Battlesword – Banners Of Destruction

As the band look forward to a potent 2018, appearances at the MetalDays Open Air Festival and Metal Inferno in Paderborn as support for Grave and Holy Moses already confirmed and in the midst of writing a new album, we look back at second full-length, Banners Of Destruction from German outfit Battlesword. Having missed it upon its release a fair while back and urged by the keen encouragement of our friend Markus Eck at Metal Message, we thought checking out what the fuss was about would be a smart move. This it proved to be, the release an imaginative and intense tempest of melodic death metal making a long overdue introduction for us to the Lower Rhine hailing quintet.

Formed in 1999, Battlesword has earned a rich reputation for their live presence and sound within the German metal scene, their 2003 debut album Failing in Triumph making a powerful statement in presence and sound. The years have seen the outfit earn plaudits sharing stages with the likes of Moonsorrow, Thyrfing, Suidakra, Warpath, Debauchery and many more alongside playing events like the Indoor Festival Battle of Otzenhausen and Slovenian festival MetalDays Open Air. It is also fair to say that Battlesword is a band which gives the time and effort needed to each step they make, a trait easily heard in their second album with its skilfully nurtured dynamics and enterprising textures. It is a sound which maybe evades true uniqueness, Amon Amarth easily coming to mind at times, but has its own character amidst enterprising adventure.

Banners Of Destruction is an album which simply grows in impressiveness and dexterity over time, each listen revealing fresh layers and dynamics maybe veiled upon initial visits. The same can be said for our ears about the tones of vocalist Axel Müller, his ursine delivery raw and centred on one attack to unsettle and scar ears yet with each listen his presence persuades that the album would not be as potent without his organic growl or indeed the specific craft of his companions.

The release opens with Spirit to the Flesh and an invasive yet enticing assault of heavy rhythms entangled in spidery tendrils of guitar. It is a strong invitation which soon breaks into an infectious saunter with a barbarous edge especially once Müller growls from its midst. The guitars of Christian Schmitz and Béla continue to encase the senses with predacious riffs and melodically lined grooves, the rolling beats of Andreas Klingen rousing and the grumble of Ben Bays’ bass taunting.

As the opener grabs attention, The Unnamed Magic similarly is a robust lure with its suggestive drama and portentous air around individual craft. It does not have the spark of its predecessor or seemingly the boldness but backs it up purposefully before the album’s title track winds rapacious grooves around the senses as rhythms pounce with matching character. The guitars continue to weave a melodic web as a great repetitious tinge lines their grooves, each adding to a suggestive tapestry of sound. Swiftly and firmly it eclipses the previous pair but itself is outshone by the prowling and imaginative presence of Grave New World. Müller’s almost corrosive style is a potent temper to the melodic spicing cast by the guitars, their union an effective conflict adding to the depth of song and sound.

The Silence of Victory continues the trend, one of the album’s very best moments an atmospheric instrumental which dances with the imagination as melodies seduce over a dark heartbeat while Tongues of Hatred brings carnivorous breath to the album’s experience with its intimidating air and touch. It is a trespass hungrily driven by the tenacious exploits of drums and bass but magnetically tempered by the spider’s web of animated melodies and venom lined but beckoning grooves. The track takes best song honours but soon equalled by successor Circle of Witches, a hip swinging, bone rattling stroll as flirtatious as it is predatory. Together they create the pinnacle of Banners of Destruction, a height prolonged if not quite to the same loftiness by the melodically mazy Bloodlust Symphony. It too is simultaneously a threat and enticement, Battlesword proving again they are adept at aligning contrasts.

Through the excellent Left for the Vultures where not for the first time on the album classic metal hues keenly lure ears and appetite and the tenaciously infectious and invasive There Will Be Blood, band and album hold attention with a firm hand, each of the two and especially the latter springing their own adventurous but enjoyably fierce and quarrelsome enterprise, aspects just as prevalent within the infernal temptation of Where Demons Awake, its charms woven by the ever alluring craft of the guitars.

Closed by the intensive examination sent across the senses by Enemy Divine and its hellish beauty, Banners of Destruction leaves pleasure rife. It maybe does not realise all of the bold adventure and individualism it persistently hints at but grabs the imagination from start to finish and nurtures a real anticipation for its successor.

http://www.battlesword.de/    https://www.facebook.com/Battleswordofficial

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Odium – As The World Turns Black

With next year seeing their 25th anniversary, German melodic thrashers Odium have set it up perfectly with their new album As The World Turns Black. A hungry and imposingly virulent slab of metal, the band’s eighth full length is a band at the top of its game but one still pushing their boundaries and the borders of old school meets modern thrash metal.

Formed in 10993, the Frankfurt hailing quintet has grown to be one of Europe’s most potent if not always openly recognised thrash exponents; a band unafraid to be as boldly infectious as they are aggressively adventurous. Among an increasingly impressing series of releases over the years, the word around is that As The World Turns Black is the band’s finest moment; a suggestion as the Martin Buchwalter (Tankard, SuidAkrA) recorded album roars in ears once again, hard to confidently dispute.

The album opens up with the quickly rousing The end of everything, a beast of a track which from its drone lined sonic seeds springs a web of riffs and grooves which alone has the appetite licking its lips. The rapid fire kicks and jabbing thrusts of drummer Jan Heusel leave an early welcomed impact as riffs nag and tempt; guitarists Rochus Pfaff and David Hübsch swiftly into their inescapable manipulation of neck muscles and imagination. It is stirring stuff given further impetus by the equally anthemic tones of vocalist Ralf Runkel, his swinging delivery incitement alone whilst tendrils of melodic dexterity just seals the deal.

Point of no return ensures the great start is continuous, the song winding grooves around ears straight away as riffs lurk and beats intrude with a controlled hungry edge. With the great grumble of Belinda Ann Smaka’s bass to the fore, the song rapaciously huddles around the listener before unleashing its own swagger loaded, groove veined surge. The bass continues to almost venomously grumble as the contagious exploits of the track leave their anthemic mark, together creating a glorious tapestry of attitude honed incitement.

The calmer waters of No goodbye comes next, emotive melodies wrapping the imagination as a subsequent wash of reflective vocals and restrained intensity looms. Of course things ignite with feistier intent though still the song has a reserve compared to its predecessors which adds to its magnetic and skilfully woven persuasion before Blind sets another memorable marker. The bass of Smaka again seduces instincts for irritable basslines, its grumble a persistent lure within the more tempestuous blaze of guitars. Though its chorus is maybe not as commanding as others around it, the track is just as manipulative with its devilish hooks and ravenous riffs as Runkel enticingly growls from their midst.

Every track has a contagion loaded temptation in their plans, it overcoming any possible resistance with varied tenacity across the album but no more irresistibly than within Revolution. The song is a call to arms in sound and heart, courting its arousal with just as striking invention and unpredictable twists but never detouring from its predacious core before Frozen world descends just as rapaciously on ears. Again it is impossible not to swept up in antagonistic torrents and aggressive catchiness though the track misses the more unique twists and bolder moves of surrounding songs to grab personal tastes as forcibly as others. In saying that its melodic caresses are simply tantalising and pleasure never less than full as with the more barbarous exploits of Time is a killer where riffs and rhythms alone prey on the senses. Almost carnal in nature and tone, the track is superb, another invitation for the spirit and emotions to get thickly involved.

The album’s title track follows and quickly has attention cast in a web of melodic enterprise and intrigue, every subsequent tendril a suggestion in sound explored by Riunkel. Bringing another fresh spice and aspect to the release, the song is a tenacious croon unable to keep its riotous instincts in check and only growing more compelling because of it.

Closed up by the rhythmically commanding and sonically conspiring Inside the Incubus, the track a nefarious invitation turning into a bullish stomp, As The World Turns Black leaves greed and exhaustion in its wake. It is a full-on trespass which rewards submission with a tapestry of melodic fascination. For the second time in a week we have to say, here is one of the most enjoyable and invigorating thrash encounters of recent years.

As The World Turns Black is out now via Black Sunset / MDD across most online stores.

Upcoming live shows

  1. August – Hasselroth, Rock in Schröth Open Air
  2. November – Nijmegen (NL), Rockcafe Backstage

http://odium-metal.de/     https://www.facebook.com/odium.thrashmetal/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Celtachor: Nine Waves From The Shore

celtachor

    Celtachor is a band whose name we had come across plenty of times without making a concentrated effort to seriously check out their sounds. The release of their debut album Nine Waves From The Shore has given us the opportunity to amend that slackness and with ease the Irish blackened folk metallers impress. Their album is a refreshing and potent blend of Celtic folk and black metal with a passion and heart for its inspiration and a sound which shares those same intensive traits; an aggressive and melodic enchantment which leaves one smitten.

From an established idea in 2007 to a realised and working band in 2010, Dubliners Celtachor have announced themselves as the ‘the narrators of Irish Mythology’ with the purpose of bringing to life their vision of the stories which live vibrantly within that history. Since forming the band has earned a strong reputation through their live shows which has found them alongside bands such as Skyforger, Primordial, Heidevolk, Suidakra, Cruachan, Wolfchant, Alestorm, Darkest Era, and many more, and their previous self recorded demo In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers of 2010. The newly self-released Nine Waves From The Shore was recorded across 2011 and 2012; the time and intense attention spent on its craft and realisation obvious in presence within the release and its perfect blend of two arguably opposing yet conducive genres. The seamless and instinctive merger of the venomous and uncompromising essences of black metal and the contagious and epic glory of folk metal is an impressively accomplished and sculpted weave, a balance which could be difficult and precarious for most achieved with skilled imagination here. Probably the release does not have the swagger of the best folk/pagan metal albums but the seriousness which comes from their obvious attention to detail and the potent shadows which line the vision inspiring tales, makes the release just as compelling.

As the building waves of intensity in opener The Landing: Amergin’s Conquest envelop the ear to make way for the fiery Celtachor-–-Nine-Waves-From-The-Shoreguitars and smouldering atmosphere thereafter there is an immediate immersion into the powerful presence of the song. The vocals of Stephen Roche are a rasping squall which storm from within the blanket of tempest sourced sounds whilst the glorious persuasions of the whistle and passion directing rhythms hold a firm and hypnotic grip. Epic, aggressive, and challenging in sound and within its tale, the track is a towering fortress of incendiary forces and primal instinct.

The following track, The Battle of Tailtin takes over from the ten minute colossus with a similarly driven assault, though only after igniting the senses with an excellent rhythmic intro which calls the body to arms ready for the bruising encounter. Again as the vocals spill their expressive spite the guitars of David Quinn and Fionn Staffort ignite the expanses of melodic enterprise and unrelenting brutality whilst the bass of Emile Quigley (who has since left the band to be replaced by Oliver Deegan) adds an irresistible darkness to the track which is as inviting as it is intimidating. Mid-way the riotous sounds recede to open up the vision of the battlefield framed by the continually impressive beats of Anaïs Chareyre and the fiery impassioned incitement of the whistle. Overall it is another full on expansive storm in intensity and length, the song a companion to its predecessor in more ways and one and leaves by its departing consumption of ravenous metal, an exhausted listener behind.

The acoustic beckoning of The Kingship Of Bodb Dearg with again stunning melodic caresses from the whistles instantly has one smouldering in pleasure and when the heavier yet enthused bassline and energising drums enter there is  an immediate submission before its majesty. Soon though the song unveils its sinews and stomps across the ear with an energetic muscular infectious whilst again the vocals of Roche skilfully removes the protective layers between his caustic delivery and the senses. The track is a varied and adventurous episode in the theme of the album with again a superbly crafted meld of dark and light in all aspects whilst the following Sorrow Of The Dagda again teases and kisses the ear with a delicious acoustic entrance before crushing the air and ear with a tremendous onslaught of rhythms and intense hostility. The track is a rampaging furnace of invention and passion which travels the lengths of sonic extremes with real craft. As impressive though it is it does find itself overshadowed by its successor the gorgeous instrumental Tar éis an Sidhe. A heated breeze of golden warm melodic shards and enrapturing beauty the song is a sublime and emotive glory.

The album closes by returning to the ferocity of before with the tribal mayhem of the excellent Conn Of The Hundred Battles and the equally combative Anann: Ermne’s Daughter. Both are heart pounding encounters which ignite the passions and with the moment of reflective peace before ensures that the album ends on its greatest plateau. Nine Waves From The Shore is a fully absorbing and thrilling release though not without a niggle, the vocals needing more clarity within the rich expanse of sound and possible a little diversity too, but it only inspires one to feel the band is destined for greatness. Do not wait until then though Celtachor deserves your recognition now.

http://www.celtachor.com/

RingMaster 29/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cold Rush: Disclosing The Vicious Seeds

With an album imminent German industrial metalers Cold Rush have made a mightily firm case for great anticipation and impatience for the forthcoming release with their new maxi single Disclosing The Vicious Seeds. Varied, stirring, and infectious the two track single shows the returning band has evolved their sound into a harder and more addictive proposition which invites, entraps, and exhilarates the ear and beyond for a deep satisfaction.

Disclosing The Vicious Seeds is a fore taste for the new album AmoKKoma, the follow-up to debut The Illness of 2009. The years have seen Cold Rush sharing stages with the likes of Megadeth, Last Instance, Mono Inc., Debauchery, Equlibrium, and Suidakra across Germany and the band riling up Europe with a tour alongside Kreator, their sounds finding an easy fit to metal, rock, and industrial hearts. The two years since their first album has seen the sound of the Munich band as previously mentioned, expand into a more eagerly catchy and powerful beast, maybe inspired by the addition of new vocalist Matthias Kupka (Suidakra and Emergency Gate), who brings a fiercer and darker crunch to the vocals and energy. Their sound is grounded in the industrial bands from the nineties, addictive and challenging with a steely intent to provoke and melodically corrupt, the new single the first result.

Opening song Daily Crime (Second Edition) opens on sparkling synth melodies spotting the ear and an intrusive grind behind a sampled vocal. Intriguing from the off it soon breaks out into a wave of smothering density and metal forcefulness tempered with warm and compulsive melodies. The vocals of Kupka are harsh and intimidating backed up by sounds from guitarists K.L. and Wutzl that are incisive, and rhythms from bassist Ramirez and drummer Flo which steal away the breath with their dark command. The spreading electro synths sweep through and over every sense with the song overall a piece which carries an ominous atmospheric darkness.

Second song White Z is a fuller rock/metal track bringing a mix of the likes of Rammstein in league with Scum Of The Earth. The track stomps across the senses with a might and intensity that raises pulse rates and draws air punching fists. The bass of Ramirez growls and prowls the song wonderfully adding spite to an already formidable energy and attack from the guitars and the muscular vocals of Kupka.  The new aggressive yet contagious element to their sound has brought something new out of the band that is impressive, their craft at bringing their electro and melodic skills into a seamless meld with the harder intensity very rewarding for the ear.

Disclosing The Vicious Seeds is an excellent forerunner to the new full length release currently being completed by Cold Rush and if there is one complaint it is that this single has now made the wait for their album  even more impatient.

www.cold-rush.com

RingMaster 17/03/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

http://soundcloud.com/rockngrowl/cold-rush-daily-crime

 

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