Soldierfield – Catharsis

 

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It has been a long timing coming, well it feels that way since the release of their acclaimed and outstanding EP Bury The Ones We Love in 2012, but now UK melodic metallers Soldierfield return with their highly anticipated debut album, Catharsis. It is a release which like so many others we had high expectations of and fierce hunger for, and it is fair to say that the tempestuous rampage suffices all wants and much more. Simultaneously continuing where the previous release left off and forging new expansive landscapes for their songwriting and feverishly flavoured sound, the quintet has created an incendiary device of enterprise and raw force to set the British metal scene ablaze.

Soldierfield was formed in late 2011 when guitarist Andy Trott linked up with bassist Simon Priestland to work on and unleash songs the former had been working on. Deciding to put out some demos the pair pulled in vocalist Leigh Oates (Order Of Voices, Rise To Addiction) who expelled his lyrical and vocal prowess upon the tracks. The first song unveiled instantly sparked a buzz in the underground scene and within the industry which led to the band signing up with Metalbox Recordings. Subsequently the Bury The Ones We Love EP was uncaged with the line-up completed by guitarist Steve Wray (Rise To Addiction, BLAZE), who produced the EP and now the album, and drummer Jeff Singer (Paradise Lost, Kill II This, China Beach, BLAZE). Continuing to reap the richest essences of numerous styles and flavours to infuse into their own invention, Soldierfield, with Wayne Banks (Joe Lynn Turner, Sabbat, BLAZE, Messiah’s Kiss) now on bass, raise their and British metal’s bar again with the impatiently waited for Catharsis.

The album is an aural emprise which immediately ignites a fire in ears and emotions, but proceeds to unveil more depths and potency over time to perpetually seduce the imagination. From their first offering, The Light, band and album enthrals and trespasses through ears into the passions with virulent and creative ferocity. Theirs is a sound which sounds deceptively familiar but equally wholly fresh and distinctive, no more so epitomised than the opening track. Seemingly entering from where final track The Path on the EP left off, The Light is a bridge between and gateway into a new chapter and realm of adventure. Its dawning presence is a restrained and melodic tempest which draws near with every sonic agitation before exploding into a predacious and rhythmically intensive stride. Riffs flame and flirt with their enticing whilst bass and drums provide an enslaving bait, it all capped by the outstanding sandy toned vocals of Oates. As potent and expressive as ever, straight away there seems a thicker impassioned drive to his tones which is matched by the carnivorous riffery and colourful designs cast by the guitars. As rampant as it is resourceful, the track is a stunning start which with moments of Manic Street Preachers like persuasion has the appetite drooling.Soldierfield - Catharsis - Artwork

The following Beautiful Lie rigorously strides the same plateau, sonic intrigue seeping from every guitar spawned note as intimidation drives every swinging beat. There is an instant drama to the song which is ushered in through the throaty basslines of Banks and stretched by the vocal tenacity of Oates and the acidic invention sculpted superbly by Trott and Wray. As its predecessor, the song offers for no definable reason a familiar face but is soon twisting its character and presence with riveting craft to leave ears and thoughts engrossed before both The Only War and Burn Bright ignite their impressive persuasions. The first of the two opens with melodic elegance and beauty across a peaceful atmosphere, the guitars painting an enthralling picture before the more rugged landscape of the song is revealed and painted by the impassioned vocals of Oates. Flirting with thrash and groove metal, the song is soon aflame with gripping enterprise from the guitars and prowling rhythmic tempting from Banks and Singer, a mix emulated by its successor within a far more savage and inhospitable atmosphere. The track merges extremes of texture and attack with fluidity and thrilling resourcefulness, raging and seducing within a just as agitated and varied sonic climate.

The pair of Monochrome, an exceptional track which exploits a horde of fierce and inflammatory styles to create another major pinnacle on the album, and the bewitching Ghosts sublimely spark hungry waves of pleasure and satisfaction through ears and emotions. The first truly encapsulates the band’s invention, a tempestuous fusion of varied sounds and flavours which is as adept and majestic brawling with or seducing the listener, whilst the second is an unpredictably transfixing offering which needs more time than others to reveal all its qualities but emerges just as handsomely accepted and devoured. This can also be applied to the dramatic presence and evolving creative narrative of New Religion and the enchanting gentle croon of the album’s title track where Oates again reinforces his vocal prowess.

The next up Nothing Left springs with the same melody fuelled lure as the last song but is soon shrugging of restraints to emerge as a voracious and turbulently volatile storm which only feeds the greed surrounding the release, especially when it still shares its fury with moments of unbridled beauty. The ferocious treat is replaced by the album’s closing track, the mesmeric Cut the Ties, a song blending wiry and seductive melodies with sinister basslines and breath-taking vocals; the track a stunning finale to a superb album.

Catharsis confirms all the early thoughts and assumptions about the potential of Soldierfield and much more, with only the fact that some songs do not linger in memory and thoughts as potently as they should and deserve a slight puzzle. Nevertheless the album is still one of the year’s major highlights and company very hard to tear oneself away from.

Catharsis is available now digitally and on CD via Metalbox Recordings @ http://metalboxrecordings.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=57

www.soldierfieldband.co.uk

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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New textures and explorations: talking Wovenwar with Josh Gilbert

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The background and events leading up to the creation and emergence of the San Diego quintet Wovenwar have been well publicised as since has also been the might and thrilling adventure of the band’s self-titled debut album which was unleashed by Metal Blade Records a few weeks back. It has been a busy time for the band but kindly bassist Josh Gilbert took time out to talk with us about all things Wovenwar including its first steps, the excellent new album, and responses from fans of their previous band.

Hi Josh and welcome to the site, thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Before we talk about your new album but without going into the well-publicised controversy around your former band mate in As I Lay Dying, can we look at the beginnings of Wovenwar and the decision the rest of you had to make about your musical horizon thereafter? Was the continuing of the four of you from As I Lay Dying in some form a no brainer with only the decision in what direction to be made or was there a serious chance you all would have gone your separate ways?

About a month after Tim’s arrest, we all got together to discuss what our future would be. The decision was unanimous that the four of us wanted to continue on, specifically as a new band. Most of us joined our previous band directly out of high school, so it’s the only thing we know how to do…write music and tour!

How long did the talks and decision to form Wovenwar go on between you all?

It was a one day thing. We met at Phil’s place to hang out and talk about the future and the decision was made that day.

This was obviously an intensive and turbulently emotional time for all concerned, do you feel that has brought something extra to the songs and sound of Wovenwar in some way?

Maybe not the sound in particular, but I think the writing process for Wovenwar allowed us to take our minds off the present in a productive way. We didn’t have to dwell on the past, only look to the future.

Once you made the step and set about working on songs and your debut self-titled album, was there a sense of freedom in any way to starting afresh and making music different to your very Wovenwar2successful former guise?

I think the sense of freedom came from knowing our new project had no boundaries in terms of the places we could go musically. We didn’t have a singer yet, so the process began with the 4 of us writing music only for us, no vocalist in mind yet

Musically did you simply see where ideas took you with songs and their sound or did you have some thoughts and intent already waiting to be uncaged which would not have worked with As I Lay Dying?

I think a mixture of both. In the past, there were parts we’d have to shave off or cut out completely due to our previous singer’s style. With Wovenwar we were able to see those ideas through a little more clearly.

For us the band’s sound is very different throughout, though you can obviously find essences which are familiar from AILD just because of the four of you being a perfect fit with each other creatively and musically. Was there any deliberate effort to cast a completely unique proposition or has it all been an organic emergence?

I think the organic emergence came once Shane was in the picture. We had written about 5 songs musically and had given them to him to see what sort of ideas/songs he gravitated to more than others. Once we saw what was and wasn’t working, it gave us a better idea of the direction to head in that complimented both the music and vocals the most.

Some see Wovenwar’s sound as a continuation of the last AILD proposition but forging new territories; we feel it is a wider gulf between the bands than that. How do you see the differences aside from the obvious vocal one?

I think the biggest difference would be in the dynamics. With AILD, we pushed the envelope of speed every album. We were at 110% at all times in terms of tempo, and heaviness. In Wovenwar, we wrote for the song. We weren’t afraid to take the verse down to 50%, only to build up the chorus dramatically and make it feel huge. It definitely allows us to take the songs on more of a ride than we were previously known for.

How did the link-up with vocalist Shane Blay, formerly of Oh, Sleeper, come about and was he an immediate target to recruit?

Shane and Nick have known each other for 15 years, and played in a band together when they were younger. We hadn’t really officially approached anyone to sing when Nick brought up the idea of having Shane come out and jam with us. We sent him a couple of demos and he began writing to them. Once he was here and we heard his ideas we knew it was the perfect fit.

Wovenwar liveHis stunning tones are very much unique from those of Tim, has this made you look at or affected your songwriting in any different way, to help embrace and employ his great voice to full effect?

I think we just made sure that our music fit the spectrum of his abilities, and vice versa.

Give us some idea of the first times you all sat down to write and work on songs or their seeds. Did you take the determined opportunity to try new things and explore new styles/flavours or again was it just a see what comes out type scenario?

We really just sat down and let ideas flow. No preconceived idea of what we wanted, or to venture out specifically, we just let the music write itself and it flowed out pretty naturally.

How has the songwriting process emerged within the band?

Usually a single person brings a riff or collection of riffs to the band and from there, we decide which songs everyone seems to be interested in and we focus on those collectively. 4 separate members wrote songs on the record, which is a first for us.

What are the major inspirations behind the songs and their themes, and does some of it stem from the months between the two bands?

Well, Shane wrote most of the lyrics this time around, but they cover a variety of topics….personal redemption, unfaithfulness, being jaded by the music industry, etc. They cover a lot of ground.

Did you enter the recording of the album and the studio aspect generally any differently than your AILD releases previously?

Not really. Songs were about 95% there already, as we had demoed the entire album before Bill arrived. I guess the biggest difference would be in the sheer amount of time spent on clean vocals. They take longer, and far more effort and nuance to record as compared with screams.

How have AILD fans taken to the album generally?Wovenwar cover

It’s a mixed bag. Most are positive, and have been amazing throughout the transition. We couldn’t be more thankful to those who have stuck with us. There are a few who don’t know what to make of the vocal change, but we think we’ll win them over. They just have to realize that this isn’t AILD pt. 2, and that it’s a new band. With that perspective, I think a lot of them will be able to appreciate it for what it is, and not a ghost of our former band.

You recorded the album with producer Bill Stevenson who worked on the last AILD album too. Was this one of the easier decisions in regard to the album, bringing Bill on broad and what is it about his work and presence which stimulates you guys musically?

Bill was the only producer we approached, due to Awakened turning out so well. We love the fact that Bill cares more about the structure and how the song builds than the solos, riffs, etc. He helps us keep that in perspective. He also just a great person to work with and it keeps the mood light.

Not only us but seemingly across the board, the album has made a massive impact and reaped deserved acclaim. Has its initial success outpaced your own hopes for its welcome?

We honestly had no idea what to expect! What I can say is that the reaction definitely surpassed our expectations and we’re grateful for that. We know it’s time now to get out there on the road and earn it.

Once again a big thanks for taking time out to chat with us. Have you any last thoughts for the readers?

Thanks so much for checking out the record and we hope to see you crowd surfing at our next show in your town!

Read the review of Wovenwar’s debut album @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/wovenwar-self-titled/

http://wovenwar.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

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Voodoo Sex Cult – A Year And A Day

Voodoo Sex Cult Photo

Steamy, sweaty, and imposingly heavier than a stampede of overweight buffalo, the sound of US rockers Voodoo Sex Cult is one uncompromising rampage. It also as proven by the band’s debut album A Year And A Day, makes for one exhaustingly appetising and thrilling incitement for ears, body, and passions. From a potent but steady start, the release proceeds to expand and rumble with bullish tenacity and ferocious energy, emerging as one insatiably compelling and enjoyable brawl of intimidating rock ‘n’ roll. It is fair to say that the album is not bulging with striking originality or pushing boundaries but such its passionate devilry and arsenal of demanding rhythms, storming riffs, and fierce grooves, it is hardly an issue once inside its voracious enterprise. Providing a thick swamp of hard and southern rock entwined with similarly heavy doses of heavy metal and grunge, the Arizona quintet’s sound and album is simply a creatively salacious fury to greedily devour.

Announcing themselves as, “The Rev, the Preachers Son, The Redneck, The Castilian, and The Survivalist, five guys that share one common goal, one common passion; to create their own distinct sound of rock and roll, and share it with the world”, Voodoo Sex Cult from band name and bio alone makes for an intriguing proposition which their album swiftly backs up. Unleashing Cuttin Loose as their first riot on the album, the band flings robust riffs and imposing rhythms at ears from the off. The opener bustles into life with firm aggression but soon relaxes into a classic rock stroll driven by the punchy beats of Doyle Meredith and the great slightly grizzled tones of vocalist Royce Taghon. It is a potent start to the album but not one to ignite the passions, though certainly the craft and invention of guitarists Tim Hills and Peter Avalos captivates whilst the throaty bass endeavour of Chris Burgess raises a keen appetite. It is a safe way to open the album in many ways, setting down an appealing marker before pushing limits and imagination across the release.

The following Voodoo Rising emerges from a magnetic and restrained coaxing of guitar punctuated by dramatic rhythms. It is a slow and sultry entrance which easily catches the imagination ready for the exertion of energy and intensity which soon follows with a blues whisper in its air and sonic intrigue to its creative expression. The track is an easy-going yet forceful encounter continuing the firm and strong start of the album before making way for the similarly structured and flavoured Break It On Down. There is a distinct character to the heart of the song though, its gait and tone individual as vocals roar with craft and passion whilst grooves and riffs along with striking rhythms weave a mesh of heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll. There are few surprises on the songs to this point, but the riveting move into vocal and bass alone here is a tasty twist giving the track greater substance and persuasion.

From the more than decent 40 Days, the album hits a new lofty plateau starting with Down And Dirty, a track growing outward from a start of fiercely jabbing beats, throaty bass predation, and a slow wail of guitar. It is a menacing and VSCCOVERworking2gripping start which only accentuates its pressure and stature once riffs bulge alongside a southern bred groove and the bass delivers its own broody twang. Ridden by the increasingly enjoyable gravel toned vocals of Taghon, the track is an intensive smoulder of sultry heavy rock and predatory melodic expression, the first pinnacle of the album, though it is soon surpassed by Broken. Short but spicy grooves embrace ears from the start, their lure instantly matched and pushed further by the dark tones of Burgess’ bass and the similarly heavier delivery of Taghon. Like a mix of Clutch and Hellyeah with a touch of Black Tusk, the track growls and flirtatiously swerves with imposing intent and heated charm. It is an enthralling canvas which the band then turns inside out to reach even greater heights; a passage of unpredictable and startling invention seeing the track moving from a contagious stomp through a low guttural musical groan to a fiery and agitated climax merging in all the goodness the song started out on. It is a glorious proposition taking best on album honours.

Both the humid tone and energy of Fade Away and the intensive lure of Dead Season keep ears and emotions tightly involved, the first a crawling croon loaded with infectious low key melodies and stormy expression led by the varied roar of Taghon, and the second whilst moving with a similar gait, entwining dark and heavy provocation with raw grunge fuelled endeavour led by again impassioned vocals. Essences of Stone Temple Pilots make hints as the song prowls, blooms, and ruptures with attention gripping sonic enterprise and primal intensity. It is another mighty peak to the album with a seriously lingering potency that though not equalled by either Home or Legacy is emulated in their ability to leave a meaningful persuasion in their wake. The first of the pair bounces on a blend of blues and hard rock, with a just as healthy hint of funk and classic rock in its easy going rock ‘n’ roll revelry whilst its successor returns to the dark-side in sonic provocation and bass antagonism under a flame of acidic grooving and dusty vocals. Both songs feed the greedy appetite ignited earlier by the album whilst emotions are by this point bloated with satisfaction.

   A Year And A Day uncages further major highlights in its home stretch, firstly with the brilliant Vsc-17. Riffs and bass stalking straight away chews upon and ignites the imagination whilst the crisp beats of Meredith sculpts enticing bait ready for the increasingly addictive invention coursing through the song. It is a beast of an incitement and temptation, the album’s most unique offering revealing more of the potency and expressive songwriting within the band.

Closing with the voraciously infectious and anthemically aggressive Sinking Slowly and finally the inimitable provocation of Black Jesus, with blistering grooves and searing melodies across its cantankerous stride menacingly tantalising, A Year And A Day is a brute of a treat and unrelentingly thrilling. Voodoo Sex Cult has not cast a spell of originality and major surprises with their debut but certainly has unleashed a tempestuous hex of riffs and grooves to feast heartily and persistently upon, a more than good enough reason to embrace their first outburst.

A Year And A Day is available now @ http://voodoosexcult.com/shop/

http://voodoosexcult.com/

RingMaster 21/10/2014

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Lost Gravity – Self Titled

Lost Gravity Online Promo Shot

Though it would be wrong to claim that the self-titled debut album from UK based Lost Gravity set a fire in ears straight away, it certainly left a smouldering lure and attraction which over time has inspired a very healthy appetite for the band’s brand of heavy melodic rock. Consisting of ten skilfully accomplished and contagious tracks which make up for what they lack in originality with passion, the release is a potential fuelled introduction to a highly enjoyable proposition in the London based band.

Lost Gravity was formed in 2007 by Brazilian born vocalist/guitarist Breno Val. Taking influences from the likes of AC/DC, Megadeth, Ramones, Chroma Key, Metallica, Alice in Chains and more into their songwriting and sound, the band started out as a quartet but with a flux of line-up changes eventually emerged as a trio in 2012 with drummer Giuliano Kolling joining the band around the same time. Completed live by bassist Chris K, but not involved with the album, Lost Gravity now makes a powerful play for attention with their first full- length. It follows a trio of earlier well-received EPs in Anywhere But Home (2008), Selfish (2009), and Lost Gravity III (2012), all released as the album on Val’s own label Priston Records. The new release is a bold encounter openly wearing its inspirations which arguably defuses its originality, but for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll, the pair of Val and Kolling has unleashed a thoroughly satisfying incitement.

The album opens on the bulging presence and might of What Goes Around Comes Around, a melodic lure leading ears into a wall of vivacious riffs and thumping rhythms. It is an instantly potent persuasion of grunge and hard rock PromoImagewith spicy grooves and strong vocals combining to swiftly wake the imagination and appetite up for the rest of the album. The gnarly tone of the bass adds to the impressive bait of the song, as does the sonic enterprise of Val’s guitar which is as flavoursome in straight rock ‘n’ roll riffery as it is in sonic endeavour. It all adds up for an anthemic and magnetic start to the release soon matched by the bluesy laced Changes. There is not quite the striking touch and unique flame to the second song in comparison to the first, but again the duo provide a skilled and easily accessible slice of heavy melodic rock to convince body and emotions. An excellent relaxation into mellower scenery adds a welcome twist to the song too as Lost Gravity reveals more fluidity and invention to their songwriting.

Both Back Where You Belong and Alone keeps the thick lures and persuasion coming, the first a grooved flame of sonic and melodic intensity which seems bred in the fire of an Audioslave or Stone Temple Pilots. It is a song which evolves across its length, entwining stoner-esque grooves and alternative metal seeded ingenuity within a sultry climate. It is a riveting encounter, one of the peaks of the album which its successor does not quite rival in impact but with its sinew crafted balladry afloat with evocative melodies and vocal expression it is an endearing offering which grows in stature with every listen.

Anywhere But Home comes next and opens on a delicious transfixing hook which is arguably never matched in success by the rest of the song, though it pleasingly bristles and roars with fresh creativity not previously explored by the album. That initial lure is never far from the surface of the song either but somewhere there is a missing spark to push a certainly great song into sensational realms. To be fair though, it is hard to tear away from the track as you almost urge it to greater success and it certainly enslaves a hungry appetite over time.

The infectious swagger and flirtation of Friendly Fire sets up feet and ears for a sizeable pleasure next, its Foo Fighters like tenacity flirting with rock pop vivacity before the more heavyweight and moody presence of Selfish takes over to ignite the senses with sonic spicery and melodic intrigue. The track is structured similarly to Anywhere But Home, and also breeds an enthralling presence with a potential not quite realised. This applies to the whole of the album really, so many great things exploring and playing across its appealing body but not quite finding the missing piece to truly catch alight. Song and release though does breed real anticipation for when the band make that transition at some point ahead.

All the Same looks at an alternative/punk pop infused landscape for the placing of its skilled and bracing temptation whilst the following Venom In Vial parades a raw antagonistic breath and attitude in its muscular confrontation. The pair are further sides to the sound and invention of the band, each a firmly pleasing offering before the might of the closing Walk On. With a blues tinge to the opening groove and a ferociously rumbling torrent of rhythms, the track makes a dramatic and thrilling entrance which it subsequently accentuates with a punk rock agitation to its blues kissed charge of dirty rock ‘n’ roll. It is an impressive end to an attention grabbing encounter, an album which makes a hefty persuasion to the promise and skills of Lost Gravity and a feisty suggestion of even bigger and better things ahead.

Lost Gravity is available now digitally and on CD via Priston Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lost-gravity/id901847667

http://www.lostgravity.co.uk/

RingMaster 13/10/2014

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Chainfist – Scarred

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It is fair to say that Danish metallers Chainfist with their new album Scarred, has not ventured too far from the roaring core which made their debut album Black Out Sunday an acclaimed and greedily devoured storm. To that easily agreeable seed though, the quintet has found a bolder, fuller, and melodically driven freshness which makes second full-length and even stronger and gripping proposition. The release still wears the inspirations of thrash metal’s founding fathers openly and proudly on its sinew bulging sleeve but twists them into a new creatively exciting and voracious adventure.

Formed in 2007 by members who have the likes of Infernal Death, Epicenter, Panzerchrist, and Frozen Sun to their pedigree, Chainfist made their first major impression in their homeland and around Europe with Black Out Sunday in 2010, it gaining further recognition when the band signed a management deal with Rock N Growl two years later. It was a release making strong first impressions before growing to be an increasingly persuasive potential soaked thrill. Scarred makes the biggest impression right away, the band fulfilling the promise offered on their debut whilst building a more distinctive presence of sound and invention. There is still not a massive uniqueness about the release but with a melodic emprise and imaginative resourcefulness which inescapably captivates ears and emotions, the album stands as a thoroughly riveting and anthemically powerful proposition.

The Michael Hansen produced and Jacob Hansen (Primal Fear, Volbeat, Anubis Gate, Pretty Maids) mixed and mastered release swiftly grips ears and imagination with the start of opener Scars of time. A lone guitar within a chilled ambience offers a haunted and portentous yet inviting coaxing which soon opens up the door to rugged riffs and thumping beats. It is prime thrash antagonism which gets the blood running urgently through ears and emotions but also carries an infectious swing leading to a rampant chorus. In no time vocalist Jackie Petersen is driving the song to greater ferocity, his clean but welcomingly raw tones backed perfectly by group harmonies whilst the guitars of Michael Kopietz and Thomas Hvisel provide an abrasing and melodically bracing temptation to fire up the senses even more. It is an impressive if not startling start, in comparison to things to come, which sets the tone for the album perfectly.

1000 ways to bleed strides intimidatingly in next, the rhythms of drummer Jesper Heidelbach flirting with hostility whilst bassist Braca Pedersen provides a heavy compelling lure around which vocals and guitars cast their addictive ChainfistScarredCoverdesigns. Less aggressive than its predecessor in some ways and more intimidating in others, the track explores a melody rich but imposing scenery of invention and enterprise before making way for the outstanding Black rebel noise. A spicy groove wraps ears early on before the track finds a swagger to its punchy incitement. There is a definite Volbeat feel to the energy of the song whilst musically and vocally it is hard to look past Metallica and John Bush era Anthrax as references but the track soon develops its own contagious suasion to enslave body and passions.

Both Another day in hell and Poison moon keep the thrills and quality coming, the first bursting from an evocative stormy ambience coloured by a melodic caress of guitar and the continually impressing vocals of Petersen. It subsequently evolves into an emotive reflection which is at ease whether smouldering with melodic calm or raging with virulent hostility. Melodic meets classic heavy metal within a thrash bred predation the track is an unpredictable and impassioned blaze of sound and craft. Its successor goes for the jugular from the start, almost moving in reverse as it brings warm washes of melodies into its unrelenting tempest of intensity and ravenous riffery. It is a striking and richly pleasing provocateur but soon shaded by the next up 10.000. Prowling ears from the start with menacing riffs and brutal beats, the song stalks with tenacious vocals and sonic enticement, guitars spinning a caustic and infection soaked web to bind ears and thoughts. It is a glorious muscular anthem unafraid to explore its more devilish side through toxic addictive hooks and a scorching solo.

Know you hate similarly sets the heart afire with its ridiculously catchy temptation within an aggressive weave of riffs and rhythms. Volbeat again comes to mind whilst also thoughts of Disturbed make their suggestive hints from within the exhilarating slab of addiction. It is not quite matched by Seven minutes of pain, but the following song powerfully lays down a bordering on savage assault of riffs and rhythms which is prone to scythes of sonic intrigue and melodic radiance vocally and musically. It is another song where its infectiousness is irresistible for feet and voice, an aggressive provocative fuel for the passions.

Through the similarly structured and creative Statement, band and album reinforce their potent persuasion whilst Mass frustration provides the most intensive and volatile track on Scarred without neglecting the radiant melodic side of the invention running through the release. It is a powerful encounter which leaves ears on an agitated high for the final acoustic version of Black rebel noise to restore calm and peace to. It is an enjoyable and skilled end to the album but the meat is in the richly flavoursome meal of the previous songs.

Chainfist have moved their sound on to a striking new plateau with their album and it is easy to feel there is still more to come even as impressive as Scarred is. The album confirms the Danes as a major proposition in the making and a thrilling encounter of insatiable metal in the now.

Scarred is available now through Mighty Music @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarred-Chainfist/dp/B00M9JLS06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412602534&sr=8-1&keywords=chainfist

http://www.chainfist.net/

RingMaster 07/10/2014

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Nonpoint – The Return

byKatieHovland_01

byKatieHovland

It is hard to say that anything really surprised upon The Return, US metallers Nonpoint’s new album but it does come with a fresh aggression and intensity, as well as resourcefully crafted and presented songs, which will ensure their fans will devour it greedily. The album is prime Nonpoint, melodically flaming with the muscular energy and framing which has kept the band from being lost in the wealth of similarly toned bands these past seventeen years since forming. It does not leave ears awestruck or passions aflame but the album does provide a tasty slab of Nonpoint potency stoked with a strong contagious enterprise missing from many of their previous albums.

Backing up the success of their previous self-titled album of 2012, the Florida quintet spent most of last year touring in its support but swiftly set to writing its successor once they could relax. This past February Nonpoint hit the Groovemaster Studios with Grammy Award-nominated producer Johnny K [Disturbed, Staind, Megadeth] and engineer Daniel Salcidoto, subsequently giving birth to The Return.

It is a proposition which is definitely one of the band’s most consistently captivating encounters with each song an individual and gripping narrative in its own right, something their earlier full-lengths could not always achieve for us. The Return still maybe feeds expectations more than wrong-foots them across its total provocation, but with flavoursome sonic endeavour and melodic toxicity aligned to an at times new hostility to the sound, the album provides a constant intrigue and satisfaction which never diminishes.

Opener Pins and Needles gives a clear sign of intent from its first breath, thunderously thumping beats punctuating fiercely fiery riffs from the off before settling into a formidable canter ridden by the distinctive and potent tones of vocalist Elias Soriano. The guitars of Rasheed Thomas and B.C. Kochmit relentlessly spin a toxic web around ears and the song’s imposing spine sculpted by drummer Robb Rivera and the throaty weight of Adam Woloszyn’s bass for a riveting mix and design. It is an offering unleashing that new intensity to the band’s sound with relish whilst adding some sublime individual invention, especially in a gripping guitar solo.

It is not a devastating start to the album but definitely a rigorously anthemic one which is backed up by latest single Breaking Skin. The song is a sinew driven portrait of the familiar Nonpoint sound but with a volatile air to its energy Coverand impassioned intent to its rich melodic hues. There is no denying the craft of the band members either, the track a blistering showcase of their individual qualities and skills as well as their musical brotherhood. The fact that the most striking aspect of the song is its brevity and enjoyable acute ending does tell of a missed opportunity though which in some ways sums up the album.

Bullet With A Name from Nonpoint’s 2005 album To The Pain is an all-time favourite track here and it is fair to say it is not matched by any song on The Return but the next up Razors is a near miss. It says anthem from first note to last, ruggedly winding grooves and riffs enslaving senses and appetite from the start before relaxing into a melodic embrace which comes alive through the exceptional vocal design carrying it. Soriano as expected croons with an inviting growl but it is the stretched almost warped harmonies accompanying him which help turn a great song into an album topper. There is also a muggy intensity and atmosphere to the track which tenaciously simmers and boils at certain points, again flicking a dramatic switch within the excellent encounter.

Both Misery and the album’s title track keep ears and enthusiasm for the album high and concentrated, though neither can quite match their predecessor. The first of the pair carries another imposing roar in sound and presence which again suggests that the band has chosen a direction in which they can really flourish ahead whilst its successor confronts and seduces the senses like a mix of Stone Sour and Poets of the Fall. The stalking beats of Rivera make a sizeable intimidation and lure around which the song brews a flaming bluster of sonic enterprise and temptation. It is a song where there is plenty going on, more than can be taken in through one listen which in itself is another new side which can be argued has been absent previously in their music, and gives another major highlight to the release.

It is hard not to get a soft spot for the inventive bass proposals of Woloszyn across The Return, his gripping lead into Take Apart This World a prime example where he triggers a lick of the lips for his baiting enterprise in the compelling track.

From this point though the album loses some of its grip on thoughts and passions even though tracks like Forcing Hands and Goodbye Letters are highly pleasing offerings. They slip into that expected and appreciated but unsurprising Nonpoint feel bred over so many potent years, and even though there are definitely enticing and exciting twists and moves within the, to be fair, enjoyable tracks they are unable to seize ears as tightly as the earlier songs on the release.

Never Ending Hole is another similarly missing a trick, especially as it shows like on most tracks, the band’s new adventurous and skilled appetite to suddenly switch and twist the direction and ideation of sounds and vocals. It is a fine and engrossing offering but ultimately hints more than it delivers in that experimentation and originality before making way for the emotive and melodically seducing power balladry of Widowmaker and the ferocious intensity and urgency of Never Cared Before. The second of the two roars and brawls with ears as it treats them to a virulent fury of riffs and rhythms spiced by sonic venom. It is another gripping assault which if anything is again not quite bold enough in its violent invention.

The album closes with firstly the anthemic animosity of F**K’D, a track which is an easy protagonist on ears and to engage with, though lyrically it seems to take the easy option and go straight for the primitive instincts of us all. It is still a rousing incitement which leaves the likeable if uninspiring Know Myself to bring the album to an end.

In some ways The Return is an album of two halves, the first a stirring and thrilling encounter which maybe does not quite go far enough in its new adventure and the second just what you would expect and admittedly want from Nonpoint, superbly crafted and structured sounds which bless ears but this time without setting them ablaze. To be truthful the more you listen to the album the more it impresses so it is hard to be too hard on it but the wish that it surprised with greater tenacity and simply threw some truly unexpected curveballs is never absent.

The Return is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://nonpoint.merchnow.com/ and http://www.emp.de/nonpoint-the-return-cd/art_288636/

http://www.nonpoint.com/

RingMaster 02/10/2014

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

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Empty Yard Experiment – Kallisti

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   Kallisti is an album to which you have to commit time and attention but rewards with an enthralling journey for thoughts and emotions to deeply immerse within. The new release from Empty Yard Experiment, the fourteen track encounter is a transfixing and compelling proposition which never lets you comfortably settle into its exhausting textures and climactic structures but equally never relinquishes its grip and temptation on the imagination. A riveting web of progressive and melodic rock with just as rich veins of post rock and alternative metal, the album is an expansive landscape of consuming atmospheres and provocative emotion wrapped in a craft and enterprise which pushes Empty Yard Experiment to the forefront of progressive exploration.

Formed in 2006, the Dubai based band consists of musicians from the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Iran, and India. Taking influences from the likes of Tool, Porcupine Tree, Nine Inch Nails, and Mogwai into their own invention, Empty Yard Experiment (E.Y.E.) has certainly on the evidence of this second album, forged a unique yet almost recognisably engaging presence and sound. It comes in an ingenious tapestry though which sets it well apart from the band’s influences and others engaged in a similar weaving of multi flavoured styles into sonic experimentation. With the band already earning acclaim through shows with the likes of Evanescence, Metallica, and Anathema, their Joshua F Williams (Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder) produced Kallisti has the quality and potential to thrust the band into the keenest spotlight. Named after the inscription on the ancient Greek Apple of Discord, Kallisti is a concept album themed by the threads of chaos and discord which permeate our lives and existence, its lyrical provocation as rich and intensely provocative as its sound.

The journey starts with Sunyata, an instrumental introduction which places melancholic keys from Gorgin Asadi and strings in a crystalline and slightly portentous ambience. It is an easily engaging opening cloaked in emotive shadows and swiftly has thoughts wrapped up in its restrained yet potent drama. The track builds up a sonic link between itself and the following robust and intimidating Greenflash. That threat is slightly defused with the great ragged rub of riffs which soon emerge and mellow vocals which instantly brings a whisper of Deftones or Palms to the otherwise predatory entrance of the track. As it opens up its rhythmic pressure and sonic ruggedness everything takes on a fresh, bordering on antagonistic, approach to the melodic temptation. The result is a song which flirts and melodically roars like a mix of Alice In Chains and Karnivool. As with most tracks there is so much going on that we can only give brief glimpses, each proposition within Kallisti an on-going exploration of an evolving soundscape.EYE_CoverArt_Kallisti

The outstanding track makes way for the dystopian ambience of Red, a brief instrumental clad in an emotively sinister ambience before it in turn slips into the reflective caress of The Blue Eyes of a Dog. The track is like a stark imposing breeze, its emotional intrusion at times a wispy elegance and in others a forceful wind all sculpted by respectful rolling rhythms, melodic experimentation, and emotional turbulence. The instrumental is a beacon for ears and especially imagination to find their own scenic visions within the track and album, matched to more sinister effect by the more disturbed There Will Never Be where keys and vocals unite for a severely troubled caress.

Entropy provides the loftiest peak on the album, the track an enslaving bait of sinew stretched riffs from Bojan Preradovic and the probing beats of Josh Saldanha within an atmospheric sonic glaze courted by a gripping throaty bass temptation unveiled by Kaveh Kashani. Vocals swiftly add their smooth and evocative tension as keys swarm tenderly over the senses with a smouldering breath of seduction. The song prowls as it seduces, expelling raw abrasing flames of sonic and emotive passion throughout for a climactic and absorbing flight.

Blue is another short cinematic slither of industrial bred scene setting before the transfixing beauty of Anomie immerses ears and senses, the skilled designs of guitarist Mehdi Gr a gripping narrative alongside the increasingly mesmeric vocal qualities of Preradovic. There is a sinister almost bedlamic eruption of discord kissed sonic ingenuity within certain twists of the song which simply adds to its engrossing intrigue and unpredictability. The following Lost In a Void That I Know Far Too Well has less of the second of those two aspects but certainly a wealth of the first within its soaring melody strewn instrumental landscape. The piece again has thoughts flying their own agenda before Untitled spreads its unique but easily accessible melodic rock revelry and provocative expression. Detours into cinematic glimpses of life and festivities wrong foots at first but opens up further exploration within the constantly surprising track which over time only enhances its suasion.

The dark cavernous depths of Sama make another short but impacting twist in the narrative of Kallisti before it seamlessly evolves into the melodic enchanting of God Has His Reasons, a self-reflection driven slice of melodic and harmonic beauty. Keys and vocals steal the ears but only because the striking canvas built by restrained rhythms and an inescapable web spun by the enterprise of the guitars and bass gives them a potent background.

A final short piece called Green leads into the closing triumph of The Call, a track from its initial rhythmic trap binding ears and passions in a nine minute travelogue of gentle and tempestuous emotional climates and rugged aural terrains. It is a final emprise for thoughts and feelings, a thrilling sonic gest to lose reality within.

Though many tracks work alone superbly, Kallisti works best as a whole even though that means greater attention and effort is needed. The rewards though are enormous as Empty Yard Experiment proves themselves to be one of the truly exciting emerging forces in melodic and progressive endeavour.

The self-released Kallisti is available now @ http://emptyyardexperiment.bandcamp.com/album/kallisti

http://www.emptyyardexperiment.com/

RingMaster 29/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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