Saintorment – Defective Mind

Though are not exactly knowledgeable on the state of the Latvian metal scene bands like Skyforger, Trendkill Method, Relicseed, and Ygodehwh, those we have come across, all suggest it is rather healthy and it looks like the thrash side of its fury is in good shape too going by the new album from Saintorment. A ferocious roar of old school thrash with a penchant for speed and heavy metal, the band makes a very sizeable impression with Defective Mind, the release a thoroughly enjoyable fusion of the familiar and fresh.

Formed in Daugavpils in the spring of 2013, Saintorment took little time moving from a cover band playing Metallica, Kreator, Pantera, Exodus etc. songs to writing and performing their own propositions. A quartet since 2014 unveiling their debut album, Well of Sins, the following year, there is little more we can tell you about Saintorment. Worry not though as Defective Mind has all the reasons why they deserve plenty of your metal searching time.

The album opens with Physical Force, its destructive warning a portent of the ravenous riffs and senses plundering rhythms to follow. Unashamedly wearing the band’s inspirations, the track surges through ears, the contagious horde of insatiable grooves and riffs easily devoured. Unruly impassioned vocals only add to the persuasion, their controlled rabidity riding the fury of the sounds with zeal. Skilled breakdowns and keen twists bring new identity to the recognisable but greedily welcomed traits of the track, many sourced to those bands the band embraced in their first days.

It is a great start to Defective Mind continued by its hellacious title track. As its predecessor, the song goes for the jugular, riffs and rhythms a forcibly badgering invitation led by ferocious vocals and an enterprise which entangles and twists unsurprising thrash traits with the band’s own creative character and invention. There is drama in every breath of the song, even more so than the first, which adds to its compelling trespass.

There is also a great rawness to the Saintorment sound, one which is in its prime within next up We Are, an ears savaging predator with enmity in every swing and enticement in every resourcefully crafted groove and melody. Keenly revealing the appealing variety in the band’s sound which is sometimes understated but always teasing, the track left an already forming appetite for the album greedier and ready to seize the bodies of songs like Strong Enough and Never. The first has a punkiness to its animus, a cantankerousness which fuels its magnetic scourge while its successor has a great nagging quality to its riffs and grooves, a predation brought with darker intent by the vocals; both songs also rich in sonic and melodic dexterity.

Through belligerence soaked Zerofy and heavy metal nurtured …Dies at the Black Night, the album only accentuates its tenacious nature in sound and imagination where again familiar essences collude enjoyably with the individual ideation of Saintorment; Mood Pyrexia subsequently matching them in endeavour and success while building on the theatre of the song before with its tapestry of metal diversity over thrash instincts. An instrumental for ears and imagination, it masterfully highlights the skills and energy of all band members while casting its suggestive adventure.

The album finishes with Final Hour, a track as vicious as it is alluring as the band again casts a web of multi-faceted thrash bred metal, and finally bonus track Ai, kā man patīk. A raucous punk metal version of presumably a Latvian folk song with lecherous grooves and vociferous passion to the fore, it is quite superb and the perfect end to an increasingly addictive release.

Saintorment is a band all thrash fans should take time out to explore, their album a stomp which thickly satisfies each and every time, and their open potential something to keep a close ear upon. In reference to the final song, Oh how I like it!

Defective Mind is available now via More Hate Productions @ https://saintorment.bandcamp.com/album/defective-mind

https://www.facebook.com/SaintormentSNT/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Anger As Art – Ad Mortem Festinamus

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Listening to and basking in the furious unbridled thrash spawned onslaught of Hubris, Inc. back in 2013, there was a moment where thoughts wondered where Anger As Art could go from there to eclipse the might of their acclaimed release. Quite simply it seems, the Californian quartet racked every element of their sound, from aggression and creative tenacity to adrenaline and individual imagination and come up with another inevitable crowd pleaser in Ad Mortem Festinamus.

Formed in 2004 by vocalist/guitarist Steve Gaines (Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Bitch, Dreams of Damnation, Pagan War Machine), Anger Of Art is a band unafraid of showing its roots whilst savaging ears with its own individual collusion of raw thrash and insatiable speed metal. The years and releases have seen the band becomes more creatively bestial and gripping, as proven by 2013 album Hubris, Inc. and even more imposingly now within its ravenous successor Ad Mortem Festinamus. Equally, the band’s melodic and sonic enterprise, which springs as effortlessly from the band as senses crushing ferocity, has also evolved into something as insatiable and creatively virulent to captivate like a high class hooker within a war driven landscape within their new offering. In Ad Mortem Festinamus every element of the band has hit new heights to emerge a psyche twisting irreverence of vicious rock ‘n’ roll which for us Anger As Art’s finest moment yet.

It all starts with the album’s title track, a relatively brief incantation of voice and portentous ambience which soon breeds an imposing sinister lit tapestry of intrigue laced with a pent up hostility which is just waiting to erupt, something it does in Pissing On Your Grave. The second track initially lays down a bed of rhythmic and sonic traps before bursting with unrestrained animosity through ears, in turn marauding through emotions and sparking the imagination. Gaines’ vocals leads the looting of the senses amidst a torrent of crushing riffs and searing grooves offered by his and Dan Oliverio’s craft upon guitar strings. Rhythmically the swings of drummer Rob Alaniz are welcomingly intensive whilst the bass of Eric Bryan incites primal instincts, each adding to a tremendous and spirit rousing encounter more than matched by the following Aim For The Heart. Just as predacious and uncompromising, the track rhythmically picks at the already placed bruises whilst sizzling on the senses with sonic imagination and a great blend of vocal rapacity across the band.

art_RingMasterReviewAs expected, the pair of Tombward and L.A. State Of Mind show no mercy next, the first the most grievously enticing and volatile tempest so far upon the album whilst its successor is barbarous punk infused metal out to devour and annihilate anything in its way. Both tracks find a fresh gear for the album in their individual ways, the twists of imagination in the first a rival for the sheer irresistible and brutal rock ‘n’ roll of the second, though even so, the pair do get a touch over shaded by the similarly frenzied and venomous Unknowing, Undead. The great physically and emotionally caustic vocal pairing of Gaines and Bryan roar spitefully within the song’s blistering storm but just as easily wear the web of sonic invention which escapes the guitars to magnetic effect around them.

The album is nothing left than a series of highs but an inescapable pinnacle is the rousing anthem of Hammer, Blade, and Twisting Fire. It is a sure fire call to arms for spirit and energy driven by a relentless and deliciously nagging bassline. The track is like a brawling celebration on the eve of battle, with liquor like hooks and grooves extra intoxication before We Hurry Into Death becomes the vehicle for ears and imagination to dive headlong into a barrage of adversarial thrash fuelled rancor.

Anger As Art barely gives time for a breath to be swallowed let alone calm to approach body and emotions, Two Minutes Hate living up to an extended version of its title with its unsympathetic and combative animus of sound and intent. A moment to regroup is given by Praise Of The Firehead as it opens with a great melodic caress of guitar aligned to an earnest lure of clean vocals. In time though, its heart and underlying intensity bursts free in a mighty bellow with the song continuing to merge mellower reflective moments with angst soaked crescendos thereafter. Wrapped in volcanic melodic flames, the song, if without quite lighting personal tastes as forcibly as many of its predecessors, easily captivates as the band reveal further inventive exploration of ideas.

A final trespass of tumultuous energy and imaginative adventure is uncaged by Dim Carcosa; the track the link between the band’s unrestrained thrash intrusions and the more tenacious imagination of the last song, and ultimately another pinnacle of Ad Mortem Festinamus.

In many ways, fans know what they will get with Anger As Art, but with each release the band always surprises and provides a fresh encounter as they push themselves. There are many reasons why thrash metal excites so many of us and now Ad Mortem Festinamus provides yet another unopposed excuse to express that ardour.

Ad Mortem Festinamus is released March 11th via Old School Metal Records across most online stores.

http://www.angerasart.com   https://www.facebook.com/angerasart/   https://twitter.com/AngerAsArt1

Pete RingMaster 11/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Demona – Speaking With The Devil

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Though it is fair to say that Speaking With The Devil, the new album from Chilean hailing speed metallers Demona, is not really going to change your musical landscape of adventure and passion it certainly will add an extra rich and antagonistically charged slab of pleasure to its scenery. Consisting of nine adrenaline charged high octane driven tracks bookended by an intro and outro the album rampages with enterprise and passion leaping on every compelling note providing ears and thoughts with one thoroughly exciting riot of sound. It may not be threatening originality but it certainly leaves satisfaction and thrills enriched and overweight.

The band started in Chile in 2007 as the one-woman project of singer/guitarist Tanza. Early demos sparked an appetite in the underground scene whilst further afield in 2011 Israeli label Israhell Bangers brought the Nightmare demo cassette to greater awareness with German label Iron Bonehead doing the same with a 7″vinyl EP of the release. After this and the numerous other releases and splits before its release, Tanza moved to Québec in the June of the same year and set about enlisting members for live performances which led to a fully stocked full time situation. Debut album Metal Through the Time took the band up to new levels with its release last year but you suspect that the potency and adventure of Speaking With The Devil could and should be the spark to wider attention and recognition. Consisting of guitarist Gabrihel, bassist Jeff Iron, and drummer Antoine alongside Tanza, Demona is poised to make a deeper statement and impression within speed if not world metal with the Inferno Records released Speaking With The Devil. It might not be setting new boundaries for the genre though at times definitely probing them, but for sure it is irresistible thrilling fun.

From the brief intro which like its closing counterpart is decent enough, the band and album erupts with insatiable energy and DEMONA Coverappeal with Malvenidos. One breath is all it takes for riffs to unleash an avalanche of predatory intent and hunger, scything guitar strokes adding extra drama whilst the equally rampant rhythms encase the senses in a war zone of beats and adventure. The vocals of Tanza seduce and intimidate from her first note, driving on and matching the rapacious attack of the music. She is not destined to be up there with the truly great female metal vocalists but with passion and originality soaking every individual expelling she offers, she breeds a magnetism which only enhances the songs.

The fury of sound passes into the next up Dirty Speed Metal and never relinquishes its grip and persuasion right through to the album’s conclusion. The second track has an even greater rabidity and menace to its muscular brawl which seizes an awakened appetite even tighter for the infectious grooves and stirring sonic enterprise to stake their claim on the passions alongside the unbridled predation. It is a stormer of a track, an early pinnacle which is eagerly matched by the title track with its distinct character and similar breakneck speed attack. Imaginative vocal seduction adds extra variety and spice whilst the nagging sonic enterprise of the guitar aligned to the virulent riffery only ripens the passions over the voracious exploit.

Both Traitors and Bad Boy shove air out of the way with another contagious torrent of breath stealing rampancy from all corners, bass and drums caging the senses for the riffs and sonic invention to sear their lingering imprint. The first of the two has a punk edge to its combativeness, the vocals of Tanza squeezing extra squeals and expression out like a speed metal Siouxise Sioux whilst its successor deepens the threat from the rhythm section for a canvas which accentuates the scorching flames of guitar and Tanza’s best banshee impression. The pair reinforces the potent start of the album with ease and rigour whilst adding extra flavours to ignite the imagination further, the latter of the two merging some Danzig like horror metal into its greedy tempest.

The likes of the excellent punk ‘n’ roll infused Demona and the intensive Stronger Than the Hardest Stone continue the addictive temptation, though the second song lacks the hook and toxicity which launched earlier songs into the passions, whilst Mercenario stalks the imagination from its opening stance before sending acidic grooves and heavy metal enticement across its sinewed bows. Again it does not quite live up to the previous peaks of the album but is still very satisfying             and makes a great appetiser for the final juggernaut The Sorceror’s Escapade, the song another riveting speed metal ruction to devour. The most inventive track on the release it takes the excellent Speaking With The Devil via the outro to a rousing conclusion.

Demona have not set new standards of originality with Speaking With The Devil but definitely have provided an immensely thrilling and satisfying treat to end the year with.

http://www.demonametal.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 19/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Artillery – Legions

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With more charge to it than the national grid and stronger adrenaline fuelled rapaciousness than a swarm of ladies on day one of the sales, Legions the new album from Danish metallers Artillery unleashes a horde of riotous and rampant melodically sculpted furies. The album is a magnetic beast of enterprise and passion and one which takes the accomplished and acclaimed presence of the band to new heights.

To be honest the evolution from earlier releases from the Copenhagen hailing quintet is not as dramatic as you might anticipate but something has clicked within the band, whether it is the addition of new members or the finding of a certain element in their intent and songwriting, but where personal tastes could previously take or leave Artillery, Legions has sparked a definite hunger and compulsion for its exhaustive adventure. Formed in 1982 the band released four enthusiastically received and acclaimed albums before disbanding in 2000, for the second time. 2007 saw Artillery reform and release two years later When Death Comes, to be followed two years later by My Blood, both again earning success and acclaim. With a few changes across the years the current line-up  emerged last year with vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl and drummer Josua Madsen joining founding members and guitarists Michael and Morten Stützer, and bassist Peter Thorslund who joined in 1989. Following a triumphant European tour this past May, the band entered the studio with producer Søren Andersen and what has emerged is a thrilling unrestrained ride of thrash soaked speed metal within an album which simply ignites the imagination.

The Metal Blade Records unleashed record opens with the intriguing entrance of Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh). A tribalCover rhythmic coaxing is soon joined by a folkish dance, both aspects reserved yet wrapped in an eagerness which is hard to resist. It is not long before the song erupts into a blaze of sinew powered riffs and thumping rhythmic provocation whilst still leaving room for the initial beckoning to continue its call. Mere moments later and the band is rampaging through the ear with bass and drums adding a fiery predation aligned to the scorching of guitars whilst the immediately impressive vocals of Bastholm Dahl add their particular melodic flame to the proceedings. It is a magnetic onslaught which drips craft and imagination whilst chewing the senses like a rampant wolf.

The immense start is instantly continued through the following God Feather, the track taking over where its predecessor left off, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation and contagious persuasion ridden by the outstanding clean and fluid vocals. Imagine Testament meets Flotsam and Jetsam with a healthy dose of John Bush led Anthrax and the track and album comes into view whilst offering plenty more for the appetite to breed a real hunger for. The song is a virulent anthemic lure matched by the exceptional title track. As with most the song gnaws on the senses from the start, riffs a corrosively seductive temptation punctured by the potent rhythmic antagonism of Madsen. With an almost waspish irritancy to its grooves and a swagger to its breath the track is a breath-taking blitz on ears and thoughts.

Both Wardrum Heartbeat with its stalking rabidity and Global Flatline through its inventively shifting and evolving raid of diverse metallic flavours reinforce the towering start; the second of the pair simultaneously unpredictable, enthralling, and expectations satisfying, a pinnacle to match the opening two songs whilst next up Dies Irae provides an unsurprising and safe but still riveting anthem all great speed metal conjuring requires. The guitar play of both Stützers is stunning across the album with this track and the following Anno Requiem open showcases, the pair’s ability to savage and seduce within a blaze of time irresistible.

It is fair to say that the album is not smashing down metal walls but as shown by the individual majesties of the epically sculpted melodically drenched Enslaved to the Nether and the sinister Doctor Evil, where menacing predacious riffs and enchanting sonic ingenuity hold hands as they rush the senses, Artillery rigorously embrace thoughts and emotions in a storm of adventure which stands side by side with some of the very best this year.

Closing with the Middle Eastern seeded insatiability of Ethos of Wrath, the song a sultry muscular temptress which excites in every aspect, Legions is a scintillating and arguably unexpected treat for ears and passions to indulge greedily in. It is also a release which just gets stronger with greater captivation the more sorties you take within its exceptional siege, right now Artillery is at the top of its explosive game.

http://www.artillery.dk/

9/10

RingMaster 27/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deceptor: Chains of Delusion

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    Though from personal tastes there are parts of Chains of Delusion which crawl beneath the skin and irritate like a rash it is impossible not to recommend the new mini album from UK thrashers/speedsters Deceptor, especially to those with a passion for the eighties soaked presence of the genres as well as that of heavy metal. It is not an era which lights the wick to our enthusiasm let alone fires, but there is plenty within the release which leaves one bristling with contentment and satisfaction.

The Shadow Kingdom Records album follows the self-released EP, Soothsayer of 2011, which met with strong critical acclaim and fan fervour. The new release is sure to ignite similar if not further the responses for its predecessor, with the London trio pulling out all the stops again and then exceeding them with a direct and thunderous thrash sound. The songs which make up the release are not mere thrash though, the loud traditional metal and almost manic progressive squalls within the tracks offering a freshness to compliment and temper the nostalgic aggressive wash. Consisting of vocalist and bassist Paul Fulda, vocalist and guitarist Sam Mackertich, and drummer James Ashbey, the 2005 founded Deceptor, conjure up speed metal which whatever the individual preferences makes a positive impression.

Consisting of six tracks of which two are not exactly frivolous but feel like ‘window dressing’, the first Transmission I opening up 3558128579-1the release, the essential heart of the release is set in motion with To Know Infinity. The track is an immediate charge of grappling riffs and surging rhythms scored by some fine sonic enterprise. The vocals are raw and decent enough but arguably one of the weaker aspects of the album though it is more to do with the impressive imaginative sounds than their actual presence which makes them pale in comparison. The song is at its heights when the progressive elements are set free whilst the straight forward trad/thrash metal assault leaves a level of satisfaction which cannot be dismissed by any metal fan.

It is a decent start which is left in the shadows of the excellent Heatseeker, easily the best song on the release. The guitars scramble over the ear from the first breath of the song whilst the vocals growl and scowl with venomous intent. This charge is unrelenting but speared by outstanding inventive melodic sorcery and scarring rhythmic juggling. The track has a hunger and mischievous stomp to its incessant storm which is irresistible whilst the evolving creative gait and sinews of the song is a captivating and enthralling mix of incendiary imagination and bruising. There is very little if nothing to offer as a negative against a song which leaves one more than ready to face further confrontations from the band.

Following really a needless interlude in Transmission II, the thumping arrival of Sentient Shackles incites an enthrallment which the song never relinquishes. The jabbing beats of Asbey are as invigorating as the stirring sinewy basslines of Fulda, both forming a trap impossible to resist entering whilst the guitar of Mackertich strokes and inflames the emotions with its insistent and incisive persuasion. Into its heart the track is a bruising mix of classic and speed metal with progressive whispers calling loudly from within the intense storm. The track rivals Heatseeker as top brawl with only the coarseness of the raw vocals not quite maintaining the levels of its rival, even if they prowl and rub the ear with appropriate eagerness.

The closing Oblivion’s Call is a less intimidating eye to eye encounter, though it is no slouch on the aggression front, which conjures tides of acidic sonic cajoling and startling melodic initiative to wrap around the intertwining variations of energy and pace. Once more the rhythmic spine and stance of the song is as impressive as the melodic flames unleashed, to make another track which certainly with repeated companionship is a greatly pleasing venture.

The heavy metal aspects of the release may not work for us personally but it is hard to imagine those with a spark for the genre will not find great pleasure and inspiration in Chains of Delusion, a strong enjoyable release from a band in Deceptor which offers a revitalising spark to the roots of thrash metal in the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/deceptoruk

RingMaster 22/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Horde – Thy Blackened Kingdom

With an EP back in 2008 that made people take a keen interest in them, Illinois based band The Horde return with their debut album Thy Blackened Kingdom, a release containing epics tales of Viking legends, battles, and demons, all delivered in a constant barrage of thrash, speed metal with more than a splash of punk.

Having formed in 2006 and really only well known in their surrounding home area, their debut EP From Empire to Ashes took them to the attention amongst others of Stormspell Records, the result the signing with and the recording of Thy Blackened Kingdom and its triumphant recent release. Consisting of ten tracks of chest beating and sword swinging ferocity the album hits hard, fast, and with all disregard for the welfare of its listeners.

The album has a definite old school feeling across its battlefield partly achieved by, as commented by guitarist Tim Matthews “Recording in analogue helped get that old school feeling without losing any of the sonic power that is held in high regard in today’s extreme metal scene.” The aim was certainly successful but the release does not feel dated nor not earn its place in the modern folk/Viking/metal swarm of bands laying waste before them. As one listens there are numerous influences and references that spring to mind from early Venom and Celtic Frost to Turisas and the punk attack of the likes of Kvelertak. There are moments where bands like Motorhead, Maiden and Tyr raise their horns and at one point within ‘Hell Beast Of The Pale Frost’ a Metallica type itch also broke out.  
   From the moment ‘Death Foretold’ raises its muscled riffs and power, the album’s force and intent is set. A strong mix of old and new sounds the song is a satisfyingly enthused attack which barely breaks a sweat or crosses into new territories, though when it brings in a solo that is as discordant as it is fresh the track lifts to new heights. An increase in intensity and joy comes when ‘Thy Blackened Reign’ takes over. Direct and simple in sound and lyrical content, as well as in delivery it is a battle cry to inspire fear in those before it. The track’s forcefulness and simplicity works well with its punk aggression as guitars, bass and drums rampage in the ear.

The track also confirms the biggest flaw on the album that the opener suggested. The drums are throughout the release very poor, not in skill as technically James is intent on doing as much skilful harm as the music needs and gives scope for. It is their sound that is so disappointing, tinny and weakly metallic one can almost hear his mother asking for her pots and pans back for supper. Though not a perfect album this is the biggest problem with it and quite sad as it detracts from the drummer’s obvious ability. Thankfully it does not ruin the album to a majorly damaging degree as the best track and most others show.

Odin’s Blood’ is immense, a rampant anthemic declaration with resourceful guitars, a tribal bassline, group chants, and all the addictive juices you could want in a song to stir up the senses. The obvious leader amongst the tracks though two other tracks do closely rival, firstly ‘War God’ with a bass thump that was spawned in hell and a chugging riff that stomps like a thousand Viking boots over the senses, slower paced than ‘Odin’s Blood’ it has equal intensity and overwhelming power, but focused in a more singular and epic attack. The other ‘Vengeance for a King’, is a violent revengeful primal onslaught with incessant inciting riffs that devour the ears eagerly and a pulsating guitar groove that balances neatly with the emotive sonic solos strikes.

Thy Blackened Kingdom is worth your attention for these three alone but the consistency of the rest of the release makes it a very satisfying proposition. Though slightly meagre on outright originality it certainly brings more energy and pulse pumping eagerness to satiate a full blood lust need. The Horde is ready to go to war and with Thy Blackened Kingdom they have a sturdy and appealing weapon.

RingMaster 14/09/2011

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