Show of Bedlam – Roont

Photo by Renaud Sakelaris.

Photo by Renaud Sakelaris.

We were hearing very good things about Canadian doomers Show of Bedlam because of a split with Jucifer in 2009, the band’s only release up to this point, and were told that we should take an interest in the band’s debut album Roont, released this week. This we did and discovered a release best described as a creative cauldron of sonic and emotional intensity filtered through howling atmospheric turbulence, i.e. one of the most exhilarating albums so far this year. It is as fiercely seductive as it is corrosively demonic, as virulently contagious as it is toxically inhospitable, and quite simply irresistible.

Hailing from Montreal, Show Of Bedlam’s sound is certainly doom metal bred but it is equally as sludgy as it is hardcore, as punk as it is noise and occult spiced rock ‘n’ roll. Influences are said to include the likes of Neurosis, Electric Wizard, The Swans, UFOMammut, Babes in Toyland, and Sonic Youth. The reality is for all references and inspirations cited and probably deserved, Show of Bedlam brew up a hellacious and thoroughly gripping mix ultimately distinct to them.

SHOW_OF_BEDLAM-Roont300x300    The album’s title track sets things off, a cold and harsh ambience looming in from afar, quickly joined by portentous rhythms and a maelstrom of sonic and noise bred provocation. It is an embrace of sound and incitement to match the band name, no coherent unity obvious yet a concussive invitation with control and instinctive enmity. From its thickening smog, acidic grooves and heavy senses roaming rhythms emerge, their imposing presence matched by a dark bass tone and the instantly engaging tones of vocalist Paulina Richards. Attitude and intensity drips from every syllable she expels, her delivery managing to be part croon, roar, and threat simultaneously. Hers is a soaring fury matched by the sounds around her, guitars spinning a caustic yet beguiling web whilst rhythms pummel and craft anthemic bait for every one of the song’s hellacious seconds. The track is fascinating, uncompromising textures and unpredictable imagination entangling every twist and turn in the passage and creation of the song, all those flavours earlier mentioned and more aligning to craft nine minutes of feral, bordering on satanic beauty.

An interlude comes next in the shape of 19, though contrary to most similar moments there is no escape into calm and safe waters here, the track an unrelenting harsh sonic wind with fleeting glimpses of another evocatively melodic realm. You can almost touch those elements as they are smothered in sound but always to no avail as the track insidiously escorts ears and emotions towards the following Vermin. Show of Bedlam have already shown themselves adept at using samples, opening up this track with another before binding the passions in addictive hooks, dramatic grooves, and a punk bred infectiousness. It all entices from within a tempest of swarthy stoner-esque sonic psychosis with occult rock like flavouring. The track is outstanding, an emotional and intimidating turmoil to get lustful over casting a maelstrom of styles and ingenuity which just ignites the imagination. The song never lingers on one aspect for long but is equally unafraid to return to those choice essences and involve and twist them into fresher incitements again. At one point the song had a feel of L7 meets Blood Ceremony to it, then in the next it was something else again, and constantly spellbinding.

Next up, Dress for sale slips into darker and colder climes, its darkly shimmering countenance mesmeric as basslines and riffs crawl with menace through ears. It is a track soon ablaze though, acidic guitar enterprise and fierce vocal expression roaring with searing flames of energy whilst carrying just a hint of venomous intent. Once more the band has ears and imagination enthralled; abrasing and seducing both with ingenuity and simple but ingeniously woven creative aggression.

There is poetry to the sound and lyrical premise of all songs upon Roont, an almost corrosively romantic essence which especially floods the epic exploit of Itamu. The track is pure inventive drama, a journey through unforgiving yet intoxicating climates of sonic and emotional exploration. As everywhere, the track’s narrative is as engrossing as the music sound-tracking its story and predominantly because of the diverse and ever shifting delivery of Richards. She can brawl with ears as perfectly as she can seduce them, spark with aggression as potently as she can lure unbridled attention with a croon. With the rest of the band conjuring sounds of the same creative and effective dark majesty, the result is a track and release which borders on perfect.

With a bonus demo version of Vermin adding an extra treat, Roont is something all doom, sludge, heavy metal, and even hardcore fans should not be without. Very special is a description not easily offered in music these days but we tell you now, Show of Bedlam is that with the potential of being much more.

Roont is available now on CD via PRC Music @ http://www.prcmusic.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1317 and digitally @ https://showofbedlam.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/showofbedlam

RingMaster 07/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Bast – Spectres

 

BAst pic

    If you have ever imagined being lost in a blizzard where every sound and danger, open and hidden, seduces and smothers the senses to their limits then try stepping into Spectres the debut album from UK sonic sculptors Bast. Every intensive note and emotion within the blackened doom bred tempest suffocates with merciless passion and intimidation yet infuses the imagination with a beauty and compelling toxicity which is just as mouth-wateringly impressive. The five track release is an epic confrontation which is not an easy companion to embrace and at times endure, as that envisaged storm, but certainly one of the most rewarding as it infests body and psyche.

    Formed in 2008, it was the coming together of vocalist/guitarist Craig Bryant, drummer Jon Lee, and bassist Gavin Thomas three years later where arguably things really began to stir up a greater attentive spotlight for Londoners Bast. Since starting initially as a duo, the band certainly made an imprint on the capitals metal scene, sharing stages with the likes of Ufomammut, A Storm of Light, and Ramesses. Across the years the trio has expanded their presence supporting and playing with other bands such as Nachtmystium, Minsk, Winterfylleth, earthtone9, Mother Corona, XII Boar and hordes more, persistently leaving a rich mark and breeding an eager anticipation for their first album.

     Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with Chris Fielding, Spectres is the first offering from new label Black Bow Records, run by 1452364_10152025214408684_29610896_nConan frontman Jon Davis, its limited to 300 vinyl release a joint unleashing with a CD/digital assault from Burning World Records. The album is a heavily consumptive provocation which swallows and chews the senses with a creative rabidity which simply intimidates under the massive weight of doom spawned atmospheres and malevolence. Just as ravenously though, the release leads the listener through inventive weaves which dazzle in elegance and seduce in majestic radiance though never truly released from the hands of rancorous oppressiveness.

    In The Beginning initially offers a respectful sonic coaxing to bring the album into view, its chilled ambience wrapping the ears before an exhaustive fire of riffs and rhythms consume the senses as the rasping caustic vocal squalls of Bryant scorches the air. As its stalks and piles on the dark drama with every second, the track winds around the imagination with a near insidious voice and corrosive intensity, stimulating thoughts with an enveloping and emotive suffering. It is a powerful opening matched by the next up Denizens, its slow flight into darker and deeper caverns of intensive emotional corruption as mesmeric as it is ruinous. Like the first, the black and doom metal seeded blend brews an erosive breath over a melodically teased sonic adventure, both soaked in a mutually cathartic and damaging tsunami of intensity.

      Impressive as the songs are, the album does not truly ignite into something uniquely distinctive and special until the title track erupts in a ferocious brawl of crippling rhythms and unrestrained riffing. The track hits with the carnivorous heavy assault of a Black Tusk, with heavily shadowed but tempting grooves to match, before diving head long into a blackened swamp of sonic rabidity and doom lit venom. It is an irresistible onslaught taken to greater potency by a deliciously barbed rhythmic temptation alongside a bass and guitar snarl which has you contemplating scurrying into the deepest burrows of safety. Spectres preys upon and swaggers with the imagination and passions, an unpredictable constantly evolving waltz of inventive toxins and destructive virulence with pestilential charms and animosity which echoes the overall presence of its namesake, the album.

     The exceptional confrontation is matched by the instrumental Psychonauts, the piece a developing imaginative scourge for the passions which from a seemingly primordial sonic soup spawns an irresistible and addictive union of contagion clad drumming and savage bass temptation. It proceeds to provide an exploratory and weighty flight through menacing expressive textures and atmospherically driven visually provoking scenery. It is another immense stimulus for mind and emotions to eagerly delve into, a demanding and controlling doorway to the band’s and our imaginations. Its twelve minute violation makes way for the equally enthralling and lengthy Outside The Circles Of Time, the closing song crafting a landscape of melodic temptation and magnetic beauty within a warm embracing ambience. The ever raw tones of Bryant, even in their more reined in delivery, add to the epidemic enticement, helping pave the way for the fiercer sonic wash of guitar and passion to lap over the senses beside another stretch of impossible to resist rhythmic bait, the song intensifying its pressure and contagion with every passing minute.

     It is a magnificent finale to an album which firmly puts Bast on the doom metal map. Spectres takes a little time to truly explode in the psyche, though it is certainly grips from its first breath, but emerges as an album destined to be one of the most impressive doom and 2014 debuts.

www.facebook.com/Bastmusic

9.5/10

Bast upcoming tour dates with Conan 2014

March 14th Nottingham, Soan Studios

March 15th Bournemouth, The Anvil

March 16th Birmingham, The Asylum 2

March 17th Glasgow, Audio

March 18th Aberdeen, Live at Downstairs

March 19th Manchester, Kraak Gallery

March 20th Cardiff, The Full Moon

March 21st Brighton, The a Prince Albert

March 22nd London at Electrowerkz

March 23rd Mousetrap, Basingstoke

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Steve Von Till – As The Crow Flies

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    As The Crow Flies is a release which pushes all complications and unnecessary wrappings aside to unveil and inspire a core of emotive poetry and introspective inducement. It is a haunting meditative soundtrack to reflection, self and worldly; a record of dark beauty and an impacting seductive evocation from Steve Von Till, the Neurosis vocalist/guitarist, which leaves thoughts and emotions bare.

The album has its re-release via Neurot Recordings, the independent label founded by members of Neurosis and Tribes of Neurot and run day to day by Von Till and staff, which has grown into a fully-fledged label bringing releases from the likes of Ufomammut, Isis, Shrinebuilder, Neurosis, Across Tundras, US Christmas, Ides of Gemini, Oxbow, A Storm of Light, Amenra and many more to the world. As The Crow Flies was released right at the start of the labels emergence but has been out of print for many years. Its re-release thirteen years after the original indelible mark was made feeds a smouldering hunger which has laid waiting in those of us who missed it first time around.

As song after mesmeric song plays its heart and tale upon the ear, acoustic guitar and the gravelly low key whispering of Von Till part crooning and part serenading the imagination, the album visually emerged in the mind as a long lone fence within a melancholic sultry landscape of emotions, each song a post to lean upon as the cage stretches into the horizon and each drawing, inciting a reflective union with the suggestive atmosphere and smouldering ambience placed around thoughts. The surrounding breath and scenery is a shadow crafted intrigue beneath flaming hypnotic skies and upon a canvas of vividly coloured weaves employing everything from sadness and sorrow to hope and resignation. It is a scintillating and enthralling walk through its soundscape with the sounds musically and vocally bred for the fullest engagement.

The album opens with its most potent and captivating presence. Stained Glass offers up a deep resonating caress of the ear soon joined by the throaty sirenesque haunt of the cello, the pairing alongside the slightly grizzled tones of Von Till, a thought crafting blend of chiselled and organic beauty, the dark and light textures within an overall darkened spell leaving no room for escape as the song opens up with its emotive wash of provocative temptation for the mind and passions. As across most of the album, the simplicity is as riveting as it is impossibly addictive, its employment of repetition and singular chords resonating with one persistent voice like an emotive narcotic for nothing less than deep willing slavery to its powerful almost sinister charm.

The following We All Fall walks through darker fields, its residue of sombre elegance drifting across the ear with childlike folk seeded simplicity, its closing vocal temperance almost nursery rhyme like with a dark breath and intent. It is a riveting experience as powerful and enriching as its predecessor and is soon matched by the likes of Remember, a song with a breeze soaked in chant and pulsating glistening from the sun but equally leaving a teasing of impending cacophonies which are never realised but add wonderful cloud to the emotion exploration, and the exceptional Twice Born, another harvest of sublime melancholia enhanced by the blue touch and beauty of the cello and sky bound harmonies between Von Till and the golden tones of Kris Force from Amber Asylum, her celestial siren wrapped tones an irresistible fascination beside the restrained yet compelling tones of her companion.

Midheaven is a drone seeded meditative cloud which ensnares the senses with its single chord repetition occasionally joined by another singularly crafted stroke of discord touched melodic taunt. It is a starkly haunting piece from an equally barren landscape emotionally and visually, the journey coming near its end with a brooding intensity lifting its resentful head as final track Shadows in Stone approaches. Like earlier song Warning Of A Storm, the closing track crafts a sinister embrace which permeates every sense and thought whilst bringing all the elements which flamed throughout the album, that morose delicious cello cry, seductive caresses from the voice of Force, and the consciousness provoking guitar invention and inciting vocals of Von Till, into play. Once a rhythmic resonance and enticement of drums and percussion opens up the song further the sunset of imposing majestic radiance leaves the passions simply enflamed.

     As The Crow Flies is a wonderful album which gets better and better as well as more evocative with each venture into its heated sweltering depths and well worth its return for us stupid enough to have missed it the first time around.

http://www.vontill.org/

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Kongh: Sole Creation

Kongh 2012

Swedish band Kongh undeniably has a strength and intensity as formidable as their name suggests and through their new album Sole Creation, offers forty five minutes of energy sapping, senses elating, and passion igniting creativity which is just breath-taking. Consisting of four tracks, the third full length release from the band consumes every corner of the psyche with an adventurous and hungry expanse of sludge and doom metal brought with a fiery loud whisper of progressive rock. It is an immense beast which gives some of the most melodically rewarding sounds heard in a long time whilst hungrily gnawing on the bones and synapses of the listener with heavy consuming intent.

The seeds for Kongh began in 2004 when David Johansson (guitar, bass and vocals) and Tomas Salonen (drums) met and began making heavy music together incorporating influences from their different musical backgrounds flavours from blues to grindcore. Two years later saw their first demo appeared, a four track brute of weighty sludge and loud riffing might which unexpectantly within two weeks sparked floods of strong reviews and independent label interest. By that fall the band had signed with Stockholm’s Trust No One Recordings (Isis, Khanate, Switchblade, Breach) and began work of their first album Counting Heartbeats which appeared in July of 2007. Again acclaim soaked the band backed by impressive live shows which included supporting Neurosis and Cult Of Luna. By the end of the next year following a limited split LP with Ocean Chief and a split 7” with Witch-Lord, the band and their epic musical atmospheric ‘hostilities’ were to the fore of awareness within European metal. Second album Shadows Of The Shapeless came out in 2009 and its evolved and aggressively intrusive sounds whipped up another storm of attention and acclaim from fans and media alike. It also received a full US release, the first time for the band as they received their most positive and enamoured reviews yet.

Kongh had reached a height to see them lie alongside the major doom/sludge metal names, with shows and performances with bandsARCD108 such as Weedeater, Ufomammut and YOB sealing their stature as they concentrated playing live and touring over the next two years. As the new Agonia Records released album shows this was a mere step in their rise as the further plateau reached and explored musically by Sole Creation, is their finest and most irresistible moment yet. It and the band is as confronting and abrasive as ever but with an expansive breath which reaches out further in imagination, sound, and impact. The four songs making up the album are individual slabs of dynamic sonic potency, rich melodic incursions, and senses challenging aggressive poetry.

The title track opens up the vat of dramatic excellence upon inciting rolling rhythms and a sonic wash with an acidic touch upon the ear. Soon into its sizzling gait the track unleashes teasing melodic hooks, grinding riffs, and a marked elevation in the intimidation of the rhythms. Once the growling spite of Johansson lies its rasping malevolence on flesh the song is grooving with a wonderful irritability soon tempered by the wonderful clean vocal harmonies which join the fray and insidious yet magnetic melodic caresses from the guitars. It is a sensational encounter which holds the passions tight within only the first four minutes of its ten plus. The track shifts its muscles into a varied venture of ideas and styles within the overall aggressive stance with imperious ease and craft to spark whispers of Mastodon, Kyuss, and Baroness, though Kongh capture a sound distinctly theirs at all times.

Second song Tamed Brute treats the already sore senses to a new decisive wash of sonic mastery to announce its entry before resting on an atmospheric peace though still with a disturbed air to its presence. It is not long before the track is a maelstrom of energy and passion soaked intensity which oppresses and smothers leaving one smouldering under its infectious annihilatory heat. The cleaner vocals are again especially striking though just one of a weave of sensational aspects on song and album.

     The Portals and Skymning complete the release, the first an emotion grasping physical endurance test with the deepest pleasure and enterprise the reward for its devastating and magnetic confrontation. An inferno as dense as it is incendiary the track is aural alchemy, the band turning riotous violence into a mesmeric contagious aural brilliance. The second of the two is equally guilty of the wizardry though it offers a less intensive pugnacity to its far reaching dark beauty, but again a level of musicianship in performance and songwriting which is just masterful.

Featuring a guest appearance from John Doe from Craft, the Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna) mastered album is as flawless as is possible and in turn just sensational, a release which will inspire for a long time to come. Kongh now stand as massive as their cinematic namesake.

http://www.kongh.net/

9/10

RingMaster 05/2/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright