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/

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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

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Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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