6:33 with Arno Strobl: Giggles, Garlands & Gallows

If you have not met 6:33 yet then be prepared for a musical journey and experience as eclectic, innovative, and as impressive as you could wish for.  Their new EP Giggles, Garlands & Gallows brings you into shadows, spotlights and the deepest rooted nightmares they can conjuror whilst igniting your own individual ones. The three track release featuring the vocals of Arno Strobl from Carnival in Coal, strikes with a schizophrenic core, exploring and firing up the senses with irresistible melodic invention and destructive power. Striking, wicked and most of all totally irresistible the EP is one of the best things to manipulate and violate the heart in a long time.

Giggles, Garlands & Gallows follows the acclaimed debut album Orphan of Good Manners from the Parisian quintet. As always the combined ingenuity of vocalist Rorschach, guitarist Niko, bassist S.A.D., plus Dietrisch von Schtrudle and Mr Z. on keys & machines, mesmerise, whilst confusing and treating the senses to compositions which draw on a myriad of flavours and textures to bring a maelstrom of sounds, energies, and unpredictable provocation. Veering from progressive metal/ hardcore through to electro pop and classic rock to name a few of the varied spices their music is an ever twisting and expansive weave that excites and triggers the mightiest fires. Describing them as a devilish mix of Five Star Prison Cell, Polkadot Cadaver, Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Queen and 12 Stone Toddler only scrapes the surface but it gives a good idea of the striking imagination and invention they bring forth. With a tongue firmly in place and a wink of the eye ever present the release plays on fears and amusements with equal strength, its heart a kaleidoscope of sonic colours and infectious energy.

The EP opens with Chapter 1: Order Of The Red Nose and takes a mere instance to have the ear and thoughts on full alert. From an opening warm vocals and keys beckoning the track starts bubbling as a stomping energy permeates the heart of the song. With its carnivalesque/steampunk breath already captivating the track starts flexing its muscles as the dark tale unfolds. The track swings through melodic flights of progressive rock to intrusive metallic disruptions and distortions, switching back and fro with a seamless skill as the song never lets one settle or concentrate on a single thought or instigated imagery.  As the shadows darken within the story and a call to arms like sense infiltrates the imagination the track raises the intensity whilst leaving its melodic passion full rein to intertwine with and soak the formidable sounds.

Chapter 2: M.I.D.G.E.T.S continues the mesmeric conflict and smooth union of sounds and evil within the tale as defiance and vengeance erupts in the face of the spiteful intensity which fuels the song initially. As before the music spans and meshes a multiverse of sounds and ideas to bring a consumption of persistently evolving energies and emotions. More violent and combative than the first part the song also brings harmonies, melodies, and hooks of the finest contagion to ride upon the tumultuous power that is rife throughout.  The tale closes on triumph though one suspects and feels the dark heart is never far away.

The EP is completed by I Like It, a melodic slice of rock n roll with smooth enveloping emotions and warmth. Ok this is 6:33 so it is never that simple with the song even with its open heart venturing into the darkest corners whilst the music is as hypnotic as it is exhilaratingly averse to staying attached to a straight forward idea.

Giggles, Garlands & Gallows is simply brilliant, an experience of pure magic and challenging ingenuity. With an album in the works this only goes to incite the strongest and most impatient anticipation, 6:33 a band igniting a fire for the promise of something ahead as forceful as the immense pleasure from the outstanding sounds currently gracing the ear.

If you are reading this before May31st then head over without delay to the official 6:33 website to grab Giggles, Garlands & Gallows for free.

http://www.633theband.com/

RingMaster 28/05/2012

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Outcast: Awaken the Reason

As we go into the fourth month it is increasingly becoming apparent that the choosing of an Album of the Year when December closes its darkened eyes is going to be a task and a half, the amount of impressive contenders already building up into a formidable challenge even this early into 2012. Well that was until French metalers Outcast stole a march on everyone with their staggering new album Awaken the Reason. The release is truly immense in sound, power, and invention. It is a disruptive and addictive maze of ingenuity and invigorating ideas, a maelstrom of unpredictable diversions, senses twisting manipulations, and a beast of intriguing mischief and heightened intensity. It is simply brilliant, an album that sets the heart on fire, sends the mind racing, and triggers deep emotions to an orgasmic conclusion.

      Outcast is like an alchemist come sonic chef. The band takes ingredients from previous inventions, as well as flavours and spices borne in musical recipes elsewhere to turn them with their own special ingredient of imagination, into something completely and stirringly new. Awaken the Reason is an explosion of innovation and a seemingly chaotic tapestry of sounds, a mighty journey that challenges, hypnotises and offers something new on each quest taken within its pulsating metallic walls.

The Parisian band formed in 1998 and originally under the guise of Overlander, started grabbing attention from the French underground scene with their death metal tinted thrash flavoured debut 4 track CD The Source Of All Creation in 2002. March 2005 saw the release of First Call/Last Warning, a ten track album blending the power of Swedish thrash metal with the intensity of death metal whilst bringing in passion fuelled melodies. The current line-up of vocalist Wilfried Fagnon, guitarists Jean-François Di Rienzo and Nicolas Soulat, bassist Clément Mauro, and Mathieu Santin on drums, was established in 2007, the quintet releasing the second Outcast album Self-Injected Reality a year later and the emergence of a diverse and technical sound alongside their enflamed melodies that has evolved wonderfully in Awaken the Reason.

Released via Listenable Records on April 4th this metal/progressive jewel is set to place the band firmly in the eyes and ears of the world. If the likes of Uneven Structure, Texture, and Meshuggah get your juices dribbling, Awaken the Reason is an essential must, but there is so much more within the release and its creations. The progressive metal Outcast unleashes has essences found in the likes of Between the Buried and Me and Circles, the aggressive uncompromising intensity they grip the ear with can be heard from the likes of Bloodsimple and especially vocally Society 1, whilst the sheer eccentric and unpredictable conjurations remind of bands like Five Star Prison Cell. All this is disassembled and designed into something wholly unique and wholly Outcast.

The album breaks out with the opening frenzy that is Elements, the track taking no time in sending splintered acidic melodies and grunting riffs through the ear whilst seeking and filling every corner of the senses with progressive meanders seeded in insanity and upon an intimidating metallic vein. Flitting through chaotic changes and detours the song never sits still or leaves one time to grab a deep breath, its driven manic evolution surprising and pure temptation from beginning to end.

Every aspect of the band and songwriting is at a staggering height, from the manipulative guitars that mesmerise and exploit with intrusive riffs, the acute and scorched melodies that sear the senses with innovational skill, through to the uncompromising yet stunningly and attentively crafted rhythms. Adding vocals that bring a caustic menace and expressive added texture to the brilliantly conceived constructs of sound, the likes of Abysmal, the epic A Solace from the Shade, and the metal wildness of Isolation, emerge as the astonishing results.

     Awaken the Reason – Part IV: When Dawn Brings Clarity slows things down with a beautifully atmospheric piece of music, the haunting ambience and piano/string grace striking at a personal level as it transports one to a lonely shore and mind. It finds a climax that unravels within a distorted cloud to turn to the best track on the album in Spin Angular Moments. The track blisters the ear with stupefying acute explosions of melodic insurgency and uniquely structured provocative rhythms and malignant toned growls and power. The senses are then blindsided by wonderful progressive invention before succumbing once more to the psychotic nature of the composition. It plays like the continually shifting mind of a madman, a glorious ingenious kaleidoscope of warped brilliance.

There is not a weakness on the album as the likes of What Would be my Final Commitment? and the closing Awaken the Reason – Part XI: Reprise prove. Mixed by Jochem Jacobs (Textures) and mastered by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan) Awaken the Reason is truly a masterful and magnificent feast. Outcast have probably escaped the attention of a great many until now but with this stunning album that is just about to change.

RingMaster 31/03/2012

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Dawn Heist – Time Wave Zero

With formidable strength and expertise Sydney based electronic metalcore band Dawn Heist unleash their debut EP Time Wave Zero October 21st, a release that pulsates with impressive and eager sounds. Six tracks of unbridled power and well constructed songs all realised with a defiant aggression tempered with soaring and incisive melodies.

Formed in 2010 Dawn Heist took no time in winning people over with their intense and energised live shows including tours and support slots with the likes of Terror, The Haunted, Daysend , and Five Star Prison Cell.  Time Wave Zero is the result of their time in the studio with ARIA nominated producer Greg Stace, an EP that not only satisfies immensely but sets the band apart as a definite one to closely watch. Their metal/electronica blend is vibrant and at times mesmeric, the band finding a good balance between the two sides of their sound, the flowing electronic swells and atmospheric caresses easily slipping beside and within the hard and forceful mountainous riffs and direct attack. The quintet of vocalist Pat, drummer James, Bassist Zee, and the twin guitars of Lee and Ellis do not thrust forth their wall of noise as violently as for example The Browning but neither do they step back into the lighter tones of an Enter Shikari, the band find an instinctive and very enjoyable mid-point as they batter relentlessly whilst enflaming the imagination with their smoother caresses.   

The EP starts with ‘The Anesthetist’, its techno start misrepresenting the ferocity ahead though it does not take long before the band explodes into harsher realms. Musically it turns out the song is not their heaviest, it is quite a subdued track power wise though the aggressive and absorbing twin vocal attack of Pat carries enough venom and intensity on its own. He switches between guttural growls and smooth croons with plenty of sounds in between, effortlessly making a perfect match for the musical blend on display.

Where the opener and second song ‘Timewave Zero’ end and start is barely noticeable, their handover seamless though it does highlight the one aspect of the release that could be classed as a flaw, the similarity between tracks.  With many bands this is a negative BUT all the songs here are equally well thought out, engaging and pummelling it does not feel important that they carry a shared facade. This track pulsates with unrelenting staccato riffs and soothing, lively electronic sounds that in many ways should not work, but they do totally and very agreeably. The song has a heavier edge to its predecessor coming over with the feel of Fear Factory laced with a liberal dose of Linkin Park and Asking Alexandria, a mix that maybe sounds wrong but works wonderfully.

The bands first single ‘Nine Worlds’ is arguably the best track on the release though there is equality across all tracks to be fair, just this stands wilfully demanding attention and getting it. Again with a similar set up and sound from the previous song it beats its chest with a restive attitude, beating its message into the ear with striking riffs and rhythms.

The remaining three songs complete Timewave Zero with the same uncompromising attack and skilled melodic interplay. The rampant bullying riffs of ‘Loki’, the hypnotic harmonies of the big and another best track challenger ‘The Heretic’, plus the closing violent crescendo of ‘Scarecrow’ all dissect and play with the senses eagerly and thoroughly.

The exciting thing about Timewave Zero is not only the sounds within its walls but the promise and anticipation it ignites for future releases from the band. Dawn Heist is a young band that maybe has yet to find the finished identity for their sound but is already making music that improves any day and gives a new freshness to metalcore and metal in general.

www.facebook.com/pages/Dawn-Heist/96871407343

RingMaster 17/10/2011

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