Chasing Sanity – Anathema

Chasing Sanity is the new solo project from Erik Martin, formerly of Erik Dismembered and one half of Skin Drone; a new creative adventure born from the ashes of the first of those two when Martin decided to “start over and rebrand” himself and his music having felt “uninspired to write anything under the Erik D moniker”. In many ways, Chasing Sanity is closer in style to his work with Otto Kinzel as Skin Drone but as swiftly revealed within debut album Anathema, creating its own unique and fascinating world of imagination and sound.

Though you might primarily tag Anathema as Avant Industrial Metal, it is equally a kaleidoscope of atmospheric and cinematic textures drawn from the darkest corners and depths of the imagination. Every track is a challenge and canvas for the imagination to conjure upon and a place where intimate horrors collude with broader nightmares. Themed by “anxious depression and anger” bred in Martin’s own experienced emotional turmoil, the album opens with You Fiend. Primarily an instrumental release, the first track features the vocal prowess of Nate Exx Gradowski from Isolated Antagonist, AutomatoN, and Quo. Straight away the raw snarl of guitar stalks the senses, inserting their toxic magnetism as Gradowski adds his multi-textured presence within a similarly diverse lure of synths. Every second of the song leads to a fresh turn and unpredictable twist, Gradowski’s switches between harsh and clean vocals matched very second of the way by invasive yet captivating sound.

In many ways, the opener is a straight forward proposal to embrace compared to its successors where the imagination is as active as ears.  Cursed is next up, gliding in on the infectious throb of bass as an increasing web of sound and noise insert their suggestive glimpses into the track’s brewing landscape. Drama fuels every second, metal nurtured riffs and trespasses gripping bait but persistently interrupted by haunting atmospherics and sombre shadows to catch ears and thoughts off guard time and time again. As with all pieces, interpretation will be unique to the individual but unavoidable as the track provokes and inspires before Depths Of Euphoria immerses ears in its own disarming quiet suggestiveness. Even more cinematic than its predecessor, the song is like a flight through night clad scenery with sinister shadows and dark traps waiting to spring.

The industrial intimidation of Haunted Walls quickly has thoughts and emotions involved next; danger and innocence entangling within its guitar veined gothic body. It is a dark place though with the invasive intent of a Hostel found cell, every step within its fascination wrought with tension and ill-intent before Dismembered Thoughts brings some light to the release with its infectious waltz. Yet it too is a tenebrous dance with treachery and menacing asides, keeping ears and thoughts again wary and busy throughout its passage through to the steely net of sonic intimation cast by Orange Bottle. A blend of textures and styles unite for its metal nurtured shuffle, the track prowling the senses as it commandingly ignites physical and mental involvement.

Pills, Pain And An Autopsy creates its own travelogue through the dark tunnels and layers of psyche and suggestion where caliginous beauty and thought infesting angst breed their own unique connection. The track continues to grow and blossom, never escaping its haunting shadows but nurturing a myriad of melodic hues and evocative textures within its atmospheric immersion.

The final pair of tracks upon the EP sees Martin linking up with firstly Rockwater Pictures for Red Death and its percussive and inhuman infestation of the psyche and lastly with Chris Bollinger of Kill Point Protocol and Varicella in Salem, 1666. The final track only needs Vincent Price’s distinctive growl to be the complete cinematic nightmare, one offering extreme and industrial metal surges seemingly glimpsed through a damaged canvas slashed by the claws of the horned one. As the album, it needs numerous plays to settle on a final interpretation, if you ever can, with thick enjoyment flowing through every attempt.

There is no doubt that Anathema is a challenge, one only venturing within its dark realms will reveal whether you  will embrace or flee from it,  but as is the theme with Erik Martin’s work, it is a testing which leaves you mentally and physically alive and indeed welcomingly exhausted. Chasing Sanity pretty much sums up the sound and experience of Anathema, something we all do in varying ways through life.

Anathema is out now across most stores and @ https://chasingsanity.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chasingsanityband

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Evil Sex Party – E.S.P.

Listening to E.S.P., the new album from US ambient noise weavers Evil Sex Party is like driving in the thickest uncompromising fog where mere inches of visibility toys with the imagination. Every second is fraught with the unknown; danger and unpredictability hiding along a highway once familiar but now an imposing relentless test on the senses. The exacting scrutiny offered by E.S.P. is the sonic equivalent, an instrumental exploration and examination of ears and imagination which never allows a moment for either to relax or find sanctuary in the safer realms of the psyche.

Submerging the listener in a smog of raw noise, ravenous drone, and dark ambience, Evil Sex Party is the latest project of Otto Kinzel, one half of Skin Drone as well as behind many other projects. If there are others involved in his latest adventure we have not discovered yet, but Kinzel has a pedigree of being involved in attention grabbing adventures and in discovering them as the former head of Bluntface Records and Evil Sex Party is no exception.

Like an aural interpretation of The Ring movie, the Japanese original, in that the sounds and imagination immersing qualities of E.S.P. keep coming at you with a dark and relentless intensity, the album devours the senses from the first touch of opener Commencement. Instantly a thick glaze of shadow bound sound engulfs ears, its mono tone creating a rapaciously textured wall with subtle changes creating ripples in its emotionally suggestive mirror. Swiftly thoughts and emotions are sucked into its devilry, a breeding ground for all imaginations to conjure and weave, as across all tracks, interpretations which are sure to be individual to each listener. Equally though, there is an infectiousness in its droning crawl, an almost meditative hue which rewards the closing of eyes and the removing of distractions from the world around with fresh explorations in each and every listen.

The far briefer and sonically harsher incitement of Tangle Of Flesh follows, its visceral touch and caustic air as seductive as they are corrosive leading to a climax of a handful of seconds which are pure antipathy before Liturgy lays its cosmic charms and darkwave nurtured noises upon thoughts. Spatial yet with a threatening intimacy which is almost occultist, certainly Crowley-esque in its other-worldly air, the track captivates as it infests a by now willing imagination for the release.

The Body And The Blood rises up next with a carnality in tone which scars and grates as magnetically as it entrances. The track’s drone nags the senses but again each subtle wave is an evolution on the last, pressing and flirting with its victim with a ravenous yet threateningly controlled appetite. Like a predator, its patience is unrelenting, its trespass undeterred before making way for the aberrant beauty of Transmogrification. Its melodies are a fusion of elegance and the grotesque, the former to the fore but carrying a sense of dark deceit which again has the imagination running with creativity.

The album concludes with firstly the sonic sacrament of Communion; pain and pleasure, violation and love clad deception at one within the track’s sinful secrecy and enticing hum, and lastly the melancholic temptation and low key but infectious swing of Retreat To Light. As the album overall, both tracks are a spark for thoughts and emotions and a testing enigma for increasingly welcoming ears.

Certainly Evil Sex Party and E.S.P. will be a challenge too far for many but a gateway into rich adventure for just as many with greater understanding of band, album, and one’s own inner shadow stalked psyche blossoming with each subsequent listen.

E.S.P. is out now @ https://evilsexparty.bandcamp.com/releases

https://ottokinzel.com/evil-sex-party

Pete RingMaster 04/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The silent roar of darkness; talking Evocation with Skin Drone

SD_RingMasterReview

Within the metal underground, it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album from US band Skin Drone has been increasingly eager in many quarters. The web based project is the creative union of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erik Martin of Critical Dismemberment and multi-instrumentalist/producer Otto Kinzel from Chemical Distance and the founder of Bluntface Records. Next month sees the release of debut album Evocation; a proposition offering emotionally and lyrically dark tales as raw and caustic as they are seductive and elegantly evocative. The album pulls the listener into ravenous experimental landscapes of imposing shadows and emotional turmoil shaped by a fusion of extreme, industrial, and avant-garde metal with provocative ambiences, to simplify it all. It is powerful and invigorating, and the source of a hunger to dig deeper into its heart. So with big thanks to Erik and Otto, that is what we have done as we explore the world of Skin Drone…

Hi Guys and thank you for sharing your time with us.

Can you first tell us how you both met?

Erik: We met through Operation: Underground [a compilation album on Blutface Records]. Critical Dismemberment was on that release and Otto mixed/mastered the song for us. From there, we became good friends throughout the months and when Otto approached me about Skin Drone, there was no way to say no.

Otto: After Operation: Underground, which my label Bluntface Records released, I started working with Critical Dismemberment much more and they eventually joined the label. So by that point I had already been talking with both Erik and Chase Fincher (who did all the mixing & mastering on Evocation) for some time. I was always impressed by both of them and we all became really good friends. Erik and I have a lot in common so I think we naturally connected on a musical and personal level. When I asked Erik if he’d be able to help me out with vocals on some songs he jumped at the chance. That first song was what ended up becoming Witching Hour, and Erik hit a home run with it! I was so blown away by what he wrote and performed that I knew we had to pursue this more. Long story short, here we are. And it’s funny because even though Chase isn’t a “member” per say of Skin Drone, he played a huge role in the final product because he’s the one that brought the tracks to life when he mixed the album.

As you have already touched on, you are both heavily involved in other projects, solo and with others, and Otto you with running Bluntface Records too; so when did the seeds to the actual project of Skin Drone first arise?

Otto

Otto

Otto: I had been trying to get a variation of Skin Drone off the ground for probably a year or so prior to hooking up with Erik. And I had basically no luck whatsoever. So when I started working with Critical Dismemberment, and subsequently got to know Erik and Chase better I knew that there was special talent there. As I mentioned, Witching Hour was the first song we collaborated on together. I had a rough demo with just guitar and drums recorded when I sent it to Erik to try his hand at it. I never had a serious vocalist attached to this project and the whole thing was basically dormant in my efforts to get it off the ground. Erik came back with a very impressive performance and lyrics, and I was blown away. I specifically remember thinking “damn, if we can make this work, even with 1,000 miles between us, we might be onto something really special”. And the momentum kept building with each song afterwards as both of us got more comfortable working & writing with each other. The chemistry was very natural; I don’t remember ever really having to “force” anything in the creative process.

What was the initial spark and indeed the moment where you knew it was going to work?

Erik: For me it was hearing the final mix of Witching Hour when we first started. It just felt right and when we really started to venture out into the experimental with Shepherd Of The Damned, we ran with it and embraced the sound we were crafting, that for me cemented that we were a force to be reckoned with.

Otto: Shepherd of the Damned was the first song we did where there were multiple changes in the timing, and in the overall feeling of the song. The levels of dynamics in that were tricky to start but once we had the final version, I think we both knew we had stepped our game up a notch.

Did you set out with a particular intent and direction for Skin Drone or let things organically arise?

Otto: Everything that happened was organic. Sure, we tried to push in a particular direction. At first I think we just wanted to pursue the technical death metal type of sound. But funny enough, the more we “tried” to push for one specific style, the more things spun out of control and took on a life of their own. It was fairly early on that we realized that we needed to just “run with it” so to speak, and however the songs came out is how they came out. It’s hard to explain because so much of it was done by “feel”; but everything was organic.

As you mentioned you live hundreds of miles apart and more. So I am assuming a physical coming together for the project is near to impossible, so how does the writing and creating process work between you online?

Erik: Usually it starts off with a demo that we toss back and forth a few times until we have something that we feel out did what we accomplished with the last song. Some take longer than others but for the most part it is no different than writing in the same room; the only difference being that when we are communicating our ideas to each other, we have to be very clear as to what we are trying to achieve sonically. There is always the potential if we are having an off day that it could derail the entire song, but we always catch ourselves before that happens.

Is this a time consuming process in the creation of songs and do you work on them one at a time or work away on numerous tracks at the same time?

Otto: I’d say no more or less of a time consuming process that what a “regular” band goes through. Some songs naturally take longer than others to complete but as a whole we work at a very efficient pace. That’s because both Erik and I each do a lot of work on our own time to develop our parts and work thing out, before presenting them to the other person. And yes we’ll typically have a few songs continuously in the works. For me it helps because if I’m stuck on a certain song or just not having any luck then I can go work on something else, and still make progress without holding the whole project up.

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Erik

You have just released your striking and enjoyably often disturbing debut album, Evocation. How long has it been in the making?

Erik: If memory serves me correctly, we wrote the first song in autumn of 2014 and finished the last one in the beginning of summer in 2015. It was then gone back over and mixed/mastered in the winter of 2015. We have the luxury of being able to take our time and not have to a label or pay for studio time, I feel like that lack of pressure really shows in the music.

Is it a project which has had to grow around other commitments or were you able to create it in a period of no other musical distractions?

Erik: For me, I had just finished my parts on the Critical D debut, so for 99% of this, I was musically not distracted.

Otto: I had no distractions musically. I always try to make sure I can give 100% focus and energy to the material when I’m in writing /recording mode.

Can you give some idea to its themes?

Erik: The themes are mostly centred in occultism, rituals, witchcraft, paganism and even some calling out thieves in organized religion. There are also certain personal elements hidden in plain sight, but we leave those to the listener to decide what is fiction and what is real life. It adds a level of mysticism that we build upon musically.

I was going to ask about that; as much as it trespasses the senses and psyche, there are just as evocative moments of melancholic beauty and intimate psychosis to songs. So to push for more insight, how much of their inspiration and exploration comes from the emotionally personal side and experiences of you two, lyrically and musically?

Erik: Lyrically during the writing process I was in a very dark place. Dealing with vices and very confused on what life even meant; that included the people in it. You could liken it to just doing what I had to do in order to keep breathing. All that translated to some of the darkest and angriest lyrics I had ever written. The best example of this is Salvation. That song is about a spirit that drives his killer insane and ultimately kills him and makes it all look like a ritualistic suicide. If you really pay attention to the lyrics, you start to see a very personal story of being consumed by something and the only way out is death it seems.  There are examples of this spread out through the entire album; it is all just up to everyone’s individual interpretation of the lyrics.

For us Evocation is the darkest most invasive nightmare, yet equally at times, a shadowed but understanding emotional affair between listener and song. How much was this deliberately sculpted and again how much an organic evolution?

Otto: From my perspective, watching how Erik was so methodical; in his approach to writing the lyrics and developing the themes, I would say it was deliberate. He did a wonderful job orchestrating how it all went together, like an architect. For the music and the basic song structures, all of that was organic and natural. But when it came time to add the lyrics and really focus in on shifting the songs into their “final” state, Erik was the guy commanding the ship. I know how personal and painful a lot of these lyrics are to him and I’m so impressed with his commitment to the art.

There is also a real cinematically ambient feel to some parts. This is a style in your composing which you might explore more, or already may have?

Erik: The cinematic effects (I hope) remain a staple of our sound. Already in writing some rough ideas for record two, those ambient parts will go along with the heavy parts and we will throw in some curveballs when it comes to the time changes and the melancholic parts of the music. I think we are hungrier to really explore the depths of what we can do sonically and evolve as a band.

Skin Drone - Evocation _RingMasterReviewAs we mentioned earlier, you both have other projects which between them I can say have given some of our favourite releases in recent times. When you get an idea for one, is there now an element of stepping back and looking to see if it might fit better with say Skin Drone or vice versa?

Erik: 100% of what I write in my solo project is open for us to try and make a Skin Drone song. You just never know when you put something together that you think will not work actually turns into something that makes the record. Sometimes stepping back from the craziness for a day or two can yield some badass results.

Otto: I had some random riffs and drum patterns kicking around here and there, that for one reason or another just never got used. It was fun to go back and rediscover some of that stuff. I record tons of music, almost every day. So I have a huge catalogue of material that runs the gamut from metal and industrial to dark ambient and more instrumental/score type of compositions. Most of this I just do to capture an idea so almost everything is unfinished and in a “demo” type of state. But I like being able to capture an idea and then have it saved, so someday later on if I find a place for it I can go back and see if it works.

There is no escaping the raw and bold kaleidoscope of styles within Evocation either. What are the artists or flavours which have most inspired your own inventions would you say?

Erik: For me it was a lot of Deconstruction era Devin Townsend Project. Another I was reminded just recently was the Declaration album from Bleeding Through; most notably the song Sister Charlatan. The heaviness along with orchestral parts was really my first taste of the two blended together and since then has always been something I’ve wanted to incorporate into music. Lastly, Landon Tewers who uses a lot of ambience and really dark imagery with his lyrics was a huge influence. He was my introduction onto whispering vocals and I absolutely loved it.

Otto: Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Mike Patton and almost all of his various bands, Ministry, KMFDM, Obscura, Gorguts, Nirvana, Kyuss…those are a just a few. If you give me long enough I can come up with a ton of stuff haha.

What comes next for Skin Drone and yourselves individually?

Erik: For Skin Drone, it’s riding the album cycle until there is no more gas in the tank and then some. After that we probably take a short break and get back into writing the next record with our foot mashed on the gas. With Critical D on hiatus, Skin Drone is my one and only focus.

Otto: Like Erik said, we’re going to promote the hell out of Evocation until there is literally nothing left to promote. We’re prepared to work as hard as we’ve ever had to work in our lives to get the music out there and make sure people hear it.

After that? I think we’ll take a short rest so we can recharge our creative batteries and then jump right back into writing the next album. We already have some rough ideas kicking around for themes.

Once again many thanks for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?

Otto: Evocation drops June 14. Please pre-order your copy at http://skindrone.bandcamp.com/releases!

Check out our review of Evocation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/skin-drone-evocation/

https://www.facebook.com/skindrone   https://twitter.com/SkinDrone   http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skin Drone – Evocation

Skin Drone - Evocation _RingMasterReview

Evocation is the eagerly awaited debut album from US duo Skin Drone, a web based project consisting of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erik Martin (Critical Dismemberment) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Otto Kinzel (Chemical Distance/Bluntface Records). Both have released and been part of many striking and praise luring proposals but it is as Skin Drone that the pair arguably creates their most un-conventionally inventive and imposingly experimental adventures as evidenced by Evocation.

The album is a collection of emotionally and lyrically dark tales fuelled by insanity and torment encased in a hard to pin down tapestry reaping the raw and caustic might as well as beauty of certainly extreme, industrial, and avant-garde metal. Each track is a tempestuous journey through ravenous shadows, hellacious landscapes, and emotive turmoil but songs which equally at times share melancholic beauty and intimate psychosis. All grab keen attention on the first listen, each enslaving ears and thoughts, but it is through the journey of numerous plays that their layers, depths, and full compelling characters compellingly truly come alive.

With one half of the band in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the other in Boston, Massachusetts, it is hard not to  be quickly impressed by the skilful and coherent weave of almost kaleidoscopic textures and ideas, an organic unity which has blossomed through assumingly a torrent of ideas and files being passed back and forth between the duo. Admittedly though, as opener Scarlet Road consumes the senses, Evocation has thoughts swiftly engaged in other creative dramas and intrigue too. The first track envelops ears with a rousing roar of vocal squalls amidst technical and death metal animosity. It has a swagger and toxic virulence which needs little time to infest appetite and imagination, with the latter also persistently gripped by the glimmer of unpredictable incitement which rises from the track’s mellow and provocative slips into emotional dissonance. The track is pure fascination, a challenge and poetic tempting leaving a lingering imprint on the psyche whether washing solemnly over the senses or nagging them with torrential antagonistic discord.

Erik & Otto album_RingMasterReviewIts emotional turbulence is matched by that of the following God Complex, another ravenous proposal of extreme and venomously grooved metal entangled with sinister disharmony and emotional dissension. The raw vocals squalls create a great rapacious texture in the tempest and the haunting ambience sharing the song’s air, adding great discord and heart bred turmoil again in an offering inflamed with raging ire or sharing sombre caresses. The track continues to envelop and involve across its ever evolving body, sharing its discordancy with its outstanding successor, Death Sentence. It is a carnivorous piece of music and invention, but equally a thrilling adventurous dive through a wealth of avant-garde/progressive experimentation amidst a toxically grooved and rabidly irritable incitement; it all colluding for one breath-taking and emotionally pestilential offering.

Shepherd of the Damned is an inharmonious crawl over the senses next, organ and vocal menace a caliginous calling aided by pained clean vocals before a ravaging expulsion of intensity and sounds spills their animosity. The track continues to weave in and out of vicious and elegant melancholy without escaping the emotional hell at its heart before making way for the nature-esque soundscape and again haunting charm of Ghost Reflection. As always though, even in its warmest melodic seducing, shadows lurk, biding their time as strings and keys skilfully serenade and seed the imagination. They are never allowed a real grip here though, instead a tribalistic rhythmic shuffle emerging to surprise and draw the listener closer as similarly bred vocals dance on their beats.

That darkness does get its moment though in the infectious rock ‘n’ roll of City Lights; a track which seems to stalk the senses even as it launches tenacious roars and bruising tides of rhythmic temptation. Even in that predacious intent, guitars create veins of sonic enticement subsequently leading to seductive noir lit physical and emotional scenery. The track is another pinnacle of Evocation, a fiercely memorable and greed sparking moment backed up just as dynamically and imaginatively by Witching Hour. Evil lines every beat and savage riff, Martin’s scarring vocal trespasses too but again the band creates infectious grooves and a raw catchiness which simply pulls you into the fire of the track. An addictive throaty bassline only adds to the irresistible bait of the track’s quarrel and creative rancor too, a lure equalled by the song’s industrial fizz and melodic oasis further in.

Classical keys coax ears and thoughts into the dark conflict within Darkness Within next; the track a heavy resonating smoulder of emotional and sonic disunity growing from a calm reflective charm into intrusive discordance. As with all tracks within Evocation, every moment is in flux and evolving into a new shade of turbulence and anguish brewed intimacy with matching character of sound to enthral and thrill.

Closing up with Salvation, a similar but individual tapestry woven from varying shades of darkness aligned to emotional greys, Skin Drone leave ears and emotions numb and enjoyment rampant. As suggested, Evocation should be embraced over numerous listens, every one bringing something new to explore while casting fresh twists on ideas already nurtured by previous ventures into its impressive depths. This often viscerally impacting album will not be for everyone but for those with bold imagination and a taste for a band pushing its and metal’s boundaries, Evocation and Skin Drone are worth a heavy slice of attention.

Evocation is released June 14th via Bluntface Records with pre-ordering available @ http://skindrone.bandcamp.com/album/evocation

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Pete RingMaster 10/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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27 Tons of Metal New England – Various

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And Bluntface Records do it again, thrusting the underground scene at the senses courtesy of another essential compilation of some of the most striking and potential drenched bands around. This time the US label is exploring the underground metal scene from New England, which on the evidence of 27 Tons of Metal New England, is simply writhing with great ravenous bands and sounds. The release is as diverse in styles as it is voracious in creativity and though with the amount of bands and metal subgenres involved personal tastes will obviously find a greater hunger for some over others, it is fair to say that the album from start to finish is a compelling treat with no weak spots, and all the more tastier for being completely free.

The encounter opens with Carnivora and a track taken from their outstanding EP, The Vision. Pessimist’s Tongue is the Danvers quintet at their full blistering best and weaving suggestive ambiences into subsequent tapestries of rabid vocals and rancorous intensity. Yet despite its almost cancerous intent and creative breath, there is anthemic energy and a web of searing adventure from the guitars involved, which in turn sparks addictively imaginative exploits from the band across the song’s corrosive landscape.

It is a scintillating start to the release pushed on by Alterius and their uncompromising melodic death metal trespass on the senses, A Citadel’s Demise. The song comes from the band’s latest EP Voyager, and merges classical overtones into its fluid brutal and seductive tempting. Like being serenaded whilst the beast tears your throat out, the track stalks ears and psyche setting in motion a keen appetite to know more, a success matched by Revere quartet Travel Amygdala and their aggressively smouldering Died by a Bullet. Entangling its inventive metal bred sound with progressive and grunge seeded imagination, the song aggressively crawls over the senses enticing and intimidating, especially as it builds in energy and tempestuous air. There is also a potent sludge feel to part of its character too, the thick prowls between forceful strides of creative and vocal drama carrying the strongest whiff, with ultimately everything uniting for one riveting proposition.

Bostonian black metal trio Ashen Wings comes next, the band’s raw and carnivorous sound a bracing magnetic scourge delivered to ears from Cancerous Bones. As insidious and ruinous as you can imagine, it also spawns a swing to its gait which only adds to the addictive proposal on offer before making way for the just as destructively virulent Scourge of the Hierophant from Sorrowseed. A blend of blackened death metal with a healthy vein of classic and melodic tenacity, the increasingly thrilling track smothers ears and appetite with pestilential persuasion whilst provoking the want to offer vocalist Lilith Astaroth some soothing for her surely shredded vocal chords.

band-contacts-page-127 Tons of Metal New England      Walk the Earth (No Longer) from sludge/doomers Conclave steps up next, the nine minute intrusion an accomplished and enthralling predation cast with rugged heavy riffs and heavily swiping rhythms, all lorded over by just as unpolished and alluring vocals. From their Breaking Ground EP, the song is as effective descending on ears in top gear or in crowding their walls with a lumbering and weighty provocation within a long but never less than thickly engaging incitement.

The same kind of hold is seized by Beneath The Burial next and their track In Memory, its fusion of hardcore ferocity and metal spawned sonic invention a fury of searing grooves, vocal animosity, and subsequently predatory imagination. As the album itself, there is a wealth of flavours emerging across the track musically and vocally, which only adds to the slow but fiercely burning persuasion of the song to inspire a want for more as it makes way for Skin Drone and God Complex. One of the few bands these ears had already come across and previously devoured, the duo of Bluntface Records founder Otto Kinzel and Erik Martin of Erik Dismembered and Critical Dismemberment unleash one of those examinations which you never know whether to fear or whole heartedly embrace, the latter always the chosen reaction of course. Like a sonic scavenger, the track vocally and musically spills its creative industrial/metal animus on to the senses within an evocative ambience which then inspires a melancholic exploration of emotive and creative expression. The song is a cauldron of inventive sound and emotional intensity, a rich picking for those with an avant-garde side to their preferred examinations.

The scorching designs and temperament of Dirty Birdy from metalcore furnace Don’t Cross the Streams is next; band and track a scarring addictiveness which without springing major surprises has ears and heavy enjoyment sealed from the first clutch of seconds. Their triumph is quickly backed by Stoughton power/progressive metallers Forevers Fallen Grace and Clarion of Regret, another song which needed warming to before its potent expanse of craft and enterprise became an inescapable hook, and after them Makavrah with the excellent Awakening The Ancients. The Peterborough hailing doomsters have a sound which is dangerously mesmeric, a senses meddling sonic bewitchment which as shown by its twelve minutes of evolving soundscape, is hex like in its ingeniously dramatic and creative exploration. With echoes of Show Of Bedlam to it, the track is one delicious incessant crawl.

The industrial endeavour of Isolated Antagonist more than lives up to its offering’s title next, Infection a contagious causticity of sound and emotion with vocals to match as it worms under the skin and into the psyche with lingering rewards, whilst the following Composted bring a carnal presence and hostility into the equation with their track OB/GYN O.G. The band’s death metal onslaught has the voracity of thrash and swagger of groove metal to it, and as hungry hues only help to create an immense and irresistible corruption.

Both Charlestown sextet Untombed and Mike Kerr Band keep the riveting roar of the album going, the first with their groove and antagonism loaded death metal antipathy, Criminal Inception. Savage and violently catchy, the track is another which is maybe not gripped by original exploits but is one spilling a fresh venom which leaves a great many of fellow emerging genre bands in the shade whilst its successor is the title track from its creators recently released new album The Truth of the Lion and features Texan vocalist Adrienne Cowan and Jim Oliveira in its classic/melodic metal lure.

Power groove metal is on the agenda next through Before the Judge and their track Bobby D. With a highly agreeable nag of riffs and grooves lining its erosive blaze, the song stirs the blood band-contacts-page-2_RingMaster Reviewwhilst pouring more diversity into the compilation, variety further expanded by The Aberration and their track Bologna Skins are the Next Big Thing. The band consists of Travis O’Connell (guitar) and Jim Cole (drums), an instrumental duo creating, on the evidence of their contribution, compelling proposals of snarling progressive metal loaded with uncompromising attitude.

Melodic death metal quartet My Missing Half scars air and ears next with The Lives I’ve Ruined, a song with essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and At the Gates to it whilst finding its own magnetically inventive nature. The track leaves emotions and senses breathless but hungry for more as so many on the release, including Seeds of Negligence and their maelstrom of varied and inhospitable metal posing as The Reaper. The song is a bruising and vicious temptation of death, groove, thrash, and progressive strains of extreme metal, an incendiary incitement sparking a lust for further confrontation.

Dover trio Cactus Hag drags the listener back into a rich immersion of sludge and doom invasiveness with Grand Lodge of the Mirage, the track an insidious erosion snuffing out light and hope whilst sparking just as strong enjoyment. Its smothering rancor is contrasted by the brighter and superbly volatile adventure of G.O.G. from Side Effects May Include, the song another entwining a mass of different styles into its individual tempest of heavy rock and creatively rabid metal, and another only leaving the urge to go explore in their wake. Which is something which also applies to Pelham’s Epicenter and the thrash fuelled insurgency of See Through. With strands of alternative and groove metal to its robust and tenacious exploits, the track is as anthemic as it is strikingly inventive, and amongst admittedly many, an instinctive favourite.

band-contacts-page-3_RingMaster Review     Fog Wizard get body and passions inflamed again with Fear the Kraken, a rapacious prowling built like Sabbath meets Motorhead with the attitude of Stuck Mojo and the combined snarl of Slayer and Black Flag. One slab of real pleasure is replaced by another and the abrasive kaleidoscope of sound unveiled by Sonic Pulse through Defenders of the Good Time. A brawling festival of power and thrash metal with a flurry of heavy and classic metal hues for greater captivation, the track is a ferocious blaze equipped with drama, familiarity, and inescapable bait.

The heavy weight slab of talent is brought to an impressive end by a trio of bands to also keep a close eye on, starting with the bestial sound of extreme metallers Graveborn. Their mercilessly hellacious and skilled Leviathan is sheer sonic and rhythmic savagery with just as brutishly varied vocals, and another big enticement before heavy/thrash metal Verscythe prove their classic seeds in the richly magnetic Land of Shells.

Completed finally by Vacant Eyes and the melody sculpted funereal death/doom exploration that is The Dim Light of Introversion, a track thick in atmosphere and haunting trespasses for a darkly compelling seducing, 27 Tons of Metal New England is an intensive journey through the depths and expanses of New England’s underground metal scene. It is one of the most extensive and rewarding compilations in a long time which from start to finish, enthrals and assaults, entices and transgresses. If any metal fan does not come away from the encounter with at least a handful of new lusts we would be amazed. So no dawdling, go and get one of the biggest and best free treats of the year,

27 Tons of Metal New England is available for free download @ http://bluntfacerecords.com/27-tons-of-metal-new-england

RingMaster 06/07/2015

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

Erik Dismembered – Darkness Within EP

 

artwork by Robert Mallinson,

artwork made by Robert Mallinson,

 

As much as music should entertain and excite, it should also challenge. Whether it is physically or emotionally, the most thrilling and impacting encounters have been those which leave lingering imprints on thoughts and feelings whilst taking the listener to places they probably do not want to go. One such incitement is the Darkness Within EP from Erik Dismembered, an exploration of inner demons and external provocations breeding the merciless depths of its title. It is also a masterful weave of sound and imagination, a testing some will embrace, others fearfully flee, but all will be left locked in thought and self-awareness.

Erik Dismembered is the solo project of Arizona musician Erik Martin, better known to date as part of death metal duo Critical Dismemberment and the extreme-metal/industrial pairing of Skin Drone. His own project is a unique exploration compared to those bands though there is the same hunger to push and challenge not only the listener but his own creative limits. Erik Dismembered pulls on a vast array of flavours and textures, some familiar as in his other bands, but predominantly they are unexpected essences and styles woven one startling creative experiment.

Lyrically and emotionally each track within Darkness Within plays like stark slithers of insight into a bigger darker picture; themes such as addiction, love, hate, anxiety, and depression combining to create not exactly psychotic but certainly turbulent protagonist(s) explored by the release. How personal to Erik the premise and experiences within tracks are only he can tell but there is an intimacy which is shared by creator and recipient that hits hard, openly, and truthfully.

The EP opens with A Deal with the Devil, a track also featuring Critical Dismemberment band mate Chase Fincher. A guttural roar opens things up, swiftly accompanied by a gentle electro beckoning. The returning raw vocals keeps that initial edge and intimidation blazing as guitars add their sonic tempting to an increasingly tempestuous ambience. Industrial and metal essences entangle within the growing magnetic landscape whilst electronic flirtation bubbles vivaciously across their dark web. There is an agitation to it all also, the lighter and shadowed elements showing an emotional unease which especially coats the lyrical persuasion and erupts forcibly in the outstanding Anxiety.

A melodic electronic shimmer make the initial coaxing, it’s haunted breath the invitation to incessant beats and the whispered anxiousness of Martin to engage the imagination. Scything strokes of guitar aligned to heavier vocal tones erupt soon after, pungent beats adding more sinew to their potency before keys burst into a blaze of harsh electro/industrial tempting with a feel of God Destruction and Bestias De Asalto to it. As Martin shuffles thoughts and options in the lyrical incitement, the earlier dark calm returns before again it all build to an unstoppable emotional crescendo and raw physical expulsion. The feeling of entrapment within feelings and external/internal pressure is superbly exposed by the song, almost leaving the listener also struggling to breathe through solicitude in its wake.

Diamond Eyes floats in next, acoustic guitar accompanying a vocal caress to mesmerise ears before evocative strings and piano seduce with their orchestral elegance. The vocal romance has its own shadows; an undefined dark hue which lies enthrallingly within the poetic charm of the song, keeping thoughts intrigued and busy before the EP’s title track takes over and immediately lays down a colder, starker scenario. Black depths expel their fears in voice and sound, grasping at shards of piano spawned light, clinging to it with hope but swallowed by the festering shadows clawing at psyche and emotions. There is no escaping the power and intensity of words and tone, and again you wonder if only those with intimate experience can achieve this potency in their music.

Most tracks stop with abruptness, their space instantly taken over by its successor and where that feeling of songs being glimpses, parts of a larger almost unstable picture emerges. Darkness Within is an example its sudden end quickly the unrelated start of Desecration of a Corpse, itself a caustic roar of industrial and corrosive magnetism. Melodies float as sonic ferocity sizzles and tempestuous vocals spread raw angst across a discordant electronic shuffle. It is transfixing, a mesmeric and uncomfortable consumption of ears and thoughts in sound and words which only leaves a fierce appetite for more.

The EP closes with the haunting Weary Hearts, a tender emotional kiss on the senses which in some ways is the most disturbing song on the release such its immersive strength and ghostly reflections. It makes for a riveting end to an outstanding encounter, a release which takes on an exploration which is unafraid to bare its darkest corners and soiled emotions, but are you brave enough to join it is the question?

The Darkness Within EP is available now as a free download @ http://bluntfacerecords.com/erik-dismembered-music

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RingMaster 06/05/2015

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