Morass of Molasses – These Paths We Tread

The first album from UK trio Morass of Molasses has definitely been one encounter we have here been keenly anticipating, almost from the day the band first stepped forward with a couple of senses infesting, psyche twisting tracks. Their fusion of doom, sludge, and stoner bred textures served in a swamp of aural filth just fed all the instincts and continued to through their debut EP a few months after. Now we have These Paths We Tread to devour, an album which we will admit had us a touch unsure initially.

Instantly enjoyable, These Paths We Tread still had thoughts crowding to contemplate its new proposal of sound. Morass Of Molasses has lured their music from the filth infested depths of the swamp into a cleaner yet still aurally clinging landscape. That is not to say that it does not still come with a healthy coating of scuzz and doom lined dirt but it is a lumbering trespass of sound which is almost more celebratory than predatory. Quite simply their sound has matured, grown up even, and hindsight through listening back at certainly that last EP, So Flows Our Fate, shows it was an evolution on the cards even back then. To be honest we miss the filth but it has not stopped These Paths We Tread through time and listens blossoming into one seriously striking encounter loaded with the potential of even greater adventures ahead with the threesome of vocalist/baritone guitarist Bones ‘The Beard’ Huse, lead guitarist Phil ‘The Mountain’ Williams, and drummer Chris ‘The Beast’ West.

These Paths We Tread gets off to a mighty start with My Leviathan, its gentle caresses of melody and atmospheric waves a deceptive coaxing into the waiting jaws of colossal riffs and flirtatiously tangy grooves. Settling into a predacious crawl entwining raw causticity with salacious seduction, the song roams ears and imagination like a primal siren. Bones’ raw throaty roars share pure toxicity at times, his hostile tones matched by the punchy rhythms of West but tempered by his own calmer vocal tempting and the sonic web cast by Williams. Continually twisting through an array of perpetual incitement on ears and appetite, the track is glorious, its emerging funkiness icing on the feral cake.

Recent times has seen MOM tear into stages alongside the likes of Orange Goblin, Ohhms, Vodun, Elephant Tree, Desert Storm, Space Witch, Sea Bastard, Gurt, and Limb among many others, and there are essences of a few of these within second track So They Walk. Its grooves seep Orange Goblin/Kyuss like taunting whilst its irritable side has a Sleep like causticity, all merged into a distinct MOM recipe and a track like its predecessor which hits the spot with relish.

Continuing themes of “mythic sin and ancient archetypes”, album and next up Serpentine lyrically and musically bind the listener in evocative textures. The third track winds around ears with a dexterity and sonic adeptness emulating its title, grooves almost slithering across the imagination as rhythms bite. Bones’ warm if emotionally deceitful vocals contrast the underlying volatility of the track superbly, also erupting at times to spark a sonic wave fuelling greater weight and intensity throughout. It is a bewitching affair, not as instantly gripping as the first pair of songs but blossoming with every listen into an instinctive temptation before the brief incantation of The Ritual lures and the haunting presence of Centralia descends. A weave of stoner bred enterprise lined with provocative shadows and ghostly whispers as infectious rhythms drive a rolling canter, the second of the two is a well of suggestion coloured by the skilful adventure of Williams on guitar strings.

Next up Maenads is a psychosis of drama and sound, simultaneously enthralling and threatening with seduction and primal toning. It is fair to say, as the album, the track grows and infests deeper into the psyche with every taking of its inflamed intoxication; its melodic anaesthetic fascinating and feral instincts tantalising before things end with Wrath Of Aphrodite, a song which maybe did not quite spark the passions as richly as its companions yet has body and appetite for more bouncing to its groove woven, heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll.

Certainly for fans of the band, These Paths We Tread  will maybe need time to grow and develop on ears and thoughts though newcomers will find Morass of Molasses a quick persuasion we are sure. Yes we still miss the filth but the album blossoms into something thickly compelling and increasingly pleasurable; how stupid of us to doubt with those first thoughts.

These Paths We Tread is out now through HeviSike Records in various formats @ https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com and http://www.hevisike.com/product/morass-of-molasseslp

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Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Show Of Bedlam –Transfiguration

They may not be the most prolific of bands recording wise but without doubt when Canadians doomsters Show Of Bedlam uncage their creative imaginations and sonic dexterity it results in something truly irresistible and memorable. That claim is richly confirmed yet again with the band’s new seven track EP/mini album, the quite stunning and unnerving Transfiguration.

The Show Of Bedlam sound has never been solely confined by that doom tagging, their fusion of sludge, post hardcore and punk, and atmospheric malevolence a cauldron of raw and transfixing invention and suggestion but never has it been so mesmeric, bone-chilling, and psychotically arcane as within Transfiguration. The release is a furnace of raw emotion and intensity soaked in a suffocating beauty; the band creating an evocation of macabre intrigue and corrosive psychosis which if the Witchfinder General was still a figure of ‘responsibility’ would have Show Of Bedlam burning at the stake.

From their debut release as one half of the split Autocannibalist with Jucifer in 2009 to first album Roont in 2012 and now Transfiguration, Montréal hailing Show Of Bedlam has kept ears and fears waiting and richly rewarded. The time between releases has seen the band continue to nurture and hone, push and experiment with a sound which is instinctively unique and dramatically imposing. For all their previous successes, Transfiguration is easily the band’s finest moment to date and the moment they surely blossom from a widely known secret to a fully-fledged inspiration within the metal scene.

Twelve minute opener Blue Lotus immediately engulfs the senses with its sonic smog of intrigue and melodic discord; enticing and intimidating in equal measure as it crowds the listener ready for the equally haunting and inescapable prowess of Paulina Richards’ presence and voice. There is virulence to all the dark thoughts and visceral imagery escaping the stifling atmospheric density; infectiousness as easily trespassing body and thoughts as the psychosis of sound carrying it. With a gothic wash equally blossoming and recalling Xmal Deutschland at times, the glorious predator of a track swallows the listener with its tapestry of creative spite and despair simultaneously disturbing and invigorating with its oppressive magnificence and intimate examination of the senses.

Latest single Taelus swiftly follows, teasing ears with its melodic beckoning as beats wait to lay an occasionally anthemic hand on an already eager appetite. As a sample lurks, the song simmers and bubbles, bursting from its confines as vocals and guitars entwine in another caustic wash of sonic tempting stalked by the hungry rumblings of bass. As its predecessor, the similarly deceitfully catchy track is as descriptive sonically as it is vocally, every fresh wave and adventure of intensity and cunning a new twist in the nightmarish landscape painted note by note, syllable by syllable.

At two minutes plus, the album’s title track is a short and powerful insight into a blossoming defiance and turning of the worm within a rhythmically entrancing and gripping affair, inciting the senses physically and  emotionally before Hall of Mirrors rises from its slumber with carnivorous breath and intent. It crawls over the listener, dragging its sludgy weight and doomy intensity with rapacious relentlessness as Richards roars with unbridled emotive intensity and persuasion. It too ebbs and flows with energy and greater volcanic urgency, consuming the senses with lava-esque ferocity lined with more of the band’s contagious groove spited toxicity; it all leading to a climax which simply consumes all before it.

Lamentation offers a respite of sorts, its twenty odd seconds a detour into a fresh fly infested charnel house from which the oppressive elegance and invasive almost cancerous  tempest of Easter Water broods and escapes. With every passing second it looms up and imposes its weight and immersive embrace, bullying whilst igniting ears and imagination. Subsequent slips into less intensive though no less spine-chilling and fearsome pastures as well as the darkest corners only adds to the theatre of sound and its realm of the portentously obscure, and to the imagery festering and conjuring in the imagination.

Closed by the brief sonic ruin of L’Appel Du Vide, quite simply Transfiguration is glorious; daunting and alarming for sure but a sonically and emotionally distressed alchemy of sound and invention which leaves the majority of releases this year so far and easy to suspect to come, looking bland and uneventful. As the world falls further into disaster and decay, so Show Of Bedlam rises, their sound and new offering the perfect soundtrack and antidote.

Transfiguration is released May 12th through PRC Music and Sentient Ruin Laboratories with pre-ordering available now @ http://www.prcmusic.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1447 and https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/transfiguration

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Pete RingMaster 18/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hollow Leg – Murder EP

hollow-leg_RingMasterReview

With a new drummer on board, John Stewart (Bloodlet/Caribou King) replacing departed founding member Tim Creter, Florida doomsters Hollow Leg unveil a their two track trespass this March. An individual grumbling fusion of the doom/sludge fuelled metal the band has already been the subject of acclaim for, the Murder EP reveals a new fresh roar and growth in that proposition and, as suggested by its press release, emerges “the band’s strongest material to date”.

murder-final-cover_RingMasterReviewMixed by Sanford Parker and mastered by Collin Jordan, Hollow Leg starts its proposal with Raven. The initial volley of firm beats almost stalks the listener as the song makes its first move. A momentary breath then follows, opening the way for dirty riffs and scowling vocals to lay their hand on the senses as rhythms bring their heavily sinew bound incitement to bear on the blues scented, sludge fuelled consumption of ears. Shifting through the gears back and forth in attack, the track quickly becomes a grumbling treat; essences of the likes of Eyehategod, Weedeater, and Crowbar making tempting hues in the band’s provocative web of sound and texture.

The following title track is just as generously flavoured but veering towards the more stoner-esque side of their sludge/ doom collusion. Tangy grooves are swiftly entwining rapacious rhythms and eager ears, riffs a bed of controlled antagonism beneath them as vocals carry a more open snarl to their character. Though generally a more energetic proposal, the song does slip into moments of  lumbering doom threat only increasing its intensity and bait as melodies gather in the shadows waiting to provocatively dance on a subsequent passage of lighter flirtation before things return to the predatory incitement it all began on.

Both tracks bring a fresh wind to an already in place appetite for Hollow Leg and their compelling sound found through debut album Instinct a fair while back, and a keener anticipation for what is to follow.

The Murder EP is released March 3rd through Argonauta Records on all digital formats with a physical release to follow later in the year.

 

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Pete RingMaster 03/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raptor King – Dinocalypse

raptor_king_2016-23_RingMasterReview

As a new threat looms to trespass his domain Raptor V and his cohorts have risen again to take on the trespass. Raptor King are back with new EP Dinocalypse, a compelling successor to the well-received Dinocracy EP, to take on the new trespasser of their apocalyptic landscaped world.

Dinocalypse sees Raptor V, a dino king from the cretaceous era which ended up in 2015 via a temporal gate, once again linking up with his acolytes in guitarist Nightsmoke and drummer Don Coco to thwart new protagonist Pelletor. The Boulogne-Billancourt hailing outfit have also enlisted the guest help of bassist Strange Kid Armageddon and guitarist Indian Shredder for their second outing, a release showing a broader web of diversity in sound and bolder uniqueness in its character compared to its predecessor. As impressive and highly enjoyable as the first release form the band was, Dinocalypse easily and swiftly eclipses it in all departments.

The EP opens with its title track, Dinocalypse rising from its ‘sleep’ with a dawning of textures and essences, all entwining each other in a heated embrace until from its midst a thrash fuelled fury escapes. With the three pronged vocals as confrontational and belligerent as the riffs and rhythms surrounding them, things are soon a tempestuous assault challenging the listener as readily as the hunger of those in its tale to take on the invader of civilisation. Infectious grooves and brassy toxic flames add to the volatile and increasingly compelling mix of flavours and styles now colluding with bedlamic potency within the excellent starter.

pochette-raptor-king-dinocalyspe_RingMasterReviewThe dark lures of The Witch comes next, a web of sinister grooves and heavily swung beats gripping ears as a sludgy swamp of sound in a mutually thick climate envelops the senses. It is an alternatively rapacious seduction and invasive proposal veering further into the jaws of the latter as vocal and sonic antipathy boil up with a blackened edge to their intrusive attributes. Equally though, melody woven calm aligned to deception carrying elegance lures with siren-esque intent, a mercurial web of suggestiveness heading towards a devouring concluding tempest of extreme metal and grievous rock ‘n’ roll.

The Long Way To Rock (Pom Pom Pom Pom Pom) reveals its own infectious hand at spinning addiction sparking grooves and raw contagion next. A blend of melodic metal and rock with grungier tendencies in its intent, the song dances flirtatiously in the ears with vocals as varied and contrasting as the sounds alongside them. Whereas the first album was a collusion of truly familiar flavours and elements, the third song and the EP as a whole quickly reveals that exclusive nature and enterprise suggested earlier whilst still making for a proposition which roars like an old friend.

The stand-off between Raptor V and Pelletor is a raucous rumble in Fight’n’Roll, the track a riot of destructive and fiercely catchy rock ‘n’ roll embroiled in combative agitation. Corrosive and anthemic, the song simply hits the spot with hungry endeavour before leaving Lonesome Raptor to bring things to an excellent close. A melodic embrace around the reflective croon of Raptor V, it is a noir lit bluesy smoulder of seduction and another side to the imagination incited escapades with the release showing the striking growth of the Raptor King writing and sound.

Dinocracy majorly pleased last time around but Dinocalypse breaches a whole new landscape of craft and fun and as the closing seconds of its final track suggests is just the beginning of a new rousing conflict of bruising adventure to come and eagerly anticipate.

Dinocalypse is out now @ http://raptorking.bigcartel.com/product/dinocalypse-ep

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Pete RingMaster 28/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Into the Storm – Where the Merfalo Roam

Photo by Ken Lapworth (2015)

Photo by Ken Lapworth (2015)

Into the Storm is a band which gate-crashes your senses with a sound as savagely compelling as it is venomously intrusive. It is equally a proposal layered with an enterprise which ensures releases like the Seattle quartet’s new album, Where the Merfalo Roam, steals the imagination and defiles the psyche with ease.

Consisting of the band’s most adventurous and expansive tracks yet, Where the Merfalo Roam is an exploration or should that be fall into an abyss of “discontent, oppressive governments, dystopian eras, and the connection between the cycles societies go through.” A tar thick assault of sludge/doom rapacity unafraid to venture into bolder and starkly diverse strains of sound, the album is as openly inventive in its complexities as it is uncompromising in its raw animosity.

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Derek Moree, Where the Merfalo Roam opens with Truck Van Trailer, instantly trespassing ears with a dirty melody which subsequently ignites a barrage of bestial riffs and ravenous rhythms; yet there is a swing to them which tempers the violence and invites closer involvement. Dirt encrusted vocals bring their ire to the challenge just as quickly, scowling within the sonic and melodic toxicity cast by the guitars of Brant Kay and Matt Jahn and pure predacious ferocity sprung by bassist Oliver Reeves and drummer James Reeves. Becoming even more absorbing as the band break out a Cajun flavouring towards its end, the track is a mighty and riveting start swiftly matched across following tempests.

Ghostmaker is next, prowling the senses with ursine irritability and weight. A bruising punkiness adds to the track’s imposing weight and intensity reminding a touch of Pigs as it stalks and consumes as one primal entity yet reveals a tide of individually effective elements and textures. Its relentless tirade is contrasted by the doom lumbering of Seduced and Disappointed, a black melancholy again stalking the senses but in a slow, light vanquishing mass still prone to rabid eruptions. The two tracks show the variety fuelling the corrosive heart of the album, a diversity continuing within the torment ridden I Gotta Get the Bees Outta My Teeth and the bewitching unrest of Wellwisher. The first of the two sonically niggles and rhythmically pounds, combining both with emotional and multiple vocal antipathy as piercing guitars weave a web of captivating tension while the second is a melodic seduction around an emotional turbulence shared through the rasping angst of the vocals. The simmering beauty eventually boils up into a plaintive lava-esque squall with melodies still suggestively captivating as tempestuousness blossoms around them.

its-where-the-merfalo-roam_RingMasterReviewFeaturing the guest talent of trumpeter Alexis Tahiri, the following Maturin ignites appetite and imagination further. Starting out as a beguiling flame of Mariachi spiced sultriness, the track smoulders, feistily simmers, and eventually steps aside for a barbarous immersion of ears and spirit. Even then melodic suggestiveness is a heady incitement as rhythmic bad blood invades, the song leaving no minute short of unexpected and riveting drama; a weave just as potent within the cancerous air and emotion of Maths. Somehow the track manages to be mesmeric too, haunting the psyche as it defiles the senses and stirs the imagination.

Fell Off A Horse is next unleashing a few seconds over a minute of rabid punk rifled bitterness before Jobbernaught tantalises with inviting melodies and catchy rhythms on its way to infesting ears with its own emotional and sonic malignity. Both tracks leave pleasure thick and the soul blackened and prime for the closing brutal rock ‘n’ roll of the album’s title track. Where the Merfalo Roam strolls in with a vendetta to its swagger and open infectiousness to its enterprise even when turning into slow, psyche winding incursions upon body and emotion. With violinists Kim Pack and Sarah Pendleton bringing melancholic grace and beauty to the song’s emerging and all-consuming emotional and sonic volcanic storm, the track is sheer magnetism; a mighty end to a similarly impressive release.

Where The Merfalo Roam punishes as it rewards, withering body and emotions as it invigorates them. It is not going to be for everyone but for invasive sludge/doom/hardcore hearts, it is a must.

Where The Merfalo Roam is released November 11th via Alive and Breathing Records and @ https://intothestorm.bandcamp.com/album/where-the-merfalo-roam

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Pete RingMaster 09/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

3 Broken Limbs

This month sees the release of a trio of split assaults from New York based label Broken Limbs Recordings. Each is a raw and imposing echo of the darkest, dirtiest, and destructive traits of humanity and the world it has created emotionally and physically, and all propositions which leave a lingering imprint on the psyche as invasive as the sounds which sonically harangue and ravage the senses.

cover-art-2_RingMasterReviewNew Haven’s SEA OF BONES and New Hampshire’s RAMLORD come together for one of the incursions upon ears, each offering one epic trespass of their uncompromising sound and intent. Sea of Bones strike first with HOPELESSNESS AND DECAY, the trio of bassist/vocalist Gary Amedy, guitarist/vocalist Tom Mucherino, and drummer/vocalist Kevin Wigginton unleashing a cavernous soundscape soaked in predacious intensity from the off. For over ten minutes the trio breed a wall of confrontation as expansive and decayed as it is at times melancholically seductive. The track ambles, at times lumbers, across the senses, spreading its filth clad body and air with sludge fuelled hostility and moments of corrosive ambience leaving ears and emotions numb.

It is engrossing stuff matched in success by Ramlord’s proposal. INCARCERATION OF CLAIRVOYANCE is a mere few seconds shorter and just as enjoyably challenging. With a black metal/crust corrosiveness to their sound, the band explore a more urgent examination of the listener infesting them with their joyless yet at times fiercely infectious savaging with some inescapable hooks to be eagerly snared by. With essences recalling the likes of Discharge and Amebix, the track completes a powerful and gripping proposal.

Another of the three releases sees the coming together of Tennessee’s BLACK TAR PROPHET and from Pennsylvania IRON GAVEL. A seven track instrumental invasion again showing no btpig_RingMasterReviewrespect of the listener’s peace and sanity, the first half of the split is consumed by Black Tar Prophet’s sludge/doom powered incursions into the senses and imagination. Starting with the compelling persistence of MALIGNANT, a track living up to its name, the duo of bassist Greg Swinehart and drummer Erik Dever snarl in their distinct way across a further three incitements. As dark as they are heavy, as primal as they are strangely comforting and understanding to the darkest corners of one’s thoughts, Black Tar Prophet probe and transfix with RUINOUS DECAY and the deeply disturbed ABUSE especially momentous.

Iron Gavel have a less thick climate to their music but one which still crawls over the senses like a venomous predator and seeps into the corner of every emotion like erosive smog. Consisting of Dan Martin and Ryan Advent, the band taps into the psyche with their sonic and rhythmic explorations whether it be through vast and wonderfully nagging crawls like their first track here TEETH/THORN or through the shortest swinging assaults as its successor SHROUD, a concussive tempest of an aural dispute. Completed by the band’s pungent and relentlessly acidulous but refreshing GERM, the split is a match for the previous mentioned threat and at times eclipses it.

guiltcover_RingMasterReviewThe last of the Broken Limbs offerings is GUILT AND HIS REFLECTION, thirteen tracks bringing Texans CARA NEIR and WILDSPEAKER together in a split which sees its concept realised through both bands revolving around cannibalism in a post-apocalyptic scenario. The first seven songs escape the creative potency of Arlington, Texas crust duo vocalist Chris Francis and multi-instrumentalist Garry Brents. Starting with the sonically and vocally raw but melodically seductive HALO OF GREY, Cara Neir proceed to explore not only the psychological depths and impact bred in an apocalyptic environment but those of the listener too as tracks like CLINGING TO MY LAST BIT OF SANITY and THE VIEW THROUGH THIS FOG seem to flirt with ears and imagination as fully as they wonderfully antagonise them with their blend of black metal and post rock infested punk. Each of the band’s songs leave a potent impact with the outstanding almost poppy EGO EATS MAN stealing the pair’s half of the show.

Fort Worth based Wildspeaker brings their blackened crust tempests to the release with just as much creative venting and eagerness. Also featuring their partners in adventure’s Brents, the quintet go for the jugular from the off with the hellacious storm of hell DESECRATION PLAGUE. Led by the savage riffs of Nelson Favela and Zak Pitts as vocalist Natalie Kahan spills her rage, the track is as dirty and visceral as its name suggests with toxicity just as potent and appealing in its successor SINS OF DESPERATION which takes best track honours on the second half of the split. Driven mercilessly by Ricky Rivera’s drums, the track devours the senses but exciting them at the same time. With FIRST TASTE OF FLESH, another big shout for the biggest pinnacle of the release, and HIS REFLECTION especially notable among nothing less than six energy sapping uncompromisingly enjoyable whippings, Wildspeaker complete the third of a trio of splits which abrasively spark and forcibly ignite the senses.

The Sea of Bones/Ramlord Split is available @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-bones-ramlord-split  Limited to 300 12″ copies: 200 black, and 100 orange vinyl, each with a download card.

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The Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gravel Split is available @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/black-tar-prophet-iron-gavel-split Limited to 300 12″ copies: 200 black, and 100 red vinyl, each with a download card and poster.

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The Cara Neir/Wildspeaker Split is available @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/guilt-and-his-reflection Limited to 100 white shell cassettes

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Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright