Native Construct – Quiet World

Photo 3_Cinematic

If Quiet World is the kind of thing the members of Native Construct come up with whilst heavily involved with their college studies, then their future not only looks rosy but the music scene is destined to some real greatness ahead. The band’s debut album is a fascinating end enthralling adventure entwined in more styles and flavours than London Fashion Week and an imagination which simply bewitches that of the listener. It is not without a few flaws yet for an introduction to the band and their creativity, a ‘wow’ is in order.

Native Construct consists of vocalist Robert Edens, bassist Max Harchik, and guitarist Myles Yang, three music students who came together creatively in 2011 whilst at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Using the composition and arranging skills learnt in their studies, as well as the technical craft and inbred inventive talent of the band members, the trio began drawing on a torrent of genres from progressive and classical rock to heavier technical incitements, as well as musical theatre, jazz and plenty more. Between 2011 and 2013, Native Construct set to work writing and recording what was to become Quiet World, predominantly self-producing the concept release, whilst continuing their studies. It came to the attention of Brian Slagel at Metal Blade Records at some subsequent point, and as their press releases says “What began as jam sessions simply for fun eventually turned into a full-fledged musical endeavor.” The band was signed to the label and the album, with its vocals being recorded with Jamie King at The Basement Studios in North Carolina, is now out there to surely stir up a worldwide appetite for this potential drenched band.

Cover   Quiet World brings a tale, to simplify it, of a mute and slightly unstable man who has an unreciprocated love for a girl which leads to obsession and eventual resentment. He also creates for himself a new, fantastic world where there are no oddballs or outcasts, which is where the album comes in. It is an eventful lyrical exploration more than matched by the musical adventure around it, and started with Mute. From an isolated climate with random sonic textures flying round the senses, the song bursts into theatrical and orchestral life. Strings and melodies spin an immediately potent and cinematic landscape of sound and emotion whilst the ravenous drum work is an uncompromising tempering of the fiery beauty. It is an invigorating start coated in elegance and menace, keys and guitars duelling with rhythms for voice whilst equally sharing the spotlight, whilst the vocals of Edens roar and serenade across the magnetic proposal. Relaxing into an avant-garde/jazz lit calm coloured by a seducing of piano and infectious harmonies, thoughts of bands like 6:33 and Pryapisme come to mind, and even more so as volatile and tenacious elements add their erratic and compelling presence to the mix. There are moments which for personal tastes do not quite hit the same sweet spots as others, but constantly evolving and unpredictable with that cinematic orchestral temptation returning in full persuasion, the song is intoxicating drama.

Following song, The Spark of the Archon, opens with an eighties bred synth pop shuffle, keys and percussion a smiling lure before riffs and grooves bring a rawer edge to the entrance. Once in full pop rock flow though, the song has a strong coincidental whiff of UK band 12 Stone Toddler to it with a Mike Patton/Mr Bungle touch too. Music and vocals again bring fluid scenery of unexpected detours and wrong-footing escapades whilst crafting an immersive and easy to greedily devour proposition. Lyrically at this point the protagonist’s new world sees the rise of Archon who leads an uprising in this new land against opposing character Sinister Silence.

The proceeding tracks bring for the main, different episodes in their enduring struggle, Passage next stealing attention and imagination with its stroking embrace of shadowed kissed strings around equally evocative guitars. Sultry and exotic, intimidating and melancholic, the track as those before has a perpetual shifting in its tone and sound, though it is more stable in its progressive flight and controlled in the additional additives of textures and styles seducing the imagination. In saying that the pent up creative bedlam which marked the previous tracks has to go somewhere, and like an itch which has to be scratched it bursts out through gypsy folk breezes and technical metal roars, to name just two of the delicious strains of the almost psychotic enterprise released.

Your Familiar Face also has a calmer interior within its walls, emerging as the most restrained of all songs upon Quiet World but unafraid to throw an unexpected twist and wink of creative mischief into its theatre of sound. It is a captivating caress on the senses but it has to be said by its end ears were hankering for that warped ingenuity, which is swiftly fed again by Come Hell or High Water. Sombre strings play with and incite body and mind right away, though behind their sombre face there is a twinkle which is taken up by rhythms and the swiftly joining vocals. Like a stage show song, it grows in stature and emotional drama, becoming a hearty bellow and in turn a snarling vociferous provocation, especially vocally. Of course by now expectations are redundant, the song ebbing and flowing in all aspects and extremes whilst conjuring new unpredictable and riveting antics.

The album is completed by firstly Chromatic Lights, a short instrumental detour within a raw ambience, which leads into the closing Chromatic Aberration, an epic twelve minute plus psychotic tapestry of emotion and unbridled creative mayhem. It is a chaos which is as perfectly shaped as it is emotionally deranged; every groove, melody, and rhythmic trespass a coherent and engrossing incitement in a cinematic flight across tempestuous and constantly changing emotional climates. The track is a dynamic and scintillating adventure all on its own, a mouth-watering musical emprise which combined with the rest of Quiet World simply leaves ears and emotions smiling.

We mentioned the album is not without issues but to be honest the more you listen and delve into Quiet World they are hardly of relevance, except to ensure that the band’s next offering when they have no other distractions, is an already highly anticipated proposition.

Quiet World is available now on Metal Blade Records via http://www.metalblade.com/nativeconstruct/

https://www.facebook.com/NativeConstruct

RingMaster 23/04/2015

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Shadowspawn – Ashes Of Sorrow

Photo- Bo Toftegaard

Maybe it is no surprise the striking and accomplished presence that Ashes Of Sorrow from Danish metallers Shadowspawn makes given the intensive experience of the band’s members, but that cannot only explain the impressively riveting and ferocious exploits of the encounter. Consisting of six tracks which twist and roar with a technical and creative enterprise as persuasive and impacting as the raw aggression and malevolent charm which soaks the imposing tempest, the Horror Pain Gore Death Productions released Ashes Of Sorrow is a debut swiftly earmarking Shadowspawn as one exciting and seriously compelling proposition.

As mentioned the histories of Shadowspawn’s line-up are drenched in experience in the underground metal scene, the band emerging from the union of ex-members of Cinerator and Gods Secret Army late 2012. Aligning all the creative and hostile traits of old school death and thrash metal with a technical expertise and imagination unafraid to taunt melodies and grooves, the quartet swiftly goes for the jugular and psyche with their sound and new album. The accompanying press releases suggests Ashes Of Sorrow is a must for fans of bands such as Asphyx, Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Death, Disincarnate, Entombed, Gorefest, Grave, Napalm Death, Obituary, Sinister, Unleashed, and Vader, a healthy list indeed but quite simply Shadowspawn will appeal to all with a bent for technical hostility and extreme metal bred voracity.

Opener Mind Shut Down instantly smothers ears in an infectious weave of acidic grooves pierced by a similarly impressing bassline, all punctuated further by the vicious demands of the drums. It is a fierce entrance but equally a compelling and inviting one which darkens as soon as the strong guttural vocals savage syllables and senses simultaneously. As the music, vocally the song shows adventure, a cleaner abrasion of voice adding fresh drama and expression to the just as pleasingly volatile and inventive sounds. Unrelenting in its thick snarl and predatory imagination, the track sets the release off in scintillating style, a level as good as matched by Life Is The Way You Die. Its initial coaxing shows a drama and intrigue which alone draws ears and thoughts deep into its impending malice soaked presence. Drums provide a gripping bait from the off too whilst guitars add abrasive toxicity whilst also venturing into a sonic temptation which is as caustic as it is melodically colourful. It does not ultimately have the same irresistible spark as its predecessor but everything about the song bleeds thoughtful provocation and incendiary frontcoverpersuasion as it reinforces the early stature of the release.

Hellavation stalks the listener next; it’s prowling riffs and matching rhythmic predation a controlled but deep rooting trespass into senses and emotions. Vocally another new passage of ideation and strength is forged whilst grooves and riffs collude to create an inescapable infection, given extra spice and majesty by the captivating flight of celestial aiming melodies. The mix of thrash and death metal is a sultry almost torrid but seductive blend on another pinnacle within Ashes Of Sorrow, a peak challenged and surpassed by both Slaves In Delusion and Sins Of The Deceiver. The first of the pair opens with a gut expelled growl and never loosens its intensive examination of the senses thereon in, even with the soothing melodic enterprise and gripping enthralling invention which clads numerous unpredictable turns in the outstanding incitement. The vocals especially impress and excite; another array of deliveries and textures shown to compliment the grind of beats and riffs aligned to tangy grooves and again a progressive, almost spatial endeavour. The second of the two has the imagination hooked from its opening swing of strings and orchestral ambience, the seducing embrace never far away even as the track unleashes its aggressive and rapacious rabidity in sound and character. Shamanic spices and symphonic whispers only add to the whole theatre of the track, a proposal leaving appetite and emotions basking.

The album’s title track brings it to a mightily potent close, a seemingly barren landscape at the start soon the canvas for an epic festival of destructive rhythms, vociferously corrosive vocals, and an epidemic of invigorating and bracing grooves. It all blossoms within a climate of melodic and raw emotional turmoil, creating a tremendous conclusion to an increasingly impressive and persuasive album.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shadowspawn alone, Ashes Of Sorrow stirs up a major appetite and attention for itself and subsequently its creators, a hunger you can only see, on the evidence of this stunning debut, being fed with greater exploits ahead.

Ashes Of Sorrow is available now digitally and on CD via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @

http://www.shadowspawn.dk/

RingMaster 04/02/2015

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The Voynich Code – Ignotum

The Voynich Code - Promo 2015

If there is such a thing as controlled bedlam then Ignotum from The Voynich Code is a thrilling example. It is a maelstrom of sounds and ideas delivered with an energy and imagination which swiftly has ears, thoughts, and passions recruited to the cause. The six-track release is the debut album from the Portuguese metallers who just formed last year, an immediate attention seeking and grabbing introduction to the talent of the exciting young Lisbon hailing quintet. There is a certain familiarity to the release it is fair to say, one bringing thoughts of other exponents of the fascinating sounds the band conjures, but more so an even greater freshness and potential suggesting the band will be and is forging their own imposing identity with their fusion of deathcore and technical/progressive metal with a healthy dose of grind and groove tenacity. It is a gem of a debut and one truly mouth-watering entrance by The Voynich Code.

It took band and album mere seconds to have these ears and imagination hooked as opener Antithesis, to a brewing haunting ambience, adds almost oriental like pokes of melodic discord. It is an immediately intriguing lure to which guitars add their similarly tempting touches before it all explodes in one intensive examination of the senses. Rich dark hearted vocal roars from Nelson Rebelo soon stamp their imposing authority on the now tempestuous body of the track, though that initial melodic bait is still using its seduction to fine effect. The guitars of Vinnie Mallet and André Afonso weave a magnetic net of carnivorous riffs and sonic imagination, gnawing and romancing ears over a tantalising percussive dance from drummer Nuno Cordeiro, a revelry and enterprise matching the provocative expression of keys and melodies. Twists clasp the storm of sound and inescapable malevolence grows in the vocal squalls, but it is the fluid and masterful mix of flavours and thick essences of varied genres which truly ignite thoughts and emotions, and a rather tasty bestial throat to the bass of Miguel Pires.

The following Amunet, The Decider instantly thrusts its creative jaws on the by now raw senses. An initial tide of covetous riffs and barbarous rhythms are soon veined by a similar melodic The Voynich Code - Ignotum - covercolouring to that which lit up its predecessor, as well as new variety to the vocal attack, guttural and swinish growls adding to the resourceful textures and fascination of the track. Maybe not quite as dramatically striking as the first but matching it in invention and riveting temptation, the track keeps the intensity boiling and greed for more growing, a hunger straight away fed by the outstanding voracity and mystique of The Others. Embracing an India bred melodic adventure within a groove infested swing of predacious incitement, the song flirts and savages with equal potency and simultaneous success. It is a transfixing and invigoratingly radiant abuse of a merger; imagine Veil of Maya, Mesuggah, The Faceless, and Scar Symmetry embroiled in a tempest spiced with some Korn and you get a feel of the third treat on Ignotum.

The industrial teased gentle provocative caress of instrumental MS408 allows a breath to be swallowed before Decoding of Life dishes out its own tapestry of viciously staggered riffs, rhythmic hostility, and a seriously contagious and enthralling technical swagger. This of course is all coated in vocal rancor and melodic enterprise. Those worldly spices of sound and imagination are never far from the landscape of any show, another Motherjane like seducing adding to the blistering turbulence.

Another tremendous peak and creative emprise within Ignotum makes way for yet one more, final track Acta Sancti bringing the album to an exhilarating close. Its respectful and eventful start is soon blustering with vocal rapacity and rhythmic rabidity, a ravaging matched by corrosive riffs and raw intensity. The opening smile of melodic charm will not go away though and immerses itself loudly in the caustic soundscape, sparking body and mind within every unpredictable step.

Ignotum is an exceptional introduction to The Voynich Code, an album which even as fingers tap out these words continues to seduce and impress further. Some parts will remind of more recognisable bands, artists the five-piece will soon be standing alongside in stature as they grow from this striking start it is easy to suspect and expect, but simply it is one of the most enjoyable and exciting extreme adventures to come along in recent times.

The self-released Ignotum is available from January 30th @ http://thevoynichcode.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thevoynichcode.com/

RingMaster 29/01/2015

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Armageddon – Captivity and Devourment

Photo by John Fell

Photo by John Fell

 

Over a decade since their last foray into ears and imagination, Sweden/American metallers Armageddon return with new album Captivity and Devourment, their most compelling and fascinating work to date. As to its strength against the band’s previous albums, that will be down to the individual and their appetite for the different stages of the continually evolving and exploratory invention of the band, but it is a creativity imposing and magnetic proposition which even when its persuasion ebbs a touch simply enthrals and when in complete tantalising majesty is a sonic masterpiece.

Formed in 1997 as a studio project by then Arch Enemy guitarist Christopher Amott, the Halmstad hailing project swiftly grip attention and fevered support with the release of cult album Crossing the Rubicon that same year. A sci-fi themed concept album, its lure and success was followed by the potent presences of Embrace the Mystery and Three of 2000 and 2003 respectively. Each release saw new line-ups in their individual persuasions and a shift from the bands initial melodic death metal explorations into power metal coloured landscapes. With another new line-up alongside Amott and a fresh creative emprise across technical and heavy melodic metal pastures, the now New York City based band and their album turn on ears and imagination to Armageddon once again with a bewitching tempest of emotion and sonic intrigue.

The album’s title track explodes in ears first, grooves and riffs an instantly virulent savaging as a hellacious rhythmic assault keeps pace with the track’s ferocious yet infectious start. The guitars ofarm Amott and Joey Concepcion swiftly cast a web of melodic and technical temptation as the raw caustic tones of vocalist Matt Hallquist abrase with varied and potent hostility. It is an impressive and gripping start to Captivity & Devourment, the dark hearted basslines of Sara Claudius and the unrelenting and creative swings of drummer Márton Veress adding antagonistic depths and appealing shadows to the dominant lure of grooves and the sonic ingenuity. Technically in craft and invention, song and band fascinate and seduce; the theatre of the song, as in most tracks, providing inescapable persuasion alone.

The great start is backed up if not quite matched by Locked In next, the portentous emergence of the encounter the appetiser to scenery of blackened malevolence courtesy of the vocals within a sonic tapestry of melodies and emotive colour. Carrying a classic heavy metal air at times, the track flirts and entices with every wash of melodies and bait of restrained rhythms with only the again caustic and this time not so adventurous squalls of Hallquist a tempering factor. It is enough though to accentuate the missing spark in the song compared to its predecessor, and the indefinable but prevalent essence which ignites the following Rendition. The third track, as the first, is a colossal beast in ears and attention within its first breath. The vocals are back on diverse form and riffs a rampant predation as they unite with the just as brutal rhythmic provocation. It is a formidable and addictive intimidation which finds a new plateau with the burst of impressive clean vocals from Amott and his subsequent tendrils of breath-taking sonic invention. The song is magnificent, everything about it as engrossing and seductive as it is venomously inhospitable, every flaming groove, unpredictable twist, and barbed hook a theatre of ingenuity and passion sculpting a canvas for body and emotions to greedily immerse in.

Its epic persuasion though casts a shadow which neither Fugitive Dust nor Conquer can evade next, though each provides plenty to keep an already potent appetite for the release satisfied. The first of the two rumbles with a great throaty bass threat from Claudius as guitars again burn air and sear the senses. Again though the vocals of Hallquist reveal little enterprise, certainly in comparison to the previous song, and dampened the seventies psych rock and progressive climate of the encounter. Its successor challenges and assaults with another breed of toxically enchanting and malicious intent where this time vocals find that enjoyable and inventive extra as they help enhance the internal conflict of the track where rage and melodic seduction entwine like creative lovers. The relatively short but exciting track makes way for the masterful drama of Thanatron. A gorgeous opening of acoustic guitar beauty swiftly has ears and emotions enthralled, and still tightly gripped as riffs and rhythms emerge from within its light to prowl and stalk the psyche. Equipped with seriously addictive grooves and scythes of melodic tempting, the song simultaneously bullies as it spellbinds, another incitement where every predacious shadow and melodic coaxing comes with thick virulence.

One triumph leads into the instrumental beauty of another, Background Radiation a warm yet haunting caress casting its own sublime provocative spell before making way for the scintillating and epically weighted grandeur of The Watcher. Brutal rhythms and riff driven scourges assault the senses with rapacious tenacity but have to submit to the welcome return of the clean vocal flames which erupt within the tempestuous soundscape. It is another mouth-watering tsunami of invention and craft which seems to grow broader and more impressive with every listen, just like next up Equalizer with its cantankerous threat of sinew sculpting rhythms and melodic exploration. Dipping into a mix of progressive and heavy metal, power and folk seeded enterprise, the track also captivates without restraint even though the viciousness it offers is held down by the warmth elsewhere in comparison to the absorbing turmoil of the last track.

Completed by Giants, though the CD version of the album has bonus track Stone Worker included, Captivity and Devourment is an invigorating confrontation and temptation. The last song is another missing that final intangible ingredient which turns great songs into insatiable treats within the album, but it is still a fine end to a release that can only be heartily recommended. As we said previously, you can expect differing views and tastes when comparing the might of the album against Armageddon’s previous offerings, such their open uniqueness to each other, but for us it has to be seriously considered as maybe their finest moment.

Captivity and Devourment is available from January 26th via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/fr/143_armageddon

https://www.facebook.com/armageddonbandofficial

RingMaster 26/01/2015

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Shattered Skies – The World We Used To Know

Shattered Skies low res

With their acclaimed first EP having escaped our radar when it came out around three years ago, The World We Used To Know is our introduction to Ireland  bred progressive metallers Shattered Skies, and have we been missing out. The band’s debut album is an enthralling and thrilling creative emprise which avoids all the self-indulgences and over blown excesses the genre can at times coax out of a band. Instead it creates an epic drama of passion and invention with a technical adventure and skill to match, leaving jaws dropped in awe and passions lustfully inflamed.

Formed in the earlier moments of 2011, the now London based band swiftly gripped attention and critical praise with the Reanimation EP that same year. The time between releases has been filled with a host of reputation growing shows alongside the likes of Machine Head, Dimmu Borgir, Alice Cooper, TesseracT, Scar Symmetry, SikTh, Animals as Leaders, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Algorithm, After the Burial and many more, as well as performances at festivals such as Holland’s ProgPower and Bloodstock in the UK, two appearances at Britain’s Techfest and a trio of visits to Euroblast in Germany. The World We Used To Know will be the biggest lure to the world from the band yet and like for us, it is hard to imagine many genre fans and beyond resisting the fiery imagination and seriously accomplished sounds tempting from within the album’s fascinating walls.

As aflame with inescapable hooks and grooves as it is with breath-taking exploration, the release opens with the short and emotive temptation of Collapse Of Man. A provocative caress of Albumcoverpiano, the instrumental piece draws ears and thoughts into the release with a sense of drama which simply explodes in the following The End And The Rebirth. The band’s new single too, the song dances on the senses with a vibrant electro smile before ruggedly spicy grooves and matching crunchy riffs join the vivacious tempest. Instantly enticing whispers of TesseracT and Circles, the track casts its own uniqueness as it expands and glows with enterprise and invention. The striking melodic vocals of Sean Murphy are an instant treat, his ability and expression as dynamic as the sounds and ideation around him. It makes for a scintillating kaleidoscope of adventure spun on the skills of guitarist/keyboardist Ian Rockett and the simultaneously savage and addictive rhythms of drummer Ross McMahon and bassist Jim Hughes, quite simply it is a stunning start.

Things only explode with greater potency and ingenuity when 15 Minutes takes over, vocals and melodies again a sure seduction against the slightly carnivorous breath of the djent inspired guitar predation and rhythmic stalking. As mentioned before, each track has an inventive and sonic theatre to its songwriting and sound, one which over the first song and especially this has a feel of early My Chemical Romance to it. The track is sensational, a cantankerous croon of an incitement within a whirlpool of unpredictable and fluidly flowing experimentation.

Both the gripping enticement of Haunted and the inflamed serenade of Elegance And Grace keep album and ears burning brightly. The first is an angst fuelled weave of acidic grooves and stabbing riffs aligned to ever mesmeric vocals and harmonies. Its rhythms equally impose their strengths with ease, intimidating rather than coaxing the same plaudits in thoughts and emotions. Its successor is a smouldering romance of charm loaded keys and impassioned vocal expression in comparison. The song simmers and boils across a climactic canvas of riveting Muse meets Dioramic like endeavour, and as the last song engrossing ears and imagination with increasing strength and drama.

The guitars are back snarling and abrasing the pleasures in the following Show’s Over, though as discovered in all always Shattered Skies songs, they only provide one moment in evolving landscapes. Their bait and Meshuggah like growl is never far from the frontline of the song though, just in a constant and seamless flux of fresh sound and inventiveness. The track is an inescapable contagion, so much so that it is hard to think of many progressive metal bands which can rock body and passions with such catchiness to their enormous technical prowess as Shattered Skies.

As The Sea Divides is a tempestuous turbulence of sound next, its blustery guitar bred climate and inhospitable rhythmic trap the scenery for siren-esque keys and the soaring tones of Murphy to poetically and magnificently colour. A little longer to draw similar lustful responses as other songs, it grows to new heights with every listen, though it still misses the top step found by the last song and the outstanding Flipside which follows. Almost bestial in its prowling gait and sonic tempting, the track manages to be savage and impossibly infectious with a melodic bloom of voice and sound to put any crooner and pop band to shame. The song is quite delicious, a must be second single to our minds and another irrepressible reason why Shattered Skies will take the progressive metal world by storm, well this and ten other great reasons on The World We Used To Know.

     The pair of Aesthetics and Saviours seduce senses and emotions next, the first exploring the scent of bands like Tool and The HAARP Machine in a magnetic tapestry of emotion soaked expression and soaring harmonics. Unafraid to have a raw edge too, the song is also ridiculously catchy, something emulated by the darker squalling presence of the second of the two. An antagonistic cage of riffs and drums from the first second, it scowls and teases with scarring tenacity whilst within the raw frame keys and the stunning vocals of Murphy roar and soar.

The track is exceptional but so is the closing eleven minutes plus of the title track which brings The World We Used To Know to a mighty close. An epic journey and creative escapade in its own right, the song seems to draw on all the hearts of its predecessors as it draws a mouth-watering and bewitching soundscape all of its own. Everything about it is sensational and its lengthy presence seemingly over in a flash thanks to its wonderfully busy maze of startling craft and volcanic enterprise.

2015 has already in its brief time seen some quite invigorating encounters, the new 6:33 and Cold Snap albums coming to mind, and on that frontline of excellence Shattered Skies sits looking rather sensational with The World We Used To Know.

The self-released The World We Used To Know is available now @ http://shatteredskies.bigcartel.com/product/the-world-we-used-to-know and digitally @ http://shatteredskies.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shatteredskiesofficial

RingMaster 15/01/2015

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The Body Politic – Egressor

TBP-July-2014-Promos-3344

As sonically savage as it is melodically radiant, Egressor provides one sizeable tempest of aggression, passion, and technical invention which thrusts Canadian progressive metallers The Body Politic into a whole new spotlight. The EP is a furious yet seductive storm which is as accomplished and gripping in its senses ravaging enterprise as it is in its rich croon of melodic and harmonic endeavour. The six track encounter provides a blistering fascination and unpredictable adventure which took a short while to reveal all its glories but emerged as another of the rigorously compelling events of the year.

Coming out of Vancouver Island and taking their name from the Clive Barker short story, The Body Politic made an attention grabbing mark with their well-received debut album All Too Human in 2011. Their sound entangles the nuances and freedom of jazz, which most members of the band studied at Vancouver Island University, with the colourful exploration of progressive metal and the predatory voracity of metalcore. It is a striking blend, skilfully twisted into an imagination binding storm as evidenced by Egressor. Following a period which has seen the band undertake several Canadian tours and share stages with the likes of Tesseract, Protest The Hero, and Scale The Summit, the new EP suggests it holds the spark to wider recognition as it sets the band out from the crowd.

The release impresses in many aspects, the technical craft, explosive adventure to the songwriting, and the striking vocals of Sam Britton the most striking of these. Produced by Spencer Bowman, the release opens with Vitam Agere. It EP Cover - Body Politic - Egressor - 2014is a haunting instrumental piece, emotion spilling keys stroking ears as a sonic wind grazes the senses. The restrained entrance soon brews up a forcible and portentous coaxing as guitars and rhythms sculpt a climactic air which is still soaked in that initial haunted, almost apocalyptic texture. The track flows straight into Armature, the track an immediate onslaught of eventful and demanding rhythms aligned to scorching grooves and ragged riffs. Driven by the coarse scowls of bassist Jesse Janzen, his tones as aggressive as the metalcore spine of the track, the song swiftly reveals potent scenery of raw persuasion from the riffs of Matt Aasen and Dan Montgomery alongside the thumping beats of Spencer Bowman. This onslaught is tempered by the technical flair and imagination the guitarists also unleash and the exceptional clean vocals of Britton, his entrance the final piece in the jigsaw bringing the track alive. As soon realised every moment is just an instance in the journey of a song, the starter proceeding to steer ears and emotions through avenues of raucous passion and ingenious technical enterprise, all soaked in the emotive keys of Rob Wilkinson.

It is an imposing and impressing start but merely a taster of greater things to come, instantly shown by the following All Hands. Electro radiance sets the track off before a torrent of contagious jagged riffs and the brawling tones of Janzen erupt, their confrontation swiftly tempered and complimented by the smooth flow of Britton’s delivery. The song then twists into an enthralling schizophrenic dance of psychotic rhythms and similarly bred sonic imagination, both aspects flirting with and chewing on thoughts and senses respectively. It is a glorious turn in the song before it slips back into its melodic fire bound in hostile intent. The track is sensational, a constant flood of creative intrigue and bold invention unafraid to wrong-foot and confront the listener.

Swing For The Fences has the task of following the EP’s first highlight and does so with antagonistic gusto. Grooves and riffs climb over the psyche from the off before relaxing into a melodic embrace led by Britton’s refreshing tones. Keys and melodies wrap emotive arms around ears before the track combines its dark and light side for another absorbing flight of riveting imagination and honest passion. Both sides of the vocals impress but it is the guitars which push passions from ardour into a lust for the song, their almost cryptic invention as bewildering as it is bewitching and never allow senses and thoughts to settle and get a firm hold of the swirl of sonic acidity and bedlamic enterprise at the heart of the track.

In song and EP though, every part of the band combines to create spellbinding torrents of adventure and intent, keys and bass as vocal in their own way as the rhythmic and sonic character of tracks. Colqhoun instantly proves the point, the throaty lure of Janzen’s bass and the seducing presence of Wilkinson’s keys potent and expressive textures in the song’s exploration. Though not as dramatically gripping as its two predecessors, it casts a seriously rewarding and imagination provoking canvas coloured by raw metal and jazz rock hues, before making way for the closing Irradiate. The final track takes its initial crystalline melodies into a turbulent yet infectiously captivating furnace of adversarial angst and provocation, shadows and light hurling themselves around each other through the stunning skill and imagination of the band.

The track is a thrilling end to an outstanding release, one with the flesh and soul to push The Body Politic to the forefront of progressive metal.

The Egressor EP is available now digitally as a name your price download and on CD @ http://thebodypolitic.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thebodypolitic.ca/

RingMaster 17/09/2014

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Algebra – Feed the Ego

algebra 1

It might not be dramatically unique but with a sound blending the voracious fury of a Testament or Exodus with raw causticity vocally and aggressively of Suicidal Tendencies, the new album from Swiss thrashers Algebra is one of the more compelling and exciting releases in the genre this year. To that irresistible rage of thrash hostility though, Feed the Ego and its nine tracks infuse an invention and riveting enterprise which as their band name suggests, is calculated and specifically honed to ignite the imagination. The album is a riveting and increasingly thrilling onslaught and its creators an emerging exciting force in the genre.

Formed in 2008, the Lausanne quartet set out uniting inspirations from eighties thrash metal and bands such Slayer and Sepultura with those of more technical and melodic thrash/death persuasion like Forbidden, Gojira, and Pantera, twisting it in with their own ideation and hostile yet ruggedly seductive sound. An early demo in 2008 brought the band strong local attention reinforced by the Procreation EP a year later. Their self-released debut album Polymorph awoke a far greater attention and recognition of the band in 2012, it subsequently earning a re-release with Stormspell Records. Now after signing with Unspeakable Axe Records earlier this year for their new unleashing, Algebra is ready and poised to push nearer to the frontline of thrash metal with Feed the Ego. It is easy to suspect that the album will bring hordes more to their feet in acclaim, fans and media alike and if not now sow the seeds to a deserved breakthrough in world metal.

The Andy Classen mixed and mastered release opens up with the steadily intimidating Survival Nowadays, its ear crowding wall of riffs and rhythms a menacing bait to which spicy grooves bring added portentous temptation. The algebra coversong starts like an imagination stalking warning, an insight to darker, heavier, and more open hostility which soon expels its weight across the expanding song. There is an essence of Biohazard to the now forcible stride and attack of the provocation but an incitement spiked with impressive endeavour and sonic enterprise from guitarist/vocalist Chaos Edy. The intensive riffing of rhythms guitarist Phil Void aligned to the thumping beats of Tony Sharp and the predacious lines of bassist Mat Showman, create a just as appealing challenge and though the song does not quite set a fire in the belly it warms up senses and passions nicely for the glories to come.

The intensive tempest of Prisoner Outdoors ignites ears and thoughts further, its determined insatiable stroll a platform for the scathing tones of Edy, his every syllable an accusing roar over his and Void’s captivating sonic sculpting. The track never relinquishes its rugged assertiveness but colours it with some alluring melodies and addictive hooks before the twisted enticing of Necessary Evil takes over. Riffs and rhythms again make a virulent and vicious contagion, the swings of Sharp senses dulling as Edy backed by the band casts a vocal web which is just provocative and unpredictable. With blistering grooves and a gripping solo, the track offers numerous enthralling flavours to its rampant charge keeping the album in firm control of body and emotions.

My Shelf is a slower more heavy metal seeded encounter, opening with a rich acidic twine of guitar invention. There is a bluesy lilt to its expressive smouldering of sound and a presence which intrigues and surprises with its emotive melodies and progressively hued emprise. Vocally, though Edy makes a potent offering it is an area which does not fully convince at times though it is more a personal preference than flaw. The song grows and persuades to potent effect over time though always pales against the might of Profound Guilt. Drama soaks it from first note to last, guitars creating an opening caress of haunted temptation before the track explodes into recognisable thrash ferocity. The core of most songs hold little to surprise but it is the layers of guitar invention and melodic mystery which turn strong propositions like here into irresistible fascinations.

Its success is followed by the title track, its threatening body emerging from transfixing scenery of rolling rhythms and winding sonic enticement aligning for a climactic atmosphere and conspiracy. The track is a mouth-watering exploration embracing its eventual thrash cored dance with a binding of guitar ingenuity and rhythmic tenacity yet never releasing that initial imposing charisma and danger soaked charm. One of the major highlights of the album it is an invigorating incitement which, as we said at the start, although the album is not openly unique it like most tracks provides something new and strikingly inventive.

With only the fade out a slight niggle, the stunning track is succeeded and emulated in glory by Ego System, its entrance and body similarly commanding and addictively imaginative before unleashing its raw thrash gnawing on the senses which in turn is bound in the inescapable lures of toxic grooves and sonic trespassing. Its triumph is followed by the again similar structure and presence of The Fort Broke. If there is one criticism to the album it is the familiarity between the thrash built spines of songs, this track’s lures a very close relation to its predecessor’s at times though that is tempered and often lost in the mesmeric creativity of the individual members which again only sparks a hungrier appetite for band and album. The last song Monotask simply reinforces all the power and potency of the album with its own individual and punk infused thrash provocation, again leaving emotions full and appetite wanting more.

A thoroughly enjoyable rampage, Feed the Ego is a rollercoaster of aggression and voraciousness for those with a head for hostile heights and the adventure for tight curves of imagination.

Feed The Ego is available via Unspeakable Axe Records on 16th September @ http://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/feed-the-ego

https://www.facebook.com/Algebrathrash

9/10

RingMaster 05/09/2014

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