The Five Hundred – Winters

TFH_RingMaster Review

Every now and then, without any debate, lustful pleasure is ignited by a release; by a band exploding on the sweet spot of ears and instincts with something which just seems to know what the passions like. Such an encounter for us is Winters, the debut EP from UK metallers The Five Hundred. It is hard to say what particularly incites such enthused reactions and appetite, the release weaving its fierce tempting with a host of familiar flavours and styles, but every one of its four incendiary tracks is hellacious manna to the ear and imagination; something we suspect to not be alone in feeling.

The Five Hundred emerged in 2014, a Nottingham quintet previously known as DAOR. In no time their fusion of brutal and melodic metal was whipping up ears and thick attention, every strain of extreme metal and numerous other styles seemingly entangled into a compelling maelstrom of enterprise and confrontation which now fuels Winters and already an acclaimed live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Architects, and TesseracT. Recorded with Justin Hill (Sikth, Heart of a Coward), Winters is the band’s first fearsome roar at national spotlights, and if our ears are anything to go by, heading to rich success in awakening that broader focus.

Winters EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review    The press release suggests that the band switching to 8 string guitars has been a new spark to their sound and invention; whether it has or not, all that matters is that Winters is a full-on tempest of persuasion from first breath to last. The EP starts with its title track and straight away is grumbling in ears through the predatory bass of Andy Crawford, it a grouchy provocateur within a surge of wiry guitar. The hefty swings of drummer Liam Perez show no light in their nature either with each beat a shuddering impact as guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty weave more compelling bait for vocalist John Eley to spring from with great diversity. Just as musically the release ticks all the boxes so does the attack of the frontman, his fluid mix of clean, punkish, and outright raw hostility equally accomplished and perfectly measured in the split of all his strains of potency.

Death and heavy metal collude with metalcore and post hardcore ferocity though that is a simplifying of the hues creating the first and each track within Winters, as Come Closer swiftly proves. The lead track with a great video in tow, it emerges from a misty sonic atmosphere with military rhythms and emotive vocals, they still more in the background until a ravenous stomp of belligerent rhythms and caustic riffs is triggered. It in turn breeds a sonic blaze which is not so much mellow as less vicious than the surrounding and perpetually prowling ferocity soaking the walls of the incitement. Again at times as punk as it is metal and a constant exploit of seriously enticing elements amidst slithers of unpredictable ingenuity, the track is a ravenous treat but outshone within seconds.

The barbarous majesty of the first two tracks carries on in the outstanding Shutter to the Light, its immediate swagger as seductive as it is venomously violent. Like an anthem for the derailment of all that is hopeful, the track bellows at and trespasses the senses and imagination with enthralling enterprise, yet within its despoiling character harmonies and melodies are unleashed to wrong-foot and seize the passions even tighter. Everything about the track whips up a greedy appetite and pleasure; from the irresistible prime hook to the increasingly formidable vocals and the raging invention culturing the creatively rabid storm.

The EP is closed by The Cannibal Hordes, it also a quite thrilling and blistering arousal of ears and satisfaction. Melodically acoustic in its first caress, defiantly cantankerous from the second onwards, the track spits hostile intent and roars melodic understanding; vocally and musically entwining both with a skilled volatility that ensures expectations never gets proven. As suggested earlier, many elements and flavours are recognisable, bands like Fear Factory, Lamb of God, In Flames, and Hatebreed coming to mind, yet no song utters anything other than something unique to The Five Hundred.

The Winters EP is a crushing and scintillating introduction to The Five Hundred, band you should expect to hear a lot more of in sound and acclaim ahead, if only from our enraptured lips.

The Winters EP is out now digitally and on CD via

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

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Seconds Alive – Bitter Moments

Seconds Alive Press Shots.

Seconds Alive Press Shots.

With a sound laying somewhere between metalcore and post hardcore, UK hailing Seconds Alive provide us with one interesting and firmly enjoyable confrontation with new EP Bitter Moments. Consisting of six tracks pouring out emotional torment and ire within technical scenery that is never less than captivating, the release makes a solid case to take the Exeter quartet’s under attention’s wing, though not the reason to get over excited for their open potential quite yet.

Formed in 2014, Seconds Alive have spent the past eighteen months brewing up a potent reputation across the South West of England, spreading outwards through an intensive live presence which has seen them play with the likes of with Idiom, I Divide, and Heck (formerly Baby Godzilla), and release a small clutch of singles. Now it is the turn of Bitter Moments to try and awaken stronger attention, success easy to see happening though maybe not to the extent that it is easy to feel was within the band’s grasp.

Seconds Alive Artwork_RingMaster Review     One of the prime reasons for that missed opportunity feeling is that despite the obvious talent and craft on show within the band, the EP lacks a certain spark to immediately elevate it out of the writhing throng of similarly sounding, genre bred bands. Close focus reveals they do have the imagination but in a time where attention in music is at best a fleeting breath in so many, Seconds Alive have not yet discovered, certainly here, that swift ‘hook’ to standout right away. The other element we would suggest the band might gain by looking into is the vocals. We have read many landing blows of displeasure upon the delivery of Robert Doran, something we cannot align to, the frontman has a good presence and attack but does, with great raw expression and emotion, only and repetitively offer exactly what is assumedly wanted in their raw style of music. The issue is again that his delivery easily slips into the crowd at the moment, another with an attack which never ventures too far from the caustic roar that as a style is becoming expectation feeding and thus frustratingly predictable for personal tastes. Hopefully though, the fact that Bitter Moments truly comes alive and steps out of the shadows when a diversity of vocals is released to match the busy sounds around them will not escape him and the band and spark adventure in that area ahead.

As said, it is always down to personal tastes though and there is no denying that EP opener Red Blood has ears on alert from its first sonic breath in all departments, especially once the guitar of James Hosgood begins his web of melodic and enterprising endeavour contrasting perfectly with the ruggedly aggressive rhythmic and vocal tempest quickly brewed. The bass of Rich Earle is especially carnivorous in tone whilst the beats of Rach Adams resonate with every impact without disrupting the contagious energy and craft fuelling the track. The fingers of Hosgood are as nimble as they are busy, and as elegant in touch as they are grouchy in craft to match and encourage the song’s growth in character.

It is a potent start taken up by Where Are You Going With This, another where musically the band is unafraid to twist and turn in their interpretation and use of familiar metal hues, though maybe again not bold enough at times. Vocally Doran again hits the mark in his angst driven, anger soaked delivery; never turning away from that singular attack but in a song swift in time more than playing his part in a potently satisfying incitement.

It is fair to say that the elements mentioned earlier which are lacking only really come to impacting light through latest single Drawing The Line, and because it does offer the essences to create something singularly potent. Opening on a more classic metal seeded lure aided by a great bestial tone from the bass, the track leaps into a regular metalcore proposal though again Hosgood is weaving tasty designs. It is the unexpected turn into a punk infused passage of virulent rock ’n’ roll guided by great clean vocals and hungry rhythms that things explode. An atmospheric aside shows adventure, if seeming a little out of place, but also reveals an experimentation and boldness of ideation that outshines the plainer metalcore causticity around it and of other songs on the release.

Upon Yourself steps up next and also impresses most dramatically when it employs cleaner vocals within an imaginative hug of sound, though also to be fair, the track is a tempest of craft and enterprise that might not lift the band’s too far away from a host of like sounding bands, but has ears keenly gripped throughout .

The slow emotive instrumental of Speechless engages the imagination next, its post rock lit coaxing a captivating suggestiveness reinforcing the evidence that this is band whose individuals can compose and play to the highest level. It haunting ambience leads into the ferocious throat of closer Jenna, a wind of squirming guitar imagination and emotive turmoil that easily invites if not overly excites ears, it again missing that indefinable element to prevent it quite reaching its potential.

A release for fans of bands such as While She Sleeps, August Burns Red, and Architects, Bitter Moments is a strong step in the growth of Seconds Alive that definitely courts attention and support. With personal hopes that they will get even bolder in composition and diverse in voice to forge their own unique identity, our expectations are that this quartet has a rather healthy future ahead of them.

The Bitter Moments EP is released October 30th through all stores.

Pete Ringmaster 29/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Athenas Word – Lasting Legacy

Athena's Word Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

It seems that across 2015, and indeed going back to last year, there has been a tide of highly enjoyable new post and melodic hardcore protagonists leaping on the senses with varying success. There have been some truly impressive debuts and some carrying the real potential of major things to grip attention. As we reflect whilst tapping keys though, few have been a truly lingering proposal with a sound easy to recall at a sniff of a memory, bands which have made a truly inescapable impact. Death Kindly Waits For Me is one band which definitely had that success and now we are eager to add Athenas Word. The Dutch band makes its introduction with the Lasting Legacy EP, a debut that musically captivates ears and imagination, if admittedly without dramatically reshaping the genre with major originality, yet. That alone makes the release a potent confrontation but aligned to a rousing vocal attack which is empowered by various strains of punk; it is a bruising and fiercely exhilarating tempest that just excites.

Athenas Word was officially formed in the Autumn of 2014, though the seeds and some songs in the band’s armoury went back to the previous year when bassist Tjerk Goselink and guitarists Dennis Sjoers and Jerry Klein initially began working on their vision of the project. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of While She Sleeps, Napoleon, Architects, and Heights, a few artists Athenas Word has also been compared too, the band’s full line-up was completed by early 2015 with the addition of vocalist Erik Voestermans last year and drummer Kasper Stap this. The band has been a potent roar on the Dutch live scene since, whilst taking time out to record and release the already well-received Lasting Legacy. Now the EP gets a reboot into broader attention and European markets, a nudge to be quickly supported by the band live as they become a more widely visible proposition.

Athena's Word Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     It opens with Deserved Freedom, an instantly arousing sonic bellow which does take its time setting up the senses before launching a ravenous rhythmic assault within a web of guitar causticity and enterprise. It is an imposing assault which, even in its more even tempered moments, is a ravenous proposal driven by the excellent belligerent roars of Voestermans. Within the first blaze of melodic toxicity and bracing brutality, a contagious quality soaks the varied textures of imagination, some loud and vocal within the tempest and some a fascinating squirm in the belly of the hardcore fuelled storm. It is an outstanding start resonating in ears and thoughts after its departure and whipping up a hungry appetite to hear more in its wake.

Death From Above is the first to feed that fresh greed, its opening also a quickly thick enticement ensuring rich focus is a given. Vocals and rhythms are a carnivorous proposition but find themselves entwined in an acidic tendril of guitar which tempers and enhances the song’s venomous seduction simultaneously. Once more the vocals just hit the spot. They are not spectacular but in grasping an organic mix of punk and grizzly rock rapacity, provide something different and highly flavoursome to song and release. As its predecessor, the track comes to a great abrupt halt; its job done, nothing more to say attitude adding to the power of its drama and success.

The following Wolfpack makes a more ‘conventional’ entrance, melodies wrapping hostile intensity as vocals and rhythms badger. The more adventurous aspects come as the track merges relative emotive calms with the maelstrom of volatility driving the track, the anthemic latter admittedly, for personal tastes, where the song has its most potent elements. It is a rousing incitement making way for another in Honour The Fallen, a similarly structured and creatively shaped rabidity of emotions and sound. In contrast, it is the imaginative ebbs in the fury that impresses most, they coming in varying stages and designs with Athenas Word never getting indulgent or relinquishing its carnivorous and uncompromising intimidation. More of a grower than instant success compared to the first two songs, it blossoms into another rich persuasion to help the EP get emotions and anticipation of future endeavours excited.

Lasting Legacy is brought to a close by This Is How It Ends, another roar of rock ‘n’ roll and post hardcore intrusiveness that grows into its full temptation over numerous plays. It never quite matches its companions in strength, it missing a certain spark of imagination yet leaves satisfaction healthy and enjoyment for the whole sonic tempest of the EP full.

It is going to be interesting to see how Athenas Word develops, and no doubt be highly enjoyable at the same time, but they could not have got off to a stronger and more persuasive start than with Lasting Legacy.

The Lasting Legacy EP is out now @

Pete Ringmaster 28/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Walk In Coma – Narrenturm

Walk In Coma Promo shot_RingMaster Review

Providing plenty for the imagination to get its teeth into as ears are intimidated and aggressively roared into, UK metallers Walk In Coma give us one heftily enjoyable tempest with new EP Narrenturm. Offering a fusion of varied metal and heavy rock flavours within a perpetually mighty bellow of intensity, the release unleashes a raw and caustic climate over a constantly twisting canvas of invention. Inspirations, including Machine Head, Lamb Of God, and Architects, are open within the Walk In Coma sound but it does not prevent Narrenturm being a confrontation bristling with potential and raging freshness.

Hailing from Southend-on-Sea, Walk In Coma was formed in 2006, quickly stirring up support and a potent reputation through their live endeavours across the capital and south of England. The years have seen the quintet also share stages with numerous bands, including of Breed 77 and Funeral For A Friend, alongside their own successful headlining shows. Now a release, already waking attention online, gets to put its big nudge on a national spotlight, Narrenturm attempting to awaken wider flung appetites to back the band’s continuing hunger to play live.

Walk In Coma Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The release opens with the ambient suggestiveness of Fool’s Tower; the brief instrumental as atmospherically portentous as it is melodically captivating, and growing in intensity with each passing chord to lead ears and thoughts into the bestial jaws of the following Raising Hell. Instantly a Pantera like growl infests a groove loaded assault of sound and attitude, that Machine Head reference a rich tone within the southern spiced temptation. The bass of Tom Case develops a glorious swagger within the track, seemingly inspiring a similar stroll and swing to Mark Elliott and James Cater’s guitar enterprise. It is a compelling and quickly virulent incitement only added to by the ethereal touch of keys and the ferocity of Joe Reid’s beats.

Just as impressive and impacting is the grouchy growl of Alex Adlington’s vocals, a delivery hinting at good variety in his armoury on the first song and realised within next up Nein. As grooves and riffs collude to create an infestation of inescapable persuasion, Adlington reveals a cleaner touch to his prowess yet still with a dirty snarl that can easily slip into predatory antagonism at any given moment. It is a strong essence within the equally imaginative twists and creative throes of the song. There is a touch of Bloodsimple meets Architects to the encounter but equally the grungy/melodic flavouring of a Bush or Gruntruck rears its head at times too.

Asylum lives up to its title straight after, its body of sound accomplished and volatile with a sense of welcome adventurous bedlam to its nature whilst Retreat stalks the senses, its Devildriver meets Mudvayne animus crawls maliciously over the body. In all songs, the heaviness and hostility of the band sound and energy over wraps the imaginative and often sublime craft and invention working away within the storm a touch, but never really defusing the potency and fascination of such elements and ideation, as shown by this gripping pair of tracks.

Narrenturm is concluded by the rapacious furnace of The Fire, a track not quite living up to what came before with consistency but at times sparking a lusty reaction for its persistently riveting musical and emotional ire. The track is all the same a fine end to an increasingly mighty release. It is still early days for Walk In Coma in many ways but they are, according to the thoroughly satisfying Narrenturm, heading in the right direction to bigger success.

Narrenturm is released through all stores on Friday 23rd October.

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

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Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

Counting days_RingMaster Review

With their new album our first acquaintance with and taste of UK metallers Counting Days, we cannot suggest how strong the anticipation for Liberated Sounds was, but such its thrilling ferocious roar there is no doubting its successor sometime ahead will be the subject of thick and eager contemplation. The London band’s momentous debut full-length gloriously gnaws on the senses, its metalcore/hardcore fury savaging and bruising the same with equal animosity, but it is a ferocity bred with a creative virulence and open imagination that simply whips up a frenzied appetite in body and emotions.

Counting Days emerged in 2014 from a union of former members of TRC, Heights, Rough Hands, and Last Witness. The heartbeat came through the continuing song-writing partnership of guitarist Charlie Wilson and drummer Lasselle Lewis, the pair previously uniting song providers in TRC. Next former Heights vocalist Thomas Debaere was enlisted to the new project to become Counting Days, his addition followed by that of former Last Witness guitarist Bobby Daniels and subsequently Rough Hands frontman Alex Dench who was brought in on bass and additional vocals. A leap forward to now and first album Liberated Sounds, which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Architects, Bring Me the Horizon), Counting Days is poised to shake certainly the UK metal scene, but suspicions are it will not stop there, ahead or with this stirring debut.

cover_RingMaster Review     The quintet start it with Burned By Faith and an immediate vocal roar which backed by a wall of rhythms and riffs has ears bent back as in a wind tunnel whilst the senses cower. Without losing its raw intimidation and strength, the track twists into a vociferous stride driven by raging vocal roars, this in turn spawning a predacious and eager canter of musical hostility. Fearsome from the start, the rhythms of Lewis become more agitated and robust as the metalcore seeded tempest rages, they sparking jagged lines of riffs and caustic grooves within a lyrical look at the things people do in the name of religion. It is an intensive and attention grabbing launch by the album, one already showing signs of an invention which becomes increasingly pronounced in following tracks.

Die Alone is next, spinning a tasty groove from its first breath as the rapier swings of Lewis collude with the predatory tones of bass. The vocal union of Debaere and Dench abrases as it entices, the former arguably finding more vitriolic charm and hardcore potency in his delivery than in his previous band, whilst around them the track explores melancholic and stringed textures within its unrelenting rancor.

As impressive as the first two are, the album just gets bigger and more exhilarating, finding its pinnacle in the next clutch of songs starting with Beaten & Scarred. Spinning on an addiction of a groove, the track spews a creative and emotional animus that is as contagious as the anthemic vocal calls and irritable rhythms driving the torrent of catchy riffery. A punk raging and metal hostility, the song is superb; it’s swerving grooves and nagging hooks alone ensuring the maliciousness in its veins is greedily welcomed.

From one major triumph to another pair in Life & Death and the album’s title track. The first rumbles with rhythmic thunder and cantankerous guitar rabidity, both matched in fierce kind by the air scarring vocals. With a touch of Static X meets Bloodsimple to it, the song intensely and explosively bellows within a landscape of melodic enterprise and sonic imagination, the savaging fuel of the song never diluted by the more refined invention within it and that captivating imagination defiant to being overwhelmed by the storm slamming through it. The band’s latest single is the same, Liberated Sounds a merciless festival of debilitating intensity and voracity infused with deliciously gripping grooves, potent vocal variation, and a contagiousness that infests and ignites the soul with lingering ease.

Five tracks in and ears are ringing and the body breathless, whilst enjoyment is flooding thoughts and emotions and fair to say no respite from any of it, thankfully, is forthcoming as firstly Fire From The Sky uncages its heavy metal meets post hardcore antagonism . The song’s climate is a muggy and unforgiving swamp of incitement veined by the thick melodic enticing of guitar, a blend which gives further substance to the song’s look at the mental effects of war. It is a hard task matching up to the previous trio of tracks but the invasive and provocative heart of the song leaves no-one short changed before making way for the caustic embrace and inventive accosting of Days Go By and in turn the short and evocative instrumental oasis of The Vines. Its calm gives a respite whilst igniting the imagination with warm strokes of sound within a somewhat haunting ambience.

Sands Of Time descends on the senses next, again a prime groove wrapped in great irritable textures coring a blustery climate whipping up the senses before Prison Of Misery through an initial bewitching melodic drama and coaxing, turns into a bestial rampage of scathing vocals, scarring riffs, and a sonic snarl that turns every note and beat into an inescapable and greedily devoured vicious incitement. It is another major highlight, amongst many, of Liberated Sounds, rock ‘n’ roll taking no prisoners in its vehement entrapping of ears and passions.

The album is closed by the equally acrimonious, unforgiving, and enjoyable Cold Truth and finally similarly crafted and toned Reunion. The track is a fine end to the album but just a touch too samey to its predecessor, a slight issue which does crop up in slithers across the album. The final pair of songs is where it is most noticeable but with both tracks nothing less than fiery stirrings of pleasure it is a minor blemish just to try and temper our otherwise full ardour for Liberated Sounds.

All the members of Counting Days come with a good pedigree in their experiences and craft but for personal tastes they have hit a new plateau in their creativity and invention with Liberated Sounds, and yes already anticipation for its successor is brewing.

Liberated Sounds is out on October 16th via Mascot Records.

Upcoming live dates:

23rd October – Riverside, Sheffield

24th October – The Festing, Southsea

26th November – The Scene, Swansea

28th November – The Rainbow, Birmingham

29th November – Sanctuary, Basingstoke

3rd December – Packhouse, Leeds

4th December – Vic Inn, Derby

5th December – Grog & Fiddle, Cheltenham

12th December – Craufurd Arms, MiltonKeynes

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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V For Violence – The Book of V

VFORVIOLENCE-band_RingMaster Review

Finnish metallers V For Violence first made an attention nudging statement with up their debut album The Cult Of V in 2009, now after a fair time in the making they unleash its successor The Book of V. Vocalist Jarkko Lähderanta said of the band’s new offering, ”The Book Of V took years to get its shape and sound. We wanted to take the next step in songwriting and paid more attention on details.” It is an intent finding success as the eleven tracks contagion frisks ears and sparks the imagination, and though it easily lures references to other protagonists in the industrial/alternative metal scene and styles around it, the album is simply one rousing and thoroughly enjoyable ferocious stomp.

Formed in 2007 by Lähderanta, drummer Miikki Kunttu, and guitarist Janne Salo, V For Violence was soon luring ears with their first demo in 2008. Its track/video Boy Called Fucker was a swift spark in the band being eagerly devoured by fans and media too, helping lead to their signing with Osasto-A Records soon after for the release of the 2-track single Constant Of Death in the summer of 2009. It was a strong teaser to their impending debut album The Cult Of V released in the November of that same year. The full-length was a well-received proposal pushing the band towards stronger spotlights backed by a live presence which by this point had already seen V For Violence support Hardcore Superstar and in turn going on to the sharing of stages with the likes of Die So Fluid, Cold Cold Ground, Amorphis, Hypocrisy, Underoath, and Architects at shows and festivals. Now with bassist Jani Rahkonen and guitarist Riku Vuorio alongside Lähderanta, Salo, and Kunttu, V For Violence have the long awaited The Book of V poised and ready to stir up the metal scene.

And that it pretty much does even if its originality is locked in the arms of open familiarity to a few heavyweights. Like a fusion of Fear Factory and Marilyn Manson in league with Dope and Powerman 5000, the album and opening track, The Halted Saint explode on the senses with anthemic ferocity. For some you suspect that recognisable air might not work as well as for others, but V For Violence bring their own raw and aggressive twist on things too ensuring that each track has something fresh and extra to say and certainly grip a demanding appetite and imagination by. The band’s new single clouds ears with thick industrial smog but swiftly sends sinewy tendrils of guitar and scything rhythms through it as the climate begins to clear on a corrosive and quickly addictive stalking. Those previously mentioned references straight away work on thoughts as too Society 1 in regard to the caustic and impassioned, bordering on sexual, intensity driving the encounter. Grooves and hooks just spark whilst the strong vocals of Lähderanta roar with expression and incitement for an outstanding start to the album’s fury.

V-For-Violence-TheBookOfV-cover__RingMaster Review     The potent beginning continues with the predatory prowl of The Downfall Pt. I: To Feel Alive. Initially it smoulders within imposing walls with mellow melodies and vocal coaxing but is soon building a volatile atmosphere and intimidating lining of textures, though still dipping into its elegant reflective heart throughout. Once more Manson is an obvious comparison to a song which at times has you drooling and in other moments simply fascinated by its adventurous nature and spicing.

Never Enough uncages the darkest bestial bass riffs and salacious grooves next, splintering them with vocal bellows and psyche gripping hooks to get very greedy over whilst Like It Like That and I Need You spew inescapable virulence in their individual characters. As most songs, choruses conjured are like infection dosed traps, impossible not to be fully involved in whilst around them creative snarls and in the latter of this trio, sinisterly dramatic nuances toy with the imagination. It is fair to say that a few songs share a closely seeded template but many, as here, create from that something strikingly inventive and captivating.

Band and album continues to hit the spot as tracks like the carnivorous A Place To Fill with its electronic festivity and guitar led twists, and the wonderful sonic groan and intimate melodies of God On Trial just ignite the senses. The second of these two is another major pinnacle in the album, every minute a cauldron of emotion and flirtatiously venomous enterprise equipped with unpredictability before it has to make way for Sodomedia which rivals it with its own hellacious and irritable industrial grooving. Once more limbs and thick involvement in the tempest is unavoidable, the breath taken too in the exhausting pleasure consuming the senses

The following Not A Word with its more hard rock seeded swagger lacks the spark and triggers of its predecessors yet again has a keenly persuasive impact on ears and satisfaction whilst What The Fuck! throws its attitude out with zeal, rhythmic and vocal relish fuelling the Five Finger Death Punch/ American Head Charge spiced confrontation.

The Book of V closes with the sweltering croon of The Downfall Pt. II: Amourageddon, its initial acoustic and emotive smoulder again as in Part 1, rising to dense intensity and melancholic ire whilst this time embracing classical and symphonic hues alongside an evocative industrial climate. A relative slow burner compared to other tracks within the album, it constantly evolves and reveals new treats to bring the release to a fine conclusion.

Fair to say we greedily devoured The Book of V and continue to, each track a tasty slice of invigorating fire and hostility. If any of those previously mentioned comparisons do not work for you than possibly V For Violence will struggle to persuade too but for the rest, this is one easy to recommend incitement.

The Book of V is available now via Inverse Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

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Mordecai – Valour

mordecai 2_RingMaster Review

London based Mordecai are no strangers to stirring up the British rock scene with their rich and rousing sound, they have worked their charms on the other side of the Atlantic at times too, but fair to say they have outdone themselves with the thrilling Valour EP. Released a few weeks back, it is an anthemically dramatic and compelling collection of songs showing the diversity of the band’s songwriting and sound whilst forcibly pushing both on again from past triumphs. Quite simply it is one of the finest slabs of heavy rock/metal the band has unleashed to date and one of the essential explorations this year for all.

Though formed in 2006, Mordecai really began making a major impression from 2010 when the band’s line-up settled and solidified. They had already released a couple of EPs which were well-received by fans, but it was at this point that their Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society inspired sound found the spark to ignite itself and bigger attention. The band was soon exploding on stage at festivals such as Bloodstock, Bull Dog Bash, and Hammerfest over the subsequent twelve months or so and sharing stages with bands such as Black Light Burns, Bam Margera’s FFU, and Fightstar. 2012/13 saw Mordecai playing Download, one of the few unsigned bands to have ever been given two consecutive years, being invited to be part of Mark Tremonti’s (Creed, Alter Bridge, Tremonti Project), Fret12 Artist Development Program in the summer of 2012, and releasing debut album Undaunted the following year. The encounter lured keener and bolder attention from media and new floods of ears, something it is easy to assume that Valour will eclipse; to be honest it already is since it’s unveiling.

Cover   As soon as the opener to the John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Architects and Alter Bridge) recorded Valour erupts in ears, you can see why it has been kicking up dust. Fight Fire With Fire opens with a lusty roar from vocalist/guitarist Dan M Hicks and spicy licks of guitar across thick riffs. Rhythmically too, the track does not hold back, meaty beats from drummer Alex Gooders immediately landing with purpose and intensity as the bass of Mickey C grooves offloads predation and infectious bait. The contagion only increases as lead guitarist Andy Short spills hooks and grooves with craft and relish across the brawling rock ‘n’ roll being woven. Backed impressively by the band, the grisly and alluring tones of Hicks continue to hold ears whilst appetite and imagination is stolen by the sizzling tapestry of sonic enterprise and aggressive rebel rousing coursing through the exceptional start to the EP.

Latest single Just One Life, which also features John Mitchell, comes next and quickly the band reveals a mellower though no less potent side to their music and presence. There is a feel of bands like Seether and Shinedown to the song, spicy essences in a song which invites involvement rather than demands it like its predecessor. In its individual way, it also spreads a web of smart twists and catchy hooks throughout its melodic croon and though admittedly it does not emerge as one of our favourites on the EP it is fair to say it only leaves a smile of enjoyment before the metal fuelled All Wrong strides in and takes over with heavier rapacious attitude and armoury. A rolling rhythmic enticing lays down the first gripping coaxing before the song twists itself into a grouchy collusion of carnivorous riffs, toxic grooves, and another refreshing growl of vocal incitement, it all uniting in a thrilling tempest enticing body and soul to punch the air and snarl at the world.

Circles slips into another calmer landscape of invention and energy next, its initial tempting hinting at bands like Life of Agony before creating rhythm sculpted crescendos that blaze in ears with a sense of nineties band Skyscraper to them. Maybe taking a little longer to take a firm grip compared to those around it, the song emerges as another major highlight with a chorus impossible not to get involved with and a presence which lingers long past its departure.

Valour is brought to an explosive end by Rise where once more the band is casting lines of addictive grooves and deeply delving hooks, sonically and rhythmically, whilst building an incendiary wall of vocal and emotive intensity that just seduces with imagination and, again have to use the word, anthemic prowess. The song is a mighty end to a magnificent release, as suggested earlier easily the best thing Mordecai have created. It will be one the best things you are likely to hear in the muscular rock ‘n’ roll scene this year so go spoil yourselves.

Valour is out now.

RingMaster 13/08/2015

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