Shattered Skies – The World We Used To Know

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With their acclaimed first EP having escaped our radar when it came out around three years ago, The World We Used To Know is our introduction to Ireland  bred progressive metallers Shattered Skies, and have we been missing out. The band’s debut album is an enthralling and thrilling creative emprise which avoids all the self-indulgences and over blown excesses the genre can at times coax out of a band. Instead it creates an epic drama of passion and invention with a technical adventure and skill to match, leaving jaws dropped in awe and passions lustfully inflamed.

Formed in the earlier moments of 2011, the now London based band swiftly gripped attention and critical praise with the Reanimation EP that same year. The time between releases has been filled with a host of reputation growing shows alongside the likes of Machine Head, Dimmu Borgir, Alice Cooper, TesseracT, Scar Symmetry, SikTh, Animals as Leaders, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Algorithm, After the Burial and many more, as well as performances at festivals such as Holland’s ProgPower and Bloodstock in the UK, two appearances at Britain’s Techfest and a trio of visits to Euroblast in Germany. The World We Used To Know will be the biggest lure to the world from the band yet and like for us, it is hard to imagine many genre fans and beyond resisting the fiery imagination and seriously accomplished sounds tempting from within the album’s fascinating walls.

As aflame with inescapable hooks and grooves as it is with breath-taking exploration, the release opens with the short and emotive temptation of Collapse Of Man. A provocative caress of Albumcoverpiano, the instrumental piece draws ears and thoughts into the release with a sense of drama which simply explodes in the following The End And The Rebirth. The band’s new single too, the song dances on the senses with a vibrant electro smile before ruggedly spicy grooves and matching crunchy riffs join the vivacious tempest. Instantly enticing whispers of TesseracT and Circles, the track casts its own uniqueness as it expands and glows with enterprise and invention. The striking melodic vocals of Sean Murphy are an instant treat, his ability and expression as dynamic as the sounds and ideation around him. It makes for a scintillating kaleidoscope of adventure spun on the skills of guitarist/keyboardist Ian Rockett and the simultaneously savage and addictive rhythms of drummer Ross McMahon and bassist Jim Hughes, quite simply it is a stunning start.

Things only explode with greater potency and ingenuity when 15 Minutes takes over, vocals and melodies again a sure seduction against the slightly carnivorous breath of the djent inspired guitar predation and rhythmic stalking. As mentioned before, each track has an inventive and sonic theatre to its songwriting and sound, one which over the first song and especially this has a feel of early My Chemical Romance to it. The track is sensational, a cantankerous croon of an incitement within a whirlpool of unpredictable and fluidly flowing experimentation.

Both the gripping enticement of Haunted and the inflamed serenade of Elegance And Grace keep album and ears burning brightly. The first is an angst fuelled weave of acidic grooves and stabbing riffs aligned to ever mesmeric vocals and harmonies. Its rhythms equally impose their strengths with ease, intimidating rather than coaxing the same plaudits in thoughts and emotions. Its successor is a smouldering romance of charm loaded keys and impassioned vocal expression in comparison. The song simmers and boils across a climactic canvas of riveting Muse meets Dioramic like endeavour, and as the last song engrossing ears and imagination with increasing strength and drama.

The guitars are back snarling and abrasing the pleasures in the following Show’s Over, though as discovered in all always Shattered Skies songs, they only provide one moment in evolving landscapes. Their bait and Meshuggah like growl is never far from the frontline of the song though, just in a constant and seamless flux of fresh sound and inventiveness. The track is an inescapable contagion, so much so that it is hard to think of many progressive metal bands which can rock body and passions with such catchiness to their enormous technical prowess as Shattered Skies.

As The Sea Divides is a tempestuous turbulence of sound next, its blustery guitar bred climate and inhospitable rhythmic trap the scenery for siren-esque keys and the soaring tones of Murphy to poetically and magnificently colour. A little longer to draw similar lustful responses as other songs, it grows to new heights with every listen, though it still misses the top step found by the last song and the outstanding Flipside which follows. Almost bestial in its prowling gait and sonic tempting, the track manages to be savage and impossibly infectious with a melodic bloom of voice and sound to put any crooner and pop band to shame. The song is quite delicious, a must be second single to our minds and another irrepressible reason why Shattered Skies will take the progressive metal world by storm, well this and ten other great reasons on The World We Used To Know.

     The pair of Aesthetics and Saviours seduce senses and emotions next, the first exploring the scent of bands like Tool and The HAARP Machine in a magnetic tapestry of emotion soaked expression and soaring harmonics. Unafraid to have a raw edge too, the song is also ridiculously catchy, something emulated by the darker squalling presence of the second of the two. An antagonistic cage of riffs and drums from the first second, it scowls and teases with scarring tenacity whilst within the raw frame keys and the stunning vocals of Murphy roar and soar.

The track is exceptional but so is the closing eleven minutes plus of the title track which brings The World We Used To Know to a mighty close. An epic journey and creative escapade in its own right, the song seems to draw on all the hearts of its predecessors as it draws a mouth-watering and bewitching soundscape all of its own. Everything about it is sensational and its lengthy presence seemingly over in a flash thanks to its wonderfully busy maze of startling craft and volcanic enterprise.

2015 has already in its brief time seen some quite invigorating encounters, the new 6:33 and Cold Snap albums coming to mind, and on that frontline of excellence Shattered Skies sits looking rather sensational with The World We Used To Know.

The self-released The World We Used To Know is available now @ http://shatteredskies.bigcartel.com/product/the-world-we-used-to-know and digitally @ http://shatteredskies.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shatteredskiesofficial

RingMaster 15/01/2015

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WHEN WE WERE WOLVES reveal their ‘Heartless’, on 22nd September‏

When We Were Wolves
EXCITING SOPHMORE EP FROM WHEN WERE WOLVES RELEASED AND UK TOUR ANNOUNCED!
 ‘The Welsh quintet hold nothing back here, ensuring that their heavy parts are scathingly so and imbuing their melodies with heart-rending ethereal grace’ KKKK Kerrang!
Impressive South Wales Post-Hardcore quintet ‘When We Were Wolves’ unleash their explosive new EP ‘Heartless’, through all stores on Monday 22nd September. The rising bruisers will also tour throughout the UK this September.
Reared on a healthy diet of A Day To Remember, Slipknot and Parkway Drive, and adding to that genuine craft and an imaginative approach to penning highly engaging slabs of post-hardcore, ‘When We Were Wolves’ have sculpted a sound that is whole-hearted, progressive, and above all, utterly gripping.
Born during the middle part of 2011 and hailing from Bridgend, South Wales, the band soon set themselves on a course for playing as many shows as possible, which saw the five-some quickly amass a strong and loyal following. Their unbridled determination to deliver a ferocious, dynamic live performance at every show has earned them a glowing reputation, and in turn, has led the band to share stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow,Born Of Osiris, After The Burial, Betraying The Martyrs, Bleed from Within, Heights, The Blackout, Devil Sold His Soul, Malefice and The Amity Affliction, to name a few! As well as being a growing force on the live scene, the band have worked diligently on recording, witnessed by last year’s ‘The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same’ EP, which secured widespread national praise from Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, Big Cheese and Rocksound, through to radio airplay with XFM, Totalrock and Kerrang! Radio. The record also racked up a stunning KKKK in Kerrang!, as well as a new band featurette in the magazine. Further UK and widespread European touring followed in support of the record before the troupe decided to hit Bandit Studios (home to Devil Sold His Soul) to commence work on their new record, soon to be titled ‘Heartless’.
The band’s follow up EP certainly delivers on all fronts, exploding with innovate ideas and cut-throat riffs. The first track and lead single, ‘Dying On the Inside’, soon slams you in the gut with its infectious groove that stomps and sways before a killer refrain blows you over. The menacingly brilliant and adrenaline-fuelled ‘The Devil You Know’ pounds it ways into your head before ‘Blind’ continues to batter you into submission. ‘Confession’ is further evidence that When We Were Wolves knows how to execute an engaging slab of exhilarating post hardcore, packed with sheer intensity and gripping dynamics. Lastly, the EP’s namesake, ‘Heartless’, rounds off the record with a captivating and passionate vocal performance by Mitch Bock, who really pulls it out of the bag. ‘Heartless’ is an EP that is destined to be heard, and with a UK tour confirmed for September, there’s nothing stopping the band’s swift rise.
WHEN WE WERE WOLVES LIVE W/ Valiant – SEPTEMBER 18 – BRISTOL, The Gryphon; SEPTEMBER 19 – PLYMOUTH, Tiki Bar; SEPTEMBER 20 – WORKINGTON, Lounge Bar; SEPTEMBER 21 – NEWCASTLE, Think Tank; SEPTEMBER 22 – HULL, O’Rileys; SEPTEMBER 23 – STAFFORD, Grapes; SEPTEMBER 24 – SOUTHAMPTON, Unit; SEPTEMBER 25 – ADDLESTONE, The Cave; SEPTEMBER 26 – BRIDGEWATER, White Hart Hotel; SEPTEMBER 27 – CHELTENHAM, Two Pigs.
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Sweet dances and psychotic episodes: an interview with Fede of Destrage

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Difficult to describe but very easy to enthuse vociferously over,  Are You Kidding Me? No. the new album from Italian metallers Destrage is easily one of the most thrilling and innovative albums to come along not only this year so far but over a long time. It is a fever of invention and imagination which confronts and seduces the senses through a maze flavours, styles, and experimentation. It is sonic and noise anarchy at its best, a psyche teasing triumph which declares its creators as the exhilarating maelstrom of adventure metal and music is always crying out for. To find out more about band and release we had the pleasure to explore the depths of Destrage with drummer Federico Paulovich, venturing into the creation of the album, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, tomato juice, audience sex and plenty more…

Hi Fede and thank you for talking with us.

Before we look at your new album would you tell us about the beginning of Destrage?

The current line-up has been consistent since 2007 and after their first demo, Self Id Generator, Destrage signed a deal with Howling Bull Records, Japan, and released their first full length, Urban Being, which also saw a worldwide release by Coroner Records in 2009.The second full length The King Is Fat’n’Old was released in 2010 by Coroner Records and Howling Bull, supported by European and Japanese tours and international festivals such as Heineken Jammin’ Festival, Euroblast and Mair1 Festival, The Bad Side Festival, MetalItalia Festival, MAV Festival and more. The eclectic festival run afforded Destrage the opportunity to share the stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All, Freak Kitchen, Monuments, Jeff Loomis, Penny Wise, After the Burial, Puddle of Mudd, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Caliban, Every Time I Die, Lordi, Moonspell and many more. In 2012, we wrote and recorded our third album. The result, the band’s most focused and dynamic effort yet, Are You Kidding Me? No. led to a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records.

What was the spark and intent of the band at the beginning and does that still drive the band just as potently today?

We simply LOVE to spend time together, playing together, laughing and making jokes or just hanging. If “millions $$$” are not involved in a musical project (like in our case) every member needs to enjoy every single moment of the “band life”, form the sound check to the time spent on the van. It’s about alchemy in my opinion.

Of course conflicts, like in every relationship, are part of the game. But that was intent at the beginning and nothing is changed at the moment 🙂

How would you say the band has evolved over the years musically and emotionally?

We believe that our evolution as musicians and composers fully reflects our personal growth in real life. You gotta experience something before you can say something; that’s the main reason why we are always evolving, and we’ll always be. So, expect something really different from the albums to come… About how we changed through the three albums, there are a couple reasons that can explain the process. At the time we were composing and recording Urban Being, there was a big change of line up, and all the songs were composed mostly by Matteo; only with The King Is Fat’n’Old we started working all together on the songs, so the main difference from Urban Being is the result that came out from a combined work. We had the same approach in composing Are You Kidding Me? No., but a few years passed, so we were more close-knit as a team, and above all, our music influences had really changed in the meanwhile, as well as we grew up as persons.

Italy seems to have a rather rich and expansive metal scene, how have you found it on the inside and has it becomes easier for a

 Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography


Photo by Michael Gardenia Photography

band from your country to break into a wider audience over recent years?

In Italy, being in a metal band is definitely not easy. Italian scene, especially on rock and metal music, can’t be compared to the German, UK, Scandinavian or American ones. Our scene is based on pop-folk authors. We have to face a pop and hip hop mainstream market which dominates our local music market, and you have to fight a lot to find, not only a good label deal or an honest booking agent, but also a decent place to play. I have to say that Destrage always met great guys on the road, who contributed to support local bands and this was a great luck for us. Nowadays for the first time we can see a metal scene growing in our country and that’s incredible.

You have just released your third album as you mentioned, the quite brilliant, and I am not just saying that because we are talking, Are You Kidding Me? No. Because of the album we described the band as ‘a ten-legged groove machine with just as many schizophrenic characters posing as songs within its latest temptation.’ The album must be your proudest moment to date recording wise, even over the achievement of making your very first release?

I think this album is what makes us really proud at the moment. The first Urban Being wasn’t even a team work, the whole band wasn’t even there. As much as it can be uplifting to see your first record see the light, we believe it’s much more precious to wait a few years and deliver something that really reflects what you are.

If Urban Being was modern metal with a touch of Destrage, The King was Destrage with some modern metal dressing, Kidding is finally the essence of Destrage.

Your sound as clearly shown on the release employs a maelstrom of styles and flavours crossing fields of genres. How would you describe it in context to Are You Kidding Me? No. for newcomers to the band?

We destroy, create, transform, sublimate. We worship enthusiasm and venerate the shake that it gives.

I think Destrage sound’s is spontaneously various and weird. It’s like we learned how to speak the “metal” language as kids, and then growing up we opened our ears to the world and learned so much more, and the process is still going.

Everything that inspires us, from movies to fine art to haute cuisine to love and sex, can be easily translated into hard music as it is our native language.

This said if you take a look to our Spotify profiles you’ll be surprised. Or disgusted ahahah…

I’d love to tell these newcomers: we’d love you to take what the album is actually giving, with a clear and naive point of view, not expecting this record to be something that is going in the direction you already have in your mind. We are not saying the album is a unique piece of music that doesn’t resemble anything else you’ve heard before, no, but it definitely has its degree of originality.

It comes to my mind a story: the first time i tried tomato juice I almost puked, since it is a fruit juice and I was expecting a fruit juice-like taste. My brain was ready to enjoy a semi-definite, predictable experience and was already projecting it in my mind as the glass got to my lips. By the time the liquid touched my tongue I was disappointed, disgusted. The contrast with what I imagined was just bad.

Now tomato juice is my favorite.

Let’s not expect cats to bark.

Simply listen, enjoy or not.

1978605_10153840599710104_1863836033_nThe songs on the album are almost exhausting in their imagination and ever evolving inventive anarchy, they border schizophrenic at times haha. They sound like a puzzle to excitingly decipher and it is easy to assume they are constructed in a similar way so how do you approach the writing and creation of your songs?

Ahahah you’re right. It’s a giant puzzle made by post-it! We love to use them to keep always in mind the structure of every song, and be able to get an overview on the whole album structure as well.

A Destrage song can start from a riff, a melody, or a drum pattern coming out from any member. Then we work on it all together…in the name of post-it !

!We just try to make music that makes us happy and that is fun for others. If this means diverse people will come to our shows then be it! Can’t ask for more. We believe a band is like a person. No human being is always angry, happy or introspective all the time and a project of five different people should naturally deliver many feelings and states of mind at once.

!Also it is easier to swallow a bitter pill if before and after you eat a spoonful of sugar, that’s why complex parts are inscribed in a creamy song with melody and apparently simple rhythm. It is then choice of the listener to enjoy the surface or dig to the nerdy core, it is our business to make both levels as enjoyable as possible.

We don’t want people to come to our gigs and take notes, we want them to come and jump.

Do songs organically grow from those initial seeds or is there a stronger element of deliberate sculpting in their creation from you?

It really depends on the song, but usually what we try to do is to start from an idea or concept that has its own soul and then decorate it with our craftsmanship, instead of putting together many different elements, that most of the times wouldn’t match very well. It is way easier to write very complex stuff for the sake of being technical, so we try to make it enjoyable by anybody. Once I’ve been told by a wise person that we should put sex in every single thing we do, so we put a lot of effort in doing so because we believe that having sex with your audience is way better than masturbating on your own. So even if our technique may result impressive sometimes, we think that music must come before sport in any case.

Did you approach the recording of the album in any different way to your previous releases?

I think every time is different because we change, we evolve as persons and musicians. It’s really a big mixture of feelings, emotions and thoughts. For AYKM?N. after a long period of composition and pre-production, everybody was really focused and motivated to give his best. Somebody was excited, but still worried about some parts here and there, because we didn’t have that much time to rehearse every song properly, so the trickiest parts were kind of scary. Obviously everybody wanted to have fun as well, so jokes and funny moments happened all the time; that’s the way we like doing things together. Every time we enter the studio we realize how much we love making records, and how stressful it is at the same time. Everyone wants the record to be “perfect”, so sometimes somebody loses his mind or goes crazy. Fortunately we have five very different personalities, and we know each other very well, so everything usually sorts out very quickly.

Tell us about the recording of Are You Kidding Me? No. Did the songs evolve further in that environment and did you learn anything this time to take into your next adventure?

The recordings were a bit messy, definitely a non-linear path. Even in the final phase of the production we were having new ideas and insights. Probably hiking in nature, getting lost in an unknown city, visit art galleries, alternate your perception are good ways to get inspired in the beginning of the process and recording is the best way to get inspired in the end of it. Even in its half dark, closed, silent spaces the studio itself is a huge source of inspiration. You are there, but you are not what matters. The album is all and you disappear.

Many of the songs made it to the record the way they were written, other didn’t and we kept changing them until the very end.

We made a documentary of the whole recording process, it will be published soon.

As the album teased, seduced, and thrilled us we laid numerous comparisons at its feet; moments in the eclectic alchemy which Destrage 1reminded us of bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, American Head Charge, Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Faith No More Kontrust and French bands Mucho Tapioca and Toumai, even at one brief point Ugly Kid Joe. It shows the diversity and expanse of your sound. Are there any specific inspirations which have really influenced you if not for the band as a musician?

All those that you mentioned played a crucial role in our inspirational feast, but not more than Michel Gondry, Quay Brothers or Paolo Barnard did. And they don’t release albums.! !

Are You Kidding Me? No. sees a guest appearance by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns’N’Roses on its title track, How did that union come about?

We all are Ron’s big fans. When we finished the track Are You Kidding Me? No. we felt something was missing in the end. In fact, a Bumblefoot solo was missing. Since we had no connection with him, Mat emailed Mattias “Ia” Eklundh, who played on Jade’s Place (in our previous record The King Is Fat’N’Old) and became our friend (he’s such a cool guy!). He asked him for an address, a number, some contact to get in touch with Ron. Mattias as usual answered very politely, but didn’t give Mat what he wanted (he’s a very respectful person). So Mat was left with no choice other than going on Bumblefoot’s website and write to the general mail address. And surprize, Ron answered immediately telling us the song was super good and he’d do the collaboration. He told Mat he was touring with GnR in that period, so we should wait for a month or so. We thought it was his way to refuse. Instead he actually wrote back when the tour was over, asking what we wanted exactly, and we answered “we want you to do whatever you want for 32 bars”.

Few funny private messages followed and we got our perfect solo in 3 days. Smooth. The song seemed to be made for him, as he also said later in an interview. So, good experiment, and when we got to meet the guy in person we liked him even more. Ron is rad.

That track is also the most, can we say creatively and thrillingly psychotic on the album, probably our favourite song though it is hard to choose just one. Can you give us some insight into its creation?

Are You Kidding Me? No. is one of our favourite tracks too, for two main reasons: its origin and its content. The song was born randomly, as Mat sang what became the trumpet melody while going around on his red Vespa.

So, in the beginning we only expanded what comes after the trumpet, all that gipsy-sounding part. We wanted to make it a bonus track and leave it as it was. Then with no reason or precise plan, we wrote all the rest around it, putting no limits and setting no borders, following the lyric concept “Everybody does all kind of shit, I’m sorry that I’m sorry, I had to do this”.

The content came along in exceptional short time, and surprisingly our mindless creation gave birth to some of the most cerebral and psychotic parts of the whole album. !

As you said earlier the album is also your first with Metal Blade Records. How has the link up impacted on the album so far?

Being signed with such a great label is a dream come true for us! Definitely it’s giving us way bigger exposure, and much more people are listening to the new album because of this. But on the artistic point of view it didn’t have any impact, simply because we could sign the deal with MB because we already had the new album finished and ready to go.

Destrage is a band never slow in hitting the road and stages, the same again for 2014 I can assume? Any details you can reveal?

Absolutely yes! Everything is “work in progress”, our goal is to play these songs live, touring as much as we can, bringing our music everywhere…we’ll see what happens! 🙂

We can’t wait to be on the road again!

Once more thank you for sharing time to chat with us. Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for your attention! Our new album Are you Kidding Me? No. will be release on March 3 in Europe through Metal Blade Records. More music and videos will be released soon, so stay tuned though our official pages http://www.facebook.com/destrage, http://www.youtube.com/destrage andwww.twitter.com/destrage!

Thank you so much for this interview guys! 🙂

Read the review of Are you Kidding Me? No. @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/03/2014

Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No.

 

byMichaelGardenia_04

     Destrage is a force which confronts and seduces the imagination with such an exhaustive vivacity of sound and adventure that it becomes a proposition which has you simultaneously confused, bewildered, and thrillingly basking in a maelstrom of sonic alchemy. Hailing from Italy, the band has forged an impressive and unforgettable once bitten presence which is ascending into more fevered attention release by release, but it is the release of new album Are You Kidding Me? No. which feels like the trigger into worldwide recognition and ardour with its Metal Blade Records release. With more flavours, styles, and imagination than a carnival in Rio, the release turns a band which was still waiting to explode around the globe into an exhilarating infection of the psyche and passions with that target in its sights. With words like unpredictable and intriguing the weakest descriptions of the inventive anarchy teasing and ravishing the senses, Destrage is a ten-legged groove machine with just as many schizophrenic characters posing as songs within its latest temptation.

     Formed in 2005, the Milan quintet has been on a charge of persuading and recruiting hearts at home and further afield since their first days, the current line-up in place since 2007 especially stoking those the fires. From their first demo Self Id Generator, Destrage has continued to evolve into a aurally spectacular provocation, the albums Urban Being of 2009 and The King Is Fat’n’Old the following year potent bait greedily devoured by more and more willing souls, though you suspect it will be nothing compared to the awakening sparked by Are You Kidding Me? No. Live too the band has left wasted bodies and hungry bodies in their wake, the undertaking of tours across Europe, Japan, and numerous festivals and shows where they have shared spaces with the likes of Every Time I Die, Parkway Drive, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All, Freak Kitchen, Monuments, Jeff Loomis, Penny Wise, After the Burial, Puddle of Mudd, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, Caliban, Lordi, Moonspell and many more, increasing their stock. The new album though feels and sounds like their time to lead the pack has now come and it is not a moment too soon.

     You may be wondering what the band sound like, which we will endeavour to reveal song by song, but suffice to say it is Coverwonderfully something quite impossible to label. Opener Destroy Create Transform Sublimate tells you all you need to know about Destrage and whether to unreservedly embrace or stand scratching your head over their voracious experimentation and invention. The track opens with a spiral of sonic enterprise courted by aggressive riffs and combative rhythms, the mix alluring and intimidating in equal measure. It is not long before the song is throwing off any restraint to stomp with entwining essences of groove and funk veining a still voracious assault of technical and carnivorous metal. The impressive vocals of Paolo Colavolpe are just as eager to tempt and savage as the music with a delivery as wide as the range of sounds around him. The song aggressively dances like a fusion of Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, American Head Charge, and French band Mucho Tapioca, but even with its gait it switches and shuffles its suasion without notice or care.

   With a climactic finale which simply thrills and enthrals, dub and techno added to the spice cupboard of the song, the towering opener is swiftly matched in quality and psyche twisting grandeur by Purania. From a charged entrance of rapacious riffing and similarly hungry rhythms, the song settles into a melodic bordering mellow stroll which lasts just the length of the impatience the band has to light the touch paper to another maze of eclectic sonic fascination. Imagine a hybrid of Mr. Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan, 6:33, and System Of A Down and you get a glimpse of the beauty and schizophrenic glory of the song, a triumph within which the guitars of Matteo Di Gioia and Ralph Salati craft a narrative and web which bewitches and challenges, their hypnotic mix of creative frenzy and skilful acidic elegance spellbinding within the predatory frame built by bassist Gabriel Pignata and drummer Federico Paulovich.

    My Green Neighbour rifles ears next, its first breath a frantic tsunami of beats and riffs courting a bedlamic mind-set. Forcing its agitated psyche and attack into a smoother flowing blaze of heavy and melodic metal, the song takes little effort in replicating the temptation of its predecessors, merging varied flames of sound and persistently captivating detours into a brawling riot of invention and insatiable metal manipulation. The stunning tempest then has to step aside for the more primal bordering bestial presence of Hosts, Rifles & Coke, its heavy throated savagery magnetic and even more tantalising when it shares time with a contagion of melodic prowess and mouth-wateringly catchy choruses, all seared by a scotching solo to top things off.

    Both the discordant and masterful mayhem of G.O.D. and the smoother voiced mesmeric Where the Things Have No Colour unveil new scenic aspects of the Destrage’s songwriting and imagination; the first a riot of Faith No More meets Ugly Kid Joe voraciousness aligned to a mind tripping sensibility and the second a progressively honed melodic venture through rapturous harmonies and exotic melodies within an irresistible toxin of craft and infectiousness. Arguably the track is the band at its most restrained artistically but certainly no less potent and imaginative as well as exciting.

     Waterpark Bachelorette has the band squalling and rioting over the senses, grooves and lethal rhythms a blistering endeavour matched by the predacious expulsions of vocals and sound which litter the rampant torrent of rock ‘n’ roll. Guitar doodling veins the song for only the most satisfying results whilst the addictive anthemic call of vocals and hooks make a lingering bait which seeps into the breather of melodic caresses and sonic entanglement. Its excellence is soon equalled by firstly the dramatically textured Before, After and All Around and the almost hysterical invention of – (Obedience), the track verging on maniacal with its avant-garde/melodic metal ants nest of busy yet ordered chaos.

    To prove that the song is still not the deranged imagination of the band exhausted the closing title track takes all honours on the Are You Kidding Me? No. Featuring a guest appearance by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns’N’Roses), the track is an inventive meshuga but one which knows exactly what it is doing. Fusing experimentation, jazz, funk, and pure dementia into its unrelenting crazed waltz, the track is a triumph of insanity which disorientates and seduces with perfect touch and irreverence. Ending on a sensational emotive stomp of gypsy punk with swing desires and reminding very much of Kontrust and another French band Toumai, the track is a magnificent concluding revelry to a quite brilliant and monumental release.  Quite simply Destrage has provided your probable album of the year.

www.facebook.com/destrage

10/10

Ringmaster 06/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Animus – Fall of the Elite

Animus Online Promo Shot

    If you understandably missed the limited regional release of the Fall of the Elite EP last year, Scottish metallers Animus have provided another chance to immerse in its tempest with its deserved nationwide unleashing. Consisting of four savagely aggressive and rivetingly varied slabs of sonic provocation, the band’s introduction is a mouthwatering onslaught providing a well of satisfaction as deep as the promise also rampaging through its sinews. Its sound whips up an antagonistic fury from a brew of progressive death metal and djent with technical and groove metal, creating a predation which is equally recognisable and innovative. Fall of the Elite certainly suggests this is a band still evolving its presence but one with major expulsions ahead you easily feel.

     Hailing from Dundee, Animus was formed in 2010 by drummer Poul Thomassen and guitarist Sam Gilmour. It was not long before the pair was joined by second guitarist Graham Brown and Gavin Holloway on bass. The first couple of years saw the band playing around Scotland drawing strong support and responses but it was with the addition of vocalist Aaron Fawns in 2012 that it could be said a spark ignited within the band, the quintet finding that something bringing everything into focus and vital explosiveness. A further rampage of shows ensued, including sharing stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, To Kill Achilles, Here Lies A Warning, Heights, Silent Screams, Chronographs, Hero In Error, Our People Versus Yours, and I Divide, all only increasing the stature and reputation of the band. The final weeks of 2012 saw Animus enter the studio to sculpt their debut Fall Of The Elite, influences from the likes of After The Burial, Suicide Silence, Bring Me The Horizon, Whitechapel, and Tesseract spicing up their own distinct toxicity. After a well-received first unveiling, the EP is now poised to work on the rest of the UK with its ravenous and creative intensity.

    Drawing a single breath whilst a groan brews in the background, opener Damnation announces its presence with an intriguingAnimus - Front Cover air accentuated by sirens and an apocalyptic ambience. With the scene set, the track emerges from the anarchy with forcibly twisting grooves and percussive provocation speared by vicious rhythms skirted by predatory riffing. The vocals of Fawns snarl and growl with bile soaked animosity, his direct intent sharing enough variety to engage whilst musically the band lashes and entices the senses with a masterful and bold invention. The song is not the most malevolent and violent proposition but holds an intimidation and intensity which leaves knees buckled and ears scarred as its imagination captures that of its recipient with ease and enterprise.

   The following DB8666 follows suit but instantly uncages a lethal groove and commanding swagger which leaves its predecessor in the shade. The swinging contagion of the track is clad in a threatening musculature upon a djent inspired spine whilst it’s flailing sonic arms and acrid melodic adventure provides the most compelling hues to potently ignite the imagination. Every move and twist of the song is pure infectious bait, at times almost too involved in itself but never relinquishing the tightest entrapment of thoughts and emotions. As all the tracks upon the EP, there is plenty to discover with each subsequent encounter, certain underlying textures and touches unveiled within the increasingly persuasive tempestuous engagement after numerous excursions.

     The following Home(less) is a bestial display of maliciousness but one aligned to the most creative progressive enticement yet. The guitars sculpt simultaneously uncompromising and seductive endeavours whilst bass and drums carve out bruising lures which also only beckon and threaten. Once again the song is a cascade of innovative manipulations which flirt with indulgence and chaos but only to tease and taunt within its skilled and deliberately devious craft. That dramatic and alluring enterprise is pushed further with the closing title track, its bewitching opening progressive design of melody caressing keys wrapping the ears in a transfixing coaxing before being joined by staccato riffs and splintering rhythms within a brawling cast of sonic causticity. Carnivorous in its stalking and guitar endeavour whilst magnetic in its continually evolving melody induced progressive searing of the air, the track is a smouldering rampancy which seizes an instant lingering submission for its ruinous nature and assault yet slowly burns an even greater seduction in the passions over time and multiple unions.

   The outstanding climax brings a similarly impressive release to a close leaving anticipation and appetite for Animus a greedy hunger. Certainly the release shows that the band is yet to find its truly unique presence but that is only a matter of time with, on the evidence of Fall of the Elite, stronger dramatic triumphs destined to follow. This is an immense exciting start and base for their horizons and the open doorway to eager recognition countrywide.

www.facebook.com/AnimusUK

9/10

RingMaster 03/03/2014

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ANIMUS declare the ‘Fall Of The Elite’, on 3rd March‏

Animus Online Promo Shot

DUNDEE PROGRESSIVE METAL CREW ANIMUS REBOOT THEIR EAR SHATTERING DEBUT EP THIS SPRING!

Drawing musical influence from a host of sources stemming from After The Burial, Suicide Silence, Bring Me The Horizon, Whitechapel and Tesseract, Scotland death metal progsters ‘Animus’ are primed to take the UK by storm with their cutting blend of crossover metal. The rising five piece release ‘Fall Of The Elite’ on Monday 3rd March through all stores.

Animus began life in 2010, with beatmaster Poul Thomassen on drums and Sam Gilmour handling the guitar. The duo soon enlisted Sam’s old college buddy Graham Brown on second guitar and new friend Gavin Holloway on bass. For the next two years, the band played throughout Scotland, wrestling to hold down a permanent and reliable vocalist. However, all of this changed in the Summer of 2012 when the four-piece hooked up with Aaron Fawns, and everything just clicked into place. Aaron immediately joined the band as full-time vocalist and the revitalised noiseniks soon picked up the pace with a flurry of explosive shows throughout the northern territory supporting the likes of Bleed From Within, To Kill Achilles, Here Lies A Warning, Heights, Silent Screams, Chronographs, Hero In Error, Our People Versus Yours and I Divide.

The five-some closed 2012 by heading into the studio to lay down their official release in the shape of their “Fall Of The Elite” EP. Because the EP only received a regional and limited release during the early part of 2013, the band have decided to unleash the record with a full national release and extensive touring for Spring 2014. And rightly so, as the record deserves to be thrust into the limelight. From the full bloodied fury of the opener track ‘Damnation’ to the death prog beatings of the EP’s namesake ‘Fall Of The Elite’, the record showcases a band that will be a prominent force in the UK metal scene for many years to come.

=ANIMUS RELEASE ‘FALL OF THE ELITE” ON MONDAY 3rd MARCH 2014 THROUGH ALL DIGITAL STORES=

Animus - Front Cover

 

 

Beyond the Shore – Ghostwatcher

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     Though Ghostwatcher, the new album from metalcore band Beyond the Shore is not rifling the senses with anything dramatically new or before unheard, there is no denying the release is one beast of an album which leaves a sure and invigorating satisfaction behind. The Lexington-Fayette, KY quintet has released something which is as skilfully accomplished as it is destructively hungry but also finds a middle ground between extremes to heartily feed the appetites of all fans from metalcore, hardcore, and metal.

Formed in 2008 whilst its members were still at school, Beyond The Shore has evolved in sound and craft into an attention grabbing senses exploring brute of a band as evidenced by the new album. Since forming the band has shared stages alongside the likes of Born Of Osiris, Shai Hulud, MyChildren MyBride, Of Machines, and After The Burial, as well as drawing strong attention through their The Arctic Front EP in 2009 and subsequent single Shotgun Sunrise. The five-piece entered a studio to record Ghostwatcher last year before talking with many labels about releasing it. Eventually they and Metal Blade Records reached a deal to unleash the impressive album and expectations of its virulently addictive presence point to the band breaking through to new heights of recognition.

Opener Dividers is a short seizure of the ear bursting from an ominous ambience into a clutch of staccato bled riffs and firm Beyond the Shore - Ghostwatcherrhythmic persuasion.  The vocals of Andrew Loucks immediately show a range from guttural growls to squalling confrontation, he delivering a seamless blend which certainly ignites a healthy dose of interest alone. Musically the track does the business too without lighting fires but at its briefness also has no time to agitate any doubts before handing over to Half Lived. The second song rampages with djent clustered strikes and ravenous rhythms from drummer Chris “The Lieutenant” Stinnett, easily capturing the imagination even if again not being outwardly innovative. Where it does excel though is the hunger each area of the track has to devour the senses with enterprise and the again impressive vocals, where a clean delivery shares the stage with the scowling passion. What also stands out is that nothing is taken to extreme but still holds a distinct character, the clean vocals snarling to avoid any sappiness and the bestial assault holding a restraint to offer clarity to the lyrical intent. The vocalist also has no fear in switching within the space of a few words his style and continually doe sit with a fluidity which only impresses. By its conclusion with an excellent guitar solo blaze grabbing headlines too, the track makes the strongest persuasion with matching rewards.

The best two moments on the album follow immediately in the dramatic shapes of Transitions and Homewrecker. The first is a furious furnace of uncompromising drum violation and equally predatory bass spite from Eli Masharbash, but it is the outstanding guitar invention and imagination of Zach Hunter and Jared Loucks which seal the deal. Opening with a Korn like beckoning and plunging bass resonance, the track wraps the ear with a gentle sonic caress before forging this restraint to an urgent and carnal rhythmic attack. As mentioned the guitars shape and sculpt the heart of the song with a siren like craft which the vocals once more exploit with inventive greed. Though the band has a metalcore centre the soak of other flavours like technical and nu-metal bloom potently ignite stronger fires. The second of the two is a harder violent proposition, an irresistible violation of malicious intent and invention. In the eye of its storm though there is a mellower progressive breath at large which is unexpected and works well, the band escaping its caress before it unbalances the thrilling savagery.

Across the synapse twisting Glass Houses, as well as Milestone, and #Dreamkiller, the band continue to bring variety and compelling malevolent encounters though all tracks lyrically look to the light in their challenging themes. The middle song of the three is an instrumental which is nicely crafted and intriguing with the electro element of the band given a full atmospheric rein. It does not quite fit in the album for personal tastes, accomplished and engaging though it is it feels just like an interlude before the action restarts, which it does with vengeance on the latter of the three songs. The track snarls and gnaws on the ear with a sonic progressive insidiousness leading the second line behind again intrusive intensity of energy and aural aggression.

A further pinnacle comes from Breathe on Ice, a hypnotic twist of metalcore and hardcore invention veined with the seduction of the devil as well as a venomous imagination which also only he could have bred. It is another exceptional track which cements the energised passion triggered by the release within. Ghostwatcher may not be the most original or unique album to thrill your ears, hard to argue that issue, but it is certainly one of the most powerfully rewarding.

https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheshore

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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