Able Archer – Scars

AA_RingMasterReview

Offering a flavoursome taster of their debut album, due for release in October, Irish band Able Archer has just released new single Scars. Previously the Dublin quintet band has revealed a strong ability to create tracks which arouse the spirit, emotionally ignite the imagination, and stir the listener with anthemic strength. Now they show a fresh and broader adventure to their sound which, though going by just the one song, suggests it will be a key character of the impending Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro) mixed and produced full-length.

Formed in 2011, Able Archer soon earned a potent local following which branched out as the likes of 2013 debut EP, Bullets, and its successor The Trouble with Strangers two years later, caught ears and imagination alike. Singles like Ghostmaker and The Warden have especially been potent in drawing fan and online radio support and with a live presence to match their adventurous sound Able Archer has established themselves as one of the most exciting propositions to emerge in recent years. It is too early to tell if their album is going to be the trigger to breaching greater attention and spotlights but Scars suggests it is certainly a possibility.

Scars is more of a slow burner compared to the likes of Ghostmaker yet it only needs one listen to leave an imprint, its depths and layers becoming more vocal over subsequent ventures. Rhythms and keys take a hold first, their introduction soon entangled in the melodic suggestiveness of guitar before vocalist Emmet McCaughey shares his distinctive tones. With the infectious stroll of Diarmuid Breathnach’s bass aligning with the equally contagious invention of guitarist Rob McDonnell and the mesmeric lure of Neil Buckley’s keys, the song is soon a magnetic roar with a rising intensity to match the emotional charge of the vocals.

As suggested, the song warrants time to unveil all its strengths but from the first moment with the swinging beats of Seán O’Connor key, Scars captivates while hinting of something to eagerly anticipate in the shape of the band’s upcoming album.

Scars is out digitally now.

http://www.ablearcher.eu/   https://www.facebook.com/ablearcherireland   https://twitter.com/aablearcher

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Delayed Departure – Consequences

Delayed Departure_RingMaster Review

Consequences is a release which teases and flirts with ears and thoughts, all the time laying down potent bait until you find yourself humming hooks when alone and increasingly wanting to share news of its vibrant presence. The EP is the new encounter from UK melodic/alternative rock band Delayed Departure, and a collection of highly flavoursome songs which may not be about to turn the British rock scene on its head but will certainly offer it a fresh and tasty proposition to get teeth into.

Hailing from Hampshire towns, Delayed Departure was formed in 2013 by old school friends and guitarists Charlie Bluck and Jamie Hooks. Its line-up quickly doubled with the addition of vocalist Mike Harland and drummer Steven Kedge, growing by another before the year’s end with bassist Ollie Drapper. With particular fondness for the likes of You Me At Six, Paramore, and Don Broco, the quintet spent 2014 working on their sound and honing their live craft across a host of shows throughout the South of the UK. Now national awareness is being targeted by Consequences, with success easy to expect.

Delayed Departure Cover_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with the brief melodic suggestiveness of Opus, its sonic touch a resonating shimmer aligned to a just as pulsating bass throb. It is a reserved proposal but one building in intensity and drama for a roaring climax, led by the voice of Harland, which drifts off into the waiting adventure of Ocean. Guitars and bass immediately collude to create a weave of fiery enticement courted by thick melancholic shadows, their enterprising union speared by the swinging beats of Kedge and hugged by the already impressing tones of Harland. It is a strong and engaging big step into the heart of the EP with things only blossoming to new and gripping heights song by song.

Let’s Catch Fire is the first sign of that trait, its initial spicy groove immediately lighting ears and appetite before band vocal roars and rousing rhythms spearhead the robustly infectious stroll and character of the song. Hooks are laid as imaginatively as harmonies, the wiry tendrils of melodic flirtation as catchy as its anthemic rhythms as the track whips up listener involvement with its heavy rock ‘n’ roll enticement.

A calmer invitation follows with Captive; poetic melodies caressing the magnetic delivery of Harland as Drapper’s bass lurks with darker intent in the surrounding emotive shadows. Here alone, it is easy to see why bands such as Deaf Havana and Don Broco are given as hints to the Delayed Departure sound but personal thoughts are also nudged towards Able Archer and for less obvious reasons eighties band The Sound by the excellent encounter.

The underlying volatility of the latter part of the song is a bolder tempting within Synopsis next, the track almost stalking ears with its rapacious rhythms as vocals and guitars cast a hazily thick and forcibly provocative tapestry of craft and sonic suggestiveness. Tenacious twists, so often sparked by the dexterity of Drapper and Kedge, again litter a song which avoids expectations whilst making an adventurous but easily accessible and contagious proposal.

The same quality and skill applies to closing song Choices, the pinnacle of the release with its rousing crescendos and tempestuously fascinating landscape of sound and resourceful exploits. As strong and impacting as the EP is throughout, the closer is a step above all before, taking feet and bodies in hand with its boisterously infectious exploits as potently as it tantalises ears and thoughts with its evocative calms and emotive reflections. There is a brewing ferocity to the track too which ensures a powerful departure of song and EP leads to the quick return of ears.

Consequences makes for an impressive introduction to Delayed Departure with thick enjoyment for ears. As the band grows and their sound explores its own unique character, the five-piece can only get bolder and stronger too, that another pleasing thought coming out of one fine encounter.

The Consequences EP will be available through all stores and platforms from Friday 22nd January.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDelayedDeparture   https://twitter.com/dlayeddparture

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Able Archer – The Warden

Able Archer - band pic_RingMaster Review

Many bands have impressed enough to earn a lustful following from us but few have managed to continue to blossom and unveil new waves of inescapable temptation through the persistent listening of a single song alone as Able Archer do, and do it with regularity. Fair to say we were smitten with their sound from their first offering in 2013 and deeper enthralled with every subsequent dramatic proposal. Each track from them has seemingly had a hex like effect on ours and a great many other’s ears and imaginations, the band’s new UK single The Warden now continuing the inescapable tradition.

able archer - the warden_RingMaster Review   Hailing from Dublin, Able Archer formed in 2011 and quickly began earning eager attention locally and further afield, especially once releasing the outstanding Bullets EP. Fusing guitars and synths in powerful and anthemic adventures as emotively provocative as they were physically rousing, EP and band made a major statement on the underground rock scene which the following single Ghostmaker took to a new striking plateau in 2014. Taken from second EP The Trouble with Strangers, released towards the end of last year, the song declared Able Archer an important and creatively original part of the European rock landscape, a call backed by the subsequent breath-taking explorations of the EP and its new British single The Warden.

The Trouble with Strangers revealed broader imagination and bolder experimentation in a sound already pretty much distinct to a band unafraid to push themselves and their sound into new daring territory. The Warden epitomises this perfectly, its haunting charm and melodic virulence almost masking a dark, verging on sinister, theatre of emotion and nagging seduction.

The song opens with dulled yet resonance seeping beats and a slightly portentous rub of noir coated synth bred strings. The ambience of the affair instantly becomes a brooding enticement luring ears and thoughts with sublime ease, before in the pass of a melancholic cloud the guitar of Rob McDonnell ignites the atmosphere predominantly cast by keyboardist Neil Buckley, resulting in a cascade of melodic crystals and mellow lined chords. Now with the track exposing its full stature whilst prowled by the moody tempting of Diarmuid Breathnach’s bass against an increasingly virulent backdrop of compelling beats from Seán O’Connor, the gripping vocals of Emmet McCaughey exposes the lyrical heart and intimate expression of the song with a distinctive delivery as thick a bait within an Able Archer proposition as the vast diversity of sound around him.

Further graced by the guest brass expression of Donagh Molloy, The Warden is mesmerism in its purest creative form. It is a song which takes body and imagination on a spellbinding flight of aural fascination summing up Able Archer and their invention perfectly, if not understandably the perpetual evolution and diversity fuelling and making every song unique, as openly evident on The Trouble with Strangers. If you have yet to embrace the Able Archer alchemy then the time is ripe and perfect with The Warden; but be warned we did a while ago and still cannot restrain the lust.

The Warden is out now!

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The LaFontaines – Class

The LaFontaines_ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Tagged as Scotland’s biggest independent band, there is no doubting that anticipation for The LaFontaines’ debut album has been in full swing on the back of acclaimed releases and a live presence seeing the band headline shows in New York, tour the UK and Europe with Watsky, and play their biggest headline sold out show to date at Glasgow’s ABC amongst numerous successes. The majority of that happened in a triumphant 2014 for the band but it is easy to expect bigger, more forceful spotlights upon the band in this with the release of the thrilling and fascinating Class.

static1.squarespace.com_ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   Formed in 2010, the Motherwell hailing quintet first snatched attention with the All She Knows EP in 2013, following its success the following year with the similarly eagerly received Under The Storm EP. The absorbing diversity and sounds of the Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six/Don Broco) produced Class now blends the qualities of those previous releases with a new adventure of invention and enterprise. It is at times a startling release, persistently a striking one, and even when its persuasive energy slips a touch, album and indeed band just enthral as they brew up an impassioned and tenacious incitement. The words of frontman Kerr Okan probably describes it best when he says, “We’ve spent the past 3 to 4 years leading up to this point. Everything we’ve seen on the road or experienced together as a band has finally made its way onto record. It’s guaranteed to shock those who assume we’re simply just the best live band in Scotland. There’s so much depth to these songs, a load of pain and struggle, but underlying throughout all of the writing, is some real grit and determination.

There can be few albums this year with as rousing a start as Class offers through Slow Elvis. From a distance the song looms on ears, hitting them on arrival with pungent anthemic rhythms and fiery riffs. It is not particularly aggressive or explosive yet within seconds the opener has ears and appetite seriously aroused and hanging onto its swing. Spatial sonic endeavour fills air quickly too, surrounding the swaggering vocal rap of Okan as bass and drums intensify their bait with a snarl and punchy attitude. Additional vocal calls and melodic revelry only adds to the incendiary brew, the track evolving into a Rage Against The Machine meets Lazy Habits encounter wrapped in the sultry hues of Muse.

The sensational start is quickly backed by the similarly electrifying Under The Storm, a burst of guitar sparking handclaps and melodic vocals with fire in their breath. The track is soon shrugging off any restraint and with sinews flexing, it strides resourcefully through ears behind scythes of guitar and bass which in turn are led by the stirring mix of clean and rap cast vocals from bassist John Gerard and Okan respectively. Though openly unique compared to its predecessor, that description of references again applies, and like the first song is twisted into something unique to The LaFontaines. Unpredictability also is a ripe asset to both songs, and indeed the album, that and the great Scottish lilt fuelling the jabbing potency of the rapping.

     The album’s title track comes next, a gentle caress of melodic temptation crooning over the senses as rhythms fling their enticement around in a robust dance. Once more the mix of vocals is a magnetic tempting in the indie seeded and lively serenade of the song, the melodic lure of Gerard as potent as the creative jangle of guitar from Iain Findlay and Darren McCaughey. Revealing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound alone, it is replaced and emulated by Castles. This too has a reserved touch yet its heart is a blaze of sonic expression and evocative intensity. A sizzling start slips into a mellower embrace around Okan’s delivery, both taking ears and thoughts by the hand and leading them into new eruptions of emotional drama. Without quite matching the plateau of the first few tracks, the song easily steals full attention with its Biffy Clyro meets The Kennedy Soundtrack like canvas evolved into something distinct to this new breed of Scottish rock ‘n roll.

King steps up next, its great bluesy guitar twang an immediate tasty enticing to which a throaty bass groan from Gerard and the punchy spits of Okan bring their own irresistible tempting. Featuring guests Luke Prebble and Michael Sparks, the song whilst wrapped in the tangy keys of McCaughey and vocal harmonies prowls rhythmically and emotionally. Gospel like in ambience, mischievous in imagination, the track has ears and appetite hungry, their need fulfilled by Junior Dragon. Not for the first or last time, drummer Jamie Keenan stirs up body and emotions with his skilled incitement from which the song exposes an even grittier and volatile side to the band’s sound. Arctic Monkeys like in devilry, Freeze The Atlantic like in energy, and Able Archer like in creative grandeur, the track grows into a rich bellow of voice and sound for another major highlight of Class.

A fiercely shimmering persuasion comes with All Gone next, another with a predacious edge to its rhythms and character backed by a great rapping stroll from Okan but maybe for the only time on the album a strong impact slips as the melodic and harmonic side of the song flows. Nevertheless the track captivates and solidly pleases if without finding the spark which ignited earlier songs, an ingredient the outstanding Window Seat has in strength. A more smouldering persuasion, it takes time to reveal all its rich levels and qualities but over time becomes a mighty peak of the album. It is an intense slice of emotional balladry built on a muscular frame, this draped in quite superb and mesmeric vocal strengths. It might be ballad like but there is a tempest at its heart which makes the song a volcanic croon and just irresistible.

Enjoyable but less dramatically engrossing is All She Knows, an easy going and arguably formula song in respect to the band’s songwriting. It is relatively unique to outside references but finds it difficult to stand out in the richness around it, though again to be fair the track is only enjoyment for ears, something which again applies to Paper Chase. Its eighties indie pop essences definitely add something fresh but once more the track struggles to linger like the insatiable successes elsewhere upon Class.

The album closes with the thick and shadow enriched caress of Pull Me Back, keys a melancholic but dramatic expression against the anthemic beats of McCaughey. They are a mere moment in the ever evolving landscape of the excellent song of course, every second, note, and syllable from across the band just inventive theatre.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly exciting release. Certainly there are moments when Class slips from its loftiest perch but it is generally down to the brilliance of some songs in comparison than the failures of others. As suggested, the first album from The LaFontaines has been long and greedily awaited and now here it undoubtedly lets no one down.

Class is available now via 889 Records from most online stores

http://www.thelafontaines.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/thelafontainesmusic

Ringmaster 17/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

 

Able Archer – The Trouble With Strangers

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A full thrilling meal rather than an appetiser of things to come, the deservedly acclaimed and outstanding Bullets EP thrust Irish band Able Archer straight into the eye line of European’s rock underground. Now the Dublin quintet return with its successor The Trouble with Strangers, revealing that their first encounter was no flash in the pan but just one shade in their emerging eclectic and highly flavoursome sound. The four song release is a fascinating and mouth-watering treat for ears and imagination, a proposition which tells expectations never to make assumptions about the band as it reveals new depths and adventure in ideation, songwriting, and their realisation.

Formed in 2011, Able Archer has barely taken a breath in their assault on the live scene, persistently brewing up a potent fan base whilst honing their compelling sound along the way. Bullets last year was a forceful slap upon a broader attention, instantly raising keen appetite and an acclaiming spotlight upon themselves. Now the band spice up their emergence and reputation with Able Archer and Shane Cullen co-produced The Trouble With Strangers EP, and a sizeable compelling offering it is too.

The EP opens with the riotous Ghostmaker, a track which bridges the band’s two releases with its raucous and tenacious energy aligned to new intriguing adventure. From its rowdy countdown the track is a predator in so many ways but as the swiftly engaging tease of guitar shows, it is also a seductive protagonist. Thumping beats make an imposing lure whilst the explosion of raw riffs and grouchy bass bait ignites senses and passions with brawling ease. The track soon settles into a feisty but more composed striding, the beats of drummer Seán O’Connor unrelenting in their drive whilst the gorgeous bass growl crafted by Diarmuid Breathnach is the perfect complement to the potent expressive vocals of Emmet McCaughey. The track grows and bulges with enterprise and imagination through every tempting note and voracious syllable, variation in vocal attack and melodic flames as gripping as the almost cantankerous intimidation elsewhere. The track is exceptional, an intelligently and passionately sculpted anthem few encounters have rivalled this year and last.

As mentioned there is as much new in direction or imagination in the song as there is drawing on the Bullets EP, but it is with the following enterprise of The Warden that a richer vein of exploration is unveiled. Opening on an electronic trouble_covercaress within a shimmering atmosphere, the song immediately grips the imagination, especially when sultrily toned guitar weaves begin enveloping ears. The tapestry of evocative colour and enterprise from guitarist Rob McDonnell is bewitching as is the fluid tempting of Neil Buckley’s keys, both excitingly contrasting the shadowed corners of the song revealed by the haunting expression of throaty bass and rolling drums. The glorious picture of sound is completed by the outstanding delivery of McCaughey, every word coming with a controlled but opened drama matched by backing harmonies. Not as immediate as its aggressive predecessor, the song blooms into a stunning and inescapable seduction; brass flames presented by guest Donagh Molloy rich hues on a sensational encounter.

Third track Only Love has a more agitated energy and intent to its opening, percussion and beats a feisty baiting upon which vocals find a raw breath. Keys soon smother ears with melodic elegance and emotive expression whilst the blaze of guitar casts a twisting flame of charm and abrasion. It is only part of the story though, twists in pace and intensity aligned to the same in imagination and varied rock flavouring keeping ears and thoughts wrong-footed whilst seducing them with their creative maze. It might not have the power and contagion of the first two tracks but the song is just as magnetic in its electronic seeded adventure.

Every song to this point is openly distinct to each other in sound and breeding, and that continues with closing track The Descent. The band’s new single is a melodic kiss of impassioned and intimate vocals, similarly emotive keys, and warm melodies. Drawing on the sizeable beauty and emotional drama of again Donagh Molloy’s trumpet and the tantalising violin craft of Eanan Patterson, the song croons with striking radiance and invention. Though for personal tastes it is when Able Archer lets rip that our passions ignite, there is no denying or avoiding the majesty of the track and its excellent conclusion to a tremendous release.

With The Trouble With Strangers, Able Archer show there is so much more to their expansive landscape of sound and invention, whilst it also suggests there is still further potential and imagination waiting to be tapped. There are few new bands, or established come to that, which ignite an almost lustful anticipation for their releases and even fewer which reward and surprise as impressively as Able Archer.

The self-released The Trouble With Strangers is available now @ http://aablearcher.bandcamp.com/album/the-trouble-with-strangers

http://www.ablearcher.eu

RingMaster 10/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Embracer – My Father’s Will

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Three months ago Imminence Records announced the signing of US indie rock/post-hardcore band Embracer and this week sees the unveiling of their label debut, the rather flavoursome and captivating My Father’s Will EP. Consisting of five imaginative and passionately presented tracks, the release is a rigorously enticing proposition from a band with the potential to make big strides ahead.

The West Virginian band initially began in 2010 as a hardcore fuelled encounter and with the name World Famous, but a name change with the release of the Dreamers EP came in 2011 revealed an emerging shifting and growth in the band and sound. Line-up changes and evolution in ideas and invention, before and from that time, saw the band begin its development into the fiery melodic rock proposal before us with My Father’s Will. Inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Circa Survive, Polyneso, Balance and Composure, and This Will Destroy You, Embracer has been a determined force, battling the less than supportive Charleston music scene. They have continued though to brew up attention and a potent fan base which the Matt Malpass (Dance Gavin Dance, Hey Monday, Relient K, Manchester Orchestra) recorded My Father’s Will can only reinforce and accelerate.

It is always important to make a good first impression in any aspect of life, and it is fair to say that Embracer makes a striking one with opener A Man Without Country. A sultry twang of melodic guitar coaxes ears at first to be swiftly joined by the impressive tones of vocalist Jordan Bradley, his voice expressive and potent ensuring lyrics and emotions get a clear airing from within songs. Guitarists Karl Shaver and Ryan Pullin cast enticing chords and melodies around him whilst drummer Zakk Garcia and bassist Dylan Costinteen build an unimposing but sinew lined frame across and through it all. Essences of melodic and alternative rock also colour the post hardcore fuelled track, every moment a fascinating and unpredictable portrait of sound and emotion.

It is an outstanding start swiftly matched by the following Downtrodden. There is a similarity in the cavernous production of the vocals at certain times and the ebbing and flowing of the intensity across the powerful encounter, but polaroid 1500 suqare 300 dpisimilarly there is an individual presence and drama to the gripping adventure. The song reminds of now demised Dead Til Friday across its inventive temptation, never a bad comparison, and also in its smouldering infectiousness of Able Archer, the track even in is restrained gait discovering a persistent bounce.

My Sons My Brothers sidles gracefully up to ears next, again a single guitar stroking senses and thoughts with its evocative melodies before the track expands its expressive and creative breath. By the third song it is easy to see that there is a familiarity between songs if not quite a firm similarity, structures and textures never straying from a seemingly shared template. Despite that though, there is little to defuse the lure and potency of songs, this track a melancholic but vibrant and thickly emotive offering of predominantly instrumental skill and enterprise.

Band and release continue to impress with the emotionally full-blooded Anastasia and finally its punchy title track. The first of the two is a thrilling and pungent wash of raging melodies and vocal emotion. The most inventively colourful and flirtatious track on the release, it steals the passions like no other, almost alone making Embracer a prospect to nail to the radar. It’s mouth-watering quality and provocative beauty makes way for the rich passion and inflamed emotive hues of the last song, My Father’s Will a tender but rugged blaze of melodic fire and stirring expression across an equally intense skeleton of rhythms and bracing shadows. It is a fine end to an excellent first look for us at Embracer, an encounter which already has bred keen anticipation for their next endeavour.

There are no major negatives to conjure up about the release though certainly tracks are closely related in many ways to require closer focus to stop a few merging. There is also for personal tastes an overuse of the hollow effect on Bradley’s vocals across the album which niggles rather than lures, and he certainly does not need any assistance from technology to impress it should be noted, but these are small things which will iron out as the band grows. Right now Embracer is a highly promising and definitely enjoyable proposition, the evidence is all there in My Father’s Will.

The My Father’s Will EP is available now via Imminence Records @ http://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-fathers-will

https://www.facebook.com/EMBRACER

RingMaster 05/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Able Archer – Ghostmaker

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    Bowled over by their debut EP Bullets last year which led to us actively playing the band on our podcasts, Able Archer has returned to give the emotions and passions another shot of adrenaline with new single Ghostmaker. Continuing where their outstanding debut left off but infusing a stronger rapacious energy and rawer breath to the song, the Irish band once again proves themselves to be one of the most exciting and promising, not forgetting accomplished, emerging alternative rock bands around.

     Hailing from Dublin and formed in 2011, the quintet has been extensively gigging and building a fevered fanbase from almost day one, certainly once a settled line-up was in place. Bullets was an exceptional bow into a welcoming spotlight, igniting thoughts and emotions across the underground media and fans alike, its exposure of the band sure to increase in intensity with the release of Ghostmaker. The new track has a fire in its belly and greater causticity in its touch compared to the tracks on the previous release but still does not neglect or lessen the contagious hooks and rhythmic enticement which made them become a rather irresistible proposition.

    A bellowed countdown makes way for an initial tease of guitar from Rob McDonnell; that punctuated by the pumping beats of drummer Seán O’Connor. It is a short but incendiary trigger to the explosive heart of the song, its expulsion bursting as a fiery blaze before settling into an earthy stroll with the ever impressive vocals of Emmet McCaughey and the throaty bass prowl provided Diarmuid Breathnach adding their bait to the already tempting premise. Virulently infectious from start to finish, choppy guitars, predatory basslines, and the immersive if often submerged keys of Neil Buckley combine to infect the imagination with an ingeniously addictive and potently suggestive design of sound and sonic incitement.

   Released ahead of their new EP scheduled for an unveiling this summer, Ghostmaker leaves you exhausted and basking in another irrepressible slice of Able Archer excellence. This is a band unafraid to intrude on and toy with the senses whilst providing a riot of sound and adventure which simply leaves a greedy hunger for more.

http://www.ablearcher.eu

9/10

RingMaster 17/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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