Carnal Agony – Preludes & Nocturnes

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Preludes & Nocturnes is an album which manages to impress, excite, and disappoint in one go, though admittedly the latter is a mere fraction of the enjoyment had from the Carnal Agony release. There are just times though where it feels like it missed the opportunity to make an even greater impact on ears and subsequently the metal scene, evaded the chance to pungently push this highly accomplished band towards the brighter spotlights which admittedly it still might awaken.

Hailing from Umeå in Sweden, Carnal Agony began in 2011 and swiftly began luring attention for their diversely flavoured style of metal around lyrical themes inspired by the classic literature from the likes of HP Lovecraft, John Milton, and Edgar Allan Poe. Musically the band, on the evidence of their latest album, weaves in everything from heavy and classic to power and melodic metal to a thrash seeded sound, revealing inspirations from artists such as Iron Maiden, earlier Metallica, In Flames, Mercyful Fate, and Testament along the way. Early demos sparked interest whilst the band’s live presence has brought them attention and acclaim, especially through a tour with Six Feet Under last year. Carnal Agony has been called the latest sensation in the Scandinavian metal scene, a big claim not majorly contradicted by their debut album.

Produced by Ronny Milianowicz (ex-Sinergy, Dionysus, and Saint Deamon) and featuring former Helloween/Masterplan drummer Uli Kusch (also Gamma Ray, Holy Moses), the album gets off to a rousing start through War Prayer. Straight away heavy duty riffs and matching rhythms stand toe to toe with ears, setting down a sturdy thrash bred stride. Unpredictability shows itself to be a ripe essence within Preludes & Nocturnes and within just a few moments the first song has expectations wrong footed by slipping into a calmer melodic passage. This enticing invention is quickly surrounded by brewing essences of epic metal and stronger drama clad textures which in turn lead into another muscular onslaught. The gruff raw vocals of David Johagen join the mix now, his rugged, raw tones admittedly taking a little time to acclimatise to against the flowing tide of sound but an increasingly strong ingredient through subsequent listens of the release. Folkish elements tease alongside classic and power metal elements, already the band’s sound defying any precise tagging. The song continues to stampede and potently relax across its engaging length, a tasty appetite raising start to the encounter provided.

carnalagony-cover   The opening vocal lure of next up The Frozen Throne is excellent, mass clean vocals like a band of brothers crooning air and ears and an element not used enough as the voices are spot on. A guttural roar from Johagen brings the air born invitation down to earth, his warlike call the spark for a web of sonic enterprise from guitarists Mathias Wallin and Pär-Olof Persson, buffeted by the thumping skills of Kusch. Hooks and melodies colour the chest thumping proposition too as again a clutch of different flavours align impressively in the track which by its end you will surely be raising a fist and vocal chords with.

Rebel’s Lament is a less forceful proposition next, though still a muscular persuasion. Inventive endeavour from the guitars bound the rally of beats and riffs whilst the dark tones of bass from Roger Andersson add rich shadows which nicely temper the skilled craft flaming from the fingers of Wallin and Persson, especially in a bewitching solo. The track though does not match up to its predecessors but still has ears engrossed and satisfaction bubbling as does the next up Rebellion. A power ballad of sorts, Johagen reveals more of his slightly cleaner and stronger qualities, and if I am being honest it is when he lets those free that he and songs find a new quality. To be fair, it is personal taste more than anything but nudged by the fact that when he does ‘sing’ he often ignites already gripping songs further. The track grows in weight, intensity, and anthemic energy so that by its close you feel like you are astride a stallion going into battle.

As good as those two songs are Carnal Agony overshadows immediately after. It is a beast of a song, a stalking intimidation of stabbing riffs and scarring beats from its first breath and a carnivorous charge of sound and energy from there on. But that is only part of the confrontation, the guitars sparking within the core rampage with slithers and spears of sonic imagination and melodic toxicity, it all ridden by the commanding ‘follow me into battle’ tones of Johagen. The track is outstanding but too damn short at barely over two minutes.

Next up is the heavy/classic metal spiced Night of the Werewolf, a track with gothic overtones. This is one of those moments where personally an opportunity was lost, the earlier mentioned clean vocals feeling like they would have been a better fit whilst musically apart from a fiercely enticing bassline, the band feels like they kept a check on the imagination which had already lit up earlier songs.

Fire Walk with Me has ears and emotions feeling feisty again next, its fluid travel through a landscape of stormy energy and reflective melodies fascinating whilst once more guitars and bass reveals striking exploits bursting with magnetism and individual skill. Backed by voice and drum swipes, the track leaves a breathless listener in its wake, ready for Sleep Waker to please with its spicy heavy metal enterprise and Crystal Lake to turn into a head nodding enthusiast with its contagious and sinister imagination. The first of the two is another which, like the album, is a blend of full captivation and less successful elements or choices, but does get stronger and more enthralling with every listen. Its successor is a glorious stomp of horror bred devilry, everything from hooks to grooves, riffs to rhythms, an emotion inflaming festival of aggression and temptation.

The opening grisly bassline of Secrets Within the Shrine next sets the tone and scene of the triumph to come. Its thick bait is swiftly joined and enhanced by prowling riffs and venom swing grooves whilst beats are more predatory than vicious at this point. There is no escaping a Metallica whiff to the song but equally a scent of Misfits and the grouchy air of Mastodon helps bring alluring flavour of the song, whilst the constantly evolving ingenuity of the guitars takes it all to another level.

The track is excellent leaving Together We’re Lost the task with closing up the album, which it does in potent style. Familiar yet fresh, the track is an infectious and highly enjoyable end and another song which finds Johagen running the range of his delivery and yes he needs to ‘sing’ more because that is where he excels.

Definitely Preludes & Nocturnes is a release to take time with because it just grows with every recruitment of its bold and flavoursome adventure. Bottom-line is that it is a strong and enjoyable introduction to Carnal Agony who carry the promise of even greater exploits ahead.

Preludes & Nocturnes is available now via Sliptrick Records @ http://www.carnalagony.com/?audio=preludes-nocturnes

https://www.facebook.com/CarnalAgony  https://twitter.com/carnalagony

RingMaster 09/05/2015

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

 

Atomik Destruktor – Unnatural Disorder

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If looking for some old school thrash inspired by the genre’s founders then the debut album from Portuguese metallers Atomik Destruktor is the perfect offering to get your teeth in to. Influenced by the likes of Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Metallica, Slayer, Exodus…well you get the picture, the Braga quintet is straight down the line thrash metal but with an attitude and creativity which makes their release much more than expectations filling. Explosive and suitably aggressive, it is full-on enjoyment with a great anthemic presence, a mix which always goes down a treat.

Atomik Destruktor began in 2007, formed by three high school friends in vocalist Turtle, guitarist Gibson, and drummer Jota, with second guitarist Pedraça straight away brought into the band too. The departure of Turtle saw bassist Marco joining up alongside vocalist Paulo Thrasher, but it was only a few months later that the latter left and the returning Turtle completed the now in place line-up. 2008 saw the band ventured into the live scene and the following year the release of the Destroy, Disagree & Disrespect demo. In 2011 the band entered Grave Studios to record their first album. With live shows also going on, its recording took a long time to complete but finally it gets it’s unveiling via Helldprod Records, providing a fierce, volatile, and thoroughly enjoyable outing for thrash fans.

The album opens with Atomic Destruction, its initial touch samples within a distant but swiftly brewing web of guitar enterprise. They swiftly confront ears in full volume and tenacity though as riffs become a fiery and inviting incitement matched by jabbing beats and a meaty bassline. Top gear is soon locked in, the band charging with spicy grooves and rabid riffs across the senses and into a quickly greedy appetite. Turtles’ vocals are antagonistic and raw, the perfect fit for the erosive energy and driving riffery fuelling the highly agreeable encounter. Backing vocal calls and sharp hooks certainly hold no surprises, as the rest of the track in many ways, yet it matters little in the contagious and accomplished persuasion of the excellent song.

album cover - promoçao  A great start is matched by the following Attack of the Virus where again riffs and rhythms collude with ripe vocal bait to create a virulent slab of thrash addictiveness. Those earlier mentions influences are heard across song and of course album, extra colour to the infectious exploits of the band. A hostile swagger and enticing grooves unite to create a bruising march on the senses whilst a spicy sonic guitar solo towards the song’s end, is a moment revealing more of the skill and imagination of the band.

Comatose next is anything but, an explosive and hungry surge of nagging riffs and vicious rhythms stoked further by the angry tones of Turtle, whilst the album’s title track roams the senses with niggling infectiousness and bracing ferocity. Both also expel moments of inventive melodic acidity and uncompromising sonic intrusiveness which only captivates as it stirs up the already turbulent landscapes of the songs. The same again applies to the excellent Phantom City, its bruising and intensive assault, though less violent than the previous two, comes with tasty veins of imaginative grooving and searing individual endeavour courtesy of the guitars.

No song is anything less than vehement rhythmically, though that element is never short of imagination, and in basslines a constant offer of primal temptation, as found in the blistering confrontation almost punk like of Merciless Squad and after, the barbarous War Machine. Both as you would expect are loaded with anthemic persuasion and raw power, though the latter feels like a barrage of the most brutal armoury at the band’s creative disposal.

The same kind of extreme viciousness soaks final track DxDxD too, though it infuses its attack with hardcore attitude and punk energy for quite simply a mouth-watering riot of rock ‘n’ roll. It provides a thrilling end to a great encounter. Originality is at a premium but for unbridled fun and exhaustingly accomplished thrash metal Unnatural Disorder is a triumph all should take a romp with.

Unnatural Disorder is available from April 30th via Helldprod Records, digitally at https://atomikdestruktor.bandcamp.com/album/unnatural-disorder

https://www.facebook.com/atomik.destruktorthrash

RingMaster 30/04/2105

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

 

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

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