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

https://www.facebook.com/official.southernbadass

RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Exorcism – World In Sin

CsabaZvekan_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Following up last year’s highly enjoyable album I Am God, Exorcism unleash new EP World In Sin, an encounter in similar vein to its predecessor and sure to excite fans of artists like Black Sabbath and Dio as well as those with the appetite for a more modern take on their heavy metal. Five richly flavoursome and inventive tracks make up its presence and prove that the quality and adventure of the last album was no flash in the pan, nor the success the band had with it you suspect.

Exorcism is primarily vocalist Csaba Zvekan, a Serbian multi-instrumentalist who has a long list of potent bands and releases under his belt (Sardonyx, Killing Machine amongst them with latterly Metal Machine and Raven Lord also on-going projects). Forming Exorcism in 2006, he has recruited a host of talented musicians to bring his songs and music to ears within the 2014 full-length and now World In Sin, the likes of guitarist Joe Stump (Raven Lord, Holy Hell, Reign Of Terror), drummer Garry King (Joe Lynn Turner, Jeff Beck, Achillea), bassist Lucio Manca (Raven Lord, Solid Vision), and keyboardist Alex Wind amongst many adding their talent on the new offering.

World In Sin opens with its title track and immediately encases ears in melodic keys and vivacious riffs courted by firm rhythms. It is not a dramatic start but a quickly engaging one, especially once the distinctive and powerful vocals of Zvekan begin the track’s narrative. A great throaty bassline from Logan Christopher adds to the building drama, its lurking presence resonating bait alongside the inventive enterprise of Stump, rhythm guitarist Andy Drake, and Zvekan. Though the song does not quite ignite ears and emotions as potently as subsequent songs, it makes for a solid and enticing entrance to the release.

ExorcismWorldInSin_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The following Black Day In Paradise has a similarly potent template and presence to it but also an additional drama which flirts through bass and guitars as vocals and keys colour their predation with a warmer invitation and adventure. Its elevated energy, compared to that of its predecessor, also adds a more anthemic feel to the song, setting up ears and appetite nicely for the EP’s best two tracks which start with Virtual Freedom. Instantly there is a darker more intimidating edge to the song, riffs and rhythms aggressively alluring as slithers of sonic acidity spear the tempestuous character of the encounter. Zvekan prowls the song, roaring with full throated skill throughout whilst Stump once more uncages a fiery intrigue of imagination through one blazing solo and spiky melodic tempting. The track is outstanding, invention and anthem tattooed on its creative predation.

Next is Sahara a song just as impressive and thrilling as the last. Its initial breeze and Eastern suggestiveness has the imagination instantly lit, a tantalising mystique colouring the opening caress before bass and guitars create a tapestry of infectious and descriptive endeavour. That hue continues through bass and melodies whilst the song’s solo is a sultry spice winding around the dance of drum beats. Though, as no fan of fade outs, the ending niggles, the song takes the listener on a new adventure within familiar terrain, its scenery crafted with brand new detail and colour.

The closing Black Star also has a dark and enthralling theatre to its character and sound, leading ears through a shadowy and intensive landscape of creative and vocal drama. It has a hard task matching up to the last couple of songs but holds its own with a rhythmic contagion and guitar sculpted, almost sinister, sonic tale that grips attention. With the dynamic vocals of Zvekan guiding thoughts, it is a fine end to another resourceful and highly pleasing encounter with Exorcism

World In Sin is available as a Limited Edition EP of 666 copies via Dream Records now @ http://www.exorcism13.com/exorcism-world-in-sin-limited-edition-ep/ with a digital release on all platforms on June 15th

http://www.exorcism13.com/    https://www.facebook.com/exorcismband/

RingMaster 03/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Red Spektor – Self Titled EP

Red Spektor Promo Shot Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is a rich flame burning away in the Potteries, and it goes under the name Red Spektor. The UK trio are poised to release their self-titled debut EP, a blaze of psychedelic, stoner, and classic rock which fascinates as it engulfs ears and imagination, and unrelentingly thrills as it provides further evidence that heavy and fiery British rock ‘n’ roll is heading towards a fresh heyday.

Hailing from Stoke on Trent, Red Spektor emerged at the end of 2012 drawing on inspirations from the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Once the threesome had honed their sound, they proceeded to hit the live scene with swift success, sharing stages with bands such as Carousel Vertigo, Attica Rage, Texas Flood, and Lawless along the way. Every step drew more eager ears to their growing fan base, accelerated by festival appearances whilst the band never letting a week seemingly go by without igniting a venue somewhere. 2014 saw the band record and release their EP via Bandcamp, a 5 track encounter recorded live and straight to tape over two days. Now it has its full digital unveiling and it is easy to expect Red Spektor stoking up a new wave of close and acclaiming attention.

The band draws on essences of “dark pre-war blues right through to the British blues explosion of the sixties and the heaviness of the seventies albeit with a modern and dirty twist” according to their bio, a mix swiftly seducing the senses and igniting the air through EP opener Hard To Please. A lone vocal guitar awakens instant attention, its rich spicy lure soon joined by a solemnly brooding bassline and crispy beats as the song quickly settles down into a feisty tempting. The guitar of John Scane virtually dances across the senses, every riff and hook incendiary and leaving a sultry residue like the trail behind Marvel Comic’s Ghostrider. Vocally he has a mellower but no less potent air, clean and alluring against the sizzling of blues/psyche invention and Rob Farrell’s dark basslines.

Red Spektor Cover Artwork Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   It is a seriously gripping start quickly backed by the slower, more intensive presence of Transcending. The thick and freely swinging beats of drummer Darren Bowen cage ears and anticipation as an almost melancholic bass coaxing prowls; both sparking swift appetite for the song’s impending offering. A sinister seducing comes with the enterprise of the guitar, and indeed vocals, as sixties and seventies sounds collude with a modern creative rapacity to bewitch and crawl over the listener. The track is a relentless smoulder rather than the blistering eruption of its predecessor but just as persistently magnetic and irresistible.

Third song Everywhere puts a higher gear in motion for its rich persuasion of blues rock; rumbling and strolling along whilst melodic vapours intoxicate ear and air alike. Rhythms cast a dirty tempering shadow and compliment to the searing enterprise, keeping the psychedelic croon earthbound as once more the band has attention bewitched. The exploration of the dirtier textures within the song continues with greater focus and revelry within the next up Redemption, Red Spektor tapping into the purest vat of blues distilled rock and adding their own not exactly unique but certainly distinct flavouring to another transfixing and highly enjoyable proposal.

The song probably does not quite match those before it though, whilst all of the songs before also find themselves in the shadow of the glorious closer Earth Mother. From its first beat and eager riff, the track bursts into a masterful and virulent swagger. An anthemic and delicious groove leads the way, courted by similarly lively and bold rhythms aligned to a throaty bass invitation. The song relaxes a touch in urgency as the vocals add their easy persuasion to the mix, picking its knees and tempo up again between verses and around the fiery enticing which subsequently seeps from every melody, hook, and resonating bass groove. As across all songs, Scane’s solos just burn their way into the psyche, but it is the overall swing and insatiable tenacity to the song which helps it take best song honours.

Many like us missed the Red Spektor EP first time around, and indeed the band’s emergence, but its new full digital unleashing ensures there are no excuses now in not exploring band and sound. No excuses only rich rewards.

The Red Spektor EP is digitally available from May 18th via all online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/redspektorband    http://redspektor.com/

RingMaster 17/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Left For Red – All Things Known And Buried

Left For Red Promo Shot

It is fair to say that previous EPs from UK metallers Left For Red, as well as an acclaimed live presence, bred keen anticipation for the band’s debut album in a great many. Now the moment for the band to unleash their first full-length has arrived in the roaring shape of All Things Known And Buried, and a rather tasty and increasingly captivating slab of aural voracity it has proven to be. It is not an album to send the metal world reeling but for a potential fuelled, ear chewing protagonist it leaves a very healthy appetite and rich satisfaction in its wake.

Formed in 2010, Left For Red took little time in raising attention and support locally and further afield with their Black Sabbath/ Judas Priest inspired assault of modern ferocious metal. Live the Stourbridge quintet has drawn potent praise, their aggressively potent performances seeing the band play with the likes of Chimaira, Crowbar, Beholder, Revoker, Evil Scarecrow, Sacred Mother Tongue, and Breed 77 across the years. It was a success matched by the release of first EP Vol 001 – Empty Shell and even more by its 2013 successor Vol 002 – Mercy Flight, an offering luring eager praise from Kerrang!, Big Cheese, and Rock Sound amongst many. It is now easy to expect the same reactions and more with the release of All Things Known And Buried. The album suggests there is plenty more yet to come from the band as their sound and imagination evolves further, much more than the album at times offers but there is no escaping that it grips ears and gives pleasure from start to finish and inspires wave of excitement for the band’s future exploits.

Left For Red - Cover Art   From the brief album intro of Master Call, band and release launch at ears with current single Master Of The Game, a song already sparking plaudits and eager attention from fans and media alike. For personal tastes it is one of the less potent songs upon the album but with vocal roars, crisp beats, and feisty riffs aligned to an infectious weave of enterprise, the encounter awakens ears and attention with accomplished ease. The guitar play of Aaron Foy and Phil Smith slip from impressive to irresistible across the sonic bellow of the song whilst vocalist LC Decoy just demands and receives attention with his great mix of old school screams and ferocious snarls entangled in melodic expression.

Things step up a notch straight away with Crooked Path, Dan Carter opening the song up with a deliciously belligerent and predatory bass line courted by a just as gripping shuffle driven by the sticks of drummer Rob Hadley. It is a superb opening, becoming more flavoursome with guitar lures and tastier again with the emerging of one instinctively addictive groove. Vocals soon blow a dramatic wind into the tempestuous landscape of the song too, again a varied blend from Decoy and band uniting to great effect. With that enslaving groove ringing in the ears, third song Reborn takes over with a blues flaming around another dark and almost carnivorous bass tone. Like Judas Priest meets Tool, the song grows into a melodic blaze, more old school than modern metal but dealing a deck of intriguing ideas and skilled endeavour. It does not quite match up to its predecessor though nor to the riveting adventure of Echoes Of Strangers which comes next. A song which took a while to convince but increasingly fascinated and thrilled over each listen, as the album to be honest, it is a constantly moving and twisting weave of styles and metal ferociousness. At times there is a scent of bands like God Forbid and In Flames to the song, in other moments a more Down meets Lamb of God spicing seeps out, all adding to the growing weight and strength of the track on ears and thoughts.

The second half of All Things Known And Buried truly hits another level and ignites personal tastes more powerfully; it all starting with the grove fest of Shatter. From a resonating distortion kissed bass welcome, the song develops a contagious swagger and melodic invention which has the imagination hooked from the first swinging step. Riffs and rhythms provide the anthemic bait whilst grooves and vocals sculpt the core of the infection being expelled, but all is outshone by the searing fire of guitar creating its solo.

Ascension has feet and neck muscles gripped next; this another song with a virulent tenacious stroll to its body and a ravenous bestial bassline to its arsenal. These strengths are matched by the melodic might and vocal prowess also going to make this as its predecessor, a pinnacle of the album. The song has everything impressive about Left For Red in its body and character, as well as more of the promise lining the album of bigger and bolder things to come.

The elegant beauty of piano led instrumental Dystopia Rising superbly seduces ears and imagination before the almost rabid presence of Utopia prowls and rages against the senses. Hostility and bracing sonic ferocity combine to create a web of fascinating and again thrilling confrontation, the uncompromising yet temperate force of the song keeping the latter half of the album impressively roaring.

Closing with the excellent Solace In Memories, a warm and intensive melodic croon across more volatile scenery of sound, All Things Known and Buried is a stirring offering from Left For Red, and a more impressive one with every encounter. From a more than decent start and a growing strength as each song comes forward, the album hits a potent plateau around halfway and never looks back. It is not one to claim as a game changer for the British metal scene or maybe even the band itself right now, but it does show them to be heading towards making that kind of breakthrough, and deserves an intensive look at by all metal fans.

All Things Known And Buried is available through Burning Halo Records from April 27th

https://www.facebook.com/leftforreduk  http://leftforred.co.uk/

LEFT FOR RED LIVE: 15th May – Mosh Against Cancer Festival – The Lomax, Liverpool; 16th May – Lower George Inn, Gloucester; 30th May – Midlands Metal Crusade – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton; 20th June – Hard ‘N’ Hevy Fest – The Dollhouse, Abertillery.

RingMaster 27/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0GKtzvLv-g

 

HOT-TIPPED METAL CREW LEFT FOR RED, NATIONALLY UNVEIL THEIR STUNNING DEBUT ALBUM!

Left For Red Online Promo Shot

‘Pantera-influenced metallers Left For Red are loud, heavy and will make you wanna throw your super-size Coke over someone.’ -Jennyfer J. Walker, Kerrang!

‘This is metal as it ought to be, from a band with great potential’ – Rocksound, 8/10.

Oozing gargantuan riffs and imposing melodies, Midland metallers ‘Left For Red’ step up with their enthralling debut album All Things Known and Buried, out through Burning Halo Records on 27th April.

Hailing from the same fertile region that bred metal kings such as Black Sabbath, Napalm Death, Diamond Head and Judas Priest, Left for Red were spawned in 2010 and soon soaked up the records of Sabbath and Judas Priest before spreading their wings to help form their own blend of modern heavy metal.

The past four years have been very productive for the midlanders; they have built up an army of followers and are well renowned for delivering stunning live performances. Sharing stages with the likes of Chimaira, Crowbar, Beholder and Breed 77, and winning Kerrang!’s TNA competition, have all contributed to the band’s growing stock. Added to that, the metal monkeyshave nationally released two killer EP’s: ‘Vol 001 – Empty Shell’ and ‘Vol 002 – Mercy Flight’, which both picked up considerable national and widespread online praise including rave reviews from Kerrang!, Big Cheese and Rock Sound.

The five-some surge forward with their first full-length debut album, entitled ‘All Things Known and Buried’, which is unleashed in April. This record etches a line in the sand and it’s poised to mark the band as a true force within the UK metal scene. Stacked with pounding riffery, immersing vocal passages and intricately woven layers, the album offers up nine beefy slabs of cutting edge modern metal. Current single ‘Master Of The Game‘
( http://youtu.be/C0GKtzvLv-g) is a true statement of intent; so too is the magnificent ‘Reborn’ with its Tool-esque hook that will leave you pining for more. Look out for the raucous metal-heads when they bring the party to your town, as they plan a flurry of shows and festivals this year.

LEFT FOR RED LIVE:28th February – Album Launch – 02 Academy, Birmingham; 28th March – The Unicorn, Camden, London; 25th April – The Old Sal, Nottingham; 15th May – Mosh Against Cancer Festival – The Lomax, Liverpool; 16th May – Lower George Inn, Gloucester; 30th May – Midlands Metal Crusade – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton; 20th June – Hard ‘N’ Hevy Fest – The Dollhouse, Abertillery.

Left For Red

www.facebook.com/leftforreduk https://twitter.com/leftforreduk

– LEFT FOR RED RELEASE ‘ALL THINGS KNOWN AND BURIED’, OUT 27th APRIL THROUGH ALL STORES –

Possessor – Stay Dead

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Like so many we were ravished and bewitched by Electric Hell, the debut album from UK metallers Possessor which was unleashed last year. It was a tremendous persuasion of sound and enterprise reinforced by a retrospective listen of their first EP Wings of Fire, which came out just a few months before that impressive full-length. They have a sound which is raw and voracious yet unafraid to embrace a melodic and sonic toxicity come seduction which is as fierce and flavoursome as the hostile and sinister landscapes it infiltrates. Now band and music has drawn a new lustful submission with new EP Stay Dead, a release realising all the qualities of its predecessors in new and raucously adventurous exploits.

Hailing from London and formed late 2013, the trio breed their insidious temptation masquerading as sound through merging occult metal with sludge and thrash bred hues and tenacity. It is a fusion emerging with a sense of familiarity yet providing distinctly new and incendiary provocations and temptations. They are like a mix of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Kylesa and Therapy?, a hellacious assault on the senses and demonic seducing of the psyche.

cover     The EP opens on a real high of a track and the release never does anything but look down from lofty heights again. Lucifer Stay Dead opens on a rumble of motorbike before descending on the senses swiftly after with a tsunami of riffs from guitarist Graham Bywater and bassist Marc Brereton. With swinging beats just as feverishly hostile and immediate aligned to a sonic enterprise from Bywater sparking early lusty reactions, the track prowls and snarls with bestial irreverence. The song is simply predatory, everything about it soaked in real hunger and antagonistic ferocity. There is no letting up of its intensity either, those ravenous riffs seemingly gaining in strength and appetite across the track whilst rhythms simply grow bigger balls of attitude within a flaming melodic web.

It is an exceptional start matched by Night of Venom straight after, a track which launches itself on the senses with an even heavier and intensive assault. Of course it also comes with that instinctive seduction, an exciting sonic spicing which tempers the viciousness. Brereton’s bass delivers its dirtiest, rabid tones ever though, whilst the contagion of riffs and grooves coring the encounter, like in its predecessor, has a repetitive niggling which simply evolves into an irresistible addiction. This is where that Therapy? essence comes in for us, the song reaping the nature of the same type of persuasion which lit up the N. Ireland trio’s early work.

With it definitely being too short, fair to say you cannot get enough of its primal tempting, the track makes way for Cobwebs, a smiling slice of pop rock. Nah don’t be silly, the song is another portentous stalking of the senses, though to be honest it does have a more respectful swagger to its energy and character too. Of course this is bound in menacing and dark hearted bass growling and just as grizzly riffery, whilst the drums almost call out for mercy such the psychical and gripping sledging they get. It many ways the track is like the darkest Hammer Films of the seventies, its demonic presence and nature wrapped in alluring colourful designs set to entrap before the horror begins.

The EP closes with Lights Out / Crypt of the Sorcerer, the darkest, chilling, and most toxic offering on the release, arguably from Possessor ever. Its classic psych charm is a deceit within a cavernous smothering of devil seeded ensorcellment, the appetiser before a devouring of senses and emotions within a swamp of thrash sculpted riffs and occultist violation. It is sonic smog of seventies and current classic metal twisted and wrung out until breeding its own scorching and intoxicating sludge thick blasphemy. The track is quite simply a thrilling end to another stunning release from Possessor, even with its infernal fade out.

Possessor last year set a plateau with Electric Hell for themselves and the current British occult metal scene, but has now left it behind as a past marker in their emergence with Stay Dead. Maybe only the brave will dare immerse in the world of Possessor but with rewards plentiful and lingering within their aural necromancy, truly no metal /heavy rock fan should fear giving them a go.

The Stay Dead EP is available now via http://possessor.bandcamp.com/album/stay-dead-ep

https://www.facebook.com/possessorband

RingMaster 02/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

XII Boar – Pitworthy

XII Boar - Photo Landscape 2

Trampled under the heavy booted sounds of their excellent self-titled debut EP four years ago, UK heavy rockers XII Boar have just got sonically fiercer and more virulently compelling over time. Subsequent releases have continued the ignition of a hungry appetite in the British underground rock/metal scene for their rampantly aggressive and virulently grooved sounds, though nothing before matches up to the thrilling Southern fried might of debut album Pitworthy. Bulked up with ten tracks of muscular temptation with a mischievous glint in their eyes, the album is a thunderous stomp of virulently primal and dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

XII Boar hail from Aldershot and first came to light in 2010. It was not long before their blend of voracious metal and heavily slung rock ‘n’ roll was breeding a potent and loyal local following around Hampshire and the South East of the UK. Growing increasingly more distinct and individual to the band over time, their sound takes the richest and most aggressive strains of stoner, doom, blues, and southern metal and turns it into one incendiary blaze of sound, imagine Black Sabbath and Corrosion of Conformity colluding with Motorhead and Black Tusk for an inkling. It is probably fair to say that their early days which included that first EP, the band musically was offering a familiar if exciting proposal but as the Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP of 2012 and especially the single Truck Stop Baby last year came and went, XII Boar showed they were breeding their own musical identity, a presence now grabbing the passions in Pitworthy. It still has an instantly recognisable flavouring but now from the band’s own open sound rather than having a thick feel of others, though ripe hints are still a welcome spicing.

Live XII Boar has continued to impress and lure acclaim too, shows over the years with Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, ASG, and Karma To Burn as well as appearances at Bloodstock, Desert Fest, and Hard Rock Hell adding to their rising stature. It is a live feel which also seems to vein the new album, its tracks rampaging with that edge generally stages only inspire and immediately adding extra potency to the creativity and energy of album opener Sharpshooter. The song is introduced by a wrestling/boxing match like ring barker, and its entrance lit by a flame of sonic coaxing from the guitar of Tommy Hardrocks. That initial expulsion is swiftly left behind though as grooves flirt with and immediately entice ears as the thumping beats of Dave Wilbraham begin the incessant and invigorating battering which charges up the whole album. With the great heavy throated lure of Adam Thomas’ bass snarling with bestial temptation within it all, the trio has attention and imagination gripped. Hardrocks vocally roars and growls as the music around him, but already there are unpredictable twists and adventures crawling through the song. With older tracks in many ways once established you knew where they were creatively going but in the first song alone, Pitworthy reveals a fascinating depth and exciting tenacity to pull Coverout the middle finger on expectations. Bottomline though is that the track is one commanding irresistible stomp, with all guns blazing and nostrils flared.

It is the same with the following Young Man, and to be honest the rest of the album too. The second song has a stronger blues spice to its fiery blood, toxic melodies and tantalising grooves providing the intoxicating liquor veining and flowing through the Down meets Desert Storm like shuffle. Rhythmically the track is a strongly enthralling and agitated groan whilst vocally it bellows and melodically it flames within a sultry climate embracing ears and emotions. It is compelling stuff igniting the air before the bruising weight of Crushing the P lumbers in and proceeds to press its own intensive and imposing bulk on the senses. Again though, grooves temper the rugged nature of the proposition, whilst inescapable infectiousness wraps the swing of rhythms and riffs. The song is an on-going predation too; every aspect increasing in magnetism until by its conclusion the crawling posture of the song is pure addiction.

The outstanding flirtation of The Schaeffer Boogie emerges out of those final throes of intensity, the track swiftly breaking into a robust and contagious slab of heavy temptation. Grooves swing with inescapable persuasion, casting an irresistible invitation for all to join their devilry, though we warn that their weighty movement will even worry young hips getting involved over long term exposure. Never taking a breath or allowing one, the song is sheer heavy rock majesty; not demanding, except on the body, and seriously exhilarating.

The grouchy tones of the album’s title track comes next, Hardrocks’ vocals a grizzly web of confrontation and attitude, and backed strongly by Thomas whose bass simply oozes cantankerous sounds and ferocity within the thick tapestry of temperamental and predatory sounds. The track is a tempest of drama and shadowed intrigue too, again every subsequent unexpected detour or twist in the nature and journey of the climactic offering surrounded by a rhythmic and riff sculpted catchiness which has feet and neck muscles exhausted.

The short Cajun aired instrumental Crawdaddy Blues is an ok interlude for the first couple of listens but to be honest ignored as appetite wants to dive back into the punk fury of Chicken Hawk again and again thereon in. The track is a brute of a companion, that punk seeded hostility and urgency a ripe tempting against the pungent heavy metal and ravenous rock ‘n’ roll it is aligned to. Pantera meets Converge yet different again, it is another major pinnacle of the already impressive release, a peak matched by Battle Boar. The rumbling rhythmic heart of the track is an anthemic call in its own right, and the fuse and detonator to a turbulent and hellacious conflict of intensive and insatiable energy. Riffs and rhythms collide with hostile intent, ridden by the equally abrasing and assertive vocals, whilst grooves are venomous and flailing in their scything enterprise. The track is a glorious sonic conflagration but too damn short at less than three minutes.

   Rock City is smoky and at times like sonic vapour on the taste buds, a fine musical whisky which slips across the senses with smooth ease before unveiling its bite and spicy tang. As you would expect grooves and riffs make a tapestry of tart and colourful temptation whilst vocals and the deliciously imposing basslines help spark the old school predation fuelling all classic slabs of uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll. Compelling and rousing, the song is another towering anthem setting emotions up for the closing Quint, an eleven minute savaging unafraid to explore every avenue of heavy rock and ferocious metal whilst painting it all with a sludgy stoner hue. Arguably over long for some, every minute of the track is a new scene to run with and imaginative corner to dive down.

XII Boar has had little difficulty impressing and exciting since their first release but have creatively and musically come of age with Pitworthy. It thrusts the band to the frontline of British rock ‘n’ roll with even broader spotlights potentially awaiting as their excellent album surely begins to lure in the world.

Pitworthy is available now digitally and on CD via http://xiiboar.bandcamp.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/xiiboar   http://xiiboar.bigcartel.com/

RingMaster 10/03/2015

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