Machinista – Arizona Lights

Photo by Milla Randjelovic

Photo by Milla Randjelovic

    Laying out an irresistible invitation into their magnetic synth pop world, Swedish band Machinista provide the most mouthwatering pedigree temptation through their Arizona Lights EP. Consisting of four original tracks and an enterprising clutch of remixes, the release is a dramatically compelling persuasion leaving a rather healthy and greedy appetite for this new genre proposition.

    Machinista is the brain child of John Lindqwister (Cat Rapes Dog, Basswood Dollies) and Richard Flow (Vision Talk, Haze For Sale) who linked up together in the final weeks of 2012. Their first effort was a greedily accepted version of David Bowie´s Heroes followed to equal responses by Molecules And Carbon. Fresh from supporting Henric De La Cour and with a flurry of their own shows coming up this month, the duo seductively hits us right between the eyes in presence and sound with their EP, it one blinding incitement that simply wraps around the passions.

     The ten track limited edition EP through Juggernaut Music Group also makes a masterful teaser for the band’s forthcoming indexalbum. It flirts and plays like a sonic temptress, bringing the richest colourful hues of synth pop past and present into its smouldering depths. The title track swarms into view first with a celestial breath starting things off, a spoken vocal narrating the emerging ambience and golden electronic sun of vibrant sound. The song is soon into a warm and inviting stroll with synth caresses and similarly coaxing vocals embracing the imagination. There is an elegance to the melodies which accentuates the lure of the encounter and a dance in its heart which equally engages body and emotions. It is an undemanding but thoughtfully composed and easy to access electronic waltz, a mesmeric evocation which alone provides perfect bait for band and upcoming full length.

    The outstanding Wasted steps up next and features guest vocals from Toril Lindqvist of Alice In Videoland. Like the first, initial contact comes in an enveloping and this time a haunting almost sinister ambience which takes its time to enjoy its consumption of the imagination. As it explores and sparks those thoughts the song simultaneously breeds a contagion which erupts into the restrained but eager stomp which excites and enthrals. There is also a definite eighties essence to the song, thoughts of B-Movie and Paul Haig hinting along the way.

    The following Salvation ventures more to the scenery of Landscape meets A Flock Of Seagulls with its mischievous and refined croon, pulsating beats and electro throbs magnetising the passions as vocals and melodies wrap their expressive weaves around the riveting canvas of the song. Again there is an energy and appetite to the song which similarly invigorates the senses as the track entwines its bait around the ears. Comparisons as everywhere are mere spices in something uniquely Machinista, their recipe certainly here mouthwatering and hypnotic.

     Pushing The Angels Astray completes the quartet of original songs, continuing the concept of the release which hints at UFOs and Abductions. The song trots through the ears with a vivacious heart and gait to its body as well as a virulently infectious chorus to match the charm of the electronic sculpting. It is a glorious enchantment and exploit for limbs and emotions, the pair at their most virulently persuasive and scintillatingly creative on the release which is confirmed by the delicious acoustic version of the song which swiftly follows.

     The release is completed by a quintet of remixes of its tracks, four of the track Salvation firstly by FutureFrenetic who give it a dancefloor friendly injection of energy followed by an atmospherically immersed treatment from Not Lars, a more chilling rendition through Tactical Module, and a vein throbbing interpretation from 2PM. In the middle of the four IIOIOIOII unveils his wonderfully invasive remix of Pushing The Angels Astray, the artist luring out the deepest textures and emotions of the song.

     With their debut album on the near horizon, Machinista could not have given it a better lead in than the Arizona Lights EP, a release which thrills and intrigues at every turn even through its remixes. Modern synth pop has found itself another exciting protagonist as the genre continues its thrilling revival.


RingMaster 07/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kirk – Masquerade



   It has been around eleven years since Swiss melodic metallers Kirk impressed and brought a fresh creative punch through their acclaimed debut album The Final Dance, time which saw the band take an extended break due to internal changes and other projects. This week sees the band return with sophomore album Masquerade to not only make up for lost time but to bring another thrilling and invigorating adventure of their blend of melodic and heavy metal. The eleven track stomp is a captivating encounter destined to similar, even greater, acclaim and attention as its 2003 predecessor.

     Formed by vocalist Thomi Rauch and guitarist Sammy Lasagni in the latter part of the nineties, Kirk with bassist Daniel Pfister, drummer Vito Cecere, and Bruno Berger on keys alongside the founding pair, was soon building a formidable reputation for their sound and live performances. The Final Dance was excitedly received around Europe, North America, and particularly in Japan, whilst shows with the likes of Doro, Pink Cream 69, Axxis, and Shakra only enhanced their growing stature. With the departure of Cecere due to health issues and various members becoming heavily involved with other projects such as Decent Disaster, Godiva, Dr. Crankenstein, and In your Face, the band went on a hiatus. 2010 though saw the year the band reassembled with Philipp Eichenberger taking the vacant sticks position and soon songs began to flow once more within Kirk. Entering the studio with producer Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Unisonic, Khymera), who also produced the band’s debut, the quintet set to work on their second full length, a release which grips with a craft and contagious adventure which can seduce any kind of metal wants.

     The Mausoleum Records released album sidles up to ears with the whispering first touch of Devil’s Claw, a glancing coaxing KirkMasqueradewhich is soon thrust aside by persistent rhythms, hungry riffs and rising melodic atmospheres bred by the keys. The strong start is soon accentuated by the rich tones of Rauch, the singer continuing to impress with more potency as the album progresses. The repetitive eager prowl of the song is the strongest bait of all, which the vocals and guitars swing from with confidence and enterprise. It is not the most dramatic start to a release, or a song which lingers that long after its departure but certainly it makes for an infection clad welcoming which is vivaciously matched by the next up Supersonic Speed. The second song bounds in on a rhythmic stomp which continues to invite as guitars and keys expel their weave of sonic and melodic temptation, whilst emerging grooves to its second half alongside a flaming solo coax the track to another contagious level.

    The title track follows and instantly has the imagination and appetite on greater alert, the almost wanton air of the opening hooks and riffs an insatiable lure eventually tempered by an equally absorbing melodic walk of vocals and emotion. The song continues the evolving rise and success of the album, so far each track outdoing its predecessor, a progress which takes no deviation in course with the arrival of the excellent Eternity. It cups the senses with a ballad like embrace initially, Rauch and the keys of Berger providing an evocative narrative to immerse within, though simultaneously there is a brewing intensity and drama stalking the song aligned to an increasingly anthemic rhythmic march. The prospective dark shadows never come to real fruition but the song certainly deepens its hues and passion with striking textures and darker melodic colours and once into its stride, it creates an appealing mix which you could describe as Dream Theater meets The Mission.

    Fight Or Die Music is a towering prospect from its first breath and soon confirms its might with carnivorous riffs and potent vocals which carry their own personal snarl in league with ravenous beats and a commanding sonic seduction. It is the unashamedly anthemic charge of the chorus which seals the deal, it along with the previous song raising a new pinnacle for the release.

    The album fluctuates a little from here on in but even where songs fail to secure the same depth of reaction they have plenty to induce full satisfaction, as with Nothing Else But Lies and Tragedy, the first a contagion of unsurprisingly but virulently persuasive melodies and group vocal coaxing and the second a flight of smoothly embracing vocals and keys painted melodies skirted by a great cantankerous throat to the bass and rapaciously grunting riff rubs. Neither ignite the air as previous songs or in between them the outstanding Time, but each still leaves full enjoyment. The song they book end is a thrilling waltz of sound and energy, an almost folkish breath playing with thoughts at times whilst its voracious intent recruits limbs and neck muscles with ease whilst the little additives like the deeply masculine backing pokes of vocals, icing on a flavoursome sonic cake.

     The final trio of songs cannot match the first two thirds of the album, though again there is more than enough to draw frequent returns even if they lack the spark and trigger to greater things. Face In The Crowd is an undemanding and resourceful romp whilst The End Of The Universe offers a slower evocation of drama and emotion, both allowing a final slice of unbridled rock ‘n’ roll to be offered by Fallen Angel, it a feisty slab of heavy metal and rousing sinew built rock.

     Masquerade is a stirring march which for the main captures the imagination and lights the energetic boisterous heart in us all. It is like Kirk has never been away, though the experiences and maturity grown over the past decade in its members has led to a new plateau for their presence.

KIRK is on tour this March 2014 with The Poodles & Crystal Ball @

14.03. Milano – Blue Rose Bresso

15.03. Torino – Audiodrome

16.03. Nürnberg – Rockfabrik

17.03. Pratteln – Z7

18.03. Augsburg – Spektrum

20.03. Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik

21.03. Obermarchtal – Kreuz

22.03. Oberhausen – Helvete

23.03. München – Garage


RingMaster 07/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Monks of Mellonwah – Turn The People

Photo credit - Trini Cromie

     Formed in 2009, Monks Of Mellonwah has been on an open ascent of attention and stature, the band soon becoming renowned for their refreshing flames of melodic rock upon canvases of well-crafted and thoughtful songwriting. Employing inspirations from the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Incubus, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin into their own adventure, the four piece as built a strong presence within their national music scene and internationally. Live also the band has embraced a potent reception, impressing with shows and tours around Oz and just as strongly through two visits to the US, whilst they also won Best International Act in 2012 at the LA Music Awards and Best Indie Rock Band at the AIM Awards, both in 2012. It is their releases like the Pulse and Afraid To Die EPs which has taken Monks of Mellonwah to wider awareness, something the album will emulate and undoubtedly push further.

    The album opens on Ghost Stories, its haunting intro leading into a melodic caress of guitar soon expanding into a warm melodic flight guided by the excellent vocals of Vikram Kaushik, the singer immediately impressing with his expressive tones and emotive narrative aided perfectly by the voice of guitarist Joe de la Hoyde in strong appealing harmonies. The latter’s guitar soon shares a precise coaxing of tempting hooks and sonic adventure whilst the rhythms of drummer Josh Baissari crisply frame the enterprise. The song does not exactly leap out at the listener but certainly smoulders and flirts to stand as an early highlight of the release.

    The following Vanity is another matter, a song which instantly bounces into view and soon has feet and emotions dancing withcover its contagious and inventive charm. A tasty groove with a fuzz edging leads the way as the track tempts from start to finish, the bass of John de la Hoyde adding an intriguing shadow to the again strong vocals and excellent harmonies. As with most of the songs, there is a familiarity to the encounter but not one which derails its imagination and potency. The best moment of the album, the track leaves a big grin on thoughts and emotions as it makes way for the new track on the release, Tear Your Hate Apart. A brief electro quizzing opens up a definite Muse inspired proposition, falsetto vocals gliding over the ear before jangly guitars and elegant keys incite and smooch with the imagination. Though not as forcibly thrilling as its predecessor, the track is a masterful and evocative companion providing another big highlight for Turn The People.

    Both Pulse and Alive for a Minute entice an appetite for the album further, the first a light mix of electronic and funk rock within a passion soaked enticement. The song is a clever almost deceitful little treat, its body finding a swagger to its balladry and while its persuasion may take longer to convince the track eventually has the listener lustfully returning to its melody crafted landscape like a child to candy. Its successor opens on a great throaty bassline with probing electronic traffic crossing its path, Kaushik’s voice and restrained beats expanding the stroll under a delicious harmony crafted sky. The song eventually unveils a guitar bred heat which only adds to the suasion and though it misses leaving a fire in the passions, it is another very easy to return to endeavour.

     Escaping Alcatraz springs from an unpredictable and almost misleading entrance, scythes of orchestral and electronica spawned keys grabbing attention initially before a slightly sinister provocation slips in to lead the guitar sculpted canter of a song. The energy and promise of the track is defused a little by the vocals, not in any lack of quality but through a less urgent and punchy gait which deflates some of the adventure set in motion in the otherwise persuasive song. It is something which also leans on other tracks like Downfall to diminish their potential, though it is more a personal taste thing and something which certainly is not an issue with tracks like the fiery and seductive Sailing Stories. This song teases and enthrals with a sultry climate which breaks into a form of Eastern promise at one point before the title track explores a classically poised piano led pop stroll to engage the air. It is a song which simultaneously excites and frustrates leaving thoughts and emotions undecided though ears were quite taken overall it must be said.

    Afraid to Die is another loaded with a somewhat unrealised promise though it is hard to bring too many criticisms to light with its funky bass prowl very enjoyable, whilst both the bluesy I Belong to You and the closing ballad Sky and the Dark Night – Part II – Control ensure the album leaves on a satisfying note. That is the only real problem with Turn The People, it is a nicely balanced and endearing release with undeniable craft from the band and an inventive resourcefulness to its body, but it does only satisfy without taking the listener to the next level. Nevertheless Monks of Mellonwah has made their full-length debut an encounter which is a welcome companion any time, and most importantly an enjoyable one.


RingMaster 07/03/2014

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Enfeeble – Encapsulate This Moment


    Proving a mixed bag of adventure which thrills just as openly as it raises uncertainties Encapsulate This Moment, the new album from German metallers Enfeeble, is an encounter which deserves to be investigated and allowed to offer its certainly distinct persuasion. At times the album exhilarates and has you almost running to share its promise and potency but at other moments the album just as easily has you flirting with frustration. There is no question of the thirteen track blend of melodic and heavy metal with metalcore predaciousness being a bad album just one which either does not see or simply ignores its actually quite compelling potential.

    Formed in 2005, the Lingen quartet has built a fine reputation within the German underground scene without not yet breaking through to wider climates. 2007 saw the release of their debut album Too Ugly to Show it! whilst the band continued to draw and excite live audiences with their sound and stage attack. Now almost seven years on the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Lucas Brinker, guitarist Pascal Stafflage, bassist Klaus Boven, and drummer Christopher Grüner stand poised to venture into a wider landscape with Encapsulate This Moment, a release which just might achieve that intent though not as forcibly and potently as it might have.

    From the elegant and appetising melodic Intro, the album explodes into an initially thrash spawn metallic onslaught as ShockEnfeeble - Encapsulate This Moment - Artwork Me unleashes its fury upon ears and senses. It is a tremendous ravishing which gnaws and smothers the senses as the insidious hardcore squalls and toxic growls of Brinker, aided by those of Stafflage, prey on the psyche. Entwining less intensive moments for brief respite within the voracious tempest, the song shows the imagination and craft of the band, their spirals of sonic endeavour catching the eye within a rhythmic provocation and passionate causticity driving the attack. It is an outstanding start raising great hopes and anticipation for the rest of the release.

    Those reactions are soon offered contrasting doubt through the following Personage Collapse, though its opening persuasion is impressive enough to match its predecessor. It is when the clean vocals venture into view that things take an unexpected detour. Vocally the harsh abrasive deliveries are outstanding on the album and never put a foot wrong but the clean delivery is not of the same breeding. There is not anything excessively wrong with the cleaner deliveries and certainly in a group union they work well but they just do not fit in the landscape of the songs, feeling out of place and a constant anti-climax which at times transfers to the rest of a track’s aspects. The song itself provides impressive twists of invention and persistent skill but is sabotaged by that side of the vocals ultimately.

    Both Flashedever and Cavity Door brings things back on course if without matching the opener, the first stalking and enticing with acidic grooves and predatory riffs before uncaging a hardcore abrasion which riles up the passions into a greedier appetite. With bulging rhythms and thunderous riffery aligned to similarly oppressive intensity, the track roars and lurches with pleasing results, the vocals equally as resourceful and positive in their suasion. Its successor goes straight for the jugular from the start, brawling vocals and threatening rhythms driving hard whilst the cantankerous riffery sprawls over and sears the senses. It is an uncompromising and pleasing blaze which works at very angle apart from again the clean vocals which this time only make brief contributions to leave no lasting interference in the song’s success. It should be noted that the use of the cleaner delivery is a good idea and contrast in the songs but just needs a more accomplished vocalist in that style and Brinker sticking to the dirtier side of the suasion which he is unrelentingly impressive at.

    The following Cries is a fierce punk bred slice of metallic savagery which has flaws but generally works with great guitar craft and rhythmic viciousness whilst the short instrumental The Last Night Before provides a peaceful beauty which maybe is unsure of its purpose in the passionate scourge of the album but reveals more of the imagination and adventure of the band in thought and songwriting. Its calm is soon consumed by the unbridled severity of Reality Loss and the exhausting malevolence of Agony Revenge, the pair rippling with guitar invention and sonic potency which is unafraid to surprise and intrigue but both caught by the same kind of doubts. Neither have that spark either to set them aside of the rest but still impress and cement the belief that Enfeeble is a band with the potential to leave us open mouthed.

     The Creation and A Million Voices next provide masterful if not exactly explosive bait for the senses before stepping aside for the best track on the album, False Faith. Immediately prowling and courting the senses with the confidence of realising its majesty in the scheme of things, the track provokes and incites with an antagonistic jaw of sonic grazing and rhythmic battering whilst vocally Brinker unleashes rabidity to his attack which is as riveting as the sounds around him. It is a mouthwatering piece of invention and passion where even the clean tones work perfectly and keys seduce from within the torrid fire of the aggression. The song easily show the lost opportunities elsewhere which does not help the album’s cause but also shows why we suggest despite our issues with them, that Enfeeble is a band all should make an acquaintance with.

    Encapsulate This Moment ends on the ballad As We Were Like, a song which is simultaneously raw and majestic whilst Brinker like raising a middle finger to our previously grievances excels in his heart felt delivery, clean notes soaked in emotion matching the beauty around him. It is a fine end to a good album which could have been better, but one easy to spend plenty of time with. Enfeeble is a definite force in the making with just some retuning needed to take them to the next level.


RingMaster 07/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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