Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Rectified Spirit - The Waste Land (CD Review)

01.The Art Of War
03.Winter In Thine Eyes
04.The Green Goblin
06.Once Below A Time
08.The Waste Land

Rainjong Lepcha (Vocals)
Samudragupta Dutta (Guitar)
Dishankan Baruah (Guitar)
Himangshu Borah (Bass)
Nishant Hagjer (Drums)

Formed in August 2005, the band started performing in various gigs of the active metal circuit of their hometown Guwahati.
However, after a few years of being active in the circuit, some of the band members left the band due to various individual engagements, from 2009 onwards. Thereafter, founder member and guitarist Samudragupta Dutta and long term bassist Himangshu Borah reformed the band again in the year 2011 with guitarist and long term friend of both, Imtiyaz Alam.

'The Art Of War' is one helluva agressive opener, very chaotic vocals and screams over superb technical drum patterns, the second part of the song does manage to calm down for some clean vocals, however the next song 'Fireborn' is just a relentless onslaught of drum driven power from beginning to end!

It's not until we come to 'Afterthought' that we are allowed to relax and are treated to some more refined guitar playing, laid back drum rhythms and some melodic and gentle vocals.

But 'Once Below A Time' decides to kick us back into life with another assault on the ears and blows away any notion of "Melody" with this drum driven monster full of hate and agression.

'The Waste Land' starts with melodic guitar intro and then the drums come in, but this epic final song brings together a perfect blend of extreme power and melody, some stunning vocals and great guitar work all against this powerhouse backdrop.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, Periphery

Monday, 5 October 2015

Deathless Creation - Thrash´n´Roll (CD Review)

01.Stigma Of Degeneration
02.Personal Hell
03.As Long As There's A God
05.King Of The Lonesome Riders
07.Break The Silence
09.Endless Source Of Power
10.Escape The Prison
11.I Am The Devil
12.The Last War

Benne Rommel (Vocals/Guitar)
Vladimir Nikolov (Guitar)
Eric Arikan (Bass)
Stefan Schaubele (Drums)

Deathless Creation is raw power group from Bavaria formed in 2012. Cutting-edge Thrash Metal combined with Rock´n´Roll and all sorts of different influences and genres that the music world has to offer.
It´s all about the music, not an image, a certain scene or category.
Great music starts with fun and an open mind to everything. This is the message of this
band. Independent Metal, high-energy liveshows, honest music and a fresh concept that
exceeds the boundaries of the scene and the genre.

A mix of technical and classic thrash riffs on 'Stigma Of Degeneration' are driven by this great drum backing with some really tight pedal work, vocals are fairly typical of the genre in that they are yelled through the mic!

Another stand out track is 'As Long As There's A God', this is a wall of power and it smashes through the speakers, has "Slayer" written all over it.

Now 'Reinvention' is a different beast, the vocals are sung properly and the music is more relaxed, in fact it almost sounds like a different band, this is pure american style hard rock, unexpected and very good.

Now each subsequent song seems to bring out different and more refined elements than that initial thrash assault and becomes a much more genre integrated album, melody mixes with the agression and creates more complex songs, whilst the vocal styles vary to match.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Slayer, Evile, Elimination, Breathless

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ague - Powered by Effluvia (CD Review)

01.Risus Sardonicus
02.Fifty Drachms (To Kill A Man)
03.Apoplexy In Summer (Industrial Accidents)
04.Parker's Expedition
05.Ubersoldat (Gbe Age)
06.Fifteen Leagues To Providence
07.In Contempt Of Quinsy And Dropsy
08.Posing As Babalon
09.Hand Of Cinder, Hand Of Ash
10.Chapel Perilous

Half-Rats (Vocals/Instruments)

Steven C Davis (Narration on track 7)

Steampunk, Victorian Goth (Dreadpunk), there are many possible genres that could be named for this American one man band formed in December 1884, though i suspect that 2014 may be a closer date.
Multi instrumentalist Half-Rats explains: "Plain speaking...I'll say that my music is not about impressing the wrong quantity, it's about vexing the right one. Fulfilling all of the duties of my given office...such things as being the living conduit and messenger for a dead world, guarding the affects of the deceased and establishing a bastion in this time - availing myself of all resources provided here to awaken the masses; reconciling past and present to set into locomotion a vehicle to a better future."

He has created a clever "back Story" a shortened version:

In post-civil war Detroit; a man, an act existed, compounded of a singular deviancy of character and incongruity of thought in relation to the mode of its day. My presence here is owed to an unnatural power, an ancient and terrible force of primordial origin - held by ethereal beings known to me simply as the "Hellbourne". Prior to the discovery of this queer source of power, I lived, and it can be fervently argued, on the periphery of polite society - A rogueish Heir with friends of questionable moral character - both rubbing shoulders with and coming to blows with casuals, publicans and the insane...My music and lyrics treated the problems of the day, and in no sense was I welcomed even in the bawdiest of establishments - The act was certainly considered odious in the newly-reformed vaudeville shows - not due to tawdry seduction, but to the brash truth! Still, I stayed the course. If you have made the assumption that the singular event that changed my already calamitous lifestyle afforded me no opportunity for salvation - you would be correct.

Corrupt police, disease, finding myself accidentally transported to the year 1916, frictions with socio-political movements, supernatural forces, bar brawls, pistols, the malcontent back-alley butcher, mad professors, reanimated super-soldiers...It was all there for me to contend with.

A touch of swing meets classic americana and 'Risus Sardonicus' launches us into the complex and (as yet) unkown world of Ague. This light near acoustic opener is then followed by a much darker piece: 'Fifty Drachms (To Kill A Man)'. A great vocal performance that is not a million miles away from Rufus Wainwright or Danny Elfman, excellent guitar playing and some nice keyboard work in the mix as well.

With its carnival keyboards 'Apoplexy In Summer (Industrial Accidents)' is a happy sounding song with some great backing harmony vocals, yet somehow its a disturbing piece, reminiscent at times of the Stranglers 'waltzinblack'.

'Parker's Expedition' has this wonderful old fashioned feel to it, another stunning vocal performance, this one has more than a touch of the cabaret about it.

Cannot go wrong with some harpsicord and 'Ubersoldat (Gbe Age)' has a great intro by said instrument and it is present throughout the strange mix of drums and more harmonic backing vocals.

'Fifteen Leagues To Providence' takes us back to early 1950's jazz and rock n roll with its solid guitarwork and hand clapping style backing music. This has a dark, almost, New Orleans "night tripper" vibe!

The intro this eight minute epic 'In Contempt Of Quinsy And Dropsy' is spoken by Steampunk author Steven C Davis over a quiet keyboard backing, telling us the tale of Dr.Parker and the effergies of the songs title.
The music then takes over and treats us to an almost symphonic rock song, good use of keyboard orchestration, driving drum patterns and another solid vocal performance.

Up next is the surprising 'Posing As Babalon', i say that because it has some pretty heavy guitarwork and a dark gothic undertone. The ghost of proto-doom metal lurks here, added to the driving drums and guitar playing is a great old sound "farfisa" keyboard sound.

Once again 'Hand Of Cinder, Hand Of Ash' offers us some more in the way of heavier music, this is another well orchestrated piece with some punchy powerchords coming through, all this creates a dark gothic rock monster which at one point includes some pure demonic vocals that would not be out of place on a cradle of filth album!
Yet somehow this song manages to mix in some 1950's guitar riffs and have an operatic edge as well.

I wonder where this final track will go? Well 'Chapel Perilous' returns us to that jazz/swing sound, a perfect way to end a very clever album full of different styles and superb sound production.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Danny Elfman, Joe Black, Dr John, Midnight Syndicate, Juke Baritone, Wednesday 13

FACEBOOK: Ague Facebook

With The Dead - With The Dead (CD Review)

01.Crown Of Burning Stars
02.The Cross
04.Living With The Dead
05.I Am Your Virus
06.Screams From My Own Grave

Lee Dorrian (vocals)
Tim Bagshaw (Guitar/Bass)
Mark Greening (Drums)

With The Dead were formed on All Hallow’s Eve 2014 by the rhythm section of occultist Doom overloads Electric Wizard: guitarist/bassist Tim Bagshaw (also a current member of Serpentine Path) and drummer Mark Greening, a pair once notorious for the sheer brute heaviness of their bowel-shaking sound and early extra-curricular activities that involved excess, injury and low-level criminality (arrests for the theft of a crucifix from a church roof and drunkenly robbing an off-licence to name but two). Both have also played together in Ramesses.
Completing the triangle is frontman Lee Dorrian, co-founder of Doom pioneers Cathedral, former frontman with grindcore legends Napalm Death and owner of Rise Above Records, the UK’s finest independent purveyors of all sounds heavy and underground.

Atmospheric intro and then we launch into 'Crown Of Burning Stars' a slow, pounding six minutes of pure doom heaven (or should that be hell?).

'The Cross' adds more to the mix with some speech samples and a slightly more upbeat sound and some effects added to the vocals, wild and agressive!

Time for saome Sabbath worship with 'Nephthys' sounding like something off the Vol4 album, this one has a slight psychedelic undertone, it's maybe unfair of me to say but this sounds like classic Cathedral, but then it was kinda what i was expecting and hoping for.

'Living With The Dead' starts with a movie sample and then just crashes through the speakers, doom (obviously!) with some sludge thrown in and an almost punk attitude coming through with taht vocal scream and snarl.
It's the quiet, melodic breakdown that really gives this song some additional weight, great guitar playing, and then another huge scream and its more pure power to the end.

Not sure what instrument is making it, but 'I Am Your Virus' has this strange synth type sound running through the mix from speaker to speaker, its fucking awesome whatever it is, this is by far my fave so far, huge riffs, big drum rhythms, pounding bassline and Lee's stunning vocal performance all mixing together to make this huge out of this world psych/doom monster!

Opening to this reminds me of Triptykon's "Shatter", very slow rhythms played out on the intro and then they put their own stamp on it and 'Screams From My Own Grave' becomes this eight minute slow, painful downtuned doom sludge creature crawling it way inch by inch from the depths of hell until it reaches the surface.

Well this is nothing short of perfect doom, a masterclass from the masters, what did you expect?

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Cathedral, Electric Wizard, Witchsorrow, Moss, Reverend Bizarre