The Great Adventure – Pretty Lies

The Great Adventure_RingMaster Review

Pretty Lies is the new single from Russian gothic metallers The Great Adventure, a band which maybe is unknown to you right now but taking their new offering alone as a suggestion, has the real potential to become a much broadly known and devoured proposition.

Hailing from Omsk and formed in the January of 2014, The Great Adventure consists of vocalist/keyboardist Christina Engels, guitarist Kesha Larionov, and bassist Alexey Danilov. Their sound fuses gothic and symphonic metal in a captivating, if not yet majorly unique, tapestry of resourceful aggression and melodic imagination. Aligned to that is the feistily alluring voice of Engels, a siren-esque tempting which coaxes the theatre and emotion at the heart of lyrics and song into a tempestuous roar of sound equipped with harsher backing vocal incitement. It is a mix which has seen previous singles and the To Begin To See The Truth EP well received; a success sure to be eclipsed by Pretty Lies, the band’s finest offering to date.

Featuring Ilya Sinitski, the vocalist of post-hardcore band Island Of Skylines, Pretty Lies needs mere seconds to stir ears with its swift wall of thick riffs and muscularly swung beats. Keys are a just as early and potent coaxing as they lay a melodic haze upon the attention sparking entrance. With the mellow and rich tones of Engels’ voice matching the lure of her increasingly inventive and resourceful keys, the song poetically swarms over the senses embracing hues of inspirations of bands like Dream Theater and Within Temptation to its creative breast. It is a skilled and potent persuasion which gets bolder and more voracious as it blossoms, the raw tones of Sinitski spilling causticity across the engaging scenery and the guitar of Larionov spinning lattices of sonic craft and enterprise.

Pretty Lies is the maturest songwriting and weave of sound and textures from the band yet and even if major originality is still in the waiting, the thoroughly enjoyable song shows that The Great Adventure is heading in the right impressive direction.

Pretty Lies is available now.

RingMaster 26/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Richie Campbell – In The 876

Richie campbell_RingMaster Review

With the release of third album In the 876, Richie Campbell shows exactly why he is revered in his homeland of Portugal and becoming one of the most greedily devoured propositions in global reggae. Also infusing rich essences of soul and Latin flirtation into an array of individually distinctive songs, Campbell and album has the body bouncing and ears smiling.

Already drenched in acclaim and rabid attention which has seen the album hit the top of the Portuguese iTunes Charts within 2 hours of its European release in May, In The 876 now gets its UK unveiling with anticipated similar reactions going its way. Recorded between Kingston and Lisbon, and with a title referring to the telephone area code of Jamaica, In The 876 features numerous guests and is the next potent step in the seemingly unstoppable rise of Campbell and his creative stature. The Lisbon hailing singer/songwriter began concentrating on a solo career from 2010 having played in bands over the previous six years. Debut album My Path came out as a free download and subsequently amassed over 250,000 downloads which in turn led to Campbell playing a sold-out show at Lisbon’s Campo Pequeno Bullring. Second album Focused was just as well-received and successful, gaining a nomination in the Portuguese Golden Globes of 2013 and seeing its lead track, That’s How We Roll, awarded Song of the Year at the National Radio Awards.

Now is the turn of In The 876 to arouse thicker spotlights and awareness, in the UK and around the globe, and it gets off to a mighty bang, after its intro like title track, with I Feel Amazing. One of the singles from the album which has already earned potent radio play, the song is pure reggae flirtation. Its rhythms swagger with infectious beats aligned to bass spawned hips whilst guitars and vocals swing with virulent contagion and melodic seducing. From the off, the warmth of sunny skies around optimism rich emotions swim through ears and into the psyche, the whole song quickly an irresistible incitement to dance and smile. Though three and a half minutes long it is seemingly over in a flash, leaving exhausted but over flowing enjoyment behind to be whipped up again a by another single from the album in Best Friend.

cover_RingMaster ReviewThe second song has a mellower gait but is no less insistently catchy and melodically glowing, vocally and musically. Again keys and guitar incite a vibrant canter which has the body swaying incessantly whilst, as in its predecessor, a familiar but refreshing character only adds to its seriously persuasive climate. Vocally Campbell allows his naturally harmonic tones to entangle a more expected reggae seeded delivery resulting in something, as the music, instantly friendly and recognisable yet individual in character to most others.

The impressive start continues with Feels Like which features the wonderful gruff growl of Agent Sasco (also known as Assassin). The song is sublime temptation, its flow and melodies smooth over a canvas just rippling with character and diversity. There is a touch of New Town Kings and UB40 to the encounter and an instinctive romance between ska keys and ears. It is glorious and as it has body dancing and voice crooning, the lead thought is that this surely is a done deal as the next single.

The broader flavouring of the magnetic 25 to Life comes next, its emotive shuffle employing richer rock textures to a soul/reggae blending whilst Man Don’t Cry slips into a smouldering embrace graced with sultry backing vocals around another infectious rhythmic collusion of bass and beats. At times across the album Richie Campbell casts a sound which has familiar seeds in a musically hard to pin down landscape, and here that quality is at its most captivating best, with the song vocally and musically almost kaleidoscopic.

That’s Not Mine sees Jesse Royal guesting in its intimate yet wide social statement which has ears as absorbed by its lyrical jaunt as its aural jabbing and melodic tantalising. Thoughts of The Skints emerge as the song shows, like so many, glimpses and clearer twists of invention and imagination in all aspects before leaving full enjoyment in its wake which Get Over You uses to take ears and limbs into its own flirtatious dance. With the siren-esque beauty of Toian’s voice joining the scintillating escapade, the track boils like the surface of an aural heat wave, its relentless shimmer sizzling and pulsating surface unstoppable.

Both Give It All Away and Knock Me Out provide reasons for the imagination and body to rejoice, though neither can spark the same lusty responses as the tracks before them with personal tastes. The first is one of those songs which have the listener unconsciously lost in movement whilst its successor, which includes the guest appearance of Sara Tavares, is an embrace of soul and Latin elegance. Each fully engages but as suggested lack the same spark as the earlier adventures, something to a lesser extent which applies to the tenaciously lively and colourful Rise From We Fall and its reggae/rock pop samba.

In The 876 is concluded by firstly the excellent Standing Firm, a more formula reggae romp but given plenty of the Campbell Latin spice and vocal soul to fascinate and excite before Better than Today brings it all to a soulful close with provocative keys, emotive vocals and harmonies, and a melancholic jazz lined air. In many ways the song does not quite fit the rest of the album, or shouldn’t but it only provides a powerful end whilst revealing more of the impressive depth within Campbell’s writing and invention.

Exciting us most in its first half but only offering a thickly enjoyable time from start to finish, In The 876 shows exactly why the reggae world is excited over Richie Campbell. It is the UK’s time to explore and get involved with his riveting sound and songs now, and no doubt to get excited too.

In The 876 is released in the UK on August 28th via Chet Records.

RingMaster 27/08/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Billy Vincent – Stand On Me

Billy Vincent_RingMaster Review

A plaintive slice of British Americana but fuelled as potently by hope as it is shadows, the new album from Billy Vincent is an ear and imagination catcher. Stand On Me brings twelve tracks of streetwise intimacy and heart bred in the darker corners and depths of London. Their seemingly personal tales entangle the listener in sound and narrative and as shadow exploring as they are, come equally built on blind optimism in a host of individual ways for a landscape of vital rock ‘n’ roll.

Stand On Me is the successor to the band’s well-received debut album She and comes via Swiss label Deepdive Records to whom Billy Vincent recently signed. As mentioned its songs are themed around dark times and shadows but also explore the light to be found in the support of others and indeed hope. Co-writers and vocalist/guitarists Billy Barratt and David Vincent talked about Stand On Me before its release, revealing “We thought it important to choose a title that represents the bigger part of the songs on the record, and Stand On Me is one of those reassuring statements that if you’re lucky, someone close to you might say to you when you feel like you’re out of options, letting you know you can lean on them and it’s all going to be alright”. They went on to say, “A lot of these songs are about that, not letting people you care about crumble and disappear with the rain, it’s a positive thing and we wanted to embrace it”.

With the line-up completed by bassist Joseph Kinsey, lead guitarist Adam Roylance, keyboardist Alex Leith, and drummer Dave Rowlands, Billy Vincent open up Stand On Me with Across My Street and a swift caress of guitar and keys spiked by crisp beats. The song soon settles into a vibrantly magnetic stride wrapped in welcoming melodies and equally alluring vocals, they courted by a darker but no less gripping bassline. A southern spice is never far from the surface of the guitar enterprise either whilst an Elvis Costello meets Pretenders air soaks the song to fine effect. Foot tapping and vocal involvement is simply unavoidable as the song offers a masterful start to the album’s persuasion.

cover_RingMaster Review  A country climate blossoms with the following Sleep When You’re Dead but equally a folkish drama and reflection makes a pungent hue in the sultry presence and emotion of the song too. As in the first track, and most to follow, there is a swing to proceedings, even in its slow croon, which just grabs the imagination as forcibly as the heart spawned lyrics. That catchiness is more unmissable in Hell For Leather. Its opening lure of vocals from across the band is like a fanfare, enticing within the mellower but no less lively stroll of rhythms and melody honed hooks. The track reveals itself to be persistently bewitching, like a snarling fusion of Following Foxes and Seth Lakeman which just gets more rousing and vocally incendiary with every passing minute.

Everybody Else is another with a Costello like texture to its melancholic heart whilst Learning To Drink casts a dark acoustically honed seduction which just grows in sound and strength as its reflective narrative becomes more fiercely soulful. There is enthralling adventure to its evolving scenery and creative drama too, providing ears and emotions with a compelling proposal which as great as it is quickly gets overshadowed by the excellent Loveless Man. With bulkier rhythms and a blues bred lilt to its guitar and melodic endeavour, the song sizzles in ears, the vocals similarly inflamed with their emotive declaration for another lingering highlight.

Both the piano lit, forlornly pensive Dark Are My Days and the crestfallen Waifs & Strays wrap ears in Americana ambience and emotional encouragement, the vocals in the latter especially rosy in their glowing harmonies whilst Cheap simply smoulders in sound and emotion. All three with distinct characters uniting to lure thick attention and pleasure to this part of the album do have to bow to the outstanding You, Me, The World though, a rousing eager stroll with a touch of Denim Snakes’ Russell Toomey to its songwriting and vocal expression. The track is irresistible, stealing top song honours so far and setting another lofty plateau in an increasingly impressive encounter.

The country folk contemplation of Black Suits & Dresses embraces more imposing shadows but immerses them in its own light of optimism and warm soulfulness, leaving the rocking Sheriff Cook to bring the album to a thrilling close. From its first breath, discord and warped strings are toying with the appetite before erupting into a southern lined shuffle of enticing rhythms and smiling melodies skipped over by great grit lined vocals. There is a rebelliousness to the song, an open hint of roguishness which ensures every note and beat has the possibility of breaking ranks and sparking mass discordance. It never happens but assists in making the track increasingly bolder and unpredictable to ultimately give Stand On Me its pinnacle.

Americana and definitely country is not a flavour which gets much attention or eagerness in giving it the opportunity to be part of our ever evolving personal soundtracks here, but Stand On Me just engrosses from start to finish, with particular moments which, as the final song, lights a blaze in ears and appetite. Billy Vincent is a band gearing up to a massive future we suggest with plenty of evidence to be found within Stand On Me.

Stand On Me is available from August 28th via Deepdive Records.

Ringmaster 27/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Los Bengala – Festivos Incluso

LosBengala_RingMaster Review

If it is released by Dirty Water Records it is going to be worth checking out. That is a theory we have bred over time which once again is proven to be spot on as Spanish duo Los Bengala turn the day into one of devilish festivity with debut album Incluso Festivos. Seeded in garage rock but embracing many more prime flavours of rock ‘n’ roll, the ten track encounter is a perpetual feast of sound and fun.

The list of inventive and thrilling duos is a growth industry in world rock, but there are some which just step out from the crowd to steal the show. Canada has The Black Frame Spectacle, the US has bred In The Whale, and now Europe has the mighty sounds and thrilling creative instincts of guitarist/vocalist Guillermo Sinnerman and drummer/vocalist Borja Tellez to drool over, and since being introduced to Incluso Festivos that is what we have been doing. Hailing from Zaragoza, Los Bengala is another tasty proposition emerging from the flourishing garage rock Latino scene. Last year saw the pair win a national battle of the bands competition in their home country and now have broader fields in their sight with Incluso Festivos which is co-released on their own imprint Wild Lion and Dirty Water Records, the latter spotting them playing a show last August in London with UK’s own garage punk geniuses The Mobbs.

The seeds of addiction are laid straight away through album opener La Caza, a minute and a half of rhythmic slavery. Tellez needs barely seconds to have ears and appetite gripped, his opening thuds soon a rolling jungle of rhythmic craft and incitement which just gets keener and more virulent with every rally. That alone would have left nothing less than lust behind but things only get better as the guitar of Sinnerman adds southern honed hooks and enterprise into the instrumental revelry. It is a scintillating anthemic start which is potently backed up by Sé A Dónde Voy. The band’s garage rock inspirations are ripe colouring in the jangle and eager energy spread by the song, its riffs and beats a persistent invitation for the Spanish sung lyrics to leave their expressive lures on.

cover_RingMaster Review   No Hay Amor Sin Dolor has the scent of The Clash to its opening bait of guitar next, a spice which continues as Tellez springs another fresh dose of rhythmic tempting into the brewing mix. The song has a definite punk breeding to its r&b invention and tenacious stroll whilst revealing another shade and arm to the Los Bengala sound and imagination. It is diversity which continues in Jodidamente Loco, a track which jabs and roars its way into the psyche with a mix of noise punk and dirty rock ‘n’ roll twisted into contagion of steely guitar, badgering beats, and volatile vocals. The track is irresistible, a song taking an already high plateau to the album up another notch before Máquina Infernal keeps release and listener on the same high with Latin lures and sixties toned catchiness.

65 Días next seduces with a psychobilly/surf croon, its sweltering air and haunting balladry mesmeric even as it subsequently lifts its tempo and emotional discord within the dramatic landscape. Like Reverend Horton Heat in league with UK band Milton Star, the song is bewitching, and increasingly so with every listen, much as the album itself.

Things get hectic and scuzzier again with the brilliant Aaah, a riot which reminds of earlier mentioned In The Whale but revealing its own groove infested, rhythmically incendiary, and unique stomp. Rock music does not get much better than this, just finds new ways to match such glory just as the band does with the swinging devilment of Ataco. Arguably the most pure garage rock track on the album though its successor might have something to say about that, it just grabs body and energies in its contagion led grip to take the listener on a controlled but exhaustion inducing stroll.

Perfect Body is the only English sung offering on Incluso Festivos, a mischievous celebration and virulent romp flinging grooves, hooks, and rousing beats around like creative confetti. The sixties, seventies, and the now are all rolled up into its infection loaded alchemy, body and emotions the swift slave to its glorious tempting.

The album is close by the similarly sensational Abran Paso, a song which again shows glimpses of The Clash as well as others like The Jam and less so Queens Of The Stone Age, but emerges as its own fascinating and torrentially captivating protagonist. It is a mighty end to a majestic encounter, and another reason to understand why the guys at Dirty Water got excited when first seeing Los Bengala. Thanks to them we now have one exciting and invigorating release courting, nay demanding broader attention and quite honestly the bottom-line is that you and the world needs this album in a fulfilled rock ‘n’ roll life.

Incluso Festivos is available now via Wild Lion/Dirty Water Records on vinyl, CD, and digitally.

RingMaster 25/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

http://www.zykotika.com/

Atomic Suplex – Fourteen Inches of Fist

Atomicsupplex_RingMaster Review

Great rock ‘n’ roll always benefits from a good dose of creative dementia in its devilry and you get plenty of that and more in the bedlam that is Fourteen Inches of Fist. The new album from London quartet Atomic Suplex is nonstop ingenious lunacy, a dangerous riot for body and soul, and quite brilliant.

The UK quartet has been stirring up sonic trouble for a number of years now, earning increasing acclaim with every release and a reputation as one ferociously exciting and uncompromising band live. Stages across the UK and Europe, as well as Asia, have been shared with the likes of The Hives, Guitar Wolf, The Gories, The Adolescents, Nobunny, The Kids, Jet Boys, Armitage Shanks, Richard Herring, The Spits, The Fat White Family, The Buzzcocks, Theee Bat amongst many more whilst singles and EP’s over time, and certainly acclaimed 2010 debut album Bathroom Party on Crypt Records, have marked the band out as a must investigation for a growing horde of fans. Now it is Fourteen Inches of Fist raising a storm since its recent release, and declaring Atomic Suplex as not a must but the essential riot for all rock ‘n’ roll fans.

Sound and album is garage rock, punk rock, noise rock…any kind of dirty, insatiable rock ‘n’ roll you can think of and a torrent of fun from its first to last breath. One Man Party kicks things off with the announcement “When I say I’m a dick, you best believe I’m a dick! D- I- K.” It sets the aggressive belligerent tone which rousingly fuels the whole album, and a song which is soon erupting into a salaciously tenacious slab of punk ‘n’ roll driven by the rousing tones of Jim Suplex. A sonic web of noise is soon grasping ears through his and Emma Leaning’s guitars whilst a gloriously throaty bass sound is conjured by Dan Suplex amidst the wicked swipes of drummer JD Kickdrum. The track is pure attitude, like early Damned merging with The Sonics, and instant slavery.

The album’s title track comes next, it too a concussive explosion of sound but this time infusing honky-tonk piano, blues rock spicing, and garage rock ‘n roll devilry into its mix of raw sixties and seventies rock ‘n’ roll. Flames of brass only add to the theatre of the muggy scenery as too the gritty backing vocals of Emma behind Jim’s raw incitement. As its predecessor, the track has ears and appetite lustful, a success 14 Inches of Fist relentlessly achieves from first song to last.

Cover_RingMaster Review   Set It On Fire has limbs scything through air next with seventies punk antagonism meets psych rock contagion, its guitars and brass a resourceful scorching, whilst Wild Love invites naughty deeds with a Rocket From the Crypt meets Dick Venom and the Terrortones infestation of sound. Both tracks are ridiculously compelling persuasive yet find themselves outshine by the outstanding Firing Line. The song is manna for the ears and heart, its Mighty Mighty Bosstones like opening alone igniting the instincts to party before rhythms provide a jungle of unstoppable temptation frequented by wonderful squirts of sax. They develop into subsequent deranged toxicity further in, colluding with a just as rigorously arousing web of guitar and bass enterprise. As ever like a side show barker, Jim adds his vocal stirring to the mix for one slice of irreverent creative alchemy.

Fifties inspired and seventies coloured rock ’n’ roll gets the Atomic Suplex corruption next, the raw and caustic devilment of S. U. P. L. E. X. a tempest of sonic and vocal raucousness pierced by melodic bait and fiery hooks. It is less than a minute and a half of catchy mayhem before Two Girls flirts like a punk incarnation of The Shangri-las tutored by The Rezillos. As all songs though, air is raw, sound scuzzy, and the encounter as abrasive as it is virulent, and again thrilling.

   J.D. Attack pounds the senses like the bastard son of a Showaddywaddy and Reverend Horton Heat union, its thumping rhythms and heavyweight brawl of sound one party you know would welcome gate crashers with devilish relish whilst the corrosively scarring Ass Tecnica is noise punk knavery which, as in the previous song, twists anything from surf and r&b to garage rock into its ravenous bellow. The pair unsurprisingly leave exhaustion and exhilaration in their wake, as too the eighteen second punk assault of No Pain No Gain, a song more than backing up its title.

Like The Cramps meets The Mobbs, You’ve Got Some Nerve has the body throwing moves hips were surely not made for across its forty odd seconds, a wonderful physical test followed by some respite through the hex that is Pancho. Sultry sax caresses ears initially though in no time it is joined by a wall of sonic intrigue and adventure which has a whiff of Oh! Gunquit to it. Continuing to spill funky hooks, searing grooves, and a garage bred invention; the song is as psychotic as it is clear infection, and another pinnacle of a very lofty landscape to Fourteen Inches of Fist.

Chicken Rich is a ragtime hued haunt seeded in the past which descends into anarchy the further its nostalgia persists whilst closing track White Shoes is quite simply incendiary rock ‘n’ roll which manages to spin a tapestry suggesting everyone from Billy Haley to The Cramps, King Salami and The Cumberland 3 to Turbonegro, and Screaming Jay Hawkins to Johnny Thunders within its epidemic of unbridled energy and senses inflaming rock ‘n’ roll.

Fourteen Inches of Fist is one of the best real and organic rock ‘n’ roll album this year and of a few before, maybe the best, and Atomic Suplex the one band you were meant to lose your sanity with.

Fourteen Inches of Fist is available now via Dirty Water Records on 12” vinyl, CD, and digitally.

RingMaster 25/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

http://www.zykotika.com/

Damn Dice – The Great Unknown

Damn Dice Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

If some new metal infused hard rock ‘n’ roll is on the agenda then checking out the debut album from Damn Dice would not be a bad move. Unleashing twelve tenacious slices of hard rock, a dozen slabs of fiery, adrenaline fuelled stomps, The Great Unknown easily suggests the London based rockers are a band to keep a close eye on. It starts with a bang, ends with another invigorating stretch of songs, and though for personal tastes its middle section ebbs and flows in persuasion a touch too much, the whole album leaves full enjoyment as its prime legacy.

Damn Dice began in 2011 and quickly made a potent impression and impact with a live presence which in no time had a UK and European tour supporting LA Guns on its CV. The next couple of years saw the band reinforce their strong emergence whilst luring increasing acclaim through impressing headline shows and the release of their Wild ‘N’ Ready EP in 2013. It soon had the likes of Classic Rock AOR, Powerplay, Black Velvet, and Music Week offering eager praise whilst the single/video from it, Take The Fight saw the band regulars on Scuzz TV and indeed radio. Now the band is ready to make a hefty nudge on broader attention with The Great Unknown, an encounter as rousing as it is skilfully crafted, as riotous as it is familiarly infectious.

Recently Damn Dice has grown to a quintet with the addition of Diego, but it is the foursome of vocalist Alex, guitarist Wallis, bassist Marco, and drummer Fransoa who has ears ringing with opener Power. From a controlled and sonically suggestive start, the track is soon living up to its name with a charge of bone splitting beats and hungry riffery. Aligned to the quickly impressing tones of Alex, he supported as strongly across the rest of the band, and featuring an already grouchy presence by the bass, band and song is soon a virulent anthemic temptation. Bands such as Skid Row, KISS, and Hardcore Superstar are suggested as references to the Damn Dice sound, and certainly essences of them and others are open hues in the character and energy of the song though it matters little within the rampant fun of the encounter.

Damn Dice Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   The seriously enticing start to The Great Unknown continues with What Now? and its initial rhythmic coaxing which courtesy of the bass, borders bestial. Its growling is the spark to a great contrast of niggling hooks and infection spewing grooves with vocals and melodies just as magnetic in one of the band’s previous singles. It springs a web of addictive enticement and inventive enterprise though again there is something recognisable to the encounter which fair to say only add to its allure before Driven brings its antagonism lined classic hard rock resourcefulness to court ears. Not as immediate in its persuasion as the first two, the song eventually proves to be just as inescapable for body and voice, as too the following Down, both songs easy to lock on to anthems sure to inflame any hall or speaker over time. The fourth track has an even more old school colouring to its fresh romp but as enjoyable as it proves to be, it is from here that The Great Unknown struggles for a while to match its early prowess.

To be fair though with The Way To Go from a sizzling electro touch going on to offer a bouncing boisterous shuffle of riffs and rhythms whilst Caught In The Ride and Words uncage a snarling catchy canter and evocative flame of emotion respectively, satisfaction is left smiling and the body catching its breath in their wakes. The latter two songs also unveil a spicy sonic enterprise and melodic imagination which only lures ears before Bang Your Head hits the album’s earlier plateau again next, its full throttle charge equipped with commanding rhythms and rip-roaring riffs and enslaving vocals. Once more Damn Dice are not exactly tapping into the hard rock unknown but its weighty slavery of ears and thick tempting is unavoidable before it quickly moves over for the equally dramatic and incendiary rampage of No Fear. As a few songs on the album, its start is thrilling drama but whereas others at times never manage to live up to their entrance in the rest of their bodies, the song continues to build a theatre of craft and adventure, not forgetting an invigorating anthem that only leaves a hunger for more and more you get with the outstanding Take The Fight. Unafraid to throw in a dose of rock pop for its contagious chorus, it takes little time to see why the song raised such enthusiasm and focus when released previously, its potency just as fierce and forceful now.

The album is brought to a close by the sinew built, rhythm swinging Rock (Like You Mean It), a song which arguably feeds expectations a touch too much yet still grows to be a more flavoursome beast with every listen, and lastly the compelling croon and passion of the excellent Home, where musically and vocally Damn Dice just reinforce the diversity of their sound to give a last treat for ears.

The Great Unknown is nothing less than thorough enjoyment from start to finish with certain stretches where it really gets to grips with wants and tastes. Different songs will work for individual appetites but if hard rock and metal infused rock ‘n’ roll hits your sweet spot then Damn Dice and their album is well worthy of an hour of your time at the very least.

The Great Unknown is released August 24th through most stores.

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shitshifter – Intruders

cover_RingMaster Review

Shitshifter’s sound is a blizzard of raw emotion, vicious intensity, and a rage as primal as the dirt at the centre of the earth. It also breeds a bewilderingly contagious energy and incitement aligned to persistently fascinating and unpredictable imagination. It is devastating aural liquor that ensures the German band’s album Intruders is one hellacious and invigorating proposal. This is a release and artist which certainly is not for the faint-hearted or for those needing a safety net with their music. For all who have an appetite to bleed from the ears, delve into toxic emotions, and go places which the Geneva Convention would like to cover if it could, Intruders has the attributes to be a punishing revelation.

It maybe should be no surprise that Intruders is as vicious and compelling as it is with its founders other projects including I Am the Bayonet, Hungry Lungs, Twinesuns, and Nvrvd; bands which have offered plenty of brutally creative treats, the last two in very recent times. The trio of drummer Tobias, bassist/vocalist Stefan, and guitarist Christian, formed Bielefeld based Shitshifter in 2012, fusing the fiercest, most inhospitable strains of death and sludge metal with hardcore viciousness bred on raw crust/d-beat causticity. It is a mix which is unafraid to dip into varied flavours and inventive detours at times, but primarily is cultured to corrupt the soul with pestilential enterprise whilst lyrically tearing into religion.

Worth It and invasive smog of sonic confrontation is the album’s first touch, this soon joined by heavy footed, predatory rhythms alongside the rasping venom of Stefan’s vocals. From here on in, music and voice spew toxicity with every note and throat searing squall, never relenting even as the carnivorous and scarring tones of bass pace sludgy tendrils of guitar, their union creating a barbarously addictive swagger as the senses are scorched by the tempest of intensity and sound. The track’s gripping qualities continue with Kings And Queens, the second song evolving from the final sonic intrusion of its predecessor into just over a minute of even more corrosive and gripping enmity. There is no mercy given or wanted as guitars vein the track like lava and rhythms somehow craft an anthemic nature to the mass onslaught.

Again one scourge of sound and invention slips into another as The Demagogue takes over, the track almost skipping into ears and psyche before unleashing a cancerous cacophony of sound and intent equally as barbaric and skilfully addictive as offered as the last song, though with again no breath allowed between, it gets outgunned and shone by its successor. Far From Eye, Far From Heart stalks air and listener with a rapacious glint in its creative eye and a doom pungent atmosphere which grudgingly drips onto a melancholy soaked canvas. The harrowing but elegant landscape has its own moment to provoke and inspire the imagination too as the hordes of sonic hostility holds back for a passage of haunting calm before they converge on ears again with arguably more restraint but greater threat.

For once there is a break, a couple of seconds of nothing between songs before the outstanding Loyal Dog brings its predation into view with a punk inspired prowl and cold post punk toning to the melodies dripping from the guitar of Christian. Stefan’s bass is simply carnal in tone and touch, tempering the chilling but inviting embrace initially offered though by half way that too is spilling rancor and insatiable ferocity. The track epitomises the Shitshifter sound, its merciless intensity and creative gall but also the always present adventure of invention and styles woven into the excruciating storms if they are at times overwhelmed by the fury.

Igod is another minute plus tirade of sound and ire, and another violation easy to get addicted to whilst Nothing In Common in similar form and barbarity just pummels existing wounds with its metal framed emotional bedlam and bitter hardcore contempt. The pair forcibly light ears and appetite before the closing ShitShepherd ensures the union of band and listener ends with a lingering trespass physically and emotionally, and arguably the album’s pinnacle, though many tracks have a case to claim that.

Song and album just hit and violate the sweet spot, though obviously Intruders or Shitshifter will not be for everyone, with you can imagine many barely lasting a couple of minutes of torment, but if filth infested hardcore/death metal crossovers or indeed the band’s other projects, though openly different, are for you, then bliss could be in the volatile air.

The self-released Intruders is out now.

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright