New textures and explorations: talking Wovenwar with Josh Gilbert

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The background and events leading up to the creation and emergence of the San Diego quintet Wovenwar have been well publicised as since has also been the might and thrilling adventure of the band’s self-titled debut album which was unleashed by Metal Blade Records a few weeks back. It has been a busy time for the band but kindly bassist Josh Gilbert took time out to talk with us about all things Wovenwar including its first steps, the excellent new album, and responses from fans of their previous band.

Hi Josh and welcome to the site, thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Before we talk about your new album but without going into the well-publicised controversy around your former band mate in As I Lay Dying, can we look at the beginnings of Wovenwar and the decision the rest of you had to make about your musical horizon thereafter? Was the continuing of the four of you from As I Lay Dying in some form a no brainer with only the decision in what direction to be made or was there a serious chance you all would have gone your separate ways?

About a month after Tim’s arrest, we all got together to discuss what our future would be. The decision was unanimous that the four of us wanted to continue on, specifically as a new band. Most of us joined our previous band directly out of high school, so it’s the only thing we know how to do…write music and tour!

How long did the talks and decision to form Wovenwar go on between you all?

It was a one day thing. We met at Phil’s place to hang out and talk about the future and the decision was made that day.

This was obviously an intensive and turbulently emotional time for all concerned, do you feel that has brought something extra to the songs and sound of Wovenwar in some way?

Maybe not the sound in particular, but I think the writing process for Wovenwar allowed us to take our minds off the present in a productive way. We didn’t have to dwell on the past, only look to the future.

Once you made the step and set about working on songs and your debut self-titled album, was there a sense of freedom in any way to starting afresh and making music different to your very Wovenwar2successful former guise?

I think the sense of freedom came from knowing our new project had no boundaries in terms of the places we could go musically. We didn’t have a singer yet, so the process began with the 4 of us writing music only for us, no vocalist in mind yet

Musically did you simply see where ideas took you with songs and their sound or did you have some thoughts and intent already waiting to be uncaged which would not have worked with As I Lay Dying?

I think a mixture of both. In the past, there were parts we’d have to shave off or cut out completely due to our previous singer’s style. With Wovenwar we were able to see those ideas through a little more clearly.

For us the band’s sound is very different throughout, though you can obviously find essences which are familiar from AILD just because of the four of you being a perfect fit with each other creatively and musically. Was there any deliberate effort to cast a completely unique proposition or has it all been an organic emergence?

I think the organic emergence came once Shane was in the picture. We had written about 5 songs musically and had given them to him to see what sort of ideas/songs he gravitated to more than others. Once we saw what was and wasn’t working, it gave us a better idea of the direction to head in that complimented both the music and vocals the most.

Some see Wovenwar’s sound as a continuation of the last AILD proposition but forging new territories; we feel it is a wider gulf between the bands than that. How do you see the differences aside from the obvious vocal one?

I think the biggest difference would be in the dynamics. With AILD, we pushed the envelope of speed every album. We were at 110% at all times in terms of tempo, and heaviness. In Wovenwar, we wrote for the song. We weren’t afraid to take the verse down to 50%, only to build up the chorus dramatically and make it feel huge. It definitely allows us to take the songs on more of a ride than we were previously known for.

How did the link-up with vocalist Shane Blay, formerly of Oh, Sleeper, come about and was he an immediate target to recruit?

Shane and Nick have known each other for 15 years, and played in a band together when they were younger. We hadn’t really officially approached anyone to sing when Nick brought up the idea of having Shane come out and jam with us. We sent him a couple of demos and he began writing to them. Once he was here and we heard his ideas we knew it was the perfect fit.

Wovenwar liveHis stunning tones are very much unique from those of Tim, has this made you look at or affected your songwriting in any different way, to help embrace and employ his great voice to full effect?

I think we just made sure that our music fit the spectrum of his abilities, and vice versa.

Give us some idea of the first times you all sat down to write and work on songs or their seeds. Did you take the determined opportunity to try new things and explore new styles/flavours or again was it just a see what comes out type scenario?

We really just sat down and let ideas flow. No preconceived idea of what we wanted, or to venture out specifically, we just let the music write itself and it flowed out pretty naturally.

How has the songwriting process emerged within the band?

Usually a single person brings a riff or collection of riffs to the band and from there, we decide which songs everyone seems to be interested in and we focus on those collectively. 4 separate members wrote songs on the record, which is a first for us.

What are the major inspirations behind the songs and their themes, and does some of it stem from the months between the two bands?

Well, Shane wrote most of the lyrics this time around, but they cover a variety of topics….personal redemption, unfaithfulness, being jaded by the music industry, etc. They cover a lot of ground.

Did you enter the recording of the album and the studio aspect generally any differently than your AILD releases previously?

Not really. Songs were about 95% there already, as we had demoed the entire album before Bill arrived. I guess the biggest difference would be in the sheer amount of time spent on clean vocals. They take longer, and far more effort and nuance to record as compared with screams.

How have AILD fans taken to the album generally?Wovenwar cover

It’s a mixed bag. Most are positive, and have been amazing throughout the transition. We couldn’t be more thankful to those who have stuck with us. There are a few who don’t know what to make of the vocal change, but we think we’ll win them over. They just have to realize that this isn’t AILD pt. 2, and that it’s a new band. With that perspective, I think a lot of them will be able to appreciate it for what it is, and not a ghost of our former band.

You recorded the album with producer Bill Stevenson who worked on the last AILD album too. Was this one of the easier decisions in regard to the album, bringing Bill on broad and what is it about his work and presence which stimulates you guys musically?

Bill was the only producer we approached, due to Awakened turning out so well. We love the fact that Bill cares more about the structure and how the song builds than the solos, riffs, etc. He helps us keep that in perspective. He also just a great person to work with and it keeps the mood light.

Not only us but seemingly across the board, the album has made a massive impact and reaped deserved acclaim. Has its initial success outpaced your own hopes for its welcome?

We honestly had no idea what to expect! What I can say is that the reaction definitely surpassed our expectations and we’re grateful for that. We know it’s time now to get out there on the road and earn it.

Once again a big thanks for taking time out to chat with us. Have you any last thoughts for the readers?

Thanks so much for checking out the record and we hope to see you crowd surfing at our next show in your town!

Read the review of Wovenwar’s debut album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/wovenwar-self-titled/

http://wovenwar.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

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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Hombre Malo – Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath

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Pic: catty stone

 

Full of uncompromising fury and unbridled belligerence, Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath the new album from Norwegian band Hombre Malo, is an incendiary device to ignite the imagination and passions. Its explosive nature and severe hostility is not for the faint hearted but sandwiched between opening and closing tracks which made potent and sizeable impressions there lays a cauldron of blistering enterprise and virulent hostility to take the breath away. Creating a tempestuous fusion of hardcore and noise rock with stoner and sludge metal, Hombre Malo has unleashed a beast of an album which is sure to make a relatively unknown band a talking point in a broader expanse of mouths.

Hailing from Oslo, Hombre Malo was formed in 2008 by ex-members of Sons of Saturn and Ictus and features current members of MOE and Okkultokrati. The quartet since starting has splits with bands like Jack and the Bearded Fishermen, Desert Icons, and Sofy Major under their belt as well as their 2009 debut album The Ecstasy Of Devastation. All have bred acclaim and eager attention though it is easy to feel that Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath will be making the strongest impression for the band so far. Recorded with Ruben Willem and mastered by Brad Boatright (High On Fire, Ringworm, Nails), the band’s second album is a provocation from a band which you just feel relishes the turbulence they are going to create in the ears, thoughts, and emotions of their listeners.

Opener L’Etranger instantly casts stoner-esque grooves around ears as the album begins its conquest, their spicy coaxing matched by punchy beats designed again to grab attention. It is an inflammatory start for the imagination which loses a little of its potency when relaxing into a heavy and intensive stroll, though that small relinquishing of intrigue is compensated by the caustic tones of The Muerto, his throat spilling venom and spite with every forced syllable. With rises of rhythmic endeavour and the still virulently enticing grooves, the track has a firm hold as it continues to merge hardcore and punk with its sludgy tsunami of noise.

As mentioned earlier it is a strong start flooded with potential, as the band, but not able to inflames senses and passions as its successors begin to do from hereon in, starting with Crosses And hombre_maloMarching Feet. Striding from the news sample bulging link connecting the first two tracks, the song bawls and then brawls with ears as a crescendo of agitated beats and riffs fling themselves at the senses, all guided by again corrosive vocal squalls. Like a furnace sculpted by Melvins, Kunz, and Unsane, the track is all out assault of sonic voracity and creative mayhem honed into a deranged and addictive maelstrom.

Its success though is just a taster for the album’s pinnacle, the sensational Golden Calf. Again the song evolves from its predecessor, a great tendency of the release, and is soon crawling over the psyche with its corruptive rhythms and sonic unpredictability. Just as swiftly as the violent temptation takes hold, a swagger comes to grooves and beats, a swinging lure complimenting the equally infectious eruptions of bruising mass vocals. The further into its body it takes ears the more gripping the blaze of punk rock bred antagonism and predation aligned to psych rock ingenuity. Like a mix of Poison Idea and fellow Oslo band Shevils, the track is a vicious contagion which with a cleaner vocal delivery and unrelenting splinters of sonic taunting and teasing, simply ignites ears.

A darker sludge spawned turn to the album comes next through Vladislav, a track inspired by the homophobic murder of 23-year-old Russian Vladislav Tornovoi. The song prowls the senses from the start, riffs and grooves weighty and predacious intimidation stalking the listener. It is a constant pressure and oppressive enticing offered by the seven minute track, from its first breath to last a senses smothering provocation equipped with a carnivorous bass tone and raw vocal expression to match similar toxicity cast by the guitars. It too finds a catchy character within itself so that by its end it is stomping with a virulent suasion before making way for the punkish roar of Reaching The Shore. With the sonic voracity of a Coilguns to its hardcore truculence, the song scowls and boils with spiteful enterprise and abrasing intensity before it too has to part for its outstanding successor.

Elena, from a melancholic and abrasive melodic start which is portentous and seductive simultaneously, detonates a ravenous and sonically disorientating expulsion which soon settles into a no less uncompromising but more ordered creative shuffle. It is another song where it explores a contagiousness to grip feet and imagination whilst gnawing upon and spilling toxicity over senses and emotions. It is a glorious and hellacious ravishment which reveals even more of the incredible potential and already accomplished devilry in the band’s songwriting and sound.

The album finishes on the epic Deathbed Conversation, a track which flies from the traps with thrilling caustic ferocity. It is an engrossing storm, though when it slips into a provocative and darkly emotive exploration of its central character’s narrative amidst a haunting ambience and ethereal melodies, it lacks the inescapable grip of its predecessors if not the intriguing and impressing invention. Nevertheless it is a fine and potent end to an excellent incitement, a release suggesting that there is still much more to come from the depths of Hombre Malo, whilst establishing the band as one tremendous onslaught right now.

Persistent Murmur Of Words Of Wrath is available now via Disiplin Media @ https://disiplinmedia.bandcamp.com/album/persistent-murmur-of-words-and-wrath

https://www.facebook.com/hombremalo666

RingMaster 14/11/2014

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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Phal:Angst – Black Country

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A raw erosion of senses and psyche, Black Country the new album from Austrian noise sculptors Phal:Angst is a vociferously compelling provocation built upon soundscapes which suggest that the apocalypse is already upon us. Consisting of five intrusive and fierce sonic explorations themed by oppressive manipulation and bigotry, the release is a demanding and uncomfortable proposition to listen to but a welcomingly incendiary confrontation for imagination and emotions to embrace. Forging a caustic industrial, post rock and doom clad fusion of noise, the release is a haunting immersion into ravenous sounds and stark atmospheres from a provocateur bred from the same corrosive intent as a Swans or Nurse With Wound.

Phal:Angst emerged in 2006 as collaboration between the projects Phal and Projekt Angst. The years since then has seen two well-received albums, a soundtrack, and hosts of successful shows unleashed, all adding up to ensure there was certain anticipation for their third album Black Country. Recorded with Alexandr Vatagin and mastered by Patrick Pulsinger, the album is an invasive and riveting consumption which draws on thick essences of EBM and gothic rock alongside those elements of sound mentioned. It makes for an unpredictable and often voraciously abrasive encounter but one which leaves thoughts and emotions aflame and contemplating the incitement unleashed.

Hardwire is the first examination of the senses, a fifteen minute portrait of a world in turmoil and emotionally twisted. From a glorious opening female vocal caress soon wrapped in similarly elegant keys, the track slips into a heavy industrial climate. Beats and electronic designs aligned to war inspired samples emerge within the still warm melodic embrace of the song, the encroaching portentous invasion of the beauty slow and unrelenting as guitars begin their rawer sonic narrative. The track continues to smoulder between melodic grace and caustic hostility whilst melancholic breezes wash the climate of the song and the band’s vocals upon their subsequent appearance. It is a gripping track, a corruption of sound which smothers the beauty within itself in order to provoke and spark ears and thoughts.

The album’s title track is next where again a warm and gentle entrance is made. This time electronic seduction coaxes the senses though around them sonic shadows are swiftly brewing up their intent and menace. They are held at bay though as a funereal rhythmic strides court the radiant and haunted shimmer of synths and guitar. Monotone fuelled vocals add their colour to the emerging song next, though again it is a slow expansion prowled by other continually darkening tones. The repetitious nature within this and all tracks is an inescapable seducing which only adds to the persuasion if not always the accessibility of the song’s temptation. This and its successor The Old Has To Die and the New Must Not Be Born reminds of Young Gods across their maudlin soaked landscapes, the album’s third song especially sparking thoughts of the Swiss band as opening hoarse vocals and intimidating riffs sets the tone and character of the blackened suffocation of the senses to come. Again that repetitive essence and the return of those breath-taking female soaring vocals provide a rich temper to the bestial heart of the track.

It is an enthralling and bewitchingly unpredictable trespass of the emotions providing the album with its pinnacle though that is almost matched by the warped sonic flirtation of Black Milk of Morning. A track which takes its time worming under the skin, despite persistently offering slim and potent melodies across chilled rhythmic scenery soaked in abrasing sonic ambience, it almost sneaks up on the passions especially with the persistence of unpolished reiterative vocals which imprint their presence and pressure within the climactic sonic smog. There is a beauty to the open and merciless aural causticity of the song which will certainly not be for all but as the album, will provide a remarkably rewarding experience for many more.

Black Country closes with the industrial drama and dystopian presence of Theta, a track which feels like an infestation bred from the union of Kraftwerk, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Neurosis. It crawls across the senses, leaving doom bred bait in its wake whilst igniting the imagination with its creative smothering and fiery tenacity. The song is a fine end to a great album, one which at times you wonder what specifically you are enjoying about it but always by the end of its persuasion only want more.

Black Country is available digitally, on double vinyl and CD via Bloodshed 666 Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/black-country-revisited/id932871714

The album is followed on Nov 28th by digital remix album Black Country Revisited featuring remixes by: Tronstoner/NSA, Swallow Red Rain, Chra, David Pfister, Electric Indigo, Rokko Anal, and Adaevarath/Bastard Sun.

http://www.facebook.com/phalangst

RingMaster 14/11/2014

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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Roaring flames: Introducing This Burning City

This Burning City

One song does not make a band but it certainly is enough to pay close and eager attention upon one and so it is with Ignorance the debut single from Canadian hardcore rockers This Burning City. The teaser for an upcoming EP, the track is visceral and sonically compelling introduction with a vicious contagion to match. Not wanting to wait until the upcoming EP to learn more, we grabbed the chance to fire off a few questions at the band to discover their background, influences, and more….

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Can we start by asking about the band and its background?

Hey there RingMaster. Thanks a lot for opportunity to chat. This Burning City is a hardcore band from the small town of Gananoque, Ontario. We all knew each other from school and came up with the idea of getting together and making noises. Nothing serious but as time went by we loved what we did and This Burning City formed. We’ve been together for roughly 3 years now, but have jammed together for longer.

You have had a few changes in personnel since forming, the norm for plenty of bands but how has that impacted on your hardcore fuelled sound along the way?

No major changes, but a few bumps in the road really. I think in the beginning we didn’t really have any direction or idea of what we wanted. We looked up to bands and said “We want to be THAT” and wrote what we could. After the line-up changes, I think everyone was finally on the same page on what we wanted and we finally could start writing the music that we really wanted to put out. So to answer your question I’d say yes, it has influenced our hardcore sound, but in a good way.

Who would you list as the biggest influences on the band’s sound and you as individual musicians?

It’s extremely safe to say that our biggest influences as a band are Ritual (Ex. Dead And Divine), Stray From The Path, and The Chariot. Other than these three, we all really take influence from Prophets, Holly Springs Disaster, Of Temples, and The Color Morale. You can hear most of these bands in our music, and the influence is pretty clear and direct.

Tell us about the single Ignorance which was released earlier this year, is it a thick example of your sound generally for newcomers to get an idea of what This Burning City is all about?

Ignorance was selected as our single to lead into the EP that we have in the works. When writing music for the EP, we made this song and absolutely HAD to put it out. It was designed to give people a taste of what we had to come, the new direction we were going in, and keep people waiting for the EP. It was recorded in a small basement by Jordan Bulhoes of Suns Of Static and it was mixed and mastered by Jordan Valeriote who has worked on some really huge bands such as Silverstein, Neck Deep, Structures and many others. It’s a very good example of what’s to come, but since writing the single, we’ve written some truly outstanding music that will blow away anyone who enjoys the single.

What about the EP, any info you can share?

We just finished some gruelling days in the studio with Zane of North Of Princess studio to put together a really, really amazing EP. Right now we’re waiting for some early mixes and then it’s off to become truly magical.

Can you give us a spoiler as to its sound and direction?

All I can say at this time is that the sound is going to be huge, the melodies are going to be magical, and to those who have heard us before, it is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever released. Honestly, we all couldn’t be more excited.

You seem to be getting a potent reputation for your live presence also and have played with a horde of bands including the likes of Horizons, Atlas, Fairview, End Of Crisis, and With Blood Drenched Hands. On stage is where the band is most at home?

The stage is definitely our home. When we entered the studio, we looked like deer in the headlights. We didn’t know what to do. But the moment we need to hit the stage, we’re like a well-oiled machine. It’s the place where we let loose, connect with the people we play with, and try our hardest to create a memorable experience. It’s all energy and smiles when we’re up there.

You have a show coming up with He Is Legend and Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster as well as others. How are feelings as it looms closer and this is one of your biggest shows to date?

Well first and foremost we are excited to be sharing the stage with such amazing bands. But at the same time, we are a bit nervous. Kingston, Ontario has the bad tendency to not give these bands the attention they really deserve. I hope the locals will come out and support them. I know we’ll be a bit nervous to open, but like every time, we’ll get over it and truly kick the shit out of the performance.

What else has the band in store for the rest of the year leading into next?

Lots of big plans! Once the EP is out, we’re going to do our best to get it into the hands of people we don’t know and get the name out. Touring is a definite possibility. And of course, we’re always looking ahead to the next big step: our album. The ball is always rolling with us.

Thanks again for sharing your time, anything you wish to shout out to finish off with?

Thank you again for the questions! All I have to say is we are This Burning City! Check us out at www.facebook.com/ThisBurningCity or go to our website at www.ThisBurningCity.com. Check us out at a show near you and listen to the newest single, Ignorance.

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/11/2014

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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