Thousand Year War – Tyrants And Men

The new album from Alaskans Thousand Year War creates a very satisfying blend of old school melodic death and black metal with other classic metal flavours resulting in an interesting and at times enthralling array of powerful and direct sounds. Tyrants And Men may not be exactly rippling in originality but it delivers metal that stirs up the senses with creative essences alongside its pummelling assaults.

From Anchorage and begun in 2008, Thousand Year War for this album is guitarist and vocalist Hiram Lohr with session musicians Kellen on bass and drummer Fredrik Widigs. Released via Abyss Records, Tyrants And Men took time to find its way into the world’s ears. While working as a commercial fisherman to finance it the album was recorded by Lohr at Garden Studios in Anchorage with Kellen, it was then upon the failure to find a skilled drummer at home sent across to Fredrik Widigs (The Ugly And Desultor) in Sweden summer of 2009 to lay down a drum track. Once passed on then to be mixed and mastered by Fredrik Lunneborg of Primecut Studios in Sweden, the album was presented before Dan Ferguson of Abyss Records leading to the band being signed and its release in September of this year. It may have taken time but has proven well worth the wait.  

The album, as a great many others have also said has a distinct Amon Amarth flavour to it and if a fan of their striking and powerful sounds Tyrants And Men will be a definite winner.  Rampant riffs, striking flowing guitars and incisive solos, plus a vocal mix of guttural growls and higher pitched screams fly from the tracks with ease and strong ability. Though the album does not venture often too far from expected melodic death metal sounds and craft it is definitely one of the more accomplished releases lately in sound and production.

Lyrically the album deals with the duality and opposition between the ruling evil elite running the world and the people, who are constantly battling to turn the world we live in around with truth, not power and wealth. The theme is as powerful as the sounds and adds a good deeper dimension to the release.

There is a good strong level across the album, each track holding its own and giving great satisfaction but some moments really show the band as a future force as well as a more than decent band right now. ‘The Sea’ is a lively blend of great melodic guitars and grooves rippling beneath the intense vocals and drums, and its successor ‘No Gods, No Masters’ an irrepressible blast of dark rock ‘n’ roll that eagerly pounds away with enthused energy. It may not be the more original track on the album but it is undeniably one of the more exiting. The one song that lifts its head highest is ‘Open Casket’, breaking out on a classic rock riff not out of place in a Maiden song the track brings in some smart and intricate guitar play that lights up the dark mood fuelling the song. Every song on the album has its moment though and it is impossible to find a weak track anywhere.

The downside to the album? There is not much apart from the previously mentioned lack of anything really new or unpredictable.  There is also an overall sameness across some of the tracks but with honesty could not that be levelled at the majority of releases these days to some degree? Thousand Year War has produced an album that more than can hold its own against any other and makes the thirty five minutes plus a very worthwhile and agreeable use of time and that can easily be repeated again and again.

RingMaster 31/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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As I Lay Dying – Decas

Upon hearing the details of the new album from Californian metalcore band As I Lay Dying one just knew there would be a mixed reception towards it without even hearing a sound. The news of an album containing covers and remixes even with some original material was bound to cause a stir, because as loyal and passionate as metal fans are many do not like songs tampered with or classics tainted, or it seems even attempted in many cases. Decas is sure to split opinions once heard but as a celebration of the band’s 10 year anniversary it is a pretty fine and enjoyable release.

In some ways Decas feels like a filler between albums but if there is not enough new material ready why not pay tribute to the band’s influences. Obviously whether the choice of tracks suits the listener or not is immaterial and with all the songs extremely well delivered and interpreted one knows there was real effort and no sense that they spent an afternoon reeling them off in a hurry. One does hopes the original tracks are exclusive to this album and do not appear on the next as that would take the gloss off Decas but time will tell on that.  

The three original tracks are typically As I Lay Dying and typically impressive. ‘Paralysed’ kicks off proceedings with a solid dose of robust pummelling and insurgent riffs powered by the as usual impressive combined growls and clean vocals of Tim Lambesis and bassist Josh Gilbert respectively. The great melodic play makes the track not the most punishing the band has ever produced but does set things up for the crushing assault of ‘From Shapeless to Breakable’. Whereas the opener almost takes its time to consume this goes straight for the throat with a dark thrash metal aggressive insurgency. The drums from Jordan Mancino are attention grabbing and frame the song wonderfully as the guitars of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso crash and entice in equal measure.

Moving Forward’ completes the trio of new tracks with a slightly mellower and more melodic flow, though the aggression especially from Lambesis and Manino never wanes. It is hard to think of a better contrasting and complimenting vocal duo than Lambesis and Gilbert anywhere their balance perfect more often than not. As with the first two songs this is impressive and continues the quality and levels of music from the previous album The Powerless Rise. There is no discernable progress from that release to be fair but as they sound this good not sure that matters.

The four covers are a mixed bag depending on one’s taste but they are brought forth with skill and character by the band. ‘War Ensemble’ is an excellent version of the Slayer track. Whether anyone can reach that band’s heights on their songs is debateable but As I Lay Dying get damn close as the track tramples all over the senses with its unbridled power and intensity. A great song matched by the Descendents cover ‘Coffee Mug’.  The band gives the punk classic real homage by not copying it but delivering their own distinct version and it is the highlight of the whole album. As much as the urge to go straight to the remixes is strong we have to mention the Judas Priest covers ‘Hellion’ and ‘Electric Eye’. Thankfully omitting the Halford screams in their version there is still no getting away from the fact if one does not like Judas Priest no cover will compensate enough to make them bearable enough.

It is not clear why the re-recorded medley of ‘Beneath The Encasing’ is included though it is decent enough obviously, this does feel like a late add on. The re-mixes are again varied and again the point of re-mixes misses the understanding of this reviewer other than to pad out something but that’s a debate for another time.  On Decas there is one track that actually works really well and engages wonderfully and though of course not a patch on its source is more than listenable. That is the Innerpartysytem remix of ‘The Blinding of False Light’, the song coming over with a flavour of The Browning without the intensity.

The Benjamin Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan) remix of ‘Wrath Upon Ourselves’ is intriguing if slightly too messy to fully get attached to but the last couple of ‘Confined’ (remixed by Kelly “Carnage” Cairn) and ‘Elegy’ (Big Chocolate Remix) are just window dressing and easily passed over.

Overall though Decas is a great and very enjoyable released and as a celebration of As I Lay Dying’s centenary is a more than worthy way to mark it.

Decas is available via Metal Blade Records November 8th

RingMaster 31/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Effluence – Catchrag

Quite simply the debut release from UK band Effluences is stunning and easily the best single this year. A throbbing and hypnotic living beast from obviously wonderfully warped musical minds the release made up of ‘Catchrag’ aided and abetted by ‘Stilts’, is aural nectar for the bedlam of life, a reason to smile each day.

The band labels their sounds as psycho grunge but really there is not a tag to adequately describe their instinctively raw and chaotic mayhem. It blends the thrills of psychobilly with the discordant dirty delights of garage punk squeezed through psychedelic post punk distorted imagination. Formed in 2009 it is hard to believe the band has not caught the attention well before now but with their debut that is surely about to change.

Catchrag’ erupts into an instantaneous pleasuring of the senses with a sweet bulky bassline and crashing guitars all driven by firm beats of rhythmic urgency. The track bristles with attitude and wicked intent, determined to play and tease with riffs that rumble and pounce incessantly. The best way to describe the band is Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster meets early The Horrors in a hellish dark corner of the mind of a Cramps/Muse bastard son; yes it is that diverse and wonderful. 

Second track ‘Stilts’ compliments and matches up just as impressively. A wanton groove alongside throbbing basslines and schitzo vocals fuelled by a pulsating drum attack this song feels like the devil spawn union of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Gaa Gaas in an illicit rendezvous with the above offspring. With all these references one still cannot truly get right up close to the sound oozing from the speakers, Effluence is a distinct and inventive beast and very beautifully strange.

Both songs are glorious and Effluence the next big thing from the UK, whether history bears that out one will see as success and acclaim does not always go to the right deserved. For this musical heart the band is the highlight of the year and set firm in the daily playlist at The RingMaster Review.

RingMaster 30/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Truth Corroded – Worship The Bled

If Australian thrash/metalcore band Truth Corroded has not yet made a mark on your metal playlist then with the release of their new album Worship The Bled that will surely soon change. The album is a beast of intent, intensity and outright power that shows no mercy as it thrills and spills senses all across its length.

Worship The Bled is the Adelaide based band’s third full length since reforming as a five piece in 2003 and fourth since they began in 1997. Since their return albums Our Enemy Is The Weapon in 2005 and Upon The Warlords Crawl In 2008, released through Truth Inc Records, have gained the band a rapidly growing following and acclaim especially the latter of the two. A split release with fellow Adelaide band Double Dragon in 2009 only added to their stock but it is with Worship The Bled that widespread recognition is surely a certainty as its quality finds more eager ears to satisfy.

The new release features a new line-up for the band with Dååth drummer Kevin Talley (, Misery Index, Dying Fetus and Chimaira) coming in for the album, plus lead guitarist Darren McLennan joining vocalist Jason North, guitarist Mark Lennard and bassist Greg Damon Shaw. Whether this new infusion of blood is the catalyst or not there is a definite further confidence and more rounded sound to Worship The Bled since its predecessors. The music is harder, even more direct than ever before but carefully and intelligently infused with variations to intrigue and engage.  

Opening on a throaty aboriginal like chant first track ‘Knives of the Betrayed’ menacingly struts in spreading its power slowly and ominously, exploding into frenzy the track seizes hold and devastates with its crushing grasp, the band in no mood to go easy on the senses. Alongside the irrepressible riffs there is an absorbing solo from Jonas Kjellgren of Scar Symmetry, who once more brought his skills to the mixing and mastering of the album. His touch and understanding is a strong additional factor to why the album is so impressive, allowing the elements of songwriting and the musicians skills to equally blend and stay distinct.

Levels do not drop only increase as next song ‘Hunt All Heroes’ leads a torrent of unrepentant pummelling track by track. Consistent and relentless the songs are marked by their threatening energy, impressive musicianship, and well thought out and structured creation. The drumming from Talley is jaw dropping, the man immense and one doubts that anyone else could have brought the aggressive and stunningly skilful assault that punctuates each track. His power is equally matched by Mclennan and Lennard, their play scorching the flesh with insurgent riveting riffs and diverse play.

The thumping ‘Leave Nothing Alive’, along with ‘Remnants’ an atmospheric and moody predatory surge of music, and the best track on the album, ‘Dragged Beneath’ are the strongest and most emotionally intensive songs on the album, though each track on the release is an immense contribution to a fine album. The third of these particular songs is a fearsome and mournful track, the strings and emotive touch around the intense power a great variant and example of the bands evolving songwriting skills.

Worship The Bled is an impressive extreme, brutal and alternately skilful and darkly melodic release showing a band at its height of creativity. The closing seven minute flow and diversity of ‘Summon Abyss’ the perfect example of their varied and stirring sounds and though personally the shorter and harder tracks are more favourable this song is impressive and ends with the same feeling and  chant as the album started. Though the album is maybe lacking that one song that lingers and repeats in the mind without warning it is a greatly satisfying and enjoyable release and Truth Corroded on the verge of the worldwide recognition they deserve.

RingMaster 28/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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HateSphere Interview

Over the last decade European Thrash metal has been pushed forward by a great many strong and purposeful bands. The one name that has stood out in the genre and led the way throughout the past eleven years is Danish metalers HateSphere. They have been at the forefront, pushing boundaries and setting the pace for others to follow. Their seventh and latest album The Great Bludgeoning released via Napalm Records sees the quintet once more up the ante and we had the pleasure to talk with founder member and guitarist Peter “Pepe” Hansen about the release and the band.

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk to The Ringmaster Review.

With the new additions to HateSphere in the past year or so would you introduce all the members?
Mike Park on drums (ex-Mercenary), Esse on vocals (Numbnuts, ex-As We Fight), Jimmy on bass (from Danish punksters Gob Squad), Jakob on guitar (came in the band four years ago, so this is his second album with us) and Pepe on guitar – only original member.

How difficult was it firstly to find replacements that could feel what HateSphere had and needed and how was working with them at first?

We knew them before they joined the band, so that made things a bit easier. But they are all experienced, talented and big HateSphere fans… and that is always a good start. It felt like we all had the same plan and the same expectations. They have all tried a lot before, and they know what to expect, so we are all on the same level.

Which aspect of the band is it hardest to integrate new members into, the writing and creation of songs, live shows, learning some of the older songs but also adding their own flavours to them…..?

I would say the song writing. There’s no doubt about that these guys can play the old songs and perform them live – but to get them into the song writing must be the hardest thing. It is the most important part after all because with no good songs, no good album, there will be no shows, haha. But these guys nailed it, hehe. As soon as we got started, it was obvious that the chemistry was there, so the song writing for the new album went pretty smooth!

Your new and seventh album The Great Bludgeoning was released last month, was it a more of going into the unknown with it bearing in mind the new members to the band compared to other albums in the past?

No, we knew that we had made one hell of an album, so we were confident that most people would like it. The critics will always be there, also the ones still complaining about the line-up changes, but that’s just how things are.

How long in the making has The Great Bludgeoning been?

We started the song writing in December 2010, and finished it off in June 2011 just before entering the studio. So we actually wrote most of the album without a bass player, ‘cause Jimmy entered the band mid-April 2011. We were confident that we would find the right bass player, so we just kept on writing music for the album, and luckily it paid off. We had booked the studio way in advance, so we knew when we had to be done with the album. So there was no time to rest, haha.

Much as we dislike certain terms as all music is new when first presented but there does seem, and I think you have said it yourselves, an old school feel to the album. This was intentional from the outset?

We never agree on how an album should sound beforehand. We simply just write the music that we like on that certain time, and this time around we liked the old school feel to it. As all the new members are old HateSphere and metal fans it was natural that the songs turned out the way they did.

What for you are the differences between The Great Bludgeoning and previous album To The Nines, and did you approach the new release’s creation in a different way to its predecessor?

We most certainly were more confident this time, as we are no longer that affected by all the fuzz created by the line up changes, and all the pressure that comes along with it. We don’t care much about people that wanna dwell in the fact that we got new members. Who cares as long as the music kicks ass? So, as we get older, we get more and more self confident as well, and we brought that to the song writing. The song writing went way more smooth this time around, as we all shared the same vision and kinda came from the same background. We all agreed on making this a metal album with a capitol M.

Anything specific inspire the lyrical contents of the new album, which as ever are highly emotive and aggressive.

The lyrics are for the most part tales of (and views on) everyday life through a more or less dark or pessimistic lens. They are tales of ruined lives, self-hate, greed, thoughtlessness and more. And each song stands either on the victim’s or the offender’s side in the great bludgeoning.

How do you avoid your lyrical intent becoming stale having already six highly charged albums that made a distinct mark on metal?

I really don’t know. I guess that’s why we always change singers, as they all write different kinda lyrics, haha. No, I think it’s like the music. It’s the small details that make the big picture. So, depending on what’s on the lyricists mind, it will always be slightly different lyrics… some times more, some times less

What comes next for Hatesphere with the album?

We have a couple of small headliner tours coming up in Europe in the fall of 2011. Then we aim for a European support tour in early 2012, a Scandinavian run in the spring, summer festivals before we go to the US in the fall of 2012. So, lots of stuff to do :-)

Thanks so much for talking to us. With The Great Bludgeoning the proof that thrash metal is still a vibrant genre would you like to end with some last words for those about to revel in the might of the album?

Thank you for the kind words – and thank you to all the fans for buying the album, checking out our music and supporting us. Hope to see all of you on the road!



The Great Bludgeoning is available now via Napalm Records

For more on the band check out their profile @

RingMaster 27/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Coilguns Interview

Copyright : David Robinson

One of the most exciting releases this year has come in the split release between Coilguns and Kunz, both bands featuring the members of German experimental metal band The Ocean.

Coilguns consisting of Louis Jucker, Luc Hess, and Jona Nido especially grabbed our attention with the three songs of stunning aggression, intensity, mayhem and deeply striking sounds they contributed to the release. The RingMaster Review obviously leapt at the opportunity to fire questions about the band to guitarist and songwriter Jona.

Hi and welcome to The RingMaster Review and many thanks for taking time to indulge our questions.

Thank you for your interests in our new project.

With you guys well known and busy with The Ocean how long have the sounds and ideas for Coilguns been lying in wait to be unleashed?

You know, Louis, Luc and I have been playing together for 10 years now, so I’d say it has always been there. Then, The Ocean crossed our path and we dedicated the last 4 years of our lives to this band.

Now, to be more specific about Coilguns itself, I think we started talking about having a new band, for fun, some kind of a D-beat-punk-math-whatever-you-call-it band during a European tour with The Ocean in 2010. It was a drinking night in Berlin. From there on, I really started to feel like I needed to do my own stuff again. I’ve been writing songs for my bands since I’m 13 so even with all the good stuff that goes with being in a band such as The Ocean, I started having this urgent need of expressing myself the way I used to do it.

But to be honest, the first time I wrote some tunes for Coilguns was in December 2010 when I was spending a month in New York. It actually took me one day. So here’s the answer to your question: It’s been there hidden somewhere for ages until I had a bit of Ocean-free time and then it was like an explosion of riffs and ideas!

What was it that made now the right time to bring forth Coilguns?

It is just that last December / January and this last summer was the first time in 4 years where we didn’t have anything at all with The Ocean.

Starting a band is one thing, but if you wanna get anywhere it can come to a(n) (unpaid) full time job really quickly. So Instead of going to the beach (that doesn’t exist anyway where we live) and do barbecues with friends we just decided to spend 6 hours a day in the rehearsal room and after that I was spending another 4 hours working the PR, office part. I would even say that this year was the worst one to launch a new project actually. We’ve never been so much on tour with The Ocean than this year.

We just wanted to do it and dealt with the time we had. We were even able to squeeze a Coilguns tour right before going for a massive 4 months tour with The Ocean.

Jona, it was an obvious and seemingly the only choice to bring Luc and Louis to help realise your ideas?  Did you think about other musicians too at any point?

Not at all. There are obviously dozens of musicians I’d love to jam with but why would I look at someone else in the end?

We all live in the same town, have pretty well equipped home studios, friends that have amazing studios, we have the exact same schedule for the whole year and most important we’ve been playing together for 10 year, toured the world and played 500 shows together, so there really was no reason to look after someone else.

And this is without talking about the fact that Luc is just one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen. Him and his drum kit are really just one entity. He’s such a groove machine, tight as fuck, super creative, always tasty and he’s got this unique human/organic approach of drumming that most of the modern metal drummers are missing.

For what Louis is concerned, well… He was there, we were drunk and he kinda forced us…

Your sound is wonderfully hard to pin down, how would you classify it?

I don’t like to label my own music, like no one obviously. I could make you a list of labels that would fit the way I feel about this band but it’s useless.

Generally, and I’m not talking about the 3 tracks from the split only, I use the following adjectives:

Dark, oppressive, negative, violent and experimental.  We like heavy and crushing sounds. And even though in our new songs we have some long build up instrumental parts it is still really tortured and dark as fuck. that’s what we like. Being extreme is not about being fast or technical, it’s about being EVIL, and our music def. is. My favourite description of what we do is:

it’s like a good rough fuck. While you’re doing it, you slap, spit, choke but when it’s over, everybody’s happy and had a good time.”

You have just released the excellent split release with Kunz, Luc and Louis’ band, were the songs already in a near finished state before you entered the studio or constructed within its walls? 

Nope, I just sent Louis and Luc guitar tracks while I was still in the US. They were really enthusiastic about them so I booked a studio straight away. We once rehearsed with Luc 2 hours and then it was studio time.
Louis wrote his lyrics and found his vocal lines in the train, on his way to the studio… It wasn’t meant to be like that though. It’s just that we weren’t really taking this seriously. I think it’s always better to know what you are doing when you get in the studio then you can spend more time on improving your songs than actually rehearse them.

You recorded the tracks live to bring rawness to the sound and certainly the songs have a delicious abrasive and striking edge but apart from the obvious what were the advantages and negatives that you encountered by doing it this way?

There are many ways to record live. For this one we still used a click track in order to do some overdubs and stuffs…So I guess this would be the best way to “fake” a live recording, because if everybody’s in a separate room and you record to a click track you can still edit whatever you want.

My favourite way of doing it is just to be in the same room, facing each others, no click track, no bullshit, just balls.

I don’t see any negatives to be honest…maybe the fact that you’ll never be able to get a massive production with such raw material but that isn’t what we’re looking for anyway.

A good thing when you record live is that you really need to work hard on your instrument and with your drummer. Recording in one take is not something that everybody can do. Means if you can do it then you’re gonna be able to play it like that on stage.

I’m really fed up with all these bands that have over-produced records and are so bad live…and there are so many of these “scene” bands that all sound the same and are not even able to play their instruments.

Recording live is just being the real you, in our case it’s about 3 people looking at each other and on a simple eye contact we start a song, no hi-hat counts, no given tempo. And people can feel that on the record and on stage as well.

Please describe how you write and construct your songs. Is it just you and where do you start?

At first it was only me. But although I usually have a few drums ideas I never tell Luc about it until he writes his parts. Usually he’s never doing what I expected and that’s what makes it interesting.

So basically I track my guitar, send it to Luc and then we meet in the room and play for hours. For the next album we wanna try a different approach and just jam around a few riffs and build the songs together. I have a pretty unusual setup even being alone I can do many many things so I think the best way to go is to write stuff on the spot with this setup and with Luc in the room. We really wanna boost the dark experimental side of our music.
The songs are a maelstrom of energy, intrusive sounds and inspiring ideas that at times feel random, just how carefully are songs layered and when do you know when to stop before going too far?

I just learned through the years to contain myself. I still like tricky and tech stuff but I found out that writing a good simple song is more challenging than compiling nerd-tech riffs and call it a song.

But I’m no one to say that I’m not going too far. The songs from the split really are the first ones I wrote for this band. Things happened so quickly that there wasn’t any time to step back and see what were the weak points of these songs. But even now, I don’t think we’ve been too far. Maybe on the next record we will, but more in an experimental / noisy way.

I also have to admit that Louis’s an amazing songwriter, really talented musician and he has a good vision on what’s necessary or not. I rely on him a lot in that regard.

You have also recorded a 30 minute EP Stadia Rod, could you tell us about this and was it recorded at the same time as the three tracks for the split EP?

Alright, for the first time, I’ll tell the whole story:

When we confirmed our first show -which by the way was a support slot for Dillinger- we only had 11 minutes of music. and this was about a month before the show…So we worked our asses off to have a 45 minutes set and we rehearsed so much that 10 days before the show we were like: “Shall we book a studio and record those songs?” and so we did! It took us 5 hours to get one good take of each song. The day after, Louis recorded the vocals in his living room, 2 days later Julien Fehlmann mixed and mastered it in 4 hours and we then manufactured ourselves 150 records in a nice fancy homemade silk-screen print packaged. All of this in a week.

The songs are obviously more personal, still “straight in your face” but we also integrated instrumental parts, really dark ones though that build up for like 5 minutes. That’s the result of me being really comfie with my new setup and we’re just gonna keep developing this.

Also the concepts and lyrics behind every title are much more elaborated than on the split.

Since the recording Louis has laid down his bass to concentrate on the vocals and the band has decided not to replace him apart from with technology and your skills. Was this decision to use technology another obvious one or did you contemplate a new member to the band?

We never considered having another member. I really do think that the less people you are in a band, the better it is. And seriously, I wouldn’t have imagined having another bass player than Louis anyway, at least not for this band.

How easy has it been to incorporate the bass sound into your hands in the live show area?

Well as soon as I figured how to have a bass sound, it was fairly easy. It was hard in the first place since I’m not so much of a gear nerd. I really had to look to all options and finally came up with my own thing which consists of a huge custom pedal board with many effects but moreover switches that allows me to control 2 different guitar amps and a bass amp as well.

Live we just have the same amount of gear than a five piece band. The bass is just coming through like a regular one. But I make it sound fat and bassy but not super clear and defined. You can really hear that there is a bass and I’m really working with all these switches to give some dynamics and relief to the songs. I can have only one guitar playing, both, without bass, with the bass, only the bass…some effects are going only through one guitar amp…I’m so happy with this setup man, I can just sound like 3 people but without having to deal with them personally!

There is a unity to the band from working together for a long time and constantly that comes out in the sound, do you think bringing someone else in would disrupt that?

I think it would. The 3 of us really are on the same page on what this band’s concerned. We don’t need to talk much about things or do compromises. We are confident enough in what we do and the decisions we make to not care much or ask anyone’s opinion on anything Coilguns related.

What is next for Coilguns, an album maybe?

We’re gonna try to release our first full length next year yes. Before that, “Stadia Rods” will be released on 10” vinyl early next year through Scottish label Dead Dead Dead Music. The guy running this label, Neil, is amazing and he really wants to help us out in the UK.

The booking of our second tour has started, it’s gonna be around mid-March until mid-April and this will most certainly go through the UK! I’m really excited to come over with this band. Reviews and feedback have been really good for Coilguns there.

Could there be a chance of a show with Kunz, Coilguns, and The Ocean on the bill? It would make lots very happy.

This is gonna happen in May in a festival in Eastern Europe. Even Earthship (Robin’s other band) will be on the bill! but we are gonna play on different days. Maybe a Kunz / Ocean bill would work but I know Luc wouldn’t be able to do a Coilguns show and a The Ocean one. We talked about it but it would be too intense for him.

Again many thanks for talking with us would you care to leave with a last thought for your fans and those yet to find your great sounds?

Thank you, really interesting interview and thx for your enthusiasm and support!

Support your local scene, go to shows, discover unknown bands and buy merch!!

The split EP between Coilgun and Kunz is available now via Pelagic Records for more info check out

RingMaster 27/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Uneven Structure – Februus

The anticipation for the debut album from French progressive metalers Uneven Structure was tempered a little when finding out how long Februus took to create. Actually it was not the time taken as that shows care and the element of perfection in the band that has to be a good thing, it was reading the quote from guitarist Aure Pereira who commented on the album “We have been constantly re-writing Februus over the past two years with the aim of turning it into something really special and soulful. We wanted to be sure that we had put the best of us in it and I think we’ve been successful at doing that.” It was the ‘constantly rewriting’ part that raised a little concern as any artist in any medium knows and finds there comes a point where something is finished, it is at its height and continued work upon it simply takes the subject further away from its envisaged finality. Of course now one regrets doubting the sextet as Februus is a masterpiece of creative songwriting and its stunning realisation.

Formed in 2008, the Metz based band released an EP a year later called 8 (available as a free download in its entirety from the band’s official website) and immediately drew acclaim and eager enthusiasm for their debut which is released via Basick Records October 31st.  Februus is a concept album spanning across two discs dealing with evolution, the passage from nothing to a beings completion. A bold effort for the first official release for any band but as the time spent on it shows Uneven Structure push and stretch their skills, ideas and songwriting until they achieve their intent. As good as 8 was there is a marked leap in quality and levels with Februus , their progressive metal and djent polymetric rhythms and riffs fluid within the astonishing ambient and atmospheric soundscapes. Expectation was of sounds loaded with Meshuggah/TessaracT type polyrhythmic layers but though they are prominent they fuse within the intelligent melodic tapestries and ambient passages, from this is where the real power of the release lies.

 Februus is one of those fine albums that have an instantaneous connection as well as containing substantial textures and intriguing corridors to explore on each subsequent visit. It is a flowing album from the opening aggressive ‘Awaken‘ through to the closing ‘Finale’ on disc 1, each track merging into another with seamless elegance and effect but still making each song distinctively separate. From this the album works as a single experience or in its individual parts, though the greatest satisfaction is from experiencing Februus in its entirety. As mentioned ‘Awaken‘ strikes intensely before unveiling its melodic might and the impressive vocals of Matthieu Romarin, in a release of only highs he is one of the most triumphant elements, his voice and delivery a perfect balance between harsh and clean.

The opener flows into ‘Frost’ a darkly toned track with taunting riffs and a less violent attack though just as intimidating in it’s different attack. The trio of guitarists in Jérôme Colombelli, Igor Omodei, and Aurélien Pereira, who also provides ambient flows with synths throughout the release, unleash stirring and emotive sounds that make the song and Frebuus more than an aural experience. Romarin again fills the song with a perfect mix of light and dark over the forceful rhythms from bassist Benoit Friedrich and drummer Christian Schreil, in a band of talented musicians he really is imperious.

Tracks like ‘Hail’, ‘Awe’ and ‘Quittance’ enflame the senses with their startling construction and unique sounds, the band the instigators of imagery and emotions with their thoughtful and original arresting compositions. The two ambient fuelled instrumentals of ‘Exmersion’ and ‘Limbo’ are as striking as any other song and effective in making a respite to the intensity though both carry their own strength, especially the latter with its haunting and disturbing feeling of sensing something is there but impossible to touch or clearly view. This leads into the album’s best track ‘Plenitude’ which is the realisation and conclusion as it joins ‘Finale’ of the concept within Frebuus.

The production from guitarist Igor Omodei is impeccable with every element, sound and intricacy openly heard but still an even part of the overall mixture. There are no obvious flaws to Frebuus and with its depth and uniqueness it is at the head of the best releases this year. The second disc contains three tracks running 30 minutes of ambient sounds that run on from the first disc’s closing track and conjures up more imagery as it plays in the mind and senses. If there is one album to make a deliberate b-line to this is it, Uneven Structure has set a new standard for melodic metal with their debut and will surely make a lot of bands reassess their own sound and approach.

RingMaster 26/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Silent Screams-When It Rains

The new album When It Rains from Coventry band Silent Screams marks not only an impressive debut for the UK metalcore band but the initial release from Ghost Music, the new label founded by Ghostfest creator Toyan St Hilaire, who made the band his first signing. Immediately impressed by the band’s album St Hilaire threw himself into unleashing it on the world; commenting about the release he said “As soon as I heard the new SILENT SCREAMS record, I just knew it was gold – I just knew I had to do something with it… ‘When It Rains’ made such an impact on me that I’ve decided to finally put my money where my mouth is; hence GHOST MUSIC was born! I’m super excited to be working with this band and their record!”  Upon hearing When It Rains it is easy to understand his enthusiasm as the album is a power house of intent and creation. For a debut it is immense and though it may not be flawless it carries an edge and purpose as well as thoroughly stunning sounds that many if not most releases lack.

The band already have impressed during their rise up the UK metal ranks, tours and shared stages with the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, Your Demise, For The Fallen Dreams, and Emmure around not only the UK but Europe and Australia, bringing constant upward surge in their following and anticipation for their debut release. When It Rains produced by renowned producer/engineer Joey Sturgis (Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Miss May I), does not disappoint at all only pleases.  

To some extent When It Rains takes a little work when first diving into its feast of sound, there is not an immediate connection. Well not strictly true as musically it does light up the senses and offers intrigue and thrills at every twist and turn in its varied soundscape of hardcore, progressive and melodic metalcore. Where it struggled to make an impact initially was vocally though repeated listens, which all releases deserve for a true assessment, found the blend much easier to come to terms with. It is hard to work out if it is the production or James Ryan’s natural delivery but his growls and shouts at times lack definition and are too unrefined to make them easy at first to take in. To be fair it does not help when alongside him bassist Tom Craig provides clean vocals that are glorious and give a wonderful scope to the songs. Personally the hope more use will be made of his voice in the future to bring a greater even mix between them both brings eager anticipation.

That is the only issue there is with an excellent debut form the band. Musically they are tight and unafraid to infuse varied directions and ideas which provide a constant interest and invitation within their release. Opening track ‘Assume The Worst’ strikes with full aggression and intent providing a mighty wave of fierce drumming from the explosive Adam Mallabone and cutting guitars sounds and bludgeoning riffs from Sam Varney and Ozzi Osman. The first half of the track paces itself with a firm steadiness holding back its diverse moment when with a growling riff and resonating bass from Craig it starts exploring and expanding its limits, the vocals from the bassist soaring out over the gruffness of Ryan.

The consistency across the album is perfect, not one track dipping below the high level set with the opener. Songs like ‘Desperation’ with its commanding teasing groove, the strongly emotive ‘Til There’s Nothing Left’, and the album’s best track ‘Sinking’ all raise the bar with sounds and performance lined with fierce assertiveness and incisive delivery. The latter of the three unveils its kaleidoscope of inspired songwriting, intricate play, and diversity wonderfully, engaging forcibly as it permeates the senses. It is the strongest example of what the whole album achieves and which is bringing menacing and brutal sounds together with stirring harmonies and delicious melodies that enthuse as equally as the forthright and irrepressible riffs.

When It Rains is an immense debut and gives strong excitement for future releases from Silent Screams, and if they find sort out the vocals a little more the band will tower over most rivals.

RingMaster 25/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Noctem – Oblivion

Oblivion is the second part of a trilogy from Spanish blackened death metalers Noctem and an album as intense and notable as its intent and theme. Following on from the 2009’s Divinity, the new album is a dramatic and crushing release and an impressive step forward for the band. The band already no stranger to strong praise with Oblivion is set to consolidate and further their status as one of the more exciting creative death metal bands.

From Valencia Noctem took until 2009 to release their debut album Divinity though there were releases from the band which formed in 2001. The demos Unholy Blood in 2002, a live cd live 2004, and the mcd God Among Slave all garnered increasingly strong acclaim but it was with the debut album that they made the deepest mark. 2008 saw founder members vocalist Beleth and guitarist Exo joined by bassist Ul, drummer Darko, and Helion on guitar, and it can be no coincidence it is with this settled line-up that fortunes and levels rose for the quintet.  

Shows and tours too took them further into the awareness and respect of more and more eager fans, sharing stages with the likes of Ragnarok, Gorgoroth, Finntroll and Carach Angren the perfect arena to share their inspired brutality lined with creative and melodic juices with more and more appreciative ears. Oblivion shows the band have now reached new heights and evolved into a beast that knows how to make aggressive and vital sounds delivered with passion and dark intensity.

Opening instrumental ‘Popol Vuh’ sets the scene with atmospheric brief soundscape that leads with increasing tension to the coming of something formidable. ‘The Arrival of the False Gods’ is that impending power, its violent crushing riffs and rhythms going straight for the jugular with only smart and distinctive guitar play giving any sense of a respite. It is a solid and commanding start though it does not give anything to go further than just riling up the senses. It is with its successor ‘Universal Disorder’ that things take off and stretch into loftier levels. Bristling with black attitude and determined destruction the track consumes every pore. Through his bestial growls and taunting delivery Beleth’s vocals are as emotive as the content and sit perfectly upon the driven riffs and the melodically infused insertions from the guitars.

The music throughout the album is forceful though despite its harsh and vehement nature does not unleash an intensity that is as destructive as it could have been, preferring to enforce the energy through striking and incisive melodies alongside precise and explosive blackened grooves under pummelling riffs. Songs like the mighty ‘Invictus’ the first single taken from the album and a track that ripples with oppressive and ominous malevolence reminding of the evil of masses wielding power throughout history, the unrepentant ferocity of ‘Seeking the Ruin Of Souls’ which literally burns flesh within the ear as the cutting guitars and scorching vocals strip the senses, and the amalgam of melodic beauty and knee buckling energy of ‘Unredemption’ satisfy and reveal their quality to deep effect.

Oblivion available worldwide via Rising Records / Metal blade Records is a haunting release full of foreboding within its blend of death metal and technical progressive melodies, though that is simplifying what they create. It is emotive and powerful combining an array of dark spite and malevolent beauty, a release that is at times majestic and always stirring. The sounds recall the likes of Behemoth, Dissection, and Kataklysm to name three, but it is also distinctive to Noctem and with a freshness that is reassuring. Bring on the final part of the trilogy as on this evidence it will be epic.

RingMaster 25/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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Hammers of Misfortune – 17th Street

The new album from San Francisco’s Hammers of Misfortune is not just a fine listen it goes even deeper to give a full experience that lights up the senses. The sounds within 17th Street coax, caress, and pleasure the ears as it unveils its melodic and creative glory to stimulate and bring forth powerful imagery and emotions, at times you can almost taste the world and atmosphere the band conjure with their skilled songwriting and stirring sounds such is the quality contained within the release.  The album wraps itself around the listener bringing them into its heartfelt premise, the songs within dealing with loss and endings. John Cobbett the guitarist and producer of the band expanded further when commenting “The songs each deal with this in one way or another. It could be the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a way of life, one’s home or livelihood, or one’s innocence. It could be about any number of these things at the same time”. 

The album sees the new line-up of the band with guitarist and vocalist Leila Abdul-Rauf (Saros, Vastum, Amber Asylum) and vocalist Joe Hutton (The Worship of Silence) joining band founders Cobbett and drummer Chewy Marzolo, plus long standing members Max Barnett on bass and Sigrid Sheie who adds organ, piano, vocals and flute. It has to be said that listening to the album one envisages a larger band, the songs they produce having an almost orchestral feel at times and always creating a big and expansive sound. 17th Street is not easy musically to pin down, the blends of NWOBHM, progressive, thrash, black metal and folk rock all spices in a sound that swings from hard rock through to a rock opera feel but without all the indulgence and over blown grandeur. It is wonderfully varied, rounded and most of all it is uniquely Hammers of Misfortune, though there are many bands and flavours recognisable within the songs it is all distinctively the Californians.  

Formed in the late nineties as Unholy Cadaver it was with their 2001 album The Bastard that the band changed its name to Hammers of Misfortune.  The new release is their fifth album and comes via Metal Blade Records, and evidence that the new line-up has brought more vitality to the band’s sound that is rewarding for all. The musicianship is impeccable and the ideas and their realisation impressive and completely engaging. From the opening ‘317’,which feels like an introduction to the joys ahead rather than a self contained song, the album is ablaze with light and dark alongside hope and shadows all encapsulated in striking and energising sounds.

The title track pounces next with teasing keys, taunting riffs and invigorating harmonies. The vocals of Leila Abdul-Rauf backing and combining with the great voice and delivery of Joe Hutton bring a melodic sweep to the music that it is very easy to become infatuated with. The song swoops and sways in mesmeric fashion bringing highs tinged with more ominous taints peeping from within. A stunning song equalled easily on 17th Street by the likes of ‘The Day The City Died’ a song that is large, bristling, and verging on bitter, the grand and robust riffing and rousing keys of the ramped up and brilliant ‘Romance Valley’,  and ‘Summer Tears’ with its Queen and Phantom of The Opera tinged power ballad flow.

It is ‘Grey Wednesday’ though that takes top honours on the album. With more than a touch of Rush driven with insistent riffs, shining melodies, and intense rich expression the song is a beacon, its power and light drawing one into its heart to feel and breathe the varied tones and shadows.

17th Street is a masterpiece and masterclass of stunning creativity and emotive delivery, a glorious source of heartening and disconcerting themes, words, and sounds. There are obvious touches of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden as well as those already mentioned and more, but all is mere whispers and the music wholly unique to Hammers of Misfortune. The simple fact is 17th Street is one of the most invigorating and impressive albums this year.

RingMaster 24/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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