Running Death – DressAge

The new album from German thrashers Running Death is one of those encounters you just cannot help going back to and with increasing zeal. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Megadeth, Testament, and Annihilator, traits audible within DressAge but their sound has much more in its armoury ranging from eighties heavy metal and rock to similar era speed metal.  It all comes in varying degrees within a certain thrash bred stomp and all colluding in one virulently infectious and catchy slab of muscular rock ‘n’ roll.

The band’s debut album of 2015, Overdrive, ensured the Bavarian are no strangers to eager praise or a host to new waves of fans and things can only escalate with the release of DressAge.  The album wears a grin on its creative face from its first breath and carries a mischief which gives its tracks a real feel of aggressive fun. It opens up with Courageous Minds, a track swiftly involving the listener in its lively gait and nature as rhythms thump and dance upon the senses whilst the guitars of Daniel Baar and vocalist Simon Bihlmayer spin a web of enticement. It is not long before the track is rigorously strolling through ears, the beats of Jakob Weikmann swiping as the voice of Bihlmayer growls in a quickly engaging affair which if not quite gripping the imagination as firmly as subsequent tracks certainly gets things off to a rather pleasing start.

Dressage is next, surrounding ears with an almost predatory web of textures cored by the throaty bait of Andrej Ramich’s bass. The anthemically driving rhythms of Weikmann quickly have the instincts to stomp hooked, the song taking mere moments more to eclipse its predecessor and really get the album rocking. Baar’s melodic enterprise is technically and sonically impressive and never diluting the natural roar and flow of the thrash fuelled encounter before a gasp of time brings the matching strengths and incitement of Delusive Silence upon an appetite already beginning to get a touch greedy for what is on offer.  Fusing a great mix of melodic warmth and metal irritability, the track only blossoms its weave of adventure and varied sounds keeping expectations wrong-footed and the imagination hooked.

Next up Heroes Of The Hour wraps ears in a wiry weave of melody and creative snares before revealing a more predator side through jabbing beats and antagonistic bass. They are in turn aligned to swinging grooves, a revelry soon infesting the aggressive and infectious tendencies of the song as another highlight is crafted before Duty Of Beauty bounces upon ears with a catchiness which borders on poppy. Those eighties influences spice all tracks and certainly impregnate the boisterous rock ‘n’ roll of the fifth song which also has a touch of Danish rockers Grumpynators to it.

Through the bulging contagion and biceps of the Motorhead scented Numbers and the motorbilly fuelled Beneath The Surface, fresh heights are continued and pushed, both outstanding tracks as compelling in tone and character as they are in individual craft while Anthem of Madness has neck muscles working and the body romping with its voracious instrumental theatre.

The album closes with the pair of Safety Second and Refuse To Kill, the first a fiery ballad which haunts and snarls in equal measure as guitars conjure a tapestry of evocative suggestion around just as strong vocal expression. It is a song which simmers upon the passions compared to other tracks but rapidly grows to be just as persuasive with each rerun of building body of energy and adventure. Its successor has a darker edge to its air, a song close to stalking ears as it fills them with rapacious rock ‘n’ roll cored by the most crotchety slice of thrash metal upon the album.

Cloaked in the fine work of Mexican graphic artist Joel Sánchez Rosales, DressAge is a proposition which merges something familiar with something forcibly fresh, the outcome a record which inspires only enjoyment and an eager energy to get involved. We will not say it will be a regular album of the year nomination but it will be one metal roar we will be keenly joined in love for.

DressAge is out May 26th via Punishment 18 Records and @ https://runningdeath.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 25/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

CZv50AmXEAAMDrM.jpg large_RingMaster Review

If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

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Warmblood – God Of Zombies

WarmbloodBand

There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.

Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.

Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.

Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor WarmbloodCoverbut still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.

The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.

Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.

Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.

Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.

God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records

https://www.facebook.com/warmbloodband

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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Chronosphere – Embracing Oblivion

ChronosphereBand

2014 has already been flush with some impressive and more importantly thrilling thrash metal releases, some old school bred and others sculpting the new penchant for fusing thrash with death metal and other styles. Somewhere in between comes Embracing Oblivion, the exhilarating new rampage from Greek metallers Chronosphere. With adrenaline driving relentless through every vein making up the ten-track avalanche of insatiable thrash baited ferocity, the album is an exhausting and exciting confirmation of a promise already laid from the band previously but now aligned to a new plateau of inventive hostility and mouth-watering creative tenacity. Arguably the release is not casting explosively original persuasions but with ease Embracing Oblivion stands to the forth of the emerging modern twist of Bay Area spawned thrash metal.

The beginnings of Chronosphere started in 2009 when vocalist/guitarist Spyros Lafias formed the old school thrash fuelled Homo Sapiens. The demo Hypnosis came out the following year as well as several line-up changes which subsequently led to the union of guitarist Panos Tsampras, bassist Kostas Spades, and drummer Thanos Krommidas alongside Lafias. The band’s reputation has grown constantly through their live performances which over the years has seen them share stages with the likes of Rotting Christ, Suicidal Angels, and Evile as well as various festival appearances such as Metaldays and Wacken Open Air. 2011 saw the band begin working on their debut album Envirusment, an attention grabber which was released as Chronosphere via Athens Thrash Attack in 2012. Acclaimed and drawing world-wide attention its success is now set to be left behind in the wake of Embracing Oblivion and its explosive might.

The concussive entrance of Killing My Sins awakens attention and appetite within seconds, guitars and rhythms cascading venomously ChronosphereCoverdown on the senses before settling into the casting of predatory riffing and antagonistic beats. It is a dramatic and gripping torrent of intent and sound driven forcibly by the excellent vocals of Lafias supported anthemically by the shouts of Spades and Tsampras. The song is a ravaging onslaught but also a tempest which has the guile and deception to slip into moments of stalking rapaciousness and respectful intimidation, though it is only to un-cage a scorching solo before reasserting that savage and exalting furnace of intent and aggression.

The exceptional start is swiftly matched by One Hand Red Per Saint, again an insurgent proposition from its first breath. Riffs consume ears with an edacious hunger and rhythms unleash a cage of battering animosity, both expected in many ways and pleasingly welcomed but it is the inventive twists and imagination deviation to the core formula which ignites the passions most impressively, those and the ever successful vocals. Already within two songs there is an unpredictability infused into the assumption feeding base charge of the encounters which sets the band apart from the masses and flirts wantonly with the imagination for a full and eager submission, the next up Force Fed Truth equally as effective and ingenious in its presentation. It all makes for a familiar and refreshingly new twin attack from the album, one which simply does not fail in winning an ardour wrapped reaction.

The third song is debatably more expectations feeding than its predecessors but still a thoroughly electrifying provocation before making way for the merciless temptation of Brutal Decay. With a great vocal deviation to its narrative at times and a new intensity of urgency and energy beneath the spiralling casting of guitar and their sonic endeavour, the track is a galvanic onslaught which is anthemic in its recognisable seeds and dramatic enticement but littered with shards of often brief but scintillating invention. The guitar prowess once more lights a blaze of impressed appreciation whilst drums and bass continue to inspire a new strain of hunger for their enterprising voracity.

Things step up another notch with the intoxicating Frenzied From Inside, Lafias and guitars weaving further rousing ideation and breath-taking toxicity into its wonderfully hellacious rampage, whilst the next up Herald the Uprising instantly has the passions eating out of its hands with the opening rough carnivorous bassline, bait impossible not to get carried away over. It leads the ears into a furious pleasure of bad-blood veined enterprise and virulent anthemic beauty, the vocals as magnetic as the flesh chewing riffs and citric touch of the razor sharp cuts from the tantalising guitars. It is an enslaving enticement as potently matched by the scything rhythms and the persistently masterful bass sound, not forgetting one fire soaked solo.

The album continues to inspire hungrier and greedier responses as City of the Living Dead backed immediately by Seize Your Last Chance hold ears and imagination spellbound, the first a haunting and sinister examination which simply engulfs the listener in caustic sirenesque predation and its successor a more concentrated preying of the psyche. One very happy to un-cage an epidemic soaking of barbarous rhythms and similarly inhospitable riffs wrapped in a bewitching grooves expelling exceptionally addictive sonic invention.

The album comes to a close with the bestial brutality and muscular beauty of Beyond Nemesis, a thunderous pugnacious treat of an antagonist, and the melodic metal spawned blaze of craft and ferocity that is The Redemption. Both songs again expel an invention and creative adventure which leaves anticipation for more in the future as full as the satisfaction and pleasure embraced. There are a couple of minor moans which could be placed before Embracing Oblivion, well one really which is the similarity of many tracks across their strong surface which requires extra attention to look through, but that focus is rewarded with that gripping invention and devilry so really it is just an observation which probably will work itself out as the band evolves organically. Chronosphere is another band taking modern thrash to new heights without losing its source and providing impressive highlights in a busy year for the genre.

Embracing Oblivion is available via Punishment 18 Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/ChronosphereGr

9/10

RingMaster 16/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hidden Intent – Walking Through Hell

Hidden-Intent-Band

Never short of an appetite for well-crafted and ferociously passionate thrash metal it is fair to say that it was easy to find an eager taste for Walking Through Hell, the debut album from Hidden Intent. Eleven tracks which embroil the senses, the release is a pungently addictive and contagious encounter. It is an encounter where arguably dramatic originality has taken a break and the tracks at times hold too much similarity amongst themselves to stand out as potently as they should, but nothing defuses the thrilling and rabid presence of the album and its unbridled persuasion on thoughts and passions.

Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, Hidden Intent began early 2011, formed by bassist/vocalist Chris McEwen (Abyzmal, Troops of Doom, Obsidian Aspect) and lead guitarist Phil Bennett (Desert Eagle, Metallica Black Album Tribute, Iron Maiden Tribute). After the loss of their original drummer and an intensive search, Jay Rahaley (Blood Mason, Treachery) was recruited to the ranks of the band, a stability which has maybe not by chance seen the band emerge as a stronger proposition outside of their locality and homeland. Inspired by the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Sepultura, it is maybe no surprise that their sound is steeped in old school thrash metal, heavily seeded but still with enough invention and imagination to bypass predictability and provide a compelling encounter. Last November saw the band release Walking Through Hell but it is now with its wider release through Punishment 18 Records that the band could and should find a ravenous new market.

Starting with Confession, basically a sample from the film American Psycho, the album takes a proper grip on attention and thoughts HiddenIntentCoverwith the following title track. Stabbing air with crisp strikes of drums and riffs it is a potent start but it is the rumbling throaty crawl of the bass which first excites. Its dark menacing tone persist its stalking across the subsequent even paced tempest of riffs and drum antagonism which surrounds the ears. The vocals of McEwen are enjoyable and eager, if at times unpredictable, but it is his bass offering which steals the passions early on, though that is soon challenged by the excellent flume of grooves which writhe within the predacious crawl and charge of riffs which switch persistently across the song. With a great guitar solo flaming as a greater rabidity spills its hunger, the track is an enthralling and thrilling introduction.

Through Your Eyes swiftly picks up the baton, taking a measured approach before launching into another surging torrent of voracious riffs, punishing rhythms, and richly barbed hooks. Little additives like resonance, sonic seducing, and combative increases of energy ignite the tracks uniqueness but for the main the body of the song is similar to its predecessor and gratefully consumed before Betrayed stalks ears and imagination. It opens with a steady intimidating gait but is soon chugging along as the vocals unveil their feisty narrative. Though it is not the most memorable track on the album, in its company it is impossible for neck muscles and body to resist its sinewed temptation and infectious if volatile charm. What is memorable is the additional sinister and atmospheric bass led piece of intrigue springing straight after the song, an unnamed instrumental between tracks which offers a delicious respite which is needed to give the imagination a different exploration and body time to take a breath.

Both Die Inside and Good Friday Thrash push riveting guises around the recognisable core thrash sound, the first bringing swiping vocal calls and greater incendiary grooves into the gallops of riffery and rhythmic entrapment whilst its successor almost preys as it skirts of the senses initially, though the urge to release the handbrake and bring an urgency to its predation is eventually too much to hold back. The pair enthrals and impresses with a mouthwatering array of bass and guitar imagination, those elements we mentioned which make the band stand out without breaking into new pastures finding their most irresistible bait, certainly within Die Inside.

By this part of the album songs merge a little though enjoyment is just as high, and you occasionally find yourself simply looking for differences rather than enjoying the moment. Get What You Can Get thoughbrings tight and ridiculously addictive grooves to its thrash armoury whilst Face Your Demon and Creature of Habit unleash a disputatious confrontation and roving grooves respectively all adding to the enticement of the constant hunger confronting the release.

Closing on the exciting temptation of Black Hole, the track a strike of gripping invention and urgency and probably the most original song on the album, Walking Through Hell is a masterful riot of thrash metal. Yes it lacks true originality and some songs work better away from the body of the album rather in the wash of familiarity which coats the release but it has to be said it is one of the most enjoyable and exciting thrash albums this year and probably last, and those bass and guitar moments alone just feed the strongest desires.

It is easy to expect Hidden Intent to make a big break-through in the near future, and more of the same would do very nicely.

Walking Through Hell is available now through Punishment 18 Records and @ http://hiddenintent.bandcamp.com/album/walking-through-hell

https://www.facebook.com/hiddenintent

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Harlott – Origin

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Thrash for us is one of those genres where originality is not always the key to the strongest excitement and satisfaction, certainly it is an added bonus but seemingly more of a rarity these days it. Australian band Harlott does not exactly buck that trend but with a certain twenty first century adventure and imagination to their 80’s Bay Area influenced ferocity, they definitely bring something feistily refreshing to the table. To be honest even if they were lacking that extra ingredient, such the voracious sound and contagious excellence of their debut album Origin long term fandom to their scintillating presence would be a given. It is an adrenaline driven blaze of metal bred rock ‘n’ roll, an exhausting and breath-taking rapaciousness which clads old school seeded fury with modern day enterprise for a distinctly exhilarating and feverishly rewarding riot.

Hailing from Melbourne, Harlott has built a strong presence and reputation within the city’s metal scene, their sound, energy, and live presence urging a strong and fevered fan base. Two EPs, Virus and None in 2011 and 2012 respectively, added to their emerging stature but it was the release of debut album Origin in the November of last year which brought the band to a wider attention, into a spotlight which caught the ears of Italian label Punishment 18 Records who subsequently approached the band. The result was Harlott signing with one of Europe’s most exciting thrash and metal labels and the release of their album this week across Europe and North America.

Origin takes no more than a few seconds to ignite ears and an appetite for the band’s sound with its title track, guitar bait drawing attention HarlottCoverinto the waiting predatory clutches of drummer Dan Van Twest and the ravenous riffery of Andrew Hudson and Ryan Butler. With the bass of Tom Richards adding another throat of intimidation to the mix, the track shrugs off any tethers and begins a stirring rampage across the passions with an intensive rhythmic battering and almost carnal riffing. The vocals of Hudson are just as eager as the sounds, riding their charge with clean but growling tones backed just as impressively by those of Richards. The song stomps and lurches from one memorable post to another, nothing spectacularly ground breaking or unique to the history of the genre but with a more explosively contagious and irresistibly anthemic stance than any thrash release has arguably presented in a long while.

It is impossible not to think of the likes of Testament, Exodus, and even Slayer as the opener and following Effortless Struggle alone light up thoughts but only as references as Harlott taken those seeds and grown something decidedly of their own making. The second song on the album drives with an even harder and uncompromising intensity strapped to an equally ferocious energy; rhythms and riffs gnawing ears and senses whilst the meaner predatory flavour of the vocals incites intimidation and badgering accusations. The track is a torrent of skilled aggression and merciless provocation, a demanding treat speared as its predecessor by some impressive solo guitar sculpting, a design the following Ballistic breeds its irrepressible hostility from also. Similar on structure and tone to the previous track, it manages to slip pass assumptions with a side step of melodic flames and a virulently contagious rabidity in energy and passion.

To be honest such the immense start if the rest of Origin had been a disaster, waxing lyrical about the band was still on the cards but there was little chance of that happening as proven by Heretic and Export Life, the first a ridiculously addictive furnace of rhythmic bewitchment from Van Twest skirted by scorching flames of sonic tempting and destructive riffery and the second a more measured but no less insatiable confrontation. As with many of the tracks there is an almost hardcore/punk causticity to the song, slightly in the vocals and definitely in the sheer maliciousness which breaks through more than occasionally. Both tracks are blessed and spiked by mouthwatering guitar invention and colouring, the album presenting some of the best dramatic but reined in solos heard in recent times.

Hierophobia makes an emotive entrance through a lone melody crafting guitar, breaking the more formula starts to encounters so far, though it is soon urged on its way by another avalanche of esuriently imposing riffing and menacing rhythms. The track is soon surging with break neck speed and impossibly catchy grooves whilst vocally Hudson and Richards hit their finest moment singularly and combined, though they never disappoint anywhere. The song closes as it began bringing a moment to breath before Kill and Infernal Massacre rampage with their turbos and skilful animosity in top gear. As the pair uncages their individual might and magnificence neck muscles are beginning to show signs of wear but even after numerous plays, Origin is not a proposition to take a break from or stop before its conclusion. So with teeth bared, much like the attack of Van Twest, the outstanding Regression is allowed its pound of flesh. Masterful rhythmic bait is laid first before the guitars hold a tempered check to their still hungrily pressing touch. The song twists with a classic metal lilt to some of its suasion though never veering from the compelling confines of the thrash intent. Arguably the most diverse and inventive song on the album, the encounter offers more proof of those aspects of Harlott which sets them apart more than enough from most others.

A powerfully assertive tempest of thrash turbulence with vocal and melodic intensity hits next under the title of Virus, the exceptional track flinging itself from the linking sonic spike between it and its predecessor across already tender synapses with acrid sonic toxins and barbarous argumentation. It is another onslaught which steals its fair share of the passions, as does the just as truculently dynamic Ultra Violence and the closing Not Long for This World, one final vigorous anthem of crusading thrash metal. It brings to an end without doubt one of the most rigorously enjoyable and exhausting albums of the last twelve to eighteen months. Yes Origins is not forging new avenues for trash metal to explore but Harlott gives the scene an explosive new shot in the arm and that is more than enough for us.

http://www.harlott.com.au/

http://harlottmetal.bandcamp.com/album/origin

9.5/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

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Brain Dead – Menace From The Sickness

BrainDead-Band

Rupturing the air with an exhausting fury of old school bred thrash, Italian metallers Brain Dead uncages second album Menace From The Sickness to escort the senses into a more than decent if arguably expectations filling aggressive escapade. Inspired by eighties Bay Area thrash metal, their name coming in homage to Exodus, band and sound incinerate the ears in a rage of intensively predacious riffing and uncompromising sonic rabidity. Invention and originality is subtle at best but across the eleven track charge it is hard not to be swept up in the passion and adrenaline of the band.

Hailing from Ivrea, a small town near Turin, the quintet formed in 2000 and from the release of their first demo, Rage of Thrash in the September of 2001 were soon making an impression beyond a local fanbase. Two years later second demo Double Face made an even bigger impression soon built upon as the band played the biggest Italian metal festival Gods Of Metal after winning a national competition, the band earning the chance to share a stage with Slayer, Testament, Carcass and many more. Debut album The Deep Of Vortex was unleashed in 2008 with Brain Dead flourishing at an array of festivals such as Hellbrigade Fest, Zone Fest, and Metal Thrashing Mad Fest from then on. The new album released via Punishment 18 Records as its predecessor, sees a line-up of band founding members vocalist Felix Liuni, guitarist Daniele Vitello, and drummer Daniel Giovanetto, alongside guitarist Davide Ricca who joined last year and bassist Alberto Rossetti who stepped into the band earlier this year, sculpting an album with the armoury to take the band to another level of awareness. Menace From The Sickness will not thrust the band to the frontline of thrash metal but should at the very least make their name a recognisable enjoyment.

The Fallout starts things off, the intro a dawning warzone providing an apocalyptic explosion which is becoming a regular BD_Coverbeckoning in metal it seems, before being thrust aside by the outstanding Land Of Cunning. Riffs and rhythms are assaulting the ears from its first seconds whilst a stringent groove twists the senses around its bony fingers. A persistent repetitive lure marks the track deliciously whilst the vocals of Liuni make a compelling varied persuasion with a snarl and twang to his delivery that only draws in further an already emerging appetite to match the strength of the charging sounds around him. There is little which is unsurprising or new to the attack but it matters little as the track niggles and erodes defences with skill and venomous intent. As anthemic as a stripper leading karaoke night, it is a mighty start with only its quite hefty length being a slight complaint, something which does grows to more of annoyance across other song as some feel unnecessarily stretched.

The following Eye Of The Cyclone continues the impressive start, intensive energy and imposing weight accompanying the surge of rhythmic rapaciousness and carnivorous riffing. Brain Dead was inspired originally by bands such as Exodus, Annihilator, Testament, and Slayer, bands you would expect and imagine from the ferocious and skilled storms of the first two tracks and from that maybe unsurprisingly the second song again offers nothing which is ground breaking but instead supplies a predation which is fully contagious. Throughout guitars weave an impressive and incendiary blaze of adventure within the tempest to add variety and resourceful suasion whilst the drums and bass have neck and limbs on a rhythmic string from start to finish leaving them exhausted and content.

A great bass enticement opens up Another Way, its menace and seduction soon wrapped in an equally thrilling thick wash of guitar enterprise and rhythmic caging. From the magnetic opening the song settles into a more restrained yet virulently aggressive infectiousness sculpted with great craft and beefy hunger. Though the song never manages to recreate the strength of its striking start it again it makes a full enslavement of the imagination and passions before handing over to Evil Dead. From this point on the album loses the potency it holds to this moment, tracks though still voracious and skilfully crafted beginning to merge into each other without an intensive focus. There is a slight punk breath to this again over long track which catches some attention whilst the gripping drum attack of Giovanetto marks the next up Razor’s Edge before the more than decent melodic instrumental The Mission makes way for Pay For A Better Life to be able to rummage through the ears with another skilfully crafted predatory fire but with creative flames which avoid scorching the emotions.

Though they do not inspire the same heights of enjoyment as the early songs on the album, which is a disappointment which cannot be ignored, every track upon Menace From The Sickness as shown by the title track, as well as the final raucous pair of Final Truth and Total Despair, are sizeable slabs of vigorous lusty squalls of thrash metal to find satisfaction in. Brain Dead have plenty of promise if seemingly not wanting to carve new depths for the genre and their album definitely makes a pleasing confrontation if without igniting any fire, well after the first trio of impressive songs, but in the end you are thinking there is much more to come which was missed upon this album whilst admittedly still fully enjoying its rampage.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brain-Dead/45127691823

7/10

RingMaster 02/12/2013

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