Age Of Menace – EP

There had been strong stirrings about Australian rock band Age Of Menace from the moment they posted two demos online last year soon after formation; a growing swell of enthusiasm that the bands self titled EP released on September 9th will rapidly increase and confirm was very justified. Many debuts carry plenty of promise of big things ahead as well as an instant attraction but it is rare when as in the case of the Sydney quartet’s release and The RingMaster Review there is that exciting understanding and syncing between listener and band, that moment a heart held favourite band rises bringing joy, satisfaction and inspiration.

The Age Of Menace EP is an extremely impressive blend of melodic rock and metal bringing formidable riffs and energy alongside creative and engaging melodies. The release consists of five tracks that in the bands own words “explores some dark themes, and is influenced by both personal experience and world events”, certainly the emotional power and striking lyrics have a personal touch and a firm insight on worldly issues that are insightfully written.  

The EP starts off with ‘In My Mind’, hitting immediately with driving heavy riffs and harmonious vocals from Rob Smith and the band backing him. Smith’s voice is strong and clear, guiding the lyrical content smoothly into the ear. Pete Ross with wonderfully eagerly expressive guitar play lights up the track over the very pleasing rumbling bass of Matt Lyon and the ‘take charge’ drumming from Adam Breakspear, combined they are an impressive and striking band.

   ‘We Don’t Like You’ surges forth next from a mellow opening few moments. The song has a Gruntruck flavouring whilst Smith brings a delivery reminding of Glenn Danzig. The song is brief and incisive, again excellent riffs breaking out agreeably amongst the finer melodic interplay, something that is repeated in the next song ‘I Fall Down’. The track which is also the video from the EP is a intense blend of light and dark in that at times they instil thoughts of bands like Stone Temple Pilots and in others Pantera though it is not clear why as they do not really sound like either. The track with its video will be the gateway for many more fans to find the glory of Age Of Menace and as it epitomises what the band offer perfectly there is no better way in.

The final couple of tracks are the brilliant ‘Just Rise Above’ and the direct attacking ‘Shut You Down’. The first of the two is a domineering thrust of melodic rock and explosive metal that settles deep in the head and lingers long after the tracks closes off. With the incessant delights of a Therapy? and aggression of Pitbull Daycare the song does not take it easy on the ear even in the melodic flowing parts and is a complete triumph. The latter of the pair is as intense but with a lighter  grip, its smart construction and delivery showing that though the track may not be as instantly accessible as others on the release with their robust energy and riff powered aggression the band is a rounded and skilful unit in songwriting, ideas, and delivery.

Age Of Menace are a band to watch, they will make a very distinct mark in rock and make it swiftly. Their debut EP is the reason for such a claim, the proof and evidence so go see why, you will be rewarded with one of the freshest and most vibrant releases this year.

The Age of Menace EP will be released digitally worldwide through all major online outlets, with the “hard copy” CD itself available only via the band’s website or at their shows September 9th.
www.ageofmenace.com
www.facebook.com/ageofmenace

RingMaster 19/08/2011

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Milk White Throat – Self Titled EP

With their self titled EP Brighton band Milk White Throat bring a unique and impressive blend of flavours and influences that are transformed into their own distinct array of inspired ideas and sounds. Across the five tracks the sextet show a band confident and determined to make music they want to hear, their passion oozing out of the release from every track.

The band are listed as progressive rock but their creative music brings so much more than that, the elements of metal, hardcore and death metal making a heady mix of distinct power and originality. The technical skill of the band consisting of Tom Humphrey (guitar/vocals), Tom Bates (guitar), Will Gardner (saxophone/vocals), Gareth Harwood (keyboard), Guillaume Croizon (drums), and Brian Thomas (bass/vocals) adds a math rock spice into the brew too resulting in an intelligent and individual sound.  

The EP opens with the ten minute epic ‘Home’, entering on a lingering hypnotic drum beat, guitars probe and play as they expand into an equal mix of crushing riffs and expressive progressive meanderings. With a taste of Unearth, At The Drive-In and Pain Of Salvation the song is a glorious journey of creativity from the band, a clever hybrid of styles fused into intelligent songwriting.

Mother I’ the following track is an emotive song in lyrical content and sound. Carrying a soulful progressive flow not out of place within a Mars Volta release the song punches relentlessly with driving riffs and forceful bass and drum rhythms. It plays eagerly on the ear perfectly combining diverse melodies and attacking surges of power. As with the first track it is a joy to engage with music that has its own distinction and exceptional individuality.

The power comes harder with ‘On The Road’, the harmonious dual energy of aggression and melodic inspiration the evidence of quality song creation and realisation by an emerging band with an extremely positive future. The song has a touch of Letlive to it but as in all the references given it is a mere spice and the tracks themselves as mentioned uniquely Milk White Throat.

Still’ closes the EP with the same sense of an epic as the opener in length and feel. Starting with a slow melodic amble and instilling a soaring ambience the song floats around the senses before slamming down hard with intense aggressive vocals and probing guitar manipulations. It does not have the direct assertive ferocity of earlier tracks but it has equal effect in its impressive construct and senses touching power.

Milk White Throat are on the verge of a band about to trigger mass awareness if there is any sense in music, their EP showing an already impressive ability and skill in song writing and bringing it to their audiences and suggests there is much more yet to come as the band develops and evolves. Do yourselves a favour and find out how great they are now rather than later when you will be hearing them everywhere.

RingMaster 16/08/2011

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According To You – No Love Lost EP

2011 is proving to be a defining year for London band According To You; April saw the release of their debut EP No Love Lost then in June the young Shepperton quartet won the Brooklands College Battle of the Bands but it was the overwhelming positive response to their Saturday appearance at Guilfest on the Surrey Advertiser stage and since then airplay to the world wide audience of The Reputation Radio Show that has marked the cards of a great number of people that there is a special band breaking out to grace their ears.

For a young band there is an impressive mature quality to the songwriting musically and lyrically of According To You but they still retain the breath of freshness youth always brings. The four tracks on their No Love Lost EP burst with vibrant personality, engaging adolescent earnestness and inviting melodies all riding upon choppy punk riffs and punchy hooks. Grab a pinch of Arctic Monkeys, the attitude of Maximo Park and the humour of Young Knives, mix it with the flowing addictive hooks of New Killer Shoes and you have an idea of the sound and quality of According To You

Kiss On The Doorstep’ opens up the proceedings and immediately the ear and heart succumbs to the bands captivating sound, the  vocals over an acoustic intro soon erupts into a hypnotic bassline and repetitive riff as the emotive vocals of guitarist Dennie Cook unveils a desperate story of youth. This track alone shows the talent of the band from Cook’s clean and expressive voice, his and Harry Gough-William’s striking and at times spiky jangly guitar play, to the deep mesmeric pulsing bass of Jack Tough and the solid and neatly controlled thumping of drummer Connor O’Shea, the unit is tight, impressively creative and charismatic.

The tracks ‘Why’ and ‘One Step Ahead’ continue the quality with the same alluring skill and blend. The first saunters in on a cracking almost Buzzcocks like guitar start before slipping into a flowing sharply cutting melodic sound complete with pleading vocals and chorus punk vocals from Tough and Gough-William backing up Cook’s again excellent vocals.  The second of the two songs brings more throbbing bass, heartfelt words and vocals cruising on engaging guitars and sentiment. Each song feels like a friend immediately, not because they sound is like something else but because they come with a warmth and passion that will not be denied.

The EP also includes a secret track, which as long as you do not tell anyone can be revealed as an acoustic version of ‘Why’. Sshhhhhhhh!   Though the song is a simple strip down it sounds distinctly different from the full version again showing the skill and passion of the band. The song is no add in to pad out the release like many bands seem to do; it is an essential and seductive track that completes an impressive release.

There is no doubt you will be hearing a lot more of According To You in the months and years ahead, their wonderful No Love Lost EP the starting point to their and your uncompromising relationship of joy.

RingMaster 15/08/2011

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Mind Museum – The Power Of Three

Fresh from exciting people with their impressive Rat Race EP, Bristol rock band Mind Museum release their new mini album The Power Of Three which should put them into the focus of many more eager ears. Consisting of six alternative rock tracks the album is a powerful mix of strong riffs, meaty basslines, emotive vocals and lyrics all layered with creative melodies. The songs within also bring a melodic punk energy and post punk attitude that brings a vibrant edge to the release.

Formed in 2010 the Mind Museum trio of vocalist Justin E Percival, guitarist Will Slater, and drummer Chas Bacon set about working deliberately on creating and writing songs that carried the exact sound and quality they wanted resisting the urge to simply rush tracks out and it has paid off magnificently, the songs, their realization and production on The Power Of Three are impressive and confident. The fact that the trio were not novices to a band, Percival and Slater having played together in I AM THE DOOR and Full Scream Ahead previously, gave them the experience to take things at their natural pace and time to bring the sound they wanted at its prime, the previous two EPs and this album the result and successful proof of their method.

The album opens with the ‘The Watcher’, with strong guitars, firm guiding drums and Percival’s passion fuelled vocals the song is dramatic and absorbing, bringing the listener into the heart of the songs content and sound. To be fair each and every song has the same invitation and lure making each track nicely varied, engaging and irresistible, which is perfectly illustrated by ‘Rat Race’. The song is a lively rhythm stroll with a beefy bass attack and striking melodic punk guitar play with edges that remind of the likes of Jimmy Eats World, Lost Prophets and via Percival’s Brian Molko like passion lined voice, Placebo.  

The trio are a tight and very efficient unit in sound and inventive ideas as songs like ‘Everything Eventually’, the dramatic ‘Gambling Man’ with its guitar charging start, and the stunning ‘The Secret Of Happiness’ all show. The last of the three with its choppy guitars reminiscent of Midnight Oil, big deep bassline and again strong expressive vocals is a stirring joy to the ear and senses.

The album ends with ‘Seal The Cracks’, a vibrantly paced track with the darkest of delicious basslines and a edgy almost desperate tinge to the vocals especially through the chorus that has the song dripping in emotion.

The Power Of Three is an incisive slice of rock, its immense sound of eager riffs, immediate hooks and earnest vocals making the album one of the most essential releases that needs to be investigated this year by all rock music lovers. Mind Museum are destined to be a band in the ears of a rapidly growing amount of people as they make a certain and striking mark in rock.

www.mindmuseum.co.uk

RingMaster 14/08/2011

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Arcite – We Lie Awake EP

With slabs of sound to rival any global devastation Newcastle-upon-Tyne metalers Arcite release their new EP We Lie Awake. The band began in 2009 with musicians already experienced with previous well established bands and soon laid down and increased a reputation of intense and explosive live shows leading to shared stages with the likes of Siege of Amida, Viatrophy, and Eradication. A lack of bringing their live intensity into their demos led Arcite (pronounced ar-kite) eventually to London and to Dan Weller (Sikth/Malefice/Bury Tomorrow/Rise To Remain/Johnny Truant/Young Guns) with whom they recorded the track ‘In Taylor’s Eyes’. A huge response to the track in acclaim and downloads, as the quintet’s sound finally showed its force on a recording ensued and now the band has just released their We Lie Awake EP to undoubted further enthusiastic clamour.

Lately shows with Glamour of the Kill, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Shaped By Fate and US metal heavy weights Crowbar as well as a show on the Sylosis/Malefice UK tour in October shows the band is rising at a rapid rate and with We Lie Awake the growth will surely accelerate.

The four tracks that make up We Lie Awake attack and lay waste to the senses from start to end, their consuming power as hard and relentless a march upon the ear as they are merciless. ‘Asylum’ starts the assault off, its crushing riffs and striking guitar slices of aggression impressive. The varied vocals of Jonathan White are intense but neatly controlled in bringing growls, grunts and smoother deliveries in equal measure and success. Often with bands the music over powers vocals or the vocals strangle the creativity of subtler parts in heavy metal tracks but there is a great balance within this and the subsequent tracks.  

The driving assault of bassist Brian James and Matthew Dix with his demanding and forceful drums give great substance to each track as clearly shown on next song ‘We Lie Awake’. The song starts off with a deceitful mellower touch before throwing an immense cacophony of aggressive sounds and riffs from the cutting guitars of James Newton and Martin Webb, combined Arcite are one of the tightest and most forceful bands in the UK right now and they show it successfully here and all through the release.

Foreshadow’ and ‘In My Family’ complete the release continuing the collision of towering riffs and power with senses. Excellent vocals, engaging guitar play lurking amongst the commanding riffs and some quick striking discreet harmonies lift each song nicely.

There is a Lamb Of God with a touch of Hatebreed feel to the EP and though it is not a negative it is fair to say Arcite has yet to truly find their own distinct sound though We Lie Awake certainly shows they are well down the right path to achieve that. The EP is a scarring, senses smashing, oppressive joy and a mere step on the band’s eventual rise in the UK metal standings and hearts.

The We Lie Awake EP is available as a free download @
http://www.mediafire.com/file/9q3sq9g7ql376c1/We%20Lie%20Awake%20EP.zip

RingMaster 09/08/2011

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An Entire Legion – Where Do You Fit EP

An Entire Legion was born in late 2009 out of a need to play melodic rock that was a construct of lyrics, passion, and songwriting of an epic nature by the members of one of the best creative UK metal bands, Tricore. Still employing the Tricore distinct and uniquely stylish use of riffs and melodies in an inventive soundscape of powerful energy, rhythms, and passions, An Entire Legion is a distinct entity alongside its more urgent and riff crushing sister project.

In 2010 Woking’s An Entire Legion released the Legion EP to instant acclaim and favour amongst fans of Tricore and beyond though that extra step of nationwide recognition just evaded them surprisingly. With the newly released Where Do You Fit EP it is hard to believe it will stay that way, it can only be a brief instance of time before music media, radio shows and the like switch on enthusiastically to the band’s grand flowing sounds.

The trio of Rich Wood (lead guitar), Mark Carstairs (guitar/bass), and Chris Kerley (drums/lead vocals) on Where Do You Fit give four tracks that inspire, satisfy, and eagerly invite the ear and heart into their melody layered and emotionally flavoured aural tapestry. The riffs are strong and decisive but with a calming hand and the rhythms are incisive with a firm and controlled delivery. This frame work allows some stunning melodic guitar work and ideas to form and play whilst the vocals of Kerley as with their other guise are a perfect fit, harsh or smooth his vocals are never less than impressive.

Scurvy Johnson’ starts off the EP, its slow melodic build up moving into a fine wonderfully expressive and expansive sound with guitar play to match, the result is soulful and emotive. The track threatens to explode but stays within a controlled form and even the delicious throbbing bass that entices some excellent metal attack to show its head in the latter part of the track retains a wonderful hold to compliment rather than deflect from what came before.

The next track ‘You Are So Mistaken’ brings a slower paced and mellower rock sound, beginning with a feel that reminds of The Eagles especially in the vocal department and early guitar creations. The track soon beefs up flexing some rock muscle seen in the bands companion project, again though it is a perfect blend with the melodic power keeping the key to the sound.

A prog rock flavour is evident in ‘The Way You Move’, another emotion fuelled slice of beauty. The track is varied, its rock attack balancing a mellow and heavier sound perfectly and entices participation as it spreads its wings around the ear.

The EP’s best track ‘One Dream’ closes up this impressive release. The subtle beginning tinged with a dark feel slowly reveals its glory swaying with addictive melodies and harmonies before erupting into incessant, powerful, and engaging riffs and a chorus that firmly grabs hold. Filled with delightful guitar insertions from Wood and Carstairs across the stirring basslines and Kerley’s drums the song ripples with passion and quality. Already having received solid radio play on the likes of The Reputation Radio Show, along with the opener this is the song that will open more and more doors of attention.

Where Do You Fit is a marvellous result of imaginative and innovative song writing and its realisation, it is also the trademark for the trio and any project they put their talents to no matter if rock or metal. Like the might of Tricore, the EP and An Entire Legion are essential listening, the new EPs from both surpassing most of the formulaic and predictable releases elsewhere, and though they are two totally separate and unique projects both bands deserve to be heard and shouted about.

http://tricoreuk.blogspot.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/An-Entire-Legion/160300280693202

RingMaster 09/08/2011

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Tricore – Follow EP

The two years since the debut album from UK metal band Tricore has been a tortuous long wait for their legion of loyal fans, Less Than Man... More Than Rabbit making an indelible mark upon the metal hearts of so many including The RingMaster Review. Their unique creations of heavy riffs and energetic sounds fused with instinctive melodies and diverse engaging hooks feed and inspire any metal loving heart with immense satisfaction.

Though there has been apparent quiet on the Tricore front until now the quartet have been working on their melodic rock project An Entire Legion, but great as this sister band is there is nothing quite like the hard striking metal of Woking’s Tricore in full flow so the anticipation of more music from the band has been eager, strong, and impatient. The Follow EP ends the suffering showing that the wait was more than worthwhile with four stunning tracks plus an equally impressive free song as a free extra.

From the very first listen to Tricore the noticeable thing other than their immense skill in songwriting and playing is a sound that is theirs alone, it stands in its very own private corner with a distinct and exclusive identity and any bands one mentions in comparison just give mere hints to the band’s music and not a true description.

The EP hits hard from the first note of opener ‘When We Were Kings’, the riffs heavy and urgent feasting on emotions as the ear immediately sucks in the big bursting sounds. The driving guitars and bass riffs of Rich Wood and Mark Carstairs are soaring and direct into the ear. The track has everything, big sounds, delicious hooks, forceful beats from Chris Kerley on drums, and an excellent vocal delivery from him, his smooth powerful tones a perfect link between the melodic elements of the song and its pounding assault.

Mary Sockins’ picks up the baton next and keeps up the high quality, though that also applies to every track on the EP. The band may have taken their time before releasing another assault of songs since their album but they have not lost any of their might and potency in song writing and performance. The crushing riffs tempered by the controlled voice of Kerley and the humour laced lyrics makes perfect companions to please the hardest metal heart, adding the at times delicate atmospheric sounds of Luke Sedman with his synth and sample skills this and each song is extremely well balanced and impressive.

Small World’ has a firmer touch from Sedman, the song carrying a Fear Factory/Static X sensibility as the band once more strikes hard and fast. The break to a slow melodramatic part is seamless and builds to a closing crescendo that gets the pulse racing. ‘This Is Love’ hits like a sledge hammer, the machine gun drums drilling and scarring as guitars play alongside majestically. The track is belligerent, angry and metal at its very best, there are no bands that fly like a missile in the ear with ultimate destruction whilst delivering the best inspired melodies and hooks to intrigue and grab attention with originality.

The bonus song shows the band and their humour in full flow. Inspired by the Star Wars universe ‘Chew We Love’ is an emotional, heartfelt tear jerker……………ok truth is it is simply damn funny and yet another slice of Tricore musical brilliance that completes one of if not the best releases of metal this year so far.

Since the recording of Follow guitarist Rich Wood has left the band and though one would imagine he will be sorely missed the future for Tricore is surely one of impending mass recognition. Their album stirred the fires now Follow should send large sparks out to light up many more lives make yours one of them.

Buy the EP @  http://tricore.bandcamp.com/album/follow-ep-2011 or go to    www.wix.com/tricor1/tricore

RingMaster 08/08/2011

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