Winter Storm – Within The Frozen Design

 

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    Listening to the potent and promise soaked Within The Frozen Design, you easily get the feeling that UK symphonic metallers Winter Storm are poised to move up into a more intensive limelight. Whether this, their second album is the spring board time will tell but it is hard not to expect on a near horizon to see the band making a big contribution at the fore of the genre. The twelve track release has issues which make you query if their time is quite yet but simultaneously provides an absorbing and skilful melodic embrace which only raises and stretches a keen appetite for the band and its expressive sound.

     From the West Midlands, the quintet has earned a strong reputation and loyal following with their dark melodic metal, a sound honed through gothic shadows and symphonic atmospheres. Formed in 2008, Winter Storm were soon gripping attention live, supporting the likes of Alestorm, Sirenia, Theatres Des Vampires, To Mera, and Sarah Jezebel Deva early on before going on to share stages with the likes of Delain, Die So Fluid, The Birthday Massacre, ReVamp, The Lotus and many more. Debut album Serenity In Darkness of 2010 drew critical acclaim its way as have numerous festival appearances over recent years to cement and increase the band’s stature within British melodic metal. Now the strongly anticipated self-released Within The Frozen Design brings 2014 into a sharp focus for the band and its fans, an album if not setting raging fires undoubtedly reaffirms the creative strength and impressive potential of Winter Storm.

     As the album title, and band name come to that, suggests the tracks frequent a chilled and icily haunting realm but one clad in WS-coverbeauty and a melodic artistry which only warms. From the opening scene and drama setting intro Cold Creation, the album is soon caging ears in a rhythmic probing and brooding intensity as Wasted Feelings opens its arms. Its initial riffs seem predatory with an attitude to match the punchy rhythms barracking the senses. Equally though there is a breeze of synth colour floating over and through the aggressive touch of the track, its melodic soothing eventually tempering the snarl of the song ready for the impressive tones of vocalist Hannah Fieldhouse. Her voice is rich and tempting but with a restraint which sets her pleasingly apart from many other female fronted genre bands. The track provides an unpredictable expanse of sound and twists which without being startling in their impact only seduce the fullest attention on and satisfaction with its feisty yet elegant narrative.

     The following Shadow Weaver like its predecessor makes a forceful and rapacious entrance; riffs and rhythms a cage of antagonistic intent wrapped in more keys sculpted temptation. Dark with a gothic ambience, the song again guided by great vocals flirts with and triggers the imagination as it ventures through a rugged landscape of heavy riffs and sonic enterprise. Pretty much like the album the song is a slowly persuasive encounter but one which proves its strength and quality through deliberate attention. The same can be said of the next up Symmetric Flow, a captivating wind of melodic vocals and endeavour within a sturdy and uncompromising heavy metal frame. Again the offering is not as instant to convince as you would maybe expect or like but unveils plenty to enthuse about upon closer attention. That is one of the ‘problems’ of the album, tracks do not leap out and grip preferring a slower seduction but this comes with a need to fully extend a concentrated focus on the album to reap it’s definitely existing  rewards. It is hard to be critical though even if listeners need patience when immersing in the album.

    Afraid To Speak steps up next, gently wrapping a sultry breeze of melodic enchantment around thoughts if again without sparking any major reaction; that power is left to its successor Beneath The Mystery. The track also springs from a reserved start to open up sinew driven riffing and heavily striking rhythms within the keys designed eighties sounding gothic weave which feels seeded in the likes of Sisters Of Mercy and Play Dead by. It is a fiery encounter yet one which does not erupt or stretch its attributes as far as you expect or would like, again an accusation you can make on Within The Frozen Design as a whole.

   After the brief but decent enough instrumental Broken World, the album undulates a little but keeps the listener enthused starting with the impressive Universal Design, a track offering another accomplished and magnetic web of gothic and symphonic metal with a bite and almost antagonistic breath. It provides sizeable bait for the senses to devour eagerly before the enjoyable if underwhelming Gatekeeper shows its class. It is sandwiched between the previous track and the equally thrilling Dark Awakening, the song a heavy footed shadowed drenched beast with radiant beauty casting ripe melodic tantalising. As elsewhere the guitar craft and imagination is an irresistible lure whilst the epic tone of the track is aggressively bewitching.

     Completed by the overlong but appealing instrumental Waves Of Misery and the final slice of gothic allurement of The Frozen Siren, the album is a pleasing and enticing encounter. The cloudy production at times does the release no favours, cloaking some of the piercing strengths of instruments and voice but Winter Storm and Within The Frozen Design emerge from it with strength and quality. As mentioned earlier the album does not ignite a fire in the passions but definitely provides company which only invites the fullest satisfaction.

www.winter-storm.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 22/01/2014

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Gloryhammer: Tales from the Kingdom of Fife

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    Leaving the high seas for the medieval and mystical realm of an alternative Scotland, Alestorm vocalist and keyboardist Christopher Bowes stands resplendent in his power metal clothed kilt within new project Gloryhammer. Bowes exploits all the rich essences of the genre not ignoring the cheesiest elements too, to bring a debut album in Tales from the Kingdom of Fife which is set to ignite the passions of all power metal fans. The album is a slab of epic adventure complete with as you would expect, triumphant riffs, passionate energy, and a heart which pumps as loudly as the rhythms which mark the battlefield I victory and defeat.

The Napalm Records released Tales from the Kingdom of Fife is a concept album which narrates the story of an alternate -history medieval Scotland where dragons, wizards, and dark sorcery fuel and rule the air. Telling the tale of a glorious hero Angus McFife, who wages a long war against the evil wizard Zargothrax, in order to free the people of Dundee, the album is an epic struggle and adventure brought through ten giant slices of bombastic energy and melodic fire soundtracking a fight of good versus evil. It is a release which if power metal does not ignite any passions than it will be a relatively dry well but for genre fans it is destined to be spoken of with excited breath and rampant enthusiasm. To be honest we lie somewhere in between and found as much to impress and enjoy as we did to hide our armour from, but the truth is that the album is still rather compelling from start to finish.

With a line-up alongside Bowes (keyboards) of vocalist Thomas Winkler, guitarist Paul Templing, bassist James Cartwright, and Ben461 Gloryhammer Turk on drums, Gloryhammer opens up the release with Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy, a brief portent of looming black shadows and destructive winds upon a once peaceful place. Its rising presence passes over to The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee without a breath and its successor is immediately charging through the ear with galloping riffs and a cage of firm rhythms. It is instantly virulently infectious with the vocals of Winkler soaring through the skies with expression and passion whilst the keys lay like the sun upon the senses. Whether there is anything new going on we will leave to true genre fans to decide but through the familiar sonic cascades and melodic elegance it is impossible not to be captivated, especially with the sirenesque keyboard teasing which enrich the song throughout.

    Angus McFife elevates things with its even more contagious lures and thumping pulse. The bass of Cartwright is a prowling predator throughout the track whilst the keys envelope with a glorious sense of heroism to enflame further the already anthemic pull of the vocals and guitar shaped sounds. The power ballad Quest For The Hammer Of Glory fails to exact the same passions for personal tastes but perfectly caresses the struggle and determination of the hero at this point of his story before making way for the first of the two major pinnacles within the album.

Opening with a delicious and inspiring evocation of potent steely keys, Magic Dragon is a fiery and scintillating journey of unbridled energy and melodic triumph cored by again keys which leave one exhausted and blissful as well as an anthemic unity and call which even the dead would raise their hearts for. Again the song has a familiarity about it which only goes to make the encounter more invigorating and even as an old friend in sound, its realisation and delivery is quite breath-taking. The track steals top honours though is seriously challenging by the exhilarating instrumental Beneath Cowdenbeath further into the album.

Before its appearance the likes of the beautifully sculpted emotive ballad Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess and Hail To Crail with its almost regal call offer their descriptive and inviting presences though they falter in raising anything near the rapture as spawn by Magic Dragon, then again after that song they were on a hiding to nothing and emerge almost plain in comparison. Beneath Cowdenbeath though is a scintillating campaign through intense and urgent endeavour brought with skilled interpretation and thought evoking craft. It is a stirring piece of music which leaves one grinning inside and out.

Ending the tale with the triumphant climax of The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder, the album finishes off a rather thrilling encounter with epic passion and energy. To be honest expectations of Tales from the Kingdom of Fife were not exactly high even with Bowes being its mastermind, but it surprised and surpassed all thoughts with ease.  Gloryhammer may not be a band to take over Alestorm in our musical appetite but certainly makes a worthy and enjoyable companion.

http://www.gloryhammer.com/

7/10

RingMaster 29/03/2013

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Fisherman’s Death: Uncharted Waters

    Fisherman’s Death

    Reaching out from the heavy dark depths of Davy Jones Locker, Swedish death metallers Fisherman’s Death is a melodic scourge of extreme metal which ravages and consumes the senses with new EP Uncharted Waters. The four track release is a leviathan from the deep with a merciless ravenous appetite and one which leaves the desire to go back into those threatening greedy waters overwhelming.

Formed in 2009 by bassist/vocalist Joakim Häggström and guitarist Thomas Lindqvist, Fisherman’s Death takes influences from the likes of Alestorm, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden, and Swishbuckle and forges its own nautical death driven malevolence which reels in the passions. Completed by rhythm guitarist Nils Löfgren and drummer Filip Krullet Löfgren, the quartet from Umeå first drew attention with their Among The Shore EP of 2010, following it up two years later with debut album The Code. Released via Tmina and Grom Records, Uncharted Waters is the next instalment of the deep, a towering fusion of pirate/folk, and death metal which with captivating ease ignites the senses and imagination.

It is hard to say that Fisherman’s Death is venturing into new seas and adventures with their sound and release but undoubtedly it Fisherman's Death - Uncharted Waters - front coverhas a depth and wealth of barbed hooks which firmly reaches deeper than the majority of similarly armed sea borne mariners and pagan warriors. The title track sets sail first, its body emerging from within brewing deathly sonic mists, and takes no time in laying destructive yet magnetic muscular hands upon the ear. With inviting sonic grooves weaving within the thick current of energy and commanding riffs, the song is instantly a sinewy temptation. Its overwhelming persuasion is completed by malevolent sturdy vocal growls and scowls of Häggström, his tones a grasping rasping abrasion to bring further weight to the imposing breath of the track. The perpetually insidious grooves are persistence elevated whilst the group calls at the chorus a primal contagion and a call to arms to voice and fist. Openly infectious but with a substance which many bands lose in trying to capture the listener, the track is a mighty and invigorating opener which is equalled and surpassed as the EP surges out into its murky depths.

The demanding prowl of The Flying Dutchman comes next, a track which crashes through the ear upon waves of rich and venomous riffing wrapped in sonic teasing. It has a predatory stance, a lure which leads to destruction but the journey is equally an enticing seduction of melodic enterprise and virulent infection. As mentioned the release is not searching new armouries of sound but with thick textures and an energy as well as invention which makes the passions compliant to its objective, it leaves a rich bounty of invigorating enjoyment.

The Captains Chanson is announced by bell knells and soon has its vigorous brawn stretching to its full extent, the delicious gnarly bass of Häggström a hungry bestial instigator. As its hulk of a body crashes through intense waves the climate of the song evolves with skill and intriguing allurement to cast shards of melodic sun and warmth on a mellowing course. It of course is not long before the track is rampant once more and turning on the listener with corrosive rhythms and annihilatory riffs but this is continually entwined with a compulsion to temper and seduce with sonic grandeur. The song is outstanding, the best of the release, and would have alone left an ardour for the band in place.

The closing Darkwater Cape is a torrent of unrelentingly vicious rhythms, the drums of Löfgren callous which ever guise they wish to enthral with, whilst the guitars of the other Löfgren and Lindqvist once more flame the skies with invention and skill. The track is a final anthemic row across the siren waters of the release and as all the songs the incitement to join the crew.

       Uncharted Waters is an excellent treat to get your feet wet with and Fisherman’s Death a band which leaves every requirement and satisfaction full to the poop deck.

https://www.facebook.com/Fishermansdeathofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2013

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Celtachor: Nine Waves From The Shore

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    Celtachor is a band whose name we had come across plenty of times without making a concentrated effort to seriously check out their sounds. The release of their debut album Nine Waves From The Shore has given us the opportunity to amend that slackness and with ease the Irish blackened folk metallers impress. Their album is a refreshing and potent blend of Celtic folk and black metal with a passion and heart for its inspiration and a sound which shares those same intensive traits; an aggressive and melodic enchantment which leaves one smitten.

From an established idea in 2007 to a realised and working band in 2010, Dubliners Celtachor have announced themselves as the ‘the narrators of Irish Mythology’ with the purpose of bringing to life their vision of the stories which live vibrantly within that history. Since forming the band has earned a strong reputation through their live shows which has found them alongside bands such as Skyforger, Primordial, Heidevolk, Suidakra, Cruachan, Wolfchant, Alestorm, Darkest Era, and many more, and their previous self recorded demo In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers of 2010. The newly self-released Nine Waves From The Shore was recorded across 2011 and 2012; the time and intense attention spent on its craft and realisation obvious in presence within the release and its perfect blend of two arguably opposing yet conducive genres. The seamless and instinctive merger of the venomous and uncompromising essences of black metal and the contagious and epic glory of folk metal is an impressively accomplished and sculpted weave, a balance which could be difficult and precarious for most achieved with skilled imagination here. Probably the release does not have the swagger of the best folk/pagan metal albums but the seriousness which comes from their obvious attention to detail and the potent shadows which line the vision inspiring tales, makes the release just as compelling.

As the building waves of intensity in opener The Landing: Amergin’s Conquest envelop the ear to make way for the fiery Celtachor-–-Nine-Waves-From-The-Shoreguitars and smouldering atmosphere thereafter there is an immediate immersion into the powerful presence of the song. The vocals of Stephen Roche are a rasping squall which storm from within the blanket of tempest sourced sounds whilst the glorious persuasions of the whistle and passion directing rhythms hold a firm and hypnotic grip. Epic, aggressive, and challenging in sound and within its tale, the track is a towering fortress of incendiary forces and primal instinct.

The following track, The Battle of Tailtin takes over from the ten minute colossus with a similarly driven assault, though only after igniting the senses with an excellent rhythmic intro which calls the body to arms ready for the bruising encounter. Again as the vocals spill their expressive spite the guitars of David Quinn and Fionn Staffort ignite the expanses of melodic enterprise and unrelenting brutality whilst the bass of Emile Quigley (who has since left the band to be replaced by Oliver Deegan) adds an irresistible darkness to the track which is as inviting as it is intimidating. Mid-way the riotous sounds recede to open up the vision of the battlefield framed by the continually impressive beats of Anaïs Chareyre and the fiery impassioned incitement of the whistle. Overall it is another full on expansive storm in intensity and length, the song a companion to its predecessor in more ways and one and leaves by its departing consumption of ravenous metal, an exhausted listener behind.

The acoustic beckoning of The Kingship Of Bodb Dearg with again stunning melodic caresses from the whistles instantly has one smouldering in pleasure and when the heavier yet enthused bassline and energising drums enter there is  an immediate submission before its majesty. Soon though the song unveils its sinews and stomps across the ear with an energetic muscular infectious whilst again the vocals of Roche skilfully removes the protective layers between his caustic delivery and the senses. The track is a varied and adventurous episode in the theme of the album with again a superbly crafted meld of dark and light in all aspects whilst the following Sorrow Of The Dagda again teases and kisses the ear with a delicious acoustic entrance before crushing the air and ear with a tremendous onslaught of rhythms and intense hostility. The track is a rampaging furnace of invention and passion which travels the lengths of sonic extremes with real craft. As impressive though it is it does find itself overshadowed by its successor the gorgeous instrumental Tar éis an Sidhe. A heated breeze of golden warm melodic shards and enrapturing beauty the song is a sublime and emotive glory.

The album closes by returning to the ferocity of before with the tribal mayhem of the excellent Conn Of The Hundred Battles and the equally combative Anann: Ermne’s Daughter. Both are heart pounding encounters which ignite the passions and with the moment of reflective peace before ensures that the album ends on its greatest plateau. Nine Waves From The Shore is a fully absorbing and thrilling release though not without a niggle, the vocals needing more clarity within the rich expanse of sound and possible a little diversity too, but it only inspires one to feel the band is destined for greatness. Do not wait until then though Celtachor deserves your recognition now.

http://www.celtachor.com/

RingMaster 29/01/2013

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Keeping The Fires Raging: An Interview With Rimmy Sinclair of Huron

Huron

2012 has been a mighty year for UK metallers Huron, from an impressive release to open the year through major festival successes and ending with an intense tour with one of the best metal bands around, and that is just the highlights. So when we had the opportunity for an end of year report to find out more with guitarist Rimmy Sinclair  and see what the future may hold from the band we could not ask our questions fast enough.

Hi Rimmy and welcome to The Ringmaster Review

Thanks for taking time to speak with us on the eve of what will be a busy month for you.

Looking back this past year has been a hugely successful and busy year for the band; how has it been on the inside of things and have you been able to take stock and acknowledge inside what you have achieved over the last twelve months or will the realisation come in hindsight when things ‘calm‘ down?

After a blazing summer hitting the festivals, the last thing we wanted to do was wind down! We got straight back into the studio writing the next full-length, which is currently up to about 9 or 10 tracks. We’re currently in rehearsal mode for the upcoming tour with Skindred, so there’s been about zero down time in the Huron camp lately!

Following up your album Mary Celeste of 2011, you released the excellent War Party EP earlier this year and it is fair to say the new release, certainly for us, brings an even more intense and inventive Huron?

For sure! We’ve tried to keep the element of groove in the new material but as you say with more of an Intense and progressive melodic approach, is purely the way the band is evolving we like it raw, edgy and in your face so to speak.

What has brought the new twist to your already impressive sound; is it something that naturally happened from having a new line-up or was deliberately sought?

Pretty much I reckon! Everything was very natural; Rohan (bass) and I jumped ship from a death metal band, and the sound just evolved from there. We gigged a lot with the Mary Celeste material, putting together War Party behind the scenes, trying new songs out on the road. You know, feeling out what feels right in the set. But the songs came together pretty quickly. We’d jam out a song, mess around with it until the structure felt right, made sure the song worked the lyrics, and then we’d take it straight out on the road! Generally if it feels good we go with it!

Huron 2You are known for your grooves but with the new songs even that element has found another levels, again is that something you were extra vigilant over as other aspects of your sound found a new presence and invention?

My favourite thing about working with the other guys is how wide our respective taste in music is. Sean (vocals) and Neil (guitar) are the more old school guys; the groove, the grit! Rohan, Jim (drums) and I are more rooted in modern thrash and death metal, so there’s that more technical element too. Not technical for the sake of it. Again, everything has to feel natural and feel right. We don’t force a riff or a solo or something into a song if it doesn’t need it. Having new drummer Jim on board has made the writing process for the next one a lot easier – He’s an absolute monster of a player!

I believe the EP is the first of two and also was more a promotional tool then a full on release? If so what was its purpose and did it achieve its intent as well as delivering four stunning tracks?

At the time, the two EP thing was something we really wanted to do, because it meant we could focus on a handful of awesome tunes at a time, then get back out onto the live scene, and repeat. But the pace has really picked up for us this year, and what feels natural right now is to put out a new full length. War Party was a real fun project to do and I’m so glad we did it; I think it firmly marks the beginning of the evolution of Huron! But we’ve grown so much because of the experiences in the last year, and I don’t think we can sum that up in another four tracks. I think maybe down the line when it feels right we could bring out a ‘War Party II’, I’d like to for sure, but right now we’re focusing on a full-length.

One can presume the songs on the release give an insight to the creative intent and sound of Huron ahead, or are there still more surprises in store for us?

It’s only the beginning, haha! I think since Jim joined the fold bringing his incredible technical abilities, it’s inspired us to push ourselves, and that’s what we’re bringing to the table on the next album. We pushed up a level on War Party and we’re pushing further on the next one. Right now there’s no restrictions, right now everything is pretty much balls-to-the-wall metal. There’s some fast tunes, some real stompy tunes, and there’s some really-fucking-fast tunes! I think people will be surprised!

 We alluded to your busy month ahead at the start which refers of course as you mentioned earlier to your series of gigs around the UK with the brilliant Skindred, easily our fav band here, how did that come about and have excitement levels peaked yet?

It’s real exciting; we can’t wait to hit the road. We’re in the studio rehearsing rigorously to keep our chops hot! Ultimately as Huron was getting bigger and moving faster the next logical step was to get management. He’s helped push in the right direction and we’ve accomplished a lot under his guidance

Skindred appear to be a band that is eager to help out and support emerging underground bands, have you been fortunate to feel that Huron 3before?

We’ve opened for some awesome bands, the likes of Evile and Alestorm. Most recently was Onslaught, some of the true fathers of thrash! And that was a home town show too which made it more special. They’re a real sound bunch of guys, just doing what they love, just like everyone else in the game.

 Am I right in thinking most of the dates are already sold out?

They certainly are, but from what I’ve seen some venues are releasing extra tickets due to popular demand! I know for certain Plymouth’s ‘White Rabbit’ has, and that’s awesome because that’s our home town. The home town shows are always incredible. So act damn fast if you want to get a ticket!

What can those lucky enough to be seeing this great line-up expect to see and hear from Huron?

Ale-induced vomiting. Ha! Expect whiplash and bang-overs! Plenty of mosh pit anthems; we like watching people tear each other apart! It’s all about having a good time.

Returning to earlier in the year, you have also made major impressions, for great critical acclaim, with your live performances at the likes of the Download, Bloodstock and Bulldog Bash festivals. It has been a heady ride one guesses, what has been the biggest highlight personally, the one moment which sums up the great year for you?

For me it was Download. Just walking out on the stage, seeing that many people and getting such an awesome reaction… it was like, this is my dream. This is what I what I set out to do when I was 13 and I wanted to be Kirk Hammett! The festival run this summer was a blast; Bulldog and Bloodstock was a cracking weekend! On top of playing, we got to watch some great bands too!

As if this has not all been enough haha, you have also just released your video for the track Fight For Your Life which is taken from the War Party EP. Can you tell us about it, who you recorded it with, where it was recorded and the mixing in of live footage, etc…?

Huron have worked for some time now with Dandelion Wars on the production and editing of the music videos. They’re awesome guys, got great visions and they’re musicians themselves which always helps! It was filmed at the Devonport Amateur Boxing Academy in Plymouth. The manager and boxers from the club were all sound dudes, a little terrifying when you’re watching them spar up close, but yeah!

All the tracks on the EP are strong contenders for a video, what did you feel Fight For Your Life had over the other three?

I think the message behind the song is very powerful, you only have to listen to the lyrics to sort of get inside the story, but everyone is entitled to their own interpretation. Plus it’s the opener on the EP, it’s the track everybody hears first, so it’s got to be a good solid track that stands on its own two feet, and I think it does that.

After the Skindred tour, what is next up for Huron?

Probably a little break for Christmas, and then straight back into writing

Any plans so far you can announce for 2013?

The most important thing for us is going to be the new full length, but we’ve got a video for ‘Mercy Killing’ coming out and plans for more videos too. We’ve got a whole bunch of surprises but you’ll have to keep an eye out for those!

Again many thanks for sparing time to bring us up to date on a great year for Huron.

Thank you!

Any last words you would like to leave us with?

We’ll see you in the pit!!

And lastly what sounds have you lined up for the tour bus for the tour?

Personally, a whole load of new metal albums! The new Faceless, Periphery, Cattle Decapitation, Sylosis… on reflection 2012 has been a cracking year for metal!

The RingMaster Review 05/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Silent Descent: Mind Games

The debut album Duplicity from trance metal band Silent Descent had fans and media alike enthusing and drowning it in critical acclaim to set the band as one of the rising forces in UK metal. Now they return with their follow-up album Mind Games and it is fair to say the septet from Dartford has set the bar even higher. The album bristles with intense energy whilst pulsating through dazzling and mesmeric sounds that envelope and sends the senses into welcome spasms of rapture. It is immense and continued evidence of the gripping further promise of the band.

Silent Descent formed in 2006 and set about forging their love of Scandinavian melodic death metal with trance elements to create a unique and compelling sound. They soon established themselves as an impressive new force with Duplicity two years later alongside being declared ‘Top Unsigned Band’ by KERRANG! Radio.  Since then they raised their stock with stunning live shows whilst sharing stages with the likes of Skindred and Alestorm as well as earning strong acclaim from their appearances at the Bloodstock Festival 2008 and the Download Festivals of 2009 and 2010.

Mind Games is a powerful release that feasts upon the senses with deliberate intent to consume and agitate, its blend of  heart thumping aggressive intensity and bewitching yet intrusive electronic manipulations and soundscapes a full and greedy experience that one cannot resist diving deeply within. From the opening synth led instrumental Overture there is an instant siren pull, the brain mesmerised by the expansive sounds though aware that soon a violation is going to crash the peace. Psychotic Euphoric is that intrusion, an intensive examination of the ear as it burns the flesh through thunderous rhythms and scorched guitars from Tom Callahan and Jaco Oxley. As a balm the flowing warm synths of Paul Hurrell caress the damage as do the clean vocals alongside Tom Watling who just as impressively punctures the ear drum with his bile encrusted growls.  The blend is perfect between the glittering trance sounds and melodic metal directness. The band brings Pendulum into an In Flames mix and then twists it upside down into their openly unique concoction.

The title track raises the temperature further. Its groove playing the emotions like a conjuror whilst the drums of Jerry Sadowski cane the ear skilfully and with perfect control. The dark immense riffs fuse a compelling union with the escalating work of Hurrell and Kipster with his DJ/Samples invention, but it is the heavy handed malicious tones that make the track as powerful and irresistible as it is.

Bricks is the first track where bassist Jimmy Huang is more distinct, his menacing prowling riffs bringing a depth and sinister essence behind the flowing smooth melodic majesty of the vocals and keys whilst the black metal scrawling vocals of Watling again is instinctively and eagerly challenging. Four tracks in and there is a certainty brewing  that the album is going to continue to deliver to its every end the high quality and consistency so far. The excellent imaginative Coke Stars and probably the most inventive song on the album, the emotive and explorative electro expanse of Devoid, plus the provocative immense Sober Thoughts soon provide the evidence,  holding  on to and improving the great heights and invention already reached.

Mixed by Pontus Hjelm (Dead By April) and on some tracks by hard dance DJ Technikal, plus featuring vocals from Sarah Jezebel Deva, Mind Games is a deeply enjoyable and impressive album. To be fair at times the distinction between songs is not as defined as one would have hoped, there being a similarity that invades the creativity but as the songs are of such quality it is just been picky to be honest. The craft and thought in the music as well as the realisation is stunning.  Silent Descent certainly lead the way in UK trance metal, the album pushing its boundaries with possibly only The Browning and their brutal merciless take on the genre being a step ahead across the globe right now. Go grab Mind Games you need its infiltrating splendour in your lives

RingMaster 17/04/2012

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The Evil Dead – Pronounced The Evil Dead

If some good old style rock ’n’ roll blended with some thrash metal aggression and skilful classic rock guitar play is a flavour that has you licking your lips then make a swift line towards Argentinean metalers The Evil Dead and their new album Pronounced The Evil Dead. The release is a kick ass rumble of insatiable rock and harsh metallic power that will intrigue and fire up the urge to raise horns very high. The band claims their music is “to drink with the dead, and toast with the living” and that does just about sum it up. With songs about death, horror and drinking that emerges as a nonstop celebration with rampant riffs, irresistible grooves and straight forward aggressive intent it is hard not to be swept up in its surprising and often confusing flow but thorough great fun.

First notable thing about the release is that there is so much going on within songs and the band’s music. Imagine Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Municipal Waste, Alestorm mixed up with tinges of Murderdolls and a black metal vocal throughout and you are nearing the surprising sound of The Evil Dead. To be honest it takes a little getting used to especially the rasping black tones of vocalist Alejandro Regueiro which seem at odds to the vibrant and creative sounds beneath him but it works, given time and a few concentrated listens. Musically the band is impressive, their ability and creativity easily commendable and you cannot accuse The Evil Dead of being predictable either. The triple guitar attack of Federico Franco, Michel Regueiro, and Ian Regueiro who also adds further vocals to the band, brings a high quality, varied and engaging meld of sounds whether in straight forward pulse racing riffs, incessant and mesmeric melodies or unexpected diversions that makes each track a satisfying spending of time.

Released via Rising Records February 6th Pronounced The Evil Dead entertains unapologetically from the opening riff fest of ‘Graverobbin’’. The track charges like a runaway train throwing explosive melodies and wanton riffs at the ear from first note to the last. The bass of Lucía Velarde and drums from Santiago Botalla rattle the senses with contagious rhythms allowing the guitars to weave and treat the ear with diversity and eager melodies. The music is so absorbing the songs would work just as well as instrumentals, the energetic and well written sounds stirring and very pleasing.

Backing up the impressive opener the album gives the excellent songs ‘Perfect Day (In Planet Hell)’ another mesmeric track that unleashes wonderful hooks, melodies and teasing riffs to fire up the pulse rate, the bone rattling ‘Electric Evil Revival’ that is so hypnotic it could raise the dead, and the album’s best track the brilliant ‘Bootleggers’ to feast upon. All three continue offering up guitar play and instinctive sounds to make the heart race, at every twist and turn there is something different happening and always of the most appealing effect. ‘Bootleggers’ swaggers in with a southern rock type lilt and at first runs like a straight forward rock song. Strong sounds and harsh vocals strolling at an undemanding pace. Soon the song cannot hold back the distinct red hot guitars and burning riffs though, or the vein of black humour that lurks throughout the album. The track offers unexpected elements, turns, and more riffs that would grace any theme tune to a super hero cartoon or show. As always there is so much going on and it would need a page to tell of all the wonderful avenues and diversions the song offers up. It is worth a listen to Pronounced The Evil Dead for ‘Bootleggers’ alone.

      The Evil Dead has made an entrance with an album that is very worthy of your time. For many the vocals will be a struggle as even after numerous plays they still at times do not fit perfectly to the sounds alongside them. Regueiro is a great vocalist but one feels needs to temper the gut wrenching style. His approach is bold and adventurous against the defined and intricate creative melodies made musically but they distract too often as they are and will put as many off as those who connect.

The album for all that is great fun and truly worth a listen, it is of great quality and will leave riffs and melodies with you long after it departs they are that impressive. Try it and see.

RingMaster 03/02/2012

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