Mordant – Demonic Satanic

cover_RingMasterReview

Released towards the rear of last year, Demonic Satanic the new album from Swedish black metallers Mordant just has to be looked at and recommended no matter the length of time since it’s unleashing. Fusing black, thrash, and death metal into one corrosively virulent proposition, the band’s sound and in turn album is a tempest of fearsome rock ‘n’ roll which welcomingly infests and devours the senses.

Formed in 1997, Mordant has released two previous albums in Momento Mori (2004) and Black Evil Master (2008), a trio of demos, and a split with Sabbat in 2013. Each has increasingly nurtured the band’s unique style of black metal fuelled pestilence now raising the cancerous infectiousness of Demonic Satanic out of the sole confines of its source genre. As suggested, the album is pure rock ‘n’ roll without losing any of the Swedish black/metal traits it has its seeds in.

Vengeance from the Dark is the album’s first trespass, the track swiftly luring ears with rhythmic bait and stabbing riffs before driving headlong into a scourge of raw rapacious riffs and toxic grooves. As the throat bleeding tones of vocalist Bitchfire scowl, the thrashier instincts of the band collude with melodic and sonic flirtation but are never allowed off the leash as the track confronts ears like a venomous celebratory waltz. It is a constantly enjoyable nag on the senses with hooks sharing character with old school rock ‘n’ roll, even at times rockabilly.

The excellent start continues as Devastating Storm… Evil Holocaust bounds in with its own incessancy of riffs and rapier like rhythms, the scything swings of drummer Necrophiliac managing to simultaneously bludgeon and be precise in their touch as the bass of Carnage growls with mercurial intent. As the intrusive assault of rhythm guitarist Soulmolester harries ears the grooves of Angelreaper wind themselves around the psyche, venom lining their every twist; masterful assets repeated in the album’s title track straight after. The track is as much psychobilly as it is extreme metal in many ways, that host of elements making up the Mordant sound diverse and expansive not only release by release to date but song by song upon Demonic Satanic. It is still blackened death metal at heart but as catchy as you could wish for; an epidemic of spiteful temptation.

Evil Impalers is another scourge easily taking limbs and appetite in its grip, its thrash sparked charge the drive for insidious suggestion and endeavour to seduce whilst courting the track’s bestial side before the Dals långed based quintet infest the Sabbat track Blacking Metal with their own creative curse. Both tracks leave nothing left to desire with the former pure incitement for pleasure, a potency tapped into by the hellacious outpouring of Desecration from Hell, a tempest of sonic poison also with an embrace of melodic adventure with persuasive toxins of its very own.

Through the pair of Infernal Curse of Evil and Screaming Souls, the senses are tormented and instincts aroused, the first as much a slab of salacious rock ‘n’ roll as it is emotional malignancy and its successor a web of injurious enterprise woven from varied strands of metal. Each leaves a greed for more with the former another peak in the album’s landscape.

Count Lucifer brings the album to a close, its tempest raw yet majestic and surrounded by a web of invasive imagination and magnetic craft. Again you can only describe the enmity as carnal rock ‘n’ roll and one hard to evade becoming enslaved by.

With thanks to Kunal at Transcending Obscurity who personally recommended the album, we may be late to it but have not missed out on something which may happily share its genre inspirations but is, as the Mordant sound, a fresh creative rancor to be in turn inspired by.

Demonic Satanic is out now through To The Death Records and available @ https://tothedeathrecords.bandcamp.com/album/demonic-satanic

https://www.facebook.com/mordantblackmetal

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Affliction Gate – Dying Alone

AG_RingMaster Review

Three and a half years after unleashing the Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions EP, French death metallers Affliction Gate return with their most evil and gripping offering yet in the ruinous shape of Dying Alone. The four-track EP is a brutal and ravenous affair, but equally a compelling and at times contagious violation of old school death metal expanded with Affliction Gate imagination. The band is as vicious and uncompromising as ever but to that expected proposition adding a new exploration of bold textures, insidious emotion, and raw sonic trespasses.

Formed in 2006 with inspirations from the likes of Unleashed, Massacre, Bolt Thrower, and Asphyx sparking their ideas, Affliction Gate began proving themselves a formidable and potent force in the French metal underground with their first EP Severance (Dead to This World) in 2008 and more potently debut album Aeon of Nox (From Darkness Comes Liberation) a year later. Its release saw the band share their live presence across and beyond France into countries such as Germany, Spain, Holland, and Belgium, whilst the list of bands sharing stages with the quintet have come to include Pentacle, Mercyless, Svart Crown, Loudblast, Benighted and many more. Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions was an acclaimed proposition upon it’s uncaging in 2012 but already is being eclipsed by the response to Dying Alone.

artwork_RingMaster Review   Negative Lucidity leaps at the senses from its first breath; the opener a torrent of barbarous rhythms and toxic riffery twisted into a nagging groove that instantly has ears and appetite alert. The raw, bestial tones of vocalist Herostratos quickly lead the track’s animus of sound and intent, his intrusive delivery backed by the throaty threat of bass and entwined in the sonic trespass of guitar. Melancholy clings to the sonic suggestiveness expelled whilst despair clouds the air of the heavily satisfying incitement, those essences and hues just as rich and expressive in the following pestilential assault of Devising Our Own Chains. As its predecessor, the encounter is a challenging yet openly catchy violation bounding into the psyche on boisterously intrusive rhythms as guitars spin an acidic and virulent tapestry of rancorous bewitchment.

The EP’s title track comes next, flirting with the senses as it crawls closer and closer with cancerous intent. Led by the cantankerous tone of bass, the song subsequently grows into more volatile and eager infectiousness but still keeping its murderous breath and nature to the fore as its energy ebbs and flows in a consumption of the senses. Again a host of flavours collude within the song, more classic hues adding to the death bred malignancy.

The EP concludes with the misanthropic Manicheism Inertia, bad blood and rabid sound fuelling the contemptuous body and soul of the aural ravishing. The first two tracks within Dying Alone steal the show in many ways yet, as the song before, Manicheism Inertia has a nasty grandeur and incessant rabidity to its design which simply hits the spot.

Enjoyable on first listens and only growing to bigger success over time, Dying Alone is evidence that Affliction Gate is one of old school death metal’s emerging triumphs. Their new EP sees the band hit new heights, or should that be low corrosive depths, to get extreme metal off to a seriously strong start in 2016.

The Dying Alone EP is out now via Transcending Obscurity @ https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/dying-alone-death-metal

http://www.facebook.com/afflictiongate

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Blackhour – Sins Remain

Blackhour_RingMaster Review

A few days in and the new year gets its first metal treat courtesy of Pakistan hailing Blackhour. The Islamabad quintet unleashes their second album on January 5th through Transcending Obscurity Distribution, and a mighty slab of inventive and skilful heavy metal it has proven to be. Sins Remain offers five rich and imagination fuelled tracks which explore far beyond that heavy metal tag, and such its thick and pleasing impact you wonder how Blackhour has so far escaped the fullest global acclaim.

Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Guns and Roses, and Alice in Chains, Blackhour has certainly teased local and wider found appetites with their music and debut album Age of War which was released in 2011. Fair to say though, that most of us will probably have missed the presence of Blackhour until now but things surely are about to change with Sins Remain.

Straight away the band’s metal bred rock ‘n’ roll shows its adventure and variety with opener Losing Life. An instantly engaging caress of provocative guitar opens things up, the bass of Salman Afzal just as swiftly vocal with its suggestiveness. The tremendous coaxing eventually erupts into a fiery roar of sound with sonic tendrils of guitar veining a tempestuous yet controlled climate of sound and intensity. There is a touch of Disturbed to the track whilst the rhythms of drummer Daim Mehmood almost bully the senses as the bass prowls and growls within their potent web. With vocalist Tayyab Rehman also quickly impressive, the track paints a great provocative and persistently evolving proposal for ears and imagination.

BlackhourArtwork_RingMaster Review     The outstanding start continues with Wind of Change. From the off heavy metal essences steer the persuasion, the guitars of Hashim Mehmood and Mubbashir Sheikh Mashoo flirting with eighties hues to infectious effect. Their hooks and grooves because of it hold a familiarity which only adds to the forceful virulence of the encounter, whilst rhythmically the song nurtures an anthemic rock ‘n roll canter becoming increasingly wrapped in melody rich sonic enterprise. The song is irresistible and more potent with every listen, a quality applying to the whole of Sins Remain to be fair and certainly the following Life Brings Death, Love Brings Misery. The third track is an epic temptation, its nine minutes blossomed on Metallica like seeds but equally casting textures sprung from seventies heavy rock and thrash laced heavy metal. Imagine Reign of Fury and Stone Temple Pilots meets Iron Maiden and you come somewhere near the compelling encounter.

Battle Cry opens with an instantly addictive guitar hook next, one welcoming more militant and aggressive elements to join its tenacious stirring of ears and appetite soon after. It is maybe the least unique offering on the album but the fiercely boisterous song simply whips up a storm of attitude and creative prowess easy to greedily devour and want more of. The individual skills of the band are, here alone, there for all to see and praise but their unity and the powerful songwriting casting their invention is where the album truly wins out, as proven a final time by the album’s title track.

Bringing Sins Remain to a glorious conclusion, the track is a kaleidoscope of imagination, moving through acoustic elegance into Celtic spiced adventure and Eastern majesty across its length landscape. Fascinating and irresistible, the track is a thrilling end to an increasingly impressive album. With moments which stir thoughts of bands from Arch/Matheos and Horslips to Motherjane, the closer is theatre for the ears, a melodic seduction for the imagination, and alone one reason to check out the album.

Blackhour is ready to breach the broadest spotlights with Sins Remain, an album which could also be the key to opening the door to the great metal adventure going on in their homeland and surrounding regions just a little wider for the world.

Sins Remain is out now via Transcending Obscurity Distribution @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/sins-remain-heavy-metal

https://www.facebook.com/blackhourofficial/    http://www.blackhourofficial.com

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Dead – Deathsteps to Oblivion

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Unleashing their third album, Australian death metallers The Dead confront the senses with an energy sapping, senses consuming slavering beast and that is just the first track upon Deathsteps to Oblivion. The title perfectly sums up the corrosive and emotionally damaging journey the band drags the listener upon. It is an intensive examination of thoughts and emotions traversing a quintet of excruciatingly heavy and intensive soundscapes soaked in a pestilential fusion of death and sludge metal filtered through the darkest doom laded climate imaginable. It is a sound which belongs to all three styles yet is uneasy settling in any, creating its own domain of raw originality which is familiar but more so innovative. It is a harsh and demanding proposition but also one unafraid to melodically and sonically explore its imagination and providing potent evidence as to why the band is so revered in many quarters.

Formed in 2005 with a line-up which included members of Obfuscate Mass and Misery, the Brisbane band swiftly released a demo followed by the Armoured Assassin single in 2006. Following a second demo the band’s self-titled debut album was unveiled the following year, an encounter making an instant and imposing impression on the underground scene. With the Nocturnal Funeral EP subsequently under their belt, as well as increasing their live reputation with shows over the years alongside bands such as Behemoth, Obituary, Kataklysm, Psycroptic, and Ulcerate, The Dead gripped greater attention with second full-length Ritual Executions. Widely acclaimed through its independent release and a reboot through Diabolical Conquest Webzine which evolved into Transcending Obscurity and release the new ravenous exploit from the band, the album lured the broadest attention and spotlights, yet as Deathsteps to Oblivion infests the psyche you sense it was nothing compared to the response the new encounter has the potential to trigger. The line-up of vocalist Mike Yee, guitarist/bassist Adam Keleher, and drummer Chris Morse consume and immerse the listener with an aural suffocation which is as inhospitable as it is inescapably captivating, an incitement stirring up shadows and intimidations which seduce as they savage the senses.

Opener Maze of Fire immediately confronts and surrounds ears with a web of threatening sinister voices, their demonic roars the lure into a wall of debilitating heavy handed riffs and equally destructive rhythms. Within that trap though there is a melodic coaxing from the guitar which sparks the imagination as still varied and intimidating vocals prowl over thoughts with their intrusive narrative and tones. It is a fascinating entanglement to be lost in, especially with the slip into haunting melodic scenery which is as visually potent as the visceral sounds and vocals which soon share its passage in time threatening. It is a track which inspires different feelings and explorations in the imagination with every listen, something apply to all songs on the album, but a perpetually gripping and challenging persuasion.

The following Disturbing the Dead is just as carnivorous in presence and tone, arguably even more predatory as it crawls with torment laden intent over the senses. Its first half is an unrelenting scourge of doom empowered angst and intensity, a thoroughly appetising violation but from there it without losing funereal despair and malevolence, a sonic and creative enterprise is agitated to lure like a beacon in the thick sludgy tar of the song’s insatiable heart. It is an intriguing and suggestive offering which as its last note lingers in the ear, seems like another world to the one dawning on a rally of gunfire and with destructive and blackened voracity, emerges as The God Beyond. It is the rawest assault imaginable, a caustic sonic haze frequented by hate and fury, but temporary as the battle field returns to provoke a richer and clearer, but no less torturous tempest of sound and exploration. A constant test and provocation, the track is a maelstrom which is uneasy on the ear but wholly seductive upon thoughts and emotions. It is a song which it is hard to get a full handle on in sound and narrative but one inspiring a hunger to find the answers within its cavernous despair.

Terminus swerves in on a rhythmic seduction next, tribal and suggestive beats from Morse transfixing with exotic persuasion whilst bass and guitar flirt with their own sonic teasing. This is again just the doorway into the harshest shadows and challenging depths of the band’s creative rabidity, a serpentine breath accompanying the emerging vocal scarring and ruinous air of the track. Of course it is only part of the picture, melodic intrigue and clean vocal tenacity adding their twists to the sonic mystique and imagination which evolves within the black fog of sound. The track sends shivers down the spine as it seduces and gnaws on the psyche, taking best track award though the closing title track seriously challenges there. It too is a smothering tapestry of threat and invitational suggestion, extremes colluding and toying with each other within a cavern of uncompromising and ravenous aural profanation.

The five years between albums has only seen The Dead find new fears to exploit and nuances to discover in listener and their music respectively. Deathsteps to Oblivion is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, but to challenge and reward the corners of mind and soul it is maybe the most essential must investigate release of the year.

Deathsteps to Oblivion is available digitally or on limited edition CD now via Transcending Obscurity @ Transcending Obscurity https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/deathsteps-to-oblivion-death-metal-sludge

https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelivingdead

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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Fragarak – Crypts Of Dissimulation

 

Fragarak

There has been quite a buzz brewing around Indian progressive death metallers Fragarak, certainly since the release of their debut album Crypts Of Dissimulation and now having been seduced by its startling invention and riveting adventure it is easy to see why. Though not flawless it is an extraordinary capture of the imagination, a constantly evolving and revealing journey for thoughts and emotions which casts a web of enterprise to seduce, bewilder, and thrill. There are moments where the New Delhi quintet arguably over do the intensive alignment of styles and ideation, times where tracks are never given the space to fully convince before being consumed by the next twist of endeavour but to be equally fair it only adds to the drama and captivation. For a debut Crypts Of Dissimulation is exceptional and the horizons for the band painfully exciting, for them and us.

Taking inspiration for their name from a legendary sword from the Celtic mythology, Fragarak was formed in early 2011 by close friends Kartikeya Sinha (bass), Ruben Franklin (guitar), and Sagar Siddhanti (drums). With the writing of songs soon underway the band line-up was swiftly completed with the addition of Supratim Sen (vocals) and Arpit Pradhan (guitar). Debut single Insurgence in 2012 ignited an eager following in the band’s homeland as well as a full anticipation for their debut full-length release. Consisting of six epic encounters, journeys of progressive and death metal weaves taken into a unique premise by the band, the Crypts of Dissimulation took the Indian metal scene by storm leading to the signing with underground label Transcending Obscurity, many tours, and appearances at festivals such as the 4th Entombed Metal Festival in Mumbai and Bangalore’s 2nd holding of the Evilution festival as well as extreme metal fest Pandemonium. Soon their presence and sound was permeating further afield specially within the US, whilst live the band continued to build an acclaimed reputation. Crypts of Dissimulation is working its way around the globe seemingly seducing all before and it is no surprise that the band is being welcomed with eager arms all over such the potential and already immense ability in their songwriting and performance.

The album opens with Savour The Defiance which immediately charms ears and thoughts with an elegant melodic caress of guitar coverwithin an encroaching brooding atmosphere. Keys also bring their grace to the portentous air wrapping the stringed coaxing, shadows and drama edging ever nearer within a growing energy which is as compelling as it is menacing. The guitar take a pause as the air intensifies before returning aligned to crisp rhythms, addictive grooves, and a ferocious vocal squall. Soon taking full and eager strides, the track unveils and explores its emotive scenery, the craft of Pradhan and Franklin bewitching within the reserved but strong tempest brewing up alongside the outstanding tonal throat of bass from the skilled plucking of Sinha. The song continues to croon and roar across its expansive landscape, emotions blazing or seducing throughout to match the imagination canvas of sound and ideation. As unpredictable and intriguing as it is skilfully woven and voraciously presented, the track is a glorious entry into album and band, a gateway like the album as a whole which needs a tide of listens to fully discover all of its corners, rewards, and at times over stretched instincts, but glorious all the same.

The following Insurgence savages the ears from its first breath, rampaging with the glee and predatory instincts of a stag in heat. Sinews subsequently thrust their keen persuasion across the rhythmic enticement and intensive riffery which cores the masterful incitement whilst grooves spear and entwine the imagination like acidic vines. The song is riveting, every moment a flood of addiction forging invention and anthemic persistence which leaves greed the potent reaction, a hunger only accentuated by the fluid drift into a melodic respite which is as virulently contagious as the bestial rapaciousness fuelling the rest of the encounter. It is a triumph which puts its predecessor in its place, the vocal fire and intensity alone a mouthwatering provocation which reveals as much about the heart of the song as the finely sculpted sounds and rabidity courting them.

     Effacing The Esotery continues the formidable and towering lure of the album, if without quite matching the heights of the previous pair. Its sonic adventure and rhythmic tsunami cages emotions right away, the trap irresistible as short grooves and melodic toxins engulf their prey. Again it is the seamless move into peaceful beauty which makes the most imposing and absorbing temptation, even within the ever poised violent voracity of energy and thought at the core of the song. The track makes a slave of attention and emotions, the brilliant bass exploits and rhythmic badgering exceptional triggers to a full submission in a torrent of nothing but insatiable persuasiveness, a trait employed by the wonderful instrumental Dissimulation: An Overture. Acoustically bred and emotional endowed, the piece floats through ears and across thoughts; the innocence of its ambience and air charming but shadowed by a dark heart beat and a desperate expulsion of breath. The track brings a respite for the imagination whilst simultaneously awakening new ventures to explore.

The album is completed by the brilliant Cryptic Convulsion and the equally transfixing Psalm Of Deliverance. The first of the two is an avalanche of torrential drumming, spiteful grooves, and unrelenting riffing, all under the commanding growl and venom of Sen. The track moves like a whirling dervish at times in energy and ideas as it works feverishly with its invention and the hunger of its recipient’s psyche. Once more the sonic painting cast by the song and band is scintillating and too much for senses and thoughts to absorb in just a few encounters. This ensures that the album becomes a continually giving adventure which it is hard to really raise an issue over. Its successor is another beauteous piece of music washed in a celestial ambience and precisely cultured emotive hues, a closing entrancement which helps leave Fragarak a lasting experience and Crypts Of Dissimulation live up to its reputation.

Crypts of Dissimulation is available now @ http://fragarak.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/fragarak.india/

9/10

RingMaster 14/05/2014

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