Adrenechrome – Tales From Adrenechrome

Pic Credit Dave Saunders_

Pic Credit Dave Saunders_

Just like a blurring of reality and fantasy, the sound of Canadian metallers Adrenechrome is a muggy fusion of styles and flavours, and just like a drug addled climate, it provides an adventure which devours and permeates every pore of the senses and emotions. Taking their name from the a fictional drug in the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Adrenechrome cast a kaleidoscope of rigorous and virulent tempting as creatively progressive as it is thunderously rock ‘n’ roll, as predatory thrash bred as it is spatially grooved, and as imaginatively ravenous as it is simply seductive. The evidence is all there within new album Tales From Adrenechrome, a seven track encounter which from its classic comic like cover, created by Clownbaby and Tim Kehoe, through to its final suggestive note, is a compelling exploration of self experiences, fantasy, sci-fi, and classic literature.

Hailing from Ontario, Adrenechrome began in 2010, formed by veterans of the music scene with bands such as Gaswitch, Shimmy Rabbits, and The Doug Trucker Band in their histories. Debut EP Hideous Appetites emerged in 2012, inspirations from artists such as Pantera, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Mastodon, High on Fire, and Children of Bodom colouring a sound which soon lured strong support and attention to the release and equally the band’s adrenaline driven live presence which over the years has included playing with Corrosion of Conformity, Green Jelly, Ninjaspy, and Manahan. It is a reaction and success sure to be matched and overshadowed by Tales From Adrenechrome as it spreads its creative rabidity from hereon; with it the band ready to breach and incite richer and broader spotlights.

Album Cover - Adrenechrome - Tales From Adrenechrome _RingMaster Review   The album opens with A Familiar Face, an immediate tempting of bold rhythms and melodically spun sonic enterprise woven into a warm instrumentally led tapestry. The track swiftly captivates as its hooks and grooves seduce as the bass swings and drums badger, a union which only captures ears and imagination with vocal harmonies adding just one more flavoursome texture to the album’s initial temptation.

Things quickly get rugged and heavy as Lockstep storms in next; its thrash breeding is full rabid evidence as vocalist Chris Friesen rides his own riffs and the raw flames of fellow guitarist Tim Kehoe. As becomes the norm, the track is soon evolving within ears. The fury of more extreme metal hues collude with heavy Mastodon resembling grooves and a Torche likened web of flavours as the licking of thrash seeded and groove metal honed flames continues. It is riveting stuff, the body and emotions involved in the devilment as easily as pleasure and an appetite for more, which the song continues to offer with its persistently twisting proposal and Black Brubeck continues with its superb jazz lit imagination and progressively sculpted inventive waltz. As avant-garde as something from a Trepalium or a Pryapisme, and as heftily compelling rock ‘n’ roll as a predacious roar from an Anthrax or High on Fire, the song is irresistible; a fascination with mischief in its heart and fiery passion in its soul.

As all tracks, God Sized Shadow is nurtured with the same fire of intent and character, it even more rapaciously dirty and intrusive than its predecessor but with, greater degrees, the same kind of cosmic air and aggressive volatility, the blackened shades of the latter especially potent. Bewitching and intrusive, with the excellent dark grouchiness of Mike Van Dyk’s bass and the lethally swung beats of drummer Matt Copeland gripping, the track is a primal yet worldly blaze with the rawness of a Triggerman and dark seduction of a Faith No More.

The Heart and The Feather instantly incites ears and thoughts as clean vocals impress within a hug of spidery grooves and sonic expression, Friesen becoming even more compelling as he mixes up his delivery with dirtier tones and rasping expression. Musically the song matches him, again that bedlamic quality a perpetual enticement of unpredictability and highly persuasive surprises woven in to a mix of fierce and richly spiced metal and heavy rock styles. Hips are soon swinging and imagination entangled in the proposition, a success just as easily inspired by Hideous Appetites, a manic appearing and skilfully conjured smog of ferocious enterprise and dynamic devilment; a ravenous beast of a song with melodic and antagonistic weaponry.

Completed by the cauldron of warmth and hostility that is The Lead Elephant, a track which majestically merges melodic tempting, sonic trespasses, and cantankerous metal ‘n’ roll within its tenacious and often enjoyably bruising tempest, Tales From Adrenechrome is a thrilling beast. There is no moment where emotions and appetite are not inflamed and pleasure thicker than the grooves it unleashes.

Grabbing a dose of Adrenechrome is a no brainer as far as we are concerned, Tales From Adrenechrome the release declaring a new band to challenge if not quite now certainly ahead those ‘giants’ mentioned.

Tales From Adrenechrome is out now @ and through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 28/11/2015

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Second To Sun – The First Chapter

STS_RingMaster Review

At the beginning of 2015, we had the opportunity to check out the Three Fairy Tales EP and a couple of singles around it from Russian metallers Second To Sun. It was an instrumental experience and adventure which just lit our ears and imagination. Now as the year begins to wind down, another proposition from the trio in the shape of a new album has ruffled the mental feathers and ruptured a rich vein of pleasure. The First Chapter is a nine track exploration of the broadest tapestry of metal styles and invention, carrying on from where the EP and certainly singles left off but breeding new experimental and ferocious captivation.

Second To Sun began back in 2012, formed by guitarist/keyboardist Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen and drummer Artem Vishnyakov. The departure of the latter saw the band as a one man project for a while before bassist Anton Danilevsky and drummer Theodor Borovsky linked up with Klimov-Lehtinen. Debut album Based On A True Story was released in 2013 to welcoming ears and comments with the Three Fairy Tales EP coming towards the end of the following year, its unveiling drawing greater attention and in turn acclaim. Now the trio unleash The First Chapter, an encounter with a title suggesting it is a climax to the first part of the Second To Sun ascent, and tracks that are opening up a new soundscape and emprise of the band’s composing and sound.

Second To Sun - The First Chapter (2015) _RingMaster Review   As mentioned the Second To Sun sound is a ravenous kaleidoscope of sound described as “modern metal with the elements of black metal and ethnic Finno-Ugric music.” It is a thick and rich tapestry that draws on every strain of extreme and melodic hues you can wish for, creating immersive creative escapades inspired by the history and life of the Finno-Ugrian nations within Eurasia. It is also a highly evocative incitement as shown by album opener Spirit Of Kusoto. Inspired by a holy grove of the Mari people with very deep sacral meaning and serving as a “church”, the track places the imagination in the heart of the forest with the strains of Mari folk song Sun rises lighting ears. It is a potent suggestiveness which soon erupts into a more primal and rugged proposal, rhythms a predatory incitement as the guitar spews caustic hues. Almost as quickly a calm and beauty takes over as the bass continues to skilfully grumble; this another brief exploit in the evolving character and landscape of the track. The piece is riveting, an insight to a dark and bright place with danger and warmth almost fighting over themselves to dominate but ultimately uniting in one fluid enthralment as folkish as it is blackened, as mesmeric as it is intimidating.

Red Snow is an instantly more raw and carnivorous place, a torrent of hungry aggressive sound effectively representing the feel and climate of the tale of nine young men who died at the infamous Dyatlov Pass. You almost feel the cold, the starkness, and turmoil endured as rhythms and sonic imagination create a barbarous and compelling provocation throughout but the track is also as potent in its echo of the rural folkish landscape as voices and percussion amongst many flavours emerge. The track is as rousingly bewitching as its predecessor, a canvas for thoughts to interpret and use to cast their own take on events inspiring the piece before the dark, haunting beauty of Me or Him takes over to seduce and inflame the senses and imagination. Simultaneously mesmeric and bedlamic, each contrast superbly cultured and honed by the band, the track is a predator of sound with a gripping maelstrom of emotion and ideation woven into an irresistible trespass of diversely brewed incitement.

Through the djent, death metal twisted Land of the Fearless Birds and the oppressively enjoyable The Blood Libel, band and album only tighten their grip on body and appetite. The first is another fearsomely predacious offering with bloodied melodies and a psyche stirring atmosphere whilst its successor opens up a cauldron of black/death bred heresy with welcomingly invasive enterprise. Both tracks in their own way, impressively stalk ears and thoughts whilst casting an almost hypnotic lure through the scintillating invention and craft of all members. The imagination of guitar and keys from Klimov-Lehtinen is especially rousing, though arousal of instincts and passions are just as powerfully nurtured by the bass imagination of Danilevsky and the resourceful swings and beats of Borovsky.

Narčat in contrast to the previous pair bounds in like a warrior, bold and creatively tenacious like the young woman inspiring its heart. The track is an undiluted assault of energy, aggression, and a masterfully entwined diversity of metallic and melodic styles, all fused into a bracing tempest matched in its own individual storm by Virgo Mitt. Within the track though, an elegant beauty within a melodic oasis emerges to seduce and shape the tale being conjured in thoughts. The inspiration to the piece of music is as fascinating as the sound, and we suggest certainly checking out the background to all tracks via Second To Sun’s bandcamp to gain even more richness to the experience of the songs.

Completed by excellent bonus track Chokk Kapper, a spiny affair of riffs and rhythms branching out with intoxicating sonic and melodic intrigue and invention, and a demo version of Narčat, The First Chapter is a stirring and forcibly impressive provocateur of ears and thoughts, not forgetting pleasure. As progressive and avant-garde in as many ways as it is technical and extreme, the album confirms suggestions made by previous releases, that Second To Sun is one uniquely thrilling proposition.

The First Chapter is available now digitally and on CD via

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2105

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Deadly Circus Fire – The Hydra’s Tailor

DCF_RingMaster Review

Casting a creative and impassioned roar which just gets richer and more compelling with every listen, The Hydra’s Tailor is a majestic beast of an album; a release that invasively seduces and cantankerously snarls. The second album from UK metallers Deadly Circus Fire, it has been the source of much attention and highly enthused praise already, so time we thought to get involved in its acclaimed proposal and fair to say disappointment was not on the agenda.

Fusing persistently unpredictable explorations of progressive metal and rock with just as magnetically carnivorous textures, The Hydra’s Tailor is already no stranger to drawing keen attention, just like the band’s debut album The King and the Bishop which was heartily embraced by fans and media alike. Drawing on inspirations such as Tool, Mastodon, and Deftones, the London based Deadly Circus Fire laid down a fiercely inviting teaser for this their latest emprise of sound and imagination through a couple of eagerly welcomed singles and since their release, they have signed with Musicarchy Media for the release of the crowd-funded, The Hydra’s Tailor as well as share stages with the likes of Crossfaith, Funeral For a Friend, and Bleed From Within across the UK and Europe. Right now they are lighting up European venues supporting Skindred on their Pump Up The Volume tour, just as The Hydra’s Tailor does the same to ears and speakers.

Artwork_RingMaster Review     The album starts with In Darkness We Trust, its keys spawned melancholic air embracing the immediately enticing and impressing voice of Adam Grant. The duet is bewitching, a solemn yet magnetic coaxing into the heart of the album and second track Animal. Riffs instantly begin prowling ears as it opens up predatory scenery, vocals again a potent enticement as the firm swings of drummer Paul Igoe resonate and the guitar of Save Addario spins expressive sonic enterprise around the still ravenous riffery. Grant again strikes with compelling vocals, his presence backed as resourcefully and potently by the tones of Mike Enort, whose basslines are no slouch when it comes to casting dark temptation either. Whereas the opener was a minimalistic treat its successor shows the shape of things to come with its unpredictable and seamlessly diverse landscape, it also a triumph in its own right.

The following Where It Lies expands from an acoustic flirtation into another mesh of wiry guitar tendrils and emotive flames, ebbing and flowing in aggression and intensity but relentlessly seducing in charm and adventure. As vocal craft and imagination shadows every step made by the ideation building the track, a scent of bands like Circles and Palms lay upon the fascinating encounter, Karnivool too in the song’s mellower moments but all spices to something already showing Deadly Circus Fire uniqueness.

Victim is another entering with an antagonistic glint in its creative eye, rhythms and riffs aligning their rapacious natures as Metallica-esque grooves line the emerging tempest. This time there is a whisper of bands like Bloodsimple and Lamb of God to another song which needs little prompting to evolve into new pastures of tenacious ideation and compelling craft, subsequently an air of Porcupine Tree and Tool just as suggestive across the outstanding incitement.

Another pinnacle comes with the stunning blaze of Devil’s Opera, a track as infectiously catchy as it is mouth-wateringly involved. It takes ears, emotions, and the imagination on a heady ride of united enterprise and individual exploration, a flight which twists and turns with an inventive turbulence that only ignites the appetite to greedier intent towards album and band. It is a forceful yet respectful invasion of the senses continued in Rise Again, it too aligning riffs and rhythmic rabidity with a fire of sonic invention and emotion driven melodic expression guided by the superb voice and delivery of Grant.

The brief instrumental tempting of Martyrs provides a relaxation for the senses next and a new spark for the imagination to play with before the exceptional House of Plagues groans and grinds ears with guitar endeavour around an enjoyably volatile blend of vocals. That bestial intent continues as melodies catch flame and rhythms jab with the stealth of a predator, all contrasts uniting in a scintillating emprise of emotive and provocative ingenuity, one that gets more ravenous and thrilling over each passing minute. Amongst so many within The Hydra’s Tailor that linger and relentlessly lure constant attention, as the album itself, the track is pure addictiveness as it takes best track honours.

Through the bold air and wonderfully fluid and varied tapestry of Aeden and the climatic atmosphere and soundscape of the album’s title track, The Hydra’s Tailor continues to enthral and tempt lustful reactions, its namesake another especially mesmeric blaze of dexterous songwriting and skills matched in sound. Both songs add thick layers to the epic nature of the album with the next up Turning the Tide equally as mighty with its agitated rhythms and sonic swirl of discontent. Equally within its stormy nature though, melodies brew, calm emerges, and bewitching harmonies entice to engross and excite before the turmoil returns in similarly exhilarating style.

The album is closed by the celestially lit, intensively aired Universe; a song which soars and bullies its way into ears and the psyche whilst leaving a great resonance and glow from its respective merger of harsh and tempestuous textures with absorbing beauty. The song is just masterful, repeating the major success cast before it across The Hydra’s Tailor with its own impressing adventure.

The good things heard and read about Deadly Circus Fire barely do the band justice, and now having been infected by The Hydra’s Tailor it feels safe to say if there are those yet to feel the power and prowess of the band the chance of finding reactions breeding the same kind of enthusiasm as us here, is high. There is only one way to find out of course and that is one of the heartiest recommendations made at The RR this year, go explore.

The Hydra’s Tailor is out now via Musicarchy Media @

Pete RingMaster 17/11/2015

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Teramaze – Her Halo

Pic RadioHaloPhotography

Pic RadioHaloPhotography

The beginning of Australian progressive metallers Teramaze go back to the mid to late nineties but it is in the last handful of years that the band has finally sparked rich attention on a broader scale. The Melbourne quartet is giving it another hefty nudge with their new album Her Halo too, a compelling and at times bewitching affair for ears and imagination. Bulging with eight tracks of progressive beauty and technical prowess, the release is a fiery seduction and impassioned tempest; a fascinating flight through a sound consistently evolving whilst weaving in an expansive array of sonic colour and styles. Imagine Circles, Voyager, and Native Construct merged and you get a sense of Her Halo and the invigorating music of Teramaze.

Formed by lead guitarist/producer Dean Wells, it has been since the release of third album Anhedonia in 2012, that the band really began luring potent spotlights their way. The acclaimed release was the first to show an evolution in the foursome’s earlier, apparently more thrash seeded sound; the moment that Teramaze began emerging as the protagonists exciting ears with their latest offering now. That earlier release’s predecessor, Esoteric Symbolism in 2014, continued the shift in invention and direction, its reward equally concentrated acclaim which is now eclipsed on all counts by Her Halo. The new encounter is also their first for Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group and features new vocalist Nathan Peachey, his tones one of the numerous things swiftly impressing in opener An Ordinary Dream.

teramaze-cover_RingMaster ReviewThe fourteen minute track drifts in on a chilled wind and a breeze of sepia hued emotive sound, its evocative coaxing on the turn of a breath soon a melodic caress of guitar with drama fuelled keys in close attention. In a few seconds more, that erupts into a flame of sonic enterprise from Wells matched by the darker rumbles of bass and beats from Luis Eguren and Dean Kennedy respectively. The entrance of Peachey’s outstanding voice and delivery opens the way for even more choice textures and melodic slithers to join the growing tapestry of adventure and temptation; electronic twists, rapacious rhythms, and rising columns of intensity in the spirals of sonic endeavour only adding to the busy but uncluttered web of sound. Across its length, the track moves through similarly evolving landscapes of emotion and creative suggestiveness too, each woven with a new and fresh array of varied sound and ideation.

It is a glorious and transfixing start to Her Halo, and sublimely backed by the darker embrace of To Love, A Tyrant. From its scene setting first tempting, there is a sinister and thick shadowed nature to the song, one which continues to coat the walls and line the eventful theatre of the track. With Wells a potent backing to Peachey, vocals once more flame with rich expression and harmonics whilst the former’s guitar craft is an inescapable net of tenacious and stirring resourcefulness. Fair to say though, that every member and aspect of song and album is a thick incitement for ears and a quickly hungry appetite for the release.

The album’s title track glows and rumbles next, Peachey again outstanding within the matching strength of the dynamics and the provocative textures smouldering and in turn blazing within the lava of captivation. The song is bewitching, with a steely strength to it as riveting and incendiary as the melodic mesmerism fuelling its heart, though it is quickly eclipsed by Out of Subconscious, a rousing Dream Theater-esque fire of emotional reflection and soaring, celestial graced flames. It provides a maelstrom of avant-garde, jazz, and progressive intrigue for the imagination to grab hold of, in turn keeping ears and attention engrossed with once more the band’s skill of unpredictability a seamless roar of pleasure.

   For The Innocent also has a heavy and dark air to its diversely flavoured canvas, upon which the bass prowls, the guitar conjures, and vocals spread a resonating collusion of enterprise held in a gripping rhythmic web spun by Eguren. Admittedly the track does not hit the same sweet spot as the trio of tracks before it but only engages a willing body and soul in its perpetually blossoming depths before Trapeze has the imagination twisting and conjuring with its pungent instrumental theatre of suggestiveness and creative alchemy.

The mesmeric croon of Broken steps forward next, vocals and acoustic sound a warm but melancholic hug which only becomes more provocative and magnetic with every passing minute, time again seeing the band seamlessly flow through contrasting elements sculpted with raw emotion and that constant element of surprise. They are traits every song is seeded in as shown one final time within the lengthy creative saunter of Delusions of Grandeur. As the expansive body of the first song on Her Halo, the ten minutes making up the closing emprise of idea, skill, and emotion never feels a moment too long thanks to its organically evolving imagination of sound which never stands still whether across the whole of the hefty soundscape of invention or simply one of its potent minutes.

The track is a masterful end to a mighty release, one which impresses first time around but really comes into its own over numerous, increasingly exciting plays. Progressive metal has had quite a few rich treats in 2015, this is another and amongst its biggest.

Her Halo is out now via Music Theories Recordings through most stores.

Pete RingMaster 12/11/2015

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Zillah – Serpentine Halo

Zillah - Band shot_RingMaster Review

The scars of uncompromising sonic hostility and a ferociously emotional war may be the legacy of listening to Serpentine Halo but there is no denying that the new album from Scottish metallers Zillah is one compelling and invigorating fury. Savaging and thrilling ears and appetite cross eight ire fuelled tempests of rabid progressive metal, the long awaited release quickly and forcibly shows that across the nine years since its predecessor, Zillah have only got harsher, fiercer, and more inventively explosive.

The Edinburgh band have earned a potent and acclaimed reputation for their sound and indeed releases. The Halo Diablo EP of 2001 set things off with a second EP in the shape of The Thoughts that Lead, and indeed first album Morta in Crucem a year later, offering potent suggestions of a potential loaded band on the rise. Arguably though it was from the two EPs When Rock Goes Wrong and Standing Next to Normal of 2003 and 2005 respectively, that attention truly turned the band’s way, a praise lit focus which devoured second album Substitute For A Catastrophe in 2006. Its quality and impact confirmed Zillah as one of the major forces in Scotland’s extreme metal scene, its success and acclaim sure to be easily eclipsed by the mighty Serpentine Halo. It is fair to say the band through its new dirty corrosive roar now stands as one of Europe’s most exciting and thrilling proposals. The band are certainly no newcomers but with Serpentine Halo there is something fresh which takes Zillah up to stand with the ‘big boys’.

Serpentine Halo - Front_RingMaster Review     The album opens with Therefore I Am and a maelstrom of intensity and sound. The guitars of Rob Coverdale, Tim Rasmussen, and Roddy Anderson explode with sonic tendrils which collide and wind around each other like a volcanic mosh pit, their chaos reinforced by the bedlamic swings of drummer Matt Holland and Coverdale’s additional ravenous craft on the bass. It is a breath-taking, senses debilitating assault, yet within it already the intricate and technical prowess of the band is fingering the imagination and psyche, a fusion ensuring a scintillating opening to the release which just gets more exacting and irresistible with each passing minute of its lethal, energy sapping enterprise.

The rawness and corrosive hue of the music is as powerful and gripping as the melodic and skilfully woven textures, swift evidence coming with second track Something Done Cannot be Undone and again in its successor Made Flesh And Bone, actually right across the whole album. The first of the pair enters on a predatory waltz of gritty rhythms and steely grooves, its flavouring as much post punk as it is progressive antagonism. Winding around the senses like an insidious temptress, the track continues to weave a hellacious web but again one with strands of addictive enterprise and imaginative resourcefulness as the coarse and equally enticing bellows of Anderson’s throat, as in the first song, incites sound and listener. Made Flesh And Bone is similarly as engrossing and even more predatory in tone and nature, as well as more rhythmically barbarous. Tagged as progressive metal, the third song alone shows that the Zillah sound is a mesh of diverse extreme metal just as keen to reap the essences of noise and hardcore spicery.

Another riveting rhythmic shuffle brings the intoxicating animus of Karras to bear on ears, its body an increasingly volatile and fascinating protagonist with each passing torrent of hungry riffs, rapier like beats, and virulent grooves bound in spellbinding sonic ingenuity. The track is primal temptation, a volcanic pyre of imagination matched by Not All Of Me Shall Die and its tsunami of emotive and creative dissonance. Once more no breath is allowed to be seized, no respite given yet the song as fearsomely intensive as it is, still unveils a sublime tempering to the punishment through its melodic evocation of kindred calm and reflection. That gentler resourcefulness continues in Man Son Of Swine which flows seamlessly out of its predecessor. The track is a cauldron of aural colour and jaundiced emotion which gradually becomes more ferocious and ruinous before coming off the boil for a melody sculpted oasis lit by the piano craft of Simon Coverdale and backing harmonies from Layna Marshall. In time of course the turbulence is in full blaze again to complete another thrilling trespass on the senses by Zillah.

The provocative, initially sample lined One Thousand Stones Thrown grips satisfaction and thoughts next, its ever broadening landscape a perpetual evolution of sound and anger as impressively unpredictable as it is deviously and naggingly infectious, not forgetting inventive. Its erosive alchemy makes way for the closing threat and rapacious drama of He Who Knows All where additional vocals come courtesy of Mike Pilat. The darkest, heaviest incursion on body and soul on the album, the song stalks and crawls over the psyche, brimming and intermittently exploding with mordant sound and burning energy throughout. It is a fascinating end to a glorious creative violation, Zillah giving the metal year and scene a major proposal to contemplate and fearfully bask in.

Serpentine Halo is out now digitally and on CD via Sea Of Corruption Records @

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2015

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Dalla Nebbia – Felix Culpa

cover_RingMaster Review

An album impossible to fully digest on the first listen, second, and indeed even a few more, Felix Culpa still quickly emerges as one richly fascinating and perpetually tempting proposition. The creation of US based Dalla Nebbia; it is a compelling assault of extreme metal and imagination. The band’s sound is loosely tagged as atmospheric black metal but as Felix Culpa soon reveals, it openly embraces provocative strains of progressive rock and doom metal to present something testing and uniquely enthralling.

Dalla Nebbia first emerged in 2010 as a duo, and now is a quartet with three members living in N Carolina, Minnesota, and Washington, and a fourth with Brazil as a home. Inspirations include music and invention produced by bands such as Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Limbonic Art, and Arcturus, the foursome taking these into their own extensive and epic weaves of emotional and sonic drama. The successor to debut album The Cusp of the Void, it the bringing together of the band’s first demo and self-released EP Thy Pale Form, the ten track Felix Culpa sees the band breaching new depths and levels of imagination and craft. Its premise is a dive into the human psyche, in the words of the band, “a journey through decay and regret, death and suicide, and thorny despair at the hands of an angry god” and its voice a challenge to find a wealth of corruptive pleasure in.

Featuring Norwegian violinist Sareeta (Borknagar, Solefald, Asmegin) across most songs on the album and guest guitarist Aort (Code, Indesinence) on a couple of tracks, Felix Culpa opens with the brief instrumental Memento Mori; the synth and guitar craft of Yixja a swift and entrancing immersion for ears and thoughts. Warm yet feeling more like the lull before the storm even with the magnetic lures of violin, the piece leads the listener straight into the tempest of Until the Rain Subsides, though that too initially has a restraint and gothic invitation that only entices. The raw vocal squalls of Zduhać add to the thick atmosphere and brewing imposing air of the song even with both being tempered by the captivating harmonies that rise within the melancholic beauty of Sareeta’s strings. Ravenous and seductive in equal measure, blackened voracity and progressive calm colluding in a controlled band unpredictable maelstrom, the song makes an impressive full welcome into Felix Culpa.

The more rabid Abandoned Unto Sky takes over next, the brutal drumming of Alkurion a quick violation forging a punishing union with raw unrelenting riffs. In time though, as the bass of Tiphareth spills its own animus on proceedings, song and band infect the storm with melodic and emotive enterprise whilst managing to simultaneously intensify the ruinous nature of the track. Every moment has something within something else, layers within layers, textures revealing their own personal breakdown of essences as the song evolves and twists on its rancorous spine. Growing more riveting and thrilling in its second half, the song epitomises the album as a whole, each minute a bounty of imaginative turns and detours seamlessly woven into fierce tapestries that with every listen unveil new treasures.

Both Lament of Aokigahara and The Banner of Defiance keep ears and emotions aflame, the first from a portentous coaxing venturing into a dank incantation like crawl through smothering intensity and ambience with volatile invention and beauty respectively. Guitars entwine with keys, synths with the melodic incitement of the violin, and rhythms in tender and barbarous skill framing the tempestuous charm and adventure of the track. Its successor is similarly honed but far more physically challenging with its vindictive rhythms and riffs, not forgetting breath. Of course things shift and evolve, the song also slipping into spellbinding moments of vocal and sonic radiance, these at times stemming the tide of hostility like momentary oases in a challenging journey whilst providing their own fresh exploration of the lyrical and emotional exploration. As in its predecessor, it is thoroughly engrossing though occasionally heavy going trying to explore all on offer but with time the songs just get bigger and more impressive as they eventually share their extensive realms.

Not Within the Stone blows a creative wind washed in post and progressive rock daring around a black metal scowl. This gripping fusion smothers a doom seeded gait but by now expectantly also embraces bold flames of contagious hooks, virulent grooves, and inhospitable intensity into the creative melting pot to heavily pleasing effect. Once more ears and thoughts are bullied and rubbed raw whilst kept firmly engrossed in the uncompromising collusion of contrasts that also emerge in the outstanding Felix Culpa (Theodicy Corrupted), a smooth seducing ingrained in a ferociously ravishing volcano of sound and enmity.

The shorter instrumental trespass of Das Gelächter Gottes is a cold dystopian respite next, luring the imagination towards the opening melancholic serenade of Paradise in Flames. A fire of emotional and sonic unrest, the track restrains from erupting into the inferno expected, seven of its nine evocative minutes having passed to inspire and incite before things spew vocal and physical lava, though that again comes with the spellbinding touch of the violin and Dalla Nebbia’s creative bravery to leave only a want for more.

A final instrumental caress closes the album, The Silent Transition a melody driven kiss on the senses wrapped in ever potent shadows and shaped by the open individual prowess of Dalla Nebbia. It is a fine conclusion to a release words barely scratch the surface of. Felix Culpa will not be for all, at times being a real test for many including some black and extreme metal fans, though only in a good way. Fair to say though for all wanting something bold and original which pushes their boundaries as much as the music they have a passion for, a release that works their bodies and thoughts for a constant unveiling of new rewards with each plunge into its depths, then Felix Culpa and Dalla Nebbia is very worthy of a visit.

Felix Culpa is out now via Razed Soul Productions @

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

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Deep Desolation – Possession

possession cover_RingMaster Review

Living up to its name in so many ways, Possession is an occultist waltz with the devil, black metal fuelled rock ‘n’ roll which just gets more compelling and adventurous track by track. The latest album from Polish metallers Deep Desolation, the release offers five tracks which devours ears and in turn imagination as black and doom metal gets entangled in psychedelic and progressive enterprise, all around blasphemous and challenging intent.

Deep Desolation hails from Łódź, emerging in 2009 with their debut album Subliminal Visions coming at the beginning of 2011. That same year saw the band unite with Primal and Iugulatus for the split release Chapel Of Fear with a year later second album Rites of Blasphemy was unleashed. Well-received it showed the growth and evolution running through the band’s sound which continues and blossoms in Possession. At times the new release is not an easy listen, making no compromises for the senses with its barbarous rancor and intensity, but from start to finish, and as suggested with stronger persuasion song by song, it is one seriously fascinating and enjoyable encounter.

The quartet of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Meriat, lead guitarist Markiz, bassist Piorun, and drummer Wilku begin their insidious incantation of pestilential temptation with Bestial Mind. Opening on an almost shamanic rhythmic invitation, the track is soon a brewing tempest of sonic agitation and thickly landing beats with guitars and bass entangling in tempestuous manner and creativity as they await crawling vocals squalls. The song continues to prowl with a doom rich breath, before unlocking a canter of spicy groves and melodic hooks which soon have ears and the imagination enthralled. Never unleashing its full venomous urgency, the track continues to stroll and prowl, malevolence an oozing hue across atmosphere and voice with a leaning towards progressively honed groove metal an additional magnetic texture.

Each listen reveals a little more going on within the quickly enticing animus of sound and intent, potency echoed throughout the album and certainly in the rabid depths and intrusive endeavours within Place Of The Darkest Thoughts. No reins shackle the energy and intensity of this track, its instinct to rock ‘n’ roll feeding the cancerous intent, creative adventure, and pure ferocity within it. In time bass and guitars spill a cascade of hook loaded bait as sonic and rhythmic savagery prevails around them whilst an almost schizophrenic passage of off kilter classic metal enterprise wrong foots and thrills simultaneously.

Both Demonic Elation and The Wizard Of Overdose keep ears enthralled, thoughts intrigued, and pleasure full. The first is an intensive dark trespass of sound and heart which truly comes to life when the psychedelic imagination of the band starts to wrap and infuse its black metal canvas. Before then it is a solid encounter but once the mystical imagination invades, it becomes another impressive beast before making way for its successor and its similarly persuasive tempest ignited by melodic and psych rock invention. The core groove is pure addictiveness and as confirmed by the final song on the album, Deep Desolation is at its most striking and unique when bringing their psychedelic and often deranged imagination into the mix, something hopefully they will explore and exploit much more ahead because we will then get more triumphs like Divine Dance.

The closing track is epic; eighteen minutes plus of heavy rock ‘n’ roll blackened and twisted for a glorious escapade of extreme metal irreverence. It is easily the best track on Possession, the realisation of all the band’s attributes in craft and sound in one extensive doom leaden, sludge thick, creatively carnal rampage of fierce and compelling metal and such a success because this time it is a groove and melody rich endeavour being given a black metal and doom infusion rather than the other way round.

As mentioned Possession gets bigger and better with each passing track, its finale the major treat which alone suggests that if Deep Desolation continue down this route they have the potential to intrude on the broadest metal spotlights.

Possession is out now via Old Temple / The End Of Time Records.

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2015

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