SIVA Addiction: Bad Decisions

You can never say no to a dose of heart bred rock n roll and that is exactly what you get with Bad Decisions from US hard rock band SIVA Addiction. The album is a feisty and eager collection of very agreeable well groomed rock songs presented with great ability and even greater passion. Bad Decisions may not be the most original album but it is one of the more satisfying and undeniably contagious.

Led by the outstanding voice of Bridgette Oliver, SIVA Addiction is a band on a rise with this their second album already garnering strong acclaim and support. The follow up to their equally well received debut album Artifice of 2009, Oliver with guitarists Andy Hopkins and Vince Lindstrom, bassist Jesse Slone, and drummer Brandon Fields, have created a release which triggers all the right instincts in a rock album, passionate lyrics, heart driven sounds, and unbridled energy. Bad Decisions also has the similar effect on its recipients ensuring a great and satisfying time is felt by all.

Unavoidably in this genre and with striking clean female vocals the accurate comparisons to the likes of Evanescence, Halestorm, and to a lesser extent Paramore, are inevitable and as said they are for the main spot on but with hand on heart I know which band I would prefer to listen to, SIVA Addiction. It is not that they are particularly unique or stand far apart from the others but there is honesty with no disrespect to other bands, which coats their songs and an irrepressible connection which develops as the album plays.

With an almost reserved start the opening title track soon has the ear engaged with muscular riffs and incendiary guitar play before Oliver unveils her exceptional voice. With the bass pulsating just under the surface and rhythms making a fine framework for the band to explore, the song is an immediate keen companion. It does not offer anything particularly unexpected but when a song just scoops you up in a mutual friendship only enjoyment can break out.

The latest single comes next in the fine shape of One Night Rodeo. From the off the song hits the spot, the slightly grizzled guitars teasing before flexing and  evolving into a hard yet melodically driven ball of rock n roll. Anthemic in its pull the track like the opener is an instant infectious pleasure with robust riffs bursting through the ear for the vocals and grooves to follow with skill and energy.

The impassioned Hit Me, a song full of defiance and contempt steps forward next with the voice of Oliver bringing bigger balls than her target soon followed by the stirring Gone Away and excellent emotive ballad Take Me Home. All three gratify without lighting uncontrolled fires and keep attention and enjoyment at a high. What is impressive about the band is though the vocals of Oliver stand out they do not deflect from the excellent sounds and musicianship alongside her, SIVA Addiction finding the right balance throughout.

The consistency of the album is held tight across its whole length with songs like the pop rock When It’s Over and Get On Out with its great ill tempered riffs continuing to leave the ear and beyond treated to strong songs and full contentment. The album does hit a real peak with best track Night To 5, an insatiable rampage of riffs and adrenaline fuelled energy. The track is an infection unleashed and has feet and head in tandem within moments of its high octane explosive start to emerge as one of the most contagious rock songs let loose in recent months.

Bad Decisions is an album which ticks all the right boxes, it does not venture into particularly new pastures and at times calls out for a rawer edge to its polished surface but does quite simply deliver some very enjoyable rock n roll to spend a very satisfying time with, and the SIVA Addiction idea of rock music is very pleasing indeed.

http://www.siva-addiction.com

RingMaster 21/06/2012

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Promethee: Sickness Unto Death

It feels a long time since Swiss metallers Promethee ignited the ears into vigorous enjoyment with their self titled EP. Since then the world of metal an ever evolving brute, has seen many bands matching and exceeding the very promising debut of the Geneva quintet. Promethee in their time away has also become a more powerful and formidable creature, the proof coming in the shape of their new single Sickness Unto Death. A foretaste of their debut album due early next year the track is a monster of a release, an intrusive and enveloping storm of creativity, imagination, and destructive craft.

Formed in 2008 the band hit the ground at pace playing as many gigs as they could whilst picking up a devoted and passionate following in their wake. The end of the following year saw the band record the tracks which became their first EP, a release which only went to enforce and accelerate the acclaim from all quarters. Now with shared stages with the likes of HIM, Rammstein, The Prodigy, The Dillinger Escape Plan, shows and tours across their homeland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary and Canada, as well as that successful EP the band has returned a more mature and mightier force. Sickness Unto Death is a statement of intent and a taste of what is to come from this striking band.

Promethee with their previous release created a brew of progressive metal and hardcore which left indelible satisfaction, their thought and craft impacting but with Sickness Unto Death they have found sharper intensity and a keener mouth watering invention to leave the senses breathless. Vocally Joshua Orsi is an emotive bear whilst his power is backed up by a deeper predatory presence from bassist Mathieu Tappolet and a combative yet expertly controlled attack from drummer Nils Haldi. Guitarists Ludovic Lacroix and Elric Doswald like the songwriting weave hypnotic asides into a direct and numbing spine of sound to surprise and engross from start to finish.

The track emerges on a hot wind of atmosphere, slowly bringing its bulk into view with a slow confidence and intimidating intensity. As it expands with the guitars mesmeric as they whip the ear around the forceful beats, vocalist Orsi begins growling out his venom dripping lyrics. The track does not exactly explode in aggression or effect but from initial eager intrigue it slowly wraps the senses with a deeper and fuller infection. The song continues its slow immersion of the ear drawing one in fully before whipping the floor away from the senses and dropping them into a sea of striking and unsettling ambience. The effect is of free falling through consuming depths of emotive ambience, symphonic whispers and unsettling caresses at every turn. It is an outstanding and ingenious twist which as one breaks free, finds themselves in an eruption of rampaging corruptive killer riffs and explosive manipulation trained rhythms.

If this is an example of their album, roll on 2013. Accompanied by an excellent video, Sickness Unto Death sets down a marker for not only Promethee but melodic extreme metal. Time will tell if the eagerly growing expectations instigated by the single will be realised but the band has certainly offered an impressive persuasion that we will not be disappointed.

You can download Sickness Unto Death from the Promethee bandcamp profile @
http://promethee.bandcamp.com/

RingMaster 21/06/2012

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Colobar: Behind The Veil Of Oblivion

Behind The Veil Of Oblivion is one of those unexpected gems which blow preconceived thoughts and expectations right out of the water. The album from rock band Colobar is a thrilling and surprising burst of vibrant creativity and stirring imagination. Combining a heady mix of heavy metal and classic hard rock, two flavours which generally inspires no real enthusiasm here, with progressive rock, jazz, and melodic metal, the band has created an album to intrigue, surprise, and most of all thoroughly satisfy.

Colobar is the brainchild and creation of Bulgarian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Angel Angelov. With a background of playing in metal bands he decided in 2009 to bring his ideas and music into the creation of his own album. Once having recorded much of the release he brought in additional talent to expand the songs to their fullness. Vocally Angelov brought in Carl Sentence (Persian Risk, Krokus, Don Airey and Friends) to take the lead parts, a decision which definitely ensured an impressive lure into the rich sounds of the songs. Additionally the acclaimed Bulgarian guitarist Konstantin Jambazov added bass parts and there were contributions from Emil Kosturkov (keys),   Kiril Kirilov piano and keys, and Radoslav Todorov (piano).

Released through Spectastral Records, the album begins with the relatively straight forward A Change Of The Ages. It rushes for the ear from the first note pressing it with fresh riffs, eager rhythms, and a teasing guitar as indistinct presences whisper in the background. Slowing its pace the song then stands tall with formidable power whilst stirring melodic weaves light up the senses behind the fine vocals of Sentence. With just hints of things to come on the album the track is an incessant surge of irresistible sounds and though it is not the most groundbreaking it is unbridled fun.

The title track openly surprises from its atmospheric heated intro and is a complete contrast to its predecessor. With a mesmeric grace and hearty piano alongside Sentance, the song is a breath of pure imagination. Reaching a melodic ambient plateau, muscular riffs take over to stand by the side of the great vocal harmonies and fleeting melodic scythes of guitar. There is a similarity to the song which offers warmth but creatively it is wonderfully unique and adventurous through its near ten minutes. Along the journey we are treated to glorious jazz inspired keys which remind of The Stranglers, primal rhythms, and incendiary melodic magnificence. The track twists and writhes with ingenuity and the flames of diverse influences all seamlessly brought into a feast of invention. At one point the song almost grinds to a stop as an ambient folk air pervades the scene but again as the song returns to its rock charge it is successfully gratifying.

Songs like the excellent dramatic Timeline with its colourful ethnic folk caresses nestling perfectly amongst the inciteful progressive metal energy, Listen another track showing the skill of Angelov in combining heavy and light textures into a stunning result, and Secrets continue the distinct pleasuring of the senses. The last of these from its initial feisty joyful charge is a perpetual flow of melodic jazz toned keys, persistently pushing riffs, and sparking showers of guitar creativity. Once more the vocals of Sentence add an expressive majesty to the song, undeniably one of the best rock vocalists around right now.

The album closes with two more excellent examples of invention and imagination. Starting with another inspiring emotive atmosphere, The Way Out explores the senses with an assault of belligerent riffs aided by the prowling confrontational hypnotic bass. Speared by ever sparkling and dazzling keys the track makes one wonder whether if Oingo Boingo had been a metal band they might have sounded like this, the continual and evolving explosion of melodic ideas and craft similar in its composing. Last song Can’t Feel is Sentence at his best, the song allowing him to unveil his full range and expressive ability. The song is a touching and again fully expressive piece which leaves one smiling within and on the outside.

Behind The Veil Of Oblivion is a treat for all melodic rock fans, diverse and beautifully presented the album is one of the most enjoyable and unique so far this year, Angel Angelov and Colobar one of the most creative.

Ringmaster 21/06/2012

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Trepalium: H.N.P.

With more instinctive groove in their blood than should be possible French death metallers Trepalium has unleashed one of the most absorbing and pleasing albums so far this year. H.N.P. is arguably not the richest in innovation or an openly ground breaking release but no one can deny it is one of the most intrusively infectious and compelling. Named after the ancient torture device Trepalium like its namesake shows no mercy, the band seizing the ear with riotous aggressive riffs, direct and manipulative technical venom, and the sweetest grooves let loose in an extreme metal release.

Released through Klonosphere/Season of Mist, H.N.P. is the fourth album from the band and as the promo states “H.N.P” will enclose brilliantly the triptych started with “Alchemik Clockwork of Disorder” and “XIII”. A true journey with dense and deep concept albums whose words reflect and complement the musical complexity and intensity.” To be honest the album is our introduction to the band, a long overdue meeting on the evidence of such an impressive release, so to discover the full journey will be a retrospective experience but a destined one because of H.N.P.

The album starts with the title track, Heic Noenum Pax and instantly rips the attention from elsewhere in its direction. The brewing intensity and tension leads into intimidating riffs and the growled malice of KK. As the track unfolds with an ever present attitude the guitars of Harun Demiraslan and Nicolas Amossé tease and intrigue within the commanding rhythms of Sylvain Bouvier and the heavy bass lines of Ludovic Chauveau. Hints of deep grooves are offered without giving any clue to what is fully ahead for newcomers to the band. It is the guitar work though which makes the track magnetic without being overly addictive and creates an inventive start to the album.

The following Prescription of Crisis is a bruising encounter for the senses, its hardcore breath a scathing attack within the death and technical metal violation. Brief and uncompromising the track leaves one enthused and though distinctly different it continues in the same manner as the opener with again no real hint to the opening of groove fest erupting from here on in.

Slave to The World blisters the senses from the first note with a groove to send sphincter muscles contorting in delight. The guitars drive straight to the core to twist and manipulate every cell like maniacal whores, every note a seductive and irresistible surge of wantonness. To be honest you have to listen to the songs a few times to appreciate the other great aspects of the song such the lure and addictive nature of the groove which spines the song. Vocally thoughts grab a Pantera feel as too at times does the music, this a recurring thought throughout the album though it is just another delicious spice to the album. With breath taking rhythms puncturing the ear incessantly the track is immense.

The next song Order the Labyrinth sees a progressive metal air brought to the senses its atmospheric skirting of the ear making an imaginative companion to the decisive aggressive nature stalking the senses. With a less defined but just as effective grooved vein the track is an evolving expressive piece with an inventive union between the eager to break free destructive urge and its well crafted melodic breath. The track shows the strong variety on H.N.P. even if it again is not the deepest infection on offer.

That is left to Insane Architect, the best track on the album. Another salacious groove permeates the song but it is the outstanding diverse vocals and scorched guitars, especially the solo, which makes the song so impressive. It is a track which never sits still in its invention and desire to leave the senses lusting for its aural addiction. The song pimps its hooks and lures like a greedy dealer but there is nothing light or cheap about what is an immense piece of metal.

Further tracks such as Let The Clown Rise and the corruptive I Was do nothing to lessen the deep satisfaction and with it closing on a cover of the Pantera track I’m Broken, the album is pure pleasure. One did expect that maybe the band would have churned up and reinvented the cover but they do such a great if straight forward job it is hard to be critical.

Trepalium with H.N.P. has delivered one gratifying and stirring album. It does not rip up the rule book but does make it the most compulsive read.

www.facebook.com/TREPALIUMBAND

Ringmaster 21/06/2012

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