Arcade Messiah – III

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This past week saw Arcade Messiah unveil its third album in as many years, each a November treat instantly challenging thoughts on best of year nominations.  III is a mighty continuation of that trend, a release where imagination might not be rampant in its title but in its kaleidoscope of suggestive sound and inventive flavours, it simply ignites ears and thoughts.

Arcade Messiah is the solo project of Sligo based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer John Bassett, the founder and driving force of the outstanding UK band KingBathmat. It is a true solo effort with every detail the imagination, creation, and work of Bassett, all apart from the art of III which sprung from the craft of Michael Kerbow. Arcade Messiah has persistently taken ears through a myriad of sonic and powerfully evocative landscapes, pushing the union of creator and listener’s imaginations to new heights. III unsurprisingly is no different to its predecessor, exploring a new depth in textures and invention which just lights up mind and spirit.

To simplify things, Bassett weaves his music from the merger of everything from post and stoner rock to doom, sludge, and metal doom. It is still a narrow description of his sound which defies labels yet openly embraces inspirations whilst turning them into something inescapably unique to Arcade Messiah. Like a melodic siren with the growl and intensity of a bear, his instrumental endeavours to date have fascinated and consumed ears and mind alike; III as mentioned does not deviate from that success. It is though, the heaviest, most compelling and exhilarating offering from the man yet. Across six tracks, the album is creatively ravenous, melodically seductive, and often emotionally irritable and quite bewitching.

It opens up with Revolver, a prowling slice of heavy metal with an air of Sabbath to it which is soon entangling ears in a net of melodic and sonic intrigue. Rhythms barge through the maze of sound, imposing on the senses with poise and aggression as guitars weave their web. The first surprise is the sudden expulsion of vocals from Bassett, they more a texture than an attention stealer but carrying a clarity as ripe and potent as the cauldron of sounds around them. Simultaneously confrontational and welcoming, the track continues to disturb and beguile like a dramatic carousel.

It is a glorious start swiftly backed by the bestial presence of Citadel, a lumbering slab of crawling doom which looms up over the senses, submerging them in its sludgy tar before veins of melodic enterprise and emotive grace wrap around body and imagination. Dark and dangerous, alluring and captivating, the song gets under the skin and into the psyche; its aural scenery an irresistible adventure to navigate and explore.

arcade-messiah-iii-album-cover_RingMasterReviewAt over ten minutes, Deliverance is an epic proposal which devours time with its craft and magnetism. From a gentle opening as warm as it is melancholic with guitars and keys entwining with earthbound celestial beauty, the piece brews a darker side. Striding rhythms are the first deceptive shadow, again a sure invitation with a portentous edge though their threat merely simmers for its first third. Eventually though there is no holding back the energy and intensity of the skirting shadows, their fiery eruption the spark to a lava flow of melody and carnivorous energy. It is impossible not to get lost in the depths and suggestiveness of the track, the imagination casting its pictures and tales as the track continues to ebb and flow in touch and creative fire, perpetually burning its presence into appetite and spirit while captivating with its variety of attack.

It is impossible to pick a best track, all providing unique aspects and characters to immerse in, but the song certainly makes a highly persuasive argument as too its successor Life Clock. Washing over the senses with its space rock like atmosphere and fertile layers courted by the dark lures of bass and beats, the track is another femme fatale resembling encounter luring ears onto its ravenous rhythmic rocks and predacious intensity which lay in wait as the track builds its apocalyptic climax.

Once consumed, the song makes way for the Hades like realm of Black Tree; another predatory piece which stalks and infests with a seductive prowess as powerful as its acrimonious side, both having their moments to make their case across the outstanding trespass. Of course this and every track will inspire a scenario and emotion unique to the individual, one of the many glorious aspects of the Arcade Messiah tapestries.

III closes with the relative calm and peace of Sanctuary, though it too has tempestuousness to its heart and touch which only fires up the senses and imagination as Bassett casts another canvas of melodic suggestion, sonic rabidity, and all that lies between.

III is glorious, a riveting slice of aural alchemy which should not surprise considering the strength and prowess of its creator and predecessors but does at every twist and turn. Time to take another look at those End Of Year lists folks.

III is out now on Stereohead Records @ https://arcademessiah.bandcamp.com

http://www.arcademessiah.com   http://www.kingbathmat.com   http://www.johnbassettmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/arcademessiah/

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

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It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright