Direwolves – Aegri Somnia

direwolves

The hardcore scene has already impressed in 2014 with a ferocious flurry of rigorously intruding and thrilling furies, hardcore based or driven releases from the likes of Havenside, Ringworm, and Axecatcher to name just three leading the way. Stepping right in front of them or certainly alongside, are a pair of Throatruiner Records releases, one from Plebian Grandstand which you can read about elsewhere on the site and maybe the mightiest triumph of the lot Aegri Somnia from French band Direwolves. Their eleven track rage is a masterful persuasion of uncompromising riffs and rhythms fuelled by irresistible melodic tartness and inescapable hooks. Fusing metallic sinews and punk attitude to their sonic and vocal squalls, the debut album from the Lorient quintet is a standout treat for genre and year so far, an onslaught which if not on people’s best of lists will certainly be in their favourites of the year.

Direwolves formed in 2011 and were soon making a mark locally and within the French underground scene, their potent two track demo release Demo MMXI in their first year left in the shade by their first EP, the eagerly received and praised Me From Myself, to Banish the following year. Aegri Somnia is their next major step as a band and you suspect one into a wider intensive spotlight. The release takes over where the previous EP left off in many ways, taking its base as a launch pad for a more intensive and inventive venture whilst drawing greater blackened essences and harsher aspects of punk and crust into the hardcore brew. On its first scarring Aegri Somnia easily impresses and captures the imagination but as all great releases the more you share and open up the senses to its causticity the stronger and explosively persuasive it becomes.

Introspection starts things off, it a brief sonically hatched instrumental which casts an acidic landscape around the ears whilst giving far direwolves covermore than a hint of what is to come as rhythms manhandle the senses with fearsome creative power and the bass parades a carnivorous sound and intent. It is a striking and incendiary start, easily enslaving attention and anticipation as the guitars wash the air with melodic venom before it all explodes into the raging fire of Insights. Riffs and rhythms tear chunks from the psyche right away whilst the vocals abrase with every tortured syllable and angst driven word. It is an even briefer assault than its predecessor, one minute of hellacious contempt and sonic temptation with hooks to match and all very tasty.

The following storm of The Blindness That Keeps You Warm pushes the album’s entrance up another notch in contagious persuasion, flying at the ears with rhythms throwing muscular spite and riffs adding their animosity to the intense pressure whilst infectious hooks and grooves pierce and wind their way respectively into the tempest. It is a merciless yet seductive scourge of enterprise which evolves into Holy Treason with just as much invention and irrepressible fire driving forth the exhilarating turmoil. As with all songs though it is not just about passion and ferocity with the band laying out addictive designs and melodic toxins which help make the already eager taste for the encounter greedy and satisfaction unreservedly intense.

The bass snarl finds an even greater predation to its voice in the next up Echoed In Vain whilst the drums develop a controlled frenzy which only impresses further. Though the track maybe does not make the strongest initial scoring on ears and thoughts with melody brewed acid in its body and far reaching hooks, it is a forcibly engaging violation matched and exceeded by the excellent Sighs And Whisper. As pleasingly expected by this point in the album, guitars sculpt a web of sonic scorching and imaginative melodic entanglement around a merciless and brutally rapacious rhythmic drive. Equally though there is adventure unique to each track and here the song bullies its way into a moment of post hardcore, almost progressive insight, to keep predictability and assumptions at bay and wrong footed.

Aegri Somnia continues to impress as the adrenaline soaked and at times impossibly magnetic The Liar’s Choice and the voracious Face The Facts unleash their primal and instinctive belligerence vocally and unrelenting defiance musically on ears and beyond, whilst Light It Up from an outstanding rhythmic coaxing within a sonic wail intensively paints a finger pointing indictment at society. All three add a different aspect to the album, individual outrages and creative provocations to ignite thoughts and emotions.

The final pair of tracks, Keep It Clear and Endless Tragedies, are arguably the band’s most expansive and intrusive engagements, both thick in weight and passion relinquishing the use of skilfully crafted hooks and grooves for exhaustive almost doom clad atmospheres and melodically spawned explorations. They make for a formidable conclusion for a thoroughly impressive and exciting beast of a release. There is very little to offer as a temper to the fully hatched appreciation and ardour for the intimidation offered, though of course if hardcore is not an instinctive flavour that appeals from the off the songs could occasionally blend into each other through only a surface attention such their swift strikes and mutually intensive passion. The bottom-line though is that Aegri Somnia is a tremendous proposition and Direwolves a band set for major things.

https://www.facebook.com/wearedirewolves

http://direwolves.bandcamp.com/album/aegri-somnia

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Daggers – It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues

daggers

Hardcore right now seems to be one of the most adventurously explored genres, certainly going by the evidence gathered and unleashed by Throatruiner Records this month alone, with It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues by Daggers arguably the biggest slab of unquestionable proof. The new album from the Belgian quartet is a brute of an unleashing, twelve tracks of distinct inventiveness from a band which has never been slow on pushing their limits anyway. Whereas their previous array of releases have been an indignant fusion of crust and hardcore, Daggers upon their new fury pushes the walls down between hardcore and extreme metal noise for a wholly unique brew of rapaciously imaginative rock ‘n’ roll to them and scene. It is a raw maelstrom of inciting imagination and voracious intensity which provokes and violates senses through to thoughts, a ferociously uncompromising adventure which though it needs time to state its persuasion, is an irresistibly compelling bruising.

Hailing from Liège, the foursome of Yannick Tönnes, Gregory Mertz, Thierry Tönnes, and Thomas Fagny has left a trail of satisfaction and exhausted emotions with a clutch of imposing releases, starting with their 2008 self-titled EP through to second album Euphoria in 2011. Across their five years Daggers has always been a provocation which has earned an appetite here if not a raging fire towards them, each release making a lingering and potent scar in the hardcore scene but It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues is another matter entirely, in presence and impact. The album is a real journey through cavernous sceneries and ruthlessly stark atmospheres but constantly poised to thrust its instinctive punk breeding and metallic causticity down the throats of emotions.

Recorded live by Ben Phillips at the Lightship studio and mastered by Magnus Lindberg from Cult of Luna, the album opens on a reflective accordion croon as Apex slowly unveils its emotive invitation. It is a sinister if restrained enveloping which hints but gives no real clue to the impending and sudden explosion of vocal antagonism within an intensive and hefty weight of snarling riffs and cantankerous rhythms. The track instantly switches character at the expulsion, prowling purposely and intimidatingly across the senses as the guitars entwine a spiral of sonic acidity around things and the bass adds an extra rapacious menace courted  by an inventive texture of lead and backing vocals, again their attack controlled but intrusive. Now that its heart is fully open, the song offers a true portent of the album’s intent and qualities, though not quite the maze of imagination and experimentation also to come.

The song’s closing riff is a bridge into the following Woolgatherer, the coarse link soon replicated with deeper hunger by bass and a Artworkgrittier guitar tone. The track is an instant snarl of vicious rock ‘n’ roll employing numerous textures from rock and metal in its pungent incitement; an infectious repetitive groove aligned to a harsh roar of vocals which even in the briefness of the track steals keen attention and incites a greedy appetite for more which is soon offered by the similarly corrosive yet contagiously welcoming brawl of Blues. Also too short for these greed infused desires, the slice of combative causticity is an imposing wall of melancholic indictment and almost warring accusations lyrically and musically, which only intensifies the impressive start and persuasion of the album.

Both Asunder and Beacon push thoughts and passions into stronger enjoyment, the first a feisty confrontation of punk abrasion and metallic ferociousness which skilfully wrong foots not long into the roar with a delicious sonic detour employing seductive if acidic melodies and an irresistible twang to its breath before heading back into a riotous engagement with addiction sparking grooves and stomping attitudes, the bass wonderfully bestial once again. Its successor is a minute touching purge of the senses, uncluttered with twists and ideas taking it from its core intent but still infusing subtle hooks and lures which entice and linger within and after its offering. Again the swiftness of the assault is possibly thirty seconds or more too short but when so memorable and incisive you have to think that Daggers have got it right.

Wanderlust encircles the ears next, grizzled vocals taking their animosity out on air and senses whilst a sonic weave and anger ebbs and flows with inventive enterprise around the provocation. Arguably it is at this point where the album really starts to unveil its new rich pattern of experimentation and adventure, though earlier songs all bring a new character and potency from the band. In its forceful embrace, the song’s narrative takes the listener into sultry climates and melodic pastures, all shadowed and coated by unpredictable intrigue and evocative mystique, an emotive climate explored further by the instrumental Labyrinth, a piece which brings beauty under the sinister scrutiny of shadows and dark temptations.

The pair of Evermore and Dormant unveil the dangers, threat, and bewitchment of these new landscapes, the first an exhaustive charge which magnetically and urgently entices before slipping into a slower and equally incendiary intensive smothering of invasive rabidity which than alternates with a lasting contagion, and the second a stalking heavy legged predator which threatens and tempts the imagination. As all songs there is an agitation which will have its say and here with the most stringent pressure yet.

It’s Not Jazz It’s Blues saves its most thrilling experiments until the end starting with Sovereign, a track with a coarse and almost rustic glaze to its riffs and vocals as well as a hypnotic bordering droning repetition of sonic toxicity. There is a Killing Joke feel to the song as it feverishly works away tempting its victim, the unrelenting venom irrepressible even when the excellent twist of vocal delivery and haunting ambience leaves its compelling colour on the brilliant ingenuity of thought and sculpting. That brilliance continues into Cultist, its hive of waspish toxins an instant burrowing under the skin and across the psyche before relaxing into another persistent nagging which is impossible to resist or not find a new ardour for. Again a haunting, eerie atmosphere embraces the imagination whilst the track presents its venomous and mouthwatering bait with inventive bedlam and vicious veracity.

The release closes with Citadel, a dirty bleak stew of rare sonic abrasion and naked emotion which is punk in its purest form. The track impressively completes a blistering treat of a release. It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues is without doubt the best thing to strike from the minds and hands of Daggers, maybe not quite the classic you feel is alive inside them but certainly an inspirational new instigation for the genre and noise. It also suggest that if the band pursues the realms ventured within the final three or four songs on the album, that imitable pinnacle is nigh.

https://www.facebook.com/daggersband

http://daggersband.bandcamp.com/album/its-not-jazz-its-blues

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

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Plebeian Grandstand – Lowgazers

Plebeian Live w_ Ivo

French extreme metallers Plebeian Grandstand has one of those sounds which is so viciously ugly and vehemently destructive that you cannot understand why it is just so compelling as evidenced by their second album Lowgazers. Consisting of eight mercilessly voracious smogs of corrosive ambience and sonic violence, the release is pure noise toxicity; an insatiable pestilence of sound and hostility but as it suffocates and violates ears and beyond it is also dangerously addictive. To be honest it is hard to say exactly why this is so, though certainly the band craft the demise of the senses with undeniable invention and antagonistic passions, but the bottom line is that it is one compelling scourge and at the end of the hellacious day that is what it is all about.

Plebeian Grandstand have fused the darkest venomous, uncivil aspects of black metal with the equally poisonous core essences of hardcore and sludge metal; the result a maelstrom of spiteful dissonance and ravenous intensity which takes the listener into a ruthless tempest of sonic devastation, leaving them there basking and cowering in a primal wasteland, in this case Lowgazers. The release is the most destructive and bedlamic onslaught from the Paris based quartet yet, pushing intensively further the boundaries and inventive vitriol of their sound as first unveiled on their self-titled EP of 2008. Debut album How Hate is Hard to Define two years later ensured the band make an attention forging scar on the metal scene as equally did the band’s live performances which across the past years has seen them leave waste stages across Europe alongside bands such as Pelican, Horse The Band, Loma Prieta, The Holy Mountain, Off Minor, Intronaut, Celeste, The Ocean, I Pilot Daemon, Carnival In Coals, and Manimal. Two splits with firstly Divider and Bone Dance in 2011 and Cortez the following year arguably hinted at the jaundiced proposition to come but Lowgazers reaches far deeper into the blackest rancorous depths than imagined and could have been anticipated.

Recorded and mixed by Amaury Sauvé (Birds In Row, Calvaiire, Death Engine), the album immediately has thoughts running scared as FRONT NEW 300opener Thrvst emerges from a cold sonic ambience. Its sinister embrace is soon joined by slow sonic chords which entwine their lures tightly around ears before the onrush of barbarous blast beats and a tortuous sonic enslavement of the senses. Vocals viciously squall from within the storm, spewing their grudging malevolence across the unrelenting rhythmic abuse. All the time though there is a caustic groove, for want of a better word, which lays down the fullest contagious toxic bait from the inside of the noise friction consuming air and victim.

It is a crippling start to the album which evolves without real respite or respect for wounds into the following Endless Craving, another rapacious torment which smothers, gnaws, and devours body and soul. As I am sure you have assumed this is not easy listening, not an encounter with any ounce of comfort or mercy musically or vocally, and most like lyrically, though at times only the intensity of the delivery and surrounding fury is a clue but you can safely assume these will not be tales of love and golden fields. The track rages and ignites every rabid muscle and raw breath within itself for the nastiest rewarding exploit.

Whether it is an accumulative effect or simply the greater brutality of the songs, both Flail in the Bliss and Lowlifer put the listener under the strongest examination yet on the release, the first an inharmonious swamp of inventively cast malice and the second a synapse searing cacophony of vocal and emotional pain within an equally tormented furnace of mentally permeating sound. It has the senses ringing as it fades into fluid transformation into the ambient noise bred Relief of Troth. It is hard to call it an instrumental as the piece is more a pass over a caustic wasteland with hazardous shadows and sinister breath.

    Svn in Your Head mentally burns from its first acrid note; slowly unveiling an intrepid malignancy of sonic enveloping which stalks and invades with a doom spawned energy and sludge thick animosity, never relenting in its prowling weight of provocation and heavily leaning sound. As all the tracks, and album come to that, whether enjoyment comes into the equation is a debate for each to ponder but once more there is a persistent temptation which infects for a lingering need to suffer more, a pain both Aimless Roaming and the closing exploration of Mvrk Diving are keen to offer. Their individual enmities score and deplete the resistance of body and emotions even further bringing the album’s most inhospitable alienation in its conclusion, though again with riffs and rhythms horde like aggressors and lethal hooks the deepest transgressor it is hard not to want more.

Released digitally March 31st and as a 2 LP release via Throatruiner Records on April 10th, Lowgazers is a chaos hard to endure and ultimately survive intact against but a merciless adventure from Plebeian Grandstand that it is easy to recommend to those brave enough to face its discordant conflict.

http://plebeiangrandstand.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PLEBEIAN-GRANDSTAND/160680714032

8/10

RingMaster 30/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Death Mercedes – Sans Éclat

Artwork

Like a creatively rabid merger of Cancer Bats and At The Drive In with plenty more intrigue and varied explorations in tow, Sans Éclat the new album from French hardcore band Death Mercedes is a masterful provocation which simultaneously invigorates the imagination whilst despoiling the senses in a sonic rage. The ten track fury is a challenging incitement and at times an uneasy companion with malevolent intent but one constantly rewarding perseverance and determination with an exhausting and thrilling passion clad tempest.

Hailing from Paris and containing members from the likes of Amanda Woodward, Cowards, and L’Homme Puma, Ravi, Death Mercedes since forming in 2011 has ignited eager attention with their striking presence and sound, their music a boiling brew of crust, scream, punk with plenty more rich spicery. Their seven track debut Du soleil refroidi two years ago marked the card of a great many to the potential of the band; a promise which it is safe to say Sans Éclat takes to a whole other level to provide a probing fuse to much greater awareness of and acclaim upon the band you can only suspect such its power and craft. Recorded with producer Francis Caste (Kickback, Comity, Hangman’s Chair), the Throatruiner Records released album sculpts short but deeply potent landscapes of sonic antagonism and melodic seduction shaped into tracks which test but even more so powerfully evoke and feed the senses with captivating abrasive adventure.

The album immediately opens with one of its peaks in the striking shape of Leurs Choix Désarment. The bass of Adrien Cadot and drums of Loïc Salmon instantly intimidate the ear with bulging hard hitting rhythms, their touch a persistent punch on the senses. Alongside them the guitars create a sonic lashing which is raw and acidic but composed enough to accentuate the menace in the air as vocalist Julien Henri unveils his coarse squalls, initially part spoken here and constantly across the album a presence soaked in causticity. With the lyrical narrative presented only in French throughout Sans Éclat, it is left to the music to represent the sentiment and passion behind the words for us less learned folk, which it does with ease as guitarists Bruno Chaouch and Antoine Goubard create a canvas of provocative and emotive depth and colour to support the expressive delivery of Henri. It is a dramatic start to the release soon backed by the rest of the album.

Borgne Et Aussi Aveugle from its first note next bustles and bruises the air with rhythms and sonic invention ruining any peace. Merging imaginative melodic hues with voracious vitriolic squalls, the track creates an enthralling and threatening short expanse of irresistible enterprise, hardcore at its best veined by a melodically bred sonic incursion which steals the imagination. The mixture is another incessant constant across the album, the likes of the predatory Chien Infidèle with its senses burrowing groove and vocal storm brought by Henri and Chaouch, and the angst loaded L’Inconnue De La Seine employing both extremes in exhaustive and inventive brawls upon the ears and emotions whilst Encore Et Encore traverses a transfixing violent path with exciting melodic hues and evocative calms along its less than two minute investigation.

There are admittedly times where tracks hold a surface similar to each other which only full concentration can filter out the nuances as with Eternel Gagnant Du Sans Eclat, a track which as expected is superbly crafted and thrust through the ears but lacks something special or arguably different to other tracks to spark up senses and passions. Next up Du Soleil Vert On En A Tous Bouffé and its successor Ta Fin Du Monde have no such issue, both immersing into a richer melodic exploration without letting the depth of spite and attitude dip. The first of the two provides contagious bait from the lumbering yet swinging tones of the bass alongside a groove which seizes a full submission from its first call whilst the second song opens with a delicious melodic enticement punctuated by the ever thumping rhythms of Salmon and the mordant delivery of Henri. Its passage becomes a fire of intensity and intrusive passion the further into its heart it searches but all the time there is charming warmth which entices from inside the brewed torment.

From one highlight Death Mercedes provide another with the following Trop Tard, a gentle melodic and sonic croon in comparison to previous songs, courted by again drama clad drums. Brief but lingering it passes the album’s finale over to Cafard De Bar, a closing sonic tsunami of passion and intensity which scorches and scars every aspect of the listener.

With a suggested need for more vocal diversity and an even more distinct surface abrasion between some tracks, Sans Éclat is not quite the finished article but as full in promise as it is in thrilling imagination. Death Mercedes has produced a confrontation which marks them out as a band going to lofty places and in doing so has uncaged one of the hardcore treats of the year.

http://deathmercedes.bandcamp.com/

www.facebook.com/pages/Death-Mercedes/212073125473530

8/10

RingMaster 13/12/2013

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Elizabeth – Insomnia

Artwork Elizabeth

Parading a deliciously vicious ferocity veined with deceptively compelling enterprise, Insomnia from Swiss hardcore antagonists Elizabeth is a spiteful and sonically destructive fury of an encounter. It leaves senses numb and emotions violated with four tracks of intensity sculpted truculence veined by hooks and lures which are insidious in their deceptive potency, their toxicity as rich and inescapable as the tempest consuming the ears. The EP is an irresistible bruising from a band that recently released the Deluxe Edition of Where Vultures Land containing all of their previous body of work, and with this new slab of provocation there is a striking suggestion of even greater hardcore punk pestilence and invention is crowding on the band’s horizon.

The Geneva based trio of vocalist Javier Varela, guitarist Charly Boson, and drummer Matthieu Baumann brings the Throatruiner Records released storm to bear on the ear firstly with the exhausting oppressive climate of Ravens. From its opening second a sonic brew gains bulk before exploding with carnivorous intent alongside a heavy rhythmic barrage into a savage cloud of intensity. From within the voracious onslaught a virulently toxic groove also lays down its temptation which in turns encourages riffs and sonic adventure to stretch their remit. Rhythms and vocals still bleed the air of all peace and mercy though as the track delivers two minutes of stunning sonic and insatiable rabid enterprise and danger, which is also the title of the second track on the album.

Danger unleashes its full animosity and energy within the shortest moments, riffs and sonic storming through a corrosive blaze upon the ear with Varela adding his rasping causticity venomously in the background. The all out charge of the track does tempers its gait and onslaught as the barbarity nears its conclusion though the aggression and maliciousness makes no attempt to restrain its thrilling enticement, but for the main the song is a haranguing bluster to ignite further hunger for band and release.

There is a more predatory essence to Created Enemies, the track almost prowling the senses though its eagerness to sink its sonic jaws in is open and soon let of the leash. Riffs and rhythms entrap and enslave with ease but where its predecessor’s rampage unrelentingly, the song evolves its presence with a passage where the ever scorched tones of Varela and the rhythmic probing of Baumann are allowed access to clear air before being pulled into another union with rapacious riffs and suffocating intensity.

A tasty bass snarl of riffs opens up the closing Cemetery Feeling, its throaty barbarous tones soon assisted by a fire of equally ravenous riffs courted by a thumping cage of rhythmic intrusion and sonic manipulation. With another nocuous groove spearing the grievous siege, the track is a dynamic conclusion to a just as fearsome blitz of a release.

If Insomnia is the portent of things to come from Elizabeth then we are all in for a treat, a nasty callous one but a treat all the same whilst this is a must have release for all aural masochists.

http://ezbth.bandcamp.com/

http://ezbth.com/

9/10

RingMaster 12/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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