XUL – Extinction Necromance

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Photo Credit – Jenna Hindley, Midnyte-Sun Photography

Extinction Necromance is a release which wholly captivates whilst hitting the listener with a tsunami of malevolent sound and intent. Consisting of four tracks covering thirty minutes, the EP is a barbarous affair which at times defuses or certainly overshadows the invention and diverse textures within its depths through a continual tirade of vocal and emotional hostility. There is no hiding place from the encounter either, except the off button, but its creators Canadian metallers XUL, ensure that is never an option with their craft and fascinating enterprise.

XUL hails from Vernon, British Columbia and cast a merciless trespass of blackened death metal upon the senses. Influences to their intent include the likes of Behemoth, Dissection, Immortal, Emperor, and Watain, strong flavours noticeable in the band’s sound but without leaping miles away from such inspirations XUL has woven the spices into a sonic narrative built on the sole character of their imagination. Formed in 2008, the quintet released debut album Malignance four years later, a well-received encounter stirring up Canadian extreme metal especially across the Western side of the scene country, a recognition reinforced forcibly by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Obscura, Exhumed, Vreid, Kampfar, Woods of Ypres, Macabre, Withered, Cephalic Carnage, Archspire, and 3 Inches of Blood. New EP Extinction Necromance sees the band explore their darkest depths and most malevolent emotions, filtering all into intensive examinations of ears and psyche.

It begins with Frozen, We Drown, an immediate consumption of the senses through prowling riffs and grooves punctuated by lurking rhythms. There is also an underlying swing to the opening baiting of ears, a trait which is regular bait whether in a gentle melodic persuasion, a rugged rampage, or an unbridled savaging. There is also thrash bred virulence at the start which with the rabid sonic intensity subsequently evolves into a melodically scenic landscape of constantly developing climates and unpredictable intent. The track continues to shift and switch its attack and sound, merging murderous sonic and rhythmic affairs with almost seductive hugs of calm and evocative suggestiveness. XUL’s sound, as each song upon the EP, is not suitable for a lightweight consumption. It is with continual examination that the busy terrains and almost insidious nature of the aural tapestries unravel for increasingly dramatic and impressive proposals. That is not to say it is not a potent first introduction made, just a matter of almost too much to digest and get a handle on initially.

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

Album Artwork done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design

It does ensure every listen is a slightly different and fresh adventure too, epitomised by the following Orbit of Nemesis. It rises from the release with a heralding fanfare of horns and celestial harmonies, the epic air suggested in the orchestral hints of its predecessor in full regalia here. Like a majestic bird soaring into an expansive and thickly coloured atmosphere the track sparks the imagination but like the same being swallowed by the jaws of a violent storm, the expressive opening of the track is devoured by a bestial sonic explosion. The band surges over the senses from within that assault; volleys of violent beats from Lowell Winters the spearhead of a hellacious onslaught brought by the bass predation of Marlow Deiter and rabid guitar causticity from Wallace Huffman and Bill Ferguson. With the raw primal tones of vocalist Levi Meyers leaving their own inhospitable residues in ears too, it is a gripping fury taken to greater heights by the toxic but sonically invigorating grooves and shards of melodic imagination spilled by the fingers of Huffman.

As the first track, though maybe not as openly tangible, there is an evolving aspect to the raging and another swing to its vicious stroll, an ingredient which marks each song in varying ways and degrees as shown by third song Chaos Requiem. Rolling in on a ‘gentler’ gait and intent than its excellent predecessor, the song is soon sledgehammering the senses as guitars weave a tempting lure of melodic intrigue and expression. The turmoil is exhausting, ensuring that the brief respites when they emerge feel like oases in the merciless storm. It is increasingly gripping and an intensive incitement which as mentioned needs time to fully explore but more than rewards the effort.

Final track Summon the Swarm coaxes with the calm of water and a reflective melody before unleashing sonic and rhythmic carnage, but a tempest openly and precisely sculpted by each element of the band. It also delivers a thick anthemic lure alongside its punishing tirade of sound and voice, the track at times as intoxicating as it is corrosive as it frees a maelstrom of emotion and musical drama, especially in the closing ravishing of ears.

The more time Extinction Necromance is given the more it impresses, an undeniable success which marks XUL out as a band to watch closely as they surely start luring in a more global attention, starting right here. It might not quite be the best blackened death metal protagonist you will meet this year but it will be the one of those enticing the most repeats plays.

Extinction Necromance is available from May 19th @ https://xulmetal.bandcamp.com/album/extinction-necromance

http://xulofficial.ca/   https://www.facebook.com/Xulband

RingMaster 19/05/2015

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Primitive Man – Scorn

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As psychologically damaging as it is compellingly addictive, Scorn the debut album from US blackened doomsters Primitive Man, is a rewardingly intensive examination of the senses that has thoughts and emotions cowering before its malevolent rage. Seven tracks of intrusive, venomous sonic consumption, the release is in no way an easy listen, its uncomfortable intent and presence devastating in the extreme and corruptive in it ‘lighter’ moments, but throughout there is a lure and niggle which just will not let go of captivation and excitement.

Hailing from Colorado, Primitive Man was formed in February of 2012 by Ethan Lee McCarthy, Jonathan Campos, and Bennet Kennedy (current and former members of Withered, Clinging To The Trees of A Forest Fire, Death of Self and Reproacher). Creating an invasive sound bred one suspects from the darkest malevolent corners of the psyche, the band opened up awareness with the initial release of the album last year and then a self-released demo, but it is now with its full release via Relapse Records that Scorn will surely expose the strongest hidden fears of the world to torment and soundtrack. The founding trio (Kennedy having since having left the band after the album recording and replaced by drummer Isidro Soto) take no shortcuts to the inner most depths of mind and senses, each track a crippling but rewarding expulsion of peace and safety which breeds the most potent post-apocalyptic, post sanity expanses of noise and atmospheres.

The title track wraps the ear in a sonic rub of sinister and persistent heat before collapsing into a lumbering intensive prowl of doom scorn_1500drenched black metal seeded incivility. Sculpted from a thick sludge dripping web of roaming inciting rhythms and corrosive guitar enterprise, the track is as caustic as industrial lime upon the senses and as provocative as the blackest claustrophobic night towards thoughts and emotions. Menace soaks each labouring predacious note whilst the sonic croon of the track flays air and flesh with each insidious second.

The long devastating start is followed by Rags, a track which toys with the mental debris reaped by its predecessor with another leaden crawl of slow voracious riffing and rhythmic caging immersed in a weight of intensity which alone suffocates the senses. The bass finds a ruinous tone to its growl to add to the barbarous snarl within the infernal smothering but all along there is again a sonic temptress to the sound and niggling enticement which coaxes the heart of the burdensome assault and leaves passions hungry for more.

I Can’t Forget opens up yet another disturbing soundscape to be explored, its blood curdling ambience as cinematic in its touch as it is stifling and best described as the voice of rooms within Hostel that were too vicious and carnal to go near. The track is fuel to the imagination and in its own distinct chilling toxic way as ravenous on the psyche as the previous tracks and its successor Antietam, nine minutes of excruciating vehemence cast through a captivating mesh of enticing melodically blessed sonic temptation and thunderous drums coaxed by the continually impressive bass growl and the guttural vocal severity, which throughout the album brutally and impressively narrates the hellacious maelstrom honed heart of the release. Unpredictable and wholly riveting as it twists from and in to itself, the track is a fearsome venture which alone makes the album a must hear proposition though not one for many to be undertaken alone.

Undeniably the best track on the album it is surpassed in favourite stakes by Black Smoke, a piece that reflects the listener’s  gasping for breath up to this point whilst sending additional sadistic hauntings through the ear via evil bred whispered voices and their reserved yet bedlamic persistence. Like I Can’t Forget the track opens up a wealth of thoughts and imaginary scenarios to almost mesmerise its recipient into its clutches before passing them on and into the jaws of Stretched Thin. A blur of grind, hardcore, and thrash like tendencies crafted into a swarm like wrap of sonic distrust and metallic barbarity, the track is a scintillating blizzard of sonic bait and ravenous metallic scalding leaving the senses alive yet  severely damaged.

Closing with Astral Sleep and its impossibly slow heavy riffs and intense plodding rhythmic feet, Scorn is a scathing pungent delight which thrills and pleases just as evenly as it hurts and punishes. Primitive Man will not find a home in the hearts of melody driven fans for sure but within extreme metal they and their album are one richly satisfying grievous encounter.

www.primitivemandoom.com

8/10

RingMaster 20/08/2013

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