Order Of 315 – Antipi

 

Photo_RingMaster Review

Three years ago French metallers Order of 315 awoke ears and attention with their debut album Near-Birth Experience, a fierce and tenacious offering which only grew in persuasion and stature over time. Now the Paris quartet have returned with its successor Antipi, raising the heat of the qualities and potential found in the first album whilst creating an even more compelling and varied confrontation. Antipi is a rousing incitement and cantankerous roar bred across eleven individual stirring aggravations of sound and imagination. Fair to say the band’s music still wears open inspirations at times but is now really showing its own character whilst unleashing tapestries of varied and aggressively delivered flavours.

Formed in 2010, Order of 315 draw on a host of styles from metalcore and hard-rock to progressive, djent, and alternative-metal; flavours bred in the experiences and tastes of its members with bands such as Black Label Society, Pantera, Machine Head, Slipknot, Stone Sour, Five Finger Death Punch, and Korn amongst individual sparks to their sound and imagination. The 2012 released Near-Birth Experience earned strong attention and acclaim from certainly the metal underground and media with its striking tempest, its seeds now blossoming into the creative voracity that is Antipi. The new album is more brutal yet equally richer in melodic tempting and certainly a more atmospherically volatile confrontation around a heart feverish in its resourcefulness.

Cover_RingMaster ReviewAntipi opens with A Slap On The Wrist and an initial sample stroked by an innocence drenched, single strand melody. It caresses the imagination, awakening ears ready for the swift assault on the senses of jagged riffs, beefy rhythms, and the instantly recognisable and welcome grizzly tones of Edgar Jabberwocky. His voice and delivery is a mighty lure alone easily igniting a pleased reaction in ears to match that being sparked by the growing rabid swing and antagonistic rumble of the sounds around him. The song is bullish rock ‘n’ roll, an easy anthem to get eager teeth into and a hungry appetite from, both fed with every passing swell of bruising enticement.

It is an outstanding start to the album quickly continued by Telescope. From its first groaning breath the track is a more imposing and intrusive proposition with the rhythms of drummer Pablo Civil unruly in their skilled design. Aligned to the predacious air of Grm Lecouflet’s bass, they make for a hostile yet gripping frame entwined by the thick winy grooves of Klaus Kersey, his guitar just as magnetic in primal riffery and sonic enterprise too. As with its predecessor, the track has hips violently gripped with its swinging challenge and ears hooked by its rapacious sound, Jabberwocky leading the incitement as masterfully as ever before The Feather Factor takes over with its industrial metal breeding and groove meets heavy/alternative metal tempestuousness. Subsequent switches into melodic flames bring a relatively undefined familiarity to things but only adds to the thick and captivating drama unfolding within ears.

Without quite finding the same dynamic impact as the first tracks, Abelian still keeps satisfaction fully whetted with its spidery melodic enterprise around a fierce tempest of a heart whilst the following Meiosis almost beats pleasure from the senses with the brutal rapier swings of Civil, though the atmospheric melodies, scything sonic trespasses, and unpredictable landscape of the assault are just as thickly tempting and alluring. Once more there is something recognisable in the spicing of the song but warped perfectly by its great bedlamic nature.

A creative composure lines Rumble Fish, the bass of Lecouflet a prowling protagonist leading the listener into the awaiting animus of the song. It never breaks its pleasing chains though, hinting and provoking with subtlety and atmospheric imagination whilst showing more of the growth in songwriting and maturity of the Order Of 315 sound, something clear across the whole of the album and indeed next up Data Warfare with its Korn meets Bloodsimple like turbulence with just a touch of Fear Factory adventure to it all.

Both the magnetically wiry Greyscale and the senses enveloping Densen keep things mean and keen; the first an inflamed mix of heavy metal and alternative rock as flirtatious as it is menacing whilst its successor crawls through ears with a slight but definite salacious sway to its evocative and intensive rock ‘n’ roll design. Both carry an attitude and hearty intimidation which, with the sonic imagination, sparks a want for more, a success just as easily drawn by the spiralling textures of Unperfect Circles. The track perpetually winds around the senses, the guitars especially influential in tempting out lusty enjoyment.

Drone brings Antipi to an end, the track a tangle of sonic craft and expression ridden by the brawly tones of Jabberwocky amidst a rhythmic tempest. Though in some ways the song takes longer to get to grips with, it is a fine end to another thrilling offering from Order Of 315. To be picky, there is a slight diminishing of unpredictability towards the rear of the release, until the final encounter anyway, but each track only ignites body and imagination to declare Order Of 315 one of the potent fresh roars within the metal scene.

Antipi is available now through numerous online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 21/12/2015

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Theia – Take The Pill

THEIA_RingMaster Review

The ‘medicinal’ value of the sound within Take The Pill certainly and potently represents its title, the new album from UK rockers Theia, a rousing feel good remedy of attitude loaded rock ‘n’ roll sure to energise any day of unenthused emotions. It vociferously grumbles, tenaciously rumbles, and unleashes ten hungrily blazing roars for one highly enjoyable snarl within the landscape of this year’s British rock scene. Pushing boundaries and forging unfamiliar territories may not be the biggest element of the Burton Upon Trent trio’s debut full-length, but in providing a furiously thrilling and enlivening rock ‘n’ roll, Take The Pill is nothing less than a hammering success.

Formed towards the start of 2012 and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Buckcherry, Winterville, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society for their uncompromising, metal infused hard rock, Theia has swiftly and increasingly over these past three or so years, gained a strong following and acclaimed reputation for their voracious rock sound whether live or on releases. 2014 saw the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Kyle Lamley, drummer John Tolley, and bassist Paul Edwards come together and the band’s single Whoop-Dee-F***ing-Doo! whip up fresh and eager attention, building on that gained by earlier EPs, itself eclipsed by recent single Ride On. Now Take The Pill shows that the taste of the band’s first album they gave was rich but also only half the story, and easy to expect their success to be easily surpassed by the band’s tremendous new release.

cover_RingMaster Review     Take The Pill comes to life with opener We’re Alive, it sauntering in on a melodic coaxing alongside a boozy sonic caress, both guitar spawn and thickly enticing. They continue to entice with their intoxicating lures whilst in the background there is a sense of something fiercer brewing, this eventually honed and emerging as an ear entwining groove that instantly hits the instincts and eager swing of the body. As with all subsequent tracks, there is a just as immediate familiarity to the flavours woven into the song but also freshness and virulence which dictates the way thoughts, appetite, and pleasure go.

With fine guitar craft and a great vocal delivery from Lamley, backed by a great rhythmic shuffle from Tolley, the song is a great anthem to start things off with From The Streets backing its potency with its own rock ‘n’ roll stroll wrapped in spicy blues hued grooves, broad vocal roars, and enjoyable imagination in the tapestry of recognisable and fresh spices. Keeping ears and neck muscles keenly involved, the song passes its infectious baton onto Society On Mute, an impassioned and muscular canter rippling with metallic riffs and thumping beats alongside a lure of bass from Edwards which borders on the carnivorous in tone. Breezes of some of those earlier inspirations are an open spicing too as also the individual craft and invention which colludes to create a track that stomps and atmospherically seduces throughout its fiery presence.

Video Memories needs barely a handful of seconds to grip ears and an already bred hunger with its growling bassline and grizzled riffs, their antagonism perfectly tempered by the melodic flames and vocal harmonies colouring the track. It is stirring stuff but quickly overshadowed by the mighty Anybody Else, a swagger of southern rock equipped with the juiciest of grooving and another bestial bass sound cast by Edwards. Vocally too, the song is a mix of stylish antagonism and anthemic adventure which at times flirts with prime Pantera bait, a great tempting emulated again later in the album once Electric Witness first unveils its addictive and magnetic hard rock croon, its every element again coming together in superb creative unity. It is a track which musically gets more crotchety around melodically enticing vocals, another string to its already persuasive bow that only hits the target before the outstanding Overthrown springs another open and pleasing Pantera-esque hook within its contagious endeavour.

Take The Pill is completely in total control by this point, keen ears backed by greed for the high energy and thickly convincing adventure of the band’s sound. The album increasingly becomes more compelling as each song passes through ears into the imagination, the next up Some Days ensuring that does not change, its voracious heart and attack pure fire breathing rock ‘n’ roll; a quality similarly running through the core of Ride On and closing stomp Whoop-Dee-Fucking-Doo!

The first of the pair merges dirtily fuzzy riffs and throaty predation from the bass with the clipping of ears by Tolley’s persistent rapier swings, all imposing yet enthralling traits framing a web of infection driven by winy grooves and sonic imagination. Its successor just rocks like a dog in heat, the finest asset any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can have in our view and again grooves, hooks, and enterprise create a tasty tempting bringing the sinew swinging party to an exhaustive close.

After recent singles, we had strong hopes for Take The Pill but it still took ears and expectations by surprise, emerging as a bigger, bolder, and far more creatively boisterous incitement, even those lead songs coming over taller and broader in their bellows. Ok Theia might not be breaking moulds with Take The Pill but rock pleasure does not come much more captivating and enjoyable as this.

Take The Pill is out now on CD @ http://theiauk.com/shop/ and through most online stores digitally and physically.

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Pete Ringmaster 26/10/215

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Theia – Ride On

Theia collage pic_RingMaster Review

Just ahead of their debut album, UK hard rockers Theia have stoked the fires of anticipation with new single Ride On. It is a blaze of anthemic power and voracity merged with bluesy melodies and an enterprise which plays like a familiar friend whilst leaving you guessing as to its next magnetic move. The release is muscle swinging rock ‘n’ roll and the juiciest taster to the band’s impending new full-length Take the Pill.

Formed in 2012, the Burton Upon Trent band draws on inspirations from bands such as Buckcherry, Winterville, Alter Bridge, Black Label Society and many more to colour their robust sound and in turn invigorating single. A couple of well-received EPs in 2013 awoke ears to the potential and rebellious nature of the band’s sound, a proposition which has just kept developing and blossoming to back their increasing reputation as one stage shaking incitement earned across gigs and festivals. Now the trio of vocalist/guitarist Kyle Lamley, bassist Paul Edwards, and drummer John Tolley are poised to make a big impact with their first album on the UK rock scene, one possibly to emulate the success of their celestial namesake, certainly if Ride On is an indication of what is to come.

A fuzzy lure of guitar starts things off, its bait soon joined by the gloriously carnivorous of bass which is instantly given a welcoming clarity from which to growl from. Thick beats add to the building drama which is fully realised with the richly spiced grooves cast by Lamley. Never quite exploding into the riot it continually hints at, the song instead places infectious layer upon infectious layer, bluesy endeavour an intoxicating hue to air and the guitar spawned enticement lighting it as rhythms craft a compelling frame to one virulent anthem.

Ride On gets the job done without unnecessary excesses and delusions of grandeur; it is hard rock with a recognisable smile and mischief but lit by a freshness which just hits the spot. As mentioned earlier it is muscular rock ‘n’ roll, a flavour to feed most appetites.

Ride On is out now.

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2015

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Mordecai – Fight Fire With Fire

Mordecai_RingMaster Review

British metallers Mordecai continue to grow and impress as proven by their recently released EP Valour. Now with thick confirmation of the fact and to entice a new horde of eager hungry ears the band release the single Fight Fire With Fire. The opening track to the EP, it is a storming tempest of dark metal and virulent aggression loaded with a passion, and quite simply impossible to ignore.

Hailing from Croydon, the London based quartet of vocalist/guitarist Dan M Hicks, lead guitarist Andy Short, bassist Mickey C, and drummer Alex Gooders has become one of the UK’s brightest hopes over the past couple of years. Formed in 2006, the band was already stirring up some attention but it was with a new settled line-up around 2010 that their Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society inspired sound seem to come truly alive with enthused reactions in return. Live the band has been a potent force, making successful appearances at the likes of Bloodstock, Bull Dog Bash and Hammerfest, as well as Download where they became one of the very few unsigned bands to be invited to play on consecutive years. Alongside that the band has shared stages with bands such as Black Light Burns, Bam Margera’s FFU, and Fightstar whilst 2013 saw the release of their eagerly anticipated debut album Undaunted, a well-received incitement followed and eclipsed this year by the aforementioned Valour EP. Recorded with John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Architects and Alter Bridge)at Outhouse Studios, it too was an acclaimed and hungrily welcomed proposition unleashing some of the band’s most adventurous and explosive songs to date, one of which being Fight Fire With Fire.

The single song opens on a lusty roar from Hicks, his ravenous tones backed by spicy riffs and hefty rhythms. Soon hitting a meaty stride, the track becomes as predatory as it is sonically invigorating; ears and appetite aflame from its contagious aggression and brawling weave of colourful grooves aligned to vocal calls and rhythmic animosity. With the guitars also spinning a web of sultry melodies and suggestive hues around the swiftly gripping confrontation, the air is ripe with adventure and drama, a rebel rousing incitement coursing through the creative bodies of the band and in turn the listener.

If they are still an unknown, Fight Fire With Fire is the perfect way to introduce yourself to Mordecai. It has all the elements and flavours which makes the band for so many one continually exciting proposal of addictively tempestuous of rock ‘n’ roll.

Fight Fire With Fire is available now

Pete Ringmaster 09/09/2015

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Nine Miles South – Self Titled EP

Nine Miles South promo_RingMaster Review

It is proving to be a rather exciting year for UK rockers Nine Miles South which is coming to a thrilling head with the release of their self-titled debut EP and a couple of big shows, all sure to confirm that their groove loaded southern rock ‘n’ roll is ready to awaken the broadest attention. Their three track release is an invigorating and exciting slab of resourcefully varied hard rock; heavy and contagious, creatively aggressive and addictive, it has body and appetite on red alert by track one, seduced by the third and though it weaves plenty of familiar sounds and textures into its persuasion, the EP just hits the sweet spot that lies within all rock fans.

Nine Miles South was founded by Danish bred Seb Mikkelsen, the band forming after the vocalist/guitarist had moved to the UK from his homeland. Based in Guildford and with a line-up completed by guitarist Jon Antony, bassist Andy Sleigh, and drummer David Wilson, Nine Miles South took little time in awakening strong support and awareness through their tenacious live presence. Shows with bands such as Kobra And The Lotus as well as their own gigs and strong festival appearances have marked the band out leading to good radio play. After a couple of recently highly successful London shows and ahead of the band playing Hard Rock Hell in Wales on November 13th with amongst many, Black Label Society, UFO, Helloween, Pat Travers, and Gun, and also supporting Skinny Molly at the North Devon Arena in Ilfracombe on November 18th, Nine Miles South release their first EP, an easy to suspect spark to increasing and eager attention.

NMS FRONT COVER EPP_RingMaster Review   Produced by Samuel Burden, the EP opens with The Reckoning, a mighty anthem for ears and emotions. A slightly reserved beginning cups ears first, a sultry climate of guitar and melody backed by the vocal twang of Mikkelsen swift enticement which only grows more gripping as thick fisted rhythms join the increasing energy and roar of the song. It is still not in top gear but casting an inescapable anthem for body and voice which only blossoms into virulence as grooves twist and entwine the psyche and hooks lurk in very corner and evolution of the outstanding song. As suggested the overall sound has a recognisable air but it only adds to the drama and potency of the tempting, especially which sixth gear is finally unleashed for a boisterous finale.

The excellent start is backed well by Leave Me Be, another making its entrance on a gentle melody from the guitar whilst quietly brewing a more intensive character which erupts soon after. A more emotively coloured and controlled stroll, the bluesy track spins a weave of melodic and vocal expression wrapped in low key but pungent grooves, these further punctured by firm rhythms. The bass of Sleigh has a great growl whilst the guitars of Antony and Mikkelsen create a croon of enterprise to match the resourceful vocal tones of the latter, backed well by Antony and Sleigh. Without quite matching the heights and irresistibility of its predecessor, the song has ears and attention riveted before Fingernails brings the release to a rousing close.

The third track has the imagination drifting off to dusty, country blues rock lands within seconds, grooves and riffs instantly sculpting a southern seeded canvas to lose oneself in, before shadowed rhythms lined with spiky beats and grooved invention build tantalising scenery. Imagine a mix of Bad Company, Down, and The Bastard Sons and you get a whiff of the excellent climax to one thickly enjoyable encounter.

The last few months has seen a new wind of attention and buzz around Nine Miles South which can only get bolder and louder with the release of their first EP. It is rock ‘n’ roll with a twang and very easy to suggest you go get some.

The Nine Miles South EP is available from September 7th

Pete Ringmaster 07/09/2015

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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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Southern Badass – Raised In Blood

Raised In Blood cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Over two years ago, French rock band Southern Badass impressed with debut album Born In Mud, a warts and all release revealing a rich sound and potential which lit ears and a keen anticipation for the band’s evolution. Now it returns with second full-length Raised In Blood, a dirtier, grittier proposal infusing an even broader array of styles and flavours to its core southern rock/stoner bred sound with the same pleasing success.

Southern Badass is the solo project of Perpignan hailing multi-instrumentalist Arno Bechet, who seemingly draws on the likes of Black Label Society, Down, Black Sabbath, and Corrosion Of Conformity amongst many for his blend of heavy metal, stoner, sludge, and southern rock. Debut album Born In Mud certainly awoke potent attention with is release in 2013, a focus sure to replicated and surpassed by the tighter, more mature and fiery Raised In Blood. Again it is a proposition unafraid to be raw whilst embracing any small issues it may carry, but is openly a sparkling step forward from its accomplished predecessor.

The album opens with its title track, Raised in Blood quickly spilling a mist of sonic incitement led by bulging rhythms and abrasive riffs. Grooves are never retired in the music of Bechet, and straight away a juicy one is encircling and enticing ears before the song settles into a thick and steady stride. The vocals are as raw and at times as strained as on the first album, sometimes pushing their limits too much and in other moments providing the perfect roar to the brewing intensity and persuasion of sound. Fair to say, Bechet may not be the best and most natural vocalist but his musicianship is a gripping affair, more grooves and wiry riffs in the song potent proof alone.

The enjoyable swaggering start to the album continues with Burn into Eternity as resonating rhythms and electronic beats provide the spark to flames of guitar and vocal expression, Bechet finding a stronger more consistent delivery on the quickly persuasive encounter. The track has an earthy dark groove as its temptress, its thick lure embracing the more volatile and imaginative elements of the song and only stepping back for a low key and captivating melodic passage just after midway. Ending on a pungent blaze of a finale, the track is followed by the sharp southern rock tang of When I’m Dead. A mix of heavy and hard rock, it begins the strong variety of sound also emerging across the album, though it still has that inbred stoner core to its strong stroll.

Both Under the Red Sun and Last One Standing keep things interesting and satisfying, the first of the two slowly growing from a shadow rich reflective croon of Guns N’ Roses coloured, blues kissed rock into a full and impassioned rock ‘n’ roll bellow. It still holds a reserved gait for the main though, the guitar craft and enterprise of Bechet again the attention grabber before its successor gets down and dirty with aggressive riffs and grouchy vocals. It too holds court on ears; grooves and rhythms especially dominate in the pleasing engagement, though both songs are outshone by the sultry tempting of La Marche des Morts. French sung, the song has the atmospheric heat of a Morricone composed landscape and the muscular threat of a Mastodon bred proposal, and is thoroughly riveting.

As good as the first half of the album is, from this excellent track on Raised In Blood seems to hit another level. House of the Swolen Goat is next and with Black Tusk like grooves and a new direction in vocals within a smouldering sonic glow, instantly stands above earlier songs, even its impressive predecessor. A rich and heated tapestry of rock tenacity, the track makes way for the dark country enticing of Down by the River. There is a haunting air to its dark shimmer and an incendiary impact to its subsequent volcanic expulsions of guitar and vocals, the song shadowed wrapped balladry to get greedy over.

   The Lesson is just as thrilling; its opening rhythmic bait and cantankerous bass moan anthemic might escalated by the driving charge of riffs which quickly bring feisty energy and magnetism to the excellent encounter. The track eventually spreads into a more controlled and expansively laid southern tinged rock ‘n’ roll, its potency and lure evolving rather than diminishing as Bechet lets his guitar craft also run a creative riot over ears and appetite.

Completed by Sphere of Io, a song which makes a messy start but turns into another sinew driven rampancy of heavy riffery and grooved slavery, Raised In Blood is another very enjoyable and accomplished slab of ravenous rock ‘n’ roll from Southern Badass. It has issues and as mentioned has a second half which leaves the first in the shade but if looking for some honest and organic heavy rock/metal this is definitely well worth a good hard listen.

Raised In Blood is out now digitally and as a double disc vinyl @ https://southernbadass.bandcamp.com/album/raised-in-blood

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RingMaster 19/06/2015

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Stoneghost – Faceless Ghost

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As Faceless Ghost, the new single from UK metallers Stoneghost furiously and creatively bellows in the ears, there is no escaping offering a hearty thank goodness. The reason being that the song and album it comes from, was written at a moment it is fair to say which was pointing to the demise of the band. This had come about because, in the words of vocalist Jason Smith; “I was having a kid and I couldn’t cope with it, I didn’t think I would be able to carry on with the band too, I wasn’t in a good place.” Deciding to go out with a bang and show the world the most potent essence and fury of what was Stoneghost, the South East London quartet created debut album New Age of Old Ways. Thankfully the band’s sound and new offerings found their way to the attention of the Mascot Label Group (Black Label Society, Volbeat, Gojira, Joe Bonamassa), and here we now are with the album scheduled for release in April, its lead single poised to stir up the European metal scene, and Stoneghost seemingly back on compelling course.

The Bromley band began in 2007 and swiftly made a potent impression on the London live scene. Forging a ferocious blaze of rock ‘n’ roll bred from varying strains of metal and a hardcore voracity, the foursome of Cris Finniss (drums), Jamie Nash (bass), Andrew Matthews (guitar), and Smith continued to grip attention and increasingly so across the UK, making highly successful appearances at Bloodstock in 2009 and 2010 with equally impressive performances at the Wacken Open Air festival and Metal Hammer’s Hammerfest IV in their wake over the next couple of years. It was 2013 when the band’s frontman had his ‘crisis’ and turmoil reached the band. Fighting through it though to subsequently record New Age of Old Ways with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Evile, Dimmu Borgir, Sikth, New Model Army), Stoneghost is now ready to take their place at the forth of British metal and again we can only give thanks.

As the majority of songs gracing the album, Faceless Ghost was bred in that troubled time for band and Smith, the singer talking about the song recently saying, “It’s about my daughter, she was on the way, I was feeling apprehensive and scared about the responsibility and seeing a therapist at the time, I was having some really low points, but because I had a daughter on the way it gave me the reason to sort myself out.” There is a definite personal angst and passion behind the song which echoes that moment, an intimacy to its tempest which rages as potently as the ravenous sounds.

The song opens with a dazzling weave of guitar enterprise, a spicy melodic colour which captivates from around just as swiftly established and equally compelling rhythmic predation. Things only intensify and grip tighter as Smith’s punkish roar spills emotion across the thrash toned canvas. Grooves and hooks add different and fascinating flavours and textures to the song next, the proposition already transcending various metal subgenres whilst brawling with its own aggressive individuality.

Matthews’s superb sonic and melodic designs continue to ignite the imagination as does the lyrical force of the song, whilst bass and drums are predators within the magnetically spiced triumph. Across track there are glimpses of bands like Pantera, Bloodsimple, and Overkill, but only whispers in a sound which leaps out like a beast and incites body and emotions with tempestuous majesty.

Roll on New Age of Old Ways

Faceless Ghost is available from March 2nd and New Age of Old Ways on April 27th via Mascot

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RingMaster 02/03/2015

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Godsized – Time

Godsized

    Time, the self–released debut album from UK rockers Godsized, quite simply slams the senses from pillar to post with massively chunky riffs and tight enslaving rhythms. It is a heavy handed storm of satisfaction veined with sonic enterprise and classic rock energy which admittedly does not rewrite the pages of rock music but does add an invigorating chapter.

Since its formation in 2009, the band has built an impressive reputation for their high octane sound and live performances with shows alongside bands such as Life of Agony and My Ruin included, as well as two extremely well received EPs, especially Brothers in Arms. That EP secured the London quartet the main support slot for Black Label Society on their 2011 tour, Zakk Wylde hearing and loving the release. Acclaimed appearances at festivals such as Bloodstock, Hammerfest, Bulldog Bash, Download Festival, and numerous other festivals across Europe have done their standing no harm either, the strength of all over the past years making the anticipation for their first full length release more than merely eager.

With a strong breath of southern rock riding their intense riffs and melodic tones, the band in Time has created an album which Time_Coverimmediately lights up the senses before working on the passions. Opener Soul Taker instantly makes its entrance upon a fire of inviting riffs and punchy rhythms before reinforcing it with further rhythmic sinews and muscular riffing. The vocals of Glen Korner are an easy persuasion upon the ear, his rich expressive swagger holding a snarl and equally potent cleanly delivered persuasion, whilst the guitar craft of he and Neil Fish chew and entrance the ear with sheer accomplishment and inventive intensity. The band has had comparisons to the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Black Label Society, Clutch, and Alter Bridge, and this track instantly tells why. Admittedly it and subsequent tracks are not pushing existing boundaries but deeply satisfying riots of sound and pleasure they certainly are.

The following Through to You and latest single Heavy Load continue the strong start though for personal tastes their predecessor holds sway, both songs again soaked in addictive riffs whilst the bass of Gavin Kerrigan finds a growl, especially in the first of the pair, which sends tingles and intimidation ripping across the senses. A less intensive encounter but still bringing a towering stance to its pressing, the song is a flame of melodic strength and aggressive insistence whilst its successor is a cliff face of treacherous beats from drummer Dan Kavanagh, the attack restrained and controlled but with an edge which threatens to break out as upon other tracks. As mentioned it is the lead single from the release and it is easy to understand why the choice with the impressive sonic display within its heart but again it has a slightly less irresistible impact compared to the first song which would have been our choice.

As the likes of It’s a Hanging, a great track with a grunge lilt to its rock stance placing the song in the territory of Alice In Chains as much as say a Down area of sound, the stunning Mother, and the excellent Final Act, bring their varied and captivating presences the album continues to light the fuse to greater passion for itself. The second of the trio of songs is a continually shifting and unpredictable triumph; its slow stroll with rises of adrenaline powered enterprise is wholly magnetic with the guitars and vocals bewitching the ear upon the hungry prowl of the bass and punchy rhythms. It is also a song which slowly burns greater passion for its glory across each and every encounter, it is easily the most imaginative and impossible to predict track on Time. The latter of the three like the opener is a contagious brute of riveting riffing and melodic seduction, a song which plays with and recruits the listener into an infectious stomp of thoughtful yet unchained passion soaked rock n roll.

Around and between these songs the likes of No Reprieve with its heaving chest of muscular creative energy, the carnivorous Perfect Moment with its predatory intensity, and the equally intensive track The Bounty Hunter, inspire further submission to the cause. The songs fluctuate in their heights with none quite slapping the plateaus of the previously mentioned tracks, but neither do any leave anything but a pleasing lingering taste of expertise and rampant pleasure.

Ending on another forceful highlight in the cantankerous shape of Still Waiting, the album is a thoroughly satisfying brawl of rock n roll. The nagging thought that Godsized are on the brink of major things is rife upon Time and even if the album is not the trigger it is only a horizon away one suspects.

8/10

RingMaster 22/04/2013

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Order Of 315 – Near-Birth Experience

Michael Hivet Photography

     Near-Birth Experience in its initial encounter made for an extremely pleasurable bruising rampage but given time and frequent sorties with its antagonistic and deeply satisfying riot, soon became an instigator to the hunger to chew upon the world and all its occupants. It is arguably not the most destructive release you will come across but certainly offers enough brutality to send the senses into a glorious riot whilst unleashing a diverse enterprise with spores birthed in a cross wealth of genres which ignite the passions with ease.

The 2010 formed French quintet distils the crucial essences of anything from hard rock, progressive, and alternative metal to metalcore, and thrash into their own focused sound. It is a brew which sparks plenty of varied comparisons to others but stands apart from most. Despite the wealth of different spices musically the band does not operate in new undiscovered realms but instead uses their inspirations in a way unlike most others. Near-Birth Experience is their debut album which proudly and eagerly assaults the ear with this intriguing mix to leave nothing less than enthused emotion in its muscular wake. It is not quite flawless but any niggles disappear into the storm of impressive enterprise and irresistible energy.

The album explodes into life with one of its many highlights. Enemies Wait Inside prowls as it leans against the senses with 21201_406903412715923_1797866161_nconcussive percussion and thumping rhythms whilst riffs snarl and unleash a raw breath upon the ear. With the taking of a slight musical breath as the vocals of Edgar Jabberwocky enters the affray, the track stomps into a course of pace switching and magnetic enthralling invention. The track immediately gives pointers to the influences which have styled the sound of Order Of 315. As it unveils sinewy caresses and simmering intensity it triggers a flight of thoughts and comparisons to the likes of Korn, Marilyn Manson, (Hed) PE, and fellow Parisians Watcha. It is an exciting potent encounter where the bass of Giovanni R. Baldini is an impressive provocative shadow throughout and the guitars of Klaus K. Kersey and James W. Lowellson the conjurors of melodic and sonic flames which shoot across the backs of the uncompromising riffing.

Dogs That Lick, Dogs That Bite (The Leary Bill Of Rights) takes up the challenge of following the strong start with relish. It is another measured consumption with compulsive riveting riffs and sonic scything whilst the vocals squall with full passion eye to eye with incited thoughts and impressions of their recipients. With more than a heavy whisper of Five Finger Death Punch and Hellyeah to its stance the song bristles with attitude and makes the richest persuades convincingly with its compelling twists and varied craft of sound and gait. The drums of Pablo Civil have a more controlled muscle to their demands than with the first song and only add further stature to the track and its depth. The song unveils more of the great craft and skill of the guitarists which was hinted at in the opener, the sonic solo midway a furnace of energy and heart which leaves a lasting impression.

As the songs come in rich and muscular presences so the variations continue. The excellent Some Like It Shot opens a door into the thrash/metal touches of a Metallica whilst The Pact breeds grooves and incendiary melodic scarring which explodes with tones of Black Label Society and Machine Head. Nonpoint is another varied caustic contagion, the song a grasping and rasping expanse of barracking rhythms, ravenous vocals, and infectious melodic imagination. It taunts and rips at the senses until they and the heart is a quivering compliant and most of all a greedily willing victim. The song is a towering example of the band at its best on the album and another major pinnacle in its hulking presence.

To just raise one minor quibble over the album, the vocals are outstanding throughout but they do bring a similarity to the tempests which defuses a little of the differences between the songs but something which you can expect to work itself out ahead. As more of the album stands tall and raucous against the ear through songs like S.A (Territorial Glorious Story) and the closing gem Mr Brainwash, the release forges itself deeper into the passions. The release is an excellent debut from in Order Of 315, a band with a wealth of obvious promise still to be explored and exceeded. Near-Birth Experience is an album which we have no hesitation in recommending.

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RingMaster 19/01/2013

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