Odyssey – Voids

Odyssey_RingMaster Review

Feeding the imagination as boldly and adventurously as it does ears, Voids is quite simply an enthralling kaleidoscope of invention and craft. The ten track encounter is the new album from US progressive instrumentalists Odyssey, a Spokane, Washington based trio who are no strangers to acclaim thanks to their striking sound and creative dexterity. This new offering though simply towers over all that came before and other like styled bands around with in its multi-faceted aural emprise.

Emerging in 2007, Odyssey has increasingly impressed through a pair of albums in Objects in Space (2009) and An Abstract Existence (2011) as well as a trio of EPs in Schematics, The Conscious Device, and The Turning Tide; the last two splitting Voids and the band’s last album with the latter igniting the senses in 2014. As no better evidenced than within their new endeavour, the threesome of guitarist Jerrick Crites, bassist Jordan Hilker, and drummer Lukas Hilker sculpt exploits and scenarios which are as melodically spellbinding as they are tenaciously imposing, at times even carnivorous in their snarl and dynamics. Excesses are also conspicuous by their absence, not something which can always be said about instrumental metal and rock, but the individual skill and invention of each member is never hidden away either. The result, taking Voids as proof, is a gripping and ravenously boisterous collection of imagination fuelled canvases for the listener’s own thoughts to play within.

cover_RingMaster ReviewEmerge. Evolve. Adapt. opens up Voids, engulfing ears in a sonic mesh around the instantly flirtatious bass and thumping beats adding inviting bait. The track is soon strolling along with a vibrant air bound in sultry tendrils of guitar though, but an easy going proposal soon evolving into a more agitated and addictively volatile passage as riffs and beats chip away at the senses as the bass offers its throatier support. Continuing to twist and turn within a landscape of intrigue, every one of the song’s five minutes is a suggestive narrative to be revealed and captivating drama to explore. It is a glorious start to the album, like a portrait of a meeting between Arcade Messiah and Chimp Spanner with Native Construct whispering amongst them.

That is a description which often applies to the release, though the Odyssey style and imagination defies any direct comparisons as shown by the sterner but no less resourceful character of Negate The Infinite. Both Hilkers create a frame around and a floor of addictiveness for the enterprise flowing from Crites’ strings; the union a virulent proposal which is as imposing as it is seductive and irresistible to the imagination as equally so in the creative nagging of Like Moths to the Flame. Darker again, the song is a frontline of cantankerously gnawing riffs and a bestial bassline tempered this time by the lighter touch of sticks on skin and the sonic persuasion of guitar. As its title suggests, there is persistence to the song which will not desist, an undeterred drive and repetitious temptation which gets under the skin as a rhythmic flickering intermittently escalates with the same successful intent.

Through the frenetic virulence of Motives and the ethereal elegance of Echoes, the band nudges thoughts into new escapades with their creative hints. Both tracks again cast a sublime mix of contrasting textures which would be at war in the hands of others but here simple embrace and revolve around each other. The latter also has a reflective lustre which charms until Before There Were Eyes To See comes from the other side of light to take over with its dark intimidating shadows and predatory wave of riffs and beats bound to another sinisterly alluring bass incitement. As expected but always unpredictable, each piece of music takes ears and thoughts through a creative gest that has both enslaved and bold in their interpretations, visions that enjoyably change with every listen such the depth to the musical narratives offered.

The Plot Thickens is a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll but of course one which from its anthemically invigorating first breath soon opens up into a provocative climate of hint loaded musical espionage keeping body and mind on their toes before making way for the calmer radiance and spatial yet intimate temptation of Delineation. Once more shadows crowd in close to the sonic sun of the track, making their impact as heavier and grouchier elements seeping into the dramatic and increasingly clearer psychosis of the track.

The melodic hug of Left Unspoken brings an oasis of perpetual calm to ears next, though there is still a shadowy lining through the melancholic tone of the bass, before Voids is concluded by its outstanding title track. If you want a physical clue to the album the song has it all, all the attributes and diversity summed up in its maelstrom of genre skipping, imagination igniting revelry that gives expectations no inkling of where it is going to go or the turns it is going to fluidly and infectiously take.

The album is quite superb, almost a brand new adventure with every listen such its textural and suggestive depths, and an early benchmark for progressive adventure for the year ahead.

The self-released Voids is available from February 5th @ http://odysseyspokane.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/odysseyspokane    https://twitter.com/OdysseySpokane

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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No Consequence – Vimana

No Consequence press shot

It is probably not too far from the mark to suggest that Vimana, the new album from UK progressive/tech metallers No Consequence has been one highly anticipated offering, and right on the money to say it is one strapping beast of sound and creative attitude. The release takes an already highly flavoursome and attention grabbing sound to new pastures of imagination and voracious intensity, aligning the established technical and aggression of the band to a more concentrated brew of melodic and expressive adventure. It is their most rounded and gripping proposition yet with just the hint that they and we are still nowhere near the finished article of their potential and sound.

Renowned as one of the most impressive live acts on the European metal scene, listing the sharing of tours and stages with the likes of TesseracT, Chimp Spanner, Carcer City and just recently Monuments and Murdock on their CV, No Consequence follow up their previous acclaimed albums In the Shadow of Gods and IO, of 2009 and 2013 respectively, with an incitement which seduces as it tears strips of the senses and relentlessly fascinates as it casts a roar of uncompromising aggressiveness.

NC-Vimana-packshot   Vimana begins with the short persuasion of Acala and an immediate hint of dramatic climates and textures within a harmonic embrace. An intro come scene setter, the appealing opening is soon departing for the more rugged and emotionally intensive Our Time Has Come. Restrained yet rich grooves wind around ravenous riffs and a sonic turbulence as the rawer aspect of vocalist Kaan Tasan comes to the fore. He too though is soon showing an adept range as a cleaner presence entwines with his dustier snarls. As the guitars of Dan Reid and Harry Edwards flirt and abrase ears with craft and enterprise, the song’s tempest provides a persistent challenge and enticement of progressive and technical tenacity. It is equally a weave of varied metal and melodic toxicity, it all colluding in one magnetic lure holding attention and appetite firmly in its hands alongside enjoyment.

The following Is This A Way To Live has a calmer if no less energetic presence, though vocal squalls and cantankerous riffs as well as a grooved taunting offer disagreement. Subsequently the song slips into a mellow reflective passage within a still tempestuous atmosphere, the bass of Tom Parkinson a prowling shadow in the growing web of wiry grooves and hooks whilst the rhythmic animosity of drummer Colin Bentham is barbarous in the norm and bestial, like the bass, in the track’s most agitated state. With a Middle Eastern suggestiveness emerging in its thick ambience and unpredictability driving every twist and turn, the track has ears and thoughts thoroughly captivated before making way for the more rigorous examination of Resistance and in turn the cyclonic energy of The Turning Point. There is a carnal essence to the savage riffs and technical predation of the first of the two, but countered by and aligned to a constantly evolving landscape of immersive melodies, heart driven vocals, and a blustery fury. Virulently contagious and intrusively dynamic, the track is the first major pinnacle within an already seriously impressing album and quickly matched by the inventive theatre and hostile temptation of its successor. It is another song which merges contrasts and contradictions in sound and energy in a riveting emotional and breath-taking physical turmoil. Though arguably not as technically busy as previous releases but certainly as skilfully dynamic and inventive it, as all the songs within Vimana, reveals new corners and depths with every listen, ensuring every flight of the album’s raging adventure is increasingly rewarding.

The elegant caress of brief instrumental Half Light comes next, its evocative beauty courted by a vocal sample before Citizen with a similarly warm charm and presence takes over. Of course things get more heated and agitated soon after, guitars spinning a trap of sonic predation matched by heavy rhythms though almost as quickly, a melodic tempting returns to seduce once again. The vocal variety of Tasan leads an eventual merger of both aspects as the song becomes a bewitching trespass on ears and passions.

There is something familiar about the following Speechless especially when vocals and song are in full roar but ultimately it casts a uniquely inflamed presence rife with emotional ire and sonic adventure. The lead track from the album and another highly satisfying encounter, it still does not quite take ears and emotions on the same thrilling ride as other tracks upon the album or indeed Disconnect which straight after unveils a worldly melodic emprise within a creative bellow and an imposing persistently evolving incitement.

Vimana is drawn to a close by firstly the cauldron of diversity and extremes that is Signs and finally its title track and its mellow croon on ears. Also equipped with a rhythmic stalking, the last song increasingly spawns brighter and bolder voracious flames throughout but without ever catching ablaze; a restraint which you have to say superbly works.

Both tracks bring Vimana a fine and absorbing finale, the album ending as potently as it began. There are moments where personally there was a wish for the band to go further with its melodic explorations or inhospitable endeavour but no moment when No Consequence just do not seriously impress. Bottom-line is that Vimana is an unbridled recommendation for not only technical/progressive metal fans but for the broad attention of metal itself.

Vimana is available now via Basick Records digitally and on CD @ http://music.basickrecords.com/album/vimana and http://basick.supplies/collections/no-consequence

https://www.facebook.com/noconsequenceband   http://www.basickrecords.com/bands/no-consequence

RingMaster 09/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Chimp Spanner – All Roads Lead Here

From the first brewing sound on All Roads Lead Here, the new EP from Chimp Spanner completely takes over and enthrals the senses, permeating deeply to inspire and instigate thoughts, imagery and most of all emotions. The release is striking and an eager imaginative collection of compositions that continue the band’s accomplished and irresistible diversity of sounds and ideas to combine in a haven for melodic ingenuity and technical expertise and inventiveness.

Chimp Spanner is the instrumental progressive metal project of multi-instrumentalist Paul Antonio Ortiz, a man who has impressed and left more and more awestruck with his stunning sounds and musical imagination. Also known for his work with Blessed Inertia and Monuments, Ortiz first released Imperium Vorago in 2004 as Chimp Spanner to be followed by At the Dream’s Edge in 2009, both self released. The latter drew great attention its way and the following year saw the second album find a wider release from a deal signed between Chimp Spanner with Basick Records.

All Roads Lead Here, again released in conjunction with Basick, was recorded, mixed and self produced in Ortiz’s home studio as with his previous releases. The EP continues where At the Dream’s Edge left us in bringing a staggering blend of evocative and emotive ambience with polyrhythmic insurgent rhythms and provocative progressive melodic creativity. The release penetrates far and wide with its dual djent inspired riffage and emotion spilling harmonics alongside warm excitable melodies. Simply it is irrepressibly inventive and enjoyable, a feast and formidable delight of strong and inventive imagination and sound.

The pulsating and muscular ‘Dark Age Of Technology ‘ opens up the EP fusing crystalline melodies and sweltering atmospherics to a metallic djent like spine. The track’s progressive flow and vibrant expanse is a spiralling fallout from the initial explosion in the ear the track gives, radiating warmth and stirring up emotions. The heavy and soaring elements of the song come together in a inspirational union and it is impossible not to be swept up in the track’s graceful intent.

The whole release really plays as one movement but can be broken down into different and distinct pieces as well, though the release’s three part glory of ‘Moebius’ is a defined piece that has to come as a whole to fully experience and enjoy its journey. Between the e opening track and the first part of ‘Moebius’ the brief and haunting ‘Engrams’ forms a slightly spaced out link. The guitars are like magical caresses but beneath them there is a subdued but distressed sound bringing an ominous feel alongside the beauty.

Moebius Pt I’ from an initial mystical flow erupts into pulse racing insurgency before intermittently switching seamlessly between the two, bringing them together fully as the track evolves. The track explores the senses absorbing them into its vast expanse of infectious melodies and welcoming rhythms. At times the guitars are verging on caustic but completely mesmeric however they venture through the ear. There is so much going on that every visit comes with new adventure and though it is an mass of creativity it never becomes messy or confused something that applies to the whole release.

Moebius Pt II’ is a more angular and intense piece without neglecting further flowing sounds from the keys and touches of distorted harmonised guitar. It exudes a wonderful mellower tone as it progresses with still the metallic spikiness of rhythms and guitar strong as it flows right into ‘Moebius Pt III’. This piece in some ways feels like a summing up paragraph to the previous duo of parts though the intrusive scathing riffs later breaking out open up more stunning avenues. Its progressive ventures are as riveting as they are consuming, inspiring the most focused fascination possible and confirming the impressive originality of the release.

Ending on the expressive sonic skies of ‘Cloud City’, the sublime All Roads Lead Here EP is nothing short of a triumph and places Chimp Spanner to the fore of progressive metal music. You all really do need to hear this. Oh and for additional information there will be a strictly limited edition clear transparent vinyl version available with the exclusive addition of the Supereroremix EP which is equally impressive.

www.chimpspanner.com

Pete RingMaster 29/01/2012

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