King Zero – Sonic

What can we tell you about US outfit King Zero? Well very little actually apart from it is a quintet from Dallas which recently released the very appetising Sonic EP and offers a bluesy melody rich sound which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Tom Petty, Eagles, and Black Oak Arkansas. Anything other than that we have yet to discover but quite honestly their latest release does all the talking for them whilst casting plenty of reasons why to give them continued attention.

Made up of four tracks which suggest a brewing broadness to their sound, the Sonic EP swiftly grabbed eager ears starting with opener Black Stoned Heart. Straight away the senses are wrapped in inviting sonic strains of guitar, a groove springing lure soon joined by an eager rhythmic swing. The potent tones of vocalist Paul Renna step into the growing blues fuelled enterprise soon after, his earnest croon aligning with the melodic craft of guitarists Dave Self and Chris Jackson. As further shown by the release in general, there is an open familiarity to the band’s sound and certainly they are not reinventing the sonic wheel but as the first track alone proves, King Zero is definitely giving it a new fresh lick of craft and imagination.

It is a great start to the EP quickly backed and eclipsed by In Your Eyes. Straight away spicy hooks are cast around ears, arousing a greedy appetite as they continue to nag and seduce as vocals and rhythms collude. A stoner-esque hue adds to the song’s magnetic character and holler, the swinging beats of Todd Hatchett inciting further captivation in league with the similarly alluring dark breath of Chris Ivey’s bass. Emerging as our favourite of the four through its rapacious grooving alone, the track highlights all the essences which are beginning to draw richer attention upon the band.

 Into the Light follows with a calmer touch to its southern laced croon within a melodically flaming classic rock breath and though we cannot say that it grabbed us as richly and firmly as its companions, from vocals to melody, united to individual craft, the track more than pleased whilst adding another hue to the band’s colourful sound.

Final track, Fuel the Fire, needed little time to get under the skin in comparison, the time it took Ivey’s bass to move through its first rumbling riff enough to reel us in. The trap is soon firmly shut by grunge lined grooves which just spill temptation and a vocal prowess that lures; an attention demanding end to a release which commands the same depth of fixation.

Sonic is also an offering which blossoms further by the listen. Musically it is not particularly unique but everything about it is creatively magnetic and as fresh sounding as you could wish; as we intimated earlier they reasons enough to keep King Zero on the radar.

The Sonic EP is out now on Spotify and @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sonic-ep/1434199784

http://kingzeromusic.net/  https://www.facebook.com/kingzeromusic/   https://twitter.com/kingzeromusic

Pete RingMaster 16/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hitman – The Offering: Side 1

With their sights unerringly on giving heavy rock and metal fans a rousing sound to erupt with, Canada’s Hitman release their third EP in the shape of The Offering: Side 1. With Side 2 scheduled for release next year, the first four track encounter is an attention grabbing slab of stoner metal ferocity blended with classic and fresh essences of rock and metal. It is a mixture which has a familiarity as potent as the individuality it breeds and most of all a concoction which incites thick enjoyment as neck muscles keeps busy and the body bounces.

Hailing out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hitman emerged in 2011 and has earned a fine reputation for their sound, releases, and a voracious live presence.  The band was the brainchild of drummer Sylvain Coderre who linked up with long-time friend and vocalist Jordan Rose initially before the duo were joined by bassist Andrew Coutts. Subsequently the line-up was completed by guitarist Corey Norman. 2013 saw the release of debut EP, Whiskey Downfall; its successor, The Preacher, dropping the following year and sparking even greater awareness and praise of the band with a re-release in 2015. All the while gigs and festival appearances escalated their reputation; headlining the Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Fest in Nova Scotia and playing the Warped Tour in New York in 2016 major highlights. Now the band is aiming for broader attention with The Offering; intent easy to see breeding success.

 Their inspirations are said to include the likes of Black Sabbath, Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Pantera, and Down; influences you could maybe guess listening to the new EP. They are spices though which adds to its potency rather than defusing its individuality. You can debate whether it makes for a sound which is unique enough to make a truly major impact but as release opener Curtain Call proves it all makes for one seriously appetising proposal commanding attention. The first track initially unleashes a defined rally of beats which swiftly sparks grooved tendrils and rapacious riffs aligned to a great bass grumble. There is equally a grainy growl to the vocals of Rose which in turn ignites an even more potent snarl to the already captivating proposition. Short but a sweet snare of rock ‘’n’ roll with a sludge hued spicing to its stoner liquor, the track quickly and increasingly had ears and appetite gripped

There is no dismissing those Pantera/Down essences to the track though in some ways its heavy rock drawl reminds of now demised Northern Irish band Triggerman while the following Under The Weight openly wears its Sabbath influence especially when it makes its punchy entrance, rich riffs to the fore. Intoxicating grooves are swiftly woven as beats land with creative zeal, the track a magnetic web of enterprise where maybe surprises are understated but the freshness of sonic and melodic endeavour is all 80% proof fresh.

Next up, Nero is grooved entangled rock ‘n’ roll also proving very easy to be hooked upon, the track an inescapable lure of flaming guitar, bass predation, and vocal enticement. Its blues lining and sonic sighs add sonic firewater to magnetic rhythmic temptation, tempting escalated by the smouldering grizzled grouch of the bass and Coderre’s irrepressible exploits.

Enchanted Wizard/ Hail The Outro bring things to a close, its wiry tendrils leading to a hellacious outcry before once more grooves simply entwine and seduce ears. Classic metal instincts dance on the senses before the band springs a stoner bred canter, all the while embracing and evolving things with those initial essences and perpetually lighting up the imagination and the intensity of the pleasure found in the exhilarating tapestry.

It maybe only four tracks but side 1 of The Offering is a rich and thick morsel of rock ‘n’ roll. It may not be overtly unique but it is mightily damn good and we for one always have a hankering for that kind of sonic intoxicant.

The Offering: Side 1 is out now, available @ https://hitmanhalifax.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Hitmantheband   http://www.twitter.com/hitmanhalifax

 Pete RingMaster 24/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Power of Diversity: exploring the world of Scarleth

The Ukrainian metal scene is not the most active on our radar but we can introduce you to one band which more than warrants attention. It is Kiev hailing melodic metallers Scarleth. The past decade has seen them share stages at numerous shows and festivals with the likes of Blind Guardian, Rage, Ensiferum, Rotting Christ, Leaves’ Eyes, and Kalmah. Embracing an array of rich flavours their sound has grown into an ear grabbing proposition which will reveal another fresh breath in the quintet’s upcoming new album. We had the pleasure to find out more about the band, release, and more with guitarist Victor.

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

Hello! Nice to talk to you 🙂 I’m Victor, leader and founder of the band.

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

The band was formed in 2005 by myself (Victor Morozov). First line-up included both of my sisters (Renata – vocals, Nina – keyboards).

After that, numerous line-up changes took place until current line-up has finally appeared:

Victor Morozov – guitar

Yana Kovalskaya – keyboards

Ekaterina Kapshuk – vocals

Igor Chumak – bass

Philipp Kharouk – drums

The band was originally formed in Donetsk, Ukraine. Basically, it was my idea to form a band. As a teenager, I was impressed by such bands as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, so I wanted to form my own band. Ritchie Blackmore was my hero, he is the reason I picked up guitar to play.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

SCARLETH is the first and the only band for Victor and Ekaterina, both of them haven’t played in other bands before.

Yana was in the following bands before SCARLETH: Stella Vespera (2009–2012), Luna Dream (2012-2014), Dante (2013-2015).

Philipp was part of these bands before he joined SCARLETH: B.W.N., Trapped In Tremble, Maleficar, Vyhr Grez, Kolard, Body Juice.

Igor played in few bands before SCARLETH, but that was too long ago to remember their names 🙂

Current line-up of SCARLETH has been around for about 2 years now.

I don’t think previous bands influenced us in any way; Scarleth has its own style which is constantly evolving.

What inspired the band name?

SCARLET was just a cool simple name which came to my sister’s mind 🙂 I only added “h” to the end of the word, so it looks more “metal”.

We also like this name because it doesn’t limit our musical style in any way. We can play anything we want under this title.

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

At the start, band was planned as cover band. But right after the start, our own songs begin to appear, so we’ve had short time with cover songs.

As for sound, we always wanted to sound different to others that is why we try to include as many different elements as possible to our songs.

And the same ideas and inspirations still drive the band when it was fresh-faced?

It’s the same – passion for music and wish to give good music to our fans and listeners. We never placed money or fame as main driving-force. Making good music which we like and playing it is most important for us.

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

It became heavier, more modern. The new album will be even more into this direction. But also it will touch pop-metal genre which is new for us. It will be interesting record, so don’t forget to buy it when it will be released and support our band.

And that has been an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

That is natural – we do not plan any changes. We just evolve as people, and our music evolves together with us. And this is really interesting journey. We are happy to be who we are.

You mentioned your own specific spark to make music and presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think life itself is main source of inspiration. Travelling, movies, computer games, anything we do – has its influence.

As for bands who has impact on us I can say – Within Temptation, Black Sabbath, Amaranthe.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

Yes. We start with simple melodic idea or riff then create song structure. Lyrics are created after that. Most of our songs are written this way. But not all of them, there are always exceptions.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

From life situations, from something that really grabs our souls. It may be scene from movie or just something happened to us on the road. Just about anything. Life has so many unexpected moments, you know 🙂

Could you give us some background to your new album?

Our latest release is called The Silver Lining, which was released back in 2015. It includes nine tracks we are really proud of, I think these are the best we’ve done so far.

All the tracks on the CD are very different to each other, so if you like diversity in music – we can really recommend to give it a try.

Album was recorded in Kiev in Morton Studio. Max Morton is our good friend; he is really professional sound engineer and sound producer, so we should thank him for great sound on this CD.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind its songs.

I think you are asking about lyrics? Lyrics of our songs are as diverse as is the music. You can find quite interesting stuff besides just regular “love songs” or “freedom songs”. I think I should avoid spoilers, so it will be more interesting for you to listen to the songs yourselves 🙂

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?

We like to finish everything before going to the studio. But sometimes great ideas appear during recording, so we take them with pleasure. It’s always cool not to know what will happen next 🙂

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

We are big fans of performing our music live. It’s really important for us. When you play live, you can feel band’s energy and reaction of your fans. That is main value for us as artists.

Travelling to festivals may be not easy, but performance itself is always rewarding.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and across the world. How have you found it?

You are right – it is not easy, and we are still in the process of getting through. We can only suggest to believe in your own music, play it as much as you can and do everything for it to be heard. Never say die 🙂

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 access to your music is or is maybe out of your hands a little?

Internet helped us a lot. We can use those tools to get our music to the public, it is very important. However, illegal downloads are also take place, and that is not a good thing. But anyway, I think internet is a really good thing for band’s promotion.

 Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you! Listen to good music, be yourselves, just live and do what you really like 🙂 See you soon on the road!

Explore the sounds and imagination of Scarleth further @

http://scarleth.com.ua/   http://www.facebook.com/scarlethmetal   http://www.instagram.com/scarlethband/   http://youtube.com/scarlethband

Pete RingMaster 07/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Leatherjacks – The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll + singles

As the band get to work on its successor, we take a look back at the Leatherjacks debut album as well as subsequent singles as an introduction to their inventive rock ‘n’ roll. From São Paulo, Brazil and formed in 2016, Leatherjacks is the creation of singer, songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist Mauro Cordeiro and it was through his personal introduction that we were guided to the band’s first album, a flavoursome slab of heavy metal infused hard rock which has raised an eager anticipation for its upcoming successor.

With the inspiration of bands such as Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Thin Lizzy, George Benson, and Stray Cats among many others shaping his own musical imagination, The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll was pretty much a solo project for Cordeiro despite attempting to find like-minded musicians to realise his intent. For the second album he has realised his hopes for a full band line-up with the addition of bassist Marcos Brandão and guitarist Rapha Gusto; a drummer still being sought as we write.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll opens up with People (We’re Chosen Ones) and instantly had ears keenly attentive with its swinging groove and fiery touch. Riffs and rhythms simultaneously launch an infectious lure, the vocals of Cordeiro adding to the swift captivation. Certainly the song is not over ripe in uniqueness but quickly blossomed with fresh and imaginative enterprise through the open craft of its creator; that blending of classic and heavy metal with rousing hard rock providing a highly flavoured proposition which easily caught the appetite.

Next up Crocodile’s Heart has a more controlled gait and sonic calm though its simmer bubbled rapaciously throughout. An eighties metal spicing brings a catchy hue to the song which though it did not ignite ears as forcibly as its predecessor, left its pleasurable mark especially through Cordeiro’s guitar enterprise before Burning Wire grabbed attention with its web of wiry grooves and rousing rhythms honed into a manipulative slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll with a deft melodic touch. Cordeiro has a passion for rockabilly among other sounds, a hue definitely behind the track’s tenacious and quickly addictive stomp.

Taking best track honours it is followed by the muscular roar of the track LeatherJacks. Once more heavy metal and imposing hard rock are blended for a proposal which almost preys on ears as it pleasures them; its tone as predacious as it is arousing before Emotions On Sale explores a more tender, ballad like side to the Leatherjacks invention. It still comes with a fire in its belly though; one which inflames its voice and intensity throughout a magnetic presence to forge another high point in the album’s already compelling body.

The Slammer was a song which did not quite hook up with personal tastes yet Cordeiro has a style and touch to his guitar play and songwriting which easily tempts as proven not for the first or last time by Do You Fucking Pay My Bills?, a raucous but defined rock ‘n’ roll assault riff armed and melody inflamed with attitude oozing every note and syllable.

The following instrumental MotoCross is a delicious metal ‘n’ roll incitement, craft and adrenaline fuelling its addictive antics before the album concludes on its title track. The final song was another which did not quite ignite the juices as those before but again bouncing to its contagion and returning to its fire for more was never in doubt.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll is a highly enjoyable and accomplished release with really impressive moments which have only been built upon by subsequent singles; tracks hinting of bigger and bolder things to come with its successor. The end of 2017 saw Leatherjacks release I Hate To Fall In Love. A melodic romance with that ever present fire in its heart and lining, the song has a freshness to it which inescapably entices. It is a song written decades earlier but stands the test of time and with its new enterprise firmly pleasures though not as majorly as Persona Non Grata. A track presumably set to appear on the second album, which we believe will be called Songs For The Strangest Ones, it is superb. Immediately it reveals its infectious swagger, guitars and rhythms uniting in a flirtatious canter as vocals melodically share the song’s heart. Again familiarity and fresh endeavour do collude yet a union which invades ears and imagination with eager intent and adventure. The track is accompanied by the song Spells and Zombies Through the Night, an even bolder, more raucous offering which suggests that this new album once realised will eclipse all before.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll and those singles are all available via iTunes.

http://www.leatherjacksofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pg/leatherjacksofficial

 Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Saviours

Pic By Gord Weber

Recent times have seen a growing wealth of eighties bred metal bands rising from their assumed demise or slumber. Thrash metal especially seems to have that power of resurrection. Some of those bands are venturing into new areas, some simply continuing what they did best back in the day which lured potent attention, success and reputation. Infrared sits in the second camp, their love and hunger for classic thrash openly inspired by contemporarys like the Big 4 as well as the influence of Sabbath, Maiden and the likes. As old school thrash never dates or tires in our ears, a resourcefully woven and imaginatively delivered encounter of said genre has a welcoming place and the new album from the Canadians is that and more.

Hailing from Ottawa, Infrared grew from local legends to stirring real attention within the national metal scene. Their sound was and is rooted in 70s and early 80s metal, bands such as Accept, Scorpions, and Judas Priest alongside those already mentioned inspirations on the quartet. Their rise came to a halt as life took members down different paths until 2014 saw three of the original four reuniting; vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx coming together again. Original bassist Shawn Thompson had since relocated to Miami so Mike Forbes was brought in to complete the line-up. The foursome then released debut album No Peace which featured songs written all those years ago. Now successor Saviours brings eight brand new tracks to ears, songs which swiftly grabbed ours as themes of “demagogues, dictators, and religious leaders professing to be the saviours of the world but instead inflict the most brutal attacks on humanity imaginable” roared.

Saviours erupts into life with Project Karma its opening magnetic yet portentous lure, one becoming even predacious as it prowls the senses. A delicious groove spears it’s stalking, a swinging proposal aflame with sonic enterprise and rhythmic incitement. Its initial lengthy instrumental is irresistible and only accentuated once the warrior tones of Kamal backed by the band head the song’s even fuller assault. Familiar and fresh hues collude in its web, imagination blossoming across its fiery body as a tremendous start to Saviours is set.

That predatory air retains its presence within The Demagogue, the following song also a court of threat and contagion which almost swaggers around ears as the guitars spin their sonic threads and rhythms pounce. Like a fusion of bands like Testament and Slayer, it hits the spot; increasing its temptation as calmer climes are ventured and melodic intimation embraced. It’s subsequent rising heat and intensity brings it back to its original sonic inference before Saviour explores an even darker trespass of menace and seduction. As we suggested, Infrared is not set on reinventing the wheel of thrash metal or even their core sound but there is a bold lining of adventure and imagination which makes their music and especially this track stand out.

Through the melodic and melancholic elegance to tempestuous roar of The Fallen and the voracious charge of All In Favour the album just hit the spot. Across both tracks the vocals of Kamal added more incitement to an appetite already happily feasting on the individual prowess and enterprise of the band, Forbes’ bass especially dark liquor stirring our taste buds. They are all attributes just as persuasive within the predatory They Kill For Gods and Father of Lies with its intensive atmosphere over increasingly manic and ferocious entrapment around demonic character. The most adventurous of all the tracks it simply enthralled.

The album finishes off with Genocide Convention, a trash dervish of sound and aggression with spiralling sonic wires and senses blistering turbulence. Our favourite track it brings the thoroughly and increasingly enjoyable release to a mighty close.

Uniqueness might be a rarity compared to familiarity within Saviours but from an already established base it breeds fresh adventure and captivation. The album lit our pleasure from start to finish and Infrared is further proof that very good things can only get better with age.

Saviours is out now through iTunes and other stores as well as @ https://infraredmetal.bandcamp.com

http://infraredmetal.ca   https://www.facebook.com/infraredmetal   https://twitter.com/infraredmetal

Pete RingMaster 27/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crushing landscapes with US metallers Backblast

US outfit, Backblast, create a heavy metal roar embracing the flames of other styles and flavours. It is a proposition which is constantly growing and evolving as well as building on the success of the Manassas, VA hailing band’s well received debut EP, of 2015, The Area is Clear. We recently had the chance to get to the heart of the band with drummer Chris Tamberella, exploring its origins, growth, the band’s latest attention drawing release and more….

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

We are a five piece metal band consisting of Dan Cunningham on vocals, Jake Ford on  lead guitar, Adam Pritcher on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Wilsen Rivera on bass and myself, Chris Tamberella on drums. In 2015 Dan and I, along with original guitarist Marcos Eguia, began recording tracks in Dan’s basement. After 6 months of writing and recording, we decided to bring the studio to the stage.

Had you been involved in other bands before?

Wilsen has been in a number of projects including Kaemon, Bourne of Ash, Greythor, Pandora’s Box, Sanguinus and some solo work on Wilsen’s Sessions.  Dan was is a heavy metal band in Newport News, VA called Kaivol Motak who enjoyed local success.  Jake was in a band for a few years in high school and since has filled in periodically for the Miami based band Inferion.

What inspired the band name?

The majority of our band members are military veterans and have experienced the back blast of an RPG before.

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

There was no specific sound that we targeted at first. We played what came naturally which was best described as rock. After recording The Area is Clear, we wanted to add more to our sound but didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. Enter Adam Pritcher and his heavy riffs and we were on our way to making metal songs. Since then we added Wilsen on bass which opened the doors for another evolution in the band with his ability and experience. The final piece to our sound is the addition of Jake Ford. Adding a lead guitar to our sound has provided more opportunities for growth and another evolution in our sound. With the addition of Jake we are steering in somewhat of a power and progressive metal sound. Who knows what we will create in the future.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Our band has evolved in all aspects including what drives us now. As a band we want to push ourselves and churn out the best sound possible. That can only occur if we are all driven individually and as a unit. When we started in Dan’s basement we were messing around and seeing what came out. Right now we feel like the sky is the limit between the five of us and are excited for our next release and to continue bringing our brand of metal live on the east coast.

Has it been organic, especially the movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Everything that happens with our sound is organic and nothing is forced. We certainly want to try new things but we haven’t limited ourselves into what we are trying. If it feels right we move forward. If it’s clunky or not smooth than we move on to something else.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

With five guys in the band there are many different inspirations. We all share some of the same likes such as Black Sabbath, Dio, Lamb of God, Iced Earth but some of us like reggae, jazz, classical music, electronic music and more. For myself as a drummer I am inspired by Chris Adler of Lamb of God and Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold.

Is there a general process to the band’s songwriting? 

Most of our songs are based off guitar riffs. Sometimes that riff is structured before it comes into the band room or it may just be a small riff that starts with a jam session and grows into a full track.

And lyrically, where do you draw the inspirations?

Past experience, current political climate and what happens inside Dan’s head (which could be scary).

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is a four song concept EP, The Ringmaster. It revolves around an evil entity “The Ringmaster” who has pulled in all the outsiders of society and placed them under his spell. He lures with them with the promise of hope and acceptance but his true motive is to create an army of minions. After realizing their fate those who have come under his power rise up to fight back. In this story the good guys just might not win.

Give us some insight to the premise behind its songs.

The first song, The Ringmaster, tells the story of our protagonist and gives the listener a hint of his plan. Next is To the Grave which lets the newly acquired minions understand what is actually in store for them under the big top. The third track Uprising is when the battle begins. The minions have come together to throw down with “The Ringmaster” for an epic battle of good and evil. Our battle finally comes to a bloody finish with Bend the Knee. Who will be left standing?

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?

We are 100% ready to record each track when entering the studio. Studio time is a pricey endeavour and we don’t like to burn money. The blade is sharpened before we hit record.

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

Our live shows are our bread and butter. I promise you will not be bored. At one point you could be two feet away from a slinging guitar or about have Dan singing in your face. Our shows require audience participation and I promise you won’t be able to resist joining in.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

Our region has had a recent bump in the past year but it is an uphill battle. The underground metal scene has some very strong bands and personalities but the only way we grow is standing side by side. We are doing our part to make sure the scene keeps pushing.

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?

At this point social media is crucial for BackBlast and for all underground bands in any genre. On one hand social media gives any band exposure that would typically cost a ton of cash for free. On the other hand our music is free. There seems to be some formula for success through social media and we are still doing the math.

 Our big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Right now you can grab a free copy of our EP, The Ringmaster, by going to our Facebook page. Give it a like, and shoot us a message to get your free download code!

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Ugly Kings – Darkness Is My Home

Towards the tail of last year Australian blues rockers The Ugly Kings left a rather fertile and extremely tasty teaser for their debut album in the shape of two-track single Promised Land. Now we can reveal that all the hints and intimation offered then of something special coming ahead have been forcibly realised with the band’s first full-length, Darkness Is My Home. The release is a powder keg of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, a cauldron of suggestion and haunting darkness, and most of all simply one of the most powerful creative roars heard in a long time.

From the coarse grain of the delicious bass sound to the suggestive clang of the guitars and from the lyrical atmospherics to their vocal realisation, Darkness Is My Home is pure uncompromising temptation, one as dynamic as it is seductive and as cinematic as it is intimately haunting. In fact it is so much more than that outstanding first single implied, and still offering more after a multitude of listens.

Formed in 2011, the Melbourne quartet soon stirred local and subsequently national attention through their live presence and in turn 2015 mini album Of Sons. The past two years has seen the band share the stage with Rival Sons in Melbourne (2016), support Airbourne on their successful sold out 2017 east coast Australia tour and this year open for Papa Roach on their two shows in The Ugly Kings home city. Darkness Is My Home can only open bigger doors and opportunities, the album thrusting the band into the realm of the big boys without even a knock on the door.

The album opens with the outstanding Promised Land and instantly hooks ears with its initial lure of sultry guitar and vocal expression. Frontman Rusty Clark has a voice which commands attention, a musical orator you just want to listen to and backed by just as compelling sound throughout song and release. The smouldering brooding of the song is transfixing, only escalating its lure as resonating beats and the first of a tide of irresistible basslines across Darkness Is My Home breaks. Igniting into a robust stroll with a searing groove, the track is pure captivation and increasingly so as it repeats its cycle with greater lust and vigour. Rock ‘n’ roll does not come much better as this imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative encounter though it is undoubtedly matched throughout the album.

The following Black Widow also makes an instant impact with the beats of Andy Alkemade sending ripples of resonance across the senses with every impact before Christos Athanasias’ guitar begins its prowl alongside Clark’s vocal incitement. The earthy growl of Nick Dumont’s bass is just as riveting, the four conjuring a predatory yet seductive dark romance with threat in every note and suggestion in every syllable. Influences to the band include the likes of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Royal Blood, flavours you can sense but as in the first and those to come the track is as unique to The Ugly Kings as you could wish.

The fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Raging Bull has a more animated gait though it comes in an ebb and flow which stabs at the senses with purpose and mischief before being uncaged in a rich blaze of melodic lava while Killing Time borders on the carnivorous with its gorgeously gnarly bassline and romantic with its melodic and vocal reflection. The uniting of contrasting textures is masterful and Dumont’s bass manna for personal tastes whilst the song’s croon is just impossible to resist. Both songs light up ears and imagination, fire up the passions though we can say that about every track within Darkness Is My Home.

Love Enemy with its slow swagger of a stroll brings calm after the clamour of its predecessor but one lined with dark provocative shadows and magnetism as sinister as it is infectious. Its catchiness is inescapable, swaying hips and over worked neck muscles our evidence with the imagination just as involved as words and tendrils of sonic enterprise entangle before You And Me brings is boozier intoxication to bear on ears. The band’s passion for the blues is a constant roar in their skilfully eclectic sound, The Ugly Kings infusing it into their own power fuelled designs, each individual to the next as proven by the volcanic heat and earnest swing of yet another gem.

Another great trait of the album is that every song feels like old friends within a couple of listens, Lazarus drawing vocal chords into play even before it finishes its first influential roar, the ballad a pyre of power and individual intensity.

The album is brought to a just as rich close by firstly Little Birdy Told Me; a cauldron of senses singed grooves and ever welcomed rhythmic trespasses aligned to the striking prowess of vocals and unpredictability, and lastly The Fire. The closer has the heat its title suggests but before it reaches that intensity, simmers and smoulders around vocal melancholy and defiance. When it catches, the track is a furnace of sound and intensity but just as powerful when it’s sonic and atmospheric kindling is just glowing.

Darkness Is My Home is quite simply glorious, a rousing beacon among already a host of great and powerful heavy rock releases. The Ugly Kings better get their passports in order because we get the feeling the world is going to want them blazing away in their backyards hereon in.

Darkness Is My Home is out now via Kozmik Artifactz; available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/ and http://smarturl.it/DarknessIsMyHome

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/   https://twitter.com/theuglykings   https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2018

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