Torous – Mindfield

After checking out and enjoying their recent singles, it was hard not to feel real intrigue for the debut album from British metallers Torous. Those previous songs were a potent introduction for us to the band’s fusion of Celtic/progressive rock with additional and varied alternative bred metal and a potential which alone warrants close and continued attention. Mindfield only confirms and cements their promise while equally pushing and expanding the imagination and adventure found in those songs; showing just why the Birmingham trio is beginning to create a stir.

Since emerging in 2014, Torous has toured the UK numerous times with increasing success and shared stages with the likes of Rival State, Evil Scarecrow, and Diamond Head as well as played major festivals like Hammerfest alongside bands such as with Napalm Death, Alestorm, and Grand Magus. Their first EP, Dried Bones, lured critical and fan praise subsequently matched by that around the Holier Than Thou released singles Colours and I Am.  Out via the same label, Mindfield is sure to take things to another level in acclaim and attention as it does the inventive qualities heard in those previous tracks.

The piped seduction of Sideline brings the album to ears, its brief instrumental caress courted by darker shadows before Frontline erupts from its alluring charms. Instantly riffs and rhythms crowd the senses but with a certain restraint as the distinct vocals of guitarist Marc Malone join the potent mix. With the bass of GMT a steely enticement alongside the senses clipping beats of Tom Fenn, the track prowls as it courts ears and imagination with open enterprise and a rich blend of classic and modern metal hued rock ‘n’ roll with the extra colour of some fine folk inspired melodic endeavour.

Those previously mentioned singles come next, I Am first gripping ears with its slightly predatory and increasingly addictive bait of metal infused drama and rebel-rousing spirit. Stabbing riffs are matched in trespass by the spiky rumble of beats, the bass offering even darker bait as Malone’s vocals holler with melodic suggestion and grace waiting for the moment to strike and turn things on their head. It is a song just as potent and thrilling as first time heard a crowd of listens ago, Colours similarly blossoming again with time as its shamanic air and Celtic lilt swiftly captivates the imagination. The track entices like something akin to the blending of Manegarm and Southern Death Cult, a suggestion may be even more apt for subsequent tracks like Close My Eye, though before it the engaging croon and growing roar of Playing Human has an already happy appetite for the album blissful with its energetically crawling gait and boisterous invention bolstered further by great Skids spiced hooks.

Becoming increasingly feisty, the excellent track is matched in success by Close My Eye, the song a perpetually twisting and compelling escapade, and in turn by the progressive growl of Seven which instrumentally has the imagination flirting with its own evolving landscape to match the mercurial but still relatively stable climate of the suggestively crafted piece.

Shipped Away canters in like a warrior on horseback, rhythms swinging and vocals inciting as the bass nags with its shadowy devilry. Offering arguably the most infectious chorus upon the album, even in its brief state though it emerges through a host of equally catchy stages, the song is a venture through unpredictable moments which do not always work as well as in other time but only fascinates with ears firmly hooked before Nine holds the next moment of keen attention with its folkish hues across imposing textures.

Across its fourteen tracks there is may be surprisingly no weak moments though of course some tracks spark greater reactions than others. As the trio of Shadow Self with its tribal lining to capriciously emotional and physical terrain, the more openly predacious Crow Road, and the melodic web of Feed the Fire show, there might be a varying degree of pleasure found in songs but all ensure varying shades of rich satisfaction flirts with the borders of rapture.

On top of that Mindfield just gets better with every listen, almost intoxicating ears and thoughts as new things are unveiled and propositions like its title track, a beguiling almost demonically alluring persuasion, share adventures which never end with the same character they start with or keep to a path expectations can get a handle on.

Closing track God Game Suicide sums up all the attributes of the Torous sound and album; its Celtic rock adventure aligned to rapacious melodic metal a creative and rousing emprise to find kinship with. Certainly Mindfield is not without imperfections and at times a familiarity to others yet those traits somehow carry their own individuality as the album consistently catches the imagination full on and sees pleasure bubbling with perpetual rigour.

Mindfield is out through Holier Than Thou now; digitally on iTunes and other stores and physically @ http://torous.bigcartel.com/product/mindfield-cd

http://www.torous.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/Torousishere    https://twitter.com/Toroustheband

Pete RingMaster 25/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ten Cents Short – Major Steps, Minor Setbacks

For us it seems difficult and increasingly so for new pop punk bands to stand out from the crowd but one who is making a potent fist of that is US outfit Ten Cents Short. That is not to say that the Massachusetts quintet is majorly steering away from recognisable and well-worn genre flavours but as their new EP shows, they are certainly adept at conjuring hooks and imaginative twists which sets them apart from the many. Major Steps, Minor Setbacks is a thoroughly flavoursome and highly enjoyable encounter which pretty much reflects its title in sound alone; the array of those striking hooks and an open melodic enterprise lifting them above the flock while familiar but equally appetising recognisable strains take them back a little closer.

Major Steps, Minor Setbacks was recorded with Chris Piquette (Trophy Wives, Lions Lions) at No Boundaries Studios, all except lead single Beggars which was co-written with and produced by Alan Day from Four Year Strong who they met at the 2014 Warped Tour when attending that band’s meet and greet, passing over their CD to Day who a couple of months later invited them to record with him.

The EP opens up with Draw The Line first, and swiftly has ears more than attentive and the imagination grabbed as vocal flirtation beckons behind fiery riffs and a quite deliciously grimy bassline to get things rolling. In no time wiry hooks are adding to the rich and soon irresistible bait, each element evolving into similarly alluring enterprise as the song hits its swinging stroll with the potent tones of vocalist/bassist Aaron Couto to the fore. With the band vocally backing and the guitars of Austin Peterson and Dave Case casting a web of stabby riffs and flowing melodic revelry, the track just hits the spot, those still eagerly sculpted hooks raising the ante with every spirited and spirit sparking outburst

The lively beats of drummer Jonathan Costa are another mighty lure within the song and similarly its successor Higher Powers. Making a far gentler entrance with an acoustic melody holding hands with a steely accomplice, the track soon flicks its own energised switch with riffs and rhythms tenaciously crowding around Couto’s voice. It is the sudden turns into calmer and in turn more boisterous eruptions which lifts an already pleasing proposal and though it lacks the final sparks of invention of its predecessor, which never relinquishes best track honours throughout the EP, it has the body bouncing and a swiftly growing appetite for the Ten Cents Short sound greedier.

The aforementioned single Beggars is next, the song blessed with another gnarly bassline and a slightly irritable nagging of riffs; discontent which seeps into vocals and Jonathan Costa’s senses nipping beats too.   Soaring harmonies and spicy melodies add to the ear striking encounter, its mix of warmth and agitation thick captivation intensified by the matching roar of the track’s vocals and emotive heart.

Setback steps forward next with chugging riffs and scything beats as Couto casts spirited thoughts with equally energy. Into its heated bouncy stride, there is no losing of ears and appetite. In many ways, the song is the least individual upon the EP, weaving familiarity into its roar yet there is a freshness and verve which simply grabs body and spirit and leaves real satisfaction in its wake.

The EP closes up with Make It, an anthemic cry cored by an entanglement of punchy beats and snarling bass wrapped in melodic adventure and vocal animation. As with all songs, it has the body dancing and energies lifted as Major Steps, Minor Setbacks comes to a potent conclusion; that ability on its own a plus in anyone’s book.

Listening to their new endeavour, there is no escaping that Ten Cents Short has that little extra to set them aside; an extra which has the potential to blossom into real uniqueness and greater adventure as the band truly makes a name for itself.

Major Steps, Minor Setbacks is released May26th and available @ http://tencentsshort.bigcartel.com/product/major-steps-minor-setbacks

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Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Moments – Outlast EP

With potential as vocal and uncompromising as their snarl, Belgian outfit Moments release their new EP this month. Containing five hungry and irritable tracks, Outlast is a ferocious attack of hardcore and metal which manages to be a swiftly striking incitement of impressed pleasure and a slow burning cauldron of even richer promise.

Hailing from Tessenderlo, the quintet emerged in 2011 and has increasingly forged and earned a potent reputation and following at home and more recently across Europe with their live presence. They have shared stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps, Our Last Night, and Stick To Your Guns as well as played numerous festivals such as Groezrock, True Spirit Festival, Summerblast, Cerberbrus and Rock Herk to great success. Now they are ready to poke at bigger attention with Outlast, a release declaring the possibility of a new potent force in hardcore town.

The EP makes an instant impact with its outstanding opener What If. As a busy street scene surrounds ears, the sonic trespass of guitars brews, swiftly taking over the landscape with wiry grooves and rapacious riffs. Dries Monsieurs’ vocals are just as quickly invasive and impressing, his ire coated roar supported by equally caustic tones and sounds from across the band. A raw yet infectious scent reminding of The Ghost of a Thousand carries appetite and imagination off into the irritable heart of the track, the hooks and grooves of guitarists Jeffrey Beutels and Kristof Fransen addictive as the imposing swings of drummer Benjamin Hendrickx simply bite upon the senses. It is a stunning start which is never quite matched again within Outlast but tenaciously and enjoyably supported by the likes of next up All It Takes.

The second song harries ears with an initial scrub of riffs, drums throbbing upon impact to match the resonating tone of Gert-Jan Vandervoort’s bass. If the first song it was a lingering threat, in its successor a predatory declaration is made yet with a catchy grooving as enticing as anything conjured by voice and guitar elsewhere. Harmonic backing to the throat scraping attack of Monsieurs is a great contrast to the antagonistic charge driving the song as too the citric melodic enterprise aligning with the sonic trespass abrasing the senses.

As the EP, the song simply grows in strength and enjoyment with each listen, a quality shared by all and indeed next up Crossroads which maybe did not quite hit the mark as fully the first few times around but blossomed to be another definite pleasure. It does not quite have the individual traits of its companions but employs more recognisable hardcore bred threads in a bold and heated metalcore spiced union of harsh and melodic craft.

Our Faults, Our Failures is a bracing tempest of emotion and sound straight after, it’s scalding sonic web as intensive as the rhythmic harassing and vocal animus of raw emotion and displeasure. It too is a grower reaching loftier heights with time whilst revealing open potential of bigger and bolder things with Moments. The band has been suggested for fans of artists like The Ghost Inside and Hatebreed, this track gives all the reasons why whilst still creating its own highly agreeable character again adding to that promise.

Outlast closes as it began, with a track which commands a quick appetite and hunger for its punk and metal quarrel. Riffs and hooks collide with the senses, sonic tenacity further searing the damage as rhythms create fresh bruises with every attack. It is addictive stuff, vocals almost cursing listener and world in tone alone, the bass showing a mutual discontent in its texture and grumble.

Moments is a band on the rise, Outlast a release which leaves a lingering scar and together a pair creating another reason to anticipate hardcore nurtured noise becoming especially exciting sometime soon.

Outlast is released May 26th.

https://www.facebook.com/momentsbe

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Molehill – Hearts on Fire

It is fair to say that Chicago hailing progressive alt-rock outfit Molehill has more than established themselves on the city’s music scene but broader horizons may soon be in their sights if the qualities found within new EP Hearts on Fire is a regular strength to their music. The three track release is a seriously engaging and emotionally provocative offering which catches ears and imagination with ease while suggesting that greater national spotlights and possibly those from further afield could be watching soon.

The band which emerged in 2008, consists of founders Peter Manhart on lead vocals/guitar and bassist/vocalist Trevor Jones who after beginning to work together soon linked up with drummer Devin Staples and subsequently keyboardist/vocalist Greg Van Zuiden. The following years has seen the band play over 300 shows between the Midwest and Eastern United States as well as help found the Chicago Roots Collective, which was a 10-band collective working together to promote the Chicago music scene and their music.

Their latest adventure for fans old and new quickly coaxes ears and thoughts with its presence, Hearts on Fire opening up with its title track. The song is inspired by the “Euromaidan” protests in the Ukraine, the birthplace of vocalist Manhart’s mother, where the common man rose up to fight an oppressive regime. A caress of vocals makes the first draw, bold rhythms and gentle poetic piano adding their touches soon after Manhart’s voice begins sharing the song’s heart. Quickly it finds its infectious stride, pop essences fusing to its catchy electro rock stroll to grab body and spirit. The track’s landscape is an evolving flight though, reflective calms and progressive turns meaning enjoyable unpredictability comes hand in hand with instinctive catchiness.

It is an excellent start resourcefully backed by the similarly infectious Reverie; its sadness tinged air cloaked in melancholy more grateful than morose. The dark throb of the bass epitomises its character, its resonating weight heavy but with a buoyant swing matched by the vocal expression and heart of Manhart. It is a highly charismatic song impossible not to enjoy and get wrapped up in before Old Soldier completes the release with its haunting tale and presence. The story of a proud, religious soldier living out his last days in a nursing home, with the line “And he sits in a dead room, sterilizer and perfume, and the lights are slowly growing dim.” encapsulating the evocative and striking tone of the song, it too absorbs the senses and imagination. A sonic unravelling and seeping discord adds to the charm and haunted elegance of the piano, their contrasts uniting perfectly to wrap rich words and emotions with at times the song finding a presence something akin to Muse.

It is a stirring and striking close to a release which ticks the boxes on every level. Molehill are working towards bigger successes and after Hearts on Fire those exciting horizons might just be coming their way.

The Hearts on Fire EP is available now on Spotify and iTunes.

http://www.molehillmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/molehillmusic/    https://twitter.com/molehillmusic

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright