ICOSA – The Skies Are Ours EP

ICOSA

It is hard to know how long the members of ICOSA have been playing, nurturing their skills and invention but it is fair to say that band, and debut EP The Skies Are Ours leaves the majority of releases and certainly first encounters this year in the shade. The four track release is a fascinating and exhilarating slab of mature invention and startling imagination brought with a technical craft and instinctive adventure which leaves you grinning and basking greedily. It maybe just one release but it is impossible not to suggest that this is the awakening of one potentially important force for British and dare we say world music. Casting a web of progressive metal and heavy rock, a description which still only gives half the picture, the London trio has made a big statement with their first release and set the benchmark very high for them and UK progressive metal.

Formed in 2011, ICOSA consists of vocalist and 8 string guitarist Tom Tattersall, 7 string guitarist Stacey Douglas, and drummer Jack Ashley. Drawing on the inspirations of bands such as Tool, Meshuggah, and SiKth, the band has been stirring up a bit of a buzz around them and now having been seduced by their EP it is very easy to see why. Their sound sits somewhere amidst Between The Buried And Me/ TesseracT and KingBathmat/ King Crimson whilst infusing a wider diversity in its body for an openly distinct presence. It is a riveting weave which seduces and rages, commands and demands within The Skies Are Ours to inescapably bind ears and imagination.

ICOSA open up the release with Ermangulatr. Its initial shimmering touch is gentle, almost spatial in breath as it slowly entangles thoughts and senses. Guitars soon add additional intrigue before expelling a heavier intensive climate coverwith sonic veining which mesmerises as it scorches aligned to a Meshuggah like predation. It is a powerful lure which only increases as it welcomes the excellent vocals of Tattershall, his tones another tempering flame against the brewing ferocity of intent and invention. As it expands and explores, the track continues to twist and turn with inescapable hooks, fluid grooves, and simply a web of compelling ideation and craft. Reminders of The Ocean, Opeth, and The Mars Volta flirt with thoughts across the song but with its striking creative emprise, the track and ultimately release is impossible to truly pin down.

The two part title track is next, Part 1 instantly teasing senses with coarse but ridiculously enticing melodies within agitated rhythms and an equally frenetic narrative of riffs and invention. There is rapacious rabidity to the track and its dramatic landscape but just as potently a fury of seduction which drives every warped twist and idea as well as every melodic spearing and ingenious coaxing. At times listening to the track you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride through a vast ever shifting landscape of unpredictable dangers and beauty whilst in other moments you get the feeling of a dogfight in the air between dark and light protagonists, each spinning their individual traps as they tussle gleefully. The closing sun of melodic elegance glides the listener imperiously into Part 2 and its almost celebratory beginning where rhythms and guitars romp with ideas and endeavour whilst the vocals find an additional snarl to enrich the elevated revelry. The track simply enslaves and intrigues; its merger of metal and rock into a distinctly individual and transfixing voracious blaze of invention and imagination, ridiculously impressive and thrilling. It is all so seamless and fluid that you just get lost in the sheer beauty of the persistently shifting mystery and adventure so that at times the real world is just not there.

The EP is completed by Trepidation, a welcome trespass into the passions with bulky jagged riffs, cascading sultry melodies, and bordering on psychotic invention honed into a contagious stride of devilish imagination and just as sinisterly attractive and skilled ingenuity in songwriting and presentation. It is an outrageously brilliant end to a similarly potent and masterful release. ICOSA is already a major player in metal, it is just that we and the metal world did not realise until now through their debut. As The Skies Are Ours lets its last notes tease and thrill there is room for one more thought, something this good and genius just has to have the Devil’s backing.

The Skies Are Ours EP is available digitally as a name your price download and on CD now @ http://icosa.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/icosa/

10/10

RingMaster 25/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Unbeing – Raptus EP

Unbeing - Raptus promo photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/UnbeingMusic

10/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Leviathan – Beholden To Nothing, Braver Since Then

Leviathan - Beholden To Nothing, Braver Since Then - Artwork

Though Beholden To Nothing, Braver Since Then was probably destined to ebb and flow in success due to personal demands and wants from a progressive metal encounter, it has to be said that the new album from US metallers Leviathan emerges as one of the most compelling and riveting genre releases to come along this year so far. Its imagination sparking blend of classic heavy metal and progressive adventure with an additional wealth of diverse and expressive styles is a masterful canvas to lose thoughts and emotions within. Combining provocative samples and inciting instrumentals amongst melodically and narratively absorbing songs, the Denver band has created an adventure very difficult to ignore or turn away from.

Formed in 1989 by guitarist/leader Ronnie Skeen, guitarist Steve Fugate, and vocalist Tom Braden, soon joined by drummer Ty Tammeus and bassist James Escobedo, Leviathan proceeded to earn a fine reputation and fanbase through the release of a self-titled debut EP in 1991 and first album Deepest Secrets Beneath two years later. Before the release of the EP guitarist John Lutzow joined to replace Fugate, whilst after the album the band almost destructed with the departure of most of its line-up. It survived though enlisting new recruits including vocalist Jeff Ward and bassist Derek Blake, who along with Lutzow make up the core of the current line-up. 1996 saw second album Riddles, Questions, Poetry, and Outrage unveiled to great acclaim, leading to a deal with Century Media. As their stock, reputation, and equally live presence ascended, Leviathan unleashed third album Scoring the Chapters, but again a self-released encounter after the band left their label due to internal conflicts. It also was acclaimed and eagerly received but from here the band seemed to have taken a hiatus before it returning in 2010 with live album Leviathan Resurrected – Reunion Show and the Deepest Secrets Beneath & Leviathan EP. Following its predecessor At Long Last, Progress Stopped to Follow of 201, Beholden to Nothing, Braver Since Then easily sets Leviathan down as a fresh wind and experience for current progressive metal. Whether it is the band’s finest moment we have to leave to fans to announce but certainly it is easy to assume it is on the frontline of their creative heights to date.

The Stonefellowship Recordings released album opens with the atmospheric instrumental Ephemeral Cathexis, samples and evocative sounds merging to cast the first chapter of the album’s provocative theme and presence before guitars wind comfortably and inventively around ears. Its brief lead makes way for A Shepherds Work where again guitars steal a march on attention with skilled enterprise. It is a song which struggles to maintain its grip though, certainly initially. Its opening verse and suasion feels a touch lightweight, minimalistic in its impression on the senses though it is more down to the production we suggest than song weight to be fair. The vocals equally at first make an indecisive convincing though there is a great Billy Mackenzie like touch to their presence which certainly demands interest. The track continues to expand, employing stronger guitar craft and throaty basslines as it increases its lure for thoughts if not emotions whilst providing a strong start for the release.

The following Intrinsic Contentment instantly raises the enticement with a tempting casting of guitar and emotive melodies around the ever expressive vocals. A rich snarl to the bass and riffs aligned to a grumpier rhythmic touch adds a depth and force to the song which was lacking in its predecessor, engaging ears and imagination in a darker premise and intimidating coaxing within the tight flaming of guitar and sonic endeavour. Again the song does not erupt as expected or hoped but does provide a sinewed sculpted waltz easy to be enticed by before the classically honed evocation of the instrumental Overture of Exasperation opens a grander epic doorway into the heart of the release. Keys and strings envelop with beauty and eventually a Sicilian like beckoning as the piece enthrals and delights a continually hungrier appetite for the album.

   Creatures of Habit holds a stronger rapacious attitude and presence to those songs before next, its challenging intent a forceful web of melodies and sonic tenacity before settling into a glorious melodic breeze of plucked strings and vocal reflection within a brewing ambience of strings and keys. It is transfixing musically and emotionally, continuing the increasingly potent and impressive emergence of the album. Each member and aspect of the song bewitches resourcefully before moving away for the haunting electronically bred instrumental Solitude Begets Ignorance. Merely fifty seconds it is another fascinating twist to light thoughts ready for the entrance of the heavy metal bred A Testament for Non-Believers. It is another track which is undeniably impressively created and presented with rich essences of enterprise but fails to spark the fuse to anything greater than satisfaction, something If the Devil Doesn’t Exist… has no problem achieving. With immediate drama and portentous air to riffs and tempting grooves before torturous cries, the track is an epic stride through a hellacious climate and melodic seducing. As with many songs, there are delicious swerves into gentle caresses and muscular provocation which are as unpredictable as they are rewarding, its nine minutes a constantly growing and expressive emprise.

The glorious Magical Pills Provided brings the first pinnacle of the album, the instrumental a breath-taking avant-garde experiment of progressive ingenuity. It roars and shimmers as it seduce and infest the imagination from first note to last; a plethora of styles and startling ideation consuming mind and passions with psyche twisting alchemy. Its glory is swiftly followed and matched by the outstanding Thumbing Your Nose at Those Who Oppose, its folkish beauty and melodic elegance superbly aligned to a sultry and irresistible sonic mystique.

From here on in the album again wins some loses some with personal tastes but with the carnivorously honed and cored Empty Vessel of Faith, the Eastern dub blessed Bettering Darklighter, and the exceptional enterprise drenched Misanthrope Exhumed, band and album still holds full command of attention and that increasingly eager appetite spawned early on. Closing with its increasingly potent and persuasive title track, Beholden to Nothing, Braver Since Then is an album for which only recommendations can be offered. Investigating and attacking the heart of religion and more, Leviathan has provided progressive metal with a powerful protagonist to devour greedily. As we finish up and let the album seep into the body once again, I think that earlier suggestion that this is Leviathan’s greatest moment is a given.

Beholden to Nothing, Braver Since Then is available via Stonefellowship Recordings now!

http://www.leviathanresurrected.com

8/10

RingMaster 21/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Metaprism – Self Titled EP

Metaprism cover

There are plenty of metal bands offering a dual vocal attack of melodically flighted female and aggressively bearing male vocals but it seems predominantly they veer towards one or the other in songs rather than truly merging them. For us it feels like a great many miss out on their potential by keeping them distinctly apart and that view has only been reinforced by British progressive/melodic metallers Metaprism. The sextet from Bournemouth are certainly unafraid to push a ‘beauty and the beast’ styled attack into one tempest of adventure and expression and it has resulted in a quite impressive and riveting debut. Their three track EP is a seducing brawl which is so much more than just the vocals, though they do steal plenty of the attention; it a roaring fire of endeavour and imagination which suggests that though still exploring its potential, Metaprism is a proposition set for big things over near horizons.

The band was formed in 2012 by guitarist Ollie Roberts who linking up with vocalist Theresa Smith began writing songs immediately aiming for their first release. The addiction of vocalist Jut Tabor, bassist Mike West, drummer Jonny Wilmott, and live guitarist Jimmy Alford has thrust the band forward on all fronts, Metaprism already in its short time sharing stages with the likes of Sacred Mother Tongue, I Am I, and Evil Scarecrow whilst the EP is brewing up a keen appetite for the band with fans and underground media alike. With an album planned before the end of the year, the band makes a striking entrance with a release and sound which is mature and invigoratingly shapely, a dramatic hint of things to come you can only surmise.

Opening track Even the Lights rises from a gloriously captivating intro, sonic intrigue and vocal mists expanding to cup an expulsion of stirring riffs, crisp beats, and immediately a web of guitar sculpted melodic toxicity which winds seductively around ears and attention. It is a potent design which has thoughts and appetite wide awake; not an over dramatic entrance but one which has everything focused on its impending narrative. The song next steps into a commanding stride as riffs and drums find a carnivorous breath to their bait, the excellent raw roars of Jut standing voraciously in the midst of the torrent to be soon followed by the melodic beauty of Smith’s tones and his return with clean and just as strong tones. Within a few seconds the song vocally has captured the imagination, both protagonists tempering and contrasting each other and themselves magnificently. It is a treat to hear, our earlier mentioned thoughts fed whilst musically the band and track equally sparks an overwhelmingly satisfied reaction with further predatory and sonically crafted invention. As proven by the song, the band is also skilled at merging styles and voracious ideation into their exploits, stern rugged breakdowns and metalcore rapaciousness as at home in the premise as progressive flights and melodically brewed colours.

The following Lost in the Dark takes little time in continuing the inspiring incitement of invention and passion, guitars with great ragged scything riffs and rhythms as a vindictive assailant forging a corruptive provocation as Smith and Tabor embrace and stalk the emerging magnetic canvas of the song respectively and simultaneously. It is a masterful piece of songwriting and voracious realisation, like a fusion of Delain meets Suicide Silence but different again. Cantankerous predation and smouldering elegance make a mutual bed within the song as potently and successfully as the band vocally mixes varying attacks and varied energies which ebb and flow within an overall rapacious urgency. It is mouthwatering skill and adventure the band impressively seek and craft which things like the breath-taking guitar enterprise of Roberts and unrelenting rhythmic persuasion of West and Wilmott only paint and push to greater success.

The release is completed by Against All, a song which initially is not as striking as the previous pair but soon recruits full attentive appetite with its flowing melodies and vociferous muscular incitement, and of course the continuing to impress vocals and guitar weaves. The song never quite reaches the heights set but still continues to reveal more of the scope and creativity within the sound and invention of Metaprism, groaning short grooves and sharp sonic sculpting a transfixing hue within the at times rabid rhythmic quality and vocal richness of the song.

Expect to hear a great deal more of Metaprism. Their EP feels like it is just an appetiser for bigger and grander exploits, something it is hard not to anticipate their debut album being the provider.

The Metaprism EP is available now @ http://metaprism.bandcamp.com/album/metaprism-ep

https://www.facebook.com/Metaprism

9/10

RingMaster 25/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Room Colored Charlatan – Primitives

DSC00932

Every now and then we come across a release which certainly impresses and is very easy to recommend but at the end of the day just does not excite as much as it should and that is just the case with Primitives the new album from US metallers The Room Colored Charlatan. Musically and emotionally the encounter is glorious and technically bewitching but for all the moments which have thoughts basking and imagination captivated without reserve, for us it fails to light a fire in the passions. It is still very easy to suggest exploring its stylish merger of progressive and technical metal filtered with the voracity of extreme metal aligned to soaring ambiences, as it is a fascinating and striking adventure.

Hailing from Indiana, the quintet has been compared to the likes of Between The Buried And Me and The Contortionist, two bands which indeed have inspired The Room Colored Charlatan along with the likes of Painted In Exile, Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya, and Animals As Leaders. Listening to the new album you can see what breeds those references though equally there is plenty about the release which sets the band apart. Building and increasing their reputation live, playing with bands such as TesseracT, Veil of Maya, Born Of Osiris, and The Contortionist over the past years, the band brought concentrated attention upon themselves with debut album Between Mirrors: The Quantum Immortality in 2012 which was released, as the new album, on Subliminal Groove Records. Primitives take all the qualities of its predecessor into new expansive dramas and evocative climates, across sceneries which roar and claw at the senses whilst seducing with a melodic and atmospheric beauty. Inspired by the theme ‘that humankind is not as civilized or as modern as we like to think’, the album is an epic imposing journey broken up into individual musically poetic chapters.

A chilled breeze around a lone guitar opens up the album and Instinct, and it is a beckoning soon full of melodic intrigue and rhythmic Primitives-covresonance as the song grows into full view. It is a hypnotic entrance potently luring in attention before the grizzled vocal delivery of Jared Bush brings a raw imposing into the creative elegance already cast by guitarists Justin Seymour and Brent Edelson, his presence seemingly a spark for an expanding intensity which stalks with djent seeded stabs, oppressive breaths, and rapacious shadows. The weave of melodic enterprise becomes more acidic but still seduces within and tempers the more vocal tempest of sound. It is an enthralling proposition, the composing and craft of the band alone gripping as the soundscape of the sonic narrative consumes the imagination.

The starter evolves into the brief and invigorating instrumental Native Habitat, guitars and drums sculpting a mouthwatering terrain for thoughts to explore before it then flows into the following Apex Predator. The rhythmic enterprise of Adam Dixon swiftly has its heavy skilled hand on a definite appetite for the impending adventure as a sonic web spins an absorbing and perpetually shifting picture, one nicely courted by constantly dark and agreeably imposing bass hues from Michael Miller. As the track permeates thoughts the aggressively caustic growls of Bush fail to sit easily but to be fair it is just down to personal taste, just like eyes maybe lack a kinship to the colour green, at times his delivery fails to persuade our ears. It is no reflection on his presence and attack but to our loss it does defuse some of the might of what is an impressive track, especially its vivaciously ravenous climax.

The intensively bruising emergence of the title track has senses rocking back on their heels next rugged riffs and similarly predacious rhythms badger and assault before an entrancing melodic mesh wraps the heart of the song, caressing and soothing the sores spawned by the formidable and pleasing storm. The subsequent body of the track does not quite inspire as its entrance but again the individual skills combine for an almost romantically colourful view of an intimidating premise.

Keys make another potent and important texture to the album, none more so than within Questions of Origin, their vigorously simmering dazzle impregnating another virulently aggressive, almost rabid exacting landscape. With guitars searing as they simultaneously entwine the senses in melodic beauty, the track is one which lights a fuse to more keen ardour alongside again nothing but impressed respect for the album so far; oh and note Bush is exceptional too, his bordering vicious snarl resting very nicely in the ears, yes we like to be contrary.

The sweeping synth grandeur within the following Survivalist Notion soon captivates whilst beneath riffs grind and chew through ears, the fusion a riveting endeavour which is only accentuated by the first appearance of clean vocals, something the band should definitely explore more ahead. The bass of Miller has its finest hour here, though maybe it is just it is allowed a little more space to enslave away from the smothering tempests it so richly helps create. Like many of the songs, there is very little to criticise or question, though for a still indefinable reason, as the album, it does not ignite the heat of passion it probably deserves.

The Atlas Artifact from its first touch floats and rigorously pursues an epically honed expansive progressive flight, though it is soon perpetually buffeted by clinging almost hostile eruptions and vigorous creative rabidity. The song again unveils exceptional harmonious vocals which once more impress thoroughly whilst the guitar invention and imagination between Seymour and Edelson is breath-taking at times; everything combining for a gripping and highly enjoyable emotively driven conclusion to the main thrust of the album.

Closed by the outstanding bonus track Nexus Point, which as good as steals the album’s pinnacle moment, its voracious enterprise and outright creative aggression savaging and firing up ears and emotions, Primitives is a fine album which only offers impressive bait to acclaim and eager recommendations. The Room Colored Charlatan is potentially a major force in the making, the album makes that easy to say and who knows they might even get us over excited at some point too.

Primitives is available via Subliminal Groove Records and @ http://theroomcoloredcharlatan.bandcamp.com/album/primitives

https://www.facebook.com/TRCCBand      

8/10

RingMaster 23/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Secrets and exposures: an interview with Tricore/An Entire Legion

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Tricore

More a secret than they should and deserve to be, UK metallers Tricore has been one of the most inventive and exhilarating bands within the British metal underground scene for close to a decade. With its member’s sister project An Entire Legion, the band has continued to intrigue, surprise, and thrill with an unpredictable and persistently adventurous intent in sound and ideation. Recently both bands released strikingly re-mixed and re-mastered versions of the albums Less than man…More than rabbit and Flame Wizard, from Tricore and An Entire Legion respectively. This gave The RingMaster Review a nudge to delve deeper into the bands which we had the pleasure of doing with vocalist/drummer Chris ‘Kerl’ Kerley, guitarist Mark Carstairs, and bassist Chris Allan who also kindly offered the opportunity to win a digital copy of both albums.

Hi Guys, welcome to the site and thanks for sharing your time with us.

Kerl: No worries man. It’s a pleasure. Thank you for being such a proponent of our music.

You have just released remixed and re-mastered versions of your Tricore debut album Less than man…More than rabbit and the Flame Wizard full-length as An Entire Legion. Before we take a closer look at the releases and yourselves can you clear up the situation with the projects as I know some people have been a little confused; are Tricore and An Entire Legion working as separate projects still, as I know there was talk of merging under just one name at one point?

Kerl: Haha, yea it can get a bit confusing. For us as well. The musicians are much the same in both projects but musically they generally differ. Tricore tracks are generally straight up heavier, riff driven, longer tracks, slightly more technical in parts. Legion tracks vary in tone more; the melodies take more of a front seat, tighter structures and catchier choruses.

Chris A: Though the lines have been blurred with the Flame Wizard release.

Kerl: Yea. It’s possible that future releases will be under legion because it’s the preferred name. Either that or we’ll make up another new name to piss more people off!

 

Tricore

Tricore

As it was the early days of Tricore where we first discovered your sounds, tell us about the beginning of the band and your musical histories up to that point.

Kerl: Tricore was formed in 2006.

Mark: I joined the band a month after it was formed and we did our first gig as Tricore only a couple of weeks after that!

Kerl: Yea you did well to get the shit down man. Before 2006 we were called Unbound. We named our debut EP after the old band. A few of the ideas on the Less than man…more than rabbit album came from the Unbound days. I’ve been in bands since I was like 13-14 playing drums. First band I was in was called Undercurrent. I only started getting heavily into song writing when I started Unbound in my late teens.

Mark: I also started playing in my teens back in Scotland. I was in a local band before moving down south.

Chris A: Same for me… Been in bands since my teens and all through my twenties. All of us come from similar musical backgrounds. All of us are self-taught.

The band’s sound is unique and distinct, wonderfully difficult to pin down. What have been the major inspirations to your ideas and music?

Kerl: Variety! Spice of life and all that. Same applies to music. Learning about and respecting different genres of music can only aid you when it comes to song writing. I grew up on a diet of mostly rock & metal in the nineties and always preferred the bands I felt “stood out”. Bands who had their own thing going on a la Korn, System of a down, Slipknot, Sikth, Incubus, Paradise Lost, before that Pantera, Nirvana, RATM and many more. As time went on my tasted broadened and I started listening to all sorts, from orchestral to indie to electronic, new and old. Like the bands above we always try to stand out with our music, whichever project we’re working on.

Mark: I’ve been influenced by pretty much the A to Z of heavy metal!

Kerl: Yea man, Marks got one of the largest cd collections I’ve ever seen. Its nuts!

Your first EP Unbound in 2007 made the first mark, increased dramatically by the Follow EP four years later but it is the Less than Front cover, less than remasteredman…More than rabbit album which still rings the most potently with fans. Is that what you have found and why you have re-visited it for the new release?

Kerl: It was more about making the older releases sound as phat as possible. Less than man always felt a little too tinny to our ears which was a mix issue rather than a mastering one. Sean Magee did a great job at Abbey Road studios first time round. But we felt a re-mix and re-master would bring the music up into line.

How did you look at the album in regard to re-mastering and remixing it, where did you feel you could enhance its strengths and colour further?

Kerl: Everything needed at least a little tweaking. The vocals needed to be eq’d and brought forward, the guitars were given more thickness. The hi-end needed to be reduced universally. We met a great dude who mastered the new releases for us giving them the final polish they needed. And all for the right price! Which is always a factor when you’re producing yourself.

Was it the same reasons for re-working the Flame Wizard album under An Entire Legion too?

Kerl: Yes. Though those tracks were recorded more recently and had fared better. I think both releases are now really solid, production wise. I can’t see there’ll be a need to revisit them again. We’re not going to do a “George Lucas”.

When did An Entire Legion become a valid proposition alongside Tricore for your ideas and what inspired you to make the distinct separation?

Kerl: An Entire Legion was created in late 2009/10 primarily to go down a slightly more melodic route with our music.

Mark: Initially it was also a step we took in an attempt to find a drummer who could replace Chris, freeing him up to do vocals.

Kerl: Yea. The idea was that I’d remain on drums in Tricore and sing for Legion. Unfortunately we had no luck finding a suitable replacement on either drums or vocals.

Mark: Despite caining the auditions!

Kerl: I still remain doing both. After a while Legion became a place we could put those songs we felt didn’t quite fit under Tricore. Now it’s pretty much an anything goes, which is why both projects have blurred.

An entire legion

An entire legion

Did having the two projects on the go simultaneously make the songwriting a more interesting adventure and maybe more difficult. Deciding where melodies or, rhythmic twists as examples, would best fit?

Kerl: Luckily the writing for both releases was completed at separate times. Most of the music on Less than man was written in 2008. The tracks on Flame Wizard during 2011/12 so there were no difficulties due to overlapping. Though we have several projects we usually just focus on one at a time.

Have you a preference (not favourite) or find a greater ease in regard to the two bands when it comes to creating songs?

Kerl: Honestly no. I love creating music. I live for it. There’s no preference when it comes to band music for me, I just try and keep things interesting and distinctive.

Mark: Playing wise, I prefer the heavier tracks from any of our projects. But listening wise it’s great that we don’t limit ourselves and feel free enough to head down different routes when the itch arises.

Chris A: Yea I also appreciate the variety. As a player it keeps things interesting, challenging.

It seems like in the current climate of metal and rock; bands with something truly unique about them and their sound get passed over and often disappear far too soon. How have you guys managed to keep your passion and drive for two projects, three when we include Rind Skank, all this time criminally without the nationwide and beyond recognition we feel your music deserves?

Kerl: Cheers Pete man, awesome of you to say. It’s really easy to keep creating music because we love it but yea, things are tough out there right now. Zero exposure by mainstream media has kept some of the country’s best musicians and songwriters in relative obscurity.

Chris A: Piracy…

Kerl: Yep. Piracy has wrecked music sales, which used to be a vital revenue stream for bands. Heavier types of music are acutely affected by the loss of music sales because there are fewer ways to make up for the losses. Obtaining ad or film placements for heavy music, which can be a great source of income for songwriters in other genres, is rare. Touring is expensive and is not feasible for a lot bands without financial backing. Merch sales are directly linked to touring. Indie labels mostly sign what they know and what they feel safe taking on, so most of their rosters end up filled with bands that appear to be imitating one another. They can then group these guys up and send them out on hard-graft tours, which are rarely particularly lucrative. As for major labels, well they barely touch heavier acts. Why would they, there’s no longer any money in it. For us, like many bands, it’s difficult. We’ve lost key members in the past because they could no longer see a future in playing heavy music. Reality gets in the way of the ideal.

So my advice to anyone who wants to see the genre grow is to purchase the music of the bands whose music you enjoy. Purchase directly from them if possible. Keeping the industry financially healthy isn’t only about providing opportunities for current bands it’s for all the future ones as well.

Concerning how we personally keep driving forward. Pretty much by ignoring the above and crossing our fingers ;)

Briefly tell us about Rind Skank.

Kerl: Rind Skank is a rock/metal/dance fusion band we started in 2012. It was a chance to play around with things in another direction, which is always great fun.

Mark: We took out the need for a drummer by playing over synth beats, which gives us a project that we can play live as a three piece.

Chris A: Recently though we’ve been attempting to introduce acoustic drums into the mix, so we’ll see how that goes.

I believe there are a couple of previously unreleased tracks also within the new re-mastered releases. Tell us about them, they are brand new AEL flame wizsongs written recently?

Chris A: Yea, we released the tracks Richest Eyes and Twist the gimp on the Flame Wizard album. Both those songs were recorded in 2012 and were originally created for a different project, currently shelved. We dig the tracks and thought they’d fit well on the album. Both use more electronics than our other songs usually do. They’re also the only tracks I’m on because I only joined the band in 2012!

How does the songwriting work within the bands, is it the same method for both?

Kerl: I write the music for all the projects give or take some parts here and there and some of the solos (the better ones were written by Rich Wood). The process is usually – I write at home and then bring the songs down to practice where we can all pour over them.

What can new and especially existing fans specifically find different within the new outings for Flame Wizard and Less than man…More than rabbit from the originals to get their juices flowing again?

Kerl: Aside from the couple of new tracks on Flame Wizard it’s all about the production quality. We’ve just raised it up to a higher level than it was before. Considering our releases are self-produced with no fancy top end studio involved, I think we did a pretty good job.

What is the future for both Tricore and An Entire Legion, do you have specific plans or intent for 2014 and beyond with each?

Kerl: Nothing’s set in stone at the moment, though plenty of ideas. That’s the positive thing about being unsigned, no deadlines! Unfortunately there are some negatives. As the primary songwriter, these days, what I would like to do musically and what I have to do in order to make a living frequently conflict. Every time we record a significant amount of material, and I produce, it pretty much wipes out 3-4 months. That’s time we don’t get paid for up front. The main way to recoup is via sales of music and merch, which doesn’t cover it. The money we get from shows, when we’re able to play, is negligible.

Mark: Normally ends up costing us.

Any new songs and release on the horizons too?

Chris A: We have hopes to release a Rind Skank album at some point later this year, or maybe 2015. We may start a crowd-funding project to see if we can raise enough to make that feasible, which is something we’ve never done before

How about live, can we expect any venture on that side?

Kerl: Playing live has always been a rollercoaster for us. Constant line-up issues over the years have kept us grounded for a lot of the time. And I don’t mean that to sound like we’re a revolving door band with new members every week. Quite the opposite, our problems are finding the right people in the first place…People with the musical chops and a good working ethos. We’re looking forward to getting a more stable line-up and playing live more frequently.

Where is the best place for people to keep up with all things Tricore and An Entire Legion?

Kerl: Any of these sites,

Our bandcamp page for releases – http://tricore.bandcamp.com/

Our MySpace or Facebook for updates – https://myspace.com/thetricore

https://www.facebook.com/anentirelegion

https://www.facebook.com/tricoreuk

Or our hub site – http://tricor1.wix.com/underdogelite

Thanks once more for talking with us, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Kerl: It was an absolute pleasure man. Keep up the great work!

Mark: Cheers!

Chris A: Great talk dude.

Tricore pic 1

To win a digital copy of Less than man…More than rabbit or Flame Wizard, simply check out the last Bone Orchard podcast @ www.audioburger.com and tell us which Tricore track was featured in the comment box below. Closing date for entries is Sunday June 8th

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 22/05/2014

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

Exist Immortal – Darkness Of An Age

Exist Immortal

Build a majestic beast of a proposition from the predatory instincts of Meshuggah and Scar Symmetry, the rapacious technical instincts of Periphery, and the melodic poetry of Circles and you will most likely come up with UK metallers Exist Immortal, though this is not to say that the London quartet does not have its own distinct voice as superbly evidenced by new album Darkness Of An Age. The imposing release is a monster of an encounter, a gloriously adventurous and imaginative journey unafraid to align the darkest vicious shadows with the most radiant mesmeric beauty. Cast over ten explorations, the release alone makes the most compelling reasoning as to why the London quintet is so highly thought of.

Formed in 2011, Exist Immortal have taken little time in establishing a rigorous reputation for their mature and inventive sound as well as their ferocious live performances which has seen the band play UK Tech Metal fest alongside the likes of Textures and Sylosis, as well as making inroads across the UK, Europe, and Asia. The band first stole our eye and attention with their mini-album Dream Sequence at the tail of last year, a tantalising and incendiary fuse for the passions which left thoughts reeling and emotions full. Darkness Of An Age takes the imagination on a heavier and darker exploration than its predecessor, one so intense that first impressions asked questions in its success against the sensational previous release. With every listen revealing new depths, triumphs, and temptations within the brutally seductive offering though, Darkness Of An Age has proven to be another dramatically masterful treat from one of Britain’s most seriously inventive metal bands.

The album emerges through an evocative breeze of keys as opener Insanity Project makes its initial play for ears and imagination; the ei-artwork-hd-2engaging entrance swiftly joined by an equally inviting guitar coaxing. It is crystalline bait which continues to tempt as rhythms punch their rigorous weight within an expanding squall of intensive riffs and a portentous bass sound. Vocally raw growls align to excellent clean tones, the voice of Meyrick de la Fuente ably assisted by that of guitarist Tom Montgomery, just as uniquely impressive and expressive as on the last release. The track continues to twist and spread its inventive toxins around senses and thoughts, immediately feeling angrier and more venomous than those found upon Dream Sequence. The new release sees the band exploring new territory emotionally and lyrically in an impacting move which takes thoughts aback at first but only adds weight and intrigue to the immense start of the album.

The following Legions lays jagged riffery and sonic scythes across the air next, its entrance an acidically fuelled wall of barbarous intent. It soon evolves into a fiery prowl though, clean vocals taking over from the vicious roars as the guitars of Montgomery and Kurt Valencia sculpt a captivating design of uncompromising predation and sinew framed seduction. Flailing with strict muscles and caressing with sultry keys, the track brews a contagion which is as fearsome as it is virulently addictive for the first major pinnacle of the towering adventure. The finale burns like a raging fire before elegantly relenting and making way for the similarly crafted In Parallax. Though ultimately different in character the song is similar to its predecessor at its beginning before worming its way under the skin to develop its own identity with niggling and delicious sonic toxicity beneath potent clean vocals. Skirted by the animalistic voice of David Billote’s bass and the rapier thrusts of Fergus Gardiner’s rhythms, the track emerges as an irrepressible enticement.

There is a heavier involvement of the dark caustic vocal delivery on the album than upon Dream Sequence, a more fifty-fifty split with the mellow soars which works well but whether it brings the same success as the higher clean vocal percentage of the previous release, such the excellence of de la Fuente in that style, is still under debate. Darkness Of An Age has a more malevolent darkness across the board though so it is an understandable move which really shows its potential in the excellent Edge Of Infinity, the track a captivating swirl of progressive investigation within a tortuous metalcore causticity coated by a ravenous voracity speared by djent bred stabs.

Both the enthralling Imperator and the immensely riveting Desolace seize the imagination next, the first sparking greed in an already eager appetite through synths which bring perfectly orchestrated emotion and colour to the tempest before them. Its successor casts a warmer more temperate climate to its storm allowing de la Fuente to sing from the first breath as keys and melodies reinvent the scenery with beauty and startling ideation. It is a mouthwatering invention which courts perfectly the ever poised rabidity of guitars and rhythms which take their share of the plaudits on the album’s highest pinnacle so far. Vocally too, the mix of seduction and violence is spot on, bringing the heart and rich landscape of the song to bear on the listener.

Like a trigger the song seems to ignite the release to stronger adventure, The Participant next unveiling a maelstrom of sonic and vocal ingenuity which thrusts numerous styles into one tempestuously inventive tsunami. The track whips up the passions to an even greater pleasure with its explosive and intelligent ravishment, the song standing side by side with hands on the best track title with the previous glory, though both are soon under pressure for the honour from the excitingly abrasive Embrace The Cycle and the corrosively appealing Liberator which features Sam Rudderforth from The Colour Line. Neither manages to quite live up to the demands but still leave bloated satisfaction in their creative wake whilst the closing brilliance of The Omen Machine ensures the album leaves a final peak foraging senses and emotions with its suitably toxic and endlessly invigorating inventive ferocity.

Though Dream Sequence still just has the edge on the two albums, Darkness Of An Age is a dramatically refreshing and thunderously inventive incitement from a band easy to assume that will have a major say on the future of certainly progressive and technical metal in Europe. Exist Immortal has all the potential to be a major player; the evidence is all there in the album.

The self-released Darkness Of An Age is available now @ http://existimmortal.bandcamp.com/album/darkness-of-an-age

https://www.facebook.com/existimmortal

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/05/2014

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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Alaya –Thrones

Alaya2

Now that US progressive metallers Alaya have unveiled their debut album we can confirm that the feisty buzz and acclaim for the Chicago trio is more than just for their powerful sound and presence. Thrones is a formidable adventure of technical prowess and passionate endeavour funnelled into a ferociously compelling and imaginative experience. Anticipation for the band’s debut has been as eager and fiery as the sounds it offers and it is easy to say that no one will be disappointed by the encounter just awe inspired.

It is fair to say that Thrones took longer than some to unveil its intensive persuasion though that was nothing to do with accessibility issues just the richness of depth and invention waiting to be discovered. It is a dramatic and demanding listen with its never ending twists and persistent evolution and unashamedly rewarding every step of the way. There are times where arguably the landscape of melodic fire and unrestrained technical ingenuity suffocates the chance of memorable moments within some songs preventing them being as strong a lingering temptation as they deserve but in their hands senses and emotions are invigorated playthings for a thoroughly riveting proposition.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Evan Graham Dunn, bassist/vocalist Michael Brandt Rinkenberger, and drummer David Jacob Robison, Thrones_CoverAlaya has forged a formidable reputation which has caught the imagination of fans and musicians alike as well as the media. Offered comparisons to the likes of Periphery, Muse, and Protest The Hero, the band has still forged its own distinct identity which bursts from Thrones like a corona ejection. Over two years in the making, the Basick Records released album is a soulful and soul filling tempest of melodic beauty, intrusively confrontational technical rhythms, and exploratory incisive grooves all under deeply evocative atmospheres and similarly sculpted lyrical narratives. It is easy to see why Alaya have been smothered in strong plaudits and easy to join the queue.

The expansive adventure of the album begins with Inside, its initial coaxing of sharp grooves and punchy rhythms a restrained yet eager pull which once stepping aside for a gentle caress bursts forward again with sinews flexing and colours blazing. The vocals of Dunn ably assisted by the tones of Rinkenberger throughout are as immediately impressive as the sounds, his delivery adding spice to the tale and texture to the already shifting scenery. The track twists and veers down unpredictable and intensively investigated avenues, rhythms a constant heavy provocateur and guitars a designer of the most enthralling incitements.

The impressive start is taken to another level by the following White Noise, its first acidic strike relaxing into a seducing enticement of melodic crooning veined by a rhythmic virulence, both courting the continuing to impress vocals. It is a relatively gentle absorption of the imagination but one which infuses an intimidating threat to its mesmeric landscape. Forceful and restrained, open and intriguingly deceptive, the track continues to reveal extra corners to its imposing beauty and appetising shadows which fascinate and envelop.

Both Sleep and Screaming Still tighten the hold of the album, the first with its emotive breath and drama clad rhythmic framing around an expressively engaging melodic painting and the second with its simply virulently gripping enterprise. A definite Muse like lilt casts its spice to the thrilling and tantalising technical waltz of the song, flavoursome bait which accentuates every muscle and creative hue of the exciting endeavour. Its intensive suasion is matched by the more melancholic Poor Gloria, an emotive hug which whilst filling the ears on a slow canter has a flame to its passion and expression reinforcing the diversity of songwriting and sound. It does not quite light the fires within as other songs but still leaves a greedy appetite and hunger concentrated on Alaya and album.

Haunted Pt. I is a delightful brief instrumental which is as emotive as it is elegant, lighting up the imagination ready for the outstanding Grace to rummage through shadows. Thrones seems to take on a darker intensive intent at this point, the track bringing a more rapacious snarl to its riffs and antagonistic punch to its rhythmic manipulations. The vocals also gain a slight growl to their expression whilst around them the song resonates across the senses with angular strikes of guitar and jagged spears of beats aligned to similarly predacious bass surges. It is an exceptional track, one which does linger long after the curtains close as does the next up Day of the Dead, its opening swarm of sonics an instant scar for thoughts to hang on to before a celestial melody cast grace falls over the ears. The song soon explores its provocative beauty in strong emotive detail before the title track launches another contagion soaked exploration of sound, textures, and thoughts.

The pair of Paths and Entropy keep the engrossing nature of the album in full flight even if neither quite steal the same rich responses as other tracks. Both ensure the album continues to hold the tightest grip on body and mind though with their fluid transformations and irresistible technical craft, which allows the closing two parts of Haunted to exploit and send the imagination off to explore and draw its own premises.

Thrones is a scintillating encounter from a band making existing claims about them pale against the reality. As mentioned there are maybe too many tracks which drift in the memory away from their captivating embraces to push the album into the terms of a classic debut but it is certainly an immensely powerful and stunningly inventive one declaring Alaya as one of the most exciting emerging forces around.

http://www.facebook.com/AlayaOfficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/03/2014

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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Sweet dances and psychotic episodes: an interview with Fede of Destrage

fede2

Difficult to describe but very easy to enthuse vociferously over,  Are You Kidding Me? No. the new album from Italian metallers Destrage is easily one of the most thrilling and innovative albums to come along not only this year so far but over a long time. It is a fever of invention and imagination which confronts and seduces the senses through a maze flavours, styles, and experimentation. It is sonic and noise anarchy at its best, a psyche teasing triumph which declares its creators as the exhilarating maelstrom of adventure metal and music is always crying out for. To find out more about band and release we had the pleasure to explore the depths of Destrage with drummer Federico Paulovich, venturing into the creation of the album, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, tomato juice, audience sex and plenty more…

Hi Fede and thank you for talking with us.

Before we look at your new album would you tell us about the beginning of Destrage?

The current line-up has been consistent since 2007 and after their first demo, Self Id Generator, Destrage signed a deal with Howling Bull Records, Japan, and released their first full length, Urban Being, which also saw a worldwide release by Coroner Records in 2009.The second full length The King Is Fat’n’Old was released in 2010 by Coroner Records and Howling Bull, supported by European and Japanese tours and international festivals such as Heineken Jammin’ Festival, Euroblast and Mair1 Festival, The Bad Side Festival, MetalItalia Festival, MAV Festival and more. The eclectic festival run afforded Destrage the opportunity to share the stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All, Freak Kitchen, Monuments, Jeff Loomis, Penny Wise, After the Burial, Puddle of Mudd, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Caliban, Every Time I Die, Lordi, Moonspell and many more. In 2012, we wrote and recorded our third album. The result, the band’s most focused and dynamic effort yet, Are You Kidding Me? No. led to a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records.

What was the spark and intent of the band at the beginning and does that still drive the band just as potently today?

We simply LOVE to spend time together, playing together, laughing and making jokes or just hanging. If “millions $$$” are not involved in a musical project (like in our case) every member needs to enjoy every single moment of the “band life”, form the sound check to the time spent on the van. It’s about alchemy in my opinion.

Of course conflicts, like in every relationship, are part of the game. But that was intent at the beginning and nothing is changed at the moment :)

How would you say the band has evolved over the years musically and emotionally?

We believe that our evolution as musicians and composers fully reflects our personal growth in real life. You gotta experience something before you can say something; that’s the main reason why we are always evolving, and we’ll always be. So, expect something really different from the albums to come… About how we changed through the three albums, there are a couple reasons that can explain the process. At the time we were composing and recording Urban Being, there was a big change of line up, and all the songs were composed mostly by Matteo; only with The King Is Fat’n’Old we started working all together on the songs, so the main difference from Urban Being is the result that came out from a combined work. We had the same approach in composing Are You Kidding Me? No., but a few years passed, so we were more close-knit as a team, and above all, our music influences had really changed in the meanwhile, as well as we grew up as persons.

Italy seems to have a rather rich and expansive metal scene, how have you found it on the inside and has it becomes easier for a

 Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography


Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography

band from your country to break into a wider audience over recent years?

In Italy, being in a metal band is definitely not easy. Italian scene, especially on rock and metal music, can’t be compared to the German, UK, Scandinavian or American ones. Our scene is based on pop-folk authors. We have to face a pop and hip hop mainstream market which dominates our local music market, and you have to fight a lot to find, not only a good label deal or an honest booking agent, but also a decent place to play. I have to say that Destrage always met great guys on the road, who contributed to support local bands and this was a great luck for us. Nowadays for the first time we can see a metal scene growing in our country and that’s incredible.

You have just released your third album as you mentioned, the quite brilliant, and I am not just saying that because we are talking, Are You Kidding Me? No. Because of the album we described the band as ‘a ten-legged groove machine with just as many schizophrenic characters posing as songs within its latest temptation.’ The album must be your proudest moment to date recording wise, even over the achievement of making your very first release?

I think this album is what makes us really proud at the moment. The first Urban Being wasn’t even a team work, the whole band wasn’t even there. As much as it can be uplifting to see your first record see the light, we believe it’s much more precious to wait a few years and deliver something that really reflects what you are.

If Urban Being was modern metal with a touch of Destrage, The King was Destrage with some modern metal dressing, Kidding is finally the essence of Destrage.

Your sound as clearly shown on the release employs a maelstrom of styles and flavours crossing fields of genres. How would you describe it in context to Are You Kidding Me? No. for newcomers to the band?

We destroy, create, transform, sublimate. We worship enthusiasm and venerate the shake that it gives.

I think Destrage sound’s is spontaneously various and weird. It’s like we learned how to speak the “metal” language as kids, and then growing up we opened our ears to the world and learned so much more, and the process is still going.

Everything that inspires us, from movies to fine art to haute cuisine to love and sex, can be easily translated into hard music as it is our native language.

This said if you take a look to our Spotify profiles you’ll be surprised. Or disgusted ahahah…

I’d love to tell these newcomers: we’d love you to take what the album is actually giving, with a clear and naive point of view, not expecting this record to be something that is going in the direction you already have in your mind. We are not saying the album is a unique piece of music that doesn’t resemble anything else you’ve heard before, no, but it definitely has its degree of originality.

It comes to my mind a story: the first time i tried tomato juice I almost puked, since it is a fruit juice and I was expecting a fruit juice-like taste. My brain was ready to enjoy a semi-definite, predictable experience and was already projecting it in my mind as the glass got to my lips. By the time the liquid touched my tongue I was disappointed, disgusted. The contrast with what I imagined was just bad.

Now tomato juice is my favorite.

Let’s not expect cats to bark.

Simply listen, enjoy or not.

1978605_10153840599710104_1863836033_nThe songs on the album are almost exhausting in their imagination and ever evolving inventive anarchy, they border schizophrenic at times haha. They sound like a puzzle to excitingly decipher and it is easy to assume they are constructed in a similar way so how do you approach the writing and creation of your songs?

Ahahah you’re right. It’s a giant puzzle made by post-it! We love to use them to keep always in mind the structure of every song, and be able to get an overview on the whole album structure as well.

A Destrage song can start from a riff, a melody, or a drum pattern coming out from any member. Then we work on it all together…in the name of post-it !

!We just try to make music that makes us happy and that is fun for others. If this means diverse people will come to our shows then be it! Can’t ask for more. We believe a band is like a person. No human being is always angry, happy or introspective all the time and a project of five different people should naturally deliver many feelings and states of mind at once.

!Also it is easier to swallow a bitter pill if before and after you eat a spoonful of sugar, that’s why complex parts are inscribed in a creamy song with melody and apparently simple rhythm. It is then choice of the listener to enjoy the surface or dig to the nerdy core, it is our business to make both levels as enjoyable as possible.

We don’t want people to come to our gigs and take notes, we want them to come and jump.

Do songs organically grow from those initial seeds or is there a stronger element of deliberate sculpting in their creation from you?

It really depends on the song, but usually what we try to do is to start from an idea or concept that has its own soul and then decorate it with our craftsmanship, instead of putting together many different elements, that most of the times wouldn’t match very well. It is way easier to write very complex stuff for the sake of being technical, so we try to make it enjoyable by anybody. Once I’ve been told by a wise person that we should put sex in every single thing we do, so we put a lot of effort in doing so because we believe that having sex with your audience is way better than masturbating on your own. So even if our technique may result impressive sometimes, we think that music must come before sport in any case.

Did you approach the recording of the album in any different way to your previous releases?

I think every time is different because we change, we evolve as persons and musicians. It’s really a big mixture of feelings, emotions and thoughts. For AYKM?N. after a long period of composition and pre-production, everybody was really focused and motivated to give his best. Somebody was excited, but still worried about some parts here and there, because we didn’t have that much time to rehearse every song properly, so the trickiest parts were kind of scary. Obviously everybody wanted to have fun as well, so jokes and funny moments happened all the time; that’s the way we like doing things together. Every time we enter the studio we realize how much we love making records, and how stressful it is at the same time. Everyone wants the record to be “perfect”, so sometimes somebody loses his mind or goes crazy. Fortunately we have five very different personalities, and we know each other very well, so everything usually sorts out very quickly.

Tell us about the recording of Are You Kidding Me? No. Did the songs evolve further in that environment and did you learn anything this time to take into your next adventure?

The recordings were a bit messy, definitely a non-linear path. Even in the final phase of the production we were having new ideas and insights. Probably hiking in nature, getting lost in an unknown city, visit art galleries, alternate your perception are good ways to get inspired in the beginning of the process and recording is the best way to get inspired in the end of it. Even in its half dark, closed, silent spaces the studio itself is a huge source of inspiration. You are there, but you are not what matters. The album is all and you disappear.

Many of the songs made it to the record the way they were written, other didn’t and we kept changing them until the very end.

We made a documentary of the whole recording process, it will be published soon.

As the album teased, seduced, and thrilled us we laid numerous comparisons at its feet; moments in the eclectic alchemy which Destrage 1reminded us of bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, American Head Charge, Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Faith No More Kontrust and French bands Mucho Tapioca and Toumai, even at one brief point Ugly Kid Joe. It shows the diversity and expanse of your sound. Are there any specific inspirations which have really influenced you if not for the band as a musician?

All those that you mentioned played a crucial role in our inspirational feast, but not more than Michel Gondry, Quay Brothers or Paolo Barnard did. And they don’t release albums.! !

Are You Kidding Me? No. sees a guest appearance by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns’N’Roses on its title track, How did that union come about?

We all are Ron’s big fans. When we finished the track Are You Kidding Me? No. we felt something was missing in the end. In fact, a Bumblefoot solo was missing. Since we had no connection with him, Mat emailed Mattias “Ia” Eklundh, who played on Jade’s Place (in our previous record The King Is Fat’N’Old) and became our friend (he’s such a cool guy!). He asked him for an address, a number, some contact to get in touch with Ron. Mattias as usual answered very politely, but didn’t give Mat what he wanted (he’s a very respectful person). So Mat was left with no choice other than going on Bumblefoot’s website and write to the general mail address. And surprize, Ron answered immediately telling us the song was super good and he’d do the collaboration. He told Mat he was touring with GnR in that period, so we should wait for a month or so. We thought it was his way to refuse. Instead he actually wrote back when the tour was over, asking what we wanted exactly, and we answered “we want you to do whatever you want for 32 bars”.

Few funny private messages followed and we got our perfect solo in 3 days. Smooth. The song seemed to be made for him, as he also said later in an interview. So, good experiment, and when we got to meet the guy in person we liked him even more. Ron is rad.

That track is also the most, can we say creatively and thrillingly psychotic on the album, probably our favourite song though it is hard to choose just one. Can you give us some insight into its creation?

Are You Kidding Me? No. is one of our favourite tracks too, for two main reasons: its origin and its content. The song was born randomly, as Mat sang what became the trumpet melody while going around on his red Vespa.

So, in the beginning we only expanded what comes after the trumpet, all that gipsy-sounding part. We wanted to make it a bonus track and leave it as it was. Then with no reason or precise plan, we wrote all the rest around it, putting no limits and setting no borders, following the lyric concept “Everybody does all kind of shit, I’m sorry that I’m sorry, I had to do this”.

The content came along in exceptional short time, and surprisingly our mindless creation gave birth to some of the most cerebral and psychotic parts of the whole album. !

As you said earlier the album is also your first with Metal Blade Records. How has the link up impacted on the album so far?

Being signed with such a great label is a dream come true for us! Definitely it’s giving us way bigger exposure, and much more people are listening to the new album because of this. But on the artistic point of view it didn’t have any impact, simply because we could sign the deal with MB because we already had the new album finished and ready to go.

Destrage is a band never slow in hitting the road and stages, the same again for 2014 I can assume? Any details you can reveal?

Absolutely yes! Everything is “work in progress”, our goal is to play these songs live, touring as much as we can, bringing our music everywhere…we’ll see what happens! :)

We can’t wait to be on the road again!

Once more thank you for sharing time to chat with us. Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for your attention! Our new album Are you Kidding Me? No. will be release on March 3 in Europe through Metal Blade Records. More music and videos will be released soon, so stay tuned though our official pages http://www.facebook.com/destrage, http://www.youtube.com/destrage andwww.twitter.com/destrage!

Thank you so much for this interview guys! :)

Read the review of Are you Kidding Me? No. @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/03/2014