The RingMaster Review brings further snapshots of some of the best offerings from the independent scene.
Venues – Solace
The release of Solace sees the next instalment in the rise of German metallers Venues, a fresh chapter which was maybe under threat when in the wake of acclaimed release of 2019 debut album, Aspire, vocalist Nyves quit the band mid-tour. It could have derailed the band but with defiance in their hearts, they began an extensive search for her successor. Step forward Daniela ‘Lela’ Gruber, who apparently was spotted by guitarist Constantin performing at a Steel Panther show. With also another new member in guitarist Valentin, Venues subsequently linked up with producer Christoph Wieczorek (Annisokay) for their second full-length, an encounter which quite simply leaves its striking predecessor in the shade.
With a sound classed as modern metal, though truthfully we are not sure what that means, Venues took little time to grip attention within their new offering. It uncages a tempest of sound drawing on all the ripe fruits of post hardcore, metalcore, melodic metal and alternative rock with more besides. As opener Razorblade Teeth also proves, it is a sound which has become richer in emotive tension and physical voracity but equally bred greater fire in its melodic prowess and compulsion in its virulence. The song alone also reveals Lela a new dynamic and compelling addition to the ranks, one that we could even suggest has sparked new energy and intensity in her band mate’s own open creativity.
aligning clean vocals with the throat grazing roars of Robin, Lela is soon a fiery sunspot in the gripping storm of the first track, the guitars of Constantin and Valentin casting a perpetually twisting and evolving tempest of enterprise driven and splintered by the intensive swings of drummer Dennis. It is an exhilarating attention enslaving start which the following pair of Whydah Gally and the outstanding Rite Of Passage continues, the first a cauldron of emotive tempestuousness and physical turbulence. Yet it is almost predatory in its infectious prowess, a trait taken to new levels of temptation and persuasion by its successor, the song like a siren within the track’s fierce sonic blizzard. At times it is a predatory beast with the wiles of feline grooves and in others a pop induced infection and throughout a major highlight of Solace.
This year we have been able to cover a host of encounters where every track within provides a mighty temptation and Solace is no exception, from first to last breath unbridled and rousing enthralment shared though a few moments especially ignited the passions. The ravenous rock ‘n’ roll of Down Below is one such enslavement, its body seizing on industrial essences initially before expanding its own individual cyclone of sound and emotional turmoil with a dextrous embracing of again numerous flavours while Our Destiny reveals rock pop can be as barbarous and incendiary as any metal bred harassment.
The track proved swift addiction but with the likes of Uncaged Birds and Deceptive Faces to name just two of many others arousing fascination and pleasure so in turn did Solace, an inescapable compulsion which should be the moment Venues stake their claim on the biggest attention.
Solace is out now; available through https://venues.bigcartel.com/
Pete RingMaster 17/09/2021
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Sober Truth – Laissez Faire, Lucifer!
Individual tumults within one hellacious tempest; that is Laissez Faire, Lucifer!, the new album from German metallers Sober Truth. They are storms and cyclones though which draw the listener into cauldrons of sonic diversity and creative confrontation, trespasses which proved bounty for the imagination.
Founded in Bonn in 2007, Sober Truth has evolved a sound across the years and four increasingly acclaimed albums which increasingly defies inning down. As the bands fifth full-length proves, in any moment groove and progressive metal could collide with industrial and gothic metal or thrash and death metal might merge with modern and alternative metal; in truth all can be involved in any given creative furore and track for something that, as we can attest to, grips ears and breeds lustful pleasure.
The quartet of vocalist/guitarist Torsten Schramm, bassist Jules RoCkwell, lead guitarist Aaron Vogelsberg, and drummer Paul Bendler never allow a second of Laissez Faire, Lucifer! to dismiss unpredictability and forceful enterprise. From the moment Distinctive descends on ears it was also obvious that there would be a continuing unveiling of fresh aspects to songs with every listen. As swiftly reinforced by the likes of Dizygotic Twins, the band’s sound nags and bullies throughout its intrusive company but equally fascinates and seduces as every passing passage of second reveals layers and twists to keep the senses and imagination busy.
Rhythms bite and voraciously invade as grooves singe and bewitch, melodic and sonic endeavour just as imposing yet invigorating; a template persistently twisted and expanded across the release around Schramm’s almost conductor like vocals. Every merciless scourge of turbulence unleashed though is a menace of infectiousness and drama as further epitomised by songs like Imperfection, the outstanding Hope, Enjoy & Death and our favourite Rebirth.
To be fair though every track within Laissez Faire, Lucifer! proved a riveting, ear grabbing arousal with all providing an individual twist and pleasure in its striking body so the only reality for us is that you really should immerse in the Sober Truth.
Laissez Faire, Lucifer! is out now via A Chance For Metal-Records; available @ https://sobertruth.bandcamp.com/album/laissez-faire-lucifer
Pete RingMaster 16/09/2021
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UNDERBALL – THE BEST IS YET TO CUM
Forging an irreverent proposal through a salacious mix of thrash, glam metal, and hardcore with plenty more in its delinquency, Italian rockers Underball have just unleashed debut album The Best Is Yet To Cum. It is dirty, insatiable and a tempest of voracious sound and most of all a bad habit forming slab of raucous fun we can only recommend.
Like a mix of Suicidal Tendencies, Stormtroopers of Death and The Big Dirty, the band’s sound surges through ears with rapacious intent surfed by just as troublemaking vocals. It is a ravenous affair equipped with riffs that harass and rhythms that bite but equally with sonic enterprise that winds seductively round the imagination and hooks that feed inherent addictiveness. There are definitely many familiar traits and inspirations to its trespasses but it only adds to the temptation and pleasure we felt from opener John Von Lover onwards.
Crawling over the listener from its first moment, the first track soon erupts in a thrash driven, punk fuelled uproar. Setting the scene and character of the release, riffs devour and rhythms slap as all the while lead vocals and band shouts make for a rousing reprobate based incitement. Within the creative delinquency though, there is a craft and web of melodic enterprise which gives greater potency and invention to the tracks.
Majorly favourite moments regularly came with the likes of the edaciously nagging Squirt On My Face, the uproar pulling antics of Milf and the savagely virulent Infection leading the way, all three though submitting to the insidious rock ‘n’ roll of Deadland for best track, its incessant mix of horrorpunk/thrash punk filtered metal irresistible.
To be honest lyrical profoundness is as absent as uncivil disorder and titillation is keenly present in word and sound and it all goes to make one fiercely enjoyable proposition, maybe not one destined to be classed a classic but certainly pure devilry to swing your lead with so no complaints here.
The Best Is Yet To Cum is out now.
Pete RingMaster 29/07/2021
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SEEDS OF 77 – LOCKDOWN BREAKOUT
With this past May embracing its unveiling digitally and on CD and June welcoming a vinyl offering on Sounds of the Suburbs Records, Lockdown Breakout is the debut album from UK punksters Seeds Of 77. This is a band and release which unsurprisingly, going by the moniker, seeds its sounds and inspirations in the UK’s punk outbreak back in the seventies but equally takes the potent essences of sixties garage punk and psychedelia as well as other hues to its dextrous body and imagination.
Led by the vocal dexterity and fertility of Vince Mahon and Michi Sinn, Lockdown Breakout leaps from the speakers with a belligerent smile and rebellious heart; roaring like a fusion of The Tuesday Club, The Adicts, The Duel and The Cavemen. Across thirteen tracks it defies expectations and almost taunts with surprises and variety, revolving like a rapacious kaleidoscope.
Completed by guitarist Richard Sheldrake, bassist Finn Panton, keyboardist Simon Daniels and drummer Neil Harris, Seeds Of 77 uncage unscrupulous drama and enterprise along the DIY adventure and dexterity of their album. From start to finish, it is an encounter which leaves a striking mark with personal thickly favourite tracks ranging from the fiery old school canter of Kick It Out, the superb creatively animated antics of The Trickster as well as the romance reflection carrying Lost and Found and the sinisterly swinging Subterranean Homesick Beast. To be honest all songs deserve a mention and a rich moment of your time so go enjoy via the band’s Bandcamp profile.
Pete RingMaster 08/07/2021
The recent release of Lustful Sacraments saw dark electronic weaver Perturbator unleash his first album in five years; an encounter which took waiting anticipation of the British project’s next tenebrific exploration and rewarded it with a compelling demand on attention.
With a sound which has perpetually evolved since breaking through in 2012 within the likes of Terror 404 and I Am the Night, James “Perturbator” Kent embraces the inspirations of eighties post punk and gothic rock to his ever fertile dark electronics instincts for Lustful Sacraments. It is an encounter which is cinematically atmospheric, at times claustrophobic, and emotionally challenging yet reveals moments of stark but infectious melodic temptation with an inherent pop appetite. Each track is a wall of sound and intimation woven with precise and provocative intricacy, every moment an adventure for ears and imagination.
At times there are potent hints of bands such as DAF and Sisters Of Mercy across the release and in certain tracks like the outstanding Excess a rampaging March Violets hue with its melodic hooks and vocal uprising while within the equally striking Secret Devotion, which features the vocals of True Body, an early Mute Records meets Modern English-esque scent. Unsurprisingly, all tracks though simply absorb such essences in Perturbator uniqueness as epitomised by the irresistibly predacious Messalina, Messalina with its Leitmotiv/Crispy Ambulance like nagging, a track taking our top honours.
Perturbator is back with a bolder and more mature sound and in the Blood Music released Lustful Sacraments, his finest lure on ears, imagination and pleasure.
Pete RingMaster 08/07/2021
Descending on the senses like an infernal plague but one set on inciting bodies and attitudes to kick ass is the debut album from Swedish Death´n´Roll outfit All Wasted. Uncaging thirteen slabs of voracious mayhem and sonic ferocity, Burn With Me is a suitor, predator and killer all rolled into one.
Hailing from Gothenburg, All Wasted features members from We Are The Catalyst, Arise, Reenact and others, the quintet emerging in 2020 after a couple of years jamming and preparing together. Their metal bred sound is just as forceful in its heavy rock and voracious punk instincts, an encounter which can just as easily hint at the likes of Carcass and Six Feet Under as Wednesday Thirteen and Rudimentary Peni as forge its own overriding individuality.
With tracks like opener Passion of Crime and its rapacious manipulation, the album’s carnally imposing title track and the venomously infectious I am the Pain as well as the insidiously contagious Rotten to the Core, a collection of rich incitements capped off by the ravenous war cry of This Means War, the swiftly addictive Burn With Me proved one furious pleasure. From its first breath riffs invade and rhythms harass, all wound in sonic hookery and melodic dexterity and fuelled by individual prowess and with its worldwide digital release via Wormholedeath Records is sure to make All Wasted one attention grabbing assault.
Pete RingMaster 08/07/2021
Portuguese thrashers Prayers of Sanity have become renowned for their old school thrash fuelled sound across three albums which have increasingly lured rich plaudits. Now the band have just set loose their fourth and in Doctrine of Misantropy unleashed their finest most naggingly addictive proposal yet.
Formed in 2005, Prayers of Sanity bred their sound in the 80’s thrash inspirations of bands such as Exodus, Nuclear Assault and Testament. The release of their 2009 debut Religion Blindness inescapably caught the imagination of fans and critics alike and the trio with the same influences continuing to drive their growing and maturing sound have only earned bigger attention and praise since. Doctrine of Misanthropy is fired from the same elements as its predecessors yet is a certain new growth in sound and enterprise as the band draw greater rapacious essences of punk and hardcore into their creativity. It makes the Rastilho Records released offering a proposal that is easily accessible, familiar in many ways but reveals a character and freshness which erupts with fresh prowess and temptation.
Riffs fly and nag as rhythms pounce and bully throughout the album, each track as the vocals a snarling incitement and trespass that proved impossible not to be manipulated by. From the moment its opening title track pounced through to the closing Machiavellian scheming and cunning of Destination: Hell, there was no escaping the esurient appetite and dextrous intrusion of Doctrine of Misanthropy, and through the ear ensnaring likes of Sons of Royal Blood and Path Sin within nothing but a full host of gripping tracks equipped with a craft to match, all attention was the band’s and theirs alone; so to Bandcamp you go we suggest.
Pete RingMaster 08/07/2021
The Never Prick my Pickles EP is our first introduction to French metallers Smokeheads and is sure not to be the last meeting given the captivating and fascinating nature of its four-track body.
The band has a sound unafraid to embrace the imaginative hues of melodic and heavy rock as well as electronic essences and infuse it into their alternative metal forged incitement. It means that their EP alone is an adventure as unpredictable as it is imaginative and as intrusive as it is seductive. The quartet are said to draw on inspirations from bands such as Toto, Gojira, Queen of the Stone Age, Mastodon, System of a Down, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend and many more and that goes some way to explain their release’s tapestry of sound but it is the quartet’s own invention and dexterity which shapes its compelling character and presence.
From the prowling entrance of opener In Between and its subsequent predacious stance through the emotive fire of Nothing is Random and the eclectic seeding and web of One Million Ways, band and EP had ears hooked with melodic and sonic fertility matched by vocal and rhythmic incitement. Each is a trespass and captivation and as unique to each other as their individual sounds are to most offered elsewhere as proven by the closing Hate and Love and its nagging lures and inflamed balladry, a track which may have had less pull than its predecessors but left us only hankering for more as that on offer from the Wormholedeath Records worldwide digital release.
Pete RingMaster 08/07/2021