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

K-Man & The 45s – Self Titled

Pic DannyDonnovan @bucketlistmr

This month sees the new romping stomping album from Canadian outfit K-Man & The 45s uncaged, a release which had the body bouncing and spirit roaring like a teenage boy after his first sexual adventure. The band creates a contagious proposition from a fusion of ska and rockabilly spiced classic rock ‘n’ roll with plenty more involved, a recipe providing their finest feast of sound yet within their self-titled full-length.

Hailing from Montreal, K-Man & The 45s has been a constant and acclaimed presence on the Canadian music scene; their records luring keen praise and support and live presence just as rich plaudits and a matching reputation. The band has shared stages with the likes of The Slackers, Big D and The Kids Table, The Satellites, The Original Wailers , The Planet Smashers, The Brains and so many more as well as graced and ignite a host of festivals across their homeland over the years. It is easy to suggest that their new album is their greatest moment yet and even easier to eagerly push it towards the attention of ska, punk and rock ‘n’ roll fans alike with the band embracing the inspirations of bands such as The Specials, The Beat, The Ramones, and The Cramps among their influences though it is fair to say K-Man and co have successfully nurtured their own individual character of sound as in thick evidence across the new record now getting its deserved push via Stomp Records.

Opener They Gotta Know had us hooked with its first breath, a classic rock ‘n roll guitar lure entangling ears and appetite before the song leaps into its punk rock swing. The jangle of Kman’s guitar flirts as the beats of Brian Smith arouse against the melodic dance of an organ; a potent enticement only enhanced by the dancing flames of Josh Michaud’s trombone and the trumpet of Seb Fournier. Bouncing along to the track’s body and stroll is inevitable, we can testify to that, as the song gets the album off to a rousing start.

The following Poppy’s Back In Town is just as manipulative, its rowdier rock colluding with the animated canter of keys and guitar with, as in its predecessor and every song, Kman’s vocal mischief leading the fun. Lively melodies and lustful hooks line its boisterous stroll before I Don’t Mind wheels in with an instantly appealing breeze easily reminding of The Beat. The band soon adds its own distinct colour to the song, adding a vocal backing in which participation is simply unavoidable. Smith’s clipping beats just get under the skin too, the brass n turn into the passions as the track lustily manipulates body and spirit.

Rudy Don’t Smoke equally had the body dangling from its virulent strands of sound and enterprise; its ska and punk collusion a devilish puppeteer with a glint in the eye of its imagination before Piece Of The Action bursts in with drama and intrigue which would not be out of place in the theme to a sixties TV spy/private detective show. With a Department S-esque hue to its theatre, the song is more than a match for the lofty heights of its predecessors as too the cosmic adventure of Space Thriller. Bringing the atmospheric prowess of The Specials into a surf rock spiced ska saunter the track has the same level of drama and intimation as the last song, its story a sultry seduction of lust and danger descriptively shaped by brass led enterprise.

Through the punk ‘n’ roll/ska bred stomp of Road Rage Randy and the fifties rock ‘n’ roll seeded ska spin of This Moment, pleasure only escalates with the album, each adding a new shade of sound and mischief to its party before a great cover of The Kingpins’ Party in Ja joins the fun. Giving its reggae nurtured catchiness a Ruts like dub makeover the track pulsates on the senses as again the body is lost to an instinctive bounce.

Next up is Johnny Thumbs a track which maybe did not inflame the passions as others around it but still made for the most enjoyable playmate before the outstanding Far Away Eyes Come Home simply became a love affair with ears. From its revolving hooks and melodic enticement to vocal and rhythmic invitation, the song devoured inhibitions.

The album finishes with another gem in What’s Inside A Girl, a glorious garage punk and rockabilly spun tease with a healthy psychobilly and surf rock glaze led by yet another delicious bassline among so many across the album from Frankie amidst the perpetual rhythmic incitement of Smith. The song epitomises the craft, sound, and contagious exploits of K-Man & The 45s perfectly whilst at the same time sealing its best track moment though that is debated with each and every listen.

K-Man & The 45s is a band which deserves the biggest attention within the ska, punk, and simply great rock ‘n’ roll world; all the reasons are in their new album so no hanging around go have fun.

Recently the sad news that drummer Brian Smith has terminal pancreatic cancer was announced and a Go Fund Me page set up to support him and his family. To help out this great musician and friend to so many go to https://gofundme.com/support-brian-our-brother

The K-Man & The 45s album is out digitally and on vinyl now @ https://k-manthe45s.bandcamp.com/album/k-man-the-45s

 https://www.facebook.com/kman45/   https://twitter.com/kmanandthe45s

Pete RingMaster 14/08/2018

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

The Written Years – Lost In You Now

It has been a month or two short of four years since we checked out the self-titled debut album from Canadian band The Written Years.  It was a masterful persuasion of open and smouldering temptation cast from an original blend of post and alternative rock with folk and melodic inspirations, what the band called “Winter Music”. At the time we were very confidence that the world would be hearing a great deal of the band over coming years. Since then they have been conspicuous by their silence, literally in the case of one of their members. Now they are back with new single Lost In You Now, a song which shows the years have been well spent on further honing the band’s sound and its compelling melodic temptation.

After the acclaim luring release of their album, the Vancouver based quartet were soon working on new songs for its successor. It was a creative fire and eagerness though soon halted when vocalist/ guitarist and primary songwriter Wade Ouellet experienced a sudden and unexplained speech loss. It caused him “to refrain from speaking in near-isolation for months “ and the band to go on hold; a hiatus compounded by guitarist Alex Richardson and drummer Kane Enders both independently experiencing sudden and dramatic losses of immediate family members. As people and band recovered, a re-assessment of those already written tracks saw songs originally centred on “coming-of-age stories” became darker more intimate explorations of “suburbia, infatuation, and forbidden love.” The Written Years now have their second album poised for a Spring release in 2018 and you can anticipate that it will be richly hued with the trauma of the past years; indeed its opening two lines echo that time…”I wish I could find life inside the fire / I wish I could sing, though my voice has died.

New single Lost In You Now is a potent teaser for the album, the song as the full-length produced by Ryan Worsley (Dear Rouge, Said The Whale) with the band. It opens with the tender caress of a synth, its melancholic grace soon nurturing a melodic stroll with darker rhythms. Ouellet’s voice similarly has a low-spirited breath, his tones as impressive and potent as ever with harmonies just as elegant around his open heart. The song continues to saunter with an infectious energy and character, its air carrying a great eighties new wave/pop breeze which colludes sublimely with the track’s fresh indie enterprise cast by the imagination of the foursome.

It may have been a time which you can imagined seriously threatened the future of the band but The Written Years has come back, going by Lost In You Now, even stronger and with a new aspect to their creativity which makes it very easy to eagerly anticipate their forthcoming album.

Also keep your eyes peeled for a great video accompanying Lost In You Now featuring Kevin, a guy the band met at East Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel after being captivated by the individual passion and energy in his dancing.

Lost In You Now is out now through all online retailers and streaming services and @ http://spoti.fi/2AZA7e9

https://www.facebook.com/writtenyears    https://twitter.com/writtenyears    https://writtenyears.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Éohum – Ealdfaeder

 

Eohum_RingMasterReview

In many ways taking over from where predecessor Revelations, Aurora of an Epoch left off, the Ealdfaeder EP is another compelling and fascinatingly invasive proposal from Canadian metallers Éohum. The release sees the Montreal based outfit continue to entwine traditionalist and cultural spirited sounds and explorations into a doom infused black metal devouring of the senses. Marked again by the suggestive majesty of French Horn, the latest release is another creative conception which ignites the imagination and backs up thoughts arising from the previous encounter that this is a band with very potent horizons ahead of them.

Formed in 2010 by guitarist Jeremy Perkins, Éohum (pronounced ee-o-um) has continued to hone their atmospheric infestation of ears and psyche whilst becoming a potent live proposition. Originally written as a literal, poetic project, the band and adventure only grew and evolved as Perkins brought in friends with metal seeded musical roots and backgrounds. The release of debut album Revelations, Aurora Of An Epoch in 2015 awoke ears and attention beyond their home shores, its dramatic character and voracious confrontation aided by guest contributions from the likes of Cryptopsy’s Matt McGachy and ex- Vinyl Hero Nick Wybo. Now it is the turn of Ealdfaeder to draw spotlights again the way of the band with one suspects, even greater success and acclaim in tow.

EOHUM-EALDFAEDER-EP_RingMasterReviewEaldfaeder opens with Eurocide and immediately has the imagination alive as resonating beats from drummer Luca Belviso unite with the suggestive hues of Annie Perreault’s flute. Thoughts of ancient civilisations and modern cultures arise to the simple but pungent lure as the EP begins its overall look at “… the loss of interest and connection between human cultures and the environment due to our greed filled, corrupt world of today.” In no time Perreault is surrounded by the more predacious riffs of Perkins and Sylvain Dumont as that initial rhythmic coaxing equally turns primal and intensive. Drama soaks the track even as it settles down somewhat, though it is still prone to explosive reactions within its intrigue guided prowl. The raw vocal squalls of Barrie Butler infest ears and atmosphere too whilst the resonation of Cesar Franco’s bass strings is as expressive as the flame of French horn laid within the maelstrom by again Perreault.

The track is bred of the same invention and imagination as the earlier album but already shows a fresh blend of classical beauty and pestilential temptation which carries on through the EP and Unmasking A World Of Deceit which follows. Even more ravenous and inhospitable, the track flies at the senses from its first insatiable breath, vocals and grooves harrying and fiercely engaging the listener as rhythms share a barrage of spiteful intensity and enthusiasm. It is a barbarous intrusion, black and death metal furies uniting within the heavily textured ambience as a hostility, led this time by the vicious creative swings of Simon McKay, assaults ears. As expected though, things only twist and evolve as again the mesmeric call of horns share the track’s atmospheric background.

Through the salacious character and nature of The Apathetic Plague and Ode To A Martyr, thoughts and emotions are seriously entangled and challenged for exhilarating experiences. The first also imaginatively merges unbridled brutality and unpredictable melodic resourcefulness within its blackened trespass of the senses whilst its successor is a torrential swarm of great swinish vocals from Butler matched in plague like concussive endeavour by the scourge of guitars aligned to Belviso and Franco’s rhythms. The second of the two tracks is glorious, the pinnacle of the EP and a hex on the body with its bracing collision of textures, contrasts, and sonic irritation. Once more the golden lure of horn from Perreault is just irresistible; Éohum’s merging of its never indulgent tones with voracious tempests more skilful and natural than ever, so much so that it seems like the horns rather than temper the storm actually encourage it.

Curative Undulations brings Ealdfaeder to an immense close; the track, as its predecessor, shaped and driven by McKay’s rhythms as it devours and seduces with creative and dramatic ingenuity. It immediately thrills and only impresses further across its inventive body and with every delving into its bold adventure. That success applies to Ealdfaeder as a whole too, the EP growing as it reveals new depths and craft with each listen.

Éohum has one of the most distinct and unique sounds in metal right now, only Floridian experimental death metallers Markradonn really exploring something remotely similar, and in Ealdfaeder they have unleashed a release which, whether it hits your sweet spot or not, will make a predominantly striking impact.

The Ealdfaeder EP is released March 18th via Mycelium Networks @ https://eohum.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/%C3%89ohum/821823887910583   https://twitter.com/eohum

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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