Mortal Infinity – In Cold Blood

Unleashing thrash metal with a similarly keen instinct for death and groove metal, German metallers Mortal Infinity unveil their third album this month. In Cold Blood is a nine track trespass of old school meets new enterprise incitement, a release which left us basking in thick satisfaction.

Hailing from Zeilarn, Mortal Infinity emerged late 2009 and swiftly set about creating and releasing in the May of the following year their first EP, Eternal War. Since then they have unleashed a pair of albums in District Destruction of 2012 and three years later Final Death Denied. Both were well-received without really breaking the band out upon major attention, a possibility which In Cold Blood makes more likely given the luck all artists need.

Presenting a collection of songs which unapologetically embrace the influence of bands such as Exodus, Testament, and Slayer, In Cold Blood swiftly reveals its rich web of flavours within opener Fellowship Of Rats. Immediately riffs urgently descend on the senses, the guitars of Sebastian Unrath and Sebastian Brunner hungrily surging forth as the swings of drummer Adrian Müller bite. It is familiar territory but no less appetising for it. The raw and earnest tones of vocalist Marc Doblinger soon enter the affray too as all the while rapacious basslines escape the strings of Alex Glaser.

It is a great if unsurprising start to the release which is taken up a notch by the following Misanthropic Collapse. From its first breath seriously appetising grooves collude with hunger bearing riffs, rhythms again an imposing attack in the contagion of it all. Once more there is plenty to recognise but there is a freshness which as with its predecessor marks it out before the quickly impressing Repulsive Messiah steps up to prowl the listener within an apocalyptic collage. Within moments it becomes a nagging addiction of guitar as Doblinger stalks the landscape with his predatory words, death metal hues adding to the drama and temptation. Subsequent threads of melodic enterprise vine the confrontation bringing bolder imagination to the band’s sound.

Dream Crusher equally hooked quick and eager attention with its burly outpouring of carnal riffs and voracious rhythms, grooved wiring increasing its compelling presence. A Lamb Of God like spicing only accentuates its potency as too the momentary calm which deceptively hints at a twist but not the one which actually emerges to add to the pleasure.

From the stalking ferocity that is Long Forgotten Gods and the sinisterly Silent Assassin (Champion Of War) to Devastator, Devastated with its voracious and dextrous siege of sound the album only captured the appetite as the specific craft of individuals unitedly caught the imagination, the melodic dexterity veining tracks alone potent persuasion and only accentuated by the shades of death, groove, and heavy metal upon their thrash bred canvases.

The album’s title track equally hit the spot from its initial thrash borne chugging to the rhythmic agility of Müller and the grooved swing of its gait. Drama soaks its every move which only added to the classic breeding it springs from and the inventive dynamics it is shaped with.

Finally Ghost Ship Sailor sails forward to complete the release; the song drifting in on its own murky waters aflame with heavy metal spirals of guitar amidst a death metal sprung climate until eventually its thrash invasion breaks out, rampaging with hostile zeal. Arguably the most adventurous of the tracks and the most imaginative it provides yet another appealing aspect to In Cold Blood, one which took longer to take to but with rich rewards.

In Cold Blood is not without moments which did not quite grab as strongly as others, certain times when its twists and turns felt unnatural yet equally it all added to the intrigue and attraction of an album we only felt full enjoyment with. Whether the release is a breaking moment for Mortal Infinity time will tell but it certainly sees them moving in the right direction.

In Cold Blood is out September 6th; available@ https://mortalinfinityofficial.bandcamp.com/album/in-cold-blood

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Pete RingMaster 07/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tezura – Voices

Formed less than a year ago, Tezura is a German band which recently made a rather potent introduction to themselves with the release of their debut EP. Their demo holds four tracks of thrash bred multi-flavoured metal, songs rich in potential and strong in ear grabbing enjoyment.

Hailing from Schongau, Tezura emerged in the winter of 2018 and soon set about working on their first release. Their sound draws on its thrash instincts throughout the quartet of tracks making up Voices but is just as open in its punk and metalcore, amongst other flavours, inspirations.

Behind The Glow sets things off, a lure of guitar central to its potent invitation before the song sets off on its thrash nurtured canter. The guitars of Phil Elste and Timo Kammerer only continue to entice as the latter’s gruff tones enter the creative affray. It is an attack though with melodic dexterity strapped to its rhythmic punch, riffs and grooves casting a subtle yet bold web to the aggressive but controlled nature of drummer Lukas Mayr’s strikes and the heavy dark bassline of Max Wopinsk. There is an imagination and craft to band and song though which ultimately holds attention keenest and caps the satisfaction naturally bred by the EP’s great start.

Its title track is next, riffs immediately gnawing on the senses as the track urgently bursts through ears with punk rapacity. Anthrax spiced fuel equips its driving thrash surge, the guitars again bringing melodic and sonic enterprise to bear on familiar hues with relish as rhythms trespass the senses. Progressive essences add to the song’s infectious character and persuasion before Apotheosis uncages its rawer but no less tempting punk infused metal holler. Untamed and irritable, the song challenges as it baits but equally only gets under the skin with that aggression as well as the harmonic endeavour of vocals and the melodic twine spun by the guitars.

Completed by the predatory exploits of Sun, the track sharing another aspect to the band’s sound with more progressive metal/metalcore essences at large within its creative drama, Voices easily lured eager anticipation for the next outing with Tezura. It is early days but the signs are already there that the band has the instincts and craft to make a real mark.

Voices is available now as a name your price download @ https://tezura.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Overt Enemy – Possession

Thrash metal is a genre which as a whole still seems to be happy settled within its original skin but there are numerous bands which carry the intent to at least push and break through its particular hull. Texas hailing Overt Enemy is one such proposition. Initially formed in 2013 as a Slayer Tribute band by vocalist/guitarist Leo Ortiz and drummer Jaime Ayala, Overt Enemy openly embrace the traditional sound and breath of thrash metal and indeed just as unapologetically weave the rich inspiration of the Californians into their own sound yet as proven by their gripping new EP, there is plenty of their own character and imagination to thrust a fresh and adventurous incitement upon the scene.

With a line-up completed by guitarist Rob Hahn and bassist Laura “Slayerella” Ortiz, Overt Enemy has already stoked a potent reputation for themselves as they have grown and evolved their own songs and sound from those early days, one only cemented by their acclaimed live presence. Debut EP, Inception, made for an attention nudging release last year, grabbing even more ears with a re-release earlier in this; the potential and craft fuelling its stirring introduction to the quartet now uncaged and further realised within its successor, Possession, and so much so that it is easy to see Overt Enemy being the centre of much bigger and eager attention.

Possession opens up with its title track and an ear harassing riff, a guitar almost teasing the senses knowing a barrage of intensity and sound is close behind. Once landed, the rapacious wave springs a Pantera-esque groove and in turn a delicious discord woven lure as all the while Leo’s snarling, throat grazing clean vocals provoke and direct. In moments the track unleashes a tenacious assault of ire, defiance, and craft, rhythms continuing to harass and arouse as guitars and vocals strike and enjoyably agitate, the outstanding encounter alone thrusting Overt Enemy firmly on the radar of appetite and pleasure.

The following Pray for Death stalks the listener from its first imposing breath, rhythms again an uncompromising yet virulent trespass only matched by the predacious instincts of the guitars. Once it has surrounded and trapped the senses with swift ardour for its outstanding start sparked, the song twists into another thrash hungry charge. As in all tracks it brings familiar essences yet with its nagging infestation and anthemic clamour, there is nothing but tempting and galvanic fervour exclusive to Overt Enemy.

Equally individual prowess is an open book with it and its companions, next up Blood God echoing that particular attribute as it prowls and subsequently besieges the senses with increasingly contagious grooves and intoxicating exploits. Once again an anthemic instinct wraps the impressive ambush, every groove a thick lure and every melodically bred hook an appetizingly intrusive but tempting incursion.

Truly it is hard to pick an outright favourite track within Possession but In The End We Died provides perpetual thought as it marches forward next, every rhythm and note united like a legion of thrash bred warriors intent on subjugation; a success quickly earned and welcomed. Once slavery is ensured, the track launches itself with nostrils flared and agitational aims in full blaze, the band’s flavoursome mix of sound within that thrash breeding again proving effortlessly magnetic.

Overt Enemy conclude their EP with a cover of Slayer’s At Dawn They Sleep. The band does not fiddle with it too much; the personality of their own sound the only real difference but it still makes for a great version of a classic track and a potent end to a release and we found a real hunger for to go with that for its creators.

The Possession EP is out now through Confused Records; available @ https://overtenemy.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 21/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kilonova – Omnicide

As the year continues to unfold, it is easy to see 2019 being a marker moment for emerging UK metallers, Kilonova. Formed last year, the band has already supported Finnish outfit Lost Society in the opening moments of this one and now to continue a potent few months are set to unleash their debut EP, Omnicide.

Newcastle Upon Tyne hailing, Kilonova breed their sound in thrash metal but as their new EP reveals, there is plenty more to its voracious proposition including a definite punk snarl. Indeed there are certain moments within Omnicide where we had the thought that if Siouxsie and The Banshees had turned to thrash, it would have not been a million miles away from the threat and rousing incitement heard within the EP.

Descent opens up the release, its portentous breath looming in with increasing menace as riffs gather and emerge from within its brief but potent threat. Eventually they trigger the rise of Straight to Hell, the second track stalking ears before launching a primal yet resourceful attack led by the predacious riffs of guitarist Jonny Sloan and the equally voracious tones of vocalist Ellen Hill. The barbarously swinging rhythms of drummer Steve Rouse and the heavily prowling bassline of Joe Bambrick simply add to the compelling trespass, the track becoming more predatory and rousing by each anthemic thrash fuelled second.

The EP’s first single, it makes for a great full start to Omnicide, one hungrily matched by Hang the Hangman. A mere breath separates ears and its ravening insurgency; guitars and rhythms again a furious accosting of the senses as Hill uncages her eventful caustic attack. Feral and virulent, the track rabidly hit the spot as band and release continued to arouse attention and appetite though it is swiftly outdone by the outstanding Own Enemy. Threat and drama clouds its presence from the first creative gasp, its predacious prowl soon inspiring those earlier mentioned punk suggestions, the song only escalating its fearsome intent and aggression by the inventive circle of enterprise. Easily our favourite moment within the EP, the song also provides an exciting glimpse of uniqueness the band could and should continue to explore.

The equally compelling Blood in the Water similarly breeds stirring freshness in imagination and endeavour to elevate its thrash instincts, the treat of unpredictability and imagination challenging and chasing the senses with the punk/gothic rock hues which had already captivated in its predecessor; both tracks together forging the striking pinnacle of the release before Ivory Tower brings Omnicide to a fine conclusion. The final track is unbridled fury from its first roar but another embracing the growing invention within the release even if its thrash heart still drives its enterprise.

Fiercely enjoyable on the first listen and only more striking and thrilling thereon in, Omnicide is a major declaration of presence and intent by Kilonova; a band which as they ignite the uniqueness teasing within their first EP have what it takes to be a potent protagonist in UK metal.

Omnicide is released July 12th across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 11/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Xentrix – Bury The Pain

It cannot be mere coincidence that plenty of the most striking and indeed enjoyable thrash bred encounters in recent times have come from bands which emerged in the genre’s youthful days, subsequently departed and have made potent returns in recent years. British thrashers Xentrix are another falling into that category and now lighting up the senses with a thrilling new proposition. Bury The Pain is the band’s fifth full-length, a release revelling in the many familiar throes of thrash metal but essences shaped in the band’s own inimitable character and imagination.

Formed by guitarist Chris Astley in 1985, Xentrix left their mark through their 1989 Roadrunner Records released debut album Shattered Existence, continuing to ingrain it upon the UK metal scene with following releases and a live force which saw them share stages with the likes of Testament, Sacred Reich, Annihilator, Sepultura, and Tankard. After three more well-received albums, the band went on hiatus before returning in 2013 and lighting up that year’s Bloodstock festival. With new vocalist/guitarist Jay Walsh leading the attack alongside the equally potent forces of guitarist Kristian Havard, bassist Chris Shires and drummer Dennis Gasser, Xentrix has again simply created another stirring strike upon the senses with Bury The Pain.

The album unleashes its title track first up, Bury the Pain luring attention with melodic wiring around a bubbling predation of sound. By the tempting chord rhythms brew their aggression, eventually sparking tides of rapacious riffs amidst their own voracious intent. Walsh’s equally tenacious tones steer the trespass, the song continuing to involve melodic and rousing enterprise within the virulent offensive.

Cover art Dan Goldsworthy

It is a great start to the album swiftly matched and eclipsed by the fiery discontent of the outstanding There Will Be Consequences; an anthemic protagonist stirring up the spirit with its gang hollering and nagging dynamics. Accelerations in physical and vocal antipathy only add to its prowess and persuasion before Bleeding Out casts its own melodically woven web of enmity upon ears; a netting to creative and bodily irritability which is just as menacingly compelling.

Both The Truth Lies Buried and the following Let the World Burn tighten the grip of the album, the first emerging from elegant melodic intimation to ravage with control and imagination with its successor hen accosting the senses with a far more untamed demeanour and truculence for matching success and captivation. It is magnetism just as potent within The Red Mist Descends, another track rising from a classic melodic coaxing to uncage creative hostility and viral animosity. As suggested there is plenty within all tracks which is bred from familiar trash ingredients but as this trio epitomise alone, each launches individual and magnetically enterprising propositions.

It is dexterity and fertility just as open and strong within the predatory instincts of World of Mouth, the song a seriously nagging assault of pleasure, and similarly the addictively harassing exploits of Deathless and the Divine. Feral bordering on bestial, the latter leaves no tantalising stone of hostility unturned as not for the first or last time individual craft and imagination unite.

The final pairing of The One You Fear and Evil by Design provides a closure as striking as the album’s beginnings. The first is another which initially tempts with melodic radiance, this gentle caress the lure into a hellacious onslaught of sound and intent providing a multi-textured and flavoured tempest to indulge in. The closer in turn invades with animalistic nostrils flared and creative acrimony freed, savaging and seducing with matching rancour especially within its latter raptorial prowl.

It is a fine end to one mercilessly stirring release. Xentrix are heavier and more ruthless than ever before and at their most compelling with Bury The Pain laying down another mighty notch for British thrash metal.

Bury The Pain is available now through Listenable Records; available @ https://www.shop-listenable.net/en/268_xentrix and https://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/bury-the-pain

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Pete RingMaster 25/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Back To The Warehouse

Pic By Gord Weber

The Back To The Warehouse EP sees Canadian thrashers Infrared releasing in their words “… the last of the old songs that we felt should see the light of day.” It comes as the band prepares to record a new album for an anticipated 2020 release and we can only agree that its 4 originals and one cover of an Iron Maiden song are certainly deserving of this rather enjoyable outing.

Ottawa hailing Infrared originally rose up back in the mid-eighties as the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax were shaping the attention on thrash metal. Embracing that Bay Area inspiration, Infrared released the R.I.P. EP in 1988 before going on an extended hiatus the following year. 27 years on the band united with original members in vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx recruiting bassist Mike Forbes to replace the other band founder, Shawn Thompson who had since those early days moved to Miami. A debut album in No Peace soon followed with its successor, Saviours, released last year.

Back To The Warehouse echoes that time when the Big 4 were driving thrash, the likes of Testament, Exodus, and SOD equally making an open inspiration to the tracks within it yet it has a freshness to its particularly individual nostalgia which is not out of place with anything new being cast by current thrashers.

The EP opens up with Meet My Standards and instantly hits its stride and groove as riffs and rhythms cast a familiar thrash incitement upon the senses. Its voracious swing just as urgently got under the skin, setting up body and appetite for the subsequent trespass of familiar yet as suggested freshly animated thrash enterprise. As arousing as its assault is there is also a predatory essence which particularly stalks the listener in certain moments before One Mouth Two Faces brings its own rapacious canter and character to the fore. Forbes’ bass particularly grabbed the appetite but no more than the insurgent riffs and intrepid wires of the guitars and Kamal’s potent tones, it all resulting in a track which easily splattered the spot.

Hate Today, Despise Tomorrow launches on another great rhythmic incitement from Groulx, his tenacious and galvanic dynamics sparking similar exploits in the exploits of Gidley and Kamal as the song expanded its infectious character and enterprise. With a Skids like tinge to its hooks and real individuality to the craft of the guitars, the song takes favourite track honours though it is soon seriously harassed for the title by the just as outstanding Animated Realities. With a punk-esque strain to its hooks and manic edge to its unpredictable nature, the song simply stirred the passions and a greed for more.

Infrared’s cover of Maiden’s Wrathchild is a sure and enjoyable proposition which fans of the latter will embrace with ease but against the prowess of the previous four songs just did not light the fires here. Even so it makes an alluring end to a great EP.

We admit Back To The Warehouse is our introduction to Infrared and we cannot help feeling that we have seriously missed out if the EP’s songs are the last of their arsenal deserving release.  As for the next Infrared album, it cannot come soon enough.

Back To The Warehouse is out now.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kneel – Interstice

Open mouthed, bewitched and gasping for breath is not a regular occurrence despite having the honour to hear so many impressive and thrilling encounters at The RR but that is exactly how Interstice from Kneel left us. It is an album which devoured attention as it engulfed the senses, a cauldron of sound and craft which preys on ears and imagination like few others.

Kneel is the solo project of Pedro Mau (ex-Kneeldown, Wells Valley) and Interstice a collection of creative traps written between 2011 and 2013 and now re-released in 2019 through Pulmonary Records. Offering nine maelstroms of hardcore, mathcore, and thrash metal, though that truly only suggests at the full body and diversity of the album, Interstice is as fresh, adventurous, and unique as anything heard in recent times or is likely to be embraced this year. Upon the release, Mau is joined by vocalist Filipe Correia (Wells Valley, Concealment) but everything else about the album is all its Portuguese creator; an artist leaving no stone of unpredictability unturned and layer of creative risk unexplored.

As the album’s opening track swiftly reveals, Mau’s songs are as virulently infectious as they are almost barbarously bold and unconcerned with expected structures and boundaries. Murmurs immediately exploded on the senses, rhythms plundering their welcome with almost toxic prowess as guitars uncaged their own caustic squall. Already though there is an instinctive swing to it all, an inviting lure which only blossoms further as nagging grooves and prowling beats greet the calmer twist of the track just as Correia’s feral tones erupt. Magnetism lines every moment, attention and appetite soon gripped by the drama and enterprise making up the track’s numerous and connected snares. Equally quickly it proves hard to offer up a reference to give a clear clue to the sounds conjured by Mau, but in some ways the likes of Meshuggah, Converge, Daughters, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Coilguns make good hints to the fascination of Kneel.

The outstanding start is easily backed by Amend, its initial surge hardcore shaped but again soon the kaleidoscopic prowess of the project’s sound unravels as too the senses before its inspiring trespass. Wires of guitar swarm around rhythmic predation and already subservient ears; the track only increasing its slavery as its body writhes with fresh and unique spirals of textures and sound, a sonic vortex just as vibrant and viral within the barbarous assault of Occlusion. Straightaway it violently ravages, never diluting its marauding as it breaks through new nagging enterprise and imagination harassing ideation; Correia equally as uncompromising and compelling within the vicious tempest.

Lessening stalks and ransacks the senses next, Mau’s infernal grooves proving irresistible and melodic dissonance corrosive around rabidly biting rhythms while the two minutes of Absence simply haunts the imagination from its increasingly darkening void. The track allows a long needed breath to be taken, at least for its first half as it subsequently erupts with its own sonic cancer before Cloak dances on expectations with its quick footed dynamics and rapier like incursions. As within every track though, nothing can be taken for granted, its body an edacious helix of imagination and craft.

Both Debris with its flesh snagging jaw and jagged textures and the creative tyranny of Thrall simply gripped and squeezed greater eager attention upon Interstice, each an inescapable maze of skill and nonconformity which if we admit they did not quite match up to their predecessors tells how stunning those earlier tracks.

The album closes up with Sovereignty, a slab of cacophonous rock ‘n’ roll cast upon another hungrily engrossing emprise of convulsing textures, lustful craft, and rapturous imagination. Interstice is a rhapsody of sound, certainly one as vicious and fearsome as it is enthralling but a challenge which takes the listener to new brave and exciting places.

Interstice is out now via Pulmonary Records @ https://pulmonaryrecords.bandcamp.com/album/interstice

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Pete RingMaster 01/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright