Maths and The Moon – Familiar Strange

MATM_RingMasterReview

This month sees the release of the eagerly awaited second album from UK alternative rock trio Maths and The Moon. It has been not too many weeks short of three years since their debut full-length, Night Train Daydream caught and captivated ears and imagination with its tapestry of droning seduction and fire drenched melodies spun with uncompromising invention. Familiar Strange is the natural and bold evolution of its predecessor’s sound and character; a generally calmer proposal with fascination and maturity flowing through every pore yet still creatively, an unpredictable and forcibly adventurous exploit.

Southampton bred and made up of vocalist/guitarist/principal songwriter Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst, Maths and The Moon has persistently provided sounds and sonic explorations which have challenged as powerfully as they have enthralled. Formed around 2010, the band made its live debut supporting the legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki, building on that thick interest sparking moment thereon in before sparking rich acclaim with Night Train Daydream in 2013. The album was an experimental fusion of psych rock and post punk with plenty more involved. Familiar Strange similarly embraces those hues but with an even richer array of equally dramatic flavours involved. It provides a sound and experience which is less spiky than on the first album, even more welcoming melodically and emotionally in many ways, yet still immerses the listener in landscapes as imaginatively scenic as they are emotionally invasive.

The trio has honed their sound and ideas into aural tales, where words and notes collude to cast individual glimpses into shadowed hearts and emotive reflections whilst, to use the words in the album’s press release, losing the listener “in the forest with nothing but shadows, memories and strangely familiar characters.” It all begins with recent single Futurist, a song instantly imposing on ears through the rumbling bass and some heftily swung beats as the guitar spreads an evocative jangle. That relatively forceful first touch soon mellows into a calmer incitement, the song prowling on its rhythms as the inviting tones of Fielder croon over the web of sonic enterprise and drama. The volatility which persistently courts the track does erupt in its chorus to fine effect, arousing ears and appetite further before the song swings through its merger of all aspects while smouldering harmonies and melodic flames colour the fiercely infectious encounter.

Familiar Strange _RingMasterReviewThere is a touch of Muse about the opener, but just a passing whiff before a Pixies-esque spicing emerges in the following Magic. Again it is a scent in an offering uniquely Maths and the Moon; a track which merges a charming sonic irritability with tenacious beats and the spiny lure of the bass. As with the first, the song is inescapably contagious, inciting body and ears with equal prowess and success whilst its fuzzy air and emotive drama seals the imagination’s involvement. Across its length, it blossoms an increasingly blistered surface to its melodies and voice, flirting with a Jesus and Mary Chain meets scorched shoegaze like glazing, while superbly continuing the impressive start to the album with a success quickly backed up by Amongst Trees and its shadow grasped balladry. It is a subdued and mesmeric persuasion where poetically suggestive guitar and voice hug ears as drums and bass build a pulsating frame around them. A thicker stroll of psych rock does emerge within the track, another enticement as catchy as it is soothing in the album, which in turn breeds a rolling rhythmic incitement which provides the hook for celestial harmonies and sultry melodies to hang around.

Howling is another with that alternative meets indie rock essence to its persuasion, the Maths and The Moon seemingly inspired again by the Frank Black kind of songwriting in the creation of their very own addictive tango on the ear. A sizzling slice of dark pop, the track hits the sweet spot dead centre, an accuracy matched by the outstanding In The Ellipse. The track is a ten minute instrumental providing a rhythmic canter with suggestive melodies and lively enterprise in its creative mane. The virulent ride has the scent of The Cure to it, their kind of emotive theatre laid in a tenaciously sculpted and offered gallop though an ever shifting and descriptive landscape.

From the warm and bright emprise of the last track, The Collector envelops ears with a haunting and intimately melancholic sigh. As with the previous ballad, the song is a minimalistic proposal coaxing ears and emotions, but luring full attention with an underlying infectiousness to compliment the maudlin shadows and the great repetitive coaxing around Fielder’s magnetic vocals.

In the band’s first album, Wire often came to mind but not with Familiar Strange, not until Boomerang anyway which weaves some colder steely hues reminiscent of the great band into its low key but snarling seduction of the senses. It is simply just another texture though, taken and twisted to suit and fit what, the album continues to prove, is their most distinctive and robustly compelling sound yet.

Familiar Strange is brought to a close by firstly the solemn acoustic balladry and heart of As The Crow Flies, though a song building a pyre of emotion and sound which burns with more intensity by its departure, and finally, the haze soaked psychedelic saunter and mesmerism of Psych-Seeing. Providing a riveting end to a thrilling encounter, the track glows and resonates across the senses like charmed smog with a melody spilling lighthouse at its heart.

It is fair to say that Night Train Daydream impressed and still does but Familiar Strange is Maths and The Moon on a whole other plateau offering their most exciting and accessible but still invigoratingly experimental proposal yet.

Familiar Strange is released May 20th @ http://mathsandthemoon.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mathsandthemoon/   https://twitter.com/MathsandtheMoon

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Seven Stories High – Take The Long Road Home

Seven Stories High Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Take The Long Road Home is the new mini album from British quintet Seven Stories High, an encounter which finds the band’s already ear pleasing pop punk with even bolder infectiousness and melodic enterprise to tempt national awareness. Take The Long Road Home hits the ground running and continues to offer variety and creative tenacity throughout. Admittedly it might often avoid the uniqueness which certain moments within it suggests is there within the band’s imagination, but from start to finish the Swansea hailing band successfully ensure enjoyment is at the top of the agenda.

Formed at the beginning of 2014 with inspirations said to include the likes of Blink 182 and Sum 41, Seven Stories High soon made their mark on their local and increasingly the national live scene. Line-up changes and inner positional shuffles have been part of the band’s earlier times, as too and since, the sharing of stages with bands such as Moose Blood, Decade, Altered Sky, Light You Up, and Kids Can’t Fly. They released their self-titled debut EP on the January of 2015 to potent responses which now Take The Long Road Home threatens to turn into a stronger national recognition of their emerging presence.

The release opens proper with CTRL, a rousing slice of raucous pop punk with thumping beats and wiry riffs around the potent tones of vocalist Rhys Hyett-Ferrier. There is a great rawness to the song too, bringing a touch of Millencolin to it at times but equally a rousing energy which especially equips  the group roars and the irresistibly catchy enterprise shared by the guitars of Matt Davies and Charlie Porter.

The potent start continues with the similarly tenacious and lively That’s No Moon, another which takes no time in firing up ears and appetite with its raucous pop punk dexterity. Framed and driven by the throbbing bassline of Kallum Brain and the swinging beats of Dave Bevan, the song soon reveals a sonic and emotive fire in its belly. Admittedly, as its predecessor, there is something very familiar to the encounter but more than made up for by the adventurous hooks and a vocal strength which simply captures the imagination from Hyett-Ferrier with resourceful backing from Davies and Brain.

Seven Stories High Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewIt is that aspect of the band which most consistently impresses across the release, with no negative reflection on the potent songwriting and skilfully woven sounds, the vocals making a constantly striking impression repeated on the feisty canter of Working For Wednesdays and following it, the excellent Wait For It. The first of the two also bears some great scything spicy grooves to keep ears and appetite busy, if without quite living up to the first pair while its successor, which features Charlotte Gilpin from Dream State, explores a more alternative rock canvas for its melodic seducing of ears. It still has a punk essence in its spirited flame, though it could be called more post hardcore scented; one of many textures in the emotively fuelled drama of sound led by the powerful vocal union of Hyett-Ferrier and Gilpin.

It is a track which becomes increasingly potent with every listen as too the acoustic stroll of Skin Me Alive. It is an immediately alluring proposal which further blossoms in ears the more time given to it. Its melodic serenade simply leaves a lingering impression before making way for album closer Fool’s Paradise, a boisterous tapestry of melodic suggestiveness around rapacious rhythms and expressively strong vocals. There is little surprising about the highly accomplished song, but it leaves enjoyment full so, as the release, warrants only recommending.

Seven Stories High have taken another potent step with Take The Long Road Home, and indeed their sound and its growing maturity. The band might not yet be in touch will major uniqueness but the signs and potential is there in some cracking tunes. A fan of bands such as Kids in Glass Houses, A Day to Remember, and All Time Low then Seven Stories High will be up your street.

Take The Long Road Home is released May 20th through all stores and at https://sevenstorieshigh.bandcamp.com/album/take-the-long-road-home

https://www.facebook.com/sevenstorieshigh/   https://twitter.com/7storieshigh

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scare The Normals – Creepy Brainfood

Pic  Steven Clark

Pic Steven Clark

Providing Creepy Brainfood and plenty to keep ears and imagination excitedly busy, the second album from UK sextet Scare The Normals recently saw its outing on CD to back up its already potent digital release. The album brings thirteen socially conscious off-kilter boogies together for a warped adventure fuelled by the band’s unique fusion of electro, funk, hip hop, and psych rock ‘n’ roll, and that is to simplify their mouth-watering engagement.

Hailing from Bury St Edmunds, Scare The Normals first caught our years with their contribution to the excellent This is the sound of Sugar Town album, a compilation of bands currently lighting up the Suffolk market town’s musical landscape. Their track Tomorrow was a slice of sonic magnetism which in hindsight only gave one aspect to the band’s sound now being enjoyably discovered upon the kaleidoscopic Creepy Brain Food. With thanks to Seymour Quigley of Horse Party, another of the town’s essential propositions, who sent the release our way, Creepy Brainfood offers more aural flavours and imagination drenched hues than a Rio carnival.

It starts with Enter the Temple, a gateway into the album through voice and resonance initially but soon becoming a throbbing lure with warning sirens and sonic squelches. Vocalist/MC, like a side show barker, makes the final invitation before the listener finds himself lost in and absorbed by in the funky saunter of Four Hornets and a Goose. Carrying a Disraeli and the Small Gods feel to it, the song strolls along with a swinging body and sultry flirtations of guitar, its pulsating psychedelic coated body ridden skilfully by Illinspired’s insightful lyrical and rap prowess.

By its close the song has the body and imagination firmly involved and ready to embrace the jazzy funk revelry of Heavy Grammar. As in its predecessor, a throaty bassline from Mikey BassandStuff spines the rhythmic shuffle of Simon Chapple around which Gish’s guitar, with a host of other electronic and fuzzy textures, dances with infectious enterprise. Nineties band Honky comes to mind during the track, but fair to say a passing thought again in something unique to Scare The Normals with the vocal blend as persuasive as the tapestry of aural flirtation around them.

Scare The Normals - Creepy Brainfood cover_RingMasterReviewThe following Deeper Water is the first track to feature a guest appearance from Deftex legend MC Chrome. Straight away it has a swampy air and feel, a glorious thick bluesy tempting which soon blossoms exotic textures and Eastern melodies in its elegantly flowing body. The union and contrasts of the two vocalists is just as mesmeric, their raps at times almost mischievously duelling especially leading up to and during sizzling eruptions into rock ‘n’ roll devilry. The track transfixes as it gets hips swaying, a reaction the album manages to majestically achieve at every twist and turn including through next up Naga Viper. Predominantly a celestially lit instrumental with again worldly aural colours gracing its bubbly jazz funk, the song simply romances the imagination before Brass Leaf shares its suggestive drama of sound and word to repeat the previous rousing alchemy at play with its own individual carnival.

Through the short punk theatre of Dicky Metcalf Pawned his Pistol, a track playing with a Ripping Yarns like mischief as it touches intimate tragedy, and the even briefer noir lit meander of Bob’s Passion, Scare The Normals reveal more of their diversely adventurous exploration and theatre. Shaped by their bold imagination, each provides a new pasture to embrace with samples and dizzying spins of wax by Dr. Ughh adding to the ear gripping fun.

The album continues with its title track; another song breeding rich evocative shadows around poetic melodies and suggestive keys while sharing a darkly hued tale which crawls through ears into the imagination and psyche. The track is superb, a spellbinding hug as sinister as it is seductive and irresistible.

Luminous Footprint comes next with sonic and electronic spatters of sound almost as candescent as its title suggests. The bass brings a Cure like tone to the emerging track too, reinforcing its initial lure before another funk infested tango lifts feet and sparks hips into flirtatious motion. The Pigbag-esque instrumental borrows body and spirit with ease; passing both when finished on to the fleeting throbbing bass led swing of Sarcastic Fringe Head. One minute in length the track again has swift involvement drawn and carried on by the excellent Tomorrow. Maybe providing the biggest twist within Creepy Brainfood, the song is an enthralling enticement of electro rock with an eighties air recalling the likes of The Normal and Naked Lunch. Its mysterious electronics and prowling rhythms lay the seeds to a compelling infestation of the passions, attitude laced vocals and sinister almost cinematic sonic endeavour completing the inescapable lure of the thrilling encounter.

The psychedelically glazed soundscape of New Adventure brings the album to a close, Chrome again guesting with alongside DJ Tags. Their vocal craft including that of Illinspired creates a spiky and stirring jab to a track which gracefully envelops the senses if with a slight edge to its mystical floatation. It is a great end to an album which just grows and shines brighter with every listen, each venture finding something new to explore and become intimate with.

Scare The Normals are like few other bands, if any, and Creepy Brainfood a journey through unconventional pastures of sound and imagination which everyone deserves to get a helping of.

Creepy Brainfood is out now @ http://scarethenormals.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SCARE-THE-NORMALS-60881200139

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Bloody Knives – I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

BK_RingMasterReview

The tone of its title, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, pretty much sets you up for the emotional trespass and sonic attitude of the new album from Texan trio Bloody Knives. It is a dark invasive suggestion echoed throughout the eight tracks’ scarred nihilistic hearts and a sound which crawls over and smothers the senses. Equally, it comes fuelled by melancholy thicker than Victorian London fog which at times is just as oppressive and invasively enveloping as the caustically natured sounds and as compelling as the raw beauty also invading ear and imagination.

Consisting of Preston Maddox (bass, voice, keyboards, samples, programming), Jake McCown (drums, noise, programming, art), and Jack O’Hara Harris (guitars, noise), Bloody Knives creates soundscapes which immerses the imagination in the darkest corners of life and emotion, into the harshest shadows within fiercest betrayals and deeds. Trying to accurately pin down their sound, lyrically and emotionally, is like trying to grab air, music and album simply a dense kaleidoscope of flavours and thought grasping dramas. The trio certainly find the coldest and rawest aspects of styles like dream pop, shoegaze, and psych pop to weave into intoxicating tempests also shaped by essences of post punk and industrially honed ethereal droning. It is a mesmeric and disturbing mix stealing attention instantly within the opener of the Maddox and Ian Rundell (Dead Space, Ghetto Ghouls, Xetas) recorded and Adam Stilson (New Canyons, Airiel, The March Violets) mixed and mastered I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

The album opens with Cystic, an instantly blistering nagging on the senses as guitars and keys sizzle venomously around the infectious stroll of the bass and Maddox’s morosely inviting and solemnly mellow vocals. Like a mix of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Crispy Ambulance yet, as all tracks, something uniquely Bloody Knives, the song bites, grumbles, and entices with an inescapable virulence before it evolves into the following Blood Turns Cold. There is an even darker, almost desperation hued emotion and air to the second track, its character uncompromising and ravenous as icy melodies and melancholic vocals lace the transfixing drone of the encounter.

art_RingMasterReviewA bolder, antagonistic post punk undercurrent runs through the next up Reflection Lies, the bass leading those magnetic textures within another imagination sparking smog of sonic and melodic dissonance cast by guitar and synth, while Black Hole swings and rumbles with celestial and almost carnivorous washes of sound and emotion, each evolving and expanding in the ears with every passing minute. Both tracks majorly beguile and intimidate in varying ways and each ignites the senses, but the second of the two with its punk growl and techno flirtation within ravenous atmospheric explorations is especially irresistible.

Through the plaintive tone and sonic trespass of Static, where a great catchy Leitmotive like nagging emerges, and the dark, deranged almost funereal waltz of the instrumental —-, ears and thoughts continue to be potently challenged and eagerly involved whilst Poison Halo offers an even fiercer  wall of aural and emotional density. As ever the raw and suffocating hues of sound are expertly tempered by the coldly engaging delivery of Maddox and the often seemingly toxic melodies, the bass again sparking the contagiousness underpinning every song in one way or another.

Finishing with Buried Alive, a captivating assault of sonic and emotional discordance equipped with keenly edged scythes of guitars, psyche invading keys, and that ever successful rousing bass tenacity not forgetting the fiercely persuasive vocals, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is a thrilling confrontation and adventure. It takes the listener to new, invasive places in body and emotion yet rewards with spirit arousing challenges. With only the drums having their bite dulled by the swamp of sound around them as a minute niggle, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is simply one easy recommendation.

I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is out now via Saint Marie Records @ https://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-will-cut-your-heart-out-for-this available digitally and on Vinyl limited to 500 (200 Black and 300 Ox blood / Electric Blue)

https://www.facebook.com/thebloodyknives

Pete Ringmaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Cute Cute Death – Vessels

Cute Cute Death Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

With a name which certainly sparks intrigue, Cute Cute Death back it up with a sound just as attention grabbing and now an album which climbs over the senses, trespasses their boundaries, and leaves fierce satisfaction in its wake. Vessels though is a slightly curious affair for personal tastes, an album which for its first third certainly pleases yet without sparking much more whilst its remainder is a different type of protagonist sparking real excitement about itself and the band’s future.

The seeds of Cute Cute Death began in 2008 when drummer Wayne Kopman and guitarist Johnny Correia relocated from their home city of Johannesburg, South Africa to the UK. Settling in London, the pair met and subsequently linked up with vocalist Niko Forster. After a few line-up changes, guitarist Ricky Gurung and bassist Robert Pipe were enlisted, at which point the band properly emerged, initially under the name Set The Air On Fire. They were soon lighting up stages with their American Metal/hardcore influenced post hardcore endeavours, taking to their growing sound inspirations from the likes of Lower Definition, Alexisonfire, Gallows, Finch, Refused, Deftones, and Glass Jaw, who especially come to mind at times listening to Vessels. The subsequent time since starting has seen the band play across the UK with bands such as Broadway, Atlantis, Flood of Red, They Say Fall, Confessions of a Traitor, and Rival State, all the time adding to their potent reputation which is now pushed again by their debut album.

Produced by Joseph Grouse with Justin Hill (Sikth) mixing, mastering, and co-producing, Vessels opens up with its title track; a song needing little time to get a firm hand on ears and attention. The guitar prowess of Correia and Gurung quickly casts a web of enterprise that lures the imagination, their sonic touch soon wrapping the impressive clean tones of Forster. Straightaway he impresses, increasingly so as his delivery springs rawer, dirtier, and grouchier roars to equally fine success. As the rhythms rumble and prowl the resourceful landscape of the song, there is no escaping the lure and vibrancy of the encounter yet, and we emphasize for personal ears and tastes, it never quite taps into something which really stirs up the passions.

Cute Cute Death Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewAll the same it is a powerful and dramatic start to Vessels continued by the Sikth meets Incubus personality of Alarm. Once again, the guitars dance with invention and craft as rhythms crowd the senses with their hungry shadows, all colluding to burn fiercely around the equally inflamed and rousing tones of Forster. The track enjoyably blisters on the ear before seamlessly evolving into the rawer antipathy of Pockets. Sonic tendrils and band shouts bring fresh drama to the album whilst the bass of Pipe borders on predatory as it robustly swings through the web of unpredictable and intoxication grooves and scything hooks. There is something extra about the track, if indefinable, which its predecessors lacked, an essence which and hints at the adventure waiting to escape the album further on.

Red Lights makes a calmer entrance next, though walls of bruising rhythms led by the tenacious swings of Kopman amidst intimidating riffs are soon descending on the senses before the song grows into another skilled and magnetic blend of contrasting textures and intensity, as ever echoed in the vocal enterprise of Forster. From its success the brief instrumental of Interlude looms upon ears with electronic suggestiveness on board, it drawing the listener into the awaiting revelry of DMT. It is from here that Vessels suddenly triggers a lustier reaction, though again it is hard to say exactly why, the major differences between the qualities and invention of songs before and after the melodic break not an open reason. With persistently twisting grooves and unpredictable rhythms aligned to writhing tendrils of sonic imagination adding to its temptation, there is no denying that the song simply enthrals and sparks a new breed of pleasure.

There is certainly greater diversity across the songs from hereon in on the album, starting with the warm caress of Statues. The song is an emotive melodic hug and vocal croon with the guitars spellbinding and Forster bordering on majestic with his again wonderfully varied tones. Taking best song honours, the track almost alone tells you all you need to know about the potential and already established invention of Cute Cute Death and that is without sharing any invasive trespass, which they have already proven to be equally adept at.

Leave This City follows and quickly holds courts as its web of spidery grooves and melodic acidity lies magnetically upon the rapier like thrusts of Kopman and another darkly juicy bassline from Pipe. There is a theatre to the hooks and the lively invention which grips the imagination as forcibly as the song’s underlying rhythmic rumble and fiery catchiness takes the body. It is an almost imposingly persuasive proposal matched by that of the enjoyably volatile and often irritable Glass Eyes and eclipsed by the closing might of Dinosaur. The final track is a tempest of anthemic hardcore, rebellious punk rock, and psyche infesting noise rock persistently involved with progressive and melodic ingenuity. The song is rebel rousing, a spirit igniting finale to the album offering a creative call to arms for the impressive invention and presence of Cut Cute Death.

Vessels is an excellent first full-length from the band; one which, even with that odd impact initially, left us thrilled and eager to recommend all fans check out what is a fresh breath in the post and hardcore scene.

Vessels is out now through all outlets on Friday 13th May.

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

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Amaryllis – Nova Initium

Pic Joe Brady Photography

Pic Joe Brady Photography

There is an honesty to the Amaryllis sound, a raw pureness in heart and feel which is as magnetic as the music cast by the British band. The alternative/pop rock quartet comes from London and has already awoken keen interest with a pair of previous EPs; now it is debut album Nova Initium doing the asking of attention as the band’s most resourceful and imaginatively crafted proposition yet.

Formed in late 2012, Amaryllis was a potent live proposal by the following year, backing up on stage and more the promise found in the band’s self-titled debut EP of 2013. It was a release which clocked over 10,000 downloads and 25,000 plays/views. Since then the quartet of vocalist Sante Moonie, guitarist Alex Whiteford, bassist Stewart Whiteford, and drummer Michael Mann have expanded their sound as first hinted at in their 2014 second EP, Revolt, and earned an increasing reputation for a live presence taking in shows with the likes of Elliot Minor, The Dirty Youth, Boy Jumps Ship and more over time. Nova Initium now reveals itself a clear step up on those previous strong successes; in songwriting, sound, and impact whilst still suggesting there is potential of even bigger and bolder as well as increasingly unique things to come.

The album opens with new single Thorn and straightaway an air of drama lines the initial keen strokes of guitar and the darker scythes of the same which soon arise around then with meaty rhythms in tow. In no time those early spark on ears become a rousing stroll with enticing band calls deep within the catchy roar of sound. Things settle down a little as the emotive tones of Moonie join the tempting, her voice as emotionally honest as the sounds fuelling the character of the album and in many ways their lead. There is also an instinctive snarl to her delivery echoing the rawer energy and attitude of the song; every aspect uniting for a potent and highly enjoyable not forgetting memorable start to Nova Initium.

amarcover_RingMasterReviewHold On steps up next, matching its predecessor in tone and intensity as well as organic drama. Riffs and hooks collude to quickly create an ear catching canvas through which the bass prowls and beats land upon with intimidating intent. Again there is an infectiousness which is pop bred but more so a beefiness which unmistakably announces Amaryllis firmly as a hungry rock band. With some great imaginative hooks and unpredictable twists, the song simply builds on the success of the opener before making way for All We Have, a slightly lighter affair with its own depth of emotive reflection and ear pleasing enterprise. Moonie again only impresses, especially when she brings a bolder roar to her delivery, whilst the Whiteford’s guitar and bass enterprise show great invention in uniting calm and explosive contrasts and textures.

Bounding along with emotive and energetic liveliness, Basement has attention and appetite for the release firmly held, if without quite leaping through ears with the same immediate potency as those before it. With an infectious swing led by the vocals of Moonie and band, it is not too long before the song has convinced and involved feet and voice though, with the atmospheric Nova following to tantalise and reinforce the album’s capture of the imagination. There is a great theatre to its brief presence; a shortness suggesting it is more a lead into its successor Initium than a standalone proposal which in a way is a shame because the piece really grips attention with its provocative tone and craft and feels like unfinished business by the time it drifts away. It is a missed opportunity maybe, though Initium provides its own tapestry of invention and adventure to quickly lure all attention its way.

The groove infested rock ‘n’ roll of Drown hits the spot straight after, the track a heavier rumble with certain grouchiness to riffs and rhythms; they contrasted by the warm harmonies and melodies crowding round Moonie’s engaging voice. Emerging as one of the bigger favourites within the album, it departs for the accomplished balladry of Rain which brings Nova Initium to an increasingly mesmeric close.

Across Nova Initium, Amaryllis reveals their most expansive canvas of variety and imagination yet. It might lack that final explosive spark at times, the last element to ensure that the release explodes on the ear but there is no escaping that it is also an encounter which announces the band as something different and exciting, with as suggested earlier, the promise of even more impressive things to come.

Nova Initium is out now @ https://amaryllisuk.bandcamp.com/album/nova-initium and http://amaryllis.bigcartel.com

Upcoming Live Dates:

May

20th – B2, Norwich

21st – Scruffy Murphys, Birmingham

22nd – Leeds, Milo Bar

June

4th – Camden Rocks Festival

https://www.facebook.com/AmaryllisUK   https://twitter.com/amaryllisuk

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Devildriver – Trust No One

pic by ben hoffmann

pic by ben hoffmann

There is no mistaking Trust No One as a Devildriver incitement. From the recognisable throat scarring vocals squalls of Dez Fafara to the anthemic rhythmic antagonism of bassist Diego Ibarra and drummer Austin D’Amond, through the grooved and sonically caustic imagination of guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann to the pure carnivorous roar of the groove metaller’s sound, the Californian’s seventh album is familiar Devildriver animosity. Yet there is something different to the beast; its body slimmer, almost stripped back to the core elements of the band’s sound whilst its contagion of venomous grooves has become even more creatively vocal and more virulently compelling. Whether Trust No One in this state is the band’s best proposal to date is under debate but it is fair to say that the album might just be the most physically and emotionally enjoyable encounter with Devildriver yet.

Linking up with producer Mark Lewis again at the Audio Hammer Studios, Devildriver show their intent from the first seconds of opener Testimony Of Truth, the want to savage the senses with hellacious rock ‘n’ roll. An inviting groove winds around the initial hefty jabs of D’Amond first with already the climate of the song a fiery challenge which only imposes further as the song evolves and Fafara’s raw tones further fire up the spirit of the song. It is prime Devildriver incitement but already devilish designs of melody and grooving is gripping the imagination, bringing individual character to each twist and turn here and in due course, to each subsequent proposal within Trust No One.

The thick and potent start is quickly surpassed by the barbarous exploits of Bad Deeds. The torrential assault of the invasive beats and the ear accosting rapping nature of the vocals aligns perfectly with a sultry melodic weave spun by the guitars within their own corrosive tide of predacious riffs. It is gripping stuff, irresistible hostility fuelled by a drama and imagination individual to that of the band’s previous outings. The track’s impressive success is soon matched by that of the even more grievous My Night Sky, though its own animus of emotion and intensity is tempered by the equally potent magnetism colouring the web of sonic invention and suggestiveness.

Devildriver_CMYK_RingMasterReviewThree tracks in and already the senses are numbing and energies breathless such the force and creative weight of the tempests. No respite is given though as This Deception, from a waspish coaxing round melancholic keys, tears into the listener with nostrils flared over a rabid rhythmically jagged ire spewing jaw and in turn, Above It All crawls all over the senses and into the psyche with what can be best described as a swarming surge of ravenous belligerence and aural irritability. Both tracks are not short on their own array of expectations defusing and imagination sparking essences either, the first through seductively flirtatious grooves and the latter with exotically hued strings and melodies which entice and bewitch even within the raging storm of the outstanding ravishment.

Daybreak spins some bluesy grooves into its maelstrom next, they colluding with addictively heavier cousins as riffs and vocals unite for some savaging with the backing of infectiously mercurial rhythms. Spreitzer and Tiemann simply shine throughout Trust No One, here especially as they conjure a landscape as unpredictable and fascinating as it is blistering, while in the album’s title track, they help shape a tempest as sonically elegant as it is uncomfortably threatening.

Arguably the nastiest and most uncomfortable track on the release is Feeling Ungodly, though it too is unafraid to spring some of the catchiest grooves and hooks across the whole of Trust No One while devouring the senses in body and emotion. Again, it is hard not to be swept up by the spiteful air and invasively infectious nature of the excellent track before Retribution grows from a melodically alluring proposal into one which nags and growls like a rabid dog infested with the inescapable irritancy of niggly grooves and the biting incessancy of beats and riffs. It is an irresistible incursion followed with equal ferocity and compelling adventure by For What Its Worth and an adversarial and merciless sonic malefaction which might not quite live up to many of its predecessors but leaves only a craving for more.

As we said at the start, whether Trust No One is Devildriver’s final hour we cannot say yet, even after a dozen listens, but it is hard to remember many encounters with them bringing as much raw enjoyment and the same kind of urge to go straight back into the turbulence as their new album.

Trust No One is out now via Napalm Records on CD @ http://devildrivertrustnoone.com/  and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/trust-no-one/id1091651702?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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Pete Ringmaster 13/05/2016

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