Black Mare – Field of the Host

Pic By J. Bennett_hi_res

Pic By J. Bennett_hi_res

     Exploring the haze of shadows with flames of dreamy radiance amidst thick sonic atmospheres, Field Of The Host the debut album from Black Mare is a startling and imposing experience to wrap oneself deeply within. A heady and enthralling blend of shoegaze and consuming ambiences often under an almost noir lit glaze the album is a masterful adventure for the imagination and emotions. It challenges and seduces from start to finish, never allowing a second to be wasted on barren stimulus or pointless frivolity as it soaks the senses in compelling rhythmic repetition and atmospheric embraces which are simple yet undiluted and overwhelmingly engrossing.

      Black Mare is the solo project of Los Angeles based Sera Timms, the vocalist and bassist of Ides Of Gemini and until recently also the now demised Black Math Horseman. Her own immersive venture of mesmeric light fuelled yet dense flights found on her first album, do hold essences which relate to the harsher intensity of her other bands but distinctly casts a presence and hypnosis of the senses which is dramatically unique in comparison. The songs upon Field of the Host tease and play with not only their darkest and deepest corners and emotive lures but those of their recipient’s imagination and thoughts. The Human Jigsaw Records released album is a temptress draped in the finest intriguing sonic dress providing a sirenesque voice and presence which haunts and seduces simultaneously, the vocals of Timms alone providing the most invasive, persuasive potency.

     Blind One is the first evocative hymn to embrace the senses, its smouldering touch and slowly pervading breath a permeating HJRCD008narrative of guitar sculpting and vocal enticement lined with a rhythmic snare and carnal bass groan. It is a pulsating and resonating mix with a slight essence of Deftones to its emotive chanting and heavy weighted ambience. Leading thoughts deeper into its dramatic charm, the track makes a bewitching and irresistible introduction which the following Tearer only reinforces with its less sombre but equally as compelling and expansive flight. The guitar almost slow waltzes with the passions as Timms serenades with her delicious effect clad tones whilst the bass offers a throat to its tone which reminds of the early bass exploits of The Cure. As the first, the song is the strongest irresistible bait, igniting an appetite and passion which Field of the Host exploits time and time again.

    Both Fighting Birds and Saturn’s Grave haunt and charm with individual beauty, the first a radiant breeze of temptation and melodic resplendence gliding gently across the senses as a rhythmic persistence elevates the infection. Its successor is just as irresistible, it a shadow kissed float across haunted emotions and dark embraces washed by elegantly poised harmonies, the beauteous croon of Timms vocally and musically, as the album itself, the sun side of melancholic.

     That evocative bass sound which sparked earlier comparisons does so even more potently upon Ashlar, the song a mystical ascent into celestial climes and emotions with tempering dark edges to intrigue and entrance. Once again artist and song lay out a drifting haze of sound and mesmerism which smothers and invigorates with every beguiling second, each touch of the senses bringing tingles in tandem with pleasure.

   The album is completed by the dream wrapped Isa, its body a glimpse of peace and danger as if looking through fractures of an emotional mirror, and the reflective Cybele. The final song is arguably the most hypnotic and magnetic track of all, its ingenious entwining of dark and light within a chilling sinew built entrapment a testing and immersing provocation for ears and emotions. It is a wonderful piece of emotively sculpted sonic alchemy, a track unafraid to intimidate and smooch, both aspects coming with equal imaginative relish.

     Field of the Host is quite magnificent, not exactly an odyssey for mind and emotions, but a sensationally rewarding and thrilling journey to bask and reflect within.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Mare/166439840132254

9/10

RingMaster 23/02/1014

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Bast – Spectres

 

BAst pic

    If you have ever imagined being lost in a blizzard where every sound and danger, open and hidden, seduces and smothers the senses to their limits then try stepping into Spectres the debut album from UK sonic sculptors Bast. Every intensive note and emotion within the blackened doom bred tempest suffocates with merciless passion and intimidation yet infuses the imagination with a beauty and compelling toxicity which is just as mouth-wateringly impressive. The five track release is an epic confrontation which is not an easy companion to embrace and at times endure, as that envisaged storm, but certainly one of the most rewarding as it infests body and psyche.

    Formed in 2008, it was the coming together of vocalist/guitarist Craig Bryant, drummer Jon Lee, and bassist Gavin Thomas three years later where arguably things really began to stir up a greater attentive spotlight for Londoners Bast. Since starting initially as a duo, the band certainly made an imprint on the capitals metal scene, sharing stages with the likes of Ufomammut, A Storm of Light, and Ramesses. Across the years the trio has expanded their presence supporting and playing with other bands such as Nachtmystium, Minsk, Winterfylleth, earthtone9, Mother Corona, XII Boar and hordes more, persistently leaving a rich mark and breeding an eager anticipation for their first album.

     Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with Chris Fielding, Spectres is the first offering from new label Black Bow Records, run by 1452364_10152025214408684_29610896_nConan frontman Jon Davis, its limited to 300 vinyl release a joint unleashing with a CD/digital assault from Burning World Records. The album is a heavily consumptive provocation which swallows and chews the senses with a creative rabidity which simply intimidates under the massive weight of doom spawned atmospheres and malevolence. Just as ravenously though, the release leads the listener through inventive weaves which dazzle in elegance and seduce in majestic radiance though never truly released from the hands of rancorous oppressiveness.

    In The Beginning initially offers a respectful sonic coaxing to bring the album into view, its chilled ambience wrapping the ears before an exhaustive fire of riffs and rhythms consume the senses as the rasping caustic vocal squalls of Bryant scorches the air. As its stalks and piles on the dark drama with every second, the track winds around the imagination with a near insidious voice and corrosive intensity, stimulating thoughts with an enveloping and emotive suffering. It is a powerful opening matched by the next up Denizens, its slow flight into darker and deeper caverns of intensive emotional corruption as mesmeric as it is ruinous. Like the first, the black and doom metal seeded blend brews an erosive breath over a melodically teased sonic adventure, both soaked in a mutually cathartic and damaging tsunami of intensity.

      Impressive as the songs are, the album does not truly ignite into something uniquely distinctive and special until the title track erupts in a ferocious brawl of crippling rhythms and unrestrained riffing. The track hits with the carnivorous heavy assault of a Black Tusk, with heavily shadowed but tempting grooves to match, before diving head long into a blackened swamp of sonic rabidity and doom lit venom. It is an irresistible onslaught taken to greater potency by a deliciously barbed rhythmic temptation alongside a bass and guitar snarl which has you contemplating scurrying into the deepest burrows of safety. Spectres preys upon and swaggers with the imagination and passions, an unpredictable constantly evolving waltz of inventive toxins and destructive virulence with pestilential charms and animosity which echoes the overall presence of its namesake, the album.

     The exceptional confrontation is matched by the instrumental Psychonauts, the piece a developing imaginative scourge for the passions which from a seemingly primordial sonic soup spawns an irresistible and addictive union of contagion clad drumming and savage bass temptation. It proceeds to provide an exploratory and weighty flight through menacing expressive textures and atmospherically driven visually provoking scenery. It is another immense stimulus for mind and emotions to eagerly delve into, a demanding and controlling doorway to the band’s and our imaginations. Its twelve minute violation makes way for the equally enthralling and lengthy Outside The Circles Of Time, the closing song crafting a landscape of melodic temptation and magnetic beauty within a warm embracing ambience. The ever raw tones of Bryant, even in their more reined in delivery, add to the epidemic enticement, helping pave the way for the fiercer sonic wash of guitar and passion to lap over the senses beside another stretch of impossible to resist rhythmic bait, the song intensifying its pressure and contagion with every passing minute.

     It is a magnificent finale to an album which firmly puts Bast on the doom metal map. Spectres takes a little time to truly explode in the psyche, though it is certainly grips from its first breath, but emerges as an album destined to be one of the most impressive doom and 2014 debuts.

www.facebook.com/Bastmusic

9.5/10

Bast upcoming tour dates with Conan 2014

March 14th Nottingham, Soan Studios

March 15th Bournemouth, The Anvil

March 16th Birmingham, The Asylum 2

March 17th Glasgow, Audio

March 18th Aberdeen, Live at Downstairs

March 19th Manchester, Kraak Gallery

March 20th Cardiff, The Full Moon

March 21st Brighton, The a Prince Albert

March 22nd London at Electrowerkz

March 23rd Mousetrap, Basingstoke

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gifted Kings – Lose What Makes You

gifted kings pic

    It is hard to say that Lose What Makes You, the debut album from Scottish rockers Gifted Kings, ignited a fire in the passions for their accomplished and soulful sound, but certainly the 2012 formed band sparked an appetite and satisfaction with their enjoyable release which many emerging bands can only dream of. Consisting of eleven impressively crafted and expressive songs, the release makes a potent and promising introduction to a band we are sure to hear and enjoy a lot more of in the future.

    Hailing from Glasgow and consisting of two sets of brothers, Derek (guitar/vocals) and Andy Murray (lead guitar) alongside Gary (drums) and Paul Smith (bass), Gifted Kings build on the undeniable potential and presence of first single Dead End Road, which has just received its video release also, in fine attention grabbing style with the album. It is not unfair to say that the band’s sound has a rich familiarity to its presence right now, not of any specific band but in general which defuses some of its ability to surprise and stoke those emotional flames, but there is little else to raise a quizzical and disapproving eyebrow over. Recorded with producer Nick Brine (Oasis, The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) at the same studio which housed the making of Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Depeche Mode), the album proves its case with a stirring presence and potency which easily awakes positive reactions and attention to match that already brewing as far afield as Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, and India over the band. With their music already gracing several shows on Channel 4, S4C, ITV1, and Sky Sport as well as being adopted for advertising campaigns by Ripcurl and O’Neill Sports targeting the USA, Australia, and Asia, the quartet are on a rapid visible ascent which What Makes You Lose has all the qualities to accelerate.

     The album makes an instantly engaging and gripping start with Rains Will Come, its opening a sonic intrigue of guitar which expands with a rhythmic jabbing and fiery melodic glaze as company. It is not a startling entrance but one which secures full focus especially as the expressive vocals of Derek Murray joins the already pulsating lure of the song. Thoughts of Bristol band Mind Museum offer a suggestion whilst essences of Placebo also hint throughout the increasing emotive brewing of the track; all to a positive effect. The only strange thing about the song is that it never explodes, just simmers as if an intro to the album rather than a stand-alone proposition. Nevertheless it is a great start matched right away by The Last Time. A heavy throaty bass sound and imposing rhythms make the initial temptation as the guitar’s thoughts crowd around in a sonic breeze before making inviting weaves of melodic endeavour around the incoming vocals. Again there is something recognisable about the encounter, though it just makes it an easier ride to immerse within, which with its especially persuasive rhythmic enticement just infects.

     Both No One Knows and Drive keep the album bubbling in thoughts and emotions if missing the heights of the previous pair. The first is embraced by powerful emotive melodies and crescendo like rises in energy and passion as melodic veining arguably inspired by the previously mentioned Mancunians works away, whilst the second strolls with a reserved and enticing alternative rock weight and texture to draw in the imagination. Neither sets sparks to tease the passions into major action but definitely each provides a healthy offering for the appetite to chew over and enjoy, as equally does Dead End Road with its alluring and richly expressive narrative and sound. Though definitely not the best song on the album it is still easy to see why it has drawn such eager responses the band’s way since being released as the first single from the album.

     The following pair of Tell Me Something and Fortune In The City return the release to the commanding and contagious levels it started on, controlling rhythms and rich melodic fire rigorously and anthemically tempting the senses within the first whilst its successor explores another evocative climate with an inventively gripping groove and an infection clad chorus within an unpredictable exploratory landscape. Both tracks alone reveal the depth and potential of the band in sound and songwriting, reach easily lighting keen anticipation for future endeavours.

   From the pleasing and very decent creative exploits of Last Trace Of The Sun and the sonically colourful, not forgetting contagious Wait, the album’s best moment is brought with Neon, a song built on addictive nagging riffs and crisp rhythms which persist until full submission is given for their vivacious bait. Once more the band casts a virulent infection over the ears and imagination which is impossible not to find a lingering hunger for, it’s dramatic touches and blues kissed strikes quite irresistible. Alongside the closing and strong if underwhelming in comparison Written On The Wall, the pair bring Lose What Makes You to a thoroughly entertaining conclusion.

     Gifted Kings has laid the strongest base with their debut, the first of many potent and impressing encounters ahead you suspect.

http://www.giftedkings.com/

8/10

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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