Khasm – Fenris

KHASM_Band_RingMasterReview

Hailing from Colmar in France, it is fair to say that French metallers Khasm have introduced themselves in fine style with debut EP, Fenris. Consisting of four tracks sculpted from the emotional rancor and creative hostilities of old school thrash and death metal, with additional caustic essences, the recently released tempest is a compelling and increasingly rousing incitement for ears and the band’s already growing reputation.

A quartet made up of vocalist Christophe, guitarist Philippe, bassist Matt, and drummer Laurent, Khasm draw on inspirations which include the likes of Feared, Hatesphere, Six Feet Under, and Hatebreed for their own uncompromising sonic trespasses. As swiftly shown by Fenris, there is rawness to their sound which fits their lyrical confrontations but equally an inescapable if punishing virulence bred in the instinctive thrash side of their creative character.

They are essences which instantly grab ears in the Jocke Skog (Feared, Clawfinger) produced EP and its title track. Opening up the release with a great throbbing bassline, the song is soon backing up its coaxing with a tide of inviting riffs and biting beats. Almost as swiftly it hits its thrash driven stride, badgering and snarling at the senses with a repetitive wave of riffs and Christophe’s vocal hostility. There are no surprises with the track but plenty to get eager teeth into and find a hungry appetite for.

FENRIS COVER_RingMasterReviewIt is the same with No More Justice, the song needing mere seconds to whet ears and the imagination with its opening bait of Clawfinger-esque riffery. That passing lure is soon lost in the predatory prowl and rhythmic stalking of the song, an intimidating invitation in its own right which in turn twists and turns into a web of sonic enterprise and galvanic hooks within the track’s open discontent.

The already impressing nature of the EP continues with Nightwatch, a track featuring the guest sonic prowess of Scar Symmetry’s Per Nilsson. It is probably the most inventive and boldly diverse track on the EP without losing the hellacious nature fuelling those around it. The song savages and seduces across its brazen sonic landscape but does miss the final spark as found its predecessors. Nevertheless, satisfaction is thick and another aspect to the Khasm sound and character welcomed before the outstanding Turmoil brings it all to a thunderous end.

The closer opens on a lone reflective vocal, which soon provides the trigger to a senses harrying pressure of rapacious riffs and irritable rhythms, they matched in tone and presence by vocal rabidity and rebel rousing. Subsequent grooves only add to the thrilling drama and assaultive tenacity of band and track. It is a final addictive roar of punk ‘n’ thrash, the pinnacle of the EP and Khasm showing they can rock ‘n’ roll with the best of them.

Fenris is a powerful and memorable base for Khasm to spring forward from with anticipation for their next step already impatient.

The Fenris EP is out now on CD and digitally @ https://khasm.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/khasmofficial

Pete RingMaster 05/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Blood Divisions – Self Titled

Blood Divisions _RingMaster Review

Blood Divisions, band and EP is the coming together of a host of metal’s talented for a two track encounter that without sending excitement into overload provides one very satisfying offering. The self-titled proposal will also see a portion of proceeds raised by sales donated to Rock & Rescue, a charity helmed by acclaimed producer Jay Ruston, as well as the Warren County Tennessee Humane Society; that alone is worth the investigation and offering of your cents and pennies.

Released via Metal Blade Records, the EP features two cover songs brought to life by the likes of, amongst many, Ralph Santola, Dave Austin, Greg Gall, Terry Butler, and Chris Jericho (full list below); the latter when recently talking about the project stating “BLOOD DIVISIONS is an all-star collection of some of the most talented musicians to ever come from the legendary southern Florida metal scene. Being a HUGE fan of all of these musicians and their legendary bands, especially Nasty Savage, when David Austin himself asked me to lay down the vocals, I responded immediately, ‘YES! What songs do you want me to sing and how many studded leather gauntlets can I wear?’ I’m so honored and proud to be a part of the project and very excited with the results. Trust me, it’s going to tear all of your fuckin’ heads off, in the best possible way!

First track is a cover of the Nasty Savage incitement The Morgue, a song which has ears and imagination fascinated from its opening breath of keys and sinister dark stringed portentousness. Drama oozes from every choral fanfare and melodically epic enticement as the song grows within ears, it soon settling into a dark chamber of string plucking craft and rhythmic predation lorded over by the distinctive tones of Jericho. Shadows continually come alive as the musical narrative evolves, enthralling ears and attention with only a slight slip of persuasion when the song opens into a more expected heavy metal stroll, though again twists and turns are part of the continuing adventure. There are times it feels like the track is trying to fit in as many of the individual skills of the line-up as it can within the nine minutes or so, and it’s fluidly reflects that a touch but nothing to defuse a thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly alluring encounter.

The second track is a take on the Scorpions classic Top of the Bill, another resourcefully solid version if one which did not take with personal tastes as potently. To be honest our preferences generally never include an appetite for heavy metal/seventies hard rock in their menu but nevertheless and as expected with the musicianship on offer, the track still persuades with a blaze of vocal and creative dexterity in an enjoyable stomp.

Whether Blood Divisions is a one off or something which may as a project evolve we will see, but whichever its EP is certainly worth a moment of your time whilst supporting worthy causes.

Blood Divisions features:

Chris Jericho – vocals

Dave Austin – guitars (Nasty Savage)

Ralph Santola – lead guitar (Death, Obituary, Testament, Iced Earth)

Terry Butler – bass (Obituary, Death, Denial Fiend, Massacre)

Greg Gall – drums (Six Feet Under)

Bill Owen – lead guitar (Purgatory)

John Mahoney – lead guitar (Fester)

Ben Meyer – lead guitar (Nasty Savage, Low Brow, Gardy Loo)

Blood Divisions is available now as a digital EP via Metal Blade Records

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2015

Feared – Synder

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Six albums in with the release of Synder and Swedish metallers Feared have uncaged a fury and voracity which not only confirms the band as one of the relatively unsung greats but has the listener smiling broadly as their soul is desecrated. Feared’s new album is a rousing, destructive beast of a proposition. It is an encounter which is not exactly menacing new boundaries within a thrash/death metal landscape but taking its already established template to dark and creatively ravenous depths which are as fresh as they are rabid. The band’s name describes exactly how their music should be contemplated with the ‘sins’ of Synder greedily devoured.

The story of Feared goes back to 2007, the project the creation of guitarist and producer Ola Englund (ex-Six Feet Under). Despite a potent start and a first demo in 2008, the band disbanded until two years later when things stirred again. Englund and vocalist Mario Ramos (Demonoid) released a self-titled debut album which swiftly earned support and acclaim from fans and media alike, a success built on the following year through second album Rejects. The 2011 encounter lit further focus upon the band which once more escalated as Furor Incarnatus in 2013 came out, though in turn a greater hungry appetite outside the band and striking creative energy within came with fifth album Vinter. The album followed a period which saw Englund also become the new guitarist of The Haunted and the addition of drummer Kevin Talley (Suffocation, ex-Dying Fetus, ex-Black Dahlia Murder) and ex-Clawfinger bassist Jocke Skog to Feared. The release revealed a new intensity and inventive tempest within the band’s songwriting and sound, a gateway to darker ferocious climates which has now been driven on and overshadowed by Synder. Produced by Englund and Skog it is the finest Feared assault yet, from the striking artwork of Sylvain Razorimages wrapping its hellacious roar to the furiously flavoured and diversely coloured adventure, it is an intensive examination and explosive incitement for ears and imagination.

feared_synder_cover  The album’s title track opens things up, the brief instrumental an initial melodic caress of guitar courted by an ominous air which brews and expands as the track comes to rigorous life with thick rhythms and evocative sonic endeavour. It is not a startling start but a potent atmosphere setter, warming up ears and thoughts for the immediate ferocity of Your Demise. Riffs fling their spite at ears with rage and virulent animosity, their thrash breeding an instant gripping lure enhanced by the spicy grooving and thick throat shredding vocals of Ramos. Framing and igniting it all further, the growling grouchiness of Skog’s bass and the precise rabidity of Talley’s beats drive an anthemic urgency and contagion within the track, it all colluding for a breath-taking and thrilling full start to the album.

The impressive and riveting tempting continues in Of Iron And Ashes, the song equally uncompromising and carnivorous but quickly adding floating melodic clouds of keys to its turbulent canvas. Their presence and touch is minimal in the otherwise violent climate but cast an intrigue and unpredictability which eventually is realised in a calm, melodic eye of the storm moment. The volcanic heart and nature of the song is soon ravishing ears though as squirming grooves and tenacious riffery leads ears through a rhythmic jungle into the resourceful venomous grasp of Caligula. Again this song shows as those before it, that there is plenty involved in the thrash/death sound of Feared, here a groove/alternative metal weaving adding to an inventive theatre for a potent Bloodsimple like essence.

My Grief, My Sorrow follows suit in its own individual way, its heavier prowl and imposing intensity a predatory insistence on the senses. It’s stalking takes on even greater malevolence as rhythms make venomous jabs and stabs though the acidic grooving is a constant temper reining in the fury enough to allow mouth-watering melodies and sonic imagination to have their say. As its predecessor, the song takes the imagination on an enthralling ride whilst bruising and battering the body, a respite found straight after though in the classical elegance of the melancholic Dygder, another short and descriptive instrumental.

It leads thoughts and emotions in to the waiting ravenous jaws of By Silent Screaming, an immediately caustic and bracing tsunami of vitriolic energy and creative tenacity. Though never quite matching up to those around it, hail their torrents of riffs and beats, the song is the most exploratory on the album with changeable scenery of melodic endeavour and an almost psychotic air to its rhythmic and unpredictable imagination. It is a fascinating encounter revealing more about the intent of the band’s latest creative explorations with every listen.

The invigorating Wolf At The End Of The World has ears back in a bracing barrage of sonic and rhythmic raging next before My Own Redemption plunders even heavier, darker exploits. From the gut spilling tones of Ramos to the spidery grooves of Englund, the track bewitches as it chews up the senses. It is another stalking incitement but one with the raw heart of a predator and the inventive emprise of a troubadour, the vocals alone a union of bestial pestilence and melodic crooning. One excellent song is replaced by another as Dying Day explodes in ears with incendiary effect, grooves and hooks whipping up the imagination and vicious rhythms taking care of the body as Ramos spills rancor with every syllable.

War Feeding War keeps appetite and emotions inflamed next with its corrosive lures and fearsome persuasion whilst The Narcissist, with a disturbed and vehement web of sound and hostility, is an instantly enjoyable onslaught with plenty that escapes first attention but goes towards increasingly richer return listens. Both tracks involve the whole of the listener, though a point to offer for the whole of Synder to be fair in varying degrees. Some songs, like the first of these two, are more unbridled physical enticements whilst the latter, as also the closing Godless Devotion, provide dramatically deeper and longer to explore proposals.

All tracks though combine to provide the listener with a blistering protagonist to get excited about in Synder and confirm Feared as one of those bands many may have heard about but really should now be making the effort to dive deeply into.

Synder is available now via most online stores and @ http://www.fearedband.com/store-feared-synder

http://www.fearedband.com   http://www.facebook.com/fearedband

RingMaster 28/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Carnal Agony – Preludes & Nocturnes

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Preludes & Nocturnes is an album which manages to impress, excite, and disappoint in one go, though admittedly the latter is a mere fraction of the enjoyment had from the Carnal Agony release. There are just times though where it feels like it missed the opportunity to make an even greater impact on ears and subsequently the metal scene, evaded the chance to pungently push this highly accomplished band towards the brighter spotlights which admittedly it still might awaken.

Hailing from Umeå in Sweden, Carnal Agony began in 2011 and swiftly began luring attention for their diversely flavoured style of metal around lyrical themes inspired by the classic literature from the likes of HP Lovecraft, John Milton, and Edgar Allan Poe. Musically the band, on the evidence of their latest album, weaves in everything from heavy and classic to power and melodic metal to a thrash seeded sound, revealing inspirations from artists such as Iron Maiden, earlier Metallica, In Flames, Mercyful Fate, and Testament along the way. Early demos sparked interest whilst the band’s live presence has brought them attention and acclaim, especially through a tour with Six Feet Under last year. Carnal Agony has been called the latest sensation in the Scandinavian metal scene, a big claim not majorly contradicted by their debut album.

Produced by Ronny Milianowicz (ex-Sinergy, Dionysus, and Saint Deamon) and featuring former Helloween/Masterplan drummer Uli Kusch (also Gamma Ray, Holy Moses), the album gets off to a rousing start through War Prayer. Straight away heavy duty riffs and matching rhythms stand toe to toe with ears, setting down a sturdy thrash bred stride. Unpredictability shows itself to be a ripe essence within Preludes & Nocturnes and within just a few moments the first song has expectations wrong footed by slipping into a calmer melodic passage. This enticing invention is quickly surrounded by brewing essences of epic metal and stronger drama clad textures which in turn lead into another muscular onslaught. The gruff raw vocals of David Johagen join the mix now, his rugged, raw tones admittedly taking a little time to acclimatise to against the flowing tide of sound but an increasingly strong ingredient through subsequent listens of the release. Folkish elements tease alongside classic and power metal elements, already the band’s sound defying any precise tagging. The song continues to stampede and potently relax across its engaging length, a tasty appetite raising start to the encounter provided.

carnalagony-cover   The opening vocal lure of next up The Frozen Throne is excellent, mass clean vocals like a band of brothers crooning air and ears and an element not used enough as the voices are spot on. A guttural roar from Johagen brings the air born invitation down to earth, his warlike call the spark for a web of sonic enterprise from guitarists Mathias Wallin and Pär-Olof Persson, buffeted by the thumping skills of Kusch. Hooks and melodies colour the chest thumping proposition too as again a clutch of different flavours align impressively in the track which by its end you will surely be raising a fist and vocal chords with.

Rebel’s Lament is a less forceful proposition next, though still a muscular persuasion. Inventive endeavour from the guitars bound the rally of beats and riffs whilst the dark tones of bass from Roger Andersson add rich shadows which nicely temper the skilled craft flaming from the fingers of Wallin and Persson, especially in a bewitching solo. The track though does not match up to its predecessors but still has ears engrossed and satisfaction bubbling as does the next up Rebellion. A power ballad of sorts, Johagen reveals more of his slightly cleaner and stronger qualities, and if I am being honest it is when he lets those free that he and songs find a new quality. To be fair, it is personal taste more than anything but nudged by the fact that when he does ‘sing’ he often ignites already gripping songs further. The track grows in weight, intensity, and anthemic energy so that by its close you feel like you are astride a stallion going into battle.

As good as those two songs are Carnal Agony overshadows immediately after. It is a beast of a song, a stalking intimidation of stabbing riffs and scarring beats from its first breath and a carnivorous charge of sound and energy from there on. But that is only part of the confrontation, the guitars sparking within the core rampage with slithers and spears of sonic imagination and melodic toxicity, it all ridden by the commanding ‘follow me into battle’ tones of Johagen. The track is outstanding but too damn short at barely over two minutes.

Next up is the heavy/classic metal spiced Night of the Werewolf, a track with gothic overtones. This is one of those moments where personally an opportunity was lost, the earlier mentioned clean vocals feeling like they would have been a better fit whilst musically apart from a fiercely enticing bassline, the band feels like they kept a check on the imagination which had already lit up earlier songs.

Fire Walk with Me has ears and emotions feeling feisty again next, its fluid travel through a landscape of stormy energy and reflective melodies fascinating whilst once more guitars and bass reveals striking exploits bursting with magnetism and individual skill. Backed by voice and drum swipes, the track leaves a breathless listener in its wake, ready for Sleep Waker to please with its spicy heavy metal enterprise and Crystal Lake to turn into a head nodding enthusiast with its contagious and sinister imagination. The first of the two is another which, like the album, is a blend of full captivation and less successful elements or choices, but does get stronger and more enthralling with every listen. Its successor is a glorious stomp of horror bred devilry, everything from hooks to grooves, riffs to rhythms, an emotion inflaming festival of aggression and temptation.

The opening grisly bassline of Secrets Within the Shrine next sets the tone and scene of the triumph to come. Its thick bait is swiftly joined and enhanced by prowling riffs and venom swing grooves whilst beats are more predatory than vicious at this point. There is no escaping a Metallica whiff to the song but equally a scent of Misfits and the grouchy air of Mastodon helps bring alluring flavour of the song, whilst the constantly evolving ingenuity of the guitars takes it all to another level.

The track is excellent leaving Together We’re Lost the task with closing up the album, which it does in potent style. Familiar yet fresh, the track is an infectious and highly enjoyable end and another song which finds Johagen running the range of his delivery and yes he needs to ‘sing’ more because that is where he excels.

Definitely Preludes & Nocturnes is a release to take time with because it just grows with every recruitment of its bold and flavoursome adventure. Bottom-line is that it is a strong and enjoyable introduction to Carnal Agony who carry the promise of even greater exploits ahead.

Preludes & Nocturnes is available now via Sliptrick Records @ http://www.carnalagony.com/?audio=preludes-nocturnes

https://www.facebook.com/CarnalAgony  https://twitter.com/carnalagony

RingMaster 09/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Siriun – In Chaos We Trust

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It might have the title In Chaos We Trust but there is nothing random and bedlamic about the debut album from Brazilian progressive metallers Siriun. Certainly the release is a furious and blistering merging of varied creative winds within extreme metal but comes entwined in a superbly imaginative and inventive technical prowess across songwriting and sound. Recognisable essences and established flavours consort with fresh and invigorating ideation, the result one thrilling and thoroughly gripping proposition.

Siriun is the brainchild of Rio De Janeiro guitarist/vocalist Alexandre Castellan, a project formed in 2014 to give an avenue to his musical ideas and creative tenacity. It was a proposal he intended would also be enriched with the strongest creative heart and invention possible, an intent which led to the band line-up of long-time friend and bassist Hugo Machado, and the rhythmic tour-de-force that is drummer Kevin Talley (Six Feet Under, Daath, Feared, Suffocation, Devil Driver, BattleCross) alongside its creator. The subsequent outcome of the union is the hellacious and fascinating In Chaos We Trust, an album bringing the metal world another intensively striking and ferocious proposal from Brazil.

The album first embraces and ignites ears with Mass Control, a track swiftly luring strong attention through its opening wash of melodic endeavour and sonic enterprise alone. The guitar of Castellan virtually flirts with ears, coaxing and enticing before a consuming wall of rhythms pounce. The powerful beats of Talley bring intimidation and temptation whilst the snarling tones of Machado’s bass, though less intrusive, only adds to the emerging predatory nature of the track. It is an impressive start soon casting a just as magnetic storm of scarring riffs and rhythmic voracity. Castellan’s vocals bring their own caustic but also an alluring texture and enticing to the increasingly gripping encounter, their raw and pleasingly varied expression and colour immense within the expanding web of melodic and progressive exploration. At its and indeed the album’s heart, the encounter is a beast though, prowling and growling with almost malevolent aggression and emotion, but consistently baiting its animus with transfixing imagination alongside seriously skilful and anthemic enterprise.

Siriun Artwork 1    The following Infected is just as riveting and mighty, and again straight away holding ears and thoughts tight through the breath-taking craft of Talley courted by a potent acoustic caress of guitar. Of course skirting it all are shadows and a more hostile intent, one which is soon driving the great carnivorous tones of bass and the just as swiftly riled riffs. It is the contagious swings of Talley’s beats though forcibly leading the tempting, their devilry like a sinister and hostile carnival bringing Latin seeded percussive revelry into a courtship with hellish animosity. The track continues to twist and incite through every dramatic aspect, the fingers of Castellan manipulating strings for a fluid and enthralling tapestry of sonic and acoustic melodic captivation.

There is no dipping of adventure and craft, or in an already greedy appetite for the release, as both Spread of Hate and Cosmogenesis seize ears and the imagination. The first of the pair is a blistering fury of sound and attitude, but again reined a touch by the technical invention and skills of the trio, something you can attribute to all songs upon In Chaos We Trust. Ravenous and enthralling in equal measure, the song roars like a mix of Sepultura, Mudvayne, and Devildriver yet entwines its roar in a melodic exploration opening up a unique and mouth-watering adventure. Its successor is a brief instrumental, an acoustic flame within a cold and haunting ambience within which a seduction of electric guitar provides evocative light. It leads into the just as shadowed and initially emotionally imposing and portentous title track. Though that suggestive threat and darkness never leaves, the song soon explores a landscape of provocative melodies and imagination within that tempest in waiting. There is an increasing pressure though bred from bass and drums though, a weight which eventually breaks down resistance and explodes in an onslaught of thrash drawn riffery and death metal vitriol. Again though, it is a passing passage in a journey of a song, part of an evolution which never waits around too long in one train of thought and sound keeping ears and imagination enslaved.

Transmutation steps up next and another web is spun around senses and thoughts, another offering relishing the skills and invention of every band member. Talley has brought his most viciously creative endeavour to the release, perfectly supported by the rabid craft of Machado whilst Castellan vocally and especially in his guitar explorations, leads the listener through a roller coaster of enterprise and emotion with ideas which rarely leave ears less than engrossed even if in rare moments the fluidity of twists are not as polished as elsewhere. It is almost a clutching at straws though to try and temper the weight of the enthusiasm for the release, a ‘lust’ continuing through the emotive and physical turbulence of Transmutation. As uncompromising and venomous as it is engagingly colourful in exotic melodies, the song bellows with creative toxicity sparking once more a hunger for more.

It is a want immediately fed by the closing pair of Intent and Becoming Aware. Each explore yet new spices and exploratory endeavours in their ferocious bodies, the first brewing a waspish nagging in its riffery and a sultry climate around its winery of melodies and sonic intrusion. It all comes ruffled up by the muscular avalanche of Talley’s swings and the grouchiness of Machado’s bass whilst the closing track brings the album to a climactic end. Though it is arguably the least inventively inflammatory and breath-taking of all the tracks, it has ears ringing and thoughts contemplating ardour whilst hoping this union of three exceptional musicians is the first of many.

In Chaos We Trust is an exhilarating encounter, one managing to offer sounds and flavours which provide at times a very familiar canvas to leap upon but just as powerfully create a proposition that reeks of fresh invention and new adventure. Simply it is a mighty mix from a project with the potential to craft truly inspiring templates for progressive and extreme metal ahead.

In Chaos We Trust is available now via http://www.siriunband.com

https://www.facebook.com/siriunband

RingMaster 24/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Arcturon – Expect Us

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Released to mark their ten year anniversary, the Expect Us EP from Swiss melodic death metallers Arcturon, makes a tasty and intriguing proposition marking the beginning of a new decade for the band and twist to their enticing sound. Seemingly more adventurous than ever and certainly more bold in the use of additional flavours and styles, it is maybe not a release to blow anyone away yet its lure makes a compelling invitation to keep revisiting the encounter, a potency which should not be underestimated. More successful in some moments than others, but never leaving dissatisfaction lording over proceedings, the EP is a fascinating and ultimately highly enjoyable adventure.

It was around ten years ago that two fourteen year olds, guitarist Florian Moritz and drummer Samuel Fischer, gave creative birth to Arcturon. Honing their sound over time, the band’s first release, the Breaking Walls Demo in 2007, sparked increasing attention for their presence leading to support spots alongside the likes of Six Feet Under, Nile, Finntroll and Belphegor. Three years later came the extremely well-received debut album The Eight Thorns Conflict, with its acclaimed successor An Old Storm Brewing savaging ears in 2013. Sandwiching a successful Europe tour with Rotting Christ and Omnium Gatherum, both releases put the band into a more intensive spotlight which Expect Us does nothing to defuse. Released through Supreme Chaos Records, the Johan Örnborg (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Amon Amarth) produced EP offers a new diversity and imagination than arguably previous Arcturon encounters. It might be more intriguing than rigorously successful in its imagination, but Expect Us unveils a rather potent and captivating suggestion of where the Basel quartet’s sound is evolving to.

The release opens with My Treasure, an instantly gripping and fiery proposition which from a lone rub of guitar, explodes into a turbulent stroll of abrasing riffs and punchy rhythms cored by a tight intrusive groove. Within seconds Arcturon - Expect Us - Artworkimagination and appetite is alight, greedy for the intimidating expansion of the song. The raw hoarse vocals of Aljosha Gasser venomously abrase the senses as a small respite to the tempest unfolds, but it is a reining in soon spearing by bulging beats from Fischer and a dangling web of temptation cast by Moritz, whilst the bass of Sam Fischer (yes two members with the same name) provides a shadowed prowl to the song’s continually twisting landscape. Sonic enterprise and melodic flames also scorch the multi-flavoured interpretation of melodic death metal pouring from the band’s creativity, the incendiary persuasion of the track playing like a mix of Bloodsimple, Dominanz, and Scar Symmetry.

The outstanding start is backed up by the EP’s title track. Raging from its first breath, keys and guitars swarm the senses with toxic melodies as rhythms and riffs sculpt imposing scenery to wall in the magnetic endeavour. As its predecessor, the song grows and expands into a threat of malevolent expression and sonic radiance though it lacks the biting wind and energy of the opener. Instead it breeds an emotive atmosphere which tempers and evocatively colours the robust furnace of intent and sound beneath it, the song captivating and impressing if not igniting the same strength of passions as the first.

A Restless Soul swiftly asserts its compelling hold on ears and thoughts next, an opening melodic caress and embrace of clean vocals unexpected and pleasing freshness, though it is soon turned by a spiteful and malicious intensity, Gasser reaching to his guts to roar with caustic antagonism. Surprises and unpredictability stay to the fore though as the clean vocal delivery entwines with the harsh tones whilst a carnival-esque like drama and sinister seduction flirts with and infiltrates the brewing tempest of the song. It is a tantalising treat of a track, a bruising and tender merger of creative hues which maybe does not go as far into the unknown and explore bold imagination as it could, but definitely leaves anticipation for the band’s exploits ahead excited.

The release is closed by Rowan, another resourceful and radiantly provocative entrance which needs little nudging to turn to its shadows and predacious side. The vocals stalk as keys mesmerise, but it is the rugged terrain of raw riffs and thumping beats which bind the emotions, though their presence again is never clear cut as haunting melodies and sonic expression veins their hostility. A song which at times is glorious and in others a more unsure persuasion, it still provides further food for thought and interest for the band’s new exploration in sound to make a potent close to Expect Us.

Already used to praise and keen attention, Arcturon with their EP as potent evidence, appear to be moving towards a fascinating new chapter in their sound which Expect Us suggests is going to be something very worthy of close attention.

The Expect Us EP is available via Supreme Chaos Records from 24th October.

www.arcturon.ch

RingMaster 24/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bloodlust wrappings and carnal tempting: talking Cannibal Corpse with bassist Alex Webster

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The unleashing of a new Cannibal Corpse savaging is always a cause for eager investigation and so the recent release of thirteen studio album A Skeletal Domain was met with enthusiastic intrigue. No matter your taste for their visceral sounds, the US death metallers has been an undeniable driving inspiration and boundary beater within the genre which the new release reaffirms with raw potency. Leaping at the chance to get a glimpse into the making and background to the album, we took some of the spare time of bassist Alex Webster as the band continue on their successful European tour, to talk album, new producer, zombie video, and much more…

Hi Alex and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

With latest album A Skeletal Domain earning predominantly and deserved acclaim from fans, the metal underground, and beyond since its recent release, did you have any specific hopes and expectations for its unleashing, other than hoping it is liked of course?

Not really. I mean, we feel the same way about all of the albums when we put them out I think. A new album represents the best music we could make at that point in time. I guess since we had a different producer this time we were interested to see what people would think of that, but really our expectations were about the same as always.

Your thirteenth studio album, how were emotions around the unveiling of a new release after two and a half decades laying waste to metal and ears?

Like I said, about the same as always. We are very proud of the new album and hope that our fans will like it.

We felt there was of course the recognisable Cannibal Corpse sound to the album but also fresh exploratory twists to its voracious enterprise and vehemence fuelled depths. How does its sound and presence differ from say its predecessor Torture for you there on the inside?

I think the biggest difference is probably in the production, which was handled by Mark Lewis this time around, rather than Erik Rutan. Both are great producers but each has a different way of approaching recording.

I think the album is also a bit different when it comes to song writing. It just sounds a bit different. There are a few songs on this album that (in my opinion) sound quite unusual for us. It’s still death metal, just a bit different.

Was there any deliberate direction and ideation taken in regards to its sound and intent or was it more an organic evolution emerging as A Skeletal Domain emerged?CannibalCorpse-ASkeletalDomain

We just wrote the song individually and gradually the character of the album developed. We didn’t really have a plan; we just tried to write the best music we could.

After so many releases and years is it easier to sculpt something original to the band or more difficult, with as we find in music in general ideas and sounds going in cycles as in fashion?

We definitely try not to repeat ourselves, but of course it happens anyway. But we do make a deliberate effort to make each song sound unique and fresh.

As you mentioned you recorded the album with Mark Lewis this time around after working with Erik Rutan for the previous trio of albums. What was the reason for the move and why specifically did you go with Mark?

We had gotten to know Mark pretty well since he lives in Florida like we do, and we thought he was a cool guy- so his personality was part of it. We also really liked the work he had done with bands like Six Feet Under, Deicide, and Devildriver. His skills, personality, and convenient location of his studio made him a perfect choice.

What has he particularly brought to A Skeletal Domain which is different to its predecessors and works most potently with your new ideas?

It’s hard to explain so it’s better for the reader to listen and compare. He just has a somewhat different approach to recording than our previous producers, and I think you can hear it right away.

Was a change of producer an early intent as songs and the album began coming together?

Yes, we decided at least half a year before the recording date that we would work with Mark this time.

How did the band approach the studio this time around and was it pretty much as you went into the recording of previous albums?

It was different, since it was a different producer and studio. We were well prepared, as we always try to be, but things did go a bit differently once we started. Mark is a great engineer and editor, and things went very smoothly during the recording. We had a great time and we’ll likely work with him again.

cannibal-corpse_photo02The album is sonically and lyrically as visceral as ever, as expected from a Cannibal Corpse provocation, what breeds the first seeds of songs more often than not?

The music comes first, then the lyrics. The songs are usually written individually at home by each song writer, and then once the song is finished or almost finished, the band will learn their parts and play the song together to see how it sounds. For each writer, the songs probably start out with a main riff and develop from there.

On this album Rob wrote music for 2 and 1/2 songs, I wrote 4, Pat wrote 5, and Paul wrote music for half of a song. The lyric writing was varied in a similar way: Paul wrote 6 songs, I wrote 4, and Rob wrote 2.

At times it feels from the outside that successful and established bands like yourselves come under a harsher and more predetermined focus from the major media spotlights. How have you found it and particularly in regard of A Skeletal Domain?

It’s hard to say. I think by now everybody already has an opinion about us and a new album is not likely to change that. The press that likes us still will, and same for the press that doesn’t like us. Their opinions don’t seem to be very flexible

Can you give us some background and insight into the imposing and startling video for Kill Or Become from the album?

The video was directed by David Brodsky; he created a concept based on the song’s lyrics and went from there. We think he did a great job. We’ve been writing about zombies since our first album, so I guess it’s about time we had a full-on zombie video.

As one of death metal’s leading lights and inspirations for seemingly ever, how do you see the expanding depth and diversity to the genre? Do you embrace and takes sparks from its ever growing expanse of exploration or prefer a more old school focus to feed your personal tastes?

I like anything that sounds good to me. Some newer death metal is amazing, and I still listen to plenty of the old stuff too. If it’s well-written and heavy I usually like it.

Listening to A Skeletal Domain there are seemingly essences from other genres and styles which flirt with ears and thoughts however slight and whispered they are. What are the inspirations outside of extreme metal which you would suggest have added something to the band sound or ideas over time?

We all listen to lots of different kinds of music so that probably directly and/or indirectly influences how we write. For me personally the classical music I’ve listened too might have an influence.

Where do you see Cannibal Corpse in the ‘family tree’ of inspirations and contributors to death metal?cannibal-corpse_photo06

Hopefully we are considered an important part of the death metal family tree, part of the 2nd wave after Possessed, Death, Master, Massacre, and other earlier bands.

What is left in 2014 going into next year for the band to devour and offer?

We’ll be doing lots of touring in support of A Skeletal Domain. We are currently on tour in Europe; next year we’ll do a big tour of Canada and the USA. So we have some big touring plans ahead.

Thanks again for sharing time with us. Any last thoughts you would like to offer us?

Thanks for the interview! We hope to see all of our fans on tour soon!

Finally is there anything grotesque and blood fuelled which the band has not yet explored but you have a yearning to attack at some point?

I don’t know! We’ll see when we start writing the next album.

Check out our review of A Skeletal Domain @ ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/cannibal-corpse-a-skeletal-domain/

http://www.cannibalcorpse.net/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/10/2014

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