Iron riffs and heavy passions: Introducing Wölfrider Interview

Wölfrider

Hailing from Wrocław, Polish heavy metal band Wölfrider drew outside attention to match that at home with the release earlier this year of their self-titled debut EP via Goetic Records. Packed with four tracks which charge ears with tsunami like strength and sonic voracity, the release was a sign post to the broader emergence of the band. Grabbing the chance to find out more about the band we had the pleasure to chat with vocalist Rafał ‘Rambo’ Gębicki and drummer Bartek Dolewski.

Hi guys and thank you for talking with us.

Can you tell us about the beginnings of the band?

Rambo: The core of the band came out from previous project called Clairvoyant. Guys wanted to play something new under new name. This was the beginning of 2012 when I joined them. After a month of rehearsals we played the first show. A few months later with ready material we entered the studio to record our Wölfrider EP. Everything has happened in leaps and bounds.

You sculpt your songs with an energy and passion which recalls traditional heavy metal at its purest. What are the major inspirations to band and its members?

Rambo: Most of our influences come from Western Europe, Heavy Metal Gods like Running Wild, Grave Digger, Accept, Judas Priest, but you can hear also some of the ‘epic’ ones – Bathory, Manilla Road. Each of us draws from other sources, for example, it may be Iron Maiden, Exodus, Iced Earth and even Death.

What are the backgrounds and experiences Wölfrider members brings to the band?

Bartek: We’ve got quite big experience during our activity as Clairvoyant…lots of gigs, developing songwriting, improving process of managing a band, and so on. As we progress we started the new band with a blank card so to speak yet locked and loaded. Rambo comes from Deversor and he had lots of work to do, because his singing style and technique had to be changed to the new material. Since only vocalist changed we all knew each other very well and there were no surprises – just going further in music.

There is a great metal scene in Poland it seems from the outside but hard to find that wider recognition for bands there. How have you found it?

Bartek: Well you have to remember that most of metal musicians in Poland have normal regular jobs and it’s hard to focus on your job, paying attention to your musicianship, and any promotional actions at once. So you have to have really organised way of doing your things. The second important factor is of course money. And currency exchange. If someone wants to be recognised outside his/hers country most probably has to pay for publishers – in Euro, USD or GBP. That could be very expensive due to rate of exchange and that money could be spent on something else for band, like a good audio equipment to practice better etc.

Tell us about your debut EP which recently came out via Goetic Records.Wölfrider2

Rambo: Okay, so long story short. We recorded, mixed and mastered our EP in DIY style. Later on some kind of distribution was needed and we mailed to couple of indie record labels (major ones didn’t give a fuck about us). Goetic Records from Canada owned and ruled with pride by awesome guy – Kosta Bayss – he helped us with promotion and digital distribution. I guess we are the only one non-black metal band over there but it’s not a big deal for us – it’s more like an underground family. Back in the day – yeah, a couple of months ago, fucking ancient times – Goetic Records had nothing to do with releasing physical CDs due to some limitations. Now Kosta can sell his bands like a boss over the Internet on classic CD packs, you have to check it out.

Though all track stand out Hearts of Iron steals its extra share of the glory for us. Give us some background to the song.

Rambo: Our music mastermind – Kamil – is a huge fan of strategy PC games so guess where the name comes from. You can Google it. This one particular song was written by him, we just got music sheet, changed almost nothing at all – somehow it started to have its drive and vibe. Most of our stuff is done after many trials and errors on rehearsal room. Not this one. Maybe we shoot jackpot with Hearts of Iron.

Does the EP sum up your sound or are there already new surprises waiting to be unleashed in your next release?

Rambo: EP is just an introduction to Wölfrider’s realm. In the next album we’ll include a couple of licks for fans, not exactly new material – you can hear it already at gigs. First of all – we got our sound tuned way lower than typical Heavy Metal band…mostly due to Deceiver Of The Gods by Amon Amarth. So that’s quite unique for our type of music – tuning in B-Standard is common among extreme metal bands. On the other hand my singing style has changed – it’s much more modulated. Some ideas have to be re-visited and full album release needs more brainstorming but don’t worry, it’s gonna be shitting thunders and blasting metal – pure heavy as Polish vodka. You know, we are trying to be as honest in our music as possible. We have nothing to lose anyway.

What is the live scene like for you and metal in general in Poland?

Bartek: I think it’s about the other countries. There are really few people from seriously pro bands signed to major record labels that are making living from the metal music. Average, casual guys like us have to be as much accountants as musicians to make everything works. About metal scene in Poland? I may be wrong and controversial but I think that extreme metal bands and thrash metal guys have way more attention. Lots of independent indie record labels are interested in death/black metal bands and looks like there are more shows for that kind of metal. And thrash metal has its own renaissance – but it’s just mine opinion based on my observations. Hopefully most of metal heads aren’t strictly bounded to one kind of metal and you can see Cannibal Corpse fans at some classic heavy metal gig.

There is roar and power to the EP which suggests the songs live are real wall shakers. On stage is where the real magic happens for the band?

Wölfrider3Bartek: First of all thank you for really cool opinion about our music. It’s always pleasure to have that kind of description about the EP, this is what we intended you and other fans to feel.

We try to do our best on stage and work on our presence as much as on technical and musician skills. We play for quite a time and definitely can hear and feel band mates playing, correct something messed up – you know – and just have great time showing people that we love to play metal and have fun on stage. We work really hard to not just be another boring band with bunch of dudes that’s stay the entire show in one spot and not even look at the audience. Metal used to be – and still is – about aggression and playing loud. Most of all about raw energy, this is the root, the foundation of rock ’n’ roll music. If there is no Ultimate Power Armageddon on stage (in positive way) then you’re doing it wrong, son.

What is coming up for Wölfrider in 2015 and from you for fans?

Rambo: We plan to play as many shows as possible. Your band cannot be real and serious without gigging for real fans – world is not limited to Internet. We have booked a couple of events related to “tribute to Bathory” since we are huge Quorthon fans. More details should be soon. That’s about performing live. We would love to present just a little sneak-peak of our upcoming full album by releasing a single – maybe along with video clip. That would be a real killin’ teaser that will show just a little the way that we’re heading with our music.

Once again thanks for the interview, anything you would like to add?

Bartek: Yeah, whoring for views, subscriptions and likes on social media websites. Check us out on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolfrider.band

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/wolfriderofficial

Bandcamp: https://wolfriderband.bandcamp.com/

Goetic Records: http://www.goeticrecords.com/

I want to add that we know that there are bunch of our fans outside Poland, even outside Europe. For those people and many others we have an idea to live stream our gigs on YouTube or other platform – so please, wait for news!

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/12/2014

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Forged In Black – The Exodus

Forged in Black Online Promo Shot

Though UK heavy metallers Forged In Black is far from being a new band, they have found a new shift and exploration in their sound and thoughts which has led to a relatively recent name change, a renaming which reflects line-up changes and this progression in sound. Their new encounter is The Exodus EP, a release consisting of one brand new track and a couple of early demos of older songs. It is sure to be a tonic for all fans of adventurous classic metal, imposing riffs, and flesh scoring vocals, whilst for the rest it still has enough to stir attention.

The band began in 2009 under the name Merciless Fail, emerging with the intent to merge traditional heavy metal with a unique contemporary essence. The band swiftly earned a strong reputation for their live performances, playing both Bloodstock Festival and the main stage at Red Roar Festival in 2012 and going on to win Metal to the Masses and Band Quest competitions. 2013 was the band’s most successful to date, playing Metal Gods Festival 2013 alongside the likes of Beholder and Savage Messiah, supporting Skreamer and again Beholder, and re- releasing acclaimed debut album Forged in Black. As the following and similarly well-received The Tide EP, the album came out last year for its second outing, two years after the first appearance and under the new band name. It was the four-track EP which showed a suggestion of a twist in the band’s sound, something far more pronounced and exploratory now with the Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Sylosis, Bullet For My Valentine) recorded The Exodus.

The opening melody of the title track is simple bewitchment, a potent lure reinforced by the emerging stride of imposing rhythms and climatic swipes of guitar. There is a definite thrash breath coverto the track once fully in view, an early Metallica essence to ignite imagination and appetite. It is swiftly infused with heavily toned riffs and the rich vocals of Chris Storozynski, his classic style standing eye to eye with the rugged elements of the track but matching the acidic sonic flames around him. A great bruising vocal backing from bassist Kieron Rochester badgers the fiery tones of Storozynski as they lie on the skilled weave set by guitarists Tim Chandler and Andy Songhurst. The track ebbs and flows with its driving torrents and dramatic crescendos, providing a fascinating encounter offering something for thrash, classic, and heavy metal fans and as suggested previously enough for even those not as enamoured in the genres to find intrigue in.

A 2013 demo of Accusations Of The Innocent is next, the original track having previously featured on album and last EP. Once again a thrash invention helps open up ears and focus before the track spreads into more classical metal scenery wrapped with a creative web of guitars and spicily delivered vocals. Again there is plenty to get your teeth into even if the track feels a little reined in compared to its predecessor. With a cauldron of impressing guitar craft and invention courted by the excellent punching rhythms of Joshua Moreton, the song before it makes way for the 2011 demo of the song Forged In Black, shows exactly why the band has inspired such a potent fan base and reputation. Its successor instantly reveals the rich seeds and bait which has been persistent within the band from their start. Comparisons to the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Black Sabbath come with the mention of the band’s name and it is easy to see why with the closing song. Muscular and sonically sultry, it has feet and neck muscles pumped whilst the operatic calls of Storozynski finds a welcome home in the rich melodies veining the incitement.

The Exodus is a release to put a smile on all heavy metal fans but as shown especially by its lead song, it also has the potential to awaken strong appetites in those less taken with its core breeding, a potency shown by it persuading our less than enthused tastes for classic metal and its vocal styling.

The Exodus is available through all stores from December 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/forgedinblacks

RingMaster 01/12/2014

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Metal Moth – Rise EP

Rise Artwork

Though the band name might not have convinced yet, there was no such problem with the aggressive incitement unleashed by UK metallers Metal Moth on their Rise EP. The band’s debut is four slabs of classic metal bullied and twisted into a rampage of modern melody enriched rock ‘n’ roll. It has more familiarity than originality to its potency and presence but this only fuels the potential and thorough enjoyment given by the heavily flavoursome entrance of the band.

Formed in 2012, Metal Moth was soon stomping across country and venues with their adrenaline fuelled barbarous sounds. An enthusiastically growing fan base came hand in hand with their emergence, one sure to be reinforced and accelerated with the release of the Rise, the first of three consecutive EPs. Band and release ignite appetite and imagination within seconds as opener Moth To The Flame stands toe to toe with ears, flinging weighty rhythms and sinew crafted riffs with antagonistic intent. It is a ferocious start which only intensifies as the riffing and heavily swinging beats stampede with flared nostrils across the senses. Around this assault invention mischievously offers acidic grooves and a deliciously carnal bassline whilst vocally Kurt Hudson excels with his melodic yet snarled delivery. From the merciless swipes of drummer Natalie Gaines to the threatening bass predation provided by David Collinson (who announced his departure from the band in recent days), and the fiery adventure and skilled devilry provided by guitarists Mark Gibbons and Chris Fisher, the track is gripping drama and ruggedly impressive.

The same can be said of the following One More Time, again a proposition which has speakers bulging under its savage rhythmic onslaught and ravenous riffery. Equally there is no escaping the rigorous contagion uncaged within the track or the unpredictable twists and jagged barbarism which gnaw on the senses as wiry flames of melodic endeavour flirt with similarly rapacious intent. It is a full blooded stomp which again has recognisable traits but just as plentiful new designs and invention in its lyrical and sonic provocation.

Melt Down steps up next and immediately is a haze of sonic menace swiftly speared by those pungent beats of Gaines and the crunchy scythes of riffs from the guitars. Either side of that core Metal Moth Pic 2there is the vocal quality and fluid expression of Hudson and the dark predatory tones of Collinson’s bass, each complementing and sparking against the other. It is a blend which magnetically colours the threatening prowl and confrontation of the track, especially when aligned to the intermittent eruptions of melodic and unpredictable intrigue offered by Gibbons and Fisher. Though the song does not brawl with and corrupt the passions at the same strength and immediacy as its predecessors, it reveals more depth to the invention and skills of the band whilst laying down a tasty appetiser for the EP’s finale.

The closing Metal Maniac also takes a more restrained approach to its seducing of ears, the bass rumbling with dark devilry whilst guitars create a web of melodic coaxing. It is not long though before the song settles into a fevered stroll as addictive grooves and hooks provide riveting barbs to the feisty lure of the track. Providing a thrilling end to a just as exciting debut, the track sums up the band and release perfectly, that being rock ‘n’ roll at its instinctive and insatiable best.

If the next pair of EPs matches and confirms the promise and already accomplished quality in skills and sound of the band, it will be impossible not to suggest that as they evolve Metal Moth will be a band playing a big part in the evolution of British metal ahead. To be honest though, if this is as good as it gets there will be few complaints either.

The Rise EP is available digitally now @ http://metalmoth1.bandcamp.com/album/rise

https://www.facebook.com/MetalMoth/

RingMaster 12/11/2014

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Censored – 2014 Demo

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Everything about the sound of UK metallers Censored is heavy; from avalanche like rhythms and thunderously toned vocals to juggernaut riffs and guttural basslines, their music resonates through ears and bone as forcibly as it does the psyche. Squeezing their insatiable sound into four slabs of heavy metal, the band recently released their debut release, the 2014 Demo. It shows that the band plays metal unafraid to infuse healthy doses of hard and punk rock with just as potent mixes of thrash and stoner rock, into its sizeable provocation. The release is raw, uncompromising, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Formed in 1997 by vocalist Big Al and guitarist Paul C (better known as just PC and also founder of Beguiled and Dream Asylum), the Cumbria band, going on the quality of the songs alone on the demo, we assume had a healthy success. There is little background we can find for the band to be honest but we do know at some point Censored called it a day or went on a hiatus only to be resurrected in 2012 by the pair. Joined this time around by bassist Webby, formerly of Mindcrime and Transgression, and drummer Smurf, the band looks like staying around which on the evidence of their Demo is definitely a good thing.

First track, All In My Name instantly tells you all you need to know about the band. From the first touch of a wiry groove followed swiftly by imposing beats and swipes of cantankerous riffs , the band is pressurising and imposing on ears, their heavy presence inescapable from the off. It is a slow build leaving no room for respite which after a delicious wash of corrosive bass intensity, explodes into a feisty stride of thumping rhythms and caustic riffery. The instantly magnetic lure is increased in potency by the rich tones of Big Al and the increasingly dangerously seductive bass growl breathing down the song’s spine. The track continues to stride purposefully, every swipe from Smurf and abrasive torrent of riffing cast by PC inviting hostility, but veined with a just as appealing melodic acidity. Completed by the excellent vocal devilry of Big Al it is a mighty start and introduction to release and band.

It is just a teaser though as swiftly Carbine Thunder sets a greater incitement to greedily devour. With melodically howling guitar aligning with dark voiced bass bait and rhythmic jabbing, the song makes an intimidating and enthralling start. That potency is soon spread across a controlled but challenging in the face roar of sound and vocals, each element reined in with inventive prowess but dripping passion and energy. Prowling around senses and thoughts, the song is a masterful provocation which is as much belligerently punk as it is voraciously metal, whilst a blues rock spicing only adds to the infectious hue and pleasingly unpredictable nature of the encounter.

   N.F.V. comes next, riding in on a swaggering groove through a muffled sonic breeze. From there a melodic bordering on folkish revelry plays with the imagination, before it all merges for a constantly evolving landscape of thrash bred urgency and slower but sizzling emotive ideation. At times the track leaps at the passions and in other moments wanders off from personal tastes, meaning it lacks the spark and strength to match its predecessors but still leaves a fully satisfying proposition to mull over and pick the rich bones from, like the punk endeavour which fuels the bass.

From that slight slip the EP re-ignites with closing track Demon Bones, a blaze of anthemic ingenuity and raw aggression which from its opening rolling thunder of beats and grizzled riffery enslaves ears and passions. Another addiction breeding enticing from Webby sets up fresh hunger in the appetite before the swing of Big Al’s vocals and those of PC’s grooves, invigorates further the wonderfully turbulent and sonically fiery storm twisting heavy metal into a new shade of pleasure.

Censored unleashes metal which nails its balls proudly to the table and roars with as much passion and mischievous enterprise as it can muster. It is raw and rough around the gills but the band’s first demo is an exciting hint of things to come.

https://www.facebook.com/themightycensored

RingMaster 17/10/12014

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A Breach of Silence – The Darkest Road

ABOS - 2013 promopic 1200x1200

Though the tightness of its grip fluctuates across its fourteen roars, The Darkest Road is a creative fury easy to breed a greedy appetite for. Unleashed by Australian metallers A Breach of Silence, it is a tempestuous slab of varied styles and flavours which has been labelled as “powercore”. Melding the potent flavours of metalcore through to post hardcore, heavy metal on to melodic death metal, and we are missing out many more spices, it is a compelling proposition which never gives ears and imagination time to settle or spawn expectations.

The Darkest Road follows the successful and acclaimed debut album Dead or Alive which was released a year ago. With having Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award in the Best Heavy Song category (2012) under their belt, which helped lead the band to signing with Eclipse Records, their first full-length pushed A Breach Of Silence into a new intensive and global spotlight, backed potently by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. Earlier this year the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which took inspiration from their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now The Darkest Road is upon us to stir up ears and thoughts whilst making another impressive step in the ascent of the Brisbane quintet.

Recorded with producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames), The Darkest Road as suggested ebbs and follows in the strength of its certainly unrelenting captivation, sometimes throwing a spanner in the works of getting a handle on songs and the release, but it only adds to the welcome and inventive unpredictability and constantly intriguing nature of the encounter. The album certainly starts with furious gusto and anthemic irresistibility, opener T.P.N.E shoving group shouts through ears before wiry grooves and heavy rumbling rhythms join the emerging storm. The raw and caustic vocal squalls of Rhys Flannery swiftly more in with antagonistic and skilled intent which in turn seems to light a fire in the creative swings of drummer Andrew Cotterell and the similarly vivacious motion of the grooves conjured up by Mat Cosgrove and Kerrod Dabelstein. It is a gripping and incendiary blend which is capped off by the throaty lure of bassist Blair Layt and more so by his outstanding clean vocal delivery. The song offers richly flavoursome and agitated metal of the highest order and an inescapable lure into the creative lair of A Breach of Silence, an entrance backed powerfully by the following title track.

The second song caresses ears with the impressive tones of Layt right away, evocative keys coaxing the invitation before riffs and acidic grooves erupt to trap and steal the passions all over again. As its predecessor, the track is a formidable Printencounter which is unafraid to bewitch and bewilder, seduce and rile, with a unique character seeded in the likes of All That Remains and In Flames. Its stature and temptation is matched by Vultures which strides confidently in next. Another certain anthem with its group calls and raging rhythmic confrontation, the song blazes sonically and vocally from the start, the extremes of voices a perfect union within the similarly blended canvas of predatory and melodically smouldering sounds.

Through the intensive yet warming examination of Silhouette, as the others songs upon The Darkest Road, a hope rich and potent roar against life’s obstacles, the band reveals more of their technical and imagination driven resourcefulness. A scent of Bullet For My Valentine hints throughout the evolving and inventive offering before Hang ‘em High sets its own individual fire within the release. Riffs and rhythms spew anger with their intensive and physical intent whilst Flannery almost brawls with ears through his uncompromising and pleasing vocal antagonism. It is a potent and engrossing song if without the spark of those before it, a comment which can be placed before In Reality We Trust also, though as always with the album it is mostly down to personal taste. The song storms and bleeds spite over the senses with skill and enterprise but it is mainly the vocals from both men which steal the plaudits.

From here the album does not have an identity crisis but definitely wrong-foots with persistence. Though all the tracks so far employed a diverse and varied spicing, they were bred from a fierce extreme metal canvas. The excellent Lost at Sea brings a new bloom of sound, immediately expelling a ‘folkish’ tinge to its air as well as a glorious melodic croon across its potent harmonies and sonic narrative. It is a loud whisper of something different in some ways but helps seed a new hostile and captivating breath to the album, and makes for an enthrallingly textured and majestic slice of persuasion.

   This is the End comes next and instantly spins an engaging sonic and rhythmic web around ears. It is a contagiously compelling weave, guitars and bass a simultaneously welcoming and menacing enticement over which the vocals merge hostile and catchy elements with a classic metal spiced attack. Every chord and rhythmic swipe brings a surprise and unexpected twist, the song emerging as another pinnacle and treat for the album, something Immortal is not. To be fair again it is just a personal thing but its heavy/power metal balladry complete with the genre’s trademark vocals warbles and squeals, just does not find a welcome in these ears though it is easy to hear its qualities and know it will be a favourite with classic metal fans. The song is another unique identity within the character of the album, though to call The Darkest Road schizophrenic would be going too far.

The excellent Hannibal is more from the template of earlier songs, its metalcore voracity and melodic tenacity an infectious and voracious treat which parts for the even heavier and harsher A Place I Know. The song also expels fiery melodic endeavour, again with a more classic spicing, before exploring slimmer post hardcore scenery punctuated with probably the most intensive beats and riffs on the album. It is a song which sets a fire in the belly at times but also lowers its temperature in others, but for intrigue and bold invention it is another notable moment.

Dead and Destroyed is simply brutal, a wall of angst and viciousness which still makes room for vocal croons whilst Krazy Bitch seems to pull in all the things which excites and personally frustrates in the album for a still rather pleasing encounter. The pair leaves the piano and voice sculpted ballad Time Still Remains to close the album, the song a more than decent piece of melodic metal but easy to skip by to get back to the pungent heights the album started on all over again.

The Darkest Road is a striking release, with to be honest any issues found coming from just the individual likes and dislikes we all have in our metal. It is easy to see A Breach of Silence becoming a big player in world metal if this thrilling tempest is anything to go by.

The Darkest Road is available now on Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/a-breach-of-silence-the-darkest-road-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband

RingMaster 10/10/2014

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Viathyn – Cynosure

Viathyn Press Photo 2

With a sound which revolves within a web of progressive, folk, power, and melodic metal, drawing on varying degrees of each essence with every twist of their imagination and invention, Canadian metallers Viathyn present another contagious and gripping proposition with new album Cynosure. Nine individual musical and creative emprises thick, the album presents a fruitful and colourful journey for ears and imagination. Every track is an intriguing and at times demanding proposition with more going on than can be taken in on initial unions. It is an attention wanting enticement though which roars with a melodic tenacity and strolls with muscular flirtation to give the richest rewards.

Formed in 2006, initially as the trio of guitarist Tomislav Crnkovic, guitarist Jacob Wright, and drummer Dave Crnkovic, Viathyn released the instrumental Demagogue EP in 2008. From there the band expanded with bassist Alex Kot coming in, whilst Tomislav added vocals to his duties. Debut album The Peregrine Way was unveiled in 2010 to enthused reactions from fans and media alike. It marked the band out for their songwriting, instrumentation, and equally the storytelling which on the album told the journey of an unnamed wandering man, through the highs and lows of his life. Cynosure is bred from the same creative template, in many ways an obvious continuation of its predecessor rather than providing a startling evolution in sound and intent, but still pushing the limits and enterprise of the band to new riveting and pleasing levels.

The album starts with Ageless Stranger, a track with an epic leaning tone and resourceful melodic scenery from the off. Guitars, keys, and vocal harmonies instantly spawn a radiant yet portentous atmosphere which the jabbing beats of Dave guides with a firm hand, leading it all into a rugged terrain of rampant riffs and concussive rhythms. The song is still swarmed over by the melodic appetite of the keys and guitars though, everything coming together for a maelstrom like tempest of enticement. The strong vocals of Tomislav bring another tempting texture to the mix whilst the fluid craft of Jacob bewitches from within the aggressive stride of the song. It is a pungent and invigorating start which as its successor, as much brings thoughts of a Dommin or Volbeat as it does of bands like Wuthering Heights and KingBathmat. The song is a constantly twisting and unpredictable yet flowing proposition matched by The Coachman.

The second song takes little time to explore a richer folk enterprise to its emerging stride of rock ‘n’ roll, before weaving in just as potent essences of heavy metal and melodic rock. It is impossible not to be drawn right into its vigorous revelry, Album Cover - Viathyn  - Cynosure - 2014every turn and new idea a lure to devour with ease and greed. The brief expulsion of raw growls does not quite work but is a mere instant in a song which vocally and musically simply infects ears and imagination for a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable encounter. There is also a theatrical mischief to the song which is given full clarity at the song’s end before Edward Mordrake thunders in on a storm of rhythmic agitation and fiery sonic temptation. Though not as immediately gripping as its predecessors, the song, with its seamless movement through varied gaits and imaginative endeavours, binds senses and thoughts in its successfully exploratory and surprising expression to keep them hungry and enthralled. The track also raises up slight comparisons to fellow Canadians New Jacobin Club at times, the drama in the skilled invention of the band’s individuals a similar and inescapable persuasion.

As mentioned there is plenty going on to reflect with mere words, this track a prime example as are both the following Shadows In Our Wake and Countess of Discordia, but that richness of depth and often tempestuously unleashed ideation ensures each partaking of a song reveals new aspects and adventures. The first of this pair of songs encloses ears with a heavy aggressive breath though it is soon aligned to an evocative wash of keys and the melodic narrative of the guitars. A thick gothic ambience also coats the song, lingering across the sinew toughened canvas and subsequent dramatic turns within the track whilst the second of the two leads by a great bass coaxing into a heavy and power metal blaze. Whether storming the senses with nostrils flared or seducing with mellower bordering on sinister melodies, the song is a glorious sonic waltz which gets better and bolder with every passing second.

Time Will Take Us All struggles to emulate the success of the previous song but still has ears and thoughts seriously engaged with its opening melancholic caress of keys and guitar, a potency matched by the emotive delivery of Tomislav. It is a song which as all on the album, builds and develops into a different proposition as it proceeds, its gentle climate discovering an imposing turbulence and emotive beauty along the way. It is not a track which lingers as others but provides another gripping tale to immerse within before the excellent folk/power metal escapade of Three Sheets To The Wind steals the passions. With a touch of Alestorm and Tyr to its Celtic folk stomp, the track swiftly recruits unbridled attention. As anthemic as all good power metal triumphs should be, the track soon has body and voice in tandem before exploring a progressive crafted landscape of mystery and invention, to keep ears and thoughts on their toes.

Completed by the dark atmospheric menace of Albedo, an outstanding track which is as predatory as it is sonically radiant and infectiously irresistible, and the closing title track, Cynosure is a peach of an encounter. The last song sums up release and band perfectly, an encounter built on a riotous elegance and creative bedlam honed into something sublime and intricately structured, not forgetting gloriously presented. The album is fun, at times unafraid to let its serious side have a rest, but most of all Cynosure is one of the most enjoyable and enterprising progressive metal releases this year.

The self-released Cynosure is available now @ http://viathyn.bandcamp.com/album/cynosure

http://www.viathyn.com

RingMaster 09/10/2014

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Mausoleum Gate – Self Titled

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Though the band’s self-titled debut album does not grip the passions as rigorously as it might, there is plenty about the new release from Finnish metallers Mausoleum Gate to recommend and breed a healthy appetite for. Spawned in the inspiration of the seventies/eighties heavy metal scene, the band’s release and sound is a skilfully accomplished and magnetic proposition which from an underwhelming start grows to be a potently enjoyable and intriguing encounter within their captivating release.

Formed in 2008 by guitarist Count L.F. and bassist/keyboardist Wicked Ischianus, Mausoleum Gate recorded their debut EP Gateways For The Wicked in 2010, with vocalist V-P. Varpula part of the band’s line-up by this point. After playing that year’s Metal Warning Festival alongside the likes of Sarcofagus and Cloven Hoof, a change in personal saw the current line-up in place with the addition of guitarist Kasperi Puranen and drummer Oscar Razanez alongside the founding pair and Varpula. Last year the band released the well-received Obsessed By Metal 7” with a cassette version of Gateways For The Wicked following whilst 2014 has seen Mausoleum Gate sign with Cruz Del Sur Music for the release of their debut album.

It is a release which makes an impressing statement for the band but starts off with a less than convincing offering in Magic of the Gypsy Queen. To be fair it is more likely personal tastes dictate its failure to persuade but from the gothic caress of keys with haunting child spawned chuckles, the track makes a strong but unsure proposition. Its full entrance grips ears with ease, riffs stirring up attention as grooves flirt with their own baiting. With a heavy bass lure and crisp rhythms and a flourish of keys on board too, it is a captivating engagement but soon losing its edge and tight hold as the vocals of Varpula come in. It should be noted that the singer is an impressive presence but the mix sets him apart from the rest of the song to disrupt the fluency and potency of the song. The music is compelling, especially the excellent guitar enterprise colouring its lure, and vocals alone are strong but together they clash more than work. It is a shame but something which finds a much better balance from hereon in.

The following Demon Droid prowls the senses and imagination with an intimidating pose and ominous breath, riffs and beats predatory before it all erupts into a fiery and antagonistic blaze of heavy metal contagion and adventure. 8032622210712Punchy and with hooks which are as addictive as the melodies are fiery, the song explores its own depths with a progressive breath exploited by the searing invention of the guitars. It is an instant step up for the release which is not quite maintained by the power ballad Lost Beyond the Sun, though it too is equipped with an atmospheric radiance from the keys and the continuing to impress craft and imagination of the guitars. Again there is little to dismiss but just the absence of the spark igniting its predecessor and the next up Mercenaries of Steel which leaves it in their shadow.

The fourth track emerges from rhythmic shadows and a cold ambience to crawl through ears with an intensive examination from riffs and a binding of sonically scorched grooves. This in turn is just a passage into the adrenaline fuelled heart of the song; an Iron Maiden/ Rainbow like weave snarling over and seducing ears. Vocals croon and roar with refreshing expression and harmony as the bass tempts with a throaty growl whilst a seamless switch into a slow progressive exploration by the guitars just bewitches ears and emotions before twisting back into an insatiable and thrilling rampage.

The Kuopio quintet closes the album with its title track, almost twelve minutes of old school heavy metal ingenuity which merges classic genre balladry with a raw and hungry intensity. It is an appealing canvas brought to stronger life by the rich vocal hues and individual musicianship of the band, all combining for a tapestry which spreads and evolves with every minute into an epic and deeply satisfying journey.

Mausoleum Gate, song, album, and band are propositions which worm themselves pleasingly into the passions with every partaking of the accomplished offering. It is not a classic but a release to invite and inspire good attention to a band which has the potential to strike bigger and major heights ahead.

Mausoleum Gate is available now via Cruz Del Sur Music

https://www.facebook.com/MausoleumGate

RingMaster 08/10/2014

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