Invoker – Cursed To Feel EP

As thick in emotional intensity as sonic ferocity, Cursed To Feel is the new EP from Swiss hardcore outfit Invoker. It is the successor to the band’s acclaimed debut album of 2017, Four Wall Nightmare, and a tempest taking the uncompromising intensity of the band’s previous offering as well as its sweeping post rock turbulence and soaking it in a whole new squall of heart and imagination. The result is a physical and emotive trespass which is unpredictable, impassioned, and mercilessly compelling.

Since emerging in 2012, the Lucerne quintet has increasingly made their mark and built a potent reputation with their release and hardcore/post hardcore fusion. As Cursed To Feel proves there is plenty other hues to a proposition which they honed and have evolved since their first release, the Loose Lips, Sink Ships EP of 2013. Similarly their hungry and rousingly intensive live presence has grown and flourished, Invoker sharing stages with the likes of Landscapes, Being As An Ocean, Counterparts, Napoleon, and Break Even amongst so many along the way. Through each release Invoker has pushed their songwriting and sound, it all leading to their new triumph.

Cursed To Feel stirs into life with a single guitar lure, a melodic string which barely has time to breathe before the storm inside Black and Blue violently erupts. The throat raw fury of David Lukas sears ears and air as a maelstrom of sonic animosity ignites around him, guitars nagging but equally inciting the senses as rhythms pounce with little restraint. It is a potent mix yet the track really blossoms as small but strong ebbs in the maelstrom intrude, that attention grabbing enterprise subsequently sparking further imagination bred twists and creative insertions drawing diversity in sound and voice.

The excellent start is surpassed by the emotion charnel house of Cursed though in no time the song aligns melodic elegance and infectious grooves to devouring angst bursting hostility. As all tracks, it swings through moments of unsettled calm and ferociously harsh expulsions of heart and noise to intrude and beguile before The Novel unveils its own collusion of raw and harmonic dexterity drenched in pain and corroded but certain hope.

With Cease To Exist a brief but ravenous and invasively captivating onslaught and End Me providing the EP’s darkest and for us its most poignant not forgetting emotionally relatable and quarrelsome moment, Cursed To Feel continues to expose scars and understanding within a pleasure  inspiring tempest.

Invoker already has a fervour driven fan base but it is simple to expect Cursed To Feel to spark its bold growth and thrust the band towards major recognition.

Cursed To Feel is out now via Grim Reality Records and available @

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Impassioned roars and passing beauties: talking City of Auburn with Michael Osborn

Photo by Concert Fotos

Photo by Concert Fotos

Hailing out of McKinney, Texas, City of Auburn is a band beginning to create a stir. Originally a solo project, the band grew and expanded as its sound, emerging as an attention striking alternative rock proposal. With two EPs already under the belt, the band is currently working on a debut album for unveiling later in 2016. In anticipation, we grabbed the chance to explore and learn more about the band with founder/vocalist/songwriter Michael Osborn taking in its beginnings, releases, a girl called Auburn and much more…

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

Thank you so much for having us, it means so much!

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

Well we have James Motter on drums, Jake Potter on guitar, Luke Weeks on bass, Jordan Shepherd on guitar, and then Michael Osborn on vocals. City of Auburn started when I (Michael) was in middle school. I played drums for a hard rock band at the time and I wanted to kind of do my own thing as a side solo project. That rock band broke up around the time of me going into high school and I recorded the first EP, The Achromatic World, right around freshman year. I ended up getting involved with an assortment of different bands and those really became my priority, City of Auburn became something on the back burner. Eventually the bands I was involved in started to dissemble out and I had songs written for another City of Auburn album. I released the second EP Soul Searcher in 2014 and it became my highest point of interest. I always had the thought of doing live shows with City of Auburn and making it an actual band. I didn’t want to do it solo anymore. Over the course of me being in so many different bands those past years, I made a lot of friends that supported what I did, and when they heard that I wanted to do live shows and things, they showed interest and said they’d love to be involved. I ended up having a line up laid out for me. Once we got things solidified, we started to get moving. It’s just been a new experience since then. We’re recording our full-length album right now.

What impact have those previous experiences had on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Yes! Our drummer is actually an EDM artist and he’s got a new album out really really soon so you should check that out (, and our guitarist Jake is actually the singer of a hardcore band that I also play bass for called Crucify The Flesh ( I guess out of all the bands I’ve been in, there’s really only been one that really made something out of it. Before City of Auburn became my main focus, I played drums in this progressive metalcore band called Citadel. I played in that band for around 4 years. We broke up for so many reasons, but we were all just growing apart as people and some lifestyles really started to change. I barely talk to the people in that band anymore and I honestly don’t even know where they are in their lives, and that’s really weird to say. But the one thing that really pushed everything over the edge was that there was this other band called Citadel and they were this hair-metal band from like the 70’s that apparently reserved that band name back then. I’m pretty sure they haven’t even made any music in like 10 years. They sent us a message on Facebook (not even a formal email) claiming that we were infringing on the copyright over their band name and they threatened to take down our Facebook page if we didn’t change our band name in under 72 hours or something. We replied back saying we would change the band name immediately. But literally like 6 hours later our page was taken down. It was so stupid. These old farts from the 70’s picked a fight with some 20-year olds in a local band. They even called us unimaginative and unoriginal even though we were two completely different styles of music. It was almost hilarious haha. But my experience in that band really shaped what I am doing now. Metal is a cool music style, it’s just not for me anymore. I remember that the scene we were involved in wasn’t the kindest and we weren’t really growing. It always felt just really empty and I never truly, fully enjoyed it. Doing what I do in City of Auburn has already brought more opportunity and way more enjoyment than anything I’ve done before. I feel like doing what we do as a band, we can express ourselves in a new way that isn’t us writing a breakdown all the time. It stretches you lyrically, and it is really awesome to grow in something else. I’m personally having a blast.

Photo by Cindy Williams of Exquisite Photography

Photo by Cindy Williams of Exquisite Photography

What inspired the band name?

Okay, so this is probably going to sound so stupid but changing your band name after two EPs is just too much work. I started this in middle school like I said, and I was friends with this guy that was interested in this one girl named Auburn. I barely knew this girl. I probably talked to her once, but I really liked that word ‘Auburn’ so being the un-creative middle schooler I was, I was just like ‘I’m going to call my band Auburn muhahaha’ but there is actually another artist under that same name. One friend that I didn’t know really well randomly told me that I should call the band City of Auburn just because. I just went with it. The name has no significant meaning or anything, it’s literally named after some random girl I met once and apparently I made a city after her. I know; it’s embarrassing when I have to explain it.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and what you wanted it to offer?

I can’t really tell you what was going through my head starting this out in middle school, but forming this into a band, the intention has been to make something genuine and honest. I think it’s important to make music that is transparent and doesn’t follow trends. I always want to be different at heart, and I really want to connect with all those who take the time to listen to us.

Do the same things still drive the band from when it was fresh-faced?

Absolutely! I think it’ll always be that way, and I’m going to do everything in my power to keep it that way.

Since those early days, how would you say your sound has most evolved?

Uh, it’s evolved haha. The first EP I recorded is drastically different I think. The quality of that record isn’t that good, and just the songwriting was just everywhere. There are these really weird musical segments and, my gosh, the lyrics are just strange in some places. I don’t really talk about that album anymore because really it in no way represents what we do now. The Achromatic World is just a mess in lots of places, but I’m not ashamed of it. It’s where I started so I shouldn’t discredit that. It just doesn’t really represent what I do now. When I did Soul Searcher, it almost sounds like two different bands. Way more of a refined sound that was driving and musical compared to things I’ve done before. Vocal performance was significantly better. I guess I wasn’t going through puberty anymore so I finally found my voice. I feel like Soul Searcher was where I really began. This progression is only evolving even more with the upcoming album.

Do things move organically within the band in terms of sound and ideas or does the band deliberately go out to try new things?

I think it’s definitely been an organic thing. I matured as a person, so the music follows with it. You realize that you like different things and find different influences as you continue to make music, and that’s really translated on what I’ve done so far.

From what you said earlier about where band members came from musically, I am presuming there are a wide range of inspirations to you all; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

The thing is, with our weird history of me starting off solo to forming a band the other guys haven’t had the chance to fully collaborate on anything yet. Even with the new album, the album was finished with writing about a month before our first shows. I left room for everyone to be on the record for sure, but as far as influences on the band, we really haven’t had any because we haven’t written as a collective yet. I remember writing the new album listening to a lot of Balance & Composure and Being as an Ocean. They pretty much shaped the sound the record I think. I’ve always had the mentality that if you’re going to write another record, it has to be a step forward from your previous release. So I listened to bands that grew through their albums and you keep seeing a better record; that eventually translates on how you do things as well. One band that has impacted me so much is Falling Up, they’re just so fantastic. I love so many bands and artists to count.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides your songwriting?

This is so hard for me to explain haha. It really just starts with me playing something on the guitar just to get an idea going. I usually always have something humming in my head and I’m always trying to discover those notes. If I’m liking where it’s going, I’ll imagine the next part. It just keeps going from there. It sounds really simple, but figuring out what parts go into each other becomes complicated when you’re trying to keep the whole album in perspective.

Where do you find the source of inspiration to the lyrical side of your songs most often?COA art_RingMasterReview

I think I go through phases lyrically. With The Achromatic World I talked a lot in concepts and stories. With Soul Searcher it became something that was unintentionally personal. I wrote the album out of order and looking over the lyrics, I saw that it created a personal story. It really described my life during the process of that record and that became really apparent to me. I didn’t mean to write songs about me, but that’s what it became and I’m glad that ended up happening. With this upcoming album, I was personal from the beginning and that was completely intentional. I wrote about the things I struggled in as a person, and I wrote about growing in those areas. I don’t think I’ve ever written something so personal and honest, and I can’t wait for people to see that. I think right now with starting to write more music, I want to write about people. I desire to have a heart that’s open enough to understand where people come from. Instead of trying to write about the things I’m struggling with, I want to write about what others are going through and make effort to meet on their level. I’m drawing inspiration from that right now, and it’s definitely been something new.

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind your latest release?

Soul Searcher was our most our most recent release. It came out in August of 2014 and we’ve been playing those songs ever since. It’s a personal record like I said, and it really was the most organic album when I wrote it. Everything just came together when I needed it to and it was such a blast to release. It really sparked a lot into pushing this project forward.

It kind of tells a story. It outlines the events of a person that rekindles his faith and relationship with God, that person being me. I remember that I went through a lot of things that left me hurt and I felt like I was becoming bitter. My faith was put on the back burner. I didn’t want to deal with God. As I kept living out my life, I felt empty. I was surrounded by others of the same faith and even though I was scared, I did want to get right with God again. The EP is about that journey, and my faith really strengthened from that experience. The term ‘Soul Searcher’ is not about finding out who you are, it’s about finding out who you are in Christ. It’s about finding yourself in him, and knowing that he’s with you.

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?

Definitely will have songs ready to go…there might be some things that I’d like to try and experiment with when we’re actually recording, but I really see no use going into the studio to record the next part of your career and have nothing prepared or mapped out. I just feel like it is wasting time. Obviously there are exceptions like the writing process being cut short or something, but I’d rather release an album of 7 tracks and have them all be amazing then to have 12 tracks and half of them push the record down due to underdevelopment. It’s always great to go in knowing what you want and having things prepared. I think it just makes a better record.

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

I just absolutely love playing live with this band. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun playing live before. It’s really amazing to be playing with literally your best friends every night. I love making people laugh and going insane on stage. Our dynamic is really cool live because the guys in the band weren’t on the records, so when we play live you get to hear little things here and there that they add to the songs. It’s really cool because you actually get an experience that’s different from the record. The thing I probably love the most is connecting with people after the show. I love getting to be around the people who support what we do, it’s so amazing and I’m so grateful for their time.

COA_RingMasterReviewWe ask this of numerous emerging bands; it is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it and do you feel the opportunities are still there to make a mark if the band has the drive?

It’s honestly complicated where we’re from. All the venues that are close to us are really in Dallas and all the promoters/booking agents are all involved in one singular production company that’s really well known. They completely support the idea of local openers, but the thing is it is all pay-to-play shows and it becomes ridiculous. It sometimes works really well for band that already have a fan base, but for the ones starting out it can become really hard. A normal situation is that if you want to play on a show, you have to sell 25-45 tickets for $13 or $17 a piece for a Sunday night show, and you only play for 20 mins. Those are such inconvenient prices and there’s always an up charge at the door for people under 21. No one wants to go out to a Sunday night show when there’s work the next morning, so getting a minimum of 25 people out is hard to do. Above all of that, you get no money back from the money you sell from the tickets. So you put in all the work to bring out all the people on a Sunday night for a 20 minute set and the promoter leaves early when he’s collected all the money from the bands. You don’t walk away with a lot of exposure because you played in front of people you invited and a few others. We’ve been trying to do shows elsewhere because of that, touring is your friend honestly. Go out of your city; bring good appealing merch, put on a good show. You can get people’s attention really well I think. There is also that side of me that is open to be completely wrong, the system that’s set up right now could be really effective and I just haven’t seen it bear fruit yet, so who knows. There’s been a rise in DIY venues lately and there’s so much more opportunities to play because of it. It’s been a journey to figure out everything, but I’m excited to see where it all ends up.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that the bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I think it can go both ways. With all the marketing that goes on, your band’s ad or social media can be lost in the mix because everyone is doing it. But at the same time, if you have a developed plan and start small at first it can become really effective. Networking can become something that is so helpful, but sometimes physically playing shows instead of a YouTube ad can go a lot further. It’s hard to promote yourself when you don’t have all the resources available, but start small. It can pay off as it grows.

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

These were all wonderful questions, thank you so so much for having us. Check us out on Facebook and Bandcamp. We have a new album coming late this year, be on the lookout for new music soon!

Check out City of Auburn further @ and their music @

Pete RingMaster 16/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Being As An Ocean – Self Titled

BAAO2015_live_RingMaster Review

Unleashing the successor to their acclaimed album How We Both Wondrously Perish of 2014, US melodic hardcore band Being As An Ocean, easily reinforce their already potent reputation with a new self-titled proposition. Building on what fuelled the last release whilst pushing its boundaries and imagination that little bit more, the new album is a captivating and fiercely accomplished offering, and though it did not consistently set our ears ablaze, it is one of the most refreshing encounters heard this year which at its heights is seriously rousing and in its less dramatic moments simply thorough enjoyment.

Creating emotive and tempestuous incitements from a fusion of melodic hardcore, post-hardcore, and metalcore, to condense the veins of flavours running through their sound, the Californian bred Being As An Ocean swiftly engages attention and imagination with the opening to first track Little Richie. Mellow keys and vocals unite for the initial atmospheric coaxing though that tender lure is soon engulfed in crisp beats and caustic vocals aligned to more merciful flames of guitar. It is a striking proposal which evolves with every emerging passage of ideation, continually revealing fresh invention whilst remaining as imposing and provocative as possible.

The strong start is quickly eclipsed by the following Ain’t Nobody Perfect where the ear gripping vocals of Joel Quartuccio reveal strong emotive textures in a varied delivery, an emotional success matched by the powerful clean tones of Michael McGough. Personal tastes mean the latter’s cleaner range is the one which sparks the appetite most but there is no escaping the strength and quality of Quartuccio’s aggressive squalls and spoken expression, and the way he masterfully uses them. The guitars of Tyler Ross and McGough similarly abrase and seduce across this and each track, their raw base an inflammatory persuasion on ears and individual imagination at times a spellbinding emprise to anticipate and devour.

IMP006_RingMaster Review The Zealot’s Blindfold spills angst and ire with every turn in its thick emotive landscape, vocals the rigorous vehicle for their narrative. Their expulsions of emotional fire are tempered and inspired by the eventful lines from Ralph Sica’s bass whilst drummer Connor Denis muscularly punctuates every expression offered. The track is another slice of seriously resourceful songwriting with an interpretation which is barely anything less than venomous. With the guitars and McGough’s soaring melodic tones the biggest thrills, the impressing encounter makes way for the excellent Sleeping Sicarii which has ears and appetite hooked from its opening of an almost senses grinding torrent of repetitive grooves. It is a stirring start which slips a touch as a spoken delivery aligns to a more relaxed enticement, though the bass seizes another chance to throatily seduce at the same time. The song comes vivaciously alive again when intensity and virulence breaks out to raise the temperature and thrills, a potency matched by a tremendous flight of choral harmonies later in the song amidst McGough’s rich croon.

A similar template feeds the heart and ferocity of Judas, Our Brother next, again Being As An Ocean masterly moving through melodic and predacious scenery within constantly varying climates. The song also reinforces that each track needs close attention and time to reveal all the nooks and creative crannies within, greater rewards as thrillingly shown here and proven again by the fascinating Saint Peter always the result from immersing under the surface tempest. Melancholic yet elegant keys hug the spoken narrative of Quartuccio to open up the subsequent song, guitars a quickly joining enticing within a brooding atmospheric charm. In no time though, Being As An Ocean expels crescendos of creative theatre and emotional energy, again the lead vocalist a gripping unchained protagonist within a rich and expansive web of sound.

Though not quite sparking as consistently as its outstanding predecessor, the emotional fire that is Forgetting Is Forgiving The I still provides moments which simply bewitch whilst only arousing thick satisfaction whilst The World As A Stage merges a celestial melodic shimmer with the raw Quartuccio antagonism to create a compelling storm of heart driven reflection and turmoil. As much as it is forcibly abrasive and caustic, the song is melodically turbulent, once more an intensive tapestry crafted and unveiled by the band.

The closing pair of first Sins Of The Father and lastly …And Their Consequence bring the album to an enthralling close. Both tracks twist through fiercely voracious and emotionally subdued drama across their dynamic proposals, the first almost burning with passion and sonic anxiety whilst its successor is even more emotionally apprehensive and musically incendiary with it’s searing anthemic blaze led by Quartuccio in full passion backed just as potently by McGough’s impressive voice.

The tracks are again evolving adventures providing a great end to an impressive release. As suggested earlier personal tastes waned in some aspects of songs, certainly over initial listens, but the fact that a constant returning to the release and a lingering persuasion bred by individual songs is a persistent outcome from every listen, provides the evidence to the success of Being As An Ocean, band and album.

Being As An Ocean is released in Europe and the UK on 6th July via Impericon Records and available in the US now through InVogue Records

RingMaster 06/07/2015

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Death Kindly Waits For Me – Wire Iron Blood

death kindly

Let us cut to the chase right away and suggest that Wire Iron Blood might just be the best and certainly one of the most exciting post hardcore debut in recent times. An introduction to UK quartet Death Kindly Waits For Me, the three track release is a striking and dramatically captivating protagonist for ears and imagination, and the fact that it suggests there is plenty more in the creative tank of the band yet to be explored and developed only increases its impact. Expressively provocative with a sound coming from the At The Drive In/Fall Of Troy end of an ever broadening genre, Death Kindly Waits For Me is a dramatic fresh breath in the British post hardcore scene.

Northamptonshire bred, Death Kindly Waits For Me began towards the beginning of 2014, taking inspirations from the likes of Thursday, Being As An Ocean, Finch, and Taking Back Sunday into their emerging invention. Their melody rich and aggressive sound was soon drawing potent attention locally and even further afield as their increasing live presence saw the foursome sharing stages with bands such as Decade, Light You Up, Devil Sold His Soul, Terraform, Emp!re, Our Hollow Our Home, Hey Vanity, Attention Thieves and Flood Of Red. Now a national attention is on the radar as Wire Iron Blood is uncaged, and it is fair to say that expectations are already confident in the band’s success in luring a wider spotlight.

The EP opens with the outstanding Cutting Room Floor, a sonic lure swiftly thrusting ears into the impassioned vocals of Adam Fitch, his clean and earnest tones instantly magnetic. Alongside him the guitar of Max Freeston slowly spreads a coarsely melodic lure whilst the heavy bass tones of Adam Cator, just as quickly adds dark haunting shadows. Pierced by the controlled and reserved but rapier like strikes of drummer Josh Miller, it is not a dramatic start yet thoroughly intriguing and awakening an appetite to hear more. Soon into a steady stride and still employing the creative weave which set things off, the song increasingly impresses as it expands its presence musically and vocally, Fitch superb with his distinctive angst fuelled tones whilst the DEath KIndly...more punkish offering of Freeston is a potent backing and the raw roars of Cator nicely caustic. An additional anthemic strength emerges in the song and though musically maybe it does not blaze with startling originality there is nothing but freshness and adventure to the opener.

The same strengths flows though the following Best Friends. It character is shadowed and emotionally dark yet it flames with a contagious energy and a rigorously exciting imagination. Vocally once more the track shines whilst riffs and melodies create an infectious proposal which, as the EP, becomes more addictively enjoyable over time. That Fall Of Troy feel is a bright whisper across the song, whilst other elements hint at the more experimental adventure of The Mai Shi at times, but as the song evolves from a raging stomp into a melancholic croon in its finale, the track is thrillingly individual to Death Kindly Waits For Me.

The closing Decade Of War continues the excellent temptation, its emotionally sober but energetically impassioned heart a canvas for great rhythmic enterprise and colourful guitar endeavour to wrap with craft and tenacity. Vocally of course the song continues a weighty persuasion amidst impressive sonic imagination and by its end it is hard not to sigh in disappointment that there is no more and to swiftly go back to the beginning again and ensure there is.

As mentioned at the beginning, Wire Iron Blood is a starting point for the band which shows that they have plenty to discover and push within themselves. There is little nothing to shade the potency of the release though, with no reflection on Cator, personal tastes would like to see a diminishing or loss of the aggressive vocal squalls as they often feel at odds with the rest of the vocal delivery and at times songs. It is a very minor thing of course in a potential drenched start by Death Kindly Waits For Me, a band hard not to get rather excited over.

Wire Iron Blood will be available from 2nd March through all digital stores.

RingMaster 02/03/2015

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‘DEATH KINDLY WAITS FOR ME’ to unveil their ‘Wire Iron Blood’ from 2nd March

Death Kindly Waits For Me Online Promo Shot

“Nothing short of amazing, perfectly executed noise wrapped in an emotive blanket…top stuff!”

BBC Introducing.


Post Hardcore crew ‘Death Kindly Waits For Me’ express a sound that packs concise riffery and energetic beats with pop sensibilities. The rising quartet unleash their spanking new EP ‘Wire//Iron//Blood’ on Monday 2nd March, from all digital stores.


With a slew of inspiration stemming from Thursday, Being As An Ocean, Finch and Taking Back Sunday, Death Kindly Waits For Me have absorbed their predecessors’ influences and added their own imposing stamp. In doing so, they now despatch an engrossing sound that is accessible and earnest.

Coming at you from Northamptonshire and featuring Adam Fitch (Vocals), Max Freeston (Guitar/Vocals), Adam Cator (Bass/Screams) and Josh Miller (Drums), Death Kindly Waits For Me pull from the fundamentals of emo and hardcore and harvest a sound that is both fast and slow, and altogether heavy yet melodic. The foursome give their all to an audience and have even played shows with broken bones and bloodied hands. DKWFM push the barriers and deliver passionate, emotive, and energetic live shows that truly captivate. Since their formation at the start of 2014, the melodic hardcorers have racked up shows with a host of bands such as Decade, Light You Up, Devil Sold His Soul, Terraform, Emp!re, Our Hollow Our Home, Hey Vanity, Attention Thieves and Flood Of Red.

The four piece are now set to drop their debut EP ‘Wires//Iron//Blood’ on Monday 2nd March. The EP is an engaging piece of post-hardcore. Right from the opening lines of ‘Cutting Room Floor’, which firmly displays the band’s deft ability to pull in the listener with a hook that will need to be prised from your inside, to the stinging bite of ‘Best Friends’, which goes for the jugular but still manages to unleash a killer refrain, and to the closing track ‘Decade Of War’, as it flaunts their nimble use of dynamics, this record is sure to reinforce the band’s credentials as one to watch for the coming year and beyond.



I, The Writer – The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Sitting EDIT

    The Prisoner’s Dilemma is one of those releases which you can debate the originality of its contents and how easy it is to place side by side with many other same genre bred bands, but there is something about I, The Writer and their form of melodic metalcore which certainly engages deeper and longer than most. Hailing from London, the sextet with their debut full-length release shows a craft and imagination which leads thoughts and feelings to suggest that there is a real promise and presence within their grasps, an assumption that eventually we will see them forging their own identity. If it does not came to bear, on the evidence of their first album it will still be a pleasing and solidly appetising ride with the band anyway.

Taking wide influences from the likes of Memphis May Fire, August Burns Red, Killswitch Engage, and Linkin Park into their own ideas and invention, I, The Writer made their presence noticed back in the autumn of 2011 with debut EP The Narrow Minded coming the following year. Extremely positively received in the UK and beyond, the release and stature of the band was supported and elevated by performances alongside the likes of Being as an Ocean, With One Last Breath, Napoleon,  Against The Flood, Our People Versus Yours and many more. Signing with Self Made Records earlier this year, the band now make their biggest statement of intent with The Prisoner’s Dilemma and though it does not flatten down existing boundaries for metalcore it undoubtedly tantalises and awakens a strong appetite for their sound.

The album opens up with the decent enough instrumental Forever…, a brief scenery painting which leads into …Falling To Pieces, a itw_albmCVRtrack which seizes its moment and savagely chews on the senses with djent pilfered strikes and voracious rhythmic antagonism whilst melodic atmospheres weave a fire within the intensive engagement. The strong dual vocal attack of John Dudley and Mitch Richards with their corrosive and clean deliveries, though from the promo it is unclear who provides which aspect, makes a potent focal point within the abrasive tempest and as mentioned though the track does not startle against other bands there is an underlying, whispering persuasion that leaves a long term and tempting touch.

Both the following To Be A Man and Chin Up impose their strengths in the strong start of the album, the first an immediate abrasive lure with the guitars of Dan Cuaces and Nejib Kthiri stirring up the air and senses with entangled sonic twisting and evocative play within another confrontational badgering whilst its successor snarls and scuffs up the ear vocally and musically from the off to provide a charge of sonic teeth within a carnivorous jaw that is exceptional. The drum work of Kaine Levy never relents in threatening and challenging the listener whilst the bass of Josh Levy skirts the senses like a rabid beast preying on the victims of the ever scarring riffs and guitar enterprise. The merger of clean and melodic elements to the ravaging breath of the song is impressive though for once such the intensive pleasure gained from the untamed assault it outshone the mellower casts.

The likes of Faith You Breathe and Taken From The Teeth, which features Ricky Armellino of This or the Apocalypse, skilfully reinforce the impact of the album if without reaching the heights of the songs before, whilst This Night Will End tempts and barracks the ear with jagged guitar taunts and a vocal narrative that continually shuffles up its approach to match the simultaneously shifting thought and sound of the song. It is probably fair to say that some tracks on the album hold too much of at least a surface similarity though delving deeper does bring a distinction which cannot be dismissed, something Until The Pendulum Learns To Walk does its inventive best to prove. A resourceful and passion drenched song it makes an unpredictable break in the scheme of things whilst still being firmly aligned to all around, and emerges if not the most explosive track the most inventive on the album.

The release is completed by the more than decent Past The Void and Standing Brave, two once again well designed and defined songs but a pair wrapped in an already established wash on the release. They do emphasise the rich promise and existing craft of I, The Writer with ease and like The Prisoner’s Dilemma as a whole, suggests there is a great band emerging from this strong and satisfying base.


RingMaster 19/08/2013

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