Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN8_RingMaster Review

There are some releases where it is difficult to imagine anyone not being gripped by their proposals and such a triumph is the new self-titled album from US metallers Curse of the North. It is a beast of instinctive and addictive virulence that blends the ripest essences of heavy and classic metal with the muscular invention of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which seems to hone in on personal tastes, taps into the psyche to discover its deepest pleasures and then unleashes them across eight rigorously rousing encounters. Quite simply it is one of the most invigorating albums this year to set ears and passions alight.

Born in Seattle, Curse of the North currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Christiaan Morris, former 3 Inches of Blood member Nick Cates on bass, and Burke Thomas of McKagan’s Loaded and Vendetta Red on drums. Formed in 2010, the band has toured and shared stages with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Eyehategod, Destruction, Death Angel, Lord Dying, Valient Thorr, Kadavar, The Shrine, and Gypsyhawk whilst 2011 saw the release of their Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch) produced first EP Revelations. A few line-up shuffles have also been part of the band’s growth which now unleashes Curse of the North: I. Produced by Morris and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust), with mastering undertaken by Ed Brooke, the album leaps on the listener from its first moment, the opening and every subsequent breath a roar of thick temptation.

Sleep While You Can is the first slab of persuasion, its start alone pure magnetism as Thomas creates a web of rhythmic arousal to set things in motion. Flames of guitar cross the compelling drum bait as the vocals of Morris spring their own enticing, a Glenn Danzig flavouring lining his tones and equally the shadows within the emerging tenacious metal canter of the track. Classic metal hues dance on ears too as a modern fusion of riffs and hook laded enterprise courts the imagination, the result being one terrific groove veined stomp.

COTN cover_RingMaster Review   It is a mighty start taken another level by Wheel of Swords, another track with an irresistible start to its creative alchemy. A great nagging from riffs as rhythms tumble vivaciously coaxes ears first, their lure replicated in varying tones as sterner grooves and muscular predation swiftly looms up with the again potent vocals of Morris at their helm. Like Black Tusk meets Baroness with a spicing of Sabbath and Clutch to it, the song has energy and pleasure in its hands with quick ease, handing over an exhausted and rapturous body to the following Into The Trees and its mellow climate around melodic prowess. Keys emotively caress as the guitars strokes the senses with elegant suggestiveness to match the melancholic voice of Morris. The first half of the song is wrapped in this mesmeric beauty, its second a rugged landscape of again incendiary rhythms amidst tangy classic metal/rock endeavour and striking vocals.

As good as everything is to this point, the best song on the album in The Tower eclipses it. Building up its intensity and hunger through early scythes of sound, the track quickly releases its handbrake and charges through ears like Therapy? on steroids. Its torrent of riffs and ravenous hooks storms the barricades like a transatlantic cousin to anything on Troublegum from the Northern Ireland trio, its contagiousness and vocal furor similar whilst creating its own uniquely irresistible tempest. The song is breath-taking, seemingly knowing where the personal sweet spot is and hitting it relentlessly, even when slipping into a dark theatre of sinister gothic intrigue.

Thomas is rhythmically imperious on the track, as everywhere to be fair, continuing his enslaving web of craft in The Electric Wall and especially the outstanding Blessed Burning. Morris and Cates are an equal incendiary match though as the first of the two tracks sees the band creating a High on Fire/Kyuss like mountain of creative tenacity and heavy rock ‘n’ roll seduction whilst its successor, from another hypnotic rampant rhythmic trap, strolls across Queens Of The Stone Age/ Mastodon toned terrain of sonic and vocal passion. The references given across all songs are mere colours in something distinctly Curse of the North, especially emphasized when as here the guitars spin a bluesy imagination as an intimate atmosphere soaks the song.

Oceans Rise lowers the intensity if not the emotive temperature next, well certainly for its opening moments as soon it too is a cauldron of thickly jabbing beats and sonic ferocity. Along its riveting length, the assaults and aggression ebbs and flows to fluid and powerful effect, the song an undulating roller coaster of a confrontation which, as the album, just gets richer and more imposingly enjoyable over time.

The album comes to an end through the sultry blues/surf rock seducing of Faceless Killers, a sonic and melodic bewitchment which too only blossoms to greater heights with every partaking of its sweltering, increasingly volcanic landscape. It is a stunning end to simply one of the major treats of 2015; a leviathan of rock ‘n’ roll to get seriously lustful over.

Curse of the North: I is out October 23rd via Static Tension Recordings.

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Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

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Watertank – Destination Unknown

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After ten years of existence, French rockers Watertank released debut album Sleepwalk in 2013 to heavy and deserved acclaim. Like for so many, it took our ears and appetites to hungry heights; in the words of our review the release was “an instigator of the purest temptation.” Now the band unleashes its successor Destination Unknown and lures even lustier responses with its irresistible concoction of sludge, stoner, and various other compelling styles. Taking the essential essences with made the first album so potent; Destination Unknown emerges as a fuller, more gripping proposal of sound and invention which in turn shows that its predecessor was just the appetiser to greater Watertank alchemy.

The Nantes band began in 2013, swiftly forging a strong fan base and reputation for their sound and stage presence with increasing success over the years. A couple of well-received EPs earned strong attention and praise before the release of Sleepwalk, whilst on stage the band proceeded to play with the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Baroness, Capricorns, Lair Of The Minotaur, and The Ocean amongst a great many. The band’s first album certainly sparked new spotlights upon Watertank though not to the level now expected to be aroused by Destination Unknown.

The album opens with Automatic Reset and straight away transfixes ears with its opening mist of guitar; the sonic shimmer quickly followed by a bulging blast of heavy riffs and rhythms. With them a groove also joins the tempting, its lure relaxing as the song settles into its stroll and welcomes the dusty tones of vocalist Thomas Boutet before returning with even spicier toning to its sultry tendril. Just as quickly a contagious air floods the encounter, a persuasion which never loses its potency as the song shuffles up its gait and intensity across the rest of the magnetic offering. The guitars of Rémy Bellin and Bojan Anicic continue to wrap ears and song in resourceful and gripping enterprise, greater colour added to the excellent start to the album all the time.

Straight away it and the following Fever reveal a more rounded and deeper depth to the band’s music, a less raw and caustic sound which still retains the growl and intensive weighty hues which fuelled the previous release. The second song is a far more aggressive offering than the first, punkish in its attitude and energy with wiry hooks to match. The bass of Maxime Coste is a grumbling potency whilst drummer Jocelyn Liorzou lashes skin and senses with adventurous and antagonistic scythes. It is a glorious riot bringing a mix of Torche, eighties band Skyscraper, and a touch of Motorgrator to entice before making way for the gentler smouldering charm of Contrails. It is still a heavyweight proposal though which seems to grow and loom over the senses with every passing second. Once more hooks and grooves grace a dynamic web of imagination and primal temptation, the latter at times as intimidating as the swings of Liorzou and the predatory riffs.

The song closes with similar reflection soaked calm to how it started, drifting away so the heavy resonance of Coste’s bass can lure attention ready for an intensive crawl of riffs and grooves. DCVR is another swift inescapable persuasion equipped with a sonic tang and commanding stature, not forgetting an addictive swagger even with it is on the prowl. It is also another track showing the greater expanse and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound, and their ability to perfectly entangle rugged terrains with highly provocative ambiences of sound and emotion.

   The bubbling electronic start to Last/Lost Hope instantly catches expectations unawares and by surprise, though they are barely given a nibble to feast on within Destination Unknown anyway. Its enslaving coaxing soon evolves into a thrilling and lively shuffle of sonic and melodic festivity guided by the ever appealing tones of Boutet. At times elements of post punk and new wave, as well as noise rock, seem to add their spice to the infectious tapestry of the rock popper, a strong catchiness emulated again in the dirtier but just as contagious Surrender. As much as you can find hints in varying degrees of bands such as Torche and Queens Of The Stone Age to the song, there is an older hue to the outstanding stomp, elements across its kinetic two minutes recalling eighties and nineties seeded ingenuity.

Doomed Drifters explores the darkest shadows and corners of the band’s sound but again tempers it with a sonic and melodic resourcefulness which energetically and brightly smoulders as it masterfully fuse contrasts and flavours. Seducing with greater and more experimental suggestiveness for an emotionally provocative and atmospheric climax, the song leaves ears enthralled and primed for the bewitchment of the similarly expansive landscape of Scheme. Growing bigger and bolder with every passing harmonious whisper and melodic enticement, the song dances and flirts with ears and imagination, recalling a strong if coincidental feel of Comsat Angels to its exceptional and thrilling adventure.

The album ends with its just and adventurous title track, Destination Unknown a thick provocative embrace which evolves and then revolves through a soundscape of sonic and emotional intensity. It is a fine finish to an exhilarating proposition. Watertank certainly thrilled with their first album but leave it looking a touch pale against the creative vivacity and explosive drama of Destination Unknown, one of the most exciting encounters this year so far.

Destination Unknown is out now via Solar Flare Records @ http://shop.solarflarerds.com/categories/pre-orders and http://music.solarflarerds.com/album/destination-unknown

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Ringmaster 30/06/2015

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Drawers – Self Titled

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     With testosterone dripping from every note, rhythm, and syllable, the self-titled album from French band Drawers is one hefty irresistible treat. The second full-length from the Toulouse quintet sees the band parading their individual blend of stoner and sludge rock cast with a metal bred intensity and ferociousness, a sound which has made them a formidable and exciting proposition over past years. This time around though it comes with a seemingly stripped down and organic voracity which fuels and fire up the finest encounter from the band to date, an album giving heavyweight dirt encrusted rock ‘n’ roll a real shot in the sinew clad arm.

     From their first release, the 2008 This is Oil EP, Drawers has reaped strong and eager attention which with debut album All is One three years later, they turned into rigorous acclaim for their imposing sound. Live the band also garnered the richest responses and praise whilst a split 7” with French band Hangman’s Chair in 2012 reinforced the band’s presence further. Entering the studio for the new album, Drawers set about employing all the potent essences which marked previous releases with the unbridled raw energy and power of their live performances. Recorded live in the studio it is fair to say that the album achieves its aim and more, the eight tracks combining for a towering and adrenaline fuelled encounter with razor sharp hooks and lingering grooves to feverishly latch on to.

     The band opens up their enterprise soaked bruising with Once and for all, rhythms immediately tantalising the ears whilst 760137618423_TOX032_Drawers_Artwork_1400x1400bright riffing coaxes equal attention. It is a relatively undemanding start, certainly in context to the thumping beats and intensive sounds which soon reaps the rewards of an already eager appetite as they smother the senses in ravenous energy and intent. The song ebbs and flows pleasingly, taking small ‘breathers’ between avalanches of strenuous imposing charges. The guitars of Laurent Bringer and Alexandre Berenguer entice and thrill throughout, from the rampant riffery to the sonic colour which ignites the song to even greater extents, the pair command and tempt the imagination alongside the excellent grizzly tones of vocalist Nicolas Bastide.

    It is a potent and impressive start but soon shown to be just an appetiser as both Mourning and It’s all about love thrust their muscle through the ears. The first of the two unleashes a torrent of rhythms from Olivier Lolmède aligned to a fury of guitar scathing before settling into an only slightly less furious pace and intent. With the bass of Hérémie Ruiz adding a predatory intimidation to the song, grooves and sonic flames emerge to captivate and infect the imagination with Bastide’s vocals riding it all like a burly surfer, his caustic delivery guiding everything confidently into the passions.  Like the first, the track twists and switches its gait and attack to offer a gloriously unpredictable and striking proposition, a Thin Lizzy meets Mastodon like enthrallment which is simply majestic. Its successor is no less a successful antagonist, immediate grooves and bulging rhythms enslaving thoughts and eager emotions right away with their ravenous and breath-taking intent. Thoughts of Torche and Baroness come to mind in the doom tasting slab of creative muscle but only as loud whispers in a fresh and distinctly rapacious heavy rock proposition.

    Both Bleak and Take stock continue the irrepressible body and lure of the album, the chugging hunger of the first wrapped in contagion soaked grooves whilst its successor offers a slower prowling intensity with sludge seeded provocation and weight. Neither quite match up what came before and what will follow but both leave imagination and satisfaction basking in sonic tsunamis. That shade is cast right away by the tremendous Shadow dancers, once again riffs and rhythms seizing the initial offensive and submission for the fiery guitar endeavour and scowling vocals to press deeper into the psyche and emotions. Churning up the air with riff sculpted rabidity, the melodic flames of the song flare up and smoulder within what is an unrelenting energetic pace from start to finish, the whole body of song a fully rounded and richly textured adventure.

    The album is brought to a triumphant close with firstly the magnificent Words which takes all the impressive elements already offered and exhausted by previous songs and gives them a new breath of invention and carnivorous intensity, and lastly by the almost corrosively impressive Detour. The final track is a furnace of energy and power drenched in melodic toxicity and groove lined imagination, a beast of a song which savages and seduces with equal mastery. The pair concludes a quite breath-taking release where everything from the intensive songwriting, the compelling individual skills of the band, through to the overall blaze of sound is exceptional.  Released via Kaotoxin Records, with its first pressing on CD a 1,000 hand-numbered copies limited edition, the album has securely registered Drawers as a major force in world metal, theirs a power which all should dare to embrace.

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10/10

RingMaster 11/02/2013

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Colossus Of Destiny – In Lesser Brightness EP

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We have a tasty little treat to bring to your attention as the year opens up its arms in the towering form of the In Lesser Brightness EP. Six tracks of multi-flavoured metal veined by some mouthwatering fusions of heavy rock, the release from French band Colossus Of Destiny is a rigorously impressive encounter. Released last October but seemingly finding greater deserved attention over recent weeks, the EP is a riveting slab of enterprise and accomplished persuasion which should see the Paris band stepping into a wider intensive spotlight.

The 2009 formed Colossus Of Destiny consists of vocalist Adrien Guilmoteau, guitarists Julien Laville and Mathieu Miquel, bassist Guillaume Taliercio, and drummer Jérémie Le Formal. Taking influences from the earlier presences of bands such as Baroness, Tool, Kylesa, Unsane, and Taint into their distinctive sound the band has released two previous EPs, their self-titled debut of 2010 and Eden the following year. There is little more background info to be found but when a record like the Hellbound Records released In Lesser Brightness does the potent talking for them you do not have the want to know more. Bulging with rock muscles which flatten the senses and a metal bred intensity that shapes the imagination with predacious intent, the EP is an immense introduction for us and probably plenty more to a band which has over the past four years honed their persuasion into something quite irresistible.

Dismay In Empty Eyes sets things in motion, its emergence from a brief stormy ambience marked by thumping rhythms and a spiralling sonic coaxing from the guitars. The drums instantly impress as does the moody basslines and excellent vocal growls of Guilmoteau and as the track rises from its lumbering stretch without ever exploding into life, just continually loading layers of intensive textures upon the ears, the song becomes a compelling temptation to which the guitar casts rich spicery. A sludge borne weight wraps itself around the imposing track adding to its heavy potency whilst elsewhere vocally and musically, the song reaps varied flavours such as post hardcore and melodic metalcore to hard and post rock to make a striking start to the album.

Unleashed takes things to another level right away and with its successors takes In Lesser Brightness to a much higher plateau. Crushing rhythms and air scoring riffs spears the ears first, both soon ridden by scowling vocals as the song makes its impressive opening declaration. There is right away a much more aggressive urgency and force to the track compared to its predecessor, guitars niggling and combative whilst the bass holds a predatory gait and voice which urges on the bone splintering rhythmic attack. The song is pure contagion throughout, addictive without offering easy lightweight hooks and commanding without bludgeoning to achieve its success. With a punk breath to its metal/rock persuasion which not for the last time on the EP sparks thoughts of Fuckshovel and Gruntruck, the confrontation is a thrilling blast soon matched as the release strikes home its advantage on the passions.

The next up Get Lost also fuses stirring elements of punk, metal, and hardcore to sculpt another major pinnacle upon the EP. Snarling from vocals to riffs as rhythms slam with eager rapaciousness, the track is a voracious brawl on the imagination but one unafraid to slow its assault to merge strong melodic tempting and inventive twists into the creative raging. As soon as the song departs Heavy Loads leaps forward with ravenous riffs and sonic tantalising coaxing the senses to secure an early hunger for its potential offering which the track rewards with more distinctive and varied adventure in songwriting and sound. It is fair to say that some elements of song and release are bred from familiar territory but it is hard to think of anyone which sculpts and delivers those essences in the same dramatic way as Colossus Of Destiny.

The title track shifts things again, slowing the gait but adding some progressive invention to the imagination invading suasion superbly crafted by band and song. An absorbing merger of intensity and melodic expression it is an evocative and mouth-watering incitement, as the whole release, to devour greedily whilst the closing Naked & Unbound provides a final thrilling union of muscle, infectious grooving, and melodic fire to reinforce the impressive stature of In Lesser Brightness.

It is hard to imagine on the evidence of In Lesser Brightness and a retrospective look at their previous EPs that Colossus Of Destiny will not become a potent name and presence in forceful music so joining their certain rise right now makes the only sense. A stunning release from an outstanding band, you read it here!

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http://colossusofdestiny.bandcamp.com/

9/10

RingMaster 07/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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True Widow – Circumambulation

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One of the strongly anticipated albums to be unveiled this year, Circumambulation the new release from US band True Widow, is just a masterful alchemy of shadows and light filtered through equally enveloping sounds. Towering in intensity, seductive in beauty, and consuming in atmospheric toxicity, the eight track album leaves the listener exhausted, invigorated, and submerged in its and their own emotional depths for a full aural and mental exercise.

The third album from the band has a sound which defies labelling, though True Widow themselves term it stonedaze. The trio merge a stirring mix of drone, post-rock, and shoegaze but continue to add further unique additives as their creativity evolves. The new release breeds further the essences of the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Baroness, and Earth into their own distinct flavour but into the brew also incorporates the pop warmth of a House Of Love and delicious distortions of a Sonic Youth. It is an irresistible alchemy that takes the listener on a journey musically and emotionally, a mesmeric and at times gnarly trip that explores the textures and extremes of thoughts and experiences.

The Relapse Records release in many ways follows on in the same vein of previous albums True Widow (2008) and As High As circumambulation_1400The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth (2011), but there is also a sense that the trio from Dallas is refining their imagination from deeper depths within their rich invention. As soon as opening track Creeper emergences from a destructive ambience with a wiry guitar groove twisting around the ear soon joined by the plodding thick bass call and crisp rhythms, the drift into undiscovered sinister realms is an evolving fresh encounter. The track is a slow stalking evocation teasing and intimidating around that almost fifties like groove call whilst the vocals of guitarist Dan Philips and aside him bassist Nicole Estill, bring a hue and warmth to the melodic persuasion that the senses just revel in. As the drums of Timothy Starks drive and cage the portentous breath of the guitar alongside the tenebrific air of the song wrapped in sultry heat and devouring ominousness, the track lies as a riveting contagion that works on every pore, sense, and thought.

The following S:H:S has a tall order to live up to the might of its predecessor but as the distressed ambience slowly swarms around scuzz lined guitar teasing and rhythmic evocation the band again has its recipient falling into a rich and thick weave of tempered aural fire. It is not as dramatic as the first song but walks the same plateau of temptation and potency as it creatively explores its sonic narrative on the way towards the best track on the album.

From its first sizzle of guitar beckoning there is a sweltering heat to Four Teeth. The song accosts the senses whilst simultaneously guiding them into a rapture which is truly ignited when the wonderful tones of Estill take the vocal lead and kiss the ear with harmonic beauty against the resonating flumes of sonic vapour pouring from every guitar note. It is a scintillating steamy embrace with roughened skin to its molten touch that simply leaves you lost in a pop inspired stifling haze. Another song which impacts on every facet of the emotions and body, it is a perfect slice of finely crafted inspirational rock pop brilliance.

As the imposing Numb Hand with its slowly burning grunge tinged labour and the equalling lumbering but darker brooding Trollstigen declare their testing intent and hypnotic stances, the album just sinks deeper and firmer into the passions, the second of the pair a predacious crawl into the psyche with the vocals of Estill again a merciless temptress. It uses repetition and doom spawned ambience as ripe sonic fruit within its bait and towers as another caliginous pinnacle on Circumambulation.

From the more than decent instrumental I:M:O, the release closes with the sweltering climes of firstly HW:R, a track coasting through southern rock heat with a tropical surf rock coaxing and melodic elegance, and finally the consuming and dense Lungr. The song slips into the darkest corners of mind and heart but lights the way with a beacon of melodic majesty and reverberating sonic imagination that leaves the listener immersed in enthrallment.

Circumambulation is sensational and though it arguably lacks the hunger to go to the very darkest places it is one of the most rewarding and thrilling albums to enwomb the senses this year.

http://www.truewidow.com/

9/10

RingMaster 23/07/2013

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Sofy Major – Idolize

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Band and album certainly faced and went through turmoil on its way to being unleashed on the world, but Idolize the second album from French metallers Sofy Major, has defiantly emerged as one of the most frighteningly impressive albums of the year so far. The release is a beast of a record, an album which can only be declared as carnivorous, in sound and intent.

It was the fall of last year that the band took their scintillating fusion of caustic metal, exhausting sludge, and invasion noise, over to Brooklyn and the Translator Audio studio to record the follow-up to their acclaimed debut Permission To Engage alongside producer Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Keelhaul, Converge, etc…). Then hurricane Sandy unleashed her hunger upon New York City, destroying the studio facilities, ruining all the recording equipment as well as that of the band. After a few days with the help and support of the Brooklyn indie music scene and that of Dave Curran from Unsane and Pigs, Sofy Major and Schneider finally undertook the recording of the album. Whether the situation added something extra to the recording which might have been absent if all had run smoothly is hard to tell but certainly Idolize has a snarl and raw energy to it which makes as strong a call to the senses and passions as the impossibly contagious and imaginative sounds set loose upon the ear.

After the recording the trio undertook their first US tour, that and the album the climax of the intensive work and energy expelled by the band since forming in 2007. To date Sofy Major has played alongside the likes of Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine, Baroness, Electric Wizard, Boris, Shrinebuilder, These Arms Are Snakes, Kylesa and many more, continually earning eager acclaim but it is hard to imagine any will be as feverishly offered as that you suspect will come flying as Idolize hits the world.

The album opens with its full arsenal of aural weaponry primed and delivered through the sensational Aucune Importance. The coverhightrack grips the ear within seconds, carving flaming designs through the air with its psychotic rhythmic invention and rapaciously sculpted riffing. Every second and ounce of breath within the track dances with the devil’s alchemy upon thoughts and passions, its irresistible hooks and lures intrusive and addictive, not to mention at times bewildering, whilst the toxic melodic enterprise licks at the senses with delicious salaciousness. It is a staggering start which for most releases would also mark a following dip but not so Idolize.

Both Comment and Steven The Slow which features Dave Curan, bring their distinctive acidic glaze to bear greedily upon  the listener, the first with a oppressively heavy touch from riffs and bass which wonderfully lay on the ear with a full sludge thickness, its manipulative tendencies working away seducing  the imagination within the labouring intensity. Its successor finds an even greater weight to its intensive energy and devouring, the slowly enveloping and exhausting recruitment deceptively virulent and tantalisingly suffocating. Both tracks do not short change on grooves either despite their extremes of gait to further the uniquely addictive hold constructed upon thoughts and heart whilst vocals eagerly scowl over and score the restrained and willing ‘victim’.

Through the cantankerous Bbbbreak with its corrosive growl and the two part UMPKK, band and album continue to enthral and surprise. Part 1 of UMPKK is a haunting dive through a cavernous atmosphere, its depths unveiling more and more intimidating shadows before leaving the listener alone in alien isolation before the second part stares directly in the eyes and conjures up a hypnotic shuffle of provocative rhythms and melodic teasing before igniting the touch paper for a furnace of sonic fascination and almost tribal intensity. It is a riveting track with riffs and bass devious in their temptation and control of head and its inner workings.

As the album relentlessly impresses and captivates with each of its aural predators it is impossible, how intensely you look, to find flaws or a second of wasted sound, the likes of the mercilessly erosive Slow and Painful, the schizophrenic tempest Coffee Hammam, and the discord loving Seb, driving their hooks and the claws of the release deeper in to the passions. Two more major pinnacles of the album come as it makes its way towards its ardour fuelling conclusion. Firstly there is Platini, a song which mixes stoner swagger to a ravaging metallic gnaw, the latter especially potent from the ever staggering bass. The track is exceptional, a confrontation which niggles and taunts whilst being persistently thrilling and playing like a hybrid mix of Kylesa, Therapy?, Retox, and even occasionally Pere Ubu. Then following the insatiable excellence of Frost Forward, the album ends with a cover of the Portobello Bones track Power of Their Voice. The track is a punishing fury of antagonistic punk and hardcore seeded energy blended into a biting sonic wind which exposes senses and nerves to an uncompromising embrace.

Released via Solar Flare Records in Europe and No List Records in North America, Idolize is a tour-de-force to be seriously reckoned with and Sofy Major destined to become one of the giants of rock/metal invention.

http://www.sofymajor.com

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10/10

RingMaster 01/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Watertank – Sleepwalk

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Though having graced music for ten years, the just released album Sleepwalk from Watertank is their long awaited debut full length and a monster of a release it is too. As rhythmically and dynamically intrusive as it is melodically addictive and compelling, the thirteen track album from the French quintet is a masterful conjuror of pure addiction. With muscles and intensity which ensures an intimidation of the emotions from their powerful and potent force and equally a lover’s seduction at times from a mellow resonance which is mesmeric enough to calm a raging beast, the album is a passion instigator of the purest temptation.

Formed in 2003 and hailing from Nantes, Watertank has earned strong and eager acclaim with their live presence which has seen them play alongside the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Baroness, Capricorns, Lair Of The Minotaur, and The Ocean. The EP Sub in 2004 sets things off recording wise but it was with the following six track EP Fairy Crimes five years later that there was a concentrated wider attention bred around the band. Such its appeal and the continuing strength of sound and live shows from the band, that the anticipation for their first album has arguably outstripped the hunger for most others.

The Solar Flare Records released album immediately starts gnawing on the senses with the heavy ravenous riffs of Where It All watertank-sleepwalk-2013-hdBegins. It is a towering presence with crisp rhythms matching the intimidation of the guitars and bass whilst weaving in between the excellent melodic vocals of Thomas B. caress the wounds. With a laboured sludge gait and rasping intensity the brief but heavy track opens up the ear and beyond to the suggestion of something major impending, an assumption soon realised through the likes of Giant Heads and Pro Crook. The first of the pair is a noise rock sculpted engagement with teasing sonic grooves and pulsating cavernous bass riffs whilst again the excellent vocals and harmonies press their advantage home with ease and expressive craft. The second of the songs again steadily chews upon the psyche with carnivorous riffs from bassist Vincent A. and enterprising and equally scarring guitar invention from Bojan A. and Julien G. Riding a core of post hardcore and melodic rock with a doom seeded spine, the lure of the song is total and magnetic, as is the album to this point.

There are only highlights upon Sleepwalk to be honest but at times it just excites beyond legal allowances such as with Fear Over The City. A metronomic beckoning of its percussive finger leads in riffs which are prime bestiality, their snarling seduction joined and elevated by the following caustic and twisting guitar invention all framed by the punchy beats of Jocelyn L. With a groove as insidious as it is contagious and a raw squalling edge to the vocals, the track is a brute of a track, its sinews flexing at every turn and sonic abrasion igniting the passions.

The likes of the fiery Ants In Suits with its stoner/melodic rock presence holding aloud whispers of bands such as Alice In Chains and Quicksand, and the riveting title track with its wonderfully infectious yet niggling sonic scythes of sound within another stoner/grunge flavoured expanse, only cement and push on the strength of the release whilst How Fast recruits the passions with its uncomplicated yet carefully involved persuasion. Within this clutch of songs is another pair of the loftiest pinnacles upon the album, Far From Low and Holy Tranquilizer. The first is a thrilling heavy rock soaked encounter with more than a Thin Lizzy whisper about it especially in the blazes of melody flamed crescendos and the overall anthemic call of the song. The track actually reminds of nineties UK band Skyscraper a lot and that is definitely a good thing. The second of the two is the best track on the album, though that decision does fluctuate with each listen to be fair. Entering into view with again riffs which corrode upon touch, the song steps into a sinister ambience with the bass opening up its deepest inciting shadows whilst the vocals hold sway with a haunting embrace and narrative. Before the track presses harder onto the senses and thoughts with a rapacious greed and intensity, the song has the feel and sound of the first Comsat Angels album Waiting For A Miracle. It is outstanding, a sonic animal with a siren call.

Sharp Beaks Strike Back is another exceptional piece of sonic alchemy and the closing Six Days a progressively clad kaleidoscope of beguiling and captivating invention and colour rich imagination. It is the perfect melodic flourish to a fascinating and thrilling album. Watertank is one of the most refreshing and musically ingenious bands around so let’s just hope they do not take another ten years to unveil the follow-up to Sleepwalk, though more EPs will suffice too.

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9/10

RingMaster 29/04//2013

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