Caustic Method – The Virus

CMPic_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

     The Virus is a scourge to the senses as potent and inescapable as the equivalent physical protagonist is to the flesh, but a fierce ravishing easy to develop a rabid appetite for. The album is the new incitement from US metallers Caustic Method, a fury of raw and contagious animosity that stirs up the blood and puts a fire in the belly. Though the band has been devouring audiences and fans since 2003, the new release is, like for so many, our introduction to the Syracuse roar, and no finer a way to get infected can you imagine.

Caustic Method has earned a rich reputation for their sound and live performances since forming, sharing stages with everyone from Hatebreed to Cypress Hill, American Head Charge to Otep, Hed P.E. to Korn and hordes more from all diversities of metal and voracious rock ‘n’ roll. Last year The Virus EP sparked thick attention and feisty anticipation for the band’s new album, its success a step towards the band signing with Pavement Entertainment for its successor’s release.

The album launches itself on ears and senses with an instant wall of sound and the vocal roar, the song’s title Virus, the first word expelled by the throat of Matt Caustic. Right there the infection has taken hold; that initial concussive touch the opening toxin in a tide of predatory rhythms and hellacious riffs driven by a sandstorm of a vocal delivery. The track is never an out and out savaging though, Darin Scott’s grooves and hooks given space to wind their temptation around the imagination, backed similarly by the dark throaty tones of Eric Maliszewski’s bass. The Caustic Method sound brings up thoughts of bands like Hatebreed, Bloodsimple, and Mushroomhead across song and release but ultimately there is a freshness and originality which offers a distinct proposal from the NY quartet.

The opener is also the band’s current single with an outstanding video to match its presence and an explosive start to The Virus quickly reinforced by the following Left to Die Alone. This too is a blaster to the senses set on the highest setting, riffs and beats stalking the listener as vocals rummage in the psyche with Caustic’s ever gravelly persuasion. The rhythmic jabs of drummer Angel Rivera are a deceptive lure, initially seemingly merciful whilst still resonating on bone before the man’s stick swings get more creatively agitated and venomous. The song even with a slightly mellower embrace midway continues to hunt down the passions before making way for the similarly ravenous tempting of The Lone Star Tragedy. The song is a more straight forward but enjoyable offering at first, holding back its imagination until it is well entrenched in ears. Clean vocals and spicy grooves soon break free, though are soon swamped by the hostility that set things off and the track ends as it began, snarling relentlessly.

CAUSTICMETHOD COV_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review  Integrity Fail continues the bruising next, but with a bluesy melodic seducing which spices up its hooks. Aligned to a less intensive energy and atmosphere, it ensures the track is a juggernaut with the hand brake on in attack but a heavyweight persuasion that prowls and lingers as more variety is shown within The Virus, and in turn S.D.V. straight after. The track unleashes its dirtiest heavy rock ‘n’ roll traits to collude with a metal ferocity, a mix of vocal delivery as enticing as the blend of flavours stirred into the tempest of sound.

Through the groove infested Six Feet and the rhythmically compelling Which Way the River Runs, the contagion grips even tighter. The first is a storm of again vocal diversity and tenacious guitar bait, a feverish turbulence of attitude and creative energy which is something akin to Drowning Pool meets Blunt Force Trauma, and another pinnacle of the album. The second of the two avails ears of its fearsome potency through an opening assault of beats from Rivera which sparks a torrential virulence of hungry riffs and cantankerous grooves, the bestial bass of Maliszewski offering the most magnetic one of all. Both tracks kick the album back to the impressive levels it began on, though to be fair the previous couple of songs or so were hardly lightweight in arousing pleasure and emotions either.

Fool Me Once finds yet another gear in the toxicity of the release, it’s addictively malicious and insatiable onslaught an evolving ravaging as able to stroll invitingly with spite in its eyes as it is in uncaging a tirade of raw intensity. It is another landmark in the album, a mix of Static X and Agnostic Front which is not emulated but strongly backed by the melody rich, blues grooved rocker Bottle of Scotch. At times there is a little surface similarity across the album which certainly does it no harm at all such the enterprise and invention within, but it is great to have something additionally unique from the first breath, and the penultimate track is nicely that.

The album injects its last dose of pathogen through Anti Hero, a final slab of metal and emotional vehemence to set ears and thoughts ablaze with a spiralling of inflamed grooves, caustic riffs, and a bass seducing which borders on the carnal. It is a tremendous end to an excellent release and though Caustic Method is not going to turn the metal world on its head with The Virus, they will and certainly are earning a new and broader enamoured spotlight on their presence as the album’s qualities live up to their biological namesake.

The Virus is available now via Pavement Entertainment @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/caustic-method-the-virus-pre-order/

www.facebook.com/causticmethod   http://causticmethod.com/

RingMaster 04/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

 

Kastasyde – Gnosis

Kastasyde Promo Photo 2015 BW_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

If there has been another album this year as startlingly diverse and adventurous within its confines, providing a truly coherent passage from start to finish than Gnosis, it has so far been hiding away. The new creative incitement from Chicago metallers Kastasyde, the release is a fascination on first listen, a captivation after more eager plays, and an eventual obsession over time. Some offerings hit you straight between the eyes and others make a smouldering proposal leading to the same success. Gnosis is both persuasions at the same time and a release destined for best of year nominations.

Formed in 2001, Kastasyde has released a couple of demos, a pair of well-received albums, and a similarly successful EP. Their ever evolving sound has also lured in comparisons to the diverse likes of Mastodon, Acid Bath, Napalm Death, and Machine Head, suggestions sure to expand as Gnosis continually unveils its inventive persuasion and colossal depths. Inviting a guest guitar solo from Black Dahlia Murder guitarist Ryan Knight as well as lap steel guitar contributions by Justin Spring within the album, the quintet of vocalist Jarrett Roberts, guitarists Eric Kornfeind and Jerome Marshall, bassist Dustin Roberts, and drummer Garry Naples (Novembers Doom) take little time to rile up and bewitch the imagination with their highly anticipated album, quickly giving progressive extreme metal and metal in general, a new protagonist to get excited over.

Gnosis opens with Natural State and instantly has attention enthused as a thumping of beats match the roaming exploits of guitar and bass. It is a tenacious and fiercely inviting start luring the listener into a subsequent inferno of vocal hostility, ferocious rhythms, and hungry intensity. Death metal, hardcore, and groove metal unite in the maelstrom of ideation already badgering ears and lighting thoughts, the gripping onslaught providing an increasingly more expansive landscape of sound with each passing twist and moment. As the track spins through essences of noise and progressive rock as well as a blackened malevolence, things continue to enthral and excite. It is an impressive and seriously busy opening to the album but one which never piles on the invention and thickness of its creative tapestry so that things are smothered or missed, or indeed under appreciative. In saying that though, as song and album prove over time, each listen only reveals new and fresh nuances which only increase the pull of its presence.

Kastasyde Gnosis Album Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The following Buried in the Sky continues in the same vein but with a distinctly individual character. Jarrett Roberts’ vocals once more squall with expression and magnetic persuasion as the guitars of Kornfeind and Marshall simultaneously scorch and dance over the senses. Their union alone ensures a hungry appetite but with the throbbing bass adventure offered by Dustin Roberts a prowling enticing alongside the rapier swings of Naples, greed becomes involves, especially once the song slips into a flowing passage of melodic rock deeded imagination. It is calm in the storm and more, a Stone Sour-esque crooning laying out an evocative tempting to get fully involved with before the drums raise their energies and enterprise to lead song and ears into a ruggedly tempestuous roar.

The album’s epic title track is next, ten minutes which alone provides an intensive exploration of sound and emotion as extremes and contrasts again collaborate in a mouth-watering landscape of craft and ingenuity. A gamut of provocative atmospheres and flavours are woven into the turbulent flight, the suggestion that there is something for everyone in a song never a truer claim.

The melodic beauty of In the Spiral with its sultry ambience and crooning vocal incitement comes next, the song a seductive ballad as powerful in its creative voice and feeling as the blazing fury of Blackheart which follows. As its predecessor, the song is outstanding, a hellacious rage of rock ‘n’ roll sculpted with the richest armoury of fierce metal textures. It too, and as now expected is equally a web of uniquely different and seamlessly aligned flavours and ideation; ears and imagination once more being constantly challenged and rewarded.

Never At Peace is the next gloriously inventive brawl on Gnosis, a fusion of hardcore and metal which twists and rampages like a dervish but equally creates a melodic and contagious roar which is as predatory as it is warmly bracing. With its brilliance and adversarial invention just outshining the peaks already making up the album, the track takes best of honours before being almost matched by the mesmeric radiance of Empyrean. Opening guitar enterprise and its subsequent endeavour has a Steely Dan feel to it whilst the sultry and mystique lined melodies and imagination which veins another powerful song, seduce like a mix of Motherjane, In Flames, and KingBathmat.

Both tracks are breath-taking in their unique ways leaving the closing Tiamat a formidable task to ensure the album ends on a similar high. Bedlam is not quite the right word for the might and tempest of the thrilling finale, but best describes the whirlpool of adventure, ingenuity, and sounds colliding and colluding fluidly in the inimical emprise. In many ways the song sums up everything about the album and indeed the creative intent of Kastasyde, and yes it leaves Gnosis in as impressive a state and stature as it started and indeed further climbed to.

Kastasyde was a new introduction to us with Gnosis but leave with the words best of year challenger and major breakthrough release on the lips.

The self-released Gnosis is available now @ http://kastasyde.bandcamp.com/album/gnosis

http://www.facebook.com/kastasyde

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Peur – Future Architects EP

Gas STN B&W_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Only days in and June 2015 is proving to be the source of some striking and seriously exciting encounters across a wealth of styles and genres. Another to add to that potent list is the Future Architects EP from UK trio Peur. Uniting their past two attention grabbing singles with new imagination loaded tracks, the Manchester band easily and forcibly confirm their growing stature as one of the more mouth-watering prospects on the British music scene.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Joe Lomax, bassist Ryan Greenhalgh, and drummer Sam Tempest quickly sparked support and attention with first single Anarchy and following debut EP We Can Build Astronauts in their band’s first few months. Live they did not take long in making a strong, acclaim earning impression either, 2014 seeing the band sharing stages with Empty Yard Experiment, DZ Deathrays, Allusondrugs, and Dearly Beloved. It was a busy and successful year which has continued into this with the release of a trio of singles, including This Will Destroy You, and now the Neil Treppas produced Future Architects.

The band’s inspirations includes artists ranging from Biffy Clyro to Nine Inch Nails, essences amongst many which make a swift spicing in the EP once the atmospheric Intro lays down the almost dystopian air of the release. The brief sonic narrative slips into the following They Have Destroyed Everything, and immediately the guitar of Lomax is casting melodic veins of acidic expression through the encroaching shadow thick landscape of the instrumental. That oppressive ambience is an imposing hue over pungent rhythms and a striking electronic colouring but suddenly lifts as the music in turn seamlessly flows into the gripping stroll of Explosions.

FA_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   An open and immediately magnetic Queens Of the Stone Age bred groove ignites ears first, its swinging persuasion matched by the rhythmic tenacity of Greenhalgh and Tempest. Contagion is a quick infestation of the song whilst drama and emotion is as rich through the enjoyable vocal tones and delivery of Lomax. That Josh Homme like spicing is an on-going tempting but as it expands and proceeds, the song explores a Muse like croon in chorus and voice where the early dramatic quality enriches every irresistible hooks and addictive groove within the encounter; familiarity and originality aligning for one voracious roar of a proposition.

     It Ends Before It Starts steps up next and it too is quickly enslaving ears and thoughts with healthy grooves, the thick lure of the one conjured by the bass especially captivating. Though it does not quite have the consistent swagger of its predecessor the track ebbs and flows with powerful energy and evocative invention. At times it offers a reflective, angst hued sigh and in others a bellowing expulsion of passion and intensity with both contrasts as potent and alluring as the other. Once more a Matt Bellamy and co breath coats the adventure but fair to say that again both songwriting and sound only use such influences as colour to their own designs.

The release ends with Hollow Skies, and if atmospheres and emotional intensity was thick before, they combine here for a smothering seduction fuelled further by the harmonic richness and craft of Lomax’s voice. Once more shadows line the noir lit theatre of the guitars and the emerging depths of the song, its body almost cavernous in feel with jabbing beats and darkly toned bass enterprise. Fair to say this time though it is the songwriting and the voice of Lomax which steals the show, even if unavoidably you have to also offer Muse as a close but certainly not quality defusing comparison to his presence.

The EP is as compelling as Peur is openly inventive, every track blossoming from the technical and inventive canvas the band members skilfully craft. They may still be looking for their truly distinct sound but more treats like Future Architects will see few complaining as Peur continues their impressive emergence and exploration.

The Future Architects EP is available now @ https://peurofficial.bandcamp.com/album/future-architects

http://www.peurofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/PeurOfficial

RingMaster 04/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

White Manna – Pan

WM_1Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is something deeply irresistible about the White Manna sound, actually plenty of things, but definitely there is a primal invitation to their psyche rock induced spatial adventures which makes band and releases pure contagion. The Californians’ previous acclaimed offerings bear witness to its potency, each offering a blistering infestation of ears and imagination cultured in pungent riffs and searing grooves, whilst the band’s live presence is renowned for stripping the senses blissfully bare. Now the quintet of David Johnson, Johnny Webb, Tavan Anderson, Anthony Taibi, and Michael Dieter unleash their finest moment yet in the fiercely simmering shape of Pan.

As fans of the Humboldt hailing band will expect, the heart of Pan is poached in celestial explorations and fuzz sprung psychedelic breaths driven by garage rock tenacity. It offers broad and deep, almost supernal soundscapes inspired by the Northern Californian landscape; guitarist Johnson saying about the band’s sound that “…the trees, beaches, and open spaces where we live are all integral parts of our approach to music.” This time though there is a stronger intimacy to the earth we tread and emotions felt through Pan, as reflected in the title, and a new almost predacious creative appetite and energy to tracks which are aligned to expected rhythmic virulence and psychedelic ferocity.

The album’s title track sparks ears and imagination first, a sonic piercing the trigger to a smog of fuzz fuelled riffery and atmospheric causticity. Almost straight away within the smothering embrace though, there is an infectious garage rock swagger which infects rhythms and the scuzz grooves seeping from the magnet tempest of sound. The result is a song which is a brewing cauldron of intensity and scolding sonic heat, never erupting fully but providing a seriously engaging and bracing scorching of flesh and psyche.

It is potent and stirring start quickly outshone by Dunes I and subsequently Dunes II. The first of the two similarly emerges from a sonic kiss on the senses, rapidly turning into a blaze of seventies psyche rock laced rampancy driven by a tenacious rhythmic seduction. The garage rock lustfulness of the White Manna sound is again a loudly piquant source of irresistible persuasion as it consumes ears and emotions, the song after its great start an inevitable enslavement matched and contrasted in sound by its successor. The second of the two is a slow saunter through air and emotions. Its body is a fusion of surf and psyche rock with a shoegaze like energy to its smouldering tempting, and uncontrollably enthralling. There is still a dirty tint to its atmosphere though, the band as always challenging as they seduce, stirring up things as they embrace with imagination and sound.

Yet another lofty plateau is breached with Evil. The track is a proto-punk bred treat, a catchy stomp of garage rock and scuzz pop strolling through ears like a mix of The Stooges and The Hives with a dash of The Sonics, but ripe with the uniqueness that is the White Manna sound. There is relentless drive and incessant urgency to the song as well as a great repetitious essence at its core which simply leaves you wanting more. The track is exceptional, pop rock alchemy and instantly matched by Beta Travelers. A spatial climate hints this song initially, it soon becoming the suggestive backdrop to a masterfully alluring shuffle of drum rhythms courted by choppy riffs. Everything intensifies with each circle of the rhythmic rallies though, evolving and enlarging into a melodically fuelled flame of enslaving enterprise, vocally and musically. That reiterative element of the music is once more pure addictiveness within the sonic boil up; every riff, hook, and rhythm inescapable temptation bound in grooves which flirt like a temptress within the song’s skin and psyche permeating scuzzy air.

Pan is brought to a close by Eshra, a twelve minute sonic painting of instrumental adventure and craft. Crashing waves within a lonely climate builds the scene, a canvas slowly defined and pushed by guitar and keys. Every passing minute adds a new descriptive layer and tempestuous intensity to the broadening terrain until by around halfway, the song is a fascinating swamp of sonic droning, fiery melodic exploration, and rhythmic hypnotism, all within another sultry surf seeded space rock coloured atmosphere. It is a riveting end to a thrilling encounter, and the perfect way to leave a lingering mark on the listener.

The impression Pan itself leaves is indelible, the album simply one of the most memorable and provocative encounters this year so far.

Pan is out now digitally and on CD, both versions including the equally impressing bonus tracks Slow Dust and Master Of The Universe (Live), and on vinyl. All options are available through Cardinal Fuzz in Europe @ https://cful.bandcamp.com/album/white-manna-pan and Captcha Records Stateside via https://captcharecords.bandcamp.com/album/pan

https://www.facebook.com/whitemanna/

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Pic Ester Segarra

Pic Ester Segarra

Whether a fan or not, there is no escaping or denying the impact Paradise Lost have had on the doom/gothic and indeed metal scene in general since emerging back in the late eighties. They have also shown and revelled in the seduction of melancholy and beauty of pain through propositions which emotionally and sonically have ravaged senses and devoured the rawest corners of themselves and listeners alike. The UK band has been one of the most pungent forces in dark metal across their thirteen studio albums and as an explosive live incitement; an unrelenting inspiration continuing to ignite ears and spark imaginations with no sign of diminishing as evidenced by new album The Plague Within. Where the album sits in the landscape of the band’s inventive history we will leave for others to discuss, but fair to say that Paradise Lost have unleashed one of their and metal’s most emotionally and physically dark, musically voracious and compelling recent proposals with their fourteenth protagonist.

The album is an evolving predator and seductress from start to finish with songs that provide the fiercest intimidation and warmest enticement within their own investigations of sound and human condition inspired turmoil. It is also startlingly diverse and unpredictable, not to say previous albums lacked such qualities but virtually every twist and narrative within The Plague Within throws a curve ball to certainly expectations and assumptions of the Paradise Lost sound.

It starts straight away with opener No Hope In Sight, its cloud of shadows enriched by immediately spicy guitar enterprise from lead guitarist Greg Mackintosh. Vocal scowls from Nick Holmes infuse the air soon after as the song eventually settles into its melancholic and predatory stroll, the thick rhythms of drummer Adrian Erlandsson and throaty lures cast by bassist Steve Edmondson aligning with the steady tempting of rhythm guitarist Aaron Aedy and Mackintosh. A Type O Negative croon emerges as the always impressive clean delivery of Holmes entices over the jagged riffery nagging ears, though subsequently the early tempestuous air returns to immerse the enthralling nature and persuasion of warmer hues.

Press_Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review    The riveting start leads to the far more caustic and ravenous presence of Terminal. There is a militant feel to the rhythms right away, their heavy swipes belligerent against the rasping vocals and sonically acrid air around them, whilst the guitars have a corrosive edge to their riffs and melodic entwining of ears. It is a solid and tightly gripping encounter, a blackened examination of emotions but does miss the spark of the first track and the following An Eternity Of Lies. The third song opens with keys and an instantly captivating orchestral caress, with a guitar quickly joining the tempting with its own melodic hues. Keys continue to brew and expel a gothic hug on the imagination as the song blossoms, an aural portrait invigorated by the drama of guitars and the diverse delivery of Holmes. It is a bewitching encounter, a melodic fascination infusing a heavier rapacious tempting across its rich and volatile dark dance, and quite irresistible.

Already the potent diversity of songs and album is apparent and highly persuasive, continuing in the contagion that is Punishment Through Time. The song is a thick and ferocious rocker of a track, but controlled in its assault and dirty in its rock ‘n’ roll. Fair to say it was a track not expected, the song almost welcoming even with its lyrical despair and predacious character, and almost arguing with the earlier claim that The Plague Within is one the band’s most intensive and darkly suffocating offerings yet. There is a black heart to it though that is emulated and shown in its fullest rancor in Beneath Broken Earth. The track prowls with emotionally leaden jaws and an oppressive animus of tone and intent led by the bitter guttural growls of Holmes. A tsunami of slow hate and erosive doom ferocity, the song almost draws a death rattle from the senses with its weight and enmity.

Both Sacrifice The Flame and Victim Of The Past enthral with individual uniqueness, the first a hymn of melodic and vocal beauty within a funereally paced and cancerous stalking of the senses whilst its successor with a similarly sedated energy, certainly initially, blossoms from a mellow seducing of vocal and melodic charm into a creative and emotional turbulence. With a storm bred atmosphere, the song ebbs and flows between the two climates as it reveals and explores its morose yet enticing landscape; again Paradise Lost crafting a sublime collusion of extreme and contrasting textures in one inescapable seducing.

The epic like heralding of Flesh From Bone at its start is one irresistible essence backed up swiftly by a saunter through blackened and cavernous symphonic terrain before exploding in a venomous spewing of rabid rhythms, scarring riffs, and voracity soaked vocal animosity. Fearsomely enchanting in its full hostility, the song makes way for another imposing slab of rock ‘n’ roll posing as Cry Out where blues rock grooves and acidic ingenuity infiltrates inventive bad blood. It is another, as so many encounters within The Plague Within, which has a host of turns and detours of sound that there are almost songs within songs. The blackest, ravenous anthem is soon a passing memory in that precise moment in time though as the colossal Return To The Sun brings the album to a mighty and climatic close. As brutal as it is melodically immersive, the track is an intensive exclamation mark to The Plague Within, a final creative swipe to emphasise what is one masterful and threateningly majestic proposal.

Fourteen albums in and into their third decade, we can safely say that Paradise Lost still provides one of the benchmarks for aspiring metal bands to contemplate, the proof is all there in The Plague Within.

The Plague Within is available now via https://www.bandstores.co.uk/shop/paradiselost/

https://www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial   http://www.paradiselost.co.uk/

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Armored Saint – Win Hands Down

Photo byStephanieCabral

Photo byStephanieCabral

Some things are at their pinnacle straight away and some just get better and more potent with age. Taking Win Hands Down as evidence, Armored Saint is definitely one of the latter, the release for us the most inventive and exciting proposition from the LA band in a long time. The album has all the essential ingredients which have made Armored Saint one of the ‘unsung’ but generally devoured heavy metal propositions of the past three decades, but equally a fresh attitude of invention that explores ideas the band want to pursue rather than feeding expectations bred from previous offerings. The result is an album which has you rocking like a dog in heat.

It has been five years since the release of previous album La Raza, time that has seemingly seen vocalist John Bush, guitarist Jeff Duncan, bassist Joey Vera, and guitarist Phil Sandoval with brother and drummer Gonzo explore arguably even bolder ideas and imagination in songwriting and sound. Major departures are not rife within Win Hands Down but openly unpredictable and striking ideation lines the album to fine effect.

The album opens with its title track and a slab of prime Armored Saint persuasion which never gets tiring though this is one song which does feed expectations a touch. The song is an instant cauldron of rhythmic and energetic aggression, the band launching itself at ears with a sonic tail wind as things slip into place for a thumping stomp of an encounter. Things settle a touch as Bush with his ever alluring voice sets the song’s narrative and heart in motion. Fair to say, the frontman’s vocals have always been a major attraction for us, his Anthrax days seeing of the finest moments of that band with his rich and explosive tones at the helm, and his potency again lights things up here. The opener proceeds to rumble in ears and appetite until sparking the imagination with a melodic, almost spatial passage. It is a thoroughly engaging and intriguing moment, though for the main the track is a highly agreeable if, to go against the grain of other opinions, a little underwhelming. Simply it offers what you assume you will get from Armored Saints, a highly accomplished and enjoyable encounter, which of course is no bad thing either.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The core adventure really starts with Mess, the second song a bone shuddering barrage of rhythmic bait in its first breath and a volatile predator of ears thereafter. Gonzo Sandoval continues to sculpt a web of antagonistic and inventive rhythms whilst the bass of Vera snarls with every groove expelled. Riffs are equally as imposing and at times bestial in tone whilst the superb guitar enterprise and imagination shared by Duncan and Phil Sandoval mouth-watering, especially when adding some eastern mystique and melodic unpredictability into the mix. It is a treat of a song swiftly backed by An Exercise in Debauchery, a song about “people’s fascination with porn.” Thick basslines and spicy grooves collude with the rich roar of Bush, whilst drums revolve in aggressive and anthemic prowess. The tapestry of the song continues to get more involved and fascinating with every passing minute, samples and funk fed grooves amongst many things turning a potent rocker into a major pinnacle of the album.

Muscle Memory mellows the intensity and air of Win Hands Down a touch with its opening reflective power balladry, though in no time Bush is leading a powerhouse of sonic expression and rhythmic tenacity. The song continues to entwine elevated intensity and impassioned drama with calmer temptation, again as its predecessor and subsequent tracks, avoiding going down a more formula route of simply repetitious verse chorus etc. The creative freedom offering from that intent is as potent and exciting as the sounds sculpted within the album, and a quality explored further by the power metal predation of That Was Then, Way Back When. Like a muscle-bound stallion leaping from a race starting block, the song grumbles as it voraciously strides through ears, cantankerous rhythms flexing as carnivorous bass lines prowl with heavy incitement within the brew of creative hues cast by guitars and vocals over the song’s narrative.

Rock ‘n’ roll does not get much better, though it does get persistently replicated within Win Hands Down, as proven by the outstanding With a Full Head of Steam. Pop, rock, metal all collude for a fiery romp of a proposal, a rampant adventure energised further by the guest vocals of Pearl Aday which share the spotlight with Bush and co. The vocal union is a delicious success matched by the increasingly sublime enterprise of guitars and the contrastingly intimidating and animalistic qualities of bass and drums. The album’s title track is the lead song but as next single and enticement for the release, it has to be this gem of a thrilling persuasion.

Inspired by the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, In an Instant is an emotively fired and provocative proposal whilst Dive straight after provides a piano led, shadow blessed ballad, which from a lean opening evolves into a smouldering seduction of melodies and vocal reflection within a hug of evocative strings. Both songs take longer to inflame thoughts and passions but instil the album with further magnetic diversity and given attention become pungent proposals to increasingly and greedily devour.

The album finishes with Up Yours, a dirty and adversarial bruiser with punkish inhospitality but equally equipped with melodic imagination and sonic invention. Like it started, the album finishes with a strong and thoroughly enticing invitation impossible to turn down, but the prime creative meat and majorly exciting richness of Win Hands Down comes in between.

Surely destined to be acclaimed one of the heavy/melodic metal triumphs of the year, it feels like Armored Saint is entering a new creative chapter with this album whilst staking their place again at the fore of the metal scene.

Win Hands Down is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/item/32456

https://www.facebook.com/thearmoredsaint   http://www.armoredsaint.com/

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net