We All Die (laughing) – Tentoonstelling

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After their riveting and extraordinary album Thoughtscanning of last year, the appetite for something more from We All Die (laughing) has been the epitome of hunger. It is a want and need now richly satisfied by the band’s new offering, the Tentoonstelling EP, well certainly by half of it. Consisting of two tracks, one from the duo of Déhà (Maladie, COAG) and Arno Strobl (Carnival In Coal, 6:33) and a second piece by Mathieu Drouet, a French photographer for whom We All Die (laughing) composed the lead track, it is a provocative encounter of instrumental temptation which pushes the imagination into dark and sinister landscapes.

When asked by Drouet to contribute a track to a contemporary art project for his Grande Plage exhibition planned for January 2015, We All Die (laughing) crafted the instrumental Variation on the scanning of thoughts, a piece 760137644422_TOX038_We-All-Die-(laughing)_Artwork_600x600inspired by and a companion to the band’s extraordinary one track album. The exhibition itself is based on photography of Drouet which the artist ‘considers worth being used as cover artwork for music releases’. Consisting of twelve pieces, he chose a similar number of bands to contribute a track (also including The Lumberjack Feedback) of which a single copy 12″ EP would be released with one of his pictures as the artwork along with an’ experimental audio rendition of the photography’s digital file’s data’, basically an aural portrait of the picture cloaking the release.

Variation on the scanning of thoughts is a piano sculpted exploration, a shadowed and brooding suggestiveness which wraps seductively around the senses and imagination whilst soaking both with melancholic expression. Noir lit jazz scenery colours the evocative canvas throughout whilst sharing hues with a more choral persuasion, their entwining suggestiveness a haunting embrace within the oppressive atmosphere. The press release with the EP declares the track as more depressive than the band’s adventure upon Thoughtscanning which is easy to agree with, yet as the music permeates ears and emotions there is also an imposing beauty and stark elegance which ignites the warmth of hope in song and reactions. As always with the band, it is a healthily long piece which provides a template for the listener’s imagination to fill and colour whilst emotionally it is a provocation which is as cinematic in drama as it is intimate.

The following Grande Plage, OP. 1, Movement #1: Le Noir from Drouet is the complete opposite and whilst you can understand and respect its breeding, the track is an underwhelming challenge. A sonic expanse of electronic smog, a static wave which ebbs and flows but makes for a constant irritant, the track is a ten minute excuse to return to the majesty of its predecessor. Again it is a piece which will inspire or push away individual thoughts and imaginations, with ours unreceptive, but it is a pale if initially intriguing companion against the magnificence of the lead track and the musical alchemy of We All Die (laughing).

Tentoonstelling is available now Kaotoxin Records @ via http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/tentoonstelling

https://www.facebook.com/wealldielaughing

Check out the excellent photography of Mathieu Drouet @ http://www.mathieu-drouet.com/

For the track Variation on the scanning of thoughts 10/10

RingMaster 21/08/2014

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Unbeing – Raptus EP

Unbeing - Raptus promo photo

Following on from their seemingly universally acclaimed debut album, Canadian progressive metallers Unbeing have released the exceptional Raptus EP, a rich and compelling journey for the imagination and emotions. As technically captivating and enthralling as it is evocatively absorbing and invigorating, the four track release whisks the listener across an expansive landscape of sound and adventure but one also soaked with an intimacy which provocatively caresses thoughts and feelings. It is a compelling and exhilarating proposition, easily one of the most pungently inspiring instrumental releases in quite a while.

Formed in 2006, Unbeing began as a three piece. Line-up changes ensued whilst two demos in 2008 and the following year respectively, drew strong and enthused reactions. The Montreal band then won Metal Académie 2, a two month competition judged by the likes of Kataklysm. The next step in the evolution of the band, seemingly inspired by the judges’ comments of that competition, saw the band dispense with vocals and concentrate on their already striking instrumental explorations. Over the past eight or so years the band has continued to evolve and impress live, sharing stages with bands such as Neuraxis, The Red Chord, Walls Of Jericho, Martyr, Katatonia, Incision, Anonymus, Beyond Creation, and Scale The Summit along the way. 2011 was the year of their self-titled debut album, with the band at this point grown to a quintet. It received acclaim from fans and media alike, its re-release two years later as a re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl edition equally devoured by the metal community. Now it is the time of the Raptus EP to spark the passions, something its twenty minute flight across a Montreal Metro themed incitement is sure to repeat time and time again as it draws minds and hearts into its imaginative aural poetry.

Unbeing opens up EP and imagination with Rapture which from the first wind of metal on rail coaxes with an evocative melodic enticement which wraps elegantly and creatively around ears and thoughts. Rhythms shuffle erratically Raptus artbut purposefully over the senses as guitars and keys cast a fine web of intrigue and awakening urgency. It is a dawning, an inventively expressive entrance into a busy and continually but gently escalating fever of activity and emotionally rich dramatic hues. The outstanding track flows into the next carriage of the evolving adventure, the following Batterie Faible bringing a more settled and sultry air to the emerging scenery. There is a jazzy breeze and breath to the caress of the song, again the guitar of Sherif El-Maghraby and the seducing keys of Martin Labelle washing over ears with a contagiously picturesque and melodically fuelled sonic design. Entwining peaceful climes and tenacious rapacity, the song intermittently seduces and agitates the emerged vision in thoughts, bursts of aggressive intent swarming across less intensive moments. It is all irresistibly framed and veined by the shadowed emotional hunger of Jean-Philippe Bédard’s drums and the increasingly provocative swing and flirtatious grooves of bass from Alexandre D’Amour, their drama alone potent fuel for the quite exceptional and embracing, physically and mentally, piece of adventure.

Over the two songs thoughts of the likes of Tesseract and Pelican come forward but also in different ways others like The Ocean and indie instrumental band Human Pyramids, particular elements, textures, and melodic paintings pulling loose but definite comparisons. The next up Tetris Rufus sparks similar thoughts but again another fluid shift in the journey sees the listener taken into darker more metallic structuring within a melodically incendiary climate. There is a volatile edge to the piece too, guitars striking at ears with jagged riffs whilst rhythms pounce upon and bustle their way across the senses. That rugged swirl of intent and intensity though is tempered and held in the thick emotive heated hug of resourceful keys, their touch and suasion a constantly changing mesh of warm feelings and anger defusing vivacity.

Final track 2nd Cup flows elegantly out of another underground sourced sample between songs. It swirl and dances with seductive melodies for an immersive mesmeric embrace to which more mercurial flames of heavier incitement and energy smoulder with urgent intensity across the incoming sunset of sound around another ebbing of adventure. El-Maghraby exploits the frenetic climax of the experience deliciously, his fingers manipulating the final throes of the journey and crescendo of emotion before the eventual peace of the destinations end clangs and leaves its disappearing mark. As all tracks it is a sublime piece of composing and realisation to which the band add their individual and united insatiably scintillating descriptions.

Raptus is the perfect instrumental adventure, one which never gets fussy or over-elaborate, but also never misses the opportunity to aurally and emotionally explore every nook and cranny of its ideation and premise as well as the imagination of the listener. The Raptus EP is an essential investigation which if you are quick Unbeing has made available for free download until the end of July at their own website. What still here?

The Raptus EP is available now via BLK COQ Music and at http://www.unbeingmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/UnbeingMusic

10/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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Tom James Parmiter – Imperfect Symmetry

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Virulently mesmeric and grippingly enthralling, Imperfect Symmetry is simultaneously a flight through expansive poetic scenery, an exploration of intimate emotions, and a fly on the wall reflection of evocative life. Certainly as the new album from Tom James Parmiter seduced senses and thoughts that is the emotive web which compellingly caught our imagination. Consisting of ten instrumental insights crafted by the undeniably impressive piano and keys skills of UK based composer Parmiter, the album is an emotional and cinematic adventure for a similarly exploratory vision of the listener. It is experimental without being inaccessible and soaked in a perpetual ambience which evolves and caresses with a poignant breath to which the colour rich melodies and descriptive hues of Parmiter’s craft, paints compelling narratives.

The follow up to the well-received 2011 album Providence, the Zube Records released Imperfect Symmetry has been two years in the making with everything from writing to performance Parmiter alone. It is an absorbing brew of classical and orchestral elegance entwined in a modern electronic and melodically twisted voice ensuring each track is an individual premise and provocative tale. It is a big step on from the more electronically sculpted Providence, revealing much more of the artist and emotional invention of the man.

The Paul Barton and Shaun Milton produced release opens with Remembrances, its full height of sound emerging from a sonic mist which instantly engulfs thoughts with dark shadows and haunting intrigue. The synths wrap ears like thick emotional smog clad in sonic insecurities, a bewitching blanket which parts and swirls in appealing squalls as tender reflective keys cast the heart of the song and its evocative pallor. From its start the track transfixes ears to emotions but brings an even deeper enticement with its melancholic beauty which seduces for a long term engagement. With guitars adding additional texture and resonance to its climax, the piece departs for the following title track to sweep majestically into view. Like a fleet footed yet confidently graceful dancer, the piano skills of Parmiter glide poetically over the senses and imagination; every key touch and flight of fingers adding layers of melodic colour to the immersive picture of the track. Percussive scatterings ignite the sky of the piece from its mid-point, the music igniting thoughts of a city skyline under explosive artistic skies with a wave of bodies beneath courting ground and emotions with radiant motion. It is a glorious proposition which leaves the listener basking.

Both Shifting Sands and Aftermath explore unique soundscapes next. The first ventures through sultry yet seemingly stark scenery, drifting with sonic abrasing and a caustic caress within the expressive breath of the impacting incitement whilst the second brings a crystalline elegancy with spatial seducing into an emotionally imposing but smiling reflection dealing with what feels like emotional conflict. Though neither track matches the heights and deep enveloping of the first pair, each provides a thought provoking, attention stealing exploration which the following Cerulean with its clear magnetic air and hand takes back to the earlier plateau. A warm seduction of arresting ambience soaks ears which from within a slow spellbinding casting of piano from Parmiter creates a beauty and resonating melodic rapture. It is the most dramatic and beguiling piece of music, sirenesque in its enchanted and emotive richness, and along with the title track, the pinnacle of the album.

Piano Interlude is as it says, a piece of music which allows atmospheres to rest whilst simply conversing one to one with the ears. The track does not light the imagination as others but certainly has thoughts enthused and engrossed before the sophisticated worldly embrace of The Serpent and the epic evocative structures and emotional grandeur of Angkor Wat lie compellingly within ears. Both tracks take the listener into further rich expanses of scenic beauty and provocative creative enlightenment, and both thrill with a simple and honest breath.

The album is completed by the breath-taking Reawaken where from a slow coming to life, a dulled opening of eyes, you can hear and feel awe struck expression in the sound and breath of the song as it expands with orchestral radiance, and finally the arcadian grace of Serenity, a piece wrapped in pastoral hues and idyllic ideation. The pair makes a restful yet also shadowed conclusion to a quite riveting slice of instrumental alchemy.

There is a one really minute issue with the album which is that the tracks do not seem to have a linking essence or theme to them so that they can also combine for one vast landscape as well as alone pieces. Maybe they do and we just miss it but they feel like a collection rather than a collective but as said it is a tiny shade on a vivaciously fascinating encounter which as an emotional travelogue and imaginative composing brought with transfixing realisation is quite sensational.

Imperfect Symmetry is availably digitally and on CD via Zube Records now.

http://tomjamesparmiter.com/

9/10

RingMaster 01/06/2014

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Australasia – Vertebra

Australasia - Vertebra - Cover

Lifting the listener’s thoughts and imagination into an expansive and emotional almost visual flight through an ever evolving soundscape broken up into smaller evocative sceneries, Vertebra the new album from Italian band Australasia is one of those absorbing emprises you just cannot pull away. Ten tracks of predominantly instrumental merging of post rock, shoegaze, classic electronica, and enthralling ambience, the release is a masterful and compelling adventure. There is though much more substance than that description suggests, flavours and styles bred elsewhere seamlessly employed in the melodic web cast, and when vocals are rarely used they are more another texture to the creative narrative than any lyrical storytelling. The album as skilful and magnetic as it is equally suggests this is a project still in evolution with greater glories waiting on its horizon, something which just adds to the pleasure bred by Australasia.

The band is the creation of multi-instrumentalist Gian Spalluto who has linked up with Mina Carlucci and Giuseppe Argentiero of fellow Italian band Vostok. Touched by influences which include the likes of Red Sparowes, At the Gates, Joy Division, This Will Destroy You, Angelo Badalamenti, Mogwai, Pelican, Ennio Morricone, Cult of Luna and more, the band provides emotive landscapes and mesmeric incites which never restrain themselves musically or imaginatively to any singular intent or limiting frame. Australasia’s debut release, the Sin4tr4 EP of 2012, opened up the gateway to the band and its invention which the Immortal Frost Productions released Vertebra continues with striking strides into the awakening imagination and aural world of the band.

The journey opens with Aorta and a guitar cast melody which as the album progresses is a regular protagonist if in varying guises and intent. It is a mellow coaxing of a start to the song which gathers intensity in its breath as it opens up its creatively sinewed arms and melodic armoury. Hitting full stride early there is a tempestuous union of post rock provocation and metallic sculpting which flows and moves towards a stretch of sonic beauty and evocative reserve. Impressive rhythms and drums steer the enterprising exploration superbly and the guitar play is quite riveting across the body of the song. In its final thirty seconds or so the track unveils a union of male and female vocal harmonies which provides a last wash of warmth and elegance to the impressively crafted flight.

The following Vostok immediately offers a vintage electronica sound to thoughts though it is soon smothered by a strong cloud of sonic shadows and blackened emotion. The song undulates thrillingly as it progresses, big mountainous rhythms and textures mingled fluidly with tender elegance and those returning electronic caresses before dissipating for a lone acoustic guitar to wave the dark climes away. It is a track which seems to pass so quickly in time and though almost four minutes in length its successor Zero is soon feeding the senses and providing another heady structure of melodic imagination and rhythmic incitement. Not for the first or last time, the music reminds a little of The Cure around the time of the Seventeen Seconds /Faith albums, a shadowed energy coating the air of the song but speared by a melodic beauty which only raises the spirit and light.

Next up Aura roams through a more electro pop /shoegaze realm with eighties synth pop flavouring, though yet again there are intimidating resonances and dark clad tempting which tempers the radiance enough to add wonderful doubt and menace to the calm. The track also sees the captivating voice of Carlucci swarm siren like over the senses. Lyrically the track is uncluttered with effective repetition whilst gentle soaring harmonies make the prime successful persuasion. Like all the tracks, the song seems simple but holds a real deception as everything is so precisely and imaginatively woven together. The closing vocal scat does not quite work for personal tastes but it does not deflect from the smouldering piece of enjoyment.

Both the melodically flamed but intensively blackened Antenna, one of two tracks on the album taken from the earlier EP, and the excellent towering bulgingly muscular Volume continue the impressive height and stature of the album whilst the title track provides a pleasing short Spring respite with expressive tones and soft weaves, even if it feels a little like an anti-climax from the immense and lofty force and heights carved previously.

The second track from Sin4tr4 steps forward next. Apnea provides a reflective blend of imposing density and melancholic beauty wrapped in another bewitching vocal wash from Carlucci and an electro courting which pokes light through the cloudier ambience. It is a delicious embrace which makes way for the bordering on corrosive presence of Deficit. Scuzzy and thickly bonded to the ears, the track thrillingly riles up the senses but then before they can accept the intimidation the piece twists in on itself to lay a beauteous glaze of melodic endeavour on the incitement. It is a short but scintillating piece of composing and realisation waking up the appetite even further for the closing seven minute plus epic of Cinema. Arguably the track is a shade too long but it is a mere quibble when it makes such a compelling temptation across its emotionally clad presence.

Vertebra is a spellbinding release though to temper that slightly maybe it does not ignite a fire in the belly of the passions as often as it arguably could or should have, though again to put that into context, it is fair and easy to say that Australasia has created an adventure which is impossible to resist or stay away from. The band has the potential to create their own legacy you feel as their album permeates through thoughts and emotions, Vertebra a very striking start.

www.australasiamusic.com

www.facebook.com/australasiamusic

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

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Rhoda May – Sessions

Rhoda May Online Promo Shot

    The info sheet accompanying the promo for Sessions, the debut EP from UK progressive rock instrumentalists Rhoda May, waxes lyrical about band and it has to be said that after being washed over by its absorbing potency and imaginative aural narratives the release offers, you can only agree with rather than doubt the claims made. The six track release is a magnetic slice of sonic majesty, a sextet of songs which tease and ignite the imagination without ever over doing anything. The tracks tempt and hint rather than paint exact pictures and with an uncluttered sinewed beauty only seduce the imagination and passions to a full acceptance and hunger for EP and band.

    The Surrey trio of guitarist Will Pain, bassist Andy Page, and drummer Mark Sanger originally conceived the idea of Rhoda May mid-2012 but it was not until last year that the long-time friends officially formed the band after a local venue promoter who happened to overhear the band rehearsing asked them to support UK hip hop/metal pioneers Senser. From that debut show the threesome has gone on to support the likes of Heights, Freeze The Atlantic, and Three Trapped Tigers, all the time increasing their emerging presence. Their first release consists of the 347 and 589 live sessions recorded with producer Jason Wilson (We Are The Ocean, Reuben, Dinosaur Pile Up) and James Kirk respectively. All tracks were recorded as live takes for a series of live videos filmed & directed by Emma Dalesman and now get their appearance together as an EP release, six songs which cast a mouth-watering adventure of modern rock.

     All the tracks upon Sessions are simply numbered which allows the listener to interpret the songs without any prompting or Rhoda May - Cover Artworknudging which even a song title can do; the slices of absorbing creative invention the only persuasion  upon thoughts and emotions. As opener #3 strolls into view with the guitar of Pain jangling seductively around the ear as the gentle rhythmic incitement of Sanger coaxes equal attention, there is an instantaneous connection as a familiarity and mesmeric bait washes the senses. The bass of Page offers a no less potent lure, again with an initial reserve and provocative tone which sparks attention. There is a surf rock essence to the melodic guitar sculpting throughout which is an easy appetiser but it is merely one spice in the melodic rock enticement emerging tantalisingly. Overall the track is a flight through rugged yet radiant climes and textures, never so thick in sounds and structures to threaten or slow its fluidity and riveting adventure but using the simplicity that a mere three instruments can produce to transfix and almost belie the undoubted craft and intensively shaped enterprise.

    It is a masterful start soon equalled by the scorched sonic landscape of #4, a track which smoulders with heavy rock rapaciousness whilst conjuring a melodic luminance which sways and bewitches like a fire bred temptress. As with its predecessor the piece is unafraid to slow its muscular power to offer tender superbly crafted enticements or once comfortable licking and teasing the passions to rile things up and open the gates to another surge of sonically forging metallic endeavour.

     Both #7 and #5 continue the powerfully impressive entrance of release and band, the first an evocative melodically poetic piece of predacious rock which delivers a slight eighties goth rock breath to the guitar whilst the latter is a scuzz kissed fuzz rock persuasion to eagerly indulge in and imaginatively contemplate. As mentioned earlier there is at times a familiarity which coats elements and passages of tracks, this pair being no exception, but it only adds to the strength and colour of the tracks as they spark mind and passions with their delicious bait and rigorous creative charm.

      #8 takes the listener by the hand and leads them into a compelling soar through weather battered rocky terrain lit by melodic beauty and invention which again simply ignites the senses and imagination with sublime ease. Rhoda May perform musical alchemy at times across the EP and especially within this engrossing and mentally invigorating venture. Its triumph is almost shaded by the excellent closing track #9. From its mischievously nagging entrance of jagged riffs and alluring sixties bred guitar enchantment the track expands to build an emotionally textured soundscape, drums and bass crafting heavy dark infused skies beneath which emotive and provocative mastery urges thoughts to build their own adventure. It is a scintillating end to an outstanding debut.

     It is fair to say that Pain primarily grabs attention with his guitar skill and invention but do not assume that Page and Sanger are part players, the trio converging as Rhoda May to create something which needs and exploits every element to create an impressive stunning sound. With thoughts of bands such as Deftones, KingBathmat, Palms, and early Cure amongst others showing their prompts throughout but never to overwhelm something that is original and fascinating, Sessions gives evidence of Rhoda May’s PR claim that they could be “the next band to nationally break.”

www.rhodamay.com

 www.facebook.com/rhodamayband

9/10

RingMaster 06/01/2014

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Sam Thomas – Internal Ether

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From the release of his debut single I’m Gonna Be A Witch earlier this year, UK multi-instrumentalist Sam Thomas continues to impress and mark himself as one of the most potent and exciting new talents to emerge lately. Third single Internal Ether is the next instalment of his impressive arrival on the British rock scene, a track which makes a compelling declaration of craft and enterprise within an absorbing provocative sonic narrative.

Thomas composes with the influence of slow-building classical inspirations which draped his growing up alongside The Beatles and Beach Boys, in a union with the rock sounds he discovered later in life, the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Guns ‘n’ Roses flavouring his unique invention and exploration. The result is a passion fuelled post-rock sound aligned to soft pastoral calms, a merger which instantly impressed on his first single and continues to on Internal Ether. The successor to Gift and taken from his impressive debut album Blind Theatre, the new single is an absorbing adventure which sparks the imagination and feed the emotions with ease.

Opening within a gentle and seductive guitar sculpted embrace, the track is soon casting its provocatively hued painting over thoughts. With potently enticing strings adding their emotive touch to the emerging canvas alongside a guitar which strokes and inspires the imagination into self-reflection and inventive interpretation, the song swells in stature as it progresses. There is also a brewing passion and intensity which fills every corner and aspect of the song, a force which is always held in check but allowed to express its full voice as the track works towards its closing sonic tempest. The vocal samples within the encounter do not quite work as well or as richly as the music but certainly have no ill effect upon the quality and strength of the piece.

The single is completed by a remix of Internal Ether from Opdot, the duo of Tim Laverack and Gavin Kirtley who are Just Music label mates of Thomas. Their version impressively manages to steer the track into another riveting direction without losing the sentiment and heart of the song. It is a pleasing and resourceful take which stands side by side with its source for equal effect and success.

Sam Thomas continues to prove he is an artist it would be foolish to take eyes and ears off of; to miss every step of his ascent a deprivation for the senses and imagination which would be very regrettable as he surely moves on to even greater things and plateaus ahead.

http://samthomasmusic.com

8/10

RingMaster 04/11/2013

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