Mason – Impervious

We are not going to kid you by saying that it is the most unique album you will embrace this year, though bold adventure it certainly does not lack, but you will have to go a long way to find something as seriously rousing and simply enjoyable as Impervious. The new album from Australian thrashers Mason, it surges through ears with rabid energy and unbridled aggression and proceeds to raise the ante groove by searing groove and hook by virulent hook.

Bursting from the Melbourne music scene in 2007, Mason openly embraces the Bay Area thrash scene and the obvious protagonists in the genre’s general eighties borne assault and consumption of world metal. A self-titled debut EP of 2011 was followed by the band’s first album two years later, Warhead which included guest guitarist Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) sparking far wider attention the way of the quartet. Its success was matched by that of second EP, Unmerciful last year and a live presence which over time has seen Mason share stages with the likes of Harlott, Havok, Accept, Revocation, Toxic Holocaust, Accept, Mutank, and Annihilator and play across Asia, Europe into Canada. Impervious looks and sounds like the key to the locks of the biggest spotlights and awareness, a tempest taking little time to get down to persuasive business.

The portentous lead of intro Eligos lures the listener straight into the waiting clutches of Burn. Within seconds it is careering through ears with predatory riffs and rhythms as vocalist/guitarist Jimmy Benson stirs things further with his eager snarls. Swiftly you can hear the touches of bands like Testament and Kreator in the song’s assault but only to enhance its oncoming and subsequently relentless irresistibility. Creative twists and turns come with a definite Mason identity to further entice and excite whilst the chorus amidst it all is manna for rock ‘n’ roll instincts. The track is superb, a rebel rousing, bone shaking treat setting the tone and adventure of things to come.

Tears of Tragedy is just as rapacious in energy and aggression next, the spiky tones of Benson as inspiring and tempting as his and fellow guitarist Grant Burns’ exploits. The rapier like swings of drummer Nonda T. and surly tones of Steve Montalto’s bass similarly stir spirit and appetite, their at times almost primal presence hungrily driving the sonic enterprise and assault of the song.  With fiery melodies and descriptive sonic weaves webbing the encounter, it is another stirring slice of full throttle thrash to match its predecessor.

Both tracks hint at an even bolder adventurousness and individuality in the Mason writing and imagination which is more pronounced within next up song, The Afterlife. It too has top gear in full use but wraps it in a melodic and technical prowess which is almost overwhelmed at times by the song’s ferocity but a constant impressive pleasure throughout. It too has a chorus which gets under the skin within one round of its anthemic call while pushing the album’s already lofty heights on again.

The album’s title track follows; its tone almost barbarous as it sizes up its victim before consuming the senses with ravenous riffs, biting rhythms, and sonic animosity, this all bound in a virulent contagion which infests the psyche with ease. Individual flair again is as open as the animosity within the song’s irresistible presence before Cross This Path descends like a pestilential horde upon the senses. Saliva and venom drips from Benson’s tones, violence from Nonda T swings as the track carnivorously chews on ears. It is a predation superbly tempered by the sonic dexterity of Burns and Benson, though every tendril spun and melody uncaged certainly sears the senses.

Sacrificed has plenty to live up to as successor to its mighty predecessor and with its sonic webbing and thunderous air gives it a potent shot if without quite making the last few steps. Nevertheless, the track captivates as it pushes evidence of an even bolder appetite unafraid to experiment imagination within the Mason sound and potential before Hellbent on Chaos savages and entices in equal measure. It too might lack the final sparks of earlier companions, such their heights and not its shortcomings, yet has body and spirit inescapably hooked on its creative scourge.

The album concludes with the apocalyptic mayhem of Created To Kill. With words unleashed in rapid fire to match the concentrated trespass of riffs and rhythms, the song devours the senses. The bass of Montalto is a murderous ingredient in the suggestive patterns of the guitar, its predacious intent as darkly inviting as the flying beats and rabid riffs are insatiable.

It is a stunning end to one outstanding encounter which will surely put Mason on the metal map with a forceful bang. The future of thrash metal is in good, old school inspired, but increasingly bolder and imaginative hands.

Impervious is available now

http://masonofficialmetal.com/    https://www.facebook.com/masonofficialband/    https://twitter.com/masonthrashband

Pete RingMaster 10/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lumes – Envy

The creative world of Dutch outfit The Lumes has just got corrosive, become dark and raw, and boy is it one exciting place to be caught in. The trio has emerged from their previous captivating shoegaze inspired atmospheric explorations bare skinned in sound, stark and skeletal in emotion and through new mini album Envy unleashed a whole new compelling realm.

Somewhat like a fusion of Joy Division, The Gaa Gaas, and The Horrors on day one, The Lumes create a pulsating drone of post punk and noise rock immersed in the already established magnetic attributes of the band’s imagination and sound. It is a nagging affair still unafraid to embrace more melodically sonic suggestion and exploration; a proposition sucking on the psyche as it closes claustrophobically in on the senses and quite irresistible.

The release opens up with Anguish and instantly presses in on the senses with its imposing cloud of invigorating discord. A nagging hook emerges from the midst, guitarist Maxime Prins casting inescapable bait as his vocals vent. The bass of Lennard van der Voort groans with similar striking temptation, its riff a transfixing drone across which the swings of drummer Mitchell Quitz dance and bite. It is an outstanding track, the kind of invitation which ensures unbridled attention and in turn lust is established before moving on to the next equally hypnotic proposal coming in to nag and play.

Slow has an even more invasive air; a less defined climate maybe but with a perfectly woven suffocating breath which lingers even as the initial wash of sound parts for vocal and melodic disharmony before crowding back in on ears and emotions.  The rhythmic union of van der Voort and Quitz has a less venomous feel this time but shows no mercy in getting as much under the skin as Prins’ vocal dissension and the sonic description of his strings.

The following Discharge throbs with a dulled yet kinetic clang as Gang of Four-esque rhythms pounce. Sonically, an Artery meets The Gaa Gaas clamour seduces and enslaves as the bass and drums probe and transfix with almost carnal persistence, all finally consumed by a swamp of searing noise before Feign brings its own chilled manna to ears. The guitar is a resonating cauldron of tone and causticity, the rhythms a web of deceitful temptation and all webbed in off-kilter melodic friction which equally infests Prins’ as ever riveting vocals. With a chorus which haunts the senses as much as vocal chords, the track is the most gorgeous noise bred ugly discordancy.

The invasive muggy swamp of Compulsion is next, an avalanche of tonal discord which relaxes its controlled but unrestrained sonic howl a touch around vocals to then re-ignite its winds in between the ‘calm’.  The track is almost shamanic in its repetitious lures and senses twisting canter, constantly impressing on and drawing subservience to its noise tunnel.

The Lumes complete Envy with a cover of the Space Siren track Who makes me try? A punk infused tempest ebbing and flowing with ferocity as corroded melodies collude round another simply hypnotic bassline, it is a fine end, if not quite matching what comes before, to an outstanding release.

Across the landscape of Envy, with all the inhospitable yet seductive discord, you never feel like The Lumes are out to spoil and wither but rather laying down an impossible to resist invitation into their emotional anarchy and new so much more irresistible realm.

Envy is out now through Crazysane Records digitally, on CD, and 12” vinyl, limited to 200 hand-numbered black and 100 mint-green vinyl copies on @ https://crazysanerecords.bandcamp.com/album/envy

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

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bloody roses in the seduction of the dead: Entering the world of Venus de Vilo

Having been seduced and hooked on the dark and creative world of Irish singer/songwriter/artist….Venus de Vilo upon the release of the Edgar Allan Ho EP back in 2012, featuring her unique and compelling sounds on live radio shows and podcasts among other shouts, it was with real pleasure that we read of her link up with the excellent horror punk/rock scented German label Undead Artists recently. Even more exciting was news of a special 5th anniversary Edition of that very EP with a horde of extras to tease and tempt. It was time to go call on the lady and explore the world of Venus de Vilo….

Hey Venus, many thanks for sharing your time with us.

For those readers yet to feel your dark embrace, could you introduce Venus de Vilo?

The Voice of Horror: Venus de Vilo is a theatrical Irish musician specialising in the vaudeville, macabre and bloody side of dark horror music. An internationally published and acclaimed comic book artist and Gothic-horror illustrator, Venus has recently been signed to German Horror Punk record label Undead Artists. Vile mother of three EPs, a Frightmas album, three rotten rhymes poetry albums and one thirteen track musical monstrosity, Venus is currently working on a twenty-six track deluxe double album entitled Cadaverotica. If you like your humour black, and your live shows bloody then Venus de Vilo is the glitter-encrusted weirdo for you.

You have numerous strings to your dark bow but would you call yourself a musician first, poet, artist or…?

Venus de Vilo is number one forever and always a musician. Music is very much the main love in my life and is completely rooted in what’s left of my soul. Music is the only thing that I live for. Even when I write fiction, non-fiction, bad tweeny-goth poetry and draw very strange things that shouldn’t be, it’s entirely rooted in my music. I only started drawing because of my music. Everything I do creatively is entirely wrapped up in Venus de Vilo.

When did your fascination with the dark side begin?

I was born, therefore I am.

How about the beginnings of your songwriting and performing?

Again, I was born, therefore Venus de Vilo am!

What and who would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Death, the dying, and the damned.

You have blessed nightmares with numerous releases and are about to give us the 5th anniversary Edition of the Edgar Allan Ho EP. What new delights will it embrace compared to the original?

I am obscenely excited about this project! It’s not been the year I planned family/health-wise so all new projects, albums, EPs that I was working on and planning at the end of 2016 had to be stalled, which I was heartbroken about as this was the year I got signed to a record label at long last! Not the most convenient time to have things go tits up!

However, as this Halloween was organically going to be the 5th anniversary since my first debut EP Edgar Allan Ho, and this was a very “let’s think back on my career and life” orientated year doing something special to commemorate the last five years seemed fitting. I wasn’t in the zone to do new things, so why not utilise material already at my disposal? Have an auld nostalgia buzz with the old fans and hopefully introduce some poor wee innocents to the warped world of Venus de Vilo.

So along with all the bonus tracks, remixes and unheard material on Edgar Allan Ho: The 5th Anniversary Re-Release album there is also a free download of my new album Scarental Advisory: The greatest Frights Hellection 2012 – 2017 AND also Edgar Allan Ho: Behind the Screams, a free PDF collaborative autobiography, photo-gallery, art book and horror-story about the back story of Venus de Vilo’s origins featuring artwork and stories by some of Europe’s finest freaks.

By coincidence (or not?) our favourite track within it is RingMaster. What was the spark to its creation?

If you want to know the back story behind the Ringmaster anthem download the Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Re-Release album from the Venus de Vilo Bandcamp page and ALL back stories and creative process for the rest of the album will be included in the Behind the Screams free PDF book.

Could you also touch on the EP’s other tracks and themes?

Heartbreak. Revenge. Insanity. Horror.

For more information, once a salesman – always a salesman! go buy the album and get the free book with it! It comes with some dirty pictures in them too! * winks *

The EP is being released on the great independent label, Undead Artists. How did the link up with Johnny Rose and co come about?

Ah, I’m so happy about this! This was a miracle match-up. Myself and Johnny had been in touch with each other on/off for a few years now thanks to my Horror Radio DJ friend McPatches from Underground Horror Radio who’d been pushing my music in Johnny’s direction for some time. I’ve been a fan of Johnny’s musical projects for a while and admired what he’d been doing for the Horror Punk scene.

So, in February 2017 when I was doing my routine run of emails off to various media types and record labels I was totally gob-smacked to get a message back from Johnny who turned out to be the head of the main record label I’d applied to that I thought looked most up my street and also one I thought wouldn’t touch Venus de Vilo because maybe Venus wasn’t as high-calibre as some of the kick-arse bands this label had signed to them?! I was wrong, apparently. Johnny was willing to take a chance on little old Venus de Vilo, the brave, brave fool…! * winks *

So, various chit-chat and miscellaneous negotiations happened and voila! Happiest day of my Venus de Vilo life, signed not only to a record label, but possibly THE most perfect label for Venus de Vilo to be signed to! I am very grateful to Johnny for taking the chance and hopefully with Edgar Allan Ho and Scarental Advisory this can be the start of a tremendously successful and long-running partnership.

When creating songs do words inspire the sounds more often than not or the music breed the tales?

Ah, I always start with a story. Story comes first and foremost in Venus de Vilo. Storytelling in songs is sadly something that has completely fallen by the wayside in modern commercial music. Storytelling and its craft is something I always try and completely uphold and respect in my music. While the lyrics and ideas of Edgar Allan Ho were quite basic, and why not, and yes – it was a low budget affair, it was my early stages of songwriting, I still think it’s more structured and thematic than some of the bollix you hear on the radio today. So when creating songs, I create a STORY first. I’m shite at guitar and can’t play piano so music is always braved last! I fit the music around the words and the story.

A bit of a silly question knowing the general themes of your songs but what especially inspires your lyrical side?

Death, the dying and the damned.

You have also lit up the Irish nightlife and creative landscape with your live-performances within the Burlesque/Goth scene alongside your MC exploits and the literature/art scene with your gore-drenched comic books. What does Venus de Vilo do in her spare time, if there is any, to relax?

There is no off-button with Venus de Vilo, unfortunately! Or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it! Venus de Vilo is a 24/7 job/lifestyle/curse. If I’m not rehearsing for a gig or hounding bookers for more gigs, I’m working on a new comic book or sketching out ideas for a new one…Planning events and albums…Applying for tables and panels at comic-book conventions and markets, attending them and roping poor new people into my sick little fandom…Annoying poor other musicians and artists to do collaborations…Spamming promoters and reviewers to get my music and art out there…The endless social media promotion of links and websites. I’ve also recently started facilitating and teaching my own songwriting classes in Dublin so there’s always that to plan for and organise – they are an absolute joy though, I adore those. And of course, all this must be done while trying to keep up with the latest music and horror movies for further inspiration and idea-stealing!

Tell us about your appearance at Ireland’s first ever horror convention, Screamvention last year where you performed before the likes of horror legends Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and several original Cenobites.

Oh my goth, I loved that, I loved that so much. That was unreal. I performed on both days of the event and my audience was composed almost entirely of Hollywood horror royalty. It was like a magnificent nightmare! It was great fun, getting to do the Venus de Vilo thing for a massive convention of horror fans, that’s so rare for me. Ireland is still very twee and repressed and our horror scene is TINY but VERY STRONG, so to have direct access those little weirdos who “got” Venus was a lovely change from the grumpy old men and sneery young normies I usually embarrass myself in front of at local pubs and what-not!

Back to the Edgar Allan Ho EP, when will it be unveiled and will there be shows and events supporting its well-deserved reboot?

I’ve decided against an “official” Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary live event as to be honest I’m doing so many Halloween shows in October anyway for other promoters and bookers (plus I am CURSED when I run my own events, honest to god cursed, it’s hilarious) I might as well utilise the opportunity to promote the album at the gigs I’m already gigging at without the pressure of being responsible for any of them! However, every public appearance this autumn and winter will be very much Edgar Allan Ho orientated, I will be reviving old classics from the crypt to introduce a new audience to them and will make sure each performance is blood and glitter soaked.

What comes next musically and creatively once it the EP is out there evil doing?

Once my self-indulgent nostalgia trip has ended I will be, hell or high water, back to focusing on NEW material and doing whatever I can to get the new EPs and albums into some form of structure. Also got some interesting collaborations with other musicians planned as well, some weird little projects bubbling away there on the back-burner, as well as a new legacy of horror art. Crazy For You 3, the comic book is finally ready to be embraced and after the roaring success of my first ever J-Horror inspired manga Bento Boy – I am DEFINITELY working on another manga. I have it all planned out. It’s very strange and hopefully tremendous fun! And possibly scary. That would be beneficial also as it’s meant to be a horror…!

 Our biggest darkest thanks once again Venus, any last words you would like to share?

Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak.

Read our review of Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/venus-de-vilo-edgar-allan-ho-5th-anniversary-edition/

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

https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

12/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Venus de Vilo – Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition

It seems impossible that it was five years ago that we, as so many others, were seduced by the shadowed clad, blood strewn creative world of dark seductiveness of Venus de Vilo through the Edgar Allan Ho EP. It is in some ways still a relatively undiscovered but certainly a revered and acclaimed gem by those in the know, and was the prelude to equally compelling tales of dark deeds, shadowed carnivals, blood drenched burlesques, and dead borne vaudevilles  in songs, literature, and art by the Irish songstress ever since. This October on Friday 13th, its release is celebrated by the artist in union with the great independent label, Undead Artists, with the unveiling of the 5th Anniversary Edition of Edgar Allan Ho.

Hailing from Dublin, Venus has frequently lit up rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, open mic nights, and other numerous venues around her home city and further afield with her Goth-Shock anthems since emerging around 2011. The release of Edgar Allan Ho in 2012 saw fan and online radio attention gather with plaudits to the fore, our own podcasts eagerly among them with all persistently enthralled by subsequent encounters with singles, EPs, words, and comic books alike.

Venus is like a sultry vampiric temptress bred from artistic alchemy raised from the fire of Imelda May, the snarl of Wanda Jackson, and the energy of Fay Fife with a pinch of the rock ‘n’ roll infection Horrorpops for good measure. Edgar Allan Ho soon revealed though she is as unique as they come, all those essences rich hues in her own kaleidoscopic imagination and sound.

The Anniversary Edition of Edgar Allan Ho as well as regaling in the original tracks also features remixes and covers of its songs by notorious Gothic-Industrial, Cabaret Noir and Alternative musicians, unique artwork by some of the best underground horror artists inspired by its songs, some steampunk stories also based on the EP’s anthems, and a full Behind the Screams book by Venus discussing the entire processing of writing, recording and out-ing the EP.

The EP opens up with Heartless Horseman and immediately the riveting tones of Venus grab ears and attention. As her acoustic guitar stabs, a rockabilly feel reminding of The Creepshow swiftly joins the song, a flavouring in turn bringing even more potent bite to the voice and delivery of Venus, her soaring compelling vocal imagination and drama holding an Agnete Kjølsrud of Djerv meets Lene Lovich like agility. A sweeping lure into night terrors and dark romantic suasion, the irresistible track is still soon outshone by the brilliant Ringmaster. It is a mesmeric waltz of colourful enchantment and dark carnival cast by voice, harmonies, and guitar. As one of its protagonists, it swings like an aerial gymnast, swaying elegantly in ears like a glorious aural siren. It is also a spectacular with one delicious chorus sharing a riveting likeness to The Dickies’ Killer Klowns From Outer Space. It was our undeniable favourite back in 2012 and remains so but every track within the EP is a mighty challenge.

Miss Frankenstein is next, an aural incitement which is as cinematic as it is sonically suggestive. Its rhythms are a bold enslavement matched in temptation by the electronic strings and Venus’ ever inimitable and irresistible tones. It is an epidemic of sound, an almost toxic and certainly addictive contagion which leaves you no option but to dive voice and feet first into its twisted majesty.

The more understated but no less seductive Penny Dreadful Love is next, its shadowed climate and Victorian draped air a creeping tempting out on a funereal stroll.  As lady and song lace the senses and thoughts with their visceral love poisoned evocation, the track simply and sublimely absorbs the listener in dark hearted romantic serenade.

Crooning from within a gothic Bauhaus-esque mist, Carmilla’s Return atmospherically swarms around ear and imagination with keys and guitar caressing the continually powerful and virulently enticing tones of Venus, behind whom the chants of the ‘dead’ hauntingly harmonise. It is a pungent kiss on the senses but one wrought with threat and danger; the best kind of seduction there is.

Apocalips completes the EP, its rockabilly swagger and virulent swing pure manna to the soul. Again voice and guitar transfix like a celebratory incantation, rhythms scything across its dark beauty with relish and similarly teasing venom. The track flirts with the wantonness of a fifties siren and the intimidating composure of instinctive psychobilly, rich traits colluding with everything else for one wholly contagious shard of mesmeric delight.

Apart from a couple of live track and remixes by Elvis Einstein, all sheer passion fuelling theatre, we have yet to taste the whole package of the EP’s re-release but its core tracks alone make Edgar Allan Ho an essential must. It is time to feel the Venus de Vilo embrace world.

The Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition is released October 13th through Undead Artists @ https://www.facebook.com/events/100369350679694/

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

https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright