The Amsterdam Red Light District – Sapere Aude

Though The Amsterdam Red Light District seized major plaudits as they boldly established themselves within the punk/hardcore/rock scene with second album Gone For a While in 2014, the release still missed stirring up the kind of fervour in us that others were finding the certainly highly enjoyable encounter. It seems that we were just waiting for a particular undefined spark which has now undoubtedly caught within the France based band’s new fury, Sapere Aude. THARD’s third album is a beast of a roar, as ferociously infectious as it is instinctively irritable and emotionally tempestuous and for us by far the best thing the band has unleashed.

With inspirations found in the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled, Europe has been the broad sounding board for the 2005 founded band’s sound over the past few years, THARD sharing stages with the likes of Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer alongside their own successful shows and tours. This month sees the band off on their travels again with Sapere Aude lock and loaded in their arsenal.

It opens up with Nobody Moves Like You and a spiral of acidic grooves and heavy handed rhythms which lure ears and attention like a magnet. Swiftly it settles into a tempestuous stroll as catchy as it is belligerent, Elio Sxone’s vocals an alluring temper in its midst backed by those increasingly captivating grooves cast by guitarist Maxxx Comby. A blend of hardcore and metal, the track has a natural swing which alone infested the appetite with the dark tones of Greg Clert’s bass adding to the instinctive temptation. Vocally Sxone brings adventure and diversity to match the raw and skilfully woven sounds around him in one glorious inventive brute of an introduction.

The following The Best Is Yet To Come is just as quickly and intrusively gripping. Featuring Cancer Bats front man Liam Cormier, the track simultaneously grumbles and seduces in voice and sound, the rhythmic trespass of drummer Julien Chanel driving its intent and forceful urgency as the guitar and melodic aspect of the vocals bring a ferocity tempering enterprise. As its predecessor, it demands and commands willing attention with adventure and imagination.

Two songs in and already the album has whipped up personal passions missed by previous offerings and only ups the ante with the fiery punk ‘n’ roll of Need. Again vocals and music create a cauldron of contrasts and ferocity with balance and adventure, the song having something of Every Time I Die meets The Ghost of a Thousand to it as it too inflamed the senses and appetite before Wild Life sparked its own blaze of praise and ardour with its hellacious creative clamour. Blending various aspects of ferocious intrusion and melodic captivation to its punk metal, vocal harmonics adding to the drama, the track simply whipped up greedy attention.

Carry On is an infection of temptation, tenacious hooks and riffs colluding with the song’s emotional irritancy and rousing breath; all bound in an enterprise as persistently catchy as it is rapacious. It all comes though with an ebb and flow which only increases its fascination and imagination while Over The Fence in turn uncages a sonic squall and a senses battering rhythmic dance which holds similarities to its predecessor before unveiling its own quest of creative discontent.

The turbulent spirals of Waiting For The Day needs little time to incite intrigue and imagination next, its opening web subsequently draped in vocal and sonic dispute again as magnetic as it is corrosive in a psyche infecting mix which nags and harries as it bruises and excites. That raw incursion is only intensified in The Whole City Burns, its melodic metal aligning with feral punk in an invigoratingly abrasive holler loaded with spiky riffs, barbed hooks, and melodic fire.

The album concludes with firstly Evil Stakeholders, a slab of crotchety yet melodically bewitching raging which maybe did not quite inflame as others before it but only reinforced the impressive character and force of Sapere Aude. Its title track is the final offering, an outro of intimation and samples reflecting the portentous state of the world with bursts of rhythmic incitement. Maybe better served as an intro to the album in some ways, it is a fascinating last breath to one striking release.

From first note to last Sapere Aude truly stirred our fullest passions, that anticipation for bigger bolder things ahead sparked by its predecessor more than realised in a release sure to feature as one of the year’s greatest moments.

Sapere Aude is out now via Red Light Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bad Solution – Self Destruct EP

Photo_RingMaster Review

A juggernaut is the best way to describe the Self Destruct EP from UK band Bad Solution, a juggernaut of energy, passion, and anthemic potency, not forgetting scything rhythms and crushing riffs. Its quartet of songs also come equipped with a sonic and melodic enterprise bridging the voracious metal and inflamed heavy rock instincts which openly fuel songs and sound. The EP is a beast, a rousing introduction to a band many others have long been crowing over; a proposition easy to see forging an even more explosive and acclaimed presence within British rock ‘n’ roll ahead.

London based Bad Solution began in 2010 formed by guitarists Trix and Mariusz Chojnowski. With initially an all Polish line-up, the band recruited British vocalist Alex Willox late 2011 which was soon followed by the band making their live debut to rich acclaim a couple of months after. The current line-up, completed by bassist Wojtek Suberlak and drummer Joe Patterson, was in place by the December of 2013 and the band simply has gone from strength to strength with a live reputation to match their sound. They have shared stages with the likes of Gallows, The Blackout, Soulfly and many more along the way and released the well-received three track single Echoes of the Cry. Now the quintet is beginning to stir broader attention with Self Destruct and it is easy to see and hear why from its first roar.

cover_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with its title track and a melancholic tempting of piano amidst more sorrowfully ethereal keys. As the strong vocals of Willox join the embrace, so does a bass snarl and a spicy croon of guitar with more rigorous rhythms aligning themselves to the start soon after. It is a potent entrance becoming increasingly inflamed with every second, its volatile ambience eventually erupting into an energetic tempest of intensity and emotion. There is a definite Papa Roach air to the song, when that band was in its early prime, and equally a touch of Spineshank and fellow Brits The Self Titled to the evolving blaze of creative and impassioned ferocity. It is an immense start to the release, the band’s melodic and aggressive side resourcefully and strikingly merging in an impressive union.

To be honest, as mighty as it is, the following Nothing (You don’t know me) just outshines it with its Five Finger Death Punch/ Bloodsimple like riot. Willox quickly shows great versatility to his delivery, matching the furnace of enterprise and sound around him. Riffs chew on ears and rhythms swing lead like bait whilst the guitars stir up a maelstrom of ravenous and melodically seductive magnetism. Neck muscles are soon in allegiance to the brawling intensity, as too are ears and imagination to the heavier rock and melody hued exploits within the thick persuasion. It all results in another hellacious and compelling proposal easy to jump on board with and well before it’s reached its fiery climax.

Dear Sarah steps up next and similarly has attention and appetite eating out of its inventive hands. Though stalking the senses with their jagged tempting, riffs and rhythms carry an inviting swing to which tangy sonic tendrils wind their richly alluring endeavour. Again whispers of Spineshank and also this time 36 Crazyfists nudge thoughts but with every passing half minute, the song fluidly moves into new scenery drawn from varied metal flavours across a tenacious and imaginative landscape.

Fair to say Self Destruct just gets better and better with each proceeding track, ending on its pinnacle, the brilliant Desert Rock. A Middle Eastern spicing immediately coats the emergence of the song, traditional instrumentation colluding with predatory rhythms and antagonistic riffery before the latter takes over and sculpts a ferocious stomp of energy and sound. To this those ethnic hues add their thrilling hues from time to time, lurking and shining from within the groove stoked, rapacity lined furnace of anthemic sound and volcanic intensity. The track is glorious, an aural call to arms which no metal loving body and heart can resist, and surely the single to light the touch paper to national success and more.

Bad Solution is a band which guarantees a good, exhausting time with their music but as shown by the Self Destruct EP, they also bring inspiring energy, instinctive passion, and invigorating invention to the table. It might not be the most original EP you will come across this year, but without any doubts it will be amongst the most memorable and thrilling.

The Self Destruct EP is available now through most online stores.

RingMaster 18/07/2015

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Heaven Asunder unleash their new video single!

Heaven Asunder Online Promo Shot

“The UK’s answer to Trivium” – Metal Hammer

“With momentum picking up on a national scale, it won’t be long before we see a lot more of these boys” – Bring the Noise

British Metallers Heaven Asunder exorcise their demons in the name of new single ‘Redemption’-

Back with their spanking new single ‘Redemption’, UK heavyweights Heaven Asunder are pushing the envelope harder than ever. The song itself is a blistering four and a half minute powerhouse of riffs, breakdowns and hooks to boot. The track showcases the quintet’s new sound, which is much more aggressive than the sound crafted on their 2014 debut album ‘Among The Damned’. The new video for ‘Redemption’ sees the band mercilessly performing to a kidnapped nun in a dilapidated, rotting church, while a priest hunts them down. The clip features an exorcism that shows members of the band vomiting mid performance. “We puked for real! We necked 20 pints of milk between us and just let nature take its course; it was f**king horrible!” insists vocalist, Matt Boyd.

Formed at the Bristol Institute of Modern Music in 2009, Heaven Asunder are comprised of Matt Boyd – Vocals, Lewis Blake – Lead Guitar, Ally Roberts – Guitar /Backing Vocals, Lewys Ball – Bass, and James Whitlock – Drums. The rising five-some have become a dominant presence within the UK’s thriving metal scene, due to their combustible live shows and their ruthless determination to make their name synonymous with contemporary metal. Heaven Asunder are as brutal and rage-fuelled as they are melodic and heartfelt—a war cry for the underdog and an anthem of grit, executed with precision and raw emotion.

The new video single, ‘Redemption’, will be featured on the yet to be titled follow up to 2014’s ‘Among The Damned’ album. Currently being recorded with producer Jonny Renshaw (Devil Sold His Soul), the EP sees the band move into heavier territory. “Among the damned for us was the culmination of two years’ worth of writing, and releasing it felt like the end of an era. We’ve been working on new material since the day Among The Damned came out, and we really can’t wait for people to hear it”, states vocalist Boyd.

Having shared the stage with the likes of 36 Crazyfists, Issues, Fearless Vampire Killers, Crown The Empire, Shining (Nor) and Deathstars, Heaven Asunder are quickly becoming ones to watch. After a recent sold out hometown show in Bristol, the band set out on a seven-date UK tour at the end of February, with the intent to gig and tour as much as humanly possible throughout the whole of 2015.


HEAVEN ASUNDER LIVE IN FEBRUARY –  26th Glasgow Audio; 27th Bolton The Alma; 28th Plymouth Tiki Bar.



Weight of The Tide – Epilogue


The debut album from US heavy hard rockers Weight of the Tide is a seven track foray into a landscape of mountainous rhythms, thunderous riffs, and thick emotive intensity; an encounter which bristles with inventive songwriting and openly impressive craft. There is so much to recommend about Epilogue and its powerful contents but despite that it just does not light a fire in thoughts or emotions with its presence. It is certain to be different for individual ears and tastes yet you cannot help feeling that there is a beast of an incitement lurking inside an album lacking the incendiary spark to bring it to life and grab the attention plenty of its qualities deserve.

The Nevada quartet is the creation of vocalist/guitarist Mark Moots and drummer Jason Thomas, two musicians whose history together embraces the success and impressive sounds of December and individually The Swamp Donkey and Cranium respectively. Formed in 2012, Weight Of The Tide is completed by former Knightfall/Beard The Lion guitarist Jestin Phipps and ex-Red Cel bassist Marcus Mayhall. The band has already sparked strong ripples of attention through their live shows, where they have shared stages with the likes of Eyehategod, Diamond Head, A Pale Horse Named Death, Raven, Volture, Skinlab, 36 Crazyfists, and Gypsyhawk since emerging. Now the band is poised to awaken broader climes with their SpiralArms vocalist Tim Narducci and Drag Me Under guitarist Jeromy Ainsworth recorded and mixed album. As the band’s name suggests, Epilogue and its sound is an imposing and heavy immersive proposition which leaves a healthy appetite for the band ahead in its wake, just not the lustful excitement it could have.

With tracks bred in an exploration of “Love, loss, betrayal and, hopefully, perseverance”, in the words of Moots, Epilogue descends on ears and thoughts firstly with the crushing energy and 4PAN1Tcreative intrigue of Ireland. Its sonic opening is soon drawn into a web of mightily swung beats and sonic resourcefulness, subsequently relaxing into a formidable and inventive examination of the senses. The guitars chug and flame with their varied resourcefulness whilst bass and drums create a barrage of bait and provocation, this around the strong tones of Moots. It is heavily enticing bait which manages to loosen its grip and adventure in places as potent melodies act as a temper to the riveting roar of the song. It is not a big deflation and only satisfaction and praise comes to the persistence of rich ideas and imaginative enterprise still tempting within the song, but it is enough for it to simply smoulder rather than blaze in personal tastes.

The open craft and skills of band and songs, as well as their adventure, is undeniable and just as prominent in the more gripping Proper Goodbye. A tapestry of guitar endeavour and great vocals embraces the listener first, its attraction an emotive enticing within sinew driven rhythms and a rawer provocation of riffs. There is also a sludgy atmosphere to the song which blossoms when the song slips into the dark shadows of increasingly intensive and predatory sounds. Without doubt the song and album is at its best and most inspiring when the band explores these ravenous twists and passages, welcome intrusions only enhanced by the spicy colour of solos and the sonic enterprise with the similarly sculpted yet individual Elder the immediate proof. Its heavy challenging entrance is an inescapable lure but hindered by stepping back in aggression for the Scott Weiland like vocals of Moots, who is at his weakest here and sounding like a fish out of the threatening waters around him.

Things take an unexpected turn next as Turning Point steps forward and the band reveals a pop punk/melodic rock adventure. It in many ways feels totally out of place on the album but is such a thumping and enjoyable fire of melodic energy and beaming enterprise it shines standing like a lighthouse in the dark landscape of Epilogue. Cynically you might say it is the band simply trying to place an open sure fire single of a doorway into the release but as it is one of the tracks which did have body and emotions fully involved there are no issues for us.

Both Stillwater and La Puerta grasp the previous heavy and at times exhausting oppressive sounds of earlier tracks, the first veining its lumbering intensity with a fine sonic toxicity whilst the second has a compelling argument to its aggression and sure swagger to its contagious stride. Each again though evades truly thrilling these maybe demanding ears, though both have varying ingredients, especially the latter, which means again we can only recommend people find out for themselves what these seriously accomplished songs offer.

Ending with the enthralling creative theatre and emotional Crowbar like turbulence of Fear And The Flame, the album leaves a potent impression and definite want to explore Weight Of The Tide closely in the future. Yes it did not get us rushing around exalting its praises but for a great many it is easy to suggest it will.

Epilogue is available now via Undergroove Records @

RingMaster 14/01/2015

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The Amsterdam Red Light District – Gone For A While


With a mouthful of a name and a flavoursome depth to their captivating sound, French rockers The Amsterdam Red Light District unleash their new and highly anticipated album Gone For A While. It is a striking encounter which intrigues and pleases at every turn, the band’s mix of alternative rock in a fusion of melodic punk and hardcore, ensuring a persistent drama and vivacity to each and every track. That it does not ignite the passions as rigorously as it maybe should have is a mystery and probably a personal thing, but certainly the eleven track proposition provides a tasty stomp for ears and imagination to invest a real appetite in.

Seemingly with members based in Lyon and California, The Amsterdam Red Light District since forming in 2005 has earned a potent reputation and recognition for their sound and live presence. Employing inspirations from the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled into their own distinct ideas and invention, the band has made striking marks through debut album Dear Diary in 2010 and the I’m Not Insane EP two years later, their success backed by a live presence which has seen The Amsterdam Red Light District play all over Europe with great regularity, feature at festivals such as Groezrock, Mair1, Resurrection, Sylak and Rockstorm, as well as play with bands such as Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer. In July this year the band set about recording second full-length Gone for a While, its release like the first with Red Light Records, now upon us and likely to only intensify the spotlight on the band.

Opener Time Flies swiftly has ears and feet involved in its feisty stomp, riffs and rhythms an immediate frenzy bound in enticing grooves. Vocalist Elio Sxone is a commanding presence within the raucous persuasion from his first syllable, whilst guitarist Maxime Comby is soon complimenting his caustic riffs with sonic enterprise. Arguably there are no real surprises within the song but equally it is a refreshing and magnetic offering with real power to its energy and persuasion capped by the great Red Tape like vocal roars alongside the velvety shadowed tones of bass provided by Gregory Clert.

The attention grabbing start is surpassed by the fascinating Just Have A Good Time, its initial Southern rock/Cajun twang the lead into a ferociously fiery and impressive incitement. Swiftly the_amsterdam_red_light_district_hb_251114revealing more of the depths and diversity to the band’s sound, the heavy rock fuelled track stomps with contagious and aggressive intent driven forcibly by the imposing skills of drummer Julien Chanel. The song though is still as welcoming and catchy as its predecessor, whilst the blend of raw and melodic vocals work a treat across song and subsequently the album, their union as bracing as the contrasting sounds igniting the beast of a song.

   Million Miles Away is no slouch in getting the blood running hungrily through band and listener either, its on-going charge littered with spicy hooks aligned to harsh and melodic elements of punk. Fuelled with a torrent of barbed and addiction forging twists, with further outbreaks of chunky riffing and virulent grooving piling on the temptation, the song keeps the album flying high before handing over ears and emotions to the similarly compelling and voraciously sculpted A Chance To Change. Its energy is as full and insatiable as in its predecessor, and with a thick melodic tempting to its rigorous tenacity, provides another weighty slab of punk hunger and irrepressible contagion.

The brief evocative presence of Final Boarding Call is underwhelming, the track seemingly an intro into the album’s following title track but lacks anything to halt the urge to simply move straight to Gone For A While, itself a song lacking something compared to the first quartet of encounters but reinforcing the craft and imagination surging through the album with ease, if not the earlier adventure shown. Its gentler caresses definitely make for a satisfying companionship before Behind Your Sunglasses unveils its fiercer presence and emotion. Still missing that spark of bold inventiveness, the track impresses as it bawls and croons simultaneously, the vocals especially gripping within the tasty web of chords and hooks.

Both These Kids That Your Parents Warned You About and Come Closer leave ears and appetite full of lingering pleasure, the first with gnarly bass tones and bordering on hostile rhythms, a grouchy and thrilling protagonist. Its growl is wholly infectious, as is the return of that bolder inventiveness which marked the start of the album as the track shows itself to be another lofty peak in the landscape of the release. Its successor is built from the same template, a hearty snarl coating every predatory note and heavily swung beat, not forgetting the raw vocal side of the band, whilst grooves and hooks find their own unique venom to infest the imagination.

The two songs has body and thoughts back hungrily engaged before making way for the addiction causing Set The World On Fire, the track one of those anthemic stomps which only a loss of hearing can deter. Its muscular brawl of a seduction is followed by closing track Waiting For So Long, an encounter featuring Justin Schlosberg from Hell Is For Heroes. A final blaze of rugged and melodic punk vitality which maybe misses truly lighting the passions, it nevertheless gives the album a furnace of a send-off whilst egging on the urge to dive right back into the heart of Gone For A While.

At the start we said that the album did not inflame the strength of ardour that it probably should have. It is hard to define why, certainly there is not an abundance of surprises but there is plenty to enthral and spark a greed for more. It is easy to expect Gone For A While to be a major trigger for the passions in a great many though, and for the rest of us it has to be said The Amsterdam Red Light District has placed a strong enough grip with the album that anticipation for their next endeavour is unavoidable.

Gone For A While is available now via Red Light Records, digitally @ and on CD @

RingMaster 26/11/2014

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Heaven Asunder – Among The Damned

  Heaven Asunder Online Promo Shot

    From their explosive live performances and previous Dead Man’s Waltz  EP, UK metallers Heaven Asunder has bred a very healthy anticipation for their debut album Among The Damned. Now with its unleashing the ten track blaze of melodic passionate metal gives potent evidence as to why there has been such an awaiting appetite. The release may be does not set new markers to fully challenge originality but impressively accomplished and rigorously engaging, the album is soaked in a captivating promise and invigorating strength which marks out the Bristol band as a proposition to eagerly indulge in.

     Formed in 2009 by five guys at University sharing the same flat, the quintet of vocalist Matt Boyd, guitarists Lewis Blake and Ally Roberts, bassist Lewys Ball, and drummer James Whitlock took little time in creating a live presence which seeded the reputation firing up the hunger for their album. Heaven Asunder has ignited stages alongside the likes of 36 Crazyfists, Idiom, Fearless Vampire Killers, When We Were Wolves, Odessa, Shining (Nor), The Smoking Hearts, The Dead Lay Waiting, Crown the Empire, and Issues since forming whilst Dead Man’s Waltz only added to their brewing stature. Thoroughly enjoyable and a powerfully satisfying encounter, Among The Damned expands the rising presence of the band whilst paving the way for stronger expectations of major things ahead from the band.

      The album hits hard right away with opening track Shallow Graves and though in hindsight the song is not the most Heaven Asunder - Cover Artworkgrabbing and gripping on the release it sets things off with hunger and energy. Immediately riffs are greedily stroking the ears whilst the rhythms of Whitlock slap the same from pillar to post. With a great melodically seeded breath wrapping the senses after the aggressive start to allow things to settle, the track is soon back to a keen rampage, the guitars casting well-crafted and alluring sonic patterns which entice and tease whilst the bass of Ball prowls within their bait with menace and depth. The vocals of Boyd backed ably by Roberts are equally as appealing as the sounds and though there is better to come from the release the track is a formidable and appealing blaze of melodic metal.

     Of Coat And Arms keeps up the momentum and potency of the start, the initial melodic coaxing similar to its predecessor but soon expanding with greater growl to the riffs and expressive adventure to vocals and melodies. Admittedly there is little strikingly new going on but there are no doubts about the imagination and skill employed in the use of the previously trodden spicery as the song wraps the listener in something richly appetising and thoroughly accomplished. This is right away built upon by the thumping presence of the excellent Nothing More, the track the most carnivorous and belligerent on the album yet again bringing an impressive and perfectly sculpted merger of violent passion and intent with equally powerful melodic and inventive exploration. Keys add another texture and evocative persuasion to the absorbing encounter whilst the bass, as all aspects, digs into a deeper corner of enticement to help forge the first major pinnacle of the album. The accompanying promo to the release mentions 36 Crazyfists as a reference, and it is hard to disagreed, but to that you can add the better moments of Avenged Sevenfold and the power of Killswitch Engage as well as other essences, all brought into a wholly enjoyable and exciting proposition.

      The likes of the fiery Reviver, a track which flares up and bites at various moments within another pleasing provocative meeting between band and thoughts, and the confrontational Another Broken Soul ensure the album continues to ignite the senses even if both fall slightly before the height set by Nothing More. That plateau is soon seriously challenged though by the next up The Silencer, the track a bruising and challenging treat soaked in rhythmic rabidity and vocal spite whilst driven hard by predacious enterprise and voracious guitar creativity. Its successor, the ravenous Last Rites, is no slouch in seizing and tossing around the senses and passions either. With nagging riffs and a great mixed vocal attack from Boyd laying down irresistible temptation from within the emerging dramatic and merciless aggression, the song is another commanding peak of the album.

     Both Lest We Be Scattered and Stranded provide an appealing closing stretch to Among The Damned, even if neither quite lives up to the previous duo. Despite that it is impossible to pull yourself away from their strong suasions before they make way for the outstanding conclusion to the release, State Of Things To Come. Sinews ripple viciously across the enthralling provocation whilst riffs and hooks saunter and prey upon the senses with rapacious intent and imagination. It is a stirring intensive end to an equally blistering and exhaustive release. Among The Damned is a great full introduction to a band you can only see going from strength to strength. The album does not carve out new adventures but certainly provides a tempestuous and thrilling storm of enjoyment to make Heaven Asunder a band to embrace fully in 2014.


RingMaster 06/01/2014

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