Prowler – From The Shadows

Prowler_RingMaster Review

Not to be confused with seemingly a handful of metal bands with a matching name, the Prowler unleashing new album From The Shadows, hail from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and create a rousing onslaught of horror fuelled heavy/thrash metal. Theirs is a sound which is maybe low on major surprises and high on familiarity, one unafraid to wear its inspirations on its blood soaked sleeve, but equally it only provides a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable escapade that hits the undemanding sweet spot time and time again.

Prowler began in 2010, releasing a quartet of EP’s which they subsequently brought together with an additional new track for their debut album After You in 2013. The band’s inspirations seem to stem from early Metallica and Anthrax, taking From The Shadows as an example, and indeed eighties thrash in general, essences twisted into sonic echoes and offshoots from horror movies of the same era. 2013 also saw the release of The New Blood EP, a well-received attention grabber in many ways sowing the accomplished and ravenous seeds for the Roger Lian (Slayer, Overkill, Pantera, Damageplan) mastered From The Shadows. As suggested the band’s new album does not particularly reshape the landscape or scenery of thrash metal but it does join a handful of genre releases this year which simply leave ears and appetite highly satisfied whilst uncaging anthemic fun easily luring limbs, neck muscles, and voice to get fully involved.

The album opens with R.O.T.L.D and the first of the individual film samples bookending each track within the album; here a slither of Return Of the Living Dead triggering a swiftly contagious rhythmic stroll. A riff and groove sculpted swing soon adds to the dynamic theatre and persuasion of the song, whilst vocally with a whiff of Wednesday 13 to his delivery, guitarist Patrick Best opens up the cinematic narrative. It is a raw and magnetic concoction with a horror punk scent brewing up its enmity within a thrash spawned prowl, and a rousing start to the album.

cover_RingMaster Review     The excellent track makes way for Out Of The Fog, riffs and beats encasing the opening sample just as the theme of the lyrics impose within the cinematic source. Keys soon add spicy colouring to the antagonistic prowl of sound whilst the bass of Shawn Bruce and beats of drummer Jak Sumwalt cast their own sinister and rampant cage. It is a predatory mix with plenty of enjoyable and generally unpredictable twists, and knowing the films seeding each track, as here, only adds to the theatre of it all.

I Am Wolf quickly hunts down the senses and psyche next; the throaty primal tone of the bass and the rapier like beats alone inciting ears and imagination whilst vocally Best is a protagonist with barker like appeal around the continuing samples which puncture the passage of the track. As the first pair of songs, the track is undiluted full-blooded thrash metal, easy to offer comparisons too but hard to dismiss as a pale imitation of anything.

The commanding and stirring beats of Sumwalt make an inspiring impact across the whole of the album, and at the start of the following The Thing Not Seen, simply stalking ears with a tribal come demonic stance and canter. Like the bass tempting offered continually by Bruce, which is just as potent across From The Shadows, there is a primal feel and air to the rhythmic provocation, one emulated in their own raw and spiteful fashion by vocals and searing guitar enterprise of Best.

Prowler next offer a cover of The Ramones track, Pet Sematary, the song given a heavy metal make-over fuelled by another thrash cast tempest of energy and sound. It is a more than decent and pleasing version but lacks something compared to the band’s own songs, which maybe is how it should be with any cover song, always being eclipsed by a band’s own invention as shown immediately by Return To The Lot. Another entwining rabid rapacity and a more stalker like gait to its primeval hell, the Salems Lot inspired ravishing captures ears and imagination with visceral ease, again not splintering into new domains but healthily feeding any wants from a thrash/horror punk fusion.

Death On Wheels carries a similar attack and growl to its predecessor and wears arguably the strongest Metallica/Anthrax sound of any song within the album, and through those aspects does not quite match what has already lit up From The Shadows. There is no denying though that it has ears and pleasure in full swing before leaving Creature Of The Black and its atmospheric entrance to work another enthralling tempting. Eventually the song grows into a muscular and savagely predacious offering with carnivorous rhythms and caustic grooves, and a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable album.

From The Shadows certainly offers little new but it certainly provides a festival of eighties aural and visual devilry with an attitude and snarl as nasty as the creatures central to each and every song. As mentioned earlier, it is enormous fun and that definitely works when looking for something to simply get the blood rushing through veins and emotions primed to take on the world.

From The Shadows is available digitally and on CD now via Slaney Records and @ http://prowlerhorror.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-shadows

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prowler-Metal/151137794901489

RingMaster 21/07/2015

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

 

Tad Morose – St. Demonius

TM_RingMaster Review

Well into their third decade, Swedish metallers Tad Morose, certainly taking their upcoming eighth album as evidence, seem to get stronger and more creatively dramatic with every passing year. St. Demonius is stocked to the brim with the sounds and kind of songs the Bolinas hailing band is renowned for. Huge and robust bellows crafted with ravenous rhythms and riffs whilst wrapped in stirring sonic imagination and driven by operatically toned vocals. The new encounter is one of Tad Morose’s biggest, heaviest, and most commanding propositions yet and with something for most metal fans, even those of us with a less than welcoming appetite for the style of vocals employed so potently by frontman Ronny Hemlin.

Well-received and generally acclaimed releases have marked the years and stoked the band’s increasing reputation since Tad Morose formed in 1991, that as well as line-up changes and a highly notable and devoured live presence which has seen them tour or share stages with bands such as Cemetary, Memento Mori, Morgana LeFay, and Demon amongst so many more. After the release of sixth album Modus Vivendi in 2003, the band stepped back, taking a time out of sorts. That period saw the line-up undertake a big change with band founder and guitarist Christer “Krunt” Andersson and drummer Peter Morén, who linked up with the band around 1995, welcoming former Steel Attack frontman Hemlin as well as ex-Morgana Lefay bassist Tommi Karppanen and ex-Torch guitarist Kenneth Jonsson into the fold. Signing with Despotz Records in 2013, the quintet released the highly praised Revenant the same year, its success easy to imagine being soon eclipsed by St. Demonius.

From its first breath St. Demonius has a presence you can only imagine heavy and classic metal fans instantly taking to, and others raising just as quickly inquisitive ears. Opener Bow to the Reaper’s Blade charges through ears with feisty beats and a growling bassline aligned to spicy grooves which just entangle the rhythmic bait perfectly. It is a potent start which gets even bolder and energetic as Hemlin uncages his soaring cries and vocal persuasion, backed by further strong vocals and harmonies. For us with a less keen attention for his accomplished style, the rhythms provide a predatory temper to devour whilst the guitars of Andersson and Jonsson weave scenery of skilled enterprise and imagination to seduce the imagination.

StDemoniusCoverRGB_RingMaster Review   It is a potent start to the album, not one loaded with major surprises but powerfully setting the listener up for the rest of the album and straight away the vibrantly melancholic roar of Forlorn. Keys and vocals add emotional shadows but also at times a rousing tempting which colludes with heavier, more rapacious riffs and a bordering on bestial bass line. By its close, the track has even the more resistant of us joining in its anthemic lure whilst both Where Ignorance Reigns and Remain straight after, bring their own musical and lyrical, not forgetting vocal, theatre to bear on ears and imagination. The first of the pair is tantalisingly adept at kicking up a sonic and energetic maelstrom or laying down a mellow caress, with the Skids like choppy riffery coming out of its calmer reflection irresistible. The second of the two songs offers a thrash seeding coaxing initially, stretching its flavouring once the vocals ooze over the imposing textures but always wrapping around one magnetically heavy and intimidating spine.

Black Fire Rising continues the enticing of ears and attention and like its predecessors has moments which just bewitch and other turns that do not quite relate to personal tastes. But it is just that, taste and already the assumption that those with a hunger for vintage and eighties metal will especially be in their element is confirmed. Day of Reckoning backs up that thought again, even if lacking the ‘something’ which has its predecessors stirring up hungrier reactions. All the same it and indeed The Shadows Play immediately after, only impress and enthral with the individual craft of the band and their tenacious exploits in songwriting and sound, the second of the pair especially with its almost brawling brand of soaring melodies and demonically growling trespasses.

Across the fiercely shimmering resonance of Darkness Prevail, the grouchier and more warlike Fear Subside, as well as the climactic Dream of Memories, the album continues to resourcefully stir ears and imagination, especially the last two of the trio, whilst The World Is Growing Old provides a power ballad of sorts with barbarous walls around the thick croon of Hemlin, and again another track to get increasingly involved with.

Closing with the full-blooded musical predation of Your Own Demise, a track where again the darkest, heaviest traits are impressively aligned with soaring and at times blistering acidity, St. Demonius is a rich and fascinating encounter. Certainly a wish for more diversity to the lead vocals might have brought further greed in our appetite but as said it is just something personal. It is fair to say with an old school bred sound which already has had fans of their chosen genre drooling in the past and now in anticipation of this thoroughly enjoyable release, Tad Morose do pretty much everything right.

St. Demonius is available through Despotz Records from August 28th @ http://despotz.bigcartel.com/product/tad-morose-st-demonius-cd-signed-poster-t-shirt

https://www.facebook.com/tadmorose

RingMaster 21/07/2015

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

 

Rusty Pacemaker – Ruins

Rusty Hessell_RingMaster Review

The first listen of Ruins, the new album from Austrian project Rusty Pacemaker, definitely caught ears and thoughts by surprise but laid the seeds to an increasing understanding and appetite for the artist and release’s particular uniqueness. It has grown with time into a compelling and fascinating proposition, one with aspects which still challenge slightly the success of the release, but an encounter which never lacks the ability to intrigue and thickly satisfy.

The band is the solo project of the Lanzenkirchen hailing Rusty Hessel, a musician who began making his own music in 2003. Heavily influenced by Quorthon of Bathory, Rusty enlisted drummer Franz Löchinger to play on his first album Blackness and White Light which was released in the October of 2010 on his own Solanum Records, a union which is repeated on the new album. Within a few months of its release, Rusty was writing new tracks for its successor and with preproduction finished in 2012, the Markus Stock mixed and mastered Ruins began emerging; its recording completed last year and release coming a few short weeks back. It is an encounter which commands attention and sparks the imagination, and even with a ‘flaw ‘or two, only leaves a contented appetite and certain captivation in its wake.

Rusty Pacemaker Ruins_RingMaster Review   Ruin’s title track is the first engagement on ears and thoughts, opening with a tantalising melodic caress of guitar. It is melancholic yet vibrant and already from that stroking of strings, a gothic air kisses the senses. That whisper only increases as sounds and invention develop, and indeed once the striking vocals of Rusty join the tempting. His delivery is as distinctive and individual as the sounds cradling his monotone stance but also more of a challenge as they conflict organically and purposefully with the dark beauty of the music. At times across the album his voice simply flows with the tide of the emotion and tone of the music but in others, as here, wrong-foot and test song and listener alike. It has to be said though when working well or even not quite agreeing with personal tastes, his vocal presence, as the album’s, is a riveting texture and incitement. The song itself continues to evolve and explore fresh strains of gothic and dark metal, its atmosphere stark and intimately provocative simultaneously.

The following Made Of Lies is a more rugged and furious blaze of metal, rhythms and riffs a swiftly enticing confrontation breeding even greater endeavour and persuasion as it embraces sonic and vocal enterprise. Though predominantly a metal and heavy rock seeded offering, the track reveals a great eighties and nineties gothic/post punk nature to its shifting character, bands like Leitmotiv and Type O Negative coming to mind. The rousing encounter departs to be replaced by the opening lapping waves of Ocean of Life, a song growing into an evocative and poetically harmonious croon within dark and predacious shadows. It also features the siren-esque vocal charm of Lady K, her alluring presence perfect company to the more dour but resonance wrapped tones of Rusty. Musically as in the previous songs, the Austrian creates an enthralling landscape of ideas and flavours skilfully woven into passages which only lure the firmest attention.

The steely air and textures of The Game come next, its imposing death seeded tones the lead into an infectious shuffle within a fiery web of classic and melodic metal. The song feistily simmers in intensity and attitude, often unveiling a raw snarl to disrupt and complement the more restrained but piercing sonic tenacity entangling ears. Vocals ebb and flow in potency and note, but their element of discord so often only aligns to a similarly striking flirtation in sound.

Both Night Angel and Candlemass push the album to another level, the first a sorrowful piano and melodic seducing which perfectly suits the slow and plain dynamic style of Rusty’s vocals whilst again welcoming the bewitching voice of Lady K. Her appearance so lights air and song that it is easy to wish she was a more regularly hue to the album, it being no coincidence that many of the pinnacles within Ruins involve her presence. The folkish hue and serene elegance of the song’s sound is as mesmeric, potency emulated in its successor for different reasons. The excellent track is a haunting and imposing proposal, its darkly clouded sky and doomy breath invading cavernous like depths whilst colluding with sinister shadows. Yet half way in, a bright light expels XTC like revelry, a wispy charm sparking a fresh turn and endeavour to the tempestuous landscape of the song.

The swift acoustic enticing of Forever reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Ruins in its one minute plus before Matter Over Mind unveils its own creative bellow of imagination and inventive sound. Again thoughts are nudged by bands of the past, March Violets and Fields of the Nephilim whispering in ears as the song takes the listener on its own diverse and absorbing journey, but equally, as across the whole of the album, there is plenty more original ideation and sound going on.

Knowing is another where Rusty’s voice takes attention away from the gentle stroll of music, yet there is no thought of tearing away from his almost mischievous presence, which is good as the song is soon breeding muscle and drama with hungry snarling riffs and quaint melodies. Fair to say it is a song taking time to persuade, winning out by the time Pillow of Silence comes forward to complete the album. It also opens with a mellower air but is persistently brewing up a raw volatile climate which never actually explodes to consume song and senses but ensures even in its closing kiss of beauty, the track has a dark and menacing edge to it.

It is probably fair to say that Ruins will split opinions, mainly when it comes to the vocals. Acclimatising to their peculiar ‘oddity’ is worth the attention though as many songs use them as bold textures to the undoubtedly skilled atmospheres and sounds woven into the album. It is a magnetic and charismatic release making another potent step in the emergence of Rusty Pacemaker. Just one request to the man though, please use Lady K more, and if we dare suggest as the lead as there feels a potential show stopper with her tones leading Rusty’s striking songwriting and sounds.

Ruins is out now via Solanum Records

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

Ringmaster 21/07/2015

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