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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Shadowspawn – Ashes Of Sorrow

Photo- Bo Toftegaard

Maybe it is no surprise the striking and accomplished presence that Ashes Of Sorrow from Danish metallers Shadowspawn makes given the intensive experience of the band’s members, but that cannot only explain the impressively riveting and ferocious exploits of the encounter. Consisting of six tracks which twist and roar with a technical and creative enterprise as persuasive and impacting as the raw aggression and malevolent charm which soaks the imposing tempest, the Horror Pain Gore Death Productions released Ashes Of Sorrow is a debut swiftly earmarking Shadowspawn as one exciting and seriously compelling proposition.

As mentioned the histories of Shadowspawn’s line-up are drenched in experience in the underground metal scene, the band emerging from the union of ex-members of Cinerator and Gods Secret Army late 2012. Aligning all the creative and hostile traits of old school death and thrash metal with a technical expertise and imagination unafraid to taunt melodies and grooves, the quartet swiftly goes for the jugular and psyche with their sound and new album. The accompanying press releases suggests Ashes Of Sorrow is a must for fans of bands such as Asphyx, Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Death, Disincarnate, Entombed, Gorefest, Grave, Napalm Death, Obituary, Sinister, Unleashed, and Vader, a healthy list indeed but quite simply Shadowspawn will appeal to all with a bent for technical hostility and extreme metal bred voracity.

Opener Mind Shut Down instantly smothers ears in an infectious weave of acidic grooves pierced by a similarly impressing bassline, all punctuated further by the vicious demands of the drums. It is a fierce entrance but equally a compelling and inviting one which darkens as soon as the strong guttural vocals savage syllables and senses simultaneously. As the music, vocally the song shows adventure, a cleaner abrasion of voice adding fresh drama and expression to the just as pleasingly volatile and inventive sounds. Unrelenting in its thick snarl and predatory imagination, the track sets the release off in scintillating style, a level as good as matched by Life Is The Way You Die. Its initial coaxing shows a drama and intrigue which alone draws ears and thoughts deep into its impending malice soaked presence. Drums provide a gripping bait from the off too whilst guitars add abrasive toxicity whilst also venturing into a sonic temptation which is as caustic as it is melodically colourful. It does not ultimately have the same irresistible spark as its predecessor but everything about the song bleeds thoughtful provocation and incendiary frontcoverpersuasion as it reinforces the early stature of the release.

Hellavation stalks the listener next; it’s prowling riffs and matching rhythmic predation a controlled but deep rooting trespass into senses and emotions. Vocally another new passage of ideation and strength is forged whilst grooves and riffs collude to create an inescapable infection, given extra spice and majesty by the captivating flight of celestial aiming melodies. The mix of thrash and death metal is a sultry almost torrid but seductive blend on another pinnacle within Ashes Of Sorrow, a peak challenged and surpassed by both Slaves In Delusion and Sins Of The Deceiver. The first of the pair opens with a gut expelled growl and never loosens its intensive examination of the senses thereon in, even with the soothing melodic enterprise and gripping enthralling invention which clads numerous unpredictable turns in the outstanding incitement. The vocals especially impress and excite; another array of deliveries and textures shown to compliment the grind of beats and riffs aligned to tangy grooves and again a progressive, almost spatial endeavour. The second of the two has the imagination hooked from its opening swing of strings and orchestral ambience, the seducing embrace never far away even as the track unleashes its aggressive and rapacious rabidity in sound and character. Shamanic spices and symphonic whispers only add to the whole theatre of the track, a proposal leaving appetite and emotions basking.

The album’s title track brings it to a mightily potent close, a seemingly barren landscape at the start soon the canvas for an epic festival of destructive rhythms, vociferously corrosive vocals, and an epidemic of invigorating and bracing grooves. It all blossoms within a climate of melodic and raw emotional turmoil, creating a tremendous conclusion to an increasingly impressive and persuasive album.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shadowspawn alone, Ashes Of Sorrow stirs up a major appetite and attention for itself and subsequently its creators, a hunger you can only see, on the evidence of this stunning debut, being fed with greater exploits ahead.

Ashes Of Sorrow is available now digitally and on CD via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @

http://www.shadowspawn.dk/

RingMaster 04/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Vreid: Welcome Farewell

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    Following up their immense 2011 album V, Norwegian melodic black metallers Vreid have in Welcome Farewell unleashed another impressive and enthralling encounter. Whether it is the equal of its stunning predecessor is debatable but certainly the new nine track journey of enterprise and invention is a masterful confrontation of the imagination and thoughts as well as the instigator of another wash of passion for the ingenuity of the quartet.

Across their impressive albums the band has shown that tagging them as merely melodic black metal is short changing their invention as the band weave a web of sounds which court varied flames of rock and metal across numerous decades. Often referred to as Black & Roll their sound once more upon Welcome Farewell explores and re-invents a varied spicery to create songs which are consistently compelling and perpetually thrilling. Since forming in 2004 out of the demise of Windir, the band has been a blur of releases and touring, Vreid having performed over 300 shows in 22 different countries across 3 continents, lit up numerous festivals, played alongside the likes of Enslaved, Pestilence, Marduk, Unleashed, Eluvetie, Belphegor, Einherjer, Paradise Lost, and Kampfar, and released acclaimed albums in the shape of Kraft (2004), Pitch Black Brigade (2006), I Krig (2007), Milorg (2009), and of course their tour de force V.

Released via Indie Recordings and produced by bassist Hváll (Jarle Kvåle), Welcome Farewell brings the senses into its arms with01framside the opening melodic mists of first track The Ramble. It is a gentle beckoning which before long opens up its muscles with rumbling rhythms, a seductive groove and sultry sonics weaved into a hungry rampant surging gait. The bass of Hváll growls with hungry saliva dripping from its carnivorous tones whilst the beats of Steingrim (Jørn Holen) jab, punch, and roll over the ear with merciless intent. Carved into compelling shape by the exceptional craft brought to bear by guitarists Strom (Stian Bakketeig) and Sture (Sture Dingsøyr) whose vocals grasp and rasp over the senses with serpentine malevolence to temper and compliment the heated melodic wash, the track commands attention and rewards with a mix of uncomplicated and finely crafted sounds.

From next up Way Of The Serpent with its rampaging breath and slight folk metal whispers, the album lights up thoughts and emotions with a perpetual cascades of flavours and invention. The following Devil’s Hand opens its claws with an energising punk rock abrasion ridden by venomous vocals before merging thrash and rock n roll into its blackened touch whilst the title track offers a classic metal and prog embrace within the intensive ravaging which breathes within the track. It is a continuing and enthralling blend of seamlessly entwined spicery which sets each song apart from each other and Vreid distinct within black metal.

The magnificent Sights of Old takes the album to one of its loftiest pinnacle, a song which challenges and rewards with fiery invention. From a slow stroking of melodic licks the track explodes into a furnace of vicious insatiable rhythms and a spiteful twisted groove which seduces and spears the senses with sabre accuracy. Across its corrosive journey the song evolves and shifts its character to ignite intrigue and unrivalled focus upon the tempting twisted wash of predatory and mesmeric splendour. It is a song you cannot predict one note of and continually keeps the listener off guard and absorbed with the dawning shifting landscape.

The virulent Black Waves also ignites the deepest richest rapture with its goth/blackened swagger and riveting aural shadows armed with lethal barbed hooks and melodic mischief. From drums to bass, guitars to vocals, the song entices and recruits the passions with a lure as catchy and as destructive as you could wish for.

Offering a final almighty slab of muscular grandeur in the best moment on the album, the brilliant At The Brook, Welcome Farewell is simply sensational. This outstanding song is another which breeds an addiction in the listener with its predatory stance and voracious groove amidst an all devouring and insatiable acidic progressive glaze. It with ease leads you right back to the start of the album as after its esurient rewards resistance to the band is impossible.

If there is to be a better black metal release this year than Welcome Farewell it will be something quite spectacular as Vreid yet again has set the benchmark impossibly high.

https://www.facebook.com/vreidofficial?fref=ts

http://www.vreid.no/

9/10

RingMaster 25/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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