Soldierfield – Catharsis

 

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It has been a long timing coming, well it feels that way since the release of their acclaimed and outstanding EP Bury The Ones We Love in 2012, but now UK melodic metallers Soldierfield return with their highly anticipated debut album, Catharsis. It is a release which like so many others we had high expectations of and fierce hunger for, and it is fair to say that the tempestuous rampage suffices all wants and much more. Simultaneously continuing where the previous release left off and forging new expansive landscapes for their songwriting and feverishly flavoured sound, the quintet has created an incendiary device of enterprise and raw force to set the British metal scene ablaze.

Soldierfield was formed in late 2011 when guitarist Andy Trott linked up with bassist Simon Priestland to work on and unleash songs the former had been working on. Deciding to put out some demos the pair pulled in vocalist Leigh Oates (Order Of Voices, Rise To Addiction) who expelled his lyrical and vocal prowess upon the tracks. The first song unveiled instantly sparked a buzz in the underground scene and within the industry which led to the band signing up with Metalbox Recordings. Subsequently the Bury The Ones We Love EP was uncaged with the line-up completed by guitarist Steve Wray (Rise To Addiction, BLAZE), who produced the EP and now the album, and drummer Jeff Singer (Paradise Lost, Kill II This, China Beach, BLAZE). Continuing to reap the richest essences of numerous styles and flavours to infuse into their own invention, Soldierfield, with Wayne Banks (Joe Lynn Turner, Sabbat, BLAZE, Messiah’s Kiss) now on bass, raise their and British metal’s bar again with the impatiently waited for Catharsis.

The album is an aural emprise which immediately ignites a fire in ears and emotions, but proceeds to unveil more depths and potency over time to perpetually seduce the imagination. From their first offering, The Light, band and album enthrals and trespasses through ears into the passions with virulent and creative ferocity. Theirs is a sound which sounds deceptively familiar but equally wholly fresh and distinctive, no more so epitomised than the opening track. Seemingly entering from where final track The Path on the EP left off, The Light is a bridge between and gateway into a new chapter and realm of adventure. Its dawning presence is a restrained and melodic tempest which draws near with every sonic agitation before exploding into a predacious and rhythmically intensive stride. Riffs flame and flirt with their enticing whilst bass and drums provide an enslaving bait, it all capped by the outstanding sandy toned vocals of Oates. As potent and expressive as ever, straight away there seems a thicker impassioned drive to his tones which is matched by the carnivorous riffery and colourful designs cast by the guitars. As rampant as it is resourceful, the track is a stunning start which with moments of Manic Street Preachers like persuasion has the appetite drooling.Soldierfield - Catharsis - Artwork

The following Beautiful Lie rigorously strides the same plateau, sonic intrigue seeping from every guitar spawned note as intimidation drives every swinging beat. There is an instant drama to the song which is ushered in through the throaty basslines of Banks and stretched by the vocal tenacity of Oates and the acidic invention sculpted superbly by Trott and Wray. As its predecessor, the song offers for no definable reason a familiar face but is soon twisting its character and presence with riveting craft to leave ears and thoughts engrossed before both The Only War and Burn Bright ignite their impressive persuasions. The first of the two opens with melodic elegance and beauty across a peaceful atmosphere, the guitars painting an enthralling picture before the more rugged landscape of the song is revealed and painted by the impassioned vocals of Oates. Flirting with thrash and groove metal, the song is soon aflame with gripping enterprise from the guitars and prowling rhythmic tempting from Banks and Singer, a mix emulated by its successor within a far more savage and inhospitable atmosphere. The track merges extremes of texture and attack with fluidity and thrilling resourcefulness, raging and seducing within a just as agitated and varied sonic climate.

The pair of Monochrome, an exceptional track which exploits a horde of fierce and inflammatory styles to create another major pinnacle on the album, and the bewitching Ghosts sublimely spark hungry waves of pleasure and satisfaction through ears and emotions. The first truly encapsulates the band’s invention, a tempestuous fusion of varied sounds and flavours which is as adept and majestic brawling with or seducing the listener, whilst the second is an unpredictably transfixing offering which needs more time than others to reveal all its qualities but emerges just as handsomely accepted and devoured. This can also be applied to the dramatic presence and evolving creative narrative of New Religion and the enchanting gentle croon of the album’s title track where Oates again reinforces his vocal prowess.

The next up Nothing Left springs with the same melody fuelled lure as the last song but is soon shrugging of restraints to emerge as a voracious and turbulently volatile storm which only feeds the greed surrounding the release, especially when it still shares its fury with moments of unbridled beauty. The ferocious treat is replaced by the album’s closing track, the mesmeric Cut the Ties, a song blending wiry and seductive melodies with sinister basslines and breath-taking vocals; the track a stunning finale to a superb album.

Catharsis confirms all the early thoughts and assumptions about the potential of Soldierfield and much more, with only the fact that some songs do not linger in memory and thoughts as potently as they should and deserve a slight puzzle. Nevertheless the album is still one of the year’s major highlights and company very hard to tear oneself away from.

Catharsis is available now digitally and on CD via Metalbox Recordings @ http://metalboxrecordings.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=57

www.soldierfieldband.co.uk

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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Blind Race – Come And Get It EP

Photo Credit: Joanna Glezakos of Vegenza Forografiad

Photo Credit: Joanna Glezakos of Vegenza Forografiad

Listening to the Come And Get It EP from Canadian intensive rockers Blind Race, is like being run down by a fully loaded juggernaut with its throttle fully open and subsequently being caught on its axle and dragged for the ultimate ride. Five tracks which predominantly stomp like a bear in heat, the release is a muscular confrontation using the listener as its plaything and rewarding with some of the most voracious and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll heard in a long time. The band’s third release, Come And Get It sums up their intent and the EP’s unbridled invitation into their compelling sonic devilry, and though it may not be bulging with startling originality it is hard to remember a fusion of rock and metal more enjoyable and anthemic this year.

Blind Race roared from the starting gate in 2007, emerging from the union of two brothers and their best friend two years earlier getting together for some freestyle jams and demo recordings. Taking inspirations from “their love of fast cars and the intrigue of driving them blind, as well as modern-day racial issues and the idea that we are all the same”, the band unleashed their debut album Seeing Red in 2008. It and their live presences earned strong responses with the band in 2010 being nominated at Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best Metal Act and two years later for Best Live Metal Act. 2012 also saw the release of the Lost EP, the band continuing to evolve their diverse sound and again drawing acclaim and attention, something easy to see the Mike Langford (Evans Blue, Parabelle, Charlie Hope, Jeff Martin (Tea Party), Crash Karma, Art Of Dying) produced Come And Get It surpassing.

There is no easy lead into the release, it immediately hitting top gear with opener Hypocrite. Punchy drums lure a blaze of predatory riffs which in turn re-sparks the swipes of Stelio Kentros into casting an even more pungent provocation. It is a gripping entrance swiftly becoming a rampage with nostrils flared and a heavily imposing swagger. The guitar of Costas Kentros continues spraying its predatory designs, matched by the throaty prowling of Mike Ferraro’s bass, whilst the excellent vocal lure of Tommy Geraldes completes the full anthemic narrative and expression of the song. There are also vibrant melodic keys from Joannie Cotton colouring the encounter but such the weight and pulsating intensity elsewhere, they are brief glimpses within the tempest. Swinging with the temptation of Volbeat and the bestial force of a Bloodsimple, the track is primal rock ‘n’ roll at its best and quite irresistible.Come And Get It Album Cover 2014

The EP’s title track comes next and is soon taking all the attention, again ferocious riffery and flaming grooves raging around the rhythmic armoury of Stelio as Geraldes fiercely roars and confronts with accomplished and addictive potency. There is a great abrasing edge and snarl to all aspects of the song, like a Pantera meets Five Finger Death Punch antagonism which only adds to the inescapable bait of the encounter. As its predecessor Come And Get It is an unrelenting insatiable growl which leaves appetite hungry and ears greedy for more, which the next up Hopeless is only happy to provide. The third song is a different kind of beast though, one basking and bred in the grunge and melodic rock fuelled side of the band’s songwriting and sound with a loud whisper of Godsmack throughout. Minimal caresses of guitar and jabbing beats are lorded over by the again excellent vocals, resulting in a less demanding but just as compelling incitement to the previous track. The keys of Cotton are given the room and air to bring their rich hues to the smouldering canvas of the song too whilst the guitars erupt with explosive skill and tenacity across the reserved yet melodically and passionately inflamed proposition.

The following Truth Or Dare emerges from a radiant lure of keys to which the guitar of Costas adds its own dazzling resourcefulness. It is a magnetic entrance which is soon bulging with sinew driven beats and riffs which in turn lead into a melodic haze of vocal expression and sonic beauty. The song is in no time a contagious lure which erupts with tenacious craft and urgency, subsequently entwining both textures for a riveting and enslaving enticement. Once more the band inventively merges varied rock and metal spices for a fiery slab of heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll, and another incendiary stomp.

Come And Get It is concluded by the brief acoustic rock offering Gone. With a southern rock lacing to its fully pleasing vocal and guitar led croon, the song thrills and disappoints, the latter because it is far too short and over just as you get the hang of its body and start to join on. Actually thinking about it with voices like those punishing the office that is a good thing but the adage of ‘leaving them wanting more’ is far too cruel in this case.

Like for many, this was our introduction to Blind Race who easily inspire the expectation that we will be hearing much more them when their virulent bait posing as sound begins infesting the world. As mentioned the Come And Get It EP is not breaking new grounds but for sheer rock ‘n’ roll pleasure there are few better around right now.

The self –released Come And Get It EP is available from November 18th @ http://blindrace.bandcamp.com/album/come-and-get-it

http://www.blindrace.net/online/

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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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Idol of Fear – All Sights Affixed, Ablaze

 Photo -Jamie Morton

Photo -Jamie Morton

Idol of Fear’s sound is like the black shadow or light limited passage way which manages to be simultaneously inviting and threatening whilst offering the possibility of safety or the darkest outcome. Hailing from the Barrie/Toronto area of Canada, the band creates an imposing and immersive soundscape of extreme metal which comes with a blackened heart and experimentally fuelled provocation. It is a fiercely challenging and rewarding confrontation as evidenced by the band’s debut album All Sights Affixed, Ablaze, eight individual torments which align for one grievous and pestilential seduction of ears and imagination.

Formed in 2011 with a name inspired by the quote from Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 movie Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal), “We must make an idol of our fear and that idol we shall call God”, Idol of Fear made an imposing statement with their 2013 EP Scavenger. It awoke attention but you suspect nothing to that which All Sights Affixed, Ablaze has the potential to ignite. Recorded across 11 months of “fiery personal turbulence and development, musically and otherwise”, the Tore Stjerna (Watain, Corpus Christi) mastered and Jeff Wardell mixed album is a unsettling maelstrom of fierce flavours and expressive invention, merging everything from black and death metal to progressive, occult, and avant-garde experimentation. It is not always an easy listen, and often a test of stamina and the senses, but always All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is a gripping and epic fall into the depths of the band’s raw imagination and sonic voracity.

Opener Vanquish instantly smothers ears in an intriguing and imposing web of enterprise and sound, the guitars of Dave Bach and Austin Myers an immediate blaze of caustic provocation with melodic seducing. This is soon joined by the raw vocal rage of Myers and the rhythmic intimidation unleashed by drummer Doug Belcourt and bassist Johnny. The song instantly allows no escape from its oppressive yet magnetic tenacity, grooves and melodies searing the senses as rhythms bruise and vocals scar. As eventually discovered on all tracks, there is also a fascinating drama to the lyrical and sonic side of the track, as well as a skilled investigation of distinct flavours amidst constant twists. The song also proves that this is an album which needs time to explore, often its real and undoubted treasures lying well beyond its surface storm and violation.

The following Morningstar makes a more merciful entrance but is soon immersing ears in a persistently shifting and ravenous tapestry of corrosive riffery and radiant sonic endeavour. Swiftly cover1an even greater variety of spices are at work on the imagination alongside an inventiveness which manages to assault, stalk, and seduce with sublime efficiency and temptation, the track’s scenic passage of atmospheric resonance and melodic caressing within a rhythmic enslavement quite delicious. Its fluid cold causticity and enthralling beauty makes way for the darker and harsher Circle of Vortices, a scathing and consuming piece of music inflamed by the malevolent tones of Myers. Again though there is radiance to its persuasion and invention, its soundscape harsh but haunting, cold rather than bitter. The track also slips into bewitching melodic scenery, its calm stroking of the senses a hopeful snatch of light before the song again savages emotions.

The album’s title track is a lively jungle of rhythms and fascinating inventiveness within smog of crushing intensity and smothering dark emotion. There is nevertheless a flirtatious element to the song and an unmissable swing which makes it almost joyful and mischievous, certainly in comparison to previous tracks, whilst the following It Demands brings its own addictive predation to the expansive dark of the album. It also prowls with an enticing lure, guitars scything and taunting across a heavy bassline and provocative beats with venomous yet invitational potency. The bordering on picturesque craft and colours sculpted by Bach and Myers transfix throughout but as mentioned time given reveals the full strength and depth of their and the whole band’s ingenuity.

This period of the album ignites the passions most fervently, the next up It Militates with its hunting riffery, anthemic rhythms, and captivating sonic intrusiveness adding another peak to the increasingly impressing album. The song is a real predator, one luring with sinister beauty and ravishing with coarse hunger. Its triumph is followed by the even more hellacious body and soul of It Tyrannizes, a tsunami of erosive intensity and creative barbarity with engrossing melodic tendrils and sonic rapacity across the tempestuous consumption. These are enticing hues harkening the longer calm and elegant reflection which emerge, though all is eventually swallowed by a new twist in the furnace of the narrative’s animosity.

The closing Carrion provides a blackened exploration of raw ambiences and dark forces, its crawling serpentine temptation and sonic resonance a colluding suffocation and primal seduction. It is an absorbing instrumental bringing the fascinating trespass of senses and emotions to an evocative and climactic close.

All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is a testing and demanding proposition but one with lingering and intensive rewards for body and mind. It is an album which no one should judge or rest upon over just one or two listens, but an incitement from Idol of Fear which warrants and deserves numerous dives into its unrelenting sufferance for the most compelling and unique experience.

The self-released All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is available from November 18th via http://idoloffear.bandcamp.com/album/all-sights-affixed-ablaze

http://www.idoloffear.com/

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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

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Carousels & Limousines – Strange Love EP

 

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There is an ethereal charm or should that be mischief to the sound of UK quintet Carousels & Limousines, a flavoursome and fascinating breath which is as unworldly as it is earthy ensuring every song is as distinctly different as they are united in transfixing the senses. Certainly going by new EP Strange Love this is so, a four track proposition which lies engagingly on ears like a morning mist and captures the imagination with haunting drama. It is an encounter which has moments that simply seduce without restraint and other times where it has to work to grip the same attention, but ultimately it is a release which inspires a raw appetite to explore Carousels & Limousines even more.

Hailing from Bath, the band began in 2012, emerging from previous guise Grace which had local success with the Stealing Kisses EP. A change in the band’s line-up seems to have been the trigger to new adventure and bigger things within the band which, to condense things, changed their name and entered the studio with producer Richard Causon (Kings Of Leon, Tom Jones, Rufus Wainwright) to record debut album Home To Andy’s, which was released to keen responses in the June of last year. Now the band has moved up a gear and temptation with the Strange Love EP which has also spawned the AA-sided single Superman/Strange Love, this and the EP two compelling doorways into the creative magnetism and sonic haze of Carousels & Limousines.

The release opens with Superman and swiftly as it emerges from its sonic mist with a rhythmic coaxing it has ears and thoughts fully engaged. The bass of Finn McNulty courts the first caress cadizcd130[1]of guitar with a shadow clad tempting whilst the reserved beats of Martyn James almost tease as they mark the entrance of the fine and expressive vocals of Sam Gotley. His tone as the sounds around him is sultry, almost bewitched at times, instantly adding to the smouldering psychedelic lure of the song. Breaking into feistier melodic rock as the guitars of Jamie Wales and Gotley align with the keys of Dominik Sky, the track vivaciously sizzles before returning to its warm flirtation, starting the inescapable temptation all over again. With a sixties air and seventies hue to its colour, the song is a delicious start to the release, alone trapping thoughts and ears into wanting more.

The following Don’t Look Down steps forward with a bluesy Americana toning to its gentle stroll, bass and voice again the early persuasion before guitars and rhythms open up rich but still reserved persuasion. A warm glow of keys brings a mesmeric enticing to the song’s easy going proposal and though it never comes close to impressing and lighting fires as its predecessor, primarily down to personal tastes on its style of music, the song with its potent theatre does little to defuse the urge to investigate the band further.

She’s In The Water steps up next and straight away has intrigue in full flow with its pulsating heavy rhythmic tones and alluring group vocal calls. It is bred from the same seeds as its predecessor but there is a mesmeric croon and tantalising, almost sinister, presence to its enterprise and imagination which especially shines in the chorus, a moment which almost ripples over the senses as the disturbed surface of its title’s action would suggest. The track easily worms under the skin and memory, making frequent returns in thoughts on its own whim even away from the EP.

The release is closed by the EP’s title track, and second song on the new single. Strange Love is an acoustic affair, guitar and voice combining to seduce whilst a Pixies-esque breeze emerges in the harmonies and surf rock like wiry melodies which roam the background. As the last track it is a riveting nagging, relentless temptation which lurks and lingers long pass its company stealing the biggest slice of attention and passions on the release.

The Strange Love EP was not an instant persuasion it is fair to say, though it had plenty to enlist an immediate and eager return, but is an emerging melodic provocateur providing a thoroughly captivating enjoyment. Carousels & Limousines deviously infest ears and thoughts with their sounds, sometimes the realisation only coming long after its departure.

The Strange Love EP and AA-sided single is available now via Pulteney Records.

http://www.carouselsandlimousines.co.uk/

RingMaster 18/11/2014

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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