Falter: Self Titled EP

Since forming in 2010, British alternative metalers Falter has been building a fine reputation with fans and bands they have shared stages with alike. It is a band on a steady rise, the Blackburn quartet finding a welcome and eager response to their varied flavoured rock/metal sound. Their self titled EP is their debut recording and a fine introduction to the country as a whole from one impressively emerging band.

As the dark chug of the guitars warp around the ear the opening track on the EP immediately grabs the attention. Hundred Reasons slowly unfurls its muscular weight then starts captivating with a scorched groove from guitarist Matt Flaherty, ensuring from that moment that the senses are wide awake and keen to feast on the addictive vein. Adding to the already captivating mix the vocals of Tom Eccles blend an excellent mix of clean and scathing growls into the emotive heart of the song. With the rhythms from drummer Phil Earnshaw forming a strong though not overly aggressive, the gnarly bass of Joe Walsh chews wonderfully on the ear from within to ignite imagination. As with all the songs in their varied forms, the track is a brewing storm of melodic metal and bruising rock brought with a metalcore/post hardcore intensity. It is unpredictable and adventurous, something you can call the band itself even if their sound does not yet have a truly distinct voice.

The following Hospice is lower key with emotion fuelling each word and note, the inner intensity bringing a real depth and feel to the song. As the passion of the track breaks through it erupts into brawls of coarse energy with vocals to match, hurt and deeply seated feelings dripping from every second of the furious energetic bursts. On the whole though the track is restrained, its well crafted and presented heart a captivating breath. Arguably the song does not stand out as obviously as the first, its body reserved in ear hooking and individual elements, but it is equal in power and impact to show the diversity in writing and sound of Falter.

Worship closes up the release with another heighten offering of aggression and emotional might. It sits between the previous tracks in intensity though has a snarl at times to intimidate and a melodic caress in other moments to heat feelings. Again the bass of Walsh is a highlight, the shadowed tones a prowling force, whilst the vocals of Eccles once more show their range. He is maybe not the most accomplished vocalist but surpasses many others with the way he brings the passion and heart of one suspects, personal lyrical intent through a striking delivery to perfectly compliment the sounds.

Falter are a band you can only see bigger and greater things ahead for and one who will ignite eager anticipation for all they create, as they have with already their first EP.

Download their self titled EP for free from http://falter.bandcamp.com/album/falter

RingMaster 14/09/2012

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A Sky Jet Black: Japanese Moon

If the electronic/post punk sounds of the eighties still whisper in your ear or are a recent discovery for you younger retro investigators, then the excellent debut album from US band A Sky Jet Black will easily light some burning fires with their shaded glowing sounds. Japanese Moon like the band, is heavily influenced by new wave/post punk/gothic pop as well as according, to their bio, Berlin era Bowie/Eno/Pop, Phil Spector wall of sound girl bands and 8-bit. It is the post punk dark electro pop elements which firmly cores it all though as the songs weave their impressive charms, their breaths igniting thoughts and memories of numerous iconic British artists.

Formed in 2010 by Hope Iris and Karasene (both keys and vocals) alongside Tim-O (bassist, vocals, production), the band spent its first months honing and creating its sound before making their live debut at the infamous Monstrosity House at SXSW. The following years has seen the band in a hectic flurry of recording and touring, including supporting David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets). The Austin, Texas trio recorded the album alongside producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead) and have created one vibrant and mesmeric feast of warm and crystalline soundscapes posing as songs.

The album opens with the eager pulsating Be My, a song bringing the melodic charms of The Cure and Felt through the shimmering vocals of Siouxsie Sioux. It energetically wraps itself around the ear with a firm grasp whilst inspiring memories and dazzled passions, the sounds alongside the vocals of Hope a graceful impactful pleasure. Wholly infectious and fully enchanting it is a hypnotic start to the album, its nostalgic presence a perfect union with the heart of today.

The following Honey has a harder presence, a steely post punk surface to the again instantly absorbing melodic touch. The vocals have a slight Ian Curtis air bringing a Joy Division/The Passage essence across the icy yet heated emotive sounds. Its successor Sunday holds a similar gait but from a glowing New Order aspect, its brisk emotion teasing the electro pop of The Pet Shop Boys, though as throughout the album, shadows add the strongest voice to the romantic noir heart of the song.

Already the varied structure and sounds of the songs impress and ensure the release is never predictable even with the re-energising of well preserved sounds. The band also shows a wonderful ability to evolve things into their own distinct world as with the cover of The Stone Roses song, I Wanna Be Adored. Admittedly not a fan of its creators anyway, the song emerges as easily the better version from A Sky Jet Black, its sensuality and throaty bass veining the astounding contagion to leave one breathless.

As the seductive title track with its oriental kiss and cold beauty of Siouxsie & The Banshees/The Creatures, the kinetic Heart On Your Sleeve, and the brooding Out To Sea captivate thought and imagination, there is nothing but deep pleasure within. The second of the three songs especially hits the sweet spot with its early Human League like beginning and evolution into another New Order spiced piece of addiction, though the third with its Cocteau Twins/Chameleons teasing is equally powerful and deeply reaching.

The final piece of post punk sonic glory So Far Away, closes up what is a wonderful and enthralling album in Japanese Moon. With an album of beauty and darkness brought with provocative and exciting passion, A Sky Jet Black has taken us back in time but indie electro forward. It is majestic and an essential experience all should spare their hearts and time for.

https://www.facebook.com/askyjetblack

RingMaster 14/09/2012

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shEver: Rituals

 

There has been some impressive doom and heavily weighted sludge driven releases this year and right up there with them is the storm of sonic destruction Rituals from Swizz metalers shEvers. The six track album is colossal, a tempest of death spawn tar thick doom aggression to consume and erode the senses.

Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jessie and original drummer Melanie, with bassist Nadine joining soon after and vocalist Alex the following year, the all girl band unleashed their first demo The Mirror in 2004 as well as playing numerous shows across Switzerland including a show with Place Of Skulls. Two years later their debut album Ocean Of Illusions was unleashed with the current line-up coming together with Sarah replacing Melanie on drums in 2007. Across the years the witches of venom have played with bands such as Jex Thoth, Esoteric, Amenra, Saturnus, Ahab, Esoteric, and Obelyskkh, successfully played many festivals, and released the well received EP, A Dialogue With The Dimensions in 2009.

The band recorded Rituals in 2011 with its CD release this year coming through Total Rust, the label having already approached the band about releasing their debut at the time though it never came to be, and Svart Records for the vinyl release. It is a consumptive assault of tempestuous sounds and oppressive shadows which envelope and smothers the senses mercilessly and constantly.  The sounds overwhelm and
constrict the air sucking its energy into the malevolent mire of intense and thick ravenous energy. It is not all death and decaying shadows though as the band infuse squealing and incendiary sonics throughout to ignite the passions fully.

The opening Ritual Of Chaos is a crawling hateful slab of metal, its haunting atmosphere spliced with intrusive insanity enforced by the excellent rabid bestial vocals of Alex. It is sinisterly tense and dramatic, the riffs towering and their crushing presence impossible to defend against, though why one would want to avoid such a compulsive and welcome violation that the band lay upon their victims is unimaginable.

The outstanding and best track on the album Delirio feasts next with its equally suffocating ambient mass and provocatively engaging melodic charms. The song is beauty in its every form, the decayed breath and deathly atmosphere as glorious as the synapse burning sonic imagination and hungry predatory basslines. As with the majority of the album everything comes at a lumbering dragging pace and intensity but the effect is a mesmeric trance inducing weave though the meditative result is of nightmares rather than splendour. The song evolves into a delicious sludge riot for its climax to again unveil the strong invention and imagination of the band.

The following tracks like the hypnotic bruising that is Je Suis Nee and the stunning Souls Colliding with its plunging disturbed soundscape simply leave one in total absorbed bliss, suffering at times but welcoming every intrusive manipulation and caustic rub. The second of this pair really is majestic, the merging of the blackest pit and strongest sun a perfectly merged clash of extremes.

Closing with the almost grunge fuelled sludgefest of (You Are) The Mirror and the punishing crawl that is  That He Na Te, the album is an immense and fully satisfying violation upon the senses. Rituals is one of the best genre releases to eat the senses this year whilst placing shEver as one of the prime doomers around.

https://www.facebook.com/shEverdoom

RingMaster 14/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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