The Horde – Thy Blackened Kingdom

With an EP back in 2008 that made people take a keen interest in them, Illinois based band The Horde return with their debut album Thy Blackened Kingdom, a release containing epics tales of Viking legends, battles, and demons, all delivered in a constant barrage of thrash, speed metal with more than a splash of punk.

Having formed in 2006 and really only well known in their surrounding home area, their debut EP From Empire to Ashes took them to the attention amongst others of Stormspell Records, the result the signing with and the recording of Thy Blackened Kingdom and its triumphant recent release. Consisting of ten tracks of chest beating and sword swinging ferocity the album hits hard, fast, and with all disregard for the welfare of its listeners.

The album has a definite old school feeling across its battlefield partly achieved by, as commented by guitarist Tim Matthews “Recording in analogue helped get that old school feeling without losing any of the sonic power that is held in high regard in today’s extreme metal scene.” The aim was certainly successful but the release does not feel dated nor not earn its place in the modern folk/Viking/metal swarm of bands laying waste before them. As one listens there are numerous influences and references that spring to mind from early Venom and Celtic Frost to Turisas and the punk attack of the likes of Kvelertak. There are moments where bands like Motorhead, Maiden and Tyr raise their horns and at one point within ‘Hell Beast Of The Pale Frost’ a Metallica type itch also broke out.  
   From the moment ‘Death Foretold’ raises its muscled riffs and power, the album’s force and intent is set. A strong mix of old and new sounds the song is a satisfyingly enthused attack which barely breaks a sweat or crosses into new territories, though when it brings in a solo that is as discordant as it is fresh the track lifts to new heights. An increase in intensity and joy comes when ‘Thy Blackened Reign’ takes over. Direct and simple in sound and lyrical content, as well as in delivery it is a battle cry to inspire fear in those before it. The track’s forcefulness and simplicity works well with its punk aggression as guitars, bass and drums rampage in the ear.

The track also confirms the biggest flaw on the album that the opener suggested. The drums are throughout the release very poor, not in skill as technically James is intent on doing as much skilful harm as the music needs and gives scope for. It is their sound that is so disappointing, tinny and weakly metallic one can almost hear his mother asking for her pots and pans back for supper. Though not a perfect album this is the biggest problem with it and quite sad as it detracts from the drummer’s obvious ability. Thankfully it does not ruin the album to a majorly damaging degree as the best track and most others show.

Odin’s Blood’ is immense, a rampant anthemic declaration with resourceful guitars, a tribal bassline, group chants, and all the addictive juices you could want in a song to stir up the senses. The obvious leader amongst the tracks though two other tracks do closely rival, firstly ‘War God’ with a bass thump that was spawned in hell and a chugging riff that stomps like a thousand Viking boots over the senses, slower paced than ‘Odin’s Blood’ it has equal intensity and overwhelming power, but focused in a more singular and epic attack. The other ‘Vengeance for a King’, is a violent revengeful primal onslaught with incessant inciting riffs that devour the ears eagerly and a pulsating guitar groove that balances neatly with the emotive sonic solos strikes.

Thy Blackened Kingdom is worth your attention for these three alone but the consistency of the rest of the release makes it a very satisfying proposition. Though slightly meagre on outright originality it certainly brings more energy and pulse pumping eagerness to satiate a full blood lust need. The Horde is ready to go to war and with Thy Blackened Kingdom they have a sturdy and appealing weapon.

RingMaster 14/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Krampus – Kronos’ Heritage

Italian eight piece band Krampus are intent on making a mark with their infectious folk/melodic death metal sounds ripe with belligerent aggression and melodic Celtic influences. The band formed in 2009 but it is this year where things seem to have gathered momentum for Krampus with the release of their debut EP Shadows of Our Times in March, playing major festivals in Europe, and now the release of their new EP  Kronos’ Heritage. With a sound as vibrant as it is forthright there is a firm sense that things are taking a rapid move forward now for the band.

Kronos’ Heritage brings forth three tracks of direct and thrusting death metal like combativeness infused and layered with enthused melodic folk sounds brought through the use of traditional instruments like flutes, whistles, violins, and the Irish Bouzouki. Lyrically too they are as forceful as their sounds, the theme and content to their songs focusing on the ever changing state of humanity, environmental awareness, and social issues, their views and feeling openly clear.

The title track ‘Kronos’ Heritage’ opens up the EP with the harsh growls of vocalist Filippo Gianotti carrying a metal core sensibility to them, driving the track on as potent riffs and incisive power from the guitars hit hard. The song is the most accessible and melodic of the three, combining an impressive blend of both extremes of aggression and harmonies musically and vocally alongside the dark intent of Gianotti. The keyboards of Tommaso Adriano, the soulful violins from Marika Geremia, and the flutes amongst the array of sounds that Matteo Sisti brings, are an intriguing and arresting contrast to the powerful and noise led attack leaving the ear spellbound.  

Aftermath’ is a full on wonderful assault where again intensely driven riffs and wanton blasts fly hand in hand with soaring and fresh melodies. The drum sticks of Carlo Andrian even in the quieter moments drop like shells as he attacks with relish. Alessandro Gallera and Leonardo strike firmly as well as bringing some fine melodic plays and solos to the song, as they do on all tracks, and to be honest the more one listens to the release the further away from death metal it sounds. Truthfully it bridges a few genres and is distinct to most other harder edged folk metal bands giving Krampus an exciting advantage many cannot match.

My Siege’ completes the trio of outstanding tracks and is probably the best, certainly the most ferocious as it batters the same senses its melodic ingenuity caresses. Bassist Davide Zampato lays down a delicious bass throbbing sound that resonates throughout the track complimenting both the mighty power and harmonious weaves that play wonderfully in the aggressive creases of the track. With the electro keyboard sound it plays more like a distant folk cousin to The Browning than to the likes of Scar Symmetry or Hypocrisy.

Kronos’ Heritage is simply excellent and will easily increase the anticipation of a full length from the band in the future though as their two EP’s are self released a wait may be in order. Certainly this and its predecessor shows that Krampus have their future and an unique creativity in their own hands as well as so much more pleasure to give to its growing mass of fervent fans.

RingMaster 13/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Down The Machine – Know Your Place


More than any of their previous releases the single ‘Losing Faith’ was probably the one that opened up the UK rock band Down The Machine to many more willing and eager recipients to their sounds. With an enterprising and satisfying album, their recent EP Let You In, the aforementioned single, and an impressive live reputation, the Leeds quartet have rapidly been making the steps that should lead them to bigger and grander things. With the release of their extremely impressive and engaging new single ‘Know Your Place’ the acceleration to their rise should increase alongside their ever growing fan base.

Down The Machine have been honing their craft and songwriting skills since 2009 and each release has given evidence of an emerging efficient and exciting songwriting ability within the band. ‘Know Your Place’ is no exception and in a relatively short time since their album there is again another distinct step forward in their creativity and skill in creating and realising their musical ideas. The new single is dramatic, charismatic, and a forceful track not needing to pummel the senses to make its mark and point.  

Musically ‘Know Your Place’ is certainly the bands most potent and accomplished, the guitar of Dan Millikin leads the track down new avenues to inspire and thrill the ear whilst the pulsating bass riffs of Neil Short backed by the caged drums of Mark Greenwood give a sustained and heavy intensity to the song. One senses Greenwood is champing at the bit to explode but with skilled controlled aggression he backs up the powerful beckoning bass of Short and the surging guitar sounds perfectly.

There is again a slight grunge feel to the track, reminding of the likes of Stone Temple Pilots and especially in places the Deftones. As much as the flavour comes from the vibrant and driving music the earnest and emotive vocals of Steve Wilson bring forth the sense too, his passionate delivery offering up lyrics that feel at times personal and easy to relate to.

Fresh from headlining one of the days on the successful and immense Leeds Metal Fest in August, with Short heavily involved and inspirational in the planning and realisation of the event, ‘Know Your Place’ is an excellent way to round off a successful year for the band. Powerful and stirring it is another indication that Down The Machine is one of the best UK rock bands around right now and the single itself one of the musical highlights of the year.

Know Your Place’ is set for release on 10th Oct 2011 via Ambicon Records for more information check out and

RingMaster 13/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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7 Horns 7 Eyes – Convalescence

With their three track digital EP Convalescence, Seattle based technical progressive death metalers 7 Horns 7 Eyes have not only shown themselves to be a strongly expressive and powerful band but also given an indication of what their eagerly anticipated forthcoming debut album Throes of Absolution has in store.

Strong on riffs, emotive melodies, and incessant power the release shows a creative band that is not afraid to push boundaries and play upon and with the senses. Opening track ‘Vindicator’ carries a two prong attack, its intrusive riffs and sonically cutting sounds playing alongside opposing diverse and flowing melodic elegance in musical transactions, exchanging pieces of the songs in a seamless blend. It is harsh and at times brutal especially under the direction of the pummelling drums of Ryan Wood and Brandon Smith’s deep bass, whilst vocalist JJ “Shiv” Polachek IV delivers a heavy and deep rasping vocal soaked in menace and guttural intent adding to the dark intensity of the track. Countering this though is the scorching and melodic guitar play from Aaron Smith and Sean Alf and some excellent vocal harmonies that effortlessly flow behind the aggression. Traditionally evil carries a hypnotic beauty to lure the victims in and this track and the music of 7 Horns 7 Eyes is the same, menacing and dangerous but almost hypnotically impossible to ignore.

The title track centres the release rebalancing the senses before the final onslaught. Carrying a haunting atmosphere ‘Convalescence’ is a relatively brief instrumental, its grand arrangement plays like a mournful reflection of darker places tinged with a resemblance of hope still unconvinced of its own validity. A dramatic and thoughtful track that leaves the ear far too soon though its ‘premature’ end does mark the arrival of the final impressive track.  

The Winnowing’ is a tense formidable track laying on an increasingly building ominous feeling. It’s mid tempo crawl never sinks into a sludge/doom dirge like predatory assault but it still keeps the consuming invasion moving on a like minded slow and even pace. Dark and as foreboding as the song is at times, the wonderful progressive guitar work from Smith and Alf lift it into varied and masterful fresh directions that engage and satisfy evenly.

Convalescence is a strong and pleasing release that increases anticipation for the band’s debut. It at times does suffer a lack of really striking and unique heart stopping moments that really surprise and set the band way ahead of contemporaries but it also suggests that final step in their development might just be around the corner, maybe on Throes of Absolution. The EP shows 7 Horns 7 Eyes is a skilled and talented band that deserves attention and with Convalescence are more likely than not to receive it.

RingMaster 13/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Circles – The Compass

On a few rare occasions upon hearing a band for the very first time there is an instant understanding and emotional sustenance of one’s musical needs and desires and the sense of music that is on a much higher and unexpected level from the start. Australian metalers Circles are such a band, their immense and impressive debut mini album The Compass instantly setting them apart from the majority of other bands and at the forth front of not just progressive and technical metal, but metal/rock itself. The six stunning tracks on their release reveal a quintet of musicians and song writers impactful in ability, creativity and technical skill as a unit, and music that oozes belief, confidence and a sure handed combination of melodies and ruptured structures that excite and ignite the senses.

Melbourne’s Circles are a relatively new band having formed in 2010 but hit a chord with an immediate mass of fans with their Prelude demo in the same year. Live shows cemented and increased awareness amid a rising fervour for their sound in their homeland whilst gathering attention beyond its shores. February of this year saw the band sign to UK label Basick Records and work on tracks to become what is The Compass quickly followed. With the mini album now released and the glory of their djent based tangent littered progressive metal ingenuity there for all to hear, it is no surprise they have rapidly garnered such acclaim and intense enthusiasm their way. 

Frontline’ opens up the release with electronic and synth pulses that beckon in a throbbing beast of a bass riff soon joined by the striking guitars of Ted Furuhashi and Matty Clarke. The track winds its way through its attention seeking length to great effect. To be honest the track does not pull down trees and really only intrigues but does ensure continued attention with its more than satisfying and enjoyable blends of harmonies, melodies, and driving power, though the further it progresses the bolder and more challenging it gets with a dramatic climax to envy. The song does instantly show the sheer power and impressive range of vocalist Perry Kakridas, his seamless and effortless mix of soaring smooth vocals and growling and scathing aggressive bursts outshining most other vocalists currently.

The second track ‘Clouds Are Gathering’ takes over and from this point the atmosphere is sparked into a blistering and searing intensity that never stops until the albums fading last notes. The track has everything and some, all elements that are needed to make a song sure to be immortalised in the heart. Titanic unpredictable driving riffs and constructs with a technical sharpness that never dulls in their incisive energy and attack merge into flowing harmonious melodies that sweep throughout, framing the jaw dropping and wonderful vocals of Kakridas. By the close of The Compass it is clear in time he will be classed up there with the likes of Mike Patton, of which it is apparent the Australian has been influenced by as it is that Faith No More have the band. For what will not be the only time on the release the track brings the elements that made FNM the inspirational leaders of so many fused into their own eclectic writing skills and sounds.

Not allowing the listener to take a breath the third and best track follows and ‘Act 3’ is a brute of a power soaked forceful song. Even in its mellower inserts and harmonious swells it is as intimidating but in an engaging way. The drums of Dave Hunter as on all tracks drive the song without breaking its emotive essence whilst bassist Drew Patton once more gives a compulsive resonating spine to the track. The three remaining tracks are just as powerful and fulfilling on the album, ‘Eyes Embedded’ with a sound that has a God Forbid/FNM like flavour, the tight and technically intelligent momentum of ‘The Design’, and the closing atmospheric clear and stormy merges within the enthralling ‘Ruins’, all continue the absorbing and wonderful quality already shown.

It is basically simple, The Compass is easily one of the very best releases so far this year and Circles will be one of the most respected bands of all time in what could be on this evidence, the very near future.

RingMaster 13/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Soundwhole – EP

Though a young band, having formed in January of this year, Scottish alternative rock band Soundwhole upon listening instantly intrigue and engage the ear with an easily flowing and confident sound. A steady and increasing amount of gigs has helped a so good tightness of sound to emerge that belies the bands relatively short existence, their forthcoming debut EP the proof and satisfying result of their hard work and enthusiasm.

The quintet from Motherwell merge elements of rock, metal and indie tossed within a smooth melodic wave of sound behind thumping and urgent riffs and a strong aggressive attack. The result is a rewarding and satisfying blend that takes control of the limbs and teases the ear neatly. The trio of tracks that make up the EP gives a good varied taste of the band’s flavours and almost impetuous urge to please and grab your attention, but they do and do it very well.

Be That Way’ opens up the EP and is the obvious and most instantly accessible lead of the three tracks within the EP. It saunters in with an ear grabbing electronic pulse before crashing riffs join the affair. The addictive pulse continues throughout as guitarist George Cowie throws some choppy riffs into the arena alongside a deep beckoning bassline from Ross MacAndrew. The drums are solid behind the strong play elsewhere but production does hide the strength and ability of Adam MacEachran a little too much. Vocalist Scott Allan Simpson is also an outstanding aspect of the song, his dark tones powerful without demanding excessive attention and as subsequent tracks show he can blast a songs lyrical content out in a swift attack or with emotive intent equally impressively.

Middle track is ‘Late O’clock’ a slower paced track to the first and where as just mentioned Simpson reveals more expressive and emotional flavours to his delivery. Ting Tang on keyboards creates the base feeling and emotive tones to the song with his play for the others to expand upon, and here MacEachran too has a stronger and more solid sound showing his ability clearly.

Sold My Soul’ completes the set of three songs matching the level of the other two thus bringing a great consistency to the EP and shows the definite songwriting skill of the band. The song is punchy without being over forceful, preferring to attack with great basslines, intense drums and soaring keys whilst Simpson and Cowie lead the song welcomingly into the ear, greatly enjoyable and a strong closing to an impressive EP

 Soundwhole’s EP is still awaiting a release date but is penned in for later this year and is certainly worth a thorough investigation when it is unveiled. Their sound is a kind of mix of Downer, Sunna with an 80’s splash of the likes of Spandau Ballet, and the EP full of satisfying music reveals a sure and strong promise for the band in the months and years ahead. For now check Soundwhole out on their various profiles and for those in the Glasgow area watch out for their gigs and their set at the official aftershow party for the Specials in Glasgow October18th.

RingMaster 12/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Arch /Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance

As the closing notes of Sympathetic Resonance drift away one can only sit back and let the epic experience and sense of the album wash over and through them, and reflect that  Arch/Matheos have produced one of the best progressive metal albums of the year if not the very best. The release consists of six tracks spanning almost an hour all formed from the most impressive, dynamic, succinct, and impassioned songwriting and its realisation seen for quite a while.

Arch/Matheos came together in 2010 when composer/guitarist Jim Matheos from Fates Warning teamed up with former Fates Warning and band mate vocalist John Arch. The late eighties, when Arch left Fates Warning, saw him drop out from music apart from his solo EP Twist of Fate which grabbed much acclaim. Since then he has been quiet again but thankfully Matheos with material originally meant for a new Fates Warning release persuaded him to return and Sympathetic Resonance is the resulting glory. Without doubt the album would not be the sensation it is without the lyrical and vocal prowess and extremely accomplished guitar work and songwriting that Arch and Matheos respectively bring to it, their complimentary creativity is a union of quality that comes around rarely.

The duo also enlisted the distinct and strong abilities of bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Fates Warning, Seven Witches), drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Fates Warning, Sebastian Bach, Riot), and additional lead guitarist Frank Aresti (Fates Warning).The renowned talent and technical skill of all members has resulted in a release that is immense, diverse, instinctively challenging, and some of the best music heard anywhere for months upon months. The focus is going to be on the powerhouse voice of Arch and the unique guitar play and writing skills of Matheos but every member contributes impressively to achieve the final sounds that makes Sympathetic Resonance essential listening for all who enjoy music with defined textures, complex layers, and engaging melodic imagination.  

Neurotically Wired’ opens the release with eleven minutes of stirring and engaging sounds all riding on an emotive power musically and vocally that will cause envy. Thick velvet riffs and rumbling pulsing basslines play on the ear as the guitars lay potent weaves of inspired and interchanging time signatures, tempos, and intensely unique melodies.  The track is an unveiling adventure and emotive tale as it unfolds within the ear and deeper. Arch reminds all instantly why he has been missed and is stronger than ever in skill, delivery and expressive tones.

In comparison bands like the obvious one in Fates Warning, and the likes of Symphony X and Dream Theater are mentioned but Arch/Matheos do stand alone in sound mostly, though one band is brought to mind as a reference as the album progresses, Motherjane. Through the varied lengths of the charismatic melodic fascination of ‘Midnight Serenade’, the vibrant and driving flow of ‘Stained Glass Sky’, through to the closing slower tempo and emotive ‘Incense and Myrrh’ the album is a stunning and expression array of entrancing riffing and alluring harmonies and melodies that inspire.  Each track is borne of progressive metal ingenuity that is as memorable after its ending as during, the likes of ‘On the Fence’ and ‘Any Given Day (Strangers Like Me)’ swirling around the senses with a creative hand that stays in the thoughts long after their closure.

Arch/Matheos with Sympathetic Resonance released via Metal Blade Records, have not only produced a classic album that will be the talk of most this year but have also ignited a new flame in a genre that already flows with some intelligent ingenuity. Arch/Matheos have simply added their own imaginative vision of sound and leapt to the forefront of a blossoming scene.

RingMaster 12/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Hated Embrace – Suffering of the Holy

New Jersey band Hated Embrace are another in a ever lengthening list of bands influenced by and reviving the dark corrupted old school form of death metal, recalling and revitalising a genre to transport the listener back 20 years to the beginnings of the venom dripping beast. Their impressive thrash lined death metal with a tinge of black has led them to a recent signing with FDA Rekotz and plans for their debut full length album next year. In the meantime in ‘celebration’ and as a warm up to their intended future recording the label is releasing the band’s professional Demo Music cassette Suffering Of The Holy on September 23rd. Held to a limited 150 hand numbered copies the cassette consists of 5 songs over 20 minutes and is a strong indication of what next year’s release will bring forth as well as what will prove to be a highly sought after item.

Hated Embrace formed around 2008 building a strong reputation with their sound and shows with the likes of Carnal, Ominous, Gorematory, Mortum and many more. Suffering of the Holy was released by the band in 2010 before the current line-up of Akash Chatterjee (vocals/bass), Joe McAndrew (guitars), Dave Hewson (guitars), and Ryan Donato (drums) but does feature most of the quartet. Though limited, the release by FDA Rekotz does open up their sound so many more upon hearing it will undoubtedly leap to join their swiftly growing fan base.

The tracks that make up Suffering of the Holy demand attention with pummelling drums that are forceful without going at break neck speed like on many releases elsewhere. There is a good control and frame work to each track because of this allowing the guitars and bass to have a fluency and a freedom to create sounds that are not particularly elaborate or original but certainly are well worked and presented.

Moloch…The Devourer’ starts off the release strongly showing Hated Embrace are a band on the march. Laden with powerful riffs and dynamic guitar play it is an instant and satisfying welcome to the band and their sound. It is also the best track on the release though firmly pushed all the way by the likes of title track ‘Suffering of the Holy’ and ‘Remains of…’, the first bringing excellent dark threatening melodies and the latter a doom layered blend of pace, thrust and intensity. Throughout the vocals of Chatterjee poke the fire of hell with his rasping, low groans, though they are not as guttural as many other vocalists in the genre they effectively portray the dark menacing lyrical themes.

The final track ‘Rotting of Remorse’ is taken from a rehearsal by the band and as such is of poorer recording quality to the other tracks but does more than enough to ensure anticipation of hearing a properly produced version of the song, hopefully on next year’s pending release.

Bringing a sense of bands like Nihilist and Autopsy Suffering of the Holy is a definite must listen to all fans of old school death metal and though a limited release they should waste no time in trying for a copy or at least searching the internet for Hated Embrace tracks to listen to. The indication is that their forth coming debut album will be one that will get more than a few excited.

For info about Suffering of the Holy go to

RingMaster 09/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Enormicon – Storm Of Swords

Texas trio Enormicon state on their bios that they play “stoner metal, psychedelic metal, metal metal, we don’t know what to call this shit. Just listen”. In actuality they bring flavours from all of those and more, they are basically a very fine rock band creating music that instigates attention without restrictions or demands, well apart from “just listen”. Their sound runs on big riffs, impressive tumbling rhythms, and fusions of varied melodic and challenging structures that never venture into the expected or banal, it just does the business of entertaining with great satisfaction.

The Denton/Dallas based threesome of guitarist/vocalist Clayton “The Abomination” Davis, bassist Joe “Humongor” Rosenthal, and drummer Dave “Merciless Overlord of Rhythm” Slaughter formed in the summer of 2008. Storm Of Swords is their self released six track album themed by the warlike and brutal legends and imagery of Gargantua, an inconceivable fantastical primordial dimension, uncovered by Clay within a leather bound bible belonging to his late great-grandfather. For the whole of this ‘tale’ go search the web or the CD itself as it would take more space than this review allows to expand upon but it is as wild and as intriguing as the great sounds the release presents. 

Slaghammer’ opens up the album and instantly brings thoughts and references to other varied bands going some way to describe the Enormicon sound. The track’s deep dark basslines and striking riffs over a firm and uncomplicated rhythm bring obvious reminders of Mastodon especially when Clay’s voice joins the fray. As the track evolves and the bass resonates thickly against the sonic scuzzy tones that appear, thoughts of the likes of Dead Child appear with their darker heavier touch, all of this though is wrapped in the intense flavour that is Enormicon’s.

Following tracks like ‘Pray For Death’ and ‘Dark Forces’ are more involved and varied within their sounds then the opener but just as forceful and attention grabbing in their own way. Touches of Red Fang and The Sword make an appearance showing the diverse aspects to the trio’s songwriting and music. Lyrically too the songs abduct the concentration, enthralling the mind as the stories unfold and legends are told.

The Gargantuan’, ‘Brotherhood Of The Plague’, and ‘Fury’ complete the package all bringing again something different to what came before but all under the same impressive groove loaded heavy riffs and atmosphere that is the bands earthy mark. The instinctive unity of the band together and the ease the songs play upon the ear without resorting to obvious well used hooks and riff lures makes Storm Of Swords well worth 30 minutes of anyone’s time and an album that can be returned to over and over again with equal pleasure.

It would be true to say Enormicon have yet to find their own unique sound and that Storm Of Swords carries too many reminders of other artists to reach a level that leaves the listener opened mouth in awe but the fact is also that the release is more than enjoyable, satisfying and better than most of the releases that has passed our way this year.

RingMaster 09/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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Sunday Recovery – Coma

With an obvious eagerness it was suggested that attention was given to the new album from Italian rock band Sunday Recovery sooner rather than later. On hearing Coma, the debut album from the quartet, this slightly less than forceful thought was understandable and appreciated, as Sunday Recovery have recorded a release that shows a very talented and skilful band and one who ooze promises of great things to come. It might not be a complete album in some ways but it is one of the more inspiring and certainly one of the most enjoyable that has seen the light this year so far.

The band formed in 2009 upon the collaboration between composer Gianluca Cucchiara, singer Mirko Petrini and guitarist Fabio Staffieri. Upon the addition of drummer Fabio Testaferrata and bass player Emanuele Nazzaro, the four musicians immediately began work on their debut album. The time and hard work that went into it obvious and clearly seen on the eleven extremely well written and presented tracks that make up Coma. Emotive lyrics and sounds alongside addictive hooks, riffs and engaging melodies sweep from every track ensuring the ear and senses never have a moment to lose interest or be distracted. Lyricist Andrew James Whelan came in to work on the words with Petrini, Staffieri and Tancredi Gaetani to form lyrics that would touch senses outside of their native land as powerfully as for their countrymen. The proof to their success is in a well rounded and powerful album that touches more than just the ear drums.  

Sunday Recovery hit the floor running with the opening two tracks ‘Private Joke’ and ‘I Know Better’, immediately proving the band and Coma are worthy of your full attention. The first track is a song seemingly in cruise control, the bands confidence and total control of their abilities driving the song forward eagerly bringing striking riffs, a delicious beckoning bass line, and Petrini’s great vocals. Other slower and more emotion fuelled tracks show his voice off to great effect but which ever attack the band bring he adds a touch that means more than just ears react to the songs. The latter of the two songs opens on a neat Alice In Chains sound expanding into an expressive track completed by a sing-a-long chorus that defies you not to join in.

These two tracks are the strongest and most satisfying on the release apart from the irrepressible and addictive track ‘Pornstar’ later on the album with its excellent choppy crashing guitars and a sexy bassline your partner would be jealous of. Because of the fast and powerful start there is a sense of a drop in intensity in the release from then on in, not due to quality but more the positions of certain tracks in the list. The slower, dramatic tracks are often side by side and over a complete listen of Coma it is noticeable and often the urge to break them up by forwarding to a song with more punch then returning is hard to resist.

There are no poor songs on the album though, that should be made clear, the power and emotion of the title track, the heart touching ‘Another Place’, and the pulse driven ‘In Front Of You’ all stir the blood in their varied ways and tempos, each a strong mix amongst themselves and within their own musical walls. The last of the three features Porcupine Tree bassist and fan Colin Edwin, as does also ‘Side C’, bringing a different flavour to their mix.

Listed influences for the band and others mentioned as references include the likes of Porcupine Tree, Muse, Manic Street Preachers and Radiohead and all can be heard in different degrees at times but the one band that really comes over is Poets Of The Fall. Many times as Coma played one could hear parts that would find a ready home in the Finnish bands songbook and vice versa to be fair.

Coma is released on October 3rd via Mazepa Records and really that day should only consist of finding it and listening intently so you can discover the promise and joy that is Sunday Recovery.

RingMaster 08/09/2011 Registered & Protected


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