Greyhaven – State Of Mind

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Finding an inventive and commanding middle ground between the raw intensity of metal and the anthemic infectiousness of alternative rock with a firm dash of post hardcore involved, British quintet Greyhaven recently uncaged their new EP State Of Mind. It is an encounter which roars and serenades ears and imagination in equal measure; bullying and seducing the senses with seven explosive and imposingly compelling proposals.

London based, Greyhaven formed early 2015 and soon earned a potent reputation for a live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Create To Inspire, Idols Of Apathy, Vera Grace, and The Afterparty. Their first year also the release of debut EP The Flood, a well-received introduction which solidly set the band out as one to watch. State Of Mind suggests much more as it reveals Greyhaven taking new strides in songwriting and sound with riveting results.

Recorded with Dan Kerr (Shields, Create To Inspire, Despite my Deepest Fear), State Of Mind is a tempest of anthemic intensity and sound aligned to mellower moments of melodic intimacy. From opening suggestive instrumental Sinners a sense of creative and emotive drama blossoms in ears, the track growing in predacious shadows and poetic charm before it eventually drifts into the waiting jaws and rousing tempestuousness of Hexes. As guitarists Alex Hills and Jim White weave a tapestry of descriptive riffs and melodic tendrils in tandem with similarly potent keys, the raw throated growl of bassist Edd Kerton explodes to be subsequently replaced by the impressive clean and emotive tones of vocalist Sam Paterson. Tapestry is the best word for the song, so many elements across the band bred with imagination and interwoven in a proposal which never stops revealing new essences and shades of tone in every listen.

greyhaven_cover_artworkCopyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrightIt is a craft and prowess which applies to all songs within the release to be fair, the following Darkest Hour swift confirmation as a great growling bassline from Kerton and the merciless swings of drummer Connor Tate link up with the harmonious delivery of Paterson and the emotive melodies which embrace ears. A fiery solo only adds to the imposing yet captivating drama shaping the song, again each minute a cauldron of enterprise breeding new adventures with every encounter.

There are familiar elements to the Greyhaven sound which suggest inspirations from the likes of Architects and Alexisonfire, and maybe are most openly apparent within the excellent On & On, though they are spices quickly engulfed in the band’s own eager imagination. The source of the band’s new video, the track leaps around and burns like a sonic fire, the guitars licking at the senses with melodic heat as rhythms crackle at the core amidst vocally coloured flames.

From one powerful persuasion to another as the highly infectious Our Stand steps forward next, its proposal bruising and magnetic as Paterson shines within another storm of metallic predation and emotionally inflamed contagion as savage as it is rousing as it is pop lined infectious. That lighter air also frequents successor Brother, though again Greyhaven infuse it into a creative and musical ferocity which almost venomously snarls. The song adds another shade to the sound and songwriting of the band, its catchiness an inescapable lure perfectly courted by a barbarous intent headed by Kerton’s toxically grouchy growls.

Closed by a thoroughly enjoyable acoustic version of The Flood, the title track of that first EP, State Of Mind proves and further suggests that Greyhaven is heading towards becoming a potent part of the British heavy rock scene. Already that have provided two releases no one should ignore.

State Of Mind is out now via Outsider Records across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

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Cute Cute Death – Vessels

Cute Cute Death Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

With a name which certainly sparks intrigue, Cute Cute Death back it up with a sound just as attention grabbing and now an album which climbs over the senses, trespasses their boundaries, and leaves fierce satisfaction in its wake. Vessels though is a slightly curious affair for personal tastes, an album which for its first third certainly pleases yet without sparking much more whilst its remainder is a different type of protagonist sparking real excitement about itself and the band’s future.

The seeds of Cute Cute Death began in 2008 when drummer Wayne Kopman and guitarist Johnny Correia relocated from their home city of Johannesburg, South Africa to the UK. Settling in London, the pair met and subsequently linked up with vocalist Niko Forster. After a few line-up changes, guitarist Ricky Gurung and bassist Robert Pipe were enlisted, at which point the band properly emerged, initially under the name Set The Air On Fire. They were soon lighting up stages with their American Metal/hardcore influenced post hardcore endeavours, taking to their growing sound inspirations from the likes of Lower Definition, Alexisonfire, Gallows, Finch, Refused, Deftones, and Glass Jaw, who especially come to mind at times listening to Vessels. The subsequent time since starting has seen the band play across the UK with bands such as Broadway, Atlantis, Flood of Red, They Say Fall, Confessions of a Traitor, and Rival State, all the time adding to their potent reputation which is now pushed again by their debut album.

Produced by Joseph Grouse with Justin Hill (Sikth) mixing, mastering, and co-producing, Vessels opens up with its title track; a song needing little time to get a firm hand on ears and attention. The guitar prowess of Correia and Gurung quickly casts a web of enterprise that lures the imagination, their sonic touch soon wrapping the impressive clean tones of Forster. Straightaway he impresses, increasingly so as his delivery springs rawer, dirtier, and grouchier roars to equally fine success. As the rhythms rumble and prowl the resourceful landscape of the song, there is no escaping the lure and vibrancy of the encounter yet, and we emphasize for personal ears and tastes, it never quite taps into something which really stirs up the passions.

Cute Cute Death Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewAll the same it is a powerful and dramatic start to Vessels continued by the Sikth meets Incubus personality of Alarm. Once again, the guitars dance with invention and craft as rhythms crowd the senses with their hungry shadows, all colluding to burn fiercely around the equally inflamed and rousing tones of Forster. The track enjoyably blisters on the ear before seamlessly evolving into the rawer antipathy of Pockets. Sonic tendrils and band shouts bring fresh drama to the album whilst the bass of Pipe borders on predatory as it robustly swings through the web of unpredictable and intoxication grooves and scything hooks. There is something extra about the track, if indefinable, which its predecessors lacked, an essence which and hints at the adventure waiting to escape the album further on.

Red Lights makes a calmer entrance next, though walls of bruising rhythms led by the tenacious swings of Kopman amidst intimidating riffs are soon descending on the senses before the song grows into another skilled and magnetic blend of contrasting textures and intensity, as ever echoed in the vocal enterprise of Forster. From its success the brief instrumental of Interlude looms upon ears with electronic suggestiveness on board, it drawing the listener into the awaiting revelry of DMT. It is from here that Vessels suddenly triggers a lustier reaction, though again it is hard to say exactly why, the major differences between the qualities and invention of songs before and after the melodic break not an open reason. With persistently twisting grooves and unpredictable rhythms aligned to writhing tendrils of sonic imagination adding to its temptation, there is no denying that the song simply enthrals and sparks a new breed of pleasure.

There is certainly greater diversity across the songs from hereon in on the album, starting with the warm caress of Statues. The song is an emotive melodic hug and vocal croon with the guitars spellbinding and Forster bordering on majestic with his again wonderfully varied tones. Taking best song honours, the track almost alone tells you all you need to know about the potential and already established invention of Cute Cute Death and that is without sharing any invasive trespass, which they have already proven to be equally adept at.

Leave This City follows and quickly holds courts as its web of spidery grooves and melodic acidity lies magnetically upon the rapier like thrusts of Kopman and another darkly juicy bassline from Pipe. There is a theatre to the hooks and the lively invention which grips the imagination as forcibly as the song’s underlying rhythmic rumble and fiery catchiness takes the body. It is an almost imposingly persuasive proposal matched by that of the enjoyably volatile and often irritable Glass Eyes and eclipsed by the closing might of Dinosaur. The final track is a tempest of anthemic hardcore, rebellious punk rock, and psyche infesting noise rock persistently involved with progressive and melodic ingenuity. The song is rebel rousing, a spirit igniting finale to the album offering a creative call to arms for the impressive invention and presence of Cut Cute Death.

Vessels is an excellent first full-length from the band; one which, even with that odd impact initially, left us thrilled and eager to recommend all fans check out what is a fresh breath in the post and hardcore scene.

Vessels is out now through all outlets on Friday 13th May.

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Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

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Dream State – Consequences

Dream State Promo Shot _RingMaster Review

Approaching their first birthday as a band, South Wales post-hardcore band Dream State make a potent introduction of themselves to broader national attention with their debut EP Consequences. The quintet has already offered an enjoyable little teaser in the shape of previous single Burn Them Down, its catchy roar a strong enticing to a great many but fair to say it is the EP which provides real insight into the songwriting and sound of the band. Consequences might not be an encounter to turn the UK rock scene on its head but it does suggest that Dream State is a nicely brewing prospect to take a keen interest in.

Since forming, the band has become a potent live proposition too, shows with the likes of The Dirty Youth and Fearless Vampire Killers only helping their emergence and reputation for rousing slices of alternative rock/post-hardcore incitements. Inspirations include bands such as A Day To Remember, Funeral for a Friend, Bullet for my Valentine, and Alexisonfire; essences which maybe right now colour their songs more than originality but as proven by Consequences, it does not stop them providing thoroughly enjoyable exploits for ears and appetite to indulge in.

Cover _RingMaster Review   The EP opens with Burden, a track growing from an initial sonic mist punctured by firmly swung beats into an energetic and boisterous canter led by the quickly impressing vocals of Charlotte-Jayne Gilpin. Nicely backed by the more raw throated tones of rhythm guitarist Sam Harrison-Little, she is a potent focal point from which the magnetic shuffle of Danny Rayer’s bass and the melodic intrigue rich enterprise of the guitar spring. The track continues to entice and please, its body unsurprising but character and heart dynamic as it provides a thickly satisfying start to Consequences.

Individual craft is also a swift persuasion, the sonic endeavour of lead guitarist Aled Evans at times a fiery proposal always matched across the band, as shown straight away again with Burn Them Down. Opening on a robust stride with the rhythmic swipes of drummer Jamie Lee immediately shaping the entrance, the song slips into an infectious stroll of hungry riffs and melodic prowess with a great hook out of the Billy Idol songbook. Again there is familiarity to the track as it rumbles with aggression and sonic seduction, but once more recognisable hues only work in the song’s favour as Gilpin gives every syllable striking energy and passion.

Consequences is a release which satisfies throughout but gets stronger with every passing track, Try Again continuing that great trait with its reflective bellow and rapacious prowl. The rhythms almost dance with their restrained but open intimidation whilst twists and vocals create a drama between them which has ears and imagination quickly involved. The most inventive song so far, with great moments of unpredictability, it provides a tenacious outpouring of sound and emotion matched by the following Relentless. From its first acidic breath, vocal squalls blow and grooves entwine; Gilpin driving things with vocal flames as predacious rhythms have her back. Maybe it is a more formula offering than its predecessor but the song is a fire of emotive intensity and creative energy which only leaves enjoyment full and a wish for more.

That want is fed straight away by the excellent Rebuild, Recreate; a song soon proving to be our favourite. Initially caressing ears with an acoustic kiss aligned to the tantalising warmly emotive voice of Gilpin, it simmers then boils into a sultrily aired tempest of emotion and angst wrapped in just as impassioned and adventurous sound. Again drama lines every roar and twist, the guitars crafting a web of expression and enterprise to match the vocals whilst bass and drums add further potency to its tempting, especially when they subsequently become more agitated.

The track is a mighty end to a persistently enticing and enjoyable incitement. It is fair to say that Dream State is still working towards finding its own voice as a band but heading in the right direction as proven by Consequences. It is easy to assume that they have a very bright future ahead of them if they can really build on this rewarding first proper glimpse at them.

The Consequences EP is out November 20th through all platforms and stores.

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Pete RingMaster 19/11/2015

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Fenrir – The Rise

Fenrir _RingMaster Review

The Rise is one of those releases which make a strong and enjoyable first impression but it is over time where the realisation of just how good and full it really is emerges. The new EP from British alternative rockers Fenrir is a quickly rousing and lively stomp which just grows in stature the more attention it is given. It is potent evidence of the growth and maturity which has blossomed in the band’s sound since the release of its predecessor two years ago. Their sound is still not the finished article we would suggest, but with similar steps ahead, the Ipswich hailing quintet is looking at very healthy creative horizons ahead hopefully matched by success.

Comparisons to the likes of Mallory Knox, Alexisonfire, and Fall Out Boy have often been offered for Fenrir via their explosive live presence and releases, easy to understand suggestions though fair to say The Rise reveals that an even more individual character to the band’s sound is emerging. Previous singles like Flash Fires, Confessions, and Ruins have alone been stirring up support from the likes of BBC Introducing, whilst the full UK tour Fenrir has just completed reinforced the band as one of Britain’s most voracious and dynamic live acts. They have yet to find the key to unlocking thick national awareness though, something The Rise may or may not prove to be but if the former, there is no doubting it will give the UK rock scene a hefty nudge with its impressive progression of the band’s songwriting and sound; the words of guitarist Mike Cockayne echoing that, “More than anything it’s more refined than our older songs and it really shows what we’re all about.

The Rise _RingMaster Review     The release opens with Tell My Wife I Said ‘Hello’ and an instant surge of guitar enterprise and heftily impacting beats from drummer Ben Brennan. Settling down a touch for the quickly enticing voice of Ben Slater, a sneaky dark and alluring bassline slipping in alongside him, the song is soon spinning a web of guitar enterprise from Cockayne and Krishan Alwis around the increasingly brooding and irresistible bait of bassist Lewis Rudkin. The vocals get stronger and more impressive with every passing verse and chorus, Slater’s voice potently backed by the strong tones of Cockayne, whilst the track itself just grows more anthemic and virulently persuasion to provide an enjoyably bracing and skilful start to the EP.

Its mighty lure is backed up by the following roar of Bones, a song alive with blazing guitars and rhythmic strength around impassioned vocals. At two and a half minutes the track is a turbulent spark for ears and imagination but niggles a touch when it brings out a glorious infection clad hook to lick lips over and then swiftly comes to an end. That frustration is soon forgotten though once Hurt Hands lays its melodic charm and tenacious adventure on ears. Again energy and emotive intensity ebbs and flows with an imagination to match that of the craft and the contagious heart of band and song respectively. Unpredictability is also a rich spice to the track, moments of calm alive with intrigue and bold adventure whilst emotion just oozes from its more incendiary expulsions of sound and intensity. Fair to say the track steals the show, even outshining the impressive opener.

A melodic kiss is provided by brief instrumental Einn, more evidence, as if it was needed, of the skills of the band and the variety in their composing, before Smoke Signals intensely smoulders and bellows to keep a greedy appetite happy. In some ways the song and subsequently its successor lack the same spark of the earlier tracks, bringing less uniqueness to their proposals, but it and the gentler and captivating, but no less impassioned Victory Rose II, only reinforces the potency of a thoroughly enjoyable encounter. Each show that the band is right on course to be that something which is distinct from the crowd and with tracks like Tell My Wife I Said ‘Hello’ and Hurt Hands sooner rather than later.

As suggested earlier, The Rise requires maybe a touch more time than others to become the forceful pleasure it certainly is but give it that and Fenrir rewards with one consistently appetising and enjoyable adventure we can only recommend you go take a listen to.

The Rise EP is available now at the Fenrir Bandcamp profile.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

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Faces Of Eve – The Story So Far

Faces Of Eve Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

It may intensely fascinate more than it explosively thrills but The Story So Far, the debut EP from UK metallers Faces Of Eve, is a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to a potential drenched band. Across six compelling tracks, they create a tapestry of diverse sounds which at any given moment can be as progressive metal as they are alternative rock, as tech metal as they are experimental. It makes for a seriously enticing proposal keeping ears and imagination rigorously keen and though many songs just lack the final essence to ignite the biggest reactions, an ingrained appetite for more is a swiftly done deal.

The Hertfordshire quartet emerged towards the end of 2013, Faces Of Eve emerging from the ashes of Brave The Moment, Shields, Trophies Of Dahmer, and Olympus Must Fall. A potent following to their impressive live presence quickly grew and now fresh off a UK tour with Oaths, the band is turning up the heat on a national recognition with The Story So Far.

It all starts with For My Fallen Heroes and an enticing coaxing from guitars and a harmonic ambience. The strings of Dan Sloane gently dance with ears as the melodic tones of vocalist Benjamin Fordham Black add their caresses to the magnetic persuasion. The air of the song has an increasingly imposing texture, not intimidating but carrying open shadows enhanced by the heavily wiry tones of bass. It does all unite in a richer and thicker tempting, though that is for mere moments as the song suddenly stops. It is a strong opening but the abruptness of the track without being instantly replaced by its successor, or bleeding straight into it, feels slightly odd. It is a minor thing though and soon forgotten as Feed emerges from the distance with a tangy groove around punchy rhythms. Full in the face, the track is soon a thrilling web of spidery grooves and sonic tendrils wrapped in more strong vocals and contagious hooks. An increasing unpredictability almost as quickly erupts too, a weapon the band use to great effect over the release and here emerges in jagged riffs and barbarous snarls from the bass of Alistair Hines which strikingly flirt with the superbly crafted mesh of flavours and technical imagination. It is like a festival of sound, a collusion of textures hinting at bands like Circles, Muse, Alexisonfire, and Shattered Skies, and at its heart just an irresistible rocker.

Faces Of Eve Cover Art_RingMaster Review   The following Crime Of Passion opens with a sombre atmosphere, vocally and musically, as scythes of guitar court the imagination with the vocals in a melancholic yet charming invitation. The steely funk bait of Hine’s bass stirs the song’s air soon after as the blend of falsetto and emotive vocals entangle, the track eventually shrugging off its reserve as the potent beats of Oliver Jones incite a voracious and snarling tango of metal bred sound. As its predecessor, the song is soon evolving and weaving in various styles with every passing grouping of seconds and similarly gripping ears and thoughts through its bold adventure.

Temporal Rotunda also has a morose toned start, voices and sounds cloaked in a cloudy ambience which eventually sparks into a composed but fiery stroll littered with jabbing beats and gnarly riffs bound in spicy grooves and melodic incitement. The track prowls at certain points, imposing its weight and alluring intensity whilst veining its trespass with attention pulling slithers and twists of melodic and off kilter imagination. By its end the dark side of the track is a riveting enticement, leaving a lingering pleasure which One Man Show runs with through its own vivacious and agitated qualities. The technical growl and nagging of song and sound is a persistent beckoning but the band inventively send it spinning with swift flashes of avant-garde and progressive ingenuity, matched by resourceful vocals. It is an outstanding track which epitomises everything good about The Story So Far and how it just misses the mark. It is inventive and fiercely imaginative but never pushes its promise to the limits hoped, never quite finding the spark which tips a great song into a show stopper.

It is nevertheless inescapable evidence of the songwriting and technical qualities of Faces Of Eve and their infectious sound which is confirmed on final time by Dwellers. The closing song is another which is a born rocker at heart, its aggressive alternative rock core encased in a spiral of tenacious grooves, their union twisting into an increasingly dramatic and ferocious blaze. Things continue to move into new textures and scenery as the track increasingly lure ears and enjoyment, always returning to its creative spine but always providing new highly satisfying endeavours off of it.

Faces Of Eve is a name to make a note of and The Story So Far a release to seriously think about checking out. Both are destined to promote thoughts that here is a band with a very successful future before them if they want it.

The Story So Far EP is available from Monday 29th June through all digital platforms and as a name your price download @ http://facesofeveuk.bandcamp.com/album/the-story-so-far

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RingMaster 29/06/2015

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Prog Metal beasts ‘Faces Of Eve’ lay down a marker with their spanking new EP

Faces Of Eve will be uncaging their EP ‘The Story So Far’, on Monday 29th June through all digital platforms.

Faces Of Eve Promo ShotEncouraged by an array of areas from Circles and Hacktivist to Alexisonfire and Slaves, Faces Of Eve can loosely be placed in the progressive / tech metal bracket. However, their deft ability to merge genres where ensuring widespread appeal and originality, is certainly impressive.

Hailing from the Hertfordshire area and born from the ashes of Brave The Moment, Shields, Trophies Of Dahmer and Olympus Must Fall, Faces Of Eve despatch technical riffery and ferocious power merged with unbridled energy and considered song structures. The quartet have also acquired a substantial following in such a short space of time, largely due to the strength of their set and work ethic. The band have just completed another successful jaunt around the UK with fellow rising hardcorers ‘Oaths’.

Faces of Eve now press on with their debut EP ‘The Story So Far’. The record is brimming with six slabs of sizzling progressive infused technical metal. From the dynamic and alluring beatings of opener ‘For My Fallen Heroes’ through to ‘Dwellers’, the band deliver each note and riff with heartfelt emotion and formidable force. With further touring and shows in the pipeline for the remainder of the year, just watch them take off…..

FACES OF EVE RELEASE ‘THE STORY SO FAR’ ON MONDAY 29th JUNE THROUGH ALL STORES

Faces Of Eve

EP Tracklisting:

 1. For My Fallen Heroes; 2. Feed; 3. Crime Of Passion; 4. Temporal Rotunda; 5. One Man Show; 6. Dwellers.

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Robes Of State – [Double A-Side]

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Announced as their new and final offering, the double A-sided single The Bay/Directions is a potent farewell from, if this is to be the end, of British alternative rock band Robes Of State. Linking two vibrant and emotionally fuelled songs, the single provides a striking statement of what has been missed by those new to the band and will be missed ahead by their fans. Neither are songs to turn the UK music scene on its head but both have a craft and passion to songwriting and sound which leaves many others looking a touch bland in comparison.

Formed in 2006 and hailing from Colwyn Bay, Robes Of State consists of vocalist Hev Roberts, guitarist Jezza Bruce, bassist Dave Huds and drummer Perry Batty. Listing influences as the likes of Blink 182, Alexisonfire, Taking Back Sunday, ‘A’, and Feeder, the band’s sound is an atmospheric weave of provocative melodies and immersive intensity as perfectly illustrated by the latest release. From the first infectious hook of The Bay, song and band has ears and attention gripped. With heavy beats and anthemic vocals soon adding their bait, the track is swiftly a raucous yet controlled proposal which only increases its lure as riffs abrase and rhythms stomp with almost angry attitude. Vocally too there is an adventure and energy which challenges and coaxes whilst the song itself whilst lacking the spark to the anarchy it hints at, revels in the restraint and almost teases with its suggestiveness and the increasingly tempting hooks it possesses.

Directions is a gentler caress on ears but no less infused with emotion and evocative textures. The song glides across the senses with moments of increased energy interspersing its warm but melancholic embrace. Those expulsions of intensity bring a climactic presence to the song, giving it an almost emotionally stormy and intriguing character, like an aurally portentous yet unrealised tempestuous sea. It is a song to explore over time, every listen revealing another depth and shade to its heart.

The single also comes with a free bonus track in View Of the City, a song worth the price on its own. A vivacious stomp of sonic enterprise and progressively tinged imagination, it flirts and croons with drama and almost mischievous invention. It is a voracious treat of a song throwing out another reason why the band will be missed if this is to be the end.

It is never too late to discover a great band and the new single from Robes Of State certainly proves that they are just that.

The Robes Of State single is available now via Take Point Records @ http://takepointrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

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RingMaster 06/01/2015

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