Metal Devastation Compilation Vol. #1

Metal Devastation Radio - Metal Devastation Compilation Vol #1 - cover_RingMaster Review

Put together and unleashed by Zach Moonshine and Metal Devastation Radio, Metal Devastation Compilation Vol. #1 offers two mighty reasons all metal/rock fans should go check it out and treat themselves. Firstly it was created to raise funds for those battling cancer and to help the families involved, which sadly includes Zach’s own mother-in-law who was recently diagnosed with stage 3a large cell squamous carcinoma of the lung that has spread to her lymph node. With all involvement from the album creators to artists purely voluntary and all proceeds going to the cause, the compilation is very worthy of attention and add the second mighty lure in the fine horde of independent bands, 39 of them, offering their support and sounds, the album is a no-brainer involvement for all.

Within its first handful of tracks the quality and diversity of artists and sound is gripping, a trend never deviating until the final triumph offered by one man Canadian death-grinders Pink Carnage and their glorious trespass of ears and psyche going by the name of Children Of The Damned. The track is a brilliant conclusion to a release which starts off in riveting style too, that variety of temptation springing from opener We Will All Be Trees by Ottawa death metallers …From The Deep. Its ravenous stalking and infestation of the senses makes way for the raw metal of Cape Town quintet Nethercyst and in turn the grooved punk metal of 94 Blades and after the Arizona outfit, the dark invasive black metal courtesy of Iranian band Akvan. The four tracks epitomise the strength and diversity of the album and indeed global underground scene, but still just the tip of the creative iceberg.

It would make War and Peace look like a novella to make a comment on every single song within the album in this review so allow us the indulgence of revealing particular favourites, a choice hard enough in all honesty such, without exception, the mighty propositions making up the album. The thrash/death metal incitement of Le Règne du Chaos is one to grab ears; its creators the French band Amzera who recently released their debut EP to potent responses.

The melodic metal adventure of Canada band Dark Insignia had ears and imagination entwined too through their Longest Day whilst straight after them in the song line-up, Buffalo hailing Dark Morning had feet and neck muscles energised with the sinew driven hard rock revelry of Devour, again the two band’s position side by side showing the potent mix of styles and textures making up a perpetually enthralling playlist.

There are plenty other incitements raising personal lust including Chicago five piece Destroythm, their track Dead Man’s Switch a ravenous slab of groove/alternative, and rapacious metal, whilst another Cape Town hailing band in Devilspeak snarl and chew at the same senses to thrilling effect, the effect of the pair’s hostility soothed by the glorious swagger and charm of EVP from DC trio Hellpie, its bluesy, dark rock ‘n’ roll irresistible.

Danish power rockers RedWolves are another creating an inescapable excitement for our ears with their melodically flavoursome yet muscular sound whilst Rock N Roll Villain Society do what they do best, create a boozy rock ‘n’ roll anthem to get fully involved with.

That vast stretch of styles impress again as side by side both the gripping extreme avant-garde metal of Skindrone and tempestuous antagonistic metal of Skin Kage inflame ears and imagination in their specific ways, successes backed by an array of subsequent storms and provocations including one from Burlington bred death thrashers The Desolate and another through the Antwerp thrash/hardcore crossover sound of Toxic Shock. As mentioned earlier, there are respites from the furies within the album, rich propositions like the bewitching atmospheric stoner seeded exploration of Californian duo Tvsk but generally they are quickly followed by more rousing confrontations like the stirring blues spiced heavy metal/rock uncaged by N. Carolina twosome White Knuckle Black Out.

With the album brought to a rich close by firstly Italian symphonic metallers Winterbreed and their song You Will Cry My Name and the earlier mentioned Pink Carnage, exhaustion is matched by thick pleasure and an urge to explore all those involved, a reaction no one will escape. With more mouth-watering songs from the likes of Critical Dismemberment, Ohol Yeg, Light Keeper… actually we will stop there because every band deserves a bold mention but space limits that so do peruse the track-listing below, hit the links in their names and explore all the bands making up the release, new favourites are a definite result. Then, or before, give yourself deserved pleasure by going over to purchase a copy of the compilation which in turn means helping a very deserving cause.

Metal Devastation Compilation Vol. #1 track-listing:
…From The Deep – We Will All Be Trees 05:28
Nethercyst – Deceit Of The Fallen 02:27
94 Blades – Capone 03:44
Akvan – طبرستان 06:53
Amzera – Le Règne du Chaos 06:12
Anschluss Amor – Faith 04:54
Brutal Death Fuck – Baptized In Cum 03:40
Clawhammer – Damn The Man 05:29
Critical Dismemberment – Feel My Wrath And Tremble 03:46
Dark Insignia – Longest Day 06:43
Dark Morning – Devour 04:04
Destroythm – Dead Man’s Switch 06:59
DevilSpeak – Violently Leading The Blind 05:02
Distis – Destiny 05:23
Dying Eyes Of Sloth – Flesh Collector 03:26
Gravehuffer – Husk 03:12
Hellpie – EVP 05:14
Into The Coven – The Haunting 05:08
Light Keeper – Hard Ride To Hell (Devil’s Train) 04:09
Nostra Cantus – Mind Of Diseases 09:31
Moloch – Nur Der Tod Ist Wirklich 04:40
Morkta – Sorrow In Suffering 04:00
Necrotion – Tormented Unrest 04:16
Ohol Yeg – Obscure Is The Human 04:40
RedWolves – Letting You Go 05:17
Requiem For Oblivion – A Grim Jest 05:27
Rock N Roll Villain Society – Outlaw Trucker 03:06
Shotgun Justice – Nothing Left To Fear 05:54
Singe – Scorch 04:34
Skin Drone – Death Sentence 04:57
Skin Kage – Of Wolves 05:04
Splithammer – Down 03:41
The Desolate – Sentinel 04:55
The EyeSores – Monstrosity 03:45
Toxic Shock – Feeling The Pain 04:19
Tvsk – From Ashes 06:26
White Knuckle Blackout – Gravel 06:50
Winterbreed – You Will Cry My Name 06:24
Pink Carnage – Children Of The Damned 02:16

Pete RingMaster 05/11/2015

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Warfaith – Wise Man Is Dead

warfaith_RingMaster Review

Though there is an old school breeding to their sound, as debut album Wise Man Is Dead shows whilst storming the barricades, equally French thrashers Warfaith infuse just as potent twists of modern and varied ideation into its ferocious character. It brings a wonderful blend of raw and inventive thrash metal drawing on its various decades, and though the release is definitely recognisably schooled in the genre’s breeding days, it replaces major originality with inventive and fiercely enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll.

Formed in 2012, its origins seeded in many bands such as Violator or Warfare before then, the Nancy quintet quickly sparked their local scene into supporting life with their live presence and their first pair of tracks in Terrorist and Spit on the Cross. The following year saw the recording and release of the Blood And War EP; six tracks released that October helping to enable the band to venture further afield within the metal underground. Now it is the turn of first album Wise Man Is Dead, a release sure to light up ears for thrash around its birth but with plenty to please all of its fans even without stirring up particularly new pastures for the genre.

warfaith-album-face-aplatit_800_RingMaster Review   Influences to Warfaith include the likes of Slayer, Soulfly, Sepultura, Cannibal Corpse, Scar Symmetry, and Pantera, and that hints at more going on than just a vintage thrash incitement as the opening pair of full tracks to Wise Man Is Dead confirm after the sonically enticing Intro. It’s melodically acidic and accomplished coaxing leads into the album’s title track door, it exploding with ravenous rhythms and vocals across a scourge of violent riffs and instantly infectious incitement. The hellacious onslaught relaxes a slither as the track hits is barbarous stroll, the bass of Moon a great steely lure within the sonic web cast by guitarists Jojo and Odian. Driven on by the full roar of vocalist Max and the vicious swings of drummer Igor, the song continually shifts in gait and intensity, enterprise and maliciousness without even lessening its fury before Jesus Sucks erupts with irritable sinews forging antagonistic rhythms within another richly flavoursome weave of enticing grooves and imposing riffs; it all hostile and all thoroughly enjoyable.

Max brings a punkish element to his tones on the track which seems to spark the same in the sounds of Crack’s Whore straight after, the track a tempest which has a thick hardcore whisper to its torrential nagging of bestial riffs and bass grouchiness, and indeed the increasingly raging vocals which also slips in to spoken delivery with the same ire in tow within the attack. Once more the guitars unveil sonic and melodic slithers but primarily the song is a rancorous squall to light the soul, only relenting when it has to make way for the spicily hook loaded revelry of Purgatory. As in its predecessors, twists constantly bring a familiar air but with inventive freshness to the ear, and indeed contagion, which just hits the spot and the want from any thrash fuelled offering.

Terrorist keeps the good times boiling in the system, blood inflamed by the rabid tempest thrust through ears and the vocal union between Max and guest Nico Xanort; their contrasting tones of spite and ferocity a union as enjoyable as the spiralling invention from the guitars and rip-roaring tenacity of the song as a destructive whole. It is a brutal anthem impossible not to enlist in as equally the even more caustically abrasing Furious Pig, and after it, the merciless Kill With Truth. In their joint uncompromising extreme metal turbulence, inviting hooks and sonic endeavour bring individual adventure against the dark hearted aligning of senses battering and inventive drums and an addictive bass tempting, especially in the second of the pair which is a beast of virulent violence and temptation and arguably the most unique and exploratory song on the release, even in its tsunami of maliciousness.

There is no let-up to the musical and lyrical vehemence with Warslave, the track a horde like surge of rancorous bass bait and insatiable riffs pushed on by the great punkish squalls of Max, or Addiction right after. It devours ears like a war machine, pressing on with relentless authority whilst spewing flames of catchy enterprise and impassioned incitement lyrically and emotionally. The song is glorious and once again it has to be said the bass of Moon is wonderfully demonic in its voice and delicious in its growling texture, as shown one final time in the closing Redemption. It is actually the most predictable and thus less impacting song on the album but still brings Wise Man Is Dead to a mightily pleasing close.

It has to be said that Warfaith had us held in the first listen but the hooks only went deeper with ever subsequent listen. Wise Man Is Dead is definitely a release which just gets richer and bolder with every encounter so do give it the time it deserves; you will be rewarded.

Wise Man Is Dead is out now via most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 17/09/2015

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A.C.O.D – II The Maelstrom

ACOD_RingMaster Review

There is no doubting that the new album from French melodic death metallers A.C.O.D lives up to its name, II The Maelstrom a fierce and uncompromising tempest of sound and emotion which could be the soundtrack and reflection of the turmoil in the world right now. The thirteen track encounter sears ears, withers the senses, and grips the imagination with its fusion of creative twists and varied flavours, and though a punishing conflict from start to finish it makes for one compelling incitement.

Formed mid-2006, A.C.O.D has increasingly gripped attention with a sound seemingly bred on thrash and blackened seeds alongside its prime death metal heart. It has been an evolving proposition over time, and one luring increasing acclaim and spotlights the way of the band. Debut album Point Zero was released in 2009 with its successor First Earth Poison two years later. Both were well received though the five-track EP Another Path in 2013 has been their strongest bait on ears and appetites for their sonic fury; that is until now. Produced by Shawter of Dagoba and mastered by former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader, II The Maelstrom is A.C.O.D’s most creatively hungry and impressive offering yet and from its first moments the Marseille quintet takes no prisoners.

acod cover_RingMaster Review   Straight away Another path swarms ears with ravenous riffs and imposing beats to instantly destabilise the senses. It is a hellacious yet controlled start which offers a carnivorous bestial bassline and sound to drool over which continues even as intensity and energy is kicked up a gear or two soon after. This marks the entrance of the raw throated vocals which in turn sparks a further thrash infused onslaught, but one which dips in and out of melodically honed lapses in ferocity. They are mere breaths in the again best described as swarm of riffs and rhythms, the guitars additionally creating an alluring web of sonic persuasion across it all.

It is a great start matched by the slightly less rabid Way of death, a track again bulging with highly tempting grooves around irritable riffs and rhythms. As it proceeds the track gets more volatile but equally inventive as spicy melodies escape guitar strings and vocals spill ire coated but more patient aggression. As in the first song there is a thickness in air and sound which means a kind of acclimatisation is needed but it comes quickly whilst laying lures to draw ears back again and again to explore more. This applies to the whole album as evidenced again by the following pair of Abuse me and Ghost memories. The first of the two is a predator, a beast gnawing on ears and spreading rancorous enmity but like those before, fuelled by a virulence which just grips with consummate ease thoughts and an already brewing hunger for the release. Guitars flirt with sonic enterprise whilst the bass chews on the senses in tandem with the scything swing of sticks on drum skin, the blend a merciless treat which continues in its successor. Featuring Soilwork’s Björn ‘Speed’ Strid, the track looms over the listener with a wall of barbarous rhythms and again a tide of nagging riffs which only evolve into something just as destructive and magnetic as a vocal blend entices whilst melodies wind through the sonic turmoil. It is a glorious assault and provocation of the imagination, especially as haunting winds and industrial tinged elements make full use of calmer moments.

From one major highlight to another as the vicious smog of Words of War descend on the senses, its composed savagery anthemically riveting and physically intimidating for a bracing and once more evolving assault. It is that fluid and unpredictable ability to twist around and explore contrasting if still lethal adventure in songs which turns II The Maelstrom from a good album into a thoroughly thrilling proposal. Both Black wings and the excellent Rise confirm that, their individual impassioned uproars further defined by the intricate craft and ideation veining each, though in the former of the two the rousing and corrosive breath of the track wins out whilst Rise is another which just steals the passions, its torrential grudge bound in impressive imagination whilst keeping its savage jaws in undeterred motion.

Cold is another peak, its melancholically stringed, melodic opening bewitching but subsequently swallowed in the belly of the sonic beast and another thumping anthem of bad–blooded barbarism. That animosity is on the first gasp of the following Death breath too alongside an enticing of acidic grooves and waspishly nagging riffs whilst Unleash the fools which sees Shawter also guesting, finds its strongest bait in the clean vocals and the hostile invention which seems to especially bloom around them. It is arguably the weakest song on the album yet leaves you wanting more and subsequently basking in a folkish/melodic metal sculpted oasis midway which just lights up ears.

II The Maelstrom is concluded by the trio of firstly Fallen, another strong song not quite having the same potency of those before, the classically hued and thrash fuelled Crimson, and finally the album’s title track which like an apocalyptic bear bellows and smothers ears in a swamp of raw passion shaped by toxic grooves, crushing rhythms, and scarring vocals. It also provides a melodic refuge within its storm which leads the listener out of the release with a warm and elegant peace.

It is hard to say that II The Maelstrom is something majorly new for the death metal scene yet it continually provides something fresh and inventive to the ear within its more recognisable turmoil. The result is one richly pleasing and satisfying encounter, and as suggested earlier, the finest aural ravishment from A.C.O.D yet.

II The Maelstrom is released September 15th

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2105

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Harmorage – Psychico Corrosif

JF_016_HARMO_NB_RingMaster Review

Grouchy, irritable, and persistently lighting ears with its dirty metal forged rock ‘n’ roll, Psychico Corrosif is one of those offerings which seems to have no intent to fumble with startling originality but would rather create a brawl from recognised textures and hues to ensure a highly flavoursome and enjoyable time is had. That you certainly get with the second album from French metallers Harmorage. It rumbles and grumbles like a bear with a sore head whilst throwing in plenty of twists and adventurous elements; none dramatically unique but all leaving another strain to the overall pleasure gained from its dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

Harmorage began in 2004, formed by the Lyon hailing Chalon brothers, vocalist Daniel and guitarist Nicolas. 2007 saw the release of their debut album Berserker as well as the addition of bassist Frédérick Fiaschi to the band’s ranks. In between we cannot say what consumed the band’s time but fair to say they have honed their sound and made a heftily persuasive studio return with Psychico Corrosive. Also featuring latest band member Bertrand Minary, the drummer joining Harmorage last year, it is an encounter which seems to grow and become more antagonistic with every listen as nuances and initially hidden depths come out to play, in turn making each involvement with its body increasingly satisfying.

Harmorage - Psychico Corrosif - 2015_RingMaster Review   Psychico Corrosif sonically shudders as it awakens through Reveillons nous!, resonating tremors and a haunting dance of disorientating sounds, didgeridoos included, converging on ears before a metal groove emerges from a clearing and throws its familiar heavy metal hues forward. This seems to spark sinew crafted rhythms and tangy riffs before the grizzly tones of Daniel add their hoarse textures to the incitement. His French sung delivery and imposing riffery carries a touch of Irish band Triggerman which adds great shade to the more classic metal breeding of the grooves and guitar enterprise. With the bass a bestial growl throughout, it is a strong start to Psychico Corrosif emulated and surpassed by its title track. The second track immediately springs a web of psychotic tenacity in imagination and bedlamic sound which is strung together by the rhythmic intent and prowess of Bertrand. There is a sense of System Of A Down to the unpredictability and discord lined stomp, a touch of bands like Arcania and Yugal also toning the tempestuous snarl and fury of the excellent encounter to great effect.

The following Le fer dans la plaie also comes off of an initial predatory bass growl, its alluring bait tempered a little by the melodic acidity which quickly joins the tempting. A quick pick-me-up comes with the bundle of vocal causticity and twisted array of guitar tenacity which blooms throughout though, the latter bursting into a captivating glow of melody rich enterprise across the track before Scarifiés stamps its ruggedly creative resourcefulness on ears and enjoyment and after, the dirty punk ‘n’ roll of Je condamne et j’accuse spews attitude and trashy rock ‘n’ roll to rousing success. In most songs there are skilled slips into contrasting and temporarily wrong-footing exploits which again give something slightly familiar a fresh character and temptation, this pair fine examples and results of that arguably not pushed enough adventure within Psychico Corrosif and indeed Harmorage.

The atmospherically compelling Aurore boréale grips the imagination next, though as within most songs a thrash seeded charge from riffs and rhythms aligns to rapacious grooves cast by guitars and bass to eventually take hold. Simultaneously exploring a progressively honed landscape infused with coarse stoner bred and melodically cultured scenery, the song is a weave of individual textures and fascinating flavours all colluding for another slab of revelry which relentlessly grows in intensity and persuasion.

The rhythmic seducing opening up Images du monde is instant slavery leading to a crotchety roar of attitude and sound, a confrontation unafraid to twist and turn through groove and heavy metal devilry on a fluid whim as it lights a fire in body and passions. The best track on the album it is ablaze with its inventiveness of turning old friends of sound into something aggressively refreshing and creatively unpredictable, as shown by its smouldering oasis of atmospheric peace and melodic serenading just after midway. It is an experiment and boldness the band hints at throughout the album but is finally given its own head here and almost as freely in the closing pair of Mon anarchie and Droit et fier. The penultimate song again makes great use of merging punk and grooved rock spices with metal voracity, the drum skills of Bertrand especially gripping against the sonic squall and Daniel’s earthy rasps. The final track kind of sums up the punk, metal, rock ‘n’ roll union that is the Harmorage sound; a muscular and ratty bellow of belligerence happy to throw the listener off the scent with unexpected drifts into smooth caresses and imaginative detours. Simply growing in strength and persuasion over each and every listen, it is an electric end to a mightily pleasing release.

Psychico Corrosif is raw and at times a touch too familiar with its originality, though not necessarily the storms they brew them up in, but there is no escaping it is also one rip-roaring slab of pushy fun and that definitely works for us.

Psychico Corrosif is available now

Pete RingMaster 03/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dienamic – Afterlife

Promo Picture Dienamic_RingMaster Review

Norwegian metallers Dienamic offered themselves up as a seriously promising proposition with their debut album Surfing the Apocalypse. Now confirmation has arrived in the rousing shape of Afterlife, an attention grabbing confrontation which still suggests there is more to come from Dienamic and still to be discovered by the band within their creative depths, yet provides one compelling and very often incendiary incitement to leave nothing less than full satisfaction in its wake. The band is still establishing itself in many ways, yet to really step from the crowd, but with Afterlife as evidence is destined to be part of the staple diet of a great horde of metal fans now and ahead.

Formed in 2009 or 10, depending where you look, the Tromsø hailing Dienamic quickly unleashed their thrash fuelled, death lined raw metal via a self-titled EP the same year. That in turn sparked the band’s renowned live assaults and hunger which over the years have seen them tour the likes of Japan, Central and Eastern Europe, and of course their homeland. 2012 saw the release of Surfing the Apocalypse, a swiftly devoured and acclaimed proposal marking the band out as one of the new promise flooded protagonists in the world metal scene. Backed by that live presence, which only helped increase the stature and reputation of the band across 2013 and since, Dienamic has given confirmation of their blossoming sound and impact through Afterlife. With guitarist Eivind Kjær Killie, bassist Kenneth Iversen Muotkajærvi, and drummer Sebastian Jacobsson joining band founders in vocalist Gustav Harry Lindquist and guitarist Stein-Odin Johannessen, a line-up coming together late 2014, and the signing with Italian label Worm Hole Death too, Dienamic is ready to stir up some spotlights and appetites with their new album; something it is already beginning to do with its release a few short weeks back.

cover_RingMaster Review     The Reaping starts Afterlife off, a squeal of riffs the perfect appetiser to the barrage of feisty rhythms and nagging riffs which follow. It is a quickly riveting start which continues to worry and entangle ears in acidic sonic temptation. The grouchy growl of Lindquist is quickly in place to add to the intimidation and lure of the song, his input the trigger for a broadening weave of winy grooves and an addictive torrent of addictive riffs and rhythms. Like a mix of Pantera and Bloodsimple, the song is a masterful and persistently enjoyable start to the album instantly awakening full involvement of ears and appetite which Innocent Gun makes full use of straight after. The second track has a similar basic landscape but in different hues and shades of attitude, musically and vocally. Soon striding with a belligerence to its infectious bait of swinging beats and spicy grooves, the song reveals a whole new character to that of its predecessor whilst being the extension of its creative devilry.

Essences of bands like Testament and Exodus creep into the opening parade of enterprise within the excellent Revolution for Nothing, strains which get repeated throughout in between masterful roars of voice and emotions wrapped in infection soaked, melodic rich exploits. Good unpredictability also enriches the track, not bringing major moments to wrong-foot ears but enough to ensure every twist, each turn in the aggressive flight, is fresh and distinctly inventive, a quality highlighted again within the more primal Where God Feeds. Riffs are carnivorous from its first breath whilst the bass prowls the song with a predatory air as drums sticks swing some shuddering beats. Once more thoughts of bands like Pantera are lured out in the course of the ravaging grooving, as also of others such as Stam1na and Gojira for varying reasons.

The pair of Dance with the Devil and You Still Walk leaves the body breathless and a little greedier for more, the first through its thrash fury bound in anthemic ferocity and rapacious enterprise and the second, if not with quite the same impact, with an evocative storm of more prowling endeavour and skilled craft from each of the band. This is a song which grows and enthrals even more over time whereas others make a more instant impression, like the hellacious and riveting tempest of Generation Reboot. An infestation of rhythmic animosity and grooved seducing that bellows and buffets the senses with raw energy and rabid enterprise, it is easily one of the major highlights of the album.

One of but not THE one, that title falls upon Overthrown and its ordered bedlam of wicked beats, grievous riffery, and emotional intimidation speared by tendrils of sonic imagination. Again it is not easy to say the track is wholly original but all familiarity embraced is twisted into a tapestry of physical discontent and bordering on barbarous seduction as it stirs the passions. Amongst many impressive tracks it is the standout antagonist and more evidence of the quality within and still brewing inside Dienamic.

The album’s title track is breeding similar pleasures next, its fierce opening outpouring evolving into an oasis of melodic metal warmth before erupting into an even more venomous and intoxicating stalking of ears and air. The track is danger and bewitchment rolled into one before the melodic shimmer of The End completes the album. It is a melo-death seeded offering which as elegant and melodically entrancing as it is has a raging fire in its emotional belly, a furnace of angst and intensity which oozes from every pore of the album’s potent finale.

Dienamic are not close to touching their pinnacle yet but in Afterlife show they has all the armoury to become a highly notable presence in world metal and, as here, offer some highly satisfying and very often imposingly thrilling adventures along the way.

Afterlife is available now via Worm Hole Death.

Pete Ringmaster 02/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fallen Angels – World In Decay

Fallen Angels Band Photo 1_RingMaster Review - Left2Right Steve-Brad-Erik-Carl-Matt - cropped

Creating a compelling maelstrom of energy and familiarity, US thrashers Fallen Angels back up their acclaimed second album Engines of Oppression, with another tempest of aggression and craft in the masterful shape of World In Decay. The Seattle based quintet once more openly weave the inspiration of genre masters and originators such as early Metallica, Testament, Slayer, and Megadeth into their equally classic metal hued sound, and again the band uncages a proposition which only excites ears and appetite. It is fair to say that in many ways you know what you are going to get with a Fallen Angles encounter, but not in what shape or gripping design it comes in. The same applies to World In Decay, an album with few major surprises but a torrent of things to drool over.

With their 80’s thrash and 70/80’s heavy metal influenced sound, Fallen Angels has increasingly and persistently lured strong attention, establishing themselves with fans and media as a proposition ripe with contagious and aggression driven adventure. Equally the band is a dab hand at entangling it all with a modern take on melodic and imagination sculpted textures, as first shown through 2008 debut album Rise From Ashes and even more so in Engines of Oppression three years later. World In Decay is more of the same but also equipped with an even fresher breath of craft and maturity equating to Fallen Angel’s finest moment yet.

Produced by Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors), World In Decay erupts into life with The Hammer’s Blow and an instant onslaught of spicy guitar and rampant riffs from Erik Hanson and Matt Be Rot. They coax from amidst intensive rhythms led by the swings of drummer Steve Spitzbart, the track an uncompromising lure before brewing into a more welcoming creative blaze of flying grooves and hooks over the magnetically growling bass of Carl Larsson and around the vocal roar of Bradzilla which quickly emerges as the ringmaster to the rampage in furious motion. Thoughts of Exodus and Annihilator spring up from the growing tapestry of fierce enterprise engulfing ears, whilst the melody toned side of the song dabbles with folkish/Celtic flirtation at times, the whole thing ensuring the album gets off to a stirring start.

Album Cover - Fallen Angels - World In Decay_RingMaster Review   The first single from the album, Nightmare comes next, its darker and more predatory character swiftly igniting the imagination whilst discord lined sonic enticement has ears seduced before it all momentarily halts for riffs and rhythms to collude and unleash a ravenous charge. That Metallica whiff is a rosy hue within the raw and incendiary landscape of the song, but as everywhere it gets honed into something maybe enjoyably familiar but leaves expectations scrambling for success. The song potently backs up the might of its predecessor before Forsaken Existence kicks things up another gear with its inventive and melodically emotive presence. From the opening breath, the track is a maze of twists and provocative craft before settling into a leaner surge of bruising enticement, though it in turn is soon wrapped in more sparkling invention and sonic colour which go on to entwine for the remaining length of the fascinating offering. The track is irresistible, at its heights when exploring a diversity of styles and pure contagion when just bullying air and ears.

Leading the Blind is another proposal prowling the listener from its first touch, riffs and rhythms as good as stalking the senses as an intoxicating seducing from Hanson spreads tantalising beauty around the bestial heart of the song. As in the last, it simply grows in weight, creative strength, and addictive resourcefulness with every passing chord and rhythmic swipe. The vocals alone enthral and within the gripping drama of sound, it all results in one of the pinnacles of World In Decay, through a triumph superbly supported by Fire At Eden’s Gate. Whereas the last song was beast like, its successor is a caress of classical hued melodies and mesmeric string craft from the guitarists, only the firm rhythms providing any hint of the dark intent of the song within its impressive entrance. They soon get their way though and spark an uncompromising confrontation led by the great grouchy tones of the bass and the ever ready to grapple delivery of Bradzilla. The track never uncages its fullest fury or violence though which only adds to its commanding air, but once in full stride, it never allows an easy or unrewarding time to brew either.

The weighty stance and sound of Into The Abyss keeps things burning brightly though it lacks the same spark as the songs before it. Its body is almost subdued in energy at times in comparison, saving it for the sizzling crescendos which do escape across its evocative length. The individual skills and united craft of the band again only impress though so that the song is only ever pleasing, a quality also applying to The Hour of the Time, another which does not impact as firmly as others, certainly initially but only grows into ears and in stature through every excursion through its web of flavours and tenacious execution.

The album ends on a lofty high with Mortis Ex Machina, the song a rousing anthem from its opening roar and with a volatile nature casts a thoroughly bewitching instrumental landscape punctured by recurring and ferocious vocal incitement aligned to skilfully rabid rhythms and riff driven fury. Talking of instrumentals, the album actually finishes on a mesmeric untitled offering which like an epilogue to what came before leaves ears and thoughts enraptured and eager to experience the release all over again.

World In Decay brings the best of familiarity and fresh endeavour together like an old friend carrying a whole new persona, whilst Fallen Angels as reinforced themselves with the album as a band not yet able to turn the trash/metal scene on its head, but one easy to get a bit greedy over.

World In Decay is available from August 4th via Cyberdyne Records.

RingMaster 03/08/2015

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Refuelling the snarl: chewing the Sonick Plague flesh with Ken Cuccaro

Ken_RingMaster Review

Already this year, many old treats and classics which were lost to the radar of the many originally, have been unleashed again on the metal scene from decades past. Many of the bands are seeing a new lease of life and one certainly looking like re-igniting a previous blaze and more is West Virginian thrashers Sonick Plague. Linking up with Pavement Music, the band has re-recorded and re-energized their 1988 debut album What’s the Purpose, breathing new ravenous breath into it as it comes now as a self-titled proposal. We as so many missed the band and record first time around and were caught by surprise by the new release because of it. Now all we want is to hear and know more, so with thanks drummer Ken Cuccaro who kindly sat down to indulge our nosiness, we explored band, album, and plenty more…

Hello Ken and many thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

The band has just re-released 1988 debut What’s the Purpose via Pavement Music; but not just set the same version free again or simply re-mastered it as so many old encounters being uncaged again are, but re-recorded it. Was there a particular reason for going down that route?

We really needed to. The first one sounded pretty bad, we lost the masters and really just wanted to start fresh again. It’s very much like giving the old stuff a shower.

SP_RingMaster ReviewDid you look at the songs any differently for the fresh recordings from first time around and they take on a new relevance for you when approaching them?

I wouldn’t say we looked at them differently, but as far as new relevance absolutely! Damn a lot’s happened in 30 years! I’m laughing my ass off right now because of how we approached them. Very carefully, like sneaking up on a gator. We had to make sure we could still play that stuff. Although we all kept playing over the years we’re older and beat up. Hell poor Sean had 2 broke feet when we first got back together.

Obviously technology has changed over the decades. Did you make particular use of modern possibilities in recording the songs or went for a more raw and organic approach to again and successfully ignite the same vital character of their first appearance?

We went for the more organic thing. We played live in the studio and really wanted to try to capture the energy again. There were definitely some modern amenities [the studio did have a great blender] we used but not too much. We didn’t want it to sound robotic and triggered, and all that shit. Not knocking anybody’s stuff, I just personally feel the metal and thrash stuff now is so electronic, click tracked, and feels the same. Some of these guys are awesome but everything sounds the same and is just so cut up. Again not knocking their musicianship there are so many great bands out. Right now there’s a guy reading this saying “these guys are so fu@#$kin old they don’t even know how to use the shit and they suck!” That’s ok; we probably could still kick your ass. I think the people that listen to this stuff want to feel that energy and little variations in the music, it makes it human. We recorded at the Carriage House Studio the place was incredible.

Apart from the obvious change in sound quality etc. did anything else brew up in songs when recording the new versions which maybe was unexpected or added something different to additionally enjoy?

I only know one way to play ‘em. Chuck and Matt put their own stink on it. I personally was shocked how well Sean’s voice held up over the years he can still belt it out. But all in all we kept it very close.

Obviously the original recording of the album was with guitarist Tony Teodoro in the band. Sadly he died a few years ago. Did you find there was some emotional intensity around the new recordings because of his passing and presence first time around?

Absolutely! Me personally whenever I get an ache or pain I think of what he went through, it kept me going. I don’t think anybody in the band didn’t think of him every day we were recording this.

It was his death, which the press release said, brought the three of you together again and talking music, the band eventually to full strength with the addition of Matt Dupre. Was that indeed the spark or were there already thoughts of maybe reuniting in maybe one or two of you?

No that was it. That got us talking about it again. It’s strange how a tragedy can change things.

The new album is simultaneously a reminder, revisit, and introduction to Sonick Plague for fans old and new. Is it also any sort of teaser to the new songs and sounds you guys are working on?album-cover-_RingMaster Review

Well sort of, we still got some tricks up our sleeves. That was kinda what we had in mind, turn some new people on to our old stuff and some of the old timers on to our new stuff. A lot depends on the listeners, if we’re lucky enough for them to like it we’ll do some more…Maybe in less than 30 years.

Can you give us any clues as to what you next release and songs will offer? Any spoilers?

I’m not going to tell you shit. It’s a surprise!! It’s definitely heavy metal rock and roll. You can get sweaty to it with your girl.

Between the two periods of the band, how musically were all your times taken up?

We all played in different bands, definitely kept playing and raising our kids. Myself I did a lot of hunting and a retreat in New Zealand where I was taught the ways of a true warrior killer. I had to do it for work. They wouldn’t use me as an extra on the Lord of the Rings set. I was sad about that.

Are these experiences you would say have impacted or certainly are spicing up the heart and nature of your new tracks?

The warrior thing yes. The guys are in constant fear of my wrath. I could snap any of their necks in a second for no reason what so ever. We all still have a lot to be pissed about and we’re broke. That’s what keeps us young and energized.

There is no denying something very familiar to the album yet that comes from the bands and releases filling ears and lighting appetites since the songs were first impacting on the thrash scene. Has it frustrated that some others have found greater recognition with a sound you all helped originate way back and which has obviously inspired them?

I’m asked that a lot. I wouldn’t say frustrated …yea let’s stick with frustrated. We worked our asses off, but it is what it is. I wouldn’t have minded making a living playing drums but things happen for a reason. I’m not pissed that other people “made it” I think it’s cool whenever anybody gets success in what they’re doing. I just find it extremely sad that nobody picked up any of the great bands in Connecticut back in the day. You had Liege Lord, Skeletal Ambitions, Disaster, Forced Reality, our old touring buddies Lost Generation, that’s not even scratching the surface. It seemed if you weren’t from the bay area they didn’t want to know you. It’s too bad there were some great music people missed out on. Maybe we should have switched to rap.

How did the link up with Pavement come about?

Chuck busted his ass hookin’ this stuff up. He’s the motor, our little energizer bunny. He never stops working at this. Pavement has been incredible, great bunch of guys.

SP2_RingMaster ReviewThe live side of Sonick Plague is as alive as the recording side?

Better! I always thought we we’re a workin’ man’s band. I love that energy you can only get from a crowd.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

We’ll see. It’s our middle aged crisis experiment. It really depends how the music sells. Hopefully people will dig hearing our old brand of thrash. I know we’re having fun playing again.

Once again thanks so much for chatting with us, anything you would like to add before we let you go?

YUP! Thank you so much to all the people who are still showing an interest in this band this has been really cool! I never thought in a million years people would even remember us. We wouldn’t be shit if it weren’t for all the great people in the metal community. Its guys like you who keep this stuff pumping. THANKS

Read the review of the Sonick Plague album @

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 30/07/2015

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