Nale – Death, Skulls, Satan

Driven by infection loaded scowls, hungrily rousing sounds, and rock ‘n’ roll roars, Death, Skulls, Satan is one of those encounters you not only want but need to set the day swinging. The second album from Swedish outfit Nale, it is a rowdily explosive, physically manipulative stomp echoing by all accounts the band’s renowned live energy and prowess.

Formed in 2007, Stockholm hailing Nale released their self-titled debut EP that first year with its successor, From Shit to Salvation uncaged two years later. Critical acclaim met the band’s first album in 2012, Ghost Road Blues recorded with producer Lawrence Mackrory (F.K.Ü, Darkane). The Zombieland EP since has only pushed their growing reputation as too a potent live presence which has seen the band playing the likes of the Getaway Rock Festival, Sabaton Open Air Festival, and Wacken Open Air as well as headlining their own tour in India. Death, Skulls, Satan is Nale’s fusion of rock and metal in full holler and at a whole new level of adventure and persuasion, one of those encounters you just cannot tuck away and move away from.

Slither kicks things off, immediately gnawing and inflaming the senses with its instinctive swing and prowl. Voracious rock and grooved metal unite, riffs harrying and rhythms biting as the track rips through ears. There is a great Static X essence to the Pantera meets King Hiss like song, more so from the vocal contagion of Mathias Blom and a flavouring which pursues the appetite across the multi-hued release. The track continued to writhe and trespass, quickly getting under the skin and thereon worming itself deeper by the second.

The excellent start is forcibly backed by the raw and concussive antics of Filth, the track a predacious confrontation crawling across the senses with ill-intent in its devilry. A touch of Devildriver lines the beast, the song almost leering and drooling over the listener with its nagging riffs and salacious grooves; guitarist Tomas Åkvik laying down sonic pheromones. Its primal temptation moves over for the blues lilted, stoner dusted Dead Man’s Song. As its predecessors, it is a web of grooved and rhythmic tenacity merging the familiar with wholly fresh imagination and invention. It did feel the least original proposition within the album yet it certainly emerged as one of the most captivating.

The album’s title track is contagion, feral rock ‘n’ roll as irritable as it is virulent with Blom a rascal ringleader to the inescapable rhythmic swing of drummer Anders Ljung and the snarling mischievous bassline of Johan Risberg. With Åkvik similarly whipping up spirit and imagination, the track is superb leaving the body breathless and spirit elevated ready for the heavy weighted arousal cast by Exit. Ljung pounds the senses like there is no tomorrow but with purpose and craft whilst Risberg’s bass growls with carnivorous intent. Riffs in turn match its antipathy as Blom crawls over the damage caused; the united proposition another fiercely catchy intrusion with a tinge of Powerman 5000.

Blues and muscle strung hard rock colour the following No Escape, it another adrenaline driven, inventively woven escapade while for fifty odd seconds Drive power drills into the senses with punk discontent and grooved metal toxicity. It is a glorious assault just far too short though its lack of length is more than compensated by the ear entangling, groove twisting seduction of The Black. Dark and sinister, the track writhes over the listener fingering every weak spot until submission like a flirtatious grim reaper.

Hell’s Wrath has the body back bouncing within seconds after, rhythms and grooves alone enough to spark eager participation with Smasher after leading the imagination into dark contemplation. The first just barrels through ears with its voracious rock ‘n’ roll whilst the second takes a more considered attack weaving an array of flavours into its tapestry of temptation.

Final track Pigs mixes both assaults, flying at the senses at times and stalking ears in between but all the time teasing and inflaming an appetite for bruising rock ‘n’ roll. It is a fiery conclusion to an album which ok maybe lacks true uniqueness at times but excites ears and ignites the spirit from start to finish.

Death, Skulls, Satan is out now via Black Lodge.

http://www.naleband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/naleofficial/   https://twitter.com/naleofficial/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

StormWolf – Howling Wrath

StormWolf is a band from Italy who has just released their debut album in the shape of Howling Wrath. Though formed in 2014, the release will be the first real introduction to the Genoa heavy metallers for most and makes one powerful statement even for those of us without a natural infinity for their chosen genre.

Starting out as a studio project formed by vocalist Elena Ventura and guitarist/principal songwriter Francesco Natale, StormWolf eventually found its way to current line-up of bassist Francesco Gaetani, guitarist Dave Passarelli and newest member in drummer Tiziana Cotella alongside the founding pair, the latter joining the band last year. Fusing classic and fresh heavy metal with essences of the blues and their own individual imagination, the band released Swordwind in 2015, an encounter primarily destined just for labels, radio, fanzines etc. It was a well-received encounter followed by StormWolf earning the opportunity to open for to Lacuna Coil and Necrodeath among their live successes the following year. With their current line-up in place, the band set about creating their official debut, Howling Wrath last year with its release coming through Italian label Red Cat Records.

It opens with The Phoenix, the track rising up through stirring winds with immediate sonic flames and enterprise. Ventura swiftly commands attention and impresses with her vocals, though the amount of words she tries to get into certain lines of the chorus is maybe too much a mouthful but no issue, while Natale and Passarelli weave a similarly magnetic web of sound and craft around her. With firm rhythms creating a thick and alluring spine and Natale further conjuring on his guitar, the track gets the album off to a potent and captivating start.

Winter of the Wolf is just as eager to engage the listener, riffs and rhythms climbing and rapping upon the senses driven by the rapacious energy inspired by the guitars. There is a caustic edge to the track too which only adds to its quick appeal but tempered by the melodic tendrils and twists which bring an array of worldly spices. As it marches through ears or tenaciously smoulders on the senses, the song seals keen attention with Ventura again escalating the persuasion.

Next up, old school hues line Marathon, band inspirations such as Van Halen and Judas Priest an easy guess as the song boldly strolls with familiar flavours and blossoms around them with StormWolf’s own imagination while Fear of the Past mixes up its attack and adventure with zeal and invention. Both tracks hit the spot though maybe not as fully as Swordwind which throughout had bodies bouncing and vocal chords indulging as its anthemic battlefield unfolded.  An unexpected slip into calm and melodic elegance only added to its success, that and the already notable prowess of Ventura, Natale and co.

Through the blues scented, hard rock lined Lightcrusher and the riveting instrumental weaving of Thasaidon, the album only tightened its hold, the second of the two especially outstanding while Soulblighter brings a feral almost primal graining to its part predacious fully compelling trespass. Though not quite matching the heights of many before it, the track offers moments of real magnetism.

The final trio of All We Are, One False Move, and Me Against the World unleash their own highly agreeable lures, the first a Maiden-esque fuelled anthem, its successors respectively a melancholic romance of a ballad moving in a funereal march and a ballsy rock ‘n’ roll romp. The latter pair both are bonus tracks upon Howling Wrath and each a Lizzy Borden cover, the penultimate song one of the major highlights of the album.

It is easy to hear why StormWolf is beginning to draw broader acclaim and attention their way with more surely to follow through Howling Wrath. As mentioned, heavy metal especially classic does not exactly spark real excitement here but the Italian’s album was full enjoyment from its first to last breath which says it all.

Howling Wrath is out now via Red Cat Records /7hard Records.

 https://www.facebook.com/Stormwolf.it/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gianluca Magri – Reborn

Reborn is the debut EP from Italian guitarist Gianluca Magri; five tracks of instrumental rock which courts and runs with the imagination. Never showing off but proudly sharing the craft and enterprise of its creator, it is a record which just dances on the ear.

Teaching himself guitar at the age of 17, Magri subsequently studied at Cortina d’Ampezzo music school and at the MMI in San Biagio di Callalta. The years since has seen him as well as teach at the Music Area Academy in Belluno and at the Music and Soul school of Venas di Cadore play live with his solo band and with a couple of covers bands and from 2011 to 2016 play in metal outfit Phaith who released the well-received album Redrumorder. The autumn of 2017 saw Magri record Reborn, uniting since with Red Cat Records Inst Fringe for its recent release.

With its songs inspired by the likes of Gary Moore, Joe Satriani, Leslie West, Led Zeppelin, and Whitesnake, Reborn begins with its title track. Instantly its boisterous gait and infectious invitation had feet tapping and ears attentive, Magri entwining the latter with spicy grooves and tenacious melodies brought with a deft touch on his strings. Across the songs on the release, Magri is joined by bassist Diego Maioni and drummer Raffaele Fiori, their rhythms skilfully grounding the adventure of the guitar and egging on the listener’s physical participation with the growling tone of the bass adding a nice dark contrast to further grip attention. Just as Magri never over indulges his swiftly obvious ability, his songs never dally or linger, the opener just stirring up the senses and appetite, feeding both, and leaving with as enterprising punch.

The following Cloudbreaker brings a calmer climate though soon shows a lining of volatility which never quite erupts but adds drama and colour to the imagination nurturing encounter. Magri again weaves a magnet picture of sound, hips eagerly swaying to his composition as the imagination plays with rhythms adding earthier texture to his lofty and often fiery but always composed enterprise.

Snowballed is next up, the piece a fresh and boisterous affair with mischief in its smile and energy in its stroll while A.D.R. has a thicker body and touch but still one with a spirit warming brightness to its melody and air. Both songs spark ears and thoughts, thoughts easily conjuring alongside the sonic intimations as enjoyment of Reborn only thickened.

The EP closes with acoustic track Atlas Bound, Magri’s fingers gliding over his ‘canvas’ with suggestive craft and firm magnetism. It is a captivating end to a fine debut encounter with the guitarist. It is fair to say that we are quite fussy in our enjoyment of instrumental music and maybe have not yet defined what it is that lights our personal fires. We thoroughly enjoyed Reborn though across its every note and second so maybe the answer lies within; certainly pleasure does.

Reborn is out now via Red Cat Records Inst Fringe and available @ https://gianlucamagri.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/gianlucamagriguitar

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SickJoy – Amateurs EP

Whether you wish to call the sound of UK outfit SickJoy post-grunge, alternative rock or whatever, it is one healthily captivating form of rock ‘n’ roll which going by the band’s debut EP is destined for eager attention. The four-track rich Amateurs EP is a tenacious and eagerly infectious proposition weaving essences of bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Feeder and The Pixies into one individual if not quite unique offering; all the time suggesting a band with potent horizons ahead.

Formed 2016 in Newcastle, the band relocated to Brighton and quickly made their presence felt on the local and surrounding music scene including playing a sell-out debut show in their new home town. The Amateurs EP is a potent introduction and nudge on national attention and needs little time to arouse personal interest with opener Senses. A scratch of guitar springs a lo-fi melody and swiftly after a full surge of riffs and rhythms. The growl of Danny Pitson’s bass instantly accentuates the song’s instinctive lure upon its touch, guitarist Mykl Barton’s lead vocals as inviting as they roar upon and prowl the now composed canter of the song with zeal and energetic relish. There is something familiar to the track yet is as fresh as a bracing wind with its crystalline harmonics, lusty tenacity, and flirtatious snarl.

Lead single Smiling Shame follows with its own outbreak of stirring riffs and enterprise. The crisp beats of Drew Michael persistently tap on the senses as the guitar weaves a web of melodic temptation, aligning its grooved suggestion to the dirtier antics of the bass. With surges of almost carnivorous intent and volatile roars, the song ignites its calmer body with rich imagination and though it never quite matches up to the excellence of its predecessor has ears and appetite well satisfied.

The poppier rock of Karma & Ketamine has hips swaying and feet tapping within its first breath; both continuing to get involved as the song keenly smoulders and simmers, bursting into fiery intent from time to time. There is volatility in its depths and heart, vocals echoing that undercurrent and boisterously embracing it at times. Michael’s rhythmic bait is compelling throughout, as every ingredient within the increasingly compelling encounter, but really stirs the spirit as they bring the track to a magnetically riveting conclusion.

They also bring the final track into view in fine style, a metronomic coaxing soon joined by Barton’s magnetic vocals and scuzz lined guitar tempting. With a Queens Of The Stone Age hue to its twists and turns, Stumbler skilfully lurches at and baits the listener into involved submission in no time. It too wears a recognisable if yet to be defined scent to its ballsy rock ‘n’ roll yet creates its own character as it brings one richly enjoyable potential loaded debut to a fine close.

The press release for Amateurs declares it “a joyous four-track ride” and SickJoy as marking “themselves as ones to watch.” We can only wholeheartedly agree to both.

The Amateurs EP is out now via SaySomething Records.

https://www.sickjoy.com/   https://www.facebook.com/sickjoyband    https://www.twitter.com/sickjoyband

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ophe – Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude

Ophe is the solo project of Bargnatt XIX, guitarist/vocalist with French outfit Område. His main band is a proposition which entangles an array of styles and experimentation into avant-garde soundscapes and has grabbed our imaginations since the release of their 2015 album Edari and even more so with its startling successor Nåde two years later. So you can imagine we were only too pleased to take a look at Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude, the debut Ophe album when Bargnatt (Christophe Denhez of Nerv, Mur, and In The Guise Of Men) got in touch. Despite having embraced the ambience hued climates of post rock, industrial, electronica, and avant-garde metal merged by Område though, ears were not prepared for Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude.

Certainly living up to its tag of experimental avant-garde black metal, Ophe’s sound is much more expansive than that. It is a ravenous maze of sound and adventure set in a tempest of emotion and atmospheric dissonance. Whether it is something you can say you physically enjoy is still up for debate but as one fiercely captivating and relentlessly tempting challenge it is inescapable.

From opener Somnum Sempiternum the senses are taken on a turbulent sonic flight; a buffeting of winds around perpetual rallies of rhythmic antipathy the initial engagement. Bargnatt’s vocal currents are just as harsh within the intensive but controlled cyclone, rasping breath on sonic causticity and melody flirting with discord and dissonance. As invasive and toxic as it is an infectious hue merges within the emotional and aural trespass adding to the imagination sparking incitement that has already brewed. The track continues to grate and tempt across it’s almost nine minutes, never giving enough to mercilessly seduce but never coming close to leaving ears searching for alternative calms. Though a one man project, the album features the sax borne craft of Val Dorr; it too an almost schizophrenic, to use the press release’s description, protagonist in the midst of the blackened ambient storm.

Decem Vicibus is a calmer but no less dark investigation. Its tenebrific air wraps around mellow bordering on whispered vocals whilst alongside a hellacious scene unfurls hue by hue, cry by cry until the listener feels like they are trapped experiencing the visceral drama of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The solemn chimes of church bells only add to the track’s deceitful incantation before XVIIII provides its own individual portentous peace complete with sax squeaks but only leading to a rabid smog of emotional disharmony clad in a web of musical unpredictability.

Whereas its air is thick almost acrid, the following Missive Amphibologique D’Une Adynamie A La Solitude has a clearer atmosphere but one just as sinister as guitars, bass, and sax host a dance of emotive dissidence. The best track within the album, it is a weave of rhythmic temptation and melodic seduction but each a welcoming vice flush with the animus of torment the vocals openly share. The track is superb, the moment the imagination ignited feverishly and even with an arguably over long presence enthrals from start to finish.

The album closes with Cadent, an elegant melody woven piece with clean vocals and harmonic reflections. All the while though, darkness lurks providing a threatening undercurrent which does not have its day but adds dark intensity to the beauty.

It is a fine end to an album which might have to fight to be called actually enjoyable yet we did indeed enjoy every moment of its tempest filled bitter atmosphere if some moments more lustily than others. For something to turn your calm, emotions, and thoughts into captivated turmoil Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude is a certain quest to explore.

Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude is out now via My Kingdom Music; available @ https://ophe.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/OPHEBM/

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crisix – Against The Odds

 

With its title representing its creators’ “hard work, dedication and friendship”, Against The Odds is the fourth album from Spanish thrashers Crisix and one of those releases which revels in all the best attributes of thrash metal whilst adding its own individual adventure. It is a mix of the familiar and the boldly fresh, an inescapably rousing old school inspired modern fired romp of an encounter and a very tasty offering indeed.

Formed in 2008, the Barcelona hailing outfit has honed their sound across a trio of increasingly well-received albums beginning with The Menace in 2011. Both the following Rise…Then Rest of 2013 and From Blue to Black three years later established the band on their homeland’s metal scene while fuelling their reputation around Europe backed by an acclaim gathering live presence. Against The Odds just might be the moment when Crisix becomes a worldly known name, certainly it will awaken a horde of new hungry fans such its accomplished and impassioned roar.

Mastered by Jens Bogren (Arch Enemy, Kreator, At The Gates, Opeth) the album rips from the speakers with opener Get Out Of My Head. Riffs and rhythms surge through ears, their recognisable hues ridden by the gruff tones of Juli Bazooka. Backing band hollers and grooved incitement add to the growing virulence, its hooks flirting with the inane cheap tricks of the pop songs it takes a swipe at but always a dexterous intimation. It is vintage and individual thrash in one spirit, chest thumping stomp and a glorious start to the album.

The following Leech Breeder has a darker more intensive character and again the guitars of B.B. Plaza and Albert Requena unleash a tide of ravenous riffs to get things going. The bone shaking beats of drummer Javi Carry resonate on impact and song throughout, his anthemic prowess matched by the great bass grumble cast by Dani Ramis. Its irritability is echoed across the song from voice to tone, an aggressive trespass which only accentuates the infectious instincts of the track before Technophiliac matches its urgency and muscle with its own challenging contemplation. Weaving textures as addictive to ears as the source of its theme is to modern society, the song embraces extreme metal brutality and melodic enterprise in its imaginative web of flavours.

Three tracks in and it is fair to say that Against The Odds had us hooked and even more so as the atmospheric opening of Perseverance glides over the imagination. Its progressively hued suggestiveness subsequently parts way for a harsher climate to surround the senses but Crisix continue to experiment and weave an imaginative adventure as metalcore and other varied metallic hues entangle. Arguably the boldest track on the album for stretching their thrash instincts it is a wholly magnetic affair suggesting exciting new exploits ahead with the band.

Not that pleasure is lacking with Against All Odds, the Alien inspired Xenomorph Blood bursting out to consume attention and inflame an already greedy appetite with its murderous throes while Prince Of Saiyans floods the senses with its thunderous thrash ferocity. Dragon Ball themed, it is also another hungrily catchy escapade as eager to have the listener bouncing as dangling on the end of its lung depleting charge. With heavy metal spicing adding rich flames to its blaze, the track is rock ‘n’ roll at its grievous captivating best.

Leave Your God Behind is technical death thrash bred pillaging which did not inflame our senses as much as those before it but only kept the forceful persuasion of the album in top gear before Cut The Shit had all and sundry around defiantly roaring at the world with fists raised along with its rabid crossover thrash incitement. There are some tracks which have you throwing yourself around like a dervish, this more than most.

With also an open passion for Game Of Thrones, Crisix venture into its world with The North Remembers, a warrior roar of a homage with no intent of hiding the band’s love of its inspiration. With the guitars weaving skilled lures and devious riffs as rhythms impose and vocals unite in raucous enthusiasm, it is a fine finale to the album if not quite challenging for best moment as other songs more acutely do. You just know though that it is going to be a fan favourite and have venues roaring in unity.

As the years pass we find ourselves becoming more entangled and enamoured with the various shades and adventures emerging within thrash metal, bands like Crisix and records such as Against The Odds give all the reasons why.

Against The Odds is available now via Listenable Records @ https://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/186_crisix

http://www.crisixband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/CrisixOfficial/    https://twitter.com/crisixofficial/

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calling All Astronauts – Influences EP

Repetitiously providing some truly striking times with their own songs, UK trio Calling All Astronauts do it again by giving an insight into the sounds and artists which have lit their individual fires through their new release, the Influences EP. Offering four tracks simply echoing the EP title, the threesome of vocalist/programmer David B, guitarist J, and bassist Paul McCrudden take on four highly familiar, indeed legendary songs with their instinctive imagination and sound. The result is a hell of a lot of fun and a release which pays enterprising homage in unique style.

West London based, Calling All Astronauts create a fiery mix of alternative rock, electro punk and numerous other flavours in a sound which is truly individual to the band. The question for us when news of their new release broke was would it transfer to songs which pretty much everyone knows and so many idolise and more so could they give them a new character rather than just replicate like so many bands do with covers. The answer was soon escaping the speakers with pretty much a loud vocal yes. Certainly the band has not dissected and reassembled the songs in their own ‘image’ but each has been given a deep makeover which sparks the imagination.

Described as more of a quadruple A-side single, Influences opens up with a glorious version of Tubeway Army’s  Are ‘Friends’ Electric?. From its first breath there is a sense of urgency to the track if one initially restrained. When it does free its shackles, it brings a drum and bass meets metal contagion to its zealous stroll, though keys still shimmer with the original’s elegant yet melancholic gait; the contrasting attacks perfectly merged by CAA in one delicious encounter. You cannot say that the band has eclipsed Gary Numan’s creation but they have certainly given it a new energy and breath which deserves to be pushed as a full standalone single.

Following it is a take on the T-Rex classic Metal Guru. Here CAA has taken the essences of the song and immersed them in their own atmospheric invention. Whereas they pumped up the first, its successor has been slowed to allow its shadows and dark shades to dance with the imagination. We will admit that at first the song did not quite catch with ears but over time it has made a compelling persuasion and will surely emerge as a favourite for a great many within the release.

With a song like Scary Monsters it is hard to redesign what is an almost perfect template so CAA don’t but they do inject Bowie’s gem with their own dark intent and electro instincts to elevate its raw captivation and rock rabidity resulting in another thumping slice of rock ‘n’ roll with a fresh tang and organic energy where shadows seem even more alive.

Finally the release sees CAA give an electro/post punk work out for Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water. To be honest this is a song which never lit our fires but CAA have more then made it far more palatable with the flames of J’s guitar searing the growl of McCrudden’s bass and the electronic infused punk ‘n’ roll both court.

We always love to hear influences taken on by artists, a treat which seemed to grace many a B-side back in the day, just a shame so many do not try to bring something of themselves to them just as Calling All Astronauts have magnetically done.

The Influences EP is released March 30th via Supersonic Media.

http://www.callingallastronauts.com/    https://www.facebook.com/callingallastronauts   https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright