Show Of Bedlam –Transfiguration

They may not be the most prolific of bands recording wise but without doubt when Canadians doomsters Show Of Bedlam uncage their creative imaginations and sonic dexterity it results in something truly irresistible and memorable. That claim is richly confirmed yet again with the band’s new seven track EP/mini album, the quite stunning and unnerving Transfiguration.

The Show Of Bedlam sound has never been solely confined by that doom tagging, their fusion of sludge, post hardcore and punk, and atmospheric malevolence a cauldron of raw and transfixing invention and suggestion but never has it been so mesmeric, bone-chilling, and psychotically arcane as within Transfiguration. The release is a furnace of raw emotion and intensity soaked in a suffocating beauty; the band creating an evocation of macabre intrigue and corrosive psychosis which if the Witchfinder General was still a figure of ‘responsibility’ would have Show Of Bedlam burning at the stake.

From their debut release as one half of the split Autocannibalist with Jucifer in 2009 to first album Roont in 2012 and now Transfiguration, Montréal hailing Show Of Bedlam has kept ears and fears waiting and richly rewarded. The time between releases has seen the band continue to nurture and hone, push and experiment with a sound which is instinctively unique and dramatically imposing. For all their previous successes, Transfiguration is easily the band’s finest moment to date and the moment they surely blossom from a widely known secret to a fully-fledged inspiration within the metal scene.

Twelve minute opener Blue Lotus immediately engulfs the senses with its sonic smog of intrigue and melodic discord; enticing and intimidating in equal measure as it crowds the listener ready for the equally haunting and inescapable prowess of Paulina Richards’ presence and voice. There is virulence to all the dark thoughts and visceral imagery escaping the stifling atmospheric density; infectiousness as easily trespassing body and thoughts as the psychosis of sound carrying it. With a gothic wash equally blossoming and recalling Xmal Deutschland at times, the glorious predator of a track swallows the listener with its tapestry of creative spite and despair simultaneously disturbing and invigorating with its oppressive magnificence and intimate examination of the senses.

Latest single Taelus swiftly follows, teasing ears with its melodic beckoning as beats wait to lay an occasionally anthemic hand on an already eager appetite. As a sample lurks, the song simmers and bubbles, bursting from its confines as vocals and guitars entwine in another caustic wash of sonic tempting stalked by the hungry rumblings of bass. As its predecessor, the similarly deceitfully catchy track is as descriptive sonically as it is vocally, every fresh wave and adventure of intensity and cunning a new twist in the nightmarish landscape painted note by note, syllable by syllable.

At two minutes plus, the album’s title track is a short and powerful insight into a blossoming defiance and turning of the worm within a rhythmically entrancing and gripping affair, inciting the senses physically and  emotionally before Hall of Mirrors rises from its slumber with carnivorous breath and intent. It crawls over the listener, dragging its sludgy weight and doomy intensity with rapacious relentlessness as Richards roars with unbridled emotive intensity and persuasion. It too ebbs and flows with energy and greater volcanic urgency, consuming the senses with lava-esque ferocity lined with more of the band’s contagious groove spited toxicity; it all leading to a climax which simply consumes all before it.

Lamentation offers a respite of sorts, its twenty odd seconds a detour into a fresh fly infested charnel house from which the oppressive elegance and invasive almost cancerous  tempest of Easter Water broods and escapes. With every passing second it looms up and imposes its weight and immersive embrace, bullying whilst igniting ears and imagination. Subsequent slips into less intensive though no less spine-chilling and fearsome pastures as well as the darkest corners only adds to the theatre of sound and its realm of the portentously obscure, and to the imagery festering and conjuring in the imagination.

Closed by the brief sonic ruin of L’Appel Du Vide, quite simply Transfiguration is glorious; daunting and alarming for sure but a sonically and emotionally distressed alchemy of sound and invention which leaves the majority of releases this year so far and easy to suspect to come, looking bland and uneventful. As the world falls further into disaster and decay, so Show Of Bedlam rises, their sound and new offering the perfect soundtrack and antidote.

Transfiguration is released May 12th through PRC Music and Sentient Ruin Laboratories with pre-ordering available now @ http://www.prcmusic.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1447 and https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/transfiguration

https://www.facebook.com/Show-of-Bedlam-231634652456

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Abstracter – Wound Empire

abstracter_band_pic_1

Thrusting the listener into a doomed physical and emotional landscape, a stark yet compelling void, US doomers Abstracter enchant and suffocate with the impressive Wound Empire. Four tracks to immerse within gleefully whilst expanding into the darkest corners of the psyche, the forty minute long album is a tantalising and fearsome journey though the rawest of climates over uncompromising wastelands.

Wound Empire is the successor to debut album Tomb of Feathers; a new encounter which those in the know suggest finds the Oakland band taking their already acclaimed sound to further reaching intensive heights. Breeding their own bordering on hallucinatory soundscapes within Wound Empire from inspirations which range from essences of Godfesh, Swans, and Neurosis to His Hero is Gone, Blut Aus Nord, Dystopia, and Darkthrone, Abstracter recorded their release with Greg “The Wizard of Doom” Wilkinson (Brainoil, Iron Lung, High On Fire, Noothgrush, OM, Atriarch) last year. Continuing their “fascination with concepts of human decline, cultural and industrial ruin, and complete social collapse,” the band swiftly engulfs and incites from the release’s first breath.

Lightless opens on a sonic breeze, broadening its haunted cold presence through raw caresses of guitar and a resonating heavy bass tone. As the whole of the album’s proposal, the track is a slow expansion of sound but every note and heavy lure offers a potent piece in an emerging picture. Once in full caustically scenic view, riffs gnaw and beckon with corrosive breath and infectious nature whilst the bass turns carnivorous in sound and predation as it prowls the track’s primordial terrain. Oppressively heavy and crushingly merciless, the doom drenched offering surprisingly has a potent swagger and contagiousness to its unsettling presence, a catchiness to enthral and grip ears and body as imagination and emotions are buffeted and ignited by the sonic enterprise.

There is no respite from the cavernous depths and cold of the climate evolved in its predecessor as Open Veins follows; the blackened sludge reaped tar of sound and coarse emotions a FINAL_ABSTRACTER_jacketmelancholic poison seeping over flesh and thought whilst crust caked vocals roar and slowly squally within the invasive doom. Slim but toxic grooves only add to the allure and detached nature of the track, their minimalistic but rich tempting a vine to grip as the rest of the sounds and vocals groan with the breath of hell.

The transfixing presence of Cruciform comes next and by this point the realisation that Wound Empire should definitely be taken as one fluid dose rather than individual apocalyptic descents into glacial prisons is evident. It is fair to say that the track holds none of the almost welcoming traits of its predecessors but still has some form of catchiness to its flight into the heart of the soulless; its sounds binding as they erode air and senses with caustic persistence.

Wound Empire is concluded by Glowing Wounds, a calmer slightly celestial tempting which still remains encased in an immense doom sculpted embrace. The track is as meditative as it is sonically fierce, a lingering flight across radiant hopes but accompanied by an insidious hold of unrelenting blackened malevolence. A masterful end to a seriously riveting encounter, song and album will not be an easy fit for all, but offers a thought and emotion provoking arousal each can take something from. In the dark times and world which encroaches on us all, it is releases like this and its groan of hell rather than most tirades of words which brings the cold reality home.

Wound Empire is released in the US and Europe on February 10th 2015 digitally via Sentient Ruin Laboratories @ http://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/wound-empire, on cassette through Sentient Ruin Laboratories and An Out Recordings, on CD by COF Records, and in vinyl version by Fragile Branch Recordings in the US and Vendetta Records, 7Degrees Records, and Shove Records across Europe.

http://abstracterband.com/

RingMaster 10/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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