Abstracter – Wound Empire

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Thrusting the listener into a doomed physical and emotional landscape, a stark yet compelling void, US doomers Abstracter enchant and suffocate with the impressive Wound Empire. Four tracks to immerse within gleefully whilst expanding into the darkest corners of the psyche, the forty minute long album is a tantalising and fearsome journey though the rawest of climates over uncompromising wastelands.

Wound Empire is the successor to debut album Tomb of Feathers; a new encounter which those in the know suggest finds the Oakland band taking their already acclaimed sound to further reaching intensive heights. Breeding their own bordering on hallucinatory soundscapes within Wound Empire from inspirations which range from essences of Godfesh, Swans, and Neurosis to His Hero is Gone, Blut Aus Nord, Dystopia, and Darkthrone, Abstracter recorded their release with Greg “The Wizard of Doom” Wilkinson (Brainoil, Iron Lung, High On Fire, Noothgrush, OM, Atriarch) last year. Continuing their “fascination with concepts of human decline, cultural and industrial ruin, and complete social collapse,” the band swiftly engulfs and incites from the release’s first breath.

Lightless opens on a sonic breeze, broadening its haunted cold presence through raw caresses of guitar and a resonating heavy bass tone. As the whole of the album’s proposal, the track is a slow expansion of sound but every note and heavy lure offers a potent piece in an emerging picture. Once in full caustically scenic view, riffs gnaw and beckon with corrosive breath and infectious nature whilst the bass turns carnivorous in sound and predation as it prowls the track’s primordial terrain. Oppressively heavy and crushingly merciless, the doom drenched offering surprisingly has a potent swagger and contagiousness to its unsettling presence, a catchiness to enthral and grip ears and body as imagination and emotions are buffeted and ignited by the sonic enterprise.

There is no respite from the cavernous depths and cold of the climate evolved in its predecessor as Open Veins follows; the blackened sludge reaped tar of sound and coarse emotions a FINAL_ABSTRACTER_jacketmelancholic poison seeping over flesh and thought whilst crust caked vocals roar and slowly squally within the invasive doom. Slim but toxic grooves only add to the allure and detached nature of the track, their minimalistic but rich tempting a vine to grip as the rest of the sounds and vocals groan with the breath of hell.

The transfixing presence of Cruciform comes next and by this point the realisation that Wound Empire should definitely be taken as one fluid dose rather than individual apocalyptic descents into glacial prisons is evident. It is fair to say that the track holds none of the almost welcoming traits of its predecessors but still has some form of catchiness to its flight into the heart of the soulless; its sounds binding as they erode air and senses with caustic persistence.

Wound Empire is concluded by Glowing Wounds, a calmer slightly celestial tempting which still remains encased in an immense doom sculpted embrace. The track is as meditative as it is sonically fierce, a lingering flight across radiant hopes but accompanied by an insidious hold of unrelenting blackened malevolence. A masterful end to a seriously riveting encounter, song and album will not be an easy fit for all, but offers a thought and emotion provoking arousal each can take something from. In the dark times and world which encroaches on us all, it is releases like this and its groan of hell rather than most tirades of words which brings the cold reality home.

Wound Empire is released in the US and Europe on February 10th 2015 digitally via Sentient Ruin Laboratories @ http://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/wound-empire, on cassette through Sentient Ruin Laboratories and An Out Recordings, on CD by COF Records, and in vinyl version by Fragile Branch Recordings in the US and Vendetta Records, 7Degrees Records, and Shove Records across Europe.

http://abstracterband.com/

RingMaster 10/02/2015

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Grizzlor – When You Die EP

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With so many releases presenting themselves each and every week it is easy for a fair few gems to slip under the radar without an additional nudge in their direction. Such would probably have happened with the When You Die EP if drummer John from its creators, the noise/dirt rock trio Grizzlor, had not offered an invitation to check out the four-track treat. Released via Money Fire Records, the EP is a raw and ravenous cauldron of noise and voracious intensity which is also unafraid to throw in the heaviest sludge bred endeavour and toxically seductive grooves. There is plenty more to their abrasing tempest of sound too, all revelling in the fuzz filtered tempest the band casts over the senses.

Hailing put of New Haven, Connecticut, Grizzlor was formed in 2013 with vocalist/guitarist Victor and bassist Wade alongside John. Their self-titled debut provided the first statement of noise last year whilst 2014 opened with the release of its successor We’re All Just Aliens, both providing great early hints and clues to the growing emergence and evolution of a sound which has hit a new plateau within When You Die. The band’s third EP can and should be the gateway to the broadest spotlight for the band, as long as there are plenty to nudge it in the direction of unsuspecting ears like ours were previously.

No Time sets the corrosive carnival of predacious sound off in gripping style, its first breath thick voracious smog of crunchy riffs and rumbling rhythms cast in a grizzled throated bass embrace which alone has the juices leaking. Bass and guitar make a ridiculously compelling bait, at times almost Morkobot like in its uncompromising persuasion, whilst the equally raw and honest tones of Victor and the pungent web of beats from John only adds to the lure and drama of the encounter. Grooves flirt from within the oppressive sludginess of the song whilst sonic temptation within the psyche rock seduction of the tempest, is as sultry as it is mesmeric.

The outstanding start leads into the psychotic bedlam that is Plaster Cowboy, manic squalls from Victor the prelude to a rampaging stroll of meaty jabbing beats and an impossibly addictive a3850649878_2bassline. It is soon immersed in a caustic mesh of guitar abrasion, the song twisting and launching in unpredictable and riveting style like a mix of The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Melvins, and KEN Mode. There is also in many ways an element of the senses grazing rabidity which drives The Mad Capsules Markets to the sonic turbulence and tenacity spilling from within the songs creative fury. Adding a delicious strain of surf rock to its melodic acidity too, the track soon steals top honours on the release though it is soon rivalled by the salacious scuzz tempting of Stoned where sludge and noise collude with garage punk and again a surf bred devilry for a compelling seducing of ears and imagination alongside a lingering erosion of the senses.

Closing things up is Mini Spaceships, another provocation of chunky riffs and intensive rhythms ridden by antagonistic vocals. Once more that toxic surf tempting is permeating every pore whilst the seriously captivating ferocity of the beats and grizzly riffs leaves a deep hunger for much more.

There is nothing polished and arguably welcoming to When You Die yet it is one of the most gripping and inescapable joys of the year. It offers music in its rawest and most primal ingenuity with an invention and devilry which only ignites the passions. Noise rock has a new heir to its throne and it is called Grizzlor.

The When You Die EP is available now via Money Fire Records digitally or on 7” vinyl @ http://grizzlordestroys.bandcamp.com/ or http://moneyfirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/when-you-die

http://www.facebook.com/grizzlordestroys

RingMaster 23/12/2014

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Twingiant – Devil Down

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There is smog like quality to the sound of US band Twingiant which invades every pore and corner of the senses with voracious appetite; within that thick immersion though the band infuses a searing melodic veining and smouldering enterprise to leave the imagination keen and appetite even hungrier. They describe their sound as simply loud and heavy, but as shown by new EP Devil Down, it is also bracingly flavoursome and rigorously compelling.

Devil Down is also uncompromising in its touch and intensity, Twingiant blending fiery stoner and heavy rock with imposing sludge richness for an inflammatory and predatory cauldron of sound. Formed in 2010, the Phoenix, Arizona based quartet drew keen attention with debut album Mass Driver two years later and last year’s Sin Nombre EP. Their success only backed and reinforced the band’s live stature which has seen them persistently impress and inflame audiences whilst sharing stages with the likes of Windhand, Pallbearer, Weedeater, Intronaut, Metal Church, Satan’s Satyrs, Guttermouth, Black Tusk and numerous more. Now with their self-released and produced Devil Down EP, the band look poised to awaken a more momentous spotlight upon themselves. May be it is not a release to ignite a explosive blaze within thunderous rock ‘n’ roll climes but it Devil Down is certainly a fierce proposition to firmly thrust Twingiant upon a broader landscape of attention.

The striking presence of the release begins with the instrumental Old Hag. Starting from a restrained and elegant flame of immediately enthralling enterprise and craft, the track grows within the ears as its melodic acidity and sultry charm creates a spark for the imagination to run with and explore. There is also a sinister edge to the invention and sonic beauty fuelling the track, the guitars of Tony Gallegos and Nikos Mixas providing a highly suggestive soundscape and narrative courted by raw shadows provided by the gripping rhythms of drummer Jeff Ramon and bass predation from Jarrod Le Blanc. It is a transfixing proposition which as it reaches its finale, digs into a new texture of aggressive tenacity and attitude.

The impressive start is followed by Dead To Rights, a track striding forcibly with a combative swagger from its first second. Loaded with just as magnetically swinging grooves it soon adds theDD Front Cover (1) coarse texture of Le Blanc’s vocals to the mix, his tones strong without blowing anyone away but with their generally minimalistic presence in the context of songs, they make the perfect incitement to the blistering tempests of around him. A brawling eruption of skilled endeavour and resourceful voracity, the song makes way for the carnivorously toned Daisy Cutter. From its first breath the bass growl is carnally bestial and soon matched by the thickly gravelled vocals. Heavy metal seeded grooves entwine the intensive weight and prowl of the song, at times taking over with their engaging flames and mouth-watering beauty, though the scuzzy hostility of the bass is a constant prowling intimidation ensuring every twist comes with its share of menace.

Through The Motions is another enslaving instrumental and with no slight on Le Blanc’s vocals, these are the tracks where the listener can really play and immerse into the creative emprise of engagements and release. They are a canvas for the imagination and emotions to dance freely, and this track a virulent persuasion weaving sizzling strands of sonic and melodic temptation with inventively rabid rhythms for a fascinating evocation, a tapestry for thoughts to cast adventures with.

Tiger Lily suffers a little being sandwiched between its predecessor and the next up instrumental, but still provides a feisty and aggressive enterprise of heavy footed riffs and spicy grooves to persistently enjoy. There is something missing though, a spark which evades even the enticing twists and shifting textures within the song, and whilst it is a potent companion it does not linger around as other tracks on the album, and especially like Under A Blood Moon. The third instrumental is the best, a sultry twang to guitars an immediate seduction which only grows as melodies and grooves embrace the flavouring for their own infectious web of wonderfully unpolished and organic temptation. Once more it is a piece which simply ignites ears and imagination into eager life, every diverse flavour and note seemingly a seed to expanding adventures, especially the dark beauty of strings at its conclusion.

Devil Down ends with its title track, a bruising prowl of heavy metal and sludge rapacity aligned to groove and noise rock causticity. It is a predator, an emotionally blackened stalking which lumbers and crawls with the varied creativity of the guitars its light and merciless rhythms its teeth. The song is an immense end to an outstanding release, where even though for personal tastes the instrumentals steal the show, every track is an almost primal incitement to want plenty more from Twingiant, a band whose stock and presence surely from this point will be infesting the world’s full awareness.

The self-released Devil Down is available on vinyl from 2 December @ http://twingiant.bandcamp.com/album/devil-down

A cassette version of Devil Down will be released via Medusa Crush Records on February 7th.

http://twingiant.com/

RingMaster 02/12/2104

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American Heritage – Prolapse

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With the departure of vocalist/guitarist Adam Norden following its recording, Prolapse from American Heritage might be the last thing heard from the Chicago band, but if this is so what a way to go out. It is a beast of a proposition, a tsunami of controlling grooves, belligerently aggressive rhythms, and a primal force of voice and breath. It is bullying mass of provocation and passion, a lingering statement from what will be a sorely missed band if there is to be no more.

Consisting of six new tracks and three covers brought in the fusion of thick sludge metal, imagination binding mathcore, and abrasing noise rock/hardcore ferocity the quartet is renowned for, the successor to acclaimed 2011 album Sedentary, uncages a caustic savaging which rivals anything they have unleashed before. Recorded with Sanford Parker and released through Solar Flare Records, sixth album Prolapse quite simply brings the band’s presence since 1996 to an incendiary and exhilarating end.

From the first sonic blast of opener Eastward Cast the Entrails, band and album has ears and attention severely grasped, the punishing initial touch leading into a bruising maelstrom of ferocious rhythms, corrosive riffs, and brawling vocals. Within the tempest though grooves raucously flirt and technical prowess seduces, the track increasingly expanding and flourishing in the imagination and emotions. Equally as it grows contagiousness coats the tenacity and enterprise of the guitars and rhythmic antagonism, the provocation becoming as seductive as it is hostile ensuring an insatiable and explosive start to the album swiftly matched by its successor.

Anxious Bedwetter roars and assaults with the entwined charm of Corrosion of Conformity, Mastodon, and Agnostic Front, it swiftly buffeting and igniting emotions with a torrential american_heritage_prolapseonslaught of raw riffery and rhythmic violence cast by drummer Mike Duffy. Again though there is a virulent temptation from scorching melodies and spicy grooves at work, all as uncompromising as the heart of the encounter but spreading irresistible magnetic toxicity. Vocally Norden leaves no syllable and emotion untainted by venom and anger whilst his and fellow guitarist Scott Shellhamer’s sonic temptation is simply bracing.

The pair of Obliviocrity and Constant and Consuming Fear of Death and Dying make no compromises on the senses, the first from another debilitating sonic squall and with nostrils flared, rampaging through ears on a breath-taking sonic turbulence and rhythmic inhospitality. To the destructiveness though again grooves are enflamed with a melodically brewed acidity and creative spice which invigorates and sears the senses. Its quick hellacious ravishment is contrasted by the prowling presence of the second of the pair. Reaped from the predatory essences of doom and sludge, the song crawls provocatively over the listener, imposing and oppressing in its air whilst exploring a brighter terrain of engaging melodies and radiant invention. There is still a menace to its raw beauty though, the band finding the same kind of dark allurement which has blessed the music of Killing Joke over the decades, bassist Erik Bocek, a constant primal enticement across the whole release, bringing forceful heavy seduction to the body of the song.

The hardcore severity always lurking within American Heritage is given full rein in the outstanding Mask of Lies next, the track a furnace of spite and rage with flesh flailing rhythms and riffery to match. It is a savaging you can only embrace and invite back time and time again, much as the next up Blackbird, it a hellacious forging of hardcore, punk, and noise rock rancor with psyche twisting invention. The track is a glorious predator and the pinnacle of the album, a relentless creative scourge which just has you drooling for more and ears and emotions exhausted.

The departure of the triumph is the start of the trio of covers on the album, starting with the outstanding take of the Descendents track Hürtin’ Crüe. It is an erosive swamp of sonic and vocal intensity, a merciless blaze with the charm of a public flogging and quite irresistible. It is followed by the Black Flag track Thirsty and Miserable, American Heritage treating it to their own kind of barbarous enterprise and stormily inventive bad blood before moving on to Bulletproof Cupid, the Girls Against Boys encounter. Openly salacious from its first vocal caress and fiercely imposing as soon as its first note preys on ears, the song is a delicious sinister seduction and dare one say even more potent than the original.

The track brings another unmissable offering from American Heritage to a fine close. What will be missed is the band’s presence, that realisation reinforced by Prolapse as it scars the senses whilst sparking a big tinge of sadness. Things move on and you just feel further raw adventures will be ahead in some guise from the members of the band, something very easy to breed an excited anticipation for, especially after this grand finale.

Prolapse is available now digitally and as CD and vinyl versions via Solar Flare Records @ http://music.solarflarerds.com/album/prolapse or http://americanheritage.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/americanheritageband

RingMaster26/11/2014

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Hombre Malo – Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath

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Pic: catty stone

 

Full of uncompromising fury and unbridled belligerence, Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath the new album from Norwegian band Hombre Malo, is an incendiary device to ignite the imagination and passions. Its explosive nature and severe hostility is not for the faint hearted but sandwiched between opening and closing tracks which made potent and sizeable impressions there lays a cauldron of blistering enterprise and virulent hostility to take the breath away. Creating a tempestuous fusion of hardcore and noise rock with stoner and sludge metal, Hombre Malo has unleashed a beast of an album which is sure to make a relatively unknown band a talking point in a broader expanse of mouths.

Hailing from Oslo, Hombre Malo was formed in 2008 by ex-members of Sons of Saturn and Ictus and features current members of MOE and Okkultokrati. The quartet since starting has splits with bands like Jack and the Bearded Fishermen, Desert Icons, and Sofy Major under their belt as well as their 2009 debut album The Ecstasy Of Devastation. All have bred acclaim and eager attention though it is easy to feel that Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath will be making the strongest impression for the band so far. Recorded with Ruben Willem and mastered by Brad Boatright (High On Fire, Ringworm, Nails), the band’s second album is a provocation from a band which you just feel relishes the turbulence they are going to create in the ears, thoughts, and emotions of their listeners.

Opener L’Etranger instantly casts stoner-esque grooves around ears as the album begins its conquest, their spicy coaxing matched by punchy beats designed again to grab attention. It is an inflammatory start for the imagination which loses a little of its potency when relaxing into a heavy and intensive stroll, though that small relinquishing of intrigue is compensated by the caustic tones of The Muerto, his throat spilling venom and spite with every forced syllable. With rises of rhythmic endeavour and the still virulently enticing grooves, the track has a firm hold as it continues to merge hardcore and punk with its sludgy tsunami of noise.

As mentioned earlier it is a strong start flooded with potential, as the band, but not able to inflames senses and passions as its successors begin to do from hereon in, starting with Crosses And hombre_maloMarching Feet. Striding from the news sample bulging link connecting the first two tracks, the song bawls and then brawls with ears as a crescendo of agitated beats and riffs fling themselves at the senses, all guided by again corrosive vocal squalls. Like a furnace sculpted by Melvins, Kunz, and Unsane, the track is all out assault of sonic voracity and creative mayhem honed into a deranged and addictive maelstrom.

Its success though is just a taster for the album’s pinnacle, the sensational Golden Calf. Again the song evolves from its predecessor, a great tendency of the release, and is soon crawling over the psyche with its corruptive rhythms and sonic unpredictability. Just as swiftly as the violent temptation takes hold, a swagger comes to grooves and beats, a swinging lure complimenting the equally infectious eruptions of bruising mass vocals. The further into its body it takes ears the more gripping the blaze of punk rock bred antagonism and predation aligned to psych rock ingenuity. Like a mix of Poison Idea and fellow Oslo band Shevils, the track is a vicious contagion which with a cleaner vocal delivery and unrelenting splinters of sonic taunting and teasing, simply ignites ears.

A darker sludge spawned turn to the album comes next through Vladislav, a track inspired by the homophobic murder of 23-year-old Russian Vladislav Tornovoi. The song prowls the senses from the start, riffs and grooves weighty and predacious intimidation stalking the listener. It is a constant pressure and oppressive enticing offered by the seven minute track, from its first breath to last a senses smothering provocation equipped with a carnivorous bass tone and raw vocal expression to match similar toxicity cast by the guitars. It too finds a catchy character within itself so that by its end it is stomping with a virulent suasion before making way for the punkish roar of Reaching The Shore. With the sonic voracity of a Coilguns to its hardcore truculence, the song scowls and boils with spiteful enterprise and abrasing intensity before it too has to part for its outstanding successor.

Elena, from a melancholic and abrasive melodic start which is portentous and seductive simultaneously, detonates a ravenous and sonically disorientating expulsion which soon settles into a no less uncompromising but more ordered creative shuffle. It is another song where it explores a contagiousness to grip feet and imagination whilst gnawing upon and spilling toxicity over senses and emotions. It is a glorious and hellacious ravishment which reveals even more of the incredible potential and already accomplished devilry in the band’s songwriting and sound.

The album finishes on the epic Deathbed Conversation, a track which flies from the traps with thrilling caustic ferocity. It is an engrossing storm, though when it slips into a provocative and darkly emotive exploration of its central character’s narrative amidst a haunting ambience and ethereal melodies, it lacks the inescapable grip of its predecessors if not the intriguing and impressing invention. Nevertheless it is a fine and potent end to an excellent incitement, a release suggesting that there is still much more to come from the depths of Hombre Malo, whilst establishing the band as one tremendous onslaught right now.

Persistent Murmur Of Words Of Wrath is available now via Disiplin Media @ https://disiplinmedia.bandcamp.com/album/persistent-murmur-of-words-and-wrath

https://www.facebook.com/hombremalo666

RingMaster 14/11/2014

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No Way – Sing Praises

Pic  Tony Stanley

Pic Tony Stanley

From sound and presence to voracity and appeal, there is nothing lightweight about the debut release From US band No Way. The four-track Sing Praises EP is a brute of an introduction to the Brooklyn quartet, a compelling and enslaving tempest of noise and invention fusing thick essences of noise and punk rock with those of sludge and heavy melodic rock. Some bands seem to instinctively tune in to the listener’s wants and primal needs, and it is fair to say that No Way certainly fed and intensively satisfied ours.

No Way was formed in 2012, swiftly making their mark on the New York punk scene. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Helmet and Unsane, the band were soon sculpting their own distinct presence and sound, unafraid to infuse varied styles and raw spices into the mix of sound mentioned earlier. Their live reputation has also grown from those early potent days with the foursome sharing stages with bands such as Whores., Fight Amp, Black Tusk, Inter Arma, American Sharks, Cancer Bats, Naam and White Hills. That attention will only be broadened and strengthened by the release of Sing Praises, the Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Pelican, Shrinebuilder) recorded and Carl Saff (Young Widows, Helms Alee, OFF!, Kowloon Walled City, Big Business) mastered proposition an imposing slab of prime sonic and rhythmic beef flavoured with an imagination and a creative intrigue to get the taste buds singing.

The release looms up on ears with opener The Cutting and within a breath is walling them in with bulging riffs and debilitating rhythms. It is an imposing start but only the teaser to greater things as warped sonic scythes from guitars coveradd to the brewing mayhem. Vocalist Chuck Berrett is as a formidable a presence as the song itself, his raw and growling tones an instant lure complimenting and inciting further the rugged turbulence around him. At its heart there is the inventiveness of a Melvins to the song and the caustic beauty of a Cancer Bats whilst the core swagger to grooves is Coal Chamber bred, their swing reminding of the song Sway. It is a merciless seduction gnawing and flirting with thoughts and emotions, an immediate pinnacle matched straight away by Shake the Meat.

The second track makes a less intensive but just as gripping entrance, the guitar of Jordan Melkin coaxing ears and imagination with potent hooks as ripe and pungent beats from drummer Chris Enriquez provide an intimidating cage. Further enhanced and coloured by the throaty bass bait of Dave Maffei alongside the varied and fierce vocals, the track is an unpredictable and insatiable predator threatening and teasing with impassioned aggression and shadow bred, bordering on deranged enterprise. The riveting blaze is followed by the exceptional prowl and creative stalking of War Dance. It is a hypnotic proposition, a lone riff accompanied by this time more restrained tones from Berrett the initial drama; bait subsequently joined by merciless slaps from Enriquez and eventually stoner-esque hues within explosive roars. The song hunts the senses and psyche from start to finish, even its intermittent immersive and invasive sonic squalls a menace which increases the theatre induced by the engrossing single minded slim stalking either side of them

The track is scintillating and leaves the appetite greedier than ever so thankfully closing track Pastures / Abuelas is more than able to feed the hunger. Over eight minutes of imaginative tension, it is a rigorously captivating pursuit of the senses loading with vicious bass growls, savage riffs, and a sprawling thick sonic smog, all punctuated with a rhythmic resourcefulness which leaves ears bruised and emotions raw. There is also a psychedelic smearing to the atmosphere and inventive colour of the track but it is the hellacious and brutal ingenuity of the track, as well as the stoner bred grooves further into its adventure, which lingers longest and the deepest in the psyche. Dark and ravenous with greater menace in its restraint than a full-out assault could achieve, the track is a delicious immersion and challenge as well as another open side to No Way’s sound.

Sing Praises is an exceptional debut from a band with all the potential to be a potent and inspiring force ahead on the evidence of this stunning entrance. No Way seem to know what ears and instincts want in heavy, brutal, and incendiary exploratory sounds, and of course this is only the beginning….

The Sing Praises EP is available now digitally and on cassette @ http://www.nowayny.com

https://www.facebook.com/nowayny

RingMaster 07/11/2014

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Spider Kitten – Behold Mountain. Hail Sea. Venerate Sky. Bow Before

Spider Kitten

Claimed as an album which was never supposed to exist, Behold Mountain. Hail Sea. Venerate Sky. Bow Before definitely belies the spontaneous and undetermined emergence that the statement suggests. The three track release from UK doomsters Spider Kitten, in their words “was always meant as a filler for themselves and the ‘fans’ before the next full album.” What they have created is a masterful captivation of sound and invention which pushes their horizons and suggests that ultimately its birth was not as laid back as assumed, though equally it holds a freedom and flow to it which is organically spontaneous. It is a gripping and unpredictable slab of stoner flamed doom exploration, something which the Welsh band excels in, which for newcomers and fans alike reinforces the stature of Spider Kitten and more.

Formed in 2001, the Newport band is centred round vocalist/guitarist Chi Lameo and bassist/vocalist Alex White. Emerging as a duo, the band as years and releases came and went, has been a full septet and as now, an imagination sparking quartet featuring drummer/vocalist Chris West and guitarist Rob Davies alongside the founding pair. The band has numerous impressive releases under their belt but strangely and almost inexplicably Spider Kitten is still a treat within the shadows when it comes to breaching the fullest spotlight within British rock. Maybe the new encounter will be the catalyst to broader attention and recognition, time will tell but it is certainly a striking and exciting incitement from the band which is sure to whip up a storm of acclaim somewhere.SKDigiPromoCover

Lyrically and musically inspired by Norse Sagas and Eddas, the release also features guests in the shape of guitarist Stuart ‘O.F.D.’ O’Hara (Acrimony, Iron Monkey, Blackeyeriot, Sigiriya) on opener Lindisfarena, and Charlotte Nichols (ex – Crippled Black Phoenix) who provides the heavy provocation of cello gracing final song Gore Swan. The first track launches on a gripping parade of predatory rhythms swiftly smothered in sonic causticity as guitars spray their endeavour. It is a tribal call to arms which instantly enslaves ears and imagination before suddenly relaxing into a just as tempestuous terrain of thick stoner enterprise and doom loaded predation. Vocals add their raw persuasion and colour next as the track spreads with almost toxic infectiousness across the senses, Lindisfarena insatiably swallowing thoughts and emotions with its riveting expanse of bass intimidation and sonic tenacity. Slow and lumbering but nimble on its feet in certain aggressive and inventive moments, the track is seven minutes plus of enthralling, bordering on visceral exploration.

The following Bearded Axe consumes ears with lowly slung grooves and stalking rhythms as vocal harmonies converge on the song’s corrosive ambience. It is a mesmeric assault, the track a ponderous beauty of bestial intensity and weight aligned to perversely radiant colour and temptation. For three minutes or so the track prowls and intimidates to fine effect but it is once sonic scythes split the body of the track, to be matched by carnivorous beats, that it grips an even greater plateau. Thick Kyuss like essences seduce in its maelstrom before a gentle caress of folkish charm leads the track towards the closing epic of Gore Swan. It is a transfixing bruising enticement which is surpassed by the journey, musically and lyrically, coming in the three parts of the last track. With ‘chapters’ Of the Land, Of the Sea, and Of the Sky uniting, the song is an evolving landscape of melodic scenery, ferocious confrontation, and imposing intensity. It never rests too long in one particular climate, each movement no matter its length a restless and fascinating tapestry of textures and sonically fuelled imagination. There is something of KingBathmat to the encounter, especially in its weave of evocative sounds and almost devilish ingenuity. The cello of Nichols is gorgeous as it crafts melancholic and bewitching shadowed tones as backdrop to hostile and calmer twists in the tale.

The track alone makes the album a must investigation, and locked in union with its companions helps provide another sensational proposition from Spider Kitten, a band which surely will eventually stand to the fore of doom bred, progressive caressed, sludge rich adventure.

Behold Mountain. Hail Sea. Venerate Sky. Bow Before is available now via Undergroove Records

http://www.spiderkitten.co.uk

RingMaster 28/10/2014

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