ANEWRAGE – Life-Related Symptoms

Described as alternative metal but just as much grunge and melodic rock hued in its ear pleasing design, the ANEWRAGE sound makes for a swiftly appetising proposition as proven by the Italian outfit’s new album, Life-Related Symptoms. A blend of the familiar with openly fresh imagination and adventure, something akin to a fusion of Sick Puppies and Three Days Grace, the release has ears hooked and pleasure stoked from its first seconds; holding both with ease across its thirteen infection loaded proposals.

Hailing from Milan, ANEWRAGE began in 2009; its members friends since kids. Soon they found local success and with the release of debut album ANR in 2014, were keenly touring across their homeland and Switzerland, playing with the likes of Gamma Ray, Freak Kitchen, Dreamshade, and Destrage along the way. Last year saw the band writing and working on sophomore album Life-Related Symptoms, a release which should take the ANEWRAGE name and sound to a far broader and attentive landscape.

Produced by Matteo Magni (Rhyme, Audrey, Mellowtoy), Life-Related Symptoms makes a potent and highly satisfying impression straight away but it is fair to say that it is with subsequent listens that it comes into its own; increasingly grabbing attention with its imaginative twists and web of virulent hooks. It all begins with Upside Down, a song opening with pure rock ‘n’ roll bait quickly joined by the strong tones of vocalist Axel Capurro and the rhythmic grumble of bassist Simone Martin and drummer Alessandro Ferrarese. The groaning grooves and spiky riffs of guitarist Manuel Sanfilippo are as eagerly tempting, his backing vocals providing rich backing to Capurro’s quickly impressing lead. With shimmering sonic flirtation breaking through across the catchy introduction, the album makes a strong and contagious start.

It is a powerful beginning quickly backed up by My Worst Friend, a more laid back track but with a just as healthy catchiness and bite in its rhythms and lyrical voice. With electronic essences even more prominent, the boisterous croon quickly has body and appetite in its hands before Dancefloor has both engaged with its senses clipping riffs and dark shuffle of emotive shadows. With matching suggestiveness to its melodic enterprise, the song prowls more than romps with the listener but leaves thick satisfaction in its wake which Tomorrow further inflames with its atmospheric caress around a melody spun jangle. With a more volatile edge to its rhythms and heart, things only becomes more intriguing as a jazz kissed bassline and fiery swipes of guitar bring greater depth to the textures entangling within the song.

A thicker metal sourced growl provides the backbone to next up Evolution Circle, riffs bringing an instinctive snarl emulated in some of the great variety making up the song’s vocal enterprise while Floating Man and The 21st Century respectively cast a progressively hued, melody woven adventure and a rhythmically excitable and boisterous escapade. The first of the pair especially bewitches, its body the most unique so far in the first handful of songs revealing greater imagination and boldness in the band’s songwriting but pretty much matched by the flirtatious design and ingredients of its successor.

The short almost haunting serenade of Life Is You is a tender caress of melodic and harmonic beauty perfectly setting up the darker air and character of Outside. The firmly captivating track is a brooding slightly intimidating proposal coloured with more of the band’s excellent vocal prowess and emotively honed melodies.

All The Way has its own strongly enjoyable time with ears next, if without quite matching up to numerous peaks in the landscape of the album before it with Insight hitting another peak straight after in that success with its emotional and sonic discord kissed grumble though it too is eclipsed by the irresistible Clockwork Therapy where ANEWRAGE simply uncages its boldest flight of creative adventure. The song is glorious, clicking along like a mechanical toy in the hands of its creative puppeteers to steal best song honours.

The heart and melodically fuelled Wolves And Sirens completes Life-Related Symptoms, providing a fine end to a release which has no trouble drawing repeated listens in quick time. It might not be thick on major surprises but certainly has plenty of unpredictability to keep ears and expectations guessing and the craft and imagination to spark real enjoyment and we suspect a whole new ball-game of attention the way of ANEWRAGE.

Life-Related Symptoms is out now through Scarlet Records @ https://scarletrecords.bandcamp.com/album/life-related-symptoms and numerous online stores.

http://www.anewrage.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ANEWRAGE/    https://twitter.com/anewrage

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Def-Con-One – II

 

      Def-Con-One

    Bawling inventively in the face whilst being driven by a constant fury which simply exhausts and exhilarates the senses, II the new album from UK metallers Def-Con-One, is one of those riveting muscular scourges you just cannot get enough of. It is fair to say that the band employs well ingrained flavours and styles across its riotous body but with a flair and imagination which sets them and the release apart from most. It is a thrilling adventure which rarely leaves you wishing for more in any particular song and constantly has the emotions beaming broadly under the creative onslaught.

     Hailing from Newcastle, the quartet of vocalist Davey Meikle, guitarist Johnny Hunter, bassist Steve Miller, and drummer Antton Lant (ex- Venom and Mpire Of Evil and the brother of Venom frontman Conrad Lant) brew up a sound which merges thrash and groove metal to name just two of their rich spices, into a maelstrom of ferocious enterprise and fierce imagination. II follows the critically acclaimed Warface of 2012, a release which thrust the band into a certain hungry spotlight not found by the band’s 2008 self-released Blood Soaks the Floor, a release which has been seemingly passed over with II described as the bands second full-length. The new provocation reinforces the success of its predecessor whilst unleashing a greater maturity and invention to its striding predation. The band has been described by the organizers of renowned Bloodstock Open Air festival as ‘a bar fight between Machine Head, Slayer and Pantera’ and in many ways that still fits except that the inventiveness and tempest of styles driving the new album has increased and expanded to bounteous new depths.

   The Scarlet Records, who the band signed with before Warface, released rage instantly unleashes its full strength and animositySC 235-2 DEF-CON-ONE the moment the first full breath of H8 Ball hits the ears. Jagged riffs and thumping rhythms are soon splintering cartilage in the opener, a djent savagery riling up the senses whilst the vocals of Meikle switch between clean rock and squalling antagonism in the midst of the continually evolving sonic rabidity. By the halfway point the song has teased thoughts with essences of American Head Charge, Alice In Chains, and Meshuggah, though all merely loud winds in a storm all Def-Con-One. It is a scintillating beginning to the album which immediately slams it up another gear with Broke. An unavoidable Pantera comparison wraps the opening seconds of the song remaining across the whole of its mouthwatering stretch, grooves and rhythmic battering as contagious and magnetic as the expressive vocals and sinew parading riffs equally inciting the juices. As the track, like many on the album, rummages in thoughts and emotions you do feel you know the provocation before it spreads each moment of its narrative but are left satisfaction drenched as everything comes in a uniquely different guise to any waiting expectation.

    The following Soul Possessed is the next on the continuing ascent of the release, its opening melodic caress aligned to clean vocals an appealing but deceptive invitation refusing to hint at the ferocious tsunami of imagination and intensity to follow. The invention of the song comes with an electrified voracity, it’s twisting through straight on corrosive metal into nu and groove lit thrash vivacity irresistible. The track throughout its inventive carnage never settles into more than a few moments of any one direction resulting in a persistently intriguing rampage with imaginative flexibility in its sound and stylish enterprise.

    Both Scarred For Life and Debt To Society were destined to slip below the new plateau set by the previous song but only just miss its lip with the first a breath-taking adrenaline fired torrent of thrash and heavy metal whilst its successor wires veins of southern metal into a ravenous brawl of groove fed heavy metal . The pair feed the already greedy hunger for the album with a full meal of craft and aggressive passion whilst the next up Skinhead Shaped Dent swerves and seduces the listener with a caustic fire of grunge inspired punk aligned to a commanding web of rapacious grooves to raise the stakes. At this point the album can and does no wrong, and whilst that familiarity to other things is never far away it only enlivens the irresistible toxicity of the band’s enterprise.

     The pair of Need A Reason  and Die Again provide the first undulation in the course of the release, the first an intoxicating ear devouring stomp of contagious and at times venomously sonic rabidity whilst the second is a slow meandering slice of classically spawned metal which fails to rise to previous heights. It is to be honest a well-crafted and satisfying piece of songwriting but just does not ferment in the imagination and passions anywhere like the potency of the previous songs. That slight dip though is soon addressed by Damned Disgrace where the already carnivorous bass sound of Miller is at its most primal, and the closing Drag Me To Hell, a rhythmic agitation of pure infection and bestial riffery which leaves the senses sore and blissful. The final track concludes the album as impressively as it started; a lingering last intrusive splinter of ravaging to ignite the passions.

   To be over critical you could accuse II of not being unique enough in many ways to other bands, though there are few fusing as many facets of metal as inventively and successfully as Def-Con-One does. The truth is that when the album emerges as one of the most enjoyable favourites so far this year, certainly for us, giving the strongest fattest satisfaction, who really cares?

http://def-con-one.tripod.com/

9/10

RingMaster 16/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ethersens – Your Wandering Ghost

   Ethersens (3)

    Thick in emotional tension and driven by a seemingly personal drama Your Wandering Ghost, the new album from French band Ethersens, is an enthralling and provocative encounter which strikingly sparks the imagination. The successor to acclaimed debut album Ordinary Days, the new release sees a shift in sound from the band and arguably brings a greater intensity than before and though it demands a focused attention to reap all of its depths and textures it rewards by providing the strongest satisfaction. Brought to our attention by French metallers Eryn Non Dae’s guitarist Franck Quintin, the album is an evolving emotive adventure which leaves thoughts deep in reflection and emotions hungry for band and release.

     The Toulouse hailing Ethersens was formed in 2002 by friends and guitarists Johan Bourrut and Mickael André (also bassist in Eryn Non Dae). The first year saw the band take shape with several line-up changes and it was not until the following year with the arrival of drummer Stéphane Nestiri, bassist Fred, and vocalist Stephane that Ethersens found its serious intent and presence emerging. The members experience working in bands such as Eryn Non Dae, Zubrowska, Talian, Disphoria, and Eradykate gave the band a focus and shaped the decision to work immediately towards an. Ordinary Days was unveiled in 2008 to strong critical and fan responses, its progressive and dark metal blend an impacting persuasion on a great many. The following year saw departures and the recruitment of vocalist Laurent Mora and bassist Rémy Boyer alongside the founding members and Nestiri. With their sound moving to a more progressive/alternative rock mix inspired by the likes of Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains; its touch lighter but atmospherically more empowering emotionally than ever before, Ethersens were soon creating Your Wandering Ghost, eventually recording it with Julien Soula at Antistatic Studios.

     Released like the first on Italian label Scarlet Records, Your Wandering Ghost is a concept album looking at ‘a relationship TP_125_2_(K2-TC).pdf between two people which takes a tragic turn, a story about a lost love which tends to be re-born into death, regrets and sorrow.’ It is a release which at times is as intrusive as it is seductive and persistently is an intensive incitement for senses and emotions. From the opener Two for One Mind, the album steers thoughts through an imposing and riveting landscape of varied emotions, at times sharing raw and caustic issues lyrically and sonically and in other moments soaring through atmospheric climes of ethereal and dynamic temptation. More often than not the extremes are merged into one enthralling narrative as with the potent opener. The song instantly has a melancholic air through the first rub of guitar chords, a shadowed ambience slowly immersing the senses as the equally darkly lit vocals and words also begin their narrative. It is a full seduction even with its heavy hearted breath and has intrigue alongside a keen appetite alert for the expanding provocation before them. Through its nine minutes of intensity sculpted suasion the track unleashes its emotional and physical muscle, rhythms unreserved in their dynamic buffeting across the expanse whilst bass and guitars craft a tempestuous and enthralling blaze of skilful invention to voraciously capture the imagination and offer a lingering contagion.

    The first track is an explosion of ingenious mergers and skilled enterprise which grips and shakes the senses from start to finish. A mighty towering entrance by the album it soon relinquishes some of its hold with the following Same Goodbye. To be fair attention is not lost or disappointed but with a smouldering exploration of emotional shadows and being a slow invasion of the passions placed right after the immense starter it is given a hard task to remain at the same plateau. Nevertheless with Mora continuing to show an excellent voice and delivery, emotion dripping from every syllable, and the guitar painting from Bourrut and André only adding the richest hues to song and ears it keeps the album firmly under an eager gaze before the similarly tension clad This is Where You and I Part Ways and the excellent Livin’ Memory provide their edgy and powerful presences. The first with the drums impressively framing another emotional maelstrom smothers and invigorates in simultaneous strength whilst its successor shapes peaks and intimidating climbs to high summits with abrasive riffs and sinew driven rhythms. With as ever strong vocals riding a stirring wind across the sonically rugged landscape, the track is a scintillating triumph, a mix of soaring beauty and mistrustful energy providing light and dark in a thrilling slice of rock invention.

     After the Mourning Light, a song like the second on the album which misses out on igniting a fire in the emotions but still provides an undeniable quality and impact with its presence, the album hits another pinnacle with Reflect. The track is a voracious assault which entwines its anger and spite with a melodic seduction and sonic expression which tempers yet coaxes the intimidating predation of the song. As happy nagging and riling the senses as it is caressing them with mouthwatering beauty, the fiery declaration is glorious and the best track on the album.

    Completed by the emotionally instigative Waking Disorder and the smooth yet tenaciously inciting To Live is to Forget, two tracks which undulate and entice the passions with infectious might and invention, Your Wandering Ghost is a rapaciously compelling experience that strongly impresses and richly pleases. The album needs time to show its strengths and rigorous depths as mentioned but proves Ethersens to be a band which leaves no creative stone unturned and emotion not wrung out. Wrapped in stunning artwork from French visionary artist Romain Barbot, this is a confrontation to wrap up within especially if fans of bands such as Karnivool, Katatonia, Opeth, and Tool…

Your Wandering Ghost is out on January the 20th via Scarlet Records.

http://www.ethersens.com

http://ethersens.bandcamp.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/01/2014

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Death Mechanism – Twenty-First Century

Death Mechanism. Photo by Alex Solca

Fancy some thrash metal with the psychotic intensity of a serial killer and the scathing abrasion of a sand storm then Twenty-First Century from Italian metallers Death Mechanism is a must. Band and album just run amok through the ear with riffs flailing senses like a cat o nine tails, their touch lethal and lingering whilst the rhythmic accompaniment is a predacious stalk of already wounded aspects of the listener. Instantly magnetic and ultimately irresistible, the Scarlet Records released album provides a refreshing and insidious confrontation of pure thrash brought with a new and invigorating flair.

It is not quite flawless, a similarity across tracks at times a slight issue but in Twenty-First Century, the Verona trio which was founded in 2003 by vocalist/guitarist Pozza (bassist from Bulldozer) have unleashed one of the most niggling, impressive metallic irritants this year. Completed by drummer Manu (also from Bulldozer) and bassist Pedro, the trio drew strong attention and acclaim with debut album Human Error Global Terror of 2006 which also made up major part of Mass Slavery, an album released on Jolly Roger Records in 2010. This was enhanced further by their live performances which have seen the band alongside the likes of Bulldozer, Sadus, Sodom, Destruction, Tankard, Impaled Nazarene and more. Their sound is entrenched in eighties thrash, the new release often sparking thoughts of Slayer and Kreator to name two, but equally it has an individuality and modern spite, especially lyrically and through the rasping reptilian vocals of Pozza which sets it apart from most others. Produced by Tommy Vetterli (Coroner/69 Chambers), the album is a thrilling and lingering predator, an agitator of the passions which grips tighter with each assault.

From an industrial apocalyptic feeling intro opener Monitored Procreation is instantly gnawing on the senses with riffing as vibrantly cover DEATH MECHANISMeffective and worrisome as a swarm of hornets, and as persistently aggravating in its contagiously compelling sound. Escorted vigorously by rapacious rhythms and further on the caustic scowling of Pozza, a delivery which probably not all will take to, the track violates every surface of the ear and beyond, it’s sonic temptation twisting across the disjointed gait of the song and around the vocals, their presence screeching vitriol from every syllable. The rabidity of the track driven by the bestial bass stalking of Pedro and the insatiable rhythm conquering of Manu  leaves no second free from malevolent manipulation and aggression. It is nasty and potent but most of all simply a great start, but also only the appetiser to the next track and an album which gets stronger and more excruciatingly addictive the further it goes into its synapse chewing heart.

The following Earthly Immortality is cut from the same vicious cloth with a presence maybe too similar to its predecessor to raise any further temperature, but again those stinging waspish grooves and riffs just secure full compliance to its breakneck gaited attack so no complaints there. Things do take an elevation with firstly Human Limits next and then Evolutive Deviation, both tracks offering another turn of the sonic and imaginative screw. The first creates a sonic lasso of riffs stroke grooves and a cage of bone splintering punches from Manu, all prowled by the excellent black hearted tones of the bass. Its successor is equally as fanatical in its intent, and again close in content, maybe too near, but with scorching flames from the guitar adding extra acid it still holds fascination enslaved.

The pinnacle of the album starts with Tipping In Front; the song is an unslakable pursuit of the senses, its riff and drum combination an incessant torrent of enterprising voraciousness. With an epidemically tempting lure to the underlying groove and a more open melodic toxicity the track is a glorious slice of edacious irresistibility. The rampaging Obsolete Cults does its best to keep the new level of triumph going with relative success but top honours on the album are further contested by firstly the excellent and creatively devouring  that is Hidden Legacy and then the tempestuous stomping of Exotropy, the outstanding pair split by the easily appetising Century Of Lies.

Completed by the ferociously tortuous Collapse 2000 A.D. which features Vetterli on guitar solo, Twenty-First Century is a real treat to consume and regularly. No it is not the most original thrash album this year or avoids slightly suffering with resemblant tracks but when that core sound and creativity is as scintillating and untamed as conjured by Death Mechanism you cannot help but be very greedy for more.

www.facebook.com/pages/Death-Mechanism-Thrash-Metal-/333201351927

8.5/10

RingMaster 01/08/2013

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Death SS – Resurrection

death-ss (1)

    Resurrection the follow-up to the critically acclaimed previous album The Seventh Seal sees the return of Italian heavy metal band Death SS and their compelling tales and sounds of horror soaked devilry. Formed by vocalist Steve Sylvester with its first recordings as far back as 1988, the Pesaro band has been an ever potent presence within Italian heavy metal and to a lesser degree the world. Taking, one suspects a more than healthy influence from the likes of Alice Cooper, and possibly inspiring again on assumption the likes of current bands such as Houston! and Superhorrorfuck, Death SS create a blend of metal and drama inspired by horror movies and literature and apparently also this time around the Italian sexy-horror comics of the Seventies especially in the album art work. Resurrection is at times a riveting excursion through crimson red temptation but also has tracks where inspiration is lacking for song and listener, something which suggests that many of the bands they may have sparked life within have since surpassed their own creativity. Despite that for the main the album is a pleasing and easy to return to riot of familiar fun.

For the first half of the Lucifer Rising / Scarlet Records released album, Resurrection is a bit hit and miss, the alternating tracks bringing death-ss-coverrides of horror rock and more straight forward heavy metal, and the former much more thrilling than the latter style. For the first time Sylvester produces a Death SS album and does a great if unspectacular job whilst alongside guitarist Al Denoble, keyboardist Freddy Delirio, bassist Glenn Strange, and Bozo Wolff on drums, he leads the stirring passions through a disjointed but appealing journey of rock ‘n’ roll. The album certainly gets better the further into its body you go too, finding a stronger consistency to the variation working its devilment.

Opening track Revived opens on a pulsating heartbeat with a sinister ambience soon emphasised by the vocals of Sylvester. This menace is accelerated by the joining throaty bass and wide rhythmic punches all scored by sonic guitar lashes. Into its thumping stride with a blanket of refreshing electro temptation, the song is a rampant stroll of horror rock which instantly brings thoughts of Wednesday 13, Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13, and as mentioned earlier Superhorrorfuck. It is not bursting with originality but as the riffs and rhythms cast their contagious net around the senses and the vocals unleash their raucous grazing it is imagination capturing fun.

The following track The Crimson Shrine avails itself of a more classic heavy metal breath, riffs and drums a tower of sinews whilst the keys paint a symphonic picture upon the big boned canvas. The guitar work of Denoble is impressive and creates enthralling shards of melodic flames across the song whilst the additional female vocals temper things with grace and beauty, but the track is pale in potency against its predecessor and next up The Darkest Night. To be fair some of this is down to personal preference towards the two styles offered but it is an uneasy lie in many ways nevertheless. Its successor takes a mere breath before launching another muscular stomp of horror rock/power metal like persuasion. The electronic veins provided by the keys are like torches, lighting the thick shadows of the narrative which dance within the crushing frame of rhythms and hungry predatory riffs. Like the first song there is nothing unheard before but delivered in the accomplished and energetic style of Death SS leaves a very satisfied appetite.

The decent enough melodic charms of classic metal honed Dionysus lead into the rapacious growl and hold of Eaters, the track a bestial torrent of steely jawed riffs and mountainous rhythmic provocation driven by great vocal incitement, lyrically and in delivery. Again it is no coincidence that the song is a Cooperesque/Murderdolls like romp with lethal dangling weaponry disguised as guitars solo and bass lines to enslaved and tear the senses into bliss, and is the style exciting these ears.

The likes of the Ogre’s Lullaby, with its psychotic whispers and heavily laden vocal tempting, and the metallic swing/swagger of Santa Muerte both ignite thoughts and a little bit of greed for their sinew stretching and especially in the first, schizo charms, whilst The Devil’s Graal is a crawling provocative beast that leaves welcomingly entrenched sonic claws and dramatic teeth in the senses. As mentioned previously, Resurrection gets stronger and more perpetually appetising as it works nearer its climax, both the Manson like Precognition with its rhythmic juggling and carnivorous riffing and the bruising rock n’ n’ roller Bad Luck proof as they leave limbs and passions laying down an accompanying energetic escort. They make a thrilling conclusion to the album and compensates for the disappointment of songs such as the bland The Song of Adoration, certainly in comparison to this last pair. Wrapped in the great artwork of Emanuele Taglietti, an internationally renowned painter and author of all the covers of cult adult comics such as ‘Belzeba’, ‘Zora’, ‘Sukia’, ‘Cimiteria’, ‘La Poliziotta’ to name a few, Resurrection is a very enjoyable album even with songs which just do not ignite any heat for their presence included, and though there is nothing truly new here which has not been discovered and reaped elsewhere, it is hard not to like and want to return to.

http://www.deathss.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 31/07/2013

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Angels Of Babylon – Thundergod

SC 235 Cover

Whether rampaging with the hearts of a hundred stallions or coaxing the senses with the melodic charm of a symphonic tempest, Thundergod the second album from power/heavy metallers Angels Of Babylon leaves a rather tasty flavour in the ear. It is not an album which consistently sparks the passions but when it does it is with furnace like intensity whilst the least successful moments of the release still captures a concentrated engagement with the listener.

Founded by former Manowar drummer Kenny “Rhino” Earl in 2008, Angels Of Babylon recruited strong acclaim with 2010 debut album Kingdom Of Evil, which featured Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson on bass. Line-up changes followed but now the potent force of Earl, vocalist Diego Valdez, guitarist Ethan Brosh, and bassist Steve Handel, return with the band’s new album and a powerful ear catching onslaught it is. With rampant rhythms and sinew bred riffs coursing the melodic expanses giving breath to the songs, Thundergod is a thoroughly enjoyable if inconsistent encounter and one which power and heavy metal fans you can only suspect will devour greedily.

The release starts and ends on an explosion of excellence which in many ways gives everything in between a formidable plateau to match, and though all valiantly try many pale in comparison to varying degrees. The title track starts off the release, its torrential charge of exhausting and contagious riffing speared by senses caging rhythms irresistible. It is automatically anthemic in energy and breath becoming virulently so with the vocals of Valdez impressively riding the heavy steer of sound and even more so again from the incendiary passion of the chorus. There is nothing to dislike or dismiss about the primal rock ‘n’ roll assault and it makes for the most compelling and epidemically tempting start to the album. Though there is plenty to get teeth into across the album, only closing track Bullet truly stands side by side on the same pedestal as the first song. Less intensive but equally as rapacious in energy and unrelenting persistence, the track is a tide of metallic aggression and melodic persuasion taking the passions by the scruff of the neck and sending them down a flume of delicious sonic invention. Predatory at its core and fiery in its guitar invention it is an exceptional tail to the mutually stunning head of Thundergod.

Between these highlights the skilfully accomplished likes of the emotive Sondrio with its soaring melodic caresses, the epically carved Queen Warrior, a song bringing carnivorous riffs and colour drenched keys into a pleasing union, and The Enemy ensure the release is never less than intriguing or satisfying, if at times predictable and walking the outskirts of being underwhelming. Each song does make strong company in their presence however you look at it through the excellent musicianship and vocals on offer but often without leaving anything to linger after their departure. There are exceptions as with the first two mentioned, with further highlights coming with the mesmeric White Star Line, its initial acoustic embrace merging through symphonic grandeur into an epic seduction of heavy metal passion and raging creative energy, keys and guitars sculpting a net of bewitching narrative and drums framing it all with understated yet hungry might.

Redemption stands further apart from the rest to also rival as best track, its heavy epic walls standing breathlessly over an imaginative pit of emotive fire and sonic enthrallment. It is an aural fascination and possibly the most inventive track on the album, certainly right to the fore as one of the most scintillating.

The Scarlet Records released Thundergod has everything a great heavy metal needs, passion, invention, and melodic ingenuity, it just fails to have enough hooks to secure the fullest ardour for its presence, when it does hit the nail though it is a monster of a treat.

https://www.facebook.com/rhinoaobofficial

7.5/10

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Empyrios – Zion

Photo by Matteo Ermeti

Photo by Matteo Ermeti

Italian progressive metallers Empyrios have returned with a beast of an album in Zion, a release which has something for everyone in sound and eclectic imagination. Following their acclaimed album The Glorious Sickness of 2008, the new slab of concentrated enterprise leaves the previous promise of the band wholly realised with a furnace of accomplished invention. Melding everything from industrial to hard rock, djent to classic rock, with plenty more flavours you care to imagine to its progressive heart, Zion is a hulk of a confrontation which inspires, provokes, and thrills from start to finish.

From Rimini, the band was founded by guitar virtuoso and acclaimed producer Simone Mularoni (DGM), and was soon awash with acclaim through debut album …And The Rest Is Silence in 2007 and The Glorious Sickness a year later. The years since the last release has seen the members of the quartet heavily involved with their other projects, touring and creating music making the time to this new release long for the anticipation of their fans. Guitarist Simone Bertozzi joined the Danish metal machine Mnemic for an extensive tour of Europe and Australia whilst drummer Dario Ciccioni was playing with Oliver Hartmann’s solo project Hartmann. Mularoni himself was leading DGM through a European tour with Symphony X but all the time the members were exchanging and working on elements and ideas for the new album with finally the opportunity to enter the studio for its realisation. The Mularonin produced eleven track behemoth, with vocalist Silvio Mancini completing the quartet, has enslaved the brutal and aggressively dynamic side of the band with its enamouring compelling melodic seduction for a tempest marking the band at a new height for their creativity within a devastating presence. Names like Strapping Young Lad, Nevermore, Symphony X, Fear Factory, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Meshuggah are all thrust upon the band and release as references and the release is an amalgam of those essences distilled into something purely individual to the band.

The Scarlet Records released album emerges from a war infused ambience to immediately trample and chew on the senses with test bella zioncrippling beats and gnarly savage riffs whilst electro industrial winds warm the clinging intensity. Opener Nescience takes mere moments to succumb the ear and senses, its rampaging appetite and corrosive breath a delicious malevolence with the snarling growls of bassist Bertozzi adding extra spite. Into its stride the clean melodic tones of Mancini wraps an emotive embrace around the wounds as the guitars also add their restrained flames but the ravaging heart of the track is never quelled, erupting and consuming at a constant persistence throughout. It is a staggering start which satisfies the violent intent and melodic temptation of all hearts with skill and invention.

The following Domino initially lays a sultry wash upon the ear before the tight rhythmic bombardment and mutually offensive riffs grab their piece of the senses firmly. Like the first, into the heart of its provocation the track is a Meshuggah meets Fear Factory blaze of energy whilst the vocals of Bertozzi explore further rock and progressive textures to bring extra thrills to the insatiable passion of the song. Both Masters and Reverie continue the predatory stance as well as unveiling the heart of each songs melodic sun, the first a riveting expanse of emotive persuasion within a frame of unpredictable and air disrupting rhythms with sabre flashes of guitar alongside whilst the second has flumes of rich melodic passion coursing within the walls of merciless metallic entrapment.  Both songs without finding the key to the rapture sparked by their predecessors leave only prime satisfaction in their tow, their magnetic imagination and its skilfully carved aural narrative irresistible.

The excellent Unplugged next steps forward to leave the senses continually wrong-footed and disorientated with its psyche dance of schizo rhythms and equally deranged djent sculpted riffs, whilst around this the melodic heights of the song makes the smoothest conspirator to its vengeful riot of rapacious invention. Through the likes of the outstanding Renovation with its mesmeric call through barbed carnally bred textures, the vocals of Bertozzi quite stunning, the evocative title track, and the closing fury of Madman, the album gives no respite in its hold on the passions, though every song can be given with that welcoming trait. Admittedly the album is strongest across its first half but constantly the result to its impressive presence is hunger for more.

Zion is an excellent album and a very welcome return from a band in Empyrios which just gets better and better.

https://www.facebook.com/empyrios

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/04/2013

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