Deathblow – The Other Side of Darkness

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There is nothing quite like the voracious roar of thrash metal, especially when it is as ferociously raw and uncompromising as upon the new EP from US metallers Deathblow. Consisting of five tracks bred from the heart and soul of the genre, The Other Side of Darkness is a tirade in the ear and the fuse to the primal instincts of thrash metal and its following hordes.

The band’s second release follows their well-received debut album Prognosis Negative of 2014, and explodes with the same unbridled antagonism and intensity which marked out its predecessor. In many ways you really do know what you are going to get with the Salt Lake City trio’s sound, certainly in regard to its character and sonic intent as well as its overriding breeding but it cannot stop it, and indeed the new release from Deathblow with its additional inventive adventure, leaving nothing but rich satisfaction in its hellacious wake.

Recorded with and mixed and mastered by Andy Peterson, the self-released incitement opens up with Beyond Obsession, a song immediately prowling, no stalking the senses with a deliciously heavy and intimidating bassline joined straight away by more raucously animated riffs. The drums too soon lend their muscle to the threat, everything coming together in one breath of a pause before unleashing a hellacious united storm of metallic aggravation. Driven by just as hostile vocals, the track rumbles and charges with an ever shifting gait, revelling in its violent prowess and leaving the senses battered and blissfully bruised.

CD_Digipak_Outside The excellent start continues with Means To An End, where grooves and riffs seem to be even more inhospitable and contagious. After a relatively kind start it becomes a full on barrage of sonic animosity and rhythmic brutality yet still slips in varying turns of energy and an infectious enterprise which grips the imagination as skilled and melodic exploits escape from the guitars. Old school thrash meets modern ingenuity the track is a glorious rampage and rich evidence that there is much more to the band than aural viciousness.

The EP’s title track is next, bringing what can only be called a punk attitude to vocals and the fury lined bones of the song. Spiky in nature and creatively fluid in its entwining of melodic temptation and rabid virulence, The Other Side Of Darkness as the EP provokes body and emotions with consummate ease, enlisting both in its exhausting tempest.

The release is completed by firstly the simply furious and thrilling Headless Throne before the corrosively anthemic Death Wish brings everything to a riotous end. The first of the two is a sonic haranguing of the senses, a fearsome and exhilarating turbulence of rampant riffs and savage rhythms bound in a melodically sculpted lashing whilst its successor is as much punk ‘n’ roll as it is extreme metal vehemence, and simply irresistible.

The Other Side Of Darkness is thrash at its rawest best, not trying to reinvent the genre but taking long bred essences and ideation into fresh destructive climates. It works a treat and could/should be the spark to making Deathblow an eagerly spoken and recognisable name in the widest thrash circles.

The Other Side of Darkness is out on April 21st @ http://deathblow1.bandcamp.com/album/the-other-side-of-darkness

https://www.facebook.com/dethblo

RingMaster 21/04/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Reign Of Fury – Death Be Thy Shepherd

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Plenty about the Reign Of Fury sound hits the sweet spot of familiarity yet everything about the band’s music is rigorously fresh and inventively captivating. Theirs is a dramatic roar which draws on the finest essences of thrash and heavy metal from across the decades, involving them all in new tenaciously melodic adventures. It is also a honing of flavours woven into a collection of songs making up a release easily providing the year with one of its essential listens. The fiery and thrilling Death Be Thy Shepherd is a devilish rampage of old school and modern invention, a proposition from the British metallers unafraid to simply offer rock ‘n’ roll in its most potent and insatiably contagious form.

You could say that there is little ground-breaking about the West Midlands hailing quintet’s sound and album but equally you can only admit that nothing about them feeds expectations or leaves the imagination looking for new inspirations. It should not be a major surprise such the impact and quality of Death Be Thy Shepherd. Its acclaimed predecessor World Detonation in 2012, sparked eager attention towards the band worldwide, and it is fair to say that since forming in 2006, Reign Of Fury has increasingly gripped ears and appetites with a sound seeded on eighties thrash and metal inspirations, flavours which fuel the band’s personal passions. Highly successful performances at the likes of Bloodstock around the release of their first full-length, and their own shows and a 40 date tour in 2013 only helped accelerate their emergence into broader awareness and stature. That year also saw the band organise and host every show of the Headbangers Balls UK tour, and again the following year when the band played with 100 bands, Onslaught, Lawnmower Deth, Xentrix, and Hatebreed, over 22 dates. Both provided one of the most potent events of their year in the metal scene, raising awareness for testicular cancer and funds for Teenage Cancer Trust in tandem with great show. Now the band has uncaged Death Be Thy Shepherd and instantly thrust themselves to the frontline of world metal with its quite breath-taking avalanche of instinctive and passionate rock ‘n’ roll.

The opening chord and lure of first track Faustian Mastery instantly has ears intrigued; appetite soon following as the guitars of Ed Westlake and Jon Priestley conjure a web of raw but inviting riffs alongside a melodic invitation. The song embraces the listener with temptress like wiles, coaxing and luring them into a waiting tempest of ravenous rhythms from drummer Magic Dave and bassist Paul Bielby aligned to fierce flames and causticity cast by the guitars. Straight away the song brings the climate of eighties/nineties thrash/metal into its compelling landscape, flirtations of Metallica and Megadeth colouring the intensive stride and swagger of the track. Driven by the ever alluring tones of vocalist Bison Steed, backed eagerly by the band’s shouts, the track stomps like an old friend with new face and character in tow.COVER_ART

Over nine minutes long but feeling like a mere handful due to its fascinating invention, individual craft, and volcanic energy, the opener is soon matched in strength and virulence by the following Harbinger of Decay. If the first was a swift persuasion, its successor has ears and passions aflame almost within a brief swing of its rhythms and a lone blaze of sonic enticement. Its slow crawl of an entrance is the brief prelude to a thunderous charge of addiction forging riffs and grooves matched by just as gripping vocals. Like John Bush era Anthrax colluding with Trucker Diablo whilst Mastodon add their infection, the track is a glorious onslaught of hungry and inventive metal binding ears in spicy solos, rabid riffs, and psyche seducing grooves. Rhythmically and vocally too, it is an instinctive persuasion, almost primal in its temptation and straight after emulated by the just as immense Hypnotise The Masses. Riffs are bestial and sonic enterprise sultrily warm, their extremes combining across a frame work of predacious rhythms which captivate and compel the listener to join the anthem.

Through the merger of melodic seducing and corrosively rampant riffing that is Gates of Sanity and the Hetfield and co like power balladry of All is Lost, band and album only grip thoughts and appetite tighter. Though neither track can quite match the impact and creative plateaus of the first trio of songs, each leaves satisfaction full and attention enthralled whilst The Love of a Dying God is an unstoppable hunt of and march upon the senses. Volatile in texture and imagination, the song is a hellacious storm as ridiculously contagious as it is grievously imposing. It is fair to say that Reign Of Fury is not going to be the most brutal and violent proposition you will come across this year but as proven by the song, there are times where they go for the jugular with all creative guns blazing and on an attitude fuelled by hostility.

The outstanding offering seems to be the spark to the band finding even greater animosity, certainly in its rhythmic confrontation and aggressive riffery. The next up Sorrow Made Flesh is barbarous in that department but salaciously anthemic in vocal and sonic invention. Once more the backing shouts of the band add extra bait to the bellow of the song’s call, whilst musically its grouchy, often senses stalking animosity, combines superbly with the melodic and invitational enterprise offered.

The album closes with its title track, a ten minute leap into a tapestry of bewitching guitar skills, rhythmic agitation, and vocal captivation, and that only covers half of the song’s epic landscape of imaginative, skill sculpted endeavour. Arguably the most adventurous song on the release, and certainly its most varied, the track is spellbinding and raucously riotous in equal and entwining measure.

Death Be Thy Shepherd is simply intoxicating, thrash and heavy metal in its original pungent form, not worried about shaping new templates but twisting existing ingredients into gripping and ferociously new incitements. This in turn makes the band’s familiarity in sound also a brand new protagonist for ears and pleasure. Simply put, Reign Of Fury is pure rock ‘n’ roll and quite irresistible.

Death Be Thy Shepherd is available now via http://reignoffury.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.reignoffury.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/reignoffury

RingMaster 19/03/2015

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/

Instincts Of A Predator: talking Hyëna and more with Cripper

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Thrash metal comes in numerous shapes and sizes, generally all ravenous and out for blood, but few have been as voraciously compelling and inventive as the recent album from German band Cripper. Hyëna is, as its title suggests, a beast of a proposition, one built on sinew and aggression but with the creative enterprise and captivating adventure of an instinctive predator. The album is one of the most exciting genre releases in recent times and the evidence of a band at its strongest peak to date. So it was a pleasure to explore the world of Cripper, and especially get to the heart of Hyëna with the kind help of vocalist Britta Görtz, guitarist Christian Bröhenhorst, drummer Dennis Weber, and bassist Gerrit Mohrmann.

Hello all and thank you for sharing your time with us; firstly can you give some background to the emergence of Cripper in 2005, inspirations and intent for its birth?

Christian: Hello Pete, nice to meet you!

It all began in 2004 when Jonathan and I met in university. Both of us found out that we got quite enough time to do some thrashy music besides studying. So we took a rehearsal room to exchange some ideas.

Well, two guys and some riffs don’t make a band – so we started searching for persons who really wanted join this. We didn’t have a clue about the direction we wanted go at this point. It was just to keep the passion and maybe have kind of a group out of fitting members in the end. The other band that was rehearsing at our place was one step ahead and invited Britta for singing. But she ends up with us and does not really fit to the music of the other group. Even more luck was on our side when we completed with Dennis and the band’s first bass player. Cripper was born.

With first 6 songs in the bank we entered the studio to record our first demo EP. First live shows followed and had a good impact on us. We got hungry for more.

Do you still feel about the band and see it the same way you did in those early days or like your music has that evolved over time and releases?

Christian: Still it is all about fun and fulfilment. This might be the real “success“ or how do you wanna call it. Of course it is great havin’ the chance to spread your music / art all over the world. And even knowing some guys who like it! :-)

But I have to admit that it is kind of calculated professional work. This is more influenced these days than it was back at the point we recorded our first song. Because now we have more like a goal, we try to match our personal visions. But still it is exciting ’cause we never know how what a song will sound like or how a certain feel is gonna work in the end.

Talking of releases you of course uncaged fourth album Hyëna last November, a voracious snarl of an encounter. A couple of months on has it matched or surpassed your hopes for it with fans and in drawing new attention?

Christian: Hopefully it brings us even more listeners than before. To be honest, we don’t really know the selling stats yet and have to check back with the guys of our record label. First feedback was really good and our partners were lucky as we are about the fact that everything worked out with the new album and the press echo is a damn good one in whole.

The album for us is your most adventurous and diverse release sound wise so far, did you have any specific aims when writing it or was it more an organic creation; see what comes out with ideas Cripper-Hyenakind of thing?

Christian: So good to hear that, man. Great you love the album and listen to the stuff in this way.

Well, it’s always kind of “organic“ ’cause we choose to write our songs during rehearsal time and have all the band members involved during this process. To collect feedback and opinions from all around and don’t have a song that’s just represents a certain taste of a single band mate.

This time, we really felt the challenge to write a compact but dynamic album. Do not bore the listeners when listen to the whole album from first note to the very end. And this time we put the focus on the tracks, creating different atmospheres and havin’ even more different song structures.

How do you see the evolution between Hyëna and previous albums Devil Reveals and especially Antagonist from two years ago?

Christian: On Devil Reveals we tried to experience atmospherically heavy stuff and some “epic“ parts for the first time. On Antagonist it became even more varied and we tried to create different stuff beyond typical thrash metal. Although it is still music out of this genre we mix it up with groovy death metal parts or havin’ some elements that’s got nothing to do with extreme metal at all. This development moved on when it comes to our current material. We put in some rock influences, havin’ stoner riffs, used pretty heavy riffing and mixed it up with thrash stuff. At the end of the day all these different ingredients creates a cocktail which taste like typical for the band but smells fresh and tasty… hopefully, haha! Beside this, we tried to have a sound that is more “grown-up“ in comparison to the album Cripper released before. It is more about a heavy filthy bastard of an underdog so to say.

Whilst writing and recording the album was there any aspect to its sound or presence which took you by surprise?

Christian: We planned to not double layer the guitar tracks. That meant we chose to play all the rhythm stuff just one time and havin’ some additional parts on top. Just to keep it basic and not too constructed. For this one shall hit you right between the eyes.

On our first records the sound was OK but may not feel catchy enough and misses the rock ‘n’ roll in it. This is what we think about after havin’ listened to the old shit for so many times, to be honest ;-) We tried to build up Hyëna’s sound as catchy as possible. Drums and bass are more to the point than ever, the vocals are real killer.

Is there a certain process to the song writing within the band more often than not?

Dennis: For ten years, songwriting of the instrumentals happened exclusively in the rehearsal room – most of the time involving the whole band. So in general, the all over process is kind of the same: All five are jamming, trying out stuff, and discussing our asses off to come to something that actually all of us would consider to be a song. Britta writes all the lyrics on her own, but making them part of a song also involves the others. But of course we tried different approaches over the time, mostly to minimize discussions and keep the actual music in the foreground – which isn’t easy at all, especially when you try not to repeat yourself – which is of course a question of definition. So the optimal process (which actually happens at least sometimes) would be: Britta has an idea for some lyrics or at least a topic or feeling she wants to bring alive through a song; one of the guitarists understands this approach and puts out one or two riffs we all think would fit; all of us jam along on that and record a scribble version of a possible song structure; Britta completes the lyrics independently; and with all elements being set, we cut everything into pieces and put it again together in thousand different ways until it is a full grown song. When I think of it that would be the practice happening most often, not thinking about the time every step needs – and sometimes this could be months or even years.

It is easy to assume that you all take inspiration from leading lights in thrash and extreme metal like Exodus, Testament, The Haunted etc. but are there any other bands or influences which are maybe more unexpected?

Dennis: I think we do not (anymore?) really actively take bands as inspiration for the band Cripper. Actual inspiration happens more on single musicians concerning her/his instrument, which doesn’t depend on metal at all, but more general on being a good artist. So the fact that many of us listen to music which is far away from (extreme) metal is good for an open-minded perspective, but probably not really helpful in the songwriting process. But on the other hand, perhaps it’s a good approach to find the point you and yourself want to make by being also into all the other stuff for distinction and finding precision…

cripper_photo06I have the idea that Cripper is a band always working on new ideas or taking elements of previous songs, experiences and exploring them further ahead. If so was there anything particular about Hyëna and its recording which you took as a seed to your next creations?

Dennis: I already mentioned the problem of do-not-repeat-yourself and something woolly about inspiration, and I see your consideration as praise so thank you for this question. But this is hard to answer as we will perhaps be able to answer this question not before the plant is grown. Concerning songwriting we will try a completely different approach this time and I won’t come to details until we are not sure it could work. I think the most concrete and traceable aspect will probably be the sound and the overall production, because that is something where we try to achieve “the best that is possible” from our humble perspective at least. Creativity-wise I have no idea which aspect leads to what. In the most general way you can interpret this.

Give us some insight into the recording of Hyëna.

Dennis: We split the recordings into two sessions with half a year or something between them, because of different reasons, but one interesting aspect was that we were able to really let the production sink into our minds and so had the possibility to change major decisions with fresh ears. Also, I firstly recorded the drums with Kai at the Kohlekelles Studios, so he as hands-on-mixing-mastering-producing-guy had all the possibilities in the whole process of how he wanted them to be. That also applies to the other recordings as well, even if they were made partially in other studios.

Did you approach it or try anything majorly different in the studio than when recording Antagonist?

Dennis: We try something new on the recording- and overall producing-processes of every Cripper-album, so: yes. Christian spoke about some aspects in the beginning and almost everything I described in the last question was new for Hyëna.

Hyëna was your first album which was not being self-released, being unleashed through Metal Blade Records. How did the link up come about?

Gerrit: Metal Blade took notice of us at the Metaldays festival in 2013 and sent an e-mail afterwards. First we were thinking someone is kidding us. Then we realized that this is the “real” Metal Blade company and that they are seriously interested. And so we stayed in contact and made a cool deal. In summer 2013 we decided to produce four songs as an EP to check out if the Cripper stuff will be interesting for any label out there. We decided to record the EP in the Kohlekeller Studios in November 2013. With this decision we went to the Metaldays 2013…And then there was Metal Blade, haha.

What has been the biggest difference and benefit from this union for the album?

Gerrit: It feels great to have Metal Blade as a partner on our side. Knowing Cripper since their beginning in 2005 as a friend of the band, seeing them working so hard all over the years, I’m really happy that Cripper now steps to the next level. We bust our asses for Cripper, and there will never be a way around it. Artistically, every little thing is still in our hands, no compromise. Metal Blade is a good label for us and I hope we can reach more people out there with their help, travel farther and make new experiences. Cripper put out their last 3 records out through SAOL (Service for Artist owned labels). They provide promotion and distribution, 2 things you cannot do yourself beyond a certain extent. So signing to Metal Blade doesn’t make that much of a difference in that business area anyway. To help us bring Cripper to a next level, we think Metal Blade is a real good partner for us.

The great artwork for Hyëna summed up the release and the individual songs perfectly. Who designed the cover art?

Gerrit: For the development of the artwork, the whole band was involved in the brainstorming process. Finding images, textures and especially the technique for creating the artwork.

Britta: The process of the artwork was surprisingly complicated. We thought “hey, a hyena on the cover – this is gonna be easy to do“. But no, it turned out to be quite difficult to find some good basic material. Since hyenas can look extremely cute and fluffy, haha.

Christian: In the end it was me who set up a collage of the animal we got in mind and you can see on final cover now…then added skyline and certain textures. Jonathan was responsible for the finish and painting details. In order to make it look even more dangerous and given’ the hyena itself a heavy metal attitude.

Afterwards I created everything around – like layout, booklet for cd, vinyl versions, digipak and shit. It’s quite a heavy product we can tell. Kind of hard this time to create a final scribble of the album cover that every one of us loved.

There is a great bonus DVD that features a whole show we did on Metaldays festival this year, behind the scenes / making of the album, a complete collection of all the video clips we did so far. 2 discs are included in first issue that comes on European market, a black vinyl edition and a limited splattered vinyl version of the whole album. Furthermore there is this special box edition we offer exclusively on our website and live shows. There is a 7″ vinyl included which you won’t find elsewhere.

A lot of different products to do for a band that’s responsible for the artwork and do nearly all the stuff by using their own hands, haha. But that’s the way we like it. Besides the music, this plays an important role in our creative process as a band.

Same thing with the album’s title and whole concept behind Hyëna as Gerrit can tell.

Gerrit: The other guys actually came up with the title idea when they wrote our previous album Antagonist. But it didn’t fit the songs well and so they kept the title in their minds.

We see Hyenas somehow as the thrash metallers among all the predators. Not as elegant as the cat-types like Lions or Panthers – but mangy, imposing and really strong. As a motto for a metal album, an aggressive hyena with very impressive teeth just fits very well. The album as a whole is very heavy and there are many serious, punchy riffs. This was decisive for the gloomy atmosphere in the whole artwork.

Some have already mistaken the two dots above the e as a German Umlaut. It is no Umlaut, since in German language that is only ü, ä and ö. The dots above the e are simply cool looking “rock dots” that we just wanted to have.

Looking back is there anything about Hyëna, a particular moment or idea in a song maybe, which you wish you maybe had pursued further but also a part which gives you an extra tingle of Cripper_Promopics_Hyena_band_017 by Alina Omerbasicsatisfaction and pleasure?

Gerrit: No, I don’t think so. During the songwriting process there is a lot of discussion around every single idea, riff or song structure. After that when a songs comes to its end in the writing process we’re usually quite happy with the result. We are writing all our songs together in our rehearsal room. That is not easy, since you have 5 people writing together. Sometimes it feels as if we were writing 5 different songs at the same time, before we find that little seed we all get happy with.

Your live performances and presence are renowned for their energy, ferocity, and sheer passion; this is home for the band?

Gerrit: Yeah, I think the live performance is the important thing for every band mate in Cripper. It’s important to us that we bring the fun that we have and all the energy on stage. We love to have a good time on stage. Well, we are also metal fans and loving the music we do. And so we try to catch everyone in front of the stage to party with us, haha.

What have you got lined up live wise for 2015?

Gerrit: Actually, we’re looking for shows all the time. Especially when there is an album out the band is hungry to bring the new shit on stage, right? Same with Cripper. Unfortunately there are no touring plans yet. But we hope for opportunities that bring us on international ground, doin’ some festivals and club shows in different countries. Maybe there is a chance to bring our music to some countries we’ve never been before. This might be a great adventure, a challenge and lots of fun to do.

We fixed some festival shows in Germany for the summer and can’t wait to get some more dates on the table. We consider Cripper as a live band as said at the very beginning of this interview.

So hope to meet ya out there very soon!

…And in other aspects of Cripper, recordings etc.?

Gerrit: At the moment we’re planning some video shots for songs from Hyëna. We hope that we can realize some of our ideas as soon as possible. There are actually ideas for a new album, but this is quiet in the beginning.

Thanks once again for taking time out to chat, any last thought you would like to leave us with?

We also thank you very much. Thanks also to the readers for reading this interview till its end, haha. Keep the Metal alive and support your local bands and underground. Check out http://www.cripper.de for more live dates. We’ll keep you updated. Thanks for your question and being interested in Cripper ;-) See you out there

Danke & Cheers

Gerrit | Cripper

https://www.facebook.com/Cripper.Thrash

https://www.youtube.com/user/cripperthrash

Read the Hyëna review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/cripper-hyena/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 17/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Shadowspawn – Ashes Of Sorrow

Photo- Bo Toftegaard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.shadowspawn.dk/

RingMaster 04/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Shredhead – Death is Righteous

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Our first dose of Shredhead ferocity came in the excellent compilation album From Israhell With Love of 2012, which collected the best emerging Israeli metal bands around at the time. Many stood out but the Modiin hailing thrashers stole the march on a great many with their voracious onslaught of a track, Knife in a Gun Fight. Taken from their debut album Human Nature released the previous year, the track lit a fuse under a hungry appetite for the band’s sound, something a hindsight look at that first album only made greedier. Now the band has unleashed its successor Death is Righteous, a fury taking their already blistering and incendiary thrash sounds into a whole new sphere.

The eleven track torrent of crippling rhythms and hellacious riffs bound in contagiously toxic grooves, shows a maturity and new enterprise to the songwriting and sound which instantly opens up a fresh powder keg of potential and invention. It turns a great band into a new force in thrash metal demanding and commanding world-wide attention. From a small, raw, and acclaimed proposition which already has been the name on every Israeli metallers lips and gone onto play the Wacken festival Metal Battle in Germany after winning the Israeli Metal Battle in 2012, Shredhead has evolved into an insatiable sonic predator with grooves swinging from the hips and Bay Area thrash colouring spicing up an inventive tempest of sound.

Last year saw the band play with Biohazard and relocate to Berlin, but more importantly record the Tue Madsen (Suicide Silence, The Haunted, Aborted, Sick of It All) mixed and mastered Death is Righteous which they had been working on over the previous year or so. Unsurprisingly highly anticipated, the album goes for the jugular straight away with Devil’s Race. From its first stirring second riffs and rhythms converge on ears with forceful intent, taking a swift pause before cascading again with venom and animosity upon the senses. Vocalist Aharon Ragoza is soon joining the affray, his tones as the music, far more controlled and distinctive from the crowd now but still holding the caustic might and hoarse tone which lit up the first album. His brawling delivery roars impressively from within the cauldron of fierce beats from drummer Roee Kahana which in turn align to the web of grooves and heavily barbed riffs of guitarist Yotam Nagor. It is an imposing and compelling blaze of sound, foot to the floor metal completed by the great throaty lure of Lee Lavy’s bass and an opening tour-de-force setting the release off in scintillating style.

The following LPBZ opens similarly to the core incitement of its predecessor, beats and riffs a familiar beckoning but in no time becoming a bruising punk infused charge of sonic rabidity and Shredhead-Death-Is-Righteous-album-cover-300x300riveting invention. There is toxicity to the grooves which, not only in this song, has a Pantera-esque quality but also a waspish nagging character which increases an already keen appetite for song and album. Its sizzling hostility is matched by that of The Lie which steps in next. It is a song unafraid to develop a contentment to stalk as well as simply rage at the senses whilst coating its grooves and vocals with a southern fried metal edge as it stomps with virulent endeavour. The track’s bracing presence makes way for firstly the groove metal coated predation of Last Words Are Lost and then the volatile character of the album’s title track. The first of the two without stepping from the shadow of the previous songs, lurches with nostrils flared and sinews stretched, offering a mix of Bloodsimple and Exodus in its own unique form. Its successor picks up a recognisable old school hook and lays it openly down before its expressive sonic narrative, the bait soon embroiled in a steady but dirty rage of voice and sound. It is equally prone to exploding with uncaged viciousness and intensity, planting another notable signpost in the new direction of the band’s sound.

The nightmarish bellow of Hallucinations comes next, neck muscles tormented and ears scarred by the outstanding raw bluster of the track. With a tasty solo and melodic spicing intruding on the inventive turbulence, the track equally sets a marker down for band and album which Walk With The Dead straight away emulates with its infection of spicy grooves and concussive beats. Where Shredhead now outshine their previous album and many other bands on Death Is Righteous is with the constantly revealing and giving underbelly of imagination and unpredictable ideation which boils beneath the surface warfare on the senses. Each song is a maelstrom, with some like this one a vat of tenacious invention.

On a minor note there is a similarity across some songs as shown by the ever alluring grooving of Can’t Be Left Alive and its closeness to certain aspects of other grooves and riffs on the album. As elsewhere though, it is not long before those elements find their own individualism or align to a fresh blaze of sonic ingenuity or a striking boom of vocals, this track twisting into an angry storm of fierce attitude and shapely venomous designs.

Both Witness Hell and I Hate Myself skilfully ruffle the senses; the first juggling malicious rhythms and bass grooves within an anthemic and corrosive fever of vocal savagery and acidic grooving. There is a touch of Hellyeah to the unbridled trash scourge, but only one whiff of flavouring in a track which also calls in hints of grind, groove, and punk metal to its brawl of thrash ingenuity. The second of the pair floats in on an evocative ambience. Haunting melodies gently stroke the imagination as a just as mellow bass resonance adds its emotive tinge to the enticement. A slow groan of a vocal adds drama too before closing song I Am next swaggers in with muscles flexed and grooves loaded. Thoughts of Down make an offering but again Shredhead turn any inspirations into their own creative and aggressive frenzy.

The track is an impressive conclusion to an immense and ridiculously enjoyable and inventive thrash riot. Shredhead are no strangers to impressing people but the band has invited the broadest intensive attention upon themselves with Death is Righteous, the first step in possible world domination.

Death is Righteous is available now via Mighty Music

https://www.facebook.com/shredheadband

RingMaster 14/01/2015

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Thy Fallen Kingdom – Fear The Hunter

Band Photo

Wearing its old school inspirations proudly on its sleeve, Singapore thrashers Thy Fallen Kingdom unleash debut album Fear The Hunter, an encounter swift to fire up ears and neck muscles. The nine track aggressor is not a proposition to change the shape of thrash metal or bring it anything particularly new but for passion and thoroughly enjoyable enterprise, it is an album to eagerly embrace repeatedly. The band lists major influences as bands such as Exodus, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Destruction, King Diamond, and Mercyful Fate, no real surprise as you listen to their raw and highly flavoursome encounter, but to be honest this familiarity only adds to the lure of their sound and makes Fear The Hunter like an old friend in the ear and a seriously irresistible stomp for the body.

Formed in 2005, Thy Fallen Kingdom has uncaged a trio of releases leading up to the new album. From the five-track All That Is Left EP in 2009, the quintet has aroused local attention and passions as well as creating interest in the metal underground generally. The following UnDemocratic Society a year later and Army Of One EP in 2012, only added to their emerging presence ensuring there was plenty of anticipation for the band’s first full-length. After numerous line-up changes, the more settled line-up of original member and rhythm guitarist Akhbar, lead guitarist Christian, bassist Bryan, drummer Aip, and vocalist Aidil (though since the album’s recording he has left the band to be replaced by Rajuna), has crafted the band’s finest moment to date, an album to ignite body and appetite with ease.

Adrenaline and energy spurts voraciously from the speakers from the first seconds of the second track, never relenting until the album’s final offering, but it is the short alluring instrumental Mental Oppression starting things off. An evocative melody drifts from the strings of a guitar, its elegant expression and caress a potent coaxing but courted by a sinister sonic squall which offers shadows and portentous suggestiveness, a threat soon realised in Army Of 1. The song lays down a rub of nagging bait before rampaging with nostrils flared and rhythms slapping ears with their mighty swings. In full stride the track is a thunderous provocateur loaded with torrents of abrasing riffs and great tangy grooves, all punctuated by heavy fisted beats. Vocalist Aidil stands in the midst of the incitement, his delivery scowling with serpentine hostility for a great caustic hue to the tempestuous yet melodically fuelled sounds around him. The song as a whole only increases its lure as the blend of every element beds in the senses as grooves drip with temptation.

My Murderous Childhood keeps the great start to the album in full swing, charging and pounding through ears with broad sinews and acidic invention. Vocal variety across the band adds to Thy-Fallen-Kingdom-Fear-the-Hunter-e1415715183881the contagion of the track but it is the virulent riffing alongside spicy grooves and hooks which turns recognisable seeds into a masterfully magnetic proposition. The track leaves appetite and ears that little hungrier, an increasing greed the title track is only too please to satisfy. From a sonic drama a delicious throaty bassline steps forward, skirted by a rhythmic shuffle of beats. It is a bait impossible to resist, even more so when a tangy solo sears its addictive web. In full flight, the song does not quite live up to its opening or predecessor but still lays down an anthemic and contagious provocation to devour, especially with the addition of a bluesy colouring and subsequently furious animosity.

The anthems keep coming thick and fast, the next up Imperious Regime a vocal roar over a contagious sonic turbulence whilst its successor Psychosis provides an inescapable addiction. The first of the pair teases with a Suicidal Tendencies like predation, especially in the vocals, to provide an exhausting and rigorously thrilling incitement, though it is swiftly left in the shade by its successor. From its opening swagger and grouchy bassline, the track is in full control of attention and emotions. A Pantera-like swing to grooves is pure infectiousness which persistently lingers even as the song spills the rawest corrosive essences for a cantankerous canter of sound and attitude. That is enough to make it a formidable encounter but with a slip into a pasture of radiant melodies and harmonies with an air of Motherjane to them, the track has its sights on best on album honours.

The salaciously grooved Operation B.E.A.S.T. has its say on that straight after though, its rugged terrain a barbarous temptation bound in infection soaked grooves and vocal persuasion. The result is another epidemic of tenacious thrash enterprise which with plenty of creative hues and craft from the guitars and potent invention throughout sculpts its own peak in proceedings. That success is matched by the outstanding Unchallenged, another relentless assault with additional punkish textures to the surge of voice and riffs. There is no getting away from the fact that Thy Fallen Kingdom enclose themselves in their open inspirations without seemingly trying to break into bold originality, but here and across the whole of Fear The Hunter, it does not prevent the album from being one of the most pleasing and fun genre releases this year.

Closing with Possessors Of Absolute Power, one more creative cage of vicious rhythms and inventively spicy grooves roared on by torrential riffery, Fear The Hunter is thrash metal at its most furiously compelling. It may be bred on a diet of classic influences which the band is unafraid to share in their sound, but it is a familiarity which Thy Fallen Kingdom uses in their own attention grabbing way for a proposal all thrash fans should take up.

The self-released Fear The Hunter is available now.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thy-Fallen-Kingdom/108260834542?fref=ts

RingMaster 09/12/2014

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Cripper – Hyëna

Cripper_Promopics_Hyena_band_017 by Alina Omerbasic

We all fall into the grasp of a band at some time or other whose sound is just the perfect fit for personal wants and desires, an instinctive proposition always destined to ignite the passions given the chance. Sometimes the frustration with that is not coming across said provocateur sooner. Such is the case with German thrashers Cripper. The band has just released their fourth album and the first with Metal Blade Records, and it is fair to say that Hyëna fulfils every need of these appetites and emotions with consummate ease. It is an incendiary fury of old and modern thrash, but an inventive turbulence which is unafraid to throw in thick grooves and darker ravenous elements aligned to death metal instincts. Whether it will raise the same ardour in all genre fans time will tell but it is hard to imagine the voracious encounter not leaving thrash fans with a certain hunger.

Hailing from Hannover and fronted by the gutturally bred temptation of Britta Görtz, her compelling and bracing fiery tones lying somewhere between Otep Shamaya and Krysta Cameron, Cripper has been earning acclaim and an ever increasing and loyal following since forming in 2005. From the release of debut EP Killer Escort Service in 2006, the quintet has unleashed the albums Freak Inside (2007), Devil Reveals (2009), and Antagonist (2012), as well as made their mark live, sharing stages with the likes of Overkill and Onslaught and lighting up festivals such as Summer Breeze, Wacken Rocks, Metalfest, Brutal Assault, Rockharz Open Air, and Metaldays where they caught the attention of their new label. Each event has increased their stock but it is probably fair to say, the band has yet to breach a global spotlight, something through Metal Blade the spectacular Hyëna has the potential to easily do.

From its first moments the album grips the imagination, the opening of its title track a backward played coaxing which leads into the jaws of predatory riffs and firmly swung rhythms. It is an intriguing lead, an attention grabbing lure which is soon swallowed by the tsunami of vicious rhythms from drummer Dennis Weber and a rabid cascade of riffs bred by guitarists Christian Bröhenhorst and Jonathan Stenger. From this point the track is a torrent of primal rabidity and flavoursome sonic enterprise; it all lorded over by the swiftly impressing tones of Görtz. There are few big surprises in the track but then again the whole song is a surprise and an intoxicating assault on personal passions.

The potent start is straight away surpassed by the virulently compelling Tourniquet, a song with visceral texture to its riffery and rhythmic persuasion and exhausting energy to its unrelenting hyena_book_16p_v7a.inddonslaught. Speared with rich sonic flames of guitar and the intensely gripping bass predation of Gerrit Mohrmann, the track swarms ravenously over the senses before making way for the more restrained but no less intimidating incitement of Bloodshot Monkey Eye and the more ferocious A Dime for the Establishment. The first of the pair feels like it is prowling ears, sizing up its victim before Görtz infests the imagination from within a menacing web of evolving and uncompromising sonic animosity. At times flying with flared nostrils and more often holding rein as it simply stalks with flexed sinews and hungry invention, the song is pure magnetism with the bass again the darkest temptation. Its successor snarls and roars with malevolent belligerence, its unpredictability, something blessing all tracks in varying degrees, blossoming in vocals and imagination against the raging aggression.

7″ is next and from a thought prodding opening is soon striding with anger in its eyes and acidic grooves through its body, all leading to a tempestuous and scintillating furnace of intensity and impassioned viciousness. Görtz is a venom clad temptress in the track, her little twists of diversity in delivery as important and potent as those within the music, her presence never feeding expectations to match the constant evolving lure of sound. Again we would not say Cripper is breaking boundaries but they have a freshness and creative turbulence which definitely sets them apart from the crowd.

Animated Flesh with its opening regimented bait of rhythms and subsequent steely swagger instantly has body and passions to their feet, the track the kind of addiction to which no respite is available or wanted, whilst both the melodically veined predation of The Origin and Patterns in the Sky keep album and listener high. The first of the two another which taking its time before tearing out the throat of the senses, though it is never lightweight in its imposing touch and tenacity at any point, whilst the second is a lung bursting charge of malicious rock ‘n’ roll. Grooves spice up its predecessor but here it is all out thrash hostility, and quite irresistible, the pair equally not short on delicious sonic temptation from the guitars either.

The Jackhammer sums itself up in the title, the track as heavy and relentless as anything on the album but also equipped with enslaving grooves and deep rooted hooks draped with the scathing tones of Görtz and an inescapable and barbarous infectiousness. Another pinnacle of the release, the track is blistering thrash manna unafraid to venture into fascinating and mouth-watering explorations.

The album is completed by firstly the rabid bludgeoning of Patronized, its inflammatory grooves and rhythmic outpouring again sheer enslavement, and lastly Pure, a tantalising drama all on its own moving through varied tones and emotions, melodic calm and pure ferocity for a riveting adventure.

Not strikingly unique but with a character and fury which stands alone from other thrash seeded rages, Hyëna is one of the most refreshing confrontations of the year and certainly a slab of undiluted pleasure for these ears and emotions. Expect to hear and find Cripper making major inroads into the frontline of thrash metal from hereon in.

Hyëna is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/brand/cripper/lis_Cripper_bandbrand/

http://www.cripper.de

RingMaster 27/11/2014

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