Dead Cross- Self Titled

Pic SAWA

As the world seemingly surges rather than drifts into bedlam it is maybe not surprising that a sound is rising to echo it’s chaotic and discord fuelled order. It resonates from the creative union within Dead Cross, a project said to have emerged “out of a series of impractical schemes, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation.” Featuring the combined acclaimed talent and creative ingenuity of Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas….), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer), Dead Cross has just released their self-titled debut album; a deviously manipulative and skilfully conjured tempest of noise and intent, simply manic manna for the senses and imagination.

There really is no need to provide background to the members of Dead Cross, each individually and within a mass of bands having set down incitements and inspirations so many have fed upon and blossomed their own ventures with. So it is straight to the first breath of the foursome’s first release we go and the initial sonic mist of Seizure and Desist. From its midst surging raw riffs and rampaging rhythms burst, their assault soon joined by the distinctive and ever rapaciously mercurial vocals of Patton. Just as recognisable are the dynamically imaginative and textile swings of Lombardo; his anthemically biting incitement entangled in the sonic rapacity of Crain and the grumbling bestial tones of Pearson’s bass. A senses crumbling assault of hardcore, he track is as multi-flavoured as it is uncompromisingly furious and a hint of the developing web of noise and varied rock ‘n’ roll infesting the punk heart of the release.

The following Idiopathic even further harries and bullies the senses, its rhythms fuelling a barbarous catchiness which spreads to the united vocal attack and raw tone and causticity of the outstanding track. Unpredictability is as rampant as animosity, mischievous craft and fun equally as bold within the senses ravishing, body inciting maelstrom. Every passing second brings a fresh breath of bold and devilish adventure, the track a dancing predator by the time it makes way for the waspish nagging and unrelenting beating of Obedience School. It is glorious stuff, barbarous and harmonically bewitching leaving a tapestry of punk, alternative metal, and gothic rock suggestion.

Shillelagh is simply punk rock yet hardcore unafraid to embrace the spices of other pungent flavours to its infectious animus; the result a venomous contagion which has the body bouncing and appetite drooling before the imagination is enslaved all over again by a riveting cover of the Bauhaus classic Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Infesting it with the kind of energy and boisterousness felt at the Batcave venue back in the day, Dead Cross ensure the shadows and haunting atmosphere of the original are still an invasive temptation; Crain casting veins of melodic acidity which alone beguiles the senses.

The caustic invasion of Divine Filth hits the spot dead centre right after too, Patton and co vocally swinging from imagination’s rafters as the music around them throws itself around like an imaginatively manic dervish, again every passing second bringing new twists and expectations destroying adventure. Grave Slave is equally as tenacious in tone and intent, the Suicidal Tendencies exploits of Lombardo seemingly inspiring the whole of Dead Cross as they funk out with raw intensity and rancorous resourcefulness whilst equally embracing a Melvins meets early Therapy? like friction. It is a highly addictive proposal within an album similarly growing drug like in its temptation.

The persistent creative harassment of The Future Has Been Cancelled matches the lure and entrapment of its predecessor with its own individual and increasingly ravenous quicksand of sound and invention, at one point sinking into a quagmire of heavy seduction before bursting out with its instinctive rabid virulence of energy and sound to head towards the waiting heavy set jaws of Gag Reflex. It too meanders and dashes through a landscape of evolving gaits and twisted manhandling of the listener; each turn increasing its magnetism and our subservience to its manipulation.

The industrially lined shadows of Church of the Motherfuckers brings the album to a mighty conclusion, the track lumbering along with a primal swagger as resonating beauty glistens in its atmosphere. On the ground irritability guides the tempestuous exploits of the track, its climate remaining relatively clam but around a volatile heart which beats with combustibility. Through it all Lombardo springs a rhythmic trap which enslaves body and spirit, his creative mastery the last word in persuasion as the album comes to a thrilling close.

The tag super-group is bound to accompany many references to Dead Cross but ignore them. The band is a real and potent new force in its own right, yes embracing the previous experiences and exploits of its creators but offering something very different and exciting to rival and outshine most hardcore/punk noise exploits around them.

The Dead Cross album is out now via Ipecac Recordings through most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deadcrossofficial/

Pete RingMaster 08/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Co-Exist-Skelf

Skelf Front cover Main

Scottish synapse stretchers Co-Exist follow their acclaimed and impressive album Violent Intentions Begin with Slow Incisions of 2010 with another intensive senses exploiting sonic corrosion in the deliciously intrusive shape of the Skelf EP. A rabid sonic savagery spews from the incendiary mesh of intensive metal, rapacious thrash, and vitriolic grindcore; the effect and presence of the release a tempest of intensity, spite, and downright viciousness which exhausts and devours whilst simultaneously igniting the passions.

Consisting of vocalist Dawson Taylor, bassist John Clark Paterson, drummer Quzzy, and guitarists Charlie Perratt and Marc Mullen, the 1998 formed Glasgow quintet have over the past couple of years sculpted an impressive reputation for their sonic scarring and the latest release only reinforces and strengthens their reputation for skilfully crafted and passionately bred unbridled caustic and intimidating persuasion. Creating a squalling quarrelsome mix of Coilguns, Retox, and The Locust, band and EP are an extreme scourge of deeply rewarding invention which takes little time in reaping the more restrained seeds sown in the dawning steps from Of Steel for an intensive examination. Holding itself in check initially it may be but the song is still instantly intimidating in its lure and temptation as it seduces the listener into the subsequent torrent of crippling rhythms, insidious sonics, and ruinous riffs. Driven by the abrasive vocal squalls of Dawson, the track is insatiably brutal but beneath in its underbelly creates an underlying groove and grinding irritant which only entices.

The fury of barbed hooks which score the psyche is continued by the following tempest Eyepliers and the toxic Kick yer fucking cunt in, their malevolence alone nasty and merciless but combined pure sonic destruction. The first of the two is a sonic rape of ears and mind, every note an intrusive grain within a storm of bedlamic abrasion. Its two minutes of life burns the senses whilst lungs try to grasp an ounce of air within the aggressive furnace. Its successor is as equally toxic; vehemence and noxious intent reducing the body and mind into easy prey for its open predation. Both songs are exhausting scintillating treats and easy to give full submission to.

History of violent behaviour spawns from a more metallic source, a classic metal essence coaxing out a more accessible, compared to those tempests before, rampage of grooves and melodic craft within the constant tumultuous rage also employed. It is a superbly structured charge which only invites full hunger for its creative premise but does remain in the shadows of the earlier and subsequent blazes of toxicity as in the outstanding Brass Knuckles, the track almost fifty seconds of tempestuous thrash abuse. Another sonic terror fused to invidious tension, the short mental mauling achieves more damage and provides greater satisfaction than most bands can create in a marathon of minutes.

The release ends with a lasting flight of sonic cruelty in Stress fractures, a track which stands toe to toe with the venomous peaks already stet by the EP. It concludes a rabid and greedy fury of primal infestation which leaves only an urgent hunger for more of the destructive imagination violating the senses. Certainly a release for those with masochistic tendencies towards their music, Skelf and indeed Co-Exist provide a ruinous creative pestilence it is impossible not to have a desperate appetite for.

https://www.facebook.com/Coexistgrind

9/10

RingMaster 29/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Revocation – Self Titled

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Set in a cauldron of scalding destructive riffing, stinging rhythmic confrontation, and broiling intensity which is bred from a technical craft which steals the breath from thoughts and lungs, the new self-titled album from US metallers Revocation is a colossal tempest of invention and sonic vitriol. Confirming the suggestions provided on the Teratogenesis EP of last year, the album takes things further to stand forcibly as not only the best work the Boston quartet has sculpted but one of the pinnacles of this year.

The fourth album from the band follows and builds on the success of previous 2011 album Chaos Of Forms reinforcing the line-up of David Davidson (guitars / vocals), Dan Gargiulo (guitars / vocals), Phil Dubois (drums), and Brett Bamberger (bass / vocals) who is making his recording debut since joining last year, as one of the most potent and invigorating metal bands around. The Relapse Records released album again sees the band stretch and twist their mix of death, thrash, and technical metal into something distinct and captivating but with a further evolution of imagination and inventive craft and hunger. The manipulative charms and potency of their sound is also elevated into richer devious toxicity making the release an unpredictable, scintillating, and enthralling scavenger of emotions and passions.

As the distinctly threatening avenues of The Hive open up their shadows to welcome the listener, thoughts and senses are fearing the GD30OB2-N.cdrworst impending danger, and as the song erupts into a ferocious torrent of tight waspishly honed grooves and rampaging rhythms all assumptions are wonderfully confirmed, the track immediately a tempest of psychotic violent magnificence ridden by the guttural charms and malevolence of the vocals. The at times three pronged vocal attack is a tasty additional violation especially when caged within the staggering rhythmic tsunami of Dubois. It is a stunning start which just as you think you have its reins in check launches into a progressively hinted fire of sonic sorcery, the guitars of Davidson and Gargiulo mesmeric and lethal simultaneously.

The following Scattering The Flock has a swagger and underlying heavy groove as rapacious as the flesh peeling aggressive sounds surrounding it. There again is a lack of mercy in the undiluted expanse of ideas unveiled and thrust violently ross the senses, the shifts harsh and like battering rams at times but so superbly crafted they feel seamless and a natural progression of the riveting confrontation.  The band almost borders on fusing too much together but where others would fall in to chaos, in their hands it is a controlled and precise piece of composition, a perfectly sculpted sonic antagonism of cutting beauty.

The excellent start is matched by the equally impressive Archfield and then elevated by the exceptional Numbing Agents, the first launching from an enticing stroll of drum beckoning into a sonically hued emotive fire and the second breeding a slight hardcore nastiness to its carnivorous bite with acidic grooves and barbed hooks lying in wait for the passions within another tempestuous squall of breath-taking dexterity and senses slaughtering enterprise. With a sense of Retox to its individual declaration upon the album, the track is an absorbing pinnacle but soon challenged and given a run for its money by the predacious and magnetically charged Fracked. A wolf in a technically woven deceptive cloak of warm grandeur, the song clasps its jaws around the senses from its opening seconds, its throat snarling and grip tightening whilst the guitars paint a melodic narrative of sonic colour which feels welcoming but is secretly also corroding the defences. It is a glorious temptation which persuades with ease that its spite is a good thing, no arguments here.

     The Gift You Gave is a deeply pleasing if less dramatic and imposing triumph as its predecessor but sets up the next mountainous peak on the album Invidious and its lethal captivation. As the ever impressive drums of Dubois creates a tower of punching rhythms insistently aided by the dark bass conjuring of Bamberger alongside flames of guitar, they are interrupted by a dance of banjo which teases and surprises before being consumed by the full force of sound and vocals delivering what can be best described as Cajun death metal. Ok that is a little misleading but such the call of the southern twang and irrepressible mischief of the track it is hard to use another suitable descript. A sublime storm of inventive metal, the song stands at the peak of the album and in many ways leaves the remaining tracks to put away the chairs and switch out the lights.

The last trio of the technically mesmerising instrumental Spastic with its bedlamic mystique, the voraciously expressive Entombed By Wealth, and the emotionally esurient A Visitation are certainly not making up the numbers though, each in their distinct ways startling sonic and melodic narratives upon insatiable rhythmic canvasses and tenaciously rigorous intensity.  Revocation has set themselves up on one of the top tables of metal with their fourth album and provided one of the year’s top contenders. Quite brilliant is the only thing left to say.

https://www.facebook.com/Revocation

10/10

RingMaster 05/08/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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American Standards – Still Life

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With a debut album planned for the latter part of the year we thought it was worth checking out the Still Life EP from US hardcore band American Standards. It may have been out a while but as possibly many, like us, missed its initial unveiling and it is so damn good there is no better time to catch up and fire up a hunger for the forthcoming full length release.

From Phoenix, Arizona, the quartet of vocalist Brandon Kellum, guitarist Brennen Westermeyer, bassist Corey Skowronski, and drummer Geoff Gittleson, has earned a strong reputation for their live performances and sound which though we called them a hardcore band takes in many more potent essences such as punk and noise rock. It is a riveting confrontation and at times borders unleashing disorientation with its passion bred intensity and creative maelstrom. The unpredictable and diverse imagination to its invention though is an easy capture of the imagination with band and sound having the depth and flavours to ignite the appetite of all fans from the likes of Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die through to those of Dead Kennedys and on to devourers of the kind of noise the likes of Coilguns, Retox, and Blood Brothers conjure. Since forming the band has toured extensively across the US especially through 2012, playing with bands such as Sick Of It All, Trial, Touché Amore, and Joyce Manor and making successful appearances at numerous festivals including Within These Walls, The Punk Rock Picnic, and inFEST. Since the release of Still Life, American Standards has signed with Victory Records for the new album and continued to explode stages with their devastating sound.

Released via indie label We Are Triumphant, the EP opens with the brief and irresistibly caustic Self (En)titled, the track coverinstantly attacking the ear with vocal venom and soon joined by an emerging rhythmic and sonic provocation. It is the perfect introduction to open up attention and set the wheels of intimidation and incitement in motion as it boils up into the following Raised By Wolves. Again the coarse vocals of Kellum seize the opening seconds, his delivery a harsh but excellent rub on the senses immediately wrapped in another fury of sonic and rhythmic challenge. There is an earthy groove soon in place to start a deeper contagion aided by group scowls and the enslaving beats of Gittleson but it is just the appetiser as the track explores veins of infectious alternative rock alongside rapacious riff greed to ignite greater flames of passion for its confrontation.

The close of the track also sees the bass of Skowronski develop a predatory throat to its growl which is scintillating and across subsequent tracks prowls and chews the senses and emotions with greater and more carnivorous glory starting with Bottom Feeder. A sonic tease comes with drum foot stomps to open up the fury, and is soon led into a jugular ripping primal assault, vocals and the guitar of Westermeyer scything through the air with acidic malevolence. The unexpected offering of clean vocals is another rewarding and pleasing element and tempers the sonic fire and bass/drum barbarity which threatens throughout.

Both Paradigm-Alt-Shift-Delete and Harvester continue drawing stronger impressed reactions to the release. The first is a tempest of metallic vengeance crafted by again excellent bass and drum vehemence further fuelled by the twisting guitar grooves and varied vocals which switch from seduction to antagonism note by note. With flames of noise rock and discord taunts, the song is a thrilling adventure of predacious design, senses and thoughts lured and exploited by the excellent enterprise and insidious invention of every element of song and band, especially that bass. Its successor is equally corrosive and eager to offload its sonic rabidity onto nerves and synapses, a ferocity driven by arcs of guitar sonically honed imagination, flesh searing vocals, and steel jawed basslines gnawing away from start to finish. Not for the first time American Standards take exciting detours from the assault, here vocal harmonies allowing breaths to be taken and passions to leap before the returning savagery brings a triumphant climax.

The release is completed by the fearsome punk goading of The Red Queen and the crawling intrusive primal chaos that is the title track, its opening lumbering gait evolving through oppressive washes of intensive rage vocally and musically and varying unpredictable pace changes. Again there is a constant flood of ideas and variations all successfully and seamlessly infused into the emotive furnace. The two tracks leave the richest impressions and satisfaction to confirm the release as something quite immense.

Rather than wait for, what on the evidence of the EP, will be an album to bring another striking and exciting provocation, we suggest the Still Life EP should be confronted right away and allowed to feast on thoughts and passions, and as a name your own price offer on their Bandcamp profile, American Standards have given an invitation impossible to refuse, especially when it one of the best hardcore releases to come along in the past year.

http://americanstndrds.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards

9/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sofy Major – Idolize

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Band and album certainly faced and went through turmoil on its way to being unleashed on the world, but Idolize the second album from French metallers Sofy Major, has defiantly emerged as one of the most frighteningly impressive albums of the year so far. The release is a beast of a record, an album which can only be declared as carnivorous, in sound and intent.

It was the fall of last year that the band took their scintillating fusion of caustic metal, exhausting sludge, and invasion noise, over to Brooklyn and the Translator Audio studio to record the follow-up to their acclaimed debut Permission To Engage alongside producer Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Keelhaul, Converge, etc…). Then hurricane Sandy unleashed her hunger upon New York City, destroying the studio facilities, ruining all the recording equipment as well as that of the band. After a few days with the help and support of the Brooklyn indie music scene and that of Dave Curran from Unsane and Pigs, Sofy Major and Schneider finally undertook the recording of the album. Whether the situation added something extra to the recording which might have been absent if all had run smoothly is hard to tell but certainly Idolize has a snarl and raw energy to it which makes as strong a call to the senses and passions as the impossibly contagious and imaginative sounds set loose upon the ear.

After the recording the trio undertook their first US tour, that and the album the climax of the intensive work and energy expelled by the band since forming in 2007. To date Sofy Major has played alongside the likes of Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine, Baroness, Electric Wizard, Boris, Shrinebuilder, These Arms Are Snakes, Kylesa and many more, continually earning eager acclaim but it is hard to imagine any will be as feverishly offered as that you suspect will come flying as Idolize hits the world.

The album opens with its full arsenal of aural weaponry primed and delivered through the sensational Aucune Importance. The coverhightrack grips the ear within seconds, carving flaming designs through the air with its psychotic rhythmic invention and rapaciously sculpted riffing. Every second and ounce of breath within the track dances with the devil’s alchemy upon thoughts and passions, its irresistible hooks and lures intrusive and addictive, not to mention at times bewildering, whilst the toxic melodic enterprise licks at the senses with delicious salaciousness. It is a staggering start which for most releases would also mark a following dip but not so Idolize.

Both Comment and Steven The Slow which features Dave Curan, bring their distinctive acidic glaze to bear greedily upon  the listener, the first with a oppressively heavy touch from riffs and bass which wonderfully lay on the ear with a full sludge thickness, its manipulative tendencies working away seducing  the imagination within the labouring intensity. Its successor finds an even greater weight to its intensive energy and devouring, the slowly enveloping and exhausting recruitment deceptively virulent and tantalisingly suffocating. Both tracks do not short change on grooves either despite their extremes of gait to further the uniquely addictive hold constructed upon thoughts and heart whilst vocals eagerly scowl over and score the restrained and willing ‘victim’.

Through the cantankerous Bbbbreak with its corrosive growl and the two part UMPKK, band and album continue to enthral and surprise. Part 1 of UMPKK is a haunting dive through a cavernous atmosphere, its depths unveiling more and more intimidating shadows before leaving the listener alone in alien isolation before the second part stares directly in the eyes and conjures up a hypnotic shuffle of provocative rhythms and melodic teasing before igniting the touch paper for a furnace of sonic fascination and almost tribal intensity. It is a riveting track with riffs and bass devious in their temptation and control of head and its inner workings.

As the album relentlessly impresses and captivates with each of its aural predators it is impossible, how intensely you look, to find flaws or a second of wasted sound, the likes of the mercilessly erosive Slow and Painful, the schizophrenic tempest Coffee Hammam, and the discord loving Seb, driving their hooks and the claws of the release deeper in to the passions. Two more major pinnacles of the album come as it makes its way towards its ardour fuelling conclusion. Firstly there is Platini, a song which mixes stoner swagger to a ravaging metallic gnaw, the latter especially potent from the ever staggering bass. The track is exceptional, a confrontation which niggles and taunts whilst being persistently thrilling and playing like a hybrid mix of Kylesa, Therapy?, Retox, and even occasionally Pere Ubu. Then following the insatiable excellence of Frost Forward, the album ends with a cover of the Portobello Bones track Power of Their Voice. The track is a punishing fury of antagonistic punk and hardcore seeded energy blended into a biting sonic wind which exposes senses and nerves to an uncompromising embrace.

Released via Solar Flare Records in Europe and No List Records in North America, Idolize is a tour-de-force to be seriously reckoned with and Sofy Major destined to become one of the giants of rock/metal invention.

http://www.sofymajor.com

http://www.facebook.com/sofymajor

10/10

RingMaster 01/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kabul Golf Club – Le Bal Du Rat Mort

Disorientating and mesmeric, scarring and insatiably infectious, the Le Bal Du Rat Mort EP from Belgium sonic conjurors Kabul Golf Club is pure manic genius. It is a release to boil the senses and scatter synapses to the four winds, though it has probably turned them to steam anyway through its sheer incendiary imagination and sizzling expulsions. A snarling and abrasive explosion of corrosive invention it is hard to categorise the sounds within its pulsating walls. Post punk, noise rock, post hardcore, psyche punk…it is all in there and more. Imagine a mix of Dope Body, Retox, The Blood Brothers, The Mae Shi, and Stump and you have a slight grasp of the beautiful discordant monstrosity that is Le Bal Du Rat Mort.

The opening flaring chords on first track Bits Of Freedom eagerly scrape the ear without giving full notice of what is to come, though it is not long before the full force of the song is waging acidic romance upon the senses. Vocals scorch the atmosphere with passionate squalls of lyrics and sound whilst the drum beats provoke primal responses, it all within a ferocious burning maelstrom of blistering guitar mischief and abrasive energy. The bass is a growling salt within the midst its presence highlighted in the less forceful flurries but ever rubbing away at the defences throughout. The song is masterful and the first of the five epic and most welcome intrusions.

Minus 45 to offer a sonic joke raises the temperature even further, the band wringing the wildest squeals from notes and melodies whilst the bass finds an even stronger belligerence to its gait. With discord fuelling every second of the song for the fullest rapture, it is an acerbic assault, its hunger carnal and rewards aurally orgasmic. There is a live feel to the song and release as a whole which suggests its recording was in that manner, everything organically barbed and inciteful.

The waspish starting swing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods is a mellower scour upon the senses yet still riles the edges of emotions and flesh perfectly. A less punishing breath is soon ignited in sonic spasms by malevolent satanic melodies, again all brought with the utmost of insistent discordance and visceral energy. For many its brief stature will be a mercy, for us it is a disappointment, the exquisite corruption far too swift to take its leave.

5 Minutes 2 Midnight brings a similar presence to the previous track but soon notches up the levels and heat through warped  melodies and venomously twisted hooks. As with all the songs they are near perfect pop songs…ok for the insane but if they make that unbreakable connection they all emerge as a flurry of imaginative melodies, irresistible hooks, and anthemic rhythms, just from a darker and less savoury dimension is all. With a vein of eighties post punk band Fire Engines about it the song is a wanton demon borne bruising of the psyche, and absolutely brilliant.

The closing track Demon Days is an exhausting finale which encapsulates all that came before in one furious sonic sawmill of aggression. Its sounds scythe through the ear leaving resonating energy long after departure and the mind a broken recipient greedy and begging for it all over again.

Le Bal Du Rat Mort is an unhinged giant of a release, a beautiful frenetic and psychotic masterpiece which is maybe the most exciting thing to appear this year. Kabul Golf Club is a band we will all hear a lot more of, let us hope our minds can stand up to their triumphantly dangerous imagination and sound.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kabul-Golf-Club/157594060945110

RingMaster 28/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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