ANEWRAGE – Life-Related Symptoms

Described as alternative metal but just as much grunge and melodic rock hued in its ear pleasing design, the ANEWRAGE sound makes for a swiftly appetising proposition as proven by the Italian outfit’s new album, Life-Related Symptoms. A blend of the familiar with openly fresh imagination and adventure, something akin to a fusion of Sick Puppies and Three Days Grace, the release has ears hooked and pleasure stoked from its first seconds; holding both with ease across its thirteen infection loaded proposals.

Hailing from Milan, ANEWRAGE began in 2009; its members friends since kids. Soon they found local success and with the release of debut album ANR in 2014, were keenly touring across their homeland and Switzerland, playing with the likes of Gamma Ray, Freak Kitchen, Dreamshade, and Destrage along the way. Last year saw the band writing and working on sophomore album Life-Related Symptoms, a release which should take the ANEWRAGE name and sound to a far broader and attentive landscape.

Produced by Matteo Magni (Rhyme, Audrey, Mellowtoy), Life-Related Symptoms makes a potent and highly satisfying impression straight away but it is fair to say that it is with subsequent listens that it comes into its own; increasingly grabbing attention with its imaginative twists and web of virulent hooks. It all begins with Upside Down, a song opening with pure rock ‘n’ roll bait quickly joined by the strong tones of vocalist Axel Capurro and the rhythmic grumble of bassist Simone Martin and drummer Alessandro Ferrarese. The groaning grooves and spiky riffs of guitarist Manuel Sanfilippo are as eagerly tempting, his backing vocals providing rich backing to Capurro’s quickly impressing lead. With shimmering sonic flirtation breaking through across the catchy introduction, the album makes a strong and contagious start.

It is a powerful beginning quickly backed up by My Worst Friend, a more laid back track but with a just as healthy catchiness and bite in its rhythms and lyrical voice. With electronic essences even more prominent, the boisterous croon quickly has body and appetite in its hands before Dancefloor has both engaged with its senses clipping riffs and dark shuffle of emotive shadows. With matching suggestiveness to its melodic enterprise, the song prowls more than romps with the listener but leaves thick satisfaction in its wake which Tomorrow further inflames with its atmospheric caress around a melody spun jangle. With a more volatile edge to its rhythms and heart, things only becomes more intriguing as a jazz kissed bassline and fiery swipes of guitar bring greater depth to the textures entangling within the song.

A thicker metal sourced growl provides the backbone to next up Evolution Circle, riffs bringing an instinctive snarl emulated in some of the great variety making up the song’s vocal enterprise while Floating Man and The 21st Century respectively cast a progressively hued, melody woven adventure and a rhythmically excitable and boisterous escapade. The first of the pair especially bewitches, its body the most unique so far in the first handful of songs revealing greater imagination and boldness in the band’s songwriting but pretty much matched by the flirtatious design and ingredients of its successor.

The short almost haunting serenade of Life Is You is a tender caress of melodic and harmonic beauty perfectly setting up the darker air and character of Outside. The firmly captivating track is a brooding slightly intimidating proposal coloured with more of the band’s excellent vocal prowess and emotively honed melodies.

All The Way has its own strongly enjoyable time with ears next, if without quite matching up to numerous peaks in the landscape of the album before it with Insight hitting another peak straight after in that success with its emotional and sonic discord kissed grumble though it too is eclipsed by the irresistible Clockwork Therapy where ANEWRAGE simply uncages its boldest flight of creative adventure. The song is glorious, clicking along like a mechanical toy in the hands of its creative puppeteers to steal best song honours.

The heart and melodically fuelled Wolves And Sirens completes Life-Related Symptoms, providing a fine end to a release which has no trouble drawing repeated listens in quick time. It might not be thick on major surprises but certainly has plenty of unpredictability to keep ears and expectations guessing and the craft and imagination to spark real enjoyment and we suspect a whole new ball-game of attention the way of ANEWRAGE.

Life-Related Symptoms is out now through Scarlet Records @ https://scarletrecords.bandcamp.com/album/life-related-symptoms and numerous online stores.

http://www.anewrage.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ANEWRAGE/    https://twitter.com/anewrage

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Figures – Self Titled EP

Figures_RingMasterReview

Melbourne is one of those cities persistently producing exciting new musical proposals and another to strongly add to the long list is Figures. Firmly established and acclaimed in the Australian rock scene, the quintet now have their sights on much broader attention with their self-titled debut EP leading the way. Offering four tracks of melodic/alternative metal with numerous other strains of rock involved, the release is a striking and seriously accomplished encounter with a sound very easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Formed in 2014, Figures has shared stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, Superheist and many others since then, luring heavy praise along the way. Their first single Filter equally courted acclaim and attention the way of the band, it taking them across to the US to perform at MUSEXPO’s Global Rock Summit in Los Angeles. Taken from the EP it made for an attention poking lead and gets the release off to a mighty start.

The song’s first touch is a gentle melodic caress, Filter coaxing ears as the guitars of Paul Callow and Simon Edgell wind up their energy and enterprise for the subsequent fire of riffs and grooves. Quickly the swiftly impressive vocals of Mark Tronson shine in their midst as the similarly enticing groan of Jen Fletcher’s bass and the swinging prowess of drummer Josh Sforzin add darker depth and texture to the already compelling blaze. The band has been compared to the likes of Incubus and Karnivool and in some ways you can suggest Circles, Voyager, and to a lesser extent Shattered Skies too though Figures quickly establish their own character in song and release.

cover_RingMasterReviewEqually fiercely robust and enticingly elegant, the song is a formidable introduction strongly backed by its companions starting with Desolate. Quickly the second song sounds very familiar though we cannot remember hearing it prior to the EP yet it cannot stop the fiery serenade of the track seducing ears and passions. Its melodies and harmonies caress the senses, its snarling riffs and boisterous rhythms raising the spirit and though it takes a touch longer to tempt as its predecessor, it blossoms into its equal.

Again making initial contact with a warm lure, Vice soon looms over ears with a web of wiry grooves and intrusive hooks as raw riffs and rapacious rhythms court the ever impressing mix of vocals and harmonies. There is aggression fuelled attitude at the heart of the song, giving it great underlying irritability as its mellower textures spread their charm, a blend sublimely igniting all four songs in varying ways with the closing Emoticonic no exception.

It gets straight down to offering growling confrontation though it is quickly interrupted and thereon in interspersed by washes of melodically inflamed imagination. The spiral of metallic tendrils really hits the spot though from start to finish, the whole song only feeds an already hungry appetite bred by the EP for what Figures have on offer right now and anticipation for their continuing growth.

Already 2017 is proving to be an exciting and impressive surge of emerging bands tempting bigger spotlights with Figures right there on the frontline.

The Figures EP is out now and available @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.figuresband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/figuresbandofficial

Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spinning sounds, casting adventures: getting to grips with Weesp

weesp_RingMasterReview

Hailing from Minsk, Belarus, Weesp is an electronic/alternative rock band which has certainly grown in sound and presence since emerging in 2008. Musically they cast a web of flavours and textures in a sound which demands attention and as the band’s debut album released last year, The Void, lures acclaim. With thanks to the band who shared their time with us, we sought to get to the heart of the band; talking sound, album, and a small Netherlands town…

Hi guys; many thanks for talking with us.

Lex: It’s our pleasure. Thanks for inviting us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Stak: There are five of us. Lex on vocals, Mike on guitars, Mi on bass and Gul is a drummer. Me, Stak, (keys) joined later.

Lex: We started as a school band and then Weesp was created just like that.

Have there been previous bands/projects for band members before Weesp?

Stak: Not really, I played guitar in a band before. Then my brother, Mi, invited me to join Weesp with keys.

Mi: Gul played in another band before he took the drummer place in Weesp. But the rest of the guys and me are playing from school time. Anyway since we are in Weesp, none of us ever cheated the band with other projects.

What inspired the band name?

Lex (vocals): The name came out just like that long time ago. We just wanted the name to be short and unobtrusive to avoid putting us in any musical style limits. We like it means nothing, but just a name. Good or not, but it is so.

Mi (bass): Then we found that there is a small town called Weesp near Amsterdam. It was funny when local news reporter contacted me for an interview and asked about our name and I had no idea such a town even exists 🙂 Later we went there and even gave an interview to local radio.

weesp2_RingMasterReviewWas there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer sound wise?

Lex: The main idea always was to bring a little bit of something new to the world of music…And of course to stay sincere, to make music that we love.

Mi: Yes, the style changed quite a lot while Weesp exists. But I‘m sure it’s only for the best.

Those same things primarily still drive the band or have they evolved over time?

Mi: Of course we grew from album to album, developing our own style. You can see the whole evolution if you’ll listen through all of our discography from ep2008vol1 and Taste of Steel to The Void. One thing has never changed – the sincerity and energy that we always try to give to fans.

You talk of that evolution in sound, how would you specifically describe it?

Lex: I think it became more dark, serious and rough. And we like it, considering there are still a lot of melody and contrasts we like so much.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or rather been driven by the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Lex: Both. We always seek for our own sound, and there is always that feeling that we are so close. May be the sound we looking for changes together with us.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

Stak: There are so many of them. You know, all the guys in Weesp prefer different styles of music mostly. But we all try to listen to everything we can learn from. It affects Weesp music from different sides and helping to avoid copying any particular bands style.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?

Lex: We usually compose songs together, at the studio. Sometimes it’s fast and inspired. Sometimes it’s pain in the ass with fights and loud swearing. Good thing is that we stay friends despite our opinion often differing. I write lyrics myself, and I’m glad it is so, can’t imagine other way.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to that lyrical side?

Mi: We get an inspiration from the life around us. Mostly from the negative sides of it, but it does happen through some positive stories out there. Our last album – The Void is inspired by personal experiences and great upheavals of each of us…Although there are positive notes in it as well. I am confident that these feelings can be sensed and understood by our listeners. Therefore, we build an invisible bond with them.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?weesp-the-void_RingMasterReview

Stak: The latest released album is called The Void. You should definitely check it out if you like alternative rock, metal, or any unusual sound mixes.

Lex: It’s our first long play album. We had released a couple of EP albums and singles before. You know, searching for own sound, experimenting. In fact we’ve been putting off the recording of a full LP for years, realizing how serious that work is, and feeling we’re not ready yet.

I remember very clearly when Mike brought a riff at the rehearsal. All the guys found something so special in it at once. Whole band felt it, and the song came out just like that, almost in a couple of hours – all the arrangement, vocals melody, everything! That song didn’t sound like a classic “hit song” or whatever, but it had that special mood… I never could describe it other way then “the void”. That night all of us knew that this is going to be a title song for our first LP album.

Would you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it?

Lex: Most of the songs are about the moments, the seconds, good or bad, when you feel alive. There are also many songs about the dark side of personality and the demons imprisoned inside every one of us. Fighting temptations, making decisions, gaining an understanding of what is good and what is evil nowadays…And off course living further, no matter what.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Lex: We prefer to go to the studio with pretty much understanding what we are going to do there and what we want to get. Most of the songs are completely ready before we start recording.

Mi:  But sometimes we do exclusions. For example we recorded Beware The Blind Spots without a single rehearsal. Lex wrote an arrangement right before we went to studio, and we gave it try. It’s one of our favorite songs to play live now.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Lex: You are completely right. You know, we like the recording process and we approach it with a lot of care. But what we really love, and what we consider our main strength is a live performance. We get a lot of positive feedback after each.

Stak: For us, live performance is first of all giving the audience all the energy from the stage. And I can’t describe that great feeling when the audience gives the maximum energy back to the stage.

weesp3_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Lex:  It never was easy. But we believe everything is possible. We love what we are doing, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who will love it too. I think there are quite a lot of opportunities for the bands who know what they want and ready to work.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band tries to escape the crowd and hopefully gets increasing success?

Mi: Of course it gives chances to all those who could not get one any other way. Although it also means more competition between the bands, in fact internet and social media nowadays put the performer so close to the listener like never before. We think the main goal for a band is understanding who their listener is and how to reach him. We have just started our advance in the musical market, and we feel good about it.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Lex: Thank you everybody, and keep in touch. We really appreciate it guys when you show up and let us know what you think.

Mi: Don’t forget to check our music out here:

https://soundcloud.com/weesp   https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/weesp/id925286149

https://play.spotify.com/artist/5bzjEo4lbY89BUsi1T3lMb

https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/Weesp?id=Axncoeytszcfeyxt56uvywlfwki

If you want to have CD, or other merch, please visit these stores:

http://weespmerch.bigcartel.com/   https://weesp.bandcamp.com/merch

https://www.facebook.com/weespband/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 18/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Defy The Ocean – Elderflower EP

DTO_RingMasterReview

Ignore the post rock tagging when seems to accompany UK duo Defy The Ocean as their sound is so much more than that. Well not exactly ignore as it is one prevalent texture within a proposition which commands attention but as their new EP Elderflower reveals, the band is as eager to embrace alternative and melodic rock as they are grunge and many fiercer flavours. It results in a sound which captures the imagination across seven intriguing tracks within Elderflower, songs which are a mix of sheer bewitchment and less dramatic adventures but all offering company that only firmly satisfies.

Defy The Ocean consists of vocalist/guitarist Chris Theo and drummer/guitarist Marcos Economides, a pair which met at high school and began jamming together at the respective fifteen and nine. Having gone their separate ways the duo reconnected and musically linked up again in 2009, Defy the Ocean emerging from their songwriting and playing. Their first two singles were released in 2010 with the Myopic EP unveiled late 2012; its well-received release followed by the single Gold & Green the following year.

Working on Elderflower since then, Theo and Economides have pushed their sound to another level, weaving soundscapes of dramatic textures within melancholic atmospheres coloured with matching emotions. Equally they have drawn on more virulent forms of rock to add an inviting catchiness which whether subtle or forthright is another potent draw on ear and imagination.

The EP opens up with Rest, a sombre introduction sharing its shadowed heart through the first melancholy hued strains of guitar. As more creative detail appears, the song comes to life, its emotive intensity as dark and troubled but shaped by melodic suggestion and graced by the excellent vocal harmonics of Theo. Ebbing and flowing with energy and raw emotion, the track grips ears, seizing the imagination as forcibly in less than three minutes of striking enterprise.

elderflowercoverart_RingMasterReviewThe following Veil equally opens in calmer sorrowful waters, wrapping downcast yet vibrant melodic strands around ears as a dirtier bass line walks the shadows bringing a portentous air to the blue but radiant captivation. Along its body, the track continues to grow in layers and ear snatching textures, as with the EP as a whole needing numerous listens to appreciate the levels and nuances making up an ultimately enthralling body with increasing impressiveness following every venture into its riveting downcast landscape.

The EP’s title track comes next, casting a theatre of emotion and sound with essences of bands like Tool, Pelican, and Grenouer in its tempestuous landscape. Both Theo and Economides entangle each other’s enterprise and technical prowess, rhythms a rousing often destructive element as sonic adventure links up with rawer trespasses for one infectious tempting.

Brine follows with its own thick canvas of dramatic sound and emotional turbulence, Theo vocally emptying the song’s heart as the guitars cradle his dejection. Again it is beguiling stuff if at times lacking the last few sparks that lit up its predecessors, though to be fair there are moments it radiates like a creative sun to dynamically pleasure the senses before Vessel soulfully caresses ears with its atmospheric despondence and warm understanding. The most adventurous track so far, it transports thoughts into exotic places over time, always sharing compelling emotion and an understated yet powerful catchiness which just as potently fuels the impressive tones of Theo and his and Economides’ invention.

The piano bred instrumental of Poisoned leads into final track Bones, its brief heavyhearted beauty the appetiser to the woeful and epically shadowed closer. With moments of melodic clarity and stormy intensity, all swept across by the vocal and harmonic elegance of Theo, the last song is emotional turbulence within a musical tempest and quite beguiling with greater command on the passions with every listen.

Within Elderflower, Defy The Ocean merges recognisable essences and textures with their own stirring invention. It makes for a masterfully powerful release becoming more striking with time shared.

The Elderflower EP is out now @ http://music.defytheocean.com/album/elderflower

https://www.facebook.com/defytheocean/

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Peekaboo Primate – Misanthropical

PP_RingMasterReview

Bedlam suggests an element of chaos to its madness, an uncontrolled essence which certainly does not fit the character of Misanthropical, the new album from Finnish alternative metallers Peekaboo Primate. Yet in every other way the word best describes the creative diversity and inventive loco of the band’s irresistible incitement. The release holds ten tracks which twist and turn like a kinetically sonic kaleidoscope weaving an eclectic array of flavours into their own distinct imagination fuelled escapades.

Peekaboo Primate is like the joker in the pack of modern metal; not the fool playing with a lunatic demeanour just for attention, though mischief is never far from their imagination and songs, but the bold protagonist using unpredictable exploits to ignite the senses and inspire thoughts towards, in the case of Misanthropical, a world where “as ugly, brutal and harsh but sometimes also beautiful as it is – everybody wants to be part of the greatest party of our time before our species go extinct solely by our own hand.

Hailing from Tampere, and originally under the name of Airhead, Peekaboo Primate was formed in 2004 by vocalist Lauri Lepokorpi and drummer Riku Airisto. The original line-up also included Hannu Kumpula and Tuomas Kumpula up to the release of the band debut album Peek-a-boo Primates in 2011. Following its release, the band changed its name to Peekaboo Primate with its personnel subsequently completed by the addition of guitarist Matti Auerkallio and bassist Juhani Rytkönen.

The time between albums has seen the band’s sound evolve and become even more defined in its real uniqueness, though if looking for a hint to what band and Misanthropical offer, imagine a mix of Dog Fashion Disco, American Head Charge, and Five Star Prison Cell with a touch of 6:33 to it. From its first heartbeat the album has ears and attention gripped; Spray Tan opening things up with an assault of tenaciously unpredictable rhythms and hungry riffs as wiry grooves wind around their thick bait. The vocals of Lepokorpi are just as dynamic and impressive, carrying an air of Chad Gray to their rousing presence at times as keys and guitars create a masterfully tempestuous and exotically dramatic theatre of sound

PP_Cover_RingMasterReviewIt is a thumping start matched in quality and irresistibility by the psychotically cultured Ha Ha. Sonic and rhythmic stabs court vocal shenanigans from the start with heftier beats soon adding their instable intent to the quickly compelling mix. Slithers of jazz and groove metal flirt with avant-garde psychosis as the track grows and writhes as well as anthemically incites in equal measure before allowing Nothing the opportunity to prey on an already submissive appetite and imagination for the release. The song saunters along with flirtatious and intimidating hues to the fore, Lepokorpi like the ringleader in its midst as his narrative challenges and highlights the issues theming the magnetic proposal.

From its initial intriguing low key start, The Unleashed soon unveils a pulsating and sinister body of synth bred sound as exotic and sultry hues in female voice and melodic suggestiveness add an alluring invitation. The challenging words of Lepokorpi probe and echo in the background before with unpredictability as enjoyable and prominent as ever, the track slips into a reggae cultured shade of character, though it is just one moment in the revolving journey of the encounter.

An addictive dose of pop ‘n’ roll grips next in the outstanding shape of Heroine, its catchy colour led by the great guest vocals of Noora Louhimo from Battle Beast. The rest of the song is a predacious prowl with the again effect coated tones of Lepokorpi stirring up riffs and rhythms between the flames of pop temptation. Within moments, it is sure to have bodies bouncing and voices fully involved, as ours, before Mama Earth rumbles as sonic spices zoom in and out across its growling tone and nature; that American Head Charge reference coming to the fore here, across a wonderfully grouchy yet fiercely inviting proposition.

As its predecessor, Star has a more ‘straight forward’ adventure to its body, though as the last treat too, there are plenty of unexpected and seamlessly woven together twists to catch out expectations and enthral the imagination, especially when uncaging some creative aberration midway. It’s more composed sanity and boldness is contrasted by the delicious raw frenzy of Peekaboo Primate, the track a demented slice of noise rock infested avant-garde/nu metal mania and quite irresistible as it stalks and bruises the senses.

Some of its punkiness survives in the cantankerous luring of ears by Follow My Lead, though the song is unafraid to bring some pop seeded melody and contagion into its imposing metal shuffle between even more irritable and aggressive trespasses.

Ending with the melodic caress of 291112, an emotively suggestive instrumental which fits easier into the scheme of the album with each full listen, Misanthropical is ripe pickings for the imagination and enjoyment. It offers a canvas and adventure which persistently provides fresh twists and surprises even after numerous listens. We will admit, we had not heard of Peekaboo Primate previously, a band which right now it is hard with their music to get out of our heads.

Misanthropical is released on CD and digitally May 12th via Inverse Records.

http://www.peekabooprimate.com/   https://www.facebook.com/peekabooprimate  https://twitter.com/peekabooprimate

Pete RingMaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Chasing Dragons – Faction:Prologue

CD_RingMasterReview

Almost two years on from their forcibly impressive Checkmate EP, UK alt-metal quartet Chasing Dragons unleash its equally striking and rousing successor, the Faction:Prologue EP. The three track roar is a teaser to a forthcoming album from the Yorkshire hailing band and an incendiary confirmation that their contagious sound is one of the really fresh and dramatic proposals within the British metal scene.

Formed in 2011, the Leeds bred outfit has earned a powerful reputation for their dynamic live shows which over the years has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skindred, Pendulum, InMe, Death Angel, Betraying The Martyrs, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attack!Attack!, Skarlett Riot, and The Dead Lay Waiting among many. Early releases in the Take Flight For A Firefight EP of 2012 and the single Hindsight’s A Bitch the following year, marked the band out for attention though it is probably fair to say that Checkmate sparked the biggest acclaim loaded reactions until now. Faction:Prologue in many ways carries on where its predecessor left off with rhythmically imposing and melodically fiery proposals but equally the new trio of songs reveal a fresh richness in tone and intensity aligned to tenacious attention grabbing craft and emotive energy.

Faction-Prologue-Album-Art_RingMasterReviewwork-WebResFrom opener Devil In Her Eyes, band and release firmly seize ears and a swiftly nurtured appetite for their enjoyably imposing temptations. Straight away, the first track casts a web of melodic enterprise and bullish rhythms with matching riffs upon the senses. It is a forceful entrance as intimidating as it is inviting, especially once the recognisable and ever potent vocals of Tank spring into action. Her presence adds further drama and harmonic tempting to an already fiery mix driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Kate and bassist Murf. The track continues to infect ears and imagination with its swinging gait and sonic hooks; seemingly drawing on inspirations from bands such as Halestorm and Avenged Sevenfold but in its great unpredictable twists and creative turns sparking thoughts of bands like Spinnerette  and Flyleaf also, a foursome which probably most often comes close to giving a clue to the Chasing Dragons sound and individuality.

The outstanding start is matched in compelling kind by The Mutiny. As in the first, guitarist Mitch spins a spidery web of melodic imagination and intrigue which enticingly wraps the more volatile character of the rhythms and the rich flame of Tank’s commanding presence and voice. With backing vocals and siren-esque harmonies colluding with the raw snarl of the track and its lead vocal attack, the song beguiles as it sets ears and instincts alight with grouchy riffs and anthemic prowess, ultimately taking favourite song honours in the process.

Whitehorse closes off the EP, unveiling another side to the band’s maturing sound and of course the upcoming album. An electronic coaxing brings the track into view, its lure quickly joined by the hearty tones of Tank and subsequently a predacious prowl of stabbing riffs, antagonistic hooks, and rhythmic irritability. Harmonies and melodies soon temper the intimidation of the assault but without defusing the intrusive intent fuelling every note and beat.

Another tapestry of inventive endeavour and virulently catchy aggression, the song is a fine end to an excellent ‘return’ by Chasing Dragons to ears and speakers. There is no escaping that the band has got creatively bigger, bolder, and even more captivating; so roll on that album…

The Faction:Prologue EP is released March 29th @ http://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/

http://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/musicchasingdragons/   https://twitter.com/xChasingDragons

Pete RingMaster 29/03/3016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Hacktivist – Outside The Box

Photography and editing by Perry Westphal

Photography and editing by Perry Westphal

It has been a fair time in the coming but the highly anticipated debut Hacktivist album is finally about to be uncaged. It is a rage living up to the heights and promise of the UK band‘s previous self-titled EP whilst pushing further the band‘s imaginative distinct fusion of nu/alternative /progressive metal with extreme and electronic textures aligned to rap/hip hop fuelled incitement. In some ways it is not bold enough in its exploration and creative drama. Occasionally there is the feeling that the band missed opportunities to create a landmark proposition, but truthfully from start to finish Outside The Box leaves an already established appetite for their sound more than thickly satisfied.

Emerging in 2011, it is fair to say that the Milton Keynes quintet has been leaving deep marks on the British metal/rock landscape whether through their ravenous live presence or that aforementioned EP and surrounding singles. They have been devoured by fans and media alike even with a sound naturally which is going to make as many enemies as long term friends such its unconventional and unpredictable character. Festivals have equally have embraced the band, and Hacktivist them by lighting up the likes of Reading, Leeds, Sonisphere, Rock Am Ring, and Rock Im Park these past years. So as suggested, Outside The Box has bred plenty of intrigue and expectations in the wait for its eventful arrival, a pressure it more than deals with, if without quite realising its own potential at times.

The album opens with Our Time; a track featuring Marlon Hurley which lays out a dystopian atmosphere as an emotive climate springs from keys and spoken vocals before the muscular weight and intensity of the band bears down on the senses and imagination. It is a stalking rather than an assault but with djent spicing to its teeth, the track is a waking up of attention for the following tempest of Hate. An electronic coaxing entices ears initially, though its touch is as sinister as it is magnetic, especially once the subsequently duelling and colluding vocal rapacity of J Hurley and Ben Marvin steer the descending storm. Like a cantankerous cousin to The Kennedy Soundtrack, the track lures and berates the senses; eventually unleashing its full animus with intrusive grooves from Timfy James and predatory rhythms spawned in the creative venom of bassist Josh Gurner and drummer Rich Hawking.

art_RingMasterReviewThe track is a gripping affair followed by Deceive & Defy. It is the first in a trio of re-recorded older tracks amongst eight new provocations, and features Jamie Graham from Heart Of A Coward as guest vocalist. With ambience soaked smog around a rapped narrative, the song’s entrance is restrained yet dramatic, increasingly so as firmly swung beats and agitated riffs build towards an open almost carnal hostility of sound and tone. The track swiftly and increasingly pleases yet it is one which maybe holds back and never quite delivers the raw intensity and explosive adventure hinted at and expected.

It is something Taken certainly offers; its snaky steel lined tendrils of guitar and combative mix of melodic, raw, and spat vocals firing up the passions for antagonistic confrontation alone. The band builds on that with imaginative slips into harmonious vocals and warm melodies shared by James, moments which surprise and reveal the blossoming invention of the band’s songwriting. With Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari guesting, the song leaves ears and thoughts eagerly involved as does the instrumental, The Storm. It is an evocative moment in time reflecting the physical and emotional aspect of its name, time giving the listener time to regroup before No Way Back launches its dissension. With a scent of Heart of a Coward and Monuments to it, the track badgers and tears into the senses with its jagged stabs of guitars and barbarous rhythms, soothing the wounds with the sighing caress of keys whilst a triple threat of vocals keeps ears consumed and eager to embrace the volatile textures being blended.

A re-working of False Idols comes next, the song moving from an opening romancing to a mountain of groaning rhythms and gnarly riffs bound in viperish grooves. The track certainly pleases without making a big stir in its opening moments but as each passing minute uncages more creative and intimidating adventure, the song blossoms to impress in a way fresh to its original version, even though the differences are not as dramatic as they might have been. The track is a standard bearer all the same but eclipsed by Rotten which sees Astroid Boys and Jot Maxi involved. Weaving essences reminding of Tech N9ne and Twizted into a progressively atmospheric climate, the track simply seduces the imagination as it provides a new strain of invention and diversity to the album.

Elevate has been re-tuned for its place within Outside The Box, given new sonic oil and vocal attitude as it builds build on its first outing in the band’s earlier EP. It is a dogfight for ears and a showdown for emotions as it attacks and stirs up a bedlam of carnivorous textures and electronic trespasses. Melodic and harmonic caresses add a great tempering but they never subdue the thrilling discord and friction of sound and voice.

Lyrically the band is as sharp and incisive as expected but at times they seem to carry a chip on their shoulder which does not lie quite as well as their more politically incited targets. It is something which can be said about the album’s title track where, even with the broadening investigation of its narrative, it captivates most potently in sound.

The album is brought to an exhilarating close by firstly the volcanic and bestial enterprise of Buszy, a deft entangling of contrasting textures in a maelstrom of ire and creative intensity, and lastly by The Storm II, a melodically elegant and sonically ravenous flight into uniting emotional resonance and turbulence. Both provide a climactic and impressing close to an album which itself is only striking.

Whether Outside The Box could have been even more impressive and impacting will surely be debated, our thought being that maybe it missed a trick or two knowing the invention and craft of the band. From start to finish though, it had ears and emotions enthralled and greedy for more; a success no one can turn their nose up at.

Outside The Box is released March 4th via UNFD / Rise Records through most online stores and @ http://www.hacktivist.uk.com/store/products/outside-the-box-cd-2/

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Pete RingMaster 03/03/2016

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