Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Lost Ritual Artwork_RingMasterReview

Eagerly awaited, the fifth album from British metallers Raging Speedhorn, and the first since their return around two years ago, rips into ears and senses looking to make up for lost time. Lost Ritual has all the venom, spite, and intensity that the Corby in Northamptonshire hailing sextet is renowned for, and the quality, but all honed into their most potent and savagely stylish proposition yet. As expected Raging Speedhorn is a beast on the album, their sound an uncompromising trespass, and Lost Ritual simply the most invigorating tempest.

The past couple of years have seen the band prove themselves a live encounter no metaller should miss, continuing where they left off eight years earlier whether destroying smaller intimate venue audiences or mass crowds at festivals such as Sonisphere, Bloodstock, and Damnation. The successor to 2007 album Before The Sea Was Built, the crowd funded Lost Ritual is the first album to feature guitarist Jim Palmer and also sees vocalist Frank Regan returning nine years after his last appearance on 2005 album How the Great Have Fallen.

An anticipation feeding teaser to the Russ Russell recorded album was offered earlier this year as part of a DesertFest split with Monster Magnet via H42 Records. Fair to say, Halfway To Hell grabbed the throat and ravaged the senses to get the juices flowing for Lost Ritual and the album swiftly shows it is not a lone highlight with opener Bring Out Your Dead. Instantly a plaintive groove winds around ears, its lure quickly joined by the meaty grizzle of Dave Thompson’s bass and the mighty swipe of Gordon Morison’s sticks on skin. Right there too are nagging riffs, their tempting courting the ever gripping grooves; guitarists Jamie Thompson and Palmer casting an inescapable web. Completed by the contrasting spite loaded growls of John Loughlin and Regan, song and band devours the senses and spirit, sparking each to new heights of pleasure simultaneously. The track is a debilitating anthem, a rousing roar as contagious as it is violent and Raging Speedhorn at their very best.

Halfway To Hell takes over and now a familiar companion to ears because of its previous release again only ignites body and appetite with ease. Again riffs and rhythms unite and collide as grooves wind and vocals blaze. The band has never been low key in creating the most essential hooks in their encounters and the second song is one has some of their ripest yet, addictive twists and turns inescapable even in the passage of slow predatory enterprise stalked by bestial throat grazing snarls which emerges.

There is no let-up in force, temptation, and virulence as Motorhead erupts in ears next, the track living up to its namesake in tone and sonic dirt while as ever reaping the unique Raging Speedhorn character to big success. A brutal treat, the track makes way for the rapacious prowl of Evil Or Mental. Again the listener is quickly entangled in intrusive grooves and bruising rhythms as vocals crawl over the senses with open ill-will. They are just part of its skilfully woven net of sonic malignancy and enterprise, the encounter rocking like an antagonistic bear before its closing sonic lancing leads into the imposing and thrilling seduction of Ten Of Swords. This is no sweet talking temptress though, the song a lumbering concentrated invasion of tenebrific sound and provocative craft fuelled by a rancorous heart and appetite feeding ingenuity.

It glorious scorn gives may to the raw punk ‘n’ roll of Dogshit Blues, the track an exhausting and exhilarating stirring of body and spirit, and in turn the thick aural incitement of The Hangman. In tone alone, the song is a dark and murderous affair, voice and emotion only adding to its cancerous impact and though musically, it maybe lacks the cache of hooks and twists found in many of its companions, the track cannot help offering another lofty peak within Lost Ritual.

The next up Shit Outta Luck is pure belligerent and inflammatory rock ‘n’ roll, a chest beating incitement for body and soul that will leave all out of breath in energy and bliss. With swinging grooves, lethal beats, and fiery intent, the track is magnificent and swiftly equalled in success by the compelling toxicity and invasive invention of Comin’ Home.

Completed by the enthralling Unleash The Serpent, the darkest and most imaginative track on the album, Lost Ritual shows Raging Speedhorn bigger, bolder, and more creatively belligerent than ever. It is also one of the year’s mightiest rewards from a band world metal needs more than ever.

Lost Ritual is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl @ https://ragingspeedhorn.bandcamp.com/album/lost-ritual and other stores.

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Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Villains – Self Titled

villains

     Showing a heart as big as its melodic invention and with energy as attention grabbing as its enterprise, the self-titled debut album from UK band Villains easily shows why there has been a richly brewing fuss about the Essex quintet. Eleven songs which stomp, infect, and croon though not necessarily in that order, the album is a vibrant and appealing slab of alternative rock from a band the country is destined to embrace. At times it scintillates with an imagination which has you catching your breath and in others simply pleases without reserve, but always the release provides a satisfaction which is lingering and full.

     Villains rose from the ‘ashes’ of Chelmsford band Never Means Maybe in 2012, an outfit with acclaimed releases and appearances at events such as Download, Sonisphere, T In The Park, and the Hevy Festival, as well as shows with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, Mallory Knox, and Enter Shikari under its belt. The five members reinvented name and sound to emerge as Villains and last year released debut single Come Out And Play, a track which was soon recruiting eager attention and praise from fans and media alike. It inspired a certain anticipation for the band’s first full-length, a hunger which is undeniably fed across the body of the album with plenty of additional flavour and quality to impress and surprise. The release is not necessarily one to really knock the passions off their feet, its sound arguably seeded in some recognisable beds, but it is an encounter to certainly leave them hungry for more.

     The band gets things off to the strongest start with The Ways I Tell Them, romping rhythms from drummer Drew Steane Cover-(500x500)stirring up the senses as the guitars of Tom McCarthy and Matt Steane have a potent strike at the air. Settling into a pacey stride with rhythms continuing to incite and the bass of Bert Forster adding its individual virulent temptation, the song is in no time working on imagination and emotions as the expressive tones of Renz Byrne glide over the sinews and melodies parading their enticements. With rigorously rousing choruses and energy to lift crowds, the track is a masterful start, the excellent backing and assisting vocals of Forster and Steane only adding to the bait.

     The following Wicked Ways makes a less striking start though is no less dramatic, the smooth voice of Byrne stroking the ears whilst guitars caress his presence. A darker bass groan adds shadows to the emotive endeavour whilst guitars and keys dazzle and evoke thoughts with a craft and adventure that accentuates the passion of the song. Though not as instantly gripping as the first, it eventually unleashes a charge of rhythms and intensity for its own anthemic tempting which soon seals the deal with the emotions. Its fine offering is matched and surpassed by the next track, The Fall. The vocal combination takes little time in charming the appetite as the emotive texture and drive of the song builds into a crescendo of passionate melody drenched heat. As already shown on the previous songs, Villains is never afraid to evolve and twist its invention as here ensuring predictability and expectations go hungry.

     We Have Capture continues the pull of the album if without matching earlier heights, its smouldering melodic embrace graceful and welcoming but veined by a muscular intent which brings again a riveting drama, whilst the following Bleed offers not for the first or last time, a Manic Street Preachers essence to its contagious hook and anthem spawning intensity. Provocative and deceptively melancholic, the song easily engages and excites before the emotive part ballad/part anthem The Light Out Lives The Star next croons and seduces the imagination. Verging on a stadium rock grandeur but honed to be just as effectively intimate, the song is a slow burner which over time climbs to stand on equal levels to the more vivaciously delivered tracks, though none really match its passion.

     The best track on the album is without doubt the previously mentioned single. Come Out And Play is simply irresistible, guitars and the grouchy bass making the first potent lure before joining the feisty drums and charging riffs to converge on the passions with a fiery and infectious gait. The singular and dual vocal delivery is outstanding and only seems to incite the sound to greater urgency and voraciousness, again the use of the word anthemic unavoidable in the face of the track’s glorious romp and persuasion. The only problem which arises is it leaves an inevitable shadow over the very potent efforts of Visions and Sinners such its triumph. To be fair the enthralling enterprise and almost antagonistic breath of the first of this pair is exceptional and stands aside its predecessor, if maybe one step back, to help forge the strongest part of the release whilst the second is coated in melody rich sonic flames around that grizzled bass tone and again compelling vocals to raise temperature and emotional concentration. Like the album as a whole, the song is a skilful draw and for personal tastes the perfect end to the album. That position though is taken by The Hardest Part, a mellow ballad breeding heart driven fire as it proceeds. It does not light similar flames in the passions but with Byrne again showing the depth and power of his voice and the song enjoyably showing the accomplished craft of the band, it is still a rich and full suasion.

   Villains, band and album is an undeniable force in the making, one already creating a deserved spotlight which you suspect will only intensify over time, especially if the band can go even further with the excellent potency of this release.

https://www.facebook.com/villainsofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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