Bleeding hopes and stark wastelands: an interview with Morok from Bog[~]Morok

Bog_Morok_pic.2 jpg    

It is fair to say that Russian metal is still pretty much in the shadows for the rest of the world despite the success of bands such as Arkona and…well that is arguably it despite the wealth of impressive and inventive bands creating thrilling sounds and releases within the country’s varied rock and metal realms. It needs an intent and exploration on the part of the listener to generally discover these shadowed treasures one of which is the excellent industrial/nu metal band Bog[~]Morok. The latter part of 2013 saw the band release their new album Industrialypse, an incitement drawing on numerous and unpredictable flavours and invention for a unique industrial metal bred creation. It is an exciting and stirring collection of tracks which deserve the widest attention. To find out more about the band we had the pleasure of asking its founder Morok about the origins of Bog[~]Morok, the impact of its home city, the striking band name and much more…

Hi Morok and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, thank you for sharing time with us.

Firstly can you give us some background to Bog[~]Morok at the very beginning, the spark and intention of the band at its start?

Hello and thank you!

Ok, I started Bog-Morok back in 1997. I just wanted to make fast, loud and aggressive music. Nothing special :). I think many people start to play music thinking that they are able to create something outstanding, something better than what they were listening to. I am not an exception. For a long time it was one-man-band. As a band B-M exists since 2003 when we released our first CD Azoic. Since then we have recorded six albums released on a different Russian labels, played a lots of shows, recorded many remixes for other bands, etc. The band’s style can be described as industrial/nu-metal. The new album Industrialypse released on 21 October on More Hate Productions for Russia and CIS. For the rest of the world it will be sold by Israeli label A&M Releases with support of GlobMetal Promotions.

As you said the band eventually expanded to a full line-up, was this a natural progression or a deliberate direction to expand on what you could do as a solo project?

I always wanted to play live shows. At first this was the reason to find musicians, but then I found that the writing process is much more interesting and effective together with other members. I am an ordinary bassist and very bad drummer, that’s why I cannot make qualitative music alone. So, I think this was a natural progression to expand the possibility to make music. Besides, we are very good friends and it’s a pleasure for me to spent time with these guys :).

Your sound has evolved over the years and your five albums, how do you see its change and evolution over the time? Bog_Morok_pic

You see, I always wanted to find special and unique sound for Bog-Morok. I wanted to make my band sound different from others bands. Not better, not worse, but different. Our first album is not typical for further creativity, but then we started to use low-tuned guitars, distorted bass, synthesizers, electronic sounds, etc. and now we feel that we are very close to what can be named “our own sound” :). Anyway, this process was natural. I never tried to make my band sounding like someone. It’s so boring…

How would you describe your sound right now for newcomers to the band?

Well, it’s some kind of mix of dirty and groovy guitars and bass, mechanistic rhythms and cold electronic sounds and backgrounds. This is just like a sound of machine or tool, but machine with a soul and furious emotions.

What is the story behind the band name?

It was many years ago, when I read the book called Sword and Rainbow or something like that. It’s fantasy, as far as I remember. There was a strange character. A troll or may be orc who lived in the bog. In Russian he was named Morok Bolotny (Morok from bog). Quite stupid character I have to say. But I liked him, besides I wanted to play fast and scary black-metal at that time. I decided that it will be great nickname for me and name for the band. But you see, this book was translated into Russian and I didn’t know how his name sounds in English properly. I used my own translation. Morok means ghost or spectre. Bog is bog (by the way, in Russian “Bog” means “God” that’s why some people thought I’ve got megalomania, haha!). So the band’s name means Ghost from bog. Time passed, we started to play different music, but the name is still the same. Maybe ‘cause it is quite unique and strange. I hope so :).

You recently released the excellent Industrialypse as you said earlier, an album of twelve inventive and explosive slabs of industrial/nu metal with plenty more flavouring to seduce the imagination. It is one of our favourite introductions to a band, it the first time we came across Bog[~]Morok, in a long time; how long has the album been in the making?

Too long! I started to write songs for this album a couple of years ago. Then approximately a year ago we started the record sessions at our studio, but in the middle of recording process I understood that the results did not satisfy me. I don’t how to explain it, but you see, the songs did not sound the way I wanted them to sound. Something was wrong and I didn’t know how to fix it. Then I started absolutely new side-project named Shexna, a strange mix of nu-metal, folk and sludge, together with Bog-Morok’s drummer and guitar-player and singer from well-known Russian band Temnozor. In a week I composed 9 tracks, in the next week we recorded all instruments and two more weeks I spent mixing and mastering these songs. The self-titled album was released by Russian label Sound Age in the beginning of 2013 and received a lot of rave reviews. Only after that we continued to record our distressful Industrialypse and finished it in August 2013.

Frontcover 1Have you like your sound, evolved and changed how you approach recording your music and working in the studio which made a big difference and help in creating Industrialypse.

You know, I am the maximalist and that’s why I never satisfied with the result. But I know how to find a compromise with myself. Otherwise, you can go crazy trying to achieve a perfect result :).

The title is a provocative word sparking the imagination to sculpt thoughts of an apocalyptic expanse bred from an industrial toxicity; what was your thoughts behind the name and does it represent a theme for the album as a whole?

It is a combination of two words: industrial and apocalypse. You see, we live in quite a big industrial city, Rybinsk, where there are a lot of factories and most of the people work there. Every day I see crowds moving to their working place and back. They are just like zombies: no hope, no future and no past. Eat, work, sleep, die… I think that industrial apocalypse is already happened for them. That’s why there weren’t any doubts it will be the title of the album when I wrote this song. But I can’t say that it’s refers to the album as a whole. You see, there are so many things to sing about. I think I’ll never be able to write a conceptual album :).

You just described Rybinsk with its factories and industrial plants etc., has this setting made a specific impact on not only the lyrical content of the album but your music in general?

My parents are teachers, I am a lawyer, but when I was a child I always drew factories and smokestacks and dreamt to work on a plant :). Thank God my dream has not come true, but when I grew older I started visiting different abandoned factories and other industrial objects (there are a lot of them after the notorious Perestroyka). I still love it and when I started to listen to music I was so happy to discover such bands as Die Krupps, FLA, VAC, Fear Factory, Steril etc. Their music was like a soundtrack of my dreams and visions. So there’s no surprising that I started to make industrial metal :).

How does the song writing process work within Bog[~]Morok and has that changed in a large way since those early days of the band?

The main part of music and lyrics is written by me. It has not changed since early days. But you see I play music with very good musicians. When I bring a new song they can change whatever they want. I trust them. In most difficult cases we work all together on a song looking for best option or may be compromise. Really, I am the lucky one these people are play music together with me :).

Do you enter the studio with songs completed or allow them to evolve further as you start to record them?

We’re recording songs in our own studio and there’s no need for the long training before record session and rush while recording music. May be that’s why we work so slow :). Anyway, we may write song, record it completely and then throw away ‘cause it doesn’t suit us. We can afford it.

Is there a particular part or aspect of Industrialypse which gives you the strongest intensity of pleasure?

I love this album entirely, but today my favourite one is Bloodsucker J. This song is outstanding ‘cause it consists of only one note A, it’s true, there are no any other notes except A :). The guitarist and bassist can drink beer while playing this song, ‘cause the left hand is free. I love this song today. May be because I’m in a good mood, you see, I always listen to most heavy songs when I’m in a good mood:).

I am sure like us you feel it is time for the world to wake up to Bog[~]Morok, what have you done his time around and put behind the album to try and make that happen?

We signed a contract with GlobMetal Promotion. They do their job very well spreading our music all over the world. As for us, we are playing live shows, answering the questions, communicating with people and many other things to please our old fans and to find new ones.

Are you planning to promote the album in live shows or tours? Band Photo 2

Yes, we’ll do our best to play as much shows as possible, but don’t forget that we live in Russia, the country where life is like a survival, the country where all your plans can be destroyed in a few seconds…

What comes next for Bog[~]Morok?

I think it will be live shows, some videos and writing of new songs. Yes, we will start to write new songs rather soon. I have some ideas but nothing definite still. All I know the next album will be more insane and outside borders and genres.

 How about the band member’s other projects outside of the band, anything we should be watching out for?

Oh yeah. Our drummer plays in very interesting black/death metal band Iconoclast. Also all members of Bog-Morok involved in our side project Shexna. And of course, I’d like to present our new band Morguenstern. This is the band where I play the guitar and the vocalist is my sister Morgana. We play old school gothic metal, sometimes horror punk. The music is similar to soundtracks from horror movies of the 80’s J. The debut album Sepulchral Burden will be released by Israeli label A&M on 15th January 2014. Check it out!

Thank you again for talking with us, would you like to leave any final words for the readers?

Take care of yourselves and don’t forget to listen to Bog-Morok! Thank you for your interest in our music!

Read the Industrialypse  review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/bogmorok-industrialypse/

http://www.reverbnation.com/bogmorok

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 01/01/2014

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From Angels to Bazaars: an interview with Alexey Markov of Starsoup

Alexey Markov.

Starsoup is a band emerging from within Russian which is beginning to stir up a healthy appetite outside of its homeland through debut album Bazaar of Wonders. Creating an enticing weave of heavy and progressive metal invention fed and inspired by a wealth of additional flavours, the album is a compelling adventure which coaxes emotions and imagination with evocative narratives and excellently crafted and skilfully invented enticing songs. To find out more about this awakening creative presence within world metal we had the pleasure to talk with band creator vocalist/guitarist Alexey Markov. Looking at the project’s origins, its first album, opportunities for Russian metal and more, this is what Alexey unveiled…

Hello Alexey and thanks for talking with us.

First of all please give us some background to Starsoup, its origins and the history of its core members.

Well it’s basically a one-man band, but this man (me) doesn’t compose all the music. A big part of Bazaar of Wonders was composed by Andrew Gryaznov – our fellow keyboardist and composer, and there are two songs by my good friends Lex Plotnikoff (Mechanical Poet) and Dan Mescher (Nazgul band). I wrote most of the lyrics and I was the one who financed and produced the record, because in fact I was the only one who really needed it. A significant part of the album was recorded by session musicians.

How did you and Andrew meet and what was the spark to working together?

I met Andrew in a band called Crime of Passion where he played the keyboards and wrote music, and I was invited to sing there. A few times we split and re-appeared, but then the band ceased to exist and I decided I wanted to record our material (because I felt it was good). The spark… well I loved Andrew’s tunes and probably my ideas somehow supplemented his.

Did you have any prime idea or direction when forming Starsoup?

No, totally not. After all we only had 4 songs which we wanted to record. And we just did :) The album is basically something that happened in the process. Maybe it turned out unusually ballad-esque and slow-paced to my taste.

The band is a studio project, was this always the aim of the band or just how it has worked out to this point?

That’s a tough question. I think every musician wants to perform live at some point. Frankly speaking, I’m a bit scared I won’t be able to play (and sing!) the material live as accurately as I did in the studio. I’d say the studio project wasn’t the aim, but right now I don’t have a serious desire to make it a touring band.

What are the inspirations which have most impacted on your ideas for the band and sound?

I think it’s the feelings. When I read a book or watch a movie, or meet somebody, I get new emotions and sometimes I remember them; if they’re strong enough. I wanted the songs to be emotional, not technical.

You have just released your debut album Bazaar of Wonders on Sublimity Records; I believe it was a long time in the making coverso it must be a relief to finally have it out there for public consumption?

Yes, definitely. I feel much better now as this is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Time to enjoy life for a few days and then start doing something else :)

Was there anything in particular which held up the album’s creation?

I was waiting for the cover art for a very long time, then I had to find another artist, but fortunately Mr. Smerdulak did an amazing job and I’m happy I chose him after all. The artwork turned out to be wonderful.

How has responses for Bazaar of Wonders been so far in your homeland and further afield?

Strangely enough the response in Russia is very moderate. Some people only hear the accent, some don’t enjoy that it’s not in Russian (why should it?!), some don’t like the musicianship or the songs and it’s kind of customary to get this awkward message through – to the author (me). It’s totally different abroad. We got some very nice reviews from the US, Italy, Greece, Israel and other countries.  I really enjoy reading them.

Is it hard for Russian bands to get attention outside of its borders or with the internet have you found it a relatively painless thing to be noticed?

I think it’s harder for the Russian rock and metal bands because no one sees them as serious contenders on the international stage. But now we have ARKONA with their immense success abroad so they kind of opened the road for the rest of us. Internet helps too, as this interview was organized by our friends at GlobMetal Promotions – and this is so cool we’re doing this.

The album at times brings to mind the likes of Dream Theater and Fates Warning as well as other bands like Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold; you are musicians who are unafraid to explore numerous styles to create your melodic landscapes?

Yes, Starsoup won’t stick to any one style. It’s my field for experiments. I start thinking that probably standing next to Dream Theater is a bad positioning for Starsoup. After all it’s just another league – 5 best musicians from the best music school in the world with half-a-million $$ recordings next to my $10k record produced in the middle of nowhere by a guy with very little musical education. I mean I’m flattered standing next to them but this comparison is just a predefined loss on all fronts.

The album sees several guest musicians involved in its making; are they playing your sounds or is it a proper collaboration with these artists and they are fully involved in developing their parts?

I never told anybody what to play. In fact a few times I was surprised how it turned out. I’ll stick to this in the future :) After all I can play almost everything myself. Why call anybody else to do that if they don’t put a piece of their soul in? I let them do whatever they wish.

How do songs generally emerge from first seeds in your songwriting?

Sometimes I just play the guitar and some melody appears – or just a chord progression. I play it a few times (even for a few weeks) and try to imagine things. Sometimes the inspiration comes, sometimes it doesn’t. Or I might have a melody in my head which I try to arrange in some interesting way. Sometimes it’s a guitar riff or a rhythm figure that gives me a feeling of flow. I don’t have a universal recipe.

Alexey Markov and Андрей Грязнов.Reading the information around the band and album, I get the impression that you went into the studio to record a quartet of songs including your debut single Angels which drew great responses upon its release, but ended up with a lot more ideas and potential songs which led to an album instead, is that how Bazaar of Wonders came about?

Yes, the songs were emerging themselves in the process of the album recording. I know they usually don’t record the albums like that – usually the band has all songs ready, books the studio and then records the drums, the guitars, the bass, the solos and then the vocals. But we didn’t have this option – this way the album would never have appeared. But I will surely do the 2nd album the “traditional” way.

Is there anything specific upon the album which gives you the greatest satisfaction?

I like how the cd turned out. It’s a finished and self-contained product from the songwriting to recording and production, to art and design. I love to hold the disc in my hand, putting it into a cd player and listening to it from the beginning to the very end. It sounds different when you look at it as a whole; much better than one song at a time :)

You mentioned that the project has not played live yet, is that something you are hoping to do in the near future?

Not in the near future, although I’ll be probably giving some acoustic concerts in 2014. So I’ll be definitely playing a pair of Starsoup ballads – Rumors of Better Life and The City and the Stars.

What is next for Starsoup?band

We look forward to releasing a pair of new singles in 2014 – and of course one or two videos.  Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll manage to create another album next year :)

Once again thank you for talking to us, have you any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Stay metal! Don’t stay silent: write about the music you like, share it with your friends and don’t miss the gigs!

https://www.facebook.com/Starsoup

Read the Bazaar of Wonders review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/starsoup-bazaar-of-wonders/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 30/12/2013

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Casting Riffs Afar: an interview with Seneron

seneron 2

From Northern Ireland Seneron is a band starting to make strong marks worldwide, especially with the release of their new EP Order Restored. Consisting of four songs which provoke the listener with a riot of big rhythms, caustic riffing, and melodic flaming, the compelling release follows the recent signing of the band to GlobMetal Promotions for a worldwide management deal. Things are moving for this Derry quartet so we grabbed the opportunity to find out more about the band, their music, and metal in their homeland.

Hi and a big thank you for sparing time to talk with us.

Hello, and thank you very much for asking us to complete this interview we are extremely humbled.

For those not yet introduced to Seneron can you do the honours and also give some background to the band?

We all met through the local cover band circuit here in Ireland and instantly became friends with our passion for rock music and the local band scene. From that we talked about creating some original material and all agreed to give it six months to see what would happen. Two years later and two records completed we have had success but aim to reach new fans all over the world in the very near future.

Seneron is not the first band for its members then, is there a richer history to you all musically?

All of us have played in many different bands over the years, some has created success and others have not. At this moment in time all of us are a part of Seneron and we have been graced with some success. We can all see the potential that the band can have on a worldwide stage and are very excited about that.

From the outside there seems to be a strong rock and metal scene in Northern Ireland right now how do you see it on the inside?

Yeah there’s a big wealth of really good bands here especially in the rock and metal genre. There certainly is no shortage of them and we’re kind of spoilt for choice here if you’re looking to go out and rock out on a night out which is really cool. Also having a lot of bands locally will help the music and ethos of the metal message reach more people, so that is always a good thing!

Is there a community spirit/unity between bands there too?

There certainly is a very good community spirit between bands here as they are willing to co-headline gigs and support other bands which have supported them on another nights and help each other out with equipment etc. to make the show happen, but you can’t let that fool you either because music is music and bands trying to make an impression will try and outdo the other bands performing on the night so competition is rife which is healthy too!

Are there certain inspirations which have driven your musical intent and the band’s sound?

Well we all grew up with the grunge scene and have been influenced from early punk bands from the seventies like the Sex Pistols etc. plus the early thrash scene, all combined have pretty much influenced us as performers and especially as songwriters. Also the whole DIY scene has influenced the way that we book tours, release records and promote ourselves over the world.

artworks-000037125684-j76vvd-cropYour recent EP Order Restored, our introduction to you, has earned strong interest outside of your homeland including radio play in the US, has this surprised you in any way?

Short answer – YES!!! We are amazed that a lot of countries have opened their arms to us and our fan base keeps growing each day. We hope to continue promoting the band all over the world and perhaps get to visit in 2014.

How has your sound evolved since forming to the latest release or is it still pretty much the same beast as on day one?

In a band like ours your sound has to evolve in order to become unique and not sound like anyone else. There are so many bands around the world that you have to do something different each night you perform in order to stand out. For us we experiment in creating new sounds, different riffs, arrangements and trying to stretch our musical boundaries. We feel that we have created a well-rounded sound but there is always room for improvement.

Tell us about the writing process within the band. 

Most of the time John (singer) would come to rehearsal’s with a general idea of a riff, melody or a selection of words. We would jam out those ideas to see what sticks and all of us would have a creative input. From that we would listen back to see if we actually like it and try to add various ideas to see if we can get a good sounding song.  It’s quite a lengthy process at times but it’s all worth the hard work when we finally take it to the stage!

What do you find is the spark that songs then generally spring from, riffs or more melodic ideas?

Generally we would come up with the riff first then the melodies would progress after that. A typical day in our rehearsal space is that we would jam countless ideas until a few would see potential. Then we would all take that idea away and try to come back with a progression of that idea.

Do you write songs to demo stage before entering the studio or are you band which likes to takes ideas, seeds of songs into that situation and evolve them there?

We demo everything that we write and play it live for a few months before we record the final version. The reason for this is that in song writing you can always improve on a good idea. So for us we like to get feedback from our fans at the live shows and see which song gets the best reaction. For example the track Dead Stare on our new record nearly did not make the final cut as we didn’t really like the version, but when we played it live we always got people asking us where they can buy it and how good the song is! So we have learned to listen to our fans!

Many bands say and feel their home towns/cities influence their sound and imagination quite potently, has Derry had that impact on you?

I think for us personally it’s pretty much music that we have heard on radio and television through media coverage that has influenced the band. Although watching rock bands perform in local pubs and clubs when we were young gave us all the burning ambition to get on that stage and rock out, but you could say that the lyrics are basically stories about experiences of everyday life in general which is easy to write.

You have also have a great reputation for your live shows, this is an area we suspect you revel in and maybe even have your greatest personal moments?seneron

With being on the road for the last two years we have seen a lot of things but every night would be classed as the greatest as we a grateful for the chance to perform on any stage over the country. We are excited when we meet new fans, get a tweet from someone across the world and hear our music on different world wide stations. For us that’s the greatest and appreciate everyone who interacts with us!

Any particularly memorable gigs either for positive or negative reasons which have impacted on the band?

We always remind ourselves what the gigs were like when we first started and look to where we are now. Like every band we paid our dues by playing to a few fans in a quiet venue and we appreciate it a lot more when we see our crowds increase on every show. Those early days shapes a band and makes you realise it’s not an easy business to crack but with hard work and dedication success can be obtained as we are the proof!

What is ahead for Seneron across the rest of 2013?

The plan for us is to continue promote Order restored and our new single Dead Stare for the rest of the year. We will have a tour of Ireland and the UK in Sept/Oct and plan to go back into the studio to record another record and hopefully get to visit Europe in 2014.

Once again big thanks for chatting with us…

So finally listening to the excellent Order Restored EP we know why people should go watch you live and grab the release but would you like to end with a sales pitch as to why people should come out and catch you live at the very least?

As well as having really good energetic tunes slapped in your face and a high impact live show we promise to deliver a fun event which will have the audience interact with the band in friendly banter and craic as we say here in Ireland. We don’t take ourselves too seriously but we promise to make it a real fun show and to leave the audience taking about it for days, weeks! So catch us while you can because you never know when we can get back to your home town!

Read the Order Restored EP review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/seneron-order-restored-ep/

Dead Stare the new Seneron single is released on Monday 15th July

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http://www.seneron.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 11/07/2013

 

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Steik – War With You EP

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Formed in 2008, Russian band Steik has honed their sound into one which is engagingly melodic but framed and cored by sinews which ensure a full and richly satisfying encounter. Initially called Ierikhon, the band created old school heavy metal sounds with strong additional female vocals which left an eager appetite in place. It was in 2012 and the joining of vocalist Michael Koldirev to the band that Steik then turned to an even heavier and aggressive stance for their songs, a move on the evidence of their debut EP War With You (Война с самим Собой), that gives the band an even stronger platform to make the a wide impression.

Recently signed with GlobMetal Promotions and working on their debut album for a release later this year, Steik make their introduction with a trio of songs that in varied guises shows the strength and rich promise of a band with all the elements to claim that larger recognition. It also fires up sure intrigue for their forthcoming full-length release which you can only suspect will make another strong step in the evolving presence of the band.

The Wings (Крылья) is a gentle stroking of the ear and emotions, melodic carvings from the guitar and vocal harmonies between Koldirev and the backing voices, female and male, an emotive invitation that without lighting any fires inside holds attention from start to finish and grips tighter as energy and passion raise their heads across the song.  There is a sense of shadow from the bass and subsequent elevated tones which ensures further intrigue has a part in the skilfully crafted encounter for pleasing results and overall it is a track which provides a worthwhile use of time more than anything else.

The other two songs on the EP though are another matter, both muscular and hungry tracks which show the real might of the band.  Choosing on My Own (Выбираю Cам) opens on a deliciously throaty mix of bass resonance and heavy guitar, which instantly shifts into artillery bred riffs and rapping beats. It is a demanding and commanding start soon built upon by excellent keys and the grooved enterprise of the guitars. With again vocals impressing and the song merging classic rock and metal into an infectious and captivating persuasion, the track finds a firm connection and impact on thoughts and emotions, especially when it seduces some symphonic elements and fiery metallic strikes to add their voice.

If not already convinced the title track ensures that the release and band are to be taken as an emerging force. A great enticing guitar tease opens up the appetite before things turn into an industrial flamed welcome, but as already evident things will not take one simple path and the song moves through a stretch of heavy metal and melodic rock filtered through a gripping blaze of groove metal aggression. It is an excellent fascination of a song that reinforces the band as one to keep a close eye upon, especially when their album comes out. Best track on the release, it alone sparks that hunger and the thought that there is also still much more within for the band to explore.

Though lyrically, due to songs being sung in Russian, things are a mystery it makes little difference to the pull and appeal of War With Yourself. It is a release which makes a strong and impressive introduction to the band and an appetising taster for their album. To leap into the wider fields of awareness it might be the album which is the trigger rather than this EP but you sense that the band is on course for that success at some point.

7.5/10

RingMaster 20/06/2013

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Seneron – Order Restored EP

seneron_promo_3

Northern Ireland band Seneron is a confrontation which brawls with the ear, their attack loaded with honest and raw rock ‘n’ roll that only goes to make for a richly satisfying and energetic encounter. Their new EP Order Restored consists of four songs which stand face to face with the listener and treat them to a riot of big rhythms, caustic riffing, and melodic flaming. Though not without flaws, it is a release which marks the card for a band which is ripe with promise and accomplished enterprise.

From Derry, the quartet made a strong impact on the local underground scene with debut EP Well Driven, the release helping to ignite an eager and, though small, potent fan base for the band. Order Restored has the armoury and feisty charm to take that awareness to greater levels and already the release has caught the attention of US radio in Cleveland and Ohio. Recently signed to GlobMetal Promotions for a worldwide management deal, Seneron is poised to take their fusion of metal, rock, and punk to stronger recognition across 2013 as the release and tours around the UK and Ireland, as well as festivals, provokes more to succumb to their eventful fury.

Opening song Please Me is a deceptive beast initially, a teasing riff and bass probing wrapped in a rhythmic ticking leaving a sense artworks-000037125684-j76vvd-cropof confident safety before the massive beats and hungry riffs open up their rampage and put the record straight. It is a fire coursing riot, punk hooks and barbs lining the contagious hooks whilst the vocals of John Shields assisted by bassist Ivor Ferris rile up the senses along with the rapacious riffs. It is a song soaked in virulent infectiousness and inventive enterprise which whilst holding no surprises leaves appetite and passions exhausted with big grins on their greedy faces.

The following Stand Your Ground opens up with the vocals of Shields against a lone guitar, their union luring in the ear with a distinct if not for personal tastes a potent invitation. Vocally the guitarist takes a little getting used to and never really persuades though as on the opener in the height of an octane driven confrontation he has the perfect gruff abrasiveness for that style of attack. Here though his range and craft is limiting though as the song with exceptional guitar play from he and Chris Towe opens up a further furnace of energetic passion, his vocals find a healthier and rewarding home later into the track. The song itself musically is a riveting slice of grunge tinged metal, a hard rock ease adding to the appeal of the offering.

    Dead Stare offers a similar start to its predecessor but is soon elevating its energy and intensity to gripping levels with crisp rhythms from drummer John Hamilton guiding the again impressive guitars and prowling bass into a formidable venture. The vocals again are fluctuating in their success but never scar or deflate the power of the song, its harsh and vigorous meld of rock and metal impossible to avoid finding great satisfaction in.

The closing Just A Kid is another which comes with strong familiarity and though it is fair to say there is nothing on the EP which has not been unearthed before, like the EP it is an insatiable storm of impressive craft and contagious enterprise. Across the release there is also a similarity to the songs and their construction though all equally have enough to be distinct in each other’s company whilst lighting up the ear with strong songwriting and subsequent stylish realisation.

The Order Restored EP is not going to set the rock world ablaze but should take Seneron to a stronger deserved recognition and hopefully opportunities to expand their promising sound even further.

http://www.seneron.com/

7/10

RingMaster 28/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Full Throttle-Roads Of Life EP

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The Roads Of Life EP, from Russian band Full Throttle is a release which combines hard rock and heavy metal with other assisting flames, for an encounter which fires up the senses with ease, its high octane melodic fuel and forceful energy spilling over for an engaging and invigorating ride which would enhance any intensive road trip. It is a release which admittedly offers little new in barrier breaking but easily feeds any appetite for melodic metal bred by passion and invention.

Full Throttle was formed in 2004 in Kaluga and initially had a softer metal sound which with a change of personnel of the years evolved with a harder more aggressive breath. 2005 saw the band’s debut album Lie released to strong responses but was followed by a three year hiatus for the band from 2007 due to internal disagreements. The band returned in 2010 and soon was working towards a second album which due to difficulties was reduced to this EP and an impressive release it is too. Taking influences from the likes of Manowar, Nightwish, Metallica, Sonata Arctica as well as Russian bands Aria and Kipelov into its own invention, the three track release makes a powerful persuasion offering all the spices which could see the band find the widest awareness and with the band recently signing up with GlobMetal Promotions, it is hard not to feel that the band will soon be garnering strong interest and a wealth of eager new fans.

Full Throttle’s songs find seeds in the ideology of the biker’s movement: freedom, speed, the choice between life and death, not that we could tell as the songs are all sung in Russian, though not any issue of course. The opening title track revs up with sturdy riffs and crisp rhythms whilst keys and the melodic tease of the guitars enflame the air with sonic colour. It is an immediately appealing introduction which settles down into an energetic charge across the plane of the song with expressive winds from the keys and powerful female vocals astride a spine of heavy intensive riffing. Though lacking a groove or hook to make it strongly contagious the accomplished and fiery song has an infection about it which potently entices and recruits deep satisfaction. It is a richly pleasing and stylish cruise of intensity to start things off.

The following Crying Soul changes tact and stance of the release instantly, its emotive beauty and symphonic whispers an impacting elegance within the strong hungry melodic flames which skilfully shoot into the roof of the song. The keys are especially enchanting whilst the vocals have a bite to their again open beauty and harmonic grace, their presence epitomising the blend of light and intimidation seemingly prowling the track. It is a soulful and powerful song showing the diversity of the band and their adeptness at fusing gentle and vigorous embraces for one enriching confrontation.

The closing Night Fraternity is cored by the sound of bikes as they speed off into the horizon with the song gripping their tails with eager riffs and hungry rhythms. It is a simple but wholly effective attack which has a punk growl to its incessant drive and a metal aggression to its sinews. An excellent acidic groove makes its play mid song to complete the impressive temptation of what is the best song on the release.

When Full Throttle gets to make that second album there will be plenty eagerly waiting to climb on board with it thanks to the Roads Of Life EP, us for one.

Read Full Throttle’s Interview with Kostya Aronberg @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/exhausting-speed-an-interview-with-full-throttle-by/

7.5/10

RingMaster 21/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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An artful splendour: Interview with Dani of Crimson Blue

Dani - Crimson Blue

Russian nu art metallers Crimson Blue is a band with a distinct and individual sound and one who released one of the more impressive and enthralling albums of last year in the splendid Innocence. Fusing nu-metal grooves with irresistible essences of symphonic metal and the unique character of art rock, the album was a thrilling and captivating engagement with a passionate imagination and invention. We had the pleasure of finding more out about a band, whose album was our first introduction to them, and their innovative sound and release by talking with vocalist and keyboard player Dominica “Dani” Hellstrom.

Hi, welcome to The Ringmaster Review and thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Firstly tell us about the members of Crimson Blue and how the band begun.

Hello everyone!

Well, let me introduce the band.

Dani — keys, vox, music, lyrics. Has been the part of Crimson Blue since the very beginning.

Alex — bass guitar and great stage presence.

Iggy — guitars, effects. Another veteran of the band operates an 8-string monster.

Jenn — drums and cool sympho arrangements.

Tim — guitars. Joined us recently

Back in 2009, we started as a progressive band and spent a lot of time looking for musicians with the same likes, King Crimson, Genesis,Crimson Blue Yes, etc. We tried to compose some complicated polyrhythmical pieces of music, and the result sounded like really bored Tool. Time passed, we learned to like groove metal riffing and symphonic beauty — and our music changed. We went through a period of djent idolizing Meshuggah then came some nu metal madness, and our guitars sounded like the ones of Korn — and so on. Now we’ve finally came to what may be named «the original Crimson Blue style», and I hope our second album will at last sound like true Nu Art Metal.

Are the inspirations which brought the band to life still as strong and active now or have they evolved into a different intent?

In some way, yes. They remain somewhere deep inside, and sometimes we have to fight them not to make our new song too «prog» or too «nu».

Looking more in depth at your introduction, your music is described as Nu Art Metal, can you elaborate on the term for us and how would you say your music has evolved since its beginnings to the release of your debut album Innocence?

It’s quite easy to explain. Imagine classical art rock harmonies, the soundscapes, ambient, but living atmosphere — and mix it with nu metal grooves and noises.

Actually, that was the main change in our music since the very beginning of the band — the hardest thing was to learn not to write 7-minutes epics one after another. We’ve learned to express ourselves more laconically, but still not primitive

The line-up in the early days of the band was quite unstable, is that fair to say?

It’s fair to say that our line-up is a bit puzzle. The three more-or-less permanent members of the band are me, Iggy and Alex. We’ve changed few drummers and more than few guitarists. The trouble is the working process in Crimson Blue has always been a challenge. You have to devote quite a considerable part of your life to make progress. Concerts, rehearsals, shootings, recording sessions, all the things…you learn to do all the things — or you’ll be left behind, that’s what we’ve learned.

Was this situation something which you would say held the band back or simply shaped its focus?

I think our course became more clear and distinct, despite all the difficulties that we’ve faced. We’ve learned a lot of things about the bands life here, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, and now we’re ready to go on rocking whatever happens!

1608197713-1Was this the period of your demo Iceland? Tell us about the release and what it brought and you learned which helped with Innocence?

The demo period was the first time we faced the studio! We’ve recorded a few tracks, but the mixing process stopped, we couldn’t find a sound engineer to do the work. So the release had to be delayed. Then I came up with some electronic tracks that we also wanted to share with our audience. Still nothing happened; we kept making songs and doing nothing to introduce them. Then one day we said — ok, that’s enough, let’s finally do this!

The main thing that we’ve learned was like that — everything, absolutely everything including cover art, promo, etc. — must be done in time. It helped us to present «Innocence» very much.

When did the musicians who now make up Crimson Blue come together and did this ‘new blood’ and stability naturally give an energy and new direction to the band and Innocence?

The current line up gathered in summer 2012, when Jenn joined us. He brought some beautiful orchestral soundscapes along! We started using phonograms on our gigs; our sound became more fresh and aesthetic.

Tim came to us this autumn; he’s got a charming smile and plays terrific noises!

Tell us about the inspiration to the songs and also the recording experience for Innocence.

The inspiration is everywhere. Partly in music that we listen to, partly in some experience we get from life and each other.

The recording was like a factory work! We’ve been spending twenty-four hours a day in studio for a month. I’ve recorded incredible amounts of vocals. The guitarist had to work in shifts. The keyboard parts were recorded in the last two days in almost surreal atmosphere of forthcoming finale.

How do songs come to life within the band, what is the writing process generally?

Usually our songs start with melodies. I think of one, then harmonize it, then think of its name. Then it is being taken to our rehearsing studio where we work on the arrangement

The music within Innocence is a varied creature. What and who have been the major influences for you as musicians and band?

Let me remember… Well, some of the names are Tool, Yes, Korn, Pain Of Salvation, Meshuggah

Our favourite track on the album is L.M.A.; a song we felt was a raptorial encounter which brought essences of Korn, Animal Alpha, and The Faceless into a new invention. Tell us more about the song and its seeds.

Well, L.M.A. is an example of how the music you’re listening to may generate a new track. It started with the chorus, and firstly there’s been a Russian version, translated just about «me, I’m rising from ashes, I’m rising from ashes». It was a period when female-fronted alternative in Russian was very popular, and we were really sick of it! So the song came as a protest. Then we thought, why not make it in English? And so we did. L.M.A. is one of the few songs born during the rehearsal.

Many bands with a renowned strength in their live performances, which you have, fail to translate that to their recordings. Do you feelCrimson Blue you have managed that or see them as different faces to the band which need a different approach?

To be a cool band you need to perform cool and sound equally cool in the studio, I think. We are not scared of the album work and we’re going to do or best in gaining impressive and rich records.

You recently linked up with GlobMetal Promotions/management, how has that impacted on the band to date?

We’ve received a lot of reviews for «Innocence»; the promoter also helps us much with some gig arranges. This is our first experience in such kind of cooperation, and we like it. We hope GlobMetal will help us get our music all around the globe.

How is the metal scene in Russia right now in context to European metal which seems on a real high?

There are a lot of great metal bands here, although it’s really hard to get to the audience. The thing is the tradition of going to clubs for a live show is not quite Russian. So you have to think of something really dramatic to get your fans out of their flats!

What are your hopes and plans for Crimson Blue in 2013?

We’re going to release our 2nd studio album somewhere in the Autumn, make a few videos, maybe some electronic internet-singles. We hope to go on tour at last, we’ve been dreaming of travelling with our music since the very beginning of the band!

And of course we will keep on playing live and making our shows more and more impressive. It’s the best thing that you get from music — the response from your audience.

A big thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Any last thoughts you would like to leave us and the readers?

Thank you for the interview!

And to all of you readers — get art, stay metal, take care!

Lastly tell us where you dream of playing one day and the bands which would make it the perfect gig line-up.

One day you’ll see us performing at Wembley, joined by Meshuggah, Nightwish and Korn. That will be a good day!

The RingMaster Review 25/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mourning Shadows: an interview with Serge Ghoustly and Elena Supi from I Miss My Death

i miss my death

Following the release of their acclaimed first album At Her Funeral, Russian gothic doom band I Miss My Death stepped into a wider recognition. With the news that they are planning to work on its follow-up next year, guest interviewer Kostya Aronberg of Globmetal Promotions, grabbed the opportunity to find out more about the proposed album and the band itself by talking to vocalists Elena and Serge.

Hello Elena and Serge, and welcome to The RingMaster Review. How are you, guys?

Serge: Hello, RingMaster. We are fine, thank you.

I must confess to you it is the first time I have had the chance to interview a married couple that sings together in the same band :) Can you please tell me firstly how you met and what led to you both deciding to form the band?

Serge: We met at the beginning of 2009. I Miss my Death had been already formed and was searching for a keyboarder. Elena first joined us in this post, and after, became also a vocalist. Creative relationship developed into a romance, and soon we became a couple and a managing face of I Miss my Death.

Let us talk about your music style. How would you describe your music and within which music genre in your opinion do you find a home?

Serge: At the beginning of the band existence, our genre matched mostly classic gothic doom metal; however, over time and the advent of new musicians, he has evolved into a gothic death doom. Recently, more and more manifest notes of gothic metal.

Elena: More broadly, our music is a philosophy of the beauty of love and death. “Family voice”, symbiosis of heavy guitar riffs and melodic keyboards – all this only emphasizes the whole dark atmosphere. Music of I Miss my Death is more than just soundset.

I Miss My Death, tell us about the name and why you chose it for the band?

Serge: We chose this name because of its compliance with our music. It symbolizes the ancient vampire who grasped eternity, 2survived his death, has known all of his life, eventually tired of it, and as something sublime and unique, misses about his death.

Through the years the band has changed a lot of members. Why have so many musicians left the band and how long does it take you to find new members?

Elena: In our country, playing metal music is unprofitable so many people prefer a good paying job to music. But it’s really easy to find a new musician – there are a lot of talented people in our country. From another side, it’s hard to find optimal person, who plays good, organized, communicated and likes the music he plays.

Serge: We have very good team at this moment, but this is result of hard searching work.

The band has announced that it is going to record a new album next year. What can you tell us about the writing process of it so far?

Serge: Yes, we are going to represent a new album next year. We were expecting for this moment for several years, and hope to surprise our listeners. The writing process has not begun yet, but we have already completed negotiations with the studio recording, produced material and in December will begin recording.

The new album is going to be in the same vein as your first album “At Her Funeral” or is anything going to change?

Elena: The new album differs from our old material. I think, it is better, of course. It will show amazing symbiosis of death doom and gothic metal. As for me, it’s something new for our market. The album is interesting also because of huge participation of other band members, whose influence made songs more fresh and completed.

The band sings in your Russian language but the album title was in English. Why did you decide to go with an English title?

Elena: Well, “…At Her Funeral” consists songs in Russian, in English and in Latin (Ave Maria). The title we album got from the name of one of the English songs from this album, which mostly compliance its atmosphere. The next album will consist of only English songs.

Serge: The title is English because we were looking to the future. The songs in Russian because most our listeners live in post-soviet countries.

Thanks for the interview. Any last words you want to pass to our readers and your fans?

Elena: We hope to visit your country with a concert in near future. Listen to good music that makes your heart beat faster. And, of course, follow us on.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Miss-my-Death/247040681993485

Crimson Blue : Innocence

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Russian metallers Crimson Blue are tagged as nu art metal, another arguably unnecessary musical label which has popped up in recent times as bands try to find a unique corner of their very own from where they can be noticed. It is not the most inspiring of terms to be honest but if you dismiss the band because of it then you would be making one mighty mistake as the Moscow quintet has released one of the best releases of the past twelve months. Fusing the most essential nu-metal grooves with the dazzling splendour of symphonic metal and the bewitching majesty of art rock, the band has created an album where imagination and inventive originality is a raging passion. It is a sensational release which at times is a familiar heart borne friend and in other moments sheer innovation igniting aural rapture whilst leaving a stirring sonic balm over the senses.

As well just having released their album Innocence the band has signed a management deal with GlobMetal Promotions and you can only feel things are primed to explode into world recognition for a band which has its seeds back in around 2007. Formed by vocalist and keyboard player Dominica “Dani” Hellstrom and guitarist Iggy Hans the band started out under the name Tragic Raven. The band merged the musical interest and passions of the members to forge a new and adventurous style with early songs holding a Tool like sound to their presences. The first couple of years saw instability with many line-up changes until the spring on 2009 where the found that constant to their core and re-emerged as Crimson Blue. As interest in the band grew across the internet and from their strong live performances, the band set about working on debut album Innocence. As a self-released CDR and download, the album came out in the closing eyes of December last year leading the band to even greater interest not only from fans but labels too. Summer of 2012 gave the album a proper CD release as recognition fired up further and with the new management deal in place the band are set to turn 2013 their own shade of hue.

Taking sounds and styles across the seventies through to the nineties with plenty of modern energies and thoughtfulness, the five piece of Dani Hellstrom, Iggy Hans, Stan Lee (guitar), Andrew Barique (drums), and Alex Verge (bass), the band since the recording going through another line-up change, s created a release which echoes the likes of Korn, Devin Townsend, Audioslave, and Nightwish with strong whispers of classic art rock bands. It is a stunning sound which plays in the heart so much more powerfully and enjoyably than it looks in print.

As soon as the cold kisses of Iceland crystalize on the ear soon speared by a dramatic piano, attention is focused in only one 1608197713-1direction and as soon as the melodic flames and immediately jaw dropping bass sound of Verge prowls within the brewing sonic weaves nothing comes between thoughts, emotion, and song. Settling into an emotive breath with the wonderful and potent vocals of Hellstrom covering the still formidable basslines and melodramatic keys, the track just mesmerises whilst caressing tenderly with symphonic beauty and warm melodic elegance. It is an exceptional entrance into what emerges as an unpredictable and eclectic release. The song at times makes muscular suggestions through rhythms and riffs to ensure an air of confrontation is never too far away setting one up perfectly for its successor, especially with its closing Halloween like tingle of keys and inciting acidic guitar rub.

L.M.A. is outstanding; a track which though challenged throughout holds ‘best of’ honours. Its initial scorched rock swagger is soon ripped up into a raptorial encounter of bruising riffs and a groove which gnaws at the senses like those classic ones Korn used to unleash. The vocal storm of expressive vocals and oppressive heavy chewing riffs and thumping rhythms plays like a mix of Animal Alpha and The Faceless for further irresistible flavour to the staggering recipe.

Tracks like the sinew twisting Flax and the masterful Nagual with its progressive enterprise wrapping around the persistently pulsating growl of the song transport one into further thrilling and unpredictable diverse fiery engagements. Each and every song can be acclaimed with those same qualities, the blend of melodic imagination and creative invention breath taking at times and always enthralling. Further pinnacles come with the sinister and hypnotic H.U. Lab, a track bringing the key essences of Meshuggah, Opeth, and Karnivool together for thoroughly compelling rewards, and the epic emotive force that is Haesitatio. Every song deserves a mention though, each rippling with immense craft, inventive songwriting, and pure skill from the surging and glorious vocals of Hellstrom and her senses wrapping keys, the continually adventurous guitars, and the guiding rhythms of drums and that permanently  delicious bass.

Innocence is aural excellence and Crimson Blue only deserving of the fullest acclaim. The recommendation that all should go and discover this triumphant release cannot be shouted loud enough.

https://www.facebook.com/crimsonblueband

RingMaster 17/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lost In Alaska: Time Of Solution EP

A sonic canker as contaminating as it is toweringly impressive, the Time Of Solution EP from Russian deathcore band Lost In Alaska is a magnificent and rewarding assault on the senses. It devours and consumes with enterprise and skilled invention to leave one gasping for breath but basking in the intrusive experience.

Formed in 2008, Lost In Alaska consists of five musicians who ‘took up one of the heaviest directions in music to express what they actually feel – that was the pain of disappointment and pain of salvation.’ They immediately set about creating music which would demand and earn strong attention and responses, their debut EP Words Full Of Ice of 2009 a well received piece of brutality from fans and fellow local bands alike. Similarly their debut album of last year Zodiac lifted their stock to build on their enhanced and elevated reputation across the years from their immense shows and performances alongside the likes of Norma Jean, Caliban, Napalm Death, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Sonic Syndicate, and Tasters Choice. Recently the band signed a management deal with GlobMetal Promotions and whilst listening to Time Of Solution you can only feel this is the time of and big step into the widest recognition, certainly the key to its lock. Consisting of three colossal tracks of power and invention, the release out via Headxplode Records, is a devastating and rewarding slab of nasty, vindictive, and satisfying intensity.

     The Inevitable Changes is the first to bruise the ears and beyond, its incendiary energy and abrasive guitar flames instantly mesmeric and eager to continue their charm from within the soon to envelop and blister thunderous rhythms and annihilatory riffs. The emerging groove is irresistible and still whispers in the ear when it makes way for the offensive beats and sonic intrusions. Though a full abrasion and dripping malice, the song shares a great melodic solo which is as cutting as the forceful weight of the assault surrounding it is oppressive, the song greedy to engage and intimidate. Ivan Nikolaev growls and scowls with anger and spite, his vocals dripping bile from each syllable to match and drive further the aggression and vindictive nature of the track.

It is a taunting and barbarous beginning easily supported by the title track. It is another insatiable absorption of light and safety, the carnivorous bass and vicious rhythms gnawing and resonating bone whilst the guitars of Maxim Zadorin and Vladislav Suharev scar and set flame to the senses with their sonic fires and imaginative unpredictable ingenuity. Like the release as a whole, the song twists and turns without warning but ensures the onslaught never loses its impact or might. Like the first it is unrelenting and leaves thoughts and senses mere husks beneath its violent tempest.

The closing Pursuit Of Happiness is no different, its effect and immense strength a continuation of previous songs though its body is distinct in its structure and gait with a breath as inventively depraved and wonderfully corrupt as before. The pulsating air of the song burns like acid within the molten fire of energy and aggression to bring further variety and imagination to the release. As across the EP the drums of Antony Poddyachiy show no mercy or lack of invention whilst bassist Alex Kurochkin is a hungry beast snarling and biting from within the collision of hateful intensity and unbridled aggression.

The Time Of Solution EP is an outstanding release showing that Lost In Alaska is one of the more accomplished and impressive deathcore bands around, there time is nigh.

https://www.facebook.com/lostinalaskaband?fref=ts

RingMaster 15/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright