Altitudes and Attitude – Get It Out

Just the thought of two of metal’s finest most influential bassists linking up whets the appetite; indeed a potential pleasure which pretty much inflamed said optimism with the release of an EP five years back. That teaser though has just become a full on feast of hard rock ’n’ roll pleasure with the release of Get It Out the debut album from Altitudes & Attitude.

For those yet to discover the outfit, Altitudes & Attitude is the creative union of Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson. It was a partnership sparked when the pair started touring together to lead bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke in 2010.To provide backing tracks to support their demonstrations the pair began writing songs, this leading four years later to the unveiling of a three track EP. Now the link-up has brought us Get It Out and thirteen tracks which pretty much rock the life of the majority of hard rock offerings of recent times. You might say that the album is not the most unique, it openly embracing assumedly some of the hues of the pair’s own musical likes and pleasures over time, yet it has a freshness and individual character which uses such flavours rather than relies on them. At times it has a definite John Bush led Anthrax meets Foo Fighters roar but from start to finish stomps with its own voice and gait to relentlessly thrill.

Produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and with drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Filter) unleashing the driving rhythms throughout, Get It Out sees a host of guitarists guesting alongside the bass and rhythm guitar sharing of Ellefson and Bello, the latter providing the vocals and lyrical prowess. Among them is the familiar craft of Ace Frehley, Gus G (Firewind), Jon Donais (Shadows Fall/Anthrax) and Christian Martucci (Stone Sour); with all musicians involved adding to its magnetic lure.

The album opens with its title track and swiftly and easily had attention gripped as guitar bred wires entangled ears; their nagging increasingly compelling before riffs and rhythms add their persistence to the baiting of the senses. Bello’s vocals are just as potent as the track erupts into that Foo Fighters tinged roar which sweeps across the album at times. It is an outstanding track and start quickly matched by the similarly stirring and vigorous Late. The second track is less forceful in its initial tempting, almost teasing ears before hitting its muscular stride with Friedl’s beats a crisp trespass alongside the melodic caress of guitar. With a Verni like hue to its infectiousness and controlled holler, the song also effortlessly hit the spot with its multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

Lyrically, the album sees Bello open up to personal experiences and the intimate turbulence which have been part of his life; explorations just as intriguing as the sounds around them and fuelling further quick success in the likes of Out Here and Part Of Me. The first shares a delicious groove aligned to mountainous rhythms, their captivating unity matched by the harmonic call of vocals and guitar while the second is pure incitement from its gnarly bassline to thumping beats and hook springing virulence. Both tracks leave little to be desired but the latter with its imposing but galvanic trespasses was rock ‘n’ roll manna to personal tastes with a guitar solo to lap up.

The irresistible Slip ventures into a more indie rock lined hard rock stroll, vocals and melodies as infectious and manipulative as a virus while next up Talk To Me provides a relatively calmer but no less persuasive canter draped with a great Julian Cope-esque feel in voice and sound. Both tracks add to the already lofty heights of the release with creative and hearty relish before Leviathan shares more classic and heavy/progressive metal strains of enterprise. The instrumental is a magnetic detour from the thrust of the album so far adding another aspect to its increasingly varied landscape.

Cold shares some of its predecessor’s colouring within its own heavily satisfying melodic rock ‘n’ rumble with Another Day returning to shades of Dave Grohl and co with its controlled yet fiery saunter.    It was a song which maybe did not have us bouncing as lustfully as others but its magnetism was inescapable as too its hungry hooks and lures; coaxing just as thick and even more compelling within the emotively atmospheric and revealing All There Is where melodic droning and vocal intimacy blossoms.

The album concludes with bonus cuts of the songs which made up that first EP; all three remixed and re-mastered. Booze And Cigarettes has a great feral edge to its rock clamour, Tell The World a melodic almost poppy instinct to its catchiness, while Here Again is as much punk as it is heavy and hard rock bred; all three showing why Altitudes & Attitude had so many excited a few years back and anticipation for the album, they now thrillingly end, so keen.

A record which will appeal to a vast array of metal and rock fans, Get It Out is rock ‘n’ roll at its hearty best, so no more words needed just your soon to be hungrily happy ears.

Get It Out is out now through Megaforce Records.

https://www.facebook.com/altitudesandattitude/   http://www.altitudesandattitude.com/

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Verni – Barricade

There is nothing better than a song which has you swinging from the rafters hollering and roaring. When you get ten in one ridiculously rousing collection it borders on bliss and that is exactly what the debut album from Verni uncages. The first offering from the solo project of Overkill founder and bass player DD Verni, Barricade is one unbridled raucous anthem sprung from individual hurricanes of rock ‘n’ roll incitement and easily one of the most pleasurable offerings of the year.

An ever prolific songwriter, Verni as a project arose from a growing collection of songs which did not fit either Overkill or DD’s side outfit The Bronx Casket Co. To add extra spicing to the mix, he proceeded to approach a host of musicians to guest on them resulting in the album featuring a plethora of guitarists including Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy), Angus Clark (Trans Siberian Orchestra), Jeff Waters (Annihilator), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Mike Romeo (Symphony X), Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Steve Leonard (Almost Queen) and Andre “Virus” Karkos (Dope) as well as former Overkill drummer Ron Lipnicki. Putting all those lures aside, Barricade is a cauldron of temptation in its own right whether it swings with rock tenacity, trespasses with metal nurtured ferocity or snarls with punk driven belligerence.

Immediately opener Fire Up opens its sonic jaws, attention was not just lured but gripped as grooves drive a rapacious onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll.  A tease of Verni’s thrash instincts unite with hard rock vivacity, riffs and rhythms colluding to create their own thick lure alongside the creative web of the guitars. DD’s vocals are a matching draw, it all stirring up quick involvement from body, voice, and neck muscles. No breath is spared as the song charges through ears spilling lust poking hooks and grooves as gang shouts holler and individual flare across the track ignites.

The following Miracle Drug is equally as virulent in its catchiness and energetic hard rock cast dynamics if taking things down a gear gait wise. But a single gear it is as the track still flies from the speakers with zeal and enterprise before Off My Leash has the body bouncing with its contagiously predacious animation. Punk and grunge infest its metal lined rock bred swagger, another collusion of flavours which seeds something truly fresh and viral. Unexpected twists only add to its relentless and unbridled tempting.

Like a wound up dervish, (We are) The Broken Ones strikes next with guitars scything across earthy rhythms as vocals inspire eager participation while Lost In The Underground embroils classic rock exploits in punk ‘n’ roll contagion to romp and stomp with the listener. Both tracks not only hit the spot but shatter it to incite a lustful union.

Through the darker thrash spun drama of The Party of No and the southern gothic drama of Night of the Swamp King the album only tightens its grip. The first has a definite Anthrax meets Dope feel to it while the second is atmospheric intimation and sonic theatre soaked in stoner intoxication; their successor, We Were Young, adding to the album’s blossoming variety with its classic rock balladry. The latter is a track we would not normally take to but courtesy of the devilish prowess of DD Verni we were firmly hooked.

The album closes up with firstly of Slow My Ride,​ a fervent entanglement of alternative metal and hard rock, and in turn the classic metal meets anthemic rock outing of Heaven Calling. It is probably fair to say neither lit the fires within as those before them but each escalated the undiluted enjoyment of Barricade, a pleasure which has only grown by the listen.

​We are sure we will not be alone in hoping DD Verni continues to write tracks which do not fit his main projects because as much as those projects fully satisfy another Verni encounter is already the subject of hungry anticipation.

Barricade is out now via Mighty Music on CD, digitally and on Ltd white vinyl.

http://www.ddverni.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ddverni/

 Pete RingMaster 17/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Returning to the garden with Leaving Eden

Two years on we have linked back up with Leaving Eden songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Eric Gynan to catch up with the band. Already renowned for their ear grabbing, imagination stoking rock sound, the band is poised to release its new album this month. One highly anticipated release we join Eric to look into its body and character with more besides…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Howdy Eric Gynan here from the band Leaving Eden, Boston Mass area USA. It’s great to talk with you again. I think it was a couple years ago when we chatted last.

To remind people can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?

Myself and Eve are the co-founders of Leaving Eden We had some songs; I’ve always been recording so we wanted to play some of these live. I think one must make a choice as to what they want to do with their life. It takes sacrifice, let downs and one must have a thick skin. Let’s face it most artists are different than others, so not only is there issues with all the variables outside the band, but from within too. I think the current line-up is great where everyone sees the bigger picture.

What are the musical backgrounds to you all; previous bands, projects etc…

Yes myself and Eve were in a band before leaving Eden. The band was regionally successful, but it usually comes down to the members. I remember for instance the drummer wanted no part of having a female in the band. He just hated it. Well, I saw the bigger picture, and after the first 100 people came up to me and told me how great Eve was, I knew I had to really do something about it…Shortly after we formed Leaving Eden.

Tell us about the band name?

We thought that this planet being the entire Garden of Eden has become corrupt full of Deceit and Hate so we thought wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere else that’s the name leaving Eden.

Did you have a particular aim for the band initially and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Originally we wanted two female singers that never seemed to work out. Eve was really 2nd to none when it came to a front person, so anyone else up there trying to almost compete was pretty much a ridiculous situation. Now we do have another female, but she plays keys and sings backup vocals so it’s different now. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have not only the right people for the right sound, but the right personalities for perseverance.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

I think so. I think we are a little more reality oriented and understand more the barriers and pitfalls associated with the business. I think more so now we’re happy doing what we’re doing instead of being unhappy about not achieving our goals to the fullest.

How do you see the evolution of the band’s sound since starting out?

I think first and foremost you must always be listening to what’s out there what’s current what’s new and changing with the times. Also, one must try and be a trendsetter. It’s the new artists that forge the future, the ones out there in the gutters so to speak who are really at the pinnacle. As I said, for me I listen and get these songs kind of fully produced in my mind’s eye and I just go with the flow.

So it is a more organic movement of sound than deliberately wanting to try new things or an equally sided process?

Good question maybe both. We always want to try new things but also I think organically speaking the band naturally moves in a particular direction.

You said you eagerly listen to the sounds out there; are particular inspirations which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

I think playing I’m sharing the stage with many of the best bands in the world has definitely been a great influence on us. Leaving Eden has toured the USA, UK and Canada sharing the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio, Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Buckcherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s, Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Michaels, Halestorm,Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel, Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) Adelitas Way, Scott Stapp (The voice of Creed), Gemini Syndrome, Pop Evil, Ratt, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death & many more..

How does the songwriting work within the band; is there a particular process?

Yes I think it’s best for me as the songwriter to make a connection with the universe and listen because there’s always songs out there trying to come in; it depends if they come while I’m sleeping and I have the ability to wake up from that and go record something or if it comes while just almost meditating and communicating again with the universe and just listening.

How about the sparks to the lyrical side of your songs?

It’s definitely drawn from reality; all the lyrics are based on what’s happening at the time. Good, bad or indifferent I’m constantly writing lyrics so it’s going back to those and using them for music that I may already have written or writing the music around those lyrics. The skies aren’t always blue, thus our song Skies of Grey. “It’s not too late to open your eyes and sail through skies of grey”. “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, we’ve been exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around, tied and bound but NOTHING could take the music away”. From our Tied and Bound album.

Tell us about the band’s latest release?

Our latest release would be our last album Out of the Ashes (Recorded/mixed By Johnny K. (Disturbed, Pop Evil, Staind, 3 Doors Down,) Mastered by Brad Blackwood (Sevendust, Dave Mathews, Adelitas way, Korn) and produced by myself reinterpreted by Leaving Eden.) We also released a single, Jailbreak and it is going to be on our new album to be released October 19th 2018 called Descending again through Dark Star Records/Sony Music worldwide.

Our new album to be released, Descending, I’m excited about this album because it was recorded at Leaving Eden Studios. We were able to take all the time we needed and really craft this album to exactly what we wanted it to be. I did a premix on it and sent it off to Bob St John for the Final Mix and Mastering. Bob is a Grammy award-winning engineer and has done bands like Duran Duran, Extreme, Collective Soul, Steven Tyler…Such a great guy to work with too.

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind Descending and its songs.

The title Descending, is taken from a song off the album called Shallow Waters. Shallow Waters is very cool because it’s one of those songs where I woke up from a dream and the song was playing in my head; this happens a lot most of the time I can’t pull myself out but this time I was able to. It’s great when you can hear songs already produced in your dreams, takes a lot of work out of it. It definitely comes from somewhere else. We wanted to have different genres such as heavy, acoustic, different key changes and tempos, really trying to have such diversity. We even got some songs you can dance to the beat.

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?

Yes because studio time is so expensive it’s really best to have it all complete so we have typically recorded the entire album in our studio first working out all the bugs and adding everything we want to add so that when it comes time in the studio we know exactly what we’re doing because there’s usually not as much time as you need, so you try to prepare for that. In the case of our Descending album soon-to-be-released we actually recorded this completely in our studio so we had the time to really craft what we believe is a great album.

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

Yes when I have always said that Leaving Eden is best seen and heard live. There’s a lot of energy sharing that goes on with the crowd. We don’t look at it like hey man look at me I’m a rock star check me out I’m too cool man, rather quite the opposite. It’s like hey we’re all here together all night to have a good time so let’s party together and let’s have some fun together. We are all involved in this.

You obviously know how hard it is for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it with Leaving Eden?

Really I think with the onslaught of the internet anywhere you are you can really make a mark. I get it that making a mark by playing the venues that’s in your own region could make a difference. The reality is that if you’re good, fresh, have really put some time into the band look and made a great recording then it doesn’t really matter where you are. You can get it out there with a good publicist, good radio guy, good record label and good distribution also good management. We’ve pretty much always taken care of all of this on our own and hiring certain people and companies. I think it all works together. The most important thing for us is we will play anywhere anyhow anyway, so long as we can because this is what we love to do

You mentioned the internet. How do you work and weave your social media sites to use them most effectively?

The internet is very important to any band because that’s where people are getting most of their information now from and you can do it for free and make an impact on different social media platforms for sure. At the end of the day it comes down to a song, is the song good; is it one somebody wants to listen to? Our song Out Of The Ashes says digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound. What that means is I feel we’ve always been an underground type band, you know really building its base of friends organically so an underground band able to, with the click of a mouse be in China for instance so that is faster than the speed of sound. It’s definitely referencing the internet and for that you can’t even quantify how important it is when talking about streaming on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon. You know that’s the way people are listening to the music they’re not going out and spending money to pay for music when they can listen to it for free or maybe $10 a month. Now this doesn’t really pay the artist much but if your song caught on and you had millions of listeners every day well then you would be making a lot of money so it’s really the same, only different is the means. People will still buy CDs more at a gig than anywhere else.

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

Well, without our friends, we got nothing so we hope to make new friends here and hope they enjoy learning more about Leaving Eden. We definitely want to say Thanx Much and Peace!!

https://www.leavingeden.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden   https://www.instagram.com/leavingedenofficial/   https://twitter.com/Leavingeden   https://www.youtube.com/user/leavingedenband

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Infected Syren – Self Titled

Nudging broad attention virtually since they emerged in 2011 and certainly since the release of a demo the following year, Infected Syren are now demanding it with their self-titled debut album. With eleven tracks of rapacious metal infested punk ‘n’ roll, the Cyprus bred outfit grab body and appetite with mischievous intent, rousing energy, and a craft honed in the heart of rock ‘n’ roll.

Nicosia bred and now sharing their time between their country’s capital and London, Infected Syren is said to have come to “finally consider a more serious and dedicated approach towards writing their own material and developing their sound while doing what they love most – performing heavy alternative music!” Certainly you can hear the passion at its heart and the imagination in its character; a proposition which roars with the invasive funkiness of Infected Grooves, the uncompromising punk attitude of The Exploited, the thrash devilry of early Anthrax, and the psychobilly predation of a blend of Grumpynators and Batmobile. It is a stomping incitement embracing familiar traits but all twisted into the fiercely enjoyable individual antics of Infected Syren.

The album opens with the sinister, increasingly intimidating carnival of Infected Circus, a hook woven instrumental easily getting under the skin as guitars suggestively dance and rhythms devilishly swing. It sets the mood and rascality of the release perfectly, the following romp of The B.B.P. similarly manipulative with its hook lined grooves and teasing metal spawn riffs. Guitarists Constantinos Lyras and Louis Syrimis cast a net of infectious exploits within the song’s boisterous body; the latter’s vocals as bold and devious as the addictive textures making up the track.

Already, the release is a swagger of thrash and alternative metal hued rock ‘n’ roll, the band’s punk instincts brewing nicely and erupting more forcibly within UnNormal. From a southern nurtured hook, the track breaks into an inescapably catchy stroll, wiry grooves swiftly entwining the animated beats of Constantinos Syrimis and the lithe canter of Miguel Trapezaris’ bass. With devilment in song and the charismatic vocal deliver of Louis, the track bounds along with the listener taking in calm and volatile scenery with equal ease whilst taking over hips and body like a puppeteer.

It is fair to say that every track within the album is rich in virulent bait and scheming manoeuvres, next up Sick springing its dirty rock ‘n’ roll with frisky buoyancy, bobbing along with attitude and playfulness as punk irritability meets heavy rock intensity, both imposingly irresistible sides entangled in riotous high spirit. The album’s best track is closely rivalled by the punk ‘n’ roll discord coated virulence of Unwanted, the track poking the listener in the chest with its bad attitude whilst toying with them as if a marionette. Heavy metal spices add to thrash instincts within the temptation though again it is the psyche enslaving hooks and grooves which seal the slavery.

Through the psychobilly lined Boogie Stick and the devious ingenuity of The Torture Brothers, the album only tightens its grip on ears and appetite, the first with fevered energy as it stalks the senses spreading aural narcotics laced with Constantinos striking enterprise. Its successor with a similar gait and admittedly flavouring brings its own individual addiction, those hues evolving into an infestation of rock ‘n’ roll which is as toxic as it is a tonic for the spirit, the song laying its hands on a share of best track honours.

Both Divide and Rule and Death After the Melody pretty much match the leading pair, as all tracks come close to in all honesty, their respective defiant groove wired stomp and hungrily swinging trespass each melding metal, punk, and rockabilly textures into one unique carnival of sound and infectiousness. They snarl and tease the imagination, taunt and spark the body into zealous involvement with every note and twist but Infected Syren show themselves just as effective in grabbing the listener’s subservience with unbridled muscle clad, animosity fuelled punk ‘n’ roll, Toothless Tigers the unassailable evidence.

The album closes with Syrens in The Opera, another insatiable imagination stoking instrumental to bask in. It is a fine end to an album we truly cannot get enough of. If Infected Syren cannot stir up real attention and praise their way with this gem of a release something is seriously wrong.

The Infected Syren album is out now on CD and Digitally through most digital music stores and @ https://infectedsyren.bandcamp.com/album/infected-syren

http://infectedsyren.com/    https://www.facebook.com/infectedsyren

Pete RingMaster 16/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Carnage Inc. – Fury Incarnate

carnageinc-bandpic_RingMasterReview

Nagging away at the senses and imagination like a thrash powered buzz saw, Fury Incarnate, the new EP from India hailing Carnage Inc. is an encounter which only excites. Part of the press release for the band’s ear gripping proposition suggests we “Watch out for this band that’s bound to leap out…” It is a thought more than backed up by the five track tempest of raw energy, hungry invention, and old school bred thrash ‘n’ roll.

Hailing from Mumbai, Carnage Inc. have a sound which certainly draws on the likes of the bay area thrash scene and bands such as Slayer, Anthrax, Black Sabbath, and Megadeth. Equally there is a punk fury and attitude mixed with a melodic prowess which makes their kind of crossover thrash rather appetising as it stands out from the crowd of new pretenders.

Released through Transcending Obscurity, Fury Incarnate opens with Dawn, a suggestive instrumental bringing the release and its multi-faceted character into view.  Its gentle melodic bandcamp-art_RingMasterReviewseducing has a warm lure of Motherjane to it and a climate of shadows holding a more tempestuously brooding nature which are uncaged properly in the following roar of Defiled. From a sample loaded opening skirted by distant psychotic rhythms, the second track swiftly bursts upon the senses led by the imagination entangling grooves of lead guitarist Navin Mudaliyar. The swinging beats of Moinuddin Farooqui equally steer the track through ears with an infectious aggression, an antagonistic lure matched by the potent gravelly vocals of rhythm guitarist Varun Panchal. It is a quickly satisfying encounter mixing familiar old school thrash hues with the band’s own imagination for heavily pleasing results.

The EP’s title track comes next, Fury Incarnate similarly surging with predacious intent through ears as the growling bass of Jason Dias alone provides grumbling bait to get eager for but a lure matched in vicious kind by riffs and the punk stoked vocals of Panchal. There is a feel of Suicidal Tendencies to the track as it swings and twists in ears, a thicker Testament meets Exodus colouring emerging in other magnetic moments within the release’s best and most inventive moment yet.

Day of Delirium is another seriously catchy and aggressively rampant proposal, whipping up spirit and appetite from its first bruising breath and only blossoming further as wonderful discord woven grooves add their alluring majesty throughout the often sultry and always muscular affair eclipsing its predecessor.

The EP is completed by Ungod, a track which switches between invasive energies and barbarous intent with fluid enterprise as the increasingly impressing delivery of Panchal is matched by backing vocals and the unpredictable nature and design of the song.

It is an excellent end to a riveting and impressing proper introduction for the rest of the world to Carnage Inc. Certainly this is a band to keep a close ear upon, one which has given thrash something rather flavoursome to chew over.

The Fury Incarnate EP is available now through Transcending Obscurity Distribution and @ https://carnageinc.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/carnageincindia/

https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurity/

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Monte Pittman – Inverted Grasp of Balance

Pic stephanie-cabral

Pic stephanie-cabral

I wanted to make the heaviest and craziest music I ever have” is how Monte Pittman described one of the intents behind his new album, Inverted Grasp of Balance, going on to add, “I really feel that it’s an album that will grab you and demand your attention.

It is an aim which is powerfully realised and statement swiftly proven true by his fourth album, though he should have added the adjective ‘rousing’ in there somewhere too as the Metal Blade encounter certainly raises the spirit and energies with forceful potency. The successor to acclaimed predecessor The Power of Three, Inverted Grasp of Balance sees the ex-Prong guitarist and long-time collaborator and guitarist with Madonna narrow the diversity to his sound without losing its broad character, a move which has brought a fresh intensity and predacious heaviness to another fiercely contagious and anthemic proposal from him.

Beginning the writing and creation of Inverted Grasp of Balance almost from the minute the work with The Power of Three concluded, Pittman teamed up with drummer Richard Christy (Charred Walls Of The Damned, Iced Earth, Death) and bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, David Lee Roth, Winery Dogs) to record the album with Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) handling production duties. From its first breath, the release launches itself at ears with an urgency and raw energy arguably not heard before in a Pittman offering, opener Panic Attack rising from a great sonic probing into a tempest of thrash fuelled rock ‘n’ roll. Pittman’s pick toys with guitar strings, creating an ensnaring web from the first seconds before both Christy and Sheehan collude in a fevered charge. Like Metallica meets Foo Fighters, the track romps and stomps, the trio creating a virulent tempest ensnared with the striking craft and imagination of Pittman’s grooves and splintered solos.

It is a mighty start which maybe even raises the ante in the following Arisen in Broad Daylight, certainly keeps the persuasion as intensive as the track excites and incites body and spirit. With moments of carnivorous personality, its powder keg of infectious energy and aggression simply infests the senses leaving the appetite greedy which successor Guilty Pleasure feeds further. Rising from the closing strains of the second track like a close cousin, the track is as grievously confrontational and irritable as it is an epidemic of punishing rhythms and bewitching guitar interplay, Pittman’s ever strong and galvanic vocals like a ringleader. With an excellent moment of predatory calm, the song makes a play for best track honours.

evolve_cover_RingMasterReviewThe Times Are Changing has a less menacing nature to its body next, but still weaves a network of sinister grooves and invasive rhythms to challenge the senses while Double Edged Sword entangles classic metal hues in its melody thick and magnetically volatile climate of sound and intensity with Sheehan’s bass a gloriously snarling and adventurous beast. Both tracks make a compelling persuasion with the brief Skids like hooks of the second a nice tempting touch around another fine wine of a solo before the haunting melodic seduction of the short guitar sculpted instrumental Cadabra allows a breath to be taken. It is a recovery quickly spent though as Pride Comes Before the Fall uncages its feisty prowl of cantankerous rock ‘n’ roll and even more impressively California devours the senses. Starting on a deliciously grumbling and inventive lure of bass, the track skirts ears, sizing them up with dark intent before sharing a half catchy and half raptorial proposal.

Through the ferocious virulence of Be Very Afraid and the drama soaked creative psychosis and tenebrous air of Obliterated, enjoyment of Inverted Grasp of Balance is firmly reinforced, the latter a muggy imagination inspiring instrumental after which Skeleton Key returns to a lighter and warmer landscape built on commanding rhythmic muscle and impassioned melodies and vocals.

Completed by New Blood Keeps Us Alive, a moment of melancholy spawned acoustic captivation which brews and explodes into a heart sharing roar, Inverted Grasp of Balance simply hits the spot. It might not be the most unique offering this year and is at its strongest in its first half but with the songwriting of Pittman its most rounded, his guitar craft exhilarating, and Christy and Sheehan matching in their individual invention, few releases will be as enjoyable in the short and long term than Inverted Grasp of Balance.

Inverted Grasp of Balance is out now via Metal Blade Records and through http://www.metalblade.com/us/releases/monte-pittman-inverted-grasp-of-balance/

http://www.montepittman.com   https://www.facebook.com/MontePittman   http://twitter.com/montepittman

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Meshiaak – Alliance Of Thieves

Meshiaak_RingMasterReview

Formed in Melbourne, Australia and unleashing a debut that stirs up the instincts and passions like the first temptress/tempter encountered by awakening youth, Meshiaak have announced themselves as one essential proposition for all thrash metal enthusiasts. Alliance Of Thieves is one of the most formidable, exhilarating, and accomplished introductions sure to be heard this year; arguably no surprise with its line-up consisting of 4ARM’s Danny Camilleri and Teramaze’s Dean Wells alongside bassist Nick Walker and drummer Jon Dette who lists Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and Iced Earth in his notable exploits. Together they have swooped into the heart of thrash and given it a fresh injection of imagination and creative energy; not exactly breaking its boundaries but providing the genre and more with a new compelling character to get excited over.

Recorded at the Green Day owned Jingletown Recording Studios in Oakland, California and mixed by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Destruction, Anvil, Aramanthe, Epica, U.D.O., Primal Fear), Alliance Of Thieves ignites ears with opener Chronicles of the Dead. Initial rhythmic stabs and a drizzle of sonic enterprise coaxes the senses, both soon part of a thumping persuasion which swiftly has ears and appetite eagerly awake. The vocals of Camilleri quickly grip attention too with the backing roars of Wells just as potent, while together their guitar endeavours create a web of inventive infectiousness around the equally gripping rhythmic thrust of Dette and Walker. The track is superb, whether winding teasingly around ears or driving through them like a ravenous juggernaut simply triggering spirit and instincts.

The first track also shows the melodic prowess and suggestiveness of grooves that Meshiaak are also able to conjure, the song a tapestry of intrigue and unpredictable invention which continues in the following It Burns at Both Ends and across the whole of Alliance Of Thieves. Whereas its predecessor has essences of Machine Head meets Testament to it, the second track quickly shares Slayer-esque hues once the listener has drifted through exotic climes into another tide of Dette’s addictive rhythmic craft as rabid riffs crowd around Camilleri’s imposing and rousing vocals. Calm and intensely hungry, the song is a beguiling mix of contrasts and energy, matching the inescapable persuasion and intensive quality of the opener.

art_RingMasterReviewThe dark and sinister I Am Among You follows, its initial lure setting the emotional scene before the band toy with the imagination with a Fear Factory/Metallica like trespass of the soul. Predatory and often demonic but from start to finish commandingly seductive, the track manages to eclipse the might of those before it, setting a new plateau within the album in pleasure and imagination before Drowning, Fading, Falling floats in on orchestral melancholy. Soon the mountainous beats of Dette and another brooding bassline from Walker are courting the sonic weave of Wells, together crafting another encounter which skilfully merges raw intensity with melodic tempers. A slow burner in relation to the earlier tracks, it grows into an easy to get greedy over threat, each listen, as with the album, revealing new layers and nuances within its storm.

Through the harmonic and emotionally plaintive At the Edge of the World, a song as musically vast as its suggested landscape, and the sonically antagonistic Last Breath Taken, band and album simply taken a tighter grip on the passions; both songs in their individual way casting lava-esque melodies amidst thrash fuelled intrusive intensity, though the first of the two is a ‘gentler’ tempting and outshone a touch by its rawer successor. The pair in turn gets outdone by the brilliance of Maniacal. Again Metallica is an open flavouring yet once more a spice to something you can only out down as unique Meshiaak.

The album’s title track careers through ears straight after, every second a ravishing crescendo of sound and creative instincts leaving bliss and exhaustion in its lingering wake. There is a hint of Anthrax/Megadeth to the impossible to resist proposal, Dette alone makes the hellacious partnership between band and ears worthwhile but mightily matched by the whole of the quartet here and across Alliance of Thieves, song and album.

The album closes on the shadowy balladry of Death of an Anthem where sultry melodies and a smouldering climate surround the again impressive tones of Camilleri. Its air and emotion though becomes more volatile with every passing minute as the track bewitches and brings easily one of the year’s finest releases to a superb end. As suggested earlier, maybe we should not be surprised the quality of Alliance Of Thieves considering its creators but any hopes and expectations you might have had for the encounter will surely be blown away with swift results.

Alliance Of Thieves is out now via Mascot Records @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/meshiaak-alliance-of-thieves-cd.html and most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 24/08/2016

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