Homage: Insignificant

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There is not a great deal we can tell you about Canadian melodic hardcore band Homage, the band sketchy in the extreme with their information but with their EP Insignificant, the Toronto quintet make the only truly important declaration, of just how promising a band accomplished a band they are. The five track release is the evidence of a band evolving into a creative and expressive force and though like most releases it has flaws there is nothing which excuses thoughts of not being impressed.

Consisting of Emmett Johnston, Jon Lundrigan, Spencer Schiralli, Travis Dupuis, and Waley Gao, Homage opens up the EP with the evocative Groundwork. Entering with a lone melodic stroking of the guitar amidst a vocal sample and brewing ambience, the track stretches its arms to weave an agitated wash of sonic beckoning and carefully crafted melodic flames against which passionate boisterous group vocals squall their intent. It is a brief introduction which sets up the following fierce encounter, Albeit. Imposing muscular rhythms open up the ear allowing the harsh caustic vocals growls and scowls to intimidate and stake their claim on the senses before leading the elevated intense charge of the track. As the guitars spiral within the almost bleak intrusive voice of the song their skill and sonic persuasion is impacting and emotive, forging the perfect temper to the aggressive vocals and grasping energy. As the track continues to shift its gait and mass through elegance and ferocity with the drums and basslines matching with firm and complimentary craft, the band dish thoughts and satisfaction a filling meal.

Definitive is an immediate brawl upon the senses in sound, vocals, and intent. The ravaging dual vocal attack grazes the surface of the listener to lay foundations for the throaty bass and crisp unforgiving drums to bruise further. As previously the guitars create a compelling web of acidic melodic enterprise and sonic intrusion which settle the nerves if not the burdening intensity of the track. Like its predecessor the song as it brings in great group vocals and at times an addictive djent/tech metal manipulation, ignites real interest in and pleasure from the inventive abrasion.

As Release Relief unveils its sensitive and emotive caress, the band shows a strength in songwriting and diversity which seamlessly fits alongside the previous confrontations but offers an expansive element to their invention. Certainly the track is forceful and imposingly demanding but there is a groove and infectious breath to the song which sets it apart and to the fore of the whole release. The bass work is again excellent, a realisation which actually creeps up in many ways and is finally declared openly at this point, whilst the guitars continue to impress and sculpt impassioned aural paintings with their imaginative flourishes and sword like sharp touches.

Closing with It’s Becoming An Integral Part, a furnace of a song where shadows and emotive fires collide into a tempest of intensity, passion, and uncompromising attitude. As the whole release, the track leaves one in no doubt that Homage is a band with as much potential as they have passion, and that is a well with a deep bottom. It is also a band in evolution one feels, their unique voice still to be found but there is little to doubt going by Insignificant that they will not realise it. Aside from the lack of a defining element or hook within songs to lift the band away from the head of the pack and for personal tastes a further diversity within the vocal bruising, the EP raises keen anticipation for what comes next from Homage, it is destined to be noteworthy at the very least if this release is a gauge.

The Insignificant EP is available as a name your own price download @ http://homageband.bandcamp.com/album/insignificant

www.facebook.com/homageband

http://www.homageband.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fisherman’s Death: Uncharted Waters

    Fisherman’s Death

    Reaching out from the heavy dark depths of Davy Jones Locker, Swedish death metallers Fisherman’s Death is a melodic scourge of extreme metal which ravages and consumes the senses with new EP Uncharted Waters. The four track release is a leviathan from the deep with a merciless ravenous appetite and one which leaves the desire to go back into those threatening greedy waters overwhelming.

Formed in 2009 by bassist/vocalist Joakim Häggström and guitarist Thomas Lindqvist, Fisherman’s Death takes influences from the likes of Alestorm, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden, and Swishbuckle and forges its own nautical death driven malevolence which reels in the passions. Completed by rhythm guitarist Nils Löfgren and drummer Filip Krullet Löfgren, the quartet from Umeå first drew attention with their Among The Shore EP of 2010, following it up two years later with debut album The Code. Released via Tmina and Grom Records, Uncharted Waters is the next instalment of the deep, a towering fusion of pirate/folk, and death metal which with captivating ease ignites the senses and imagination.

It is hard to say that Fisherman’s Death is venturing into new seas and adventures with their sound and release but undoubtedly it Fisherman's Death - Uncharted Waters - front coverhas a depth and wealth of barbed hooks which firmly reaches deeper than the majority of similarly armed sea borne mariners and pagan warriors. The title track sets sail first, its body emerging from within brewing deathly sonic mists, and takes no time in laying destructive yet magnetic muscular hands upon the ear. With inviting sonic grooves weaving within the thick current of energy and commanding riffs, the song is instantly a sinewy temptation. Its overwhelming persuasion is completed by malevolent sturdy vocal growls and scowls of Häggström, his tones a grasping rasping abrasion to bring further weight to the imposing breath of the track. The perpetually insidious grooves are persistence elevated whilst the group calls at the chorus a primal contagion and a call to arms to voice and fist. Openly infectious but with a substance which many bands lose in trying to capture the listener, the track is a mighty and invigorating opener which is equalled and surpassed as the EP surges out into its murky depths.

The demanding prowl of The Flying Dutchman comes next, a track which crashes through the ear upon waves of rich and venomous riffing wrapped in sonic teasing. It has a predatory stance, a lure which leads to destruction but the journey is equally an enticing seduction of melodic enterprise and virulent infection. As mentioned the release is not searching new armouries of sound but with thick textures and an energy as well as invention which makes the passions compliant to its objective, it leaves a rich bounty of invigorating enjoyment.

The Captains Chanson is announced by bell knells and soon has its vigorous brawn stretching to its full extent, the delicious gnarly bass of Häggström a hungry bestial instigator. As its hulk of a body crashes through intense waves the climate of the song evolves with skill and intriguing allurement to cast shards of melodic sun and warmth on a mellowing course. It of course is not long before the track is rampant once more and turning on the listener with corrosive rhythms and annihilatory riffs but this is continually entwined with a compulsion to temper and seduce with sonic grandeur. The song is outstanding, the best of the release, and would have alone left an ardour for the band in place.

The closing Darkwater Cape is a torrent of unrelentingly vicious rhythms, the drums of Löfgren callous which ever guise they wish to enthral with, whilst the guitars of the other Löfgren and Lindqvist once more flame the skies with invention and skill. The track is a final anthemic row across the siren waters of the release and as all the songs the incitement to join the crew.

       Uncharted Waters is an excellent treat to get your feet wet with and Fisherman’s Death a band which leaves every requirement and satisfaction full to the poop deck.

https://www.facebook.com/Fishermansdeathofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Project Silence: 424

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    A new scourge to confront extreme noise fans, Project Silence is a Finnish band which is a brawl of intense promise and in 424 has unleashed an album equally as powerful and striking. Though not without flaws, the release is an immense conviction of brutality and bewitching enterprise, in fact that its only real prime issue in that it offers so much in diversity and ideas it risks confusing the listener into indecision over its impressive contents.

From Kuopio, the quintet of Delacroix (vocals, programming, keyboards), Mr. Sanderz (guitar), J (guitar), Silve R (drums), and Sturmpanzerjäger (bass), combine a ferocious furnace of industrial metal, dark electro, trance, aggrotech, and black metal, setting the band somewhere between God Destruction and The Browning with primal essences of Mortiis adding their serpentine malevolence. Formed in 2008 as originally a solo project of Delacroix, the band released its first songs soon after as a free download before working on their debut album and releasing a pair of preview songs in 2010. Obstacles and delays held up the album until the powerful collection of invention and aggression was released at the tail end of 2012. Now with its experimental muscular confrontations open to the world there is an expectation, after listening to 424 that Project Silence is on the first major step of an impending forceful ascent.

The title track wraps around the ear first, the electronic instrumental a warm expanse of electro warmth over slightly blistered 424coverambience whilst keys evoke a tender yet firm invitation to the heart of the release. The piece gives no indication of the destructive intent to follow though its brief minute and a half is merely a pleasing slight-of-hand as the malice of Pressure Revolution takes its place. The track plunders the ear initially with electronic teases and riotous shouts before gaining a stride of rampant electronics and hungry riffs. In full flight the song is a storm of brawling intensity, grazing acidic vocal squalls, and transfixing sonic rain of melodies and electro shards of infection. It is an undemanding yet sinewy encounter which has essences of Houston! and Celldweller within its heated stance.

The following My Reality immediately invades the ear with a darker ambience and invading shadows leading to a malicious caustic vocal and predatory black metal flavoured persuasion. Whereas its predecessor was a relatively direct offense the songwriting here is an evolving and senses searching journey which ravishes and seduces with equal hunger and effect. A guitar power metal infused temptation is just one seamless escapade on the insidious encounter whilst the symphonic caresses in the latter part of its presence is an extra fire of unexpected pleasure to add further diversity to song and release as is Stardancer (Raven’s whore). The track opens with a trance soaked wash which persuasively leads one right into the furnace of rampaging energy and riffs driven by a ravenous breath. Once more it is a song which into its onslaught skilfully and passionately merges a distinct spicery, the track a raptorial tempest which shifts from bringing loud whispers of Rammstein and The Kovennant to those of Firewind and Enter Shikari.

The corrosive Keeper with its dramatic keys, euphoric ambient symphony, and riveting electronic grandeur, is a powerful and compelling slice of symphonic metal imagination but again as with all songs employs a weave of provocative textures and sounds which crosses genres and appetites. As mentioned at times you feel there is almost too much going on, though everything is with a craft and inventive sculpture it is impossible to refuse its addictive lure and the more you immerse within the album the more its persuasion is dominant.

From the singular techno presence of Sky, Space and Twilight Zone, a track which perfectly accomplished did not manage to spark any fires without that viciousness that pervades throughout the rest of the album, and the black metal malignancy of the again strong but ultimately uninspiring Alone (Crushed by Your Lies), the album is soon preying on the passions once more with firstly the feral BEAST and its successor Cage of Hate. The first of the pair fuses black and pagan metal into a voracious devouring of the senses with dazzling yet shadowed industrial magnetism whilst the latter is an incendiary soundscape of spiralling elements and ideas from again a wealth of genres and styles brought into a contagious slightly suffocating maelstrom of imagination.

424 is completed by the dark electro metal revelry of Everything where again the likes of Rammstein stalk thoughts and the short evocative instrumental Promise to bring a rounded closure to the release. It is an excellent release which impresses from start to finish whilst breeding an even more powerful promise and anticipation of the band in the future when they find their unique voice, which suggested by the album is still a search in progress. The bottom-line is Project Silence left us enthused and breathless, enough said.

http://www.projectsilence.info

8/10

RingMaster 27/02/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Angie & The Car Wrecks: Boozed And Bloody

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    An album which may have like us passed you by until now but undoubtedly worthy of attention is the psychobilly miscreant Boozed And Bloody by the equally devilish Angie & The Car Wrecks. It is a release which dances with the devil through a feisty merger of psychobilly, rockabilly, and whispers of country rock n roll, and an album which ignites the passions into naughty thoughts and complete satisfaction.

From Onalaska, Washington USA, the quintet of Angie Ball (vocals/acoustic guitar), Kc Maukl (upright bass), Dale Ball (fiddle), Pigpen Spear (washboard), and Dustin Beck (drums), has earned an impressive name for themselves through their Bender Bound EP of 2010 as well as their irrepressible live performances which since forming has led them to playing events which include the Pacific Northwest Brewcup, the 4th annual Jake the Alligator Man B-day Bash in Long Beach, the Kustom Kulture Festival in Silverdale, Reno Rockabilly Riot, the 7th annual Seattle Psychobilly Brawl, and across WA with The Rocketz, Graceland Five, Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz, James Hunnicutt, and Three Bad Jacks, as well as being hand-picked by the founders of the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee to open for Soul Asylum.

Released via Texas-based Psycho-A-Go-Go Records, Boozed And Bloody opens with Intro, a sizzling instrumental of rockabilly front2(2)candy and invitingly crafted elegance which romps like a pole dancer on viagra and is just as mischievous. The magnetic start explodes into an immediate lust thanks to the tarmac tearing Draggin ‘Down. Instantly rocking like a Chevy in cruise mode the track stirs up the dust and ignites the fuel of the heart with infectious rhythms and delicious skilled guitar flames all wrapped in the irresistible vocals of Angie.

Rolling rhythms and a sultry blaze of harmonica harken in the thrills of Moonshine, a southern coated stomp of psycho country contagion exploiting every instinct and passion for a fevered riot of insatiable enterprise and the continuation of a sensational introduction to the album. From such a heightened start a slip or lull would be expected but with crafted diversity the band just deliver the delicious insatiable romance with the simmering emotive sunset of Some Kinda Hate and the boiling ambience of Hellriders. The first is a tender embrace which smoulders within the ear and the second a brewing storm carved by a wonderfully carnivorous upright bass sculpting veined by a kindling of spiralling guitar mastery and harmonica sparks which light the canvas below the feisty alluring tones of Angie. It is an inspiring and seductive blend which is impossible to ignore or avoid drooling over.

The same can be said of the whole album and especially Junkyard Blues, a white hot fusion of rockabilly fermented in a brew of country rock with a hint of rhythms & blues.  The song lures you into its inferno with expert temptation and rewards with an unruly yet deviously crafted explosion of incitement and inflammatory rock n roll. In its own distinct way Iron Horse II also latches onto an inner ardour to leave one basking in unrestrained pleasure, in its case with a shimmering ambience around a scorch of guitar bliss and gently prompting rhythms beside as it is automatically expected at this point, sirenesque but commanding vocals.

     Little Willy’s is a track which if feet and blood is not pumping then a mirror to the mouth for sign of life is needed. The song just dances with the passions like a teen at a hop whilst the following ’31 Coupe is an orgasmic inducement to rampage the streets with intent and headlights blazing. Both songs offer the fullest primal bait through the sensational almost bestial slaps of Kc Maukl whilst once more the harmonica sends tingles across the spine.

Finishing on the country liquor jiggery of Have Another One, the swells and intemperate warmth of instrumental Surfin ‘Tucson, and lastly the graveyard serenade Necrofella, a Horrorpops meets Richie Valens amongst the tombstones finale, Boozed And Bloody is one of those treats you just cannot get enough of. It is a hunger we will be satisfying as soon as possible, a suggestion we offer you after you tuck into this outstanding offering first of course.

http://www.angieandthecarwrecks.com

https://www.facebook.com/angiecarwrecks

http://psychoagogorecords.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Charlie Winston: Running Still

CW

    The opportunity to review the new single from British singer-songwriter Charlie Winston came up recently, a track which is easily one of the freshest dazzles of elevated pop to come along recently, but such its impressive heart and sound the urge to check out instead the recent album it came from burned brighter and what a rewarding decision it was. Running Still is exceptional, an eclectic feast of sounds and passion which ignites the heart.

France based Winston took to music at an early age, learning the drums at age eight, moving to the piano at ten, and within two years was writing his own songs. Growing up in a Suffolk hotel, which had a constant tide of itinerant artists, orchestras, actors, and thespians, added to his love and understanding of the performing arts so really it is no surprise his heart fuelled accomplished and imaginative creativity can openly be seen on his album. At seventeen he relocated to London to join brother, Tom Baxter, whilst studying music at Brunel. The next three years saw the pair playing in their band Baxter, with Winston on bass, and finding him writing and playing music for short films, dance productions, and TV adverts as well as producing and recording records with various artists. He continued to sing or play with many different bands on either bass, piano or percussion, whilst for the first time exploring the guitar.

In 2003 whilst recording bass on his brother’s album at Real World Studios, Winston was introduced to Peter Gabriel. Friends with his daughter, Winston eventfully decided to introduce his new EP to her father which led him to being signed to Real World Records, the label of Gabriel, for debut album Make Way, as well as supporting the man on his 2007 European tour. Moving to France next, Winston caught the attention of record label Atmosphériques, and through them linked up with to Mark Plati (David Bowie, The Cure, Louise Attaque) who produced his acclaimed second album Hobo. Released in 2009, the album topped the French charts and drew intense attention and responses in France and adjacent European areas though still back home he was and arguably still is an unknown, well until Running Free, via Real World Records, touches on the nation one suspects.

The album coaxes the listener in with opening guitar strokes and expressive vocals from Winston as first track Hello Alone gently AlbumArt_{8ECE16C4-E3E6-4B3E-81E4-2EB0AEA1118E}_Largesaunters into view. With shimmering sonics and a folk swagger, the song leads the ear and emotions into a mesmeric dance of heated brass, tingling keys, and excitable melodic sultriness. It is a compelling and glorious beginning which instantly raises the anticipation of what is to follow.

Immediately the flirty Speak to Me takes over, a mesh of big pulsating rhythmic seduction and semi-rapped vocals skirt the senses before engaging them in an enthralling unexpected big boned stomp. The track instantly reminds of Gabriel to be honest with additional elements of Talking Heads and though arguably it is an easy unchallenging composition for the listener it is nothing less than incitingly absorbing.

The previously mentioned single, Where Can I Buy Happiness?, ignites a furnace of pleasure and passion, its smouldering heat and sexiness a lure of the richest potency and fired elegance. It has a familiarity about it which is hard to pin point and certainly only adds to its triumph whilst its soulful plea connects with an inner understanding all can relate to. The quizzical bassline is exceptional and strolling within the glaze of emotive keys and again fine vocals adds to the compelling breath of a quite stunning song.

Already the diversity of the album is loud and continues throughout each subsequent track. The Great Conversation is a wonderful encounter of the dramatic, its weave of nostalgia and modern sensational. The song is a quirky English stroll through European classical intrigue complete with whispers of steampunk and totally delicious. The piano driven ballad She Went Quietly without sparking the passions of previous songs is a thoughtful evocative caress whilst Unlike Me is another tender amble across thoughts with its padding of rhythmic feet and mournful yet smiling strings, guitars, and harmonies.

The balmy soul of Until You’re Satisfied lifts the passions again to previous elevations, though they never ever dip into anything less than excitable at any point, before the southern blues soaked steamy encounter Wild Ones trips the light fantastic over the senses with steamy melodics and insatiable mischief. It is another major highlight which makes the perfect invitation and companion to another piano ballad in Making Yourself so Lonely, a song with a big breath and grander emotion.

Rockin’ in the Suburbs with its breathless excitement ,which transfers to and erupts within the listener, begins the closing straight for the album, the infectious and agitated rock n roll within its walls undemanding and generous with its rewards. Completed by the pop romp of Summertime Here All Year, a song with a touch of Julian Cope/Black about it, and a final emotive hug from Lift Me Gently, the magnificent Running Still is a lingering and continually returning treat which swirls around thoughts and memories long after its final kiss. If after its release Charlie Winston is still a mystery to the UK even the world at large, than something is seriously wrong.

http://www.charliewinston.com/

9/10

RingMaster 27/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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The Caskeeteers : Go Cadaver, GO !

The Casketeers

Every now and then we look back at an album which readers may have missed but certainly deserves a look at as we search out the beating heart of the underground in all its shades. Such is the case with Go Cadaver, GO ! from US ghouls The Caskeeteers, a riotous brawl of an album which brings mischief, antagonism, and unbridled revelry from the land of the dead.

Formed in 1998 by upright bassist and vocalist Ritchie Dead, the band from Salem, Oregon has brought a scourge of psychobilly and horror punk to the breathing and expired earning hungry acclaim and decomposed lust through their impressive live performances and previous releases Dead Things and Tales From The Casketeers. The band has ‘buried numerous members’ as line-up changes added to the mayhem but with guitarist Gorey Hackerman and drummer Brian Terrible alongside Ritchie Dead, The Casketeers has hit their finest glory to date with the Psycho A Go Go Records released Go Cadaver, GO !

The album opens up its tomb of gore first with Carnival of Souls, an initial church organ beckoning and vocal revelation coaxing the ear into a stroll of bass persuasion, fiery guitar sonics and punchy rhythms. The brief welcome is soon a stomp of greedy riffs, eager beats, and inciting slap bass provocation. It is a keen and easy going track which though it falls short of igniting major sparks inside makes for a more than decent start with its scorching solo, boisterous vocals and harmonies, and rampant breath.

To be fair it is because of the quality of the rest of the album that the song and arguably a couple of other tracks pale slightly in comparison but that is the price to pay when including tracks like Wreck-n-Roll on your release. Sparking the ear with deep throaty bass plucking and a squall of vocal raucousness, the song swaggers with steaming blues guitar teasing and a resonating pulse which paws and coats the senses with expert temptation. Imagine Stray Cats and The Ramones in collusion with Johnny Burnette and you have this flaming uproar.

Tracks like Haunted Forever with its Generation X like rebellion and the seductive beat shuffle Killing Me Killing You continue the increasing strength of the album, a release which just gets better the further in to its shadowed depths you go.  The carnivorously strutting From Flesh To Bone as it sends the ear and passions into an excitable frenzy is a prime example whilst the following title track is like that boisterous best friend which with anthemic egging on leads you into a bruising errant display of behaviour.

The final four songs find album and band at its best, King Of Zombies leading the aural and passionate devilment. With a virulent contagion and sultry mid-song seducing, the song is psychobilly to commit adultery over, a delicious unquenchable lust with rewards that leave the heart breathless. From the throaty glories of the upright bass, the snapping rhythmic provocation, and the feverish guitar taunting in the song and album overall, The Casketeers is a primal inducement set free.

Among the Living is the most ravishing slab of excellence on Go Cadaver, GO !, the leading bass slaps and brewing sonic restlessness irresistible, a reaction which intensifies once the song spreads its muscles and devious addiction forming charms. Like all the tracks it is an immediate anthem for the instincts and soul which leads into unsolicited rapture and furious deeds of desecration, mentally and emotionally.

With the mutually scheming No Remorse, its dominant bass lick, barbed hooks, and cunning rhythms greedy and unrestrained, and the closing furore Sore Loser finishing off what is fully thrilling and invigorating release, Go Cadaver, GO ! is an unapologetic romp of death driven rock n roll. The album with extra whispers of the likes of Misfits and Volbeat to those flavours already mentioned, is one of those treats you instinctively return to and inspires eager hope that we see The Casketeers returning with more grave borne sounds soon.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Casketeers/169521496422613

http://psychoagogorecords.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 27/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

www.audioburger.com

 

Dark corners and caustic intent: an interview with Varicella

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A maelstrom of ravenous intensity and demonic caustic caresses, the debut EP from US industrial band Varicella has brought an uncompromising destructive start to the year. Released through the impressive emerging underground label Bluntface Records, We Belong Dead was a predator of old school eighties style industrial which experimented with and pushed brawling sonic boundaries. Taking the opportunity to find out more about the project through founder Chris Bollinger and guitarist Chris Pasquarelli, we looked at the release, the origins of the band and horror movies…

Welcome to The RingMaster Review and thanks for talking with us.

Varicella – Thank you! And thanks for giving us the chance to talk with you! We appreciate the opportunity.

For the uninitiated, tell us about Varicella, its beginnings, and the inspiration for the project.

Chris Bollinger – Well this is going to be a “really” long story, and I will try to shorten it as best I can, LOL. Varicella is at the moment, a two person industrial/metal/electronic dance music/experimental band. And when I say at the moment, I mean, that we did have a bassist who also did some synth work. He was responsible for a decent amount of what the band sounds like now. But sadly, we had to let him go from the band, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. We do hope to add a live bassist and drummer at some point, but it is hard finding the right people who fit and so forth.

As for the beginnings of the band, well as it states in our BIO on Facebook or Reverbnation, I started the project back in 2008. I’ve always wanted to do an industrial type of band, even when I was in high school back in 2000/2001. I just never found anyone that was on the same page as me or liked what I liked. But anyway, I started this in 2008 and did a few things wrote a few songs, some are on our We Belong Dead EP actually. We just updated them. Then I had to put it on hold because of to many people coming and going. I mean, I think I went through 4 or 5 guitarists until I found Chris Pasquarelli. I posted several ads online and for about 2 years, I never got an answer or I did but their style didn’t fit my style, or they wanted to do the more aggrotech / terror EBM style of industrial and I don’t want to do that. So it was a super long time between people. And during that our old bassist answered one of my ads. We talked and began to work together over the internet with a site called Soundcloud. At the time he was working a job that was 3rd shift overnight and I work a standard 9 to 5 type of job. So our schedules were completely opposite. But I’m determined to do this so things got done! LOL. Then as I mentioned above I found Chris Pasquarelli, through Facebook no less, LOL. We both were clicking like on each other’s posts or comments, and then somehow he saw I did music and said we should jam. I was really impressed with him. That was last April and he’s been in the band ever since that first jam. Yes, he’s that good!

As for the inspiration, I’d have to say just my love of the old 80’s and early 90s industrial, bands such as Ministry, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, and Frontline Assembly. And then on top of that I love White Zombie and Nine Inch Nails, and thrash metal type of bands like Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Pantera and other hard rock or punk bands like Alice in Chains, Danzig, Tool, Filter, Misfits and The Ramones. So, I just wanted to do something that was in the vein of those bands/artists but not a direct rip off. I wanted to make heavy dance music. Songs that have a heavy dance beat that’ll make the girls shake their asses to it, but at the same time it has a thrash metal guitar part or groove to the guitars that’ll make the dudes head bang to it. Hopefully that makes sense to anyone out there. LOL.

What was it about music which you felt was missing and leaving you cold as a listener as well as a musician, when starting Varicella?

Chris B. – Pretty much as I said above, everyone was making the all synth based aggrotech / terror EBM type of industrial, and I didn’t want to do that. I have nothing against it and I like most of it. I listen to Combichrist, Psyclon Nine, Imperative Reaction, Wumpscut and other various bands that have that sound. It’s just not the type of music that I wanted to do personally. And I think that made it harder to find a guitarist too, because that style is really popular right now. The style we do is not popular. Which does make things harder but at the same time, we can transcend a few genres of music and play with different types of bands. Which I find pretty cool! LOL.

Chris Pasquarelli – When I joined Varicella last April I liked the music, but I wanted to make it heavier and more edgy. Most of the songs had basic plug-in computer guitars which the typical computer programs use and I liked it but I didn’t like how noticeable it was that it was not recorded by real guitars as opposed to computer guitars. Within the last 9 months I’ve been in the band I can say that I am really happy with the overall sound our music has with my added guitar and bass tracks.

Was this music in general or more the industrial/electro genre you did not find a connection with?IMG_0014

Chris B. – I’d say yes, mostly in the industrial/electronic genre, but I’ve been a little bored with the rock and metal genre too. Not much is catching my attention in the rock and metal genre. There are a few “really” good bands in the all of those genres, but you have to weed through thousands of copies or clone bands to find the 4 or 5 good ones. It’s tough.

How do you feel about the scene and music now we stand in 2013?

Chris B. – Pretty much the same. Some things have gotten better. Like, it’s easier to spot the better bands versus what I call the “bedroom” bands. These are people that just sit in their homes, make and release music, but never play a live show. Ever! There were a massive amount of them back in 2007 to 2009. Maybe even before that. I’m not 100% sure. But now, it’s about 99% easier to weed through and see those types of bands. And I’m not knocking those people. Some make very good music. I probably own some, LOL. But it’s just not what I want to do. I want to actually see the fans and talk to them and so forth, not sit in my bedroom and stare at a computer monitor.

What are the biggest influences which inspires your sound?

Chris B. – Ministry, mostly the early stuff, Twitch, The Land of Rape and Honey, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and Psalm 69. Those 4 albums blew my mind and still amaze me. I can’t believe Al and Paul did what they did at that time. It’s amazing! KMFDM, almost anything they do is great! Same goes for Skinny Puppy. Got to love Ohgr too! And then White Zombie, La Sex and Astro Creep are two great albums that shaped my teenage years!

Chris P. –  Behemoth, Deicide, At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle Of Filth, Children Of Bodom, Burzum, Darkthrone, Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cryptopsy, Anorexia Nervosa, Nine Inch Nails, Orgy, Deadsy, Psyclon Nine, Dimmu Borgir, Marilyn Manson, Static x, Old Mans Child, SOAD and many more!  As far as my sound goes I’m influenced by many bands, I just try to make the heaviest guitar and bass lines too fit our songs.

The early days were unsettled for the band I believe, through line-up problems? Was this the reason for Varicella going on hiatus or actually at the time was it the end of the band? 

Chris B. – They were. And I think I quit about 4 or 5 times. Gave up and stopped all together type of quitting. I was just really frustrated, and things were going nowhere. As I said, it was about 2 years before I found Chris Pasquarelli on guitar

Varicella reformed/re-emerged in 2011, what was the spark that made that the time to bring the project back to active life?

Chris B. – Skinny Puppy. Skinny Puppy came out with a new album called “HanDover” back in late 2011. Also Ohgr released another one of his solo albums early in 2011, called “undeveloped”. And I just said, fuck it, these are super good, I need to get my shit together, and get this project going! Especially “HanDover”! It’s over a year later and that album is still constantly on my iPod.

Chris P. – I was still in high school when I joined and I was in several other projects at the time when I joined Varicella. I’ve been serious about music for most of my life And I felt frustrated with a lot of the people I jammed with at the time because no one else was as into the band thing as I was until I joined Varicella, so I was really excited to be a part of a band which was serious about their music.

 Back to influences/inspirations, which predominantly spark and shape your songs and lyrics, the areas which ignite your ideas?

Chris B. – Movies, mostly horror and sci-fi movies. TV shows, comics and/or graphic novels. You wouldn’t think it, but Doctor Who is another spark that started two songs lyric wise. And one song music and lyrics, called “The Sound of Four”. And then there are some ideas that come from real life experiences. Like the song “Obsessed with flesh”.  The lyrics in that song can be applied to anything where a person feels they are being used and/or abused. But the major theme of that song comes from a person I wanted to date, but she didn’t want a steady boyfriend or a relationship. So we were just friends with benefits. After a few months of that she all the sudden stops talking to me. I can’t get a hold of her. She doesn’t want to hang out let alone do other stuff. Then a few weeks go by, and I find out she’s in a relationship and that’s why she just dropped me. I was fairly pissed off, and felt a little used. Same goes for the song “All Hail”, that’s sort of my views on brutal honesty with a little jab a religion. I’m a brutally honest person and a straight shooter. I just think we all spend too much time putting up a front or wearing a mask for certain people. It’s ridiculous.

Chris P. – As far as our music goes guitar and bass wise, I kind of do a Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Static X guitar and bass meets extreme metal vibe. For example in our song Mind Fucked I wrote a melodic guitar rhythm that a stripper could dance to, and metal heads could throw down too and fuck each other up in the mosh pits too as well. This has been a huge influence in writing for me, and I’m not exaggerating at all. Every time I right new material For Varicella I always keep Strippers and mosh pits in mind.

TrayCard_OutsideYou have just released your We Belong Dead EP via Bluntface Records; does this contain all new tracks or material with seeds and feet from the earlier presence of the band as well?

Chris B. – A little bit of both actually. The songs Obsessed with Flesh, All Hail were written back around 2008. Of course they were updated to match the other songs that were new, specifically the song Obsessed with Flesh. There’s this sort of machine type sound going on with the guitars. That’s from the way Chris Pasquarelli plays the song. He bends the strings a certain way at a certain time to get that specific sound. That’s all him! So if we had a different guitarist that didn’t play it that way, it wouldn’t sound that way.

How long did the EP take to create and how far did it or songs evolve from the initial ideas?

Chris B. – It didn’t take too long actually. Most of the blue print was laid out in 2008. We just updated some things here and there as I said. We started working on these songs in late 2011 and finished in the fall of 2012. Obsessed and All Hail didn’t change much. Chris Pasquarelli just added his own style to them. The Sound of Four came together very quickly! Music and the lyrics. I think it was done in only a few months. We Belong Dead went through a few changes. LOL. The original idea came from our old bassist Tim. I just sort of took the synth sound, and remixed it adding in other elements. I went through about 4 versions of that song until we hit on a verse / chorus / verse pattern. But it didn’t become what it is now until Chris Pasquarelli joined, and added the guitar riff that grooves over top the synth part in the verses.

There is a cinematic feels to your tracks on We Belong Dead, a visual ambience beyond the lovely corruption of sound and breath. Obviously it has seeds in the influences to songs you mentioned earlier but has it been a natural result of your personal interests or something you have crafted intentionally?

Chris B. – Thank you very much. I would say this is not intentional, at least on a conscious level. I mean, I try to create songs that have multiple meanings on multiple levels to them. This is why I like to add in certain Movie or TV show samples. They help me to tell the story of the song better. Or they reference things in my lyrics.

What are your hopes for the EP in relation to opening up future opportunities for the band and is there a particular moment or track on the release which is Varicella at its purest, where its heart is most open?

Chris B. – Well first and foremost this EP is a stepping stone to our full length release that’ll be out something later this year, probably fall or winter of 2013. We also hope this EP will help us get any attention to tour or play more shows. We’d love to do a tour! Even if it is just a small 2 or 4 week local tour. Of course a bigger 2 month or more tour would be great too!

Varicella at its purest? Not sure. Obsessed with flesh is pretty personal. As I mention above, that one involves a bad relationship with a girl. The Sound of Four is about feeling like you don’t exist in this world, so maybe those two songs. They might not sound like it, but most of my lyrics are real and from the heart.

Chris P. – I’m hoping this EP will open more doors for Varicella by getting us more fans and shows etc. I agree with Chris I think Obsessed with flesh is pretty out there in terms of being us at our purest.

How did you and Bluntface link up and what have been the benefits already from their support and presence?

Chris B. – Johnny from Virus Cycle had an open call for bands on his compilation last summer. From there, I saw that Otto was doing another compilation through the Bluntface site. Otto remembered our song and dug our sound, and a few months ago he sent me an email. He said the label was expanding, and asked if we wanted to join up with him. It seemed like a really good offer that we didn’t want to pass up. So we agreed.

There have been a huge amount of benefits! We’ve had internet radio air play. The review of our EP from you guys, and a few other interviews, and we did a “live” on air interview on 13SRadio.com. We also have another one that we’re doing at the end of this month. Everything Otto said he would do for us, he’s doing! So we’re extremely happy.

How are you managing to promote the EP and are there live shows happening or planned?

Chris B. – We’ve been promoting it on the various social media networks, Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, and a few other sites. We’ve been playing shows since last October when we opened for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Left Spine Down, and Panzer Division. Left Spine Down said we were loud and they liked our cover of Ministry’s Burning Inside. Since then, we’ve had a show every month, except for December, we played two that month. We’re taking February off to write and record some songs for the full length album. And we’re playing a show on March 23rd in Philadelphia at Motel Hell. Details are on our Facebook page

There are plenty of opinions from artists within industrial and its plethora of varied corners which say there is a current curse of IMG_0023_1backbiting and disrespect within the genre between musicians and those involved, how have you found the situation personally?

Chris B. – There are a few bands and people, not exclusively in the industrial/electronic music genre, that have been disrespectful to us. It does bother me at times, because it’s usually from bands/artists that think they’re bigger than they are, but they’re not. They have this ego trip and they act like you’re beneath them. It’s sad actually. And we try to not be like that. If you’re cool with me, then I’m cool with you, simple as that. But that’s just how it is, and it’s the same with the movie business. Everyone’s two faced. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local band or a huge touring band. You will run into a few that are like that.

Is there anything, band or releases, which have captured your imaginations recently and added extra flavour to your thoughts and ideas for your next compositions?

Chris B. – Wow, good question. Not too many “newer” bands. There are some bands that have been around for a little bit that are releasing newer albums. Dawn of Ashes, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Alice in Chains, Megadeth and Filter. I’m a pretty big Filter fan. Their last album “The Trouble with Angels” was really great! Still listening to that. Testament just released a very good album. Frontline Assembly and Tweaker also just put out newer albums. Even though FLA is more of a soundtrack, it’s still very good. Been listening to the “Tron Legacy” score by Daft Punk off and on for a few weeks. All of those keep my imagination going. Especially the “Tron Legacy” score. That CD just amazes me! It’s really good!

What is next creatively for Varicella?

Chris B. – We are currently working on our full length album. It will be all the songs from the EP plus about 5 or 7 more originals and maybe 2 or 3 remix songs.

Many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Chris B. – Thank you for giving us this opportunity. We appreciate it very much! Last thoughts…just check us out on Facebook or Reverbnation. Go to the Bluntface Records site and check out all the great bands there! If you haven’t already, please download our “We Belong Dead” EP. And thanks to everyone who’s helped and supported us along the way!

Finally, you said horror movies are big elements in your personal loves, so give us three films which are engrained in your passions to the extent you know lines off by heart.

Chris B. – 1) The Evil Dead films and Army of Darkness. Classics in my book and Army of Darkness just has so many great quotable line! 2) Almost all of the John Carpenter films, even the movies that are not horror movies. The Thing, Halloween, Prince of Darkness, Escape from NY, Big Trouble in Little China, In the Mouth of Madness, and Christine are some of my favourites of his. 3) Hellraiser 1 and 2. Those movies together feel like one really long awesome movie.

Chris P. – I’m right on board with Chris Bollinger’s horror movie tastes especially with the Hellraiser and Evil Dead Series. Some of my favourite horror movie quotes are Evil Dead 2’s “groovy” right after Bruce Campbell put a chainsaw where his possessed hand used to be, The priest’s quote “I kick ass for the lord” right before he fights zombies in the grave yard with his bare hands in Dead Alive and Lastly Chop tops “Oww my plate! My brain is burning nom flashback NOM FLASHBACK!!!!!!” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Read the review of We Belong Dead EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/varicella-we-belong-dead/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varicella/310239362321042?fref=ts

http://www.bluntfacerecords.com

The RingMaster Review 26/02/2013

RingMaster 26/02/2013

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