Interview with Fredrik Croona (Cynical Existence)

shot taken by Martin Tzr Niklasson- http://www.tzr.se — with Iva Insane and Psylocke.

Already well respected from his work with Menschdefekt and with his band Project Rotten let alone numerous other collaborations and projects, Fredrik Croona brought another absorbing, impactful, and stirring release to incite our hearts from his new project Cynical Existence  in the shape of its debut album A Familiar Kind of Pain. A release of harsh EBM and dark electro might and infection the new album continues the impressive contribution and creativity of Fredrik that has installed him as one of the more inspirational and notable people in the genres and subgenres his projects easily envelope. We had the pleasure of Fredrik agreeing to answer our questions so we could find out more about him and his music.

Hi Fredrik, many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Firstly tell us not about the musician but about the man Fredrik Croona.

Well, what can I say? I am a normal guy who has a day time job trying to earn enough to make a living. When I don’t do that I prefer to play video games and go to the gym and pretend to be a strong muscular dude. I am pretty much a nerd.

The first introduction to you for many of us was when you joined Menschdefekt in 2009, is there a musical history before that point for you?

I started out as a vocalist in a heavy metal/new metal band back in 2003 and after that I was a vocalist in a death metal band and some minor short lived dark electro/darkwave projects. I doubt that anyone heard about these bands besides my close friends, cause we never got past the demo stages and only performed live in my home town of Gothenburg.

How did your union with Dominik R. in the band come about?

I think those who know me well enough know that I have a passion to start side projects or collaborations with other artists and I was actually surfing around Myspace and found Menschdefekt and Dominik was holding some kind of competition for a vocalist who wanted to try to write lyrics and do vocals for a track (I forgot the name of it). I wasn’t into it at first but I thought hell why not? And Dominik loved my vocals and lyrics and wanted me to join as full time vocalist.

Next you formed Project Rotten alongside Menschdefekt for your solo work, what did you want to experiment with and create that was different to Menschdefekt?

First off I wanted to make something myself, or at least try but I failed. I made two tracks myself which were pretty terrible in all aspects of both music and vocals and so I got a guy called Jan to join me, cause I needed help. And after that Kettil joined and helped improve the music drastically. In the end I wanted something more raw and sinister than Menschdefekt.

I would say that everything but the vocals is different. In CE everything is created and produced by me and this in return makes me create anything I want to create. I have total control and nobody can tell me what to do and not to do (not saying that is the case with Project Rotten). But still there is more freedom this way.

You are no longer involved with Menschdefekt, was this because of the demands of working two bands or that Project Rotten was naturally pulling in all your creative energy into itself to leave less than you wished for Menschdefekt?

My biggest problem with Menschdefekt was that it was stealing too much attention from Project Rotten and the sound didn’t evolve too much in my ears. I always strive to evolve and so does Kettil and we want the same things. It’s easier to work this way and I still make the final mixes in Project Rotten so I can make it sound the way I want it to. Dominik is a great musician and I had lots of fun in Menschdefekt but it got to a point where I couldn’t evolve with it anymore so I had to cut it off.

What have and do the three bands differ in and offer distinctly differently to your creative ideas and craft

Menschdefekt was focused on catchy hook lines and themes about war, corruption and human decay.

Project Rotten was based on fiction and horror with heavy beats and dark aggressive music (which has evolved into a more club oriented sound).

Cynical Existence is a personal project with a lot of feelings and lyrics about past experiences etc and it’s whatever I want it to be. One track can be a bit future pop-ish and one can be really dark and aggressive. I have no boundaries to what I create.

With Project Rotten and Cynical Existence is there sometimes a battle within you over which gets priority over a new idea you have?

Nah, Kettil is the musical drive behind PR so if there would be a battle it would be for the lyrics. Both bands are equal for me and I don’t see a problem or a battle amongst them. If there comes a time when I have to choose *I would probably merge both bands into one instead.

How do you create your music generally?

I boot up cubase and start a VST and just write and move around and try different things. I never know what to do until I do it.

How many times have you thought of something that you think will work in a track but not been near anything to record it and then for it ultimately to disappear from memory by the time you are haha?

Oh shit, well that is a hard question. I would probably say one too many ;). Worst part is when you are at work and you think of something and when you get home it’s just gone.

With Cynical Existence the band bio states the goal for the band was to create a form of ‘old school’ harsh EBM and industrial “ with a more personal touch and emotions infused into it.” Could you expand on the personal and emotional elements and how these differs from what you have brought through with Project Rotten?

Like I stated before, Project Rotten was mostly about fiction and horror and the new songs are more sarcastic and with a lot of dark humour. Cynical Existence is more personal because I write things that are close to me and the music probably reflects that also. I hate the terms Cyber and Hellectro. I call it harsh ebm or dark electro cause that is what it is. It has nothing to do with cyberspace or dystopia or hell, this is what makes it special to me.

A Familiar Kind Of Pain is the debut Cynical Existence album and one we loved. How long was it in the making and has the sounds and idea behind it been around longer than the project?

Should I really spill my beans about this ;)? The EP is actually a mini CD. But it took me about 3 months to make, maybe even less. When I have my creative drive I can write A LOT. Mind you a lot has been thrown away.

Did A Familiar Kind Of Pain change and evolve by the finished album much from your original ideas and vision?

I didn’t really have an idea. I just wanted to try and create music. As I stated before I did two songs back in 2009 but they were just arpeggios and sequencers so they don’t count. This time around I just wanted to create and see what I could do. I want to create varied tracks with different feelings for the EP and I think I managed to do it.

Is there a theme or continuing essence behind the EP, or is this the personal part of you that we feel linking the songs?

Hmm not really, I just wanted every track to sound a bit different to see what I could make; I wanted variation and see how far I could go without going too far.

Is Cynical Existence something you see becoming an active live band like Project Rotten or remain a recording vehicle for your dark electro and harsh EBM ideas?

Hell yes! I already played live once and will be standing on stage again in about 2 months. So I will be playing live for sure.

In a genre where it seems that fans and some artists are almost intolerant of certain sounds, and sub styles within the vast industrial world, what were you expecting response wise from your fans to something  openly different to Project Rotten?

I wasn’t expecting anything to be honest. I mean I didn’t even think I could make a album and release it but I did. I create music for myself and if people like it that is awesome but in the end as long as I like it it’s ok. This is for me in the end. It might sound egoistic but if not for me, then who else?

How do you view industrial right now, it almost seems a volatile environment to be making music within?

A lot of people are whiny bitches to be honest, both artists and people alike. I don’t really listen to industrial music myself and don’t keep up with the scene. But I still love the scene who likes and appreciates what you do, why waste energy on the others?

What inspires your music and ideas, and does it differ from the different bands you have been and are involved in?

Everyday life and my personal feelings. I think it does because this is on a very personal level and I am there from start to finish.

What are the biggest influences that have crossed into all your work?

I have no idea, there are some bands I really got influenced by in my early electro years, but before that it was metal. Now I don’t really know. It’s a very hard question.

Apart from the bands we have mentioned what else are you involved with? We know you also collaborate with other artists like one of our favourites Scream Machine.

Well as of right now I am working on the vocals for the Mexican dark electro band Anamadim, besides that it’s kind of quiet. I don’t really have time or energy to waste on other things at the moment because of PR and CE. Got two album in the works to finish this year.

With the internet collaborations are much easier to engineer and do, but do you think it also from the fact that people do not even need to be in the same country to create music together that it can lose the naturally instinctive essences one finds from all being together side by side working?

I don’t think it’s matter if you are there or not. As long as you have a connection with the other part and you both have the same drive and passion I don’t see a reason why it should differ from working next to each other in real life. Internet creates huge possibilities that we couldn’t even dream about 15 years ago.

What is next for you?

To get my albums ready and prepare to release them onto the world so stay tuned!

A big thank you for taking time to talk with us, it is very much appreciated.

Would you like to end with any last thoughts about anything?

Even if it seems that I don’t have much love for the industrial scene I actually do. The fans and people who support us bands those are the people I give my love to. The others can fuck off and die! Thank you!

Read the A Familiar Kind Of Pain review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/cynical-existence-a-familiar-kind-of-pain/

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The Given Motion: Human Dictionary

It is obvious to say with any debut a band wants to make a strong impression, offer a quality and originality that has people intrigued in the very least, and set in motion an anticipation for and a promise of much more impressive things to come. US indie rock band The Given Motion do just that with their album Human Dictionary, a release that brings vibrancy, dynamic songwriting, and compulsive sounds directly to the ear whilst feeding thoughts the assumption that from this excellent introduction there is even greater things ahead.

Formed in 2008, The Given Motion to use their words “was a distant concept preceded by an undeniable energy and creative force,” something listening to Human Dictionary is very apparent. The release bristles with a creative energy that pours from every note and syllable of the seven tracks within. Through a diverse release the band infuse a power and passion which whether in the more intense songs or the melodically charming ones is an ever present. The songs on the whole are also very catchy without resorting to obvious lures and hooks, showing the strength of composition and ease with which they strike up a rapport with the emotions of its listeners.

The release opens with Sing To Me and instantly has the ear eager to know more. The song has a gentle sway to its start which draws one into its infectious chorus and spreading arms of sound and energy.  The track never explodes into a lustful proposition though one feels it wants to at times, but holds a fine restraint which adds to the emotion it engages with. The vocals of frontman C.J. Schiatta are excellent, fresh, emotive, and bursting with an enthused endeavour lined with a knowing control which is captivating. Backed by the voice of guitarist Frank Mitaritonna there is a sure and appealing combination which flows perfectly with the guitar melodies and the mesmeric rhythms from bassist Tim Dillon and drummer Ryan Colichio.

The strong start is continued by Don’t Blink (There Was A Time). Opening with a jangly guitar reminding of Orange Juice the song offers a thoughtful pop pleasuring which leaves on energised and equally relaxed. Its warmth carries an eighties indie sense that flowed through bands like The Farmers Boys, The Bluebells and Lightning Seeds and by the end it is impossible not to be joining in with the hypnotic chorus.

The best two tracks on the release come in the shape of the title track and The Feeling. Both bring a more aggressive nature that sees them set in a post punk/rock footing which is inspiring. Human Dictionary struts and flexes its muscles with an attitude and intent which lifts the intensity into a disdainful slightly venomous attack. It is easily the best song on the album, a mighty well structured and very effective pulse racing inciter. It is closely matched by the immediately following The Feeling, another rock veined song which blends in melodies and harmonies that simmer with emotion and again a sense of spite. For all the great songs on the release these two are where one hopes the band concentrates most of all, with their craft and songwriting abilities they could set rock music truly alight.

The remaining songs are all again great examples of the diversity and creative skills of the band. Find Me, Watching You Drown, and One Jumps In, all merge with the ear with a slower melodic intent which pours more of the passion and emotive power the band has onto the senses. The trio all lie on a ballad bed but raise and twist the feelings and intensity back and forth with accomplished and inspired skill. From a personal perspective the more aggressive rock side of the band wins out but it is impossible to deny the expertise and instinctive quality that swarms within each and every song.

It is safe to say The Given Motion is destined to be a major player in the future playlist of the world with Human Dictionary their first very impressive entry.

http://www.thegivenmotion.com/

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Black Hats: Austerity for the Hoi Polloi

To be honest when the songs from the outstanding debut album from UK indie rock band Black Hats graced the ear there was an instant thought it was a new release from Young Knives even though the CD said differently. As Austerity for the Hoi Polloi unveiled its full might and collection of infectious and striking tracks there was obvious that there was much more going on within the songs but there is no mistaking that the band which came to mind first is a big influence to Black Hats, which can only be a good thing.

From Oxford, Black Hats consists of Ian Budd (bass, vocals), Nick Breakspear (guitar, vocals) and Mark Franklin (drums, vocals). Eighteen months or so as a band has seen them consistently and increasingly grab attention as they unveiled new songs, grabbed radio play including a live session for BBC Introducing (Oxford), and released their first EP Magnets. With the release of their debut album Austerity for the Hoi Polloi, one can only see bigger and more urgent things coming to hound and throw acclaim at their door.

As the opening guitars shower the ear with crystalline melodies, first track You Make Us What We Are immediately has the ear offering full attention. With a slight ska lilt to the riffs the song pokes and insists the senses take notice as a delicious dark bass line meanders wonderfully through the centre. It is very Young Knives which made the double take at first but as the song plays and captivates more and more the distinct and different qualities of Black Hats is easily apparent. The song never ignites into a full out frenzied party but borders it closely to make a song which is deeply engaging and openly infectious.

     Death By Record bounces in next with a punk urgency and inspired melodic mesmeric teasing. Checking into the band before writing the review there were quite often comparisons with Gang of Four mentioned which the first song never suggested at all which had one wondering where they were coming from. Here there is a definite feel of that band which spices the flavoursome song, to which you can add essences of Maximo Park and Baddies too. By this point an affair with the inspired basslines of Budd has been nurtured, his reggae grooves and punk moodiness an easy and impressive meld.

Already the album is destined to only acclaim which Blood And Space with its jazzed bass invention and thoughtful structure only enforces and the following and amazing Impossible View ensures is an even greater affection. The best song on the album it is instant addiction. The rhythms of Franklin cage the sirenesque melodic conjurations which light up the ear and beyond. Breakspear and Budd dazzle with inventive play and the sax that strikes ingeniously is glorious. With its ska lined riffs and rhythms alongside its indie pop heart the song is a full pleasure.

Impending single Fall Out and current one Kick In The Doors complete the album just as impressively as up to this point. The first is another ska riffed, dub beat spined feast of post punk power pop. A mouthful but it brings it all into its excellent vibrant body. The closing Kick In The Doors with its acidic striking keys clasping and squeezing the consistently striking guitar and bass invention leaves one as the release ends simply breathless and with no option but to dive right back inside Austerity for the Hoi Polloi again. To be honest any song would be the perfect entry point into Black Hats but this track certainly scoops one up welcomingly in its irresistible arms of intelligent and articulate pop-punk.

Normally when a band reminds of another as closely as Black Hats did initially there is a doubt about them but this trio soon put all those thoughts firmly away with their skilled, inventive, and completely absorbing impressive sounds. There is a new energy for indie music starting and it is in the shape of so pick up Black Hats and their simply wonderful EP Austerity for the Hoi Polloi.

http://www.blackhatsmusic.co.uk/

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Days Of Our Decay: Electric Twilight

Days Of Our Decay is a Canadian goth/black/industrial metal band which carries many more additional flavours to its music. Theirs is a distinct and imposing sound which is sure to lure a reaction whether in the positive or negative, a band one cannot ignore or easily pass by without their incisive tentacles of inventive sound instilling itself in at least some part of you.

The Ontario band was formed in 2002 by Darvius Noctem and is a keyboard and synthesizer led dark and imposing musical project. Though originally meant as a full band the project remained as a solo entity for Noctem though alongside him there are the hypnotic talents of Demonika Demise who brings backing vocals and choir voices to the compositions. The music Noctem brings forth is a deep and expansive mix which carries the rich spices of the likes of Rammstein, Deathstars, Dimmu Borgir, and Cradle Of Filth as well as the even darker gothic flavours of Type O Negative, Sisters Of Mercy, and Fields Of The Nephilim. With an additional symphonic metal atmosphere the music wraps around the senses to chill and instigate a mesmeric rapture with its darkened poetic intrusions.

Electric Twilight is the latest album from the band and It is fair to say that though it may not find a welcoming canvas to spread out upon with everyone if imaginative and expressive blackened sounds find a place at your table this album is a full and satisfying meal for consumption. Given time and allowed to unveil its musical glory and for the initially slow to warm to vocals of Noctem to state their case as to why they should find room in your ear, the rewards are very strong and pleasing.

The title track opens up the album with a glorious deep rumbling bass sound as the keys swoop and prey upon the ear with grace and instant appeal. The vocals of Noctem stalk in almost at once, his deep resonance bouncing off the walls within the ear to be nicely balance by the warmth of the melodies and the golden backing of Demise. The music is all gothic frills, ruffles and grandeur and with the continuing predatory bass line adding a menace it all easily absorbs attention.

As the equally enjoyable Aristocratic Blood and Let’s Grow Cold Together with another hypnotic bass beckoning, spread their wings and flourishes across the ear the album begins to take a firm grip though it does offer up one element that you can see putting some off. The vocals of Noctem are great, deep and wickedly imposing like an old hypnotic evil waiting to corrupt and consume, they also are relatively singular in their delivery, though rich and dramatic they are often an overpowering distraction to the fine composing and engaging sounds surrounding them. Given time to allow they and the music to show how they combine and it is a working pleasure but one can imagine others with less endeavour to explore his creations looking for an early exit, though it is their loss admittedly. The combination and contrast of the vocals from Noctem and Demise works impressively throughout with songs like Hopeless In This Hopeless World with its emotive key work and Shallow Diving showing their enterprising and successful mix. The vocals of Demise are not just backing sounds but an instrument and essence of the music which is powerful and as expansive as the synth soars alongside her.

The best songs on the album are Only In A Place Like This with its distinct Gary Numan like melodic manipulations which sound like they were inspired by his Tubeway Army album Replicas, and the excellent Anemia. This track is easily the standout one, its vibrant and pulsating heart leading one by the hand into the wealth of inventive and impactful creativity. The song teases and invites thoughts into making their own images and visions, the atmospheric and dark shadows with the song the lead characters.

Electric Twilight is a great album which deserves a slice of attention from all with a dark and expressive heart to their music choices. If you have an emotion for any of the artists mentioned above than take some time and effort to go and introduce yourselves to Days Of Our Decay. They may not become your new favourites but certainly they and the album will become firm friends.

http://daysofourdecay.yolasite.com/

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Interview with Steve Fearon of Ghost In The Static

UK electro industrial metal band Ghost In The Static has captivated our and the genre’s ears for quite a while now with their vibrant and striking sounds. Their music is powerful, thoughtful and loaded with irresistible hooks and melodies alongside exhilarating and intrusive direct intensity. They stand as one of the bands at the fore of UK Industrial music and  with their recent Infection EP’s one which is giving it a new heart, something their new album later in the year is promising to endorse and beat louder with. Long overdue we finally got down to grabbing some of  band founder and vocalist Steve Fearon’s time to find out more about Ghost In The Static, their music, and more.

Hi and welcome to The Ringmaster Review. Many thanks for talking with us.

Firstly could you introduce the band?

We have myself, and the main vocalist, Gareth who is our rhythm guitarist, Lewis who is the lead guitarist and synth player, my brother Mike who is our bassist and Martin our Drummer.

How did Ghost In The Static begin?

The origins of the idea behind Ghost In The Static came about in about 2003-4 when I was still at uni and I began working on the idea of a music project with a deep universe within which it would sit. Me and my good friend Marcus used to brainstorm ideas about the storylines that could be involved and what the music would be trying to evoke.
However neither of us really knew anything about recording or programming so it stayed a mostly theoretical project.
I kept the flame of the idea within me for years afterwards but never really acted on it until Lewis and Gareth (who were playing in another band at the time) suggested it might be fun to actually try and make some Industrial Rock music.

Despite knowing next to nothing of the processes involved, or the techniques used by many Industrial musicians, the writing process was very easy and I think we had the majority of ‘Prophecy’ (opening track on Open Eye Dreamer Part I) down after the first session.

So industrial metal has not always been the area your music has been based in?

Not really, we have all come at this from other projects, and have differing influences. We have to a large extent all come from a more mainstream alternative (oxymoron?) background with Metal and Punk, but have all gravitated towards the variety and challenge that electronic music can provide.

Many industrial metal /electro bands only have a full line-up for live shows, the studio work and creativity coming from one or two members. What is your set up in both areas?

Originally the band was built around me, Lewis and Gareth, with Mike and Martin effectively coming in as live members.

However, over the course of writing ‘Fallout’ (our 2nd album due 2nd half 2012) we have involved them more and more to the point where Mike comes into a lot of the writing/recording sessions now and Martin creates midi files for the drums to help create a more accurate and live feeling sound which has had a big impact.
Everyone also gets a say in the mixing process so I would say at this stage it is as collaborative an effort as we have ever had, and the plans for album 3 intend to develop that even further.

Your music has echoes of the likes of Gary Numan, Celldweller and Suicide Commando but where does the harder edges sounds come from, thoughts of Fear Factory and Rabbit Junk come to mind but you are quite unique in that area. Does this side basically come from your work/tastes before Ghost In The Static?

I would think that is fairly accurate. Whilst we have all listened to FF previous to GITS, I would probably say it would be bands like Metallica, Tool, Disturbed & Rammstein that give us the heavier inspiration, certainly on the riffage side of things.

One gets the impression Ghost In The Static is about putting on a show in all aspects whether live or recording wise, every aspect deliberately and thoughtfully created. Is that the reality?

Definitely. Long before the music was written, we had a very strong vision of what we wanted to achieve.
We wanted to create a musical landscape that could take the listener out of their seat and into a new reality.
Movies were a big inspiration, and we wanted to capture a bit of that by having a cinematic style to our music, and our first album was very much built on the concept of each track being a scene in a larger tale.

Our approach to live music has always been to make it into a real show, with our costumes, face paint and projections. We wanted to recapture a bit of the wow factor that has been lost in recent years with so many bands wandering onto the stage in band shirts and jeans.

Everything we do has a lot of thought put into its purpose, desired effect and quality, and we hope that comes across.

..and it has always been like that, that thought and intention the seed from day one?

As mentioned earlier, the rough idea and vibe had been developing for a long time, and before we even sat down to write the first song we had discussed what we want to achieve and how best to do so.

One of the things that keep us focused is the depth and planning in every track.

How has your sound evolved to your mind since the beginning?

I think as we have learned more about production/mixing and electronic music in general, we have improved at being able to blend the rock and electronic aspects in a more effective way. We are not interested in being a synth metal band or an EBM band with guitars, we want to use the most effective tools in the right situation, and with each song we write we get a little better at developing that blend.

Also the musicianship of everyone involved has improved from the first album to the next; everyone has more to offer now in terms of what we can achieve in new tracks. I think vocally we are all much stronger now than when we started, and the mastery of our instruments is something that will only get better as we go.

Same question but regarding the actual songwriting?

Well the first album was essentially planned out like a script due to the conceptual nature of the tracks.
Certain tracks had to be big and fast and others slow and subtle, in order to reflect the mood we wanted to convey at that part in the larger story.

However we took a break from that approach on the 2nd album, which whilst still deeply embedded in the concept, took a more freeform approach.

We intend to return to a stricter concept album from album 3, albeit with a more organic approach to song writing, as we are intending to write a lot of material in the practise room as opposed to sat by a computer, which will be an interesting change!

We came across you by your debut album Open Eyed Dreamer Part 1: Revelation, though I believe you had an earlier track out? Tell us about the theme behind the album?

Open Eyed Dreamer Part I: Revelation was our first full release, we had put out a couple of demo EPs (Fatalism being the main one I can recall) but really this was the first ‘finished’ article.

The theme is built around my love of dystopian sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic struggle. In a future where invisible powers control every aspect of human life, one man wakes up one morning and finds he suddenly understands the system, and can see the puppet strings everywhere.

We allude to chemical controls, curfews, martial law, and corporate governance.

There are a lot of political undertones to it, perhaps in my clumsy way to emulate Orwell or Philip K Dick, but I feel there are a lot of parallels within the concept to the way this country is run, in fact as time goes on, increasingly so.

From the album and as shown from subsequent releases there is a lot of thought and planning behind the songs lyrically, musically and their union. What comes first generally, words, music or the concept idea?

Concept always comes first.

When writing a new track, I will usually already have a rough idea of what I want to convey within the track, be it a protest to authority (‘Lost’*, ‘Hope’ or ‘Resistance’), a introspective character monologue (‘Forlorn’, ‘Journey’ or ‘Judgement Day’*) or a more plot based scene setter (‘Pursuit’, ‘Change’ or ‘IWTMT’*)

Usually the music will then come into it, and finally the words.

*denotes tracks from the next album :)

How does the songwriting process work for you?

For me personally, it will usually start with an intro, be it a guitar riff, synth progression or a rhythm.

I tend to put a lot of thought into how a track will start, as I often find if you are going to hook someone into the world you are creating, you need to build the atmosphere.

Then I work section by section as it comes to me, it is usually a quite natural process, with one idea flowing into the next…but it isn’t always that easy.

Things will work slightly differently going forward as we are trialling the idea of ‘jamming through’ song ideas in a practise studio in an attempt to keep things fresh and give album 3 a more organic and different vibe to the coming album.

Musically it is a full band involvement in the creation of a song?

It is nowadays yes. Quite often it will start as an idea, progression or riff suggested by a band member, and then we will throw ideas at it as a unit.

We have the motto ‘give it a try’ and we have had some hilarious, horrific and genuinely surprising ideas come up from the most random suggestions, but it keeps the process democratic and keeps things fun.

What inspires your creativity and ideas?

There are probably 3 main areas that influence my personal approach to writing:

  1. Personal Experience – First world problems am I right? Some songs I write to channel some frustration, same as most people I would imagine, although I try to hide my personal agenda or emotion behind a concept-relevant façade.
  2. The World – in particular politics, war and religion. There are a lot of things going on in the world that are so blatantly greed or power driven that I channel my frustration into giving it form in the Open Eyed Dreamer’s world.
  3. The Future – I have a fascination with what is around the corner. Channelling my love for films such as Equilibrium, The Matrix, Logan’s Run, Soilent Green, Akira etc into exploring this desperate world.

As you say you bring a definite Sci-Fi flavouring to the songs but find relevance with reality and our world. Is that a defined aspect to your writing and think we connect to that easily because our lives and world is becoming more like a science fantasy?

I think dystopian sci-fi has always been linked to what was happening in the real world. Was Orwell’s 1984 really predicting the CCTV nation we have become, or did he simply interpret correctly the way the country was headed?

Books like ‘1984’ and ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep’ deal with the reality that our decadence and apathy will lead us to a shallow and limited existence at the hands of a ruthless ruling class.

Were they wrong?

A lot of bands bring their political opinions/agendas etc directly to the listener whilst others address things with a more dare one say artistic and welcoming substance. You are in the latter camp with any ideas and opinions you wish to present. Is this deliberate or just the way you naturally are?

There are plenty of people I would like to grab and shake until they saw things the way I did, but I know from political doorknockers, evangelists etc that if someone TELLS you something is wrong/right, the initial reaction is to tell them to do one.

No one wants to be told, they have to discover it for themselves. The problem is that this country has been in an apathetic slumber for so long that people don’t dig for the truth anymore, they just taking the easiest to reach approximation.

We simply try to provide a few questions, in the hope that it will lead the listener to ask more themselves.

The biggest tragedy of our generation is that we have stopped asking questions.

That’s why journalists are more interested in what Cheryl Cole has to say than the hundreds of thousands dying in the Middle East or the covert dismantling of the NHS.

You started the year with your latest release The Infection Vol 1. led by the excellent track Not Enough. Tell us about the song?

‘Not Enough’ was one of the first songs we finished for ‘Fallout’ and I think it was a sigh of relief. OED Part I was a lot of hard work due to our inexperience, and the amount of ideas we were trying to convey.
We decided early on that we weren’t going to plan this album to the same extent, and were just going to focus on writing strong individual songs that fit into a larger theme.
‘Not Enough’ was us basically saying ‘let’s write a straightforward, riffy barn stormer that will be fun to play live’.

In terms of the concept it’s a look at the world after the apocalypse, and thinking this is all we have left now…and it’s not enough.

In terms of the meaning behind the lyrics, it is the idea of looking around you and saying ‘No, I am not happy to just work a dead end job for 60 years only to have the banks squander my pension, No I am not happy to vote for a political party and then have them change their promises as soon as they are elected, No I am not happy to see schools and hospitals closed and sold off to fund the building of nuclear warheads’.

The track is accompanied on the release by remixes of the song by the likes of Cyvergence and Witness The Apotheosis. Was the addition of these tracks always in mind or came about from the great work these people did?

Cyvergence had remixed us before, and he is an amazing producer, so it was always hoped he would get involved. Witness The Apotheosis I had spoken with previously when myself and Mike were producing the ‘Incoming Fire’ Podcast for Grave Concerns Ezine, and they showed an interest in getting involved. I knew that they had a very original sound to them and were very creative so I knew they would come up with something very different.

You made the lead track a free download off the release rather than the additional material. Seems over generous, what was the reasoning and do you fear it makes the other tracks seem more important?

I must confess that was my mistake! I made the EP as a whole available for free, but didn’t make all the individual tracks free, meaning you could get all of them for free, but only ‘Not Enough’ individually for free.
So it wasn’t my intention!

The idea was always to use the ‘Infection’ EPs to remind people that we were still around, and to keep us in the forefront of the scene as much as possible whilst we finished ‘Fallout’.

Vol 2 followed early this year comprising of remixes of the song Saviour, this a complete free download release. Tell us about the actual song they are covering?

Well ‘Saviour’ was a track we wrote for the ‘Electronic Saviours Vol 2’ compilation, but we decided to update it and give it a different mix and use it on the album (hence the ‘Ghost Mix’ on the EP).

This one has a very aggressive, dance vibe, almost early Rammstein like, and has me taking a more aggressive approach with my vocals.

Lyrically it is all about finding strength within yourself, and not relying on family/friends/God/Government to do everything for you.

As you said you are working on your new album.

Yes, we will be releasing ‘Fallout’ later this year, we are just in the final stages of the album production, with our good friend Steve Alton of System:FX coming as us Co-Producer to help us make the tracks the best we can.

We shall be announcing the launch date VERY soon and will be releasing it on digital and CD formats on my label Static Distortion Records (http://staticdistortionrecords.co.uk).

What treats will it have in store for us, and does it take the band into new areas?

This album is a more immediate and sustained attack of an album, with each track playable in its own right.
We have eased up on the storytelling for this album, preferring more of a general vibe to a specific story before returning to a heavily storyboarded album 3, due in 2013 ;)

I think there are a number of tracks that will surprise people, a couple of vocal cameo’s from some of the UK industrial scene’s hottest artists, and some really catchy songs on there, so there is a lot to look forward to!

Will it have some sort of theme or concept too?

This album is a themed release, each song has a vibe, and general feel to it, without being tied down by specifics. This is a much more easily accessible album than OED Part I in my opinion.

You are on Static Distortion, your own label. Tell us about the idea behind the label?

Well, I have always been interested in the workings of the music industry, and I get frustrated by the rather blinkered approach that a lot of the big labels have these days.

I wanted to create something that was up to date, community based and focused on trying to bring alternative electronic music to people beyond the narrow confines of industrial.

Was the starting your own label forced upon you simply to get your music out there or is it the natural next step in your ideology as an artist and musician?

Well its true what they say these days, every band is effectively a record label if they sell their own music. But I saw an opportunity to gather together several artists and get us pushing together in the same direction. Cross promotion and word of mouth is the best way to promote music unless you have a million pound budget per album to spend on bribing radio ‘gatekeepers’ to play your tracks on mainstream radio.

I love music, and I love working with talented driven people, and I believe my skill set allows me to help those around me. All I did essentially was formalise this ideal and call it a label.

Do Labels have a future? Not in the traditional sense, I think most people can see its going to be more about building relationships with customers than selling them products, and when the industry changes I intend to make sure my artists benefit from the music ‘renaissance’ that I believe is coming.

Apart from the band, who else is there on the label that people should take a deep interest in?

Well at the moment I am fortunate enough to share the label with 3 other artists J

MiXE1 is a well established artist with an unmistakeable sound and is possibly one of the best songwriters I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He blends the raw energy of rock music with the power and majesty of electronic music. We are lucky enough to have him featuring on a track in ‘Fallout’.

He has an EP due out on June 16th titled ‘Module 02’

Digital Deformation released one of the best independent albums of last year ‘No Signal’, and is a real creative force in industrial music. He can find melodies and rhythms where no one else would, and weave them in an organic and powerful statement of political intent.
He is currently working on the follow up to ‘No Signal’ and its sounding HOT!

Finally I come to our most recent acquisition, Digital Diktator!
Based in Slovenia, these boys have a similar love of sci-fi and concept albums and have produced their first EP in quick time!
They have a real sense of atmosphere and scale, and they will be going places before long.
Their EP ‘At The End Of The Universe’ is available from May 4th.

I am also in negotiation with some very exciting artists at the moment, so watch this space!

All of these releases are available at http://staticdistortionrecords.co.uk

You have big gigs coming up I believe, can you give some details?

We are fortunate enough to be supporting Dreams Divide on the 5th May at Electrowerkz in London, which is great as we are big fans, and Synchotrax Promotions are one of our favourite promoters.
We also are playing as part of the Music 4 Mental Health Festival in Reading on May 19th which is for a good cause and has a big line up of awesome acts.

Other than the album and events what is next for Ghost In The Static?

Once we have ‘Fallout’ released and have tired of whoring it to everyone twice, we will be writing and recording ‘Open Eyed Dreamer Part II :  Ashen’

In terms of the timeline involved it goes: OEDPART I > OED PART II > FALLOUT

but we like to be difficult. How does the world go from a faceless dystopian city in OED Part I to a post-apocalyptic wasteland in Fallout? You will have to wait and see ;)

Again a great thank you for talking with us, it has been a pleasure.

Would you like to leave us a last thought to get our minds into?

Just the usual musician/label thoughts really…

If you like an artist, buy their music, support the little labels, and go to gigs.
Everyone complains that they don’t hear enough new music or new directions but they are out there, you just need to spend some time looking around!

We will continue to develop the Ghost in The Static Universe, and push the envelope for Electronic Rock music, as we believe it’s a genre that is woefully under explored.
Come explore it with us!

…and finally you know we have a kind of problem with remixes here haha, their purpose etc, so would you like to end by explaining their validity and what we are missing in trying to understand them?

Well Remixing is a nice way to get other artists introduced to new audiences, and to show how a song could have been made if it went in a different direction.

Its not always done right, but the best re-mixers can take a song and turn it into something beautiful…we have had several remixes done where we complained that it was better than our original version *shakes fist*.

Read The Infection EP review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/ghost-in-the-static-the-infection-vols-1-2/

The RingMaster Review 29/04/2012

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Supercharger: Retox EP

UK rock band Supercharger gave strong indication they were a band to watch out for with their debut EP Smashing Up The Future and compounded that and more with their debut album Wrong Side Of The Head. Now the band are set to unleash their new EP Retox May 7th and simply they have taken another leap forward to further mark themselves as one of best underground rock bands in the UK and mere steps away from larger and further afield recognition.

Formed in 2007, the quartet from Newcastle Upon Tyne create rock music that hits hard, snarls and bites with aggression, and is as infectious as a nudist beach to under aged teens. It is loud, eager, and thoroughly mischievous, just how rock n roll should be. As mentioned from their debut release through Nascar Records Supercharger immediately drew attention not to mention their raucous and irrepressible live shows but it was with a line-up change in 2009 that a definition and focus emerged to take the band on to another level. Their music is fuelled with attitude, a boisterous mix of rock and punk that is like The Wildhearts and DC4 in a riotous union with Eddie and The Hot Rods and The Damned with a splash of Therapy? in for good measure. Since forming they have shared stages with the likes of Wednesday 13, Sorry and the Sinatras, Bullets and Octane, and Eureka Machines, as well as Ginger “wildhearts” and friends, their sound a ready and eager fit with all styles of rock.

The EP comes with three tracks that burst with muscular combative riffs, infectious melodies and compulsive grooves all  wrapped in a middle finger punk intent that whips the senses up into a willing frenzy.  There is also an unapologetic pop punk essence that adds to the addictive sounds making each song an immediate friend and rebellious companion. The title track is the perfect example; opening up on an easy going punk vocal from Nick and the commanding beats of Denz it grabs attention from the start with incoming direct and stirring riffs. It then dips into a melodic deep breath before exploding with a chorus that reminds of the excellent UK band of the nineties Skyscraper. It is heady stuff easily matched by the other two tracks on Retox.

Postcards is a punkier slice of rock which infects with a groove that teases and taunts until compliance. The song lays a flurry of diverse and imaginative but always absorbing sidesteps as it progresses to ensure predictability never has a place near the music. With a strong flavour of Therapy? the song pulsates persistently luring one in deeper and deeper, the guitars of Nick and John winding the senses around their open and acidic riffs whilst the riffs of Nasha grumble and growl like a bass always should. The song throws in a rock solo before its pulsating corruptive end which should not work but the band make it work to make any prospective moans redundant.

Third track Hold It Down completes the release with the same quality and irresistible presence as the others. The track stalks in with menace to then flick into a pop punk gem full of urgency and eagerness. It starts off like The Vapors, turns into Rocket From The Crypt/Hagfish before bringing the Wildhearts in to rile it all up. Do not mistake all the references for the impression the songs simply slap pieces of other bands on, it is a mere series of spices that make strong songs even tastier. The track is excellent and it and the repeat button is a need that is impossible to tear one away from.

There were expectations of something good to come from Retox but it has gone way beyond the imagined great sounds. Supercharger is a band on the march and now is the time to join their ascent before they trample you under foot on the way up.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SUPERCHARGER/104983436206547

RingMaster 27/04/2012

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Lantern For A Gale: Lands More Hostile

The new EP from melodic hardcore band Lantern for a Gale is a formidable beast of a release, five tracks that brings music to challenge, rile up, and leave one lying in their own fluids whilst at the same time treating them to some of the more creative and melodic hardcore sounds heard in a long while. Lands More Hostile takes no prisoners as it ruptures the senses with sounds that strike hard, cut deep, and leave a long lingering mark.

The quintet from the North Coast of Ireland first came to notice with their debut self titled EP of January 2011, the release firmly setting the band as ones to keep an eye on amongst what seems like an ever flourishing waver of new bands from the country. Formed in 2010 the line-up of vocalist Paul Michael, drummer Allan Starrs, bassist Jamie Thompson, and guitarists Danny McConaghie and Andy Hasson has a hard working ethic that has seen  them honing their skills and sounds through persistent touring and Irish festival appearances at Pigstock, Stendhal and Rathlin Island.

      Lands More Hostile is a marked progress from their impressive debut, the band bringing a depth and melodic invention to their still stark hardcore sound that makes each song a continual mesh of intensity, aggression, and thoughtful melodic play. There is a tighter and mature touch to their songwriting that is translated in sounds with an accomplished feel yet still leaves rooms for plenty of promise for things ahead. The one surprising difference is the vocals of Michael, never the easiest to warm to initially he seems to have gone the other way to the band musically. On the debut he was a strong and forceful vocalist that suited the sounds around him but on Lands More Hostile he has found even more aggression and bile to go the opposite way to the warmer and more defined melodic craft the music has. This makes it a bigger test to acclimatize to his delivery but brings a great edge which drives the songs deeper.

From the opening As We Sleep the EP is coarse and caustic, a salt rub on the senses which is carefully and impressively tempered by the melodic invention. The opener surges through the ear with pummelling rhythms that dodge around like a skilled boxer and guitars which light up the air with incisive and sharp enterprise. The group shouts and harmonies work a treat as a contrast to Michael whilst the bass rumbles intently and patiently behind. It is an impressive start that alone shows the progression made by the band.

The following Inauthentic Selves and Interpreting Nothing continue the fine sounds in much the same vein as the opener though with plenty of variety within their walls. The songs pound the senses with the impressive rhythms of Starrs until they scream for lenience and scrape the nerves raw with the acidic sounds and it all combines into a strong and satisfying result.

The band end the release with the best two songs. Against Diabolum from the first note intrudes deeper than ever with the resourceful guitars whilst the vocals become more bestial alone and in group effort. The track niggles at the ear as a compulsive groove wraps itself tightly around the powerful riffs which power the varied direction of the song. The track is a continual intrigue with its unpredictable direction and offshoots leaving one very satisfied. The closing Punctual Equilibrium is the same, a song which gives no hint of its diverse and continually changing path. The track hurtles, canters and prowls, its sounds wonderfully imaginative and the perfect blend of smooth and coarse, whilst the vocals as always leave flesh flayed.

Released through Savour Your Scene Records, Lands More Hostile is a fine release that as well as giving much pleasure still offers clear promise for even greater things ahead from Lantern For A Gale. They are not always the easiest band to get on terms with but very rewarding when one does.

Ringmaster 27/04/2012

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Litrosis: I Am Death

From Greece symphonic black metal band Litrosis have their debut album I Am Death released May 1st through Pitch Black Records as part of their Blackest Pitch Series. Recently signed to the label the band makes a strong and striking entry into the series of unique black metal releases that the label is releasing under the banner. The Blackest Pitch Series features an eclectic blend of black metal bands and sounds that bring something different to the genre and there is no doubting the Greek quintet do just that, self described as extreme epic metal the release is a mighty and stirring collection of expansive dark songs that explore and spread beyond their boundaries with skill and impressive results.

Formed in 2010 the band of vocalist Vassilis, guitarist Alex “Ad Ventus”, bassist Stergios, drummer Eli, and Vassilis “Q-Snc” on keyboards and orchestration, from a core black metal vein encompass symphonic and in some ways progressive metal with a wise and wizened touch that creates music which consumes and takes the senses into ventures that are intimidating, challenging, and impressively rewarding. Based in Greece with some members in the UK and US, Litrosis has created an album which is far reaching and deeply intrusive, the perfect blend.

The release opens with the excellent short instrumental Litrosis, its brewing and sinister ambience a rousing battle cry and epic introduction to the sounds ahead. Epic horns, vocal harmonies, and an atmosphere announcing a titanic force ahead, lead straight into Insomniac’s Lullaby. The song ruptures defences with blistering riffs and a scorching melodic guitar before rampaging with full intensity across the senses, trampling them under foot with devastating rhythms and grizzled venom spraying vocals.  It is a reasonably expected type of black metal attack but with insurgent and imaginative solo and guitar meanderings which impress deeply.

The diversity and real flair of the band is unveiled from the next track on. Soulcide opens with a beautiful classical guitar caressing of the ear with flowing keys and mesmeric bass to match. The track is majestic and immediately sets the band as imaginative and accomplished. As the intensity rises and darkens the guitars spark to light up the track with sharp and striking play whilst the keys wrap around the ear with a warmth and grace to temper the harsh and destructive power alongside.

As the likes of the aggressive and seemingly vindictive Burn The Sun, the compulsive and crushing Countless Wounds, and the title track leave the senses bloody and gasping for breath from the onslaught the album shows no mercy despite offering up sparkling invention and tempering asides. The band is at its very best though when they let the imaginative craft and ideas have a fuller rein. The brooding opening to Blood Red Desert Plain suggests more of the same of that which came just before it but although still a battering upon the ear it brings a glorious crimson skyline with grand soaring keys to add a full and epic disposition to the track and ear.

The album ends on two gems of songs firstly In The Grave, a mesmeric and captivating slice of progressive/epic rock. Though not convinced by the vocals at times the song still leaves one deeply satisfied by the musicianship and emotive sounds displayed. The closing Bury The Dead is the perfect finale, a track that slowly emerges like a warm and reassuring day, its arms extended and welcoming the emotions in to full and expressive passionate keys.  The instrumental is touching and evocative, and further evidence of the talent and promise of Litrosis.

I Am Death is excellent, whether fracturing the senses or taking them on beautiful journeys Litrosis does it so very well. The only complaint that stops the album rising to be a release of the year contender is the production. Personally it felt oppressive to the quality within; it caged the music stopping the full force and majesty to flow with clarity. The fact the album is still so good shows how impressive it really is and one all should make an acquaintance with.

RingMaster 27/04/2012

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Vertigo Steps: Surface Light

The new album from Vertigo Steps is a release that immerses itself deeply inside you as you fall within its own thick expansive atmosphere and close enveloping sounds. Surface Light forges and instigates a full union and experience that leaves the senses empowered and alive whilst searching for a deep breath with which to fall under the mesmeric towering sounds again. The album is an enterprising and formidable release which brings essences of rock, metal, and progressive rock into a compulsive sky of melancholic atmospheres and warm emotive clouds that stir and incite the emotions.

Surface Light is the third album from the Portuguese / Finnish project which was formed predominantly as a studio project in 2007 by Bruno A. (Arcane Wisdom). The project grew with Finn Niko Mankinen (ex Misery Inc.) joining to give a core duo to the band whilst they also brought in guests for recordings. A debut self titled album in 2008 drew strong attention and praise with comparisons of Katatonia and Green Carnation passed upon the music it brought forward. This was followed by equally acclaimed second album The Melancholy Hour in 2010 which again saw not only more guests alongside the duo to realise the songs but returning producer Daniel Cardoso, a man who is involved with so many impressive releases everywhere you turn, to add again brings his impressive production touch and drums skills to Surface Light.

The new album once more involves guest vocalists to bring a depth and firm variety to the songs plus Cardoso with drums and bass as well as production. For Surface Light the band has called on the striking talents of Jan Transit (In The Woods…,Transit), Patrik Karlsson (This Haven), Stein R Sordal (Green Carnation, Sordal) and Sophie (Ugarit), alongside the excellent tones of Mankinen. The combinations are majestic and enhance and flavor each song as deeply as the thoughtfully crafted music that surrounds them.

The album opens with the dark but warm Vertigo Dawn, an instrumental with soaring vocal harmonies and a desolate breath that works itself in far beyond the ear as it leads in the outstanding The Hollow. The band immediately pulls one directly into its heart as a web of voices and evocative sounds touch thoughts as they wrap themselves gently but firmly around its recipient. A melancholic ambience pervades the body alongside the stirring guitar creativity and provocative additional female vocals. It is a large yet intimate sound and one which lingers long after its final emotive note, though taking the album as a whole each song is never long in being replaced by equally impactful and full songs.

The following Silent Bliss is a vibrant and energetic track which lifts the emotions with stirring eager riffs and melodies but keeps it always personal with insightful and impassioned quiet moments of calm and restraint. The song reminds of latter Comsat Angels though it is not obvious exactly why to be honest but the atmosphere and infectiousness of the emotions invoke the comparison. As the album progresses the diversity of the album is more than apparent within its thirteen affecting compositions.

The album as a whole brings a kind of undefined theme or feeling at least with each and every luxurious yet saddened song. It is a wonderful blend of vibrancy and warmth which enthralls and uplifts whilst stemming from a darkened heart wrapped in sorrow and under a dimmed light. The wonderful Tonight I Died, Tomorrow I’ll Live with its post rock/gothic tension, the excellent melodic rock Helsinki, and the impassioned Someone (Like You) with a melody that would suit any Bond film, all burn with a heavy yet glowing heart that makes the listen a complete and deep event.

With further delights in the rousing Zeppelin On Fire, the impressive and best track Schadenfreude, a song that has a life and world all of its own, and the closing The Porcupine Dilemma which feels like a conclusion pulling all before it into a final immense release of passion, the album is a tremendous example of songwriting. It is a statement of far reaching atmospheres brought from the melding of heavy and stirring sounds with emotive and ardent dark to light feelings by the band. Released via Ethereal Sound Works, Surface Light and Vertigo Steps is manna for any who revel in the likes of Katatonia, Green Carnation, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and Anathema or basically intense melodic and passional music.

RingMaster 26/04/2012

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Demon Lung: Pareidolia

As the final plundering heavy note of the Pareidolia EP from Las Vegas doom metal band Demon Lung left the ear in silence there was a ringing, a stark feel of emptiness, and an overpowering need to feel the consumptive mass of the release again. That is the sign of something formidable and rather pleasing that has just violated the flesh, mind, and senses. It is fair to say that the four track EP is not throbbing with anything startlingly new or blatantly original but there is something deeply mesmeric and openly hypnotic about it that makes it one of the more satisfying debuts to emerge so far this year in any genre.

Formed in 2010 the female fronted outfit consisting of vocalist Shanda Fredrick, bassist Patrick Warren , drummer Jeremy Brenton and guitarist Phil Burns (both ex-Dunwich) took no time in making a mark and creating attention with their doom metal inspired by the likes of Candlemass, Black Sabbath, and Coven and infused with horror imagery and lyrics. Upon its formation the band immediately demoed over 20 songs four of which make up the EP, and from their debut gig in March 2011 set themselves as the top doom act in the Las Vegas scene. Their sharing of stages with doom heavyweights like High on Fire, Jucifer, and Pentagram has only gone to cement and raise their stock, something that Pareidolia can only further accelerate.

The release swarms all over the senses from its opening notes, its prowling lumbering mass veined with some ear catching melodic asides and acidic creativity which do not leap out of the oppressive swamp of sound but spark within the hefty mass. The vocals of Fredrick are very impressive, heavily influenced by her idol Jinx Dawson of Coven she has a captivation and siren like charm which pulls one eagerly into the sprawling sludge of riffs and sound. Her style actually brings thoughts and spicery of L7 and early Siouxsie & The Banshees to the songs to bring a distinct and intriguing element that is new and different to other same genre bands.

      Lament Code opens up the EP and immediately catches the ear with acute and winding grooves that can only inspire closer attention. The riffs chug with an honest directness and craft which leads one further into the black depths of the song and to the waiting mesmeric vocals of Fredrick. She is like the alluring witch of old horror films, her vocals swaying, teasing, and casting a spell on the ear, her sirenesque charms masking the evil within. The song is a strong introduction to the EP and an instant indicator that Demon Lung is a band to watch very closely ahead.

Second song Sour Ground is a more reserved song which explores a melodic and slightly progressive path with elements of the likes of Blood Ceremony tinting the creative twists within the song. The track though not as infectious as the first engages with a different imaginative feel that shows the band are already thoughtful in their songwriting whilst offering immense promise for far greater things in the future.

The release is completed by Death Mask and the title track. The first is another that crawls and lurches with a hungry and persistent menace without ever going for the throat. The riffs gnaw and scrape emotions whilst the vocals taunt with a confidence and knowledge of the power they hold over the crumbling senses before them. Again there is nothing openly new being brought forward but it is thoroughly fascinating and near irresistible. The closing Pareidolia finishes up as the opener started by numbing responses and emotions with deliberate and venomous plodding violation. The song is the best on the release a consumption that one openly welcomes. The track brought thoughts of 80’s German band X-Mal Deutschland, another non metal band which shows the flavoursome feel to the music.

The production on the EP is not the most complimentary to the sound, the power of the drums has been distilled to being just there and no more whilst there is also an overall mugginess which blurs the naturally thick texture of the music, but nothing a better production cannot remedy. The fact is Pareidolia is a great release, a very strong debut, and Demon Lung a definite emerging force.

http://demonlung.bandcamp.com

RingMaster 26/04/2012

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