Hampered – Asylum

Formed in 2013, French metallers Hampered have just uncaged their debut album and one attention grabbing beast it is. Maybe not the most unique in sound Asylum more than makes up for any familiarity with creative imagination and suggestive drama, attributes blossoming into one richly alluring and enjoyable proposal.

The Toulon quintet consists of vocalist Germinal “Germi” Leullier, guitarists Romain Sanchez and Guillaume Frendo, bassist Fares “Fafa” Petit, and drummer Stephane “Stef” Kokot, though upon Asylum Satanus is listed as swinging the rhythmic sticks. Nurtured in metalcore, their sound embraces an array of other flavours and metal bred textures in its roar and a first full length which takes a firm hold from its first breath.

Asylum is inspired by movies such as One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Shutter Island and relating a complex tale of a disillusioned hero finding himself plunged into the den of a psychiatric hospital, looking at “the grip of man by man, the mind on the body, for the conscience of our own freedom” where “the only “barriers” are the choices we make that make us believe we don’t have any

Opening with its French language spoken, scene setting Intro, the album soon has ears and appetite aroused as the following I’m Alive teases both with its opening initial sonic lure; rich bait soon spawning a rousing incitement of richly enticing grooves and rhythmic predation. Germi is soon in its midst with his similarly potent growls, captivation brewing by the second. The track mellows a touch as a great blend of his and Frendo’s calmer backing vocals collude but still retains its threatening character in sound and tone. Every hook and groove intensified the power and addictiveness of the track, each rhythmic swipe and grumble increasing its sonic paranoia superbly.

The excellent start only continues as The Project follows, its electronically hued entrance easily stirring keen attention before opening up into a rapacious almost carnivorous prowl. Metalcore meets groove metal as things intensify, many more strains of sound adding to the menace and imagination seizing trespass. Something akin to a fusion of Poison The Well, As I Lay Dying and Devildriver, the track gnaws and increasingly pleasures the senses, a success only escalating as the funkier throes of In My Jail tease and invade next. A beguiling web of styles and flavours, the track alone reveals the bold invention at the heart of Hampered and the expansive hunger in their sound which does not always get the chance to blossom as it might across the release. Here it is in full bloom, plaintive vocals and hungry sounds uniting in a ravenous assault of irritable yet severely infectious and predatory enterprise.

Stop That follows with a raw and cantankerous proposal but one just as adept at embracing melodic and harmonic twists as it questions and challenges while successor Conspiracy Theory launches a similarly choleric confrontation infused with citric melodic veins and driven by rhythmic rock ‘n’ roll. Both tracks hit the spot, the second especially sparking tenacious responses as the album continued to impress.

Through the bullish defiance of Each Other, where grooves just infest the psyche, and the raw emotional blaze of Avenge Your Memory, Hampered continue to explore their invention. Neither song quite matched the potency of those before them yet each created a tapestry of lyrical and musical drama which firmly held attention and richly satisfied before Blast (Bridge Refrain) entangled some tinges of heavy metal and strains of Avenged Sevenfold-esque catchiness into its lively swing. Again personal tastes were not quite as ignited as by the albums earlier tracks but were thickly involved in satisfaction from start to finish and especially in its great bedlamic finale.

Asylum concludes with The End, a track featuring Maxime Keller, vocalist with fellow countrymen Smash Hit Combo and Boars. The track is superb, a jungle of metal bred punk infused antagonism with tantalising melodic scenery bringing the album to a mighty close matching its tremendous start.

Asylum is a proposition which will inflame the passions of many and lure the attention of hordes more as it announces Hampered as another very promising and already rather striking proposition on the metal landscape.

Asylum is out now @ http://hampered.bigcartel.com/


Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

AdvenA – Realität

While the band set about writing their second album, a look at the debut full length from German metallers AdvenA does not go amiss, especially if like us you missed it upon its release a while back. Offering eleven slabs of progressive death metal with a craft and imagination unafraid to add other styles and flavours, Realität is a potent introduction to the Bad Griesbach in Bavaria hailing quintet. It is not overtly unique but has certain moments of real invention which made it stand out and an inescapable potential which made anticipation of its successor almost inevitable.

Formed in 2012 by Chris Kolias and Florian Havemann, the band’s initial instincts and sound was metalcore based but has evolved to embrace the progressive and more intensively weighted extreme metal textures as evidenced by Realität. With a line-up of vocalist Daniel Esterbauer, bassist Florian Gumpoldsberger, and drummer Dennis Stirner alongside guitarists Dominik Jagenteufel and Kolias, AdvenA nudged strong attention with the release of their first album, and is still doing so as we can attest to.

The album opens with its title track, wintery winds bringing in the scenic lures and stormy breath of Realität which soon entices the melodic coaxing of keys before fiercer more imposing textures descend with Esterbauer throat gravelled tones leading the way. In no time, the progressive imagination of the band is steering the roar, guitars weaving a tempting web as rhythms entice and pounce. It is a fascinating beginning which is as seductive as it is barbarous, unpredictability lending a weighty lure to the track’s  often familiar but boldly fresh textures,

The following Herztod immediately aligns melodic intrigue and suggestion with irritable intensity, guitars casting a magnetic drape around the bestial toned vocals as the song rises to its creative feet. Lyrically song and release has a conceptual theme but with each track sung in the band’s home language we cannot share their individual focus, yet it matters little as the sounds paint a potent enough tale as this and the following Lass es regnen! prove with their individual adventures. Whereas the first has a smouldering soundscape for the main, its successor has a far more volatile climate but one boiling with thrash nurtured intent around clean vocals, presumably provided by Jagenteufel, as well as Esterbauer’s enjoyably abrasive snarls.

Best track honours are seized by Splitter next, the rhythmic entrapment of Gumpoldsberger and Stirner inescapable from its opening strains and only intensified by the rolling attacks and belligerent grumble of drums and bass thereon in. Spice loaded grooves and a general rock ‘n’ roll swing only add to the track’s might with only the clean vocals for some reason and for once not quite connecting. Nevertheless it is a storming encounter which alone could have sparked an appetite for the band’s sound but is more than backed by the likes of Aurora and Phoenix. The first is an atmospheric tempting with alluringly portentous shadows around a rhythmic resonance, a union beguiling ears and imagination before its dark side rises up in invasive riffs and sonic trespass. That also brings a melodic and electronic enterprise which suggestive mystique setting up the adventurous rock ‘n’ roll of the second with the added attraction of female vocals and melody encased endeavours.

Am siebten Tag unleashes a blistering charge next, thrash and death instincts driving its cantankerous rock ‘n’ roll to mark another highlight within Realität before FFA matches its hellacious dexterity with its own senses withering, appetite stoking assault. Heavy metal tendrils vine the imposing roar, enticingly uniting with atmospheric winds and progressive intricacies; a stylish weave then emulated in its own individual way by Der Wille, electronic imagination lining and occasionally nurturing new twists in its design.

The album closes up with the two instrumentals in firstly the thought rousing, body firing rock ‘n’ roll of Alles was glänzt and lastly the melody rich and suggestive Wasser zu Wein. It too is a contender for best song, keys and guitars casting a beguiling tapestry of intimation and beauty with an underbelly of darker intent and volatility. Both tracks hit the spot whilst highlighting the music and creative prowess of AdvenA and though we might have questioned the success of having two instrumentals closing things up it works a treat.

Realität made a potent ear pleasing proposition from the first listen but it is an album which grows and impresses further by the listen. Ahead of its successor, it makes a timely gateway into the AdvenA sound for newcomers and a highly enjoyable reminder of their strengths and potential for all.

Realität is available now @ https://advena1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.advenaband.de/     https://www.facebook.com/officialadvena/   https://www.twitter.com/AdvenaBand

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Twindows – Valkyrie 2.0

For most, musical bliss can come in various shapes and styles; creative adventures which just connect with personal instincts and tastes. It is fair to say that for us it recently came all rolled up in one hungrily tempting proposal going by the names of The Twindows and their debut album Valkyrie 2.0.

Hailing out of Philadelphia, The Twindows breed a rapacious sound which infuses essences of everything from noise and indie rock to metal and grunge to a punk across the decades borne heart. It is a bold and boisterous web of temptation as virulently infectious as it is ferociously imaginative and led by a voice truly we could listen to all day long. Vocalist/guitarist Aster Grimm has one of the most devilishly tempting voices and just as magnetically matched by the creative antics of guitarist Kyle Anderson, bassist Caleb Banas, and drummer Oskar Daoud across Valkyrie 2.0. Together they have nurtured a release which teases, seduces, and arouses across eleven lust inducing slices of musical diablerie.

It begins with Like My Music; raw and salacious pop infested punk rock roaring from aggravation with Damned like hooks and rhythmic rapacity to the fore. Grimm blossoms in the centre, her tones stirring song and attention further as for one minute and three quarters the track provides the album with one irresistible start.

The following Mosquito / Thick Skin swings in on a blend of grunge nurtured rock ‘n’ roll upon a ska seeded bounce. Fiercer textures with metallic toning soon sizzle and sear around the tenacious attack of Grimm, the track’s noise punk instincts just as vocal before it passed thick attention and an already keen appetite over to Forgiven. Instantly it entangles ears in rhythmic espionage; boisterously coaxing beats and a glorious bass grumble getting under the skin as guitars weave a sonic web around Grimm’s similarly magnetic lures. Something akin to Throwing Muses embroiled in the punk ‘n’ roll of Spinnerette and in turn fused with devilment of Die So Fluid, the track is sheer captivation; one as seductive as it is predacious and all feral temptation.

Dig Tree comes next, the track a bewitching slice of punk pop initially, nostalgically recalling bands such as The Chefs and 4 Non Blondes. It floats across the senses but has a sonic causticity which just adds to the song’s bait again headed by Grimm’s engagingly manipulative presence. Whilst adding a new hue to the album broadening adventure, the song has feet and hips involved just as easily as rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

That variety of flavouring across the release is encouraged again by next up Ska Death (Ska Death Lounge Death Ska), an unstoppable incursion of ska/noise punk which had the body eagerly bobbing along before expelling a hellacious sonic gas of aural volatility, a tempest returning with greater dexterity after the song relaxed again into its lively bounce, and with bolder imagination as sax flames sear the riveting bedlam. Imagine Animal Alpha infused by the spirit of The Jellycats and the punk revelry of The Mo-Dettes and you come close to the song’s infectious alchemy.

The Twindows let their punk instincts run riot in Reversals next, the track an insatiable rock ‘n’ roll charge with noise bred vapours crossing a kaleidoscope of twists and turns while Pulp within a similar but even more corrosive landscape leaps around with kinetic intensity and agility. All the while though as rhythms dance, sonic spices and melodic adventure simmers and rise up to temper and challenge the tempestuous nature of the track.

The inescapably catchy punk ‘n’ roll of Instigator unerringly worms into the psyche within seconds straight after, the song like a mix of The Kut and Daisy Chainsaw but as everywhere uniquely Twindows; a trait just as potently shown by the grunge rock of The Industry. Admittedly, the song did not quite hit the spot as those tracks around it within Valkyrie 2.0 but only added to the fun before The Pixies endowed Sleepycore had us licking our lips once more. With its almost somnolent swing and Grimm’s vocal bewitchment, the outstanding track simply transfixed, even more so when it’s deceitful gait unveiled a furious if still controlled intent.

Bringing things to a close Wire Mother surrounds its energetic croon with abrasive psych and indie punk imagination, the song another as unpredictable in sound and imagination as it is irresistible in persuasion. It provides a provocative and rousing conclusion to an album which just lit the fires of personal tastes while offering something completely fresh to ponder, taste, and devour.

We have nothing more to add except go and have a nibble yourselves.

Valkyrie 2.0 is out now ad available @ https://thetwindows.bandcamp.com/album/valkyrie-20


Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Demons, boogies, and punk ‘n’ roll: entering the realm of The Hellfreaks

Having been hooked on The Hellfreaks and their horror punk/psychobilly bred sound way there was certain sadness when the band split up four years ago. Thankfully it was a short lived demise but their return brought an evolution in sound and new excitement and intrigue towards the quartet. We had the pleasure of catching up with the band recently so they can tell us more about times past and present, and all things Hellfreaks.

Hi all and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hell there, thank you for having us!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and how you all came together?

We are The Hellfreaks, a 4-piece punk-rock band from Hungary, Budapest, which is quite in the middle of nowhere in the international rock world. But somehow, with a bit of luck and hell lot of work we managed to play way more shows over the border, than in Hungary. Since the foundation in 2009 we have played over 200 gigs across Europe and also made it over the big pond and toured in the US.

In 2014 the original band split up for a while. But it looked like Sue’s (our singer) destiny did not agree with that decision, as one of her biggest dreams just arrived via email right when she started to accept the situation: an invitation to play in the USA. At that time she decided to stitch up the wounds from the past and to restart the band with a new direction and new band members. This is how the new generation Hellfreaks, the one you have right here, were born.  Our bass player, Gabi, and our guitar player, Tomi, had known each other before they joined the band, but in the end it was the band itself which brought all of us together.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

All of us played in different bands before, and all of these bands have been very different – but also, all of them have been rock bands. So we’re all true to our roots and just do what we love at the same time. However, none of us had ever had a band like The Hellfreaks, as this 4-piece-group never played together before. It’s a combination you couldn’t duplicate.

What inspired the band name?

To be honest, the birth of the band name did not happen yesterday. Sue was more or less a kid when she formed the band. The only thing she can clearly remember is that she came up with the idea when she was working at one of her very first working places, at a rockabilly bar, where she didn’t even earn 2$ / hour, so far from home that it was almost impossible to get back late at night. So the birthplace of the band was quite a hopeless place and compared to that we’re very happy about how far it went!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Our founding band member, Sue, literally grew up with this band. She never expected to tour regularly across Europe, to have a video clip with over 4 million views or to have this as her main life-project for the last 10 years. It all started in an old, dirty, wet cellar as a rehearsal room without even having a window – so we guess a band couldn’t get started more underground. There wasn’t even a goal, we didn’t even have proper equipment; it started just as a hobby thing without any plan.

That might be the reason why this band has changed so much from the start in absolutely every aspect. Our musical style has changed a lot – from a horror-punk billy influenced band, we turned into a punk-rock band, our sound developed a lot, we even changed the upright bass to a normal bass, had many line-up changes …so it has become something more, from starting without a plan to having plans and a goal.

But anyway we think that “change” in general is a good thing, nothing to be afraid of, because only change can bring development:  and we’re just not the kind of people who can stand still, we love to work hard on our skills, we love to see how we’re able to make one step after the other, even when it comes by way more effort than most of you could imagine.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

We grew up, we have changed and our goals have changed with us. Especially as we collected our little “rewards” step by step over the years: touring first abroad, touring regularly, playing with some bigger bands, touring over the big pond, recording album, getting signed by labels  etc. So it’s a natural process, that our goals have changed, otherwise nothing would push us forward.

But it’s important, that the main point – the fun and exciting process of writing songs, the feeling of getting on stage and playing for those who came there only to see you… that is the best thing ever! All that never changed, and all that make it worthy. Fun and happiness is the core of passion, and nothing could ever change that.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We would compare our sound at the beginning to a stinky, forever-alone, home sitting, but totally lovely daydreaming teenager who with the years turned into a no-risk-no-fun adventurous world traveller who is a bit better-dressed. Our sound has changed so much! In the early years we were so much focused on playing billy influenced music, belonging to that genre and that subculture, which we loved by the way. But after a while it was not satisfying anymore. The limits of the genre totally killed our creativity, it was more or less impossible to do something new, because that genre was more about being stuck with those musical roots and in the past. Which has its own magic as well – but as an artist, it wasn’t “giving” anymore, it was more a ‘taking” thing.

So in 2014, after a short break and reorganisation of the line-up we just decided to do whatever we want, which turned out to be more punk rock than expected, but it was like taking a huge breath after being way too long under the water. Luckily it turned out that our fan base was still with us, and became even bigger after we decided to walk our own path. And as we are already working on our new album, we can promise, that this road we started to walk has still not come to an end.

How much of that step towards more punk nurtured adventure was just organic and how much the band deliberately trying new things?

It comes with a lot of work, but it is also a natural process, that we hate to repeat ourselves. We like change, we like to work hard to get better, we like to see things developing, and we definitely don’t like to run the same rounds again and again. It’s a good thing when you know that you are able to push your limits, it makes you feel alive and strong.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

There are no influences on purpose, so of course we all had and still have influences but we try to use them as inspiration and try to find the sweet spot of our common musical taste. If we had to list what kind of music we listened to during the writing and recording process of our last album, you would get a list from A to Z. We think that is one of the key features that makes us able to create something unique in the end. We don’t want to walk along a well-trodden path, we don’t like being someone else – which is only possible if your creating process is not lead by someone else.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

All of our albums had a totally different writing process. Just to have a few words about our last release Astoria: Absolutely everything was different and new. New people, looking for a new sound. So there is nothing we could compare to the past. Besides that, these songs were more like written outside the rehearsal room: we made many many demos at home and some of the lyrics were not even written in the same country as in which we wrote the music! At that time, Sue was moving back from Berlin to Budapest, but she had to go back to Berlin for some weeks in the middle of the writing process. For example, the lyrics of our song Why Do You Talk was written while she was working.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Sue writes all the lyrics of the songs, and it’s hard to summarize what they are about. At the very beginning, the lyrics were more tale-like, not selling her sorrows, more like kind of entertaining ones. But as time passed, Sue grew up and realized that she was heard by way more people than she had expected, so she decided it was better to be brave than to be nothing: so right now she is really going naked in her lyrics – you find and read a lot about her thoughts and feelings in and between the lines.

 Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We don’t want to kill the magic of music for the outsider, but the truth is, that recording an album is an extremely expensive process. It always takes us a longer time till we have the necessary financial background to start recording, and we have to spend every cent of it wisely, to make sure to bring out the best of it.

It would be a dream for us to have the possibility to work in a professional studio from ground zero. But right now recording-wise we need to have a 100% finished plan and concept before we even step into a studio.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We are a very honest, loud power package on stage … this kind of music is just made to be spread by huge boxes, so it’s just where it naturally belongs.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and beyond. How have you found and achieved it?

And again we might destroy some illusions, but the only thing we truly believe in is hard work. And that’s all that any new band can do to get wherever they want – to work your a** off and – it’s the worst cliché ever, but it’s just so right – not to give up. There is an endless number of people out there who are telling you to do it, but just don’t listen to them, go on and stay on your ground.

There are sooo many great musicians and singers out there – the only way to be better than the rest is to work more and to believe that one day it will be worth it.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

We have seen both. Personally we have grown out of the MySpace times. Our first concert invitation from abroad came via a MySpace message: so we were there when MySpace was the-place-to-be for a band, we were there when Facebook became the big thing, and we will be there and prepare for the next step as well.

For us personally, it’s a wave that we like to ride, but only because our singer is working as an online marketer as well, and she is really much into all these devices. So we accepted and also learned a lot about the platforms we can have as a band. But we see many many other bands who are struggling, because they are not into social media, they have no sense of marketing, and if they don’t find help from the outside, they are getting lost pretty quick.

But it definitely has its problematic side – if you want to be a musician, it’s not enough anymore to be a musician. In one person, you have to be your own CEO, your own sales department, your marketing department, your web designer, your graphic department, and of course, while you are all of that in one person, you still have the struggle not to lose your artist in yourself – and the artist is exactly the opposite of all of that I have listed before and that makes it quite hard.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you so much, hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows!

Upcoming Live Dates:

31.03 – Austria, Vienna at Local Bar

05.05 – Hungary, Székesfehér at Nyolcas Műhely

01.06 – Romania, Timisoara at Revolution Fest

13.07 – Serbia, Exit Festival

03.10 – München, Glockenbachwerkstatt

04.10 – Germany, Ludwigsburg at Rocknrollbar

05.10 – Switzerland, Meyrin at Undertown

06.10 – Italy, Treviso at Nasty Boys

01.11 – Germany, Hannover at SubKultur

02.11 – Germany, Erfurt at Ilvers Musikbar

03.11 – Germany, Berlin at Wild At Heart

16.11 – Hungary, Budapest at Robot

Check out The Hellfreaks further @ https://www.thehellfreaks.com/   https://twitter.com/thehellfreaks   https://www.facebook.com/thehellfreaks/

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A fanfare of enterprise and adventure: talking with Krista D

Singer, songwriter, artist; Krista D is an emerging talent beginning to lure keen attention especially with her multi-flavoured rock bred sounds. For our introduction to the Canadian’s music we had the pleasure of talking with Krista about her sounds, songwriting, other projects and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you for this opportunity!

Can you first introduce yourself and tell us how you began making music?

My name is Krista Acheson and I’m a singer-songwriter, with no official live line-up right now. I record with the help of session musicians and I’m mainly a studio project. I started writing quite young, around 14, and completed my first full length album at around 16. I was moderately active up until 2008 then I took a 7 year break. It’s been awhile since I’ve officially released anything.

Have you been involved in bands or projects outside of your solo work and if so how has those experiences affected your own creativity?

One other band I sang with a long time ago was called A Beautiful Disaster from Moncton, NB. They were a wonderful, talented group of guys. We weren’t really similar in style preference, but what I did learn from that experience is that music can be fun. Not that I never have fun with my own music, but when I write something it begets the process of tracking down session players and doling out money. It was just nice to play for the joy of it and get paid opposed to always being the one who is paying.

For the sake of style variety and a different direction, I actually have two other projects I’m doing right now, but they are also governed by me. Hooha and the Peter Guns is a project I will be releasing experimental rock music under and I have a soft rock project called Molly Grue. I intend to release EPs for each of those this year.

Any particular story behind the name Krista D?

I was young when I started in music so I just based it on my name, Krista Doucet. I was also recording in the Christian music genre at that time but as I got older I disconnected from that lifestyle. I decided to keep the name but ,in order to indicate the life shift, I visually branded myself to allude to the character Sandra Dee from the 70’s movie Grease; who also underwent a bit of a life transition in the film. The band logo, the name of the EP, the pitiful accordion bit I play at the very end of You & Me, are all references to the movie/musical. There’s also a snippet of the movies’ audio hidden somewhere on the EP.

Was there any specific idea behind your music and songwriting when starting out in what you wanted it to offer?

Forming my project was mostly initiated by the discovery that I had a knack for singing and songwriting in my early teens and I have carried on with it because it’s another branch of creative expression; aside from the visual art I create.

Intent-wise, I like there to be levels of meaning. For example: I would want people to listen to a track like Run Jane Run and catch that the title, and writing format, is alluding to the old Dick and Jane phonics’ books. There’s also no chorus in the song; and that kind of forces people to have to listen to the lyrics. It’s a simplified story about a mother who experienced trauma and refused to deal with her subsequent coping behaviors which then resulted in the same behavior pattern being replicated by her daughter. So it’s a song written in a basic teaching format about a topic I feel is very important.

Sonically, I choose genre to direct mood. I pick elements from various genres that I feel make a song sound happy and then contrast it with some punk rock elements because then the tone goes from happy to snarky. I also think applying perkier genre elements make lyrical content dealing with rape or domestic abuse more emotionally palatable.

How has your writing and music evolved over time?

I have to say that I didn’t evolve on this project, at all, especially as a few tracks are re-mastered re-releases from a previous album. I chose to give a few tracks a second chance because I’m very eclectic and I tend to bounce between different genres a lot. The last album was a bit of a marketing nightmare as a result of being so mixed and it didn’t do any of the tracks any favors. That’s why I’ve decided to divide my songwriting efforts into 3 projects. This project is the one I’ll release any tracks that are a hybridization of punk rock, ska, 50’s style, 3 part harmony and doo-wop. Once I complete the other two EPs and I step back and look at all of the material as a whole, it might be clearer if I’ve evolved as a writer.

It evolves a little depending on what musicians are brought in to play the project; mostly because their taste and style is automatically imprinted onto the song by the way they approach it. Where I don’t have a consistent band line-up the only thing that is left to truly evolve is me and I don’t feel I ever change very much. Overall, I feel I have a distinct pattern or rut, depending on how you view it.

So anything you try or new hues you bring in to your music is organic or more deliberate?

When I try something new it’s usually through introducing a different instrument and it’s stemming from the desire to enhance a mood; at least in my mind. I’m not sure it translates to anyone else. Like for Simple Social Tragedy, I decided to write a tuba part because I wanted to communicate a lumbering drunk feeling… like the soundtrack in an old cartoon. I’m probably a nightmare for the session musicians because my main directions are mostly “can you make your instrument sound drunk? Or can you make your trumpet sound slutty? I have a new track I’m working on that I want to hire a harmonica player for. Getting to incorporate a new instrument is always super exciting!

Are there any particular inspirations which have impacted on your music and how you approach and think about creating and playing?

When I was young, I was not really allowed to listen to music that wasn’t religious but I was sometimes able to listen to an oldies radio program called Finkleman’s 45s. I loved it. I attribute a lot of the genre elements I mix into this project to listening to that program.

Tell us about your songwriting, the processes you go through etc.

I think it’s one of those things that processes on a subconscious level and then, once it knits itself into a song, it floats to the surface and I hear it in my mind, sometimes completely formed as if it’s a song that already exists. The emergence is either triggered by a chord progression or sometimes nothing at all. Recently I had a melody repeating in my head but I was going to bed and too lazy to write it out, but when I woke up in the morning, it was still there… like it insisted on wanting to exist. So I’ve written it out and now it’s in queue to be recorded. A frustrating element to my songwriting is that I don’t even play the instruments I hear parts for. I’m sure other songwriters experience it too, but most writers I assume are at least good at one instrument. I think that’ll be my next focus; learning to play at least one instrument well, opposed to being able to clumsily half-ass several.

Where do you draw inspirations to the lyrical side from?

From the people I meet and the things that I’ve experienced. For example: Penny for your Thoughts is about the life of a woman I used to work with named Penny and likewise Black Eyed Susan is about a woman I knew named Susan. Sometimes the songs are about my own experiences; Land Mine is about the emotional process of trying to deal with a bad relationship by starting a new one that promised to be just as tumultuous. My life was a big mess when I wrote Land Mine, so the concept of dancing through volatile, unseen explosives was an apt allusion.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

This is my first release after dividing my music efforts into three. I’ve already divided my visual art, and now I’m re-launching my music career as a trimorphic singer-songwriter. The Krista D project is the one with the most experience behind it, so I’ve started with this one.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind its songs.

The general theme is it all stems from life events. When songs are borne out of an actual experience, or emotion, I think it’s easier for listeners to automatically relate to.

For example: Simple Social Tragedy is about a guy who relentlessly harassed me in a bar; with such a bizarre intensity it had to have been a bet. I’m sure the track is relatable for any person who has encountered the feeling of being reduced to a sexual conquest. That feeling where the person approaching you seems to have zero awareness that you have any thoughts or feelings; you are merely a thing they want to use for their own pleasure.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I’ve been told I do things oddly, but this is my general process for anyone that is curious. First, I make a painfully rough demo. If I have no guitar player to help me do that, I’ll just record myself singing the melody and lyrics in the structure I want. The demo goes to a session musician who plays guitar and bass to a click or programmed drums. I then do scratch vocals. Then I hire a drummer. I listen to the track and decide if I like how things are feeling and if not I’ll bring in an additional guitar player whose musical background is a different genre to try to manipulate the track to the feel I’m looking for. If I decide I want to add an instrument, such as a trumpet, I work something out on a keyboard. I take the part to an engineer to help me patch the midi to its desired instruments sample so I can hear the part in context to the song. If the part I wrote works, then I hire someone to write it as sheet music- which I then give to a session player. Then after I have all the additional instruments parts in, I clean up my main vocals and do background vocals and harmonies. That’s basically the convoluted process of how a song comes about.

Is there a live side to Krista D?

You know…I’d have to say playing live is currently my least favorite thing about music, but that’s because I’m fairly reclusive personality-wise and it’s expensive to hire live session musicians. If I ever find a nice group of people to play with regularly, I’m sure it would be a lot more fun.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there?

You know…I’m not quite sure yet. Locally I’ve had a difficult time connecting with live musicians so it’s been a challenge for me to get out and play. I’ve been told it’s a great community though. Other musicians I meet seem to be very embraced by it. I, however, will be playing my first show in this city next month, karaoke style, with mannequins as my band. I do have a band to back me if I play in the Maritimes or in Calgary, if I travel west.  So, as soon as I finish up some visual art projects for local gallery shows, I may just plan to tour outside my city.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I actually have very little social media presence right now, and that’s a combination of my being terrible at it and the fact that my online social media efforts are divided into 6 projects. But the internet, in regards to connecting me to places I can’t physically travel to, and making my music accessible worldwide, is an extremely positive and vital thing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for the interview! And thank you to anyone who read the interview and listened to the EP. If anyone is interested in following my 3 music projects and/or my 3 visual art aliases, feel free to add me on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/krista.acheson https://www.facebook.com/theoriginalkristad/  https://www.facebook.com/KristaAchesonArt/ or everything is accessible individually through here: http://www.trimorfik.com

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Blacktones – The Day We Shut Down The Sun

If a band name was ever perfect for the music it represents, The Blacktones is at the head of the field. The Italian outfit create a fusion of alternative/melodic metal and sludge thick stoner rock awash with the heaviest darkest shadows and emotions. It is invasive yet inescapably infectious as it snarls and ruggedly seduces in equal measure and especially magnetic within the band’s latest album, The Day We Shut Down The Sun.

Though in some ways feeling like a concept album, the band says The Day We Shut Down The Sun is “not a true concept, but every song represents a step by step journey to the losing of all the qualities of a human being. Following the tarots (starting with the pope, the fifth card) we represent the losing of faith, wisdom, genius, knowledge and finally, trough the Mage, we become the Fool, embracing the primordial chaos.” It is an alluring feel across the release bound in a thick collusion of hungry riffs, muscular rhythms, and melodic and vocal dexterity. Not always boldly unique, it is perpetually a proposition with individual character and enterprise which grabbed keen attention.

The band itself hails from Cagliari, formed in 2011 as an instrumental encounter by guitarist Sergio Boi and bassist Gianni Farci. Subsequently the line-up and creative intent evolved with the addition of drummer Maurizio Mura and vocalist Simone Utzeri, debut EP Distorted Reality arriving in 2012 before Aaron Tolu replaced Utzeri as frontman two years later. Their well-received self-titled debut album with guitarist Paolo Mulas bringing the band to a quintet drew potent interest with its release, as now its successor, via Sliptrick Records in 2015.It sowed the seeds for the richer and more rounded proposition of The Day We Shut Down The Sun and its more individual escapades.

Throughout the album, there are experimental darkly atmospheric intros, each counting down to the end of existence; the first in V – The Pope drawing ears and imagination into the waiting jaws of The Upside Down. Immediately a tide of sonic and vocal ferocity launches at ears, an instincts sparking groove infesting body and appetite within as rhythms pounce. Tolu’s vocals are just as rousing as the sounds around him, riffs adding a swing to their rapacity to match the tenacious endeavour of the increasingly contagious groove. Adventure and unpredictability blossoms as the song continues, bold sound and voice shaping one striking incendiary slab of metal.

The following Ghosts unveils a less imposing introduction but just as compelling with its suggestive intrigue and musical temptation. Down like grooves spread their lures from within the growing incitement, more aggressive traits emerging in all aspects but equally a tantalising melodic suggestiveness in guitar and harmonics which lures the imagination deeper into the ever present shadows.

The album’s title track makes an equally ear grabbing entrance, a predacious one as it prowls the senses with doom loaded rhythms amidst a slow tenebrific groove. Deep in its clutches you feel the lack of light, its thick weave a suffocating enveloping of the senses yet everything about it is contagious starting with Tolu’s ever enticing vocals. There is something certainly familiar about the excellent track yet plenty more fresh aspects in its trespass to demand praise carrying attention before Not The End backs its power up with its own pleasure brewing tempest. With a tinge of One Minutes Silence to it at times, the song twists and turns with an irritability in tone and sound as much a threat as it is a tempestuous seduction with stoner bred grooves and carnivorous basslines entwining for an even bigger lure.

Alone Together crawls over the senses, lumbering grooves and primal riffs enticing before dissipating for the melodic heart of the track to coax even closer attention. When they return with even greater weight and intensity as well as imagination, a lustful appetite was reeled in and only increased by the expressive and inventive journey taken while I.D.I.O.T.S. creates a web of stoner veins around metal antipathy to keep enjoyment just as intensive. Infectious and corrosive, the track is a great blend resembling Corrosion of Conformity meets Clutch and another highlight of the increasingly enjoyable album.

The Day We Shut Down The Sun is brought to a just as potent and mercurial conclusion by Nowhere Man and Broken Dove, the first a scorched and searing proposition as virulent in its calm predacious stroll as in its senses broiling blaze with its successor a more restrained but no less volatile collusion of sonic and emotional dissonance aligned to its own sonic furies. Both songs leave ears and pleasure entangled in their creative roars and each reinforces greater keenness in The Blacktones growth.

With a final pair of cards leaving the listener lost in the void, The Day We Shut Down The Sun is a release which should be checked out. It certainly grabbed attention first time around but really blossomed as an experience and pleasure thereon in.

The Day We Shut Down The Sun is available now through Sliptrick Records and @ https://theblacktonesband.bandcamp.com/album/the-day-we-shut-down-the-sun

https://www.facebook.com/TheBlacktonesBand   https://www.twitter.com/BlacktonesBand   https://www.instagram.com/theblacktonesband/

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

PigWeed – The Weight

Seriously magnetic and enjoyable from its first breath, the debut album from US metallers PigWeed nevertheless took its time to truly inflame our senses and when it did it had them burning with a lustful appetite. The Weight is almost like an album of two halves, the first richly satisfying but searching for that spark to ignite personal passions the second finding it and them persistently tapping in to its incendiary attributes. That though is definitely an individual thing as the band’s multi-flavoured ferocious blaze of sound is more than likely to put them on the broadest metal maps.

South Texas hailing PigWeed was formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Mauricio Ortega and subsequently found its current line-up over time with the addition of vocalists David Magallanez and Fresh Rodriguez, bassist Justin Ervine, drummer Thomas Villarreal, and guitarist Danny Young. Swiftly and potently establishing themselves on their local scene, the San Antonio outfit has shared stages with a host of major metal and rock artists. Inspired by the likes of Korn, Deftones, Metallica, Tool, Staind, and Slipknot the band’s sound embraces various flavours of metal with punk, hardcore and progressive hues adding their company in a proposition seemingly familiar at times but wholly individual.

The Weight is a stirring introduction to the world of a band which has earned their dues over the past decade through hard work and creative adventure. It opens up with Eye of the Wasp and a rallying lure of beats and guitar which is quickly escalated by the Justas thick incitement of bass and second guitar. Riffs and citric tendrils are soon entangling ears, their bait leading to the grouchy heart and touch of the encounter. We cannot tell you whether it is David or Fresh providing the raw and melodic vocals or vice versa, but the gruff attack here sets the tone as much as the sounds before those calmer tones increase the enticement. It is an irritable, ear grabbing start to the album which maybe did not have us greedy but certainly wanting to hear plenty more.

Check Yourself is the first to provide, the song dancing in ears with grooves and invasive rhythmic coaxing before its melodic croon colludes with a Stuck Mojo styled trespass cloaked in groove metal dexterity. The band’s enterprising twists and turns continue to firmly entice and please before Fake For Now nags the senses with its grooved rapacity and rap nurtured vocals with Time Is Now straight after baiting ears with its own web of grooves, riffs, and biting rhythms as melodies entwine their temptation. The latter two both tease a lustier attention like offering the prelude of things to come which Needles only adds to with its tenacious endeavours.

It is from The Putrid though that our passions were truly ignited, the track a ravenous slab of predatory metal with an insistently addictive chorus within a persistently explosive surge of metal and heavy rock bred adventure. It is glorious stuff which where the previous tracks had the body reacting with contentment had it and vocal chords violently bouncing.

The spark we were unknowingly looking for was burning fiercely and just as potent within the following bruising rock ‘n’ roll of The End. With its predecessor, they set the pinnacle of the album whilst hitting our sweet spot dead centre; the first almost carnivorous in its swing whilst the second is a virulent roar cast from a tapestry of varied flavours and creative tenacity.

Ascending emerges from a dustily spicy blues rock air next, spiralling in its sultry suggestive grunge/melodic rock climate as vocals coax and seduce. Volatility lines the relative calm as more invasive sounds blossom in the inviting drama, those vocals especially magnetic in its emotive reflection and a brewing tempest which never really takes hold until late on. More of a slow burner than the previous pair, it reveals more of the adventurous potential of band and sound as it increasingly impresses whereas Mistakes shoves that promise and existing strengths through ears with boisterous intent. A fiercely infectious roar of metal, rock, and punk ‘n’ roll, the track is quite superb and just one more reason to eagerly keep Pigweed on the radar.

Before a certainly happy to receive Revisited version of the last track to complete The Weight, the album offers up the epic and mercurial journey across the emotionally and sonically tempestuous Suffer. Though arguably maybe a touch overlong with its final three minutes of storm stretching attention, there is no denying every second was a magnetic and fascinating proposal much as the album itself.

The Weight is a striking first look at PigWeed and the start of a keen and maybe lustful friendship between ears and creativity especially if its second half is the sign of things to come.

The Weight is out now via Pavement Entertainment across most stores

http://www.pigweedband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pigweedsatx/   https://twitter.com/pigweedband

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright