Helldorado – Bones In The Closet

Helldorado pic

Basking in the sultry heat and sweltering ambience of Bones In The Closet, the new album from Norwegian narrators of scintillating murder stories and rapacious shadows Helldorado, the overriding thought whilst within its seductive devil spawn arms is that you are being cradled by one of the major contenders for album of the year. The twelve track release is sensational, evocative beauty and dark intent saddling the senses for a Tarantino/ Morricone sculpted ride of the purest pleasure and imagination.

Bones In The Closet is the fifth album from Helldorado and again draws on a startling and provocative mix of blues, country folk, rock, and shadowed misdemeanours with a stroll through Mexican deserts and tequila soaked climes for this release. As across their previous releases the cinematic lures of their music is as potent as its sensory incitement and here leaves the listener perpetually wiping the dust from their eyes and pulling their mental stetson/sombrero down whilst chewing on a cigar Eastwood style. There is strong diversity running through the release too though, from walking through the smokey hauntings of a hanging man scenario down in the south you can find yourself breaking into a garage rock soundtrack to a Russ Meyer film or a blues bar atmosphere with whiskey in hand. It is a thrilling and evolving encounter which with essences of the likes of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Stan Ridgeway joining those of Mariachi El Bronx, Guano Padano, or Dennis Hopper Choppers, never gives the passions a moment to grab their breath.

The trio of Dag S. Vagle (lead vocal, guitar, organ, piano, autoharp, mellotron), Hans A. Wassvik (bass, backing vocal) and Morten Bones in the ClosetJackman (drums, saw, percussion), immediately cast the long arms of the sun onto the neck with opener Gallow´s Bird whilst sizzling the surrounding air with a blaze of brass persuasion from the trumpet of Ole Ellingsen which springs from an instantly inviting drum burst. The guitars gather in the senses with devilish temptation whilst the bass of Wassvik adds its individual prowl to the dawning scene soon narrated by the excellent tones of Vagle. Passionate and soulful he bellows out with emotive glory whilst the guest backing vocals of Pål Jackman play co-conspirator in drawing thoughts deeper in to the compelling song. Virtually dripping sweat from the humid embrace driven by vocal and musical fire, there is an instantaneous ardour bred with the track such its intensive might and rasping charm.

As the following Misery And Woe boldly steps forward with melodramatic keys framing the door into its expressive heart and Vagle cast his spellbinding delivery upon the ear again, it still is hard after many listens to the album and previous tracks that the band is Norwegian. They make the likes of Chris Issak sound less American than Helldorado and it just enriches the imagery and adds the deepest depth to the transportation of thoughts into their aural paintings. The second song is a slowly burning reflection of despair and regret, the tale of an unavoidable destiny with thick emotion swamping every syllable and melodic beauty from the cursed soul.

Dead World with its garage rock stomp switches the scenery for a sonic kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours and mutually vibrant emotions, the keys dazzling the ear whilst the guitar twists and turns with melodic enticement. With harmonic squalls thrilling with rich textures of The Stones to their crowd and The Doors like bait of the keys, it is a raucous and vital storm of blistering joy and an exciting temper between the surrounding songs. Its successor John McMiller like the second song on the release is a powerful and demandingly evocative piece of songwriting and staggering realisation. Another dark hearted soul laying open his past and looking for an end to his life’s previous purpose, the track carries his declaration forward on a gait which is a shadowed romp, its lively surges breaking out from more restrained and arguably redemption searching melodic caresses though the centre of the tale is not asking for such. It is another varied and staggering discharge of invention and imagination which is rewarding with further rapture from the heart.

Only four songs in and no more convincing is needed to the triumph before the ear but the release just continues to exhaust the passions, the likes of the feisty and magnetic Please Come Back which again features Pål Jackman on support vocals, the brilliant and irresistible Times of Trial a true authentic  mariachi classic, and the title track with its muggy noir corners and western sparks, continuing the impossible addictive influence of the album whilst Two Headed Horseman with its garage punk tipped crescendos within more sun-baked glamour and the sixties lilted road trip of ´69 Camaro just rip further furnace hot lust from the heart in their and the album’s direction.

Completed by a final trio of brilliance in the haunting Lost Highway Motel a place home to lost souls of all inclinations, the black tale of love and violence Johnny´s Song, and a delicious version of the Morricone piece Sixty Seconds To What?, there is little left to say but sigh like an overfed diner and declare Bones In The Closet one of the major highlights of the year so far and will certainly be acclaimed so by the closing of its eyes too. With a mention also for the slide guitar contribution on the album from Ry Krüger required, this is a release everyone should dive into without reservation, and Helldorado a cemented lustful passion for this site.

http://www.helldorado.no

https://www.facebook.com/HelldoradoOfficial

10/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

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When Icarus Falls – Aegean

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    Aegean, the latest album from Swiss post hardcore band When Icarus Falls is not for the faint hearted, the release an intensive and provoking confrontation in spirit, intent, and sound. The seven track encounter is an extensive search and provocation for the senses and thoughts, its potent and at times brutal challenge testing and stretching limits but with a skill and enterprising invention which leaves lingering emotions in its wake, whether doubt or passion depending how it seizes you, for its imaginative narrative and emotive incitation.

Formed in 2007, the Lausanne quintet released their debut EP, Over The Frozen Seas in 2009 via Get a Life! Records. The release and their powerful and intimidating sound drew strong responses, as did their live shows which included stage sharing with the likes of Red Sparowes, Zatokrev, and Impure Wilhelmina as well as a debut tour across Europe. 2011 saw the band begin to write their debut album, taking the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a famous psychiatrist who described the five stages of dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance; as inspiration. Released through Swiss label Headstrong Music, the album is an enveloping tempest of heavy at times burdensome atmospheres veined by thunderous riffs and classically sculpted melodic seduction.

      A Step Further arrives from an opening toll of resonating haunting keys and brewing distrustful ambience, its shadow driven 1872080700-1breath building into a towering wash of tight rhythms, prowling bass, and caustic sonic persuasion. The vocals of Diego Mediano offer a squalling abrasion to the intrusive yet relatively restrained confrontation, with the union of temperament bringing a captivating and intimidating storm to bear on the ear and thoughts. It is not an easy listen but that adds to the rewarding results at its conclusion and the evoked thoughts advancing in its wake.

The following title track lays a gentle persuasive hand on the ear with beckoning beats from Xavier Gigandet leading into the melodic heart of the track with further strong temptation. As the intensity strengthens and stretches out its caustic spite with the vocals the provocateur, the melodic mastery of guitarists Luis Cordeiro and Yann Cottier paint an inspiring evocative scene which is impossible not to find imagery within whilst the bass of Claude Humbert-Droz snarls with a tempered breath from the encroaching shadows. Arguably less dramatic than its predecessor but no less potent, the song even at its immense length ignites full captivation for its incisive emotional invasion.

The likes of Acheron – Eumenides with its sludge gaited course and incendiary rhythms and the excellent What We Know Thus Far (An Inner Journey), a track which exhausts every atom and passion of its body for a mountainous excursion for the listener through ravenous and inspiring emotion, both deepen the impressive hold the release breeds. At times the album certainly pushes limits in its intensity and the listener’s endurance but rewards with an imaginative fire to the sound and songwriting which leaves the richest pleasure.

Completed by the shadowed beauty and startling atmospheric soundscape of Tears Of Daedalus and the ten minute intoxicating epic Hades, the album will easily thrill fans of the likes of Cult Of Luna, Amenra, and Neurosis but it also offers so much more for all extreme and melodically emotive metal fans. Whilst Icarus Falls have not exactly crafted a classic in Aegean it is undoubtedly an album which is a major step towards one.

http://www.whenicarusfalls.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

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A Sudden Vengeance Waits – The Rising Cost Of Free Speech EP

ASVW

The Rising Cost Of Free Speech EP form Welsh punks A Sudden Vengeance Waits is a release ready to brawl with the ear, senses, and anything else or one it can get its riotous hands on. It is also beneath the live raw and abrasive surface a forceful confrontation which reeks of potent promise.

Hailing from South Wales, the quintet of vocalist Peran Bennetts (aka Piranha), guitarists Dan Magonk and Tom Connor, bassist Rob Tornya, and Jon Swain on drums, has earned their sonic knuckle dusters through experiences playing in the likes of Black Eye Riot, Da Capo, Four Letter Word, Energetically Challenged, The Bundy Men, In The, The One Chord Wonders, and Smash TV. A Sudden Vengeance Waits sees the bruising musicians forge an assault from the blend of punk and hardcore driven by some of the most potent and filthy rock n roll riffs available to the imagination. The EP is an unpolished and merciless fury upon the ear but beneath that surface abrasion it shines and begs to be given the richest of opportunities to really rip its heart out and recruit the passions.

Opener Blast Pattern Of The Blunderbuss emerges within a sonic niggle whilst throaty riffs stretch their sinews for the impending explosion of intensity and attack. Into its stride the vocals of Bennetts squall with Harperesque provocation whilst the drums bitch-slap the ear from within the caustic rub of guitar persistence. The bass of Tornya adds its own deep growl to the track and with the thumping beckoning and inventive course the song takes it all elevates the contagion of the song.

The Huntsman follows and immediately is gnawing on the senses with a deliciously predatory bass snarl and equally eager to consume riffs. Slipping into an intensive groove and air squeezing sonic acidity with vocals to venomously match, the song persuades with infectiousness which is irresistible and a barracking rock n roll attitude which sets up the emotions for recruitment to its uncomplicated yet passionate cause. Barely has it departed then Drag Me Down leaps at the ear with equally hungry intent in its rampage, the song a cacophony of bone splintering rhythms, heavily tuned bass insistence, and rasping grasping vocals, individually and as a combined storm. As its predecessors the track provides a hook impossible to refuse and sets up the rest of the EP with a new greed.

The Rising Cost Of Free Speech is completed by firstly Unite And Fight, a distortion fuelling addiction causing tempest of prime punk rock, vocals and riffs an easy temptation to devour and its discordant groove an insurance plan to seduce the passions in case the other elements still leave doubt, and Hiding To Nothing. The closing track sums up the release perfectly, toxically unrelenting, flesh scarring, attitude spitting, and completely insatiable in its hunger and the appetite it ignites in the listener.

Admittedly the EP is really only going to appeal to genre fans, its punk destructive tones certainly with the demo quality and pure rawness of the sound not going to persuade the undedicated, but The Rising Cost Of Free Speech has plenty to inspire the suggestion that in the right environment they have a triumph in them which many many more will fall before. For the now A Sudden Vengeance Waits certainly has us convinced.

http://dbs101.wix.com/asuddenvengeance

7/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

 

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Josh Savage – Mountains In Hurricanes EP

Photography by Ben Bentley

Photography by Ben Bentley

The Mountains In Hurricanes EP is a delightful release which with craft and ease plucks at the emotions with infectious vibrancy and potent passion. From the skilled musicianship and imagination of Josh Savage, the emotive blend of acoustic pop with rich classical and folk whispers captivates the imagination and treats the ear with a welcoming and pleasing experience.

Spending his first twelve years of life in Paris, Savage was learning the piano from 4 years of age though his bio states it was initially with reluctance until the threat of losing them ignited his motivation for them as well as to subsequently learn the trumpet and guitar too. Equally adept at singing which saw him as a soloist with the Académie Vocale de Paris which then led him to be a the last minute as a soloist for the Choir of the American Cathedral in Paris, Savage after moving to Winchester in the UK in 2003, continued singing and playing classical music. This found him touring New Zealand and Australia with the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain the following summer. With his first introduction to pop as such through A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay, he stepped forward with his own songwriting and exploration with involvements in jazz bands, rock bands, and musicals along the way. Since then he has developed and ventured into varied experiences including playing his first gig coming at The Talking Heads in Southampton aged 17, fronting indie/rock band Taming The Savage, and playing trumpet for soul band Soultana. Writing, recording, and producing the album Une Migration d’Oiseaux Sauvages in ten weeks came next, the album inspired by the small novel Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry seeing the artist go back to his Parisian roots. Having toured since with the likes of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Feeder, Razorlight, Reverend & The Makers, Rizzle Kicks, and Roll Deep, his self-released debut Mountains In Hurricanes is the clear mark of an emerging very promising talent.

The title track opens things up, cradling the ear with gentle caresses of acoustic guitar which lay the canvas for the expressive vocalsJosh Savage Mountains In Hurricanes EP artwork of Savage to picture. It is a simple mix with the richest emotive hold, especially when a wonderful breath of strings adds their shade to the air. Once more the song settles back into the dual union of guitar and voice for an inviting hug on the ear but when the strings bring their melancholic shadows to bear on the equally dark tinged lyrics again the track is elevated to further pinnacles and depth. It is a masterful stroke of restraint and enterprise, the proof simplicity can be a pungent poetic persuasion equal to or beyond the mass confrontation of other styles.

The following Figure It Out is similarly clad but with a more energetic gait to its narrative and stroll across the emotions and thoughts. With a wonderful female accompaniment vocally within its contagious invitation and an equally delicious wind of brass temptation, the track enchants and dances with the senses. It is a summers stroll through reflective shadows and wholly magnetic like its predecessor.

Mountains In Hurricanes is completed by firstly the magnificent Take Off Your Shackles, the strings reacquainting their seduction with the ear whilst Savage again paints an alluring canvas with his fine vocals and guitar. The bulging beats bring further diversity to song and release, their resonating punch pressing welcomingly with darkened intent within the mesmeric air and heat of the song. The best track on the release it is followed by the least successful, a mix of the title track. Maybe it is reflected  by the fact the title is not listed on the sleeve of the CD sent through to us, but as inventive as it is and probably fans of re-mixes will love it, the version removes all the power and emotive depth of the impressive song.

Ignoring that final track, Mountains In Hurricanes is a wonderful release from in Josh Savage, an artist destined to provide and receive great things. A must have release for lovers of melodic and emotive beauty.

http://joshsavagemusic.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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