Scream Arena – Self Titled

Scream Arena fireplace photo

Though their self-titled debut does not offer anything to truly blow the imagination away, UK rockers Scream Arena vein their release with an essence which makes it a very appetising and easy to return to venture. Consisting of twelve tracks which breathe from a hard rock heart whilst infusing rich spices of melodic metal aligned to a swagger related to glam rock, the album is an honestly satisfying encounter; nothing to get the passions racing but plenty to have them hungry for more.

Scream Arena was formed in 2005 by vocalist/songwriter Andy Paul in response to how he felt the rock scene was floundering at the time. Moving through numerous personnel changes, the band eventually found its potency and stability with the line-up guitarists Alex Mullings and Phil O’Dea, bassist Lincoln J. Roth, and drummer Michael Maleckyj alongside Paul. It was the linking up with US rock producer/musician Paul Sabu (David Bowie, Madonna, KISS, Shania Twain, Silent Rage) for the album which has provided the final spark to grabbing a richer spotlight for their sound and presence, something the release shines with. There is a certain Cooper-esque feel to the sound soaking each track and flavours from the likes of Motley Crue, Kiss, and Extreme seem to soak into the band’s invention which makes for a familiar offering with a refreshing and heartily pleasing presence but also a lack of uniqueness which all evens out for an easily pleasing and enjoyable proposition.

Opening track Born Ready revs itself up from the first second, riffs and rhythms a solidly coaxing lure which the guitar design of the Scream Arena - coverartsong explores with eagerness. Once into a purposeful stride with flailing sonic flumes wrapping notes and ears as the gruff tones of Paul eagerly travels the road of the song; it is a magnetic anthem awakening attention and appetite for the impending adventure, which the following engagement of The Price Of Love takes into another gear. Again there is nothing flash about the song, just straight forward and accomplished rock ‘n’ roll cored by infectious short grooves and an excellent rhythmic tempting. The bass also adds to the irrepressible bait of the song, its dark throaty tones a prowling shadow to the punkish twist of the song and the fluid addictive call of the band vocals across the chorus. The song easily confirms, alongside its predecessor, the strength and potency of Scream Arena’s sound and the strength of the album though levels do ebb and flow throughout its remainder.

   Racing To The End Of Night is the first lull in the contagion of the album, its melodic balladry and sensitive sonic enterprise excellently crafted alongside the kiss of eighties bred keys but the spark which made the previous songs notable is a dull light. Nevertheless the song makes for an evocative companion before the sturdier slightly antagonistic House of Pain brings its muscular body and rhythmic caging to bear on thoughts and emotions. The song is an instantly accessible pleasure with bass and drums again stealing the limelight before the stylish skill and colour of guitar takes its fair share of the spoils. With a chorus quite incendiary on the passions the track makes for a gripping incitement which is hard to say is equalled by the cover of Heartbreak Hotel which comes straight after. The song is a mixed bag and leaves thoughts undecided. Certainly the fact that the band turns it into their own song rather than producing just a straight a cover is commendable and very pleasing but it feels like something is missing, a vital ingredient to pull all their ideas into the gem it threatens but fails ultimately to be.

Another Night in London makes for a very easy to immerse in stroll whilst the lively and boisterous Knave Of Hearts romps with feisty intent and gripping invention to steal best track honours with ease. It arguably marks a more adventurous turn in the album with the excellent Forever unleashing emotive guitar expression and skilful rhythmic enticement alongside a similarly potent vocal lure. Goodnight LA is a paler and predictable if admittedly very decent meat between the previous slice of quality and the following pair of Somewhere and the sultry Queen Of Dreams. The first of the two is a hazy breeze of evocative sonic hues and spicy melodies which cradles thoughts and emotions bewitchingly whilst the second of the two soaks the ears in a warm melodic embrace clad in a smouldering glaze of sonic temptation.

With bonus track Heart Of The Rock rigorously and enjoyably bringing the album to a close, Scream Arena has provided a weighty persuasion which marks out their potential in lively colour. It is not a powerfully dramatic introduction to the York based band but certainly leaves no doubts that they are upon a potent ascent.

The Scream Arena album is available now via Mighty Music.

http://www.screamarena.com/

7/10

RingMaster 14/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

From a rock and a hard place: an interview with Monte Pittman

Pic Jack Lue

Pic Jack Lue

The year may be young but it has already seen one of the most thrilling and inventively riveting heavy rock/metal albums likely to bless the year released. The Power of Three from Monte Pittman is a towering feast of adventure and multi-flavoured sinew driven rock fused to heavyweight metal. Renowned and acclaimed for his work with Madonna and the likes of Adam Lambert, Melanie C, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the Texan with the Metal Blade Records released album unleashes his always eager creative and passionate metallic tendencies. Given the pleasure and opportunity to find out more about the magnificent triumph, we talk with Monte Pittman and find out about his early days and inspirations as a budding musician, songwriting, Prong and much more…

Hello Monte and many thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

Before we get into the meat of your excellent new album The Power of Three, can we get some insight into the background of Monte Pittman before the musician and what was the first spark or moment when music drew you to its bosom?

I grew up in Longview, Texas. I’ve wanted to play music since I can remember. I was always fascinated by it. I was very lucky to be a little kid and have bands like Kiss to bands like Pantera as influences. I was one of those kids who would stand on the bed with the door closed pretending I was Ace Frehley to my sisters Kiss records. My cousin, Jimmy, had a few different bands in Dallas and I would see him rehearse as a kid. That’s what started it all.

What have been the major inspirations on you musically and especially in regard to your guitar craft?

That’s something that always changes. The first song I ever learned how to play on the guitar was “One” by Metallica. “…And Justice For All” had just come out. That was an exciting time to get your first guitar! My guitar influences now are Jeff Beck and Freddie King. I’m also heavily influenced by John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk, but they’re not guitar players. As far as bands, a lot of fellow Metal Blade bands…Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and Amon Amarth…also Holy Grail. Great guitar players! Great songs! Great bands!

Aged 24 you moved from Longview to LA; why, was it purely for music reasons?

My cousin, Natalie, lived there and I went to go visit her. As soon as I got there, it felt like home. When I went back to Texas I immediately started making plans to move there as soon as I could knowing the longer I took, the better the chance of talking myself out of it. I moved to LA to work as a professional musician one way or another.

You were already in the relatively successful, certainly locally, band Myra Mains at the time, what were the opportunities you felt could be lying in wait in LA which encouraged you to leave band and family etc. behind?Monte Pittman 1

It was hard leaving but I knew I could always go back if it didn’t work out. I didn’t know what to expect.

Jumping forward a bit and you became guitarist for Madonna; we covered it in our review of your album but can you fill in further for the readers how this came about?

I worked at Guitar Center in Hollywood. I quit and started teaching guitar lessons. One of my first students was Guy Ritchie. He was dating Madonna. Then I started giving her guitar lessons. From there, she asked me to play guitar for her.

You obviously are a heavy weight rocker at heart and creatively so were there any doubts about linking up with the Queen of Pop or was it a no-brainer decision?

No because we already knew each other and she was cool. I love all kinds of music and in her shows we play several styles of music.

As well as all the positives  from working, playing, and writing with the lady has there been any, not exactly negatives but may be doubts from people towards your solo work  before actually hearing it because of that creative union, their expectations making assumptions about your sound maybe?

I’m sure there would be some people who would be on the fence with just that information but hopefully the music speaks for itself.

As we mentioned earlier you have just released The Power of Three, a contagious rock ‘n’ roll beast of a record, what were your feelings about it and its possible reception compared to your previous solo releases?

I wanted to make an ultimate metal album with all the things I loved. I reached a point with my song writing where everything came together…the old with the new. People like different things. Hopefully that leaves something for everybody down the line. The new material has had the best response for sure.

The album is a multi-flavoured and genre varied inventive temptation which draws plenty of essences from your eclectic work and numerous collaborations over the past years; do you feel that yourself and was it intentional or just an organic evolution?

Most of it was an organic evolution. Sometimes you have to just forget everything and start over

I read somewhere that the album was originally going to be a three part release with acoustic, blues, and metal tracks? If so what changed in your thinking taking it into being an all-out metal and muscular rock adventure?

Monte Pittman bandI had written acoustic songs. I had written heavy songs. I had written blues songs. I made an acoustic EP with Flemming Rasmussen. We made plans to record the heavy songs and the heavy songs kept coming. The flood gates were open. I played what we recorded for Brian Slagel and he signed me to Metal Blade.

You also linked up with Danish producer Flemming Rasmussen for the album, a repeat from your earlier acoustic EP as you just mentioned; how did you first meet and what sparked your creative union?

I met Flemming on a day off when I was on tour in Copenhagen. We stayed in contact and eventually made plans to work together. We did the acoustic EP on another day off when I was back in Copenhagen again.

What is it in particular about the man that helps him connect so potently with your ideas and music to help guide it to the right final place?

He knows when to push you. He knows when to be invisible. He puts you in the right frame of mind for what he’s trying to get out of you. He becomes that next band member that’s there recording you.

Is there a general process you go through when writing your songs and music?

I’ll come up with some guitar riffs and then a melody will stick in my head. Then I find words to fit the melody. I can change one word and it changes the meaning of the song so it’s like you are writing a story.

How would you say your music has evolved over the years and specifically between last album Pain, Love & Destiny and The Power of Three?

I looked at what I needed for my live show. I needed faster and harder songs. That was in the back of my mind for everything I was writing at the time. It all started out with me playing solo acoustic shows on my own and that’s grown to what it is now.

Is there a particular moment or essence within the album which gives you an extra tingle?

Somewhere around “Away From Here”, you can really hear us get comfortable. The album was recorded in the order you hear it. The first song was the first thing we recorded. We all recorded at the same time in the same room. You can feel the excitement throughout the album.

Are you an artist who goes into the studio with finished songs or prefers them to either be born in that situation or certainly evolve into the finished article there?

There should be a little of both. I made a general demo of the whole album but we left room to do whatever we felt like doing right there and then in the studio.

Listening to certain tracks on The Power of Three you get the feeling there is a more carnivorous and heavier sound waiting Monte Pittman 3patiently to break out. Do you feel that yourself and is it a future exploration maybe?

This definitely paves the way to get heavier.

Will this upcoming year be a concentrated time supporting the album live and writing or are there already collaborations and varied projects lined up too?

Getting the word out about this album will take up all my time. (hopefully!) We’re playing the Whisky-A-Go-Go in LA February 22 and we’re about to start adding more.

One of our all-time favourite bands here is Prong who you have played, toured, and written with extensively these past years. How did you link up with the guys and is this an on-going thing including their upcoming tour?

When I first moved to LA, Ivan DePrume introduced me and Tommy Victor. From then on, I would wind up going back and forth between Madonna and Prong. Prong has a killer line up right now and Tommy is working on a new album. They are one of my favorite bands too. I’m happy I got to work with them and I’m always there to help if needed.

A big thank you Monte for taking time out to talk with us, any last thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Thanks for talking with me! Great questions! We did a video for “Before The Mourning Son”. Check that out if you haven’t seen it yet. There are some videos of some of our NAMM performances on YouTube at MontePittmanMusic. Keep checking in at www.montepittman.com

Lastly what are the five most important albums in your inspiration over the years?

- “Master Of Puppets” – Metallica

- “Vulgar Display Of Power” – Pantera

- “Pet Sounds” – The Beach Boys

- “Pink Moon” – Nick Drake

- “Shout At The Devil” – Motley Crue

Read the Power Of Three review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/monte-pittman-the-power-of-three/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Exploring the seeds: an interview with Pete Flesh of The Pete Flesh Deathtrip

TPFD Photo2

One of the albums which certainly made a strong and lingering impression this year has been Mortui Vivos Docent from The Pete Flesh Deathtrip, and it should be said that since we posted are review of it a few weeks ago the release has continued to persuade and seduce with its darkest fearful creative journey and surpass what we originally said about it. The solo project of Pete Flesh (ex- Deceiver, Thrown, Maze of Torment), The Pete Flesh Deathtrip is a project which brings fresh venom and breath to death cored extreme metal. Taking the opportunity to find out much more about the album and the man himself, Pete explained about how he creates his music, what drives his thoughts, and how he is doubtful he could return to being just part of a band.

Hi Pete and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

No problem, grateful for the support.

Before we look at and talk about your new album Mortui Vivos Docent can we ask about your background? What sparked firstly your interest in music, inspirations etc. and in metal in particular?

I remember the first time I heard and saw pics of WASP. I had heard and listened to bands like Deep Purple, Kiss etc. But this was something different, I fell for the rawness. The same goes with the first time I heard Bathory or Tormentor. To be creative has always been in my nature since I was a kid. Then when I tried the guitar I have simply not stopped doing songs since. And that has been more important to me, to find new ways to do songs than actually trying to be the next Yngvie Malmsteen; just trying to find different atmospheres and expressions towards different experiences through life.

Did you take music lessons when young or was it a sudden discovery of a passion to play that emerged and led you to developing alone?

I took 3 lessons then I quit, just because I thought it was more satisfying doing my own stuff. Something I regret today. But I have my own style which you can hear directly when I play.

Is there a particular instrument and style you have a greater passion for and enjoy exploring the most?

Well, I must say the guitar as I write most of the songs on that instrument, even if I don´t see myself as a pure guitar player. I also like to play other instruments to explore different ways to create a song. On every album I try at least to have some songs that have the roots from other instruments, like bass or piano. I also like to explore and develop in the rhythm sections for every album, some details here and there.

You played in Maze of Torment, Embryo, Thrown, and Deceiver before starting up solo project Flesh. What was the spark or trigger that led you to go down that road creatively emotionally?

I think it was the fact that I always think in terms of song-writing, that I get the whole picture and not just some riffs here and there. Sometimes it would get frustrating to have this whole idea to a song, but the out-come would maybe be 70%. Some would maybe say that I´m an egotist, but I see myself like someone with strong ideas, ideas where all dedication is needed to get the songs rightful form… And my ideas mostly have no thinking at all towards any success, genre or what other people would think, and that often fails when you are in a band. I´m really proud of my past, and there is a lot of great stuff released, like the debut album of Maze of Torment or the last one with Deceiver.

Was it a bigger step in reality to have a whole project in your hands and imagination than you envisaged or a natural and fluid evolution for your music?

It was hard to make a decision to leave Maze of Torment, the band was my dedication for 12 years. That was the first step towards where I am today. Then I had some years where I tried out different stuff, did the project Thrown etc. But all that was needed in the evolution. There was no bigger problem for me regarding emotions to put down Deceiver and Thrown, I did most of the music and work anyway. It was harder for me to come to the conclusion that I should only focus on one thing and that all of my ideas and expressions can be gathered at one place, like in The Pete Flesh Deathtrip. Today now it´s done and I think back I only see everything as natural steps.

Is there a big personal aspect to your own music lyrically and musically, your songs a reflection of your inside thoughts on things and you see and come across?

Yes, it is. Everything I do must have full dedication towards all reflections and expressions I create through songs. Sometimes it has failed because of studio, members or producer choices, that the ideas not always have been understood. But you go through all that, everyone does to get experiences. The experiences then either make you give up or simply get you stronger in what you believe in and what you want to do.

What inspires your lyrical side predominantly?Mortui Vivos Docent Cover

The dead and death in general; its surroundings and the topics that have been created because of it. Just like the music, this comes natural for me.

You renamed the band to The Pete Flesh Deathtrip from simply Flesh, was this forced upon you as I read somewhere or down to a deliberate intent?

No, not forced but “recommended”. But the main reason was that I only was going to create music for this now and I wanted something more personal. If I had wanted to continue just under the name Flesh, I think there would not have been any bigger problem. Flesh and The Pete Flesh Deathtrip is the same thing for me, the idea is still the same and I even use the old Flesh logo in the inner-sleeve of the new album, just to show people.

As we mentioned earlier Mortui Vivos Docent is your new very recently album, your fourth. How has your music and imagination on the album evolved from those early days of Flesh and across all releases?

If you compare to the first one, “Dödsångest”, I would say that it still has the same formulas, but developed. I had for example never, and I mean never, done vocals before that one. And you can hear it, but it has the same kind of dedication like today. “Temple of Whores” and “Worship the Soul of Disgust” I see as progression albums. Lots of stuff going on in my personal life and other music stuff. If you would take the best of those 2 albums and record it in the same studio as the new one it would become a killer album. Sometimes I play with that thought.

Do you deliberately explore certain aspects and ideas or each release or an artist that lets the music naturally evolve itself and thus each release?

I would say that the seeds to my creations come from the same place, only that I try to develop and explore different stuff in different views from each release. I try to do songs that capture the essence from what I feel at that right moment. I can´t erase my past and influences that have built up the person I am, I will always have stuff that marks my way of playing and how I do songs. But I will always try to find those small details that keep it interesting for me, to create and explore new territories.

There was a five year gap between Mortui Vivos Docent and its predecessor Worship the Soul of Disgust. Any particular reason for that extended gap, and how much of that time was involved in the creation of the new album?

Lots of personal stuff that was going on in my life, elements that had to be sorted out. I was still doing music, but I was in this state of mind that everything had to have its time. I had at that point created music, manic, for over 20 years. I had to take that time to find again that “innocent” feeling, when everything was new and you had not recorded any album yet. This has only been good for me; I have a better way today to see the structures in things. The next album will for sure not take this long; the inspiration is there, more than ever.

As with your previous albums you used session musicians on the album, notably Micke Broberg for some of the vocals and Andreas Jonsson (Tyrant, The Black, Vinertand) for drums. Was this approach always the intention from day one and if you ever expanded the band line-up do you think it would unbalance or in some way diminish the current potency of your music?

No, the idea to use them was not there from the beginning, it was a progress that grew through the process. First my idea was to play the drums myself. When I put that news out on MySpace I got a mail from Andreas directly -“I like Flesh too much to let you play the drums, you are not good enough. At least I can´t be worse”. And he was more than right. I was just trying to isolate myself totally from any impact from any other. Flingan that had played on the previous albums had stopped playing and it felt hopeless finding a new session drummer. That Andreas came into the picture was the best thing that could happen for me. He understood the concept of everything and when he recorded the drums in the studio it was pure energy. Micke came into the picture when more or less all songs were done. I had this idea that it would be good with some contrasts in the vocals as there was a lot of it in the music. You know, I only have this kind of vocal style, and sometimes I hear stuff in my head when I do the songs that I can´t really manage vocally. First it was only going to be on one track, then there were two, and suddenly it was half of the album. All this came naturally through the progress of writing lyrics and what I wanted out of the songs. He also wrote some lyrics. Both Andreas and Micke did brilliant work, and to tell the truth, I never thought that there were people out there that I could work this good with, I´m grateful. There will never be any other full-time members in T.P.F.D.T than myself. The reason is simple. This is a solo project and I want to always have the doors open for new ideas. Maybe Andreas and Micke are on the next album as well, maybe not. All depends on how songs etc. progress under the process. Also, even if they are included on the next recording I maybe have this idea that is totally out of their taste, like using an Opera singer as just an example. As a band and full time members you could refuse that. So, this will continue as a solo project.

How do you approach your songwriting generally and how has that changed over the years if at all?

I wait till the inspiration comes to me. Sometimes I tease myself and wait longer then it just explodes. Anyone that can play little guitar are able to fix that fat sound and just do riffs. The riffing part is not hard for me, the hard part is to find the riffs, ideas, structures etc. that in the end will express something and that you can feel dedicated to, simply to create a good song. Also when I start the process in writing a whole album it´s not just about doing single songs, I try slowly to get a picture of a whole album, the expression and atmospheres to it all. I want to have a dynamic to it all. I would say that I in the early days was a bit more stressful in the writing process of a whole album, there are good songs and the structure is there, but to hold it through a whole album has failed sometimes. To put it simple, I know better what I want and how I want to express it today.

TPFD Photo1When you bring in musicians to help bring your songs to life in the studio are they finished and sealed compositions before them or is there still a little room for ideas to be offered and considered?

All the songs are already there, but that doesn´t take away the room for ideas. For example, Andreas did a lot of drum parts that maybe were not was my idea from the beginning, all cred to that. Also on the trax where Micke had done the lyrics he had a lot of say. I had said the parts where the verse, chorus etc. would be, but the expressions in the words, the type of vocals is his and all cred to that. I notice pretty fast that these guys understood the concept to it all, so to collaborate through different ideas was no problem for me. I would never take away their great impact on this album and say that it´s all mine. The only important thing for me is making the album I had in my head and make it good, and they contributed to that. And I must mention the producer Peter Bjärgö (Arcana, Crypt of Kerberos, Tyrant), his role has been as important. I had tons of ideas that he was able to fulfil, like piano stuff, samples etc. so all cred to him as well.

Do you think having spent the past decade writing and creating alone that returning to a band set up would be a struggle for you creatively, losing the sole control etc.?

I have thought about it sometimes, to form something and rehearse like a band. But after 10 seconds of thinking I realize who I am and know that I will be manic about it; I can´t play in a band just for the fun of it. The closest to a band I ever will get, at least it feels like it right now, is if I put T.P.F.D.T into a live situation, but first I must find a second guitarist.

Did you have a core idea or intent when writing Mortui Vivos Docent?

That this would be the most honest and personal album that I had done; to get back to that feeling when I wrote for the first Maze of Torment album. A mixture between that and when I did “The Suicide Kings Occult” with Thrown (one album project where I also plays drums). Simply finding the core to the reason why I crave and are addicted to making music. It all sounds bloody boring and ambitious, it´s only fucking Metal…..well, not to me.

Written over the long period mentioned how much did songs change and evolve from their original conception on the album or are you a person who can leave things alone once a song is ‘finished’?

No song is done until the mastering is finished. For me a song is a breathing thing, it´s a creation, something that follows me during the whole day and night. Most of my social life is gone because I choose this way of life instead, to write. But when the drums are done the big frame, structure is of course done. But then you are able to “colour” the songs in so many ways. I try to go in with small details if I feel like a song will fail. One of the tracks on the new album “The Suicide End”, that a lot seems to like, was a struggle for me. The idea was clear in my head, I heard what I wanted, but it wasn’t there. Everyone had played everything right, the vocals was right and had the right expression and atmosphere, but there was something missing. When Peter and I mixed the album I was fucking furious. For me this song was destroyed, maybe not for someone else, but for me, that millimetre detail that would put the song in its rightful place was not there, and the song was bloody important to me. Then I just tried to turn up the vocals one small step after trying to mix the guitars, drums etc. different, and there it was. For me it was like day and night in differences. Maybe it sounds stupid and obvious for someone else, that it should not have been too hard to notice it directly. But everyone that has a whole writing process in the head also knows that it’s easy to get a bit blind during the mixing process. Tons of things to keep track of to find that special thing that makes the song.

Is there a part of moment of the album which gives you the biggest tingle or thrill inside, something which is the purest part of Pete Flesh?TPFD Logo

Yes, the thing that I just mentioned. Can´t describe that feeling when it turned out exactly as I wanted. Of course a lot of other stuff did as well, but with fewer struggles; the chorus of “Recycle my Death”, the verses in “Burning Darkness”. This is just to mention something, because there is a lot of stuff that I worked really hard with trying to capture. But those two things and the verse in “God of the Crawling Whore”, that is pure Pete Flesh. Other things that give me the thrill, Micke’s and Ia´s brilliant vocals in “Bleed” and his chorus lines in “The Eternal Dawn”. Just brilliant.

Will you be taking the new release into the live arena and if so do you have a regular group of musicians to call on to help?

Nothing is settled yet, there is a lot of work making it happen. But if it would happen I of course want Micke and Andreas to follow. Micke is a skilled musician, so he can also handle the bass. Then I only need to find a second guitar player to work with. This is a process, like an album, that I want to think everything through carefully.

Once more thank you for allowing us to explore your music and creativity.

No problem at all. Thank you for questions that prove your interest for my music.

Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Silvester Anfang

 

Check out the review for Mortui Vivos Docent@  http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/the-pete-flesh-deathtrip-mortui-vivos-docent/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 28/08/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Until Dawn – Horizon

Until Dawn 2013 promo-1

Containing a fury of passion, aggression, and sheer unbridled power, Horizon the new album from Canadian metallers Until Dawn, is a thrilling riotous introduction of a band with certain craft and unbridled creative energy. Not that the band itself is new on certainly their home metal scene, their debut self-titled album capturing the imagination of a great many in their homeland upon release in 2011, but for most of us on the outside their second full length is the first time the quintet has stepped upon the radar. Going by the quality and strength of the album it will not be the last time either and as they develop into a more distinctly unique presence ahead, you can only feel that Until Dawn will become a potent force of the future.

Hailing from Fort McMurray, Alberta, the line-up of brothers Deke (guitar) and Luke Worrell (drums), Adam Macleod (vocals), Steve White (guitar), and Darren Ehler (bass), forge a tight and hungry mix of melodic and intensive metal with the flames of heavy rock, the result an often bruising and always thoroughly compelling brawl of a sound with fiery depths which has led the band to be compared to the likes of Killswitch Engage, In Flames, and Trivium. The years since forming has seen the band shares stages impressively alongside the likes of Kiss, Korn, Volbeat, Billy Talent, Kiss, A Day To Remember, Hell Yeah, All Else Fails, Fozzy, Ill Scarlett, 3 Inches of Blood and many more, but as their new album steps into view with a flare and confident swagger which oozes promise and maturity you sense the widest recognition is beginning to stir. Their sound, one suspects, is still in evolution as they look to create a distinct space within metal and though the release has not achieved that it suggests it is on the way.

The self-released album stands face to face with the ear from its opening seconds as Roamers And Lurkers prods the senses into Horizon Booklet Coveralertness with scythes of resonating guitar punches cutting across a niggling beckoning of riffs. With bass and drums casting their sinew woven net around the invitation the track charges into an attention grabbing blaze of energy and feisty sound, the excellent vocals of Macleod which fall somewhere between gravelly and clean, offering an expressive rage of narrative and urgency to the equally energetic sound now in full flow. Though those references earlier mentioned are understandable the bands that immediately make an suggestive comparison are Bloodsimple and UK band I-Def-I, the expertly blended mix of styles and imposing intensity a familiar and potent weapon between all three impressive artists.

The following Strings Of The Dammed is less stressful in its attack though no less fierce of heart and presence, the guitars carving out a provocative sonic strewed wash of enterprise aligned to the again tempting varied vocal enticement. It is a formidable slice of inventive persuasion, a virulent contagion to its adventure and cultivated skill to its presentation securing the hunger of the passions early on and only gripping tighter across the expanse of the track, the same attribute you can lie at the feet of both The Red Sun Rises This Day and Third Knee, two lethally addictive tracks which only add greater irresistible toxicity to the release as their compelling barbed offerings continue their creative persistence. It is fair to say that there is a surface similarity which has its say at times, especially between the first two of this trio, but it is never a strong issue though maybe in the future the band will be picked up on it.

The towering This Fallen Fortress ignites further depths of pleasure next; the opening bass crawl over pungent imagination a spark to the unleashing of the most savage premise of the album yet, though equally it merges it with a smouldering melodic entrapment rife with allurement and intrigue. This certain pinnacle of the album seemingly plays like a trigger as Horizon unveils a new wealth of striking and explosively evocative songs to match its opening. The fervent passion of A Conjurer Of Cheap Tricks and the exceptional predatory Time Tested Fortune snatch greater hunger and lust from the body whilst The Trial continues the rapacious greed with another stirring expulsion of uncompromising creative sway and bait to cement the album’s place in the passions, even if amongst them DNR is a weak link in the inspired aural slavery.

Completed by Polar Parallels and its title track, two more fertile canvases for thoughts and passions to immerse within, plus the bonus tracks WM3 and Richard, the first of the two another self-asserting treat on the release, Horizon is a thrilling and imperious assault from a band with a tremendous future. It may not be the most original album this year but with its fire and distinct craft it is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable and refreshing.

http://www.untildawn.ca/

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Love Stricken Demise: Psychotrip EP

Not many can turn their noses up at some dirty explosive and honest rock sounds, something you get with relish from US rockers Love Stricken Demise. Their debut EP Psychotrip is a wonderful insatiable bruise of rock n roll, colourful and insistent. Consisting of four songs which ignite an overspill of adrenaline, the release leaves one fully gratified and eager for more.

The background to the Texan quartet is as full and multi hued as their sounds. The band was started in 2011 by guitarist and vocalist Billy Blair, a musician who from fronting shock rock band Surgeon General in the early years of this century with whom he shared stages with bands such as KISS, Poison, Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth and Cinderella, played bass for Earshot in 2008. The years in between also saw him in the likes of Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, White Collar Ghetto, and Messer. Over the past decade he ventured into acting appearing in films Mongolian Death Worm, Jonah Hex and Machete. With the intent to form a new band Blair turned to a drummer he worked with in the past in Rico (Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, White Collar Ghetto, Spearing Britney, EKG, Mind Gallery and KRADL).

Next the pair brought in vocalist Nikki McKibbin, a singer they had worked with previously. Her musical career saw her fronting groups like Downside, Rivithead and Mother Truckin Skulldiggers and most recently Wicked Attraction as well as releasing solo material, but a fame of a sorts came her way on the first season of American Idol and subsequent appearances on Fear Factor, Celebrity Rehab and Sober House,

The band was completed with the addition of bassist Holly Wood, a lady who apart from playing guitar for the past decade, switching to bass for Love Stricken Demise, is a master of ceremonies and hair stylist who not only preens the locks of Blair but has managed the hair of the Bush family. Arguably a larger than life canvas behind the band but no one should think of dismissing the quality and sincerity of their sounds.

Produced by Sterling Winfield the EP shows the strength and high level of the music immediately with the excellent title track. It is a song as infectious and hungry as a flea on a dog. Feisty riffs first stand tall barracking the ear before making room for the sharp melodic hooks of Blair. The rhythms of Rico are commanding and jab with an aggressive control to frame the song but it is the bass of Wood which ignites most adoration. Her sounds stalk and pace the track with a deep throaty growl like a wolf just waiting to pounce, her heavy presence making the perfect balance to the heated strokes and play on Blair. Once the vocals of McKibbin fire up the atmosphere everything is in place for the aural party, her delivery and voice impressively strong and varied, offering a snarl to the words and contempt to the heart of the track.

Celebrity High follows to keep the great start going. A track about and borne from the battle McKibbin herself had with drugs, alcohol and her subsequent recovery, the song is straight from the heart, its passion and emotion pouring through. The personal intensity makes for a potent and inciteful piece of muscular punk/hard rock and takes the song deep into thought and feelings.

This Life stirs and winds its way to attention with firstly sparking melodic guitar play and then a following addictive groove which wraps itself around an even deeper ravenous growl from Wood and sharper destructive power from Rico. The track is a tempered crawl though there is no restraint to its aggression and directness. A track born to soundtrack the most seductive pole dance possible, well certainly the music, the song is a teasing weave of contagion which lingers long after it burns its last flaming chord.

The release is completed by the stomping combative Love And Hate, the song storming across the senses with a barbed intent as it unleashes its passions and fiery breath. The track also powerfully shows a further expanse to the sound and creativity of the band. Love Stricken Demise here and throughout the EP, reminds of Boston punk metal band Mongrel, the voice of McKibbin very similar to that of Jessica Sierra which is wholly a good thing. Left on a real high by the track, the only moan is it is all over so soon immediately instigating an impatience for much more, and soon.

The Psychotrip EP is the best kind of rock n roll and Love Stricken Demise just what rock music needs, something on the cusp of being dangerous, fully inspiring, and brought with open honesty.

http://lovestrickendemise.com/

RingMaster 17/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Dirt Box Disco: Legends

The debut album from UK punks Dirt Box Disco only has simple and direct intentions, to stomp on your testicles, kick you in the guts, and to rummage in any parts remaining whilst ensuring you have the greatest fun whilst they do it. Legends is an unbridled blast of excitable and infectious rock n roll, it makes no demands musically and has no deep intellectual musings to share, well it has no time to when it is so busy rampaging and gate crashing the lowest and most primal instincts within us all.

Released via STP Records June 18th, Legends is what all the best punk albums are, crazed, uncontrollably infectious, and a continual spasm of attitude and belligerence within the ear. The bio accompanying the release states it possibly sounds like KISS vs. Rancid vs. Showaddywaddy, we would have said The Wildhearts meets early Green Day in a salacious filth coated union with Mud and The Adicts, but you get the idea. Written by guitarist SPUNK VOLCANO and ably brought to boisterous fruition alongside him by his eager cohorts in vocalist WEAB.I.AM, lead guitarist DANNY FINGERS, bassist DEADBEATZ CHRIS, and drummer MAFF FAZZO, the album is a frenzied and irresistible ball of feistiness.

Since forming in 2009 Dirt Box Disco has riled up and incited their ever growing legion of fans to rupture joints and lose body fluids persistently with songs that are slightly tribal and always slices of agitated rock n roll. Previous EP Are You Ready? of last year marked the Derbyshire quintet as a band to embrace or hide your sons and daughters from but Legends has elevated the band into one of the best emerging punk/rock bands in the UK. Alongside the likes of Supercharger and The Duel, Dirt Box Disco bring a fresh and re-energised heart back to true UK punk whilst making it as compulsive and additive as any pop punk band.

The aggravated garage punk of The Other Side Of The Street pounces on the ear to set the album off on its belting energised mayhem. It screams and pesters with scorched guitars, intimidating riffs, and group yells. It has no intention on charming or seducing the senses just to rile them up and have them clinging on for sweet life. It is a devastating start continued by the following explosive Peepshow. The track taunts and bruises with an arrogance and proud declaration that reminds of a mix between NOFX and the Vibrators.

Already the album has convinced it is going to be one memorable and riotous fun barring a collapse in flight as dramatic as in an innings from an England cricket team. There is no chance though with songs like the Ramones fuelled Rock n’ Rolla a song that could be the nostalgic playlist of all punks and the blood pumping sing-a-long I Just Want To Be A Girl, this one as sirenesque as a pole dancer in overdrive and an easy manipulator of limbs and voice.

Every song on Legend captures the imagination and triggers the instinctive urge to join in, every slab of punk rock making it easy with anthemic hooks and contagious energy. Without a weak moment to be found on there are still certain songs which ignite the deepest uncomplicated allegiance to their high energy accosting most of all.  Smackhead is a minute and a half corruption of the ear, just how punk used and should always be, no niceties and no element left for the imagination to explore. The outstanding pop punk flourish of I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You, the UK Subs/Top Buzzer like Let’s Get Wasted!, and the scuzzed garage blistering of We All Fall Down, all leave one with a big grin inside and out but the two moments that leave the sharpest and most lingering intrusion are the brilliant I Am Rock n’ Roll and Dirtbox Days.

Both are beautifully simple and deviously infectious. Before you know it they have turned heart and voice into their puppets with joining in and littering the air with flailing limbs is a must. I Am Rock n’ Roll imply declares that I, you, we and this is all rock n roll and it is impossible to argue otherwise, the song simply  a impassioned musical call to arms. Dirtbox Days closes the album in similar fashion, anthemic generosity dripping from every note and syllable. The track sweeps over the senses with an easy pop punk enthusiasm, think The Monkees as Hagfish and a song which is fun, undemanding and again fully contagious. It builds to a triumphant climax of simplistic “This is Dirtbox Day” chanting and if you cannot resist you need to check for a pulse.

Legends is awesome, simple as. You can take all your reflective and provocative songs to bring thought and ideas to consider and be inspired by for nothing is as thoroughly rewarding, uplifting and enjoyable as punk at its best and Dirt Box Disco certainly create that. Go enjoy!

http://www.dirtboxdisco.co.uk

RingMaster 12/05/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Interview with Mike Paradine

The instant the debut solo album from Mike Paradine puts the first of the muscular slices of rock n roll that impressively make up its generous and undemanding glory through the ear, there is nothing but eager enthusiasm, respect and downright joy going back in return. Death In The Family is simply rock n roll at its very best and brought with an enterprise and honesty that makes the pleasure it gives deeper and long lasting each and every time. Eagerly wanting to know more about the man and his release we asked Mike if he would tell us more. As generous with his time and words as with his music Mike Paradine tells us about the man, his life, and the music that has made his album one of the highlights of the year so far at The Ringmaster Review.

Hello and welcome to The RingMaster Review. Many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Would you start of by telling us about the man who is Mike Paradine?

Well there’s not much…hahah! I just try and go through life with blinders on, not to take things too seriously. Basically I try and find the humour or inject humour into anything I do or see. The reason is that sometimes there are things in life where situations have to be taken seriously, so all of the other times I try to have a good laugh at life and just lighten things up. I take pride in everything I do but not to the point where it consumes my life. There are just too many things in this world to do and experience.

You were introduced to music at an early age in the shape of the Beatles, and I noticed you give Ray Davies as a major influence for you too. As a child growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey these are slightly unexpected flavours from the UK, what was it about them that really took hold with you?

My father’s brother, my Uncle Billy , gave me the Kinks 45 record “Father Christmas” as Christmas present one year and loved the humour  in it. It opened my eye that songs could be written well and be funny at the same time. The following year he gave me the “Muswell Hillbillies” album and just saw how well Ray could tell a human story. From then on in, I started looking at songs a different way, where lyrics actually could mean something. I mean, when I was a little kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, music was something that was heard and felt, not explored. That is, until then.

Music was a constant in your household and life growing up?

Sure thing. My parents did not play any instruments but music was always played in the house. They had a great 45 collection, packed in record cases. Unfortunately as a 2 year old, I broke a lot of them, hahah. At age 3, my parents gave me a “close and play” record player and gave me some records to play on it. The Beatles became a favourite of mine. Of course I couldn’t read but I could figure out the Beatles records because at the time they were all on the Capital Records label. The label itself had an orange and yellow swirl and I figured that out. Problem was the Beach Boys were also on that label. So sometime I got the Beatles, sometimes the Beach Boys which I immediately took off the player. My father showed me that the Beach Boys had 2 b’s in their name and the Beatles only one. Things got better after that.

When did you begin to venture into making music itself?

I always wanted to be in a band, even as a little kid. I had pictured myself playing in the Beatles. But I actually started fooling around with the drums around 6th or 7th grade. I bought a starter kit from Sears and started playing to some of the records that I had. My best friend at the time, Mike, had a guitar and he would come over and we would do the riff from “Smoke on the Water” over and over again. We named the group “Moonwind” but nothing ever became of it. It wasn’t till a few years later that I actually got a real band together.

You also developed a love for comic books and horror movies as a child, was this also your gate way into rock music or just a blossoming love that grew at the same time?

At the time they were separate interests. Another uncle, this time my mother’s brother, Ronnie, was the one who got me into this. He was also partly responsible for me getting in the Beatles. He would come over once or twice a week and he would draw all these comic book and movie monsters for me. This is the time were I was schooled in not only the pop culture at the time but how to draw and illustrate. As time went on, music was pushed into the background and I took a real interest in drawing. By the time I was in Kindergarten, my skill at drawing was that at a fifth grade level. This was when my imagination grew and it was a great time for myself. You could just submerge yourself into different realities and you controlled the outcome.

You were a child discovering the wonders of music and comics as mentioned and also baseball but then was hit with the nightmare of cancer and the loss of your left leg below the knee. It is said that children are the most adaptable and resilient to this kind of life changing thing and are able to look beyond for positives and new directions. Was it that ‘easy’ for you?

Very cool question. Actually, the amputation was above the knee.  But absolutely… baseball came very natural for me and I was very good at it. Just playing on the field, in front of a crowd was very exhilarating. It’s from these days that I found that I liked playing in front of an audience. When I was diagnosed with cancer, it seemed the whole world was coming down. I knew that if I couldn’t give it 100% and play like I did before, that it wasn’t worth doing. You find out immediately that your body is naturally balanced and when one of those things is taken out of the equation, your whole body is off. It just isn’t the same even with some adjustments. But as luck would have it, I had rock n roll. I was still playing drums and I was really into Alice Cooper at the time. I saw the spectacle in his show. I saw that rock and roll didn’t care about your deformities. It just cared that you were into the music. Alice, David Bowie, they all taught me that freaks, misfits and degenerates, as well as everyone else  were all accepted in this society. I immediately embraced that. This was a place where as long as you were entertaining, you were accepted.

Was this the point the defiance and fight within you as apparent on your new solo album which we will move on to shortly, stepped forth?

Back then, I just took one day at a time. There were those that didn’t think I could play drums in a band because of the cancer thing. I never confronted them, I never got into fights because of it, never argued about it. I just kept playing. The best way to shut somebody’s mouth is to just do it. The real fight was within myself. It wasn’t for anyone else. It was for me to prove that I could do it.  No matter how, I was determined to play.  It was hard at first. I had chemotherapy treatment every other week and that would knock me out for that time. The following week was to keep up with school work that I missed for that week and for the week that I was there. I always found the time to practice though.

You turned to music even more from this point, and obviously became a drummer. Why the drums and was there any particular musician or band that inspired that choice?

I found that the drums were easier to play and I caught on pretty fast. At this time I was hanging out with people who, though were just beginners, could actually play guitar. We would jam at my house and started our first band, Cerberus. KISS really pushed me into putting a band together and playing out. The excitement of their shows were so inspirational, I had to try it. Neil Smith of Alice Cooper and Peter Criss of KISS at the time were the guys I tried to emulate.

When did you begin writing your own songs?

That was during my time in my first band. Though we were a cover band I did start writing my own lyrics on the side with hopes that we would start writing our own material. For the most part, it never happened though we did have maybe 2 or 3 originals which never made it out to the public performances.

As I am writing these questions by coincidence a news report has come on TV about a new exhibition in London dedicated to Phil Lynott who also was a big influence to you. What was it about his music and lyrics that struck you the deepest?

Oh yes…I love Thin Lizzy.  My biggest influences lyrically are Alice Cooper, Ray Davies and Phil. Ray had the social commentary thing going,Alice took horrific situations and twisted them slightly to where he put a sense of humour to them and Phil wrote about his beliefs, family and basically personal insights. That’s what attracted me to his writings. He wasn’t afraid to sing about his inner thoughts. I’ve always been interested in the  “human” aspect of things and this was something I took to right away.

You have been part of Balistik Kick and are the rhythm master and song writer in ArticFlame but do you mind if we move straight to Death In The Family your great new solo album. My first question is how has it taken you so long to make one haha?

I never had the thought of doing one until after ArcticFlame finished the “Guardian at the Gate” album. I built a small recording studio in my yard and contacted some musician friends of mine to see if they would be interested in doing this project together. Initially, I worked with a guitarist from the band Bloodfeast but it didn’t last too long. We did manage to have about 4 songs done musically but then his schedule changed and it became impossible to continue. It wasn’t until I reconnected with producer, Dave Manheim (he did ArcticFlame’s “Declaration” CD) on Facebook that I told him about my idea. He was totally interested and we struck a deal where he would do my solo album and the next AF album.

Death In The Family  is made up of a deeply impressive collection of songs that come from your personal experiences and heart, how easy have the songs been to bring forth?

Honestly, very easy.  Writing personal songs has never been a problem for me and I really have to thank my influences for that. I’ll never be as good as those guys but they taught how to get a story across, what type of phrasing to use, how to use syllables as a rhythm and just be honest with your thoughts. The only thing that I can bring to the table is my own experiences and with that, I have plenty.

How long has the album been in the making from first seed until release?

The writing process was down very quickly. Dave wrote the music the first week, I wrote the melody and lyrics the second. By the third week the album was completely recorded and we spent about 4 days after that mixing the album. It took more to get released. Right after the mixing sessions were done, ArcticFlame went in and started the “Shake the Earth” album” which took about 4 months to do. So I didn’t get around to putting the artwork and layout for my solo album until after that, which was, I think, October. I got the actual physical copies done around January and it was after that, that I started sitting down and figuring out how to do the promo work for it.

The songs as the lyrics are varied and diverse, some tracks rock and hard rock in flavour and others metal borne. Was this intentional to encompass your own tastes and influences or they just evolved as you began writing them this way?

Yes…I wanted it to reflect all of the music that I enjoyed throughout my life, starting with straight rock and roll to the traditional metal. It was Dave’s idea to include the Guns N Rose style punk that is heard in “Suzi with an Uzi”. That was just a really fun song to do.  I had to write something on the humorous side for that. The first time I heard the music. it immediately reminded me of GnR’s punkier side which is really gritty and I love all of that. It was a good but different ingredient to add to the album.

How do you approach your songwriting?

I don’t have one way of doing it. Usually I’ll have an idea for a song and then put it to paper. If someone comes up with music that I think would fit those set of lyrics, I’ll sit down and work at it. Sometimes the lyrics will fit right from the start but mostly I have to tinker with parts so that it makes sense as a whole. Once in a while I’ll have the music, melody and lyrics all at the same time. It’s always good to have a few beers though. That’s the one constant..hahahah!!!!!!

Has Death In The Family given you a freedom and wider scope of expression than writing for ArticFlame allows?

The solo was the reason for this. I could of written a traditional metal sounding album for the solo album but why do that? I already do that with AF and enjoy that. This gave me a broader horizon and to use all of my musically influences. I look at Phil Lynott’s solo albums as a model. Some of that music I can’t get into but I understand what he was trying to do. He didn’t care. It was what he wanted to do to combine the music with the lyrical content and mould it into one expression.  That’s the kind of approach I wanted to take.

As mentioned earlier you have worked alongside Dave Manheim (Supernatiral, Society Killers) on the album, how did you guys originally meet?

Jack Frost (Seven Witches) produced the first ArcticFlame album and had Dave as the engineer. He asked to produce the second album “Declaration” and since he worked with Overkill and Symphony X before, we agreed. We’ve been in contact on and off over the years.

There feels a perfect and natural understanding between you two as one listens to the album.

Glad you noticed. We both had that conversation and is why he’ll do my next couple of albums. I have to tell you that everything was smooth sailing on this project. It was a real fun album to do because everything seemed to fit so naturally. If I described what type of style I was looking for, he would nail it on the first draft. Plus we had a lot of laughs in the studio.

You also have many other artists added their fine touches including Richard Holmgren (Wolf) and Michael Clayton Moore (ArcticFlame). Did you always have them in mind for certain songs as Death In The Family evolved?

Not really. It wasn’t until I heard the actual completed music that I tried to place the voice with the song. With Richard, I had no idea what he was going to sound like. I had his solo album called “Blackworld” and loved the sound of his voice. He had this Dio like quality to it and when he sent back the songs, I was amazed. Dave had a concern before we got them because he never heard him before but as soon as he heard it, he agreed that he was a great choice for those two songs. With Mike we already had an idea what he was going to sound like so we had it planned out what we wanted him to do.

As mentioned lyrically the songs are strongly personal at times, the likes of Rise Up from the Grave dealing with your time with cancer and Bow Down To The Queen referring to an on-going family feud? There is though also some wonderful dark humour throughout especially in the wonderful Cooperesque Monster’s Ball and our favourite song Suzie with an Uzi. Humour is an important and powerful tool in your character one suspects.

Absolutely and it all comes from my father’s side of the family. They are insanely funny and all they do is laugh. My father and I would watch Monty Python religiously every Sunday as I was growing up. We would listen to his Rodney Dangerfield albums and watch the local comedy show, The Uncle Floyd Show. I found out the humour also broke the ice with people. When I was sick, people wouldn’t know how to approach me but by my sense of humour it immediately let people know that I wasn’t an angry person. It was also a good tool to use when other kids would make fun of me. Once I made fun of myself, it automatically disarmed them. They saw that by making fun of myself and laughing about it, there was nothing they could say or do to hurt my feelings. These types of situations didn’t last long because of this.

Is there any particular part of the album that you are proudest of or means the most in your heart?

That is actually a hard question. When I heard “On A Tuesday Morning” for the first time, it knocked me to the floor. I never, ever pictured myself writing a commercial sounding song. Plus it was about an actual event that happened that most people don’t know about. Dave did such a great job on it. I was amazed and still am. “Monsters Ball” is cool because it came out exactly what I had in mind. It’s not the best song on the album but I wanted to give a nod to Alice Cooper and I think I accomplished that. He was the inspiration for that song and I’m glad you pointed that out [in our review of the album]. The best I can say is that I like this album a lot and I actually listen to it regularly. It came out better than I ever expected.

In our review we said Death In The Family has no intention of breaking down barriers or trying to set new directions, it is just rock n roll at its best, a celebration of the sounds and music we all grew up with, is that a fair comment?

You nailed it and that’s the way I’m going to continue. I’m not looking to re-invent the wheel. I’m not looking to be the best or look for the next big sound. I just want to write things that I know about. You can listen for the deeper meaning of the songs, if that’s what you’re into or you can sit down, have a beer and just listen to the music. That’s good enough for me. It all comes down to having fun.

So we are to be blessed with more solo work from you in the future?

Blessed?!?!?!?  I don’t know about that but…Yes, in fact Dave and I have discussed this a few weeks back. Lyric wise, I have the next 2 albums done. The next album is planned to be written this year with a Guns N Roses style to it. I love Steve Jones “Fire and Gasoline” album and want to travel in that direction also. So hopefully we’ll try and mix those styles together. The 3rd album is a story I had written a few years ago and will probably be more in the traditional metal sound.

And live shows for The Mike Paradine Group?

This week I put out a few calls to some musicians I know and looks like we’ll play a handful of shows toward the end of the summer. Kilroy, the guitarist form the album will be joining us as well as Michael Clayton-Moore of ArcticFlame. We’ll both be sharing the front of the stage for this, with some visuals to be added and just have some fun.

I also wanted to ask about your book King of Toys. Could you tell us about that?

Sure, I wrote that a few years back. It is a horror/poetry type book. Almost like one long set of song lyrics. It tells the story of a 8 year old boy who is abused by his parents and their friends. One night after a horrific episode of abuse his toys come to life and take revenge. The boy also finds out about a lie that the father had told him about a family pet. That fabrication comes back to bite the parents in the ass….

What is its inspiration?

It came from a true story. When my oldest son was in the first grade, he had a friend who used to come over the house, a very hyper kid. We found out that when this boy was a few months old he was severely abused by his mother. So much in fact, that she broke his arm. The sister was granted guardianship and that’s where this boy was living. Just the thought of that happening was upsetting to me. I thought to myself, when you are a very young kid and your parents, abuse and hurt you, where do you turn to? Parents are gods to children and if god is hurting you, where can you go, who do you talk to? My first thought was, your toys, your playthings. Kids talk to the toys and if you’re that age, it makes sense. So I took that approach and added the revenge part of it. Here is a kid from a lower economic background with a bunch of broken down toys but he loves them to death. They in turn return that feeling and protect this kid no matter what.  If only things like that could truly happen though….

What comes next for Mike Paradine?

I don’t know…a nice cold beer maybe????  I’m doing an old school thrash recording project with my son Erik. We plan on recording possibly May/June at Michael Clayton-Moore’s studio. Other than that, ArcticFlame releases the new album in June.

Once more a great thanks for sharing your time to talk with us, it has been a pleasure.

The pleasure was all mine! Thanks for the cool questions…

Would you like to end with a last comment or thought?

If anyone would like to book the band, contact me. Will try and figure something out.

Other than that….I’ll be in Mansfield, England at the Intake Club with ArcticFlame on Saturday, May 26th at the Metalgods Festival. So, if anyone’s not doing anything, stop by and we’ll hang and have a couple of beers!!!

Read the Death In The Family review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/mike-paradine-group-death-in-the-family/

The RingMaster Review 11/04/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Mike Paradine Group – Death In The Family

Unsure what to expect going into the debut solo album from Mike Paradine, the drummer of metal band ArcticFlame, there was a slight reticence alongside the intrigue. Traditional metal the sound his day job creates is not the favoured sound here but as soon as the opening chords and riffs broke out upon Death In The Family any doubt was blown right away. The album is an eager and undemanding muscular burst of honest and straight forward rock ‘n’ roll. An immediate buddy to go sink some beer with and delight in mischief alongside, basically a total joy.

The Mike Paradine Group has produced an album that captures the imagination and heart with songs that carry no pretence or self indulgence. They are tunes wanting to have and to offer fun which they do across all ten exuberant tracks to the fullest satisfaction. The collection of songs are a personal journey for Paradine with many of the themes being taken from his “on-going feud” with certain family members, his battle with cancer as a thirteen year old, and his life growing up through the 70’s and 80’s in Bayonne, New Jersey. With the lyrics and melodies provided by Paradine alongside the music of Dave Manheim (Supernatiral, Society Killers), who also produced the release, the album is an honest creation from the heart with no sign of bitterness or anger, just truth.

The album sees Paradine bringing vocals and all drums to its tracks with Manheim providing the guitars, bass, and keyboard. There are also additional contributions from Richard Holmgren (Wolf) and Michael Clayton Moore (ArcticFlame) who do the vocals on some songs as does Manheim, Jeff Scott (ArcticFlame) on bass for the cover of Parasite by Kiss, and Kilroy on guitar. Death In The Family is wonderfully varied, bursting out with quality heavy metal energy and aggression at times whilst on some tracks exciting the ear with powerful rock based songs. There is never a predictable moment or any point when one looks forward to the next track. The release is not ground breaking but simply feeds the senses with the best infectious rock ‘n’ roll wrapped up in an invention and energy that captures the heart and imagination.

       Venom And Piss opens up the party with robust eager riffs and a melodic teasing of the ear. It takes the senses on a boisterous addictive ride, the song dripping well crafted metal intent and fresh energy. Holmgren brings the personal words of Paradine forth with an accomplished and expressive delivery that lies perfectly on the irritable groove which winds around the ear persistently. An excellent start easily backed up by following song Rise Up from the Grave. With Clayton Moore taking over the vocals the song deals with being a 13 year old boy having cancer, the defiance of Paradine despite losing his leg from it at the time bristling from every word and punched through by the fine metal driven sounds behind. Already the album has won the heart but it only gets better from here on in.

The wonderful Cooperesque Monster’s Ball is an instantaneous love affair; it defies anyone not to join in within the opening minute of its infection. The tale of various serial killers gathering together for a party is an exhilarating audio cartoon strip to increase the pulse rate. The dual vocals of Paradine and Manheim ride an avalanche of hungry riffs and a groove that takes control with a siren like charm. The solo it unleashes is as sharp as the evil that frequents the characters within the song and the anthemic like quality throughout is a rewarding pleasure to fully lose one self within.

The album holds these heights throughout with songs like the soulful power ballad On a Tuesday Morning (The John J Harvey), the mighty Taste My Fist another metal defiant tune carrying a great Dead Kennedys like groove dealing with Paradine’s battle with cancer, and the stunning emotive closing ballad The Dust, all striking deep and wholeheartedly with quality and immense relish. The finest moment on the album though is Suzie with an Uzi, a punk veined rock song that captivates with a contagious melodic attack and hi-intensity energy. It sums up the whole album, irresistible excitable riffs, extremely well crafted flowing songs, and a personality that one simply cannot fail to be enamoured with.

Death In The Family is one of the most enjoyable and impressive albums to come out so far this year. It makes no claim to be anything more than what it is, an excellent vibrant rock ‘n’ roll album that makes listening to it a complete and long lasting pleasure.

www.mikeparadine.com

RingMaster 27/03/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.