Forcing dreams with realisation: talking ESCAPETHECULT with founder Peter G. Shallmin

Peter G. Shallmin

A proposition which increasingly impresses and continually reshapes thoughts and emotions the more time shared with it, All You Want To is one of the year’s most intriguing, ingenious, and exciting progressive metal explorations. It comes from ESCAPETHECULT, a band created and driven by Kamlath bassist Peter G. Shallmin and filled with the further creative talent of Uneven Structure vocalist Matthieu Romarin, Primus/A Perfect Circle drummer Tim Alexander, and guitarist Mike Wead from King Diamond/Mercyful Fate. The project has been a passion brewing away within Peter for years and their first album a compelling and striking incitement for ears, and imagination. We had the pleasure to learn about the band and more with Peter who kindly shared his time to talk band, the search for specific elements, the debut album, and much more….

Hi Peter and thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

Tell us about the beginnings of the band and the initial spark and inspiration behind it.

Greetings from far Siberia, dear Pete! Pleasure to meet you!

Thank you for this great opportunity. Much appreciated. Always nice to have a talk between two Pete’s btw…haha!

Well, it was me, who was so crazy and passionate to begin ESCAPETHECULT. It’s me who’s the spark, inspiration, nerve, force…and even the plague. I’m almost everything.

The absolute “driving force” – my dream when I was very young – was to play with my favourite musicians: Tim Alexander of mighty PRIMUS I was quite fortunate to reach him sending the e-mail with the idea to cooperate. You can understand my highest level of excitement when I’ve received his words “This is cool!”.

Mike Wead is my guitar hero. I’m lucky enough to say he is my long-time partner, we have worked together in my main band Kamlath and I wanted to see him in ESCAPETHECULT.

Was there a sound already in mind as the project came to life and if so how did that evolve as the line-up of ESCAPETHECULT grew?

In fact, I didn’t think about the sound. The keys were: the idea and the music that I had.

Till the very end we didn’t care about the sound. I mean there were no questions how should, say, drums or riff guitars be sounding. As far as the construction of the actual ETC sound was under many factors I was very calm and confident in a result because the highest level of professionals I collaborate.

How about the visual side, was there a concept or direction in mind there too?

I had everything in my mind to embody I just was needed the right artist to make it real.

I get the impression that the project was a seed growing inside over time rather than a sudden spur of the moment idea.

Yes, you are right! Thank you for this question. Not a spur of course…A picky, detailed and really hard job.

Despite the fact that I’ve started to work with Tim and Mike practically immediately, I considered finding a further guitarist for the riff parts and a vocalist. And this was the hardest task ever that has been lasting for 4 years in total. A numerous shots with various guitarists and vocalists all over the world…(around 20 musicians in total or even more) haven’t brought the outcome I hunted to achieve. The final line up was formed just more than year and half ago.

No success to find the right rhythm guitarist has forced me to compose and to demo it by myself and ask Mike to forge and improve them with his brand fingerprint.

And the songs which grace your debut album All You Want To; ideas from before the band or freshly sculpted since its emergence?

Artists involved had a full freedom and all the time they needed to compose and record everything.

Could you imagine that for example one song had blast beats? Yes it was. Some of my basic ideas were so extreme, on the edge. My ideas are not holy, I’m very flexible. Everything on this album was balanced with a clever and mature approach of Tim’s unique touch; the songs were shaped, sculpted as you said, re-arranged by Mike in details (through many months). Matt’s personal contribution as a composer and vocalist is so huge.

Sometimes it sounds like a jam but there’s no jam at all. They have given a new breath, new soul and new life to our creation.

I hate the term super group but certainly ESCAPETHECULT has some already acclaimed talented and inventive musicians involved as you have already talked of. Can you elaborate further on how the link up with you all came about and was this collection of talent always in mind as the band came to reality?

For me ESCAPETHECULT is my musical family. If there’s no Tim Alexander there’s no ETC. It would be a completely different band.

I’ve composed all songs the way like I‘ve “seen” Tim behind the drums. I’ve imagined our jam together: where we stop and go where we put this accent, where’s the fill etc.

Mike is the artist I see in the band – his talent and technique is so unique. Matthieu is the star that I finally found after the years of painful research.

There was a proper picture what should be played, how and where but no restrictions to create something new. There was a full autonomy to Tim, Mike and Matthieu to turn it to another direction. I didn’t care about the whole album sound but I was insane to discover the vocalist with exact timbre, style and the voice charisma.

Now I think the stars (in the sky I mean) did the job right! I had to go through this long way to accomplish exactly what I wanted.

With the likes of Primus, A Perfect Circle, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Uneven Structure, and Kamlat the ‘vehicles’ by which we know you all, was there any expectations on the outside towards the ESCAPETHECULT and your debut album escapethecult coverAll You Want To that you came across?

I see ESCAPETHECULT has broken many expectations, I see it on FB when we’ve got a decent amount of “unlike” straight after the first worldwide spin of I’m Absolute. Even in some reviews I felt this big disappointment (why so big?).

I guess some listeners were hoping to hear an aggressive mixture of heavy death metal riffing with more dynamic and fast drumming with harsh recitatives ala “Tommy The Cat” and epic clean vox over mega-delayed ambience with touch of growls here and there…I bet.

Alongside with this kind of reaction we keep receiving mostly praise. We’ve got an immediate support of PROG UK / METAL HAMMER UK – all our official steps were translated through their channels – first promo video, single video, full album stream and the 3 pages feature interview by Dom Lawson in # 49 Prog Magazine printed with such serious analyse and amazing words from him.

We are sincere thankful for those who have devoted much more time (than usually do) to try to get ETC’s message twice (3, 4 times and more), who has postponed for a “next time” to come back and to listen again and again.

Now we are associated with different styles and genres from progressive metal to pop-rock. It’s such a wonderful feeling to learn what our music gives the listener, what thoughts arises and associations brings. Not simple comparison to Tool only :)

You have to listen to our instrumentals – it has so many layers, hidden parts to discover, some unexpected revelations. You’ll find bossa nova in the main bass part of Feel The Flight, tango with “slows and quicks” in Tired Of The Past, psychedelia in This Time Will Come, jazzy odd signatures in I’m Absolute.

There are such varied backgrounds and flavoursome styles behind you all, I am imagining writing and bringing songs to life is a fun but maybe also an intensive kind of moment with numerous ideas coming to the fore. How did the songwriting work in regard to the album and in its recording?

The entire album has been done in my home studio. It has taken no more than 2 weeks in total to compose, record, and arrange all ideas.

I’m lefty, maybe it explains a bit, why our music is so weird…Rhythm section is my passion, I have demoed all drum parts; luckily Tim has kept my drum ideas and enriched it. Tim’s drums are the same as they were delivered by him in the first recording. He has recorded it in his home studio on the same custom TAMA/Zildjian drum he uses with PRIMUS. Don’t need to say that his playing is top notch and tight like a clock so it stays untouched with the rest of the old (at the first demo stage) and the new arrangements.

Unfortunately through those years it was a misfortune to find the right rhythm guitarist and this fact has impelled to record riffs by myself and pass it to Mike then. Mike Wead has re-arranged and recorded riff guitars, leads/solos with a kind assistance of Simon Johansson (guitarist of WOLF, MEMORY GARDEN, ABSTRACT ALGEBRA etc.) at Solna Sound Recording Sweden.

Our rising star – Matthieu also recorded his vocals in own studio. The final production of All You Want To has been completed by Mike.

To sum up…the outcome of all members involved was very fast. The research of the artists has taken 4 years.

The band members are settled in various areas of the world. Did you all come together in one location for the album’s recording or was it done across studios and time etc.?

It was done across studios and time. The web has been a key aspect for the creation of ESCAPETHECULT. The web has made the world small enough for all of us to be able to work together.

There were thousands of mails, notes, guides, mega packages of audio files, sequences, even multi-seconds. It was a smooth and productive experience because everyone knew his role.

In few words it looked like:

- Hey, here’s the sequence 00:45 – 01:15 I put here an additional harmony and few overdubs to support the main part. What you think?

- I love it!

- Don’t you think we need to up the bass volume + 0,00005 dB…

- Hmm… it might work…

- No… roll back + 0,00005 is TOO much …make it + 0,00004 dB

- Yeah, man…I love it!

Kiddin’ of course although you can imagine how meticulous I am. Nevertheless every single note, accent, instrument and the whole performance is natural.

Give us some insight on how the album came together and the energy and determination it has taken to get it all together and out there without any label support.

Free will and sincere approach, Nothing more… If you don’t like the idea or music you won’t join…right?

We do it without any label support. Yes, I wanted it in the very beginning but few hints showed that the labels hadn’t interest in this kind of creative alliance despite the names. To be honest, the music we represent is not for the masses.

Thanks a lot to our partner – HOLD TIGHT PR! James you are doing a really hard job and I guess it was one of the hardest task to let people heard us and to find a balance between existing media tastes, expectations and disappointments and integrate ESCAPETHECULT into it. It’s quite hard nowadays to open the eyes.

Moreover I must admit it’s a very expensive project. Don’t do that if you haven’t the crazy truth in your forces and balls…J

Is there a particular theme or veining musically and lyrically across All You Want To?

Our hearts and souls in every single note!

What have been the main inspirations to the album’s heart and lyrical paintings?

The full title we quote as “ALL YOU WANT TO ESCAPE THE CULT”. We convey our own and simple philosophy on every day’s symbols, signs that have many meanings.

Mostly it’s about the time through many skins, origins, components that are around us: social life, politics and religions. About something that quite often fears us with a touch of sarcasm and self-irony. The primary message is quite simple: Be free. Your freedom is a gift to live and build your own day, life and “world”.

How about the visual side of the project, who drives that and how does it relate to your music.

It was a parallel period that has been took the years too. I’m extremely picky because I know what I want. I was needed a very detailed conceptual art.

The creator of our visual concept is Igor Omodei, a truly talented French artist and he is in UNEVEN STRUCTURE too.

I’ve gave him my ideas, “the story” behind each song and he has created all arts, illustrations to every song and full layout to our debut. Inside of the digipack release you can find a monologue written by Igor. He also did ESCAPETHECULT’s promo video and a debut single video for I’m Absolute.

I’d say more our visualization for this album is not finished yet. Our crew is much wider than you could think and the final list of artists is really big.

ESCAPETHECULT will bring some wonders till the end of this year!

Is there a live side to the band yet with you so far apart?

We are very close with Mike because we haven’t stopped to work and we are on the finish line with the second Kamlath album that should see the light in the end of this year. With Matthieu too – I’m glad he rises higher with Uneven Structure and I’m quite happy for his success.

We were very anxious about Tim’s heart’s surgery lately but now everything’s fine, he is a titan and right now he is back to rehearsals with Primus for the coming tour in November.

Everything’s just fine between us.

It is right to say that the aim is for ESCAPETHECULT to be a unique multi-sensory experience?

At least we’ve tried and now we have our own experience, personal and in the creation of All You Want To. If the listener thinks the same – we are happy! In any case we continue our creative investigations

We found All You Want To made a potent initial impact but flourished more the further down the line we went, its charm and elements a lingering lure drawing us back into its arms where to be fair we discovered more and more of its depths with every listen. As you brought the album to life did you feel or sense how it might work predominantly with listeners?

Strange… Weird?

Bizarre!

Avant-garde!!!

Hell, No..!

Hell…Yeah!

WTF?!

So boring…

Damn, it’s a gem!

(ah ..yes I’ve forgot all those who has disliked …you know what they usually say J)

We called it a progressive album to give a sense of its sounds to readers, but it embraces much more than that. How would you describe it?

This is the MUSIC and ART first. The second – it’s not a “piece of cake”, a “hard nut” indeed. It’s very intelligent concept for a forward thinking person. No clichés…A book within deep musical and art landscapes. You HAVE to take a time to understand it… Not just one take. All You Want To opens up more with every new spin. Mature, honest, diverse and unique.

What comes next for ESCAPETHECULT?

The second album of course… a new visualization in a more bizarre way.

We have faced some reviewers making a mistake in the title of the album put the word “Need” instead “Want”, so I think we have to call our next work “All You NEED To”…

(The RingMaster Review holds hands up in guilt)

People want to see us on the stage in 2015 we consider some opportunities to make this project live.

Till the end of this year there will be a limited edition release in a very special package of all instrumental versions of the songs plus some cool surprises.

Thanks again Peter for sharing your time to talk with us. Any last words you would like to share?

My pleasure to answer to your interesting questions!

All the best to our listeners, to RingMaster!

Listen to the MUSIC! We bring it to you!

Cordially,

ESCAPETHECULT

www.facebook.com/EscapeTheCvlt

Read the All You Want To review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/escape-the-cult-all-you-need-to/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 31/10/2014

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Eyes Of Mara – Self Titled

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At times bedlamic, and very often a cacophonous onslaught, the debut self-titled album from US metallers Eyes Of Mara is one of the most compelling and savage releases this year. It is a provocation that gives you no choice but to dive headlong into its vicious depths, the release dragging ears and senses into its fury from the very first second but once enslaved it reveals an exhausting and invigorating brawl of invention and ferocious enterprise.

Metalcore, deathcore, hardcore, however you wish to tag the band’s sound, Eyes Of Mara cast a destructive web which draws on hordes of different flavours to create their simultaneously familiar yet unique ravaging of the senses and imagination. Formed in 2010 and taking their name from a Buddhist demon who is the embodiment of impulse and death, the band was swiftly igniting audiences with their furnace of sound and hostility. A year ago their well-received first EP Akkadia was unleashed, drawing attention and acclaim towards the Californian quartet. Having recently signed with Imminence Records, Eyes Of Mara now have broader horizons in their sight and their album the next uncaged persuasion.

Opening track is called Vicious and that sums it and the album up perfectly. From fiercely jabbing beats, caustic riffs, and a vocal squall of pure rage, the track explodes in one hellacious torrent of spiteful rhythms and insatiable riffery lorded over by even more malicious vocals. It is a maelstrom of energy and noise, a sonic whipping flailing the core and hunger of the track as varied essences and vocal diversity add to the cacophony resulting in one glorious and brutal tsunami. There is a surface turmoil to the song but with a wickedly creative underbelly, though the sheer force and urgency of the assault overrides the senses predominantly. At times reminding of Slipknot as their inhospitable best, the track is a seriously destructive and thrilling start.

A more reserved entrance to the following Control gives a sense of security for ears though it is a deceit which is soon twisted into a volatile and ravenous tempest of intent and sound. Grooves bred by guitarist John Rubay groan throughout the ravishment consuming ears whilst the uncompromising rhythms of drummer Nick Rubay hold no restraint in swing and impact. It is merciless proposition but whereas the opener was an unbridled storm the second song is more of a predator feistily stalking its victim. Its more defined entrapment is matched by Don’t Get Close, a track where nu-metal tendencies share their colour with the emerging and sonically scorched tapestry being woven by the band. Essences of Korn search out for the imagination but equally a Whitechapel/As I Lay Dying like violence is on rampant display as the track makes a two pronged and inescapable persuasion. Vocalist Tyler Trainer is almost schizophrenic in his variety of attacks whilst the heavy intimidating lines of bass from Cody McDonald impressively add to the dark depths and hostility of the encounter.IR021

Both Pain and Fear and Our Paths keep the blistering rage and corrosive attacks coming, the first an antagonistic bruising with an underlying swagger and a host of seductively compelling grooves. It is a rhythmic mugging and sonic cruelty which just keeps giving, resulting in yet another virulently contagious and imaginatively punishing treat, whilst its successor riding its range on an enthralling steed of unpredictable rhythms, unveils further riveting and exciting surprises. The clean vocal venturing leaves any expectations which are maybe thinking of rising floundering, whilst similarly the melodic hardcore and almost progressive twists of the song, plus electro hues, catch deeply satisfied thoughts and emotions off guard.

The hardcore fuelled Derailed sears ears next, a short but vehemently intrusive song featuring Ian Forsythe from fellow Danville based band Cyborg Octopus, is pure vitriol in voice and energy. Yet as in all songs anything suggested is only part of the story, this track flirting with and scything through the senses and imagination with a torrential barrage of creative adventure and inventive voracity. It’s far too brief corruption is followed by a new turn in of events started by Rebirth. From this point the album shows another side to its character and the band’s exploration in sound and songwriting. Coaxing with a progressively nurtured and haunting calm, the song relentlessly builds up a dramatic and captivating wall of restrained yet oppressive sound. It is an evocative lure which consumes the length of the instrumental, and though as its peaceful climax leaves a slight dissatisfaction at the absence of the hinted eruption to come, it sparks emotions ready for the chilling exploration of Colder. Like a mix of Palms, Converge, and maybe Killswitch Engage, the track is an enthralling venture into new corners for the album, and though it lacks the addictive toxicity which wonderfully contaminates early songs, it is a heavily riveting and intimidating slab of emotive beauty and impassioned rancor.

Behind These Walls provides an outlet for the muscular adversarial might of the band to over-run ears and senses again, riffs and rhythms as incorrigible as they are brutal, matched by an exhaustingly mercurial vocal display and sonic ire. To this there are more twists than in a rat run in wait, a delicious sidestep into a thumping stride of rock ‘n’ roll rampancy and swaggering particularly stunning. It is another major peak across the lofty mountainous range of great tracks making the album bulge, only the infernal fade-out a minor niggle for tastes.

Closing on the inhospitable and tempestuous Force Of Change, metal and hardcore in barbaric union, the album is a sensational and ravenous triumph. Eyes Of Mara ensure it needs close attention and extra work at times in order to swim through the sonic winds surfacing the fearsome adventure, but rewards with a whirlwind of invention and flavour to make another important release of 2014.

Eyes Of Mara is available digitally and physically now via Imminence Records @ https://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/eyes-of-mara

https://www.facebook.com/eyesofmara

RingMaster 31/10/2014

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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Siren – The Row

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Loaded with a boisterous and captivating strain of alternative rock aligned to pop punk vivacity, The Row from Italian rockers Siren is a release which may not be driven by startling originality but thoroughly thrills and rewards just the same. Consisting of eleven tracks which hold a creative swagger and contagious presence, the release is a debut to wake up potent attention, if not one to inspire a shouting from the rooftops over the Pesaro quartet.

Siren was formed in 2013 by guitarist Jack Nardini and soon grew with the addition of drummer Mark “Spud” McKenzie, vocalist/guitarist Samuel Frondero, and Marcus Kawaka on bass and synths. There were also personal and creative connections between various members of the band, which it is fair to say has brought a unity which it is easy to suggest helps their sound come over tight and impassioned. The Row is their step into the fuller gaze of not only Italy but the world with its release via Red Cat Records, who Siren recently signed with. Around a year in the making, the release is a gripping temptation of thick hooks and fiery melodies all locked in rock ‘n’ roll carrying a broad smile to its character.

The album opens with Swan’s Tale, a track where we would be lying if we said it instantly roused the passions. Now it would be wrong to mistake this for a poor start to The Row as it is a compelling and intriguing entrance into the release, slowly entwining melodies with a classical seeding caressing ears as male and female vocals seduce whilst a military lilted rhythmic lure make its potent persuasion. The track is pleasing and accomplished but for some reason for personal tastes offers more than it delivers, only whetting the appetite with its symphonic teasing rather than igniting it. It also is deceitful, its presence very different to the sound and revelry which emerges straight away in the following Dr. Saint and subsequently across the album.

The second track swiftly strides with punchy beats and enticing riffs, a hard/alternative rock bounce and catchiness fuelling the following strides of bass and spicy hooks. Vocally too Frondero comes with a contagious persuasion and energy, backed as resourcefully by Nardini and Kawaka. It all combines for a virulent stomp, one with enough reserve to stop it turning into a riot but plenty of aggressive enterprise to make a rich and lingering impression. Its excellent incitement is matched by the equally fiery and excited Mission. Again hooks and melodies hold a mischief in their tenacity and infectiousness, thoughts of Super Happy Fun Club and at times Offspring coming forth.

Through the tantalising intrigue of sound and expression in Lonely Dance, the album leaps another step in irresistible adventure, stalking guitars and sinisterly toned vocals the prelude to an energetically seductive chorus, which in turn 10538561_795983157088448_3710117029647500301_nis linked to its next expulsion by a teasing of minimal but potent melodies across an anthemic stroll of rhythms. It is a gripping bait of sinew framed melodic rock which is followed by the not quite as striking Track ’92, such the power of its predecessor. The song though instantly inspires the imagination, its open glaze of enticement amidst a mellow breath offering a Blue Oyster Cult air which floats into a canvas of evocative melodies and an increasingly brewing uprising of raw riffs and passion drenched vocals. More a smoulder than a romp as earlier songs, it offers a relentless expectations fooling temptation from first listen until it too stands to the fore of the biggest highlights of the album over time.

Love Is Gone steals tops honours on the album though; it’s niggling riffs and beats from the first second swiftly complimented by a tangy new wave vocal taunting wrapped in wiry grooves. At times the song and its imaginative flirtation borders on insane though it, as the sounds, is honed into a riot of rock pop contagion which leaves a nagging and lingering impression.

The pair of Wave, with its XTC whisper, and Roger Sabbath cast less dramatic but easily as engrossing offerings, the first song a summer breeze rolling in on a muscular rhythmic shuffle with melodies as pungent as the vocal harmonies embedded within its warm charm, and the second a classic rock spiced canter, equipped with jabbing beats and exotically flowing keys. It is the gnarly basslines though which ultimately steal the passions, its snarl a great temper for the flames of melodies and increasingly impressing vocals. Though neither song can match the pinnacle of The Row, both leave appetite lustful for more and emotions happy to throw increasing praise on band and release. Carpet also falls into that richly satisfying category, though with its sneaky stroll and elegant charm of keys, the track creeping with the rascality and buoyancy of 12 Stone Toddler, it puts a further high peak in the album’s suasion.

The Row is completed by firstly the raw and brawling punk bred Spit, punchy keys and beats the bait to which anthemic tendencies in riffs and vocals dance an agitation tune. It is a glorious charge through ears, though once gaining submission it teases with a side step into a drama hued calm before erupting again into that great energetic bluster. It is succeeded by Falling Down, the closing song an exceptional tenacious waltz with jagged riffs, flaming melodies, and emotion soaked strings all adding to its spellbinding tapestry.

From a decent start, The Row proves to be an outstanding and eventful debut from Siren, at times living up to the band name. Is it bursting with something truly new, not really but if you want to know if it is an inescapably enjoyable encounter, of that there is no question.

The Row is available now via Red Cat Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/the-row/id926291276

http://www.siren.rocks

RingMaster 31/10/2014

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Instincts and inner strivings: talking Nonpoint and more with vocalist Elias Soriano.

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It is no coincidence that US metallers Nonpoint has persistently unleashed striking and passions sparking releases over the years and they have continued that potent tradition with new album The Return. This is a band which no matter how their music takes you leaves a potent impression time and time again and with their new proposition coming with a stronger drive of intensity and aggression than arguably heard from the band in a while, Nonpoint show they still make one of the more striking propositions in melodic metal. Wanting to learn more about the heart and background to their latest triumph, we were kindly allowed the time of Elias Soriano to explore. With thanks to the band’s vocalist we talked The Return, personal inspirations, the music scene and more…

Hi Elias and thank you for sparing some of your time for us.

Seventeen years on from your first steps as a band and with the recent release of your new and eighth album, The Return, how are emotions when it comes to releasing a record? Is there an increased intensity with experience or a more relaxed excitement?

It’s both… More relaxed in the way that with past records we felt like we based our success on sales. We’re at a time in music where last year there wasn’t a single platinum record given out. Bad promotion, lazy labels, radio programming and shitty bands have saturated the market place. Fans aren’t stupid. Sales are dead. It’s all about the show. And that to me is exciting, because that’s what we’re all about. Turning heads and connecting with people. We need some serious light in our lives and people are using music like its elevator music. Read into things people, it will feed a part of you that nothing else can fill. Not even love… Music is food for the soul. Get your vegetables in people!!

nonpoint_photo02There is a new and maybe rawer energy to the band on The Return; is that something you felt making it and what do you put that down to inspiration wise?

Without a doubt…Heavier…Deeper…More detailed…Bolder…No regrets kinda music. Again our live show is always in the back of our heads, so we tried to fill the record with songs that will make people either move, or want to sing along.

So it is energy not only in songwriting and sound but one which has broken out in the band’s live presence or just your own personal feelings towards the band and music in general?

Like I mentioned earlier, I want to connect. That’s it. My feelings are that I have and will continue to do everything in my power to do that till the day I die. I have 5 goals in my life: Good man, good father, good husband, and to connect with people through my work…Which is music.

That’s it. The rest is the icing on life so I take the rest as it comes.

How do you feel the difference and evolution of sound between The Return and its self-titled predecessor of 2012 has emerged and panned out?Nonpoint-TheReturn

We accomplished what we wanted which was better than the last. Johnny K felt like the songs were better so the only real obstacle was the mix. So Daniel Salcido, our co-producer and engineer along with Johnny, and his mix was a 1-2 knockout.

Though the album has that familiar Nonpoint attack and sound it feels like the band experimented with ideas and structures much more than arguably recent releases?

We grow, change and try things like we all do in our lives. This week you’re attracted to the girl in accounting, next week you decide you’re gonna start growing a beard. Inspiration comes from every angle and when you’re 8 records and over 150 songs written in, you try new shit. If you don’t, it’s probably why you’re miserable in your band. You gotta have the freedom to get that shit out of your system, no matter what anyone thinks…Including the fans. You can’t please everyone, so start by making yourself happy first.

Was there any particular spark for that aspect too?

The process…The industry lays it out all nice and pretty for you whilst simultaneously throwing rabid, pissed off animals in your way. So you pretend as best you can and just digest the bullshit. That way you can keep writing tunes for people. Way I see it; everyone hates at least one part of their job.

With numerous potent and successful releases under your belt, is there a personal pressure you put yourselves under to try and sculpt something strikingly new or do you primarily just let it evolve each time with each album?

Leave it to inspiration I always say. I’ve learned when you force it too much it becomes contrived. I think because we’ve tried to just write music from the hip initially then spend the following weeks or months polishing it, that’s what has kept out “sound” while allowing us the freedom to try something new.

You recorded The Return as you mentioned with Johnny K once again. He seems to have a handle on the heart of your sound and how to make it spark even more?

He definitely knows what our goal is and does his best to make the record sound the best he can. So we always leave satisfied. He won’t let the record leave the studio until he knows it’s the strongest it can be.

Is he a producer that not only pushes you as a band but has the will to drive his own ideas forward to enhance songs, even if you guys certainly initially are not convinced?

He’s about the band doing the work. I’m sure in other instances he’s picked up a guitar and wrote a riff here and there for other bands but with us he let us do our thing. And if it sucks he tells us. We’re cool with that. So we work great together.

nonpoint_photo03Are you a band which enters the studio with songs as good as finished or more get them to a point where there is plenty of room for change and evolution whilst recording?

We go in ready. When we sit down to track we want to know what we’re doing. If not it takes forever to track, you write shit you forget later, you gotta relearn songs when it’s time to tour…Lots of negatives when that’s the process with us. So we like to go in ready.

Tells us about some of the themes behind songs, and most as previously are predominantly inspired by life and experiences?

Life…There’s not much else to sing about. This time I decided to go detailed in some and simple in others. Storytelling is my gig. So I played around as per usual.

The energy to the album we previously spoke of also suggest maybe there is a greater intimate and personal essence to some of the tracks and their passion?

The passing of my father changed me a lot. So I touch on that a few times. I’m a new father too so a few worries and responsibilities have come to light so my passions have changed direction a bit. They still run deep, but they have more focus.

How did the writing and recording process for The Return work, I believe that some of the band are not located near each other?

Emails…We are in the new age, and finances mixed with family, especially new family changes things. Thank God for the web.

How more difficult is it to come up with fluid and energy fuelled songs which writing and breeding songs so far apart though, without that personal contact?

Knowing what we all want is step one. Then from there you trust your players. I like getting riffs I didn’t come up with (not that I do it that often)…It gives me a jumping point I didn’t expect so my jumping point can be fresh and new every time.

Tell us about the striking and hard hitting video for Breaking Skin from the album.

Our director Justin Reich…The guy took the song and did his thing. He called me and asked me about the meaning behind the song then sent the treatment. We all dig it. He was also the man behind the camera so the vision was all his…Kudos to Justin.

What is in store for and from Nonpoint for the rest of the year going into 2015?nonpoint_photo04

Touring, touring, and more touring. That’s what we do.

Thanks again for taking time out to chat with us. Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Throughout history people have fought and even died for music for a very good reason. Music is an important part of life; it’s time for the world to start treating it that way again. It’s not a commercial, it is magic incarnate.

http://www.nonpoint.com/

Read the review of The Return @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/nonpoint-the-return/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 30/10/2014

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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Warmblood – God Of Zombies

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There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.

Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.

Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.

Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor WarmbloodCoverbut still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.

The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.

Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.

Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.

Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.

God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records

https://www.facebook.com/warmbloodband

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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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James King and the Lonewolves – Lost Songs of the Confederacy

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It might be thirty years and more since its release but the James King and the Lonewolves single I Tried/So Alone, has never drifted away too far from the musical landscape here at The RR. With the band coming to a close less than a handful of years later, it is a regular reminder of what might have been and of the potential locked up inside one of the eighties lost opportunities to shine even brighter musically. So it was with surprise and excitement that the band re-emerged a couple of years ago and that the debut album lost to that collapse of the band, was to be released. The original Lost Songs of the Confederacy was recorded with John Cale but as mentioned never saw the like of day, but now ‘mark II’, with re-recorded and re-mastered songs supplemented by new recordings is here and at times it is like the band has never been away.

James King and the Lonewolves emerged in the early eighties in the heart of Glasgow’s music scene and swiftly grabbed attention and support with their feisty and fiery Americana influenced rock ‘n’ roll. The aforementioned single I Tried released via Cubre Libre/Virgin, sparked a wider awareness, certainly grabbing some of us down south. The following Texas Lullaby ‎12″ EP found acclaim of its own too and with the band signing with Alan Horne’s Swamplands label in 1984, it looked like things were about to break for the band. An ill-fated performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test where their profanities drew countless complaints from viewers led to the label dropping the band after just one single and before the album was unveiled. That in turn added to the turbulence within the quartet which saw it subsequently self-implode.

Skip forward to 2011 though and after a ‘long running feud’, James King and Jake McKechan putting differences aside came together as The Lonewolves for a memorial show for former agent, Alan Mawn. Completed by bassist Nick Clark, guitarist Joe Sullivan, and drummer Corey Little; band and audience saw the chemistry was still ablaze within The Lonewolves and they decided to carry on. Released via Edinburgh’s Stereogram Recordings, Lost Songs of the Confederacy is a bridge to the past, ‘unfinished business to be done’ in the words of King, and spark for the future, and as also shown on the recent Pretty Blue Eyes EP, the band’s sound is just as potent and rebellious as ever.

The album seems to work itself up to its biggest triumphs, the first few songs making an appealing and satisfying persuasion but the real roar and fire in the album coming a little later. In saying that opener Fun Patrol immediately ?????????????????????????????????????captures ears and imagination, its initial sonic shimmering bringing a lick of the lips before riffs and rhythms huddle in an imposing stance. King’s vocals carry a mature snarl to his still distinctive tones whilst guitars toy with a bluesy colour to their sultry enterprise. It is a pulsating slice of rock pop, bass almost stalking the senses across its imaginative landscape whilst a flame of harmonica simply lifts spirits and passions further.

It is a mighty start to the album which is not quite matched by either Over the Side or Fly Away. The first caresses ears with sixties melodic coaxing initially, its Kinks like smile an engaging persuasion which the shimmering climate of melodies and throaty bass stroll only accentuates. It is a highly magnetic proposition but is missing the indefinable something which lit its predecessor, the same which can be said of its successor. The album’s third song has a riper infectiousness to it, riffs and hooks inescapable bait but again that certain spark fails to materialise to take an enjoyable song into being an inescapable one. The flame of brass and contagious swagger it carries does it no harm though before it makes way for the hazy presence of Bridgeton Summer. Its air is steamy and melodies again sultry, both wrapping inventive climbs of emotion and energy within the transfixing balladry fuelled song. It also just misses those early heights but provides a vein of ingenuity which is exploited to the full as the album suddenly kicks up in the creative gears.

Even Beatles Die dangles sonic bait to straightaway hook ears and thoughts but it is when the punk voracity and intimidating riffs from guitar and bass break-through, that the track becomes a thrilling predator. It has a nagging to it which is as contagious as it is unrelenting whilst the poppier exploits of guitar and hooks simply flirt with seventies rock ‘n’ roll temptation. It is a treat of a romp setting up the richer blues hued strains of While I Can. With a jazz blues tease of keys leading into stalking bass lures and aligning riff and vocal growls, the track twists and shouts with an old school rock and R&B devilry to also ignite ears and emotions, though it in turn is just an appetiser for the majesty of (Un)happy Home. Instantly holding a delicious whiff of The Mighty Lemon Drops to its net of melodic enterprise, the song prowls and strides with switching adventure to sculpt a dynamic and insatiable stomp of punk ‘n’ roll tenacity and adventure. Everything about the album’s best track, from growly vocals to spicy riffs, seductive low toned bass to crisp rhythms, is pure contagious persuasion.

   Pretty Blue Eyes swiftly keeps the levels flying high with its raw and jangly endeavour, the song seemingly bred from the seeds which early Orange Juice and Josef K employed so well. It is a compelling encounter which rather than grab the psyche by the collar slowly burns its way into causing its subsequent arousal. Igniting an instant reaction is no problem for Texas Lullaby though, the track from its tantalising melody washed jangle brewing up and growing into an impossibly addictive and irresistible chorus. At that moment there is a pungently healthy Skids air to the song but a flavour soon transformed into a Lonewolves tapestry of emotion and lingering persuasion for another massive peak to the increasingly impressing album.

     Lost Songs of the Confederacy is brought to a close by the gentle melodic stroking of A Step Away from Home, a strongly evocative and pleasing prospect but another not quite equipped to match songs like the one before it. Nevertheless it still leaves ears content and pleasure full as it brings a ‘lost son’ of an album home into the hearts of the band’s fans. This is an album which is much more than a memory trip just for fans though, its daring and inventive drama a certain lure for those unaware of James King and the Lonewolves. It has been a long wait but boy was it worth it for them and us.

Lost Songs of the Confederacy is out via Stereogram Recordings now digitally with a vinyl version available from November 10th. Find out more @ http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/audio/lost-songs-confederacy/

https://www.facebook.com/JamesKingLonewolves

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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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Critical Dismemberment – Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP

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Embracing the senses in a maelstrom of sonic and brutal exploration, listening to the new release from US extreme metallers Critical Dismemberment is as uncomfortable as it is invigorating, and quite compelling. The Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP is raw and gripping, caustically and creatively riveting, and a stirring gateway into one intriguing and imposingly inventive death metal band stalking the underground scene.

Hailing from Arkansas, Critical Dismemberment consists of Erik Martin and Chase Fincher. Forming the project over the internet, the pair was soon brewing up a distinct sound merging death and black metal with symphonic and electronic invention. The outcome as evidenced on their new encounter, is a proposition which is as cruel as it is magnetic, an uncompromising hostility veined by electro and melodic intrigue driven by refreshing unpredictability.

     Feel My Wrath And Tremble opens with the swift invitation of The Coming, guitars an easy enticing lure to snare attention before a thick and smothering intensity forcibly descends over the senses. This in turn breeds a heavy predation in beats and riffs. Yet still it seduces as it leads into the initial melodic coaxing of the title track. It too in no time opens up a vat hostile intent under an abrasing atmosphere. Vocals are pestilential and riffs voracious whilst beats pierce the tempestuous persuasion with purposeful spite; it all consuming ears and imagination with ravenous and destructive animosity.

It is an uncompromising examination yet has a contagious core which nothing can defuse, as shown again in the excellent incitement of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds. From its first breath vocals spread serpentine animosity and coarse malevolence whilst grooves entwine and gnaw on the senses with addictive enterprise and spicy temptation. It is a ferocious challenge which swiftly enslaves ears and imagination as it punishes the senses, an assault which breeds a greedy appetite for more with its keen creative adventure and merciless hostility.

The Damnation of Elizabeth weaves a tantalising mesh of electro agitation with hoarse vocals next whilst a symphonically seeded melodic orchestration flirts with the imagination. It is just the prelude to a tempest of heavy electro swipes and blackened grooving though, they in turn slapped by rhythmic intimidation and pungent jabs of primal riffery and Nintendo-core fascination.

The release is concluded by firstly Room 911, it emerging from the same almost bedlamic charm its predecessor left in before escorting caustic riffs and scaring vocals squalls in siege of the senses. The track is a smog of sonic abrasion and vocal venom, yet its invasive and quarrelsome cloud of animosity again belies the enticing melodic underbelly and symphonic tempting which works tirelessly away.

Final track Nightmares End, lives up to its title though there is no closure to the sinister and voracious black and death metal corruption within the track. As all the songs, it is a gripping patchwork of sounds and flavours converging into one persuasive death metal violation. Rhythms often unveil a post punk punctuation whilst keys and melodies spring from a Disney does Zombieland type landscape, though there is nothing safe and comical about the outstanding sufferance cast by the track. It is an excellent end to a fine assault from Critical Dismemberment.

Feel My Wrath And Tremble is from the bottomless corruptive pit of extreme metal’s underground, evidence of the enthralling creativity and raw talent lying in wait to prey upon ears and emotions. This might not be one of the kindest propositions to challenge your senses this year but certainly it is one of the more enterprising and exciting.

The Feel My Wrath And Tremble EP is available via Bluntface Records from October 31st @ http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/CriticalDismemberment

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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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