Convictors – Envoys Of Extinction

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It may have taken a hefty handful of months short of three decades for German death metallers Convictors to unleash their first album but boy has it been worth the wait. To be fair there has not been a constant presence from the band in the metal scene over that time, twenty one of those years coming between its break-up in 1987 and their subsequent reunion. In many ways this is now a new band to contemplate for most with releases like Envoys Of Extinction for all to greedily devour. Without maybe springing any startling surprises, the album is a rigorously fresh and persistently vital proposition marking out its creators as another bringing old school death metal into a voraciously modern landscape.

Inspired by bands like Possessed and Slayer, Convictors was formed by four friends back in 1986. It was a short lived presence spawning just The Last Judgement demo that first year before through musical differences the band broke up. Reuniting under a wave of new interest in 2008, the Lörrach hailing quartet released the five-track Abdication Of Humanity EP a year later. Well-received, its success was followed in 2010 by the formation of the band’s current line-up with bassist Samuel Maier and drummer Daniel Zuflucht coming in to link up with founder members of guitarist Lasse and vocalist Fabian Frey. Starting work on Envoys Of Extinction in 2011, with a taster in the song Epitome Of Decay coming that same year, the band recently unleashed their beast of a first album and as mentioned a formidable treat it has turned out to be.

From its first breath Envoys Of Extinction is rattling cages and igniting the senses, the opening virulence of Preparedness 101 a raucously spicy tease of guitar swiftly punctuated by Convictors - Envoys Of Extinction - Artworkthunderous beats and a bestial bassline. In no time at all the track is rampaging with controlled but hungry strides into the imagination, riffs and grooves colluding to tempt appetite and rhythms combining to batter the senses. It is a resourcefully tantalising persuasion fuelling the track, as contagious as it is intimidating with the guttural roars of Frey magnetic within the similarly alluring creative web cast by Lasse.

The tremendous start is emulated by Epitome Of Decay, an even more predatory and threatening imposition on the senses but again with an infectious craft and endeavour to reward the listener’s bravery. It has a heavy doom bred air which smothers song and ears but it is a smog which still allows melodies to tempt and grooves to seduce without hindrance, a blend just as striking and pleasing in Angel Of Impurity. The third song in many ways plays with a broader landscape of sound and imagination, something which is explored further in the latter part of the album. The guitar alone is brimming with a diversity of ideas and tones flirting perfectly with the great throaty snarl of the bass. The opening stretch of the song is simply glorious, a highlight alone but only the appetiser to the raging pestilential hostility of the outstanding encounter which prowls rather than ravages its victims, but stalks them throughout whilst dangling sonic lures and barbarous temptations.

Things only increase in potency and adventure from here on in, the visceral opening to Let Malevolence Arise leading to a blistering corrosive aural savagery with dark and ravenous cinematic qualities whilst its successor Festering Infestation Strikes is a more single minded old school death scourge which still leaves no rapacious groove and rhythmic spite unearthed, and is prone to some great swinish vocal colouring.

Both tracks light the passions but it is with the closing stretch that the album finds another depth of excitement in the passions, starting with the excellent Proclivity. It is a maelstrom of spicy sonic invention, a controlled but voracious epidemic of addictive grooving and deep rooted hooks to incite a lustful response. Its might is straight away matched by the incendiary canter of Diabolical Female where every syllable comes with a dose of primal coaxing and note with a drenching of salacious hunger. It is a delicious stomp of a track, death metal in its most infectious and welcoming form.

Fragments brings the album to a fine close, though there is a hidden surprise in its shadows later on. The song is a tempestuous furnace of haunting melodies courting a corruptive fury, the latter blustering itself around riveting bass baiting and another crippling assault of Zuflucht’s skills. Maybe not quite matching its predecessors, it still leaves emotions brimming and ears basking, not forgetting ringing as silence engulfs the senses at its potent end.

Convictors has finally got to the point its members were obviously aiming for all those years ago, and such the impressive nature and presence of Envoys Of Extinction, surely it is just the beginning for the band.

Envoys Of Extinction is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/envoys-of-extinction/id930003515

http://www.convictors.de/

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Bloodlust wrappings and carnal tempting: talking Cannibal Corpse with bassist Alex Webster

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The unleashing of a new Cannibal Corpse savaging is always a cause for eager investigation and so the recent release of thirteen studio album A Skeletal Domain was met with enthusiastic intrigue. No matter your taste for their visceral sounds, the US death metallers has been an undeniable driving inspiration and boundary beater within the genre which the new release reaffirms with raw potency. Leaping at the chance to get a glimpse into the making and background to the album, we took some of the spare time of bassist Alex Webster as the band continue on their successful European tour, to talk album, new producer, zombie video, and much more…

Hi Alex and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

With latest album A Skeletal Domain earning predominantly and deserved acclaim from fans, the metal underground, and beyond since its recent release, did you have any specific hopes and expectations for its unleashing, other than hoping it is liked of course?

Not really. I mean, we feel the same way about all of the albums when we put them out I think. A new album represents the best music we could make at that point in time. I guess since we had a different producer this time we were interested to see what people would think of that, but really our expectations were about the same as always.

Your thirteenth studio album, how were emotions around the unveiling of a new release after two and a half decades laying waste to metal and ears?

Like I said, about the same as always. We are very proud of the new album and hope that our fans will like it.

We felt there was of course the recognisable Cannibal Corpse sound to the album but also fresh exploratory twists to its voracious enterprise and vehemence fuelled depths. How does its sound and presence differ from say its predecessor Torture for you there on the inside?

I think the biggest difference is probably in the production, which was handled by Mark Lewis this time around, rather than Erik Rutan. Both are great producers but each has a different way of approaching recording.

I think the album is also a bit different when it comes to song writing. It just sounds a bit different. There are a few songs on this album that (in my opinion) sound quite unusual for us. It’s still death metal, just a bit different.

Was there any deliberate direction and ideation taken in regards to its sound and intent or was it more an organic evolution emerging as A Skeletal Domain emerged?CannibalCorpse-ASkeletalDomain

We just wrote the song individually and gradually the character of the album developed. We didn’t really have a plan; we just tried to write the best music we could.

After so many releases and years is it easier to sculpt something original to the band or more difficult, with as we find in music in general ideas and sounds going in cycles as in fashion?

We definitely try not to repeat ourselves, but of course it happens anyway. But we do make a deliberate effort to make each song sound unique and fresh.

As you mentioned you recorded the album with Mark Lewis this time around after working with Erik Rutan for the previous trio of albums. What was the reason for the move and why specifically did you go with Mark?

We had gotten to know Mark pretty well since he lives in Florida like we do, and we thought he was a cool guy- so his personality was part of it. We also really liked the work he had done with bands like Six Feet Under, Deicide, and Devildriver. His skills, personality, and convenient location of his studio made him a perfect choice.

What has he particularly brought to A Skeletal Domain which is different to its predecessors and works most potently with your new ideas?

It’s hard to explain so it’s better for the reader to listen and compare. He just has a somewhat different approach to recording than our previous producers, and I think you can hear it right away.

Was a change of producer an early intent as songs and the album began coming together?

Yes, we decided at least half a year before the recording date that we would work with Mark this time.

How did the band approach the studio this time around and was it pretty much as you went into the recording of previous albums?

It was different, since it was a different producer and studio. We were well prepared, as we always try to be, but things did go a bit differently once we started. Mark is a great engineer and editor, and things went very smoothly during the recording. We had a great time and we’ll likely work with him again.

cannibal-corpse_photo02The album is sonically and lyrically as visceral as ever, as expected from a Cannibal Corpse provocation, what breeds the first seeds of songs more often than not?

The music comes first, then the lyrics. The songs are usually written individually at home by each song writer, and then once the song is finished or almost finished, the band will learn their parts and play the song together to see how it sounds. For each writer, the songs probably start out with a main riff and develop from there.

On this album Rob wrote music for 2 and 1/2 songs, I wrote 4, Pat wrote 5, and Paul wrote music for half of a song. The lyric writing was varied in a similar way: Paul wrote 6 songs, I wrote 4, and Rob wrote 2.

At times it feels from the outside that successful and established bands like yourselves come under a harsher and more predetermined focus from the major media spotlights. How have you found it and particularly in regard of A Skeletal Domain?

It’s hard to say. I think by now everybody already has an opinion about us and a new album is not likely to change that. The press that likes us still will, and same for the press that doesn’t like us. Their opinions don’t seem to be very flexible

Can you give us some background and insight into the imposing and startling video for Kill Or Become from the album?

The video was directed by David Brodsky; he created a concept based on the song’s lyrics and went from there. We think he did a great job. We’ve been writing about zombies since our first album, so I guess it’s about time we had a full-on zombie video.

As one of death metal’s leading lights and inspirations for seemingly ever, how do you see the expanding depth and diversity to the genre? Do you embrace and takes sparks from its ever growing expanse of exploration or prefer a more old school focus to feed your personal tastes?

I like anything that sounds good to me. Some newer death metal is amazing, and I still listen to plenty of the old stuff too. If it’s well-written and heavy I usually like it.

Listening to A Skeletal Domain there are seemingly essences from other genres and styles which flirt with ears and thoughts however slight and whispered they are. What are the inspirations outside of extreme metal which you would suggest have added something to the band sound or ideas over time?

We all listen to lots of different kinds of music so that probably directly and/or indirectly influences how we write. For me personally the classical music I’ve listened too might have an influence.

Where do you see Cannibal Corpse in the ‘family tree’ of inspirations and contributors to death metal?cannibal-corpse_photo06

Hopefully we are considered an important part of the death metal family tree, part of the 2nd wave after Possessed, Death, Master, Massacre, and other earlier bands.

What is left in 2014 going into next year for the band to devour and offer?

We’ll be doing lots of touring in support of A Skeletal Domain. We are currently on tour in Europe; next year we’ll do a big tour of Canada and the USA. So we have some big touring plans ahead.

Thanks again for sharing time with us. Any last thoughts you would like to offer us?

Thanks for the interview! We hope to see all of our fans on tour soon!

Finally is there anything grotesque and blood fuelled which the band has not yet explored but you have a yearning to attack at some point?

I don’t know! We’ll see when we start writing the next album.

Check out our review of A Skeletal Domain @ ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/cannibal-corpse-a-skeletal-domain/

http://www.cannibalcorpse.net/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/10/2014

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Antropomorphia – Rites ov Perversion

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The return in 2009 of Dutch death metallers Antropomorphia brought with it a potent impact on the extreme metal scene especially through the band’s acclaimed 2012 second album Evangelivm Nekromantia. Now the Tilburg quartet unleash its successor Rites ov Perversion, another accomplished and compelling savaging to put a spark into the heart of death metal. It is not an encounter to reshape or offer new realms for the genre but over time certainly one to thrill and add another tasty flavour to its impressive year.

Formed in 1990, Antropomorphia embraced inspirations from the likes of Celtic Frost, Possessed, Death, Autopsy, and Venom as they honed their own uncompromising and honest sound. The demo Bowel Mutilation in 1992 gripped attention, subsequently becoming a long sought after encounter among underground metal fans. Its release led to the band signing with Swiss label Blackened Recordings and the unleashing of Necromantic Love Songs a year later. Its well-received release was followed by band member’s time being taken up by their other projects and Antropomorphia being put on indefinite hiatus from 1999. They did not restrain from writing songs though and in 2009 the band sprung back to life, going on to sign with Metal Blade Records and unleashing Evangelivm Nekromantia. Reawakening interest and drawing new attention to the band, as well as almost getting banned by German authorities because of its violent and occult themed topics, the album led to festival appearances for the band at Neurotic Deathfest and Extremefest. Now Rites ov Perversion is poised to stir things up with its vicious and raw intent, as well as easy to suspect a greater hunger for the band’s imposing presence.

There is no escaping the force and ferocity of the album as opener Temphioth Workings draws up to ears on a crest of rampage riffs and thumping rhythms, all orchestrated by the vocal roar and vehemence of Ferry Damen. Expelling Antropomorphia - Rites ov Perversioneven greater malevolence through the dark tones of Marc van Stiphout’s bass and the increasingly vindictive swipes of Marco Stubbe, the track proceeds to ravish and seduce the senses and imagination respectively. Grooves nag and thrill throughout as the sonic invention of Jos van den Brand and Damen persistently entangle thoughts and song. It is a great start with nastiness to its breath which is just as rich in the following Carved to Pieces, an openly contagious and irritable proposition. Grooves again steal attention and passions, veining the inhospitable climate and intensity of the thrilling offering for an irresistible persuasion.

The pestilential predation of Inanimatus Absqui Anima comes next; its body a crawling ruinous enticement which stalks ears and emotions yet expels a swing to its beats and grooves which belies the toxic animosity drenching its appealing heart. Its success is matched by Crowned in Smoldering Ash, another rapacious proposal from the band taking its time to size up its victim before spilling demonic and sonic toxicity through its hostile design. Neither track matches the heights of the first pair of songs yet bind ears and thoughts in a healthy dose of creative malevolence to keep appetite for the album greedy.

     Nekrovaginal Secretions is a romantic little number if being smothered in venomous riffs and salacious sonic causticity lights your fire. Grooves twist emotions around their acidic flame with ease, again seducing without reserve as a punishing and creative tsunami of rhythms from Stubbe shows little restraint to their precisely skilled animosity. It is a glorious violation of the senses swiftly matched by the ravenous presence of Gospel ov Perversion. The track is a maelstrom of enterprise and raw hostility, merging a twisted melodic radiance with blistering sonic endeavour and rancor.

Through the hellacious and addictive bad blood of Morbid Rites and the intriguing and riveting Tevfelskvnst, band and album reinforce their already virulent animus with compelling force and charm. One thing about the album is the familiarity between groove structures and at times sound, yet they are woven into the individual characters of songs with an imaginative touch which defuses any over familiarity as strongly shown by the second of the two. The track rumbles and snarls from start to finish, the bass of van Stiphout especially inescapable bait within a torrential and impressively evolving landscape.

Completed by a powerfully enticing cover of the Death track Open Casket, the album is a formidable and thoroughly exciting proposition. Certainly it is not venturing into realms unknown but for primal yet organically inventive death metal there have been few releases better this year.

Rites ov Perversion is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion-cd/art_288907/

http://antropomorphia-official.com/

Ringmaster 17/09/2014

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Impiety – The Impious Crusade

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Hailing from Singapore, the blackened death leviathan that is Impiety has been consuming and antagonising senses and passions since 1990, grabbing plenty of acclaim for their unleashed mayhem over an avalanche of albums and singles. This month sees their debut release on Hells Headbangers Records, The Impious Crusade EP, a viciously twisted slice of extreme metal offering proof of that the trio has lost none of the guile and sonic toxicity which marked such albums as Paramount Evil, Dominator, and from last year Ravage & Conquer. The new five track release continues in similarly confrontational creativity but with a certain shift in its presentation, arguably offering no real surprises yet exhausting senses and thoughts with a virulent death metal scourge that keeps the band as a distinct proposition amongst most.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist Shyaithan, guitarist Nizam Aziz, and drummer Dizazter (the band becoming a quartet live with the addition of bassist Guh Lu), Impiety continue to use influences from the likes of Bathory, Sarcofago, Possessed, Morbid Angel, and Venom seemingly in their imagination, though as mentioned they have branded their own signature deep within the genre. A band who have successfully headlined tours and supported others across Europe, Asia, N. America, and many more areas of the world, they have marked the deal with their new label by a release which takes the listener on a demonic ride through hell’s deepest violations sound tracked by sounds which twist and turn on the senses with the primal and skilled predatory instinct of a bestial horde. It is not the most insidious and nasty encounter, or overall one which leaves the passions raging uncontrollably but it is an onslaught that sparks the appetite into impatience for the next full length from the band.

Opener Arrival of the Assassins is a brief track which is more than an intro but still only a swift fist through the heart, its sonic lancing ofalbumart[1]the ear lethal and direct whilst the cage of rhythmic disturbance leaves knees buckled. It sets up the release perfectly every aspect of the band afire and ready to assassinate peace within its recipient, whilst the track itself is an excellent portent of things to come and in many ways the best thing on the release despite its short stay.

The following Commanding Death & Destroy is an instant savage torrent of vitriolic spite and sonic mastery from guitarist Aziz, his fingers conjuring riffs and aural narratives not only here but across the EP that leave you whimpering and greedily immersed in individual caustic scenarios. Ably assisted by the rhythmic provocation of Dizazter and the scathing raw squalls of Shyaithan, the song is a tempest of almost schizophrenic rage and imagination, a storm of quizzing crippling intensity and inventive ferocity.

As next up Accelerate the Annihilation equally tears into senses and thoughts, the slight air of missing originality is evident yet not an issue within the almost suffocating presence of band and sound. The track stomps and prowls with primal rabidity through the ear, switching its attack to leave the listener nowhere to escape to, not that in the face of such a contagious and invigorating brutal ravishment you would seek such refuge. Again the guitar carves out a landscape of impacting persuasion whilst bass and drums enslave with the rapacity of a pack of hunger driven wolves.

The title track scorches air and senses with a sonic wash that is as malevolent as it is addictive whilst the rest of the song is a battering ram of unpredictable savagery created by a technical violence that is almost virulent in its appeal. As with all the tracks, it allows no second for the listener to settle, its disorientating expanse of scything aural discord and bedlam a tornado of adventure and malice.

A cover of the Sorcery track Lucifer’s Legions completes the release, the track a more than decent high octane thrash toned brawl. It concludes a great release and appetiser for what is to come from Impiety. It is a grower too and even whilst writing this piece and listening to The Impious Crusade EP simultaneously a few more times it increases its stature within thoughts and distinction. A release all death metallers should get their hands on.

www.mightyimpiety.com

8/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

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