Wizard Rifle – Self Titled

Like a sonic devil they tempt your pigeonholing and defining of their sound and with the same Mephistophelian glee side step every attempt with their infernal webs of sound. They are Oregon rockers Wizard Rifle and their latest album epitomises their devilish conjuring of creative deception. Their self-titled offering also provides one of the most rousing and thrilling encounters of the year. Their sound is punk, sludge rock, psych and thrash punk, noise rock, metal and much more besides in one cacophonous temptation; quite simply it is feral rock ‘n’ roll and across forty four minutes pure contagion.

Emerging in Portland in 2009, Wizard Rifle are no newcomers to high praise as their electric live presence, which has seen them share stages with the likes of The Melvins, High On Fire, YOB, Lightning Bolt, Bongzilla, Buzzov*en, Black Cobra, and Church of Misery, over time has been accompanied by two well-received full-lengths in Speak Loud Say of 2012 and Here in the Deadlight two years later. Now the duo of guitarist/vocalist Max Dameron and drummer/vocalist Sam Ford are ready to take on the world with a release which embraces the building blocks of its predecessors and shapes a proposition which defies convention, relishes devouring expectations, and sets out its own unique agenda in virulent noise.

Rocket to Hell ignites the babel of sound devouring the senses from with the album though there is no confusion in its creation and enterprise. The opener teases from its first breath with the plucking of guitar strings, the gentle lure the persuasive deceit before the ferocious babble of sound momentarily waiting to erupt. And break out it does with ravenous intent; the pair’s united vocals as harmonious as they are untamed as around them sonic squalls casts melodic and sonic temptation as raw as it is virulent. The track continues to infectiously nag as it rapaciously ravages, that tempest of flavours previously mentioned blended into a predacious trespass strapped with the keenest of hooks and salacious grooves.

As discord and melody craftily entangle it is a glorious incitement and matched by that within the following Cevaman Waltz. Rhythms prowl as a chugging guitar goes eye to eye with instincts, a devious grin lining rapid grooves and an epidemic of infection while equally compelling vocals ride its hungry currents. Again it is a mix which nags and harries but with less voracity than its predecessor though that is replaced by a pressure of urgency which only accelerates by the minute until erupting in a cyclone of wild and fertile commotion with those original grooves still steering the greed for the band’s invention.

A Celtic spicing infects the compelling landscape of next up Beneath the Spider, its emprise a tapestry of rabid intent and collected melodic dexterity spun with craft and imagination. There is a great manipulation to the Wizard Rifle sound, its hooks and grooves an infestation of the body as melodic irreverence grip the imagination and no more inescapable and powerful than within the eight minutes making up this slice of potent incitement.

The next twelve minutes plus comes in the shape of Funeral of the Sun, the closing cyclonic tempest of the previous track reaped of its incessant sonic persecution by the opening bait of its successor. Dangling acidic guitar lures it entices and then devours in swirls and expulsions of creative ruthlessness and barbarity but an assault which is pure untamed catchiness. Similarly vocals harmoniously invite and venomously bite before the progressive heart of the track emerges to just as potently seduce. The tide of noise cannot be abated for long and it returns but with a much more melodic breath. Pure fascination exudes the track, which never suffers in its length, as pleasure floods ears before it.

V concludes the release, psychedelic seducing radiating from within its intrepid venture of sound and ambition. Seductive and fierce, subtle and bold, the track provides an unpredictable multi-textured furnace of flavour and captivation.

Wizard Rifle’s album is a glorious contradiction; it is animatingly wild yet cleverly composed, boldly untethered but chained to distinct imagination and craft. It is also another of the year’s major pleasures which should see the band burst beyond previous boundaries of attention.

The Wizard Rifle album is out now via Svart Records; available @ https://wizardrifle.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/wizardrifle/

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deathkings/Rozamov – Split

Rozamov Split

On May 16th and 17th US bands Rozamov and Deathkings respectively will be playing The Observatory in Santa Ana as part of the three day Psycho California fest which starts on the 15th. The third year of the event will again see over fifty bands from around the world bringing a wealth of genres from doom and sludge to post rock, hardcore to black metal. To mark their participation Deathkings and Rozamov have united to unleash a split 7” via Midnite Collective, bearing a new and exclusive track from each. It adds up to around fifteen minutes of sludge bred enjoyment with the imaginative contagion to seduce and primal ferocity to savage.

Deathkings

Deathkings

The first track is from LA hailing Deathkings, a quartet fusing sludge and doom with experimental voracity. The band consists of guitarist Daryl Hernandez and bassist/vocalist Nicolas Rocha, a pair who had already played together in a previous band before forming Deathkings, as well as drummer Sean Spindler and guitarist Mark Lüntzel, who joined the band after the release of the band’s three-track EP Destroyer. The quartet is currently getting to grips with the creation of their second release, tentatively titled All That Is Beautiful, and with their contribution to this endeavour in the mighty shape of Solomon, it is destined to be a highly anticipate encounter.

Solomon opens on a hypnotic and instantly enthralling stroll of resonating, deeply impacting rhythms skirted by equally predatory strands of guitar and one delicious bass tone. It is a gripping anthemic baiting over which the gruff growling of Rocha grumbles and roars. A fresh gear is then subsequently found, the track prowling with greater relish and urgency whilst dispensing thick and incendiary sludgy enterprise on the way to becoming an evolving cauldron of sinister monotone vocals, melodic toxicity, and doom soaked intensity. It proceeds to haunt the psyche and voraciously devour the senses, never remaining in one strain of confrontation for long but continuously igniting the imagination with its darkly immersive landscape. The track is inescapably compelling, an unrelenting mouth-watering incitement quickly matched by its companion on the release.

Rozamov springs from Boston and infuse their sludge invention with a more hardcore bred ferociousness as well as, like Deathkings, potent atmospheric persuasions. The trio of

rozamov

rozamov

guitarist/vocalist Matthew Iocavelli, bassist/vocalist Tom Cornio, and drummer William Hendrix, have frequently drawn references to the likes of Neurosis, Yob and Grief through their sound, live presence, and a pair of previous EP’s. Now in the depths of writing their first album, the Massachusetts band offer Ghost Divine to the split’s fury of sound, and from a sonic mist swiftly turns into a maelstrom like intensive examination of the senses fuelled by a bracing turbulence. Vocals quickly vent with a hardcore fury, a raging emulated by the caustic tempest of sound consuming ears simultaneously. At times an unbridled hurricane and in others a lumbering beast of doom lined discontent straddled by acidic flames of guitar rapacity, the track is a bewitching and fearsome rancor but unafraid to reveal unpredictable and engrossing flights of imagination, even if in brief and fleeting moments within its ravenous assault.

Both tracks leaves senses bruised, ears hungrier, and anticipation for their next releases sparked, as well as wishing we were there at both their upcoming performances.

The Deathkings/Rozamov – Split is available now via Midnite Collective @ https://midniteclv.bandcamp.com/album/deathkings-rozamov-split and http://midniteclv.storenvy.com/products/12489843-deathkings-rozamov-split-7

http://www.facebook.com/DeathkingsMusic   https://www.facebook.com/Rozamov

RingMaster 13/05/2015

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

Stoneburner – Life Drawing

Stoneburner

A compelling destructive seduction, Life Drawing the new album from US metallers Stoneburner, casts no doubts on the suggestion that the Portland quartet is one of the most exciting prospects in aural consumption out there.  Creating a scintillating weave of doom and sludge metal with atmospheric ingenuity and melodically sculpted temptation, the band escorts and very often drags a willing imagination across intensive and fiercely enveloping landscapes under tempestuously climactic sonic skies. The album enthrals and intimidates, inciting heavily emotive reactions to its own intimately emotional yet broadly applicable investigations of the “struggle to be a decent person in a world that keeps doing its best to cause you not to be.”

Formed in 2008 by drummer Jesse McKinnon (ex-Buried Blood) and guitarist Jason Depew (Buried At Sea), who had played together in many incarnations previously, and guitarist Elijah Boland, Stoneburner unleashed their first forage of the senses with the demo V.​L.​A. the following year. The band was soon making an impacting presence and noise within the Oregon underground scene, a proposition taken to greater attention and strength by the release of debut album Sickness Will Pass in 2012 as well as over the years the band’s acclaimed live performances which have seen them play with the likes of Yob, Sleep, EYEHATEGOD, Neurosis, Buzzov-en, Weedeater, Saint Vitus, Watain, Tragedy, Noothgrush, Graves At Sea, Lord Dying, Drop Dead, Whitehorse, Wind Hand, Bastard Noise and many more. Completed by bassist Damon Kelly (also Heathen Shrine and the son of Scott Kelly of Neurosis/ Shrinebuilder fame), Stoneburner now uncages their latest infestation of the senses and psyche, an encounter which leaves the listener simultaneously suffocated and invigorated.

Opening track Some Can smothers ears and senses from its first breath, a sonic breeze pulling in a thick and thuggishly textured collapse of NR088_STONEBURNER_frontcover_hi-res (1)antagonistic rhythms and prowling lumbering riffery. The track continues to slowly ravage air and recipient until the entrance of the vocals sparks a spurt of adrenaline and urgency to the persistently uncomfortable and demanding intent of the song. A masterful groove swings its bait openly and irresistibly across the dark bulk of the track whilst McKinnon offers slaps which simply send the body reeling and the appetite into greedier hunger. It is a dramatic and absorbing start where everything from the rapacious rhythms and carnivorous bass tone to the flesh scorching sonic designs of the guitars and the exhaustive vocals of Kelly, or possibly McKinnon with both providing  raw delivery across the release, outstanding alone and viciously majestic united.

The noir cloaked almost sinister and wholly magnetic initial coaxing of the following Caged Bird instantly has thoughts and attention gripped tighter. It is an imposingly provocative lure with the darkest irresistible shades of temptation, its destination a broad hint which you cannot anticipate with the piece at times offering the garage punk realms of say The Cramps as a possibility or the ravenous scenery of a Mastodon as an option to give just two examples. Where it does lead is into a corrosive tempest of sonic abrasion and virulent hostility wrapped in a doom drenched maelstrom of spite and malevolence. As its predecessor, the track finds a spark which injects an eager rabidity and raucous energy into the heart of the pestilential stalking and further on a bewitching melodic elegance as the song evolves and twists within its tortured stance.

The beautiful Drift brings a mellow respite next, the short acoustic guitar sculpted instrumental a safe peace before the savage tsunami of An Apology To A Friend In Need falls upon the ears. The track merges a melodic acidity and venomous intensity into a thunderously eventful and unpredictable adventure, rhythms and bass courting the uncompromising vocals for a merciless predation whilst the guitars seduce and carve up senses and imagination with a skill and ingenious ideation that is impossible not to be fully consumed and submissive for. The song is a beauty and the beast endeavour which is already in control of the passions before its turbulent mid-point.

Both the atmospherically enthralling Pale New Eyes and the Giver Of Birth immerse the listener into soundscapes which leave no room for outside interference. The first exploring a progressive essence to its scenic exploration before walking into a mouthwatering storm of sonic violation and rhythmic punishment, an oppressive brutality which only serves to ignite the imagination and exploit further. It is a riveting canvas of guitar invention and vocal ravishment around a frame of barbarous rhythms which ensures the short instrumental beauty of its successor with a haunting ambience is a psyche soothing godsend.

The next up Done is quite mesmeric and sensational, taking best song honours with ease despite the triumphs around it. Opening on a cinematic and again sinister entanglement for the imagination, it develops an eager stroll which continues to invite dark visions of a more filmic nature before striding through an intensive sludge fuelled narrative and infectiously incendiary drama in sound before the abrasing vocals add their strangled syllables and malice coated words. It is a brilliant tease and masterful persuasion and the perfect way to enter the immensely dangerous sonic world of Stone burner for newcomers.

You Are The Worst provides a colossal towering adventure to lose yourself within, every soar and fall within its antagonistic passage voraciously damaging and unrelentingly absorbing to almost match the plateau of the previous track. It turns into the most savage and bruising incitement on the album and in many ways the most satisfying before the closing epic persuasion of The Phoenix unveils its hypnotic journey. As good as eighteen minutes in length, the song emerges from a tightly enveloping almost claustrophobic birth within deep atmospheric waters. The song floats towards a crystalline light, heading up to a beckoning surface of escape and hope, its warmth realised by sultry guitar craft and caressing melodies. Initially intangible, malevolent intensity is also worming its way into the hues of the adventure, niggling away until erupting and soaking every twist and turn to become an inescapable cloud. It is a glorious technically impressive and narratively thrilling journey which never relaxes as the battle between light and dark rages within its imposing confines until the very end.

Life Drawing is a must for all with a keen appetite for masterful sludge and doom premises and those with a hunger for aggressive progressive explorations. It is not an easy listen at times but one of the most rewarding likely to be heard this year.

Life Drawing is available through Neurot Recordings now!

https://www.facebook.com/Stoneburner.PDX

9/10

RingMaster 15/04/2014

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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Red Fang – Whales And Leeches

Red Fang "Whales and Leeches" press photos 2013

Back again to send heavy cascades of thumping rhythms, demanding riffs, and exhaustive rock ‘n’ roll contagion down upon the senses, Oregon’s Red Fang unleash their third dramatically compelling album upon the world. Whales And Leeches is a commanding storm of what the band does best, making intensive and rapacious heavy rock with more barbs and hooks than an angling convention, and though arguably it does not bring anything strikingly new from the Portland quartet it is undeniably pure Red Fang and a definite highlight of the year.

With the past two years or so a constant round of touring and shows, the foursome of guitarist/vocalist Bryan Giles, bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam, guitarist David Sullivan, and drummer John Sherman have at the same time written a collection of songs which rampage on adrenaline and hunger and seduce with a virulently additive expanse of temptation clad grooves and incendiary riffery. Featuring guests Mike Scheidt (Yob) and Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession), the Relapse Records released album outshines predecessor Murder The Mountains to stand almost side by side with Red Fang’s explosive self-titled debut full length in stature, an album which always has the passions inflamed.

Opener DOEN immediately tells you all you need to know about Whales And Leeches, a spiralling guitar tease across rabid rhythmswhalesandleeches_1500 bursting from a discord kissed introduction to lay the seeds for a groove cored flight of predacious energy and adventure. As you would expect riffs and drums command and bewitch the ear whilst the dual vocal attack is a pleasing magnet within the tempestuous assault, but there also seems an extra dose of mischief and infection to the song which subsequently permeates the whole album, a fun or devilry which has lips licked and anticipation brewing an even stronger hunger.

The following excellent Blood Like Cream is a thrilling feisty dance with a strong Queens Of The Stone Age tantalising to its breath whilst its chorus is epidemically captivating and the trigger to its recipient’s vocal and feet shuffling contribution. The song is a magnificent temptation with a punk rabidity to its urgency and enthusiastic swagger whilst its successors No Hope and Crows in Swine add their individual flavours to continue the terrific start to the release. The first of the two has a snarl and bruising quality which again offers a punk essence but this time within a Black Tusk like causticity whilst the second digs up the depths of the dirty side of the band to clad its sides in Mastodon like filth and aggressive enticement. With a wonderfully niggling presence to the serpentine grooves and sonic licks, as well as excellent unpredictable invention over a torrential drum attack, the song is one of the major pinnacles of the album especially with the Eastern mystique which seduces from within its enthralling climax.

     Voices of the Dead is next to keep the passions enslaved, the song a gentler sinew framed persuasion with great vocal harmonies providing a sweltering gentleness across  the more intimidating sounds. It continues to hold the imagination as firmly as the previous tracks before passing over the task to Behind The Light who then sends the baton into the eager hands of the Black Sabbath skirting Dawn Rising. The two tracks again leave attention and appetite fully satisfied but do miss the heights of their predecessors in many ways. There is plenty of gripping adventure to the songs but there is a lack of that killer aspect which makes them leap from the speakers into an infernally persistent and welcome long term instigator.

There is no such problem with Failure, the track an irresistible lure with broody shadows and a spellbinding menacing temptation. Slowly stalking senses and thoughts the track is a heavy prowling joy, riffs and rhythms crowding the ear into submission whilst the vocals add their demonic tension as guitars sculpt a mesmeric sonic web of invention and sultry desire. It, as many of the tracks shows the diversity and maturity within Red Fang’s songwriting before letting 1516 take the album back into a primal insatiable heavy stomp of blood curdling intensity.

This Animal ensures the album delivers another major highlight before its end, the song bringing again a QOTSA like twisting of inventive sonic diablerie and pulsating metallic predation which at times reminds of Therapy? whilst the final song and latest single from the album, Every Little Twist provides a smouldering , endearing slice of muscular rock with melodic caresses. It is a very decent conclusion though personally not a song I would imagine being the strongest pull into the album compared to much stronger infection soaked tracks upon Whales And Leeches. It undoubtedly brings the release to a fine finish and helps leave exhaustion and pleasure the overriding emotions and thoughts from one exciting album. Red Fang seemingly constantly create music you just cannot get enough of and their third album is another prime example; maybe not a classic but pretty damn close.

http://redfang.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 17/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lord Dying – Summon the Faithless

Lord Dying

You are standing under a moonless sky with all the hordes of hell descending on your singular patch of light. You need back-up to fend off the insidiousness eager to devour every atom, who would you want by your side? If we were you we would choose heavy metallers Lord Dying because if their gladiatorial prowess and consuming might is as immense and irresistible as that of their debut album Summon the Faithless, everything will fall before their mountainous strength. The eight track tsunami of rapacious riffing, deliberately antagonistic rhythms, and sonic ferocity wrapped in melodic fire, is a sensational introduction to the Portland, Oregon quartet. It is unbridled high intensity unfussy heavy metal of the highest quality and animosity which instantly and firmly slams the band down at the same level as the likes of Black Tusk, Svolk, Red Fang, and maybe even Mastodon.

Within a year of forming, Lord Dying was sharing stages with the likes of Unsane, Red Fang, Yob, Valient Thorr locally as their sound and live presence ignited a rapidly increasing following. This start just grew as the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Eric Olson, bassist Don Capuano, guitarist Chris Evans, and drummer/vocalist Jonathan Reid ventured along the west coast with Danava and Lecherous Gaze as well as co-headlining a tour with Nether Regions around their home state. A self-titled 7” released came next via Powerblaster Records label and again drew strong attention towards them whilst shows supporting for Black Cobra and Gaza and a tour with Witch Mountain at the heart of 2012 thrust them up more rungs of recognition, accelerated again by a US tour in that October with  Red Fang and Black Tusk. Summon the Faithless is the key to a worldwide recognition, a muscular unlocking of that awareness which will not take no for an answer.

As soon as the Relapse Records released sinew strapped tempest lets opener In a Frightful State of Gnawed  SummonTheFaithlessDismemberment off of its leash you know what you are in for, an onslaught of adrenaline fuelled predacious metal as infectious as carnal relations and just as sweaty and dirty. The opening sonically sizzling start of the song is a climatic build offering a sense of impending danger wrapped in an intensive coaxing, riffs and drums heightening the energy and tension. The leap from its precipice is a fall into further inviting riffs and tumultuous rhythmic beckoning veined with carnivorous sonic sculpting of the senses. Into its full stride with the growling bear like vocals of Olson wonderfully intimidating, the song merges a sludge thick breath to white hot sonic provocation, the union speared with flesh scorching guitar invention and melodic toxins. It is an insatiable confrontation feeding the equally fevered appetite rampant in its recipient, and a breath-taking start to the onslaught.

Despite its immense stature and sound the starter is a mere appetiser to greater things as the title track soon shows. Immediately provoking the ear through a crescendo of riffs and drums the song evens out its pace into a lumbering prowl, the guitars and bass stalking the listener as the vocals graze with its narrative all within a cage of already impressive drum work on the album from Reid. With sonic scythes flaring up throughout there is a build into another commanding and dramatic focus of demanding intensity. Grooves, as throughout the album, bring another contagious lure to succumb to whilst the superbly shaped and honed guitar blazes whether as a solo or melodic seduction seal the deal for the passions in a fiery storm of superbly developed yet uncomplicated aggressive metal.

The following Greed Is Your Horse and Descend Into External continue the rise in power and quality of the album, the first a ravishing mix of Bloodsimple and Mastodon which insistently and relentlessly gnaws and pressures the senses whilst offering wantonly winning melodic mercury and sonic acidity as potent reward. Its successor stands face to face with the listener, riffs crawling over the skin like a swarm of locust whilst the drums give rhythmic acupuncture to the delicious itch driven deeper by the ever appealing vocals. Both songs leave hunger rife and lips licked voraciously for whatever is to come, in this case the best song on the album, Dreams of Mercy. With a Kyuss call to the sonic spires shooting from the base of the song and a rabidity to the squalling riffs, the track takes a mere breath to command the passions, the punk lilt to the vocal delivery adding further rich bait. It is a scintillating ferocious fire of melodic and sonic temptation taken to another pinnacle with the brilliant enslaving rhythmic enticement of Reid which has its own singular moment of seduction midway in. Accompanied by the bestial snarl of the bass it is dramatically persuasive, especially as shards of guitar flames lay their hot enticement into the coals and leads one eagerly into a closing dirt clad passion fuelled storm of metallic voracity.

Perverse Osmosis and Water Under A Burning Bridge stand tall in their mission to match their companion in the album’s furious creative assault, the first unleashing a new nastiness to its rapacious savagery whilst the second is a doom breathing oppressive smog of intensity and hunger driven riffing placed on reins of sonic contemplation. Exploring its every corner and depth, the song is arguably the most inventive track on the album and certainly alongside the others in inspiration.

The closing esurient What Is Not…Is,  where riffs, rhythms, and vocals fuel a ravenous thrash bred canvas clad in sonic waspishness and melodic toxicity, sums up band and release in one incendiary swoop, its creative poison  pure sirenesque aural manna. Summon the Faithless is easily one of the best albums this year so far and the best debut anywhere. Lord Dying will be chewing our senses and souls for years to come, this only the exceptional beginning and that is truly exciting.

https://www.facebook.com/LordDying

10/10

RingMaster 11/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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

Wiht: The Harrowing of the North

IMG_9411

    Wiht was a UK band who built a formidable reputation for their impressive epic and evocative instrumentals but last March the Leeds trio called it a day much to the upset of a great many. Now the band through Devouter Records gets a deserved final farewell with the release of their final album The Harrowing of the North digitally and on coloured vinyl. Previously available in 2011 the re-release features an additional track to leave one lasting mark from one of Britain’s best underground experimental talents.

The band began in March 2009 and in their three years created a stirring and inciting blend of doom, stoner, and psychedelic rock which was rich and colourful in ambience and heavy and expressive in intensity. Together bassist Joe Hall, guitarist Chris Wayper, and drummer Rick Contini, explored and turned the widest array of aural colours into a unique and compelling canvas of descriptive sounds and emotive richness. It was driven by storming riffs which were as instinctive as breathing but as imaginative as life and rhythms which caged the senses with skill and power before rewarding them with their own hypnotic and creative slavery. The Harrowing of the North is the perfect last word with its three songs encapsulating everything which made the band so highly thought of, if also igniting a sadness they are no longer here to further their boundaries and vision. Across their years the band sparked a growing fan base with impressive performances supporting artists like Brant Bjork and the Bros, Yob, Corrosion of Conformity, Humanfly, Khuda, Dopefight, A Forest of Stars and Conan, and made their final appearance at Desertfest 2012, playing alongside Corrosion of Conformity, Orange Goblin, Ancestors and Black Cobra to name a few. With one song still unreleased, Devouter has stepped forward to give it a fitting introduction within the re-release of their excellent last album.

Thirty three minutes in length, the first two tracks which made up the original album are themed by William the Conqueror and his Front cover 1400subjugation of the North of England in the 11th century. The title track opens up its vast story in a slowly emerging presence with sonic teasing and a brewing intensity shaped by a singularly seductive guitar. The track scores the Norman raids and massacring of the Yorkshire people and their land and once in full vision the piece almost meanders into its first of eight movements bringing the events to emotive life. Leading one comfortingly with tender guitar caresses against the sense of an impending challenge from the drums, it feels like the lull before the storm, a misguided confident peace about to be shaken out of its restive complacency. The stoner riffs and psychedelic massaging now energising the senses equally and skilfully ignites thoughts and emotions whilst looking at the music outside of its themed context, the track is a sensational passage of styles and imagination which seamlessly has the passions and senses twisting and dancing to the ingenious and continually evolving aural painting.

Second track Orderic Vitalis is a grouchy encounter which is dedicated to the named outspoken chronicler in the title who stood loyal to his king but was outraged at his cruelty and condemned him in his writings. The piece conjures and moves through shadows set by the again compelling bass imagination of Hall, whilst the guitar of Wayper lights the way through the heavy oppressive dark tones with a sculpted elegance. It is a wholly mesmeric track which paints its own imagery for individual interpretation but with evident awareness of the emotions being instilled in the listener through the sensational sounds. It is at times overbearing and always intimidating but equally has a strength and determination to refuse full submission to the impending darkness whispering loudly throughout.

The final and brand new track End Of The Reign finds its place easily alongside the other two, its haunting ethereal piano kissed entrance dripping with a morose ambience. The track then evolves into a muscular giant with rampant yet restrained rhythms from the perpetually impressive Contini and a sonic gnawing of the ear from the fiery guitar narrative. Again the bass brings a daunting depth to the piece and with every element combined track and album easily sets the band apart from the rest and leaves one immersed in the near furnace like heat of irresistible enterprise.

The Harrowing of the North is simply outstanding and with the new track the perfect and greatest way to wave farewell to With.

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RingMaster 04/02/2013

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