Dot Legacy – Self Titled

DOT LEGACY Profile Pic

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

InTheWhale R! 2

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

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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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Scorching shadows: an interview with Nora Rogers of Solar Halos

Nora  Rogers

Barely two to three weeks in and one of the year’s most exciting and we suggest prominent albums has already been unveiled in the masterful temptation that is the Solar Halos self-titled debut. A beautifully crafted evocative expanse of heavy unrelenting rock created through a tantalising mesmeric core brew of stoner and psychedelic rock the release is a stunning and magnetic introduction to the North Carolina band.  Eager to find out more about Solar Halos we had the pleasure of talking with guitarist/vocalist Nora Rogers where we discussed the origins of the band and its member’s histories, lyrical inspirations, the influence of their home town and much more…

Hi Nora and thank you for sparing time to talk with us.

Tell us about the beginnings of Solar Halos to start things off and also how you all met originally.

The three of us all have known each other for years just from living and playing in a small music-oriented town. Our bands had played shows and toured together so we were already both friends and fans.  John and I first played together in Jenks Millers project, Horseback in 2010. We really enjoyed playing with each other so a year later John and I started another project.  We jammed for a few months putting some ideas together but decided that we wanted to add bass before things got too set in stone. We immediately thought of Eddie and were spot on; it felt really natural and clicked right from the first practice at the end of 2011.

Did you have a specific intent in forming the band?

Because we were aware of each other’s bands we wanted to do something collaborative with loose parameters. No one had a specific intent for the project so it came about casually. We all wanted to play heavy music with contrasts of light and dark, but that was really the only parameter that we started with.

I always wonder with bands that form from already experienced musicians coming together for the first time if there is a period of discussion and thought sharing about the project or if that comes after the first tempest of sound making; how was it with you guys with the band?

Our sound evolved very naturally just through jamming and finding how our individual strengths can be played for maximum effect.  I think we have a very collaborative band model where we see a journey for a song and trust each other to choose our own path with the greater good of the song in mind.  We all know what the others are capable of and know our taste is similar, so our discussions are mostly about arrangement and dynamics.

Solar halos-Photo by Justin Cook.

photo by Justin Cook

Our previous work in those bands was treated as more or less a reference point.  We all defaulted to bringing in our loud gear, but we also found ourselves focusing on different aspects that we weren’t in those bands.

Have you found people making assumptions about what your sound was like before hearing it because of your times in Horseback etc.?

I haven’t found that people make assumptions based on our past bands but they do remark on similarities.

How does working with new people impact your thoughts and ideas at first? With Solar Halos was it an instant spark which right away bred to strong ideas and seeds for songs or a more slow burning process?

There was definitely an instant spark, but we have learned in our song writing that even a strong idea can be a slow burning process to follow through to completion.

Listening to your stunning self-titled debut album there is a heavier breath to all aspects, the sound, textures etc. then maybe expected from your success in those other bands, a deliberate move?

Thank you, I think with heaviness as our only parameter this all came quite naturally; it wasn’t a deliberate contrast to our other works.

Also the album seems to have an almost evolving before the ears creative landscape which suggests the songs in many ways sculpted their drove their own path as they came to realisation. Give us an insight to how things developed in that respect and about the writing process in general.

Yes, that is the intention and how they were written. Songs usually start with a riff.  We record a bunch of permutations of it and the parts that instinctually follow over several weeks and pick out what works well. Once we have a good outline I’ll figure out the vocals and we might tweak the song some more.  It’s pretty time intensive but seems to produce interesting results.

We always write the music first then I go back and listen for the vocal melodies and lyrical imagery that the song provokes.  I think the movement and structures of our songs on this album coincide with how my mind thinks spatially and geographically.  The space each of us inhabits musically creates the landscape and our arrangement of the parts and the vocals create a path through the song.

The album is receiving impressed responses, and rightly so in our minds; has it surprised you the strength of the reaction to it even though I am sure you were fully confident of its potency?

It’s always great to see a positive response, you never really know what to expect when you put out a first record. I find it really satisfying to know that you have moved someone emotionally or creatively.

artworkWe called the album one of the first great adventures of 2014 and it does feel like an intensive and invigorating adventure. It also hints that this adventure was just as thrilling to create and at times a stepping into the unknown for you guys, was that how it felt?

Wow, thank you.  It was a really fun album to create and we were stepping into the unknown without guidelines.  As for adventure, there were definitely no mythical beasts to outrun or any wizards to fights, so I guess it was quite ordinary in that respect.

Is there any prime inspiration to the narrative and emotional feel of the songs and album?

All of the lyrical inspiration came from images of Earth and landscapes that the music evokes.  The narration is moving through those landscapes.  Sometimes the focus is on a small scale like ice dripping off leaves “leaves like daggers breathe inside” in “Frost” or on a grand scale like global electromagnetic waves excited by lightning in “Resonance.”

How much of the album is personal to the extent of revealing shadows and secrets, even if merely hinting, to the world?

When I was in The Curtains of Night I wrote a lot of personal lyrics under the cloak of myth, but now I try to paint with broader strokes.  I am always thinking of something very specific, but not necessarily from my personal life.  I want the lyrics to be evocative visually but vague and open-ended enough to be read in different ways.

Musically the songs on the album have an intensity and at times an almost guttural aggression to them whilst your vocals temper and almost tease that heaviness with mesmeric harmonies and melodic invention. Was there a concerted effort in forging the impressive union as shown on the release or again has it been a naturally bred success?

Both, the contrast comes quite naturally but we are also conscious of the play of light and dark that helps to give some depth and complexity to the music.

The album is released via Devouter Records. What was right about the UK label for you and were they one of those I believe you sent demos to of tracks recorded in a metal shop?

Yes, our friend, Scott Endres of the band MAKE sent a link of our demos to Phil Rhodes at Devouter who had released their awesome album, Trephine.  Scott had great things to say about working with Phil and we were impressed by Devouter’s roster of bands.

Your home state North Carolina is a constant hotbed of scintillating music and adventure driven bands, in all flavours. What is it like as an emerging and established band there and how has the place and your home town Chapel Hill impacted on or inspired on your creative process if at all?

The pace here is pretty laid back and cost of living relatively low so we can afford to be more adventurous.  Bands can rent cheap practice spaces or play at someone’s house.  Chapel Hill is a college town so lots of musicians own or work at bars which also put on shows.  The area is really supportive of musicians, so it has been a hub to lots of creative talent.  Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham have a range of venues to play at and great music festivals like Hopscotch which showcase local and international talent. There is an energy here that is pretty conducive to being a musician.

Is there a unity, comradeship amongst bands and the scene itself in NC or is it like other places a more self-centred environment?

photo by Jordan Haywood

photo by Jordan Haywood

There is a lot of overlap between band members and a continually growing number of bands of all genres. We do tend to play shows locally with heavier bands in the area like MAKE, Mourning Cloak, Black Skies, and Bitter Resolve, but I think people are supportive across the board.

What comes next for Solar Halos on the back of the album and ahead?

We recorded a long two part song for a split 10” with another NC band, Irata that should be out in the next few months.  Meanwhile we are writing material for another album and hope to do a bit of travelling later in the year.

Is the UK/Europe destined to see you live this year?

We would love to come over this year but nothing is booked right now.

Once again Nora many thanks for chatting with us, any last thought you would like to send the readers off pondering?

Do an image search for “Brocken spectre,” you won’t be disappointed!

www.solarhalos.com

Read the review of Solar Halos debut album @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/solar-halos-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 20/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Hungry Brains – Centre Of The Omniverse EP/The Mule EP

The Mule EP

The Mule EP

     The tail end of 2013 saw the release of two sister EPs from UK’s  Hungry Brains, a pair of releases which suggests that the Manchester trio and their impressive mix of stoner rock and progressive metal is a towering force in the making. Both releases spark the imagination and passions with skilful enterprise and mountainous ranges of riffs and sonic flaming. Think Monster Magnet meets Alice In Chains with plenty of Svolk and Red Fang bulging contagion involved and you get a big hint to the scintillating sound created by the band and as to why both EPs are leaving lips eagerly licked and anticipation rife for what is ahead from the band.

      Made up of Callum Armstrong, Paul Daly, and Orestis Papadopoulous, Hungry Brains first swiped at or rather barged into attention with the Centre Of The Omniverse EP last September. Consisting of three tracks which instantly enflamed the senses and imagination it was a commanding entrance soon reinforced by the December unleashing of The Mule EP. Alone either make a compelling introduction but together they enforce a declaration of intent from a band only a fool would refuse to keep a close eye and eager ears upon.

Centre Of The Omniverse

Centre Of The Omniverse EP

    Centre Of The Omniverse opens with Dawn Of A New Age and immediately is throwing heavy muscular rhythms at the ears whilst the guitar sears all their vibrating hairs in the face of its intimidating and refreshing tempest. Vocals are not slow in thrusting their persuasion forward either and soon the impressing dual delivery is seducing even further the already keen appetite awoken by the already contagious sounds. That AIC reference is soon bearing its suggestion, especially through the vocals which a carry a definite Layne Staley feel but also we would suggest there is a slight Metallica essence as well as Soundgarden and Kyuss to the song’s imaginative mix. It is a totally magnetic start with only the fade out to its finale a slight niggle.

    The following Unmade is a brief and rigorous brawl of sound with blues kissed psychedelia soaking the melodic adventure whilst rhythms again thump and career through the ear with firm and skilled provocation. Raw and fiery in sound and breath, the track is a combative yet seductive blaze of enterprise which produces and says more aurally in its one and a half minute than most bands manage in their epic soundscapes.

      The first EP is concluded by Crooked Eye, a tantalising blend of expressive and harmonically fiery vocals within a sinew driven rhythmic cave and heavy intensive riffs. Part stalking and part canter, the song entices the imagination with a steely sonic stare and evocative melodic embrace whilst never relenting in its dramatic persuasion or breath stealing craft. As with all the songs and those on the second EP, there is never a moment where predictability reigns or expectations are merely fed, every minute and flame of sound an invigorating incitement for thoughts and emotions.

    It is hard to recall many introductions to a band which has been enjoyed more and The Mule EP soon shows it is not a one off. Made up of one track in two parts, the release confirms and stretches further the potent temptation and presence of Hungry Brains with ease. Part 1 opens with a shamanic call of vocal chants which is instantly meditative but equally coaxing the imagination into thoughts of something dramatic and imposing pending. That hope is slowly realised as the track emerges, taking its time with rolling heavy cast rhythms and a sonic mist of almost antagonistic tempting within a relatively restrained atmosphere. The bass is a delicious tempter in the evocation, dark and menacing amongst the heated weave surrounding its throaty tones. The piece scores the air for a final time before evolving into Part 2 and unveiling a contemplative stroll of riffs and mutually determined rhythms. As a spiral of sonic sculpting from the guitar ignites the song’s sky, vocals again present the lyrical narrative in impressive and enticing style, once more only adding to the overall irresistible lure of the sound and release. Virulently contagious without losing its dramatic intensity and provocation, the nine minute track infests the passions to make its length slip by in moments and its potent suasion and that of the whole release rise with every passing minute.

      Hungry Brains is a band we are sure you will be hearing time and time again swamped in acclaim across the future months and years and with both releases available as buy now name your price releases on Bandcamp, only the foolish and lazy would wait until then and resist now the stunning toxicity of this impressive band.

http://hungrybrains.bandcamp.com/

www.facebook.com/HungryBrains

10/10 for both EPs

RingMaster 15/01/2014

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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