Månegarm: Legions Of The North

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As compelling as an impending storm and as dramatically powerful, Legions Of The North from Swedish folk metallers Månegarm catches the breath and imagination as it takes the listener on a stirring ride of Viking/pagan adventure. There have been numerous folk and pagan metal bred releases in recent months to stir up and ignite the passions but few it has to be said as impressive and as fully absorbing as the Norrtälje hailing band’s seventh album.

Formed in 1995, Månegarm have constantly impressed and drawn eager acclaim for their mix of flavours within the cast folk metal, a sound explored constantly by their invention and the use of traditional instruments. Moving through a black metal seeded sound to a more contagious and organic folk imagination, the band has forged a potent place within the genre, albums like the 2003 Dödsfärd and its successor Vredens Tid two years later garnering impressive responses from fans and media. Their live performances have been the same at home and across Europe over the years, and whilst line-ups changes have meant numerous shifts within the band they have continued to build a greater stature within the genre and metal, live and through previous two albums Vargstenen and Nattväsen of 2006 and 2009 respectively. Signing with Napalm Records the line-up of vocalist/bassist Erik Grawsiö, guitarists Markus Andé and Jonas Almkvist, and drummer Jacob Hallegren have returned with what just might be their most immense and thrilling release yet, certainly it leads the pack of recent releases from their contemporaries.

From the desolate ambience of Arise, its brief scene setting raising echoes and spirits of ancient shadows and epic atmospheres, 486_Manegarmthe album leaps upon the awakened sense with its title track. It is an instant blizzard of scathing riffs, debilitating rhythms, and guttural vocal scowls with serpentine rapaciousness. Insatiably hungry and impossibly contagious, the track courts the passions despite its destructive intensity, especially through the clean group calls and cavernous depths suggested and paraded throughout. As the folk heart stakes its claim within the ferocious narrative, the song climbs to greater climes and persuasion leaving an exhausted but exhilarated victim in its wake.

The following Eternity Awaits explores the harsh and warm extremes further, at times a marauding predator and in others allowing melodic breeze to sooth the anger and corrosive energy. As with its predecessor, there is an intriguing and enticing evolution to the song which leaves assumptions redundant and captivation full whilst passions eagerly ride the muscle bound warrior cast confrontation. Like the first it is an instant highlight soon left in the shadow of the towering encounter that is Hordes of Hel. Seemingly the dawning of a new destructive force, sinews are stretched and flexed with persistent incitement whilst wrapping the dark core is a weave of infectious and incendiary melodic enterprise, its welcoming  presence a torch to meet the encroaching shadows. Vocally the track is outstanding, though that could apply to them all, the insidious growls and harmonic clean suasion a fluid and impressive union whilst musically the track fills every thought for an imposing yet triumphantly alluring temptation.

The likes of the heavy chested behemoth Tor Hjälpe, the riff torrent Sons of War, and the ravenously esurient Fallen unleash their own distinctive rigorous furies to feed and enflame brighter the passions. Each track as the album as a whole, uncages a violent rabidity upon the senses whilst employing a beauty and folk seeded elegant call which easily and skilfully and inspires thoughts and imagination into creating their own colourful and resourceful imagery.

Completed by another turbulent ferocity in the shape of the excellent Echoes From The Past and the closing emotive Raadh, a folk song acoustically carved and sung in Swedish by a wonderful fusion of female and male vocals, Legions Of The North provides one enthralling provocative journey which rewards the enduring of senses chewing savagery with tempering melodic seduction. Månegarm creates metal which is not just about assaulting with the ferocity and strength of passion driven warriors but providing a full and rounded sense of tradition and pagan jeopardy, the album is a thrilling canvas for all of this and more.

http://www.manegarmsweden.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/06/2013

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Huntress – Starbound Beast

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Though not flawless, Spell Eater the debut album from US heavy metallers Huntress, made a strong impression, its potent sounds and in the face devilry receiving mixed responses but always sparking something. For us it bred a definite appetite for what was to follow, a keen hunger which new release Starbound Beast teases with, satisfies more often than not but also leaves a sense that maybe the album is resting on earlier laurels rather than forging its own unique and forward driving adventure. It is certainly an appetising and frequently thrilling collection of powerful multi-flavoured tracks but lacks the dramatic impact which its predecessor ultimately achieved.

The Californian band fronted by the always potently pleasing vocals of Jill Janus, a classically trained singer who toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet before moving onto performing with Dave Navarro in a project called Under the Covers, arrived with a wind of brewing excitement and recommendation with their first full length, the anticipation for that already seeded as the band signed with Napalm Records and helped intensely by first single Eight of Swords. Made up of guitarists Blake Meahl and Anthony Crocamo, bassist Ian Alden, and drummer Carl Wierzbicky, some of whom ex-members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch, alongside Janus, Huntress it is fair to say split opinions with their debut and are sure to do the same with Starbound Beast. It is fair to say the band and release does everything you would wish for in a heavy metal release, its sound a constant blaze of barging rhythms, predatory riffs, and soaring stormy vocals drenched in passion, but throughout the additionally thrash, death and black metal spiced encounter something is missing or been allowed to escape which leaves the new album bringing up the rear to their first rampage into the world.

Produced by Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed, Agnostic Front), Starbound Beast starts like a beast on heat, its opening full song 494_Huntresscoming after the brief chaotic tempest seared by the classical tones of Janus weaving harpy like harmonic toxicity across its sky, the instrumental Enter The Exosphere. The following Blood Sisters sets its dramatic walls from the start, flames of sonic taunting and melodic colour caging the attention whilst rhythms frame it all with deliberate prowling intent. Once secure in its entrapment the excellent vocals of Janus, with a husky growl to her tones, rides boldly on the cantering charge of eager riffs and probing drums jabs which then open melodic arms through the infectious chorus. Throughout there is a constant menace to vocals and sound which flares up and casts shadows over the rampant muscle clad energetic core. It is an excellent track which twists and turns through dark provocation and warm evocation, the perfect scenario for light and dark to wage physical debate within brewing thoughts and maelstrom courting imagination.

It sets a high standard and equally lofty hopes and expectations for the rest of the album which are immediately dented by the following I Want To Fuck You To Death. The song has already seemingly come under fire from many quarters and though we would argue that it is not as bad as many claim, in many ways it does not do the album any favours. Co-penned with Lemmy, the song has a power metal grandeur in intent and a rapacious hunger in certainly the breath and the delivery of the verses, but as the predictable and underwhelming chorus loses the established pull of the track it sounds like a weaker fish from another pond, not the devil spawn lake of Starbound Beast.

Destroy Your Life gets things back on track, its striking melodic and fevered guitar invention standing out as much as the fury that is Janus’ vocals. The solo within is a sizzling detour from the greed of the song, its flare and craft lighting up hot sceneries for the band to exploit with the returning vociferous appetite of the sound and intensity. It is another of the more prominent highlights which the title track, which to be honest took time to persuade but eventually did succeed especially with Janus at her potently sirenesque best, the thrash driven carnivorous Zenith, as well as the following tracks Oracle and Receiver all make very decent attempts in emulating. The second of these savages the senses with primal greed and air scorching intensity vocally and sonically to lift the album back to its highest plateaus whilst the others hold their own with inventive endeavour to undoubtedly leave strong pleasure.

Completed by the more than decent Spectra Spectral and the stirring Alpha Tauri, the album offers plenty to enthuse over and take enjoyment from, especially taking songs individually but Starbound Beast as whole does seem to lose an undefined something Spell Eater which had and feel like a lost opportunity. Despite that Huntress and album still secure a regular appearance on our playlist.

http://huntresskills.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/06/2013

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Max Pie – Eight Pieces -One World

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The first thing to say is do not let the quite uninspiring band name of Belgian metallers Max Pie put you off from investigating what is in the form of  their new album a rather thrilling and dramatic adventure and sound. Eight Pieces -One World is a captivating heavy metal release, an album bulging at the seams with muscular and almost carnivorous tracks soaked in fiery melodic invention and potently expressive passion. To be honest it came as a complete surprise but as the saying goes ‘do not judge a book by its cover’, or in this case the name, as you will miss out on one of the treats of the year.

Formed in 2005, Max Pie started off with a classic hard rock/ metal which was said to frequent the same well as of Deep Purple, and Whitesnake. Obviously over the years something riled up their hunger, invention, and attitude as proven by the new album, its tracks attacking and chewing on the senses with a destructive rabidity whilst infusing irresistible and captivating melodic metal bred flames. It is a scintillating mix which catches you by surprise and then force feeds some of the most contagious and riotously inspiring songs heard this year through to the heart.

Following their acclaimed debut Initial Process of last year, the Mausoleum Records released Eight Pieces – One World takesTITRE.EPS no time in tearing up the senses, the line-up of vocalist Tony Carlino, guitarist/keyboardist Damien Di Fresco, bassist Olivier Lemiere, and drummer Sylvain Godenne, initially laying a sonic wash on the ear as Cage Of Sins stakes its claim on the listener before with no thought of mercy unleashing a rhythmic and riff sculpted intensity. Immediately there is compelling temptation at work especially as once into its rapacious stride the music is joined by the excellent vocals of Carlino, his tones equally coarse and clean echoing the sound. References to Kamelot and Symphony X seem to come with the band and going by song and release you can easily add the likes of Fates Warning and Periphery, such the numerous textures and spices conjured.

The stunning start is soon matched firstly by I’m Sealed and then Earth’s Rules which is one of two songs featuring guest Simone Mularoni  of DGM and Empyrios on guitar. The first of the pair teases djent rhythmic manipulation, riffs churning up nerves and thoughts so that warm inviting vocals and melodic enterprise can dance over the victims with soothing invention. Across the constant snarl of bass and drums assisted by equally predatory riffs, the guitars weave a sonic narrative which twists and sculpts its distinct tale upon aggressive canvas. Its successor with keys seducing with elegance and almost emotive mischief starts off with another predatory inducement before opening up progressive/classic metal arms to reveal a lake of evocative warmth and fire sourced melodic fascination. Though neither quite rivals the opener, they leave an enflamed greed for their and the following unpredictable and now assumed glories, which without exception the rest of the album delivers.

From the excellent evocative sonically coloured power ballad I’m In Love, tracks like the carnivore Vendetta rampage and seize full control of the passions, its rabid grip of primal rhythms and treacherous riffs irresistible whilst being ridden by the paint box of absorbing synth hues and the again impressively delivered and varied vocals. It is not all about aggressive intensity at any point though as the magnificent The Side Of A Dime shows with its Middle Eastern seductive promise courting emotions and heart from within the tumultuous web of rhythms and riffing voracity. The best track on Eight Pieces -One World, the encounter is a blistering expanse of inventive and urgent cajoling which rewards submission with beautifully crafted melodic heat and passion driven splendour.

As both the engaging Addictions and the equally engrossing Don’t Tell Me Lies with its gothic breath and sinister wink of the sonic eye bear evidence of, the skill and imagination of each member and their individual aspect within songs impress on the passions with clarity whilst combining to offer further irrepressible bait emphasising that though classed as heavy metal, band and album have a presence which crosses the desires and appetite of multiple genres within metal. Eight Pieces -One World is an excellent treat; as said an unexpected and surprising one but a creative coup which will be drawing out a zealous ardour for a long time to come. Slip yourselves pass the name and discover one of the gems of the year so far.

http://www.maxpie.be/

9/10

RingMaster 28/06/2013

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King Hiss: Snakeskin

King Hiss

With nostrils flaring and muscles flexing to their limits Snakeskin, the debut album from Belgium rockers King Hiss, is a mountainous terrain of thunderous rhythms, voracious riffs, and exhausting energy.  It is  a powerhouse of a release which draws the potent essences of melodic metal, hard rock, and stoner rock, not forgetting at times a caustic breath of hardcore, into a confrontation which leaves the senses ignited and passions soaring. Consisting of seven tracks feeding off  inspirations from the likes of Red Fang, Black Tusk, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, and Clutch, Snakeskin is a powerhouse of an album, one injecting new blood and predatory strength into rock music.

As soon as it emerges from a sonic mist and finds its feet, the opening title track launches into a tirade of contagious riffing and a4123523464_2rhythmic barracking, a tight beckoning groove winding the passions around its call within moments of its appearance. The vocals of Jan Coudron begin their impressive narrative next, his voice having an excellent grizzled tone and a melodic power which sends every syllable to its target with purpose and appeal. It is an instantly enthralling encounter rising to greater temptation with the ridiculously catchy chorus and further seductive grooves amidst a tempest of rhythmic provocation from drummer Jason Bernard and bassist Dominiek Hoet. Such its immense presence there is a slight suspicion the rest of the alum will struggle to match its heights but its successor soon dispels any doubts.

    Into The Mountains opens with a carnivorous bass groan and rolling drums, their jabbing persistence hypnotic and persuasive alongside the predatory lines of Hoet. It is another irresistible start taken to greater heights when guitarist Josh Fury unleashes sizzling melodic flames and air carving craft. It is an absorbing blaze soon taking on an intensity and raw almost muggy encroachment which sears flesh and soars across the senses raining down sonic adventure alongside further vocals persuasion. The track easily matches the opener and though across the chorus there is something familiar, though impossible to pin down, it is another refreshing and impacting treat, especially the blues lined solo leading to a riotous climax.

Both D&F and Endorphine swagger and stroll through the ear to equally impressive effect, the southern rock whispers in the sound heated and sinewy, especially in the towering hard rock embrace of the first of this pair whilst the second reveals sturdier textures and dramatic fires within its Mastodon meets Kyuss like invention. Again grooves dangle pure irresistible temptation from their lures whilst vocally the group harmonies find an emotive heart not lacking in previous songs but given a clearer canvas to lay out their rich feelings here. Though both tracks just miss grabbing the plateau set by their predecessors they still capture the imagination and compel the passions to greedily accept them.

    Rollergirl though is not happy to accept second best and from her opening crescendos of fire bred sonics and tsunami tall rhythms rampages with high octane energy and virulently compelling infection loaded riffs and hungry drum enticement, the bass groaning with primal rabidity whilst acidic melodic fascination from the guitar scorches ear and beyond with skill and imagination. It is another bruising triumph which colours the passions until full but still lustfully wanting more.

The final pair of tracks ensures there is not one ounce of dissatisfaction or unfulfilled appetite, The Greater Good an ear burning, senses tearing juggernaut of hard rock and classic metal spicery wrapped in the passionate muscle bound vitality that is King Hiss whilst the closing Word Made Flesh, from its opening bass devouring of the ear, is a scintillating rapacious consumption from a delicious and insatiable rhythmic ravaging and sonic scalding. Like Crowbar meets The Sword it is an epic and towering conclusion to a staggering album.

Whether Snakeskin offers anything new can be debated but you know when something sounds this good and raises passions and energy to such heights, who really cares. King Hiss is a force of the future, hell they have already made a deep branding am mark with this, one of the albums of the year.

http://www.king-hiss.com/

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

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Sykopath Condor – Run For Cover

Sykopath Condor

Hailing from Luton in the UK, rockers Sykopath Condor has been treating the ear to some fine and promising singles since last year, each song another stronger temptation towards their debut EP. Run For Cover is that first album and consisting of all those intriguing appetisers is an impressively solid and enterprising slab of rock ‘n’ roll securing the hungriest appetite.

Formed in 2010, the quartet of vocalist George Zafirakis, guitarist Kai Wolf, bassist Ashley Clark, and drummer Ashley Morton has built an eager fanbase and reputation for their live shows and honest sounds, music taking inspiration from the likes of Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Tool, and Clutch. They have gone from strength to strength in all departments and aspects, and with Run For Cover setting a declaration to the strength of the band, there is a hopeful suspicion that this year will see the band awarded with a wide recognition for their muscular and creative enterprise.

The EP opens with Hear Them Coming, its opening sonic guitar drizzle immediately fiery and intense even in its reserved coverstature at that moment in the song. It soon saunters into an energetic and steady stroll with the guitar carving melodic flames in the air and the bass with its delicious pit borne throaty voice prowling its own sinewy shadows. The vocals of Zafirakis are expressive and equally sturdy biting with each syllable whilst holding a good melodic lure, and veining it all the rhythmic invention of Morton is firm when in league with the even stoner charge of the song but equally boldly inventive when given the opportunity. It is a strong start to the release even if a track which is unable to light the same passions as subsequent songs.

One such track which can is the title track, its sizzling sonic rawness tempting further stoner and southern rock elements to play with emotions. With a fire in its belly and to its surface, the song takes on a more sludgy breath around the again appealing guitar and vocal enticement. It raises the temperature of the release but again is a mere step to greater heights provided firstly by the excellent Til It’s Gone. With a Soundgarden like croon to its start the track gently expands into a feisty yet controlled presence, a heavy energy and contagious groove trapping the senses and infectious chorus offering an anthemic hand to pull the listener in further. With a constant snarl to its company, especially from the bass, there is a melodic toxicity and contagious charm which is irresistible and steals top honours on the release whilst stirring up even greater promise within the band.

This Body and Under The Grey Sky both keep the torch of pleasure and impressed satisfaction burning brightly, the first a heavily shod inducement of scowling riffs, belligerent bass tones, and voracious guitar fascination, whilst its successor slips into an emotive coaxing of slower but no less intense blues laced passion. A smouldering slow burner of a song which needed a few extra plays to fully persuade thoughts, it is another of the strongest highlights on Run For Cover.

With the riveting Fire & Blood completing the release, a song which was one of the first we heard before the EP was on the horizon and still holds the passions in its demanding aggressive Stone Temple Pilots flavoured hands, Run For Cover proves to be a terrific statement of intent from Sykopath Condor and a hard to dismiss suggestion that this is a band with a potent future ahead, something we will all surely and willingly benefit from.

http://sykopathcondor.bandcamp.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

 

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American Standards – Still Life

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With a debut album planned for the latter part of the year we thought it was worth checking out the Still Life EP from US hardcore band American Standards. It may have been out a while but as possibly many, like us, missed its initial unveiling and it is so damn good there is no better time to catch up and fire up a hunger for the forthcoming full length release.

From Phoenix, Arizona, the quartet of vocalist Brandon Kellum, guitarist Brennen Westermeyer, bassist Corey Skowronski, and drummer Geoff Gittleson, has earned a strong reputation for their live performances and sound which though we called them a hardcore band takes in many more potent essences such as punk and noise rock. It is a riveting confrontation and at times borders unleashing disorientation with its passion bred intensity and creative maelstrom. The unpredictable and diverse imagination to its invention though is an easy capture of the imagination with band and sound having the depth and flavours to ignite the appetite of all fans from the likes of Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die through to those of Dead Kennedys and on to devourers of the kind of noise the likes of Coilguns, Retox, and Blood Brothers conjure. Since forming the band has toured extensively across the US especially through 2012, playing with bands such as Sick Of It All, Trial, Touché Amore, and Joyce Manor and making successful appearances at numerous festivals including Within These Walls, The Punk Rock Picnic, and inFEST. Since the release of Still Life, American Standards has signed with Victory Records for the new album and continued to explode stages with their devastating sound.

Released via indie label We Are Triumphant, the EP opens with the brief and irresistibly caustic Self (En)titled, the track coverinstantly attacking the ear with vocal venom and soon joined by an emerging rhythmic and sonic provocation. It is the perfect introduction to open up attention and set the wheels of intimidation and incitement in motion as it boils up into the following Raised By Wolves. Again the coarse vocals of Kellum seize the opening seconds, his delivery a harsh but excellent rub on the senses immediately wrapped in another fury of sonic and rhythmic challenge. There is an earthy groove soon in place to start a deeper contagion aided by group scowls and the enslaving beats of Gittleson but it is just the appetiser as the track explores veins of infectious alternative rock alongside rapacious riff greed to ignite greater flames of passion for its confrontation.

The close of the track also sees the bass of Skowronski develop a predatory throat to its growl which is scintillating and across subsequent tracks prowls and chews the senses and emotions with greater and more carnivorous glory starting with Bottom Feeder. A sonic tease comes with drum foot stomps to open up the fury, and is soon led into a jugular ripping primal assault, vocals and the guitar of Westermeyer scything through the air with acidic malevolence. The unexpected offering of clean vocals is another rewarding and pleasing element and tempers the sonic fire and bass/drum barbarity which threatens throughout.

Both Paradigm-Alt-Shift-Delete and Harvester continue drawing stronger impressed reactions to the release. The first is a tempest of metallic vengeance crafted by again excellent bass and drum vehemence further fuelled by the twisting guitar grooves and varied vocals which switch from seduction to antagonism note by note. With flames of noise rock and discord taunts, the song is a thrilling adventure of predacious design, senses and thoughts lured and exploited by the excellent enterprise and insidious invention of every element of song and band, especially that bass. Its successor is equally corrosive and eager to offload its sonic rabidity onto nerves and synapses, a ferocity driven by arcs of guitar sonically honed imagination, flesh searing vocals, and steel jawed basslines gnawing away from start to finish. Not for the first time American Standards take exciting detours from the assault, here vocal harmonies allowing breaths to be taken and passions to leap before the returning savagery brings a triumphant climax.

The release is completed by the fearsome punk goading of The Red Queen and the crawling intrusive primal chaos that is the title track, its opening lumbering gait evolving through oppressive washes of intensive rage vocally and musically and varying unpredictable pace changes. Again there is a constant flood of ideas and variations all successfully and seamlessly infused into the emotive furnace. The two tracks leave the richest impressions and satisfaction to confirm the release as something quite immense.

Rather than wait for, what on the evidence of the EP, will be an album to bring another striking and exciting provocation, we suggest the Still Life EP should be confronted right away and allowed to feast on thoughts and passions, and as a name your own price offer on their Bandcamp profile, American Standards have given an invitation impossible to refuse, especially when it one of the best hardcore releases to come along in the past year.

http://americanstndrds.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards

9/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

 

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Go-Zilla – Self Titled

Go-Zilla

Taking limbs and spirit on an energetic charge of vibrant and imaginative adventure, the self-titled album from UK dance rock band Go-Zilla certainly surprised what were admittedly limited expectations going into it and sparked nothing less than the urge to eagerly shout out about what is an invigorating and enterprising release. It is not without flaws and moments where passions are not sparked into any kind of flame but for the main the London trio has created a triumph which has energy and appetite hungry for more.

Formed in 2011, the threesome of Jon Youseman (vocals and synths), Chris Jones (vocals and guitar), and Glenn Rice (vocals and drums), taking inspirations from many genres and especially the likes of Skrillex, The Prodigy, and Pendulum, set about creating their own sound with their early demo’s finding strong and positive receptions when released online. Constantly gigging ever since their official step in public view at the end of 2011, Go-Zilla has earned a strong reputation and passionate fanbase which their debut album has already driven to greater levels as it works its magnetic charm on new more willingly submissive hearts.

As mentioned the release has faults which admittedly still are rife with such promise that you feel greater things are on the near Go-Zilla - Self titled - coverhorizon, at the moment just brewing in the band’s inventive thoughts, but the moment the opening Go-Zilla (Intro) emerges from the shadows with pulsating beats and refreshing melodic temptation, senses and emotions are scooped up in a brief but lasting riot. The synths douse the ear in incendiary dance calls whilst rhythms stomp with sinews bare-chested within the embrace and though it is barely over a minute the instrumental arouses a greedy appetite with ease, a brewing greed soon being satisfied by the following Camden Queen. Once again drums and rhythms lay down heavy boots to draw on primal needs whilst guitars and synths sculpt a warm and intensity fuelled dance. The vocals singular and as a group are impressive, both elements melodic and harmonious within a Pendulum like temptation which leaves the listener breathless but primed for more of the same.

As much as more of the same would have been welcome, Go-Zilla have too much going on in their imagination to simply keep to a winning formula and pleasingly across subsequent tracks show an exciting range to their songwriting and sound. Our Tomorrow which features guest vocals from Gemma Dand, opens with a great horn blaze before walking a restrained gait as antagonistic vocals make a harsher narrative. Once into its stride the melodic calling of the band leads into an enjoyable mix of alternative and electro rock, a mix of Enter Shikari and Funeral For A Friend with an open contagion to its emotive persuasion.

     Get On the Dancefloor is one of the songs which you take to bed and bust moves to in your dreams, its infectiousness as virulent as lust in a school of teenage boys, and just as lingering. With the punk feistiness of Hadouken egging on roaming electro fingers the track is a tempest of insatiable beats and rabid energy though also containing some moments of listless calm which is ingeniously and smoothly entrenched into the kinetically driven party. It is an excellent track showing yet further depth of diversity in itself and the album, as do the likes of the following Throwdown, a track which is as much pop punk as it is electro rock, and the emotively woven Chasing Shadows. Both tracks in their different ways mark a shift in the release to more indie rock seeded designs though still the synths and electronic heart of the band steers the intriguing endeavour, the second of these two adding a slight hip hop essence certainly to the vocals. Though nicely done the track is one of the weakest and less inspiring on the album but still gives credence to the promise flowing throughout every second of the album.

What Would You Give also struggles against the stronger tracks though it’s Hollywood Undead like snarl leaves good impressions even if the group vocals later on have the opposite effect, but things are soon blazing again with the duo of Don’t Wait for Me and Keep Breathing. Completely unexpected and out of character for the album so far, the two songs are acoustic guitar driven tracks of melodic beauty and impressive vocal elegance, the first still infusing potent electro narratives and the second an anthemic heart bred glory with loud melancholic whispers. It is a stunning track and rivals for best on the album whilst furthering yet again the depth of the band’s imagination and skills.

After the more than decent aggressive stance of The Rise, the album ends on another highlight in Wolfpack. Featuring the great vocal tones of Betty Be Famous, the track returns to the opening punchy dance of the album, bone shuddering beats and electro squeezes chaining up the senses for melodic waters to lay their dramatic caresses upon before the track sways and writhes with addiction forming wantonness across the ear with more teasing enterprise and striking craft.

The album still suggests that Go-Zilla is looking or deciding on which way to take their sound and ideas but it also shows they have many options which they have explored on the release with imagination and impressive invention. It is about time the likes of Pendulum had real competition and though really it is too early to declare, Go-Zilla suggest in time they might be one up to the challenge.

Go-Zilla is a name your own price release @ http://gozillaofficial.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled

www.facebook.com/gozillaofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 17/06/2013

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