Ascending Dawn – Coalesce

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The name Ascending Dawn brings images of light emerging from dark and that in a way is exactly what the UK melodic/progressive metal band’s sound is like, except the rugged intensive shadows which frequent their music embraces and shares the moment with its dazzling melodic light. The release of debut album Coalesce shows there is no conflict between the opposites either, instead they make a tempestuous union which emerges as one compelling and very often bewitching proposition. The release is an immediate dramatic persuasion with the soaring tones of Greek/Cypriot vocalist Marlain Angelides a constant rich seduction against the sonic blaze and aggressive tenacity which colours each evocative exploration within the album. Equally there is a potential within the band and album which as the songs entwine around ears and imagination, you come to feel is still not being fully realised and on the strength of the impressive first full-length, makes for a rather exciting prospect ahead.

Consisting of guitarist Owen Rees, bassist Constanze Hart, and drummer Mark Weatherley alongside Angelides, the London based quartet emerged last year and swiftly started turning heads with their diversely flavoursome sound. The first couple of singles from the band’s album wetted the appetite and sparked strong anticipation for Coalesce, but really only hinted at the depths and strengths of the Jochem Jacobs (ex-Textures) mixed and mastered album.

The second single taken from the release opens it up, All in Now immediately teasing ears and imagination with a tangy guitar coaxing before expelling a huge breath of spiky grooves and combative rhythms. It is a spicy start which mellows slightly as the emotive tones of Angelides opens up the narrative. Around her though riffs and beats continue to impose and stalk the senses, intimidating openly within the expanding weave of melodies and harmonies. The song is an enthralling and invigorating start, its sinews and intensity aligning perfectly with the warm elegance and melodic vivacity of sound and voice around them.

The following Miscommunication is more of the same in its individual way, riffs and basslines a predatory protagonist within the smouldering sonic lure of the encounter. Also as in its a1987805667_2predecessor, Angelides opens with a low key delivery, a touch which is alluring but maybe lacking the spark of when her lungs let rip and she impressively roars and soars across the songs . She takes charge of the song swiftly though, extending her vocal chords and delivery to inflame ears and thoughts as the rich tapestry of sound flames around her and the lyrical incitement she shares makes a potent impact. The captivation continues into the band’s first single Cannonball, the song entering from a distance with a melodic swing within a provocative ambience. Riffs and hooks are soon gnawing wonderfully away at the senses before the song slips into a melody rich embrace, crooning with every aspect of its magnetic enterprise. There is still that heavy threat to the pop infused proposal though; raw textures combining almost flirtatiously with the melodic rock weave.

     As impressive as the first songs are, the album’s pinnacle comes with the pair of Integral and Opposites, the first a bordering on carnivorous blaze of hungry wiry riffs and heavily swiping beats with a blistering melodic flame to its temptation. The track stalks and seduces the senses simultaneously, every scythe of guitar and throaty bassline a dark protagonist courting the radiant elegance of voice and sultry invention. Its successor similarly bares its rhythmic and riff laden teeth, snarling and leering at the listener whilst a bloom of beauty rises from the throat of Angelides and in the guitar enterprise. Not for the first or last time, song and sound reminds of US band Vajra, the more exotic essences they bring finding a less vocal but certainly matching potency and success within song and album.

Both the fiery mystique lit Simplify and the contagion driven Inside the Silence spark further hunger in ears and appetite, in the case of the first exploring the adventurous aural exoticism of their predecessor for an even more riveting creativity whilst the latter of the pair alternatively writhes and stretches with almost visual imagination and ingenuity. Each leaves thoughts and emotions basking in startling creative colour and temptation with the second an anthemic and intricate slice of rock pop setting the listener up for the immersive instrumental Opaque which leads the imagination into its own landscape of adventure and interpretation.

Coalesce ends with the sonically spidery Indiscretion, grooves and melodic washes sculpting a web of intrigue and emotional drama upon another infection lit canvas of barbarous riffs and uncompromising rhythms. Veined by the vocal majesty and power of Angelides, the track is a fierce and tantalising encounter with mesmeric charm and adventure.

If we were being picky, there is arguably a slight lack of surface diversity amongst some songs within Coalesce which warrants a closer focus to avoid some blending together, but as we all should be listening attentively anyway it is no issue and just another part of the great potential still locked up in the band to emerge. For an introduction to Ascending Dawn, the album is a potent stealing of the passions, the first of many from the band we suspect.

Coalesce is available now as a name your price download @ https://ascendingdawn.bandcamp.com/album/coalesce

http://ascendingdawnband.wordpress.com/

RingMaster 12/12/2014

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Deaf Eyes – Self Titled

Deaf Eyes - Band

Started as a side project in 2013 of the experimental psych progressive metallers Incoming Cerebral Overdrive, Dead Eyes proves itself to be a distinct and formidable entity in its own right with its self-titled debut album. Colliding eight tracks of intense and thunderous post metal with senses and imagination, the instrumental band lives up to its intent of exploring “obscure experimental sounds and atmospheres,” and “a monolithic approach to hard and heavy riffs with a “delayed research” of alternative vibes mixed in a psychedelic mood.” That is quite a wordy description of what consumes and seduces within their album but one realised within the leviathans of sound and textures which transfix and immerse the listener from start to finish. The album is a beast of a proposition but equally a rigorously sultry temptress journeying through exhausting landscapes as imposingly cinematic as they are carnally ravenous.

The Italian quartet begins their voracious seduction with Black Canvas, and in no time thoughts and emotions are engulfed in the drama and almost savage soundscape of the track. Carnivorous riffs and even more bestial bass predation swiftly overwhelm the senses, backed by the intense weight and hunger of the swiping rhythms. Just as the track is immensely intimidating it also impressively takes the imagination into an evolving and challenging climate of sonic and inventive suggestion, across a terrain of danger and intrigue which erupts and snarls with skilled rabidity and riveting ingenuity. It is a demanding and irresistible experience with a contagion which is toxic and inescapable.

Its dark realms are shadowed by those of the following Mirrors, its specific turbulence and antagonism expelled in a barely milder tempest but one with flickers of light and melodic charm to its hostility. The bass has a growl to reverse a tsunami of ravenous beasts whilst guitars wield a sonic enterprise which binds with venomous potency whilst its infestation of infectiousness is Deaf Eyes - Coverimpossible to fend off or resist. It dark corners and shadows are no less merciless than its outright tempestuous climate as the song unleashes a sound which holds essences of the likes of Neurosis and Russian Circles to its breast as well as those of Morkobot.

A more celestial jeopardy is investigated in Orbits, though with all tracks the adventure unfurling is as unique to the listener’s thoughts as the sounds casting the canvas and sonic emprise inspiring them. The track is one of the less intrusive on the album but still a provocative maelstrom of seriously confrontational invention and enterprise, a description suiting both the tantalising exotic and evocative scenery of The Eyes Of Regret and the agitated majesty of Draining Sun. The first of the two descends into a cavernous and melodically infused sonic haze which is as emotionally expansive as it is ferociously unpredictable and inventively coloured. Its exceptional sonic and innovatively perilous emprise is equalled by its successor, the track a hypnotic dance of repetitive riffery and preying rhythms within a psychedelically hued blaze of disturbed sonic revelry. The track is scintillating, a corrosive waltz physically and emotionally which bewitches with cultish persuasion. The accompanying press release listed Goblin as references and of all the songs this with its haunted shadows and demonic colouring is the prime reason.

Red Desert Lullaby keeps body and emotions just as eagerly busy, its thick smouldering climate a wrap to perilous escapades to envision and a sonic rapacity to bask in whilst next up The Withered drifts into a sinister province of crawling shadows and haunted emotions. Their dark secrets converge around a rugged spine of bass and rhythmic bullying of ears and emotions, an ensnaring and violation of the senses setting thoughts and passions aflame. It is a glorious predator and portrait of lost and turbulent emotions, another binding and ingenious traverse of places most fear to contemplate let alone traverse.

The album closes with the just as dark and Luciferian Commiserate, a primal senses ravishing beauty which scars as it seduces. The bracing incursion into psyche and emotions is an enthralling end to an exceptional release, an album which is a playground for the imagination and trial by sonic fire for the senses. It is quite exceptional and provides a new excursion into the unknown for thoughts and emotions with every violating listen.

Deaf Eyes is available now via Argonauta Records @ http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/music-/41-deaf-eyes-deaf-eyes-cd.html

https://www.facebook.com/deafeyesband

RingMaster 12/11/2014

https://soundcloud.com/deaf-eyes

Skyharbor – Guiding Lights

© Naki Kouyioumtzis. SkyHarbor, on a roof top with London skyline behind them

Whilst Guiding Lights did not exactly blow us away as it might have, there is nothing but praise and recommendations which can be offered over the new album from progressive metallers Skyharbor. The successor to the band’s acclaimed 2012 debut album Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos, the new ten track exploration reaps all the essences which made its predecessor standout and explores even richer and more adventurous landscapes of technical and imaginative invention aligned to impassioned creativity. Taken individually, the tracks within Guiding Lights tempt, enthral, and impress without exception but as a whole for whatever reason, the album becomes one thrilling immersive journey but which loses the definition between the different exploits, tracks often blending in without very intensive attention. It is a personal issue we came up against and will not apply to all, and to be fair still could not stop the album standing out as a remarkable and seriously appetising next step in the striking evolution of the band.

Formed initially as a studio project by songwriter/guitarist Keshav Dhar, Skyharbor, the India based band has grown to become one of the rigorously captivating propositions in world progressive metal, in the studio and as the live touring band it evolved into. Starting its line-up growth around 2011 with the linking up of drummer Anup Sastry (Jeff Loomis, Intervals) and Another Vertigo Rush bassist Nikhil Rufus Raj, the band soon emerged as a potent and persistently intriguing presence, its first shows seeing Skyharbor as an instrumental trio. Signing with Basick Records led to the release of the double-disc album Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos, the album seeing Sunneith Revankar (Bhayanak Maut) the vocalist on one disc and Daniel Tompkins (TesseracT), who had previously contacted Dhar with the suggestion of collaborating, on the other. Soon after confirming Tomkins as permanent vocalist, the band with second guitarist Devesh Dayal joining the line-up found themselves sharing stages with the likes of Lamb of God, Bass Monuments, and TesseracT as well as going on to play numerous festivals up to the latter part of last year when the band took time out to write and create Guiding Lights. With Goddess Gagged bassist Krishna Jhaveri replacing the departing Raj, the crowd-funded new album also released via Basick, has stepped forward as a dramatic and riveting next step in the band’s ascent.

Opening track Allure instantly transfixes; melodies and sonic enterprise vibrantly rippling across the song’s fluid canvas like warm summer rain on a clear stretch of water. Almost as swiftly though there is an intensity of passion and GuidingLights_Coverrhythmic incitement which with an agitated beckoning, streaks across the immersive embrace of the track. It is a masterful lure of a song, the outstanding vocals of Tompkins, as across the whole album, smooth and clean with engrossing expression to their narrative. Every aspect of the track and band impresses it is fair to say, the dark toned shadows of bass excelling in the clarity given and guitars bewitching whether laying down elegant designs or brewing up a more tempestuous persuasion.

The impressive start is emulated by the following Evolution, the track a rawer fiery proposition than the opener. The imposing beats of Sastry which commanded attention in the first song take an even more grievous pose in their swings here, though they are unafraid to temper the attack in the more temperate passages of the song. Though not a violent storm, the track still blusters from its rugged start with rigorously heavy scything riffery before finding a mellow and reflective emotive calm to explore, not quite the eye of the tempest but a temporary peace in a gripping maelstrom.

Both Idle Minds and Miracle keep ears and thoughts firmly engaged, the first taking on a poppier breath with its contagion without drifting from the raw emotion of its provocative exploration and a sonic endeavour where the throaty predation of the bass and sensuous melodies from guitars align for another intriguing captivation. The second of the two tracks soars through a celestial atmosphere, vocal and resourceful invention from guitars a radiant and acidic beauty which flares perfectly across the more vigorous traits of the song. As across the release, both are as excitingly unpredictable as they are skilfully sculpted and a potent continuation of the rich creative parade already unveiled.

Through the mesmeric and dramatically flavoursome scenery of Halogen and the more tenaciously challenging adventure of New Devil, the album whips up further greed in the appetite; the second of the two with its provocative and ferocious energy an irresistible incitement and with its intrigue drenched ingenuity, another peak to the album. Both leave thoughts and emotions bound in their creative emprises as does the Porcupine Tree like elegance and resonance of Patience which is subsequently followed by the long mystical temptation of the album’s title track. From its haunting opening ambience, the track brews up into a stormy flight merging rhythmic and emotional turbulence with thought encroaching melodies and vocal passion. As with so many of the tracks, once departed the song is a slim memory but in its hug the track steals ears and thought from the outside world with ease.

Guiding Lights is completed by firstly the excellent seduction of Kaikoma, a song exploring electronic and sonic temptations within an infectious and lingering progressive immersion of the senses. It is a thrilling investigation, one of the major pinnacles of the album which sets up the expansive realm of the finale. The Constant is an undulating terrain of thick and subtle structures, sublime and concussive textures, and gripping creative drama. It is a powerful and thrilling encounter which epitomises the album in that it is absorbingly and bracingly enjoyable as company and inspiration but whether it is its length or there being so much going on, it loses attention at points within its impressive landscape.

With every member of the band mouth-wateringly exploring their stunning individual technical and creative depths, the bottom-line is that Skyharbor has not only created another exceptional proposition to bask in, but one pushing them to the forefront of progressive metal. Guiding Lights is an outstanding journey which challenges for all the right reasons and though for us it works better taken as individual trips in its extensive emprise, it is nothing to complain about and only something to enjoy.

Guiding Lights is available now digitally and on CD via Basick Records @ http://music.basickrecords.com/album/guiding-lights and http://store.basickrecords.com/home/products/guiding-lights-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/Skyharbor7

RingMaster 11/11/2014

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Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

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Never have open hostility and uncompromising brutality been as elegantly seductive and radiantly fascinating as within The Wreckage of Stars, the debut album from US progressive extreme metallers Black Crown Initiate. Actually that is not quite true as the band’s previous and extraordinary Song of the Crippled Bull EP offered such imaginative daring too but within the album it has bred a new bulk and exploration which is as fearsome as it is gloriously mesmeric. Their entrance was dramatic and startling and now with The Wreckage of Stars, the Pennsylvanian quintet’s emergence is complete, placing them right there side by side with the likes of Between The Buried And Me, The Ocean, and Opeth.

Formed in 2012, the Reading hailing Black Crown Initiate was soon drawing on experiences, individual inspirations, and a vast web of styles to create what is a maelstrom of gripping ingenuity and vicious enterprise. The evidence was immediately audible with the unleashing of Song of the Crippled Bull, an introduction which was as drenched in acclaim as it was in enthralling and unique inventive personality. Its attention grabbing success led to the band securing a coveted spot on the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Goatwhore and Behemoth, as well as the sharing of stages with bands such as Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Rivers of Nihil. Earlier this year Black Crown Initiate signed with eOne and now in tandem go for the psychological jugular and lustful passions with The Wreckage of Stars.

The release opens with Great Mistake and an instantly seducing enticing of melodies. It is an inviting coaxing by the guitars which only gains weight and potency as imposing rhythms and aggressive riffs join its bait. Continuing to warmly lure within the brewing tempest, the song leads the senses into the bestial tones of vocalist James Dorton, every syllable expelled loaded with malice and guttural intensity. Still the song is a seductive persuasion though and intriguingly, it is when the superb clean vocals of guitarist Andy Thomas grasps ears that the track finds itself at its most threatening as the music flares up around him. It is a delicious and surprising outcome, alone revealing so much about the skill and songwriting personality of the band. Across its extensive landscape, the track boils, squalls, and explores mellow intent, every second and twist of the song a new surprise and magnetic contagion, especially the Eastern veining which colours its engrossing finale.

The outstanding start places the album on an early plateau which subsequent tracks either stalk as boldly or certainly flirt with in presence and invention. The following The Fractured One is one hitting similar heights, its immediate BCI_coveragitated predation of tempestuous beats from drummer Jesse Beahler and throaty tempting from the bass of Nick Shaw, an enslaving death metal spiced frame within which the guitars of Thomas and Rik Stelzpflug cast tenaciously imaginative and hostile enterprise. One of the shorter songs on the album, it is an incessant and virulently contagious torrent of barbarous and sonically scorching savagery.

A breather of sorts after the inhospitable onslaught of the previous tack comes with Malignant, its opening of classically honed guitar a caress of calm within the established storm of the album. Guitars nestle creatively up to the imagination straight away though that suggested respite is eventually smothered by the serpentine venom of Dorton’s vocals and a pestilential tsunami of corrosive rhythms and caustic riffery. Of course nothing can be assumed with a Black Crown Initiate track, something learned early on the last EP, and soon the increasingly impressive warm voice of Thomas breaks the wall of maliciousness, aligning itself eventually with a similarly engrossing and graceful weave of melodic design and expression. Though it is restless to return to savaging the senses, the track courts this peace as long and creatively as possible, ensuring the song again leaves expectations a lost cause.

Both the carnivorous ferocity of The Human Lie Manifest and the exhausting technicality of Withering Waves leave senses cowering and imagination basking in majestic aural warfare; the pair, as all songs, parading more of the craft and inventive depths of the band. The second of the two is especially scintillating as extremes of light and dark, animosity and melodic beauty come together in one spellbinding emprise, a mouth-watering adventure matched by the primal and ruinous presence of To The Eye That Leads You. This erupts with a tornado of vocal enmity, the assault at times an inaudible suffocation of intent and lyrical intimidation which in allowing a coarsely veiled clarity to emerge intimidates further. Around it though there is a swing and swagger to the sounds which is no less vicious but does provides an inescapable infectiousness. It is a vat of bad blood and the thrilling dark-side to the climactic and forcibly elegant beauty of the album’s title track. Predominantly instrumental it closes with a vocal union of all sides shown so far on the album, to provoke a new hunger in appetite and thoughts.

There is no escaping the relentless battering and sonic violation uncaged by Shapes Collapse next, the track as so many, no matter how harmful and fierce it impacts on body and senses casting an addictive and seriously enticing infection. It is a constant lure throughout the tempest but especially pungent in the glade of melodic reflection ventured by song and guitars before climbing back into the outskirts of the initial storm.

The album closes with firstly the arresting terrain of Purge, a track which entwines imaginative charm and melodic beauty with voracious and vehement fuelled hostility for a mutually unsettling and seductive examination of ears and emotions. It is succeeded by Linear, a sensational final encounter where under persistent hellacious provocation, the lighter side of the band has full and irresistible rein.

     The Wreckage of Stars is a major triumph proving that the last EP was no flash in the pan but instead just the appetiser to greater sonic alchemy and brutal expression from Black Crown Initiate. Now is the time to explore their brilliant fury, though you can only feel as with their music, there will be no escaping their presence and touch from hereon in anyway.

The Wreckage of Stars is available now via eOne Heavy / Good Fight

http://www.facebook.com/BlackCrownInitiate

RingMaster 29/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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In Love Your Mother – The Great Ape Project

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As well as holding gripping and inventive sounds, a song and release should be an adventure for ears and imagination to make the strongest connection, and they do not come more of a creative and challenging emprise than The Great Ape Project from Swizz trio In Love Your Mother. The album is a riveting and invigorating maelstrom of sound and deranged invention which leaves no stone unturned or bedlamic idea left in the shadows. Cramming eighteen songs in just over thirty minutes of creative mayhem means the album warrants and needs full attention so as not to miss any of the exhilarating drama within tracks which range from fourteen seconds to just short of four minutes in length. But the rewards are unrelenting and furiously imposing in one of the albums of the year.

Hailing from Zürich, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Valentin Baumgartner, bassist/vocalist Amedeo Mauriello, and drummer Andrea Tinner, unleash a sound which reaps the essences of mathcore and progressive metal and filters it through a vat of avant-garde, grindcore, and metalcore ingenuity. It comes out as a sound which can be best described as The Dillinger Escape Plan and System of a Down meets Destrage, Toumaï, and Kontrust yet isn’t like that either. It is a unique concoction which flirts and dances with senses as it brutalises them, and quite irresistible.

Themed by the sick and bad world our mothers warned us of, In Love Your Mother start the album and examination with The Mother Song. A thirty second tsunami of vocal causticity and rhythmic hostility speared by a sonic spite and toxic groove which all combines for a furious and concussive but appetite inflaming onslaught. Its swift assault is followed by the less intensive but no more lightweight 2116@#1916. It is immediately contagious, something alone impressive such its brevity of length, a slice of coarsely melodic and respectfully corrosive groove metal which slips agreeably before the vicious presence of We’re Gonna Dance Till Everyone Is Naked And Fallen Apart takes over. A metalcore canvas of vocals and maliciousness is soon twisted and bound in a weave of unpredictable and schizophrenic invention, the guitar of Baumgartner scything and spearing the heart of the tempest with breath-taking and psyche addling ingenuity. It is a manic endeavour matched by the swinging arms and prods of Tinner and the throaty creative predation of Mauriello. The longest song on the album, it explores and evolves with every second, bewitching and bewildering ears with almost hostile intent. The beauty of this and all songs, is the seamless and fluid transitions, one moment a bestial rampancy becomes a seductive croon and melodic embrace in another, all without a twitch of uncertainty or flex of ILYM_TGAP_albumcoverrandomness.

Johnny Rocket Is Not Dead launches its majestic uncompromising tirade next, grooves and bass temptation as eager and impacting as the vocal squalls and twisted sonic probing aligning to a rhythmic badgering. It is only one turn in the fifty second odd track though, as mentioned earlier every chord and jab of drums the detour to new and generally enthralling bliss, as evidenced no more potently than in Signs Of A Medium Life which splits the two parts of the title track. A hardcore/grind fuelled provocation, the track savages and pounds on the senses from the off. Riffs and beats show no mercy within the stalking gait of the song nor the blistering vocal roar which also has some restraint in its confrontation. Through the storm though, there are small and larger slithers of inventive majesty which enthral as much as the bruising thrust of the song.

The two bits of The Great Ape Project grab the hunger inspired already by band and album, but are swiftly surpassed by the brilliance of the also two parted Wish Me An Ocean, the first of its two scintillating movements a furnace of sonic fire and blistering psychotic beauty steered superbly by bass and drums. From the hasty senses foraging of its counterpart and the haunting piano sculpted drama of Drop The Back Of The Line, In Love Your Mother ignite another major blaze with Signs Of A Real Life. Striding forcibly with rhythmic and sonic nostrils flaring, the track soon slips into something more cantankerous and intimidating, crawling over senses and thoughts with a rabid breath and bestial intensity. It is just one border of the landscape though, an exotic melodic insanity blooming before a final fury emerges.

Through the thrillingly deranged, slightly post punk/noise rock spiced The Disco Fish, the melodically searing and perfectly crazed Inhale, and the restful and emotionally unbalanced Wish Me An Ocean Part 0, the album continues to engross and disorientate. But it is all just an appetiser for the pinnacle of the album, which is the song In Love Your Mother. With its first touch, a ridiculously addictive groove which only intensifies its lure as it is joined by rampant beats and a pleasingly varied vocal persuasion, the track is pure sonic and inventive alchemy. Demanding and infectious, imposing and wantonly accessible, it is a bargain for the soul made of the devil, a term which applies to the whole of the album.

The Hedgehog is more pure in its assault, its extreme metal rabidity direct and untethered yet still veined by a sonic enterprise to spellbind ears and thoughts. Its potent success is emulated by the inhospitable but irrepressibly catchy Ein Hase, Zwei Haese. With a swagger which only inflames its savagery and warped ingenuity equally, the track is a twisted mouth-watering blaze of unpredictability and extreme metal maliciousness to linger over.

Closed by the lo-fi folk croon of a track simply called Outro, The Great Ape Project is a sensational introduction to a band with the potential and invention to turn metal on its head at any time. The release is one of the real triumphs of the year and deserves the fullest of attention.

The Great Ape Project is available now @ http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=9357440

http://www.inloveyourmother.com

RingMaster 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Viathyn – Cynosure

Viathyn Press Photo 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.viathyn.com

RingMaster 09/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

 

Verse Vica – Endeavor

Promo 2

It is safe to say that progressive metal has presented some of the most imaginatively inventive bands and compellingly immersive releases over recent years and to both lists you can add Verse Vica and their debut album Endeavor. One similarly imposing and seductive flight spread over eight movements in its continuous landscape, the release is a skilled and dramatic introduction to the US band, announcing them as an exciting prospect to pay eager attention to.

Hailing from North Carolina it is maybe no surprise that their inspirations include fellow statesmen Between the Buried and Me alongside the likes of Animals as Leaders, The Faceless, Periphery, and The Contortionist. There is no denying those essences across the Asheville quartet’s first offering though it is mere flavouring to something which primarily casts its own distinctive nature and character. Unafraid to bare its rawest depths sonically and emotionally, and a flaming beauty which is as transfixing as its contrasts are rugged, the album is an intensive and at times satisfyingly demanding proposition. Though first impressions leave a hungry appetite for its presence, the album needs an attentive investigation to reveal all its striking textures and superbly crafted layers. It rewards though with not a flawless offering but definitely one which ignites a greed for more in the imagination and emotions.

Mastered by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit), Endeavor opens with the engaging Airyth. It is a gentle and melodically elegant instrumental which carries darker shadows within its smouldering and resonating presence. It is not a dramatic track, certainly in hindsight against the subsequent twists in the album’s journey, but a captivating soar across the emerging climate of piece and release. Guitarists Paul Meisner and Greg Marcon create a sonic breeze which mesmerises with its beauty and skilful designs whilst the bass of Tyler Shehan incitingly strokes the darker element of the exploration. It is a tantalising entrance though it does straight away offer up the only real flaw with the album and that is the sampled drums and rhythms. The band is yet to find a live body to swing the sticks and this makes for one aspect which is lacking across the album, being more obvious in some tracks than others, but to be fair such the quality elsewhere it is never enough to derail songs and pleasure.

The opener flows straight into the rugged terrain of Cities I: Cerulean. Riffs and grooves respectively badger and entwine ears from the first breath whilst raging gut bred growls and subsequently clean harmonies from Spencer Album CoverBrunkhorst, bring further thick colour and spice to the already colourful design of the song. The technical ability of the band is just as striking and instant, the guitars spinning a web of infectious and intimidating enterprise whilst the rhythmic side of the song, along with the harsher side of the vocals, carries as much malevolence as the melodies and sonic endeavour brings flirtatious ingenuity. Equally the songwriting shines brightly, especially in the way the band blends and twists extremes around a fluid core of intent and imagination. It is a fine incitement though soon shaded by Verdugo and even more so the outstanding Ravenholm. The first of the two stands steely eyed with hooks and riffs a savage persuasion within a caustic and radiant melodic atmosphere. Again opposites attract within the song and combine for a tantalising and intimidating excursion for ears and thoughts which the second of the pair pushes to new scenic heights. Opening with a melodic death metal ferocity and invention, the track evolves before the ears as melodies provide a catalyst taking the voracious vocal driven emprise into a seductive waltz of Latin sultriness and acoustic Spanish guitar refinement. It is an enthralling and thrilling proposition which returns to its original caustic blaze before merging it into the sonic brilliance which binds the majestic encounter.

Marumari takes senses and thoughts through an engrossing soundscape of shimmering melodies and intrigue coated bass suasion, calming ears and emotions from the previous roars before diving headlong into flaming sonic and cavernous yet intimately suggestive beauty. The instrumental is a web to spark the imagination, in a way the eye of the storm between the previous adventure and the furious tempest of Djinn. It successor is a predator yet with the antagonistic vocals and rhythmic intensity striding through a sonic tapestry of inventive and skilled ideation, the track is just as infectiously compelling as it is barbarously challenging. Sharing best track honours with Ravenholm, it is a stunning slab of creative and unpredictable bewitching hostility with the bass of Shehan stealing the biggest plaudits.

The album is brought to a tremendous close by firstly another absorbing instrumental in the mentally inflaming shape of Koholint and lastly the tempestuous might and creative storm of Cities II: Saffron. Both songs show further sides and variation to album and the band’s inventiveness, the first simply with melodic eloquence and adventure and the second through the employment of melodic and pop rock infectiousness within the technically spellbinding lure of the track.

Endeavour is a glorious debut and one which just gets better as it reveals more with every flight taken. Anticipation for a live drummer and where that takes songs and the sound of Verse Vica is a strong feeling at the end of the album but more overwhelming is the total pleasure and excitement for what Endeavour offers and where the band has the potential to go. Bottom line though is that this is a must investigation for all progressive metal fans.

The self-released Endeavor is available worldwide now on October 6th.

https://www.facebook.com/versevica

RingMaster 06/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/