Attan – From Nothing

ATTAN_bw_RingMaster Review

In their own words, “there’s nothing but ice and darkness” to the far northern border of Norway where noise breeders Attan was bred, but equally going by the band’s debut EP there is also plenty of frustration, rage, and creative turbulence nurtured by the landscape. From Nothing is a five track onslaught of blackened hardcore with a voracious metal bred antagonism to it. To that doom seeded breaths are conjured and inflamed emotions vented; the result a release which potently hits and impresses initially but just gets fiercer and more compelling in its persuasion from thereon in.

Oslo based, the quintet draw on inspirations and flavours found in the likes of Converge, Emperor, Neurosis, Will Haven, and VOD; influences as their Shelsmusic released EP shows, open in the band’s sound but twisted into something if not yet explosively unique, certainly invigoratingly fresh and riveting.

ATTAN COVER_RingMaster Review   Recorded and mixed in a barn in Lunner, a village in the municipality in Oppland county, From Nothing quickly abrases ears and ignites attention with opener Nocebo (I Shall Harm). It is a stonking bruising of a track from its first second to last, straight away offloading beats and riffs that batter and rub the senses respectively. A bass and thick sonic confrontation joins in soon after as early rhythms become broader and rasping vocals erupt to enticing effect. Straight away you can easily imagine essences which have inspired the band but as the punk fury lays richer abuse and volatility on ears, the venomous contagion springs its own character in the Attan sound. Like Shevils meets Converge, catchy toxicity colludes with undiluted ire and hostility, the track continuing to grow and surprise against the maelstrom of vocals which mix piercing squalls with the new additive of dark grizzly tones.

It is a great start to the encounter matched in success by the even more irritable and punishing Lost Words Of The Mothkeepers. The again double sided assault of vocals is a swift tempting within the searing intrusion of sound, rhythms barbarous as a sonic tempest niggles and intrudes with its searing tone and invasive touch. The unbridled onslaught ‘calms’ as the song progresses, though not in spite as a doom blossomed oppression of noise smothers the senses. Still there is virulence to the proposal though; an element which easily captivates from within the perpetual turbulence.

Full Circle/Full Stop comes next, its initial approach a ‘mild mannered’ sonic trespass with emotive hues and prowling rhythms. The whole nature and gait of the track is a stalking of ears and emotions with repetitious lures and a hypnotic shuffle cast by the drums. Midway it too explodes into a provocation of punishing dynamics and tortured vocals but simultaneously brewing up another torrent of infectious bait to align with the physical raging.

Such the sheer force and rabidity on offer in all tracks, there is a surface familiarity at times which you sense some will not get beyond, but as Black Liquid Marrow reveals, below that skin Attan spin a web of intrigue and creative hostility which seems to unveil a new twist and depth with each listen. The fourth track is more openly unique than the first trio, so that extra attention is less needed but willingly given such the drama and tenacious enterprise within the doomy oppression of sound and emotion.

As all songs, it is an increasingly magnetic and persuasive protagonist, but as others shaded a touch by the closer Edward. Admittedly, the track took longer to spark the same height of reactions as its predecessors, but over time, providing new tempting and aspects each listen, it seduced with its sonic nagging and rhythmic dynamics. Alongside them the excellent mix of vocals continues to please as sour melodies wrap around the doom coated spine of the song, though it is the almost post metal invasion of the imagination and bordering on emotionally cancerous heart of the incitement which seals the deal between band and pleasure.

Attan are going to be too intensive and merciless for some it is easy to suspect, especially those unprepared to explore their sound and the EP’s layers, but for others, From Nothing will be an introduction to get a touch excited over; we can vouch for that.

The From Nothing EP is released November 30th digitally via Shelsmusic @ and on Limited Edition Vinyl (300) @

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

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Networks – Enough To Save Us EP

Networks_RingMaster Review

There is a bit of a buzz brewing up around UK metalcore band Networks and though we are not ready to yet add majorly enthused voices to the rising roar, intrigue and attention for the Portsmouth band has certainly been sparked thanks to their debut EP Enough To Save Us. It is a tempest of sound and ire fuelled emotion which sits easily within expectations of the genre inspiring it but dig deeper and there is an underbelly of invention and imagination which incites closer inspection and a want to know more.

Formed in 2014, Networks was soon stirring up ears and support across shows and a handful of festivals like Redfest, Edgefest and Messtival. From there opportunities to share stages with the likes of The Blackout, Slaves, and Astroid Boys have arisen, 2015 being a thick nudge of broader attention by the band. Seeing a couple of personnel changes early on this year, they set about writing new songs whilst playing with artists such as Palm Reader, Zoax, and When We Were Wolves and at the Crossroads Stage at Butserfest with HECK, Fathoms, and Shields. Now they attempt to whip up more of us with Enough To Save Us, a try easy to imagine leading the band to some potent success.

Networks ETSU EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review   Wires gets things off and running, its opening a worldly bred flavouring infused with samples and a brewing turbulence which soon drives the heart of the raw fury and enticing sonic tempting gripping the track. In no time the guitar of Joe Soar builds a web of engaging grooves and sonic enterprise, they a less hostile tempering to the heavy growling vocal antagonism of Sean Kelly and the hefty swipes of drummer Harry Fielder. The main body of the track is potent and persuasive if without springing any surprises but it is the twists of sound and imagination, at times only in slithers, which turn a good track into a keenly appetising one.

A melodic caress opens up the following End Of An Era, though soon jagged exploits from the guitar step forward in tandem with the dark menace of Josh Slade’s bass. Within a few more breaths, the track is stomping with energy and irritable emotion, though again things evolve as all the creative tendrils and facets of the excellent track collude and entwine. Once more it is fair to say that Networks are not breaking free from established metalcore scenery and hues, but with bright imagination and a good level of unpredictability, the track provides an increasingly enjoyable incitement.

The rugged and challenging Darker Truth steps up next, vocals a rasping provocation against barbarous rhythms. As the lure littered sonic weave spun by Soar breaches ears, the bass brings a great bestial voracity to the song’s tone, it all uniting in an appealing trespass on the senses with again surprises low but enjoyment thick.

The EP is completed by its title track, a proposal carrying a similar and satisfying template to its predecessor. There is an open degree of similarity across all songs in varying ways, the admittedly strong and pleasing vocals of Kelly one such area which might blossom further with a touch more diversity. More than most, the final provocation suggests this closeness but nevertheless it still enlivens the appetite whilst confirming the prowess and potency of Networks in songwriting through to sound.

Enough To Save Us suggests there is plenty of potential and quality which will see Networks emerge from the crowd in time and coax strong attention and support along the way. Fair to say that the band’s opening gambit is a strong and fiercely solid introduction providing ears with a potently enjoyable slab of confrontation, a sign of things to come we suspect.

The Enough To Save Us EP is available via on Viper Trail Records, digitally now from most online stores and as a physical copy from December 3rd when it will be launched at the EP’s release show at The Edge Of The Wedge in Portsmouth.

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tales of the Tomb – Volume One: Morpras

TOTT-processing-plant _RingMaster Review

Dripping blood and viciousness from every note and syllable, the debut EP from Canadian death metallers Tales of the Tomb is the breeder of nightmares and lustful appetites. Volume One: Morpras is a three track execution of the senses, a demonic trespass of the soul inspired by real life equivalents and an encounter which might not be about to turn the extreme metal scene on its head but definitely gives it a nasty assault of murder metal to get excited over.

Hailing from Edmonton and emerging in 2013, Tales of The Tomb draw on the inspiration of horror comics that glorified hideous crimes and creatures, the seed for the band name Tales of The Tomb too, and equally true life episodes of murder, supernatural horror, and real-life terror. These are seeds strikingly blossomed within Volume One: Morpras, in lyric, tone, and sonic brutality. Mixed and mastered by Dan Swano (ex-Bloodbath, Unisound), its goes for the jugular and senses like the protagonists featuring in its concept, an unrelenting trespass continuing across a trio of blood-lusting tracks.

Morpras - EP_RingMaster Review     It opens with Snowtown, a violation inspired by real-life crime of small-town Australia. Within a couple of breaths, riffs are venomously flooding ears as rhythms beat down on the senses like a machete. The raw throated tones of vocalist Connor Adams, potently backed by just as grisly other tones, infest the psyche as potently as the sounds and their enterprise which is arguably less antagonistic initially then the vocal squalls on offer. Swinging rhythms and nasty grooves only add to the gripping adventure too, guitarists Corey Skerlak and Tre Thomas casting a bait ridden web as the bass of Bryn Herbert grumbles alongside the rapier beats of John Thomson. It is an impressive start blossoming in strength and imagination the further into its two and a half minutes ventured, clean vocals alone one of the great additives to the mayhem.

The Pig Farmer steps in next, another slim sonic coaxing the spark to a hellacious confrontation which this time, colours true events of a prolific Canadian serial killer. In no time it is grinding its way into body and psyche, torrents of nagging riffs, spicily intrusive grooves, and vocal pestilence igniting ears and appetite as the band ravishes the listener from every direction with incendiary craft and gripping virulence of sound. It is as corrosive as it is irresistible, a rabid animus fuelled by more of the fiercely pleasing vocal mix and a savage predatory intent.

With a touch of fellow countrymen Dark Century to its fury, as too in varying degrees of bands like Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse, the track as the EP is an evocation for a greed for more, a hunger fed by the closing Doctor Death. As the serial killer inspirations behind it, the song preys on ears, taking its time to instil its toxicity but working away with compelling almost cancerous sonic intent from the off. Grooves entwine and work their way under the skin like toxic vines, whilst the body of the song strolls with a deceitful calm as much hued in more classic metal essences as it is in death metal voracity.

The first two tracks whip up a rabidity which takes no prisoners, straight in and swing type attacks, whilst the third is a lingering poison which takes its time to build to its aim but with the same riveting result on ears and pleasure. Volume One: Morpras EP is a stirring introduction to Tales of The Tomb but also frustrating that it is a mere three tempests. Hopefully more bloodletting with follow soon but for now this EP is being hungrily devoured.

The Volume One: Morpras EP is available from November 27th digitally and on CD @

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

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Today, They Are Older – Self Titled

Today,They Are Older Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

For some reason it took time to particularly warm to the self-titled EP from UK post-hardcore quintet Today, They Are Older. To be honest there are still elements not quite lighting personal fires, but the five track incitement definitely goes on to prove to be one very solid and skilfully accomplished proposition. Getting a national reboot November 27th via Sunbird Records, the EP also justifies why there is a potent buzz brewing up around the band.

Formed in 2010, the Darwen in Lancashire hailing band soon set about arousing attention and support with first EP, Universal. 2013 saw the uncaging of the band’s debut album The Evergreen Theory, it also waking more appetites to the band’s emerging presence and a sound inspired by the likes of Underoath and Heights. A line-up change followed as the band looked to capture the band’s true sound and raucous energy, always evident on stage, into their recordings. The new line-up seemed to give the band the spark they wanted in that aspect, and following linking up with Sunbird for its release, attempted to find that success on their latest EP.

Today, They Are Older Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   It is an aim seemingly realised as the EP erupts with Empty Eyes, the track an immediate causticity of sound and emotion littered with enticing hooks and sonic bait driven by the raw throat spewed squalls of vocalist/keyboardist Liam Corran. There is a raw bluster surging through the song but one able to easily embrace an imaginative enterprise and the open craft within the band. For personal tastes, not enough time and space is given over to the unpredictable twists and flirtatious slithers of invention in track and release that emerge as the starter really comes alive for its finale; jagged riffs and discordant spicing majorly igniting proceedings with their bolder adventure.

The strong start continues with A Fool’s Gold Fuel, an instantly bruising and belligerent assault with a touch of Gacys Threads to it. The guitars of Jordan Howard and Adam Turnbull rage and entice with their web of aggression fuelled riffs and inventive sonic endeavour, both aspects backed by the robust swings of drummer Matthieu Woodburn and the primal tone of Thomas Jones’ bass. As its predecessor, the song satisfies and at times sparks greater reactions as the band tries to explore new tenacious ideation within ultimately a more recognisable yet rousing confrontation.

From Finland With Love soon becomes the focal point of the EP as from its first breath it spins a tapestry of off-kilter and unpredictable invention for a still savage but forcibly imaginative exploration. It is an experiment of sound to be honest not really seen elsewhere within the EP and the track simply blossoms because of it. Great female backing vocals and melodic elegance only adds to the strength of the song and the sure fire arousal of ears and imagination, with anticipation of this being the direction the band heads off into now hopeful.

Such the might of the track it gives both Statues and No Guts, No Glory a testing time to live up to its success. Neither manages it yet the first, with its enjoyable rhythmic agitation and the ever fiery and creative prowess of the guitars, leaves plenty to spark a hungrier appetite whilst its successor provides a harsh savaging lit by more enticing rhythmic bait from Woodburn and Jones as a great mix of clean backing vocals aligns to the more regular roar of Corran.

As it started, the EP end on a strong point but the bigger treats are within, especially in the shape of From Finland With Love. The EP still has not lit a big fire in the passions but at certain moments it definitely truly excites as the band suggest they can move out of the crowd to make a bigger impact.

The Today, They Are Older EP is released November 27th via Sunbird Records @

Pete Ringmaster 26/11/2015

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Slow Riot – Cathedral


artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

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The Five Hundred – Winters

TFH_RingMaster Review

Every now and then, without any debate, lustful pleasure is ignited by a release; by a band exploding on the sweet spot of ears and instincts with something which just seems to know what the passions like. Such an encounter for us is Winters, the debut EP from UK metallers The Five Hundred. It is hard to say what particularly incites such enthused reactions and appetite, the release weaving its fierce tempting with a host of familiar flavours and styles, but every one of its four incendiary tracks is hellacious manna to the ear and imagination; something we suspect to not be alone in feeling.

The Five Hundred emerged in 2014, a Nottingham quintet previously known as DAOR. In no time their fusion of brutal and melodic metal was whipping up ears and thick attention, every strain of extreme metal and numerous other styles seemingly entangled into a compelling maelstrom of enterprise and confrontation which now fuels Winters and already an acclaimed live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Architects, and TesseracT. Recorded with Justin Hill (Sikth, Heart of a Coward), Winters is the band’s first fearsome roar at national spotlights, and if our ears are anything to go by, heading to rich success in awakening that broader focus.

Winters EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review    The press release suggests that the band switching to 8 string guitars has been a new spark to their sound and invention; whether it has or not, all that matters is that Winters is a full-on tempest of persuasion from first breath to last. The EP starts with its title track and straight away is grumbling in ears through the predatory bass of Andy Crawford, it a grouchy provocateur within a surge of wiry guitar. The hefty swings of drummer Liam Perez show no light in their nature either with each beat a shuddering impact as guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty weave more compelling bait for vocalist John Eley to spring from with great diversity. Just as musically the release ticks all the boxes so does the attack of the frontman, his fluid mix of clean, punkish, and outright raw hostility equally accomplished and perfectly measured in the split of all his strains of potency.

Death and heavy metal collude with metalcore and post hardcore ferocity though that is a simplifying of the hues creating the first and each track within Winters, as Come Closer swiftly proves. The lead track with a great video in tow, it emerges from a misty sonic atmosphere with military rhythms and emotive vocals, they still more in the background until a ravenous stomp of belligerent rhythms and caustic riffs is triggered. It in turn breeds a sonic blaze which is not so much mellow as less vicious than the surrounding and perpetually prowling ferocity soaking the walls of the incitement. Again at times as punk as it is metal and a constant exploit of seriously enticing elements amidst slithers of unpredictable ingenuity, the track is a ravenous treat but outshone within seconds.

The barbarous majesty of the first two tracks carries on in the outstanding Shutter to the Light, its immediate swagger as seductive as it is venomously violent. Like an anthem for the derailment of all that is hopeful, the track bellows at and trespasses the senses and imagination with enthralling enterprise, yet within its despoiling character harmonies and melodies are unleashed to wrong-foot and seize the passions even tighter. Everything about the track whips up a greedy appetite and pleasure; from the irresistible prime hook to the increasingly formidable vocals and the raging invention culturing the creatively rabid storm.

The EP is closed by The Cannibal Hordes, it also a quite thrilling and blistering arousal of ears and satisfaction. Melodically acoustic in its first caress, defiantly cantankerous from the second onwards, the track spits hostile intent and roars melodic understanding; vocally and musically entwining both with a skilled volatility that ensures expectations never gets proven. As suggested earlier, many elements and flavours are recognisable, bands like Fear Factory, Lamb of God, In Flames, and Hatebreed coming to mind, yet no song utters anything other than something unique to The Five Hundred.

The Winters EP is a crushing and scintillating introduction to The Five Hundred, band you should expect to hear a lot more of in sound and acclaim ahead, if only from our enraptured lips.

The Winters EP is out now digitally and on CD via

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

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The Twin Dracula – Hell Hath All Fury


Hell Hath All Fury_RingMaster ReviewAs they started the year, UK rockers The Twin Dracula end it with a ferocious slab of noise bred, punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll. This time it is courtesy of new EP Hell Hath All Fury, four tracks which tenaciously roar and aggressively tempt as they remind all what an exciting and sadly still majorly unrecognised band they are.

Formed in 2012, the quartet took little time in arousing attention and eager appetites for their raw rock incitement through a fierce live presence and debut EP Introducing. Its success and potential was equalled and built upon by its successor TTD​/​GFY, and both in turn surpassed in sound and invention by the Death Is Our Client EP which was unleashed at the beginning of 2015. With bands such as Kid Dynamite, Wipers, Rocket From The Crypt, Propagandhi, and The Bronx potent inspirations, the encounter showed a new adventure and mature imagination brewing within The Twin Dracula songwriting and sound, one in full cry now through Hell Hath All Fury.

The EP opens up with Catholic Discipline, a seriously swift incitement which more is an introduction to the release than an individual statement, though to be fair its predatory stalking of the senses and vocal ire more than wakes an ever ready appetite for The Twin Dracula fury. The sonic wind buffets ears for a breeze over a minute before flowing straight into the quickly thrilling tempest of Liars. The track begins offloading jabbing beats from its first breath as a storm of dirty riffs blows, that the vehicle for seriously tantalising grooves and a volatile rhythmic incitement. In turn this draws in a great the blend of enraged punk vocals and a gripping web of hooks and grooves to get greedy over. The band’s sound has never seen a lacking of such attributes but here the tapestry is more creatively involved and imaginative than ever as the band entwines a broad array of noise and rock ‘n’ roll bred flavours.

From one impressive track to another as the metallic hues closing off the second track is superbly contrasted by the more punk pop/alternative rock welcome of Alura. Without defusing that potent tempting, band and track soon weave in fiercer and more aggressively tenacious elements into the infection; their punk ‘n’ roll again taking on an almost kaleidoscopic quality in its impassioned and compelling storm.

   You’ll Never Defeat The Cobras arrives to complete the EP; it another track which evolves and dances around with persistently rapid infusions of new ideation and flavours ranging from metal and melodic rock to hardcore, noise, and punk rock. The track is irresistible, its sinews veering on the barbarous at times and melodic adventure perpetually seductive as it caresses and sears ears, whilst rhythms and vocals, in their own individual ways, entrance with anthemic prowess. It is a mighty end to Hell Hath All Fury, a dramatic and thrilling finish to an equally scintillating incitement.

The Twin Dracula just gets better and better, release by release. Time for all to get bitten we suggest.

The Hell Hath All Fury EP is available now @

Pete RingMaster 22/11/2015

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