Forever Can Wait – Beauty & Grace EP

FCW promo

Though their sound is not yet burning new grooves in the walls of melodic rock, UK band Forever Can Wait have something about them which suggests that there is a richly promising and even greater presence within the Southampton quintet which will only accelerate on from and build from their impressive debut EP. Beauty & Grace is an enthralling magnet of a release, six fascinating merges of melodic rock and post hardcore which seduces at every twist of its inventive encounter. It does not ignite raging fires in the passions it is fair to say but undoubtedly with a craft and melodic instinctiveness which only persuades strongly, the EP has emotions and satisfaction burning brightly and hungrily for the band and their future horizons.

Formed in 2009, Forever Can Wait has earned a strong reputation for their live performances which has seen them share stages with numerous higher profiled bands and over 2013 with the likes of Press To Meco, Out For Tomorrow, Bad Sign, and Villains. Equally the year has found the band drawing acclaim for their sets at the Butserfest, Takedown, and Download Festivals, the last coming about from the band winning this year’s Red Bull Studios Live At Download competition. With good airplay also following recent singles, it is not hard to imagine and suspect that the Beauty & Grace EP will register the band within a nationwide awareness and spark an even greater ascent for the creative band.

The title track sets things in riveting motion, guitars scoring the air with emotive tones over a firm rhythmic beckoning. It is not a Beauty&Grace Artworkdramatic entrance but one with a potency to light keen appetite for how things will evolve, which they do in fine style with the vocals of Tash Crump taking control. From within a reserved and teasing passage, the lady’s tones make a strong and pleasing caress which only impresses across the song as they more than hold their own as the guitars of Liam Baker and Will Wilson turn in a snarling enticement and heat to the song. As the EP, the track does not quite get the heart fluttering and gasping for breath but definitely awakens keen eager attention.

The following P&Q brings the intensity and contagion which is only simmering within its predecessor and takes little time in securing a rampant greed for its presence. The guitars initially churn up the air with expertise and temptation before stepping in restraint to allow the jabbing beats of drummer Toby Leonard to build a formidable frame which the rapacious growling basslines of Luke Gould deliciously prowl. With caustic hooks and clean grooves weaving within the scorched energy, the song is a feisty encounter if one which never fully ignites as it hints at or one hopes. As in the first, Crump makes for a richly appealing narrator and makes the perfect temper for when the track does unleash a sonic scourge which teases bedlam but pulls away before crossing the lip of tempting chaos.

Rest is a smouldering seduction from its first breath but one stalked wonderfully by the grouchy throat of the bass. With great backing vocals from the guitarists, something arguably there is not enough of on the release, and a brooding atmosphere to the reflection tackling track as well as the ever convincing expression of Crump, the song takes its time but emerges as one of the strongest highlights of the EP alongside its predecessor.

The brief and decent enough piano crafted instrumental Release makes an evocative interruption before leading into the equally emotive Excuses. With a female fronted band like Forever Can Wait, Paramore comparisons always seem second nature but over the length of Beauty & Grace, this track is the one which really only sparks that thought. The track does not match the heights of the previous songs but still holds the listener in a tender but firm grip which the closing Hopes & Dreams matches with an emotionally hued flame of melodic craft and intensive enterprise.

The first half of the EP is certainly the strongest but Forever Can Wait has a strength and potency which makes Beauty & Grace something to enjoy and hanker for from start to finish. There is massive potential within the five piece and using their debut as an impressive base you can only see them becoming a familiar and sought after name on the rock bred lips of the country.


RingMaster 27/11/2013

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Code – Augur Nox


When entering into the riveting realm of Augur Nox the new album form UK metallers Code, be prepared to give it a copious amount of time and attention for the reaping of its breath-taking imagination rifling and passion igniting rewards. Though not a hard listen, the release is structured with such rich and extensive textures aligned to a presentation which is as exhausting as it is incendiary for thoughts and emotions that it takes numerous bold endeavours to fully understand and explore its intensive majesty. Both band and album show that a carnivorous intent and confrontation can be as seductive as an intensive melodic coaxing, an essence Code also employ ingeniously within each tempestuous persuasion upon the release.

The successor to their acclaimed 2009 album Resplendent Grotesque, the band’s third full-length release is the first with the new line-up of guitarists Aort and Andras, bassist Syhr, drummer LORDt, and vocalist Wacian who replaced the departing Kvohst (Hexvessel) last year. Formed in 2001 by Aort and Kvohst to create their own aspect of black metal, the band soon drew attention with the Neurotransmission demo of the following year and more so with debut album Nouveau Gloaming in 2005 and the previously mentioned Resplendent Grotesque. With a sound which strides across multiple genres defying all labelling, Code has taken it all to another level with the exceptional Augur Nox. There is a more progressive rock infiltration to the ever black shadowed emotional and physical exploration as well as an intensity bred which though from the same provocative well as before leaves no emotion and atom of air lacking intrusive intimidation.

The Agonia Records released Augur Nox opens with a relatively straight black metal causticity and coaxing as Black CODE AUGUR NOX COVERRumination emerges from a rhythmic invitation. The harsh vocals of Wacian scowl from within a cage of rhythmic military antagonism, rabidity drenched riffs, and an acidic enticement from the guitars; the band revelling in its rapacious provocation before spreading through a magnetic progressive tempest. The front man brings even greater commanding presence once clean tones and expressive textures stalk his delivery, whilst around him the guitars sculpt a riveting web of sonic enterprise and evocative temptation within a just as compelling rhythmic cage.  The predatory bass sound conjured by  Syhr is another delicious toxicity within the fire, the song evolving into a masterful and magnificent incitement for imagination and emotions with a unique presence which can be best described as Dødheimsgard meets KingBathmat.

The atmospheric black metal/avant-garde/ progressive alchemy continues with the same potency through the following Becoming Host and its stunning successor Ecdysis. The first has an element of Killing Joke to its senses stretching and cantankerous body, again clean vocals an immense persuasion and compliment to the ever shifting prowl of the devouring sounds. Heavy groove metal teasing spirals throughout the absorbing violation to temper yet encourage the ever present predation which acts as a provocateur across the song, whilst a more alternative metal coaxing only accentuates the near bestial hunger of the energy and narrative. The second of the pair takes that predatory intensity and intent to greater irresistible levels, the merger of sonic pestilence and rhythmic barbarism to a progressive experimentation a virulent and uncompromising but exhilarating creative squall. There is so much going on within tracks that we can only give a loud whisper of the invention and exhausting imagination at work within Augur Nox, a turbulent ingenuity at large which cannot be appreciated and truly unearthed through a mere singular or limited number of flights through its cyclonic creative landscape, though even one traverse certainly awakens the listener to something special.

     Glimlight Tourist is the next stunning peak on the merciless flight of innovative adventure, an air of Enslaved and Ihsahn washing the mouth-watering confrontational blaze. Clean vocals again make the strongest suasion whilst the guitars sculpt a senses entwining melody prompted covetous aggressive snarl which forges an unbridled addiction in the passions. Individual in its own menacing yet seducing mix of savagery and melodic beauty, Garden Chancery equally stokes that rampant hunger for the release and invention, the track an esurient consumption of the imagination through sonic manipulation, groove driving infectiousness, and blackened spite.

The likes of The Lazarus Chord where the bass again is an insidious and delicious pestilence behind the melodramatic and emotionally investigative journey, and The Shrike Screw which croons at and tantalises the ears with a seductive malevolence and inventive expanse, only entrance and challenge the listener further whilst the towering Trace of God breeds a new greed with its rich bordering on abusive passion and drama.

The closing pair of Harmonies in Cloud and White Triptych, admittedly without quite reaching the heights already forged but still creating their own slice of compelling excellence, complete what is an exceptional release. Never less than impacting and strikingly provocative, Code has unleashed their strongest and finest challenge yet with Augur Nox, an album which has more rewards that a store club card if the listener is willing to tread its flaming course, something we whole heartedly recommend.


RingMaster 27/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Artillery – Legions


With more charge to it than the national grid and stronger adrenaline fuelled rapaciousness than a swarm of ladies on day one of the sales, Legions the new album from Danish metallers Artillery unleashes a horde of riotous and rampant melodically sculpted furies. The album is a magnetic beast of enterprise and passion and one which takes the accomplished and acclaimed presence of the band to new heights.

To be honest the evolution from earlier releases from the Copenhagen hailing quintet is not as dramatic as you might anticipate but something has clicked within the band, whether it is the addition of new members or the finding of a certain element in their intent and songwriting, but where personal tastes could previously take or leave Artillery, Legions has sparked a definite hunger and compulsion for its exhaustive adventure. Formed in 1982 the band released four enthusiastically received and acclaimed albums before disbanding in 2000, for the second time. 2007 saw Artillery reform and release two years later When Death Comes, to be followed two years later by My Blood, both again earning success and acclaim. With a few changes across the years the current line-up  emerged last year with vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl and drummer Josua Madsen joining founding members and guitarists Michael and Morten Stützer, and bassist Peter Thorslund who joined in 1989. Following a triumphant European tour this past May, the band entered the studio with producer Søren Andersen and what has emerged is a thrilling unrestrained ride of thrash soaked speed metal within an album which simply ignites the imagination.

The Metal Blade Records unleashed record opens with the intriguing entrance of Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh). A tribalCover rhythmic coaxing is soon joined by a folkish dance, both aspects reserved yet wrapped in an eagerness which is hard to resist. It is not long before the song erupts into a blaze of sinew powered riffs and thumping rhythmic provocation whilst still leaving room for the initial beckoning to continue its call. Mere moments later and the band is rampaging through the ear with bass and drums adding a fiery predation aligned to the scorching of guitars whilst the immediately impressive vocals of Bastholm Dahl add their particular melodic flame to the proceedings. It is a magnetic onslaught which drips craft and imagination whilst chewing the senses like a rampant wolf.

The immense start is instantly continued through the following God Feather, the track taking over where its predecessor left off, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation and contagious persuasion ridden by the outstanding clean and fluid vocals. Imagine Testament meets Flotsam and Jetsam with a healthy dose of John Bush led Anthrax and the track and album comes into view whilst offering plenty more for the appetite to breed a real hunger for. The song is a virulent anthemic lure matched by the exceptional title track. As with most the song gnaws on the senses from the start, riffs a corrosively seductive temptation punctured by the potent rhythmic antagonism of Madsen. With an almost waspish irritancy to its grooves and a swagger to its breath the track is a breath-taking blitz on ears and thoughts.

Both Wardrum Heartbeat with its stalking rabidity and Global Flatline through its inventively shifting and evolving raid of diverse metallic flavours reinforce the towering start; the second of the pair simultaneously unpredictable, enthralling, and expectations satisfying, a pinnacle to match the opening two songs whilst next up Dies Irae provides an unsurprising and safe but still riveting anthem all great speed metal conjuring requires. The guitar play of both Stützers is stunning across the album with this track and the following Anno Requiem open showcases, the pair’s ability to savage and seduce within a blaze of time irresistible.

It is fair to say that the album is not smashing down metal walls but as shown by the individual majesties of the epically sculpted melodically drenched Enslaved to the Nether and the sinister Doctor Evil, where menacing predacious riffs and enchanting sonic ingenuity hold hands as they rush the senses, Artillery rigorously embrace thoughts and emotions in a storm of adventure which stands side by side with some of the very best this year.

Closing with the Middle Eastern seeded insatiability of Ethos of Wrath, the song a sultry muscular temptress which excites in every aspect, Legions is a scintillating and arguably unexpected treat for ears and passions to indulge greedily in. It is also a release which just gets stronger with greater captivation the more sorties you take within its exceptional siege, right now Artillery is at the top of its explosive game.


RingMaster 27/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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