SΔCRED ΔPE – Self Titled

We are among many claiming Sligo based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer John Bassett as one of the most inspiring and refreshingly imaginative composers/songwriters around today and the first album from his new project gives no reason to pull back on that acclaim. SΔCRED ΔPE is Bassett’s, the founder and driving force of KingBathmat and post/progressive metal solo project Arcade Messiah, exploration into electronic/synthwave bred adventures. It is a bold new avenue to pursue for artist and listener but a continuation of the kaleidoscopic sound and visually stimulating artistry within his eager imagination.

As poppy as it is progressive, as emotive as it is instinctively infectious, the SΔCRED ΔPE album needs little time to infest an eager intrigue for something new from its creator; as instantly exciting the senses and involving thoughts and more physical involvement. In many ways, it is his most accessible offering yet though attracting and gripping attention and pleasure has never seemed to be something needing a great deal of time across any of his releases to date. It has a freedom suggesting Bassett is embracing his own electronic loves seemingly with an eighties breeding; playing with inspiring sounds and textures with zeal but weaving them into pieces suggestively complex and intimate and, especially in the album’s pair of instrumental soundscapes, cinematically pregnant though all tracks have just as potent passages.

The album opens with its first instrumental, Horn and swiftly has ears and appetite entangled with its electronic coaxing equipped with virulent melodic hooks. Intrigue coats every note and their emerging collaboration, sonic shadows dancing with melodies and repetitious seduction like an aural cousin to the imagery at the start of the old British TV show Tales of the Unexpected. Spatial yet sinisterly terrestrial, bright but with an almost cold war like drama, the track is a virulent transfixing of ears and imagination and just irresistible.

Asleep At The Wheel (Part 1) follows, contrasting its predecessors light frenetic gait with a heavier almost prowling slow stroll. There is a weight to its air and emotion, a thoughtful pondering soon emulated in the vocals of Bassett. Again melodies escaping synths rise to a celestial atmosphere yet laden with those ever present shadows to temper the climate before Birds Fall From The Sky pulsates with sonic palpitations. From within the animated lightshow a glorious darkwave scented groan, for want of a better word, erupts and swaggers into the passions. With surrounding melodic revelry and an overall creative drama at play in sound and lyrical word, there is a touch of OMD to the song; a flavouring adding to a familiar Bassett design yet as ever one of singularly fresh enterprise.

As a tangy melody steers in next up I Want To Go Back To The Happy House, a Blancmange like lure teases ears continuing to attract as the song broadens its landscape and voice with more of a Kraftwerk meets Giorgio Moroder inspiration. The instrumental floats across and surrounds ears like a summer haze with electronic imagery indistinctly but evocatively flirting from within; easily sweeping the listener up in its flight if without quite igniting the same lustful reactions as those before it.

Through the reflective embrace and dark pulsations of Season Of The Damned and the compelling theatre of Walking On Ice, Bassett has enjoyment and manipulation of the imagination in the palms of his hands; both tracks individual slices of ethereal synth pop with an earthier heart and spine to their explorations with the first a warm hug of temptation. Its outstanding successor though, brings the darker suggestion of the first into a more tangible touch on ears and thoughts creating a John Carpenter like cinematic espionage of suggestion creeping upon and infesting the senses as melodic infection gathers. It is a catchiness which soon leads the way but never diminishes the darker threat alongside resulting in the kind of mouth-watering blend Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget) was so skilled at weaving.

The album concludes with the lullaby-esque Asleep At The Wheel (Part 2), an epilogue of melancholy fuelled, melody woven inference with a childlike clockwork skeleton. It is a sigh of emotion which bursts into greater weight and drama midway and again simply captivates from its first to last breath.

It is too easy to expect big things from John Bassett because of past experiences with his music and it is an instinct sure to continue with SΔCRED ΔPE adding another impressive and seriously enjoyable string to his creative bow. It is an aspect in his creativity we fiercely hope he continues to explore and we are certain in that wish we will not be alone.

The SΔCRED ΔPE album is out now and available @ https://sacredape.bandcamp.com/releases

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

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Standards – Anti-Melody

Pic Jacob Reynolds

What started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society became very personal when our founding guitarist (Cody Conrad) passed of suicide and then soon after, my father of cancer. We went back in to re-write much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences. Although intimate, at its core Anti-Melody is centred around the universal theme of separation on many levels.

The words of American Standards vocalist, Brandon Kellum, reveal the heavy climate and emotion new album Anti-Melody emerged from. Equally though you sense there was a determination in its creation to make it something special in tribute to the two men and there is no doubt that it was an aim the Phoenix hailing band achieved. The eight track is superb, a new plateau in the chaotic hardcore/noise punk sound and invention of the quartet. It is raw with emotion and energy, vocal in heart and aggression but all aligned to the boldest imagination and biggest step forward in sound from the outfit yet.

Since emerging in 2011 and providing the attention grabbing, psyche twisting Still Life EP the following year, American Standards has only increased their reputation through another pair of EPs and an explosive live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, The Dillinger Escape Plan amidst plenty more. Each release has seen the band explore new depths and aspects to their sound but maybe no more boldly and certainly impressively than within Anti-Melody.

The album opens with recent single Writers Block Party and instantly stirs up a roar of trouble and temptation. The vocal ferocity of Kellum triggers a tempest of sound, the guitar of Corey Skowronski abrasing the senses with rapacious riffs bound in tendrils of tangy grooves. That alone is a hellacious affair but add the belligerent bassline of Steven Mandell and Mitch Hosier’s vicious beats and it is a full-on accosting of ears. Equally though, it provides a virulent contagion of hungry hooks and inventive twists, all unpredictable and imaginatively leaping around with sonic Saint Vitus Dance.

Something akin to Norwegian band Shevils, the track ensures eager attention is locked in and ready to be plundered by next up Carpe Diem, Tomorrow. Just as keen to ravage the senses, it uses a compelling tangy groove as its lure, winding it around ears as inner attitude boils and festers fuelling the rhythmic antagonism and sonic web shaping the fiercely magnetic track.

Church Burner twists harmonic dexterity into its own fevered clamour, compelling contrasts blending as the track creates an individual tapestry of instinctive challenges and tantalising enterprise to match and at times outshine its predecessors before Bartenders Without Wings steps forward from a less forceful introduction. As Kellum’s heart pours emotion, melodic expression soaks the guitar, that raw energy and emotive power continuing to line every aspect of the powerful encounter. It is a creative and emotional outpouring which captivates in a completely different way to those before it but just as potently with its own open turmoil.

The ferocious untethered turbulence of Danger Music #9 bursts free next, its sonic ire flowing through another tapestry of unpredictability and imagination driven trespasses of the senses while CancerEater boils and vents in its cauldron of punk forged, noise infested animosity. Even when a track is raging within Anti-Melody, it shows a tenacity of invention and devilment, traits the song revels in as much as any around it.

Both imposingly enjoyable encounters are subsequently eclipsed by Broken Culture. With its swinging groove and boisterous percussive bait, the song needs mere seconds to enslave especially when the bass groans with irritable intent. The combined enterprise unveiled unites in a devilish swagger quickly stood astride by Kellum’s vocal confrontation, that irritability infesting all except a delicious breath of melodic and harmonic seduction which steals its own few seconds of major persuasion. With a controlled yet tempestuously volatile nature, the song continues to tease and harass the senses, treating them to a whole new American Standards adventure for the album’s best track.

The release comes to a close with the crabby crawl of Chicago Overcoat, a rapacious consuming of ears with instinctive liveliness to its energy and choleric design. It is a striking end to easily the finest thing to escape American Standards. The band has never been slow in providing memorable and stirring encounters but Anti-Melody is their most complete yet, a hungrily inventive proposal and easy to suggest the key to greater recognition.

Anti-Melody is available now @ https://americanstndrds.bandcamp.com/album/anti-melody

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards   https://twitter.com/AmericanStndrds

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Sites – In Monochrome

As seems to be a theme in many recent releases we have looked at there is something familiar to and at play within In Monochrome, the new album from US metallers Black Sites, and like within many, it is an essence which only adds to the potency and enjoyment of its individual enterprise.

Chicago based Black Sites emerged in 2015 from the mind and intent of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mark Sugar (Bear Mace, ex-Trials) “to challenge myself with clean singing and by writing well-crafted songs.” Drawing on inspirations taken from old school metal, prog rock, hard rock, and classic songwriting, Sugar drew upon the talent of drummer Chris Avgerin (Nequient, Autonomy) to bring the idea to reality with bassist John Picillo (Without Waves, Immortal Bird) subsequently joining the duo during recording sessions at Gunpoint Recording Studios alongside recording engineer Quentin Poynter (The Skull) and ex-Trials guitarist Ryan Bruchert joining up after the recordings.

What emerged from that moment is an album which captivates from start to finish; it has moments of sheer majesty but only captures the imagination and enjoyment from its first to last moments. In Monochrome opens with the instrumental M Fisto Waltz, its piano led theatre a dark intriguing lure which grows and broadens note by dramatic note until rising in a crescendo of classic metal incitement with glorious flames of brass leading to the waiting jaws of Dead Languages where grooves instantly entwine ears as riffs snarl and devour the senses. With the rapier swings and growl of drums and bass, it is a formidable and fiercely appealing mix only enhanced by Sugar’s clean tones. The track is superb, a rousing threat and incitement already feeling familiar but relishing such hues in its own almost carnivorously virulent sound and enterprise. Sugar’s guitar craft is just as appetising, grooves a steely nest of inventive vipers winding around his melodic endeavours and the growling trespass of rhythms.

A mix of varied metal flavours round Black Sabbath seeded grooves, the outstanding track is followed by the equally dynamic and creatively predatory Monochrome. Grooves and hooks swiftly create another ear enslaving net as progressive melodies and essences weave magnetic enticement aside formidable rhythmic pressure. Sugar’s vocals again impressively share clean and varying levels of growling intent across the song, adding additional texture to the slightly mellower, compared to its predecessor, roar of the striking encounter.

Burning Away The Day rumbles and grumbles next, its tapestry of sonic dexterity quickly engaging ears and appetite as the senses take another forceful incitement from earthy basslines and the jabbing swings of Avgerin’s hungry beats. A creative blur of hard rock and classic metal, the track resourcefully blazes within ears, skilfully blending melodic seduction with rapacious aggression before the excellent Hunter Gatherer caresses the imagination with its melodic grace and increasingly volatile and dynamic adventure, every moment developing suggestive drama as compelling as it is tempestuous.

There is a more stable nature and climate to Watching You Fall, its character at times like a blend of Type O Negative and Fates Warning and more irresistibly engaging with every listen while Locked Out – Shut Down mixes irritability and sonic artfulness in its own unpredictable maze of sound and imagination. It too took a little longer than other tracks to tempt to the same degree but convince it surely did with its psychosis of contrasting textures embroiled in some of the album’s most skilled and stylish craft.

In Monochrome concludes with the pair of In The Woods and lastly The Tides, both tracks a gentler affair though the first from a melodic simmer bursts into a fire of emotive intensity and incendiary energy around another tapestry of varied hues and suggestive adventure. Its successor is an acoustically woven ballad crafted with folk essences which also turns its smouldering attraction into a fevered blaze of emotive drama and sonic passion to ensure the album leaves on a final high.

As impressive as it is first time around, In Monochrome is a grower which really comes to life as each listen unveils new depths and layers of invention. It is not the most unique offering yet that is another reason why it is so potent, Black Sites sharing their open inspirations in their own undoubtedly individual way.

In Monochrome is out now through Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group across most stores.

http://blacksitesband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blacksites   https://twitter.com/blacksitesband

Pete RingMaster 03/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright