ssSHEENSss – Strapping Stallions

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It might be hard to be convinced by the band name but there is no such issue with the new album from Finnish heavy rockers ssSHEENSss. The band’s second full-length, Strapping Stallions is a compelling beast of a proposition, riffs and rhythms as cantankerous as they are aggressive yet there is an eclectic devilry across the release which aligns itself to a gripping inventive craft, it all resulting in an album which is resourcefully unpredictable, mischievous, and most of all great fun.

Formed in 2011, the Hamina sextet set to work on their self-titled but album at the tail end of 2012 with producer Billy Anderson (Eyehategod, Mr. Bungle, Melvins, Neurosis), before unleashing it on the world to eager reception in the February of last year on guitarist Harri Pikka’s own label Stabbing Records. It was an attention grabbing stomp and sound but one which between albums has evolved into an even more muscular and ferocious tempest of stoner bred sinew sculpted rock ‘n’ roll. Early this year the line-up of vocalist Mikko Kiri, bassist Edu Lethal, drummer Juho Harjula, and the triple strike of guitarists made up of Pikka, Porkka and Muhli, hit the studio with a new horde of songs. Mixed by Tomas Skogsberg (The Hellacopters, Dismember) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Corrosion of Conformity, Beastmilk), what emerged was the riveting and virulently contagious Strapping Stallions.

The accompanying press release announces that the album and its sound is something fans of Turbonegro, The Hellacopters, and ZZ Top will want to devour, something easy to agree with though that is only one shade of the diverse flavouring of the encounter. Opening track Adios, Fucker! for example pungently reminds of Troublegum era Therapy?, and as the nine tracks come and flirt with ears and imagination plenty other references come to mind, though they cannot defuse the potency of originality also spewing from ssSHEENSss. The opener is an instant wall of thumping rhythms and predacious riffs, all sides of the song converging on ears with an irritable tenacity. Employing essences of punk and metal to its keen and voracious, the stormy treat as mentioned easily reminds of the aforementioned Northern Ireland trio but also with its melodic sultry swagger hints at the likes of Mondo Generator. It is a riveting and thrilling start to the release, honest rock ‘n’ roll with little need to add over the top flourishes but allowing guitars and rhythms to craft a compelling web of highly infectious baiting.

The excellent opening is not matched by a cover of ZZ Top track Concrete And Steel, though to be fair ssSHEENSss twist it into an individual incitement of their own with resourceful imagination. It is a more than decent encounter but ssSHEENSss_strappingstallions_800x800px_weblacks the spark and in the face potency of its predecessor, something the next up You And Your Daughters is more capable of. Bluesy grooves entwine ears straight away as beats jab powerfully across their fiery coaxing. With vocals and riffs joining the swift temptation on feet and emotions, it is a rigorously inviting opening accentuated by sonic flames searing the magnetic spine of the song. There is also a seventies hard rock breath to the caustic sound fuelling the proposition, a lure which easily secures full attention and appetite but it is the mid-way twist into a bordering on bedlamic post punk/garage rock venture reminding of The Three Johns, where a great track becomes an outstanding one.

The equally stunning Voice Distortion Call with its heady and weighty intimidation of air and power sparks another lustful wave of hunger for the release, its Queens Of The Stone Age like devilry a sonic toxicity impossible to resist. With grooves and a sonic colouring you can almost physically taste such its spicy twang, the song is a gripping slab of stoner bred ferocity; a track as volatile as it is creatively composed. Another lofty highlight of the release, it is followed by the more classic metal toned Wolf Street Blues where that earlier Turbonegro comparison comes in handy. It is an easy going and undemanding proposition but keenly contagious and enjoyable providing another flavoursome turn in the diversity of Strapping Stallions.

Shadow Animals with its anthemic rhythmic thumping and corrosive riffery sets the fires in the passions burning bright again, its virulent hooks and Kiri’s vocal prowess irresistible amongst nothing but inescapable enticements. Imagine Mastodon meets again QOTSA and you get a sense of the adventurous climate and canvas of the song explored and set ablaze by the band. Its successor Let’s Explode does not quite match its triumph but still provides a lively smoulder of stalking riffs and classic rock soaked sonic endeavour to eagerly embrace. With at times a southern lilt to chords and heated harmonies from vocals, it is an enthralling offering, though it and its predecessor come nowhere close to the brilliance of the next track.

It is rare to call a cover the best track in a seriously impressive release but the band’s version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is sensational. Easily the best version of the track since Joy Division’s own unleashing, the band turns it into a new depressive seduction giving riffs a more carnivorous growl and beats antagonistic agility which lies perfectly with the pulsating throat of the bass and the melodic toxins which seep from every chord and twist of guitar. Even the vocals make a dramatic statement, Kiri managing to hold onto the cold emotion of Ian Curtis’ unique delivery whilst adding further expressive twists. It is pure dark majesty leaving Saigon the unenviable task of following and closing up the album, which it does successfully with its own anthemic rhythmic lures and melodic rabidity creating a song which whispers Eagles of Death Metal and Kyuss meets Melvins.

It is a great end to an exciting release which in some ways might even have missed a trick or two to become a modern classic. Nevertheless Strapping Stallions is another firm treat for the year and ssSHEENSss a band with a dodgy name and a natural ability to create exceptional rock ‘n’ roll.

Strapping Stallions is available via Soulseller Records on 3rd October

www.sssheensss.com

RingMaster 03/10/2014

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Brain Pyramid – Chasma Hideout

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As impressive debut albums go, Chasma Hideout from French psych rockers Brain Pyramid is right up there amongst the most enthralling and scintillating propositions. The seven track sonic exploration is a transfixing adventure of ear bending, mind warping psychedelic revelry, but one equally bred on the finest stoner rock grooving and experimental mischievousness. At times it feels like one massive glorious jam but throughout there is an enterprise and inventiveness which just as potently leaves senses basking and passions greedy. If the album is your introduction to Brain Pyramid, be prepared for one ruggedly spellbinding ride.

The Rennes band was formed in 2012 by guitarist Gaston Lainé and drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo drawing on inspirations from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Sabbath, Motorhead, and Blue Cheer alongside those of Kyuss, Sleep, Nebula, Earthless, and Orange Goblin. Last year’s well received Magic Carpet Ride EP put ears and attention on notice but now with bassist Ronan Grall of Huata alongside the founding duo, Brain Pyramid is ready to really stir things up with their thrilling offering.a0031606373_2

The earth bound spatial adventure is started by Living in the Outer Space, a country twang and kick over of a truck engine the lift off to a groove driven flight through sultry skies and flaming sonic landscape. Instantly riffs draw a raw canvas framed by an unpredictable rhythmic incitement. It is a compelling coaxing but it is the similarly unpolished vocals and senses entwining grooves which brings the strongest colour to the contagion. A flirtation with a noir wrapped jazzy seduction provides a new twist of pleasure before the fiery surface and enterprise of the song re-establishes a forceful and gripping presence. Continuing to surprise and enthral, the song is a sizzling and immersive treat but only the beginning of the fun.

The following Lazy instantly unveils its funk seeded heat and tenacity, the lure bubbling with relish and energy the more the song reveals itself. Grooves and rhythms make a flavoursome embrace whilst the bass with its throaty temptation offers intriguing shadow soaked hues. It is a roaring blaze of melodic and sonic toxicity, the song worming under the skin through the excellent slightly deranged craft of Lainé and the irresistible heavy stoner-esque stroll of the track. Its success is soon surpassed by the even hotter creative breath and climate of Landing on the Pyramind. Soaked in tenacious and intensive blues flavouring, the song twists and entwines ears with serpentine agility through scorching grooves and another deliciously imposing bass tone. It is a big boned temptress with all the moves and invention to enrapture anyone with a lust for dirty riffs, thunderous rhythms, and caustic sonic beauty.

The pair of Lucifer and Twin Headed Giant provides strong individual temptations, the first a mesh of lumbering intensity and sci-fi noise which leads into a smouldering psychedelic wash of sinister persuasion. This in turn slips into something ferocious and fiery, heavyweight riffing and destructive beats punctuating burning grooves; The Doors meets Orange Goblin and Desert Storm if you will. Though it does lack something compared to its predecessors, the track’s dark demonic texture and presence leaves ears enthralled before its successor draws on even stronger seventies psychedelic and heavy rock inspirations to cast its pulsating and pleasingly raw mind-bending adventure. Guitars and keys radiate hallucinogenic sonic colours aligned to a warped imagination whilst rhythms just as voraciously impose upon and stalk the psyche with the gripping cleaner vocal delivery.

  

The song is a fireball of sound but even its qualities and potency cannot match up to the album’s pinnacle, Into the Lightspeed. The instrumental is sensational; an impossibly addictive and infectious stampede of hooks and grooves bound in another seemingly organic and improvised majesty. Its opening is a riotous almost chaotic coaxing which flirts with disaster as eagerly as the senses before settling into a gloriously robust and hungry swagger of rhythms from Gautier-Lorenzo. Every swing resonates through to the bone even when Hammond-esque keys wind around its spine with taunting relish and the bass of Grall adds its own irrepressible throaty resonance. Spicy grooves and deeply rooting hooks are no strangers either as the piece continues to grow and increase its enslavement on ears and emotions. The track is a mind-bending, thought twisting journey and quite brilliant.

   Chasma Hideout sees its title track bring its triumph to a close. Flowing out of the previous track, its celestial exploration proceeds to soar across an expansive melodic and cavernous ambience, guitars and bass slowly swaying with evocative radiance and imposing enterprise as the good ship Brain Pyramid fuels its flight with a transfixing creative sonic illumination. The song leaves listener and album on a high, its energy and incitement continuing to increase with every second of its creative hunger and technical urgency.

The track is a captivating end to an awe inspiring release. Managing to impress and offer more with each and every listen, Chasma Hideout is one of the year’s real treasures and Brain Pyramid a band destined to leave psychedelic rock aflame now and ahead.

Chasma Hideout is available now via Acid Cosmonaut Records @ http://acidcosmonautrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chasma-hideout

https://www.facebook.com/brainpyramid

RingMaster 02/10/2104

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Dot Legacy – Self Titled

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Dot Legacy is a band which teases and taunts the need for the music industry to label and pigeonhole bands. They flaunt their striking ability and inventiveness in fusing a wealth of styles and flavours into their own unique and virtually indescribable adventure. The evidence is all there on their striking self-titled debut album, a release which ebbs and flows a little in success but never relinquishes its compelling potency at creating something extraordinary for the imagination and emotions to play with.

Hailing from Paris, Dot Legacy sculpts a web of sound which expands from a canvas of stoner, noise, and post rock footing; pulling everything and anything into its kaleidoscope of enterprise. Within tracks you can find yourself striding down one avenue of aural scenery and with a swift twist of a chord or rhythmic shuffle, enter another distinctly different yet complimentary terrain of endeavour. Formed in 2009, the band has earned a strong reputation for their eclectic and intriguing propositions, which their full-length has already begun pushing towards a much wider attention.

Opening track Kennedy opens on a charming invitation of guitar swiftly joined by a darker but no less coaxing bass presence. Just as quickly again it all erupts into a surge of noise baited and discord kissed enterprise, that small moment in the album alone bringing strong hints of the unpredictability and intriguing magnetism to come from sound and release. The track is a superb and respectful cacophony of invention and sonic exploration, the guitars of John Defontaine and Arnaud Merckling as enchanting as they are ferocious, with the latter’s keys skills just as mesmeric across the album. Basking in a sultry climate with rhythmic and riff clad turbulence, the track continues to enthral as the lead vocals of bassist Damien Quintard backed feistily by the rest of the band, add further incendiary expression.

The great start is immediately surpassed by Think Of A Name, its opening enticement a blaze of stoner seeded rock ‘n’ roll with raw overtones of psychedelic fuzziness and sonic intensity. The heavy throaty tones of Quintard’s bass seduce Dot Legacy Artworkand intimidate simultaneously as the rest of the band squall impressively around it like a wind flushed fire. Imagine At The Drive It and Fall Of Troy in league with Torche and Melvins to come somewhere near the glory of the persistently evolving track.

Days Of The Week is equally as impressive and exhilarating. An initial tempest of sonic and melodic acidity entwined around a raw energy entices ears before flowing into an outstanding mellow embrace of evocative textures and vocal harmonies over expressive enterprise. A technical flair seizes its chance to shine during the smouldering beauty of the song, whilst vocals across the whole band simply tantalise and seduce to equal effect and success. The Mai Shi comes to mind occasionally during the track but again it is a unique encounter belonging only to the band. Its finale leads seamlessly into The Passage; a track which plays like its title suggests and links its predecessor and the following proposition with a tunnel of noise veined by hints of melodic expression and imposing emotion. It is an ok track but pales sharply between the previous song and the excellent Pyramid, a track which ventures into a hip hop area vocally and nu-metal seeding musically, playing like The Kennedy Soundtrack meets Limp Bizkit but with a wealth of riveting twists and additives to create another individual and scintillating offering.

The lengthy adventures of Gorilla Train Station and Rumbera bring further twists to the landscape of the release, the first a scuzz draped stroll of heavy sludge spawned riffs and similarly imposing rhythms but prone to graceful drifts into stoner bred melodies and sultry vocal persuasion. The second is an avant-garde dance of vocal and melodic flirtation, equipped with a Latin temperament, within a contagious maelstrom of thick rock endeavour courted by provocative keys. As with all tracks and their individual characters, it is hard to portray all that is going on within its walls but arguably this song is the most intrigue lit and bewilderingly addictive of them all.

   The Midnight Weirdos provides almost nine minutes of dark drama, the constantly impressing craft of drummer Romain Mottier alone setting the imagination off on a sinister journey towards the jazz and funk coloured slow prowl of the song. It is an engrossing and voraciously bewitching track with heavy metal and blues just a couple of the other tendrils of sound helping sculpt the absorbing incitement.

The album closes with 3 am, an acoustic croon of voice and guitar which feels like an anti-climax to the tempestuous triumphs at first but emerges as a fine serenade to bring the exhausting emprise of the album to a gentle end. To describe Dot Legacy’s sound is like trying to discover the core colour of a rainbow, a similarity in their perpetual blending of senses bewitching hues possibly the best way to bring some reference to the creativity of the French band. Some of the tracks are a little too long and surprisingly there at times is surface familiarity between a few songs but beneath each is a whirlpool of blistering and thoroughly compelling ideation providing an irresistible web of temptation.

Dot Legacy is available digitally and on CD via Setalight Records and @ http://dotlegacy.bandcamp.com/

www.dotlegacyband.com

9/10

RingMaster 11/09/2014

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In The Whale – Nate & Eric

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This week sees the release of the Nate & Eric, a fireball of rock ‘n’ roll from US duo In The Whale. The album is actually the putting together of the band’s last two EPs and if they have escaped your attention this is an encounter you should urgently add to your collection of crucial sounds. As eclectic as they are ferociously contagious, the songs making up the release are encounters bred in everything from old school rock ‘n’ roll and punk through to blues, garage rock, and plenty more. It is uncompromising, honest, balls out rock ‘n’ roll, and quite simply irresistible.

Formed in 2011, the Denver band consists of Nate Valdez (vocals and guitar) and Eric Riley (drums and backing vocals), a pair which much like Canadians The Black Frame Spectacle, turn two sources of roaring instrumentation into a full-on rapacious beast of sound and energy. In 2012 In The Whale unleashed debut EP Cake, a well-received proposition which was followed by a just as impressive live presence, which has seen the band play with the likes of Murder by Death, Local H, Reverend Horton Heat, and Electric Six as well as The Airborne Toxic Event, Agent Orange, Bob Log III, The Pack A.D. and Slash. Second EP Eric hit ears in the latter stages of 2013 with its successor Nate being unveiled earlier this year. Now the last EPs come together to create one of the most inspiring and mouthwatering propositions of 2014.

Nate & Eric opens up with the Nate tracks, and specifically Robert Johnson. From its first breath a flame of energy and intensity hits image10-5the ears through intermittent strikes of raw riffs and punching beats beneath the equally imposing vocal call of Valdez. Bluesy air oozes from all aspects too before the track settles into a predatory dance of raucous riffs and anthemic rhythms to which the vocals burn and roar passionately. The track is like a mix of the previously mentioned Canadians, Reverend Horton Heat, and Eagles of Death Metal, and just as devilish as that mixture suggests. It is Devil music and unapologetically irreverent in its infectiousness and psyche twisting charm.

If the starter was mercilessly tempting than the following Wedding Bells should be labelled as dangerous, its initial southern psychobilly twang toxic bait to which the band erupts into a garage punk enslavement with impossibly addictive pop punk relish. For less than a minute and a half, the track stomps with nagging rhythms and agitated riffs, leading into a ridiculously commanding chorus; this all under the again gripping vocals of Valdez. It is a fiery mix that Valdez and Riley conjure; alchemy of sound sculpted with an adrenaline fuelled inventive voracity through simply one predacious guitar, an antagonism lit drum kit, and flaming vocals.

Both the hard rocking Lake of Fire with its again blues kissed rabidity and the feverish brawl of Grandpa Pete keep passions and ears greedy, the first a frenetic blaze of stoner-esque heavy rock with punk urges. Acidic melodies and darkly shadowed chords equally add their potency to the fire dance, hooks and grooves just as prevalent and mischievously compelling too. There is a little tint of Wall of Voodoo to the song, though admittedly for indefinable reasons whilst its successor is pure punk revelry with metallic appetite. Holding a touch of I Am Duckeye and Melvins in its barging garage punk tenacity and devilment, the track is pure aural addiction.

The Eric half of the album begins with On A Roll and immediately a scrub of blues guitar swiftly joined by muscular rhythms and honky-tonk piano covers the senses. As Valdez opens up the narrative everything settles into an ordered yet disruptive canvas of unpredictable rhythms and searing melodies beneath those dramatically expressive vocals. There is a rich feel of Queens Of The Stone Age to the riot but only as a potent spice in a loudly individual proposition. Its triumph is followed by the best track on the release, The Clash seeded Girlfriend. Beats set out a plain but gripping frame for both men to lay down their anthemic vocal call before the track explodes into a blistering punk temptation. The Vibrators meets Rocket From The Crypt with that Strummer and co blooding, the song is an incendiary trap to dive into head first for the greatest pleasure and lustful satisfaction.

The release closes with Sunbeam where again the pair step into a stoner landscape but this time with coarse rock ‘n’ roll and seventies garage rock scenery. It is a smouldering abrasing of sound and sonic tempting, keys again adding richer colour to the riveting and shifting terrain of the magnetic provocation. It is a glorious end to a sensational release, as mentioned one which if the EPs individually have evaded your sweaty hands, is a must have, do not dawdle purchase. In The Whale expels rock ‘n’ roll in its purest yet adventurous form, a furnace to get persistently and brilliantly burnt by; the proof is all there on Nate & Eric.

The self-released Nate & Eric is available now!

www.inthewhalesucks.com

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2014

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We Hunt Buffalo – Blood From A Stone EP

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     Clad in a thick rich blanket of enticing fuzz, the quartet of stoner sculpted tracks making up the Blood From A Stone EP provide one of the most refreshing and invigorating treats from the genre in recent months. The new release of Canadian rockers We Hunt Buffalo, it is a masterful tempest of intensively persuasive riffs and commanding rhythms around melodic imagination, the result a release which captivates and fires up the emotions.

     The Vancouver trio of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Forsythe, vocalist/bassist Brendan Simpson, and drummer Brandon Carter, soon set tongues wagging and appetites awakened for their compelling sound with the release of a first EP in 2010. Linking up with Tanis Gibbons at The Hive recording studio in Burnaby BC the following year, the band recorded their self-titled debut album, the release re-working tracks from the previous EP and new slices of psychedelically touched stoner spawned rock ‘n’ roll. 2012 saw the band place in the top three, out of 400 entries, in the 99.3 The Fox annual SEEDS competition which led them to supporting Monster Truck at Vancouver’s The Commodore Ballroom, a stage which subsequently saw the band returning often to sharing space with the likes of Chevelle, Matt Mays, Danko Jones and Steel Panther over time. Released at the tail of last year, Blood From A Stone reinforces and stretches the band’s stature and potency with four tsunamis of creative power and hungry riffery, the release a wake-up call for a still sleeping world to the band’s tremendous potential and presence.

      We Hunt Buffalo opens up the EP with its title track, a song which from a restrained sonic mesh of guitar acidity canters into an coverinstant attention grabbing proposition, fuzz cloaked riffs and crisp rhythms leading the imagination into an evolving and enveloping stoner grooved almost doom based embrace. The vocals are as impressive and appealing as the sound, their expressive and earnest clean pleas openly magnetic within the squalling incendiary smog of fuzz and sonic invention. Essences of Black Tusk come to mind briefly during the excellent track’s persuasion but with its dirty climate and roughened touch the adventure creates an evocation of sound purely down to the Canadians.

    The bouncing yet heavy weight opener is followed by an equally energetic suasion in Cobwebs. A blues soaked flame of guitar veins the merger of military seeded drum beats and the tempestuous sonic scuzziness drifting across and drenching every note. Vocally the delivery takes a slower mesmeric radiance, Forsythe and Simpson blending for a resourceful and compelling mix within the fiery breath of the song. There is a Palms essence to the track, something which reappears again later in the EP but again an essence which is merely a radiant spice in a distinctive and unique recipe. You admittedly would not say song or EP is setting new avenues for stoner and heavy weighted rock but certainly it offers something strikingly fresh and individual to We Hunt Buffalo.

     Hometown taps a stronger vein of southern blues in its flame of guitar, the sultriness of its charm evolving into shards of heat and invention through the slowly strolling reflection of stoner fire and emotive ambience. We mentioned Palms earlier but maybe more so a Deftones embrace wraps this track through the atmospheric and evocative intensity dripping from every chord and syllable of the excellent track. It is a hypnotic incitement with punch and inventive endeavour to contrast with and add to the immersive journey into the depths of the song, excellently crafted twists and imaginative nuances working away at the senses on route.

     The triplets of outstanding tracks become four with the closing Telepathic Eyes, an arguably cleaner faced meeting though also not adverse to a healthy dose of fuzz permeated enticement. It is another slow and smouldering piece of melodic rock with blooming stoner flavouring, a fire of sound and temptation which retains the release on the same impressive plateau it started on and held. Blood From A Stone is one of those stoner cast treats you hanker for time and time again, and We Hunt Buffalo a band the world will be eagerly aware of sooner rather than later on the evidence of this.

http://www.wehuntbuffalo.com

http://wehuntbuffalo.bandcamp.com/album/blood-from-a-stone

9/10

RingMaster 12/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Drawers – Self Titled

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     With testosterone dripping from every note, rhythm, and syllable, the self-titled album from French band Drawers is one hefty irresistible treat. The second full-length from the Toulouse quintet sees the band parading their individual blend of stoner and sludge rock cast with a metal bred intensity and ferociousness, a sound which has made them a formidable and exciting proposition over past years. This time around though it comes with a seemingly stripped down and organic voracity which fuels and fire up the finest encounter from the band to date, an album giving heavyweight dirt encrusted rock ‘n’ roll a real shot in the sinew clad arm.

     From their first release, the 2008 This is Oil EP, Drawers has reaped strong and eager attention which with debut album All is One three years later, they turned into rigorous acclaim for their imposing sound. Live the band also garnered the richest responses and praise whilst a split 7” with French band Hangman’s Chair in 2012 reinforced the band’s presence further. Entering the studio for the new album, Drawers set about employing all the potent essences which marked previous releases with the unbridled raw energy and power of their live performances. Recorded live in the studio it is fair to say that the album achieves its aim and more, the eight tracks combining for a towering and adrenaline fuelled encounter with razor sharp hooks and lingering grooves to feverishly latch on to.

     The band opens up their enterprise soaked bruising with Once and for all, rhythms immediately tantalising the ears whilst 760137618423_TOX032_Drawers_Artwork_1400x1400bright riffing coaxes equal attention. It is a relatively undemanding start, certainly in context to the thumping beats and intensive sounds which soon reaps the rewards of an already eager appetite as they smother the senses in ravenous energy and intent. The song ebbs and flows pleasingly, taking small ‘breathers’ between avalanches of strenuous imposing charges. The guitars of Laurent Bringer and Alexandre Berenguer entice and thrill throughout, from the rampant riffery to the sonic colour which ignites the song to even greater extents, the pair command and tempt the imagination alongside the excellent grizzly tones of vocalist Nicolas Bastide.

    It is a potent and impressive start but soon shown to be just an appetiser as both Mourning and It’s all about love thrust their muscle through the ears. The first of the two unleashes a torrent of rhythms from Olivier Lolmède aligned to a fury of guitar scathing before settling into an only slightly less furious pace and intent. With the bass of Hérémie Ruiz adding a predatory intimidation to the song, grooves and sonic flames emerge to captivate and infect the imagination with Bastide’s vocals riding it all like a burly surfer, his caustic delivery guiding everything confidently into the passions.  Like the first, the track twists and switches its gait and attack to offer a gloriously unpredictable and striking proposition, a Thin Lizzy meets Mastodon like enthrallment which is simply majestic. Its successor is no less a successful antagonist, immediate grooves and bulging rhythms enslaving thoughts and eager emotions right away with their ravenous and breath-taking intent. Thoughts of Torche and Baroness come to mind in the doom tasting slab of creative muscle but only as loud whispers in a fresh and distinctly rapacious heavy rock proposition.

    Both Bleak and Take stock continue the irrepressible body and lure of the album, the chugging hunger of the first wrapped in contagion soaked grooves whilst its successor offers a slower prowling intensity with sludge seeded provocation and weight. Neither quite match up what came before and what will follow but both leave imagination and satisfaction basking in sonic tsunamis. That shade is cast right away by the tremendous Shadow dancers, once again riffs and rhythms seizing the initial offensive and submission for the fiery guitar endeavour and scowling vocals to press deeper into the psyche and emotions. Churning up the air with riff sculpted rabidity, the melodic flames of the song flare up and smoulder within what is an unrelenting energetic pace from start to finish, the whole body of song a fully rounded and richly textured adventure.

    The album is brought to a triumphant close with firstly the magnificent Words which takes all the impressive elements already offered and exhausted by previous songs and gives them a new breath of invention and carnivorous intensity, and lastly by the almost corrosively impressive Detour. The final track is a furnace of energy and power drenched in melodic toxicity and groove lined imagination, a beast of a song which savages and seduces with equal mastery. The pair concludes a quite breath-taking release where everything from the intensive songwriting, the compelling individual skills of the band, through to the overall blaze of sound is exceptional.  Released via Kaotoxin Records, with its first pressing on CD a 1,000 hand-numbered copies limited edition, the album has securely registered Drawers as a major force in world metal, theirs a power which all should dare to embrace.

www.facebook.com/drawerskvlt

10/10

RingMaster 11/02/2013

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Black Space Riders – D:REI

 

 Black Space Riders official 2014

   A spatial exploration of progressively sculpted metal and psychedelically forged rock merged with varied additives into thirteen rugged landscapes, D:REI is a compelling incitement for the imagination and fuel for the passions. Consisting of strikingly varied and ravenously adventurous tracks, the third album from German heavy rockers Black Space Riders is one of those treats you just cannot exhaust your hunger for. Our first encounter with the band, D:REI is an exceptional triumph sure to also invite an intensive retrospective investigation of the band.

     Formed in 2008, the Münster hailing band immediately triggered acclaim and attention with their self-titled album two years later. A quartet consisting of JE (lead vocals, guitars), SLI (guitars), SAQ (bass), and CRIP (drums, vocals), Black Space Riders hit European stages to reinforce their presence and rising stature in support of their feverishly received record. 2012 saw second album Light Is The New Black unleashed, again with strong support and praise soaking the even more adventurous and sound diverse release. As the year merged into the next, a second lead vocalist, SEB who had already provided additional background-vocals on the album was recruited into the band. Now Black Space Riders look poised to thrust themselves further into the devouring passions of the wider metal and heavy rock world with D:REI. It is an encounter which is impressive with either predatory aggressiveness or wanton seduction, merging both more often than not; the ignition to a greedy appetite for the invigorating and scintillatingly unique provocation.

     The album is a concept styled encounter: a journey from impending doom through devastation on to a voyage to a new 13_10_17 lp_sleeve.inddunknown adventure though that is simplifying it. The tracks are split into chapters within the exploration starting with D – Defiance moving on to R – Ruins and E – Escape through to I – Beyond. It is an encounter which sparks the imagination and the inventiveness of thoughts as well as providing a musical soundscape which evokes the passions. From the opening track Stare at the Water the album simply captivates with an unrelenting but continually riveting tempest of sound and sonic design. A slowly unveiling landscape is revealed by the start of the first song initially, an entrancing ambience aided by a singular guitar. Two minutes in it is dispersed by a stormy cloud of rigorous riffs and muscle clad rhythms soon joined by vocals and flames of inventive guitar. A mix of heavy metal and stoner dressed endeavour, the track stomps with intensity and formidable craft to lure and intimidate in equal measure. It is a potent opening to the album though not quite lighting the fuse to the passions.

    That match is lit by the following sizeable triumphs starting with Bang Boom War (Outside my Head). A sonic hostility opens up the gateway to a carnivorously toned bassline and rapacious rhythms within a whining acidic grazing of guitar. It is tremendous bait enhanced by the excellent dual vocal attack and an industrial seeded yawn of guitars and predatory stalking, a presence which merges essences of Fear Factory and Marilyn Mansion with a Sabbathesque doom bred intensity. As the album shows across its length, the song is an evolving and unpredictable beast of an incitement, a spine of rhythms the only constant to which ravenous yet seducing weaves of imagination and sound avail their temptation.

    Rising from the Ashes of our World comes next and compared to other songs takes longer to fully persuade though as soon as its stalking rhythms and heavily laden riffs seize the ears, attention and appetite are certainly heading in only one direction. Thoughts of Prong enter the mind initially but the track is soon going deeper and into darker places with its intensive weight and abrasively toned riff rabidity. The slower dare one say mellower moments of the song surprise and intrigue if without raising the same appetite as the voraciousness around them but it just accentuates the power of the sinews driving the song and the irresistible climax, a pestilential finale which savages and thrills insatiably.

    Both Give Gravitation to the People and Way to Me take the album to another level, the first a festering scourge of caustic metal with an agitated rhythmic teasing. Primarily invasive heavy unrelenting metal with a touch of early Therapy? seemingly thrown in, it is a hypnotic scourge on the senses with a melodic mystique whispering in its atmosphere whilst its successor is a dance of groove metal and grunge sculpted by again contagious rhythms and that continually irresistible snarling bass. The track swings its muscular hips and heavy handed rhythmic infectiousness with a swagger which only recruits the fullest allegiance to its call. With a progressive flair and imagination to the guitars and their melodic weaves, the song is pure magnetism.

     Through the insistent fire bred stoner heat of Temper is Rising, the classically cast heavy metal suasion of The GOD-survivor, and the smouldering I see the album continues to draw the emotions in deeper even though the last two of the trio simply please rather than fire up any intense reactions. That is left to the exceptional Leave to produce, its opening Middle Eastern kissed flavouring the coaxing leading into an ever expanding flight through incendiary climes and melodic ingenuity. It is a masterful evocation of sound and emotional narrative not forgetting pungent adventure.

    From here on in the album provides more taxing moments, infection wise if still ones making the strongest persuasion. Space Angel (Memitim) is a ten minute musical painting which is excellently crafted and imaginatively coloured but arguably over long whilst Major Tom Waits, with its great gravel clad vocals strikes a union with thoughts but misses out on sparking up the passions. The final pair of offerings though from the almost punk swung rocker Letter to a Young One and the doom flavoured furnace of stoner tempting and heavy riffery, The Everlasting Circle of Infinity provide an addictively exciting conclusion to the release.

    With just a couple of lulls come sparkless moments, D:REI is a richly rewarding, ear feasting slab of metallically framed space/melodic rock with plenty more besides, and Black Space Riders a new pleasure, certainly for us, to greedily indulge in.

http://www.blackspaceriders.com

9/10

RingMaster 23/01/2014

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