SECOND RATE ANGELS get ‘Dragged Out’‏

Second Rate Angels Online Promo picture


UK metallers ‘Second Rate Angels’ have just unleashed their cracking new video single ‘Dragged out’, taken from their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Lost Days’. Watch the video for ‘Dragged Out’ here – .


Drawing from traditional heavy metal, as well as taking inspiration from Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, and Trivium, Second Rate Angels serve up a fresh take on the metal genre. Look out as the ascending quartet hit the road this Autumn in support for their new single ‘Dragged Out’ and current EP ‘The Lost Days’.


Second Rate Angels were born at the end of 2011 and soon began to wow audiences with their high octane live shows. Coming at you from Hemel Hempstead and featuring Chris Lewis (Guitars and Backing Vocals), Matt Clark (Guitars and Backing Vocals), Dave Gobran (Vocals and Bass) and Andy Doran (Drums), the foursome nailed performances at Bloodstock Open Air Festival, and went on to play a string of highly successful shows throughout London and the South, landing supports with the likes of Breed 77, Beholder and Zico Chain along the way.


The lively quartet have just released their debut EP ‘The Lost Days’ and the record picked up wide praise from national press, radio and key online publications. The band were also featured on the cover CD of Metal Hammer, as well as notching glowing reviews from Big Cheese Magazine and Powerplay. Second Rate Angels now push on with their new video single ‘Dragged Out’ which delivers a serious blow to your senses with its alluring dynamics, stout intensity and soaring refrain. Look out for tour dates and shows soon to be announced via the band’s social sites.



 Check out our review of The Lost Days EP @

Second Rate Angels – The Lost Days EP

Second Rate Angels Online Promo Shot

It is fair to say that UK metallers Second Rate Angels have bred a rather decent reputation for themselves through their highly flavoursome sound and explosive live performances since forming in late 2011. Now the Hemel Hempstead quartet looks to emulate their success and presence on a nationwide level with debut EP The Lost Days. Consisting of four skilfully contagious and vivaciously inventive tracks which capture the imagination with ease, the release is a striking and potent introduction to a band drenched in rigorous promise and open quality. Their sound on the evidence of the EP is not one to stretch boundaries within melodic metal and heavy rock but certainly it is a fresh and riveting new strain to an established design.

Since forming Second Rate Angels has sculpted an impressive presence on stage, playing with the likes of Breed 77, Beholder, and Zico Chain to name just three along the way. Their appearances at Bloodstock Open Air Festival equally brought a new wealth of attention and support the way of the band and their Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, and Trivium inspired muscular ideation. The Lost Days EP is the next step of their ascent and you cannot avoid thinking set to be very successful in its intent.

Give It A Name opens up ears and attention with heavyweight rhythms across expansive sways of sonic rapaciousness, its entrance

EP Artwork By Sam Kelm

EP Artwork By Sam Kelm

deliberately predatory yet insatiably compelling, especially with the scythes of guitar sculpted temptation. Once seducing the senses and anticipation fully, the track shifts into a fiery charge of heavy metal riffs punctured by sinew built rhythms, it all driven by the excellent tones of vocalist and bassist Dave Gobran. With a sandy rasp to his impressive voice, Gobran is an immediate lure around which the guitars of Chris Lewis and Matt Clark just as dynamically and impressively entwine their creative exploits. The song itself is a stirring encounter which is unafraid to venture into emotive melodic climates where gait and energy make a gentle canvas for the intensive expression of vocals and sonic hues.

The excellent start is soon reinforced by the following Dragged Out, the new single from the band. A lone guitar coaxes ears first before the pungent beats of drummer Andy Doran strikingly frame and spear the enticement as Gobran again colours the scenery with his voice. Once established the song explores an Avenged Sevenfold like melodic pattern of colour and imagination aligned to heavy rock rapaciousness which is as familiar and inviting as it is individually inventive. It is a less demanding and commanding song than its predecessor but potently catchy alongside being creatively absorbing.

The release is at its strongest over the final two songs, the title track an outstanding suasion which hints at a depth of potential still to be discovered by the band whilst providing an incendiary drama and skilled enterprise which sets them out as a thrilling proposition now and ahead. With great variation to the vocals and the predatory breath of the song, it is a riveting adventure which at times has an essence of John Bush era Anthrax to its hunger and endeavour around thought provoking hooks. The guitars and drums as already expected by this point make for an impressive and expressive incitement whilst the vocals of Gobran flame in passion and expression, and his bass craft is pretty formidable too.

Black Ice is more seeded in classic metal, though again eager to explore and colour itself with varied spices and tenacity of various metallic styles. It is a contagion drenched song which seduces with a chorus that refuses to be ignored or forgotten whilst around the anthemic bait band and song cast a scintillating weave which is as unpredictable and intriguing as it is virulently enslaving. It is an outstanding end to an excellent release which easily suggests that we just might have a new powerful force in British melodic metal in the making. If the thought of The Wildhearts meets Bullet For My Valentine appeals then checking out Second Rate Angels is a must.

The Lost Days EP is available from Monday June 2nd through all digital stores.


RingMaster 01/06/2014

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SECOND RATE ANGELS reveal their ‘The Lost Days’ EP, on 2nd June‏

Second Rate Angels Online Promo Shot




Unstoppable Brit metal unit ‘Second Rate Angels’ nationally unveil their blistering debut EP ‘The Lost Days’, through all digital stores on Monday 2nd June.

With influences stemming from traditional heavy metal, as well as taking cues from Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium, Second Rate Angels produce a sound that is a fresh take on the metal genre. Look out as the energetic quartet hit the road this Spring.

Second Rate Angels burst on to the scene late 2011 and soon began to wow audiences with their high octane live shows. Hailing from Hemel Hempstead and consisting of Chris Lewis (Guitars and Backing Vocals), Matt Clark (Guitars and Backing Vocals), Dave Gobran (Vocals and Bass) and Andy Doran (Drums), the foursome nailed performances at Bloodstock Open Air Festival, and went on to play a string of highly successful shows throughout London and the South, landing supports with the likes of Breed 77, Beholder and Zico Chain along the way. The lively four piece are now primed to step up with the national release of their debut EP ‘The Lost Days’.

Featuring four burly cuts of chunky metal, ‘The Lost Days’ EP will be officially unleashed this June. ‘Give It A Name’ starts it off in fantastic style with its dual riff attack and pounding drumming before the band’s new single ‘Dragged Out’ delivers a serious blow to your senses with its alluring dynamics, stout intensity and soaring refrain. Next up, ‘The Lost Days’ further highlights the fiery four piece’s inventive craftsmanship as it showcases killer guitar work, complete with contagious hooks. And lastly, ‘Black Ice’ draws the EP to a close in stellar fashion with its full frontal beastly riffery. Stay tuned as the band plan to tour throughout the UK this Spring, and check out their Facebook page for updates.





Giving In To Ghosts – Chasing Waves

Giving Into Ghosts Press Shots 22/10/13

Bursting out from South Wales, post hardcore band Giving In To Ghosts have given a very solid promise drenched introduction to themselves with their Chasing Waves EP. The band’s debut is a vibrant and engaging, as well as pleasingly aggressive, entrance by the Cardiff quartet. It is an accomplished and imaginative proposition which without the spark to really light up the passions certainly leaves a hungry appetite in place for the band ahead. Its sound and the band’s presence is not as unique amongst other similarly fuelled bands as you feel both will become in the future, but again still feeds an intrigue and attention for the foursome which cannot be underestimated.

Formed only last year, Giving In To Ghosts have taken little time to trigger a keen and passionate fanbase around their region which is now starting to spread further afield with equal success. Pulling in inspirations from the likes of Funeral For A Friend, Architects, and Reuben their sound certainly has a wide appeal as proven by their successful support slots to bands such as Continents, The Browning, Acoda, and Beneath My Feet. Recorded at Not In Pill Studios in Wales with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond (Slipknot, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine), Chasing Waves is a potent first persuasion to hit the whole of the country, as said a tremendously solid attention grabbing declaration revealing the open potential within the band.

Rapture starts things off and immediately has ears under the cosh of the raw squalling tones of bassist James Hardiman, his vocals Giving In To Ghost Cover Artworkabrasing the senses and lyrical intent within firm rhythms and a sonic coaxing from the guitars. It is not a dramatic explosion but one with strong grooves and melodic designs from lead guitarist Julian Thomas alongside the equally welcoming riffs of Michael Thomas making an appealing start. The clean vocals of Michael Thomas equally impress; his delivery gentle and a good temper to the gruffness of Hardiman though you feel placing them side by side rather than alternatively could work better. The punchy beats of drummer Alex Bargh and solo casting of Julian complete the expressive forceful colour of the song and arguably stand out on the track most but all aspects skilfully unite for a strong first strike from the release.

The following Sirens makes a less forceful appearance but certainly is as fiery as its predecessor, going on to build a magnetic canvas for the switching extremes of vocals to unleash their narratives. The bass offers a mean growl to the rapacious riffs and antagonistic rhythms as do his scowls, but there is a less potent element to the song against the last which means the track fully satisfies but does not linger. Nevertheless with a pleasing sonic temptation and a belligerent intensity the song proves its worth and reinforces the potency of the band.

The title track opens with a riveting melodic caress instantly joined by the equally warm clean vocals. The bass adds tempering shadows to this embrace to expand the depth and pull of the initial coaxing before the sinews and passionate bruising within the song makes a loud shout. Evolving through both sceneries the best song on the EP provides an evocative adventure which reveals much more about the strength and depth of the band’s songwriting and sound whilst stretching the quality of the encounter. Employing emotively powered keys and a mesmeric spiral of sonic enterprise within a growing snarling dark side, the song is a formidable indication of the creative heart within the band and again its undeniable promise.

Final song To The Sun veers into the more brutal side of the band certainly compared to the reflective warmth of the previous song, it ravishing the senses with grouchy rhythms and caustic vocal spite whilst still drawing on the melodic craft and expression of the band. It is an intimidating and highly alluring end to a very satisfying release, one which maybe suggests more than it delivers but only in the quality you feel is there in the band waiting to evolve. Chasing Waves does not make claims as the new best thing in post hardcore but it certainly provides more than enough to suggest Giving In To Ghosts has the ability and sound to be a loud voice in the UK scene.


RingMaster 29/03/2014

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All To Ruin – Parables EP

All To Ruin Online Promo Shot

Unleashing melodic metal which has essences seeded in the likes of Friend For A Friend and Protest The Hero and a snarl and venomous aspect which you might find in an August Burns, UK band All To Ruin unveil their debut EP Parables. It is a release rife with potent promise and explosive craft, a record which maybe is low on offering something to right now set the bad truly apart from numerous other emerging bands stalking the same genre of sound, but a collection of impressive tracks which undoubtedly grab attention and stoke an appetite to see where the band go from their strong and pleasing debut.

Hailing from Port Talbot, South Wales, the quintet of vocalist Aaron Roberts, guitarists Luke Curran and Rhodri Williams, bassist Andrew Pope, and drummer Tom Richardson first drew attention with not only their live shows around their local area but a demo recorded in 2011 with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond who have earned a big reputation for their work with the likes of Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine, the pair also handling the new EP. Shows alongside the likes of The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Sylosis, Revoker, Bury Tomorrow and many more has only enhanced their reputation of a young fired up and creatively striking band. Recorded early last year, Parables is the next thrust forward for the band and one which though still searching for that unique voice you only suspect will take All To Ruin up another rung or three.

Opener As We Exit takes little time to take a grip on ear and thoughts, searing melodic grooves and thumping rhythms instantly makingAll To Ruin - Parables Cover Artwork a potent persuasion aided by the raw caustic riffs and throaty menacing basslines, it all ridden by the excellent clean yet fiery vocals of Roberts. Before assumptions can be made that this is possibly nothing new the band and song unleash a lethally addictive groove and unbridled intensive passion to its sound and vocals. It is a striking and rampant start but one with thought and emotive craft which ensures an intriguing and enterprising ride. Each listen sees the song make a louder stronger declaration which leaves a lingering claw in passions and hunger.

The following A Part Of the Line certainly has fire in its belly but a less intimidating presence to start things off, guitars and vocals making an almost desperate emotive plea with their heart coloured narratives. Speared by the ever impressing beats and rhythmic caging of Richardson, the track is a strong if paler successor to the first though that is also left in the shade of the best offering on the EP, The King Is Dead. This is a song which shows that time could very well deliver a distinct standalone presence for the band, soaring vocals and raging rhythms within exhaustingly enticing grooves a rapaciously addictive and enthralling flood of expression and aggressive emotion. Virulently contagious without losing its stirring inventive potency, the track is a blaze of niggling burrowing beneath the skin riffs and sonic teases framed in another rhythmic trap by Richardson who also adds some strong melody tempering growls.

     Under The Shade steps forward next with what is arguably the most expansive sound and flavour of all the tracks on Parables. There is a definite familiarity across the chorus though the exact reference to whom eludes recognition, but then again all tracks for their only real issues have a breath and voice which is similar to others. Nevertheless the song is another burning fire of craft and melodic flame which impresses before allowing the grouchy Vultures to conclude the release. The most destructively aggressive and antagonistic of all the songs it still makes room for the continuing to impress vocals and inventive guitar weaves to bring their rich adventures and feelings. Without the same clarity as in other songs, the brawling atmosphere and the compact thickness of its sound only enhances the intensity and effective assault.

Parables is an impressive debut which only lacks that standout element or presence to step aside many other equally strong bands. That is not always the easiest thing to achieve but the promise offered by All To Ruin suggests it is within their imagination, though as ever time will tell.


RingMaster 22/09/2013

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Immension – The Enemy Within EP

Immension Online Press Shot

Taking the promise offered on their debut self-titled EP, UK melodic thrashers Immension explore and take things to another level with new release The Enemy Within EP. Consisting of four accomplished and captivating slabs of thrash fuelled melodic metal enterprise, the release is a richly pleasing and thrilling further indication of one rather potent band emerging with UK metal.

Whereas previous EP had the strong scent of Bullet For My Valentine to its enjoyable bulk, The Enemy Within comes with a late eighties Metallica breath wrapped in flames from the likes of In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold. Like its predecessor the release has a familiarity which is unavoidable but again like the debut it works in only a positive and invigorating way with the Sheffield quartet putting plenty of their own twists and imagination into its presentation. Formed in 2008 by vocalist/guitarist Jake Kearsley and lead guitarist Tim Dolan, the band like so many endured early times of instability in the line-up but once bassist Hasan Ahmed and drummer Jonni Sowter were recruited there years later things clicked into place and Immension began making their imprint into an awakening awareness for their sound. Pulling good critical acclaim their first EP put the metal community in the UK on alert and now with the new EP it is fair to say the band has set themselves up in a sure spotlight.

The self-released EP opens with its title track and instantly has the guitars creating hot melodic flames to warm the ear as strong rhythms Immension Cover Artworkfrom Sowter offers strong provocation. As the intensity steels itself and breaks out greater sinews, the track charges into an intensive romp of scarring riffs coated in a toxic tonic of melodic adventure matched by the excellent vocals of Kearsley which are just as impressively backed by additional tones from the band. It is a contagious anthemic call bringing extra addictiveness to the already compelling sounds where the guitar of Dolan stretches itself and the passions with excellent inventive craft and sonic persuasion.

It is a striking start from band and release which continues in the following Forevermore which seamlessly takes over. The only criticism here though is that the song is so similar in pattern and sound to the first that it is easy with less concentration to miss the fact that this is a new venture within the release. Despite that it is still a thumping encounter with the rhythms of Sowter and the throaty charm unleashed by the bass of Ahmed enslaving the ear for the vocals and once more scintillating guitar work to rise up and impress further within.

All That Remains takes top honours on the EP as it steps up next, the song stepping from a brewing emotive ambience cast by keys and guitar into a fiery expanse of melodic intensity courted by a muscular yet restrained breath. Steeped in Metallica like suasion and littered with at times metalcore bred vocals and sonic sculpting, the track is a masterful piece of songwriting and temptation stirred into a provocative wash of imagination and poetic melodies. Like elsewhere the fact that the song takes thoughts straight to an open source with ease is not an issue such the quality and skill presented within but it may be a problem ahead on future releases, though you also get the feeling that the band are evolving towards a truly distinctive voice anyway.

The closing In The Dead Of Winter returns to a similar appearance and presentation as the first two songs on the EP, but intensifies its rhythmic cage and melodic enticements to stand as another impressive and exciting confrontation of craft and passion. The mix of vocal deliveries is dramatic and outstanding as is the similarly blended sturdier and mellower essences of the sound, both aspects enrolled into a blaze of creative pulse racing, near riotous imagining.

The Enemy Within EP leaves you only wanting more from Immension and it is impossible not to return to it at least once more after any completion of its great offerings.  Though debatably we are still waiting for something truly original from the band, such the quality and inventive craft driving the EP, patience for that to emerge stance is steadfast and eager. Immension has all the tools to be a big presence in UK metal, just a matter of when if they continue to produce releases like this.


RingMaster 12/08/2013

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Harlot – Saviour


If you are looking for something a little fresh and promisingly explosive to your metalcore than allow us to suggest checking out the debut single from UK band Harlot. Infusing their sound with a captivating melodic weave, band and song is a richly satisfying and exciting slice of intensity. Equally as thrilling, as the song rifles the ear and senses with invention and enterprise, is that you can only feel that the band is still at the beginning of exploring its creative depths and that the quartet from Newcastle is only going to get better and more impressive in time.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist James Mclackland, guitarist Adam Lathan, bassist/vocals Daniel Johnson, and drummer Cameron Brown, Harlot has earned a strong and passionate following since forming in 2007 through their relentless and continually impressive live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Flood Of Red, Obsessive Compulsive, Tiger Please, Kobra and The Lotus, Voodoo Johnson, and Fury UK. With inspirations bred from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, Pantera, Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Protest the Hero and more in their invention,  Harlot make their the first wide declaration with Saviour, taken from their forthcoming debut EP Wolves, that they are a true emerging force in UK metalcore.

A barrage of drums opens the ear for the following eager guitar to lay down an initial fire before all combine with great intensity forSaviour Covera hunger bred rampage through the ear, this time driven by the caustic squalls of vocalist Mclackland. Into its stride now the track has a familiar groove and gait to its presence but it is a deceit as soon the great vocals, singular and group, lay down a compelling narrative across the constantly looking to evolve sounds. It is a stirring mix of melodic passion and voracious aggression, skilfully sculpted and merged in an inventive and persuasion sonic tirade. Jagged riffs and sonic lances have their moment to recruit further passion midway into the song before a drifting atmospheric and emotive breeze allows a welcome breath to be swallowed and evocative thoughts to breed, but soon band and song returns to an intensive blaze of enterprise and riveting fury.

Unpredictable, fiery, and potently imagined, Saviours is an outstanding introduction to Harlot sparking a certain hunger for the Wolves EP, due out later this summer. For a new breath to metalcore this is a band well worth taking stock of.


RingMaster 19/06/2013

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Everything Burns – Take Your Aim

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It is probably fair to say that Take Your Aim, the second album from UK melodic metallers Everything Burns, has been a lesson in determination, patience, and dedication for the band such its traumatic emergence. Through the likes of an injury to the drummer, shock departure of the bassist, long studio delays due to a refit, and several changes of mixing engineers, it has been a long drawn out process to the point of release. Add to that the delay due to vocalist Tim Kellow being run down by a car after a gig it has not been an easy ride for the release and quintet. Thankfully and miraculously the singer stepped away from the accident with only shoes flying down the road rather than him, and apart from being pissed that by the time he picked himself up the KFC he was heading to for a post London show feed had closed, the band is ready to make a big mark with their Meshhead released gem.

Everything Burns emerged from the ashes of Seven Days Awake in 2007 and signed with Rising Records the following year. 2010 saw their debut album Home released, the Mark Daghorn (Orange Goblin, Trigger The Bloodshed) produced earning strong positive responses. A mix of post hardcore and melodic metal, the eleven track album set the band up as ones to watch and bred a couple of hungrily viewed videos. The first release with their new label, Take Your Aim with its tightly carved aggressive traits and even more emotive progressive potency is set to take Everything Burns to a new level of awareness. It has a sound which is familiar, already the release pulling strong comparisons to Bullet For My Valentine with its voice maybe too close to the Welsh band for some, but also there is invention which intrigues and suggests the band is well on its way to finding its own true stance.

From the intriguing Intro, a very brief piece of combustible sonics and fiery vocals with metalcore tendencies, the release opens EverythingBurnsup its melodic arms with Ghosts & Angels. Initially it has to be said that there was a tinge of disappointment as the intensity and commanding first track suggests something similar ahead to what the second track delivers but song and band soon with a potent mix of crisp rhythms from drummer Jez Marshall alongside sonic flames of guitar from Chinn Lawlor and Vince Finch inspires concentrated attention. As the excellent vocals of Kellow light up the already bright encounter with strength and expressive melodic poise, ably backed up by the equally strong tones of Finch, it is impossible not to be excited by the first single from the album and release after all.

The skills of the guitarists and vocals easily impress at this point and only further their status as the title track steps up next. From a music box beckoning the song pounces with melodic elegance and inciting temptation, their seductive fire finding the equally inviting bass of Aaron Robins prowling the outskirts of their imagination. It is a captivating and contagious mix which spreads open the invention and thoughtful songwriting of the band into clear sight and though again you could claim the song is heavily whispered with the BFMV spice, it more potently reveals the promise and creative enterprise and class of Everything Burns, whilst again the vocals of Kellow and Finch leave a smile on the ear such the solo and combined talent and raw harmonic delivery they find.

Both Our Story and Interlude fall beneath the impressive stance set by the opening trio of tracks but at the same time reinforce the quality of band and sound especially the second of the pair where emotion and passion drips from every note and syllable. Neither find something truly new or distinctive to engage deeply though as the release is one which gets better with each and every listen, it has to be said to dismiss anything about this pair is wasteful with both revealing plenty to be enthused if not exhilarated about. The same can be said of Battlefields, another track where a flame of beauty accompanies undeniable passion and creative intensity. With almost carnivorous riffs and snapping rhythms the song is a formidable proposition but fails to find a strong snarl behind the wealth of melodic triumph. It is a thoroughly pleasing song though and one easy to return to, like the album itself.

Shadows and Whomper finish off the release, the first an excellent blend of growling bone splintering, riff guided antagonism in league with tempestuous emotive harmonies and searing melodic invention. It is an easy rival to the opening songs and again leaves only keen to endorse impressions of the band whilst the closing track is an unpredictable tempest of ideas and rhythmic shuffling honed with metal cursed invention. Both make a final persuasion which is pleasing and ear catching, something you can throw over the whole of Take Aim.

Yet to find their true voice, Everything Burns sets a satisfying and exciting base for their future endeavours whilst lighting up the appetite right now.


RingMaster 20/05/2013

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Immension: Self Titled EP

Immension - Promo Shot

For some reason there seems to be a bit of negativity going round towards the debut self-titled EP from UK melodic metal band Immension, not that it has been a slating upon the release but an apparent to our minds anyway misguided lack of appreciation of what is on offer from the Sheffield quartet. Now certainly the release does not forge new avenues for metal or unleash a storm of originality but at the same time it makes for a satisfying and reasonably thrilling encounter for the ear. For their introduction it has to be said the EP is an impressive enough slab of creativity offering plenty of promise for the band in the future and enjoyment right now.

The main accusation towards Immension is their closeness in sound to Bullet For My Valentine on the release, something you cannot dispute but is hardly a bad thing when mixed with a brewing independence of sound from the band though that is arguably not as realised on the record as you would wish. Nevertheless accomplished in musicianship, thoughtful in structure, and stirring in intensity there are more things right than ‘wrong’ with their introduction to the world.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Jake Kearsley and lead guitarist Tim Dolan from jamming together five years ago, the band reached a stable line-up with the addition of bassist Hasan Ahmed and drummer Jonni Sowter. From there the band played a torrent of shows stretching from London to Leeds building a fine reputation and loyal fan base along the way. The EP is the first twist of the key to wider recognition and something which certainly amongst metal listeners if not the media seemingly, will stir up plenty more interest their way.

The release opens with the emerging power of Shadow Of Yourself, a track which initially stands tall with flaring riffs and rhythmsImmension Front Cover speared by sonic dazzling wrapping around its bulk. Soon it erupts into a charging fury of pummelling beats and scything barbed hooks and hungry riffs. It is not exactly formula stuff but using tested structures skilfully and to great effect. It is with the clean vocals of Kearsley that one is initially a little taken aback. Expecting the scowling squalls of malice and menace most bands employ the clean delivery is a refreshing variation with growling spite the additive rather than the other way round. Thoughts of In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold emerge from the muscular presence of the track as well as the previously mentioned band of course to make the song a familiar friend for the ear and an enterprising experience for thoughts and senses.

Like the opener the following Lost & Forgotten offers plenty of asides and unexpected ideas amongst the overall bluster of riffs and intense rhythmic assaults, the second song elevating things to a stronger aggressive level. The track is a raging tempest of spite and passion with again the dual vocal attack, and especially the sung vocals, quite compelling. Overall the song is treading the harsher territory of a Killswitch Engage or As I Lay Dying musically and is the best track and the biggest instigator of real promise from the band on the release.

The slowly brooding In Vain closes things off with a more adventurous gait than before on the EP. The initial mellow tones of atmosphere and vocals is a warm caress against the heated sonic play of the guitars, the infectious chorus merging it all into a brief fire with commanding drums to frame their flames. Soon it is another charged frenzy of energy and aggression which switches between full flame to simmer with seamless craft and ease. It is a song which takes time to make its persuasion but emerges as a dramatic and intelligent song, and again another showing the scope and promise of the band in songwriting and its realisation in the future.

Immension has arrived with an EP which deserves attention: it is not going to ignite the biggest ardour within most but certainly will be a pleasing and gratifying companion during its presence.

RingMaster 03/01/2013

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Fates Upon Us: Self Titled EP

In a year of what seems like a flood of emerging metalcore type bands, to truly standout from the masses a release needs to be exceptional and instantly inventive. Whether the debut self titled EP from Yorkshire band Fates Upon Us is such a release is debatable but the five track EP certainly marks the band as one full of obvious promise and refreshing imagination. The finding of their distinct voice is an assumption you can only see the band fulfilling ahead whilst their first release certainly elevates them enough within the ranks of similarly fuelled bands, to make them ones to watch closely.

Formed in August of last year, the Sheffield quintet took no time in finding a keenly receptive local audience to their live performances and sounds, a repeating occurrence as they slowly ventured out into the whole county and beyond. Good success in heats of the Corporation Battle Of The Bands competition has followed their strong beginning as well as a UK tour with Gold Skies Ahead. With comparisons to the likes of Asking Alexandria, A Day To Remember, and Bullet For My Valentine placed upon them, the band now unleash their debut release with a destined national awareness and fervour on their horizon.

Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game starts off the storm with resonating and intimidating riffs matched by towering rhythms and oppressive intensity. It is not a ferocious entrance but one which ensures instant focus in its direction. The vocals of Danny Costello send squalls of vehemence across the landscape of the song  whilst the guitars of Carl Tyler and Danny Hattersley fire flames of accomplished sonics and blistering melodic shards upon the senses. As a scowling predator the track is excellent but does suffer a little with the inclusion of clean vocals and an accompanying dip in intensity. It is not enough to unsettle the track but hindsight, after the others songs have stated their claim and disrupted the air, does offer a little surprise as to why certainly the vocals do not work as strongly as elsewhere where the cleaner tones are easily as impressive as the growling consumptions.

Nevertheless it is a  great start which is immediately elevated with the full steam stomp of Have Fun Storming The Castle, a track as unbridled in its passion and energy as it is in rifling the ear with sharp riffs and contagious ideas. The vocals are spot on in both extremes of delivery to put previous slight wrongs in context whilst the rhythms of Carl Jackson thump and barrack the ear with little restraint or mercy. As mentioned earlier whether the track is distinct enough like the release as a whole to garner the full praise it maybe deserves is arguable but as a feisty companion it leaves one wanting very little more.

The third track If Cats Had Opposable Thumbs brings another flaw, this time in its production levels which are too low so the track sounds like it is playing from a room away. It is a shame as the track itself is great but the drop does override the enjoyment somewhat. The track itself is a brawling confrontation merged with expressive melodic imagination and stirring energies. By this point though that similarity to other bands is strong, Fates Upon Us offer plenty to suggest their future sound will see them rise from the pack. The immersive mellow and enveloping weaves from keys and vocals sink seamlessly into the harsher heart of the song to show skilled craft and thoughtful endeavour to the songwriting, not something which can always be applied to other bands.

Back at full levels, Boys, We’ve Struck Gold is an instant winner, its expressive warm gentle initial tones erupting into a furnace of demanding yet rewarding aggressive and inventive ventures. The track barges one to the ground, leaving you a bruised victim to its intense anger but just as easily and passionately stretches out revitalising and reassuring melodic hands to steady and expand the heart to its imagination. Arguably for really the first time bassist Danny O’Keefe can step from the aural shadows to show his hunter skills as well as the continual depth he brings all songs. It is another exciting and captivating track offering great futures.

Closing with the relatively straight forward Hobo With A Shotgun, the EP is one which is impossible to lose in the pack whilst still within its stirring ranks.. Fates Upon Us though inspire expectations of great promise and a clear escape in the future to set them well apart from the throng.

RingMaster 25/10/2012

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