Tad Morose – St. Demonius

TM_RingMaster Review

Well into their third decade, Swedish metallers Tad Morose, certainly taking their upcoming eighth album as evidence, seem to get stronger and more creatively dramatic with every passing year. St. Demonius is stocked to the brim with the sounds and kind of songs the Bolinas hailing band is renowned for. Huge and robust bellows crafted with ravenous rhythms and riffs whilst wrapped in stirring sonic imagination and driven by operatically toned vocals. The new encounter is one of Tad Morose’s biggest, heaviest, and most commanding propositions yet and with something for most metal fans, even those of us with a less than welcoming appetite for the style of vocals employed so potently by frontman Ronny Hemlin.

Well-received and generally acclaimed releases have marked the years and stoked the band’s increasing reputation since Tad Morose formed in 1991, that as well as line-up changes and a highly notable and devoured live presence which has seen them tour or share stages with bands such as Cemetary, Memento Mori, Morgana LeFay, and Demon amongst so many more. After the release of sixth album Modus Vivendi in 2003, the band stepped back, taking a time out of sorts. That period saw the line-up undertake a big change with band founder and guitarist Christer “Krunt” Andersson and drummer Peter Morén, who linked up with the band around 1995, welcoming former Steel Attack frontman Hemlin as well as ex-Morgana Lefay bassist Tommi Karppanen and ex-Torch guitarist Kenneth Jonsson into the fold. Signing with Despotz Records in 2013, the quintet released the highly praised Revenant the same year, its success easy to imagine being soon eclipsed by St. Demonius.

From its first breath St. Demonius has a presence you can only imagine heavy and classic metal fans instantly taking to, and others raising just as quickly inquisitive ears. Opener Bow to the Reaper’s Blade charges through ears with feisty beats and a growling bassline aligned to spicy grooves which just entangle the rhythmic bait perfectly. It is a potent start which gets even bolder and energetic as Hemlin uncages his soaring cries and vocal persuasion, backed by further strong vocals and harmonies. For us with a less keen attention for his accomplished style, the rhythms provide a predatory temper to devour whilst the guitars of Andersson and Jonsson weave scenery of skilled enterprise and imagination to seduce the imagination.

StDemoniusCoverRGB_RingMaster Review   It is a potent start to the album, not one loaded with major surprises but powerfully setting the listener up for the rest of the album and straight away the vibrantly melancholic roar of Forlorn. Keys and vocals add emotional shadows but also at times a rousing tempting which colludes with heavier, more rapacious riffs and a bordering on bestial bass line. By its close, the track has even the more resistant of us joining in its anthemic lure whilst both Where Ignorance Reigns and Remain straight after, bring their own musical and lyrical, not forgetting vocal, theatre to bear on ears and imagination. The first of the pair is tantalisingly adept at kicking up a sonic and energetic maelstrom or laying down a mellow caress, with the Skids like choppy riffery coming out of its calmer reflection irresistible. The second of the two songs offers a thrash seeding coaxing initially, stretching its flavouring once the vocals ooze over the imposing textures but always wrapping around one magnetically heavy and intimidating spine.

Black Fire Rising continues the enticing of ears and attention and like its predecessors has moments which just bewitch and other turns that do not quite relate to personal tastes. But it is just that, taste and already the assumption that those with a hunger for vintage and eighties metal will especially be in their element is confirmed. Day of Reckoning backs up that thought again, even if lacking the ‘something’ which has its predecessors stirring up hungrier reactions. All the same it and indeed The Shadows Play immediately after, only impress and enthral with the individual craft of the band and their tenacious exploits in songwriting and sound, the second of the pair especially with its almost brawling brand of soaring melodies and demonically growling trespasses.

Across the fiercely shimmering resonance of Darkness Prevail, the grouchier and more warlike Fear Subside, as well as the climactic Dream of Memories, the album continues to resourcefully stir ears and imagination, especially the last two of the trio, whilst The World Is Growing Old provides a power ballad of sorts with barbarous walls around the thick croon of Hemlin, and again another track to get increasingly involved with.

Closing with the full-blooded musical predation of Your Own Demise, a track where again the darkest, heaviest traits are impressively aligned with soaring and at times blistering acidity, St. Demonius is a rich and fascinating encounter. Certainly a wish for more diversity to the lead vocals might have brought further greed in our appetite but as said it is just something personal. It is fair to say with an old school bred sound which already has had fans of their chosen genre drooling in the past and now in anticipation of this thoroughly enjoyable release, Tad Morose do pretty much everything right.

St. Demonius is available through Despotz Records from August 28th @ http://despotz.bigcartel.com/product/tad-morose-st-demonius-cd-signed-poster-t-shirt

https://www.facebook.com/tadmorose

RingMaster 21/07/2015

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Skineater: Dermal Harvest

    Skineater photo

    Rife with sabre sharp sonics and a carnal malevolence transferred through destructively precise riffing and viciously antagonistic rhythms, Dermal Harvest the debut album from Swedish death metallers Skineater, is an impressive and savage pleasure which leaves pure satisfaction and pleasure in its annihilatory wake. Arguably the album is not venturing into new realms but with its aggressively sculpted malice and charnel house of blood drenched intensity and bone splintering violence it does not need to be to ignite the passions.

Skineater was formed in 2008 by guitarist Håkan Stuvemark (ex – Wombbath, In Thy Dreams, and Vicious) upon leaving as bass player in GrandExit. Moving back to his main instrument he recruited drummer Jeramie Kling, drummer in The Absence, Infernaeon , and Ninety Minute, with the pair recording two songs the following year. It was not until 2011 though that the project found impetus with Stefan Westerberg  (ex- Carnal Forge, In Thy Dreams, World Below, and Steel Attack) taking up the bassist position in the band. Soon after signing with Pulverised Records with whom the album is released, the band expanded further with the addition of guitarist Kari Kainulainen (ex – Mourning Sign and Amaran), vocalist Jörgen Ström (The Mary Major), and replacing Kling, drummer Matte Modin (Raised Fist, ex – Dark Funeral, Defleshed, and Sportlov). Recorded at various locations with mixing and mastering at Studio Underground (Carnal Forge, Steel Attack, Fleshcrawl, Necrodeath) in Sweden, Dermal Harvest is an irresistible result of a group of veteran musicians unleashing a fresh and voracious passion and sound which has maybe been festering within over the years, such its organic and instinctive animosity musically and lyrically.

     He Was Murdered makes the first rapier like incision into the senses though its finesse only follows a bludgeoning entrance from Dermal Harvest Coverriffs and rhythms  with vocals squalls casting acid on the ear like venom filled cluster bombs. With a slight aside in energy for the guitars to seep their own tightly weaved sonic  malevolence, the track forges a violent intrusion with blistering guitar play and crippling drums assaults menacingly accompanied by the delicious malefaction of the bass. It is a snarling brawling encounter which exhausts the energies whilst leaving one simultaneously enthused and ignited by primal intent.

The following Dismantling and Your Life Is Mine continue the ravaging assault on the person mentally and physically, both tracks raw and unrelenting in their abrasive animosity and unforgiving ferociousness. Like the opener they also entwine moments of sheer melodic beauty which are as unpredictable and rewarding as they are unexpected and warmly welcomed as some respite within the towering destruction surrounding them. The guitar play and invention of Stuvemark and Kainulainen is exceptional and their imaginative quieter melodic addresses sit perfectly within the tempests without any seam or drop in fluidity present.

In hindsight though immensely impressive and pleasing in their company, the first trio of songs are mere appetisers which certainly leave the listener enlivened but not as fulfilled as tracks like Made Of Godsick manage to achieve such their triumph. It is at this point that the album fully fires up its heart and furnace to wreak the strongest havoc and pleasure upon the person. The song is a riveting construct of quarrelsome fervour and burning invention which sows the deepest pleasures within. It is a mordant storm musically and in intensity equalled by the excellent and sonically rabid Through The Empire and then exceeded by the sensational Stab. This track strips, grinds, and seduces the senses and emotions throughout, its passage insistent, unrelenting, and sizzling with melodic flames, scorching imagination, and predatory hunger. The best track on the album it sums up the wonderful grotesque that is Skineater perfectly.

The rapacious, and perversely addictive Drifting is another major player of the passions, its greed and hunger musically and violently pure hellacious manna for the heart. Again it shows just how masterful and skilful the band is as individuals but also as a unit and combining the melodic side of the genre to outright volcanic metal fury.

Dermal Harvest is an exceptional release which leaves one smouldering contently under its aggression and quality, and also possibly whimpering. Yes it is not breaking new ground but it is using the essences of the genre in a way not many others can contemplate let alone employ. If the likes of Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Bloodbath, and Hypocrisy exploit your passions, than Skineater is a band for you.

http://www.skineater.se

www.facebook.com/Skineater666

8/10

RingMaster 21/02/2013

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