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ARES KINGDOM – INCENDIARY: my review

 
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Pazuzu



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 592

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: ARES KINGDOM – INCENDIARY: my review Reply with quote

ARES KINGDOM – INCENDIARY (2009)

With the current retro-thrash craze in full swing, it’s not surprising that a thrash band like Ares Kingdom does not receive the accolades they deserve. While retro-thrash bands tend to be young newcomers who were mostly infants at best during the early 1980s, Ares Kingdom’s members are seasoned veterans who grew up alongside the first wave of thrash while it was happening and headbanged along with the best of such greats as Venom, Slayer, Dark Angel, and Sodom. The musicians of Ares Kingdom remember when the music of Metallica actually meant something much more than a mere hollow corporate logo plastered like dried vomit to a video game called Guitar Hero. As the retro-thrash bands seem content to spew forth contrived riffs, rhythms, and the cliché, juvenile trappings from twenty years ago, Ares Kingdom choose to instead move forward by offering their own take on thrash with class and intelligence. If anything, the young retro-thrashers should be taking lessons from Ares Kingdom as to how to use inspiration from the past and forge their own paths rather than replicating their heroes.

The second full-length by Ares Kingdom is called Incendiary, and the album title is extremely fitting because it is an explosive follow up to their excellent debut, Return to Dust. Incendiary contains nothing short of high caliber thrash metal with thought-provoking lyrics, and Ares Kingdom has upped the ante in both aggressive intensity and epic songwriting. The album opens with the title track – which discusses the mad reasoning of the Islamofascist extremists - and it is a real burner from start to finish. Guitars, bass, and drums roar forward from the same starting point and the only breather received from the hell-pace is during the few rhythmic passages that instead pummel the listener into submission. Then after vocalist/bassist Alex Blume viciously growls “INCENDIARY!!!” at 3:35, the initial punishment is over.

Though the overall speed has increased in their music, Ares Kingdom has not forsaken the quality of each individual composition. It has actually achieved greater depth and, yes, dear thrash fanatics, there are even more riffs than before. “Descent of Man” is a fine example of the aforementioned, clocking in at almost seven and-a-half minutes. Guitarist Chuck Keller is in top form on this album, and delivers some of his most blistering lead work ever; high speed solos, some tasty melodies, excellent two-hand tapping techniques, and a fair amount of tremolo bar abuse thrown in for good measure. That is not to overlook both his and Doug Overbay’s guitar rhythms, such as the mid-paced instrumental called “The Destruction of Sennacherib”, featuring some heavy, plodding thrash riffs that are guaranteed to get one’s head moving. Another favorite is “Ashen Glory”, an articulate look at the life cycle of the phoenix; the beginning fades in with Chuck leading the way, playing independent, foreboding notes until the bass and drums finally join him and then climax to end the intro, after which Chuck blazes into one of the best riffs on the album.

The lyrics of Ares Kingdom are also one of their other aspects that puts them in a different league from many other thrash bands - retro or otherwise – due largely to their eloquence and subject matter. While some may be satisfied with topics about necrophilia, ejaculating blood, or even heavy metal music itself, Ares Kingdom would rather challenge the listener through critical thought. Such is the case with “Silent Mortal Flesh (Convergence)”, which offers the following poignant example:

“The weak trample and feast on the weak -
Yet fail to become strong
Strength, earned through blood and tears
Shown and measured in grace
Staying one step ahead of the flock
Vigilant in your House of Pain
The realization your throne is an illusion
A liberation and challenge”

It seems that not many metal fans pay much attention to lyrics or even the meaning behind them and I find that to not only be a bit superficial, but also unfortunate, especially when a band like Ares Kingdom puts so much time and effort into crafting such incisive and profound words.

Artwork and packaging are also of great importance to Ares Kingdom. The cover art comes from That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth by artist Joseph Pennell (1860 – 1926), which was a U.S. propaganda poster used during the first World War to encourage citizens into supporting the war effort by purchasing war bonds. It depicts the entrance to the harbor in New York City under heavy artillery fire from the air and sea, while the city is engulfed in flames and the Statue of Liberty has sustained serious damage. A fitting symbol for our current state of affairs to remind ourselves we must be ever vigilant.

Not to give away every surprise from Incendiary, but among all the twists and turns Ares Kingdom takes on their sophomore effort, the closer “Abandon in Place” is the most manic and haunting. Drummer Mike Miller accentuates the tension extremely well during this song. It tells the tale of the Chernobyl disaster, and the music symbolizes everything from the nuclear reactor working normally, to when everything began to break down, and then the terrible aftermath of the event. As an eerie calm transpires half way through the song, Chuck begins to play lone arpeggios, and then the actual emergency call from the horrible meltdown is heard. Knowing the subject matter of “Abandon in Place”, one does not have to be fluent in Russian to experience chills during that particular moment. The band then transforms the last portion of the song into a dirge, and Chuck performs a warbled solo representing the radioactive debris being released, blanketing the surrounding areas with a plume of nuclear fallout, contaminating the planet for the coming ages.

Hopefully Incendiary will open doors towards new opportunities and recognition for Ares Kingdom because as I mentioned at the beginning of this review, they are sadly underrated but extremely deserving of great praise. Incendiary is a carefully crafted and constructed album. No detail is neglected. If you enjoy the more epic side of Order From Chaos (both Chuck Keller and Mike Miller’s previous ensemble), this purchase is a no-brainer, but don’t expect such raw ferocity as the production aim for Incendiary was to have more of a timeless, classic sounding metal record.

Ares Kingdom excludes ulterior motives, agendas, and gimmicks. This is metal for adults and the only pretension they may have is that they expect nothing short of the best from themselves.

Incendiary is scheduled to be released on Nuclear War Now! Productions during the month of October, 2009. Support the band by purchasing a copy directly from them.

Incendiary track listing:

“Incendiary”
“Descent of Man”
“The Destruction of Sennacherib”
“Silent Mortal Flesh (Convergence)”
“Ashen Glory”
“Beasts That Perish”
“Consigned to the Ages”
“Gathering the Eagles”
“Abandon in Place”

http://www.ares-kingdom.com/

http://www.myspace.com/areskingdom


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"Order From Chaos, this band knows how to metal and they know how to satan and they most definitely know how to arghgh. It dosen't suck dick and thats why faggots don't like them. I have entered the stillbirth machine, I suggest you cum too."
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vorfeed



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 1238
Location: New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review... can't wait to hear this record. The songs I've heard so far are killer!
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vugelnox



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 527
Location: new york

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have strong expectations that this might be the best album of the year
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Pazuzu



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 592

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incendiary has exceeded my high expectations and then some. It fails to dull even after multiple listens. Definitely the best thrash album of 2009 and I don't doubt it will prove to be THE album of this year for me.
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"Order From Chaos, this band knows how to metal and they know how to satan and they most definitely know how to arghgh. It dosen't suck dick and thats why faggots don't like them. I have entered the stillbirth machine, I suggest you cum too."
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avrlabel



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 3440

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the cover...Who will release this Im not so well informed regarding this new attack...
I missed informations...
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Pazuzu



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 592

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The very same label on whose forum you're posting will release Incendiary.
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"Order From Chaos, this band knows how to metal and they know how to satan and they most definitely know how to arghgh. It dosen't suck dick and thats why faggots don't like them. I have entered the stillbirth machine, I suggest you cum too."
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avrlabel



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 3440

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pazuzu wrote:
The very same label on whose forum you're posting will release Incendiary.


Ok great...
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IIIRD GATEKEEPER



Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 2451
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started my morning blasting Return To Dust and the title track of the coming album from myspace... sounds excellent indeed!! They've packed one hell of a punch to the (Very Metal) sound. Should be one of the highlights of the year!

Oh yes the album cover is awesome. Shocked
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Aeonblade wrote:
Hyper distorted go nowhere songs with feedback sections. It's like everything wrong with doom.
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