Sixth Dimension – Tabula Rasa

It has been a fair while since we have heard from Czech thrashers Sixth Dimension and time which has seen the band go through a few changes but now they have returned to accost attention with a new EP and a quartet of tracks which we have no reserve in saying are their finest yet.

Based within Most and Teplice, Sixth Dimension emerged in 2002 and swiftly made a strong mark on the local and in turn national metal scene. A quartet of EPs has pushed their presence and reputation further afield with the last pair of Přežít! and Trauma firmly nudging on richer and broader spotlights. Four years after the release of the latter the band is back, now a quartet and with fresh aggressive fertility in their sound and songwriting, it all encapsulated within their striking attention demanding new EP, Tabula Rasa.

Tabula Rasa opens up with Vztek (Rage) and a barrage of barbarous but defined rhythms from drummer Buchy, his heady beats banging on the door of the senses and attention before being joined by a tide of riffs and the heavy grumble of Jenda’s bass. Quickly the bassist’s vocals spring their antipathy and magnetism into the assault, the guitars of Bombo and Špirda continuing to entrap and arouse with voracious riffs and grooves. There has always been a raw feral breath to the band’s thrash metal confrontations and the first song of the EP alone shows it has lost none of its potency even as craft and imagination in songwriting and sound has further grown.

The striking start to the release is only accentuated by next up Soudy (Judgments) and this time riffs from Jenda’s bass ignite ears alongside the bone shaking rapier swings of Buchy. It is another compelling start to a track that only brews greater animosity and temptation as guitars and vocals bring their accusation and dispute. As with the first song there is a richer metal spicing to the band’s individual thrash bred creativity, a composed and skilfully crafted enterprise which already sets the Tabula Rasa apart.

Inspired by the poem Der Ackermann aus Böhmen (Ploughman of Bohemia) by Johannes von Tepl dated 1401 A.D., …A Smrt (…and the Death) is a ravenous indeed malicious affair in heart and attack. Rhythms fly with voracious intent as riffs and grooves sear the senses, Jenda’s tones and indeed the backing calls of the band as spiteful as they are anthemic. Even so the melodic design of the song is raw seduction, the irritability of the track fuelling its nagging before the EP closes out with Závist Navzdory (Despite the Envy (A history of estrangement and dream)), a track which itself is inspired by the literary world, in this case by a book by Z.Kalista on Albrecht von Wallenstein.

The most turbulent and tempestuously hostile track on the release, it also springs some of the most infectious grooves amidst addictive sonic temptation. From start to finish the song defiled and inflamed the ears and appetite, a habit forming assail on the senses which pretty much sums up Tabula Rasa as a whole.

As we said it has been a while since Sixth Dimension stood toe to toe and challenged major recognition and now we know who our money is on thanks to their rather fine new EP.

Tabula Rasa is out now across numerous online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 15/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Unbroken – Human Crown

It may have been unleashed last year but Human Crown is one encounter you really do not want to have missed. The release comes from Brooklyn metallers The Unbroken and offers five rousing tempests that had us grinning from ear to ear.

The quartet brews a ferocious cauldron from a feral fusion of punk, thrash and groove metal and it proves a potently incendiary mix in this their debut EP. Influences to the band include the likes of Metallica, Pantera, and Slipknot and in some ways there is plenty that is familiar to the release yet from first to last breath Human Crown stands as something aggressively individual and fresh in ears and indeed the metal scene.

Co-produced by the band with John Bender (Breaking Benjamin), mixed by Johan Meyer (Gojira) and mastered by Alan Douches (High On Fire, Mastodon), Human Crown erupts upon the senses with Stuck In The Way, an initial spiral of guitar sparking a thicker volution of groove wiring, the pugnaciously swung beats of Tamas Vajda in the middle. That grooving continues to wind around ears as lead Mark Johnson skilfully entangles the lead vocals of fellow guitarist Chester Oszustowicz, the song forcefully jabbing and inciting as it leads to a chorus which is just as galvanic. There is something akin to American Head Charge meets Mudvayne to the encounter but swiftly it stamps down its own compelling character as the EP gets off to a voracious flyer.

Suffering In Silence follows and quickly lays down its own formidable proposal, rhythms tenaciously marching through a weave of riffs, from which Johnson casts another rich melodic web. Hitting its meaty stroll, contagion soaking sound and vocal attack, the track swings with more of the virulent grooves the band is already proving so fertile with as the bass of Jeff Hinz magnetically growls in the midst of it all, ears and attention eagerly immersed in the thick enterprise making up the welcomed trespass.

Though the track did not quite get under the skin as its predecessor it only had us greedy for more which the EP’s outstanding and spiky title track delivered. Its calm melodic opening made for an evocative contrast to the storms before though a volatile heart is soon exposed as Oszustowicz’s belligerent vocals erupt in the background. As things brew a delicious nagging groove breaks, the vocalist’s snarl riding its rapacious incitement while it all leads to a brief but dynamic chorus, the cycle repeating to further enthral.

Just as addictive is next up I Never Forget, its agile entrance soon the seeding for more of The Unbroken’s unapologetically ravenous grooves and barbarous but welcomingly manipulative rhythms. From start to finish the song savages as it seduces; it’s snarled tone and truculent nature proving as irresistible as the quarrelsome sounds making up its untamed character and inescapable persuasion.

Nothing Left To Sell brings the release to a close, it immediately coaxing ears with a melodic caress full of intimation and elegance and again from the equally warm and intrigue hug of vocals which blossoms a charged and irritable eruption breaks driven by thrash nurtured riffs. The song though is a tapestry of contrasts, the reflective and serene uniting with a disturbed and volatile divergence as the band’s imagination and craft shape another fresh aspect in writing and sound.

The Unbroken is a band easy to see making great strides up the metal ladder especially if Human Crown is a sign of things to come and they exploit its very open potential and prowess.

Human Crown is available now @ https://theunbroken.bandcamp.com/releases

https://theunbroken.band/   https://www.facebook.com/theunbrokenofficial    https://twitter.com/theunbrokenrock

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Aspherium – The Embers of Eternity

Pic -kim gøran høiberg

Aspherium is a band we knew by name and reputation but never quite found the moment to give the richness of attention that all bands deserve. That has forcibly been amended with the release of their third album The Embers of Eternity, which with thanks to our friend Andrew at Stencil PR who directed us its way, suggests we have definitely been missing out.

Hailing from Moss/Oslo in Norway, Aspherium began in 2007 and took little time in brewing up a progressive death metal sound which was unafraid to embrace plenty of additional flavours; a fusion now in full bloom and imagination within The Embers of Eternity. 2011 saw the release of debut album The Veil of Serenity to a host of positive reviews which its successor, The Fall of Therenia, eclipsed as it took the band’s sound to new heights. Slots at major festivals followed as too a couple of tours alongside Decapitated. A swift hindsight exploration in the wake of the release of The Embers of Eternity revealed why the band received strong acclaim and attention at the time but all before has been just the teaser for the might of Aspherium’s third full-length.

The Embers of Eternity is a concept album imagining the future of our own Earth; “The world has become a desolate wasteland, the album about what happened and why humanity did nothing to save our planet.” Lyrically and in story it quickly proved a compelling adventure which is majorly accentuated again by the exploration of sound and imagination around it as immediately proven by the album’s opening title track. Immediately drama and tension soaks the notes and presence of the emerging track; the guitars of Marius Skarsem Pedersen and Morten Nielsen weaving the intimation. Equally they are the instigators of the erupting surge of aggression and melodic enterprise which descends on the senses soon after, the rhythmic voracity of drummer Bjørn Tore Erlandsen and bassist Torgeir Lyby Pettersen fuelling the upsurge. Similarly too, the vocals of Pedersen make for an uncompromising and magnetic proposition amidst thrash bred riffs and the blackened textures which shape the death bred incitement. As each subsequent track reveals, it is part deceptive too, the viciousness of the assault veined and aligned with melodic intricacies and dexterity as their inherent creative emprise though bred on discontent of a world descending into chaos relishes its beauty too.

It is a striking and compelling start to the release but one still eclipsed by the following As We Walk Through the Ashes. It too launches on thrash nurtured hostility with grooves that wind around the senses with lustful toxicity and similarly revels in the more delicate but no less hungry imagination which subsequently makes every twist and passage until the next aggressive captivation as riveting. Unpredictability also shapes the track and in turn the whole album but with a craft and invention which soon becomes expected and keenly devoured. As its predecessor and the songs to come, it weaves a multi-flavoured incitement which took no time to fully immerse in.

The evocative and melancholy opening of The Fallen Monument bewitches before the track explodes in another cauldron of pugnacious trespass and imagination woven fertility; a tapestry of flavours and creative agility breeding a glorious and rousing proposal lustfully devoured by ears and passions alike. It is the album’s finest moment for us but constantly challenged as A Voice For the Silenced and its successor The Shadows of Creation quickly show. The opening atmospheric suggestion of the first had the imagination immediately submerged in its insinuation, its haunting caresses continuing to manipulate as the track erupts with the second casting matching persuasion in its physical venting and melodic storytelling. It is a volatile and gripping mix which savages as it seduces, preys on fears as it nurtures raw hopes.

Through the individual but unitedly insightful and adroit exploits of Echoes of A Lost World and The Beckoning Spire, Aspherium and their album only increased the magnetism. Neither track quite matched up to the heights of the triumph before them had but each gripped with bold ferocity and unpredictable landscapes before Beneath the Shattered Sky bore its own soulful voice and rich adventurous  enterprise on ears to equally inflame those self-same eager reactions.

Until the Embers Fade completes the album, it’s near on eleven minutes alone a journey and exploration worth investing in the sensational The Embers of Eternity for. It is an engrossing and fascinating end to an increasingly compelling release and a fine example as to why like us once you engage in the Aspherium ravening craft and sound there is no turning back.

The Embers of Eternity is available now @ https://aspherium.bandcamp.com/album/the-embers-of-eternity

http://www.aspherium.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Aspherium    https://twitter.com/aspherium

Pete RingMaster 25/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Helldown – In Deaths Hands

The release of their self-titled debut EP in 2016 suggested that Welsh thrashers Helldown had all the attributes to ascend the UK metal ranks, a thought accentuated by their subsequent acclaimed single The Watchers a year later. Now that proposal is about to be made a declaration with the release of new EP, In Deaths Hands, a collection of tracks which whilst suggesting that there is plenty more yet to come from the Swansea outfit, that ascent is well under way.

Formed in 2013 and consisting of blood brothers in vocalist/bassist Ben and rhythm guitarist Matthew Evans alongside drummer Ross Thomas and lead guitarist Lewis Larkman, Helldown have forged a sound bred on thrash, groove, and heavy metal. As the new release shows it is a potent trespass with thrash metal its instinctive fuel, one still enjoyably raw in its voice and tone to provide an edge and bite numerous like-minded bands have let escape in their growth. True uniqueness may still be absent in the band’s voracious sound but as In Deaths Hands proves it can be comfortably overlooked in the fresh trespass on offer.

The EP opens with The Unnamed, a track instantly entangling ears in ripe grooves and preying rhythms before launching into a predacious assault. The sonic invasion and enticement of both guitars make for a keen tempting, Ben’s vocals as the sound earthy yet magnetic within the harassment of riffs and rhythmic aggression. The subsequent twists and melodic endeavour that emerges revels in the prowess of their creators, the track a persistent hungry nagging endowed with that bright enterprise.

The EP’s best track is followed by Mortal Shell, another swiftly revealing intent and character with rapacious urgency. If at first paling against its predecessor, the track only grew in stature and appeal as its ravening riffs and grooves joined bitter beats and the heavy dark resonance of the bass to forge another thickly satisfying proposal.

There is a definite surface familiarity between the songs within In Deaths Hands, the beginning of next up Heretic highlighting the thought yet again it is a track which develops its own presence and enterprise with strength and imagination, the bass of Ben a riveting ingredient in the prowl of the ear grabbing encounter.

Flames of Heresy bring things to a close, its spirals of grooves waspish in their sting and barbarous in the subsequent harassment they inspire from across the band. The gang hollers that break out only emphasize the anthemic air and roar of the track, even as it prowls and stalks the senses between raucous eruptions.

It is a fine end to a release which only left us wanting to hear more from the band and reinforced the thought that Helldown has a very healthy future within the British metal scene.

In Deaths Hands is released January 17th

https://www.facebook.com/HelldownOfficial/   https://twitter.com/helldown_uk   https://www.instagram.com/helldownofficial/

Pete RingMaster 14/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Meshiaak – Mask Of All Misery

Pic/copyright Karina Wells

Three years back we, as so many, more than enthused about the impressive debut album from Australian metallers Meshiaak and now we find ourselves doing the same again with even greater rigour for its successor, Mask Of All Misery. Everything striking about that first album has been intensified and melded with even richer and bolder adventure resulting in an encounter which left us simply greedy for more.

Calling the band’s sound as metal is the easiest option but does not explore the richness of its tapestry. Thrash and groove metal collude with progressive and voracious rock ‘n’ roll across its unpredictable body with plenty more involved in its imagination. Equally familiar textures invite and tease alongside the band’s own uniqueness as songs rise drenched in drama and invention as well as contagious endeavour.

Formed in Melbourne by Danny Camilleri of 4ARM and Teramaze’s Dean Wells, Meshiaak’s line-up is completed by bassist Andrew Cameron and drummer David Godfrey who has replaced original rhythm caster Jon Dette between albums due to logistical reasons. Together the quartet snarl at and trespass, seduce and fascinate the senses across the ten tracks of Mask Of All Misery bringing reflections on toxic  issues, intimate and worldly, to the fore.

It begins with the enthralling Miasma, a piece of music which instantly hooked the imagination with its mournful orchestration and melodic melancholy. Its initial portentous breath is soon a tempest of sound and intensity cored by a groove which just seeped under the skin. The predominantly instrumental track provides a deluge of craft and suggestion within its polluted air, closing with the same captivation it rose from before the album’s title track launches its own turbulent contagion.

There is no escaping a Metallica tinge to the track as it expands yet we can only say it is one mere hue in the Meshiaak web of imagination shaping this thrash bred but diversely woven gem. Camilleri’s tones are as commanding and gripping as the sounds around him as the track reveals its drama and infectiousness, grooves and hooks breeding the magnetism which melodies and atmospheric intimacy exploits with matching prowess.

Bury The Bodies is next up, strolling in with a tempestuous if controlled breath which vocals echo within the melodic wiring of Wells. It is an absorbing encounter only more fascinating with its haunting strings, open emotion, and classic metal lining; eclipsing its impressive predecessor through every drama filled second though its pinnacle moment within the album is quickly matched by the equally thrilling City Of Ghosts and its hardcore bleeding rock ‘n’ roll. As with all tracks, it soon evolves in enterprise and flavour, its body a flood of styles and textures honed into one predacious and thickly rousing incitement.

There is something Bloodsimple like to the following Face Of Stone, certainly initially but it too evolves its own character and web of diversity while Tears That Burn The Son finds an industrial edge to its thrash/groove bred trespass of the passions. There is a climatic tone to the track which only accentuates its catchiness and seductive irritancy, volatility that fuels an anthemic dispute and urgency swiftly contrasted by Doves and its melodic drama though the fire in its heart is a perpetual eruption across its serenade, the sparks raised by both the stirring tones of Camilleri and the sonic calm of his companions in maybe the album’s most majestic and darkest moment.

Through the aggressive defiance of In The Final Hour and the predatory instincts of Adrena, the album only entrenched itself deeper under the skin even if neither quite matched the heights of those before them. Truthfully though both songs left a lingering impression and manipulation with the second a ferocious insurgence we keep finding ourselves drawn to.

Godless brings the album to a fractious close, its dirty toxic breath and tetchy exploits raw magnetism and a great splenetic end to the album though it makes room for some just as arousing emotively embroiled vocal dexterity and melodic temptation.

If Meshiaak impressed and thrilled fans the first time, their second album will have them drooling; it did us and continues to as it lingers in the speakers keeping the exploration of new discoveries on delay.

Mask Of All Misery is out now via Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group.

http://meshiaakband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/meshiaak

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Acid Reign – The Age of Entitlement

Formed in 1985, British thrashers Acid Reign went on to shares stages and tour with the likes of Nuclear Assault, Dark Angel, Exodus, Flotsam & Jetsam, Death Angel, and Candlemass as well as release mini album Moshkinstein in 1988 and subsequently full-length The Fear and Obnoxious. A final show at the London Marquee saw the band come to an end; that was until 24 years later when Acid Reign returned with a rebooted line-up. Now they have a new album ready to ignite the UK thrash scene, an incendiary device leaving most other offerings this year exposed to its rousing wake.

Like a great many we never had the pleasure of experiencing the band first time around but look set to devour its exploits this time around if The Age of Entitlement is just the beginning of things to come. Led by original vocalist Howard H Smith, Acid Reign thrust a fresh voracious breath upon the metal landscape through their new encounter. Instinctively, thrash metal and its protagonists share a core flavouring as seed to their individual exploits and Acid Reign are no different but they have embroiled it in a host of other rapacious flavours and imagination bred adventures which makes it easy to be greedy for more.

With a line-up completed by bassist Pete Dee, guitarists Paul Chanter and Cooky, and drummer Marc Jackson, Acid Reign quickly gripped attention with the drama of album opener T.A.O.E., a track pushing the senses with its war tempered wall of riffs bound in barbed acidic guitar wiring. With drums banging their own confrontational trespass and melodic flames further igniting its pure temptation, the inspiring instrumental leads to the ravenous jaws of The New Low. Immediately, the second track surges through ears, rhythms a punishing incitement as guitars and bass uncage their own ferocious catchiness. Wired hooks vein the tempest as Smith’s equally manipulative tones further inspire participation in a feral roar which had us quickly and fully locked in.

NewAgeNarcissist equally made brief work of recruiting neck muscles and fiercely flung limbs, Smith’s fierce tones and lyrics riding the insistence with similar dexterity. The swarm of grooves across the song devoured as they sparked the appetite, rhythms just as uncompromisingly fertile before the track unleashes a chorus only the deaf could ignore. Every moment within the ravening song though is pure virulence and creative prowess, qualities just as rampant within next up My Peace Of Hell, a track galloping through ears with nostrils flared and breath aflame. A punk ferocity adds to the theatre of persuasion as too the web of enterprise cast by the ever agile guitars with another galvanic chorus a viral topping to it all.

As mentioned there is plenty that is familiar to the thrash instincts of the band and its songs yet each merges them into a slab of individual confrontation and endeavour as shown yet again by both Blood Makes Noise and Sense Of Independence. The first springs a persistently infectious trespass of groove metal infused, punk dusted, rock ‘n’ roll; essences of bands like Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves adding to the song’s gloriously insatiable holler while its successor growls with a barbarous grin as more extreme textures infest thrash rapacity. Even so melodic intimation and felicity bare the evocative heart of the song within one tempestuous climate of sound.

The hungrily swung antagonism and contagious face-off of Hardship and the demonic consumption of Within The Woods as ravenous as the Evil Dead themselves simply escalated the grip and impressive presence of the album, the latter eight minutes plus of creative adventure and pleasure nagging sonic acumen while Ripped Apart with carnal intent ravaged and devoured senses defenceless to its almost arrogant catchiness.

The album departs with United Hates, a predacious thrash scourge erupting from a scene of melodic beauty to remorselessly consume and ignite the senses. A deviously crafted yet primal assault of viral thrash brutality, it brings The Age of Entitlement to a close as exhilarating as its beginnings and indeed whole body.

It feels like British thrash is sowing the seeds to another heyday with the strength of releases this year alone, something surely even more certain if others can aspire to the bullish magnificence of Acid Reign and The Age of Entitlement.

The Age of Entitlement is out now via Dissonance Productions; available @ https://acidreign1.bandcamp.com/

http://acidreign.co.uk/   https://facebook.com/acid.reign.thrash   https://twitter.com/AcidReignUKAC   https://instagram.com/acidreignukac/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dog Tired – The Electric Abyss

The metal world has never been majorly short of striking and often influential bands from Scotland and adding to that list of potent protagonists is Dog Tired. They are not newcomers as such having emerged in 2004 and have earned a strong reputation and loyal fan base for their riff driven metal but with new album, The Electric Abyss, they have revealed themselves ready to step into a far larger spotlight.

Hailing from Edinburgh, Dog Tired are described as “Merging the relentless brutality of Gojira and Entombed with the riff orientated assault of Pantera and Metallica.” It is a fair description for the band’s multi-flavoured metal but only hints at its voracious sound and presence. At times across their quartet’s latest release, it is a proposition which involves the familiar with their own imagination but persistently comes through speakers with a character and freshness individual to Dog Tired.

The Electric Abyss opens with its title track, the song looming out of sonic electronic mists with dark ominous shadows behind a foreboding breath. In swift time heavy ravenous riffs laid down their claim on an already eager attention, as quickly erupting in a predacious contagious stroll as rhythms equip the emerging track with their own imposing bait. The grouchily throated vocals of Chris Thomson in turn make for a vociferous incitement, growling across the wiry exploits of guitarist Luke James and the virulent rhythmic trespass of bassist Barry Buchanan and drummer Keef Blaikie. It is a persistent and rousing nagging which only proves more persuasive as imagination brings greater twists and richer atmospheric intimation.

It is an outstanding and impressive beginning to the album and never relinquished favourite track honours but harried for that positioned across The Electric Abyss and quickly proven by the following Flesh Church. Its visceral trespass is bred on a mix of death and groove voracity, everything slightly less urgent than within its predecessor but just as predatory and even more sinisterly emotive. There are moments when the track uncages its vigour but still there is a dark restraint which only helps thicken its lure before Dagoth’s Nine accosts the senses with its creative animus. Grooves and indeed vocals in part have a harmonious toning which escalates the inherent catchiness of the pugnacious assail escaping the craft and invention of the band.

Beyond The Grave provides the best beginning to any track within the release, its rhythmic incitement within almost perniciously alluring waves of sonic intimation pure temptation and only escalated as the bass unfurls its bestial and virulent provocation. The track’s expanding prowl continued to seduce from under the skin; its addictive lures and feral snares quickly and insistently compulsive as Thompson’s barbarous tones prey on song and senses alike as another major moment within the album is discharged,

The melodic elegance and calm of Aeon provides a magnetic respite and seduction from the voracious darkness before and after it, the instrumental a beacon in the surrounding storm which returns with almost carnal relish within Lord Of The Vile. From its deception of atmospheric tranquillity if one embracing dark whispers and portentous intimation, Slayer-esque riffs erupt as rhythms venomously pummel. Immediately a viral contagiousness invades ears and appetite, the outstanding track swinging and savaging with insatiable intent and zeal; as throughout the release individual craft uniting with collective imagination and invention.

Both 1968, with its carnivorous stalking of the senses amidst a blackened hue as crawling riffs court ravenous grooves and vocals, and the primal gait and breath of Hunter’s Moon left little for ears and pleasure to want for, the first of the two especially inspiriting with its successor a full and riveting adventure all on its own as its instrumental landscape, lined with a slight Celtic lit intimation, twists and turns with rousing and potent effect.

Kingdom brings the record to a close, the final track another slab of animated and invigorating skill and enterprise leaving this listener welcomingly harassed and aroused. It is a song summing up the craft and invention of Dog Tired and the thick textures and varied nature of their sound within a recognisable yet individual extreme metal tempest.

As much as The Electric Abyss made a potent mark first time around it was with subsequent plays that it truly blossomed into one of our favourite metal onslaughts of the year; give it time and it could be yours too.

The Electric Abyss is out now; available@ https://dogtired.bandcamp.com/album/the-electric-abyss

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

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright