Venus de Vilo – Slashing Through The Snow

Venus de Vilo2_RingMaster Review

Bringing Halloween to Christmas with more charm and bloodlust than Tim Burton could ever imagine, Irish queen of the macabre Venus de Vilo recently unveiled her new Frightmas EP Slashing Through The Snow. Consisting of three tales of festive mayhem sculpted in the distinctive and seductive style the Dublin born songstress of the grave is increasingly renowned for, the EP suggests there is hope for the Christmas song after all.

Once more Venus de Vilo tempts ears and imagination with her mix of acoustic and vocal rockabilly/vaudeville inspired prowess, a sound and temptation littered with additional aural candy. It is a blend which has already lured acclaim for previous releases such as the Edgar Allan Ho EP and Handle With Scare; a creative haunting and bewitching trespass masked as songs which has also seen the lady light up Dublin’s rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, and open mic nights for the past years. She is also an alluring artist and writer/poet amongst many things, qualities also adding to the enthralling package of Slashing Through The Snow.

artwork_RingMaster Review   Santa’s Slay is the first dark deed on the EP, Venus instantly enticing ears vocally as her fingers strum with equal temptation on her guitar. A twisted and uncompromising visiting from the guy in red, song and artist reveal the real bloody heart of the revered protagonist of the festive event. It is a gripping insight, the outstanding and persistently compelling voice of Venus as mischievous as it is creatively harmonic and a rousing incitement on the imagination alone, but especially when loaded with her lyrical devilry.

Second track Mistletoetag is a dark folk lined encounter, Venus colouring her words in the most open and strongest lilt of her accent heard before in her songs, which only adds to the pull of the siren-esque croon. Every noted element of the season is sinisterly woven into the dark romance taking the listener from the heart to the slab, each a flirtation drawing the imagination deeper into the beguiling treat playing like an intoxicatingly intimate Black Christmas.

The EP is completed by The Night Before Christmassacre which as expected twists the ‘traditional’ yuletide story into one of visceral foul play and inescapable outcomes. Venus spins a web of grim and murderous predation, entrails and body parts littering the superb piece of rouge red prose cradled by haunting harmonies and electronic ambience.

The track as both its companions is outstanding, Venus at her best and more whilst taking ears and thoughts on a thrilling horror stained ghost train ride, one stalked by the big bloke and his guts splattered beard. Christmas is the time when you find out if you are on Santa’s good or bad list, though it matters little in the world of Venus de Vilo as confirmed by Slashing Through The Snow; there you are going to get yours come what may.

Slashing Through The Snow is out now @ https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/album/slashing-through-the-snow-album-comic-book-and-killendar-2016 and includes illustrated lyrics, comic book, and the digital version of Venus de Vilo’s 2016 “Killendar”.

https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloTheVoiceOfHorror   https://twitter.com/VenusDeVilo

Pete RingMaster 11/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Undawn – Justice Is

UNDAWN-promofoto_RingMaster Review

To quote the press release of Undawn’s new album, “Justice, in its broadest context, includes both the attainment of that which is just and the philosophical discussion of that which is just. The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, and many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on law, equity, ethics, rationality, religion, and fairness.” That just about sums up the fire in the belly of Justice Is, and in its individual explorations of varying aspects to the album’s theme. It also hints at the blaze of attitude, intensity, and defiance fuelling the Dutch quartet’s excellent second album. It is a proposition weaving familiar metal bred hues into fresh invention, breeding eager acclaim loaded reactions and the potential to push Undawn firmly into the strongest spotlights.

Formed at the beginning of 2007, Undawn quickly awoke local support through an adrenaline fuelled live presence and a pair of EPs, Dominate the World being uncaged that first year and The Roads To Despair in 2008. Fair to say it was debut album Jumpers which provoked broader attention, subsequently helping the band to play a torrent of shows across Europe. With Justice Is, Undawn have pushed their songwriting and sound to new ferocious heights, digging deeper into their imagination and craft to create a tempestuous weave of diverse and aggressive styles and adventurous flavours aligned to greater explorations of melodic and emotional incitement. The result is a confrontation which has ears aflame and thoughts eager to devour the provocation on offer. It may not be the most original album this year, though it is no cheapskate on fresh invention, but it is one of the most forcibly enjoyable.

Coverart-Undawn_RingMaster Review   Evidence of that comes straight away with opener Coming Home. From its first breath, the track is bullying the senses through bruising rhythms, abrasive riffs, and a mass band roar driven by by the lead vocals of guitarist Michiel Brinkhuis. Instantly ears and attention, not forgetting appetite, are in fully engaged in the provocation, perpetually tempted by the swinging grooves, vocal variation, and the tenacious energy and character of the song. With fellow guitarist Leon Kloosterman and bassist Thijs Brinkhuis backing Michiel vocally to potent effect, the track continues to twist through a weave of melodic and groove metal provoked further by flavours bred in the likes of metalcore and alternative metal. It is stirring stuff igniting a greedy response. in a tremendous start to the album.

The following What Justice Is keeps the heady beginnings going, guitars rich enticement from the off with their potent coaxing quickly reinforced by the growling vocals and rhythmic intimidation of Thijs Brinkhuis and drummer Tom Brinkhuis. By the time everything is united, the song is a sprawling and welcome invasion of the senses but soon realised as only one aspect to the many faces of a song as fiery melodic endeavour and harmonic vocals, the guitars of Michiel and Leon alone a web of sonic invention, colour the tempestuousness nature of the track.

In the Moment boldly strides in next, bluesy tendrils of guitar entwining the raw air and sinew built rhythms that quickly surge through ears along with more of the increasingly enjoyable and seamlessly changeable vocals from Michiel and the band. Like a mix of Pantera, Bloodsimple, and Bring Me The Horizon, the song thrills and spills its impressive traits and imagination over ears and an already hungry appetite for the album; that only given further bait to devour by the resourcefully antagonistic A Bond of Brothers and the sonic maze of Faceless. The first of the pair is a skilful merger of venomous aggression and invasive attitude with flowing melodies and vocal charm to sooth the more grievous exploits of their counterparts whilst its successor sculpts a wiry web of sonic tempting within the mix of emotively clean vocals and gladiatorial growls. Of the songs so far, it is arguably the least unique yet there is no escaping or dismissing the sublimely aligned and merged bold contrasts and conflicting energies.

Moving On similarly only impresses even if without breaking into major originality, especially with a core groove which gets the blood and energies rushing through the body in enjoyment. The skills and adventure of the band is a constant pleasure and an impossible to ignore heart to all tracks, easily proven here by the song’s organically rousing persuasion and too in the following Forever. It opens with a mellow croon rich with the great vocal qualities within the band, continuing to retain that emotive calm and elegance even as turbulence honed walls of intensity and sound grow to frame its evocative flame. The track gets under the skin early on and like any anthem increasingly stirs up emotions with its combined melodic and bullish splendour.

Raw and thrilling hostility shapes Fate next, though of course the melodic invention of the band is a just as heady part of the thumping rampage igniting ears with a blues kissed solo especially exhilarating within the storm before Never Giving Up, which features Björn Strid from Soilwork, takes over. That essence of defiance mentioned at the beginning is especially thick in the dramatic encounter which just seems to get stronger and more compelling with each of its diversely unpredictable and absorbing five minutes, and of course every listen.

Completed by The Puppets of Heresy, another making a strong impact initially but blossoming to greater stature with each dive into its volatile ravaging, Justice Is leaves ears blissfully ringing and pleasure thicker than the grooves helping bring that success. You may have heard more dramatically unique albums this year but many that are more exciting and emotionally fulfilling it is harder to imagine.

Justice Is will be available from December 11th via Graviton Music Services.

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

Pete RingMaster 11/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Highlives – Misguided Youth

Highlives Promo 1_RingMaster Review

A defined uniqueness might be absent but there is no turning up of the nose for the rousing exploits of Misguided Youth, the new EP from UK pop punks Highlives. The five track proposition invites and pleases ears with highly enterprising and increasingly alluring songs themed by the conflicting guidance and influences that young lives come up against and affect their decisions for good and bad. As suggested there are plenty of familiar hues and flavours to the Highlives sound but it does not stop the band providing thoroughly enjoyable and potent confrontations.

Another band coming out of the great Bristol music scene, Highlives caught ears with the release of their two-track EP Through Vacant Eyes in the middle of 2014, its success backing up a strong reputation and support already earned on their local landscape. The end of that year saw a well-received split release with Edmonton band Nothing Gold Can Stay lure new appetites the way of the band, though easy to suspect nothing to what Misguided Youth has the potential of sparking.

Highlives Cover_RingMaster Review   It opens up with Wake Me Up, a song instantly filling ears with robust rhythms within a thick blaze of sonic energy. Things do relax a touch as vocalist Liam Edwards adds his lyrical and emotive weight to proceeding, his potent expression and delivery backed by the equally strong tones of guitarist Ben Lucas. Fair to say though that hooks are alluring and riffs grouchy from hereon in but wrapped in melancholic air and a melodic charm which tempers and unites with the more bullish nature of the track. It is not a majorly remarkable beginning to the EP but certainly a richly engaging and attention holding one with its stylish craft and emotion, a touch of the Mayday Parade to its air not doing any harm either.

The strong start is quickly eclipsed by the following Heavy Weight, the best track on the release grabbing ears and appetite within its first clutch of seconds. A gentle rub of Lucas’ guitar is the spark to thicker endeavour, his swiftly bolder catchy bait joined by the snarling bass of Mark Prouse, both powered by the anthemic swings of drummer Steve Parks. With the vocals leading the infectious energy and temptation, body and emotions are soon fully involved with the excellent song, that bass grouchiness continuing to incite extra lust in an all-round treat of an incitement.

   Twenty-Two steps up next, offering a generally calmer proposal in energy and sound though it is no less emotionally tempestuous as it releases rawer musical outbursts. For the main the song is a lively croon showing the Highlives ability to create expressive melodies and warm harmonies fuelled with reflective angst. It is another strongly enjoyable offering matched in success by the feistier contagion of Walking Blind. As with Heavy Weight, there are discernable essences of bands like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and New Found Glory to the roar but also a low key and coincidental spice of Hagfish which only adds to the fun as the track leaves satisfaction full once again.

New single/video Better Days completes the release, it a more bruising and intensive snarl but no slouch in catchy hooks and gripping drama either. It is easy to see why it was chosen for the lead track from the EP, though personal thoughts wonder if the second song would be even more successful, and easy to get hooked by its tenacious energy and invention as well as the intensive emotion running through its infectious chest beating anthem.

Highlives is another great potential loaded band not yet finding a sound which truly standouts in pop punk, a success few can maybe really claim, but Misguided Youth shows they are going in the right direction, providing some keenly enjoyable and impressing songs as evidence.

The Misguided Youth EP is available as a free download from the band’s Bandcamp now.

https://www.facebook.com/highlivesuk  https://twitter.com/HighlivesMusic

Pete RingMaster 11/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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