Furyborn – Dawn Of Leviathan

Since emerging in 2010, UK outfit Furyborn seem to make a potent statement with every move they make within the British metal scene. From their live debut in 2011, they have earned support and a reputation which has only gathered momentum and is sure to again with the release of their debut album, Dawn Of Leviathan. It is a ferociously imposing and compelling affair that arouses the same senses it trespasses with the band’s increasingly distinct and adventurous style of melodic death metal.

That live side of the Poole hailing quintet has seen them become one of the most potent forces across the South of England, win the regional Metal 2 The Masses competition and play Bloodstock Open Air for only their seventh live outing. Since then they have shared stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Threat Signal, Mors Principium Est, Sylosis, The Agonist, Malefice, The Defiled, Evile, (Hed) P.E. and Ted Maul as well as release their first acclaimed EP, The Reaping Of Our Days released in 2012 through Bored Stiff Records. Fair to say the band has been nagging at national and broader attention since day one, increasingly growing both which the highly anticipated Dawn Of Leviathan can only escalate.

The album quickly shows a new strength in intensity, craft, and imagination within Furyborn; a growth in all aspects infused into a maturity which is maybe unexpected within a first full-length, even from a band in its seventh year. Dawn of Leviathan opens with the atmospheric trespass of Second Sun, a brief harass of raw sonic dissonance which leads into the album’s title track where instantly a barrage of intrusive beats from drummer Tim Coulson and ravenous riffs from rhythm guitarist Rob Walker devour ears. Just as forceful are the raw throated roars of vocalist Jut Tabor who quickly seizes attention with his grudging tones, their causticity leading to a great flame of clean endeavour; the frontman, as the sounds around him showing a new dexterity and range which only impresses. It takes little time for band and song to reveal a new lofty plateau to that of the first EP, the melodic suggestiveness of lead guitarist Nick Richardson alone a striking new adventure equipped with the broader imagination and uniqueness that flows through the veins of the track.

The Reckoning follows with the same striking creative tenacity and character, the track a tirade of biting rhythms and corrosive riffs leading the listener into a web of melodic and cleanly delivered temptation. Within the burly, ravenous tempest of bitter sonic and vocal inhospitality, it makes for a compelling mix which only intensifies its lures as the song evolves and broadens its inventive landscape before Exult in Extinction uncages its own rabid assault again led by the uncompromising swings of Coulson. Stalking the senses, the bass of Timmy Hodgson is predatory if sometimes overwhelmed by the storm of riffs and beats while again Richardson veins the cauldron of sound with tendrils of skilful melodic lava. Contrasts flare and meet within the encounter, each colluding with and countering the other in a twisting tempest matched by vocal resourcefulness across the band.

The industrial opening of A Fault in Our Design brings a bold hint of Fear Factory like hues before the track turns to stalking and intimidating the senses. There is a swing to its core presence with breeds the infectiousness soon seeping into every element, the result a blistering yet controlled incitement as predatory as it is melodically tenacious while Life Begins uncages its own mercurial invasion of sound and emotion. Though swiftly persuasive and increasingly compelling, the song does not quite reach the inventive and  gripping heights of its predecessors for these ears though individual flair is as open as the track’s animosity and melodic assurance.

The raw rabidity of I Am Heresy has the imagination and appetite magnetically hooked again straight after with its ravenous and invitingly inhospitable assault of the senses while Deep Rising provides an enthralling lure of Tabor’s striking clean side courted by a laid back but fully suggestive climate of electronically led sound. With the irresistible carnivorous tone of Hodgson’s bass to the fore, the track is superb, another stirring magnet within the release adding further aspects to the bold adventure and evolving imagination of Furyborn.

The album concludes with firstly the varied metal symphony of Wraith, an array of flavours swarming with each other before a writhing death metal causticity bursts from within their midst, and finally with the symphonically laced As We Burn. The closer revels in all the new attributes of the band’s sound and writing, its proposal as invasively seductive as it is rancorous and transfixing. Again Fear Factory-esque hues entice as more Sepultura/Gojira like elements challenge, each woven into the individual character of Furyborn’s own sound. One of its major highlights, the song ensures that Dawn of Leviathan ends on a fascinating high.

Throughout, the album tightly holds attention and fiercely pleases, increasingly so with every subsequent listen. The fact that you still feel we are listening in on one step in a journey still to unfold only adds to the impressive nature of a release which is as much about potential as it is ear exciting craft and adventure.

Dawn of Leviathan is out now through most online stores and @ http://furyborn.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/furyborn/

Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Xerosun – This Dark Rage

Photography by Olga Kuzmenko

Time for another catch up moment, this time with the This Dark Rage EP from Irish melodic death metallers Xerosun released a handful of months back. It is fair to say that since we covered and enjoyed the band’s debut album Absence of Light way back in 2011, they and their sound have quite simply evolved into completely new attention grabbing beasts, changes and evolution leading to their latest impressive  proposition more than deserving of a belated look.

With a just as hungry progressive bent to their ravenous sound, the Dublin quintet has persistently drawn greater praise and support in recent times. Building on previous successes like that first album and sharing stages with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Soulfly, Xerath, and In This Moment, the past two years have been exceptionally busy for Xerosun. Two headline UK tours have been accompanied by performances at festivals such as Mammothfest and Siege of Limerick, times capped off by the release of EP/mini album This Dark Rage and the Olga Kuzmenko created video for its title track, both themed around the Craigslist killer Miranda Barbour, a subject set to be further explored in the band’s new album set for later this year.

This Dark Rage opens with that title track, vocalist Martyna Halas-Yeates’ raw throated scowls courted by the predatory prowl of guitars and rhythms; it all soaked in venom and spite. As riffs continue to gnaw and beats stab, the primal instincts of the track suddenly flip into a groove driven canter, Halas-Yeates’ tones becoming a siren of beauty before the beast returns in voice and song again. The rapier like jabs of drummer Damian Dziennik hold even more spite while David Kuchar’s bass is savage in tone and flirtatious in swing matching the now established web of hostility and grooving. It is a compelling blend and result, the guitars of Fiachra Kelly and Gareth Jeffs rich in craft and enterprise while Halas-Yeates captivates in her dual persona. She is angel and demon and though her melodic prowess feels more natural, her vocal causticity only convinces within the adventurous tapestry around her, wicked grooves deviously colouring the unfolding lyrical drama.

Anatomy of a Lie follows the great start, even overshadowing it as it creates its own groove sculpted temptation, one again bred from ruinous fractions of intent and a blossoming of magnetic melodies and harmonic flames again led by Halas-Yeates’ kind side. It is a song which has grown and evolved since its first outing within a great video back in 2013 and another sign of the band’s hunger to grow and draw every ounce of their imagination to the fore. As all tracks, it is a fusion of flavours beyond the description we first gave you, a controlled but bold maelstrom of antipathy and warmth lighting the senses much as the tempest within next up I Spared Hundreds succeeds in. With electronic essences almost taunting ears from its shadows, the song is a carnal provocation with a relatively latent but openly glimpsed peace. Harmonies and keys temper the cancerous instincts surrounding them, while imagination is an increasingly riveting trait in the song as innocence and insanity mingle in the corners of its psychosis.

The release is brought to a close by firstly The Mother of Morality, a corrosive web of sound with Middle Eastern veining radiated in suggestive melodies and vocal elegance. At times it is like a mix of The Agonist and Motherjane, in other moments more Scar Symmetry and Arch Enemy nurtured, and quite beguiling. As the EP, the track just grows with every listen, the enjoyment of its first appraisal becoming more lustful and impressed with every venture into its passionately lit caverns.

Repent, Rewind, Reset brings it all to an end, its seven minutes plus a spiral into emotional and mental turbulence matched by a soundscape of volatile and schizophrenic sound. Though for whatever reason the track does not grab as powerfully as its predecessors, it makes for a fine and fascinating conclusion to a release which only impresses more and more. Xerosun is a band on the ascent with a potential driven, imagination powered sound to match.

This Dark Rage is available on CD and download @ https://xerosun.bandcamp.com/

http://www.xerosun.com/    https://www.facebook.com/xerosun   https://twitter.com/xerosun

Pete RingMaster 31/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

[Evertrapped] – Under The Deep

Photo - credit - Luc Delorme

Photo – credit – Luc Delorme

As much as the melodic enterprise and accomplished brutality of Under The Deep breeds major satisfaction it is the rabid gnawing of the senses from start to finish of each and every song which sealed the deal for ears and thorough enjoyment of the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers [Evertrapped]. It was the ebbing and flowing but persistent underbelly of the album which caught the imagination and appetite most securely, it in turn allowing the craft and invention of the band to create their absorbing narratives over and around it. The result is a release which might not turn the metal year on its head but definitely gives it another highly pleasurable and flavoursome kick.

The Montreal-based [Evertrapped] first emerged in 2007, its name intentionally written with enclosed brackets “to signify the trappings of modern life for all of us and how people, despite their best attempts to break out of the mould are still affixed to a simple controlled existence and futility.” Consisting of guitarists Frederick Dupuis (ex-Daggerfalls) and Vincent Benoit, drummer Eric Lemire (ex-Apocalypsys, ex-Ice Castle), bassist John Yates (ex-AraPacis), and vocalist James Brookes (ex-Ammonia, ex-One Final Moment, Continuum), [Evertrapped] has earned a formidable reputation for their live presence which over time has seen them share stages with bands such as Kittie, Deicide, Cryptopsy, The Catalyst, The Agonist, Slaves On Dope, Dark Century, BornBroken and numerous more.

Album Cover - Evertrapped - Under The Deep_RingMaster Review     2010 saw the release of debut album Tales From The Supermax, with its successor The Anomaly unleashed two years later. Now the band has uncaged the primal yet precisely sculpted ferocity of Under The Deep on the senses, its exploration that “of the deepest reaches of human madness. Not clinical madness, but simply the darkest regions of the soul and the blackest part of the human heart from a mind found to be socially functional, but is really way too far gone. And thus it seeks to explore what is underneath the deepest depth, hence no matter how deep you descend there’s always another layer that can be torn away.” As suggested earlier, physically and sonically it shows no mercy or restraint but lines and veins its hostility with a nest of writhing grooves and atmospherically wrapped melodies that not so much temper the tempest but give it fascinating substance and drama.

From the dark ambient intro of […], the album explodes with Arise From The Ashes, its violent roar set up by the climatic voice and bedlamic finale of its predecessor and quickly ravaging the senses with antagonistic nostrils flared and predatory recriminations spewing from the guttural ire of Brookes. With that great unrelenting nagging at the heart of its storm, the track explores a web of sonic endeavour cast by the guitars and marshalled by the barbarous incitement of bass and drums. It is an enjoyably formidable start matched by the even more vocally rapacious and musically carnivorous Underneath The Deep. Like the raw soundtrack to a vicious version of the movie Falling Down, provocation sparking a game changing reaction, the song twists and swirls like a malicious dervish as again trails of melodic vapours and sonic imagination add to the creative tapestry holding its own to captivate ears and imagination in the throes of the fury.

From one highlight of the album to another as Palace Of Injustice in similar vein but with its own character, bullies and entices in equal measure. The band has been compared to the likes of Arch Enemy, Unearth, Whitechapel, Soilwork, and The Black Dahlia Murder, and it is easy to hear why across this magnetic offering alone, suggestions again backed by the blistering lyrical and physical causticity of Hypnotized By Hatred. A song themed by the scenario of relentlessly being told one is worthless until it becomes belief; it is a torrent of intensity and rhythmic pressure which seems to return after each evocative melodic turn with even greater animosity and violent craft.

Fair to say each track, and the album, has much more in their depths than seemingly shown at face level, a wealth of textures and resourceful individual and united invention which needs time to find the light. The rewards in turn are plenty as proven by the excellent Blood Of The Fallen. One of the more immediate thick persuasions and thus another pinnacle of Under The Deep, it too still reveals over listens skilful nuances and contrasting hues to its corrosive bellow to become only more compelling over time.

Both Lethal District with its virulent swing within a dystopian savagery and the middle finger defiance of Burning Through Vengeance keep ears and appetite full and fiercely content whilst Reaper ignites an eventfully searing blaze of attitude, emotion, and sonic temptation boiled up into a torrential onslaught of whipping beats and carnal riffs. Entwining it all though is more of the tantalising craft of Dupuis and Benoit, their weave of suggestive melodic toxicity and erosive endeavour framed perfectly by the ruggedly rousing bass lure of Yates and the scything swings of Lemire.

The album concludes with Embrace The End, a final tsunami of spite with a no punches pulled reflection driven superbly by the continually impressive diversity and emotion of Brookes’ vocal delivery. The song is an enthralling and exhausting close to an album which just seems to blossom further with every dive into its heart. You, like we suspect many, may have yet to focus your attention on [Evertrapped], but it is a missing out easily remedied by a long look at Under The Deep.

Under The Deep is out now digitally via Hellstorm Recordz and @ https://evertrapped.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-deep

http://www.evertrapped.com     https://www.facebook.com/evertrapped

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Acrania – Fearless

Acrania Color Publicity #1_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

You would imagine it hard to be thrown off kilter and truly surprised within the broad landscape of metal nowadays, even in the avant-garde and experimental realms which blossom and scintillate from the unique creative minds of bands like Trepalium, 6:33, Pryapisme, and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen to name a few. One band which has and continues to through new album Fearless is Mexican death metallers Acrania. The release is a psychotic fusion of extreme metal and lyrical confrontation with virulent Latin rhythms, celebratory melodic revelry, and schizophrenic imagination. You could call it death jazz or funk core to make up tags, we call it one of the most exhilarating encounters you will hear this year.

Mexico City based Acrania began in 2006, taking their time to unite and hone their blend of Latin Jazz and Metal before releasing their first encounter, the In Peaceful Chaos EP the following year. Three years later debut album Unbreakable Fury was unleashed, its well-received presence supported by the band playing a mini tour in Germany with the support of The Wacken Foundation. Its 2012 successor stirred up even more attention and acclaim, An Uncertain Collision named Best Album Of The Year in the Kalani Metal Awards. From there Acrania has extensively toured around Mexico and Europe sharing stages with bands such as Diablo Swing Orchestra, Death To All, Exodus, The Agonist, The Faceless, Legion Of The Damned, and Havok along the way. Now Fearless has all the qualities to thrust the quartet into the broadest keenest spotlight, and the presence to inspire listeners to salsa and bomba whilst head banging like a dervish.

Fearless explodes from its first breath through People of the Blaze, the opener a tidal wave of rigorous rhythms aligned to a hypnotic groove. Its air is instantly and furiously busy as a sonic aggression surrounds it all whilst percussion get rowdy and the vocals of rhythms guitarist Luis F. Oropeza growl and squall over the concussive web of sound. Predictability is as absent in the band’s sound and song as dullness, a quick step into a temptation of throaty bass and spicy jazz seducing from Alberto Morales G. and César A. Gallegos respectively, a trigger for hips and feet to heavily flirt with the floor. At the same time a trespass of bruising rhythms and metal bred antagonism becomes the spark to testing neck muscles. It is a fascinating and bewitching incitement which never settles in one form or moment for more than a clutch of body moves before twisting in on itself all over again for a breath-taking maelstrom of addictive flavours and incendiary intent.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The excellent start continues through Poverty Is in the Soul, the beats of drummer J.C. Chavez S. a swift protagonist rifling through ears and stirring up an eager appetite. Its lively start slips into a reflective few seconds before challenging and inviting the listener through a slim but intimidating lead into the relentless fierce shuffle of its body. The sturdiest rhythms throw themselves around like a mosh pit whilst the more traditional percussive tempting just lights ears with exotic persuasion. The scythes of melodic and sonic enterprise from lead guitarist Gallegos equally spark the imagination, especially when they evolve into acidic strands of incitement alongside the same musician’s sax exploits.

Undoubtedly Fearless is a proposition needing numerous plays to explore all of its involved and finely entwined textures and corners, but equally it is an immediately impacting adventure sparking ears and energies as proven again by I Was Never Dead. The track is a bracing and hostile fury, though as much as it is fearsome it is irresistibly tempting as rhythms and sax stir up a hornets nest of lustful responses reinforced by another lively bass line and the spiralling invention of the guitars. The great rabid tones of Oropeza are the least adventurous aspect, his delivery pretty much the same raw assault on every track and for personal tastes and to be fussy lack the desired diversity to match the sounds, though to be honest it has no negative impact on songs at all. The malicious jazz of the song makes way for the funkier caustic escapade of Blinded by Power, it as expected a constant evolution slipping through ravenously aggressive, sublimely beauteous, and melodically charming climes in creating its progressive tango. It is a glorious adventure, a roller coaster of turbulence and melodic radiance before the punkish festivity of Overflow rouses ears and appetite into another seriously wanton greed, after which a respite for the body comes through the brief and evocative instrumental En el Puerto. Its quaint and nostalgic air slips into Hypocritical Conflict, an instant thick embrace of discord and raw intensity which brews and grows into a hellacious swamp of sound and agitation, though in turn that spins into a transfixing blaze of jagged jangly riffs and bass bait. Everything gets fiery and intense again before…well the changes and turns are numerous and a treat for all to find out in another major pinnacle of the album.

Man’s Search for Meaning starts with a hypnotic cacophony of percussive beats and a roaming dark bass line aligned to the potent narrative and tones of Oropeza. From there the song’s every second heads towards another seamlessly aligned and mixed collective of sounds, styles, and ingenuous ideation. As the album, the track is ripe with Latin tradition and flavours bound in a death metal breeding and malevolence, though it has to be said at no time within Fearless is there ever a moment when the suffering and oppression lyrically portrayed is matched by a similarly destructive musical assault.

Fearless is completed by Point of Collision, a final riveting tapestry of deranged imagination and experimentation which just grips ears and pleasure like a mix of System Of A Down meets Cynic meets Pryapisme. It is a final treat to an outstanding release, a triumph for those prepared to be challenged, at times bewildered, and ultimately thrilled. Acrania should definitely be a recognised world-wide presence after this.

The self-released Fearless is out now @ https://acraniaofficial.bandcamp.com/album/fearless

http://www.acrania.net/   https://www.facebook.com/acraniaofficial

RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Éohum – Revelations, Aurora of An Epoch

 

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The debut album from Canadian metallers Éohum is a fascinating proposition which manages to startle and surprise whilst simultaneously ticking every box on a personal want list from any weave of music. It is as if they instinctively knew what turned us on and explored those elements with relish. It is fair to say that Revelations, Aurora of An Epoch will not find the same level of reaction from everyone but it is hard to imagine many not breeding some kind of appetite for it and the band’s creative adventure.

The Montreal based and 2010 formed, Éohum (pronounced ee-o-um) is the creation of guitarist/bassist Jeremy Perkins, a “traditionalist and spirit oriented” band embracing a black metal breeding with anthemic grooving and doom cultured atmospheres. Equally in songs inspired by poems written by Perkins on the current state of humanity, rich elements of death and progressive metal are woven though not quite as dramatically and excitingly as the almost exotic roars of French horn which also inflame the album’s earlier tracks. The band’s live line-up sees Perkins joined by guitarist Sylvain Dumont and Annie Perreault on French horn/trumpet as well as bassist James Heymans, drummer Simon Bambic-Mackay of The Agonist and vocalist Barrie Butler. For the album though, Perkins enlisted the help of friends alongside himself, Dumont and Perreault; guests which include vocally Matt McGachy of Cryptopsy and Nick Wybo (ex-Vinyl Hero) on drums. It all sounds a fluid and unpredictable canvas the band works from and certainly flows over into the music and character of Revelations, Aurora Of An Epoch.

The album surprises and fascinates from start to finish, increasing in stature and success with every listen as more of its depths are revealed. The opening Leaving Harbour is maybe not quite the same but only because once the sultry scenery around a vocal piece of scene setting prose narrated by Lana Edwards is absorbed and appreciated, the tendency in every subsequent listen is to cut to the chase which begins with the next track Rooted Deep Within. An eruption of battlefield mayhem hits the imagination first but is soon swallowed by the imposing muscular and portentous intensity of death spawned riffs and rhythms. That alone grips attention but with the heralding horns blown by the lips of Perreault, an epically honed atmosphere makes its suggestive intrigue known before the track explodes into a virulent pestilential charge of venomous grooves and scarring riffery. The tempestuous instrumental track is like a hellacious dawning, one of danger and excitement employing wrong-footing experimental twists and progressive ideation.

Eohum Revelations Album Cover copy   The piece simply grips and inflames the imagination, not to mention ears, before Equatorial Rains takes over with a more temperate climate and confrontation. A deliciously throaty and resonating bassline from Perkins seduces ears and appetite straight away, swiftly aided by the flames of brass from Perrault and the caustic enterprise sculpted by the guitars. The breaking blackened malevolence and uncompromising rabidity in gait and aggression brings further appetising flavours and textures to the ever moving volume of sound and invention, as does the ferocious and cleaner rasping tones of McGachy. It is a formidable and relentlessly eventful provocation feeding ears and emotions potently with those horns the icing on the emotive antagonistic cake.

     Defined Sacredness comes next, opening on a predatory prowl of rhythms and riffs, each almost more theatrical in their stance than vicious but only helping lure the listener into the waiting slightly demonic narrative of fierce corrosive sound and rage bleeding vocals. Stabs of brass and heavy sighs of horn colour the hostile persuasion further, their toxic hues as virulently alluring as the riveting presence of McGachy.

The album’s title track has body and thoughts enthralled from its first breath; a roar of French horn announcing the tempest to come like a war cry, casting a challenge to be met before the song swiftly begins savaging the senses with sheer malicious contagion and intensity. It is a call continuing through the superb track, those golden flames of the horns an inescapable web of seduction within the destructive and to be honest equally addictive torrent of scarring grooves, abrasing riffery, and merciless rhythms. Bracing and arousing, like an anthem bred in hell, the track is a hymn for the lost and bellow for the despoilers, and quite breath-taking.

In many ways this is where Revelations, Aurora of an Epoch goes in a different direction, or certainly a less provocatively adventurous one. Wiser Every Sunrise which features Phillip Rieder on vocals is a collusion of heavy, groove, and death metal with hardcore/punk belligerence. Strangely familiar for unsure reasons, the enjoyable track is a brawling and volatile slab of animosity but even though it has ears and satisfaction heartily contented it does not live up to the previous tracks, feeling slightly out of place alongside them, which also applies to a lesser degree to Thus Spewed Thy Infectious Reign, a death spawned ravaging with a doom fuelled gait guided by an unpredictable creative menace. As its predecessor, the song only leaves good thoughts, inspiring them to contemplate the end of days/humanity but also hankering for the glorious horns and imagination seeded swing of earlier tracks.

Closing on Give Us O’ Rain, another piece of prose sung by Lana Edwards, Revelations, Aurora of An Epoch provides one predominately unique and intoxicating introduction to a band you can only imagine getting bigger, creatively grander, and more impressive over time. As suggested it might not light everyone’s fire as ours but if the likes of Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Trepalium, and We All Die (Laughing) for example spark your juices, then so will Éohum.

Revelations, Aurora of An Epoch is available now via Mycelium Networks @ https://eohum.bandcamp.com/album/revelations-aurora-of-an-epoch

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Éohum/821823887910583

RingMaster 09/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Hollow – Mordrake

Hollow - Press Photo

There are some debut albums which impress, some which raise a depth of excitement sparking a long term connection, and then there are some like Mordrake from Canadian death metallers Hollow which simply have you shouting feverishly from the rooftops. The release is an extraordinary maelstrom of startling invention, mouthwatering imagination, and enslaving hostility which simply blows thoughts and passions away. There has been talk of great things about the Montreal quartet from their live performances and previous release, the six track EP Cynoptic Eschaton, but it is fair to say we were not expecting something so devastatingly brilliant for our first introduction to the band.

Formed in 2009, Hollow has earned a fine reputation and potent presence across Québec and Ontario moving across their homeland through their live incitements which has seen them excel alongside the likes of Voïvod, Suffocation, Sword, Jungle Rot, Iwrestledabearonce, Blackguard, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Marduk, 1349, Tyr, Orphaned Land, and many many more. Cynoptic Eschaton drew further strong acclaim and attention with its release in 2010 which Mordrake is sure to emulate in much greater strength and expansion. Bringing new character to some of the tracks on the previous EP and plenty more new breath-taking encounters within its twelve song body, the Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope) produced, with Dan Lauzon (Entropy) and the band, album was recorded with an uncluttered ‘analogue’ like approach which brings a raw and honest dimension to the proposition allowing music and individual craft to paint a stunning fiercely textured adventure.

Opener Lament Configuration emerges upon a sonic prowl which is almost lumbering in its gait and thoroughly engrossing in its Album Cover - Hollow - Mordrake 2014 - smallsearching sonic exploration over the senses, the fingers and strings of guitarist Cadaver already capturing firm attention. Pungent rhythms add to the portentous tension brewing within the dramatic coaxing whilst orchestral melodies and harmonies soak the oppressive atmosphere lying thickly over the evolving scenery. Eventually the band step from the initial evocative smog with a surging stride of riffs and concussive beats from Blaac which vocalist Mott roars over with every muscle of his malevolence. It is an impossibly contagious charge which is just as compelling in its imaginative twists and enticements, not forgetting individual skills, as in its turbulent catchiness. The track is the thrilling declaration of things to come, a tempest of bewitching ingenuity and lethal aggression within a blackened pestilential beauty of sound and creative intent.

It is a staggering start which both Cryptic Howling and A New Life explosively reinforce. The first is a voracious torrent of rhythmic rabidity matched by an unbridled hunger in riffs and outstanding vocals, Mott gloriously unpredictable in his venomously corrosive varied delivery. Within the scourging onslaught, bassist Snow finds an even more intensive bestial voice from his strings to add to the hellacious web, a tone which is as at home sculpting a carnal texture to the vitriolic attack as it crafting deliciously haunting lures to the enthralling melodic hues which seduce robustly later in the track. The track is a severe examination of senses and psyche with more riveting rewards in its single body than most death metal bred albums offer across their full lengths, a treat repeated by its predecessor. Entwining ears in a climbing vine of sonic imagination which is soon under a tsunami of pungent antagonistic intensity and ravenous enterprise, the track adds to its surprises with contagious grooves which lead to a heavy metal endeavour beneath a symphonically seeded elegance. This is all around a heart which is predatory in the extreme and soaked in a simply irresistible rapacious appetite.

It should be noted that whatever description tracks are given here they only hint at the whole picture, so much going on and being sculpted that it is impossible to truly represent their brilliance and impossible to take all in on just a few encounters ensuring the album is a constantly giving proposition with every assault. The next up rampage of Landscape is instant proof, its ferocious vehemence in sound, vocals, and imagination a senses eroding, thought provoking ruin which wrongs foot with majestically flighted harmonies of keys casting seducing melodies. As ever it is just a twist in the soundscape of the song’s blisteringly shaped and exposed narrative, the track a purposeful sublimely designed meander that chains mind and soul from start to finish, whilst lorded over by the just as impressive vocal diversity of Mott, more of which coming later.

The pair of Iscariot and Sunriser throws senses and imagination into further exacting furies, both again intensive weaves of addictive hooks and toxic grooves upon exhaustingly adventurous and demanding canvases. As with every track on Mordrake, each is a distinct individual with the first finding a poetical grace in the keys within a uncompromising plague of voracity whilst Mott brings a brief but just as impressive clean twist to his vocals amidst another range of guttural and poisonously squalling growls. It is a glorious track which is followed by the just as staggering triumph of Sunriser, clean vocals given another outing whilst standing in a storm of demonic toxins from the raw throat of the frontman. The bass of Snow is also a real highlight in the foreboding drenched climatic air of the song, though to be fair to all the encounter is a scintillating blur of inventive animosity and imaginative pestilence for which all deserve the outmost credit.

     The emotively driven Vlad comes next, a track we assume inspired by a former band member from the band’s first days who passed away unexpectantly. With keys and violins an insatiable seduction, the song is another which rabidly suffocates as it inflames senses and emotions before making way for the provocative epidemic of sound and fascination that is Anomie, a track bringing orchestral flumes into an entanglement with heavy metal wantonness; keys, bass, and guitars conspirators in a savagely hued, magnetically cultured creative virus.

Generally in an album so incredibly gripping and awe striking there are going to be lulls or weaker moments but honestly Mordrake holds no such inventive languor, the following innovatory alchemy of both the chilled Snow where those cleaner tones of Mott are given extra time and the hypnotic maze of Birth, rhythmically and sonically as spellbinding as anything on the release. The same applies to closing tracks Hate and Death, two final incendiary expanses of fertile minds and musical ingenuity.

Mordrake is simply remarkable, one of the most promethean debuts in a long time and certainly within death metal this year, though Hollow have a sound and presence which you cannot confine to a single genre or singular mind-set. A brilliant album from a brilliant band, what more do you need to know?

The self-released Mordrake is available via http://hollowcanada.bandcamp.com/album/mordrake

http://hollowofficial.com/

10/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

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Dark Century – Murder Motel

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A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @ http://darkcentury.bandcamp.com/album/murder-motel

www.DarkCentury.ca

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

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