Human Pyramids – Planet Shhh!


Looking at the background to Human Pyramids and debut album Planet Shhh!, numerous tags from post rock to post punk, folk to electronic are placed before the project but quite simply the only description you could use is narrative rock. Every track on the instrumental album is a vibrant and potently descriptive tale of life, its beauty and colour declared in aural poetry which leaves thoughts and emotions elevated, body and passions exhausted. The twelve track feast of invention and torrential imagination is simply magnificent, a superbly crafted journey through vibrant sceneries and invigorating embraces of the world.

Human Pyramids is the invention of from multi-instrumentalist Paul Russell, a musician and composer raised in an old mining village in Scotland and now based in London. Featuring a group of handpicked musicians from across the UK to help Russell realise his scintillating adventures, Planet Shhh! took three years to create, time that with its release via Oxide Tones will be surely reaping rewards and ardour for years to come. Easily one of the most startling and thrilling debuts this year, and maybe decade, the album is a uniquely sounding and varied dance through thoughts, emotions, and experiences, a waltz/tango of intrigue and fire bred warmth that captivates every essence of the psyche and body from its first entrancing second right through to its very last departing and waving note.

Tall Tales starts off the passionate romp, the track a fanfare for the album and emotions. Awakening the senses with almost celestial heat spots of melodic temptation and harmonious caresses aided by rhythmic teasing, the track instantly draws out a strong appetite which turns to hunger as the track expands its arms into a stroll through melodic trails across rhythmic mountains, taking in the sights with reflective mellower moments.

It is a hypnotic start soon matched by the equally enthralling The Bubble. A guitar welcome makes a pleasing beckoning though it is also deceitful, hiding the impending rhythmic hypnotism lying in wait to enslave further the previously energised satisfaction. With a clockwork polka gently leaping over the senses egged on by measured handclaps and prodding string taunts, the track wraps a virulent lure around the ear before leading it into a swarm of kissing melodies and feisty energy. It is basically the most enjoyable and welcome trap possible, its metronomic siren call the gateway to a glorious blaze of musical radiance.

A gentle canter through the varied hues of life and energies frequents next up Cafe Hawelka, the piece a tantalising look on the passing vitality of life within a hive of exuberant activity, whilst Alphabet City explores the shadows and bright lights of an urban hive, every corner and breath within the landscape explored and brought to thought through a magnetic capture of rhythmic and electronic passion alongside brass and acoustic elegance.

As the zealous evolving festivities of Relapse courts the fermenting rapture inside the emotions with poise and dazzling enterprise and Skimming Stones unleashes a sunrise of melodic stimulation and big hearted rhythms encased in guitar cast seduction, Human Pyramids could just go home after and rest on their laurels such the impact and glory of the album to this point they would draw nothing less than full acclaim. But no chance of that as Singing Sands shows as it leads in the second half of the release to match the already unveiled riveting bewitchment. The track is littered with a crystalline tempting from the glockenspiel encased in a perpetually increasing energy of summer persistence, its heat and demanding textures a cascade of delicious rhythms and an ebbing and following melodic tide. It is a breath-taking piece of beauty which soothes and rampages within evocative thoughts and enlivened emotions.

Both the emotive tender soporific Duvet Day and the similarly, even with its bulging sinews and expansive inventive jaws, somnolent Tinfoil Stars treat the ear to a luxurious relaxation before the brass driven topography of Port Charlotte brings forth a slumberous picturesque portrait to explore. These smouldering joys are subsequently left in the shade by A Town Called Malaise, a powerful rock based journey which opens with a dramatically commanding tempest of guitar and drums kicking up a storm of intensity roamed by the shadow drenched bass. From behind the pungent encounter entwining streams of melodic whispers and sonic flames bring the hope and underlying beauty of the premise before contesting the air with the returning heavy oppressive voice of the scenario. It is an explosive and fascinating, not forgetting stunning, blend of imagination and striking songwriting that alone encapsulates all the impressive elements and strengths of the band.

     Bus Stop Polka completes the release, the track a busy and vibrant place with drums and guitars leaving no room for breath as the rush for the ride dominates the intent. Once aboard the trip is a dazzling venture of melodic lights and cracking rhythmic enticement which again leaves the listener engulfed in a riot of lung sucking incitation.

    Planet Shhh! is simply an aural temptress, a classically shaped and passionately honed fire of brilliance. That is all you need to know about it and Human Pyramids to embrace their glory.


RingMaster 16/08/2013

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Ten Foot Wizard – Return To The Infinite


Carrying intensive ravenous rhythms with heftier bones than found on over-weight mammoths and more addictive grooves than lined up at the start of a Nascar race, Return to the Infinite is a towering introduction to a band which in one fall have thrust themselves to the fore of European stoner rock. Ten Foot Wizard is a force to be reckoned with and their debut a towering album that gnaws upon, vibrantly assaults, and virulently rampages over the senses whilst igniting them into one of the most thrilling and senses exhilarating experiences this year. Earlier this year we were trodden on by the magnificent Horizontal Life from Oxford band Desert Storm to prove that heavy insatiably melodic metal /rock is breeding major things this side of the globe, and now standing side by side with them Mancunians Ten Foot Wizard unleash their offering to cement the fact that heavy vigorous rock from the UK stands eye to eye with anything elsewhere.

Formed as a side project by the members of Manchester metal band Bisonhammer back in 2009, the quartet has made a slow but steady emergence with just a handful of gigs each subsequent year leading to this point, though through them their live reputation has grown intensively with the band just recently sharing stages with the likes of Karma To Burn and Witch Mountain. Combining the richest essences of blues and stoner rock into at times a cantankerous but always compelling fire of sound and passion, their first album feels like the key to major prospects for the band, though only if the day job allows one suspects. It is fair to say that the release is not unveiling anything unfamiliar to the genre they rampage within but there are not many who can deliver it as excitingly and potently as these guys.

Opening track Rise From Your Grave opens up the invitation with strong guitar flames that tongue the senses before expanding their presence as they are joined by a predatory bass prowl and punchy drums. It is an immediately captivating sound which offers all the spicery you would wish in blues licked stoner rock. Restrained but full of riotous intent the track stomps along with the guitars bringing a persistent riff persuasion speared by excellent hot to touch solos and melodic searing. It is not a thumping invite into the release rhythmically, in fact it seemingly takes it easy on the ear but there is no doubting it is ridiculously easy to succumb to the temptation which breeds from the fine vocals and scintillating guitar enterprise.

Those drums do not stay in their cage for long though as next up Vulture Bitches swaggers and steers into view upon a rhythmic enslavement of pumped up beats instantly joined by the deliciously growling and predatory stroll of the bass. As addictive as a stripper in a shop window, the track is soon squealing its sonic tyres as it takes the hand break off for a pounding ride of heavy coated rock and metal aligned to an evocative blues call which reins in the charge from time to time to tempt out even greater passions for its offering. Like a mix of Kyuss and Sabbath with a touch of Clutch thrown in, the song is a mesh of intrigue and carnivorous hunger sculpted into a neck fatiguing triumph.

At times across the album there is a Danzig feel to things, especially on the vocals, and a gothic breath that adds its influence and no more so than on Real Love. The song is a blood pumping surge of rhythmic probing and uncompromising riffing wrapped in the Glenn Danzig/ Jerry Only like vocal delivery and shadowed clad dour toned horror rock. It is another instantaneous deep hook to the passions, its bait lingering and insatiable giving the following Medicine a challenge to make a strong impression up against it. As the slow crawl of bass and grooves matched by the vocals finger the senses and thoughts the track shows it is no problem, the intimidation and rugged touch of drums and guitars an irresistible lure reinforced by the throaty bass growl and again outstanding vocals. A mid-way switch into an escaping blaze of acidic riffing and rhythmic rabidity ignites the air further before it is all reined back into the delicious almost doom laced crawl.

Six Feet Rising takes a deliberate fiery saunter through the ear, guitar and vocals offloading satisfying blues fumes before making way for the increasing impressing varied bass persuasion. It is the platform for another riveting build into a climactic furnace of sonic brilliance and melodic violation. Once more there is a thick Danzig feel which only pleases and makes a great appetiser for the brewing blues tonic that invigorates every aspect of the track. It’s might is soon given a run for its money by the magnetically grooved Saturnalia and the staggering Fuck!, a track as much punk and noise rock as it is heavy metal and stoner, and a rapturous slab of heavy fisted inventive pleasure.

The closing trio of songs seem to extensively explore more avenues and corners of the band, all meaty in length and intensity though arguably lacking the impact certainly the immediate appeal, of their predecessors. The Storm is a tempest of lip licking grooves and bone resonating rhythms wrapped in a melodic fervour that screams craft and toxicity whilst End of the Line and the closing epic instrumental title track both twist around and enflame mind and heart with melodic and inventive kindling to spark off greater inventive fires, the last song an enthralling expressive journey.

Self-released on their own Beard of Zeus Records, Return to the Infinite is a tremendous and wholly devoured triumph. Watch out for Ten Foot Wizard as they tear up speakers near you as once lost under their sinew shaped spell there is no return.


RingMaster 16/08/2013


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Spring and Youth – Between The Irony

spring and youth pic

Schizophrenic and maniacally beautiful, Between The Irony the debut from Serbian metallers Spring and Youth is one of those releases which will have as many running and crying for their mothers as it will have those cutting off ears in the ultimate act of adoration to its psychotic charms. The album is a disorientating and scintillating investigation of avant-garde and experiment progressive metal, a dive into unpredictability and creative mayhem which only gives the richest, deepest pleasures and rewards.

Best described as a mutated pool of essences seeping from the insatiable union of Mike Patton and Mr Bungle, Dog Fashion Disco, Diablo Swing Orchestra, and Parisians 6:33, the eight track release is an exhilarating maybe even bewildering triumph which given time seduces the passions into a lustful compliant subservient. The album certainly needs numerous plays before working its insidious charms, the first encounters throwing thoughts and senses so off kilter they need a tow truck to return home, but once connected Spring and Youth emerges as a thoroughly compelling and invigorating visitation.

Comprising of vocalist Marko Stojanović, guitarist Filip Mladenović, bassist Ivan Vasić, pianist Darko Varga, and drummer Darko Đurić, coverSpring and Youth and its members came together over a few years, many from different directions and musical sources to combine for something unique. With a 2008 released demo introducing the band name and the current line-up in place from 2011, the Beograd based band stepped into a Belgrade studio last year to create their first web of sonic and aural design, some might say conspiracy. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Goran Crevar, Between The Irony is an imaginative explosion between the ears, a tantalising and teasing test of the willingness to venture through devious asides and devilish ingenuity brought with a creative will that is warped at best and satanic in the extreme, but such an arousing and galvanic journey it emerges to be.

The brief instrumental Kidd Prelude opens up the Pandora’s Box of sonic manipulation first, the piece a short but impacting fire of merciless drum beats and technically driven riffs stalking the senses with an ever shifting and undulating pace, and time signatures coaxed by enticing keys giving just a hint of what is too come. Reaching its thickest potency the track seamlessly twists into the following Two Orangeez. Now things really get interesting. Initial contact is a charge of carnivorous riffs and punching beats which quite rapidly dance and leap about as if on a hot tin roof whilst the expressive thought exploiting keys of Varga evoke emotive teases amongst the almost duelling clean and growling vocals led by Stojanović. Littered with djent provocation and classically honed piano narratives, the song exhausts and bewitches leaving the listener enflamed with emotions, thoughts…possibly bamboozled ones, and blissful pleasure. As mentioned this is not going to be for all but if you want mystique, mystery, and madness in your aural food than this first song alone will have lust raising its head.

The following Heavy off of a great hollow bass grilling erupts into another seismic exploration of mind and limitations, the rabidity of imagination and ever twisting invention a welcome curse on the senses though the vocals are not as successful as on the previous track. Melodrama sows its seeds throughout to be reaped by the arguably over the top delivery of  Stojanović and watered by the emotion painting keys, but when the raptorial muscles and appetite of the song turns on the listener with metal nostrils flaring and jaw ripping chunks out of air and synapses the track is a lethal ingenious lunacy.

The equally extensive in length and depth Feetless next stands up to either send fear or enthrallment into the listener, the jazz lisping keys and delirious guitar bedlam as intoxicating and frenetically unbalancing as they are the bearers of irresistible fascination and adventure. Once more you feel like you are in a nightmare of rapacious beauty and voracious insanity as the song wraps its spellbinding tentacles around mind and passions but only face it with the intent to devouring all on offer.

The erratically rousing and quite brilliant Muriatic and As Fast As Possible with its kin of mesmeric gracefulness and ferocious antagonism within the continuing lyrical and underlying drama, conjure up more inventive splendour whilst the short piano instrumental Play brings some kind of a return to rationality before the closing Four And A Half spends nine minutes leading the listener into another deranged and ambrosial flight of progressive craft and metallic forcefulness brought through a rabid web of psyched imagination.

Spring and Youth with Between The Irony has brought all the evidence and promise that they will take the major stage by storm at some point. At times the songs probably exceed their time and debatably there is so much going on that the amount of visits needed to decipher things will put too many off but the bottom line on the album is that it induces euphoria that most bands can only dream of. Up for a challenge? Then this is a must!


RingMaster 16/08/2013


Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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