Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues!

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It is fair to say that Finnish doom metallers Cardinals Folly is a band you are going to take to or not. Certainly there is a middle ground too where intrigue keeps attention and thoughts embraced in interest and indecision over the band though listening to new album Our Cult Continues!, it seems to demand adoration or avoidance with little in between. Cardinals Folly is not a band to just soundtrack an hour of simple listening pleasure is soon obvious as the band’s second album challenges the senses.

Released via Shadow Kingdom Records, Our Cult Continues! is a dark trespass of ears and thoughts with a generally crawling pestilential persuasion which at times ignites the imagination as forcibly as it violates the senses. It can be a riveting intrusion with imposing heavy riffs and deeply permeating rapacious grooving but also a lingering threat which loses its potency through the length of songs, a seeming aversion to spread its creative wings, and the daunting challenge of the vocals where notes are often dishevelled and squeezed of flavour. As mentioned it is not going to be for all but it must also be said that it left a compulsion to investigate the release again and again and is definitely likely to lure the appetite of those with a passion for bands like Reverend Bizarre and Electric Wizard. For sure it needs time to make its persuasion a full argument, with still no guarantees of success, but if band and album clicks with wants it has the potency to make for a unique test and enjoyment.

Formed in 2004 as The Coven and called Cardinals Folly since 2007, the Helsinki based trio of vocalist/bassist Mikko Kääriäinen, guitarist Juho Kilpelä, and drummer Sebastian Lindberg soon made an impression with their first pair of EPs, 2008’s Heretic’s Hangover and Orthodox Faces the following year. Two years on the band signed with Shadow Kingdom and unleashed debut album Such Power is Dangerous!, again to strong responses which the new release is sure to emulate with those holding a taste for the band’s distinct takes on doom metal.

Opening with the evocative and cinematic Chant of Shadows, the album makes an imagination poking entrance. It is not a hugely dramatic start, but an introduction to the dark realms and sinister devilry of the band which holds enough a2356633421_2coaxing for fans and newcomers to take the plunge into the hellish depths of Our Cult Continues! As its satanic call drifts away the following Morbid Glory steps forward and soon presses ears with acidic grooves and hollow but pushy rhythms. There is an immediate shallowness to the production which takes time to acclimatise to but is not as big a leap to embrace as the vocal tones of Kääriäinen. With a voice which flirts with melodies whilst infusing a monotone lilt equipped with tonal alienation, the bassist croons and serenades throughout the track and album with varying success. It is another aspect to get used to and will of all the things about Cardinals Folly, probably be the biggest test for many, but to be honest it is also something to gradually warm to and embrace in the singers potent moments and hold reservations over in their less momentous turns. The song itself lurches and lumbers with ravenous intensity and labour intensive predation to seduce ears and rile the senses.

The Black Baroness makes a greater impression than its more than decent predecessor with a carnivorous throat to the bass and sonic enterprise from the guitar. There is a punk air to the acidic strokes of Kilpelä, riffs an abrasing antagonism and the meandering chords bleeding whispers of Spizzenergi and The Pack. With a healthier contagion to its bait, it crawls potently through body and mind before passing over to the oppressive rapacity of the title track. A thick web of riffs and blunted rhythms, the track is appealing smog of sound and intent, a sonic cloud veined with an engaging raw groove and a moment of bewitching clarity. Vocally too the song is persuasive, Kääriäinen better in an aural crowd than providing a driving lead in many ways.

The virulent surging of Sighisoaran comes next, the song a torrential abrasion held on a slight rein as it rampages and an even shorter lead in its slow consumptive twist of primal voracity. As most tracks it is a proposition which takes time to explore and come to terms with in many ways but ultimately provides an uncompromising assault enhanced by the great guttural snarl of the bass and a keen repetitious incitement. Like the majority of songs it is also border line on whether outstaying its welcome length wise, though when things begin to labour the band does throw in a timely twist to pull back any negativity a little.

The pair of Walvater Unveiled and The Lover´s Crypt smothers the listener in a sonic causticity and vocal starkness to again challenge and solidly persuade. The first is a lumbering expanse of venomous riffs and demanding rhythms which from an underwhelming opening evolves with scorched grooves and another potently gripping bass temptation to enthral. Its successor brings a more classic heavy metal breath in its melodic toxins and healthy doom swagger on its way to sculpting one of the bigger highlights of the album. The song also invites a richer invention and imagination from the band which in turns flirts with the listener to greater effect as it creates another reason to give Our Cult Continues! time before deciding its fate.

Last track Fallout Ritualist provides, despite its far too long a presence, a highly convincing conclusion to the album, its Sabbath-esque swagger of riffs and incendiary grooves along with the previous track crafting the best part of the album with ease.

Even after numerous visits Our Cult Continues! still leaves us undecided; its raw production defuses as much as it enhances and with a vagueness of imagination at times, the album seems to be an adventure of missed opportunities. Yet it also makes for a compelling proposition to keep considering. Cardinals Folly is one for the individual and to be honest the only way to know if they are for you is to allow them a chance to challenge and convince.

Our Cult Continues! is available via Shadow Kingdom Records now @ http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/our-cult-continues

https://www.facebook.com/cardinalsfolly

7/10

RingMaster 20/08/2014

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Escape The Cult – All You Need To

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All You Need To is a persistent little temptation, an album which admittedly did not really blow thoughts and senses away initially but did engage them in a pleasing and intriguing proposition. Away from its aural embrace though hooks and melodies, rhythmic twists and grooves kept swerving around the imagination and memory, all leading back to and revealing themselves as being bred by the debut album from Escape The Cult. The seven track encounter is still not an experience to leave you intensely awestruck but with its lingering and ingenious enterprise certainly enthrals as one of the year’s more exciting progressive metal propositions.

Escape The Cult is one of those super groups you read about, a collection of established musicians taking time out from their more recognisable exploits to explore new hopefully impressive avenues, something the quartet does with ease from start to finish. The brainchild of Kamlath bassist Peter G. Shallmin, Escape The Cult came to life in 2008 with its founder drawing on the qualities of vocalist Matthieu Romarin of Uneven Structure, guitarist Mike Wead from King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, and Primus/A Perfect Circle drummer Tim Alexander to help realise his vision of creating a progressive metal audio/visual experience. It has been a journey for the band to this point and for Shamlin who talked about the album saying “It was a dynamic and exciting start, with blood, sweat and tears shed throughout the process and a long exhausted preparation for the attack. Every day was worth to make it real. We were sincere in our ideas that are embodied in our debut.

The gentle but resourceful entrance of opener Backfired, with a bass twang courting spicy guitar enterprise, swiftly catches the imagination and though it is not a dramatic start to the album, an intrigued appetite for the song’s offering is

Created by Igor Omodei

Created by Igor Omodei

drawn. The distinctive tones of Romarin bring a familiar and passionate texture to the emerging narrative of the song, one never forceful or in a rush to challenge ears and thoughts but leaving inventive tendrils of melodies and strains of sonic incitement to infest the passions. It is a potent and riveting start to the album, basking in the renowned individual skills of its creators whilst forging a compelling and unique suasion of its own.

The following Clandestine opens with a muscular and aggressive threat which is soon tempered by an evocative heat of sonic colour and warm vocals. There is still an intensive weight to the rhythmic potency of Alexander though to keep senses on edge and balance out the almost Queens Of the Stone Age like sultriness coating the melodic exploration of the song. Grooves are seemingly slight in their bodies yet make for the most addictive and as mentioned earlier relentless temptations, the outstanding second track one of those which makes the most re-appearances in thoughts away from its source, whilst the flames of guitar endeavour from Wead transfixes as they scorch air and senses.

A definite pinnacle of the album, it is soon backed up by the gentle croon of I’m Absolute. With an immediately delicious web of hypnotic bass flirtation and the similarly mesmeric vocals of Romarin, the song sways and immerses ears in a smouldering and jazzy emprise of progressive fascination. The beats juggled by Alexander further captivate and ignite an already invigorating breath to a song, which as the album as a whole, does not explode in the passions but worms its way seductively into the psyche to forge an even more intensive bond.

Both the melodically tender Feel The Flight and the rapacious Tired Of The Past provide an absorbing canvas to lose one’s thoughts within, the first adding tense riffs and restrained yet incendiary grooves into its impassioned but mellow landscape. It is another where particular elements fire up ears and the passions rather than an overall combination but that united blend provides the embrace and rich foundation within which the sublime twists and essences can impress. Its successor is a feistier encounter in sound and intent which boils with imagination and unpredictability, preying on and tempting the listener with a provocatively charged invention which snarls and seduces with equal predation. An exceptional track binding ears in a thrilling adventure, it also sows seeds which blossom at a later date, though that is something truthfully which applies to all songs, as shown by the brilliant This Time Will Come. Hints of Alice In Chains and Tool, which have flirted with other songs too, make a rich enticement within the masterful blaze of intensive melodies and sonic acidity. There is also an underlying snarl and angst fuelled growl to the track which simply scintillates within the impressive and constantly evolving invention as it pushes itself to be the pinnacle of the release.

Where No Grown Up Grapes brings the album to a fine close with its web of heavy vocal and sonic passion. It is another where it simmers without lighting fires but then in a twist of a chord or rhythmic shuffle finds an enslaving idea or slither of imagination to set thoughts and passions ablaze. That sums up All You Need To as a whole, it at times simply pleasing with skilled ease and then striking with sheer genius and expectations slaughtering ingenuity. It all makes for an album which leaves a rich impression and presence with even deeper laid lures which prey on the listener later. How frequently Escape The Cult will be exploring ears and imagination ahead we will see with its members ‘day jobs’ etc. but anticipation and hunger for more is already breeding healthily thanks to All You Need To.

The self-released All You Need To is scheduled to be unveiled in September 2014.

www.facebook.com/EscapeTheCvlt

8.5/10

RingMaster 19/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Jona Overground – On The Outside

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A persistent caress on the ears, the soulful acoustic pop of Jona Overground as vibrantly presented on their debut album On The Outside, is a proposition to warm up any thought, emotion, or day. Presenting ten easy going yet elegantly crafted and persuasive songs, the release makes no demands yet provides a tender persuasion of memorable and lingering propositions which melt the senses.

Formed in 2011, Jona Overground is the creation of vocalist Ann-Marie Gilkes, who has worked with the likes of Erasure, Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie, and Tricky, and guitarist/keyboardist Jon Griffin. Meeting whilst studying music at Goldsmiths College, the pair began writing together after discovering a mutual love of classic pop, with the creation of the band coming soon after. Establishing a potent reputation on the live scene around London and the South East, the duo linked up with producer Alexander Mayor to work on their debut release, the impressive IRL Records released On the Outside.

Opener If You Were Free sets the tone of the album right away, warmly coaxing chords of guitar courted by firm if unadventurous beats styling a canvas to which Gilkes paints intimate narratives with her potent tones and delightful 0003691228_350expression. There is much more to this and the other songs of course but it is a magnetic undercoat which leads to brighter enchantment. With the leaner backing vocals of Griffin skirting his tantalising guitar prowess whilst seducing harmonies break free throughout, the song swings and sway with a gentle but forceful enticement, making for an attention awakening and ear pleasing start to the release.

The following Spin Cycle sidles up to the senses with a sultry climate and dark seduction next; its majestic melodic curves from the start reminding of Burt Bacharach composed musical shadows, and more specifically at times the song Walk On By. With a glowing shimmer of keys leading to evocative flames of melodies around the emotive lyrical expression, the song continues the impressive beginnings of the album before moving on to be replaced by the intimacy of Last Time I Saw You. Though the song does not grip as its predecessors, ears and thoughts are still captivated by the enticing melody seeping from the guitar and the glorious heat of classically bred stringed suasion which immerses the imagination. A track which impresses further with time, it adds another potent hue to the body of the release, as does the next up title track. A song which from a powerful first meeting also increases its lure which each involvement, it parades a joyful stride and vibrant energy in creating an increasing infectiousness whilst keys add their individual colour to meet the ever agreeable vocals and harmonies of Gilkes. It marks the pinnacle of the album, a plateau which embraces its successor too. Caught In A Line is a ballad which lies close to ears and emotions, its repetitive harmonies and evocative incitement of keys mesmeric whilst Gilkes smothers the senses in her intimate vocal beauty. That alone is enough to delight an already contented appetite but it is the rub of strings and keyboard additives which add unpredictable intrigue to the tale to turn a great song into something which sticks in thoughts long term.

Both the smiling gait of Let’s Pretend and the darker throatier breath of When Sorrows End keep the highs coming, the first a slice of reined in pop revelry which is still allowed to swish its melodic skirt in seductive fashion and the second a glorious embrace of deeper toned sounds and encroaching shadows which flirt with and kiss the senses from start to finish. The best track on the release, the song is an imposing beauty and quite irresistible.

My Word, Your World is a provocative call for feet and emotions next, its again heavier emotive premise still an easy bait to dance floors before the similarly flavoursome revelry of Time For Games parades its summery festivity. Employing a duet between the melodious temptation of Gilkes and the down to earth tones of Griffin, it is a song which takes a little time to acclimatise to but soon has body and soul locked into its flirty waltz of sound.

The album is brought to a close by the more than decent Fallout, though its balladry lacks the spark of certainly the previous track. It still makes for a satisfying close to a thoroughly enjoyable romance of melodic pop in its most relaxed and refreshing state. On The Outside leaves contentment and a hunger for more in its wake, and that is more than enough to light up dark days and uncertain nights.

On The Outside is available now via IRL Records through all digital stores

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jona-Overground/134394776704542

8/10

RingMaster 19/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gracias – Elengi

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Ebbing and flowing with a magnetism which admittedly shines and dims across its compelling canvas, Elengi the new album from Congolese-Finnish rapper Gracias, is an encounter which demands attention. Released via Cocoa Music, which the artist part-owns, the album is a potent offering of vocal and lyrical persuasion but it is the varied and unpredictable provocative sounds around them which push tracks and release to a more inventive and exciting plateau.

Born in Congo and moving to Finland aged four to escape the building war in his home country, the Helsinki based rapper, real name Deogracias Masomi, originally emerged under the name Luminate and released an unofficial debut mix-tape called Listenin Comprehension in 2007. After a couple of years away from recording, he returned as Gracias, releasing a self-titled EP in 2011 which with its singles, loudly awakened attention and critical acclaim subsequently leading to awards. Debut album Globe recorded with producer JTT (Juuso Talsi) followed a year later again to similarly strong reactions and now it is the turn of Elengi and its lyrically personal and intimate songs to press for a wider spotlight upon the imaginative artist.

Elengi grips from the off, opener Repent casting a weave of dark atmospheric sounds and vocal hauntings into which Gracias unveils his provocative narrative. It is a bewitching entrance turning to a persistent persuasion across the track, the rapping and melodic croons from the artist as magnetic as the slightly disturbing and thoroughly compelling musical brew embracing him. It is a masterful start soon reinforced by the following Levels (Stream Fast, Die Young). The second song again brings an evocative air to bear on ears, this time with a crystalline coaxing to which a more intimidating breath wraps vocals. A rhythmic adventure with a slight tribal essence soon lights up the encounter whilst vocally Gracias evens out his imposing presence with another fine shuffle of his inventive and melodic delivery. Sultry and constantly with an edge of danger, the track is a mighty contagious offering opening up even stronger appetite for the release.

The unhinged entrance of Paint Me A Picture, its opening distress perfect for any Asian horror, is bait to greedily devour. It relaxes into a no less perturbing climate of warped voices within a cold intrusive atmosphere under which Gracias paints an intimate portrait of artist and a moment of his life. With another intrigue ridden rhythmic adventure teasing inside the chilling incitement, the track increases the weight and unique creativity of Elengi, something which is turned on its head by the melodic and more formulaic presence of Slow It Down. To be fair for someone with a more intensive knowledge of hip-hop and rap, the song probably calls out with a more distinct personality than felt but after the invention of its predecessors, the song is an underwhelming and expectation feeding proposition, though certainly accomplished and satisfying.

The elegant Eastern melodies of Gloomake brings thoughts a more imagination teasing offering even if vocally the song lacks the spark lit in the earlier forages of ears and mind. As in many of the songs it does offer a whisper of Tech Nine in its enterprise and willingness to weave original designs, if not in energy and dramatic virulence. Its relative success is matched by the cold embrace of Sada Yakko which features YSI. It is a track which at times borders on alienation with its twists and concentrated repetitive glide yet this is tempered by a great deranged breath to its stark coaxing resulting in another enthralling encounter.

The busy and skittish cloud behind the vocals of OD Cumulus is another which has thoughts initially undecided. At times it also threatens to disappoint but in further turns of its creative maze hits the sweet spot, nagging and teasing out another wave of hunger towards the undefined but riveting ingenuity at play. With guest Noah Kin adding tempting tones to the thick electro kissed baiting, the song grows in potency over each play just like the darker rhythmic and vocal stroll of Open, though the following captivation never manages to touch the levels of the previous song and those making up the impressive start of the album. In many ways the second half of Elengi is its weakest, Jubilee also with YSI for example, almost trying too hard to create a dark frame of intimacy and experience ending in a loss of the ability to make a lingering impression. You do have to admire and praise the want of Gracias to explore his feelings and personal exploits in a unique and individual way to the crowd though, this need making the album even in its less successful moments still an enthralling presence.

To buck the trend of the second side of the album, Even Out steps in with its sultry and creatively agitated dance of feet provoking rhythms, fanfares of dark sounds, and melodic mystique. It is a tantalising treat which demands to be taken notice of and eagerly consumed; a lofty triumph making the most aggressively contagious entrance for newcomers to the world of Gracias.

The final trio of songs also make a mix of persuasive strength. Burgundy Red, featuring Femme En Fourrure, is overall a mesmeric lure if with a few success defusing elements whilst Muhiva suggests more than it delivers with its understated rhythmic and quick footed African seeded enterprise never allowed the clarity and freedom to ignite the senses. Assisted by Brandon on the song, Gracias still adds an oppressive haunting to the sounds around him which engross as much as they frustrate. The album is completed by Lost n Found, one of only a few songs which come with no surprises and thus hold the least potent tempting, though the additional vocals of A. Miettinen are seductively enchanting.

Elengi has issues, though probably many are just to do with personal taste and want from hip-hop and rap driven propositions, but it is a riveting and many times a truly thrilling treat, especially in its opening stretch of songs. Whether it breaks Gracias into a wider European and world spotlight we will see but it is easy to be confident he will make that break through at some point if the impressive elements of the album press into even bolder evolutions.

Elengi is available via Cocoa Music now.

http://www.gracias.fi/

7.5/10

RingMaster 19/08/2014

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Sin Cos Tan – Blown Away

Sin Cos Tan by Vilhelm Sjöström

Sin Cos Tan by Vilhelm Sjöström

With a sound as bracing and compelling as the concept story behind its narrative, Blown Away the third album from synth pop band Sin Cos Tan is another tantalising proposition from the Finnish duo. Flourishing from the potent base set by its two critically acclaimed predecessors as well as the band’s ever increasing reputation through live shows and festival appearances, the new release adds another twist to the creative web of intrigue which comes from the exploratory minds behind the project.

Consisting of Villa Nah songwriter/vocalist Juho Paalosmaa and producer/DJ Jori Hulkkonen (Processory) who has also worked with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Chris Lowe, Jose Gonzalez, and Tiga, Sin Cos Tan follow their 2012 self-titled debut and the following Afterlife a year later, with a different kind of adventure. The album is centred round the concept story of Michael Burana, a middle-aged American man facing a dead-end job and a failed marriage. “To turn his life around, Michael decides to take a trip to Mexico, where he soon discovers a new career opportunity: that of a drug courier between the United States and South America. Blown Away picks up from the sunny beaches of Mexico, and follows Michael’s journey of newfound excess, fast money and hedonism; all the way to the corrupted heart of the Colombian cartels. Forever chasing the elusive ‘American Dream’, Michael’s tale is the soundtrack of a world like no other.” The tale is enveloped in a mix of electro and synth pop with a shoegaze like ambience which caresses the senses with a melodic beauty whilst inciting imagination and feet to embark on their own instinctive exploits. Blown Away is a captivating journey which even with a few less successful moments for personal tastes makes for an unrelentingly enthralling proposition.

The story opens with Divorcee and warm waves lapping upon a balmy atmosphere over enticing melodies. It is not long before the similarly tender coaxing vocals of Paalosmaa, amidst an irresistible web of guitar enterprise and pulsating image002bass breath, adds further simmering heat to the instantly delicious song. It is the perfect pop song, every twist coming with unpredictable yet welcoming ideation and a warmly embracing infectiousness. There is an eighties air to the track too, thoughts of China Crisis and Paul Haig coming to the fore with hints as the opener lights up ears and emotions. Its success is not quite matched but superbly supported by the following pulsating stroll of Love Sees No Colour. With a slightly punchier urgency to its rhythmic intent and pungent electro canvas, the song colours thoughts with a sultry twang of guitar and expressive keys. There is an OMD essence to the song’s elegant melodic croon which in turn is given extra evocative texture and weight by horn like flames and the incessant stride romping through the middle of it all.

A New World brings a danger in its touch, shadows flirting with the draw of the keys and the persistently mellow and inviting vocals. The song is like a drive through a new landscape, fleeting glimpses of emotive hues and potent melodic colouring stalked by an intimidating breath offered by the bass tones stalking the track. It is a treat for the imagination, allowing thoughts to cast their own premise whilst keys and voice take care of ears with poise and temptation. It does not quite live up to the first pair but certainly outshines next up Colombia. The slow provocative nature of the song with growing melodies and inventive keys makes for an expansive investigation of the tale within the album but the singular vocal delivery of Paalosmaa falls short and lacks the spark shown previously and when effects wrap his tones elsewhere in the song. It is too much at odds with the music but nevertheless the song is an engaging encounter, though soon a distant memory through the great dances of Lifestyle and Traffic.

The first of the two is a festival of sonic colour and mouth-watering endeavour, rhythms a magnetic revelry and keys a refreshing breeze. As much as they impress and ignite ears, it is the anthemic blaze of the chorus with Paalosmaa back on compelling form which steals the passions. Like a familiar friend yet entirely new, the chorus is an irresistible lure which makes a masterful temper and compliment to the more reserved but lively sounds around it. The instrumental travelogue of Traffic bubbles from its first note; keys and beats an invigorated provocation within a wind of crystalline scenes and turns, all swiftly passing into new aural sights for ears and thoughts.

The darker tone and presence of Addiction is a thrilling combination of imposing shadows and ominous melodies but with the constantly inviting vocals and more sparkling melodies it all merges for an imposing and engrossing mix. Its successor Cocaine offers the darkest twist of the album, its noir kissed climate of brass and desperation edged vocals aligned to drama bred keys, a disturbed but again enthralling and scintillating provocation for senses and imagination.

The release is completed by firstly the John Foxx like title track, with its emotional chills and haunted air, before the emotionally raw and inflamed presence of Heart Of America brings its epilogue of reality to bear on story and thoughts. Both are gripping turns in the album and as singular incitements, bringing the excellent Blown Away to a tense and fascinating conclusion. Quite simply Sin Cos Tan works on all aspects of the listener with their latest proposition and leaves a lingering and blissfully full appetite in its wake.

Blown Away is available now in CD digipak, gatefold vinyl LP, and download formats via http://solinarecords.com/

http://sincostan.net

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ragweed – Parerga

Ragweed Online Band Photo

Raw, abrasive, and sonically uncompromising, Parerga the new album from UK sludge punks Ragweed is one of those treats you did not know you had a lustful appetite for but soon breed an insatiable hunger towards upon introduction. A caustic maelstrom of punk, sludge metal, noise, and psyche rock, band and release is a delicious violation of the senses with hooks and grooves as irresistibly appetising as the webs of corrosive noise wrapping their lures. Imagine a mutated union of XII Boar and Fugazi with Swell Maps and The St Pierre Snake Invasion, all stirred with a healthy spoon of Melvins devilment and you have Ragweed.

Formed in 2012, the Brighton band has gone through a few line-ups before the duo of duo of vocalist/guitarist Tom Adamson and drummer Nick Spooner linked up with bassist Joe Dann at the end of last year (though Spooner has recently now left the band). Gaining a fine reputation and following for their live shows, the Ragweed had already released the well-received Double Chalker EP before the current threesome were united but it is easy to feel that Parerga will be the break through release, certainly to a more potent and wider recognition.

From the first gnarly strains of Dann’s bass which opens up first track Black & Scaly, ears and attention are gripped, with appetite swiftly following especially with the subsequent squall of guitar confrontation leading to bracing grooves. Ragweed Album CoverThe track is soon prowling with a devilry and shadowed temperament, riffs infectious bait to which the swinging beats of Spooner impose greater suasion. Vocally Adamson switches between a discord kissed yet smooth delivery and raging expulsions to match the crawling weight and addictive posture of the track. It is an outstanding start which flirts through the inventive craft of the band but is primarily a predator of the senses and imagination.

The following Dermol Dispenser whips out contagious grooves from the start, teasing and exciting ears with their catchy enterprise and carnal intrusion before entwining them with slower lumbering twists. Elements of Fra Pouch and Therapy? offer hints across the also feverishly compelling song, whilst the underlying twang which erupts to stronger clarity at times is surely Pantera inspired. The track keeps the album a seriously impressive confrontation which is backed just as mightily by Nip The Bud. Offering a funk seeded groove from the off within a less concussive web of noise than previous songs and scything guitar strikes, the track twists and entices with a garage punk ingenuity stalked by another superbly enslaving bass sound and adventure. It is a brilliant proposition, Television Personalities, The Fall, and even a whiff of Red Hot Chili Peppers whispers in the tempestuous warped majesty of the song.

     Strange Colour rumbles in with a heavy weight gait and intent next, bass and beats a primal incitement to which the guitar of Adamson saws and snarls away irrepressibly. The monotone lilted vocals add to the inescapable temptation whilst the guitarist’s coarser roars enhance the ever present punk voracity which soaks the song and whole album. The track alone proves that Ragweed is a band able to provide a rich and captivating meal for fans of punks, metal, doom, and stoner infused sludge rock with ease.

Both the unpolished propositions of Divorce Reality and Gun Fever keep ears and appetite hungry if without quite matching their predecessors. The first is a more metal driven stroll but with a sultry groove which simply smoulders threat and seduction. Vocally the song lacks the bite and invention of earlier ones yet with invention to the causticity of the guitar and imagination to the rhythmic gallop and bordering on sadistic savagery of certain twists, it is a magnetic encounter which gets better and better with time. Its successor is a bruising and brawling slab of punk antagonism which again lacks the spark of others but still breeds a need for more with its merciless and relentless sonic rabidity.

The release closes with George Moshington, another intensive tangle of ravenous grooves, biting rhythms, and virulent sonic temptation. Bass and guitar spin a net of ridiculously addictive endeavour which the swings of Spooner punctuate with just as riveting venom and ferocity. The track is an incendiary and tremendous conclusion to an outstanding album which will and deservedly should, push Ragweed to a new eager and extensive spotlight.

The self-released Parerga is available from Monday 18th August

https://www.facebook.com/Ragweedrock

9/10

RingMaster 17/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Studfaust – Where The Underdogs Bark

Studfaust Garage

It is hard not to be turned on by a heavy dose of dirt encrusted, liquor encroaching rock ‘n’ roll and it does not come in much finer form than that which spills voraciously from the might of Norwegian protagonists Studfaust. A third heavy rock, third filth coated metal, and the final segment pure punk rock, the sound conjured up by the Oslo/Bergen hailing trio is pure venom fuelled antagonism. Imagine The Exploited and The Damned in their early days in salacious cahoots with Twisted Sister and Black Sabbath in the distinctive bed made by Motorhead and you get an idea of the weighty thrills and hostile rampage which makes their new mini-album Where The Underdogs Bark one of the year’s treats.

Studfaust was unleashed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Tore Bratseth aka Stud Bronson (ex- Old Funeral, The Batallion, Bömbers) and Bård “Faust” Eithun (Emperor, Blood Tsunami, Mongo Ninja). That same year they recorded and released debut single Half Human, Half Dynamite /1980’s Ladies to strong responses, its vinyl release via Soulseller Records subsequently sold out whilst their gigs equally stirred up attention and fans. The line-up became three soon after with the recruitment of bassist Pete Evil (Blood Tsunami, Mongo Ninja, Hellride). Again uncaged through Soulseller, Where The Underdogs Bark riles up ears and passions from start to finish with an instinctive wickedness which easily suggests it could and should trigger the widest spotlight upon them, certainly its devilry deserves it.

Half Human, Half Dynamite is the first riot to accost ears and instantly sets the juices flowing with raw and abrasing riffs aligned to urgent rhythmic provocation. Vocally too the track simply sparks the purest punk rock instincts Studfaust cover 2400x2400whilst grooves and spicy hooks tease and play with the imagination through mischievous rapacity. It is a glorious stomp and easy to see why the eager reception when released as that first single.

The following title track is just as feverishly contagious and incendiary. Caustic riffery from guitar and bass is courted by a simple but ridiculously addictive groove from the off as Eithun swings his sticks with all the muscular contempt he can muster. Within two songs Studfaust shows they have no interest in anything other than adrenaline driven, dirt kicking rock ‘n’ roll with a metallic predation to its raw devilment, the second track the perfect example with its unfussy and bordering on hostile ferocity.

A southern rock twang flirts with ears and thoughts as the next up Hell Is Full embraces the senses. Its gait is a slower heavy metal stroll than that of its more abusive predecessors and similarly veined with a repetitive and relentlessly attentive grooving and enterprising sonic causticity. There is a fire in the belly of the song too which gives it a distinctive toxicity to the others, whiffs of AC/DC and Turbonegro enhancing the abrasive seduction before it all departs leaving the floor clear for the punk aggression of Street Judges Gavel to roar and spill its feverish sweat upon it. A sense of Discharge adds another hue to what is, like all tracks, a seemingly Lemmy and co inspired canvas of middle finger energy and honest senses abusing creativity.

The outstanding Erection Of The Egoist with its ravenous and carnivorous bass swagger and infection spewing grooving takes the album to another irresistible level. The vocal squalls driving it are as uncompromising as the viciousness of the rhythms whilst that imposing lure of Evil pungent bait is as trapping s ever, but the real submission grabbing edge of the track comes with the lethal hooks and spicy grooves out of Bronson’s guitar.

The release closes with firstly The Devil Of Mine and its punk fest of flesh flailing riffs and rhythms bound in funk infested basslines and lastly the irreverent temptation of 1980’s Ladies. The first of the two growls vocally and musically with a pissed off attitude and intensity whilst its successor is sheer glam punk ‘n’ roll, kind of like Sex Pistols meets Towers of London for an inescapable and infectiously addictive rampancy.

Where The Underdogs Bark is not trying to invent or even reinvent the wheel but for a bodily fluid soaked slab of real rock ‘n’ roll it is hard to think of anyone who has thrilled and impressed as much as Studfaust do on their album. A must for all punk and metal infused rock ‘n’ roll fans everywhere.

Where The Underdogs Bark is available via Soulseller Records now @ http://www.soulsellerrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/Studfaust

9/10

RingMaster 15/08/2014