Tactical Module – Into Exile


Having been seduced by previous album World Through My Sight from UK industrial band Tactical Module, there was a definite anticipation and expectation upon its successor Into Exile. The new release’s predecessor was a slow burner of a persuasion but one which made the securest potent convert of the passions for its aggressive symphony of electro enterprise, punk attitude, and industrial intensity. Into Exile is no different except that it makes a more immediate impact and its core ingredients and invention comes with a greater intensive snarl and uncompromising confrontation. It is an enthralling and challenging release which has reaped the impressive seeds of earlier releases and sounds to hungrily explore their sonic blossoming with greater craft and imagination.

Hailing from Poole, Tactical Module is the solo project of Michael Davis, a musician who since creating the band to unleash his creative imagination within has earned and garnered strong constantly deepening praise and acclaim through his releases. Using inspirations from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode in his invention, Davis after numerous EPs and remixes made his first strong wide mark with the Dead Zone EP of 2012. The release triggered greater awareness and appetite for his sounds which were soon feasting greedily upon the single Where Angels Rise and earlier this year the impressive expanse of World Through My Sight and the Resurrection EP. Receiving its first CD release with Into Exile, Tactical Module has sculpted an album which is more diverse and adventurous than the previous releases, and they were no slouches in experimentation, and an encounter which employs decades of industrial/electronic whispers into one invigorating magnetic incitement.

Released via Juggernaut Media, Into Exile takes little time in bringing attention and imagination to bear on opener Awaken, its emergence through a sizzling sonic haze chilling yet thoroughly tempting. Brewing up a greater menace to its climate, the song has complete control of thoughts and senses, especially when the predacious guitar tone unveils its metal spawned restrained yet voracious causticity, matched by the confronting vocals of Davis. A definite Gary Numan spice glazes the invention whilst organic beats cage the fired up passions further, herding them into the fierce electro embrace. It is an excellent gripping start not quite matched by the following title track. The song is certainly alluring; its ebm breath stalked by a great electro twang which spears the evocative ambience but there is a spark missing compared to the first which debatably might be down to the track evading the metal bred antagonism. Nevertheless it is a pleasing continuation of the strong start and evidence of the variety of ideas and sound upon the release.

Outer City Limits soon picks up the earlier baton of strength with its instrumentally stalking flight of coarse textures and electro beauty, both combining for a voracious journey through dramatic and suggestive climes. From providing the imagination with a sinew clad impacting plaything, Into Exile then reveals more of its emotive heart with Breathless. The song is a fizzing electro plaintive with angst drawn vocals cursing agony over the acidic sounds. Like the second song it takes a firm hand on ear and thoughts without challenging other tracks on the album for the passions but all the time deceptively it is working away and though face to face impact is less startling it is a moment which returns at will even away from the release.

Both Cypher 2.0 and Downpour urge limbs and emotions to take part in their electro waltz, the first with a pulsating veining of jabbing rhythms. A real plus for the song and album is the use of live drums which brings an organic pulse and frame to the album setting it apart from most others instantly, and with the crystalline fire spawned electronic pulses and stabs from around the ever satisfying and shifting vocal delivery here an irresistible instigator. Its companion is a rhythmic raptor, beats prowling and stomping with ever switching rabidity whilst the electronic teases and kisses come with their own sense of menace and salaciousness. There is a punk essence too which is a mere hint, as on other songs, but there waiting and probing vocally and musically alongside a Pitchshifter like primal suasion. The thrilling duo are backed up by the more than decent Hellfire, a cantankerous fire which merges moments of slightly underwhelming electronic bait with addictively thrilling aggressive almost corrosive metal and guitar voracity. That punk element is back here, a Spizzenergi nag pleasing thoughts whilst, and not for the first time, the electro calls bring Fad Gadget into the mind, and in even greater potency upon Unbreakable. With a post punk/metal esurience and attitude to its presence, the song is another pinnacle upon what ultimately is one exciting and inventive release.

    Into Exile comes in digital and CD format, both with unique remixes. The former format finds the Back to Hell, Back to Reality Mix of the title track by D.E.P, which gives the track the flame arguably missing in the original, the Destructed mix of Downpour by Detuned Destruction, and Corroded Master’s Harlot Mix of Breathless, both inventive takes without matching the originals. The CD offers the G-Mix look at the title track which certainly takes it into a new adventure, the Knife Fight remix of Breathless, and another by Defeat, with both formats seeing the Ruinizer Remix of Awaken, the track becoming a nastier predation and antagonist to the album version.

     Into Exile is an exciting and richly rewarding provocateur, a release showing the ever evolving and increasing strength of Davis’ songwriting and its striking realisation through Tactical Module.



RingMaster 05/10/2013


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All She Wrote – Riven

All She Wrote Online Promo Shot

Hailing from London, melodic rock band All She Wrote release their debut EP Riven hoping to build upon and accelerate the buzz going around the city for the band from their live performances and across the UK after their previous single Weathered. The earlier song certainly made attention stand up and thoughts take the promise offered into a suspicion that the quartet was a band to keep an eye on. The new release is still promoting that same reaction and thought even though it manages to disappoint and please in equal strength.

Formed in the closing weeks of 2011, the foursome of Connor Crooks (vocals/guitar), Marc Smith (drums), Jonny Page (guitar) and Tommy Shillibeer (bass), took little time in building a potent fanbase across London on into the south of England through their shows. Weathered only increased their reputation and the awareness around them, the song a pleasing evocative persuasion which marked out the band. Riven continues in the same vein and approach even though it falls short of the same impressive and captivating levels of the single. Across its body there is a spark and almost a passion missing. Certainly the songs are accomplished and crafted with style whilst presentation and the skill of the band is impossible to doubt but something is missing to ignites songs, though the promise of the band is still more than a latent whisper.

The opening Prinicipio is an atmospheric instrumental which is beautifully composed and realised, its evocative narrative and soaring All She Wrote Cover Artworkbeauty the perfect lead into the EP and one to send tingles of excitement through to an eager appetite. It leads anticipation straight into the following Unjust which fires up its engines with fiery riffs and thumping rhythms, all designed and succeeding in igniting the senses. Once the vocals enter though something flat happens to the song and it is not just because of Crooks. The pilot light of the song just seems to go out and despite the alluring sounds there is a sense of anti-climax to the moment.

The following title track equally fails to hit the spot though the evocative tones of Crooks and the brewing drama of the song musically sparks stronger involvement for the passions and hopes. The track never exploits its most potent elements though to really punch through the heart and intensity of the narrative. It is a magnetic song which keeps that promise and suggestion of big things from the band ahead going and given closer attention and time reveals some impressive and imaginative ideas within the structure and its body.

Weathered makes its appearance on the EP next and stands as strong and persuasive as ever, combining a post hardcore muscularity to a melodic rock invention for a pleasing evocative adventure. From enticing guitar caresses to sinew clad riffs and firm imposing rhythms ridden by emotive vocals, the track is a deeply appetising encounter which shows you why there is a strength of excitement around the band, something next up Persona also promotes with its fire bred guitar snarl and rhythmic badgering wrapped in melodic flames and equally heated vocals. Combined with its predecessor the song makes All She Wrote a healthy prospect and reignites the thoughts which earlier tracks doubted.

The closing elegant Finis Principio completes a release which from not doing itself and the band justice in its earlier suasion manages to reassert All She Wrote as a band well worth keeping on the radar. Riven is a little hit and miss and maybe should have been stronger but it ultimately only cements earlier thoughts and appetite for the band, though the next release will need to have that fire in the belly or spark to continue the appetite one suspects. Reminding of bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, The Blackout, and Biffy Clyro in varying degrees, All She Wrote have some way to go to reach their potential but Riven makes you think they are still on course.



RingMaster 05/10/2013


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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from