Calling All Astronauts: What’s So Good About?

Upon reviewing their previous single Winter Of Discontent, we declared Calling All Astronauts as ‘one of the most exciting alternative rock bands in the UK right now, maybe the best.’ With the release of their third single What’s So Good About? on December 2nd, the impressive track gives no reason to change our declaration. It is a thrilling blend of techno punk and electro gothic shadows which evokes thought and passion with mesmeric enterprise and seductive energy.

The London based trio of vocalist/programmer/producer David B, ex-Caffeine guitarist J Browning, and bassist Kristi B, have ignited plenty of emotion and acclaim their way since emerging with debut single Someone Like You a year ago. The follow up Winter Of Discontent drew even greater recognition towards the inventive imagination of the band whilst performances alongside the likes of A Place To Bury Strangers, Roger Daltrey, Pop Will Eat Itself and Echo And The Bunnymen, not forgetting the band selling out Alan Magee’s “Death2Disco” for their show and constant radio play across the likes of BBC 6Music, RTE, Q Radio, Amazing Radio, and The Reputation Radio Show (Audioburger) established and concreted the band as one of the most inspiring and experimentally adventurous bands around.

What’s So Good About? saunters in with a throaty resonance leading to a flesh sizzling sonic outpouring before hypnotic rhythms and washes of gentler electronic caresses take their place before the expressive and darkened delivery, lyrical and emotively, of David B. Already renowned for their social and political sharpness, the track is an arguably darker and more intense affair than its predecessors, its abrasive and senses searing corrosion and metallic confrontation bringing an impactful urgency and spite to the theme of greed orientated society blinkered through obsession with fame and consumerism to those less fortunate. It is a pulse rate elevating mix of punk rock and electro which burns potently with fiery melodic guitar sonics blistering the already intimidating surface of the song, the encounter agitating and exciting the senses further. The Sisters Of Mercy/Psychedelic Furs lilt alongside the prowling basslines brings another texture and depth to the layered piece of imagination unleashed by the band to engage and enflame heart and senses to even greater volcanic degrees. It is a furnace of intensity and pleasure  showing a continued evolution in the songwriting and strength of the band and their inciting creativity.

The release comes with the less sonically pressuring Echoboy Bounce Remix of the song, the mix taking the track to the dancefloor with added warmth and elegance replacing some of the aggressive intent. It is a vibrant and enjoyable take of the track though lacks the snarl and hunger of the single to match its might, but does add an inventive breath to urge different eager reactions to its ideas.

What’s So Good About? is another irresistible and stunning step in the rise of Calling All Astronauts. To our claim of most exciting rock band in the UK, add imaginative and provocative not to forget impressive. With a show with the legendary Sigue Sigue Sputnik at Mother Live, London on December 7th, Calling All Astronauts go into 2013 with all creative guns blazing.

https://www.facebook.com/CallingAllAstronauts

RingMaster 20/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Derek Buddemeyer: Afterthoughts

   Afterthoughts is one of those albums which needs numerous plays to explore its many diverse corners of sound as well as the thoughts and emotions it incites during its engagement. The release from rock guitarist Derek Buddemeyer unveils a little something more within its expanse of instrumental pieces with each encounter whilst lighting different imagery each time too and though it is not always as consistently successful, it is a rewarding and enjoyable engagement which is easy to return to and often.

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, the musician moved to San Jose, California at an early age and found musical influences which included The Beach Boys, Hall & Oats, and Barbara Streisand. As a young teen, Buddemeyer then discovered the likes of Van Halen, Def Leppard, and Stryper, inspirations which led him to buying a guitar at 15. Another move this time to Southern California drew him to the sounds and skills of George Lynch, Steve Vai, Warrant, Scorpions, Skid Row, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax, and many more. Taken by the heavier and rawer sound, as well as the melodic imagination borne from such artists, he evolved his own blend of melodic hard rock with sinewy veins and pop metal warmth. Debut album Afterthoughts, which is released through the Jerry Dixon and Erik Turner of Warrant owned Down Boys Records, is the vibrant result of his inventive ideas and honed craft, a release which breathes with enterprise and rich and full sounds.

The album starts with a storm of a track in the mighty Wicked Little Sister. The track immediately fires up the heart with flesh grazing riffs, insatiable energy, and a melodic teasing which smoulders with skill and sonic manipulation. It is an adrenaline soaked piece which is unrelenting in its purpose and inspiring in the open invention driving its course. Amongst the ten tracks which make up the release there are a trio which stepped to the fore instantly upon first listen, the opener heading that impressive first thrill.

The album is a varied little pleasure which investigates and ventures into numerous premises and soundscapes of sound. From the metal rush of the first song the album strolls into the progressive and metal expression of Breathing In The New, the powerful guitar adventure an invigorating and expressive heat supported by electro showers of sound. Then the title track takes over, it another of the great  pinnacles within Afterthoughts. It is a symphonic wrap with emotive keys and a brewing epic atmosphere which surges thoughts and senses through a striking escapade of melodic elegance and lush imagination. Whereas the previous songs were guitar driven this song is a delicious weave of keys and sonic beauty which leaves one basking full of content in a flush of strings and dramatic grace.

As the likes of the magnetic New Groove with its gentle and sunny coaxing of the ear, the classy and refined Morning After, and the fiery Lift Off with its burning temptations, reveal their creative and distinctly individual gaits, the album is a continuing captivation. Occasionally as with the brief presence of the last of these three songs, it feels like a track is written with the thought of soundtracking a cinematic moment so often depart without a defined climax but it only adds to the imagery incited during their usual dramatic breaths.

The third of the previously mentioned greatest heights attained by the release closes the album up. Sandstorms is an immense piece of writing which seduces the senses with its Eastern promise and intrigue setting imagination. Completed with coarse riffs and snarling guitar rubs shadowing the majestic melodic whispers, the track is an evocative delight.

For personal tastes and no other reason, there are moments on Afterthoughts which do not quite rise up to spark the same enthused ardour as at other times, like the mechanical rhythms and shallow electro  drizzles in some places, but it is a minor niggle in the overall quality of the album and does not deter from offering the recommendation to check the album if you are looking thoughtful and inventive instrumental melodic rock.

https://www.facebook.com/DerekBuddemeyerFanPage

RingMaster 20/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blynd: Punishment Unfolds

It seems extreme metal has saved its very best releases for the dying weeks of the year, the likes of Nidingr, Deus Otiosus, and Aeons each releasing colossal albums which are pushing limits, imagination, and most of all passions to immense heights. Adding their own titanic and inventive weight to the list if Cyprus metallers Blynd with their deeply impressive album Punishment Unfolds. Released though Pitch Black Records, the album is a fury of death, groove, and thrash metal which incites a riot in the heart and unbridled rapture in the senses and vice versa.

Formed in 2003, the Nicosia based quartet of bassist and vocalist Andreas, guitarists Dino and George, and drummer Alex, has slowly but firmly gathered a strong and ardent fanbase within a growing wash of acclaim through their impressive sound across firstly their duo of EPs and 2010 debut album The Enemy, as well as live performances alongside the likes of Sodom, Children Of Bodom, Rotting Christ, Sepultura, and Septic Flesh and a triumphant appearance at the 2012 Bloodstock Festival. Punishment Unfolds steps forward with all the aural armoury, sharp imagination, and aggressive intent to thrust Blynd to the top tier of extreme noise makers and bring a wider and hungrier recognition their way. Featuring guest appearances from Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and George Charalambous (Winter’s Verge), the album also sets up the full spark of anticipation for their part in the Creatures From the Black Abyss Tour 2012, alongside Cradle Of Filth, God Seed and Rotting Christ, starting November 27th.

The opening instrumental Divine Gathering gives no real warning of the storm to follow though the brewing symphonic grace and thrilling rise of intensity does offer an epic atmospheric feel and climactic confrontation as its grand arms expand to wrap firmly around the ear.  It soon makes way for the rampaging Arrival of the Gods with its gnawing riffs and caustic breath of squalling vocals and scarring sonics. The harsh rub fires up the senses as fully as the greedy urgency of the song leaves them breathless, whilst the impressive melodic scorching from the guitars is a feisty encounter which pushes the song to greater heights.

The immense start is left ‘floundering’ in the wake of As Punishment Unfolds, a track which steals top honours and takes the contagion of the album to its highest pinnacle. From a start of thumping incendiary drums against the serpentine vocal lesions, the song spawns a groove which incites the strongest infection and a brawling seduction of riffs and beats to ignite primal passion. The mesmeric swarming which overwhelms the ear is delicious whilst the interchanging intensity and energies just provoke insatiable lust for more. As with the previous song the guitars produce melodic flames to stretch the track excellently around the crushing framework of antagonistic rhythms and raptorial vocals.

Following tracks such as Never for the Fallen with its carnivorous riffs and sonic greed, the challenging and glorious The Chosen Few, and Convicted in the Devil’s Land, further the pleasure with stunning enterprise and power. The second of the three is a turbulent journey of abrasive invention and unpredictable breaks wrapped in magnetic melodic ingenuity and heart. It is a masterful soundscape which can only lead to a full and potent devotion to its explosive imagination. The last of the trio is an intimidating predator with impacting sinews and a rabid intensity to leave one cowering whilst loving every second of its muscular threat.

Right through to its end Punishment Unfolds is sensational, from the outstanding Sins to the Cross with a progressive groove as wanton as it is insidious, across the snarling yet heated and irresistible presences of The Final Resistance and Divine Conspiracy, through to the closing feast of invention that is Infinity Race, it transfixes, erodes, and thrills senses, thoughts, and heart with accomplished and inventive ease.

Blynd before Punishment Unfolds may have been an unknown underground force for a great many but with its release and impressive content, the amazing album is set to change that stature one suspects and hopes. It would be a deserved outcome for a greatly pleasing and stirring gift from the band.

www.blyndmetal.com

RingMaster 20/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Aeon: Aeons Black

by Fredrik Wallin

Unleashing a torrent of destructive irreverence and corrosive annihilation, Swedish death metallers Aeon return with their staggering fourth album Aeons Black. Released through Metal Blade Records, the release finds the band at its mightiest yet, in aggression and venom as well as in craft and imagination. The sound which rips apart the senses is that which the world has come to expect from the band but now rippling with a variety and groove veining which is elevated and maturer than ever before from the quintet. It is a colossal album and without doubt one of the very best genre releases in a long time.

Since forming in 1999, the band has experimented with and stepped aside of old school death metal for greatly inventive results which has shattered minds and captured the imagination. From their early demos and 2005 debut album Bleeding the False through the following Rise to Dominate and Path Of Fire, in 2007 and 2010 respectively, the band has reaped acclaim and plaudits from fans and media alike. Tours and shows alongside the likes of Hate Eternal, Misery Index, Mayhem, Cerebral Bore and Flyed Disciple to name some, only cemented their reputation for merciless sounds and their ferocious delivery. Recorded with Ronnie Björnström (Garageland Studios), Aeons Black is their greatest moment yet and opens the deepest pit of satisfaction possible.

The album swoops upon the ear with blistering sonic outrage and unbridled blastbeats within They Still Pray, to immediately begin a violation which numbs thoughts and emotions. The riffs from guitarists Zeb Nilsson and Daniel Dlimi churn up the senses whilst the additional tight acidic enterprise sears the flesh wonderfully, and alongside the raptorial expertise of bassist Marcus Edvardsson and the towering rampage of drummer Arttu Mallki, sends pleasure into overload. Led by the bestial fury of vocalist Tommy Dahlstöm, his passion as oppressive as the intensity preying around him, it is an outstanding entrance from the album expanded upon throughout the untethered debilitating outpouring.

The sonic charnel pit of The Glowing Hate ruptures the synapses next with its twisting predatory groove and abrasive storm of riffs, the track another delicious furnace of spite lyrically, musically, and emotionally. It erodes the defences like a sandstorm upon skin, the caustic rub an incessant riot which finds a slight restraint before bleeding into the emotive piano led instrumental The Voice of the Accuser.  It is a brief beauty settling the spawn disorientation before the rabid malevolence of I Wish You Death opens up a new unbridled flood of snarling violation. As with most tracks, the song is an unpredictable canvas of evocative melodic and sonic mastery within a ravaging scourge of sound which fires up primal energies and hungry ardour. Four tracks in and the album stands as a titanic encounter and the immense quality and angry violence just keeps coming.

Tracks like Garden of Sin with its intense gnawing sonic ravishment and the rapacious Nothing Left to Destroy which ends with a compelling and chilling insidious whisper of a reclamation, continue the irresistible brutality to trigger greater passion before the merciless effacement whilst the title track is malice and poison given tumultuous life. The track crawls and consumes the whole body to lay seeds to an aural festering and sonic manipulating which extinguishes all light before drawing out the fullest rapture to its nasty and rewarding presence.

Before its departure Aeons Black lets loose other crippling treats in the shape of the bruising cyclones Dead Means Dead, Sacrificed, Blessed By the Priest, all increasing the vindictive pleasure given, and then closes on the twin barrage of noise and malignancy of Maze of the Damned and Die By My Hands to suck out and destroy any hope possibly left intact. By the end, every aspect of the body is smarting from the insatiable hate and aural extirpation but glowing from the incisive and impacting enterprise within. It is a giant of a release and one which is without question essential investigation for all extreme metal fans.

https://www.facebook.com/aeon666

Ringmaster 20/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright