XII Boar – Beyond The Valley of The Triclops

zz6t_xiiboarband_1_RingMasterReview

Last year metallers XII Boar made a compelling statement that British heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll was in safe and eager hands with debut album Pitworthy. It was a slab of dirty, primal stomping announcing the arrival of the Aldershot hailing trio on the frontline of UK metal. Hindsight though, and the release of its successor, shows that the impressive encounter was just an appetiser for a bigger thunderous roar and charge of creative mischief, for Beyond The Valley of The Triclops.

Formed in 2010, XII Boar caught the attention of a great many with first release, the Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP. Unleashed in 2012, it thrust the band’s thumping invasive sound into broader attention to back up a growing live reputation. Since then, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hardrocks, bassist Adam Thomas, and drummer Dave Wilbraham have shared stages with the likes of Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, ASG, and Karma To Burn, made praise luring appearances at Bloodstock, Desert Fest, and Hard Rock Hell, and signed a film licensing deal with Troma Films editor Dylan Greenberg. In the mix was the release of the critically acclaimed Pitworthy, it all leading to the band’s finest moment to date, Beyond The Valley of The Triclops.

Recorded with producer Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth) at Skyhammer Studio, the new album sees the band’s Motorhead, Black Sabbath, High on Fire inspired blend of stoner, doom, blues, and southern metal find a new devil in its heart and revelry. There is a mischievous grin on its creative face, a fresh inventive debauchery which gives Beyond The Valley of The Triclops a diversity and adventure not heard in the already imaginative XII Boar sound before. The album opens with Prologue, a brief slice of rhythmic voodoo setting the feral landscape the album and first track proper, Beyond The Valley commands. From a delicious dirty bass groove with guitar flames in the air, the track strolls through ears with the infectious swing of winy grooves surrounding jabbing beats. The raw and grizzled tones of Hardrocks enjoyably growl, challenging as the track rouses ears and an already keen appetite for the band’s sound. It is an easy invitation for newcomers too, one already showing a new maturity and confidence in songwriting and sound whilst rousing the spirit in the individual XII Boar way.

zz6t_xiiboarbeyondthevalleyofthetriclops_1_RingMasterReviewThe Hustle leaps at the listener immediately its predecessor departs, fiery riffs and the sultry shimmer of harmonica coaxing attention as the song shows itself an old school meets stoner stomp with plenty of punk rock attitude and blues rock spicing. It is an epidemic of infectiousness as sturdy and intrusive as it is virulent and matched in success by the bluesy rock ‘n’ roll of Strange Kinda Lonesome. It too is a canter which whips up body and spirit, involving the listener with swift ease as Lemmy and co like influences make their presence known not for the first or last time in the XII Boar sound. There is a touch of Dr Feelgood to the song too, a dose of heavyweight R&B adding its flavouring even when the song explodes in a tirade of heavy rocking half way.

There is no time for exhaustion already resulting from listening to the album to recover as the outstanding El Mucho Grande flirts and roars on the senses straight after, the song a tapestry of twisting grooves and catchy hooks woven with fun and inventive relish as full of variety as the vocals.

A moment to catch breath is allowed as the narrator of the album is given thirty seconds to give his Welcome To Your Doom warning before Penetrator whips up its energies and grouchy aggression in a superb corruption of a track again openly wearing its Motorhead cape as it has body and vocal chords in league with its own in no time. There are no real surprises in a song which feels so good to throw body and soul into, that adventure given to the likes of the imposingly heavy Abyssal Lord with its spidery grooves and cantankerous nature and the country twanged Black and Blues to exploit. The first of the pair also seamlessly slips into some magnetic and sultry jazz funk shuffling while its successor is a smouldering fire of blues and country rock crooning given a weight and intensity which rumbles on the senses. Both tracks have an unpredictability and volatility which alone seduces attention and real enjoyment, an enterprise just as rampant within the predacious rock ‘n roll of Jupiter Aligns if not with the same strength of zeal.

Album highlights continue to arise as it nears its end, Beggars Roost one such potent proposal with its dark and imposing presence with the excellent Triclops concluding the release with a rhythmically gripping and sonically muggy stalking of the senses. The fact that neither track is arguably the strongest and most explosive things on the album shows the might and quality of Beyond The Valley of The Triclops as a whole.

You always hope to say that the latest release from a band is their finest moment yet and with XII Boar it has been a theme realised almost song by song as they seize UK heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll in their big salacious hands.

Beyond The Valley of The Triclops is out now @ http://xiiboar.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2016

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Lost Ritual Artwork_RingMasterReview

Eagerly awaited, the fifth album from British metallers Raging Speedhorn, and the first since their return around two years ago, rips into ears and senses looking to make up for lost time. Lost Ritual has all the venom, spite, and intensity that the Corby in Northamptonshire hailing sextet is renowned for, and the quality, but all honed into their most potent and savagely stylish proposition yet. As expected Raging Speedhorn is a beast on the album, their sound an uncompromising trespass, and Lost Ritual simply the most invigorating tempest.

The past couple of years have seen the band prove themselves a live encounter no metaller should miss, continuing where they left off eight years earlier whether destroying smaller intimate venue audiences or mass crowds at festivals such as Sonisphere, Bloodstock, and Damnation. The successor to 2007 album Before The Sea Was Built, the crowd funded Lost Ritual is the first album to feature guitarist Jim Palmer and also sees vocalist Frank Regan returning nine years after his last appearance on 2005 album How the Great Have Fallen.

An anticipation feeding teaser to the Russ Russell recorded album was offered earlier this year as part of a DesertFest split with Monster Magnet via H42 Records. Fair to say, Halfway To Hell grabbed the throat and ravaged the senses to get the juices flowing for Lost Ritual and the album swiftly shows it is not a lone highlight with opener Bring Out Your Dead. Instantly a plaintive groove winds around ears, its lure quickly joined by the meaty grizzle of Dave Thompson’s bass and the mighty swipe of Gordon Morison’s sticks on skin. Right there too are nagging riffs, their tempting courting the ever gripping grooves; guitarists Jamie Thompson and Palmer casting an inescapable web. Completed by the contrasting spite loaded growls of John Loughlin and Regan, song and band devours the senses and spirit, sparking each to new heights of pleasure simultaneously. The track is a debilitating anthem, a rousing roar as contagious as it is violent and Raging Speedhorn at their very best.

Halfway To Hell takes over and now a familiar companion to ears because of its previous release again only ignites body and appetite with ease. Again riffs and rhythms unite and collide as grooves wind and vocals blaze. The band has never been low key in creating the most essential hooks in their encounters and the second song is one has some of their ripest yet, addictive twists and turns inescapable even in the passage of slow predatory enterprise stalked by bestial throat grazing snarls which emerges.

There is no let-up in force, temptation, and virulence as Motorhead erupts in ears next, the track living up to its namesake in tone and sonic dirt while as ever reaping the unique Raging Speedhorn character to big success. A brutal treat, the track makes way for the rapacious prowl of Evil Or Mental. Again the listener is quickly entangled in intrusive grooves and bruising rhythms as vocals crawl over the senses with open ill-will. They are just part of its skilfully woven net of sonic malignancy and enterprise, the encounter rocking like an antagonistic bear before its closing sonic lancing leads into the imposing and thrilling seduction of Ten Of Swords. This is no sweet talking temptress though, the song a lumbering concentrated invasion of tenebrific sound and provocative craft fuelled by a rancorous heart and appetite feeding ingenuity.

It glorious scorn gives may to the raw punk ‘n’ roll of Dogshit Blues, the track an exhausting and exhilarating stirring of body and spirit, and in turn the thick aural incitement of The Hangman. In tone alone, the song is a dark and murderous affair, voice and emotion only adding to its cancerous impact and though musically, it maybe lacks the cache of hooks and twists found in many of its companions, the track cannot help offering another lofty peak within Lost Ritual.

The next up Shit Outta Luck is pure belligerent and inflammatory rock ‘n’ roll, a chest beating incitement for body and soul that will leave all out of breath in energy and bliss. With swinging grooves, lethal beats, and fiery intent, the track is magnificent and swiftly equalled in success by the compelling toxicity and invasive invention of Comin’ Home.

Completed by the enthralling Unleash The Serpent, the darkest and most imaginative track on the album, Lost Ritual shows Raging Speedhorn bigger, bolder, and more creatively belligerent than ever. It is also one of the year’s mightiest rewards from a band world metal needs more than ever.

Lost Ritual is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl @ https://ragingspeedhorn.bandcamp.com/album/lost-ritual and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ragingspeedhorn

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fallen Fate – Into The Black

 

FallenFatePromoImage

    With enough issues at times to temper an overall enthused appetite for its intensive brew of death and thrash metal, Into The Black the new album from UK metallers Fallen Fate is a striking encounter reaffirming and stretching the already formidable emergence of the band. Hailing from the North East, the quartet sculpts a sound which merges a diverse array of metal bred influences into one squalling furnace of intensity and sonic imagination. Soaked in this attention grabbing mix, the band’s second full-length release forges a provocation which given deep attention provides a mouthwatering design and narrative but with that comes limiting aspects which suggest that Fallen Fate is still a project in evolution but one with a very potent future.

    Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Lee Skinner, guitarist Piers Donno-Fuller, bassist Peter Hodgson, and drummer John Wright, Fallen Fate formed in 2005 and was soon honing a sound and presence which brought strong responses critically and from fans to their debut EP Revengance three years later. Soon their live presence enhanced their reputation with the band playing the pre-show of the prestigious Download Festival in 2010 to be followed a year later by a return to the Festival to play an invite only event on the 3rd Stage, Fallen Fate becoming the first unsigned band to play Donington 2 years in a row. Their first album The Virus Has Spread was released in 2011, again to critical acclaim, and soon followed by a UK tour in its support with Onslaught and Gama Bomb. Two more British tours came the next year as well as a taking to the stage at Bloodstock and the first Beermageddon Festival before the four-piece settled down to write their sophomore album.

    The highly anticipated and again self-released Into The Black is a concept album providing a horror movie themed tale which vocalist Skinners reveals is about a girl called Vespa, going on to say “She [Vespa] chose a life without faith and over time became possessed by a demon. The demon slowly took over her body and ultimately led her to kill herself and her family. The drive behind the concept is to empower the listener to decide whether she was possessed by the Devil, as she has no saviour in her life, or if she was possessed by God, punishing her for her lack of faith.” It is a dark and tortuous decline with a creative weave of sounds creating a provocative soundscape and drama to the dark events unfolding within the narrative. A marked move on in craft and maturity from their first album, Fallen Fate creates in Into The Black, an absorbing evocative canvas of textures and emotions to wrap the inner story and keep the imagination fired up and hungry.

     The Rise opens up the album, a brief emotive scene setter with haunting voices and melodic enticement gently surfacing within IntoTheBlack-AlbumCovera building rapacious intensity. It brings the danger and dark tones soon to drench its successor, to a head just before Blackened Within explodes with an insidious breath and predacious intent, energy and sonic endeavour not far behind in malevolence and attractiveness. Immediately thoughts of Lamb Of God come to mind as the exciting guitar craft and rhythmic bombardment make a compelling persuasion whilst keys add potent evocative hues to the rampaging drama and the serpentine squalling vocals of Skinner scar and scavenge the senses.

   It is a powerful entry into the black tale soon backed up admirably by the voraciously gaited Until The Final Hour and the transfixing title track. The first of the pair has a pestilential feel to its persistence and savage riffing but a savagery held in check by magnetic and resourceful melodic enterprise and sonic temptation. Its successor is a twisted annihilistic dance of intrigue and imagination which never sits still in rhythmic antagonism and melodic acidity. Like the previous pair it is a thoroughly pleasing and riveting track but also with the other two, beginning to reveal some of the ‘flaws’ of the album. Vocally Skinner again provides a causticity which matches the lyrical demons but his good delivery never deviates from what is overall a one dimensional assault which despite valiant backing vocals elsewhere impressing and helping add some tempering, over whelms the senses and at times appreciation as the release progresses. Equally there is a resemblance between many tracks which sees them flow into each other if not given careful attention. Musically the band certainly never fails the passions but that surface similarity does defuse the creative strength raging within songs in certain moments.

     The imaginative Possession does provide plenty to break up that seeming lack of individualism if not to quite fire up the passions, though the following I Welcome The Dead and Rituals soon sort that out. With heavy handed rhythmic artillery punishing the ears from the off and soon entwined in a sonic weave of scorching medic tempting, the first of the two takes little time to launch a demanding and insatiable attack whilst continuing to vein it with  bewitching sonic imagination and melodic incitement. Its successor opens with a demonic visitation within an emotive embrace before expanding a melodramatic grandeur around an enraged emerging scourge of intensity and technical rabidity. It is a ravenous confrontation with a persistent groove and hypnotic rhythmic bait.

    The excellent Last Rites offers its own bordering on vicious technicality and imagination with again great backing vocals which are not heard enough on the album, before from its intro The Demise, final track Vespa provides a closing exhausting and lingering finale come epilogue to the encounter. It is a powerful conclusion to a fine album though one you also feel is a missed opportunity in some ways considering how magnificent the release is at its heights but fails to sustain it. Nevertheless Into The Black is easy to recommend to all melodic and extreme metal enthusiasts as an enthralling promise soaked release from a band in Fallen Fate which has the potential to be a sizeable creative force ahead.

http://www.fallenfate.co.uk/

8/10

RingMaster 28/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cambion: Virus

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    If like us you thought Cambion was the business with their Last Rites EP of 2011, then be prepared to be a whimpering fully bloated with pleasure wreck as their new EP Virus wreaks its havoc on the senses. The UK metallers have left the previous triumph looking almost pale against the new onslaught of technical and progressive metal found on the EP. The Devon quartet has not ventured far from their already established sound on Virus but honed it into an even more lethal and expressive beast which gnaws, chews, and teases the senses for a simply sensational confrontation.

Formed in 2009, the band pulls its influences from the likes of Meshuggah, Fear Factory, and Divine Heresy but has distilled them into their own aggressive and inventive tonic. It is aggressive and corrosive but equally is an incendiary engagement melodically and emotively. The past years have seen Cambion tour with US rockers Fozzy as well as share stages with the likes of The Defiled, Malefice, Blaze Bayley, Fury UK, Revoker, The Fearless Vampire Killers, and The Dead Lay Waiting, and light up festivals like Bloodstock with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Alderman-Broom, guitarist Liam Neary, bassist Colin Beale, and drummer Frank Dennis impressing continually. The band has reached into another level of depth in their already expansive and impressive creativity so that where the previous EP had like us many drooling Virus just ignites sheer rapture with its immense presence and sound.

The release opens on the atmospheric and stark corrosion of society through varied news sound bites and a serpentine presence; it 480282_10151163818991971_2129231106_nis a cinematic introduction fitting the theme of the release and pulls Virus Part 1 (Outbreak) into immediate focus. The emergence of the band is a step back, the brewing intensity seemingly another world as a guitar glows with sonic elegance in an open clear sky. Soon though towering rhythms add their sinews for an imposing stature elevated again once the band badger with debilitating riffs and a hungry abrasion. The storm is a building intensity with the great vocals sending warm shards through the tempestuous ambience and eventually erupts into a charged and overwhelming maelstrom of technical violence and enterprise. It is also unpredictable and beautifully surprising, the Latin blush of guitar mesmerism sensational as the riot subsides for brief moments. It is a compelling and stunning start which leaves all previous thoughts of the band as lacklustre praise in comparison to those generated from the first track alone.

Virus Part 2 (Infection) was first featured on the previous EP and was stunning then but within the encasement of the new release feels even more impressive. The song is a caustic ravaging spawn of the industrial metal craft of Fear Factory and the exhausting and ravenous intensity of Static X bled into an electrifying abrasion all Cambion. Like all the songs on the EP, it rewards as deeply as it gnaws away at the listener and their psyche, the melodic fires enflamed and aggressive violation unleashed, metal at its very compulsive best.

The brutal entrance of Virus Part 3 (Death) with sheer malevolence to the squalling vocals and heart stopping beats from the drums, brings the world to a juddering halt such its intimidation and power. It is a mere one minute of physical barbarity which leaves one shell shocked yet ready to face the next part of the Virus in (AfterLife). If you thought moving on from this plain would be all beauty and peace, the erosion of light and expulsion of civil tranquillity let free by the track soon corrects and sends one to their knees. Combining a contagion of acute grooves with crippling rhythms and further technical savagery, the track is a persuasive assailant and one which with its melodic flames hitting mesmeric heights and additional impressive clean vocals and harmonies, one which provokes and evocates the strongest passions and emotions.

Virus Part 5 (Resurrection) continues the sonic viciousness with sheer mastery of sadistic intensity, unforgiving sounds, and glowing melodic beauty. The track scores and depletes the senses until numb but at the same time energises and inflates the heart with a melodic enterprise and touch as magnificent as the quarrelsome ruin surrounding them.

Completed by a hidden track which is as stunning as all the others, Virus is just outstanding, a release which declares Cambion firmly as one of the most important bands in UK metal and a delicious violation all should allow to rampage inside.

http://www.cambionofficial.co.uk

RingMaster 25/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

DreamCatcher – Never Look Back

The upcoming weekend is going to be as busy for UK melodic metallers DreamCatcher as the sounds in their new single Never Look Back which is released this coming Monday August 13th. Before then the Leeds sextet have a double appearance at Bloodstock to enjoy, Saturday the 11th seeing them play an unplugged set on the Acoustic Stage followed by their full high energy show on Sunday. The single caps things off with fine accomplishment in what will be a notable three days for the band.

Formed in 2008, DreamCatcher has gone from strength to strength with their live performances which has included sharing stages with Delain, After Forever, and Pythia, and their acclaimed SoulDesign EP of last year accelerating an already steadily growing dedicated following.  Never Look Back is taken from the album released through Rising Records and is available via the Bandcamp profile of the band as a free download in exchange for a Facebook Post or Twitter tweet, a barter which is certainly one of the best deals this year. The three track single is a treat which not only cements the band as a growing force but makes a satisfying celebration of where they and their sound are right now.

Never Look Back is a storming maelstrom of sound and invention which teases the borders of chaos whilst roaring with heated elegance and sure confidence to pull it all into a striking and enveloping presence upon the senses. Bringing the best aspects of major influences like Nightwish, Epica, Powerquest, and Anubis Gate into their own distinct muscular riotous form of metal it is a heady fusion which consumes every pore. There is a distressed clarity to it all which works a treat and adds that extra intensity which marks the band from other melodic metal bands. The track is a scorching amalgam of excellently crafted melodic imagination and rampaging power metal borne energy. The mesmeric keyboard skills of Adelé Pease flow with ease and understanding alongside the melodic play from guitarists Ben Scott and Alexei Green whilst their raging riffs bounce off the bruising rhythms of bassist Matt Hudson and drummer Rossi Lavery. Vocalist Lukas Jackson soars amongst it all with a craft and power which is never swamped or lost within the expansive sound, full credit going to the songwriting and the production from Jacob Hansen (ex-Anubis Gate, Mercenary), as well as the skill of the band itself.

Track one is an edit of Never Look Back with the closing song the original version though there is nothing to choose between the two, the thirty second difference neither improving nor detracting from the song. In between there is new instrumental Foresight. It is a muscular charge of creativity further exposing the individual skills of the band and the sure melodic craft which pervades their invention. The piece stirringly ruffles with crisp rhythms and explosive enterprise whilst showering the ear with equally marked melodic radiance and flair.

If SoulDesign eluded your attention then Never Look Back is the open invitation into the progressively symphonic metal world of DreamCatcher, it would be rude to refuse.

http://www.dreamcatcherofficial.com/

RingMaster 08/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Furyon: Gravitas

You can hear great things about a band as the promotion wagon behind starts its mighty trail enticing the eyes of the world but until you finally get your ears upon the sounds of said band do you obviously find the depth to the truth. With UK rock band Furyon the words written certainly do justice to the band and an album that is deeply impressive and thoroughly uplifting.  Gravitas strikes up the heart with an engaging bounty of rock sounds sourced from their hearts and the world around bringing influences and flavours from across multiple genres. The release is a mighty slab of songs infused with heavy metal, prog, and classic rock as well as some tasty metal touches, all flavours the band from Brighton cut their musical tastes upon.

Having evolved and grown over a few years Furyon entered a studio in Atlanta in 2009 with Platinum selling US Producer Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy and Vince Neil), the result from this vibrant link-up and creative meeting being Gravitas. A limited run of 2000 copies of the album took them to the attention of the likes of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine, each featuring tracks on their over mounted CDs. Two videos followed, one for the subsequent single Disappear Again, each again grabbing more and more eager acclaim and attention, and all the time the band reinforced this tide of recognition with blistering live shows and appearances at the likes of Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, Hammerfest, and High Voltage. Now following a management deal with Germany’s Rock N Growl and a link up with Frontiers Records Gravitas gets its full debut and rock music is set to feel a new breath of freshness following through its veins.

Consisting of vocalist Matt Mitchell, guitarists Chris Green and Pat Heath, bass guitarist Alex Bowen and drummer Lee Farmery, Furyon grab the ear from the opening guitar invitations of opener Disappear Again and never releases until it is ready to depart when it chooses. The song epitomises the whole album, infectious, intelligent and unafraid to court the ear with addictive melodies, heavily loaded riffs, and a catchiness which is hard to deny submission to. The song has a sound seemingly melded from the likes of Adrenaline Mob, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden with extra classic rock essences, a mesh that ensures nothing but keen attention going its way.

Following track Stand Like Stone immediately shows the diversity to the band and sound, its heavy tumbling rhythms and formidable metallic riffs thunderous as they burst through the ear. With a groove that beckons like a loose woman the song fills every pore with well crafted melodies and the impressive vocals of Mitchell. In two songs he sets the quality of his tones and delivery high something that never drops throughout the album. The guitars and melodies are quite wanton, eager to excite and thrill, which they do with incredible songwriting skill and realisation.

Songs like the excellent Souvenirs with its lovely deep crusty bass lines, New Way Of Living offering a glorious hard rock/grunge majesty, and the mesmeric Wasted On You, come and go with wonderful quality and the ability to light up the senses. Gravitas is an album despite or rather due to its open diversity and adventure that has a consistency which is refreshing, not once does any of their ideas or surprising avenues fail to connect fully. There is one track that eclipses all though and that is the magnificent Desert Suicide, a song not as obvious as others maybe but one which marks the band already as a mighty addition to rock and gives evidence of what they will yet evolve into. The song meanders in with a mystical and a subdued atmosphere, the guitars slow to reveal themselves fully and the vocals reserved. Soon it evolves into a mighty beast of sound, slowly pacing around the ear before its muscular legs start to run with the senses though it never explodes outright. The song is truly stunning, addictive and unpredictable; the height of invention without indulgence, a stirring animal that remains inside long after the album departs.

Gravitas is an essential investigation for all rock fans; an album that only raises one question. If they sound this great with songs at least two years old how impressive must their new material be? Furyon will be massive, no question so join the ride from the start by grabbing yourself some Gravitas.
www.furyon.net

RingMaster 19/03/2012

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The Commander-In-Chief Interview

Right now there is an artist who is stirring up a multitude of emotions and hearts within the metal/rock world with her immensely explosive and exciting debut EP. The lady in question is The Commander-In-Chief, one of the most impressive emerging talents to hit rock in a long time.  The singer, songwriter and a masterful mesmeric exponent of the7 string guitar, has just released the Evolution EP, produced by the legendary Sterling Winfield, to ever growing waves of acclaim and feverish demand for her time. The Ringmaster Review had the pleasure and honour of being able to find out more about this extraordinary talent and we are reliably informed learnt more about The Commander than anyone had previously before.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review. Many thanks for taking time to talk with us here.

Firstly and quite simply would you introduce yourself, The Commander and the band The Commander –In-Chief?

I am a 22 year old female Norwegian singer/songwriter/7 string guitarist/shredder.

I’m a solo-artist.

Could you give some history to your life so far?

I did visual arts for years. I always had ideas for songs, but never pursued music since I had some horrible experiences with music teachers who hated me, as a kid. Music teachers, just like art teachers in school, have a tendency to HATE creative students who do not fit into their definition of greatness. I actually failed music in school and I was denied to be part of the music program in High School. They actually put me in the IB program without any artistic classes. I hated that so much I decided to drop out and stayed home for a week. That was when my mom told them they were killing my creative spirit and I got transferred to the art program. Having said so, I had some truly important art teachers after that who did their best to convince me to pursue that road. I would say I had 4 great art teachers, one truly important guitar mentor and my irreplaceable vocal coach.

At what age did you know music was your future and when did you first pick up a guitar?

Music was always part of my life as far as I can remember. I did not pick up a guitar until 2005.

I knew what I wanted to do, and there was no way I was gonna let anything get in my way. I got lot of static in the beginning, but I just brushed that aside. 3 years down the road, people starting realising I was very serious.

Considering your impressive skill and young age how long did it take you to master the instrument to this level and how much dedication and work did you put into it?

Musicians often think they are Gods unrivalled gift to music, I have never thought of myself that way.

I always focused on all the things I could not do rather than what I could do, and never realised I was any good at all, until after some years. When I look back now I think I did always did pretty well. My greatest passion has always been and will always be creating, so I spent all my time on that. Funny enough, my greatest development happened when I kicked visual arts out of my life and decided to focus all my time on music.

I wanted to be a good guitarist and songwriter more than anything. If you think about it, It’s a pretty modest goal. If you set your mind to learn something and/or create something, it really just depends on your will power and where this will take you.

You play a seven string guitar, did you graduate to this through the more normal six stringer, and why this as your eventual choice?

First 6 strings, just tried a 7 just for the heck of it, then I fell in love.

It allows me to transcribe my music in a way I find intriguing. I can play with dynamics, going from heavy to HEAVY. Counterbalance my vocals nicely. At the end of the day, I like it, which is the most important reason.

What are your musical influences leading you into making music and on the guitarist side?

Deep Purple, Slayer, James Brown, Windir, Jefferson Airplane, Randy Rhoades….etc….etc…..

Have you always been a metal hearted girl?

Yes, only difference being that I became more interested in extreme metal acts and more up-to-date on current trends in the genre, once I started playing. I saw the genre from the perspective as a guitarist always looking for a challenge, instead of perceiving the genre as a music listener.

What came first, writing songs or being able to play?

Writing songs, that was my main motivation, and the song always comes first. I still consider myself a songwriter, above all.

Being able to play, means playing boring exercises and having an even more boring practise diary…accompanied by the unmatched beauty of a metronome…….you can make it interesting by writing your own exercises, that is how I learned tapping.

You have just released your impressive debut EP Evolution; you must be pleased with the response to it, an element of surprise too how fast it is catching the attention of people?

Makes me very happy! I think the greatest shock to me was the Paranoid release actually, as I had never had a feature or even been mentioned by any big blogs or magazines until all of a sudden that cover was all over the place. It makes me happy to see that my music fan base is growing and pleased to see that people are buying my music in an age when nobody really does.

The release has a distinct commentary on certain aspects of man, whether the abuse of science, the world of fake celebrity importance etc, does this show you are not a love song kind of writer haha?

Hahaha, you have a lot of songwriters who can fill in that gap, not that there is any, anyway lol

I am a good observer, and good art or funny lyrics will always come out of that.

I also took an early interest in social issues and was one of those annoying Amnesty International kids in high school, talking about issues nobody cared about then, and few still care about now. On one of my longer stays in Norway, when I was 17, I wrote some opinions/letters about Norwegian society (under another pseudonym), two of them were published. One of them resulting in a main article/almost full page in a nationwide newspaper. That was when I started writing lyrics and the first lyrics were the ones for THOU.

The variety of songs also indicates inspiration can hit you from any direction or with any theme, is that how it is?

Yepp, it’s cool, but it can be annoying if I do not have something to write on and with. Then I just have to rely on remembering the idea, which I usually do. My notebooks are a total mess and sometimes not even I can decipher my handwriting. My ideas can be found on toilet paper rolls, napkins, bus tickets, receipts, guitar string packages … lol … My worst nightmare was when I threw out something I thought was garbage and it was the full lyrics for a song. I could never recover that one and it still bugs me today.

Let It Go is a personal song I believe, I am right in thinking it was inspired by your younger brother? Would you elaborate on that and its wider dedication?

It is about trying to reach out to someone you care about who suffers, but do not want to talk about it. You know something is not right, but you don’t know what …You do not really know what to say either, so you try your best at being encouraging, without truly knowing what the source of the problem is.

You recorded Evolution with Sterling Winfield doing the production duties. Legendary for his work with Pantera and Hatebreed to name just two, how did your link up with him come about?

I heard him on a speaker phone with my manager, talking about how awesome he thought my songwriting was. He had obviously heard my demo as he was referring to those tracks. I thought he had contacted us first, but apparently my manager sent him a link, and then he called us, which was the phone conversation I walked into.

First he was meant to re-mix the demo, first songs being Paranoid and an unreleased original track. We decided not to remix anymore after those two, but rather focus our attention on recording songs from scratch.

We got a chance to do this in December, when we recorded 5 tracks, 4 of those resulting in the Evolution EP.

I am assuming you have a definite direction you see your songs going in as you write them how much did that alter if at all by working with Sterling?

Haha, his main job was to say NO!. I wanted to have dive-bombs on top of the tapping intro of Evolution, I had an idea for a congas in Famous and several background vocal arrangements for Thou and Evolution and a steel guitar intro for Let it go, all of which were totally rejected, lol .. luckily.

He is a funny guy to work with. Great producer and I think the combination of his extensive experience and my overly creative brain, makes a good combination, hahaha!

You are a songwriter open to suggestions and advice?

Hmmm … I will let you make an ass of yourself, trying to convince me ….. It’s dangerous to be a dictator… I will try things out, don’t expect me to like it or embrace it….

How long did the EP take to record? I ask as I hear you are unrelenting at times in your energy haha.

I did what I had to do in 11 days, well actually 10,one of those days was dedicated to bass … I recorded all vocals and came up with new ideas and variations as I recorded. Sterling wanted to try out how will this sound like with head voice, how will this sound like with chest voice, how will this sound like with head doubled with a chest voice 

I recorded rhythm and lead as well, and improvised some of the lead stuff, like the solo in Thou and some licks in Famous, I recorded 3 tracks of rhythms and wrote new arrangements as we worked our way thru the songs. To do all that in so few days, I think I almost drove everybody crazy with my energy. The short day in studio we worked 12 hours…lol

This is really an unfair question but what the heck hehe. Is there in hindsight anything on the EP which you would change or tweak?

No, I am done with these songs.

Conversely is there any moment that you are especially proud of?

Yes, I loved recording the vocals for Evolution as this is my favourite vocal line of all the vocal lines I have written. I was proud of all the solos, my favourite being the un-released one, funny enough. I guess it is hard to see yourself from the outside, so I surprised myself just as much as a surprised Sterling and my manager, haha. I was very happy when I was done recording rhythms for Thou – that was my proudest guitar moment – and the only time I had a little drink to celebrate, lol.

Are you a constantly active live band?

I bring in musicians when I need them … I will be doing more gigs from now on, as my main focus with all these demo recordings etc has been to develop my sound etc. I think I’ve done more than enough of that, I’m ready to go out and kick some f%$#@&*^  ass!

Is it just the trio onstage or do you add additional guitarists to bring your sound forth?

No other guitarist wanted.

Are you hard on them when they cannot match your own skill and creativity haha?

I have come to accept that you have two kinds of musicians, those who write and those who just wanna play. You cannot be an ass just because people are different, so as long as nobody is greedy and start making all kinds of outrageous demands, I’m okay.

Any shows lined up to promote the release?

Yes, In the UK, gonna play Bloodstock in August as well

What is next for The Commander-In-Chief?

I obviously need to be touring ,that is what people wanna see and that’s how you get a career in this industry. Personally: I wanna get a huge full length album out, I got lots of songs and I also want to re-record songs from demos etc …. my main goal as a creative person is to record as much as possible, I know what kind of videos I want, and usually have illustration ideas for my lyrics. On a different note I also design my own outfits, so I would be very happy to see all these ideas come to life, once and for all.

A great thank you for sparing time to talk with us, and good luck with Evolution not that you will need it.

Hmmm…you always need luck and someone, eventually many, who believes in you

Just like the Evolution EP does, would you like to leave with some words to fire up the readers?

Please check me out and buy my EP, and a t-shirt!! Tell your friends

Read the Evolution EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/the-commander-in-chief-evolution-ep/

The RingMaster Review 15/03/2012

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