Finding The Guiding Light with Tom Brumpton

Tom Brumpton is a well-known and respected vocalist/musician primarily through his time with UK progressive/technical metallers Akarusa Yami and his PR work and support with Polymath. He is also an adventurously talented film director and is poised to step behind the camera for his new project The Guiding Light. Tom has kindly given us some of his time to talk about his new film sharing the background to its inception and creation, his previous work in music and film and how to get involved in the crowd funding campaign for a proposition which is already stirring imaginations and excitement alike.

Hi Tom, our big thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

You have just launched a crowd funding campaign for your new project The Guiding Light. A great many of us will know you for your musical prowess especially as co –founder and former vocalist of Akarusa Yami and as promoter of a great many artists. The Guiding Light is a short film you are directing. Before we talk about the film, how did you first get into film making?

Thanks for the kind words, dude. The first film I directed was The Samaritan in 2015. Adam Luff, our screenwriter, and I did everything on that. It was a little mad. From there, we shot a few other bits, including a short film called Nurture of The Beast in 2016. It got picked up by a dozen film festivals and won a few awards. Our success on that laid the groundwork and gave us the confidence to make The Guiding Light.

You mentioned the new film was written by Adam Luff. Tell us a bit about Adam.

As I mentioned, Adam and I have done three short films together now. This is our fourth time working together. Adam is my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were three years old, and we’re both 32 now. He’s an award-winning screenwriter who spent time studying screenwriting in San Francisco and he’s currently working on a few projects with production companies around the world. He’s a very talented guy

That previous project together, Nurture of the Beast, received a handful of award nominations; this included one for Best Actor for you. Are you appearing in The Guiding Light as well as directing it?

I might be in the movie *laughs*! I will leave it at that. My main focus on this is that of director and producer. We talked about me being having a role in the film but felt that with everything else going on it made more sense to focus on things behind the camera.

Who is appearing in the film?

Our lead actresses are Jessica Messenger, who plays Barbara. She’s a Derby based actress and dancer who’s done a ton of great films, including Rats with Lawrence Harvey (Human Centipede 2) and Nicolas Vince (Hellraiser). We also have Martina Lopez as Angela. As soon as we saw her showreel we knew she was perfect for the role. We also have a few other amazing actors and actresses in voiceover roles, but we’re still finalising those right now.

Can you give us some insight into The Guiding Light; its story inside and outside of the film and the seeds to its invention?

Outside of the film, a big influence on the film was the death of my aunt Pat in April 2016. I spent a year coming to terms with that before speaking with Adam about making a new film, which became The Guiding Light. While we were prepping The Guiding Light another aunt of my mine, Kath, passed away. I lost a few more people I knew passed away through 2017. As time passed, it just made me more resolute to make the film and put a very dark chapter to bed.

The plot of the film follows Barbara, a world champion dancer living with auto-immune disease. Following her retirement she’s struck down by an aggressive case of pneumonia and left on the verge of death. It is here, guided by her sister Angela, that she begins reliving her happiest days before facing her pending mortality

We started talking about the movie in May 2017 shortly after coming back from the Cannes Film Festival. The whole experience was really eye opening and inspiring, and it made us stop and decide to make another film. I was getting into a better place emotionally after Pat’s death, and I felt more capable of dealing with the topic.

Obviously having worked with Adam a lot you truly know and understand his writing but how did the two of you approach and come together in thought to a story rising from such intimate experiences?

I think it comes from knowing and living with each other for so long. We’ve been friends most of our lives, and there’s an understanding there. When we sat down to start fleshing the idea out, it was a pretty easy experience. We went to a bar, grabbed some coffees and got to work. The whole thing came together very quickly, which was wonderful. Adam knew all about what had been going on with my family, and knowing me, he knew how to navigate the situation. I don’t think it would’ve been possible to do this if that understanding wasn’t there.

What has inspired the look and tone you are giving the film and indeed your directing style?

The two films I keep coming back to are The Neon Demon and La La Land. La La Land’s big sprawling dance numbers are epic, beautiful and full of life while The Neon Demon is visually stunning, with incredible lighting and music, but its haunting. I’m aiming for The Guiding Light to sit somewhere between the two in terms of tone, visuals and spectacle.

Previous films you have co-directed, The Guiding Light your first one alone? Has that brought any particular difficulties or indeed given you a freedom?

This is my first time directing a short film solo, yes. It’s been a massive learning curve, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot. There are always ups and downs on stuff like this, but I’m glad I’ve tackled it and I’m very glad I’ve had such a great support network around me. It wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

We mentioned Akarusa Yami earlier. I assume there are a great many differences between making films and music but are there any similarities which your previous adventures have helped with?

I’ve described filmmaking as like making six albums all at once. I think the biggest comparison is that it’s a great big collaboration. While on most albums I’ve done had a dozen people involved, maximum, we’re looking at a cast and crew of around 40 people on this. It’s much bigger than making an album, but at its core the rule is always the same; hear people out, have a clear vision and do your best.

Are you also involved with the soundtrack of The Guiding Light?

I have left that in the hands of a far more capable man *laughs*! Our composer, Alex Norman, is an amazing songwriter and his work has been used by Marvel Studios, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and beyond. What we’re going for is a really big blend. There’s ambient music, drone music, soul music, beach pop and stadium ballads going on. If done right, it’ll be a really interesting mix. I can’t wait to see what Alex does.

How deep into the process of making the film are you?

We’re coming to the end of pre-production now and we’re set to start filming on September 23rd. I’m nervous, excited and cannot wait to get on set. There’s still a ton of work to do, and I imagine we’ll be working on things right up until the day of shooting. That being said, we have a wonderful cast and crew, and everyone so far has been very supportive.

You have launched a crowd funding campaign as we mentioned, would you give us the details for that?

Absolutely, you can find everything on the campaign at the link below! We’ve got a bunch of cool perks available, including badges, posters, tickets to VIP screenings, links to the film and the soundtrack!

 Do you have a date for the release of The Guiding Light scheduled and once out where will people first be able to see it?

We don’t have a release date as of yet, no. The plan is to arrange a premiere at a big European festival, but I don’t want to say too much until everything is confirmed. Once that’s done, it’s on to the festival circuit. The difference between the music industry, where usually singles and records drop a few months after they’re finished, a film will usually go on to do the festival circuit, which it can do for a year or two before it gets a proper release. It’s not uncommon for a film made in 2015 not to see the light of day until 2018, as an example.

Before we part can we briefly talk about your musical side? Firstly what sparked your departure not only from Akarusa Yami but pretty much from being a visual presence making music?

Sure! In all honesty, I just wasn’t enjoying being on stage anymore. It wasn’t fun for me. I loved the guys, and I loved the adventure, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not enjoying being up on stage then you should quit. Once I finished with Akarusa Yami, every time I considered making music again I felt kind of numb. I didn’t feel excited to pick up a guitar or a microphone or write lyrics or anything. The plan was always to wrap things up with the band after my last show with them in Trondheim, Norway in October 2015 and move in to filmmaking.

I heard a rumour though that you have briefly linked up with former band mate Tom Clarke on his new project?

Yeah, Tom asked me to sing on a track a while ago. I don’t know if what I did will make the final cut, but I’m proud of what we did and whether I’m on the album or not, I’m sure it’ll be great. He’s super psyched about the album, and he should be. It’s a great record.

The first of a few new adventures back in music aside from your great PR work or is film where your creative destiny is?

I’m still running Polymath (PR) and will be for the foreseeable future. A new band isn’t on the table, really. I like doing the odd song with bands here and there, that’s fun. But a full band takes a lot of time and commitment, and in all of this it’s made me think long and hard about where I want to go career wise and directing is definitely what I want to do. This has been a great experience.

Once again Tom big thanks for chatting with us. Any last words you would like to leave us?

Thanks so much for your time, and a big thank you to everyone who’s donated, shared and contributed to the film so far. It means the world to us.

Watch a teaser for the film @ and check out the crowd funding campaign via Indiegogo @

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deathflux – Execrated

With its members previously part of death metal outfit Cacodaemonic and one of our favourites in progressive metallers Akarusa Yami, there was certain anticipation in hearing the debut album from British metallers Deathflux and Execrated certainly rewards that intrigue and excitement. It is a raw and uncompromising trespass upon ears and senses quipped with rich enterprise the imagination quickly took to.

Formed in 2016 by Nottingham guitarist Tom Clarke, who as mentioned enlisted band mates from his former propositions, Deathflux creates a sound which cannot be precisely pinned down. Led by a rousing and enjoyable senses abusing dual vocal attack, the sextet entangle everything from death and heavy to technical and groove metal with plenty more flavouring involved. Their first year saw the Bludgeon, Consume, Transcend EP uncaged, the band’s second bringing the current line-up together with vocalist Adam Jones joining the raucous bellows of Patrick MacDonald. Now Deathflux is ready for full and hungry attention which it is very easy to expect to be crowding them through Execrated.

It is a release which from opener Forsaken which manages to grab ears and captivate as it trespasses the senses while hinting we are just in on the beginnings of even bigger and bolder things ahead. Maybe that means there is an open potential not quite realised within the album yet it just adds excitement for the future to that gained though the bracing assault of the release. The first track immediately infests the listener as the twin fury of the vocals joins the predacious lure of the guitars and instantly threatening touch of the rhythms.  Soon as it hits its imposing stride, the song winds its creatively malicious tendrils around ears, animosity matched in the individual and united antipathy of the vocalists. Often lurching along between its fevered intrusions as imagination fuels twists and turns, the track lays potent seeds for things to come.

The following Consume finds an even more predatory lilt to its voice and presence, extreme and melodic metal converging on ears and each other as again vocals challenge as they align their discontent. Dissonance soaks every note, syllable, and word; its dystopian coating breeding a conspiracy of enterprise and imagination within the track and subsequent album as proven by next up Devolution. Similarly woven yet individual in its character and rapacious attack, the song springs nu metal hues into its infestation of styles and the web of rancor woven from them. It too jabs and snaps as well as careers across the senses, the guitars alone weaving magnetic intrigue and adventure including a delicious groove as rhythms blossom in their predatory dynamics.

Toxin initially dances in ears with catchy intent, it’s pent up animosity and frustrations waiting to be subsequently unleashed through the riveting exploits of vocals and the persistently unpredictable landscape of the song. As much as all its predecessors hit the spot, the track truly grabbed our attention and appetite, that intimation of even richer and bolder layers to the band’s creativity a nagging pleasure.

Easily our favourite track, it is more than backed up by Bludgeon which simply lives up to its title as it accosts the listener but an assault built with an imagination and diversity of touch which at one point seems to embrace inspirations of a Slipknot or Mudvayne in other moments the likes of Fear Factory and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Next up Transcend is even more bullish and irritable, deathcore traits seeping venomously into its grooved trap set by the guitars, Clarke relishing the dynamics as he casts melodic dexterity into the thrilling mix before Exile brings the album to a vicious conclusion. It epitomises every aspect of the band’s sound; from their ferocious energy and nature to the creative touch and technical flair each member brings to the war.

Though first impression were potent, Execrated really flourishes over subsequent plays as each track reveals more of their individuality and invention which might have escaped notice first time around. Expect to be assaulted and richly pleasured by Deathflux’s first album and anticipate being addicted as its potential ignites in the future.

Execrated is out now through iTunes and other stores.

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Akarusa Yami Announce New Video & Departure Of Frontman

AY Pic 1_RingMaster Review

Tech Metallers Release Heavy Climb Clip & Announce Tom Brumpton Has Left The Band

British tech metallers Akarusa Yami recently put together a clip for their new video ‘Heavy Climb’! Created by acclaimed videographer Andy Pilkington, the video for ‘Heavy Climb’ closely follows the message behind the track; despite our beginnings, we can achieve great things if we believe in ourselves and push onwards.

The video can be viewed here –

The band have also announced that frontman and co-founder Tom Brumpton will be parting ways with the band. Drummer Adam Jones had this to say on the announcement: “We’re sad to see Tom go, as we started this journey together five years ago and we’ve done some amazing stuff together in that time. That being said, we are in the process of training up a new vocalist and we’ll be making an announcement in early 2016. We have already begun work on new material, which we hope to share with all of you next year.

Brumpton has opted to step down due to other commitments, and had this to say on his recent departure: “I’m really proud of everything we as a band have achieved in the last five years. 2015 has been an excellent year for Akarusa Yami, having played some truly incredible festivals, shows and seeing the heart-warming support for “Heavy Climb”. I wish everyone the best of luck, and I’m sure the new material is going to sound great.

Formed in 2010 by Guitarist Tom Clarke (Insidious) and Vocalist Tom Brumpton, Nottingham noisinks Akarusa Yami have worked tirelessly since launching their debut EP “Ouroboros” to glowing reviews across the world in 2011. The band picked up solid coverage in Terrorizer (UK), Zero Tolerance (UK), Metal Hammer (Norway), Legacy (Germany) and many others. Their debut singles ‘Third Eye, Wide Open’ and ‘Millennium Is My Salvation’ were picked up for national airplay in 11 countries throughout Europe, alongside copious airplay on internet stations across the world.

The band went on to play a series of successful shows supporting Textures, The Ocean and Aliases. The band also played as part of Bloodstock Festival 2011. In late 2011 the band recorded ‘Life, The Venomous Way’ with prolific producer James Dunkley (Vallenfyre).

2012 saw the release of their second EP “Trace Element Rebirth”, which saw the band spreading their sound even further across the globe. Moving forward, the band busied themselves preparing their long awaited debut album “Heavy Climb”; a sprawling beast of a record that pulls together the finer elements of their first two efforts with a heap of new ideas. In early 2015, the band announced Guitarist Julia Goatly had joined the band. Akarusa Yami are presently writing new material for their fourth release, tentatively set for a late 2016 release.

Akarusa Yami – Heavy Climb

AY Pic 1_RingMaster Review

This year has seen a host of impressive and imaginative progressive/technical metal releases and joining the most compelling and thrilling is Heavy Climb, the debut album from Akarusa Yami. The UK band has uncaged a mouth-wateringly unpredictable and fascinating proposal with their first full-length, not only building on the potential of previous successes but setting out a whole new template of adventure and uniqueness to explore further ahead.

Heavy Climb is simultaneously raw and sonically elegant, imposingly fierce and seductively bewitching and as suggested earlier, a striking step forward from its creator’s previously acclaimed offerings. Formed in 2010 by guitarist Tom Clarke and vocalist Tom Brumpton, the Nottingham hailing Akarusa Yami quickly whipped up ears and support with their sound and live presence, and in turn debut EP Ouroboros the following year. The quintet’s singles Third Eye, Wide Open and Millennium Is My Salvation lured potent national airplay across Europe and online whilst the band began being featured in the likes of Terrorizer, Zero Tolerance, and Metal Hammer (Norway). Their generally well-received second EP Trace Element Rebirth arrived in 2013, following successes like the supporting of bands like Textures, The Ocean, and Aliases as well as appearing at the Bloodstock Festival also in 2011. It also saw the new emerging direction in the Akarusa Yami sound and songwriting and it is probably fair to say for some it was not an immediate persuasion. It was though a gripping sign of things to come, and an intriguing teaser for what is now Heavy Climb. With a line-up completed by bassist Jake Bennett, drummer Adam Jones, and guitarist Julia Goatly, Akarusa Yami have honed and experimented with their sound, stretched their ideation and craft and subsequently the imagination of the listener with Heavy Climb; the result being certainly for us one of the most enjoyable and enthralling encounters of 2015.

Heavy Climb - Front Art_RingMaster Review     The album opens with The Old Man By The Fjord where instantly rolling rhythms align with engaging melodies and a shadowy bassline. The song does not grab attention but coaxes it for the same success before riffs get steely with their snarl and the voice of Brumpton growls attitude and aggression. Now ears and thoughts are firmly awake and held, and it is here where expectations start to unravel as the band begins their relentless emprise of invention and unpredictable ingenuity. A slip into an infectious passage of glowing melodies alongside clean vocals and harmonies brings a progressive tempting which is almost Horslips like, its presence entwined with more technical predation amidst the pulsating lure of keys. It is an engrossing start to the album which just gets stronger and more endearing with every listen, as indeed does the album.

Second track At Last, Sunlight (Endlich, Sonnenlicht) makes its entrance on a warm jazzy field of enticement, though the track soon uncages its ire and aggression fuelled volatility in a tempest again infused with gothic keys, sonic suggestiveness, and clean vocals which again catch thoughts initially unaware. It does not quite live up to its predecessor or the following title track but feeds an already strong appetite before its successor bawls at and brawls with the listener with irritable rancor and magnetic resourcefulness spread by the atmospheric keys and perpetually shifting attack of the guitars. The rhythmic swings of Jones are a constantly addictive bait in the mix too though it is the perfect union of metal savagery and electronic charm which steals the show.

The imagination is taken on a moonlit flight with the instrumental Long Nights In The City next, its ambience and emotive climate moody and melodic body exotic. Keys and guitars virtually writhe around and alongside each other in the minimalistic but thickly evocative piece before A Monument Built To Carnal Desire comes forward with its own melodic calm in front of a predacious and inventively tenacious storm. As the song erupts and spills its antagonistic and technical prowess, synths tour a vibrant electronic palette, at times flirting with Nintendo-core teasing and more often flowing with progressively symphonic hues. It is an absorbing engagement, the song managing to combine bestial and beauteous extremes in one thrilling incitement, a fusion taken to fiercer depths by And The Night Will Take Us All. Rhythms are barbarous yet anthemic with the guitars a source of swirling sonic toxicity whilst Brumpton leaves no animosity core stone unturned, yet throughout the bruising assault, smart hooks and electronic enterprise add their alluring touch and magnetism. It is the virulent irregularity and schizophrenic rhythms which lure the biggest portion of the ardour bred for the track though, they and the glorious melodic majesty falling from jazzy/Latin kissed guitar strings midway.

     I Work In Formaldehyde sees the band again immerse in its electronic/industrial inspirations early on before spinning another grouchy and insatiable web of carnal riffs, lethal beats, and the ever compelling vocal roars of Brumpton. It is angry, dark, and sinister, a song to keep the imagination and passions involved past its departure as too the exceptional Les Mere Terribles, which after the noir lit electronic lead of the brief instrumental Loving Parents, wraps ears in a spiralling of djent spiked trespasses and senses binding melodic enterprise. Vocals and rhythms take no prisoners, their intrusive drive a bracing onslaught enhanced rather than tempered by the spellbinding caress of keys and warm melodies as well as the outstanding clean vocals, Brumpton showing his great prowess and diversity.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by its most fascinating offering. The Natasha Trade is a haunting drama of a life trapped in a stark, unforgiving, and destructively enslaving situation voiced by guest Joy Shannon from Beauty Marks. It is a strikingly cinematic proposal, like a theme within a dark visual incitement such as Sin City and though it does not quite fit in with what came before in many ways, the thought of it not being included feels even more wrong.

Akarusa Yami have made a huge leap on from the ground seeding encounters of their previous EPs and now with Heavy Climb announced themselves as one of progressive/technical metals brightest and thrilling protagonists.

Heavy Climb is released on October 5th via the Akarusa Yami Bandcamp profile as a name your own price download.

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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