Digital Diktator: From The Edge Of The Universe

The War Of The Worlds template takes on a more salacious and vindictive depth with the debut release from Digital Diktator in the shape of the venomous From The Edge Of The Universe. The EP is a striking and destructive violation upon the senses and rational thought which is intrusive, challenging, and perpetually compulsive. Most of all it is very impressive and even though one feels like they are caught within and witnessing a digital car crash such the intense and impactful manipulation it makes on thought and emotions it is equally very satisfying and rewarding.

Consisting of Digital Diktator (Programming/Keyboards/Backing Vocals/Drums), Dynamic Statue (Vocals), and Rösti (Guitars/Keyboards/Programming), the band with From The Edge Of The Universe bring evil and destiny into our midst through seven tracks which strip all areas of metal, industrial, and music as a whole to re-invent and twist into their own vindictive sounds. The release brings forth a tale making it part of the plundering and provocative assimilation of the senses. Yes it is all steeped in sci-fi and distinct origins found in HG Wells, Star Trek, and many more things fiction and some would have us believe as fact, but it is all very enjoyable and some of the more striking and imaginative sounds heard for a while.

The opening Intro (The Arrival Of The Mother) marks the arrival and the central point for the tale to wrap around. The following first full track It Began On Mars soon adds to its weave of electronic sounds an intimidating muscular pulse to begin a scourge on the ear. The track is a flurry of samples, twisting sounds, and switching rhythms and pace to keep one constantly intrigued and involved. Within the song itself there is an open diversity which is soon apparent across the release itself, again to ensure nothing is ever expected or presumed.

The unravelling story within From The Edge Of The Universe we will leave for your investigation, it is a full journey that needs as much attention and focus as the great sounds surrounding it, and is as rewarding. Journey Within shows the diversity of the release, its pulsating flowing breath an enveloping blend of dark electro, ebm, and industrial manipulation. The vocals take on a harsh gait which takes a short time to find an attachment but also makes a contrasting entity adding depth to the vibrant energy driven sounds.

The Window and This is You continue the unpredictable and agreeable creativity. The first has a gothic tone to its tumultuous rhythms and darkened halls with excellent clean vocals showing as much thought goes into them as the music and their connection to the theme within. The second of the two took the longest to get thoughts and the ear around, its classic rock guitar stripping the senses alongside the harsh pit borne spite, and to be honest still has not found a seamless bond with the senses but within the journey and overall EP composition brings a definite important and striking element to the whole premise of the EP.

The excellent Time To Depart is easily the best track on From The Edge Of The Universe, an insistent and rampaging littering of splintered beats and shards of acidic melodies upon the senses. The song has a force and inventiveness reminding of the recent Cynical Existence album, wrapping around the heart with a mesmeric shower of melodic light whilst poking and puncturing it with violating evil stained fingers of intensity.

As the closing Outro (Of Ancients, Gods and Us) departs the release leaves behind a depleted and thoroughly satisfied… one almost wants to say victim. From The Edge Of The Universe is an excellent release which though it will not find a welcoming home every where will more than give all those into inventive and experimental industrial, harsh ebm, and dark electro, a pleasing and intriguing time.

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Ringmaster 01/05/2012

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Grenouer: Computer Crime

When a band appear out of nowhere with a sound and release that makes one stop and pour full attention on its fresh and stirring body it simply lifts and re-energises the enthusiasm to continually search and listen to each and every new band that comes into view. Russians Grenouer is such a band though they are not really as such only fresh to these ears. The band itself has been a force in their country for many years but have yet to obviously make a truly striking mark outside of their homeland borders. With their excellent new mini album Computer Crime released via UK label Copro Records, they could turn the current interest from the rest of Europe into a much more powerful energy towards them.

Formed in 1992 the history of the band seems to be one of continual change or evolution going by their bio, not only in people but sound, and not a slight change either. Initially the St. Petersburg band was an underground/death metal band and with a sound which found a definition and maturity by the time of their debut album Border of Misty Times in 1996. Three more albums followed in the shape of Gravehead, The Order O’Folly and Presence with War between 1999 and 2003 to establish the band with fans and the underground media.

2006 saw the release of Try and a new sound for the band as they moved from within their death metal sound into a more experimental sound combined with industrial and polyrhythmic invention. The album took them to the attention of the likes of Hard Rock, Rock Sound and Metal Hammer and into a full album release with Casket Music. Next came Lifelong Days in 2008 through Locomotive Records and a busy time of festival and touring to share stages with bands such as Anathema, Cradle Of Filth, Soilwork, Pro Pain, Neurosis, Entombed, Tiamat, Testament, Textures, and Tesseract. Another rethinking of direction and sound emerged from this point with the discussions and differing opinions causing the band to go through a line-up change as it split in half. Vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor brought in second guitarist Igor Arbue and drummer Michael Coroner to replace the departed members of Grenouer, and worked on new songs to add to three recorded before the split. The new hard rock and post grunge lined sound took inspiration from the likes of Alice In Chains, Filter, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. With a quintet of tracks renewed, produced and mixed at ‘Astia’ Studio in Finland with Anssi Kippo, who played bass and keys on the songs, and Jonas Kooto, the band created Computer Crime.

The release opens with Last Stop, a track which immediately announces its arrival with muscular riffs, intimidating rhythms and a predatory prowl around the ear. Sharp melodies cut through the intensity with a sure and satisfying craft whilst the growling intensity of the song is never far away, eager and ready to pounce from behind the inventive play and strong smooth vocals of Ind. The song offers up a mix of Gruntruck, Prong, and The Sun Explodes with more than a Meshuggah flavour to the rhythms and riffs.

The following Rejected is an equally impressive and welcome invasion of the ear, placing its creative melodic enterprise and blood pumping darkened energy upon the senses with craft. The bass of Kippo is a brooding stalking beast which adds a glorious sturdy and threatening vein to the openly appealing song.

One highlight of a very impressive album is See No Sun. Opening on an emotive atmospheric melodic weave with an ethnic lining the song entrances and entices immediately. It reminds of Motherjane as it sways and lights up the emotions, the controlled and passion fuelled path a compulsive and touching experience. Then the track unleashes a surprising inner blackness in an intense and venomous expulsion mid way in before returning to the captivating grace before.

The powerful and equal best track on Computer Crimes is Fix Your Life and with Golden Years completes the release. The first is a blend of towering riffs and spiky melodic intrusions whilst the latter a warm and vibrant track which without the harder edge of the other songs is still as rewarding and an infectious song that soon has one involved.

    Grenouer maybe new to a great many but with Computer Crimes that is sure to change, and the recommendation is to just go find it before it finds you.

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RingMaster 01/04/2012

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AtomA:Skylight

With a depth and vastness as dramatic as the story within it, Skylight the debut album from AtomA, is a mighty and stunning release. It offers a colossal mass of startling soundscapes with one overall giant and expansive journey which takes the senses, thoughts, and emotions on soaring and impactful discoveries of new worlds and fulfilling experiences. It brings forth a vast aural universe which is almost too expansive as one almost finds themselves lost within its textures and realms of aural beauty and striking intensity to border the loss of concentrated focus on the canvas before them as personal thoughts and images find their own adventure.

AtomA was formed in 2011 by vocalist and synth player Ehsan Kalantar alongside bassist Siavosh Bigonah (both ex-Slumber members) with drummer Markus Hill joining shortly after and later completed by guitarist Jari Lindholm. Together the band set out with the intention of creating vast and atmospheric soundscapes fuelled by heavy and imposing melodies and structures to bring a multi layered and faceted sound which enveloped and explored the listener as much as they searched through its richness. A line in the band bio states, AtomA was to become an escapism playground taking the trio far from earth, where obsession of ideas and innovations constantly drove the group to try achieving new ways of expressions within the metal/rock sphere. This is certainly what they have magnificently achieved within Skylight not only for themselves but in making a similar world for its recipienmts to immerse within.

Recorded in 2010 at The Panic Room with the official band sound-engineer partner Thomas Johansson (Watain, Torchbearer, Scar Symmetry), Skylight brings melodic and symphonic metal into a mesmeric blend with anything from death metal, electronica, ambience, and post rock to name a few.  It is a majestic and genuine self labelling creation which encompasses a spectrum of sounds as large as the galaxy its story travels. The album centres around astronauts lost and searching through worlds for refuge, the songs portraying and borne of their minds and emotions in their journey of discovery and the impact on their feelings and thoughts. The striking monolith symbol on the cover of the album is the representation of their ultimate discovery of a unique anomaly on a planet whilst the album and astronauts story, again as stated in their bio …very much reflects the groups own alienation and detachment from the world, and also a deep longing for an unknown home.

As one suspects from those lines the album is an ever evolving and growing story which starts with the opening track AtomA and its epic dawning of intensity. The track does not rush to fully expand its reach and vast expanse rather choosing to slowly stretch its view into sight within an intense and intimidating atmosphere of things distinctly unknown. With tribal and instinctive rhythms the track sprawls and looms larger and larger into view to fully engulf the emotions and senses.

The following title track swarms around the ear with a black metal aggression within a more powerful warm and melodic wash of thick and glorious grandeur. There is a challenging power to the song, a predatory edge which lies as a warning within the imposing and intimidating yet beckoning atmosphere.  Within these opening two songs one is fully involved and feeling part of the experience such the power and impressive craft within the album and a connection the stunning Hole In The Sky ensures is a permanent bond. The best piece on the album, its riffs puncturing the senses like aural missiles raining down and the melodies slicing through with a crystal clarity and acidic edge.  Intensive, aggressive and dramatically melodic the track is an immense piece of work as is the albbum as a whole.

Every track is as impactful as any other from Bermuda Riveira with its opening revelation of the reason for the journey of the astronauts, through the celestrial elegance of Solaris, onto Rainmen with its dazzling crystalline ambience and the closing ethereal grace of Cloud Nine. It is no undertstatement to announce by its end that Skylight is enormous in sound, atmosphere, imagination, and quality.

Each mutual journey with the album brings the discovery of something new to persistently confirm that AtomA has brought a truly impressive and fulfilling release that will endure an age as long as its journey.

RingMaster 01/05/2012

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Bible of the Devil: For the Love of Thugs and Fools

Returning with their sixth album For the Love of Thugs and Fools, Chicago rockers Bible of the Devil bring nine slabs of honest and eager rock n roll which cruise the senses with a scorched exhaust plume of impressive guitars and a blistering hook laden tread. Looking for a release to soundtrack your whiskey soaked, rock fuelled party than you could do a lot worse than sticking on For the Love of Thugs and Fools.

Formed in 1999 Bible of the Devil has taken their classic rock powered sounds from their volatile environment Chicago around the US and Europe as well as bringing them to the world through their previously acclaimed albums and releases. The new album, their first since the 2008 release Freedom Metal has its unleashing on May 8th via Italy based label Cruz Del Sur Music. With songs inspired by and a ‘document of the many characters they have encountered through the life of the band, whether it be in love, loss, friendship, or hatred’, For The Love Of Thugs And Fools is a boisterous and openly accessible collection of songs that lifts the emotions and raises the spirits with ease. There is nothing new to the music offered; nothing to leave one opened mouthed but for feel good rock n roll this is a definite go meet release.

From the excellent Overture which with its wonderful atmospheric welcoming leads invitingly and seamlessly into the first full track Away, the album takes the ear on an eager ride. As the track evolves a beckoning riff pulls one into its meaty and pumping heart of fine guitar play from Nathan Perry and Mark Hoffmann, whose vocals like the music are straight forward, honest, and there to rile up some fun. The song is in many ways what one expects from a rock band, not offering anything too different but it still takes a firm and satisfying grasp on the ear which pleases consistently.

Many songs on the album are like this, not particularly surprising or unexpected but all with impressively inventive guitars and rhythms from Greg Spalding which intimidate and slap one on the back like an old buddy. The bass of Darren Amaya is equally as formidable with his at times grouchy basslines determined to enthral and with all the elements combined each song is a dirty and full rock n roll pleasure. From the likes of the infectious Out For Blood, the strutting Can’t Turn Off The Sun with its sharp guitar piercings and strong vocal combination between Hoffman and Perry, and the pure rock n roller Yer Boy, the album never has one ever less than within its anthemic charms.

Yer Boy wears the obvious Bible of the Devil love for and influence of Thin Lizzy on its sleeve and it is this that brings the biggest highlights within the best songs, (I Know What Is Right) In The Night with an excellent seductive sax added to the mighty drive of the song and the strolling addictive Anytime, though they are just eclipsed by the Motorhead flavoured Raw And Order. All three songs hit the spot with familiar and respectful spices from their influences whilst adding them to the strong and insistent sounds from Bible of the Devil.

For the Love of Thugs and Fools is a fine album which makes for 45 minutes of very satisfying rock music, and though to be honest the release lacks a consistent spark to make it something one will have difficulty tearing themselves away from it also brings plenty of enjoyment to make it a persistent and welcome returnee to the ear.  The return of Bible of the Devil and their album is a definite burst of energy and quality which can only add to the rock music around right now and will please and find approval from all who take a listen to its strong and rewarding sounds.

RingMaster 01/05/2012

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