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Saturday 12 February 2022

Reviews: Possessor, InVisions, Regulus, In Hearts Wake (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Possessor - The Speed Of Death (APF Records) 

A rip snorting four track EP from the serves as the final hammer blow from horror sludge thrashers Possessor. With this release, these purveyors of the filthiest music you've heard for a good long while, return to the crypt, put away their torture implements and will rest for eternity on their pile of cadavers. The band have always drawn from the macabre and B-movie horror films and this last EP is no different. Those thick syrupy riffs create a wall of noise on Twisted Nerve Endings, building with some Marc Brereton's bass grooves cutting deep, under the marching drum of Nathan Perrier. 

The song is intercut with news reports about Satan worshipping death fests, the corruption of Christian youth and all manner of other things that horrify the media at large, hell there's even some backwards vocals when the thrashier tones kick in driven by the Graham Bywater's fuzzy guitar sound and wild vocals. The pace increases rapidly on Medusa Lives! just under 3 minutes of crossover thrashing, it's intensity increased by the filthy production (or lack thereof) on this EP. Medusa Lives! segues into Paura a short intermission that sets the scene for the final track Draw Blood, which is a thrilling last shot from this well revered band. 

It leaves you with a smile on your face, as it distills exactly what Possessor have always been about. With their swansong there's no room to evolve or adapt, The Speed Of Death is Possessor just as you remember them, a dirty, grimy, occult loving trio of beard sporting, impressive facial hair and even more impressive riffage. They will be missed, so play it loud my friends! 8/10

InVisions - Deadlock (Self Released)

York band InVisions are vocalist Ben Ville, guitarists Lucas Gabb and Alex Scott, along with drummer Josh Hardy. They play volatile metalcore that draws inspiration from bands such as Architects, Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria, their PR even notes this, but the influences are pretty evident from the opening riffs, screamed vocals, massive breakdowns on the D V P E along with it's sister track D E A L E R and lots of electronic twitches on Annihilist. When approaching this album the band, went full on as they have on their previous records, Deadlock is their third album and it is a triumph over adversity self recorded during lockdown and mixed by producer Joe Graves. 

They once again take no prisoners but also they bring more maturity with the strings on Hindsight aiming for bigger arenas, however the album was written from the perspective that it may never have been played live, but also focussed on the idea that when played live each one would leave an imprint, drawing on mental health and infusing it with the own personalities. The band wanted to add more elements to their heavyweight origins. If you listen to the title track then you'll get a huge hit of a band like KoRn, while the beatdowns in Last Light are vicious having that effortless mix of crushing riffs, melodic leads, hooky choruses and those symphonic touches. Deadlock like the object it shares a name with, is a very heavy piece of metal, but won't render what's inside inaccessible, even though it is dark. 7/10

Regulus - Pulse (Self Released)

Sheffield psychedelic riff monsters Regulus haven't released an album since 2017 and between then an now there has been almost a wholesale change. Founding members Luke Jennings (vocals/guitar) and Joe Milburn (drums), have departed meaning that Thomas Osbourne (guitars) and Martyn Berwick (bass) have needed to find new members in order to continue with the band. It means that on Pulse, they have now expanded to a five piece as Adam Perkins takes up the drum stool, Billy Law-Bergen becomes the other half of the axe attack and Chloé Jolivel picks up the mic. 

So have these new members changed what Regulus do? In a word, no, they are still a heavy riffing band that bring the influences of Clutch and the NOLA sound to Sheffield, balancing the distorted grooves with explorative psych/space rock sounds. Pulse is more of rebirth than a reinvention, as yes they are experimenting a bit more with their style adding more heavy blues and hard rock flourishes but at their core they are still stoner riff machines. Speaking of stoner riffs, we get going with Into The Black as Osbourne and Law Bergen kick out the jams Perkins and Berwick laying down a thundering groove, that is full of slinky blues. 

Jolivel has some tough vocals, produced by many nights of shouting down a mic driven by whiskey. Fuchsia has lots of tasty dual guitar riffs, Hive Mind grooves, as Contagion has a big whack of doom. For me though the rhythmic desert rock of The Flood is the albums stand out, but really all of Pulse is great psych stoner metal, so Regulus' new era is starting off strongly. 7/10 

In Hearts Wake - Kaliyuga Booster Pack (UNFD)

The oddly named Kaliyuga Booster Pack is an accompanying release to their 2020 record Kaliyuga, now if you've heard that record, you'll know what it sounds like an will have long formed your opinion on it, so what I'll do here is tell you about this additional release. The band set themselves a challenge to write songs about dogs as a theme, so it features three new songs that are all about our Canine friends along with five live tracks recorded at the Brisbane Tivoli which is the only show they have been able to play. So first up we have Dogma which features fellow Australian metalcore mob Alpha Wolf. 

It makes for a beatdown heavy competitive sounding opener where both In Hearts Wake and Alpha Dog's vocalists dual screaming "You're all bark and no bite" at each other. It's full of muscle and power, Torn In Two adding a nu-metal groove, nodding to Korn, as War closes out the trio of new tracks with something akin to the frenzied battery of Slipknot. The live tracks give you an idea of what they offer on stage so with more shows pencilled in it's a bit of a warm up for what's to come. All in all Kaliyuga Booster Pack is a worthy little addition to their last album. 7/10

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