Harlott – Origin

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Thrash for us is one of those genres where originality is not always the key to the strongest excitement and satisfaction, certainly it is an added bonus but seemingly more of a rarity these days it. Australian band Harlott does not exactly buck that trend but with a certain twenty first century adventure and imagination to their 80’s Bay Area influenced ferocity, they definitely bring something feistily refreshing to the table. To be honest even if they were lacking that extra ingredient, such the voracious sound and contagious excellence of their debut album Origin long term fandom to their scintillating presence would be a given. It is an adrenaline driven blaze of metal bred rock ‘n’ roll, an exhausting and breath-taking rapaciousness which clads old school seeded fury with modern day enterprise for a distinctly exhilarating and feverishly rewarding riot.

Hailing from Melbourne, Harlott has built a strong presence and reputation within the city’s metal scene, their sound, energy, and live presence urging a strong and fevered fan base. Two EPs, Virus and None in 2011 and 2012 respectively, added to their emerging stature but it was the release of debut album Origin in the November of last year which brought the band to a wider attention, into a spotlight which caught the ears of Italian label Punishment 18 Records who subsequently approached the band. The result was Harlott signing with one of Europe’s most exciting thrash and metal labels and the release of their album this week across Europe and North America.

Origin takes no more than a few seconds to ignite ears and an appetite for the band’s sound with its title track, guitar bait drawing attention HarlottCoverinto the waiting predatory clutches of drummer Dan Van Twest and the ravenous riffery of Andrew Hudson and Ryan Butler. With the bass of Tom Richards adding another throat of intimidation to the mix, the track shrugs off any tethers and begins a stirring rampage across the passions with an intensive rhythmic battering and almost carnal riffing. The vocals of Hudson are just as eager as the sounds, riding their charge with clean but growling tones backed just as impressively by those of Richards. The song stomps and lurches from one memorable post to another, nothing spectacularly ground breaking or unique to the history of the genre but with a more explosively contagious and irresistibly anthemic stance than any thrash release has arguably presented in a long while.

It is impossible not to think of the likes of Testament, Exodus, and even Slayer as the opener and following Effortless Struggle alone light up thoughts but only as references as Harlott taken those seeds and grown something decidedly of their own making. The second song on the album drives with an even harder and uncompromising intensity strapped to an equally ferocious energy; rhythms and riffs gnawing ears and senses whilst the meaner predatory flavour of the vocals incites intimidation and badgering accusations. The track is a torrent of skilled aggression and merciless provocation, a demanding treat speared as its predecessor by some impressive solo guitar sculpting, a design the following Ballistic breeds its irrepressible hostility from also. Similar on structure and tone to the previous track, it manages to slip pass assumptions with a side step of melodic flames and a virulently contagious rabidity in energy and passion.

To be honest such the immense start if the rest of Origin had been a disaster, waxing lyrical about the band was still on the cards but there was little chance of that happening as proven by Heretic and Export Life, the first a ridiculously addictive furnace of rhythmic bewitchment from Van Twest skirted by scorching flames of sonic tempting and destructive riffery and the second a more measured but no less insatiable confrontation. As with many of the tracks there is an almost hardcore/punk causticity to the song, slightly in the vocals and definitely in the sheer maliciousness which breaks through more than occasionally. Both tracks are blessed and spiked by mouthwatering guitar invention and colouring, the album presenting some of the best dramatic but reined in solos heard in recent times.

Hierophobia makes an emotive entrance through a lone melody crafting guitar, breaking the more formula starts to encounters so far, though it is soon urged on its way by another avalanche of esuriently imposing riffing and menacing rhythms. The track is soon surging with break neck speed and impossibly catchy grooves whilst vocally Hudson and Richards hit their finest moment singularly and combined, though they never disappoint anywhere. The song closes as it began bringing a moment to breath before Kill and Infernal Massacre rampage with their turbos and skilful animosity in top gear. As the pair uncages their individual might and magnificence neck muscles are beginning to show signs of wear but even after numerous plays, Origin is not a proposition to take a break from or stop before its conclusion. So with teeth bared, much like the attack of Van Twest, the outstanding Regression is allowed its pound of flesh. Masterful rhythmic bait is laid first before the guitars hold a tempered check to their still hungrily pressing touch. The song twists with a classic metal lilt to some of its suasion though never veering from the compelling confines of the thrash intent. Arguably the most diverse and inventive song on the album, the encounter offers more proof of those aspects of Harlott which sets them apart more than enough from most others.

A powerfully assertive tempest of thrash turbulence with vocal and melodic intensity hits next under the title of Virus, the exceptional track flinging itself from the linking sonic spike between it and its predecessor across already tender synapses with acrid sonic toxins and barbarous argumentation. It is another onslaught which steals its fair share of the passions, as does the just as truculently dynamic Ultra Violence and the closing Not Long for This World, one final vigorous anthem of crusading thrash metal. It brings to an end without doubt one of the most rigorously enjoyable and exhausting albums of the last twelve to eighteen months. Yes Origins is not forging new avenues for trash metal to explore but Harlott gives the scene an explosive new shot in the arm and that is more than enough for us.

http://www.harlott.com.au/

http://harlottmetal.bandcamp.com/album/origin

9.5/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Direwolves – Aegri Somnia

direwolves

The hardcore scene has already impressed in 2014 with a ferocious flurry of rigorously intruding and thrilling furies, hardcore based or driven releases from the likes of Havenside, Ringworm, and Axecatcher to name just three leading the way. Stepping right in front of them or certainly alongside, are a pair of Throatruiner Records releases, one from Plebian Grandstand which you can read about elsewhere on the site and maybe the mightiest triumph of the lot Aegri Somnia from French band Direwolves. Their eleven track rage is a masterful persuasion of uncompromising riffs and rhythms fuelled by irresistible melodic tartness and inescapable hooks. Fusing metallic sinews and punk attitude to their sonic and vocal squalls, the debut album from the Lorient quintet is a standout treat for genre and year so far, an onslaught which if not on people’s best of lists will certainly be in their favourites of the year.

Direwolves formed in 2011 and were soon making a mark locally and within the French underground scene, their potent two track demo release Demo MMXI in their first year left in the shade by their first EP, the eagerly received and praised Me From Myself, to Banish the following year. Aegri Somnia is their next major step as a band and you suspect one into a wider intensive spotlight. The release takes over where the previous EP left off in many ways, taking its base as a launch pad for a more intensive and inventive venture whilst drawing greater blackened essences and harsher aspects of punk and crust into the hardcore brew. On its first scarring Aegri Somnia easily impresses and captures the imagination but as all great releases the more you share and open up the senses to its causticity the stronger and explosively persuasive it becomes.

Introspection starts things off, it a brief sonically hatched instrumental which casts an acidic landscape around the ears whilst giving far direwolves covermore than a hint of what is to come as rhythms manhandle the senses with fearsome creative power and the bass parades a carnivorous sound and intent. It is a striking and incendiary start, easily enslaving attention and anticipation as the guitars wash the air with melodic venom before it all explodes into the raging fire of Insights. Riffs and rhythms tear chunks from the psyche right away whilst the vocals abrase with every tortured syllable and angst driven word. It is an even briefer assault than its predecessor, one minute of hellacious contempt and sonic temptation with hooks to match and all very tasty.

The following storm of The Blindness That Keeps You Warm pushes the album’s entrance up another notch in contagious persuasion, flying at the ears with rhythms throwing muscular spite and riffs adding their animosity to the intense pressure whilst infectious hooks and grooves pierce and wind their way respectively into the tempest. It is a merciless yet seductive scourge of enterprise which evolves into Holy Treason with just as much invention and irrepressible fire driving forth the exhilarating turmoil. As with all songs though it is not just about passion and ferocity with the band laying out addictive designs and melodic toxins which help make the already eager taste for the encounter greedy and satisfaction unreservedly intense.

The bass snarl finds an even greater predation to its voice in the next up Echoed In Vain whilst the drums develop a controlled frenzy which only impresses further. Though the track maybe does not make the strongest initial scoring on ears and thoughts with melody brewed acid in its body and far reaching hooks, it is a forcibly engaging violation matched and exceeded by the excellent Sighs And Whisper. As pleasingly expected by this point in the album, guitars sculpt a web of sonic scorching and imaginative melodic entanglement around a merciless and brutally rapacious rhythmic drive. Equally though there is adventure unique to each track and here the song bullies its way into a moment of post hardcore, almost progressive insight, to keep predictability and assumptions at bay and wrong footed.

Aegri Somnia continues to impress as the adrenaline soaked and at times impossibly magnetic The Liar’s Choice and the voracious Face The Facts unleash their primal and instinctive belligerence vocally and unrelenting defiance musically on ears and beyond, whilst Light It Up from an outstanding rhythmic coaxing within a sonic wail intensively paints a finger pointing indictment at society. All three add a different aspect to the album, individual outrages and creative provocations to ignite thoughts and emotions.

The final pair of tracks, Keep It Clear and Endless Tragedies, are arguably the band’s most expansive and intrusive engagements, both thick in weight and passion relinquishing the use of skilfully crafted hooks and grooves for exhaustive almost doom clad atmospheres and melodically spawned explorations. They make for a formidable conclusion for a thoroughly impressive and exciting beast of a release. There is very little to offer as a temper to the fully hatched appreciation and ardour for the intimidation offered, though of course if hardcore is not an instinctive flavour that appeals from the off the songs could occasionally blend into each other through only a surface attention such their swift strikes and mutually intensive passion. The bottom-line though is that Aegri Somnia is a tremendous proposition and Direwolves a band set for major things.

https://www.facebook.com/wearedirewolves

http://direwolves.bandcamp.com/album/aegri-somnia

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Daggers – It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues

daggers

Hardcore right now seems to be one of the most adventurously explored genres, certainly going by the evidence gathered and unleashed by Throatruiner Records this month alone, with It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues by Daggers arguably the biggest slab of unquestionable proof. The new album from the Belgian quartet is a brute of an unleashing, twelve tracks of distinct inventiveness from a band which has never been slow on pushing their limits anyway. Whereas their previous array of releases have been an indignant fusion of crust and hardcore, Daggers upon their new fury pushes the walls down between hardcore and extreme metal noise for a wholly unique brew of rapaciously imaginative rock ‘n’ roll to them and scene. It is a raw maelstrom of inciting imagination and voracious intensity which provokes and violates senses through to thoughts, a ferociously uncompromising adventure which though it needs time to state its persuasion, is an irresistibly compelling bruising.

Hailing from Liège, the foursome of Yannick Tönnes, Gregory Mertz, Thierry Tönnes, and Thomas Fagny has left a trail of satisfaction and exhausted emotions with a clutch of imposing releases, starting with their 2008 self-titled EP through to second album Euphoria in 2011. Across their five years Daggers has always been a provocation which has earned an appetite here if not a raging fire towards them, each release making a lingering and potent scar in the hardcore scene but It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues is another matter entirely, in presence and impact. The album is a real journey through cavernous sceneries and ruthlessly stark atmospheres but constantly poised to thrust its instinctive punk breeding and metallic causticity down the throats of emotions.

Recorded live by Ben Phillips at the Lightship studio and mastered by Magnus Lindberg from Cult of Luna, the album opens on a reflective accordion croon as Apex slowly unveils its emotive invitation. It is a sinister if restrained enveloping which hints but gives no real clue to the impending and sudden explosion of vocal antagonism within an intensive and hefty weight of snarling riffs and cantankerous rhythms. The track instantly switches character at the expulsion, prowling purposely and intimidatingly across the senses as the guitars entwine a spiral of sonic acidity around things and the bass adds an extra rapacious menace courted  by an inventive texture of lead and backing vocals, again their attack controlled but intrusive. Now that its heart is fully open, the song offers a true portent of the album’s intent and qualities, though not quite the maze of imagination and experimentation also to come.

The song’s closing riff is a bridge into the following Woolgatherer, the coarse link soon replicated with deeper hunger by bass and a Artworkgrittier guitar tone. The track is an instant snarl of vicious rock ‘n’ roll employing numerous textures from rock and metal in its pungent incitement; an infectious repetitive groove aligned to a harsh roar of vocals which even in the briefness of the track steals keen attention and incites a greedy appetite for more which is soon offered by the similarly corrosive yet contagiously welcoming brawl of Blues. Also too short for these greed infused desires, the slice of combative causticity is an imposing wall of melancholic indictment and almost warring accusations lyrically and musically, which only intensifies the impressive start and persuasion of the album.

Both Asunder and Beacon push thoughts and passions into stronger enjoyment, the first a feisty confrontation of punk abrasion and metallic ferociousness which skilfully wrong foots not long into the roar with a delicious sonic detour employing seductive if acidic melodies and an irresistible twang to its breath before heading back into a riotous engagement with addiction sparking grooves and stomping attitudes, the bass wonderfully bestial once again. Its successor is a minute touching purge of the senses, uncluttered with twists and ideas taking it from its core intent but still infusing subtle hooks and lures which entice and linger within and after its offering. Again the swiftness of the assault is possibly thirty seconds or more too short but when so memorable and incisive you have to think that Daggers have got it right.

Wanderlust encircles the ears next, grizzled vocals taking their animosity out on air and senses whilst a sonic weave and anger ebbs and flows with inventive enterprise around the provocation. Arguably it is at this point where the album really starts to unveil its new rich pattern of experimentation and adventure, though earlier songs all bring a new character and potency from the band. In its forceful embrace, the song’s narrative takes the listener into sultry climates and melodic pastures, all shadowed and coated by unpredictable intrigue and evocative mystique, an emotive climate explored further by the instrumental Labyrinth, a piece which brings beauty under the sinister scrutiny of shadows and dark temptations.

The pair of Evermore and Dormant unveil the dangers, threat, and bewitchment of these new landscapes, the first an exhaustive charge which magnetically and urgently entices before slipping into a slower and equally incendiary intensive smothering of invasive rabidity which than alternates with a lasting contagion, and the second a stalking heavy legged predator which threatens and tempts the imagination. As all songs there is an agitation which will have its say and here with the most stringent pressure yet.

It’s Not Jazz It’s Blues saves its most thrilling experiments until the end starting with Sovereign, a track with a coarse and almost rustic glaze to its riffs and vocals as well as a hypnotic bordering droning repetition of sonic toxicity. There is a Killing Joke feel to the song as it feverishly works away tempting its victim, the unrelenting venom irrepressible even when the excellent twist of vocal delivery and haunting ambience leaves its compelling colour on the brilliant ingenuity of thought and sculpting. That brilliance continues into Cultist, its hive of waspish toxins an instant burrowing under the skin and across the psyche before relaxing into another persistent nagging which is impossible to resist or not find a new ardour for. Again a haunting, eerie atmosphere embraces the imagination whilst the track presents its venomous and mouthwatering bait with inventive bedlam and vicious veracity.

The release closes with Citadel, a dirty bleak stew of rare sonic abrasion and naked emotion which is punk in its purest form. The track impressively completes a blistering treat of a release. It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues is without doubt the best thing to strike from the minds and hands of Daggers, maybe not quite the classic you feel is alive inside them but certainly an inspirational new instigation for the genre and noise. It also suggest that if the band pursues the realms ventured within the final three or four songs on the album, that imitable pinnacle is nigh.

https://www.facebook.com/daggersband

http://daggersband.bandcamp.com/album/its-not-jazz-its-blues

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Patrons – Self Titled

promo3

With passion and angst dripping from every syllable and note, the self-titled EP from UK alternative punks Patrons is the first encounter from a band it is easy to suspect we will all be hearing plenty more of in the future. The three track release is not one which barges in and demands your acclaim or sparks an eagerness to shout from the rooftops about its merits, but slowly and potently from a certainly attention grabbing first bluster across the ears it emerges as a highly evocative and willing persuasion. Good things have been said about the band and it is easy to see why with their first introduction via I Hate It Records.

Hailing from Plymouth, Patrons was formed in 2013 with a sound which was soon being wrapped in references to bands such as This Will Destroy You, Thrice, Reuben, and La Dispute. Their live shows have also recruited high praise, another aspect to them which will be taken further afield with the band’s plan to tour across the UK and mainland Europe later this year in support of the EP. Recorded with producer James Bragg at Middle Farm Studios in Devon, the EP is a cauldron of emotion and intensity which not only thrusts the heart and power of their sound forward but more than hints on how incendiary you imagine their stage presence to be.

As soon as Rituals strokes the ear with guitar and subsequently bass tempting there is an instantly brewing feeling of drama as well as a coverscanbuilding recognition that the band knows how to craft and present narratives which grip and incite intimately as well as on a broader scale. The vocals of guitarist Danny Brooks bring a richly expressive and angst kissed presence to the song and lyrical presentation, a strong texture which seems to spark a greater hunger and urgency to the guitar designs of himself and Mark Hoynes whilst the rhythmic provocation of James Corby courted by the velvety tones of Olly Reed’s bass bring thick and equally compelling shadows to the invasively appealing colour of the track. It is a striking persuasion which d rides the senses with unreserved emotion whilst tantalising the imagination with continually evolving ideas and adventure. It is not a song which wholly steals the memory but rather offers small unforgettable treats which you hang onto and put together for a longer reflection. It is an unusual aspect but one which works very well.

Movements is a less impacting compared to Rituals, but no less forceful in tone and emotional weight. As the track croons and pleads its purposeful suasion you can see where certainly small comparisons to Reuben have emerged even if Patrons has some way to go to match the stature of one of our favourite bands. As the rhythmic design bullies the ears whilst the intensive emotional pressure of the song does a similar thing to the senses, the track comes alive to emulate the whole EP in making a stronger lingering convincing the more you immerse in its heartbreak and vocal desperation.

From a minor weak first few seconds where the first glance of vocals seems to lack the strength of the guitar around them and the inevitable outpouring of Brooks soon after, third song Little Victories is soon wrapping its endeavour and melodic seduction around the senses courted by fine harmonic heat from Brooks, all from within the tempestuous weight and fire of caustic guitar enterprise and rhythmic incitement. The song is a magnetic piece of songwriting, the best track on the release and a strong indicator to the prowess and thoughtful inventive craft of the band in creating and delivering their impacting excursions.

The band’s first release does not put a match to the passions but undoubtedly has them smouldering enthusiastically for them and their evolving potential. As we said at the top, expect Patrons to be a proposition that is a regular contributor to the buzz around the music world.

http://www.wearepatrons.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/wearepatrons

8/10

RingMaster 31/03/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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John Bassett – Unearth

John Bassett pic

Having discovered the progressive rock might of KingBathmat and its founder John Bassett, admittedly far later than we would have liked but joining the legion of fervour gripped fans nonetheless with the release of their last album Overcoming The Monster, there was a definite spring of excitement upon receiving Unearth the new solo endeavour from Bassett. As distinctly different to the previously mentioned release as it is just as imaginatively gripping, the new album is an enthralling embracing of ears and mind; man and record a melancholic troubadour parading evocative reflections of life and emotional experiences. Its canvas is a rich exploration of modern psyche across acoustically crafted progressive landscapes coloured with the richest hues of emotively sculpted melodic invention. It is a masterfully sculpted journey for creator and listener, one of the most rewarding and impressive this year so far.

The multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter, and producer from Hastings has self-released seven albums since 2003, the last few via his label Stereohead Records. Born in Walthamstow, London, Bassett first picked up an acoustic guitar as a child. He struggled at first with playing chords until when going to a guitar teacher it was realised that he was playing a right handed guitar, left handed. As soon as he picked up a left handed guitar songwriting began to flow easily and subsequently his talent. It was not long before Bassett was recording songs onto his computer; honing his skill, sound, and fluency whilst finding a good reception to his online albums, especially for the third, Fantastic Freak Show Carnival. At this point he was beginning to be offered gigs and in 2005 he put together a live band to perform his music. Arguably it has been the last two albums of the band, KingBathmat, which has brought the strongest spotlight and acclaim, both Truth Button and Overcoming The Monster critically acclaimed whilst garnering a new wave of enthused fans. His debut solo album, Unearth is a full one man creation with only additional drums from Nathan A Summers an added spice. Holding the same invigorating melodies and unpredictable intrigue which marks the band’s releases, the new album reveals new sides and aspects to Bassett’s songwriting and enveloping sound, easily rivalling his previous triumphs whilst forging new avenues.

From its first caress, a dark and instant incitement with a stringed croon and suggestive keys, Unearth sparks something instantly in the unearthsenses and imagination through opening track Stay Away. As Bassett’s vocals join the evocative melodies there is a Bowie-esque breeze cast which evolves into a warm narrative which reminds equally of ELO and Porcupine Tree whilst wrapping tenderly around the senses as a truly distinct proposition. It is a glorious enchantment which only enriches the appetite the more it crafts its seduction around the passions; guitar and keys cradling thoughts and emotions in their provocative arms as the equally mellow and persuasive tones of Bassett press forward the lyrical potency. It is arguable whether Unearth ever reaches the heights of the first song again though the album certainly gives it a stirring try starting with the following Survival Rate. Welcoming beats open up the gateway into folkish scenery of soothing melodies and similarly engaging vocals. As its predecessor, the track permeates the imagination with suggestive and more precise designs, musically and lyrically, all combining for another infectiously magnetic investigative adventure.

The outstanding start is easily continued by both Nothing is Sacred and the title track. The first has a sultriness to its colourful dance, elements of the start and body again urging thoughts of Bowie with a touch of Paul Simon this time around. Equally there are plenty of moments where the softer facets of KingBathmat come through, an obviously unavoidable spicing which only enhances the immersive mystery and enticement of the songs. Guitar and voice brings its successor into potent view, its melody driven seducing soaking every pore and thought as richly as the lyrical temptation, this and every song  proving a powerful lingering suasion in sound and word. As soothing as it is inciting, Unearth is one of those temptresses which never releases her lure and grip whether by the side of or from a distance rivalling the first as the pinnacle of the album.

The gentle jazzy smoulder of Pantomime acts outs its elegant narrative next, lighting another appealing diversion for the imagination whilst the scenic expanse of the instrumental Kylerhea provides a cinematic soundscape to explore individual and personal adventures within. Both captivate without restraint if not quite matching earlier conquests of the emotions, something TV is God soon succeeds doing with elevated success. With a delicious expressive almost acidic twang and whine to the song’s exotic climate over an indictment of technological reliance for escape and hiding from reality, the track is a riveting recruitment of senses and heart.

Both the summery realm of Keep Dear with its XTC like temptation and the equally spellbinding flight of Something that’s More Worthwhile consume ears and imagination like celestial sirens both instinctively washing receptive emotions with unrelenting seduction; melodies and harmonies invasive beauty alone and just as compelling and stimulating as the inventive musical skill and songwriting of Bassett. The pair are quite shadow free compared to other songs of the release but still kissed by a melancholic presence which makes its strongest persuasion with the closing track Comedian. Piano and guitar crafted with the ever impressive voice of Bassett shaping their evocative tales further, the song is an absorbing walk from emotional shadows and musical understanding.

Unearth is as creatively imaginative as maybe expected going by Bassett’s band releases but explores deeper emotionally imposing landscapes, involving and inspiring similarly intense aspects from the listener. It is a wonderfully intimate and evocatively expansive journey proving John Bassett as not only one of the finest British songwriters in rock music but music full stop.

http://www.johnbassettmusic.com/

https://kingbathmat.bandcamp.com/album/unearth

9/10

RingMaster 30/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Plebeian Grandstand – Lowgazers

Plebeian Live w_ Ivo

French extreme metallers Plebeian Grandstand has one of those sounds which is so viciously ugly and vehemently destructive that you cannot understand why it is just so compelling as evidenced by their second album Lowgazers. Consisting of eight mercilessly voracious smogs of corrosive ambience and sonic violence, the release is pure noise toxicity; an insatiable pestilence of sound and hostility but as it suffocates and violates ears and beyond it is also dangerously addictive. To be honest it is hard to say exactly why this is so, though certainly the band craft the demise of the senses with undeniable invention and antagonistic passions, but the bottom line is that it is one compelling scourge and at the end of the hellacious day that is what it is all about.

Plebeian Grandstand have fused the darkest venomous, uncivil aspects of black metal with the equally poisonous core essences of hardcore and sludge metal; the result a maelstrom of spiteful dissonance and ravenous intensity which takes the listener into a ruthless tempest of sonic devastation, leaving them there basking and cowering in a primal wasteland, in this case Lowgazers. The release is the most destructive and bedlamic onslaught from the Paris based quartet yet, pushing intensively further the boundaries and inventive vitriol of their sound as first unveiled on their self-titled EP of 2008. Debut album How Hate is Hard to Define two years later ensured the band make an attention forging scar on the metal scene as equally did the band’s live performances which across the past years has seen them leave waste stages across Europe alongside bands such as Pelican, Horse The Band, Loma Prieta, The Holy Mountain, Off Minor, Intronaut, Celeste, The Ocean, I Pilot Daemon, Carnival In Coals, and Manimal. Two splits with firstly Divider and Bone Dance in 2011 and Cortez the following year arguably hinted at the jaundiced proposition to come but Lowgazers reaches far deeper into the blackest rancorous depths than imagined and could have been anticipated.

Recorded and mixed by Amaury Sauvé (Birds In Row, Calvaiire, Death Engine), the album immediately has thoughts running scared as FRONT NEW 300opener Thrvst emerges from a cold sonic ambience. Its sinister embrace is soon joined by slow sonic chords which entwine their lures tightly around ears before the onrush of barbarous blast beats and a tortuous sonic enslavement of the senses. Vocals viciously squall from within the storm, spewing their grudging malevolence across the unrelenting rhythmic abuse. All the time though there is a caustic groove, for want of a better word, which lays down the fullest contagious toxic bait from the inside of the noise friction consuming air and victim.

It is a crippling start to the album which evolves without real respite or respect for wounds into the following Endless Craving, another rapacious torment which smothers, gnaws, and devours body and soul. As I am sure you have assumed this is not easy listening, not an encounter with any ounce of comfort or mercy musically or vocally, and most like lyrically, though at times only the intensity of the delivery and surrounding fury is a clue but you can safely assume these will not be tales of love and golden fields. The track rages and ignites every rabid muscle and raw breath within itself for the nastiest rewarding exploit.

Whether it is an accumulative effect or simply the greater brutality of the songs, both Flail in the Bliss and Lowlifer put the listener under the strongest examination yet on the release, the first an inharmonious swamp of inventively cast malice and the second a synapse searing cacophony of vocal and emotional pain within an equally tormented furnace of mentally permeating sound. It has the senses ringing as it fades into fluid transformation into the ambient noise bred Relief of Troth. It is hard to call it an instrumental as the piece is more a pass over a caustic wasteland with hazardous shadows and sinister breath.

    Svn in Your Head mentally burns from its first acrid note; slowly unveiling an intrepid malignancy of sonic enveloping which stalks and invades with a doom spawned energy and sludge thick animosity, never relenting in its prowling weight of provocation and heavily leaning sound. As all the tracks, and album come to that, whether enjoyment comes into the equation is a debate for each to ponder but once more there is a persistent temptation which infects for a lingering need to suffer more, a pain both Aimless Roaming and the closing exploration of Mvrk Diving are keen to offer. Their individual enmities score and deplete the resistance of body and emotions even further bringing the album’s most inhospitable alienation in its conclusion, though again with riffs and rhythms horde like aggressors and lethal hooks the deepest transgressor it is hard not to want more.

Released digitally March 31st and as a 2 LP release via Throatruiner Records on April 10th, Lowgazers is a chaos hard to endure and ultimately survive intact against but a merciless adventure from Plebeian Grandstand that it is easy to recommend to those brave enough to face its discordant conflict.

http://plebeiangrandstand.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PLEBEIAN-GRANDSTAND/160680714032

8/10

RingMaster 30/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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The Love Barons – Happy Together

The Love Barons Live

Formed last year, UK alternative indie band The Love Barons has already been making a stir with their live shows and vibrant sound. With the release of their first single Happy Together, the London quintet will be waking up much more of the country you can only feel as the song dances on the ears and lights up the imagination. It is not a loud trumpet call which will have passions falling over themselves to shout from the rooftops but definitely a rich temptation able to spark an eager appetite for band and their horizons.

Consisting of brothers Ryan (lead vocals) and Sam O’Donovan (guitar / vocals), alongside John Chamberlain (guitar), Jamie Graeme (bass), and Nick Cooper (drums), The Love Barons as mentioned has taken little time making a fine reputation for themselves thrilling the capital’s live music scene through their own headlining shows and sharing stages with the likes of Bleach Blood and The Tricks, as well as joining Hatcham Socials on their recent UK tour. Produced by Toby Kidd of the Hatcham Social, Happy Together is the next step in the band’s pretty certain ascent, and a fine wider introduction it is too.

The single is instantly filling the ears with glowing melodies aligned to an irresistible hook and a tempting heavy bassline courted by equallyHappy Together artwork attention grabbing rhythms. It is a potent start which soon has senses and imagination in the band’s hands ready for the distinctively expressive tones of Ryan. Once he unveils the narrative the song relaxes its urgency just a touch to embrace his delivery, dancing with the passions as it takes its infectiousness into a stronger flame in the masterful chorus. There is an essence which brings thoughts to the late eighties indie scene if without offering a definite reason or band comparison, its feel only adding to the virulent bait of the song. Like all the best lures, Happy Together just increases its temptation and power the more it plays on the surface of the passions, proving not a dramatic encounter but a certain long term and lingering one.

As the single rigorously seduces and  charms it is easy to expect to hear and enjoy a lot more of The Love Barons ahead and see the band rise to impressive and commanding heights. Anticipation is on the march already here.

Grab Happy Together for free @ https://soundcloud.com/the-love-barons/happy-together-1/s-j9hlo

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Love-Barons/231124567014670

8.5/10

RingMaster 29/03/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Giving In To Ghosts – Chasing Waves

Giving Into Ghosts Press Shots 22/10/13

Bursting out from South Wales, post hardcore band Giving In To Ghosts have given a very solid promise drenched introduction to themselves with their Chasing Waves EP. The band’s debut is a vibrant and engaging, as well as pleasingly aggressive, entrance by the Cardiff quartet. It is an accomplished and imaginative proposition which without the spark to really light up the passions certainly leaves a hungry appetite in place for the band ahead. Its sound and the band’s presence is not as unique amongst other similarly fuelled bands as you feel both will become in the future, but again still feeds an intrigue and attention for the foursome which cannot be underestimated.

Formed only last year, Giving In To Ghosts have taken little time to trigger a keen and passionate fanbase around their region which is now starting to spread further afield with equal success. Pulling in inspirations from the likes of Funeral For A Friend, Architects, and Reuben their sound certainly has a wide appeal as proven by their successful support slots to bands such as Continents, The Browning, Acoda, and Beneath My Feet. Recorded at Not In Pill Studios in Wales with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond (Slipknot, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine), Chasing Waves is a potent first persuasion to hit the whole of the country, as said a tremendously solid attention grabbing declaration revealing the open potential within the band.

Rapture starts things off and immediately has ears under the cosh of the raw squalling tones of bassist James Hardiman, his vocals Giving In To Ghost Cover Artworkabrasing the senses and lyrical intent within firm rhythms and a sonic coaxing from the guitars. It is not a dramatic explosion but one with strong grooves and melodic designs from lead guitarist Julian Thomas alongside the equally welcoming riffs of Michael Thomas making an appealing start. The clean vocals of Michael Thomas equally impress; his delivery gentle and a good temper to the gruffness of Hardiman though you feel placing them side by side rather than alternatively could work better. The punchy beats of drummer Alex Bargh and solo casting of Julian complete the expressive forceful colour of the song and arguably stand out on the track most but all aspects skilfully unite for a strong first strike from the release.

The following Sirens makes a less forceful appearance but certainly is as fiery as its predecessor, going on to build a magnetic canvas for the switching extremes of vocals to unleash their narratives. The bass offers a mean growl to the rapacious riffs and antagonistic rhythms as do his scowls, but there is a less potent element to the song against the last which means the track fully satisfies but does not linger. Nevertheless with a pleasing sonic temptation and a belligerent intensity the song proves its worth and reinforces the potency of the band.

The title track opens with a riveting melodic caress instantly joined by the equally warm clean vocals. The bass adds tempering shadows to this embrace to expand the depth and pull of the initial coaxing before the sinews and passionate bruising within the song makes a loud shout. Evolving through both sceneries the best song on the EP provides an evocative adventure which reveals much more about the strength and depth of the band’s songwriting and sound whilst stretching the quality of the encounter. Employing emotively powered keys and a mesmeric spiral of sonic enterprise within a growing snarling dark side, the song is a formidable indication of the creative heart within the band and again its undeniable promise.

Final song To The Sun veers into the more brutal side of the band certainly compared to the reflective warmth of the previous song, it ravishing the senses with grouchy rhythms and caustic vocal spite whilst still drawing on the melodic craft and expression of the band. It is an intimidating and highly alluring end to a very satisfying release, one which maybe suggests more than it delivers but only in the quality you feel is there in the band waiting to evolve. Chasing Waves does not make claims as the new best thing in post hardcore but it certainly provides more than enough to suggest Giving In To Ghosts has the ability and sound to be a loud voice in the UK scene.

http://www.facebook.com/GivingInToGhosts

8/10

RingMaster 29/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raw colours and unsettling hues: an interview with Jérémie Ruiz of Drawers

drawers bassist

Jérémie Ruiz

The new self-titled album from French band Drawers is an encounter dripping testosterone riff and rhythm, a dirt encrusted slab of sludge rock voracity which overwhelms the senses with a metal bred intensity and ferociousness. The band’s second album, it is a raw attention gripping adrenaline fuelled encounter with irresistibly barbed hooks and lingering grooves to feverishly hunger for. We did not need to be asked twice to take up the opportunity to find out more about the band and album with bassist Jérémie Ruiz, with whom we talk band history, sound evolution, live prospects and more…

Hello Jérémie and thanks for joining us at The Ringmaster Review

First up please tell us about the beginnings of Drawers and its members backgrounds.

Drawers started in a garage in 2006 with Olivier (drums) and Alex (guitars) and I (Jérémie / bass). Each of us already had a band and our goal was to play slow, loud and low-tuning metal. We were friends since college and we wanted to play together for a long time. It was supposed to be a side project for us, nothing serious, just playing together and write some heavy riffs.

Then our first singer and Laurent (guitar) joined the band and we started to play live and think about recording an EP.

What was the core thought and intention in the initial direction and presence of the band?

The idea to write spontaneous and heavy music is the main direction since the beginning but the band has grown and some parameters have changed. Drawers is now our main music project and we have to take some things more seriously. We rehearse more than before as we planned to tour and to write some new stuff, beside taking care of merchandizing or searching for a van to tour…

You have just released your excellent and dramatic self-titled second album, how has early receptions been?

Reviews are very good so far. We were very curious about how it would be reviewed because many things have changed since the previous record. We are now very satisfied and we hope this album will help us to tour a lot.

As mentioned it is self-titled and comes with a seeming shift in your sound or its intent, is this so and is the title suggesting the start of a newdrawers chapter for the band or are we reading too much into it?

I think this is more and evolution than a shift. I imagine it can be brutal from the outside and obviously many things have changed since our last recording (on the split with Hangman’s chair, the track Tears never come alone). But our influences did not change that much. We just tried to find a different colour and to use different side of these influences. We have not started to write new songs yet but I think the next ones will be more like Drawers than All Is One. Some elements will always be here, like guitar sound, some drums patterns or Niko’s voice but the next album could be totally different again. We’ll see…

Your first release, the This is Oil EP came out in 2008 to strong responses which were certainly increased with your debut album you just mentioned, All is One three years later. How do you see those releases in relation to what the new album unleashes?

In fact, when we started Drawers, the band was a side project and it was a really good way to play the music we like in a totally brain-free way : we played what we liked and we didn’t think about how it was good or not. That’s why the EP is a big melting-pot of a lot of different kinds of metal. And a lot of friends of us came to make a vocal featuring, despite there being only four tracks! Things became more serious after this EP and a few shows; then we started to write All Is One which is a lot more coherent as an album. After that, I think we can say that our new album Drawers is the result of the same will. We try to do one thing as good as we can, a compact album, right to the point, short and fast!

Right there in the inside of your creativity how do you see your sound has actually changed over the past five years?

Well, seriously our sound didn’t change at all. We use exactly the same gear as our beginning, and we didn’t add or remove a single thing of that! This sound is part of Drawers, we build the band on it so it would be strange to change it now.

Drawers the album, has a power and almost predatory breath which roars at the listener as if there in the room with its physical form. How did you achieve this intensity, was it just down to recording the album live in the studio?

We wrote some short songs, within a short and compact album. Recording live was the logical choice to make to keep this rough and tense atmosphere. This way we kept all the groove and anger from guitars and drum (only guitars and drum were recorded live). Then bass was recorded separately to have a clean, loud shape among all the instruments.

What inspired the shift to this ‘attack’ for the recording process?

We worked with Luc Ferré on the split’s recording (2012) and we wanted him on the new record. We like his way of working but we wanted to try something new especially on the drum. We were after something much more groovy and colored. So Luc asked our friend Amaury Sauvé if he wanted to participate as a “drum recording specialist”. We had known him for his live recording and we were seduced by this process. We are fully satisfied of this method and I think our next studio session will be live.

Is there a specific theme or connection between the songs upon the album and what inspires the lyrical aspect of the band predominantly?a2694686389_2

Lyric topics are very different from a song to another, no obvious links between tracks, except us and our experiences. Niko’s life remains the main inspiration for the lyrics.

We tried to make All Is One a kind of a concept album. Tracks were related to each other and a whole story was told along the lyrics.

Here, there is no such thing. We wanted this album to look like us, we wanted something simple and efficient. The lyrics are about our lives, about what we wanted to say.

How does the writing process work within the band?

We usually write songs together, live, during rehearsals. Sometimes someone comes with an idea or a riff and we build a song from this idea together, adding instruments, one at the time. Then we add the voice and modify the structure if needed. It is pretty simple but it can take weeks for us to write a single song.

For us the new album brings a distinctive presence and sound to you the band whereas previous releases maybe showed your influences more, is that how you see it now you can look back at the finished results?

Yes definitely, we tried to do something more personal. We know that our previous album is showing our influences, at least the ones of the time, and this is something we really wanted to fix. I don’t know if it worked for the new one, but for us it’s a lot more original than before… Only time will tell us if we’re right. Or maybe the next album!

What have been your biggest inspirations as a band and personally?

When we started we tried to make a kind of metal that almost no band in Europe played, even today. A kind of fat sludge southern metal like Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Down. In France there was a sludge band in Paris called Es La Guerilla, and it was the first band we tried to sound like. This band was and remains the only Sludge band in Europe… Well in France there is a lot more Stoner-like music, but not so much dirty fat Sludge…In fact there is nothing at all. Anyway, that’s why we wanted to play this music : nobody plays it here. Besides this, we listen to a lot of different music: old black metal, synth-kraut music, death metal, post-hardcore, almost everything in fact.

It is hard to settle on a favourite track upon the album, it changing with every listen, but Detour always leaves a major persuasion. Can you tell us about the track and its breeding?

We wrote this one in the middle of our writing process, I think it crystallized all we wanted to put in a song : heavy riffing, a bit of blast beat for the aggressiveness, a lot of low chords, and a catchy chorus. Rock music.

Is there anything in particular on the album, a song or just a moment, which gives you a bigger tingle of pleasure?

Mourning has something special for me. All the songs are about some important part of our lives but this one corresponds to a sad moment of Niko’s.  Recording this one was a tough moment for him and I got goose bumps every time I listen to it.

drawers2You are renowned for your live performances, the energy unleashed, and simply your hunger to play shows; we can assume 2014 will be a non-stop torrent of gigs in support of the album and beyond?

We wish it would be a non-stop torrent of gigs, but unfortunately it is not that simple to tour a lot yet. Our goal is to play a lot, especially outside France and we are still looking for contacts and gigs.

We will start with a French tour for the album’s release, then we will play in a few festivals and we may be touring again around September/October.

Any specific plans or prospective shows you can reveal here?

We start a tour in France tomorrow (3/16) for a few gigs, one in Paris with Corrosion Of Conformity. After that we’re going to play with Crowbar in Toulouse! We’re very excited about those gigs! We play as much as we can, and we’re always looking for shows.

Thanks again for sharing your time with us.

Thanks a lot to you Ringmaster!

Any thought you would like to leave us to consider?

Louder is better.

Read the review of Drawers @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/drawers-self-titled/

http://www.facebook.com/drawerskvlt

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues

pic Caroline Harrison

pic Caroline Harrison

If an unstoppable pestilence sets its sights on our souls let us hope it comes in the same manner as The Mother Of Virtues, wrapped in corrosive beauty and seductive ugliness. The new album from US progressive death metallers Pyrrhon is a destructively bedlamic onslaught of deathly malevolence, tortuous psychedelia, psyche searing experimentation, and irrepressibly addictive.  It is not an easily accessible or comfortable experience, arguably the most painfully contagious and intrusively crippling of the past year but deep in such creative adventure and vicious intrigue that if it connects it is equally one of the most rewarding pestilential offerings too.

Brooklyn hailing Pyrrhon was formed in 2008 apparently after a chance meeting on a subway platform. Since that moment the quartet of vocalist Doug Moore, guitarist Dylan DiLella, bassist Erik Malave, and drummer Alex Cohen has been twisting and challenging sounds and senses. The band’s 2010 debut EP Fever Kingdoms was the first of their releases to receive wide and strong plaudits, the acclaim increasing when their first full-length album, An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master, was released a year later via Selfmadegod Records. Intensifying their sounds and invention over the next couple years, Pyrrhon set about creating their new sonic torment The Mother Of Virtues. Tracked and mixed by Ryan Jones (Today is the Day, Mutilation Rites, Wetnurse) and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice), repeating his work on the band’s previous releases, the Relapse Records released album consumes and suffocates the senses and reality with a rigorously diverse maelstrom of extreme metal, a torment to awaken nightmares and ignite impassioned slavery to its toxicity.

From its first breath the album is savaging and twisting ears and imagination inside out, opening track The Oracle of Nassau cursing with 12 Jacket (Gatefold - Two Pocket) [GD30OB2-N]sonic rabidity and an annihilatory ravishment. Rhythms and riffs converge in a torrential tsunami of spite and eager decay, strangling senses as guitars and vocals unleash their scourge upon the wounds. The track spews enterprise and vitriol with every searing note and poisonous syllable, creating the perfect threat and welcome into the belly of the beast.

The following White Flag opens on probing beats soon joined by a stalking bass riff. Instant intimidation within a cavernous ambience engulfs the imagination, its scenery caustically painted and expanded by the initial graze of guitar which soon evolves into a bestial predation. The track prowls with a doom bred lilt and noise sculpted breath, constantly lashing ears with acidic ventures and ferocious intensity. It is a thoroughly compelling and merciless proposition, a black hearted contagion of jazz spawned rhythmic bombardment courted by animalistic riffs and synapse stripping ingenuity from the guitars, all governed by the guttural spewing of Moore.  It is primal and quite bewitching, especially the stretch of melodic elegance which whispers for a brief moment at the eye of the storm.

Sleeper Agent accelerates the hunger of the rabid appetite in place by its appearance, the delirious mania of guitars and rhythms frisking then violating everything from ears inwards. Searching deep, as with all tracks, there is an order and sensibility to the unleashed viscerally driven plague, but you sure have to dig deep and with determined energy to unveil the additionally potent intent. The track is outstanding, preying on the disorientation and suffering already expelled previously with relish, as does next up Balkanized. The first single from the album firstly lays down a few seconds of cyber coaxing which is then thrust aside by a roving throaty bassline and an anarchic squall of flesh scything guitars and groaning vocals. More violent than its predecessor but employing a similarly ‘lighter’ weave of erosive invention, the track lurches and leans heavily on the senses with sounds which combine like a pack of voracious predators.

Both Eternity in a Breath and Implant Fever spiral deeper into the depths of mind and emotions, the first an invasive merger of serpentine ambiences and rapacious rhythmic enticement which casts its own growing vindictive spoils over the listener the further into its dark festering depths you go. Its successor is not as dirty as the previous song but certainly is not a light of hope and hope either, the encounter lyrically and musically a warning and warring menace. The pair turns the cerebral battleground darker with their own individual hues of inventiveness and voracity whilst Invisible Injury churns up their landscapes with its own specific institutional mayhem.

The album is completed by the exhaustive brilliance of The Parasite in Winter, a track which is lighter on the touch but heavier in the animosity with a sonic design that is mouth-wateringly infectious and barbarically controlling, and the closing epically severe soundscape of the title track. Over ten minutes of noise dementia and rancorous exploration which is all quite ingenious and thrilling, the track alone tells you all you need to know about the brilliance and nastiness of Pyrrhon.

The Mother Of Virtues will undoubtedly only be for a certain psyche or should that be masochist but if band and release find favour in your artistic aberrations and according to the press release if you have a taste for the likes of Gorguts, Ulcerate, Cryptopsy, Portal, and Deathspell Omega, then you just might be listening to an album of the year front runner.

https://www.facebook.com/pyrrhonband

http://pyrrhonband.bandcamp.com/album/the-mother-of-virtues

9/10

RingMaster 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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