Killtek: The Noise of Rage/Silence of Self Destruction EP


 Norwegian band Killtek is probably a new name to most but on the evidence of their impressive debut EP it is unlikely they will remain so for too long. The Noise of Rage/Silence of Self Destruction EP is a magnetic and intriguing release with a sound which with its merging of genres is a thoroughly compelling and irresistible force.

The Trondheim based band was formed in 2011 by guitarist and songwriter Erik Winther who across the following year recruited vocalist Peter Bains, guitarist Kjell Andres Nilsen, bassist Tommy Kviseth, and drummer Thomas Farstad to the project. The line-up of ex-members of bands such as Torch and Grown Into Nothing has the experience of numerous tours across Europe and Asia and of creating well received albums, a gained pedigree and depth which is openly apparent within the tightly skilled craft and musicianship which fires their first release. Musically the quintet create a unique sound which is part metal, part industrial, and part metalcore, with flames of electro, and groove metal vibrantly flavouring the finely sculpted ambience soaked encounters within the EP. Their sound is enthralling and though arguably the band does not create new aural tools to define their creations they explode with something fresh, invigorating, and distinctly belonging to Killtek alone.

Mixed by Caliban guitarist Marc Görtz, the EP opens with the atmospheric soaking of elegance and sonic seduction of instrumental KILLTEK EPCOVERLeft Behind to Die. It is a melancholic piece which weaves around the ear to mesmerise and inspire emotions of solitude and at times loneliness but is punctuated with aggressive expulsions of striking riffs and matching rhythms. They are provocative moments rather than violent expulsions to intimidate and frame the continually glowing electro wash of beauty and emotive persuasion.

The following Game Changer begins with similar loud whispers, an electro teasing with sinister breath introducing and leading into the brewing shadows and prowling aggression. Before long the track is in full stride with sinews pressing against the ear whilst the excellent vocal brawls of Bains squall and challenge with passion and malice. Where the first track suggested the merger, here the song brings full industrial metal and metalcore might into a seamless union with warm electro enticement to forge an evocative and demanding triumph. The band state influences as the likes of Fear Factory, Emmure, and Cloudkicker, all you can imagine leaving inspiration for this song, but you can also add elements of bands such as Sybreed, Toxic Grind Machine, and The Browning, here and across the whole release, to something which is undeniably uniquely Killtek.

Beyond the Rage continues the post apocalypse soundscape of the EP, its opening cataclysmic narrative the premise for the following sonic ravishing and brutal savagery to follow. Tech metal viciousness from Winther and Nilsen lashes the senses whilst vocally Bains sears and scars with his again impressive scowling tones. Even the keys have a snarl and spite to them which niggles and haunts beneath the brawling furnace of sound and uncompromising rhythms. It is an exceptional track and the biggest storm of the release though seriously challenged throughout.

The following instrumental Infernal City is a chilling expanse of blistered ambience and stark oppressive atmospheres with a dulled yet taunting melodic sun, its lingering warmth sheltered and denied by the bleak landscape and air. It sets the scene for the following conflict and demise of Earth Ends, its opening battle scene soon lost within a grievous maul violating metalcore intensity and rhythmic antagonism. Again the guitars spear and entrance with skill and enterprise to flair against and incite further the malicious assault of the bass and drums, whilst all the while there is that electronic temptation lighting the air though that too feels agitated in certain moments on the track.

The Noise of Rage/Silence of Self Destruction EP is completed by two equally immense and thrilling encounters in the bruising forms of Warlord and Signs, both furies of fierce passionate provocation and intense destructive defiance bought through measured heart borne passion. Killtek has begun the year with a dominant and impressive debut which with things like being booked to play the main stage at Trondheim Metal Fest 2013 alongside Hatebreed, Gojira & Born of Osiris, could and should be the first steps in a swift and forceful ascent for the band.


RingMaster 22/02/2013

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KLANK: Urban Warfare

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    With a new release waiting on every click of a button each and every day, it is easy for some impressive music to slip by the attention of far too many unsuspecting ears. Urban Warfare from US metallers KLANK is one prime example, a mighty incendiary album which has yet to surface on the radar of a great many though it was unleashed last year. Consisting of fourteen slabs of irresistible industrial metal veined by magnetic electronic lures and even more seductive delicious grooves, the release stops you dead in your tracks and recruits the passions in a brawling riot of enterprise and intensive energy.

Since forming in 1995, the band has earned a rich position within the metal underground constantly breaking into wider recognition and acclaim through their immense live performances and vigorously compelling releases. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Daren KLANK Diolosa (ex-Circle Of Dust), guitarist Danny Owsley, bassist Charlie Parker, drummer Eric Wilkins, and Pat Servedio on guitar, keys, programming and production, KLANK first smacked music in the face with debut album Still Suffering via Tooth & Nail Records in 1997. It brought muscular groove metal, industrial, and dance music together with a vengeance and brought plenty of intrigued and enthused ears their way as well as strong radio play. Its successor Numb two years later elevated the band further especially with its immense and successful single Blind, and its re-issue the following year only added to the brewing rise of the band. KLANK also made plenty of compilation appearances over this period but arguably their real dawn of recognition came through the In Memory Of… EP in 2007 and the fifteen track release Numb…Reborn three years later which included guest appearances by Jim Chaffin, Larry Farkas and Mike Phillips. Urban Warfare though is the band at its finest moment yet and the album to place them in the higher echelons of grooved/industrial metal.

The best way to describe the album is a fusion of the previously mentioned musical spicery in a richer and more potent flavour.Urban Warfare Cover Imagine an aggressive offspring of Pitchshifter and Pitbull Daycare incited to further devilment by Dope and Powerman 5000 and you get wind of the tremendous energy and invention going on. Opening on the intro A Call To Arms with its infectious beckoning and full incitement the album takes no time in offering the fullest persuasion with Unamused. Its initial caress is an electronic sway which is soon ruptured by towering riffs and thumping rhythms whilst still delivering its own warm dazzle. Into its stride the track rampages with real hunger from the bass and guitar riffs to consume the senses whilst the drums of Wilkins prey on the ear like a middleweight boxer. The vocals of Diolosa are a stirring blend of clean with enough growl to intimidate which match the stance of the song, its combative gait entwined with the melodic heat of the keys.

The title track has a Toxic Grind Machine feel to its darker shadowed intensity and malice whilst still unleashing a contagious melodic inducement to bring feet and passions to energetic life. Its sturdiness and suggested violence makes a great contrast and variation to its predecessor and the following Bigger Man, though neither of these songs lacks feistiness or a burning passion to bruise. Bigger Man is a tempest of tumultuous riffs and rhythms tempered by a virally contagious chorus and the mesmeric sultry dance of the keys. Certainly one of the biggest highlights in an album which is one big pinnacle, the song is the final piece of suasion to ignite a real ardour for the release.

Songs like the squalling and impressively abrasive Alive in Me, the quarrelsome Built to Survive with its wonderful avalanche of explosive rhythms and prowling riffs within an equally intensive and raptorial atmosphere, and the excellent Stomp You Out, continue to drive the album deeper into the heart with accomplished invention and even headier passion. The third of the trio is another disputatious encounter with a thicker industrial metal oppression and heat playing like a mix of The Browning and Ghost In The Static.

As further tracks such as the less intense but greedily imposing Blow It All Away and the malevolent Disdain with its outstanding primal predatory caustic breath work on the passions, Urban Warfare stands without any notable flaws or deficencies…that is until the final pair of songs. Now to put this into context if Eraser and Something About You was on another release they would earn strong applause for their straight forward metal and raw ‘live’ state, they certainly stand as strong songs but against what has come before they feel out of place in time and situation, simply they are pale against the rest of the album.

Despite that minor niggle, Urban Warfare is outstanding, an album all metal fans should take time to immerse themselves within. KLANK stand on the edge of the widest recognition and deserve every ounce they get.


RingMaster 15/02/2013

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Toxic Grind Machine: Embryonic Emission


Though it came out a four months ago, Embryonic Emission from Dutch industrial metallers Toxic Grind Machine is one big thrill which has to be shared. Firstly we have to give thanks to Ray Westland from Ghost Cult webzine for pointing us in the direction of what is a stirring and impressively dynamic album, a release which ignites a full ardour for its imaginative and compelling sounds.

Even with determined research little can be found out about Toxic Grind Machine except that it consists of Robert Slump (songwriter, guitars, keyboard, and programming) and Trevor Marks (vocals, synths, lyrics), merges the essential essences of electro, industrial, and metal in to a blaze of infectious invention, and takes inspiration from the likes of Sybreed, Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad, In Flames and many more. Not that you need to know any background to enjoy the results of the inventive creativity spawning the album, the eight songs within do all the telling and persuasion needed to be enthralled with the band and release.

The album opens with emerging mechanical whispers and cyber teases as Burn Bright, Wry Jackal comes into view. From the shadows it soon bursts into a glorious confrontation of vocal squalls, thunderous rhythms and rabid riffs. Then it throws the first surprise by slipping into a melodic wash of clean vocals and emotive synth caresses. The subsequent combination of the two is a striking and accomplished union which favours neither but excels in allowing both extremes their full and compelling voice. The track is a vibrant mix of Silent Descent, Fear Factory, and Left Spine Down with elements of Pitchshifter to its sinewy depths, and a stunning start to an album which only gets better and better.

Next Amphetamines in Ghost City rampages from a kiss of electro effected vocal harmonies into a torrent of ravenous riffs and spiteful rhythms driven by an intensity which smothers the senses with near malice. Again the unpredictable might of the band takes us into a melodic room as the bruising energy outside brews up its storm to unleash soon after and entwining itself with the warm electro wash. Sybreed and Scar Symmetry comes to mind whilst the song reveals more imagination, though this or any song on the album is uniquely Toxic Grind Machine. There is also an antagonism to the lyrics and some of their delivery which like the sounds is an exciting contrast to the smooth soothing tones elsewhere.

The whispering ambience which introduces AphidHaze is another emotive example of the thought and ingenuity within the album and though the track cannot resist unleashing a full and rampant force the song offers a less intensive storm to fall before, instead inviting a willing immersion into its still immense and formidable breath. This slight mercy is soon dismissed by Cell 600, a track which rips the senses asunder with a gleeful brutality before stomping them into dust with a rhythmic violation and riff driven annihilation that would make the likes of Meshuggah and The Browning sweat. Again from the impressive vocals, violent and caressing, and mesmeric synth expression to the voracious riffs and barbaric rhythms, the song is outstanding, just like Embryonic Emission itself.

As the even tempered Hymnlock, though it too cannot restrain its sonic rages at times, and the fascinating Judah, Let’s End lay their intriguing cards on the table the album becomes even more engrossing and intoxicating. The latter of the pair especially has a constant shadow over its expanse to hide where it is going and offer mystery to its intent. It only draws thoughts and emotions in deeper despite its wonderful ‘deceit’ as each and every unexpected twist opens up new avenues to explore.

The album departs upon firstly the brawling excellence of Morphia, a riotous grapple which leaves one pumped up in a frenzy of energy and passion, and the instrumental Enther. The final track is a piece of music which would have made the perfect beginning to the album, its brewing epic feel and dawning dramatic expanse an electrifying experience suited as a delicious introduction and personally feeling wasted as the admittedly rousing climax. The bottom line is Toxic Grind Machine in Embryonic Emission has created an album which with each listen reveals something new such its depth of layers and imagination whilst offering nothing less than unbridled pleasure at all times.

RingMaster 29/01/2013

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