Black Tie Vendetta‏ – Length Of An Ocean


    Length Of An Ocean is an album which is as intriguing as it is pleasing, a release which without breaking down new musical doors still plays with and denies expectations with a collection of songs oozing diversity and imagination. Unleashed by Dallas rock band Black Tie Vendetta, the album shifts continually from heavy and thunderous to melodic and seductive, often combining the two for engaging and riotous experiences, and though it does not completely maintain the fiercest fire of a response to its offerings the flames do burn brightly with each magnetic track.

Consisting of vocalist Brandon Callies, guitarists Dustin Morrison and Dustin Baugh, bassist Joe Bandy, and Johnny Sillers on drums, Black Tie Vendetta has over the years forged a strong name and presence across their local scene and further afield. Latest release Length of an Ocean has energised that stature with its invigorating enterprise and sounds, and though it has still not quite found a place in the widest array of ears yet, listening to its deeply satisfying songs you can only feel the promise of the band is close to the fullest awareness, if not for this album for future creativity.

The album explodes into view with the bulging rhythms and rampaging energy of Armed And Ready. Immediately the song is 73239_151504728227422_8131457_ncarving up the senses with carnivorous riffs and firmly punching drums whilst the vocals of Callies ride the track with expression and potency. With the infectiousness of a Foo Fighters and the sinews of a Hell Yeah, the track ignites the passions with ease and sets the adrenaline firing for the rest of the album, its uncompromising yet familiar stance a virulent persuasion for release and band.

From the heavy rock charge of the opener the band switch to an alternative rock voice for the following Carries Me Away, though again the bass snarls and rhythms cage with the same intensity and power. The immense force of beats from Sillers and the growling resonance of Bandy’s bass offer intimidation and predatory hunger whilst the heavy duty riffs add their own formidable menace for a stirring and impacting encounter but alongside them the melodic coaxing of the vocals and guitar imagination tempers the onslaught with inviting and inventive caresses. The song continues the impressive start with ease, but things stall slightly with next up Under The Same Sky. The potently crafted song is a melodic ballad with the vocals of Callies emotive and passionate to warm the ear alongside equally impassioned sounds and there is no doubting the quality and appeal of the song, but it does break the charge of the album and feel a little out of place despite its fine voice.

Things are back in swing with the likes of Through A Whisper and In The Eyes, the first another melodic rock song with a core of heavy duty temptation and an aggressive prowl within the resourceful and melodic textures of the song. The additional female vocals bring a sirenesque charm to the warm atmosphere of its quietest moment to further stretch the vision and magnetic lure of the track. The second of the pair again fuses the rugged side of the band with its mesmeric melodic entrapment for a fury of a song with accomplished restraint and barbed hooks as loud as the contemptuous aural tones, the excellent result akin to a cross between Green Day and Sick Puppies.

Alongside the first track another two of the album’s greatest pinnacles come with the hypnotic The Burning Sea and the riotous Caught In A Crowd. The first is another emotive piece of ingenuity, the flaming ambience with a slightly destructive whisper a sweltering embrace to wrap the outstanding vocal display from not only Callies but the re-appearance of the female vocals. Whereas the earlier ballad felt lost amidst the other songs as does in some ways the following Keeps Me There, this stands tall, potent and vibrant, its addition an instinctive instigator to the evolving sound and flavour of the album. It is an excellent and lingering treat which along with many other songs gives rise to anticipation as to how great this band could be. Caught In A Crowd is a punk infused storm of caustic guitar strokes, greedy rhythms, and ferocious energy all led by the again impressive vocals alongside flames of melodic venom and vindictive insistence from the might guitars of Bough and Morrison. An anthem for the passions as well as the voice, the track is another thrilling slab of variety from album and band.

The release closes on the acoustic ballad The Raging Storm, another which is well devised and presented but for personal tastes an anti-climax after what came before. Length Of An Ocean is a very appetising and exciting album overall though and Black Tie Vendetta a band sure to enthral a great many given the chance.


RingMaster 13/04/2013

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Bovine – The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire


Brawling, squalling, and impossibly contagious, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is an album which charms and harms the senses for easily one of the most thrilling and exciting albums this year. Its sculptors are UK rockers Bovine, a band who has set another bench mark within the realm of exhausting sludge, rapacious heavy rock, and predatory progressive metal alchemy. Released via FDA Rekotz, their new album is a scintillating and threatening tempest of insatiable invention and primal aggression fused into an even greater storm of muscular sounds and equally imposing intensity brought with a sonic persuasion as addictive as it is viciously imaginative.

Tapping up the keen essences of the likes of Mastodon, Kyuss, Black Tusk, and Soundgarden and twisting them into veining for their own startling invention, Bovine has created a brute of an album which is forever evolving and turning on the senses for an unpredictable and compellingly enthralling confrontation. With melodies and barbed hooks as lethal and addictive as the primal rhythms and carnivorous riffing, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is nothing less than an album of the year contender.

From the short opening ambient instrumental Barium, there is little warning of what is to follow, its dawning haunting atmosphere255275_477420662275813_1151896898_n a portent of something sinister yet undefined. What does step from its chilled shadows is the rapacious assault Ghost Chair, a track bruising the ear within a short breath of time with crippling rhythms from drummer Damon Cox and the scything and searing guitars of Marcus VVulfgang and Thomas Peckett. Within their encounter on the senses the bass of Christophe Schaunig prowls and leers with pure intimidation whilst the vocals of VVulfgang roar and soar across the attack with a clean but snarling might. Across its blistering presence the shifts in pace and energy are demanding with equally rich rewards, the greed of the guitars and drums insatiable as is their inventive rage whilst all the while that bass stalks and hounds with a resonating beauty.

From the staggering start things only crave and succeed in grabbing a bigger slice of the passions firstly with Thank Fuck I Aint You and then Heroes Are What. The first of the pair is a blaze of towering rhythmic persuasion and burning sonic voraciousness with an urgency to brand the senses with scorching melodic mastery and crushing riffs bound in a ravenous expulsion of bone splintering rhythms and gluttonous intensity. The track devours the ear and beyond, finding an absence of resistance for its appetite in return. The second of the pair takes all that came before and stops it in its tracks, the acoustically led emotive caress with equally expressive vocals a smouldering invitation. This is just its opening gambit though and a minute into its journey the song unleashes another tirade of malevolent rhythmic bombardment from Cox and a furnace of caustic sonic fire. Like the previous songs the stoner/sludge like components are an open vein yet the pulverising onslaught of every atom of the track is an intensely textured maelstrom of diverse and  riveting sounds, peel them away layer by layer and the eclectic and resourceful invention in place is as riveting and impressive as the overall results.

The title track emerges with Cox and Schaunig in control, the metronomic demanding of the drums courted by the bestial throaty grizzle of the bass. A shimmering heat soon is expelled by the guitars to offer a sultry caress to the commanding core, the union leading into a fuller flame of irresistible brilliance. Arguably with a recognisable yet impossible to define breath to its voice, the track is a grunge lilted crawl over the ear with climatic crescendos of seismic intensity and another major highlight on the release which hands over to a fellow conspirator in securing long-term ardour. The Battle Of The Sinkhole is a sensational carnal consumption with an invidious swagger to its debilitating corrosive attack. Again there is something familiar at work but mere intrigue to the enormous rage of malicious beauty at play. As with all tracks the progressive persuasion ensures its voice is heard to bring further mesmeric temptation to the infernal intrusion, and as the song offers its full abrasion things really can get no better.

Of course the likes of I Will Make You Real and Military Wife disagree, both songs making their own distinct and voracious declaration. Across the whole of the album the variety and diversity of sound and imagination is as enrapturing as the sounds and this pair is no different, the first seducing thoughts and passions with a twisting spiral of sonic grooves and scarring riffs with the drums beating a submission out of the listener with jolting invention which borders on emotional and physical affray whilst the second opens up its stoner cauldron for a breath taking excursion through fervent sonic and melodic passional ferocity.

As the equally stunning Not Another Name brings the aural convulsion of invention and bewitching imagination to a close with arguably its finest moment, though admittedly that choice changes constantly, The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire is a release you cannot escape from and the temptation to re-enter its torrents of delicious abuse impossible to refuse. If there has been a better senses battering passion feeding album this year so far we missed it but doubt that there will be many this year which will rival Bovine’s exceptional release.


RingMaster 13/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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