Armageddon – Captivity and Devourment

Photo by John Fell

Photo by John Fell

 

Over a decade since their last foray into ears and imagination, Sweden/American metallers Armageddon return with new album Captivity and Devourment, their most compelling and fascinating work to date. As to its strength against the band’s previous albums, that will be down to the individual and their appetite for the different stages of the continually evolving and exploratory invention of the band, but it is a creativity imposing and magnetic proposition which even when its persuasion ebbs a touch simply enthrals and when in complete tantalising majesty is a sonic masterpiece.

Formed in 1997 as a studio project by then Arch Enemy guitarist Christopher Amott, the Halmstad hailing project swiftly grip attention and fevered support with the release of cult album Crossing the Rubicon that same year. A sci-fi themed concept album, its lure and success was followed by the potent presences of Embrace the Mystery and Three of 2000 and 2003 respectively. Each release saw new line-ups in their individual persuasions and a shift from the bands initial melodic death metal explorations into power metal coloured landscapes. With another new line-up alongside Amott and a fresh creative emprise across technical and heavy melodic metal pastures, the now New York City based band and their album turn on ears and imagination to Armageddon once again with a bewitching tempest of emotion and sonic intrigue.

The album’s title track explodes in ears first, grooves and riffs an instantly virulent savaging as a hellacious rhythmic assault keeps pace with the track’s ferocious yet infectious start. The guitars ofarm Amott and Joey Concepcion swiftly cast a web of melodic and technical temptation as the raw caustic tones of vocalist Matt Hallquist abrase with varied and potent hostility. It is an impressive and gripping start to Captivity & Devourment, the dark hearted basslines of Sara Claudius and the unrelenting and creative swings of drummer Márton Veress adding antagonistic depths and appealing shadows to the dominant lure of grooves and the sonic ingenuity. Technically in craft and invention, song and band fascinate and seduce; the theatre of the song, as in most tracks, providing inescapable persuasion alone.

The great start is backed up if not quite matched by Locked In next, the portentous emergence of the encounter the appetiser to scenery of blackened malevolence courtesy of the vocals within a sonic tapestry of melodies and emotive colour. Carrying a classic heavy metal air at times, the track flirts and entices with every wash of melodies and bait of restrained rhythms with only the again caustic and this time not so adventurous squalls of Hallquist a tempering factor. It is enough though to accentuate the missing spark in the song compared to its predecessor, and the indefinable but prevalent essence which ignites the following Rendition. The third track, as the first, is a colossal beast in ears and attention within its first breath. The vocals are back on diverse form and riffs a rampant predation as they unite with the just as brutal rhythmic provocation. It is a formidable and addictive intimidation which finds a new plateau with the burst of impressive clean vocals from Amott and his subsequent tendrils of breath-taking sonic invention. The song is magnificent, everything about it as engrossing and seductive as it is venomously inhospitable, every flaming groove, unpredictable twist, and barbed hook a theatre of ingenuity and passion sculpting a canvas for body and emotions to greedily immerse in.

Its epic persuasion though casts a shadow which neither Fugitive Dust nor Conquer can evade next, though each provides plenty to keep an already potent appetite for the release satisfied. The first of the two rumbles with a great throaty bass threat from Claudius as guitars again burn air and sear the senses. Again though the vocals of Hallquist reveal little enterprise, certainly in comparison to the previous song, and dampened the seventies psych rock and progressive climate of the encounter. Its successor challenges and assaults with another breed of toxically enchanting and malicious intent where this time vocals find that enjoyable and inventive extra as they help enhance the internal conflict of the track where rage and melodic seduction entwine like creative lovers. The relatively short but exciting track makes way for the masterful drama of Thanatron. A gorgeous opening of acoustic guitar beauty swiftly has ears and emotions enthralled, and still tightly gripped as riffs and rhythms emerge from within its light to prowl and stalk the psyche. Equipped with seriously addictive grooves and scythes of melodic tempting, the song simultaneously bullies as it spellbinds, another incitement where every predacious shadow and melodic coaxing comes with thick virulence.

One triumph leads into the instrumental beauty of another, Background Radiation a warm yet haunting caress casting its own sublime provocative spell before making way for the scintillating and epically weighted grandeur of The Watcher. Brutal rhythms and riff driven scourges assault the senses with rapacious tenacity but have to submit to the welcome return of the clean vocal flames which erupt within the tempestuous soundscape. It is another mouth-watering tsunami of invention and craft which seems to grow broader and more impressive with every listen, just like next up Equalizer with its cantankerous threat of sinew sculpting rhythms and melodic exploration. Dipping into a mix of progressive and heavy metal, power and folk seeded enterprise, the track also captivates without restraint even though the viciousness it offers is held down by the warmth elsewhere in comparison to the absorbing turmoil of the last track.

Completed by Giants, though the CD version of the album has bonus track Stone Worker included, Captivity and Devourment is an invigorating confrontation and temptation. The last song is another missing that final intangible ingredient which turns great songs into insatiable treats within the album, but it is still a fine end to a release that can only be heartily recommended. As we said previously, you can expect differing views and tastes when comparing the might of the album against Armageddon’s previous offerings, such their open uniqueness to each other, but for us it has to be seriously considered as maybe their finest moment.

Captivity and Devourment is available from January 26th via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/fr/143_armageddon

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RingMaster 26/01/2015

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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Feral Sun – Evacuate

 

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The final week of January sees the debut album from UK rockers Feral Sun getting a well-deserved reboot, a re-release sure to mop up the unsuspecting appetites and fans that were not netted the first time around by the band. Evacuate is quite simply a collection of emotive and sonic anthems which come in varying forms and all roar with a snarling angst. They are also propositions which seem as familiar as they are fresh, the band weaving inspirations from the likes of open Stone Sour, Karnivool, Alter Bridge, and Trivium into their own distinctive designs. It plays like an old friend re-groomed, revitalised, and with a new found individuality.

Formed in 2009, the London quartet spent time honing their sound and live set before unleashing themselves locally and gaining a swift reputation and potent following for their stage ferocity and similarly impacting sound. Next came the creating of their first album, an imposing but feistily seductive encounter which again embraced a strong and acclaimed acceptance upon its first unveiling. With anticipations keen thanks to a trio of singles from the release, Evacuate is now poised to inflame the country with its national outing, with an inevitable success it is easy to expect thanks to its stirring and imaginative body of sound and enterprise.

Evacuate takes little time in awakening ears and attention as opener Find A Way follows its initial jangle of guitar with a wall of heavily swung beats and predatory riffs. It is a formidable entrance given greater potency by the instantly magnetic vocals of Mick Burns and a broader coaxing of guitar from himself and lead guitarist Marco lo Coco. That earlier mentioned familiarity is soon apparent but it only spices up the dramatic weight and character of the song. At times essences of Seether make a suggestive whisper and in others a mix of Stone Sour and Mudvayne, but all colouring which increases the reach and appeal of the impressive start.

There is also a raw quality to the track and a ‘raggedness’ to riffs which only increases the texture and lure of the proposition, revealing one aspect of the band’s sound to which the next up Alone Feral Sun covershows another. Also offering an aggressive touch at first, the song soon slips into a mellower melodic landscape, Burns opening up an emotive narrative with increasingly impressing vocals as lo Coco tantalises with an elegant melody against the darker provocative tones of Alex Nikitin’s bass and the skilfully fluid rhythms of drummer Jay Stephenson. His rhythmic incitement ebbs and flow in attack and weight perfectly as the song croons with passion and intensity as a 3 Days Grace like persuasion spices the unique theatre of Feral Sun’s invention and fiery craft, the band entwining melodic and hard rock with a more classic bred adventure.

The album’s excellent title track is stomping with teeth bared and passions inflamed next, prodding and swiping at ears with antagonistic attitude wrapped in a sonic and melodic tempering. Feet and voice are swiftly recruited by the song, its anthemic qualities as potent as the intimate drama colouring the track before it passes the listeners over to the alluring charm of People Are Dying. Its opening balladry within a sultry climate, leads senses and imagination into evocative scenery of acoustic led persuasion when subsequently opens up into an expanse of fiercer fiery incitement in sound and vocals. A slow burner compared to its predecessors and arguably never reaching their plateaus, the song still impresses and thrills much as One More Day after it.

With no song leaving ears and satisfaction wanting, there is a shallow dip in the album caused by the might of its start and impending closing stretch. This song for example a seriously compelling stroll of brewing anger and militant intensity with a craft individually and united from the band to match, yet it just misses the final spark to emulate the heights of the early songs. Nevertheless with lo Coco spinning a web of impressive skill and adventure around the ever striking vocals, it leaves a lingering pleasure and impression just as the Audioslave scented Into Pieces and the enslaving Long Road. The first of the two almost stalks ears and thoughts with its predacious gait and aggravated riffery whilst the second finds a similarly imposing leer to its sound and emotion bound in another strapping of sonic intrigue and vocal might, especially in the latter passage where the whole band unveil an irresistible vocal call to arms.

Breathe continues the strong diversity to Evacuate next with its distinctive and rigorously engaging balladry. Its highly pleasing flame of melodies and harmonies is followed by the equally potent emotional reflection of Take This Away. The track aligns resourceful calm and expression with raw blazes of angst soaked aggression from guitars and rhythms, providing further evidence of the maturity and imagination within the band’s songwriting and its fascinating realisation.

The album ends as mightily as it began, with firstly Caught In The Act exploring a mouth-watering blend of hard rock revelry and dirty rock ‘n’ roll tenacity. It results in the most inventive and unpredictable treat on Evacuate. The whole album is a heady peak of quality and temptation, but its start and finish provide the pinnacles with this song a tempestuous march of hungry riffs, hostile rhythms, and grooves to drool over. Its successor Falling is just as exhilarating with its virulent stroll of vocals and hooks interspersed with gripping rock pop devilry posing as a chorus. The album’s final song leaves ears and appetites, which are already full to bursting with highly enjoyable sounds and enterprise, just that little bit hungrier and greedier for more.

Evacuate is a roaring stomp of a release, not always as unique as it might be but for the main using the recognisable flavouring in fresh and contagious ways. For a riot of thoroughly satisfying and invigorating rock ‘n’ roll, it is hard to imagine too many over shadowing Feral Sun’s debut in the coming months.

Evacuate is released on Monday 26th January through all good stores and @ http://www.feralsun.bigcartel.com/

http://www.feralsun.com/

RingMaster 26/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

 

The Little Secrets – All I Need

 

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There is a charm to the music of UK indie pop band The Little Secrets, going by debut single All I Need, which is quite inescapable and irresistible. The song does not send senses and emotions whirling yet it lingers and seduces with long term potency, springing back in memory and thoughts whenever it pleases. One song does not reveal the whole picture of any band but All I Need it is fair to say makes a rather strong and persuasive colour for the Liverpool duo.

The Little Secrets began in 2010 after multi-instrumentalist Kevin Dixon spotted and met vocalist Stacy Jo at Liverpool’s world famous Cavern Club whilst she was singing with another band. Subsequently creatively uniting, the pair took a couple of years writing and exploring various line-ups and sounds before honing an infectious pop driven adventure as heard vibrantly on their first single. Released via Edge Hill University’s The Label Recordings, and already received keen radio support, All I Need is a slice of summer revelry sure to warm up anyone’s day.Picture 5

A great mix of feisty beats and a noise kissed tease of guitar tempts ears first, their magnetic unity the lead into a lively caress of guitar melodies and a courting dark bassline. They in turn are romanced by the magnetic vocals of Stacy Jo and just as flavoursome accompanying harmonies, her entrance seeming to warm up the energy and expression of the melodic seduction of the song even more. Into its contagious stride soon after, the song brings a great Kirsty MacColl feel to it in sound and voice, that earlier mentioned charm and warmth oozing from every polite hook and croon like melody offered.

Time will tell if The Little Secrets can fulfil the promise and initial acclaim All I Need has and is destined for, but we will not be betting against them.

All I Need is available from January 26th via The Label Recordings

http://www.thelittlesecrets.co.uk/

RingMaster 26/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

 

Digits are back with their new EP ‘Footprints & Embers’, on 2nd Feb

Digits Online Promo Shot

Newcastle skewed alt-rock crew Digits nationally unveil their sophomore EP ‘Footprints And Embers’ on Monday 2nd February 2015. Coming at you with a sound that muses the edgy dexterity of Glassjaw with the hook-laden know-how of Reuben, ‘Digits’ are a band that you need to hear.

Having completely brushed off the ashes of their former incarnation, Cut Glass Accent, Digits continue to deliver bold, proggy alt-rock that’s as intricate as it is heavy. In 2013, Digits dropped their explosive debut EP ‘Acquiesce to Violence’ and it racked up widespread critical acclaim from all quarters. Tracks from the record graced the cover CDs of Rocksound and Big Cheese Magazines and the quartet secured a host of support slots sharing stages with Bam Margera, Feed The Rhino and Marmozets. The band also made a successful appearance at the Make A Scene Festival, featuring the likes of Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout and Hacktivist.

However, the past year has been a difficult one for the Northern riff slingers. The band have been nursing a string of injuries due to heavy gigging; Chris Bradley (Vocals & Guitar) pulled ligaments in his ankles, Craig Strawbridge (Guitar) cut off half of his thumb, Stu Latham (Bass) badly pulled his back and original drummer, Dan Cooper, has had to leave the band due to persistent problems with his wrists. Nevertheless, the irrepressible four piece are now back with a new drummer, Matt Hickman, and a fresh set that includes material from the spanking new EP ‘Footprints And Embers’, and there are a string of shows penned for the early part of 2015 to support the record.

‘Footprints And Embers’ is released this February and the record starts in blistering fashion with the dynamic and twisty ‘Embers’, before the vigour and infectious groove of ‘Dysphoria’ grabs you by the scruff of the neck. The driving venom and up-tempo beatings of ‘Parachutes’ moves the record up a gear and the majestically emotive ‘Eros’ closes the record in supreme style. This record is sure to see the band go places; just watch them rise.

Digits cover

-DIGITS RELEASE FOOTPRINTS & EMBERS ON MONDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2015-

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