Dendera – Pillars Of Creation

Album line-up

Album line-up

UK metallers Dendera whipped up plenty of eager attention and acclaim with their debut album The Killing Floor two years ago and now with its successor Pillars Of Creation poised to ignite ears and appetites with its own unique character, it is easy to expect the Portsmouth band doing the same again with greater success. Embracing a fresh roar of modern rock and invention with their heavy/classic metal breeding in their new offering, Dendera has honed a more distinct sound to themselves, not one to reinvent genres but undoubtedly one to really set the band apart from the tide of likeminded bands.

Since releasing their first encounter, the We Must Fight EP in 2011, it is fair to say the band has had the attention of fans and media alike, a ready to praise spotlight elevated by the release of The Killing Floor in 2013. Live too the band has earned a potent reputation and stature, touring and sharing stages with the likes of Saxon, UFO, Fozzy, Skindred, Firewind, Alestorm, Unearth, The Sword, Orange Goblin, Grand Magus, Ill Nino, POD, Soulfly, Kobra and the Lotus and….well the list goes on. Now the quintet of vocalist Ashley Edison, guitarists Stephen Main and Tony Fuller (the latter having left the band after the album’s recording to be replaced by David Stanton), bassist Bradley Edison, and drummer Andy Finch return with a seriously mighty slab of metal and with ease the band’s finest moment yet.

Dendera cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Pillars Of Creation opens with Claim Our Throne and quickly has intrigue and imagination awake with the track’s opening melodic suggestiveness. Its entrance sets the scene, casting a rich and welcoming landscape yet one with an initial melancholic air which as its depths and scenery builds and expands, evolves into a more intimidating presence. Eventually riffs and rhythms build imposing walls whilst hooks and grooves colour the increasingly compelling emergence of the track with inescapable temptation. In full stride the song roars with the impressive vocals of Edison leading the way as guitars and bass lay down magnetic bait through riffs and enterprise. The old school essences of bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon, which heavily coloured the band’s first album, are still clear hues in song and album but more spices now in a bolder and more creatively individual proposal from Dendera. It is not ground-breaking stuff as mentioned but the band has cultured something rich in variety and resourceful in exploration, and as shown by the starter and reinforced by subsequent songs, created a sound which will send fans into bliss whilst offering plenty for those who maybe do not have an appetite for a classic form of metal to have eager interest in.

The impressive start is matched by Bloodlust, the song straight away living up to its name and exploding with a far more raw and predatory presence than that of the previous song. Thrash spiced riffs are rampaging through ears from its first breath, they and rhythms whipped up by the confrontational vocals. It is a tenacious and grouchy encounter which mellows out for its melodically fiery chorus, but is soon back stirring up air and blood with the same insatiable surges of intensity and sound which it first erupted with. Its blend of contrasts is a fluid and alluring invitation, a persuasion emulated again in the stormy nature of In High Tide. A cantankerous tempest of rock ‘n’ roll, the track aligns sonic croons with bestial snarls and rugged hostility, their fluid passage making for a fascinating and increasingly anthemic incitement on ears and emotions.

Already across three songs, Dendera has infused elements from groove and melodic thrash to varied heavy rock, an involvement never diminishing just evolving and changing across every song starting with the stalking of senses that is Disillusioned. Another song reeking attitude and carrying an almost primal swagger, it prowls ears with an intimidating air driven by the ever impressive and masterful rhythmic webs of Finch. Groove wise there is a definite Pantera edge and swing to the track’s core lure, one in many ways copied in the excellent vocal persuasion of Edison and potently backed by the band’s roars and the guitar endeavours of Main and Fuller, especially with a seriously tasty and incendiary solo.

The Daylight Ending is a sweat and spit encounter, rhythms and the delicious bass bait of Bradley Edison a barbarous proposal matched by riffs whilst guitars and vocals carry an aggressive

new line-up

new line-up

nature to their provocative and inventive craft. The song is a gallop for the main, a relentless foraging of body and imagination leaving an even hungrier appetite which The Chosen One feeds with its dark and heavy trespass of the senses. The song does not quite grip as other tracks, missing an indefinable spark to ignite personal tastes but there is no denying or not enjoying its invention and adventure, especially it’s contagious and at times brutal gait.

The explosive sonic flames and melodic passion fuelling Unholy sparks a lick of lips within a few explosive moments next, riffs and grooves almost swarming over the senses and into the passions as bass and vocals virtually prowl with their own inescapable persuasion. The beats of Finch are a bully but a welcome protagonist as again he sculpts an addictive frame and engine room for a song.

Pillars Of Creation is brought to a close by Edge Of Tomorrow, a fire of aggression and passion within a sonically tempestuous soundscape. It fiercely pleases on first touch but, as the album, just impresses and draws keener lustful reactions with every listen. The release is a must for all classic and heavy metal fans but such the new adventure and variety the band has woven into their songwriting and sound, there is much for all metallers including, us among them, those without an instinctive taste for old school roars. In fact it very likely will, as here, emerge as a favourite of the year for fans and newcomers alike.

Pillars Of Creation is available via Metalbox Recordings from June 22nd @ http://www.denderauk.bigcartel.com/

http://www.dendera.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/DenderaUK

RingMaster 22/06/2015

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

 

Calico Jack – Panic In The Harbour

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If you are planning to take to the high seas in order to undertake devilish pursuits, a check list will include a sturdy vessel, lush beard, a potent weapon and of course a jolly roger. You might also need a suitable soundtrack too and that is what Italian metallers Calico Jack can offer in highly enjoyable fashion. Recently signed to the Ronin Agency and working on their debut album for a release later this year, we thought a retrospective look at their previous EP Panic In The Harbour was in order, especially as it is now getting another thrust into the broader world and inspires potent anticipation for the band’s first full-length.

Hailing from Milan, Calico Jack was formed in 2011 by brothers Toto (rhythm guitar) and Caps (drums), the pair taking the band name from Captain John Rackham’s nickname, a notorious English sea raider who sailed across the Caribbean Sea during the Golden Age of Piracy and famed for inventing the pirate flag, the Jolly Roger, and for having two notorious pirate women is his crew: Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Fusing classic eighties heavy metal with Scandinavian folk metal and creating exploits inspired by Anglo-Saxon sea shanties and folk songs, the band swiftly grew in personnel, releasing their first demo Scum of the Seas in 2012. Panic In The Harbour was unleashed a year later to great responses at home and around Europe. Now with fresh interest in release and band, and that impending full-length, the line-up of Toto, Caps, Giò (vocals), Melo (lead guitar), and Dave (violin), is ready to had a very potent year.

COVER - Front     As soon as opener Where Hath th’ Rum Gone? whips up attention with a lure of bow across strings you get a rich inkling of what is in store, and once thumping beats hit and riffs gallop with riotous devilment, the Calico Jack sound and its character is in full blaze. There is no escaping an Alestorm reference or of Running Wild but equally there is a healthy spice of a Korpiklaani in its revelry, a dirty Adam Ant essence within its colourful nature, and the punkier metal of Kvelertak to its roar. The grouchy guttural vocals bring the intimidation whilst swashbuckling exploits are driven by violin, hooks, and anthemic rhythms, not forgetting just as magnetic group shouts. The dark addictive tones of the bass also only add to the compelling adventure and though it is fair to say that there is a great familiarity to the band’s sound, equally it makes for a fresh and feisty proposition.

The opening enjoyable contagion of the ale sodden proposal is immediately matched by House of Jewelry. It makes a more imposing entrance, riffs and that increasingly captivating throaty bass colluding for a magnetic and aggressive coaxing. Vocals and the heavy drum swipes built a hostile environment but one coloured by the spicy flame of violin and the instinctive swagger and swing of the emerging encounter. Again you basically know what you are going to get but it does not stop the blend of classic and folk metal creating an infectiously captivating escapade for ears to devour and the imagination to eagerly run with.

Grog Jolly Grog is another drinking song you just instinctively raise your tankard to whilst rocking your body with the raucous sway and volatile attitude of the addictive festivity. It also brings a whiff of old school punk to its hooks and raw abrasive riffery, nothing dramatic but an appealing scent explored more in the closing Deadly Day in Bounty Bay. The final song is the most adventurous and inventive on the EP though that imagination is certainly beginning to show its flair and temptation towards the end of its predecessor.

     Deadly Day in Bounty Bay opens with lapping waves on a shore and a single tempting of guitar. The ever alluring bass soon adds its voice to the emerging narrative of raw riffs, salty violin seduction, and melodic winery. The start of the track has ears and imagination gripped but it is when it takes a breath and returns with a virulent bait of lively beats and contagion fuelled bassline that the incitement really comes alive. Everything from the gruff vocal delivery to coarse riffs, the jab of rhythms to teasing hooks has an irresistible infectiousness to them, one bred with a post/punk tenacity which is more Clash/ Damned bred than anything. In fact at times it is easy to suggest the song is the folk metal equivalent of The B52s’ Rock Lobster.

Ending with its best track but only thrilling ears from start to finish, Panic In The Harbour with its re-emergence to fresh attention is a recommended appetiser to the upcoming album from the band. If it can live up to the anticipation now inspired we will see, but we will bet no gold against it.

The Panic In The Harbour EP is available now from most online stores.

http://calicojacktheband.altervista.org/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calico-Jack/269653663086210

RingMaster 12/04/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Sacred Wind – Sacred Wind

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Having had our pleasures goosed by Odin’s wind courtesy of Metal and Curry, the recent single from Welsh Viking bred rockers Sacred Wind; there was no option but to check out the album from which it comes. Released towards the rear of 2014, the thirteen track adventure, also going under the name of Sacred Wind, reveals the full landscape and creative emprise hinted at by our first introduction to the band.

The album is a tale of bold knights, even bolder flatulence, and a rampant hunger for cheese, not forgetting a few buxom women draped around a curry or two. Even more potently the album is bulging with glorious heavy metal and classic rock psalms of heroic deeds and Norse seeded challenges. From its first moments there is no doubting that Lord of the Rings/ Game of Thrones have found a richly mischievous companion in Sacred Wind, an alternative reality comparison, but that cannot hide or devalue the impressive craft and roaring sonic might of band and album.

Opener A Time of Magic is a vocal introduction between grandfather and child, be it a kid with the squeak of an adolescent aged forty plus with one ball dropped and one hovering. Questions from the latter bring an unveiling of the scenery and drama behind the album’s premise from the former, a telling of the background to the quest undertaken by the noble warriors regaled through the songs. These brave souls are called Sacred Wind and the following album title track, their opening scene. Hefty rhythms and fiery riffs make an immediate impression upon ears; the guitar hooks an almost predacious lure matched by the heavily throated bassline courting their attitude. Subsequently keys and raw melodies add to the canvas upon which Memphis bred Viking and vocalist/guitarist Olaf the Berserker reveals the narrative. It is a pungent offering, old school and swiftly anthemic.

The impressive opening song is matched straight away by Metal and Curry, the track similarly an inescapable anthem but with a lighter swagger to its gait and harmonic roar. Whilst meaty hooks and melodic tenacity from Olaf and Grundi the Windy are thrust through ears to seduce the senses, a rhythmic stomp provided by bassist Smid the Merciless and drummer Agnar the Hammered ensures neck muscles and imagination are flush with an appetite to devour the song’s tremendous contagion.

Already Sacred Wind is lighting body and emotions like a mix of Gwar meets Green Jelly meets Judas Priest, though that only narrows down what is a much broader flavour to the album. The band’s humour is just as open and ripe too but only in the lyrical and thematic adventure, their sounds a blaze of creativity and exciting endeavour which has plenty for all metallers, let along those just honed in with just a taste for classic rock ‘n’ metal. It is fair to say though that Hurricane Ass next is purely steeped in seventies metal bred in a bed of similarly aged classic rock. Begging for the power of a certain bodily function to help woo a prospective love, the song flames with sonic enterprise and vocal harmonies, transfixing ears as it heads towards to a firework like display of a finale, beats exploding across its melodramatic sky.

The combative character of Warriors of Asgard takes the success of its predecessor to new heights next, the track sinew and ferocity as the warriors take arms to rescue damsels in distress. Equally though it is unafraid to light their way with beacons of melodic ingenuity through the guitars and the symphonic yawn and soar of keys. The track is a delicious cinematic like escapade, not only a potent visual offering for the imagination to run with but simply an infectious slice of melodic metal.

Both the eighties kissed Sail with Me and the climactic bellow that is Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock Ragnarok keeps things on appealing and satisfying course, though neither can rival the some of the previous encounters. The first covers an emotional realisation brought by romance and the other an apocalyptic incitement to the Gods. Each brings new diversity and intrigue to the album leaving thoughts engaged and enjoyment contented is without setting a fire in their attention, something the power ballad Frigg certainly manages with its dark grouchy shadows and sonic balladry of vocal and melodic expression. Strong the first time and increasing its lure thereafter, the track is a slow burner which as quite a few songs upon Sacred Wind has the ability and persistence to flirt with the memory whenever it wishes.

Fart for Odin, by title alone, needs no help in explaining its narrative to the imagination, it a bar room ode and mead fuelled anthem within a tempestuous sonic and rhythmic turbulence. It is another thumping antagonist to body and fun though soon surpassed by the outstanding Dragon Ships and Women’s Hips. Impossibly virulent from its first sweep of vocals and initial tease of melody, the song brings rock pop from the late seventies, glam metal from the eighties, and nineties folk metal in one irresistible catchy croon. Think Alestorm meets Duran Duran and you get an inkling of the majestic lure of the pinnacle of Sacred Wind.

The battlefield brings the background to My Sword is my Sword firmly into thoughts, the power metal offering soon expanding its tale with horn like calls of the keys and predatory rhythms around the vocal roar of Olaf, all courted by the cantering invention of the guitars. Its spicy persuasion is followed by the celestial instrumental hymn of The Sheep’s Lament, which in turn makes way for the closing celebration of The Power of Cheese, though why anyone would want to crow so favourably about the mouldy stuff beats us. The song, as the previous track is a bonus offering on the album, and brings the release to a riotous yet melodically sizzling end.

It would be wrong to think of Sacred Wind as a one off good time to file away as you might a Green Jelly or in some ways a Steel Panther offering. Lyrically yes it is a roaring laugh but musically album and band stand side by side with any power metal, classic rock offering, just with an extra dose of mischief. Produced and arranged by Andy Coffey, who has a much bigger hand in things then you might suspect, including writing the excellent books which accompany the album’s story, the album is recommended to anyone with an appetite for strong, accomplished, and most of all enjoyable full fat metal.

Sacred Wind is available now via iTunes, Amazon etc. and the Sacred Wind books @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Andy-Coffey/e/B00LXLNW64/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sacred-Wind/136135083263791

RingMaster 18/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Sacred Wind – Metal and Curry

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The Vikings came, rampaged, and going by Sacred Wind, left some berserker seed to breed and bide its time before invading the classic metal timeline. The band from the hill sculpted landscape of Llangollen in Wales is the embodiment of Tolkien like mischievous adventure, heroic wrongdoings, and salacious revelry. They also create a classic metal incitement which sears and excite body and soul, as proven by new single Metal and Curry.

Taken from the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut album, itself an invigorating march of anthemic riffs, fiery melodies, and soaring hair wilting vocals, the new single tells you all you need to know about Sacred Wind and its dynamic sound. Like a Terry Pratchett inspired Friday night out narrated by firm tongue in cheek lyrics and a similar rascality in presence, Metal and Curry leads the listener by the hand into dens of liquor running devilment.

With the band members going by the name of Olaf the Berserker (lead vocals/lead guitars), Grundi the Windy (lead guitars/backing vocals), Smid the Merciless (bass guitar/backing vocals), and Agnar the Hammered (drums and percussion), newcomers to Sacred Wind might expect something like Gwar meets Green Jelly or Spinal Tap. The band though swiftly evades those thoughts taking firm hold by unleashing a sound which is as skilfully accomplished as it is dramatically fiery and an energetic presence which makes Alestorm seem reserved. The band’s album is all the evidence needed to suggest Sacred Wind is one of the UK’s brightest heavy metal protagonists, Metal and Curry even swifter proof.

Its first breath is a stomping invasion of heavy footed beats courted by a predatory bassline and swiftly bound in sonic enterprise. The potent start relaxes a whisper to open up the way for the rich vocals of Olaf to harmonically roar, his entrance accompanied by meaty hooks and melodic tenacity from the guitars. As maybe you would expect from the band and its creative backgrounds, there is a swagger to the song which translates to every swing of a drum stick and forceful plucking of strings, not forgetting a raucously anthemic chorus expelled by the band. The core of the track is not startlingly original you could argue but with a glorious flame of craft and enterprise from guitars which includes a highly magnetic solo, it soon establishes a unique and ridiculously contagious presence.

It is a beast of a song but more inviting than barbarous and an irresistible recruitment of neck muscles and voice. The song is a wonderfully rowdy doorway into the heart of the band’s album but also sums up the character and devilish presence of Sacred Wind as a complete proposition. Accompanied by a trilogy of books written by Andy Coffey, who might just be involved even deeper in the band we say in a whisper, Sacred Wind is a Norse bred Sláine corrupted Game of Thrones theatre in many ways but with a musical creativity and rich blaze of a sound which puts many established classic metal bands to shame.

Explore the whole world of Sacred Wind @ http://www.sacredwind.co.uk

RingMaster 20/01/2015

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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Winter Storm – Within The Frozen Design

 

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    Listening to the potent and promise soaked Within The Frozen Design, you easily get the feeling that UK symphonic metallers Winter Storm are poised to move up into a more intensive limelight. Whether this, their second album is the spring board time will tell but it is hard not to expect on a near horizon to see the band making a big contribution at the fore of the genre. The twelve track release has issues which make you query if their time is quite yet but simultaneously provides an absorbing and skilful melodic embrace which only raises and stretches a keen appetite for the band and its expressive sound.

     From the West Midlands, the quintet has earned a strong reputation and loyal following with their dark melodic metal, a sound honed through gothic shadows and symphonic atmospheres. Formed in 2008, Winter Storm were soon gripping attention live, supporting the likes of Alestorm, Sirenia, Theatres Des Vampires, To Mera, and Sarah Jezebel Deva early on before going on to share stages with the likes of Delain, Die So Fluid, The Birthday Massacre, ReVamp, The Lotus and many more. Debut album Serenity In Darkness of 2010 drew critical acclaim its way as have numerous festival appearances over recent years to cement and increase the band’s stature within British melodic metal. Now the strongly anticipated self-released Within The Frozen Design brings 2014 into a sharp focus for the band and its fans, an album if not setting raging fires undoubtedly reaffirms the creative strength and impressive potential of Winter Storm.

     As the album title, and band name come to that, suggests the tracks frequent a chilled and icily haunting realm but one clad in WS-coverbeauty and a melodic artistry which only warms. From the opening scene and drama setting intro Cold Creation, the album is soon caging ears in a rhythmic probing and brooding intensity as Wasted Feelings opens its arms. Its initial riffs seem predatory with an attitude to match the punchy rhythms barracking the senses. Equally though there is a breeze of synth colour floating over and through the aggressive touch of the track, its melodic soothing eventually tempering the snarl of the song ready for the impressive tones of vocalist Hannah Fieldhouse. Her voice is rich and tempting but with a restraint which sets her pleasingly apart from many other female fronted genre bands. The track provides an unpredictable expanse of sound and twists which without being startling in their impact only seduce the fullest attention on and satisfaction with its feisty yet elegant narrative.

     The following Shadow Weaver like its predecessor makes a forceful and rapacious entrance; riffs and rhythms a cage of antagonistic intent wrapped in more keys sculpted temptation. Dark with a gothic ambience, the song again guided by great vocals flirts with and triggers the imagination as it ventures through a rugged landscape of heavy riffs and sonic enterprise. Pretty much like the album the song is a slowly persuasive encounter but one which proves its strength and quality through deliberate attention. The same can be said of the next up Symmetric Flow, a captivating wind of melodic vocals and endeavour within a sturdy and uncompromising heavy metal frame. Again the offering is not as instant to convince as you would maybe expect or like but unveils plenty to enthuse about upon closer attention. That is one of the ‘problems’ of the album, tracks do not leap out and grip preferring a slower seduction but this comes with a need to fully extend a concentrated focus on the album to reap it’s definitely existing  rewards. It is hard to be critical though even if listeners need patience when immersing in the album.

    Afraid To Speak steps up next, gently wrapping a sultry breeze of melodic enchantment around thoughts if again without sparking any major reaction; that power is left to its successor Beneath The Mystery. The track also springs from a reserved start to open up sinew driven riffing and heavily striking rhythms within the keys designed eighties sounding gothic weave which feels seeded in the likes of Sisters Of Mercy and Play Dead by. It is a fiery encounter yet one which does not erupt or stretch its attributes as far as you expect or would like, again an accusation you can make on Within The Frozen Design as a whole.

   After the brief but decent enough instrumental Broken World, the album undulates a little but keeps the listener enthused starting with the impressive Universal Design, a track offering another accomplished and magnetic web of gothic and symphonic metal with a bite and almost antagonistic breath. It provides sizeable bait for the senses to devour eagerly before the enjoyable if underwhelming Gatekeeper shows its class. It is sandwiched between the previous track and the equally thrilling Dark Awakening, the song a heavy footed shadowed drenched beast with radiant beauty casting ripe melodic tantalising. As elsewhere the guitar craft and imagination is an irresistible lure whilst the epic tone of the track is aggressively bewitching.

     Completed by the overlong but appealing instrumental Waves Of Misery and the final slice of gothic allurement of The Frozen Siren, the album is a pleasing and enticing encounter. The cloudy production at times does the release no favours, cloaking some of the piercing strengths of instruments and voice but Winter Storm and Within The Frozen Design emerge from it with strength and quality. As mentioned earlier the album does not ignite a fire in the passions but definitely provides company which only invites the fullest satisfaction.

www.winter-storm.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 22/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gloryhammer: Tales from the Kingdom of Fife

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    Leaving the high seas for the medieval and mystical realm of an alternative Scotland, Alestorm vocalist and keyboardist Christopher Bowes stands resplendent in his power metal clothed kilt within new project Gloryhammer. Bowes exploits all the rich essences of the genre not ignoring the cheesiest elements too, to bring a debut album in Tales from the Kingdom of Fife which is set to ignite the passions of all power metal fans. The album is a slab of epic adventure complete with as you would expect, triumphant riffs, passionate energy, and a heart which pumps as loudly as the rhythms which mark the battlefield I victory and defeat.

The Napalm Records released Tales from the Kingdom of Fife is a concept album which narrates the story of an alternate -history medieval Scotland where dragons, wizards, and dark sorcery fuel and rule the air. Telling the tale of a glorious hero Angus McFife, who wages a long war against the evil wizard Zargothrax, in order to free the people of Dundee, the album is an epic struggle and adventure brought through ten giant slices of bombastic energy and melodic fire soundtracking a fight of good versus evil. It is a release which if power metal does not ignite any passions than it will be a relatively dry well but for genre fans it is destined to be spoken of with excited breath and rampant enthusiasm. To be honest we lie somewhere in between and found as much to impress and enjoy as we did to hide our armour from, but the truth is that the album is still rather compelling from start to finish.

With a line-up alongside Bowes (keyboards) of vocalist Thomas Winkler, guitarist Paul Templing, bassist James Cartwright, and Ben461 Gloryhammer Turk on drums, Gloryhammer opens up the release with Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy, a brief portent of looming black shadows and destructive winds upon a once peaceful place. Its rising presence passes over to The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee without a breath and its successor is immediately charging through the ear with galloping riffs and a cage of firm rhythms. It is instantly virulently infectious with the vocals of Winkler soaring through the skies with expression and passion whilst the keys lay like the sun upon the senses. Whether there is anything new going on we will leave to true genre fans to decide but through the familiar sonic cascades and melodic elegance it is impossible not to be captivated, especially with the sirenesque keyboard teasing which enrich the song throughout.

    Angus McFife elevates things with its even more contagious lures and thumping pulse. The bass of Cartwright is a prowling predator throughout the track whilst the keys envelope with a glorious sense of heroism to enflame further the already anthemic pull of the vocals and guitar shaped sounds. The power ballad Quest For The Hammer Of Glory fails to exact the same passions for personal tastes but perfectly caresses the struggle and determination of the hero at this point of his story before making way for the first of the two major pinnacles within the album.

Opening with a delicious and inspiring evocation of potent steely keys, Magic Dragon is a fiery and scintillating journey of unbridled energy and melodic triumph cored by again keys which leave one exhausted and blissful as well as an anthemic unity and call which even the dead would raise their hearts for. Again the song has a familiarity about it which only goes to make the encounter more invigorating and even as an old friend in sound, its realisation and delivery is quite breath-taking. The track steals top honours though is seriously challenging by the exhilarating instrumental Beneath Cowdenbeath further into the album.

Before its appearance the likes of the beautifully sculpted emotive ballad Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess and Hail To Crail with its almost regal call offer their descriptive and inviting presences though they falter in raising anything near the rapture as spawn by Magic Dragon, then again after that song they were on a hiding to nothing and emerge almost plain in comparison. Beneath Cowdenbeath though is a scintillating campaign through intense and urgent endeavour brought with skilled interpretation and thought evoking craft. It is a stirring piece of music which leaves one grinning inside and out.

Ending the tale with the triumphant climax of The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder, the album finishes off a rather thrilling encounter with epic passion and energy. To be honest expectations of Tales from the Kingdom of Fife were not exactly high even with Bowes being its mastermind, but it surprised and surpassed all thoughts with ease.  Gloryhammer may not be a band to take over Alestorm in our musical appetite but certainly makes a worthy and enjoyable companion.

http://www.gloryhammer.com/

7/10

RingMaster 29/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fisherman’s Death: Uncharted Waters

    Fisherman’s Death

    Reaching out from the heavy dark depths of Davy Jones Locker, Swedish death metallers Fisherman’s Death is a melodic scourge of extreme metal which ravages and consumes the senses with new EP Uncharted Waters. The four track release is a leviathan from the deep with a merciless ravenous appetite and one which leaves the desire to go back into those threatening greedy waters overwhelming.

Formed in 2009 by bassist/vocalist Joakim Häggström and guitarist Thomas Lindqvist, Fisherman’s Death takes influences from the likes of Alestorm, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden, and Swishbuckle and forges its own nautical death driven malevolence which reels in the passions. Completed by rhythm guitarist Nils Löfgren and drummer Filip Krullet Löfgren, the quartet from Umeå first drew attention with their Among The Shore EP of 2010, following it up two years later with debut album The Code. Released via Tmina and Grom Records, Uncharted Waters is the next instalment of the deep, a towering fusion of pirate/folk, and death metal which with captivating ease ignites the senses and imagination.

It is hard to say that Fisherman’s Death is venturing into new seas and adventures with their sound and release but undoubtedly it Fisherman's Death - Uncharted Waters - front coverhas a depth and wealth of barbed hooks which firmly reaches deeper than the majority of similarly armed sea borne mariners and pagan warriors. The title track sets sail first, its body emerging from within brewing deathly sonic mists, and takes no time in laying destructive yet magnetic muscular hands upon the ear. With inviting sonic grooves weaving within the thick current of energy and commanding riffs, the song is instantly a sinewy temptation. Its overwhelming persuasion is completed by malevolent sturdy vocal growls and scowls of Häggström, his tones a grasping rasping abrasion to bring further weight to the imposing breath of the track. The perpetually insidious grooves are persistence elevated whilst the group calls at the chorus a primal contagion and a call to arms to voice and fist. Openly infectious but with a substance which many bands lose in trying to capture the listener, the track is a mighty and invigorating opener which is equalled and surpassed as the EP surges out into its murky depths.

The demanding prowl of The Flying Dutchman comes next, a track which crashes through the ear upon waves of rich and venomous riffing wrapped in sonic teasing. It has a predatory stance, a lure which leads to destruction but the journey is equally an enticing seduction of melodic enterprise and virulent infection. As mentioned the release is not searching new armouries of sound but with thick textures and an energy as well as invention which makes the passions compliant to its objective, it leaves a rich bounty of invigorating enjoyment.

The Captains Chanson is announced by bell knells and soon has its vigorous brawn stretching to its full extent, the delicious gnarly bass of Häggström a hungry bestial instigator. As its hulk of a body crashes through intense waves the climate of the song evolves with skill and intriguing allurement to cast shards of melodic sun and warmth on a mellowing course. It of course is not long before the track is rampant once more and turning on the listener with corrosive rhythms and annihilatory riffs but this is continually entwined with a compulsion to temper and seduce with sonic grandeur. The song is outstanding, the best of the release, and would have alone left an ardour for the band in place.

The closing Darkwater Cape is a torrent of unrelentingly vicious rhythms, the drums of Löfgren callous which ever guise they wish to enthral with, whilst the guitars of the other Löfgren and Lindqvist once more flame the skies with invention and skill. The track is a final anthemic row across the siren waters of the release and as all the songs the incitement to join the crew.

       Uncharted Waters is an excellent treat to get your feet wet with and Fisherman’s Death a band which leaves every requirement and satisfaction full to the poop deck.

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8.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2013

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