Odyssey – Voids

Odyssey_RingMaster Review

Feeding the imagination as boldly and adventurously as it does ears, Voids is quite simply an enthralling kaleidoscope of invention and craft. The ten track encounter is the new album from US progressive instrumentalists Odyssey, a Spokane, Washington based trio who are no strangers to acclaim thanks to their striking sound and creative dexterity. This new offering though simply towers over all that came before and other like styled bands around with in its multi-faceted aural emprise.

Emerging in 2007, Odyssey has increasingly impressed through a pair of albums in Objects in Space (2009) and An Abstract Existence (2011) as well as a trio of EPs in Schematics, The Conscious Device, and The Turning Tide; the last two splitting Voids and the band’s last album with the latter igniting the senses in 2014. As no better evidenced than within their new endeavour, the threesome of guitarist Jerrick Crites, bassist Jordan Hilker, and drummer Lukas Hilker sculpt exploits and scenarios which are as melodically spellbinding as they are tenaciously imposing, at times even carnivorous in their snarl and dynamics. Excesses are also conspicuous by their absence, not something which can always be said about instrumental metal and rock, but the individual skill and invention of each member is never hidden away either. The result, taking Voids as proof, is a gripping and ravenously boisterous collection of imagination fuelled canvases for the listener’s own thoughts to play within.

cover_RingMaster ReviewEmerge. Evolve. Adapt. opens up Voids, engulfing ears in a sonic mesh around the instantly flirtatious bass and thumping beats adding inviting bait. The track is soon strolling along with a vibrant air bound in sultry tendrils of guitar though, but an easy going proposal soon evolving into a more agitated and addictively volatile passage as riffs and beats chip away at the senses as the bass offers its throatier support. Continuing to twist and turn within a landscape of intrigue, every one of the song’s five minutes is a suggestive narrative to be revealed and captivating drama to explore. It is a glorious start to the album, like a portrait of a meeting between Arcade Messiah and Chimp Spanner with Native Construct whispering amongst them.

That is a description which often applies to the release, though the Odyssey style and imagination defies any direct comparisons as shown by the sterner but no less resourceful character of Negate The Infinite. Both Hilkers create a frame around and a floor of addictiveness for the enterprise flowing from Crites’ strings; the union a virulent proposal which is as imposing as it is seductive and irresistible to the imagination as equally so in the creative nagging of Like Moths to the Flame. Darker again, the song is a frontline of cantankerously gnawing riffs and a bestial bassline tempered this time by the lighter touch of sticks on skin and the sonic persuasion of guitar. As its title suggests, there is persistence to the song which will not desist, an undeterred drive and repetitious temptation which gets under the skin as a rhythmic flickering intermittently escalates with the same successful intent.

Through the frenetic virulence of Motives and the ethereal elegance of Echoes, the band nudges thoughts into new escapades with their creative hints. Both tracks again cast a sublime mix of contrasting textures which would be at war in the hands of others but here simple embrace and revolve around each other. The latter also has a reflective lustre which charms until Before There Were Eyes To See comes from the other side of light to take over with its dark intimidating shadows and predatory wave of riffs and beats bound to another sinisterly alluring bass incitement. As expected but always unpredictable, each piece of music takes ears and thoughts through a creative gest that has both enslaved and bold in their interpretations, visions that enjoyably change with every listen such the depth to the musical narratives offered.

The Plot Thickens is a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll but of course one which from its anthemically invigorating first breath soon opens up into a provocative climate of hint loaded musical espionage keeping body and mind on their toes before making way for the calmer radiance and spatial yet intimate temptation of Delineation. Once more shadows crowd in close to the sonic sun of the track, making their impact as heavier and grouchier elements seeping into the dramatic and increasingly clearer psychosis of the track.

The melodic hug of Left Unspoken brings an oasis of perpetual calm to ears next, though there is still a shadowy lining through the melancholic tone of the bass, before Voids is concluded by its outstanding title track. If you want a physical clue to the album the song has it all, all the attributes and diversity summed up in its maelstrom of genre skipping, imagination igniting revelry that gives expectations no inkling of where it is going to go or the turns it is going to fluidly and infectiously take.

The album is quite superb, almost a brand new adventure with every listen such its textural and suggestive depths, and an early benchmark for progressive adventure for the year ahead.

The self-released Voids is available from February 5th @ http://odysseyspokane.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/odysseyspokane    https://twitter.com/OdysseySpokane

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Sealclubber – Stoical

pic Richard PJ Lambert

pic Richard PJ Lambert

Bludgeoning the senses with the same barbarism as its creator’s name would suggest, Stoical is a nastily and invasively compelling proposition that leads to a greed for more. The release is the debut album of UK band Sealclubber, a tempest exploring the potential found in the band’s first release back in 2013 whilst breeding new intrigue and promise to get wound up in. As their sound, the album is as corrosive as it is adventurously imaginative and certainly not going to be for everyone, but with its ferocious blending of sludge metal with crust infested hardcore and post metal ambiences, it is a proposal confirming Sealclubber as an impressively challenging incitement for ears and emotions.

Hailing from the Black Country, the Sealclubber stepped forward late 2012 and swiftly sparked attention and acclaim in the underground scene the following year with their Witch Hunter Records/ Carnage Club released Sticky River EP. Also nudging mainstream media focus in certain quarters with their first offering, the Stourbridge quartet backed up their potent emergence with a praise luring live presence which soon spread across the UK. 2015 was a quieter affair with line-up changes and setbacks but now the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Simon Blewitt, guitarist Joe Parkes, bassist Stephen Williams, and drummer Simon Ingram are ready to infest the world with their sludge punk trespasses through Stoical which is unleashed courtesy of North American label Medusa Crush Recordings.

sealclubber_art_RingMaster ReviewBand and release consume the senses in epic style with its nine minute opener Tales of a Romanian Horse Whisperer. Instantly an atmospheric bitterness confronts ears as climate and guitars boil with their relative intent until it all explodes in a ravenously rousing hardcore/punk ‘n’ roll onslaught led by the throat bred squalls of Blewitt. No mercy is given by the raging yet it is soon showing another side to its nature by twisting and turning in on itself with stabbing rhythms and a creative discordance which is not that far removed from post punk and math core agitation. The track continues to masterfully and enthrallingly roar through a host of flavours infused into its volatile hardcore trespass; every new turn the giver of mouth-watering enterprise and imagination and a ferocity of heart and attack. At one point the guitars are spiced with a spicing which is best described as Devo-esque but as everything, rabid through to atmospheric, it evolves into another freshly magnetic intrusion in the blink of an intimidated eye.

The outstanding start is matched in sonic kind and rhythmic antagonism by Haima; a predatory violation led in, amidst a collage of guitar cast venom, by the dirtiest primal bassline likely to be heard this year. Tar thick yet blisteringly athletic, the track infests body and psyche with its creative vehemence and raw vocal animosity. It too provides a horde of riveting hooks and anthemic turns from within a destructive fever before stepping aside for Catalogue of Failings which uncages its own doom seeded depression of tone and emotion. Like a hungry bog on Dartmoor, the song sucks the senses and imagination into an unforgiving animus of emotionally corrupted sound, proceeding to prowl around them with hostility thereon in whilst suffocating any light or hope which might make a defence to the thrilling creative pestilence.

Leaving a lingering impact, the song slips into St Jude’s Waiting Room, Dead For 12 Days and a haunting imagination sparking interlude/detour resembling a limbo-esque netherworld which inspires different ideas to its presence with every listen. It in turn flows into the stark and cold landscape of Vows of Silence and initially another great post punk like coaxing before the track descends on the listener with rancor and corrosive intensity. The song takes a moment out as the wake from its initial assault continues to resonate before exploring a tempestuous and emotionally provocative post metal/ambience sculpted landscape which in turn only builds itself up into another fearsome outpouring.

I Only Desire The Things That Will Destroy Me In The End completes the release, its twelve minute instrumental a darkly cinematic and emotional flight through sinister atmospherics and melancholic ambience. It too is a canvas for the imagination to adventurously explore whilst closing Stoical with a fiercely dramatic yet seemingly accepting embrace of emotional suffering and turbulence.

In some ways Stoical is an incitement of two halves; its first trio of tracks are a gloriously and creatively volatile theatre of craft and virulent enterprise with the final three immersions into dark and debilitating depths and emotions. They are two plateaus though which thrill and increasingly impress as Sealclubber more than live up to their early promise and the more demanding expectations bred within the anticipation for its release.

Stoical is released on February 5th via Medusa Crush Recordings on CD, limited cassette form, and digitally with a vinyl version possibly on the cards later.

https://www.facebook.com/sealclubbersludge   https://sealclubber.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Meter Bridge – It Was Nothing

Meter Bridge _RingMaster Review

It Was Nothing is the new single from Canadian duo Meter Bridge and a song which again shows the ability of the band to create a sound seeded in eighties synth pop but equally revelling in the genre’s modern invention. It is a quality which was already in evidence and acclaimed in the band’s debut album Slow Motion, from which It Was Nothing is taken, but it never does any harm to remind especially with virulent infestation of ears like this.

Meter Bridge single cover_RingMaster ReviewMeter Bridge is the pairing of Richard Kleef and Jill Beaulieu, a Nelson based duo which came together in 2011 and quickly began picking up a keen following. 2014 saw the release of their self-titled debut EP with Slow Motion coming a year later, both stirring up potent attention on the international electronica scene. The twining of their vocals within rich electronic caresses alone had ears enticed whilst the melodic simmers and livelier eruptions explored only added to the inviting drama of sound in especially the latter release, as now epitomised by It Was Nothing.

References to bands such as Kraftwerk and Ladytron are seemingly a regular comparison to the band, and understandable as the single strolls in with dour yet smiling bass pulses aligned with a flowery breeze of melodic tempting. The contrasting yet potent pairing of Kleef’s dark tones and Beaulieu’s warmer vocal caresses makes for quick magnetism, they enhanced further by a spice of variety which also tempts from within the music as a touch of Landscape smoulders alongside a Human League like air which bridges the two eras of the Sheffield band. Throw in a splatter of Thomas Dolby and Hot Chip and you get a scent of the rich enticement of It Was Nothing.

The single comes with a remix by Rodney Cromwell; a version which in many ways gives It Was Nothing a new side to its character rather than just a makeover. It opens with an Altered Images like electro shimmer which soon takes on a more Visage like nature musically and a Calling All Astronauts sounding adventure to the leaner vocal mix and rawer textures. Though not a big fan of remixes, the track certainly held the ears and appetite as firmly as its source and helps give a new nudge to those still unaware of the band’s synth pop adventure.

It Was Nothing is available now as a name your price download @ https://meterbridgeweatnurecords.bandcamp.com

http://www.meterbridge.ca/   https://www.facebook.com/meterbridgeband

http://twitter.com/meter_bridge

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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