Coma Wall/Undersmile – Wood And Wire Split

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The Wood And Wire Split is something a little unusual in that the two bands making up the release consist of the exact same personnel. The release brings the Oxford, UK quartet of Undersmile together with the same member’s new and simultaneously active project Coma Wall. It is a magnetic release which intrigues and captivates from the first smouldering note to the last shadow impregnated sound and leaves an emotive embrace upon the senses which lingers like an enthralling yet haunting personal nightmare.

The members of Undersmile, vocalist/guitarist Taz Corona-Brown, vocalist/lead guitarist Hel Sterne, bassist Olly Corona-Brown, and drummer Tom McKibbin, formed the band in 2009 and have found a distinct place in UK rock with their monolithic senses prowling sludge/doom sound. Their first EP A Sea of Dead Snakes in 2010 as well as a split EP with Caretaker the following year drew strong attention and responses their way but debut album Narwhal in 2012, potently lifted the band into the fevered arms of fan and critical acclaim. With eager fans in the shape of Henry Rollins and Earth’s Dylan Carlson behind the band, the four-piece has left a strong impact with their teasing, hypnotic, and burdensome sound. Exploring their love of acoustic music in numerous forms with folk/doom textures, the members of the band began writing songs to expand this area and played various acoustic gigs as Undersmile Unplugged, including sets at DesertFest and in support of drone legend Dylan Carlson. Deciding on the name Coma Wall for the project, the band set to work on recording tracks for their debut release, those tracks making up its contribution on Wood And Wire.

The Coma Wall trio of songs begin the release and finds the foursome alone with just acoustic guitars, banjo, and percussion, as well as an enveloping expansive atmospheric breath borne of their creativity. Opening track Summer slowly unwinds its kindling of enticing guitar strokes, banjo persuasion, and delicious vocal harmonies for a smouldering embrace which coats the ear in a sweltering ambience of emotive sunsets and doomy whispers, their impact evoking a melancholic wash across thoughts. The additional shadowed Americana feel brings extra resonance to the heart of the song whilst the slightly primal pulse darkens the elegance with appealing menace.

The following You Are My Death seduces with similar caresses to its predecessor, its warm suggestive presence enflaming the appetite for its sluggish heat and the sirenesque dual vocals of Taz and Hel. The deep cello resonance lying deep within the track equally inspires the passions and enhances the vivid imagery bred by the piece, so that immersion within its luscious textures is nothing more than a formality at the beginning. The track makes way for Cutter’s Choice, the darkest shadows unveiled and allowed freedom to roam the senses with the third of the Coma Wall songs. Once more the bass and mournful strings within the piece spark a rich ardour whilst the irresistible vocals coax emotions deeper into the sombre mesmeric labour of the exceptional track. The best track of the three and arguably of the whole release, it is a compulsive and incendiary doom clad temptation for which resistance struggles to raise a fight.

The Undersmile contribution begins with Soil, its sizzling voice and caustic tones bringing an earthy and riled presence to proceedings. Impossible to escape from or ignore, the vocals continue their golden devilment as found on the previous songs though there is a disturbing menace to their grip now, whilst musically the track explores the coarse and raw side of aural beauty within the droning doom laden intimidation at work. It is not a brutal or destructive sound but undoubtedly is uncompromising and merciless in its intrusive unsettling hold of the senses.

As with the previous track, next up Killer Bob exploits any weakness in the psyche with raptor like emotive stalking and heavily cracking rhythms, all within the corrosive guitar feedback led intensity and punishing morose prowl of a gait. The ante is soon intensified with closing song Hives, its entrance a ravenous cacophony of hungry dark vocal harmonies and savage discord dripping sonics. For the bulk of its stay the song lurches along with primal intent to its rhythmic and blackened harmonic pursuit of the emotions, leading into a climax of intense emotive insanity sparked by the predatory and persistent stance of the track. The piece is suspiciously meditative, if your psychotic tendencies are primed to explode, though the track equally could ignite any neurosis to hideous conclusions.

Released via Shaman Recordings and mastered by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Melvins), Wood And Wire is a stunning release from two sides of one impressive and dark emotion sculpting band. Fancy having your deepest fears and secrets exposed than this is the outstanding mental key to open them up.

www.facebook.com/pages/Coma-Wall/443763845670135

www.facebook.com/UndersmilE

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/04/2013

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

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Beyond the Shore – Ghostwatcher

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     Though Ghostwatcher, the new album from metalcore band Beyond the Shore is not rifling the senses with anything dramatically new or before unheard, there is no denying the release is one beast of an album which leaves a sure and invigorating satisfaction behind. The Lexington-Fayette, KY quintet has released something which is as skilfully accomplished as it is destructively hungry but also finds a middle ground between extremes to heartily feed the appetites of all fans from metalcore, hardcore, and metal.

Formed in 2008 whilst its members were still at school, Beyond The Shore has evolved in sound and craft into an attention grabbing senses exploring brute of a band as evidenced by the new album. Since forming the band has shared stages alongside the likes of Born Of Osiris, Shai Hulud, MyChildren MyBride, Of Machines, and After The Burial, as well as drawing strong attention through their The Arctic Front EP in 2009 and subsequent single Shotgun Sunrise. The five-piece entered a studio to record Ghostwatcher last year before talking with many labels about releasing it. Eventually they and Metal Blade Records reached a deal to unleash the impressive album and expectations of its virulently addictive presence point to the band breaking through to new heights of recognition.

Opener Dividers is a short seizure of the ear bursting from an ominous ambience into a clutch of staccato bled riffs and firm Beyond the Shore - Ghostwatcherrhythmic persuasion.  The vocals of Andrew Loucks immediately show a range from guttural growls to squalling confrontation, he delivering a seamless blend which certainly ignites a healthy dose of interest alone. Musically the track does the business too without lighting fires but at its briefness also has no time to agitate any doubts before handing over to Half Lived. The second song rampages with djent clustered strikes and ravenous rhythms from drummer Chris “The Lieutenant” Stinnett, easily capturing the imagination even if again not being outwardly innovative. Where it does excel though is the hunger each area of the track has to devour the senses with enterprise and the again impressive vocals, where a clean delivery shares the stage with the scowling passion. What also stands out is that nothing is taken to extreme but still holds a distinct character, the clean vocals snarling to avoid any sappiness and the bestial assault holding a restraint to offer clarity to the lyrical intent. The vocalist also has no fear in switching within the space of a few words his style and continually doe sit with a fluidity which only impresses. By its conclusion with an excellent guitar solo blaze grabbing headlines too, the track makes the strongest persuasion with matching rewards.

The best two moments on the album follow immediately in the dramatic shapes of Transitions and Homewrecker. The first is a furious furnace of uncompromising drum violation and equally predatory bass spite from Eli Masharbash, but it is the outstanding guitar invention and imagination of Zach Hunter and Jared Loucks which seal the deal. Opening with a Korn like beckoning and plunging bass resonance, the track wraps the ear with a gentle sonic caress before forging this restraint to an urgent and carnal rhythmic attack. As mentioned the guitars shape and sculpt the heart of the song with a siren like craft which the vocals once more exploit with inventive greed. Though the band has a metalcore centre the soak of other flavours like technical and nu-metal bloom potently ignite stronger fires. The second of the two is a harder violent proposition, an irresistible violation of malicious intent and invention. In the eye of its storm though there is a mellower progressive breath at large which is unexpected and works well, the band escaping its caress before it unbalances the thrilling savagery.

Across the synapse twisting Glass Houses, as well as Milestone, and #Dreamkiller, the band continue to bring variety and compelling malevolent encounters though all tracks lyrically look to the light in their challenging themes. The middle song of the three is an instrumental which is nicely crafted and intriguing with the electro element of the band given a full atmospheric rein. It does not quite fit in the album for personal tastes, accomplished and engaging though it is it feels just like an interlude before the action restarts, which it does with vengeance on the latter of the three songs. The track snarls and gnaws on the ear with a sonic progressive insidiousness leading the second line behind again intrusive intensity of energy and aural aggression.

A further pinnacle comes from Breathe on Ice, a hypnotic twist of metalcore and hardcore invention veined with the seduction of the devil as well as a venomous imagination which also only he could have bred. It is another exceptional track which cements the energised passion triggered by the release within. Ghostwatcher may not be the most original or unique album to thrill your ears, hard to argue that issue, but it is certainly one of the most powerfully rewarding.

https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheshore

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com