Serpentyne – Myths And Muses

Serpentyne band photo Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Listening to Myths And Muses, the new album from British Neo-Folksters Serpentyne, you initially come up with the idea that such its unique sound and individual character it is destined just to appeal to a certain segment of the music world. Yet as each bewitching piece of music spreads its irresistible seduction, there is nothing but a wealth of temptation for varied rock and folk fans through to dance and pop enthusiasts. The release is a spellbinding treat building on an already potent reputation earned by the band but taking everything from creativity to temptation to a whole new level.

Hailing from London and formed in 2010 by Maggie-Beth Sand (vocals, cittole, bouzouki, harmonium, nickelharpa) and Mark Powell (hurdy-gurdy, cittern, electric guitar, vocals), Serpentyne take inspirations from traditional music as well as folk, Celtic, world, and rock onto their own tapestry of adventure. Debut album Stella Splendens in their first year awoke keen attention and acclaim, their fusion of traditional tunes with modern atmospheric and ambient enterprise alongside dance bred vivacity drawing comparisons to the likes of Faun, Blowzabella, Steeleye Span, Gryphon, and Blackmore’s Night. As suggested Myths & Muses is another plateau in imagination and invention for the band with the creative differences between their two albums best offered by Sand, “On our first album, Stella Splendens we took traditional songs and texts in old languages such as Latin, Occitain and Old English, and arranged them in our own way. On our second album Myths and Muses apart from including some new-found traditional songs and tunes, we added original lyrics and music which are sometimes combined with the old tunes. I was particularly interested in writing about women warriors, and other muses that have inspired men and women through history.

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Fair to say our knowledge and experience of mediaeval and traditional folk/ethnic sounds is as limited as honesty in government but there is no escaping what we like and it is a done deal between ears, pleasure, and Myths And Muses from the moment opener Boudicca pulsates into view. Its techno seeded start is swiftly a festive saunter of melodic gaiety and more shadowy rhythms. A rest drops in as Sand unveils the first tempting of her magnetic tones and the narrative but soon the song is swinging infectious hips, physically and melodically as an array of instrumentation and vibrant vocal enterprise breeds a riveting dance nicely tempered by the darker tone of keys. A celebration with tribal fuelling rather than maybe the war chant offering you might expect from the title, the track is simply incendiary to body and imagination, and a stunning start to the album.

There is no diminishing of quality and success either as Alexandria takes over, the song again spawned from a tribalistic seed but sauntering down a Middle Eastern landscape within the swish of a camel’s tail. Sultry and elegant, oozing mystique and warm temptation with every spicy melody, the song is as captivating as its predecessor and indeed the following Valkyries. As you would expect from its title, the track has a more urgent and robust nature which drives certainly its techno revelry and as its swings along with virulence, there is a feel of Landscape meets Arkona to the infection, veering more towards one or the other as it continues to entice ears and passions like the Pied Piper.

The medieval song of praise Gaudete is given the Serpentyne embrace next and initially is slightly reminiscent of the famous Steeleye Span version. It is a kiss on the senses eventually evolving into a bolder and busier chant again ripe with the band’s irresistible shamanic enterprise. Its beauty makes way for Hymn To Cynthia, an enslaving and hypnotic interpretation of the Ben Jonson poem of the same name. There is thick drama to the song, the music and vocals pure theatre alone and reinforced by the force of the words; thick forests and boisterous nature the scenery flooding the imagination. The track is sensational, surely destined to be used in a cinematic affair somewhere and when.

The Parisian chanter that is Je Vivroie Liement has senses and emotions basking in tradition and smouldering festivity next whilst the flirtation of Douce Dame Jolie is a romance on the senses with again a more cosmopolitan essence to the music. Both are enthralling interpretations of 14th century songs by French composer Guillaume de Machaut and sheer mesmerism for ears and passions.

Freya’s Firedance is as warm and sultry as its title suggests, a hymn of mystical suggestiveness and beauty crooning the senses before the poem/song A Rosebud In June is hugged and lit by the band. There is another definite Steeleye Span feel to the encounter, Serpentyne being possibly inspired by the formers’ own recording, yet as with all tracks there is little passing time before things develop their own personality and originality.

Myths And Muses is brought to a close by firstly Pastyme With Good Company, an English folk song written by King Henry VIII in the beginning of the 16th century, and finally the medieval sounding Les Garcons De Montagne. Both proposals separate reality from attention with a mystique of the sounds as the joyful and resourceful imagination of Serpentyne soaks every melody, rhythm, and inescapable incitement.

Myths And Muses is pure delight, a proposition everyone should disregard any inbred reticence over, ignoring any assumptions of sound and their seeding. It is basically a rock album from across the ages and without doubt one of the most enjoyable and thrilling encounters we have come across this year.

Myths And Muses is out now digitally and on CD through http://www.serpentyne.com/#!buy-cds/c2267

http://www.serpentyne.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Serpentynemusic

RingMaster 08/06/2015

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

Potergeist – Crocodile Teeth

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The lure of a southern blues swamp is unleashed once again by Greek band Potergeist through new album Crocodile Teeth, and once more ears are treated to a contagion of dirty uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which is as unique as it is familiar. The band has a sound which even with constant evolution across releases has a recognisable presence but comes as something undeniably individual to the Athens quintet. As the new album shows it is fresh and it is invigorating, and one thoroughly enjoyable stomp.

When forming in 2004, Potergeist had a more straight forward Kylesa /Down like southern metal sound as evidenced on debut album Southwards two years later. By the time of its successor Muddy Mermaids in 2012, the band’s sound had got harder and more aggressive whilst delving into the darkest depths of blues. Tagged as swamp metal by the media, the Potergeist sound was matched in progression by the attention given them and a live presence seeing the band share stages with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Monster Magnet, Pro Pain, The Haunted, The Shrine, Kylesa, and Paradise Lost. The outstanding Swampires unleashed its swamp toxicity in 2013, Potergeist’s third album darker and more voracious in sound and presence again. Though not outgunned in attack and ferocity, fair to say Crocodile Teeth takes the Potergeist sound to yet another depth of quality and invention.

Feeling as intense and intimidating at times as the last release the Peter Rutcho (Falling in Reverse, Revocation, Bury Your Dead, Havok, Seemless, The Ghost Inside) produced and mixed Crocodile Teeth reveals the band’s fullest and rounded sound yet, settings its stall out in the brief intro Swamp Muse Summoning before going for the throat straight after with its title track. Riffs and rhythms are an immediate barrage and temptation backed by a quickly emerging tangy groove. It is the first bait to the sturdy stride of the song quickly accompanied by the grizzled tones of vocalist Alex S Wamp. He is soon showing the great prowess of his grouchy and clean tones as guitars and bass cast their own intimidating and dynamic enterprise. There are no major surprises in song, or indeed album, yet as suggested earlier there is freshness and distinctive essence which ensures this is no run of the mill metal or Potergeist offering.

Crocodile Tears Artwork   The following Visit From A Swampire canters in on an infectious swing, riffs as rampant as the energetically skilled swings of drummer Tolis Toleas whilst grooves are as fiery as the melodies and solos which breed throughout. The track easily has body and emotions involved in its anthem as does What Then which comes next. The song is a touch more restrained in aggression and energy initially, but soon a bracing canter of raw riffs and rapier like rhythms entwined in the spicy grooves and bluesy melodic hooks of guitarists Nick XP and Stratal. Complete with an irresistible swagger, the song keeps things boiling over before in turn making way for the southern metal drawl and heavy rock brew of Truth. The track begins with the same groove the previous song left on but is soon sculpting its own tenacious and aggression roar. There is a touch of Crowbar in some ways to the song as the bass of Kostis Vihos brings a predatory proposal against the as dramatic but more welcoming vocals and sonic adventure cast elsewhere.

Atonement takes over next and is soon spreading a weave of southern rock inspired melodic spicing around the ever formidable and engaging rhythmic strength of the Potergeist sound. Featuring guest backing vocals from Anna Stephanou, the song is a warm slice of blues rock ‘n’ roll equipped with a dark edged groove and a blaze of imagination around the constant lure of Wamp’s vocals.

Roaming ears with a thick stance of sinew swung beats and bestial riffs The Preacher And The Witch stalks the appetite next with its magnetic web of sound. Both Fotis Benardo and Penelope Anastasopoulou add additional vocals to the tapestry of sonic and melodic craft. It is a fine song if without the spark of certainly the early songs, though much is down to a big personal appetite for when Potergeist go hell for leather in their rock ‘n’ roll, and quickly over shadowed by the excellent Eve. It too is more reserved in its gait and coveting a more classic metal whisper to its body but moulds everything and more of the band’s potent enterprise into a pungent slab of anthemic persuasion.

The album closes with Last Punk Standing, a compelling bellow of a song aligning mellower melodic tempting with a rigorous snarl resulting in a dramatic and impressive end to another mighty offering from Potergeist. We will admit that the previous Swampires still has the steal on the passions but there is no denying that Crocodile Tears is the band’s most accomplished proposition yet and one of the most enjoyable and satisfying slabs of metal driven rock ‘n’ roll you will hear this year.

Crocodile Tears is available digitally now and on CD and Vinyl via G.O.D. Records

https://www.facebook.com/potergeist

RingMaster 08/06/2015

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

 

Falling Stacks – No Wives

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No Wives is one of those album’s you can imagine being described as anything from a glorious disorderly revelry to a cacophonous irritant, but for those with an appetite for psychotic rhythms, abrasing discord, and virulent noise it is easy to suggest that the Falling Stacks’ debut album is going to be one of the highlights of the sonic year. Like a highly agitated union between early Wire and eighties post punks The Diagram Brothers infused with healthy, or maybe unhealthy, essences of bands like The Fall and Fugazi, sound and album provide a raw and lingering magnetism. For sure No Wives is a proposition some may hate but be impossible to ignore but for those with experimentation in their genes, it is a mouth-watering dissonance to get fully involved in.

The UK trio formed in 2011, emerging in Bristol with an appetite for the likes of Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Pavement, and The Wedding Present. Falling Stacks’ music suggests there are many other likes and influences involved in the band’s own invention, whether intentionally or not, and it all makes for web like songs which catch ears and attention with a babel of sound and imagination. As the band soon revealed in a trio of EPs after their first steps, all sonic squalls and rhythmic trespasses, along with vocal incursions, come veined by an understated but potent order. In previous and enjoyable encounters it was swamped by the free hand given to riots of sound but with No Wives, the band has seized such structures and worked outwards resulting in their finest provocation yet.

The album opens with the quickly spicy and rowdy Pool Party, a sonic welcome the lead into a volatile shuffle of jabbing beats and throaty basslines courted by bracing vocals amidst a tangy guitar clamour. Once hitting its full and irregular stride, a contagion soaks ears and attention, the lure of disorder subsequently providing two minutes plus of inescapable virulence. It is a riveting start continued by the just as eagerly inventive sonic chatter of Dust Motes. Hooks and rhythms barely stand still long enough to cast a shadow within the song, the guitars dancing with almost autistic tendencies over rolling beats and a bassline which moves from moody to carnivorous and back again on a whim. The vocals across the release are a more straight forward proposition yet they too lyrically and in delivery are mischievously unpredictable and a thick hook here especially.

Sections And Sub-Sections restrains some of that turbulent energy next, an opening saunter of bass resonance posing as a riff and caustically delivered vocals the spark to similarly reserved but jabbing rhythms within guitar varied jangles. Overall the song does lack the spark of its predecessors but there are moments in its imagination which are almost sinful in their rousing invention and inimitable tempting.

Both No Stops and Los Ticos get ears and emotions over excited, the first with its persistently evolving landscape of time disruptions and seductive discord, Swell Maps coming to mind at times, whilst the second is a prowl with a devilish glint in its eye. It strolls with a deliciously compelling bassline and a mesh of guitar intrigue around gripping rhythmic bait which as every element, has a distrustful feel to its roll. The song is made up of confrontations sharing a tantalising collusion and fair to say the song is probably the only schism that is in truth the perfect union of discontent.

A darker more predacious place is explored on A Fly Would Slide, the track a hug of sonic tension and imposing ambience but coloured with further clashes of melodic and vocal discordance. Its intensity ebbs and flows as energies and emotions revolve with restraint and roars, but whilst the track takes longer to trip the switches than those before it, full persuasion is inevitable over time.

Seven Cuts is a far quicker success on ears and emotions, its caustic tapestry of snarling bass, punchy beats, and kaleidoscope of guitar endeavour, a swift fondling and thrilling of the imagination before its successor Silverware uncages a similar but individual psyche twisting dance on the senses. Rhythms and hooks have as many grasping teeth as a zip as the song shows itself to be a temptation of invigorating disunity aligning in one jungle of infectiously deranged harmony before taking its leave. It is replaced by the tinny beat loaded opening of Double Scull. Magnetism does not do the track’s start justice or the subsequent slim lead into the inevitable busily disharmonic heart of what is another slow but fiercely successful persuasion.

Closing with the physically and emotionally turbulent New Dog, the song like the shadow to the previous track in many ways, No Wives is an enthralling and exciting incitement for ears and thoughts. At times it does not go far enough with its adventure and clangor of sound, an exploration for the future, and some songs just miss the final ingredient of those providing the major peaks of the release, but Falling Stacks has given noise and rock one thoroughly fulfilling stirring.

No Wives is available from June 8th via Battle Worldwide Recordings through http://battleworldwiderecordings.com/battle/album/battle023/

https://www.facebook.com/fallingstacks/

RingMaster 08/06/2015

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