Instincts and inner strivings: talking Nonpoint and more with vocalist Elias Soriano.

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It is no coincidence that US metallers Nonpoint has persistently unleashed striking and passions sparking releases over the years and they have continued that potent tradition with new album The Return. This is a band which no matter how their music takes you leaves a potent impression time and time again and with their new proposition coming with a stronger drive of intensity and aggression than arguably heard from the band in a while, Nonpoint show they still make one of the more striking propositions in melodic metal. Wanting to learn more about the heart and background to their latest triumph, we were kindly allowed the time of Elias Soriano to explore. With thanks to the band’s vocalist we talked The Return, personal inspirations, the music scene and more…

Hi Elias and thank you for sparing some of your time for us.

Seventeen years on from your first steps as a band and with the recent release of your new and eighth album, The Return, how are emotions when it comes to releasing a record? Is there an increased intensity with experience or a more relaxed excitement?

It’s both… More relaxed in the way that with past records we felt like we based our success on sales. We’re at a time in music where last year there wasn’t a single platinum record given out. Bad promotion, lazy labels, radio programming and shitty bands have saturated the market place. Fans aren’t stupid. Sales are dead. It’s all about the show. And that to me is exciting, because that’s what we’re all about. Turning heads and connecting with people. We need some serious light in our lives and people are using music like its elevator music. Read into things people, it will feed a part of you that nothing else can fill. Not even love… Music is food for the soul. Get your vegetables in people!!

nonpoint_photo02There is a new and maybe rawer energy to the band on The Return; is that something you felt making it and what do you put that down to inspiration wise?

Without a doubt…Heavier…Deeper…More detailed…Bolder…No regrets kinda music. Again our live show is always in the back of our heads, so we tried to fill the record with songs that will make people either move, or want to sing along.

So it is energy not only in songwriting and sound but one which has broken out in the band’s live presence or just your own personal feelings towards the band and music in general?

Like I mentioned earlier, I want to connect. That’s it. My feelings are that I have and will continue to do everything in my power to do that till the day I die. I have 5 goals in my life: Good man, good father, good husband, and to connect with people through my work…Which is music.

That’s it. The rest is the icing on life so I take the rest as it comes.

How do you feel the difference and evolution of sound between The Return and its self-titled predecessor of 2012 has emerged and panned out?Nonpoint-TheReturn

We accomplished what we wanted which was better than the last. Johnny K felt like the songs were better so the only real obstacle was the mix. So Daniel Salcido, our co-producer and engineer along with Johnny, and his mix was a 1-2 knockout.

Though the album has that familiar Nonpoint attack and sound it feels like the band experimented with ideas and structures much more than arguably recent releases?

We grow, change and try things like we all do in our lives. This week you’re attracted to the girl in accounting, next week you decide you’re gonna start growing a beard. Inspiration comes from every angle and when you’re 8 records and over 150 songs written in, you try new shit. If you don’t, it’s probably why you’re miserable in your band. You gotta have the freedom to get that shit out of your system, no matter what anyone thinks…Including the fans. You can’t please everyone, so start by making yourself happy first.

Was there any particular spark for that aspect too?

The process…The industry lays it out all nice and pretty for you whilst simultaneously throwing rabid, pissed off animals in your way. So you pretend as best you can and just digest the bullshit. That way you can keep writing tunes for people. Way I see it; everyone hates at least one part of their job.

With numerous potent and successful releases under your belt, is there a personal pressure you put yourselves under to try and sculpt something strikingly new or do you primarily just let it evolve each time with each album?

Leave it to inspiration I always say. I’ve learned when you force it too much it becomes contrived. I think because we’ve tried to just write music from the hip initially then spend the following weeks or months polishing it, that’s what has kept out “sound” while allowing us the freedom to try something new.

You recorded The Return as you mentioned with Johnny K once again. He seems to have a handle on the heart of your sound and how to make it spark even more?

He definitely knows what our goal is and does his best to make the record sound the best he can. So we always leave satisfied. He won’t let the record leave the studio until he knows it’s the strongest it can be.

Is he a producer that not only pushes you as a band but has the will to drive his own ideas forward to enhance songs, even if you guys certainly initially are not convinced?

He’s about the band doing the work. I’m sure in other instances he’s picked up a guitar and wrote a riff here and there for other bands but with us he let us do our thing. And if it sucks he tells us. We’re cool with that. So we work great together.

nonpoint_photo03Are you a band which enters the studio with songs as good as finished or more get them to a point where there is plenty of room for change and evolution whilst recording?

We go in ready. When we sit down to track we want to know what we’re doing. If not it takes forever to track, you write shit you forget later, you gotta relearn songs when it’s time to tour…Lots of negatives when that’s the process with us. So we like to go in ready.

Tells us about some of the themes behind songs, and most as previously are predominantly inspired by life and experiences?

Life…There’s not much else to sing about. This time I decided to go detailed in some and simple in others. Storytelling is my gig. So I played around as per usual.

The energy to the album we previously spoke of also suggest maybe there is a greater intimate and personal essence to some of the tracks and their passion?

The passing of my father changed me a lot. So I touch on that a few times. I’m a new father too so a few worries and responsibilities have come to light so my passions have changed direction a bit. They still run deep, but they have more focus.

How did the writing and recording process for The Return work, I believe that some of the band are not located near each other?

Emails…We are in the new age, and finances mixed with family, especially new family changes things. Thank God for the web.

How more difficult is it to come up with fluid and energy fuelled songs which writing and breeding songs so far apart though, without that personal contact?

Knowing what we all want is step one. Then from there you trust your players. I like getting riffs I didn’t come up with (not that I do it that often)…It gives me a jumping point I didn’t expect so my jumping point can be fresh and new every time.

Tell us about the striking and hard hitting video for Breaking Skin from the album.

Our director Justin Reich…The guy took the song and did his thing. He called me and asked me about the meaning behind the song then sent the treatment. We all dig it. He was also the man behind the camera so the vision was all his…Kudos to Justin.

What is in store for and from Nonpoint for the rest of the year going into 2015?nonpoint_photo04

Touring, touring, and more touring. That’s what we do.

Thanks again for taking time out to chat with us. Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Throughout history people have fought and even died for music for a very good reason. Music is an important part of life; it’s time for the world to start treating it that way again. It’s not a commercial, it is magic incarnate.

http://www.nonpoint.com/

Read the review of The Return @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/nonpoint-the-return/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 30/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Warmblood – God Of Zombies

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There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.

Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.

Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.

Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor WarmbloodCoverbut still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.

The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.

Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.

Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.

Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.

God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records

https://www.facebook.com/warmbloodband

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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James King and the Lonewolves – Lost Songs of the Confederacy

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It might be thirty years and more since its release but the James King and the Lonewolves single I Tried/So Alone, has never drifted away too far from the musical landscape here at The RR. With the band coming to a close less than a handful of years later, it is a regular reminder of what might have been and of the potential locked up inside one of the eighties lost opportunities to shine even brighter musically. So it was with surprise and excitement that the band re-emerged a couple of years ago and that the debut album lost to that collapse of the band, was to be released. The original Lost Songs of the Confederacy was recorded with John Cale but as mentioned never saw the like of day, but now ‘mark II’, with re-recorded and re-mastered songs supplemented by new recordings is here and at times it is like the band has never been away.

James King and the Lonewolves emerged in the early eighties in the heart of Glasgow’s music scene and swiftly grabbed attention and support with their feisty and fiery Americana influenced rock ‘n’ roll. The aforementioned single I Tried released via Cubre Libre/Virgin, sparked a wider awareness, certainly grabbing some of us down south. The following Texas Lullaby ‎12″ EP found acclaim of its own too and with the band signing with Alan Horne’s Swamplands label in 1984, it looked like things were about to break for the band. An ill-fated performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test where their profanities drew countless complaints from viewers led to the label dropping the band after just one single and before the album was unveiled. That in turn added to the turbulence within the quartet which saw it subsequently self-implode.

Skip forward to 2011 though and after a ‘long running feud’, James King and Jake McKechan putting differences aside came together as The Lonewolves for a memorial show for former agent, Alan Mawn. Completed by bassist Nick Clark, guitarist Joe Sullivan, and drummer Corey Little; band and audience saw the chemistry was still ablaze within The Lonewolves and they decided to carry on. Released via Edinburgh’s Stereogram Recordings, Lost Songs of the Confederacy is a bridge to the past, ‘unfinished business to be done’ in the words of King, and spark for the future, and as also shown on the recent Pretty Blue Eyes EP, the band’s sound is just as potent and rebellious as ever.

The album seems to work itself up to its biggest triumphs, the first few songs making an appealing and satisfying persuasion but the real roar and fire in the album coming a little later. In saying that opener Fun Patrol immediately ?????????????????????????????????????captures ears and imagination, its initial sonic shimmering bringing a lick of the lips before riffs and rhythms huddle in an imposing stance. King’s vocals carry a mature snarl to his still distinctive tones whilst guitars toy with a bluesy colour to their sultry enterprise. It is a pulsating slice of rock pop, bass almost stalking the senses across its imaginative landscape whilst a flame of harmonica simply lifts spirits and passions further.

It is a mighty start to the album which is not quite matched by either Over the Side or Fly Away. The first caresses ears with sixties melodic coaxing initially, its Kinks like smile an engaging persuasion which the shimmering climate of melodies and throaty bass stroll only accentuates. It is a highly magnetic proposition but is missing the indefinable something which lit its predecessor, the same which can be said of its successor. The album’s third song has a riper infectiousness to it, riffs and hooks inescapable bait but again that certain spark fails to materialise to take an enjoyable song into being an inescapable one. The flame of brass and contagious swagger it carries does it no harm though before it makes way for the hazy presence of Bridgeton Summer. Its air is steamy and melodies again sultry, both wrapping inventive climbs of emotion and energy within the transfixing balladry fuelled song. It also just misses those early heights but provides a vein of ingenuity which is exploited to the full as the album suddenly kicks up in the creative gears.

Even Beatles Die dangles sonic bait to straightaway hook ears and thoughts but it is when the punk voracity and intimidating riffs from guitar and bass break-through, that the track becomes a thrilling predator. It has a nagging to it which is as contagious as it is unrelenting whilst the poppier exploits of guitar and hooks simply flirt with seventies rock ‘n’ roll temptation. It is a treat of a romp setting up the richer blues hued strains of While I Can. With a jazz blues tease of keys leading into stalking bass lures and aligning riff and vocal growls, the track twists and shouts with an old school rock and R&B devilry to also ignite ears and emotions, though it in turn is just an appetiser for the majesty of (Un)happy Home. Instantly holding a delicious whiff of The Mighty Lemon Drops to its net of melodic enterprise, the song prowls and strides with switching adventure to sculpt a dynamic and insatiable stomp of punk ‘n’ roll tenacity and adventure. Everything about the album’s best track, from growly vocals to spicy riffs, seductive low toned bass to crisp rhythms, is pure contagious persuasion.

   Pretty Blue Eyes swiftly keeps the levels flying high with its raw and jangly endeavour, the song seemingly bred from the seeds which early Orange Juice and Josef K employed so well. It is a compelling encounter which rather than grab the psyche by the collar slowly burns its way into causing its subsequent arousal. Igniting an instant reaction is no problem for Texas Lullaby though, the track from its tantalising melody washed jangle brewing up and growing into an impossibly addictive and irresistible chorus. At that moment there is a pungently healthy Skids air to the song but a flavour soon transformed into a Lonewolves tapestry of emotion and lingering persuasion for another massive peak to the increasingly impressing album.

     Lost Songs of the Confederacy is brought to a close by the gentle melodic stroking of A Step Away from Home, a strongly evocative and pleasing prospect but another not quite equipped to match songs like the one before it. Nevertheless it still leaves ears content and pleasure full as it brings a ‘lost son’ of an album home into the hearts of the band’s fans. This is an album which is much more than a memory trip just for fans though, its daring and inventive drama a certain lure for those unaware of James King and the Lonewolves. It has been a long wait but boy was it worth it for them and us.

Lost Songs of the Confederacy is out via Stereogram Recordings now digitally with a vinyl version available from November 10th. Find out more @ http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/audio/lost-songs-confederacy/

https://www.facebook.com/JamesKingLonewolves

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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Critical Dismemberment – Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP

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Embracing the senses in a maelstrom of sonic and brutal exploration, listening to the new release from US extreme metallers Critical Dismemberment is as uncomfortable as it is invigorating, and quite compelling. The Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP is raw and gripping, caustically and creatively riveting, and a stirring gateway into one intriguing and imposingly inventive death metal band stalking the underground scene.

Hailing from Arkansas, Critical Dismemberment consists of Erik Martin and Chase Fincher. Forming the project over the internet, the pair was soon brewing up a distinct sound merging death and black metal with symphonic and electronic invention. The outcome as evidenced on their new encounter, is a proposition which is as cruel as it is magnetic, an uncompromising hostility veined by electro and melodic intrigue driven by refreshing unpredictability.

     Feel My Wrath And Tremble opens with the swift invitation of The Coming, guitars an easy enticing lure to snare attention before a thick and smothering intensity forcibly descends over the senses. This in turn breeds a heavy predation in beats and riffs. Yet still it seduces as it leads into the initial melodic coaxing of the title track. It too in no time opens up a vat hostile intent under an abrasing atmosphere. Vocals are pestilential and riffs voracious whilst beats pierce the tempestuous persuasion with purposeful spite; it all consuming ears and imagination with ravenous and destructive animosity.

It is an uncompromising examination yet has a contagious core which nothing can defuse, as shown again in the excellent incitement of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds. From its first breath vocals spread serpentine animosity and coarse malevolence whilst grooves entwine and gnaw on the senses with addictive enterprise and spicy temptation. It is a ferocious challenge which swiftly enslaves ears and imagination as it punishes the senses, an assault which breeds a greedy appetite for more with its keen creative adventure and merciless hostility.

The Damnation of Elizabeth weaves a tantalising mesh of electro agitation with hoarse vocals next whilst a symphonically seeded melodic orchestration flirts with the imagination. It is just the prelude to a tempest of heavy electro swipes and blackened grooving though, they in turn slapped by rhythmic intimidation and pungent jabs of primal riffery and Nintendo-core fascination.

The release is concluded by firstly Room 911, it emerging from the same almost bedlamic charm its predecessor left in before escorting caustic riffs and scaring vocals squalls in siege of the senses. The track is a smog of sonic abrasion and vocal venom, yet its invasive and quarrelsome cloud of animosity again belies the enticing melodic underbelly and symphonic tempting which works tirelessly away.

Final track Nightmares End, lives up to its title though there is no closure to the sinister and voracious black and death metal corruption within the track. As all the songs, it is a gripping patchwork of sounds and flavours converging into one persuasive death metal violation. Rhythms often unveil a post punk punctuation whilst keys and melodies spring from a Disney does Zombieland type landscape, though there is nothing safe and comical about the outstanding sufferance cast by the track. It is an excellent end to a fine assault from Critical Dismemberment.

Feel My Wrath And Tremble is from the bottomless corruptive pit of extreme metal’s underground, evidence of the enthralling creativity and raw talent lying in wait to prey upon ears and emotions. This might not be one of the kindest propositions to challenge your senses this year but certainly it is one of the more enterprising and exciting.

The Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP is available via Bluntface Records from October 31st @ http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/CriticalDismemberment

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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The Howling Void – Runa

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There are not many releases which are as mesmeric and meditative as they are oppressively haunting but that definitely is the immersive landscape found upon the Runa EP from US funeral/doom metal project The Howling Void. The three track release is a hungry and intimidating flight across vast expanses of melodic dirge fuelled terrains, an exploration as warm as it is chilling, as seductive as it is menacing. These are extremes which play out simultaneously, enveloping ears and emotions with smouldering flames of invention around cold fingers of intent as the imagination revels in the rich depths and suggestive intrigue of tracks. It is a glorious and deeply rewarding proposition, a bottomless free fall into the creativity of the band with every journey into the EP breeding new textures, thoughts, and emotions.

The Howling Void is the solo project of San Antonio multi-instrumentalist Ryan (Hordes of the Morning Star). Started in 2007, the band has released a quartet of well-received and increasingly acclaimed albums with a funeral doom sound which submerges ears and senses in a dark and cavernous but transfixing realm. Runa was originally released digitally last year but has now been given its physical unveiling with Avantgarde Music, and to make the release even more compelling comes with a third unreleased exploration within its body. It is a riveting encounter which with the extra song is a must for new and old fans alike, and one reinforcing and stretching the already realised enthralling invention and imagination of its creator.

The release swiftly encases ears in a searching blend of expressive keys and raw riffs, opener Irminsûl looming over the senses and thoughts with heavy gait and tone aligned to a vibrant and almost fiery melodic and rhythmic enterprise. It is an enthralling coaxing which only breeds stronger potency as keys spread their similarly toxic and seductive hauntings as vocals float with harmonic expression and celestial mellowness. The EP is themed by “the mythic paradigm of Initiation in the Left Hand Path as represented by Woden/Wotan/Odin’s journey into darkness in search of wisdom” but every soar across the shadowed skies and soundscape of song and release, invites adventures just as unique to the imagination, personal visions and endeavours sparked by the encounter which are as fluid and vivid as the evolving narrative laying out for them.

The scintillating piece of composing and emotional colouring is followed by the just as absorbing Nine Nights. It makes a sterner and muscular entrance than its predecessor, guitars grinding their riffs against the senses with predatory attitude. This too is just a moment in a shifting landscape though, melodies and vocals soon gliding tantalisingly over ears within the caustic and prowling scenery sculpted by rhythms and riffs. The merger of extremes is stunning, beauty and cold almost pestilential breath a gripping and invigorating binding for ears and emotions. Imagine being in a small row boat in the middle of a rapacious stretch of water with no escape in sight as thick oppressive fog creeps ever closer. Listening to song and album feels very much like that and the experience is scintillating physically and emotionally.

The new track upon Runa is The Wolf And The Eclipse and as soon as its hint of a storm is the cue for a spicy melodic stroke of guitar, the track slips easily into the dark erosive climate of the release. There is shamanic lure to the smoulder of vocals and tribal tenacity to the drums which shape a striking gateway into a radiantly bracing and evocatively lit expanse of sinister and melodically graceful mesmerism, which in turn evolves into another intrusively commanding and heavy doom soaked provocation.

The outstanding challenge completes a similarly impressive release. The Howling Void is a project still relatively in the shadows but Runa has all the attributes and majesty to push the project into a broader spotlight. No one should miss out on its second coming.

The Runa EP is available via Avantgarde Music now @ http://avantgardemusic.bigcartel.com/product/the-howling-void-runa-digipack-cd

https://www.facebook.com/TheHowlingVoid

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

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Never have open hostility and uncompromising brutality been as elegantly seductive and radiantly fascinating as within The Wreckage of Stars, the debut album from US progressive extreme metallers Black Crown Initiate. Actually that is not quite true as the band’s previous and extraordinary Song of the Crippled Bull EP offered such imaginative daring too but within the album it has bred a new bulk and exploration which is as fearsome as it is gloriously mesmeric. Their entrance was dramatic and startling and now with The Wreckage of Stars, the Pennsylvanian quintet’s emergence is complete, placing them right there side by side with the likes of Between The Buried And Me, The Ocean, and Opeth.

Formed in 2012, the Reading hailing Black Crown Initiate was soon drawing on experiences, individual inspirations, and a vast web of styles to create what is a maelstrom of gripping ingenuity and vicious enterprise. The evidence was immediately audible with the unleashing of Song of the Crippled Bull, an introduction which was as drenched in acclaim as it was in enthralling and unique inventive personality. Its attention grabbing success led to the band securing a coveted spot on the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Goatwhore and Behemoth, as well as the sharing of stages with bands such as Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Rivers of Nihil. Earlier this year Black Crown Initiate signed with eOne and now in tandem go for the psychological jugular and lustful passions with The Wreckage of Stars.

The release opens with Great Mistake and an instantly seducing enticing of melodies. It is an inviting coaxing by the guitars which only gains weight and potency as imposing rhythms and aggressive riffs join its bait. Continuing to warmly lure within the brewing tempest, the song leads the senses into the bestial tones of vocalist James Dorton, every syllable expelled loaded with malice and guttural intensity. Still the song is a seductive persuasion though and intriguingly, it is when the superb clean vocals of guitarist Andy Thomas grasps ears that the track finds itself at its most threatening as the music flares up around him. It is a delicious and surprising outcome, alone revealing so much about the skill and songwriting personality of the band. Across its extensive landscape, the track boils, squalls, and explores mellow intent, every second and twist of the song a new surprise and magnetic contagion, especially the Eastern veining which colours its engrossing finale.

The outstanding start places the album on an early plateau which subsequent tracks either stalk as boldly or certainly flirt with in presence and invention. The following The Fractured One is one hitting similar heights, its immediate BCI_coveragitated predation of tempestuous beats from drummer Jesse Beahler and throaty tempting from the bass of Nick Shaw, an enslaving death metal spiced frame within which the guitars of Thomas and Rik Stelzpflug cast tenaciously imaginative and hostile enterprise. One of the shorter songs on the album, it is an incessant and virulently contagious torrent of barbarous and sonically scorching savagery.

A breather of sorts after the inhospitable onslaught of the previous tack comes with Malignant, its opening of classically honed guitar a caress of calm within the established storm of the album. Guitars nestle creatively up to the imagination straight away though that suggested respite is eventually smothered by the serpentine venom of Dorton’s vocals and a pestilential tsunami of corrosive rhythms and caustic riffery. Of course nothing can be assumed with a Black Crown Initiate track, something learned early on the last EP, and soon the increasingly impressive warm voice of Thomas breaks the wall of maliciousness, aligning itself eventually with a similarly engrossing and graceful weave of melodic design and expression. Though it is restless to return to savaging the senses, the track courts this peace as long and creatively as possible, ensuring the song again leaves expectations a lost cause.

Both the carnivorous ferocity of The Human Lie Manifest and the exhausting technicality of Withering Waves leave senses cowering and imagination basking in majestic aural warfare; the pair, as all songs, parading more of the craft and inventive depths of the band. The second of the two is especially scintillating as extremes of light and dark, animosity and melodic beauty come together in one spellbinding emprise, a mouth-watering adventure matched by the primal and ruinous presence of To The Eye That Leads You. This erupts with a tornado of vocal enmity, the assault at times an inaudible suffocation of intent and lyrical intimidation which in allowing a coarsely veiled clarity to emerge intimidates further. Around it though there is a swing and swagger to the sounds which is no less vicious but does provides an inescapable infectiousness. It is a vat of bad blood and the thrilling dark-side to the climactic and forcibly elegant beauty of the album’s title track. Predominantly instrumental it closes with a vocal union of all sides shown so far on the album, to provoke a new hunger in appetite and thoughts.

There is no escaping the relentless battering and sonic violation uncaged by Shapes Collapse next, the track as so many, no matter how harmful and fierce it impacts on body and senses casting an addictive and seriously enticing infection. It is a constant lure throughout the tempest but especially pungent in the glade of melodic reflection ventured by song and guitars before climbing back into the outskirts of the initial storm.

The album closes with firstly the arresting terrain of Purge, a track which entwines imaginative charm and melodic beauty with voracious and vehement fuelled hostility for a mutually unsettling and seductive examination of ears and emotions. It is succeeded by Linear, a sensational final encounter where under persistent hellacious provocation, the lighter side of the band has full and irresistible rein.

     The Wreckage of Stars is a major triumph proving that the last EP was no flash in the pan but instead just the appetiser to greater sonic alchemy and brutal expression from Black Crown Initiate. Now is the time to explore their brilliant fury, though you can only feel as with their music, there will be no escaping their presence and touch from hereon in anyway.

The Wreckage of Stars is available now via eOne Heavy / Good Fight

http://www.facebook.com/BlackCrownInitiate

RingMaster 29/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Glass Caves – Alive

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There is a healthy buzz around UK alternative rockers Glass Caves, and the release of their debut album Alive provides plenty of reasons why. It holds a collection of catchy and vibrant songs which live up to the album’s title with ease. There is an energy and hunger to songwriting and tracks which provides the release and sound with a tenacious and invigorating presence. It makes for a potently captivating encounter though what there is not within Alive is unique character or presence to set the band truly out from the Arctic Monkeys inspired crowd. Taking songs individually it does not impact so openly but across what is a nevertheless fascinating and highly satisfying proposition, that essence prevents a great album being a classic striking debut.

Since forming the band has incessantly hit streets and venues with their presence and vivacious sounds. This has led to a constantly increasing and eager fan base as well as praising attention from the underground media and beyond. Successful slots at numerous festivals such as Leeds/Reading, Ynot Festival, and Shrewsbury Fields Forever has done them no harm neither, nor the release of their self-titled EP last year. Now the Rich Turvey (Darlia/The Mispers) produced and John Davis (Royal Blood/Catfish and the Bottlemen) mastered Alive is ready to awaken even broader attention and even with small reservations, expectations of success are inescapable.

Glass Caves’ new single Go sets things off and instantly lights up ears and imagination with a flame of tasty guitar and probing rhythms. It is a spicy start reinforced by strong vocals and melodic acidity which begins washing over the fiery song. The band would probably protest but there is no avoiding the resonance of Alex Turner and co which whispers loudly within the track, something many bands employ or are tailored by and certainly here adds an admittedly flavoursome hue. All the same, the song is a punchy and energetically persuasive stomp providing a strong lure into the album.

The following Driving Home is just as contagious and instantly intriguing, hooks and melodies toying with ears and emotions from the start whilst vocals, lead and backing, create a warm web of enticement. The throbbing groan of a 10665245_744010618970195_5022062840488303203_nbassline adds to the rich bait whilst guitars capture thoughts with their inventive. As gently infectious and lively as its predecessor, it swiftly shows the band has an arsenal of highly persuasive songs, a theory soon backed up by Why Stay? and Out Of Control. The first of the pair lays down a slightly more reserved but no less animated canvas for voice and guitar to colour whilst the second with a similarly restrained base, explores shadowed scenery embellished by seductive keys. Whilst there is that persistent feel of other bands, Funeral Suits coming to mind, there is real individuality and distinctive character to each song which only suggests that overall uniqueness will come with time and maturity, this track a bulging proposition of evidence with its melodies caresses and vocal drama.

Both the sonically sultry Tonight and the smouldering blaze that is Breaking Out keep the album compelling and attention gripped, the latter of the pair a track with a never realised volatile edge to its temptation bringing a dramatic edge to spark appetite and imagination. The two again show further variation in the character of songs within the album, just as the excellent Let Go. There is an extra whiff of familiarity to the song yet it only enhances its spellbinding and virulently fascinating waltz. The best track on the album with ease it is an anthem to the skills and invention of the band and for passions to enlist in.

The slow burn of Match with its rhythmic crescendos and wiry melodic coaxing is another track full of intrigue and adventure but does lacks the something which ignites earlier tracks. It still makes for a pleasing companion, one sounding bigger and better over time, before This Road brings its own tantalising scenery and melodic dance to tap another keen wave of appetite whilst Be Together in turn parades its powerful embrace of warm keys and jangly hooks. Their enterprising suasions are surpassed by the creative tension of How I Feel, a song with a melodic landscape walled by raw sonic colouring and rhythmic prowling.

The album comes to a close with Moongate, a final energetic croon of voice and sound leaving a lingering touch on ears and thoughts. It is an excellent end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. Yes there is that lack of something strikingly different to set Glass Caves apart from the many but to be fair that applies to a wealth of emerging bands of which most certainly do not make as strong and as pleasing an impression as found with Alive. Glass Caves is a band to keep a good eye on and their album one to have plenty of fun with.

Alive is available now via Tri-Tone @ www.buyalive.co.uk

http://www.glasscaves.co.uk

RingMaster 29/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/