Whyzdom: Blind?

Blind? the new album and return of French philharmonic metallers Whyzdom, is a release to leave mouth, senses, and heart in their individual ways, wide open in awe. It is a stunning album, a startling world of symphonic and power metal caressed and shaped into something magnificent and epic, and most of all distinctly Whyzdom. Released through Scarlet Records, it follows their acclaimed 2009 debut album From The Brink Of Infinity and as good as that was the new release proves it was only the beginning of something wonderful.

Formed in early 2007 by guitarist and orchestrator Vynce Leff, the band was soon drawing strong responses from media and fans alike with first release, the Daughter Of The Night EP, which appeared less than six months after the inception of the band. Their blend of orchestral and symphonic imagination and sounds soon led them to awards and numerous festivals appearances, many as headliners, with their debut album only elevating their rapidly rising reputation and recognition worldwide. The departure of their vocalist in 2010 led to a long search for a replacement with Lisa Middelhauve, former Xandria singer, standing in as a guest vocalist for performances at the 2010 Raismes Fest and for a show in Paris supporting Tarja.

It was with the arrival of Elvyne Lorient to the band in February of this year that the quest was over and wow, what an addition she is. Blind? is a total triumph and the voice of Lorient as major an ingredient to its success as the inventive and stirring brilliant sounds. The album title has a dual reference to firstly the blindness of people towards what is happening around them and also how people choose to be blind in uncomfortable circumstances which eventually lead to wrong decisions and paths in life.

As opener The Lighthouse turns its epic aural charms upon the ear, guitars dazzling with a burn to their sonic touch, Lorient caresses and owns the ear with vocals which envelope and seduce. Avoiding the full blown operatic indulgences many of the genre singers seem to offer she sings with a delivery, range, and expression which is instinctive, organic, and irresistibly mesmeric. The sweeping orchestral weaves around her are delicious, their enveloping kisses emotive and evocative whilst the bass growls and sturdy rhythms keep shadows and intensity as full and dramatic as the dazzling melodic enterprise. It like many that follow, is a piece of songwriting which pulls you completely into its personal world, the perpetually dawning surges and triumphant crescendos as inciteful and invigorating as any rising unobstructed sun.

Dancing With Lucifer and On The Road To Babylon both transport heart and thoughts into realms of twisting gritty energies and pulsating melodic grandeur with hypnotic skill and emotion, each track an ever evolving canvas of emotion, vision, and brewing aural expanses. It is Cassandra’s Mirror sitting gloriously between the pair though which steals not only top honours out of the three but for the whole vast show. With folk whispers entwined around the uncompromising metal confrontation and the soaring orchestral elegance merged within a furnace like passion, the track is a raging tempest of energy and uplifting drama.

It is hard to find the words to fully represent the impressive presence and might of Blind?. From beginning to end it is a stunning piece of imagination and creativity, with the beautiful Paper Princess, The Foreseer with its perfect combination of extremes and perpetually unveiling, and the colossal closer Cathedral Of The Damned, just three of the exhilarating pinnacles of the senses blowing, heart bursting  theatre. The final track makes the word epic feel so small as a declaration of its immense power and stature, the musicianship, arranging, and sheer magnitude of emotive imagination sheer captivation and pleasure.

Whyzdom return to take their place as one of the most innovative and imaginative symphonic metal bands in recent years whilst Blind? makes a late challenge for the best album to grace and light up the year.


RingMaster 01/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tweak Bird – Undercover Crops

Going into this review the term stoner pop crossed our gaze and it has to be said an audible groan escaped. Not having been introduced to US rockers Tweak Bird before this, the worst was feared to be honest but it took no time for their new EP, Undercover Crops to dispel all worries. The seven track release is delicious, a gnarly scoop of sonic bubblegum ice cream which burns as equally as it leaves one drizzled in sweet pleasure. Though the term does kind of sum up the creations of the Los Angeles based duo it also trivialises what is going on, the intricacies and subtleties at work beneath the astringent embrace dismissed by its reference. The best way to describe the release is imagine Hot Hot Heat in a feisty embrace with Torche with extra mischievous encouragement from Red Fang and Morningwood. Yes, it is that unique.

Undercover Crops is the second EP from brothers Ashton and Caleb Bird and follows their self titled album of 2010. Recorded over a long weekend in June with Toshi Kasai, who alongside Dale Crover produced and recorded both debut EP Reservations and album, the new EP brings something new to the genre, year and to those like us who had never met the band before, the heart, something  just unexpectedly thrilling.

The first track, Moans, immediately throws things into confusion. Having expected stoner, pop, actually both, the track offers up a repetitive electro rubbing. Its industrial dusted atmosphere is openly provocative and its aural voice, like the unrelenting repeating of words, droning but also the ignition of a maelstrom of thoughts in the brain. It is undeniably magnetic and easily ensures the stay for the whole and admittedly pretty brief journey of the release will be full and intent, eagerly awaiting the unpredictability on offer.

The following track People soon has the heart leaping, its scuzzy baritone guitar riffs and sonic blistering an abrasive extreme to the flowing falsetto vocals of Caleb. The darker though still mesmeric and far from heavy tones of Ashton, bridges the two opposites whilst within the music itself the track twists and swerves with finesse and infectious charm. To those earlier comparisons regarding the sound of the band, this song certainly vocally, springs forth thoughts of B52s just as strongly.

The hypnotic bluesy breath of Psychorain just sizzles on the ear and emotions, its again mesmeric pull from within what is an acidic and caustic presence is just irresistible. The track is like being encased in electrified bubble wrap, the highly charged sonic cage of sound and enveloping whispers leaving the senses tingling whilst being hit by exploding rhythms and popping riffs, and just as devilishly addictive.

All the tracks are brief, only one managing to worry the three minute mark, and that is the only complaint. By the time you have managed to grab a first proper breath since the start, you realise it is actually over and feel quite disappointed. During its engagement though time is a concept lost, the likes of the excellent Weight with its heavy slightly schizo energy and synapse manipulation alongside Pigeons ensuring nothing else exists whilst they are at play. The second of the pair has a breeze of surf rock permeating its melodic elegance and near corrosive guitar strokes across flesh and thought. Like on all the tracks, the raw air which everything within the song is immersed by is inciteful and intrusive, not to mention insatiable though so is the eagerness to devour it in return.

The release finishes with the sensational Bunch ‘O Brains, a track which leaves you in the same state as the subject of the song by its end, and Know It All, another slice of contagious psych and noise rock brought with a sludge blues driven rich heart. It is an impossibly addictive close to a quite brilliant release. As with all the songs, lyrically the band do not stretch literary circles but the repetitive lines and uncomplicated structures just completes the songs, ensuring nothing is too intense or demanding and perpetually absorbing.

Released via Volcom Entertainment, Undercover Crops is brilliant, simple as, and Tweak Bird the immediate focus of a retrospective investigation followed by the swallowing up of their earlier works. We defy you to try and resist not doing the same once they take over your ears and heart.

Grab a free download of the track People below



RingMaster 01/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright