Overt Enemy – Inception

Ahead of a new EP, US thrashers Overt Enemy have just officially released their debut, Inception on Bandcamp and if you missed it upon its initial outing last year via Confused Records there is little excuse to make the same mistake again. Acknowledged as “the best Slayer tribute in North America” the Mission, Texas based band provides three original tracks upon their first EP which command, no demand eager attention.

Formed in 2013, Overt Enemy have proceeded to share stages with the likes of Accused A.D., Angkor Wat, Confused, Panteon, X.I.L, Severance, and Sons of Texas, their reputation growing along with an inclination to focus on creating original music. As mentioned the band is currently working on their follow-up release, Possession being recorded with producer/engineer Joshua Lopez (Immortal Guardian), and you can imagine that its anticipation will only be increased with this reboot of Inception.

The EP opens up with Mercenary and from the off has ears involved as wiry strands of enticing guitars cloak disorder carrying samples. Swiftly the suggestive threat and intrigue of those initial lures are taken up by rolling beats, drummer Jaime Ayala further fuelling the song’s immediate drama before the great trespassing vocals of Leo Ortiz launch their threat and accusation in the midst of his and fellow guitarist Rob Hahn’s riffs and incursive grooves. It is a great, rousing start to the release only enhanced by the throbbing grumbling mumble of Slayerella’s brooding bass.

Political Cancer follows with the bass an instant dark incitement before the citric melodic enterprise of guitar wind around surging riffs. Though there is an immediate urgency to the song it manages to prowl, indeed stalk the listener throughout as Ortiz’s tones harass and arouse. In time the track does throw off its reins and goes for the jugular to only escalate its incitement and the resulting pleasure.

The EP’s title track is next, Inception sidling up to the listener on a web of guitar wiring courted by heavy breaths. Enticement and threat colours every bit of the coaxing, its intrigue generating greater interest and involvement as the instrumental invades, intimates, and then slips away leaving thoughts locked in their own conjuring.

Completed by radio edits of the first two tracks, Inception is a potent and thickly enjoyable introduction to Overt Enemy. They may have a great reputation playing Slayer tracks but if this EP is a sign of things to come they will be breeding one just as strong for their own invention.

The Inception EP is available now @

http://overtenemy.com/   https://www.facebook.com/overtenemy/   https://twitter.com/OvertEnemyBand

Pete RingMaster 12/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Animosity Kills – Severance

Pic: Tom Robert Wold

Well over two years ago, Norwegian outfit Animosity Kills stole attention with their first EP, Manipulative. It offered up a rousing mix of heavy and thrash metal, a fusion nurtured in the influence of bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament but as fresh and bold as it was familiar. It was fuelled by inescapable potential and suggestion of bigger, bolder, and more individual things to come; a suggestion more than partly realised by the band’s debut album, Severance.

It is probably fair to say that the Bergen hailing quintet still has some way to go to find their truly unique sound and character but with releases like Severance there will be no irritation at the wait. The eight track release is a magnetic beast of a roar with songs which just glue to the memory as greedily as they do ears. Formed in 2013, Animosity Kills boasts a three-pronged guitar attack all geared to stir up the listener in body and spirit; an intent as forcibly and inventively matched by the band’s rhythmic enterprise. Manipulative was an ear catching introduction to Animosity Kills; Severance evidence of a band destined to be further widely embraced.

The album opens with Black Death, gently luring in the listener with an opening melody. It is soon backed by a towering wall of riff and rhythm, one still controlled but swiftly springing a ravenous charge of raw riffs and rhythmic biting. Its thrash instincts are to the fore, driving through ears as eagerly as the swinging incitement of drummer Eirik Nilsen and the brooding tone of lead vocalist Erik Lindelid’s bass. With an underlying rabidity to its charge and a predacious restraint to the invasive bait of guitarists Stephan Høgtun, Rupert Notøy Rødland, and Mats Bruland, the song tempts and teases in between ravaging the senses, promising more ferocity than it unleashes but benefitting in that manipulative suggestion.

It is a potent and enticing start Dead On Arrival continues with its bristling and irritable but fiercely infectious attack. Leading up to its virulent chorus, the song commands eager attention but grabs it like a puppeteer with a focal point which has neck muscles and fists as involved as vocal chords. Around that beast of a chorus, the guitars weave a web of enticement as rhythms again prowl and pounce with anthemic prowess, the track real evidence of the band’s growing and evolving sound whilst stirring up the senses and attitude with prime thrash volatility.

The following Lord Of Darkness looms over ears from its first breath, riffs and grooves colluding in thick enticement as rhythms firmly rap the senses beside Lindelid’s vocal growl. As it grows, the song twists and turns, the guitars weaving individual and united resourcefulness with almost lusty appetite as beats and bass continue to bring threat and intensity to the inescapably catchy challenge.

Its success is swiftly matched and eclipsed by that of Thermic Vision, a track which instantly gripped personal appetites with its snarling opening riffs and a gnarly carnivorous bassline to drool over. Captivating grooves entwine the dark intent and temptation, the rapacious edge to Lindelid’s vocals adding to the alluring menace of the song. Its thick thrash nurtured riffs are an equally predatory incursion aided by the thick slaps of Nilsen’s beats, it all together creating a track as sonically stylish as it is barbarously intrusive around a volatile heart.

The album’s title track is next, instantly pulling ears into its torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms with an addictive touch which seeps into the following Pantera scented prowl of voice and song. It is a predacious trespass broken by Metallica-esque twists and flames of metal varied rock ‘n’ roll, groove and alternative traits among many. With a mouth-watering hook which infests the psyche, the song grabs a thick urge of participation before Revolutionary Suicide saunters in with a feisty and imposing swagger. From its first breath it swings as it harries the senses, its contagious instincts complimented by a more composed but just as tempting exploration which leads to a mercurial passage of melodic and progressively scented enterprise.

The mighty Ballistic was a major treat on the band’s first EP and again hits the spot with its grooved entangled rock ‘n’ roll. With something of Grumpynators to its virulent swagger and ravenous swing, the track is a quickly addictive incitement which only escalates its individual lures and united contagion by the groove, rhythmic swipe, and vocal snarl.

Invictus completes the release, its opening riffs preying on ears and appetite with a predatory intent before taking it into its blossoming prowl of thrash discontent and heavy metal fire which in turn expands into melodically cast suggestion amid bolder adventure. Though the song did not grab as vigorously as others, its enjoyable individual endeavour suggests a sound already evolving with an imagination to really anticipate ahead.

Certainly Animosity Kills has a sound which is not the most unique but as Severance declares in a roar which leaves ears richly pleasured, it has freshness and potential which is only heading in one direction.

Severance is available now @ https://animositykills.bandcamp.com/album/severance

https://www.facebook.com/AnimosityKills/    https://twitter.com/AnimosityKills

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Decaying times and self-evidence: an interview with Ade Mulgrew of Darkest Era

DE Ade Mulgrew

The recent release of their new album Severance showed that Northern Ireland metallers Darkest Era has not only evolved as a band with a new flush of blood to its line-up but also pushed their potent sound into new emotively fired and imaginatively compelling proposition. Providing another exploration of the band’s Celtic infused heavy metal in a greater voraciously flavoured and intensive proposition, band and album reinforces the stature and impact of the developing force whilst thrusting Darkest Era upon a new dramatic plateau. Taking the chance to find out more we took some of guitarist Ade Mulgrew’s precious time to talk about Severance, the difficult time around its creation, inspirations and much more…

Hi Ade and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

Please tell us about the beginnings of Darkest Era and the inspirations or spark to forming the band.

We formed the band while still in school, about 17 years old. Myself and Krum had played together in cover bands, but wanted to form a metal band. We started playing some covers by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest…but soon we were writing our own songs. The inspiration was, as ever, just to be in a metal band; to write songs and express ourselves. The same reason we do it now.

Was the Celtic influence in your songwriting and music an immediate flavour to your ideas?

It was, yes. The first song we ever wrote came about after I was noodling on a particular riff in ¾, not even thinking about it and Sarah added a guitar harmony. It happened to have a distinct Celtic vibe which we really liked and things just went from there. We didn’t really think about it so much…it just happened to transpire that way and the kind of Celtic atmosphere in our music isn’t contrived really, it’s just how we write.

Where did the Celtic inspiration come from, other metal/rock bands exploring that vein of sound or from a more traditional influence?

I guess you tend to take influence from things around you so growing up in Ireland obviously there is a rich heritage of folk music. We were already to an extent influenced by the folk rock band Horslips, and also the kind of sound on Thin Lizzy’s material. Something about this kind of vibe just came naturally to us. We’re a heavy metal band though at the end of the day and it’s those influences that were the most prevalent and the most important to us.

Initially called Nemesis, why the change to Darkest Era as a band name?

Things started to pick up for us and get quite serious rather early on, so we needed a name that wasn’t taken by 100 other bands. Our sound had started to take shape and we wanted something to reflect this. Candlemass were originally called Nemesis for example and changed their name for the same reasons.

It is fair to say that the second of two EPs opened up a new spotlight on the band and led to signing with Metal Blade Records. Is there something you can point to or say which specifically pulled the trigger to that recognition?

I don’t think so, apart from we are at the right place at the right time. You need a little luck to get noticed sometimes and the fact that we have the Thin Lizzy influence helped a lot as Brian Slagel is a massive Thin Lizzy fan. The band had a bit of buzz going from the demos which helped but I would say to be honest that we were a wild card signing for Metal Blade. We were the first of a few bands brought to their attention by Alan Averill of Primordial, but were an unknown entity by and large. I guess it was a testament to the quality of our demos that Slagel was impressed enough to offer us a deal.

With the label, The Last Caress Of Light, your debut album was unleashed in 2011 to great acclaim and reactions. How did that impact on the band and its emergence beyond having your first full-length out? DE

Joining a label like Metal Blade meant there was a lot of press surrounding the album; we were definitely exposed to a wider audience than we had been before. We had reviews in tons of printed magazines, websites and ads in the right places – so it was a big step up in terms of the amount of people paying attention to us. However the band was still quite pro-active in pushing itself using its own resources. But simply having an album out at last meant we could then go on tours, play festivals and so on so it was a big milestone, as it would be for any band.

Can we turn to new album Severance now; it feels like the band has found a new depth and potency to songwriting and sound, tapped into a stronger vein of invention…

Yes I would agree with you. A lot of it is simply down to maturing as people and as songwriters. The band is on a creative journey, we had no intention of writing the first album over again. We always want to push ourselves and move forward artistically, and on this record we had a much, much stronger idea of what we wanted to do and how to bring our own identity to the fore. It’s also a little darker and more aggressive, which is probably down to the circumstances surrounding the band at the time of writing. It was a fist clenched, teeth bared, back to the wall kind of scenario…

How do you see the evolution in your sound from not only early days but from the first album and Severance?

As I said it is a darker, heavier and generally a lot more focussed. We create a certain sweeping melancholy with our sound but we wanted to bring this into a much more focused heavy metal framework this time around. We cut the fat and went straight for the throats of the listener. We have a lot of different influences in the band, individually and collectively, and we fine-tuned this to bring more of our own identity to the mix and I really think we succeeded. People are having a hard time figuring out what to call us, but the reviews are very positive so that speaks volumes to us.

Did you take a determined or particular course with the new album or let it organically unfold in the writing and recording?

Myself, Sarah and Krum sat down after coming back from one of our tours and talked about what we wanted to do with the album, and we agreed on very general ideas which I said above, for example a general trimming of the fat in our sound. But at the same time things we written in such a short space of time that we didn’t really have time to stop along the way and think too much about things. There was definitely a significant element of letting things unfold naturally. You kind of just have to trust yourself that you have the songs somewhere inside you, and go with your instincts. Too much thinking can hinder creativity, I find.

So how long did the album take to make?

We wrote the album in about 10 weeks, during a very intense period of writing where the band was pretty much falling apart. We then entered the studio almost straight after, and recorded the album in 16 days. We were still writing quite a bit in the studio, although we had the songs more or less there. There was a lot of lyric writing, tweaking arrangements, vocal melodies and so on in the studio. It was intense also but a different kind of intense. Lisa went home after she recorded her drums but the rest of us knuckled down and worked together to push it over the line. The 10 weeks writing, in comparison, was quite bleak and isolated for me at times as I was shouldering the task of getting most of the ideas off the ground.

You were touring heavily leading up to Severance, it must have been less easy to sit down and write songs, certainly in comparison to the creation of its predecessor?

Yes absolutely, as the cliché goes you have your entire life to write your first album, and with album 2 suddenly there is pressure. Even more so when it’s difficult to put time aside to write. To be honest we gave ourselves a deadline because we knew that otherwise we would never get round to making the album. Things will always get in the way, especially when you aren’t playing music as your job, so we said ok this is the date, let’s just do it. We did not foresee the line-up instability however, which definitely made things a lot more difficult. We did two pretty big tours in 2012, and in the middle of it all we were trying to keep the band from falling apart…So yeah, very difficult circumstances to try and write an album in.

de coverYou mentioned there that the band had line-up issues before the album, how big an effect did that gave its making if at all?

As above really…We had no permanent bassist in place, and Lisa was in the process of leaving the band. Things were often at boiling point during some of the writing sessions, and as I mentioned Lisa went home when her drum parts were done so there was a serious atmosphere. Things could easily have fallen apart but we had far too much determination and belief in the band to let it crumble.

How does the writing process work within the band generally and specifically this time around with Severance?

Generally the songs start with myself or Sarah; we’ll have a guitar part, or perhaps a few riffs and ideas put together and we go from there. We’ll normally have a fair idea of where the song is going before bringing to the rest of the band and there it changes shape, gets arranged, pulled apart and the guys add their parts and ideas. Occasionally someone will noodle on a riff in rehearsal and we’ll jam it out over and over and work it into a song, but there was very little opportunity for this on Severance. Mostly it was stuff that I had come up with, and I would send it to Sarah and Krum and we would exchange thoughts and ideas. I did a lot of home demos on this album as I had to have the bones of songs ready quite quickly so the guys knew where I was coming form. Sarah probably had more material on this album than the debut as well; particularly Blood, Sand and Stone. We’ve always had kind of a songwriting partnership but it really came to fruition on this record.

There is a passion and freshness to the album which obviously was not affected by the stronger pressure of getting songs ready for its recording?

I think the passion that people pick up on with this record is a result of the stormy emotional climate that I mentioned earlier, and an unwavering iron will to make a really killer metal record regardless of the circumstances. Some people crack under pressure but it has always been something that I have thrived under, thankfully.

How about in the studio, how did that pan out and did you learn lessons with the first to help with the recording of Severance?

We had a fair bit of studio experience with our previous EP’s and demos, but I guess after doing our first album we knew exactly how the recording of an LP worked and prepared us somewhat. This time around we had a better idea of how to get the sounds we wanted for the album. Drum sound and guitar tone were something we wanted to shift around a little compared to the first album, and I think we’ve done that. We stripped the guitars back to just one rhythm track each for myself and Sarah, as opposed to the double tracking on the first record and I think that’s helped give the album a darker and grittier tone overall. You can really hear the bite of the guitars on this one.

Give the readers some idea of the themes behind the album and particular songs.

Decay of all things physical and metaphysical, Cormac McCarthy-esque post-apocalyptic dystopia, the unstoppable force of time hauling us further to the ground, and the philosophical concept of Solipsism.

Severance is released through Cruz del Sur Music, a label with a great pedigree and a striking array of releases especially over the past year or so. How did that link-up come about?

I’d been a fan of Cruz Del Sur for many years, since I first discovered Slough Feg and started trading CD’s with Matt from Pharaoh. Enrico was aware of our stuff and when it came to searching for a new label they were an obvious choice really. As you say they have an absolutely killer back catalogue so we’re in very good company.

It is a home more fitting for Darkest Era you feel?

Yes I think so, with Metal Blade we got totally lost in their roster and the sort of stuff we’re doing is never going to be a priority for them really unless it’s selling 30,000 copies or whatever. Maybe 25 years ago things would have been different but the days of a label nurturing artists and helping them grow into worldwide forces over the course of 2 or 3 albums are sadly gone. There just isn’t enough pie to go around anymore.

From the outside watching the intensive work you guys put in with shows and tours we wonder if there has been time to reflect on the journey of the band so far, if so thoughts at this point in time? DE2

Not really, we’re constantly looking forward and are a very ambitious band. We have many milestones we’ve yet to reach and don’t feel like stopping to smell the flowers until we’ve achieved a lot more. The band is entering a new phase now I guess; we’ve done our first album, did our first big tours and festivals and come through the line-up changes that often occur when a band starts to step up through the gears. Now we have our second album, a steady line-up and are looking to the next touring cycle and writing album 3 so I think the best we have to offer is still ahead of us.

Talking of shows, we can assume Darkest Era will be supporting Severance intensively around Europe and elsewhere in the months ahead?

Yes we have our first headlining tour of the UK starting this September, hopefully Europe in the spring and who knows after that. Touring and playing to as many people as possible is our number one priority right now.

Did you have any particular aims or hopes for the band starting out and if so have they been realised or replaced with new intentions?

We’ve always wanted to push the band as far as it can go from day one, but first and foremost we aim to write albums that satisfy our creative needs and that people will enjoy and get something out of. We’re on course so far I think.

Thanks again for chatting with us, is there anything you wish to add?

Metal or death!

And lastly give five of the most important releases in your record collection which you could never be without?

Iron Maiden – Powerslave

Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime

Judas Priest – Painkiller

AC/DC – High Voltage

Fields of the Nephilim – Elizium

 

I should point out though these 5 albums will change each time I am asked! 🙂

http://www.darkestera.net

Read the review of Severance @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/darkest-era-severance/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Darkest Era – Severance

DarkestEra2014-500x334

Taking the inventive promise and striking quality of their acclaimed debut album to another creative level, Northern Ireland band Darkest Era unveil their sophomore release Severance. It is a weighty and potently persuasive encounter sure to replicate and intensify the reception and success of its predecessor, eight tracks which spark the imagination with persistently captivating and distinctive Celtic infused heavy metal. Musically the album has a slightly lighter climate than before but still the emotive fire and melodic passion of the band comes in a fusion with raw textures and imposing intensity. It is a compelling mix which never leaves a minute of sound lacking in punch and inventive voracity.

The seeds of Darkest Era began in 2005 with when teenage school friends, guitarists Ade Mulgrew and Sarah Wieghell. Starting to write together, the pair linked up with vocalist Krum as their songs, taking inspiration from the historical and mythological tales from ancient Ireland, emerged with a Celtic essence. The following year a demo appeared under the name of Nemesis which soon held the attention of the European metal underground. 2007 saw Darkest Era step forward, a change made in relation to the darker presence and voice of their evolving music. Across the next three years, the band released a couple of EPs and played plenty of shows including festivals appearances in Germany, Greece, the UK, and Italy. Debut album The Last Caress Of Light was released in 2011 via Metal Blade Records to strong and eager responses from fans and media alike. The years between releases has seen Darkest Era undertake European and UK tours with bands such as Alestorm, Arkona, and Gloryhammer alongside their own shows and the creation of Severance.

With a line-up completed by bassist Daniel O’Toole and drummer Cameron Åhslund-Glass, the Belfast based quintet recorded their new DarkestEra_coverCruz Del Sur Music released album with producer Chris Fielding. It is a proposition which makes an instant impact as opening track Sorrow’s Boundless Realm seduces ears and senses from its opening caress of guitar as throaty bass bred shadows lurk in the background. It is an intrigue lit coaxing which soon unveils rhythmic sinews and richer sonic colour which only reinforces the initial lure of the song. A rampant urgency is careering through ears from there as the outstanding voice of Krum parades the narrative of the song. Fully expanded, the song is a fiery and caressing mix of energy and enterprise veined by gripping bass and drum intimidation and a sonic weave of seduction from the guitars. It is not a song which startles and has jaws dropping but with every twist and turn of sound and ideation, the track as the album captivates and lights thoughts along with emotions.

There is also an enveloping emotion and drama to every aspect of the song which is swiftly emulated by the following Songs Of Gods And Men. Its entrance also makes a gentle touch but takes less time to open the cage to ravenous riffing and rhythmic stalking. Krum is again masterful as he rides the sonic flames pushing the walls of the song, his voice backed as potently by the rest of the band within the anthemic stride and expressive premise of the encounter. There is a melancholic air to the song, an essence permeating each track in varying degrees, which graces the melodic elegance and grandeur of the song and casts an enthralling hue for the vocals and lyrics to colour their emotions with. It is a vibrant captivation which in its distinct way The Serpent And The Shadow repeats but with a darker and more rapacious presence. There is a deeper snarl to the bass and stronger rigorousness to the riffs setting a coarse and hungry tone to the heart of the song, a predation which intimidates but is a perfect foil and instigator for the dynamic fire of sonic flames and vocal adventure which burn and roar respectively across the song.

The following Beyond The Grey Veil is an evocative ballad with its own specific dark shadows and intimate emotional reflection, a song which croons with vocal majesty and melodic seducing whilst still managing to bring a predacious intent to certainly the breath-taking latter part of its enthralling body. It is fair to say that many of the songs are slow burners in finding their fullest persuasion, this definitely one but it is a song emerging as one of the most impressive and impacting. Its successor Trapped In The Hourglass is another to need more examinations than others and though it fails to live up to the previous track again makes a convincing and enjoyable proposition.

The Scavenger has little difficulty in grabbing attention and appetite, its early grooves leading to an intensive gallop of rhythmic tenacity upon which hooks and melodic enticement catch ears and thoughts at every flexing of the song’s spine and inventive ideation. A blaze of creative fertility and contagious power metal like vivacity, it is a tremendous exploit straight away matched by the equally powerful emprise of A Thousand Screaming Souls. As the song before, the listener feels like a warrior riding on a nostril flaring steed as a spellbinding landscape opens up and engulfs the imagination. The two songs encapsulate everything potent and riveting about Darkest Era and their music, emotionally epic and inventively broad but a companion which is intimate within the larger tales it spawns.

The album closes with the towering and melodically pungent Blood, Sand And Stone, an intensely evocative croon within climactic tempestuous scenery. It is a great conclusion to an impressive and skilfully presented album, a release which reinforces Darkest Era as one of the increasingly potent melodic metal bands in Europe. There is very little if anything to hold up against the undeniably fine album but personally it is honest to say that Severance did not leave passions as excited as hoped and expected. Individually there are songs which ignite a real hunger and as a whole the album is an engrossing and strongly pleasing experience, but somewhere we missed that fuse to the strongest reactions. Most will not have that issue though we suspect so it is very easy to recommend Severance to all.

Severance is available in digital, CD, and Vinyl options via Cruz Del Sur Music now in the US and from June 13th in Europe.

http://www.darkestera.net

8/10

RingMaster 04/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Sworn Amongst – Evolution EP

You cannot beat metal that is as honest as it is direct and as engaging as it is eagerly consuming. The new EP Evolution from UK metalers Sworn Amongst is the perfect example. It does not come with pretence or tries to be anything it is not but just delivers impressive and deeply satisfying metal sounds that leave the senses alive and the listener invigorated.

Forming in 2003 Sworn Amongst has been on a steady upward climb bringing in an ever increasing and fervent fan base as well as building a strong reputation live and through their recordings. A couple of EP’s the following year and the band’s independently released debut Derision of Conformity in 2005 grabbed strong attention to their immense metal/thrash/hardcore sounds. The band also drew the attention of Rising Records who they signed with in 2007 and released the acclaimed album And So It Begins. With the album extremely well received by media and fans alike the Hull quartet of Liam Liddell (guitar/vocals), Jonny Barker (lead guitar), Rob Ellwood (bass), and Jonny Harper (drums), dived into several European and UK tours and festival appearances, all enhancing an ever increasing reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting and powerful bands. 2010 marked the release of their second album through Rising, Severance and further striking shows and tours in its promotion. This year Sworn Amongst impressed at Download and with the excellent Evolution EP imminent the band is poised to thrust UK metal to greater heights in 2012.

The EP unveils new tracks and older ones of which one is a re-recorded song from Severance. The new material firmly declares that the band is one of the strongest and forceful thrash toned bands in the UK, their aggressive and powerful sound veined with rampaging riffs and razor sharp guitar work. From the opening attention demanding intensity of ‘The False Prophecy’ the EP bristles with attitude, energy and most of all simply great unrelenting metal. The vocals growl with menace and belligerence with some great group shouts interspersed throughout, whilst the rhythms from bass and drums are hypnotic. The assault is heavy and pacey but controlled, the band choosing concise intrusions rather than a totally chaotic speed metal onslaught.

Nowhere To Run’ and the best track on the release ‘The Rules of Engagement’ continue in the same vein though both also bring strongly varied flavours different to the opener.  The first throws predatory riffs at the ear with uncompromising rhythms whilst the guitars create melodies and a solo that sizzle as they search out the senses, the song addictive and completely hypnotic. The second of the two hits with an even more defiant and intense attitude,  the drums are punchy and the hungry riffs with no intention of relenting in their galloping chugging attack, excite from first note to last. The track features Annihilator’s Jeff Waters and whether his presence fired up a little extra in the band  or not the song is glorious and pure reason to the belief the band will really take metal by storm soon.

The re-recorded version of ‘Darkness’ and the title track from Severance complete the EP, both songs further proof the band has been one of the most impressive bands in Europe let alone Britain for a while. Excellent songs that round off a great package but it is the new songs that really shine the brightest as they offer up even stronger inspiring sounds and ideas to instil great anticipation ahead. You can hear the ambition and skill from the EP not only in the music but also the songwriting and though one still gets the impression Sworn Amongst has yet to find or define their truly unique sound they are one of the most refreshing and exciting thrash metal bands around, anywhere.

http://www.swornamongst.com

RingMaster 01/12/2011

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