Unrest – Grindcore


If there is one perfect example of something doing and providing what it says on the tin then it has to be the debut album from US aggressive fury Unrest. Called Grindcore, the twelve track ravishment is the genre in full voracious assault, a vicious and hostile incitement as raw and uncompromising as it is virulently compelling. It and the band has a sound which is stripped bare of all unnecessary deceits, a proposal revealing the raw heart of the songs and inspirations breeding their fury and voice. It is an incendiary persuasion embracing caustic vocals and a primal passion, and one of the year’s mightiest insatiable roars so far.

The album has been one long awaited and highly anticipated offering, its origins going back to 2006 when vocalist/guitarist Steve Jansson and drummer Chris Grigg unhappy at the demise of Nasum, decided to try writing their own grindcore thickly inspired by said band. They soon enlisted friend and bassist Brooks Wilson and produced a horde of songs, played numerous live shows, and recorded their debut album in 2011. It was an offering never released, the band deciding it would need to be heavily recorded at some point in the future. Other projects and opportunities came up for members in the meantime, Grigg continuing with black metal band Woe which he founded in 2007, whilst Jansson and Wilson went on to found TrenchRot, Crypt Sermon, and Infiltrator. Last year the original mixes to the album were re-discovered and found to be usable. New vocals were recorded that summer, followed by the album’s new mixing, and now via Unspeakable Axe Records, Grindcore sees the cold light of day, and in return gives us a merciless snarl.

unrest cover     As soon as opener We’re Calling You Out unleashes its rage and sonic ire, thoughts of Nasum, as intended, surge forward, as do hints of bands like Napalm Death, but equally and continuing over the rest of the release, there are plenty of new essences and blistering invention which makes it so much more than a homage to its inspiration. The first song slips in on a piercing sonic lance of pain, threatening and gripping attention ready for its subsequent forty seconds or so of grindcore toxicity. All three members bruise ears in their individual ways, rhythms a hellacious onslaught whilst the guitar singes the senses. The infernal raging led by Jansson’s vocal squall continues into You Take and beyond, the second song battering ears with a muscular rhythmic intent from its first breath, inviting a carnivorous bassline and tone within the next, and casting a rabid assignation between it and the psyche thereafter. The bass grooving is pure predation, equalled by the furious scourge of guitar enterprise and its own grooved tempting, but ultimately the track is a malicious conquest of senses and emotions.

The seriously brutal Inaction, as well as the following grievous violation posing as Quit raises the ante and intensity of sound and pleasure. The first is a riveting tsunami of spite and rancor which merges sheer unbridled savagery and slow venomous stalking into one addictive raging. Its inhospitable hardcore tendencies only add to the gripping persuasion whilst its successor is simply bestial in tone and aggression, carrying a rancor which makes the brutality of its predecessor almost lightweight in comparison. Once more the trio toy with gait and ideation within an intensive tsunami, never deviating too far from its core rampage but bringing plenty to challenge expectations and ignite the imagination. The track flows straight into Protest Culture, though it is no simple continuation but an individual torrent of musical bad blood bred from the same inventive and instinctive grudge.

Through the tangy and provocative, almost doomy terrain of Faith Is A Hearse, the thrash/death tirade of Anything To Shock, and the swaggering violence of Nothing (That’s All You Have To Give), band and album uncage further creative adventure, merging new stirring flavours and spilling thicker antipathy across the individual grudges. Each offers a new twist in sound and invention within the album too whilst still flourishing in that Nasum inspired base camp, and all leave ears and appetite greedier, a hunger Identity In The Internet Age and Consumption feed with their respective blackened hardcore ravaging and thrash fuelled rabidity. Both are also virulently contagious as they bruise and scar the senses with their ruinous appetites.

The album comes to a formidable close via firstly the exhausting and sonically scalding False Brotherhood and lastly with the rhythmically addictive and antagonistically crabby Drown, and though neither quite matches what came before, both bring a fine slab of delicious nastiness to create a thoroughly enjoyable close.

There are some tracks upon Grindcore which hit the sweet spot more than others but all impress and prove the long wait for the album, indeed a release from Unrest, was really worth waiting for. Hopefully the band can remain an on-going provocation hereon in with more sounds bred in thrilling and pungent toxicity.

Grindcore is released on CD March 24th via Unspeakable Axe Records @  http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/purchase/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66&products_id=240


RingMaster 24/03/2015

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Algebra – Feed the Ego

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It might not be dramatically unique but with a sound blending the voracious fury of a Testament or Exodus with raw causticity vocally and aggressively of Suicidal Tendencies, the new album from Swiss thrashers Algebra is one of the more compelling and exciting releases in the genre this year. To that irresistible rage of thrash hostility though, Feed the Ego and its nine tracks infuse an invention and riveting enterprise which as their band name suggests, is calculated and specifically honed to ignite the imagination. The album is a riveting and increasingly thrilling onslaught and its creators an emerging exciting force in the genre.

Formed in 2008, the Lausanne quartet set out uniting inspirations from eighties thrash metal and bands such Slayer and Sepultura with those of more technical and melodic thrash/death persuasion like Forbidden, Gojira, and Pantera, twisting it in with their own ideation and hostile yet ruggedly seductive sound. An early demo in 2008 brought the band strong local attention reinforced by the Procreation EP a year later. Their self-released debut album Polymorph awoke a far greater attention and recognition of the band in 2012, it subsequently earning a re-release with Stormspell Records. Now after signing with Unspeakable Axe Records earlier this year for their new unleashing, Algebra is ready and poised to push nearer to the frontline of thrash metal with Feed the Ego. It is easy to suspect that the album will bring hordes more to their feet in acclaim, fans and media alike and if not now sow the seeds to a deserved breakthrough in world metal.

The Andy Classen mixed and mastered release opens up with the steadily intimidating Survival Nowadays, its ear crowding wall of riffs and rhythms a menacing bait to which spicy grooves bring added portentous temptation. The algebra coversong starts like an imagination stalking warning, an insight to darker, heavier, and more open hostility which soon expels its weight across the expanding song. There is an essence of Biohazard to the now forcible stride and attack of the provocation but an incitement spiked with impressive endeavour and sonic enterprise from guitarist/vocalist Chaos Edy. The intensive riffing of rhythms guitarist Phil Void aligned to the thumping beats of Tony Sharp and the predacious lines of bassist Mat Showman, create a just as appealing challenge and though the song does not quite set a fire in the belly it warms up senses and passions nicely for the glories to come.

The intensive tempest of Prisoner Outdoors ignites ears and thoughts further, its determined insatiable stroll a platform for the scathing tones of Edy, his every syllable an accusing roar over his and Void’s captivating sonic sculpting. The track never relinquishes its rugged assertiveness but colours it with some alluring melodies and addictive hooks before the twisted enticing of Necessary Evil takes over. Riffs and rhythms again make a virulent and vicious contagion, the swings of Sharp senses dulling as Edy backed by the band casts a vocal web which is just provocative and unpredictable. With blistering grooves and a gripping solo, the track offers numerous enthralling flavours to its rampant charge keeping the album in firm control of body and emotions.

My Shelf is a slower more heavy metal seeded encounter, opening with a rich acidic twine of guitar invention. There is a bluesy lilt to its expressive smouldering of sound and a presence which intrigues and surprises with its emotive melodies and progressively hued emprise. Vocally, though Edy makes a potent offering it is an area which does not fully convince at times though it is more a personal preference than flaw. The song grows and persuades to potent effect over time though always pales against the might of Profound Guilt. Drama soaks it from first note to last, guitars creating an opening caress of haunted temptation before the track explodes into recognisable thrash ferocity. The core of most songs hold little to surprise but it is the layers of guitar invention and melodic mystery which turn strong propositions like here into irresistible fascinations.

Its success is followed by the title track, its threatening body emerging from transfixing scenery of rolling rhythms and winding sonic enticement aligning for a climactic atmosphere and conspiracy. The track is a mouth-watering exploration embracing its eventual thrash cored dance with a binding of guitar ingenuity and rhythmic tenacity yet never releasing that initial imposing charisma and danger soaked charm. One of the major highlights of the album it is an invigorating incitement which, as we said at the start, although the album is not openly unique it like most tracks provides something new and strikingly inventive.

With only the fade out a slight niggle, the stunning track is succeeded and emulated in glory by Ego System, its entrance and body similarly commanding and addictively imaginative before unleashing its raw thrash gnawing on the senses which in turn is bound in the inescapable lures of toxic grooves and sonic trespassing. Its triumph is followed by the again similar structure and presence of The Fort Broke. If there is one criticism to the album it is the familiarity between the thrash built spines of songs, this track’s lures a very close relation to its predecessor’s at times though that is tempered and often lost in the mesmeric creativity of the individual members which again only sparks a hungrier appetite for band and album. The last song Monotask simply reinforces all the power and potency of the album with its own individual and punk infused thrash provocation, again leaving emotions full and appetite wanting more.

A thoroughly enjoyable rampage, Feed the Ego is a rollercoaster of aggression and voraciousness for those with a head for hostile heights and the adventure for tight curves of imagination.

Feed The Ego is available via Unspeakable Axe Records on 16th September @ http://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/feed-the-ego



RingMaster 05/09/2014

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Sabbatory – Endless Asphyxiating Gloom

sabbatory band pic

Openly bred from the origins of death metal, Canadian metallers Sabbatory is a proposition which on the evidence of debut album Endless Asphyxiating Gloom has plenty more in its arsenal than just a sound spawned from the genre’s first pestilential blooming. The release is an unrelenting brew of adventure and ideation in which each song is a full to the rim continually revealing web of fascination and creative malevolence. Its tracks expand and breathe with a riveting adventurous intent; it is not jammed with ground-breaking offerings but certainly exposes a resourceful endeavour which gives a fresh strain of toxicity to vintage death metal.

Hailing from Winnipeg and consisting of vocalist/guitarist Kier Keating, guitarist Marshal Fries, bassist Nick Tober, and drummer Dan Ryckman, Sabbatory has earned a strong reputation at home for their impressive live performances. Including members who have played in numerous other local bands including death thrashers Besieged, the quartet is poised to take their sound and potent presence into the jaws of the world with Endless Asphyxiating Gloom and it is hard to see them failing to ignite a more intensive spotlight upon their emerging cast of inventive sonic ferocity.

A rabid assault of drums marks the entrance of opener Being, Thy Eternal Perplexor, a potent lure soon joined by ravenous riffs sabbatory coverwhich in turn sparks a tsunami effect in the attack of Ryckman who not for the last time impresses strenuously. Entwining grooves need little encouragement to colour the expanding tempest next whilst vocally Keating is as grizzly in tone as he is malevolent. It is a gripping persistently evolving incitement which though as mentioned it hardly strays from established landscapes, it is as unpredictable and intriguing as you could imagine and wish within its impressive template. Though within five minutes in length the song, and album as a whole, is a blistering and exhaustive web of predatory design and skilful sonic narration easily sparking imagination and passions to delve deeper.

From the outstanding start the album kicks up another gear with Hypnotic Regression, its opening punk infused opening of bass and drums veined by a sonic toxin instantly irresistible. Still retaining that initial animosity and bait, the track proceeds to unleash a rapacious stalking of wonderfully niggling riffs with groove linked hues whilst Ryckman again uncages a torrent of skill and hostility which leaves the mouthwatering and senses reeling. Crawling, prowling, and charging head down within again a persistently shifting premise, the track simply seduces and enslaves thoughts and passions through skilled and imaginative enterprise. It is a weave which is not over indulgent or too hungry to impress but does so nevertheless because of its modest yet ferocious adventure and ideation. It is the best track on the release and combined with its predecessor reveals the strength and some of the still untapped potential of the band.

The intensive Corrosive Decay, whose presence definitely is described perfectly by its title, comes next and though maybe and inevitably it pales against the previous songs, the track and all its attributes converges on ears and senses like a devouring sonic banshee. Within its insidious deathly howl though the track explores rhythmic scenery which is hypnotic in its spite and craft whilst its barrage is wound around by an acerbic tapestry of grooves and acidic hooks which dig and linger venomously. The song makes an absorbing and invigorating venture to bravely immerse within before Infantasy steps forward to reveal its own scornful uncompromising incitement. Again it is a track which easily impresses but lacks the richness of invention and adventure of the first two, though in craft, passion, and intensity it is more than an equal.

The title track finds another startling strength of rancor and noxious beauty for its body and sound; guitars and drums seemingly drilled in rabidity whilst the seamless and dramatic switches in urgency and gait bring a predation to the ears which again find new strength and purpose within the album. A great short solo flame from Keating sears the air from within the oppressive and thunderous weight of the encounter but it is the sheer brutal mass and intimidation of the song musically and vocally which seduces without restraint, though again it fails as all tracks after the first pair of songs to be honest, to find that early plateau set.

Both The End of a Pessimistic Voyage and the closing Orbiting Obscuron provoke and feed imagination and passions healthily, the first a thick cloud of insatiably addictive riffs and animated grooves gripped by another rhythmic ferocity to be keenly admired and its successor a provocation which emerges from a doom bred swamp of intensity and emotion into a more thrash steeped sinew clad canter which is as bestial and baneful as anything on the album. The pair easily enflame an already rampant hunger for the album as they bring Endless Asphyxiating Gloom to an imposing exhilarating end. The album is top heavy in many ways but that is down to the sheer might of the first few songs than any defect in the rest whilst the production at times is not as rewarding to the invention it wraps as maybe it could have been, but from start to finish the album is a captivating and commanding enjoyment marking out Sabbatory as a band more than able to make a big impact on world metal.

Endless Asphyxiating Gloom is available via Unspeakable Axe Records now with distribution through Dark Descent Records!



RingMaster 27/05/2014

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Besieged – Victims Beyond All Help

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Originally a self-release limited to 300 copies in 2010, Victims Beyond All Help the debut album from Canadian thrashers Besieged is getting its worldwide unleashing via Unspeakable Axe Records, the new sub-label of Dark Descent Records. After allowing the seven track tsunami of rapacious riffs and flavoursome aggression to rampage relentlessly over the senses it has to be said about time too. The album is a terrific release, a hungry ravaging of the ear which leaves you exhausted but fully immersed in satisfaction. With a more than open tint of death metal to its rapacious creative appetite, the album is prime thrash metal with plenty of further added  spicery and though it maybe does not leave as many lingering memories as you would wish, it is a towering fury of merciless and richly rewarding provocation.

Hailing from Winnipeg, Besieged first released the Visions of Pain demo in 2004 to good responses with the first appearance of Victims Beyond All Help equally commanding. Across the years the thrashers built a strong and fevered fan base in their home town and beyond, especially sourcing eager passions with their stage performances which has seen them share stages with the likes of Death Angel, Dayglo Abortions, Razor, Dying Fetus, Toxic Holocaust, Inepsy, Anonymus, Hellacaust and many more. Wrapped in its original old school artwork painted by the legendary Ed Repk, the re-issued album is set to deservedly take the band to ears far beyond their continent and even saying so amidst the suggestions elsewhere that the band is no longer with us, hopefully it will be a trigger to more and greater things from the band.

From its first breath opener Internal Suffering flies for the throat, drums crippling and caging any thoughts of evasive manoeuvres whilst riffs flail the ear in a torrent of finely crafted sonic lashings. As the vocals offer their own intensive provocation the track is a bruising insatiable predator which without veering from its prime directive employs enough psychotic grooves and sonically honed temptation to secure the strongest attention. This is not the breaking down of barriers or moving into new realms for thrash or metal but simply the enslaving of greedy expectations with refreshing and undiluted passion bred aggression.

Both the following Death and Buried Alive continue in the same ferocious vein, though each with a little concentration has their individual intent and volatile characters. The first is a raw tempest of caustic energy and provocation, a track which is unrefined vocally and melodically charged at its guitar crafted heart and a blistering adrenaline fuelled corrosive scrubbing of the senses. Its successor takes a less demanding stance…well for the first mass of seconds before again flipping into an intensive stomp though arguably for the first time on the album there is a more deliberate inventive twist and switching of intriguing aspects, as well as a punk breath to its drama clad hooks mid-way.

The formidable start is just as impressively continued by The End, even if it is initially not quite as striking or unpredictable as other songs though it does evolve into something stronger with numerous confrontations. It continues the pressurising of the senses with ease and marks the beginning of the strongest part of the album. The title track as you would expect is no slouch in predacious riffing and excellent rhythmic irritation but to this it infuses an adventurous and skilfully developed melodic and imaginative enterprise. There is a familiarity to the alluring grooves and melody soaked additives but nothing you can define or label, and it all adds to the adventure of the enthralling song.

From the infectiously virulent Trapped Inside with its addictive grooves and hardcore vocal expulsions along its raucous course, the album offers up its pinnacle with the closing Black. At its core the track savages with prime thrash venom and animosity but around this mighty assault the band seduces with a persistently shifting maelstrom of epidemically inducing riff devilry, melodic flames which soar over the constantly at work intensity, and a sonic nagging with its just irresistible. The best song by far on Victims Beyond All Help amongst nothing but very good tracks, it is a potent antagonist to want and hope to hear more from this incredibly promising band. Whether we will time will tell but if it is to be their solo moment of glory it will leave a deep mark with their name on it.



RingMaster 08/07/2013

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Birth AD – I Blame You

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    Rampaging and snarling with a potency and aggressive attack which recalls the richest essences of the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Municipal Waste, and S.O.D., US antagonisers Birth AD and their debut album I Blame You, is one riot to be in on at the earliest opportunity. Fusing hardcore, thrash, and the angry heart of punk, band and release unleash ferocity of attitude and sound which simply riles and ignites the senses in a welcome storm of destructive might. Part nostalgic, recalling the eighties pinnacle of their seeded inspirations, but forged with fresh 21st century spite, the trio from Austin, Texas is an exhausting and fully invigorating confrontation and their album an equally thrilling adversary.

Formed in 2008, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Jeff Tandy, guitarist/backing vocals Brian Morrison, and drummer/backing vocals Mark Perry, took no time in becoming a bludgeoning and potent force across their home state, firing up a loyal and ever growing fan base. The following year saw an eleven-date tour of Japan as the band’s inaugural live outing as well as debut EP Stillbirth of a Nation, the release making an indelible mark on not only the local scene but further afield, which the new Alex Perialas produced album will only brand into the skin of punk and metal even deeper. Released via Unspeakable Axe Records, an offshoot of Dark Descent Records, I Blame You is a honed and instinctive furnace of passion and anger carved into mutually malicious and senses searing sound.

The eighteen track explosion gives no respite from start to finish, the flesh charring intensity of opener Mission Statement with cover artits uncomplicated and forceful declaration starting the furnace of virulent sonic and emotive antagonism which holds its potency and strength right through to the equally barbed and lethally aggressive closer Blow Up The Embassy. In between there is no let-up but within the tempest of corrosive and barbarous fire there is as much diversity and violating enterprise as you could wish from a crossover thrash cluster bomb of violent energy and intent.

In nothing but highlights, maybe something of a surprise in an album of such a large number of tracks, the biggest peaks will focus the review but those not mentioned are only just behind personal preferences and as worthy as any other on the outstanding release. The brawling Failed State seizes the ear with a hurricane of vocal dispute with a repetitive barracking of the senses but it is the niggling grinding groove which steals the event, its insidious presence driving the force and brutality of the rhythms like a sadistic snake charmer. The track is the start of an especially impressive part of the album with its immediate successors Bring Back The Draft and This Scene Sucks also raising the fiercest fires within. The first of the pair consumes with a ravenous appetite and sonic hunger with samples of battlefields adding their energy to the controlling rhythms and scarring riffs, whilst the second taunts with a throaty bestial bass sound before expanding into a predatory and urgent assault with the vocals, singular and en masse, carving their own venomous and anthemic hooks into the irresistible presence.

Tracks like No, Man with its Dead Kennedys like hooked contagion and the title track continue the exhaustive but impossibly addictive lure of the release, the latter of the two barracking the ear vocally whilst a tight thrash lashing smarts but excites, probably more than is legally allowed, around them whilst the excellent Kill Everybody is as savage and uncompromising as the title suggests, the chorus especially a vicious assault to spark the strongest ardour.

Tracks like Wrong Again, No Jobs (Don’t Work), and Cause Problems, though failing to quite ignite the passions as those above, still leave nothing but a full on greed for more and the deepest satisfaction, something which honestly applies to every track on the release. Ok I Blame You is not breaking down new barriers for thrash, punk, or metal, but that is not the point of its existence, the band and album using existing armoury but tuning it with their own precise tools into a striking force which stands aside from most of the other similarly gaited aggressors. A mention for the excellent Parasites Die must be made, the song the emerging favourite here with its prowling groove and teasing stance coring an aural dogfight between sound and ear, of course there is only one winner.

If the likes of the bands mentioned at the top of the review are for you then open your arms for one exceptional collision with Birth A.D.


RingMaster 8.5/10

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