The Veer Union – Decade

veer union _RingMaster Review

Named to mark the 10 year span between The Veer Unions’ debut album Time To Break The Spell and their new proposal, Decade is a riveting incitement of fiery melodic rock from the Canadians that simply leaves ears ringing in rousing sound and satisfaction. It is also the first encounter with the band’s latest line-up, one which seems to have lit another emotive and creative fire in the band’s belly.

The successor to the band’s successful 2012 album Divide The Blackened Sky, a well-received offering pushing the band to greater attention, Decade is a collection of ten stirring songs; five new and five unreleased tracks which were written before The Veer Union began and have been ‘brought back to life’ for the band’s new concept album. It makes for a release which takes the listener into the heart of the Vancouver based band’s journey from first breath to now, through their struggles overcoming adversity and the intimacy of vocalist/songwriter Crispin Earl’s own personal battles.

Veer Cover_RingMaster ReviewOpener and latest single Defying Gravity, deals with that inner turbulence, being lyrically inspired by Earl’s struggle with depression over the years. It opens with a slightly haunted sonic tempting before unleashing its demons through a hardened rhythmic trespass and irritably grouchy riffs, Earl emotively roaring from the heart of it. It is a striking entrance with a carnivorous snarl but relaxes a touch as melodies unite with kinder intensity as the lyrical sharing begins. Rawer backing provocation from the throat of bassist Amal Wijayanayake intimidates as harmonic tones from the voice of lead guitarist Dan Sittler courts Earl’s swiftly impressive delivery and expression, it all adding to the Three Days Grace/ Sick Puppies like spice blessing the glorious arousal of ears and emotions.

Watch You Lose ensures there is no dip from the heavyweight persuasion of its predecessor, it too slipping into ears with a seductively sinister and elegant sonic caress before enticing grooves wind menacingly around the rapier swings of drummer Tyler Reimer. Rhythm guitarist Ryan Ramsdell simultaneously adds a great nagging essence to the ratty air and nature of the song, his lures matched in more primal kind by Wijayanayake’s bass but sublimely tempered by the sonic enterprise of keys and Sittler’s touch, not forgetting the increasingly impressing and anthemic mix of vocals.

With a mellower climate comes a tempestuous character to the following You Can’t Have It All whilst I Said is a melancholic reflection wrapped in siren-esque ambience around an introspective heart, both tracks providing a gripping infectiousness and emotive drama to get greedy over. The first of the two is another feisty rousing incitement with a Sick Puppies like growl whilst its successor offers a dark serenade leaning more to a Nine Inch Nails like atmospheric immersion.

A strong electronic essence also colours the impassioned blaze of Make Believe, its energetic tempting merging with the predatory teeth of the guitars and pungently forceful rhythms. It is a unity of varied and contrasting textures masterfully woven and matched by the rich strains of the vocals linking up with Earl’s potent lead; a perpetually successful collusion as shown quickly after by both the volatile heart cry of We All Will and the similarly dynamic sonic clamour of I Don’t Care. Each feeds ears with individual emotional bellows aligned to thunderous yet carefully uncaged sounds, calms and catchy twists skilfully linked to boisterous and imposing expulsions to impressive results.

The Unwanted is another galvanic encounter bringing thick emotive drama and contagious bait together whilst captivating and firing up the senses, a quality emulated by Heart Attack but with a stronger leaning to virulent melodic catchiness and tantalising caresses than the vigorous confrontation of other tracks, though it too is no lightweight in intensity and passion. The same can be applied to closing song The Underrate, a meaty slice of pop rock with an angst driven pulse and prickly attitude inciting body and vocal chords with an anthemic bawl.

The track is a mighty end summing up the album in heart and creative dexterity. The Veer Union does not have the most original of sounds even if the designs to it are as fresh and inventive as you might wish for, but the band creates an emotive ‘call to arms’ which simply grabs attention as strongly as their thrilling sound treats ears. Here is to the next ten years of such pleasure.

Decade is available from January 29th through Pavement Entertainment.

Upcoming Tour Dates With Bobaflex, Bridge to Grace, and Artifas

FEB

2/18 — San Diego, Calif. — Brick by Brick

2/19 — Phoenix, Ariz. — Last Exit Live

2/25 — Lubbock, Texas — Blue Light Live

2/26 — Abilene, Texas — Legends Rock House

2/27 — Tyler, Texas — Clicks Live

March

3/2 — Shreveport, La. — Hangar 21

3/3 — Crowley, La. — Sam’s Place

3/5 — Madison, Ala. — 11th Frame

3/6 — Destin, Fla. — Club LA

3/9 — Tallahassee, Fla. — Pugs Live

3/10 — Jacksonville, Fla. — Free Birds Live (Save the Arts)

3/11 — Wilmington, N.C. — Cardinal

3/12 — Charlotte, N.C. — Amos Southend

3/19 — Hagarstown, Md. — Hard Times Cafe

3/25 — Kent, Ohio — The Outpost

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

Pete RingMaster 29/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Simo – Let Love Show The Way

SIMO-band_RingMaster Review

Though their new album is our introduction to Simo, it is noticeable that the striking craft and potent tones of vocalist/guitarist JD Simo seem to be the main focus of attention with a great many. As proven by the compelling Love Show The Way, the Nashville based band is so much more though. From the magnetically roving bass grooves of Elad Shapiro and the tenacious enterprise of drummer Adam Abrashoff to the evocative songwriting and its fiery realisation, Simo is one potent unit made up of creatively integral parts.

It is fair to say though that JD Simo, a musician begging his parents for a guitar at the age of five and regularly playing bars backed by older musicians by 10 years old, is a mighty lure to the Joe Bonamassa favourite’s fusion of blues, southern rock, and classic R&B with jazz fuelled enterprise. The background to Let Love Show The Way is in itself as alluring also. Recorded at Macon, Georgia’s Big House, the communal home of the Allman Brothers Band during their late sixties/early seventies heyday, what we hear in ears was not the proposition planned for the first album to be recoded at the famous site. Heading into the recording, Simo has a whole different set of tracks primed for the release with the visit primarily to record a couple of bonus tracks for the album. With engineer Nick Worley involved too, band and passion “caught fire” in the inspirational surroundings with a dozen tracks being burnt down in less than 48 hours; songs spawned with raw and electrifying intensity that inspired the band to change direction and go with what organically grew there and then. JD himself summed up the moment, “As the producer of the project, I couldn’t live with myself if we didn’t use these songs, I just felt it was better than anything the band had ever captured so we decided to scrap the original record and build this new one around everything we recorded at the Big House.

SIMO_RingMaster ReviewWith each track recorded live in complete takes and without any edits, Let Love Show the Way quickly grips attention with opener Stranger Blues, a cover of the Elmore James classic. Shimmering into view, the song is soon eagerly dancing in ears, riffs and rhythms a feisty shuffle whilst grooves as good as flirt from Duane Allman’s 1957 gold-top Les Paul which JD played on every song within the album. It is a sizzling lure of a start which only strengthens as Two Timin’ Woman offers its own bluesy flame guided by the enjoyably unpredictable and dynamic rhythms of Abrashoff as well as the dark tempting of Shapiro’s bass.

An even rawer edge lines the scuzzy lure of Can’t Say Her Name next whilst I Lied has a rough psych rock air to its grouchily infectious proposal; both tracks riveting weaves of vocal prowess and heart linked to skittish rhythms and slightly antagonistic riffs bound in searing tendrils of blues imagination. The second of the pair is especially flavoursome and irresistibly imposing before the lovely and mischievous rock ‘n’ roll of Please has body and emotions stomping around like a teen with its catchy slice of blues rock.

The Celtic spiced Long May You Sail is another instantly stirring the imagination with its adventurously individual escapade whilst I’ll Always Be Around sighs, pulsates, and rumbles with magnetic southern blues melancholy before Becky’s Last Occupation writhes and swings within its groove infested fire to re-ignite the physical side of the body after its emotion feeding predecessor. Each of the trio creates tapestries of chaotic adventure and surprising twists which sublimely and dynamically unite for inescapable temptation.

The heated sounds keep ears fired up as I’d Rather Die In Vain explores a jazz lined web of sonic imagination and experimental invention matched by a dynamic rhythmic punch. The track is a glorious off-kilter incitement leaving the senses and imagination enflamed and then gentle seduced by the acoustic instrumental grace of Today I Am Here.

With a great trio of bonus tracks in the outstanding Let Love Show The Way, the fiercely sultry Ain’t Doin’ Nothin’, and the provocatively crooning Please Be With Me completing the CD and digital versions of the album, Let Love Show The Way leaves enjoyment eagerly flowing. As Simo lives up to all the potent praise and declarations heard before music touched ears, theirs is an album with the inclination to please any rock ‘n’ roll fan let alone those with an appetite for the blues,

Let Love Show The Way is released January 29th via Provogue Records/ Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/simo-letloveshowtheway-cd.html

http://www.simo.fm/   https://www.facebook.com/simotheband

Pete RingMaster 29/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Haster – The Current Sea

Photo Courtesy of David Trejo Photography

Photo Courtesy of David Trejo Photography

As explosive and dynamically striking as it is creatively imaginative, the new album from Californian metallers Haster is one of those offerings that bring the day, body and emotions alive. The Current Sea is anthemically huge and inventively bold yet weaves in to it a host of familiar styles and flavours which only go to enhance its virulently imposing and contagious roar. The result is a slab of defiant and emotive rock ‘n’ roll as intimidating and cantankerous as it is one mighty feel good incitement.

Formed in 2010, the Huntington Beach quintet seemingly and unsurprisingly going by their latest offering, took little time stirring up attention and support, especially once releasing their debut album Searching in 2011. Its successor Let It Go cemented the band’s stature on the Orange County music scene with its unveiling in 2014 and now it is The Current Sea gearing up to push the band to new spotlights not only at home but within the broadest landscape of metal and rock.

Fusing dark and alternative metal with heavy rock ‘n’ roll; Haster creates a sound which will have something for most with a taste for metal and heavy rock. As proof The Current Sea offers a perpetual wave of familiar and unique essences bred from inspirations that range from Korn and Deftones, Chevelle and Tool, to Breaking Benjamin and System Of A Down, and as soon as opener Your Silence hits ears with its sonic coaxing, attention is on alert and swiftly gripped. Emerging on a looming almost foreboding energy and tone, the track aggressively and purposefully bounds towards the senses, then once up close as a growl of aggressiveness passes, it slips into a rugged stroll with melodic scenery wrapped in the fine clean tones of vocalist Jarret Stockmar. It is a delivery carrying a great persistent snarl though which is matched by the irritable riffs and punchy beats of drummer Brian Tew. Quickly those Chevelle/Breaking Benjamin references are understandable but there is plenty more to the character and air of the catchy encounter and as quickly realised, the album.

The-Current-Sea_RingMaster ReviewAs good as it is the song is soon overshadowed by the bands outstanding latest single, The Unscene. As keys caress whilst riffs grumble and burrow into ears, the bass of Mondo Salazar prowls like a predator skirting the similarly snarly tones of Stockmar holding a mutual attitude to its presence. In no time the track is an addiction, a Disturbed meets American Head Charge like contagion with a chorus you will only find yourselves involved in after it leaps into ears just the once. Elevated further by the tenacious and inventive weave of guitarists Patrick Nolan and David Heida, the track is prime anthemic bait and unavoidably irresistible.

Haunt Me has a slightly mellower air to its confrontation but still carries an emotive intensity that flows readily through the great blend of Stockmar’s lead and Nolan’s backing vocals. Becoming more agitated and antagonistic minute by minute, the track explores a Korn like enterprise lined with melodic toxins carrying a scent of Life Of Agony to them before making way for the grumbling emotion and rhythmically gripping prowess of Substance Low. It too mixes infectious and unpredictable resourcefulness with more abrasive textures, a merger simply igniting ears and appetite into a greed quickly fed by The Resistance and its fiercely enticing collusion of wiry and sultry grooves with rapier like beats and vocal dexterity; again it all coming with a touch of Korn at times.

Potent bait and rich satisfaction continue to come together as Asfixiate and The Artist’s Life share their creative narratives and individual dramas. The first initially sounds like a close relation to its predecessor though soon it explores its own emotive Drowning Pool/A Perfect Circle spiced journey whilst the second brings back that grouchier provocative nature of the band’s music to merge into a potent tempest of sound that at times plays like Linkin Park crossed with Bring Me the Horizon. As shown by next up Consumed though, there is a constantly shifting and evolving nature to the tracks which only excites and impresses. The new track is similarly volatile in temperament to those before, fluidly moving from aggressively rapacious to sonically calming with vocal invention to match.

Connection Error is a cranky protagonist next; a choleric encounter gnawing on the senses as it fires up ears and pleasure with an irritable rousing roar easy to get hooked up on, much as the album is as a whole to be fair. Its confrontational body is contrasted by the reflectively emotive and calmer Shoved Aside, though the album’s closer has plenty of creative and impassioned sparks to create a blaze able to erupt with heart driven anger. Though for no particular reason, it fails to make the same kind of impact as other tracks, the song brings The Current Sea to a powerful and richly enjoyable conclusion.

To date it is probably fair to say that Haster is a name predominantly lent to US awareness but we suggest not for much longer thanks to their stirring new album.

The Current Sea is available from January 29th via Musicarchy Media through iTunes and more.

http://www.hastermusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Hasterband/

Pete RingMaster 28/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Fall – The Insatiable Weakness

Fall_RingMaster Review

Busier than a swarm of flies on a carcass but far more thrilling and rewarding, The Insatiable Weakness is a seriously explosive and dramatic introduction to Texan band Fall. The album is a cauldron of styles and flavours within a progressive/melodic death metal landscape which never gives ears and the imagination a moments rest whilst creating a gripping incitement as creatively tempestuous as it is coherently fascinating.

Taking inspirations from Scandinavian metal and bands such as Opeth, At the Gates, and Soilwork to their sound, the Portland based quartet emerged as 2010 took its early breaths. It was not too long before they were a notable presence on the live scene, going on to share stages with bands such as Helstar, Periphery, The Human Abstract, The Contortionist, Textures, Fallujah, and Aegaeon as their presence and reputation grew. A self-titled EP was released in 2012, an encounter featuring guest vocals from Soilworks’s Bjorn Strid which soon awakened not only more of the US to the band’s emerging potency and force but ears and attention further afield too. Now the band’s self-released debut album is set to stir up plenty more with its inescapable adventure and invasive imagination.

Consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Jessie Santos, guitarist Daniel Benavides, and bassist David Gutierrez alongside, for the album, the ever irrepressible rhythmic craft of Soilworks’ drummer Dirk Verbeuren, Fall swiftly encase ears in a cloud of sonic and rhythmic incitement as opener From Ashes rises threateningly to spawn a maelstrom of cutting riffs and intensive rhythms. In its air harmonies also break out with an atmospheric tempting, both getting their moment to descend poetically on the senses within the storm with Santos revealing pleasing variety and strength to his vocal delivery, raw and clean. Given potent hint of what is to come, the song continues to evolve its forceful and evocative tapestry with strands of progressive invention and rousing enterprise, all amidst intrusive turbulence led by Verbeuren’s renowned prowess.

Cover artwork by Niklas Sundin

Cover artwork by Niklas Sundin

Not of the Sky continues the attention catching start; the vocals again one focal point in a cascade of many, with their slight discord, whether intentionally or not, adding greater character to the emerging bedlamic and creative tirade of the song. Furiously unpredictable and fluidly aligned, melodic enticing and colliding flavours breaks through as each twist grips ears, softening and working them up into an eager appetite for the also tempestuously toned and adventurously woven Ever Hollow. Bellowing and tempting, the track is a magnetic fury veined by seductive magnetism, extreme and progressive metal uniting in something intimidatingly hellacious, sonically psychotic, and at times rousingly catchy.

Through both Harvester and Cinis, band and album continue to infest and corrupt the senses, though the former is just as potent in its infectious glaze of pop metal. Featuring guest vocals of Jessie Frye, it is another bundle of contrasts and clever contradictions creating a track which mesmerises as strongly as it bruises. Arguably it is the most accessible offering on the album but is as inventive and volatile as any of the more challenging and invigorating proposals within The Insatiable Weakness. Its successor is a much more voracious proposition, as swiftly shown by Strands of Night vocalist Asa Dubberly, who guests on the tempest, and the carnivorous tone of the bass which builds on the darker menacing tone it offered the previous song. Around them, and the bracing roar of Santos in its different strains, guitars stir up a nest of sonic vipers and melodic resourcefulness, the track painting a turbulent and tenaciously diverse canvas of raw and alluring flavours.

Ears and appetite are only drawn in tighter as the celestial hued and aggressively bracing Desolation and the predatory thrash seeded, death fuelled torrent of provocation posing as Soul Ignition thickly satisfies whilst …to dust lights ignites another fuse to lustful reactions with its unbridled ferocity and cantankerous attitude lined with infection soaked exploits. Providing one more major highlight amongst only heftily persuasive successes, its rich tempting is emulated in kind by the uniquely different Empty where, arguably for the first time, keys stretch their ever present atmospheric and ambience casting prowess into being a leading protagonist.

The album closes up with firstly Gods of Ruin and its landslide of unforgiving rhythms within an exhaustive infestation of expansive metal voracity and finally You were but a Shade, it an invasive and virulent episode of unpredictability, absorbing imagination, and explosive individual craft from all concerned. A seduction that tears strips off the senses, the song is an immense end to a similarly impressing release.

Only a weighty amount of listens does The Insatiable Weakness true justice, but every venture reveals new striking layers, previously undiscovered twists, and a bigger hunger for more as reward. As a name, Fall does not make a particular impact but rest assured from their first moments, sound and album more than make up for it.

The Insatiable Weakness is out now @ http://fall1.bandcamp.com/album/the-insatiable-weakness

http://facebook.com/falltodust

Pete RingMaster 28/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Conan – Revengeance

Conan_RingMaster Review

Photo credit: Matt Thomas

Crushing and suffocating as it corrodes the senses, the new album from doomsters Conan is set to be one of if not THE most primal trespass on body and soul heard this year. It will certainly take something leviathan in heaviness and emotional destruction to surpass the barbarous weight and intensity of Revengeance, and that a discovery only possible if ears survive and recover from the British band’s latest impressive devouring.

Formed around the time 2006 became its successor, the then two-piece was soon a merciless scourge of sound and intent, proof coming with debut EP Battle in the Swamp in 2007. Since then a pair of albums in Monnos (2012) and Blood Eagle (2014), surrounded by a couple of split releases as well as a further EP and a live album, have all added intensive heft and stature to the band’s presence and a perpetual luring of acclaim. Now with the declaration of many as being the band’s heaviest proposal yet and loaded with songs seeded in video games, retro sword and sorcery movies, and ancient battle scenes, Revengeance sees Conan take their uncharitable and infectiously toxic sound to the listener with rawer strength and callous intensity aligned to groove fuelled rabidity.

The album opens up with the seriously bruising rock ‘n’ roll of Throne of Fire, the track immediately bounding with sinew driven urgency through ears. The beats of drummer Rich Lewis land like sledgehammers as the bass of Chris Fielding intimidatingly prowls with venomous intent, both matched in hostile tenacity by the scuzzy groove spilling guitar of Jon Davis. With his and Fielding’s vocals united in antagonistic temptation and bearish presentation too, the track is a riotous onslaught prone to fluid slips into festering sludge hued examinations of the senses.

636_Conan_RGB_RingMaster ReviewIt is a gripping and punishing start to the release continued by the compassionless incitement of Thunderhoof. In excess of nine minutes, the track gravitates towards the senses and emotions with bestial predation bred in an asphyxiating mass of sound and intent. The two prong vocal violation again is a commanding coaxing into the carnal heart of the encounter, rhythms prowling that centre with cold-blooded efficiency and dexterity as Davis’ guitar casts its violation of noise, a sonic despoiling as infectious as it is abusive.

Two tracks in and it is already hard to bring to mind a doom infested offering as ruinously resonating and enthralling; Wrath Gauntlet backing up that thought in expected but refreshing style. Sonically smothering the senses from its first breath, the track is the collapse of light and hope; how you might expect the heart of a black hole to be with at times the matching impression of no survival. Within it though, searing enterprise and unpredictable scythes of animosity rear their appealing head, as throughout the release, giving what on the surface may seem like similarly pestilential walls of noise drama to that around them, their own individual character.

The album’s title track uncages its scarring sonic fury next with, in tandem, rhythms a rebelliously concentrated bullying. It is a ravenous affair, an unbridled tempest of sonic carnality savaging the body as a web of deliciously invasive grooves inspires its eager involvement. Erupting in ruthless contagion, the track is a slash-and-burn consumption as caustically vicious as it is addictively invigorating and more than matched by Every Man Is an Enemy and its own virulently swinging infestation of ears and emotions. Neck muscles are as insatiably tested as the senses, its lumbering yet openly catchy enmity of sound and spirit, a warring beast of noise and viciousness.

The closing Earthenguard begins with a ‘light’ climate but is soon choking the listener in its damning nature and pitiless depleting of the senses. There is no escaping its insidious drone or the numbing of ears and emotions, except to turn it off and that is an inclination which never raises its head. Arguably less dynamic than its predecessors but certainly as inhospitable and pleasing, the song makes a fine end to a dangerously compelling release.

The reality of it all is that the rest of the doom metal scene has been given a benchmark by Conan for 2016; time will tell if they are up to the challenge laid down.

Revengeance is available from January 29th via Napalm Records on CD, vinyl and as a digital download.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

09.04.16 UK – Leeds / Ritual Festival

30.04.16 UK – London / Desertfest

28.05.16 UK – Southampton / Annihilation Festival

http://www.hailconan.com/    https://www.facebook.com/conandoom/

Pete RingMaster 28/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

CZv50AmXEAAMDrM.jpg large_RingMaster Review

If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Sekoria – Im Reich der Schatten

Sekoria-Promo_RingMaster Review

An invasive infestation of melodic black metal bred with symphonic adventure, Im Reich der Schatten is also a lingering persuasion which lures attention repeatedly back. The second album from German metallers Sekoria makes a potent first impression, increasing its attraction over each venture into its atmospheric trespasses whilst all the time laying seeds that draw an appetite to immerse in its ravenous landscape again; that a success in anyone’s book.

Formed in 2010, Sekoria had fans and press praising their debut of two years later, Iter Stellarum. Backed by a potent live presence seeing the band share stages with the likes of Milking The Goatmachine, Arroganz, and Vyre, the current foursome of bassist/vocalist Tobias Forneberg, guitarist/vocalist Felix Piroth, guitarist Matze Markwart, and drummer Mathias Törster have continued to expand and explore their melodically toxic and riveting symphonic black metal, the latest results bringing us the recently released Im Reich der Schatten.

It has become almost expected for dark and extreme metal release to open with portentous instrumentals epically harkening tempests of war or change, and Im Reich der Schatten is no different. It can be predictable but when it is done right with cinematic potency as in opener Einbruch der Dunkelheit, it can have ears and imagination eagerly involved. The suggestive starts leads straight into the album’s title track, a furious and rabid onslaught of swiping rhythms and harrying riffs bound in vitriolic strands of guitar and prowled by the insidious air and tone of the vocals. It is a voracious proposal quickly stirring up pleasure, especially as it imaginatively evolves into a rousing yet still rapaciously anthemic canter combining raw shadows and elegant tempting.

Sekoria_-_Im_Reich_der_Schatten_Cover_RingMaster ReviewImmediately the following Die Nachtigall shares primal intimidation with its opening menace, bass and riffs colluding in a bestial yet composed stalking as a symphony of emotion brews. As repeated across the album, it is a magnetic union of contrasts which blossoms further as keys bred ambience soaks the senses in the midst of a vocally ravishing confrontation. There is an air of hope and emotive safety too within the song’s closing and still savage passage which comes with thicker evocative hues in the guitar spun instrumental Ein neuer Weg. Its melancholy laced lure flows into the similarly tantalising Wesen der Zeit, before tumultuous intensity driven by rapier like beats and threat carrying riffs overwhelms the senses. Again though, as they get bruised and violated, the imagination is sparked by flowing melodies and atmospheric caresses whilst being further incited by throat scarring vocal squalls.

Through the immense ebbs and flows of Canticum Maris and its ear lapping and increasingly intensive waves of provocative textures and rancorous intensity and the fiercely tempestuous roar of Der Sturm, den ich rief, the album finds another fresh spark to entice and inspire thoughts with. Both offer a creative drama which fascinates and seduces as it defiles; a quality continuing through the caustic animus of Vendetta and the crushing intensity and infectious bad blood of Der Fall. Whilst each is an individual intrusion of murderous rock ‘n’ roll, they only increase in potency and effect as each listen reveals new layers to their hellacious depths.

Die vergessene Welt offers a land of dark secrets and sonic menace next before Thron aus Eis avails ears of its own forcibly alluring and corrosive temptation. The first of the two has a progressive nature to its melody infused shuffle, contagious exploits colluding with haunting symphonic drama, whilst its successor is a cold yet inviting storm abating with warm oases of melody and reflective enterprise.

Completed by the fluidly shifting but perpetually jaundiced heart and air of Ein letztes Mal, band and album leave ears and thoughts exposed and numb from its abrasive exploration, but equally contented. There seems like a running theme through the album which is hard to pin down not speaking German, but emotionally the release leaves no doubts to its creative grudge and inventively crafted examination of narrative and listener. Im Reich der Schatten announces Sekoria as a band on the rise and with the potential of even bolder imagination and variety to come.

Im Reich der Schatten is out now via Kernkraftritter Records.

http://www.sekoria.de/   https://www.facebook.com/sekoriaband

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

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