The Shallow – Hope In Hell


Consisting of torrents of passion and explosive sounds, Hope In Hell the debut EP from UK metallers The Shallow is an impressive and fiery introduction to a new and accomplished group of musicians. Creating a tempest of energy and sonic disruption through a brew of technical metal, hardcore, and unpredictability, the quintet from King’s Lynn, Norfolk has unleashed a furnace of emotive intensity with musical endeavour to match.

It is a release which is not quite flawless which only adds to the immense stature of the release but leaves one in no doubt that the band has all the weaponry and imagination to be a big force ahead. There is a touch of similarity across the four tracks which makes up the release, reoccurring melodies and structures whilst occasionally the release takes roads worn by other bands but such the compelling sound and strength of the EP there is no issue with these things, just signs the band is evolving all the time with anticipation of even greater things ahead. Since forming in early 2012, the band has honed their aggressive and inventive sound through their live performances and it shows on their debut. They have been earning acclaim for their shows and sound, drawing comparisons to the likes of Gwen Stacy and Architects. The EP is set to continue and further that enthused response to their music and set 2013 up as a big year for the band.

The release opens with Twin Peaks, the piece an immediate haunting and chilling of senses and emotions as it heralds in the hopeinhellrelease. Barely touching two minutes the track offers an epic breath and bedlam tainted vocals in heavy emotive skies,  the voice of Christopher Wells a squall of part outrage and part emotive fire whilst the keys and sonic manipulations throughout unsettle and score amidst the thumping rhythms of drummer James Allen and grouchy lines of bassist Michael Knowles. It is an unnerving start further scarred by the abrasive guitar caresses of Stephen Barrett and Matthew Brand, the combination of all elements a challenging and startling beginning which the rest of the EP soon expands upon.

     Father thunders in at the demise of the opening track with vocals, guitars, and drums scorching and pummelling the senses. It is a caustic rub on the ear with a grinding grooves and magnetic yet chaotic discordant flurries of melodic flames erupting within the dense intensity. It is also quite irresistible, the gait and breath of the agitated track a fury of inventive aggression and imaginative intrusion brought with skill and enterprise. The clean vocals midway add an extra pleasing wash to the storm to offer slight ‘calm’ to the maelstrom of sounds and ideas at work. A track which reveals more and gets better with every listen, something which applies to the whole release, the song is an outstanding assault and just one marker for the band now and in the future.

The release is completed by the even more impressive Death of a Thin Skinned Animal and the first single from the release, Diamond Wretch. The first of the two starts on a contagious groove before within seconds whipping it up into a chaotic hardcore brawl of sonic teasing and vicious vocals. As with all the songs you get the feel of a kind of improvisation going on such their continually shifting and unexpected journeys though it is all carefully and intently crafted. It is only ever compelling though weirdly it is also where the band in brief moments do remind of other artists despite the persistently evolving presence of songs, though with each track an unrelenting crusade upon the ear moments where they can be compared to others are a fleeting breeze in the unbridled winds of the tracks. The final song continues the devastation of the ear and thrilling of the passions. It is a merciless and wholly rewarding breach of the senses with a sonic stripping and intense barracking of the defences making a stirring finish to the EP.

Hope In Hell is an excellent release from a band which leaves one breathless and excited for their and our musical futures. Released as a name your price proposition this is one violation you do not want to miss.

RingMaster 09/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sykopath Condor – Til It’s Gone

Sykopath Condor

With their debut album in the works and a string of gigs set for February, UK rock n roll band Sykopath Condor is setting things up by releasing the single Til It’s Gone at the end of January. It is a release which will ensure a definite anticipation and excitement for their full length upon its planned arrival in the summer. The track is the proof that you do not have to over complicate things to capture the imagination and thrill the senses. It is an accomplished and tightly crafted song which marks the Luton quartet as a band to keep a close eye and ear on.

Following on from their first and again enjoyable published song Fire & Blood, the new track is one of a series of songs to be unleashed from the forthcoming album leading up to its release. Bringing a muscular and resonating sound recalling bands such as Kyuss, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots, the track inspires an allegiance from voice and feet to its equal blend of metal and rock. It is a very easy track to digest and find union with and just as easy to return to again and again to for its rock n roll treat.

Formed in 2010, and gigging since 2011, the foursome of vocalist George Zafirakis, guitarist Kai Wolf, bassist Ashley Clark, and drummer Ashley Morton, has built a loyal following to their sinewy sounds and gained a strong reputation for their live performances. Til It’s Gone tells you all you need to know about the band and makes for a riveting and refreshing companion as it makes its persuasive request to the passions. Fresh from an impressive performance in the final of a Battle Of The Bands competition in December, Sykopath Condor is set to make the year an energising and satisfying time for not only the band but British rock n roll as a whole on the evidence of their new single.

The song begins with an enticing guitar tease very reminiscent of Soundgarden before expanding into a feisty yet controlled groove and heavyweight presence. The vocals of Zafirakis impress alongside the equally mighty bass throbbing of Clark, the singer bringing an expressive plea to his tones and the bassist ably assisted by the rhythms of Morton, adding extra snarl and depth to the song without sacrificing any of the infectious melodic caresses and catchy breath of the track. It is a song which defies you not to join in the chorus after one burst of its contagious energy, something you will fail, whilst the guitar of Wolf adds its flames to ignite further sacrifice of inhibitions to join loud and proud with the tune.

Previous song Fire & Blood was a pleasing bruise of rock with all the elements which shine here, basically the band, rising to pleasing heights too but the new song has an extra irresistibility to it which makes it a track sure to appeal to an even wider rock and metal audience.

With a release gig on the 26th January at George II in Luton, the track is the first spark in what could be a big year for the band. Time to climb on board for their ride is now with Til It’s Gone.

RingMaster 09/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fear God – God Bless The World, Not Just America


Continuing their knack at bringing prime punk rock in many guises to the world, Thumper Punk Records have done it again with God Bless The World, Not Just America the debut album from US band Fear God. A faith driven collection of songs which will spark the appetite of any old school punks no matter their beliefs, the album is a stirring and infectious slice of sincere and rowdy punk riots.

The solo project of veteran Orange County punk rocker Doug Jutras, the album is the result of its creator making a change in his life and finding a focus to all things through faith. Having struggled and recovered from severe back injuries and the challenges brought by his punk lifestyle from his early teens, Jutras found his clarity in life and wrote the album to hopefully inspire and give hope to others. Taking influences from the likes of Social Distortion, TSOL, The Damned, and Call to Glory, he has brought forth an album which works with the theme of the title whilst unleashing a dozen brawls of punk rock to satisfy the hearts of old school punk fans. As with a great many faith driven releases the constant heart of the album does inspire a little resistance to those with different thoughts and inspirations but God Bless The World, Not Just America does not preach and offers musically plenty to bypass that aspect and for like-minded souls and those open to the ideas and possibilities portrayed, it is a release which is likely to inspire as the artist hopes.

The raw energy of He Forgets rampages through the ear first, the great infectious bassline and thumping riffs a ready and hungry companion to the coarse riffs and catchy vocals. It is punk at its simplest and best offered with extra flair and invention, with especially the bass a magnet for the senses and primal rhythms inside. The great four string lure continues into the following Love God, the instrument and song recalling the early days of The Damned, Suburban Studs, and Circle Jerks. It is an impressive start which hardly fluctuates in quality and appeal as the album continues.

The release offers up some good surprises too amongst the more expected pink bruises starting with What Am I Doing Here, a track with Jutras narrating his thoughts and experiences through spoken word upon an emotive and suggested musical ambience. The song switches to a quick fire onslaught reminding of early Skids and then switches across the rest of the track with skill and pleasing imagination. It is an intriguing and evocative track as is the equally provoking Kelly Testimony. Consisting of a retelling of her life by a female voice over acoustic and again emotive sounds, the song is a tale which shocks and reassures. It is a clever and effective song which all can draw something from whatever their circumstances in the past and now.

Tracks like Devil’s Mark with its Misfits/Dead Kennedys breath and the garage blues lilted Can’t U Be There please and light nostalgic emotions with their uncomplicated and enjoyable sounds but the highest pinnacles come with God Bless the World and Closer He Gets to You. The first is a contagious pop punk graced slice of melodic rock with a female coaxing assisting Jutras which brings essences of Honey Bane to the pop dance of the track whilst the second is a fiery abrasion of harsh riffs and stirring intent offering a mix of Social Distortion and Angelic Upstarts and giving further variation to the album as a whole. This diversity brings a breath of different times and flavours from the genre which is as refreshing as the songs itself and adds to the overwhelming pleasure of the album.

The grazing energy of Dying World is another treat before the album closes what is a pleasing and energising encounter. If good original punk has been in short supply for your ears and heart lately then Fear God is the perfect tonic to restore your faith in punk rock and maybe more besides.

RingMaster 09/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright