St. Aria – August 21 EP

St.Aria

Last year, like for a great many, attention was pricked by We claim this aria, the debut EP from Swedish band St. Aria. It was a potent and potential laden offering which at times strikingly sparkled and in other moments simply provided an enjoyable proposition without lighting fires. It did though ignite an appetite for the band’s inventive ideas and the next stage in its evolution. That next chapter has arrived with the release of the August 21 EP, an evocative and vivacious encounter building on the qualities of its predecessors and realising the previously untapped but hinted at qualities of the band’s sound. Consisting of five adventurous and lively propositions, the EP is the sunrise of a sound and band coming of age, but still with more to come and discover.

St. Aria is the creation of lyricist/composer/keyboardist Alexander Platon, a project formed in the late 2000s which after a hiatus when Platon joined The Borderline Saints, returned in 2012. Taking inspirations from the likes of Evanescence, Within Temptation and Nightwish and guided by the intent to create emotionally resounding rock ballads, the Platon linked up with vocalist Jimmy Ferhm, also of The Borderline Saints and producer Emanuel Svensson to resurrect St. Aria. Initially it was just to remake a couple of the band’s early songs but such the interest in its members and fans things evolved. We claim this aria was the debut release and saw the three enlist numerous session musicians for its creation and subsequent live appearances. The EP certainly awoke good interest but as suggested earlier everything has grown and leapt forward with August 21. Firstly St. Aria is a complete and stable quintet, Platon and Ferhm joined by Oliver Sandberg (drums), Erik Jönsson (bass, vocals), and Jacqueline Hansson (vocals), whilst musically the raw edges and arguably success tempering aspects of the previous release have been resolved and woven into songs simply revelling in melodic beauty.

St.Aria - August 21 (Cover art)   The EP opens with the spellbinding Black Rose, a song which instantly has ears and imagination involved through the evocative keys of Platon, and increasingly seduced by the siren-esque tones of Hansson emulated in potency by those of Ferhm. Rhythmically the song is reserved yet striking enough to support the expressive narrative of vocals and piano as they colour the song with feisty elegance. It is a catchy and welcoming start to the release matched by the contrasting shadow wrapped presence of Deception which follows. Led by the mellow yet angst lined tones of Ferhm, the song cradles ears and thoughts in a provocative embrace of emotional balladry. The drums of Sandberg create a brooding drama behind the core refection of voice and piano, an almost epic shadow aided by the equally haunted lure of Jönsson’s bass, whilst all combined leaves attention and pleasure easily entranced.

A great bass growl opens up Here With Me, its darker presence soon smothered by the radiant light of keys and the paired vocals of Hansson and Ferhm. The song has a much lighter smile to its tone and character than its predecessor, a hope fuelled romance flowing through the nimble fingers and invention of Platon and the increasingly enjoyable vocal union, though all attributes reach new heights in the outstanding Hopeless Case. Strings and voice align to a tantalising tinkle of keys to seduce the senses from the song’s first breath and immediately has the appetite licking lips. As it opens up its energetic embrace, a country spicing and folkish revelry joins the inescapable infectious persuasion on offer whilst the duet of voices spills melodic contagion. Thoughts are conjured up of The Only Ones single Fools which saw the band and vocalist Peter Perrett link up with Penetration’s Pauline Murray in a mouth-watering duet, and though musically different, the textures, charm, and catchy quality is similar and just as impressive on the EP’s best track.

August 21 closes New Dawn, itself on a par with the previous song through the ever reflective and impressive vocals where this time Hansson leads the temptation with her seductive delivery. Shadows are never too far from the surface in most St. Aria songs, and here bass and keys bring a complimenting emotive shade to the golden tones of melodies and harmonies, a blend emulated in the lyrical prowess of the track. It is an enthralling end to an excellent encounter in which St. Aria has breached a new plateau in songwriting and sound. The band has pushed itself and sound to fulfil early potential and more, but now with a suggestion that there is even more within them to come it is fair to say there are exciting times ahead for them and us.

The August 21 EP is available now digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/se/album/august-21-ep/id971640265?l=en

http://www.ariamusic.se/     https://www.facebook.com/ariaswe

RingMaster 09/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Vie Jester – Etches In Aether

Photography by Jess Santana

Vie Jester may be a new name and unknown quantity to you right now but if they continue producing offerings like Etches In Aether, they will soon become a heavily talked about and devoured proposition. Progressive and hard rock, alternative and melodic metal, they and more are all woven into the attention and imagination grabbing tracks five track proposal, a skilled and exciting tempest of diverse sounds uniting in one seriously compelling and thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

Vie Jester hail from L.A. and consist of vocalist/guitarist Kyle Edward Guerrero, bassist/vocalist Jaime Salas, and drummer/vocalist Cliff Conway. They cite influences such as Tool, Mastodon, Mars Volta, Kanivool, Soundgarden, Deftones, Queens of The Stone Age, Pantera and many more in their own creativity, that list alone hinting at the diversity of the band’s sound. 2013 saw the release of the three-track debut EP Cognisense, a seemingly well-received entrance by the band, but just the groundwork for the impressive Etches In Aether to now take things further

vie jester cover   The EP swiftly has attention and appetite for its sounds awake and hungry through opener Saint. Electro like rubs tease initially, stimulating the imagination with their spicy textures as a mellow sigh of vocals caresses the senses. It is a striking and intriguing start soon leading to a bedlamic expulsion of voice and sound which in turn unlocks the heart and might of the song. A great throaty bassline emerges as even more flavoursome vocals add to the great start whilst rhythms strike with potent jabs and sonic enterprise continues to flirt with ears and thoughts. Equipped with a virulent chorus and an evolving array of creative spicery, the Tool meets Pigeon Lake sounding like track is simply outstanding, a glorious opening to the EP and broad introduction to the band.

Hollow Graffiti has it all to do to match such an immense start but is soon holding its own with another sparkling electronic like essence from the guitar of Guerrero setting things off. With a brooding yet feisty tone to the bass of Salas and punchy beats from Conway, the song casts its own unique and gripping creative narrative in sound and lyrical persuasion, more swift evidence of the variety filling the EP. Vocally the three unite to create Queens of The Stone Age sounding harmonies, inspirations again open but continuing adventure and ideation at the melodic heart of the song is a sonic exploration all Vie Jester.

The following Meridians enters on a prowl of a gait, its rhythmic muscles and intensity heavy but soon tempered by the colourful designs being unveiled by guitar and vocals. The song is a transfixing mix of imposing shadows and colour rich light in texture and character, the dark nature of bass and drums encroaching on the flames of the melodies and the warm seduction of the guitar igniting the track’s portentous corners. More of a slow burner than its predecessors, despite making an immediate thrilling impact, it grows to be another pungent example of the band’s potential and already established invention.

A mellower and almost jazzy climate wraps Dig It next, its air sultry and hazy whilst its core is a rich blaze of melodic intensity and vocal emotion. As in all the songs, there is also an infectiousness which oozes from every groove and rhythmic enticing but also from the more experimental aspects of songwriting and sound. It too takes a little more time to find the same place in thoughts and passions as those before but undoubtedly succeeds over time.

As it started Etches In Aether ends on a pinnacle, the release bookended by two major triumphs around nothing but exciting endeavours. Amplify slips in without any major declaration, almost worming its way into ears and affections sneakily but in no time has both enslaved. Vocals and melodies flame with intensity throughout its body whilst the bass discovers a grouchy snarl which only adds to the increasing drama and lure of the song, which itself is a temptation growing within ears and emotions with every note, harmony, and spark of imagination.

If any of the names referenced as inspirations above grab then Vie Jester should be a must investigation, though as Etches In Aether shows, you should not expect to hear anything particularly similar either. The band has its own creative agenda and one, as suggested earlier, with the promise of major rewards if more exciting releases like this are unleashed.

Etches In Aether is available now digitally @ https://viejester.bandcamp.com/album/etches-in-aether and physically via http://www.viejester.com/store

http://www.viejester.com/     https://www.facebook.com/viejester

RingMaster 09/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

 

 

 

Bite The Shark -Tantrum EP

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It is fair to say that the first Bite The Shark release, the three track First Blood, suggested that British rock ‘n’ roll had a new protagonist to breed some real excitement over. Now the Manchester trio return with the explosive Tantrum EP, a roaring, stomping encounter not only making that previous loud hint a reality but thrusting the band to the forefront of incendiary revelry. Consisting of five ferocious and mischievous punk ‘n’ roll anthems, Tantrum simply leaves bodies breathless and emotions blazing. Every exploit within its raucous walls is the host of volatile sounds, feisty imagination, and adrenaline soaked devilment; all providing a virulent contagion conducive to naughty habits and unbridled enjoyment.

Formed a couple of months past a year ago, Bite The Shark swiftly lit an eager and vocal local following which spread as potently and easily with the release of First Blood last year. Luring in acclaim and keen online radio attention with the Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Bullet For My Valentine, Twin Atlantic) recorded release, the threesome of brothers Adam and Edd Langmead alongside Rory O’Grady have been kicking up a storm on the live scene too, the weeks leading up to the release of Tantrum alone finding the band rampaging round the UK on tour with Drop Down Smiling and Fake The Attack. Again recorded with Dodangoda, Tantrum is the band’s next mighty temptation on the nation, one with the qualities and tunes to ignite the UK rock scene.

Rock & Roll in the Soul hits ears first and lives up to its title instantly. An opening guitar hook makes the first rich connection, matched within seconds by an equally tempting heavy bassline. The song soon hits its stride with raw riffs and punchy rhythms led by similarly feisty vocals, a mix alone enough to have feet and emotions bounding along with its persuasion. Add a ridiculously compelling chorus and the first anthem of the EP is stirring up imagination and thrills. Imagination and diversity are never far from the forefront of Bite The Shark songs, as well as lyrical provocation, and both are as rampant as the thick sounds within the tremendous opener.

10897961_327152687479870_8976137320647029148_n   Good rowdy times continue with Little Fishy which follows, guitars brewing up a voracious and abrasing blaze within which vocals romp and mischievous ideation plays. With its mid-point merely a glimpse in its future, the song suddenly twists around from its initial stampede and begins prowling, indeed stalking the senses with predatory invention before returning to a frantic onslaught which in turn slips into a catchy TV show theme tune finale. The track is just irresistible just like Shiny Shoes straight after. Soon showing a heavier ferocious nature of its own to its riffs and rhythms, the song reveals an essence of classic rock entwined with power pop in its punk romp. Once more grooves and hooks breed addictiveness whilst vocals and fierce melodies offer searing magnetic hues.

There is no chance of a breather at any point within Tantrum either, each song a full on tempest of infection fuelled incitement as evidenced again by the outstanding Killzone. From the opening twang of riffs, ears and body are ready to accept the suggestive rampage in waiting The track’s entrance is almost a limbering up before chest beating rhythms and fury lined riffs explode in a steamy onrush. It is not a hell for leather charge though, hooks and band harmonies a tasty tempering to the aggressive foot to the floor energy offered, but it is certainly a seriously rousing slab of rock ‘n’ roll.

The release closes with Sleep when You’re Dead, though the CD also includes Burn em to the ground and Burn and Gas & Air which made up the bulk of the previous release. Drawing on blues rock spicing for its melodic essences, the track as its predecessor, is a balls to the wall rocker leaving no room for abstinence from joining in with body, voice, and energies. It is a glorious end to a spectacular riot of punk ‘n’ roll tenacity, a song unafraid to explore new depths and areas of songwriting and sound whilst the release simply bellows that Bite The Shark is one of the bands with the potential to take British rock ‘n’ roll into a new heyday.

The Tantrum EP is available now digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/tantrum-ep/id962681213 and on CD via http://bitethesharkmerch.bigcartel.com

http://www.facebook.com/bitetheshark   http://originaljunkie.wix.com/bitetheshark

RingMaster 09/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/