Bear Cavalry – Maple Trails

Bear Cavalry upon evidence of the mesmeric and uplifting tracks that comprise their new EP Maple Trails, are a band that knows how to weave and conjure sounds to engage and pleasure the senses without taking obvious avenue and using predictable foolery. Instead the UK ‘popsters’ blend varied and powerful essences into an indie pop creation that caresses and dances within the ear to enthused and hypnotic effect.

From Gosport the quartet of Louis Pinder, Matthew Cooke, Owen Ballantyne, and Dan Kirk delight the senses with surprising and inspired combinations of flowing sounds and irrepressible rhythms wrapped in infectious melodies and emotive tones. They have already enjoyed a surge of interest not only from fans but the likes of Edith Bowman, Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw plus Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music and grabbed the attention of Kissy Sellout who did a Kissy Klub version of the band’s ‘Custom Hands’. As the opening track on the EP, ‘Roman Summer’ unfolds it is easily apparent why they have earned and inspired such attention, their music undeniably and pleasantly persuasive verging on wickedly corruptive.

The track and single from the release is an eager and boisterous play of vibrant warm melodies, energetic staccato guitars, and expressive well formed vocals. As the guitars expose their teasing party the song reminds of the irresistible and beckoning sounds of 80’s band Haircut 100, the thoughtful fluid harmonies swaying with instinctive charm.

Previously mentioned ‘Custom Hands’ takes a slightly serious stance before unveiling sunshine fuelled brass, impressive rhythms patterns, and afro/Caribbean chants and melodies. It is a party within the ear and deeper and swift undeniable proof of the band’s unique musical vision. Everything flows as if it has always been a union, the mix of unique styles and influences naturally ecstatic alongside each other, the band’s songwriting complex yet easily accessible.

Will Smith Solves the Rubik’s Cube’ is a more emotive affair without neglecting the breeze of light that permeates all their songs. A soulful trumpet and attentive guitars vein the track swelling the emotion and expressive pulsing within the track. Closing song ‘Dragon’s Milk Pt. II’ completes the release with a change in direction with its simple innocent electro sounds and bold brass alongside more African type excitements over intriguing off beat arrangements and ideas. The song sways and turns at every available detour drawing everything in to one enchantment to bring smiles to the heart. The uprising of greedy fun  from the enthusiastic melodies and excited energy is at times nicely tempered by emotional ballad like moments that feel like they are in reverse in pace against the pumped up impatience elsewhere within the song and works wonderfully.

Bear Cavalry with the magic within Maple Trails suggest that they are only heading one way and that is down the road of impressive expanse in 2012, from attention, acclaim and definitely creativity. The suggestion is you catch their ride early and bring their aural sunshine into your warm landscape too.

Check out the EP @ http://bearcavalry.bandcamp.com/album/maple-trails

RingMaster 07/01/2012

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Blood Mortized – Bestial

Swedish death metal band Blood Mortized do not mince sounds  they just go directly for the throat with all the consuming essences and filth laded intensity spawned by old style raw Swedish death metal. The band has only one intention, to recreate and soak the ear in the pit borne black sickness and decay that veined and fuelled the birth and youthful years of Swedish death metal. Their new EP Bestial consists of four crushing venomous tracks that without breaking down new barriers penetrate and deeply satisfy all urges and desires for old school death scabby rotted metal.

In the ever increasing wave of bands and releases resurrecting the old school death metal carcass it is fair to say Blood Mortized probably do not stand out hugely from the crowd with their Entombed/Grave sounding fury but there have not been many as accomplished and distinctly true to their inspiration, the band bringing forth what as their bio states is ‘Old style dirty-rotten-unpolished Swedish Death Metal the way it was truly meant!’

The EP was recorded in 2010 and a follow-up to the band’s self-titled debut album of the previous year. Recording the EP as a trio of band founder vocalist Mattias Parkkila (ex- Stigmata, E.G.Y.P.T and Excretion), guitarist Anders Biazzi (ex- Patholog, Scum and Amon Amarth), and drummer Mattias Borgh (member of Crypt of Kerberos), Bestial was released as a three track limited cassette early 2011. As 2011 saw the recruiting of guitarist Gustav Myrin and bassist Mattias Söderlund and the new line-up finishing off new album The Key To A Black Heart, the Bestial EP was released via Chaos Records as a limited edition 6-panel digipak in the dying embers of last year.

Recorded and produced by Mattias Borgh at Underworld Recording Bestial slams hard and low from the very first gut wrenching twisting grind and scorching guitars of the opening title track. The track’s heavy tones press down firmly on the senses allowing the caustic malicious sonic melodies and intimidating riffs to enthral and weigh heavily on the ear. Parkkila’s vocals add threatening malice, his every word dripping bile from his lowest point. As the EP on a whole unveils, there are no complications or frills allowed to temper their sound, Blood Mortized just keep it raw, direct, minimal and with the pungently coated opener ‘Bestial’ immense.

The best track on the EP ‘Of Dust and Doom’ follows with a ponderous yet stalking doom fired black dirge. Riding on a stirring military defiant drum beat the track is a stunning mix of inciting intent and strongly oppressive consumption. Taking their minimal approach to its outer borders the song is the most ‘adventurous’ on the release and definitely profits for it as does the ear.

The more urgent ‘Shadow of the Quarter Sun’ is the more expected brutal and merciless assault and thoroughly enjoyable whilst ‘Rekvium’ completes the release with an atmospheric unsettling intro before exposing more insatiable riffs and malicious treacle downtuned ‘melodic’ searching of the senses. As the track wades its way through the weight of its sonic wash it evolves at its climax into a tribal/chant mix of rhythms and voice, surprising and very pleasing.

As mentioned at the start Bestial does not offer anything particularly new but that is the point, its brief to resurrect and reconstruct the force that inspire these musicians. It does offer some unexpected elements alongside what one would assume they would hear which gives a definite eagerness to check out the bands forthcoming album.  The music overall probably is as one would imagine it would sound but Blood Mortized unleash it with a purpose and surety that maybe does lift them above band with similar intent and certainly makes the release one to enjoy often .

RingMaster 07/01/2012

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