Second To Sun – The First Chapter

STS_RingMaster Review

At the beginning of 2015, we had the opportunity to check out the Three Fairy Tales EP and a couple of singles around it from Russian metallers Second To Sun. It was an instrumental experience and adventure which just lit our ears and imagination. Now as the year begins to wind down, another proposition from the trio in the shape of a new album has ruffled the mental feathers and ruptured a rich vein of pleasure. The First Chapter is a nine track exploration of the broadest tapestry of metal styles and invention, carrying on from where the EP and certainly singles left off but breeding new experimental and ferocious captivation.

Second To Sun began back in 2012, formed by guitarist/keyboardist Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen and drummer Artem Vishnyakov. The departure of the latter saw the band as a one man project for a while before bassist Anton Danilevsky and drummer Theodor Borovsky linked up with Klimov-Lehtinen. Debut album Based On A True Story was released in 2013 to welcoming ears and comments with the Three Fairy Tales EP coming towards the end of the following year, its unveiling drawing greater attention and in turn acclaim. Now the trio unleash The First Chapter, an encounter with a title suggesting it is a climax to the first part of the Second To Sun ascent, and tracks that are opening up a new soundscape and emprise of the band’s composing and sound.

Second To Sun - The First Chapter (2015) _RingMaster Review   As mentioned the Second To Sun sound is a ravenous kaleidoscope of sound described as “modern metal with the elements of black metal and ethnic Finno-Ugric music.” It is a thick and rich tapestry that draws on every strain of extreme and melodic hues you can wish for, creating immersive creative escapades inspired by the history and life of the Finno-Ugrian nations within Eurasia. It is also a highly evocative incitement as shown by album opener Spirit Of Kusoto. Inspired by a holy grove of the Mari people with very deep sacral meaning and serving as a “church”, the track places the imagination in the heart of the forest with the strains of Mari folk song Sun rises lighting ears. It is a potent suggestiveness which soon erupts into a more primal and rugged proposal, rhythms a predatory incitement as the guitar spews caustic hues. Almost as quickly a calm and beauty takes over as the bass continues to skilfully grumble; this another brief exploit in the evolving character and landscape of the track. The piece is riveting, an insight to a dark and bright place with danger and warmth almost fighting over themselves to dominate but ultimately uniting in one fluid enthralment as folkish as it is blackened, as mesmeric as it is intimidating.

Red Snow is an instantly more raw and carnivorous place, a torrent of hungry aggressive sound effectively representing the feel and climate of the tale of nine young men who died at the infamous Dyatlov Pass. You almost feel the cold, the starkness, and turmoil endured as rhythms and sonic imagination create a barbarous and compelling provocation throughout but the track is also as potent in its echo of the rural folkish landscape as voices and percussion amongst many flavours emerge. The track is as rousingly bewitching as its predecessor, a canvas for thoughts to interpret and use to cast their own take on events inspiring the piece before the dark, haunting beauty of Me or Him takes over to seduce and inflame the senses and imagination. Simultaneously mesmeric and bedlamic, each contrast superbly cultured and honed by the band, the track is a predator of sound with a gripping maelstrom of emotion and ideation woven into an irresistible trespass of diversely brewed incitement.

Through the djent, death metal twisted Land of the Fearless Birds and the oppressively enjoyable The Blood Libel, band and album only tighten their grip on body and appetite. The first is another fearsomely predacious offering with bloodied melodies and a psyche stirring atmosphere whilst its successor opens up a cauldron of black/death bred heresy with welcomingly invasive enterprise. Both tracks in their own way, impressively stalk ears and thoughts whilst casting an almost hypnotic lure through the scintillating invention and craft of all members. The imagination of guitar and keys from Klimov-Lehtinen is especially rousing, though arousal of instincts and passions are just as powerfully nurtured by the bass imagination of Danilevsky and the resourceful swings and beats of Borovsky.

Narčat in contrast to the previous pair bounds in like a warrior, bold and creatively tenacious like the young woman inspiring its heart. The track is an undiluted assault of energy, aggression, and a masterfully entwined diversity of metallic and melodic styles, all fused into a bracing tempest matched in its own individual storm by Virgo Mitt. Within the track though, an elegant beauty within a melodic oasis emerges to seduce and shape the tale being conjured in thoughts. The inspiration to the piece of music is as fascinating as the sound, and we suggest certainly checking out the background to all tracks via Second To Sun’s bandcamp to gain even more richness to the experience of the songs.

Completed by excellent bonus track Chokk Kapper, a spiny affair of riffs and rhythms branching out with intoxicating sonic and melodic intrigue and invention, and a demo version of Narčat, The First Chapter is a stirring and forcibly impressive provocateur of ears and thoughts, not forgetting pleasure. As progressive and avant-garde in as many ways as it is technical and extreme, the album confirms suggestions made by previous releases, that Second To Sun is one uniquely thrilling proposition.

The First Chapter is available now digitally and on CD via http://secondtosun.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/second2sun   http://www.secondtosun.net/

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Slow Riot – Cathedral

 

artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cathedral-ep/id1007359990

https://www.facebook.com/slowriot.theband/       https://twitter.com/slow_riot_band

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Mercutio – Back To Nowhere

mercutio shot 1_RingMaster Review

It might not have the passions always ablaze throughout the length of its certainly compelling body, but Back To Nowhere, the debut album from Mercutio is a new acquaintance you only want to get to know better and of its creators, more about. The twelve track encounter is a tapestry of varied flavours and perpetually enticing enterprise with something for all varied tastes. At times it embraces a metal breeding, others moments a diverse rock seeding, whilst across its twelve tracks a host of other styles and flavours are zealously infused and entwined into its theatrical and fascinating adventure. The result in a collection of songs which raise the passions in varying degrees but all entice and captivate as they make up one thoroughly enjoyable proposition.

Italy hailing and now London based, the quartet of vocalist Mirko Petrini, guitarist Fabio Staffieri, bassist Emanule Nazzaro, and drummer Francesco Lucidi since forming in 2011, has increasingly garnered a potent following and reputation on the UK scene with their progressive weave of sound, earning supporters in the likes of Anna Phoebe and the Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin amongst a growing legion of fans along the way. Recorded with Andy Wright [Jeff Beck/Simple Minds] at the Assault & Battery Studio in London, with Gianluca Cucchiara co-producing, Back To Nowhere is the band’s strong and inviting nudge on broader attention and keener spotlights with a rich personality to back it up.

It opens up with Shed Your Skin, instantly soaking ears in drama and awakening the imagination with its opening build of sinister sound around the instantly alluring tones of Petrini. Just as quickly, the track unveils a bubbly funk underbelly to a brooding union of riffs, voice, and rhythms. Reminding of UK band Japanese Fighting Fish, it is a gripping entrance by song and release which only increases in persuasion as things get more creatively agitated and atmospherically darker, as well as virulently tempting. Within this the bass growls seductively as drums lay down anthemic bait, around both the guitar painting a suggestive proposal lit by the excellent vocals. Ravenous metal, heavy rock, avant-garde mischief, and indie enterprise is all in there with other hues equally catching ears and imagination alight.

Packshot BTN_RingMaster Review   The following album title track is as rousing and inventively exhilarating in its individual way, opening on a rock ‘n roll stomp before casting a weave of electronic and melodic rock endeavour gripped by the just as dramatic but controlled vocals. Its heart is warm and air symphonically painted with melodies that entangle the senses with emotive prowess, though shadows are always a constant flirtation too as things build to small and harmonic but potent crescendos throughout before A Part Of Me lays a calm acoustic hand on ears. Melancholic with an air of the ever present drama in songwriting and sound, the song is an increasingly bewitching offering which certainly is enjoyable on the first listen but something to get more enamoured with over every subsequent listen.

The flirtatious Anytime with its emotive breath within rugged rhythmic scenery forges a similar engagement next, its classic and melodic rock enterprise given greater potency by the rousing exploits of the rhythms, whilst Fake unleashes another ridiculously infectious and instinctively off-kilter treat to match the opener. At times Mercutio create sound and imagination that stalks the listener, a mix of flirtation and intimidating in the invention which here courts strands of alternative metal and darkly bred rock ‘n’ roll with bands like Pryapisme and Toumaï coming to mind. It is a trespass of sonic intrigue which, as in most songs, leads to catchy embraces of energy and tempting posing as a chorus.

The reflective balladry of No Compromise is a warmly engaging proposal next, its emotive hues wrapped in summery spices keeping satisfaction high even if it is still over shadowed by its predecessor. Nevertheless with a delicious stringed embrace and the ever impressing vocals of Petrini, pleasure is a sure thing and back in torrents through the voracious shuffle and invention of Hail The Night. Again Japanese Fighting Fish is the closest to describe the robust imagination and draw of the track, a dash of 6:33 and Faith No More also adequate hints to the rich and provocative rock ‘n roll courting ears.

Featuring an appearance by Colin Edwin, In Front of you romances and captivates next with a carousel of vibrant melodic invention which works its way to an even more thrilling stretch of rap/alternative metal where Skindred meets Muse might be a good comparison. The song just gets bolder and more unpredictable with each passing minute, its theatre engrossing and matched by the smouldering allure of Mother, another song growing into its skin and exciting ears more over numerous plays. In contrast the fuzzy triumph of Set Me Free has body and emotions enlisted in its volatile and invigorating stomp from the first breath, a tinge of grunge aligned to Queens Of The Stone Age spicing its boisterous nature for another pinnacle within Back To Nowhere.

Straight after The Ghost That Is You casts a more restrained and atmospheric roar of sound but one with tempestuousness to its emotion and invention which soon gets under the skin and leaves a healthy appetite just a touch more greedy before Reasons To Erase brings it all to a jazz/funk/classic rock swinging close. Some tracks hit the sweet spot straight away and others take longer to ignite a similar reaction, but ultimately all do as with the final track which despite some sensational moments steals most full admiration over a host of pleasing plays.

As suggested earlier with Back To Nowhere, Mercutio provides something for everyone with plenty of just as flavoursome sounds and moments to back each aspect up; at times they make you lustful for the album, other times just leave you fully content, but throughout the band inspire a want to hear more and more…

Back To Nowhere is out now via Diverge Records through most online stores.

http://www.mercutio.me/     https://www.facebook.com/officialmercutio/     http://twitter.com/InfoMercutio

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Slow Readers Club – Plant the Seed

TSRS_RingMaster Review

If there are any yet to fall into contagious arms of Cavalcade, the second album from UK indie/electronic band The Slow Readers Club, and indeed their rewarding sound then the new single from them is a major nudge in that direction. Taken from the encounter released earlier this year, Plant the Seed is a beacon for the seductively pulsating and captivating adventure of the band’s melodic imagination, and reason alone to take the band’s enthralling and emotively fuelled sound to the heart.

The Slow Readers Club - Plant the Seed - Artwork_RingMaster Review     To be honest virtually the whole of the Manchester quartet’s last album makes itself available as a potent single but for sure Plant the Seed is a rich flame within their fire of enticement. It also adds another confirmation to the quality of songwriting and simply creative imagination the band is renowned and being increasingly acclaimed for. Cavalcade declared The Slow Readers Club as one of not only Manchester’s but the UK most compelling and exciting underground bands; the single just confirms it again.

Plant the Seed opens on a teaser of rhythms alongside a spicy electronic melody, a tempting bait leading to the swiftly emerging vocal tones of keyboardist Aaron Starkie and guitarist Kurtis Starkie, both with their individual prowess wrapping ears in harmonic temptation. It is a rich seduction enjoyably given a just as gripping contrast by the pulsating and throaty lures of James Ryan’s bass and the clippy enterprise of drummer David Whitworth. It all unites with increasing potency as the song strolls through ears with a summery air and a skilfully sculpted range of textures, all thick enticement within the Depeche Mode meets Bronski Beat majesty of the song.

In some ways, Plant the Seed seems to have blossomed again in its own limelight, the single a glorious invitation hard to imagine many ignoring, and The Slow Readers Club, well they continue to leave us smiling with contentment.

Plant the Seed is out now via Scruff of the Neck Records through most online stores.

http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk    http://www.facebook.com/theslowreadersclub  https://twitter.com/slowreadersclub

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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