rather than going at them full charge, providing a healthy mix of intrigue and predacious intimation. In no time guitarists Dan Lovett-Horn and Rossi are weaving a transfixing tapestry which is more than matched by the great vocal backing unity between Rossi and bassist Henry Greenwood; just two aspects in the inescapable maturity and growth in the band’s sound already being unveiled.

The outstanding start is followed by the similarly impressive Declaration. From its initial grooved trespass and Graham’s earnest calls, the track just wormed its way under the skin. The swinging strikes of drummer Kev Yates potently stir the senses, their rapacious incitement aligned to the groaning contagion of Greenwood’s bass as again a great maze of sonic enterprise is cast by the guitars with Curran Murphy guesting with a flavoursome solo. Drops in intensity brings spoken words from Nev Jones as Graham croons, a fluid twist which subsequently sparks a roaring finale before the outstanding P.O.W steps forward with its own dark clouds and intent. Grooves and rhythms instantly collude around vocals as an irritability fuels the nature of the track, essences of those aforementioned influences to the band spicing the volatile air of the track.

A shadowed calm is brought in by next up Shell Shock, its atmosphere as claustrophobic as it is seductive. That reflection rich restraint intermittently erupts in a cauldron of turbulence and emotive turmoil yet all the time guitars continue to weave a suggestive web of melody and predation. It is another gem and though only four songs in fair to say Faces Of War had us firmly hooked; a grip only tightened by 20,21,15 and its wirily grooved stroll. With Barry Mills sharing vocals with Graham across the song it boils with sonic dexterity while rumbling with rhythmic manipulation.

Such the massive heights of the first half of the album maybe it is inevitable that the task of living up to what came before slips up meaning personal tastes are not always stoked up as rigorously yet everything about Turncoat, from its vocal mix and rousing rhythms to sonic invention, is an ear grabbing proposition. It just misses some of the major sparks of its really striking predecessors.

As soon as the grooved webbing of Stolen Valour wraps ears straight after appetite was back to greedy, guitars and rhythms almost dancing on the senses with their snarling and badgering enterprise as again a vocal blend simultaneously entices and harries. With every passing minute the track simply blossoms as it evolves, harmony loaded vocals and creative unpredictability fuelling its compelling arsenal of invention. Another candidate for best track it is swiftly followed in matching captivation by Final Solution, itself an almost deceptive proposal being as intimidating and predatory as it is invasively infectious.

Featuring one of our favourite guitarists in Jay Parmar, Kill on Demand is one of those rousing anthems which have thoughts and spirit as eagerly active as the body. Led by the crunching beats of Yates and the brooding tones of Greenwood’s bass, the track is a magnetic fusion of old school and current ferocious metal shaped by the ever imaginative work of Lovett-Horn and Rossi and capped by the stylish raft of Parmar.

The album closes with its title track, another rigorously catchy and aggressive creative raid warlike in its tone and galvanic in its character. Epitomising the fresh strength and guile not forgetting that real maturity in the band’s sound, the track is a masterful conclusion to one mighty fine release.

Promethium and their sound just go from strength to strength, in turn so too pleasure. Yet there is still the feeling that they are yet to hit their full potential which considering the sheer unrelenting  quality of Faces Of War is something to keenly anticipate.

Faces Of War is available now @ https://www.promethiumband.com/product-page/faces-of-war

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2018

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Promethium – Origins

promethium pic

Two years ago UK rockers Promethium impressed with their debut album Welcome to The Institution declaring themselves as a band rife with promise and enterprise. Their mix of heavy and classic metal, despite its strong and gripping entrance, also seemed to be saying ‘you have seen nothing yet’ as it left a certain hunger in its creative wake. Now awaiting its moment to burst into the world on September 30th, Origins with ease backs up that apparent statement with a collection of tracks which scream from the rooftops just how much Promethium and their sound has matured and evolved between albums.

Formed from the remains of Skin Crawl, Bodies, Desolate and Natual Thing around six years or so ago the Lancaster band first opened up a wave of attention with their first EP Tribute to the Fallen of 2009. Followed by the successful and well received Welcome To The Institution the feeling that the band was about to erupt upon the higher levels of UK metal was maybe a little premature at that time. Met with acclaim and support things still seem to have moved on slowly for the band in regard to recognition though certainly tours with the likes of Furyon and Beholder as well as their own shows, did their stature no harm at all. Listening to the rich textured sounds and riotous energy and appetite of Origins only supports the notion that we all jumped the gun on their ascent but now could be the time it all kicks off for vocalist Gary McGahon, guitarists Daniel Lovett-Horn and Rossi, bassist Barry Mills, and drummer Dominic Clayton.

Whereas the previous album was a multi-flavoured mix of metal, for Origins the quintet has gone back to the roots of the band and promethiumcentred the core of their sound in prime heavy melodic metal, though it is as full of aural colour and sonic spice as ever. This definition of their direction we would suggest goes much towards the bigger deeper sound making the songs immersive and captivating, that and the obvious evolution in maturity and musical skills. From the opening track Won’t Break Me the leap in sound and composition openly hits, the track immediately wrapping the ear in sonic flames from the guitar and a bass and rhythmic inducement which stands bold and tall in craft and presence. The vocals of McGahon have also found a richer voice and delivery to match the sounds, and as the contagious opener rampages it all makes for an intensive lure for thoughts and hunger. There is a familiarity to the song which teases but as from day one with Promethium, band and music refuses to be compared to anyone else such the unique flavour of their music.

From the impressive beginning the album unleashes two more fierce encounters in the form of the confrontational Gunslinger and the antagonistic beast The Art of Hurting. The first of the pair, and the track which has been publicly teasing people up to release date, brings a great mix of vocal styles and intensive riffing veined by a cage of rhythmic prowess but it is the searing charm and flames of the guitars which steal the show before passing on to its equally rapacious successor. Holding its rabidity in check certainly compared to the previous songs, the track prowls the senses sucking air from the lungs with its oppressive and menacing nature. It is a brute of a treat which continues the vigorously strong start of the album provoking more thoughts that the band’s time has come.

Bringing a less intensive but no less striking offering, Counterfeit with sonic spires of melodic potency and riveting craft leads the listener into further fresh avenues whilst Rain with its power ballad like passion pushes the envelope of the songwriting and its realisation on the album yet again. The song is a real slow burner with its first engagement drawing strong acclaim and over subsequent listens drawing real ardour.

The riff sculpted almost Sabbath like The Hunted reeks old school metal in the best of ways though the vocals lack the bite and potency on earlier songs, especially the less successful mix of harsh and cleaner hues. It is still a richly satisfying ride which is matched by the slow melodic drawl of Plagued by Evil, another song which reminds of something else but will not give up the source, probably because there is none. The songs make for a less impacting but undoubted magnetic middle to the album which is given another adrenaline boost with Revolver, a song which conjures up a predacious animosity and within its storm an anthemic persuasion to capture the imagination.

Completed by the excellent Believer, a track which has more twists and turns to its inventive sound and melodic furnace than a dog chasing its tail and an invention which leaves each listen a little more rewarding and revealing, and the closing mesmeric instrumental title track, The Sky Rocket Records released Origins is a mighty release and step in the dawning of Promethium as one of UK’s most thrilling metal bands. Strangely it still suggests there is more to come from and hone within the band which is as dramatically exciting as the album itself.

Origins is released on October 7th

http://www.promethiumband.com

9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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