Mortals/Repellers – Split 7”

Mortals_Repellers_artwork

Offering the year another rather tasty split, Broken Limbs Recordings have brought together Brooklyn’s Mortals and Philadelphia’s Repellers for a four track explosion of fresh breathed metal. It is an encounter with reinforces the potent stature of one band and inflames the emerging presence of the other, both beginning what potentially can be a massive year for them in fine style.

The first offering comes from Mortals, a band formed in 2009 but with its seeds possibly growing well before then when drummer Caryn Havlik and bassist/vocalist Lesley Wolf met and played together in all-female Slayer cover band Slaywhore. At the same time Havlik and guitarist Elizabeth Cline were playing in a math-rock project. After the eventual demise of both bands, the three musicians regrouped as Mortals and by late 2010 had set about making a potent mark on the local metal scene and further afield. A tour with Mutilation Rites was the prelude to the band sharing stages with the likes of Eyehategod, The Body, False, Samothrace, Black Anvil, Toxic Holocaust, Howl and Lord Dying over the years, whilst the release of their Death Ritual EP in 2012 led the band to signing with Relapse Records and the release of their acclaimed Cursed to See the Future album last year. Ahead of a European tour with Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore, Mortals now fire up the imagination and EP with their lone but thrilling track 10 Years of Filth.

Possibly a statement on their stirring musical career to date, the song swiftly brews and smoulders with the intensive and darkly seductive blackened sludgy sound which Mortals are already Mortals_bandshotmarked for. Within as many seconds, the bass is roaming ears and psyche like an apocalypse gracing charger, striding with predatory intent as grooves and riffs combine for a nest of viperish intent. Similarly lively rhythms from the drums prowl and stroll across this already bewitching landscape, the seductive and melodically dynamic adventure one scene in a rich drama clad tapestry of dark intent and compelling intimidation. For all its predacious craft and hunger, there is an infectious charm to the track too, light and dark challenging each other whilst colluding in the creation of even more provocative hues in the tempestuous narrative. The dark side is driven by the guttural scowls and gothic animosity of the vocals whilst the guitar’s enterprise escorts lighter defiant elements which persist in their persistence until the ferociously boiling and venomous climax of the song. It is an enthralling and ruggedly enjoyable nine minutes easily confirming the impressive qualities and sound of Mortals.

Repellers bring three tracks from their creative arsenal of punk and crust infused metal, swiftly showing why there is a growing broader interest in the 2012 forming band. The two years or so since their arrival has seen the trio release The Coming Storm EP, partake in a split 7” with Georgia-based Dead Hand, and the drawing of multitudes of new fans through tours along the east coast and a constant source of impressive energetic shows. They are a growing force it seems and on the evidence of this release an exciting one.

Repellers   Descend is their first offering, a track which from a melancholic and darkly lit melodic embrace erupts in a predatory and thunderous stalking of the senses. The intensive rhythms of drummer Tony Secreto are vindictive in nature whilst the equally primal basslines of Rob Petraitis growl and leer intimidatingly within the doom drenched atmosphere of the imposing encounter. The guitar of Jon Rifenburg brings various shades of intimidation and temptation to the volatile but controlled tempest too, his enterprise equally sculpting a web of magnetic lures around the malevolently toned vocals. It is a captivating proposition which awakens intrigue and interest in the band before their second song From Jerico to Ai lays a more fascinating and thrilling invitation down. Bass hooks are aligned to acidic guitar grooves, it a mesh of enticement which continues to spear the increasingly ravenous atmosphere and character of the track. Heading only to a turbulent and hostile climax, the track is a riveting persuasion showing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s song writing and sound.

   False Solace is the same, its heavy melodic lures an initial tantalising coaxing which only seeds a subsequent hellacious hardcore bred brawl with the senses. The blackened, almost insidious tones of the vocals unleashes the dark heart of the song whilst the sonic grooves and bass predation provides infectious bait which seduces ears as the track’s lyrical and vocal trespass avail their toxicity.

The two bands make for a pleasing and exciting union with their quartet of thickly satisfying propositions, each confirming their impressive potency and potential. Both have only enhanced their reputation and relative statures whilst already sparking 2015 into being an attention grabbing year for them.

The Mortals/ Repellers Split is available through Broken Limbs Recordings and limited to 500 10″ copies (300 black and 200 red with black smoke).

https://www.facebook.com/mortalstheband   https://www.facebook.com/repellers

Mortals’ Upcoming tour dates:

April 4 – May 2 European tour w/ Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore

04.04.15 Sweden Motala @ Kulturakademin

06.04.15 Denmark Copenhagen @ Pumpehuset

07.04.15 Germany Hamburg @ Hafenklang

08.04.15 Germany Osnabrück @ Bastard Club

09.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn

10.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn

11.04.15 UK Manchester @ Sound Control

12.04.15 Ireland Dublin @ Voodoo Lounge

13.04.15 UK Glasgow @ Ivory Blacks

14.04.15 UK Birmingham @ The Oobleck

15.04.15 UK Sheffield @ Corporation

16.04.15 UK London @ Underworld

17.04.15 Belgium Brussels @ Magasin 4

18.04.15 Germany Köln @ Underground

19.04.15 France Eragny/Paris @ Covent Garden

20.04.15 France Angouleme @ La Nef

21.04.15 Spain Madrid @ Sala Lemon

22.04.15 Spain Barcelona @ Sala Razz 3

23.04.15 France Lyon @ MJC O Totem

24.04.15 Switzerland Zürich @ Dynamo / Werk 21

25.04.15 Italy Milan @ Lo Fi

26.04.15 Italy Rome @ Traffic Live

27.04.15 Austria Innsbruck @ p.m.k.

28.04.15 Germany München @ Backstage

29.04.15 Germany Leipzig @ Conne Island

30.04.15 Germany Berlin @ Magnet

01.05.15 Austria Wien @ Arena

02.05.15 Czech Rep Prague @ Exit-us

RingMaster 11/03/3015

Laika – Somnia

Laika Press Photo

Though it ebbs and flows in the strength of its persuasion at times, there is no escaping that Somnia, the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers Laika is one compelling and thrilling encounter. It may not seemingly be bursting with open originality, the old school breeding of their style driving the creative tempests making up the album, but there is a specific drama and adventurous enterprise belonging to the band flowing through each fresh and seriously captivating persuasion that begs different. It is occasionally not as startling in places as it is elsewhere and maybe should be overall, but Somnia is certainly an impressive and lingering encounter ensuring that the name Laika will not just known for being that of the name of the Russian dog who became one of the first animals to travel to space.

Formed in 2009 with the name inspired by that hound, the then sextet soon drew strong local underground attention with the release of their full-length demo Crafting The Cataclysm the following year, and a live presence which has seen them play with the likes of All Shall Perish, Kataklysm, Necronomicon, Skeletonwitch, Abysmal Dawn, Septic Flesh, and Unleash the Archers over the past few years. The release of the Somnia EP in 2011 was subsequently followed by the band taking two years out to create and work on their debut album. Produced by the Winnipeg quintet, mixed and mastered by Ryan Forsyth, Somnia provides a striking and imaginative new assault for the band, one seeking and easy to see finding a more intensively crowing spotlight.

The release opens with Restless Mind, a brief instrumental which initially strokes the imagination with evocative piano drama against a ticking clock before expanding with a wash of similarly coloured keys and elegant harmonies. It is a laika 1-front cover- smallgentle and intriguing, if not startling, start which leads into the instantly imposing Escalation of Terror. It is a gripping entrance with riffs and rhythms offering hungry energy and intent straight away. Ears and appetite are ignited further as the bait intensifies with a muscular torrent of feverish grooves and vocal causticity crossing the intensive presence of the song. The keys of Steve Tedham bring rich and expressive hues to the great tempestuous intent of the track, their warm beauty a transfixing contrast to the raw scowls of vocalist Jordan Dorge and rhythmic provocation set by drummer Blair Garraway. It is a riveting blend which only grabs greater potency and suasion as ridiculously flavoursome and contagious grooves cast by guitarist Ian Garraway are matched by those throatily laid by the bass of Mike Mason.

It is a sensational incitement to body and emotions, a creative roller coaster which never dips below the exceptional on its way to setting up a hungry anticipation for the rest of the album. The title track is the first to feed that greed, its first touch rugged in riffs and beats but seductive in keys sculpted melodies. That evolves into a more expansive and less hostile landscape, though there is still a busy imposing air to the encounter. Guitars proceed to cast a sonic weave of enterprise and melodic tenacity across the still sinew driven terrain whilst the bass at times almost ventures into a post punk repetition and invention which, along with spicy grooves and vocal savagery, brings fresh character and intrigue to the enthralling track.

Both Fidelity and Caligae A Galea keep the creative and satisfaction levels high, the first stalking ears with a predatory attitude and gait but one fired in sonic invention and seductively inhospitable toxicity. As its predecessor, the track ripples with eclectic textures and imagination soaked ideation, defying expectations and binding eager attention from start to finish. It’s almost exhausting revelry and bold tapestry of sound is swiftly matched by the second of the pair. Opening on a heroic groove, its lure potent caped crusader like coaxing, the song growls and prowls with infectious charm and intimidation. There is a menace to it which Tedham’s craft can only wrap not defuse and Dorge’s grizzled tones easily accentuate. The song is soon providing an addictive canvas of sound which maybe is death metal based but just as pungently entwines a mass of flavoursome tendrils from the likes of noise and psyche rock to post punk and progressive metal. It is a stunning protagonist for ears and incessant lust for the passions.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by the enchanting instrumental Dream of Nothing, a magnetic and reflective slice of melodic beauty. Dark bass emotions lie easily with the sultry charm of keys whilst rhythmically the song walks with a firm and steady but restrained hand. There are also raw guitar crafted flames which intensify the expressive atmosphere and climate of the song, everything uniting for an immersive emprise of sound and imagination. The track also brings respite for the senses though they are soon under demanding pressure as the punk fired assault of The Immortal takes over. For all its ferocity and abrasing presence, it is another song unafraid to spring a web of melodic and expressive beauty in its successful trapping of ears and attention, and though in many ways it takes longer to persuade than elsewhere, it emerges as a simultaneously bitter and warm buffeting to devour with greed.

The final two tracks upon Somnia might not quite match up to their earlier companions, but each leaves no second or note unattended by the listener’s fullest attention. First up Predictions (Tide Bearer) rages and bristles with a merciless graze of sonic bad blood and vocal malevolence, a hostility which wears down the senses with its bruising but still flirts with the occasional melodic seducing. The tracks unrelenting pressure is followed by the exceptional majesty of final track Invaders, a song which sums up the album with its eclectic stock of sounds and spellbinding ideas within a virulent and concussive antipathy. The song is another intoxicating proposition leaving the listener basking in unique temptation and ready to share the glory of album and band.

Somnia just gets stronger and more impressive over time, shown by the fact that listening to it again whilst writing this, there are more reasons to argue against the earlier thought that the album is not as startling throughout as in particular certain moments. That gap closes with each venture, proving this is an album wanting more time than most to really reveal all of its consistent thick rewards and that Laika is a band with the potential to sit beside the ranks of Insomnium, Dark Tranquillity, and Amon Amarth.

Somnia is available now via Filth Regime Records and @ http://laikawpg.bandcamp.com/album/somnia

https://www.facebook.com/LaikaOfficial

RingMaster 23/10/2014

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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Endless Chaos – Rejected Atrocity EP

 

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    Unveiling their introduction through a three track ravishment which simple devours the senses, Canadian metallers Endless Chaos have announced themselves upon the world in impressive style. Forging an inventively refreshing blend of blackened thrash with death metal, the Winnipeg based quintet take little time raising a greedy appetite for their incendiary sound through the Rejected Atrocity EP. Simultaneously the promise drenched fury also ignites a major anticipation for further things to come from the intensive band, expectations of even greater triumphs a hard to resist thought taking the premise of the outstanding debut from the band.

     With a presence and sound which embraces chaos and enterprise in equal depths, Endless Chaos has forged a formidable reputation through their live performances which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skeletonwitch, 3 Inches of Blood, Wretched, Aborted, Toxic Holocaust, and Kataklysm to great success and acclaim. The next step on their emerging domination of local and further afield metal scenes comes with their first EP, a released inspired by classic horror movie Re-Animator, a film which is definitely akin to the unbridled lust of their creativity. The self-released, Ryan Forsyth produced, Rejected Atrocity is a teaser and taster of things to come from the band, in the words of Jordan Dorge, the EP will “give you the best taste of what’s to come of Endless Chaos,” the vocalist going on to say “When we were writing these songs, we really took in everything we love about death, thrash and black metal and incorporated it into Endless Chaos.”

    The title track violates the senses first, rampaging riffs and pummelling rhythms an instant assault. Within the torrent of sonic abuse the guitars of Mike Menza and Mike Toews also unleash a twisting irresistible clutch of grooves and hooks to immediately seduce the imagination, their potent bait a bewitching and similarly lethal distraction from the carnivorous rhythms uncaged by drummer James Burton and bassist Jeff Humarang. It is a breath-taking and riveting web of intrigue and devastation from the opening second, the thrash driven ferocity speared and veined by the some of the richest compelling craft and imagination heard in a long time from a thrash/death tempest. The vocals of Dorge parade a vitriolic squall as intimidating as the sounds and invention at work, his slight variation in delivery enough to leave satisfaction ripe and song enhanced as well as listener blissful.

     The scintillating start is soon matched by the following Sacrificial Ritual, it a bestial consumption cored by serpentine vocal malevolence, unpredictable spite, and a maze of ingenious adventure sculpted by the continuing to impress technical craft and vindictive imagination of the band. Like its predecessor, the song is unafraid to launch into unexpected and bold detours whilst the guitars again carve a sonic sculpture which scars and invigorates the senses. The bass of Humarang brings an even throatier predation to the cyclone of malice whilst Burton simply splinters bone and synapse with a continued display of skill and aggression.

   The closing Condemned to the Pit drives at the jugular with its thrash bred energy and sinews crushing all before whilst rhythmically the track batters and concusses with hungry rabidity. As with all the songs, the onslaught is only half of the picture. The track reaches its mid-point and seemingly takes a step back to survey the damage, rhythms still plundering and provoking but sonically the song relaxes somewhat. It is a mere moment in time though as the feverish ferocity is soon letting its death/thrash rage and expertise off the reins to bring the unquenchable storm to a staggering close.

The Rejected Atrocity EP is just exceptional, a must have impressive and towering debut to inject real excitement into the world of metal. It sparks, without reserve, the belief that Endless Chaos will be not only a prolifically important joy ahead but one which will help take thrash, death, and metal itself into new mouthwatering realms.

https://www.facebook.com/endlesschaoss

http://endlesschaos1.bandcamp.com/album/rejected-atrocity

10/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

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Huntress – Starbound Beast

Huntress-Promo-1

Though not flawless, Spell Eater the debut album from US heavy metallers Huntress, made a strong impression, its potent sounds and in the face devilry receiving mixed responses but always sparking something. For us it bred a definite appetite for what was to follow, a keen hunger which new release Starbound Beast teases with, satisfies more often than not but also leaves a sense that maybe the album is resting on earlier laurels rather than forging its own unique and forward driving adventure. It is certainly an appetising and frequently thrilling collection of powerful multi-flavoured tracks but lacks the dramatic impact which its predecessor ultimately achieved.

The Californian band fronted by the always potently pleasing vocals of Jill Janus, a classically trained singer who toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet before moving onto performing with Dave Navarro in a project called Under the Covers, arrived with a wind of brewing excitement and recommendation with their first full length, the anticipation for that already seeded as the band signed with Napalm Records and helped intensely by first single Eight of Swords. Made up of guitarists Blake Meahl and Anthony Crocamo, bassist Ian Alden, and drummer Carl Wierzbicky, some of whom ex-members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch, alongside Janus, Huntress it is fair to say split opinions with their debut and are sure to do the same with Starbound Beast. It is fair to say the band and release does everything you would wish for in a heavy metal release, its sound a constant blaze of barging rhythms, predatory riffs, and soaring stormy vocals drenched in passion, but throughout the additionally thrash, death and black metal spiced encounter something is missing or been allowed to escape which leaves the new album bringing up the rear to their first rampage into the world.

Produced by Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed, Agnostic Front), Starbound Beast starts like a beast on heat, its opening full song 494_Huntresscoming after the brief chaotic tempest seared by the classical tones of Janus weaving harpy like harmonic toxicity across its sky, the instrumental Enter The Exosphere. The following Blood Sisters sets its dramatic walls from the start, flames of sonic taunting and melodic colour caging the attention whilst rhythms frame it all with deliberate prowling intent. Once secure in its entrapment the excellent vocals of Janus, with a husky growl to her tones, rides boldly on the cantering charge of eager riffs and probing drums jabs which then open melodic arms through the infectious chorus. Throughout there is a constant menace to vocals and sound which flares up and casts shadows over the rampant muscle clad energetic core. It is an excellent track which twists and turns through dark provocation and warm evocation, the perfect scenario for light and dark to wage physical debate within brewing thoughts and maelstrom courting imagination.

It sets a high standard and equally lofty hopes and expectations for the rest of the album which are immediately dented by the following I Want To Fuck You To Death. The song has already seemingly come under fire from many quarters and though we would argue that it is not as bad as many claim, in many ways it does not do the album any favours. Co-penned with Lemmy, the song has a power metal grandeur in intent and a rapacious hunger in certainly the breath and the delivery of the verses, but as the predictable and underwhelming chorus loses the established pull of the track it sounds like a weaker fish from another pond, not the devil spawn lake of Starbound Beast.

Destroy Your Life gets things back on track, its striking melodic and fevered guitar invention standing out as much as the fury that is Janus’ vocals. The solo within is a sizzling detour from the greed of the song, its flare and craft lighting up hot sceneries for the band to exploit with the returning vociferous appetite of the sound and intensity. It is another of the more prominent highlights which the title track, which to be honest took time to persuade but eventually did succeed especially with Janus at her potently sirenesque best, the thrash driven carnivorous Zenith, as well as the following tracks Oracle and Receiver all make very decent attempts in emulating. The second of these savages the senses with primal greed and air scorching intensity vocally and sonically to lift the album back to its highest plateaus whilst the others hold their own with inventive endeavour to undoubtedly leave strong pleasure.

Completed by the more than decent Spectra Spectral and the stirring Alpha Tauri, the album offers plenty to enthuse over and take enjoyment from, especially taking songs individually but Starbound Beast as whole does seem to lose an undefined something Spell Eater which had and feel like a lost opportunity. Despite that Huntress and album still secure a regular appearance on our playlist.

http://huntresskills.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/06/2013

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Frosthelm: The Northwinds Rend Flesh EP

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     Accosting the ear with a malicious caustic wash of thrash and black metal, the self-released EP The Northwinds Rend Flesh from US band Frosthelm is a savage and pleasing confrontation which rewards as fully as it punishes. It is a merciless abrasion, a release which scars and soaks the senses in filth coated nastiness whilst leaving them eager to feel and hear much more from the band.

The quartet from North Dakota formed in 2009 and soon had their local area subservient to their  blackened viciousness. An acclaimed early demo marked the band as one to watch for a great many and with the release of their first EP and an appearance on a CD sampler from Terrorizer Magazine with a track from the release, now might be the time Frosthelm rampage to wider recognition, The Northwinds Rend Flesh certainly deserves the attention.

As the title track emerges from a harsh atmospheric wind with a simple play of guitar it is hard to imagine what is to come for the_northwinds_cover_small_by_xaaynewcomers to the band. Even as it widens its arms the song is a sonic blistering which is reserved and melodically tight within heavy riffs. Taking a breath the track then unleashes a torrent of insidious vocals from Tyler, his serpentine delivery a tongue lashing for ear and thoughts, whilst riffs and rhythms fill the towering skies with thunderous energy and destructive intensity. Now in full rampant flight musically, the release offers essences of the likes of Dissection and Goatwhore as well as spicery from others such as Amon Amarth and Testament, though references to early Metallica and Skeletonwitch has been also deservedly been placed upon the band and record. The guitars of Dakota twist and scythe through the ear with skilled enterprise whilst the rhythmic malice of bassist Jim and drummer Ji hold no respite within their crushing presences. It is a great start and an immediate statement of intent for release and band in the future.

Goblindriver rushes through the ear next with rampant intensity and tsunami like rhythms. It is an avalanche of festering spite and sonic teasing which evolves throughout whilst refusing to show any mercy from its heavyweight corruptive annihilation. Arguably more involved than the first track but less immediate, the song crawls and squalls over the senses softening them up for the following Reaping the Seeds of Corruption perfectly.  Its tempest of sound and energy spews riffs and rhythms like a vindictive tornado, intent on searing flesh with sonic incisiveness whilst bruising everything else with barbarous intensity. The best track on the release it is a sprawling venomous treat which sucks in and spits out the listener with accomplished might and erosive effect.

With final track Damage Over Time offering a further punishing violent engagement which leaves only lingering satisfaction in its wake, The Northwinds Rend Flesh EP is a striking introduction to Frosthelm. It offers thoughts and promise of greater things ahead from the foursome whilst in the now leaving a very satisfied victim with its cancerous and appetizing presence; certainly a release and band to make a note of.

www.facebook.com/frosthelmband

RingMaster 02/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gypsyhawk: Revelry & Resilience

Though new to us it is pretty clear going by their new album Revelry & Resilience, US rockers Gypsyhawk, is a band who just want to make the best rock n roll possible. They are not concerned with leaving one struggling for breath under a weight on extreme metal intensity or confronting  the senses with a technical assault to leave them bewildered and disorientated. This quartet from Pasadena just want to party with your ears, body and hearts for a great time for all. The band find their inspiration in the rock sounds of the seventies  when things were more uncomplicated and straight forward. Their music revisits and distils all the best flavours into their own inventive brew of rock music. Arguably it is not maybe the most original sound ever but it certainly makes for an eager and infectious friend once having made its company.

The band began in 2008 when bassist and vocalist Eric Harris (ex-Skeletonwitch, Sorcerer) linked up with guitarist Andrew Packer (Suns Beneath). With a full line-up the band gigged hard sharing their rock n roll sounds, music which was distinct from what their previous bands had made. 2010 not only saw the release of their decent debut Patience And Perseverance, but also later a change of members when guitarist Erik Kluiber (ex-White Wizzard and currently Overloaded) and drummer Ian Brown joined. This was too arguably the moment the band truly discovered their sound and became what Harris and Packer had envisaged.

Released via Metal Blade Records, Revelry & Resilience is a nonstop storm of great rock music from first note to last. As mentioned the album is borne of times when arguably rock was at its most honest and vibrant and it makes no pretence of its seeds. You can hear many flavours within the release which reflect obvious influences of the band but you always drift back to one, Thin Lizzy. There are moments their love of the band soaks their music but it proves not to be a bad thing just a powerful spice which adds a recognisable taste to the release.

Overloaded opens the gate to the energy and fun of the album, a track which instantly pulls one into a mesh of feisty riffs and punchy rhythms. For all the great things on the track including the striking and enthused guitar work around the gravelly absorbing vocals, it is the bass of Harris which captures the imagination most. He brings a growling discontented sound which adds a depth and thrilling presence to the otherwise user friendly sounds. It offers a balance and edge to it all exposing the metal traits of their sound.

The strong start is immediately improved upon by the contagious strides of The Fields. The song unleashes a teasing hook from the start to infect the senses before its mischievous groove runs amok. It is an unstoppable infection which bundles clean riffs and incisive melodies through the ear at every turn for unbridled satisfaction and pleasure. The track like the album as a whole is not threatening to break down existing rock boundaries but simply wants to improve upon and energise the existing ‘rules’.

Tracks like the powerful Hedgeking with its flaming guitar invention, the bruising Galaxy Rise, and the sharply grooved 1345, all give a varied and compulsive high octane feast to soak up eagerly. The second of the three lashes out with some thrash muscle whilst the last ignites against the ear with sparks of melodic intensity amidst blistering sonic showers.

     Night Songs From The Desert is the one time on the album things are slowed and it is glorious, a track with a metal beauty and passion which shines through its reserved moments and energised crescendos. Again the bass and drums thrill with their grumbling and combative strengths respectively whilst vocally Harris lights the air with a fine and emotive delivery.

      Revelry & Resilience is an outstanding album with songs which excite and please thoroughly. They have a familiarity to them like old friends but with the resourceful thought and fresh energies Gypsyhawk infuses them with, makes for something all rock fans should get a big buzz from.

http://www.facebook.com/Gypsyhawkusa

RingMaster 23/08/2012

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Huntress: Spell Eater

Before a sound was really heard the buzz behind Californian metal band Huntress was beginning an avalanche like consumption, the coming of a new force in metal being shouted from the rooftops. Good and creative, if not forceful PR is essential for any band to gain attention but it is of course with the sounds where things accelerate or grind to a halt. Spell Eater is the debut album from Huntress following on from just one single and it without doubt declares that this really is a band going places and swiftly. The album is not striving to create new directions and sounds but simply staying true to its metal inspirations, it also will and has spawn divided and often vociferous opinions on the band, but it is impossible to ignore it. The band creates metal firmly veined with classic metal alongside melodic black and thrash metal plus extras all brought with modern thought and intent. Their music is an event, a show that you immerse within or not. It is not world changing or life altering but a show that leaves one satisfied and energised. It is like a musical version of Xena Warrior Princess, bold and in the face, at times over the top and occasionally verging on silly, but always brought with a great quality and drama plus most of all it is just great fun.

All attention and even band info is seemingly centred on front woman Jill Janus which is understandable though a little unfair on the fine musicianship and sounds from the rest of the band who include ex-members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch. She is certainly the initial focus the band is gaining attention for, a force with a voice and style as striking as her appearance and demeanour. A classically trained singer who toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet, she has already marked her resume with things like performing with Dave Navarro in a project called Under the Covers, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties, working as a club promoter, DJ, and appearing in Playboy, but Huntress is certainly her greatest triumph. The seeds of the band began really when she met LA underground metal band Professor in 2009, the moment things fell into place.

Two years on and Huntress sign with Napalm Records, with first single/video Eight of Swords being released just before. The beginning of this year saw the recording of Spell Eater and April 27th its release to what surely will be a great response either positively or negatively, for it is an album that will not simply creep in and out again, it is here to make a noise. Produced by Chris Rakestraw of Sunset Lodge Recording, the release is a rampant and salacious feast for the senses, an easy to get to know and impossible to forget slab of metal. It preys upon and stirs up the senses with the wicked mischievousness of a horny witch and the evil deviousness of a snake, all venomous intent and delicious temptation.

The album opens up on the title track and slicing melodic intrusions from guitarists Blake Meahl and Ian Alden which instantly grab attention before they join in a galloping assault through the ear alongside the strong muscular bass of Eric Harris and the combative rhythms of drummer Carl Wierzbicky. As this takes root Janus steps forward with her startling and impressive delivery and voice. Whether she strikes with elevated clean notes or her imposing and deeply pleasing coarse style she never misses the mark, her training and natural ability put to a full and riveting use.

The song itself is a strong opener without being anything notable but that is soon changed with the following Senicide and its following companions. The growling bass paces behind the expressive guitars adding a menace to the acidic creativity, whilst the eager riffs and commanding rhythms forge a mighty framework for the vocals to mesmerise and thrill within. The song as the album is confident and complimentary to all that produced it, the music allowed to shine as much as the vocals and all individual parts given open clarity without losing the tight group sound.

The album simply gets better and better as it winds its metallic charms around the senses. From the excellent Sleep And Death, where Janus soars the vocals skies whilst bringing a serpentine malevolence, through the slightly bestial Night Rape and the best track on the release Snow Witch, to the predatory Children, the album thrills and lights up the ear with accomplished sounds and ideas. It is not as mentioned groundbreaking stuff but it is damn infectious.

If you liked previous song Eight Of Swords, also on the album, you will love Spell Eater as that is arguably the least impressive song on the album. Huntress might be the beneficiaries of much hype but as the album proves they are not exactly proving it wrong.

RingMaster 23/04/2012

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