Barbed hook and stirring insights: talking Kill II This

A growing and attention grabbing force within the UK metal/rock underground scene from the mid-nineties, with acclaim crowded albums under their belts, it is fair to say that the demise of Manchester’s Kill II This in 2004 left many heartbroken. Their return a decade later though not only re-ignited that following but lured a new wave of fans especially recently through the recently released single Sleeper Cell. The track showed that the quartet of vocalist Simon Gordon, guitarist Mark Mynett, bassist Pete Stone, and drummer Jeff Singer had not only retained their rousing metal and heavy rock blended sound but found a fresh energy and adventure within in. We recently had the chance to explore the past, present, and beyond of the band with thanks to four string slapper Pete…

Hi Pete and many thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

You have just released the video for new song Sleeper Cell but before we talk about that can you give some background to Kill II This and how it all came to be in the mid-nineties?

Mark, Jeff and myself were in a band called China Beach in the early 90’s – we really learned our trade in that band, touring Europe relentlessly, often just living in our van, sleeping on top of the gear….We would probably have been classed as Power metal back then, but we were getting the urge to get a lot heavier as the metal scene at that time was evolving. We decided to look for a new singer and – and that’s how we ended up with Nick Arlea who at the time was living in New York playing in a band called Power.

We had a fair bit of music already written that was just way too heavy for China Beach and so Kill II This was born. We got the album recorded fairly quickly (Another Cross II Bare) and more touring began. We already had a reputation for being a hard working reliable band and I think that helped us get some of those early tours.

Did you have a specific aim and sense of direction for the band at the time?

Just onwards and upwards really…None of us had a job so there was only the band to focus on. Things were comparatively easy back then ha ha! We never purposefully tried to fit into any genre – we started using samples a lot more adding a new dimension to the live shows and our overall sound…at the time nobody was really doing that.

How has that changed, if at all, with the reactivating of the band a couple of years back.

Well we’re a little bit older now obviously, with the responsibilities that brings! I don’t feel as desperate to prove ourselves anymore I guess…we’re not trying to be the next big thing anymore! We are immensely proud of what we do though and are thoroughly enjoying our revival. I’m loving the new stuff we’re doing and Simon has breathed new life into our back catalogue…he kills it every night on stage. I still don’t know how he didn’t end up with us way back to be honest-we’ve been mates for years!

You released a quartet of albums with for us the second in Deviate the moment the band truly clicked within the metal scene and its keenest attention. How did you find it at the time trying to make that breakthrough?

I think at that time the band felt like we had really earned any success we were getting. We had worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices in our lives. We were touring nonstop still and had some fantastic tours with the likes of Slipknot, Megadeth and Machine Head to name a few, as well as headlining in our own right, and it just felt like the natural progression of things…we worked hard and we were starting to see results. Good times!

Would you say that the album was also the moment the band’s true and distinct sound suddenly blossomed?

Undoubtedly…I think Mark had really found his riff writing groove – I think he would agree that DV8 was probably our best album too. There were some internal wranglings through this period – I had left the band for a while, Caroline joined for a while, then I came back – all sorts going on, but the end result was still that unmistakable Kill II This sound.

Fifth album, A New Spiritual Mountain was marked out by the band as being its last but eventually emerged under the moniker City Of God. What is the story behind it and that switch? Was it mostly because of the new character of sound it embraced?

I think really this is a question for Mark as I didn’t play a part in that project, however personally I don’t think it was in in the same vein as Kill II This musically. There was definitely a different feel to it. It was the first time I’d heard Simon sing like that too really-even more aggressive than his Xentrix stuff. Great album though – we often wonder if we should sneak a song or two from it into our live set…

Leaping forward to the now; Sleeper Cell undoubtedly has that signature Kill II This sound and personality but equally a fresh breath of adventure and indeed aggression. How do you see your sound as having evolved since the comeback?

A few years ago Simon and myself were in a band with a couple of the guys from Xentrix called Hellfighter, which I guess had some thrash undertones and I’m hearing some old school influences in our new stuff here and there – but I wouldn’t say there’s a massive difference. We’ve used far less samples in the new track than earlier stuff, there’s some aggression in there vocally, but importantly there are melodic hooks.

Has everything within the band been an organic shift or something you all deliberately aimed for when planning your return?

I think fairly organic really-we have no deadlines to live by these days so we can take our time writing – something that we never could in the old days. We haven’t deliberately set out to sound one way or the other to be honest – we’re just going with the flow creatively. We’ve all been playing together in various guises for years and it’s a bit like putting on a pair of comfy slippers when we get together!

And the return of the band, how easy was it for you all to come back together and start creating again?

For me the timing was just right. Hellfighter had just split as the other guys were reforming Xentrix, Mark and Jeff had been informally chatting about reforming at this point. I think the push was being offered a headline festival slot at Fiesta Du Rock in Belgium, even though we weren’t strictly in existence at that point. So we rehearsed and we were made up with how good it sounded. It just came together so fast, and the songs still sounded fresh and relevant. So we thought let’s do some new stuff…

Sleeper Cell is a hint to the kind of sound and imagination we can expect from future releases?

That’s a hard one to answer. Yes I think you’ll hear things in a similar vein but don’t be surprised if we throw some curveballs in there. We’re not writing for the music industry anymore. This is for ourselves as much as anything. Obviously it would be nice if everybody else likes it too….

Tell us about the single’s video. It was recorded by Carl Arnfield of Chalkman Video, who has persistently sparked visual pleasure with his films over the past few years. How did you come to link up with him?

Through friends of friends I think-he needed something to complete a show reel – we needed a video! It’s such a small world really -he was good friends with Xentrix- was actually in them briefly I think! He put us in touch with a chap called Johnathan Santry who arranged all the fight choreography and is actually in the video…Great bunch of guys.

Carl was a great – he worked really hard for us – we’re made up with the video.

What inspired its striking narrative and guerrilla like strike on the senses?

Well I think the lyrics and subject content speak for themselves. I think it really suits the aggression of the verses then the melody of the choruses adds a great hook. Then the outro is just huge!

Unfortunately on the same day, several hours after releasing the track and video the atrocity that was the Manchester Arena bombing happened. Given the subject matter of the track we have pulled back its proper release for obvious reasons.

Where did the filming take place; and a lengthy shoot?

The band shoot was done in a day at a studio in Preston, and the fight scenes were shot in Manchester over a couple of days so not too lengthy. Carl really worked hard to get it finished for us….in fact we’re still humbled by effort everybody involved put in.

What is next for Kill II This; The chance of an album being planning?

We intend to keep writing for sure. Whether or not we release an album or just drip feed one track / video at a time I’m not sure. We are looking already at festival appearances next year, plus a few more shows this year. I’d love to get back out to Europe too…it’s been too long.

Big thanks again for chatting with us; any last words you would like to add?

Thanks for showing an interest in us and we really hope you enjoy the new video…you can watch it on our website where you can also download the new track Sleepercell for FREE.

http://www.kill2this.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/pg/kill2this    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsrVYMExsQyYNt0h4WU1lRQ

The RingMaster Review 13/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Soldierfield – Catharsis

 

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It has been a long timing coming, well it feels that way since the release of their acclaimed and outstanding EP Bury The Ones We Love in 2012, but now UK melodic metallers Soldierfield return with their highly anticipated debut album, Catharsis. It is a release which like so many others we had high expectations of and fierce hunger for, and it is fair to say that the tempestuous rampage suffices all wants and much more. Simultaneously continuing where the previous release left off and forging new expansive landscapes for their songwriting and feverishly flavoured sound, the quintet has created an incendiary device of enterprise and raw force to set the British metal scene ablaze.

Soldierfield was formed in late 2011 when guitarist Andy Trott linked up with bassist Simon Priestland to work on and unleash songs the former had been working on. Deciding to put out some demos the pair pulled in vocalist Leigh Oates (Order Of Voices, Rise To Addiction) who expelled his lyrical and vocal prowess upon the tracks. The first song unveiled instantly sparked a buzz in the underground scene and within the industry which led to the band signing up with Metalbox Recordings. Subsequently the Bury The Ones We Love EP was uncaged with the line-up completed by guitarist Steve Wray (Rise To Addiction, BLAZE), who produced the EP and now the album, and drummer Jeff Singer (Paradise Lost, Kill II This, China Beach, BLAZE). Continuing to reap the richest essences of numerous styles and flavours to infuse into their own invention, Soldierfield, with Wayne Banks (Joe Lynn Turner, Sabbat, BLAZE, Messiah’s Kiss) now on bass, raise their and British metal’s bar again with the impatiently waited for Catharsis.

The album is an aural emprise which immediately ignites a fire in ears and emotions, but proceeds to unveil more depths and potency over time to perpetually seduce the imagination. From their first offering, The Light, band and album enthrals and trespasses through ears into the passions with virulent and creative ferocity. Theirs is a sound which sounds deceptively familiar but equally wholly fresh and distinctive, no more so epitomised than the opening track. Seemingly entering from where final track The Path on the EP left off, The Light is a bridge between and gateway into a new chapter and realm of adventure. Its dawning presence is a restrained and melodic tempest which draws near with every sonic agitation before exploding into a predacious and rhythmically intensive stride. Riffs flame and flirt with their enticing whilst bass and drums provide an enslaving bait, it all capped by the outstanding sandy toned vocals of Oates. As potent and expressive as ever, straight away there seems a thicker impassioned drive to his tones which is matched by the carnivorous riffery and colourful designs cast by the guitars. As rampant as it is resourceful, the track is a stunning start which with moments of Manic Street Preachers like persuasion has the appetite drooling.Soldierfield - Catharsis - Artwork

The following Beautiful Lie rigorously strides the same plateau, sonic intrigue seeping from every guitar spawned note as intimidation drives every swinging beat. There is an instant drama to the song which is ushered in through the throaty basslines of Banks and stretched by the vocal tenacity of Oates and the acidic invention sculpted superbly by Trott and Wray. As its predecessor, the song offers for no definable reason a familiar face but is soon twisting its character and presence with riveting craft to leave ears and thoughts engrossed before both The Only War and Burn Bright ignite their impressive persuasions. The first of the two opens with melodic elegance and beauty across a peaceful atmosphere, the guitars painting an enthralling picture before the more rugged landscape of the song is revealed and painted by the impassioned vocals of Oates. Flirting with thrash and groove metal, the song is soon aflame with gripping enterprise from the guitars and prowling rhythmic tempting from Banks and Singer, a mix emulated by its successor within a far more savage and inhospitable atmosphere. The track merges extremes of texture and attack with fluidity and thrilling resourcefulness, raging and seducing within a just as agitated and varied sonic climate.

The pair of Monochrome, an exceptional track which exploits a horde of fierce and inflammatory styles to create another major pinnacle on the album, and the bewitching Ghosts sublimely spark hungry waves of pleasure and satisfaction through ears and emotions. The first truly encapsulates the band’s invention, a tempestuous fusion of varied sounds and flavours which is as adept and majestic brawling with or seducing the listener, whilst the second is an unpredictably transfixing offering which needs more time than others to reveal all its qualities but emerges just as handsomely accepted and devoured. This can also be applied to the dramatic presence and evolving creative narrative of New Religion and the enchanting gentle croon of the album’s title track where Oates again reinforces his vocal prowess.

The next up Nothing Left springs with the same melody fuelled lure as the last song but is soon shrugging of restraints to emerge as a voracious and turbulently volatile storm which only feeds the greed surrounding the release, especially when it still shares its fury with moments of unbridled beauty. The ferocious treat is replaced by the album’s closing track, the mesmeric Cut the Ties, a song blending wiry and seductive melodies with sinister basslines and breath-taking vocals; the track a stunning finale to a superb album.

Catharsis confirms all the early thoughts and assumptions about the potential of Soldierfield and much more, with only the fact that some songs do not linger in memory and thoughts as potently as they should and deserve a slight puzzle. Nevertheless the album is still one of the year’s major highlights and company very hard to tear oneself away from.

Catharsis is available now digitally and on CD via Metalbox Recordings @ http://metalboxrecordings.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=57

www.soldierfieldband.co.uk

RingMaster 18/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Soldierfield: Bury The Ones We Love EP

There has been quite a buzz about UK metallers Soldierfield these past months, so much so that the release of their debut EP was sure to be met with eager anticipation. The Bury The Ones We Love EP had a bit of a tall order to live up to if the raging whispers about the band were correct, but not only has the release met expectations it has shafted them with a magnificence and towering enterprise which quite simply leaves them bow legged. The EP is outstanding, a true classic debut which not only confirms all early acclaim but shows the band as having all the weaponry and ability to become one of the future UK greats.

From an opening track which made one only unleash an impressed response the release grows into one of the essential releases of the year, a five song rampage of compulsive imagination, highly skilled craft in songwriting and musicianship, and simply one of the most invigorating and exciting introductions in a long time, certainly in the UK. Soldierfield take the essences and textures of multiple sub genres of metal and rock to conjure tracks which play as long time best friends but in a guise which is new, fresh, and unpredictable.

Consisting of vocalist Leigh Oates (Order Of Voices, Rise To Addiction), guitarists Andy Trott and Steve Wray (Rise To Addiction, BLAZE), bassist Simon Priestland, and drummer Jeff Singer (Paradise Lost, Kill II This, China Beach, BLAZE), the band formed in late 2011. The beginning of this year saw a released demo track trigger strong and keen reactions in fans and the music industry alike. Entering the studio across May and June, the band recorded, with Steve Wray producing, Bury The Ones We Love which is released via Metalbox Recordings. What has emerged is an aural fire of melodic vision, barbed irresistible hooks, towering energy, and quite hypnotic imagination. As said it plays like a familiar heartfelt companion but is brought through expertly envisioned and inventively realised enterprise.

The EP opens with the title track, a song which in hindsight is almost ordinary compared to what follows, well ordinary in the respect it is a straightforward muscular delight which gets from A to B with a relatively undemanding intent and an uncomplicated direction. The fare for the journey is only one of enjoyment and enthusiasm which is given eagerly and unreservedly to the raging power and skilled craft on show. From the opening emotion building piano and militant rhythms the track expands into a pulsating and rippling bruise of a song which only leaves strong satisfaction and a sense of much more to be unveiled ahead.

Soldierfield do not disappoint as the following Feel Alive stomps into view, its opening twists of riffs and aggressive breath following on from the opener but already offering a senses squeezing groove to be wholly infected by. A track which ripples with essences of Five Finger Death Punch, Drowning Pool, and a whisper of Static X and Soundgarden, it is a passionate explosion of buffeting intensity and heart fuelled melodic elegance. Two extremes brought into a fluid and irresistible union which sparks every ounce of appreciation and adoration into life. Its anthemic call is as impossible to refuse as the towering sounds ensuring the exchange between listener and record is a long lasting and enthusiastically driven engagement.

Things only get more heated and impressive as third track Leave You In Dirt enters, its thundering and rampant assault on the senses barbaric and deliciously mesmeric, especially when the track shifts into a totally unexpected weave of orchestral beauty and classical piano caresses. It is an ‘interlude’ which as easily as it appeared is departed from, the motion a seamless and skilful build evolving back into the at times almost banshee like vehemence and bone rupturing power. With an undisguised Metallica lilt breaking out, though that band can only wish they could write a song like this right now, it is a stunning piece of rock, a declaration which can equally be applied to the emotive and in comparison mellow beauty of Sky Flower.  From vocals to the acoustic guitar kisses and the ever burning intensity which accompanies the sultry grandeur, the track is glorious and further evidence of how expansive the vision and craft of Soldierfield is.

The album closes on a final slab of magnificence in The Path, a track which treats melodic thrash to a new leash of inventive life whilst gnawing at the senses with swirling blistering sonics, bone splitting rhythms, and incessantly gnawing riffs. It like the whole EP, is just exceptional, one of a very few releases to truly ignite a swell of passion which leaves one sweating and glowing in adoration. Yes Bury The Ones We Love is that good, with the recommendation that right now you go and find out for yourselves the final word.

http://www.soldierfieldband.co.uk/

RingMaster 30/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright