Ninjaspy – Spüken

It is fair to say that Spüken, the new album from Canadian metallers Ninjaspy has been a long time in the making. With its ten tracks spanning a decade and its recording beginning late 2014, the band’s second full-length has had time and attention given its creation and character; it all reflected and more in its thoroughly enjoyable and imaginatively dynamic adventure.

Consisting of a trio of blood brothers in vocalist/guitarist Joel, bassist Tim, and drummer Adam Parent, Ninjaspy has honed a fusion of groove infested metal, reggae, and other heavy natured flavours which now roar mightily within Spüken. It is a web of sound which grabbed attention in the Vancouver threesome’s 2007 debut album Pi Nature and even more so in the following EP, No Kata six years later. Their new offering is the natural and lofty evolution of these earlier successes; a release weaving occasionally familiar but always unpredictable proposals which tease, flirt with, and persistently arouse the senses and imagination.

Linking up once more with producers GGGarth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mudvayne, Gallows) and Ben Kaplan (Biffy Clyro, Atreyu, Haste the Day), Ninjaspy gets the album under way with the single Speak, a track certainly sparking anticipation of Spüken with its release last August. Its relatively low key Australasian entrance cored by an emerging bait loaded groove soon leaps into a smouldering swinging stroll with more than an air of Dog Fashion Disco meets Faith No More to it. Subsequent raw outbursts come loaded with ferocity and zeal, trespassing with the same catchiness as the song’s mellower teasing where rhythms dance and the bass grumbles.

It is a stirring start swiftly eclipsed by Shuriken Dance. It too shows restraint in its initial coaxing, melodic twang and rumbling rhythms colluding in an understated but bold tempting before a web of sonic and creative espionage binds ears and appetite. A punk roar escapes the throat of Joel, his aggression matched by the punching beats of Adam and both tempered by the melodic exploits of guitar. Their calm is as deceptive as the raw touch they temper, each beckoning ears into a waiting System Of A Down-esque bedlam of psychotic sound and invention. The track is pure virulent infectiousness, drawing body and voice into union with its own twisted exploits.

The following Brother Man warmly grabs ears next like a collusion of Ruts and 12 Stone Toddler; its stalking groove and melodic coaxing a delicious mix soon embracing a reggae and metal induced tempest in turn proceeding to entangle all earlier aspects within its similarly and seriously catchy landscape. The further into its depths the more deranged twists show their voracious enticements as too mellower melodic but no less certifiable essences. Thorough captivation, it is more than matched in aberrant adventure by Dead Duck Dock. The song also follows those before it by making a relatively gentle melody woven entrance but also one soon showing argumentative discord in sound and intensity as its groove metal instincts rise. With hues of Slipknot and Society 1 to its growl, the song is a roar of creative irritability and intrigue never resting for long in one flavour or mood.

The outstanding Become Nothing is a loco romp revelling in a sound and imagination something akin to again SOAD  this time in league with Kontrust while What!! infests ears and satisfaction with a Skindred/American Head Charge scented escapade though as every reference used as a hint, it is a potent hue in a Ninjaspy bred roar.

The sweltering infection fuelled funk of Jump Ya Bones soon spins its own particular tapestry of rich flavours and various styles as it flirtatiously bounds through ears before Grip the Cage provides a more even tempered shuffle though it too expels moments of incendiary emotion and energy. They both equally push the diversity of the album and songs, that ten years of writing and maturing giving birth to Spüken skilfully shaping their varied designs.

The melody rich and increasingly agitated Azaria stretches that variety yet again, the song deceptively straight forward initially, luring ears into its own expectation defeating maze before Slave Vehemence brings it all to a thrilling close with a cauldron of capricious invention and impulsive ideation wrong-footing and exciting ears at every turn.

It is a fine end to an increasingly pleasing album unveiling new nuances and moments with every listen even after double figure plays. It is a release sure to harass global attention the way of Ninjaspy but more so leave new legion of fans lusting for their sound and presence.

Spüken is released April 14th

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Pete RingMaster 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sonny Lanegan – Coma

cover_RingMasterReview

The Coma EP is the first offering from the solo, self-titled project from Sonny Lanegan, a release offering six rousing slices of alternative/industrial post rock which command attention and spark the imagination with drama and craft. All offer an adventure bringing a familiar and distinct invention to the ear which does not always surprise as it might but any moments when expectations are offered a recognisable but still tasty morsel, the individual character of Lanegan’s sound ensures there is plenty of fresh imagination on offer

Lanegan is an Italian born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist better known so far for his former band White Pulp and as one half of the duo The Dead Good with vocalist Isabella Knight. Through his many projects, the now Los Angeles based Lanegan has played hundreds of live shows and been part of numerous international album releases. Now it is his solo project beginning to stir up eager attention, it providing a new vehicle for his renowned creative and stage presence to blossom into new areas of sound and adventure.

Released worldwide at the beginning of May and to be backed by numerous live shows across the summer, they to be followed by a national tour, Coma seizes ears and appetite straight away with opener And No One Ever Gave A Fuck. Its dark atmospheric beginning swiftly has the imagination intrigued, the quickly following predation of hungry riffs and spiky beats taking care of ears with the attitude soaked tones of Lanegan leading the way. Quickly a tribal, shamanic like tempting and tenacity infiltrates sound and vocals, its contagion an inescapable lure alongside similarly potent electronic and industrial metal enterprise helping shape the rousingly infectious and increasingly volatile tempest.

It is a tremendous start to the release quickly revealing the variety and diversity to be found in EP and sounds ahead, its suggestion confirmed by the following Down and Dirty. More whispers in its predecessor, Marilyn Manson meets Society 1 like hues make a thicker colouring to the fiery and dynamic body of the second track. It has certain irritability and almost predatory aggression to its tone and incitement too but it is an intimidation tempered by the great electronic exploits and their listener involving catchiness.

A broader rock landscape accompanies the electronic revelry of Loaded and Crooked next, the song an eagerly catchy proposal almost dancing in ears even with a feisty nature to its creative cavorting. It is not the best track within Coma but it has to be said that the spirit raising encounter has single written all over it before making way for the more carnivorous tone and challenge of Love Will Never Die If You Spice It Up With Narcotics. With a touch of glam and grunge to its industrial booty, the song rumbles and blisters on the senses as vocals and sounds create a fascinating and invigorating clamour. At times it is a muggy maelstrom and in other moments a provocative slimline rock ‘n’ roll roar, and persistently an encounter which keeps ears and thoughts enjoyably busy.

The salacious tempting of Foreplay comes next, its pulsating rhythmic resonance and electronic flirtation a bold seduction egged on by the ever inviting tones of Lanegan. The repetitive nature of its beats and the stalker like enticement of its grooves acts like an excitable drone, leading the listener towards some explosive climax, every beat and sonic nag like a countdown. That kind of a finale never arises but its absence just caps the drama of the song off perfectly.

The EP is closed by the sultry smoulder of What If, though it is a lively simmering which electronically and sonically bubbles and froths over its brief length, subsequently immersing the senses in a lava-esque wash of body rousing temptation. Its infectiousness brings the EP to a memorable and richly pleasing conclusion, adding the final potent bait to a release which, as suggested, might not be the most unique in some ways but leaves little more of it to be desired. If this is a sign of things to come, Lanegan’s solo adventure might be his most fruitful yet.

The Coma EP is out now @ https://sonnylanegan.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Anti-Clone – The Root Of Man

Anti-Clone_RingMasterReview

If asked at the start of the year which was the one release we were most anticipating in 2016 there would have been no pause of thought involved in saying the debut album from UK metallers Anti-Clone. They had us addictively hooked into their own distinct nu-metal bred, psyche twisting sound from the outstanding Hands Sewn Together EP, which had its highly successful national release back in 2014. Its tracks were a regular part of our podcasts too, finding the same eagerness across a horde of other shows and stations with the mainstream media soon waking up to the band’s emergence in turn. Now two years on and quickly following reputation cementing and pushing performances supporting Mushroomhead and Sanguine on certain dates of their recent UK tour, the Boston hailing quintet are poised to unleash The Root Of Man.

The question was never going to be would the album live up to expectations seeded in the last EP and the hefty fuss around the band, that just seemed to be a given in thoughts, but would their music have grown and evolved enough to make them a real contender to stir up the metal scene beyond the UK as earlier songs suggested. Well, the answer is found within the first few tracks of the eleven song incitement alone. Together they give a rousing confirmation with their creative roar, only being forcibly backed by the rest of an album which in some ways continues where the Hands Sewn Together EP left off but immediately shows a craftier and imaginatively more exhilarating, not forgetting broader, weave of styles and flavours in its boldly sculpted songs. The Root Of Man is Anti-Clone on a new mature imagination drenched plateau from songwriting to sound to presentation. There is inventive confidence and fierce adventure at every turn as the scent of inspirations from the forefathers of the nu-metal scene are again embraced, twisted, and honed into openly fresh textures within the band’s own fascinating experimentation.

art_RingMasterReviewFormed in 2011 but really finding its creative mojo once the current line-up was in place a couple or so years later, the Lincolnshire band soon sparked a hungry and swiftly growing fan base for their dramatically addictive sound which reached its first pinnacle in the Hands Sewn Together EP. Live too, the band has grown to be one of Britain’s prime incitements, sharing stages with the likes of American Head Charge, Kindred, ESO, Breed 77, Sworn Amongst, Maplerun, Evil Scarecrow, and Bloodshot Dawn amongst many along the way. Linking up with EP producer Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Trivium, Fightstar, As I Lay Dying and Slipknot) again for The Root Of Man, the quintet of brothers Drew (drums/ programming) and Peter ‘Mr Clone’ Moore (vocals), Conor (guitar) and Liam Richardson (guitar), and Mike Bradbury (bass) are seemingly poised to set their place at the head table of the UK and indeed European metal scene.

Dually looking at “the beginning of the human race, starting with Eve committing original sin which resulted in us being cast out of Eden” and symbolising the band’s beginning as a band; “These are the roots that we are planting to fully establish ourselves as our own entity, to establish ourselves as Anti-Clone“, the pledge music funded The Root of Man immediately grips ears and imagination with its title track. It is a brief but inescapable lure into the album, an as expected apocalyptically ambience clouded scene setter which is soon crawling portentously over the senses as steely bass and toxic grooves wrap the enjoyably familiar tones of Mr Clone. Its dark tempest rolls straight in to Deracinated which seamlessly draws ears into its own animus of intent and creative rapacity. Straight away an industrial toning merges with the schizophrenic nu-metal prowess which flows from the band, Society 1 meets Mudvayne like essences adding to the imposing character and trespass of the fearsome magnetism on offer. Ebbing and flowing in raw confrontation, the track bewitches ears and stirs up the appetite, setting them in an unfamiliar and disorientating yet welcoming blend of old school aired modern imagination for a seriously rousing slab of predacious incitement.

SwitchBlade growls at and brawls with the senses next, vocals from Mr Clone and the Richardson brothers almost pestilential in their psyche invading animosity as the sounds around them rise and fall with constant inhospitable adventure. Melodic calms and percussive invention are just as potent lures in the agitated imagination and landscape of the song; all colluding to savage and spellbind before A Sight For Sewn Eyes prowls ears with Fear Factory/Spineshank tinged ingenuity. As replicated across the whole of the album, every moment of the song brings greed breeding drama to the listener, Mr Clone showing his clean melodic tones are as fiercely agreeable as the rawer psychosis fuelled side of his vocal character. The song persistently twists and turns from the start before reaching a bedlamic crescendo that never truly departs once erupting as the song leaves on a groove bound web of suggestiveness.

With a constant range of peaks across its landscape as momentous and memorable as the Alps, B9 adds another with its Manson-esque textured slice of predatory heavy metal whilst Twisted Neck entangles ears in the intoxicating vines of toxic grooves which wrap a calmer melody hued serenade beneath a thickly tempestuous and predatory climate of sound and personality. Both tracks present a tapestry of styles and textures, the first also flirting with steampunk like elements where, not for the last time, Anti-Clone have a touch of the now sadly demised Shanklin Freak Show to them. Its successor flirts with a colouring which is more 6:33 meets Dog Fashion Disco though as always, it is hard to pin down a flavour such the Anti-clone ingenuity as they align spices to their own enthralling ideation.

A great punk metal hue seeps into the riveting and mercurial soundscape of Mechanical Heart, the track as welcoming as it is fearsome with sinister keys and avant-garde devilry lining another almost rabid mix of nu and industrial metal carrying at times more than a whisper of death metal to it. Compelling to the extreme, the track simply wants an apocalypse based Hellraiser movie to grace to see its majesty totally fulfilled, though fair to say there is no time to linger in thought with any song during the album as here Feed The Machine steals attention instantly with its vocally anthemic and physically bracing proposal. Repetition in word and sound within the track is a glorious igniting of instincts; that simplicity employed in another rich weave of roving grooves and a cantankerous rhythms skilfully sewn into an irresistibly unpredictable but dramatically galvanic onslaught. Like early Korn in some ways and Slipknot in others, the track still stands distinctively tall as another unique Anti-Clone ravaging of the senses and passions.

ComaSpace brings a moment of relative calm and the chance to catch breath next though unsurprisingly it too has irritability to its tone and dark imposing edge to its atmosphere. Vocally Mr Clone entices ears with a clean delivery as melodies merge acoustic and more aggravated hues into the Deftones spiced offering. Again the band has ears and appetite enthralled, though even being another impressive moment within The Root Of Man, it gets overshadowed a little by Astaroth. The band’s new upcoming single, the song is sonic slavery; the reason mosh pits and lustful reactions were bred into life. As barbarous as anything on the release and the most virulently contagious assault too, the track has everything you need to know about Anti-Clone and whether they are the tonic to your personal musical passions.

Completed by the grisly presence and voice of Sentinel, a sonic inferno of psyche burrowing riffs and grooves amidst an insatiable and concussive tempest of sound and attitude, The Root Of Man is the declaration of a new major force in UK and undoubtedly European metal. Anti-Clone is set to be one of those guiding their journeys over the following years whilst with this superb release, the band has placed themselves right there in stature alongside a great many of those who have inspired their adventure to date.

The Root Of Man is released 29th April  via PHD (Plastic Head Distribution) with more information @ http://www.anticlonehq.com

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Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Projekt F – The Butterfly Effect

Picture taken by Chantal Levesque

Picture taken by Chantal Levesque

Since emerging in 2006, Canadian industrial outfit Projekt F has grown in sound and adventure release by release. Their music and themes have openly become darker and more imposing, now reaching a new pinnacle with latest EP, The Butterfly Effect. The seven track provocation is the band at its emotionally rawest and aggressively boldest, a fusion of industrial bred metal and rock which has all the qualities and adventure to push the band to much broader attention.

Formed by vocalist/keyboardist Jonh M. Miller upon inspirations gained from nineties bred industrial rock/metal sounds, Projekt F soon made their mark and became an eagerly followed proposition within the Montreal underground scene. Live the band has earned a potent reputation for their intensive stage presence and has added, over time, playing alongside Combichrist at Canada’s Kinetik Festival and shows with the likes of Motionless In White, Revolting Cocks, Angelspit, Nachtmar, Left Spine Down, Slaves on Dope, For Today, and Ice Nine Kills to their CV. Debut EP, 0000 was a swiftly devoured proposition with its release in 2009, surpassed in praise and success by the band’s first album Skins in 2013 and the Under The Skin EP a year later. Continuing the themes explored in those previous two releases, and looking at the torrid relationship between man and God, The Butterfly Effect is the band’s most accomplished and striking offering yet, and potentially the wake up call to global ears.

PF_TBE_Cover_RingMasterReviewThe Butterfly Effect opens with its title track, a short but evocative instrumental spawned from the dark incitement of shadows and carrying the portentous lure of anthemic rhythms. Wrapped in atmospheric chills and a haunting synth spawned ambience, the piece swiftly grips ears and imagination, accentuating it’s tempting with a subsequent veining of enticing guitar. It is a potent introduction quickly taken to new heights by Tongue which leaps from the invasive sonic mist of its predecessor. The second track descends on the senses like a tsunami, smothering and disturbing their previous relative calm with a wall of carnivorous riffs and barbarous rhythms guided by raw antipathy. As the song settles though, that intensive assault merges with mellower essences of voice and flirtatious enterprise, all the time though building up to further predacious crescendos. The track devours and excites with every twist and turn of its imagination fuelled tempest, evolving its musical and physical grudge with an invasive seduction for something akin to a volatile mix of Society 1, Korn, and Combichrist.

The dramatic and tenacious craft of drummer Fred Linx is one irresistible and galvanic element which continues to masterfully stir up emotions in Cut Your Wings; his swings and dexterity a call to arms for instincts backed by the maelstrom of predatory riffs and scything grooves cast by guitarist Simon Sayz. The track is another thunderous protagonist which stalks and infests ears and psyche with every essence at its disposal. William Hicks’ bass deceptively prowls the persistently changing trespass upon the senses; at times offering a welcoming hand into the cauldron of sound and energy, in other moments becoming a lead assassin of peace and emotional security. With Miller’s tones equally adventurous in their expression and touch, the track is a caustically virulent blaze.

Unbegun opens up in similar style, scathing vocals and scarring sonic vengefulness pressing ears as rhythms offer a more restrained though no less potent bait. In time creative agitation grabs them, breeding skittish moments as melodic twists break the early sonic voracity which in turn returns with more adventurous intent as the band leans towards a Muse like flame of melodic and harmonic resourcefulness. The overall aggression and ill will of the track is emphasized by next up 03:47:09:08:1945. A fiercely melancholic and seriously haunting acoustic led melodic ‘drone’, it is a provocative echo to the hours before the US dropped their bomb on the city of Nagasaki on the title’s date.

The full intensity and savagery of the moment is uncaged in Fatman, the track an industrial metal fuelled furnace of again raw emotion and debilitating intensity around a simple but forcibly addictive bassline. The track is a blistering incitement cast with the searing hooks and rapacious grooves which Projekt F has honed to impressive and exhilarating effect over their last releases. As vocals and synth spread ambience provide a hostile wind, the excellent intrusion ignites thought and emotion which the closing When the Angel Fell From the Sky embraces further with its sombre fall out and emotive poetry of piano and melancholic keys.

The Butterfly Effect is a fascinating and rousing encounter from a band settling into their creative skin and reaping the rewards. The EP is Projekt F on a new level with hopefully a deserving attention to match to come.

The Butterfly Effect is out now @ http://projektf.bandcamp.com/album/the-butterfly-effect

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Pete RingMaster 09/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic

Pic by Justin Reich

Pic by Justin Reich

 

It is tempting to call the Between the Buried and Me music a kaleidoscope of sonic and inventive hues yet that suggests a randomness which certainly does not apply to their persistently compelling and dramatic explorations. In saying that though, there is an organic unpredictability which seemingly evolves on its own so that at times you wonder if the band knows what is to emerge any more than the listener. And so it is with their seventh album Coma Ecliptic, a series of gloriously imaginative plains of roaming sounds and immersive textures which whether a BTBAM fan or not is seriously compelling, that together create an epic emprise of aural fascination which is either creative ingenuity or insanity.

It is easy to see Coma Ecliptic splitting opinions though hard to imagine many dismissing its technically immense, musically explosive, and rivetingly captivating journey out of hand. Equally the reference to it being like a rock opera does it no favours, certainly with those like us instantly cringing at the thought and term, but assumptions should be cast aside as, even though there are indeed moments of indulgences and flamboyant enterprise, the concept album is bred from the same template of musical and lyrical probing that made previous release The Parallax II: Future Sequence so bewitching and thrilling. It is a whole new beast of course bred from the similar seeding which unites all the band’s releases, but BTBAM doing what they do best, tearing up their own rulebook with zeal and tenacity.

Lyrically Coma Ecliptic follows a single protagonist who stuck in a coma travels through his past lives, each track an individual episode set in “a modern day, sort of The Twilight Zone-esque” world. In each place he can choose to stay or move on to search for a better place, ultimately being met with the ultimate question life or death. The rest is for you to find out but in true BTBAM fashion, the lyrical side of the album is as involved and time consuming to reap its full rewards as the music. There are a few things to pull Coma Ecliptic up on, if you wish to be over analytical and demanding, but like the best sci-fi/fantasy movie, run with its liberties and proposition rounding flaws, and unbridled pleasure through full-blooded adventure are the rich prize.

Cover_RingMaster Review     Opener Node cups ears in a gentle yet emotive touch of keys, Tommy Rogers’ fingers and voice swiftly stroking ears and imagination even before melodies broaden and their elegance mesmerises. The melancholic air of the song has its own ethereal light and hope, album and band immersing the listener into the realm of album and story with sublime ease, even adding Queen-esque flames of epic tones and sonic grandeur to striking effect. It is a potently enticing start which slips into the theatrical and magnetic embrace of The Coma Machine. Many have compared the album and some of its textures and flavours to bands like Dream Theater yet aside from the unavoidable uniqueness of BTBAM, here and often across the album Australian progressive metallers Voyager nudge thoughts. The track ebbs and flow in energy and rousing intensity as it explores its and the story’s depths, and is just as enthralling as it writhes with majestic imagination, whether in a gentle hug of a croon or roaring with aggression and passion.

Dim Ignition emerges from an electro bubble next, synths a lively and nagging simmer within drummer Blake Richardson’s increasingly intimidating rhythms. The song flows into the immediately darker hued Famine Wolf, portentous and ever gripping bass tempting from Dan Briggs alongside just as shadowed keys, their haunting smothering consuming the senses for the ever spellbinding craft and invention of guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring to exploit and shape further. The track’s early predator like union grows from one relatively inviting premise to a volatile incitement, with Rogers vocally entwining his superb clean and just as impacting raw metalcore seeded deliveries to match the sounds. The track is thoroughly absorbing, even making its less than seamless slip into a jazzy, psych rock like twist work perfectly and never relenting in making every minute unique from another.

As outstanding as it is though, King Redeem / Queen Serene steals the show, growing from the departing breath of its predecessor into a tempest of pop, funk, melodic revelry, and ravenous metal ferocity; every aspect fuelled by a contagiousness which simply intensifies with every elevation of aggression and invention. Imagine spilling the essences of Periphery, Society 1, and Cardiacs into the BTBAM mix and you get something close to this exhilarating encounter.

Both the imposing Turn on the Darkness and fascinating The Ectopic Stroll keep the fires of serious enjoyment burning, the first at times bordering on the bestial as its landscape savages as siren like seduction joins in equal creative measure. Its successor explores a dance seeded gait and scenery, piano keys a punchy spark to the tenaciously evolving avant-garde landscape, and both songs, but especially the second, tempestuous weaves of expansive flavours, styles, and bold intent sculpted by musicians openly at the top of their game and imagination.

     Rapid Calm brings a spatial yet melodically and emotionally intimate proposal forward next with mellow vocals, harmonies, and keys the warm serenade to the carnivorous walls and depths soaked in challenging intensity lurking and eventually exploding from deep within. Bewitching hardly does the song justice but that is what it is as it wraps its mesmeric and often rabid charms around ears and thoughts. Coma Ecliptic is undoubtedly an album which challenges and involves both aspects with every second, it shown again with Memory Palace and after that Option Oblivion. The first of the pair is soaked in blues and funk rock resourcefulness, a folkish festivity also getting in on the persuasion as the song traverses through ten minutes of instinctive and virulent creative alchemy whilst the second is like looking into a fire, every flame of sound distinct to another yet perfectly aligned in one senses sizzling incitement.

Coma Ecliptic is completed by the emotionally rousing Life in Velvet, another fusing intimacy with grander winds to fine effect. The intoxicating Jamie King produced album leaves the richest hunger to hear and learn more, which is lucky as like their other encounters, it is a proposition which needs numerous plays to really get into its constantly revolving corners and levels, our words above barely scratching its surface let alone depths to be truthful.

The best album from Between the Buried and Me to date?…Well it has to be seriously considered and argued over but there is no denying this is another major success and thrill from the band which their fans will get lustful over and others will at least offer a thick complimentary smile or nod.

Coma Ecliptic is available now on Metal Blade Records @ http://www.metalblade.com/btbam/

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RingMaster 14/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Amenta: Chokehold

With their new album into its final stages of recording and with an early 2013 release date in the planning, Australian extreme noise metalers The Amenta have made the wait more bearable with the unleashing of the Chokehold EP. A five track release consisting of a brand new song, a cover, two live tracks and a remix, it is a muscular intrusion to devour eagerly. For those new to the band it is a great introduction and for existing fans a collection of songs which feel more than a mere stop gap until the arrival of Flesh Is Heir next year.

Chokehold follows the 2011 release VO1D which saw the first recordings with of at the time new vocalist Cain Cressall. The new EP is similar in its construction of content to its predecessor but hard to tell how reflective it will be of the forthcoming album. One gets the feeling it is giving mere hints though going by history and this new EP one can always expect something of immense quality senses startling.

In the sheet accompanying Chokehold, Tim Pope (samples, keyboards) from the band says the new album “Flesh is Heir is a refinement, progression and deconstruction of The Amenta’s sound. A very guitar-centric album, as a reaction to the deliberately abstract nature of n0n.” The title track gives a definite aural picture to his words and though the trademark maelstrom of discordant and unbalanced melodies, destructive noises, and intrusive electronics are still there, the music carries a surer caustic bruising and scarring through the guitars than on the mentioned 2008 album of ambient electronic destruction.

    Chokehold the song crashes the ear immediately with a gnarly corruptive grinding on bone and cartilage. Instantly oppressive and openly abrasive the track ferments and blisters within the senses breaking down resistance whilst brewing an increasing addiction to its overwhelming violating sounds. The guitar of Erik Miehs is a sadistic venomous Zorro, swiping through the air with sharp acid dripping strokes whilst bassist Dan Quinlan prowls and stalks sanity with a ravenous yet patient heavy pulsating presence. With beats and rhythms from drummer Robin Stone igniting and disorientating synapses, the track consumes and infests with a suffocating majesty spread further by the corrosive tones of Cressall. The song envelops with a tempest of sound which brings essences of the likes of Fear Factory, Young Gods, Ministry, Society 1, and Godflesh, whose track the band cover next up, into an abusive compelling destruction. It is a stunning track which whether it gives strong indication of what is to come on the new album or not heightens anticipation.

      Christ Bait Rising like the opener is said to have been ‘recorded and produced with a modern take on Godflesh’s influential ‘Street Cleaner’ album’s sound and aesthetic.’ What it does do is ignite and further rub raw the wounded senses and emotions caused by the first track. It is another sprawling and sonic scathing of all things safe, bringing a fresh breath and energy let alone intent into an already great track. Not as impressive as Chokehold it still leaves one gasping and reeling under the disruptive onslaught of noise and shows The Amenta a band inspired by and respectful to one of the instigators of noise.

The two live tracks are in many ways more impressive than what came before. Seken and Vermin in their raw state showing the band as one of the most powerful on stage around and able to realise their imaginative and defined elements just as strongly as they produce live crippling intensity and sounds. They also force a definite decision to catch the band live if and when they touch and spoil Europe and the UK.

A remix of Void from VO1D closes the release, its atmospheric ambience and serpentine electronic manipulations a sonic paint stripper upon the ear and beyond. Compulsive and ruining the track like the rest only leaves deep satisfaction in its wake.

Released via Listenable Records, Chokehold is a great snack before the main meal of Flesh is Heir though it also leaves an impatient hunger behind, one only The Amenta can satisfy.

www.theamenta.com

RingMaster 21/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Outcast: Awaken the Reason

As we go into the fourth month it is increasingly becoming apparent that the choosing of an Album of the Year when December closes its darkened eyes is going to be a task and a half, the amount of impressive contenders already building up into a formidable challenge even this early into 2012. Well that was until French metalers Outcast stole a march on everyone with their staggering new album Awaken the Reason. The release is truly immense in sound, power, and invention. It is a disruptive and addictive maze of ingenuity and invigorating ideas, a maelstrom of unpredictable diversions, senses twisting manipulations, and a beast of intriguing mischief and heightened intensity. It is simply brilliant, an album that sets the heart on fire, sends the mind racing, and triggers deep emotions to an orgasmic conclusion.

      Outcast is like an alchemist come sonic chef. The band takes ingredients from previous inventions, as well as flavours and spices borne in musical recipes elsewhere to turn them with their own special ingredient of imagination, into something completely and stirringly new. Awaken the Reason is an explosion of innovation and a seemingly chaotic tapestry of sounds, a mighty journey that challenges, hypnotises and offers something new on each quest taken within its pulsating metallic walls.

The Parisian band formed in 1998 and originally under the guise of Overlander, started grabbing attention from the French underground scene with their death metal tinted thrash flavoured debut 4 track CD The Source Of All Creation in 2002. March 2005 saw the release of First Call/Last Warning, a ten track album blending the power of Swedish thrash metal with the intensity of death metal whilst bringing in passion fuelled melodies. The current line-up of vocalist Wilfried Fagnon, guitarists Jean-François Di Rienzo and Nicolas Soulat, bassist Clément Mauro, and Mathieu Santin on drums, was established in 2007, the quintet releasing the second Outcast album Self-Injected Reality a year later and the emergence of a diverse and technical sound alongside their enflamed melodies that has evolved wonderfully in Awaken the Reason.

Released via Listenable Records on April 4th this metal/progressive jewel is set to place the band firmly in the eyes and ears of the world. If the likes of Uneven Structure, Texture, and Meshuggah get your juices dribbling, Awaken the Reason is an essential must, but there is so much more within the release and its creations. The progressive metal Outcast unleashes has essences found in the likes of Between the Buried and Me and Circles, the aggressive uncompromising intensity they grip the ear with can be heard from the likes of Bloodsimple and especially vocally Society 1, whilst the sheer eccentric and unpredictable conjurations remind of bands like Five Star Prison Cell. All this is disassembled and designed into something wholly unique and wholly Outcast.

The album breaks out with the opening frenzy that is Elements, the track taking no time in sending splintered acidic melodies and grunting riffs through the ear whilst seeking and filling every corner of the senses with progressive meanders seeded in insanity and upon an intimidating metallic vein. Flitting through chaotic changes and detours the song never sits still or leaves one time to grab a deep breath, its driven manic evolution surprising and pure temptation from beginning to end.

Every aspect of the band and songwriting is at a staggering height, from the manipulative guitars that mesmerise and exploit with intrusive riffs, the acute and scorched melodies that sear the senses with innovational skill, through to the uncompromising yet stunningly and attentively crafted rhythms. Adding vocals that bring a caustic menace and expressive added texture to the brilliantly conceived constructs of sound, the likes of Abysmal, the epic A Solace from the Shade, and the metal wildness of Isolation, emerge as the astonishing results.

     Awaken the Reason – Part IV: When Dawn Brings Clarity slows things down with a beautifully atmospheric piece of music, the haunting ambience and piano/string grace striking at a personal level as it transports one to a lonely shore and mind. It finds a climax that unravels within a distorted cloud to turn to the best track on the album in Spin Angular Moments. The track blisters the ear with stupefying acute explosions of melodic insurgency and uniquely structured provocative rhythms and malignant toned growls and power. The senses are then blindsided by wonderful progressive invention before succumbing once more to the psychotic nature of the composition. It plays like the continually shifting mind of a madman, a glorious ingenious kaleidoscope of warped brilliance.

There is not a weakness on the album as the likes of What Would be my Final Commitment? and the closing Awaken the Reason – Part XI: Reprise prove. Mixed by Jochem Jacobs (Textures) and mastered by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan) Awaken the Reason is truly a masterful and magnificent feast. Outcast have probably escaped the attention of a great many until now but with this stunning album that is just about to change.

RingMaster 31/03/2012

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