Long riffs and binding grooves: an interview with Valfader Interview

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With the ability to sculpt riffs that almost need a certain bravery to stand before and a skill in casting melodic designs stretched with rigorusly seducing grooves which take on a predacious quality when locked together, UK band Valfader has emerged as one of the most imposingly creative and thrilling adventurous propositions to come out of British heavy rock/metal in recent years. Hailing from Bath the trio of guitarist/vocalist Dean Gaylard, bassist Matt Jones, and drummer Gareth Jones first drew acclaimed blood with their Whispers of Chaos last year with even greater attention and praise coming through the epic single Opening earlier this year. Long overdue a chat we stole time from the band to talk about the birth of Valfader, their organic songwriting, and depriving sound engineers of half day holidays as well as plenty more…

Hi guys and thanks for taking time to talk with us.

First up can we find out about the beginnings of Valfader, how you all met and started the band as well as personal histories before the event?

It all started about 9 years ago, yep 9 years ago. Me (Gaz) and Dean were in a rock / prog band playing local bars in Bath – Bristol area from 2005 till 2009 and along the way we met a lot of awesome musicians which we still know today. We had a nice little run supporting some awesome bands but we were nothing serious. Sure in our booze fuelled minds we were going to take over the world, but it didn’t matter how much we put into the band we were going nowhere slowly. We split in the winter of 2009 and we both stopped playing music all together, and went our separate ways but still remained good friends. After 7, or maybe 8 months we ran into each other at a venue in Bath and we started talking about the good old days, music and whose round it was next ha-ha. Anyway, we talked about having a little jam at a local rehearsal rooms and that was it! We realized after the first jam that the passion was still there, ok a little rusty, but planned a second rehearsal a week later to pick up where we left off. A few months into it we started to look for a bassist. We asked a few mates but none of them could commit, but that didn’t stop us, so we posted an advert on the Web and after a few weeks, maybe 4, Matt rolled up and as they say, the rest is history and here we are now

Did you start out with a specific intent or direction for the band?

Not really – we really aren’t that organised! We never really plan stuff or think long term. In the beginning we never sat down and said “let’s be a stoner rock band” or “let’s be like this band”. We just knew what music we liked and enjoyed jamming together. After that, our “sound” came together so we put it out there to see what happened.

Your sound merges the rich essences of stoner and heavy rick with sludge and doom bred emotive tenacity, not forgetting the voracious riffs. It is a distinctive and increasingly unique sound daring people to try and label it. How would you describe your music to newcomers?

Ha – we have no idea man! It’s not something we have really worried about or tried to do! We have read lots of different descriptions about ourselves that have used the terms doom, stoner, psychedelic, rock, progressive, metal and ambient so take your pick I guess!!

How do you see it has evolved since starting out in 2010 and the recent release of Opening?valfader opening

In the beginning our songs were much shorter, more uniform in the sense of verse / chorus etc. and more one dimensional. However as we all played together more and brought our ideas to the table, the songs grew longer in duration and more diverse in different sounds, which is where we are now!

Is Opening a single or EP, I have seen it described both because of its length, often in the same piece ha-ha.

We put Opening out there as a single. As you may have noticed we tend to write long songs so this was just one track for us… however, if people want to consider it as an EP then that’s cool.

Last year saw the release of your debut EP Whispers of Chaos, which was where we discovered you. It has seemed to have whipped up a storm of attention and eagerness for the band. How has it been on the inside since its release?

On a day to day basis, not much has changed for us really. We all still work full time jobs, look after family, meet up for jams and try to get gigs! However we now have this global online presence which is lovely. It’s been very humbling and gratifying to see how far our music has travelled and how well it has been received. The attention for the band seems to come in waves, which can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster!

Did its success surprise you even with your obvious confidence in your own music?

It totally blew us away – completely. We still remember talking in the van the night before we were going to put it out there on Bandcamp, we really had no idea how it would be received as we don’t sound like other bands out there – we were so tense!! The amount of positive reviews and comments we received were far in excess of anything we could have hoped for, so a big thanks to everyone involved again!!

Was there any extra pressure on you because of its success emotionally for your next unveiling?

It’s hard to say – I guess so though. We were all really clear that we really wanted Opening to be another step forward from the EP, which we feel we achieved.valfader4

Did you learn anything from the EP which made you approach Opening any differently?

(Gaz) – I was a lot more relaxed this time around and I believe you can hear that in my drumming. Recording Whispers I was nervous as hell and only had a day to record four tracks, so was holding back trying not to fuck up. On Opening I was more relaxed and enjoyed every minute, plus the producer and a good friend of the band who came to film us are fellow drummers, so I was talking shop all day with them which made a nice change.

Opening consists of a single epic fourteen minute or so track; so with your songs generally on the side of epic in length how difficult was it to write a track of such a long presence to ensure it enthrals ears and imagination constantly, which it surely does?

In all honesty there was no real intention of making it so long, the song evolved out of the initial clean riff and just kept growing. I think we have a pretty relaxed approach to song writing, we rarely set out to do something deliberately, it’s usually just a case of letting the mood of the music take us somewhere and not getting too analytical about it.

So it a track which evolved organically in sound and length, or one you planned more precisely before strings were plucked and riffs spawned?

Generally our songs do evolve quite organically, though this one was more or less written as a whole prior to playing it together. This is quite unusual as I think we benefit greatly from each other’s contributions when song writing.

How long did the song take to record, I heard it was done in a day?

Yep – all done in a day!! I think the sound engineer thought he was in for an early finish when we told him we only wanted to record one song – then he found out it was 14 mins long!!

Opening presented a different facet to the music found on the EP; is this a swing in direction for future releases to explore or just another character in your overall sound?

A bit of both really. Again – when we write songs we never try to make them sound a particular way or force them into a genre. They evolve naturally which means all our songs are quite diverse. We are currently writing quite a lot of new material, some of which is more like Opening in style, others more like tracks from the EP.

VALFADER  Cover ArtworkThere is also an intimacy to the song maybe not as open on Whispers of Chaos, something you feel too?

Yeah definitely, it’s quite an emotional song, and I (Dean) felt pretty damn nervous about recording so many clean vocal lines. I think there’s quite a vulnerability to the song, but hopefully that’s a good thing, there’s no pretence, just an honest expression of something both painful and beautiful.

Riveting riff driven rock whether stoner/sludge/or simply of heavy metal descent seems to be on a very healthy and powerful ascent across the UK right now with emerging bands, such as Morass Of Molasses, Desert Storm, XII Boar, Caravan of Whores being four examples coming to mind alongside yourselves. Are you finding the appetite and hunger is there from fans too not only for releases but live shows?

Honestly? Not really! It does seem to us that people don’t seem to be prepared to go out to local shows and bands to support music scenes anymore. People will spend hundreds of pounds to go to some large venue to watch a band that’s been around for 20-30 years but don’t seem willing to walk down the road and spend £5 to see 4 or 5 bands that they haven’t heard. We have played some gigs where there is a good local scene and support for new music, but feel these are all too rare. We have also played on bills with some amazingly talented musicians to pretty empty rooms!

How about from promoters and venues putting on gigs, same attitude?

We are lucky to work with Cowbell promotions in Bath. These guys are REAL music enthusiasts who put on shows simply because they love the music. They have been amazingly supportive of us and helped get us out there, so a huge thanks needs to go to them. The music industry desperately NEEDS more people like this. Unfortunately all too often promoters and venues don’t really give a shit who you are or what you sound like, they just want you to guarantee ticket sales and make money. We understand that of course they are businesses and have costs etc. to cover, but there seems to be little to no interest in music, or working with and supporting bands

What comes next for Valfader and for the rest of 2014 from you?

We are having a little break over the summer after a run of gigs and then hoping to get back into the studio to record a new full length album towards the end of the year. This thing is shaping up to be massive. Over an hour in length and more riffs that you can point a very pointy thing at!

Finances are tight if absent for most emerging bands so many are turning to crowd funding sites to try and finance releases etc. Something you feel you might look at ahead or do you feel it is an option still only for bands with an established active fanbase right now?

It’s something we have considered and talked about, but not something we are completely comfortable with I thinkvalfader3

Once again a big thanks for chatting with us; any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us pondering?

Thank you! We really appreciate websites such as yourself and the work you do to help bands. Huge thanks to everyone who has bought our music, come to see us, sent us nice messages or supported us in anyway. It really makes a difference and is so appreciated by us all. And support local music – new bands need your help!! Don’t worry – Dave Grohl and Trent Reznor are ok for money!!

And lastly give us an idea of the most inspirational records which went some way to sparking the need in you to make music.

GAZ – It’s all about Sabbath and Zeppelin. Just hearing any tracks of theirs inspires me to play the drums whether I’m behind the kit or not.

DEAN – Well the bands which got me going originally were Metallica, Pearl Jam, Pantera and probably a load of dodgy Nu metal bands when I was 16, ha-ha. Now I’m always searching for music which doesn’t sit too comfortably within one genre, I really love Opeth, Elder, Baroness, and Maeth to name but a few!

MATT – oh so many!! I suppose early on bands like Slayer, Nirvana and Pearl Jam gave me the idea of picking up an instrument and playing it. Deftones, Glassjaw and Isis made me want to express something emotive and beautiful, and the guys from a band called Jim Fear first made me believe I could do it!!

www.facebook.com/valfader

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 26/08/2014

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Devil-M – Revenge of the Antichrist

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A tale of torment and corrosive emotional shadows, Revenge of the Antichrist is a compelling concept album which ignites the imagination, pushes thoughts, and inflames ears. As much as those are always wants, at times the body also needs a stimulus to feed from and the new album from German industrial metallers Devil-M is packed to the rafters with rhythmic bait and hypnotic sonic incitement persuasion to pull limbs and torso into its imaginative devilry. At times a release which makes you draw rapid awe bred breath and in other moments a testing yet enthralling challenge which needs some work to embrace, Revenge of the Antichrist is a gripping and rigorously fascinating treat.

Devil-M is the brainchild of Max Meyer, the band emerging in 2006 as a solo project for the Schöningen hailing musician. Merging his interest in movie scores with pungent electronic diversity, the project was soon contributing soundtracks for independent movies like Die at Dawn. 2009 saw Meyer turn the proposition into a band format which was swiftly followed by a relatively well-received release of debut EP Willst Du sterben and a host of live shows with bands like Nachtblut. In 2011 first album Kannst Du sterben was unveiled to strong and positive responses, its success followed a year later by the uniting of the current line-up of guitarist Lars Everwien, bassist Lisa Hass, and Sonja Langenfeld on keys alongside Meyer. Shows with band such as Grausame Töchter, Centhron, Vlad in Tears, Angelspit, and FabrikC pushed the band’s presence and reputation further which Revenge of the Antichrist and its fiery blend of industrial metal and cinematic/theatrical endeavour can only reinforce and open a wider attentive spotlight upon Devil-M.

Drawing on inspirations like Lars von Trier’s movie Antichrist and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Revenge of the Antichrist tells the dark story of Astharat, a man suffering schizophrenia who kills his wife, and his mental turmoil and descent. The album begins with the two parted Rising, both Unholy and Siddhartha Gautama within the seamless track uniting for a transfixing opening. Keys instantly craft an appealing lure which a potent rhythmic enticement accentuates before an ascent of dark harmonies and energy comes in to help build an imposing and intriguing wall of sound and coaxing. Moving into more antagonistic shadows, the track begins stalking the senses and prowling the imagination with raw riffs and threatening beats, guided by the equally caustic tones of Meyer. It is a trap impossible to resist entering; the melodic call of keys a deceitful welcome into the jaws of an intensive examination and corrosive landscape. Like a mix of Nine Inch Nails and God Destruction, the track is an irresistible doorway into the album’s musical and lyrical narrative.

The following Apokrypha soon rewards entry with an even stride of pulsating beats and crowding riffs within a climactic atmosphere of harsh electro squalls and acidic melodies. The song is a bruising and simultaneously seductive Albumcover - Revenge of the Antichristproposition, the varied guttural roar and clean vocals of Meyer a pleasing texture within the climactic air and inventive stroll of the song. The track is the coming out of the tale’s demonic character with sounds colouring thoughts and ideas as potently as the lyrical premise. Its impressive presence is matched by the clearer but no less menacing scenery of Astharat, the full emergence of the album’s protagonist adorned with celestial harmonies latched to predatory intent and textures. Again as with its predecessor, the often subtle and at times dramatic twists and turns makes for a riveting encounter though they are not as imposing as in the previous song or as addictive as in the next up Scrabbed Angel. Its initial electro teasing is a tempting which soon takes on a leering edge to its addictive beckoning. Once the rhythms are in open swing the virulently contagious instrumental provides an inescapable toxicity of turbulent intimidation and primal seduction.

From one pinnacle of the album another instantly steps forward to steal the soul. Rebirth is a rabid surge of charging rhythms and tenacious hooks, a nimble footed and heavily shadowed dance of evocative lures and destructive ingenuity honed into another powerful charm offensive crafted by the keys and the delicious backing tones of Langenfeld. Openly inspired by Marilyn Manson and blessed with a Hanzel und Gretyl like revelry, the track is a glorious incitement and pleasure, a success which in many ways the album never manages to match again.

From Birth To Death though is certainly a formidable successor and proposition, its initial repetitious nagging of whispered vocals rich bait behind which a raw blaze of guitar busies itself before erupting into a ferocious slice of metal seeded brawling with a thick air of early Pitchshifter and Prong against the swirling electro colouring of keys. The song is an unfussy and thrilling grazing on the senses, a voracious onslaught to bring another varied twist to the album as the lead character relentlessly spells out his presence.

There is a feel of the harsher side of Dope to the following Good Way Of Dying as well as a Numan-esque gothic resonance to the impressive track. It is another where the guitars take a slightly more prominent position and the song definitely blossoms from their caustic lead to offer something different again before the two parts of the title track envelope ears and thoughts. Pt.1 is a maelstrom of malevolent vocals, angelic melodies, and hypnotic persistence around the darkly serpentine psyche of Astharat with its viciously rasping temperament. Pt.2 is a briefer and clearer provocation from the album’s central figure, its uncompromised intent and less muggy atmosphere presenting a clarity which is as imposing and intimidating as the tempestuously spawned onslaughts.

Both the piano led Love Is Not Available with its appealing scuzzy touch and the bewitching Garden Of Eden leave thoughts and ears engrossed, though neither can live up to the earlier songs. Each does provide their own individual and rewarding dramas, the first of the pair an emotive reflection which shines with beauty within a more vociferous hazy breath. Its successor is fuelled by an infectious rhythmic resourcefulness within a meandering and magnetic caress of melodic keys and heaven spawned harmonies. It is an elegant instrumental unafraid to show its sores and blemishes and though as mentioned it cannot live up to earlier successes, it lingers to pleasing effect.

The wonderful I Am God has no such problems, its beauty and majesty creating another major highlight. With again the piano honing the song’s expression behind the enchanting unique tones of Langenfeld, the track is mesmeric and littered with gripping touches like the colder surfaced backing vocals of Meyer and the rustic electronic scattering which brings a real edge to the smouldering grace of the song. Its emotive grandeur is followed by the weighty intensity of the narrative’s closing chapter Harmful Scab. A short and imposingly potent press on the imagination, it makes a satisfying conclusion to the album’s story, though it still has a trio of remixes to offer, from Centhron, Blackest Light, and Grausame Töchter, all offering pleasing interpretations to a thoroughly impressive and enjoyable release which just gets better and more colourful with every listen.

Revenge of the Antichrist is available now @ http://devil-m.bandcamp.com/album/revenge-of-the-antichrist

http://www.devil-m.de/

8.5/10

RingMaster 26/08/2014

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Kung Fu Jesus – Wolf

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The music world has been blessed with a torrent of thrilling and exceptional introductions from artists of all styles this year so far but there are few which have instantly recruited a willing ardour from the passions as the debut single from Kung Fu Jesus. Released via Gargleblast Records, Wolf is an irresistibly captivating and anthemic blend of acoustic and alternative rock with a healthy folk intimacy. The label’s press release calls the single “astounding” and it is hard to come up with many better adjectives for the riveting proposition.

Kung-Fu Jesus is a musician/writer bred in a Lanarkshire village who took to a global adventure to ‘escape’ the claustrophobic embrace of the place. His journey took in the sights and experiences of places such as South American and Taiwan, whilst emotionally love and its opposite also dramatically coloured the time. Returning home with a wealth of songs in tow Kung-Fu Jesus linked up with long-time friend/producer Andy Miller (De Rosa, Life Without Buildings, Foxface) to work on his compositions and music, resulting in the excellent Wolf whose release comes ahead of debut album Celestial Gold later this year.

Wolf opens up with a percussive shuffle over minimalistic keys. It is an unimposing entrance which barely scratches the surface of ears yet still nudges attention awake before the distinctive tones of Kung Fu Jesus joins a neat web of WOLF COVERmelodies to spark up greater appetite. Potently catchy and mesmeric, the song soon elevates its enticing with a burst of urgency lined with magnetic hooks and an infectious swagger. There is a feel of Lloyd Cole to the song but equally in its atmospheric keys seeded atmosphere Thomas Dolby. Predominantly though it is a unique flight of thought inspiring and evocative creative colour which sparks feet and emotions to move with eager revelry.

The song is a compelling lure alone but the single package is pushed to greater strength and ingenuity by the accompanying Wander. Again there is a mellow opening to the song which with keys and melodies making a coaxing bed for the vocals to paint with their expression, leads to an energetic dance of imaginative temptation. Impossibly contagious once into its provocative stride, the track swells and seduces with a celestial elegance aligned to a fiery rock flame of guitar and energy. Thoughts of Matt Johnson make hints as the song continues to excite and inflame the imagination but again by its conclusion the highly addictive Wander shows Kung Fu Jesus as a fresh and individual protagonist to cast a new breath to the British music scene.

With the second track stealing the show and both songs providing an extraordinary introduction, Wolf is an inspiring flame leading to the anticipation of a major fire ahead from Kung Fu Jesus, hopefully that will be Celestial Gold.

Wolf is available digitally now via Gargleblast Records @ www.gargleblastrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/kungfujesusuk

9/10

RingMaster 26/08/2014

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The Courtesans – Genius

Photo by Janet Reidman

Photo by Janet Reidman

A dark seduction which wraps ears and imagination in a sinister embrace of sultry pop beauty aligned to a doom bred haunting, Genius the debut single from UK quartet The Courtesans is a blissfully captivating introduction to the exciting London band. A flame of smouldering enterprise and magnetic elegance, the song bewitches from start to finish. It is a temptress of vocals and melodies aligned to a climactic heavier rock breath and alone a spark to want to know and hear much more of the band.

Formed in 2011 and consisting of vocalist Sinead La Bella, guitarist Saffire Sanchez, bassist Agnes D. Jones, and drummer Victoria Brown, The Courtesans explore the realms of eroticism, feminism, sexuality, passion, and equality amongst a host of inspirations in their songs. Ahead of their album 1917, the band’s new single makes the perfect temptation and awakening caress for their full-length proposition breeding an inevitable impatient anticpation of its delights.

From its first breath, Genius is coaxing ears with a peaceful yet humid atmosphere which soon boils up into a more intensive gothic kissed, doom bred climate. It remains an elegant start though; Sin’s vocal seducing an alluring welcome which also furthers the more haunted essence of the song. Through floating harmonies and emotive keys the song envelops and grows within the imagination. There is further drama too as the blossoming chorus provides a pungent sunspot of crystalline pop and evocative melodic colours within the more restrained but no less warm and emotionally humid landscape of the song.

Genius is a gorgeous slice of pop brewed melodic rock, a canvas employing an array of flavours to create a portrait of passion and emotive adventure. Roll on 1917 we say.

Genius is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/genius-single/id906430316

http://www.thecourtesans.org/

9/10

RingMaster 26/08/2014

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Band of Holy Joy – A Place Called Home

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Following up the success of previous single When a Gift is a Curse, Band of Holy Joy have now tapped into a colourful balladry which musically is as fascinating as the lyrical narrative it colours. The last single impressed if without lighting much more than a spark in the passions, but its successor makes in many ways a much more dramatic incitement and proposal that certainly stirs up lively satisfaction.

As magnetic and striking as they ever were, Band of Holy Joy earned a wealth of fan and critical acclaim with their album Easy Listening earlier this year, with the last single an open doorway into its bracing invention and enterprise. A BOHJ_A_PLACE_CALLED_HOMEPlace Called Home, which has been described as ‘A big city pop song of tradition and place lost in the shiny new urban world of market forces, rising rents and social cleansing’, brings another fresh turn from the band to ignite thoughts and emotions. Released on the band’s own label Radio Joy, the single has an intimacy and broader reach which easily engages with the individual and the climate of life as a whole.

The song emerges from a brew of sonic ambience with a caress of guitar and respectful rhythms beneath the distinctive tones of Johny Brown. It has an immediate grace and charm which intrigues and embraces just as swiftly. There is a feel of The Smiths to the ballad’s croon whilst its melodic warmth has a sultry fifties twang and innocence which equally seduces thoughts and emotions. As its expression of guitar enterprise and stringed melancholy expands over the senses, the track simply glows. Vocals and bass add further character to the temptation whilst the keys bring a whispering glaze of incitement to add further immersive hues to the delightful proposition.

A Place Called Home is a masterful kiss on ears and a tenacious suasion on the imagination, with a romance to its presence which ensures it is a song destined never to be ignored.

A Place Called Home is available digitally now through Radio Joy @ http://bandofholyjoy.bandcamp.com/album/a-place-called-home

http://www.bandofholyjoy.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 26/08/23014

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From Her Eyes – Demons

From Her Eyes Online Promo Shot

From Her Eyes may be young in age, its members just slipping out of their teens, but there is a maturity to their sound which instantly impresses as it belies their youth and ensures the Welsh metalcore band is a thoroughly captivating proposition. The release of their debut EP Demons reinforces an already keen buzz for the band whilst taking their presence to a national level to, it is easy to expect, similarly eager but ultimately wider attention growing up around them.

Formed in 2012, the Bridgend consists of school friends Tom Owen (vocals), James Kearle (guitar), Jesse Simmonds (bass) and Gary Holley (drums). From Her Eyes since day one has been a rigorously active proposition, sharing stages with the likes of One Last Breath, Red Seas Fire, Continents, When We Were Wolves, Set to Break, and Reaper in Sicily amongst hordes of shows before settling down to create their first release. That saw the band linking up with Jonny Renshaw (Devil Sold His Soul) at Bandit Studios to record Demons with the resulting EP a compelling and gripping slice of voracious angst fuelled metal.

The EP opens up with brief instrumental Decay, a haunting piece with elegant guitar craft coaxing ears and imagination within a brooding air of portentous persuasion. More subtle than dramatic and beautifully crafted, the track is a From Her Eyes Cover Artworkmagnet into the release and the following Comatose. From its first breath the vocal delivery and narrative of Owen is an impassioned presence which roars within an immediately enticing web of sonic and rhythmic enterprise. There is ruggedness to the beats of Holley and riffs of Kearle whilst Simmonds unveils a heavy throated lure from his bass which only adds to the weight and presence of the track. To that muscular intent though the acidic melodies and sonic weaving brings a vibrant colour and strained charm which exposes the strength and invention of the band in songwriting and sound impressively.

From that mighty proposition the releaser grows another level with Porcelain, its gentle initial coaxing where again melodies seduce and intrigue with their emotive hues, leading into a tempestuous storm of heavily descending rhythms and abrasing riffs. An additional squall of anger to that offered by Owen makes an imposing and pleasing pressure whilst the song almost flirts with the antagonism that rages with every beat and chord. As in its predecessor though, in the wall of confrontation there is elegant veining which is as dramatic in its evocative presence as the brawling endeavours surrounding its beauty. The track is outstanding, easily the best on the release and another potent reason why From Her Eyes is being touted as a big event waiting to happen.

The next up Disillusionist is a rawer abrasion than the previous tracks, though it too is equipped with intelligent and intricate sonic suasion. It does lack the spark of those earlier songs with its hostile breath overpowering the previously perfect blend of rage and elegance but it still makes for a stirring and riveting incitement to keep the release firmly entrenched in attention and appetite.

Elysium with its post hardcore resonance is a brief respite from the rage of the last song but it too is lacking something to make it spark in the passions. Despite that its masterful sculpting is a draw in its own right to ready ears and emotions for the final evocative tide of the title track. The last song’s first touch is a controlled but turbulent wash of heavy swiping rhythms and vivacious sonic enticing which swiftly enslaves the senses before its finds a sturdier antipathy. It is a powerful and robust finale infused with the richly appealing melodic lacing and sonic colouring which sets the band apart from the majority of the metalcore crowd, though still not quite enough for the band to find its own distinct corner. The song also features Lucas Woodland, the vocalist from Falling With Style. His presence and excellent clean tones highlights the only wish to be had with the EP, a bolder variety to the vocals. Owen is impressive but as with seemingly the majority of metalcore seeded bands there is an aversion to temper or fuse the raging single minded roars of passion with something openly different. If there is one band which could do it to striking success though, on the evidence of the last song, it is From Her Eyes.

The song is an excellent end to a similarly impressive release. Demons will push From Her Eyes into a richer attentive spotlight and the country will embrace their debut with relish, that is surely a given so now it is up to the band to take it to the next highly anticipated level.

The Demons EP is available now @ https://fromhereyes.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FromHerEyesOfficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 26/08/2014

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Anti Clone – Hands Sewn Together

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If you thought nu-metal was a redundant flavour then hold on to your floral panties boys and girls because it is not only alive and viciously kicking but it has been twisted into a whole new glorious personality by UK geniuses Anti Clone. Genius is just what the Lincolnshire quintet is for not only has the band reaped the most flavoursome and essential essences of the genre and fused them with a healthy dose of varied other spices, they have bred those inspirations and accompanying familiarities into a fresh and new dawning. It is not the forging of a brand new ground-breaking exploit but without doubt the beginnings of a template destined to spark a fire in others.

Formed in 2011, the Boston band like so many went through a tempestuous time line-up wise before the two sets of brothers in Peter (lead vocals) and Drew Moore (drums/ programming) alongside Conor (guitar) and Liam Richardson (guitar) alongside Fraser Burch (bass) came together. The band from there were soon earning a powerful reputation for their live performances and sound locally which was emulated as Anti Clone spread their musical fury across the UK starting with a tour alongside Eridium last year. Since then the band has graced stages with the likes of American Head Charge, Sworn Amongst, ESO, Maplerun, Evil Scarecrow, and Bloodshot Dawn. Following the success of debut single 1984, the band’s Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Trivium, Fightstar, As I Lay Dying and Slipknot) produced Hands Sewn Together gets its national release and it is hard to see the British metal scene being the same ever again.

It only takes the first few moments of opener Take This Pill to turn attention and imagination on their heads and lay down bait which sets the seeds to a lingering ardour soaked reaction. Coarsely surfaced riffs size up ears first; their CDHSTSACtouch a rough rub before scythes of sonic enticement sears the senses through the guitars. With controlled yet punchy rhythms punctuating the initial lure to equally appealing success, Peter unveils his outstanding vocal expression, his deliver subsequently shown to be as inventive and varied as the sounds around him. The track continues to twist and flirt with the imagination and passions, elements of Korn making strong hints though maybe more so the song plays like a mix of Mudvayne and Fuckshovel with a rich dose of Drowning Pool incitement. That too is only a spice as Anti Clone proceeds to sculpt an antagonistic seduction which oozes originality and mouth-watering invention.

The simply outstanding start alone would be enough to wax lyrical about the promise of the band, but that potential is shown to be far more than just a future possibility by the following Here Comes The Flood. As different in character as it is similar in its creative alchemy, the second song completes the persuasion that release and band is something special. Charging from the blocks like Usain Bolt caught short, muscles and attitude bulging with every beat and note, the track is a carnivorous tempest of sinew driven temptation coursing with a (Hed) PE like anger and contagion. It is a riveting swipe at the senses which only intensifies its might and coaxing with an insatiable torrent of rhythms from Drew which in turn inspires guitars, bass, and vocals to collide in a breath-taking brawl of ingenuity. To be quite honest if there has been a better track unleashed this year it will have been something really sensational.

The furious drama of the track is equalled by that of 1984 though it comes as a more reserved proposition. The slow courting of vocals and drums stabs skirted by the excellent dark throat of the bass is another irresistible lure from the band. Behind it a seeping breath of portentous atmosphere is released but it is also a slow brew which hints and taunts before the guitars begin to stretch their presence and narrative with melodic enticing amidst a similar rising of passionate energy vocally. Eventually taking big strides rhythmically with potent hues of guitar enterprise on board, the song swells with an American Head Charge seeded adventure before repeating its magnetic sequence but with a fuller weight and evocative dexterity. Glorious in its harmonious reflection and raw in its impassioned protest, the track is a masterful.

The following System, which also features John Knight of Synaptik, makes a more controlled entrance like its predecessor but this time within an openly voracious frame of sound and intent. There is an intimidation to the track from its first breath though which ignites a sudden twist as the song escapes its compelling rein to surge with inventive nostril flaring into a riveting stomp of crusading rhythms and sonic tenacity. As all tracks it is also as unpredictable as they come, playing like an aural jigsaw which is unafraid to let its moves make rude and clunky interruptions to enhance further an already thrilling beast.

The EP ends with its most hostile offering, vocals and grooves from the first syllable and note a raw abrasion which develops its own infection soaked enticing. The Usurper is a brute of an encounter, a hostile and uncompromising protagonist which deceptively loads up with hooks and squealing grooves to seduce as it gnaws on the senses. Again it is another facet to the sound and presence of Anti Clone, no two songs on the EP sharing a whisper of ideation and undeniably none as ferocious and unrelentingly invasive as the closer.

Hands Sewn Together is pure joy, an encounter which leaves the majority of releases this year standing in its shadow whilst as declared earlier making for a standard setting proposition. Even though Anti Clone has only just started redesigning and warping British metal, it is impossible not to get truly excited about the band.

The Hands Sewn Together EP is available now @ http://www.anticlonehq.com/

www.AntiCloneHQ.com

10/10

RingMaster 25/08/2014

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