Hollywood Heads – Self Titled EP

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Sauntering out of Moscow, Hollywood Heads is a band with a swagger to their presence and lustful intention to their heavy metal exploit. Formed in 2011, the quartet has powerfully awoken the eager attention of their local underground scene but now with the help of their self-titled debut EP, the band is ready to break out into a wider spotlight. Inspired by the likes of Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, and Zakk Wylde, their sound is not one bursting with startling originality but it offers boisterous and dirty rock ‘n’ roll which easily lights ears and appetite.

Line-ups changes, as with many bands, has been part of Hollywood Head’s emergence but the EP finds the band at its strongest yet with founding members in bassist Yeti and drummer Dan Mark alongside vocalist Gine King and guitarist Cross_Cover_Hollywood_HeadsFox. The successor to the well-received single Blood City, the EP rocks without any thought of respect or restraint from its first rousing track, the feisty Hollywood Heads. It does not make the most dramatic start but with riffs stirring up air and rhythms prowling with predacious intent, the song makes a strong enough invitation before exploding into a fiery slab of rowdy rock ‘n’ roll with glam rock urges. The slightly wayward tendencies of vocals only add to the energy and excitement brewed in the track whilst guitars unveil a potent craft of sonic endeavour to add fuel to the fire. There are no surprises with the song but plenty to get feet and ears rigorously engaged.

The following Aerogrill is the same, not making shocking statements but igniting body and thoughts with its excellent punkish twang and feverish vivacity around more of those addictive unique vocals. The best track on the release it shows a riveting twist of adventure to the band’s sound. Hooks seduce and grooves bind the senses whilst the virulent stroll of the song takes a hold of the passions. It is not ground-breaking but wholly addictive as it awakens a greedy hunger for the band’s creative brawl.

The EP comes to a close with Game, a proposition showing yet another side to the band’s invention. It is the heaviest track on the release; riffs prowling with weighty enticement as rhythms crisply spear their intensity as vocals roar with lusty relish across their canvas. Lit with an additional blues hue, the song is an accomplished and magnetic close to a fine release.

Hollywood Heads are at the start of a potentially dramatic ascent and success. They have still to evolve their own distinct voice but the EP makes a highly satisfying and pleasing base to start from.

The Hollywood Heads EP is available now

https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodheadsofficial

8/10

RingMaster Review 12/09/2014

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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Doomster Reich – The League For Mental Distillation

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The League For Mental Distillation is a warts and all proposition which offers a compelling and unpredictable collision of seventies heavy metal with psychedelic and doom bred metal. The debut album from Polish metallers Doomster Reich, it is raw, passionate, and unafraid to show its flaws alongside the band’s dramatic enterprise. Equally it unveils an organic freedom to its invention, more than once suggesting that the Łódź quartet strapped themselves into their instruments, plugged in, and unleashed whatever was in their heart at the time rather than having a predetermined journey for a track. It is an encounter which ebbs and flows in its success it is fair to say, but one leaving ears and imagination riveted and happy to learn and hear more.

Doomster Reich was formed to the rear of 2011, with the foursome of guitarists Voytek and Markiz, drummer/vocalist Rasz, and bassist Radek settling down to write and record the songs making up The League For Mental Distillation the following year. Its recent release via The End Of Time Records gives the album a broader landscape to persuade, and whilst it may cause raised eyebrows at times, the album is a captivating and skilled blaze of heavy psychedelic doom which becomes more convincing with every listen.

Ears are wide awake and anticipation lit as soon as the opening strains of John Woe sets the album in potent motion. The guitars wind around the senses with a fiery and magnetic touch matched by the throaty tones of the bass and even heavier swipes of beats. It is a transfixing start teasing like a mix of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard. The striking and also unpredictable vocals add another enthralling element to the mix, the tones and notes of Rasz at times wayward in delivery yet never harming the dramatic adventure around him, mostly adding to that theatre even in his less convincing vocal moments. The song itself continues to stalk and sway seductively before ears, guitars expelling flames of ingenuity and absorbing melodies as rhythms add rich shadows and intimidating weight to its proposal.

The following I Ate Some Desert Diamonds flirts with an expressive blues seeding in its introduction before stretching muscles for a lumbering gait, within which dramatic urges break free to ignite feistier passages of energy and vocal cddoomster_reichexpression. Also equipped with a thoroughly contagious web of hooks and acidic grooves, the track takes all the strong essences of the first to another engrossing level; strong vocals painting guitar sculpted walls of sonic intrigue against a heavy rhythmic canvas colourfully. It is a richly satisfying and evocative creative emprise swiftly matched by the maelstrom that is Comfort of Conscious Demise. Driven by an early thrash seeded charge, the track releases atmospheric smog of sonic oppression before opening up trails of urgent riffery and infectious grooving within the suffocating air. It is a glorious rampage, as savage as it is bewitching, and the best track on the album.

     Pornosopher’s Dream emerges under sultry skies coloured by sonic turbulence but it is a tempest restrained in its voracity and tempered by smouldering flames of coarse melodies and provocative sonic hues. With portentous spoken vocals and the bass pushing heavy shadows into the radiance, the track is as fascinating and gripping as the last with again thrash bred riffery aligning itself to the heavy metal ferocity hanging around the senses scorching designs of the guitars. Its lingering success is followed by the potent if less successful presence of I’ll Shoot You Down, a more sinew driven slab of sonic aggression. Vocals again vary in success but only add to the unique character of the song. The track proceeds to bine ears in excellent guitar play amidst strong rhythmic bait but does lack the spark and ingenuity of previous songs to certainly please but not make an imposing impression.

Closing track In Storms epitomises the album across its thirteen plus minutes. At times it leaves senses basking in scintillating craft and individual enterprise and at other times flirts too much with predictability and expectations feeding ideas, which stand out more because of the shining invention of other parts. Nevertheless despite it’s over long presence, another slight issue, the track is a rich end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. Certainly at times The League For Mental Distillation makes some wrong moves but it is easily compensated by the attention grabbing skills and inventive sounds within the release. It is not the most impressive release you will hear this year but an enjoyable one announcing Doomster Reich as a band more than worthy of close attention.

The League For Mental Distillation is available now via The End of Time Records.

https://www.facebook.com/doomsterreich

8/10

RingMaster 12/09/2014

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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Dark fires and blazing shadows: an interview with Andrew D’Cagna of Brimstone Coven

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Retro heavy rock and metal is flourishing right now through a host of inventive bands and they do not come more compelling than Brimstone Coven. Offering plenty more than just retro rock and doom in their attention grabbing sound, the dark occult rock band is a proposition which roars and seduces with songs which rigorously awaken the imagination and flirt with the passions. Their signing to Metal Blade Records has brought the release of a self-titled album which brings together the band’s earlier EP and first full-length in one richly satisfying place. We set about finding more about the West Virginian band with the kind help of bassist Andrew D’Cagna who talked origins, their link up with Metal Blade, dark influences and plenty more…

Hi Andrew and welcome to the site, thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you let us in on the origins of the band and how the line-up met and linked up?

Thanks for having us! We have all known each other for years and have been in different bands of various styles over those years. Corey started this project and hand-picked us as his ideal line-up for Brimstone Coven.

Is Brimstone Coven the first adventure for you all?

Far from it. We are all in our 30s and have been involved in live music performance for our entire adult lives. We all lost count on how many musical ventures we’ve been involved in years ago.

Was there any specific intent with the band and early songs either in sound or direction?

Yes, Corey was very specific about his vision of what he wanted this band to be. He is the primary songwriter and we normally just replicate what he plays on demo songs and refine them from there

Has that ideation evolved dramatically since or is it still the core spice to Corey and the band’s writing etc.?

Not really, the vision has always remained the same. The songs have definitely matured as one would expect but our course has been steady since day one.

There is a vibrant surge of bands re-visiting retro hard rock and doom and fusing it into their own imaginative flames of sound. Have you sensed this from in the midst of the psychedelic and occult rock scene which seems to be healthily BC1emerging?

Yes, we are definitely not the only ones playing this type of music. The retro rock resurgence is in full swing and there are many great new bands playing old sounding music. I think it’s a much needed breath of fresh air in a scene of sterile music.

Your sound has been called ‘Vintage’. A tag which you feels suits?

Yes it definitely suits us. I would not classify us as Doom Rock, or Stoner/Fuzz. We call it Dark Occult Rock, but we are perfectly comfortable with being called Vintage Rock.

How do you see your sound predominantly differing and equally fitting in from the current doom rock landscape?

I think we are much more akin to the old psychedelic rock of the late 60s/early 70s. We are not quite as “heavy” as a lot of the bands out right now. It works to our advantage, because not being as heavy sounding opens us up to a wider audience than others.

You have just released your self-titled album, which brings your debut EP and first album II together for the first time via Metal Blade Records. Why, the certainly not unwelcome re-appearance of the previous releases in one package, rather than a new encounter with the label first of all? Just because of the lack of availability of the records from the first time around?

That was the label’s idea. We think all of that material is strong enough for the world to hear, and so did they. We are glad they made that decision, since a lot of people never got to hear our earliest material.

Are there swift plans for something new afoot you can reveal?

We are in the process of writing a new record, and to us it’s the best material to date. It sounds like the next logical step for Brimstone Coven. we cannot wait to let everyone hear it.

How do the impressive songs on the album differ to those you are writing nowadays? Is there any particular evolution in songwriting and sound for us to anticipate?

Expect more diversity, more evil and more psychedelia. If you like the material on our first two releases, we are sure you will love the new stuff.

995050_535639966538281_9016194066946179997_nCan you give us some background to the EP and album making up the album? What was the creation and recording like at the time and in hindsight anything you wish you could hone a little more now?

It was a fun and simple process. A lot of the recording was done live, and that’s the way we prefer it. Looking back, there isn’t anything we would change about those songs or the recordings. They came out exactly as we intended.

I assume the opportunities in the creating a release with Metal Blade’s support will be a big new step for you. What are your hopes and anticipations for that experience?

We hope to reach as many new fans as possible, and so far the label has been an immense help with that. We wouldn’t be doing this interview with you right now, had it not been for Metal Blade. We are truly thankful for this opportunity.

What have the benefits been already from linking up with the label? Has it given the band a dose of wider attention just from being in their roster?

It’s been great so far. The European press has been especially kind to us.

Back to the album, have you tweaked any of the tracks on it or is it a straight transplant of the previous records?

All we did to release the songs on Metal Blade was to re-master the songs onto one recording. We also re-packaged the layout and added new artwork and photos.

How does the songwriting come about predominantly in the band, musically and lyrically?

Corey writes 99% of all the music, and we just follow his lead. There are a few new songs we have begun to collaborate on, but the songs and the feel are still the same.

Any specific inspirations which has made the biggest impact on both those aspects of the songwriting and your creative thoughts generally across the band?

We draw influence from many things. There is no shortage of themes to draw inspiration from.

The band hails from Wheeling in West Virginia. I know little to nothing about the town/city so is there a healthy music scene around the place and of metal/ heavy rock in particular?brimstone-coven_photo02

There are a lot of great bands in our small little area. All the musicians here are very talented and bring a lot to the table. I am sure you will be hearing more great music from this area in the very near future.

How about dubious and darkly shadowed goings on there, which may have sparked some lyrical incitement?

We tend to dwell on the darker side of life when it comes to lyrics. They are mainly occult themed, but not exclusively. Anything dark and mysterious makes for good lyrical inspiration in this band.

What is next for Brimstone Coven?

Writing, recording and performing are all in the works for the future.

Once again a big thanks for bearing with our questions. Have you any last thoughts for the readers?

Thanks for having us again, it’s been a pleasure. And thanks to all our fans who support in any way they can, we love you!

Read the review of Brimstone Coven’s self-titled album @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/brimstone-coven-self-titled/

http://www.brimstonecoven.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 04/09/2014

 

New Jacobin Club – Soldiers of The Mark

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Photo credit: Kathryn Trembach

It has been four long years since the release of the attention gripping and highly enjoyable shock rock opera This Treason but at last Canadian gothic rockers New Jacobin Club return with its successor, the equally thrilling Soldiers of The Mark. A leaner and more creatively aggressive encounter which leans arguably more to the horror punk side of the band than the band’s previous releases, it still voraciously embraces the theatrical drama and gothic elegance which is the trademark of the band and what sets them apart from the crowd. Soldiers of The Mark is overall though rock ‘n’ roll at its best, the band employing a wide range of flavours and styles in the body and musical narrative of a concept album which is sure to leave fans and newcomers even hungrier for the band’s inventive contagion.

The brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Xerxes Praetorius Horde (aka The Horde), the Saskatoon band emerged in 1995 as a trio but had expanded in sound and size to a ten-legged tempest of unique incitement and expression by the time of their self-titled debut album in 2001. Fourth full-length, This Treason saw the band as a seven-piece unit pushing their sounds to new depths and heights whilst live, and often accompanied by the performance artists known as the Angry Teeth Freakshow, New Jacobin Club became renowned as not only one of Canada’s but metal’s most startling and exhilarating live acts. Across the years their reputation has continued to grow as the band shared stages with the likes of KMFDM, Voltaire, The Groovie Ghoulies, Nashville Pussy, and The Nekromantix amongst many. As mentioned it has been a fair gap between albums but Soldiers of The Mark shows the band has lost none of its potent visual and musical temptation but with a new line-up honed it into a more diverse and seductively predatory proposition.

Themed by the riveting premise that “a Turn-of-the-Century Gentleman’s Hellfire Club holds meetings and conducts depraved rituals to help bring about the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelations”, the album opens with The Mark. Instantly intrigue drapes over firm beats and a hazy glaze of guitar and keys which themselves hang over the imagination, coaxing thoughts to swiftly play with their tempting. It is a slow and strangely intimidating atmosphere initially but soon stirred up and twisted into a hungry charge of raw riffs and thumping rhythms led by the distinctive snarling vocal charm of The Horde. There is no escaping the tracks infectious primal bait or the emotive elegance of cello from The Luminous which strokes thoughts from within the striding persuasion of the song. Not for the last time on the album, a Misfits like breath flirts with ears but as a passing whisper immersed in the exotic imagination of the band, its hints pale against the bewitching theremin skills of Poison Candi and the dark emotive shadows cast by the cello. Driven by the stomping beats of drummer Rat King and further coloured by a punk tenacity bred by the guitar, the track is a compelling start to the album and immediate declaration that New Jacobin Club are back better than ever.

A classical stroke of guitar strings brings the following Parade of Innocents potently into ears and imagination, it’s slightly Latin hue evolving into a magnetic mesh of sinew sculpted beats and reflective melodies which are soon PromoImageabsorbed in the drama laid by the keys of Mistress Nagini and the throaty bass lures of The Ruin. It is an enthralling start which expands into a mix of Type O Negative and The Damned to give some idea of the delicious presence of the song. As with any NJC track though every moment is just an individual turn in its journey and narrative, a fresh twist coming here through the vocal temptation of Poison Candi which seizes the centre stage. Musically the song turns and swings with sonic ingenuity and invention from all sides yet that slimmer feel and texture to the song talked of earlier is evident showing that the band’s songwriting has again remarkably matured between releases.

Champagne Ivy brings fifties seeds to its gothic punk presence, its bass and cello croon casting shadows which are simultaneously lit by the swagger of the guitar and the band’s vocals. Again it is just one aspect as heavy metal riffing teases ears within a theremin swoon and darkly stringed seduction, producing a Volbeat meets Mötley Crüe incitement but different again. Its masterful enticement is soon left in the shade by Angel MMXIV and even more so A Grey Day to Die. The first of the pair is led vocally by Poison Candi and also parades heavy metal flames this time on a short but pungent gothic horror punk canvas. It is raw and unfussy, pure rock ‘n’ roll to greedily devour before the bigger meal of its successor. The second of the two roars and threatens in one breath and then unleashes some of the catchiest gothic pop enticing you could wish for. King Rat punishes the senses with his venomous swings whilst riffs growl with every note as the bass prowls the senses but it is only matched and enhanced by the virulent chorus and its anthemic contagion musically and vocally. Imagine Calabrese and March Violets in league with The Creepshow and you get an idea of the addictive majesty.

From one pinnacle to another as Into the Fire steps up next, a gentle provocative caress of chords and the melancholic beauty of the cello warming thoughts straight away. It is a transfixing entrance which only grows as romantic melodies and expressive shadows grip the song and ears. Like a bridge to This Treason, the song of all upon Soldiers of The Mark draws on the resourceful gothic rock invention of previous albums whilst exploring a fascinating rock pop and progressive ideation.

The fiery sonic mystery of Garthim makes for the next compelling endeavour. Bringing a texture rather than narrative, vocals talk from a distance, submerged in the gripping and haunting instrumentation which spills menace and apocalyptic beauty. It is a track for the imagination to run with for varied exploits, every swerve of its almost hostile causticity and its persistent melodic intrigue setting up the appetite for the outstanding romp of My Smile. Folkish in its infectious charm and rockabilly like in its tenacious enterprise, the track bounces around like an offspring of The Horrorpops but tempers its revelry with the mesmeric emotional drama of the strings and gothic keys alongside the sheer inescapable seduction of the theremin.

The album ends as strikingly as it starts with firstly the exceptional Seal of Metatron igniting the passions. With sonic washes lapping senses from time to time, the song is an aggressive yet controlled storm of heavy rock and gothic passion which takes every opportunity to wrong foot and surprise ears and thoughts with its innovative exploration. Its scintillating proposition is backed up by the irresistible rock ‘n’ pop of Return to Eden. With the cello melodically sighing around the pop vocal delivery of Poison Candi, the song instantly seduces before firing up feet and emotions with its unstoppable contagion. The track is gloriously mischievous in tone and vivacity, reminding easily of The Rezillos, yet has a psychobilly edge which only pushes its drama to richer success.

Soldiers of The Mark is New Jacobin Club at a whole new level. The band is still one of gothic rock’s finest protagonists but the band has now set down firm marks in rock ‘n’ roll a whole with rewarding recognition surely set to follow.

Soldiers of The Mark is available now digitally, on CD, and as on 12″ Vinyl with a hardcover companion book @ http://www.newjacobinclub.com/webstore

http://www.newjacobinclub.com

9/10

RingMaster 03/09/2014

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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Witch Charmer – The Great Depression

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Raucously majestic and seductively intimidating, UK band Witch Charmer prove that not only was their previous acclaimed EP not a flash in the pan but that it was only the teaser to greater things with debut album The Great Depression. Five tracks which roar and hazily smoulder from a gripping fusion of doom, stoner, and heavy metal, the album is a riveting and scintillating incitement which musically stands out from the crowd but vocally sculpts a corner of its own to transfix from. Led by the magnetic vocal talent of Kate McKeown and assisted rather than backed by the grippingly individual tones of the band, it is an unpredictable and intriguing mix which only accentuates the raw and elegant extremes of the compelling sounds around them. This style of music is quite rich and thick in quality bands right now but the Sunderland quintet easily push themselves to the forefront of the masses with their exhilarating release.

Formed in 2012, the band consists of drummer/vocalist Dave McQuillan, guitarists/vocalists Len Lennox and Adam Clarke, and bassist Richard Maher alongside McKeown. Debut EP Euphoric Curse of last year drew in eager attention and acclaim with its stirring and intensive mesh of weighty rhythms and tantalising grooves aligned to pungent riffs and their compelling vocal mix. It proved irresistible to a great many but was just the base from which the Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) mixed and mastered The Great Depression has grown to greater heights for a heady captivation.

Themed around a “dark satirical view of this world gone mad”, album and band take little time in enslaving ears and imagination with opener Suffer. From its first breath it is spilling an enthralling groove which is soon surrounded by imposing rhythms and a sonic intensity which in turn sparks that initial lure to expel a greater flame to its potency. Just as swiftly the dramatic and impressive voice of McKeown joins the evolving narrative of the track, hot melodic designs alongside flirtatious grooves wrapping her rich tones. A brawling call from one of the band brings another thick texture to the song, his raw vocal squall the extreme opposite to the charm of McKeown but an impressing companion which seems to ignite another bout of virulent urgency and aggression in the sounds. Sharing the lead of the track for a fair portion, the two vocalists grab the attention but not enough to detract from the addictive enticement of the grooves and the sonic enterprise raging around them.

It is a mighty start but soon shown a clean pair of heels by the thrilling presence of The Cull. A more predatory gait is revealed by the track, its slow doom bred crawl an oppressive yet welcoming shadow through which McKeown’s voice WITCH CHARMER - COVERshines like a beacon. It is the vocal alliance which grips ears most of all though, certainly initially, the bruising growl heard in the first song returning with other allies bringing a punkish squall and a clean presentation to dual and flirt with the superb presence of the front lady. The track shows it is not just about that though, that like the release it stands out just as potently through its grooves and scorched atmospheres to create a riveting maelstrom of beauty and intimidation. Like a mix of Jess & the Ancient Ones and Electric Wizard with Triggerman, the track is a blistering provocation soaked in a smouldering blues haze and ferocious heavy psychedelic metal.

Both A Watching Of Wolves and …To Death (I’ll Drink) keep the temperature and might of the album ablaze and the passions aflame, the first arriving on a hypnotic stride of thumping rhythms within a humid tapestry of sonic invention. It takes little time to clad those lingering lures in a thick swamp of dark grooves and rapacious intensity which in turn is veined by melodic mystique enticing and infectious virulence. It is a merger of darkness and light, of brooding emotions and joyful revelry which is seamlessly entwined to create an incendiary incitement for thoughts and passions. Its successor is scintillating; the bass with a delicious bestial twang to its tone leading ears and thoughts into a haze of sonic expression and addictive rhythmic baiting. The song proceeds to lap the senses in waves of energy and seductive enticing, its potency never wavering in success and strength as grooves, riffs, and vocals weave and tease like an adulterous temptress with only eyes for its victim. The rhythmic imagination of McQuillan is inescapable as he frames and veins the track with unpredictable and engrossing bait matched by the delicious vocals.

The best track on the album it is soon rivalled by the closing Stare Into The Sun, a slow enticement which is even more of a salacious temptation than its predecessor in moves and grooves at times but ultimately is a persistently changing and evolving groove fest across a landscape of burning melodies and caustic riffs under a rhythmic thunder. It is a stunning end to a sensational release, though the album does have one final brief treat in hidden acoustic track Architects of our own Existence.

The Great Depression has everything fans of the likes of Black Sabbath and Goatsnake through to Electric Wizard and Blood Ceremony would devour in a second but also much more to bring a fresh air to doom and stoner flavoured heavy metal. Witch Charmer is a major force in the making and their album the first slab of irrepressible evidence.

The Great Depression is available from September 1st on Argonauta Records and at http://witchcharmer.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/witchcharmerband

9/10

RingMaster 01/09/2014

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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Long riffs and binding grooves: an interview with Valfader Interview

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With the ability to sculpt riffs that almost need a certain bravery to stand before and a skill in casting melodic designs stretched with rigorusly seducing grooves which take on a predacious quality when locked together, UK band Valfader has emerged as one of the most imposingly creative and thrilling adventurous propositions to come out of British heavy rock/metal in recent years. Hailing from Bath the trio of guitarist/vocalist Dean Gaylard, bassist Matt Jones, and drummer Gareth Jones first drew acclaimed blood with their Whispers of Chaos last year with even greater attention and praise coming through the epic single Opening earlier this year. Long overdue a chat we stole time from the band to talk about the birth of Valfader, their organic songwriting, and depriving sound engineers of half day holidays as well as plenty more…

Hi guys and thanks for taking time to talk with us.

First up can we find out about the beginnings of Valfader, how you all met and started the band as well as personal histories before the event?

It all started about 9 years ago, yep 9 years ago. Me (Gaz) and Dean were in a rock / prog band playing local bars in Bath – Bristol area from 2005 till 2009 and along the way we met a lot of awesome musicians which we still know today. We had a nice little run supporting some awesome bands but we were nothing serious. Sure in our booze fuelled minds we were going to take over the world, but it didn’t matter how much we put into the band we were going nowhere slowly. We split in the winter of 2009 and we both stopped playing music all together, and went our separate ways but still remained good friends. After 7, or maybe 8 months we ran into each other at a venue in Bath and we started talking about the good old days, music and whose round it was next ha-ha. Anyway, we talked about having a little jam at a local rehearsal rooms and that was it! We realized after the first jam that the passion was still there, ok a little rusty, but planned a second rehearsal a week later to pick up where we left off. A few months into it we started to look for a bassist. We asked a few mates but none of them could commit, but that didn’t stop us, so we posted an advert on the Web and after a few weeks, maybe 4, Matt rolled up and as they say, the rest is history and here we are now

Did you start out with a specific intent or direction for the band?

Not really – we really aren’t that organised! We never really plan stuff or think long term. In the beginning we never sat down and said “let’s be a stoner rock band” or “let’s be like this band”. We just knew what music we liked and enjoyed jamming together. After that, our “sound” came together so we put it out there to see what happened.

Your sound merges the rich essences of stoner and heavy rick with sludge and doom bred emotive tenacity, not forgetting the voracious riffs. It is a distinctive and increasingly unique sound daring people to try and label it. How would you describe your music to newcomers?

Ha – we have no idea man! It’s not something we have really worried about or tried to do! We have read lots of different descriptions about ourselves that have used the terms doom, stoner, psychedelic, rock, progressive, metal and ambient so take your pick I guess!!

How do you see it has evolved since starting out in 2010 and the recent release of Opening?valfader opening

In the beginning our songs were much shorter, more uniform in the sense of verse / chorus etc. and more one dimensional. However as we all played together more and brought our ideas to the table, the songs grew longer in duration and more diverse in different sounds, which is where we are now!

Is Opening a single or EP, I have seen it described both because of its length, often in the same piece ha-ha.

We put Opening out there as a single. As you may have noticed we tend to write long songs so this was just one track for us… however, if people want to consider it as an EP then that’s cool.

Last year saw the release of your debut EP Whispers of Chaos, which was where we discovered you. It has seemed to have whipped up a storm of attention and eagerness for the band. How has it been on the inside since its release?

On a day to day basis, not much has changed for us really. We all still work full time jobs, look after family, meet up for jams and try to get gigs! However we now have this global online presence which is lovely. It’s been very humbling and gratifying to see how far our music has travelled and how well it has been received. The attention for the band seems to come in waves, which can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster!

Did its success surprise you even with your obvious confidence in your own music?

It totally blew us away – completely. We still remember talking in the van the night before we were going to put it out there on Bandcamp, we really had no idea how it would be received as we don’t sound like other bands out there – we were so tense!! The amount of positive reviews and comments we received were far in excess of anything we could have hoped for, so a big thanks to everyone involved again!!

Was there any extra pressure on you because of its success emotionally for your next unveiling?

It’s hard to say – I guess so though. We were all really clear that we really wanted Opening to be another step forward from the EP, which we feel we achieved.valfader4

Did you learn anything from the EP which made you approach Opening any differently?

(Gaz) – I was a lot more relaxed this time around and I believe you can hear that in my drumming. Recording Whispers I was nervous as hell and only had a day to record four tracks, so was holding back trying not to fuck up. On Opening I was more relaxed and enjoyed every minute, plus the producer and a good friend of the band who came to film us are fellow drummers, so I was talking shop all day with them which made a nice change.

Opening consists of a single epic fourteen minute or so track; so with your songs generally on the side of epic in length how difficult was it to write a track of such a long presence to ensure it enthrals ears and imagination constantly, which it surely does?

In all honesty there was no real intention of making it so long, the song evolved out of the initial clean riff and just kept growing. I think we have a pretty relaxed approach to song writing, we rarely set out to do something deliberately, it’s usually just a case of letting the mood of the music take us somewhere and not getting too analytical about it.

So it a track which evolved organically in sound and length, or one you planned more precisely before strings were plucked and riffs spawned?

Generally our songs do evolve quite organically, though this one was more or less written as a whole prior to playing it together. This is quite unusual as I think we benefit greatly from each other’s contributions when song writing.

How long did the song take to record, I heard it was done in a day?

Yep – all done in a day!! I think the sound engineer thought he was in for an early finish when we told him we only wanted to record one song – then he found out it was 14 mins long!!

Opening presented a different facet to the music found on the EP; is this a swing in direction for future releases to explore or just another character in your overall sound?

A bit of both really. Again – when we write songs we never try to make them sound a particular way or force them into a genre. They evolve naturally which means all our songs are quite diverse. We are currently writing quite a lot of new material, some of which is more like Opening in style, others more like tracks from the EP.

VALFADER  Cover ArtworkThere is also an intimacy to the song maybe not as open on Whispers of Chaos, something you feel too?

Yeah definitely, it’s quite an emotional song, and I (Dean) felt pretty damn nervous about recording so many clean vocal lines. I think there’s quite a vulnerability to the song, but hopefully that’s a good thing, there’s no pretence, just an honest expression of something both painful and beautiful.

Riveting riff driven rock whether stoner/sludge/or simply of heavy metal descent seems to be on a very healthy and powerful ascent across the UK right now with emerging bands, such as Morass Of Molasses, Desert Storm, XII Boar, Caravan of Whores being four examples coming to mind alongside yourselves. Are you finding the appetite and hunger is there from fans too not only for releases but live shows?

Honestly? Not really! It does seem to us that people don’t seem to be prepared to go out to local shows and bands to support music scenes anymore. People will spend hundreds of pounds to go to some large venue to watch a band that’s been around for 20-30 years but don’t seem willing to walk down the road and spend £5 to see 4 or 5 bands that they haven’t heard. We have played some gigs where there is a good local scene and support for new music, but feel these are all too rare. We have also played on bills with some amazingly talented musicians to pretty empty rooms!

How about from promoters and venues putting on gigs, same attitude?

We are lucky to work with Cowbell promotions in Bath. These guys are REAL music enthusiasts who put on shows simply because they love the music. They have been amazingly supportive of us and helped get us out there, so a huge thanks needs to go to them. The music industry desperately NEEDS more people like this. Unfortunately all too often promoters and venues don’t really give a shit who you are or what you sound like, they just want you to guarantee ticket sales and make money. We understand that of course they are businesses and have costs etc. to cover, but there seems to be little to no interest in music, or working with and supporting bands

What comes next for Valfader and for the rest of 2014 from you?

We are having a little break over the summer after a run of gigs and then hoping to get back into the studio to record a new full length album towards the end of the year. This thing is shaping up to be massive. Over an hour in length and more riffs that you can point a very pointy thing at!

Finances are tight if absent for most emerging bands so many are turning to crowd funding sites to try and finance releases etc. Something you feel you might look at ahead or do you feel it is an option still only for bands with an established active fanbase right now?

It’s something we have considered and talked about, but not something we are completely comfortable with I thinkvalfader3

Once again a big thanks for chatting with us; any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us pondering?

Thank you! We really appreciate websites such as yourself and the work you do to help bands. Huge thanks to everyone who has bought our music, come to see us, sent us nice messages or supported us in anyway. It really makes a difference and is so appreciated by us all. And support local music – new bands need your help!! Don’t worry – Dave Grohl and Trent Reznor are ok for money!!

And lastly give us an idea of the most inspirational records which went some way to sparking the need in you to make music.

GAZ – It’s all about Sabbath and Zeppelin. Just hearing any tracks of theirs inspires me to play the drums whether I’m behind the kit or not.

DEAN – Well the bands which got me going originally were Metallica, Pearl Jam, Pantera and probably a load of dodgy Nu metal bands when I was 16, ha-ha. Now I’m always searching for music which doesn’t sit too comfortably within one genre, I really love Opeth, Elder, Baroness, and Maeth to name but a few!

MATT – oh so many!! I suppose early on bands like Slayer, Nirvana and Pearl Jam gave me the idea of picking up an instrument and playing it. Deftones, Glassjaw and Isis made me want to express something emotive and beautiful, and the guys from a band called Jim Fear first made me believe I could do it!!

www.facebook.com/valfader

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 26/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Brimstone Coven – Self-Titled

Cover

Psychedelically distilled, the dark occult rock fusion of retro-hard rock and doom which is cast by US band Brimstone Coven is a flight of nostalgia and modern enterprise rolled into one fiery proposition. As openly evidenced by their new self-titled album, it is a sound and incitement which roars and seduces with its sounds but also ebb and flows in strength and persuasion at times, especially if there is no dormant passion and appetite for the genre they explore within their recipient. Yet it is only fair to say even with that obstacle before it, the release makes for a compelling and often rigorously captivating offering which awakens the imagination and flirts with the passions.

The album sees the uniting of second release II and a preceding self-titled EP/album from the West Virginian band which began in 2011 with guitarist Corey Roth, who subsequently brought vocalist “Big John” Williams, bassist Andrew D’Cagna, and drummer Justin Wood into the project; the latter replaced by Dan Hercules until his more recent return. The success of the band’s live presence and their first two releases, led to them signing with Metal Blade Records at the tail of last year going into this. The new unleashing gives their previous encounters a combined and wider canvas to enthral from and it is fair to say that the album does that with consummate ease.

The thumping beats opening up first track Cosmic Communion instantly ensures attention and appetite is rigorously awoken, its instinctive raps swiftly joined by flames of guitar and the potent melodic voice of Williams. It is a strong coaxing which finds a potent vein of magnetism with swinging grooves and sonic weaves of flavoursome enterprise over which group harmonies also impress. The song is soon casting a revelry which is as potent urgently shifting its feet or making a more sultry seduction, each leaving ears and emotions fully engaged. Thoughts of Pentagram and Orange Goblin come to mind in varying degrees as the track makes an invigorating start to the release. Its success is not quite matched by the moodier Behold, the Anunnaki, its air and attitude a darker presence to the more celebratory essence of its predecessor. The bass instantly catches the ear, its heavy shadowed tones even more pronounced and intrigue ridden than in the first song, whilst the excellent vocals again smoulder and soar enjoyably singularly and as a group, bringing an Alice In Chains essence to the narrative and feel of the song. A repetitive prowl of bass and aligning riffs equally makes a rich lure to the track which though definitely lacking the spark of the first, still leaves a contented feeling behind.

The Black Door pushes emotions and pleasure back up to that early plateau with its sinister yet absorbing beauty. Grooves and melodic hooks litter the mesmeric landscape of the song, its paths of again throaty basslines and more monotone kissed vocal enticing just as irresistible as those more openly grabbing lures. It is the best track on the album by far, everything about its invention and body dangerously seductive and hypnotically imposing, like an occult themed episode of seventies TV show Hammer House of Horror. The album never quite repeats the song’s glory again though the likes of the sultry Blood On The Wall and The Grave with its ravenous enticement as well as the slowly crawling Lord & Master give plenty to contemplate and striking rewards in. The second of the trio especially ignites a fresh hunger, its rawer and vivacious stoner lit textures a healthily appetising provocation to which blazes of guitar imagination and sonic rapacity flirt evocatively, whilst its successor is a slow burning tempting which grows and enslaves emotions over time with raw elegance and dramatic sonic poetry leading to a blaze of a finale.

The addictive almost predatory riffing which is soon in place through Vying makes for another inescapable baiting, though the song never manages to quite breed the same depth of potency through the rest of its accomplished ideation and craft. Again though it is a song which leaves a lingering thread of allurement which draws you back into its resourceful grasp, something The Séance is less successful in creating despite its presence making for a pleasing if quite quickly forgotten encounter, especially with the intensive weight and atmosphere of The Folly of Faust coming soon after, its thick smothering air a tempestuous spark to the imagination.

The remainder of the album is made up by Brimstone Coven’s first release, a heavier and darker toned collection of songs thanks to their raw recordings and production, but also tracks which just do not have the same spark and life as those before them. It is easy to see why that first EP drew strong attention though with tracks like We Are Forever with its smoky blues atmosphere and the more classic metal hued The Ancients showing all the potential exploited better in the following album. With Son of the Morning making the most potent impression of the remaining songs, the whole album is a fascinating proposition, a journey back to previous eras but finding plenty to awaken a modern palate, even those with a less keen appetite for those older times.

Brimstone Coven has the potential to make a major statement ahead taking their album as suggestive evidence, its persistently convincing presence increasingly persuasive as it immerses ears and thoughts.

Brimstone Coven is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.metalblade.com/brimstonecoven/

http://www.brimstonecoven.com/

8/10

RingMaster 06/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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