Maziac – Forged

When a release instantly and impressively smacks you in the face and proceeds to tease, taunt, and fascinate thereon in you know there is something rather special in the brewing. Forged is one such proposition, the new album from UK based outfit Maziac devouring ears and attention from its first breath and only continuing to captivate with its eclectic body through every passing second.

Formed in 2017, the London residing trio of guitarist/vocalist Tony Best, bassist/synth player Tim Stokes, and drummer Marc Vachon have already faced potent fan and critical praise through their first EP, the Justin Hill (SikTh) mixed and mastered Parallel unveiled in the May of 2018. Its success alongside the band’s rousing sound and live presence has led the band to share stages with the likes of The Ever Living, Epsilon, Derange, On Hollow Ground, and Winchester; it all adding to their growing reputation. All previous acclaim though should be quickly paled by that destined to be garnered by Forged, one of the year’s brightest gems so far.

Again recorded with Hill, Forged erupts with an immediate predacious hunger, opener Symptomatic a tempest sweeping in and consuming the senses. Rhythms bludgeon as riffs dismantle the senses, Best’s vocals just as urgent and rapacious as a cyclone of djent/technical and alternative metal/rock disgorges its rabid temptation. It is a starting introduction which only continued to incite and thrill as the song reveals its craft and prowess. As quickly and continually proven, Maziac have a sound which enjoyably proves very difficult to pin down with references to others but certainly within its ferocious sonic kaleidoscope essences resembling bands such as Fear Factory, Deftones, The Contortionist, Between the Buried and Me, and Spineshank swirl.

It is a stunning start keenly and powerfully matched by the following Escapism. Relatively restrained in comparison, the track still prowls with a definite predatory intent; its rich body wrapped in melodic wiring as alluring as they are cutting. Best’s vocals equally have a calmer harmonic edge in a delivery as varied as the sounds around it, the band’s alternative rock instincts a thick colour to the inventive metal of the song. It is hard not to think of the track as a beast, stalking and preying on willing ears tempted by sonic plumage of inventive temptation.

Cortisol teased an already eager appetite right away with the rhythmic rapping of Vachon, his beats taunting attention as the guitar brews up its subsequent eddy of bold enterprise and melodic flaming. The song’s progressive nature shapes its imagination; rock ‘n’ roll contagiousness fuelling the animated gait of unpredictability. There is a touch of Voyager to the track as too Muse but once again, it emerges solely Maziac before Prisoners saunters in with its swiftly beguiling lures. A whiff of The Kennedy Soundtrack shades its beginnings, a Muse-esque hue adding to the mix as the riveting track unfurls its intrepid enterprise and adventure to challenge for best track honours.

The melodic intimation of brief instrumental Vicissitudes had the imagination conjuring ready for the far more feral but composed dynamics of Again. Once more progressive and djent elements collude in its buoyant design, Stokes’ bass not for the first or last time a rousing snarl of incitement in the midst of skilled melodic and sonic endeavour. It is fair to say that as potent tracks are on first listen, each following play only reveals fresh depths and textures for greater rewards as no better proven than here.

Deceptive of its title, Allure instantly embroils ears in a pestilential cauldron of metal but soon relishes the band’s melodic dexterity and the almost poppy catchiness that breeds. It is a thunderous encounter teasing with glimpses of the peace at the eye of the storm, never giving in to predictability or anything less than compelling while closing track, Resolution, casts its own experiment in texture and tone to bring the album to a fine close. In certain moments almost primal in its climate and in others like a melodic sunspot, the song just enthralled as another aspect to the Maziac sound and imagination is shared.

With Forged ringing in our ears it is easy to be excited about what is ahead for and from Maziac because as suggested, they have created one of the year’s finest moments so far.

Forged is released July 5th; available @ https://maziacband.bandcamp.com/album/forged

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Pete RingMaster 05/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unbowed – Dogma

Unbowed_RingMaster Review

Two years ago Canadian metallers Unbowed grabbed thick attention and praise with debut album Collapse The World. It was a raw and ravenous slab of black metal atmospherics fused with death metal corrosion; blackened death metal with melodic tendencies that was unafraid to push it and its creator’s boundaries. It was also rich in open potential which has now been nurtured to striking effect for new EP Dogma. Offering four atmospherically primal and raw yet creatively elegant tracks, the release sees the Ontario duo breach a new plateau of songwriting and sound whilst opening fresh potential suggesting even bigger triumphs to come.

Formed in 2011 as a studio project by multi-instrumentalist Alex Snape and vocalist Ioan Tetlow, Unbowed proceeded to release a self-titled demo EP, the aforementioned Collapse The World, and bring together a live line-up which has played a host of shows and shared stages with the likes of Battlecross, Einherjer, The Contortionist, and Erimha throughout Ontario. Their bracingly invasive and imaginatively provocative sound has seen the band’s reputation grow within the underground spreading outwards and you suspect things are set to erupt with greater strength again as Dogma infests ears.

Unbowed Dogma - Final Cover Art_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with The Bleeding Throne; an enveloping of the senses and imagination from its first breath marked with a herald of melodies and atmospheric keys. It is a welcoming if portentous prelude to a rampant cascade of rabid riffs and matching rhythms within a wave of intensity as catchy as the thrash like canter that emerges from it. The craft and sound of Snape quickly impresses and works away on appreciative ears whilst the raw throated vocal squalls of Tetlow add a just as effective drama and predatory temper to the tapestry of provocative sounds around him. Thoughts of warriors, deceptions, and bloody turbulence are easy casting for the imagination as the song expands its sonic narrative, but equally there is an exotic beauty and expressive majesty to the song which grips the listener. It all further enhanced by the tendrils of varied metal and livelier variety in the vocals with blossom throughout.

It is a gripping and fascinating start which continues in the even more confrontational Besieged; though it too spins a web of guitar enterprise and rhythmic tenacity as infectiously alluring as it is barbarously intimidating. With sweeping melodies and expressive keys, you can visual the setting for the song’s drama and narrative. Broad and expansive, harsh yet beauteous landscapes are visualised, providing the canvas for the resourceful and enthralling imagination of the two musicians. As the first, the song bewitches as its trespasses, leaving a hunger for more which the closing pair of The Fall and Echoes of Cernunnos heftily satisfy. The first merges consuming textures and destructive virulence with flowing ambiences around epically poetic melodies whilst its successor provides an animus of ill-intent and immersive sufferance brewed with sonic rabidity. Both take unexpected and dramatically contrasting turns, the first especially enthralling with its melancholic and tainted reflections. The final song is more concentrated in its core attack but around its invasive spine, Snape creates a realm of celestial grandeur and earthbound intimacy coloured by the great vocal abrasion of Tetlow.

Dogma is superb, a release which only reveals more depths and corners with every listen. It leaves the band’s potent last album pale in comparison and equally many a black and death metal emprise heard in recent times.

Dogma is available from February 12th @ http://unbowedofficial.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2016

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Fall – The Insatiable Weakness

Fall_RingMaster Review

Busier than a swarm of flies on a carcass but far more thrilling and rewarding, The Insatiable Weakness is a seriously explosive and dramatic introduction to Texan band Fall. The album is a cauldron of styles and flavours within a progressive/melodic death metal landscape which never gives ears and the imagination a moments rest whilst creating a gripping incitement as creatively tempestuous as it is coherently fascinating.

Taking inspirations from Scandinavian metal and bands such as Opeth, At the Gates, and Soilwork to their sound, the Portland based quartet emerged as 2010 took its early breaths. It was not too long before they were a notable presence on the live scene, going on to share stages with bands such as Helstar, Periphery, The Human Abstract, The Contortionist, Textures, Fallujah, and Aegaeon as their presence and reputation grew. A self-titled EP was released in 2012, an encounter featuring guest vocals from Soilworks’s Bjorn Strid which soon awakened not only more of the US to the band’s emerging potency and force but ears and attention further afield too. Now the band’s self-released debut album is set to stir up plenty more with its inescapable adventure and invasive imagination.

Consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Jessie Santos, guitarist Daniel Benavides, and bassist David Gutierrez alongside, for the album, the ever irrepressible rhythmic craft of Soilworks’ drummer Dirk Verbeuren, Fall swiftly encase ears in a cloud of sonic and rhythmic incitement as opener From Ashes rises threateningly to spawn a maelstrom of cutting riffs and intensive rhythms. In its air harmonies also break out with an atmospheric tempting, both getting their moment to descend poetically on the senses within the storm with Santos revealing pleasing variety and strength to his vocal delivery, raw and clean. Given potent hint of what is to come, the song continues to evolve its forceful and evocative tapestry with strands of progressive invention and rousing enterprise, all amidst intrusive turbulence led by Verbeuren’s renowned prowess.

Cover artwork by Niklas Sundin

Cover artwork by Niklas Sundin

Not of the Sky continues the attention catching start; the vocals again one focal point in a cascade of many, with their slight discord, whether intentionally or not, adding greater character to the emerging bedlamic and creative tirade of the song. Furiously unpredictable and fluidly aligned, melodic enticing and colliding flavours breaks through as each twist grips ears, softening and working them up into an eager appetite for the also tempestuously toned and adventurously woven Ever Hollow. Bellowing and tempting, the track is a magnetic fury veined by seductive magnetism, extreme and progressive metal uniting in something intimidatingly hellacious, sonically psychotic, and at times rousingly catchy.

Through both Harvester and Cinis, band and album continue to infest and corrupt the senses, though the former is just as potent in its infectious glaze of pop metal. Featuring guest vocals of Jessie Frye, it is another bundle of contrasts and clever contradictions creating a track which mesmerises as strongly as it bruises. Arguably it is the most accessible offering on the album but is as inventive and volatile as any of the more challenging and invigorating proposals within The Insatiable Weakness. Its successor is a much more voracious proposition, as swiftly shown by Strands of Night vocalist Asa Dubberly, who guests on the tempest, and the carnivorous tone of the bass which builds on the darker menacing tone it offered the previous song. Around them, and the bracing roar of Santos in its different strains, guitars stir up a nest of sonic vipers and melodic resourcefulness, the track painting a turbulent and tenaciously diverse canvas of raw and alluring flavours.

Ears and appetite are only drawn in tighter as the celestial hued and aggressively bracing Desolation and the predatory thrash seeded, death fuelled torrent of provocation posing as Soul Ignition thickly satisfies whilst …to dust lights ignites another fuse to lustful reactions with its unbridled ferocity and cantankerous attitude lined with infection soaked exploits. Providing one more major highlight amongst only heftily persuasive successes, its rich tempting is emulated in kind by the uniquely different Empty where, arguably for the first time, keys stretch their ever present atmospheric and ambience casting prowess into being a leading protagonist.

The album closes up with firstly Gods of Ruin and its landslide of unforgiving rhythms within an exhaustive infestation of expansive metal voracity and finally You were but a Shade, it an invasive and virulent episode of unpredictability, absorbing imagination, and explosive individual craft from all concerned. A seduction that tears strips off the senses, the song is an immense end to a similarly impressing release.

Only a weighty amount of listens does The Insatiable Weakness true justice, but every venture reveals new striking layers, previously undiscovered twists, and a bigger hunger for more as reward. As a name, Fall does not make a particular impact but rest assured from their first moments, sound and album more than make up for it.

The Insatiable Weakness is out now @ http://fall1.bandcamp.com/album/the-insatiable-weakness

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Pete RingMaster 28/01/2016

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Elderoth – Mystic

Collin McGee - Live

To call Mystic, the new album from Canadian melodic metallers Elderoth, easy going and very likeable does not do any justice to the technical craft and skilled invention at work within the proposition, but that is exactly what it is, a highly enjoyable encounter very easy to get on with. The bands second full-length is also a collection of thoroughly captivating songs bred with tenacious imagination and as mentioned, technically impressive invention, a release sure to awaken a new and broader wave of attention on the Montreal based band.

Elderoth is the creation of vocalist/lead guitarist Collin McGee, a project formed in 2007 and soon making a mark on the Canadian metal underground. 2012 saw the release of the band’s self-titled debut album, its presence well-received and awash with the potential of greater exploits ahead, now coming to fruition with Mystic. Infusing N. American and European flavours comparable to bands like Devin Townsend Project and Periphery, with the sound and instrumentation of East Asia, the new album is a fascinating and enchanting offering but also not without a raw snarl or two, or indeed an aggressive streak. It offers tracks which seduce and impose simultaneously, though it is predominantly the former which holds ears and ignites the imagination.

Though a full band live, the album seemingly was performed entirely by McGee showing the talent and multi-instrumental skills he possesses. Within opens things up, the brief instrumental instantly revealing its oriental influence and just as swiftly creating a wind of imposing rhythms and tempestuous riffs. With melodic designs also luring ears from within, the piece evolves into the following Black and Blue where keys create an immediate sunrise of melodic seducing, one bolstered by thickly laid rhythms and the resourceful prowess of the guitars. McGee’s vocals are just as warm and inviting, harmonies flowing and caressing ears in a superbly expressive delivery of the song’s hope bred narrative. It is fair to say that the track is a tempest on the senses, but the kindest, warmest one possible and seriously magnetic with the kiss of Japanese seeded beauty.

elderoth_cover4     Next up the initially darker This Shadow By My Side makes an entrance which is bound by spicy grooves and almost portentous in breath and air. It soon dispels that feeling though with inviting vocals and sparkling sonic enterprise. Into its riveting stride, the excellent encounter brings a whisper of bands like Heights and Voyager to its temptation whilst it’s more creatively turbulent moments suggests elements of The Contortionist and KingBathmat. As the album, time is needed to explore all the layers and adventures within the song but effort only ensures it and in turn the release impresses more.

The outstanding My Future has appetite and emotions inflamed again with its virulently contagious character and thrilling endeavour whilst Falling Star has ears and imagination in an eager submission right from its opening weave of Asian elegance. Of course any essence is part of a richer more involved web, and here rugged almost tempestuous scenery gets involved as spiralling key crafted melodies cross imagined continents with its stirring adventure. The song is pure seduction and the moments when “like a falling star” in the chorus is mistaken for saying like a porn star only adds to the fun.

The calmer charm of In A Dream with its Dream Theater like essence simply dances with body and thoughts, its increasingly energetic and strenuous exploits a beguiling proposal. It is straight away matched by the more heavy metal spiced The Ocean, though its classic tones are soon awash with oriental instrumentation and bewitchment too. Though not managing to carry the instinctive spark exciting the senses in previous songs, with its atmospheric drama around McGee’s impressive technical and composing skills, the song only enthrals before the heavy striding presence and almost shanty like infectiousness of Far In The Sea steals attention away from the real world. The album makes the listener feel like a traveller in many ways, this track one of the most theatrically visual adventures.

The album closes with the transfixing instrumental Always Remember, a track kind of summing up all the exploits and elements found within Mystic in one final individual flight. It is an intriguing hug on the senses and suggestive incitement for thoughts bringing a great release to a thrilling end. Mystic is like a giant melodic magnet, ever since its first touch it has gripped our attention on a daily schedule so far. It is not necessarily the very best album heard or likely to be explored this year but as a highly personable and persistently alluring proposition, it is a winning treat.

Mystic is out now @ http://elderothband.bandcamp.com/album/mystic

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RingMaster 29/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Abiotic – Casuistry

byVinceEdwards

byVinceEdwards

As much as it is swiftly fascinating, Casuistry from US progressive death metallers Abiotic is a challenging proposition, testing in its ferociously busy landscape with a technical prowess to match, and at times approaching overwhelming ears with that same creative tirade so ears and imagination cannot settle and appreciate what is going in the moment. For all its formidable elements though, the second album from the Miami quintet is one striking and compelling proposal which just gets more impressive and enjoyable with every listen.

Emerging in 2010, Abiotic quickly made their mark on ears with debut EP A Universal Plague the following year, a release laying down a template of ravenous riffs, blistering solos, and technical breakdowns. Grabbing the attention of Metal Blade Records, the band subsequently signed with the label and unleashed debut album Symbiosis in 2012, a proposition pushing sound and skills, as well as invention, on in leaps and bounds. In hindsight though it too was a mere step towards the immense adventure in sound and craft now flooding Casuistry. The band’s voracious live presence has similarly lured acclaim and glowing support across the years, shows with the likes of Dying Fetus and Exhumed reinforcing their growing stature. Last year saw Abiotic link up with producer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, Wretched, and The Contortionist) as they set about creating their follow-up album, and a change in line-up which saw new vocalist Travis Bartosek and drummer Brent Phillips join the band, a change which has really added to the impact of the new album and the continuing evolution of Abiotic sound.

Abiotic-Casuistry     Casuistry has growth in every aspect from its striking predecessor, a new maturity and exploration fuelling songwriting to sound, lyrical endeavour to technical resourcefulness. This also applies to the rigorous challenge on the senses and psyche of the listener which will be too much for some, but the rewards as evidenced straight away in opener Believe the Unseen, border on intoxicating at times. From its first breath, the song offers a bestial roar on ears, the throat ripping bellow of Bartosek alone a fierce and gripping incitement matched by hellacious riffs and rhythms. It is a brief savagery though as mere seconds later spiralling melodic enterprise flows from the guitars of Johnathan Matos and Matt Mendez, entangling the predacious bassline of Alex Vazquez and the rugged beats of Phillips in their midst. Within thirty seconds the song is a creative tempest, an unpredictable maelstrom which allows thoughts a glimpse on getting a handle of things before stirring its body and threat up all over again. Thoughts of Trepalium hint away across the track but also as everything turns in on itself and dives into new ideation, the likes of The Faceless and The Contortionist spring up.

It is a stunning start, a disorientating one occasionally even in the briefness of the song, but as mentioned earlier and applying to the whole album, with each listen becomes more coherent in thoughts and thrilling in ears. The same of course applies to the following Reanimated Destruction, which makes a much more merciful entrance, the guitars casting an atmospheric sonic mist as the bass flirts with jazz seeds for its instantly intriguing and exotic tempting. The two almost duelling vocal deliveries work a treat again; guttural and serpentine tones twin insidiousness within the technical and intensity driven raging.

One of the things which definitely add to the songs is the snappiness of their length, no track passing the five minute mark and most falling a lot shorter. This certainly intensifies the bustling character of the tracks inventively and physically, Abiotic wasting no second on repetitive thoughts but it also ensures the testing tracks never come close to be laborious propositions. Cast into the Depths epitomises this next; the song a melodic wine of a sound dripping over ears and soon spreading a weave of sonic imagination as rhythmic hostility intimidates the senses. Phillips is as brutal as he is contagious with his swings and beats whilst the song itself is a cauldron of fiercely bubbling and changing sonic and vocal enmity. Featuring John Gallagher of Dying Fetus, the encounter is a blissfully exhausting endeavour, a description fitting Casuistry perfectly also.

Violent Scriptures is a torrential onslaught of malevolence and craft again, Phillips a beast and Matos with Mendez, mesmeric with their melodies and sonic espionage on the psyche. Vocally too the band has hit another level with Bartosek which has spread to the rest of the album’s throat offered exploits, an aspect ravaging the listener mercilessly in Nightmares of Your Conception next. Grooves once more simply ooze from the sonic animus being uncaged, whilst rhythmically the track is the most vicious yet. The song does not quite match up to its predecessor though, that industrious tsunami proving almost too taxing if still enjoyable at times.

Through the ‘funky’ but rabid The Absence of Purity, which features guest Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me, and Falling into Obscurity, band and album seduce with full steam again. The first is especially virulent with its toxic grooves and sparkling melodic flirtation, swiftly becoming a big favourite whilst its successor arrives drenched in a menacing theatre, noir bred hues colouring its opening torrent of riffs and grooves, proceeding to add rich hues throughout the wiry entanglement of sound and skills. Both tracks leave the imagination and ears ringing and enslaved before Molecular Rematerialization nags and worries their defences with its own flurry of concussive rhythms and citric grooves, all bred in the darkest most venomous corners of the band’s invention.

Casuistry is brought to a close by the transfixing and punishing Drain. Deface. Abolish., a final tempest to be seduced and violated by in equal measure. It is a fine end to a great album which only gets stronger and more enthralling with time. Abiotic make you work to explore and unravel their deeply entrenched and wonderfully turbulent imagination, but make the effort, brave their unrelenting creative hunger, and you might just find one of your favourite albums of the year.

Casuistry is out now on Metal Blade Records via http://metalblade.com/abiotic/

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RingMaster 23/04/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Photos by Vince Edwards

 

Verse Vica – Endeavor

Promo 2

It is safe to say that progressive metal has presented some of the most imaginatively inventive bands and compellingly immersive releases over recent years and to both lists you can add Verse Vica and their debut album Endeavor. One similarly imposing and seductive flight spread over eight movements in its continuous landscape, the release is a skilled and dramatic introduction to the US band, announcing them as an exciting prospect to pay eager attention to.

Hailing from North Carolina it is maybe no surprise that their inspirations include fellow statesmen Between the Buried and Me alongside the likes of Animals as Leaders, The Faceless, Periphery, and The Contortionist. There is no denying those essences across the Asheville quartet’s first offering though it is mere flavouring to something which primarily casts its own distinctive nature and character. Unafraid to bare its rawest depths sonically and emotionally, and a flaming beauty which is as transfixing as its contrasts are rugged, the album is an intensive and at times satisfyingly demanding proposition. Though first impressions leave a hungry appetite for its presence, the album needs an attentive investigation to reveal all its striking textures and superbly crafted layers. It rewards though with not a flawless offering but definitely one which ignites a greed for more in the imagination and emotions.

Mastered by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit), Endeavor opens with the engaging Airyth. It is a gentle and melodically elegant instrumental which carries darker shadows within its smouldering and resonating presence. It is not a dramatic track, certainly in hindsight against the subsequent twists in the album’s journey, but a captivating soar across the emerging climate of piece and release. Guitarists Paul Meisner and Greg Marcon create a sonic breeze which mesmerises with its beauty and skilful designs whilst the bass of Tyler Shehan incitingly strokes the darker element of the exploration. It is a tantalising entrance though it does straight away offer up the only real flaw with the album and that is the sampled drums and rhythms. The band is yet to find a live body to swing the sticks and this makes for one aspect which is lacking across the album, being more obvious in some tracks than others, but to be fair such the quality elsewhere it is never enough to derail songs and pleasure.

The opener flows straight into the rugged terrain of Cities I: Cerulean. Riffs and grooves respectively badger and entwine ears from the first breath whilst raging gut bred growls and subsequently clean harmonies from Spencer Album CoverBrunkhorst, bring further thick colour and spice to the already colourful design of the song. The technical ability of the band is just as striking and instant, the guitars spinning a web of infectious and intimidating enterprise whilst the rhythmic side of the song, along with the harsher side of the vocals, carries as much malevolence as the melodies and sonic endeavour brings flirtatious ingenuity. Equally the songwriting shines brightly, especially in the way the band blends and twists extremes around a fluid core of intent and imagination. It is a fine incitement though soon shaded by Verdugo and even more so the outstanding Ravenholm. The first of the two stands steely eyed with hooks and riffs a savage persuasion within a caustic and radiant melodic atmosphere. Again opposites attract within the song and combine for a tantalising and intimidating excursion for ears and thoughts which the second of the pair pushes to new scenic heights. Opening with a melodic death metal ferocity and invention, the track evolves before the ears as melodies provide a catalyst taking the voracious vocal driven emprise into a seductive waltz of Latin sultriness and acoustic Spanish guitar refinement. It is an enthralling and thrilling proposition which returns to its original caustic blaze before merging it into the sonic brilliance which binds the majestic encounter.

Marumari takes senses and thoughts through an engrossing soundscape of shimmering melodies and intrigue coated bass suasion, calming ears and emotions from the previous roars before diving headlong into flaming sonic and cavernous yet intimately suggestive beauty. The instrumental is a web to spark the imagination, in a way the eye of the storm between the previous adventure and the furious tempest of Djinn. It successor is a predator yet with the antagonistic vocals and rhythmic intensity striding through a sonic tapestry of inventive and skilled ideation, the track is just as infectiously compelling as it is barbarously challenging. Sharing best track honours with Ravenholm, it is a stunning slab of creative and unpredictable bewitching hostility with the bass of Shehan stealing the biggest plaudits.

The album is brought to a tremendous close by firstly another absorbing instrumental in the mentally inflaming shape of Koholint and lastly the tempestuous might and creative storm of Cities II: Saffron. Both songs show further sides and variation to album and the band’s inventiveness, the first simply with melodic eloquence and adventure and the second through the employment of melodic and pop rock infectiousness within the technically spellbinding lure of the track.

Endeavour is a glorious debut and one which just gets better as it reveals more with every flight taken. Anticipation for a live drummer and where that takes songs and the sound of Verse Vica is a strong feeling at the end of the album but more overwhelming is the total pleasure and excitement for what Endeavour offers and where the band has the potential to go. Bottom line though is that this is a must investigation for all progressive metal fans.

The self-released Endeavor is available worldwide now on October 6th.

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RingMaster 06/10/2014

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Nemost – As The Ocean Burns

Nemost

As The Ocean Burns is one of those self-released propositions which could easily be missed in the never ending torrent of offerings but deserves the strongest of attention such its impressive and riveting contents. A rich and intensely striking blend of varied ideas and flavours upon a canvas of progressive death metal, the latest album from French band Nemost is a thought provoking and imagination igniting proposition which shows the Paris quintet to be one of France’s most exciting potential loaded prospects.

Formed in 2005, Nemost are not exactly newcomers but still a relative secret outside their homeland metal scene, though As The Ocean Burns will surely have a say about that. A self-titled demo in 2008 was well-received by fans and critics with debut album The Shadow’s Trail two years later drawing greater attention and reactions for its striking sounds. Four years on with the band’s songwriting and invention evolving as potently as their skills and sound, As the Ocean Burns is a new plateau for the band and a compelling addition to the ranks of melodic and progressive death metal. It is a release which grips from its first breath, leading the listener through cavernous scenery of sonic and rhythmic intrusiveness and intimate climates of melodic and atmospheric radiance.

Pressure Nation is the first encounter and straight away embraces ears in a melodic weave of guitar temptation and heavily jabbing beats from drummer Thybo Saz’Rain. It is a warm coaxing yet holds an intimidation which is soon ing the band) realised in a tempest of sonic causticity and bellowing intensity, the vocals of Arnold Petit roaring from within an imposing cloud of aggressive grooves and riffs from guitarists Johan Nat (since left with Pierre-Jean Catez joinuand Samuel Eymonym. It is a muggy climate which immerses the track but still allows clarity to the gripping drama and individual inventiveness of the band. The rampaging skilled urgency of Saz’Rain is impressive baiting for the senses alongside the magnetic and heavy tones of the bassist of Thomas Krajewski but it is the enthralling guitar craft and invention which steals the biggest chunk of the limelight in the exceptional track.

The stunning start is followed by the similarly hostile and engrossing Beasts and Bullies. Grooves worm into the psyche within seconds as rhythms hurl mighty and unpredictable swipes down on ears for a threatening yet addictive nemost-as-the-ocean-burnsentrance. It would be a debilitating start but for the outstanding mix of guttural scowls and outstanding clean vocals which entwine for a glorious and aggression tempering enterprise alongside the sizzling guitar play which emerges to ignite the imagination. Already two songs in it is hard to remember too many melodic death metal encounters this good and inventive, nor as virulently contagious as the first pair of tracks are.

Diversity is as much a key to the success of As The Ocean Burns and proven by the cinematic start and ambience of Respawned. Haunting crystalline keys tease ears first, followed by an expanding electronic charm and revelry. It is just the doorway into the delicious and relentless nagging of corrosive riffs and predatory rhythms, though it retains the melodic enticement of the song’s start throughout. A new dark throat emerges in the bass whilst the vocal harmonies seem to be fuller and more provocative than ever over the maelstrom of addictive ingenuity and adventure beneath them. There is a total lack of predictability to the album and songs, every time as here, you think you have handle on its intent and direction it twists or evolves its gait, direction or simply sound to bewitch and enthral.

Both the fascinating The Aimless Endeavour with its merger of Breed 77 like Latin melodies with insidiously dark malevolence, and the smouldering antagonism of Fight turn the temperature and persuasion up on the passions, the first a heat wave of sonic enterprise and aurally incendiary ideation. Its successor has a closer intimacy and more restrained purpose to its tempest yet it still immerses the ears in an almost oppressive texture of energy, as well as a cinematic menacing from its hooks which latch onto equally gripping melodies and the smooth vocal temptation of Petit. The track would make the perfect soundtrack to the darkest adult only Bond escapade and is another massive highlight on an album offering nothing but so far.

There is an inhospitable tone to Lifeless Heat, the song feeling like it wants to violate the listener even though it too comes with a sublime sonic inventiveness from the guitars. It does not live up to its predecessors in many ways but keeps the emotions enjoyable warm for the erosive might of Sandstorm. The track is a tempest of a track, a bear like ferocity unleashed by drums and riffs in league with a venomous beauty which soaks the ever impressing vocals and toxic lure of grooves. It’s incessant almost waspish irritancy and charm lights up ears and emotions perfectly before making way for the initial gentle and ultimately scarring brilliance of The Pale Observer. The track is ultimately a blaze of malicious invention and smouldering seduction, a battling tempest in the ears which evolves its fury into another fire of stunning technical and thoughtful enterprise blessed with gripping drama.

A kind of respite for the senses comes with Hourglass, though thoughts and emotions are kept busy by the entrancing sway of elegant melodies and emotive hues within a rugged sonic wind, before the fierce splendour and rabid invention of Year of the Libra and subsequently the bordering on demonic Atomnium treat and excite. The tracks bring yet further unique character to the album, each a dramatic exploration in sound and lyrical intrigue wonderfully impossible to pin down with real comparisons, though we suggest any fans of bands such as In Flames, Opeth, Katatonia, Lamb of God, Beneath The Buried And Me, Anathema, The Contortionist and the likes will especially get a kick out of the glory that is As the Ocean Burns.

The title track brings the release to a close, a song which is probably the lightest in intensity on the album but also one of the most spellbinding with its weaving of light and dark, seductive and violent textures into a fluid and beguiling landscape of originality. As the Ocean Burns is a gem all should take time to search out and investigate, a triumph which should not be allowed to slip through the net.

As the Ocean Burns is available now @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/cd/151_nemost-as-the-ocean-burns.html

http://www.nemost.com

RingMaster 18/09/2014

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