Cyanide Later: Always Read The Label (pt 1)

‘After 2 years of writing and refining material, Cyanide Later officially formed in late 2011’, is the opening line from the bio of the British rock band, listening to their debut EP it has to be said that the time spent honing, defining, and evolving their creative ideas and sound has only elevated their obvious strengths. Always Read The Label (pt1) is an outstanding first introduction to the world, a release which leaves thoughts, emotions, and senses already impatient for part 2, whilst basking in some of the freshest exciting rock sounds to emerge this year.

The five songs which make up the release are multi faceted slabs of rock n roll, each rippling with metal and rock influences whilst standing distinctly alone in sound and presence. It is a rare skill to create songs which immediately sound like friends, ‘acquaintances’ who you seemingly know so much about but at the same time are discovering only new things from. Cyanide Later have done that with Always Read The Label, brought songs which feel at ease with the fullest of welcomes in the ear but simultaneously unveil only undiscovered treats.

The band consists of Mike McGreal (vocals/guitar), James Barratt (backing vocals/guitar), Tom Smith (drums), and Pete Hurst (bass/backing vocals). The EP though has two stand-in bassists involved with Hurst joining after its recording. For the release Mike Bridge (Seasons End/Acid Empire) and Dave Guiney (Redlight) brought their skills to the songs, both apparently completing 2.5 songs each. Entirely self recorded, mixed and mastered by the Stratford Upon Avon band, Always Read The Label is nothing less than impressive, the overall sound and breath with a raw but defined air upon the strong songwriting and skilled play.

It has to be said reading that the influences of Cyanide Later included Reuben only raised the anticipation further notches, the band a heartfelt adoration here, and arguably it gave opener Monster In Me an extra challenge of expectation to rise to. The track proved it or they are no Reuben in sound or style but without doubt Cyanide Later has the entire armoury to match the accomplishments of the Hampshire trio. The track swaggers in from a distance and when in place sways and mesmerises with weaving riffs and mischievous hooks. The vocals are outstanding, McGreal showing a great range from clean to passionate growls whilst the band backs him perfectly for anthemic lures throughout. The song grooves like a sultry mistress, its weaving seduction leaving nothing to the imagination but making its recipient wait until it is ready, than unleashing all with passion and craft.

      RifT enters with shadowed vocals and teasing riffs before opening its muscular arms and unleashing an impressive mesh of metal and rock. With attitude dripping from every note and syllable, the track is a fiery swell of evolving pace and bristling intensity. Whereas the opening song could be said to have a feel of Puddle Of Mudd about it this track has a sterner core within its again vibrant melodies to remind of bands like Sick Puppies and early Karnivool, and yes Reuben a little.

Already convinced by release and band, the excellent A Thousand Faces only fans the primed acclaim towards them, the song a lighter yet just as energetic feast of intelligent melodies and infectious enterprise, simply a thoroughly captivating piece of pop rock. Whether the band are creating new waters of sound is debatable but they without doubt are creating waves within existing pools to leave one energised and inspired.

The slow emotive caresses of Breathe You and the eager chunky riffs and blazing passions of Escapees complete the release, both not quite reaching the heights of the previous trio of songs but still rich in lush melodic touches and in the case of the last, agitated intimidating slightly concussive rhythms and erosive guitar aggression, not to mention great post hardcore vocals from the continually impressive McGreal.

Always Read The Label (pt 1) has something to impress all rock and metal fans, whilst Cyanide Later unleashes such promise that you can only see them gaining great heights of recognition ahead.

Check out the EP at http://Cyanidelater.bandcamp.com

RingMaster 21/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Metanoia: Retroceder Nunca

You cannot beat lean and hungry punk rock and that is exactly what you get with Retroceder Nunca, the new album from Chilean band Metanoia. It is a vibrant and refreshing slab of meaty riffs and thumping rhythms brought with inventive thought and anthemic passion, a combination which leaves one breathless and eager for much more.

Sung totally in Spanish, the release ensures that it is not a problem for us linguistically handicapped by simply firing up thoughts and emotions let alone quickening the heart rate through addictive hooks, infectious rhythms, and contagious melodies, yep the album is one feisty siren to be devoured without any reservations. Consisting of vocalist /bassist Benjamin Lopez, guitarist Claudio Bolivar, and drummer Cristobal Lopez, Metanoia whose name means the change in focus, mind and life brought about by Jesus, offers sounds which have essences in bands such as Millencolin, Dogwood, and Pennywise whilst adding some of the extra raw breath of a NOFX or Civ. Released through Thumper Punk Records it a record all punks should at least investigate if not leap upon with glee.

Translated as No Retreat, Retroceder Nunca opens with the outstanding song Evidente. It immediately sparks a strong reaction with its initial building haze of energy and sonic lures, reminding of those early Buzzcocks instrumentals, before exploding into a rampant riot of jabbing rhythms and whirling riffs. Though the delivery is in Spanish, song and vocals brew an openly anthemic presence especially in the chorus, to enlist feeble but unstoppable attempts at joining in. It is a boisterous party in the ear, as all the best punk songs.

The following title track and its successor Inútil just elevate the pleasure again, the first a sultry persuasion of precise grooves and twisting energies and the second a wonderfully bruising yet warm invitation to burst into life physically and emotionally. Both are excellent slices of rock n roll to turn the appetite more into a lustful need for more. As both songs show, the trio has an imaginative wing to their songwriting; all tracks prime punk rock driven by inventive unpredictable twists and sharp deeply rewarding hooks.

Peluquero with more than a whisper of Offspring about it is another peak in nothing but highlights, its uplifting core wrapped in finely spun melodies and great group harmonies. To be honest each listen to the album offers up a different pinnacle such the quality across all its ten stirring tracks. One listen it might be this song or Evidente claiming top honours and the next it could be the mischievous Dia Nuevo with its teasing caped crusaderesque groove within its bustling dust up, the pop punkish Te Amo , or the incendiary sonics of Este Es Tu Hogar, which steal the show for that moment in time.

Ending as impressively as it started with No Me Avergüenzo and Sin Palabras, the release is without doubt one of the best punk albums this year with very few rivals to match its rewarding and totally pleasing collection of songs. If punk rock is your spark in life than Metanoia is an essential piece of kindling to get those fires raging.

www.metanoiarock.tk

Ringmaster 31/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Mason Summers: Who Wants The Future

Who Wants The Future from US Christian rock punksters Mason Summers is an album which has been out a while but easily deserves another look at for those who still have not come across its unique and distinct presence.  With the band working on their new album the time felt right to re-expose the irresistible if slightly warped creative charms at play within Who Wants The Future. Like all the best faith driven releases it does not preach or make demands, just hopes to persuade one to look and think about things whilst giving full pleasure at the same time. That the album certainly does its unpredictable and slightly manic fusion of imaginative ideas and ‘random’ sounds delicious and rewarding. It is a release which in places takes a little warming to but once fully engaged leaves nothing but greedy satisfaction in its wake.

From meeting at church one day and realising their shared love of punk rock music, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Mikey Scars, vocalist/bassist Lydia Danger, and drummer Napalm Nate, have toured the US and UK supporting the likes of Flatfoot 56, Children 18:3, Mustard Plug, Peelander Z, Street Dogs, The Toasters and many more along the way. As with the album, their live performances grab attention and ignite full enthusiasm for their compulsive sounds, Mason Summers is a band once heard never forgotten or deserted.

The seventeen track riot of fun starts with the title track, a song which with uncomplicated charm sweeps the ear into an accomplished piece of raw edged rock n roll. With strong guitar and bass riffs backed by the firm rhythms of Nate, the song is a steady and pleasing start if slightly underwhelming in hindsight once into the heart of the release. It is a song which suggests great things like the excellent dual vocals between Danger and Scars which subsequent songs prove and expand on; here her tones are gentle glances against the leading delivery of Scars but the following Battleflag reveals she is an equally feisty vocalist and the perfect foil and companion to the direct style of Scars. This second song is a more abrasive proposition, a hardnosed attitude offering but complete with additional warm reprieves in emotion and warmth such as an excellent melodic mix of children vocals alongside the returning caresses of Danger.

As it plays the album just gets better and better, a mighty run of three consecutive tracks starting with Devils Plea the first major highlight of the album. The track is a seductive lure of mischievous vocals, teasing keys, and heated energies from guitar and intent. Scars sounds like a muscular version of former Only Ones front man Peter Perrett, his roguish tones expressive and emotive whilst Danger entwined with the guitars and rhythms is the wonderful serpent in the mix. The equally outstanding Lonely Planet steps up next, a track which opens with a sweet heavy bass murmuring before expanding into keys and melodic guitar strokes which remind of The Jam from their A Town Called Malice era. With additional flares of sax, the song is a thumping slice of punk pop with only its briefness a negative.

Pedestal was the first song we came across from the band and immediately opened the door to an enthused interest. It was an infectious joy at the time and still fully captures the imagination. It is a strolling mix of psychobilly and punk laced with noise rock which just flicks all the right switches. From the cantering beats and tingling piano jousts to the sinister sample and challenging intent of the great dual vocals, it is a masterful evocative piece of rock.

Tracks like Keep It Unusual with the bass of Danger once more stealing the show, the haunting rock n roll romp though shadows and shimmering blues heat that is Fall To Pieces where the whisper of The Cramps is more than just on lips, and the garage punk fuelled Pride, all make their companionship a lingering joy. To be fair you can say that about every song. Some as mentioned take longer to persuade but all eventually leave a willing thirst for more.

The reggae sauntering of Two Or More and the excellent closing punk storm of You Really Bring Me Down with Danger leading the way vocally alongside off the leash keys and sax, provide a couple more pinnacles in an album where there are only highs. Who Wants The Future is a gem, a release which might need time to prove itself but is far more rewarding than any instant pop punk candy treat and longer lasting.

https://www.facebook.com/MasonSummersMusic

RingMaster 31/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Shapes: In The Mourning Light

To listen to In The Mourning Light, the new EP from UK hardcore band Black Shapes is like being caught within an intense and violent storm. It is a rampage of furnace hot passion and unbridled aggression which leaves one gasping for breath and holding on to anything close by for strength. It is also one of the most rewarding and exhilarating releases from the genre, certainly in the British scene, for quite a while.

Formed in mid 2011, the London quartet took no time in gaining enthused attention with their self titled debut EP at the tail of last year, easily confirming the promise shown with shows alongside This Is Hell, Landscapes, and Brotherhood of the Lake, as well a successful performance at Hevy Fest 2012. Since that first release the band has also undergone a line-up change with new vocalist Gareth Evans (November Coming Fire) and bassist Mike Ager (Jairus) joining up with guitarist Jonathan Goldthorpe and Richard Wooding on drums. This new combination has added an extra snarl and depth to the band as the July released single/video Let Valhalla Burn first showed and this their new four track explosion confirms. Recorded in August with Steve Sears (Gallows, Spy Catcher, TRC), the EP chews up the senses and spits them out with relish and force, it is an intimidating and at times nasty slab of extreme punk, and wholly satisfying.

Beyond The Grey smashes into the ear first, its initial grinding riffs and sonic blistering bursting into an onslaught of concussive beats, rabid rhythms, and abrasive scathing sonics. Barbed hooks capture the imagination within the crushing attack and venomous intent whilst the gritty grooves just rip the passions from the heart into their own pockets. As much as it is borne of today there is plenty of old school punk essences to ignite the passions, the track a twisting feast of all that is the best of the genre. The vocals of Evans are as caustic as the lyrics; their presence leaving a sore but blissful wound, but it is the unpredictable and continually engaging invention which secures compliance to the excellent assault. As with all the songs, first engagement is all about fury and aural abuse but it is within the next few confrontations where the impressive structures and imagination reveals their mischievous glories.

Behind My Dead Eyes barges in next, its breath as combative and uncompromising as in the opener and equally destructive in intent. Within its muscular outrage the track shifts from furious and frantic energies through oppressive breakdowns and light sucking shadows, its prowling climax a consumptive devouring of emotions. It is not an easy union for the ear but openly rewarding and fulfilling, a provocative fire which succeeds in its mission to leaves provoking scars and thoughts.

Next up, Rose And Lace charges with anthemic and barracking energies, its unrelenting vitriolic blitz speared by group shouts, crippling rhythms from Wooding, and flesh wilting sonic corruption from Goldthorpe. It is a delicious violation, as invigorating as it is energy sapping, but on all songs and especially here the bass of Ager holds the key, his cantankerous and primal lines bringing that final additive to make great songs into special ones. As a whole Black Shapes feels complete, every aspect of the band pulling every ounce of adrenaline and invention out to create songs which yes abuse and debilitate its recipients but also inspire and ignite latent passions and pleasures.

Thunderous completes the wreckage causing release, the track another insatiable tempest of knee buckling rhythms and flaying riffs alongside insidious basslines and squalls of spiteful vocals. It is as immense and irresistible as what came before and just as turbulent.

Released as a 7” vinyl through Speedowax Records or as a pay your own price digital download via their own bandcamp (www.blackshapes.bandcamp.com ), In The Mourning Light is simply outstanding. With its release Black Shapes easily show UK hardcore has never been healthier or more gratifying.

https://www.facebook.com/blackshapes

RingMaster 31/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cynical Existence: Ruined Portrait

It seems like mere weeks ago that one of the best harsh ebm/ industrial releases to tease and provoke the senses this year arrived in the shape of A Familiar Kind of Pain, the debut EP from Swedish band Cynical Existence. The solo project of Fredrik Croona (Project Rotten) easily enflamed the passions and set a new benchmark for electro imagination. Now he returns with follow up release the Ruined Portrait EP. It continues the impressive blend of old school EBM with abrasive industrial invention found on his first EP whilst offering a rawer even more intensive breath. The teaser for the highly anticipated full length album Come Out And Play scheduled for an early 2013 release, the EP like its predecessor leaves an invigorating and decisive pleasure in its wake.

As soon as Misery stretches out its mesmeric arms, melodic pulses splashing upon the ear, the sense that the song and release is set to leave an imprint on the heart is immediate, the sonic seduction full and strong from the off. The serpentine vocals of Croona wrap around the shafts of aural light with the man again unleashing personal emotions into his compositions. His delivery is not as venomous as many but soaked in unmistakable shadows which add extra depth to the power of tracks and temper the often dazzling sonic radiance. Though arguably not a major departure from the tracks on A Familiar Kind of Pain, it feels darker, carrying a more abusive or abused energy in what is a vibrant and compulsive presence.

If the opener is a darker proposition the following Am I Alive is a definite plunge into sinister shadows, the vocals bordering on insidious and the accompanying whispers intimidating. The track is magnetic, the lure of acidic melodies irresistible whilst the caustic tones of the song just ignite further contagious entrapments. The best track on Ruined Portrait; it is a taunting combative glory to immerse within and succumb to.

Next up My Shining Halo initially weaves predatory sonic hooks before the ear, their attractive beckoning a wanton mischief,  before rampaging with further heavy touches and salty rubs to form a raw surface to the insatiable melodic swagger of the song. Approaching midway the track goes into a ‘stall’, its eager pace shifting into a prowling sizing up of the prey before erupting swiftly back to the hunger and rampant onslaught which started the corruption. It is another sensational seizing of thoughts and emotions whilst simultaneously, along with its predecessors, inspiring an intense impatience for the forthcoming album.

Let’s Play Dead featuring Polish band Reactor7x, wraps blistering tendrils of sound around the ear whilst the alternating vocals expose extremes of shadows within the sonic softening up of the senses. It is less immediate than other tracks but equally as impactful in its individual way. The jabbing beats cage emotions as the song lays its erosive harmonic caresses and caustic malevolence upon their ethereal flesh, their power cutting off any escape from the almost disorientating experience.

The release is completed firstly by a reinterpreted version of Face Of God by Moscow based industrial project Freaky Mind, and then by two remixes of tracks from A Familiar Kind of Pain. What the difference is between a reinterpreted version and a remix we will have to find out, but the first of the trio is an excited swarm of energy and sonic manipulation, the sounds swamping yet igniting the vocals of Croona for a dance track which fires up good reactions. The other two tracks are remixes of the best and our favourite two songs on the debut EP, and as such were on a hiding for nothing.  Both Insecure (IMPLANTed fear mix) and Paradox (Filtered through MIND:STATE), remixed by Implant and Mind:state (fellow Swede Per Holmström) respectively, are impressive reworkings which open up new thoughts and visions within the tracks but both pale against the brilliance of the originals for us. As always we admit the valid purpose of remixes still generally eludes us, especially when the source is almost untouchable, but given some time to make their case both tracks certainly gave food for thought, especially the jazzy exploits of the first of the two.

Released via  Alfa Matrix with  impressive cover artwork from one of teh best emerging artists in OneTwoTree Designs,  Ruined Portrait is excellent, a release which not only cements Croona as one of the essential contributors to the landscape of industrial but ensures next year and the release of his album cannot come soon enough

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

RingMaster 30/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Soldierfield: Bury The Ones We Love EP

There has been quite a buzz about UK metallers Soldierfield these past months, so much so that the release of their debut EP was sure to be met with eager anticipation. The Bury The Ones We Love EP had a bit of a tall order to live up to if the raging whispers about the band were correct, but not only has the release met expectations it has shafted them with a magnificence and towering enterprise which quite simply leaves them bow legged. The EP is outstanding, a true classic debut which not only confirms all early acclaim but shows the band as having all the weaponry and ability to become one of the future UK greats.

From an opening track which made one only unleash an impressed response the release grows into one of the essential releases of the year, a five song rampage of compulsive imagination, highly skilled craft in songwriting and musicianship, and simply one of the most invigorating and exciting introductions in a long time, certainly in the UK. Soldierfield take the essences and textures of multiple sub genres of metal and rock to conjure tracks which play as long time best friends but in a guise which is new, fresh, and unpredictable.

Consisting of vocalist Leigh Oates (Order Of Voices, Rise To Addiction), guitarists Andy Trott and Steve Wray (Rise To Addiction, BLAZE), bassist Simon Priestland, and drummer Jeff Singer (Paradise Lost, Kill II This, China Beach, BLAZE), the band formed in late 2011. The beginning of this year saw a released demo track trigger strong and keen reactions in fans and the music industry alike. Entering the studio across May and June, the band recorded, with Steve Wray producing, Bury The Ones We Love which is released via Metalbox Recordings. What has emerged is an aural fire of melodic vision, barbed irresistible hooks, towering energy, and quite hypnotic imagination. As said it plays like a familiar heartfelt companion but is brought through expertly envisioned and inventively realised enterprise.

The EP opens with the title track, a song which in hindsight is almost ordinary compared to what follows, well ordinary in the respect it is a straightforward muscular delight which gets from A to B with a relatively undemanding intent and an uncomplicated direction. The fare for the journey is only one of enjoyment and enthusiasm which is given eagerly and unreservedly to the raging power and skilled craft on show. From the opening emotion building piano and militant rhythms the track expands into a pulsating and rippling bruise of a song which only leaves strong satisfaction and a sense of much more to be unveiled ahead.

Soldierfield do not disappoint as the following Feel Alive stomps into view, its opening twists of riffs and aggressive breath following on from the opener but already offering a senses squeezing groove to be wholly infected by. A track which ripples with essences of Five Finger Death Punch, Drowning Pool, and a whisper of Static X and Soundgarden, it is a passionate explosion of buffeting intensity and heart fuelled melodic elegance. Two extremes brought into a fluid and irresistible union which sparks every ounce of appreciation and adoration into life. Its anthemic call is as impossible to refuse as the towering sounds ensuring the exchange between listener and record is a long lasting and enthusiastically driven engagement.

Things only get more heated and impressive as third track Leave You In Dirt enters, its thundering and rampant assault on the senses barbaric and deliciously mesmeric, especially when the track shifts into a totally unexpected weave of orchestral beauty and classical piano caresses. It is an ‘interlude’ which as easily as it appeared is departed from, the motion a seamless and skilful build evolving back into the at times almost banshee like vehemence and bone rupturing power. With an undisguised Metallica lilt breaking out, though that band can only wish they could write a song like this right now, it is a stunning piece of rock, a declaration which can equally be applied to the emotive and in comparison mellow beauty of Sky Flower.  From vocals to the acoustic guitar kisses and the ever burning intensity which accompanies the sultry grandeur, the track is glorious and further evidence of how expansive the vision and craft of Soldierfield is.

The album closes on a final slab of magnificence in The Path, a track which treats melodic thrash to a new leash of inventive life whilst gnawing at the senses with swirling blistering sonics, bone splitting rhythms, and incessantly gnawing riffs. It like the whole EP, is just exceptional, one of a very few releases to truly ignite a swell of passion which leaves one sweating and glowing in adoration. Yes Bury The Ones We Love is that good, with the recommendation that right now you go and find out for yourselves the final word.

http://www.soldierfieldband.co.uk/

RingMaster 30/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kill Ritual: The Serpentine Ritual

One word speared thoughts as the debut album of US thrashers Kill Ritual unleashed its barrage of old school modern breathing sounds, exceptional. The Serpentine Ritual is outstanding, a release which just lights up the heart and captivates the senses as it chews on them with rabid glee. It is an adventurous album with no desires to break down new realms but just twists steadfast essences into something unique and thrilling to the band.

Kill Ritual formed in 2010 with Steve Rice and Wayne DeVecchi, ex-Imagika guitarist and drummer respectively, continuing the music they had began working on before the demise of their former band. Recruiting former Eldritch guitarist Roberto Proietti, former Dark Angel bassist Danyael Williams, and SF Bay Area vocalist Josh Gibson, the quintet began writing and working on their debut. The result a thrash driven sound with plenty of progressive and classic essences which combined makes The Serpentine Ritual released through Scarlet Records, one of the most enjoyable albums this year. It is a riotous beast of a record which recognises its target and unleashes slabs of essential and enterprising rock music to ensure capture. Imagine a fusion of Testament, Anthrax, Exodus, and Arcticflame and you get a measure of the hungry pleasure ready to explore upon the ear.

Produced by Steven Rice and Andy La Rocque, the album conquers appreciation immediately with the brilliant opening title track. The Serpentine Ritual is a song which stands there snarling and intimidating from its opening seconds, the scorched guitar spiral only reinforcing the muscular fire about to erupt. Once from its reins the track ravishes the senses with growling basslines, writhing and scything riffs, and a sonic whipping which just hits every sweet spot. The vocals of Gibson are instantly impressive and as track and album progress his stature just grows and grows. Beside his great delivery and range the predatory darker toned vocals add that extra shadow and devil to proceedings in the same way the heavy aggressive rhythms and bass stalk alongside the soaring guitar sonics and melodic invention. With a groove to seduce any resistance the song is a classic, arguably best thrash track this year.

The following Torn Down and Time TO Kill stand strong alongside the staggering starter, both in their distinct shapes, the first a classic bombardment of perfectly crafted venom and musicianship not to mention unbridled energy and the second a contagion of crippling rhythms and heart exploiting riffs. They are both songs which if they do not grab full allegiance suggests maybe thrash metal is not for you, such their irrepressible and irresistible classic presences.

Every song on the album is a boisterous and winning engagement, their towering aggression and intent an unstoppable infection of instinctive invention and domination brought through dazzling skills within energetic songwriting and sound, as ever though some tracks do rise above others for an individual though it is quite marginal to be honest. Tracks like Ambush and Cold Hard Floor alongside the opener ignite bigger fires of passion within compared to others. The first of the pair is a raw and bruising brute of a song where the band exposes extra malice and violence in their music, from the coarser delivery of Gibson to the merciless rhythms of DeVecchi and the destructive riffs. The latter song is a magnetic brew of classic rock n roll, a devil dance of majestic guitar play from Rice and Proietti completed by a brilliant guest solo from Andy La Rocque. Gibson again stretches his range to greater and skilled expanses, he is destined to greatness.

The thumping onslaught that is The Day The World Dies and the hardcore/classic metal tinged Prisoner Of The Flesh equally match those great heights with their combative breaths and antagonistic riff and rhythmic imagination. They again show the strength of variety from band and release as well as the extreme skills of each individual perfectly harnessed with clarity into an unrelenting stunning consumption.

The Serpentine Ritual is as mentioned at the start exceptional, a release drawing on established wells and through sonic alchemy producing music which is as fresh and refreshing as found anywhere in the genre and metal as a whole. The Kill Ritual has begun, in band and musical destiny.

http://www.killritual.com

RingMaster 30/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright