Until Dawn – Horizon

Until Dawn 2013 promo-1

Containing a fury of passion, aggression, and sheer unbridled power, Horizon the new album from Canadian metallers Until Dawn, is a thrilling riotous introduction of a band with certain craft and unbridled creative energy. Not that the band itself is new on certainly their home metal scene, their debut self-titled album capturing the imagination of a great many in their homeland upon release in 2011, but for most of us on the outside their second full length is the first time the quintet has stepped upon the radar. Going by the quality and strength of the album it will not be the last time either and as they develop into a more distinctly unique presence ahead, you can only feel that Until Dawn will become a potent force of the future.

Hailing from Fort McMurray, Alberta, the line-up of brothers Deke (guitar) and Luke Worrell (drums), Adam Macleod (vocals), Steve White (guitar), and Darren Ehler (bass), forge a tight and hungry mix of melodic and intensive metal with the flames of heavy rock, the result an often bruising and always thoroughly compelling brawl of a sound with fiery depths which has led the band to be compared to the likes of Killswitch Engage, In Flames, and Trivium. The years since forming has seen the band shares stages impressively alongside the likes of Kiss, Korn, Volbeat, Billy Talent, Kiss, A Day To Remember, Hell Yeah, All Else Fails, Fozzy, Ill Scarlett, 3 Inches of Blood and many more, but as their new album steps into view with a flare and confident swagger which oozes promise and maturity you sense the widest recognition is beginning to stir. Their sound, one suspects, is still in evolution as they look to create a distinct space within metal and though the release has not achieved that it suggests it is on the way.

The self-released album stands face to face with the ear from its opening seconds as Roamers And Lurkers prods the senses into Horizon Booklet Coveralertness with scythes of resonating guitar punches cutting across a niggling beckoning of riffs. With bass and drums casting their sinew woven net around the invitation the track charges into an attention grabbing blaze of energy and feisty sound, the excellent vocals of Macleod which fall somewhere between gravelly and clean, offering an expressive rage of narrative and urgency to the equally energetic sound now in full flow. Though those references earlier mentioned are understandable the bands that immediately make an suggestive comparison are Bloodsimple and UK band I-Def-I, the expertly blended mix of styles and imposing intensity a familiar and potent weapon between all three impressive artists.

The following Strings Of The Dammed is less stressful in its attack though no less fierce of heart and presence, the guitars carving out a provocative sonic strewed wash of enterprise aligned to the again tempting varied vocal enticement. It is a formidable slice of inventive persuasion, a virulent contagion to its adventure and cultivated skill to its presentation securing the hunger of the passions early on and only gripping tighter across the expanse of the track, the same attribute you can lie at the feet of both The Red Sun Rises This Day and Third Knee, two lethally addictive tracks which only add greater irresistible toxicity to the release as their compelling barbed offerings continue their creative persistence. It is fair to say that there is a surface similarity which has its say at times, especially between the first two of this trio, but it is never a strong issue though maybe in the future the band will be picked up on it.

The towering This Fallen Fortress ignites further depths of pleasure next; the opening bass crawl over pungent imagination a spark to the unleashing of the most savage premise of the album yet, though equally it merges it with a smouldering melodic entrapment rife with allurement and intrigue. This certain pinnacle of the album seemingly plays like a trigger as Horizon unveils a new wealth of striking and explosively evocative songs to match its opening. The fervent passion of A Conjurer Of Cheap Tricks and the exceptional predatory Time Tested Fortune snatch greater hunger and lust from the body whilst The Trial continues the rapacious greed with another stirring expulsion of uncompromising creative sway and bait to cement the album’s place in the passions, even if amongst them DNR is a weak link in the inspired aural slavery.

Completed by Polar Parallels and its title track, two more fertile canvases for thoughts and passions to immerse within, plus the bonus tracks WM3 and Richard, the first of the two another self-asserting treat on the release, Horizon is a thrilling and imperious assault from a band with a tremendous future. It may not be the most original album this year but with its fire and distinct craft it is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable and refreshing.

http://www.untildawn.ca/

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/08/2013

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Sinister Realm – World of Evil

SINISTER_REALM_Promo

With an air of doom to its open classic heavy metal heart, World of Evil the new album from US metallers Sinister Realm is one of those releases which just grabs you by the emotions and thrusts you into a world of muscular anthemic temptation and fiery melodic enterprise. It is an exciting and pulse racing encounter which leaves senses and appetite alert and hungry for more, something you can argue few bands in the heavy metal genre has achieved in recent times. The Allentown, Pennsylvania quartet has no problem in recruiting the passions and hunger though, certainly on this their third full length release, and without necessarily breaking down existing walls they offer something refreshingly different.

The eight track album has an imagination and depth which also takes in the essences of rich flavours outside of its core sound, this fusion rising to songs that use open influences from the likes of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, and Mercyful Fate in a shadows clad intensive union that sparks off of essences from bands such as Candlemass and Memento Mori. Formed in 2008 by ex-Pale Divine member John Gaffney (bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine, Falcon), Sinister Realm followed up a four-song demo with the well-received self-titled album in 2009, followed two years later to good acclaim its successor The Crystal Eye. Released through Shadow Kingdom Records, World of Evil takes the band to another plateau of accomplishment and one suspects acclaim, the quartet of Gaffney, vocalist Alex Kristof, guitarists John Kantner and John Risko, and drummer Chris Metzger, raising not only their own bar but that on modern classically sculpted heavy metal.

The first thing to say as we delve into the release is how impressive and deliciously imposing and creative the bass work of Gaffney is, 611-228x228throughout the release its throaty steely tone revolving through seductive  to carnivorous but perpetually darkening the shadows, breath, and creative presence of songs wonderfully. It is a bestial predator which gives an intimidation and menace to every second of the release taking the listener into hidden dangers tempering the melodic flames which equally enhance and fire up the release.

Opener Dark Angel of Fate escapes from a stark threatening ambience, exploding into an eagerly paced romp of crisp rhythms and that instantly calling bass sound. Riffs too grip attention with their unspectacular but directly invitational attack whilst the excellent vocals of Kristof parade the song’s tale with expression and strength. As becomes apparent across the whole album, the anthemic lure of the song is dramatic and potent, a power metal like charge fuelling the imaginative engine for the melodic invention to flare off from. It is an excellent start soon backed up by the following pair of Bell Strikes Fear and the title track, even if they fail to quite live up to the impressive welcome of the album. The first of the two holds more of the expectations you would assume from a classic metal song but with good backing vocal shouts and the excellent guitar play not forgetting the bass threat expanding its presence, the track is a rewarding encounter equalled by  its slower intensive successor, the song a more than decent companion to thoughts and imagination.

The grooved enticement of The Ghosts of Nevermore with its familiar yet undefined touch marks the epically breathing song as another major highlight. As guitars coax the appetite with those acidic grooves the bass unveils its own predatory but simultaneously beckoning lure, the union bringing greed into play towards the rich weave of the song. Hunger for it is accelerated by the fine craft of the guitars and the rising symphonic atmosphere infusing the air. The captivating track is just the start of a scintillating passage within the album, Prophets of War stepping up with its confrontational rhythmic sinews and antagonistic riffs next to lead the listener and thoughts into a battlefield of climactic emotion and riveting endeavour. The bass again steals the biggest share of the passions, but every aspect of the track recruits full eagerness and instinctive subservience to its towering inventive declaration, the melodic and adventurous exploration of the initial dark premise as it moves towards its climax especially enthralling.

The pulsating and deviously addictive Cyber Villain has blood surging around veins with irresistible ease, the song a thumping example of choice heavy metal whilst the instrumental The Forest of Souls calms down emotions and energies with enchantingly creative poise before evolving into the vibrant key for final track Four Black Witches to unlock its brooding malevolence and doom like gothic presence. Approaching nine minutes of classic genre fare it is a captivating if slightly overlong conclusion to an excellent release.

World of Evil is a thrilling fascination brought by a band in Sinister Realm which is giving an arguably well-worn genre a new kick of creative adrenaline.

www.facebook.com/sinisterrealm

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/08/2013

 

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Night Demon – Self Titled EP

NDBandPic

Hailing from California and breathing the sounds of NWOBHM, Night Demon is a trio beginning to make a ripple across the world of metal. Well beginning is not quite right as not long after formation in 2011 the band was drawing attention amongst fans of their chosen genre, especially online where through Bandcamp especially, their success and appearance led to the organizers of Germany’s Keep It True Festival offering Night Demon a place on the fest’s 2014 line-up. Their debut self-titled EP brings four teases influenced by the likes of Diamond Head, Angel Witch, Tygers of Pan Tang, and Iron Maiden to a wider platform brought with the snarl and fuel of modern confrontation.

Released via Shadow Kingdom Records, the EP opens with the track Night Demon. It is an instant appealing riot of riffs and crisp rhythmsuntitled ridden by melodic flames from the guitar and strong clean vocals. Consisting of Jarvis Leatherby, Brent Woodward, and John Crerar, the latter pair also in The Fucking Wrath, Night Demon envelops the ear in old school metal and fresh energy. It is not a sound breaking down barriers, nor even stretching them, but for passionate and intense heavy rock ‘n’ roll strapped to insatiable melodic metal, song and release provide a rich encounter to lose oneself within.

The strong start is built upon by The Chalice, the track entering on the back of an excellent bass beckoning soon joined by roaming riffs and sonic temptation. The thumping rhythms equally make a compelling invitation and frame the accomplished sonically coloured heart of the song as the vocals again make an expressive hue which only enhances the aural narrative. It is easy to see as the song wraps its well-crafted charms around the ear why the band has drawn an eager following and attention, it an easily accessible and welcoming blaze of modern nostalgia and enterprise.

Ancient Evil chugs along like an express train from its opening seconds but with a gait that is in no rush to miss the sights. The guitars sculpt a scenic route for song and ears whilst the bass treads the sinew clad road provided by the drums with a heavy and eager intensity. As with all songs on the EP, there is a familiarity which arguably deflects it from developing the strongest impact, but the call of all tracks is easy to respond to and join in league with, even if they do not offer a lingering persuasion that remains without their company.

The closing Ritual ensures the release ends on a high whilst reinforcing the promise and stance of the band. Its groove littered flight of incendiary melodic craft and pressing riffs an appetising suasion whilst the muscular prowl of bass and prompting drums cages it all with a firm and determined hand. The best song on the EP, it completes a very pleasing and invigorating introduction to a band we are destined to hear much more of and from. Night Demon has risen and one suspects will have claws in a legion of passionate followers quite soon.

www.nightdemon.net

8/10

RingMaster 06/08/2013

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Exhumed – Necrocracy

1st Keeper

It seems almost odd to say that a release from a band which has been creating over two decades worth of impacting high grade destructive metal has now found maturity in sound but that is the notable thing about the album Necrocracy. With no slight on anything which came before from them, San Jose band Exhumed has with their new release found a restrained or patient stance to their mix of death metal and grindcore, a maturity. The release still storms the barricades and takes the senses on a malevolent ride of helter-skelter intensity and lethally carnivorous invention but there is a thoughtful timing to its premeditated prowl and ravenous consumption which has arguably not been there before.

Following the acclaimed All Guts, No Glory album of 2011, the Relapse Records released Necrocracy sees the appearance of another change in line-up in the band, Exhumed founder and vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey joined by bassist/vocalist Rob Babcock, drummer Michael Hamilton, and returning band member guitarist /vocalist Bud Burke, who originally played bass with the band from 1999 to 2003. The new collective of talent seems to have inspired a shift in the attack of the band, melodic weaves and passionate imaginative fires offering potent persuasion alongside the ever savage grinding touch and enveloping sonic pestilence Exhumed are renowned for. It is not a dramatic twist or evolution in the sound but one with strength to inspire a new breath of hunger for the band.

Coins Upon The Eyes instantly rips out the jugular, riffs and rhythms combining as they drop upon the senses from a heady height necrocracy_1500before rampaging with primal toxicity and torrential maliciousness. As the guitars churn up and score flesh the bass of Babcock finds a throaty growl and presence carrying one of the best and most intimidating voices heard this year whilst the vocals of Harvey, perfectly assisted by other members, casts an intrusive caustic web over it all to elevate the immediate call and potency of the track further. It is the guitars and their melodic flames though which secure the complete submission of the passions, their craft and fiery imagination a thrilling temper and compliment to the aligned sadistic sounds.

The following brawling The Shape Of Deaths To Come snarls and claws at the ear first, persistent slashes of riffs and the perpetually suffocating bass narrative offering the darkest oppressive shadow, nailed into place by the excellent rhythmic thrashing delivered by Hamilton. As its predecessor the song flourishes to greater depths with the sonic majesty and inventive acidity of the guitars though still the heavy corrosive nature of the sound and track leaves the heart ablaze the strongest.

It is an impressive start which already leaves many other similar genre based releases floundering, something the title track with its riveting acrimonious rhythmic start reinforces. Before the track explodes the impressiveness of the individuals within Exhumed is already a towering persuasion, from guitars to bass, drums to vocals, everything and everyone is at a height debatably missing before in the band. This could be their greatest line-up and certainly as the song unleashes its merciless rabidity and mordant charms, there is no reason to go back on that suggestion. Again insatiable in intent and devouring hunger, the track rises in intensity and violent breath along its sonic shaft, the increase leading to an expulsion of venom evolving into a maze of sonic captivation and acrid energy, the song a furnace of satisfaction by its end.

Through the raptorial ferociousness of Dysmorphic and the break neck vitriolic fury of Sickened the release continues to pleasingly scar ear and senses with biting expertise whilst the deliciously intriguing (So Passes) The Glory Of Death with its flowing creative evolution, and its successor the magnetically vehement Ravening explore darker dangerous corners of sound and emotions within again blistering ferocity.

That ferociousness is taken to its loftiest plateau with Carrion Call, the track the mightiest predatory despoiler on the album. Unrelenting in its brutal voracity and just as ironhearted in its exhausting intensity, the track is an immense slab of barbarous glory. The same can be declared about final track The Rotting, the confrontation an uncompromising scourge hell-bent on annihilation though it is not adverse to deceptive temptation through the excellent heated melodic solo.

Necrocracy is an excellent release with only one issue holding it back from classic status, though probably a relatively big one for some.  Apart from a couple of songs the album lacks the lure which makes it memorable and persistent away from its presence, the hooks to recall and replay at any time without aural assistance. It is surprising such the impact in its company but something just holding it back. Exhumed has created a thrilling encounter nevertheless, one of their finest invitations to date which should be greedily accepted.

https://www.facebook.com/ExhumedOfficial

8/10

RingMaster 06/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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ALL SHE WROTE ‘Riven’ EP, to be unleashed 7th October‏

All She Wrote Online Promo Shot
HOTLY TIPPED UK ROCK COMBO  ALL SHE WROTE NATIONALLY SET LOOSE THEIR DEBUT EP THIS AUTUMN!
Brit Rock outfit ‘All She Wrote’ express a sound that packs concise riffery and thoughtful arrangements with alluring hooks. The rising quartet unleash their spanking new EP ‘Riven’ on Monday 7th October, from all digital stores.
 
With an array of influences ranging from the biting metalcore of Bring Me The Horizon and the melodic craft of Young Guns, to the ambient half of Biffy Clyro, All She Wrote have digested their influences and have added their own impressive stamp; and by doing so, they now despatch a hearty and fluid sound that is accessible and instantly delectable.
Coming at you from the suburbs of London, All She Wrote were formed at the end of 2011 and consist of Connor Crooks (Vocals/Guitar), Marc Smith (Drums), Jonny Page (Guitar) and Tommy Shillibeer (Bass). The band hit the ground running and swiftly began to play shows throughout the nation’s capital, as well as sowing their seeds in southern England. The rock beasts also released their debut single ‘Weathered’, which garnered critical acclaim throughout the underground and helped to increase the foursome’s growing fan-base.
Never ones to stand still, All She Wrote have just completed work on their debut EP ‘Riven’ and the young upstarts have really raised the bar by producing a superb record that belies their age. The ambient intro to ‘Principio’ lulls you into a calming state before the punchy riffage of ‘Unjust’ grabs you by the scruff of the neck. The record’s namesake ‘Riven’ is next up, and continues in fantastic form with its colossal hook, where the previous single ‘Weathered’ showcases the band’s sturdy backbone with pounding guitar parts and jack hammer beats. ‘Persona’ further demonstrates the four-piece’s growing maturity with its twisted riffs entwined with contagious vocal lines. Lastly, the beautifully majestic ‘Finis Principio’ draws the EP to a close in fitting style. All She Wrote are sure to rise this year; look out for widespread touring to coincide with the EP’s launch.
                www.facebook.com/AllSheWroteuk              twitter.com/UKAllSheWrote
 All She Wrote Cover Artwork
 

TALISMAN return with ‘I-Surrection’, on Monday 30th September

Talisman Online retro pic

HIGHLY RATED REGGAE HEROES  TALISMAN RELEASE BRAND NEW ALBUM!

Thirty years after they recorded their debut long player, 1984’s ‘Takin The Strain’, Bristol’s roots reggae pioneers Talisman have found enough space in their busy live schedule to record their third studio album, ‘I-Surrection’, to be released via Sugar Shack Records on 30th September.
 
     Having reformed in 2011, Talisman have spent the last two years honing their skills and playing live shows at every opportunity, including the support slot on The Selectors’ recent UK tour. Original core members Dehvan and Dennison have also found the time to write the six new songs that, along with their dub counterparts, form this latest twelve track set. It’s hard to escape the economic and political similarities between today and the bands early eighties heyday, so it’s no surprise that all of the songs deal with political or roots themes and resonate with the classic sound of British reggae from the golden age. The way the music sounds is no modern pastiche; Dehvan and Dennison have been playing together for 35 years and the classic roots sound comes naturally. Likewise, the social conscience they display in their song writing has always been part of the Talisman sound. They are the real deal and this is a reggae album with genuine heritage.
       When it comes to getting the right sound, the choice of producer is everything. For this release Talisman have collaborated with Rootikal Productions David Hill, a man who fully understands reggae’s rich history as well as how to get the right sound from modern recordings. Collectively they have achieved one of the best roots reggae albums since its seventies heyday.
       From the opening lines of “Greetings and Salutations”, it’s clear that you are in for a treat as the timeless sound of roots reggae bursts forth from the speakers and envelops the listener. Conscious lyrics underpinned by great music, is a winning combination. With its call to arms, “Stand up and help yourself, stop hoping for things to change, stand up and help yourself”, “Help Yourself” is a call to arms in the anthemic tradition. Talisman haven’t given up the fight, they’ve just been regrouping and with this album they return to the struggle with a full frontal attack.  “Hey Yout” is dedicated to the next generation, those who need to take up the struggle, reminding them that previous generations have trodden the same path, but with patience and a positive attitude they can overcome “Babylon Pressure” and achieve a better future for their world. “Season For Freeman” propelled along by the addition of some great playing from Matic Horns could almost be a lost gem from the seventies, if its catalogue of black martyrs didn’t include the recent losses of Stephen Lawrence, Trayvon Martin and Smiley Culture. The point that whatever progress society has made some things haven’t changed is subtle but well made.  The album takes an almost Nyahbinghi direction as we “Praise Jah”, an upbeat and joyous track that’s almost hymn like and makes one want to sing along. “Things a Get Tough” has an almost sixties feel, reinforced by the repetition of the lines “rougher than rough, tougher than tough” lyrics that strongly recall the classic tunes of the rude boy era. Even if they’ve cleverly given a nod to the past the lyrics themselves are just as relevant to today where it’s more about the tough economic situation than which rude boy or singer is the toughest. Every track comes with its corresponding dub version, skilfully mixed by David Hill for Rootikal Productions and dub in the best sense, where each version stands on its own musical merits as a fully thought out track rather than being a mere afterthought. The sole exception is ‘Hey Yout’ which rather than a full dub workout gets reimagined as a classic sounding melodica version.
        This album takes the best aspects of reggae’s musical heritage and fashions them into an album that deals with the realities of 2013. Roots reggae is back and the revival starts here! ‘I-Surrection’ is released on CD and Digital platforms on the 30th September 2013.
TALISMAN LIVE: October: 4th – The Cellar, Oxford; 11th – Barrelhouse, Totnes, Devon; 13th – Thekla, Bristol; 18th – Reading Rooms, Dundee; 19th – Citrus Club, Edinburgh. November: 9th – Sin City, Swansea; 10th – Bogiez, Cardiff.
Talisman I-Surrection Cover Artwork

ALL TO RUIN Debut EP ‘Parables’, out 23rd Sept

All To Ruin Online Promo Shot

FAST RISING MELODIC METAL OUTFIT ALL TO RUIN RELEASE DEBUT EP!

Pulling from early FFAF, Killswitch Engage and a sliver of August Burns Red, All To Ruin deliver a potent sound that merges thunderous riffs and contagious hooks; the end result is both dominant and anthemic. The hotly-tipped five piece ink hearty slabs of melodic metal, penning their music with the earnest intent and real passion that demands and warrants attention. Look out for the band’s debut EP ‘Parables’, out Monday 23rd September.
Born in the blue collar steel works town of Port Talbot, South Wales, All To Ruin were formed during the summer of 2011 with Aaron Roberts on vocals, Luke Curran serving up lead guitar, Rhodri Williams handling rhythm guitar, Andrew Pope pounding on the bass and Tom Richardson hammering the drums. Coming from a close kit community, all five members had known each other from time served in previous bands, and quick to forge a strong bond, they soon began to rattle out tunes in their rehearsal room.
After a series of successful regional shows, the band went into the studio at the tail-end of 2011 to record their first demo at Newport’s Nottin’ Pill Studio with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond, who’s previous credits include Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine. The demo pushed the metallic tunesmiths out of their local area and also secured national coverage in Kerrang! magazine, as well as helping the five-some play a host of shows throughout the country. To date, the bands’ career spanning accolades include shows with The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Exit Ten, Textures, Viatrophy, Continents, Sylosis, The Chariot, Revoker, The Casino Brawl, Twin Zero, Bury Tomorrow and Yashin.

At the start of 2012, ATR headed into the recording studio, again with ‘Ginge’ and Matt Bond at the controls, to begin work on their first official release. The band came out of the studio with their brand new EP ‘Parables’, and it’s mighty impressive. From the blistering opener and new video single ‘As We Exit’, to the whiplash riffery and anthemic craft of ‘Vultures’, the quintet have rammed together an engrossing EP that cunningly balances melodic hooks with crushing riffage. The melodic metal crew will now take their killer tuneage to the far reaches of the UK; keep tabs on the band via their Facebook and watch them break later this year!
FOR FANS OF: Funeral For A Friend, Protest The Hero, Killswitch Engage, August Burns Red.
All To Ruin - Parables Cover Artwork