Mel-P: Anima Asylum

Mel -P

    This is a retrospective look at a release which though it has only just ventured before our gaze it was released almost a year ago. Thank sin it has stepped into view though as Anima Asylum is one delicious and incredible triumph of creative insanity and emotive mastery. The album comes from Mel-P; a French band that creates schizophrenic progressive metal which is staggeringly powerful and  borne from an inventive and majestic imagination which with its pure uniqueness ignites nothing less than passion in heart and mind. The release is just incredible, ten tracks of visionary invention which are aurally painted before the ear to incite the fullest emotive and visual experience possible.

From Le Mans, the band is a quartet of musicians who from their shadowed persona musically walk and investigate the darkest emotions and states of mind as evident on the album. There is little to be sourced about them but they are a band who formed in 2004 and take influences from the likes of Deftones, Watcha, Rage Against The Machine, Flying Pooh, Mr Bungle, Machine Head, Psykup, Fantomas, Threat Signal, Gojira and many more, and one suggests also have a healthy admiration for Parisians 6:33 too. Anima Asylum follows debut EP Nouvelles de la Jungle of 2007, and musically it and the band fuse the most compelling essences of progressive metal, experimental dub and electro, and washes of evocative ambiences into explosive canvases of beautifully crafted instrumental arrangements and derangements. The tracks wrap themselves around the senses tightly and magnetically, their passages fluid and organic yet sculpted with an understanding and craft which only enhances the delirium of free and imaginative creativity at untethered play.

The album starts with Anima I the first of three brief and disturbing ambient intrusions throughout the release. The opening one is 3175110943-1a whisper of sonic corruption from menacing shadows with a chilling caress. It leads into Nyourk Reliquus, a mesmeric track with a loping gait driven by a smouldering weave of ska rhythms and a seductive melodic jazz like narrative. Here as for all the tracks each listener will explore and discover their own imagery from the unpredictable and disturbed sounds but feel and see they will. The piece is the first gentle touch of a shadow borne bedlam, its presence becoming animated in intensity the further into its mania it dives. The metal riffs and energy crowds the ear magnificently whilst the melodic manipulations spark fires within the brewing tempest which ends on a furnace of a climax. It is stunning and alone makes band and release something impossible to move away from.

It is not alone though as the likes of Otium and Sollicitudo unravel their psyche splendour and innovation to equal heights. The first takes one into a solitary confinement of thoughts, its initial defiant riled energy evolving into a calm yet blistered grace soaked in irresistible guitar enterprise before exploding into a contagious squall of confusion brought through scarring sonics and intimidating rhythms. Sollicitudo unleashes its own neurosis and nightmares in sensational style too. Again the band fuses light and dark into a provocative tapestry of emotive and musical grandeur beneath an imposing confining shadow which never lets a moment rest or lie without a challenge from a psychotic breath.

The intensive Cheewed Arbor emerges next to cast the heaviest presence of the album, an intrusive encounter the likes of Meshuggah would be proud of. The song again is just outstanding and another instigator of thoughtful reflection and imagery with a haunting mania to its fearsome presence.

The album continues to thrill and stretch the listener through the ‘off worldly’ Persequor, a track which is a mouthwatering venture into a realm seemingly offering an escape complete with an irresistible welcome brought through an infectious Specials like ska haunt, and Intermuralis with its persuasive Middle Eastern lures within a barren landscape, though the track is not empty in impressive sounds and invention.

Ending on Letabilis, a track which encapsulates every one of the immense attributes of the band in composition and its remarkable realisation, Anima Asylum is one of the most compelling and imaginatively ingenious releases in a long time. It may be a year old but it and Mel-P deserve as much attention as is possible, simply insanity at its creative best.


RingMaster 07/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Order Of 315 – Near-Birth Experience

Michael Hivet Photography

     Near-Birth Experience in its initial encounter made for an extremely pleasurable bruising rampage but given time and frequent sorties with its antagonistic and deeply satisfying riot, soon became an instigator to the hunger to chew upon the world and all its occupants. It is arguably not the most destructive release you will come across but certainly offers enough brutality to send the senses into a glorious riot whilst unleashing a diverse enterprise with spores birthed in a cross wealth of genres which ignite the passions with ease.

The 2010 formed French quintet distils the crucial essences of anything from hard rock, progressive, and alternative metal to metalcore, and thrash into their own focused sound. It is a brew which sparks plenty of varied comparisons to others but stands apart from most. Despite the wealth of different spices musically the band does not operate in new undiscovered realms but instead uses their inspirations in a way unlike most others. Near-Birth Experience is their debut album which proudly and eagerly assaults the ear with this intriguing mix to leave nothing less than enthused emotion in its muscular wake. It is not quite flawless but any niggles disappear into the storm of impressive enterprise and irresistible energy.

The album explodes into life with one of its many highlights. Enemies Wait Inside prowls as it leans against the senses with 21201_406903412715923_1797866161_nconcussive percussion and thumping rhythms whilst riffs snarl and unleash a raw breath upon the ear. With the taking of a slight musical breath as the vocals of Edgar Jabberwocky enters the affray, the track stomps into a course of pace switching and magnetic enthralling invention. The track immediately gives pointers to the influences which have styled the sound of Order Of 315. As it unveils sinewy caresses and simmering intensity it triggers a flight of thoughts and comparisons to the likes of Korn, Marilyn Manson, (Hed) PE, and fellow Parisians Watcha. It is an exciting potent encounter where the bass of Giovanni R. Baldini is an impressive provocative shadow throughout and the guitars of Klaus K. Kersey and James W. Lowellson the conjurors of melodic and sonic flames which shoot across the backs of the uncompromising riffing.

Dogs That Lick, Dogs That Bite (The Leary Bill Of Rights) takes up the challenge of following the strong start with relish. It is another measured consumption with compulsive riveting riffs and sonic scything whilst the vocals squall with full passion eye to eye with incited thoughts and impressions of their recipients. With more than a heavy whisper of Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah to its stance the song bristles with attitude and makes the richest persuades convincingly with its compelling twists and varied craft of sound and gait. The drums of Pablo Civil have a more controlled muscle to their demands than with the first song and only add further stature to the track and its depth. The song unveils more of the great craft and skill of the guitarists which was hinted at in the opener, the sonic solo midway a furnace of energy and heart which leaves a lasting impression.

As the songs come in rich and muscular presences so the variations continue. The excellent Some Like It Shot opens a door into the thrash/metal touches of a Metallica whilst The Pact breeds grooves and incendiary melodic scarring which explodes with tones of Black Label Society and Machine Head. Nonpoint is another varied caustic contagion, the song a grasping and rasping expanse of barracking rhythms, ravenous vocals, and infectious melodic imagination. It taunts and rips at the senses until they and the heart is a quivering compliant and most of all a greedily willing victim. The song is a towering example of the band at its best on the album and another major pinnacle in its hulking presence.

To just raise one minor quibble over the album, the vocals are outstanding throughout but they do bring a similarity to the tempests which defuses a little of the differences between the songs but something which you can expect to work itself out ahead. As more of the album stands tall and raucous against the ear through songs like S.A (Territorial Glorious Story) and the closing gem Mr Brainwash, the release forges itself deeper into the passions. The release is an excellent debut from in Order Of 315, a band with a wealth of obvious promise still to be explored and exceeded. Near-Birth Experience is an album which we have no hesitation in recommending.

RingMaster 19/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Onoma: All Things Change

When recently reviewing the excellent From Israhell With Love compilation, a release which highlighted the strength and diversity of metal bands coming out of Israel, one band stood out over what was an impressive line-up of bands and songs. The band was Onoma, a Tel Aviv based alternative metal quartet whose track Bug was an instant addiction with its vibrant and fresh sound, ideas, and energy. Their contribution ensured the need to hear more and the opportunity came when guitarist Asaf Keidan from the band approached The RR for a review of their album. Obviously being professional we deliberated and thought about the offer…for all the time it took to type yes please… and what emerged was an album which excited and thrilled like so few other releases have in recent months. All Things Change is outstanding, an album which took no time in entrenching itself in the imagination and heart.

Onoma, the Greek word for ‘Name’, were formed in 2007 by Keidan, vocalist Elad Koren, and drummer Saggi Chen. Early demo recordings during the first couple of years led to songs like My Drug, Twisted, and the aforementioned Bug, gaining strong attention and praise across the internet and web radio whilst the next two years saw not only an ever increasing interest and following as the band gigged across Israel, but also the addition of bassist Andrei Aframov (ex-Phantom Pain) to the permanent ranks. Last year the band ventured into the studio to begin the album alongside famed producer Sylvia Massy (Tool, System Of A Down, Skunk Anansie, Deftones) who mixed it and James Murphy (Death, Obituary) who handled the mastering, with the band itself doing the production work. What emerged is a release is quite stunning.

All Things Change is an album which incorporates a multitude of sub metal genres to conjure up distinct brews of alternative and nu-metal driven goodness. The band state their influences as bands like Alice In Chains, Korn, Deftones, and Meshuggah, all clear to hear at times, but their spicery does not stop there as at times the likes of American Head Charge, (Hed) P.E.,  Watcha, Marilyn Manson, and Scars On Broadway to name a few, shoot through thoughts as the tracks unleash their inventive craft.

The album starts with Lauds, a short track come intro, which heightens the anticipation of what is too come with its chilling ambient and slightly distressed breath. The release is soon into its stride with Dear God and its military welcoming beats and abrasive riffs. Within moments it settles into a tight heated groove and djent toned rhythmic badgering. The vocals of Koren pick and chew at the lyrics delivering them in a Jonathan Davis like style which is as punchy as the jabbing and combative sounds. Once the melodic whispers turn to shouts there is a Drowning Pool like aggression added to further ignite the senses, the track climaxing on a belligerent and compulsive swagger.

The outstanding start is easily matched by the following Cannot Go and Loser Friendly. The first stalks the ear with tempting riffs and intimidating rhythms, its prowl a disruptive pattern of challenging and deeply rewarding invention. The song stomps and musically curses the ear with an angry intensity and deliberate antagonistic air whilst soothing its wounds with melodic enterprise. The second of the two is a heavy and shadowed Deftones like gaited piece of emotive expression. It has its moments charging with incendiary bursts of energy but at its core is an enveloping provocative slab of passionate might which bruises as much as it exhilarates.

The brilliant Bug ensures there is no dip in excellence or power, though all songs ensure the same. It is one of the most additive songs heard in a long time and a track which only takes one listen to become a best friend. The track is a tempest of melodic and discord driven wonder which captivates and riles up the emotions with equal effect. It has the melodic grace of Absolace, the creative imagination of iBURN, and the mischievous invention of System Of A Down, all driven by the spinal corruption of Periphery. Immense is the only word for it, and as you may have guessed we quite like it.

With the magnificent Animal coming at the ear with the same venomous conjuration as Bug, and the great closing pair of Fight Myself and Nothing Right offering a final ferocity and towering mix of melodic intrusion and muscular violation, All Things Change is easily one of the best things heard this year. Earlier this year we declared nu and alternative metal had been revitalised with the ingenuity of the release from Irish band iBURN now Onoma have shown it is truly thriving and more imaginative than ever.

Ringmaster 30/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.