Prowler – From The Shadows

Prowler_RingMaster Review

Not to be confused with seemingly a handful of metal bands with a matching name, the Prowler unleashing new album From The Shadows, hail from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and create a rousing onslaught of horror fuelled heavy/thrash metal. Theirs is a sound which is maybe low on major surprises and high on familiarity, one unafraid to wear its inspirations on its blood soaked sleeve, but equally it only provides a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable escapade that hits the undemanding sweet spot time and time again.

Prowler began in 2010, releasing a quartet of EP’s which they subsequently brought together with an additional new track for their debut album After You in 2013. The band’s inspirations seem to stem from early Metallica and Anthrax, taking From The Shadows as an example, and indeed eighties thrash in general, essences twisted into sonic echoes and offshoots from horror movies of the same era. 2013 also saw the release of The New Blood EP, a well-received attention grabber in many ways sowing the accomplished and ravenous seeds for the Roger Lian (Slayer, Overkill, Pantera, Damageplan) mastered From The Shadows. As suggested the band’s new album does not particularly reshape the landscape or scenery of thrash metal but it does join a handful of genre releases this year which simply leave ears and appetite highly satisfied whilst uncaging anthemic fun easily luring limbs, neck muscles, and voice to get fully involved.

The album opens with R.O.T.L.D and the first of the individual film samples bookending each track within the album; here a slither of Return Of the Living Dead triggering a swiftly contagious rhythmic stroll. A riff and groove sculpted swing soon adds to the dynamic theatre and persuasion of the song, whilst vocally with a whiff of Wednesday 13 to his delivery, guitarist Patrick Best opens up the cinematic narrative. It is a raw and magnetic concoction with a horror punk scent brewing up its enmity within a thrash spawned prowl, and a rousing start to the album.

cover_RingMaster Review     The excellent track makes way for Out Of The Fog, riffs and beats encasing the opening sample just as the theme of the lyrics impose within the cinematic source. Keys soon add spicy colouring to the antagonistic prowl of sound whilst the bass of Shawn Bruce and beats of drummer Jak Sumwalt cast their own sinister and rampant cage. It is a predatory mix with plenty of enjoyable and generally unpredictable twists, and knowing the films seeding each track, as here, only adds to the theatre of it all.

I Am Wolf quickly hunts down the senses and psyche next; the throaty primal tone of the bass and the rapier like beats alone inciting ears and imagination whilst vocally Best is a protagonist with barker like appeal around the continuing samples which puncture the passage of the track. As the first pair of songs, the track is undiluted full-blooded thrash metal, easy to offer comparisons too but hard to dismiss as a pale imitation of anything.

The commanding and stirring beats of Sumwalt make an inspiring impact across the whole of the album, and at the start of the following The Thing Not Seen, simply stalking ears with a tribal come demonic stance and canter. Like the bass tempting offered continually by Bruce, which is just as potent across From The Shadows, there is a primal feel and air to the rhythmic provocation, one emulated in their own raw and spiteful fashion by vocals and searing guitar enterprise of Best.

Prowler next offer a cover of The Ramones track, Pet Sematary, the song given a heavy metal make-over fuelled by another thrash cast tempest of energy and sound. It is a more than decent and pleasing version but lacks something compared to the band’s own songs, which maybe is how it should be with any cover song, always being eclipsed by a band’s own invention as shown immediately by Return To The Lot. Another entwining rabid rapacity and a more stalker like gait to its primeval hell, the Salems Lot inspired ravishing captures ears and imagination with visceral ease, again not splintering into new domains but healthily feeding any wants from a thrash/horror punk fusion.

Death On Wheels carries a similar attack and growl to its predecessor and wears arguably the strongest Metallica/Anthrax sound of any song within the album, and through those aspects does not quite match what has already lit up From The Shadows. There is no denying though that it has ears and pleasure in full swing before leaving Creature Of The Black and its atmospheric entrance to work another enthralling tempting. Eventually the song grows into a muscular and savagely predacious offering with carnivorous rhythms and caustic grooves, and a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable album.

From The Shadows certainly offers little new but it certainly provides a festival of eighties aural and visual devilry with an attitude and snarl as nasty as the creatures central to each and every song. As mentioned earlier, it is enormous fun and that definitely works when looking for something to simply get the blood rushing through veins and emotions primed to take on the world.

From The Shadows is available digitally and on CD now via Slaney Records and @ http://prowlerhorror.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-shadows

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prowler-Metal/151137794901489

RingMaster 21/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Biotoxic Warfare – Lobotomized

Biotoxic Warfare PIC_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It would probably not be too unfair to say that Lobotomized is not overloaded with rich originality, though it has plenty of flavoursome exploits which stand out, but when it rocks like a barbarian smelling blood, which is most of the time, the debut album from Greek thrashers Biotoxic Warfare is one fiercely enjoyable and invigorating incitement. Wearing many of their inspirations on their sleeve, Slayer and Kreator more obvious ones, Biotoxic Warfare create the kind of hostility their name hints at but also weave in some juicy sonic imagination and temptation to ensure that every song within their first album offers unpredictability as well as spicy familiarity. The result is a compelling and thoroughly pleasing rampage to heartily recommend.

Hailing from Heraklion in Crete, Biotoxic Warfare began in 2012, drawing on the European and American thrash metal scene as well as the roots of the genre to create and hone their own ideation and sound. Making a potent impression on the Crete and Athens live scene soon after, the band released the Baptized In Blood And Greed EP in the April of 2013, its fury earning good reviews around the metal media. Live the band equally flourished, earning a potent reputation as they proceeded to support bands such as Suicidal Angels and Enforcer. 2014 saw the current line-up of vocalist Mike Kavalos, lead guitarist George Dimitrakakis, rhythm guitarist Stelios Sfendilakis, bassist Panagiotis Polioudakis, and drummer Orestis Drapaniotis in place and the recording of the band’s Vaggelis Theodorakis (Revolted Masses) mixed and mastered debut album.

Lobotomized Cover Art_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review    Lobotomized quickly works on ears and imagination with its opening instrumental Mors Indecepta. The piece is a swift scene setter, its prowling almost lumbering body dragging portentous hues around as rhythms crawl slowly and intimidatingly through ears. At the same time guitars spin an evocative web of sonic expression until it all comes to a point where it all erupts into a predatory incitement of ears and imagination. The track does not make an instant dramatic persuasion, even as it increases its weight and intensity minute by minute, but over listens becomes a rich and potent introduction. Its transition into Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies is not as fluid as one would wish but quickly forgotten as the second track from a demonic declaration, sends forth riffs and rhythms clad with brutal rabidity, though they quickly become entangled with highly alluring grooves. The track is soon really storming the barricades, its riffs almost punk like and its slithers of grooves pure tangy acidity around the caustic growling of Kavalos. There is familiarity to its hooks and driving riffery yet not of sources or styles expected which adds to the intrigue and fun, as does the slip into dark cavernous, almost doomy terrain.

The song is sheer anthemic magnetism but equipped with expectations throwing exploits and imagination that makes song and band something fresh, a characteristic exploited again in Baptized In Blood And Greed. Again a bestial prowl is the springboard to furious and anthemic tenacity from all areas of the band, the bass a primal invitation as thick and potent as the fiery endeavour of the guitars. Another inescapably rousing conflict, the song makes way for the darker saunter of Dsyphoric Reality. Well its entrance is a deliberate stroll; the rest of its torrential offering is soon after an unbridled and carnivorous trespass of ears and pleasure. As in most songs, an ever twisting gait breeds a compelling and contagious swagger around which the craft of both guitarists shine with their individual creative flaming, the bass on its own agenda to prey on the passions with a rabid snarl and addictive rancor.

Drapaniotis is a perpetual magnet and provocateur with his inventive and constantly evolving swings, as proven once again in the album’s title track, though he has to hold back whilst the song makes a mouth-watering and melodically charming entrance. The itch to uncage energy and antagonism is soon inescapable and drummer, band, and song are soon descending on ears and appetite with a tempest of rabid rhythms and ravenous riffs guided by the ever raw and enjoyable hostility of Kavalos, potently backed vocally by Dimitrakakis. It is the rolling contagion and spicy slithers of sonic invention which steal the show though with the virulence of the song pure slavery as too, as indeed the ingenuity of the guitars in setting off kilter almost post-punk like sparks to the outstanding encounter.

The gripping savagery of Lust For Hate is next, bringing more of the similarity between the surface actions of some songs within Lobotomized but quickly spearing and defusing it with its own imaginative and searing tapestry of sonic colour. Not quite matching previous songs, it leaves ears and satisfaction enjoyably full before Parasitic Life and finally As We Rot (Promises of Heaven) bring the album to a thunderous close. The first of the pair is waspish in its grooving, a tasty and welcome irritant leading into the warfare of the song and returning with regular invention and success whilst the track breeds even broader rhythmic and infectious shoulders for the guitars to blaze from. It is a scintillating proposal matched by its successor, the album closer a tsunami of intensity and barbarism within a whirlpool of unforgiving energy and twisting enterprise, and quite irresistible.

As suggested there is plenty to find yourself familiar with in Lobotomized but it does not stop the album throwing up one of the most invigorating and enjoyable metal releases this year. Biotoxic Warfare is thrash metal embracing the old and new whilst infusing its own spice of character and imagination. This might not rank as your best metal album of 2015 but it just could be your favourite thrash encounter.

Lobotomized is available now via Slaney Records and @ https://biotoxicwarfare.bandcamp.com/album/lobotomized

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Biotoxic-Warfare/427903787269059 https://twitter.com/biotoxicwarfare

RingMaster 23/06/2015

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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