Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

Counting days_RingMaster Review

With their new album our first acquaintance with and taste of UK metallers Counting Days, we cannot suggest how strong the anticipation for Liberated Sounds was, but such its thrilling ferocious roar there is no doubting its successor sometime ahead will be the subject of thick and eager contemplation. The London band’s momentous debut full-length gloriously gnaws on the senses, its metalcore/hardcore fury savaging and bruising the same with equal animosity, but it is a ferocity bred with a creative virulence and open imagination that simply whips up a frenzied appetite in body and emotions.

Counting Days emerged in 2014 from a union of former members of TRC, Heights, Rough Hands, and Last Witness. The heartbeat came through the continuing song-writing partnership of guitarist Charlie Wilson and drummer Lasselle Lewis, the pair previously uniting song providers in TRC. Next former Heights vocalist Thomas Debaere was enlisted to the new project to become Counting Days, his addition followed by that of former Last Witness guitarist Bobby Daniels and subsequently Rough Hands frontman Alex Dench who was brought in on bass and additional vocals. A leap forward to now and first album Liberated Sounds, which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Architects, Bring Me the Horizon), Counting Days is poised to shake certainly the UK metal scene, but suspicions are it will not stop there, ahead or with this stirring debut.

cover_RingMaster Review     The quintet start it with Burned By Faith and an immediate vocal roar which backed by a wall of rhythms and riffs has ears bent back as in a wind tunnel whilst the senses cower. Without losing its raw intimidation and strength, the track twists into a vociferous stride driven by raging vocal roars, this in turn spawning a predacious and eager canter of musical hostility. Fearsome from the start, the rhythms of Lewis become more agitated and robust as the metalcore seeded tempest rages, they sparking jagged lines of riffs and caustic grooves within a lyrical look at the things people do in the name of religion. It is an intensive and attention grabbing launch by the album, one already showing signs of an invention which becomes increasingly pronounced in following tracks.

Die Alone is next, spinning a tasty groove from its first breath as the rapier swings of Lewis collude with the predatory tones of bass. The vocal union of Debaere and Dench abrases as it entices, the former arguably finding more vitriolic charm and hardcore potency in his delivery than in his previous band, whilst around them the track explores melancholic and stringed textures within its unrelenting rancor.

As impressive as the first two are, the album just gets bigger and more exhilarating, finding its pinnacle in the next clutch of songs starting with Beaten & Scarred. Spinning on an addiction of a groove, the track spews a creative and emotional animus that is as contagious as the anthemic vocal calls and irritable rhythms driving the torrent of catchy riffery. A punk raging and metal hostility, the song is superb; it’s swerving grooves and nagging hooks alone ensuring the maliciousness in its veins is greedily welcomed.

From one major triumph to another pair in Life & Death and the album’s title track. The first rumbles with rhythmic thunder and cantankerous guitar rabidity, both matched in fierce kind by the air scarring vocals. With a touch of Static X meets Bloodsimple to it, the song intensely and explosively bellows within a landscape of melodic enterprise and sonic imagination, the savaging fuel of the song never diluted by the more refined invention within it and that captivating imagination defiant to being overwhelmed by the storm slamming through it. The band’s latest single is the same, Liberated Sounds a merciless festival of debilitating intensity and voracity infused with deliciously gripping grooves, potent vocal variation, and a contagiousness that infests and ignites the soul with lingering ease.

Five tracks in and ears are ringing and the body breathless, whilst enjoyment is flooding thoughts and emotions and fair to say no respite from any of it, thankfully, is forthcoming as firstly Fire From The Sky uncages its heavy metal meets post hardcore antagonism . The song’s climate is a muggy and unforgiving swamp of incitement veined by the thick melodic enticing of guitar, a blend which gives further substance to the song’s look at the mental effects of war. It is a hard task matching up to the previous trio of tracks but the invasive and provocative heart of the song leaves no-one short changed before making way for the caustic embrace and inventive accosting of Days Go By and in turn the short and evocative instrumental oasis of The Vines. Its calm gives a respite whilst igniting the imagination with warm strokes of sound within a somewhat haunting ambience.

Sands Of Time descends on the senses next, again a prime groove wrapped in great irritable textures coring a blustery climate whipping up the senses before Prison Of Misery through an initial bewitching melodic drama and coaxing, turns into a bestial rampage of scathing vocals, scarring riffs, and a sonic snarl that turns every note and beat into an inescapable and greedily devoured vicious incitement. It is another major highlight, amongst many, of Liberated Sounds, rock ‘n’ roll taking no prisoners in its vehement entrapping of ears and passions.

The album is closed by the equally acrimonious, unforgiving, and enjoyable Cold Truth and finally similarly crafted and toned Reunion. The track is a fine end to the album but just a touch too samey to its predecessor, a slight issue which does crop up in slithers across the album. The final pair of songs is where it is most noticeable but with both tracks nothing less than fiery stirrings of pleasure it is a minor blemish just to try and temper our otherwise full ardour for Liberated Sounds.

All the members of Counting Days come with a good pedigree in their experiences and craft but for personal tastes they have hit a new plateau in their creativity and invention with Liberated Sounds, and yes already anticipation for its successor is brewing.

Liberated Sounds is out on October 16th via Mascot Records.

Upcoming live dates:

23rd October – Riverside, Sheffield

24th October – The Festing, Southsea

26th November – The Scene, Swansea

28th November – The Rainbow, Birmingham

29th November – Sanctuary, Basingstoke

3rd December – Packhouse, Leeds

4th December – Vic Inn, Derby

5th December – Grog & Fiddle, Cheltenham

12th December – Craufurd Arms, MiltonKeynes

http://www.countingdaysmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Countingdaysuk

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Black Tide – Chasing Shadows

blacktidepic_RingMaster Review

Miami trio Black Tide this month follow-up their well-received second album Post Mortem with Chasing Shadows, for their fans a long overdue successor which they will find makes the wait endured more than worth it. An accomplished blaze of craft and adventure, the release without starting major fires of uniqueness is Black Tide doing what they do best, unleashing rousing roars of highly flavoursome and varied heavy rock /melodic metal enterprise.

Formed in 2003 by vocalist/bassist Gabriel Garcia with drummer brother Raul, Black Tide went through subsequent line-up changes, drums included, before releasing debut album Light from Above on Interscope in 2008, with Garcia only fifteen at this point. Recorded with Johnny K (Disturbed, Machine Head, Soil), the album’s recording was the trigger to quickly bigger things including the band playing alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God, and Static-X on the main stage at OZZfest 2007, and post release, an appearance on the inaugural Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival alongside Slipknot and Disturbed as well as playing the main stage of 2008’s Download festival. Post Mortem appeared in 2011 to continuing acclaim and success for Black Tide, its release followed by the band’s hunger to play live and tour filling subsequent years. Now guitarist/vocalist Austin Diaz and drummer Cody Paige alongside Garcia are poised to awaken new keen appetites and their album’s storming body of fierce rock ‘n’ roll, to which expectations of more success coming the way of the band easy.

btamend_RingMaster Review     From an engagingly melodic Intro which emulates the opening to many metal releases today in its own imagination sparking way, the album erupts to full life with Guidelines. A hefty punch of drum sticks is the spark to weaving tendrils of enterprise from Diaz before a darkly strolling bassline and crisp rhythms join the already open vocal prowess of Garcia backed as potently by Diaz. Soon striding resourcefully with a My Chemical Romance meets Avenged Sevenfold like drama to its increasingly magnetic weave of diverse metal bred styles, the song provides an impressive full start to the album, quickly getting ears and thoughts fully involved and eager to know more about at the same time.

Recently released single Angel In The Dark steps forward next, its captivating body similarly designed and textured but with its own host of sonic swagger and fiery hooks against again powerful vocals. Major surprises are scarce yet a freshness and energetic passion to the song ensures satisfaction is as ripe as the sounds flowing through its skilfully sculpted and presented proposal. An acoustic aside adds to the richness of the song, adventure never low on the agenda of band and album, as shown again by the pair of Predator (Animal) and Burn. The first of the two rides in on baying wolves, quickly spinning a spicy web of guitar lined with tangy meandering grooves. Without making the same kind of immediate impact as the previous two tracks, the song still firmly and increasingly captures the imagination with an enticing blend of grooved and stringed blessed rock ‘n’ roll, eventually outshining its successor, a mellower melodic caress with pungent rhythms and a gripping central Bond like hook entwined in orchestral and harmonic tempting.

At times, and often, the song spellbinds but does lack the same overall spark as found in those before it. The same applies to the album’s title track though its classic metal meets modern rock canter ensures enjoyment still remains high especially as it increasingly swings with energy and technical flair. To be fair, both tracks become more compelling with each play, maybe providing food for expectations but leaving pleasure in their wake which the likes of Before We Form and Sex Is Angry revel in and prolong with their individual collusion of rock and metal honed with infectious imagination and emotion.

That catchy virulence which flows through Chasing Shadows finds a rich vehicle in Welcome To Misery, the song a sing-a-long anthem which quickly has its way with the listener’s ears and involvement. Seemingly simple in its lure, such its infectiousness, the song almost belies the layers and textures aligning to drive its persuasion, a craft in songwriting and sound more open in the alluring croon of Heaven and its warm ballad of emotive vocal and tender musical craft. Melancholic, tangy, and classically lined with great strings and orchestration, the song is an endearing and lingering offering which finally has to make way for the closing stomp of Promised Land, a song which though different in character, ends the album the way it started, with a raucously tenacious slice of Avenged Sevenfold scented, Bullet for My Valentine fuelled enterprise.

As suggested, Black Tide has not returned with a game changer for them or metal but Chasing Shadows will leave few heavy/melodic metal fans dissatisfied or lacking a spring in their step after facing its roar.

Chasing Shadows is out via Pavement Entertainment on October 16th with pre-orders still @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/black-tide-chasing-shadows-cd-pre-order/

https://www.facebook.com/blacktide/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Dalla Nebbia – Felix Culpa

cover_RingMaster Review

An album impossible to fully digest on the first listen, second, and indeed even a few more, Felix Culpa still quickly emerges as one richly fascinating and perpetually tempting proposition. The creation of US based Dalla Nebbia; it is a compelling assault of extreme metal and imagination. The band’s sound is loosely tagged as atmospheric black metal but as Felix Culpa soon reveals, it openly embraces provocative strains of progressive rock and doom metal to present something testing and uniquely enthralling.

Dalla Nebbia first emerged in 2010 as a duo, and now is a quartet with three members living in N Carolina, Minnesota, and Washington, and a fourth with Brazil as a home. Inspirations include music and invention produced by bands such as Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Limbonic Art, and Arcturus, the foursome taking these into their own extensive and epic weaves of emotional and sonic drama. The successor to debut album The Cusp of the Void, it the bringing together of the band’s first demo and self-released EP Thy Pale Form, the ten track Felix Culpa sees the band breaching new depths and levels of imagination and craft. Its premise is a dive into the human psyche, in the words of the band, “a journey through decay and regret, death and suicide, and thorny despair at the hands of an angry god” and its voice a challenge to find a wealth of corruptive pleasure in.

Featuring Norwegian violinist Sareeta (Borknagar, Solefald, Asmegin) across most songs on the album and guest guitarist Aort (Code, Indesinence) on a couple of tracks, Felix Culpa opens with the brief instrumental Memento Mori; the synth and guitar craft of Yixja a swift and entrancing immersion for ears and thoughts. Warm yet feeling more like the lull before the storm even with the magnetic lures of violin, the piece leads the listener straight into the tempest of Until the Rain Subsides, though that too initially has a restraint and gothic invitation that only entices. The raw vocal squalls of Zduhać add to the thick atmosphere and brewing imposing air of the song even with both being tempered by the captivating harmonies that rise within the melancholic beauty of Sareeta’s strings. Ravenous and seductive in equal measure, blackened voracity and progressive calm colluding in a controlled band unpredictable maelstrom, the song makes an impressive full welcome into Felix Culpa.

The more rabid Abandoned Unto Sky takes over next, the brutal drumming of Alkurion a quick violation forging a punishing union with raw unrelenting riffs. In time though, as the bass of Tiphareth spills its own animus on proceedings, song and band infect the storm with melodic and emotive enterprise whilst managing to simultaneously intensify the ruinous nature of the track. Every moment has something within something else, layers within layers, textures revealing their own personal breakdown of essences as the song evolves and twists on its rancorous spine. Growing more riveting and thrilling in its second half, the song epitomises the album as a whole, each minute a bounty of imaginative turns and detours seamlessly woven into fierce tapestries that with every listen unveil new treasures.

Both Lament of Aokigahara and The Banner of Defiance keep ears and emotions aflame, the first from a portentous coaxing venturing into a dank incantation like crawl through smothering intensity and ambience with volatile invention and beauty respectively. Guitars entwine with keys, synths with the melodic incitement of the violin, and rhythms in tender and barbarous skill framing the tempestuous charm and adventure of the track. Its successor is similarly honed but far more physically challenging with its vindictive rhythms and riffs, not forgetting breath. Of course things shift and evolve, the song also slipping into spellbinding moments of vocal and sonic radiance, these at times stemming the tide of hostility like momentary oases in a challenging journey whilst providing their own fresh exploration of the lyrical and emotional exploration. As in its predecessor, it is thoroughly engrossing though occasionally heavy going trying to explore all on offer but with time the songs just get bigger and more impressive as they eventually share their extensive realms.

Not Within the Stone blows a creative wind washed in post and progressive rock daring around a black metal scowl. This gripping fusion smothers a doom seeded gait but by now expectantly also embraces bold flames of contagious hooks, virulent grooves, and inhospitable intensity into the creative melting pot to heavily pleasing effect. Once more ears and thoughts are bullied and rubbed raw whilst kept firmly engrossed in the uncompromising collusion of contrasts that also emerge in the outstanding Felix Culpa (Theodicy Corrupted), a smooth seducing ingrained in a ferociously ravishing volcano of sound and enmity.

The shorter instrumental trespass of Das Gelächter Gottes is a cold dystopian respite next, luring the imagination towards the opening melancholic serenade of Paradise in Flames. A fire of emotional and sonic unrest, the track restrains from erupting into the inferno expected, seven of its nine evocative minutes having passed to inspire and incite before things spew vocal and physical lava, though that again comes with the spellbinding touch of the violin and Dalla Nebbia’s creative bravery to leave only a want for more.

A final instrumental caress closes the album, The Silent Transition a melody driven kiss on the senses wrapped in ever potent shadows and shaped by the open individual prowess of Dalla Nebbia. It is a fine conclusion to a release words barely scratch the surface of. Felix Culpa will not be for all, at times being a real test for many including some black and extreme metal fans, though only in a good way. Fair to say though for all wanting something bold and original which pushes their boundaries as much as the music they have a passion for, a release that works their bodies and thoughts for a constant unveiling of new rewards with each plunge into its depths, then Felix Culpa and Dalla Nebbia is very worthy of a visit.

Felix Culpa is out now via Razed Soul Productions @ http://dallanebbia.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dallanebbiamusic

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

The Senton Bombs – Mainstream

TSB_RingMaster Review

Still basking in the roar of their Phantom High EP, ears get another tasty slice of The Senton Bombs through their new single Mainstream. Taken from the UK rockers’ forthcoming fourth album Mass Vendetta, the track is a slice of dusty blues rock ‘n’ roll with the recognisable Senton Bombs sound and spice woven into an even richer tapestry of diversity and enterprise.

For fans of a band formed in 2004 as The Terrorists and with since a trio of acclaimed albums under their belts, Chapter Zero of two years ago their most potent in praise and success to date, Mainstream holds no surprises in its craft and easily infectious character but as the Phantom High EP earlier this year, it is pointing to a broader rock heart to the band’s sound which we can expect to see blossoming further in Mass Vendetta. Certainly the song has that punk air that the band always carries but as in songs like Black Chariot and Passions of the Passive Aggressive previously, a spicier bluesy nature is breeding in the band’s songwriting and imagination.

cover_RingMaster ReviewMainstream opens on a thumping anthemic rally from drummer Scott Mason, his swift inescapable bait the trigger to tangy grooves spun by the guitars of Damien Kage and Johnny Gibbons. It is a heady flame igniting ears, the darker tones of Joey Class’ bass just as magnetic as he quickly brings his familiar and welcome vocal tones to the emerging swagger of sound. Riffs and hooks continue to collude with the grooved tendril infusing melodic intoxication to the track, whilst slips into varied hues of rock ‘n’ roll only add more appealing theatre to the increasingly tempting adventure and contagion spun by the band.

On the first listen, Mainstream seemed to lack something compared to the likes of previous recent singles Phantom High and Lights Over Phoenix, but that thought was quickly banished as each listen turned the song into one seriously voracious and infectious persuasion…Now on to the album.

Mainstream is released October 23rd via Holier Than Thou Records.

http://www.sentonbombs.com    https://www.facebook.com/thesentonbombs

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/