The Ringmaster Review invites those that make our ears sing and imaginations spark to offer their own thoughts, words and passions over whatever they wish.

Vulgarithm“Viva la backing track”

In a world where someone can go viral by miming a joke on TikTok, or 10 second clips of whatever is being done, somehow the backing track is still stigmatised as a stain on music, and there are various reasons for this which gives legitimate use of backing tracks a bad name, and I, Vulgarithm, who extensively uses backing tracks in a creative way to enhance my live show wish to win you over with my reasons why backing tracks works with a live performance.

For years now, the backing track has been incorporated into live shows for many famous bands, from more commercially accessible acts like Muse, Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode or through heavier bands like Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot and even some metal bands like Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage. I think the stigma can fall into two trains of thought; cheesiness and cheating. A sense of cheesiness is probably achieved through the depicted images of the bad pub singer and karaoke machine, or the cheesy cruise line performer playing Bossa Nova on a £20 Casio keyboard with a dodgy drum machine whilst you collect your “all you can eat” from the buffet. A sense of cheating on the other hand is probably with the assumption that it isn’t live at all, or if you can’t play an instrument live it shouldn’t be heard, or even it’s not your own music, often linked with the idea of the “modern DJ” who just pushes buttons and charges £100 a ticket to see them live. Unfortunately the latter is a struggle for the toilet circuit scene, especially if you have a preconceived idea of your sound, your show and imagery. Whilst a well-known band like Slipknot can slip in samples and click tracks, suddenly when it’s one person doing it, it’s not a live show.

There are many reasons the backing track should be embraced in a live setting which I will share with you now. It provides additional layers of sound which I cannot possibly do with just a guitar and vocal, I have one voice and then out of nowhere I have a whole choir joining in. It enhances the sound quality, which when playing certain local venues, the overall sound of the room or band can be ruined, and all of a sudden I have a bad impression of the band. With my own music however, no matter where I am, I have absolute control of my tone. It can add flexibility and versatility, I never use the same live show twice in a row and I have live versions of songs, some are extended, some are shortened, but I can have fun with it. It’s cost effective, my songs have many layers, I can’t hire 10 people to do all those sounds live. Whilst some venues don’t enjoy my huge curtain screen I bring to small venues, they do appreciate the small area of space I take up when not playing. It is consistent, so whilst I may f*** up a line, there will be no hesitation from my backing track. It is experimental; it allows myself to share sounds that some people may have never heard before. Also, and most importantly in this current cost of living crisis, it allows a man with particular musical vision to bring his ideas in full to an audience with no interference from anyone else, no responsibility from anyone else, and no one to pay but himself.

This, ladies, gentlemen or other, is what my main goal is for Vulgarithm. Enjoy the unique sounds and visuals that only Vulgarithm can bring. So next time you see an artist, or band, and you see them prepping that laptop, don’t think cheater, think INNOVATOR.

Thank you.

P.s. “FIST” is out on all platforms at the beginning of May, and so is another song.

Check out the video for “FIST” here.

All links provide via LinkTree

Copyright Vulgarithm


exPorter’s “Lusitania” Climbing the Charts

exPorter is an up and coming pop-punk trio out of Santa Barbara, CA starting to get some spins outside of the streaming world. Their self-produced debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” has received great radio support across the country with the first 4 singles in Top 50 Spots on the specialty radio charts “Lusitania” hit #15 with “Your Boyfriend (Suckup)” peaking at #24 joining songs “Elizabeth” (49) and “Lassie” (50).

“Lusitania is the one we’re featuring right now”, said guitarist/vocalist Alec Cavazos, “and it’s actually done the best on the charts so far which is really cool for us.” The song has received great support on radio stations nationwide and even Europe and has been played multiple times on Rodney Bingenheimer’s in The Underground Garage show on SiriusXM.

“We all grew up in Southern California and Rodney is a legend. When you think of all the bands that someone like Rodney has introduced, it’s great to think we’re anywhere on that guy’s radar.” added brother Destin Cavazos (bass/vocals). “If you head to his Wikipedia page and just look at all those bands. I mean there are easily more than 75% of bands that have influenced exPorter in some way or another so it’s awesome to be in that world.”

Taking shape during the COVID lockdown, “NoBrakes” offers 10 tracks with classic pop-punk vibes with a few 80’s and even a couple ballads mixed in. “Destin and I were staying at our parents’ house during the lockdown and we were jamming all the time like when we were kids. We were writing a bunch of new stuff too. We had these two songs (Lassie and Elizabeth) that we really liked so we got into the studio to record those as soon as we could.” explained Alec. “It was just going to be like a double single or something but once they started tracking on the radio we decided to make a whole album with the other songs we had.”

Lusitania was the second song written mainly by Alec during their lockdown sessions. “The song originally called Another Night, and I think it was the second song I wrote and liked during lockdown (Lassie being the first).” continues Alec. “The song is basically about a relationship falling apart but also being saved by just being together or at least wanting to save it. But the real inspiration for the song was I wanted to write a song with the word ‘inconceivable’ in it. During COVID we were writing a lot but we also watched a ton of movies so I must have just watched ‘The Princess Bride’ and thought I want to write a song with that word in there. The lyrics really just came to me once I started writing them and the story evolved from that.”

Check exPorter out further ….

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Copyright exPorter


The Sound of DiipSilence

Hey this is DiipSilence, thanks for having me here!                

I believe “everything can be music”, anything in our surroundings has the potential to become a musical instrument. Rather than limiting ourselves to traditional instruments or sounds, we can find musical inspiration in anything we encounter. The beauty of this approach is that it allows us to create music that is uniquely our own, with a sound that no one else can replicate.

For instance, consider the sound of raindrops falling on different surfaces – each droplet creates a distinct sound, and by arranging them in a particular sequence, we can create a rhythmic pattern that serves as a pitch percussion. Similarly, the hum of traffic can be altered and processed to create a drone or pad, providing a backdrop for other musical elements to be layered on top of it.

With advances in technology and music production software, the possibilities for creating music from non-musical sources are endless. Even the most mundane sounds can be recorded, manipulated, and transformed into something that sounds beautiful and musical. The key is to approach the world with an open mind, and to be willing to experiment with different sounds and techniques in order to create something truly unique and inspiring.

Explore the realms of DiipSilence further via

Copyright DiipSilence


I Thought You Were Dead – Why Hair Metal is Still Alive in 2023

By John Merchant – singer, guitarist, songwriter GHOSTS OF SUNSET

It was sometime in the early 90’s when it happened. Nobody really knows the exact moment, but the beloved genre known as “hair metal” took its last gasp and the investigation began. Who killed hair metal? The Seattle sound known by fashion designers and MTV VJ’s as “Grunge”, was the number one suspect. Witnesses were questioned, suspects located. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and many others were brought in for questioning. Of course, none of them admitted guilt. Further investigation would determine that many of the aforementioned bands came from WITHIN hair metal. That’s right, Layne Staley, Stone Gossard, etc…all put some time in under the Aquanet bottle. Who was to blame?

Turns out, it was an inside job. Much like the late 70’s punk rock, grunge music appeared at a time when 1980s hair metal was in the process of killing itself. It happens. It happened in the 50s with a million Elvis clones, and in the 60s when everyone thought they were harboring a “Sgt Pepper” inside them. The 1970s presented huge albums like “Rumours” and ELP’s flying keyboards, and 20-minute live noodle-y guitar bits and punk rock screamed, “no more”. So oddly enough, our heroes of the 1980s hair metal scene, came up listening to the “corporate rock” sounds of Boston, Journey, and Fleetwood Mac, AND the punk sounds of the Sex Pistols, Clash, and Black Flag. The first wave like Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Ratt and others still had the simple, to the point sounds of punk rock, AND the influence of the biggest arena hits of their youth. As things went on, the newest hair bands, were now being influenced by HAIR BANDS. It got bloated and incestuous and literally devoured itself. Some said, “good riddance”, some asked “where have all the good times gone?”.

So in 2023, how can it be that many of these artists are out playing, recording new music, and gaining NEW fans? The top artists are filling stadiums. Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison joined Joan Jett for the Stadium Tour. Other acts are playing package tours together, themed cruises, mid-sized theatres, outdoor venues, and fairs. How can this be? Hair metal was DEAD.

Songs… It’s songs. It was always songs. When the image was stripped away and the songs were left to fend for themselves, many acts couldn’t hold up. The best however, delivered and continue to deliver. Songs can still take listeners back to time and place in their lives connected to great memories. But memories alone can’t fill stadiums. How are these acts GAINING new fans? Generation after generation discovers these artists and their music WITHOUT the over the top visuals, sometimes IN SPITE of those visuals. It’s songs.

The new audience is discovering the joy and release of a huge, arena ready chorus. In a world wrought with lack of connection, relationships, and experiences, the new hair metal listener can scream along to a chorus that might be as simple as screaming “SHOUT” over and over again (at the Devil by the way, not the same Tears for Fears “shout”) in a baseball stadium of strangers doing the same thing. It’s about songs. Hate the hair, hate the dumb interviews, hate the followers, hate the GAME, but NOT the players. The players delivered anthems that continue to take listeners to a place of sheer enjoyment in world where such things can be difficult to find. It was always been the songs.  

Copyright John Merchant

An Introduction…

Hello, we are ELOAĦ, a singer/songwriter rock band with new age, jazz and pop influences. We started in 1995. Since then, a number of musicians have contributed to the different albums. Over the past couple of years a stable line-up crystalized: Orion Roos on electric guitars, Peter Douwenga on bass guitars, Johan van der Meer on drums and percussion, Dominik Mittergradnegger on saxophone, Lila Herderberg on vocals, and Elmar C. Fuchs on vocals, acoustic guitars, and keyboards.

Our latest release is called “Proud to Love You.”, a collection of ballades and soft rock songs. The tracks on this album were inspired by different emotions around love – from ecstasy to agony, from serenity to heartache, but with a clear bias on the pleasant aspects, inspired by personal experiences with (romantic) love.

So, writing the songs for this album typically started with me picking up the guitar and playing – something. Every now and then, all of a sudden, I would play a lick that felt right, it expressed my emotions at that time, and then I quickly took pen and paper and wrote down lyrics (which normally accompany the music naturally) to what I played and sang them. Then I rehearsed it until neither lyrics, the melody nor the chords / riffs / licks changed anymore. These “unplugged” versions I then presented to the band and discussed with them how to develop them into full-band versions, and we put it all together until everybody liked it as a whole – and finally, a whole album was ready, all derived from different emotional states.

Sometimes happiness was the prevailing feeling in an actually bad situation – this is what the song “Proud to Love You” is about – and then what you get is a positive, hopeful song. Then there was love that you experience to be so fulfilling that next to this fulfilment there still is some “excess” emotion asking you to be cast into song – this is what “My Heart Shall Be Your Fire”, “You Are A Diamond”, “Wonderful Beautiful” and “A Winter’s Tale” are about. Then, of course, there was the (probably) most famous type of love song where you are longing for and dreaming about someone. This can be either purely joyful as in “The Purest You” and “Caterpillar”, or a bit painful as in “Child Within” and “Tuesday Morning”. Emotional pain and despair sometimes accompanied romantic love at some point, thus two songs about these emotions with quite self-explanatory titles are on the album as well (“How Could I Ever Have Hurt You?” and “Why Can’t I Forget You?”). Finally, there is a song I wrote for one of my sons, another kind of love thus, who provided me with most of the lyrics (“King of Winters”, he was about five years old then), and two songs that take the whole topic less seriously, more tongue-in-cheek (“Sugar Refinery” and “Time to Say Goodbye”) to end the album on a both positive and light note.

Copyright ELOAĦ

Postcard from the Heart

Good morning! This is Ryan Rosoff from Little King, checking in from my old hometown of Seattle, WA. I grew up here, and while I have turned into a desert rat over the last 30 or so years (lived in El Paso and currently in Tucson, AZ), it’s always great to come home to visit my dad and fam.

Since you asked me to “write from the heart “ (I’m paraphrasing), I thought I’d continue on the Seattle thread. I lived here originally from 1976-1990, and then again from 1997-99. But growing up here in the 80’s was amazing. As a musician, though, we were not yet blessed with the Grunge movement. So, as a kid, the local heroes were Hendrix, Heart, and Queensryche.

The local rock station was 99.9 FM, KISW…”Seattle’s Best Rock.” It was on ALL THE TIME in my house, around the neighborhood, etc. The man was Steve Slaton, and though I never met him, he was hugely influential on teenage me.

This was the glory days of rock radio! The best part was the Top 1000 Countdown that KISW would host ever year in December, with the #1 song hitting at midnight on December 31. Invariably, #1 was “Stairway To Heaven.” That was a given, but the top 50 would rotate and change. This was destination listening for the neighborhood…such fond memories.

How has Seattle influenced me as an artist? Once Grunge hit, the perception of Seattle changed as a music town. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice, Pearl Jam…the took over! Before that, though, we had a bit of a chip on our shoulder. Seattle is geographically isolated, so as a true Seattleite, we felt a bit disconnected and disrespected. Fortunately, though, 99.9 kept us connected. 

Please check out our new single, “Silver Tongue,” available everywhere.

Copyright Ryan Rosoff

Food for Thought with Slomo Casino

The title track from our second EP ‘The Altar’ comes out 7th April and we wanted to give you a cheeky lil insight as to what the songs all about.

Our soul influenced sonically gospel-esque upcoming single ‘The Altar’ is a song that grapples with a fear of major change and the impulsive instinct to run away. Told through the lens of an atheist soldiering in jilting their partner in marriage to be, this is really a song about facing huge life changes. In an act of desperation, the atheist runs to ask for guidance at the altar of a church, from a deity they don’t believe in. As a couple of guys in their late 20’s – we’re surrounded by change and we wanted to capture where our minds can go when faced with something totally new – and how irrational our thought processes can be.

We wrote and recorded this track, like many of our songs in Jonny’s home studio with just the two of us, a single microphone, 2 cats and a million vocal layers/harmonies! And as we both love cooking, to sustain ourselves throughout we combined recording with some of Jack’s famous cooks including but not limited to his sought after enchiladas recipe…

Copyright Slomo Casino

The origin story of Heathen Hearts

January 2020. A certain virus is spreading in the world but things still look relatively calm in the cold northern European country called Finland. Bands are playing live shows and things are as usual.

Long haired and long bearded guitarist named Lauri starts a WhatsApp group with guys he knows from the local music scene and plays or has played in the same bands with.

He asks the guys in the group to take part in a Turbonegro tribute band. The 15th birthday of a local Turbojugend Fanclub is coming up in summer and a live show from a tribute band would be fantastic. All guys agree and are excited to be part of this project. The band is named after a Turbonegro album, “Apocalypse Dudes”.

The virus spreads and later that spring it seems quite likely that the planned tribute show might not happen. And it doesn’t. There are no live shows during the summer and public gatherings are strictly limited.

Time goes by but the group still keeps in touch. It’s July 2021. A single message appears to the WhatsApp group. It’s from Ville, the drummer of the would have been tribute band. He asks if anyone in the group would be interested in playing metallic hardcore. After a short discussion everyone gets excited and first rehearsals are planned for august. The group gathers together for the first time and guitarist Jere, bassist Juhana, vocalist Antti, drummer Ville and guitarist Lauri notice from the start that this is going to be something special.

Jere has a few riffs ready and after two weeks from forming the band, the first two songs are composed and arranged. Those songs would be on the debut EP.

Confident that this band is on the right track, brings the question to everyone’s mind. What to call the new-born band? Messages fly with all kinds of suggestions until Antti simply writes the words HEATHEN HEARTS. It instantly hits everybody that this is it. The name sounds good and it resonates the individual freedom and the idea of “walking your own path” that has meaning for the guys in the band.

Things start to move fast and the first EP is recorded in November – December of 2021. The self-titled EP is released in May 2022 accompanied by two music videos. Music videos end up being published on Hardcore World Wide YouTube channel and band is featured in publications and magazines in Finland and abroad such as Rock Hard (Italy) and Metalized (Denmark). Positive reception from the public is a welcomed surprise to the band.

The first live show is finally played in the summer of 2022 in the band’s hometown of Kotka for a full house. And yes, it is a sweaty night with moshpits and blood on the dancefloor.

Heathen Hearts is returning with their second release in late spring of 2023. So prepare yourself for another onslaught of northern hardcore!

We are Heathen Hearts:

Antti Nissilä: Vocals

Jere Orre: Guitars & backing vocals

Lauri Sillanpää: Guitars & backing vocals

Juhana Haavisto: Bass & backing vocals

Ville Nissinen: Drums

Friendship, brotherhood and love

Let’s talk about friendship, brotherhood and love through Lee O’Nell Blues Gang’s story …

Everything started in 1974 with Gipsy BACUET’s birth in France. She would never imagine that her birth would correspond to the beginning of Lionel WERNERT and Fred CHAPELLIER friendship/brotherhood story. Lionel was 5 years old when he met the young Fred, 3 years older than him. Who at this time could imagine that Fred would become the French guitar player N°1 of the Blues, that Lionel would become a great and powerful guitar player to form his own group Lee O’Nell Blues Gang with this young Gipsy who also became his wife, singer and lyrics writer ?

Friendship first; when the 2 boys discovered music and most of all Rock music and legend guitar players such as Ritchie Blackmore, Gary Moore and many others spending hours listening and slowing down the vinyls to study and practice every riffs, each specific phrasing instead of going to school !

Brotherhood now; and since their younger years, Fred and Lionel kept in touch , looking at what the other was doing in music world till this day of 2019, when Fred invited Lionel and Gipsy as guests to one of his show. He lent them his own musicians to let them play his own songs. What an honor to play for the one you admire…till the creation of Lee O’Nell Blues Gang, Lionel’s project.

And love which binds Lionel and Gipsy for more than 10 years…The love of music, the love of Blues, the love of Rock.

Love again which is the main theme approached along the 10 original songs of their first album « Different Shades Of Love » self and co-produced by Lionel, Gipsy and Fred, released in September 2020.

Love, friendship and brotherhood which are also approached in their second album « This is us » released in September 2022 and produced by the same dream team. 14 new originals songs composed by Lionel with the lyrics of Gipsy. But not only Gipsy wrote the lyrics, once again it’s a friendship story and collaboration with 3 fabulous artists who help her, (because English is not her native language) : Neal WALDEN BLACK, a Texan song writer who lives in France since the 90’s but who used to be opener for Stevie Ray Vaughan when he lived in USA; Alain Lead foot RIVET , a fantastic singer and songwriter too with an extra-large musical culture and a special sense of poetry; and the fabulous Jade MACRAE, an Australian soul singer and background vocalist for Joe BONAMASSA.

And to accompany Lionel and Gipsy: the Gang composed by 3 great musicians…Pierre-Alain DELAUNOY on drums, Philippe DANDRIMONT on bass and François BARISAUX on keyboards.

Lee O’Nell Blues Gang is a five pieces band who offers a solid contemporary Blues Rock with a touch of Jazz and soul. Catchy and sharp riffs in the service of a voice that is sometimes soft and powerful, feline, jazzy or rocky to demonstrate the strength and the feeling of this band.

In Lionel’s perfect mastered guitar playing, you can find influences of Albert King, Peter Green or Joe Bonamassa and Eric Gales among others. A vintage and modern sound for both melodic solos and a few rock accents like Ritchie Blackmore from the glorious years of Deep Purple and Rainbow. In the voice of Gipsy you will find influences and intonations of Sarah Vaughan and even Bonnie Raitt or Pat Benatar when necessary.

Lee O’Nell Blues Gang, which resolutely excels on stage, offers a surprising universe at the same time distinct and coherent going from the swing of the 50’s to the rock of the 704s with a disconcerting ease and inventiveness.

Lee O’Nell Blues Gang, like music, is a story of friendship, brotherhood and love.

Check out, subscribe, follow like and share here!!! 

A Moments Notice

The band originally started as a solo project in 2021 by Greg Molina (Vocalist). The project was a passion project and originally was supposed to be an internet band. After two singles were released he quickly realised that the band had to leave the internet, later finding all the members of the band to release “Offerings”. The band continued to write music and eventually in August of 2022 the band played their first show being direct support for Dwellings, a swancore band signed to Tragic Hero Records. The band continued to play shows following it up with a few headliners and one major show being direct support for the iconic A Skylit Drive.

The band continued to do what they could, releasing new music and leaving on our first tour, the band became a band during that time. We found what worked for us as a unit and, with the push of the tour, went back into the studio with Nick Miller of A Skylit Drive.

Now releasing two new singles since our debut EP the band has put out 9 songs and shows no signs of stopping with another headlining show that is sold out in our hometown. We signed with Daeth Records only 3 months ago and have much more in our planners for the year and hope everyone enjoys it.

A cellular Introduction…

Picture a small city, twisted and distorted by decay and neglect, trampled upon and passed over repeatedly by government and the elite, and imagine the soundtrack that would emanate from the raging underbelly. The brutal reality of life today is epitomised by Stoke-on-Trent, the ideal breeding ground for the angsty, introspection and aural assault of grunge rockers, LEAF UK – my nasty little band that I love dearly.

LEAF UK are a slightly atypical, as in ‘mature’, and thoughtful (think self-immolation, inner emotions laid bare) four-piece band that has its origins in the 1990s, a dreamy time of youth, exuberance, sass, swagger and self-admitted arrogance. Times were simpler, beer was cheaper, and gigs were easier to come by. However, those early days of long-haired excess have metamorphosed into the ultra-bitter marriage of a myriad influences, smashing together classic rock grandiosity with neo-punk attitude, metal riffs of epic proportions overlayed with catchy little earworms that will have you humming tunes for days.

Given the flighty nature of youth, the inability of most people to be able to find the time to sit and listen to a whole album in one go, we are trying something new (ish). This year 2023 (or MMXXIII), we are releasing a song a month on all major platforms – on the last Saturday of the month. We are ultra-prolific and can probably keep this up for the next few years with the material we already have written….and it keeps coming.

Not for us the, do the ‘album’, wait for release, get bored by the time it is out etc. We need the immediacy of writing, recording, producing a song when it is fresh and getting it out there for people to hear. Everything we do as band is geared to the song, we want to write the best songs that we can, cutting the excess (leave people like Angus and Nuno to do the solos….) and giving the listener three minutes of dynamics, melody and memories.

Do we want world domination? Of course, I have an ego a mile wide, but the band are realists, with lives of complexity, lives punctuated with the harsh reality of our surroundings and the vagaries of fashion within the music scene. We are trying to break the mould, prove that the best music comes from those with anger, maturity and an understanding of the inequalities that surround us all.

We will not get reviews, or get onto the top ten album lists, but for us that is missing the point. With LEAF UK, you get to hear life, documented in absolute bangers, the sights, the smells of a band on a journey of discovery. Have a listen, join us at the new chapter and who knows? Rick Rubin might ask us to do a session, Iggy Pop might want us to open for him…. but in the meantime, we will be playing whenever and wherever will have us, releasing songs until they prise the instruments from our cold, dead hands.

Leaf Website –


I am John Harris, lead singer of Otherworldly Entity. We formed in 2018, released our debut EP Cataclysm in 2020, and in February 2023, we’re releasing our sophomore EP Psilocyborg.
Since the band formed, we’ve seen so much happen. Through the course of a major pandemic, we lost friends, family, and fans, and watched the industry we fell in love with suffer and, in some cases, die.

The often toxic, poisonous environment that came out of a global crisis has often left a sour taste in our mouths, bringing me to what I think is an important topic: peace. It’s the thing we all long for; A sense of security, of comfort, beyond just survivability. We often lose sight of peace, being distracted by the trivial and consequential alike, which often mix together in a grotesque stew making the two indistinguishable. As musicians, we’ve all seen this happen. We’ve watched our industry, our local, regional, and national scenes collapse under the pressures of rumours, drama, and indefensible viciousness, coming from over-competitive insecurities and jealousies where support and encouragement once stood strong.
I hope that we, as artists, can move beyond this survival instinct that arose in the turbulent times of the recent past, and can find peace once again through community.
To those who have ever wronged me, know that you are forgiven. To those who have ever hated me, know that it is one-sided. I choose peace, and hope others will as well.

Check out Otherworldly Entity  at the following links:



Join the Otherworldly Entity Community:

Cthulhu Dreamt

When Cthulhu Dreamt began, it was created as a means to work through grief, depression, and emotions dealing with the loss of Reed Reimer’s daughter at childbirth. The concept project built a world where Cthulhu represented all of those things out of human control, and then invaded the world.

The first album circled around the event that brought Cthulhu, the second album, Liminality, takes place during the time the behemoth laid dead dreaming in its home R’Lyeh, and the newest EP, Precursor, is essentially the prologue to when Cthulhu awakens and begins its reign over Earth and the humans that reside there.

Cthulhu Dreamt has joined forces with game company Action Fiction to develop a tabletop role playing game that exists in the world we’ve built and will let players traverse the globe in their attempt to keep the eldritch horde at bay. We’ve been developing the game for nearly two years now, and it will feature an immersive original soundtrack, which will exist as a play along game score, for a standalone listening experience.
A companion novel, written by Cthulhu Dreamt member Chris Durston, will also be released, and it follows a couple of the main characters from the world, and non-player characters from the TTRPG.

We’re particularly proud of the soundtrack, because it expands on previously written themes, develops new sound worlds, and gave us the opportunity to work with orchestras around the world who performed and recorded a handful of the tracks in the development of the album.

There’s a lot of music in the soundtrack, and the easiest way to digest is to remember that it’s like a film score: it follows the story. Fans of our heavy stuff will find riffs to sink their teeth into, and for those who prefer more ambient stuff, there’s music for them also. Traditional film score listeners will also have their moments.

The game will launch in March of 2023, and can be found at
Upon completion of the game related materials, the transition into our next album, and next chapter in the universe of Cthulhu Dreamt will be seamless. We’ll have some happy announcements, and will be starting to book shows for taking this studio concept to the streets.

Check out the newest EP at

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Vulgarithm – Behind the Roar “Leading a double life”

In the year 2022, we have an abundance of talented bands and musicians flooding the online world. Anyone who is a talented musician now has to be social media savvy and have something that stands out, particularly to draw people to the live scene. There is more to the lives of these people, a personal backstory that many people will never know about. Therefore I am going to share exclusively with Ringmaster Review an example of a day when my regular life clashes on a day my alter ego performs, and the challenges this may bring.

                Before I waffle on, let me introduce myself. By day, I am Mr McGurk, a mild mannered peripatetic music teacher in various schools, by night; I am Vulgarithm, a riff rave behemoth that brings heavy 2000 era riffs with 90s rave scene complete with lab coat, silver mask, purple cyclops glasses and a screen show full of exciting visuals.

                So we’ll start at the beginning of the day, first classes of the day are 2 hours of ukulele with alternating year 3 groups (ages 7 to 8), including 10 minutes of tuning all 30 ukuleles. Now as much as I would love to teach them my music, or some awesome riffs, I have to make sure all 30 students can play the song I chose right off the bat, this will include a simple “row row your boat” or a version of “surfin’ bird”. Next we head out to a different school for a quick one to one lesson, this time on the guitar. Still very simple as most children can’t hold the guitar properly let alone move their fingers quickly. After lunch I’m back to the first school with 2 hours of guitars with year 5 (ages 9 to 10), tuning all 30 guitars takes a hellish 20 minutes. We attempt to play along to songs like “Eleanor Rigby”, once the school bell goes then I’m off home to prepare for my gig.

                Teaching in schools and being a solo artist has many difficulties, even before teaching in a new school I have to think how my personal social media accounts interact with my music accounts. Even though it shouldn’t make a difference, it only takes one upset parent to cause a problem. Other problems can be during the lessons, trying not to shout at disobedient children which could lead to a blown voice, diverting curiosity aware whenever YouTube comes on and they ask “what’s your channel” or trying to convince “the cool kids” that learning the guitar is just as much fun as playing football.

                Let’s skip to gig arrival. Now like most musicians I have load-in, soundcheck if lucky, hanging around, watching bands, playing, watching then home with dirty McDonald’s midnight feast. What makes mine different is I have to prepare a screen (usually a curtain rail) set up my projector, sound check keys, guitar and vocals, and the pièce de resistance, putting my costume on and becoming VULGARITHM! After 30 to 60 minutes of feeling unstoppable, it’s back down to earth with the lonely sit at the merch stand.

                After the gig, the drive home is of contemplation, how the gig went, what to improve and the knowledge that the next day I begin the process of being normal whilst my students have no idea of the events that had folded. Like a superhero, but without the powers or importance haha. It is an interesting life to live however, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.


Total Recall was born in 2019. The founding members Luca (Pigo) (K-Aagain, Samaritan, Embrace Destruction), Stef (K-Again, Traces of You, Die Trying) and Danny (Embrace Destruction) were already veterans in the Hardcore/Metalcore scene and decided to start to write music together after their common friend and brother Massy passed away after a long fight with his disease.

The line-up started to write music without following any particular influence, with the only purpose to write songs that could reflect the style of music they played with Massy throughout the last 20 plus years. After a few months Andy was added as singer. Andy toured with Massy when he was in Rise Above Dead and his friendship with him went back some 15 plus years, and Stefano (Bleed) as guitarist who also was in Rise Above Dead.

We play what we like. We don’t focus on create something that can be liked, we just like it first ourselves. We give the 100% every time we are in the studio or on a stage. Our first album Always Together is about 9 songs of pure passion with low tuned bouncy Metallic Hardcore that will take your inner self into your deepest and darker place. But it will make you reconnect with who you are and accept it no matter what. Because there is no good or bad, it’s just you.

Mostly we were inspired by the life of Massy and the moments we spent together throughout the path we shared.

If you want just to hang out and quickly see where to browse feel free to go to our Linktree page. You can always use our official web page as a hub as well and you can find us on Facebook as well as for Instagram.

If you want to check out our merch feel free to visit our Bandcamp page and don’t forget to go check out our video content on TOTAL RECALL TV plus if you want to listen to all our releases feel free to visit us on Spotify.


OK. What to talk about? It may be a cliché but I’d like to talk about music genres and cataloguing our music. We always struggle. We genuinely don’t know where we fit.

First of all, the question – “What genre are you?” – How the hell do we know? Is Acoustic Indie Folk Pop Rock a genre? We’ve never picked a song or a band and decided we want to be like that. We write and record songs on an acoustic guitar, but we’re not George Ezra. We’re not Ed Sheeran.

And at the other end we’re not Days Of The New. We have Britpop inspired music, we have rock melodies and choruses, we have folk rhythms and chants. We have pop like structures to some songs and a more indie style to others. Some are 3 minute songs, some are 6. There is no formula here.

Secondly, “What style of songs do you play?” – See above. We don’t write with any particular style in mind. There’s never a goal like we need to write a funk song or a jazz tune. The covers we play are our own versions of popular songs from multiple genres. Where does that fit? Does anyone else have this problem? Genres are great if you want your music neatly tucked away in a box with similar sounding artists but… which leads nicely on to the next question.

Thirdly, “Who do you sound like?” – We haven’t got a clue. We’re both self-taught and not the best in the world at what we do, but we’re not the worst either. We have influences from all over. I have personally been told through the years that I sound like Axl Rose, Gary Stringer, David Bowie, Ian Astbury and Brett Michaels, amongst others, and I just don’t hear it at all. To be honest, I don’t like it and can get embarrassed about it, but I love doing it and that feeling takes over. And Darren just creates great rhythms and progressions, to which I have never said “oh that sounds like such n such”.

So basically, as a whole we feel (and I know I can speak for Darren here) River Knight aren’t a particular genre. The songs are usually influenced by a couple of different styles. We really don’t know who we sound like and we don’t try to sound like anyone else.

But at the same time, I guarantee someone outside of River Knight will be able to place us in a category. Is anybody willing to help us out there, where do we fit for you? Do other bands have the same problem? Let us know what you think and how we as artists can work this. Or do we create our own genre? That seems a bit shit to me.

Much love, stay safe,

Mark Stone River


The strings of PRESSURE


My name is Simon, and I am the guitarist from the Swedish Story metal band Pressure. I have been growing up with music. I started to play guitar when I was very young. I was only about 6 years old when I started to play. I come from a very musically active family and my parents were both very skilled musicians. I tried many instruments, but the guitar fascinated me the most. It had some many different face and ways to play it and I soon understood it was a lifelong challenge to try to learn it.

A thing that has struck me through the years is that the more you learn about music and of playing your instrument the more you understand that you actually know very little. Kind of backward I know but this is the way I feel and it still keeps me interested in learning new things about my guitar. I always challenge myself to never get stuck in the same listening habits or playing habits. I love to discover new things and styles, bands, artists, genres and everything that is out there. And of the most exciting things is to try to learn the new styles later, or try to mimic other instruments and styles that wasn’t meant for guitar on a guitar is also very cool and challenging.

Being a guitarist is sometimes not considered a “real” job. I sometimes get questions like “what do you do for real” or “is it not fun to work with your hobby?”. To me, music has never been a hobby; it has been a life choice, my lifestyle. I have written songs my whole life and being able to do so, I also used this to cope with the different things and events in my life. All kind of things that happens to you, you can find a song that helps you with or to empower the situation. Music is the most and strongest universal language there is.

I know that there is many different styles and sometimes almost sports fans rivalry between different bands fans. I say that is good. Being passionate about music is something you will be and experience in some way in your life. The important thing to remember is to keep the local live scene going. Remember to support your fellow bands and artists out there. Go to concerts, listen to their stuff, share a link, like a song, and put a local bands release on your playlist.

Take care and hope to see you out on the road

If you want to follow Pressure – please do at the following links










Not Your Mannequin is probably the heaviest track from our new album ‘Look at Me Now’, with a blend of big juicy riffs and carnival-esque synths. Lyrically it’s about some of the injustices faced by women in the music scene.

Obviously I can’t speak for every other woman in music and their personal experience (they didn’t ask me), but I’ve faced plenty of bullshit across my time as a musician and this track expresses some of these frustrations.

“Am I a paper doll and once I get too old, you toss me out, replace me with a younger model? Will I just disappear?… Well how come my time’s so much shorter than his? We’re taught to be ashamed of the ravages of age, like all at once we all just cease to exist.’

I was told in my early twenties that I needed ‘to get a move on’ because I was ‘getting on a bit’, by a man in his mid to late 60s. A man comfortably sitting in the same age bracket of a lot of the staple metal festival headliners (Iron Maiden, KISS, AC/DC…). What use is this uninvited comment to me as a musician anyway? Ah yes thanks for that invaluable tip, I will just halt the aging process. Perhaps I will 3D print a mask of my current face and use that for future shows.

I’ve had horrible things said to me. I have been openly treated as though I don’t belong in music. Luckily I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by supportive allies who are equally incredulous at the pathetic stuff that still happens. Being able to talk about and ridicule these injustices with friends is a lot easier than tackling them alone.

It hasn’t stopped me, because I love music, I love to perform and I am surrounded by brilliant supportive people. I am also an obsessive, driven and stubborn motherfucker… But it isn’t easy and it frustrates me that so many aspiring female musicians might not persevere with their passion because of having to endure dumb shit like this. I feel like even writing a casual opinion piece like this is a risk, because of some of the knuckle-dragging cockwombles that will knee-jerk react when reading a woman’s negative opinion online and lose themselves in a keyboard pounding frenzy (“Other people have it worse!!!” “This hasn’t happened to me so sexism doesn’t exist!” “You’re an attention seeking whore!” “Stop asking for the sympathy vote” etc.).

When I was little, I remember my Dad warned me that people were going to tell me that I couldn’t do things because I was a girl- and not to listen to them. That was so important. Don’t let other people shit on your aspirations.

Kitty- Vocals and guitar for Novacrow Spotify:

Copyright Novacrow/RingMaster Review


Firstly, thanks to Behind The Roar for this opportunity to write a paragraph or three about myself. As an introduction, I am the artist ‘Skidders’; guitarist, writer, producer and session guitarist with usually several projects on the go. The name comes from my surname (Steve Skidmore), not my underpants – I thought the name was a bit boring!

Ok, so what do I do, why should you read any further, why is my friend’s initial ‘W’ when his name is Bill? All good questions and if I was you, I’d be getting bored by now (is that reverse phycology?). Enough of that – let me just say, I have three solo albums and in particular, my last one is blummin’ good if I say so myself. I cannot sing to save my life, so nearly every song is instrumental, moreover, electric or acoustic guitar. I think you’ll like it; if my mom was still alive, I know she’d like it.

Like me, it’s very eclectic and very nice to listen to. It’s called “Friends & Family Vol 2” and you can listen for free on Spotify, Apple Music etc. or on my website. The title gives the theme away somewhat – each song I have written for a particular friend or relative, both past and present. Eclectic as those people are or were, so are the songs. It starts off with a fairly heavy rock instrumental “Aunty Bulgaria”, dedicated to a Bulgarian friend of ours who’s a bit of a rocker. Second up is a lively instrumental reggae tune, dedicated to our daughter, who is a lively character herself. I guess you can see the pattern?

It was particularly nice to write some of the tracks for those no longer with us, never the less, each track is for someone very special. That led me to writing a song for my long suffering wife, but it had to have lyrics. However, me trying to sing what is fundamentally a love song was never going to work, so I drafted in the not inconsiderable talent of Cotswold’s legend, Andrew James who did an amazing job of the vocals. Hence the lyrics “These words that I bring you, I wish I could sing you” – oh stop it!

I’ve been really pleased with the number of plays the album has had and in particular, the number of YouTube views for the tracks from all three albums. Incidentally, the first album, ‘Skidderslectric’ was all electric guitar with just one vocals track; album two ‘Friends & Family’, the precursor to volume 2. I had to write further songs for more deserving friends and relatives, hence the third album.

Ok, if you got this far, I thank you from the heart of my bottom and really hope you’ll look me up and listen to my music. It is eclectic and there’s something for everyone, but no middle of the road (yuk!).

Please use my website. I am really proud of it and it has all links to social media, streaming, merch etc. –

Copyright Skidders and RingMaster Review

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